Friday, September 30, 2005

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In The Gardens of Manchurian Global

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I dont know if you've been keeping up on current events, but we're getting our asses kicked. - from the 1986 movie Aliens

I've recently finished reading an excellent book called The World Is Flat by New York Times star writer, Thomas L. Friedman. Friedman is a brilliant and insightful writer. He shines a light onto a lot of places and faces and shows us something practical to do with it.

For example, Friedman conjured up what he calls his Golden Arches Theory which "stipulated that when a country reached the level of economic development where it had a middle class big enough to support a network of McDonald's, it became a McDonald's country. And people in McDonald's countries didn't like to fight wars any more. They preferred to wait in line for burgers. While this was offered slightly tongue in cheek, the serious point I was trying to make was that as countries got woven into the fabric of global trade and rising living standards, which having a network of McDonald's franchises had come to symbolise, the cost of war for victor and vanquished became prohibitively high."
Friedman goes on to point out that no country to date, with McDonalds, has ever gone to war on another country that has McDonalds.

Then Friedman goes even further with his Dell Theory: "The Dell Theory stipulates: no two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, such as Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain, because people embedded in major global supply chains don't want to fight old-time wars any more."
He uses the example of India facing off to Pakistan (both nuclear armed) and then India backing off, when the elder statesmen got frantic calls from American companies who'd outsourced a lot of their operations to India. It's one thing to get business outsourced to you. Once you lose it, once the credibility is gone, it probably won't come back.

But for all Friedman's flair, and his clever writing, he fails to see that the vast majority of people in the world are poor, and disaffected.
He makes this comment, probably acknowledging this when he quotes Dell:

"If you are making money and being productive and raising your standard of living, you're not sitting around thinking, Who did this to us? or Why is our life so bad?"

There's something seriously wrong with this view, and it can best be found in the gardens of Manchurian Global. There's a scene in the movie (see picture above) where the Vice Presidents mother confronts a man who represents The Company, The Corporation, The Elite, The Moneyed. She tells him, "Your God is money," and he responds, "And yours isn't?"

No, what's really wrong is that even people who are working, who are being productive, are firstly unable to do both their jobs and the job of the government (which seems to be to trick them into giving up their wealth) and secondly, we are in a system which doesn't help the individual build up the community. We are in a system that enshrines the individual, or seems dedicated to fulfilling individual pursuits, but breaks down the community. I don't mean to suggest even that Middle Class individuals are supported. It only benefits the Corporations and the Masters of these Corporations.

At least you don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage. - Ripley, in Aliens.

The markets that allow Dell to function, and Airline fleets to fly the world, these are lubricated for the super rich, but the merely rich get snagged, and the poor continue to suffer. I'd like to be more specific on these points. If you'd like to verify them, just read up on President Bush's policies, or how the IMF works, read some Chomsky.

You might think that these criticisms of Friedman is just whining, but it's not. Friedman's book is subtitled A Brief History of the 21st Century. Very little scope goes into the exploration of Peak Oil. All his theories are based on the assumption that the world will continue to evolve on the stratum of cheap oil. It's so implicit to his theories that it's barely mentioned. It's like saying, in order to be healthy, we need to breathe. Yet without that, his whole construction crackles to the ground like a matchstick man on fire. He mentions that an Energy Crisis or a good old fashioned war will easily reverse what he calls the 'flattening" mechanisms of the world. He doesn't realise that both are already in high gear. What he calls Globalisation is a myth. It's an aberration. It's like a rainy season in temperate zone, or worse. It's a season, and in the case of fossil fuels, its not a season we will ever see again, based on the same underlying forces (eg cheap oil).

The efficiencies we've developed, also promote reverse efficiencies. The world is so thrown off balance, that the efficiencies (through supply chaining) that we've engineered into it will very quickly reverse engineer all the forces needed to bring balance back.
Many of these, unfortunately, are not friendly forces. Our fleets of aircraft, our subway grids, our streaming traffic, will provide remarkable portals for airborne diseases like H5N1 to decimate populations. These configurations, these networks are in place. So is H5N1. The disease is already deadly (we haven't seen so many birds die from it since records began), but right now it is developing its human to human efficiency. Its now also deadly in people. H5N1 can become efficient jumping between people if one simple thing happens. If a person gets H5N1 while already suffering from another kind of infectious flu. If that happens, both flus will recombine, exchange genetic material and emerge even deadlier. That can happen today.

From Aliens (1986): "that's it, game over man!"

The efficiencies produced by allowing machines to gorge cheap oil will became huge cracks and gaping holes. Supply lines will become dotted lines. Supermarkets and desert cities will become desert islands and ghost towns. Markets base don faraway markets will melt down, and local markets will mushroom up in their place (as long as there are local resources, like good soil, fresh water, and industrious workers - but not too many to feed.
The internet, this awesome recource, is also the disseminator of nuclear information, of terrorism, pornography and for feeding the bias of the person downloading his personal bias. We can expect, when social barriers begin to fray, that the mindset hewn by the internets overly sharp knives, will cut into communities. Peoples will be gouged apart based on deep indoctrinations, but some will be held together by them.

When do they send a rescue team?
17 days.
17 days; we ain't going to last 17 hours.

While all this is happening, the rich will try to pick up the pieces. They will buy companies and business their poorer rivals can no longer afford (given the higher energy expenses). There will undoubtably be a war, between the Have Lots and the Have Less And Less. We will see all of this unravel in our generation, in our lifetimes. Nuclear War, Peak Oil, Pandemic Diseases, Crisis after Crisis. When the one crisis is over we will find ourselves in the next one, even worse. Eventually we'll go from complaining about having no fuel for our cars, to crying for food for our children and ourselves.
While this is happening, the clouds over the garden will darken, and the black energy we have burnt, the million sunlight days on trees and leaves, will drift around us in the sky.

Ripley: These people are here to protect you....they're soldiers.
Newt: It won't make any difference.

The lightning and floodwaters will fall on rich and poor alike, and we will once again fight for our survival. And we will fight each other. May the best men and women win, to live for each other (and not themselves), and to be in better days than these.

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That Famous Equation and You

The enduring legacy of Einstein, and simultaneously his great gift to humanity, is the confidence he imparted to us, of a comprehensible universe, both magical and benign in its immense power. Somehow we soon begin to see these same qualities in ourselves, especially when we realise that we are made of the same stuff. We're starlights walking around on a blue bubble in a mere wave of the Ocean Universe.

Published: September 30, 2005

DURING the summer of 1905, while fulfilling his duties in the patent office in Bern, Switzerland, Albert Einstein was fiddling with a tantalizing outcome of the special theory of relativity he'd published in June. His new insight, at once simple and startling, led him to wonder whether "the Lord might be laughing ... and leading me around by the nose."

An object's mass is its resistance to being accelerated (to having its speed increased). According to E = mc2, an object's mass depends on its energy. This means that the faster an object goes, the harder one must push to increase its speed. (If an object's "rest mass" - called m0 - is the resistance it has to being sped up from a resting position, then Einstein's result can be written more explicitly as E = m0c2/ (1-v2/c2)-�, so m = m0(1-v2/c2)-�, where v2 is the square of the object's speed. As the formula shows, when the object's speed approaches that of light, its mass grows infinitely large, which explains why, regardless of how hard it is pushed, it won't exceed light speed.)

But by September, confident in the result, Einstein wrote a three-page supplement to the June paper, publishing perhaps the most profound afterthought in the history of science. A hundred years ago this month, the final equation of his short article gave the world E = mc2.

In the century since, E = mc2 has become the most recognized icon of the modern scientific era. Yet for all its symbolic worth, the equation's intimate presence in everyday life goes largely unnoticed. There is nothing you can do, not a move you can make, not a thought you can have, that doesn't tap directly into E = mc�. Einstein's equation is constantly at work, providing an unseen hand that shapes the world into its familiar form. It's an equation that tells of matter, energy and a remarkable bridge between them.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Before E = mc2, scientists described matter using two distinct attributes: how much the matter weighed (its mass) and how much change the matter could exert on its environment (its energy). A 19th century physicist would say that a baseball resting on the ground has the same mass as a baseball speeding along at 100 miles per hour. The key difference between the two balls, the physicist would emphasize, is that the fast-moving baseball has more energy: if sent ricocheting through a china shop, for example, it would surely break more dishes than the ball at rest. And once the moving ball has done its damage and stopped, the 19th-century physicist would say that it has exhausted its capacity for exerting change and hence contains no energy.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

After E = mc2, scientists realized that this reasoning, however sensible it once seemed, was deeply flawed. Mass and energy are not distinct. They are the same basic stuff packaged in forms that make them appear different. Just as solid ice can melt into liquid water, Einstein showed, mass is a frozen form of energy that can be converted into the more familiar energy of motion. The amount of energy (E) produced by the conversion is given by his formula: multiply the amount of mass converted (m) by the speed of light squared (c�). Since the speed of light is a few hundred million meters per second (fast enough to travel around the earth seven times in a single second), c� , in these familiar units, is a huge number, about 100,000,000,000,000,000.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."

A little bit of mass can thus yield enormous energy. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fueled by converting less than an ounce of matter into energy; the energy consumed by New York City in a month is less than that contained in the newspaper you're holding. Far from having no energy, the baseball that has come to rest on the china shop's floor contains enough energy to keep an average car running continuously at 65 m.p.h. for about 5,000 years.

Before 1905, the common view of energy and matter thus resembled a man carrying around his money in a box of solid gold. After the man spends his last dollar, he thinks he's broke. But then someone alerts him to his miscalculation; a substantial part of his wealth is not what's in the box, but the box itself. Similarly, until Einstein's insight, everyone was aware that matter, by virtue of its motion or position, could possess energy. What everyone missed is the enormous energetic wealth contained in mass itself.

The standard illustrations of Einstein's equation - bombs and power stations - have perpetuated a belief that E = mc� has a special association with nuclear reactions and is thus removed from ordinary activity.

This isn't true. When you drive your car, E = mc2 is at work. As the engine burns gasoline to produce energy in the form of motion, it does so by converting some of the gasoline's mass into energy, in accord with Einstein's formula. When you use your MP3 player, E = mc2 is at work. As the player drains the battery to produce energy in the form of sound waves, it does so by converting some of the battery's mass into energy, as dictated by Einstein's formula.
As you read this text, E = mc2 is at work. The processes in the eye and brain, underlying perception and thought, rely on chemical reactions that interchange mass and energy, once again in accord with Einstein's formula.

The point is that although E=mc2 expresses the interchangeability of mass and energy, it doesn't single out any particular reaction for executing the conversion. The distinguishing feature of nuclear reactions, compared with the chemical reactions involved in burning gasoline or running a battery, is that they generate less waste and thus produce more energy - by a factor of roughly a million. And when it comes to energy, a factor of a million justifiably commands attention. But don't let the spectacle of E=mc� in nuclear reactions inure you to its calmer but thoroughly pervasive incarnations in everyday life.

That's the content of Einstein's discovery. Why is it true?
Einstein's derivation of E = mc2 was wholly mathematical. I know his derivation, as does just about anyone who has taken a course in modern physics. Nevertheless, I consider my understanding of a result incomplete if I rely solely on the math. Instead, I've found that thorough understanding requires a mental image - an analogy or a story - that may sacrifice some precision but captures the essence of the result.

"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

Here's a story for E = mc2. Two equally strong and skilled jousters, riding identical horses and gripping identical (blunt) lances, head toward each other at an identical speed. As they pass, each thrusts his lance across his breastplate toward his opponent, slamming blunt end into blunt end. Because they're equally matched, neither lance pushes farther than the other, and so the referee calls it a draw.

This story contains the essence of Einstein's discovery. Let me explain.
Einstein's first relativity paper, the one in June 1905, shattered the idea that time elapses identically for everyone. Instead, Einstein showed that if from your perspective someone is moving, you will see time elapsing slower for him than it does for you. Everything he does - sipping his coffee, turning his head, blinking his eyes - will appear in slow motion.

This is hard to grasp because at everyday speeds the slowing is less than one part in a trillion and is thus imperceptibly small. Even so, using extraordinarily precise atomic clocks, scientists have repeatedly confirmed that it happens just as Einstein predicted. If we lived in a world where things routinely traveled near the speed of light, the slowing of time would be obvious.

Let's see what the slowing of time means for the joust. To do so, think about the story not from the perspective of the referee, but instead imagine you are one of the jousters. From your perspective, it is your opponent - getting ever closer - who is moving. Imagine that he is approaching at nearly the speed of light so the slowing of all his movements - readying his joust, tightening his face - is obvious. When he shoves his lance toward you in slow motion, you naturally think he's no match for your swifter thrust; you expect to win. Yet we already know the outcome. The referee calls it a draw and no matter how strange relativity is, it can't change a draw into a win.

After the match, you naturally wonder how your opponent's slowly thrusted lance hit with the same force as your own. There's only one answer. The force with which something hits depends not only on its speed but also on its mass. That's why you don't fear getting hit by a fast-moving Ping-Pong ball (tiny mass) but you do fear getting hit by a fast-moving Mack truck (big mass). Thus, the only explanation for how the slowly thrust lance hit with the same force as your own is that it's more massive.

This is astonishing. The lances are identically constructed. Yet you conclude that one of them - the one that from your point of view is in motion, being carried toward you by your opponent on his galloping horse - is more massive than the other. That's the essence of Einstein's discovery. Energy of motion contributes to an object's mass.

AS with the slowing of time, this is unfamiliar because at everyday speeds the effect is imperceptibly tiny. But if, from your viewpoint, your opponent were to approach at 99.99999999 percent of the speed of light, his lance would be about 70,000 times more massive than yours. Luckily, his thrusting speed would be 70,000 times slower than yours, and so the resulting force would equal your own.
Once Einstein realized that mass and energy were convertible, getting the exact formula relating them - E = mc� - was a fairly basic exercise, requiring nothing more than high school algebra. His genius was not in the math; it was in his ability to see beyond centuries of misunderstanding and recognize that there was a connection between mass and energy at all.

A little known fact about Einstein's September 1905 paper is that he didn't actually write E = mc2; he wrote the mathematically equivalent (though less euphonious) m = E/c2, placing greater emphasis on creating mass from energy (as in the joust) than on creating energy from mass (as in nuclear weapons and power stations).

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."

Over the last couple of decades, this less familiar reading of Einstein's equation has helped physicists explain why everything ever encountered has the mass that it does. Experiments have shown that the subatomic particles making up matter have almost no mass of their own. But because of their motions and interactions inside of atoms, these particles contain substantial energy - and it's this energy that gives matter its heft. Take away Einstein's equation, and matter loses its mass. You can't get much more pervasive than that.

Its singular fame notwithstanding, E = mc2 fits into the pattern of work and discovery that Einstein pursued with relentless passion throughout his entire life. Einstein believed that deep truths about the workings of the universe would always be "as simple as possible, but no simpler." And in his view, simplicity was epitomized by unifying concepts - like matter and energy - previously deemed separate. In 1916, Einstein simplified our understanding even further by combining gravity with space, time, matter and energy in his General Theory of Relativity. For my money, this is the most beautiful scientific synthesis ever achieved.

With these successes, Einstein's belief in unification grew ever stronger. But the sword of his success was double-edged. It allowed him to dream of a single theory encompassing all of nature's laws, but led him to expect that the methods that had worked so well for him in the past would continue to work for him in the future.

It wasn't to be. For the better part of his last 30 years, Einstein pursued the "unified theory," but it stubbornly remained beyond his grasp. As the years passed, he became increasingly isolated; mainstream physics was concerned with prying apart the atom and paid little attention to Einstein's grandiose quest. In a 1942 letter, Einstein described himself as having become a "a lonely old man who is displayed now and then as a curiosity because he doesn't wear socks."

For all his genius, Einstein has also been described as a bad father and husband, a womanizer and a jerk.

Today, Einstein's quest for unification is no curiosity - it is the driving force for many physicists of my generation. No one knows how close we've gotten. Maybe the unified theory will elude us just as it dodged Einstein last century. Or maybe the new approaches being developed by contemporary physics will finally prevail, giving us the ultimate explanation of the cosmos.

Without a unified theory it's hard to imagine we will ever resolve the deepest of all mysteries - how the universe began - so the stakes are high and the motivation strong.

But even if our science proves unable to determine the origin of the universe, recent progress has already established beyond any doubt that a fraction of a second after creation (however that happened), the universe was filled with tremendous energy in the form of wildly moving exotic particles and radiation. Within a few minutes, this energy employed E = mc2 to transform itself into more familiar matter - the simplest atoms - which, in the course of about a billion years, clumped into planets and stars.

During the 13 billion years that have followed, stars have used E = mc2 to transform their mass back into energy in the form of heat and light; about five billion years ago, our closest star - the sun - began to shine, and the heat and light generated was essential to the formation of life on our planet. If prevailing theory and observations are correct, the conversion of matter to energy throughout the cosmos, mediated by stars, black holes and various forms of radioactive decay, will continue unabated.

In the far, far future, essentially all matter will have returned to energy. But because of the enormous expansion of space, this energy will be spread so thinly that it will hardly ever convert back to even the lightest particles of matter. Instead, a faint mist of light will fall for eternity through an ever colder and quieter cosmos.

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32/5 Billabong and Deep Thought

 Posted by PicasaNo umbrella today, and plenty of rain, but my Billabong Blue Jedi top (it has a hood) kept me fairly dry.

Strange dreams about tightrope walking, camera crews and familiar faces in unfamiliar cars.

Each day this week all the teachers have been locked in meetings with the director. Less meeting and more lectures. A meeting implies an exchange of information. I'm not part of these, thankfully, but all I hear is one voice, and on the monitors I see plenty of scribbling in notepads. I asked Sharon today, "What are you talking about in these meetings?"
She said, "The director is explaining the rules of this school to all the teachers, and giving his faith to us."
"It takes a week to explain all the rules?"

Tried to sign up for the Peace Marathon, well, the 10km part of it, but it's already reached capacity (at around 11 000 entries. Good news is I feel healthier today, so I definitely see myself swimming on Sunday, and might do an easy run as early as tomorrow. Tonight I'll get down to some Pilates again.

Plans are afoot for a big night to Hongdae. I'm not in the mood, and neither is the weather. Think I will leave that stuff for my last two or three weeks here. Want to concentrate on some writing projects and exercise.

I know I will really miss the awesome internet access I have here, and how inexpensive it is. In some ways it is good, I get to exercise my writing muscles. But it seems to wreak havoc with sleeping patterns, and almost disables me for all other activities. This is in part due to sleep deprivation, but also in large part to conserve the mental patterns that I've built up. It's a sort of addiction.
I remember reading about a scientist, a genius, Crick I think, who gained celebrity despite giving virtually no interviews in his whole career. When they finally got him to agree to an interview, they asked why it was so difficult for him. He explained that he spent hours and hours in painstaking thought. Solving riddles, usually mathematical. He got caught up in this fascination, and the distractions of dullards asking dull questions would crash his rollercoaster.
Someone else, Newton I think, was said to wake up and then spend hours sitting on his bed, trying to figure his way through a problem.

I also have a hard time giving up my paradigms. You get very sharp, very mentally acute, when you spend copious amounts of time applying your mental chisel to the ores of information.
But when you do it can be tremendously refreshing and insightful. Of course, while you're away there's a tremendous yearning to return to your chair, your pen, your pad, which few people probably understand.

I find it incredible how the internet, and tools like Google, provide access to the exploration of every question you can conjure up. Frankly I'm surprised more kids don't stay home and spend hours and weeks just pursuing their curiosity down every rabbit hole. They'd probably learn a lot more.
When I was at school I had a voracious appetite for reading, and the library (school, and public) provided some filling for that. But not enough. With Google and broadband, there's no excuse.
The only snag is letting lazy thoughts rule these journeys, allowing us to surf the gossip and entertainment columns endlessly, instead of something more practical.

I'm doing doing imbedded messages in word puzzles today. Monday is a holiday, so there may be enough time for a rollerblade this weekend. I've been saying that for a while, I know. Isn't that, after all, what people call 'having fun'. If the boulevards around my building are dry by Monday, I promise to put wheels on my feet, and throw words away for a few hours.

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Kiss of Death

Scientists in Desperate Race With Bird Flu

Wednesday, September 28, 2005
By Daniel J. DeNoon

Bird flu has scientists on the edge of their seats about when and if it will become a human pandemic, a sobering report shows. That's the bad news.
The good news: Bird flu still doesn't spread easily among humans. Infected poultry was the source of virtually all of the 115 confirmed human infections with what scientists call H5N1 avian influenza. So far, only very few people seem to have caught it from other people, and then only after extremely close and sustained contact.

The bad news: More than half of the people who got bird flu have died. The true death rate for human cases of bird flu is not known. Mild cases don't show up in hospitals and don't get counted. But a new report on human bird flu infection shows that this is a very bad bug indeed.

The report comes from a May 2005 meeting of doctors and researchers held in Hanoi, Vietnam, by the World Health Organization. Among them is Frederick G. Hayden, MD, professor of clinical virology and internal medicine at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

"The news is concerning," Hayden tells WebMD. "Most cases are in apparently healthy adults and children. About half of them die from what appears to be a viral pneumonia, sometimes with secondary bacterial infections. Some suggest this virus behaves differently from human flu."

Bird Flu: Early Symptoms, Frequent Death
Even though people obviously do get bird flu from poultry, it's not something that happens often. Millions of domestic chickens and ducks have been infected. Yet relatively few people show evidence of infection, notes flu expert John Treanor, MD, professor of medicine and director of the vaccine and treatment evaluation unit at the University of Rochester in New York.

"When you think of the totality of human experience with infected poultry, fewer than 150 cases is only a small number," Treanor tells WebMD. "The opportunities for whatever needs to happen for this to spread among humans have been, thankfully, quite limited."

The earliest symptom of bird flu is a lot like that of human flu: a sudden high fever. After that, the symptoms tend to be different. Bird flu patients only sometimes have a runny nose. They tend to have lower respiratory symptoms, especially cough and shortness of breath. Other early symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, lung pain, and bleeding from the nose and gums.There may also be symptoms highly unusual for flu. Two patients had brain infections and diarrhea but not respiratory symptoms.

Typically, about five days after illness onset, patients have shortness of breath. Severe breathing problems are common; there may be bloody sputum. Patients often progress to acute respiratory distress in about six days, which requires oxygen therapy and may require assisted breathing with a machine. Multiple organ failure is common. Death usually comes from respiratory failure.

The disease has been particularly deadly for children. In Thailand, 89% of patients under the age of 15 years died an average of nine or 10 days after illness onset.

Early Treatment May Help
Two flu drugs are active against bird flu: Tamiflu and Relenza. Tamiflu is taken orally, while Relenza must be inhaled. Because bird flu can infect organs other than the lungs, Tamiflu is considered the treatment of choice.
However, treatment must begin very soon after symptoms appear. Hayden and colleagues say that for severe cases of H5N1 bird flu, it's reasonable to use high doses of Tamiflu -- double the usually recommended dose.

A Bird Flu Pandemic
What experts worry about is that bird flu could learn to spread more easily among humans. This could happen in two ways. The bird virus could simply adapt to humans over time. Or a person could get infected with bird flu and human flu at the same time. Two viruses infecting the same person could swap gene segments. This "reassortant" virus might end up with the gene that lets it spread among humans.
It seems very easy for this to happen. Is it possible that for some reason bird flu just can't evolve into a human flu?

"I am not reassured that because it hasn't happened yet it will not occur," Hayden says. "I think we are watching an evolving event. There is real concern that either through transport of poultry or migratory birds, the virus will spread further. And that will increase the possibility it will reassort with a human virus or adapt to humans. Then one would be into a pandemic event."

Pandemic flu -- a flu bug that sweeps the globe -- happens every 10 to 40 years, says Stephen Morse, PhD, founding director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

"All of us virologists and infectious disease epidemiologists who worry about flu for a living, we all feel a pandemic is virtually inevitable -- as inevitable as any unpredictable event can be," Morse tells WebMD. "We don't know if it will be a 1918-like epidemic, which is what we all fear -- the worst natural disaster we know of in history -- or whether it will be more of a standard pandemic like 1957 or 1968, where we have 4 million deaths rather than 100 million."

But if the next pandemic is bird flu, there really is no precedent. The terrible 1918 flu had a mortality [death] rate of only 2%, Morse says.
"The extra charge on that bomb is that H5N1 bird flu has a high mortality rate," he says. "That is one of the things that is very worrisome about this virus: A pandemic would mean a lot of people who are very sick. An H5 pandemic would be something very serious to contemplate."

Race Against Time
Nobody knows whether bird flu really will cause a pandemic. But researchers, governments, and drug companies are taking it very, very seriously.
There's already a prototype vaccine. This vaccine may not match the pandemic virus that eventually breaks out. But making it, testing it, and licensing it will greatly speed a better vaccine should the need arise, Treanor says.

The current vaccine requires two high-dose shots, many weeks apart. Treanor and others already are working on higher-potency vaccines. And the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases today announced that it is working with a drug company to use new technology to rapidly produce live vaccines using weakened, genetically engineered flu viruses. Such vaccines could protect against any possible flu virus.

Meanwhile, governments are racing to stockpile Tamiflu and Relenza. Right now, there is not nearly enough. But drug manufacturers are stepping up production. If the bird flu waits a few more years, the world will be in a lot better position to fight back.

"I do believe that this is now getting attention at the highest levels -- and we need that," Morse says. "Our capacity to make vaccines now is woefully inadequate. The nimbleness with which we can make new vaccine is questionable. We need the capacity to make vaccines rapidly. We need a stockpile of antiviral agents. If pandemic flu happened in the next year, we would have to do a lot of scrambling. If it happened in 10 years, the question is how much we are able to sustain the concern we have now."

By Daniel J. DeNoon , reviewed by Brunilda Nazario , MD
SOURCES: Hayden, F.G. The New EnglandJournal of Medicine, Sept. 19, 2005; vol 353: pp 1374-1385. Frederick G. Hayden, MD, professor of clinical virology and internal medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville. John Treanor, MD, professor of medicine; and director, vaccine and treatment evaluation unit, University of Rochester, New York. Stephen Morse, PhD, founding director, Center for Public Health Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York.

Note: Does it make sense to be concerned about this? If you need me to tell you the answer then...perhaps you are better off reading cartoons.

What you can do is:
a) take care of your own immunity. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, buy a good multivitamin, get a good daily intake of fresh vitamin C (in produce form, since vitamin C can't be stored).
b) find out whether health departments in your area have vaccines, or any kind of plan, and if they don't, make a plan for your family. If necessary, order vaccines online where available.
c) speak to your doctor and find out what he knows, and discuss a worst case scenario, and what you can do to find help
d) if there is an outbreak, you will probably not be able to travel for an extended period. Things like food shortages and even fuel shortages will probably rapidly appear. Forget overseas travel.
e) stick to basics like washing hands, and stay away from huge crowds of people.
f) keep yourself up to date on the current spread of the H5N1 (now in Indonesia, Vietnam and China).
g) keep your pets indoors and away from wild birds (this is obviously once there's an actual global problem).
h) avoid eating chicken or duck, and their eggs.
i) start developing your own awareness, and speak to friends about co-operative measures.

In the meantime, enjoy your health and breathe the free air.

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98% Shutdown: Here's How Little Oil Is Trickling Out Of The Gulf

 Posted by PicasaMinerals Management Service says production in the gulf is no longer 100 percent shut down.September 29, 2005: 2:56 PM EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico improved slightly on Thursday, the Minerals Management Service said in its daily report logging the impact of Hurricane Rita and the prior Hurricane Katrina.

MMS said the percentage of oil output shut was 98.59 percent on Thursday. It was 100 percent on Wednesday. The percentage is based on the normal daily oil output from Gulf of Mexico operations of 1.5 million barrels a day.

Wednesday's report said 1.478 million barrels of crude oil production was shut as of Thursday morning, in contrast to 1.511 million barrels reported shut on Wednesday.

For natural gas, 7.979 billion cubic feet a day, or 79.79 percent, was shut Thursday. On Wednesday, 80.27 percent, was shut. The normal daily natural gas output is about 10 billion cubic feet.

What does this mean? It means we're in trouble. October will be the month that we become enlightened to the first really dire consequences of our prolonged ignorance and paralysis on the subject of Peak Oil. November will be the month when we begin to feel the full brunt of it, and the first inkling of Too Late starts to set in. Expect airlines to shut down in droves in 2006, and prices everywhere to rise.
What can we do? Not a lot, so expect to see a lot of angry people around you.

Fight the Power

 Posted by PicasaNoam Chomsky interviewed by Ian Rappel

Socialist Review July, 2005

The G8 are coming to Scotland in July, and they've put forward what appears to be a progressive agenda on Africa, Third World debt and global warming. But what in your opinion is the US, under George W Bush, looking to get out of the G8 summit?

Well, it's not a big secret - they're quite frank about it - and I wouldn't suggest that the other members of the G8 are very different. I'm just reading a book by Philippe Sands, a British Professor of Law at the University of London, who describes how, in relation to the US, Britain has moved from an independent society to a servant society, and the others are not all that different. The G8 come from pretty much the same narrow interlinking sectors of power and concentrated resources, but the Bush administration is at the extreme of a pretty narrow spectrum, and their policies are quite open - it's not a secret.

Take, say, global warming. No doubt they'll come out with some nice words at the G8 summit, but nice words are cheap - actions are what count. The Kyoto Protocols were no great advance forward, but there was at least something. The Bush administration was virtually alone in rejecting them, but it's important to remember that it rejected them over the strong opposition of the population of the United States. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of the population of the US supports the Kyoto Protocols. In fact it supports them so enthusiastically that a majority of Bush's voters, because they supported them so strongly, thought that he supported them. But the Bush administration has a primary interest here, and that is to stuff the pockets of its rich friends with as many dollars as possible, and leave the costs to future generations.

It's not just global warming. The next thing they did after refusing to join the Kyoto Protocols was to pass the bill to allow depletion of the Strategic Reserve. Now, the Strategic Reserve is holes in the ground where you pour oil in case it's ever needed. If you take oil out of it and let the oil companies sell it, they make a profit, of course, at the cost of increasing the reliance of the country on imported oil and causing significant problems of access within ten or 20 years. Well they didn't call it the 'Depleting the Strategic Reserve Bill' - they never would've got away with it if they'd called it that - so what they call it is the 'Arctic Wilderness Drilling Bill'. But the oil in the Arctic is just the Strategic Reserve - same thing - it's oil, in the ground, in the United States. In fact, depleting the actual Strategic Reserve would make a lot more sense because when you deplete the oil in the Arctic, you're also harming the environment, you're harming indigenous people and so on. If you empty out the holes in the Strategic Reserve you're not harming anyone except the population of the future.

So what's the point in doing it? Well, the point is it'll enrich some of your rich friends for the next ten or 20 years. It will increase reliance on foreign oil, which means mostly Gulf oil, and it will lead to problems of access, but it's worth it - it doesn't matter - what's important is short-term gain for very narrow sectors of power. And if global warming turns into a total environmental catastrophe, which it might, it's for somebody else to worry about, like our children or grandchildren. It's not an issue - and that's an extreme position on a pretty narrow spectrum.

The same is true of the other issues. Take Third World debt. First of all, does it exist? I mean, if I lend you money, and I know that it's a very risky loan, and I therefore demand very high interest payments so I make plenty of money out of the loan that I give you - and then at some point you can't pay - whose problem is it? Well, by capitalist principles, it's my problem. If anyone believed in capitalism - which of course no wealthy sector's willing to do - it would be my problem. I made a risky loan, I made a lot of profit out of it, but if by now it turns into a bad loan - well, too bad for me.

But that's not the way the international system works. If a bank makes a loan to, for example, General Suharto of Indonesia or some Argentinian neo-Nazi, and they know it's risky, they use high interest rates to get a return on it. The bank makes plenty of money, and the debt stays about where it was. If then at some point Indonesia, Argentina or whoever it is can't pay the debt, it's not the bank's problem because at that point the International Monetary Fund (IMF) steps in. The IMF was described accurately by its American Executive Director as the 'Credit Community's Enforcer'. That's what the IMF is - now what does the IMF do?
Well, money was actually borrowed by General Suharto - the most corrupt dictator of the modern period by far (as estimated by the British organisation Transparency International). He took loans, he enriched himself, he enriched his other friends, and so on. Indonesia can't pay off its subsequent debt, so who's supposed to pay it? Poor people in Indonesia are paying for it - they're subjected to Structural Adjustment Programmes - so they get strangled in order to pay off the loans that they never borrowed in the first place. Meanwhile, what about the rich banker here? Well, you know, he's not going to accept any risk - he has to be paid off by Northern taxpayers via the IMF, who make sure that the investors and lenders don't have any problems.

So the system works by the combination of imposing the debt - which they didn't borrow in the first place - on the poor people of the South primarily, and to a secondary extent on Northern taxpayers. That's called Third World debt. Why does this scam even exist? There probably is no Third World debt if we adopted just elementary capitalist principles. It's a power system. And in fact sometimes it's even worse.

One of the most highly indebted countries in the world is Nicaragua. Its huge debt comes from two sources. The one is the US war against Nicaragua which practically destroyed the country in the 1980s. And the second is the enormous corruption - unbelievable corruption - of the governments that the US instituted in the 1990s, and have been running the place ever since. So between them there's a huge foreign and also a huge domestic debt. Is that the fault of the people of Nicaragua? What did they have to do with it? They're the victims.

In fact, there's a very simple way of getting rid of the international debt in Nicaragua - a very conservative way of doing it - the US should follow the law. After all, the US was ordered by the World Court, backed by two UN Security Council resolutions (which the US vetoed, with Britain politely abstaining), all of which demanded that the US terminate its terrorist atrocities and pay enormous reparations. There were modes for calculating reparations that were worked out and came up with internationally agreed estimates. These sums would've paid off the international debt and gone well beyond - enabling Nicaragua to reconstruct some of the wreckage. But that's a conservative principle - following the law - and therefore it's out of the question, just like capitalist principles are out of the question when you don't gain from them.

So Nicaragua has a huge debt, becomes a Highly Indebted Country, and is given a little leeway on paying its debt, and even this money goes into enriching the rich cronies of then President Aleman, and so on. The whole thing is just a scam. So maybe there is no Third World debt - or if there is it's just marginal. You can be pretty sure that these questions are not going to come up at the G8, because they would harm the interests of the rich and powerful, and that's not what the game is about. Going back to your question, the Bush Administration is at an extreme, of that there's no doubt. But it's an extreme of a very narrow spectrum.
What are your views on globalisation and the role of the G8?

Globalisation is a term of propaganda, and we should never use it. There is a technical meaning of globalisation. It means international integration. This can take all sorts of forms. In fact, if we use globalisation in this neutral technical sense of international integration, then the leading proponents of globalisation historically have been the workers' movements and the labour movement. That's why every union is called an International. Of course they aren't Internationals but that's what they strove to be. There were several failed attempts to develop Internationals through history, but the idea of international integration at the level of people - that's the ideal of the left and the workers' movements from their origin.

Interestingly now, for the first time in years, there are actual seeds of what could be the first meaningful globalisation in history - namely the World Social Forum and its regional and local offshoots, and the various local and regional movements that partially integrate themselves in that framework - I mean, that's real globalisation. It brings together people from many different countries, mostly the South, where most of the activism and vitality is, but increasingly the North as well - working people, environmentalists, feminists, the anti-war movement - a wide range of interests and a broad variety of people.

Last time I went to Porto Alegre, the first thing I did off the plane was go, not to the World Social Forum, but to the meetings of Via Campesina (the international peasant union), a very exciting movement of some of the most oppressed people in the world with plenty of vitality, energy and vibrancy. This was not part of the World Social Forum but kind of an offshoot - a related group that happened to be meeting at a Landless Workers Movement farm not far from Porto Alegre, and there's a lot of things like that including youth forums and so on. Okay, that's globalisation - but it's not called globalisation because it's for the benefit of people, and people are incidental and irrelevant to power systems.

What's called globalisation is the integration of corporations, and of corporate investor interests, banks and so on - and the few states like G3 [Germany, Japan and the US] which basically cater to their interests. That's called globalisation - but that's just propaganda, just as the term 'free trade' is propaganda. In fact the people who are interested in real globalisation are called anti-globalisation - again, effective propaganda.

Unfortunately, the popular movements have accepted a lot of this terminology, which they shouldn't. They should call themselves pro-globalisation - as they are - but globalisation in the form of international integration in the interests of people. If you look at the deliberations of the World Social Forum for example, in many meetings, the panels and discussions, also at the regional meetings in various countries, they're discussing real problems and producing serious proposals about them. But they are aimed at people's rights - the social, cultural, economic, political rights of the great mass of the population of the world. So therefore, the propaganda system naturally dismisses them and pretends that it's some kind of crazy carnival or something. On the other hand, the meetings taking place at the same time at the World Economic Forum in Davos or G8 in Edinburgh - that's called real globalisation - because they're concerned with the interests of the people that count.

The great American political economist Thorstein Veblen, one of the most important social thinkers of the last century, made a distinction between what he called the 'substantial people' and 'the underlying population'. The 'underlying population' is almost everybody, while the 'substantial people' are the people that count. The ones who count have money, power, and influence over parts of the reigning tyrannical structures - the corporate structures that administer markets, making sure they don't function except in the interests of the rich, and the governments - they're the 'substantial people'. And they're the ones who are meeting at the G8.

The 'underlying population' is out of it. I mean, they do and can develop their own movements, and in fact make plenty of achievements, and they've won plenty of victories over the years - but that's the opposition to the G8.

The G8 is meeting with the backdrop of the Iraq war. What prospects do you think that presents to the Bush administration vis-�-vis their ability to get their agenda accepted at the summit?

I think their agenda is pretty well accepted at the G8. There is some debate about tactics but no serious principled objection. Britain has chosen to dismiss itself and to become a kind of US mercenary state - the 'spear carrier for Pax Americana', as it's described with disdain in a recent issue of Britain's leading journal of international affairs - but the others maintain some degree of independence. Nevertheless, they pretty much adopt the same framework as the US, if not totally.

What will happen in Iraq is pretty hard to say. It's been a very surprising war in my opinion. My own assumption, and I think the assumption of most people who had any sense of the situation, was that this would be maybe the easiest military victory in history. One of the reasons that the US and Britain attacked Iraq is that they knew it was totally defenceless. The country had been devastated by a decade of murderous US and British sanctions, which had killed hundreds of thousands of people, reduced the country to wreckage, and strengthened Saddam Hussein. In fact the sanctions forced the Iraqi population to be so dependent on him that they couldn't send him the same way as the other monsters supported by the US and Britain - like Suharto and Ceausescu and a whole stream of others. Indeed, the post-war investigations by Kay and others showed that the country was being barely held together by Scotch-Tape at the point of the invasion, and Britain and the United States pretty much knew that, so they were willing to invade. It should've been a cheap, easy invasion.

It's almost inconceivable that they didn't succeed. I mean here they were invading a country that's completely defenceless with no external support for any resistance - not like the partisans in Europe who had external support. The US and Britain were eliminating two murderous regimes - one the sanctions regime, and the other Saddam Hussein. If they had just eliminated the sanctions regime or turned it against weapons, the population probably would've got rid of Saddam Hussein on their own like in other cases, but that didn't happen. So the two brutal regimes were there - the US and Britain were getting rid of them - they were coming in with tons of money for reconstruction and rehabilitation and so on. It's hard to see how you could fail. I don't think there have been - indeed it's hard to imagine - any more favourable conditions for what should have been probably the easiest military occupation in history. But the US and Britain succeeded in turning it into a major military catastrophe - a social and military catastrophe. This may be the worst military catastrophe in history.

The US and Britain actually succeeded in creating a resistance - a brutal resistance, but it's there. They succeeded in infuriating the population by all sorts of measures. They have failed to carry out the most elementary reconstruction - according to the last figures I looked at the electricity still isn't at the pre-war level. They killed maybe 100,000 people by last October - obviously more now. They turned Fallujah into Grozny. They've approximately doubled the number of the young children suffering severe malnutrition and likely permanent brain damage - 'wasting children' they're called.
You know they're having a lot more trouble in Iraq than Nazi Germany had in occupied Europe, and Russia had in Eastern Europe. The Russians had troops in Eastern Europe but they didn't run the countries - they were run by local officials and security forces. If things got out of control - like in Hungary - they sent in the Russian army, but that was occasional. The same with the Germans in occupied Europe. There were German troops in the background, but the political affairs, the economic affairs, security and so on, were run by local forces with the Germans in the background. And, in fact, if it hadn't been for outside support the partisans would have been wiped out in no time.

None of this existed in Iraq but the US and Britain have nevertheless turned it into a catastrophe, even for themselves, quite apart from the costs.

The US and Britain are naturally strongly opposed to any form of democratisation. So both the US and Britain were strongly opposed to elections in Iraq and tried in every way to prevent them. Right through the year 2004 there was effort after effort made to undermine and evade elections. Finally, both the US and Britain were compelled by popular resistance, and this is not insurgents - they don't care much about the bomb throwers - it's just non-violent resistance, just mass popular refusal to accept US/British orders. This was symbolised regularly by Ayatollah al-Sistani's fatwas, but when they bring a huge mass of people into the streets it's because they want to be there.

So the US and Britain had to back down and permit some kind of elections. Of course, once they had to permit them, they immediately took credit for them and counted on the media and the intellectuals to applaud - you know, just like normal - and immediately turned to try to subvert them. For example, every party leader, even the US candidate (who got creamed incidentally), had to have on his platform a call for a withdrawal of US/UK troops. Well, the day after the election in the Financial Times there was a big interview with Tony Blair and the first thing he says is there will be no timetable for a withdrawal of troops.

In other words, we will make sure to subvert the elections, and Washington said the same thing. It wasn't hidden; it was open - we didn't want the elections, they were forced on us and now we have to subvert them. We have to make sure that there's no call for a withdrawal of troops. We have to try to make sure that the Iraqi political class which we've partially managed to put in power will accede to US/British demands to undermine the Iraqi economy, by opening up to foreign takeover, and we have to make sure that they don't resist that - that's the struggle that's going on in the background.

What will happen is very hard to say. It depends a lot on what the people of Britain and the United States decide to do. If they're willing and they act to support genuine Iraqi sovereignty then there's a possibility. Otherwise, the US and Britain will - as in the past - do what they can to prevent it from happening. You can understand why - it's not particularly obscure - democracy in a sovereign Iraq would be an utter disaster for the US and Britain. They would do anything to prevent it.
All you have to do is think what the policies would be of a relatively democratic, more or less sovereign Iraq. If it's at least marginally democratic, it'll have a Shi'ite majority. The Shi'ites of Iraq don't particularly love Shi'ite Iran, but they'd obviously rather have a friendly than a hostile neighbour, so they will patch up relations with Iran - the last thing that the US and Britain want.
In addition, the existence of a relatively sovereign and Shi'ite Iraq is going to increase the agitation in the Shi'ite areas of Saudi Arabia for elimination of the bitter oppression of the US/British-backed regimes, and allow some degree of autonomy or freedom. Those happen to be the areas of Saudi Arabia where most of the oil is. So if you look a little bit off in the future you can imagine a Shi'ite alliance - Iraq, north eastern Saudi Arabia and Iran - which controls most of the world's oil. Are the US and Britain going to sit back and watch this?

Furthermore, Iraq is very likely to move, with any independence, to recover its natural position in the Arab world - namely as its leading power: the most educated, advanced, developed and wealthy state - a traditional position that goes back to biblical days in one or another form. So they'll probably move to restore that position, which means confronting the regional enemy, namely Israel - by now virtually an offshore US military base. They'll oppose the Israeli takeover of the West Bank and oppression of the Palestinians. That means they'll rearm and they may very well develop weapons of mass destruction, just as a deterrent. Again, are the US and Britain just going to sit by and watch this happen?

They may have to, but only if it's really forced on them. So the idea of the US and Britain permitting a sovereign and democratic Iraq is so outlandish that you have to be deeply indoctrinated even to think about it. They may be forced to, just like they were forced to accept elections, but they're certainly not going to do it willingly and they'll resist it in every possible way. Actually, the foreign minister of Iran a couple of weeks ago stated that Iran is strongly in favour of a democratic, sovereign Iraq. Well, of course we laugh and dismiss it - you don't pay any attention to the leaders of states whether it's Iran or the G8 or anyone else. On the other hand, if you think about it, that's more credible than when Bush and Blair say it. I mean Iran wouldn't like it, but they could tolerate a democratic and sovereign Iraq. The US and Britain just couldn't tolerate it.
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Giant Squid: Don't Mess With Them

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By Grady Hendrix
Posted Thursday, Sept. 29, 2005, at 11:09 AM PT

Is there any doubt that the scariest animal in the world is the giant squid? Just its name paralyzes my heart with fear in a way that "killer whale" or "jumbo shrimp" do not. Most of us first caught a glimpse of this denizen of the deep trying to kill Kirk Douglas in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and we all had the same question: How angry do you have to be to try to kill the recipient of an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement? The answer was instantly branded onto all of our brains: as angry as a giant squid.

The giant squid is an "eat the crew, ask questions later" kind of cephalopod, and motion pictures have rightly depicted it as a very angry animal that's not given to conversation. To see a giant squid is to be attacked by a giant squid, the saying goes. But, like Tom Cruise between movies, the giant squid is camera-shy. And, just like the diminutive actor, Architeuthis dux spends long periods lurking out of sight, surely up to no good, before bursting forth, tentacles flailing, and exercising its alternate belief system. In Mr. Cruise's case, the alternate belief system is Scientology. In the giant squid's case, the alternate belief system is a desire to wrap you in its horrible tentacles and poke you to death with its poisonous beak. There are similarities.

Usually we only see giant squid in artist's conceptions fighting sperm whales (very scary) or washed up dead on beaches (not very scary at all). But now the Japanese have ruined it for everyone. With the aid of a very long string and a bag of mashed shrimp, Tsunemi Kubodera and Kyoichi Mori have taken 500 pictures of the giant squid at home. Stripping all the mystery and dignity from this great beast, they got the not-very-coordinated, 26-foot-long monster to snag itself on their bait bag. No one said the giant squid was very bright, but the fact that it tried to free its tentacle for more than four hours before giving up and tearing the thing off doesn't do much for its reputation. Even the researchers' statement that the giant squid seems "much more active … than previously suspected" comes across as a little condescending.

Kubodera and his crew have taken great pains to emphasize that losing a tentacle hasn't harmed the squid, but if they knew anything about giant squid they'd cut the press conferences short and run home to protect their families from this now-livid cephalopod that almost surely wants revenge. The giant squid hates everything: It hates Kirk Douglas, it hates the crew of the Pequod, and it especially hates scientists who make it look stupid.

If man is to live in harmony with nature we must respect nature's needs, and the needs of the giant squid are simple:

a) three (3) metric tons of small fish per week, or one (1) sperm whale;

b) if giant squid is to make more than two appearances in one day, giant squid must be supplied with a rest area equipped with Bose sound system and six large, clean towels;

c) no flash photography.

We have violated our contract with the giant squid. Will any of us ever feel safe in the water again?

Grady Hendrix, a New York writer, runs the New York Asian Film Festival.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


One Bird Flu Over The Cuckoos Nest

It's amazing what with google and all the information at our fingertips, and all the efficient systems, there is so much misinformation. Yes we live in a globalised world, where we see global supply chaining (think of Dell, which sources parts for your computer through probably four hundred companies around the world - Friedman in The World Is Flat), Airbus A380's and iPod nanos. Aren't people clever? If there is a problem, someone out there will fix it, right?
Don't be so sure.

First, there's oil, and that seems to have caught out all these so-called smart people. Clever people tend to operate with higher levels of data, but then forget about verifying the basic data. Often, that's fine. Low value data is often of low value. But not always. Sometimes low value data contains some very basic truths. In terms of oil, here's some low value data: we can't seem to get enough supply out of the wells or refineries. You don't need graphs or statistics or mathematical formulas to know what that information portends.

Bird flu is similar. We may look at the science of it all, and dazzle ourselves with computer generated projections. But what really matters, is low value information. Where are these birds being kept, how are they being kept. What is actually happening that is feeding this system? The answer can only be found by walking along the chicken wire in the rural backwaters of places like Indonesia, in towns that you have't heard of and probably can't pronounce. And that's just Indonesia.

When you read the news for long enough, you see to what extent we recycle a lot of information without bothering to find out the truth. This is risky. Look at Michael Brown of FEMA. You get decision makers who recycle information and then get it too late, when it's on the news, and it's already happening. Then it;s too late to be just-in-time. The same danger exists right here.

So here are a few insights in terms of what we are faving, courtesy of some good reporting by the BBC.

Bird flu fears grip Indonesia
As fears of a serious outbreak of bird flu mount in Indonesia, the BBC News website spoke to people in the cities of Jakarta and Medan to gauge their reaction.


Firman Gunadi believes that the risk of bird flu is ever-present

Bird flu has struck before.

I run a poultry-breeding operation and I know how costly it can be.

When bird flu first hit in 2003 the Indonesian government did not want to acknowledge the situation. I am the secretary of Indonesia's poultry association. I can say that we really struggled.

Even though it wasn't quite legal at the time, we found ways of importing the vaccine from China.

Finally, the government admitted the problem and importing vaccines became legal.

We now vaccinate our birds regularly and have secure sanitation systems.

But this policy is costly for traditional farmers and it is just one form of prevention. The risk is always present. Broilers, which have a short breeding period, are not vaccinated.

There are many carriers, such as wild birds and migratory species and the virus could be transmitted easily in such a humid climate.

People are eating less chicken because they are scared, even though scientists say it is not a food-borne disease.

But we have to see where the real danger comes from. Families here can raise 10 or 20 chickens in their backyard for extra eggs or to cook for Eid. Indonesians own fighting cocks, singing birds, exotic birds, and they are very expensive,

One canary can cost as much as a brand new Mercedes. They are not going to cull these.

People keep their precious pets in their back yard and I'm sure they don't conduct a proper vaccination programme.

Sometimes, I think poultry farms are the safest places.


Agus Yanuar is worried about the government response

I worry that our government won't be able to handle this problem.

Singapore and Hong Kong were ruthless and efficient in their control of the disease but I see little action here.

As a family we are cutting down on chicken consumption. We used to buy live chickens from the wet market; the seller would slaughter and cut the chicken for us to cook.

The latest WHO announcement said it is safe to eat chicken and eggs as long as they have been processed well. The government has started fumigating bird and chicken markets but will it keep this practice up?

Local regulations are a problem too. In our housing complex, there are people who keep chickens for food.

Some of them have started spraying disinfectant around the nests - but I am really worried that this just isn't enough.

I am hoping the government will perform better than people expect.

I grew up in Jakarta and this outbreak of bird flu has scared me. It seems so close.

What is most disturbing is not knowing how it really affects us. There is little information from the government and the response has been slow and confusing.

We are not eating chicken any more. The vice president recently said it was safe to eat chicken, but I'm still unsure.

We know it could be an epidemic - but we can laugh in the face of adversity.

But the Indonesian people are treating it as a joke. We are taking it lightly, which is reassuring. We know it could be an epidemic - but we can laugh in the face of adversity.

I think this is typical of the Indonesian character. We recently moved house and there was bird flu banter between our movers! The light-heartedness makes me feel better.

I know there is talk of culling, but I can't see how it will work out. Birds and chickens are very popular here - there would be an outcry. Can we just kill all the birds?

My biggest fear is that the government might not know what it is doing.


Many Indonesians keep poultry as pets

In Indonesia, avian flu happens in big cities.

I live in Medan, the third biggest city in Indonesia with 2m inhabitants.

My Indonesian wife and I are constantly amazed at how little control there is of the small scale poultry farms, common in living quarters.

Many Indonesians love chickens, they hold and fondle them, kiss their feathers.

Medan grew rapidly when the plantation and logging boom hit Sumatra. The population literally exploded - a nightmare for anybody in urban planning.

My road is supposed to be a living quarter but several furniture manufacturers openly burn wood, plastics and foam.

Somebody else keeps a few hundred quails in the back of his house. He sells their eggs as well as a fertiliser component made of dead birds and their faeces, which he dries on a small plot of land directly attached to the houses of his complaining neighbours.

Chickens and ducks are constantly crawling about.

Bird flu is not just a problem for bird experts and biologists. In Indonesia it is also a problem for planners.

But I do not expect anything to change; the Indonesian government has a long history of constant ignorance of environmental issues.

The Interpretation Of Dreams

Secondary Revision

Secondary Revision is in fact our attempt in the morning to try and remember what we dreamt about last night. It is our "waking need..for logical coherence and consistency in mental activities" (Monte, 115). This component is used most often after a disturbing dream, such as a nightmare, to tell us " it's only a dream" . (Monte, 115).

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How often have I lost this fervent mood,

And gone down dingy thoroughfares to brood

On evils like my own from day to day:

"Life is a dusty corridor," I say,

"Shut at both ends." But far across the plain,

Old Ocean growls and tosses his grey mane,

Pawing the rocks in all his old unrest

Or lifting lazily on some white crest

His pale foam-feathers for the moon to burn -

Then to my veins I feel new sap return,

Strength tightens up my sinews long grown dull,

And in the old charred crater of the skull

Light strikes the slow somnambulistic mind

And sweeps her forth to ride the rushing wind,

And stamping on the hill-tops high in air,

To shake the golden bonfire of her hair.

This sudden strength that catches up men's souls

And rears them up like giants in the sky,

Giving them fins where the dark ocean rolls,

And wings of eagles when the whirlwinds fly,

Stand visible to me in its true self

(No spiritual essence or wing'd elf

Like Ariel on the empty winds to spin).

I see him as a mighty Terrapin,

Rafting whole islands on his stormy back,

Built of strong metals molten from the black

Roots of the inmost earth....

A friend of mine sent this poem as a reference to the dream I had.
I think the similarities are potent, and I love Roy Campbell.
Has anyone read Unafraid of Virginia Woolf: The Friends and Enemies of Roy Campbell by Joseph Pearce. From the book's back cover:

Acknowledged as one of the finest poets of his generation after the publication of his long poem The Flaming Terrapin, Campbell came to prominence in the 1920s when he captured the imagination of the English intelligentsia with his romantic background and controversial style.

Pearce’s vivid biography centers on Campbell’s ongoing feud with the Bloomsbury group and the ideas they championed, the friendships Campbell forged with figures such as C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot, and the Sitwells, and Roy and his wife Mary’s reception into the Catholic Church.

Campbell’s literary relationships and wonderfully romantic life is, thus, the context for this riveting account of Campbell’s reckless life and the fascinating poetry that was left behind. That poetry, in the judgment of Pearce, was "both perplexing and challenging—yet no more so than the poet himself." Both Roy Campbell the man and his poetry richly deserve the engrossing reappraisal offered here by acclaimed biographer Joseph Pearce.

32/4 Underwater Dreams

 Posted by PicasaOut of a host of images, the one I remember best is that a strong, young guy had attached himself with a rope to a turtle or some other large, powerful, fast moving swimming creature. The idea was that I had to hold onto him and hold my breath as we descended down and eventually would go through some underwater openings and manmade tunnels into some kind of structure. A shipwreck or something.
Not long after submerging, I just couldn't bear the thought of being pulled down so far, so fast, and not really knowing where I was going. So I let go of the rope. So much for being in the Now, even in my dreams.

Yesterday after filling up my waterbottle at school, I took a sip and then sniffed it. Smelt terrible. I thought it might be the water, but the water was crystal clear. Decided to throw away the bottle instead.
I've been using the same bottle over and over for weeks, but there was no sign of mould or anything like that. When I got home, I did the same thing with the bottle in my refrigerator. Same thing, so threw that one out too.

I may be writing an article on Peak Oil for a magazine. Will be getting the details shortly.

Watched The Brother's Grimm last night. Quite funny. The outlandish fantasy is what possibly fuelled the strange dreams. Need to get another chapter done of Heaven Can Wait/The Wound and the Wounded tonight.

First, school.

 Posted by Picasa

On legs with no feet, N.K. defector reaches Thailand

September 22nd, 2005 by The Marmot in NK Human Rights/Refugees
While most defector tales are profiles of courage (and desperation), some manage to stand out among the rest.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, a North Korean woman, identified by her family name of Park, recently arrived in Thailand with her 19-year-old son and two North Korean women and is awaiting passage to South Korea. What makes Park’s story truly amazing is that this she made the trip without feet, having lost them thanks to torture she suffered at the hands of North Korean security authorities after she was repatriated to the Workers’ Paradise during a previous defection attempt.

Park’s first defection attempt came in winter of 2000, when she fled with her son to China. After spending time doing odd jobs in Changchun, she headed to the Inner Mongolian town of Manzhouli (leaving her son behind), which is commonly used by defectors to flee across the border to the Republic of Mongolia. She was arrested by Chinese police, however, and repatriated to the North in January 2004.

North Korean State Safety & Security Agency personnel welcomed her back by poking her frostbitten feet with a rusty iron skewer and mercilessly stamping on them with their boots. Her feet began to discharge bloody pus. Security personnel kept up the torture, though, telling her that only if her legs rotted away to the thigh would she be unable to flee to the South. This apparently made Park even more determined to get out. A month later, she was freed, and in September 2004, she fled across the border to China again.

Starving and with a pair of crutches, she made it to China. When she met her son, he hardly recognized her, her face mashed from the beatings and her body reduced to skin and bones. In February, she underwent surgery in China to amputate her feet. In June, she left Changchun again for Manzhouli to take the train to Mongolia, but when help disappeared following a strengthened Chinese crackdown on North Korean defectors from May, she had to change her plans.

In August, Park and her son left Beijing for Kunming, Yunnan province, where they joined up with two other North Korean women, one of whom was a Japanese-Korean who made the unfortunate decision to return to the Workers’ Paradise in the 1970s. On Sept. 6, they took a car to through the mountainous jungle region to the border with Myanmar. Due to sudden rains, however, the road across the border was swept away and they had to return to their hideout in in the border zone. On Sept. 8, they took a boat along a tributary of the Mekong River into Myanmar, and from there went to Laos. From Laos, they took another boat across the Mekong into Thailand, where they were caught by Thai police.

Do Hee-yoon, executive director of Citizen’s Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees, said that if the group is turned over to Thai immigration authorities and recognized as refugees following a UNHCR screening, they could be sent anywhere they want. Do said his group sent a letter to the Korean embassy in Thailand on Sept. 15 asking that the situation be looked into, but he said he has yet to receive a response. The Japanese government, for their part, told a Japanese NGO it would take all necessary measures for the Japanese-Korean who defected with Park and her son.

In a letter to the Citizen’s Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees, Park said, “The screams I cried and my moaning was not mine, but the screams and moans of our parents and brethren currently living in the North… Please pray so that they may come to South Korea.”

Original article from

Big Brother Is Watching

Every email you send (or blog you write) gets filtered, and flagged, depending on what's in it. Here's an unofficial list of what the F.B.I flags. I've highlighted some of the more recent words I've posted here on it.


The Astor Bloodline. The Bundy Bloodline. The Collins Bloodline. The DuPont Bloodline. The Freeman Bloodline. The Kennedy Bloodline. The Li Bloodline. The Onassis Bloodline. The Rockefeller Bloodline. The Rothschild Bloodline. The Russell Bloodline. The Van Duyn Bloodline. The Merovingian Bloodline. The Disney Bloodline. The Reynolds bloodline. ACL, the Bohemian Grove, the Cosmos Club, the CFR, the Club of Rome, the Council of 9, the Council of 13 Grand Druid Council, the Jason Society, the Jason Group, the Ordo Saturis, the OTO groups, MI-6, MJ-12, the Mothers of Darkness, the Pilgrim Society, the Prieure de Sion, the Process Church, the Sanhedrin, the Temple of Power, and other groups. THE TONG, The Immortals, The Damned, Eisenberg, Mossad, Shuin Bet, Iranian Savak, Iron Mountain, Bactasarian, US Trust, The Rosicrucians, The soul eaters, Howard Hughes, Doris Duke, Pol Pot, Kim Jong, Lenin, Walt Disney, Victoria, Che, Raul Wallenberg, Bar Kochba, 40 CTTE, 50 Cal. 911, A.D.L., Abduction, Abort, ABSWER, Abu Nidal, Abzug, Actenberg, activism, activist, ADL, Adler, afghanistan, AIDS, Airborne, Al Gore, Albright, Aleister CROWLEY, Alien, anarchism, anarchist, anarchy, anthrax, Anton Lavey, arab, area 51, Ariel Sharon, ARTICHOKE, Aryan Nation, Asner, assassinate, assassination, Assault, Atlantis, Attorney General, August Kreis, Aztlan, B2, Bacteria, Bader, Banksters, BATF, BCCI, BEARDEN, Beijing, Bermuda Triangle, bilderberg, BILDERBERGER, Bin Laden, Bio-Chip technology, Biological weapons, BIS, black helicopters, black market, Black Ops, Black Pope, Blackmail, bloody, bloomberg, blow up, BLUEBIRD, B'nai B'rith, Bohemian Grove, Bolshevik, bomb, Boxer, brain-washing, Brandeis, Bribe, British, Bronfman, bullion, Burning, C.F.R., C.I.A., cabal, CAN, cannabis, capitalism, capitalist, Carnivore, Castro, CCTV, Central Intelligence Agency, CFR, Chelsea, Chemical weapons, CHEMTRAILS, child labor, Chomsky, CIA, civil disobedience, civil war, climate, Clinton, Clinton Chronicles, Club of Rome, Cocaine, Code, Coded, Cohen, COINTELPRO, Colin Powell, collectivist, Columbia, Columbians, Commander, communism, concentration camp, Confederacy, Congress, Congressman, Congressmen, conspiracy, Constitution, Contagious, Contaminate, CONTRA, Contras, control, Counterfeit, Coup, Court, Coven, Covert, Coyotes, crack, crank, Cuba, Cult, DARK MATTER, David Duke, Davidians, DEA, Deadly, Death to America, Declaration, deep cover, Demon, demonstration, Dershowitz, Destroy, Detax, DIA, Disappear, disinformation, Disinformation, Domestic, domestic surveillance, dope, Double agent, downers, Dr. William Pierce, DREAMLAND, drugs, E.U., Echelon, Edell, EFF, Egyptians, Ehrlich, Einstein, Eisner, Eliminate, Encoded, Encrypted, Encryption, Engels, Engels, ENIGMA, environment, esso, ethnic cleansing, EUGENICS, EUROTRILAT, explode, Explosion, EXTRATERRESTRIALS, Extremist, exxon, exxon mobil, F.B.I., F.E.M.A., Fascist, FBI, FDA, Feingold, Feinstein, FEMA, flying saucers, FOIA, Forfeiture Laws, Foxman, Freeh, freemason, Freud, Friedan, Friedman, Full Auto, g8, Gangsters, GATT, GEHLEN, General Alexander M. Haig Jr., General Haig, genocide, George Bush, George Soros, Ginsberg, Glasser, Glickman, global, global warming, globalisation, globalism, globalist, globalization, Goebbels, Goetz, Gold, GOLDEN DAWN, Goldman-Sachs, Goldstein, Gordon Kahl, Gore, Greenspan, Greenspan, Greys, gulag, Gulf War Syndrome, Gun, GURDJIEFF, Haarp, Handgun, Hate, Hatred, Hegelian Dialectic, hemp, Herb, Heroin, Hertzberg, Herzog, Hess, Hijack, Hi-jack, Hillary, Himmelfarb, Himmler, Hiss, Hitler, Hoffman, Holocaust, homocide, Homophobic, Horowitz, human, human rights, Hushmail, I.R.S., Identity, Illegal Immigration, ILLUMINATI, illuminati, IMF, Imperialism, implant, implanted chips, incest, INS, INSLAW, Insurgents, International Bankers, Internet, Interpol, IRA, Iran, Iran-Contra, Iraq, Irish Republican Army, IRS, ISIS, islam, islamic, israel, J.D.L., Jack-Booted Thug, Janes Defense Weekly, JDL, Jerusalem, Jesuit, Jew, Jewish, JFK, jihad, JIM JONES, Jonathan Pollard, Judge, Jurist, Justice, Kabala, Kahn, KAL-007, Kassebaum, Kessler, KGB, Kidnap, Kill, King, Kinsley, KKK, Knights of Malta, Knights Templar, Kristol, Kunstler, kyoto, LAROUCHE, Laser, Laundered, laundering, Lautenberg, Lenin, Levin, Levy, liberation, Libya, Lieberman, LSD, M-16, MADAM BLAVATSKY, Mafia, Magaziner, Magic Lantern, MAJESTIC 12, Manchurian Candidate, Manifesto, Mao, marijuana, martial law, Martial Law. Marxism, Mary Jane, mask, mason, masonic, MASONS, Matrix, McCarthism, McCarthy, Mein Kampf, MEN IN BLACK, Mena Connection, Metzenbaum, Mexican, MI5, MI6, microwaves, Military Intelligence, militia, Militia, mind control, misinformation, Mission, MK-ULTRA, MK-Ultra Project, MLK, mob, Monarch Mind-Control program, MONTAUK PROJECT, Moscow, Mossad, MOSSAD, mossad, Mule, multiculturalism, Multiple Personality Disorder, muslim, N.B.C., N.S.A., Nader, NAFTA, Nanotechnology, National Socialist, nationalism, NATO, NAZI, NBC, Neas, New Age, New World Order, NGO, Non-sequential, North Korea, NRA, NSA, nuclear, nuke, Nussbaum, nwo, OBL, OCCULT, ODESSA, off shore banking, Offensive, OKC, Oliver North, ONI, OPEC, opium, Oppenheimer, Ornstein, Orwellian, Osama, OSS, OTO, overthrow, P.L.A., P.L.O., P2, Pakistan, palestine, Palestinian, PANDORA, paranoid perplexity, Passport, patriot, Payback, PDD-25, Pedophile, Peoples Liberation Army, Perlman, Peruvian, PGP, Pinochet, PLA, Planned Chaos, plant, PLO, pluralism, Plutonium, pogram, Poison, Pol Pot, Police, Pollard, pollution, Posner, possession, pot, President, Presidential Executive Orders, Priest, PRIEURE DE SION, Prime Minister, prison, PROMIS software, propaganda, Prostitute, Prostitution, protest, Protocols of The Elders of Zion, provocateur, Prozac, Psychiatric Drugs, Psychological Manipulation, Psychological Warfare, Psychotronic Weapons, Psychotropic, Putin, Pyramids, Queen, race, racial, racism, racist, Radar, Randy Weaver, Ransom, Rape, Ratner, rebels, Red Army, Remote Neural Monitoring, Report from Iron Mountain, Reptilian, Republic of Texas, REUCHELIN, revenge, Revision, revolution, RFK, RHIC/EDOM, Rhodes, Richard Armitage, Rifle, rights, riot, ritual abuse, RKBA, Robert Rubin, rockefeller, Rosenberg, Rosenthal, ROSICRUCIANS, ROSWELL, Roth, Rothschild, rothschild, Rubin, Ruby Ridge, Rudman, Russia, Russian, Sachs, Saddam, Safire, Sandinista's, Sarnoff, Satan, Saudis, Scaife, Schiff, Schindler, Schneerson, Schorr, Schumer, SDI, secede, secession, Second Amendment, Secret, Secret Service, SECRET SOCIETIES, sedition, Seligman, Senate, Senator, separatism, separatist, Sex, Sex slave, Shadow Government, Shapiro, Sharon, shop, Silverman, Skin Head, Skull and Bones, SLA, Slovo, smallpox, Smuggle, Sniper, Sodomize, SOE, Solarz, Soros, South Africa, Southern Poverty Law Center, SPEAR OF DESTINY, Special Forces, Specter, speed, speedball, SPETZNAZ, Spielberg, Spock, Spying, SS, Stalin, Stalin, Steinem, stop esso, Strossen, subcutaneous bio-chip, Sudan, Suicide, Suit Case Nuclear Device, Sun Myung Moon, Supreme Court, SWASTIKA, sweat, sweatshop, Swiss Bank Account, Synagogue, Syrians, T4, taliban, Talmud, Tarnoff, TAVISTOCK, Tax, Tax protestor, TC2K, Tel Aviv, Teller, terror, terrorism, terrorist, TESLA, Tesla, THE MEROVIAN KINGS, THULE, THULE SOCIETY, Tony Blair, totalitarian, Totenberg, Trade Organization, Trade Union, traitor, TRANCEFormation, treason, Trilateral, Trotsky, Trotsky, TSS, TWA 800, U.B., U.N., U.S. Secretary of State, UFO, UN, unconstitutional, under cover, unionize, unite, United Nations, Unmarked Bills, Urantia Book, utopia, Uzi, Vatican, VELIKOVSKY, Vermin, Vietnam, Vince Foster, Virulent, Virus, VRIL SOCIETY, WACO, Waco, war, War, Warburg, Warburg's, warming, Wasserman, Water, Waxman, weapon, weed, Weishaupt, Weisskopf, Wellstone, WFMH, White House Chief of Staff, White Supremacist, William Buckley, William Colby, William Cooper, Wolf, Wolpe, workers paradise, world bank, world trade, world trade centre, world trade organisation, wtc, wto, WTO, Y2K, Yankee, Yemen, Z.O.G., Zimmer, Zimmerman, zion, zionism, zionist, ZOG, Zuckerman, CDR, OPT, D.I.R.T., Data Interception by Remote Transmission, law enforcement software, police software, investigative software, intelligence gathering software, monitoring software, computer monitoring software, surveillance software, military software, intercept software, eavesdropping software, interception software, data interception software, investigations, investigator, investigators, investigate, surveillance, surveillance equipment, surveillance device, spy, spies, spying, espionage, industrial espionage, economic espionage, competitor intelligence, foreign intelligence, file access, data access, data interception, data monitoring, keylog, keylogger, key log, key logging, keystroke, keystroke logger, eavesdropping, electronic eavesdropping, computer eavesdropping, eavesdrop, eavesdropper, electronic eavesdropping device, D.I.R.T., High Energy Radio Frequency, TSCM, computer crime, computer investigation, computer information, computer monitoring,SIDEWINDER, Idi Amin, James Jesus Angleton, Stephen Bryer, Sam Giancana, BCCI, International Credit Bank, Meir Kahane, Kim Jong IL, Kissinger Henry, Netanyahu, Yitzhak Shamir, Ariel Sharon, Anastasio Somoza, Southern Air Transport, Space Research Corporation, Star Line Shipping, Uganda, United Fruit Company, Chaim Weizmann, Wolpe Howard, Afghanistan, Airlines, Al-Qaeda, Anthrax, Anti-Terrorism Bill, Anti-Terrorism Law, Anti-War Activism, APEC, Arab Americans, Arab World, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Archives, Biological, Biological Defense, Books, Bremer Commission, Chemical and Biological Warfare, Children, Chronologies, Civil Rights, Counterterrorism Measures, Disaster Preparedness, Dubai, Economic Impact, Economics, Egypt, EgyptAir 648, EgyptAir 990, Embassy Bombings, Emergency Relief, Ethiopia, Federal Agencies, Foreign Aid Workers, Foreign Economics, Gilmore Commission, Gore Commission, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution Journals, Hart-Rudman Commission, Hazardous Materials, Homeland Security, Indian Air 814, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Laws and Regulations, Lebanon, Libya, Mail, Middle East Conflicts, Military Background, Military Trials, Mullah Omar, New York, News, News Sources, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Nuclear Power Plants, Oman, OPEC, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Infinite Justice, Organization of the Islamic Conference, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, Palestine, Pan Am 103, Pentagon, Project Megiddo, Psychological Effects, Public Opinion, Refugees, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Semantic Debate, Surveillance Cameras, Suspects, Syria, Taliban, Teaching Materials, Terrorist Financing, Think Tanks, Treaties, Turkey, United Nations, USS Cole, Victims, Volunteer Opportunities, War, War Preparations, Weapons of Mass Destruction, World Health Organization, World Trade Center, World Trade Center Bombing, Yemen, Zacarias Moussaoui, Critical Mass, Afghanistan Invasion, Airline Security, Airport Security, Anthrax, Anti Iraq War, Anti-Sanctions, Anti-War, Arms Control, Asia's Role, Assassinations, Asset Freezing, Attacking Those who Harbor Terrorists, Bin Laden, Bioterrorism, Bioweapons Proliferation, Bunker Busters, Canada's Role, CBW Defense, Central Asia, China's Role, Civil Liberties, Covert Operations, Cyber Terrorism, Federal Response, Fighting Radical Islam, Freezing Assets, General Solvency, Global Cooperation, Hardline, Homeland Defense, Humanitarian Action, Humanitarian Considerations, Immigration, India's Role, Information Infrastructure, Intelligence, Intelligence/Law Enforcement, International Law, Iran's Role, Iraqi Involvement, Iraqi WMD, Islamic Extremism, Israel's Role, Japan's Role, Kazakhstan's Role, Latin America's Role, Middle East Peace, Military Readiness, Military Trials, Military Trials/Tribunals, Missile Strikes, National ID Card, NATO, Non-Proliferation, Northern Alliance, Nuclear Plant Security , Nuclear Power Plant Sabotage, Nuclear Terrorism, Nuclear Weapons, Pakistan Route and Afghanistan, Pakistani Nuclear Security, Pro Iraq War, Pro-War, Reactor Security, Rebuilding Afghanistan, Role of the Military, Russia's Role, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia's Role, Small Pox, Smart Bombs, Southeast Asia's Role, Sudan's Role, Suicide Terrorism, Suicide Terrorism, Tajikistan's Role, Taking the War to Iraq?, Taliban, Terrorism Threat Low, The Balkans, The Post Office, The Role of Other Arab Governments, Trials Tribunals, Turkey's Role, U.S. Iraq Policy, U.S. Terrorists, United Nations, US-Russian Nuclear Materials Coop, WMD Terrorism, Yemen's Role, ADAMS, JEFFERSON, AERBEL DAN, Afghanistan, Africa, AGCA MEHMET ALI, AIDS, AKHMEDOV ISMAIL G, Albania, ANDREW CHRISTOPHER MAURICE, ANDROPOV YURI V, ANGLETON JAMES JESUS, ARBENZ GUZMAN JACOBO, Argentina, Arms Industry, Assassinations, ASSOCIATION NATIONAL SECURITY ALUMNI, Australia, AUSTRALIAN SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, Banking, BARNETT DAVID HENRY, BARNETT HARVEY, BECK MELVIN, BEER ISRAEL, BELL WILLIAM HOLDEN, BELLIN PAUL, BEN-BARKA MEHDI, BERIA LAVRENTI P, BERNSTEIN CARL MILTON, BETTANEY MICHAEL JOHN, BETTS RICHARD K, Big Business, BISSELL RICHARD MERVIN JR, BITTMAN LADISLAV, BLAKE GEORGE (SPY), BLUNT ANTHONY FREDERICK, BND (GERMAN INTELLIGENCE), BOGATY ANATOLY, BOKHAN SERGEI I, BOTHWELL JOHN H, BOWEN RUSSELL JOSEPH, BOYCE CHRISTOPHER JOHN, BRANDT DANIEL L, BRANIGAN WILLIAM A, BURGESS GUY FRANCIS DE MONCY, BURKE MICHAEL (OSS), BURTON DONALD, CAIRNCROSS JOHN C, Canada, CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, CARROLL GEORGE (CIA), CASTILLO ARMAS CARLOS (PRES), CASTRO FIDEL, CBW, CENTER INTELLIGENCE STUDIES, CHEBRIKOV VIKTOR M, Chile, Chilean Junta, CHIN LARRY WU-TAI, CIA, CLEMENS HANS, CLINE MARJORIE W, CLINE RAY STEINER, COHEN ELI BEN SHAUL, COHEN LONA, COHEN MORRIS, COLBY WILLIAM EGAN, Cold War, CONSTANTINIDES GEORGE C, COPAKEN RICHARD D, Corruption, CORSON WILLIAM R, Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, CROWLEY ROBERT T, Cuba, Cult, CUTLER THOMAS P, DE MARENCHES ALEXANDRE, DE VOSJOLI PHILIPPE THYRAUD, DEA, DERIABIN PETER S, DEVLIN LAWRENCE RAYMOND, DEWAVRIN ANDRE, DGSE (FRENCH INTELLIGENCE), Dominican Republic, DORRIL STEPHEN, DRAKE DONNEL J, Drugs, DUBBERSTEIN WALDO H, DULLES ALLEN WELSH, DZHIRKVELOV ILYA G, DZIAK JOHN J, EITAN RAFI (MOSSAD), El Salvador, Elites, Europe, EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE REVIEW, Federal, FELFE HEINZ PAUL JOHANN, FOREIGN BROADCAST INFORMATION SERVICE, Foreign Policy, France, FRAUENKNECHT ALFRED, FROLIK JOSEPH, FUCHS KLAUS EMIL JULIUS, FUNKHOUSER JOHN T, GAMBINO ROBERT W, GATES ROBERT MICHAEL, GEE ETHEL ELIZABETH, GEHLEN REINHARD, General , GHEJA IGOR, GLANTZ DAVID M, Global, GODSON ROY C, GOLENIEWSKI MICHAEL M, GOLITSIN ANATOLI M, GORDIEVSKY OLEG A, GOTTLIEB SIDNEY, GOUK ARKADI V, GOUZENKO IGOR S, GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS HEADQUARTERS, GRANOVSKY ANATOLI M, GRASSINI GIULIO, GRIMES DONALD B, Guatemala, GUILLAUME GUENTHER, GUNDAREV VIKTOR P, HAGGMANN BERTIL, HALPERN SAMUEL, HAMBLETON HUGH GEORGE, HAREL ISSER, HARVEY WILLIAM KING, HAUSMANN CYNTHIA J, HAYHANEN REINO, HELMS RICHARD MCGARRAH, HERNU CHARLES, HERRMANN RUDOLPH ALBERT, High Tech, HILLENKOETTER ROSCOE HENRY, HOOD WILLIAM JOSEPH, HOUGHTON HARRY FREDERICK, HOWARD EDWARD LEE, Hunting, India, Indonesia, Intelligence, intelligence, Intelligence Agencies, Intelligence Personalities, Iran, Iran-contra, Iraqgate, ISMAYLOV VLADIMIR M, Israel, IVASHUTIN PETR IVANOVICH, JACQUIER PAUL, JERVIS ROBERT L, JFK, JOHNSON LOCH K, JONES COURTLAND J, JONES NOEL E, KAHN DAVID, KALARIS GEORGE THOMAS, KAMPILES WILLIAM PETER, KAPUSTA PETER PHILIP, KAZNECHEEV ALEXANDER, KHOKHLOV NIKOLAI Y, KISEVALTER GEORGE G, KISSINGER HENRY A, KOCHNOV IGOR P, KOECHER HANA, KOECHER KARL F, KOZLOV NICHOLAS, KOZLOV OLEG, KRIVITSKY WALTER G, KRONTHAL JAMES SPEYER, KROTKOV YURI V, KRYUCHKOV VLADIMIR ALEKSANDROVICH, KUBAISSI BASIL AL-, KUZICHKIN VLADIMIR A, LACOSTE PIERRE, LANSDALE EDWARD GEARY, Latin America, LEVCHENKO STANISLAV A, LEVENTHAL TODD, Lobbying, LOCKWOOD RUPERT, LONG LEO HENRY, LOTZ WOLFGANG, LUMUMBA PATRICE, LYALIN OLEG A, MACLEAN DONALD DUART, MACMICHAEL DAVID C, MADER JULIUS, MAFART ALAIN, Magazines, MAHEU ROBERT AIME, Malcolm X, MARION PIERRE, MARKOV GEORGI I, MARSHALL ANDREW W, MARSHALL WILLIAM MARTIN, MARTEL LOUIS R, MAY ALAN NUNN, MCCOY LEONARD V, MCGEHEE RALPH W, Media, media, MEYER CORD JR, Middle East, MILER NEWTON SCOTTY, Military, MITTERRAND FRANCOIS, MLK, MOORE EDWIN GIBBONS, MOSSAD, MOSSADEGH MOHAMMED, multi-national corporation, MURPHY DAVID E, MYAGOV ALEKSEI, NASSER GAMAL ABDEL, NATIONAL COMMITTEE AGAINST REPRESSIVE LEGISLATION, Nazis, Newspapers, NGO, NOSENKO YURI I, October Surprise, OGORODNIK ALEKSANDR D, OLDFIELD MAURICE, OPPERSKALSKI MICHAEL, Organizations, Organized Crime, organized crime, ORLOV IGOR, Other U.S. Agencies, OTOOLE GEORGE J.A., OUFKIR MOHAMMED, OWEN WILL JAMES, PAHLAVI MOHAMMED REZA, PAISLEY JOHN ARTHUR, PAISLEY MARYANN, Panama, PAQUES GEORGES, Paramilitary, PELTON RONALD WILLIAM, PENKOVSKY OLEG V, Personalities, PETERSON DALE, PETERSON EUGENE C, PETROV VLADIMIR M, PETTY CLARE EDWARD, PFORZHEIMER WALTER L, PHILBY KIM, Philippines, PHOUMI NOSAVAN, PIPES RICHARD E, POLGAR THOMAS, Police, POLLARD JONATHAN JAY, POWERS FRANCIS GARY, PRIEUR DOMINIQUE, PRIME GEOFFREY ARTHUR, Private Sector, Rabbi, RADIO FREE EUROPE, RADIO LIBERTY, RAINBOW WARRIOR, RAMSAY ROBIN, RASTVOROV YURI A, RAY ELLEN, Recruiting, RED HAND ORGANIZATION, REES JOHN HERBERT, Religion, Repression, RFK, RHODES ROY ADAIR, RIBIERE HENRI, Rich, ROBERTO HOLDEN, ROBERTSON KENNETH G, ROCCA RAYMOND G, ROMERSTEIN HERBERT, ROOSEVELT ARCHIBALD B, SAKHAROV VLADIMIR N, SALAMEH ALI HASSAN, Scandals, SCHAAP WILLIAM H, SCHAFFSTALL JOHN, SCHMIDT OLIVIER, SCHULZE REINHARD, SCHULZE SONJA, SCRANAGE SHARON M, SDECE (FRENCH INTELLIGENCE), SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE (MI6), SECURITY SERVICE (MI5), SELLA AVIEM, SHACKLEY THEODORE GEORGE, SHADRIN NICHOLAS GEORGE, SHAMIR YITZHAK, SHELDON ROSE MARY, SHILOAH REUBEN, SHULTZ RICHARD H JR, SIGL RUPERT, SIGLER RALPH JOSEPH, SIHANOUK NORODOM, SISDE (ITALIAN INTELLIGENCE), SISMI (ITALIAN INTELLIGENCE), SITES ERIC, SITTA KURT, SIVESS PETER, SKRIPKIN VLADIMIR A, SMITH KERMIT WAYNE, SMITH RICHARD CRAIG, SOLIE BRUCE, Spycatching, STRAIGHT MICHAEL WHITNEY, SULLIVAN DAVID S, SUVOROV VIKTOR, SZABO LASZLO, TAYLOR RUFUS LACKLAND, Terrorism, TIDWELL WILLIAM A, TIEDGE HANS-JOACHIM, TOKAYEV GRIGORI A, TOURE SEKOU, TOVAR B HUGH, transnational corporations, TREHOLT ARNE, TRENTO JOSEPH JOHN, TROY THOMAS F, TURNER ELBERT T, TURNER STANSFIELD, U.S., UFOs, United Kingdom, USSR, VANUNU MORDECHAI, VASSALL WILLIAM JOHN, VAYGAUSKAS RICHARDAS K, Vietnam War, VOGEL WOLFGANG HEINRICH, VORSTER JOHN, VTORYGIN LEV A, WAGGENER PHILIP A, WALKER JOHN ANTHONY JR, Wall Street, Wall Street, WALTER FRANCIS E, Washington, Watergate, WATSON ALISTER, WATT DONALD CAMERON, WEISS ERNEST D, WEISZ GEORGE, Whitewater, WILCOX LAIRD, WOLF MARKUS JOHANNES, WOOTEN JAMES P (FBI), WYNNE GREVILLE MAYNARD, YARDLEY HERBERT OSBORNE, YOHN MICHAEL, YOUNG DAVID R, YOUNG GEORGE KENNEDY, YURCHENKO VITALY S, ZACHARSKI MARIAN W, ZAKHAROV GENNADI F, ZAOSTROVTSEV YEVGENNI A, ZAPATA CARLOS, ZEIRA ELIYAHU, ZWAITER WADAL ADEL, Foreign Intelligence Organizations, chart overview, United Kingdom (GCHQ, SIS, MI5, DIS, Special Branch), Canada (RCMP, CSIS, CSE, FIB), Italy (SISDE, SISMI, and the P2 problem), West Germany (Nazis, Gehlen, BND, BfV), France (SDECE, DGSE, DST, and the Rainbow Warrior scandal), Israel (Mossad, Aman, Shin Bet, Lakam), Japan (Naicho, PSIA, commercial trade intelligence), and China (ILD, UFWD, MSS, MID, New China News Agency). PLUS A LIST OF Organized Crime / Personalities, MAFIA TYPES - Abrams Hyman, Accardo Anthony, Adonis Joe, Agranat Shimon, Ahearn Daniel Francis, Alex Gus, Ali Angelo, Alo Vincent (Jimmy Blue Eyes), Aloni Yaakov, Alroy Yoram, Amato Joseph, Anastasia Albert, Andretta Thomas (Mafia), Annenberg Moses, Anslinger Harry, Armstrong Jerris, Arvey Jake, Bach Gabriel, Banister Guy, Bank Miami Beach, Bank World Commerce, Barbara Joseph, Barrett John (Mafia), Barron Charles (Babe), Batista Fulgencio, Battaglia Sam (Teets), Baum Joseph, Bautzer Greg, Beckley Gilbert Lee, Bedami Joe, Belli Melvin, Bennett Harry, Berkovitch Leo, Berman Chickie, Berman Dave, Berns Hendrik, Binion Benny, Bioff Willie, Blackburn Ed, Blakey G Robert, Blanche Bobby, Blatt Gerson, Bloom Sam, Bonanno Joseph, Bork Robert, Boudin Leonard, Brennan Owen Bert, Briguglio Gabriel, Briguglio Salvatore (Sally Bugs), Bronfman Samuel, Brook Harry (Mafia), Brown Ossie, Brudner Charles, Bruno Vincent, Buchalter Louis (Lepke), Bufalino William, Burg Yosef, Burke James (Jimmy The Gent), Cabell Charles Pearre, Caifano Leonard, Caifano Marshall, Cain Richard, Campagna Louis, Cann Kid, Canova Frank, Capone Al, Carfano Anthony (Little Augie), Castro Fidel, Castro Raul (Brother Of Fidel), Catena Gerardo, Cellini Dino, Cellini Eddie, Chesler Lou Arthur, Chotiner Murray, Citron Moses, Civello Joseph Francis, Clark Tom, Clark Wilbur, Cohen Ben (Mafia), Cohen Mickey, Cohen Sam (Mafia), Cohn Harry, Colombo Joseph, Colson Charles Wendell, Conrad Harold, Coppola Anthony, Coppola Mike, Cornfeld Bernie, Costello Frank, Courtney Max, Crosswell Edgar, Dalitz Moe, Dan Uri, Davis Dixie, Davis Harding, Davis Sammy Jr, De Mohrenschildt George, Defeo Michael, Delfine Joseph, Dempsey Bernard, Dermer Jay, Devine Ida, Devine Irving (Nig), Dewey Thomas, Diamond Legs, Dickinson Angie, Dockweiler John, Dodge William, Donn James, Dorfman Allen, Dorfman Paul, Douglas William, Dragna Jack, Dranow Benjamin, Dulles Allen Welsh, Dunn Johnny (Cockeye), Duvalier Francois (Papa Doc), Dwyer William (Big Bill), Edelstein Benjamin, Eder Max, Eisen Ben, Entratter Jack, Epstein Joe (Mafia), Erbe Carl, Erickson Frank, Esposito Diamond Joe, Exchange Investment Bank, Exner Judith Campbell, Feldman Irving, Ferdmann Sylvain, Ferrie David William, Fischetti Joe, Fitzsimmons Frank Edward, Fitzsimmons Richard, Foley Roger, Frates William, Gaines Ben, Gambino Carlo, Garcia Evaristo, Garfield Sam, Garrison Jim (New Orleans), Genovese Vito, Gentile Nicola, Giacalone Anthony (Tony Jack), Giancana Chuck, Giancana Sam, Gibbons Harold, Gigante Vincent (The Chin), Gioe Charles (Cherry Nose), Glimco Joseph, Gonzalez Raul, Gordon Waxey, Green David (Sgt), Greenbaum Gus (Augustus Bertrand), Greenberg Harry (Big Greenie), Greenwald Richard, Groves Wallace (Meyer Lansky Associate), Gurfein Murray Irwin, Guzik Jake (Greasy Thumb), Haffenden Charles Radcliffe (Red), Haggerty James, Haim Irving, Hale David (Fbi), Hall Wendell, Halley Rudolph, Hartford Huntington, Hartnet Ed, Hentel Nat, Herlands William, Hicks Marion, Hill Henry (Mafia), Hill Ralph (Fbi), Hill Virginia, Hoffa Jimmy (James Riddle), Hogan Frank, Hoover J Edgar, Hughes Howard, Humphreys Murray (The Camel), Hunt Sam Golfbag, International Credit Bank, Investors Overseas Services, Jaffe Richard, James William (Justice Dept), Johnson David (Teamsters), Johnson Lyndon Baines, Jones Clifford, Jones Paul Roland, Joseph Raymond, Kastel Phil (Dandy), Katzenberg Jacob (Yasha), Kaufman Julian (Potatoes), Kefauver Estes (D-Tn), Kennedy John Fitzgerald, Kennedy Joseph Patrick, Kennedy Robert Francis, Kennelly Thomas, King Gerard, Kirk Claude Roy Jr, Kleinman Morris, Knohl Larry, Kovolick Phil (The Stick), La Guardia Fiorello, Lansburgh Morris, Lansky Jake (Jack), Lansky Meyer, Lansky Paul, Lanza Joseph (Socks), Lascari Mike, Lawford Peter, Lazia John, Letendre John F (Big Jack), Levine Red (Sam), Levinson Edward, Lewis Charles L (Atlanta), Linsey Joseph, Long Huey, Longo Jimmie, Lower Henry, Lucchese Tommy (Three-Finger Brown), Luciano Lucky (Charles), Ludwig Daniel Keith, Madden Owney, Maher Daniel, Maheu Robert Aime, Malnik Alvin, Mangano Vincent, Maranzano Salvatore, Marcello Carlos, March Kevin, Marden Ben, Mary Carter Paint Company, Masseria Giuseppe (Joe The Boss), Mcclellan John L (D-Ar), Mcguire Phyllis, Mclaney Michael, Mcmillan Dougald, Mcwillie Lewis, Meir Golda, Messick Hank, Milano Frank, Monroe Marilyn, Morgenthau Robert Morris, Napolitano Dominick (Sonny Black), Neal James, Nicoletti Charles, Nitti Frank, Nixon Richard Milhous, Novack Ben, Obrien Charles (Chuckie), Orovitz Max, Osborne Z Tommy, Oswald Lee Harvey, Partin Edward Grady, Parvin Albert, Patrick Lenny, Peloquin Robert Dolan, Pendergast Tom, Perrone Joe (Trafficante Aide), Peters Dan (Dusty), Pistone Joseph, Polakoff Moses, Poller Lou, Prio Socarras Carlos, Profaci Joseph, Provenzano Anthony (Tony Pro), Pullman John, Raft George, Ragano Frank, Rebozo Charles G (Bebe), Reles Abe (Kid Twist), Resorts International, Ricca Paul (The Waiter), Rivers Joe, Rizzo Salvatore (Sam), Roosevelt Franklin Delano, Rosen E David, Rosenbaum Tibor, Rosenstiel Lewis Solon, Rosselli John, Rothkopf Louis, Rothman Norman, Rothstein Arnold (The Brain), Ruby Jack, Sadlo George, Sands Stafford, Sann Paul, Sapiro Aaron, Schiffer Jacques (Jack), Schultz Dutch, Scotti Alfred, Sedway Moe, Shapiro Gurrah (Jake), Sheftel Yoram, Sheiner Joseph (Yoskeh), Sheridan Walter, Shevin Robert, Siegel Benjamin (Bugsy), Sigelbaum Benjamin, Sinatra Frank, Smathers George, Smith Dana, Smith Sandy (Reporter), Spindel Bernard, Stacher Joseph (Doc), Stark Herman, Strate Zachary A (Red), Stromberg Harry, Sturgis Frank, Syms Bill, Tannenbaum Albert (Allie), Teamsters Union, Teresa Vincent (Fat Vinnie), Tisci Anthony, Tobey Charles W (R-Nh), Torrio Johnnie, Trafficante Santo Jr, Truman Harry, Tucker Samuel, Tweel Nicholas, Valachi Joseph, Varon Joseph, Walker Jimmy (New York Mayor), Wall Charlie, Wassell Meyer (Mike), Wasserman Jack, Webb Del, Wertheimer Mert, Whitaker Pat, Wilkerson Billy (Hollywood Reporter), Williams Edward Bennett, Winchell Walter, Wolf George, Wolfson Louis, Yaras David, Zwillman Abner (Longy).

Source: Anonymous. Received on an e-mail, February 21, 2001.