DaniMartExtras, Too

ALTERNATIVE NEWS NETWORK

November 04, 2011

Posted by Xaniel777 on November 3, 2011

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Today is Friday November 04, 2011

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(April 10, 1979 – March 16, 2003)

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             TODAY’S ALTERNATIVE NEWS STORIES 

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Barycenter at risk…..

from Half Past Human.com

YU-55 asteroid fly by at 201,700 miles from earth is within the earth-moon system and places our earth-moon barycenter (of orbit) at risk. This is the reason that the entrenched elite are taking all of the visible precautions seen these last few weeks. The effects on our barycenter are unpredictable. But probably *any* effects are NOT good.

It would seem advisable to prepare for earthquakes and other events of significant personal consequences over the day(s) of November 8 and 9.

A msm link to the fly by info – LA Times article about YU 55

A link to discussion about earth-moon barycenter – barycenter calcs…. note how the calcs are all about mass.

wiki it and be sure to scroll down to the animation of the two bodies orbiting a common barycenter as this is just what happens with earth and moon.

A NASA discussion with animation about the passage of YU 55 can be viewed here.If the NASA projection is accurate***, then the effect on the earth-moon system will be to retard the progression of the barycenter to the west. The effect should be small, but even small at a planetary system level is unpredictable in its results for humans who are also small. We can project that any earth located effects are more likely between 40 degrees north and 40 degrees south latitudes.

***Very likely the NaSA projection is very inaccurate. Note how the animation ONLY shows the moon in a standard orbital pattern in which one body rotates about the center of the other body’s mass. As this animation does NOT show the earth-moon rotational system (as in the example at the Wikipedia article), it should be understood to be inaccurate and more PR projection than a factual representation of the complex orbital movements that will take place on November 8 and 9th.

copyright blah blah more blah November 3, 2011 by clif high

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Irish activists demand Israel to allow flotilla safe passage to Gaza

from YNetNews

Irish Pro-Palestinian activists have urged their government to demand Israel to guarantee a free passage to the Gaza-bound flotilla that set out from Turkey on Wednesday. One of the flotilla vessels is Irish, while the other is Canadian.

The activists said that all that Ireland has to do ensure its citizens’ safety is tell Israel that if it wants to maintain good trade and diplomatic ties, it wouldn’t dare attack the ships. (AFP)

Track the location of the #FreedomWaves flotilla

from electronicIntifada.net

Submitted by Benjamin Doherty’s blog

CLICK HERE FOR MAP  :   http://labs.electronicintifada.net/freedomwaves/

This map shows land mass in black and ocean in gray. Territorial waters are outlined in light purple.

ACT NOW!! BOATS SAILING NOW TO GAZA! SPREAD THE WORD.

Israel and the US outsourced the siege of Gaza to Athens last summer by preventing 8 boats in the Freedom Flotilla 2-Stay Human from sailing from Greek ports to Gaza. Despite this we were able to bring world-wide attention to the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Our efforts in Greece only fueled our determination to challenge the imprisonment of the people of Gaza. We said we would continue to sail and so we are!!!

At this moment, two boats are in international waters in the Mediterranean heading to Gaza. One boat, the Saoirse from Ireland, includes parliamentarians among its passengers. The other, the Tahrir, carries representatives from Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Palestine.

The U.S. Representative on the Tahrir, Kit Kittredge, was a passenger on the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope mission in Athens in July. A journalist from Democracy Now is on the Tahrir also. Civil society organizations in Gaza await their arrival, and look forward to the delivery of letters collected from thousands of U.S. supporters in the To Gaza With Love campaign.

FreedomWaves

Israeli ships shadow Gaza flotilla, organizers say

By the CNN Wire Staff 

(CNN) — Israeli warships have begun shadowing two aid boats bound for the embargoed Palestinian territory of Gaza but are taking no action, a spokesman for the aid mission said Thursday.

Two Israeli ships came within about six miles of the “Freedom Waves” mini-flotilla before pulling back late Thursday, spokesman Laurence Davis told CNN. The motor vessels Saoirse and Tahrir were in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) north of Gaza, shortly before midnight (5 p.m. ET), he said.

The Israeli military said it would not comment on the matter.

According to the activist organizers, Wednesday’s mission is the 11th attempt to run Israel’s blockade of Gaza by sea. Five missions arrived safely in Gaza between August and December 2008, with the rest intercepted by Israel.

In 2010, an Israeli raid on one flotilla resulted in nine civilian deaths. A U.N. report in September criticized Israel’s actions in the incident, but described the blockade — which activists call illegal — as a “legitimate security measure.”

Breaching Gaza blockade ‘bad idea,’ U.S. warns

from THE PROVINCE

BY CARMEN CHAI, POSTMEDIA NEWS

The Canadian ship Tahrir is making a second attempt to get through the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip.

The Canadian ship Tahrir is making a second attempt to get through the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza strip.

Photograph by: Stefanos Rapanis, Reuters

U.S. officials echoed a Canadian warning to activists on board two ships that are headed to Gaza, insisting their campaign to breach an Israeli blockade over the enclave is a “bad idea.”

 On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reminded American citizens that they could face civil and criminal penalties in their efforts to deliver resources to the Gaza Strip, Agence France-Presse reported.
She said the United States contacted Turkish officials to verify reports that Turkish warships might be accompanying the ships. Turkey denied the claim.
The Tahrir, the Canadian vessel that tried to reach Gaza last summer, left Fethiye on Turkey’s south coast Wednesday afternoon along with the Saoirse, an Irish ship.

There are about 27 people on board the two vessels, including journalists and cameramen, according to the Freedom Waves activist group. Former Canadian Boat to Gaza campaign organizer Ehab Lotayef, of Montreal, and Ontario linguistics and French professor David Heap, are on board the vessels along with Americans, Australians and Irish citizens.

The ships are scheduled to reach the Gaza Strip by Friday.
The activists appealed to the Irish government Thursday, calling on officials to contact the Israeli government to allow the ship to proceed.

A spokesman for the Irish foreign ministry told AFP it was in contact with the flotilla organizers and Israeli authorities, adding: “Our chief concern is the welfare of the Irish citizens who are travelling on the flotilla.”

The Canadian government has been vocal about its opposition of the activists’ plan, calling the move “provocative” and “ultimately unhelpful to the people of Gaza.”
“Canada recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns and its right to protect itself and its residents from attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including by preventing the smuggling of weapons,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement Wednesday.

Ottawa urged Canadians against all travel to the Gaza Strip in a travel advisory posted online.

“Canadians who break the laws of another country are subject to the judicial system of that country. DFAIT can neither offer protection from the consequences of such actions nor override the decisions of local authorities,” the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada warned on its website.

“The border around the Gaza Strip is under control of the Israeli and Egyptian authorities. The security situation along the coast of Gaza remains volatile,” the website said.

Federal officials can provide consular assistance, but only within its mandate, the advisory noted.
The Israel military said previously it is “prepared” for any contact it could make with the two vessels.

“The Israel Navy has completed the necessary preparations in order to prevent them from reaching the Gaza Strip,” read a statement on the Israel Defense Forces website. “The purpose of this vessel’s attempt is to create a provocation against the State of Israel, to break the maritime security blockade on Gaza, and to undermine Israel’s security,” it said.

The navy noted that any organization interested in sending humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip should do so by co-ordinating with Israeli authorities.
The statement said the blockade is legal and follows international laws.

In July, the Tahrir’s efforts ended when it was intercepted by Greek coast guard officials 15 minutes after it tried to leave port without permission.

In 2010, an aid flotilla headed for Gaza ended when Israeli authorities boarded the ship and killed nine Turkish activists, straining relations between Israel and Turkey.

-With files from AFP

 cchai@postmedia.com
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California Recall … Beginning of the End for Smart Meters?

from The Daily Bell 

by Staff Report

PG&E BEGINS REMOVING ‘SMART’ METERS DUE TO HEALTH EFFECTS … Widening Call for Immediate Return of Analogs; Disconnection of “Mesh” Wireless Network. SANTA CRUZ, CA—Just as PG&E enters the final phase of its deployment of wireless “smart” meters in California, the largest of the state’s Investor Owned Utilities (IOU’s) has reversed course, quietly beginning to replace the ‘smart’ meters of those reporting health impacts with the old trusty analog version. Consumer rights and health groups immediately seized on the news, demanding that millions of Californians unhappy with their new wireless meters get their analogs returned immediately at no cost. ‘Smart’ meters are new wireless utility meters being installed as part of the “smart” grid initiative, spearheaded by technology firms and backed by the Obama administration and the Department of Energy. Promises ranging from lower utility bills to enhanced renewable generation capacity have failed to materialize, with widespread reports of higher bills, privacy violations, fires and explosions, and commonly reported health impacts such as headaches, nausea, tinnitus, and heart problems associated with powerful wireless transmissions. – Press release from StopSmartMeters.org

Dominant Social Theme: Smart meters are very helpful for a green planet. So what’s the fuss?

Free-Market Analysis: When we first wrote about these evil “Smart Meters” well over a year ago, they weren’t receiving much attention. But we saw them as part of a broader plan of the Anglosphere power elite to continue their quest for control over every part of people’s lives. We figured the deployment of Smart Meters would go forward for several years without much resistance but we were wrong.

The Smart Meter craze has been positioned as a subdominant social theme by the elites: There are too many people, not enough power and we need to control every aspect of our energy existence and use. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. You can see some of our articles here: “Smart Grid: Edge of the Authoritarian Wedge” and “Technocracy“.

The world is swimming in energy – and oil, as a matter of fact. We’ve reported on the statement of one of the Forbes brothers of magazine fame that the US has enough oil domestically for centuries of use, but that discoveries and exploitation have been artificially reduced by “environmental” regulations and federal land ownership. The US fedgov owns about one-third of America’s lower 48, mostly in the Midwest.

But far sooner than we figured, it seems the Smart Meter backlash has arrived. Turns out that people don’t like the considerable hikes in their bills once Smart Meters are installed. Nor do they enjoy the health ramifications that are apparently involved, either. Thus we were both surprised and gratified to receive this press release from StopSmartMeters.org, detailing considerable pushback to the deployment of Smart Meters in California. Here’s more from the release:

Widely disparate political groups- from members of the Green Party to the Tea Party and Occupy protesters have attacked the program, and dozens of grassroots organizations have sprouted up over the past several months to fight what they call an undemocratic, unconstitutional and dangerous assault on people in their own homes and neighborhoods.

Dozens of people have been detained or arrested for peaceful civil disobedience and even simply speaking out against deployments. In California, more than 47 cities and counties have demanded a halt to installation, and a dozen local governments have passed laws prohibiting the controversial technology. The ‘smart’ meter issue has further angered a public already seething at the utilities over repeated gas explosions, safety breaches at nuclear reactors, and an increasingly extortionate rate structure.

Word of California’s ‘smart’ meter nightmare has spread across the country and around the world, prompting some utilities to place smart meter plans on hold, and recently Nevada’s PUC to call for investigations into the health effects and other smart meter problems. Now in a dramatic turnaround that could signal the beginning of a widespread recall of wireless ‘smart’ meters, on October 28th PG&E re-installed a classic spinning disc analog meter on the home of Santa Cruz, CA resident Caitlin Phillips, who had been suffering headaches and other symptoms from her ‘smart’ meter.

The move comes in response to verbal directives from the California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, who recently told members of the public that the utility “will provide for you to go back to the analog meter if that’s your choice.” The CPUC has been slow to respond to thousands of ordinary citizens reporting health effects from the new meters.

When a Wellington Energy installer (contracted with PG&E) came to install a smart meter at her home, Caitlin asked the installer to get off her property and not install, because of what a neighbor had told her about possible health damage and privacy violations. “When I returned home later, I discovered a smart meter on my house. That night I awoke to severe anxiety, headache, and buzzing in my teeth, and realized the new smart meter was on the other side of the wall from my bed.”

Caitlin reported her experience to PG&E and the CPUC, who both declined to rectify the situation. When the symptoms persisted, Caitlin sought the assistance of the Scotts Valley based group Stop Smart Meters! who provided an analog meter and referred her to a professional who could help her remove her ‘smart’ meter. As soon as the analog was installed, Caitlin’s symptoms disappeared.

Frustrated and outraged about her treatment by the utility and the PUC, Caitlin travelled to San Francisco to speak at a commission meeting on Oct. 20th. About a week later, PG&E crews were at her house replacing her temporary analog meter with a brand new official PG&E analog meter. This is believed to be the first time PG&E have willingly replaced an analog meter on the home of someone suffering from health effects.

An “opt-out” proceeding overseen by an Administrative Law Judge is underway at the CA Public Utilities Commission, yet those suffering (in some cases severe) health impacts have been stuck in limbo as utilities refuse to remove the harmful meters upon request- until now.

“There are hundreds of thousands- if not millions- of people suffering in their homes from forced ‘smart’ meter radiation,” said Joshua Hart, Director of the grassroots organization Stop Smart Meters! “The utilities and PUC’s must respond promptly to all requests that analogs be returned. The alternative is that people will increasingly turn to independent professionals to remove unwanted ‘smart’ meters from their homes, a reasonable action we assert is within our legal rights. Protecting your family’s health is not tampering.”

PG&E and other utilities have also been responding to health complaints by replacing wireless ‘smart’ meters with digital meters that are “wireless-ready.” These digital meters have been associated with health problems from “dirty electricity” frequencies that pass into a home via the electrical wiring.

These “trojan horse” meters have been roundly rejected by those who report continuing health impacts after installation. Susan Brinchman, Director of San Diego based Center for Electrosmog Prevention. said “At this point, the burden of responsibility is on the utilities to demonstrate that any new meter they want to install on our homes is safe. Communities have the right to retain analog meters at no extra charge.

Smart Meters are an outgrowth of M. King Hubbert and the so-called Technocracy movement that was prominent in the mid-20th century. Hubbert is, of course, also the inventor of the concept of “Peak Oil” – the idea that oil production will at some point peak and then gradually begin to subside.

Is it any coincidence that Hubbert, a believer in the Platonic idea of the rule by a few wise men over the many, also invented the ridiculous notion of Peak Oil? It is evident and obvious to anyone who bothers to give even a few minutes of study to the issue that the Anglosphere power elite has been plotting this gambit for nearly a century now.

Peak Oil was supposed to be the problem. Smart Meters were supposed to be the solution. The idea was to figure out exactly what people were doing as regards their energy habits and then tax them and regulate them.

The idea that a handful of men can force billions to do their bidding is a fairly ridiculous notion in our view. As theirdominant social themes have proven less effective in the 21st century, the elites have turned to violence and war. Yet violence is not only an ineffective way of moving society in a certain direction, it is an unpredictable one.

The Internet Reformation is a wonderful thing. Ten or fifteen years ago, a movement to dump Smart Meters would likely never have seen the light of day. There would have been no way to disseminate the information even if one could have concluded that Smart Meters were not what the authorities were claiming they were.

Conclusion: That a backlash against Smart Meters could have come so soon is further proof of our observation regarding the new communication technology: It is a process, not an episode.

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Senator Grassley Demands Answers from the Justice Department for Claiming that it can Lie to

FOIA Requesters

from UNREDACTED

THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE

www.nsarchive.org

Challenging government secrecy, informing the public debate through access to declassified documents, ensuring government accountability, and defending the right to know in the US and abroad.

by Lauren Harper

Senator Grassley, the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is not pleased with Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the Justice Department

On October 28 the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley (R. Iowa), penned a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder opposing the Justice Department’s proposal to lie to requesters about the existence of documents in a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulation.

The Senator’s letter demanded that Holder defend the Justice Department’s proposal to create section 16.6 (f)(2) – that would “change existing FOIA regulations to allow agencies responding to a FOIA request to state that no records exist” when agencies determine that the requested documents fit certain existing exclusions — in writing no later than November 7.

The letter cited a prior letter to the Justice Department written by OpentheGovernment.org (which includes the National Security Archive), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and reiterated many of our initial concerns. Namely that the DOJ’s proposed FOIA regulation:

1)     Is antithetical to FOIA’s purpose and mission of providing public access to and information and records.

2)     Would interfere with judicial review because fewer requesters, especially those less familiar with filing FOIA requests, would litigate denials on the grounds that no documents exist because they would be misled into thinking that there was nothing for the government to disclose.

3)     Could result in an increase in FOIA litigation once people who regularly file FOIA  requests learn that agency “no records” responses to FOIA requests inexplicably does not necessarily mean that there are no records.

In his letter Sen. Grassley reminded Holder that both the Attorney General himself andPresident Obama had recently declared that issues of transparency were to be bedrocks of the Obama Administration, and that both had issued memorandums that encouraged federal agencies to adopt a “presumption of disclosure.”

Sen. Grassley reminded Attorney General Holder that his March 2009 memorandum on FOIA specifically rescinded former Attorney General Ashcroft’s 2001 promise to defend agency FOIA withholdings unless they lacked a sound legal basis, instead promising that the Justice Department would only defend withholdings if the law prohibited it or if the release could result in any likely harm to any of the government interests protected by current FOIA exemptions, such as national security or privacy concerns.

The Senator further reproached the Justice Department claiming that current maneuverings contradict statements that Holder made to the Judiciary Committee during his nomination hearings, during which Holder stated that he supported transparency of the Executive Branch. The Senator also expressed deep concern over an April, 2010 oversight hearing regarding the significant increase in the use of FOIA exemptions between FY2008 and FY2009 by federal agencies, at which time Holder confusingly said that, while troubling, they in fact indicated “greater transparency.”

He directs the Attorney General to respond to his 15 most pressing questions – in writing – by no later than November 7. These questions include:

1)     Has the DOJ instructed, or otherwise approved, an agency providing a knowingly false statement about the existence of documents in responding to a FOIA request or to a FOIA requester? If so, how often has this been done? Describe the circumstances surrounding each use of a knowingly false statement DOJ has approved as an appropriate response to a FOIA request.

2)     Given that many existing specific FOIA exemptions, such as the national security exemption in (b)(1) and the law enforcement exemption in (b)(7), along with the longstanding use of the “Glomar response,” to protect national security and ongoing investigations, why does the DOJ maintain proposed section 16.6(f)(2) is needed?

3)     What is your response to the concern expressed by institutional requesters that section 16.6(f)(2) will severely damage government integrity by allowing a law intended to facilitate access to information to be distorted to allow law enforcement agencies to “lie” to our citizens?

4)     What is your response to the argument by institutional requesters that section 16.6(f)(2) is not needed because answers to FOIA requests for documents that fall within §552(c) exclusions can easily be framed in a manner that is truthful, while still not acknowledging whether any such documents exist?

Sen. Grassley closes his letter by firmly declaring that if the Justice Department intends to proceed with the proposed new section in its current form, he will take “all necessary action, including introducing legislation, to block section 16.6(f)(2) from ever taking effect.

FOIA and transparency advocates are no doubt curious to see what justifications the Attorney General and the Justice Department will offer the Senator, if any, for the worries that Grassley shares with, well, just about everyone else.

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Israeli PM orders investigation into Iran leak

Kuwaiti paper says Binyamin Netanyahu believes the heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet may have leaked plans for attack

, Middle East editor

The guardian.co.uk,

Binyamin Netanyahu

Israel has successfully test-fired a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and striking Iran. Photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Israel‘s prime minister has ordered an investigation into alleged leaks of plans to attack Iran‘s nuclear facilities, it has been reported.

According to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida, the main suspects are the former heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet, respectively Israel’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.

Netanyahu is said to believe that the two, Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin, wanted to torpedo plans being drawn up by him and Ehud Barak, the defence minister, to hit Iranian nuclear sites. Tzipi Livni, leader of the opposition Kadima party, is also said to have been persuaded to attack Netanyahu for “adventurism” and “gambling with Israel’s national interest”.

The paper suggested that the purpose of the leaks was to prevent an attack, which had moved from the stage of discussion to implementation. “Those who oppose the plan within the security establishment decided to leak it to the media and thwart the plan,” it said.

Both Dagan and Diskin oppose military action against Iran unless all other options – primarily international diplomatic pressure and perhaps sabotage — have been exhausted. In January the recently retired Dagan, a hawk when he was running the Mossad, called an attack on Iran “the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard“.

The Kuwait paper has a track record of running stories based on apparently high-level leaks from Israeli officials.

Even well-informed Israeli observers admit to being confused about what is going on behind the scenes.

“It seems that only Netanyahu and Barak know, and maybe even they haven’t decided,” commented Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff, both respected Haaretz writers. “While many people say Netanyahu and Barak are conducting sophisticated psychological warfare and don’t intend to launch a military operation, top officials … are still afraid.”

The idea that something significant is going on in this highly sensitive area was rekindled last week in comments by columnist Nahum Barnea, who wrote in Yedioth Ahronoth that the officials running Israel’s military and intelligence services were opposed to a war with Iran.

Binyamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are the Siamese twins of the Iranian issue,” he wrote. “A rare phenomenon is taking place here in terms of Israeli politics: a prime minister and defence minister who act as one body, with one goal, with mutual backing and repeated heaping of praise on each other… They’re characterised as urging action.

“Netanyahu portrayed the equation at the beginning of his term as: [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is Hitler; if he is not stopped in time, there will be a Holocaust. There are some who describe Netanyahu’s fervour on this subject as an obsession: all his life he’s dreamed of being Churchill. Iran gives him the chance.”

The debate in Israel was further fanned on Wednesday when Israel successfully test-fired a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and striking Iran.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px”>

Uploaded by  on Nov 3, 2011

British officials are reportedly working on a plan to assist U.S. forces in a pre-emptive attack on Iranian military facilities. It follows claims Washington is moving towards a policy of intervention out of fear that Tehran is developing a nuclear weapons program – something Iran has always denied. And political analyst Chris Bambery believes it’s the prospect of economic ruin that’s motivating the old elite into action…

RT on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
RT on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews

 

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Israel’s isolation is laid bare by UNESCO vote

Image

By Haroon Siddiqui Editorial Page

It wasn’t even close. Only 13 of the 194 members of UNESCO voted with Israel against granting full membership to Palestine. As many as 107 voted for, while 52 abstained and the rest were absent. Even the European Union did not vote with Israel as a bloc. France sided with the Palestinians and Britain abstained.

This shows how isolated Israel and its dwindling backers have become because of Benjamin Netanyahu’s intransigence toward the Palestinians.

In fact, the picture is worse when you consider that many of those 13 governments, including American and Canadian ones, are acting against the wishes of their own people, who favour granting the Palestinians full status at the United Nations and its agencies, according to a recent BBC poll.

The U.S. is yanking its $80 million a year contribution to UNESCO’s $643 million budget. The cutback, decreed by Congress, is going ahead even though the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization advances a western agenda around the world, especially in Afghanistan — literacy, schooling, teacher training, gender equity, clean water and basic health. The Stephen Harper government is, to its credit, keeping Canada’s $10 million a year support.

UNESCO will no doubt feel the pinch. But it will survive, just as it did for 20 years when the U.S. pulled out in 1984 — also over Israel, among other issues. This time, the funding shortfall may be more readily made up by other states, further eroding American/Israeli say.

The Palestinians can now submit their application for a UNESCO world heritage designation for the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.

The Palestinians are also poised to pursue membership in 16 other UN agencies and international organizations — such as the World Health Organization, the UN Development Program, the Population Fund, the Environment Program, the World Food Program, the Children’s Fund, the International Criminal Court, the World Bank and the World Intellectual Property Organization (which deals with patent, copyright and trademark matters). Washington may cut off funding to these agencies as well.

Next week, the Palestinian bid for a full-fledged membership in the United Nations itself will go before the Security Council. The attempt will fail — either because it won’t attract the needed nine votes due to American arm-twisting or, even if it does, it would be vetoed by the U.S. The Palestinians will then move to the 193-member General Assembly, where they have the votes to win observer status. At that point, what would Washington do? Stop funding the UN? Or pull right out?

Congress may also cut its $500 million a year funding to the Palestinian Authority to punish its pursuit of international recognition. This even though the Israeli commander in charge of the West Bank, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has said that reducing the ability of PA to pay its security services would only risk upending the calm that it has helped maintain for the last three years.

Congress is in the same league as Avigdor Lieberman, the right-wing foreign minister of Israel, who’s threatening to cut off all ties with the P.A. This even though President Mahmoud Abbas is the most accommodating Palestinian leader in decades.

Netanyahu himself cut Abbas completely out of the recent prisoner swap with Hamas — the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. As the New York Times said in an editorial: “Netanyahu twisted himself in an ideological knot to get this deal. Only five months ago, he wanted to cut off tax remittances to the Palestinian Authority and urged the United States to halt aid because Abbas tried to forge a unity government with Hamas.”

A further irony: While Canada, the U.S. and the European Union boycott Hamas, having deemed it a terrorist entity, here’s Israel doing deals with it.

It is these endless absurdities that continue to erode public goodwill toward Israel. Its increasing isolation is not usually because of anti-Semitism, as often claimed.

The Palestinians have taken the route of international recognition because they have got nowhere with Israel in ending the occupation that is now in its 44th year. Far from being “unilateral” — as alleged by Israel, Canada, the U.S. and others — the Palestinians are placing their confidence in the world’s most prominent multilateral institutions. In so doing, they are opening avenues other than being at the mercy of Israel, backed by Canada and others, whose leverage over the international community is eroding by the day.

hsiddiqui@thestar.ca

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Global Revolution Underway

By Daniel Pinchbeck

Published on Reality Sandwich

Saturday’s global rally in over 600 towns and cities worldwide was a momentous event. A month ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement managed to pierce the veil of the matrix. The puncture has now become an unsealable rip in the fabric of Empire. Gas is escaping rapidly from the balloon.

We are seeing the inception of a global insurrection that will not end until the dominant system is overthrown and replaced through a planetary metamorphosis. The mainstream media continues to play down the Occupy phenomenon, critiquing its lack of specific demands. Specific demands are pointless, because the entire political, social, and economic system in which we exist has rotted out from the inside. Demands would suggest that there is a way to reform the present system, but no reformist initiative is possible.

As someone who wrote about the prophecies of indigenous cultures such as the Maya and the Hopi, I believe the time we are in is one of constantly accelerating transformation. The process [1] we are undergoing as a collective organism leads to an evolutionary leap of consciousness on a species level. This mutation happens within the next few years — it is already happening now.

As part of this process, we will develop an integral worldview, a holistic perspective that realizes the value [1] of indigenous and traditional knowledge systems without rejecting the scientific and technical developments of modern times. The Occupy movement has erupted as a planetary outcry against economic and social injustice. The consciousness movement has to discover its voice as a part of this movement. The revolution will be spiritual in essence — or it is doomed to repeat the horrific mistakes of the past, and fail.

As of yet, we lack the language to express the new world that supersedes the old one, even though we feel it in our hearts. The new paradigm that is opening before us demands that we take care of the human family as a whole, redistributing wealth and resources equitably. At the same time, we must cease our destructive assault on the planetary ecology, and engage in a deep practice of environmental restoration. Since the current economic system makes this impossible, we must develop, design, and distribute a new system for exchanging value. The technical genius of humanity needs to be redirected from creating state-of-the-art video games and stock trading [1] programs to strengthening natural resilience, building self-sufficient local communities that grow their own food, and launching social technologies that support collaborative decision-making and nonviolent communication.

The path before us requires voluntary renunciation and voluntary simplicity to reduce our burden on the earth. Therefore, the old paradigm that sees accumulation of wealth and immediate material satisfaction as the goal needs to be rejected collectively. We are going to step into a new realization of our purpose — of the meaning of human life, in itself. We are going to remember, and relearn, what every ancient civilization and traditional culture tells us: that our lives have a spiritual meaning, above all. Existence in this world is an initiatory process to prepare us for the transition to other conditions of being, other worlds or bardo realms beyond this one.

The duality of spirit and matter also needs to be overcome. Indigenous people [1] do not recognize this dualism — they do not imagine spirit to be above or outside of this realm, but within it. Instead of a sky religion, their spiritual practices are rooted in sensuous connectivity with the earth. In a sense, indigenous cultures are much more truly materialist than our society, as they see the essential value of the natural world as an expression of the Creator, and do not try to impose abstract systems on to it.

Our civilization has been ruled by a mindset that sees life as a means rather than an end. In the past, guilt and postponement were inscribed in a religious creed that put off redemption to some distant future. Recently, science replaced religion with a fundamentalist vision of technological progress, leading to a time when humans merge with silicon or create artificial intelligences that succeed us. This is also a delusion that keeps us alienated from the living present.

We don’t know what it will be like to live in a society where life is realized as the ends in itself — where we seek to benefit the collective by nurturing and supporting each individual. We can only anticipate that it will be wonderful to find out.

The consciousness movement has the sacred task of integrating our understanding of spirit and Psyche into the rapidly unfolding movement for planetary justice and social regeneration. This global movement is part of an initiatory process for humanity as a whole that will bring about a transformation of both the individual and collective ego-structure. The goal is not the destruction of the ego but the attainment of an ego-free state — liberation from the tyrannical demands of the ego, which can never be satiated. Similarly, we don’t want to see the smashing of current institutions, but their alchemical transmutation, so they support our human community and safeguard the resources of the natural world. Humanity, as a whole, is rapidly losing our appetite for violence and destruction. We are increasingly sick of the negative patterns of the past, and ready to overcome the inertia.

As part of this process, it would be great to refine messages that express the integrative state of consciousness in social and political terms, and use the viral power of social media to disseminate them. Among the literature being distributed at rallies and occupation zones, a set of documents could explain the value of non-ordinary states of consciousness, initiatory experience, and shamanic practices. It would also be great if holistic healers, yoga instructors, practitioners of a vast array of alternative spiritual technologies, visit the Occupy encampments and offer their services, free of charge, along with other forms of advice and instruction. I am sure this is already happening to some degree – it is increasingly a quality of this time that events proceed faster than my ability to articulate or respond to them. While that is humbling for a writer, it is beautifully satisfying for anyone who has awaited and anticipated, so impatiently and for so long, the metamorphosis that is now underway.

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Saturday’s global rally in over 600 towns and cities worldwide was a momentous event. A month ago, the Occupy Wall Street movement managed to pierce the veil of the matrix. The puncture has now become an unsealable rip in the fabric of Empire. Gas is escaping rapidly from the balloon.

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©2009/2010/2011DaniMartExtras

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