A Look At Freedom's Currents

A Look At Freedom's Currents
Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others. . .they send forth a ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." Robert F. Kennedy

21st Century's Priority One

1) Implementation of: The Promise of New Energy Systems & Beyond Oil ___________________________________________ #1 Disolves the Problem of the ill designed "Corporism: The Systemic Disease that Destroys Civilization." through simple scientific common sense ___________________________________________ _________ Using grade school physics of both Newtonian and Nuclear models, does anyone foresee counter currents of sufficient size to minimize/change direction of the huge Tsunami roaring down on us, taking away not only our Freedom, but our Lives? Regardless if our salaries are dependant on us not knowing the inconvenient truths of reality (global warming, corporate rule, stagnant energy science) portrayed by the rare articles in the news media? I know only one - a free science, our window to Reality - that easily resolves the Foundational Problem of Quantum Physics and takes E=MC2 out of Kindergarten

Monday, February 26, 2007

New Search For Global Warming At Poles

How about a search to re-discover and/or uncover the scientific fundamentals necessary for an evolving civilization to survive?
New Search For Global Warming At Poles
CBS Feb. 26, 2007
(Christian Science Monitor) This article was written by Peter N. Spotts.
For the next two years, the coldest places on Earth will become some of the hottest laboratories in the history of modern science. This Thursday marks the official start of the International Polar Year (IPY), an unprecedented research assault on Antarctica and the Arctic. Some 10,000 scientists from more than 60 countries launched the push because of significant changes they see taking place at these frozen ends of the Earth. Many hold that global warming is triggering these changes, including shrinking sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, thawing permafrost, and growing instability in Greenland's ice cap and in some floes coursing through Antarctica's ice cap. The U.S. kicks off its part of the $1.5-billion project with opening ceremonies Tuesday in Washington. The goal is to gain a deeper understanding of processes affecting everything from the flow of glaciers, and key features of polar climate to plankton and polar bears. In addition, researchers plan to leave a legacy of networked, standard sensors and buoys that will help track changes in these crucial regions long after the IPY ends. Why North And South Poles Matter At first glance, the poles may seem too remote to matter to anyone who doesn't live there. But Earth's "cryosphere" — its high-latitude regions of snow and ice — represents a central piece of the climate system. The poles act as sinks for the heat generated in the tropics and carried toward higher latitudes by the oceans ...full text

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Venezuela Spending on Arms Soars to World’s Top Ranks

21st Century Wisdom Teachings
loosing sight of the fact that nuclear tools and prehistoric modes of behavior do not mix - what scientific fundamentals are missing to create such a monstrous "laca" understanding?
NYT February 25, 2007
Venezuela Spending on Arms Soars to World’s Top Ranks
CARACAS, Venezuela, Feb. 24 — Venezuela’s arms spending has climbed to more than $4 billion in the past two years, transforming the nation into Latin America’s largest weapons buyer and placing it ahead of other major purchasers in international arms markets like Pakistan and Iran.
Venezuelan military and government officials here say the arms acquisitions, which include dozens of fighter jets and attack helicopters and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles, are needed to circumvent a ban by the United States on sales of American weapons to the country.
They also argue that Venezuela must strengthen its defenses to counter potential military aggression from the United States.
“The United States has tried to paralyze our air power,” Gen. Alberto Muller Rojas, a member of President Hugo Chávez’s general staff, said in an interview, citing a recent effort by the Bush administration to prevent Venezuela from acquiring replacement parts for American F-16s bought in the 1980s. “We are feeling threatened and like any sovereign nation we are taking steps to strengthen our territorial defense,” he said.
This retooling of Venezuela’s military strategy, which includes creation of a large civilian reserve force and military assistance to regional allies like Bolivia, has been part of a steadily deteriorating political relationship with the United States.
The Bush administration has repeatedly denied that it has any plans to attack Venezuela, one of the largest sources of oil for the United States. But distrust of such statements persists here after the administration tacitly supported a coup that briefly removed Mr. Chávez from office in 2002.
Venezuela’s escalation of arms spending, up 12.5 percent in 2006, has brought harsh criticism from the Bush administration, which says the buildup is a potentially destabilizing problem in South America and is far more than what would be needed for domestic defense alone.
The spending has also touched off a fierce debate domestically about whether the country needs to be spending billions of dollars on imported weapons when poverty and a surging homicide rate remain glaring problems. Meanwhile, concern has increased among Venezuela’s neighbors that its arms purchases could upend regional power balances or lead to a new illicit trade in arms across Venezuela’s porous borders.
José Sarney, the former Brazilian president and a leading senator, caused a stir this week when he was quoted in the newspaper O Globo as describing Venezuela’s form of government as “military populism” and “a return to the 1950s,” when Venezuela was governed by the army strongman Marcos Pérez Jiménez.
“Venezuela is buying arms that are not a threat to the United States but which unbalance forces within the continent,” Mr. Sarney said. “We cannot let Venezuela become a military power.”
Still, officials in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil have been hesitant to publicly criticize Venezuela’s arms purchases.
The issue remains delicate after the Brazilian company Embraer lost a deal to sell military aircraft to Venezuela because the planes included American technology.
After turning unsuccessfully to Brazil and Spain for military aircraft, Venezuela has become one of the largest customers of Russia’s arms industry ...full text

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Global Warning Alarm: Doomsday for Australia?

What part of missing scientific fundamentals, evolution, and survival parameters are still not understood? Why are these fundamentals critical to survival missing?

Global Warning Alarm: Doomsday for Australia?
Report Calls for Drought in Sydney, and Ultimately Flooding of Coasts
SYDNEY, Feb. 24, 2007 — - It was something of a double whammy for one of the world's most desirable cities.
The ominous report issued earlier this month by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was frightening enough: The evidence of global warning was unequivocal, most likely caused by humans, and likely to continue for centuries.
But another report had been issued, just one day before, by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. And its conclusion read like a dagger through the heart of the land down under. If global warming continues at its current rate, the CSIRO report warned, life in the city of Sydney could be completely transformed by the year 2070.
In just one generation, Sydney could slide into a near permanent state of drought. There could be a dramatic rise in deadly bushfires. Temperatures would rise 10 or 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or more. Heat-related deaths would soar from nearly 200 to more than 1,200 a year. The report was very grim reading, especially for the people of Sydney.
To better understand how Australians were responding to this "doomsday scenario," I met with Michael Archer, the dean of the science faculty at Sydney's University of New South Wales.
Watch Mark Litke's report on the "doomsday scenario" tonight on "World News." Check your local listings for air time.
Professor Archer is a noted geologist and paleontologist, who has studied the history of climate change and its effects on prehistoric life. He is among the prominent scientists who have warned repeatedly that global warming posed a dire threat to mankind.
I interviewed Archer as we walked on the predictably sun-drenched Bondi Beach in the Sydney suburbs. It seemed an appropriate location, since Australians have known for years that the growing hole in the ozone layer over neighboring New Zealand ...full text

At $45 Billion, New Contender for Top Buyout

Greater FreeDumb for all Coming Your Way
NYT February 24, 2007
At $45 Billion, New Contender for Top Buyout
The biggest leveraged buyout ever is about to be surpassed. Again.
A group led by the private equity giants Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company and the Texas Pacific Group is near a deal to acquire the TXU Corporation, a Texas utility, for about $45 billion, according to people involved in the talks.
The amount of private money that is being offered is a huge financial endorsement of the company’s energy strategy. TXU has irritated environmental advocates by proposing to build 11 coal-fired power plants in Texas. Despite calls for regulating greenhouse gases, TXU has been the most aggressive in the power industry in pushing coal as the answer to growing electricity demands. Nationwide, power companies are planning to build about 150 coal plants over the next several years.
The deal itself, if approved at a TXU board meeting tomorrow, would be a landmark. It would exceed the Blackstone Group’s recent $39 billion acquisition of the office landlord Equity Office Properties, the largest buyout ever. And that would mean that Henry R. Kravis, a co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has managed to upstage, at least for the time being, his longtime rival in deals, Stephen A. Schwarzman, a co-founder of Blackstone.
Energy has been fairly recent territory for private equity. While energy deals accounted for 16 percent of all mergers last year, only 9 percent of those deals involved buyout firms, according to Thomson Financial. The first big foray came last year, when Kinder Morgan, the Texas pipeline giant that was created from some assets of the former Enron, was sold to a group that included Goldman Sachs, the American International Group, the Carlyle Group and Riverstone Holdings for $27.5 billion.
Awash in hundreds of billions of dollars, private equity firms, which raise money from pension funds and wealthy individuals, have taken on new targets in a buying spree. In 2006, private equity firms raised more than $174 billion for 205 funds, according to Thomson Financial.
Having just finished raising new supersize funds — K.K.R. and Blackstone are about to complete funds each worth more than $20 billion — and with banks and hedge funds willing to lend them money in record amounts with few restrictions or covenants, private equity has now begun to aim at even bigger prey ...full text

'08 Campaign Cash Race Claims First Casualty

For the Dollar, By the Dollar, of the Dollar - we shall flag 'freek' to freedumb
"..this process has become to a great extent about money, Mr. Vilsack said, lamenting the fact that today’s presidential campaigns are “simply about a money primary.”

'08 Campaign Cash Race Claims First Casualty
With Nominees Expected to Spend $500 Million Apiece, Ex-Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack Likely Won't Be Last to Bow Out for Lack of Funds

Feb. 24, 2007 — - Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's early exodus from the 2008 presidential race is likely the first of many instances of candidates leaving the campaign trail after discovering they lack the funds to compete in what promises to be the most expensive campaign in presidential history, analysts say.
Vilsack, who bowed out Friday, had a key home state and a popular anti-war message. The Democrat drew hearty applause when he told Jay Leno on an appearance on "The Tonight Show" that if elected, "We're going to bring our troops home."
"The reality, however, is that this process has become, to a great extent, about money -- a lot of money," Vilsack said in announcing his withdrawal from the race. "So it is money, and only money, that is the reason that we are leaving today."
He raised more than $1 million last year. But Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., raised $1.5 million in a single day in Hollywood last week and former Republican Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney brought in $6.5 million in one day last month.
"Money's first and foremost, and the name of the game," said Stuart Rothenberg of The Rothenberg Political Report.
In 1952, the last time there was no incumbent in the race, Dwight Eisenhower won after spending $6.6 million in the general election. Political analysts estimate that by the time it's over this time, the Republican and Democratic nominees will have spent $500 million a piece.
"We're really entering a perfect storm in terms of presidential fundraising that is setting the stage for the most money raised and spent in American history," Commissioner Michael Toner of the Federal Election Commission told ABC News.
With outside spending from political parties, labor unions and special interest groups, Rothenberg and others expect the 2008 race for the White House to cost $2 billion to $3 billion dollars. ... full text

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Rich Get Richer While War Rages On

Power, Greed, Narcissism, and an Empty Wisdom Tradition - the Sound Fundamentals of Survival - more spectacular in an age of nuclear tools

Rich Get Richer While War Rages On
NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2007
(CBS) Sunday Morning commentator Ben Stein says America's ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan are worsening but here at home, the stock market soars. Year after year, month after month, sometimes day after day, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average reaches new highs. The war in Iraq gets worse. Afghanistan slips out of control. The gap between rich and poor grows more profound, the trade deficit grows immense, and fears of the future of Medicare grow sharp indeed. Yet up, up, and away goes the stock market. Why? Well, frankly, no one knows for sure. Yes, profits are great and interest rates are low, but markets don't always go up - even on news as good as that. But here is a clue: Something like 50 percent of all stock is owned by the top 1 percent of Americans in terms of wealth. The top ten per cent own nearly ninety per cent of stock. For those Americans, far from Fallujah, life is great. The rich in America have never been richer or more numerous. There are long waiting lists for Ferraris and Bentleys. A $10 million house and a $1 million dollar are what life is all about for them. They're in a great mood. Iraq seems far away. Kabul is remote. Money is pouring in. So, what do they do? They buy cars and houses and mistresses and stock, and as it goes up, they come to believe it will always go up, and they keep buying and so it keeps going up. Until one day, the dollar collapses and interest rates rise and fear sets in and the rich are suddenly singing the blues. But for now, if you're not on the battlefield, don't know anyone who is, and the company just gave you a $1 million dollar bonus or 10 million times are mighty sweet. Time to buy.
© MMVII, CBS Interactive, Inc.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wind shifts devastate ocean life

Entire marine ecosystems have been wiped out, devastating populations of sea birds and larger marine mammals.

Wind shifts devastate ocean life
By Jonathan Fildes Science and technology reporter, BBC News, San Francisco

The delicate interplay between the oceans and atmosphere is changing with catastrophic consequences.
Entire marine ecosystems have been wiped out, devastating populations of sea birds and larger marine mammals.
These "dead zones" occur where there are disturbances to the nutrient-rich ocean currents, which are driven by coastal winds.
Extreme marine suffocations have occurred off the west coast of the US every year for the last five years.
The most intense event, which left the ocean floor littered with the carcasses of crabs, happened in 2006.

Climate models predict increasing uncertainty with wild fluctuations. We should expect more surprises Dr Jane Lubchenco, OSU
It was unlike anything that we've measured along the Oregon coast in the past five decades," said Dr Francis Chan, of Oregon State University (OSU).
Other coastal countries including Chile, Namibia and South Africa have also been affected. ...full text

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

World Doubts U.S. Evidence on Iran Action in Iraq

The response speaks to U.S. credibility four years after the intelligence controversy leading up to the Iraq war.... the inevitable comparisons to the since-discredited presentation that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell made to the United Nations Security Council in 2003 asserting that Iraq had illicit weapons.

NYT February 13, 2007
Skeptics Doubt U.S. Evidence on Iran Action in Iraq
The response speaks to U.S. credibility four years after the intelligence controversy leading up to the Iraq war.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 — Three weeks after promising it would show proof of Iranian meddling in Iraq, the Bush administration has laid out its evidence — and received in return a healthy dose of skepticism.
The response from Congressional and other critics speaks volumes about the current state of American credibility, four years after the intelligence controversy leading up to the Iraq war. To pre-empt accusations that the charges against Iran were politically motivated, the administration rejected the idea of a high-level presentation, relying instead on military and intelligence officers to make its case in a background briefing in Baghdad.
Even so, critics have been quick to voice doubts. Representative Silvestre Reyes of Texas, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that the White House was more interested in sending a message to Tehran than in backing up serious allegations with proof. And David Kay, who once led the hunt for illicit weapons in Iraq, said the grave situation in Iraq should have taught the Bush administration to put more of a premium on transparency when it comes to intelligence.
“If you want to avoid the perception that you’ve cooked the books, you come out and make the charges publicly,” Mr. Kay said.
Administration officials say their approach was carefully calibrated to focus on concerns that Iran is providing potent weapons used against American troops in Iraq, not to ignite a wider war. “We’re trying to strike the right tone here,” a senior administration official said Monday. “It would have raised the rhetoric to major decibel levels if we had had a briefing in Washington.”
At the State Department, the Pentagon and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, officials had anticipated resistance to their claims. They settled on an approach that sidelined senior officials including Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to Iraq, and John D. Negroponte, who until last week was the director of national intelligence. By doing so, they avoided the inevitable comparisons to the since-discredited presentation ...full text

Monday, February 12, 2007

Iran Denies Iraq Weapons Charges

"The United States has a long history in fabricating evidence. Such charges are unacceptable," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters.

Iran Denies Iraq Weapons Charges
CBS TEHRAN, Iran, Feb. 12, 2007
(CBS/AP) Iran on Monday rejected U.S. accusations that the highest levels Iranian leadership has armed insurgents in Iraq with armor-piercing roadside bombs. "Such accusations cannot be relied upon or be presented as evidence. The United States has a long history in fabricating evidence. Such charges are unacceptable," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters. U.S. military officials in Baghdad on Sunday accused the Iranian leadership of arming Shiite militants in Iraq with the sophisticated bombs that have killed more than 170 troops from the American-led coalition. The deadly and highly sophisticated weapons the U.S. military said it traced to Iran are known as "explosively formed penetrators," or EFPs. Three senior military officials in Baghdad said the "machining process" used in the construction of the deadly bombs had been traced to Iran. Meanwhile, a U.S. general says the Army is moving quickly to put new armor on Humvees that have become a prime target of the EFPs in Iraq. The Washington Post reports there's a shortage of armor for the vehicles at the same time they're facing a rising threat from EFPs. U.S. intelligence says the weapons are going to Shiite militias that include rogue elements of Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi army militia and a breakaway faction of the Badr Corps, the armed wing of a powerful Shiite party, reports CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan. Hosseini said Iran's top leaders were not intervening in Iraq ...full text

Saturday, February 10, 2007

CBS: Putin: U.S. Force "Almost Uncontained"

Putin told a security forum attracting top officials that "we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations" and that "one state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. "This is very dangerous, nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law,"

Putin: U.S. Force "Almost Uncontained"

CBS MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 10, 2007

(AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted the United States Saturday for the "almost uncontained" use of force in the world, and for encouraging other countries to acquire nuclear weapons. In what his spokesman acknowledged were his harshest attacks on the U.S. since taking office in 2000, Putin also criticized U.S. plans for missile defense systems and NATO's expansion. Putin told a security forum attracting top officials that "we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations" and that "one state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. "This is very dangerous, nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law," Putin told the gathering. Putin did not elaborate on specifics and did not mention the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. But he voiced concern about U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in eastern Europe — likely in Poland and the Czech Republic — and the expansion of NATO as possible challenges to Russia. On the missile defense system, Putin said: "I don't want to accuse anyone of being aggressive" but suggested it would seriously change the balance of power and could provoke an unspecified response. "That balance will be upset completely and one side will have a feeling of complete security and given a free hand in local, and probably in global, conflicts..." he said. "We need to respond to this." ...full text

NYT: Putin Says U.S. Is Undermining Global Stability

The world, Mr. Putin said, is now unipolar: “One single center of power. One single center of force. One single center of decision making. This is the world of one master, one sovereign. Power amassed by any nation that assumes this ultimate global role 'destroys it from within'. It has nothing in common with democracy, of course.”

NYT February 11, 2007
Putin Says U.S. Is Undermining Global Stability
MUNICH, Feb. 10 — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia accused the United States on Saturday of provoking a new nuclear arms race by developing ballistic missile defenses, undermining international institutions, making the Middle East more unstable through its clumsy handling of the Iraq war and trying to divide modern Europe.
In an address to an international security conference, Mr. Putin dropped all diplomatic gloss to recite a long list of complaints about American domination of global affairs, included many of the themes that have strained relations between the Kremlin and the United States during his seven-year administration. Among them were the expansion of NATO into the Baltics and the perception in Russia that the West has supported groups that have toppled other governments in Moscow’s former sphere of influence.
“The process of NATO expansion has nothing to do with modernization of the alliance,” Mr. Putin said. “We have the right to ask, against whom is this expansion directed.”
He said that the United States had turned the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which sends international monitors to elections in the former Soviet sphere, “into a vulgar instrument of insuring the foreign policy interests of one country.”
The comments were the sternest yet from Mr. Putin, ...full text

Troubles Grow for a University Built on Profits

This kind of profit don't make no lick of sense!
"But its reputation is fraying as prominent educators, students and some of its own former administrators say the relentless pressure for higher profits, at a university that gets more federal student financial aid than any other, has eroded academic quality."
NYT February 11, 2007
Troubles Grow for a University Built on Profits
PHOENIX — The University of Phoenix became the nation’s largest private university by delivering high profits to investors and a solid, albeit low-overhead, education to midcareer workers seeking college degrees.
But its reputation is fraying as prominent educators, students and some of its own former administrators say the relentless pressure for higher profits, at a university that gets more federal student financial aid than any other, has eroded academic quality.
According to federal statistics and government audits, the university relies more on part-time instructors than all but a few other postsecondary institutions, and its accelerated academic schedule races students through course work in about half the time of traditional universities. The university says that its graduation rate, using the federal standard, is 16 percent, which is among the nation’s lowest, according to Department of Education data. But the university has dozens of campuses, and at many, the rate is even lower.
In an interview, William J. Pepicello, the university’s new president, defended its academic quality and said it met the needs of working students who had been largely ignored by traditional colleges.
But many students say they have had infuriating experiences at the university before dropping out, contributing to the poor graduation rate. In recent interviews, current and former students in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington who studied at University of Phoenix campuses in those states or online complained of instructional shortcuts, unqualified professors and recruiting abuses. Many of their comments echoed experiences reported by thousands of other students on consumer Web sites.
The complaints have built through months of turmoil. The president resigned, as did the chief executive and other top officers at the Apollo Group, the university’s parent corporation. A federal court reinstated a lawsuit accusing ...full text

Friday, February 09, 2007

'Doomsday' vault design unveiled

The vault aims to safeguard the world's agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid strikes and climate change.

'Doomsday' vault design unveiled
By Mark Kinver Science and nature reporter, BBC News
The final design for a "doomsday" vault that will house seeds from all known varieties of food crops has been unveiled by the Norwegian government.
The Svalbard International Seed Vault will be built into a mountainside on a remote island near the North Pole.
The vault aims to safeguard the world's agriculture from future catastrophes, such as nuclear war, asteroid strikes and climate change.
Construction begins in March, and the seed bank is scheduled to open in 2008.
The Norwegian government is paying the $5m (£2.5m) construction costs of the vault, which will have enough space to house three million seed samples.
The collection and maintenance of the collection is being organised by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, which has responsibility of ensuring the "conservation of crop diversity in perpetuity".
"We want a safety net because we do not want to take too many chances with crop biodiversity," said Cary Fowler, the Trust's executive director.
"Can you imagine an effective, efficient, sustainable response to climate change, water shortages, food security issues without what is going to go in the vault - it is the raw material of agriculture."
Future proof
The seed vault will be built 120m (364ft) inside a mountain on Spitsbergen, ...full text

Pentagon purposely manipulated intelligence for War

"That was the argument that was used to make the sale to the American people about the need to go to war," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. He said the Pentagon's work, "which was wrong, which was distorted, which was inappropriate ... is something which is highly disturbing." ABC Sept. 8, 2005: It was Powell who told the United Nations and the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat. He told Walters that he feels "terrible" about the claims he made in that now-infamous address — assertions that later proved to be false. When asked if he feels it has tarnished his reputation, he said, "Of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now."

Pentagon Says Pre-War Intel Not Illegal
Pentagon Investigation Concludes Some Prewar Intelligence Work Inappropriate _ but Legal - By ROBERT BURNS The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A "very damning" report by the Defense Department's inspector general depicts a Pentagon that purposely manipulated intelligence in an effort to link Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida in the runup to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, says the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"That was the argument that was used to make the sale to the American people about the need to go to war," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. He said the Pentagon's work, "which was wrong, which was distorted, which was inappropriate ... is something which is highly disturbing."
The investigation by acting inspector general Thomas F. Gimble found that prewar intelligence work at the Pentagon, including a contention that the CIA had underplayed the likelihood of an al-Qaida connection, was inappropriate but not illegal. The report was to be presented to Levin's panel at a hearing Friday.
The report found that former Pentagon policy chief Douglas J. Feith had not engaged in illegal activities through the creation of special offices to review intelligence. Some Democrats also have contended that Feith misled Congress about the basis of the administration's assertions on the threat posed by Iraq, but the Pentagon investigation did not support that. Two people familiar with the findings discussed the main points and some details Thursday on condition they not be identified.
Levin has asserted that President Bush took the country to war in Iraq based in part on intelligence assessments some shaped by Feith's office that were off base and did not fully reflect the views of the intelligence community.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Levin said the IG report is "very damning" and shows a Pentagon policy shop trying to shape intelligence to prove a link between al-Qaida and Saddam. ...full text

Sunday, February 04, 2007

One Gigantic Wild Card In Global Warming

PARIS, Feb. 3, 2007
CBS (AP) Forty-five nations answered France's call Saturday for a new environmental body to slow inevitable global warming and protect the planet, perhaps with policing powers to punish violators. Absent were the world's heavyweight polluter, the United States, and booming nations on the same path as the U.S. — China and India.

One Gigantic Wild Card In Global Warming
ABC Scientists Factor Greenland into Global Warming Equation

Video: Global Warming Rising Water Dangers http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2847566
By BILL BLAKEMORE, NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2007 — - The findings in the new report are sobering enough -- that the world's scientists agree global warming is "unequivocal" and irreversible: Manmade greenhouse gases are shooting up -- driving the rise in earth's temperature and sea level, and the decline in earth's snow cover.
But there's a massive unknown worrying the scientists: Sea levels could rise in the coming decades faster than anyone thought.
Ominous news in the fourth unanimous assessment in 20 years by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], just finalized at a plenary session in Paris, sets the stage: The human-induced warming has now reached down more than a mile to normally frigid deep ocean currents -- currents that for millions of years have acted as a massive cooling system for the planet.
Water expands as it heats up, so scientists can now calculate that sea level will rise up between seven inches and nearly two feet before the end of the century.
But there's also an enormous wild card: It's the Greenland Ice Sheet, two miles thick at its center and containing enough ice to raise the world's oceans 23 feet.
It's melting so fast lately that the scientists in Paris couldn't settle on any predictions for it. ...full text

Orlando: Please Do Not Feed The Homeless

Signs of the times - a Christian Nation
I believe this concept was in the bible somewhere: absolute power and greed bring about absolute madness - recall the recent news, homeless are also beaten to death by baseball bats or burned to death

"It's a sorry state of affairs when you can feed the squirrels, the doves and pigeons at Lake Eola, but not a hungry guy down on his luck."

Chelsea England, lower right, of the group "Food Not Bombs," serves dinner to a homeless woman in downtown Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006. (AP Photo/Joanne Carole)

Orlando: Please Do Not Feed The Homeless
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 3, 2007
(AP) At Lake Eola park, there is much beauty to behold: robust palms, beds of cheery begonias, a cascading lake fountain, clusters of friendly egrets and swans, an amphitheater named in honor of Walt Disney. Then there are the signs. DO NOT LIE OR OTHERWISE BE IN A HORIZONTAL POSITION ON A PARK BENCH ... DO NOT SLEEP OR REMAIN IN ANY BUSHES, SHRUBS OR FOLIAGE ... per city code sec. 18A.09 (a) and (o). Visit the park's restrooms, and you'll find this sign on the wall above the hand dryers: BATHING AND/OR SHAVING IN RESTROOM IS PROHIBITED ... per city code 18A.09 (p) ... LAUNDERING CLOTHES IN LAKE EOLA PARK IS NOT PERMITTED. Since joggers and dog walkers tend not to snooze in flower beds, and because employees at the glittering office towers around Lake Eola don't scrub laundry in park sinks, it's clear, says Monique Vargas, at whom the notices are targeted. “They're talking to us, to the homeless,” says Vargas, 28, who says she has lived on the streets, in parks or under overpasses, since age 16. “It's a way of saying, 'Your kind isn't wanted in our city.’” Orlando, population 200,000, works hard to conjure the image of a true-life Pleasantville. But its spotless sidewalks and twinkling skyline belie a real city with real maladies — most notably, a surging homeless population that authorities are struggling to control. After a law that banned panhandling was struck down by the courts, the city tried to discourage aggressive beggars by obliging them to carry ID cards, and later by confining them to 3-by-15-foot “panhandling zones” painted in blue on sidewalks downtown. Despite these laws, the number of people living on the streets of the metro area swelled, from roughly 5,000 in 1999 to an estimated 8,500 today, dwarfing the city's shelter capacity ...full text

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Who's Counting: How Iraq Trillion Could Have Been Spent

In an age of nuclear tools, prehistoric behavior does not mix; unfortunately, no one seems to know that for certain due to educational funding poverty

Who's Counting: How Iraq Trillion Could Have Been Spent
The Cost of the Iraq War: Can You Say $1,000,000,000,000?
Feb. 4, 2007 — - The price tag for the Iraq War is now estimated at $700 billion in direct costs and perhaps twice that much when indirect expenditures are included. Cost estimates vary -- Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz puts the total cost at more than $2 trillion -- but let's be conservative and say it's only $1 trillion (in today's dollars).
As a number of other commentators have recently written, this number -- a 1 followed by 12 zeroes -- can be put into perspective in various ways. Given how large the war looms, it doesn't hurt to repeat this simple exercise with other examples and in other ways.
Different Monetary Units
There are many comparisons that might be made, and devising new governmental monetary units is one way to make them. Consider, for example, that the value of one EPA, the annual budget of the Environmental Protection Agency, is about $7.5 billion. The cost of the Iraq War is thus more than a century's worth of EPA spending (in today's dollars), almost 130 EPAs, only a small handful of which would probably have been sufficient to clean up Superfund sites around the country.
Or note that the annual budget for the Department of Education is about $55 billion, which puts the price tag for Iraq at about 18 EDs. Just a few of these EDs would certainly have put muscle into the slogan "No child left behind." ...full text

Record $622 Billion Budget Requested for the Pentagon

So, evolution and education still get cooked in the squat. "...and yet, by secrecy and silence, the death sentence was also sealed, as the new energy concepts beyond nuclear, required for evolutionary survival, continue to be denied, deemed too dangerous within an educational system devoid of ageless Wisdom and Understanding survival criterion passed on through countless generations" - see Evolution Blog

NYT February 3, 2007
Record $622 Billion Budget Requested for the Pentagon
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 — The Bush administration is seeking a record military budget of $622 billion for the 2008 fiscal year, Pentagon officials have said. The sum includes more than $140 billion for war-related costs.
The administration is also seeking $93 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, to pay for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, the officials said.
The requests are part of the annual budget request to Congress for all federal spending programs. The budget is to be made public on Monday, and Congress will revise it in the coming months.
Together with money for combat operations this year already approved by Congress, the new request would push spending related to Iraq and Afghanistan to $163 billion.
“It is the highest level of spending since the height of the Korean War,” said Steven Kosiak, a military budget expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a policy analysis organization ...full text

Friday, February 02, 2007

More Energy, More Weather

MORE ENERGY MORE WEATHER simple grade school science – i.e., more trapped energy, more energy available for weather

NYT February 3, 2007
Twisters Hit Central Florida, Killing at Least 19
PAISLEY, Fla., Feb. 2 — At least 19 people died when thunderstorms and tornadoes devastated parts of Central Florida before dawn Friday, flattening hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of residents who had little or no warning of the storms in grim shock.
Rescue workers combed what remained of toppled houses for survivors, and Gov. Charlie Crist, who declared a state of emergency in Lake, Volusia, Sumter and Seminole Counties, said federal aid would arrive soon.
“It looked like a bomb went off on some of these homes and it breaks your heart to see that,” Mr. Crist said after arriving by helicopter at Lake Mack, near Paisley in rural Lake County, where most of the dead were found.
The worst of the storms touched down north of Orlando between 3 and 4 a.m., jolting people from sleep with a noise some compared to a jumbo jet ...full text

Panel: "Watered Down" Versions of Global Warming

In overwhelming proportions, this evidence has been in the direction of showing faster change, more danger and greater confidence about the dominant role of fossil fuel burning and tropical deforestation in causing the changes that are being observed.

February 2, 2007 (two articles)
NYT -Panel Sees Centuries of Warming Due to Humans

February 2, 2007
Panel Says Humans ‘Very Likely’ Cause of Global Warming
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 6:34 a.m. ET

February 2, 2007
NYT - Panel Sees Centuries of Warming Due to Humans
By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL and ANDREW C. REVKIN PARIS, Feb. 2 – The world is already committed to centuries of warming, shifting weather patterns and rising seas from the atmospheric buildup of smokestack and tailpipe gases that trap heat, but warming can be substantially blunted with prompt action, an international network of climate experts said today.
In a report released here today, the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations, in its fourth assessment since 1990 of the causes and consequences of climate change, for the first time expressed with near certainty – more than 90 percent confidence – that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases were the main drivers of warming since 1950.
In its last report, in 2001, the panel, consisting of hundreds of scientists and reviewers, put the confidence level at between 66 and 90 percent. Both reports are online at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/02/science/earth/www.ipcc.ch.
Should the concentration of carbon dioxide reach twice the pre-industrial average of 280 parts per million, the report said, the climate will likely warm some 3.5 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit, and there would be more than a one in 10 chance of much greater warming – a situation many earth scientists say poses an unacceptable risk .... full text

Climate Scientists Say Global Warming Is 'Unequivocal,' and Its Cause Is Man-Made

Global warming effects ARE stoppable - but with science not bombs, with education not bombs

Climate Scientists Say Global Warming Is 'Unequivocal,' and Its Cause Is Man-Made
By SETH BORENSTEIN The Associated Press
PARIS - International scientists and officials hailed a report Friday saying that global warming is "very likely" caused by man, and that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level "would continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution.
The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, called it a "very impressive document that goes several steps beyond previous research."
A top U.S. government scientist, Susan Solomon, said "there can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities."
The 21-page summary of the panel's findings released Friday represents the most authoritative science on global warming. The panel comprises hundreds of scientists and representatives of 113 governments.
The scientists said the changes are "very likely" caused by human activity, a phrase that translates to a more than 90 percent certainty that global warming is caused by man's burning of fossil fuels. That was the strongest conclusion to date, making it nearly impossible to say natural forces are to blame.
The report said no matter how much civilization slows or reduces its greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and sea level rise will continue on for centuries.
"This is just not something you can stop. We're just going to have to live with it," co-author Kevin Trenberth, director of climate analysis for the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., told ...full text

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Putin Considers Ties With Iran on Gas Sales

"but Putin's remarks underscored a widening rift with the United States"
Somewhere evolution and education got cooked in the squat. Nuclear tools, much less more advanced energy concepts required for survival, just do not mix well with contemporary skewed & limited beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral stages that humanity is being shaped towards (as Hawkin pointed out, Nuclear war still greatest threat to humanity). The "Trouble With Physics" poses Big Trouble indeed!

NYT February 1, 2007
Putin Considers Ties With Iran on Gas Sales
MOSCOW, Feb. 1 — Even as the United States intensifies its efforts to isolate Iran, President Vladimir V. Putin said Thursday that Russia would consider OPEC-like cooperation with Tehran on sales of natural gas. He stopped short of endorsing price-fixing, however, saying he was concerned only with insuring stable supplies for consuming nations.
Mr. Putin reiterated Russia’s opposition to Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons, but his remarks underscored a widening rift with the United States and its allies over how to force Tehran to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions.
“We think that the people of Iran should have access to modern technologies, including nuclear ones,” he said, adding that “they should choose a variant that will guarantee Iran access to nuclear energy” while complying with Tehran’s commitment not to build weapons under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Mr. Putin’s remarks were delivered as part of his annual winter news conference, an affair that offers journalists an exhaustive, unconstrained opportunity to press him on the issues of the day. He answered 66 questions over the course of ... full text