Archive for April, 2005

Pursuer of Mexican Leader’s Opponent Quits Under Fire

Friday, April 29th, 2005

VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico, April 27 – The legal proceedings that threatened to knock Mexico’s most popular politician off next year’s presidential ballot and to plunge this country into turmoil seemed to come to a sudden end on Wednesday night, when a beleaguered President Vicente Fox announced the resignation of his attorney general and a review of the government’s case against the politician.

In a nationally televised address, Mr. Fox said he had accepted the resignation of Attorney General Rafael Macedo de la Concha, who oversaw the prosecution of the politician, Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico City, and thus became one of the most polarizing figures in the government.

Pope Ratzo and the Hucksters of Death

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

by John Ross
As the death gurgles of Terry Schiavo and Pope Wojytla grew more agitated and the media drumbeat pumped up maximum ratings for their mutually Christian agonies, some kindred soul climbed Galeras Mountain above Saltillo city in the great Coahuila desert and set fire to a 50-foot fiberglass figure of Jesus Christ. The immolation could be viewed from downtown Saltillo – only Jesus’ left arm survived the blaze. It has since become a local relic, housed in the city’s cavernous cathedral.

On the other side of the border where the United States of North America suffered an evangelical coup d’etat last November, no Jesus-burnings have yet been reported despite mounting disgust at such excesses of the Christian coup as the ugliness wafting about the human vegetable formerly known coast to coast as Terry Schiavo,

The Schiavo spectacle featured withering hatred between loved ones, demagoguery run riot, and crazed Catholic zealots, Born-Agains, and Not-Dead-Yets holy rolling around on the Florida hospice’s manicured front lawn. The 24-7 media circus was ringmastered by that indefatigueable exterminator Tom Delay of Sugarland, Texas who parlayed the hysteria into an unprecedented congressional vote that put the legislative branch on a train wreck course with the Constitution.

Perhaps the culminating moment of this reality freak show came when, flanked by burley leftist bodyguard monks from St. Paul, Terry’s parents tried to get the brain dead woman to pronounce the words “I want to live.” “AHHH WAAAAAAA” was as far she got reported the Associated Press – it is not known how the agency determined the exact number of “h”s and “a”s. Although Terry was not a southern gal, the “ah wahs” have a decided downhome lilt to them and have been open to many interpretations including “ah wahnt out of here” and “ah wahnt to kill Tom Delay.”

Whatever she was seeking to annunciate (the medics described it as an involuntary moan), by April Fool’s Day – assuming I was not perusing one of those joke facsimile editions of major American newspapers (remember Not-The-New York-Times?) – Schiavo was pronounced really dead. Her bereaved family celebrated her demise by leasing the list of those who contributed cash to keeping her “alive” for the past 15 years to a Christian direct mail advertiser for $4000 a month. It is reported that receipts from every Terry Schiavo tee shirt and coffee mug hawked outside the hospice were directed into the legal battle aimed at wresting the malpractice moolah from that Devil Incarnate, the evil husband Michael Schiavo.

The death carnival was full tilt in St. Peter’s Square too and the trinket venders were cleaning up on John Paul memorabilia. In the inner sanctums of the Vatican, most every political poltroon on the planet passed silently by the bier of the demised pontiff, shedding crocodile tears and stabbing each other in the back as they cloaked their sins in Wojytla’s death shroud.

With the vaults of the Bank of the Vatican reportedly bare and the Holy See running deeply in the red due to the diminishment of believers in the Roman Catholic product and humungous payouts in pederast priest scandals, the Church mavens missed a good bet by not selling tickets to these macabre events. This is not just a modest proposal – tickets to several of John Paul II’s last appearances were backed by coupons for Big Macs, and just before his death, the late Pontiff blessed 7000 cell phone photos in a last-ditch promotion to replenish emptying donation baskets.
The requiem Mass presided over by former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law would have been a big-ticket item. Law, who was forced to flee his archdiocese after evidence emerged that he moved up to 80 pederast priests from parish to parish to elude police detection, was extended sanctuary in the Vatican by the late Pope.

Protestors disrupted the mourning for John Paul to demand the ironically named Churchman be brought back to Boston to face justice.

Leading the U.S. delegation to this funerary fiesta (if leadership is to be measured by how much ink one accrues) was the unavoidable Tom Delay. The House Majority leader, who reportedly unplugged his dear old dad, a rugged oil wildcatter, after a household accident, utilized the Pope’s sarcophagus as a pulpit to rail against “activist” judges and their war on the Judeo-Christian Faith.

Sadly, there are no activist judges anymore – Bruce “Cut ‘Em Loose” Wright passed away just recently – he is the only member of the North American judiciary I would have voted to keep artificially alive.

Representative Delay’s arrival in Rome obeyed his staunch ecumenical convictions – the humility-challenged Republican’s belief system appears to be a heady mix of Apocalyptical Zionism, fundamental Jesusism, and firm faith in pest control. The Holy Land for the Texas Exterminator seems to be the launching pad for the End Times, the pathway to the Rapture, and he is, of course, a high profile partisan of Ariel Sharon and those to his right in their crusade to eradicate the pesky Palestinians as if they were so many household pests.

As the “lives” of Schiavo and Wojytla wound down, Oxfam activists installed a large billboard clock near the World Bank where the Masters of the Universe were in annual spring session. Tick Tick Tick. Oxfam advised the bigwigs that every three seconds a child dies somewhere in the world. Tick. Tick. Tick. Mostly, they die because they do not have a life support system. Tick Tick Tick. You know, stuff like air, water, food, housing, and medicine. Tick Tick Tick. Entitlements that in the third world the poor fight revolutions to obtain. Tick Tick Tick. Another kid dead. Tick Tick Tick. Another $125,000 USD gobbled up by Citigroup, a million dollar a minute corporation. Tick Tick Tick.

It is not known exactly when Pope Wojytla expired. He is believed to have been on life support for many years, pumped full of steroids and monkey glands and dopamine to control the trembles, and injected daily with the blood of virgins held captive in the Vatican basement. But the machinery was always breaking down, often before millions on television although, like the emperor and his new duds, no one dared to mention the degradation of the Pope’s mortality. Once the Clear Channel Pope, a Great Communicator of Ronald Reagan dimensions, he had slipped so deeply into dementia that he was now unintelligible in the 13 languages he allegedly once spoke. Now His Holiness was pissing all over the Popemobile and refusing to wear diapers!

That’s when Ratzinger stepped in and had his throat slit, an “emergency tracheotomy”, arrrgghhh. What else could he do? The man was making a mockery of the One True Church. After that, they couldn’t even get a feeding tube down poor John Paul’s guggle.

Much as with the late Pope, it is not easy to know how many members of the College of Cardinals are maintained on life support systems but as Cardinal Ratzinger moved to grab power, at least 77 of the Men In Purple proved to be brain dead. After a few half-hearted puffs of indeterminate emissions from the famous Fumata (doesn’t the city of Rome have air pollution standards?), a member of Hitler Youth and a foot soldier in Adolph’s army who knew just where the Nazi death camps were located, was chosen as God’s representative on earth. With Arnold in the White House and Ratzinger in the Pope House, it looks like the Aryan Nation won the war after all.

Ratzinger’s selection settled over the world like a pall. Those who had anticipated a pope of color – Latin America accounts for half the Roman Catholics in this part of the galaxy – had foolishly underestimated the racism entombed in the bosom of Holy Mother Church. As dispensation to the disillusion, Chilean Cardinal Jose Agustin Medina was pushed out on the balcony to sound the time-honored cry “We have a Pope!” Cardinal Medina is (was) Augustin Pinochet’s favorite priest.

Benedictus XVI had operated as Wojytla’s ventriloquist since 1981 when he took over the Congregation for the Defense of the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Santa Inquisition, and began to dismantle Vatican II, the historic accord hammered out by the Peoples’ Pope, John XXIII, that insisted upon the Church’s option for the poor. Ratzinger’s promotion to the throne of Peter and the installation of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank are indeed ominous tidings for the world’s poor.

Exactly how many disobedient priests were drawn and quartered or burnt at the stake during Ratzinger’s reign of terror at the Congregation is not a matter of public record but at least 140 were silenced or defrocked, precisely for espousing the Church’s option for the poor, amongst them the exalted theologian Hans Kung who once gave the then-liberal Ratzinger (he now sits to the right of Opus Dei) his first teaching job. Also bopped was the bushy-bearded Brazilian Leonardo Boff who Ratzinger silenced and drove from the Church. Boff bemoaned Ratzinger’s elevation as the worst move the Church fathers (there are no mothers) could have made. “Cardinal Ratzinger is hated by the bishops, many of whom he has publicly humiliated for years,” Boff avowed in a recent El Pais interview.

As the keeper of the dogma, the Terminator Pope made a hobby out of hunting down practitioners of liberation theology. Among his trophies: the Nicaraguan poet-priest Ernesto Cardenal who Wojytla trampled into the tarmac at Managua International Airport in 1984, and Don Samuel Ruiz, the beloved bishop emeritus of Chiapas.

Ratzinger once accused the World Council of Churches of fomenting subversion in Latin America and his orthodox convictions coincide with CIA doctrine that miscreant liberationists threaten Washington’s hegemony in the Americas.

The self-anointed Benedictus XVI is a kind of Teutonic John Ashcroft who promulgates edicts barring mariachis and indigenous dancers from performing during Mass (an instruction widely disregarded in Mexico.) Ratzinger’s persecution of Don Samuel who he accused of preaching a Marxist version of the Gospel, led him to attack the indigenous church that Tatik nurtured during 40 years as head of the San Cristobal diocese as “a stalking horse for Marxism-Leninism.” In his eagerness to nail Samuel to the cross, he even sent his inquisitors deep into the Lacandon jungle to gather evidence that the Bishop was ordaining women deacons.

For a quarter of a century, the new Pope has waged a personal war against syncreticism, the Indian church, woman priests, abortion providers, gays and lesbians, and above all, the Dread Condom. Although his predecessor has been nominated for sainthood for having once miraculously cured a man with terminal pain in his brain, Wojytla’s candidacy must be nullified by the millions of AIDS deaths his condemnation of condom use incurred.

Despite being dead from the neck down, the celibate Ratzinger feels so full of the Lord that he never tires of damning sexual intimacies left of the missionary position. He rails against same sex marriage, pre-marital sex, birth control pills, and the liberation of women. Nevertheless, the new Pope and his predecessor Wojytla failed to notice decades of pederasty in the priesthood on their watch, even when Father Marcial Macial, founder of the Legionnaires of Christ, was buggering small children behind locked Vatican doors. Some of Macial’s victims reported that the good father told them he had a papal dispensation to sodomize them.

In response to allegations that he had purposefully ignored Father Macial’s sins for years for fear of disaffecting John Paul who particularly favored the sodomite, Ratzinger assailed media coverage of pederast priest scandals as “an attack on the Church.”

The 265th in a long line of Machiavellian tyrants, poisoners, and pederasts, Ratzinger is the wrong pope in the wrong time zone. Confronted with onrushing Islam, Ratzinger lobbied the European Union to exclude the swarthy Turks because he considered Europe to be “a Christian continent.” No wonder the Gray Wolves took a shot at his pal Wojytla.

Pope Ratzo insists that the Church of Rome is the only true church, sneers at Protestant denominations as “sects”, and has written that the Jews bear the blame for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (although he doesn’t think they should have gotten the gas chamber for it.)

Perhaps the only consolation for humanity in this catastrophic appointment is that, at 78, Benedictus XVI is the oldest pontiff to be selected since the 18th century. Like many of us old people, he sometimes loses track of where he is at – often mixing up the 21st century with the Middle Ages. On the eve of the Cardinals’ conclave, he stirred souls by dissing godless Communism, apparently unaware that the Berlin Wall had come down in 1989.

The new Pope’s selective memory loss is cited by critics reviewing Ratzinger’s autobiography, which seems to omit an uncle who was in the concentration camp business and important Nazi slaughters of dissidents near his hometown in Bavaria. Nor does the volume mention his ties to Bank of Vatican insider Roberto Calvi, found dangling from London’s Blackfriers r Bridge in 1984.

Although Ratzinger was low down on the papal totem pole when John Paul I, the last Italian pope, came to the throne in 1978, his Borgia-esque death 30 days later propelled both Wojytla and Ratzinger into the papacy.

It is not known at what level of the living dead the new pope functions – he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1991 and his health is not robust. Moreover, stocks of virgin blood stored in the Vatican basement have been greatly diminished by prolonged efforts to keep John Paul II “alive.” That famous Not-the-New York Times headline after the first Pope John Paul took a dive, may soon be revived: “POPE DIES AGAIN!”

All of this shameless huckstering of death and dying has made drawing up one’s living will an urgent priority. To my mind, these living wills should be transformed into political manifestoes, our final rant to the rest of the world, and a call for direct action. Why lay around dying at home when you can be out there dedicating your corporeal remains to smashing the church and the state!

Here is my living will.

“When I, John Ross, become so debilitated by terminal illness, and the consumption of opiate-derived drugs no longer quells the pain, and/or when I am rendered helpless by disease, intentional violence, or a freak accident, I ask that a guardian be appointed who will strap dynamite to my cadaver, wheel me to the designated capitalist target and light the fuse.

“The burning of my body Bonze-style would be an acceptable alternative to such sabotage but only if I am propped up in front of a recognizable emblem of U.S. imperialist domination while I roast.

“Say no to war and world hunger, racism, sexism, Capitalism, and all other isms that get in the way of the peoples’ struggle to control their own destinies. There is no peace without justice. Hasta La Victoria Siempre! Bye Bye.”

The Frauds of the Clergy

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

by Thom Hartmann
Why would a multi-multi-millionaire Senator, who consistently votes to harm the hungry and the poor who so concerned Jesus, join forces with religious fundamentalists to stack this nation’s highest courts? Could it be because he and his wealthy Republican friends see huge financial benefits for themselves and their corporate patrons in a compliant court?
At the “Justice Sunday” event hyped to national prominence by Bill Frist’s appearance, Chuck Colson told America that we should read the Federalist Papers to understand the intent and the mind of the Founders.

Apparently Colson overlooked Federalist 47, published by James Madison on February 1, 1788. Titled, “The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts,” Madison wrote about how important it was that the different branches of government serve as checks and balances on each other.

“No political truth is of greater intrinsic value, or is stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty,” wrote Madison of the concern about any one particular group dominating all branches of government. He added, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Full Article:

Researchers Say They Achieved Nuclear Fusion in Tabletop Experiment

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A tabletop experiment created nuclear fusion — long seen as a possible clean energy solution — under lab conditions, scientists reported.

But the amount of energy produced was too little to be seen as a breakthrough in solving the world’s energy needs

For years, scientists have sought to harness controllable nuclear fusion, the same power that lights the sun and stars. This latest experiment relied on a tiny crystal to generate a strong electric field. While falling short as a way to produce energy, the method could have potential uses in the oil-drilling industry and homeland security, said Seth Putterman, one of the physicists who did the experiment at the University of California, Los Angeles.

‘fruitless labors’, ‘rootless science’ (F.G. Lorca, in New York, 1930)

Earnings at BP Increase 29% on the Strength of Oil Prices

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

BP,the world’s second-biggest publicly traded oil company, posted a 29 percent jump in first-quarter profit, helped by higher energy prices.

Net income rose to $5.49 billion, or 25.6 cents a share, excluding gains in the value of its oil inventories, BP said yesterday. Revenues rose 16 percent, to $79.8 billion, from a year earlier.

BP, which is second to the Exxon Mobil Corporation, is the first of the world’s large oil companies to report earnings from the first quarter, when New York crude oil averaged $57.60 a barrel, natural gas prices rallied in the United States and Europe and gasoline prices surged.

Iraq rebels ‘as strong now as a year ago’

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

There was a three-fold increase in terrorist attacks worldwide last year and Iraqi insurgents have the same capacity to strike that they did 12 months ago, according to the US government and military.
The number of terrorist attacks the US considers “significant” rose to 655 in 2004 from 175 in 2003, according to US state department figures released by a senior Democrat in congress.

That total – based on a briefing from government officials – takes in the Belsan school siege, violence linked to fighting over Kashmir and a surge in terrorist incidents in Iraq.

The tally for Iraq, one of the drivers of the increase, leapt from 22 attacks in 2003 to 198 in 2004, a figure confirming the bloodiness of the insurgency for much of that year.

The period after the January 30 election was one of relative calm, but the number and frequency of attacks has risen in recent weeks with the long impasse over forming a new government.

General Richard Myers, the most senior US soldier, said last night that Iraqi insurgents were now launching attacks at the same rate of 50-60 a day rate as they were in 2004.

“I think their capacity stays about the same. And where they are right now is where they were almost a year ago,” he said, adding that it was vital the political process went forward.

Mexico City Mayor’s Supporters Speak With Quiet March

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

MEXICO CITY, April 24 – A capital typically clogged with traffic was thronged Sunday by hundreds of thousands of people who marched into the main plaza to protest a government effort against Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador that threatens to force him out of next year’s presidential elections.

The police estimated that more than one million people participated in the march. Aides to the mayor estimated that there were 750,000 people. Several political observers described it as the biggest in the country’s recent history.

After two weeks of heated political discourse and confusing legal maneuvers, the march was not the first to denounce the government’s campaign against the mayor. But it was a dramatic illustration of seemingly growing support for Mr. López Obrador and disappointment in President Vicente Fox.

Muslim Cleric Found Guilty in the ‘Virginia Jihad’ Case

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 26 – In the most significant case involving what prosecutors have called the Virginia jihad network, an American-born Muslim cleric was convicted on Tuesday of inciting followers to wage war against the United States just days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

After deliberating for seven days, the jury convicted the cleric, Ali al-Timimi of Fairfax, Va., on all six counts in the indictment, including counseling others to wage war against the United States and use firearms and explosives in furtherance of violent crimes. Mr. Timimi, who will remain under house arrest until sentencing on July 13, faces a mandatory life sentence under federal guidelines.

Mr. Timimi, 41, was described by federal prosecutors as a rock star among radical Islamists and the spiritual leader for a group of young men who trained to fight abroad for Muslim causes, including defending the Taliban against American-led forces.

“By his treasonous criminal acts, he has proven himself to be a kingpin of hate against America and everything we stand for, especially our freedom,” the United States attorney for eastern Virginia, Paul J. McNulty, said in a statement.

But Mr. Timimi’s lawyers and supporters described him as an apolitical cancer researcher and part-time Koranic scholar who viewed himself as a bridge between his conservative Muslim sect and American society.

Thousands of Israelis Pour Into Gaza Strip

Wednesday, April 27th, 2005

NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (AP) – Thousands of Israelis poured into the Gaza Strip’s main Jewish settlement bloc Wednesday to protest this summer’s planned withdrawal, show support for the settlers and bid farewell to the area Israel occupied for 38 years.
Gaza settler leaders said they expect at least 100,000 people, which would make it one of the largest demonstrations since Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced the pullout plan last year. Turnout was expected to be bolstered by warm weather and the Passover holiday, when schools are closed and many people are on vacation.
Some settler leaders have expressed hope that the protesters will stay in Gaza to resist the withdrawal. However, Avner Shimon, mayor of the Gaza settlements, said he expected the visitors to leave after Passover.
“People are coming to enjoy themselves, see the place and hug us and to tell us they are with us. I estimate that nobody will remain when it is over,” he told Israel Army Radio.
Early Wednesday, the Israeli army closed the main crossing into the Gush Katif bloc of settlements to private cars, allowing only buses through. Army Radio said 1,500 buses were expected to reach Gush Katif.

Einstein’s revolution enters second century

Monday, April 25th, 2005

Just after the turn of the century, scientists knew that their fundamental theories weren’t quite right — they just didn’t know what to do about it.

If we’re talking about what happened a century ago, this is where Albert Einstein came to the rescue. During the “miracle year” of 1905, he published five groundbreaking scientific papers that are still sparking innovations 100 years later.

But we could as well be talking about what’s happening right now. Over the past decade, physicists have come to appreciate, to an even greater degree than in Einstein’s day, just how little they know about how the cosmos works. The latest observations indicate that 95 percent of the universe consists of stuff we don’t understand:

Dark matter, which can only be detected through its gravitational effect, makes up about 25 percent.
Dark energy, a property of empty space that seems to be pushing galaxies farther apart at an increasing rate, accounts for the other 70 percent.
“In a sense, it’s the ultimate Copernican revolution,” says Sean Carroll, a physicist at the University of Chicago. “Not only are we not at the center of the universe — we’re not even made of the same stuff as most of the universe is made of.”

The current knowledge gap presents “an amazing parallel” between 1905 and 2005, says John Rigden, a physicist at the Washington University of St. Louis who wrote the book “Einstein 1905.”

“In 1905, if a person put their hand on top of their desk, they had no idea what their hand was contacting,” Rigden says. “In other words, the nature of matter was unknown. Atoms were speculated about, and many people believed in them in 1905, but other people did not.

“Now, today, if you put your hand on top of your desk, you know what your hand is contacting — but that type of matter makes up only about 5 percent of the universe,” he says. “One hundred years have passed, and we’re still 95 percent ignorant about the material world. I find that amazing.”