Monthly Archives: June 2007

EU is Soviet Union Reborn

Kurt | Jun 24, 2007


Vladimir Bukovksy

It takes a victim of sovietism to recognize a likewise process in Europe. “Vladimir Bukovksy, the 63-year old former Soviet dissident, fears that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union,” writes Paul Belien for the Brussels Journal. “In a speech he delivered in Brussels last week Mr. Bukovsky called the EU a ‘monster’ that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a fullfledged totalitarian state.”

“In 1992 I had unprecedented access to Politburo and Central Committee secret documents which have been classified and still are even now, for 30 years,” Bukovksy declared in a speech delivered at a Polish restaurant opposite the European Parliament. “These documents show very clearly that the whole idea of turning the European common market into a federal state was agreed between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a joint project which [Soviet leader Mikhail] Gorbachev in 1988-89 called our ‘common European home.’”

Bukovsky fingers the usual globalist suspects:

In January of 1989, for example, a delegation of the Trilateral Commission came to see Gorbachev. It included [former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro] Nakasone, [former French President Valéry] Giscard d’Estaing, [American banker David] Rockefeller and [former US Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger. They had a very nice conversation where they tried to explain to Gorbachev that Soviet Russia had to integrate into the financial institutions of the world, such as Gatt, the IMF and the World Bank.

In the middle of it Giscard d’Estaing suddenly takes the floor and says: “Mr. President, I cannot tell you exactly when it will happen—probably within 15 years—but Europe is going to be a federal state and you have to prepare yourself for that. You have to work out with us, and the European leaders, how you would react to that, how would you allow the other Easteuropean countries to interact with it or how to become a part of it, you have to be prepared.”

For Bukovsky, the European Parliament resembles “the Supreme Soviet. It looks like the Supreme Soviet because it was designed like it. Similarly, when you look at the European Commission it looks like the Politburo…. If you go through all the structures and features of this emerging European monster you will notice that it more and more resembles the Soviet Union.”

The Soviet Union used to be a state run by ideology. Today’s ideology of the European Union is social-democratic, statist, and a big part of it is also political correctness. I watch very carefully how political correctness spreads and becomes an oppressive ideology, not to mention the fact that they forbid smoking almost everywhere now. Look at this persecution of people like the Swedish pastor who was persecuted for several months because he said that the Bible does not approve homosexuality. France passed the same law of hate speech concerning gays. Britain is passing hate speech laws concerning race relations and now religious speech, and so on and so forth. What you observe, taken into perspective, is a systematic introduction of ideology which could later be enforced with oppressive measures. Apparently that is the whole purpose of Europol. Otherwise why do we need it? To me Europol looks very suspicious. I watch very carefully who is persecuted for what and what is happening, because that is one field in which I am an expert. I know how Gulags spring up.

Here in North America, we are in for much of the same. “Former President of the Soviet Union Gorbachev on March 23, 2000, in London, referred to the European Union (EU) as ‘the New European Soviet.’ If he refers to the EU in that way, it only stands to reason that he would refer to the North American Union (NAU) as the ‘New American Soviet,’ since the NAU is modeled on the EU,” writes Charlotte Iserbyt. “United States government officials, elected and unelected, with enormous financial assistance from the tax-exempt foundations, have for many years been working to implement unconstitutional regional planning at the local, state, national and international level, all of this required for full implementation of a One World Socialist Government…. It is a well-known and documented fact that Wall Street funded the Bolshevik Revolution and the corporate communists and our government have been supporting the communist regime in Russia since 1917.”

Iserbyt hits the nail square on the head. In school, I learned that communism represented a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production, in its beginning stage characterized by the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Of course, the so-called proletariat never had their day in the sun and instead a massive Soviet totalitarian state emerged, a vampire-like leviathan designed to feed on the proletariat. Now we have “corporate communism,” although it is more accurately defined as corporate fascism, as Mussolini, the grand daddy of fascism, knew fascism is nothing if not corporatism. Sovietism, with its nomenklatura of globalist bureaucrats, is simply the most effective control mechanism, far better than anything Mussolini or Hitler devised.

A Google News search returns but one U.S. publication mentioning the comments of the “uroskeptic” Vladimir Bukovsky: the Washington Times. “Liberty and democracy require limited governments, while supranationalism by definition tends toward unlimitedness,” writes Paul Belien for the newspaper on June 20. “The former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky refers to the EU as the ‘EUSSR.’ He does so, he explains, because the former USSR and the EU share the same goal: the obliteration of nations. ‘The European Union, like the Soviet Union, cannot be democratized,’ he says. If the EU becomes a genuine state it is bound to be an evil empire, because there is no European nation.”

Same applies for North America, soon enough to become a supranational entity on par with the European Union. Of course, this time around, there will be no Maastricht Treaty, no embarrassing referendums, no Edinburgh Agreement with frustrating exceptions attached, as our rulers have little patience for the objections of commoners and are woefully behind schedule implementing their one-world project, that is to say global corporatism, more accurately described as transnational corporate fascism.

Absurd London “Bomb Plot” Inaugurates “Control Freak” Brown

Kurt | Jun 29, 2007

“British police Friday thwarted a car-bomb attack that would have brought carnage to the streets of London just days before the second anniversary of the July 7, 2005, bombings that claimed 52 lives,” writes Nile Gardiner for the neocon house organ, the National Review Online. “The car was packed with nails, gas canisters and petrol containers, and left outside a nightclub near Piccadilly Circus. This latest attempt to kill and maim hundreds of civilians is most likely the work of al Qaeda or one of its numerous British-based affiliates. It was timed to coincide with the departure of Tony Blair, and the entrance of new Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It also coincided with Blair’s appointment as the Quartet’s new Middle East envoy in the face of strong opposition in the Arab world.”

Gardiner has no evidence “al-Qaeda,” the database, is involved in this absurdly incompetent plot, and even Scotland Yard has said it is far too early to determine who is behind the “foiled attack,” but now that the corporate media is hysterically braying “al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda,” it makes little difference who is responsible. Gardiner believes, or wants us to believe, the plot was “timed to coincide with … the entrance of new Prime Minister Gordon Brown,” and in fact Gardiner may be correct, although not for the reason he states. Brown was selected to lord over the British people because he is a darling of the Bank of England, a former chancellor of the Exchequer, a medieval English institution for the collection of royal revenues, that is to say the fleecing of subjects. As well, Brown was selected because he is regarded as a “control freak” and “totally uncollegiate,” according to Charles Clarke, the former home secretary. In short, he unflinchingly runs roughshod over his victims, the sort of psychological makeup considered a prerequisite for a principate, especially one taking orders from bankers and the globalist coterie.

It stands to reason Tony Blair’s “appointment as the Quartet’s new Middle East envoy” faces “strong opposition in the Arab world,” as Blair is a war criminal. He was informed by the Foreign Office that an attack on Iraq was illegal under international law and he met with Bush in Crawford April 2002 and vowed his support for the invasion, that is to say he promised to donate the lives of Brits in the effort to slaughter Iraqis, an effort that has paid off handsomely (more than 750,000 killed to date), that is if you’re a psychopath, as Blair obviously is. Arabs who know anything about Blair realize he is a pathological liar, as he said up until the eve of the invasion attacking Iraq was not inevitable when in fact he secretly agreed with the neocons to attack Iraq all along.

In addition to sending out the message Gordon Brown is the “war on terrorism” prime minister, the fake would-be attack, likely staged by MI5, serves as yet another object lesson for British commoners, who, according to the New York Times, “shrugged stoically at the July 7 bombings two years ago” and “seemed less than troubled here today after police announced that they had defused an explosive mixture of gasoline, nails and gas canisters in a car abandoned outside the Tiger Tiger on a thoroughfare called Haymarket.” Staged terrorism and repeatedly foiled plots carried out by terrorists apparently unable to tie their shoes in the morning without assistance is “something you get used to, living in London,” according to a lawyer quoted by the Times. “And given the stance our government made on the war in Iraq and elsewhere, I think we are just getting used to being a target. It’s something we have to live with.”

No doubt, as well, Brits will need get “used to” the fact their country is “sinking into a police state,” as George Churchill-Coleman, who headed Scotland Yard’s anti-IRA squad, told the Guardian two years ago. “We live in a democracy and we should police on those standards…. I have serious worries and concerns about these ideas on both ethical and practical terms. You cannot lock people up just because someone says they are terrorists. Internment didn’t work in Northern Ireland, it won’t work now. You need evidence.”

Of course, you need evidence to claim “al-Qaeda” is behind the sloppy and wholly amateurish work in London today, but that has not stopped the corporate media or the fear-monger hacks with an agenda—i.e., slaughtering Muslims and divvying up the Middle East—from leading to conclusions and thus subjecting the public to non-stop propaganda.

More than 50 Afghan civilians wiped out in NATO raid

BBC | Jun 29, 2007

By Charles Haviland

Police in the southern Afghan province of Helmand say more civilians have been killed in bombardments by foreign forces on Friday night.

Local people have told the BBC they think more than 50 have died, including women and children.

The Nato-led force, Isaf, says operations were going on but that it was not aware of civilian casualties.

Several dozen villagers near the town of Gereshk separately telephoned the BBC to report bombing by Isaf forces.

The bombing had lasted two to three hours, they said.

Intensive fighting

They believed between 50 and 80 civilians had been killed, including children and women, and said they were bringing the bodies to Gereshk to show the authorities.

They said the bombardments had come six hours after an intensive spell of fighting on the ground between foreign forces and Taleban insurgents.

The Helmand provincial police chief, Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, said there had been civilian casualties but did not give a figure.

Map showing Helmand province

He said that the foreign forces had failed to consult the Afghan authorities before the bombings.

Contacted by the BBC, a spokesman for Isaf said an offensive operation had been going on in the Gereshk area for two days, involving extensive air power and bombardments.

He said he was aware of insurgent casualties but not civilian ones.

A week ago, after the death of some 25 civilians in the same district, President Hamid Karzai accused foreign forces of acting recklessly and ordered them to co-ordinate better with his government.

Accounts from on the ground say between 240 and 320 civilians had been killed by foreign forces this year before these latest deaths.

Foreign forces and the Afghan government say the Taleban often take refuge in civilian areas after launching attacks, ordering people to shelter them.

City May Seek Permit and Insurance for Many Kinds of Public Photography

New York Times | Jun 29, 2007


“Opens the door to discriminatory enforcement of the permit requirements.”

Some tourists, amateur photographers, even would-be filmmakers hoping to make it big on YouTube could soon be forced to obtain a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance before taking pictures or filming on city property, including sidewalks.

New rules being considered by the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting would require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour to get a city permit and insurance.

The same requirements would apply to any group of five or more people who plan to use a tripod in a public location for more than 10 minutes, including the time it takes to set up the equipment.

Julianne Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, said the rules were not intended to apply to families on vacation or amateur filmmakers or photographers.

Nevertheless, the New York Civil Liberties Union says the proposed rules, as strictly interpreted, could have that effect. The group also warns that the rules set the stage for selective and perhaps discriminatory enforcement by police.

“These rules will apply to a huge range of casual photography and filming, including tourists taking snapshots and people making short videos for YouTube,” said Christopher Dunn, the group’s associate legal director.

Mr. Dunn suggested that the city deliberately kept the language vague, and that as a result police would have broad discretion in enforcing the rules. In a letter sent to the film office this week, Mr. Dunn said the proposed rules would potentially apply to tourists in places like Times Square, Rockefeller Center or ground zero, “where people routinely congregate for more than half an hour and photograph or film.”

The rule could also apply to people waiting in line to enter the Empire State Building or other tourist attractions.

The rules define a “single site” as any area within 100 feet of where filming begins. Under the rules, the two or more people would not actually have to be filming, but could simply be holding an ordinary camera and talking to each other.

The rules are intended to set standards for professional filmmakers and photographers, said Ms. Cho, assistant commissioner of the film office, but the language of the draft makes no such distinction.

“While the permitting scheme does not distinguish between commercial and other types of filming, we anticipate that these rules will have minimal, if any, impact on tourists and recreational photographers, including those that use tripods,” Ms. Cho said in an e-mail response to questions.

Mr. Dunn said that the civil liberties union asked repeatedly for such a distinction in negotiations on the rules but that city officials refused, ostensibly to avoid creating loopholes that could be exploited by professional filmmakers and photographers.

City officials would not confirm that yesterday. But Mark W. Muschenheim, a lawyer with the city’s law department, which helped draft the rules, said, “There are few instances, if any, where the casual tourist would be affected.”

The film office held a public hearing on the proposed rules yesterday, but no one attended. The only written comments the department received were from the civil liberties group, Ms. Cho said.

Ms. Cho said the office expected to publish a final version of the rules at the end of July. They would go into effect a month later.

The permits would be free and applications could be obtained online, Ms. Cho said. The draft rules say the office could take up to 30 days to issue a permit, but Ms. Cho said she expected that most would be issued within 24 hours.

Mr. Dunn says that in addition to the rules being overreaching, they would also create enforcement problems.

“Your everyday person out there with a camcorder is never going to know about the rules,” Mr. Dunn said. “It completely opens the door to discriminatory enforcement of the permit requirements, and that is of enormous concern to us because the people who are going to get pointed out are the people who have dark skin or who are shooting in certain locations.”

The rules were promulgated as a result of just such a case, Mr. Dunn said.

In May 2005, Rakesh Sharma, an Indian documentary filmmaker, was using a hand-held video camera in Midtown Manhattan when he was detained for several hours and questioned by police.

During his detention, Mr. Sharma was told he was required to have a permit to film on city property. According to a lawsuit, Mr. Sharma sought information about how permits were granted and who was required to have one but found there were no written guidelines. Nonetheless, the film office told him he was required to have a permit, but when he applied, the office refused to grant him one and would not give him a written explanation of its refusal.

As part of a settlement reached in April, the film office agreed to establish written rules for issuing permits. Mr. Sharma could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mr. Dunn said most of the new rules were reasonable. Notably, someone using a hand-held video camera, as Mr. Sharma was doing, would no longer have to get a permit.

Prince Charles’s income rises as carbon footprint falls

Guardian | Jun 27, 2007

Personal expenditure increases to £2,614,000

by Audrey Gillan

The Prince of Wales’s income from his Duchy of Cornwall estate has risen over the past year – along with his personal expenditure – while his carbon footprint has fallen, according to his annual review published yesterday.

The figures show Prince Charles also received £2,026,000 in grants-in-aid and £428,000 from government departments. He paid tax of £3,434,000 on his surplus after official costs, while his income from the duchy grew from £14,067,000 in 2005-2006 to £15,174,000.

The report says the prince’s household is carbon neutral – the figures do not include official overseas travel prior to January 1 2007 – and it reduced its carbon emissions by 9% last year. Its carbon footprint was calculated at 3,425 tonnes of CO2 in 2006-2007.

Clarence House said the reduction in carbon emissions was due to a number of factors, including taking fewer journeys by plane and helicopter and making more by car and train. It was helped by the introduction of green electricity at Highgrove and the conversion of official cars to bio-diesel. The prince has pledged to cut his emissions by at least 12.5%.

His personal expenditure, which this year was renamed “non-official expenditure”, was up £433,000 from £2,181,000 to £2,614,000 – a rise of 20%.

The prince’s official travel by air and rail, paid for by taxpayers through grants-in-aid, rose 29% from £1,149,000 in 2005-06 to £1,485,000 in 2006-07. Grants-in-aid spending on his London office and official residence increased by 30% from £355,000 to £461,000.

The prince’s principal private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, said of the rise in travel costs and personal expenditure: “He is very busy and gets increasingly so. He does work very hard to try to make a difference … the main increase in personal expenditure is because of farm buildings at Birkhall and Highgrove.”

Prince Charles has the equivalent of more than 130 people working for him – but Sir Michael suggested his household was understaffed. Clarence House has around 33 people in the private secretaries’ department; 20 in finance and personnel; nine in the press office; around 38 in the Master of the Household’s department – including valets, butlers and chauffeurs – and six people working for the prince’s charities. In addition, the prince, the Duchess of Cornwall and Princes William and Harry have the equivalent of 30 full-time personal staff.

The number of staff listed under non-official expenditure came to 30, up from around 21 last year, but the rise was attributed to incorrect accounting. Sir Michael said: “The accountants got it wrong. Last year we missed out … the farm staff at Highgrove. There’s been no change.”

Blair’s final act of betrayl was to deny public referendum on EU superstate

Guardian | Jun 27, 2007

The issue is not whether the Brussels treaty is good or bad for Britain, but that the country deserves a referendum

by Simon Jenkins

Are we missing something about Tony Blair’s departure from office? He concedes a new framework for Europe’s government and then races overnight to the Vatican to consult the Pope. He tosses his seals of office to an acolyte and goes on to the Holy Land to continue his bloodthirsty crusade against the infidel. Is Blair auditioning for Charlemagne? Is he, as I have long suspected, a secret Knight of the Middle Way, an initiate into the mysteries of holy spin, pledged to return the Golden Waffle to the sacred sofa of SW1?

Wherever else was on Blair’s mind was this past weekend it was clearly not Europe. The new treaty signed in Brussels was a clear change in the constitutional relationship between Britain, the other states of Europe and the central authority of the union. Any such change, Blair clearly undertook at the election two years ago, would be put in a referendum to the British people. He can squirm but he cannot pretend now that a link between the new treaty and his previous pledge is “completely and utterly absurd”.

What was negotiated in Brussels was a new European framework, not a housekeeping measure. It replicates the failed 2004 constitution for the foreseeable future. There is to be a single European president and, de facto, a foreign secretary, with the dignities and authority to speak on Britain’s behalf, make treaties, join the United Nations, carry a “legal personality” and have enforcement powers. There is to be a cross-border human rights charter covering labour and social policy from which a British opt-out will be subject to legal challenge.

Forty areas of regulatory authority are no longer subject to national veto and move to qualified majority voting, including transport, energy, sport and a further range of industry regulation. The new treaty even dilutes the original purpose of the union by dropping from its mission, at France’s insistence, a commitment to “undistorted competition”, a victory for the corporatist/protectionist Europe much favoured by the Franco-German axis.

Whether or not Britain has secured a cast-iron “opt-out” on law and order and social policy, to pretend that these are tidying up amendments is ludicrous. As the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, stated in a letter to her fellow leaders, the treaty is indeed a new version of the 2004 proposal. It incorporates previous treaties plus “the innovations resulting from the 2004 intergovernmental conference”. This could not be more explicit. Merkel renamed the constitution a “treaty” only to relieve the leaders of the need to honour the letter of their commitment to referendums. That Blair should be party to this trick is sadly symbolic of his office, leaving with a broken promise concealed behind a slippery verbal mendacity. The point is not whether the treaty is more or less radical than Maastricht, which had no referendum, but that he promised one. Now, to say it would be like holding “a referendum on an open plan office” is an insult to the public.

Referendums are, of course, political oddities. They give an added layer of legitimacy to a government decision for which a general election mandate might seem inadequate. A classic referendum decision is over a constitutional change, such as the transfer of legislative and regulatory power from one tier of democracy to a subordinate or superior one. In the evolution of Europe such transfers have been continual and controversial, leading to ever greater demands for them to be referred to national electorates. To deny such participation is archaic, rooted in the oligarchic fallacy that some political decisions are too complex for mere plebeians to consider, let alone decide – long the outlook of Britain’s “pro-Europe” lobby.

The new treaty turns the European Union from a ragbag of cross-cutting laws and authorities into one sovereign and legal entity. Matters such as planning, social services and local taxation may be delegated to national assemblies, much as national assemblies delegate them to provincial and local government. But the new fount of power is clearly the centre. It was such a transfer of power (notably on labour law and cross-border migration) that defeated the 2004 constitution in the French and Dutch referendums of 2005.

Short of dismantling the European Union, the case for a new treaty/constitution, call it whatever, is overwhelming. It is needed to embrace the morass of disciplines and protocols to incorporate 27 member states in a common economic enterprise. But the 2004 constitution was a linguistic and political outrage, a cobbled together Holy Roman Empire of a superstate, light years from the regulated trading compact of the treaty of Rome, an illiberal, protectionist and bureaucratic wasteland. It failed at the court of public opinion. Now to revive it and fob it off as a “tidying-up operation” is mendacious. If the people of Europe are content, let them say so. But to conceal it from them, to pretend that the treaty is not what it is, clearly for fear that they might not like it, marks a low point in the history of European democracy.

The referendum argument is not symmetrical. Those in favour of the treaty are against a referendum because they think they may lose it. They want Europe to stutter forward in secret ways that confirm the suspicion of all that emanates from Brussels. Others are for a referendum because they hope it will reject the treaty. But they at least have democracy on their side. They are ready to go out and argue the case and accept the result.

The issue is not whether the Brussels treaty is good or bad for Britain but whether the public believes it to be so. It may be that people are ready to shift another wide array of regulatory powers from Westminster to Brussels, though I very much doubt it. But let them say so clearly. Blair claims a referendum would “suck the political energy of the country for months”. Why then did he promise it? What is democracy if not political energy? Was ever a statement so arrogant?

It is the proclaimed wish of the new prime minister, Gordon Brown, to listen to the public, to give it a new sense of control over its government. That is admirable. Brown has a clear manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on the new deal for Europe. Blair’s last decision has been to renege on that pledge. It is scarcely credible that Brown’s first will be to do so too. [Comment: Don’t get fooled again! PW]

Globalist Study Says Citizens Want A World Government | Jun 25, 2007

Elites brag that people want UN to police the world and save them from evil America

by Steve Watson

An “in depth” study by a core globalist body and also funded in part by all manner of elitist groups and corporations, including the Rockefellers and the Ford Foundation, has found that the people of the world want a global government with a standing army to police the planet.

The study (PDF link) has been jointly released by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and who say that based on a survey conducted in 18 countries, the majority of people approve of strengthening the UN while rejecting the idea that the US should continue to be the preeminent world leader.

According to the two globalist think tanks, the results show that most people believe the UN should have the right to authorize military force and to usurp the national sovereignty of nations should it be necessary where cases of aggression, terrorism, and genocide are concerned.

“In general, there was recognition that many problems now transcend borders and require strengthened multilateral institutions and approaches to dealing with them,” Christopher Whitney, executive director for studies at The Chicago Council said.

Given that these two think tanks are funded and populated by a vast array of the most notorious globalists and heads of world corporations it is no surprise that they are lauding the findings.

The CCGA was formed in 1922 as an offshoot of the Council On Foreign Relations which was founded one year earlier. It is comprised of representatives from every globalist main player there is including the Federal Reserve, JP Morgan Chase and Company, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mayer, Brown and Rowe and General Electric to name but a few.

In addition the World Public Opinion group is directly funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund among others.

The Rockefellers, who also created the Trilateral Commission, have stated and proven many times that their goal is to undermine national sovereignty, subvert cultural norms, bring about a one world order and lead the way towards total control over society.

Toxic Toothpaste Shipped to Prisons and Mental Hospitals

Associated Press | Jun 28, 2007


Thousands of tubes of contaminated Chinese-made toothpaste were shipped to state prisons and mental hospitals in Georgia, officials said Thursday, a sign that U.S. distribution of the tainted products was wider than initially thought.

Officials with the state prison system and with the agencies that run mental hospitals and juvenile detention centers said they knew of no health problems stemming from the Chinese products.

They said the toothpaste contaminated with diethylene glycol, which is often found in antifreeze, was immediately taken out of use as soon as federal officials notified the state about the problem.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised consumers to “avoid using tubes of toothpaste labeled as made in China,” according to a statement posted on the agency’s Web site.

“Out of an abundance of caution, FDA suggests that consumers throw away toothpaste labeled as made in China,” the statement said.

Chinese-made toothpaste has been banned by numerous countries in Asia and the Americas for containing diethylene glycol, or DEG. It is also a low-cost – and sometimes deadly – substitute for glycerin, a sweetener in many drugs.

The New York Times reported Thursday that about 900,000 tubes have turned up in the United States, including correctional facilities and some hospitals, not just at discount stores as initially thought.

China insisted Thursday that the safety of its products was “guaranteed,” making a rare direct comment on spreading international fears over tainted and adulterated exports.

China “has paid great attention” to the safety of its exports, especially food, because it concerns people’s health, Commerce Ministry spokesman Wang Xinpei said.

“It can be said that the quality of China’s exports all are guaranteed,” Wang told reporters at a regularly scheduled briefing.

Rick Beal in the purchasing division of the Georgia Department of Administrative Services told The Associated Press that cases of the tainted Chinese toothpaste were sent to two state prisons, five state psychiatric hospitals and four juvenile detention facilities.

The prison system was the largest consumer, with 5,877 cases. The hospitals had 101 cases plus some loose tubes and the juvenile detention centers had 25 cases. Each case had 144 tubes.

Beal said that when the FDA notified the state about contamination with diethylene glycol, the toothpaste was taken out of use.

“It’s being stored,” he said. “It’s segregated from their operating supply. ‘Do not use’ signs are place on them. And they’re pending disposition.”

Tracy J. Smith, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Corrections, said the prison system had no reports of any health problems related to the toothpaste.

Thomas Wilson, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Human Resources, which oversees the state’s seven mental hospitals, said Thursday that after getting the FDA advisory on June 8, the tubes of tainted toothpaste were immediately pulled and replaced with name-brand toothpaste.

“We asked our clinical directors to be on the lookout for any signs of poisoning or symptoms,” Wilson said. “We’ve not have anybody ill. We are continuing to monitor the situation.”

Steve Hayes, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, said none of the youths in the agency’s care was affected by the tainted toothpaste.

“We pulled all the product immediately upon notification that there might be a problem and we’ve continued to monitor the youth in our care,” Hayes said. “We’ve had no illnesses

A spokesman for North Carolina’s Department of Correction told the Times that Pacific brand toothpaste was distributed to prisoners who could not afford to buy a name brand at prison stores. The tubes were taken away after trace amounts of DEG was found in them. They said there had been no illnesses reported, and that the toothpaste in question was being replaced with brands not manufactured in China.

Chinese exports came under scrutiny earlier this year with the deaths of dogs and cats in North America blamed on Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine.

Since then, U.S. authorities have turned away or recalled toxic fish, juice containing unsafe color additives and popular toy trains decorated with lead paint.

On Wednesday, three Japanese importers recalled millions of Chinese-made travel toothpaste sets, many sold to inns and hotels, after they were found to contain as much as 6.2 percent of diethylene glycol.

Wang, the Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman, said Chinese experts have already “explained the situation.”

He gave no details, although the country’s quality watchdog has in past cited tests from 2000 that it said showed toothpaste containing less than 15.6 percent diethylene glycol was harmless to humans.

Also Wednesday, Beijing police raided a village where live pigs were force-fed wastewater to boost their weight before slaughter, state media reported.

Plastic pipes had been forced down the pigs’ throats and villagers had pumped each 220-pound pig with 44 pounds of wastewater, the Beijing Morning Post reported Thursday.

Paperwork showed the pigs were headed for one of Beijing’s main slaughterhouses and stamps on their ears indicated that they already had been through quarantine and inspection, the paper said. Suspects escaped during the raid and no arrests were made, it said.

Earlier this week, inspectors announced they had closed 180 food factories in China in the first half of this year and seized tons of candy, pickles, crackers and seafood tainted with formaldehyde, illegal dyes and industrial wax.

“These are not isolated cases,” Han Yi, an official with Wei’s quality administration, was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s state-run China Daily newspaper.

Han’s admission was significant because the agency has said in the past that safety violations were the work of a few rogue operators – a claim aimed at protecting China’s billions of dollars of food exports.

Marx loses currency in new China

LA Times | Jun 26, 2007


Students in Beijing work on an assignment about water and energy efficiency. The environmental emphasis is part of a “values” class that used to contain a strong dose of Marxism.

Teaching socialism is mandatory, but learning it is monotonous for today’s students, who revere money more than Mao.

By Mitchell Landsberg, Times Staff Writer

Beijing — IT was like watching a man try to swim up a waterfall.

Professor Tao Xiuao cracked jokes, told stories, projected a Power Point presentation on a large video screen. But his students at Beijing Foreign Studies University didn’t even try to hide their boredom.

Young men spread newspapers out on their desks and pored over the sports news. A couple of students listened to iPods; others sent text messages on their cellphones. One young woman with chic red-framed glasses spent the entire two hours engrossed in “Jane Eyre,” in the original English. Some drifted out of class, ate lunch and returned. Some just lay their heads on their desktops and went to sleep.

It isn’t easy teaching Marxism in China these days.

“It’s a big challenge,” acknowledged Tao, a likable man who demonstrates remarkable patience in the face of students more interested in capitalism than “Das Kapital.” The students say he isn’t the problem.

“It’s not the teacher,” said sophomore Liu Di, a finance major whose shaggy auburn hair hangs, John Lennon-style, along either side of his wire-rim glasses. “No matter who teaches this class, it’s always boring. Philosophy is useful and interesting, but I think that in philosophy education in China, they just teach the boring parts.”

Classes in Marxist philosophy have been compulsory in Chinese schools since not long after the 1949 communist revolution. They remain enshrined in the national education law, Article 3 of which states: “In developing the socialist educational undertakings, the state shall uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung Thought and the theories of constructing socialism with Chinese characteristics as directives and comply with the basic principles of the Constitution.”

But today’s China is, in some respects, less socialistic than much of Western Europe, with a moth-eaten social safety net and a wild free-market economy. Students in almost any urban Chinese school can look out their classroom windows and see just about everything but socialism being constructed: high-rise office buildings, shopping malls, movie theaters, luxury apartment buildings, fast-food restaurants, hotels, factories — the whole capitalist panorama.

IT seems an understatement to say that there’s a disconnect between reality and what the students are learning about Marx and Mao, who held that capitalism would inevitably and naturally give way to communism.

“Compared to my normal opinions about the world … it’s something like fiction,” said Du Zimu, one of Liu’s classmates.

Professor Tao’s lecture on this day was devoted to the arcane study of epistemology, ranging over the beliefs of Bertrand Russell, Charles Darwin and Marx, and building up to Mao’s famous admonition to “seek truth from facts” — hardly a disagreeable notion, but one that kindled no apparent flicker of interest in the students.

Chinese education officials are acutely aware of the problem, and say they have substantially reformed the country’s ideological education. They haven’t given Marx the heave-ho, but students in up-to-date primary and secondary schools learn more about patriotism and ethical behavior than about class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Students take two classes a week in ideological education from kindergarten through high school, and then must take two more courses in college.

“Before, there was a lot of indoctrination,” said Zhou Mansheng, deputy director of the National Center for Education Development Research, an arm of the Education Ministry. Now, he said, “we stress a lot of traditional virtues, like respecting teachers and respecting the elderly. Especially now, we stress honesty.

“So as far as communist ideology,” he continued, “some students will take it as their belief, but as for the majority, I think it will be enough if they act as legal and qualified citizens…. Not necessarily everyone has to become a Marxist believer.”

There was a time, and Zhou, at 58, knows it well, when such a statement from a Chinese official would have been inconceivable, not to mention extremely dangerous.

Things certainly have changed. Daniel A. Bell, a Canadian who is the first Westerner in the modern era to teach politics at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China’s most elite educational institution, wrote in the spring issue of Dissent magazine of his surprise at how little Marxism is actually discussed in China, even among Communist Party intellectuals.

“The main reason Chinese officials and scholars do not talk about communism is that hardly anybody really believes that Marxism should provide guidelines for thinking about China’s political future,” he wrote. “The ideology has been so discredited by its misuses that it has lost almost all legitimacy in society…. To the extent there’s a need for a moral foundation for political rule in China, it almost certainly won’t come from Karl Marx.”

Still, it isn’t easy to find students who will expressly renounce Marxism.

It may be because they know that to succeed in China, it helps immensely to be a member of the ruling Communist Party. It may be because Marxism and Maoist philosophy are so deeply woven into the fabric of Chinese life that students take them for granted, the way some American students accept a constitutional democracy without thinking too deeply about the alternatives. It may be because they truly believe in Marxism, and see the current period as a necessary stage on the path to true communism.

“CIA Family Jewels” are a “Modified Limited Hang Out” | Jun 27, 2007

I’m exhausted from having just read the (moderately redacted) 703 page document that has been described by spies, ever since its original compilation in 1973, as “the CIA’s family jewels.” You may have heard something about it when George Washington University’s “National Security Archive” website first found out they were going to get a copy, and you’ll probably hear more about it over the rest of this week. It hit the web on Tuesday, where GWU has dedicated an entire “The CIA’s Family Jewels” section of their website, including links where you can read or download the 6-page 1975 summary document and the whole 703-page 1973 original document, both of them high resolution document scans in PDF format. (Warning: that full document weighs in at 27 megabytes.)

The context for the document is that in the very early 1970s, disgruntled CIA employees and even more disgruntled congressmen who’d been briefed by the CIA started leaking word to several newspaper reporters that the CIA had gotten itself involved in some pretty ugly operations, things that even the CIA was ashamed of, especially as related to Vietnam. Under increasing pressure from Congress, 1973’s CIA director Schlessinger decided to find out just how much trouble, potentially, the CIA was in. He sent out an order to every department in the CIA saying that he wanted a report, as quickly as possible, on every single thing the CIA had ever done that could even vaguely considered to be illegal. He called the resulting internal document, a 700+ page file, the “family jewels,” the thing that must be protected at all cost. Of course it, like every other so-called “secret” the CIA has ever had, leaked as well. 15 years ago, having some practice at doing so, the National Security Archive project filed a Freedom Of Information Act request for the whole thing; the CIA finally gave in, more or less admitted that they had very few real secrets left from what was in that file, and declassified almost the whole thing. What they’re saying, basically, that they want you to believe is this: yes, we did a bunch of stuff that was illegal. And we were ashamed of some of it. But almost none of it was any big deal, as you can now see. All of the really crazy stuff you’ve heard us accused of is stuff that the paranoids made up, trying to figure out what we were hiding, but the truth was much more boring.

So, there. Now we know what they were hiding. Yes, it’s bad. Yes, probably some people, almost all of whom are now conveniently dead, should probably have been fired or served brief jail terms. But surely, they’ll tell you, none of this stuff was all that sinister, now, was it? No bad intent, no truly awful crimes, just little bitty things that various CIA agents felt they had to do to keep the country safe and were trying not to get arrested for. All the rest of that stuff that you hear about from the crazy paranoids? Nothing to see here, so move along.

Don’t believe it.

For one thing, there are already existing declassified records that do a much more thorough job of explaining just how abominable the CIA’s brainwashing and mind-control drug program MK-ULTRA was than the half-page note in here. If you pay attention, you can also see that they’ve redacted the entire 16 page report from the Foreign Resources Division (pages 617-633), and that the partially redacted cover memo pretty much admits that everything they did was illegal, embarrassing, or both; presumably that includes the CIA’s now famous “Air Opium” program that funded anti-communist operations throughout southeast Asia by selling heroin to American servicemen in Vietnam and then smuggling more heroin back to America. But more importantly, the document itself ends in mid 1973. If the CIA has deniability about previous supposed CIA assassinations, something I think there’s reasonable grounds to be dubious about (if nothing else, we know that the document is lying about Operation Phoenix), known CIA operatives have all but admitted to the late 1973 assassination of Salvador Allende, which is after the date of the report. (That’s another of those cases where you either believe in the laws of physics or you believe the official reports. According to the official reports, Chilean president Salvador Allende committed suicide, shooting himself 23 times with his own 10-round automatic handgun, presumably pausing twice to reload.) By definition, the 1973 report has nothing about the 1976 act of US-sponsored terrorism in which CIA asset Luis Posada blew up a Cuban airliner, killing 73 civilians. Nothing about the involvement of ex-CIA agents on both sides of the 1980 “October Surprise” act of treasonous collaboration with Iranian Hezbollah. Nothing about Iran/Contra, nothing about the US’s completely illegal war against Nicaragua at all, and that was almost entirely a CIA operation.

The message that the CIA is sending by declassifying this document in bulk is that the 1973 congressional pressure was a much-needed wakeup call to an agency that had previously committed minor unintentional foibles because they hadn’t paid enough attention to the law, and that they never again did anything illegal. Don’t believe them. You could just about use the “family jewels” document dump as the best example in our lifetime of the strategy that Watergate conspirator John Ehrlichman famously called the “modified limited hang out.”