And everyone buys it...
"Unless we own the future, unless our values are matched by a completely honest understanding of the reality upon us and the future realities about to hit us, we will fail". Tony Blair
Sea Level Change
"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell
Flying the flag of greed
Finally getting out there and marching, the pro-war lobby made a real impact. All 500 of them.
It is interesting that Kevin Myers resurrects Tolstoy to effect one argument and then two days later disregards the thinker to put forth an interesting slant on anti-Americanism, whatever that is. What would Tolstoy have thought of his latest offering?
[B]efore we can look round, the usual ominous absurd proclamation will appear in the papers: —
“We, by God’s grace, the autocratic great Emperor of all Russia, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, etc., etc., proclaim to all our true subjects, that, for the welfare of these our beloved subjects, bequeathed by God into our care, we have found it our duty before God to send them to slaughter. God be with us.”
The bells will peal, long-haired men will dress in golden sacks and pray for successful slaughter. And the old story will begin again, the awful customary acts.
The editors of the daily press, happy in the receipt of an increased income, will begin virulently to stir men up to hatred and manslaughter in the name of patriotism. Manufacturers, merchants, contractors for military stores will hurry joyously about their business, in the hope of double receipts.
All sorts of government functionaries will buzz about, foreseeing a possibility of purloining something more than usual. The military authorities will hurry hither and thither, drawing double pay and rations, and with the expectation of receiving for the slaughter of other men various silly little ornaments which they so highly prize, as ribbons, crosses, orders, and stars. Idle ladies and gentlemen will make a great fuss, entering their names in advance for the Red Cross Society, and ready to bind up the wounds of those whom their husbands and brothers will mutilate, and they will imagine that in so doing they are performing a most Christian work.
And, smothering despair within their souls by songs, licentiousness, and wine, men will trail along, torn from peaceful labor, from their wives, mothers, and children, — hundreds of thousands of simple-minded, good-natured men with murderous weapons in their hands — anywhere they will be driven.
They will march, freeze, hunger, suffer sickness, and die from it, or finally come to some place where they will be slain by thousands, or kill thousands themselves with no reason — men they have never seen before, and who neither have done nor could do them any mischief.
And when the number of sick, wounded, and killed becomes so great that there are not hands enough left to pick them up, and when the air is so infected with the putrefying scent of the “food for cannon” that even the authorities find it disagreeable, a truce will be made, the wounded will be picked up anyhow, the sick will be brought in and huddled together in heaps, the killed will be covered with earth and lime, and once more all the crowd of deluded men will be led on and on till those who have devised the project weary of it, or till those who thought to find it profitable receive their spoil."
Global warming 'past the point of no return'
By Steve Connor, Science EditorPublished: 16 September 2005The Independent
A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.
They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating.
The greatest fear is that the Arctic has reached a "tipping point" beyond which nothing can reverse the continual loss of sea ice and with it the massive land glaciers of Greenland, which will raise sea levels dramatically.
Satellites monitoring the Arctic have found that the extent of the sea ice this August has reached its lowest monthly point on record, dipping an unprecedented 18.2 per cent below the long-term average.
Experts believe that such a loss of Arctic sea ice in summer has not occurred in hundreds and possibly thousands of years. It is the fourth year in a row that the sea ice in August has fallen below the monthly downward trend - a clear sign that melting has accelerated.
Scientists are now preparing to report a record loss of Arctic sea ice for September, when the surface area covered by the ice traditionally reaches its minimum extent at the end of the summer melting period.
Sea ice naturally melts in summer and reforms in winter but for the first time on record this annual rebound did not occur last winter when the ice of the Arctic failed to recover significantly.
Arctic specialists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University, who have documented the gradual loss of polar sea ice since 1978, believe that a more dramatic melt began about four years ago.
In September 2002 the sea ice coverage of the Arctic reached its lowest level in recorded history. Such lows have normally been followed the next year by a rebound to more normal levels, but this did not occur in the summers of either 2003 or 2004. This summer has been even worse. The surface area covered by sea ice was at a record monthly minimum for each of the summer months - June, July and now August.
Scientists analysing the latest satellite data for September - the traditional minimum extent for each summer - are preparing to announce a significant shift in the stability of the Arctic sea ice, the northern hemisphere's major "heat sink" that moderates climatic extremes.
"The changes we've seen in the Arctic over the past few decades are nothing short of remarkable," said Mark Serreze, one of the scientists at the Snow and Ice Data Centre who monitor Arctic sea ice.continued... The Independent
Bono paraphrased Churchill. Geldof, however unintentionally, quoted Bush.
you just don't know it yet.
Neuromarketing is the new technique being developed by big companies to see if their products 'light up' your brain
By Jonathan Thompson
Independent on Sunday
Published: 11 September 2005
It has been described as the Holy Grail of marketing, and soon companies may be queuing up to invest in a process that allows them to get inside the minds of consumers - almost literally.
"Neuromarketing" tracks volunteers' reactions to products not by listening to their views, but by reading impressions from their brains. The system, which has been condemned by some as Orwellian, puts consumers into MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanners to see which feelings are engaged by a product.
The technique, which could make focus groups redundant, is based on the technology used in hospitals to analyse medical conditions. By focusing on blood flow to certain parts of the brain, analysts can track a range of feelings at cellular level, from recognition and approval to enjoyment and arousal. This can then be put to commercial use by advertisers.
The process is already in use. Yesterday, the IoS was allowed in to watch as young volunteers were tested by Viacom Brand Solutions, which owns a number of popular television channels, including MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon. The experiment took place at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences in south London, part of King's College Hospital.
Viacom's managing director, Nick Bampton, said: "We're trying to find out what is relevant and engaging for the viewers, and also how we can improve the return for investors. What this should result in is a win-win situation: viewers will get what they want, programmers will get what they want, and advertisers will get what they want."
Advocates say that neuromarketing is an efficient form of market research because at least 95 per cent of all thinking, including emotion, happens below the level of awareness. In other words, this approach could tell them more about a person's feelings than that person could ever express verbally.
Although few studies have been conducted so far, one British company, Neurosense - which ran yesterday's session for Viacom - is a pioneer in the field. Dr Gemma Calvert, a co-founder of the Oxford business, said: "There is so much advertising out there now, and this provides a means of clearing the clutter. It bridges the gap between what the consumer really wants and how the manufacturer can supply that."
continued... The Independent on Sunday via Media Lens
It has not be discredited, but it has been widely criticised. Go figure.
Its alright to take money from Saudi Arabian princes, but left wing south american leaders, thats going to far.
Having not heard John O'Shea comments on Morning Ireland it is difficult to defend his 'apparent comments' voiced by Carol Carty in todays Irish Times other than to say he obviously deems the threat to life is more serious in those third world countries he works in than those in the more developed world.
John O'Shea, in working with GOAL, deals on many occasions with populations that live in abject poverty while their leaders live in luxury. Those of us that contribute to his work see the necessity of aiding peoples whose governments have no affection for. America is one of the richest nations in the world and just as we cannot rely on those nations with riches displayed in palaces of gold we cannot rely on that 10 percent of America that controls 80 percent of its wealth to provide support for those that fail to register on its governments radar.
The US government's response to this disaster has been abysmal. From the failure to provide an adequate evacuation plan, to their abandonment of those unable to leave, to their aggressive/inhuman policies against looting this administration has shown a lack of competence and a lack of morality. Indeed, this evidences the need for a positive response from other rich nations. But if you do feel compelled to give generously to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, don't try and twist an aid workers personnel assignment of importance into 'anti-Americanism', unless you can explain this reasoning to the children still dying in Sudan.
It is precisely this anti-Americanism that has put the most vulnerable in the most dangerous position. With the rejection of Venezuelan aid reported in today's Irish Times it is quite obvious that anti-Americanism is, if anywhere, rampant within the US Administration.
Madam, - I found Lisa Hawkins's letter in yesterday's edition, detailing the begrudging response of some of her neighbours to her collection for the New Orleans disaster victims, very interesting in the light of the remarks by John O'Shea of Goal on Morning Ireland. Mr O'Shea apparently believes that money sent to alleviate the suffering of Hurricane Katrina victims would be better put to use in Africa through the hands of his own organisation; some of Ms Hawkins's neighbours apparently believe that aid to US citizens is solely the job of other US citizens.
As a dual Irish-American national I have a mixed response to this sour-faced stinginess. As an American I am horrified by the ham-handedness and lack of empathy displayed by the White House in response to the Katrina disaster. However, here in Ireland I smell the stench of revenge from those who disagree with the Iraq war and the general aims of the Bush administration. But the poorest of the poor and the mentally and physically frail who were abandoned in the wake of the flood are as much the victims of the uncaring, ideal-minded, anti-pragmatic US administration as any innocent citizen of Iraq. To withhold aid to the victims of Katrina because of anti-American sentiments is to punish the downtrodden of the American system.
As an Irish national I am deeply embarrassed by the mean-spiritedness displayed by John O'Shea. We in Ireland have been quick to take whatever America has to offer for our own benefit. To pull back the hand of friendship from some of its poorest and neediest citizens at this time belies an undercurrent of resentment at being in some ways "under compliment" to the US and is a classic display of the worst of Irish begrudgery rather than the generosity for which the Irish people are known.
Denying money to hurricane victims through the Red Cross should not be placed in the same category as anti-war demonstrations or plane-bashing at Shannon. To endorse deliberately withholding such aid is to deny compassion, and our shared humanity, in the name of a twisted "political correctness".
Mr O'Shea says the Irish Government should have "offered advice" in place of money. Oh, really? Based on Ireland's extensive experience of hurricane damage and mass evacuations, I suppose? - Yours, etc,CAROL CARTY
Foreign aid: An offer of aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina from the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, which included two mobile hospital units, 120 rescue and first-aid experts and 50 tonnes of food, has been rejected by the US, according to civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.
Mr Jackson said the offer from the Venezuelan leader included 10 water purification plants, 18 power generation plants and 20 tonnes of bottled water.
He said the refusal of aid was typical of the mishandling of the crisis by the Bush administration.
The offer was one of many from governments and aid organisations across the world, despite the allegations of conservative commentators and bloggers that the US is being ignored by countries it helped during crises. "This may be Mr Bush's worst hour of leadership," said Mr Jackson, who is urging the government to use deserted military bases to house evacuees.
Article: The Irish Times
First thing to say is, take off that stupid white wrist band.
Or an 'Independent' journalist (from Les Roberts, a world renowned epidemiologist and lead author of the report).