Sunday, October 31, 2010

Robert Kennedy, Jr. Interview: The very real and present Christian fundamentalist threat to America

The Family Headquarters in Wash, D.C.

By Robert Kennedy, Jr.

For decades in Washington, D.C., a secretive group known as The Family has been working behind the scenes to empower a few select politicians, and to influence the decisions that shape our country. Not only has this group operated in almost complete secrecy, but they've also skewed Christianity to the point where they believe that God wants us to take care of the rich and powerful more than the poor and hungry.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. talks about this secret Family in Washington with Jeff Sharlet, author of the new book "C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy."



Related news:
Inside C Street, Washington's frat house for Jesus
Exposed: C Street and the military

You can order Jeff Sharlet's "C Street, The Fundamentalist Threat to America," here.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Iranian government forcing Gays to become Transexuals


Real or fake? - 'First Live Mars Probe to Land On Mars May 22 1962'


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

‘Equal Love’ campaign launched in Britain: Legal bid to end sexual orientation discrimination

Britain’s new Equal Love campaign was launched today with a news conference in London.

It aims to challenge the twin bans on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships, with eight couples filing applications at register offices and then, when they are refused, bringing a joint legal action in the courts to secure a change in the law.

Today’s news conference was chaired by the Equal Love campaign coordinator, Peter Tatchell, and included the campaign’s legal advisor, Professor Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law at Kings College London.

Also in attendance were four of the sixteen future plaintiffs: the lead same-sex couple, Rev Sharon Ferguson and her partner Franka, and the lead heterosexual couple, Katherine Doyle and Tom Freeman.

The Equal Love campaign is being organised by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender human rights organisation OutRage!

“Starting on Tuesday 2 November, eight couples will file applications at their local register offices. Four same-sex couples will apply for civil marriages and four heterosexual couples will apply for civil partnerships. Every week until 14 December, one couple will make an application,” said Peter Tatchell.
“If the couples are turned away, as we expect they will be, we plan to take legal action. Denying them equal treatment is contrary to the Human Rights Act.
“Our legal team will argue in the courts that the bans on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships are an unlawful and unjustified discrimination.

“In a democracy, gay and straight couples should be equal before the law. Both civil marriages and civil partnerships should be open to everyone without discrimination,” he said.
Rev Sharon Ferguson, who is an ordained minister of religion and chief executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, said:

“Franka and I have been together for over two years and we recently started talking about having our commitment to each other recognised.

“Although I fully appreciate the benefits of civil partnerships, I don’t feel they are appropriate for us. As chief executive of LGCM, and also a pastor in the Metropolitan Community Church, I spend my life campaigning for justice and equality. The simple fact is that no matter how good civil partnerships are with regard to the legal protections and rights they provide, they are still a separate system that was put together to stop gay and lesbian people from being able to marry.

“Like most people in this world, we were brought up to believe that one day we’d fall in love and get married. This is what we want to do and our sexual orientation should not be an impediment,” she said.

Katherine Doyle added:
“We have been together for nearly five years and would like to formalise our relationship. Because we feel alienated from the patriarchal traditions of marriage, we would prefer to have a civil partnership. As a mixed-sex couple, we are banned by law from doing so. By filing an application for civil partnership, we are seeking to challenge this discriminatory law.

“Our decision is also motivated by the fact that we object to the way same-sex couples are prohibited from getting married. If we got married we would be colluding with the segregation that exists in matrimonial law between gay civil partnerships and straight civil marriages. We don’t want to take advantage of civil marriage when it is an option that is denied to our lesbian and gay friends,” she said.

The Equal Love campaign’s legal case is being prepared by Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law at Kings College London.

“If the couples are refused, we will mount a legal challenge. These bans violate the UK’s Human Rights Act and are open to challenge in the courts,” said Professor Wintemute.

“By excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage, and different-sex couples from civil partnership, the UK Government is discriminating on the ground of sexual orientation, contrary to the Human Rights Act. Specifically, the twin bans violate Article 14 (protection against discrimination), Article 12 (the right to marry) and Article 8 (the right to respect for family life).

“The rights attached to civil marriage and civil partnership are identical, especially with regard to adoption of children, donor insemination, and surrogacy. There is no longer any justification for excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage and different-sex couples from civil partnership. It’s like having separate drinking fountains or beaches for different racial groups, even though the water is the same! The only function of the twin bans is to mark lesbian and gay people as inferior to heterosexual people,” he said.
Mr Tatchell added:

“Our aim is to secure equality in civil marriage and civil partnership law. We want both systems open to all couples, gay and straight, so that everyone has a free and equal choice.

“Denying couples the right to civil marriage and civil partnership on the basis of their sexual orientation is wrong and has to end.

“In a democratic society, we should all be equal before the law. The ban on same-sex civil marriage and on opposite-sex civil partnerships is a form of sexual apartheid – one law for gay couples and another law for heterosexual partners. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

“Just as gay couples should be able to marry, civil partnerships should be available to straight couples.
“Same-sex marriage is the growing trend all over the world. It exists in Canada, Argentina and South Africa, as well as seven of our European neighbours: Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Why can’t we have marriage equality in Britain too?

“Political support for ending the ban on gay marriage is growing. London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and former Conservative Party Vice-Chair, Margot James MP, have both come out in favour of allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry in a registry office, on the same terms as heterosexual partners.

“This view is also endorsed by the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, and by the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.

“Both the Liberal Democrat and the Green party conferences have voted overwhelmingly in favour of ending the bans on gay civil marriage and heterosexual civil partnerships,” noted Mr Tatchell.

Public attitudes have shifted strongly in favour of allowing gay couples to marry. A Populus opinion poll in June 2009 found that 61% of the public believe that: “Gay couples should have an equal right to get married, not just to have civil partnerships.” Only 33% disagreed.

This news was reported from OutRage London.


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin about alien creatures building monolith on Mars' moon Phobos

Most people are unaware of the process of full disclosure that's currently underway; about the Visitors from various ET civilizations who have been visiting and watching us for millennia.  Once fully revealed, humans are likely to have a better understanding of who we really are, and to get the real truth about our origins, our ancient history, and to solve the riddle of religion vs spirituality.

Prominent individuals from our scientific and military establishments are now coming forward, issuing statements and giving testimony, to prepare us for full disclosure.  Listen to Alex Jones interview Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin about the "monolith" on Mars's moon Phobos.  When pressed by Jones, Dr. Aldrin states that some believe the monolith was built by an extraterrestrial civilization that later came to Earth and built the Egyptian pyramids.  In the second video, mentioned by Jones and filmed last July to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing on the Moon, Dr. Aldrin states that you could say that the "Universe" or "the Creator" place the monolith on Phobos.  Enjoy the videos and help spread the word about the Visitors!


What follows is a copy of the original referenced C-Span video, where Dr. Aldrin says that we might assume that the monolith was put there by our "Creator":

More information:  The Disclosure Project

Check back later for more links to some of the key places to obtain good information about ET contact.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Republican congressional candidate says violent overthrow of government is 'on the table'

By Melanie Mason

Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.

In a rambling exchange during a TV interview, Broden, a South Dallas pastor, said a violent uprising "is not the first option," but it is "on the table." That drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks "inappropriate."

Broden, a first-time candidate, is challenging veteran incumbent Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in Dallas' heavily Democratic 30th Congressional District. Johnson's campaign declined to comment on Broden.

In the interview, Brad Watson, political reporter for WFAA-TV (Channel 8), asked Broden about a tea party event last year in Fort Worth in which he described the nation's government as tyrannical.

"We have a constitutional remedy," Broden said then. "And the Framers say if that don't work, revolution."
Watson asked if his definition of revolution included violent overthrow of the government. In a prolonged back-and-forth, Broden at first declined to explicitly address insurrection, saying the first way to deal with a repressive government is to "alter it or abolish it."

"If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary," Broden said, adding the nation was founded on a violent revolt against Britain's King George III.

Watson asked if violence would be in option in 2010, under the current government.

"The option is on the table. I don't think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms," Broden said, without elaborating. "However, it is not the first option."

Melanie's news story at the Dallas Morning News continues here.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

West Virginia mother asks Michelle Obama to help with passage of the Clean Water Protection Act

Bright orange Buckeye Run Creek
 in Doddridge County, West Virginia
By Madison Reed

More people die each year from contaminated water than all forms of violence and war combined.

Did you know that  just recently, the United Nations voted to make access to clean water a recognized human right?

Today, October 15th has been chosen by Blog Action Day at, to be a day that bloggers all over the world blog in sync about the importance of water.

So I have chosen to focus on West Virginia's environmental crisis, and to report about Citizen Magdalene Fry's valuable work on behalf of all West Virginians.  As well as being my friend, Magdalene is a local Huntington resident, a good mother, and a private Citizen-lobbyist, who works for the passage of the Clean Water Protection Act (H.R. 1310, see also, Wikepedia) and the Appalachian Restoration Act (S. 696).

Just a few days ago, Magdalene sent a video message to Michelle Obama in hopes that the First Lady would see it, and she might be influenced to help West Virginians who are trying to preserve our state's remaining environment and water resources from further damage by parasitic corporations.

Since recognition of the human right to have access to clean, healthy water has gained the attention of the heads of government all over the world, we hope the Obama administration takes advantage of this momentum and urges Congress to pass the Clean Water Protection Act and Appalachian Restoration Act.

I add my full support to Maggie's work.  She's walking the talk, rather than just talking or doing nothing.  I also live in West Virginia, and appreciate her devotion to having clean, safe water, and beautiful forests and mountains.  We all need to band together and put a quietus on the fat-cat owned, parasitic companies who have been dumping their life-killing filth into our environment.  Watch Magdalene's powerful message and then contact your representatives in Congress and demand that they pass the Appalachian Restoration Act and the Clean Water Protection Act.


"Little Blue" toxic in Lawrenceville, WV
Some background about West Virginia's environmental problem: For decades mining companies and other industries have mutilated West Virginia's beautiful hills, mountains and streams by removing mountain tops to access coal, and filling in ravines and streams with the earth removed from the mountain tops.  They've dumped their industrial wastes (poisons) into our environment, contaminating our ground water, slowly poisoning West Virginians, and devaluing their real estate.  In our still gorgeous state, you'll be sickened to be driving through a beautiful forested area, and suddenly see a turquoise colored stream, or see a lake or a pond filled with brilliant-colored water.  Much of our clean water is no longer fit to drink or safe by any reasonable standard, and our native fish are contaminated with mercury.  We have underground storage tanks scattered all over the state, put there to "protect" us by "containing" industrial toxins.  

Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action.  I am a citizen blogger, and today, I am using the networking power of the Internet to call attention to West Virginia's environmental crisis that affects our water.

Please add your support and join the community of individuals and organizations who are working to protect West Virginia's environmental legacy.  Demand passage of the Appalachian Restoration Act and the Clean Water Protection Act!

Here's how to begin:
Contact your Representative to stop big coal from dumping toxic mining waste into our streams
Contact your Senators to stop big cola from dumping toxic mining waste into our streams

Also, sign the petition to urge the U.N. member nations to support safe, clean water to millions of people:

Related news:
Clean Water Protection Act introduced in 111th Congress
A letter from a West Virginian to Governor Manchin about a bright orange stream
A big coal ash problem at Little Blue
A letter from another West Virginian to President Obama
Clean Water Protection Act: The Best Bet for Ending Devastating Mining Practices


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Interview with Nikolai Alekseev - gay Russian activist lawyer who's changing the heart of Russia, Part 1

© RIA Novosti. Andrey Stenin

Gay rights in Russia, part I - I will remember the last few weeks all my life

By Tom Washington

September was a special month for Moscow’s gay community – in the space of days they went from ‘satanic’ to ‘sanctioned’ after the city’s overlord Yury Luzhkov was booted out of the doors of City Hall.

For Nikolai Alexyev, the leader of the city’s Gay Pride movement, it’s been a personal triumph in a month which began with him kidnapped as he attempted to board a Swissair flight but ending with him planning a permitted protest against the airline in central Moscow.

“I will never forget this month,” an emphatic Nikolai Alexeyev, leader of Moscow Gay Pride, told The Moscow News after the city’s first legal gay picket. “Not just because of the kidnapping, but because we also had the picket of Luzhkov and now this [picket of Swissair]. I will remember the last two or three weeks all my life.”

The old mayor’s fire and brimstone stance had brought Alexeyev into conflict with the authorities, and he was whisked away to Minsk by cops at Domodedevo airport while trying to fly to Switzerland.

It turned out later that mysterious text messages from his phone were fake and that he had never succumbed to pressure and dropped the complaint to the European Court of Human Rights against Moscow City for its Gay Pride ban. 

A new dawn

At a protest against Swissair, Alexeyev advertises the airline’s “new routes” to GULag centres Magadan and Solovki
After Luzhkov’s departure there was jubilation tempered with determination at a party to celebrate the first legally sanctioned demonstration Moscow’s gays had been able to stage.

“I think that today [three days post Luzhkov] is very important because a few days after his departure something is already different. It was not a gay parade,” Alexeyev said. “It was a human rights parade.”

“It is just another piece of evidence that this person [Luzhkov] was responsible for all those events. Earlier on I went to the deputy head of the Moscow Militia, [Viktor] Kozlov and he told me that if there is a political decision from the mayor ‘you can demonstrate and then not a single hair will fall from your head. Unfortunately we have an order to disperse the demonstration, we have to arrest everyone,’

“But as we have seen, as soon as Luzhkov left, the situation changed dramatically.”

Doing the dirty

After years of facing dirty tricks from City Hall, Alexeyev has his own theories about what did for Luzhkov.

And he fervently hopes it was a stitch-up for the long-serving politician.

“He was supposed to be given some kind of very high ranking official post. This is what they were obliged to give him if he left quietly and peacefully. But they did not want to do this, they understood that they can’t do this before an election,” Alexeyev suggested.

“Putin was his friend and he probably told him that if he goes directly against Medvedev, ‘I will help you and you will have to be very persistent.’ I am sure it was like that…Even though he denied meeting him.”
In September Luzhkov criticised president Medvedev’s halt to the new road through Khimki forest, earning a stern slap down from the president and seemingly setting off the touch paper to a TV campaign against the mayor and his wife Elena Baturina. 

“I am sure it was an agreement between Putin and Medvedev, to make him cross the line and then sack him. I am convinced it was a coordinated action of both and the consequences are what we have now. A person who was at a very high political level and was fully cheated by the Kremlin. Now he is no-one.”

Tomorrow: why Alexeyev can't imagine leaving Moscow, and what needs to change to help the LGB community

Interview with Nikolai Alekseev - gay Russian activist lawyer who's changing the heart of Russia, Part 2



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An Open Letter to Republicans

Author Frank Shaeffer's  parents, Evangelical Christians Francis and Edith Schaeffer, almost single-handedly founded the Religious Right.  But Schaeffer has since repudiated their poisonous ideology, and is no longer a Republican.  In his "Open Letter to Republicans" Schaeffer says,
"You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home.  You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, the so-called free marked deregulation and the neo-conservative love of war, to light a fire that has consumed America."
Listen to Frank's letter being read by talk show host Mike Malloy.  Help circulate it:


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Great Michael, Help Us!


Many holy ones are suffering,

laying strewn in their precious blood
all over the world!

The enemies of Light who have stolen all the holy names, are starving them to death, spitting on them and kicking them in the face after they've already collapsed from the shock of loneliness, hatred and injustice!

Hope is not enough!

We are threatened with extinction!

We need your help to stop this assault!



Sifting God from religion and spreading the fire of oneness throughout the world

Dear Naeem Jan,

IT'S HAPPENING TO YOU TOO, in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan - the land of the Pakhtoons!  Indeed, the spark of oneness consciousness is spreading into every village, into every household, and awakening and changing human beings in every spot on our planet!  The reality of oneness consciousness - our brotherhood and sisterhood with all humanity and every creature - is the superior reality that defines and gives validity to all of the world's religions.

So we all need to ask ourselves, "What has happened?"  Why was this message aborted and suppressed through the world's religious systems?  Shouldn't we demand that our religious systems re-adjust themselves to conform to this higher reality - and conform absolutely, with no more theological bullshit that says that they already do, when in fact we know very well that they do not?

Brothers and sisters, are we getting tired of all the lies, and are we yearning to advance ourselves and explore the limits of what the Creator has given us?  Think about it:  Do you really believe that the Creator of UniverseS - yes "Universes" in the plural - the Creator who is behind the creation of countless numbers of creatures with evolutionary histories of their own and with their own unique societies and orders - that this omniscient Creator is a Shí'íh Muslim, a Sunni Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Bahá'í or a Christian?  Or do you really honestly believe that He cares about whether you are a man or a woman, gay or straight, that you trim your beard or let it grow long, or whether you eat corn or rice?  The phenomenon of religion represents humanity's yearning to connect ourselves to the divine, and to express the Creator's Will for us, so that we can feel His presence and love.  But religions are still more earthly than heavenly and more limited than limitless.  Can we agree on this?

So, the reason I'm saying this, is to get you to think about the "why" behind all the misery we're inflicting upon each other, and why we're still separating ourselves from each other and carrying around hatred for our fellow human beings who are NECESSARILY different than we are.  It is because we are making the grave mistake of anthropomorphizing the Creator.  We are ascribing human qualities and characteristics to Him.  We are turning Him into a Christian and a Muslim; giving him a penis, dressing him in suits and covering Him with a niqab, feeding Him fruit, putting a Bible and a Qur'an in His hands, and giving Him a sharp sword to go kill an infidel.  The Creator is none of this!

The reason we are all ONE and yet necessarily different, is because God is One and mirrors infinite variety.  All of our religions teach us to be more like God.  Right?  So, let's do it, and let's light the fire of oneness.  Take the fire to your grandmothers; to your children; to your provincial governors; to your school teachers, and to the teachers of religion.  In our generation, we can and WILL transform the consciousness of our world.




Friday, October 8, 2010

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo wins Nobel Peace Prize

Chinese 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Liu Xiaob
 By Charles Hutzler and Karl Ritter, Associated Press

China has long wanted a Nobel prize. Now that it has one, its leaders are furious. The Nobel committee awarded its peace prize to imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo on Friday, lending encouragement to China's dissident community and sending a rebuke to the authoritarian government, which sharply condemned the award.

In naming Liu, the Norwegian-based committee honored his more than two decades of advocacy for human rights and peaceful democratic change — from the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989 to a manifesto for political reform that he co-authored in 2008 and which led to his latest jail term.

President Barack Obama, last year's peace prize winner, called for Liu's immediate release.

Anticipating the award, Chinese circumvented Internet controls and called friends overseas to learn the news. Supporters and friends gathered outside Liu's central Beijing apartment, where his wife was kept inside by police. At a park, a civil rights lawyer, a retired official-turned-blogger and a dozen other people cheered and waved placards saying "Long Live Freedom of Speech." The demonstrators were later taken away by police.

A buzz of congratulations coursed through Chinese instant messaging sites before censors scrubbed postings and blocked cell phone text messages that contained the characters for Liu's name. Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who won the prize in 1989, joined Obama and other leaders in congratulating Liu.
"Last year, I noted that so many others who have received the award had sacrificed so much more than I," Obama said. "That list now includes Mr. Liu, who has sacrificed his freedom for his beliefs."

The president praised China for its stunning 30 years of transformative economic growth. "But this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected," Obama said.

Two years into an 11-year jail term for subversion at a prison 300 miles (500 kilometers) from Beijing, the slight, 54-year-old literary critic was unlikely to have found out about the award. Prisoners are restricted to state media, which mostly ignored the news. His overjoyed wife, Liu Xia, said she hoped to give him a hug and tell him if police allow her to travel to the prison on Saturday.

The contretemps points to the sticky predicament the prize poses for the communist leadership. Liu is the first Chinese and first member of the much persecuted group of political activists to be given the peace prize, but he is virtually unknown among ordinary Chinese. The award is likely to carry his name and his call for democracy to a wider audience, especially among young Chinese who are avid Internet and cell phone users but due to censorship know little of the rights camp's past struggles with the government.

The news about Liu Xiaobo continues here, at Yahoo News.

Related:  Imprisoned Liu follows in footsteps of Suu Kyi, Sakharov   (


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Jeans for Freedom" Picket at GUM Department Store in Center of Minsk

Will it be the "Pillow Revolution" or the "Jeans Revolution" for Belarus?

“Jeans for freedom!” civil campaign and well-known Minsk citizens have supported Andrei Sannikov.

Today in the centre of Minsk near the state department store (GUM) a “jeans picket” took place. Young people with blue scarves were holding a huge banner with the words: “Jeans for Andrei Sannikov!” Stands with the portrait of Sannikov were mounted beside, and young people started actively collecting signatures in support of “European Belarus” leader.

Minsk dwellers of different ages, from young to elderly people, were coming to us, giving their passports resolutely, and signing their names. Sometimes a queue was formed. No one hesitated whether to give a signature. It is obvious that people are so tired with the current regime, that a realistic candidate for the presidential position offers hope to them, make them mobilized, to start changing the situation in the country at last.

Well-known persons have come to give their signatures to Andrei Sannikov: leaders of Belarus Free Theatre Mikalai Khalezin and Natallya Kalyada (Natalia Kolyada), a deputy of the “chamber of representatives” o the 2nd convocation, General Valery Fralou, the chairman of “Just World” party Syarhei Kalyakin.
“I have come to support my friend, who is a candidate for presidency. Moments come when you should support a person day and night. I see that many people come here and say that they want to stand by Andrei Sannikov now. It is real support. Now pioneers and pensioners who had been forced to come, who are threatened by eviction from hostels and by other methods forced to love their “leader”, but real solidarity.
Sannikov is a many-sided man. He is exactly the man our country needs today. He is a person who at the same time shows discrimination in politics, economy, he is a brilliant diplomat. He has international standing both among politicians, and among people of arts, which is important for me, for instance. Creative community is a touchstone, and thanks to it one can understand who is a really honest and decent man. Thus, arts intelligentsia once liked Henadz Karpenka. No wonder the today’s regime does not have friends among artistic personalities of a high level.  News story continues here.  (


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ZEITGEIST: Moving Forward | Official Trailer

Zeitgeist: Moving Forward, by director Peter Joseph, is a feature length documentary work which will present a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society. This subject matter will transcend the issues of cultural relativism and traditional ideology and move to relate the core, empirical "life ground" attributes of human and social survival, extrapolating those immutable natural laws into a new sustainable social paradigm called a "Resource-Based Economy".


THEATRICAL RELEASE - Zeitgeist: Moving Forward is planned to be released in 60+ countries and in 20+ languages starting January 15th 2011. This large scale release is not associated with any major distributor.

DVD/INTERNET RELEASE - This is a non-commercial project, which means it will be available for free acquisition via internet in both viewing form and full DVD download. will also have a physical $5.00 DVD available in mid to late January.


Monday, October 4, 2010

The senseless period of tension in relations with Belarus is certain to come to an end

By Dmitry Medvedev

Russia’s relations with other states have already been the subject of my video blog. I have discussed the direction our cooperation with the United States is taking and explained why I think it is vital for our country to take part in the meetings of the twenty leading economies in the world. During what was perhaps one of the most dramatic moments in our relations with Ukraine last summer, I shared with you my thoughts on why our attempts to establish a dialogue with President Yushchenko had been exhausted.
Today I want to talk about what is happening in the relationship with our closest ally: Belarus. I want to address both the Russian and Belarusian people. After all, we are all citizens of the Union State.

It is my deep conviction that our country has always treated and will continue to treat the Belarusian people as our closest neighbour. We are united by centuries-old history, shared culture, common joys and common sorrows. We will always remember that our nations - and I always want to say  “our single nation” - have suffered huge losses during the Great Patriotic War. Together we survived terrible hardships of the collectivisation, famine and repressions.

Now Russia and Belarus are partners in the Union State. Both of our countries are also actively involved in the creation of the Customs Union, in the development of the EurAsEC, CSTO and the Commonwealth of Independent States. We intend to fully expand our cooperation with Belarus within the framework of these organisations. We will continue to consistently develop modern forms of economic interaction in full accordance with international practice of relations between such close allies as our countries.

Proceeding from this, we have always helped the people of Belarus. In fact, since the collapse of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago, the volumes of this support, whatever they say, have been huge. Only this year our help to Belarus in the form of favourable oil supply terms amounted to almost two billion dollars. There are comparable subsidies in the supply of Russian gas to Belarus. We do all this because we firmly believe that our nations are inextricably linked.

It is therefore particularly surprising that the Belarusian leadership has recently adopted an anti-Russian rhetoric. The election campaign there is built entirely on anti-Russian slogans, hysterical accusations of Russia’s unwillingness to support the Belarusian people and the Belarusian economy, and curses addressed at the Russian leadership. What we can discern behind all this is a clear desire to cause discord between the states and, accordingly, the nations.

The inclination to create an image of an external enemy in the public consciousness has always distinguished the Belarusian leadership. In the past this role was assigned to the United States, Europe and the West in general. Now Russia has been declared one of the main enemies.

In his comments, President Lukashenko goes far beyond not only diplomatic protocol but also basic human decency. However, this was nothing new to me. I remember my surprise when during our first bilateral meeting, instead of concentrating on Russian-Belarusian ties, he expounded in great detail and in a highly negatively vein on my predecessors as presidents of Russia, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin. I had to remind my colleague at the time that we had entirely different issues on our agenda.

Mr Lukashenko demonstrated this original understanding of our partnerships in the issue of Belarus’ recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent members of the international community. I have said repeatedly: it is a sovereign right of each state to recognise the two new nations or not to recognize them. We never exerted any pressure on anybody in this issue even though it was an important matter for us.
The President of Belarus declared his readiness to do so in the presence of his colleagues, five presidents of other states. To be perfectly open, there is a corresponding entry in the minutes of a CSTO meeting. Later this issue became a permanent instrument of political bargaining.

But Russia does not sell out its principles. Such conduct is dishonest, and partners do not behave like this. And, of course, we will bear this in mind when building relations with the current President of Belarus.
A flood of accusations and abuse has been directed against Russia and its leadership. Mr Lukashenko’s entire election campaign is based on that. He is concerned about a great number of issues: restoring order in our economic relations, the communication of Russian media with the Belarusian opposition, and even the fate of some of our high-ranking officials, retired and dismissed.

The President of Belarus should concern himself with his country’s internal problems, including, finally, the investigation of numerous cases of disappearances. Russia, like other countries, is not indifferent to that.
Of course, this is not what defines the relations between nations and individuals. I am certain of this as President of the Russian Federation. I am also sure that this senseless period of tension is certain to come to an end.

I would just like to say this openly: Russia is ready to develop allied relations with Belarus. Moreover, no matter who leads Russia and Belarus, our peoples will forever be fraternal. We want our citizens not to live in fear, but in an atmosphere of freedom, democracy and justice. And we are ready to pursue this together with our Belarusian friends.



Friday, October 1, 2010

U.S. apologizes to Guatemalans for secret STD experiments

By Brett Michael Dykes

U.S. scientific researchers infected hundreds of Guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted diseases from 1946 to 1948 -- a practice that only came recently to light thanks to the work of an academic researcher. On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a formal apology to the Central American nation, and to Guatemalan residents of the United States.

"Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible research could have occurred under the guise of public health," said Clinton and Sebelius in a joint statement. "We deeply regret that it happened, and we apologize to all the individuals who were affected by such abhorrent research practices."

The discovery of the long-ago experiments stems from another, far better known episode of federal tampering with test subjects to study sexually transmitted diseases: the long-running "Tuskegee experiment," studying 399 poor black men from Macon County, Ala., who had been diagnosed with syphilis but never informed of their condition. Federal scientists simply told the men they had "bad blood" and researchers compiled a four-decades-long study monitoring "untreated syphilis in the male Negro." Researchers never treated the illness over its usually fatal course, even after the simple remedy of penicillin was shown to be an effective syphilis treatment; participants received only free meals and medical exams, together with federal funding of their funeral expenses after they died. The study began in 1932, continuing right through to 1972, when it was exposed in media reports.

One of the better-known experts on the Tuskegee scandal is Susan Reverby, a professor of women's and gender studies at Wellesley College who has published two books on the subject. As she was researching her most recent book, Reverby learned of the Guatemalan project, in which researchers from the U.S. Public Health Service conducted experiments on 696 male and female patients housed at Guatemala's National Mental Health Hospital. The scientists injected the patients with gonorrhea and syphilis -- and even encouraged many of them to pass the disease on to others.

"It was done in conjunction with the Guatemalan government," Reverby told The Upshot in a phone interview Friday morning. "They had permission from the Guatemalan government."

Reverby explained that she learned of the Guatemala study purely by accident.

"I was in the archives of the University of Pittsburgh looking at the papers of the surgeon general at the time," Reverby said. "And the papers there were also the papers of a man named John Cutler, who had also been involved in the Tuskegee study. When I opened the boxes of the Cutler papers, there was nothing in it about Tuskegee, but there was everything about this Guatemala study."

Reverby -- who was instrumental in getting former President Bill Clinton to offer an apology for the Tuskegee experiment in 1997 -- told us that she informed Dr. David Sencer, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control; Sencer then passed the discovery up the chain of command in the U.S. government.

"As with many of these things, it was just pure serendipity," Reverby said. "I was the right person in the right place at the right time."

Photo via AP


Five Ways the Democrats Can Avoid a Catastrophe and Pull off the Mother of All Upsets

By Michael Moore

The election is one month from tomorrow and, yes, it looks hopeless. November 2nd -- the day the Dems are expected to crash and burn. 

Sadly, it's a situation the Democrats have brought upon themselves -- even though the majority of them didn't create the mess we're in. But they've had over a year and a half to start getting the job done to fix it. Instead, they've run scared ever since they took power. To many, the shellacking they're about to receive is one they deserve. 

But if you're of a mindset that believes a return to 2001-2008 would be sheer insanity, then you probably agree we've got no choice but to save the Democrats from themselves.

Memo To: President Obama and the Democratic Party Leadership
From: Michael Moore
Subject: 5 Things Dems Can Do to Turn It Around by November 2nd 

1. Immediate Wall-to-Wall TV Ads, Internet Videos, and Appearances Hammering Who the Hell Put Us in the Misery We're In.
We Americans have very short attention spans (Quick: Who Won the Oscar for Best Picture last year? The World Series? Exactly.). People need to be reminded over and over that it was the REPUBLICANS who concocted and led the unnecessary invasion of two countries, putting us in our longest war ever, wars that will eventually cost us over $3 trillion. Bush and Co. also caused the biggest collapse of our economy since the Great Depression. I don't know a single person in Hollywood who wouldn't shoot and produce those spots for you for FREE. Dems: Do not pull a single punch on this. Quit being a bunch of wusses and let the bastards have it! The public will be astonished that you've found your courage and your spine. We expect you to be Muhammad Ali, not Ally McBeal. 

2. Indict the Criminals.
Announce that the Justice Department will seek indictments against both those who caused the economic collapse and those who became war profiteers. Call it for what it is: organized crime. Use the RICO statutes. Use the basic laws that make fraud of any kind a crime. Get in the face of those who stole the billions, make them pay for it -- and the people will love you. We want Dirty Harry, not Dirty Dancing. 

3. Announce a Moratorium on All Family Home Foreclosures.
Last month (August) there were more home foreclosures than in any month in U.S. history. Worse than any month in the worst year ever, 2009. The bleeding hasn't stopped -- it's only gotten worse. And now, this week, two of the largest crime organizations who are throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes (GMAC and JPMorgan Chase) have been forced to momentarily stop doing this. It turns out, they don't really have the paperwork to prove they actually own these houses! It's madness. So if you do one thing for the middle class this week, do this. It will take an hour of your time to draw up the decree and issue it. We'd rather watch "It's a Wonderful Life" than "Poltergeist."

Michael's story continues here: