Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oldest English words' identified


'Oldest English words' identified

Macclesfield Psalter (PA)
Medieval manuscripts give linguists clues about more recent changes

Some of the oldest words in English have been identified, scientists say.

Reading University researchers claim "I", "we", "two" and "three" are among the most ancient, dating back tens of thousands of years.

Their computer model analyses the rate of change of words in English and the languages that share a common heritage.

The team says it can predict which words are likely to become extinct - citing "squeeze", "guts", "stick" and "bad" as probable first casualties.

"We use a computer to fit a range of models that tell us how rapidly these words evolve," said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading.

"We fit a wide range, so there's a lot of computation involved; and that range then brackets what the true answer is and we can estimate the rates at which these things are replaced through time."

Sound and concept

Across the Indo-European languages - which include most of the languages spoken from Europe to the Asian subcontinent - the vocal sound made to express a given concept can be similar.

New spoken words for a concept can arise in a given language, utilising different sounds, in turn giving a clue to a word's relative age in the language.

At the root of the Reading University effort is a lexicon of 200 words that is not specific to culture or technology, and is therefore likely to represent concepts that have not changed across nations or millennia.

"We have lists of words that linguists have produced for us that tell us if two words in related languages actually derive from a common ancestral word," said Professor Pagel.

When we speak to each other we're playing this massive game of Chinese whispers
Mark Pagel, University of Reading

"We have descriptions of the ways we think words change and their ability to change into other words, and those descriptions can be turned into a mathematical language," he added.

The researchers used the university's IBM supercomputer to track the known relations between words, in order to develop estimates of how long ago a given ancestral word diverged in two different languages.

They have integrated that into an algorithm that will produce a list of words relevant to a given date.

"You type in a date in the past or in the future and it will give you a list of words that would have changed going back in time or will change going into the future," Professor Pagel told BBC News.

"From that list you can derive a phrasebook of words you could use if you tried to show up and talk to, for example, William the Conqueror."

That is, the model provides a list of words that are unlikely to have changed from their common ancestral root by the time of William the Conqueror.

Words that have not diverged since then would comprise similar sounds to their modern descendants, whose meanings would therefore probably be recognisable on sound alone.

However, the model cannot offer a guess as to what the ancestral words were. It can only estimate the likelihood that the sound from a modern English word might make some sense if called out during the Battle of Hastings.

Dirty business

What the researchers found was that the frequency with which a word is used relates to how slowly it changes through time, so that the most common words tend to be the oldest ones.

For example, the words "I" and "who" are among the oldest, along with the words "two", "three", and "five". The word "one" is only slightly younger.

William the Conqueror (Getty)
Time-travellers would find a few sounds familiar in William's words

The word "four" experienced a linguistic evolutionary leap that makes it significantly younger in English and different from other Indo-European languages.

Meanwhile, the fastest-changing words are projected to die out and be replaced by other words much sooner.

For example, "dirty" is a rapidly changing word; currently there are 46 different ways of saying it in the Indo-European languages, all words that are unrelated to each other. As a result, it is likely to die out soon in English, along with "stick" and "guts".

Verbs also tend to change quite quickly, so "push", "turn", "wipe" and "stab" appear to be heading for the lexicographer's chopping block.

Again, the model cannot predict what words may change to; those linguistic changes are according to Professor Pagel "anybody's guess".

High fidelity

"We think some of these words are as ancient as 40,000 years old. The sound used to make those words would have been used by all speakers of the Indo-European languages throughout history," Professor Pagel said.

"Here's a sound that has been connected to a meaning - and it's a mostly arbitrary connection - yet that sound has persisted for those tens of thousands of years."

The work casts an interesting light on the connection between concepts and language in the human brain, and provides an insight into the evolution of a dynamic set of words.

"If you've ever played 'Chinese whispers', what comes out the end is usually gibberish, and more or less when we speak to each other we're playing this massive game of Chinese whispers. Yet our language can somehow retain its fidelity."

Pastor-silencing bill in Congress

Perhaps you heard about the effort in Congress to pass so-called
"Hate Crimes" legislation that is a stepping-stone to regulating
the speech of people who support family values.

I just signed a petition to stop such "hate speech" laws from
going into effect. Congress is getting ready to vote on this
issue and I understand this bill could be passed quickly unless
citizens rise up.

Please join me. Go here to sign:

Matthew Banks

Old couple attacked by Asian men in road rage attack (UK)

Grandparents Christopher and Beryl Bell, of Undercliffe, Bradford, had been out shopping and were driving home when their car clipped the wing mirror of a black Audi A3 car.

Fearing the reaction of the driver and his three passengers, 65-year-old Mr Bell carried on but was tailgated by the Audi until he stopped in Pollard Lane, Undercliffe.

Mr Bell said: "I got out of the car and the driver got out of his car and we were set together. The other three got out of the car and punched me on my head a couple of times, one in the back. I turned round and I saw my wife on the floor â€" blood was gushing out of a cut in her nose and a big bump on her head and someone shouted 'get the police' and all of a sudden they have jumped in their car and off they went."

[ Police would not list the incident as racially motivated although had the attackers been white and the victims non-white this would have escalated into a national incident, no doubt used to shame the million Brits who voted for the (non-Nazi) British National Party. ]

Is your mobile phone spying on you?

Don't talk: your cell phone may be eavesdropping. Thanks to recent developments in "spy phone" software, a do-it-yourself spook can now wirelessly transfer a wiretapping program to any mobile phone. The programs are inexpensive, and the transfer requires no special skill. The spy needs to get his hands on your phone to press keys authorizing the download, but it takes just a few minutes, about the time needed to download a ringtone.

This new generation of user-friendly spy-phone software, has become widely available in the last year, and it confers stunning powers. The latest programs can silently turn on handset microphones even when no call is being made, allowing a spy to listen to voices in a room halfway around the world. Targets are none the wiser: neither call logs nor phone bills show records of the secretly transmitted data.

The current predicament is partly the result of decisions by Apple, Microsoft and Research In Motion (producer of the BlackBerry) to open their phones to outside application-software developers, which created the opening for spyware. Antivirus and security programs developed for computers require too much processing power, even for smart phones. Although security programs are available for phones, by and large users haven't given the threat much thought. If the spying keeps spreading, that may change soon.

[ Sounds just like something from the movie "Enemy of the State" and that is what you have to expect. If you buy your phone by mail order it certainly gives them enough time to load the spyware. ]

Gold sold like chocolate from German vending machines

Shoppers in Germany will soon be able to buy gold as easily as bars of chocolate after a firm announced plans to install vending machines selling the precious metal across the country.

Gold prices from the machines about 30 per cent higher than market prices for the cheapest product will be updated every few minutes.

Thomas Geissler, who owns the company behind the idea, said: "German investors have always preferred to hold a lot of personal wealth in gold, for historical reasons. They have twice lost everything.

[ Someone had a clever idea there! Shows that people are thinking ahead and less likely to be as ruined as the banksters might hope. ]

Friday, June 19, 2009

Prison Race

At midyear 2008, there were 4,777 black male inmates per 100,000 black males held in state and federal prisons and local jails, compared to 1,760 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 727 white male inmates per 100,000 white males.


by Ann Coulter
June 17, 2009

Whether it is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Weather Underground, Central Park rapists, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jim Jones and the People's Temple, welfare recipients, Palestinian terrorists, murderers, abortionists, strippers or common criminals -- liberals always take the side of the enemies of civilization against civilization.

In the view of The New York Times, every criminal trial is a shocking miscarriage of justice -- except the ones that actually are shocking miscarriages of justice.

Thus, in last week's Times, Timothy Egan wrote about a shocking miscarriage of justice being carried out against a "high-spirited" American girl accused of murder by a crazed prosecutor in Perugia, Italy.

Egan's column bears as much relationship to the facts of the case as -- well, I guess as anything printed in the Times. And yet every American news network has embraced Egan's version and is flacking for the accused.

Amanda Knox, her erstwhile boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and another man, Rudy Guede, stand accused of murdering Knox's roommate, Meredith Kercher, on Nov. 1, 2007, at the house Knox and Kercher shared with two other girls in Perugia.

Egan triumphantly cites an "outside expert hired by CBS News" who calls Knox's prosecution, "the railroad job from hell." Egan does not mention that the "outside investigator" is Paul Ciolino of the "Innocence Project," whose investigations always seem to conclude that the accused is being railroaded.

Ciolino's theory of the crime -- adopted unquestioningly by Egan -- is that the third man, Guede, who has already confessed to the crime, acted alone.

Despite Ciolino's careful analysis of the evidence, his theory is contradicted by Guede himself, as well as the coroner and a leading forensic geneticist, both of whom have testified that Kercher's massive injuries could only have been inflicted by multiple assailants.

It is also contradicted by the court's 106-page report, released in January, explaining the judge's reasons for refusing to release Knox and Sollecito pending trial.

Even the "48 Hours" executive producer doesn't endorse Ciolino's preposterous "single knifeman" theory, admitting: "Do we know every piece of data? No. Is there some troubling DNA? Yes."

Hey, does anyone know if CBS hired more than one "outside investigator" to look at the Knox case? Because if Egan considers one CBS "outside investigator" the Rosetta Stone of this case, it would be odd if he didn't mention the conclusions of another CBS outside investigator.

Why yes there was!

The second investigator, Paolo Sfriso, didn't pronounce judgment, but he did cite some of the evidence. The evidence includes:

-- a large kitchen knife, believed by forensic investigators to have caused at least one of Kercher's three wounds, found at Sollecito's house. Despite having been thoroughly washed, the knife had Knox's DNA on the handle and the murder victim's DNA on the blade.

-- a bloody footprint at the crime scene that matches Sollecito's. The floor had been cleaned so that the footprint was invisible to the naked eye, but was revealed with Luminol (just like on "CSI").

-- Knox's bloody footprints, mixed with Kercher's blood, were found in another roommate's room, where a window had been broken to make it look like there had been a break-in -- a theory discounted immediately by investigators. Knox's footprints, too, had been scrubbed but were discovered with Luminol.

-- Kercher's bloody bra strap at the crime scene that had abundant amounts of Sollecito's DNA on it.

Egan explains away the devastating DNA evidence by denying it exists. Delusionally, he writes:

"(I)f Knox and Sollecito had killed Kercher, and were in that blood-splattered room, why is there no physical trace from them on the body? A print? A swap of DNA somewhere? After all, Kercher had died after a brutal strangulation, evidence of considerable struggle, with knife pokes in the neck."

Read the trial transcript, Matlock.

Egan does acknowledge the bloody bra strap covered with Sollecito's DNA, but dismissively writes: "(T)hey discovered Kercher's clasp nearly six weeks after the murder -- a highly suspect and tainted piece of evidence from a contaminated crime scene."

Even the defense isn't complaining about the amount of time that passed before the bra strap was tested. The bra strap was found during the initial search of the crime scene -- which was promptly sealed off -- and then was collected for testing during the second search of the sealed crime scene some weeks later.

True, the defense has tried to minimize all the evidence by throwing out the old "contamination" chestnut, but without proof of systematic contamination of the evidence, this is just a boilerplate defense, much like "but he hit me first." (Next the defense will be vowing to look for the "real killer.")

Egan also dismissed the knife at Sollecito's house with Knox's DNA on the handle and Kercher's DNA on the blade, claiming the knife contained only "a tiny amount of DNA that might match that of the victim." (I know I'm constantly finding small amounts of other people's DNA on the blades of my kitchen knives.)

When the defense tried the "small amount of DNA" argument at trial, forensic biologist Patrizia Stefanoni replied, "If the blood evidence is a positive match, it is not always important how much there is -- and the material on the blade matches the victim."

Even the accused murderess has a better theory to explain the DNA on the knife. Knox wrote in her prison diary: "I think it is possible Raffaele went to Meredith's house, raped her, then killed her and then when he got home, while I was sleeping, he pressed my fingerprints on the knife."

These are only a few examples of the wildly deceptive account of the Amanda Knox trial printed in the Times. The reason this is important is that this is how the Times portrays all criminal prosecutions: Ruthless prosecutor railroads innocent bystanders for mysterious reasons. (Unless the victim is a late-term abortionist or the accused is a Duke lacrosse player.)

The only difference in the Knox case, compared to run-of-the-mill criminal cases, is that the copious foreign reporting on the case makes it child's play to see how egregiously the Times is lying this time.

I don't know if Knox murdered her roommate, but I am sure that America's news coverage of this case is a crime.

1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106

Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

Get Ready for the Vitamin Police

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now seeking to expand its considerable powers into the regulation of vitamins and nutritional supplements.

The FDA has evidently discovered that Americans, after centuries of experience doing so, cannot now be counted on to take vitamins or dietary supplements without poisoning or killing themselves. The FDA is concerned that we have not been getting their approval first.

Perhaps a disclaimer is in order here: We should all use informed and discriminating judgment before gulping down a tonic that claims effortless weight loss—while turning us into Don Juans who will live forever. But we should not be less cautious if the bottle bears an FDA seal of approval.

If some consumers recklessly disregard such caution, no Federal agency can help them. But this is America. If consumer health is destroyed by the willful malfeasance of a vitamin manufacturer, whole armies of trial lawyers stand ready to help put those firms out of business.

Assuming that many of these products do enhance the health of Americans, we will become less healthy when the FDA starts regulating them. If the FDA record on approving prescription drugs is any indication, the approval process for vitamins will require an expensive research and application process lasting years. This usually costs a minimum of $100,000, and will result in many products coming off the market.

The FDA does not just ask for research proving that something works. They often require that the manufacturer prove a negative—that it will not or cannot do harm. That makes the whole evaluation process very arbitrary. I used to buy artificial sweeteners in Germany that had been banned in the United States; for some reason they did not cause cancer in Germany. In the United States research showed that when extremely large doses were injected into rats, the rats developed tumors. The injections were a standard research technique used to simulate the effect of consuming the sweeteners for many years. Of course the same quantity of sugar injected into rats would have killed them instantly, but perhaps the FDA did not feel it was in the position to ban sugar. Now that might have saved millions of lives, but there was a complication: this is still a free country.

One of the reasons that the FDA uses to justify regulation is the need to control the dose of each product. They state (correctly) that people have sometimes unwisely taken too much of vitamins such as A or C. But what can the FDA do about it? What is to stop you from taking two or more pills? If we follow this line of reasoning, we should immediately remove aspirin from the store shelves.

Some representatives of the pharmaceutical industry support these FDA proposals. They may want these supplements to run the same nightmare gauntlet of obtaining FDA approval that they do. That is disgusting, but it casts some light on a wider issue.

What if a Federal Vitamin Administration (FVA) had been created during the New Deal in the 1930's, and was now employing tens of thousands of people regulating vitamins? Anyone proposing its elimination, or even a bit of deregulation would be attacked for putting our health at risk.

Today the FDA adds billions of dollars to the cost of drugs. The FDA often needlessly delays the availability of new drugs for years. With all of those employees spending billions of dollars—and requiring pharmaceutical companies to do the same, they probably have prevented some accidents. But at what cost? The first principle of medicine is "do no harm." What is the cost to our health of keeping many drugs off the market, and adding greatly to the cost of the drugs that survive?

Americans should not be asking what vast new areas of our lives require FDA regulation. We need to be asking how much less the FDA should be doing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Militarization of the Arctic. Canada: Battle Line In East-West Conflict Over The Arctic


Global Research, June 3, 2009

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Referring to newly released documents, though not revealing what they were, a major Canadian press wire service reported on May 26 that the government plans to acquire a "family" of aerial drones over the next decade.[1]

The dispatch was only two paragraphs long and could easily be overlooked, as one of the two intended purposes for expanding Canada's reserve of military drones was for "failed or failing states." Afghanistan is unquestionably one such deployment zone and Ottawa sent its first Israeli-made Heron drones there this January for NATO's war in South Asia.

Another likely target for "dull, dirty and dangerous" missions suited for unmanned aircraft is Somalia, off the coast of which the frigate HMCS Winnipeg, carrying a Sea King helicopter it's had occasion to use, is engaged with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) in forced boarding and other military operations. The use of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) in a likely extension of military actions on the Somali mainland would, unfortunately, not raise many eyebrows.

The last sentence in the brief report, though, says that "Senior commanders also foresee a growing role for drones in Canada, especially along the country's coastlines and in the Arctic."

To provide an indication of what Canada's Joint Unmanned Surveillance Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS) has in mind for future use in the Arctic, a likely prospect is the "Heron TP, a 4,650-kilogram drone with the same wingspan as a Boeing 737," which can "can carry a 1,000-kilogram payload and stay aloft for 36 hours at an altitude of about 15,000 metres" for "long-range Arctic and maritime patrols." [2]

Project JUSTAS will "cost as much as $750 million and...give the Canadian military a capability that only a handful of other countries possess...." [3]

The day after the first news story mentioned above appeared the same press source summarized comments by Canadian Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay as affirming "The global economic downturn won't prevent the Canadian Forces from spending $60 billion on new equipment."

Although Canada's federal deficit is expected to rise to $50 billion this year from $34 billion in 2008, "MacKay said the government's long-term defence strategy would grow this year's $19-billion annual defence budget to $30 billion by 2027. Over that time, that will mean close to $490 billion in defence spending, including $60 billion on new equipment." [4]

It's doubtful that many Canadians are aware of either development: Plans for advanced drones designed not only for surveillance but for firing missiles to be used in the Arctic and a major increase in the military budget of a nation that has already doubled its defense spending over the last decade.

Of those who do know of them, the question should arise of why a nation of 33 million which borders only one other country, the United States, its senior partner in NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and since 2006 increasingly the Pentagon's Northern Command (NORTHCOM) would need to spend almost half a trillion dollars for arms in the next eighteen years. And why in addition to acquiring weapons for wars and other military operations in Europe, Asia and Africa, Canada would deploy some of its most state-of-the-art arms to the Arctic Circle.

A French writer of the 1800s wrote that cannon aren't forged to be displayed in public parks. And the deployment of missile-wielding drones to its far north are not, contrary to frequent implications for domestic consumption by members of the current Stephen Harper government, meant to defend the nation's sovereignty in the region; only one state threatens that sovereignty, the United States, and Ottawa has no desire to defend its interests against its southern neighbor.

Recent unparalleled Canadian military exercises and build-up in the Arctic, of which the proposed use of aerial drones is but the latest example, are aimed exclusively at another nation: Russia.

A document from 2007 posted on a website of the Canadian Parliament states, "In recent years, Canada has been asserting its nordicite (nordicity) with a louder voice and greater emphasis than before. Such renewed focus on the Arctic is largely linked to the anticipated effects of climate change in the region, which are expected to be among the greatest effects of any region on Earth. By making the region more easily accessible, both threats and opportunities are amplified and multiplied. Canada’s claims over the Arctic are thus likely to emerge as a more central dimension of our foreign relations. Hence, it appears timely to highlight the extent of Canada’s sovereignty and jurisdiction over Arctic waters and territory, and to identify issues that are controversial." [5]

Canada's Arctic claims extend all the way to the North Pole, as do Russia's and Denmark's, as long as Copenhagen retains ownership of Greenland.

The basis of the dispute between Canada and Russia is the Lomonosov Ridge which runs 1,800 kilometers from Russia's New Siberian Islands through the center of the Arctic Ocean to Canada's Ellesmere Island in the territory of Nunavut, part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Russia maintains that the Lomonosov Ridge and the related Mendeleyev Elevation are extensions of its continental shelf. Russia filed a claim to this effect in December of 2001 with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), renewing it in late 2007.

The answer to what is at stake with control of this vast stretch of the Arctic Ocean and that to the earlier question concerning Canada's military escalation and expansion into the Arctic are both threefold.

Strategic Military Positioning For Nuclear War

Nine days before vacating the White House on January 20th, US President Bush W. Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 66 on Arctic Region Policy. [6]

The document states that "The United States is an Arctic nation, with varied and compelling interests in that region" and "The United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region and is prepared to operate either independently or in conjunction with other states to safeguard these interests. These interests include such matters as missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations; and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight." [7]

US Arctic claims are based solely on its possession of Alaska, separated from the rest of the continental US by 500 miles of Canadian territory.

National Security Directive 66 exploits Alaska's position to demand US rights to base both strategic military forces - long-range bombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons and warships and submarines able to launch warheads - in the Arctic within easy striking distance of Russia, both to the latter's east and over the North Pole.

It also, as indicated above, reserves the right to station so-called missile defense components in the area. The words missile defense are not as innocuous as they may appear. In the contemporary context they refer to plans by the United States and its allies to construct an international interceptor missile system connected with satellites and eventually missiles in space to be able to paralyze other nations' strategic (long-range and nuclear) military potential and to prevent retaliation by said nations should they be the victims of a first strike.

US and NATO interceptor missile silos and radar sites in Poland, the Czech Republic, Norway and Britain to Russia's West - already in place and planned - and an analogous structure in Alaska, Japan and Australia to the east of both Russia and China aim at the ability to target and destroy any intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and long-range bombers left undamaged after a massive military first strike from the US and allied nations.

The term interceptor missile is deceptive. As America's so-called missile defense plans prepare for knocking out ICBMs in not only the boost and terminal but the launch phases, it's a single step from striking a missile as it's being launched to doing so as it's being readied for launch and even as it is still in the silo.

Although in theory both a first strike missile attack and an interceptor missile response need not involve nuclear warheads, they are almost certain to if aimed against a nuclear power, which would be expected to retaliate with nuclear weapons.

The third leg of a nation's nuclear triad, in addition to long-range bombers and land-based missiles, are ballistic missile submarines equipped with submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) capable of carrying nuclear warheads. These could be tracked by space surveillance and in the future hit by space-based missiles.

Russia is the only non-Western, non-NATO country with an effective nuclear triad.

Under the above scenario there is one spot on the earth where Russia could maintain a credible deterrent capability: Under the Arctic polar ice cap.

A report in 2007 said that "Amid great secrecy, NATO naval forces are trying to control the Arctic Ocean to continue the military bloc’s expansion to[ward] Russia, the newspaper Military Industry Herald reported....

“Like in the tensest times of the Cold War, troops from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are trying to take control of the Arctic route, said the newspaper....[T]he US Navy, in conjunction with its British allies, is meeting the challenge of displacing Russian submarines from the Arctic region.” [8]

The US and Britain held Operation Ice Exercise 2007 under the polar cap and repeated the maneuvers earlier this year with Ice Exercise 2009.

During the 2007 exercises a US Navy website revealed that "The submarine force continues to use the Arctic Ocean as an alternate route for shifting submarines between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans....Submarines can reach the western Pacific directly by transiting through international waters of the Arctic rather than through the Panama Canal.” [9]

The subject of employing the Arctic, especially the long-fabled and now practicable Northwest Passage, for both civilian and military transit will be examined with the second component in the battle for the Arctic.

Also in 2007 Barry L. Campbell, head of operations at the U.S. Navy Arctic Submarine Laboratory, in referring to joint NATO war plans for the Arctic, said: "’We’re a worldwide Navy and the Navy’s position is we should be able to operate in any ocean in the world....When you go through the Arctic, no one knows you’re there....We expect all our subs to be able to operate in the Arctic....Our strategic position is to be able to operate anywhere in the world, and we see the Arctic as part of that....[I]f we ever did have to fight a battle under there it would be a joint operation.’" [10]

In a previous article in this series, NATO’s, Pentagon’s New Strategic Battleground: The Arctic [11], it was observed that "with US and NATO missile and satellite radar and interceptor missile facilities around the world and in space, the only place where Russia could retain a deterrence and/or retaliatory capacity against a crushing nuclear first strike is under the polar ice cap....[W]ithout this capability Russia could be rendered completely defenseless in the event of a first strike nuclear attack."

In 2006 a Russian military press source quoted Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Masorin commenting on the requirement for Russian submarines to maintain a presence under the Arctic polar ice cap: "[T]raining is needed to help strategic submarines of the Russian Fleet head for the Arctic ice region, which is the least vulnerable to an adversary’s monitoring, and prepare for a response to a ballistic missile strike in the event of a nuclear conflict.

"In order to be able to fulfill this task – I mean the task of preserving strategic submarines – it is necessary to train Russian submariners to maneuver under the Arctic ice." [12]

Northwest Passage Could Transform Global Civilian, Military Shipping: Canada Confronts Russia

In recent years a direct shipping route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific in the Northern Hemisphere through the Northwest Passage has presented the prospect of cutting thousands of kilometers and several days if not weeks for ships - civilian and military - from the traditional routes through the Panama and Suez canals and for larger vessels even having to round the southern tips of Africa and South America.

Arctic melting has reduced the ice in the area to its lowest level in the thirty three years satellite images have measured it, with the Northwest Passage entirely open for the first time in recorded history.

US National Security Presidential Directive 66 also includes the intention to "Preserve the global mobility of United States military and civilian vessels and aircraft throughout the Arctic region" and to "Project a sovereign United States maritime presence in the Arctic in support of essential United States interests." [13]

Canada claims the Northwest Passage as its exclusive territory but Washington insists that "The Northwest Passage is a strait used for international navigation, and the Northern Sea Route includes straits used for international navigation; the regime of transit passage applies to passage through those straits. Preserving the rights and duties relating to navigation and overflight in the Arctic region supports our ability to exercise these rights throughout the world, including through strategic straits." [14]

That is, the US bluntly contests Canada's contentions about the passage, which runs along the north of that nation and no other, being its national territory and insists on internationalizing it.

Notwithstanding which there is no evidence that any member of the Canadian government, the ruling Conservative Party, its Liberal Party opposition or even the New Democratic Party has responded to the US National Security Directive, the first major American statement on the issue in fifteen years, with even a murmur of disapprobation.

Instead all concern and no little hostility has been directed by Canadian authorities, particularly the federal government, at a nation that doesn't assert the right to deploy warships with long-range cruise missiles, nuclear submarines and Aegis class destroyers equipped with interceptor missiles only miles off the Canadian mainland in the wider Western extreme of the Passage and other naval vessels between the mainland and its northern islands: Russia.

The threats and bluster, insults and provocations staged by top Canadian officials over the past three and a half months have at times reached an hysterical pitch, not only rivaling but exceeding the depths of the Cold War period.

The current campaign was adumbrated last August after the five-day war between Georgia and Russia when Prime Minister Stephen Harper "accused Russia of reverting to a 'Soviet-era mentality'" [15] and Defence Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said "When we see a Russian Bear [Tupolev Tu-95] approaching Canadian air space, we meet them with an F-18" [16] and has not let up since.

After then recently inaugurated US President Barack Obama make his first trip outside the United States in mid-February to the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Defence Minister MacKay stated regarding an alleged interception of a Russian bomber over the Arctic Ocean - in international, neutral airspace - shortly before Obama's arrival:

"They met a Russian aircraft that was approaching Canadian airspace, and as they have done in previous occasions they sent very clear signals that are understood, that the aircraft was to turnaround, turn tail, and head back to their airspace, which it did.

"I'm not going to stand here and accuse the Russians of having deliberately done this during the presidential visit, but it was a strong coincidence." [17]

Russia has routinely flown such patrols over the Arctic Ocean, the Barents and North Sea and off the coast of Alaska since the autumn of 2007. Moreover, depending on where in the Arctic the Russian bomber was at the time, it may well have been 6,000 kilometers from Ottawa, thereby posing no threat or constituting no warning to either Obama or Canada.

Prime Minister Harper echoed MacKay's tirade with:

"I have expressed at various times the deep concern our government has with increasingly aggressive Russian actions around the globe and Russian intrusions into our airspace.

"We will defend our airspace, we also have obligations of continental defence with the United States. We will fulfil those obligations to defend our continental airspace, and we will defend our sovereignty and we will respond every time the Russians make any kind of intrusion on the sovereignty in Canada’s Arctic." [18]

After Russia announced that it planned to have a military force available to defend its interests in the Arctic by 2020 - eleven years from now - Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon followed the lead of his predecessor and current Defence Minister MacKay and Prime Minister Harper and said, "Let's be perfectly clear here. Canada will not be bullied.

"Sovereignty is part of that (Northern policy). We will not waiver from that objective. Sovereignty is uppermost for us, so we will not be swayed from that." [19]

Cannon left it unclear in which manner Russia had questioned his country's sovereignty, except perhaps by not gratuitously ceding it the Lomonosov Ridge, though if Cannon had bothered to read US National Security Directive 66 he would have received a blunt introduction to the genuine threat to Canada's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It will be seen later how Canada has matched the action to the word.

Control Of World Energy Resources And NATO's Drive Into The Arctic

A U.S. Geological Survey of May of 2008 on the Arctic "estimated the occurrence of undiscovered oil and gas in 33 geologic provinces thought to be prospective for petroleum. The sum of the mean estimates for each province indicates that 90 billion barrels of oil, 1,669 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids may remain to be found in the Arctic, of which approximately 84 percent is expected to occur in offshore areas." [20]

"The unexplored Arctic contains about one-fifth of the world's undiscovered oil and nearly a third of the natural gas yet to be found....The untapped reserves are beneath the seafloor in geopolitically controversial areas above the Arctic Circle." [21]

Four days ago Science magazine published a new US Geological Survey study that "assessed the area north of the Arctic Circle and concluded that about 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil may be found there, mostly offshore under less than 500 meters of water. Undiscovered natural gas is three times more abundant than oil in the Arctic and is largely concentrated in Russia." [22]

The full report is only available to subscribers, but the Canadian Globe and Mail provided this excerpt: "Although substantial amounts as may be found in Alaska, Canada and Greenland, the undiscovered gas resource is concentrated in Russian territory, and its development would reinforce the pre-eminent strategic position of that country." [23]

In addition to estimating that the Arctic Circle contains 30% of the world's undiscovered natural gas, the survey increased its figure for potential oil there from 90 billion barrels last year to as many as 160 billion in this year's report.

A news report summarized the findings on the region's natural gas potential by saying "The Arctic region may hold enough natural gas to meet current global demand for 14 years and most of it belongs to Russia...." [24]

A website report adds this perspective on the importance of the new estimate: "The new discovery amounts to over 35 years in US foreign oil imports or 5 years’ worth of global oil consumption.

"Canada, Greenland/Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States, all of which border the Arctic Circle are racing to compete for the untapped resource.

"The oil reserves could fetch a price of $10.6 trillion dollars at current oil prices. Most of the reserves are in shallow waters - less than 500 meters (about 1/3rd of a mile) - making extraction relatively easy." [25]

And a Canadian newspaper offered this terse reminder: "The updated estimates of the North's promising oil and gas resources comes as Canada and its polar neighbours aggressively pursue competing claims to vast areas of continental shelf under the Arctic Ocean." [26]

Where vast, previously unexploited hydrocarbon reserves are discovered or suspected NATO is never far behind, from the Caspian Sea to Africa's Gulf Of Guinea to the Arctic Ocean. On January 28-29 of this year the North Atlantic Treaty Organization held a meeting on the Arctic in the capital of Iceland entitled Seminar on Security Prospects in the High North.

It was attended by the bloc's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO's two top military commanders and the Chairman of the Military Committee “as well as many other decision-makers and experts from Allied countries.” [27]

Scheffer's address was marked by a fairly uncharacteristic degree of candor, at least when he said, “[T]he High North is going to require even more of the Alliance’s attention in the coming years.

“As the ice-cap decreases, the possibility increases of extracting the High North’s mineral wealth and energy deposits.

“At our Summit in Bucharest last year, we agreed a number of guiding principles for NATO’s role in energy security....

“NATO provides a forum where four of the Arctic coastal states [Canada, Denmark, Norway, the United States] can inform, discuss, and share, any concerns that they may have. And this leads me directly onto the next issue, which is military activity in the region.

“Clearly, the High North is a region that is of strategic interest to the Alliance." [28]

Also addressing the meeting was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and the Pentagon's European Command chief General Bantz John Craddock, who "opined that NATO could contribute greatly to facilitating cooperation in areas such as the development and security of shipping routes, energy security, surveillance and monitoring, search and rescue, resource exploration and mining...." [29]

Craddock inherited his dual assignments from Marine General James Jones, the architect of the new US African Command and current National Security Adviser, who is certainly overseeing the role of the US military and NATO in securing control of world energy supplies.

Peaceful Multilateral Development Or War In The Arctic?

US and NATO designs on the Arctic for strategic military purposes, for the potential of the Northwest Passage to redefine international shipping and naval commerce and for gaining access to and domination over perhaps the largest untapped oil and natural gas supplies in the world are hardly disguised.

As with numerous energy transportation projects in the Caspian Sea Basin, the Caucasus, the Black Sea region and the Balkans, Iraq and Africa, for the West oil and gas extraction and transit is a winner-take-all game dictated by the drive to master others and share with none.

The recent US Geological Survey study suggests that the Arctic Ocean may contain not only one-third of the world's undiscovered natural gas but almost two-thirds as much oil as Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer, is conventionally estimated to possess: 160 billion barrels to somewhere in the neighborhood of 260 billion barrels.

That Russia might gain access to the lion's share of both is not something that the US and its NATO allies will permit. The latter have fought three wars since 1999 for lesser stakes. Iraq, for example, has an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil.

Last month Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved his nation's National Security Strategy until 2020 document which says that "the main threat to Russia's national security is the policy pursued by certain leading states, which is aimed at attaining military superiority over Russia, in the first place in strategic nuclear forces.

"The threats to military security are the policy by a number of leading foreign states, aimed at attaining dominant superiority in the military sphere, in the first place in strategic nuclear forces, by developing high-precision, information and other high-tech means of warfare, strategic armaments with non-nuclear ordnance, the unilateral formation of the global missile defense system and militarization of outer space, which is capable of bringing about a new spiral of the arms race, as well as the development of nuclear, chemical and biological technologies, the production of weapons of mass destruction or their components and delivery vehicles." [30]

The strategy also, in the words of the Times of London, "identified the intensifying battle for ownership of vast untapped oil and gas fields around its borders as a source of potential military conflict within a decade."

"The United States, Norway, Canada and Denmark are challenging Russia's claim to a section of the Arctic shelf, the size of Western Europe, which is believed to contain billions of tonnes of oil and gas." [31]

In a foreign ministers session of the Arctic Council in late April Russia again warned against plans to militarize the Arctic. Its plea fell on deaf ears in the West.

On May 28 the Norwegian ambassador to NATO took his British, Danish, German, Estonian and Romanian counterparts on a "High North study trip" near the Arctic Circle where the Norwegian foreign minister "emphasised the importance of NATO attention to security issues of the High North." [32]

Three days earlier the same nation's State Secretary, Espen Barth Eide, addressed the Defence and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Oslo and said, "Russia has shown an increased willingness to engage in political rhetoric and even use of military force....NATO has a very important role to play and Norway has argued the case for a long time. The Alliance is at the core of the security and defence strategies of all but one Arctic Ocean state.

"NATO already has a certain presence and plays a role in the High North today, primarily through the Integrated Air Defence System, including fighters on alert and AWACS surveillance flights. Some exercise activity under the NATO flag also takes place in Norway and Iceland....We would like to see NATO raise its profile in the High North." [33]

Canada: West's Front Line, Battering Ram And Sacrificial Offering

As tensions mount in the Arctic, especially should they develop into a crisis and the military option be employed, Norway will play its appointed role as a loyal NATO cohort, as will its neighbors Denmark, Finland and Sweden, the last two rapidly becoming NATO states in every manner but formally.

Yet the battle will be joined where three of the four NATO states with Arctic territorial claims - the United States, Canada and Denmark - base them, in the northernmost part of the Western Hemisphere.

And having by far the largest border with the Arctic and the most sizeable portion of its territory, Canada is the shock brigade to be used in any planned provocation and open confrontation.

Nine days ago it was reported that "Canada's mapping of the Arctic is pushing into territory claimed by Russia in the high-stakes drive by countries to establish clear title to the polar region and its seabed riches.

"Survey flights Ottawa conducted in late winter and early spring went beyond the North Pole and into an area where Russia has staked claims, a Department of Natural Resources official said Sunday."

The account continued by stating, "If Canada eventually files a claim that extends past the North Pole, it could find itself in conflict with Russia.

"Canada and Russia have both committed to a peaceful resolution of conflicts over claims submitted under the international process, a pledge [that] will be put to the test if Ottawa and Moscow submit overlapping stakes.

"Canadian scientists contend that the underwater Lomonosov Ridge is an extension of the North American continental shelf.

"It is estimated that a quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and gas lies under the Arctic." [34]

Canadian military and civilian leaders have been laying the groundwork for this confrontation since the advent of the Harper administration.

In August of 2007 the prime minister "announced plans to build a new army training centre in the Far North at Resolute Bay [east end of the Northwest Passage] and to outfit a deep-water port for both military and civilian use at the northern tip of Baffin Island.

"His trip to the Arctic earlier this month was accompanied by the biggest military exercise in the region in years, with 600 soldiers, sailors and air crew participating.” [35]

A year later the Harper and Bush governments laid aside a long-standing dispute in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea "in the name of defending against Russia’s Arctic claims, which clash with those of the US, Canada, Denmark and Norway.” [36]

In the same month Canada conducted what it called the first of several military sovereignty exercises in the Arctic, a full spectrum affair including "In addition to the army, navy and air force, several federal agencies and departments are participating, including the Coast Guard, RCMP, CSIS, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada and Health Canada.

"Military officials say this year's exercise involves the most number of departments and agencies ever." [37]

Later in August of 2008 Harper and Defence Secretary MacKay visited the Northwest Territories to inspect "four CF18 Canadian military jets sent to Inuvik in response to what officials said was an unidentified aircraft that had neared Canadian air space." [38]

Last September the Canadian Defence Ministry launched "Operation NANOOK 2008, a sovereignty operation in Canada's eastern Arctic. Not only that, but Harper also voiced support for plans to build a military port and a military base beyond the Polar Circle."

This at a time when "The United States has joined the race, too, teaming up with Canada to map the unexplored Arctic sea floor." [39]

On September 19th Harper was paraphrased as saying "Canada is stepping up its military alertness along its northern frontier in response to Russia's 'testing' of its boundaries and recent Arctic grab.

"We are concerned about not just Russia's claims through the international process, but Russia's testing of Canadian airspace and other indications...(of) some desire to work outside of the international framework. That is obviously why we are taking a range of measures, including military measures, to strengthen our sovereignty in the North." [40]

In December of last year defence chief MacKay "singled out possible naval encroachments from Russia and China, saying, 'We have to be diligent.'" [41]

This March MacKay "announced...the locations of the two satellite reception ground stations for the $60 million Polar Epsilon project designed to provide space-based, day and night surveillance of Canada's Arctic and its ocean approaches. [42]

In April Canada held Operation Nunalivut 2009, the first of three "sovereignty operations" scheduled in the Arctic this year.

MacKay said of the exercises, “Operation Nunalivut is but one example of how the Government of Canada actively and routinely exercises its sovereignty in the North. The Canadian Forces play an important role in achieving our goals in the North, which is why the Government of Canada is making sure they have the tools they need to carry out a full range of tasks in the Arctic, including surveillance, sovereignty, and search-and-rescue operations.”

Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Commander of Canada Command, added:

"In keeping with the Canada First Defence Strategy, we are placing greater emphasis on our northern operations, including in the High Arctic. This operation underscores the value of the Canadian Rangers, our eyes and ears in the North, which at the direction of the Government are growing to 5,000 in strength."

Brigadier-General David Millar, the Commander of Joint Task Force North, contributed this:

"This operation is a golden opportunity to expand our capabilities to operate in Canada’s Arctic. In addition to air and ground patrols, this operation calls on a range of supporting military capabilities–communications, intelligence, mapping, and satellite imaging.” [43]

The Commander of Greenland Command, Danish Rear-Admiral Henrik Kudsk, attended the exercises to "discuss military collaboration in the North." [44]

To further demonstrate NATO unity in the face of a common enemy, Russia, "A Canadian research aircraft is expected to fly over 90 North this month as part of a joint Canada-Denmark mission to strengthen the countries' claims over the potentially oil-rich Lomonosov Ridge." [45]

In the same month, April, this time in a show of bipartisan unity, a Liberal Party gathering in Vancouver discussed "a tough Arctic policy that calls on the government to 'actively and aggressively' enforce Canada's sovereignty in the North, including expanding its military role." [46]

A major Canadian daily revealed information on the Canadian Department of National Defence's Polar Breeze program, referring to it as a $138 million "military project so cloaked in secrecy the Department of National Defence at first categorically denied it even existed.

"Today - apart from backtracking on their denial - the military is refusing to answer any questions on the project that experts believe has a role to play in protecting Canada's Arctic sovereignty and security." [47]

The newspaper also said that the project "involves the Canadian Forces' secretive directorate of space development, computer networks and geospatial intelligence - data gathered by satellite" and that it "could have farther ranging functions including sharing sensitive military intelligence across the various branches of the Canadian Forces and with key allies." [48]

In early May the Canadian Senate issued a report demanding that "Canada should arm its coast guard icebreakers and turn the North's Rangers into better-trained units that could fight if necessary." [49]

Slightly later in a news report called "After Russian talk of conflict, Tories say military is prepared," Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said the "government's defence strategy will help the military 'take action in exercising Canadian sovereignty in the North,' and highlighted plans for a fleet of Arctic patrol ships, a deepwater docking facility at Baffin Island, an Arctic military training centre and the expansion of the Canadian Rangers...." [50]

The repeated, incessant references to Russia and to no other nation while Canada boosts military cooperation with fellow NATO Arctic claimants leave no room for doubt regarding which nation Canadian military expansion in its north is aimed against. Recent deployments and new and upgraded installations cannot be used to fight a conventional conflict with any modern military adversary. But they are indicative of an intensifying campaign to portray Russia as a threat - as the threat - to Canada.

Piotr Dutkiewicz, director of Carleton University's Institute of European and Russian Studies, is quoted in a Canadian online publication recently as worrying that "There is a very strange rhetoric that is coming in recent months as to portray Russia as a potential enemy...." [51]

The rhetoric is backed up by action and it isn't strange but perfectly understandable.

Canada is primed for a role much like that of Georgia in the South Caucasus has been for the past several years, as a comparatively small (in terms of population) nation close to Russia which will be employed to play a part on behalf of far more powerful actors. And should Russia respond in any way to attempted Canadian efforts to "stand tall" against it, from scrambling jets to shooting down a bomber - bravado can always go awry - the US and NATO will be compelled to offer support and assistance, including military action, under the provisions of NATO's Article 5. In fact that may be exactly what Washington and Brussels have planned.

Rather than continuing to lend Georgia diplomatic and military support, it would behoove Canadians to borrow a lesson from last August's war in the Caucasus: A war can be launched on an aggressor's terms but end on someone else's.

1) CanWest News Service. May 26, 2009
2) Canwest News Service, December 11, 2008
3) Ibid
4) Canwest News Service, May 27, 2009
5) Library of Parliament, December 7, 2007
6) National Security Presidential Directive 66 on Arctic Region Policy
7) Ibid
8) Prensa Latina, March 29, 2007
9) Navy NewsStand, March 20, 2007
10) Navy NewsStand, March 29, 2007
11) Stop NATO, February 2, 2009
12) Interfax-Military, September 26, 2006
13) National Security Presidential Directive, January 9, 2009
14) Ibid
15) Canwest News Service, August 19, 2008
16) Canwest News Service, September 12, 2008
17) CBC, February 27, 2009
18) Ibid
19) Vancouver Sun, March 27, 2009
20) U.S. Geological Survey, May, 2008
21) Live Science, July 24, 2008
22) Science, May 29, 2009]
23) Globe and Mail, May 28, 2009
24) Bloomberg, May 29, 2009
25) Daily Tech, June, 1, 2009
26) Globe and Mail, May 28, 2009
27) NATO International, January 29, 2009
28) Ibid
29) NATO International, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe,
January 29, 2009
30) Itar-Tass, May 13, 2009
31) The Times, May 14, 2009
32) Barents Observer, May 28, 2009
33) Defense Professionals, May 25, 2009
34) Globe and Mail, May 24, 2009
35) Canadian Press, August 19, 2007
36) Financial Times, August 18, 2008
37) Canwest News Service, August 19, 2008
38) Reuters, August 28, 2008
39) RosBusinessConsulting, September 18, 2008
40) Agence France-Presse, September 19, 2008
41) Canwest News Service, December 15, 2008
42) Daily Gleaner (New Brunswick), April 22, 2009
43) Department of National Defence, Canada Command, April 2, 2009
44) Ibid
45) Canwest News Service, April 5, 2009
46) Edmonton Sun, April 13, 2009
47) Globe and Mail, April 27, 2009
48) Ibid
49) Canadian Press, May 7, 2009
50) Canwest News Service, May 15, 2009
51) Embassy, April 29, 2009

How Mexico's drug war washed up on Canada's West Coast


Lethal Connections, part 1 of 8: Mexico moves north | World | How Mexico's drug war washed up on Canada's West Coast
How Mexico's drug war washed up on Canada's West Coast

Vancouver task force struggles with fallout of crackdown on cartels

May 30, 2009 04:30 AM


VANCOUVER – Constables Phil Gomes and Mike Clark – a.k.a. Shake 'n' Bake – are 27 and 28, clean-cut and solidly built, and together form the newest and least-known front in Mexico's drug wars: Canada.

Members of the coveted Integrated Gang Task Force in British Columbia, their orders are to "disrupt and dismantle" drug gangs, many of which maintain a cocaine lifeline to Mexico.

They don't talk about it much, but they spend their days chasing down the "bad guys" and "sitting on" drug houses around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of B.C.

While the U.S. Attorney General's Office calls the Mexican drug cartels a "national security threat" and says 230 American cities have been infiltrated, the port city of Vancouver may be Canada's first to feel the fallout from the crackdown on Mexico's drug lords.

Already this year in the Vancouver area – nicknamed the gang capital of Canada – there have been 30 shootings (with 12 fatalities) directly linked to the gang shakeout in Mexico and tracked by the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Some 130 gangs operate in B.C., among them Red Scorpions, United Nations, MS-13, Bacon Brothers, Hells Angels and various independents – all with ties of varying degrees to lucrative Mexican cocaine, among other drugs from other places.

"Vancouver and British Columbia are unfortunately the focus of the largest number of organized crime groups in Canada," warned Peter Van Loan, federal public safety minister and solicitor-general, in a speech in Langley this year. A few days earlier, a gangster died nearby in a Mexican-style execution by machine-gun fire at the Thunderbird Village Mall.

In Mexico, where nearly 11,000 have died since Mexican President Felipe Calderón launched his government's "war on drugs" in 2006, drug-fuelled gangs impale heads on stakes and dissolve thousands of corpses in acid.

In Tijuana, a border town almost due south down the I-5 from Vancouver, there are three, maybe four drug murders a day and cartel henchmen take down local cops for sport.

In Vancouver, police are witnessing an escalation in the brutality of killings. Recently, in an apparently targeted hit, a gangster shot a young mother in her car as her 4-year-old sat in the back seat. Once, such actions were forbidden by established drug protocol. Now, collateral damage is routine in the slaughterhouse of gangland hits.

IT'S THE "ARMED and dangerous" label describing the parolee that chills when it pops up on the police laptop. It's in bold type, hard to miss.

Still, Gomes and Clark have no choice but to locate the guy. They climb out of their Chevy Tahoe and begin that unconscious pat-down of gear cops do. They check vests and pockets and give their side arms a tap; Gomes carries a Glock and his partner, Clark, a Sig-Sauer P-226.

It's coming up on 10 p.m. on a Friday, and they're on rounds in Langley, on the south side of the Fraser River, about 40 kilometres from Vancouver. They're doing a curfew check on an "associate" of the United Nations, a criminal organization with ties to Mexico and the world's deadliest drug cartels.

It's a full moon, but the light is watery. This could turn bad: a lethal force option. Gomes heads up the walk to the three-storey townhouse, rings the buzzer, and then knocks.

"POLICE," he shouts. "Open up!"

The man isn't home – a breach of recognizance – and they'll issue an arrest warrant. Their mood brightens but, as Gomes says, "You just never know what's on the other side of the door."

RCMP SUPT. Pat Fogarty, operations officer with the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), attributes the spike in Vancouver-area gang shootings directly to the police crackdown in Mexico. What's more, he knew it was coming.

"We saw this Mexican war starting to shake things up six months ago," he says in an interview in a hotel lobby in Surrey, a neighbouring municipality to Langley. The hotel is across the street from another site on our narco-murder tour, the parking lot of the busy Guildford Mall, scene of a recent execution.

"Things had been going well (in the cocaine trade) – and we're talking about a significant, efficient business," says Fogarty, 41. With his tailored brown suit, snappy loafers, red hair and freckles, he has the preppy look of any professional about to make a PowerPoint presentation. Except his is about the genesis of guns, gangs and drugs.

"Suddenly, you reduce supply and," he says in understatement, "things start to happen."

Sometime last fall, he saw the price of cocaine on the street soar from the $29,000-$32,000-a-kilo range to more than $55,000 per kilo, although it's gone back down to the regular price in recent months. "Next thing you know, (dealers) are saying they can't get their hands on coke at any price. They're losing customers – and, remember, this is a leveraged business. So the war disrupts the flow of cocaine and people fight to survive ... this is about power and greed."

Fogarty makes another point, one that's similar to arguments just as often heard these days in Mexican border cities Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez, where police attribute wildly escalating brutality to the military crackdown on cartels and a seismic shift in the value system of the latest crop of narco lords (if one can indeed talk about ethics among thieves, kidnappers, scoundrels and assassins).

"I hear it all the time – the problems with the new generation," begins Fogarty. "There doesn't appear to be one gang that controls the rest in B.C., but there are a lot of shootings among a new generation that's quick to the gun and wants fast money, fast cars and women, and doesn't want to work hard. The established value system, I'm told, is eroding."

Fogarty elaborates: "These young guys want to be feared and respected fast – but what seems to be missing are the more mature, powerful elements who put them in their place and say, `Hey, we don't do things that way.'"

It's about survival. The older generation of gangsters, according to Fogarty, cleaves to a low profile, very low. They're not big on Dodge City shootouts and understand the dangers of public outrage hovering at the boil and police all over the place. It's their business, and they've got a lot to lose. Like everything.

Fogarty pauses, laughs: "Youth today!"

IT'S ALMOST 2 a.m. on Saturday morning, and Gomes and Clark have clocked well over a hundred kilometres, checking in on bar and restaurant programs where staffers text police when gangsters show up. They cruise mall parking lots where the drill's the same: type in the plate numbers and see what pops out of the system. In between, they inhale four-cheese pizzas and gallons of Timmy's brew.

Before the bars close downtown, their teams hit the Gastown bar scene and scope out the rat-infested alleys of the Downtown East Side, where the sick prey upon the weak, exploitation at its cruellest. It's up to addicts to place their orders from idling cars, as tattooed driver/dealers show off portable drug buffets – all you can ingest for a price, possibly death. And so convenient.

Dealers on foot roughly shake awake drugged-out zombies and try to force down that last 20-rock of crack cocaine or another cheapo tab of ecstasy. Ultimately, however, nothing clears out an alley like the slow drive-by of a big, black cop-mobile.

It's been an okay night. Gomes and Clark have their arrest warrant to take another Red Scorpion gangster out of circulation, albeit temporarily and if he can be located. A fellow team collars three gang "associates" in Langley, charging one Red Scorpion with murder in the machine-gun execution and another with attempted murder by sledgehammer.

They have a couple of hours of paperwork before they take a break and do it all again tomorrow night. Gomes and Clark may not see it this way, but they are integral to the drug war on Canada's northern front. Neither do they mention their bravery citations: Gomes (home squad, Delta) for pulling elderly residents out of a nursing home with a gas leak; Clark (from the Vancouver department) for tackling dangerous home invaders on the run.

"Hey, hoser, how's it going?" asks a buddy, leaning in on the driver's door.

"Just living the dream," says Gomes. "Living the dream."

Obama’s Plan to Save Mortgage Industry Fails

by Jeff Davis

We’ve had five months of black rule now under The One, and the first chickens are starting to come home to roost. There will be many, many more articles like this assuming I am not dragged off to Guantanamo Bay if Obama decides to suspend the First Amendment.

A recent news article tells us: “The Federal Reserve announced a $1.2 trillion plan three months ago designed to push down mortgage rates and breathe life into the housing market. But this and other big government spending programs are turning out to have the opposite effect. Rates for mortgages and U.S. Treasury debt are now marching higher as nervous bond investors fret about a resurgence of inflation. That’s the Catch-22 threatening to make an awful housing market potentially worse and keep the economy stuck in a funk. Kick-starting the economy requires higher spending, but rising rates mean fewer Americans will be able to refinance their home loans. And some potential buyers will be shut out of the market by higher monthly payments they won’t be able to afford.”

In other words, Obama and his Jewish advisors don’t know what the hell they’re doing. This is what happens when you elect a Chicago street hustler with not even a full Senate term under his belt as President of the United States. We can all thank the fraudulent 2008 election in which citizenship was not checked and ACORN stole millions of votes for this.

The article continues “To understand how this is all connected, you have to think like a bond trader. Inflation is their enemy because it means the purchasing power of the dollars they receive when bonds eventually are paid off will be diminished. The only question is by how much. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes, a benchmark for home mortgages and other consumer loans, jumped from 2.5 percent in March around the time of the Fed announcement to as high as 3.7 percent in recent days… And 30-year mortgage rates jumped more than a quarter-point this week to 5.29 percent, the highest level since December, Freddie Mac reported. ‘If the meltdown continues in the bond market, then mortgage yields will soon be at levels that choke off refinancing activity,’ said economist Ed Yardeni, who runs his own investment firm. ‘Even worse, they could abort any necessary recovery in home sales and prices.’”

In other words, we’re going back to high mortgage rates –just as job security has never been worse. Good luck buying a home now. The bank or credit union that would make any mortgage loan is looking at what increasing inflation will do to their profits as well as your likeliness to pay off a loan.

Let’s see if we can strip this down to basics. The little Jews who gave you your mortgage borrowed from middling-sized Jews, and the middling-sized Jews borrowed from the big Jews. All that debt was for some bizarre reason treated as an “asset” in the financial world and all these IOUs were traded like baseball cards among the banks, more and more of them, like they had some kind of value in themselves. The system worked tolerably as long as responsible Whites were making most of the mortgage loans.

Then came ACORN. Uppity Negroes and liberals filed lawsuits forcing banks to make loans to totally unqualified minority subprime borrowers. Discriminatory “racist” requirements such as down payments and even employment verification were banned by insane liberal courts. These subprime loans steadily grew in number, and as long as home prices continued to rise, the low quality of the borrowers did not matter, but the second home prices started to drop, the whole house of cards collapsed.

Add to this the poisonous effect of bundling these largely worthless subprime loans and then selling them to investors and mutual funds all over America.

The key to restoring health to the economy is to A) put normal White people with some sense of personal ethics and integrity back to work and getting money in their pockets so they can buy homes and make mortgage payments; B) Deport the 20 million illegal aliens now residing in this country; and C) Stop making mortgage loans to blacks who have neither the ability nor the intention to pay their mortgage and who simply foul their nest and then run off into the night.

Unbelievable Coincidences Surrounding Holocaust Museum Shooting

by James Buchanan

At first when I heard the news of the shooting at the Holocaust Museum, it seemed like an unfortunate incident that would set back the pro-White movement. Lone nut shootings never do us any good. They create a hyper-emotional reaction that crooked politicians use to pass gun bans and hate crime legislation.

There is however a truly impressive number of strange circumstances and coincidences surrounding this shooting. For one thing, the media is telling us that this 88 year old man had a White Supremacist website. Most of us with grandparents in their 80s, can’t get them to use e-mail or computers at all. The thought of an 88 year old with a website is more than a little suspicious. Another suspicious thing is that someone who has lived for 88 years without shooting anyone, is an unlikely candidate to go on a shooting spree. Frankly, I can’t think of any cases of White Nationalists or anyone else, who flipped out and started shooting people at the age of 88.

Add to this, a long list of big political events surrounding this shooting. Right wing political parties have just scored a series of victories in Europe. The British Nationalist Party (BNP) just won its first seats in the European parliament. Through an amazing “coincidence,” von Brunn allegedly has ties with the BNP. Now what are the odds of a White American racist, with a German last name, having an association with the BNP –and then he goes on a shooting spree, just after they score a victory and need all their members on their best behavior before the next round of elections.

Obama’s recent trip to visit various Muslim countries is another major coincidence. I’m sure the Israelis are more than a little ticked off with Obama for this. What better way to get his attention back on the Jews and their favorite propaganda issue, the Holocaust, than to arrange a shooting incident at the Holocaust museum. If the CIA could have mind control assassins, I strongly suspect the Mossad has figured this out too. Add to this the fact that von Brunn shot a Black guard at the Holocaust museum. Another coincidence designed to refocus Obama on the Jews. (I’d like to know if a Black guard is normally assigned to the front door of that museum or if this was some last minute change.)

Conspiracies are a fact of life and things like mind control experiments are very real. Are there politicians so evil that they would frame someone up as a patsy for an assassination or brainwash someone into shooting a politician? Well, Lee Harvey Oswald might have had something to say about that if he weren’t murdered. The JFK assassination was definitely the work of several gunmen, including a shooter on the grassy knoll, but Oswald is still the official patsy to this day. An inadvertent audio recording during the JFK assassination indicates that at least four shots were fired –with two being almost simultaneous –an impossibility for the bolt action rifle that was associated with Oswald. The assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968, is strongly suspected of being a mind control assassination.

A considerable amount of information has come out about mind control experiments by the CIA. One source notes “In the summer of 1975, congressional Church Committee reports and the presidential Rockefeller Commission report revealed to the public for the first time that the CIA and the Department of Defense had conducted experiments on both unwitting and cognizant human subjects as part of an extensive program to influence and control human behavior through the use of psychoactive drugs such as LSD and mescaline and other chemical, biological, and psychological means. They also revealed that at least one subject had died after administration of LSD. Much of what the Church Committee and the Rockefeller Commission learned about MKULTRA was contained in a report, prepared by the Inspector General’s office in 1963, that had survived the destruction of records ordered in 1973.[31] However, it contained little detail. The congressional committee investigating the CIA research, chaired by Senator Frank Church, concluded that ‘[p]rior consent was obviously not obtained from any of the subjects’ The committee noted that the ‘experiments sponsored by these researchers … call into question the decision by the agencies not to fix guidelines for experiments.’ ”

Most Americans have serious doubts that the CIA stopped its mind control experiments, and many people believe that a large percentage of “lone nut” shootings are rogue CIA operations. The assassination attempt against Ronald Reagan involved a weak-minded invidividual, John Hinckley, who just happened to be the brother of a major Bush supporter. Perhaps the ex-CIA Chief Bush noticed the confused brother and decided he was the perfect sort for this kind of assassination attempt.

Mind control appears to work best on the weak-minded, and what better candidate than someone 88 years old, who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease?

The Jews’ Holocaust museum is all about brainwashing White children into believing Jewish lies intended to give White people a guilt complex. Attacking that museum is a mistake because it paves the way for a lot more whiny Jewish guilt-mongering, and feeds the stereotype of anti-Semites as being violent.

The Jews are the biggest murderers of the twentieth century. Jews were the founders and masters of Communism, which killed tens of millions of White Christians in Europe. Why don’t we have a museum dedicated to the well-documented and much larger mass murders of White Christians under Communism? Why do we only have a museum dedicated to alleged Jewish suffering (which an increasing number of brave historians have concluded is a load of war propaganda)?

Democrats Get A Dose of their own Medicine

by Ian Mosley

Some months ago, three California Republicans broke ranks and defected to the Democrats, in order to pass the largest tax increase in California history, going against the expressed will of the people who elected them. One can appreciate the irony now that it appears the Republicans have turned their own trick back on them. And they’ve done it in the bluest of all blue states, New York, of all places.

A New York Times article reports “Less than a month ago, Democrats and Republicans posed like one big happy family for their class picture, but a dramatic coup to depose Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith has left everybody in Albany with a lot of hard feelings…Smith didn’t show his face Tuesday, but sources said legal action is being considered to stop Republican Dean Skelos from becoming majority leader and renegade Democrat Pedro Espada from becoming speaker pro tem, one step away from being governor… Sources told CBS 2 HD that legal pressure is being brought to bear to step up action against the two renegade Dems who supported the coup — Hiram Monserrate, who was recently indicted for attacking his girlfriend, and Espada, who really lives in Mamaroneck and has a number of campaign finance violations. Espada is being investigated by the Bronx district attorney and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.”

I would make some comment about political corruption among Latinos, but the fact is that in New York this kind of thing among legislators and officials is actually quite common and accepted. The corruption level in New York’s state and municipal government is probably the most egregious in the country, not even excepting Louisiana and Illinois, but because New York is indeed the bluest of blue states and the personal home of most major media personnel, the rest of the country simply never hears about it, except in a few cases which can’t be suppressed, like when the Democrat governor Elliot Spitzer was caught with the now famous hooker, Ashley Dupree. If Spitzer hadn’t been wiretapped by the feds under a Republican administration, that incident would have likely been suppressed as well.

The article notes “There was no work done in the [New York State] Senate Tuesday. Here’s why: Right now the doors to the Senate are locked, so the big question is whether Dems open it in time for session Wednesday. ‘;I’m hoping by 3 p.m. tomorrow the former majority leader will realize we have to move on and start working,’ said Sen. Tom Libous, R-Binghamton. Republican senators said it’s unconstitutional for Democrats to keep the door locked.”

How did they get the keys, anyway? Can’t the Republicans just call a janitor to let them in?

The NY Post continues “Still reeling from a sudden revolt a day earlier that shifted control of the New York State Senate to Republicans, Democrats huddled behind closed doors in the Capitol on Tuesday morning, seeking a legal path to help them block the power grab. But it was far from clear whether they would be able to keep Republicans from assuming control of the Senate, or even whether they would be able to keep more members from defecting and further cementing the new Republican majority… The coup on Monday was prompted by two dissident Democrats — Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens — who had been secretly strategizing with Republicans for weeks. The two bucked their party’s leaders and joined with 30 Republican senators to form what they said would be a bipartisan power-sharing deal. But the arrangement effectively re-establishes Republican control.

One wonders if a large sum of money changed hands. Or was it simply a case of two politicians, who felt they could have more power, more committee assignments and bigger offices if they jumped ship (which is basically legalized bribery).

The story is interesting in that it is the first sign I have seen since Obama’s coronation in January that the Republicans might be growing a spine and actually might begin to act like an opposition party and not like a terrified deer in the headlights.

Alec Greven: How to Talk to Girls

Fact of the Day - June 17, 2009

Analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their forecast for U.S. benchmark oil by 31 percent to $85 a barrel for the end of 2009 and predicted further gains next year as demand recovers and supplies shrink.

Meet America's Most Mysterious Cat

Dear Friend,

Canada Lynx

Meet the Canada lynx, one of seven "ambassador species" threatened by global warming.

Strikingly beautiful, they look a little like bobcats re-imagined by Dr. Seuss.

Their intimate predator-prey relationship with the snowshoe hare underpins the balance of life in the Northern forest.

Meet the Canada lynx, one of seven North American ambassador species in EDF's new feature, Warming and Wildlife.

Our ambassadors confront threats from global warming, and some are officially threatened with extinction.

Because all life is interdependent, harm to our ambassadors also affect the entire web of life in which they live, in many cases with direct effects on human well-being.

Visit our Warming and Wildlife campaign where you'll meet endangered wildlife such as:

American Pika The hairball "rock rabbit" -- American pika, which perches atop mountain rock piles and entertains hikers with its whistling. Pikas are cold weather creatures even short exposures to temperatures above 78 degrees F can be fatal.

Sugar Maple New England's stately sugar maple, divine source of pancake syrup and a livelihood for generations of farmers. Warmer winters lead to shorter, more erratic "sugaring seasons" and trigger pest invasions.

Monarch Butterfly The majestic monarch butterfly, which engages in one of nature's most wondrous annual migrations. The monarch’s high dry wintering grounds in central Mexican fir forests are disappearing and becoming wetter, and its summer grounds are becoming hotter, threatening this beautiful backyard wonder.

These ambassadors all tell a story that warming is already here, no living thing is unaffected, and unless we act now, the web of life will be unalterably changed on our planet.

It is a story reinforced by this week's release of Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States -- a hard-hitting interagency scientific report on how global warming threatens to bake much of the U.S. with dramatically higher temperatures, inundate coastal communities with sea level rise and stronger storm surges, and worsen air pollution and Western water shortages.

The time for action is now. Wildlife like the Canada lynx have no voice in Washington, but we do.

Please raise yours to demand action to stop global warming.

Thanks for all you do to help protect all life on earth.


Stacy Small Signature

Stacy L. Small, Ph.D.

Conservation Scientist

Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund
1875 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20009


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