Thursday, June 28, 2007


A recent UN report indicates that by 2008, one half of the world’s population will live in cities. According to the AP in London (6/28/07), that means that some 3.3 billion people will live in urban areas and by 2030, this number is expected to climb to 5 billion people. In the United States, nearly 50% of the U.S. population lives in coastal counties and worldwide, one tenth of the population lives in low lying coastal areas. What are these people going to do if sea levels rise?
According to a March IPS report, "Of the more than 180 countries with populations in the low-elevation coastal zone, 130 of them -- about 70 percent -- have their largest urban area extending into that zone," said Bridget Andersen, a research associate at CIESIN, in a statement. Furthermore, the world's largest cities -- those with more than five million residents -- have on average one-fifth of their population and one-sixth of their land area within this coastal zone." According to the IPS report, the countries that will be most vulnerable and who have most number of people living in these low lying areas are China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Egypt, the United States, Thailand and the Philippines. Given the latest concerns over climate “tipping point,” one cannot help but wonder if planners and policy makers will be able to cope with coastal disasters should their models on sea level rises are inaccurate.
Studies from NASA and other scientific communities are greatly concerned that not only do we not understand all of the climate and natural system interactions, but that things are happening a lot faster than anticipated. While warnings say that we must turn things around in the next ten years in order to avoid the worst case climate change scenarios, most government plans call for actions with goals that are 30 years out. Something is terribly wrong with this picture!
Another issue that should be addressed is that with so many people living in urban areas, are these cities capable of dealing with other potential disasters such as typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes drought or other climate and non-climate related concerns? One only has to look at the effects of hurricane Katrina, the recent flooding in Texas, Jakarta, China and other areas as well the slate of fires knocking on the doors of urban areas. If one didn’t know better, it would seem that half of the world’s population is marching into an uncertain fate.
On a related note, the UN report also indicated that with the rise of urban populations is coming a rise in urban based religious extremism. The U.N. undersecretary general said that, “Extremism is often a reaction to rapid or sudden change.” Given that urban areas are ill prepared to cope with these rising population pressures, it would seem that cities may not only face the scourge of climate change, but social disorder as well. The clock is ticking and bold decisions are in order.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The recent AP story concerning the book and the movie, “The Secret” is humorous at best and disturbing at worst. The following are a few highlights from the story reported by CNN News:
“CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- While "The Secret" has become a pop culture phenomenon, it also has drawn critics who are not quiet about labeling the movement a fad, embarrassingly materialistic or the latest example of an American propensity of wanting something for nothing.
Some medical professionals suggest it could even lead to a blame-the-victim mentality and actually be dangerous to those suffering from serious illness or mental disorders.
"It's a triumph of marketing and magic," said John Norcross, a psychologist and professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania…" 'The Secret' has earned my antipathy for its outrageous, unproven assertions that I believe go beyond the ordinary overpromises of most self-help books into a danger realm," he said.
The book's mantra of "ask, believe, receive," he said, easily transforms into a blame the victim mentality.
"Cancer victims. Sexual assault victims. Holocaust victims. They're responsible?" Norcross said. "The book is riddled with these destructive falsehoods."
"The law of attraction says that like attracts like, and when you think and feel what you want to attract on the inside, the law will use people, circumstances and events to magnetize what you want to you, and magnetize you to it," Byrne said in an e-mail in response to several questions posed by The Associated Press.
… the fear that "The Secret" will lead to a blame-the-victim mentality is a serious claim of critics.
Psychotherapist and lifestyle coach Stacy Kaiser said that after reading "The Secret," several patients have worried that it was their fault they were abused, or laid off from their jobs. Others seem to expect everything in their lives to change overnight, she said.”
While there were some positive comments about “The Secret” in the article the overall tone was that people are being scammed. The use of such words as “dangerous, blame and outrageous” are used by those who have no real understanding of spiritual thought and I cannot help but wonder if they actually read the book. Is the book and movie perfect in their presentation? No. Are the claims dangerous? No
Let’s postulate another scenario which few claim is dangerous or outrageous. A group come along and says that there is only one god and they have the inside track on the intentions and so called desires of that god. They say that if you do not worship their god, IT will condemn you forever in a fiery inferno. If you do worship this god and give it a lot of money and build temples for worship, it will forgive you your sins. Even though this god made you and is all knowing it has condemned you from the start and only proper worship and duty will save you-well, some of you-144,000 to be exact. This god loves you but says that you must live a life that does not include material wealth, which you should give to its temples. And, if you are really good, some of you will get to be happy forever, when you die. Oh, to test your loyalty, this god has created all kinds of demons and monsters that will tempt ant taunt you. Although it has also created some good spirits that will send you messages every now and then but, in the end, even they will unleash plague, pestilence, war and untold suffering. Basically, if you want to be rewarded when you die: lead a good life, obey all of the rules, live a life of misery, kill those who do not believe and maybe, you will be saved.
If you want to talk about creating a victim mentality it seems that most religions have already done that. You are born a sinner, you are entitled to a life of misery, you are worthless (but loved), and you are probably going to hell. And you wonder why our society is riddled with disease and the world is forever at war. Most established institutions always have a negative and even violent reaction when something threatens their established dogma. Books like “The Secret” offer a good life in the here and now and yet as a result of this idea, they must be based upon selfish, materialistic concepts? Such claims show a total lack of understanding regarding humanity’s evolution and the dangers and threats posed by those organizations that are more concerned about their own survival and the status quo. The good thing is that all of these uninformed remarks only make the new ideas more popular. Remember what the Roman circus did for Christianity?

Friday, June 22, 2007


Is the energy bill enough or too little, too late? If it were twenty years ago the recent bill passed by the U.S Senate would have been applauded for its foresight and innovation. While not getting all that they wanted, the bill includes provisions that would increase fuel mileage to a fleet average of 35mpg by 2020; boost ethanol production sevenfold; prevent oil price gouging; increase appliance and lighting efficiencies; and, provide research into more energy efficient vehicles.

As was expected, the now anti-environment Republicans killed a tax on oil companies to help fund renewable energy as well as a requirement to force utilities to bur electricity from renewable energy suppliers. It would appear that Republicans have grown too accustomed to feeding off of the oil producers to even think of taking any of their record making profits. And they wonder why they will lose in 2008?

If this bill passed twenty years ago, assuming the President signs it, this would have been hailed as an environmental milestone. My concern, however, is that based upon the U.N. global climate change reports, we do not have until 2020 to begin the process of reducing green house gas emissions. If fleet averages just reach 35mpg by 2020 there is no expectation that everyone is going to run out and purchase a new vehicle at that time. It will take years past the 2020 date before major reductions in emissions are felt. That kind of time is not on our side.

According to the DAILY FUEL ECONOMY TIP the following information relates to fuel economy of several U.S. vs. Japanese auto makers:
Top 5 Most Fuel Efficient American Cars:
Ford Escape Hybrid - 36 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Chevy Aveo - 26 mpg city / 35 mpg highway
Ford Focus - 26 mpg city / 34 mpg highway
Chevy Cobalt - 25 mpg city / 34 mpg highway
Ford Fusion - 24 mpg city / 32 mpg highway
Top 5 Most Fuel Efficient Japanese Cars:
Honda Insight - 60 mpg city / 66 mpg highway
Toyota Prius - 60 mpg city / 51 mpg highway
Honda Civic Hybrid - 49 mpg city / 51 highway
Toyota Corolla - 32 mpg city / 41 mpg highway
Toyota Matrix - 30 mpg city / 36 mpg highway

The obvious question raised from the above is, what is so exciting about getting 35mpg by the year 2020? The Japanese are far exceeding these standards now! The technology obviously exists to make immediate impacts on climate change and U.S. auto makers will find themselves wondering why their sales continue to decline.
Even now we are seeing drastic changes in the climate and factors not even considered in the UN’s equations are cropping up. The poles are saturated with CO2, glacial melt is faster and other unsuspected factors are emerging that were not even considered in earlier projections. The web of nature is so complex we do not understand or account for all of those relationships in our modeling and our predictions. Most informed scientists say we have to act now to reduce emissions and political leaders are still acting as if we have decades to solve or at least address climate change issues. All evidence is to the contrary.

A recent ABC News story says the following:
“Even "moderate additional" greenhouse emissions are likely to push Earth past "critical tipping points" with "dangerous consequences for the planet," according to research conducted by NASA and the Columbia University Earth Institute.
With just 10 more years of "business as usual" emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, says the NASA/Columbia paper, "it becomes impractical" to avoid "disastrous effects.”
By heralding the new research paper, NASA is endorsing science that places considerably more urgency on the need to reduce emissions to avoid "disastrous effects" of global warming than was evident in the recent reports from the world's scientists coordinated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The new NASA release emphasizes the danger of "strong amplifying feedbacks" pushing Earth past "dangerous tipping points."

Regardless of all of the back slapping for this new piece of environmental legislation, the public must come to understand that the called for measures are too little, too late. We do not have until 2020 to start making major changes in the way we live. Our own government agencies are issuing dire warnings but our politicians are off in the ozone layer somewhere, assuming there still is one.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


It has never been about America, religion and maybe not even Israel; it has always been about power. Recent events in the Middle East have me wondering whether the fighting in Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq has ever really been about a clash of cultures or religions. The latest headlines from this war torn region would indicate that the issue is really all about who has political power.

Hamas and Fatah does not seem the least bit concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people; their poverty, their hunger, their loss of life, their religion or solutions to ending decades of misery. It is one thing to have differing political viewpoints and another to kill over them. In the latter instance it is evident that you are not dealing with ideology, you are dealing with power hungry zealots that have little concern for any interests except their own agenda to be in control.

In Iraq, the recent bombing of the minarets of the Shiite shrine in Samarra also proves that the issues between the Sunni and Shiites are not really about an American presence as much as it is about who will control the political balance of power among the various Muslim sects. It is not an issue of the Islam world standing tall in jihad against the American infidels. It is about who gets to control and impose their will on the people.

According to the stories in Beirut, “Angry mourners lambasted Syria on Thursday at the funeral of a prominent MP whose killing in another Beirut bombing stoked fears of further instability in deeply divided Lebanon. Walid Eido, a vocal critic of the Syrian regime, was killed in a in a seafront attack on Wednesday that was blamed on Lebanon's former power brokers in Damascus.”(AFP). Once again, the thirst for power and not true philosophical beliefs seem to be the issue.

Neither Middle Eastern political or religious appear to have a real concern for solving the region’s problems. People starve, civilians are caught in the crossfire, and the social, economic and political institutions fall apart under a false umbrella of religious overtones. These types of wars may not be winnable since what we are fighting is not really ideology or way of life based. When the enemy could care less about the survival of a way of life or about establishing a true and lasting peace, then the enemy is really a mirage. They have no substance, no belief to counter, and there is really no debate on principles since they have none. If they are willing to do anything to simply be in control then it seems that the only solution is to eliminate one side or the other and let the chips fall where they may.

We cannot impose democracy on a people who have no history of free choice. We will never convince madmen that the right to vote is more important than power. We cannot convince these people of the rights of woman since the issue is really about controlling woman, not about some silly religious idea of woman as second class citizens. It is not about peace with Israel. The only real issue with Israel is that they have power and bigger weapons-something they desperately seek. It is not Islam versus Christianity because these people follow no religion except the religion of power and control. As long as there are sufficient numbers in each opposing camp, there will always be war because the only goal they have is to dominate the other.

With these types of issues, the U.S. is really going to have to take a much closer look at the enemy and devise a new way of thinking and a new strategy. We are not fighting sane and rational people. They have recently shown their true colors and they are not red, white and blue.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


We are all familiar with the nursery rhyme, “Ring around the rosy…” that was actually about the bubonic plague during the dark ages. A recent study in Maine would seem to indicate that we are in the midst or a new plague. This one does not come from rats or fleas and is not the normal pathogen.-it is from toxic chemicals!

A study conducted by the Alliance for a clean and healthy Maine just issued the result of a study that tested volunteers for the presence of toxic chemicals in the body. The study found that some 36 toxic substances were in the volunteers. Above normal amounts of chemicals such as mercury, PBDEs (a fire retardant), PFCs, and BPA, lead, arsenic and mercury were found. Where did some of these toxic chemical come from? Try carpets, nail polish, beauty products, sofas, and water bottles, your TV, shower curtain and Teflon skillets. Several of those tested were avid eaters of organic foods and led a healthy lifestyle but still exhibited high levels of the toxins.

We are also aware of the explosion in new disorders affecting our society. There are the reports of the growth in autism, cancer, childhood obesity and just watch TV, well, maybe not, and the commercials touting the full array of new dysfunctions that are in need of that new little pill. While this study was only done in Maine, it would not be unreasonable to assume that similar toxins are found in most nationwide. Are these findings the underlying reasons why today’s youth seems so inattentive in the schools and basically hyper? This was not started as a conclusion but one cannot help but wonder.

One comment made by a scientist was that, “just because you can a chemical in the body does not mean is necessarily harmful.” How often have we been told that lie? While it may well be that the body can tolerate certain levels of toxic substances without harm, it seems ridiculous to think that we can expose our children to these chemicals throughout their whole life without causing harm. Many chemicals accumulate and the effects are also cumulative.

Let’s add another component to the equation. Aside from all of the garbage that is contained in the processed food that we eat, not including food from China, we are also exposed to higher and higher level of forms of electromagnetic radiation. From TVs, computer, cell phones and the endless scores of gadgets found in most households and the ever-growing numbers of signal towers, I seems reasonable to think that these waves are having some effect on the body. After all, the body functions on electrical currents and this combination of toxic chemicals and radiation must be putting increasing stresses on the body.

The study, called “Body of Evidence: A Study of Pollution in Maine People,” breaks some new ground in exposing what may be the underlying causes of what is ailing many Americans. It is possible that our next pandemic may not be the bird flu, influenza or some other exotic pathogen. The next plague may actually come from our own homes and from products that we unsuspectingly use on a regular basis. “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!”

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Apparently not a lot. Something does not make sense in this new war of words and accusations beyween the U.S. and Russia. It seems that just a short while ago, Bush and Putin were good buddies, chowing down on steaks in Texas. Now, they are like two "tom cats" surrounded by females in heat. Just prior tp the G8 meeting, Bush slings all kinds of charges at Putin. This makes no sense. Is it at all possible that this is all for show? Talk of a new 'cold war' is diverting attention from things like climate change, rising oil prices, the problems in Iraq and Iran. Is it possible that all of this new rhetoric is a ploy between good friends to change the world's focus from other pressing issues? Just a thought. I will revisit this after the G8 meeting.

Sunday, June 3, 2007



If we can manifest our own reality, why is it that you seem to have a problem getting started? Aside from the largest issue being that you think that someone else, a “higher authority” has told you that it cannot be done and that it is a foolish notion, why can’t you just give it a try. Of course, that is Catch-22 number one. You only want a test drive and you are fully aware that there are many things to try.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that you are going to be sincere in your effort. You have heard a lot about the Law of Attraction and you actually believe that it can be done and are convinced that others have been successful. You decide that the most pressing issue, at the moment, in your life is the lack of financial resources so that will be your first goal, to manifest some money. Catch-22! The catch is that you tell the Universe you lack financial resources so “lack” is your message.

You put all of your bills into a stack and figure out how much money you need. Catch-22! You are telling the Universe that you are needy. You then come up with a firm amount-could be a Catch-22-you are saying that is all you need. You then tell the Universe that you want to win the lottery to pay off you bills. Catch-22! Maybe the Universe has a better way to pay the bills that does not include the lottery. You buy some tickets and get angry that you do not win. Catch-22! Your anger gives power to you idea of financial deficiency.

Time for a different approach? You look at you bank statement and get concerned that you do not have enough money. Obvious Catch-22! You then decide that you are going to visualize your bank account with a certain sum. That’s okay in a way but you have in the back of your mind that your account needs more money. Catch-22! You sit back waiting for your checking account to grow. Catch-22! You are not taking any action. When it doesn’t, you get depressed, Catch-22, and you decide that the Law of Attraction is a bunch of bull. The Big Catch-22!

For those of you who are not familiar with Catch-22 it the title of a book by Joseph Heller. The notion is something like this. If you want to move to the U.S. you have to have a job. To have a job in the U.S. you must live here. That is the concept of Catch-22.

I offer the following from Dan on The Shower Channel, “It can be a very difficult thing for you to hear and accept that you never really improve any situation by focusing on what’s going wrong. You never really solve a problem by focusing on the problem. You never get yourself to a place that feels better by focusing on what feels bad (but don’t tell the psychologists that). A more precise and important way of putting it is that you cannot move forward in the direction of your dreams and desires when you are focused on the fear or the worry of failure. You cannot move in the direction of what you want when you are insisting upon staring at what is, where you are.
In fact we would encourage you to never pay attention to what is unless it is delightful to do so. Never give your attention to “what’s real” or “what’s true” unless that reality or that truth feels joyful or hopeful or comforting or reassuring or encouraging . . . For as long as you are giving your attention to anything that distresses or concerns or confuses or frustrates or scares you . . . then you are holding yourself in a place where the joy or the fulfillment or the love or the appreciation or the satisfaction cannot flow freely to you. You are stuck in a place that feels bad and you are stuck there for no reason other than that being what you are choosing to focus on.”

I hope that you can see the Catch-22 in all of this. The moment you try to solve a problem you are sending out mixed messages. You are affirming you have the problem. You are focusing attention on the problem and giving it energy. You are keeping it alive because where your thoughts and emotions go, so does the Law of Attraction. We are told to “take no thought…the fields are already white with harvest and if you have, more will be give.” The point is that when you give energy to a problem, you get more of the problem. What you give thought to is what the Universe will focus on. If you say you do not have, then you do not see the harvest in your life. If you focus on getting, the Universe responds by giving you getting. But, if you focus upon having, the Universe gives you more of what you have. Where your emotions go, the Universe goes also.

These are just some of the Catch-22’s. You must be ever vigilant about your thoughts and emotions. If your desire is money, tell the Universe you really like money and that you are thankful for the money in your life. Do not look down upon the lowly penny but rather give thanks for every penny you have or find. Gives thanks for every bill that you pay and be joyous that you are able to spread the wealth and share with others, even if they are the bill collectors. Focus upon the “have” and not the have not. Remember, every word that follows “I” is very powerful and sends a message to the Universe. Avoid using I want, I need, I don’t, I should, I wish, I need, etc.

I do not mean to focus upon money but it is such an easy example to use. The same applies to every aspect of life and all of your emotions. Do not hold yourself in place by focusing upon your current situation. Walk, talk, think and plan with an attitude of already having. When you change your mindset, things will begin to change and the Catch-22s will begin to fade from your life.



You are driving down the road to go to a party. It is early evening and the sun is just setting. All of your friends will be at the evening’s event which promises to be filled with good food, good company and a night of fun. Earlier in the day there was a thunder storm and a few puddles still remain on the road. You are thinking of the anticipated fun when an oncoming vehicle swerves into your lane forcing you onto the shoulder. Tooting your horn in frustration you come to a stop, roll down your window and shout obscenities at the other driver who continues on as if nothing had happened.

You are still a bit shaken by the near accident and take several deep breaths. After a few moments of contemplating what could have been your death, you begin to relax. With steadier nerves, you put the vehicle in drive to continue on your journey top meet your friends and to enjoy the evening. You apply a little pressure to the gas pedal, but the car does not move. You apply a little more gas and suddenly hear the sound of a tire spinning. Assuming you are in a little mud, you apply a bit more gas, but the tire only spins louder.

You put the car back into Park and get out to see what is going on. All of your thoughts of a wonderful, fun filled night begin to evaporate when you notice that for the past few moments your tires have been making a big, muddy rut. You shout a few curses and look up the road towards your hoped-for destination. The sun is setting further and soon you will be in darkness. Since you had decided to take an unfamiliar but more scenic route to the party, you discover that there is no traffic on the road. You are alone. You are not sure where you are, as this is a foreign route. Even though you know that you do not have one, you turn the car off, take the keys and head to the trunk in the hopes of finding a shovel or some tool that will help extricate you from the mud. Opening the trunk, you find just what you had expected: nothing, the trunk is empty except for a spare tire and a jack. Memories of TV ads about having emergency gear in your car at all times flit through your mind. The idea just makes you angry and you slam the trunk.

You look down the road again and the idea of your friends arriving at the party and having a good time without you increases your anger. You look back in the direction in which you came but there is nothing there but an empty road. You hop back into the car, put the key in the ignition and slam the shift into Drive. You then put increased pressure on the gas pedal and, once again, listen to the spinning tire. You give it more gas and the engine revs up, but you go nowhere. The only sensation of movement is that of sinking deeper into the mud.

Your fist hits the steering wheel and the pain instills more anger. Curses are flying freely into the silent surroundings. You begin to ask yourself why you did not keep a shovel, a bag of sand or rock salt in your trunk. You also just remembered that you have no flashlight, either, and look around at the increasing darkness. You put the car into neutral, jump out and move to the rear end. Mud is all over the tire well. You then look at your clean clothes in the last of the fading light and once again a curse is yelled into the nothingness. Putting your shoulder against the back of the car, you give it a shove. It doesn’t budge. You push harder and try to rock the car back and forth. It moves a little, but not enough to do any good. You step back and notice the mud on your pants.

Knowing better, you get back into the car and put the gas pedal to the floor. Forgetting you are in neutral, the engine revs quickly but there is no spinning tire. Understanding your error, you put it into Drive and the familiar whine of the tire actually gives you a brief sense of comfort. At least the tire still turns. If you could only get your hands on that stupid driver that forced you onto the shoulder. You hope he gets into an accident, alone, of course, so no one gets hurt but him. You begin to think about heading up the road but you do not know where you are. It is really getting dark and thoughts of the dangers of being alone on an empty road are not appealing. Too many movies about maniacs. Of course, you remember the sayings about staying with your vehicle in an emergency and the stories of those who didn’t and got lost and died.

Now you blame yourself for not taking the regular road to your friend’s house. Someone had told you that this back way was really pretty, which it was, up to now. You begin to wonder if your friends even know that you are not there. Maybe someone will come to find you. Then you remember saying you were not sure that you were going to go. It was a rough week and you might just stay home and get some rest. Are they really your friends? Do they even care? You should have stayed home. Damned mud!

You make a decision. Mud and ruts will not defeat you. You are smarter than a rut and you can get yourself out of the ditch. You stumble in the dark and try to collect some rocks. What you find you begin to pack under the tires. Your clothes are getting filthy, but who cares? You jump back into the car; more gas, but you get nowhere. More determined than ever, you jump back out to search for more rocks and branches. A damned rut will not keep you down. As you return with your next armful, a car approaches from the same direction that you followed. The driver comes to a stop and rolls down his window. He asks if you need help. You answer, rather abruptly, that you do not need any help and that you will get out of the rut by yourself. The driver asks if you are sure and you just tell him to get lost.

The driver rolls up his window and slowly drives away as if thinking you will change your mind. You don’t need his or anyone’s help. You can do this on your own. Once again you stuff your stones and branches under the tire. Once again you hit the gas and once again you hear the tire spitting out the stone and branches like some drunk belching out too many drinks. For several more hours you try again and again to get yourself out of the rut. Each attempt is met with failure.

You are now overcome with exhaustion. Your car is overheating, your clothes are tattered and your arms can carry nothing more. You crawl into the back seat to rest. Before entering the escape of sleep, you think of should haves, you curse the drunk driver, you damn your friends, you relive all of your bad memories, and then you pass out.

You are jolted awake by the toot of a horn. It is dawn and you squint from the growing brightness of the morning. As you stop? to sit you feel the aches in every muscle of your body. As you look out the window you see a car, like the one that stopped last night, idling beside yours. The driver opens his window and invites you to his car for a lift. You slowly open your door and leave your vehicle. As you do, you look back at you car and the stuck tire. You notice it is flat. You now realize that perhaps by changing the tire, you may have quickly gotten out of the rut. The problem was not really the mud after all. You go to the passenger side of the driver’s car and hesitate. Your clothes are filthy. He motions to get in anyway and says that the dirt will be easy to clean. Feeling the fool, you take your seat and the driver begins to take you to the nearest gas station.

As you drive along the driver asks if you are okay and you tell him that you are sore, but okay. He asks where you were headed last night and you tell him. He laughs and informs you that he was at the party that you were going to attend. He tells you that the house was only about a half mile around the corner from where you had gotten stuck.

Saturday, June 2, 2007


What is wrong with President Bush? Does he want his legacy to be “the man that rekindled the cold war?” According to Vladimir Putin the Russian test-firing of new missiles was in response to the U.S. plans to build missile defense sites across Eastern Europe. Why would we do that? What is the secret Bush agenda?

According to White house officials the purpose of the missile defense system in Eastern Europe is to defend the area against rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. I am no military strategists but this makes no sense. If North Korea were to launch missiles at the U.S. why would they send them over China, across Russia, over Europe and across the Atlantic to the U.S.? Do they even have the capability to do that? Would it not make more sense to shoot them at Hawaii or California? They are a lot closer.

The same goes for Iran. If the shortest distance for a missile to fly is a straight line, I do not think that they would first go over Poland to reach the U.S. Again, do they have ICBMs? And, for the sake of argument, why does the U.S. have to defend Eastern Europe? If they are so concerned about Iran, which any intelligent being would doubt, then let them do something about it. Certainly we are a member of NATO but we simply cannot continue to put more bases and more missiles around the globe because we fear Iran and North Korea.
According to a May 31st AP report,
“He (Putin) assailed the United States and other members for failing to ratify an amended version of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, which limits the deployment of heavy non-nuclear weapons around the continent.
"We have signed and ratified the CFE and are fully implementing it. We have pulled out all our heavy weapons from the European part of Russia to (locations) behind the Ural Mountains and cut our military by 300,000 men," Putin said.
"And what about our partners? They are filling Eastern Europe with new weapons. A new base in Bulgaria, another one in Romania, a (missile defense) site in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic," he said. "What we are supposed to do? We can't just sit back and look at that."
Putin and other Russian officials have repeatedly rejected U.S. assurances that the planned missile defense installations are meant to counter a potential threat from nations such as Iran and pose no danger to Russia.”

I am not sure that I blame Putin. The reasoning put forward by the Bush Administration makes no sense. There is no doubt that Russia is beginning to flex its new economic and military muscles and that Putin is moving away from democratic reform towards greater central authority. He certainly deserves to be watched but it seems that we are purposely antagonizing Russia. The question is, why?

The Bush Administration has lost international credibility. We found that it lied about Iraq and now is offering lame reasons to further extend our military capabilities. Once this Presidency is over, it is anyone’s guess what other lies may come to light but one thing is certain, our foreign policy is one of alienation and not one of peace.