Cherie Blairs £100,000 from child cancer 30 January 2005

The radical feminist man hater makes £100,000 from child cancer

Cherie Blair set to earn £100,000 on charity tour

CHERIE BLAIR was under pressure last night to reveal her earnings from a charity tour of Australia after documents suggested that she could be paid fees of as much as £100,000. Blair is understood to be receiving free flights, free accommodation and a free Jaguar courtesy car during her trip next week to raise funds for research into children’s cancer. It is also believed that she will be paid a substantial fee for the tour. A document headed “draft budget” estimates that her series of speeches will raise about £400,000 but only a quarter of this money will go to the Children’s Cancer Institute, a research charity. Cherie Blair and Markson Sparks, the Sydney-based organisers, will receive fees and expenses totalling more than £200,000, which will be split between them, according to the document that has been shown to The Sunday Times. However, on Friday Markson Sparks said the figures were “inaccurate”. It has previously been reported that Blair is to receive a fee for the speaking tour but Downing Street has refused to confirm or deny this.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP, voiced concern about Blair’s financial arrangement. “She is clearly trading on her husband’s name, which makes this a political issue and these figures will concern people who have supported what they believe is a charitable event,” he said. “Cherie Blair must now disclose any fees she is earning from this trip. Any personal profit she makes out of this should be split with the charity concerned and the British taxpayer to offset the cost of any security provided for a private fundraising tour.” The trip comes amid speculation about the state of the Blair family finances following their purchase of a £3.6m London townhouse last September, which they have so far failed to rent out. They are estimated to be paying £13,500 a month in mortgage repayments. Blair is billed as “the most powerful woman in Britain” in publicity literature for the forthcoming tour, which starts in Perth and covers Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. It is not known whether she will hand over any of her earnings to charity.

The draft budget — itemising everything from the cost of lavish dinners to the price of postal stamps — is produced by Markson Sparks, the publicity company run by Max Markson, an Australian businessman who organised the country’s first wet T-shirt competition. Headed Markson Sparks and “Children’s Cancer Institute draft budget”, the document apparently shows that Markson’s company expects a minimum of A$243,600 (£99,900) to be paid to the charity. Markson Sparks would take a fee of £112,800 and an additional £102,600 is allocated as “Cherie Blair’s fee”. Markson said yesterday that the figures in the document were “false and wrong” and that the charity was likely to receive significantly more money than shown in the document because of strong ticket sales.

He would not comment on the likely fees to be paid to his company or to Cherie Blair. Markson Sparks has arranged events for other high-profile speakers. It has, however, been criticised for failing to generate enough money for charity and also for a lack of transparency. One of the critics has been the Rev Tim Costello, a social justice campaigner who believes that the amounts being paid to speakers are “mind- boggling and defy sanity”.,,176-1462708,00.html

Why wouldn't they let me be with my dad? 30 January 2005

What is life like for Britain's 59,000 foster children? Cassandra Jardine meets one girl who has lived with seven families in 11 years ­ and feels damaged Just before Christmas, I heard about a 15-year-old, whom I shall call Alice, who was desperate to talk. At the time, she was living with foster parents: "I want to tell you what it is like being in care," she said. "I'm strong, so I can speak out on behalf of all those who do not dare because they fear reprisals."

In the past 11 years, she explained, she had lived in seven different foster homes, often feeling like a cash cow and a skivvy. Worst of all had been the six months of last year that she had spent in a children's home in Kent, where she had been hungry and was subjected to violent methods of control. For a teenager who had been through so much, she sounded extraordinarily sane. "That's because I am one of the lucky ones: I have a father who loves me," she said, "though I'm not often allowed to see him." All year, she had been looking forward to staying with him for her birthday in early December. Plans for the visit had been discussed at several meetings but, at the last minute, a new social worker had said the checks needed to be done yet again, and the visit had been called off. Alice had threatened to go on hunger strike, but her father persuaded her not to do so. Instead, he said he would write to me, as he had read articles I had written about the social services and adoption; he suggested I listen to her story. Nick, a carpenter, wrote me a long, eloquent letter that detailed the agonies and frustrations he and his daughter had endured at the hands of a care system that seemed more concerned with covering its own back than meeting a child's individual needs. "But it would be wrong of me, much as I love her," he concluded, "to speak on Alice's behalf." I called her and we agreed to meet.

Her story is unique, but not untypical of the situations that fall to social services departments to sort out. Alice was just three weeks old when her mother walked out on her father, taking their two children. Later, she told them their father was dead. She became an alcoholic and the children were taken into respite care. Even though she went into rehab and has been sober ever since, they were not returned to her. Social services wanted "a permanent secure solution" and a full care order was taken out. It was at that stage that Alice's mother revealed that Nick was still alive. "But it was too late to resist the momentum of the fostering machine," says Nick. His barrister did establish, at the three-day hearing, that if a placement were to break down, he would be considered as a possible carer. That has never happened. I meet Alice at her father's home, where he lives with her half-brother, the child of his second marriage. The half-siblings have spent very little time together, yet they are happily mucking around with a pet ferret.

With her careful make-up - "she spends hours on it", her brother teases - and her tendency to shoot loving glances at the boots her father gave her for her birthday, Alice comes across as an entirely normal 15-year-old. But she says she isn't: "I am what foster care and the children's home made me. If I can't be bothered with someone, I ignore them. And if I don't get sugar, I get depressed." Digging into a strawberry yogurt, and sending her father out of the room, she describes her years in a system in which she never felt anyone really cared for her. Since foster carers are discouraged from becoming emotionally involved - and can have children removed from them if they show signs of being so - this is scarcely surprising.

The picture of fostering that Alice paints is a Dickensian one of being forced to work like a servant for several of her foster carers - sometimes, while being taunted by their natural children - and of being made to eat and watch television in a different room from the biological family. "If the family got a Chinese take-away, I was given chips," she says. In her teens, she began to question some of her foster carers' motives, calling them "skimmers" and "nickers": "I know how much money they make," she says. The Fostering Network recommends allowances ranging from £108 a week for a baby outside London to £224 for a 16-year-old in London, not including any payment to the carers. Some of her foster carers, she claims, failed to pass on dress allowances and pocket money amounting to several thousand pounds. Bizarrely, because her mother is half-Indian, light-skinned Alice was invariably placed with black families, the last ones being Jamaican, with whom she had nothing in common. For a while, though, she did have some stability. One couple, who asked her to call them "mum" and "dad", looked after her for six years. The woman dressed her in pink because it was her favourite colour, although Alice loathed it. But then they had a child of their own and suddenly she felt extraneous.

"They moved to a smaller house and said they couldn't have me any more." She was so distressed at "being dismissed like a domestic servant", as her father puts it, that she was difficult for the next foster family to manage. Some of Alice's accusations of "unfairness" could probably be levelled by most teenagers at their natural families. She was not allowed designer label clothes; she was required to do constant housework and not given credit for it. The difference is that she felt powerless, unloved and that no one wanted to listen to her point of view. "I was sent to counsellors, but when they can't help, you feel betrayed," she explains. Her father tried to see her, but his efforts were frustrated: social workers didn't return calls, he rarely dealt with the same member of staff for more than a few weeks and new ones didn't trust previous background checks. "The buck would be passed until it was lost," he says. "If you blamed them, they discredited the family. Because one parent had failed, the whole family was held in contempt."

"You don't deserve to live with a family," a social worker told Alice, before putting her in a children's home. "In the home, I was slapped, shoved and shouted at, and constantly hungry," says Alice. "Dinner was from five to six, even if you were out doing a recognised activity, so I often missed it. I lost loads of weight and eventually took to sleeping in the corridor to protest. Then I was picked up and flung against the wall and the ceiling. I've had blackouts ever since." When she complained about the restraint methods, she was "treated like a freak", placed under constant supervision and bars were erected on her curtainless windows: "That made me want to escape even more," she says. On her fingers, she wears six rings, her most treasured possessions, as each one comes from a member of her family. They are her security. "They tried to take them off me at the children's home," she says, "but they are all I have." With all this going on - and living with far more disturbed children than herself - she stopped going to school. The next step would have been a secure unit, but, fortunately, foster carers were found, though they lived far from anyone she knew.

Nick rang his daughter constantly on the mobile phone he gave her and was agonised by his daughter's distress: "Whenever I called her at the children's home, I could hear screams in the background. Social services seemed to be making no effort to get her back to school or plan for her future." He feared that she would end up one of the 60 per cent of children who leave care with no qualifications. His attempts to meet were thwarted, but he was finally given permission to take Alice to see her mother on Christmas Day. On their way back to her foster carers, his car broke down and the rescue service said they could either take them to his home in Somerset or to the foster carers, but not both. At that point, he decided that, despite the care order, Alice was coming home with him. At first, social services considered a forcible recovery, but Nick's lawyers fought. A social worker came to observe his calm and orderly home, his well-balanced younger son and found Alice happily painting her bedroom. Last week, a court decided that she could stay.

What angers Nick is that he had to break the law to reclaim his own daughter - and that, but for his determination to keep in touch, Alice would have lost contact with her family long ago. "Social services had been doing everything they could to keep us apart," he says. "My daughter was being kept in captivity. Now, at last, I hope to give her the home she has always wanted." To his great sorrow, his elder son is so disturbed that he cannot look after him. John Kemmis, chief executive of Voice for the Child in Care, is familiar with such complaints. "Our research shows it matters overwhelmingly to children to keep in contact with those who matter to them - not just parents, but grandparents, siblings, aunts." Numbers of children in care have grown to 59,000 from 44,000 in the past 10 years, as more children are fostered long-term. "But," he says, "many social services departments are in such disarray that they aren't child-centred."

Since she left care, Alice's life has improved dramatically. She not only has the family she longed for, she hopes to have a career, too. Her father is trying to get her into a local college.

"I want to work with disturbed children," she says. "I think I could help them."

Chip to track worlds population 28 January 2005

Technology capable of tracking the world's population and commerce

VeriChip Corporation Increases Its Washington, D.C. Presence

Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSX) an advanced technology development company, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, VeriChip Corporation, has retained the services of Stanley "Stan" L. Reid, a longtime technology industry executive and former congressional aide with extensive experience and wide contacts in Washington, D.C., to market VeriChip(TM) secure identification solutions to federal agencies. VeriChip is a subdermal, radio frequency identification (RFID) device that can be used in a variety of security, financial, emergency identification and other applications. About the size of a grain of rice, each VeriChip product contains a unique verification number that is captured by briefly passing a proprietary scanner over the VeriChip.

Since 1996, Mr. Reid has served as president of Strategic Sciences, a Washington, D.C.-area consulting firm that specializes in marketing advanced technologies to the federal government. Mr. Reid has particular expertise in selling new, introductory technologies to government agencies, including the Departments of Defense (DoD), Energy (DoE) and State, as well as the agencies that have been incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security. business wire

Judicial Review exposes Freemasonry riddled police and courts 28 January 2005

From: Maurice Kirk
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 1:06 AM
Subject: What the general public should know

Miss JC Hern: Previous Law Society lawyer and now the Registrar of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF

1. The South Wales Police lost over 125 charges against me, causing me to have to produce my valid insurance 35 times and, whilst unable to get a lawyer, win 9 farcical Crown Court case and countless magistrate hearings with compensation not even covering bus fares.

2. I sue for 35 odd incidents, including at least 10 false imprisonments (Guernsey was double this figure), including 4 days in Cardiff prison whilst they identify me!

3. Judges then manage to close my web site,   because it reveals the facts and apparent conduct of their lawyer colleagues, until I  move it offshore.

4. The South Wales police then report me to the Royal College to get me struck off so I lose income to fight. Each conviction, including 5 minor motoring matters are, described by you, as criminal convictions. You know motoring convictions of Veterinary Surgeons, many far more serious than mine, have been deemed by the College as irrelevant to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

5. Once struck off a series of judges refuse me a jury for my damages claim making the 12 years of very expensive litigation quite futile.

6. 70 law firms, specialising in police litigation, REFUSE to act on my behalf, there being only one offered in Wales by the Law Society. This firm refuses to disclose costs whilst defending the police!

7. A Memorandum between Chief Police Officers and the Law Society, designed to hinder the public seeking compensation, is revealed to me by the 1st Jan 2005 Freedom of Information Act.

8. You supported the Law Society in drafting that Memorandum, designed also to protect your colleagues, the culpable Crown Prosecution Service of solicitors and barristers.

9. I have only been struck off because I have questioned lawyers’ widespread and  nefarious conduct with the sinister influence Freemasonry has on our police and  judicial  system.

I refuse to give CSA a penny 28 January 2005

After an MPs' report calls the Child Support Agency a "failing organisation" which may be scrapped, one father says he has no intention of giving the "unfair" agency a penny. The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims he has been relentlessly pursued by the CSA for seven years despite paying out "substantially more" money than the agency has asked for.

The father says he has already paid thousands for his children's upkeep

The businessman, in his early 50s, claims he had to deal with the trauma of his wife leaving him for another man and was then unfairly pursued by the CSA. He believes the agency does not take into account the acrimonious nature of divorce and the needs of both parents. He claims that at first his ex-wife made it difficult to see their children. "She always wanted to see far more of the children than I did," he told BBC News. However, he said that over the years the children, when not at boarding school, have spent around half their time at his home and the rest at his wife's.

'Clear conscience'

"I have an absolute clear conscience that I have fufilled my obligations to my children, and I don't begrudge them a penny I have paid, but I refuse to fund my ex-wife's lifestyle, " he insisted. What happens if the rules are unjust is that people ignore them

Father on the CSA

He claims his ex-wife can afford to run a large house and expensive holidays, despite telling the CSA she only has an income of several thousand pounds a year. The businessman feels the children's maintenance money has already been settled via a capital settlement following the couple's divorce several years ago. He said he has paid for many outgoings, as well as paying thousands of pounds of school fees. He added that he has been to three or four tribunals to try and get the money the CSA asked for lowered, even producing evidence that his wife's income was more than she claimed. "The CSA is grossly unfair", he said. "They have never disputed her claims or made any effort to check them out. "That's why people won't pay - because they think it unjust, " he said. "I have never given them a penny, and don't intend to." He says his own experience promoted him to volunteer to help other men, and he found that "in 99% of cases" the CSA and court system favour the mother.

'Discriminatory' system

"They consistently make the woman the parent with care, which makes you top dog, he said. "The system assumes women are better parents than men, which is totally discriminatory and actually illegal". He claims the CSA doesn't consider many factors, such as cases where the woman earned considerably more than her ex-partner. "Not only is it completely discriminatory but the rules are unjust," he said. "What happens if the rules are unjust is that people ignore them."

He says that as well as letters, CSA officials have phoned up in the evening and were rude and "perfectly unaware of the circumstances". The involvement of the CSA had increased the growing bitterness between him and his former partner, he said: "It makes it very difficult for me to have any sort of relationship with my ex-wife and to talk about the children. I never speak to her." He added that "in theory" the CSA was a good idea but that it was fundamentally flawed. He wants to see an overhauled agency with a belief that "parents have equal rights" at its heart.

"I've no time for people who run away from supporting their children.. but the CSA goes for the soft target, the dads who want to take a role. It makes little effort to contact the fathers who aren't around." A report by the Commons work and pensions committee pinpointed problems with the CS2 computer system as contributing to a huge backlog in application being dealt with by the agency. The father added: "It is very little to do with the computer system, although I am sure this has contributed. It's to do with the rules which are manifestly unfair, and is the reason people ignore them."

Mother jailed for stalking doctor 28 January 2005

Jane Welsh was convicted last year

A woman who stalked her former GP because she thought he was attracted to her has been jailed for three months. Married mother-of-two Jane Welsh regularly drove past the surgery of Dr Stephen Wedderburn and sounded her car horn, Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard. A non-harassment order was also placed on Welsh, 41. She was sentenced after being found guilty last year. Dr Wedderburn remarked after the sheriff sentenced Welsh: "I am just glad it's over."

The court was told it was a "serious and prolonged" campaign against the GP and his wife. It appears you have little or no contrition or understanding of what you have done Sheriff Annella Cowan

Welsh claimed she had been involved in a mutual flirting game with the doctor and that he had "fancied her big time". She said it began after she thought Dr Wedderburn was going to kiss her following a consultation. But the court was told she had "built up a fantasy" after taking an unnatural interest in her 48-year-old victim.

'Not wicked'

Welsh had earlier been found guilty of breaching the peace between May 2002 and May 2003 at various places in Aberdeen, including Dr Wedderburn's surgery. Her lawyer Jim Reilly said: "The person who sits in the dock is not a wicked woman; certainly misguided and selfish, but she is not wicked. "She accepts the incidents would have been frightening for the victim and his family." But Sheriff Annella Cowan told Welsh: "It appears you have little or no contrition or understanding of what you have done."

Five years for woman who used date-rape drug to rob victims 25 January 2005

A FEMME fatale who used the powerful date rape drug Rohypnol to knock out wealthy businessmen before robbing them was jailed for five years yesterday as detectives revealed she had struck at least six times. Selina Hakki, 37, became the first woman to be convicted of using the sedative on men to steal thousands of pounds worth of property. Two of her victims, the film director Alex Jovy, 34, producer of the Oscar-nominated movie, Sorted, and City banker Volker Vogler, 38, gave evidence of how she drugged them after they invited her back to their homes for a nightcap. Two other men, John Estill and Henry Okereke, were also drugged and robbed by Hakki but they refused to give evidence.

Yesterday, police said they have linked Hakki to a further two victims. They believe she could have "many more" who were reluctant to come forward. British Guyana-born Hakki, a mother of two, cruised exclusive night clubs in central London, looking for prey. She would look out for visible signs of wealth, such as designer clothes and expensive watches, before homing in on her intended victims. Once back at their homes for a nightcap, she would spike glasses of red wine - used to conceal the drug’s blue dye. She met Mr Vogler at the Hilton Hotel’s rooftop Piano Bar, near Hyde Park Corner. After commenting on his "fancy" Versace clothes, she suggested they go to his Knightsbridge apartment for a drink.

The last thing he remembered, he told the court, was a half-naked Hakki suggesting they go to bed. He came to the next morning, alone and dizzy. He tried to go to work, but after nearly collapsing, staggered back to bed and again passed out. He next awoke later to find property missing worth £2,000. Sixteen months later Hakki targeted a drunken Mr Jovy as he enjoyed an evening with old school friends at the Aura nightclub near Piccadilly. He too, stumbled out of bed to find his £5,000 Rolex, a £9,000 video camera, a £2,000 Cartier clock and other property missing.

Hakki was finally arrested after police discovered her DNA on cigarette butts she smoked in both Mr Jovy and Mr Vogler’s flats, and on her fingerprints left on a wine glass at Mr Jovy’s house. Police found a haul of items, including a Tiffany clock, Rolex and Omega watches and a video camera at her east London flat. They believe she also sold many items. Jailing Hakki, Judge Henry Blacksell, QC, said her offences demonstrated "a degree of planning, sophistication and controlling behaviour".

He said that what she did to the two men had a traumatic effect on them. He would never forget how Mr Jovy pleaded for the return of the Rolex watch his late father bought him for his 21st birthday. He added: "They had to give evidence in the full glare of publicity about a difficult time in their lives brought about by you administering this drug. "They were left senseless. It is no thanks to you they did not suffer any physical long-term effects. Certainly they did mentally." The jury at London’s Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court took just 20 minutes last month to convict Hakki of four offences, two of administering a stupefying drug with intent to steal and two of theft between May 2002 and August the following year. Defence counsel Bernard Eaton told the court that Hakki herself had been taking Rohypnol and the anti-depressant Prozac at the time of the incidents, as she was then separated from her husband

Bride killed husband a week after honeymoon 25 January 2005

A bride stabbed her husband to death seven days after they returned from their honeymoon, a court was told yesterday. Catherine Osliffe, 34, is alleged to have carried out the attack within minutes of telling her victim: "We've only been together for a week and I hate you already. I can't stand you."

A jury at Preston Crown Court heard that the college lecturer and her husband, Roger, 35, were often heard rowing at their home in Whalley, near Clitheroe, Lancs. On the night of his death they were said to have had two arguments either side of a visit to a local nightclub. By the time they reached home in the early hours of June 6 they had embarked upon a "full-blown" row about some flowers that Osliffe's mother had given her.

Mr Osliffe poured the flowers and vase over her as she lay in bed, the prosecution alleges. She went downstairs, rearranged her bouquet, and then went into the kitchen to pick up a knife. When she returned to their bedroom she stabbed him once, it was claimed, inflicting a fatal blow that passed through his left shoulder and pierced his lung. He bled to death in hospital. Osliffe told police that her husband had stabbed himself. But she was arrested after he told paramedics taking him to hospital that it was she who had attacked him. Michael Shorrock, QC, prosecuting, said the couple both had children from previous relationships when they met in 2002. They moved in together two years ago and married at the local parish church on April 30 last year.

Their relationship was so "stormy and volatile" that their next-door neighbours frequently heard them screaming and shouting. Mr Shorrock said that on June 5 the couple argued about the flowers and about the outfit she was going to wear when going out with a female friend that evening. By then Mr Osliffe had been drinking for more than three hours. He stayed at home while his wife went out, but left the house when his step-daughter, Samantha, 14, arrived home with a friend and agreed to babysit her sister, Bethany, five.

The couple met up at the Rendezvous nightclub and remained there with friends until 2am. By the time they left both had consumed "a great deal of drink". Mr Shorrock said the row about the flowers quickly resumed. Osliffe went to bed, but woke when her husband entered the room and threw the vase at her. "The prosecution case is that she was so enraged by what had happened that she took a kitchen knife upstairs and stabbed the deceased once," Mr Shorrock said. Samantha later told police she had been woken at about 5am by the sound of arguing.

Initially the teenager recalled hearing her stepfather say: "Look at what you've made me do." But in a later interview her account had changed. This time she said Mr Osliffe had said: "Look what your mum's done to me." When she asked her mother what had happened, Osliffe allegedly replied: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

The defendant told police it was her husband who had gone downstairs for the knife. He held it in one hand while pushing her with the other and saying: "Me or you." Osliffe said she recalled nothing more until seeing her husband lying on the kitchen floor. She had panicked and paced up and down the kitchen for 10 minutes before calling an ambulance. The dying man was en route to hospital when a paramedic asked why he had stabbed himself. He denied that he had, saying: "Cath's done it… I was in bed. I woke up and she stabbed me." Osliffe denies murder. The trial continues.

UK single-parent society is government’s meddlesome social engineering 24 January 2005

The single-parent society

There are, as always, two faces to this government. One tells us in almost every ministerial speech that new Labour is all about standing up for and guaranteeing the prosperity of hard-working families. The image is of Tony Blair’s version of the American dream, with Mom, Dad and the two kids beaming contentedly as they motor off on holiday, grateful to be living in a paradise created by the government. The reality is different, as an important new report by Jill Kirby for the Centre for Policy Studies points out.

Since Labour came to power the proportion of children being brought up by lone parents has increased by a quarter. Gordon Brown makes much of his increased spending on children, so-called “child- contingent support”. Such spending has risen by 52% or £20 billion. The main reason is that the government is subsidising — and encouraging — single parents at the expense of those hard-working families. Britain has the highest proportion of children being brought up in single-parent households in Europe. We are becoming the lone-parent capital of the world.

Much of this is due to the government’s meddlesome social engineering. The chancellor is fond of telling us of his admiration for America. His “New Deal” was a deliberate echo of a US economic programme and he borrowed America’s earned income tax credit. But the similarities end there. In America such policies have succeeded in stabilising the proportion of births outside marriage and getting single parents into work, reducing the extent to which they are a drain on the taxpayer. In Britain the opposite has occurred.

Nearly half of all single parents do not work, despite near full employment and a government target of getting 70% of them into jobs. Why should they? The chancellor has created perverse incentives that discriminate against the traditional family and subsidise single parents. Lone parents are five times more likely than couples to be on welfare and twice as likely to be receiving tax credits (welfare payments in all but name). The average welfare payment to a single parent is five times that to a couple. The financial advantages of being a single parent, or for couples breaking up for welfare purposes, are too large to ignore.

The result is that while fertility is declining among middle-income couples, it is increasing among teenagers and young single women from poorer backgrounds. As Professor Robert Rowthorn of Cambridge University puts it, the government may have given up on nationalising the means of production but is effectively nationalising the means of reproduction. The economic consequences are important. Every decision to raise a child outside a couple costs the taxpayer thousands of pounds a year and the social repercussions may be even more significant.

The Treasury, predictably, has tried to rubbish the pamphlet. Frank Field, Labour’s former welfare reform minister, knows better. “We should be using the tax and benefits system to help two-parent families and not to discriminate against them,” he says. He is right. Unless the penny drops among ministers, we will count the cost for generations to come.,,176-1452334,00.html

Satanic philosophy that represents a death wish for civilization 22 January 2005

Freemasonry: Mankind's Death Wish
By Henry Makow Ph.D.

Architects of Deception a 600-page history of Freemasonry by Estonian writer Jyri Lina offers profound insight into the true character of modern history. Essentially, a dominant segment of Western society has joined the Jewish financial elite in embracing Freemasonry, a satanic philosophy that represents a death wish for civilization. They imagine somehow they will profit from the carnage and suffering caused by their "New World Order." Incredible, bizarre and depressing as it sounds, Lina writes that 300 mainly Jewish banking families have used Freemasonry as an instrument to subvert, control and degrade the Western world.

This view is consistent with the 1938 NKVD interrogation of an illuminati member who names many of these banking families and confirms that Freemasons are expendable tools. (See my two-part "Rothschild Conducts Red Symphony" ) Based on the archives of the powerful French Grand Orient Lodge, captured in June 1940 and later made public by the Russians, Lina details how Freemasonry has conspired for world domination and orchestrated all major revolutions and wars in the modern era. (Lina, p.332) Masons, often Jewish, are responsible for communism, Zionism, socialism, liberalism (and feminism.) They love big government because it is the ultimate monopoly. "World government" (dictatorship) is the final trophy. This is the vision behind 9-11 and the "War on Terror."

These "world revolutionary" "progressive" movements all mirror Lucifer's rebellion against the laws of God and nature which is at the heart of Freemasonry. They ensnare millions of gullible idealists by promising a utopia based on materialism and "reason" and dedicated to "liberty, equality and fraternity," "public ownership" or some other idealistic sounding claptrap. It's called bait-and-switch. According to Lina: "The primary aim of modern freemasonry is to build the New World Order, a spiritual Temple of Solomon, where non-members are nothing but slaves [and] ...where human beings would be sacrificed to Yahweh." (52) Lina cites numerous Jewish sources that claim Freemasonry is based on Judaism and is "the executive political organ of the Jewish financial elite." (81-83)

The common goal of these Masonic inspired movements is to undermine race, religion, nation and family ("all collective forces except our own") by promoting social division, self indulgence and "tolerance" i.e. miscegenation, atheism, nihilism, global-ism, sexual "liberation" and homosexuality thereby reducing humanity to a uniform dysfunctional and malleable mush. Lina and others who attempt to alert humanity to its real condition are routinely slandered as anti-Semitic, fascist, and right wing "haters" by people indirectly employed by the bankers. This tactic shields the conspirators from scrutiny and makes discussion of our grim predicament impossible.

I am a Jew. I am not part of this banking monopoly, nor is the majority of Jews. By way of analogy, the mafia is considered mostly Italian but most Italians do not belong to the mafia. Italians don't viciously attack opponents of organized crime and call them "racists" and "hate mongers". That would look awfully suspicious. Jews compromise themselves by their defence of the Masonic bankers and their perverse vision for humanity. My four grandparents perished in the Jewish holocaust. I demand to know the real reason they were murdered. London-based Masonic bankers and their cronies brought Hitler to power in order to provoke war, control Stalin, and justify the creation of Israel. They betrayed non-Zionist Jews and let them perish. They are using the Jewish people in the same way they use the Masons.


We cannot understand the modern world unless we appreciate that it is the result of the Masonic conspiracy. People scoff yet the evidence stares them in the face every day. The Great Seal of the United States on every dollar bill is a Masonic symbol. There are 33 steps on the side of the pyramid representing the 33 degrees of Freemasonry. The Masons established the United States as a base to advance their goal of world supremacy. Similarly, the emblem of the United Nations is also a Masonic symbol. The world is caught in a grid consisting of 33 spaces surrounded by acacia leaves, which signifies intense activity in masonry. (215)

Three-quarters of US presidents in the Twentieth Century were high-level Masons. Both Bush and Kerry are Masons (Skull and Bones.) FDR, Churchill, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin were masons. Most Zionist leaders were and are Masons. Gerhard Schroeder, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair are Freemasons. So is Sadaam Hussein, which suggests the Iraq war could be a sadistic charade. There are over six-million Masons in 32,000 lodges around the world including 2.5 million in the US. In 1929, 67% of Members of Congress were Masons. There are 360,000 Masons in England. More than five per cent of British judges are Masons. Lina believes, "Freemasonry plays the same role in Western society as the Communist Party did in the Soviet Union. Without belonging to the freemasonry there is no chance of a fast career, regardless of how talented one is."

Keep in mind that Communism was a Masonic enterprize and the puzzle starts to take shape. Lina says Freemasons not only control politics but also virtually every sector of Western society, including science and culture. "The present cultural life has become virtually unconscious," he writes. "We have witnessed the beginning of cultural senility." (333) In his pamphlet "The Open Conspiracy: Blueprint for a World Revolution" (1929) the Freemason H.G. Wells describes an "open secret society" consisting of society's leading men operating as a hidden force to secure world resources, reduce population through war and replace the nation state with world dictatorship. (340)


Human beings are naturally attracted to good and repulsed by evil. Thus evil always represents itself as good. To the public, and its own lower ranks, Freemasonry pretends to be dedicated to "making good men better", humanism, tolerance, Christianity and you-name-it. If this were true, would they have to extract vows of secrecy from members on pain of slitting their throat? Would they have been condemned by many Popes and banned from numerous countries? (84) I do not wish to impugn the many good and decent men in the lower "Blue Degrees" who are unaware of Freemasonry's true function and character. But there is abundant evidence and testimony that Freemasonry is a satanic cult dedicated to the worship of death. (134-138)

For example, when the Italian Grand Orient Lodge was evicted from the Palazzio Bourghese in Rome in 1893, the owner found a shrine dedicated to Satan. The Italian freemasons published a newspaper in the 1880's where they admitted time and again, "Our leader is Satan!" (135) The Masons also admit to having a revolutionary political agenda. Typical of statements Lina cites from Masonic publications is the following from a German magazine in 1910:" The driving thought is at all times focused on destruction and annihilation, because the power of this great secret society can only rise from the ruins of the existing order of society." (272)


The Illuminist Conspiracy is the brake responsible for humanity's arrested development. Mankind resembles a person suffering from a serious disease and sinking into a coma. Juri Lina has written a courageous book to revive us. He says we face "the largest spiritual crisis in the history of mankind...They have taken our history, our dignity, our wisdom and our honor, sense of responsibility, spiritual insights and our traditions." We are partly to blame, he says: "We have failed to act against the Masonic madness due to our enormous gullibility. We have been totally fooled and ignored the warning signals." (274)

He ends on a hopeful note, saying evil is dysfunctional and inevitably destroys itself. "Freemasonry carries within it the seeds of its own destruction." (563) Wars, revolutions and depressions are all part of a "revolutionary" process designed to frogmarch humanity to "world government" under the rubric of Freemasonry which may be a surrogate for an alliance of occult Jewish and gentile financial elites. Their "self-destruction" seems to be our best hope since the public is too feckless and weak to resist.

Architects of Deception can be purchased for US$50 by emailing Jyri Lina at

The book also contains many gossipy nuggets such as Hitler had a son; Lenin was a homosexual; Castro is Jewish and a multimillionaire; and Henry Kissinger was/is a Soviet agent! He says the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Rotary and Lions Clubs were founded by Masons. Golf was invented by Masons and has great significance to them

See also Lyndon Larouche Real History of Satanism
SEE Masonic Bible Used at Presidential Inaugurations
See also my "Making the World Safe...for Bankers"


I never assaulted my wife, insists Marco Pierre White

The 14 hours he spent in a police cell appeared to have taken their toll on Marco Pierre White, the leading restaurateur, yesterday when he explained how he came to be arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife. White, 43, stood side by side with his wife Mati as they both denied that he had attacked her. Marco and Mati both denied he attacked her

She blamed her own "stupidity and fiery nature" for dialling 999 unnecessarily during a heated argument. At the age of 28, White became the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. He now owns L'Escargot, Mirabelle and Frankie's Bar and Grill in central London. Looking tired and dishevelled yesterday, he said: "This is the kind of domestic incident that the police must get hundreds of every night. If they arrested everyone involved in this kind of thing, the cells would be overflowing."

White, who was arrested at his home in Holland Park on Wednesday, said he would complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission that details of his arrest had been leaked to a newspaper. The Daily Mail reported police sources yesterday as saying that Mrs White had suffered cuts in a "domestic which had gone too far". The restaurateur said: "I've been in contact with the Police Complaints people and will make a statement about my treatment.

"They tell me that it is illegal for anyone in the police to make public any details about someone who has been arrested except for their age and gender." At his side, his third wife, Spanish-born Mati White, said: "I did call the police, which I regret very much. I had an argument with my husband and told him to leave the house. "When he refused I got rather hysterical, called the police, told them we'd had a huge row and asked them to remove him.

"It was a mistake and an over-reaction on my part. I was trying to get his attention, more than anything else. "I probably jazzed it up a little bit. When the police came they said they were just going to calm him down. "What I never said was that he had assaulted me.

"In fact, I had slapped him, rather than the other way round." The couple met 13 years ago when she was working in his restaurant The Canteen. Their relationship has been stormy in the past.

Last year, she threw him out of their home, said to be worth £3 million, following a row over his friendship with the female City banker Robin Saunders. Mrs White said she had wanted her husband to spend the night with a friend, not in a police cell. She said she was concerned about how the incident would affect the couple's three children.

"I had no idea that he had been arrested and kept in a cell overnight. "When he telephoned me that next morning and told me I couldn't believe it. The poor man is in pieces, so of course I regret it." Mrs White married the restaurateur five years ago after eight years together.

She said that the scratch reported by the police was in fact a spot she had been picking. "The police said I had cuts and scratches but it's a lie," she said. "It's upsetting for me and most of all for my children." White, who is often described as volatile, has been married twice before. His marriage to Alex McArthur, the mother of his first child, ended in divorce, while his second, in 1992, to the model Lisa Butcher collapsed after just four months.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said if a complaint was made it would be investigated. "We do not release the name of anyone arrested," he said. "If someone makes a complaint that information has been leaked by an officer, it will be investigated."

Penis Pump Judge charged 22 January 2005

Oklahoma's 'Penis Pump Judge' hit with 3 felonies

Former Creek County District Judge Donald D. Thompson was charged Thursday with three felony counts of indecent exposure in the courthouse where he served almost 23 years. Thompson, 58, made his initial court appearance on the charges shortly before 5 p.m. and was released on his own recognizance pending a preliminary hearing March 22. District Attorney Richard L. Smothermon, the special prosecutor appointed by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, did not object to Thompson's release on his own recognizance.

TULSA WORLD reports the indecent exposures are alleged to have occurred on May 13, Aug. 22 and Sept. 11, 2003, in Thompson's chambers or in his courtroom during civil or criminal trials. Smothermon filed the felony counts after more than four months of investigating allegations that Thompson used a penis pump or masturbated while on the bench or in his chambers. Each count carries a punishment of 30 days to 10 years in prison and/or fines of $500 to $20,000.

Divorce Biggest industry of them all 19 January 2005

There is one - and only one - "biggest" industry, and it is, by FAR, the biggest industry of them all... the divorce industry. Also, the monster of injustice in the divorce industry affects every other "industry" in this country, because that divorce industry robs, steals, and sucks up the resources of every other type of litigation practically bone dry, bar none, disallowing the spartan chances for any justice in those types of cases, either...   The divorce industry is responsible for at least 70% of ALL litigation in this nation's state and federal courts, considering both direct and indirect sources. Some estimates put the figure at or near 80%... Directly, divorce - or more precisely, child custody litigation - immediately rips off the first 1/2 of all state court caseloads in this country every day, with just the initial separation, divorce, and child custody-support-visitation proceedings that are ongoing to the first final decrees. Other chunks of precious court time and resources are used up prosecuting the endless numbers of protective and restraining orders that are often handed out like candy.

Then there is the ever-present heads of various repeated domestic relations contempt proceedings, for the typical child support arrearage attacks, or simply because one parent allowed Johnny to stay up too late watching TV last time, and also the lesser numbers of additional proceedings where aggrieved parents are fighting to modify visitation, or even modify custody, or countering back with their own contempt allegations. And, let's not forget the various actions filed by one parent against another for attacks upon stocks, bonds, pensions, and other real and personal property that is discovered later on, and the subsequent mortage foreclosures on real estate that are independent actions of their own. Oh yeah, then there's all the interstate stuff between divorced, separated, and unmarried parents, too...  

Various false allegations of abuse or neglect from domestic relations actions sometimes end up in the prosecutor's office as ancillary actions for further criminal proceedings. Add to that, there are "violations" against existing protective or restraining orders, and so VAWA motivates a financial incentive for court personnel to use up even more of their own precious resources. Don't stop there - you forgot to include criminal prosecutions (against the 13th Amendment) for failure to pay child support debts, and prosecutions for "intimidations", "harassments", "nuisances", and other such generally unfounded wastes of judicial resources.   And, that's just the state court caseloads, which, of course, dwarf the federal court caseloads. But, the federal court caseloads also take a beating from the aftermath of divorce/child-custody litigation. Wrongly accused and convicted parental defendants, after using up additional chunks of state appellate and supreme resources, turn to federal courts for numerous habeas corpus cases, and appeals of those. Plundered ex-spouses and unmarried parents eventually have to go through federal bankruptcy proceedings. Some of the interstate litigation between parents ends up as diversity actions in federal court. There are also federal child support prosecutions, and those appeals.  

Some custodial parents, who have vanquished their ex's too completely, and so no longer have that added windfall of support and/or alimony, get denied social security or welfare or medicaid, and proceed into either state or federal courts for relief on those items. Some of those also end up in bankruptcy court, or now have their children taken away by child protection services, which then brings up a whole new realm of judicial waste, both in state and federal courts again...   Of course, the various lists go on and on into deeper and different realms from the aftermath of divorce, but the point is that the constant denial of only a single, solitary issue of civil rights - that of equal protection to child custody by both fit natural parents - is solely responsible for the overwhelming and complete breakdown of not only society at large, but of the nation's judicial resources, and thereby causes the lifeblood of what little judicial resources there is, to be unavailable, both in material and time, to effectively and adequately litigate any other civil liberties issue out there, often to any reasonable degree of reliability in fairness and accordance with real law. There is just no resources or time left to sort it out right, even if they wanted to...   

If every activist pulled together to restore this single basic civil rights issue, the rest of the civil rights issues out there would almost suddenly gain an exponential availability of judicial resources, and the results would be expected as dramatic for all concerned. Any decent Internet search on the growth of court caseloads over the past few decades will confirm the above.  

One good example, showing statistics from all states, is provided here at this link:


Torm Howse

RADAR Scanning for Media Bias 17 January 2005

Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting
RADAR is Scanning for Media Bias related to domestic violence and men

Over the past 10 years, the American public has been fed a steady diet of negative depictions of men by the mainstream media. We see it on the Oprah Winfrey Show, TV sitcoms, advertisements, movies, and even Hallmark greeting cards.
At best, men and fathers are portrayed as inept and confused. At worst, men are presented as the object of derision and scorn. There is no better example of these negative portrayals than how the media covers the issue of domestic violence.

Over 100 studies have analyzed the nature of domestic violence. These articles consistently report the same result: domestic violence (DV) is an equal opportunity problem. Women are just as likely to initiate partner aggression as men. Anyone can review these studies by visiting the online compilation of Martin Fiebert, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach [].

But the mainstream media see things a little differently. Playing fast and loose with the truth, the media routinely portray men as the aggressors and women as the victims. Biased media depictions of DV are a particular problem for fathers. Eventually those false stereotypes become translated into unfair laws and law enforcement procedures. And those stereotypes give rise to false allegations, which are used to evict fathers from their homes and remove them from their children.

The media misrepresentation goes far beyond what anyone could reasonably call sloppy reporting or inadvertent bias. Editors and reporters have been repeatedly informed of the bias, both by letter and direct telephone conversations. But the calls for balanced and fair coverage remain ignored. The unspoken -- and arrogant -- message is, "We don't care what the truth is. We know what information you need to hear. Now go away."

Four weeks ago the Washington Post ran a sensationalistic three-part series on Maternal Homicide. The full-color articles were splashed across three pages. The series attracted withering criticism from websites representing the full political spectrum: the liberal Slate,, libertarian, and the men's rights site Men's News Daily, and elsewhere.

On December 24 the DC chapter of the National Coalition for Men sent a five-page letter of complaint to the Post. And what was the official response? A seven-sentence dismissal that ended with the absurd claim, "In no way does our coverage of this issue stereotype or vilify men generally." That's exactly what CBS did when it responded to the recent Rathergate scandal: deny, dissemble, and stonewall. This deplorable state of affairs is about to change.

On Sunday, January 16, a concerned group of men and women from around the country will launch a domestic violence media watch. The effort is called RADAR. RADAR stands for Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting. The purpose of RADAR is to assure the media, especially the major newspapers and other national media, provide fair and balanced coverage of the domestic violence topic.

The issue is timely, since the current Violence Against Women Act is set to expire later this year. Advocacy organizations soon will be introducing renewal legislation. To support passage of the VAWA renewal, gender advocates at media outlets will no doubt begin to "plant" stories that cater to the scurilous gender stereotypes.

So how will RADAR teach the old media dog new tricks?

Simple: Every time a biased article is published, RADAR will generate hundreds or thousands of phone calls, e-mails, and letters from concerned readers. The letters will be factual and reasonable in tone, but will drive home the basic message: DV is an equal opportunity problem. By ignoring male victims, our society will never solve the problem of domestic violence.

Those e-mailers, telephoners, and letter writers will be people like you, persons who are sick and tired of being maligned and vilified as a batterers and abusers.

But how will we learn about those biased articles?

Actually, that's the purpose of this messge. RADAR is currently searching for Media Monitors across the country. The Media Monitors are persons who read their newspapers on a regular basis - either online or the paper version.

When the Monitor spots a biased article, he or she will have two possible courses of action, depending on whether the source of the biased story is a national publication (like the New York Times) or a local media outlet (like your hometown newspaper):

1. Major national paper: The Monitor will send an e-mail to the RADAR Coordinating Team, which in turn will put out a general alert via internet websites, listservs, and the RADAR website.

2. Local paper: The Monitor will write a letter to the editor, make a friendly call to the reporter, or other appropriate action.

RADAR currently has a number of persons who have signed up to bird- dog their local media. But we want to exponentially expand that network.

Are you game?

Contact Mark Rosenthal, the RADAR Media Monitor Coordinator. Send the following information to him at

- Your name
- Media outlet you want to track
- State (like Illinois) where the media outlet is located

Join the RADAR campaign, assure fairness in the media, and make a difference. If not now, what are you waiting for?

Woman Gets Prison for Using Rape Claim 16 January 2005

Woman Gets Prison for Using Rape Claim to Extort Money From Husband of Singer Celine Dion

LAS VEGAS Jan 14, 2005 — Saying the case "all about greed," a judge sentenced a woman to up to five years in prison for using a rape allegation to try to extort millions of dollars from singer Celine Dion's husband. "You got $2 million and you wanted more," Judge Jackie Glass told Yun Kyeong Kwon Sung, 49, Thursday. "That's why you are standing here today." Dion's husband, Rene Angelil, had paid Sung and her husband $2 million in June 2000, several months after Sung accused Angelil of fondling her in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip. Angelil's lawyer, David Chesnoff, has said the payment and an apology were not an admission of guilt, but rather were made out of Angelil's concern for his and his wife's health and public images.

Facing prosecution two years later for almost $1 million in unpaid casino gambling debts, Sung sought more money from Angelil. A jury last year convicted the woman of demanding $13.5 million during a January 2003 meeting between lawyers for both sides. Police secretly recorded what prosecutors characterized as a threat to go to police with the rape allegation. Angelil has denied the rape allegation. On Thursday, Sung insisted it was true, telling the judge she was targeted by Angelil's attorneys for retribution. "He used despicable attorneys and turned it around to make me the assailant instead of the victim," she told the judge before being sentenced to 28 months to five years in prison. Sung's lawyer, Robert Langford, said he'll appeal, arguing the judge should have let him submit as evidence a dress with alleged DNA proof of sexual contact between Sung and Angelil. Sung's husband, Ae Ho Kwon, 52, is set to go on trial next month on similar charges. Sung faces deportation in a separate federal immigration case.

Nurse starves daughter to death 16 January 2005

Girl, 3, starved to death: police
Duesseldorf, Germany

A German nurse had admitted starving her three-year-old daughter to death, decapitating her, cutting up the body and hiding it in plastic bags for two years on her balcony, police said today. The 26 year-old woman, whose identity was not released, had made the admission to her husband after investigators searched her apartment on Wednesday, police said.

Police described the crime as "especially appalling and almost unimaginable". The woman, now in police custody, was apparently sane, said prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck. She told investigators her daughter had begun to refuse to eat from November 2002 onwards, so she stopped feeding her. "I noticed that my daughter was dying," she told police. When the child died, the mother kept the body under her bed for some days before decapitating it in order to place it in a plastic container. She then cut the body into pieces in her bath and placed the parts in bags on her balcony.

Police said neighbours had complained of a dreadful smell from the apartment. The woman's husband, who moved out of the family home 11 months after the child's death, told police he had had no inkling of what happened.

He said that after a while he had given up asking where his daughter was because he was frightened of arguing with his wife, who had given varying accounts to explain the disappearance. The couple have a second daughter, aged four, who has been taken into care by social services.,5942,11946371,00.html

Outing the Feminist Great Lie 16 January 2005

by Carey Roberts

This past weekend the Vatican issued a letter to the Roman Catholic bishops which denounced feminism for preaching “conditions of subordination in order to give rise to antagonism.” According to the Vatican letter, this belief has caused “immediate and lethal effects in the structure of the family.” Strong words, indeed. So what is the genesis of the feminist attempt to induce antagonism between men and women?

It can all be traced back to the feminist Creation Myth, which goes like this: Once upon a time, in a land far away, men and women lived in a state of communal bliss. There were no sexual prohibitions, no division of labor, no ownership of property, and most of all, no patriarchy. It was a pure feminist utopia. Over time, men and women began to pair off, babies were born, and families began to emerge. The development of stable families gave rise to a division of labor between the sexes: Men did the hunting and fishing, and women did the gardening and child-raising.

But the pivotal point in history was the emergence of the concept of private property. Simone de Beauvoir’s book The Second Sex, which is required reading in every Women’s Studies program, explains it this way: “Private property appears: master of slaves and of the earth, man becomes the proprietor also of woman….Here we see the emergence of the patriarchal family founded upon private property. In this type of family, woman is subjugated.” ( You say, Where on earth did Beauvoir get these fantastic ideas? From Karl Marx and Frederick Engels.

And how did Marx and Engels come up with this crackpot theory? From an obscure book called Ancient Society, written in 1877 by an American anthropologist named Lewis Henry Morgan, who had spent a few weeks studying the Iroquois Indians in upper New York State. Subsequent anthropologists have refuted Morgan’s methods and conclusions. For example, the part about primitive society being a sexual free-for-all – that can be credited entirely to Morgan’s wishful thinking. But that didn’t keep feminists from anointing Morgan as their patron saint. After all, he served a useful purpose. Radical feminists accept Morgan’s fable as if it were the Revealed Truth. Once we understand that, the rest of feminist theory begins to make sense.

As feminists see it, the moral of Morgan’s account is that once patriarchy took over, women became the mere slaves of men, had no rights, and endured unrelenting physical and sexual abuse. That’s what is known as the feminist Great Lie. This is how columnist Wendy McElroy explains the Great Lie: “Victims of men, of the class structure, technology, government, the free market, the family, the church, Western values…everywhere and always women are painted as victims.” True, life may not have been easy for women, but men had their share of problems, too. If women were in fact the object of untrammeled social oppression, we would have expected women’s life spans to have been dramatically shorter than men’s.

But the historical record tells a different story. According to research conducted by Ingrid Waldron at the University of Pennsylvania, the life expectancies of men and women over the past several centuries have traced similar trajectories. Suicide statistics also debunk the feminist enslavement theory. Public health authorities in England and Wales first began to enumerate the causes of death in the late 1800s. As early as 1890, it was found that men’s suicide rate was 2.9 times higher than women’s. Judging by suicide statistics, we might conclude that it was men, not women, who were more confined by rigid social roles. 1960s-style feminism had the laudable goal of encouraging equal opportunities for women. But now, feminism has morphed into an ugly ideology of female empowerment and gender retribution. Most fairy tales have a happy ending. But the Marxist-feminist fable has set the stage for protracted gender conflict. And that, sad to say, poses a grave threat to the timeless institution of marriage.

Gender agitation 16 January 2005

Social or economic world Marxist revolution
By David Gray

When the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia in 1917 they produced a type of constitution which included the requirement that the Soviet state should foment and assist "social" revolution on a global basis.

What is little known however was that their were at the time, two schools of thought within the soviet union amongst the Marxist intellectuals as to how world revolution, particularly within the western capitalist democracies, could be achieved.

These methods were, respectively, the well known and discussed spreading of industrial chaos and the lesser known plan to spread social chaos by destabilising families though gender agitation and divisiveness.

First the economic plan. That is to destabilize the western industrial polities by destroying their economies through national strikes, exorbitant worker pay demands, over-regulation to work practices and other measures which would render any form of commerce as pointless. In so doing the western polities would ( so it was presumed) become bankrupt, ungovernable and succumb to communism.

The second and perhaps most interesting method considered in early 1920 by the soviets for destabilising the industrial democracies was the idea of social or more succinctly, gender agitation. The rationale here was to exhort women to dispute with their husbands on even the most trivial domestic household issue, refuse to do household chores, refuse to bear children ( and by extension refuse sexual relations) and to consider themselves as oppressed victims deserving of compensation and eternal dutiless entitlement

This process it was argued at the time would destroy the family unit, the presumed centrepiece of bourgeois capitalism, would see the birthrate plummet and would create an insatiable level of female demand for propaganda trumped up compensatory benefits and therefore would render the western democracies impotent though crippling/unproductive taxation and wealth distribution processes.

In the early 1920's and with the Russian civil war still not over, the Soviets sent trained gender agitators complete with wireless( radio) broadcast sets into various locations around Asia in a road test capacity but met with no immediate success.

The Soviets eventually shelved the idea of agitating gender conflict within the western polities given its expense and as they presumed it would take 50 years or more, given the level of stealth and effort at agitation required, to complete a process of destabilisation which could, so they believed at the time, alternatively be completed though economic/industrial agitation within the shorter time of 10 years or less. Destroying capitalist democracy through industrial agitation won out, but only just. But did the concept of gender feminism as a tool of undermining democracy ever go away?

Nonetheless, detailed procedure manuals and agitator training material for spreading gender conflict were drawn up and included such suggestions as infiltrating the local Government polities, education systems, courts, welfare agencies, gay lesbian groups, the media, ethnic minorities and so on. Prepared propaganda leaflets which are indistinguishable from todays radical feminist literature and women's studies course material were also shelved at the time.

What is quite remarkable and what we have seen amongst the western industrial polities since the soviet union began to crumble is the use of the very same agitation and gender divisiveness policies, propaganda and literature the soviets had devised decades previous.

What is somewhat beyond comprehension is that the eastern capitalist democracies are today expending colossal sums of tax payer money in using gender divisiveness to undermine themselves and their own polity. Something the Soviets would gladly have done for free.

How can this be and why is it so?

15 years for sadistic US soldier who abused detainees 15 January 2005

Iraq jail abuse 'leader' guilty

Spc Graner did not testify during the four-day trial The soldier accused of being the ringleader in the abuse of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail has been found guilty of mistreating detainees. Charles Graner, 36, was convicted by a military jury in Texas after a four-day trial at which he was said to have assaulted prisoners for fun. The 36-year-old had pleaded not guilty to five charges, with the defence arguing that he was following orders. He now faces up to 15 years in a military prison. The 10-person jury took less than five hours to reach their verdict.

Before it retired, prosecutor Capt Chris Graveline told the jury of a series of incidents of abuse, and showed them photographs and video taken inside the prison in November 2003. The publication in early 2004 of dozens of photographs showing prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib prompted global condemnation of US actions in Iraq. The pictures led to accusations of prisoner abuse at a string of US detention centres in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Senior military and political figures, including US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, were alleged to have known of the abuses.

An independent commission ruled in August 2004 that blame for the abuses lay almost totally with the soldiers who ran the jail, but faulted Mr Rumsfeld and colleagues for not providing adequate leadership to prevent the abuse. Among other things, Specialist Graner was accused of stacking naked detainees in a human pyramid, and later ordering them to masturbate while other soldiers took photographs. The court was told that he punched one man in the head hard enough to knock him out and beat an injured prisoner with a collapsible metal stick. "It's all about their own sexual, depraved humour," Capt Graveline told the court, at the Fort Hood US army base in Texas. "They decided for their own amusement to assault, degrade." 'Gallows humour' Civilian defence lawyer Guy Womack countered that his client and other guards were following a "persistent, consistent set of orders to soften up the detainees, to do things so we can interrogate them successfully in support of our mission".

If there was anything wrong, it was that they took a picture and they were smiling Defence lawyer Guy Womack He described the notorious photos taken inside the prison as "gallows humour" resulting from unrelenting stress felt by the guards. He also suggested that Spc Graner and the other low-level guards were scapegoats, put on trial to protect more senior army officers. The defence lawyer said there was nothing wrong with stripping the prisoners, whom he described as "hardened terrorists", and stacking them into a pyramid to control them. "They did it in a safe manner so nobody would get hurt... If there was anything wrong, it was that they took a picture and they were smiling," Mr Womack said. The trial included testimony from three guards who had made plea deals with prosecutors. Two other guards are awaiting trial, as well as Private Lynndie England, a clerk at Abu Ghraib who last year gave birth to a baby believed to have been fathered by Spc Graner.

Landlady denies starting fire killing her two children 15 January 2005

Pub landlady denies starting fire

A pub landlady has denied starting a fire that killed two of her children and a male rescuer. Kate Knight, 32, is accused of manslaughter and arson after a blaze at her pub in north-east London. Three other youngsters in the building survived, but a man who braved the flames to rescue two of the youngsters also died after jumping from a window. The case can only now be reported after the BBC and other news organisations challenged a total ban on coverage.

The prosecution at the Old Bailey says Mrs Knight started the fire at the Prince of Wales pub in Stoke Newington after a row with her husband. One pubgoer, plumber Roderick Springer, 45, who knew several children were sleeping upstairs, ran into the flames. He managed to save two girls by lowering them to safety from a window, but suffered bad injuries by jumping out himself and died six weeks later in hospital.

Two of the woman's sons, Christopher, 10, and Charlie, four, were rescued by firefighters but died later in hospital. A third son, aged three, survived despite the injuries

Murder or Mental Illness? 15 January 2005

Why Mothers Like Andrea Yates Kill

Why do mothers kill their children? Get the inside scoop on the mind of woman like Andrea Yates. She had a history of psychiatric hospitalizations. She was suffering from post partum depression and had at least two suicide attempts. She struggled to live by Christian values. Did Andrea Yates show signs of becoming a mother who would kill? Does mental illness explain why this happened? Could this tragedy have been avoided?

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that more children under the age of five die from homicide than any other cause. Most are at the hands of the parents, with mothers killing more often than fathers. By dissecting the elements of the Andrea Yates case, society can begin to see warning signs far in advance to get help for troubled mothers before they turn to the ultimate act of desperation. Talk to expert Laura Giles about how untreated mental illness, social isolation, and extreme religiosity can create an inner climate of total destruction. Talk about the medical and legal definitions of insanity and what should be done when mothers who kill are not stopped in time. Is the Andrea Yates case an aberration? Discover the real statistics when you interview Laura Giles. Laura Giles is a social worker and author of the newly released e-book, Growing Up Crazy. This biography chronicles the downward spiral of her mentally ill mother and the survival of the family from an attempt on the children’s lives. Her unique experience allows her to present filicide from a personal and professional perspective.

Contact: Laura Giles, MSW
(757) 313-2313

Girl died after mother forced her to drink bleach 15 January 2005

Woman made 9-year-old son watch attack, authorities say

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) -- A woman angry with her 12-year-old daughter for having sex forced the girl to drink bleach and sat on her until the child died, a police detective said. The girl's 9-year-old brother was forced to watch the attack, Detective Warren Cotton testified Thursday in a preliminary hearing for Tunisia Archie, 31. Archie is charged with capital murder in the asphyxiation death of her daughter Jasmine. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

Cotton said Archie, who has been jailed without bond since shortly after her daughter's Nov. 26 death, told authorities she was disturbed because "her daughter told her that she was no longer a virgin." She said she poured bleach into Jasmine's mouth and the child vomited, he said, then sat on her until she stopped breathing, Cotton testified. Archie forced Jasmine's 9-year-old brother Jacorey to watch the attack and "told him that if he shed a tear that she was going to kill him, too," Cotton testified.

Ombudsman supports Law Society over Chief Exec complaint 10 January 2005

THE Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman has backed the Law Society's decision not to follow up a complaint against its chief executive, Douglas Mill, lodged in the aftermath of a Herald article last October. Aberdeen man David Emslie, a long-standing critic of the legal profession, wrote to Mill in October to lodge a complaint of professional misconduct against him personally. Emslie's letter followed the disclosure of evidence suggesting the governing body for Scotland's solicitors wanted to consult a multinational insurance firm to discuss an individual compensation claim brought by a member of the public – contradicting what MSPs were told at a public inquiry. An internal memo revealed that senior figures at the Law Society sought a "summit meeting" about the claim with Marsh UK, broker of its so-called "master" insurance policy – which provides insurance for all compensation claims against Scottish solicitors arising from negligence, fraud or dishonesty.

In Marsh's submission to Parliament's Justice 1 Committee in 2001, Alistair Sim, a Marsh executive, stated: "The society is not involved in the handling or resolution of individual claims." The memo, sent the previous month, was written by Mill to Martin McAllister, the then president. The document discusses complaints against solicitors brought by Stewart and Susan Mackenzie, from Pitlochry. The memo discusses not only the merit of the complaints, but the character of the Mackenzies.

Mill told McAllister: "I have discussed the matter with Alistair Sim and I think a holding letter is ideal ... there is a saga here." He added: "The Mackenzies, I would say, are different from some of our other complainers in as much as they have several valid claims, they have been let down by a series of solicitors, but they are unreasonable in their expectations of quantum etc. Rather than trivialise matters I would recommend that the four of us i.e., you, me, David Preston (vice-president) and Alistair Sim ... have a summit meeting on the up-to-date position looking at both the complaints and claims aspects. "There is no doubt Mr Mackenzie is (an) intelligent and well-organised individual (sic) who could, unlike some of the other thorns in our flesh, come over very well at (an) investigation." The full text of the memo only became public last year following intervention from former SNP leader John Swinney, the Mackenzies' MSP. He claimed to The Herald that it "flatly contradicts the arms-length relationship between the society and its insurers, which is often cited as a means of suggesting the law society is powerless to affect the decisions of its insurers." In his complaint to – and about – Douglas Mill, lodged on October 28 last year, Emslie accused the society chief of "blatantly conspiring with the professional insurance body against the public interest".

A case manager in the society's client relations office was assigned to the complaint, as is routine. She wrote to Emslie on November 11, highlighting the fact that because Mill had not acted as Emslie's solicitor, the society could only look at a complaint of professional misconduct. But she added that for this to be validly investigated, she had to see if Emslie "had an interest" in making the complaint. Her conclusion was that he did not, because he was not "directly affected by something the solicitor has done or said". Her conclusion was supported by a law society "sift panel", which consists of a solicitor and a non-solicitor. Emslie then passed the matter to the ombudsman, Linda Costelloe Baker. In her written ruling on the matter, delivered to Emslie just before Christmas, the ombudsman decided that the society had acted reasonably.

She said: "The legislation that governs the way the law society handles complaints says that the complainant must have an interest to make a complaint. There is no formal definition of what that means, but the society has adopted my interpretation, which is that the complainant should have been directly affected by something that the solicitor has done or said. While Mr Emslie has made complaints about solicitors, he has not been directly affected by Mr Mill, who takes no direct part in the process an who, in any event, is acting for the law society, not as an individual." She added: "Having seen a copy (of the memo), it is not about him (Emslie), he is not named as being a thorn in the law society's flesh, and while it might be stretching my role somewhat, I suspect he was not included even by inference as "thorn". He has not, therefore, been directly affected by the contents of that memo."




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Mysterious jet tied to torture flights 10 January 2005

Chicago Tribune

PORTLAND, Ore. - (KRT) - The first question is: Where is Leonard T. Bayard? The next question is: Who is Leonard T. Bayard? But the most important question may be: Does Leonard T. Bayard even exist? The questions arise because the signature of a Leonard Thomas Bayard appears on the annual report of a Portland-based company, Bayard Foreign Marketing LLC, that was filed in August with the Oregon secretary of state. According to federal records, Bayard Foreign Marketing is the newest owner of a U.S.-registered Gulfstream V executive jet reportedly used since Sept. 11, 2001, to transport suspected al-Qaida operatives to countries such as Egypt and Syria, where some of them claim to have later been tortured.

The Central Intelligence Agency has declined to discuss the plane. But one retired CIA officer said that he understood the Gulfstream had been operated by the Joint Special Operations Command, an interagency unit that organizes counterterrorist operations in conjunction with the CIA and military special forces. A search of commercial databases turned up no information on Leonard Thomas Bayard: no residence address, no telephone number, no Social Security number, no credit history, no automobile or property ownership records - in short, none of the information commonly associated with real people. And yet, someone signed the name Leonard T. Bayard to Bayard Foreign Marketing's annual report.

The report, which describes the company as an "international marketing firm," lists Bayard's principal place of business as a suite in a historic downtown Portland office building known as the Pittock Block. But a visitor to the suite who asked to see Bayard was told by a receptionist only that "Mr. Bayard doesn't work here." The telephone number on Bayard's annual report is listed to a private residence in a rundown section of northeast Portland whose doorbell went unanswered earlier this week. Calls to that number, however, appear to be answered by a bank of operators. An initial call was answered as "Baynard Foreign Marketing" by an operator who insisted she never had heard of Leonard Bayard. A second call two minutes later was answered as "Bayard Foreign Marketing" by a different operator, who said that "Mr. Bayard is away from his desk."

A message left by a reporter went unanswered. The CIA has long had a well-known practice of "backstopping" local telephone numbers for its proprietary companies around the world, whose calls are forwarded to operators at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. Scott Caplan, an attorney whose offices occupy the same Portland suite as the one listed by Bayard Foreign Marketing, identified Bayard as "a client" but declined to say more. Public documents show it was Caplan who filed the incorporation papers for Bayard Foreign Marketing when the company was created in August 2003. Ann Martens, a spokeswoman for Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, said that knowingly filing a false corporate document in Oregon is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.

Leonard T. Bayard - whoever he may or may not be - became the sole owner of the mysterious Gulfstream jet on Nov. 16, according to public records compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration. The records show that Bayard Foreign Marketing purchased the plane, for an undisclosed sum, from Premier Executive Transport Services, whose address is the same as that of a Dedham, Mass., law firm that incorporated Premier Executive in January 1994. The Massachusetts law firm's address is shared by a second company, Crowell Aviation Technologies Inc., which according to Dun & Bradstreet claims to have only a single employee and $65,000 in annual revenue.

Government records show, however, that Crowell is one of only nine companies, along with Premier Executive, that has Pentagon permission to land aircraft at military bases worldwide. The same day it transferred ownership of the Gulfstream to Bayard, Premier Executive sold an unmarked, 3-year-old Boeing 737 to Keeler and Tate Management LLC of Reno. That company's address is the same as that of the Reno law firm that incorporated it in October 2003, records show. Like Leonard T. Bayard, the only named principal in Keeler and Tate, one Tyler Edward Tate, also appears not to exist in any public records accessible by the Chicago Tribune. Premier Executive's only listed executive is its president, Bryan P. Dyess. A person with that name does appear in commercial databases, but his only addresses are two post office boxes in Arlington, Va., not far from CIA headquarters.

Premier Executive purchased or leased the new Gulfstream V in 1999, FAA records show. The plane's original registration number, N581GA, would later be changed by the FAA to N379P, and again to 8068V. The first public mention of the Gulfstream appeared six weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, when a Pakistani newspaper reported that Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, a 27-year-old microbiology student at Karachi University, had been spirited aboard the plane at Karachi's airport by Pakistani security officers in the early hours of Oct. 23, 2001. There is no information about where Mohammed was taken. But Pakistani officials said later that Mohammed, a Yemeni national, was believed by the United States to belong to al-Qaida and to have information about the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

Since Sept. 11, unnamed U.S. officials have been quoted in several publications discussing the U.S. practice of "rendition," which involves sending suspected terrorists or al-Qaida supporters captured abroad for interrogation to countries where human rights are not traditionally respected. One well-documented rendition occurred in December 2001, when two Egyptian nationals, Ahmed Agiza and Muhammed al-Zery, were flown aboard the Gulfstream from Sweden's Bromma airport to Cairo. A Swedish television broadcaster, TV4, reported last year that a check of the plane's registration number, N379P, showed it belonged to Premier Executive. The Swedish ambassador to Cairo later said Agiza and al-Zery both told him they had been tortured by Egyptian police. Al-Zery was released in October 2003 without charges. Agiza was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his alleged membership in an Egyptian terrorist group.

The Swedish government has called on Egypt to agree to an international investigation into the torture charges. The government has said it had been assured by Egypt that the two men would not be mistreated. Another widely reported rendition to Egypt occurred in January 2002, when the Gulfstream arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia, to pick up a 24-year-old al-Qaida suspect and dual Egyptian-Pakistani citizen, Muhammad Saad Iqbal, and transport him to Cairo. German intelligence sources later said Indonesia refused to permit subsequent renditions to Cairo after learning that Iqbal had been tortured.

An international network of "plane spotters," hobbyists who log the comings and goings of specific aircraft around the world, have posted on the Internet photographs of the Gulfstream in various locations. The Sunday Times of London, which claimed to have obtained the plane's flight logs, reported in November that the plane was based at Dulles International Airport outside Washington. The newspaper said it had flown to at least 49 destinations outside the United States, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, other U.S. military bases, as well as airports in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya and Uzbekistan. Two days after the Sunday Times report, Premier Executive Transport sold the Gulfstream to Bayard Foreign Marketing. On Dec. 1, records show, the FAA assigned the plane yet another tail number, N44982.

HELL hath no fury like a Hollywood lesbian scorned 9 January 2005

Hollywood lesbian affair ends with duel on the legal frontier

The former girlfriend of Ellen DeGeneres is considering legal action against both the comedian and her new lover, the Ally McBeal actress Portia de Rossi, in a case that could redraw the boundaries of romantic strife in America. Alexandra Hedison, 35, is said to have been shocked after 46-year-old DeGeneres asked her to leave the Los Angeles home they had shared for four years. De Rossi, 31, moved in before Christmas. Hedison is now taking advice from Trope and Trope, a Los Angeles law firm that has represented stars from Cary Grant to Jennifer Lopez. Its lawyers have shown how she could seek revenge and riches with a “twin attack” on the new couple. DeGeneres met de Rossi on a photo-shoot last summer. At that point de Rossi, the ice-cool lawyer Nelle in Ally McBeal, was preparing to “marry” her girlfriend Francesca Gregorini, the stepdaughter of Ringo Starr. They broke up last month.

Legal sources say Hedison, a photographer, could file legal papers this spring, beginning with a palimony action against DeGeneres. But Hedison is also said to be considering suing de Rossi for “alienation of affection”, a legal stratagem dating back to frontier days when seducing a spouse was regarded as theft. “She would have to prove the seduction took place in those states which still recognise the law, like on holiday in Hawaii,” said Richard Barry, of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. “If she can do that, she could cause a lot of financial damage.” DeGeneres, meanwhile, has moved to crush speculation about tensions with her ex-lover. “I still love and care tremendously for her and we are working together on the ending of our relationship on that level and intend to keep it private,” she said in a statement.,,176-1431381,00.html

Father Figure 8 January 2005

Father Figure  by Ann Widdecombe

Book Description
Ann Widdecombe's controversial new novel - about the position of men in today's society


When Ann Widdecombe made her fiction debut with The Clematis Tree her insights into what happens when a marriage is under stress were widely remarked upon. In her new novel she returns to this contemporary theme with a situation that has become frighteningly familiar to all too many couples. Jason Kirk is a thirty-two year old teacher who believes he is happily married until he returns home one day to find that his wife has left him, taking their two young children with her. Suddenly Jason finds the role of father denied to him as he is separated from his children and reduced to the role of visitor. The law is weighted against him and his wife produces a series of excuses to withhold contact with Jake, eight and Leah, three. Jason, who had wanted to bring his children up to maturity on a daily basis, not only has to face the pain of this loss but endures the misery of persecution by the Child Support Agency.

He discovers he is not alone, that among friends and colleagues are others enduring the same situation. Jason's fate is a fact of twenty-first century living, where, so surveys show, fifty per cent of all men now beginning families will not be living with their children by the time they reach the age of eighteen. Just as in The Clematis Tree when Ann Widdecombe was commended in particular for her portrayal of parents with a profoundly handicapped child so in Father Figure - an enthralling, thought-provoking novel of modern fatherhood - her message is simple: men are human beings too.


UN DR Congo sex abuses 'on film'

Some 10,000 UN troops serve in DR Congo

The United Nations is investigating some 150 allegations of sexual abuse by UN civilian staff and soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Accusations include paedophilia, rape and prostitution at a UN site in Bunia, says UN official Jane Holl Lute. She told a news conference that there was photographic and video evidence for some of the allegations. Reports of abuse involving Monuc troops first surfaced last year, prompting the UN's internal watchdog to launch an inquiry.

"It's important that those missions be above reproach," the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations said. "We are shining a light on this problem in order to determine its scope, and we will not stop there." After being briefed on its progress, Mr Annan expressed his outrage on Friday saying that a small number of civilian and military personnel had committed "shameful" acts of gross misconduct.

He said that those involved must be held accountable.

The UN mission in DR Congo now consists of about 10,000 troops and was first deployed in 2001, two years before a major war there ended. Extreme sexual violence has been an integral part of conflicts throughout eastern DR Congo and many girls are reluctant to testify against those in authority. A UN probe rejected similar allegations of sexual exploitation of refugees by UN staff in West Africa two years ago.

Teacher assaulted pupils almost daily 7 January 2005

A GIRL of 12 sobbed yesterday as she told a court that her former teacher had assaulted her "almost daily" at a Central Scotland primary school. The youngster said Lorraine Stirling - who is accused of assaulting eight of her pupils - had pulled her hair "almost every day, anytime she had the chance" when she was her teacher in primary four and primary seven. She said the 50-year-old class teacher pinched her skin so hard it caused cuts, and once jumped up when she thought she wasn’t paying attention and hit her over the head with two books at once.

Wearing the uniform of her high school, where she is now in first year, the girl - who cannot be identified - said Stirling’s assaults made her so stressed that she had been put on medication. She told Alloa Sheriff Court: "I was scared of Miss Stirling. She did things to me. She pinched my skin and pulled my hair behind people’s backs. She said I was rubbish and stuff and pulled my hair almost every day. "She would take my skin and twist it. Sometimes, I’d have cuts. It happened a lot. It made me ill. I had to go on medication for a week for stress. I was scared to go to school."

The 12-year-old said Stirling mocked another girl who was dyslexic, and on another occasion dragged a child upstairs. She said: "In primary seven, she whacked me on the head with two books in front of all the class - a thin hard book and a homework jotter. She slammed it. It hurt." At one point, the closed court had to be adjourned for the child to be comforted by her mother after she began crying uncontrollably. She told Andrew Gibb, defending, that she had been too scared to tell the school authorities about the assaults.

She also denied being the author of e-mails that were sent to the school from an internet café, supposedly written by pupils boasting that they had "got rid" of her teacher. Another girl, also now 12, who was in the same classes as the first girl, said she saw children being hit over the head with rulers and books by Stirling. She said: "She did it to me once with a jotter. She lifted her hand and skelped me. She used to shout a lot and rip people’s work up if they had done it wrong."

A boy from the same classes, now 11, said: "In primary seven, she hit loads of people. "I was hit once when we were doing reading and I was sitting cross-legged on the floor. She came and hit me with a big teacher’s book. It was hard." The boy, who also broke into tears giving evidence, said: "I didn’t have a problem with her being strict - I just didn’t like being hit."

Stirling, 50, of Dollar, Clackmannanshire, denies assaulting pupils - five boys and three girls, now aged between ten and 12 - at the school between 18 August, 2000 and 28 January last year. For legal reasons, neither the children nor their school can be named. The trial, before Sheriff David Mackie, sitting without a jury, continues.

Texas Court Reverses Child-Killer Yates Verdicts 7 January 2005

Andrea Yates, the Houston mother serving life in prison for drowning her five children in a case that shocked America, had her murder convictions overturned by a state appeals court on Thursday because of flawed testimony by an expert witness. The three-member panel of the Texas 1st Court of Appeals reversed the verdicts of a lower court in part because of errors in the testimony from expert psychiatric witness, Dr. Park Dietz. At the 2002 trial, Dietz told the jury Yates patterned the killings on an episode of the television series "Law & Order," for which he had worked as a consultant. However, defense lawyers discovered the episode never existed. "We conclude that there is a reasonable likelihood that Dr. Dietz's false testimony could have affected the judgment," the court said in a unanimous ruling.

The prosecution plans to appeal.

Yates' lawyer, George Parnham, said there would be no effort to seek her release from the east Texas psychiatric prison where she is serving her sentence until the murder charges are resolved. "I don't believe it will ever be possible for her to be free from any kind of mental health assistance," Parnham said. Defense attorneys and prosecutors could reach an agreement to send Yates to a state mental hospital after the charges are resolved, he said.

During Yates' trial, Parnham unsuccessfully sought a mistrial based on Dietz's error. He argued the statement unfairly planted the seed of premeditation in jurors' minds. The jury rejected Yates' insanity defense and found her guilty of capital murder for three of the deaths, but sentenced her to life rather than pass the death penalty. Yates, who had been diagnosed as suffering from severe postpartum depression after the birth of her fifth child and was taking anti-psychotic medication, told police she killed the children to save them from the devil.

Why haven't more people heard about the secret brotherhood of the Illuminati? 6 January 2005

An interview with Dan Brown author of Angels and Demons

Q: Why haven't more people heard about the secret brotherhood of the Illuminati?

A: Secret societies like the Illuminati go to enormous lengths to remain covert. Although many classified intelligence reports have been written on the brotherhood, few have been published. Conspiracy theories on the Illuminati include infiltration of the British Parliament and U.S. Treasury, secret involvement with the Masons, affiliation with covert Satanic cults, a plan for a New World Order, and even the resurgence of their ancient pact to destroy Vatican City. Separating Illuminati fact from fiction can be difficult on account of the massive quantities of misinformation that has been generated about the brotherhood. Some theorists claim this plethora of misinformation is actually generated by the Illuminati themselves in an effort to discredit any factual information that may have surfaced. This concealment tactic--known as "data-sowing" is often employed by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Q: In the novel, you talk about the bizarre "pyramid and all-seeing-eye" on back of U.S. currency. What do these symbols have to do with the United States?

A: Absolutely nothing, which is what makes their presence on our currency so remarkable. The pyramid is actually an Egyptian occult symbol representing a convergence upward toward the ultimate source of this case, an all-seeing eye known as the trinacria. The eye inside the triangle is a pagan symbol adopted by the Illuminati to signify the brotherhood's ability to infiltrate and watch all things. In addition, the triangle (Greek Delta) is the scientific symbol for change. Many historians feel the Great Seal's "shining delta" is symbolic of the Illuminati's desire to bring about "enlightened change" from the myth of religion to the truth of science. Also supporting the theory that the Great Seal is tied to the Illuminati is the unsettling fact that the seal's inscription "Novus Ordo Seculorum" is a clear call to the secular or non-religious...which stands in startling contrast to In God We Trust.

Q: How could all this Illuminati symbology end up on the most powerful currency in the world?

A: The occult symbology on the back of the U.S. one dollar bill is a source of great consternation for modern symbologists. The design (originally by Charles Thomson) was presented to the U.S. treasury in the 1940s when the Illuminati brotherhood was widely accepted to have spread from Europe into American and infiltrated the brotherhood of the Freemasons. At that time, many Masons were upper echelon government officials. Vice President Henry Wallace was one of them, and most academics now believe the design for the Great Seal was lobbied for by Wallace. Whether he made his decisions as a covert Illuminatus or innocently under their influence, nobody will ever know, but it was Wallace who convinced President Roosevelt to use the design. Of course, conspiracy theorists enjoy pointing out that Franklin D. Roosevelt was also a high-ranking Mason.

Q: Angels & Demons was inspired in a bizarre location. Can you tell us what happened?

A: I was beneath Vatican City touring a tunnel called il passetto--a concealed passageway used by the early Popes to escape in event of enemy attack. According to the scholar giving the tour, one of the Vatican's most feared ancient enemies was a secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati--the "enlightened ones"--a cult of early scientists who had vowed revenge against the Vatican for crimes against scientists like Galileo and Copernicus. I was fascinated by images of this cloaked, anti-religious brotherhood lurking in the catacombs of Rome. Then, when the scholar added that many modern historians believe the Illuminati is still active today and is one of most powerful unseen forces in global politics, I knew I was hooked...I had to write an Illuminati thriller.

Q: Angels & Demons includes an unusual graphical element never before seen in a work of fiction, what can you tell us about that?

A: Ah, the ambigrams. Many people have written to ask how those symbols were created. Ambigrams are words drawn to read identically right side up and upside down. Its an ancient artistic technique that figures prominently in the mysteries of Angels & Demons. Ambigrams can be very unnerving when you first see them, and almost everyone who sees the ambigram on the novel's cover invariably stands there for several minutes rotating the book over and over, perplexed. Whether or not someone is a thriller reader, sneaking a peak at the Angels & Demons book cover is certainly worth a trip to the bookstore's thriller aisle.

Q: Your novel begins inside the real-life Swiss scientific research facility called CERN. Can you tell us more about CERN?

A: CERN--Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire--is the world's largest scientific research facility. It is located in Geneva Switzerland and employs over 3,000 of the world's top scientists. CERN houses an underground particle accelerator that is over fourteen miles long and stretches all the way into France. In addition, CERN (much to Americans' surprise!) is the birthplace of the Worldwide Web, whose strange inception I talk about in the novel. CERN's most incredible claim to fame, however, is that they were the first to manufacture something called antimatter...the most volatile substance known to man.

Q: Antimatter plays a startling role in Angels & Demons and sounds utterly terrifying. Is antimatter for real?

A: Absolutely. Antimatter is the ultimate energy source. It releases energy with 100% efficiency (nuclear fission is 1.5% efficient.) Antimatter is 100,000 times more powerful than rocket fuel. A single gram contains the energy of a 20 kiloton atomic bomb--the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In addition to being highly explosive, antimatter is extremely unstable and ignites when it comes in contact with anything...even air. It can only be stored by suspending it in an electromagnetic field inside a vacuum canister. If the field fails and the antimatter falls, the result is a "perfect" matter/antimatter conversion, which physicists aptly call "annihilation." CERN is now regularly producing small quantities of antimatter in their research for future energy sources. Antimatter holds tremendous promise; it creates no pollution or radiation, and a single droplet could power New York City for a full day. With fossils fuels dwindling, the promise of harnessing antimatter could be an enormous leap for the future of this planet. Of course, mastering antimatter technology brings with it a chilling dilemma. Will this powerful new technology save the world, or will it be used to create the most deadly weapon ever made?

Q: Is it true while researching this book you actually had an audience with the Pope?

A: Yes, although I hasten to say that the term "audience" can be misleading. I did not sit down and have tea with the man. I was fortunate enough to be granted what is known as a "semi-private audience", which takes place in a special room inside Vatican City. The Pope came out and spoke to a group of us. Then he prayed and blessed us. An interesting side note--before we entered the audience room, the Swiss Guard frisked us looking for...not weapons...but concealed containers of water. I later learned that any water present in the room when the Pope said a blessing instantly becomes "holy water," and the church did not want any of us taking holy water outside of Vatican City and trying to sell it.

Q: Both Digital Fortress and Angels & Demons deal with secretive topics--covert spy agencies, conspiracy theories, classified technologies. How do you get your information?

A: I am constantly amazed how much "secret" information is readily available out there if one knows where to dig. The Freedom of Information Act, of course, is a great resource, primarily because it can lead to specific individuals who are knowledgeable in a given field and sometimes are willing to talk about it. In many cases, understandably, these contacts prefer to remain nameless, but sometimes depending on what they've told you, they like being acknowledged in the book. Occasionally, research is simply a matter of finding the proper printed resource. For example, the detailed description in Angels & Demons depicting the intimate ritual of Vatican conclave--the threaded necklace of ballots...the mixing of chemicals...the burning of the ballots--much of that was from a book published on Harvard University Press by a Jesuit scholar who had interviewed more than a hundred cardinals, which is obviously something I never would have had the time or connections to do.

Q: The plot of Angels and Demons is described as "a revenge 400 years in the making." Can you explain what this means?

A: Sure. It is historical fact that the Illuminati vowed vengeance against the Vatican in the 1600's. The early Illuminati--those of Galileo's day--were expelled from Rome by the Vatican and hunted mercilessly. The Illuminati fled and went into hiding in Bavaria where they began mixing with other refugee groups fleeing the Catholic purges--mystics, alchemists, scientists, occultists, Muslims, Jews. From this mixing pot, a new Illuminati emerged. A darker Illuminati. A deeply anti-Christian Illuminati. They grew very powerful, infiltrating power structures, employing mysterious rites, retaining deadly secrecy, and vowing someday to rise again and take revenge on the Catholic Church. Angels & Demons is a thriller about the Illuminati's long-awaited resurgence and vengeance against their oppressors... but most of all, it is a story about Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist who gets caught in the middle.

Q: A virtual tour of the novel is offered at the book's website. How does one take a virtual tour of a novel?

A: The Angels & Demons virtual tour is actually a lot of fun. Much of the novel's story is a chase across modern Rome--through catacombs, cathedrals, piazzas, and even the Vatican's subterranean Necropolis (City of the Dead.) Because all the locations and artwork in the novel are factual and can still be seen today, we decided it would be fun to offer a real-life photo tour of all the places in the story. The tour includes plenty of things few people have ever seen--CERN's underground accelerator, the Vatican secret archives, antimatter canisters, even an indoor skydiving facility. It's also a way for readers to confirm some of the novel's more startling information. You can tour the novel at the award-winning website

Q: Your novel raises the question of whether technology will save us or destroy us. Which do you believe?

A: I believe science will save us...although I tend to be an optimist. Obviously, science has wonderful potential to control disease, create new fuel supplies, engineer efficient food sources, and even allow us to migrate to new worlds. The problem, of course, is that every technology is a double-edged sword. The rocket engine that carries the space shuttle can also carry warheads. The medical breakthroughs that can eradicate disease--genetic research, for example-if misused, can bring about the end of the human race. The question is not whether or not science will expand to meet man's growing needs, but whether man's philosophy will mature fast enough that we can truly comprehend our new power and the responsibility that comes with it.

Q: You describe some pretty bizarre CERN experiments in the novel. Are these experiments for real?

A: Entirely. And the results are absolutely staggering. In the last few years scientists have found themselves face to face with facts that force them to rethink the world in which we live. Their discoveries have implications not only on the physical realm but the philosophical and spiritual as well. The heroine of Angels & Demons is actually one of these CERN scientists-a brilliant marine biologist whose a specialist is "Entanglement Science." Entanglement science is the study of the interconnectivity of all things. Many of the marine experiments she runs in the novel are real-life experiments that have been run in the last few years. And as anyone who has read Angels & Demons can attest, the results are unnerving. There are those who believe science will someday prove God exists. Either way, scientists are certainly starting to tackle some of life's most profound spiritual questions. Of course, these sacred questions have always been the domain of the clergy. And a new battle is raging over who will be providing answers to life's deepest mysteries... science or religion?

Q: You've written novels about a classified intelligence agency and an ultra-secretive brotherhood. Are secrets something that interest you?

A: Secrets interest us all, I think. For me, writing about clandestine material keeps me engaged in the project. Because a novel can take upwards of a year to write, I need to be constantly learning as I write, or I lose interest. Researching and writing about secretive topics helps remind me how fun it is to "spy" into unseen worlds, and it motivates me to try to give the reader that same experience. Lots of people wrote me after Digital Fortress amazed that the National Security Agency is for real. I've already started getting similar mail from Angels & Demons--people shocked to learn about the Illuminati brotherhood, antimatter technology, or the inner workings of the Vatican election. My goal is always to make the character's and plot be so engaging that readers don't realize how much they are learning along the way.

Q: Angels & Demons reveals a lot of inside information about the Vatican... much of it unflattering. Do you fear any repercussions?

A: I imagine some controversy is unavoidable, yes, although it's important to remember that Angels & Demons is primarily a thriller--a chase and a love story. It's certainly not an anti-Catholic book. It's not even a religious book. Much of the novel's action takes place deep inside the arcane world of the Vatican, and yes, some of the factual information revealed there is startling, but I think most people understand that an organization as old and powerful as the Vatican could not possibly have risen to power without acquiring a few skeletons in their closets. I think the reason Angels & Demons is raising eyebrows right now is that it opens some Vatican closets most people don't even know exist. The final message of the novel, though, without a doubt, is a positive one.

Q: The characters in Angels & Demons battle with some tough moral issues... primarily regarding the battle between science or religion? Which do you think will ultimately win the war?

A: That's a difficult question because in many ways I see science and religion as the same thing. Both are manifestations of man's quest to understand the divine. Religion savors the questions while science savors the quest for answers. Science and religion seem to be two different languages attempting to tell the same story, and yet the battle between them has been raging for centuries and continues today. The war in our schools over whether to teach Creationism or Darwinism is a perfect example. We live in an exciting era, though, because for the first time in human history, the line between science and religion is starting to blur. Particle physicists exploring the subatomic level are suddenly witnessing an interconnectivity of all things and having religious experiences...Buddhist monks are reading physics books and learning about experiments that confirm what they have believed in their hearts for centuries and have been unable to quantify.

Q: What's next after Angels & Demons?

A: I'm already hard at work on the next novel. After writing about the covert National Security Agency and the clandestine brotherhood of the Illuminati, I found myself hard pressed to come up with a more secretive topic. Fortunately, I recently learned of another U.S. intelligence agency, more covert even than the National Security Agency. This new agency will figure prominently in the next novel. Until then, of course, mum's the word.


An interview with DAN BROWN
author of "ANGELS & DEMONS"
(Simon & Schuster : Pocket Books, May 2000)
ISBN: 0-671-02735-2

BBC in bed with government 6 January 2005

The gathering storm: anger over Jack and Kirsty's island idyll

‘She is not breaking any rule, but we all know this looks pretty grim’

IT IS the picture that the Scottish Labour elite, and the BBC as well, would rather the nation did not see. The first families of Scottish politics and broadcasting are shown strolling through the Majorcan countryside on Hogmanay. The First Minister, and his wife Bridget, accepted the invitation of TV journalist Kirsty Wark and her husband Alan Clements to spend new year at their holiday home on the Spanish island. But by doing so, McConnell opted to risk the criticism of political opponents and some nonplussed colleagues about the cosy nature of the relationship between senior politicians in Scotland and the media.

Now criticism is focusing on Wark. She makes her living from interrogating politicians on the BBC’s flagship Newsnight current affairs programme, and some of her colleagues say her friendship with the McConnells clashes with her impartial role as a BBC news anchor. The First Minister will have been well aware that he was flirting with controversy in spending such quality time with Wark and Clements at their villa close to the Mediterranean island’s north coast. Wark Clements, the couple’s Glasgow-based film and TV production company, won the lucrative deal to make The Gathering Place, a documentary on the creation of the £431m Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh.

The chance to wander in the warmth, through woodland, orange groves and villages dotted with cosy cafes and restaurants made it a risk the First Minister calculated was worth taking. But for Wark and her employers, the graphic demonstration of her closeness to Scotland’s New Labour elite may turn out to be a holiday too far. While the First Minister last night faced more criticism of his dalliance with the media, some of Wark’s own colleagues were starting to question the wisdom of allowing her professional life to intrude so visibly on her private activities.

The spectacle of Sir Cliff Richard entertaining the Blairs at his residence in Barbados raised many eyebrows last summer - but the day job of the ‘Peter Pan of pop’ does not involve grilling the Prime Minister in public on the performance of his government. "Maybe she is not breaking any rule, but we all know this looks pretty grim," one disgruntled BBC Scotland insider said. "It’s not really on. How on earth is she supposed to interview anyone in politics and keep her credibility? "Anyone can just fire back at her: ‘Well, we know where you stand, given the holiday chums you have.’ Can you imagine what would happen if John Humphreys had Tony Blair go off on holiday with him? There would be hell to pay."

A source at the BBC in London said: "It is something a serious BBC news programme would normally be interested in covering, as a story". Another described Wark’s trip as "misguided". It is not the first time Wark’s connections with the Labour establishment have raised eyebrows, not simply because McConnell was in fact invited to stay at the £150,000 villa during the summer as well. She was also a close friend of McConnell’s predecessor, the late Donald Dewar - a relationship which prompted concerns when he appointed her one of the judges to select the architect for the Scottish Parliament. During her appearance at the Fraser Inquiry into the parliament fiasco, it emerged Wark had been a bridesmaid at the wedding of inquiry QC John Campbell, who was in charge of questioning her. The Gathering Place had an original budget of £360,000, which has reportedly mushroomed to more than £800,000. Wark Clements also holds a £3m contract, won three years ago, to make programmes for the BBC.

In addition, Wark, 49, commands a £250,000 salary from the BBC, mainly through her work as a front-line presenter of Newsnight, along with a select band of figures including Jeremy Paxman. McConnell endured a torrid round of criticism when it emerged that he would be fleeing Scotland for warmer climes during the most important holiday of the year. Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP at Holyrood, said: "I think people would probably think Scotland’s First Minister should have been doing his bit by celebrating Hogmanay in Scotland.

McConnell’s reluctance to have his movements publicised was again obvious on New Year’s Eve, when he attempted to dodge a photographer - even hiding behind Wark at one point to avoid being snapped. The seven-strong party, including the McConnells, Wark, Clements and their children, set off for an afternoon ramble along the secluded lane which leads up into the hills behind the villa. Later on, they returned to Alaro for a private celebration. The house, bought for £150,000 four years ago, has four bedrooms spread across three storeys, backing on to a narrow road in the north of the island. It is thought to have at least doubled in value in four years. As well as its own outdoor heated swimming-pool, the traditional granite property boasts satellite television, a heavy electronic garage door and a secluded paved garden, surrounded by a high wall.

Wark and Clements are believed to visit their holiday home several times a year with their two children and a select group of friends. The area in which their villa is located is popular with wealthy Britons, such as nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, anxious to escape the rigours of a British winter. BBC chiefs have been under pressure to maintain the independence of their reporting staff in the aftermath of the Hutton report, which raised concerns about their relationships with contacts. But a number of BBC employees insist there have always been strict ‘Chinese walls’ designed to preserve the BBC’s impartiality. BBC political correspondent Elizabeth Quigley was switched to reporting on general news after it emerged that she was in a relationship with the then SNP leader John Swinney. The couple later married.

Wark has dismissed concerns about the impact her friendship with McConnell has on her professional integrity, maintaining: "Most people would agree that who we go on holiday with is an entirely private matter." But that view is not shared across the BBC. Another BBC Scotland insider drew comparisons between the Wark-McConnell affair and the fact other BBC employees with close links to people in politics had had to make sideways moves. She said: "So Liz Quigley went out with John Swinney and she had to quit covering politics. And [BBC Scotland political correspondent] Kirsten Campbell went out with [Liberal Democrat minister] Tavish Scott, but Kirsty can have Jack round for the new year and it’s supposed to be OK. It just isn’t."

DIEGO GARCIA: How did it escape harm? 5 January 2005

How did Diego Garcia, the British-owned island in the Indian Ocean and home of a US base for B2 bombers, escape the effects of the tsunami? The island, 1,000 miles south of India and well within range of the wave, has a highest point of 22ft and an average elevation of 4ft, yet a spokesman for the US Pacific Command in Hawaii said that the base had not been harmed.

Officials at the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii said Diego Garcia had been forewarned. Other countries were not, apparently because of a lack of contact details over a holiday weekend."

Except that most of the countries affected by the Tsunami are not Christian and therefore were not on holiday.... How is it that in the age of instant global communcation, 24 hour news channels, e-mail, faxes etc. it was possible to inform Diego Garcia but nowhere else?????

The London Independent

Why did US base escape tsunami? 5 January 2005

Diego Garcia became a US military base in the 1970s

Following the tsunami, conspiracy rumours have been circulating on the internet of how the US base at Diego Garcia managed to avoid casualties while those on neighbouring islands suffered huge losses. The US Navy's official Diego Garcia website said the island wasn't hit by the devastating tsunami because its surround by deep waters and the grade of its shores does not allow for tsunamis to build before hitting land. The site said the earthquake generated a tidal surge on the island estimated at six feet.

US Navy's official Diego Garcia website

Is America a power for good or ill in the world? Was there a malign hand at work, or has America's role in the crisis in fact been a model of humanitarian leadership.

Could Nuclear testing create a tsunami? 4 January 2005

This is a difficult topic to research, because much of the information surrounding nuclear testing is classified. During the Cold War there was fear of tsunamis produced by the detonation of nuclear bombs on the continental shelf off the East Coast of the US.

A nuclear bomb was never detonated on the shelf, however a huge explosion did generate a tsunami during World War I causing vast destruction Any large disturbance that displaces a large volume of water can be a potential cause of a tsunami.

SHIPMAN No.2 4 January 2005

Police exhume bodies in GP probe Dr Martin, who now lives in Wales denies murder

Police are exhuming three bodies for tests as part of their inquiry into a doctor accused of murdering a patient. Dr Howard Martin, 70, is awaiting trial after being accused of giving a fatal dose of morphine to Harry Gittins, 74, of Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Now Durham Police have revealed they are to exhume the bodies of three other pensioners for forensic tests. Dr Martin, of Penmaenmawr, Conwy, North Wales, has denied murder and is currently on conditional bail.

Under cover of darkness

Mr Gittins, who suffered from cancer, was exhumed last year. A spokesman for Durham Police said: "Following questions raised about the deaths of three pensioners their bodies are shortly to be exhumed to attempt to establish their exact cause of death. "The police operation, which will focus on graves in three separate cemeteries in south-west Durham, will be carried out under cover of darkness to comply with strict guidelines." Dr Martin is due to stand trial at Teesside Crown Court in March. The GP, who has surgeries in Shildon, Bishop Auckland and Newton Aycliffe, was charged with murder in August.

UK police among worst in the world 4 January 2005

They are to busy persecuting separated fathers

UK police among worst in the world, says report

BRITAIN has one of the world’s most ineffective police forces and highest crime rates, according to an authoritative report to be published this week. It says the police spend too much time behind desks instead of tackling and preventing crime. The result, it says, is that crime is “a very low-risk activity for the criminal”. America, France and Germany have suffered similar sharp rises in crime to Britain since the 1960s but have tackled them more effectively, the report says. British police have failed to focus on prevention of crime and zero tolerance of low-level disorder and antisocial behaviour, it claims.

The rise in crime in the UK is “so spectacular” it is “difficult to comprehend”, the report argues. Home Office claims that crime in Britain is falling and at “historically low levels” are false: the country is now “a seriously crime-afflicted and disintegrating society”. The damning and controversial study from Civitas, the right-of-centre think tank, is bound to provoke criticism from British police forces.

It cites official figures that show crime rising steadily over 40 years. The report says: Burglaries have increased more than fivefold from 72,000 in 1964 to 402,000 last year. There are 33 robberies of personal property for every one 40 years ago: a rise from 3,000 in 1964 to 101,000 in 2003-04.

The report concludes: “The attitude of the police towards crime and antisocial behaviour has changed radically from the principles which were laid down by the founders of the Metropolitan police in the early 19th century. “The Peelite principles of policing put the prevention of crime as the highest priority . . . The hostility of the law enforcement establishment to the old beat policing model is a significant factor in the police force’s inability to get to grips with rising crime.” It adds: “England, from being a society remarkably free of crime and disorder, especially from the middle of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, by the late 1990s had a worse record than either France, Germany or the United States.”

The Civitas report contrasts the crime figures with police numbers. In 1921, it says, there were 57,000 police officers dealing with 103,000 crimes — two crimes per officer. In 2002-03 there were 134,000 officers dealing with 5.9m crimes — 44 per officer. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) questioned the findings. It said the authors had accepted that crime had dropped to the levels of 1981 but failed to give the police credit. Chris Fox, Acpo’s president, said the think tank’s conclusions did not “reflect the reality” of the police force’s achievements in recent years.,,176-1423380,00.html

Scotlands Masonic mafia 4 January 2005

International Mens Organisation and Fathers Fighting Injustice Press release

Donald Dewar isn't the father of devolution but the Godfather of devolution. It is the masonic mafia that runs Scotland and he put in place the laws to ensure that control continues unabated .

The first minister and the justice minister should rename Carstairs to Auschwitz as it is the place were they now murder anyone (Andy McCardle 26 Dec 04 R.I.P.) who tries to expose the fraud and corruption the Scottish government is complicite with.


Army restricted ethnic recruits

The British Army secretly restricted the number of recruits from ethnic minorities for 20 years, newly released official documents show. From 1957 Army medical officers were instructed to note all new recruits with "Asiatic or Negroid features". The data were used to limit the number of "non-white" troops in the Army. The secret system was uncovered after about 50,000 government files were made public on the first working day of the Freedom of Information Act. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) says the report "does not reflect the current situation" within the armed forces. Many of the government papers had been kept hidden from the public for decades under the 30-year rule. But under the Act, implemented on 1 January, the public gains the right to see documents held by more than 100,000 bodies. The determination of the characteristics is at the discretion of various medical officers, and could include Chinamen, Maltese or even swarthy Frenchmen

Confidential Army briefing paper

The army's recruiting system was even kept secret from government ministers and official race monitors, the documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show. It appears from the documents, released to the National Archives, that the information was used to limit the number of ethnic minority troops, designated "D factor" personnel. Medical officers were given considerable latitude in deciding who was classified as "D factor" or non-white. It could even include people of Mediterranean appearance or a "swarthy Frenchman", according to the documents. The system was outlined in a confidential briefing paper, written for the Adjutant General of the Army in 1972. "Officially, we state that we do not keep statistics of coloured soldiers," it says.


"In fact, we do have a record, resulting from the description put on the attestation paper by the medical officer, of the features of the recruit. "At Manning and Record offices, a broad division is drawn between north European and all others, and punch cards for the latter are punched in such a way they can be identified if required." It added: "The determination of the characteristics is at the discretion of various medical officers, and could include Chinamen, Maltese or even swarthy Frenchmen." The system was supposed to help the Army ensure its quota restrictions on non-Europeans was adhered to. In February 1974, Denis Brennan in the Adjutant General's office said the way the Army recorded colour was "complex". He said: "We do not feel it would be appropriate to mention it to ministers." The Army chose to lie when asked for a breakdown of serving coloured officers by the Institute of Race Relations in 1972. The Army had agonised over what to do for nine months. The Institute was told by the Army it did not keep such data. In fact, the Army's "D factor" data showed how few non-white personnel there were.


There was only one non-white soldier in the Royal Military Police and one in the Intelligence Corps. Defence Secretary Denis Healey had referred to "the unsatisfactory situation with regard to strengths of coloured men in certain Army regiments" in 1968. By the mid 1970s, officials noted "the matter seems to have died".


When challenged, the Army would always highlight the numbers of non-white soldiers in its sports teams. There were reports of fighting between black and white soldiers in the Queen's Division in 1975. However, government ministers were assured: "There are members of the coloured community in every branch of the services." An MoD spokesman said the Army now took ethnic minority recruitment very seriously. "We strive to employ the best recruits irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds," he said. The Army fully complied with equal opportunities legislation and had an "excellent relationship" with the Commission for Racial Equality, the spokesman added.

Violent women 4 January 2005

In response to Paul Bowen’s article, "Still suffering in silence" (S2, 22 December), I have counselled men for more than a decade, many of whom are victims of domestic violence at the hands of women. Few of them dared report their suffering to the authorities, for fear of being laughed at, or worse, being arrested for being the victim.

Studies undertaken by independent bodies are overwhelmingly consistent in the conclusion that women are just as violent as men. Until it is recognised that domestic violence is a two-way street, and that women are just as capable of violence as men are, this blight on our society will never be removed.

Margaret Road
Raumati Beach
New Zealand

LAWYERS braced for a year of upheaval 3 January 2005

SCOTTISH lawyers are bracing themselves for a year of substantial restructuring in their market, even before the knock-on effects of the legal services review by Sir David Clementi in England and Wales compound already tough competition for business and key staff. "The single most important factor in how we are all going to do will be the performance of the economy," said Magnus Swanson, chief executive of Maclay Murray & Spens. "There has undoubtedly been an upturn over the last 12 months – let's hope there are no wobbles or crises as we enter an election year."

That said, "different sectors of the profession will face very different challenges", predicted Alistair Morris, managing partner at Pagan Osborne. "In the corporate world, the key issue is one of consolidation. As the Clementi report brings forward the possibility of new players, including the large banks, entering the legal market, so the established legal firms will need the financial clout to compete. "Mergers, acquisitions and consolidation are likely to be prolific. After this, the challenge is one of employing the depth and breadth of skills demanded by the major corporate clients. "For multi-service firms, the big issue is the advent of electronic conveyancing. This will herald the commoditisation of conveyancing. Inevitably, unless firms invest in technology, profits will be squeezed. Thereafter, as all firms take their conveyancing online, the question will be who will attract the big lenders." The squeeze on firms' margins will be felt at all levels, said Patrick Andrews, chief executive of Shepherd+Wedderburn: "My prediction is that some well-known names will disappear. The returns are simply not there for partners in the small and medium-sized practices that have failed to keep pace with change and lack the ability to give specialist advice in key areas.

"Ambition has caused some medium-sized firms to overstretch themselves and for some, 2005 will see the cost base bite back and even some of the larger firms will find the true meaning of return on investment." Other pressures on firms' fees include a shift in influence in choosing legal advisers from in-house lawyers to clients' procurement teams, said McGrigors' Scottish senior partner, Kirk Murdoch. "Cost, therefore, is becoming a more important ingredient in the mix and law firms are being forced to find more creative and innovative ways of meeting budgets. My view is that there will be more emphasis on mobility and flexibility of the workforce." However, that in turn would put an even higher premium on what is already a major preoccupation with finding and retaining the right people – at all levels, according to Swanson. "There has been fierce competition for the best people in Scottish legal firms for some time. What we are seeing now though is competition moving down the chain to include associates and senior solicitors, as well as partners, particularly in some of the very specialised areas of the law, and also extending to the best people in the support side of the business.

"It is so important that a modern legal firm is run and managed professionally, and the role of the firm's professional support staff can sometimes be overlooked." "Our major challenge at Ledingham Chalmers is the war for talent," said the firm's senior partner, David Laing. "Presenting a skilled and enthusiastic team is an essential component in winning the good work which we are chasing, particularly in the oil and gas and land and construction sectors. I know that we have made considerable strides in recent years to become one of the leading employers of choice, and I think that is explained in part by providing an increasingly varied range of quality work for our young lawyers." However, as Michael McAuley, partner at Dundas & Wilson, said: "D&W has been successful in attracting several major lateral hires in 2004, but no-one can afford to be complacent. "For larger firms like ourselves, the aim is always to attract the best talent, and to push back the barriers of what is achievable, both in terms of careers and deals. "This and other issues will become thornier as others encroach on the Scottish market." "The recent development with DLA (merger with US firm Piper Rudnick) shows that Scotland is proving attractive to large 'global' firms," said Kenneth Chrystie, senior partner with McClure Naismith, "and it is likely that we will see further mergers, acquisitions or strategic partnerships as other major players strive to create their own global footprints by taking a presence in Scotland. While firms like McClure's have long accepted that they have to operate in a much wider market place than Scotland, our continued success will depend on remaining independent, flexible and very focused on our clients in all the markets we service."

Indeed, said Swanson, while acquisition by a larger English counterpart "may continue to offer an attractive proposition for a mid-size Scottish firm, we don't believe this will change the competitive landscape. People often forget that in Scotland we have world-class lawyers. We'll continue to provide tough competition for anybody moving into what is quite a congested market." Far from fearing the adoption north of the Border of what Clementi has proposed, the one concern seems to be that the two jurisdictions may instead move apart. "What is needed is a level playing field," said Murdoch. "However, at the moment it looks like it will be different across England and Scotland. The Law Society of Scotland has not welcomed Clementi as much as its counterpart in England. This could present complications for firms like ours with a presence in Scotland and England."

Still, John Macmillan, managing partner at MacRoberts, believes that the recommendation for the creation of a Legal Services Board to oversee existing regulators "is certain to figure in the thinking of the Executive's forthcoming consultation on the regulation of the legal profession in Scotland. "Although the case for changing the Law Society of Scotland's role is far from compelling, the adoption of other elements of the Clementi report, such as the liberalisation of legal structures and allowing the injection of outside capital into practices, would allow Scottish firms to match the increasingly open and liberal English system. "That flexibility will be important in helping the profession in Scotland adapt both to the inevitable, if controversial, creation of a Supreme Court to replace the House of Lords as the highest court of appeal and, as consolidation continues apace, the requirement for new structures and approaches to accommodate the demands of ever-larger Scottish practices and multinational firms now being formed by cross-country mergers."

It would seem that, faced as they are by mounting pressures and change, Scottish firms just want the opportunity to take them on unhindered by unnecessary obstacles. Ultimately, as D&W's McAuley said, "confidence and quality will be the foundations of success in 2005."

"Remote Viewing" (mental spying) 3 January 2005

"Remote Viewing" (mental spying) was initially carried out by Eastern Block countries at the height of the "Cold War." Secret PSI research associated with the state security and defense establishment was going on in the former U.S.S.R. and its many satellite communist countries since the early 50's. Paradoxically, the Soviet Union, although based on pragmatic and dogmatic, no-nonsense materialistic principles devoid of any spiritual content, had since the early 1950's developed many PSI laboratories in order to study the applications of what the Soviets coined Psychotronic (bioenergetic) research.

They had a clear lead in this field over any other country. Military - controlled research centers specializing in the paraphysical were set up in Moscow, Leningrad (today called St. Petersburg), Omsk, Irkust, Vladivostock, Khabarovsk, Sartov, and the heavily guarded room B12 at Solvitschg'otsk (NE of Moscow). According to some yet classified documents, other establishments were set up in the U.S.S.R. for the same purpose in Siberia and at the Durov Institute. These laboratories were under the control of either the K.G.B. or the G.R.U. (Military intelligence branch).

In contrast to their Western counterparts, these institutes were unencumbered by the desire and necessity to conduct double-blind studies, uniformly repeatable experiments, and to publish their results in international publications, at the risk of encountering the ire of skeptical colleagues. They, therefore, invited and studied naturally gifted psychics, psychokinetic performers, Siberian shamans, and Indian yogis. Their stated purpose was "mental spying." However, in reality, they had more sinister goals in mind, centered around the ability to control the minds of individuals at a distance. The Soviets felt a fanatical need for the indoctrination to their cause of masses of people, selected high-placed influential individuals in the West, or terrorist cells. The perceived bellicose intentions and military arms race of many Western societies increased their paranoia, made them overreact by isolating themselves, and caused them to try frenetically to win the "war that could only leave, if at all, one winner upon the face of this planet, and most probably none."

In the megalomaniacal world of the "Cold War," the possibility to control, without the targets' knowledge, the minds of selected individuals at any distance became a paramount goal within the Soviet's security system apparatus. It seemed to them as the perfect weapon. The Soviets successfully set-up ELF (extremely low frequency) devices who could pulse subliminal sound messages at targeted individuals (using key words embedded in white noise or infrasound music) in order to manipulate their minds and their behavioral impulses. Microwave pulsed behavioral modification and mind-control techniques were also used in the former U.S.S.R.. One of the most famous case involving such technology involved the discovery of this technology being applied to the U.S. embassy in Moscow that greatly alarmed the State Department and U.S. Intelligence. Despite vehement protests by the U.S. Government and concern for the mental and physical health of its embassy's staff, the Soviets continued with their constant beaming of microwave signals towards the embassy. Henceforth, the embassy was literally shielded from these radiations by covering its entire structure with metallic plates. The full account of this incident is still classified.

Experiments attempting to instantly hypnotize subjects by purely telepathic means, without the subjects knowing in advance that they would be the targets of these highly concentrated "mind-waves," were successfully carried out by the Soviets over distances of up to 2000 miles. The best Psychotronic Research within the Eastern block was carried out in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. The Czechs and the Bulgarians achieved very interesting results. Kirlian Photography, named after its inventor Davidovitch Semian Kirlian, was found to be a better lie-detector machine that the other lie-detection techniques.

Some of the finest clairvoyants in the world worked for the Bulgarian Secret Police, dreaded for its implacable methods devoid of any sentimentalism. The Bulgarian Secret Police had tight liaisons with the Institutes of Suggestology and Parapsychology in Sofia and Petrich. The K.G.B. (Soviet security and intelligence) conducted some so-called deep-black operations where attempts were made to assassinate individuals, or have them commit suicide, by the use of "psychotronic techniques." Although it seems that the K.G.B. was at least partially successful in some cases, the author refuses to dwell on further into this negative side of Soviet "mind research."

In the U.S. although "mind control" experiments using hypnosis, behavioral modifying drugs, ELF, VLF (very low frequency sounds: 20-35 khz), and all kind of technical gadgetry had been tested on human subjects since the end of WWII (project MKULTRA) by the intelligence agencies, "remote viewing" abilities had been shunned by the operative technocrats of the C.I.A. and its predecessor: the O.S.S. This was probably due to a cultural religious bias that many top brass of the agencies had against psychic abilities that they considered as the domain of spiritism and "malefic" forces. Nevertheless, when it became apparent that the Soviets were making great strides in the subject of mental espionage and were spending in 1970 more than 60 million rubles on it (this sum reached 300+ millions by the mid-70's), American intelligence became quite alarmed and after a detailed analysis took the Soviet "psychotronic" threat very seriously.

It then commissioned several programs to look into operative modalities that could duplicate and eventually outperform the Soviet successes that had by then been confirmed by Humint (human intelligence ) and electronic intelligence. The main program was given to laser specialist Dr. Harold Puthoff (a former N.S.A. member during his military service at fort Mead, Maryland) and Russell Targ who both worked at Stanford Research institute (SRI), a gigantic scientific think-tank attached to Stanford University in California. SRI was already involved in many scientific projects for the defense establishment. The initial RV (remote viewing) experiments happened in February 1972 using mainly Ingo Swann, a talented New York psychic, as a test subject.

Initially the testing modalities involved using computer generated random chosen targets that were then visited by human "beacons" to report back if the description given by the test subject seated in a "Faraday cage" at SRI (in order to shield him or her from any outside electromagnetic force) corresponded to the reality of what the "beacons" were seeing while witnessing the target site or object. The first experiments were highly successful, and the CIA contracted hence SRI for an initial period in order to streamline and define the training and operational modalities of "remote viewing." Since most of the targets that were of interest to the defense establishment were secret sites in the Soviet Republics whose real location needed to remain classified and could not be revealed to the civilian remote viewers of SRI, an attempt was made to use geographical coordinates instead of other means to describe theses sites.

The results were as impressive as before, even though the test subject had no idea of what these coordinates corresponded to. The use of coordinates (latitude and longitude) is what caused the project to be initially coded as Scan gate. The US Army intelligence branch sent some personnel to be trained as remote viewers at SRI and opened their own operational top-secret unit with code names such as Sun Streak, Center Lane, and Grill Flames.

Eventually, SRI realized that instead of giving the RV (remote viewers) real coordinates, it was enough to give him or her a series of random generated numbers that the computer had assigned to the target. SRI also realized that human beacons were not needed and that one got statistically the same rate of success without them. Another strange realization made by SRI was that the RV would get the same rate of success whether the computer chose the target before its description by the RV or after! In other words, the RV was describing a remote target that would be chosen randomly by a computer in the future (even days or weeks later) after his or her description of it. This meant that the remote viewer was describing an event (the choice of target) belonging to the future.

We had therefore proof that, not only could one instantly bridge space as the remote viewers were doing routinely, but that time could be also traveled forward in the future in an instantaneous fashion! Another proof of this phenomenon came as follows: SRI realized that if the subject would not be given in his or her future a definite feedback as to the success or failure of his or her description of the targeted site, the chance were very high that the Remote Viewing session would be a failure! In other words: one needed an act of retroaction (feedback) in order to make that future feedback (picture shown of real target or just verbal feedback) a reality of success or not that would be given and experienced by the test subject.

This might be at first difficult to comprehend by non-RV and individuals not trained in the discipline of quantum physics. We had here a statistically significant proof that the future influences the past! This means that the past (the memory of it) can be manipulated and changed depending on the presence or not of an event that chooses (quantum physicists would say that collapses the quantum probability function) to confirm or deny a certain correlated reality in the past! Therefore, not only is the future malleable, but so is the past!

This is at the core of the technique (until now unexplained anywhere) that Mr. O'Donnell explains and where he shows that in order to choose one's future, one needs within certain modalities to often change one's past or memory of it (which is the same thing!) In quantum physics research, a related experiment called-the double-slit delayed choice experiment was successfully carried out in the mid-80's at the University of Maryland and the University of Munich, Germany. It proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that decisions taken in the present affect results achieved in the past, or that the future affects the past. That is to say that the effect affects the cause. Mr. O'Donnell leaves each individual to ponder about the stupendous implications that this statement carries about the nature of reality, and will not explain it further. Rather, he uses it pragmatically for practical purposes.

Early in the protocol of SRI a technique coined Associational Remote Viewing was developed that allowed one to know in advance whether a particular remote viewing session targeting for instance precise information of a mundane type such as the numbers pertaining to a future lottery drawing, or the results of a future horse race, or the value of the DJIA for the next day etc. was most probably a correct prediction that could used to one's advantage, or whether mental noise had been introduced and the vision was skewed and no money should be invested on it. This very ingenious method is explained together with the foundation course that Mr. O'Donnell sends out. SRI basically developed two protocols for remote viewing. The original one was a type of viewing where the RV was seated in front of an individual: "the monitor," that would carefully help the viewer in his or her "remote trip' by asking him or her relevant questions in an interactive manner.

The viewer was also seated in a special biofeedback monitoring chair where special subliminal and tonal frequencies were beamed at his or her ears in order to help him or her attain a stage where the electroencephalographic trace and skin galvanometric response would detect a predominance of Alpha (7 to 14 cycles per second) or Theta waves (4-7 cycles per seconds) within the brain of the remote viewer. This Theta level correlates with the hypnagogic state that precedes sleep where one encounters a predominance of delta waves: 0-3 cycles per seconds (besides the periods of rapid eye movements were alpha waves: 7 to 14 cycles per second are predominant). At which point a special tonal frequency sound would be emitted by the biofeedback machine in order to allow the subject to recognize this state and hopefully be easily able to enter it at will in the future. And the remote viewing experience would start from that moment on. The second protocol ( ERV or Extended Remote Viewing) was much more loose and devoid of technical gadgetry. In this case the individual would go deeply within him/herself until he or she felt that he or she was able to separate his or her awareness from his or her physical body and go for extended trips to remote locations bridging either space, time, or both. He or she would verbally record on a tape recorder his or her impressions and often sketch them, on a piece of paper. Well-trained remote viewers would often get the impression of having a so-called phantom body that could go at will through walls and examine a location from an elevated high perspective or from a very close one, depending on his or her desire.

SRI attracted the attention of the DIA, NSA, Naval intelligence, INSCOM which is the intelligence branch of the army, and many members of the US Congress and Senate ( ex: Senator Clairborne Pell). As a matter of fact, early in the program, groups of army personnel were chosen to undergo the training that SRI provided and they started their own "remote viewing" units. These units came from the mid-80's until the early 90's under the tutelage of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and operated mainly out of Fort Mead, Maryland. Other units were rumored to exist. Russell Targ left SRI in 1982 to form together with gifted RV Keith Harary their own remote viewing organization: Delphi Associates. They won a large sum of money after trading the silver future markets based on remote viewing predictions made by Keith Harary that had an almost perfect accuracy rate. Dr. Puthoff left SRI as head of the remote viewing program in 1985 and was replaced by Ed May, a former Naval Intelligence Officer. Director Ed May moved the whole program under the tutelage of SAIC in 1991.

Most of these defense-related projects are now either defunct or have gone deeply undercover (totally unproven) since 1995 for unknown reasons. The Europeans have very effective RV units and so do some other intelligence units belonging to other countries. However, none of them has ever officially declassified any of their material. The anecdotal details of their operations cannot be revealed. Their RV methodology targets even deeper levels of mind (interface point with delta) than the US. protocols. The only known leak in European spheres happened in the Soviet union where "mind control" electronic equipment was made commercially available by cash-strapped former research laboratories.

In the US, on the other hand, since the official recognition by the CIA in November 1995 of the 20+ year project and the declassification of some of the related material, many former defense trained Remote Viewers or RV analysts have come forward and broken their code of silence. Some have written books about their espionage experiences, and others have opened Institutes where they teach for a fee remote viewing methods to the general public. A great deal of media hype seems to have somehow inflated their feats. The author feels very strongly that on the eve of the next Millennium all these newly open avenues of exploration of the infinite powers of the mind cannot but be of major help to all of us as humanity.




£1m of criminals' cash forfeited under new legal powers

MORE than £1 million in cash has been seized from criminals in Scotland following the introduction of new powers. Since the introduction of the Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act in 2001 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, £1,000,545 has been forfeited. Colin Boyd QC, the Lord Advocate, said the money had been recovered as a result of rulings in 38 civil court cases. A further £927,006 of alleged criminal money has been frozen in bank accounts, awaiting court decisions.

The money is part of more than £17 million worth of assets which have been seized by the courts since the new laws came into effect. Mr Boyd said: "Everyone(ESPECIALLY BOYD) within our communities is benefiting from our continued success in recovering money obtained through criminal activity. (YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!!!) "Some of the recovered money will be put back into community-based initiatives, and criminals will be getting the message that crime does not pay.

"By working closely with the police, Customs and Excise and other law enforcement agencies, the Civil Recovery Unit will continue to recover the proceeds of crime from criminals operating within Scotland." All seized money is placed in an interest-bearing bank account and, when forfeited, the interest goes to the Scottish Executive(SURPRISE SURPRISE!!!). The first £17 million of the assets recovered from the proceeds of crime will be retained in Scotland to repair some of the damage done to communities affected by drug dealing and other serious crimes.

Heterosexual rights eroded gay rights enhanced 1 January 2005

As mens heterosexual rights are eroded gay rights are enhanced in California.

Calif. Law Gives Benefits to Gay Couples

Like many gay couples, Brian Cornell and Alberto Rulloda long ago established a legal framework for their relationship to match their commitment to each other. They drew up wills naming the other as beneficiary, property agreements and powers of attorney, among other documents. The couple of 27 years wanted to spell out the specifics that would have been presumed if they were married. Come Saturday, such improvised arrangements will be less necessary for them and nearly 29,000 other California couples the majority same-sex partners. A law taking effect with the new year gives gay couples who register as domestic partners nearly the same responsibilities and benefits as married spouses. Heterosexual elderly couples also are eligible.

Same-sex couples in California for the first time will have access to divorce court for dividing their assets, seeking alimony and securing child support. They also will have automatic parental status over children born during the relationship and responsibility for each other's debts. It guarantees domestic partners a say over what happens to their loved one's remains at death and means they cannot be forced to testify against each other in state courts. "It won't be as good as marriage because we are talking about a thousand-plus federal benefits that won't be covered," Cornell said. "But a start's a start, progress is progress."

Many gay rights advocates say the domestic partner law heralds a hopeful new era of legal recognition and participation for gay men and lesbians. They hope that is particularly true for those raising children or without the money to pay lawyers to prepare the previously recommended paperwork. One indication of the growing acceptance comes from the California Department of Health Services, which is updating its birth certificates to replace the lines for "mother" and "father" with the gender-neutral "parent" and "parent." Until now, hospitals have hand-altered the forms, and couples have needed a court order for the changes to be approved. Two groups opposed to marriage rights for gay couples have challenged the law, claiming it violates the intent of a 2000 ballot initiative approved by voters that holds only unions between a man and a woman as valid in the state.

The California Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the case early in the year. "Whether you call it 'domestic partnerships' or 'civil unions,' homosexual 'marriage' by another name is still homosexual 'marriage,' and the people of California voted against that," said Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families, one of the groups that brought the lawsuit. Linton Johnson, 31, and Jeff Winkler, 30, already share a bank account, ownership interests in two houses and a romance that goes back six years. The extra responsibilities of domestic partnership, such as obligation for each other's debts, are not a burden for the Oakland residents.

"It helps legitimize our relationship to others," Johnson said. "And in that regard, if you get treated differently, you sort of feel like family with the rest of the world, and that can bring you closer together."

Corrupt USA judges accept gifts 1 January 2005

ON ABC TV news late last night

Supreme Court's Gift Disclosures Raise Eyebrows

From a vintage Bible to a California vacation, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted far more valuable gifts in the past six years than his colleagues, according to a newspaper report. The gifts include $1,200 worth of tires, a $5,000 personal check that helped pay for a relative's education and a $15,000 bust of President Lincoln, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site Thursday, citing court disclosure reports. Federal law requires high-ranking government officials, including the justices, to disclose gifts and money they receive each year. Federal employees are also prohibited from accepting "anything of value" from people with official business before them. Federal judges, however, can accept gifts of unlimited value from people without business before the court.

According to the Times, Thomas accepted a vacation to the Bohemian Grove club in Northern California and a Bible once owned by the 19th century author and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass from Harlan Crow, a Texas real estate investor who has helped run an advocacy group that filed briefs with the court. Thomas said the Bible is worth $19,000. When he gave Thomas the Bible in 2001, Crow was a national board member of the Center for the Community Interest, a defunct advocacy group that filed briefs expressing conservative views on cases such as those involving crime and pornography. He said he was not deeply involved with the group.

Thomas declined to comment to the Times through a court spokeswoman.

John Yoo, a former clerk to Thomas, defended him. "I don't see why it is inappropriate to get gifts from friends," said Yoo, now a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "If one of these people were to appear before the Supreme Court, Justice Thomas would recuse himself." But others disagreed, saying gifts seek to influence.

"Why would someone … give a gift to Clarence Thomas? Unless they are family members or really close friends, the only reason to give gifts is to influence the judge," said Mark Harrison, a Phoenix lawyer who heads the American Bar Association's panel on judicial conduct.