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Leherensuge was replaced in October 2010 by two new blogs: For what they were... we are and For what we are... they will be. Check them out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Budget cuts cause revolt in Ecuador too

Update: Oct. 1: all this is nonsense. I was mislead by intoxications and lack of information. I can be a fool too at times and should be much more cautious, specially in a situation as confuse as this one. See my correction at my new blog For what we are... they will be. The only truth in all this is that there was a coup attempt, which failed, but everything else is wrong. 

President Rafael Correa was hurt by tear gas shot by mutinied police. Not only the police is mutinying but his own party has blocked Correa's attempts to cut spending by reducing the public sector. While the Army has sided with the president, there are reports of riots in Quito and the airport has been shut. 

Correa could technically rule up to two years without Parliament, assuming that this decision is approved by the Supreme Court, what is not likely.

Ecuador, like many European countries, has a budget problem (even after partial bankruptcy years ago) because it does not control the money it issues since the dollarization imposed by an unpopular right-wing government in the past. In order to take control of its own economy, it should be able to issue its own money, even if inflationarily. 

Correa and the parliamentary majority (59/100 seats) belong to Alianza PAIS (Patria AltIva y Soberana), a moderate left-wing political party, that sympathizes with the Bolivarian system of Venezuela. However it is surrounded by US allies with right-wing governments: Colombia and Peru, being maybe the weakest piece of the Bolivarian bloc, organized in the ALBA economic group. 

Sadly it is likely that the USA and its local puppets will try to take advantage of the situation, if they have not already helped to trigger it. A better solution is maybe that Correa is impeached or abdicates, as it is obvious that his new IMF-style policies have no support and governing by decree is not a viable solution anyhow (Ecuadoreans have already thrown away more than one such pretentious president)

Source for the main news item: Al Jazeera.

Ireland to waste 30 billion euros in bailing out pointless bank

As a commenter explains under the extremely brief BBC news note, that is the cost of two years of public healthcare. All commenters agree: let it fall, use public money in public investment to generate much needed jobs instead. 

You are probably familiar with this image already: in yesterday's class war pan-European protests a demonstrator crashed this truck, representing the burden of Anglo Irish Bank to the Republic of Ireland, against the Parliament's gates. The incident has become known as cementgate, and is generating a number of silly jokes involving the words concrete and gate, as well as others such as constructive protest, crash, foundations, etc.

But the issue is much more serious: why should a state bail out a private bank? If anything it should nationalize it or, alternatively, just let it fall. Most business do not have the heavy state protection some banks do, nor see even a fraction of the absurdly high profits and disparate salaries for their managers. And most business, unlike banks, contribute to the real and not just the speculative economy.

Ireland is one of the European countries worst affected by the budget crisis, along Greece, Latvia and Hungary, all which are under IMF intervention (with the only result that their recession has aggravated many levels since then). I imagine that the least they can do is to waste 30 billion in a useless bank.

Can anyone tell me what do banks contribute to the real economy? I can't find a single idea, specially since they do not even issue loans anymore. 

Let them fall, all the banks except the public ones (which are the ones issuing money and which can lend directly to the public and even make a benefit from that).

Venneman's exposition of Vasconic substrate in Western Europe

Found at Iruinaoka's page at YouTube, which also includes many videos on Iruña-Veleia, most of them in Spanish language.

However linguist Theo Venneman's exposition is in English, even if his German accent and poor sound quality make sometimes difficult to follow. Turn volume up, adjust balance and be patient... or look for a better quality video/book/paper. I apologize in advance for that poor quality, which is annoying, but I cannot do anything about it.

Video 1: greeting in Basque, introduction on Basque known and speculated history (Upper Paleolithic) and vigesimal system in Basque, Western Romance, Gallic and Germanic:

Video 2: Verbs: difference between to be at/in/on (egon) and to be something (izan). Accents.

Video 3: Loanwords: kinfe (< ganibet), silver (< zilar), star (< izar), andra (lady, woman), grand (< grandi < handi)...

Video 4: More loanwords: cheese (< Käse < gazta < gatz = salt), bust and bush. Toponimy: Lech.

Video 5: Toponimy:  

Is- (Isar, Isère, IJzer, etc.), from Iz- found in compound words like izurde = dolphin ("water boar"), and ur- (from ur = water).  

Aran (valley), from which: Arn- in Germany/Austria, -earn in Scotland.  

Ibaso (ancestor river?) -> Ybbs, Ibar (river bank) -> Eber-, Iberus/Ebro...

Suffix -oz (place?)

Video 6:

Toponimy: -os.

Heint/haint (German): today, from hi naht ('this night'), construction similar to Basque gaur (gau: night + (hau)r: this), also reported by Caesar in Gaulish.

Coherence between linguistics and genetics.

See also:
  • Theo Venneman's homepage
  • B. Oyharçabal's Power Point presentation (including many of the same graphs used by Venneman in his exposition): direct download.
  • R. Mailhammer's The Prehistory of European languages (PDF)


Notes: I must say that I do not necessarily agree with every single etymology but I do with the bulk of them at least. 

I must also say that I miss mention of some Vascoid roots I considered on my own, some very apparent, for instance:
  • The obvious bi- Latin particle for two or double (as in bilateral, bipartite, etc.), which is not Indoeuropean and is terribly consistent with Basque bi: two.
  • Professional suffix -er/-ero, very similar to Basque -ari, which is used the same way but has a clear Basque etymology: ari (auxiliary verb of action, used in present/past continuous), arin (fast, quick), aritu (to hurry).
  • English verbal infinitive particle to (as in to be, to do...), which sounds identical to the most common verbal infinitive suffix in Basque: -tu (sometimes found as -du for cacophony avoidance). Other verbal endings are -n and -i. This one is a bit conjectural. 
  • English ash, Basque auts (ash, dust).
  • English kill and ill, strikingly similar to Basque il(-du) (pronounced like ill), meaning 'to die' (intransitive) or 'to kill' (transitive).
 More conjectural:
  • English black, compare with Basque bel-(tz) (black), which is at least coincident in the two main consonants. However there is a Germanic-IE etymology as well from *blegh (to burn, shine) but this is the same root as blanco/blanche (white) and blank. Conjectural.
  • Arguros and argentum, silver in Greek and Latin respectively. Possibly from Basque argi (light, shiny/bright, to shine), would be a loanword from the Bronze Age possibly. The only Eastern IE word is Sanskrit arjúna (not silver but white) but may well be unrelated or a borrowing via Mycenaean Greek. Conjectural.
  • Possibly mountain (V. Lat. montanea) and mound. While this is argued to be an IE word, Eastern alleged cognates appear without the intermediate -n- and mean different things (such as shore in Albanian mat). I conjecture it may be from Basque mendi (mountain) instead, in turn from mende (power, might), rel. mendebalde (West: 'part under power' or maybe 'under the mountain') and possibly from a very archaic West Eurasian root *man, as in manna, man, Lat. manus (hand), meaning power or potency.
  • Coincidences of declined to be: Basque zara (you are), English are, Spanish eres (you are). Also notice the similitude between IE *is (to be) and Basque izan (to be). Also coincidence in the second person but dancing between singular and plural: Basque zu (singular 'you' but distinct from hi: thou), English thou, German du, Latin tu. These and maybe others might point to a common very old origin of Basque and IE or to the affection of PIE by a Basque-related language such as NE Caucasic/Hurro-Urartean/Sumerian (conjecturally the language of Eastern Gravettian). Alternatively some may be influences of IE into Basque but most look as deep phylogenetically rooted in Basque.

European protests, Spain's general strike

In a general strike that has been delayed for all the summer by the duopolistic unions UGT and CC.OO., finally Spaniards had yesterday occasion to vent their anger and frustration and go on strike.

It was, it seems, a massive success, considering the appeals to demobilization and police violence by the entrenched institutional actors. Unions estimated the impact in 71.7%, with some media reporting a rounded up figure of 75%. Even the minister of labor had to admit that the impact was of 100% in the automotive sector, with air carrier Ryanair also canceling all its flights and some key services such as trash collection generally paralyzed.

Southern Basque Country

CNT picket in Bilbao
In the Southern Basque Country the impact was smaller, as the major unions did not join the strike, disgruntled by passive and manipulative attitude of the Spanish union duopoly. However in Navarre, the impact was similar to that of Spain with 74% of workers joining according to Gara and the airport completely paralyzed. Reports from industrial areas in the Western Basque Country, talk of some key industries paralyzed and industrial areas nearly stopped, as well as a total blockade of the harbors of Bilbao and Pasaia. Non-industrial sectors however were only mildly impacted.

Catalan Countries

Reports from the Catalan Countries tell of strong following in general and riots in Barcelona. With demonstrations in the thousands in many cities (Barcelona, Sabadell, Tarragona, Valencia, Lleida, etc.) and some arrests.

Fire barricade at Barcelona

Closing Mercavalencia at dawn


In Xixon (Gijón) the walkout was generalized, with few incidents. The demo was called by Corriente Sindical de Izquierdas (CSI), SUATEA and CGT but was boycotted by institutionalist unions UGT, CC.OO. and USO, who were accused of making secret pacts with the patrons and government, trying to demobilize popular anger.


The reports also talk of a general success, not just in Zaragoza but also in Teruel and other towns. They also talk very bad and  of the attitude of UGT-CC.OO, who posed for the photo and then left in most pickets. Combative unions in this country were CGT, Sindicato Obero Aragones (SOA) and CATA.

Closing El Corte Inglés, more images at NoblezaBaturra
There are also reports of police charges and arrests.


I could only find reports so far on Málaga, telling of irregular impact but stopping the key sectors. The demo was of several thousands.


The most important city by large is Madrid, which was strongly affected by the General Strike according to La Haine.

While the "official" UGT-CC.OO. demo gathered some 500 people, the alternative one called by other unions (CGT, Solidaridad Obrera, etc.) was massive (photos).

Very symbolically, regional public TV Telemadrid cut its emission, reminding somewhat of the impacting cut of TVE in the quasi-mythical general strike of 1988, which was a massive success.

While the unity and strength of genuine labor-unionism was an important element, the violence of police was another one. Police did not only charge against pickets, including the bycicle picket, but there are reports of seven live ammunition caskets being found after a specially violent charge in Airbus-EADS Getafe.

Another city where the strike had major impact was Valladolid.


In Salamanca instead the reports tell of low following. 

Elsewhere in Europe

There was a call for protests and demos to take place around Europe yesterday and I am aware of such protests in Ireland, Portugal, Italy and several Central European countries, however in the wealthy central bloc of the EU the impact of this call for mobilization seems to have been pretty low or nil, excepting the central demo at Brussels. 

Dublin (Parliament gates)
Brief Analysis

Combative labor unions clearly made gains both in charisma and unity yesterday in the State of Spain, while traditional subsidized unions seem to have tried to make a posse strike instead to save their face before a growingly angry working class, which massively joined the strike in spite of all.

Much remains to be done at European level, which, in my understanding, is a key level of organization if we want to stop and reverse the offensive of Big Capital.

Some relevant links: CGT, CNT, Solidaridad Obrera, Rojo y Negro, La Haine.

Update: according to Cuestionatelotodo ("questioneverything") the sectorial impact was:
  • Metal 74%
  • Wood 59%
  • Construction 70%
  • Chemical 80%
  • Textile 77%
  • Mining 100%
  • Air transport 82%
  • Road transport 78%
  • Sea Transport 90%
  • Urban transport 85%
  • Markets 90%
  • Public education 60%
  • Private education 32%
By autonomous communities:
  • Andalusia 76.8%
  • Asturias 87%
  • Balearic Islands 72%
  • Canary Islands 70%
  • Cantabria 70%
  • Castile-Leon 72.3%
  • Castile-La Mancha 80.2%
  • Catalonia 80%
  • Valencian Country 78%
  • Extremadura 70%
  • Galicia 80%
  • Madrid 76%
  • Murcia 72%
  • Navarre 74 %
  • Western Basque Country 30%
  • La Rioja 71%

Maternal care modifies gene regulating key neurotransmitter

Physorg reports new research that emphasizes again the crucial epigenetic effects of maternal care of lack of it.

Researchers bred two different clades of rats, ones affective with their offspring and the others extremely detached. The offspring of the latter experimented an epigenetic modification obstructing the expression of the GAD1 gene, which regulates the key neurotransmitter GABA

GABA helps to regulate emotions and people with schizophrenia may have GABA deficits. Similarly the rats raised by the detached mothers also had low GABA production. 

Inversely, the rats raised by cuddly mothers showed high expression of GAD1. 

Rodents are genetically very close to primates and hence a very good model for our own biology even within the restricted spectrum of placental mammals. 

The research is attributed to Tie-Yuan Zhang to be published in September 29 in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Boy buried near Stonehenge was from the South

A teenager who died c. 1550 BCE and was buried near Stonehenge with an amber necklace was not raised in Britain but further south, near the Mediterranean, reports BBC

The burial was discovered in 2005 5 km south of Stonehenge, in a mound at Boscombe Down, while doing roadworks for military housing. His age at death is estimated to have been 14-15 years old.

The burial shows the characteristic fetal position of Bell Beaker but not the usual grave goods of this subculture

The oxygen isotopes found in his enamel evidence that he grew in a warmer climate than Britain, near the Mediterranean. Date and context suggest to me Portugal, where an important Megalithic civilization was still active at that time. However other places of Megalithic culture in Iberia, Southern France or even North Africa or Italy cannot be discarded with the available information. 

Other people buried near Stonehenge known to have arrived from afar are the Amesbury Archer, a member of the Bell Beaker subculture, known to have grown at the Northern Alps, and the Boscombe Bowmen, also with a Bell Beaker style burial, known to be from Wales or Brittany or maybe even farther away. However all these belong to a much earlier period, 750 years earlier than the boy of the amber necklace. This strongly suggests that Stonehenge and the religious/cultural (and maybe political) complex around it kept attracting people from the wider Megalithic and Bell Beaker area for almost a whole millennium, possibly more.

Stonehenge, no doubt, was a Mecca of its time. Pity that we know so little about the beliefs and society that motivated such pilgrimages.

European HR Court condemns Spain for not investigating tortures

It refers to the case of Basque citizen Mikel San Argimiro who was arrested, held incommunicado and (allegedly, most likely) tortured for five days by the Guardia Civil (militarized police corps) in 2002. The sentence condemns Spain to pay 23,000 euros for the fault of investigating the denounces of torture. The sentence is likely to establish a precedent in the matter because Spain almost systematically does not investigate torture while in detention.

The forensic report in San Argimiro's torture case established the first day that he had many lesions, which were dismissed as they could be "compatible with the development of the arrest and the maneuvers of immobilization". This same argument was held by the state attorney in the case of Igor Portu and Mattin Sarasola, which, in an exceptional development, resulted in the accusation of several policemen (Guardia Civil again) which will be judged in a month. 

In the second day of arrest the forensic physician reported new lesions without attributing them to any particular cause. Four days later, after being sent to prison, another physician found a broken rib.

The European tribunal cannot judge the existence of not of torture, because there is no investigation but can judge that not investigating it is a serious fault, a breach of article 3 of the European Covenant on Human Rights forbidding torture.

There is a long list of similar cases involving Basques as victims; next in line are the well known cases of Unai Romano, whose photos with the face totally deformed by the beatings caused a tremendous impact, and Martxelo Otamendi, director of Basque language newspaper Egunkaria, which is one of the most aggravating cases of persecution against freedom of speech and linguistic diversity. 

 Unai Romano before and after his arrest

In the past the European tribunal has only ruled against Spain in few occasions, one involving Catalan nationalists, tortured in the context of the Olympic Games of 1992, the other two affect Basque victims: nationalist MP Miguel Castells, who was deprived of parliamentary immunity, judged and sent to prison for a crime of opinion (denouncing that the death squads of the 1980s were not being investigated) and the other happened last year, when Strasbourg condemned Spain to pay 170,000 euros to Mikel Iribarren, who was almost killed by a rubber bullet shot at short distance against his face. 

Hopefully this sentence will help to at least contain a bit the systematic impunity of police torture.

Source: Gara.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hyenas another european mammal extinct at the end of the last ice age

Spanish researchers have published a new paper on the extinction of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta, the same species dominant in Africa) in Europe and Asia. Apparently hyenas lived without much trouble in the Mediterranean areas of Eurasia until c. 10,000 years ago, when they became extinct. This is also the time of the end of the last Ice Age.

Lead researcher Sara Varela says that climate change in the past was not directly responsible for the extinction of the spotted hyena in southern Europe, but it was a factor in its disappearance.

Source: Science Daily, illustration from Wikipedia.

Physical anthropologist claims (again) that Homo floresiensis was cretin Homo sapiens

This hypothesis has been proposed before by the same team and then rejected. However I feel obliged to mention it as I'm sure that some readers will find it interesting and also because, if real, it would mean that LB1 is not an Homo erectus (maybe a cretin H. erectus?) nor a new species but a marginal representative of our own expansion in Eurasia and beyond.

However I am skeptic, specially because Oxnard fails to compare with Homo erectus.

Cretinism is a severe chronic medical condition caused by low iodine intake. Iodine is mostly ingested with drinking water and also from sea salt, but not refined table salt (unless enriched).

Judge yourself anyhow:

On strike

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Several volcanoes may have severily damaged Neanderthals

This is the hypothesis proposed by Liuvob Golovanova in the latest issue of Current Anthropology, according to Science News.

Golovanova's team has found two different volcanic ash layers in the Neanderthal  site of Mezmaiskaya, in the North Caucasus, the first one is dated to c. 45 Ka ago and the second one to c. 40 Ka ago. This one seems to have sealed the fate of Neanderthals in the Caucasus. 

Some time later, c. 38-37 Ka ago, items that are mostly associated with Homo sapiens, such as perforated shell ornaments, bone points and other items, appear at the site. 

A similar situation is found, as far as I know, in the not too distant site of Kostenki, in southern Russia. The 40 Ka eruption is also associated with the cold episode known as HE4 and has been related to the expansion of Aurignacian culture in SW Europe. 

However it must be noted that in the same issue, geologist Biagio Giacio, challenges Golovanova's account, mentioning the presence of artifacts under the ash layer in several Mediterranean locations. I presume that these are the same sites that Julien Riel-Salvatore has been digging in Southern Italy, of Uluzzian culture. 

Riel-Salvatore stands today at his blog by his published claims of Uluzzian being a Neanderthal industry, mostly because of the existence of a Mousterian (probably Neanderthal) buffer in Central Italy arguably preventing Sapiens influences from arriving,  but other researchers have already proposed that it is of H. sapiens manufacture because of it srather unmistakable Upper Paleolithic style, including bone tools (unknown to have been ever made by Neanderthals), and specially the presence of perforated decorations. 

The debate continues. 

Ref. L.V. Golovanova et al. Significance of ecological factors in the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. Current Anthropology. Vol. 51, October 2010, p. 655. doi:10.1086/656185.

General Strike tomorrow

Labor unions have called a General Strike of 24 hrs. in the state of Spain tomorrow, September 29th. While I have my reservations, I will join it and therefore Leherensuge will be idle tomorrow. I won't reply to comments either. 

The most representative unions in the Basque Country, ELA and LAB, which organized a separate national strike in June, declared weeks ago that they will not back the strike, because it has been unprepared and the Spanish unions have not counted with them. Another reason is that they argued that tomorrow there would be a Europe-wide strike and there is nothing like that (they lied). Other state-wide unions have joined the strike also critically.

However I am of the opinion that not one day but many of general strike are needed in order to put the State, Big Capital and EU against the ropes. So I am not renouncing to the opportunity to adhere to this strike, even if I am strongly critical of the subsidized Spanish union duopoly and I strongly suspect that the main motivation they have is to demobilize workers, rather than actually present battle against Big Capital and their administrators in Madrid and Brussels. 


On a separate note:

Leherensuge will be discontinued in October 1st. Two new blogs: will take its place that day:

This follows the plan I have already outlined in the past, with a slight delay. The strike is another reason to delay it a few days more (avoiding confusion), even if the new blogs are ready, I believe. 

A final post will formalize the change. Leherensuge will remain online as archive and, at least for some time comments will be allowed.
Please make preparations for the replacement: bookmark, follow and/or update your feeds. Thanks. 

Spain arrests Basque internationalists

Spanish police has arrested tonight seven members of the, so far legal, internationalist organization Askapena. It has done so ordered by the Neoinquisition's new boy, judge Juan Pablo Ruz, who is replacing B. Garzón, who is in trial for daring to investigate fascism or something).

The seven arrested are Gabi Basañez, Unai Vázquez, Itxaso Lekuona, Rubén Sánchez, David Soto, Aritz Ganboa and Walter Wendelin. Wendelin, who has German citizenship, was expelled from Venezuela in March in a cowardly action by the Bolivarian government, upon pressure from Spain. In spite of all the manipulations he was free until yesterday. 

There is of course concern because of the recent reports of tortures against other people arrested arbitrarily by the Audiencia Nacional (Neoinquisition). 

Source: Gara.


This is obviously another sabotage against any possible peace process and a provocation to the whole Basque Nationalist Left. There is no question about it. The only question may be who is directing the judges (and police, as tortures are not something that judges can order) into arbitrary arrests of political nature in this delicate time. I do not have an answer but it is clear that, if it is not the Spanish Government directly (it might be the right wing opposition), it casts a huge shadow on the real power wielded by Rodriguez Zapatero (PM) and Rubalcaba (Minister of the Interior) and therefore on whether something can be negotiated at all with the PSOE government. 

Question remains is how much patience will ETA have with the blatant disinterest of Spain in reaching to any agreement or even respecting the most basic protocol towards any sort of negotiation. And how much patience will the Basque people have as well because what is obvious by now, and is likely to become more obvious in the near future, is that Spain does not want peace and democracy and Basque people does instead. 

By the way, there is some persistent helicopter noise out there. Not too unusual but sign that they are monitoring the streets from the air, whatever the exact reason. As there is no demonstration called for today, it should be related to the arrests.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Jewish boat to attempt to breach the siege of Gaza

A small (10 m long) catamaran with pro-Palestinian activists of Jewish ethnicity has set sail from Cyprus in yet another attempt to breach the siege of the macro-camp for displaced persons in South Palestine. The boat, named Irene, carries fishing nets in a nonviolent act of defiance against Zionist apartheid, 8 crew members and two journalists.

Reuven Moskovitz, an Holocaust survivor, 82, declared:

It is a sacred duty for me, as a survivor, to protest against the persecution, the oppression and the imprisonment of so many people in Gaza, including more than 800,000 children.

He also said: we are two peoples but we have one future

The crew of the Irene

The crew members are:

  • Reuven Moskowitz, Israeli citizen. Founder of unsegregated village Neve Shalom – Wahat al Salaam (Oasis of Peace). He is an Holocaust survivor.
  • Rami Elhanan, Israeli citizen. Lost his daughter Smadar in a suicide bombing in 1997 and is founding member of Bereaved Families Circle of Israelis and Palestinians (association of victims of the conflict).
  • Lilian Rosengarten, US citizen. Peace activist and psychotherapost. She is a refugee from Nazi persecution.
  • Yonatan Shapira, Israeli citizen. Former military pilot and member of Combatants for Peace. 
  • Glyn Secker, British citizen. He is the boat captain and a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians Executive Commitee.
  • Edith Lutz, German citizen. She is peace activist and a nurse. She was in the first boat to Gaza in 2008. 
  • Itamar Shapira, Israeli citizen. Yonatan's brother. 
The two journalists are Eli Osherov, from Israeli Channel 10 News, and Vish Vishvanath, freelance photographer and reporter.

More information at Jewish Boat to Gaza and also at the support organizations:
See also news items at Al Jazeera and BBC.

Update: somewhat anecdotally, Jews sans frontieres mentions today that Marion Kozak, mother of the two confronted Labor party leaders Ed and David Miliband, is among the 1600 signatories supporting the boat, whose names will be displayed in colorful banners by the crew, as member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians. She is a veteran left wing and Labor Party militant.

Update (Sep 28): Israel has taken the boat today. Not yet known whether in international or Gaza waters, in another illegal action in any case. The boat flies British flag so this is technically an act of war against the United Kingdom.

Physicians for Human Rights has asked for access to the kidnapped crew, as at least one of them is known to have a chronic illness and needs medical care.

Mapuches take UN see in Chile

This happens after two days ago they briefly took other UN offices in Santiago (International Work Organization and Economic Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean). 

As the hunger strike of Mapuche prisoners goes beyond the 70 days and government and prisoners failed to reach an agreement last Friday, native organization Maulen Huanchu took yesterday the offices of the United Nations in Santiago de Chile with intent of remaining there indefinitely.

Source: Gara.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pentagon burns all copies of revealing 9/11 book

From Alexander Higgins Blog, originally from Fox News.

In a most incredible, yet real, move, the US Department of Defense has purchased and then burnt all copies from a book on 9/11, revealing uncomfortable facts such as the USA knowing about Mohammed Atta (the alleged leader of the attacks) and having him under surveillance as a security threat long before 9/11 (and yet allowing him to live freely in the USA).

The Pentagon had first authorized the book by reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, titled Operation Dark Heart, but then realized they had committed and error, as, allegedly, it contains secret information that hurts "national security".

Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book's author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Shaffer alleges the commission was told about "Able Danger" and the identification of Atta before the attacks. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 report.
Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said there was "stunned silence" at the meeting after he told the executive director of the commission and others that Atta was identified as early as 2000 by "Able Danger."
Dr. Philip Zelikow approached me in the corner of the room. 'What you said today is very important. I need you to get in touch with me as soon as you return from your deployment here in Afghanistan'," Shaffer said.
Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the commission. Without explanation, the commission was no longer interested. An inspector general report by the Department of Defense concluded there was no evidence to support the claims of Shaffer and others. But Fox News has obtained an unredacted copy of the IG report containing the names of witnesses, who backed up Shaffer's story when contacted for comment.

As I commented at AHB: I’d say that impressively stupid because how do they think they can block info from flowing unless they close the Internet down (which in turn would only cause them to effective lose the little control they may have on the Internet, as other countries would soon push their own versions to fill in the void).

I think that this essentially shows that the whole mentality behind the 9/11 operation and all that is antiquated: it belongs, as its ringleaders (all them members of the Nixon-Ford administration), to the pre-Internet age and that’s why is doomed. Not that in the past information would not flow but was slower and less exuberant, allowing a lot greater control by the governments and media corporations.

Related news: rumor of domestic military deployment of US troops, possibly, Tuesday.

Not sure what to make of this but it does sound quite alarming. According to a YouTube video by SmokinJoeTrainer, he has received several confidential reports from trusted friends in the army being called for domestic deployment by the end of the weekend. It's just an unconfirmed rumor so far but watch it out.

Source: Alexander Higgins Blog.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Online edition of the origina Siret study on Iberian Metal Ages

Belgian archaeologist Louis Siret (also known as Luis Siret y Cels) was a pioneer of archaeology in Spain and the discoverer of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age civilizations of Los Millares and El Argar in SE Iberia.

His original book Les premiers ages du metal dans le sud-est de l'Espagne (The early Metal Ages in the Southeast of Spain) has now been made available online, after restoration, by the Junta de Andalucía (Andalusian autonomous government). It can be accessed online at in several formats including scanned facsimile. It is only available in French though.

Judge accepts denounce against Julio Núñez and provincial government in the Iruña-Veleia archaeological destruction case

In a hopeful twist in the Iruña-Veleia scandal, Instruction Judge no. 1 of Vitoria-Gasteiz has accepted the denounce against the new site director Julio Núñez (left, "at work") and the provincial government of Araba for the alleged destruction of patrimony, as evidenced by photos, videos and testimonies previously discussed in this blog.

In the denounce it is requested that the Director Plan for the Vasco-Roman site of Iruña-Veleia is paralyzed urgently on light of it not being even respected at all by chief archaeologist Núñez. It is also requested that judicial police and independent experts survey piles of disposed soil with embedded archaeologically remains.

Source: Noticias de Alava[es]

Update: a comic by Zaldieroa (Crazy Horse). It's not really new (May) but it is funny anyhow:

1st panel:
In the Ivory Tower of Irati (a large forest in the Pyrenees)

2nd panel
Goblin: My Lord, here there are the latest reports on Veleia.
Lord: Still with that issue around?
Goblin: Yes, my Lord.

3rd panel
Lord: But... tell me... has the ergative been found in Veleia?
Goblin: Not, my Lord, there is no trace of any ergative.
Lord: Then they are false, 'leñe'!! That is not genuine Basque!

Note: the Lord is described in previous cartoons, as Euskal Taliban Jatorra (the purebred Basque Taliban), the goblin is called Yoda. The "Taliban" is depicted often as a linguistic purist of the worst kind.

Friday, September 24, 2010

US court sentences kidnapped Pakistani woman

The kidnappers were US soldiers and FBI agents acting outside their jurisdiction: in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Aafia Sidiqqi, who is a neuroscientist and hence a most unlikely "Taliban" (who are against any sort of education for women), was allegedly suspected by her captors to be an Al Qaeda sympathizer who claim that they found instructions for making bombs and New York maps in her apartment (what to me looks like the typical made-up evidence). 

Sidiqqi however she denies the accusation's claims and says that she was kidnapped and held for five years in a secret prison in Afghan soil.

According to the accusation it was then when she managed to grab one of her captors' guns but she was the only one injured in the shooting that ensued. She also denies this accusation.

Lacking any objective evidence other than the statements from the parties should cause, in good justice, an acquittal but instead she has been sentenced to what is in practice a life sentence. 

The case has caused an uproar in her native Pakistan, where people simply don't believe the accusations, specially as we all know that the "extraordinary rendition" strategy of kidnapping suspects and holding them in secret prisons in foreign soil was and still is a most disturbing reality. 

Sidiqqi declared in the trial that she is committed to World Peace:

I do not want any bloodshed. I do not want any misunderstanding. I really want to make peace and end the wars.

Gulf of Mexico oil spill was many times the government figures

Researchers from Columbia University (NY, USA) conclude that the amount of oil released daily by BP's Deepwater Horizon well until the first cap was placed on June 15 was 56-68,000 barrels per day, maybe more. This is many times more than the official figures, which evolved from a ridiculous claim of of one thousand barrels to 19,000.

The total oil released to the environment is at least 4.4 million barrels, most of which is still there even if it has been hidden by the use of massive amounts of highly toxic dispersants, in what is the most massive environmental and public health scandal in US history and globally only comparable to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.

Possible variations in the flows from day to day lead to some uncertainty. Additionally, the analysis does not include other smaller plumes from several holes near the broken pipe, holes that are believed to have grown with time.

Lead author, Timothy Crone, developed his technique of optical plume velocimetry to study deep undersea thermal vents in the Pacific Ocean in 2006.

Source: Science Daily.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

UN: Zionist attack against Mavi Marmara broke International Law: summary executions and torture

What we all knew already but it is always good to see it ratified by an international institution such as the UN Human Rights Council.

The report also said that there was clear evidence to prosecute Israeli criminals under article 174 of the Geneva Convention for the charges of: willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment and willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

The Mission considers that several violations and offences have been committed. It is not satisfied that, in the time available, it can say that it has been able to compile a comprehensive list of all offences. However, there is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:
  • wilful killing;
  • torture or inhuman treatment;
  • wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.
The Mission also considers that a series of violations of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law have taken place, including:
  • right to life (article 6, ICCPR);
  • torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (article 7, ICCPR; CAT);
  • right to liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention (article 9, ICCPR)
  • right of detainees to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person (article 10, ICCPR);
  • freedom of expression (article 19, ICCPR).
The right to an effective remedy should be guaranteed to all victims. The mission must not be understood to be saying that this is a comprehensive list by any means.
266. The Mission notes that the retention by the Israeli authorities of unlawfully seized property remains a continuing offence and Israel is called upon to return such property forthwith.

The report also hopes that Israel will cooperate in handing the perpetrators of these crimes and compensating the victims adequately and promptly. But they regret the lack of cooperation by Israel.

They also state that:

All the passengers on board the ships comprising the flotilla who appeared before the Mission impressed the members as persons genuinely committed to the spirit of humanitarianism and imbued with a deep and genuine concern for the welfare of the inhabitants of Gaza.

Hoabinhian neolithic site

Issue #36 of Stone Pages' bulletin, Archaeo News, has arrived to my mailbox with at least one item worth mentioning

New Neolithic (Hoabinhian) site found in North Vietnam

The cave, known as Tham Choong, (Na Hang district, Tuyen Quang province) is dated to 8000-7000 years ago. The tools belong to the Hoabinhian culture, which lasted from some 34,000 years ago to c. 2000 BCE, spanning through Paleolithic and Neolithic.

The thousand or so stone tools recovered served for cutting, chopping and grinding. Bone tools were also found, including a sharply pointed one that archaeologists believe was used for stitching the bark clothes they probably used.

Source: Vietnam News.

Other news

Check the newsletter for other news, such as digs in North America (Utah, already mentioned here from another source, Wyoming, Wisconsin) and Britain (Bronze Age cremation cemetery at projected commercial center near Inverness, Scotland, Bronze Age person from the Isle of Man died violently, trekking path projected between Avebury and Stonehenge, etc.) 

There's also a mention on Timothy Taylor's hypothesis on the baby sling being a decisive invention in human evolution (I'm a bit skeptic but who knows?)

More importantly maybe, Paola and Diego mention that they are heading again to Sardinia, accompanied by archaeologist George Nash, with the intention of persuading the authorities to open the badly sealed and spectacular Tomba della Scacchiera (image below), a Megalithic site that has serious conservation risks and also has a strong touristic potential (already mentioned at Leherensuge).