Ripples on Hudson,
Sea Breeze up from the harbor:
Late June refreshment.
"One might well become a holy fool oneself here! It's catching!"--Raskolnikov, from Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Witness the musings of another Holy Fool, another follower of "God's own Fool."
You are Green LanternFunny, I thought I was more a Wolverine. Or at least a Batman! Oh, well! At least I have the old school GL going for me!
Green Lantern 85% Iron Man 65% Spider-Man 65% The Flash 55% Batman 50% Robin 45% Supergirl 45% Superman 45% Hulk 45% Wonder Woman 30% Catwoman 30% Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test
Catholic News Agency has the story:
A decree was made public today by Cardinal James Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary, declaring a plenary indulgence for the faithful during the 5th World Meeting of Families, which is being celebrated in Valencia, Spain from the 1st - 9th of July.Family is that important. Unite with the participants in Spirit and Thought, if you can. Every one of us must do what we can to further the freedom of the family to be family. Far too many believe the Absolute Individual or the Nanny State can replace family. How much more carnage must our societies suffer before we finally refuse to believe in those mirages?
The decree, which was published today but dated on the 15th of June - the Solemnity of Corpus Christi - says that the Holy Father, who will be in Valencia for the celebration, is very pleased to bestow a plenary indulgence to the faithful, “in order to feed the lively desire which brings numerous people from every part of the world, to the celebration.”
Pope Benedict bestowed the plenary indulgence to all participants in the World Meeting as well as those who can not go but, "are united in spirit and thought," to those that will be in Valencia.
The Truth Laid Bear has the answer.
Back then, the Times stated it would not be satisfied with merely freezing the assets of terrorists and their supporters. They wanted the identification of all account owners mandated by Congress and, presumably, accessible to the "specialized investigators" the Times demanded. The Times also wanted the Bush administration to pursue greater cooperation between international banking authorities and these new investigators.Of course, the Reasonable pundits refuse to get it. Clearly the sainted and Reasonable NYT is being unfairly targeted by the Foolish Fascist in the White House. It's not enough that he stole two elections. Now he wants to spy on everyone's financial transactions. So what if the Treasury Departments' program only examined the international financial transactions of suspected terrorists? Slippery slope, and all that. Besides, the real war criminals--Rove and Libby--haven't been prosecuted, yet.
Doesn't this sound familiar? It should; it describes the SWIFT project that Bill Keller and his newspaper just ruined with its revelation about these same tactics the newspaper demanded five years ago. Now, suddenly, they see a civil liberties risk in pursuing terrorist financing abroad, even though SWIFT only handles certain large international money transfers, and that our efforts only focused on actors already suspected of terrorist ties.
Blood-Lusters in Gaza refused to recognize reality. Their brazen invasion of Israel has not furthered their cause. Their murder and abduction of IDF soldiers has not endeared them to the West. They have declared--once again--that they will not live in peace with Israel, even within their own state.
"Israeli military aircraft bombed bridges in the Gaza Strip late Tuesday night and early Thursday after a day of preparations for an operation aimed at freeing a captured soldier whose fate has transfixed much of the country.The PA could have demonstrated its serious interest in a two-state solution before. Abbas could have authorized Fatah and PA security forces to shut down the operatives in Gaza. Instead, he played chicken with Hamas. Now he may have a unity government. Bully for him.
Military jets screeched overhead throughout the evening, and minutes before midnight bombarded a key bridge linking north and central Gaza and a second one a half-hour later. Military officials said the air strikes were designed to prevent Palestinian gunmen who abducted Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, during a Sunday attack on an army post at the strip's southeastern edge from moving him around Gaza or into Egypt.
The signs of imminent conflict mounted gradually throughout the day Tuesday. More than 3,000 Israeli soldiers, along with tanks and armored personnel carriers, waited along Gaza's perimeter for orders to move into the strip, which the military abandoned last September after evacuating Israel's settlements here. At the same time, Palestinian gunmen built berms near the borders and assembled sand-bag bunkers along routes into urban areas.
The violence overshadowed an agreement earlier in the day by leaders of Hamas to a unified political agenda advocated by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to ease the economic sanctions against the government.
According to Palestinian negotiators here, Hamas agreed to establish a national-unity government as part of an accord signed by the largest Palestinian political factions. If formally signed Wednesday as scheduled, the agreement would signal a major shift by Hamas's political leaders, who for the first time would effectively endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It came as Hamas is confronting internal divisions, international economic sanctions and the threat of a broad Israeli ground assault in Gaza to force Shalit's release. It would also be a significant political victory for Abbas, who had threatened to place the deal before Palestinian voters next month unless Hamas accepted its key conditions.
'In our view, this is an important step toward a lasting peace,' said Walid Awad, a spokesman for Abbas. 'The Hamas government has recognized the state of Israel.'"
How's this for "synchronicity."
We all have these times! I've been in one lately--coming out I think. The thing is not to worry, as there are cycles and times that we choose not to write. One thing that helps me is to just write 10 minutes a day anyway, literally 10, even if it's all nonsense, I feel relieved.Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor. Or exquisite timing!Not Writing
A wasp rises to its papery
nest under the eaves
where it daubs
at the gray shape,
but seems unable
to enter its own house.
Get sound counsel here!
Fairly often in confession or conversations with people, I hear variations on the following theme: "I don't feel very spiritual these days," or, "I don't feel as if I have much faith." Right off the bat, the use of the F-word should raise a red flag because, of course, there is no one-to-one correspondence between one's spiritual state and the way one feels. Feelings are emotions, which come and go without our being able to do a whole lot about them. Feelings aren't the product of decisions, and so they are pre-moral -- neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy. We see this especially in some of the greatest saints (the Spanish mystics, in particular, come to mind). We find that some of the most "spiritual" saints went through long periods of time in which they "felt" nothing spiritual -- times of dryness, lack of consolations, periods during which their steady prayer and good works weren't "rewarded" in this life with lovely "spiritual feelings." Paradoxically, they came to see these times as moments of great intimacy with God, because their religious acts, their prayer, and their obedience to the Commandments were done purely out of love for God, not for hope of "feeling good" after doing them. In other words, it can happen that we are in very good spiritual shape, and not feel it... and vice versa we can feel very "spiritual" and in fact be spiritually dead. Grace and charity are not physical phenomena, and so you can't necessarily "feel" them.Fr. Tucker offers sound counsel for revitalizing one's spiritual life. His six suggestions nurture the Christ-centered disposition we all need to possess. We will experience the authenticity of a real spiritual life to the extent that we center our lives in Christ. Whether or not we "feel spiritual," we'll be spiritual when we allow Christ to live through our charity and fidelity to him.
That having been said, it is true that good feelings often accompany spiritual works. So, I'll usually next ask the person to describe his or her spiritual practice to me. Generally it is nothing more than Mass on Sundays and a few vocal prayers said during the week. No wonder the person doesn't feel spiritual. So, if what I've written so far basically summarizes your situation, here are six simple suggestions for getting your spiritual life jump-started.
It's been a long time.
And in my own backyard, too!
Rock group fans take credit for seminary vandalism:A 31-year-old IT contractor from Wyoming inspires some thugs to go Slayer and vandalize St. Joseph's Seminary.The site was set up last month to promote a National Day of Slayer on June 6.
To participate, according to the site, one had only to play Slayer "at full blast." But the site also included several ways to "take participation to a problematic level," including: "Spray paint Slayer logos on churches, synagogues, or cemeteries."
The vandalism at the seminary, which was done in the early hours of June 7, included the words "Reign in Blood," the name of Slayer's most popular record.
The Web site — www.nationaldayofslayer.org — now brags that Day of Slayer was a huge success. As proof, it offers a copy of a Journal News article about the vandalism and a link to a CBS TV report about it.
Want to watch our Reasonable masters wail and rend their garments?
As usual, President Bush is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. The left and the press are pulling their collective hairs out today because of the president’s surprise trip to Iraq, and the news that Karl Rove will not be indicted.The President reaffirms America's commitment to the Iraqis. Karl Rove will not face a criminal indictment. A biologist finds God in a genome. Man, I should heat up some popcorn!
That screech you hear is a whole bunch of people going off the rails as they try to spin a moving train.
Interestingly, DNC Chair Howard Dean is carrying on that Rove leaked a non-covert CIA operative’s name in a time of war and saying this is a bad thing, but I don’t recall him being too upset when Mary McCarthy leaked classified info “in time of war,” do you? Funny how sometimes that matters, and sometimes it doesn’t.
There are great pieces everywhere, so I’ll just be your roundup girl, today.
You have to start with the Pajamas Media Link-fest put together by PJM’s Seattle and Barcelone editors. Good stuff from the left and the right and a great comprehensive overview of what is going on in the ’sphere today.
Take a look at DJ Drummond’s look at CBS’s dubious poll of today. Yesterday DJ mentioned that polls were becoming scarce. Apparently the press just needed time to make the right one.
You need this advice. Believe me! We all do
Go Read the whole thing. Thank her. Tell her a Fool sent you.'If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire'I’ve told this to my kids all their lives, even before I knew Catherine had said it: If you do the thing you’re born to do, you will excel, you will excite, you will change things.
- St. Catherine of Siena
“But how do you know what you’re born to do?” they would ask, “If you do lots of things well, how do you know what you are born to do?”
Some of us might not be so blessed, of course, maybe some of us can only do one thing, but we do it very well. I think most people have several things they can do well…but only one thing they do exceedingly well, a thing that, when they engage in it, places them outside of time."
Argent posts from the USA Today.
The trial of Italian author and veteran journalist Oriana Fallaci, accused of defaming Islam in a 2004 book, opened Monday in northern Italy and was quickly adjourned, a lawyer said. Fallaci, who lives in New York, did not attend the hearing in Bergamo, northern Italy.Gotta love Europe. Express an unsavory opinion about Islam, face a judge. Now, contrast that with the United States. Here, express an unsavory opinion about Christianity, take a number and get in line. Make a film out of a glorified beach-book-sized unsavory opinion, and make some $$$!
Monday's hearing was largely devoted to technicalities, and the proceedings were adjourned to June 26, said Matteo Nicoli, a lawyer for the Muslim activist who brought the lawsuit against Fallaci.
Islamic activist Adel Smith, who also was not in court, charged that some passages in Fallaci's book, The Strength of Reason, were offensive to Islam. His lawyer cited a phrase from the book that refers to Islam as "a pool ... that never purifies."
Last year, a judge ordered Fallaci to stand trial on charges of violating an Italian law that prohibits "outrage" to religion. He cited a passage that reads: "To be under the illusion that there is a good Islam and a bad Islam or not to understand that Islam is only one ... is against reason."
Fallaci told The Associated Press last year that "I have expressed my opinion through the written word through my books, that is all." The offense with which she is charged carries a fine of up to $7,500.
The bomb killed the Butcher. Does everyone get that now?
"Military pathologists said today that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda leader killed last week in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq, died of massive internal injuries caused by the bombs dropped on his hideout and was neither beaten nor shot.Of course, the truth does not incriminate US servicemen. It does not help to undermine the war effort. It doesn't discredit the United States. Therefore, be assured that the truth will soon become irrelevent. Besides, where's the ka-ching! in a terrorist dying from a bombing? A beat-down on a stretcher by angry marines, on the other hand, moves a lot of product!
Col. Steve Jones, an army pathologist, said at a news conference in Baghdad that medics attempted to treat Zarqawi after they arrived, clearing his airways, but that injuries from the June 7 blast to his lungs were not 'survivable.'
Zarqawi was "treated better in death than he treated others in life," added Major Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the military spokesman who presided at today's news conference. He "did lapse in and out of consciousness" but his breathing was shallow and labored all the while, until it stopped, and his pulse deteriorated rapidly.
Zarqawi lived for some 52 minutes after the strike, Jones said."
Sigh. Another Foolable voice sees the sky falling again. When Fools insist that government actually respect natural law, watch the Reasonable folk's water-carriers shudder and look for the coming Theocracy.
"A Long Island minister says religion can be dangerous to democracy when the line between church and state is blurred.I respect the Lukens family. Camp Venture has done terrific things for my family. I can't be grateful enough for the incredible service that Venture has rendered. However, Reverend Luken's hysteria serves no one's interest.
The Rev. Mark J. Lukens, pastor of United Church of Christ in East Rockaway, N.Y., will speak this week about the dangers of religion influencing government.
The Rockland Coalition for Democracy and Freedom, a group that for the past decade has discussed topical issues relating to the Bill of Rights and First Amendment, will host the discussion at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Orangetown Town Hall.
'These days, we're witnessing a breakdown of the wall between church and state,' he said. 'When those lines get blurred, we tend to move toward a more theocratic state.'
Lukens said if this trend continued, it could spawn intolerance and threaten civil liberties.
'That's the kind of thing we want to guard against in this country,' Lukens said. 'We want to act as counter-voices of the religious right.'"
The minister, whose family founded Camp Venture, said intolerance has become more evident in this country with federal funding for faith-based initiatives and preferential provisions in Head Start programs.Ah, yes. I get it now. Federal support of religious institutions' charitable works leads to intolerance. Promotion of religious leaders' freedom of speech undermine our democracy.
Lukens also said proposed laws that would allow religious leaders to endorse elected officials or donate church funds to candidates were problematic.
"Right now, we have a number of things happening," he said. "Those kinds of trends are very dangerous and undermine our democracy."
"For nearly four hours yesterday, a 300-pound black bear lounged on a thick tree branch, stretching, yawning, licking his paws and snoozing.
In this densely populated village, an 8-year-old bear sitting 25 feet off the ground drew a crowd that grew to more than 250 people at the Blueberry Hill housing complex off Route 306.
People pointed, photographed and kept testing the patience of police by inching closer to the 40-foot-high tree outside 25 Kearsing Parkway.
The bear climbed the tree at 9:14 a.m. after wandering into the housing development, police said.
At 1:04 p.m., about 15 minutes after a state environmental conservation officer shot two tranquilizer darts into the bear, the drama ended."
I thought that the greatest lie the Devil ever told was to convince the world he doesn't exist.
"Officials at St. Joseph's Seminary are preparing to try to remove spray-painted satanic messages that maintenance workers discovered this morning.Among the plethora of images most stoners could google lay a more insidious message:
Workers will use paint removers and power washers as soon as police and media disperse this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone and police officials are scheduled to address the incident during a 3 p.m. press conference.
The vandalism took place during the night, in the wee hours after June 6, 2006 — widely marketed as the satanic mark 666 — came to a close.
Black spray paint was used to write 666 on the three steps leading up to the main entrance of the Catholic seminary. Just above the number was painted 'REIGN IN BLOOD.' A large pentagram, believed to be a symbol of the devil, was painted in thick black lines in front of the main door, just where Pope John Paul II stood when he visited the seminary on Oct. 6, 1995."
On the back of the left column, facing the seminary doors, the vandal or vandals wrote "BETTER TO REIGN IN HELL." And on the second, "THAN TO SERVE IN HEAVEN." The famous line comes from Milton's "Paradise Lost."This indicates that at least one of the vandals possessed more sophistication than a typical shock-jocking teen. Someone's a true believer.
The white queen exposed,
Foolables of the Right and the Left don't want to hear it. They'd rather their sacred cows remain upon the pedestal they've place them upon. They don't want to hear that Catholic Social Teaching may not baptize their particular politics.
"The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholic health leaders June 6 not to let immigration reform, abortion or any other political issue derail their efforts to bring affordable health care to every American.If we're going to be Catholic, then our ideological allegiance must end at the threshold of Christ's door. Our political compass must be determined by nothing less then fidelity to Catholic Social Teaching. No matter how much that hurts.
'It will not be easy to make the case for decent health care for all in a political environment which is polarized and paralyzed by partisan and ideological battles,' said Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., in the annual Flanagan Lecture at the Catholic Health Association's 91st assembly in Orlando.
'Today, some would deny the presence of Christ in the work we do, and in too many cases would seek to force us by improper law or other pressures to deny who we are or to compromise our values by requiring us to act contrary to Catholic teaching or to not serve those we are called to serve regardless of their economic or immigration status,' he added.
But their participation in the healing ministry of Jesus requires Catholic leaders to 'insist that access to quality health care should not depend on where your parents work; how much money you make; where you come from; or how you got here,' Bishop Skylstad said."
What a surprise: The plot thickens!
"The men arrested in an alleged terrorism plot planned to storm the Canadian Parliament, take politicians hostage, and at least one wanted to behead the prime minister, according to a summary of allegations read into court Tuesday.The islamofascists will not stop until every Dhimmi bows their head in submission. Canada's audacity in supporting the emergence of democracy in Afghanistan must not go unpublished. Heads must literally roll!
The summary from prosecutors, unexpectedly read into the court record in a procedural hearing by defense lawyer Gary Batasar, said the group planned to bomb hydro-electric plants in Ontario and targeted the CBC broadcast building in downtown Toronto."
The group planned to issue demands that Canadian troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan and that all Muslim prisoners held in Afghanistan be released.
The bizarre scenario offered the first details of the plot that police and intelligence agencies said they had disrupted in a series of raids overnight Friday. Twelve men and five teenaged boys were arrested. All are Canadian citizens or long-time residents of Canada.
The statement was put into the court record during a routine procedural hearing to set bond dates in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, as 10 of the 17 arrested appeared in court.
Batasar later told reporters that the prosecutors said his client, Steven Vikash Chand, 25, "personally indicated that he wanted to behead the prime minister of Canada." It was unclear if that was Stephen Harper, who took office in February, or his predecessor, Paul Martin.
Is this a genuine reception to a rational proposal? Or is this merely a faint by a religious meglomaniac out to precipitate the apocalypse?
"Iran responded warmly but evenly Tuesday to formal delivery of the package of incentives and possible penalties assembled by Washington and five other world powers hoping to coax Tehran to put aside its nuclear program.The Iranians consideration of the proposal flies in the face of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's most recent statements. However, Mr. Lariijani's close ties to Mr. Khamenei may suggest that the leadership is willing to consider what the West has to say.
'We had constructive talks,' said Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, after meeting for two hours with Javier Solana, the European Union foreign policy chief. 'There are some positive steps in it, and also some ambiguities. . . .'"
Larijani did not elaborate, but diplomats said the atmospherics surrounding the meeting, in the palatial offices of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, appeared to reinforce the recent assurances by Iranian officials that the new proposal would be considered seriously.
"The good news is, as they have said they would in recent days, they are really going to consider the proposals and study them, not reject them almost immediately like they did last summer," said one European diplomat living in Iran.
The current package, backed by all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, includes many of the incentives offered to Tehran in August. At the time three European powers were leading negotiations that had dragged on for two years and Iran was preparing to resume its efforts to enrich uranium, having judged the talks were intended to go on indefinitely.
The alleged Jihadists that RCMP arrested over the weekend may have planned attacks beyond Candada. The group appears to be another embodiment of security experts' worst fear: homegrown islamo-fascist terrorists.
"Police said Monday more arrests are likely in an alleged plot to bomb buildings in Canada, while intelligence officers sought ties between the 17 suspects and Islamic terror cells in the United States and five other nations.Independent islamofascist terrorists in London perpetrated the horrific July bombings last year. Another non-affiliated association of blood-lusters committed the 3/11 Madrid bombings, as well.
A court said authorities had charged all 12 adults arrested over the weekend with participating in a terrorist group. Other charges included importing weapons and planning a bombing. The charges against five minors were not made public.
The Parliament of Canada, in Ottawa, is believed to be among targets the group discussed. Toronto Mayor David Miller said CN Tower, a downtown landmark, and the city's subway were not targets as had been the speculated in local media, but declined to identify sites that were.
A Muslim prayer leader who knew the oldest suspect, 43-year-old Qayyum Abdul Jamal, told The Associated Press on Monday that Jamal's sermons at a storefront mosque were 'filled with hate' against Canada.
Authorities said more arrests were expected, possibly this week, as police pursue leads about a group that they say was inspired by the violent ideology of the al-Qaida terror network.
'We've by no means finished this investigation,' Mike McDonell, deputy commissioner for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told AP. 'In fact, you might look at it that, really, we're just starting with the arrests. We have a responsibility to follow every lead.'
Although both Canadian and U.S. officials said over the weekend there was no indication the purported terror group had targets outside Ontario, McDonell told AP on Monday that there are 'foreign connections,' but he would not elaborate."
There may indeed have been a terrorist conspiracy that involved what the RCMP assistant commissioner Mike McDonell yesterday referred to as "training areas," where militants tramped about in big boots, cooked on outdoor barbecues, built bombs and used a wooden door for target practice.Yeah. I'm sure these fine, upstanding citizens planned to fertilize the acres of new farmland that they had recently purchased after barbequing with fatigues and 9MM. While every suspect deserves the presumption of innocence, they don't deserve unmitigated surrender to stupidity. They may formally be innocent until proven guilty. This doesn't mean the evidence that's currently in the public eye counts for nothing.
That's the implication from the evidence shown to reporters yesterday: five pairs of boots in camouflage drab, six flashlights, one set of walkie-talkies, one voltmeter, one knife, eight D-cell batteries, a cellphone, a circuit board, a computer hard drive, one barbecue grill, one set of tongs suitable for turning hot dogs, a wooden door with 21 marks on it and a 9-mm handgun.
Or it is possible that the only thing that these bits of evidence prove is that a group of young men went somewhere where they tramped around in big boots, cooked on barbecues, played soldier and generally acted like jerks — which young men are occasionally wont to do.
The three tonnes of ammonium nitrate allegedly purchased was, as McDonell said, three times the amount used in the Oklahoma terror bombing of 1995.
But, as he also said, farmers routinely buy three tonnes of ammonium nitrate "every day." They use it for fertilizer, not bombs.
In short, we don't know much yet about what these men and boys were trying to do. We don't know if this series of arrests, called Operation O-Sage by the Mounties, pre-empted the kind of actions that in the United Kingdom led to last year's bombing of the London subway by otherwise unremarkable young Britons.
Fifty years of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Fifty years of serving the servants. Fifty years of heeding Christ's call to feed all of his sheep.
"Worshippers filled the pews of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church yesterday afternoon for a special Mass to commemorate the Rev. John Dwyer's 50 years of service in the priesthood.May God continue to bless and keep his servant, Fr. Dwyer. May his faithful witness continue to inspire his parishioners, and the rest of us, to better love Christ and each other. Congratulations, Fr. Dwyer!
'We all truly love him,' said Jinny Coldy, 75, of Blauvelt, a longtime parishioner. 'He is the most dedicated and kind man. He's always there for everyone. He's been a godsend.'
Dwyer, who was ordained in 1956 after attending St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, began at the church as assistant pastor in 1987 and was named its pastor in 1990.
During the Mass, parishioners laughed and clapped as the 76-year-old Bronx native regaled his audience with funny, humble and poignant anecdotes from his years as a priest.
'I've been so blessed to witness a great variety in life and the differences that make each person so special,' said Dwyer, who spoke of the more than 20 years he spent as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force."
The Reasonable rejoice! Exhausted Europeans, cynical Eurasian and Asians, and suspicious Americans have capitulated to that beacon of freedom, the Islamic Republic of Iran!
"The United States and five major world powers agreed Thursday to offer Iran 'far-reaching proposals' that would 'bring significant benefits' if it halts its drive to master nuclear power, but also threatened 'further steps in the Security Council' if Iran refused to enter negotiations.In exchange for another of the Mullocracy's "we promise" moments on uranium enrichment, the West will offer Iran substantial help in the development of their nuclear industry--including long-term commitments of fuel. If Iran refuses to halt its uranium enrichment program, which the IR has given every indication that it will, then the West will impose a menu of sanctions. Only it won't call them sanctions. Oh, and they haven't agreed on which of those measures they'll impose.
The agreement, announced here by British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett after extended negotiations, is intended to sharpen the choice for Iran in the debate over its nuclear program."
"We urge Iran to take the positive path and to consider seriously our substantive proposals which would bring significant benefits," Beckett told reporters with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the foreign ministers of Russia, China, France and Germany at her side.
While details of the package were not announced, the incentives appeared to include an international effort to assist Iran's nuclear industry, including guarantees of long-term fuel assurances -- a significant shift of the Bush administration's long insistence that Iran had no need for nuclear power.
But aides to Rice said the deal also commits China and Russia, two skeptics of sanctions, to a long list of specific steps to punish Iran if it refuses to halt its enrichment program. The possible sanctions are listed as a menu, ranging from minor to major, and there appeared to be no agreement yet on which options to choose if Iran failed to act.
Beckett read the brief statement after the diplomats had huddled over it for two hours, fiddling with the wording. It emphasized the positive, while using vague code words for rough action, which U.S. officials said stemmed from a desire to convince Iran to return to negotiations. U.S. officials even repeatedly refused to characterize the possible punishments for Iran as sanctions, using words such as steps, measures and actions.
"We are prepared to resume negotiations should Iran resume suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities as required by the IAEA and we would also suspend action in the Security Council," Beckett said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
It doesn't pay to drown one's sanity in kool aid. Just ask Lauren Weiner.
"A Pound Ridge woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for her role in an eco-terrorism plot to blow up a U.S. Forest Service lab and other targets in northern California, federal prosecutors said.Has anyone truly accomplished any lasting good by committing heinous crimes? Why does the tired trope of the terrorists continue to attract the most saliva-spent of the mouth-foamers? Ms. Weiner may have thought she could save the earth by blowing up a few US Forest Service facilities. She now faces a future in which she'll testify against her fellow eco-terrorists. Not to mention whatever time is in the cards!
As part of her plea entered Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, Lauren Weiner, 20, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify against her two co-defendants, Eric T. McDavid, 28, of Foresthill, Calif., and Zachary O. Jenson, 20, of Monroe, Wash. Both have been held since their arrest in January.
Weiner's parents posted her $1.2 million bond about two weeks after her Jan. 13 arrest, and she was allowed to return to live with her mother at their Pound Ridge home. Her attorney, Jeffrey S. Weiner of Miami, could not be reached for comment yesterday. He is related to the family.
The three were charged with conspiracy to damage and destroy property by fire and explosives. Specifically, authorities allege they planned to set off homemade explosives at Nimbus Dam and Nimbus Fish Hatchery outside Sacramento and the Forest Service's genetics lab in Placerville.
According to an indictment, the three were planning to act on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front, an underground environmental-activist group that has been deemed a terrorist movement by federal authorities. However, an undercover informant for the FBI posed as an ELF sympathizer and infiltrated the group."