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Vietnam MIAs: Ghosts Return to Haunt McCain and the US Press

May 29th, 2010
Categories: News, War, Politics

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn05282010.html

The ghosts that haunt Senator John McCain are about 600 in number and right now they are mustering for an onslaught. McCain, one of America's foremost Republicans and President Barack Obama's opponent in 2008, is currently locked in a desperate bid for political survival in his home state of Arizona. After 20 years of immunity from challenge from his fellow Republicans, he's now involved in a close primary battle with J.D. Hayworth, a former congressman turned radio broadcaster who sports the Tea Party label. Hayworth says McCain is a fake Republican, soft on issues like immigration. The polls have been tightening, and if McCain got bludgeoned by some new disclosure, it could finish him off.

Dow's Worst May Since '40

May 29th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703957604575272930884830398.html

Stocks End Month Down 7.92% as Europe Crisis, Flash Crash Unsettle Investors. Between the "Flash Crash" and angst over the worsening crisis in Europe, stocks suffered a dismal May, posting their worst decline for the month since Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House. The month ended with a thud Friday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 122.36 points, or 1.2%, to 10136.63, leaving it in negative territory for the week, the month and the year. For market stalwarts the sharp drop has added further credence to the truism, "sell in May and go away." The Dow fell 871.98 points, or 7.92%, for the month. That was the worst May in percentage terms since 1940, when shares dropped 22%, and the worst May ever measured by points. Crude oil had its worst month since December 2008.

US mulls unilateral Pakistan raids

May 29th, 2010
Categories: News, War

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/05/20105296251760640.html

CIA already conducts unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal regions. The US military is developing plans for a unilateral attack on the Pakistani Taliban in the event of a successful attack in the US that can be traced to them, The Washington Post reports. Planning for a retaliatory attack was spurred by ties between Faisal Shahzad, the alleged Times Square bomber, and elements of the Pakistani Taliban, the US newspaper said in an article posted on its website on Friday night, quoting unidentified senior military officials.

U.S. Defence Spending Far Outpaces Rest of the World

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, War, Politics

Link: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51622

The United States continues to lead the world in defence spending, according to a new report released Thursday by the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, a U.S.-based non-partisan research organisation.

Third Giant Underwater Oil Plume Discovered

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/05/third-giant-underwater-oil-plume.html

Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given. “There’s a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water,” said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. “There’s a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.”

Obama press conference Lies and evasions in defense of BP

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment, Politics

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/pers-m28.shtml

The White House press conference Thursday, the first held by President Barack Obama in nearly ten months, was devoted to presenting his administration as an active crisis manager in the Gulf oil catastrophe, rather than a handmaiden for BP, the giant oil company whose profit drive is responsible for the worst ecological disaster in US history.

The Human Cost of Mandatory Minimums

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Police State

Link: http://www.aclu.org/blog/drug-law-reform/human-cost-mandatory-minimums

I sat down in front of the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) yesterday afternoon to testify about the harmful effects of mandatory minimum sentencing. In 1991, the USSC delivered a report to Congress denouncing mandatory minimums and calling for their abolition. Nineteen years and thousands of prisoners later, Congress has once again directed the commission to provide a report on mandatory minimums. "Mandatory minimums" are minimum sentences that Congress has attached to certain crimes. There are over 150 of these throughout federal criminal law. Many are hardly used, but the ones that are — mainly relating to drug crimes...

Election-Year Politics Derail Bid to Save Teachers' Jobs

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.truthout.org/election-year-politics-derail-bid-save-teachers-jobs59959

Congress bailed out Wall Street and the auto industry, but it appears to have drawn the line — at least for now — at rescuing teachers.
A Democratic plan to send $23 billion to the states to save the jobs of 100,000 to 300,000 public school teachers, librarians, counselors and other employees slated for layoffs looks dead for the time being.

Obama Talks a Lot of Game About Taking on Wall St, While Killing off Reforms in the Shadows

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/media/147041/obama_talks_a_lot_of_game_about_taking_on_wall_st%2C_while_killing_off_reforms_in_the_shadows/

The American people are clamoring for justice but our voices are still being ignored. The President says he is on our side. Is he? We now know that it was the Obama Administration led by the President himself who used techniques well understood and denounced decades earlier by none other than Mao TseTung.

BP's 'top kill' mission halts the oil gush – but is it stable?

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/27/bp-oil-spill-top-kill

Experts warn that leak is far from being permanently fixed as weather service predicts unusually strong hurricane season. A delicate "top kill" operation by BP tentatively halted the gush of oil and gas from its ruptured Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, although experts warned that the underwater leak was still far from being permanently fixed. Engineers were due last night to begin a second round of pumping thick drilling mud at high speed into the ocean floor, which lies 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) under the surface of the sea about 50 miles off Louisiana. Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer, insisted that the operation was going to plan, but admitted: "What we do know is that we have not yet stopped the flow." The top kill operation appears to have been a failure. The device sits on the ocean floor with a mixture of oil, natural gas, and benzene spewing out the top of it. Benzene is a highly toxic flammable cancer-causing carcinogen and millions of gallons of the stuff are continuing to pour into the ocean every week, unleashed from deep within the bowels of the earth by BP's greed. Its an ecological catastrophe. Click the photo and take a look at the live feed.

Lies and evasions in defense of BP

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/pers-m28.shtml

The White House press conference Thursday, the first held by President Barack Obama in nearly ten months, was devoted to presenting his administration as an active crisis manager in the Gulf oil catastrophe, rather than a handmaiden for BP, the giant oil company whose profit drive is responsible for the worst ecological disaster in US history.

“Top kill” has yet to stop Gulf oil flow

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/gulf-m28.shtml

Massive spill nation’s worst, study confirms. On Thursday afternoon, BP admitted that the success of its latest attempt to stem the flow of oil from the ocean floor, the so-called “top kill,” was in doubt. The effort to blast thousands of gallons of heavy mud directly into the Deepwater Horizon rig’s failed blowout preventer one mile beneath the water’s surface was suspended early Thursday morning so that BP could analyze data, company spokesmen said.

How an Ingredient Found in Everything from Chocolate to Chips Is Causing Massive Environmental Destruction

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.alternet.org/food/146984/how_an_ingredient_found_in_everything_from_chocolate_to_chips_is_causing_massive_environmental_destruction_/

The aisles of any American grocery store, whether it's a big-box behemoth or a cramped urban bodega, are filled with enough packaged goods to satiate nearly every consumer demand and impulse. But behind the neatly stocked shelves and cheery in-store commercials lurks a dirty secret concerning the dramatic and harmful global impact of the products we buy.

Israel to stop Gaza aid ships

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Palestine, Zionism

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/05/201052791958545391.html

Israel says it will prevent, if necessary by force, a nine-ship flotilla of peace activists and humanitarian aid from reaching the Gaza Strip. The Freedom Flotilla is carrying around 700 pro-Palestinian activists from various countries, as well as 10,000 tonnes of aid. It is by far the largest fleet of aid to try to reach Gaza since Israel imposed its siege on the coastal territory in 2007.

Colombia IDPs 'face vote abuse'

May 28th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/05/20105251832686557.html

Most of Colombia's estimated 4.9 million displaced people have been forced
from their homes by violence and hunger. Suffering a continuing cycle of conflict, forced removal and living on the boundary of survival, Colombia's millions of displaced people may feel disassociated from Sunday's presidential poll.

US Senate rejects exit timetable for Afghanistan

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News, Afghanistan, War

Link: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N27100144.htm

The Senate rejected a proposal on Thursday to require President Barack Obama to submit a timetable for pulling U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, despite unease among some members of his party over the nine-year-old war.

Is the U.S. Government Planning War to Quell the Tide of Economic Unrest?

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News, War, Politics

Link: http://snardfarker.ning.com/profiles/blogs/is-the-us-government-planning

In my opinion and in a word: Yes! Headlines: – “READY FOR WAR,” “U.S. Military told to get ready in Korea Standoff, Obama orders commanders to prepare ‘to deter future aggression.’” By Drudge and MSNBC – “U.S. Begins Massive Military Build Up Around Iran, Sending Up To 4 New Carrier Groups In Region” by Tyler Durden – “Clinton: Korea Must Face ‘Consequences’ For Sunken Warship” – Homeland Security, Northeast Intelligence Network: “The Syrian Missile Crisis: Threat of War Very Real” – “The Expanding U.S. War in Pakistan” by Jeremy Scahill – “Yemen, Latest War Front?” by CBS News

Israel's new 'best friend'?

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News, Zionism

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2010/05/2010527184439863164.html

When Binyamin Netanyahu arrives in Canada on Friday, immediately following the ceremony in Paris to introduce Israel to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it will mark the first visit to Ottawa by a sitting Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin in 1994. During his last visit, in 2002, Netanyahu's closed door speech at Concordia University in Montreal sparked a riot that made headlines around the world.

Gulf oil spill: Why is BP in charge?

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment, Politics

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/pers-m27.shtml

Since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, the Obama administration has insisted that BP remain in command of the spill site and cleanup, in spite of the oil giant's criminal actions in causing the deadly blast and its greed and incompetence in handling the spill.

BP had prior warning of Deepwater Horizon blowout

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/spil-m27.shtml

BP, the operator of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, disregarded indications hours before the April 20 blast that the rig might suffer a catastrophic blowout, according to a preliminary report published Wednesday by the House Energy and Commerce committee.

Obama orders troops to Mexican border

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/bord-m27.shtml

President Obama’s order deploying 1,200 National Guard troops to the Mexican border marks another reactionary turn in his immigration policy and a threat of intensified violence against immigrant workers.

Israeli Nuclear Espionage: The Art of Keeping America at Risk for Fun and Profit

May 27th, 2010
Categories: News, Zionism

Link: http://mycatbirdseat.com/2010/05/israeli-nuclear-espionage-the-art-of-keeping-america-at-risk-for-fun-and-profit/

This week, newspapers around the world received reports and signed documents from South Africa. The reports said that, in 1975, Israel agreed to sell South Africa nuclear weapons. South Africa then released an arms agreement signed by current Israeli President Shimon Peres. This is the document “heard round the world.”

The Corporate Stranglehold: How BP Will Make out Like Bandits from Its Massive, Still Gushing Oil Disaster

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/economy/146999/the_corporate_stranglehold%3A_how_bp_will_make_out_like_bandits_from_its_massive%2C_still_gushing_oil_disaster/

The existing $75 million cap on damages for offshore drilling companies is a bailout every bit as disgusting as those recently bestowed upon Wall Street. Petitions by Change.org|Get Widget|Start a Petition » You've got to hand it to BP. After witnessing the Great Financial Crash of 2008, it seemed like it would be decades before any corporation could eclipse Wall Street's reckless rush to place its own short-term profits ahead of the public interest. But the epic drilling disaster off the Louisiana coast demonstrates that many of the problems that wrecked Wall Street are deeply embedded in other sectors of the American economy. Over the past 30 years, corporate titans have so thoroughly corrupted the notion of "free markets" that many of the world's riskiest businesses are not only insulated from regulatory supervision, they have been immunized from even minimum standards of market discipline.

Seized marijuana legalization petitions missing

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Police State, Health

Link: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0526/case-marijuana-legalization-petitions-seized-drug-raid/

Task force allegedly held gun to 14-year-old boy's head. The campaign director for Washington state's marijuana legalization effort is unable to account for eight petitions allegedly seized from a medical marijuana dispensary by a drug task force during a raid two weeks ago. "What I am told by personnel at North End Club 420 is that ten petitions were seized. Sensible Washington is seeking to "remove state civil and criminal penalties for persons eighteen years or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana" through the initiative process. In order to get Initiative 1068 onto the November ballot in Washington, they must submit 241,153 valid signatures by July 2. Dawdy says his volunteers have collected over 100,000 but plan to triple that total over the next five weeks.

After Long Argument, BP Official Made Fatal Decision on Drilling Rig

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.truthout.org/after-long-argument-bp-official-made-fatal-decision-drilling-rig59875

Company executives and top drill hands on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig argued for hours about how to proceed before a BP official made the decision to remove heavy drilling fluid from the well and replace it with lighter weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding. Brown said in sworn testimony on Wednesday that the BP official stood up during the meeting and said, "This is how it's going to be."

Petraeus orders US spies to prepare for anti-nuclear strike on Iran

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Iraq

Link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25543.htm

Teams of American special forces have been authorised to conduct spying missions intended to pave the way for a military strike on Iran in case President Obama orders one, US government sources have confirmed.

A Mother's Catch-22

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.thenation.com/article/mothers-catch-22

Now When Congress and Bill Clinton decided to end "welfare as we know it," they made a deal with the poor folks who were being cut loose from their AFDC checks. Go out and find a job, they told the mothers with dependent children. Government will help by providing a modest subsidy to pay for child care. As a practical matter, most mothers with small children couldn't go to work without it.

Watching Israel Delegitimize the U.S.

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Zionism

Link: http://criminalstate.com/2010/05/watching-israel-delegitimize-the-u-s/

What’s behind the sudden crisis in Korea? Who benefits? Which nation’s nuclear arsenal is problematic? The U.S.-Israeli relationship has long been America’s Achilles heel. Our first president warned against “entangled alliances” particularly when, as here, there’s a “passionate attachment.” Our “special relationship” with this rogue state has placed the U.S. outside the same system of international law that we now seek to impose on others, including Iran. Our handling of the current crisis on the Korean peninsula could restore our tattered reputation. What’s the first issue that needs to be addressed?

Global markets gyrate on fears of Europe’s spreading financial crisis

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/econ-m26.shtml

Stock markets worldwide were extraordinarily unstable Tuesday, as fears about the expanding European financial crisis and the possibility of military conflict on the Korean peninsula combined to shake investors.

Obama continues assault on teachers

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Politics

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/pers-m26.shtml

Last week high school teachers in Central Falls, Rhode Island—who were fired en masse last February for defying concession demands—were forced to accept an agreement in return for their jobs that will increase the school day by 25 minutes, compel them to tutor an hour each week, gut seniority rights and submit to a new evaluation system that will facilitate their termination.

Unchecked Oil Flow Would Cause Disaster ‘Heretofore Unseen by Humanity’

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/05/26-7

If BP fails to plug its ruptured offshore oil well, intense underground pressure would be enough to pump vast quantities of thick brown crude into the Gulf of Mexico for months, even years. If even BP's backup plans fail, it would cause a pollution disaster "heretofore unseen by humanity," said one expert.

Secret order prepares new US wars in Middle East and Central Asia

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, War

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2010/may2010/petr-m26.shtml

A front-page article in Tuesday’s New York Times reveals the existence of a secret directive signed by Gen. David Petraeus, chief of the US Central Command, ordering the expansion of covert military operations throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa. The seven-page document, entitled “Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order,” essentially provides the US military with a blank check to carry out aggressive acts against virtually any country.

Plugging the Gulf oil spill: 'top kill'

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/may/26/top-kill-oil-spill-live-deepwater-horizon

'Top kill' is BP's attempt to shut off the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The first five hours as it happened. 2pm: Here we go: BP has announced it has started its procedure known as "top kill" – its latest attempt to shut off the thousands of barrels of oil daily gushing from the ruins of the Deepwater Horizon's subsea well. All the action is taking place deep on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico – and the good news is that we may get to see it all happen in real time, after BP reversed its ealier plans to shut off the live video feed from the sea floor while the procedure was taking place.

Democrats and environmentalists push to kill Shell's Arctic drilling project

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment, Politics

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/26/shell-alaska-drilling-oil-gas

Interior secretary due to give final approvals. Shell is planning a drilling project in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the northern coast of Alaska. The Obama administration is coming under intense pressure from Democrats in Congress and environmentalists to shelve a Shell offshore drilling project in the Arctic.

In Flight From Reality

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.truthout.org/in-flight-reality59838

the Sunday Times of London ran a story on the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs, which was headlined: "I'm doing 'God's work'. Meet Mr. Goldman Sachs." The idea of the investment firm doing God's work was attributed to the Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein. The rich irony that underpinned this image of Blankfein was indicative of the rhetoric that has emerged in the defense of the workings of Wall Street amid growing evidence of both incompetence and chicanery on the part of major investment houses and assorted banks. In earlier times, Jesus Christ used a whip to drive the money changers from the temple for their desecration of the sacred space. Today, the American government will have to redefine the spaces within which the money changers will operate and, perhaps, jail more of the perpetrators of fraud like Bernard Madoff rather than whip them in the manner of Christ.

BP Played Central Role in Botched Containment of 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/26/bp_played_central_role_in_botched

The BP oil spill is the worst to hit the United States since the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989. The devastation in the Gulf Coast has renewed attention on BP’s key role in the botched containment of Exxon Valdez. We speak to Zygmunt Plater, an environmental law professor at Boston College who headed the legal team for the state-appointed Alaska Oil Spill Commission that investigated the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

Unhinged Carville goes off on Obama on oil spill: ‘Man, you’ve got to put somebody in charge… We’re about to die down here’

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Environment, Politics

Link: http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0526/unhinged-carville-obama-gulf/

James Carville, one of tv's most popular Democratic talking heads and a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, turned visibly angry in a interview Wednesday about the BP oil spill, accusing President Barack Obama of losing control.

Afghanistan War -- A Saga of Lopsided Death and Destruction

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Afghanistan

Link: http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m66378&hd=&size=1&l=e

The frightening death and destruction that the American civil War brought made General William Sherman, a Union general, say, "War is hell". A U.S. Airforce Commander after the terror bombing of Dresden in the Second World War admonished, "War must be destructive and to a certain extent inhuman and ruthless." When a high-tech mighty war machine is unleashed on a nation in a decrepit state and with a weaker or non-existent military power, the hell becomes more intense and destruction unbelievably more destructive for the men and women of the frail nation.

US money supply plunges at 1930s pace as Obama eyes fresh stimulus

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7769126/US-money-supply-plunges-at-1930s-pace-as-Obama-eyes-fresh-stimulus.html

The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history. The stock of money in the US fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6pc Photo: AFP The M3 figures - which include broad range of bank accounts and are tracked by British and European monetarists for warning signals about the direction of the US economy a year or so in advance - began shrinking last summer. The pace has since quickened.

Top Construction Firm: WTC Destroyed By Controlled Demolition

May 26th, 2010
Categories: News, Police State

Link: http://www.propagandamatrix.com/articles/may2010/052610_controlled_demolition.htm

Respected Middle East expert and former BBC presenter Alan Hart has broken his silence on 9/11, by revealing that the world's most prominent civil engineering company told him directly that the collapse of the twin towers was a controlled demolition. Speaking on the Kevin Barrett show yesterday, Hart said he thought the 9/11 attack probably started as a Muslim operation headed up by Osama Bin Laden but that the plot was subsequently hijacked and carried out by Mossad agents in collusion with elements of the CIA, adding that since its formation, Israel has penetrated every Arab government and terrorist organization.

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