I have to say the N1H1 flu virus became a little alarming when the Fort Worth Independent School District shut down all 144 campuses and the City of Fort Worth canceled Mayfest. I thought these measures were a mild overreaction, but you can never be too sure. It reminded me of my first brush with an epidemic.
Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein documented the struggles of Argentine workers occupying their factories in the 2004 film The Take. We play an excerpt of the film and speak to Argentine journalist Sergio Ciancaglini, co-author of Sin Patrón: Stories from Argentina’s Worker-Run Factories.
President Barack Obama's administration is to announce Friday it will retain Bush-era military commissions to try some terror suspects, but with improved legal safeguards, an official said. The move, word of which has already faced tough opposition from rights groups, reflects the thick tangle of legal and national security arguments Obama is facing as he attempts to overhaul the legal struggle against terrorism.
Reproducing satellite imagery and analysis produced by the Washington D.C. based American Association of Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), New York Times in the Thursday edition said the images "show dozens of structures that appear to have been destroyed between last Wednesday and Sunday, and multiple craters that appear to reflect the impact of heavy weaponry," pointing to AAAS analysis. During the said period, local workers reported heavy shelling by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) killing more than 1200 refugees. Honolulu Advertiser: 50 die in attack on Sri Lanka hospital. WSWS: Sri Lankan military again shells hospital in no-fire zone: In another cold-blooded war crime, the Sri Lankan military shelled the only remaining hospital in the “no-fire zone” on the north-eastern coast on Wednesday, killing dozens of people. A government doctor told Agence France Presse that three shells hit the makeshift hospital. The attack was the second on the hospital in two days.
Civil liberties groups have reacted angrily to US President Barack Obama's decision to revive military trials for some Guantanamo Bay detainees. Mr Obama has previously denounced the Bush-era judicial system, but in a statement said new safeguards would ensure suspects got a fairer hearing.
The numbers that come in from the government are staggering, with a projected federal budget deficit of nearly two trillion dollars. As one recent news account put it:
With the economy performing worse than hoped, revised White House figures point to deepening budget deficits, with the government borrowing almost 50 cents for every dollar it spends this year. The deficit for the current budget year will rise by $89 billion to above $1.8 trillion — about four times the record set just last year. The unprecedented red ink flows from the deep recession, the Wall Street bailout, the cost of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus bill, as well as a structural imbalance between what the government spends and what it takes in.
What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups? A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corporate directorships, outrageous speaking fees, and a lucrative book contract. If he is young when he assumes office, like Bill Clinton and Obama, it means a long life of luxurious leisure.
Western governments have condemned the "disturbing" new charges brought against Burma's pro-democracy opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The Guardian: Burma's junta still fears Suu Kyi. Al Jazeera: Myanmar military charges Suu Kyi.
Six major insurance companies have received preliminary approval to get billions of dollars in fresh capital as part of the government’s financial rescue program, a Treasury Department spokesman confirmed on Thursday.
Barack Obama is fast becoming an accessory after the fact to the war crimes that the Bush Administration has committed. By not prosecuting the torturers and those who ordered the torture, and now by not even going public with the photo tortures he’d already agreed to release, Obama is doing Dick Cheney’s business for him.
The Bilderberg consensus is that national problems are best solved by an internationally oriented elite, that a global network of decision-makers should have a common language and that the boundaries are fluid between the monied and the political classes. [And here are some great comments:] Don't be confused my British friends these people are meeting and they do not have your best interests in mind. They are making policy decisions that will affect your pocketbook and whatever rights you have left in your "Nanny State" (Bob, Portland Oregon, USA) + The western world is slowly waking up to the fact that we have not had real democracy for a long time , this group has been pulling the strings behind the scenes since the 50"s , they created the EU , they are the driving force behind globalisation and are setting up a global dictatorship. (Gary, uk)
Hello!?!?!? Press corpse!?!?! This has been clear--at least to one Dirty Fucking Hippy Blogger--for weeks (and Porter Goss' statements--which speak of waterboarding prospectively, do not refute them). You think maybe it's time to report on the crimes CIA and Dick Cheney covered up finally, rather than masturbating over what you consider a simulating partisan spat?
Over 120 innocent civilians, many of them women and children, were massacred when US war planes bombed villages of Gerani and Gangabad in Bala Baluk district of Farah Province on May 5, 2009.
As seen in this video, "villagers brought truckloads of bodies to the capital of a province in Western Afghanistan on Tuesday to prove that scores of civilians had been killed by U.S. air strikes in a battle with the Taliban." (Reuters, May 5, 2009) This is one out of many war crime cases committed by the US troops in Afghanistan over the past few years. The number of innocent civilians killed since Obama took office in Jan.21, reaches to 300 and his so-called new strategy for Afghanistan and surge in number of troops has result in more such terrible tragedies. The People's Voice. 93 children killed in US terror ("airstrikes").
During the election, Obama said Guantanamo should be closed and habeas corpus restored for the detainees. He said the United States should have “developed a real military system of justice that would sort out the suspected terrorists from the accidentally accused.” In fact, Obama never seriously considered substantially modifying policies of the previous administration, as is now obvious. His opposition to the “counter-terrorism” policies of the Bush neocons during the election was little more than posturing intended to bamboozle anti-war Democrats and those outraged by human rights abuses.
Obama has changed his mind, and is now trying to prevent the release of the torture photos. Here are just a few of the photos he doesn't want you to see (leaked to the SMH several years ago). Glen Greenwald: Obama's latest effort to conceal evidence of Bush era crimes: "Photographs convey the reality of things in a way that mere words cannot...They prove that this was about more than "dunking three terrorists into water."...That's precisely why the photographs are being suppressed: because of how much good they would do."
A government report made public Tuesday indicates that Social Security and Medicare will deplete their trust funds more quickly than previously forecast. This has sparked new demands from within the US financial elite for substantial cuts in the two entitlement programs, which pay retirement and medical benefits for tens of millions of working class Americans.
With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state. NYT: Thriving Norway Provides an Economics Lesson.
Here's a guy who successfully refused to deploy simply by stating the obvious: "So I said fine, I can just quote it, and I quoted, "this Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. I said when we violated the U.N. Charter to invade and occupy Iraq and Afghanistan, we had violated U.S. law and the Constitution, and that it is every Soldiers' responsibility to resists the crimes of our government for which we are ultimately responsible."
President Obama will oppose the release of several dozen photos depicting abuse of detainees held in U.S. military custody abroad, reversing his previous position on the grounds that the pictures could inflame anti-American sentiment and endanger U.S. troops. In announcing the shift today, the White House said in a statement that Obama strongly believes that the release of these photos, particularly at this time, would only serve the purpose of inflaming the theaters of war, jeopardizing US forces, and making our "job" more difficult in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. [Cheney & Bush couldn't have said it better. Obama would have opposed the release the old ones too and for the same phoney reasons...] WikiPedia: Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. The National Expositor/The People's Voice: Obama to Ignore CIA War Crimes.
The administration’s apparent decision to resuscitate the military commissions is based on its fear that should the trials be heard in civilian court, many would result in the dismissal of charges. This is because the evidence against the accused is based largely on torture and forms of hearsay inadmissible in normal proceedings. The proposed changes aim to lend an air of legitimacy to the military tribunals—which legal experts and human rights groups have criticized for failing to meet minimum norms of judicial fairness and which have damaged the credibility of the US internationally—while still controlling the court process to secure guilty verdicts where it is deemed politically necessary. The People's Voice: Guantanamo Under Obama.
Ninety-three children and 25 adult women are among a list of 140 names of Afghans who villagers say were killed in a battle and U.S. air strikes last week, causing a crisis between Washington and its Afghan allies. The list, obtained by Reuters, bears the endorsement of seven senior provincial and central government officials, including an Afghan two-star general who headed a task force dispatched by the government to investigate the incident. Titled "list of the martyrs of the bombardment of Bala Boluk district of Farah Province", it includes the name, age and father's name of each
alleged victim. Yahoo: Probe finds 140 Afghan civilians killed in strikes. Lew Rockwell: Barack Obama – Mass Murderer.
Touting the abilities of McChrystal, Gates spoke of his “unique skill set in counterinsurgency.” These “unique” skills consist largely of deploying assassination squads to behead insurgencies opposing US occupation. He directed such a program as an essential part of the so-called “surge” initiated by the Bush administration in Iraq. Also included in the “skill set” employed by the units under McChrystal’s command in Iraq was torture. A Special Operations unit known as Task Force 6-26 ran a detention center in which prisoners were subjected to Abu Ghraib-style abuse that was so extreme that the CIA ordered its personnel not to enter the facility. It appears that the Obama administration wants to replicate these methods in Afghanistan, launching its own “surge,” which will entail a dramatic escalation in the bloodshed there.
Out of office, he continues to push his tortured version of reality -- and his vision of an imperial presidency -- and there are signs he is succeeding. Dick Cheney is out there. He is defending torture, dissing Colin Powell, and genuflecting before radio personality Rush Limbaugh as the high priest of what's left of conservatism. His refusal to go quietly, unlike his much-reviled boss, is risky. He was a laugh line more than once at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner. But the media's focus on the sheer spectacle of the ex-veep's antics, and on the Republican vs. Democrat feud he's stoking, underestimates the way Cheney's principles still inform many of the country's most crucial policies.
This video is a must watch for anyone who wants to understand just how "effective" the Fed is at safeguarding taxpayer money. Apparently nobody at the Federal Reserve has any clue where the trillions of dollars that have come from the Fed's expanded balance sheet have gone. Additionally, nobody there seems to have any idea what the losses on the Fed's $2 trillion portfolio really are. As for the pittance of $9 trillion in Fed off-balance sheet transactions over the past 8 months, well, yeah, that's also somewhere out there... Just don't ask the Federal Reserve where. Rep. Alan Grayson summarizes it best "I am shocked to find out that nobody at the Federal Reserve is keeping track of anything."
(P.S. Zero Hedge uses the term "anyone" generically, with the presumption that the Fed's Inspector General should traditionally receive most memos on memorandum items that deal with a dollar sign and +/- 12 zeros after it). [High Quality Video HERE]
More proof vaccines are dangerous as all get out. I would advise you NOT to VACCINATE your children. Pentagon uses Marines as lab rats. Ohhhh the government loves you soo much.
The Iraqi parliament is urging the cabinet to ask Turkey, Syria, and Iran for a larger share of water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Water levels have fallen to dangerous levels. The three countries are using up much of the water from the two rivers and their tributaries leaving very little for Iraq.
Nearly three years after the end of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, the Israeli military is finally providing the United Nations with maps and technical data regarding locations which were attacked with cluster munitions. The data has been requested essentially since the war ended. Israel’s use of the munitions in populated areas was roundly condemned by human rights groups, as was the United States for expediting the shipment of bombs to Israel so they could be used in the waning hours of the war.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration last month cut back on the CIA’s drone attacks inside Pakistan, because of the political problems the unmanned strikes were causing the government of President Asif Ali Zardari. Some cutback.
In the presence of the Pope, the Palestinian judge hit out at Tel Aviv for "killing Gaza's children", "bulldozing Palestinian homes" and "destroying mosques". Tamimi also called for the immediate return of all Palestinian refugees, and went on to urge Christians and Muslims to unity against political Zionism. However, before the meeting was officially over, the Pope shook Tamimi's hand and walked out.
Norman Finkelstein on Gaza “War”, Part 1 to Part 9.
As in the torture discussions, Dick Cheney has always tried mightily to portray himself as a staunch defender of the United States. For the most part, on that claim, the media has given him a pass. The MSM "discussions" of Cheney's aggressive statements focus on their (often highly questionable) veracity and their political impact. But Cheney's argument that he was just trying to protect America does not wash. He has a scurrilous life pattern of providing aid-and-comfort to enemies of the United States. HuffPo: IG Report: Waterboarding Was Neither "Efficacious Or Medically Safe". CounterPunch: Cheney's Twisted World. The People's Voice: All Torture Evidence Will Lead to Dick Cheney. The Public Record: CIA Refuses to Turn Over Torture Tape Documents to ACLU. Online Journal: The smooth criminal transition from Bush/Cheney to Obama.
The ouster of Afghanistan commander David McKiernan could make—or break—the Obama presidency. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced this afternoon that he has "asked for the resignation" of Gen. David McKiernan, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, and that he plans to replace him with Gen. Stanley McChrystal. This is a very big deal. Global Research: Obama’s Middle East Imperialism.
In the final days of his trip to Washington, President Hamid Karzai demanded an end to US airstrikes in Afghanistan. In response, US National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones (ret.) insisted that the bombing of Afghan villages will continue, whether the country’s supposed sovereign government likes it or not. [The US massacres ("airstrikes") against civilians in Afghanistan look like THIS.] AlterNet: Who Are the Real Psychopaths in Afghanistan? The U.S. has killed twice as many Afghan civilians as the Taliban this year and that number is sure to rise.
[Zbigniew Brzezinski with CIA terrorist-in-training, Mujahadeen warrior BIN LADEN. Bin Laden was sporting Pakistani military uniform. Paid for by the only Islamic nation to own nulcear weapons and Bush's 'partner in terror'. Civilian Newswire]
In the interview here, NBCs David Gregory completely ignores Pakistan president Asif Ali Zadari when he declares that Osama bin Laden was an operator for the United States. Gregory wants to know if Zadari believes Osama is alive. He wants to know why Pakistan has not gone after Bin Laden. Google Video: Bhutto Confirms that Osama Bin Laden is Dead. PTI: CIA and ISI together created Taliban, says Zardari.
Britain submitted a claim to extend its Atlantic territory by a million square kilometers around the Falkland Islands to the United Nations on Monday despite strong opposition from Argentina. Argentina has angrily rejected the British move.
Distinctive brain patterns could become the latest subject of biometric scanning after EU researchers successfully tested technology to verify identities for security checks. The experiments, which also examined the potential of heart rhythms to authenticate individuals, were conducted under an EU-funded inquiry into biometric systems that could be deployed at airports, borders and in sensitive locations to screen out terrorist suspects. StatismWatch: UK: New biometric security checks could include brain scans, heart rhythm fingerprinting.
[CheatSheet:]The Iranians may have released U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi, but they’ve already made a statement—don’t mess with us. When the Iranian authorities arrested Saberi for not having a press pass, they were sending a message to the Iranian media in the run-up to the June presidential election, the BBC reports. But they upgraded her charges to spying as a way to rebuff President Obama’s calls for improved U.S.-Iran relations. Since her arrest was so politically calculated, it’s doubtful her release will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the two countries. So far, Iran has responded icily to Obama’s attempts to talk about the country’s nuclear program. [BBC:] Her appeal on spying charges lasted five hours. Both lawyers and Ms Saberi herself were satisfied they had had a fair hearing. Before it began, officials - from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad downwards - queued up to call for her to be given her full legal rights.
Charles Pierce has expanded an essay into a full blown book on Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, soon available in fine bookstores everywhere, and I recommend it highly. Lest you think Pierce is doing nothing but delivering a thunderation of his own, he also often reveals a fondness for the quirkiness of cranks and kooks — he clearly thinks they spice up American intellectual life. He even starts his book with the tale of a famous local kook, Ignatius Donnelly, a 19th century visionary who founded a utopian city on the banks of the Mississippi…a dream that failed dismally, after which he turned to writing bestsellers about Atlantis and Velikovskian (although he long preceded that crank) cometary catastrophes. He was a crank, but he was an entertaining crank, and most importantly, there was little risk that he could rise to run the country as president. That's the heart of the problem.
Following last week's release of the bank “stress test” results, banks have moved to avoid even the minimal demands set forth by the White House, in some cases by quickly returning money loaned to them by the government. The goal is to get back to the business of unbridled speculation.
The stand-up comic stirs it up at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, ragging Rush Limbaugh for his OxyContin habits. Right-wingers like Pat Buchanan were quick to go after Sykes. Buchanan said her jokes will "hurt" the public impression of the dinner event. And the Washington Times' Amana Carpenter argued "went over the line." And pro-GOP bloggers launched their own attacks. Meanwhile the rest of us laughed.
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