Franklin Lamb, Beirut
It is being reported in Beirut this morning that at exactly 3 a.m. Beirut time, a supporter of the National Lebanese Resistance led by Hezbollah, on duty above the Mediterranean coastal town of Saadyat, between Damour and Saida was watching the skies of over Beirut for signs of Israeli aircraft, which daily violate Lebanese airspace.
What sources report to this observer was that he saw a Boeing 737-800 aircraft which had taken off from Rafiq Hariri airport gain altitude as it headed for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Hezbollah, on full military alert these days, presumably called in the report to Al Manar (the Dawn) station which it founded in 1991 and which since 2004 has been on one o the various US Terrorism lists.
As Lebanese woke to the news this morning an estimated 80% of the population is thought to have turned into Al Manar at least once sometime between the hours of 7 am and 11 am, as they and the region regularly do during war or crisis. The reason is Al Manar’s reputation for accuracy, thoroughness and objectivity and getting the latest news on the air fast.
by Stephen Lendman
On January 15, Haaretz reported that:
"The Israel Defense Forces' aid mission to Haiti left Israel overnight (January 14) with equipment for setting up an emergency field hospital. Around 220 soldiers and officers (were) in the delegation, including 120 medical staff (to) operate the hospital in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince."
According to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it includes "40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children's ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an internal department and a maternity ward (able to) treat approximately 500 patients each day," including in two surgery rooms.
On January 20, Lebanon's Al-Manar TV reported on the mission, citing a damning You Tube video posted by an American named T. West from a group called AfriSynergy Productions.
by len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy
In the worst decision since Bush v Gore, the US Supreme Court has worked a 'miracle'. Five 'justices' --John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Antony Kennedy --have conspired to turn mere words on paper into living, breathing 'human beings' and have decreed that these corporations, mere 'legal abstractions', have the same rights of free speech as do living breathing human beings. Who is the 'conspiracy theorist', who is nuttiest when five ideologues in robes can dictate to you that you treat mere 'abstractions' --pieces of paper --as if they were people?
On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that some are calling the Court's biggest blunder since the Dred Scott Decision.
In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court ruled that corporations may spend unlimited amounts of money at any time to influence elections.
This seems to redefine the meaning of democracy in this country. After all, the average citizen does not have the financial resources to compete with the likes of ExxonMobil, Walmart, or Wall Street. And, while some might point out that our elected officials are already bought and sold by corporate America, it is now official U.S. law. And that should scare anyone but the most greedy, heartless CEOs and lawmakers.
by Stephen Lendman
Haiti is no stranger to adversity and anguish - over 500 years of severe oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, and natural calamities from destructive hurricanes to a dozen magnitude 7.0 or greater Caribbean region earthquakes in the past 500 years. The last major one was in 1946 at 8.1 in the adjacent Dominican Republic, also striking Haiti. Earlier catastrophic ones were in 1751 and 1770, both devastating Port-au-Prince, and the 1842 one destroying Cap-Haitien in the north.
The headlines of the London based Al Sharq Al awsat last week reported high alertness in the Lebanese resistance towards a possible Israeli attack. The paper added too that Syria has called some of its reserved forces apparently for the same reason.
While no news has come from Syria to confirm or to contradict this news, the Lebanese resistance repeated what it said earlier that “whether Israel is preparing for a sudden attack or not, the resistance is alert all the time, and ready to teach Israel a lesson like that in 2006”
By Timothy V. Gatto
The dictionary describes perseverance as “dogged determination”. If there is anyone that has followed my political writings, they would know that my core issue with the way our government is structured is campaign finance reform. I once wrote that it was the “the reform that enabled all other reforms”.
It is my contention that if elections can be bought, they will be. Corporations, lobbyists, banks and insurance companies are going to have a field day. This is a quirk in our form of government. You can take 5 corporately co-opted judges and watch them rule in their favor. The four other “liberal” judges dissented and made their points. Still, even with the split vote, the Supreme Court decided to turn the political machines over to moneyed interests.
Last September, I wrote The Hightower Lowdown about how the Roberts' Court could throw out over 100 years of campaign finance law.
Remember their names: Alito, Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas.
Yesterday, from within the dark isolation of the Supreme Court, these five men pulled off a black-robed coup against the American people's democratic authority. In an unprecedented perversion of judicial power, this court cabal has decreed that corporations have a free-speech "right" to dip into their corporate coffers and spend unlimited sums of money to elect or defeat candidates of their choosing.
Joel S. Hirschhorn
That strange sound you hear if you listen closely is Senator Ted Kennedy spinning in his grave. Could he have possibly imagined a worse consequence of his departure from the Senate when health care reform was so close? Absolutely not. When he was alive he probably was not even aware of Massachusetts state senator Scott Brown. Though Kennedy deserved a better outcome, Democrats richly deserved the Republican win in Massachusetts.
The main reason is that Democrats in Congress and President Obama have shown nothing but disdain for the overwhelming national desire for an end to the self-serving corruption that is revealed through never-ending sweetheart deals for corporate interests, even as a large fraction of Americans suffer in this Great Recession caused by corporate greed, incompetence and criminality that go unpunnished.
By Daniel Patrick Welch
I know, I know. I’ve seen the blogosphere screeching about the Death of Democracy now that the Supreme Court has rolled back restrictions on corporate donations to political campaigns. Whiners. Haven’t you all stopped for even a moment to think how this might benefit humanity? Sure, sure, we’re all aware of the downside, but would it kill us to think positive for a change?
I mean, let’s face it: corporations have controlled the agenda since the Mayflower Compact duped those non-puritan losers into thinking it didn’t matter where they ‘settled,’ as long as they made some money. Come on, people--it's not as if corporate whoredom hasn't been a Staple(tm) of our 'democracy' from the beginning. The latest victory for corporate personhood just kicks the can a little bit further down Wall Street. Corporations are people too, dammit!
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