Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon, including by:
* striking Syria's drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure in Lebanon, all of which focuses on Razi Qanan.
* paralleling Syria's behavior by establishing the precedent that Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces.
* striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper.
Israel also can take this opportunity to remind the world of the nature of the Syrian regime. Syria repeatedly breaks its word. It violated numerous agreements with the Turks, and has betrayed the United States by continuing to occupy Lebanon in violation of the Taef agreement in 1989. Instead, Syria staged a sham election, installed a quisling regime, and forced Lebanon to sign a "Brotherhood Agreement" in 1991, that terminated Lebanese sovereignty. And Syria has begun colonizing Lebanon with hundreds of thousands of Syrians, while killing tens of thousands of its own citizens at a time, as it did in only three days in 1983 in Hama.
Under Syrian tutelage, the Lebanese drug trade, for which local Syrian military officers receive protection payments, flourishes. Syria's regime supports the terrorist groups operationally and financially in Lebanon and on its soil. Indeed, the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has become for terror what the Silicon Valley has become for computers. The Bekaa Valley has become one of the main distribution sources, if not production points, of the "supernote" - counterfeit US currency so well done that it is impossible to detect.
Negotiations with repressive regimes like Syria's require cautious realism. One cannot sensibly assume the other side's good faith. It is dangerous for Israel to deal naively with a regime murderous of its own people, openly aggressive toward its neighbors, criminally involved with international drug traffickers and counterfeiters, and supportive of the most deadly terrorist organizations.
Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan "comprehensive peace" and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting "land for peace" deals on the Golan Heights.
Syria president puts army on alert Published: 7/31/2006
DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the armed forces "to step up their state of readiness" Monday in the face of Israel's continuing offensive against his country's western neighbour, the official SANA news agency said.
The president ordered troops to "intensify their training efforts, be prepared and increase their state of readiness in the light of the international situation and the challenges in the region," SANA said.
Assad issued the new orders as the Syrian military prepared to commemorate Army Day Tuesday.
Yesh Gvul, the advocacy organization for Israelis who refuse service in the occupied territories, reports that Israeli military authorities have sentenced an IDF reservist to 28 days in prison for refusing to take part in the ongoing attacks against Lebanon. Capt. (Res.) Amir Pasteur defended his refusal, saying that "taking part in this war runs contrary to the values upon which he was brought up".
Also, Israeli daily Haaretz reports on mounting Israeli opposition to Israel's actions in Lebanon, in the wake of the Qana bombing.
Of the many failures that mark Bush's life, perhaps the most significant is his failure to become a man. Ordinarily, the developmental stage of "phallic narcissism" gives way around age six. Not so for W. In his crucial early years, his frequently absent father couldn't help him develop autonomy by separating from his overbearing mother and her "beautiful mind." He can fool himself and a few others with his erect posture, bulging biceps and "bring em on" bravado, but the rest of the world sees a scared little boy hopelessly dependent on his substitute president, Cheney, and his substitute mom, Laura. While most phallic narcissists have to settle for a well-equipped Jeep Commander, Bush "has the entire US military to function as his penis, and he swings it around with fierce power."
If there's a flaw to Bush on the Couch, it's that Frank's explanations of policy decisions tend to be psychologically reductive. There's obviously more to the invasion of Iraq than Bush's need to one-up his dad. But Frank ably demonstrates the usefulness of psychological inquiry as a complement to geopolitical considerations. The neocons who put this true-believer in power to provide cover for their sinister projects may not have realized what they were getting themselves into. As the Republican Party fragments and the Middle East ignites, the puppet president "engages the nation both as agent and victim in a perilous psychodrama that rages far beyond his control."
July 29, Tel Aviv -- Women against the War: Coalition of Women for Peace, Achoti, ASWAT, Bat Shalom, Women in Black, Fora, Tandi, Women against violence, Altafula, New Profile, The Fifth Mother, WILPF, Neled, Beit Nashim Feministy, "Itihad al Nissa al Takdumi," Kian - Feminist organization. (Link)
Here's a bad piece by Brent Scowcroft, perhaps useful as a sign of what some elites are thinking -- that the current atrocities can somehow be parlayed into a comprehensive Mideast settlement that degrades Syria and Iran. I think he's nuts, though not in the same way as Condi.
A commenter here suggests that Israel is doing just what the U.S. wants. I have my doubts. The Lebanon adventure supplies an escalation of the neo-cons' beloved "war of civilizations" (also beloved by OBL) that the U.S. alone was unprepared to initiate in Iraq.
Of course there will be always be some who apologize for whatever Israel does, like Alan Dershowitz and Charles Krauthammer. I think Israel is basically opposed to the democratic and economic development of any Arab or Muslim state. By thrashing around they maintain a region of tension and bind the U.S. ever closer to their isolation. The trump card in their minds is that when the inevitable provocations touch the U.S. directly, endless U.S. air power will do to their enemies what they are doing to Lebanon. This is not in the interests of the U.S.
For anybody who still believes that ANYONE in Washington should be supported, how about this chilling little item fom Bill Blum's latest anti-empire report:
Since 9-11 it has been a calculated US-Israeli tactic to label the fight against Israel's foes as an integral part of the war on terror. On July 19, a rally was held in Washington, featuring the governor of Maryland, several members of Israeli-occupied Congress, the Israeli ambassador, and evangelical leading-light .John Hagee. The Washington Post reported that "Speaker after prominent speaker characteriz[ed] current Israeli fighting as a small branch of the larger U.S.-led global war against Islamic terrorism" and "Israel's attacks against the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah were blows against those who have killed civilians from Bali to Bombay to Moscow." Said the Israeli ambassador: "This is not just about [Israel]. It's about where our world is going to be and the fate and security of our world. Israel is on the forefront. We will amputate these little arms of Iran," referring to Hezbollah.
And if the war on terror isn't enough to put Israel on the side of the angels, John Hagee has argued that "the United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West". He speaks of "a biblically prophesied end-time confrontation with Iran, which will lead to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Second Coming of Christ."
Not only did not a single congresscritter dissent from the Poliburo's party line incorporating Israel's battle against their neighbors with the ever-expanding TWAT (The War Against Terror), but it is even more chilling that not a single one spoke out against Hagee's eschatological excrescense! Not a one of them..... What does that tell us? Is there really room for all of them to be magically "raptured up" to Cheney's "secret hiding place" in the hills of West Virginia. Surely, there is no room left over for you and me.
Note: Scroll down to *Anti-Empire Report, July 22, 2006
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Mexico to support the left-wing candidate in the disputed 2 July presidential elections.
"Hold on, the people are rising," they chanted as they marched to Zocalo, Mexico City's main public square.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is seeking a full recount of the vote which saw him lose to conservative Felipe Calderon by half a percentage point. The Federal Electoral Institute has until 31 August to decide. The dispute has paralysed Mexican politics, correspondents say. A president-elect must be declared by 6 September to replace Vicente Fox on 1 December.
This was the third - and the largest - protest by Mr Lopez Obrador's supporters to press their demand for a recount.
Top Israeli Lies to Defend Genocide and Mass Murder:
3) "Hezbollah was there!" If Hezbollah ducks in for just a second, we have the right to kill the entire family! Or even if they were never there, we just say Hezbollah was there (i.e.: UN, ambulances, bomb shelters), and voila: mass murder legit! Sort of like when dirty cops shoot someone by accident and plant a gun on them. "Hezbollah was there!" like a Get Out of Jail card--but better!
2) "We're just defending ourselves!" We will kill one hundred arabs minimum for every Israeli killed--that's defense! We will bulldoze your homes and keep installing our religious fanatics there. Technically, this is called 'land-grabbing' or 'squatting' or even, 'genocide'--but we will call it 'settlements' to sound like we are 'settling' empty land--nifty, huh? Like Laura Ingalls Wilder, bitch! Even as our border expands through force, theft and murder--we call it 'just defending ourselves.' It works! You can play along, too! Say: "I believe in Israel's right to defend itself." And voila! You, too, are playing our game!
1) "If you criticize the Israeli government, you are anti-semitic." Ah, the creme de la creme of modern propaganda--Merriam-Webster, you've been pwned! Criticize Israel and you immediately hate all Jews everywhere. Raise but a finger of protest to Israel's mass civilian butchering and you might as well put an SS on your sleeve! "What? Did Israel have to target those innocent UN workers?" The only valid response to this is: "HITLER!"
A priest who resigned from a church in an affluent Connecticut community misspent up to $1.4 million in parishioner donations to lead a life of luxury with another man, according to a church-directed investigation. The Rev. Michael Jude Fay spent church money on limousines, stays at top hotels, jewelry, Italian clothing and a Florida condominium shared with the other man, auditors hired by the diocese found. About half the money he spent was kept in a secret bank account, according to their report, which was mailed Friday to 1,700 parishioners of the Darien church and obtained in advance by The Associated Press. [...] The report, which was limited to the past six years, calculated the "potential financial loss" at $1.4 million. The review also identified an additional $350,000 deposited in Fay's personal account, but could not determine the source of the money. Fay, pastor since 1991, told church officials that the money was used to help needy parishioners and for other legitimate church-related expenses.
[...] The report paints a picture of a priest who felt entitled to a lifestyle that more closely resembled those of some of his wealthy parishioners. "Father Fay stated that he believed he was entitled to dine at any restaurant of his choosing and as frequently as he desired, regardless of cost," the report states. Fay shopped at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, drove a Jaguar, attended a sports club, bought jewelry from Cartier, spent $130,000 for limo rides for himself and his mother and stayed at hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, Hotel De Paris and the Four Seasons Hotel, the auditors found. He spent tens of thousands of dollars on home furnishings and meals and more than $20,000 to mark the 25th anniversary of his ordination, according to the report. Fay paid Fantini and his production firm $10,000, claiming the money was for video filming and decorations for the church. No invoices were supplied to verify the claim, the report said. Fay also invested in a Philadelphia condo with Fantini and said some of the furniture he bought was used in Fantini's residence. The report also cites $257,000 for the purchase of the Florida property and $87,000 to rent an apartment in New York. Fay said he rented the apartment while he was treated for cancer there, but later admitted he began renting the apartment before he was diagnosed with cancer, the report said.
[Attention Christians: had enough, or do you need to get robbed a little more before you throw the bums out?]
Ha! After the bomb this morning killed 50 people, the Lebanese prime minister told Rice not come to Lebanon again. Thereby she was out of the game. Now Rice gives in?! The whole plan is in shambles.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking after the Israel Air Force strike bombing of the Lebanese village of Qana, said it was time for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas.
At least 50 Lebanese citizens were killed, 23 of them children, in the IAF strike on a building. Dozens of others were reportedly trapped in the rubble. Several houses collapsed and a three-story building where about 100 civilians were sheltering was destroyed, witnesses and rescue workers said.
Rice said she was saddened by the bombing and confirmed that she had cancelled a planned trip to Beirut, but would stay in Israel to try to work out a deal for ending the 19-day-old conflict.
Rice did not decide to cancel her trip to Beiruit. Lebanon told her NOT to come, and also that only an immediate ceasefire will be acceptable after this bombing run which has now talled up to more 50 dead, more than half children.
even the jackals from the press have sd there were no arms of any kind at qana
it is murder
pure & simple
the IDF sd there were rocket launcher sites press says there was no such evidence
U.S. citizens suspected of terror ties might be detained indefinitely and barred from access to civilian courts under legislation proposed by the Bush administration, say legal experts reviewing an early version of the bill.
Shit they are not even wording it to keep the alarm down: ""engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners" ....not even wording it to specify acts of hostilities....but rather simply engaged in hostilities. They are coming out with this at the height of a push back from the sane element who feel the constitution means something. I was feeling better that more and more voices were questioning the end-around policies of the Bush cabal. I had no idea the WH would push back with something like this. I have no doubt they now want to provoke a constitutional crisis. Or rather, I should say, they want to provoke the ultimate backing down from those who could make a constitutional crisis. This is very big. They want something to happen.
When this is over, if this is ever over, I hope the heads of all major news outlets are charged just as well, with treason. Omitting the news, the sin of omission is still a lie.
C-SPAN has confirmed that their coverage of the 9/11 + The Neo-Con Agenda Panel Discussion will air on C-SPAN 1 on July 29th at 8PM (EST). The panel features incredible presentations by 9/11 Scholars for Truth founder James Fetzer, BYU Physics Professor Steven Jones, President of the Institute for Space and Security Studies Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., Filmmaker and Radio Broadcaster Alex Jones, and Terrorism Expert Webster Tarpley.
The appearance of this discussion on the nation's premiere public affairs cable network is an incredible boon to the 9/11 Truth Movement. None of the 9/11 Truth events that C-SPAN has covered in the past are as hard-hitting as the 9/11 + The Neo-Con Agenda program. This panel discussion cuts to the heart of the issue and exposes the events of September 11th, 2001 as a complex premeditated plot carried out by criminal elements within the U.S. Government as a pretext for launching the endless "War on Terror" in which the globe is currently embroiled. C-SPAN's coverage of this pivotal information will bring considerable national attention to the 9/11 Truth Movement. It will also lend further credibility to the Scholars for 9/11 Truth, the premiere organization within the movement for peer-reviewed scientific research on 9/11 issues.
The program will air on C-SPAN 1 at 8PM EST (7PM CST) on Saturday, July 29th and then air again for the West Coast at 11pm EST (10pm CST).
In a victory speech of sorts on Inauguration Day in January 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney warned bluntly that Iran was "right at the top" of the administration's list of "trouble spots" - and that Israel "might well decide to act first" by attacking Iran. The Israelis, Cheney added in an obvious swipe at moderates in the State Department, would "let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterward."
WHILE Israel fights Hezbollah with tanks and aircraft, its supporters are campaigning on the internet.
Israel's Government has thrown its weight behind efforts by supporters to counter what it believes to be negative bias and a tide of pro-Arab propaganda.
The Foreign Ministry has ordered trainee diplomats to track websites and chatrooms so that networks of US and European groups with hundreds of thousands of Jewish activists can place supportive messages.
"The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would force schools and libraries to block chat and social networking sites as a condition of receiving federal E-rate funding. This bill goes far beyond the already broad mandate that requires schools and libraries to filter out obscenity and "harmful-to-minors" content and would block access to many legal and valuable web sites and Internet tools. Because chat and social networking are woven into the fabric of Internet communication, a huge range of sites may be declared off limits in libraries and schools. The bill appoints the Federal Communications Commission as the arbiter of what can and cannot be accessed in libraries around the country, meaning that for the first time, the federal government would be getting into the business of evaluating and screening wholly lawful Internet content. July 27, 2006"
blogs to be filtered from U.S. schools and Public Libraries in the future?
"Three-judge panel unanimously says that border police may conduct random searches of laptops without search warrants or probable cause. These searches can include seizing the laptop and subjecting it to extensive forensic analysis."
According to a report posted at Israpundit, Hagee read greetings from President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Bush commented: "God bless and stand by the people of Israel and God bless the United States."
Olmert's letter referred to CUFI's "'bold stand at this crisis time,' and the group's acknowledgment of Israel's biblical 'birthright.'"
For klintron in leu of missing his good news posts:
For those fascinated by Energy in the Human Body, there's a big practical breakthrough in today's "Nature":
Scientists have found how the body harnesses the power of electricity to heal cuts and grazes - an effect they manipulated to speed up wound healing dramatically.
In what amounts to the modern rediscovery of an old medical curiosity, the finding raises hopes for revolutionary treatments to patch up injured patients in hours instead of days.
In preliminary lab tests, researchers showed that by controlling the weak electrical fields that arise naturally at wound sites, they could direct cells to either close or open up a wound at the flick of a switch. By making the cells move faster, they were able to speed up wound healing by 50%
Nearly one in five scientists appointed to expert panels of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) had direct financial ties to companies that stood to benefit from the deliberations, according to a sampling released by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). NAS was created by President Lincoln in 1863, to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art" when requested by any department of the government. "I believe there are scientists out there without conflicts of interest who can serve on these committees and do a comparable job" to experts with ties to the affected companies, said Merrill Goozner, CSPI's director of Integrity in Science program. CSPI cites the example of a NAS panel evaluating the risk of mercury in fish that included a scientist whose research was funded by pro-industry lobbying groups such as the United States Tuna Foundation. Another panel studying pollution emissions included 10 out of 11 scientists with ties to carbon-emitting industries.
"So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late." I got banned again. Sniff. This time the Booman Tribune. His bud Markos must have stepped in...I have to be honest: I'm thinking seriously about getting the Scoop software. We never banned anybody at Warblogger Watch I mean Jesus Christ...
What Good is a Secular Government and a Free Press?
When you have a secular government and a free press, certain things seem to happen. Not all of them are helpful, but the strength of a secular government and a free press is that you can fix your mistakes.
Here's an example. Ahmad Akkari, a Lebanese Muslim, was upset that the free Danish press published cartoons that depicted the face of Muhammad and that the secular Danish government did not stop them. And so he also made use of the Danish free press, meeting with reporters to explain to them how insulting the cartoons were. But the cartoons weren't insulting, so Ahmad Akkari lied to the press and showed them cartoons that hadn't appeared in any Danish newspaper until he gave them to the press. The free Danish press was tricked, and the secular Danish government didn't stop the fake cartoons from being published. These deliberately insulting cartoons whipped up protest against the Danish free press and secular government, resulting in the burning down of the Danish embassy in Beirut and the death of 139 people in protests. More recently there has been some troubles in Lebanon. The secular Danish government has given free transport to over ten thousand people out of Lebanon, and among them is Ahmad Akkari. The free press (this time in the form of the Danish Mohammed Cartoons blog) identified and corrected the error of the earlier reporters.
Now, let's review. Secular government offers shelter even to theocrats and liars. Free press give equal time to all sides and corrects errors. Theist tells lies, incites riots leading to deaths, and simultaneously feeds off the secular government and free press. You know, I'm starting to think this whole "religion" business has long outlived its usefulness. And I'm starting to think the reason we need to keep a separation between state and superstition is the same reason we need to keep a separation between body and poison. I won't insist people believe only the "truth" or even believe the same lies. I'm just kinda sick to the teeth with Muslims, Jews, Christians and the rest taking the best of this world and burning it on altars to invisible monsters that live in the sky - while among the rest of us, discussing religion is just something not to be done in polite conversation. I've got to honor their diversity by not calling bullshit on religion, but if they want to kill people that's A-OK. And heaven forbid I point out that some superstitions have far more blood on their hands than others; the equal right to diverse views has become fully confused with diverse views being equally right.
Somewhere there is a United States of America that is a secular government with a free press. I little bits of it here and there. I'd like to see more.
"No State or unit of general local government that has a designated open forum, limited public forum, or nonpublic forum and that is a recipient of assistance under this chapter shall deny equal access or a fair opportunity to meet to, or discriminate against, any youth organization, including the Boy Scouts of America or any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, that wishes to conduct a meeting or otherwise participate in that designated open forum, limited public forum, or nonpublic forum."
[Equal access, fair opportunity, no discrimination, participation. Sounds good to me; why can't the Boy Scouts of America offer the same to atheists and homosexuals? Why should tax dollars be given to the BSA until they do?]
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is one step closer to handing over operation and management of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to private contractors. According to a recently revised Request for Proposals(RFP)*, potential bidders on the project have been meeting with the Dept. of Energy (DOE) over the past two months to discuss this voluntary surrender of control. Despite the eventual privatization of this San Francisco Bay Area facility -- which contains a nuclear weapons stockpile as well as a nuclear bomb-development and R&D complex -- contracts will continue to cost U.S. taxpayers $1.2 billion annually, not including a DOE-estimated $500 million in "reimbursable worK" that the selected prime contractor may conduct yearly.
When Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs are examined in controlled studies, a new review reports, scientists find no proof that they are superior to any other intervention in reducing alcohol dependence or alcohol-related problems.
The researchers, led by Marica Ferri of the Italian Agency for Public Health in Rome, found little to suggest that 12-step programs reduced the severity of addiction any more than any other intervention. And no data showed that 12-step interventions were any more - or any less - successful in increasing the number of people who stayed in treatment or reducing the number who relapsed after being sober.
I was thinking of a good Wm. Burroughs quote for our sidebar and remembered this one about paranoia, but when I looked it up, I found several versions. Most references via google turn up numbers 2 and 3. Perhaps it was an ongoing idea he encapsulated in several incarnations, or is it one quote twice bastardized? Number three seems most like a retelling, shortened for sweetness. But number one reminds me most of the first time I saw it in a used bookstore in mid-nineties Seattle on a postcard. Does anybody know the real background on it?
Or maybe you would recommend another quote from Burroughs which would grace our sidebar: I browsed this Wikiquote entry the most--I think many are apt.
However, Specter is going through the motions of opposition. Astoundingly he is the only one doing even that. The analysis above indicates that a very strong case could be made before the Supreme Court that the present regime's actions are illegal.
Lame as he is Specter is the only one who even feels the need even to go through the motions. And he's a Republican.
The Democrats are not spineless, as some people like to complain they are. They are complicit with everything this regime does. In fact, via their conspicuous silence in every conceivable instance of outrage, they are the real backbone of this truly monstrous regime. Truth be known, an in academic circles it was also the Democrats that brought us McCarthyism.
You know, I can't get prominent black bloggers like Oliver Willis and Steve Gilliard to take the vote theft issue seriously. (I can't even get Steve to glance at the websites.) Thank Gawd there are smart people running the Harlem Book Fair, which had a whole panel on voter integrity issues and featured Greg Palast and Steve Freeman (high level stat guy with a new book out that Steve will be ignoring.) Check out the lineup here. Greg Palast totally rocked. Above, he bitch slaps Black Republican apologist John McWhorter. I think his line is: "Martin Luther King didn't reward the lynchers!" He even makes an argument about how black organizations need to pressure Dems to count the vote. (I still think Greens are the way to go. That puts pressure on the Dems and we don't have to join the Confederacy Party.) Greg Palast: More of a legitimate black nationalist than Oliver Willis or Steve Gilliard. Shameful really.
Below, he outlines the case for how the vote theft works and how the GOP is doing it again.
Just what the world needed:Pakistan Expanding Nuclear Program
Pakistan has begun building what independent analysts say is a powerful new reactor for producing plutonium, a move that, if verified, would signal a major expansion of the country's nuclear weapons capabilities and a potential new escalation in the region's arms race.
Satellite photos of Pakistan's Khushab nuclear site show what appears to be a partially completed heavy-water reactor capable of producing enough plutonium for 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year, a 20-fold increase from Pakistan's current capabilities, according to a technical assessment by Washington-based nuclear experts. ... The assessment's key judgments were endorsed by two other independent nuclear experts who reviewed the commercially available satellite images, provided by Digital Globe, and supporting data. In Pakistan, officials would not confirm or deny the report, but a senior Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that a nuclear expansion was underway.
"Pakistan's nuclear program has matured. We're now consolidating the program with further expansions," the official said. The expanded program includes "some civilian nuclear power and some military components," he said. ... After comparing a sequence of satellite photos, the institute analysts estimated that the new reactor was still "a few years" from completion. The diameter of the structure's metal shell suggests a very large reactor "operating in excess of 1,000 megawatts thermal," the report says.
"Such a reactor could produce over 200 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year, assuming it operates at full power a modest 220 days per year," it says. "At 4 to 5 kilograms of plutonium per weapon, this stock would allow the production of over 40 to 50 nuclear weapons a year."
There was no immediate reaction to the report from the Bush administration. Albright said he shared his data with government nuclear analysts, who did not dispute his conclusions and appeared to already know about the new reactor.
What are the consequences for the India/US deal on nuclear technology?
Hezbollah and Hamas militants . . . are difficult to distinguish from those "civilians" who recruit, finance, harbor and facilitate their terrorism. Nor can women and children always be counted as civilians, as some organizations do. Terrorists increasingly use women and teenagers to play important roles in their attacks.
The Israeli army has given well-publicized notice to civilians to leave those areas of southern Lebanon that have been turned into war zones. Those who voluntarily remain behind have become complicit.
Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire -- the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved -- and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" -- a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" -- counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in -- and in many cases excelling at -- it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.
Sarah Posner, in the American Prospect, has a frightening expose of the influential Texas pastor John Hagee, who is pushing for a joint U.S.-Israel war on Iran. "Dr." Hagee, as he styles himself, claims that the book of Esther predicted this battle. (Esther is a prophetic work? News to me...)
Hagee has ties to the powerful, both in the United States and in Israel. . . . Hagee hopes to establish a Christian pro-Israel PAC, more powerful than AIPAC itself.
Money also seems to play a huge role in Hagee's theocratic politics. He counsels his flock to give endlessly, since donations to his ministry constitute "the only proof you have that the cancer of greed has not consumed your soul.” This, from a guy who is worth millions.
If investigations of the current Washington scandals run deep enough, Hagee's name may show up. He broadcasts on the TBN network run by Pat Crouch, the close friend of the corrupt congressman Duke Cunningham. (Incidentally, gay rumors have swirled around both Crouch and Cunningham, who have both displayed an affection for ornate, effeminate furnishings.) Not only that. Hagee is a close associate of Tom Delay.
Hagee sends millions to Israel. DeLay, we now know, has involved himself with money laundering. The previous two sentences may have a connection.
And if that conspiratorial insinuation strikes you as over-the-top, I would counter that Hagee deserves to receive what he dishes out. He happens to be quite the conspiratorialist in his own right -- in fact, this page claims him as a proponent of the Illuminati conspiracy theory. I'd like to see some confirmation of this, since the Illuminati-spotters tend to be thinly-disguised anti-Semites (their cited sources usually head in the direction of Nesta Webster and William Guy Carr) -- while Hagee is the most ardent supporter of Israel on the Christian right.
The city plans to evict a Boy Scouts council from its city-owned headquarters or have the group pay a fair rent price unless it stops discriminating against gays. The Boy Scouts' Cradle of Liberty Council, the third-largest in the country, has been embroiled with the city for more than three years over its policy that forbids gays from being scout leaders. City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. wrote a letter to William T. Dwyer III, president and chief executive officer of Cradle of Liberty Council, stating that the council's "discriminatory policies" violate city policy and law, and that city officials have not been assured the group will not discriminate. The letter also says that unless the city gets a "fair-market rent agreement," the council will be evicted.
The organization has made its headquarters on a half-acre property in the upscale Philadelphia Art Museum area since 1928, when City Council voted to allow the Philadelphia Boy Scouts to use the property rent-free "in perpetuity." Despite paying no rent, the scouts pay for the upkeep of the building. Council spokesman Jeff Jubelirer questioned the timing of the city's move. "With an epidemic of gun violence taking the lives of Philadelphia's children every day," Jubelirer said, "it is ironic the administration chose this time to destroy programming that services 40,000 children in the city."
[That, or maybe the Boy Scouts of America would prefer to destroy programming that services 40,000 children in the city rather than end their policy of discrimination. The BSA has every right as a private organization to admit or not admit anyone they want - and at the same time, if the BSA wants to accept federal funding they have to follow federal law. Hats off to the city of Philadelphia for this simple act of common sense and compassion.]
Urge your representative to support the Kucinich bill
U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich, along with 23 co-sponsors, has introduced a measure, H. Con. Res. 450, calling for an immediate cease-fire, multi-party negotiations and an international peacekeeping force in Lebanon. While the measure has little chance of passage, it is important nonetheless to make our dissenting voices heard as loud and clear as possible. Visit the Jewish Voice for Peace website and send a message to your Representative.
It took until the afternoon for all 82 coffins to be loaded onto two Lebanese Army trucks. The trucks pulled into a trench gouged by a tractor, and the men began unloading the coffins, placing them side by side, grouped by family name.
“If you speak the truth here you are called a traitor,” Mr. Abdullah said. “But we all know that this is a war between Iran and America. I am paying part of the price for it.” Then he suddenly grew pensive as he stood at the edge of the trench.
“That’s my daughter, No. 9,” he said, pointing at a coffin coming out of the truck as. “It’s a nice number, don’t you think? And No. 7, it’s a nice number, too. It’s my wife. And there’s No. 10. I hope they will be lucky.”
Gentle reader, do you know that Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing in southern Lebanon? Israel has ordered all the villagers to clear out. Israel then destroys their homes and murders the fleeing villagers. That way there is no one to come back and nothing to which to return, making it easier for Israel to grab the territory, just as Israel has been stealing Palestine from the Palestinians.
Rumsfeld's neocon Pentagon has drafted new US war doctrine that permits pre-emptive nuclear attack on non-nuclear states.
Neocon David Horowitz says that by slaughtering Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, "Israel is doing the work of the rest of the civilized world," thus equating war criminals with civilized men.
Neocon Larry Kudlow says that "Israel is doing the Lord's work" by murdering Lebanese, a claim that should give pause to Israel's Christian evangelical supporters. Where does the Lord Jesus say, "go forth and murder your neighbors so that you may steal their lands"?
The complicity of the American public in these heinous crimes will damn America for all time in history.
Sorry, kids. We're stealing your work and selling it
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Reflecting on the continuing crisis in the Middle East, I've been thinking a great deal about the words of the great Jewish Sage, Hillel. In one of the best-known passages from the Talmud, Hillel asked: "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" Hillel also famously summed up the entire Torah in a single phrase: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor." He counseled, "Be among the disciples of Aharon, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving God's creatures, and bringing them close to the Torah." And, upon seeing a skull floating in the water, he observed, "Because you drowned others they drowned you; and those that drowned you will eventually be drowned."
Just Foreign Policy, an organization of which I was previously unaware, but whose board includes some folks I very much respect, is collecting signatures on a letter (see text below) to President Bush from American Jews calling for a ceasefire in Lebanon. As Robert Weissman notes, "hard-line elements [within the American Jewish community] have been far better organized -- far more effective at shaping the political debate and influencing policy. This places an extra obligation on pro-peace and justice American Jews to speak out, and to work to instill a measure of balance in U.S. Middle East policy."
This letter is in the best spirit of Hillel's teachings. We must love and pursue peace. We must treat our neighbors as we would have them treat us. We must stop the cycle of killing. We must do so for our own sake and for the sake of everyone in the world. And we must do it now.
Dear President Bush:
As American Jews, we are horrified by your apparent support for the bombing and destruction of Lebanon, and your opposition to international demands for an immediate ceasefire.
We condemn the violence by all sides, especially against civilians. But we cannot accept your attempt to justify and abet the collective punishment of the people of Lebanon -- including thousands of Americans trapped there -- as part of "Israel's right to defend herself."
The vast majority of Lebanese now suffering the destruction of their country, along with hundreds of civilian deaths from the Israeli bombing campaign, had nothing to do with Hizbollah's attacks on Israeli soldiers, nor subsequent rocket attacks on Israeli cities.
The same is true in Gaza, where the capture of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit on June 25 -- the original alleged pretext for Israel's incursions and detention of the territory's elected leaders -- was preceded just the day before by the abduction of two Palestinian civilians from their home by Israeli forces, as reported by Gideon Levy in the Israeli daily Haaretz. Here, too, it is wrong to portray this ever-widening conflict as a "war against terrorism." According to the Israeli human rights organization B'tselem, more than 100 Palestinians who were not engaged in hostile actions were killed by Israeli forces since Israel withdrew from Gaza, and before the recent escalation of violence.
The idea that the cycle of violence will come to an end by means of more violence, and especially attacks on civilian areas, is wrong and immoral.
We ask you to support an immediate cease-fire and a negotiated solution to the conflict.
Please start posting video ads on YouTube so I can fully express my anger at the Democratic Party about their anointed pro life Senate candidate. (I can vote for pro choice Rendell in good conscience.) Its cheap to do and gives you a weapon that you never had before: A kind of television. The Revolution Might Not be Televised, but there's an excellent chance that it could be streamed. I'm supporting Rendell but if I can avoid a vote for Bob Casey without thinking it might be thrown away (you have to reach 60 percent name recognition among likely dem voters and 20 percent should be willing to vote for you by October) that would be nice. One more thing: Please make ads that are better than this. If you're looking for a director ask Kurt Nimmo, who does work like this. Or I could even take a shot at it. Just send audio and mpeg tapes to this address.
It is know in anthropological circles that the only differences in the Jew and Arab in the boundry markers of ethnicity. i.e. Ideology.
Oh, btw, Turkish Commandos on Iraqi Border Turkey, who warned Iraq and the United States just a day ago that it was “losing patience” over the presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Kandil Mountain, is now preparing for a cross-border operation.
Commando squads were deployed to the Iraqi border and massive inland operations are now being prepared.
Welcome to the grand proxy war, the Great Game has been whittled down to manageable proportions. (Care of the US.)
Israel is the 51st US state and is the crucial outpost, the tiny geographical splinter, armed to teeth, of the hegemon.
Because the fight between Isr/ Palestine and now on the ground in Lebanon is a grand proxy war, with all the parties funded by the West. Israel is a failed state and dependent on outside funding.
So, it's gettin' ready to blow It's gettin' ready to show Somebody shot off at the mouth and We're getting ready to know It's gettin' ready to drop It's gettin' ready to shock Somebody done turned up the heater An' it's gettin' ready to pop!
I can't imagine that Nicholas von Hoffman saw my previous post, but he likewise sees the parallel between Israel's current assault on Beirut and the notorious destruction of Guernica, along with the equally heinous terror bombings of Coventry and Dresden (to which I'd also add Madrid (impetus for the original of the poster I've adapted), London, Hiroshima and Nagasaki). He also observes that the IDF appear to have learned something -- though not quite the lesson one would wish a civilized democratic nation to draw -- from those prior war crimes:
Military theorists and historians came to believe that slaughtering civilian populations via air attacks does not demoralize them but more often than not unites them in hatred of their killers. Morality aside, attacking civilian populations seldom succeeds in accomplishing what the attackers are after.
The Israelis have come up with a new approach to targeting of civilians as they go after Hamas and Hezbollah: Kill 'em all but kill 'em slowly. The bombings by Germany of Guernica and Coventry and by Americans of Dresden and Tokyo happened in a night. By the morning, the deed was done.
The Israeli Defense Forces apparently believe that if the work is done a bit at time over weeks, there will be less fuss and fewer incriminating photos. Less for a present-day Picasso to memorialize. Naturally a few NGOs like Doctors Without Borders will complain but only Unitarians and other peace-loving people will pay them mind.
The Israeli approach is to X out the airports, the roads, and the harbors, thereby trapping the prey. The trick is to cut off the food and medicine. Ruin the electrical grid, destroy the water system and wreck the sewage disposal facilities and then sit back and wait for their enemies--and the innocent among them--to perish.
Those of us who opposed this war cannot apologize to you for what our government has done. But we can offer out condolences and our solidarity. As a former member of the US military, I join thousands of other veterans who abhor this administraton and its inhuman, illegal, and immoral occupation of your land and your society.
"ALEC's goal is to ensure that these state legislators are so well informed, so well armed, that they can set the terms of the public policy debate, that they can change the agenda, that they can lead. This is the infrastructure that will reclaim the states for our movement."
ALEC has the financial support of more than 200 corporations including [Enron], Coors, Amway, IBM, Ford, philip Morris, Exxon, Texaco and Shell Oil. William Bennett, Jack Kemp, John Sununu, and George Bush have all addressed ALEC sessions in recent years.
All Superstitions are Equal, But Some are More Equal Than Others When it Comes to Your Tax Dollar At Work
Dana Wilkie reports: The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would transfer the land beneath San Diego's Mount Soledad cross to the federal government. With a 349-74 vote, House members voted to seize the land and give it to the Defense Department in an effort to avoid a court-ordered removal of the 43-foot-tall cross that towers over La Jolla.
And the Associated Press reports: The House, citing the nation's religious origins, voted Wednesday to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal judges who might try to stop schoolchildren and others from reciting it because of the phrase "under God." The legislation, a priority of social conservatives, passed 260-167. It now goes to the Senate where its future is uncertain.
"We should not and cannot rewrite history to ignore our spiritual heritage," said Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. "It surrounds us. It cries out for our country to honor God." Opponents said the legislation, which would bar federal courts from ruling on the constitutional validity of the pledge, would undercut judicial independence and would deny access to federal courts to religious minorities seeking to defend their rights. "We are making an all-out assault on the Constitution of the United States which, thank God, will fail," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
[Can't God make up His mind about the Pledge? Here, let me help: God, if you are listening, please go read the Constitution of the United States of America. That should clear things up pretty quick.]
Remember, John Poindexter's and Rumsfeld's Futures Trading, of Pentagon Plans To Sell Stock On Terrorist Attacks under DARPA?
If the turmoil gripping the Middle East -- and the stock market -- worsens, these savvy mutual funds should still hold up under fire. But diversification remains a smart strategy in any climate
Tension is high in the Middle East, and so are blood-pressure levels on Wall Street. Oil prices touched an all-time record of $78.40 on July 14 amid escalating violence in Israel and Lebanon, as major indexes ended the week with three straight days of heavy losses. Geopolitical trouble-spots Iran, North Korea, and Iraq continue to simmer while fears of inflation or recession unsettle the home front
American Enantiodromia.. plunges Icarus to the cold hard ground.
It seems one must look (read: see) with the eyes of an MC Escher; an impossible chessboard. A POLARISATION method of the grand shellgame. "Suicidally beautiful."
"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed."
“The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. ”
President John F. Kennedy Waldorf-Astoria Hotel New York City, April 27, 1961
Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest phone companies in America, and more worldwide. The White House and other secure government phone lines are protected, but it is virtually impossible to make a call on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it.
Roychoudhuri: Throughout the book [Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism], you show examples of the Christian Nationalist movement pushing for special privileges under the banner of equal rights. The change in the hiring rights of faith-based social programs seems to epitomize this.
Goldberg: The words that they use for that is 'religious freedom in hiring rights.' Religious groups have been able to get government checks for a long time. But they used to have to abide by 1956 civil rights law which has an exemption for religious groups. So, if you're a church you can prefer Christians, mosques can prefer Muslims, but the catch has always been that if you're contracting with the government, then you have to abide by the same civil rights laws as everybody else. Bush, by executive order, overturned that so that government-funded charities are no longer bound by the laws. Now, there is job training, drug treatment and preschool programs that are totally separate. The job is 100-percent taxpayer funded, but they can say in the help-wanted ad, 'Christians only.'
Bush wanted to get the Salvation Army aboard the faith-based initiatives. The Salvation Army then brought in a consultant to Christianize certain divisions. He asked the human resources director at the Salvation Army headquarters, Maureen Schmidt, whether one of the human resource staffers at the social services division, Margaret Geissman, was Jewish, because she had a 'Jewish sounding name.' Schmidt told him that she wasn't. So then he went to her and said, 'I want a list of homosexuals who work there.'
She said no. She's a really conservative lady, but she was totally appalled and refused to do it."
One way to measure the fears of people in power is by the intensity of their quest for certainty and control over knowledge.
By that standard, the members of the Florida Legislature marked themselves as the folks most terrified of history in the United States when last month they took bold action to become the first state to outlaw historical interpretation in public schools. In other words, Florida has officially replaced the study of history with the imposition of dogma and effectively outlawed critical thinking.
Don’t worry—they won’t run out of people to drug, because everyone’s gonna get screened for potential drugalicious mental illnesses!
Quality screening and early intervention will occur in both readily accessible, low-stigma settings, such as primary health care facilities and schools, and in settings in which a high level of risk exists for mental health problems, such as criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare systems. Both children and adults will be screened for mental illnesses during their routine physical exams.
Soviet style is so in... why just last week, I bought a shirt w/the Soviet Hammer and Sickle logo...
Also of note: Does anybody else besides me, see Bushes intrepid and "little-noticed provision" to criminalize protesters under Patriot Act as "disruptors" remind anybody else of Stalins, Article 58 (RSFSR Penal Code) as well as other codes under Article 58
*Tip of the hat to the Cabal for many of the above links...
On a resonate note:
watch as this Fla. guy who is banned from the town in which he lives - except his house - for exercising his constitutional rights is herded out of the building...
Grapski has sued the city over its recent elections, alleging that misconduct occurred and that a new election must be held.
As he was examining public records at city hall in researching his lawsuit, Grapski was arrested in the city commission chambers, charged with illegally recording City Manager Clovis Watson Jr. a few days prior.
Grapski was brought to jail but was released on his own recognizance -- meaning he realized that he was charged with a crime and that he must show up at court hearings. As part of the release, he was told not to initiate contact with city officials.
But after his release, he appeared at a city commission meeting and asked for the minutes of the election's Canvassing Board to be taken off the consent agenda so the public could discuss the minutes before a vote was taken
Some proponents of the pro-life movement argue against morning after pills, IUDs, and contraceptive pills on grounds of a concern for causing embryonic death. What has gone unnoticed, however, is that the pro-life line of argumentation can be extended to the rhythm method of contraception as well. Given certain plausible empirical assumptions, the rhythm method may well be responsible for a much higher number of embryonic deaths than some other contraceptive techniques.
Strauss looks at the fate he faces in consequence of the Nazi seizure of power in Germany. He admits that it is impossible for him as a Jew to live under their regime, since they have adopted anti-Semitism as a keynote of their rule. But while expressing abhorrence at their anti-Semitism, Strauss consciously refuses fully to repudiate Nazi fascism. To the contrary, he accepts fascism as a legitimate bearer of “the principles of the right,” and he embraces them, namely: fascism, authoritarianism and imperialism. He then proceeds to ridicule the Enlightenment values of inalienable rights, quoting the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789 (though he could just as easily have quoted the American Declaration of Independence), and he quotes a passage of Virgil’s Aeneid, a passage which Carl Schmitt was also fond of quoting.
Here are the rules: if the Mexican population fights--by massive marching in the streets or even French style rioting (hey it worked)--for a fair vote by not being as nice as John Kerry--ie, not caring that its not "nice", or being called "sore losers" (especially since it looks like they won) they'll get their candidate. If they act like American democratic voters and do nothing (of course it takes a leader as inept as Kerry to not only want to do nothing, but to not even fight it out in the courts to prevent theft like this from happening again) in 2000 and 2004 then they'll lose. Update: I like their chances.
I really think the "No Confidence" argument is a great idea. It allows you to then say: "Since I have no confidence in how you were elected, I can't support any of your policy proposals or court nominations as a matter of principle." Or at least I wish that's what the Washington Generals Democrats could or would say.
Resolution of no confidence in current U.S. elections by J30 Coalition July 16, 2006
Whereas an election is the legal process by which We, the People, transfer power to our governmental representatives; and
Whereas, current electronic voting technologies have been shown to be unreliable, insecure and unverifiable; and
Whereas, electronic voting technologies which do not include a permanent paper ballot of record provide no means to verify results reported by elections officials, through recounts or other legal means; and
Whereas, citizens are denied oversight of the software used in electronic voting and counting machines; and
Whereas, the use of proprietary (secret) software in our elections amounts to a secret vote count; and
Whereas, publicly-funded testing and certification of software and hardware of electronic voting systems is shrouded from public oversight; and
Whereas, current election procedures violate "chain of custody" laws thru the use of removable and/or remotely accessible memory cards, which now constitute the official ballot box; and,
Therefore, Be It Resolved that there is no basis for confidence in any election held under these conditions; and
Therefore, Be It Further Resolved that J30 demands the media not report results it does not independently verify; and
Therefore, Be It Further Resolved that J30 joins the California Election Protection Network in demanding a hand count of the June 6, 2006 San Diego County, California election.
Resolved this 4th day of July, 2006 by J30 Coalition (a 65-member group of election integrity advocates based in Columbus, Ohio)
The mission of J30 Election Coalition is to implement fair, honest and transparent elections by raising public and political awareness, by organizing and empowering activists, by pursuing and/or supporting legal actions as appropriate, and by cooperating with and supporting other voting rights activists with which we agree, as a unified body, and for which we can provide human and other resources.
The Education Department reported on Friday that children in public schools generally performed as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private school counterparts fared better. The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores in 2003 from nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools, also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools on eighth-grade math.
Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November. With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule.
Further complicating the GOP outlook to turn things around is a solid percentage of liberals, moderates and even conservatives who say they'll vote Democratic. The party out of power also holds the edge among persuadable voters, a prospect that doesn't bode well for the Republicans.
[Article continues at link. I encourage the Democratic Party to recognize that it has the advantage and stop begging for scraps - step up.]
"A parasitic worm that makes the grasshopper it invades jump into water and commit suicide does so by chemically influencing its brain, a study of the insects’ proteins reveal.
"The parasitic Nematomorph hairworm (Spinochordodes tellinii) develops inside land-dwelling grasshoppers and crickets until the time comes for the worm to transform into an aquatic adult. Somehow mature hairworms brainwash their hosts into behaving in way they never usually would – causing them to seek out and plunge into water.
Once in the water the mature hairworms – which are three to four times longer that their hosts when extended – emerge and swim away to find a mate, leaving their host dead or dying in the water."
Any significance to todays ME crisis is by mere chance...har har har...
far from wanting a partner with which to negotiate, the Israeli government is acting with the specific intention of forestalling that possibility. There is nothing particularly new in this. The extremists on both sides have always formed a kind of tacit alliance, with the supporters of "greater Israel" and "no Israel" understanding their joint interest in preventing any moves towards a compromise peace. That is the main reason why Israel encouraged the growth of Hamas as it emerged in the 1980s. Unwilling to negotiate with the secular nationalists of Fatah, even as they were moving towards support for a two-state solution, the Israeli authorities thought it would be a clever idea to promote their Islamist rivals.
when it comes from one of America's most distinguished economists, in a paper written for the Fed. Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Big Question becomes why is this written up in British paper, rather than NYT/WarPost Headline? The obvious ANSWER is it would shut down the Iran War talk.
Article's analysis dramatized imortance of blogs beating the drum for radical increases in taxes on the rich & corporations. Otherwise Elites will Destroy pensions, Social Security & Medicare as well as imposing massive National Sales Tax. To wit:
The United States is heading for bankruptcy, according to an extraordinary paper published by one of the key members of the country's central bank.
A ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare timebomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency, according to research by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve.
Prof Kotlikoff said that, by some measures, the US is already bankrupt. "To paraphrase the Oxford English Dictionary, is the United States at the end of its resources, exhausted, stripped bare, destitute, bereft, wanting in property, or wrecked in consequence of failure to pay its creditors," he asked.
According to his central analysis, "the US government is, indeed, bankrupt, insofar as it will be unable to pay its creditors, who, in this context, are current and future generations to whom it has explicitly or implicitly promised future net payments of various kinds''.
Paul Ashworth, of Capital Economics, was more sanguine about the coming retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. "For a start, the expected deterioration in the Federal budget owes more to rising per capita spending on health care than to changing demographics," he said.
"This can be contained if the political will is there.
Don't worry, it's all part of the Grover plan. Remain calm.
meanwhile, like 911, Katrina, Boy King sits and does nothing, nothing... w/the exception of spouting Aesopian language and meaningless rhetoric.
Berrigan, a WWII U.S. Army veteran, a 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry, saw protests "as prophetic acts," based on the Biblical injunction of beating swords into plowshares. Rev. Graham, who brought his type of religious crusades to Baltimore before, in 1949 and 1981, on the other hand, has been in league with the warmongers. He comforted, cozied up to, and covered for them. And, as a result, Rev. Graham regularly got his invitations to the White House, along with photo ops, too, on the lawn or in the Oval office, with whomever was the president at that moment. All of it was very nice, indeed. Rev. Graham was giving these presidents' warmongering policies his imprimatur, while the gutsy Berrigan was doing hard time in a federal prison hole for saying "no" to them.
For thousands of years, prophets have predicted the end of the world. Today, various religious groups, using the latest technology, are trying to hasten it. Their endgame is to speed the promised arrival of a messiah. For some Christians this means laying the groundwork for Armageddon. With that goal in mind, mega-church pastors recently met in Inglewood to polish strategies for using global communications and aircraft to transport missionaries to fulfill the Great Commission: to make every person on Earth aware of Jesus' message. Doing so, they believe, will bring about the end, perhaps within two decades.
In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a far different vision. As mayor of Tehran in 2004, he spent millions on improvements to make the city more welcoming for the return of a Muslim messiah known as the Mahdi, according to a recent report by the American Foreign Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank. To the majority of Shiites, the Mahdi was the last of the prophet Muhammad's true heirs, his 12 righteous descendants chosen by God to lead the faithful. Ahmadinejad hopes to welcome the Mahdi to Tehran within two years.
Conversely, some Jewish groups in Jerusalem hope to clear the path for their own messiah by rebuilding a temple on a site now occupied by one of Islam's holiest shrines. Artisans have re-created priestly robes of white linen, gem-studded breastplates, silver trumpets and solid-gold menorahs to be used in the Holy Temple — along with two 6½-ton marble cornerstones for the building's foundation.
Then there is Clyde Lott, a Mississippi revivalist preacher and cattle rancher. He is trying to raise a unique herd of red heifers to satisfy an obscure injunction in the Book of Numbers: the sacrifice of a blemish-free red heifer for purification rituals needed to pave the way for the messiah. So far, only one of his cows has been verified by rabbis as worthy, meaning they failed to turn up even three white or black hairs on the animal's body.
[Article continues at link. How does it make you feel to know that these people, impatient with the invisible monster that lives in the sky in His promise to end the world, are trying to hasten the process? And to know that the President of the United States is one of those people? It makes me angry and afraid. It makes me think of bombs exploding in marketplaces and airplanes flying into buildings. It makes me think of wars of conquest, forced conversions, and millions of "good" people doing exactly nothing to prevent atrocities carried out in their name. In short, it makes me think of religion; the hardener of hearts and softener of minds, the self-imposed mental illness, the socially sanctioned child abuse delivery system, the retardant of compassion and progress.]
A Pensacola evangelist who owns the defunct Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola was arrested Thursday on 58 federal charges, including failing to pay $473,818 in employee-related taxes and making threats against investigators.
Of the 58 charges, 44 were filed against Kent Hovind and his wife, Jo, for evading bank reporting requirements as they withdrew $430,500 from AmSouth Bank between July 20, 2001, and Aug. 9, 2002.
At the couple's first court appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis, Kent Hovind professed not to understand why he is being prosecuted. Some 20 supporters were in the courtroom.
"I still don't understand what I'm being charged for and who is charging me," he said.
[Article continues at link. Ken, if you need some money for legal expenses, there's one million dollars here and one million dollars here just waiting for you. I know that this modern world with it's "logic" and "cause and effect" is confusing, and you prefer the world of illiterate goat herders from two thousand years ago. So just set the rest of us straight, claim your two million dollars. Or maybe fess up to being a con-man and a boring one at that.]
"America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can't lose what you lacked at conception.
"Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless verisimilitude can set that line straight."
--James Ellroy, American Tabloid
Ensure a Free and Fair Election (Ban Paperless Voting Machines