In my links of the day I try to find the links under the wire, articles all the top blogs miss. I'm not afraid to go to Al Jazeera, Kurd Media or to the Pakistan student movement page to bring the real daily news to you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Links of the Day 4/18/2008 Nuclear Fueled Explosion Reported In US Midwest

Sorry about the look of the blog I've asked blogspot for help but as of yet no reply.

Three times I tried to write my blog yesterday and post The Links of the Day but my heart just wasn’t in it.

I’m thinking about taking a week off for my own sanity.

What ABC called a debate was way off base.

I personally will continue my 2 year boycott of ABC and their sponsors. I never forgot their show “Pathway to 9/11” which was nothing more than outright lies, distortions and spin.

Below I’ve posted the meaning of Debate for you and ABC. What ABC held on Wednesday night was not a debate.


Main Entry: 1de·bate

Pronunciation: \di-'bat, de-\ Function: noun

Date: 13th century : a contention by words or arguments:

as a: the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure

b: a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides

noun1. a discussion in which reasons are advanced for and against some proposition or proposal; "the argument over foreign aid goes on and on" [syn: argument] 2. the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)

verb1. argue with one another; "We debated the question of abortion"; "John debated Mary" 2. think about carefully; weigh; "They considered the possibility of a strike"; "Turn the proposal over in your mind" [syn: consider] 3. discuss the pros and cons of an issue 4. have an argument about something

SEE ABC if you were trying to hurt Obama it back fired and hurt Clinton and McCain.

The American people are sick and tired of the way the media has reported on Politics.

No more are the sheeple going to tolerate the “Gotcha” game crap you been feeding them.

We WANT Civility brought back to politics no more dividing us to conquer us.

Ongoing nomination fight hurting Clinton more than Obama


WASHINGTON (AP) — In a dramatic reversal, an Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll found that a clear majority of Democratic voters now say Sen. Barack Obama has a better chance of defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in November than Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

While Obama and Clinton are both sustaining dents and dings from their lengthy presidential fight, the former first lady is clearly suffering more. Democratic voters no longer see her as the party's strongest contender for the White House.

Voters of all types have gotten a better sense of Obama, who was an obscure Illinois legislator just four years ago. As more people moved from the "I don't know him" category in the AP-Yahoo! News poll, more rated Obama as inexperienced, unethical and dishonest. And 15 percent erroneously think he's a Muslim, thanks in part to disinformation widely spread on the Internet.

But Obama's positive ratings have climbed as well, while Clinton — widely known since the early 1990s — has been less able to change people's views of her. And when those views have shifted, it has hurt her more than helped.

The New York senator's ratings for being honest, likable, ethical and refreshing have fallen since January, and Obama scores higher than she does in all those categories.

In late January, before Obama scored 11 straight primary and caucus victories, 56 percent of Democrats saw Clinton as the stronger nominee, compared to 33 percent for Obama. Now, Obama leads on that question, 56 to 43 percent.

Still, the poll, conducted by Knowledge Networks, contains some worrisome signs for the first-term senator. Those rating him as "not at all honest," for example, jumped from 18 percent last fall to 27 percent in April. It came as he was put on the defensive over incendiary comments by his former pastor. But many holding such views are Republicans or conservative independents, who would be unlikely to vote in a Democratic primary or support a Democrat in the fall, anyway.

The most encouraging sign for Obama is that many Democrats who previously saw Clinton as their party's best hope now give him that role. About one-third of them still prefer Clinton, but they have lost confidence in her electability.

"I would love to vote for Hillary," said Nancy Costello of Bellevue, Ky., one of the more than 1,800 randomly selected adults whose opinions are rechecked every few months. "I'm 67, and I'll probably never get another chance to vote for a woman."

But Obama now appears to be the stronger candidate, she said, and electing a Democrat in November is paramount. If McCain wins and continues many of President Bush's economic and foreign policies, Costello said, "I think I would just sit down and cry."

By tracking the same group throughout the campaign, the AP-Yahoo! News poll can gauge how individual views change. It suggests that Clinton has paid a price for hammering Obama since early February on several issues as she tries to overcome his lead in delegates and the popular vote. Among those Democrats who no longer consider her the more electable of the two, most now see her as less likable, decisive, strong, honest, experienced and ethical than they did in January.

Meanwhile, those same voters are more likely to see Obama as strong, honest and refreshing than before.

Beulah Barton of Leesburg, Fla., said she initially backed Clinton, partly because she liked Bill Clinton's record as president.

"But the more I hear her talk, and the more I hear him talk, the more put off I am," said Barton, 69. "I think she's brash, I think she's rude. I get the feeling that she feels she deserves to be president" and doesn't need "to earn it."

Barton said she likes Obama, and ignores e-mails suggesting that he refuses to salute the flag or is somehow threatening "because of his name."

"People try to make him look like a traitor," she said. "I think he has risen above most of that stuff."

Some misinformation sticks, however. The great majority of the poll's participants said this month they did not know the religious affiliation of Clinton (a Methodist) or Obama (United Church of Christ). But 15 percent ventured that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, is a Muslim.

That group includes more Democrats than Republicans, and it doesn't necessarily worry them.

Randi Estes, a Democrat from Ada, Okla., said she prefers Clinton but feels Obama is likely to win the nomination. "He's gotten very strong media coverage, and Bill Clinton's not helping her a bit," said Estes, 36, who has four children under the age of 6.

Speaking of Obama, she said, "I have a sense he's a Muslim."

If Obama wins the nomination, the poll indicates he will need to mend his image a bit as he battles McCain for independents and soft Republicans. His favorability rating among all voters has declined, with those ranking him as "very unfavorable" growing from 17 percent in January to 25 percent in April. Most of them are Republicans and independents.

In January, 30 percent of Republicans rated Obama very unfavorably. That grew to 43 percent in April. Among the coveted independents, 12 percent had a very unfavorable view of Obama in January. That has nearly doubled to 23 percent.

Obama would be the first black president, and the survey detected some evidence of racial discomfort in voters' minds. It found that about 8 percent of whites would be uncomfortable voting for a black for president. It produced an estimate of about 13 percent of Republicans who would feel that way, but suggested very few if any Democrats would now be uncomfortable. In November, about 5 percent of Democrats indicated discomfort at voting for a black person for president.

For Allen Lovell, a moderate Democrat in Everett, Wash., race is unimportant, but replacing Bush with a Democrat is vital. And lately he has concluded that Obama probably has the better chance of beating McCain.

"I am leaning towards him, not because he's black — because I'm white — but because we definitely need a change," said Lovell, 50.

He said the Democratic campaign has lasted too long, but there is one topic he'd like to hear more about. Lovell, who guessed that Obama is "either Christian or Muslim," said: "I don't think we're getting enough information on religion" from the candidates.

The survey of 1,844 adults was conducted April 2-14 and had an overall margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. Included were interviews with 863 Democrats, for whom the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3.3 points, and 668 Republicans, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 points.

The poll was conducted over the Internet by Knowledge Networks. It initially contacted people using traditional telephone polling methods, and followed with online interviews. People chosen for the study who had no Internet access were given it for free.

— AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.;_ylt=At.nMAHK6UMZq5UMwWnG602s0NUE

Are we being lied to that an earthquake occurred or is the following article the truth?

I believe Sorcha Faal, it was her article that finally broke the cover up that it was the Bush administration that cut the underwater internet cable.

April 18, 2008

Nuclear Fueled Explosion Reported In US Midwest

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

Reports from 3rd Army Headquarters of the Russian Space Command, located in Solnechnogorsk (Moscow oblast), are reporting today that a ‘nuclear fueled’ explosion has occurred in the United States region of Illinois after the downing of an American B-52 Bomber by, presumed, other elements of the US Air Force operating in that region.

So powerful was the explosion reported from this downed American Nuclear Bomber that Western propaganda media sources are reporting the effects of a 5.2 to 5.4 magnitude earthquake in that region, but to which the most accurate description of a nuclear type blast was reported by the Bloomberg News Service and who stated in their article: "You could hear a roaring sound and the whole motel shook, waking up the guests,'' Vibha Ambelal, manager of the Super 8 Motel in Mount Carmel, Illinois, near the epicenter, said in a telephone interview."

These reports further state that this was the second attempt by a US B-52 Nuclear Bomber to penetrate the North American Command Air Defenses surrounding the dissident United States Scott Air Force Base, located in Illinois, from which these aircraft seeking to bomb Iranian atomic facilities are based.

On Tuesday, April 15th, American citizens to the Indiana region immediately east of Illinois reported numerous ‘booms’ and ‘flashes’ in their night skies which some attributed to fireball meteorites crashing into the atmosphere, but which the United States Air Force reported was caused by F-16 jet fighters ‘sonic booms’ and their use of ‘military flares’.

These reports, however, state that this April 15th incident turned back the first abortive attempt by dissident American Forces to secret their plundered nuclear weapons out of that country for their intended use against Iran.

The ‘trigger’ to these latest desperate attempts to embroil the World in Total War arose from the US Defense Secretaries ordering of a full accounting of all American Nuclear Weapons on March 28th after the discovery of that an unspecified number of them were ‘missing’.

The first attempt to use these ‘missing’ nuclear weapons against Iran we had previously reported on in our April 5th report titled "US Nuclear B-1 Bomber On Iran ‘Attack Run’ Shot Down" and which occurred in the Middle Eastern Nation of Qatar.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman further report that the American War Leaders were warned this past week by the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and by Pope Benedict XVI, both of whom traveled to the United States this week, against the attempts by the US to escalate their conflicts into another World War, but which by these latest events these War Leaders appear not to have listened to.

As we have previously reported, the United States believes it has no option other than Total World War as their economy continues imploding while at the same time fuel prices are rising to catastrophic levels and more food riots are being reported the World over, all of which when combined signal the collapse of the American Empire on a scale not seen in since the collapse of the former Soviet Union on June 12, 1990.

It remains, without doubt, that the people living within the United States will not be allowed to know the full evidence of these events, and their imminent destruction, except by the means of dissident sources of information such as ours. But, and most strangely, the New York Times, and a publication not known for the reporting of dissident news, appears to have changed its course with its April 6th article titled "Duck and Cover: It’s the New Survivalism", and which said:

"THE traditional face of survivalism is that of a shaggy loner in camouflage, holed up in a cabin in the wilderness and surrounded by cases of canned goods and ammunition.

It is not that of Barton M. Biggs, the former chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley. Yet in Mr. Biggs’s new book, “Wealth, War and Wisdom,” he says people should “assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure.”

“Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food,” Mr. Biggs writes. “It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot and rebellion when law and order temporarily completely breaks down.”

Survivalism, it seems, is not just for survivalists anymore."

This advice by the New York Times that the time has begun for Americans to begin their preparations for survival echo those of the giant US Banking concern Wells Fargo, that Britain’s Guardian News Service has recently reported warned these people: "Scott Anderson, chief economist at Wells Fargo, is equally pessimistic, describing the bullish views of some market players as "bordering on delusional", but which as their life savings continue to disappear they continue not to heed.

For the final outcome of these events we, perhaps, will have little warning, but, and surely anyone with open eyes can see, the storm clouds gathering on the horizon.

Nearly 1 in 5 troops has mental problems after war service

April 17th, 2008 6:36 pm

By Pauline Jelinek / Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Roughly one in every five U.S. troops who have survived the bombs and other dangers of Iraq and Afghanistan now suffers from major depression or post-traumatic stress, an independent study said Thursday. It estimated the toll at 300,000 or more.

As many or more report possible brain injuries from explosions or other head wounds, said the study, the first major survey from outside the government.

Only about half of those with mental health problems have sought treatment. Even fewer of those with head injuries have seen doctors.

Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker said the report, from the Rand Corp., was welcome.

"They're helping us to raise the visibility and the attention that's needed by the American public at large," said Schoomaker, a lieutenant general. "They are making this a national debate."

The researchers said 18.5 percent of current and former service members contacted in a recent survey reported symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress. Based on Pentagon data that more than 1.6 million have deployed to the two wars, the researchers calculated that about 300,000 are suffering mental health problems.

Nineteen percent — or an estimated 320,000 — may have suffered head injuries, the study calculated. Those range from mild concussions to severe, penetrating head wounds.

"There is a major health crisis facing those men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Terri Tanielian, the project's co-leader and a researcher at Rand. "Unless they receive appropriate and effective care for these mental health conditions, there will be long-term consequences for them and for the nation."

The study, the first large-scale, private assessment of its kind, includes a survey of 1,965 service members across the country, from all branches of the armed forces and including those still in the military as well veterans who have completed their service. The Iraq war has been notable for the repeat tours required of many troops, sometimes for longer than a year at a time.

The results of the study appear consistent with mental health reports from within the government, though the Defense Department has not released the number of people it has diagnosed or who are being treated for mental problems.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said this month that its records show about 120,000 who served in the two wars and are no longer in the military have been diagnosed with mental health problems. Of those, about 60,000 are suffering from post-traumatic stress, and depression runs a close second.

Veterans Affairs is responsible for care of service members after they have leave the military. The Defense Department covers active duty and reservist needs.

The lack of numbers from the Pentagon was one motivation for the Rand study, Tanielian said in an interview.

The most prominent and detailed Pentagon study on the military's mental health that is released regularly to the public is the Army's survey of soldiers, taken annually at the battle zones since 2003.

The most recent one, last fall, found 18.2 percent of Army soldiers suffered mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or acute stress in 2007, compared with 20.5 percent the previous year.

Other studies have variously estimated that 10 percent to 20 percent of troops had symptoms of mental health problems.

Col. Loree Sutton, who heads a new Pentagon center on brain injury, said the Rand study will add to the work defense officials are doing. That includes researching best practices used inside the military and out, improving and expanding training and prevention programs, adding mental health staff and trying to change a military culture in which many troops are afraid or embarrassed to get mental health treatment.

"We've got to get the word out that seeking help is a sign of strength," Sutton said.

She said officials have been working to add thousands more mental health professionals to help the uniformed psychiatrists, psychologists and others struggling to meet the wartime demands of troops and their families. Across the services, officials are trying to hire over 1,000 additional staff. Also, companies providing health care by contract to the Pentagon have added over 3,000 in the past year, and the U.S. Public Health Service has provided some 200, she said. Veterans Affairs has added some 3,800 professionals in the past couple of years, officials there said.

In other survey results:

_About 7 percent of those polled reported both a probable brain injury and current post-traumatic stress or major depression.

_Rates of post-traumatic stress and major depression were highest among women and reservists.

_About 53 percent of service members with post-traumatic stress or depression sought help over the past year, and 43 percent reported being evaluated by a physician for their head injuries at some time.

_They gave various reasons for not getting help, including that they worried about the side effects of medication, they believed family and friends could help them with the problem, or they feared seeking care might damage their careers.

The Army's own warfront survey found the stigma associated with getting help has been decreasing slowly but steadily in recent years.

Thursday's report was titled "Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery." It was sponsored by a grant from the California Community Foundation and done by researchers from Rand Health and the Rand National Security Research Division. The division also has done work under contracts with the Pentagon and other defense agencies as well as allied foreign governments and foundations.

Protesters greet McCain during Greenwich visit

April 17th, 2008 7:13 pm

Greenwich Post

GREENWICH, CT — United States Sen. John McCain of Arizona is looking ahead to what is expected to be an expensive race for the Presidency.

With that in mind, Mr. McCain took a break from the campaign trail last Wednesday to visit Belle Haven for a private fund-raiser. Tickets cost $2,300 a person, and interaction with Mr. McCain at the reception, which was held at the Belle Haven Club, cost an extra $1,000. While some happily paid for the opportunity to rub elbows with the Republican nominee, the greeting he got outside wasn’t all friendly.

Mr. McCain’s motorcade was greeted by close to 30 labor and anti-war protesters gathered outside Belle Haven, a gated community. The protesters, who decried the senator’s support for continuing the war in Iraq and his opposition to universal health care, carried signs and shouted out, “Hey! Hey! What do you say? How about you raise our pay!” and “What do we want? Peace, health care and jobs!”

The protest was organized by Connecticut AFL-CIO President John Olsen, who said he wanted to make sure people saw the impact of the policies Mr. McCain supports.

“Everyone talks about how John McCain is a hero and he’s this and he’s that, but these are the people who are struggling right now, and we want their message to get out there,” Mr. Olsen told the Post during the protest. “We’ve got a war going on right now that’s sucking us dry, and he turns around and now he’s for tax cuts for the rich.

“He hangs around with the hedge fund people here but he won’t meet with the people who can’t afford to live in Greenwich and have to live in the Bronx and can’t afford to pay for the gas to drive here.... He wants to tax our health care. That’s his answer to that. What does he want to do about the war? He wants to stay there 100 years, and we can’t afford to stay there.”

Several unions, including teachers, laborers, construction workers, and pipe fitters unions, had representatives at the protest, as did anti-war groups and the Alliance for Retired Americans. Kevin Lynch drove from West Hartford to represent the alliance because of Mr. McCain’s stance in favor of privatization of Social Security.

“That’s scaring retirees to death,” Mr. Lynch said. “Half the retirees would be in poverty if not for Social Security. If it’s privatized, there are going to be tremendous cuts. That’s been demonstrated by numerous fiscal analyses when President Bush first proposed this.”

Cynthia Tun, a teachers’ union member, traveled from Watertown for the protest to voice her opposition to Mr. McCain’s candidacy. She particularly took offense to comments he made in January that having a 100-year presence in Iraq would be “fine with me.”

“McCain needs to understand that a hundred years of war makes it impossible for teachers or anyone who is in the middle class to survive,” Ms. Tun said. “How can we afford $4 a gallon in gas and increasing prices in food and expect to support a billion dollars a day in the war costs?

Mr. McCain did have support outside the event, both from those planning to vote for him in November and those a few years away from being eligible. Ryan Jeffrey, 8, and his 11-year-old sisters Charlotte and Isabelle, watched the protest from their front lawn and held up signs in support for the senator. Their mother, Laurie, said it was the kids’ idea to make the signs.

“They were excited he was coming, they saw the crowd and they decided they should have an equal voice,” Ms. Jeffrey said. “They wanted to just go out there and say, ‘We support John McCain.’”

Joe Romano was also there for Mr. McCain. He has been a volunteer for the senator’s 2000 and 2008 runs for the White House, and though he didn’t attend the fund-raiser, he was there to show his support among the throng of protesters.

“He’s an honest guy,” Mr. Romano said. “He’s not going to go to one group and pander to them and go to another group and say what they want to hear. People like what he stands for and his background. Unfortunately, we’re in this war, but he’s the best man to get us out. You can’t just get up and leave. We’d lose all credibility in the Middle East, and Sen. McCain has the right approach.”

Members of the press were not allowed at the event, and the McCain campaign did not release fund-raising totals resulting from the event.

“Sen. McCain had a successful trip to Greenwich and he enjoys a lot of support in the area,” Crystal Benson, a campaign spokeswoman, told the Post Tuesday.

Must SEE Video here, it’s from Fox News so I know you missed it.

GOP Rep.: Revoke Jimmy Carter's passport for Hamas visits

This is a great link for Palestine/Israel alternative information and news.

Opposing view: Report distorted the debate

Apr 18, 12:21 AM ET

By Lawrence Mishel

For a quarter-century, A Nation at Risk has set the terms of debate on education, with mixed results. Risk inspired reformers to prescribe high-stakes testing, culminating in No Child Left Behind. Schools are cutting back history, civics, the sciences, art and music, just to prepare for tests in math and reading.

Worse yet, Risk has distorted the debate on economic policy. In 1983, the economy really was at risk. Industries such as auto, steel, consumer electronics, and clothing and textiles were closing factories; unemployment approached 10%; and workers' wages were flat lining.

Risk offered an explanation that was simple, seductive — and wrong. The report claimed that increased market shares for Japanese automobiles, German machine tools and Korean steel reflected those nation's superior schools. This analysis should have seemed flimsy then — and foolish later.

Didn't automakers move plants to Mexico, where education levels are lower than in the USA? Meanwhile, foreign and domestic manufacturers set up low-wage, non-union factories in the southern states, where the schools were worse than in the industrial Midwest. Then, a decade after Risk was released, American workers' productivity increased dramatically. Presumably, the graduates of the same schools that Risk decried were mastering modern technology.

Now that the economy is in a tailspin, Bush administration officials are blaming the schools. Yes, we need to improve education from kindergarten through grade 12, as well as expand opportunities for college education and career training. But we also need to fix the credit crisis, expand health coverage, renegotiate unfair trade deals, invest in transportation and technology, and restore workers' rights to organize unions and bargain for better pay and benefits.

In fact, education reform, by itself, isn't even the cure-all for low-performing schools in low-income neighborhoods. Kids in these communities need better nutrition, health care and dental care so that they can come to school ready to learn. As long as adults don't have decent jobs with health coverage, children will have a hard time breaking the cycle of poverty. That's a sobering thought on the 25th anniversary of A Nation at Risk.

Lawrence Mishel is president of the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on low- and middle-income workers.;_ylt=Ao82BLRpBVKJy0AxvsLXZces0NUE

Survey: Financial execs get more gloomy about economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Turmoil in credit and housing markets will be the most significant threat to growth this year, according to a survey of top financial company executives released Friday.

These executives believe there is a high probability — 88% — that the country will suffer a recession in the next 12 months.

The responses came from executives whose firms are members of the Financial Services Forum, which represents 20 of the largest financial companies in the country including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Allstate Insurance and Fidelity Investments.

After credit market tumult and troubles in the housing market, the executives listed the next biggest threats to the economy now as the possibility the government will impose higher taxes or raise protectionist barriers to foreign competition.

"As the U.S. economy slows, trade and economic openness are more important than ever," said Rob Nichols, the president of the forum, a Washington trade group.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: United States | Washington | Congress | China | India | Federal Reserve | Merrill Lynch | Goldman Sachs | Bank of America | Bear Stearns | Fidelity Investments | JP Morgan Chase | Allstate Insurance | Financial Services Forum

He said that U.S. exports accounted for 40% of economic growth last year with domestic activity being battered by the slowdown in housing and it was essential that Congress not do anything that could jeopardize future growth in this area.

The survey, conducted in early April, showed that the financial company executives were much more pessimistic than in their last survey, conducted in October.

They marked down the prospects both for growth in this country and globally, reflecting the serious toll from a credit crisis that has forced major financial firms to declare billions of dollars in losses and last month claimed its biggest victim with the forced sale of Bear Stearns, the nation's fifth-largest investment house.

The Federal Reserve, which has been aggressively cutting interest rates and provided a $30 billion loan to facilitate the Bear Stearns sale to JP Morgan, was given generally good marks by the executives for its handling of the crisis with an average ranking of 3.93 on a scale of 5.

The executives strongly believed that the Fed will cut rates again at its meeting at the end of this month.

Even with further Fed rate cuts, the executives believed that the U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, would grow by just 0.9% this year, down from 2.2% GDP growth last year. It would be the smallest GDP increase since the recession year of 2001, when the GDP eked out a tiny 0.8% rise for the year.

The executives by a wide margin believed that the current credit turmoil has a ways to go, putting the expectations of further problems at 3.83 on a scale where 5 represented the strong view that the crisis has further to go.

Asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 5 what countries will be driving global growth this year, China was tops with a score of 4.75, followed by India at 4.06. The United States tumbled from No. 3 in the October survey to No. 10 in the current survey with a reading of 3.06.

This is a must read

U.S. Military Targets Southeast Colorado -- Part 1 of 3
Added: Apr 16th, 2008 7:54 AM

By Deanna Spingola

April, 2008

Property seizures in other countries are considered totalitarian. When they occur at the hands of the corporate-controlled U.S. government they are apparently condoned and even facilitated by the courts whose job it is to reign in this kind of abuse. The monopoly media, including "conservative" talk radio, is an information filtering system masquerading as "news." They habitually conceal government land grabs and other privatization schemes like the current controversy in southeastern Colorado. The army is attempting to seize property, claiming they need extra land to better prepare the troops. What’s really behind this patriotic-let’s-help-the-troops endeavor? Call it what they will, land seizure is land seizure and violates the public trust.

What is it about Colorado and the military? In 1989, George H. W. Bush’s administration wanted to store dangerous radioactive waste at the Pueblo Army Depot but the state wisely objected. Toxic waste disposal is no longer an unmanageable issue – well-connected arms manufacturers use it for bombs and bullets – kind of a double whammy – if the bullets and bombs don’t kill them, the lethal residue causes widespread cancer and horrific birth defects for future offspring of those who absorb, inhale or swallow the deadly dust. The Pentagon and their private contractors suppress the noxious nature of depleted uranium. Earlier, they didn’t tell troops about Agent Orange. And the citizens of Anniston, Alabama weren’t told about PCBs. There are thousands of such examples. The government consistently protects corporate profits rather than citizens.

Even though the Pentagon owns/occupies 31,700,692 acres in the U.S. and its territories and another 32,408,262 acres in foreign countries for a total of 64,108,954 acres, they claim to be strapped for a training area. The Department of Defense Base Structure Report (221 pages) dated September 30, 2006 (last report available) reveals that the Pentagon owns 577,519 structures worth over $712 billion situated on 86 bases in U.S. territories, 823 bases in foreign lands and 4402 military bases and/or military warehouses in the U.S. Their report boasts – "the Department of Defense remains one of the world’s largest ‘landlords.’" As a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, we have added at least 13 new military bases in the Middle East, ostensibly for the Global War of Terrorism (GWOT). The U.S. has literally surrounded Iran. There are about 63 countries with U.S. bases and thousands of U.S. military personnel (out of about 1.5 million) in 156 countries.

According to another report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, dated April 10, 2008, the army claims they need to restructure and rebuild which will require at least $190 billion for equipment through fiscal year 2013. In 2007 alone, in order of rank, the Pentagon paid the following, often no-bid contracts: (1) Lockheed Martin Corp. $12,679,523,202; (2) Boeing Co. $7,300,000,000; (3) Northrop Grumman Corp. $6,821,000,000; (4) KBR Inc. (a spin-off of Halliburton) $5,517,070,621; (5) Science Applications International Corp. $4,412,146,628; (6) Raytheon Co. $4,068,752,346. Given these massive figures, one would justifiably trust that America is well-armed, impenetrable and protected.


Feds to collect DNA from anyone they arrest


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The government plans to begin collecting DNA samples from anyone arrested by a federal law-enforcement agency, a move intended to prevent violent crime but that also is raising concerns about the privacy of innocent people.

Using authority granted by Congress, the government also plans to collect DNA samples from foreigners who are detained, even if they have not been charged.

The DNA would be collected through a cheek swab, Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin said Wednesday. That would be a departure from current practice, which limits DNA collection to convicted felons.

Expanding the DNA database, CODIS, raises civil-liberties questions about the potential for misuse of such personal information, such as family ties and genetic conditions.

Ablin said the DNA collection would be subject to the same privacy laws applied to current DNA sampling. That means none would be used for identifying genetic traits, diseases or disorders.

Congress gave the Justice Department the authority to expand DNA collection in two laws passed in 2005 and 2006.

There are dozens of federal law-enforcement agencies, ranging from the FBI to the Library of Congress Police. The federal government estimates that it makes 140,000 arrests each year.

Justice officials estimated the new collecting requirements would add DNA from an additional 1.2 million people to the database each year.

Those who support the expanded collection think DNA sampling could get violent criminals off the streets and prevent them from committing more crimes.

Thirteen states have similar laws: Alaska, Arizona, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The new regulation would mean the federal government could store DNA samples of people who are not guilty of any crime, said Jesselyn McCurdy, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

"Now innocent people's DNA will be put into this huge CODIS database, and it will be very difficult for them to get it out if they are not charged or convicted of a crime," McCurdy said.

If a person is arrested but not convicted, he or she can ask the Justice Department to destroy the sample.

The Homeland Security Department (DHS) — the federal agency charged with policing immigration — supports the new rule.

"DNA is a proven law-enforcement tool," DHS spokesman Russ Knocke said.

The proposed rule is being published in the Federal Register. That will be followed by a 30-day comment period.

The UN in the news

In less than a year, the price of wheat has risen by 130%, soya by 87% and rice by 74% as only 12 weeks remain of World cereal stocks

Ban Ki-Moon’s Rise at UN Eases Tensions With Jerusalem

Pope to Address UN General Assembly on Friday

UN council to hold meeting on emerging food crisis

Hijackings force UN to halve food aid to 3 million people in war-hit Darfur

UN and African Union want 26,000-strong force in Darfur quickly

UN pushes for resolution of Zimbabwe election

Mexico in the News

Second week for Mexican Congress coup

Mexican troops arrest armed squad near Texas border town

Mexico agents arrest border police chief for protecting drug cartel

Bandits planejack terrified US family at Mexican airstrip


04/18/08 Timesonline: Two mortar shells land in the green zone

This evening, two mortar shells landed in the green zone, the fortified Baghdad district where Iraqi government offices and the US and British embassies are located — the latest in nearly daily mortar volleys usually blamed on rogue...

04/18/08 AP: Iran's mission rejects US allegations of role in Iraq

Iran's U.N. Mission said allegations by U.S. officials that the country is supporting the insurgency in Iraq are "unfounded" and "baseless."

04/18/08 AP: Company of Iraqi troops abandon position after attack

A company of government troops abandoned its positions in Sadr City when the forces came under attack from Shiite militiamen who took advantage of a sandstorm to attack, police said Friday.


04/18/08 guardian: Nato admits mistakenly supplying arms and food to Taliban

Nato forces mistakenly supplied food, water and arms to Taliban forces in southern Afghanistan, officials today admitted. Containers destined for local police forces were dropped from a helicopter into a Taliban-controlled area of Zabul province.

04/18/08 guardian: Suicide bomber hits Afghan mosque

A suicide bomber killed 24 people and wounded more than 30 as they prepared for evening prayers outside a mosque in south-west Afghanistan yesterday. The attack took place at the central mosque in Zaranj, the capital of Nimroz province

04/17/08 Reuters: Suicide bomber kills 17 in Afghan southwest - governor

At least 17 people, including two police officers, were killed on Thursday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a bazaar in Afghanistan's southwestern province of Nimroz, the provincial governor said.

04/15/08 AP: Red Cross urges changes at U.S. jail in Afghanistan

The Red Cross criticized how the United States handles prisoners at the highly secretive Bagram military base, urging reforms yesterday that would allow detainees to introduce testimony in their defense.

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Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home

Bush' Way of Bringing the Troops Home
If Not Now When?