Saturday, March 31, 2012

Comedy Gold: The Clumsy Attempt at Discrediting 9/11 Truth in Portland

Standard Fare Replacing
Substantive Discourse
Once Portland 9/11 Meetup or the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance finish discrediting themselves, along comes a blog with anonymous posters aimed at discrediting all the 9/11 Truth groups in the Portland area.  I first thought our efforts were a mere drop in the bucket, so I see this site as a back-handed compliment.

As I said before, there are people in the Portland area who are scared to death of an effective 9/11 Truth movement.

True to the standard motif of dismissing the 9/11 Truth movement as a bunch of Anti-Semites, most Portlanders who demand a new investigation of 9/11 are accused of having contact with members of a group branded as infamously anti-Semitic, the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance.

It's important to note how much time went into so many queries, searches, cuts and pastes for over 50 different pages.   I can attest to their obsession with a look at the hit piece on yours truly.  An individual or group (as expected, anonymously) sent me a link to my hit page because they really wanted me to see it:

Personally, my goal has been to bask in the spittle of Bill O'Reilly's beet red temper tantrum, but this will have to be the next best thing.

Still, it gets a bit sad when the page that is supposed be so devastating gets giddy over the fact that I am on STRATFOR's email list.  There's also mention that, since I moved from Tucson to Portland a while ago, I had "Portland Based" in the blog description.  But it gets worse.  Somehow I mysteriously changed the verbiage of my blogger header description and removed the 'Portland based' reference.  Ah ha!  Got me!  Curses, Waybackmachine!  I had four short newsclips and 3-4 stories posted that were about Portland over the last year, but most of the posts are national or international news.  Still, there are people apparently 'high-fiving' each other over unearthing my "shell game".   I imagine by now you are starting to get the picture.

Hawaii Gop Refuses to update County Vote counts-Update

The Daily Paul

GOP Caucus Chair Andrew "Ron Paul supporters are neo-nazi's" Walden caught in a lie!


We did not count ballots by county, we counted them by congressional district. Delegates are apportioned by state and by congressional district, not by county.


Andrew Walden

Chair Hawaii Republican Caucus Committee

"When it came down to Maui, Ron Paul ended up receiving 47 provisional ballots cast for him, taking the lead over Mitt Romney by 18 votes." -Ron Paul Campaign

My Response:

How was Meghan Walker aware of this fact when writing her press release, but you're not aware?
-end of update

Despite numerous attempts to get these numbers corrected (and an equal number of rude shut downs by Gop leaders) the results presented on the GOP homepage are still UNTRUE!

(this is the link from the GOP HAWAII homepage for the breakdown of votes by county)
They blatantly continue to FAIL to accurately report Ron Paul WINNING the islands comprising MAUI county.

It makes me think that they got their Romney win, kept Ron out of the weekend news cycle-even though he WON two islands, and decided to say "screw you" to Ron Paul campaigners who are trying to emphasize every single victory they can in order to combat the media blackout.

This isn't a cry out for election fraud, or delegate shenanigans but if we allow these "leaders" to continue to get away with even 'sins of omission' they're not gonna think twice when the opportunity for bigger shenanigans present themselves.

Give a con an inch and he'll come back and take your whole yard! Well as of right now, they've taken a whole ISLAND from us!

Contact Hawaii GOP caucus chair:

Andrew "I write articles about Ron Paul supporters being Neo-Nazi's" Walden @
OR go straight to the top and let David Chang

Know how you feel! PLEASE HELP!

FABRICATING A "SMOKING GUN" TO ATTACK IRAN? Israeli Spies Disguised as Iranian Soldiers on Mission Inside Iran

Global Research
Julie Lévesque

A report published in The Sunday Times on March 25 suggests that “Israel is using a permanent base in Iraqi Kurdistan to launch cross-border intelligence missions in an attempt to find ‘smoking gun’ evidence that Iran is building a nuclear warhead.” (Israeli spies scour Iran in nuclear hunt, The Sunday Times, March 25, 2012)

Western sources told the Times Israel was monitoring “radioactivity and magnitude of explosives tests” and that “special forces used Black Hawk helicopters to carry commandos disguised as members of the Iranian military and using Iranian military vehicles”. The sources believe “Iranians are trying to hide evidence of warhead tests in preparation for a possible IAEA visit”. (Cited in Report: Israeli soldiers scour Iran for nukes, Ynet, March 25, 2012)

The number of Israeli intelligence missions at the Parchin military base in Iran has increased in the past few months, according to the article. During that period, Tehran has been negotiating with the IAEA which had requested to visit Parchin. According to Iran's permanent representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, both parties had agreed in early February that the visit would take place in March. (Gareth Porter, Details of Talks with IAEA Belie Charge Iran Refused Cooperation, IPS, March 21, 2012)

The IAEA requested to visit Parchin in late January and late February, after having agreed to a visit in March. The IAEA thus requested to visit the military complex exactly at the same time Israel was intensifying its secret operations to allegedly search for a “smoking gun”.

A few years ago it has been suggested that Israel was the source of fake intelligence, a stolen laptop, related to Iran’s alleged nuclear program. The New York Times reported in 2005 on what was presented as “the strongest evidence” Iran was building nuclear weapons:

American intelligence officials called the leaders of the international atomic inspection agency to the top of a skyscraper overlooking the Danube in Vienna and unveiled the contents of what they said was a stolen Iranian laptop computer.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Land Day still matters

Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis

Land Day Martyrs
Today, with no resolution in sight to the historic injustices inflicted upon them, Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere use this day to remember and redouble their efforts for emancipation.

Every year since 1976, on March 30, Palestinians around the world have commemorated Land Day. Though it may sound like an environmental celebration, Land Day marks a bloody day in Israel when security forces gunned down six Palestinians, as they protested Israeli expropriation of Arab-owned land in the country’s north to build Jewish-only settlements.

The Land Day victims were not Palestinians from the occupied territories, but citizens of the state, a group that now numbers over 1.6 million people, or 20.5 percent of the population. They are inferior citizens in a state that defines itself as Jewish and democratic, but in reality is neither.

On that dreadful day 36 years ago, in response to Israel’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of acres of Palestinian land for “security and settlement purposes,” a general strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns within Israel, from the Galilee to the Negev. The night before, in a last-ditch attempt to block the planned protests, the government imposed a curfew on the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra and Kabul, in the Western Galilee. The curfew failed; citizens took to the streets. Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as those in the refugee communities across the Middle East, joined in solidarity demonstrations.

In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed, about 100 wounded, and hundreds arrested. The day lives on, fresh in the Palestinian memory, since today, as in 1976, the conflict is not limited to Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but is ever-present in the country’s treatment of its own Palestinian Arab citizens.

Ben Swann (Reality Check) Santorum Delegate Count a Lie?! Paul Gaining States?!

Wikileaks - CIA's tool

Rafik Lutif explains his reasoning behind Wikileaks & CNN's sudden documentary on Homs.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

ACLU: FBI illegally used ‘outreach’ program to spy on Muslims

NY Daily News
Larry McShane

Wrong for FBI to ‘target American Muslim’ groups like this, American Civil Liberties Union says

The FBI’s San Francisco office illegally collected intelligence on Muslims religious activities under the guise of an outreach program, the American Civil Liberties Union says.

FBI records obtained by the ACLU indicated the federal agents violated the U.S. Privacy Act — which protects maintaining records on religious practice unless there is a clear law enforcement purpose.

“Everyone understands that the FBI has a job to do, but it is wrong and counterproductive for the bureau to target American Muslim religious groups for secret intelligence gathering,” said ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi.

The documents covered the years from 2004 through 2008, and were obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request.

The FBI, in its response, defended its action and noted that the agents involved identified themselves in every case — even handing out business cards in some instances.

“These 2004-2008 documents reflect that information was collected within the scope of an authorized law enforcement activity ... including activities designed to strengthen relationships in various activities,” said FBI spokesman Michael Kortan.

The FBI has since established a formal community outreach program and put new rules into effect regarding intelligence gathering.

In the reports made public by the ACLU, the religious information was mentioned in passing in larger reports filed by FBI agents.

Obama’s Hypocrisy Grows With Each Drone Attack


 U.S. Military drone fighter plane
releasing guided missles.

Exposing an issue which has been continually marginalized by corporate media, the ACLU is suing the Obama administration under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking to force disclosure of the guidelines used by Obama officials to select which human beings (both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals) will have their lives ended by the CIA’s clandestine drone attacks.
Specifically, the FOIA request “seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing.” Not surprisingly, the Obama administration has refused to provide any of that information.  To make things worse, the CIA claims that these draconian drone attacks aren’t able to be confirmed or denied due to national security issues.

What makes these unauthorized attacks so shameful is not merely the fact that the Obama administration demands complete control over who it will kill and when without having to answer to anyone for its actions, choices or claimed legal authority, though that’s obviously bad enough; what really is disgusting about this situation is the need for the ACLU to even have to sue the government  in order to force it to disclose its claimed legal and factual bases for assassinating U.S. citizens without charges, trial or due process of any kind. Additionally, the blatantly false claim by the CIA that it cannot confirm or deny the CIA drone program without damaging national security, speaks to the usual backdoor and tyrannical tactics of the national defense agencies which for all intents and purposes have converted into groups that work for certain political and economic goals, not “national defense.”

Several Obama officials — including the President himself and the CIA Director — have repeatedly bragged in public about this very program.  Obama even went further to hail the drone attacks and the CIA operation of those attacks, saying that it is “a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on.”  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also faithfully jumped on the bandwagon and proclaims that the drone program has “been very effective at undermining al Qaeda and their ability to plan those kinds of attacks.”  Just two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech purporting to legally justify these same drone attacks.

Obviously, the Obama administration is openly supporting these illegal drone attacks in an effort to posture Obama has a tough, all-American warrior type who is willing to roll up his sleeves and get dirty single handedly eradicating Al-Qaeda. Everyone in the world knows that the Obama administration has a drone program.  Those Muslim countries in which the bombs have landed, continually creating piles of civilian bodies certainly can attests to the Obama administrations display of brutality and complete disregard for the consequences of blowback.

But when it comes time to answer to the people of this sham democracy, Obama and friends treat us like the dopes many of us have become.  Claiming that these not so secret drone attacks are too sensitive to be compromised when it comes time to ask courts to adjudicate its legality, it seems the Obama administration is only interested in keeping the courts out of investigating these attacks so they can continue to perch our highest elected official well above the rule of law.

This is why the U.S. Government’s fixation on secrecy — worse than ever under the Obama administration, as evidenced by its unprecedented war on whistleblowers — is so pernicious. It not only enables government officials to operate in the dark, which inevitably ensures vast (though undiscovered) abuses of power. Worse, it enables the government to aggressively propagandize the citizenry without challenge: Officials in the Obama administration are able to make all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about the drone program and how it keeps us safe, while suppressing any real official information on the drone program that would contradict their propagandized claims.

This is yet another example of the forced conformity American politics instills in its participants, before Obama was in office he explicitly denounced the secrecy powers invoked by the Bush administration, which included warrantless eavesdropping, rendition, and torture.  Now the Obama administration is taking these warped secrecy games one step further. They boast publicly about the programs to lavish themselves with commendation, only to turn around once they’re sued in court and insist that the programs are too secret even to acknowledge.

This would be laughable if it weren’t so destructive.  With each bomb dropped from those drones, Obama is continuing to cement the worst aspects of the Bush administration in place, the very same ones that he so inspirationally vowed to end.

London riots: A nation still waits for answers

Hindustan Times
Dipankar De Sarkar

Eight months on, we know a lot about the riots that swept parts of London and other cities across England. We know much about the social and economic background of the looters and arsonists. We know of family breakdown and disaffection.

We know what sparked it — the police killing of alleged black drug dealer Mark Duggan. But we don’t know why police killed him (his family calls it an execution). The police are stopped from telling us.

This month England has been debating and discussing the riots of the summer of 2011. At least two major studies have shed light on the over-3,000 people who were arrested on charges of rioting.

According to a joint study by The Guardian (a great example of media responsibility) and the London School of Economics, based on interviews with 270 rioters, they were mainly young unemployed men. Half were black but they didn’t consider the disturbances to be ‘race riots.’

A report by an independent panel set up by the government says there are 5,000,000 ‘forgotten families’ in England who “bump along the bottom of society.” It paints a grim picture of this ‘bottom’: broken communities with young jobless who crave the designer goods they see advertised all around but cannot afford to buy.

“When people don’t feel they have a reason to stay out of trouble, the consequences for communities can be devastating – as we saw last August,” said Darra Singh, chair of the panel. But the nub of the matter is this: why did police kill Duggan, the act that lit the fuse?

We don’t know because a law — the only one of its kind in the world apparently — stops police from revealing evidence gathered from phone tapping. This week calls grew for amending it — led by none other than the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

As a result of the provision, an inquest cannot be held. “We’re in the dark now as we were in the beginning,” said Carole Duggan, Mark’s aunt. One compromise – because there are security implications – is for judges to be given the power to rule on individual cases.

NDAA press conference

Drone strikes in Yemen soar as U.S. stokes 'secret war'


America has dramatically stepped up its "secret war"
in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of
drone attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed
scores of civilians. Pictured, this video image
released courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group,
shows a never-before-released pictures
of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a
CIA drone strike on September 30, 2011.
America has dramatically stepped up its "secret war" in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of drone attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed scores of civilians.

With the backing of Yemen's fragile government, President Barack Obama has authorized a rapid increase in attacks since last May, with 26 incidents recorded.

The pace appears to be accelerating, with nine attacks so far this year and at least five this month, including a strike last week near the terrorist hotbed of Zinjibar. Up to 30 militants were killed in three separate missile strikes on the town, witnesses said.

Nationwide the figures are comparable to those in Pakistan, where America has struck on 10 occasions this year, despite a fierce public reaction.

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at London's City University has found that as many as 516 people have been killed in the Yemen attacks - mostly suspected members of al-Qaida's local ally al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). As many as 104 were civilians.
The majority of the attacks were carried out by the CIA or U.S. special forces command from a base in nearby Dijbouti but American officials refused to confirm any details. President Obama has made plain his determination to go after AQAP, which he has described as "a network of violence and terror". It has attracted a number of U.S. citizens to its cause, including the radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki.

Awlaki was killed last September, with Samir Khan, the editor of AQAP's English-language propaganda magazine Inspire, which had been blamed for recruiting Western-raised youths.

Days later a follow-up attack killed other militants - as well as Awlaki's 16-year old son and 17-year old nephew - disabling AQAP's ability to speak to an English-language audience.

Spanish workers stage general strike

Daniel Woolis, Ciaran Giles

British Airways said its flights were operating normally but advised passengers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport

Flag-waving Spanish workers livid over labour reforms they see as flagrantly pro-business blocked traffic today, forming boisterous picket lines outside wholesale markets and bus garages, as part of a nationwide strike.

Unions claimed massive participation in the 24-hour stoppage protesting what they claim to be the latest dose of bitter medicine prime minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government has prescribed to appease European Union overseers and jittery investors watching Spain's debt grow and its GDP shrink.

The unions demanded a "gesture" from the government to scale back the reforms, warning they could cause more unrest from May 1.

The government quickly said no, and downplayed the impact of the strike, which failed to bring the country to a standstill. "There is no stopping on the path to reform," labour minister Fatima Banez said.
In fact, the government will on Friday serve up even more austerity pain with a 2012 budget to feature tens of billions of euros in deficit-reduction measures.

The cuts are designed to help Spain lower its deficit to within EU limits and calm the international investors who determine the country's borrowing costs in debt markets — and therefore have a lot of say in whether Spain will follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in needing a bailout.

There were no reports of significant violence in today's demonstration. A total of 58 people were detained and nine were injured in scuffles as the strike got under way a minute after midnight, Interior Ministry official Cristina Diaz said.

Unions are challenging a conservative government not yet 100 days old, protesting changes to labor market rules long regarded as among Europe's most rigid. Among other things the changes make it cheaper and easier for companies to lay people off and let them cut their wages unilaterally.

On the Gran Via, one of the Spanish capital's main commercial strips, a group of about 500 whistle-blowing picketers marched slowly, blocking traffic for about an hour. Police and helmeted riot police watched from the sidelines.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

US needs Assange under arrest ‘while seeking Manning link’

Russia Today

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, faces an uncertain future. Pr. Marcello Ferrada-Noli told RT why he thinks it’s convenient for the US to have Assange under arrest in Sweden.

Even considering the particularities of the Swedish legal system, there is the possibility of questioning Assange by various means, by phone, for instance, noted Ferrada-Noli, a Senior Advisor at Stockholm University. But, he added, there is a political reason why Assange is kept under arrest – and why several players are falling into place to let America get its hands on WikiLeaks' founder.

“In the US, the preparations for the trial [over Assange] are seeking a connection between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, trying to make Assange accountable. For that they need time, they need to prepare this material. For that, of course, it’s highly convenient to keep him under arrest.”

The professor also mentions the biased image of Assange the media has been carefully drawing.
“I have seen most articles written in the period when I was studying this phenomenon, negative towards Assange – and not only negative in connection with the [sexual assault] allegations, but also negative ad hominem, describing his personality in unjustified and offensive terms.”

Ferrada-Noli spoke of the positive impact the WikiLeaks documents have had on democracy.

“The disclosures made by WikiLeaks, aimed to reveal the secrets that actually belong to the people that elected those authorities which are abusing the power by not telling the truth, and by that WikiLeaks is doing a huge favor to democracy.”

Swedish authorities want to question Assange in relation to sexual assault allegations, and some politicians in the US want him extradited there to stand trial for leaking tens of thousands of secret US government documents.


Libya 360˙

The explosive report on the man convicted of the Lockerbie atrocity and why we are publishing it after five years of secrecy

Lucy Adams and John Ashton

The Sunday Herald publishes the full 800-page report detailing why the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing could have walked free.

The controversial report from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has remained secret for five years because, until now, no-one had permission to publish it.

The Sunday Herald and its sister paper, The Herald, are the only newspapers in the world to have seen the report. We choose to publish it because we have the permission of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing, and because we believe it is in the public interest to disseminate the whole document.

The Sunday Herald has chosen to publish the full report online today to allow the public to see for themselves the analysis of the evidence which could have resulted in the acquittal of Megrahi. Under Section 32 of the Data Protection Act, journalists can publish in the public interest. We have made very few redactions to protect the names of confidential sources and private information.

The publication of the report adds weight to calls for a full public inquiry into the atrocity – something for which many of the relatives have been campaigning for more than two decades.

Megrahi has also sent a copy of the full report to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who released him on compassionate grounds in August 2009.

Jonathan Mitchell QC told the Sunday Herald: “From a data-protection point of view, it is questionable whether this report is the ‘personal data’ of anyone other than Megrahi.”

The Data Protection Act was described as “one of the most poorly drafted pieces of legislation on the statute book” by Tom Hickman, a barrister at Blackstone Chambers, on a UK Constitutional Law Group website.

Mitchell believes the Sunday Herald is not constrained from publishing the report. He said: ‘‘Section 32 of the Data Protection Act has the effect – putting it shortly – that processing (which includes publication) of personal data, even sensitive personal data, is exempt from the relevant data-protection principles if it is for the purpose of journalism and the newspaper reasonably believes that, having regard in particular to the special importance of the public interest in freedom of expression, ‘publication would be in the public interest’, and also reasonably believes that compliance with data-protection principles such as non-disclosure would be incompatible with the journalistic function.”

The Herald revealed earlier this month that, according to the report, the Crown failed to disclose seven key items of evidence that led to the Lockerbie case being referred back for a fresh appeal.
The SCCRC rejected many of the defence submissions but upheld six grounds which could have constituted a miscarriage of justice.

The commission made clear that, had such information been shared with the defence, the result of the trial could have been different.

World Bank Nominee Tied to Monsanto Shareholder Bill Gates, Soros

Natural Society
Tim McCoy

Obama nominated Dartmouth University president Jim Yong Kim, M.D. to head the United Nations World Bank.  Most people think that UN agencies benefit poor people, but this is far from the truth.

The UN World Bank claims to fight poverty in developing nations by financing infrastructure projects. But the UN World Bank is really a tool used to acquire Third World natural resources through conditions on loans that are extremely difficult to repay. The raw resources are then privatized by insider multi-national corporations.  The World Bank actually creates more poverty.

The nomination of Jim Yong Kim indicates that the World Bank may shift away from focusing on infrastructure and will instead turn toward providing health care in Third World countries.  Jim Yong Kim’s areas of interest include vaccines for tuberculosis as well as drugs for HIV and AIDS.

Kim brokered a deal with Big Pharma and the UN World Health Organization for expanding the pharmaceutical drug market to a larger populace in exchange for lower drug prices for second-line tuberculosis drugs.  Second-line drugs are used when basic treatment fails because of drug resistance.  Drug resistance similar to the new ‘resistant White Plague‘ brought about by big pharma’s drugs. Many in the medical community believed it would be dangerous to distribute second-line drugs widely.  Kim is also responsible for pushing HIV/AIDS retroviral drugs in developing nations.

HIV/AIDS drugs used in the Third World have profound side effects that include eye, kidney, liver and heart problems.

Jim Yong Kim says that the highest point in his career was when George Soros donated to Kim’s tuberculosis vaccine program, which was followed by a a huge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for $44.7 million.  Monsanto shareholder Bill Gates, who has repeatedly stated that Monsanto’s GMOs are the answer to starvation despite scientific proof of the contrary, gave a controversial speech at a Ted conference outlining the controversial population reduction plan through ‘healthcare’:
“The world today has 6.8 billion people… that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”
Additionally, Kim is the co-founder of Partners in Health along with Paul Farmer who is famous for saying that healthcare is a right.  Healthcare as a “right” disables health freedom to escape the medical health paradigm and choose your own methods of healing.  In addition, it also enables the government to determine whether or not an individual may receive care — the ‘right’ to live or die.  Therefore, this shocking and disturbing program falls into the category of a eugenics-based plan.

The objective of Jim Yong Kim heading the UN World Bank appears to be to promote ludicrous policies by expanding healthcare through dangerous drugs.  Kim’s support for redistribution of wealth and socialized medicine may come with a tremendous price tag for developed countries (especially the US).  If the UN World Bank was truly a benevolent organization, the focus for the Third World would be on support for independent farming, clean water and food.

Sen. Cardin tells how he and Hillary Clinton muscled foreign ambassadors to block ‘anti-American’ Palestinian statehood

Bruce Wolman

Ben Cardin
While 2600 participants gathered in downtown Washington this weekend for the third annual J Street conference, another group of about 250 Jews met at a synagogue in the DC suburb of Chevy Chase Sunday night to hear Maryland Senator Ben Cardin and Israeli diplomat Eliav Benjamin discuss "how pro-Palestinian forces have manipulated the UN to isolate, demonize and delegitimize Israel." For Phil and me, two of the youngest people in the audience, it was an instructive lesson in how the United States exercises its not so soft-power to protect Israel.

The relatively unknown American Jewish International Relations Institute organized the event along with a fundraising reception. According to the AJIRI, it is a non-profit, tax-deductible organization which serves as a private research arm for a bipartisan US Congressional Task Force of more than 40 House members who are concerned with how friendly foreign governments vote in the UN on Israeli and Palestinian issues. In 2006, the then House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Republican Whip Roy Blunt established the Task Force to directly communicate with foreign leaders. AJIRI coordinates actions between the Task Force and the State Department, which supposedly "welcomes" the congressional dabbling in US foreign policy.

As to AJIRI's effectiveness, its Chairman Richard Schifter told the audience that the US had to exercise 41 vetoes at the Security Council on behalf of Israel before the establishment of the Task Force. Since 2006, the US has had to exercise only one veto. Schifter attributed this success rate to the group of ex-diplomats AJIRI has assembled in New York.

In his speech from the synagogue's bimah, Senator Cardin, who sits on both the Senate Foreign and Finance Committees, boasted about how the Palestinians were roundly thwarted in their recent attempt to gain state recognition at the UN Security Council. First, the United States made it very clear that it would veto any resolution that received enough votes to pass.

But why were the Palestinians unable to even get the necessary 9 votes which would then have required a US veto to defeat the resolution? Cardin:

It was clear that when the resolutions were being contemplated to circumvent the peace process, that the Palestinians were not able to get the votes they thought they could have gotten in the Security Council. Now why couldn’t they get their nine votes? They couldn't get their nine votes because of why you’re here this evening, because of the organization you're supporting, because of the work that they did in talking to delegates from other countries, and energizing the political system in America to be much more sensitive to UN votes.

Global Warming Models Are Wrong Again

Wall Street Journal
William Happer

The observed response of the climate to more CO2 is not in good agreement with predictions.

During a fundraiser in Atlanta earlier this month, President Obama is reported to have said: "It gets you a little nervous about what is happening to global temperatures. When it is 75 degrees in Chicago in the beginning of March, you start thinking. On the other hand, I really have enjoyed nice weather."

What is happening to global temperatures in reality? The answer is: almost nothing for more than 10 years. Monthly values of the global temperature anomaly of the lower atmosphere, compiled at the University of Alabama from NASA satellite data, can be found at the website The latest (February 2012) monthly global temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere was minus 0.12 degrees Celsius, slightly less than the average since the satellite record of temperatures began in 1979.

The lack of any statistically significant warming for over a decade has made it more difficult for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its supporters to demonize the atmospheric gas CO2 which is released when fossil fuels are burned. The burning of fossil fuels has been one reason for an increase of CO2 levels in the atmosphere to around 395 ppm (or parts per million), up from preindustrial levels of about 280 ppm.
CO2 is not a pollutant. Life on earth flourished for hundreds of millions of years at much higher CO2 levels than we see today. Increasing CO2 levels will be a net benefit because cultivated plants grow better and are more resistant to drought at higher CO2 levels, and because warming and other supposedly harmful effects of CO2 have been greatly exaggerated. Nations with affordable energy from fossil fuels are more prosperous and healthy than those without.

The direct warming due to doubling CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be calculated to cause a warming of about one degree Celsius. The IPCC computer models predict a much larger warming, three degrees Celsius or even more, because they assume changes in water vapor or clouds that supposedly amplify the direct warming from CO2. Many lines of observational evidence suggest that this "positive feedback" also has been greatly exaggerated.

There has indeed been some warming, perhaps about 0.8 degrees Celsius, since the end of the so-called Little Ice Age in the early 1800s. Some of that warming has probably come from increased amounts of CO2, but the timing of the warming—much of it before CO2 levels had increased appreciably—suggests that a substantial fraction of the warming is from natural causes that have nothing to do with mankind.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: diplomatic immunity's greatest hits


Former IMF head joins an illustrious collection of miscreants who claimed the status to get out of trouble

In invoking diplomatic immunity, Dominique Strauss-Kahn joins
a rogues' gallery of accused international reprobates.
From petty thieves and fine-dodgers to drunk-drivers and outright murderers, "diplomatic immunity" has been the cry of a rogues' gallery of accused international miscreants plunged into hot water overseas.

Former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the latest to try to claim its protection in his bid to get a civil case brought by the New York hotel maid he is alleged to have assaulted struck out.

A look at the history of those claiming the status puts the one-time French presidential hope in a league with some rum fellows, red-faced diplomats and a Burmese ambassador who took immunity to a shocking extreme, or so the story goes.

Mexico: BlackBerry thief

In one of the more bizarre incidents of diplomatic immunity being claimed, a Mexican press attaché sought to evade the law after being caught with the BlackBerrys of several White House staffers.

The theft took place in 2008 during a bilateral get-together in New Orleans. After the devices had been placed on a table outside the meeting room, Rafael Quintero Curiel picked up a handful and headed to the exit.

He made it to the airport before authorities picked him up. After initially denying the theft, he owned up after being shown video footage of him being caught red-handed. Claiming immunity, he headed back to Mexico where he was promptly sacked.

Police officers try to revive PC Yvonne Fletcher after she was shot outside
the Libyan embassy in London in 1984 during an anti-Gaddafi protest.
Libyan officials say the suspect might not be extradited.
The murder of police officer Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984 resulted in the UK cutting all diplomatic ties with Tripoli.

No one was prosecuted over her death, and embassy staff claimed diplomatic immunity before being deported.

Kagan Defies Judicial Ethics and Sits on Obamacare Case

Larry Klayman

Today, the Supreme Court began oral arguments on the constitutionality of one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in the past fifty years. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, referred to as "Obamacare," stretches the power of the federal government to a level never before seen. Yet this is not the most important decision the Court faces. Justice Elena Kagan, the former Solicitor General, is continuing to illegally preside over a case in which her impartiality has been seriously called into question. 

Freedom Watch was the only group to file an amicus brief on the issue of Kagan's recusal and/or disqualification. Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch and before that Judicial Watch, has been the most ardent critic of the Court's avoidance of this issue. Never before has a justice, who championed legislation during its passage and crafted a legal defense for it, been able to preside over its validity. In no other court of the United States would this be acceptable. 

The Supreme Court, in a showing of defiance that its impartiality would be called into question, not only refused to hear oral argument on the issue of recusal and/or disqualification from Mr. Klayman, but today Justice Kagan presided over the case. This is consistent with Chief Justice Roberts' outrageous claim that the Supreme Court is not bound to the same ethic standards as lower courts, and that these standards may be "unconstitutional" -- a fabricated position meant only to justify the court's illegal actions. This serves to delegitimize not only this decision but the Supreme Court as an institution. 

Klayman adds, "It is now clear that the Supreme Court considers itself above the law, does not represent the American people and much less the rule of law. This is a formula for revolution."
For more information or to schedule an interview with Mr. Klayman call Tom Madden or Adrienne Mazzone, 561-750-9800 x210. The docket number in the Supreme Court is 11-393, 11-400.
SOURCE Larry Klayman 

AL QAEDA AND HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS: Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda.... An Incessant and Repetitive Public Discourse Part I

Global Research
Michel Chossudovsky

There is something disturbing in the nature of post 9/11 public discourse. Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events. Occurences of a significant political, social or strategic nature --including the US presidential elections campaign-- are routinely categorized by referring to Al Qaeda, the alleged architect of the September 11 2001 attacks.

What is striking is the extent of media coverage of "Al Qaeda related events", not to mention the mountains of op eds and authoritative "analysis" pertaining to "terror events" in different part of the World.

Routine mention of Al Qaeda "fanatics", "jihadists", etc. has become --from a news standpoint-- trendy and fashionable. A Worldwide ritual of authoritative media reporting has unfolded. At the time of writing (March 24, 2012), "Al Qaeda events" had 183 million entries on Google and 18,200 news entries.

A panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.

In turn, Al Qaeda - War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.

China Syndrome at Fukushima? NSW Editorial by Kevin Blanch

FBI Taught Agents They Could ‘Bend or Suspend the Law’

Spencer Ackerman

The FBI taught its agents that they could sometimes “bend or suspend the law” in their hunt for terrorists and criminals. Other FBI instructional material, discovered during a months-long review of FBI counterterrorism training, warned agents against shaking hands with “Asians” and said Arabs were prone to “Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums.”

These are just some of the disturbing results of the FBI’s six-month review into how the Bureau trained its counterterrorism agents. That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training. All that has a powerful senator saying that the review represents a “failure to adequately address” the problem.

“This is not an effective way to protect the United States,” Sen. Richard Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI, tells Danger Room about the inappropriate FBI counterterrorism training. “It’s stunning that these things could be said to members of our FBI in training. It will not make them more effective in their work and won’t make America safer.”

At the least, Durbin adds, “those responsible for some of the worst parts of this should be reassigned. I want FBI agents who were exposed to some of these comments to at least have a chance to be spoken to and given valid, positive information that can help them.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Left Takes ObamaCare To Court – Supreme Court

Dissident Voice
John V. Walsh

The struggle over the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare) is facilely cast as a battle between Left and Right. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A tussle between the dominant factions of the Democratic and Republican Parties it certainly is in a superficial and temporary way, until the kabuki politics of the presidential campaign is over. But a battle between Left and Right, it most assuredly is not. Obamacare is opposed by the Left, which has long sought Single-Payer (Medicare for All) as a proven way to universal and egalitarian coverage. But many Leftists have been too cowed by Democratic operatives or by Obama loyalists in their midst to speak their convictions. Now that silence has been shattered.

Recently 50 physicians, all strong supporters of Single-Payer, along with the Left wing non-profits, Single Payer Action and It’s Our Economy, have joined conservative and libertarian opposition to Obamacare. They have submitted to the Supreme Court an amicus brief which is a dagger aimed at the noxious heart of Obamacare, the individual mandate which codifies in law the domination of the health care system by the insurance companies. The brief states:
Amici thus submit this brief for the purpose of disputing the primary tenet of the Government’s position, that Congress cannot regulate the national healthcare market effectively unless it has power to require that citizens purchase insurance from private insurance companies. On the contrary, as set forth herein, Congress has already demonstrated that it can regulate healthcare markets effectively by implementing a single payer system such as Medicare or the VHA (Veterans Health Administration).
And in case the dagger failed to pierce its mark with that, the brief plunges deeper:
Government contends that the provision is not only “reasonable” but also “necessary” to its broader regulation of the national healthcare market. In particular, the Government contends that the individual mandate is “key to the viability of the Act’s guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions.” But while it might be true that these provisions will adversely impact private insurers’ profits, and that the individual mandate offsets this adverse impact by guaranteeing the private insurers a large stream of new customers who are required by law to purchase insurance, that is not sufficient to render the individual mandate constitutional. If it were, Congress could “reform” any private industry – whether it be automobiles, coal, pharmaceuticals or any other – by enacting legislation requiring every that American purchase the industry’s goods or services in exchange for some perceived public good the industry provides. Yet Congress has never before enacted such a mandate.
The amicus brief makes no argument against other features of Obamacare, for example, regulation of insurance companies and coverage of those with pre-existing conditions. Such “severability” has been advocated by many, most recently by Columbia law professors, Abbe Gluck and Michael Graetz in a New York Times Op-ed on March 23. But the Obama administration has resisted this separation and many Left groups have been pushed into silence for fear that they will be seen as opposing the “good” features of Obamacare. Severability, never mentioned by Obama loyalists, provides a simple way to oppose the nefarious features of Obamacare and yet allow the other features to go forward.

Hey Kids! It's the Easter Bunny and He's not Happy About Big Brother!

REPORT: Drones Targeting Funerals/Rescuers in Pakistan

George Zimmerman, Son of a Retired Judge, Has 3 Closed Arrests

Danielle Canada

Did George Zimmerman have help from his father, a retired judge, in clearing his name in three separate arrests?

That’s the question that’s being asked now that more information on Trayvon Martin’s 28-year-old killer is being revealed. Robert Zimmerman, a former Orange County magistrate judge, recently wrote a letter to The Orlando Sentinel defending his son, who’s been dragged through the mud for shooting the unarmed 17-year-old last month. In the letter, the senior Zimmerman asks people not to jump to conclusions and insists that his son didn’t follow the young boy home as he walked through their gated community.

“He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever. The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth. At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon, everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media,” wrote Robert Zimmerman.
Now more info is being dug up on his “victimized” son through public records and revealing his checkered past.

According to a records search on George, he was previously arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and most shockingly, resisting an officer with violence — a  felony charge that surely could have landed him in prison.

All three of those arrests, however, were mysteriously closed with no semblance of charges for the Florida resident. So how was someone with a violent past including that of battery against an officer able to carry a 9 mm handgun? Maybe that’s a question Robert Zimmerman should answer

High School Student Expelled For Tweeting Profanity; Principal Admits School Tracks All Tweets

Mike Masnick

Tinker v. Des Moines is considered a key lawsuit in defining the free speech rights of students. While there have been a few cases that limited the ruling, it's still seen as the key case in establishing that students have First Amendment rights and that schools can't just arbitrarily shut them down.

I'm reminded of all this after hearing that a student, Austin Carroll at Garrett High School in Garrett, Indiana, was expelled from the school for a silly tweet that used the word "fuck" repeatedly.

Supposedly he tweeted something along the lines of "Fuck is one of the fucking words you can fucking put anywhere in a fucking sentence and still fucking makes sense." A little juvenile, but he's in high school. He insists that he tweeted this from home, but the school insisted that it was done at school.

But the details suggest the tweet came at 2:30am when he was definitely not at school.

What's coming out, however, is that the school was apparently spying on how students use Twitter:
The principal at Garrett High School claims their system tracks all the tweets on Twitter when a student logs in, meaning even if he did tweet it from home their system could have recognized it when he logged in again at school.
I'm not entirely sure what they mean here by it "could have recognized it when he logged in again at school," but it seems clear that the school was aggressively monitoring social networking activity, and chose to expel the kid because of his decision to express himself. It sounds like Austin isn't fighting the expulsion, but simply found an alternative school to complete his last few months and get his diploma, but that's pretty ridiculous. I don't see how the school has a legitimate argument for expulsion here as it appears to violate his basic First Amendment rights. Even beyond that, though, it's really pretty shameful what the school is teaching its students. Spying on students and punishing them for expressing themselves gives exactly the wrong kind of message to students.

Toulouse gunman was informant of French intelligence?

Russia Today

An undated and non-datelined frame grab from
a video broadcast March 21, 2012 by French national
television station France 2 who they claim to
show Mohamed Merah
Mohamed Merah, the notorious killer shot in a stand-off with police a week ago in Toulouse, is still stirring controversy in France. An ex-chief of the French spy agency says Merah might have acted as an informant to the local equivalent of the FBI.

­The speculation comes as Yves Bonnet, a former intelligence chief, says Merah might have passed information onto the DCRI, a French domestic intelligence agency.

He was known to the DCRI, not especially because he was an Islamist, but because he had a correspondent in domestic intelligence,” Bonnet told La Dépêce newspaper on Monday.

When you have a correspondent, it’s not completely innocent,” he remarked.

On Tuesday the assumption, worthy of a huge scandal, was rebuffed by DCRI head Bernard Squarcini.

Merah was indeed interviewed by a local intelligence agent in November 2011, Squarcini said, but this was because the agency “wanted to receive explanations about his trip to Afghanistan.

As Merah stated he went to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 as a tourist, he was let go but placed on a watch list. Merah “did not serve as an informant to the DCRI or any other French intelligence service,” stressed the DCRI head.

Previously, French officials said “no evidence” indicated that Merah was linked to terror groups or that the shooting spree, which took the lives of seven people in Toulouse earlier this month, was ordered by al-Qaeda.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Contaminated Ocean's Food Chain, Study Finds

International Business Times
Ryan Villarreal

Zooplankton form the base of the ocean's food web and are typically fed upon by fish larva and smaller crustaceans, said Dr. David Kimmel of East Carolina University. Whether or not these larger organisms have accumulated significant amounts of toxic compounds, or has entered the human food chain, has yet to be determined.

"That is certainly one of the questions we would like to see answered with more research," said Dr. Mitra in a phone interview.

Another question the researchers would like to see answered is how long the oil compounds will remain in the zooplankton, but it requires sustained observation over a long period of time.

The zooplankton themselves, do not seem to have been negatively impacted in terms of population, said Dr. Mike Roman at the University of Maryland, though they serve as a conduit for energy and matter, including the toxic compounds, to move up the food chain.

The research team was funded to test its hypothesis about the presence of oil compounds in zooplankton, and the results of its study are viewed as something to build upon in determining the full ecological impact of the oil spill.

Dr. Roman said there needs to be long-term monitoring systems in place in the Gulf to examine various levels of the ecosystem and how they have been impacted by the spill.

A Fistful of Euros

Daily Bell
Ron Paul

This week, my congressional committee will hold a hearing to examine how the Federal Reserve bails out European banks, propping up spendthrift European governments in the process. Unfortunately, this bailout comes at the expense of American citizens, in the form of higher prices and diminished savings down the road.

A good analysis of the Fed's "swap" scheme first appeared in the Wall Street Journal back in December, in an article by Gerald O'Driscoll entitled, "The Federal Reserve's Covert Bailout of Europe." Essentially, beginning late last year the Fed provided US dollars to the European Central Bank in exchange for Euros − sometimes as much as $100 billion at a time. The ECB then funneled those dollars to European banks to provide liquidity and prevent crises from bank insolvencies. Since the currency swap was not technically a loan, the Fed did not have to embarrass itself by openly showing foreign bank debt on its balance sheet. The ECB meanwhile did not have to print new euros and expose the true fragility of big European banks.

The entire purpose of this unholy arrangement was to obscure the truth: namely that the Fed was bailing out Europe with US dollars.

But why is it the business of the Federal Reserve to bail out European banks that find themselves short of dollars to pay their dollar-denominated contracts? After all, those contracts often were hedges taken to protect banks against weakness of the euro. Hedges are supposed to reduce risk, but banks that miscalculate should suffer their own losses accordingly. It's not our business if the ECB chooses to create moral hazards by providing liquidity to European banks, but why should the Fed prop up Europe's bad decisions!

The Fed has promised to provide unlimited amounts of dollars to the ECB, should circumstances require it. It boggles the mind. Of course, when Fed officials first entered into these swap agreements with the ECB last September, they did so quietly. The American public only found out via websites of the ECB, the Bank of England, or the Swiss Central Bank.

Bloomberg warns BDS will lead to ‘massacres’ as Park Slope Co-op holds initial vote on boycott tonight

Matthew Taylor

The Park Slope Food Co-op is set to vote tonight on whether to hold a referendum on boycotting Israeli goods and the New York Times has sunk to a preposterously inconceivable new low with this news report biased propaganda on the proposed Park Slope Co-Op Boycott of Israeli products. What's missing:

- not a single quote from anyone who supports the boycott

- not a single mention of what is motivating the boycott: Israel's human rights abuses, theft of land, oppression of Palestinians, and so on

- not a single statement of comparative contextual history, e.g., grassroots boycotts of South Africa that successfully contributed to the end of Apartheid policies

Instead of of neutrality, impartiality, facts, and context, what do we get? A megaphone for hateful, delusional scaremongering:
“I think it has nothing to do with the food,” Mayor Bloomberg said of the boycott. “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred, and America is not going to let that happen.”
Excuse me? Supporters of nonviolent boycott want Israelis to be massacred?

Not to be outdone, Manhattan borough president Scott M. Stringer called the boycott “an anti-Semitic crusade.” And again, no chance for a response from any co-op members who support the boycott.
Memo to the new Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren: I hope you read this. I hope you will read Falk and Friel's Israel-Palestine on the Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East. I hope you will turn over a new leaf in the newspaper of mis-record's coverage.

Online news readership overtakes newspapers

Suzanne Choney

For the first time, more of us are getting our news from the Web than from newspapers, according to a new report, which finds that the Internet now "trails only television among American adults as a destination for the news."

And that "gap" between the Internet and TV is "closing," according to a new report on "The State of the News Media 2011" by Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism.

"Financially the tipping point also has come," wrote Tom Rosenstiel and Amy Mitchell in the report. "When the final tally is in, online ad revenue in 2010 is projected to surpass print newspaper ad revenue for the first time. The problem for news is that by far the largest share of that online ad revenue goes to non-news sources, particularly to aggregators," such as Google and Yahoo news.

Nearly half of all American Adults — 47 percent — report getting "at least some local news and information" on their cell phones or tablets. But when it comes to paying for online local news, be it via subscription or buying "apps,"  few of us are doing that or are thinking of doing it.

If we were to dig into our pockets, 23 percent of us would be willing to pay $5 a month for full access to a local newspaper online. Another 18 percent would be open to paying $10 a month.

"Both figures are substantially higher than the percentage of adults (5 percent) who currently pay for online local news content. Nonetheless, roughly three-quarters say they would not pay anything," according to "How mobile devices are changing community information environments." The report was done by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Pew Internet & American Life Project and the Knight Foundation as part of "The State of the News Media" research.