August 19th, 2008

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Wholesale prices surge in July, rising at fastest pace since 1981

Related
Large U.S. bank collapse seen ahead

Wholesale prices rising at fastest pace since 1981

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer1 hour, 9 minutes ago

Wholesale inflation surged in July, leaving prices for the past year rising at the fastest pace in 27 years, according to government data released Tuesday.

The Labor Department reported that wholesale prices shot up 1.2 percent in July, pushed higher by rising costs for energy, motor vehicles and other products. The increase was more than twice the 0.5 percent gain that economists expected.

Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.7 percent. That increase was the biggest since November 2006 and more than triple the 0.2 percent rise in core prices that had been expected.

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Making a Caricature of a Nation’s Fears

The New York Times
Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By



August 19, 2008
Copenhagen Journal

COPENHAGEN — Osama is a businessman who sees terrorism as a profit center, selling terrorism-themed T-shirts, caps and ballpoint pens. Abdul, a convert to Islam, acts as if he cannot kill enough people, or make bombs big enough. Ali, a Pakistani, has won a competition for the honor of avenging the cartoons published in Denmark that disparaged Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.

Despite the threat they seem to present, the four men have so far eluded the Danish police — not because they run such a sophisticated operation, but because they are the principal characters in a situation comedy, “The Terror Cell.”

***

Does he ever feel threatened? Mr. Marzouk is stoic. Anticipating attacks, he had a special death threat feature on his Web site, until he recently updated the site, by which visitors could choose among eight ways of having him assassinated, like by firing squad, by blowing up his car or by beheading.

“A majority chose beheading,” he said.

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California Becomes First State to Condemn Use of Torture in 'War on Terror'

Eisha Mason

California Progress Report
2008-08-18 01:06:00


On Thursday, the California Legislature adopted SJR 19, a resolution to prevent the state's licensed health professionals from engaging in torture.

As a result of SJR 19, state medical boards will inform health professionals of their obligations under both domestic and international law regarding treatment of prisoners and detainees. They will be warned that if they participate in interrogations that do not conform to these standards, they risk future prosecution. The state will also request the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency to remove California doctors and psychologists from settings that fall short of international standards of treatment.

The myth that the U.S. does not torture is coming apart at the seams. Every week there are new revelations of misconduct. The abuses are not the result of "a few bad apples," but rather stem from a short-sighted and reckless policy that has damaged the lives of countless people held in U.S. custody, attacked the emotional and spiritual well-being of American soldiiers who have witnessed it and undermined the moral authority of America in the world community.
Arranged by ladybroadoak at 8/19/2008 03:43:00 AM 
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If We Could Speak to the People, What Would We Say?

19 08 2008

Peter Chamberlin

If we could reach beyond the news filter that keeps real news from the
American people, what would we say? If we figured-out how to get one message
out to the people, what could we say that would actually motivate them to
take a stand for themselves, for their families, for their country and their
world?

The same studies that power the social planners claim that barely 10% of any
group of people follow reason, meaning they cannot be reasoned with. The
same studies also predict that a clear majority of any targeted population
will respond to fear in a shock scenario. We might try reasoning with the
sleeping sheeple, but we would have better odds if we tried to scare them
awake. If we can convey a true image of the evil being done with our
consent, then we might shock the people into the harsh light of reality.

Our leaders are about to allow the economic collapse of the United States,
without telling you beforehand, or helping American citizens to make
emergency preparations.

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Taliban Forces Kill 10 French Soldiers and Raid U.S. Base

The New York Times

August 20, 2008

By CARLOTTA GALL and SANGAR RAHIMI

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting, one a complex attack with multiple suicide bombers on a United States military base Monday night, and another by some 100 insurgents on French forces in a district east of the capital, killing 10 French soldiers and wounding 21 others, military officials said Tuesday.

Three American soldiers were wounded and six members of the Afghan special forces in the attack on the base in the eastern province of Khost, bordering Pakistan, the Afghan military spokesman, General Zaher Azimi, said. The battle lasted all night, 10 suicide bombers were killed or blew themselves up, and the insurgents were repulsed without entering the base, he said.

The heavy fighting in the two places marks a sharp escalation in insurgent operations in what is already Afghanistan’s deadliest year since the United States’ intervention in 2001. Insurgents have increased their use of roadside bombs and suicide bombs, but have also shown a growing sophistication with several well-organized, complex attacks employing multiple attackers and different types of weapons systems, NATO officials say.

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Algerian Bombing Kills 43

Update
How Algeria created their "aL Qaeda" cell


The New York Times

August 20, 2008

By CAROLINE BROTHERS

PARIS — At least 43 people, mainly civilians and police recruits, were killed and 38 others were injured Tuesday when a suicide bomber drove a car filled with explosives into a police academy about 35 miles east of the Algerian capital, Algiers, Algerian government officials said.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the death toll was a "preliminary estimate" for the attack early Tuesday in the Les Issers district of Boumerdes, The Associated Press reported.

"There was an explosion at 7 a.m. this morning," said an official contacted at the office of the Algerian president, who declined to be named but who confirmed the details of the Interior Ministry statement.

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New Woodard book likely to propel a re-examination of the Iraq war into the headlines

Bob Woodward to reveal 'The War Within'

By: Mike Allen

August 19, 2008

Bob Woodward’s new book is shrouded in such mystery that even the title was a secret until now.

Publishing sources say the book, completed just three weeks ago and out Sept. 8, is titled “The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008.”

The book's revelations are likely to propel a re-examination of the Iraq war into the headlines just as the fall presidential campaign is taking off.

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The existential threat to Israel is called the "one-state solution"

Rattling the Cage: Quicksand in Yesha

Aug. 6, 2008

Larry Derfner , THE JERUSALEM POST

Ehud Olmert said it about as well as anybody. "We're nearing the point where more and more Palestinians are going to say: 'We're convinced. We agree with [Avigdor] Lieberman. There isn't room for two states between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. All we want is the right to vote.'

"The day that happens," Olmert continued, "we will have lost everything. Even when they commit terrorism, it's hard for us to convince the world that we're right. It'll be that much harder when they're demanding equal voting rights. I dread the thought that the leaders of the struggle against us will be the liberal Jewish organizations that carried the fight against apartheid in South Africa."

That was from an interview with Yediot Aharonot in December 2003. Since then, Ariel Sharon made the good faith effort to avoid Olmert's nightmare scenario by getting us out of Gaza. Then Olmert wanted to go further with his "convergence plan" to withdraw from about 90% of the West Bank. But the Second Lebanon War, the Kassams from Gaza and the rise of Hamas doomed that idea. Instead, the settlements and outposts in the West Bank have only been growing, and there's no end to their growth in sight.

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FBI Admits It Destroyed Evidence In Anthrax Case

Related
Parallels Between the Anthrax and 9/11 Investigations
Advisor to FBI in Anthrax Investigation Says Attack Was False Flag Terror
Why People Who Question the Anthrax Attacks Won't Question 9/11

Monday, August 18, 2008

According to the Associated Press:

"FBI scientists early on had — but destroyed — the unique strain of anthrax used in the deadly 2001 attacks that years later would lead them to Dr. Bruce Ivins...:

***

[This was anthrax that] Ivins took from his Army lab in February 2002 and gave investigators"
The FBI's excuse for destroying the anthrax sample which Ivins gave them?

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New Anthrax Details Show Investigation In Disarray

Related
FBI Admits Tossing Anthrax Sample

From the Los Angeles Times

Scientists elaborate on the case against Bruce Ivins

One revelation is that, contrary to what some officials had claimed, the mailed anthrax had not been 'weaponized.'

By David Willman

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

August 19, 2008

WASHINGTON — Scientists behind the case against Bruce E. Ivins, who federal officials allege was solely responsible for the deadly anthrax mailings of 2001, publicly described their work for the first time Monday and said the spores had originated from a flask linked by investigators to the deceased Army scientist.

In two briefings with reporters spanning nearly four hours, the scientists provided new and sometimes clarifying details about the extensive testing that led prosecutors to the brink of filing murder charges against Ivins, who died of a prescription-drug overdose July 29. The briefings were intended to more fully explain the evidence against Ivins and address concerns about the reliability of the government's assertion that Ivins was the culprit.

But Ivins' attorney remained unconvinced, and a top government scientist acknowledged that some skeptics would never be satisfied.

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Ted Haggard, Er, Rick Warren Sandbagged Obama

Warren Is Now Saying Evangelicals Voting For a Pro-Choice Politician Is Like Jews Voting For a Holocaust Denier.

Joan Walsh

Tuesday August 19, 2008 06:20 EDT

Sandbagged at Saddleback

Tom Schaller broke it all down in War Room earlier, but I can't quite leave it alone. Now Rick Warren tells BeliefNet that Barack Obama is going to have to do more than "talk faith" to win evangelical votes, and compares an evangelical Christian voting for a pro-choice politician to a Jew voting for a Holocaust denier. I understand why many people say it was good for Obama to go to Warren's church nonetheless; I didn't feel that way, and I feel even less that way today. I loved Mike Madden's fair and informative stories on Saddleback Church this weekend (you'll find them here and here) but I thought it was telling he didn't find a single church member who said he or she would vote for Obama.

I was also shocked by how disrespectfully Warren dismissed Obama supporters' complaints about John McCain not being in a "cone of silence" where he couldn't hear the questions as "sour grapes" -- which kind of implies Obama lost the contest. The fact is, Warren knew that McCain hadn't arrived yet when he started the event, but he nonetheless told the audience the GOP contender was in a "cone of silence" that sounded very much like a green room without television or radio. That sounds like a lie, Rick, and lying is wrong. It breaks one of the Ten Commandments.

I know some liberals love Rick Warren, but to me he seems like yet another preening narcissistic televangelist -- especially as he was high-fiving Obama about their multimillion-dollar book deals, and kvetching about how $250,000 a year in Orange County isn't "rich." Let's think about the least of our brothers, OK, Rick? I understand why Obama visited Saddleback, especially given the persistence of the Muslim smears. Obama going to Warren's church is a little like McCain going to the NAACP: It's not about winning over the audience in the room; you're appealing to a wider group of voters who want their president to be inclusive and reach out widely.

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Back From Georgia, Obama, Er, Biden Calls For $1B Aid Package


August 18, 2008
Categories: Diplomacy

Biden calls for $1 billion in emergency aid to Georgia

Fresh off a trip to the Republic of Georgia, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden said he will ask for $1 billion in emergency aid for the war torn country.

Biden, who is rumored to be very high on Sen. Barack Obama’s list of running mates, met with Georgia's president and prime minister on the trip, further burnishing his foreign policy credentials ahead of Obama’s decision.

“I left the country convinced that Russia's invasion of Georgia may be the one of the most significant event to occur in Europe since the end of communism,” said Biden.

“When Congress reconvenes, I intend to work with the administration to seek Congressional approval for $1 billion in emergency assistance for Georgia, with a substantial down payment on that aid to be included in the Congress' next supplemental spending bill.”

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Election Fraud is NOT the Real Problem: The Entire System is Corrupt!

Written by Jesse Richard

Monday, 18 August 2008 20:32

I am tired of hearing pathetic Democrats cry about stolen elections. Fine...it has been proven that George W. Bush and his handlers stole the last two presidential elections. The evidence is voluminous. The fact is that we have been living under the rule of enemies domestic for almost eight years and Congress, along with our military, have allowed these enemies of the state to remain in control of our government. Doesn't that tell you something? Don't you see a larger problem here?

Let me tell you whiny Democrats something...the Bush cartel did not steal the elections from the Democrats...they stole the election from the other criminal cartels who decide in advance which men we may choose from to be our president!

The battle over who becomes president does not take place among the citizens of this nation, it takes place among groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group. Let me tell you something...the Cheney/PNAC cabal stole the elections from George H.W. Bush, James Baker, George Schultz and associates, not from the Democrats. They are the ones who assembled the Bush administration and rigged the 2000 election to place them in power as a proxy presidential administration. The problem was that the Neocons, once in office, took control and did what they wanted to do, not what their sponsors wanted them to do.

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Schocker! AP tells the truth about Lieberman

Obama veep announcement expected in coming days

By NEDRA PICKLER – 13 hours ago

CHICAGO (AP) —

***

His top contenders are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent.

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Pope warns Italy in danger of returning to fascism

Berlusconi moves to limit damage caused by anti-racism comments

 Conservative leader and former premier Silvio Berlusconi

Conservative leader and former premier Silvio Berlusconi. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Silvio Berlusconi's government was today engaged in a vigorous damage limitation exercise after Pope Benedict appeared to lend his immense moral authority to speculation that Italy was in danger of returning to fascism under the tycoon's hardline, rightwing leadership.

In his customary midday Sunday address, the pontiff expressed concern at "recent examples of racism" and reminded Catholics it was their duty to steer others in society away from "racism, intolerance and [the] exclusion [of others]".

On any other day, his remarks might have been seen as no more than a restatement of official Catholic doctrine. But they came instead in the midst of a furious dispute over an editorial published by Italy's bestselling Catholic weekly, Famiglia Cristiana.

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The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look

Russia is playing for its life, literally, as it has passed the point of no return in terms of fertility - it is a dying population. This demographic predicament stands at the center of Moscow's calculations in "accumulating" the millions of ethnic Russians scattered in its near abroad. After Georgia, Ukraine.

Aug 19, 2008

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

By Spengler

On the night of November 22, 2004, then-Russian president - now premier - Vladimir Putin watched the television news in his dacha near Moscow. People who were with Putin that night report his anger and disbelief at the unfolding "Orange" revolution in Ukraine. "They lied to me," Putin said bitterly of the United States. "I'll never trust them again." The Russians still can't fathom why the West threw over a potential strategic alliance for Ukraine. They underestimate the stupidity of the West.

American hardliners are the first to say that they feel stupid next to Putin. Victor Davis Hanson wrote on August 12 [1] of Moscow's "sheer diabolic brilliance" in Georgia, while Colonel Ralph Peters, a columnist and television commentator, marveled on August 14 [2], "The Russians are alcohol-sodden barbarians, but now and then they vomit up a genius ... the empire of the czars hasn't produced such a frightening genius since [Joseph] Stalin." The superlatives recall an old observation about why the plots of American comic books need clever super-villains and stupid super-heroes to even the playing field. Evidently the same thing applies to superpowers.

The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them. That is what the informed Russian public believes, judging from last week's postings on web forums, including this writer's own.

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Russia closes border with Georgia and Azerbaijan

Baku, Fineko/abc.az. Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin signed the decree on closing the border with Azerbaijan and Georgia for everyone except CIS countries’ citizens. Today it was published in Russian Newspaper and officially came into effect.

The decree says that the measure has been introduced temporarily and does not concern only the segment of Russian border with Abkhazia. Limits for entrance of foreign citizens and their vehicles through Russian border with Azerbaijan and Georgia are explained by the necessity of “preventing the entrance of the members of foreign terroristic organizations, import of the weapon and diversion materials in Russia”.

The exception is made for railway locomotives and wagons from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. At the same time the document says those countries’ citizens will not be able to cross the border

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Ready for Nuclear War?

August 19, 2008

The Mindlessness is Total

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment. Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s.

It was obvious to anyone with any sense -- which excludes the entire Bush Regime and almost all of the “foreign policy community -- that the illegal and gratuitous US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s 2006 bombing of Lebanon civilians with US blessing, would result in the overthrow of America’s Pakistani puppet.

The imbecilic Bush Regime ensured Musharraf’s overthrow by pressuring their puppet to conduct military operations against tribesmen in Pakistani border areas, whose loyalties were to fellow Muslims and not to American hegemony. When Musharraf’s military operations didn’t produce the desired result, the idiotic Americans began conducting their own military operations within Pakistan with bombs and missiles. This finished off Musharraf.

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Evil in the US elections

FOCUS: IMPERIUM

By Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's Senior Political Analyst, in New York

I could only shake my head in bewilderment, as I listened to the interviews Rick Warren, a Baptist pastor, conducted with Barack Obama and John McCain, the US presidential candidates for the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively.

Most absurd during the two-hour special were the exchanges about "evil".

When asked how they would deal with evil if they were elected president - would they ignore it, negotiate with it, contain it, or defeat it - Obama said he would "confront it" while McCain said unflinchingly that he would "defeat it".

After this "civil forum" was broadcast on CNN, the network's so-called "best team on television" commented on the candidates' performance.

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The Jewish Taliban

Rabbi: Informing on friends acceptable if assimilation prevented

Head of Beit El Yeshiva deems all means of preventing marriage to non-Jewish women kosher; favors reporting fictive conversions at Interior Ministry

Neta Sela

Published: 08.19.08, 07:30 / Israel Jewish Scene

Are all means to prevent a Jewish man from marrying a gentile considered kosher?

According to a ruling by Rabbi Zalman Melamed, head of the Beit El Yeshiva and one of the most prominent rabbis in the Religious Zionist movement, the answer is yes.

Thus, the Halacha (Jewish law) even permits a person to go to the Interior Ministry and report a case in order to prevent a fictive conversion.

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The wrong sort of Jews

The wrong sort of immigrants

Israel encourages immigration by Jews from Europe and the US, but those from Ethiopia are now less welcome

The Israeli government's decision to halt immigration from Ethiopia prompted angry scenes in Jerusalem on Sunday, during a protest outside the prime minister's house. Around 5,000 demonstrators voiced their condemnation of the authorities' actions, with the chairman of the Organisation of Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel describing the situation as "a crime against Zionism, and the original Zionist idea of saving Jews from around the world".

Israel is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to absorbing new olim [immigrants], largely thanks to the small print in the country's immigration policy. Mirroring Hitler's assertion that anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent was to be considered untermenschen, the founding fathers of Israel declared that anyone with similar ancestry would therefore qualify for full citizenship of the newborn state.

Over the years, millions of Jews have taken up this offer, and today around 15% of Israel's seven million population is made up of first-generation olim. Of that number, the vast majority come from the former Soviet Union, and the next largest group hail from Ethiopia, a country which has seen a mass migration of its native Jews to Israel dating back to the 1970s.

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U.S. missile defence system is the magic pudding that will never run out

Poland is just the latest fall guy for an American foreign policy dictated by military

It's a novel way to take your own life. Just as Russia demonstrates what happens to former minions that annoy it, Poland agrees to host a US missile defence base. The Russians, as Poland expected, respond to this proposal by offering to turn the country into a parking lot. This proves that the missile defence system is necessary after all: it will stop the missiles Russia will now aim at Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK in response to, er, their involvement in the missile defence system.

The American government insists that the interceptors, which will be stationed on the Baltic coast, have nothing to do with Russia: their purpose is to defend Europe and the US against the intercontinental ballistic missiles Iran and North Korea don't possess. This is why they are being placed in Poland, which, as every geography student in Texas knows, shares a border with both rogue states.

They permit us to look forward to a glowing future, in which missile defence, according to the Pentagon, will "protect our homeland ... and our friends and allies from ballistic missile attack"; as long as the Russians wait until it's working before they nuke us. The good news is that, at the present rate of progress, reliable missile defence is only 50 years away. The bad news is that it has been 50 years away for the past six decades.

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Russia not withdrawing?

Russia, on Georgia withdrawl: "We will withdraw when we have guarantees for peace and security. Just like America's conditions for withdrawing from Iraq."

Lawmaker hints at long stay in Georgia, despite cease-fire

* Story Highlights
* Lawmaker: Troops to leave "sooner or later," depending on Georgian behavior
* Russian president's office says troops will pull back as cease-fire stipulates
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel warns Russia to keep word
* U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates skeptical about quick withdrawal

TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Though Russia says it will begin pulling back its troops from Georgia on Monday, it's unclear how long the redeployment will take, and a Russian lawmaker has compared the situation to the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev told French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday that Russia would start pulling back its forces from Georgia on Monday, Medvedev's office said.

Sarkozy, who holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, brokered a cease-fire between Russia and Georgia last week.

Russian troops will begin withdrawing to a buffer zone and into the breakaway province of South Ossetia as stipulated by the cease-fire, Medvedev's office said.

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"Flawed" electronic voting machines will be used in upcoming election due to gov't "backlog"

The New York Times

August 16, 2008

Officials Say Flaws at Polls Will Remain in November

By IAN URBINA

Flaws in voting machines used by millions of people will not be fixed in time for the presidential election because of a government backlog in testing the machines’ hardware and software, officials say.

The flaws, which have cast doubt on the ability of some machines to provide a consistent and reliable vote count, were supposed to be addressed by the Election Assistance Commission, the federal agency that oversees voting. But commission officials say they will not be able to certify that flawed machines are repaired by the November election, or provide software fixes or upgrades, because of a backlog at the testing laboratories the commission uses.

“We simply are not going to sacrifice the integrity of the certification process for expediency,” said Rosemary E. Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the commission.

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Home building at 17-year low; retail sales slow more-than-expected

Related
US retail sales slow by more-than-expected in June
Global Stocks Dive on Skepticism over U.S. Mortgage rescues...


Housing starts and permits both fall sharply in July to levels not seen since 1991 recession.


By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Last Updated: August 19, 2008: 11:33 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Home building fell sharply in July to a 17-year low, according to government readings released Tuesday that offered fresh signs that the battered real estate market has yet to hit bottom.

Housing starts plunged 11% to an annual rate of 965,000 from a revised 1.084 million pace in June, according to the Census Bureau report. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast starts would fall to a rate of 960,000.

Permits - often seen as a sign of builders' confidence in the housing market - tumbled 17% to an annual rate of 937,000 from a revised 1.138 million in June. Economists had forecast that permits would come in at 959,000.

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Revealed: The CCTV cameras spying on hundreds of classrooms

By Olinka Koster

Last updated at 12:03 AM on 18th August 2008

CCTV monitors classrooms at one in 14 schools, according to a survey.

The poll of teachers also found that almost a quarter feared there might be more cameras hidden around the campus that they did not know about.

Most said their schools were fitted with surveillance cameras. Almost 80 per cent said there were cameras at the entrance and more than 7 per cent said there were some in classrooms.

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Who Started Cold War II?

August 19, 2008

by Patrick J. Buchanan

The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO.
Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow’s superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.

If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.

From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, U.S. presidents have sought to avoid shooting wars with Russia, even when the Bear was at its most beastly.

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Did McCain Help Bait Russia into Georgia?

Related
US left isolated over Nato plans to maintain relations with Russia


Joe Lauria


Posted August 17, 2008

Now that the dust is settling the big question about the dust-up in Georgia remains: Why was Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili so stupid to start this war?

There are a couple of theories. One is Saakashvili was under the mistaken impression the US military, even NATO, would intervene if Russia fought back after Georgia entered the breakaway province of South Ossetia on 7-8 August, devastating Tskhinvali, and according to Moscow, killing a number of Russian peacekeepers.

The US stood on the sidelines when Russia indeed punished Georgia. Georgian civilians at first told Western reporters they were angry at America for not coming to their aid. Then several days later many started to blame Saakashvili for creating such a mess.

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Petraeus Goes Bananastan

Jeff Huber | August 13, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to spend $20 billion to double the size of Afghanistan's army as part of a program designed to bring the country that was once the "crown jewel" of our woebegone war on terror under control. We might be better served by simply bribing the Taliban and al Qaeda elements in Afghanistan to take a little breather. That's how General David Petraeus got the Sunni militias in Iraq to play ball with him, and that only cost us about $216 million. As peace making measures go, it's cheaper to buy guerillas than it is to make soldiers, so why not take the path of least resistance?

Of course, the cost of victory through bribery in the bananastans could get twice as expensive now that "top Bush administration officials" are looking to step up ground force forays into Pakistan. I guess the top officials finally realized that bombing Pakistani weddings with nuclear submarines isn't getting the job done.

Not to worry, though. General David Petraeus, young Mr. Bush's "main man," is about to take charge of the bananastans, and if he can't win there, nobody can.

Our Man in Bananastan

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Man arrested and locked up for five hours after taking photo of police van ignoring 'no entry' sign

By Daily Mail Reporter

19th August 2008

Andrew Carter

Wrongfully arrested: Andrew Carter was arrested after photographing a police van reversing up a one-way street

A man who was wrongly arrested and kept in a cell for five hours after he photographed a police officer ignoring a no entry road sign has received a full apology.

Andrew Carter, 44, was walking his two dogs when he saw PC Aqil Farooq reverse a police van up a one-way street past no entry signs.

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Sharp US money supply contraction points to Wall Street crunch ahead

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Last Updated: 3:04pm BST 19/08/2008

The US money supply has experienced the sharpest contraction in modern history, heightening the risk of a Wall Street crunch and a severe economic slowdown in coming months.

Data compiled by Lombard Street Research shows that the M3 ''broad money" aggregates fell by almost $50bn (£26.8bn) in July, the biggest one-month fall since modern records began in 1959.

"Monthly data for July show that the broad money growth has almost collapsed," said Gabriel Stein, the group's leading monetary economist.

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Jordan: Israel breaches peace treaty

Israeli excavations below Aqsa Mosque breach of Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty

[ 18/08/2008 - 05:19 PM ]

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The committee of Arab and international affairs in the Jordanian parliament stated that the Israeli excavations in the vicinity of the Aqsa Mosque and below it are in breach of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty and against all international conventions and decisions regarding the peace process.

In a press statement published on Monday, Mohamed Abu Hadeeb, the head of the parliamentary committee, underlined that the peace treaty between Amman and Tel Aviv which was concluded in 1994 includes clear texts stating that Israel should respect the Jordanian role as a guardian of the Muslim holy shrines in occupied Jerusalem.

Abu Hadeeb called on the international community and its institutions to move to stop Israel's criminal violations against the holy places and pressure it to respect the decisions of the international legitimacy.

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In village with no power, Bedouin family fights to keep baby's respirator working

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 19:40 18/08/2008

Haaretz.com/Channel 10 daily feature for August 17, 2008.

By Haaretz Staff and Channel 10

Eight-month-old Shaimah was born with a rare brain defect. She cannot breathe on her own, and must be hooked up to a respirator 24 hours a day.

The fight for Shaima's life takes isn't the only struggle her family is conducting. On a second front, they face the state of Israel, which refuses to hook their village up to electricity.


The village of Al-Bat is one of roughly 45 Bedouin villages unrecognized by the state. Like the others, it is not supplied with running water, electricity, or other basic services.

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2 cops are charged in Bronx road rage pistol-whip

BY KERRY BURKE and ALISON GENDAR

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Tuesday, August 19th 2008, 10:45 AM

Two off-duty female cops yelled, "We are the police!" - and then pistol-whipped a Bronx man in what authorities call a case of road rage.

NYPD Officers Michelle Anglin, 37, and Koleen Robinson, 24, were charged with assault, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon for the Williamsbridge beatdown.

It took 25 staples to close the gash in Marlon Smith's head, authorities said.

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Fiscal Armageddon, coming to a cinema near you

A film about debt

Another inconvenient truth
Related
The Money Matrix
UK 'Recession And Unemployment'
Fears about the financial system
The Endgame Nears For Fannie and Freddie


Aug 14th 2008 | NEW YORK

From The Economist print edition

AMERICA’S infamous debt clock, near New York’s Times Square, was switched off in 2000 after the national burden started to fall thanks to several years of Clinton-era budget restraint. However, it was reactivated two years later as the politically motivated urge to splurge once again took over. The debt has since swollen to $9.5 trillion, with the value of unfunded public promises (if you include entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare) nudging $53 trillion—or $175,000 for every American—and rising. On current trends, these will amount to some 240% of GDP by 2040, up from a just-about-manageable 65% today.

David Walker, who until recently ran the Government Accountability Office, has made it his mission to get the nation to acknowledge and treat this “fiscal cancer”. His efforts form the core of a new documentary, “I.O.U.S.A.”, out on August 21st. The message is simple enough: America’s financial condition is a lot worse than advertised, and dumping it on future generations would be not only economically reckless but also immoral.

The biggest deficit of all, the film contends, is in leadership: politicians continue to duck hard choices. It hints at dark consequences. As America has become more reliant on foreign lenders, it warns, so it has become more vulnerable to “financial warfare”, of the sort America itself threatened to wage on Britain, a big debtor, during the Suez crisis. Warren Buffett, America’s investor-in-chief, pops up to warn of potential political instability.

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Miscarriage of justice

From the Los Angeles Times

A Canadian mistakenly caught up in the U.S. war on terror deserves his day in court, and an apology.

August 19, 2008

Maher Arar, the Canadian software engineer who was mistakenly expelled by the United States and imprisoned in Syria, may yet have his day in court. A federal appeals court in New York has scheduled a new hearing on whether Arar can sue U.S. officials who participated in one of the worst injustices of the so-called war on terror.

In 2002, Arar was seized by U.S. agents at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on the basis of inaccurate information provided by Canadian police linking him to terrorists. He was flown to Jordan and then sent to his native Syria, where he was imprisoned and, Arar says, tortured for a year before being released. The Canadian government apologized to Arar and paid him almost $10 million in compensation for his ordeal. The U.S. response, however, has been shamefully grudging.

The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general has said that the Justice Department is investigating Arar's deportation to Syria, and members of Congress have offered their apologies. But the closest the Bush administration has come to an apology was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's concession last year that Arar's case wasn't "handled particularly well." Even after his exoneration by Canada, the administration kept Arar on a terrorist watch list on the basis of unspecified information that, according to Canada's prime minister, contained "nothing new." Finally, the administration has contested Arar's suit against the U.S. government and several current and former officials -- litigation that would be unnecessary if the administration had owned up to the injustice perpetrated against an innocent man.

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Antiwar Activists Win $2 Million Settlement From New York City in Major Victory for Free Speech

CONTACT:  press@ccrjustice.org

August 19, 2008, New York, NY – A group of 52 local activists today announced a $2 million settlement in their lawsuit against the City of New York. The activists were illegally arrested on April 7, 2003 while protesting against the Iraq war in front of a military contractor's offices in midtown.  The settlement in Kunstler et al v. New York City follows the dismissal in 2003 of all criminal charges brought against these individuals and four costly years of delays by the City in negotiating an end to the civil lawsuit.

“The New York Police Department violated core constitutional rights when it arrested a group of peaceful demonstrators who were lawfully protesting against the commencement of the Iraq war and those who stood to profit from it,” notes Sarah Netburn, attorney with Emery Celli Brinkerhoff Abady LLP, which handled the civil rights case along with the Center for Constitutional Rights.  “We are gratified by the City’s decision to compensate these individuals whose targeted arrests were without probable cause and intended to quell future protest in New York City.  This lawsuit, and this settlement, vindicates our clients’ rights to assemble and speak their mind free from the fear that they will be punished for their views.”

Attorneys and plaintiffs noted, however, that the City's decision to drag the case out is part of a long and disturbing pattern by which it attempts to “wear down” plaintiffs to avoid political damage, even at huge expense of tax dollars and City resources.  “My question is, why did the NYPD send over 100 police in riot gear, along with vehicles to block the street and disrupt the flow of morning rush hour traffic, all to stop a legal, peaceful protest, when there are far more important matters they could be pursuing?  And, why did they fight us in court so doggedly when they knew the evidence proved that we were arrested without any police orders to leave?” asked Ahmad Shirazi, a film editor and grandfather and one of the plaintiffs in the case.

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CNN's Cafferty: McCain as 'intellectually shallow' as Bush - McBush

Commentary: Is McCain another George W. Bush?

* Story Highlights
* Jack Cafferty: McCain gives shallow answers at Saddleback forum
* Why isn't McCain grappling with the complex moral issues we face? Cafferty asks
* Cafferty: We can't afford another president like George W. Bush
* World is too complex to entrust to someone who lacks intellectual curiosity, he says

By Jack Cafferty
CNN

Editor's Note: Jack Cafferty is the author of the best-seller "It's Getting Ugly Out There: The Frauds, Bunglers, Liars, and Losers Who Are Hurting America." He provides commentary on CNN's "The Situation Room" daily from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. You can also visit Jack's Cafferty File blog.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Russia invades Georgia and President Bush goes on vacation. Our president has spent one-third of his entire two terms in office either at Camp David, Maryland, or at Crawford, Texas, on vacation.

His time away from the Oval Office included the month leading up to 9/11, when there were signs Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America, and the time Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans.

Sen. John McCain takes weekends off and limits his campaign events to one a day. He made an exception for the religious forum on Saturday at Saddleback Church in Southern California.

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McCain is out of touch

Added: August 18, 2008



QUESTION: "Define 'rich.' Give me a number. Give me a specific number. Where do you move from middle class to rich?

MCCAIN: "If you're just talking about income, how about five million?"

TEXT: Only 1 out of 1,000 Americans make more than $5,000,000. [Los Angeles Times, 8/18/08]

MCCAIN: "I don't want to take any money from the rich."

TEXT: In 2006, the McCains reported over six million dollars in income. [Washington Times, 8/18/08]

QUESTION: Is it $100,000, $50,000? Is it $200—

TEXT: The McCains Will Save Over $370,000 Under His Tax Plan. [Center for American Progress Action Fund, 6/19/08]

TEXT: And What About the Rest of Us?

GRAMM: "We've sort of become a nation of whiners... and yet you just here this constant whining and complaining."

TEXT: Savings for Middle Class Americans Under McCain's Plan: $319 [Source: $38k-$66k/yr, CNN Money, 6/11/08]

TEXT: 101,000,000 American Households Get Nothing. [Bloomberg News, 7/6/08]

MCCAIN: "But the point is, the point is..."

TEXT: The point is John McCain is out of touch.
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Some Prisoners Declared Innocent, but Not Free

Friday 15 August 2008

by: Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t | Report

Due to endless litigation, conflicting legal technicalities, or inadequate transitional facilities, prisoners who are innocent may find themselves behind bars indefinitely.

Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, convicted of murdering a prison guard with two other inmates, has spent the last 35 years in prison, most of it in solitary confinement. Last month, Woodfox's conviction was overturned by a federal judge. However, despite being cleared of charges, Woodfox remains incarcerated, as the Louisiana attorney general's office persists in challenging the judge's decision.

After repeated reexaminations of his case and an intervention by US House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, who called Woodfox's continued incarceration a "tragic miscarriage of justice," evidence against Woodfox is practically nonexistent. Nevertheless, he remains embroiled in litigation, and until the prosecutors have had their fill, he will stay behind bars.

Pam LaBorde, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Corrections, told Truthout that the attorney general would be appealing Woodfox's exoneration. She said that she does not know when a trial will take place, adding, "We're very early in the process."

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RNC: Exporting the "Miami Model" to St. Paul

Sunday, August 17, 2008

  Five years ago this November, the Miami Police Department, with the assistance of Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal government agencies, unleashed a violent para-military occupation of the city in order to quash protests against the now defunct proposal to create a Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Police officers, some of whom had no visible identification, fired rubber bullets, tear gas, concussion grenades, and stun guns indiscriminately at the estimated 25,000 protesters, which included 20 busloads of senior citizens retired from the AFL-CIO.

One of the many low points for police occurred when Elizabeth Ritter, a local lawyer weilding a sign that read 'Fear Totalitarianism', was shot repeatedly by police aiming for her head.

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Social Origins of the American Corporate Predator State

Jamie Galbraith’s recent book describes modern (Bush-Cheney) Republicanism as creating a “predator state”. Its predatory aspects are starkly visible in the gangs of corporate lobbyists who roam Washington DC, the Halliburton Iraq war procurement scandal, and the corruption and incompetence that surrounded the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

However, the broad concept of a predator state needs qualification as we are really talking of an “American corporate” predator state. Thus, the predatory nature of contemporary US governance is quintessentially linked to corporations, and it is also a uniquely American phenomenon.

Kleptocratic predator states, like Mugabe’s Zimbabwe or Mobutu’s Zaire in Africa, are fundamentally different. There is no equivalent in Europe, and none in East Asia where ruling elites have a sense of obligation to the nation even as they often enrich themselves illicitly. Nor too is there an equivalent in Latin America because government there never reached an economic size proportional to that of government in the US.

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Air Force Pulls the Plug on Cyber Command

Sunday, August 17, 2008

In July, Antifascist Calling reported on the imminent launch of U.S. Air Force Cyber Command (AFCYBER).

With a unified organizational structure and a $2 billion budget for its first year of operations, and a projected $30 billion cost for the first five years of operations, AFCYBER promised an offensive capability that would deliver withering attacks on adversaries.

As I wrote, "Eventually, if Air Force securocrats have their way, it 'will grow into one of the service's largest commands.' With a mission to 'deceive, deny, disrupt, degrade, and destroy' an enemy's information infrastructure, the potential for mischief on the part of American 'warfighters' and 'public diplomacy' black propaganda specialists shouldn't be underestimated."

Now however, numerous reports reveal that the Air Force has suspended plans for the controversial unit. NextGov broke the story Wednesday. According to investigative journalist Bob Brewin,

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How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices

Texas Straight Talk

A weekly column

Ron Paul

We've heard how the value of the dollar affects gas prices – and indeed the price of everything. I was pleased that my request for a hearing on such was granted by the Financial Services committee and we were able to hear some very informative testimony. Certainly domestic policies, regarding off-shore oil drilling bans, ethanol mandates, refining capacity, and CAFE standards are interventionist and harmful enough in the energy market.

But how does foreign policy affect gas prices? One important factor is that oil on the world market has been priced in dollars exclusively since 1973. Only two leaders have gone against this arrangement - Saddam Hussein in 2000 and more recently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the recently opened Iranian Oil Bourse which trades in non-dollar currencies. But since oil is otherwise exclusively traded in dollars, this means that oil producers have vast amounts of assets held in dollars. Especially since the War on Terror and the PATRIOT Act, many oil-producing nations and banks are concerned the US government may freeze assets based on flimsy pretexts. This fear contributes to dollar weakness, and therefore also high oil prices.

Recently I and other members of Congress spoke out against H Con Res 362 and exposed this seemingly innocuous bill for what it really is – a call for a blockade and a build up to war with Iran. Thankfully it has not come to the floor for a vote as I had fully expected it would. But to even propose legislation like this, and get an alarming 261 cosponsors, makes the oil markets jittery and encourages more capital flight from the dollar. We only isolate ourselves on the world stage with actions and attitudes like this. After all, how can it be wise for the rest of the world to bank on America, when we tend to freeze assets and blockade entire countries for no good reason.

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Fannie and Freddie Fleece the Taxpayers

August 18, 2008

William F. Shughart II
Urbana Daily Citizen

Readers of a certain age might remember the old newspaper cartoon of a man so down on his luck that he resorts to wearing an empty barrel held in place by suspenders. If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue on their present course, barrels may again become fashionable for US taxpayers.

Criticized last week as “fatally flawed” by Alan Greenspan, the two so-called mortgage giants are at the center of the current financial crisis. Owned by private investors but chartered by Congress for the purpose of supplying liquidity to mortgage lenders, thereby putting home ownership within the reach of more Americans, Fannie and Freddie aggressively participated in the booming housing market of the early 21st century. By the end of the third quarter of 2007, the two were guaranteeing—or had purchased outright—roughly half of the nation’s home mortgages, accumulating in the process $5.2 trillion worth of debt, nearly $4 trillion more than on their books in 2003.

The roof then fell in. Real estate prices plummeted, mortgage default rates soared, and the market value of Fannie and Freddie’s asset portfolios—primarily consisting of the income expected from the mortgages they owned and the mortgage-backed securities they sold to investors—went into freefall. Crisis might have been averted had the two companies kept reserves adequate for meeting such a contingency, but Fannie and Freddie’s regulator, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Federal Housing Oversight, demanded reserves of just 3 percent, a figure much lower than required of banks and other financial institutions and one that in hindsight was utterly irresponsible.

Last month, as Fannie and Freddie’s losses mounted and concerns grew that their collapse might cause meltdowns in financial markets both at home and abroad, Congress enacted rescue legislation. Among other provisions, July’s housing-relief bill allows the Treasury to extend unlimited lines of credit to Fannie and Freddie and, if necessary, to buy their stock. Undercutting the common perception that the housing crisis was precipitated by “predatory” lending to low-income, subprime borrowers who did not qualify for conventional loans, the new law also authorizes Fannie and Freddie to buy mortgages worth up to $625,000.

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Crisis in the Caucuses

The U.S. Should Be Wary of Strongly Backing Georgia

August 15, 2008

Ivan Eland

Despite significant U.S. and Georgian culpability in the crisis in Georgia, most U.S. politicians and media painted Russia as the diabolical “evildoer.” As if the Russian military incursions into Georgia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia—the latter two are autonomous regions of the former that do not want to be part of that country—happened out of the blue, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice implied that Russia was attempting to bring back the Cold War.

Because Georgia is a U.S. friend, however, U.S. politicians, in a huff to heap blame on the resurgent Russian bear, forgot to mention that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili recklessly first invaded South Ossetia to try to reclaim one of the two regions, which both have had long-standing autonomy and populations who want it to stay that way. He did this in part because the U.S. had helped build up his military, leading him to overestimate U.S. backing in any crisis.

***

U.S. friend Georgia is hardly on the unambiguous right side of this dispute, was recklessly aggressive (in part because of U.S. military aid and friendship), and is not strategic to the United States. As bad as this crisis is, it could have been worse if Georgia had already been admitted to NATO. This crisis should be a wake-up call that admitting Georgia, Ukraine, or other non-strategic nations in the Russian sphere of influence into NATO could needlessly make Russia even more hostile and start a new, dangerous, and unnecessary Cold War.

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Torture-based, Government-sponsored Mind Control Experimentation on Children

The Extreme Abuse Survey final results are online with findings, questionnaires and presentations for download as pdf-files. More than 750 pages of documentation http://extreme-abuse-survey.net/

MEDIA PACKET - Torture-based, Government-sponsored Mind Control Experimentation on Children - Documentation that torture-based, government-sponsored mind control (GMC) experimentation was conducted on children during the Cold War. Data from two international surveys that give voice, visibility, and validation to survivors of these crimes against humanity....SURVEYS - EAS: Extreme Abuse Survey for Adult Survivors (An International Online Survey for Adult Survivors of Extreme Abuse) January 1 – March 30, 2007 with 1471 respondents from 31 named countries. P-EAS: Professional – Extreme Abuse Survey (An International Online Survey for Therapists, Counselors, Clergy, and Other Persons Who Have Worked Professionally with at Least One Adult Survivor of Extreme Abuse) April 1 – June 30 2007 with 451 respondents from 20 named countries. Contact: Wanda Karriker, PhD sandime@twave.net

http://my.dmci.net/~casey/GovernmentSponsoredMindControlExperiments-MediaPacket.pdf
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The Russians have invited us all to the Real World Order

Related
Look beyond Georgia
GEOPOLITICAL CHESS:
Background to a Mini-war in the Caucasus

Georgia On The Mind
Georgia and the End of Unilateralism
South Ossetia and the Remaking of the Post-Soviet World


The Real World Order

August 18, 2008
stratforgpit.jpgBy George Friedman

Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report

On Sept. 11, 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush addressed Congress. He spoke in the wake of the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, the weakening of the Soviet Union, and the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein.

He argued that a New World Order was emerging: "A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor, and today that new world is struggling to be born. A world quite different from the one we've known. A world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle. A world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice. A world where the strong respect the rights of the weak."

After every major, systemic war, there is the hope that this will be the war to end all wars. The idea driving it is simple. Wars are usually won by grand coalitions. The idea is that the coalition that won the war by working together will continue to work together to make the peace. Indeed, the idea is that the defeated will join the coalition and work with them to ensure the peace. This was the dream behind the Congress of Vienna, the League of Nations, the United Nations and, after the Cold War, NATO. The idea was that there would be no major issues that couldn't be handled by the victors, now joined with the defeated. That was the idea that drove George H. W. Bush as the Cold War was coming to its end.

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Bruce Ivins the fall guy to cover secret anthrax weaponization program

By Sheila Casey and Barry Kissin

Published in the September, 2008 issue of The Rock Creek Free Press

Anthrax US Attorney Jeff Taylor was sweating on August 6, as he laid out his case against the late Dr. Bruce Ivins at a news conference—and with good reason.  Anyone familiar with the case is well aware that Dr. Ivins was railroaded, and that the news conference was a flimsy web of lies.

Ivins had nothing to do with the 2001 anthrax attacks.  The attacks were almost certainly carried out by the only group that had the means to produce the highly weaponized anthrax in the letters:  the CIA, its contractor Battelle Memorial Institute of West Jefferson, Ohio., and the Army at Dugway in Utah.

The DOJ-FBI frame-up of Ivins rests heavily upon the claim of new advances in genetic testing which supposedly prove that the killer anthrax could have come only from Ivins’ flask.

Jeff Taylor stated: 

The FBI sought out the best experts in the scientific community and, over time, four highly sensitive and specific tests were developed that were capable of detecting the unique qualities of the anthrax used in the 2001 attacks.

This is an outright lie.

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Kurdish Control of Kirkuk Creates a Powder Keg

Related
Mossad backs the Kurds

The leader of the Kurds, is a Jewish billionaire named Massoud Barzani, who has a massive Kurd militia that is
funded by the CIA.

The New York Times

August 19, 2008
Kurdish Control of Kirkuk Creates a Powder Keg

By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

KIRKUK, Iraq — The phone rang, and it was answered by a Kurdish security commander, Hallo Najat, sitting in his office in this deeply divided city. On the line, he said, was a United Nations official wanting to know whether it was true that the Kurdish militia, the pesh merga, had left its bases in northern Iraq and was occupying Kirkuk.

No, Mr. Najat told the caller. But after hanging up, he wryly revealed the deeper truth about Kirkuk, combustible for its mix of ethnicities floating together on a sea of oil: the Kurds already control it.

“It’s true,” Mr. Najat said. “What is the need for the troops?”

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A Genuine Peace Movement Cannot be Zionist

August 19, 2008 By Jason Kunin


"Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root.'" - Angela Davis


It's common practice among those of us outside Israel who have been frustrated by the hostility and intimidation we encounter whenever we voice criticism of Israel to point to the fact that there is greater freedom to criticize Israel in Israel. "Look at the critical articles published in Ha'aretz," we will say. "Look at the Israeli peace movement. Look at Peace Now and Gush Shalom." Tactically, this is a useful point to make in an argument. I know because I've used it myself.

The truth is, unfortunately, that this much vaunted criticism within Israel - by the liberal media, by the so-called Israeli Left - is overwhelmingly inclined to blame the oppression of Palestinians merely on specific leaders or policies. Uri Avnery, for example, the founder of Gush Shalom and one of the most far-left public figures in Israel, writes a regular syndicated column in which he blasts the brutality of this or that general, the cruelty of this or that politician, the unfairness of this or that law. He's often quite incisive and witty. Avnery, like most of the Israeli left, is a Zionist - a critical one, to be sure, but a Zionist nonetheless who believes that a good movement has been corrupted by bad leaders and who periodically scans the horizon for the leader who can finally set Israel on its righteous path. [1]

Israeli violence and oppression, however, is rooted not simply in a few laws or politicians, but in the ideological foundations of the state itself. The problem, in short, is Zionism. Any opposition to Israel rooted in Zionism can only seek to mitigate Israeli apartheid and racism, not end it, because apartheid and racism are what Zionism - and by extension, the Israeli state - are all about. Zionism is rooted in the fundamental premise that the state be a Jewish state and that it occupy the physical space of an ancient Arab Christian and Muslim culture. Because it is impossible to achieve these two goals simultaneously without violence and racist oppression, you cannot have a genuine peace movement that is Zionist.

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Look beyond Georgia

Related
The Russians have invited us all to the Real World Order


BY RAMZY BAROUD (World View)


20 August 2008

JUST as the world's attention was focused on China's Beijing Olympics, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, on August 7, invaded a tiny breakaway province of South Ossetia.

The initial attack on the S. Ossetian capital, Tskninvali soon extended to an all out war, which eventually invited Russia's wrath, and the death of thousands of innocent civilians on both sides.

Prior to Saakashvili's war, little was known about the political specifics of that area and the brewing decades-long territorial disputes which date back to the early 20th century, but was highlighted during an intense civil war that followed the breakdown of the Soviet Union and it's satellite states. Georgia's successful secession from the Soviet grip, understandably, inspired independence fervour in ethnic regions within Georgia. The small region of S. Ossetia — majority ethnic Russians and minority Georgians — sought to join the N. Ossetian province, which remained part of Russia. Another region was Abkazia, whose protracted fight with the central Georgian government has also provoked much violence.

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Armed 85-year-old woman makes intruder call cops

2 hours ago

POINT MARION, Pa. (AP) — An 85-year-old woman boldly went for her gun and busted a would-be burglar inside her home, then forced him to call police while she kept him in her sights, police said. "I just walked right on past him to the bedroom and got my gun," Leda Smith said.

Smith heard someone break into her home Monday afternoon and grabbed the .22-caliber revolver she had been keeping by her bed since a neighbor's home was burglarized a few weeks ago.

"I said 'What are you doing in my house?' He just kept saying he didn't do it," Smith said.

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GOP Congressman Facing 7 Legal Complaints

Buchanan Under Fire

By Harry Hanbury on Aug 19, 2008

Congressman Vern Buchanan, of the 13th district in Florida, is facing increasing trouble in his reelection campaign. A first-term congressman and a long-time autodealer, Buchanan is being sued by a remarkable number of former employees and customers at the very height of the campaign season. So far, seven separate legal complaints have been filed against Buchanan, accusing him of flouting campaign finance laws, defrauding banks and customers, and even smuggling undocumented immigrants into the country to work on his beachfront house. ANP traveled to Florida to investigate the story.

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NEWSWIRE: AUGUST 19, 2008 - CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

CCNWON search engines, Alternate viewing format, RSS format, Atom format, All Tags
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19th
08:08 am: Wholesale prices surge in July, rising at fastest pace since 1981
08:17 am: Making a Caricature of a Nation’s Fears
08:28 am: California Becomes First State to Condemn Use of Torture in 'War on Terror'
08:29 am: If We Could Speak to the People, What Would We Say?
08:32 am: Taliban Forces Kill 10 French Soldiers and Raid U.S. Base
08:35 am: Algerian Bombing Kills 43
08:37 am: New Woodard book likely to propel a re-examination of the Iraq war into the headlines
08:44 am: The existential threat to Israel is called the "one-state solution"
08:51 am: FBI Admits It Destroyed Evidence In Anthrax Case
08:54 am: New Anthrax Details Show Investigation In Disarray
08:56 am: Ted Haggard, Er, Rick Warren Sandbagged Obama
09:00 am: Back From Georgia, Obama, Er, Biden Calls For $1B Aid Package
09:02 am: Election Fraud is NOT the Real Problem: The Entire System is Corrupt!
09:06 am: Olbermann exposes Bush, Enron & McCain
09:08 am: Schocker! AP tells the truth about Lieberman
09:13 am: Pope warns Italy in danger of returning to fascism
09:16 am: The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look
09:20 am: Russia closes border with Georgia and Azerbaijan
09:29 am: Ready for Nuclear War?
09:32 am: Evil in the US elections
09:36 am: The Jewish Taliban
09:40 am: The wrong sort of Jews
09:44 am: U.S. missile defence system is the magic pudding that will never run out
09:46 am: Russia not withdrawing?
10:05 am: "Flawed" electronic voting machines will be used in upcoming election due to gov't "backlog"
10:13 am: Home building at 17-year low; retail sales slow more-than-expected
10:49 am: Revealed: The CCTV cameras spying on hundreds of classrooms
10:52 am: Who Started Cold War II?
10:56 am: Did McCain Help Bait Russia into Georgia?
11:01 am: Petraeus Goes Bananastan
11:07 am: AP Disseminates Bogus War Propaganda
11:11 am: Man arrested and locked up for five hours after taking photo of police van ignoring 'no entry' sign
11:25 am: Sharp US money supply contraction points to Wall Street crunch ahead
11:28 am: Jordan: Israel breaches peace treaty
11:39 am: In village with no power, Bedouin family fights to keep baby's respirator working
11:42 am: Anger over NY terror checks
11:54 am: 2 cops are charged in Bronx road rage pistol-whip
12:09 pm: Fiscal Armageddon, coming to a cinema near you
12:25 pm: Miscarriage of justice
12:29 pm: Antiwar Activists Win $2 Million Settlement From New York City in Major Victory for Free Speech
12:34 pm: CNN's Cafferty: McCain as 'intellectually shallow' as Bush - McBush
12:43 pm: McCain is out of touch
12:46 pm: Some Prisoners Declared Innocent, but Not Free
12:57 pm: RNC: Exporting the "Miami Model" to St. Paul - 1 comment
01:30 pm: Social Origins of the American Corporate Predator State
01:39 pm: Air Force Pulls the Plug on Cyber Command
01:51 pm: How Foreign Policy Affects Gas Prices
01:53 pm: Fannie and Freddie Fleece the Taxpayers
01:55 pm: Crisis in the Caucuses
01:58 pm: Torture-based, Government-sponsored Mind Control Experimentation on Children
02:08 pm: The Russians have invited us all to the Real World Order
02:29 pm: Bruce Ivins the fall guy to cover secret anthrax weaponization program
02:35 pm: Kurdish Control of Kirkuk Creates a Powder Keg
02:56 pm: A Genuine Peace Movement Cannot be Zionist
03:12 pm: Look beyond Georgia
03:19 pm: Armed 85-year-old woman makes intruder call cops
03:35 pm: GOP Congressman Facing 7 Legal Complaints