August 22nd, 2008


Woman cuffed, arrested for not paying library fines

Woman cuffed, booked for not paying library fines

Thu Aug 21, 10:37 PM

By The Associated Press

GRAFTON, Wis. - A Wisconsin woman has been arrested and booked for failing to pay her library fines.

Twenty-year-old Heidi Dalibor told the News Graphic in Cedarburg that she ignored the library's calls and letters as well as a notice to appear in court.

Still, she was surprised when officers with a warrant knocked on her door, cuffed her and took her to the police station to be fingerprinted and photographed.


Signs of promised Russian pullback seen deep in Georgia

By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer 8 minutes ago

Russian forces pulled out of positions deep inside Georgia on Friday, two weeks after thousands of troops roared into the small Caucasian nation aboard hundreds of armored vehicles.

The movements came after Russia's defense minister said President Dmitry Medvedev had ordered a pullback and promised that Russian forces would withdraw to separatist regions and surrounding security zones by the day's end.

An armored column was seen moving away from a military base in western Georgia toward the border with the breakaway region of Abkhazia in the late afternoon.


Japanese Banks Halt Lending as Bounced Checks Rise to Record

By Finbarr Flynn

Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Japanese banks halted transactions with 12 percent more companies in July than a year earlier, the biggest increase since May 2007, as the firms issued checks that bounced. The number of companies in the Tokyo area cut off by banks rose to a two-year high.

The banks stopped doing business with 475 companies, whose liabilities rose 35 percent to 143.8 billion yen ($1.3 billion), the Japanese Bankers Association said in a statement yesterday. Banks stop lending to and doing business with companies that bounce checks twice within a six-month period.

The construction industry accounted for the largest share of companies that couldn't meet their obligations, at 38 percent. More than half of borrowers that didn't have sufficient funds for checks issued blamed it on a decline in sales, the statement said.


Thousands of gas pumps shortchange Texans

Thousands of gas pumps shortchange Texans

Did you get cheated? 11 News lets you check on pumps in your neighborhood
11:19 PM CDT on Thursday, August 21, 2008
By Mark Greenblatt / 11 News Defenders

HOUSTON -- It’s no secret: Americans are paying a lot more at the gas pump these days.


Click here to search any ZIP code in the Houston area or the entire state of Texas and find gas pumps that state inspectors previously took out of service.

But how would you feel if, after handing over all that extra money, you didn’t get all the gas you paid for?

An unprecedented state sting operation uncovered just that: Sunmart gas stations all across Texas shortchanging drivers.



Civil Rights Panel Faulted on Hiring Choice

Federal Agency Picks Justice Dept. Backer of Controversial Voter ID Law in Ga.

By Darryl Fears

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 22, 2008; A02

Democratic critics say Hans A. von Spakovsky is an odd fit for his new job at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Von Spakovsky, a former Justice Department official who pushed for the approval of a Georgia voter identification law that critics claimed made it difficult for poor people and the elderly to vote, was hired in July as a special assistant for the commission.

The commission's vice chair, Abigail Thernstrom, said von Spakovsky is needed to help reduce the panel's mounting workload, brought on by congressional budget cuts and staff layoffs. Commissioner Todd F. Gaziano recommended von Spakovsky for top government pay, equal to $124,000 a year.


Debunking NIST's Conclusions about WTC 7: Easy as Shooting Fish in a Barrel

NIST: "Then a Miracle Occurs"
WTC 7 Solved: It Was Ivins!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Debunking NIST's conclusions about WTC 7 is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Symmetrical Collapse

NIST lamely tried to explain the symmetrically collapse as follows:

WTC 7’s collapse, viewed from the exterior (most videos were taken from the north), did appear to fall almost uniformly as a single unit. This occurred because the interior failures that took place did not cause the exterior framing to fail until the final stages of the building collapse. The interior floor framing and columns collapsed downward and pulled away from the exterior frame. There were clues that internal damage was taking place, prior to the downward movement of the exterior frame, such as when the east penthouse fell downward into the building and windows broke out on the north face at the ends of the building core. The symmetric appearance of the downward fall of the WTC 7 was primarily due to the greater stiffness and strength of its exterior frame relative to the interior framing.


Diebold Admits Software Glitch Causes Its Machines to Drop Votes

The Hidden Campaign

Ohio Voting Machines Contained Programming Error That Dropped Votes

By Mary Pat Flaherty
A voting system used in 34 states contains a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point, the manufacturer acknowledges.

The problem was identified after complaints from Ohio elections officials following the March primary there, but the logic error that is the root of the problem has been part of the software for 10 years, said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold.

The flawed software is on both touch screen and optical scan voting machines made by Premier and the problem with vote counts is most likely to affect larger jurisdictions that feed many memory cards to a central counting database rapidly.


McCain: Some People 'Are Poor If They’re Billionaires'

McCain calls lobbyists 'birds of prey'



McCain took the opportunity for a mulligan on his careless answer to Pastor Rick Warren at the Saddleback Church forum Saturday, where he said that he would define “rich” as $5 million – a comment that he immediately, and correctly – predicted would be distorted.

He still did not give a number.

“I define rich in other ways besides income,” he said. “Some people are wealthy and rich in their lives and their children and their ability to educate them. Others are poor if they’re billionaires.”


"White Powder" Scare at McCain's Denver Headquarters

Alright, that's it. From now on, Dick Cheney doesn't get to use U.S. mail services.

All Clear On Powder Threat

McCain Office Mailed Threat, White Powde

Aug. 21, 2008(CBS/ AP) A threatening letter containing an unidentified white powder was received at John McCain's campaign offices in Denver, Colorado, CBS News has learned.

A second letter sent to a McCain campaign office in New Hampshire initially was reported to contain a white substance. Authorities said that was a false alarm and there was no powder in that envelope.

At least 19 people were examined at hospitals or were quarantined outside the Colorado office while authorities tried to determine whether the powder was hazardous.


Envelope with White Powder Sent to John McCain's Denver Office

Breaking News Story - Envelope Contained Threatening Note

By Carly Hart, published Aug 21, 2008


What the white powder envelope means to the John McCain campaign

If the white powder envelope addressed to John McCain does end up being a case of biological terrorism, this could be a huge boon to McCain's campaign for the Presidency
, provided he handles it with the grace and stoicism. Most will remember the huge popularity boost that Rudy Giuliani experienced in the aftermath of the horrific attack on the World Trade Center. This white powdered envelope could be a make or break moment for John McCain. Regardless of whether it turns out to be a real terrorist attempt or a prank, how John McCain handles this event will give the country a glimpse into his leadership skills should Americans elect him. If he mishandles the white powder envelope event poorly, it could tank his chances at winning office.


And None Dare Call It Treason

August 22, 2008

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Who is Randy Scheunemann?

He is the principal foreign policy adviser to John McCain and potential successor to Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser to the president of the United States.

But Randy Scheunemann has another identity, another role.

He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man.

From January 2007 to March 2008, the McCain campaign paid Scheunemann $70,000 — pocket change compared to the $290,000 his Orion Strategies banked in those same 15 months from the Georgian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili.


Ossetian leader admits conducting ethnic cleansing

‘No More Georgian Enclaves in S.Ossetia’ – Kokoity

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Aug.'08 / 15:04

Georgian enclaves within South Ossetia have been “liquidated,” the breakaway region’s leader, Eduard Kokoity, said on August 22 as quoted by the Russian online news agency, Regnum.

“Villages of Kekhvi and Tamarasheni, which were uncontrolled [by the South Ossetia authorities] are now totally destroyed as a result of military operations,” Kokoity was quoted as saying.

Russia Rules Out Immediate Return of Georgian IDPs


Latest News

22 Aug. '08 | 16:47
Russia to Keep Over 2,000-Strong Unit in Abkhazia
22 Aug. '08 | 16:40
20 OSCE Monitors Expected this Week
22 Aug. '08 | 15:56
Russian Troops Remove Checkpoint at Igoeti
22 Aug. '08 | 15:27
Signs of Russian Withdrawal from Gori
22 Aug. '08 | 15:04
‘No More Georgian Enclaves in S.Ossetia’ – Kokoity
22 Aug. '08 | 12:35
Troops Quit Administrative Headquarters in Zugdidi
22 Aug. '08 | 10:50
‘We did not Prepare for this Kind of Eventuality’ – Deputy Defense Minister
22 Aug. '08 | 00:26
Return Seized Humvees - U.S. Tells Russia
22 Aug. '08 | 00:08
Ten Georgian Servicemen Released
21 Aug. '08 | 23:50
Abkhazia, S.Ossetia Call for Recognition
more news »  

Syria: We’ll host Russian missile system

U.S. to send third ship to Black Sea
NATO ships enter Black Sea for 'exercises'

Syria: we’ll host Russian missile system

AFP Photo / Vladimir Rodionov
August 21, 2008, 22:28 Syria says it’s ready to put a Russian missile system on its soil as a counterweight to U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. The offer was made during a meeting between Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad and President Dmitry Medvedev in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Meanwhile, Moscow is considering a request from Syria for more Russian-made weapons.

It was the first meeting between the two leaders, and President Al-Assad was keen to show Syria’s support for Russia.

"We understand what is behind Russia's position ... We believe this is a response to Georgian provocation. We support Moscow in this and are against any attempts to blacken Russia," Al-Assad said.


Newly declassified docs prove PR push for Iraq War preceded intelligence findings


PR Push for Iraq War Preceded Intelligence Findings

"White Paper" Drafted before NIE even Requested

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 254

Posted - August 22, 2008

For more information contact:
John Prados - (202) 994-7000

Washington D.C., August 22, 2008 - The U.S. intelligence community buckled sooner in 2002 than previously reported to Bush administration pressure for data justifying an invasion of Iraq, according to a documents posting on the Web today by National Security Archive senior fellow John Prados.

The documents suggest that the public relations push for war came before the intelligence analysis, which then conformed to public positions taken by Pentagon and White House officials. For example, a July 2002 draft of the "White Paper" ultimately issued by the CIA in October 2002 actually pre-dated the National Intelligence Estimate that the paper purportedly summarized, but which Congress did not insist on until September 2002.

A similar comparison between a declassified draft and the final version of the British government's "White Paper" on Iraq weapons of mass destruction adds to evidence that the two nations colluded in the effort to build public support for the invasion of Iraq. Dr. Prados concludes that the new evidence tends to support charges raised by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan and by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in its long-delayed June 2008 "Phase II" report on politicization of intelligence.



AP: Activists sail to bust Israeli sea blockade on Gaza

By Michele Kambas Fri Aug 22, 4:26 AM ET

International activists departed from Cyprus by boat on Friday in an attempt to run an Israeli sea blockade on 1.4 million Palestinians in Gaza.

The 44 activists sailed from the port of Larnaca in two wooden boats at 9:50 a.m. (2:50 a.m. EDT). Hailing from 14 countries, they said they expected to reach the shores of Gaza, patrolled by the Israeli navy, on Saturday.

"It has been 41 years since any boat has traveled in those waters, and we plan to be the first," said U.S. citizen Paul Larudee, one of the organizers of the "Free Gaza" campaign.


Russia Warns of Corpse Provocation

22 August 2008

Georgian authorities are preparing a "mass provocation" as early as Thursday, using corpses to create an impression of deaths among civilians, the military said Thursday in a statement distributed by the Kremlin.

"According to our information, work is being done to the bodies as if to provide documentary evidence of the existence of victims among the civilian population, and traces of torture and cruelty on the remains of military personnel," the statement said.

Three refrigerated trucks left Gori for Tbilisi loaded with bodies, collected over several days by Georgian special forces, the statement said. It added that the bodies were being preserved in ice from a Coca-Cola plant near Gori.


Israel's failure in Georgia threatens its objective to control Caspian oil markets

"The objective of Israel is not only to acquire Caspian sea oil for its own consumption needs but also to play a key role in re-exporting Caspian sea oil back to the Asian markets through the Red Sea port of Eilat. The strategic implications of this re-routing of Caspian sea oil are farreaching."


What Israel Lost in the Georgia War: Israel's strategic priority now is countering the threat it sees in Iran's nuclear program, and on that front, Russian cooperation is essential. If the Israelis are to achieve their objective of forcing Iran to end uranium enrichment through diplomatic coercion, they will need Russian support for escalating U.N. sanctions — a course of action for which Russia has thus far shown little enthusiasm.

The Eurasian Corridor: Pipeline Geopolitics and the New Cold War

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, August 22, 2008

"The ongoing crisis in the Caucasus is intimately related to the control over energy pipeline and transportation corridors.


Pipeline Geopolitics and the Role of Israel

Israel is now part of the Anglo-American military axis, which serves the interests of the Western oil giants in the Middle East and Central Asia. Not surprisingly, Israel has military cooperation agreements with Georgia and Azerbaijan.

While the official reports state that the BTC pipeline will "channel oil to Western markets", what is rarely acknowledged is that part of the oil from the Caspian sea would be directly channeled towards Israel. In this regard, an underwater Israeli-Turkish pipeline project has been envisaged which would link Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon and from there through Israel's main pipeline system, to the Red Sea.

The objective of Israel is not only to acquire Caspian sea oil for its own consumption needs but also to play a key role in re-exporting Caspian sea oil back to the Asian markets through the Red Sea port of Eilat. The strategic implications of this re-routing of Caspian sea oil are farreaching.

What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also known as Israel's Tipline, from Ceyhan to the Israeli port of Ashkelon. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, The War on Lebanon and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, 26 July 2006)


Report: US pressuring Israel to halt talks with Syria

Israel fears Russia may sell arms to Syria
U.S. won't sell refueling jets to Israel, fearing strike on Iran

Diplomatic sources tell UAE newspaper Washington wants Jewish state to stop indirect negotiations with Damascus held in Turkey due to reported Syrian agreement to deploy Russian missile system on its territory

Roee Nahmias

Published: 08.22.08, 12:59 / Israel News

The United States is pressuring Turkey and Israel to halt the indirect negotiations with Syria being held in Istanbul, diplomatic sources told the al-Bayan newspaper published Friday in the United Arab Emirates.

According to the report, the reason for the American pressure was Damascus' agreement in principle to deploy a Russian missile system on its territory – a claim which was denied Friday by a senior Syrian source.


Eight American Bloggers Detained in Beijing

More Americans held as China steps up scrutiny

Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:57pm EDT

By Ralph Jennings and Lindsay Beck

BEIJING (Reuters) - At least eight American blogger-activists and several other foreigners have been detained in Beijing as the government intensifies a crackdown on pro-Tibetan protests in the home stretch of the Olympics, rights groups said on Wednesday.

Students for a Free Tibet earlier said authorities detained five self-styled "citizen journalists" who were in Beijing to promote Tibetan freedom on Tuesday. The New York-based group said activist-artist James Powderly had also been nabbed.

Later on Wednesday, the group said four more protesters, including two Americans and a British national, were also detained after unfurling a Tibetan flag outside the National Stadium, or "Bird's Nest."


Newsweek: The Truth About Obama's Birth Cirtificate

Born in the U.S.A.

The truth about Obama's birth certificate.

Jess Henig
Updated: 6:22 PM ET Aug 21, 2008

In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is "fake."

We beg to differ. staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

Since we first wrote about Obama's birth certificate on June 16, speculation on his citizenship has continued apace. Some claim that Obama posted a fake birth certificate to his Web page. That charge leaped from the blogosphere to the mainstream media earlier this week when Jerome Corsi, author of a book attacking Obama, repeated the claim in an Aug. 15 interview with Steve Doocy on Fox News.



Obama Hoax VP Emails

It's Chet Edwards(maybe).

I should mention a CIA souse says Sibelius.

August 22, 2008 12:27 PM

"Dear supporters," the email says, "I said you would be the first to know, and you are -- I have selected Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as my running mate!"

The email's subject line is "My Vice President" and it is signed simply: "Barack."

It is also not legitimate, sent as it was by a mischief maker at


MIDEAST: A Civil War in the Making

Exactly what Israel wants.

Analysis by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

CAIRO, Aug 22 (IPS) - Recent weeks have seen the worst fighting between rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas since the latter's takeover of the Gaza Strip last summer. Hamas accuses the "treasonous faction" within Fatah -- which worked with U.S. military intelligence in last year's failed bid to destroy the resistance group -- of instigating the violence.
"Hamas's accusations are understandable," Abdelaziz Shadi, political science professor and coordinator of the Israeli studies programme at Cairo University told IPS. "Instability in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip would be in Fatah's interests."

In the 14 months since Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) in a pre-emptive coup, after winning elections in 2006, mutual animosity has been largely confined to a war of words. In recent weeks, however, the dispute between the two movements -- which now head rival governments in Gaza and Ramallah -- escalated into open conflict.


The price of protesting in China

Added: August 21, 2008

While Olympic organisers have tried hard to put a lot of gloss over the Beijing games, they have failed to shake off criticism over the way protests have been handled.

In the latest incident two elderly women are facing a year in a labour camp after applying to hold a legitimate demo in one of Beijing's Olympic protest parks.

Al Jazeera's Tony Cheng reports.


Georgian war on South Ossetia a leap forward in US attempts to control the Eurasian region by proxy

The Saakashvili experiment

Ramzy Baroud

Just as the world's attention was focussed on China's Beijing Olympics, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, on 7 August, invaded the tiny breakaway province of South Ossetia. The initial attack on the South 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, highlighted during an intense civil war that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union and its satellite states. Georgia's successful secession from the Soviet grip, understandably, inspired independence fervour in ethnic regions within Georgia. The small region of South Ossetia -- majority ethnic Russians and minority Georgians -- sought to join the North Ossetian province, which remained part of Russia. Another region was Abkhazia, whose protracted fight with the central Georgian government has also provoked much violence.

The fact that South Ossetia belongs to Georgia was hardly contested. Even Russia has long recognised Georgian sovereignty in that region. Russia, nonetheless, remained largely involved in South Ossetia -- mostly as a "peacekeeping force", rationalising such involvement as essential for the national security of the country and the safety of its citizens. Most South Ossentians -- like Abkhazians -- hold Russian citizenship.


Time Mag to McCain: Enough with the POW! POW! POW!, already!


Keith Olbermann has a blast making fun of McCain and his many homes and his mantra of POW excuses

August 21, 2008 3:29

In His House There are Many Mansions

Posted by Ana Marie Cox 

The McCain campaign's constant invocation of the candidate's POW past is weird bordering on irrational: yesterday, Nicolle Wallace used it as evidence that McCain didn't "cheat" at Saddleback. By a VERY generous interpretation, she could have meant that POWs don't cheat. Or that once you've been a POW, you've been through so much you're above cheating. Or maybe you can't accuse a POW of cheating unless you're a POW.

Today, spokesman Brian Rogers took the same tack against the "housing crisis" they currently face: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison." So is he arguing that we shouldn't begrudge McCain his multiple house because he once lived in an awful prison? Is he saying POWs deserve multiple houses (and you thought Obama was pro-nanny-state!)? Or maybe he's saying that McCain's several houses are really just prisons... of the soul. Man is entombed by his possessions, it's true.

It's a head-spinning non sequitur, designed to distract us from something mildly troubling with the assertion of something impressive. As if, say, the Obama campaign countered criticisms of his resume by pointing out that he's black.



Fed: Economic Crisis Is Worst "In Memory"

Posted on Fri, Aug. 22, 2008

Bernanke: Financial crisis taking toll on economy


AP Economics Writer

JACKSON, Wyo. -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the financial crisis that has pounded the country - coupled with higher inflation - is taking a toll on the economy and poses a major challenge to Fed policymakers as they try to restore stability.

"Although we have seen improved functioning in some markets, the financial storm that reached gale force" around this time last year "has not yet subsided, and its effects on the broader economy are becoming apparent in the form of softening economic activity and rising unemployment," Bernanke said in a speech to a high-profile economics conference here.

While Bernanke welcomed the recent drops in oil and other commodities' prices, and believes inflation will moderate this year and next, the Fed chief also warned the inflation outlook remains highly uncertain.

The Fed, he said, would monitor the situation closely and will "act as necessary" to make sure that inflation doesn't get out of hand.

The current financial and economic environment is one of the most challenging to Fed policymakers "in memory," he acknowledged.


FDA approves irradiation of food

FDA approves irradiating spinach, lettuce to kill germs
Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
The FDA determined that irradiation indeed can kill food-poisoning germs and even lengthen the greens' shelf life without compromising the safety or nutrient value of raw spinach and lettuce. The new regulation goes into effect Friday.
The FDA says spinach and lettuce may be treated to kill germs.
From the Associated Press, From the Associated Press
August 22, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Consumers worried about salad safety may soon be able to buy fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce zapped with just enough radiation to kill E. coli and other germs.

The Food and Drug Administration today will issue a regulation allowing spinach and lettuce sellers to take that extra step, a long-awaited move amid increasing illness outbreaks caused by raw produce.

It doesn't excuse dirty produce, warned Dr. Laura Tarantino, the FDA's chief of food additive safety. Farms and processors still must keep the greens as clean as possible, she said.


Ruling protects Arizonan who sells anti-war shirts

Think about this. In America today, a federal judge has to decide if you can sell a freakin' T-shirt?

By PAUL DAVENPORT – 1 day ago

PHOENIX (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday permanently barred Arizona from using a state law to prosecute an online merchant who sells shirts that list names of thousands of troops killed in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake did not strike down the 2007 law against selling products that use of military casualties' names without families' permission. But he ruled that using the law to prosecute Dan Frazier would violate the Flagstaff man's First Amendment rights because his "Bush Lied — They Died" shirts are "core political speech."

"It is impossible to separate the political from the commercial aspects of that display," Wake wrote. "For example, the state argues that Frazier can sell his shirts without displaying the soldiers' names. But Frazier's product is his message, and his customers' message.


Interior ministry: 76 civilians killed in Coalition airstrike in W Afghanistan 2008-08-23

KABUL, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- An airstrike of the U.S.-led Coalition forces Friday in Sindand district of Heart province in western Afghanistan killed 76 civilians including women and children, the Afghan interior ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that it has started investigation into the huge civilian casualties caused by international forces' air bombing.

The government-run RTA television quoted a member of parliament said there were up to 80 civilians, majority of whom are women and children, died in the Coalition airstrike.


'Tossed out like a dog'


"When we have settled the land all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle. "

--Rafael Eitan ,

 April 12, 1983

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 18:00 21/08/2008

Twilight Zone

By Gideon Levy

In the lawless South Hebron Hills, things are wild as usual: The settlers continue to attack shepherd children with clubs and stones, to steal their sheep and to make their lives miserable, while the Israel Police continue to abuse anyone who tries to file a complaint against the settlers.

Mahmoud Abu Kabaita, whose children and flocks were the targets of settlers from Beit Yatir and Susia, was left outside the Kiryat Arba police station in the burning sun for four hours, until they even allowed him to enter. The members of the Abu Awad family, some of whose children suffer from a serious skin disease, have already been victims of a cruel pogrom by the settlers of Asael, as described here three weeks ago. Relatives waited outside the police station for two hours, and left without filing a complaint, after being attacked once again last Shabbat. That is how the Israel Police enforces the law here.

After writing in this column about the Abu Awads, all of whose meager property was destroyed and looted by the rioters from Asael, some readers offered to help the penniless family. One prominent figure, who is well known in the political establishment and not necessarily from the left, and who wanted to remain anonymous, gave the family a personal financial contribution which is considered huge by local standards. There was great joy in the miserable encampment, but it was short-lived: Last Shabbat the children and their sheep were attacked once again by the Asael people. A wonderful way to welcome the "Sabbath bride," as is customary every week.


'If it looks as though this poisoning of the Gazan people is deliberate, it's because it is'

Aug 22 10:46

Source of Gaza's contaminated water confirmed


Alarmingly, unpublished studies conducted by Basem Shomar, from the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry in Heidelberg, suggest a 50 per cent incidence rate of methemoglobinemia in the region's newborns. The disorder - which cuts down the amount of oxygen blood can carry, and leads to blue skin, diarrhoea, vomiting, and sometimes death - is known to be triggered by nitrate-contaminated water.

Israel understands perfectly the health effects of this water contamination.

However, the electricity plants which run the water filtration facilities are not functioning well, and Israel refuses to allow badly needed equipment for these plants to get to Gaza.

If it looks as though this poisoning of the Gazan people is deliberate, it's because it is.


Pickens' Next Project: "Selling Water He Doesn't Own"

Beware the Obama/Pelosi Trojan horse
TVA Approves Huge Rate Increase

T. Boone Pickens wants your water

By Timothy P. Carney

Examiner Columnist | 8/21/08 7:10 PM Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is about to make a killing by selling water he doesn’t own. As he does it, it will be praised as a planet-friendly wind project. After he pulls it off, the media will deride it as craven capitalism. In truth, it is one the most audacious examples of politics for profit, showing how big government helps the biggest business steal from the rest of us. The plotline behind Pickens’ water-and-wind scheme is almost too rich to believe. If it were a movie script, reviewers would dismiss it as over-the-top.

The basic story amounts to this: Pickens, thanks to favors from state lawmakers whose campaigns he funded, has created a new government whose only voters are two of his employers; this has empowered Pickens to more cheaply pump water from an aquifer and, by use of eminent domain, seize land across 11 counties in order to pipe the water to Dallas. To win environmentalist approval of this hardly “sustainable” practice, he has piggybacked this water project onto a windmill project pitched as an alternative to oil.

Pickens’ scheme is a perfect demonstration of why it’s worth asking cui bono — who benefits — from regulatory and environmental initiatives. Last week, this column pointed out that Pickens, before his current lobbying blitz for increased federal support of wind power, built the largest wind farm in the world.


'Obama Nation' author Corsi bought his way out of prison for his child-porn distribution conviction

Obama's response to Corsi's book
Obama's response to smears

Jerome Corsi is an American author who some say
gained national notoriety in 2003 when he was convicted
for participating in a
child pornography ring.  His
reputation suffered further damage in 2004 when he
published a fictional account of Senator John Kerry's
activities in, and immediately following, the Vietnam War.


Corsi was born on 31 August, 1946, in east Cleveland,
Ohio.  His father was a Union leader in the Local 86 Leather
Workers' Union; his mother was a homemaker and
fountain syringe enthusiast.

Jerome was an only child with the occasional imaginary
friend, and occupied himself with gardening, tumbling, and
drama.  As a teenager, he was frequently seen hanging
out after hours at the Glee Club and the YMCA.


Ed. note: this is a satire.

Buffett Says Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac 'Game Is Over'

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Failure: The Lies, the Cover Ups and the Making of a Disaster

The Real Cost of a Full Bailout: A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has zero credibility. It pegged likely taxpayer losses in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts at $25 billion. For those with a sense of history, it is worth remembering that the S&L bailout had a $160 billion price tag. The numbers diverge so far from reality as to be laugh-out-loud funny. Funny, that is, except that the CBO estimate demonstrates a willful disconnect with the actual consequences of federal government actions.

"For those with a sense of history, it is worth remembering that the S&L bailout had a $160 billion price tag. "

"If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched." -- George Bush, cited in the June, 1992 Sarah McClendon Newsletter

"As of 1996, the cost of the S&L bailout was estimated at $481 billion. (Gory details here.) In today's money, that would be $674 billion, using the Consumer Price Index. On a per capita basis, that comes out to $2,210."

Buffett Says Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac `Game Is Over'


By Josh P. Hamilton

Enlarge Image/Details
Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest mortgage finance companies, ``don't have any net worth,'' billionaire investor Warren Buffett said.

``The game is over'' as independent companies said Buffett, the 77-year-old chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., in an interview on CNBC today. ``They were able to borrow without any of the normal restraints. They had a blank check from the federal government.''

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae touched 20-year lows yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange on speculation a government bailout will leave the stocks worthless. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson won approval from Congress last month to pump emergency capital into the companies, which account for more than half of the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market.

Fannie and Freddie mispriced their products and ``kept existing because they had the federal government behind them,'' Buffett said. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire had been among the largest holders of Freddie until about 2001, when it became apparent the company wasn't being run well, he said.



Bank borrowing from ECB is out of control

Jim Rogers Predicts Bigger Financial Shocks Loom, Fueling a Malaise That May Last for Years
Treasury Suspends Sales of Gold Coins
The Eagle Has Been Grounded
U.S. Mint Suspends Sales of American Eagle Gold Coins
Economics in reverse: The American eagle flies away

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Last Updated: 3:06pm BST 21/08/2008

The European Central Bank has issued the clearest warning to date that it cannot serve as a perpetual crutch for lenders caught off-guard by the severity of the credit crunch.

Not Wellink, the Dutch central bank chief and a major figure on the ECB council, said that banks were becoming addicted to the liquidity window in Frankfurt and were putting the authorities in an invidious position.

"There is a limit how long you can do this. There is a point where you take over the market," he told Het Finacieele Dagblad, the Dutch financial daily.


Now, isn't that weird?

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So, mparent7777-1, your LiveJournal reveals...

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No charges for cops in death: Woman hand-cuffed behind her back, legs shackled

No charges for officers in women's death at airport

Aug. 21, 2008 02:24 PM

The Arizona Republic

The Phoenix police officers involved in the arrest of an out-of-control passenger at Sky Harbor airport who later died in custody did not break any laws and will not be prosecuted, Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Thursday.

Thomas said his office reviewed a Phoenix police report into the death of Carol Gotbaum, as well as photographs and a photographic re-enactment of the death and autopsy reports by the County Medical Examiner's Office. The case was looked at by the County Attorney's in-custody review committee, consisting of veteran prosecutors.

Gotbaum, 45, died in police custody on Sept. 28 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after she was shackled and left alone in a holding cell.


Woman sent to jail for wearing shorts to court

The Associated Press

A judge in Lancaster sent a woman to jail for wearing shorts to court.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Garrard District Court Judge Janet Booth reminded 28-year-old Kirstie Arnold of Lancaster on Monday that she had been warned about inappropriate attire in two previous court appearances and fined $50 the last time.

Arnold said she forgot.


Is the CIA souse right?



Obama Hoax VP Emails: "I should mention a CIA souse says Sibelius." I still say Chet Edwards(maybe).

Posted Friday, August 22, 2008 4:58 PM

Obama Visits Kansas?

Andrew Romano

Sadly, it's not--at least not yet. At 4:41, I frantically called the Gazette's Managing Editor Gwendolynne Larson to find out why the Obama campaign was visiting Emporia today. Turns out that I'd gotten both the "where" and the "when" of the story wrong. According to Larson, the Obama campaign called "yesterday out of the blue," informing the paper that Obama was coming through town. "All of it happened yesterday afternoon," she said, "and the upshot of it is that Obama's campaign didn't realize we were Emporia, Kansas--he was near Emporia, Virginia." Here's the full scoop:

At 4:39 p.m. this afternoon, Politico's Avi Zenilman posted a cryptic item on one of the site's well-trafficked blogs. It read, in its entirety, "The Emporia (KS) Gazette reports: Obama visits Emporia. Obama Campaign gives Emporia Gazette staff 20 minutes notice of visit." Talk about a headturner. With the entire political world obsessing over Barack Obama's impending veepstakes announcement--and with Emporia only an hour from Topeka, where a certain Kansas governor/VP finalist is working out of her offices today--I'm sure dozens of other reporters came to the same conclusion I did: IT'S SEBELIUS!

"We were prepared to scramble if they had given us the call back. 'Cause it kind of made sense. He has family here, and if he's on his way up to Topeka to see Sebelius, it's on his way. But we started doing our own looking and somebody figured out, you know, he's in Virginia this morning. And we said, 'But he could still fly here!' And then somebody said, 'There is an Emporia, VIRGINIA.' Right about that time, Obama's campaign called back and said, 'We're sorry, we thought you...' And I said, '... were in Virgina, right?' And they said, 'Yeah.' [Laughs] I think it's probably time to throw the whole story up and let the whole country read it."




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