August 23rd, 2008

glasses

Obama picks Biden as VP

I see the beltway bitch is in. Sad, Very sad. Immoral, yet for ruthless politicians, "practical." So much for "change."


Obama-Biden ticket ready to debut 

Story Highlights
NEW: 'Sen. Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic vice president,' Clinton says

Democrat Obama picks Delaware senator as his running mate

Text message announcing Obama's selection goes out early Saturday

Biden to appear with Obama at Springfield, Illinois, rally on Saturday

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Thousands of supporters were expected at a Saturday rally in Springfield, Illinois, to see the debut of Sen. Barack Obama and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as a presidential ticket.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, announced his selection of Biden as his running mate with a 3 a.m. text message and a statement on his official Web site.

"Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee," the text message said. 

--MORE With Video--
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Rights Group Suing AT&T for Spying Will Sue Government Too

By Ryan Singel August 22, 2008 | 8:05:57 PMCategories: NSA, Privacy 

A civil liberties group suing AT&T for helping the government warrantlessly spy on Americans isn't abandoning its lawsuit after Congress voted to give retroactive immunity to the nation's telcoms.

Instead, the scrappy San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation now says that it will expand its efforts and sue the government over the spy program that operated outside of the court system for more than six years.

"If Congress wants to shut down one avenue, we will go down another," EFF legal director Cindy Cohn said, noting that the amnesty provisions in the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 do not apply the government itself as the Administration had first wanted. 

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Biden: "I am a Zionist"

The Palestinians are f**ked.

Related
Biden in 2007 interview: I am a Zionist
Watch And Hear Biden The Arch Zionist
Moot argument

H/T

March 28, 2007

Presidential hopeful calls Israel "the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East"

Says Jonathan Pollard deserves leniency but not a pardon

In an exclusive Shalom TV interview, US Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) emphatically stated his commitment to the State of Israel, calling the country "the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East."

Senator Biden further stressed that without Israel, one could only imagine how many battleships and troops America would have to station in the Middle East. 

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How Bush Destroyed the Republican Party

Rollingstone.com

A president driven by ideology. A Congress rife with corruption. A political party hellbent on a "permanent majority." A leading scholar examines the radicals who hijacked the GOP — and wrecked the longest conservative ascendancy in American history 

SEAN WILENTZ


Posted Sep 04, 2008 1:45 PM

The failure of the administration of George W. Bush — and the accompanying crisis of the Republican Party — has caused a political meltdown of historic proportions. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Bush enjoyed the greatest popularity ever recorded for a modern American president. Republicans on Capitol Hill, under the iron rule of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, fattened their coffers through a fearsome operation overseen by corporate lobbyists and GOP henchmen that functioned more like an empire than an old-fashioned political machine. "Republican hegemony," the prominent conservative commentator Fred Barnes rejoiced in 2004, "is now expected to last for years, maybe decades."

Now, only four years later, Bush is leaving office with the longest sustained period of public disapproval ever recorded. No president, at least in modern times — and certainly no two-term president — has risen so high only to fall so low. Indeed, Bush's standings in the polls describe one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the American presidency — second only, perhaps, to that of Richard Nixon, the only president ever forced to resign from office. And in Congress, the indictment and downfall of DeLay and a host of associated scandals involving, among others, the Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, have badly damaged the party's image. The supremacy of the GOP, once envisioned by party operatives as a "permanent majority," may be gone for a very long time to come.

At first glance, the collapse of the Republican Party seems rapid and unexpected. When viewed within the larger context of American history, however, the party's breakdown looks familiar, even predictable. As in earlier party crackups — 1854, 1932, 1968 — the demise has involved not a single, sudden explosion but a gradual unraveling followed by a sharp and rapid deterioration amid major national calamities. If Bush and the Republican majority in Congress accelerated the demise of Ronald Reagan's political era with their assault on traditional American values and institutions — including the rule of law itself — it is a decline that began two decades ago.

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US Jailers Allow Inmates to Gang Rape 18 Year Old Brought in on Speeding Charges

Friday, August 15, 2008 

Former Grant County, Kentucky Detention Center Officers Found Guilty of Civil Rights Violations in Teenager Rape Case 

WASHINGTON, Aug 15, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ ----A Kentucky jury convicted Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman, both former deputy jailers, on federal civil rights, conspiracy and obstruction charges, the Justice Department announced today. The defendants, former deputies at the Grant County Detention Center, were found guilty of conspiring to violate the civil rights of a teenage traffic offender when they arranged for him to be raped by inmates. The jury convicted the defendants on all charges and specifically found that the defendants were responsible for the aggravated sexual assault carried out by the inmates.

The defendants face up to life in prison when they are sentenced on Dec. 8, 2008.

The case stemmed from an incident that occurred on Valentine's Day in 2003, when the defendants, along with their supervisor, former Sergeant Shawn Sydnor, taunted an 18-year-old high school student who had been brought to the detention center on a speeding charge. The deputies teased the teenager about his physical appearance and told him that he would make a good "girlfriend" for the other inmates. The defendants then solicited a group of convicted felons housed in a general population cell to scare the teenager. After eliciting an agreement from the inmates, the officers left the teenager in the cell where he was sexually assaulted by the other inmates. 

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Video Asks Average People, "Do You Think It's a Common Problem to Forget How Many Houses You Own?"

Added: August 21, 2008



DNC Web Video: "How Many"

TEXT: John McCain was asked how many houses he owns...

TEXT: Apparently, he's lost track. "I'll have my staff get to you." [Politico, 8/21/08]

QUESTION: Are you guys aware of how many houses you own?

VOTER 1: We are aware.

VOTER 2: I only own one house, and that's more than enough with the foreclosures and whatnot.

VOTER 1: We own zero.

QUESTION: House many houses do you own?

VOTER 3: Zero

QUESTION: Do you know of any people who have forgotten how many houses they own?

VOTER 3: Is this a trick question? No.

QUESTION: How many houses do you own?

VOTER 4: Two

QUESTION: Two. Did you ever forget that?

VOTER 4: No

QUESTION: Has anyone in your family ever forgotten?

VOTER 4: No.

QUESTION: OK. Could you understand someone forgetting?

VOTER 4: No.

QUESTION: We're just wondering if its, you know, a common problem to forget how many houses you own?

VOTER 3: I assume no. That is not common.

QUESTION: Have you ever forgotten how many houses you own?

VOTER 2: No, never.

VOTER 1: I can see with seven how you could, you know, forget. It's hard to keep track of.

VOTER 5: Yeah, exactly. Somebody takes care of that for you.

VOTER 2: Well, you could be that wealthy where you don't know what you have, in spite of the fact that other people are so poor they don't have anything.

TEXT: John McCain: The Answer is seven.

TEXT: John McCain: More of the Same.
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Keating's new world order

Former Australian PM Paul Keating on post-Cold War globalisation.


Paul Keating

August 24, 2008

A prestigious American think tank told us recently that 66% of humanity lives in high income or high growth countries; up from 25% thirty years ago. A very powerful statistic.

Since 1982, the world has experienced a twenty-five-year, long wave of economic growth, overlaid by only two cyclical investment recessions; 1989-1990 and 2000-2003.

This extended period of high growth and low inflation has brought prosperity on an unprecedented scale. Growth has risen the world over in a long linear trajectory.

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Biden's Views on the Middle East


2008 Presidential Candidates’ Views on the Middle East

Joseph Biden


Iranian Threat:

“If he takes the country to war in [Iran] without a vote of Congress, which will not exist, then he should be impeached.” (November, 15 2007)

“I stand with the many citizens- from the U.S. and around the world- who are concerned at the prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Nuclear proliferation is a grave concern to international stability, and in the hands of the sponsors of terorism is entirely unacceptable.” (Statement to the Israel Project, July 19, 2007)

“Iran with the bomb could spark an arms race in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria joining in. Given the fault lines - between Sunni and Shia, Israelis and Palestinians, Persians and Arabs, Turks and Kurds, fundamentalists and moderates - that's the last thing we need. And it's the last thing Israel needs.

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Academics fear speaking freely in Canada

Political scientists worried about 'legal jeopardy'

Kevin Libin, National Post
 

Published: Saturday, August 23, 2008

A group of U. S. professors launched a campaign this week protesting plans by a prominent political science organization to hold its annual conference in Toronto next year, claiming that Canada's restrictions on certain forms of speech puts controversial academics at risk of being prosecuted.

Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania's St. Vincent College, said he will present a petition calling for the American Political Science Association (APSA) to re-evaluate its selection of Toronto for its 2009 conference at this year's annual meeting, taking place over the Labour Day weekend in Boston.

His protest has garnered support from dozens of professors across the United States, including prominent scholars such as Princeton University legal philosopher Robert P. George and Harvard University's Harvey Mansfield.

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Biden: 'The Democrats' support for Israel "comes from our gut....It's almost genetic'

Last update - 19:20 23/10/2006
Joseph Biden, Democrat



Current position:
Senator for Delaware (elected 1972)

Curriculum vitae:
  • Graduate of Syracuse University College of Law

  • Adjunct Professor, Widener University School of Law (1991-present)

    Memorable quotes:
  • "The bottom line here is, if regime change is the operative element of this administration's policy [in Iran], you are never going to get to the point where you end up with a diplomatic solution. There may be no diplomatic solution, in the end. That's possible. We may have crossed the line, or they may have crossed the line...while we fool around with this, you're going to see Japan go nuclear, and you're going to see China react to Japan going nuclear, and you're going to see a chain of events set in motion that are going to be significantly damaging to the next generation of Americans. And so, it seems to me we should get off this wicket of suggesting that we won't talk. I mean, what are we afraid of in talking?" (FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace, October 22, 2006)

  • The Democrats' support for Israel "comes from our gut, moves through our heart, and ends up in our head. It's almost genetic." (October 5, 2006)

  • "There has never been progress in the Middle East without the United States acting as a catalyst. The fact of the matter is that our good offices are important. The fact as the matter is that I would not do anything that I did not coordinate with the Israeli government. I would not pretend to be anything other than we are. Arabs know where we are and all they want to know is that we are going to, in fact, be blanced and fair about it. I think we can still establish that...My point is that we should have some very important person on the ground there, ready to explore all the initiatives, any serious person in the government thinks it might be worth considering. We should be a catalyst here." (October 5, 2006) 

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    Court: Strip-search needs reasonable cause

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A federal court in California ruled Friday that authorities may not conduct strip-searches without reasonable suspicion the subjects are carrying contraband.

    A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a lawsuit challenging the practice of San Francisco city and county authorities of strip-searching inmates as a means of deterring drugs and weapons traffic in jails, the Los Angeles Times reported. The panel found the practice is a violation of constitutional prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure.

    The ruling also cleared the way for lawsuits against San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey, the newspaper said. 

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    Boats with pro-Palestinian activists reach Gaza

    World News

    © AP
    2008-08-23 17:56:01 -

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Two boats carrying dozens of international activists sailed into the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade on Saturday, receiving a warm welcome from hundreds of jubilant Palestinians after a two-day journey marred by communications troubles and rough seas.

    As the boats docked in Gaza City's tiny port,

    children swarmed around the vessels and leaped into the water in joy, while thousands of cheering people looked on from the shore. Palestinian flags on one of the boats snapped in the wind, and the slogan «End Occupation» was written in large letters on its side.
    «We were all dizzy, nauseous. We were all tired. But in the last hour it was like we were recharged,» said Ayash Daraj, a journalist with the al-Jazeera satellite channel who sailed with the activists.

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    New York's Resolution to Defederalize National Guard

    NATO – The U.S. “Dr Strangelove Plan” - or: Nuking off Europe, Russia and China
    With a new front of tension developing between Russia and the United States in the Caucuses, New York State Senators joined anti-war activists to announce a resolution to bring the state's National Guard home


    FSRN - NDHF Net

    Mon, 08/18/2008 - 14:22

    With a new front of tension developing between Russia and the United States in the Caucuses, New York State Senators joined anti-war activists to announce a resolution to bring the state's National Guard home. 

    They join 8 other states in a resurgence of anti-war activism in a national campaign to press for the end of the occupation in Iraq and to stop future deployments by the National Guard. Free Speech Radio News correspondent Rebecca Myles reports from New York.

    Download audio file

    NDHF (Related):

    16.7.2008 Massive global ozone loss predicted following regional nuclear conflict
    4.7.2008 Finnish minister says Europe falling hostage to US missile defence
    16.5.2008 Finnish Liberation Army Victory Parades in Helsinki on 16.5.1918 (Historical Film & Photos)

    HEYET Net

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    H/T
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    Colo. city official cancels Al-Jazeera barbecue

    Colo. city official cancels Al-Jazeera barbecue

    Sat Aug 23, 8:52 AM ET

    The city manager of Golden, Colo., has decided to withdraw his invitation to let the Al-Jazeera news network broadcast from a barbecue in his backyard on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.

    City manager Mike Bestor has apologized for any divisiveness he caused in the city of about 18,000, about 15 miles west of Denver.

    Bestor made his decision after a City Council meeting Thursday at which residents complained the event with the

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    Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets

    By ELIZABETH WHITE, Associated Press Writer Sat Aug 23, 3:28 AM ET

    Court authorities here will be able to track students with a history of skipping school under a new program requiring them to wear ankle bracelets with Global Positioning System monitoring.

    But at least one group is worried the ankle bracelets will infringe on students' privacy.

    Linda Penn, a Bexar County justice of the peace, said she anticipates that about 50 students from four San Antonio-area school districts — likely to be mostly high schoolers — will wear the anklets during the six-month pilot program announced Friday. She said the time the students wear the anklets will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

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    NY inventor builds his own unmanned drone. Accused of being a terrorist

    Unmanned Drone On L.I. Sparks Terror Investigation

    By Jonathan Dienst

    POSTED: 1:36 pm EDT August 22, 2008
    UPDATED: 7:57 pm EDT August 22, 2008

    NEW YORK -- An unmanned drone being built by an engineer on Long Island sparked a large counter-terrorism investigation across the New York area, officials tell WNBC.com. Police said they had stumbled upon overnight testing of the drone at a little-used airstrip in Calverton, Long Island.Watch the full report on News 4 New York at 11 p.m. Friday after the Olympics

    The investigation began in February of last year, when investigators first learned testing of the drone was underway. Officials said the drone was being designed to carry more than 600 pounds of explosives.

    "It could be in the air for 8-10 hours and there's potential harm if it is carrying a large amount of toxic material," NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in explaining why his department's counterterrorism officials were concerned.

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    Iraq invites Russian oil company back

    The Associated Press August 20, 2008

    By NATALIYA VASILYEVA
    MORE FROM BUSINESSWEEK

    MOSCOW

    An Iraqi Cabinet minister invited Russia's Lukoil on Wednesday to renew its bid on the vast West Qurna-2 oil field and urged Russian companies to seek roles rebuilding dilapidated power plants as Iraq searches for foreign investment to revive its oil industry and infrastructure.

    "I hope Russian companies will take part in the bidding," Iraqi Electricity Minister Karim Wahid told a news conference in Moscow. "Lukoil is welcome to bid for the service contract at the second or third stage of the tender in March or September."

    Lukoil signed a contract for West Qurna-2, one of the largest oil fields in the world, in 1997. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein declared the deal void shortly before the 2003 U.S. invasion. West Qurna-2 is believed to hold 6 billion barrels in proven reserves

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    Russia Pulls the Bulk of Its Forces Out of Georgia

    The New York Times

    August 23, 2008

    By C. J. CHIVERS

    KARALETI, Georgia — The Russian tank creaked and groaned at the checkpoint, its journey north across the new administrative boundary of South Ossetia almost complete. The driver’s face, grease-streaked and tired looking, jutted from the hatch.

    A cigarette hung from his mouth.

    He swore, uttering the single, unprintable syllable that is the most foul word in the Russian language.

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    Police In Denver Are Not Going To Let Marijuana Use Slide

    Radar
    Conventional Wisdom
    The Denver Fuzz Will Bust Your Dope-Smoking Ass


    News from Denver: Despite a recommendation by a city panel that arrests for marijuana use be curtailed during next week's Democratic get-together, the pigs say they're still gonna come down hard on anyone caught with bud. It's sure to make for a bad scene for all those long-haired hippie types who just want to kick back and express their views while toking up on a little herb and enjoying the serenity of the mountains, man. It won't be much easier on the protesters outside the convention hall either. [Breitbart]

    By Alex Balk   08/22/08 12:00 PM

    Related: Conventional Wisdom, Denver, Politics

    Link
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    Taleban besiege Kabul

    August 23, 2008

    Rockets, guile and the lessons of history: the Taleban besiege Kabul
    Taleban insurgents
    Jeremy Page in Kabul

    The lorry drivers who bring the Pepsi and petrol for Nato troops in Kabul have their own way of calculating the Taleban's progress towards the Afghan capital: they simply count the lorries destroyed on the main roads.

    By that measure, and many others, this looks increasingly like a city under siege as the Taleban start to disrupt supply routes, mimicking tactics used against the British in 1841 and the Soviets two decades ago.

    Abdul Hamid, 35, was ferrying Nato supplies from the Pakistani border last month when Taleban fighters appeared on the rocks above and aimed their rocket-launchers at him, 40miles (65km) east of Kabul. “They just missed me but hit the two trucks behind,” he said. “This road used to be safe, but in the last month they've been attacking more and more.”

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    Biden in 2002: 'I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of power'

    Transcript for November 27

    John Warner, Joe Biden, David Broder, David Gregory, Eugene Robinson & Judy Woodruff

    Meet the Press

    ***

    MR. RUSSERT: And yet it's important that we put things in historical context. Senator Biden, you were on the show in August of 2002 talking about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. You concluded your statement by saying, "I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of power." A month later you voted for a resolution authorizing just that. In hindsight, knowing everything you know now about the absence of weapons of mass destruction, was your vote a mistake?

    SEN. BIDEN: It was a mistake. It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly. And I brought along that whole quote. I knew you'd ask me this. I said, "We know he continues to attempt to gain access to additional capability, including nuclear capability. There's a real debate on how far off that is, whether it's a matter of years or it's a matter of less than that. We don't know enough now." That was the rest of my quote. So I never argued that there was an imminent threat. We gave the president the authority to unite the world to isolate Saddam. And the fact of the matter is, we went too soon. We went without sufficient force. And we went without a plan.

    MR. RUSSERT: If there was a vote today, you would vote no?

    SEN. BIDEN: I--with this president, absolutely I would vote no, based on the way in which they've handled it.

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    Ex-US diplomat gets 20 years for child porn

    By MATTHEW BARAKAT, The Associated Press

    2008-08-22 19:20:37.0

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -

    An ex-U.S. diplomat who admitted taping his sexual encounters with teenage girls while stationed in Brazil and the Congo was sentenced Friday to 20 years, the maximum possible prison term.

    Gons G. Nachman, 42, had sought leniency, claiming among other things that cultural differences in those countries made sex with teenage girls more acceptable.

    But U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee took the unusual step of imposing consecutive 10-year terms for the two counts on which Nachman was convicted.

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    The '05 bankruptcy bill is a disaster for average folks: Biden is a big reason why this is so

    August 23, 2008

    Jackson Williams

    Posted August 23, 2008

    Last August, the Democrats held a presidential debate in Chicago. Seven Democrats participated, with former sportscaster Keith Olbermann moderating. It was sponsored by the AFL-CIO and took place before 15,000 union activists at Soldier Field.

    You'd think the candidates at a Democratic debate dealing with issues relevant to working men and women would be asked about the infamous bankruptcy bill signed two years earlier by President George W. Bush. Oddly, you'd be wrong.

    This wasn't the first time Congress had passed this shameful act. Bill Clinton vetoed it twice in the 90's, so we know where he stands. The credit industry, ever relentless, kept coming back, confidant they had the number of elected officials necessary to do their bidding. They did, and Joe Biden was always one of them.

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    Lieutenant, Author, 30 Year Firefighter Questions 9/11

    One Lieutenant’s Perspective

    21 Aug 2008 / Firefighter Articles

    By Earl Emerson:

    30 year veteran Seattle Fire Department

    Author of Vertical Burn, Into the Inferno, Pyro, Firetrap, and numerous other fire novels.

    Along with millions of others, I watched the events of 9/11 unfold with disbelief and horror. I was home with my wife when the first tower collapsed. She turned to me and asked if a collapse was an eventuality that I as a veteran firefighter would have expected. I told her it was not only unexpected, but startling. What was even more startling was to watch both towers crumble into dust, and later, tower number 7, also go down at free fall speed, collapsing basically into it’s own footprint. Over the years I’d seen a number of buildings collapse due to fire, all wooden structures, but none collapsed at free fall speed. How much more resistance would a steel‑framed building provide?

    I had just finished writing a novel in which a conflagration burned unchecked in Seattle’s tallest skyscraper, the 78‑story Columbia Tower, and because of my research, I knew for a fact that no steel‑framed building had ever collapsed due to fire, no matter how long that fire burned. In my novel the remnants of Seattle’s tallest building had ended up in a severe tilt. Nothing in my research indicated there was reason to go any further.

    There was a lot going on after 9/11. The news stories continued to pile up while the country gradually pieced together what happened that day, or what we thought happened. In early 2002 Vertical Burn was published and I did a two‑week author’s tour for Ballantine Books. Every day I talked to crowds who were eager for the opportunity to discuss 9/11 with a working firefighter. The most frequent comment was, “Those New York firefighters were so brave. Going into those buildings when they knew they were going to fall down.” My reply: “Of course they were brave. But they weren’t idiots. There was one simple reason none of them believed the buildings were going to collapse: no steel‑framed building had ever collapsed due to fire. Ever. They didn’t going into those buildings thinking they were headed for certain death. They went in to evacuate people and to put the fires out.”

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    Georgian military debacle may spark demise of Nato

    Related
    Gwynne Dyer: The missile defence scam
    Aid deliveries 'cover' for NATO build up
    Nato begins Black Sea exercises

    Another Famous Victory for Condi


    Friday August 22, 2008

    By Gwynne Dyer

    NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, is a remarkable case of institutional survival in the face of changing circumstances.

    It was created in 1949 to protect Western Europe from the Soviet threat, and in 1989 the Soviet threat vanished. Yet Nato not only survived the collapse of the Soviet Union but expanded, taking in all the former satellite states of Eastern Europe and even the Baltic republics that had been part of the Russian empire for more than 200 years. But the Georgian debacle could break Nato.

    In those Eastern European countries that were so recently ruled from Moscow, the presence of Russian troops in Georgia has reawakened the old fears. Poland has just hastily agreed to let the United States place anti-ballistic missile sites on its soil, on condition that there must also be a full-fledged US military base in the country. Why?

    Because then, if Russia attacked Poland, the United States would automatically become involved. What drives all this is historical memory, not genuine strategic calculation - Russia is not planning to attack Poland - but the emotions it evokes are very powerful. That's also why 50 Estonian military volunteers have now arrived in Georgia (although nobody knows quite what to do with them)

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    Extreme-interventionist, Iraq/drug war fanboy is now the Democtratic VP Candidate

    Would you like a police baton with that change?

    Related
    15 Joe Biden Quotes - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


    Biden

    Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

    Had to take a break from my vacation to register my disappointment in Obama’s selection of Biden.

    I understand the rationale–Obama wants an attack dog to go after McCain while he appears to be above the fray. Biden also adds some foreign policy and Beltway heft to the ticket. The Beltway CW says this pick was safe, but not particularly bold. I think that’s about right.

    But from a policy perspective, it’s a disaster. Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about). Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs. Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences). Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004’s horrendous RAVE Act.

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    Preliminary Congressional Investigation Finds Watch Lists Plagued with Systemic Flaws

    (8/22/2008)

    ACLU calls for lists to be scrapped and for DHS to approach airline security in reasonable and effective manor

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.org or
    (212) 549-2646, media@aclu.org

    WASHINGTON, DC – In response to today’s Wall Street Journal article on the flaws found in the terrorist watch lists by a preliminary congressional investigation, the American Civil Liberties Union calls on all presidential candidates, as well as current President Bush, to pledge to put a moratorium on the use of the lists unless major overhauls are made. The investigation found the current database system beleaguered with flaws and technological hurdles. Not only that, but the program being designed to replace the current database is facing similar systemic difficulties, while the contractors hired for its creation are struggling to move toward completion.

    “The time for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to scrap their current approach to airline security is well overdue, now that the Terrorist Screening Center’s terrorist watch lists have passed one million entries,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU Technology and Liberty Program. “The American people would be comforted if our presidential candidates denounced these burdensome practices. Senators McCain and Obama should declare a moratorium on the use of the lists unless drastic measures are taken to improve their accuracy, and protect innocent Americans hoping to travel without burden.”

    The ACLU calls for the following measures to be taken:
    i) a dramatic downsizing of the terrorist watch lists to contain names limited to only those for whom there is credible evidence of terrorist ties or activities;
    ii) implementation of a true redress process with full due process rights is created so that innocent people who find themselves mistakenly on the lists can be taken off - and stay off;
    iii) a complete overhaul of the computer databases used to house the watch lists.

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    Israel launches joint military drill; considered as preparations for attack on Iran

    Sat, 23 Aug 2008

    The Israeli Army has held a joint military exercise along with the Turkish and the United States' military forces in the Mediterranean Sea.

    The maneuver, involving air and naval unites from the three sides, was launched on Tuesday, August 19 and will last for one week.

    ***

    The war games were then considered as preparations by Tel Aviv to launch a military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities.

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    Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian boats greeting siege breakers

    Related
    Boats arrive in Gaza early Saturday evening
    Break siege vessels anchor at Gaza port
    FREE GAZA BOATS ARRIVE IN GAZA
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    We salute you
    Live Interview On Democracy Now!
    Israeli paper- Palestinians: Leftist boats didn't bring enough food
    Patient death toll in Gaza reaches 240
    Blocked Gaza aid driver set to head home
    Gaza's shocking devastation
    MENA: Refused Gaza Fulbright students speak


    Abdo to PNN: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian boats

    23.08.08 - 13:08

    Fadi Yacoub / PNN – According to the Free Gaza Movement there are now an estimated 200,000 Palestinians on the shores of Gaza waiting to greet the SS Free Gaza and SS Liberty. Their estimated arrival time is now between 5 and 7 pm, as relayed from Jeff Halper on one of the boats.

    Rami Abdo, Spokesperson of the People's Committee to Address the Siege on the Gaza Strip told PNN this afternoon that Israeli gunboats opened fire on the Palestinians who had sailed boats into the sea to receive the two “Break the Siege” boats, which had almost reached Palestinian territorial waters. They were forced to change course due to the presence of Israeli warships.

    Dozens of small boats are waiting in the waters near the coast along with thousands of Palestinians on the shores of Gaza. They are there to greet the "Break the Siege on Gaza" boats that are expected Saturday. “People came early this morning to applaud the arrival of the foreigners and Palestinians who are on the mission to bring attention to the situation,” Abdo told PNN early this afternoon.

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    08.23.08: Biden in 2007 interview: I am a Zionist

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    Joe Biden: Nightmare


    Biden in 2007 interview: I am a Zionist


    Barack Obama's new running mate praises Israel In 2007 interview with 'Shalom TV'

    Yitzhak Benhorin

    Published: 08.23.08, 18:15 / Israel News

    WASHINGTON – Senator Joe Biden, who was chosen by Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to be his running mate in the upcoming US elections, has previously declared himself to be a Zionist. Calling Israel "the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East," he also revealed a Jewish connection in an interview last year.

    During the interview conducted by the Jewish 'Shalom TV' Biden said, "I am a Zionist. You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist." He also revealed that his son is married to a Jewish woman, of the Berger family from Delaware, and that he had participated in a Passover Seder at their house.

    He added that "probably my most poignant Seder memory is not with the Bergers, but what happened right after I came back from meeting Golda Meir (in 1973). I had predicted that something was going on in Egypt. And I remember people talking about what it meant to them if Israel were actually defeated."

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    Deconstructing Brzezinski’s Russia

    By Jim Miles

    8-23-08, 12:07 pm

    The warrior ethic of the American Imperial elite, embodied in its fullest measure by Zbigniew Brzezinski, has been rejuvenated momentarily by Russia’s attack on Georgia. Reading Brzezinski’s words leaves one choking on their overt hypocrisy or laughing insanely at the obvious absurdity of them. His writing technique is flawless, based on the big lie technique – tell it straight up, tell it often enough, and ignorant masses will tend to believe it. In a current TIME magazine article Brzezinski does this extremely well.

    His first statements are clearly indicative of someone living in a fantasy geopolitical environment created by neocon morality:

    The end of the Cold War was supposed to usher in a new age in which the major powers would no longer dictate to their neighbors how to run their affairs.

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    Study blames Guantanamo guards for suicide

    Published: Aug. 23, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A U.S. military study blames guard lapses and lenient policies for prisoner suicides at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    Documents from a Naval Criminal Investigative Service probe suggest that three simultaneous suicides June 10, 2006, were the result of "lapses in guard protocol and of lenient policies toward compliant detainees," The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Saturday after obtaining results from a Freedom of Information Act request.

    Ali Abdullah Ahmed Naser al-Sullami, 26, of South Yemen, along with Saudi Arabians Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, 22, and Mana Shaman Allabard al-Tabi, 32, planned their hangings carefully say the documents. Investigators found that guards became lax on some rules, rewarding more compliant detainees with extra T-shirts, blankets and towels. Detainees were then allowed to hang the items to dry. Eventually they were sometimes used to obscure their cells while sleeping.

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    "Change" and "hope" are not words one associates with Senator Joe Biden

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    Click on the image of the old Demoncrat himself.




    H/T


    Weekend Edition
    August 23 / 4, 2008
    CounterPunch Diary

    "Change," "Hope" ... Why They Must be Talking About Joe Biden!

    By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

    "Change” and “hope” are not words one associates with Senator Joe Biden, a man so ripely symbolic of everything that is unchanging and hopeless about our political system that a computer simulation of the corporate-political paradigm senator in Congress would turn out “Biden” in a nano-second.

    The first duty of any senator from Delaware is to do the bidding of the banks and large corporations which use the tiny state as a drop box and legal sanctuary. Biden has never failed his masters in this primary task. Find any bill that sticks it to the ordinary folk on behalf of the Money Power and you’ll likely detect Biden’s hand at work. The bankruptcy act of 2005 was just one sample. In concert with his fellow corporate serf, Senator Tom Carper, Biden blocked all efforts to hinder bankrupt corporations from fleeing from their real locations to the legal sanctuary of Delaware. Since Obama is himself a corporate serf and from day one in the US senate has been attentive to the same masters that employ Biden, the ticket is well balanced, the seesaw with Obama at one end and Biden at the other dead-level on the fulcrum of corporate capital.

    Another shining moment in Biden’s progress in the current presidential term was his conduct in the hearings on Judge Alito’s nomination to the US Supreme Court. From the opening moments of the Judiciary Committee's sessions in January, 2006, it became clear that Alito faced no serious opposition. On that first ludicrous morning Senator Pat Leahy sank his head into his hands, shaking it in unbelieving despair as Biden blathered out a self-serving and inane monologue lasting a full twenty minutes before he even asked Alito one question. In his allotted half hour Biden managed to pose only five questions, all of them ineptly phrased. He did pose two questions about Alito’s membership of a racist society at Princeton, but had already undercut them in his monologue by calling Alito "a man of integrity", not once but twice, and further trivialized the interrogation by reaching under the dais to pull out a Princeton cap and put it on.

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    NEWSWIRE: AUGUST 23, 2008 - CRIMES AND CORRUPTION OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

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    .
    23rd
    09:06 am: Obama picks Biden as VP
    09:10 am: Rights Group Suing AT&T for Spying Will Sue Government Too
    09:13 am: Biden: "I am a Zionist"
    09:15 am: How Bush Destroyed the Republican Party - 1 comment
    09:19 am: US Jailers Allow Inmates to Gang Rape 18 Year Old Brought in on Speeding Charges
    09:23 am: VP Candidate Joe Biden Critizes Obama's Experience
    09:26 am: Biden: 'I would be honored to run WITH or against John McCain'
    09:31 am: Video Asks Average People, "Do You Think It's a Common Problem to Forget How Many Houses You Own?"
    09:33 am: Keating's new world order
    09:43 am: Biden's Views on the Middle East
    09:45 am: Academics fear speaking freely in Canada
    09:49 am: Biden: 'The Democrats' support for Israel "comes from our gut....It's almost genetic' - 4 comments
    09:53 am: Court: Strip-search needs reasonable cause
    11:21 am: Boats with pro-Palestinian activists reach Gaza
    11:22 am: New York's Resolution to Defederalize National Guard
    11:26 am: Colo. city official cancels Al-Jazeera barbecue
    11:28 am: Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets - 1 comment
    11:30 am: NY inventor builds his own unmanned drone. Accused of being a terrorist
    11:40 am: Iraq invites Russian oil company back
    11:41 am: Russia Pulls the Bulk of Its Forces Out of Georgia
    11:49 am: US ambassador to Poland: 'Elections in the US don't matter'
    11:52 am: Police In Denver Are Not Going To Let Marijuana Use Slide
    11:56 am: Taleban besiege Kabul
    12:02 pm: Biden in 2002: 'I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of power'
    12:09 pm: Ex-US diplomat gets 20 years for child porn
    12:15 pm: The '05 bankruptcy bill is a disaster for average folks: Biden is a big reason why this is so
    12:45 pm: Lieutenant, Author, 30 Year Firefighter Questions 9/11
    12:46 pm: Georgian military debacle may spark demise of Nato
    12:52 pm: Extreme-interventionist, Iraq/drug war fanboy is now the Democtratic VP Candidate
    12:58 pm: Preliminary Congressional Investigation Finds Watch Lists Plagued with Systemic Flaws
    01:01 pm: Israel launches joint military drill; considered as preparations for attack on Iran
    01:31 pm: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian boats greeting siege breakers
    02:09 pm: 08.23.08: Biden in 2007 interview: I am a Zionist
    02:12 pm: Deconstructing Brzezinski’s Russia
    02:20 pm: NY Times' David Brooks Rejoices That It's Biden. Neocon Scum Recognizes Its Own Kind
    02:28 pm: Study blames Guantanamo guards for suicide
    02:30 pm: "Change" and "hope" are not words one associates with Senator Joe Biden