Sunday, October 2, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Japan 5.1 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Live Video From New York's "March on Wallstreet" events : Here.
- Breaking story - Germany four Islamists arrested before German reunification festivities.(DWWorld).By David Levitz.German authorities have arrested four suspected Islamists believed to have plotted a "state-endangering act" ahead of festivities to celebrate German reunification.Police announced Sunday that three men were arrested near the western German city of Bonn, where around 100,000 were expected to take part in German Unity Day celebrations attended by both Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff. A further suspect was taken in custody and later released in the state of Hesse.Authorities had received information that the men, whom they described as being "from the Islamist scene," had illegally obtained weapons ahead of the events. But police found "no weapons or other dangerous objects" during their searches."There is neither evidence that the accused had links to terrorist groups nor that there were concrete preparations for an attack," said a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutions Office.The agency, which handles domestic terrorist threats and has said it is tracking some 200 potential Islamist terrorists in Germany, did not see sufficient grounds for it to take over the investigation from the local police force.Authorities also said they did not know of any concrete threats to the festivities, which are are set to continue through Monday October 3, the 21st anniversary of German reunification.Prior to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, police in Berlin arrested two suspected terrorists, who are still being held for questioning.Read the full story here.
- Wall Street protests spread to other cities.(AlJazeera). Protests inspired by "Occupy Wall Street" movement have emerged in Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.Members of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement have vowed to stay through winter in a park near New York's iconic financial district, where they are protesting issues including the 2008 bank bailouts, foreclosures and high unemployment in the United States.Protests inspired by New York's have emerged in other US cities in recent days, including Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.A group in Boston has taken on the tactics of New York's protesters and on Friday night set itself up in the city's Dewey Square. Activists remained camped out at what they called "the heart of the financial district" on Saturday."We are establishing our subsection of a national dialogue on finance reform and governance reform," Nadeem Mazen, an organiser with Occupy Boston, told Al Jazeera.Mazen said that the Boston protest quickly drew a thousand people. "It shows that we're experienced and that we've all been independently thinking about what change we want to see. .. I think we're all very hungry for change."The New York campaign is based in Zuccotti Park - formerly Liberty Plaza Park - just across from the World Trade Center site.The movement has gained the support of five New York labour unions, as well as celebrities and academics such as Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, rapper Lupe Fiasco and the musical group Radiohead.More than 1,000 demonstrators, who have camped out in New York's financial centre for over two weeks, marched on Friday to New York's police headquarters to protest to what they viewed as a heavy-handed police response earlier on in their demonstration.Some held banners criticising police, while others chanted: "We are the 99 per cent" and "The banks got bailed out, we got sold out".Police observed Friday's march and kept protesters on the sidewalk, but no clashes were reported. They said no arrests were made before protesters dispersed from the police headquarters after the march by 8pm."No to the NYPD crackdown on Wall Street protesters," organisers had said on their website, promoting the march.Other online flyers for the march critiqued local police policies: "No to Stop-and-Frisk in Black and Latino neighborhoods" and "No to Spying and Harassment of Muslim Communities".The protest came less than a week after police arrested 80 Occupy Wall Street members during a march toward a main shopping district - the most arrests by New York police at a demonstration since hundreds were detained outside the Republican National Convention (RNC) in 2004.A city police commander used pepper spray on four women at last weekend's march and a video of the incident subsequently went viral on the internet, angering many protesters who vowed to continue their protests indefinitely.Hmmm......'Obama's Army' on the march?Read the full story here.
- Who’s Behind The ‘Occupy Everywhere’ Faux-tests?(BigGovernment).With the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests starting the catch on in the media after the arrests at the Brooklyn Bridge and protests in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Occupy Whatever meme is coming to a city near you. Occupy Dallas! is coming to my town October 6th and I’ll head down there to interview people because that’s what I do. While I was looking up info about the event, I came across a Facebook page that really sums up what is really going on here.
This isn’t a protest against the government.
Not really. The is the guise that it’s under. It’s using the iconography of protest to actually SUPPORT the government status quo – specifically public employees. See, they can’t get a lot of support if they come out and say “Protest to keep out cushy pensions!” because who is going to show up for THAT, right?Look who is holding the event on civil disobedience.. it’s the North Texas Association of Public Employees – -a group connected to the Steelworkers.Public Employees are going to be showing people how to protest effectively against other public employees, like the police? This is a puppet show Play a little Rage Against The Machine for a soundtrack and the kids won’t notice that they are actually protesting to support the government bureaucrats.Hmmmm.......Anyone starting to see a 'command structure' behind it?Read the full story here.
- The states hardest hit by the economic crisis are also the ones that President Obama may need the most to win reelection.(NationalJournal).The nine states that switched from voting for George W. Bush in 2004 to Barack Obama in 2008 experienced a greater decline in their median family income than did the nation overall.It’s the same story in the partially overlapping list of 14 states in which Obama attracted between 45 and 55 percent of the vote last time. Both groups, according to separate employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, have also lost a higher percentage of their jobs since 2008 than the nation overall.That’s because the economic crisis did much of its deepest damage in the Rust Belt, which includes many of American politics’ traditional battlegrounds, and in the Sun Belt, which contains many of the newly emerging swing states. This concentration compounds President Obama’s political challenge as he works to assemble a 270-vote Electoral College majority. “It will force him to play defense and put into play states that he didn’t expect to have to defend,” Republican pollster Glen Bolger says.The president still has some time for the economy to show more signs of life—and a potential case to make even if it doesn’t. Across the country, the pain under Obama’s watch is a continuation of the crisis that began late in George W. Bush’s presidency. But, even so, the census results suggest that in essentially no state could the president feel safe asking voters the question that Ronald Reagan made famous: Are you better off than you were four years ago?No state avoided losses on at least one of the three major census measures that NJ analyzed: median family income, poverty, and access to health insurance. The pictures on income and poverty are especially sobering. From 2008 through 2010, the median family income, measured in inflation-adjusted dollars, declined in every state except North Dakota, which enjoyed a 5 percent increase thanks to an oil and natural-gas boom.Twenty states saw their median family incomes plummet at least a dizzying 5 percent over those two years. The largest losses were clustered in the twin poles of Sun Belt and Rust Belt states: on the one hand, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Nevada, Alabama, North Carolina, California, and South Carolina; on the other, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. (Oregon was the only state among the dozen largest losers that is not in either the Sun Belt or the Rust Belt.) A more diverse list of 17 other states lost between 3 and 5 percent of median family income.On poverty, the damage was equally dispersed, although the patterns of distress were less uniform. From 2008 to 2010, the share of people living in poverty increased in every state except Montana (whose small improvement in its poverty rate was within the survey’s margin of error). In a dozen states, the proportion of residents living in poverty increased by at least 20 percent over just those two years; in another 25 states, the poverty rate increased by at least 10 percent. After this rapid deterioration, at least one in 10 residents are now living in poverty in every state except Alaska, Maryland (both registered a hardly comforting 9.9 percent), and New Hampshire (at 8.3 percent).The picture is more mixed on access to health insurance. From 2008 to 2010, the share of residents without insurance rose in 35 states, with Hawaii, Rhode Island, Kansas, Virginia, and Kentucky experiencing the largest increases. In another 15 states, the percentage of uninsured people declined. But in each direction, most of the changes were quite small and in many cases within the survey’s margin of error (which varies by state). In no state did the pool of people without insurance increase or decrease by more than 1.8 percentage points. On health care, then, the overall picture is one of stagnation over the past two years.At least 10 percent of residents are uninsured in all but nine states. Massachusetts—with just 4.4 percent, the lowest rate in the union—is the bookend to the unequaled 23.7 percent who are uninsured in Texas.The trends in employment complete the picture of a continent-sized storm. From December 2008 through August 2011, the latest month for which BLS figures are available, the number of people with jobs declined in every state except three big energy producers: Texas (where employment increased a slim 0.4 percent), Alaska (up 1.9 percent), and North Dakota (up 7.2 percent). Nevada was the biggest loser: It has shed a stunning 8 percent of its jobs since 2008. Georgia and Arizona also suffered losses greater than 5 percent, followed by Alabama, North Carolina, Kansas, Delaware, California, and Indiana.Measured in absolute rather than percentage terms, 10 states have lost at least 100,000 jobs since December 2008. Once again, the big losers cluster around the Sun Belt and the Rust Belt. In the former, they include California (by far the most affected with nearly 600,000 jobs gone), Florida (276,000 lost), Georgia (211,000), North Carolina, and Arizona. The big Rust Belt losers were Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. (Among the biggest losers, New Jersey is the only state to break that regional pattern.)In parallel fashion, the unemployment rate increased over that same period in every state except North Dakota. As of August, nine states reported double-digit unemployment, most of them along the Sun Belt: from North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida in the East to California and Nevada in the West. (Michigan and Rhode Island are the other two.)Across all these fronts, only a few factors appeared to provide even partial shelter from the storm. On many measures, as noted above, the energy-rich states of Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alaska performed somewhat better than other states. Likewise, the 10 states with the highest proportion of college graduates suffered proportionally smaller losses in income and jobs than the other 40. But even that defense wasn’t impregnable: The states ranked 11 through 20 in college graduates experienced even greater income and job losses than those below them on the educational ladder.Read the full story here.
- 'Muslims Against Crusades' Hold Memorial Prayers for Anwar Al-Awlaki in London - Led by Anjem Choudhary.(Memri).On October 1, 2011, at a demonstration it held outside the Syrian Embassy in London, the radical Islamist group Muslims Against Crusades condemned the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki. Addressing the protesters, group leader Anjem Choudhary condemned Awlaki's killing, calling it a "murder." He said that Awlaki died as a martyr, and that the jihad will continue despite his death. After he finished speaking, Choudhary led the protesters in a memorial prayer for Al-Awlaki.Choudhary's address and the prayer are seen in a clip uploaded to YouTube channel of the Muslims Against Crusades group.Read and see the full story here.
- Scantily-clad 'slutwalk' women march on New York after police tell them to 'cover up' to avoid rape.(DailyMail).Protesters dressed in their underwear have taken to the streets of New York today after it emerged the NYPD were warning women in Brooklyn to cover up in the face of sex attacks.The latest 'slutwalk' protest comes a day after women in Park Slope were warned short skirts should not be worn and shorts that show too much leg have been deemed inappropriate.On today's march the protesters chanted 'No means no - however we dress, wherever we go.Speaking to the New York Post, organiser Sammy Lifson, 21, said: 'The cops in Park Slope have really stepped up their presence and they're trying to be helpful.'But to focus on women isn't going to help catch the perpetrator.'The international series of protests known as SlutWalks, sparked by a Toronto police officer's flippant comment that women should avoid dressing like 'sluts' to avoid being raped or victimised, is taking root in the United States.Some women and men who protest dress in nothing more remarkable than jeans and T-shirts, while others wear provocative or revealing outfits to bring attention to 'slut-shaming,' or shaming women for being sexual, and the treatment of sexual assault victims.The police officer made his comments in January to a group of York University students at a safety forum.He later apologised, but his comments were publicised widely on Facebook and Twitter.They inspired a march in Toronto that drew more than 3,000 people, as well as SlutWalks since then in Dallas, Asheville, North Carolina, and Ottawa, Ontario.The movement has since spread around the world, with slut walks organised in several countries.Yesterday's ‘advice’ was given out in response to at least 10 unsolved sexual attacks that have taken place in the area since March.But in Park Slope, which is famous for being liberal and feminist, the campaign has provoked fury.Jessica Silk, founder of neighbourhood watch group Safe Slope, told the Wall St Journal that such a measure was 'completely inappropriate'.One of the women who had been spoken to, who identified herself only as Lauren, told how she was three block from her home when she was stopped for wearing shorts and a T-shirt.The 25-year-old claimed a cop asked to speak to her then did the same to two other women wearing dresses.Lauren claimed he asked if she knew about the sex attacks and when they all replied yes he 'pointed at my outfit and said, "Don't you think your shorts are a little short?"'He pointed at their dresses and said they were showing a lot of skin,' she said.Lauren claimed the cop said such clothes could make the rapist think he could get 'easy access'.The officer then said that they were 'exactly the kind of girl this guy is targeting'.Read the full story here.
- Israel formally accepts Quartet formula for resuming talks.(JPost).Israel on Sunday formally accepted the Quartet's proposal for re-starting negotiations with the Palestinians, following a meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his senior ministers."Israel welcomes the Quartet's call for direct negotiations without pre-conditions with the Palestinian Authority, which was already suggested by US president Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, even though Israel has a number of reservations which it will bring up in the negotiations."The statement called on the PA to enter negotiations without delay.Asked about Netanyahu's acceptance of the Quartet's initiative, Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said "returning to negotiations requires Israel to commit to stopping settlement."Abu Rdainah said that Israel also must recognize the "1967 borders" lines that existed before its occupation of the West Bank in a Middle East war that year.Following Netanyahu and Abbas's speeches to the UN last month, during which Abbas said he was filing a request to the Security Council for full UN membership for "Palestine," the Quartet issued a formula for renewing talks.The statement urged the parties "to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations without delay or preconditions." It proposed a "preparatory meeting" between the parties within a month to agree to an agenda and "method of proceeding in the negotiation," and suggested that the two sides commit to the objective of reaching an agreement "within a timeframe agreed to by the parties but not longer than the end of 2012."The statement also said the expectation is that the parties will come up with a comprehensive proposal on territory and security within three months, and to have made "substantial progress" within six months. To facilitate this, an international conference will be held in Moscow "at the appropriate time."Netanyahu has in the past objected to the idea – as presented in the Quartet proposal – of isolating security and territories from the other core issues of Jerusalem and refugees, saying that if an agreement on the territorial issue was reached, the Palestinians would have no incentive to compromise later on the issues of refugees and Jerusalem. Rather, his position in the past was that all issues should be discussed simultaneously.Read the full story here.
- Report: Biden torpedoed Pollard's pardon.(YNet). Did US Vice President Joseph Biden stop President Barack Obama from pardoning convicted spy Jonathan Pollard? According to the New York Times, the answer is yes. The NYT reported Saturday that in a recent meeting between Biden and 15 rabbis in Florida – meant to bolster the Jewish community's support of the Obama's 2012 presidential campaign – the vice president was asked about the Obama administration's reluctance to release Pollard, who was imprisoned in 1986 after he was convicted of spying for Israel. “President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, 'Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time is up,'" Biden reportedly told the group. “If it were up to me, he would stay in jail for life.” The issue of Pollard's pardon has been the proverbial thorn in all recent US administrations' side: Jerusalem and a seemingly ever-growing group of Pollard supporters say that after serving 25 years in prison, Washington can afford to release Pollard without losing face. Washington, however, has so far refused.Obama is said to be relying on Biden for help with one particular core group of voters – American Jews. The US Jewish community tends to vote Democratic, but given their disapproval of the Obama Administration's policies towards Israel, those votes can no longer be considered "a sure thing."Biden has been tasked with fund-raising among Jewish Democrats, while reassuring the party’s base that the Obama administration remains a loyal friend to Israel.According to the NYT, Biden admitted to the rabbis that "the administration had made a few missteps in its handling of the Israel relationship," but made no further reference to the Pollard issue.The NYT believed that Washington's adamant refusal to pardon Pollard is unlikely to cost Obama the support of US Jews, especially after his pro-Israel speech at the United Nations last week.Read the full story here.
- I was blindfolded, then tortured and sexually attacked until I 'confessed': Doctor facing jail after treating Bahrain riot victims tells of her terrifying ordeal.(DailyMail).She says her only crime was treating the injured as they were brought to hospital during the riots that engulfed the kingdom of Bahrain.For this offence, Dr Fatima Haji was dragged out of her house at midnight by 30 plain-clothes police officers brandishing guns. She says she was then taken blindfolded to a secret interrogation centre, before being tortured and repeatedly sexually assaulted until she signed documents confessing her ‘crimes’.And she was kept in solitary confinement for another 22 days, before being released on bail. Now the 33-year-old doctor has been sentenced to five years in jail. Though not yet imprisoned, she waits anxiously for government forces to drag her away at any moment.Dr Haji, who has a three-year-old son, Yusuf, said: ‘Every time I hug my boy, it could be my last. Every time I call him to me, I know it could be the last time I hold him.’Dr Haji was one of 20 doctors and nurses who were sentenced to jail terms of between five and 15 years at a special military tribunal on Friday.They were accused of conspiring to overthrow the monarchy by supporting the anti-government protests that broke out earlier this year.The medics were accused of using ambulances to transport protesters and ammunition. Dr Haji herself was accused of stealing blood bags to give to the protesters who used them to fake injuries. She claims the court refused to send for witnesses the defendants had requested, so some turned up of their own free will and demanded to be heard. Even then, the judge directed the lawyers to ask certain questions only.Dr Haji is on bail as she appeals, but the authorities can put her in jail any time and insist that she challenges her sentence from prison. The Arab Spring that had swept through Tunisia and Egypt arrived at the tiny island kingdom in the Persian Gulf in February. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the capital, Manama, demanding more democratic freedoms from the ruling Al-Khalifa family. At least 35 people have since been killed in a government crackdown. Friday’s sentencing was condemned by Western governments and human rights groups. Foreign Secretary William Hague said: ‘I am deeply concerned. These are worrying developments.’Dr Haji was among 3,000 staff working at the Salmaniya Medical Complex hospital in Manama when the protests erupted. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday by telephone, she said that the majority of the casualties were taken there for treatment, and the hospital became a focus for the world’s media.‘We were filmed treating patients. This meant we appeared on the Al-Jazeera TV news channel and the government did not like that,’ she said. At midnight one night in April, about 30 plain-clothes police officers barged into her house and dragged her out. Her 34-year-old husband, Jalal Al-Marzook, a doctor at the same hos¬pital, was not at home. But they were not looking for him. Dr Haji says she was taken to an interrogation centre and punched and kicked while blindfolded. Then she was kept standing for several days without food and water, and sexually molested.‘I don’t know how many men there were as I was blindfolded, but I heard many voices. They said they would rape me,’ she said. ‘They told me they knew which nursery Yusuf was in, and would get him. That’s when I broke and said I’d do anything they wanted.’She then signed a number of documents which she later learned were confessions. She was kept in detention for another three weeks, then released on bail. Dr Haji still can’t believe how the year has changed so drastically for her – at the start of 2011 she was on holiday in London with her family. Now, though, she is in despair. ‘I am innocent. I was just doing my job. Now I feel scared for my life and my son.’The Bahraini government said it has firm evidence against the 20 people sentenced on Friday. An official at the country’s embassy in London said suspects in custody in Bahrain were not tortured. And a spokesman added: ‘They [the medical staff] were convicted of very serious offences. ‘But this is just the first stage in the judicial process and they have the right of appeal in a civilian court.‘We have appointed an independent commission to investigate the other allegations.’Read the full story here.
- Egypt’s tourism down 80 percent, says minister.(BikyaMasr).CAIRO: Egypt’s tourism industry was down 80 percent during the last period, the country Tourism Minister Munir Fakhry Abdel Nour said in an interview with al-Dostour newspaper.He said that Jordanians made up the largest number of visitors to the country in the last quarter, with the Red Sea becoming a popular destination for the country’s travelers.Abdel Nour said the problem of decreasing Arab tourists could “only be resolved with joint Arab cooperation.”In areas such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, tourism has made a huge recovery. Moustafa al-Fayomee, a Hurghada resident and tour guide told Bikyamasr.com he believes tourism in the aforementioned areas are currently booming.“The nightclubs and bars are crowded,” he said. “Red Sea tourism is still very popular, but not many people want to stay in Cairo, they prefer to do small excursions there. Luxor and Aswan are still quite empty according to my friends in the industry there.”Official figures have shown that the decline in tourism is slowly receding. During the first quarter of the year, tourism fell by 45.7 percent compared to the previous year. In the second quarter that decrease was 35.4 percent and the figures for July have shown a decrease of 28 percent.The tourism industry is the main source of income for roughly 10 percent of the Egyptian workforce.While the leisure tourism industry in prominent party areas such as Hurghada are making a steady recovery, places like Aswan and Cairo have yet to see the conventional tourist return en masse.“Traditionally the volume of tourism is split around 80 percent on the Red Sea coast and 20 percent in the Nile valley for the archaeology there,” Abdel Nour said.“But in this period, tourists have avoided the valley because the political activity is centred in the capital and in the large cities, so people have preferred to head to the beaches, which are relatively far away,” he added.Egypt has launched an enormous promotional campaign to revitalize all sectors of tourism in the country. According to Abdel Nour, Egypt “is totally secure” and “does not present any danger to visitors.”Abdel Nour has also said he wishes to promote Egypt to the emerging markets of China, Brazil, India and Argentina. “We want to get off the beaten track. We must look at new economic forces, which have become important markets,” he said.The minister has also revealed their plan to expand on the types of tourism that are already present, and tapping in to markets such as ecological tourism and therapy tourism, both fairly recent types of tourism which have greatly expanded over the last decade.Eco-tourism is a growing market which focuses on maintaining a sustainable form of tourism, to minimise the carbon footprint in an area and to foster a greater respect and understanding for the local culture and environment. Eco-tourism itself is one of the fastest growing forms of tourism worldwide, and many environmentalists have been in favor of promoting a sustainable form of tourism.“When people arrive en masse anywhere they naturally cause damage to the environment,” Marie-Lou Meslin, a student who has lived in Indonesia most of her life, told Bikyamasr.com, “in Bali specifically, the tourism has been so emphasized that it has had a very negative impact on the environment as well as the culture. The ramifications for it are enormous.”Referring to tourism in general, Meslin spoke of the dramatic change she has seen in the last two decades in the ‘paradise’ island of Bali as a general view of mass tourism.“Without a sustainable system in place which limits the passive impact tourists have, many natural environments which were once considered pristine, or heritage sites themselves which slowly deteriorate over time, will be spoiled at an increased rate,” she added.There were more than 10 million tourists that had visited Egypt in 2008. With Egypt boasting the oldest structures in existence, the pyramids, mitigating the damage caused by tourists would in the long run allow them to maintain such a tourist attraction in better form.Hmmmm.....Perhaps covering up the Sphinx might help?Read the full story here.
- Christians dispossessed and silenced Muslim population in Mindanao.(AsiaNews). Manila - In Jolo, Marawi, Basilan and other areas of Mindanao, the Christian minority is suffering harassment and pressure from the Muslim population, AsiaNews' sources in Mindanao say. Government officials are forcing Christians to sell their land to make room for Chinese industries. According to sources, the climate of impunity, the abductions, the continuing clashes between the army and extremist Islamic groups and the economic crisis have created an unbearable atmosphere for the Christian population, who are afraid to express their faith in public."Jolo Cathedral", they explain, "is located at the center of the city, and has always been a symbol of unity and friendship between Muslims and Christians. Until a few years ago, the main door was open at all hours, but due to the continuous episodes of vandalism, the Cathedral can now be accessed only through the side entrance. The churchyard is guarded day and night by military and police." Sources say that the situation is the same in Basilan and Cotabato. Here in recent weeks both churches were hit with paper bombs that damaged the part of the walls and windows. These acts provide publicity for the young extremists, who learn intolerance against Christians from unscrupulous preachers, often funded by foreign countries, who aim to spread a restrictive and fundamentalist vision of Islam. "The situation is very difficult", AsiaNews sources explain, "Christians are not permitted to react. The only alternative to escape is to suffer these abuses in silence." For Fr. Sebastiano D'Ambra, PIME missionary in Zamboanga and founder of Silsilah ("chain"), a movement for interreligious dialogue, there are nevertheless some signs of hope that could change the future situation of these provinces, considered the most dangerous on the entire archipelago. "In Basilan", he says, "we have organized a series of meetings with Muslim and Christian leaders where we recounted our experience of interreligious dialogue made in other cities and listened to the problems experienced by the local population. This has sparked a relationship among the various local religious leaders, including the bishop and high Islamic authorities, who for several months have been collaborating to address the problems of the two communities." From this experience of dialogue was born the Interfaith Council of Leaders, which aims to get Christians and Muslims to meet to discuss concrete facts and not theoretical problems. For example, the priest explains that Basilan's population has no access to electricity. To solicit the government, representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities wrote a manifesto of protest, with some concrete proposals useful in addressing the problem. "What we propose", said Fr. D'Ambra, "is a spirit of dialogue that touches on all aspects, not only matters of religion. Our task is not simply to speak of dialogue, but to respond in a concrete way to the reality that surrounds us."Read the full story here.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity New Zealand 5.9 and 5.6 ; United States 5.8 ; Asia- Myamar 5.4 - 5.2 and Philipines 5.2! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Emails show Operation Fast and Furious was shared with Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan -- and perhaps beyond.(DougRoss).It's no longer a question of whether Eric Holder knew; it's whether President Obama knew and approved of Operation Fast and Furious. The rogue ATF operation sent thousands of military-grade weapons to Mexican drug cartels. And at least two of the weapons were discovered at the scene of last December's killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.Sharyl Attkisson's quest for the Pulitzer continues apace with new revelations that trace knowledge of Operation Fast and Furious to the White House and the pinnacle of the nation's security apparatus. New revelations in the case include:
• The ATF was communicating Gunwalker status to then-White House National Security Staffer Kevin O'Reilly, who was assembling information for Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan. O'Reilly can't be interviewed by investigators because he "is on assignment for the State Department in Iraq and unavailable"
The White House is still withholding some records of Gunwalker communications because of "significant confidentiality interests"Can you say "cover up", boys and girls?
Notice the photos of .50-cal Barrett sniper rifles found at the scenes of killings in Mexico and shared with Brennan. These are the same types of military-grade weapons that the ATF allowed to "walk" into Mexico.A reasonably intelligent counterterrorism adviser would have asked the ATF: "How are the cartels getting these weapons?"But after all, Brennan is the same man who didn't know about a massive terror plot in London that was headline news around the world; who said that a 20 percent terrorist recidivism rate was 'not bad'; and who made a series of bizarre misstatements regarding the killing of Bin Laden.House Republicans should hold press conferences on the Capitol steps day after day demanding a special prosecutor for this case, to say nothing of Solargate.Read and see the full story here.
- Exclusive: The Inside Story Behind the Awlaki Assassination.(IPT).By Steven Emerson.Note: This story is based on reporting with sources knowledgeable about the Awlaki operation, including three law enforcement and intelligence officials.Anwar Al Awlaki, killed Friday morning in an American strike in Yemen, has been on the U.S. radar for several years, ever since, as one U.S. official stated, he turned from "inspirational to operational." He was believed to be behind the Nigerian "underwear" bomber who tried to ignite his explosives planted on his body as his airplane was landing in Detroit. And he was believed responsible for the cargo bomb plot targeting the United States last fall.U.S. intelligence officials, aware of other planned attacks, had arrested several Muslim American converts who returned here after "studying" in the Sudan. Most of their time was spent on terrorist training and learning from Awlaki and his advisors about the precepts of jihad and Islam. Intelligence officials believe that "hundreds" of American and European converts to Islam, along with other indigenous Muslims from Islamic countries, have trained with Awlaki, making many of them "ticking time bombs."The president was notified on Thursday about Awlaki's expected travel via convoy and that drone operators likely would have a clear shot at him. The president authorized the strike and was joined overnight by aides to monitor the video that was beamed from the drones. At one point, believed to be around 4 a.m. in Washington, the drones broadcast images of Awlaki's convoy traveling openly and without any cloud cover. Several missiles were fired. At least two of the vehicles were destroyed. Within hours, Yemen's military has secured the area and taken DNA samples from several of the remains of the bodies in the decimated vehicles. The samples were flown to Washington this morning and matched with Awlaki's relatives living here.One source offered a slightly different version of events, saying that the relatives' DNA samples were within the U.S. Embassy in Yemen. In either case, forensic scientists compared the DNA samples and confirmed the match.In addition, two other top lieutenants to Awlaki were also killed. One was Samir Khan, also an American, but the name of the other top assistant could not be obtained.Khan edited the slick Western-style Internet publication “Inspire Magazine” that attracted many readers.Read the full story here.
- US gov't approves 4 more solar energy loan guarantees worth nearly $5B on Friday.(Hurriyet)The U.S. Energy Department approved four more solar energy loan guarantees worth nearly $5 billion on Friday just hours before a controversial loan program was set to expire.Meanwhile, the Justice Department moved to take away control of a failed solar panel maker from its management and transfer it to a court-appointed trustee.Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the department completed deals on four projects, including two that were sold late this week by Arizona-based First Solar Inc., a major solar manufacturer that had been seeking three federal loan guarantees for projects in California. The sales were announced Friday along with the loan guarantees.The loans were approved under the same program that paid for a $528 million loan to Solyndra LLC, a now-bankrupt solar panel maker that has become a symbol for critics of the Barack Obama administration’s green energy program.Two other solar loan guarantees worth about $1.1 billion were announced earlier this week, as the Obama administration pushed forward with the loan program despite pleas from Republican critics to halt it to avoid another Solyndra-like debacle. Hmmm......How much flows back to the 'reelect Obama 2012' fund?Read the full
- Obama to Congress: Get your act together and pass jobs bill.(TheHill)President Obama used his weekly radio address to urge Congress “to get its act together” and pass his jobs bill."It’s been almost three weeks since I sent the American Jobs Act to Congress – three weeks since I sent them a bill that would put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets," Obama said. "And now I want it back. It is time for Congress to get its act together and pass this jobs bill so I can sign it into law."Obama’s nearly $450 billion jobs bill – known as the American Jobs Act – would raise taxes on the wealthy, invest in infrastructure, extend the employee payroll-tax cut and fund unemployment insurance benefits, among other things.The legislation faces opposition from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Thursday that Democrats don’t currently have the votes to pass the bill, although Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the top Democrat in charge of messaging, said it was too "premature" right now to say whether there were enough votes.Obama's radio address is the latest in a series of appearances and speeches the administration has used to gin up support for the legislation, arguing that average people all over the country support the bill."This isn’t just about what I think is right. It’s not just about what a group of economists think is right. This is about what the American people want," Obama said.Hmmmm......Give me my way or else i'll let my 'army' loose?Read the full story here.More here.
- Republican Sponsored H.R. 1505 Would give DHS Police State Powers over 80% of the U.S.(Shenandoah).By John Galt.
If you live within 100 miles of any ocean, you’re in the “zone.”
If you live within 100 miles of the United Nations in New York City, you’re in the “zone.”
If you live within 100 miles of the Canadian or Mexican border, you’re in the “zone.”
If you live within 100 miles of a foreign embassy, consulate, or declared international trade zone with foreign ownership, you’re in the “zone.”
What zone is this that I speak of?
And does an Indian Reservation border count as an “International Border?”
A zone of special security exemptions giving the United States Department of Homeland Security unlimited powers to usurp local and Federal regulations and authority to “ensure” total security and oversight of activities which may harm the United States via acts of terrorism or other means. Is this bill some radically sponsored idea from an extreme leftist wishing to spread Obama’s power base?
It was sponsored and entered into the record by Republican Rob Bishop of Utah which means odds of it passing with broad support in the “cram the crap” portion of the Congressional session before Christmas are pretty high.
The Summary from the U.S. government website:
4/13/2011–Introduced.Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from taking action on public lands which impede the border security activities of the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) (Secretary). States that the Secretary shall have immediate access to any public land managed by the federal government in order to conduct activities that assist in securing the border (including access to maintain and construct roads, construct a fence, use patrol vehicles, and set up monitoring equipment). States that a specified waiver by the Secretary of certain laws regarding sections of the international border between the United States and Mexico and between the United States and Canada shall apply to all sections of the international land and maritime borders of the United States within 100 miles of such borders with respect to the Secretary’s activities under this Act.
Let that sink in. Embassies and Consulates are “foreign borders” and many International Trade Zones are considered such by law also. Then review the law in full below, look at all the acts that this seeks to usurp within the Interior Department and Department of Agriculture and start to think about the vast amount of territory this would cover. Read the act in full and think about what this could mean where a Federal police force could usurp first Federal regulations and probably due to the structure and ambiguity of this bill, state and local jurisdiction.
Remember the key phrase of ambiguity:
“shall be considered to apply to all sections of the international land and maritime borders of the United States within 100 miles of the international land and maritime borders of the United States for the activities of the Secretary of Homeland Security described in subsection (b), including the construction of infrastructure, to achieve the operational control described in subsection (a).”
This means the entire state of Florida is subject to this law and the deliberate ambiguity of the authority(ies) granted by this proposed law essentially gives the Federal government police state rights over our entire population.
The question to be asked: Why such a nefarious bill at this moment in history when our society is facing a financial collapse equal to or greater than 2008 and zero terrorist attacks of any substance since 2001?
Hmmmm......."Police State" materialising before your eyes?Read the full story here.
- White House sends Hill Fast and Furious docs, but withholds some.(Politico).The White House sent another installment of documents to Congress on Friday detailing White House staffers' knowledge about the controversial "Operation Fast and Furious" gunrunning probe run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.However, the chief counsel to President Barack Obama, Kathryn Ruemmler, indicated that the White House was withholding an unspecified number of internal e-mails exchanged among three National Security Staff aides."These internal NSS emails are not included in the enclosed documents because the [Executive Office of the President] has significant confidentiality interests in its internal communications," Ruemmler wrote in a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The letter, posted here, was obtained Friday by POLITICO.The latest batch of 102 pages of records partially duplicated information previously sent to Congress and didn't appear to include any smoking guns showing that White House officials were aware that the operation involved allowing hundreds or thousands of guns to flow essentially unimpeded from the U.S. to Mexican drug cartels."As today's production makes clear, none of the communications between ATF and the White House revealed the investigative law enforcement tactics at issue in your inquiry, let alone any decision to let guns 'walk,'" Ruemmler wrote in response to a letter Issa and Grassley sent to National Security Adviser Tom Donilon earlier this month.Read the full story here.
- 'US Congress puts block on transfer of $200m. aid to Palestinians'.(JPost).The United States Congress reportedly blocked the transfer of $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority in what a Palestinian official called "collective punishment" for the PA's bid for membership in the United Nations, UK daily The Independent reported on Saturday.The unconfirmed report says that an unpublicized block on the transfer of funds, less than one third of the aid sent to the PA annually, has been in place since August.The United States is opposed to the Palestinian bid to seek full UN membership and has vowed to veto such a move in the Security Council. PA spokesman Ghassan Khatib told The Independent that cutting aid to the PA is "unjustified. These are mainly humanitarian and development projects - it is another kind of collective punishment which is going to harm the needs of the public without making any positive contribution."In mid September, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee began debating cutting off US aid to the Palestinian Authority for breaking ranks with the American-brokered peace process. In her opening statement, Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), credited former President George H.W. Bush in 1989 with “stop[ping] dead in its tracks” attempts by former Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat to seek recognition from various UN agencies after statehood was declared a year before. Ros-Lehtinen called upon President Obama to do the same in 2011 “to stop Abu Mazen’s [PA President Abbas] dangerous unilateral scheme” by suspending funds to any UN agency “that granted membership or any upgraded status to the PA.” In July, a key Congressional committee considered a foreign aid bill that threatened funding to the Palestinian Authority and Lebanon, and would codify in law the George W. Bush letter to Ariel Sharon.The bill, drawn up by Ros-Lehtinen, would also end by 2014 the president’s ability to waive the law that requires him to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as mandate that official American documents list Jerusalem as part of Israel. The State Department would also have to report on its diplomatic activities on behalf of Israel to end efforts at isolating it.Furthermore, it conditions aid to the PA on its recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and ending all anti-Israel incitement in state-owned media, among other measures; while aid to Lebanon includes a stipulation that no member of Hezbollah serve in the government.Read the full story here.
- US to provide Turkey with attack helicopters.(YNet).US Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone announced Friday that the US will provide Turkey with three new attack helicopters, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported. According to the report, which quotes Turkey's TGRT news network, Ankara asked Washington for SuperCobra attack helicopters to replace those it lost in the campaign against Kurdish rebels. On Friday, one person was killed and two others were injured in an explosion in the city of Antalya. Earlier, it was reported that two soldiers were killed and three others were wounded in southeast Turkey after Kurdish rebels ambushed a military force.Consequently, 26 people were arrested in Istanbul and Bitlis on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activity. The detainees included officials in the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party. Turkey's agriculture minister condemned the attacks. Also Friday, a crew onboard a Turkish exploration ship searching for gas reservoirs near Cyprus claimed that two Israeli aircraft and a helicopter circled above them on Thursday night, According to a report published in the Turkish newspaper Watan Daily, two F-15 jets passed through Cyprus' Greek and Turkish airspace and approached the Turkish coastline, while ignoring air controllers' warnings in north Cyprus, which is considered a Turkish territory. Hmmmm......Helicopters.....Predator drones....Obama becoming the 'personal' arms dealer for Erdogan?Read the full story here.
- Manchester, NH seeks to solve its poor school test scores by not testing the immigrant kids!(RRW).Many states that are overloaded with new “Americans” are suffering with the same problem—-how can their kids possibly do well under the federal ‘No Child Left Behind’ testing requirements when many get here from their home countries with little or no schooling. Manchester, NH is going to buck the feds and not test those kids.
From the Union Leader(hat tip: Jay):
MANCHESTER — The Board of School Committee voted on Monday to end the federally mandated standardized testing of newly arrived immigrants with poor English skills.
The proposal passed unanimously and without debate. It is a policy board members have said in the past they support.
Students enrolled in Manchester schools who have recently arrived from another country will not be required for two years to take the annual standardized tests required under the No Child Left Behind law. If those same students had never been to school before — in the United States or their native country— then they would not have to take the test for five years.
It is still uncertain what consequences Manchester will face for not following federal guidelines mandating testing of all students, said Brennan, but he hopes working with the state Department of Education will ease the path toward a compromise.
Manchester has already been labeled a district “in need of improvement” under the NCLB law because of standardized test scores.
Next thing you know we will be paying for separate but equal school systems for immigrant kids. Oh, yes! Dekalb County, Georgia is already doing that, here. What a coincidence, that county is the setting for the novel “Outcasts United.”As is so often the case, the comments to this story at the Union Leader are more interesting than the story! Check them out!Read the full story here.
- National Organization for Marriage Announces New Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance.(Heritage).The National Organization for Marriage recently announced the launch of a new project called the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance. This vital project responds to growing concerns about the reprisals directed against many people who support marriage as one man and one woman.The Heritage Foundation has documented, for example, how people who supported Proposition 8, the California marriage amendment, were “subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry.”
The goals of the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance include:
- To create a supportive community for those who have been threatened for standing for marriage,
- To nip in the bud the climate of fear being created by many advocates of same-sex marriage,
- To expose to fair-minded Americans the threats being made by these activists,
- To conduct high-quality qualitative and quantitative research documenting the extent of the harm, and
- To develop legislative and community proposals to protect Americans’ right to engage in the core civil rights to organize, vote, speak, donate, and write for marriage.
More information about the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance is available here.Hmmmm......It is official"We live in a 'upside-Down' World.Read the full story here.
- French Police Stoned and Driven Off While Trying to arrest Burka-Wearing Woman.(IVE).Delicate situation on Friday evening for the police in Vaulx-en-Velin [suburb of Lyon]. Around 7.30 pm, on Corbusier Way, they see a woman wearing a burka, accompanied by her children. The team heads towards her to record the offence, and asks for her papers. Problem: the woman has to take her veil off for her identity to be confirmed. Not necessarily simple to do in the open street in districts where the police are not well regarded by certain people. The woman, aged 34, lives close by and refuses all proposals: identification by a police woman in the street or in the police station, located just a bit further away. She makes hostile remarks, declares firmly that she doesn't give a damn about the law on burka-wearing, adopted last April. In situations like that, time is against the police. Bit by bit, the inhabitants encircle the small group. There are soon several dozen of them. The woman harangues them, demanding that they help her. Tension mounts rapidly, and the first stones, or other projectiles, start to fly. Before the check turns definitively into a riot, the police prefer to withdraw. While handing the woman a summons to appear at the police station. During the incident, fortunately, no public official was injured. The woman should have presented herself at the police station this morning. She didn't come. The prosecutor has now decided to send her directly in front of the police tribunal. Read the full story here.
- Muslim Mob Torches Coptic Church in Egypt.(Aina).By Mary Abdelmassih.After Friday prayers today, a mob of several thousand Muslims from the village of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan province, demolished and torched St. George's church, which was being renovated. The mob demolished the dome, walls and columns, then went to the church depot where the lumber to be used for construction was stored and torched it. The fire lasted 2 hours but the attack continued until 7 PM.In an interview on Coptic TV channel, Father Salib of St. George's Church said "the Imam of one of the village mosques called on the people to take matter in their own hands, he added. Other witnesses named the Imam as Sheikh Sabry.According to eyewitnesses the Muslims also torched a large depot of electrical goods owned by a Copt, a supermarket and four Coptic homes. Muslims prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. Security forces, which were present, "stood there watching," said Mr.Michael Ramzy, a social worker at the church.Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human rights Organizations send an urgent message to field Marchall Tantawi to save the Copts in Egypt. "The Copts, their lives and their churches are in danger," he said.Attorney Mamdouh Nakhla, head of Al-Kalema human rights organization condemned Muslims taking the law in their own hands. He said "if the Egyptian Government is unable to protect its citizens, then the civilized international society should step in immediately to stop this human tragedy."The Media denied the incident. Mostafa el Sayed, Governor of Aswan, appeared on State TV tonight and denied any church being torched. He said it was a "guest home" and not a church. El Sayed said he gave his permission for the building to be 9 meters high, but the church contractor made it 13 meters high. "The contractor was slow in removing the 4 meters, so the Muslim youths took the matter into their hand." He said the fire was in a depot of the church which had the construction lumber.He said that both parties are at fault, the Christians for exceeding the height and the Muslims for taking matters into their own hands. He added that he arranged for a "reconciliation" meeting to be held in the next two hours.Father Salib refuted the governor of Aswan allegations that the torched construction was a guest home. He said St. George's church was been built 100 years ago and as it was dilapidated, the diocese was given permission to renovate it completely. He said that the Governor of Aswan himself signed the license for the renovation in 2010.The renovation, although having all the necessary licenses from the government, prompted a crisis in Elmarinab village in the beginning of September. Islamists objected to the presence of a cross, bell and dome and prevented Copts from leaving their homes (AINA 9-9-2011).Outspoken Coptic activist Wagih Jacob said what happened in Elmarinab is a scandal. The mob went out today, knowing that they have the support of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). "I accuse SCAF to be in collusion with these people as well as the Governor of Aswan and the head of prosecution."Yacoub said that Coptic activists including himself are going to Aswan on Saturday to see what is happening there, even if they are killed. "I call on all Coptic men and Muslim liberals to join us to go to Aswan," He accused the Governor of Aswan of not telling the truth "because he knows very well that no media will go to the village to take photos there."Georges Bouchra of Copts United NGO reported the Copts are staying indoors as it was rumored that Muslims have threatened to torch their homes tonight.The Maspero Coptic Youth organization held a rally in the densely Coptic-populated district of Shubra in Cairo to protest the attack of Elmarinab church. It was attended by thousands (video).On October 1 several Coptic organizations, together with other liberal movements, will hold a rally under the motto "No to attacks on Coptic Churches" to start at 5 pm from Shubra and end in Tahrir Square.Hmmmm....."Interfaith dialog in it's natural habitat?Read the full story here.
- NATO spokesman Damien Arnaud ‘No data sharing to Israel’.(HurriyetDaily).NATO has announced that there is no agreement in place to share radar images obtained from the alliance’s missile defense radar system with Israel, countering Turkish fears that data from a station to be placed on its soil would be shared with Tel Aviv.“We do not have an agreement on data sharing with Israel in missile defense radar system,” NATO spokesman Damien Arnaud said Friday. Stating that NATO has an agreement on “keeping confidential data” with Mediterranean Dialogue members that include Israel, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania and Jordan, Arnaud said, “This means we can share confidential documents and data with these countries.”Responding to a question on the topic, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: “I cannot make any comments on this type of operational details. However, I can assure you that we are sharing intelligence to protect our people as far as we can. This is the core of being an alliance.” On Sept. 9, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the early warning radar will be deployed in Kurecik near Malatya in the southeast.Read the full story here.
Friday, September 30, 2011
A group of rogue Force Reconnaissance Marines led by disenchanted Brigadier General Francis Hummel (Harris) seize a stockpile of deadly VX gas–armed rockets from a heavily guarded military bunker, reluctantly leaving one of their men to die in the process. The next day, Hummel and his men seize control of Alcatraz Island during a guided tour and take 81 tourists hostage in the prison cells. Hummel then threatens the Pentagon with launching the stolen rockets against the population of San Francisco unless the government pays ransom and reparations to the families of Recon Marines who died on illegal, clandestine missions under his command and whose deaths were not honored. The Pentagon and FBI develop a plan to retake the island with a Navy SEAL Team, enlisting chemical weapons expert Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Cage), who initially thinks he's consulting the team, but soon learns he's being recruited due to his specialisation in chemical warfare.
Recognizing that any surface approach will be seen by Hummel's men, FBI Director Womack (John Spencer) is forced to turn to Federal prisoner John Mason (Connery), a former MI6 Agent and SAS Captain whom Womack has illegally detained for decades and the only inmate of Alcatraz to ever successfully escape through Alcatraz's uncharted tunnels. Mason, while in custody under the supervison of Special Agent Ernest Paxton (William Forsythe) manages to escape to see his estranged daughter (Claire Forlani). Goodspeed arrives and feigns to Mason's daughter that he is aiding the FBI, convincing Mason to cooperate to develop a plan for infiltration. Womack soon recognizes that the team would only succeed with Mason on the mission as well.
The team infiltrates Alcatraz, through the underground tunnels with Mason's guidance. They are ambushed by Hummel's marines in a shower room, killing all the SEALs and leaving only Mason and Goodspeed alive. Paxton plans to abort the mission, but Womack, who is aware of Mason's MI6 and SAS background, agrees to let them continue saying that Mason and Goodspeed are their last hope. Mason attempts to leave the prison, but Goodspeed manages to convince him to help him defuse the rockets. Using Mason's knowledge of the prison, they quietly eliminate several small teams of marines and disable 12 of the 15 rockets, until Hummel threatens over the loudspeaker to execute a hostage if the remaining "Navy SEALs" do not surrender and return the guidance chips from the rockets. Only Mason surrenders to Hummel, trying to buy Goodspeed some time. Though Goodspeed manages to disable another rocket, the Marines capture him shortly thereafter. With the incursion team lost, the military readies a backup plan: an air strike by F/A-18's that will neutralize the poison gas but kill everyone on the island.
As Mason uses his unique experience to escape from their cells, he reveals why he was held there for so many years — for stealing a microfilm of the United States' most closely-guarded secrets, including the Roswell UFO incident, the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Watergate scandal. While they search for the final two rockets, Hummel fires one of them but changes the coordinates at the last second causing the rocket to crash land harmlessly out to sea. Facing Captains Frye and Darrow's (Gregory Sporleder & Tony Todd) frustration, Hummel explains that their bluff failed and that he refuses to harm innocent civilians. He orders them to exit Alcatraz with a few hostages and the remaining VX rockets to cover their retreat, while he'll stay, personally assuming blame. Realizing that they will not be paid, Frye and Darrow, along with Sergeant Crisp (Bokeem Woodbine) go rogue and gun down Hummel and his second-in-command Major Tom Baxter (David Morse), proceeding with the plan to fire on San Francisco. With his last breath, Hummel tells Goodspeed the location of the last rocket. As the jets approach, Darrow is killed when Goodspeed fires the last disarmed rocket into him. Goodspeed takes a loose gas pearl from the warhead, but is then attacked by Frye who begins to strangle Goodspeed to death. Using the VX to defend himself, Goodspeed shoves the gas pearl into Frye's mouth, exposing both of them to the gas. Goodspeed injects himself in the heart with atropine as Frye dies from the VX gas. Goodspeed then lights green flares to signal that the threat is over, but only after one of the pilots fires, sending Goodspeed's body flying into the sea. The early detonation hits the back of the island and harms no-one else.
Mason reappears to pull the unconscious Goodspeed to shore. When he recovers, Goodspeed suggests that Mason escape before the FBI arrive, as Womack tore up his pardon from prison; Goodspeed will tell Womack that Mason was "vaporized". Mason thanks Goodspeed, and gives him a note that holds the location of where he had stashed the microfilm. The film ends with Goodspeed and his pregnant bride Carla (Vanessa Marcil) in Fort Walton, Kansas, recovering the microfilm with a half century of state secrets, including who actually killed John F. Kennedy.
Source : Wikipedia.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity Japan 5.0 and Vanuatu 5.2! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- American-born al-Qaeda cleric Awlaki killed: Yemeni defense ministry.(AlArabiya).Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Muslim cleric linked to al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing, was reportedly killed, along with several of his companions, the Yemeni Defense Ministry said on Friday.“The terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed along with some of his companions,” it said in a statement sent by text message to journalists.The ministry did not elaborate on the circumstances of Awlaki’s death in a statement released to the media.However, tribal sources told an Al Arabiya correspondent that two cars suspected of carrying Awlaki and his companions between the province of al-Jawaf Ma’rib were targeted.Awlaki had been implicated in a botched attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound plane in 2009.U.S. authorities have branded him a “global terrorist” but Sana’a had previously appeared reluctant to act against him.Eloquent in English and Arabic, Awlaki encouraged attacks on the United States and was seen as a man who could draw in more al-Qaeda recruits from western countries.Washington had linked Awlaki to a shooting rampage in November 2009 at a U.S. army base and to the botched Christmas Day attack that year on a U.S. airliner.A Yemeni court, under mounting U.S. pressure to fight al-Qaeda after a foiled air cargo bomb plot in late October last year, had ordered his arrest by any means for his alleged al-Qaeda links.“Awlaki is a problem,” U.S. President Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said in January, 2010. “He’s clearly a part of al-Qaeda in (the) Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He’s not just a cleric.”Brennan directly accused Awlaki of having links with Major Nidal Hasan who is suspected of shooting dead 13 people at Fort Hood military base in Texas, and who is set to face trial in a military court on March 5, 2012.Awlaki may also have had contact with Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up the Christmas Day plane, Brennan said.In July, 2010, Washington placed Awlaki on its list of terrorism supporters, freezing his financial assets and banning any transactions with him.In May last year, the United States said it was actively hunting Awlaki.“He has an agenda just like al-Qaeda to strike targets in Yemen, throughout the world including here in the United States,” the White House spokesman said.But an Awlaki relative has insisted the imam “is not a fighter of al-Qaeda.”“He is just a preacher,” he said.Awlaki comes from a well-off family. His father is a former minister of agriculture and was the president of the university of Sana’a.He was born in New Mexico in 1971, attended school in Yemen and graduated from Colorado State University in civil engineering. He also holds a master’s degree in education leadership from San Diego State University.He made a name for himself delivering sermons in English in mosques across the United States, where he also worked for a charity association founded by Yemeni cleric Abdul Majeed al-Zendani, whom the U.S. government has identified as a “global terrorist.”Awlaki was arrested in Yemen in 2006 for his role in kidnapping the son of a rich Yemeni family and demanding ransom money “to finance al-Qaeda,” Yemeni security sources said.Two years later he was set free on condition that he report to police daily, but he fled to the eastern Shabwa region. Awlaki went to ground after an air raid on December 24, 2009 struck a meeting of al-Qaeda leaders in Wadi Rafadh, in Shabwa province, killing 34.In May this year, a Yemeni tribal source said Awlaki narrowly escaped a U.S. drone attack three days after American commandos killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.The strike in Shabwa was the first reported U.S. targeting of other key figures in the terror network after a commando raid killed bin Laden inside Pakistan on May 2.Awlaki was married with five children.Read the full story here.More here.
- Pelosi: Total Coincidence My Brother-In-Law Secured $737 Million Federal Loan For His “Green” Energy Firm.(SFGate).SantaMonica — Department of Energy officials and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have slammed as absurd reports from conservative blogs that inflated the connection between Pelosi’s brother-in-law and a Nevada solar power project that received a $737 million federal government loan guarantee this week. . . .Ronald Pelosi joined Pacific Corporate Group in April, roughly three years after it had invested in SolarReserve, a company official confirmed Thursday. The official said Ronald Pelosi doesn’t stand to profit or lose from the firm’s stake in SolarReserve because he doesn’t have an interest in the fund that made that investment.The Pacific Corporate Group official said Thursday that no one from the firm had contacted the White House in connection with the application.“This is an absurd suggestion,” Department of Energy press secretary Damien LaVera said of any connection between Ronald Pelosi and the loan guarantee announcement. “Many months of rigorous technical, financial and legal due diligence was done by nonpolitical career employees to scrutinize every aspect of this transaction — over a period of years.Nancy Pelosi, at an event Thursday in San Francisco to drum up support for President Obama’s jobs plan, told The Chronicle that she was not familiar with the solar firm, its federal loan application or any association her brother-in-law had with the firm.Ronald Pelosi is “a great guy,” she said, adding that she was sorry he had been “dragged into this.”Hmmmmm.....Oooooh look another Unicorn, lead by a leprechaun.Read the full story here.
- Don’t tell anyone what Barack Hussein Obama is promising the Palestinians behind closed doors.(KleinOnline)By Aaron Klein The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the 2012 presidential elections, a top PA official told KleinOnline.The official, however, said the U.S. will press for a Palestinian state quickly if President Obama is reelected.“The main message we received from the U.S. is that nothing will happen in a serious way (toward a Palestinian state) before the 2012 elections,” said the official.“Obama will not accept the Palestinian request of a state at the (United Nations) Security Council and cannot help on the ground for now,” said the official.“We were told to wait for Obama’s reelection, and that before then nothing serious will happen for a state,” the official continued. “But after the reelection, the U.S. said the schedule will be short to reach a Palestinian state.”Obama’s policies toward Israel have been highlighted in local and national campaigns, with many Democrats fearing voter turnoff due to the perception the president is anti-Israel.Obama’s treatment of Israel was a significant issue in the recent election of Republican Bob Turner to former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s seat in a district that had not elected a GOP candidate since 1923.Also, presidential contenders like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have been strongly criticizing Obama on Israel.Hmmmm......Why is he sure that he will be reelected?Read the full story here.
- And, So It Begins: Unions and Professional Left To Join #OccupyWallSt Protesters.(BigGovernment).On Saturday, September 17, Marxist protesters (NeoComs) planned to take over Wall Street. While they had wanted to have some 20,000 protesters come to New York, converge on and stay for months in order to ‘tear down the machine,’ their numbers were far fewer, and their goal of occupying Wall St. never materialized as police relegated them to Zuccotti Park a block away.In talking to several on the first day of their protest, their inspiration seemed to be a Marxist blend of Communism and Anarchism, sprinkled with a tinge of comic-book (or Hollywood) flare from the character ‘V’ from ‘V for Vendetta.’ By Day Three, however, they made their demands more clear, calling for the seizure of workplaces and schools, as well as the ‘de-privatization of everything.’Over the last two weeks, their numbers have dwindled to just a few hundred and there have been well over a hundred arrests. The protesters have been ordered to remove their Guy Fawkes masks and, for the most part, have set up a campground in downtown Manhattan, with take out food called in for them from around the nation.While they’ve had visits from such Left-wing luminaries as Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Roseanne Barr, and Dr. Cornell West, they have not had as much coverage from the mainstream media nor have they had the support of the real jackboots in the fight for a Marxist revolution—today’s union bosses.
That is, they haven’t had union support until now.
On Thursday morning, via GatewayPundit, the New York-based Transit Workers of America Local 100 reportedly voted to support the Wall St. protesters. Local 100 is the same union that represents many of New York’s train and bus lines and the union that disrupted New Yorkers’ holiday shopping season in 2005 by going out on strike for three days in late December.
According to the Village Voice:
We spoke to TWU Local 100’s spokesman Jim Gannon, who told us that the executive board voted unanimously last night at their regular monthly business meeting to support Occupy Wall Street. TWU Local 100 has 38,000 members, the vast majority of whom work in New York City transit. (TWU has 200,000 members in 22 states.) Gannon said, “A motion was brought up to endorse the protests’ goals; I don’t know why it took us so long to do it. Right now we’re going to be involved in a march and rally on the 5th of October. We’ll gather at City Hall at 4:30 and march to Zuccotti Park.”
In addition, a blog called Teamster Nation has been covering and supporting the Wall Street protesters since early on. [It is not believed, however, that Teamster Nation is the official blog for the Teamsters.]By late Thursday afternoon, New York magazine was reporting that several unions, as well as the more professional of the Left-wing extremist groups have joined in #Solidarity with the protesters:Next week, the site will welcome members of New York’s organized labor coalitions including the United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United, and Transport Workers Union Local 100, which voted unanimously last night to support the occupation. Other groups standing in solidarity include the Working Families party, the Coalition for the Homeless, and MoveOn.org.While it’s not known whether the unions will be sending over protesters to actually occupy Wall Street or, rather, just to march with the protesters and sing L’internationale for a few hours.
- Note: Hopefully, if the unions do march with protesters, the unions can finally teach the protesters the proper ending to “The workers, united, will never be…” [hint: It is not 'defeated' and it rhymes with 'united.']Regardless of the ultimate turn out, it does appear that the Masked Movement of Marxists is gathering some steam. Whether or not it becomes a Tahrir moment, as Al Gore would like to see, is debatable. However, as protesters are clearly upping the ante by enlisting the help of union bosses, it bears watching closelyHmmmm.......Obama's 'army on the march'?“.I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.Read the full story here.
- Issa questions whether White House pressured Ford to pull ‘bailout’ ad.(TheHill).Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a letter to the Ford Motor Company on Thursday that he was "deeply concerned about undue political pressure exerted by the White House."The House Oversight Committee chairman's letter comes on the heels of reports earlier this week that the company had pulled an ad critical of the auto bailout following a phone call with administration officials.Ford denied Tuesday that the ad was removed because of political pressure, saying instead that it had simply been taken out of their ad rotation as scheduled."For those asking, the ad ran as part of a planned rotation and continues to run online. It contains the unscripted comments of a Ford owner. We supported emergency government support for our competitors and continue to support the decisions we made," Ford said in a statement posted to their Facebook page.But Daniel Howes, a conservative columnist for The Detroit News, said that the advertisement was pulled "in response to White House questions." In the ad, a man is asked why "buying American" was important to him when choosing a Ford pickup.“I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose or draw," he responds. "That’s what America is about, taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work. Ford is that company for me."The auto bailout, which primarily benefited Ford competitors Chrysler and GM, was a cornerstone of the president's stimulus plan and supported by Ford. But conservatives have been increasingly critical of the auto bailout and stimulus as a whole as unemployment continues to lag.In the letter to Ford, Issa asks for a full explanation of the company's decision to pull the advertisement and whether any current or former employee of the Obama administration, United Auto Workers, or Democratic Party contacted the company about the ad. Issa also asks whether the company temporarily pulled the ad from its YouTube page."Given the close relationship between American automobile manufacturers, workers unions and the U.S. Government in the wake of a series of loans, grants, and stimulus programs, accusations of White House interference in private business matters to support its own political and policy agendas are very serious issues and warrant a full airing of the facts," Issa wrote.The White House has denied that it asked Ford to remove the ad, with White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer calling Howes's column "false."Read the full story here.
- A 'Furious' revelation - Feds sold guns to drug gangs.(NYPost).By Michael A. Walsh. This just might be the smoking gun we’ve been waiting for to break the festering “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal wide open: the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives apparently ordered one of its own agents to purchase firearms with taxpayer money, and sell them directly to a Mexican drug cartel.Let that sink in: After months of pretending that “Fast and Furious” was a botched surveillance operation of illegal gun-running spearheaded by the ATF and the US attorney’s office in Phoenix, it turns out that the government itself was selling guns to the bad guys.Agent John Dodson was ordered to buy four Draco pistols for cash and even got a letter from his supervisor, David Voth, authorizing a federally licensed gun dealer to sell him the guns without bothering about the necessary paperwork.“Please accept this letter in lieu of completing an ATF Form 4473 for the purchase of four (4) CAI, Model Draco, 7.62x39 mm pistols, by Special Agent John Dodson,” read the June 1, 2010, letter. “These aforementioned pistols will be used by Special Agent Dodson in furtherance of performance of his official duties.”On orders, Dodson then sold the guns to known criminals, who first stashed them away and then -- deliberately unhindered by the ATF or any other agency -- whisked them off to Mexico.People were killed with Fast and Furious weapons, including at least two American agents and hundreds of Mexicans. And the taxpayers picked up the bill. So where’s the outrage? There’s none from the feds. Attorney General Eric Holder has consistently stonewalled Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Chuck Grassley and other congressional investigators.In a constantly evolving set of lies, Holder has denied knowing anything about Fast and Furious while at the same time withholding documents from the House and Senate committees looking into the mess while muzzling some witnesses and transferring others.Justice calls the allegations about Dodson’s operation “false.” But Grassley says that’s “a lie,” as he told Greta van Susteren the other day. “The ATF ordered this ATF agent to purchase these guns and in turn sell them, and supposedly track them,” he said. “But he was a lone wolf in the operation -- they wouldn’t give him any help for 24-hour surveillance.”So now the wheels have come off the official explanation for Fast and Furious. Of course, that explanation never made much sense in the first place.For one thing, the ATF had no authority to track the guns once they were in Mexico; for another, nobody bothered to inform the Mexicans of this intrusion on their national sovereignty.Further, we now know that a host of federal agencies (including the ATF, the FBI and IRS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Drug Enforcement Administration and, very probably, top officials at the Department of Homeland Security) were all in the loop at various levels, as was the White House.So calling “Fast and Furious” a cockamamie operation gone wrong just isn’t going to cut it anymore.There are two possible explanations. The first is that the anti-gun Obama administration deliberately wanted American guns planted in Mexico in order to demonize American firearms dealers and gun owners. The operation was manufacturing “evidence” for the president’s false claim that we’re to blame for the appalling levels of Mexican drug-war violence. If this is true, then Holder and Co. have got to go -- and the trail needs to be followed no matter where it leads. For the federal government to seek to frame its own citizens is unconscionable.A second notion is that the CIA was behind the whole thing, which accounts for all the desperate wagon-circling. Under this theory, the Agency feared the los Zetas drug cartel was becoming too powerful and might even mount a coup against the Mexican government. So some 2,000 weapons costing more than $1.25 million were deliberately channeled to the rival Sinaloa cartel, which operates along the American border, to keep the Zetas in check.Of course, there’s a third explanation -- that both scenarios are true, and that those in charge of Fast and Furious saw an opportunity to shoot two birds with one Romanian-made AK Draco pistol.Time for a special prosecutor, who’s both fast and furious.Read the full story here.
- Crony Socialism: Obama Gives $737 Million to Solar Firm Linked to the Pelosi Clan.(GatewayPundit)By Jim Hoft.It’s as if Solyndra never happened. The Obama Administration is giving $737 million to a Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve. PCG is an investment partner with SolarReserve. Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law happens to be the number two man at PCG.Team Obama is spending $737 million to create 45 permanent jobs.The Hill reported, via Free Republic:
The Energy Department announced Wednesday that is has finalized a $737 million loan guarantee for a Nevada solar project.
The decision comes several weeks after a California-based solar manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009 filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers, setting off a firestorm in Washington.
The $737 million loan guarantee will help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.
Crescent Dunes is the latest solar project to receive a loan guarantee from the Energy Department in recent weeks. The department announced a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar for a solar generation project in California and a $150 million loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies for a Massachusetts solar manufacturing project earlier this month.
The Energy Department says the project will result in 600 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs.It looks like Rep. Allen West was right.
Obama IS trying to destroy the economy.Hmmmm....."Thugocracy" in it's natural Habitat?Read the full story here.
- Shock: ABC News Blows EnergyGate Wide Open.(DougRoss).As one commenter noted after reading ABC News' reporting on EnergyGate and Solyndra:
There seems to be an inverse relationship between the president's popularity and the mainstream media's willingness to tell stories that need to be told. As Obama continues to slide in the polls, I'm sure we will find out all kinds of stuff that may have helped 2.5 years ago. While its too late now for everyone impacted by this administration's economic choices, there's hope that everyone will vote more responsibly next year... on both sides of the aisle.
Here's the reader's digest version:
• Kaiser's company, Solyndra, received a $535 million loan guarantee from DOE.
• Kaiser's company received the loan before DOE received final copies of outside reviews of the deal.
• Steven Spinner raised $500,000 for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
• Spinner then became one of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's key loan advisers.
• Spinner later wrote that he "helped oversee the more than $100 billion" in loans and guarantees.
• Spinner executed 29 stock trades in energy companeis while serving as a DOE adviser
• Spinner held shares in at least four companies that received DOE loans
• Spinner's wife's law firm collected around $2.5 million while representing Solyndra
• Spinner's wife's law firm also represented two other companies that received $34 million from DOE
• Steve Westly raised $500,000 for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
• Westly then became one of Energy Secretary Steven Chu's key advisers.
• Westly was an investor in five firms that received half a billion dollars in energy grants and loans from DOE.
• John V. Roos raised $500,000 for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
• Roos' law firm (the same firm Spinner's wife worked for) collected around millions from DOE-funded companies.
Put simply, if the Climatards are willing to waste billions enriching themselves in the name of green energy, then they can't really take the global warming scam seriously.In other words, the green tech movement no more believes in the global warming grift than you or I.And, once again, where's the special prosecutor?Postscript: The Bush administration rejected Solyndra's requests for loans for two years citing incomplete documentation.Hmmmm.....The MOST CORRUPT Administration EVAH?Read the full story here.
- Dick Morris: Obama May Not Run in 2012.(ObamaFailBlog).Another political pundit is joining the "Obama May Not Run in 2012" bandwagon. You'll remember that I wrote this on September 14, 2011:
Obama won't run so he can avoid becoming the new Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter has never been held up as a thought-leader on the left, despite being drummed out of office at the relatively young age of 56. He's had 30 years to be the left's go-to guy for policy ideas. Instead, he is irrelevant. His irrelevance is directly tied to his landslide defeat in the 1980 election. Obama's ego couldn't handle that sort of defeat.Source: Obama Fail Blog
And now, Dick Morris - who is more politically astute than most pundits, in my opinion - is starting to think it may happen:
In an interview with conservative radio icon Sean Hannity, former President Clinton adviser and campaign manager Dick Morris stated that, after speaking with a Democratic strategist, he thinks it is “very possible” that President Obama might acquiesce to requests from the Democratic leadership in Congress and bow out of the 2012 race, leaving the door open for him to return sometime in the future.“I asked a top Democratic strategist the other day and he thought that it was possible that, in January, Harry Reid comes to Obama and says, ‘Look you cost us control of the House last year, you’re going to cost us control of the Senate this year. For the good of the party you have to step aside’” said Morris.Source: CNS News
Morris also mentions that a decision not to run in 2012 doesn't mean Obama will retire from politics. Rather, it would be the beginning of a larger strategy:
Morris added that he thinks that this strategy could also set up Obama for a presidential run in a later election.“The twenty second amendment does not preclude non-consecutive terms, he is young, (he could) preserve himself as a possible candidate down the road” said Morris. “We’ve seen how Bill Clinton is much more popular now then he was when he was leaving office, same with Jimmy Carter.”Source: CNS News
Once again, I wrote basically the same thing in "Eight Reasons Why Obama Won't Run in 2012":
4.) Obama's legacy will benefit from stepping down. You can bet Obama will blame his decision not to run on everyone but himself. He will let his supporters cry "racism!" while he simply stands by, voting "present" by saying nothing. There will be endless discussions and debates about what went wrong, what could've been done differently. His supporters won't have to explain away a landslide defeat. Instead, they can focus on how things could've worked if Obama just had a little more time. We just weren't ready for a man of such greatness!
5.) Obama will cash in on his non-defeat. There will be books. Speaking tours. Television appearances. More books. Obama will become the ideological equivalent of William F. Buckley for the left. Meanwhile, he'll be raking in the dough from his unfortunate political demise and his increased gravitas. If you doubt this, look at Paul Krugman. That guy is a complete moron who likely has never had a real job in his life and yet he's held up as a sort of economic oracle. Obama could do that and then some. He will be the former President of the United States of America, after all.
8.) Obama will be back. He'll only be 51 years old when he leaves office. After eight years of Hillary, he can come back. Or he could spend a few more years rallying unions, causing riots, writing books and revealing his true hard left ideological views. Either way, he'll be back. And by then, we be so much closer to full-on European socialism and so many people will believe Obama was driven out by racism, America will buy in again.
Read and see the full story here.
- Obama administration 'awards' $5 million in “performance bonuses” for Food Stamp Sign Up .(JW).In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.It’s part of the administration’s campaign to eradicate “food insecure households” by improving access and increasing participation in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Incidentally, the program was recently changed to SNAP to eliminate the stigma that comes with a name like food stamps. Just a few months ago the federal agency that administers the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), launched a multi-million-dollar initiative to recruit more food-stamp participants even though the number of recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years.This week Oregon officials bragged that the USDA has given the state $5 million in “performance bonuses” for ensuring that people eligible for food benefits receive them and for its “swift processing of applications.” The money comes on the heels of a separate $1.5 million award from the feds for making “accurate payments of food stamp benefits to clients.” So welfare recipients are clients? .It marks the fifth consecutive year that Oregon has been “recognized” by the federal government for “exceptional administration” of the entitlement program, according to the announcement posted on the state’s Department of Human Services web site. The state official who runs SNAP assures that her staff will “continue working very hard to exceed expectations” so that Oregonians can “put healthy foods on their table quickly.”Could this be why the number of food-stamp beneficiaries in Oregon has increased dramatically in the last few years? Since 2008 the state has seen a 60% boost in the number of food-stamp recipients, which means that more than 780,000 people (one out of five Oregonians) get groceries compliments of Uncle Sam.As if this weren’t bad enough, the feds are also giving the state a two-year grant to test an “innovative approach” to the food-stamp “client eligibility review process.” This will make it even easier for people to get food stamps because it grants state officials a waiver that allows them to grant the benefit without interviewing the candidate.Hmmmm......."Creating Jobs is our priority"?Read the full story here.
- New Homeland Security Fence to Prevent Illegal Crossings… On Canadian Border.(SHTF).Amid the recent cancellation of a virtual fence on the southern Arizona-Mexico border that cost taxpayers an estimated $1 billion dollars and would have curbed the migration of some of the 400,000 to 1 million southern migrants yearly, the government is confident that, while they can’t stop the illegal inflows from Mexico, they are prepared to effectively tackle the Canadian dilemma head on.With all of the violence, drug smuggling, free health care, education vouchers, and black market jobs stemming from illegal crossings along the Canadian border, it only makes sense that the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is preparing to invest billions of dollars to secure the 4000 mile long demarcation point that separates Canada from the United States.The United States is looking at building fences along the border with Canada to help keep out terrorists and other criminals.The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has proposed the use of “fencing and other barriers” on the 49th parallel to manage “trouble spots where passage of cross-border violators is difficult to control.”The border service is also pondering options including a beefed-up technological presence through increased use of radar, sensors, cameras, drones and vehicle scanners.U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano noted last month the challenges of monitoring the vast, sparsely populated northern border region. She stressed manpower, but also a greater reliance on technology.Relatively speaking, Washington has focused more energy and resources on tightening security along the border with Mexico than at the sprawling one with Canada.But that may be changing.A U.S. Government Accountability Office report recently warned that only a small portion of the border with Canada is properly secure. It said U.S. border officers control just 50 kilometres of the 6,400-kilometre boundary.…the agency would use fencing and other barriers such as trenches to control movement and sometimes delay people trying to sneak across the border, increasing the likelihood they could be caught, says the report.It doesn’t provide details about what the fences might look like, but suggests they would be designed to blend into the environment and “complement the natural landscape.”Predator drones, camouflage fencing, and Janet Napolitano. It’s on now.Sorry Canada, we’ve had enough, and we’re not going to take it any more.Read the full story here.
- Iranian-Afghan “Parents” Hide Child in a Suitcase,suspicion of'organ traffiking'.(KTG). That’s unbelievable! A pair of foreigners hid an eight-year-old boy in a suitcase and loaded it into the storage space of a coach bus! Operators of the bus and passengers were more than stunned when Igoumenitsa Port Authorities asked the bus personnel to open the suitcase: A child was curled inside the luggage. The bag belonged to an Iranian with German passport. The man was accompanied by an Afghan woman who had with her another child, two years old.There is suspicion that the horror transport has to do with human organs trafficking.The couple is being interrogated separately from each other, so authorities will find out why the child was in the suitcase and if the child belongs to them.Igoumenits Port Authorities. Western Greece, acted upon a tip-off, says Greek newspaper Proto Thema on its online edition. It was a miracle that the child survived his enclosure and did not die of suffocation.Read the full story here.
- Video - Liberals Try to Remove Anti-Obama Signs in New Orleans.(MRCTV).It's a story as old as time it seems. Liberal comes across speech they don't like. Liberal does everything it can to silence said speech.A New Orleans resident posted a couple signs on his own private property criticizing President Obama. Some liberals wondered by and didn't like that the signs made fun of President Obama. These liberals freaked out so much that the media, police, and a bunch of liberal politicians got involved.In fact, city councilwoman Susan Guidry hates this guy's expression of his opinion so much that she openly admits that she will use ANY technicality she could find to squash it. She literally goes through a list of backhanded attacks she might use against the homeowner while being interviewed by WWLTV saying "whatever we can use we will". Of course she is reportedly just "concerned about public safety".Now, I'm not positive what country, or planet for that matter, these liberals live on but I've always been under the impression that here in America freedom of speech was a protected right given to us by God and protected from infringement by the constitution. Heck, I'm not even the kind of person who would put up big provocative political signs on my property (and I don't agree with everything on those signs) but I am certainly the kind of person who will push back against those who try to drum up bogus technicalities in order to infringe on speech they don't like.If this attack on free speech goes unabated and succeeds it will be yet another dark day for the USA.Read and see the full story here.
- Turkey to Iran ....let's help each other get the Kurds.(InfidelBloggers).By Epaminondas.If there ARE any natural allies for the USA (and Israel) it’s the Kurds, victims of Iran, Turkey, Iraq for HUNDREDS OF YEARS of oppression, repression, and pogroms.Israel, are you LISTENING? Erdogan and his islamist people are NOT untouchable or unreachable on their arrogant march. Iran IS AFRAID of internal, and genuine threats.Turkey woos Iran for joint strike on Kurdish insurgents.Read the full story here.
- Russian aircraft carrier to carry out exercises in Med Sea.(HurriyetDaily).Russia is sending its northern fleet led by the country's only aircraft carrier, the "Admiral Kuznetsov," to the Mediterranean Sea for exercises, daily Hürriyet reported on its website Thursday.The Kuznetsov will sail the waters in the Barents Sea for a week and carry out drills there first, the report said.The carrier will then start a three-month voyage to the Mediterranean Sea via the Northeast Atlantic. It will be joined by anti-submarine ship "Admiral Chabanenko" and other vessels.It was not yet decided which ports the ships would visit but it was possible that the fleet could take part in military exercises with fleets of other countries in the region while it is in the Mediterranean.The last time the Admiral Kuznetsov sailed in Mediterranean waters was in the winter of 2008-2009, when it visited ports in Turkey and Syria.Hmmmm......"May you live in interesting times?Read the full story here.
- Sultans and numbers.(HurriyetDaily).By Burak Bekdil.In an interview with CNN last weekend, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan argued that a) there have been just a few rockets targeting Israel, and b) a great number of Palestinians have been killed by Israel. Here is the original transcript from that interview:
Erdoğan: “Here’s what’s being said – and this is upsetting to hear. They say that Palestine is bombing and disturbing the people of Israel and many Israelis have been killed. I’m very clear in my remarks; I would like to see accurate statistics of how many Israelis have been killed by the bombs thrown by Palestinians or with the rockets that were launched by them. Ten, 20, 100, 200? How many? Please document it. Let us know. But on the other hand, we know that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed. Only as a result of the Gaza attack, thousands of people were killed. These are very clear remarks.”Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians? Sounds like coffeehouse chat in Konya. Mathematically – and simplistically – speaking, “hundreds of thousands” should mean any figure between 200,000 and 900,000, or an average of 550,000. Considering Palestinian demographics, one merely feels like pleading “Have mercy, Mr. Prime Minister!” It should be an elementary qualification of a statesman to have a fair notion of order of magnitude when making speeches supported by numbers.
First, the “peacemakers:” Here is a rich assortment of Palestinian/Arab charity and peace groups that have operated in the past four decades, with philanthropic missions explicitly revealed by their stage names:
Hamas, the Palestinian Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Abu Nidal Organization, the Black September Organization, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Arab Liberation Front, As-Sa’iqa, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, the Palestinian Arab Front, Tanzim, Force 17, Fatah Special Operations Group, the Ahmed Abu Reish Brigade, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the Army of Islam, Jund Ansar Allah, Fatah al-Islam, Jund al-Sham and Jaljalat.
Mr. Erdoğan is free to think that all of these groups have been formed to send flowers and candy to Israeli soldiers – yes, soldiers, since most of these militant groups claim there are no Israeli civilians. Women? They are soldiers who serve in the Israeli army. Elderly women? They once served in the Israeli army. Children and babies? They will serve in the Israeli army when they grow up.
Since Mr. Erdoğan seems to be in love with numbers, allow me to mention a few here:
- Over 7,000 rockets have been fired into the Israeli territory since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Perhaps Mr. Erdoğan believes these rockets came from the FARC in Colombia.
- Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1950 total 46,000, including 11,000 during Israel’s War of Independence; or less than 50,000, including fatalities during and after Operation Cast Lead.
- Between the Oslo Accords in 1993 and July 2005, over 400 members of the Israeli security forces and 821 civilians were killed by Palestinians, mainly in suicide bombings, including not-yet-ranking soldiers aged 1-15.
- During the Second Intifada alone, 1,137 Israelis were killed by Palestinians.
- Between 2000 and 2010, 496 Israeli civilians (sorry again, I mean soldiers!) were killed in Israel along with another 242 in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. In the same period, 664 Palestinians were killed by Palestinians.
- Since the 1982 Lebanon War, 7,000-10,000 Palestinians have been killed in intra-fighting among various Palestinian charity groups.
No doubt “order of magnitude” should be taught at Turkish schools, including imam schools. I cannot decide whether Ottoman or Turkish sultans are better with numbers.Hmmmm.....Hear,Hear!Read the full story here.
- Israeli and Turkish air fighters play hard poker over Plot 12.(Hellasfrappe).Israel decided to play hard poker today and sent a fighter outside of Kastelorizo in response to sending Turkish intelligence aircraft that flew a few miles out of Israeli airspace! Immediately two Israeli fighter jets took off from the Israeli base to the region over the Rizokarpaso and informed the Office of Civil Aviation of Cyprus and not the FIR Ercan. The aircraft continued their flights to the Gulf of Mersin and flew parallel to the coast of southern Turkey just 15 miles up Phoenicia near Kastelorizo! The Israeli fighters followed the regulations stipulated by the FLIR Nicosia and certainly not those of Ercan which illegally considers the airspace over the occupied part of the island as its own, a report on defencenet said adding that when the situation was under control, the fighters headed south and returned to Israel. Shortly afterwards a Turkish F-16 tried to reach Israel but immediately 6 Israeli fighter jets chased it out of the area!Parallel to all of this, we also found out today that there is a large military presence in the region of "Venus" from the US, which consists of naval vessels of the 6th Fleet. Reports say they are now permanently stationed in the Mediterranean and apparently patrol the area where Nobel is doing the drilling, as well as monitor spy planes and electronic warfare. Also in the area are Israeli military forces.Even Russian ships, stationed in Syria, have incorporated patrol routes in their routine around plot 12 or "Venus" as have British naval forces and forces of UNIFIL as well. It is worth noting that the Cyprus Republic has committed a range of 5 miles radius around the plot 12. The "Piri Reis" actually sailed within 40-60 km south of Akrotiri in Limassol and the closest distance it reached from the Noble Ferrington platform was reported to be some 45 km, a separate report on onalert said. At the same time Turkish fighters and helicopters also made their appearance west of Paphos and in Akamas. In any case, and despite the violations recorded by FIR Nicosia, no harassment was reported.In other news, Amos Gilad, the Director of the Political and Military Office of Israel’s Ministry of Defence made a rush, and unscheduled visit to Athens today, in order to meet with Greek defence ministry officials, Athens press reports said. It is expected that the main subject of discussion cantered around the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.Under Creative Commons License: Attribution.Read the full story here. More here.
- Iranian Interior Minister: Pakistan's Enemy Is Iran's Enemy.(Memri).Amid the U.S.-Pakistani crisis, Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has said that Pakistan would not be left alone in any eventuality, saying that Pakistan’s enemy is the enemy of Iran, according to an Urdu-language daily. The Iranian minister expressed the Iranian position at a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Rahman Malik, according to a report in the Urdu-language daily Roznama Jang.The two ministers also discussed various bilateral issues, including security cooperation, combating drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime.Hmmmm.....well that didden't take long.Read the full story here.
- Muslim Attacks Belgian Policeman as his Wife is Booked for Wearing Burka.(IslamversusEurope).On Tuesday afternoon, in the Saint-Josse district of Brussels - a heavily immigrant-colonised neighbourhood - a 37-year-old Muslim was walking down the street with his burka-clad wife. Wearing the burka has been illegal in Belgium since the middle of July, so two policemen approached them and proceeded to carry out an identity check on the woman. The Muslim male objected vehemently to what they were doing. He struck one of the police officers and ordered his wife back to the house. Then he threatened to kill the police if they continued to pursue his wife. The male Muslim was arrested and charged with "insubordination" and "wilfully causing injuries". His wife is going to be fined for wearing the burka.Read the full story here.GoogleTranslated page here.