Friday, October 7, 2011
Falling Down is a 1993 crime-drama film directed by Joel Schumacher. The film stars Michael Douglas in the lead role of William Foster (credited as "D-Fens"), a divorcee and unemployed former defense engineer. The film centers on Foster as he goes on a violent rampage across the city of Los Angeles, trying to reach the house of his estranged ex-wife in time for his daughter's birthday party. Along the way, a series of encounters, both trivial and provocative, cause him to react with violence and make sardonic observations on life, poverty, the economy, and commercialism. Martin Prendergast (Robert Duvall), an aging LAPD Sergeant on the day of his retirement, faces his own frustrations with socially accepted spinelessness, even as he tracks down Foster.
The title of the film, referring to Foster's mental collapse, is taken from the title of the nursery rhyme "London Bridge Is Falling Down", which appears several times during the film. It also references London Bridge located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, which is where Prendergast's wife wants to relocate after he retires.
- Updated !Earthquakes in the last 24 hours in the world seismic activity New Zealand 6.5 ; Vanuatu 5.5 and Japan 5.4 ! More info here.
- Japan : For the most accurate info on the nuclear disaster go to : Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog.Here.
- Obama EPA Destroying Our Electrical Generation Capacity.(BigPeace).As a result of EPA’s Destructive Regulations“These rules will make electricity more expensive and less reliable.They will cost thousands of workers their jobs, and require consumers to pay more for electricity. At least, they will fulfill the President’s campaign pledge to make the cost of electricity ‘necessarily skyrocket’.WASHINGTON – Today, the Institute for Energy Research issues a report (which can be found here) listing the powerplants likely to be closed as a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations commonly known as the Utility MACT and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.IER President Thomas Pyle said, “These rules will make electricity more expensive and less reliable. They will cost thousands of workers their jobs, require millions of consumers to pay more for electricity, and mean billions of dollars will have to be spent to build replacement power. At least they will fulfill the President’s campaign pledge to make the cost of electricity ‘necessarily skyrocket’.According to the report, which used EPA’s own modeling, as well as company announcements, to construct a list of coal-fired powerplants likely to retire, EPA regulations will result in the closing of at least 28 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity (which is the equivalent of closing every powerplant in the state of North Carolina or Indiana).The 28 gigawatts in closings are about twice as much as the 14.5 gigawatts EPA had originally predicted would close as a result of the rules. It is also more than the worst case scenarios had projected — analysis by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) anticipated that CSAPR and the Utility MACT would close 20 GW of generating capacity.For purposes of comparison, 28 gigawatts is about 2.5% of the total U.S. generating capacity, and represents about 30 times the installed capacity of all solar utility generation in the U.S.Finally, our work indicates that these EPA regulations will have a dramatic impact on states reeling from economic hardship. For example:
• Ohio: 2,894 MW retired, 8.6% of state total generating capacity.
• West Virginia: 2,448 MW retired, 14% of state total generating capacity.
• Indiana: 2,168 MW retired, 7.5% of state total generating capacity.
• Tennessee: 1,376 MW retired, 6.2% of state total generating capacity.
• Missouri: 1,325 MW retired, 6.3% of state total generating capacity.
• Wisconsin: 902 MW retired, 5% of state total generating capacity.
If he really wanted to destroy America as a Superpower would he do anything different?Read the full story here.
- Obama to Congress "Unite behind his jobs bill or get ready to be run 'out of town' by angry voters.(AP).— A combative President Barack Obama challenged a divided Congress on Thursday to unite behind his jobs bill or get ready to be run “out of town” by angry voters. Hoping to use public frustration and economic worry as leverage, he called his proposal an insurance plan against a painful return to recession.In a news conference long on restatements of his ideas, Obama laid bare the dynamic that now is Washington: The era of compromise is over.Frustrated over getting nowhere with Republicans, Obama demanded that they explain themselves to the country and promised to keep “hammering way until something gets done.”Despite Obama’s taunts, Republicans showed no signs of switching positions. Instead, they pressed for a symbolic vote so they could oppose the bill the president submitted three weeks ago. They also predicted they would prevail next week when Democrats try to advance a reworked version, which Obama supports, with a tax on millionaires. . . .Obama conceded that voters have grown deeply exasperated and cynical, and he put the responsibility largely on Congress as unresponsive to public opinion. At one point Obama even told his media questioners to accept a “little homework assignment” and “go ask Republicans what their jobs plan is.”Hmmmm.........."To Protect the Constitution?"Read the full story here.
- US Needs To Generate 261,200 Jobs Per Month To Return To Pre-Depression Employment By End Of Obama Second Term.(ZeroHedge).Every few months we rerun an analysis of how many jobs the US economy has to generate to return to the unemployment rate as of December 2007 when the Great Financial Crisis started, by the end of Obama’s potential second term in November 2016.This calculation takes into account the historical change in Payroll and includes the 90,000/month natural growth to the labor force, and extrapolates into the future. And every time we rerun this calculation, the number of jobs that has to be created to get back to baseline increases: First it was 245,500 in April, then 250,000 in June, then 254,000 inJuly. As of today, following the just announced “beat” of meager NFP expectations, this number has has just risen to an all time high 261,200. This means that unless that number of jobs is created each month for the next 5 years, America will have a higher unemployment rate in October 2016 than it did in December 2007. How realistic is it that the US economy can create 16.2 million jobs in the next 62 months? We leave that answer up to the US electorate.Read the full story here.
- OccupyWallStreet Wants to Seize Trillions from Economy.(BigGovernment).While it is an open question whether Obama and BigLabor created the #Occupy anarchy spilling out around the country or are simply trying to co-opt it for the upcoming campaign, its clear that something is a foot. Past attempts to create a leftist alternative to the mainstream tea party movement included the Coffee Party (apparently decaffeinated) and the non-sensical “No Labels” party. Those efforts didn’t even make it past one news cycle.So, rather than risk going into the next election without an energized base, ObamaBigLabor have gone back to the reliable well of extreme leftist radicals. Sure, they are few in number, and a bit crazy-even by leftist standards-but, if enough rank-and-file union members can be convinced to join them, the media will lend a hand and make it all seem very reasonable and mainstream. With enough media support, the American public may not even appreciate the true radicalism of this new ‘movement’ until after Obama is reelected.So, as part of our ongoing public service, BigGovernment thought we’d revisit some of the early days of the current ‘anarchy.’ You see, the current protests began to be planned around June. Coincidentally, this was around the same time that Richard Trumpka, big boss of the AFL-CIO said this to Salon:
What you’re about to see is, we’re going to do a full-time, around the calendar political program that’s going to be mobilizing and educating people 12 months a year, 24 months a cycle, as opposed to doing it till Election Day and dismantling it.
We’re going to try to get back on every campus out there, start a debate about how we change the country, how we change the economy. We’re bringing young people in and not saying, here’s what we can do for you, but tell us what you need us to do for you?
And no, this is not your ordinary union organizing campaign.
This new effort isn’t so much about securing higher wages and benefits for individual union members, but more about reshaping the country’s entire political economy. Rank-and-file union members may find the extreme radicalism of their new allies shocking, but this radicalism is perfectly aligned with the views of their union bosses. As unions become increasingly dominated by public sector employees, expanding government anywhere and everywhere become labor’s number one priority.
In the lead up to the planned September 17th “occupation” of Wall Street, the organizers of OccupyWallStreet held an August rally against New York state budget cuts. It was in may respects a “dry-run” for today’s “occupations,” From their alert on the rally:
This is a call for every teacher, home health aid, parent, student, tenant, librarian, city/state employee, childcare provider, nurse, patient, employed or unemployed worker or recipient of Social Security or any type of public assistance: on August 2 come to Wall Street–the scene of the crimes now being perpetrated on the people — and make your voice heard!The current depression-level crisis is not due to lack of revenue. It’s due to theft. The trillions that the banks are sitting on right now? That’s our money. Whether through taxes; the looting of pension and social security contributions; or the wealth we created from our labor — all of that belongs to us. Come to Wall Street August 2 and strategize — on how to get that back!
Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And, of course, BigGovernment will bring you more over the coming weeks. But, keep that last paragraph in mind when the media tries to convince you that the current protests are mainstream or in any way reflective of the views of the American public.Hmmmm........Jimmy Hoffa:"President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march'.Read the full story here.
- Nancy Pelosi: ‘God bless’ Wall Street protesters.(Politico).House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday praised the thousands of “Occupy Wall Street” protesters crowding New York City and other cities across the nation.“God bless them for their spontaneity,” Pelosi told reporters. “It’s young, it’s spontaneous, it’s focused and it’s going to be effective.”The comments from Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, came after President Barack Obama embraced the protesters in a nationally televised news conference, saying their furor would “express itself politically in 2012 and beyond.”The rallies – aimed mostly at the financial industry – are now in their third week. Wednesday’s protest in Manhattan marked the largest demonstration thus far, drawing a crowd of thousands and the support of major union organizations.Pelosi on Thursday said the protests could bring more visibility to Democrats’ efforts to counter Republican attempts to weaken the Dodd-Frank financial oversight bill and block a permanent director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.“The focus is on Wall Street and justifiably so,” Pelosi said. “The message of the American people is that no longer … will the recklessness of some on Wall Street cause massive joblessness on Main Street.”Hmmm.....Anyone still doubting 'who's' Army they are?Read the full story here.
- OccupyWallStreet’s Modest Proposal: Seize Workplaces, Classrooms and Empty Buildings.(BigGovernment).On September 17th, the first day of “OccupyWallStreet” the organization posted a call for revolution on its website. Among its “action items”:
And so we call on people to act
- We call for protests to remain active in the cities. Those already there, to grow, to organize, to raise consciousnesses, for those cities where there are no protests, for protests to organize and disrupt the system.
- We call for workers to not only strike, but seize their workplaces collectively, and to organize them democratically. We call for students and teachers to act together, to teach democracy, not merely the teachers to the students, but the students to the teachers. To seize the classrooms and free minds together.
- We call for the unemployed to volunteer, to learn, to teach, to use what skills they have to support themselves as part of the revolting people as a community.
- We call for the organization of people’s assemblies in every city, every public square, every township.
- We call for the seizure and use of abandoned buildings, of abandoned land, of every property seized and abandoned by speculators, for the people, for every group that will organize them.
We call for a revolution of the mind as well as the body politic.Hmmmm..... Obama Says He Understands Anger Of Occupy Wall Street Protesters At Banks And Economy".Read the full story here.
- Jeffrey T. Kuhner: “Obama’s October Revolution”.(TheWashingtonTimes) — President Obama’s shock troops are marching in the streets. Occupy Wall Street — a movement composed of communists, anarchists, socialists and anti-globalization student radicals — is spreading. Protests have swelled in cities including New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Philadelphia. The protesters are gaining influence and numbers. A ragtag group of hippie students has turned into a potent political force.Occupy Wall Street seeks to demonize big banks, large corporations and capitalism. Its goal is to overturn America’s economic structure. The protesters are calling for wealth redistribution, fees on bank profits and massive tax increases on the rich. Many are demanding a socialist revolution — the confiscation of private property and nationalization of the economy. They are the heirs of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Lenin. Their aim is to impose the hammer and sickle upon America.Leftist radicals, such as Michael Moore and Noam Chomsky, have endorsed the anti-capitalist movement. Both men have glorified authoritarian communist regimes — Fidel Castro’s Cuba, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and the old Soviet Union. Their hatred for America has found expression in the rabble on the streets of New York and Washington. Actress Roseanne Barr even has called for the return of the “guillotine.” She wants bankers to be sent to “re-education camps,” and if they still refuse to hand over their profits, they should be beheaded, she says. This is the language of revolutionary terror and Marxist violence.Mr. Obama has said he “sympathizes” with the protesters — especially their anger at Wall Street and “fat-cat” bankers. For years, he has demonized billionaires and millionaires, jet owners and corporate America. His divisive, irresponsible rhetoric has laid the groundwork for Occupy Wall Street.The White House connection is even deeper. The protest’s main players all have ties to the Obama administration. Its primary organizer is former Obama “green-jobs czar” Van Jones. Mr. Jones is a self-avowed communist and follower of Saul Alinsky, the radical community organizer who also was Mr. Obama’s intellectual mentor. Mr. Jones said October is the month of the long-awaited “progressive offensive” — the watershed moment when students, labor unions, socialists and civil rights activists coalesce into an anti-Tea Party to blunt Middle America’s growing opposition to Mr. Obama.Occupy Wall Street also is being supported by MoveOn.org. The group was one of the first to back Mr. Obama’s presidential candidacy when he was still an obscure senator from Illinois. The protests are being funded by socialist billionaire George Soros — a key Obama ally. And the protesters are being joined by big labor, the administration’s most powerful constituency.Hence, Occupy Wall Street is not a spontaneous uprising of disenchanted citizens frustrated with corporate plutocracy and capitalist excess. Rather, it is a planned, manufactured attempt to prop up Mr. Obama’s failed presidency. It is a page taken straight from the Alinsky playbook: Demonize bankers and businessmen in order to divert attention from the real source of our economic woes, Mr. Obama’s policies.Read the full story here.
- Harry Reid Rewrites Senate Rules To Make It Even Harder For GOP To Force Votes.((Beltway Confidential) — In a stunning turn of events this evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used an arcane legislative maneuver to effectively rewrite Senate rules to make it harder for the minority party to force uncomfortable votes on the majority.The buildup to this point started on Tuesday, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tried to force a vote on President Obama’s jobs bill as well as other Republican priorities by offering them as amendments to the China currency bill. Reid blocked the move.Tonight, McConnell made what’s called a “motion to suspend the rules,” to allow a vote on the amendments. Such motions are almost always defeated, because they require a two-thirds majority to pass. But they’re another way for the minority party to force uncomfortable votes. Even though the minority party doesn’t get a direct vote on the amendment, how somebody votes on the motion becomes a sort of proxy for such a vote. In this case, for instance, if Democrats had voted down a motion for a vote on Obama’s jobs bill, it would have put them in an awkward spot.Though it’s been the standing practice of the Senate to allow such motions by the majority, tonight Reid broke with precedent and ruled McConnell’s motion out of order. The Senate parliamentarian said the move was unprecedented, and then the Democratic chair, obviously, ruled in favor of Reid. While McConnell appealed the ruling, Reid won a 51 to 48 vote rejecting the appeal.Hmmmm.....Dictatorship rising.Read the full story here.
- Obama Pal Bill Ayers Releases “Collective Statement” Of Occupy Wall Street Protesters.(BillAyers).What follows is the first official, collective statement of the protesters in Zuccotti Park:
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.To the people of the world, We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.Join us and make your voices heard!Hmmmm......Wow ......No 're-education of 20 Million Americans on the list?Read the full story here.
- Obama Admin blocking two Islam experts on Islamic terrorism from speaking in CIA conference. (TundraTabloids).MONEY QUOTE: ”This is a big deal,” former FBI counterintelligence agent David Major said of the postponement. If new guidelines are used to block experts like Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Emerson, “we will be in ’1984′ with ‘Newspeak’ on our society in total violation of the First Amendment,” Mr. Major said, referring to George Orwell’s classic novel, in which simplified language is used as a tool to support totalitarian rule.”
The CIA and Department of Homeland Security abruptly canceled a conference in August on homegrown U.S. radical extremism in what officials close to the issue say was an effort to block two conservative anti-terrorism experts from presenting their views.The conference was slated for Aug. 10 through 12 at agency headquarters in McLean and was to have been hosted by the CIA Threat Management Unit. It was organized by the intelligence subcommittee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.“The conference topic is a critical one for domestic law enforcement, and the sponsors – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security – have decided to delay the conference so it can include insights from among other sources, the new National Strategy for Counterterrorism in an updated agenda,” wrote CIA police officer Lt. Joshua Fielder in an email announcing the postponement in early August.According to people close to the conference, the event was ordered “postponed” after Muslim advocacy groups contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the White House about the scheduled speakers, who included Stephen Coughlinand Steve Emerson, both specialists on the Islamist terror threat.Mr. Coughlin, a former Pentagon Joint Staff analyst, is one of the most knowledgeable counterterrorism experts specializing in the relationship between Islamic law and terrorism. Mr. Emerson, head of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, is a leading expert on Islamic violent extremism, financing and operations.One intelligence official said the conference was stopped after the White House learned that Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Emerson were speaking.This official said that to prevent the two experts from taking part in future conferences, the administration is drafting new guidelines designed to prohibit all U.S. government personnel from teaching classes on Islamic history or doctrine. The new rules also will seek to prohibit the use of federal funds to pay contractors for such training.“This is a big deal,” former FBI counterintelligence agent David Major said of the postponement. If new guidelines are used to block experts like Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Emerson, “we will be in ’1984′ with ‘Newspeak’ on our society in total violation of the First Amendment,” Mr. Major said, referring to George Orwell’s classic novel, in which simplified language is used as a tool to support totalitarian rule.Hmmm........Read the full story here.
- WINTER OF '73 - “I promise you - my little girl,That this will be the last war."(AlexanderMunch).The Last War - song performed during the Yom Kippur War – 1973"We are the children of winter 1973 .....you promised peace"They were both lies.WINTER OF '73 – song performed first in 1995.I am from the generation that experienced the nightmare of the Yom Kippur War of 1973. ( As well!... )And while Yehoram Gaon certainly entertained the troops singing “The Last War”, it was not seen at the time as anything more than just a song.When our children were born I had every expectation that would have to serve in the IDF when they grew up. And they did.And I have every expectation that the generations that will follow will also serve.It is catastrophically naive to think otherwise.Now that’s not to say that our policy makers should not strive to reach agreements and understandings with our neighbors.Just that we do not live in a “best case scenario world” and the efficacy of these agreements and understandings must be considered without any illusions.No. We don’t promise our children peace.But when considered from the perspective of Jewish history, what we offer today is pretty encouraging.Read and see the full story here.Video WINTER 73 here.
- SPIEGEL Interview with Former Nuclear Watchdog - The Iranians 'Tricked and Misled Us'(Spiegel).In a SPIEGEL interview, Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, offers his first assessment of his 27 years at the global nuclear watchdog. He addresses Iran's nuclear program, his concerns about the security of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and mistakes made in Fukushima.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Heinonen, if you consider your time as the United Nations' atomic "watchdog," do you look back in anger? Or did you succeed in making the world safer from nuclear bombs?
Heinonen:There are quite a few things I'm proud of. While I was at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), we played a significant role in putting Abdul Qadir Khan -- the most dangerous nuclear smuggler of all times -- out of action. But when I think about the nuclear activities of certain states, for instance Iran's nuclear program, I have to say that we allowed ourselves to be placated too often. We should have done more than carrying out our inspections. Yes, with hindsight you could perhaps even say we failed.
SPIEGEL:You sound worried. Is Tehran really on a direct path to becoming a nuclear state?
Heinonen:It's undeniable that Iran's nuclear program is far more advanced than it was in 2003, when the discovery of the Natanz facility brought it to the IAEA's attention. At the time, uranium enrichment tests were being carried out in secret on a small scale. But at the end of 2003, the Iranians admitted they were also planning to set up a heavy-water reactor in Arak to generate plutonium.
SPIEGEL:In other words, the other ingredient you need to create either nuclear power or an atom bomb.
Heinonen:Iran always told us it was only interested in the civilian uses of atomic energy. I've always had my doubts about that, more so now than ever.Read the full intervieuw here.
- Why Is Erdogan Attacking Germany's Foundations?(Spiegel).Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leveling targeted attacks against German political foundations, accusing them of supporting the Kurdish PKK. But the foundations view the attacks as merely part of a calculated plan to criminalize legal Kurdish organizations. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is well-known for the tough and occasionally undiplomatic tone he uses with foreign politicians. The most recent to experience his wrath was Israel's government. But now Erdogan is attacking German political foundations with a presence and projects in Turkey -- and in no uncertain terms.Erdogan is accusing several foundations of supporting the "Kurdish terrorist organization PKK," the Kurdistan Worker's Party. Several days ago, he spoke of a single foundation, accusing it of collaborating with local officials of the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) -- a legal political party that managed to win 36 seats in the Turkish parliament in June -- and of issuing loans to companies with PKK ties.At a press conference on Wednesday, Erdogan went even further. He alleged that German foundations are using loans to Kurdish BDP officials to get aid to the PKK. "The German foundations have unfortunately been doing similar things for a long time, but German officials have yet to respond to Turkish complaints," he said. In other words, Erdogan was no longer concerned about a single foundation, it was now "the German foundations" in general.In Turkey, it is no minor matter to be charged with supporting the PKK -- especially when the man leveling the charge is the prime minister himself. In such cases, state prosecutors are quick to draw up an indictment like the ones that have put thousands in jail on similar charges.Appalled representatives of German political foundations are rejecting the accusations. For example, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a think tank associated with Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has labeled the claims as "absurd." Officials in both Turkey and Germany with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is aligned with the Green Party, said the accusations "are lacking any basis in fact," adding that "foundations don't issue loans nor do they finance any infrastructure projects."Eberhard Pohl, Germany's ambassador to Turkey, has made similar statements in recent days. He has stated that any loans issued to municipalities or to support infrastructure measures in Turkey can only come from KfW, Germany's government-owned investment bank, or the German development organization GIZ. Granted, in addition to supporting a number of different projects in other Turkish cities, the GIZ has backed ones bringing new sewer tunnels and wastewater treatment plants to the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, which has the largest population of Kurds. But it has always only done so after getting the approval of the responsible Turkish ministries. He said it is simply impossible that money was channeled from the projects to the PKK. Representatives of foundations also pointed out that they cannot legally provide any loans in Turkey.At first glance, it seems puzzling that Erdogan would be launching such a massive attack on German foundations at this point in time. Still, conflicts revolving around German political foundations are nothing new in Turkey. The involvement of foreign organizations in Turkish affairs has always been a thorn in the side of many, particularly with Turkish nationalists. Already in 2002, the foundations were forced to defend themselves against accusations of espionage and of having sought to destroy the Turkish economy. At the time, the charges had to do with foreign support for a citizen's initiative opposing a gold mine on Turkey's western coast that was using cyanide to leak gold out of rock. The matter ultimately found its way before the Ankara State Security Court, which acquitted foundation representatives tried on espionage charges.The foundations continue to work with mostly civil-society groups and, of course, also with some based in predominately Kurdish areas. The Heinrich Böll Foundation primarily supports projects related to women's issues, but it also engages in talks with politicians from the Kurdish opposition. Foundation CEO Ralf Fücks defends these activities as being the only way to foster dialogue aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict.Ulrike Dufner, the head of the foundation's office in Istanbul, views Erdogan's current accusations as an attempt to "stir up nationalist emotions." In fact, she believes the attack is targeting the civilian Kurdish opposition much more than German foundations themselves. Ralf Fücks, who happens to be in Turkey at the moment for talks, backed her opinion, saying: "Erdogan intends to criminalize all collaboration with the Kurdish BDP, the Kurds' legal civilian opposition."It is a view that seems to be supported by the fact that, in two days alone earlier this week, 150 Kurds with ties to the BDP -- including mayors and municipal representatives -- were arrested. The charges are always the same: allegedly being a member of a secret PKK organization trying to use legal means to wrestle control in predominantly Kurdish areas and erect a parallel structure to the state. Over the last two years, a total of 4,000 Kurds have been arrested on these charges. At the moment, roughly 3,000 cases are being heard involving predominantly elected Kurdish municipal politicians. "The government's strategy is evidently to cut off these Kurds from international support," Fücks said, adding that this is the actual reason behind attacks on the foundations. For that reason, Dufner considers it unlikely that state prosecutors will be showing up in her office any time soon. "On its merits," she said, "the charges are just too weak for that."Hmmmm.......Read the full story here.
- How Obama Got Around Congress Withholding $200 Million In Aid To 'Palestinians.(DocsTalk).Joshuapundit.A story in the UK Independent says that the US Congress showed its displeasure with the 'Palestinians' going unilaterally to the UN by withholding $200 million in aid that was supposed to be disbursed to Mahmoud Abbas' little fiefdom by the end of this fiscal year, which ended October 1st.Being part of the British press and sharing their well known attitude towards Israel, the article is sympathetic to Abbas, referring to him as being 'punished' and inferring that the US Congress is under the thumb of those Evil Zionists, rather than being upset with the 'Palestinians' for allying with Hamas or for abrogating their agreements under two treaties the US is signatory to, the Road Map and The Oslo Accords. However, there are indications that this was a set up and if my source is correct, both the Obama Administration and the 'Palestinians' were privy to it.One of my notorious Little Birdies works directly in the 'Palestinian Authority' and we've been correspondents for some time, sort of frenemies, if you get my meaning.My source had a good laugh at Congresses' action. According to this person, the Obama Administration was aware for some time that the final $200 million might be withheld by Congress and informed the 'Palestinians' in advance. The Obama Administration promised the 'Palestinians' that they would do their best to head this off, but when they couldn't, an arrangement was made with the Saudis to make up the missing $200 million in advance.That rang a bell...and showed me that as usual, my source was almost certainly correct.A scant ten days ago, the Saudis gifted Mahmoud Abbas and the 'Palestinians' with the exact sum the US Congress was withholding from them...$200 million.My source didn't speculate, but knowing how these things work it's almost guaranteed that the Saudis either received the money from the Obama Administration directly to give to the 'Palestinians' or more likely, that the Saudis supplied the cash in exchange for an American quid pro quo somewhere else down the line.President Obama is going to see to it that the 'Palestinians' receive their jizya no matter what..and a little thing like Congress certainly isn't going to stop him if he can help it.Read the full story here.
- Ten Years in Afghanistan - Top German General Says NATO Mission Has 'Failed'.(Spiegel).It was 10 years ago that the United States, together with its NATO allies, marched into Afghanistan to put an end to Taliban rule and begin the hunt for al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden. A decade later, the terrorist leader is dead. But, says Harald Kujat, former general inspector of the German military, the mission has been a failure."The mission fulfilled the political aim of showing solidarity with the United States," Kujat told the German daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. "But if you measure progress against the goal of stabilizing a country and a region, then the mission has failed."Kujat said that it was ignored for too long that "the opponent was fighting a military battle and we needed to do the same." In reference to claims from German political leaders, among others, he said "the argument that it was a stabilization mission was maintained for too long." The result, he said, is that soldiers were not given what they needed in order to effectively fight the enemy.Kujat is hardly the first to criticize the Afghanistan war. But his words carry weight in Germany. He was a leading planner of the German mission to Afghanistan and served as general inspector of the German military -- the Bundeswehr's highest-ranking soldier -- from 2000 to 2002. Part of his job included advising both the German government and the Defense Ministry on military matters.The former Bundeswehr leader also took aim at Germany's plan to complete withdrawal of all of its 5,000 combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014, a timeline that was reiterated on Friday by Germany's special representative for Afghanistan, Michael Steiner."If we withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014," said Kujat, "then the Taliban will take over power again within just a few months."Hmmmmm......Obama the great 'Tacticus'?Read the full story here.
- Iranian women take off veil for 5 seconds every Thursday.(BikyaMasr).A group of bloggers and human rights activist have called on Iranian women to remove their headscarfs for five seconds every Thursday at 5 PM in opposition to the forcing of the Islamic dress on all women in the country.Iranian women are forced to wear the veil while in public and could face fines and arrests if seen without it.The Iran Star collective blogging site mentioned the call and invited women to take part in the symoblic gesture that expresses their refusal of the law that violates their human rights.“For many years the government dictatorship violated citizenship laws and legal rights and repressed women in our society, therefore we participate in this civil disobedience plan, and sending a clear message to the state,” wrote activists on the Iran Star website.“This is the same message that was sent on March 8, 1979 where our mothers and sisters protested the same,” the website read.Read the full story here.
- Canadian man, family including two minor girls aged 18 months and five years imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.(BikyaMasr).DUBAI: A Canadian man, his wife and two children have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis said, adding that the government has done nothing to pressure the conservative Gulf kingdom for their release.The MP has called on the government that Canada should, at the very least, “pressure for the children, two girls, aged 18 months and five years, to be released.” He said their jailing is a violation of international law and it should not matter what the parents are charged with.In a statement released by Karygiannis’ office, he said Majeed Uddin Ahmed, his wife Zareen and their two girls were picked up by police two weeks ago in Jeddah, where the family has been living for about four years. It remains unclear what prompted the arrests.Diane Ablonczy, minister of state for foreign affairs, said Canadian officials “are working to confirm the family has been detained and to gain access to them.”Read the full story here.
- Yom Kippur drill: IDF simulates war call-up.(Ynet).The IDF is taking no chances on the eve of Yom Kippur. In an unusual and rare step, The IDF's General Staff alerted two reserve divisions as part of an emergency drill in army bases in central and northern Israel. The purpose of the exercise was to test the soldiers' level of response and readiness for war.On Wednesday evening, at 6 pm, reserve soldiers received a phone call ordering them to report to their units immediately. The drill ended on Thursday at 4 pm. The army decided to hold the exercise in the backdrop of recent developments in the Middle East and some 48 hours prior to Yom Kippur. "The timing is more than a coincidence and is part of the army's preparation for the upcoming days in light of changes in the region," Head of the Operations Division's Inspection Department, Col. Shlomi Fayer said. "The two divisions were duly found to be highly ready and capable." A check conducted by the Inspection Department revealed that 90% of the soldiers who were alerted reported for the drill. Commanders were on full attendance. As part of the exercise, infantry and armored forces opened equipment depots and took out tanks and armored vehicles. IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz observed the activity closely during a visit to the war-reserve-stores unit in the Northern Command. Deputy chief of staff Major-General Yair Naveh visited the same unit at the Central Command. "Unlike routine inspection, this time operational activity was directed by the general staff with no pre-determined time frames," Col. Fayer said. Read the full story here.
- Pakistan - Bin Laden death: 'CIA doctor' accused of treason.(BBC).A Pakistani commission investigating the US raid that killed Osama Bin Laden says a doctor accused of helping the CIA should be tried for high treason.Dr Shakil Afridi is accused of running a CIA-sponsored fake vaccine programme in Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was killed, to try to get DNA samples.He was arrested shortly after the 2 May US raid that killed the al-Qaeda chief.The commission has been interviewing intelligence officials and on Wednesday spoke to Bin Laden family members.Pakistan, which was deeply embarrassed by the raid, has described the covert US special forces operation as a violation of its sovereignty.A government commission, headed by a former Supreme Court judge, has been charged with discovering how the US military was able to carry out the raid deep within Pakistan without being detected.It is also investigating how Bin Laden was able to hide in Abbottabad, a garrison town, for several years.After questioning Dr Afridi, the commission said that in view of the record and evidence it was "of the view that prima facie, a case of conspiracy against the State of Pakistan and high treason" should be launched against him.Washington has been arguing that Dr Afridi should be freed and allowed to live in the US.In the weeks after the Bin Laden raid, reports emerged that Dr Afridi, a senior Pakistani doctor, had been recruited by the CIA to organise the phoney vaccine drive.After having tracked down a Bin Laden courier to a high-walled compound in Abbottabad, the CIA wanted to confirm Bin Laden's presence by obtaining a DNA sample from the residents. It is not clear if any DNA from Bin Laden or any family members was ever obtained.After the raid, Pakistani authorities took three of Bin Laden's widows and two of his daughters into custody.The commission said on Thursday that statements had been taken from them and they were no longer required for its investigation.Read the full story here.
- Iranian E-Book: 'The Holocaust – The Jews' Greatest Lie".(Memri).Introduction: Iranian Regime's Policy of Promoting Holocaust Denial. For years, the Iranian regime has used Holocaust denial as a key means of challenging the establishment of the State of Israel, thereby denying its right to exist. The regime has promoted this policy in statements by its senior officials, by enlisting government media organs, and through a range of web-based activities. For example, at a 2009 conference in Tehran in support of the Palestinians, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei linked these two issues by saying that "the Zionists occupied Palestine under the pretext of the Holocaust," and complained that the Western governments and the Western and Zionist media tolerated no questions about the truth of the Holocaust: "The intolerance shown by the Western and Zionist media and pro-Zionist governments toward even the mere posing of any question concerning the Holocaust — which served as an excuse for the usurpation of Palestine — and research on the topic, is one of the signs of [the West's] nervousness and uncertainty."At the forefront of Iranian and worldwide Holocaust denial as a means of delegitimizing Israel stands Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said in January 2009 that "breaking the padlock of the Holocaust and reexamining it will be tantamount to cutting the vital arteries of the Zionist regime." Similarly, in an August 26, 2011 speech in Tehran on the occasion of Qods Day, he declared that "the Holocaust is one of the greatest lies" ever told. In an interview with Portuguese RTP television in early September 2011, Ahmadinejad once again challenged the Holocaust, saying that "if the Holocaust happened at all, it happened in Europe; thus, for the Palestinians to pay the price for it is unjustified." He added that the Holocaust was used as a "political game by the imperialists to control the region."Other prominent figures in the Iranian regime who have been party to this Holocaust denial policy include Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan and an associate of Khamenei, who said, "The Holocaust, or the slaughter of Jews during World War II by German Nazis, is a myth and a contrived story."
E-Book Expresses Empathy for Hitler.
The Iranian website Wwii.ir, owned by the World War II Society and one of a number of websites promoting Holocaust denial, operates with the permission of the Iranian regime. In advance of the U.N.-designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, the website posted in 2011 an article claiming that the Jews and the West were spreading lies regarding the Nazi extermination of the Jews, providing as evidence various documents and photographs that it claimed had been doctored.Read the full story here.
- Finland: 79 Children Will Require Lifetime Medical Care After Receiving Swine Flu Vaccine.(AP).The Finnish government and major insurance companies announced Wednesday they will pay for lifetime medical care for children diagnosed with narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine.“The compensation will provide much-needed financial assistance for the families, although it cannot take away the emotional distress caused by this condition,” Social Services and Health Minister Paula Risikko said in a statement.Finnish and international researchers recently found a conclusive link between the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine and new cases of narcolepsy, a chronic nervous system disorder which causes people to often uncontrollably fall asleep.The Finnish Pharmaceutical Insurance Pool (LVP), which represents insurance companies, said Wednesday it would honour all insurance claims in this category.LVP said it would review each claim individually to calculate the scope of the payout.The Finnish government meanwhile agreed to cover any medical costs exceeding the insurance claims.In Finland, 79 children between the ages of four and 19 developed narcolepsy after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine in 2009 and 2010.Of these cases, an unusually high number, 76, also suffered from bouts of cataplexy, suffering hallucinations or paralysing physical collapses, according to Finnish research.Read the full story here.
- How Not To Help Palestinian Democracy.(ElliotAbrams).This week the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) admitted the Palestine National Council to a new status, as a “Partner for Democracy.”As a news story explained,
The new “Partner for Democracy,” which was given until now only to the Moroccan parliament in June of this year, is intended, PACE said, for parliaments from regions neighboring the Council of Europe who wish to benefit from the Assembly’s experience of democracy-building and to debate common challenges.
Now, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe consists of people elected to their national parliaments. The Council of Europe, with 47 member countries, claims that it “seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.”So it is fair to ask whether the Palestine National Council (PNC) deserves to be honored by the PACE, and is similarly reflective of or devoted to democracy.What is the PNC? It is not the Palestinian parliament; that is called the PLC or Palestinian Legislative Council, and is in theory elected by the people living in Gaza and the West Bank. One has to add “in theory” because elections haven’t been held since 2006 and the terms of all members have expired. The PNC is instead part of the PLO.
As Al Jazeera helpfully explains,
“The PNC is the highest authority in the PLO and is considered to be the parliament of all Palestinians inside and outside of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem…. it should be mentioned that the functioning of the PNC is irregular, and is constrained by regional developments and political climates.”Irregular is a polite way of putting it. The members of the PNC are not and have never been elected. No one is quite sure who is a member and who is not, nor how many members there are right now. It last met two years ago.No need to belabor the point: it is simply scandalous that the PNC was admitted to any form of relationship with the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. No doubt the PACE members thought they were doing something nice, friendly, and pro-Palestinian, in the immediate aftermath of the Palestinian effort at UN membership in New York. But in honoring the PNC this way they have in fact done what Western democrats have so often done over the decades, when Arafat was alive and since: they have not been willing to apply normal democratic standards to Palestinian political life. Once again they have engaged in what George W. Bush in a wholly different context called “the soft bigotry of low expectations” and in so doing have abandoned those Palestinians truly engaged in a struggle for democracy.Hmmm......Democracy?.....Who, What, .....Where?Read the full story here.
- First Episode In Jihadi Cartoon Features A Child Avenging His Father's Death With Booby-Trapped Toy.(Memri).On October 1, 2011, a member of the Shumoukh Al-Islam Jihadi forum posted a comic strip in which a child uses a booby-trapped toy car to destroy an enemy's military vehicle. The thread, titled "Stories of A Martyr's Son," was posted by someone using the name "Qasf Al-Ru’ood." In the introduction, the member lays the background story to his series, while saying that it takes place in a blessed land that was invaded by the enemies of Islam, and the people of the land resisted and many of them were killed. One of the martyrs was a man who left four sons; the youngest of them is named Qassem, who is the hero of the first installment.Hmmmm.....They 'grow' up so fast before you know it they're gone with the wind?Read and see the full story here.