Tom Curley, head of Associated Press, says that US military officials threatened to "ruin" the AP if it covered the war in Iraq in unflattering ways.
[ Harper's ]
The US State Department will spend about $4.7-billion on "public relations" inside the US this year. The biggest chunk of that, not surprisingly, is spent on advertising and recruiting aimed at adolescents and young adults to get them into the war machine. I'm a little surprised that AP is willing to use the word "propaganda" to describe what the Pentagon is doing, but of course that's the correct word, and it's either illegal or ought to be.
"If we can't think for ourselves, if we're unwilling to question authority, then we're just putty in the hands of those in power. But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us."
The occupation of Afghanistan is going so poorly for the occupiers, with supply lines disrupted and the Taliban in control of most of the nation, President Obama is reportedly considering the postponement of his foolhardy "surge" plans there.
[ London Times, distilled by Informed Consent ]
Construction continues on Forward Operating Base Delta in occupied Iraq. "Rows of one-room trailers spring up almost overnight on vacant gravel lots, and by mid-February they will replace most of the base's tent housing. A new theater is scheduled to open in mid-February, and construction is under way on a second dining facility worth $30 million." Are we or aren't we leaving in 16 months? A second dining facility
worth $30 million? Wow -- it must have tiffany chandeliers. --Wig
[ Stars & Stripes ]
Iraqi officials say that American troops shot and killed two religious pilgrims on Saturday.
[ Cable News Network ]
Peanut Corporation of America already knew their legumes were contaminated with salmonella when they sold 32 truckloads of toxic peanuts to the USDA's school lunch program.
[ Washington Post ]
Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), the Halliburton subsidiary that did the electrical wiring work in Iraq that's killed at least two American soldiers, has been awarded a $35-million contract to do more electrical work for the Pentagon in Iraq.
[ Associated Press ]
Republican Chair Michael Steele is a crook, says his former campaign finance guy.
[ Washington Post ]
Liberty Legal Institute, a group affiliated with arch-rightwing nut James Dobson and the Free Market Foundation, provided key funding for the attorneys who represented six Alaska legislators and tried to kill the "troopergate" investigation.
[ Raw Story ]
Todd Palin, husband of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, is among ten people who've been held in contempt for ignoring subpoenas in that investigation.
[ Associated Press ]
Yes and of course, Obama's stimulus plan is hardly a plan, it's nowhere near big enough, and it leaves virtually untouched all the regulatory non-structure that brought us to this situation. It sucks, but it's something, and that's one something more than anything that's come out of any Republican's mouth. And yet, Obama and the Democrats have already given Republicans hundreds of billions in foolhardy tax cuts. If you'd like a quick short cut through the clutter of Republican lies arguing for still more tax cuts after eight years of non-stop tax cuts, here's what you're looking for.
[ Mother Jones ]
Almost 600,000 American jobs that existed at the end of December didn't exist any more by the end of January.
[ Washington Monthly ]
The head of the World Trade Organization says we could see riots in the street if the economic down-spiral continues un-checked. I would only ask that the rioters target the World Trade Organization and its management.
[ Agence France-Presse ]
Three more American banks have collapsed in the past few days.
[ Money Times ]
As Republicans bleat about looming socialism for America, it's obvious that they don't know what socialism is. But if we accept their silly definition, here's a brief tour of "great achievements in American socialism".
[ Salon ]
Among the economic bigwigs chatting over their cocktails in Davos, there's almost nothing but gloom and fear about the world's collapsing economy. Yet so far as I can tell from closely watching news reports for years now, even at this late date there have been virtually no changes to the horrendous
banking and investment laws which brought about the current crisis. The chicken coop door is still wide open here. And we're still dropping more live chickens in there for the foxes, as fast as we can. --JR Mooneyham
[ The Guardian (London, UK) ]
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is asking for an increase in his income taxes, and the taxes of anyone making more than a million dollars a year. He suggests a 50% tax rate for such big paychecks, so that whenever you hear about some overpaid executive or ball player, you can remember that half his income (the overpaid are almost always men) is going to Uncle Sam. It's a suggestion that makes sense, but as Silicon Beat points out, it's still a bargain -- the tax rates for millionaires used to be much, much higher.
[ Silicon Beat ]
Universal health care is one big piece of economic recovery -- not to mention human rights -- that's already been taken off the table by the Obama administration. Now might be a good time to make a ruckus about this, if you think there's anyone in Washington DC who's smart enough to listen and not already owned by the medical crooks.
[ Common Dreams ]
After five years of house arrest, Pakistani officials have freed A. Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb who sold his knowledge to Iranians, North Koreans, and Libyans. He was never prosecuted and, we're told, he never will be. Imagine the problems we'd face if Pakistan wasn't our staunch ally in the war on whatever.
[ Washington Post and Associated Press ]
About 50 prisoners at the Guantanamo concentration camp are on an extended hunger strike, and being force-fed. Twenty are on what's called the "critical list".
[ The Guardian (London, UK) ]
"Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that 11 men released from the US prison at Guantánamo Bay are now on the kingdom's most-wanted list despite having attended its touted extremist rehabilitation program." Such claims of recidivism among ex-Guantanamo prisoners are favored talking points among pro-torture activists, so let's ponder this for a moment. First, it's hard to imagine who wouldn't emerge from years of torture without vowing vengeance. Second, if these men were known to be terrorists before they were released from Guantanamo, why did the Bush-Cheney administration let them go instead of having them
tried and justly imprisoned? And third, Saudi Arabia is a brutal regime with no respect for human rights, so its press releases are not terribly trustworthy -- and it's "extremist rehabilitation program" probably involves hanging prisoners by their toenails.
[ Associated Press ]
Republicans are offering to drop their opposition to Obama's nominee for Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis. And all they're asking in return is that she agree not to support labor rights -- specifically, the Employee Free Choice Act, which is the best labor legislation in years. Like most of the Republicans' ideas in these first weeks of the Obama administration, it's as if they don't understand that they're now the minority party. And the Democrats don't seem to understand that they're now the majority.
[ The American Prospect ]
Obama has signed the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), providing health coverage for some 11,000,000 kids who would've been left un-insured if John McCain was President.
[ Associated Press ]
The Environmental Protection Agency has dropped its Bush-era objections to the regulation of mercury emissions from power plants.
[ SCOTUS Blog ]
Judd Gregg is still Obama's nominee for Secretary of Commerce. And I'm still trying to make sense of it.
[ Unknown News ]
The NSA's "surveillance-industrial complex" is building a contraption that James Bamford describes as "HAL", straight out of the movie 2001.
[ Public Broadcasting Service ]
The electronic fingerprinting used by YouTube to seek and destroy illegally posted content sure leaves a lot to be desired.
[ Electronic Frontier Foundation ]
In England, a pharmacologist on the government's Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs wants ecstasy downgraded from "holy crap it'll kill you" to "it's about as dangerous as horseback riding." It's been a while since I've heard much panic about ecstasy -- American "experts" who lie about drugs have moved on to other, trendier drugs -- but I knew at least three regular ecstasy users when we lived in San Francisco. All were gainfully employed and no better or worse off than average folks of their age and income. Probably better off than the average, since unlike us they were able to afford living in San Francisco.
[ BBC News ]
It made me stop and think
"In right-wing rhetoric, all public spending is pork. Here's a list of the 'pork' about to be cut from the stimulus bill: Head Start, education for the disadvantaged, school improvement, child nutrition, firefighters, Transportation Security Administration, Coast Guard, prisons, cops hiring, violence against women, NASA, NSF, Western Area Power Administration, CDC, food stamps ... It really is time for torches and pitchforks, people."
[ Barbara O'Brien ]
"It's time for Mr. Obama to go on the offensive. Above all, he must not shy away from pointing out that those who stand in the way of his plan, in the name of a discredited economic philosophy, are putting the nation's future at risk. The American economy is on the edge of catastrophe, and much of the Republican Party is trying to push it over that edge."
[ Paul Krugman ]
"The public should demand a real accounting. Why does the Fed grow hysterical over a 2.5 percent inflation rate but think that $10 trillion financial bubbles can be ignored? Where was the Treasury Department during the Clinton and Bush administrations? What about congressional oversight? Did no one in Congress think that massive bubbles might pose a problem? Why do economists worry so much more about small tariffs on steel and shirts than about gigantic financial bubbles? What exactly do the people who get paid millions of dollars by Wall Street financial firms do for their money? And finally, why don't the business and economic reporters ask any of these questions?"
[ Dean Baker ]
In two different federal courts, judges have come to effectively opposite conclusions about whether police have the constitutional right to search peoples' handheld electronic devices without a warrant.
[ CNet News ]
A database maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, and used to verify the legal status of employees, is unreliable. Also, water is wet and ice cubes are cold.
[ USA Today ]
President Obama's Policy Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will include a gay black man, Fred Davie. It's hard to know whether Davie's presence will make it less likely that faith-based groups taking federal funds will be able to discriminate in hiring, but it's a good gesture, I suppose. Of course, it goes without saying so I'll say it again: The federal government shouldn't have any office with the words "faith-based" in its title.
[ Gay Politics ]
Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa, has expelled a US diplomat who, Ecuadorians say, tried to meddle with that country's anti-smuggling (presumably, anti-drug) efforts.
[ Associated Press ]
Apparently, everyone aboard the aid ship seized by Israelis a few days ago has been released. Several say they were beaten. Israelis say that no weapons were found on the ship. No apologies, of course. Israel says their actions were justified because the ship "could be used for smuggling banned equipment [weaponry etc.] into or out of the Gaza Strip." I have a Radio Flyer wagon in my basement that also "could be used" for smuggling, so presumably I need to be seized and beaten, too.
[ Daily Star (Lebanon) ]
You may remember a week or so ago, when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke bluntly about Israel's war crimes in Gaza. Now an Israeli official says of Erdogan, "He won't mediate anything any more. His stint as mediator between Israel and the Arabs is over, that's for sure. He won't be accepted as an honest broker by Israel at all." Right. Only supporters of Israeli policies can be "honest brokers". --Wig
[ Associated Press ]
After loudly hollering about having a UN school hit by an Israeli missile during the recent Gaza atrocities, the United Nations and Palestinians now agree that the missile didn't hit the school. It hit in front of the school. An angry pro-Israel emailer tells me he'll lose all respect for our website if we don't publish this news, then adds that he'll sue if we publish his email. First, we already had this news queued up for publication, 'cuz it's news. Second, we generally don't publish emails if the sender asks us not to, so there's no need for threats. And third, because of the anti-Arab tone of I'll Sue You's email, we've blocked his email address. In our apartment, bigots and blowhards aren't welcome.
[ Washington Post ]
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, running to get his old gig back, says he'd never ever return the Golan Heights. The West's delusion of bringing peace to the Middle East through negotiation
with Israel begs the question : Do any of these "Peace Envoys" ever learn
from the refusal of the Israelis to negotiate in good faith? --Wig
[ Agence France-Presse ]
I'm definitely for free-spirited debates and the off-loading of stress in written form but I have to ask: When does all the spewing of hot air end and the actual physical action begin? I've been going to protests lately and at maximum 50 people show up.
I understand people are scared to death to lose their jobs during the day and that people have children. When I was a kid I just got bundled up and taken out. I guess my parents could have been called bad parents for taking their kids out to a protest but I've grown into a person that acts to help my battles along.
When I lived in the SF Bay area there were at minimum, hundreds of people at a protest. (Or several protests of 50 people or more going on all around the city and neighboring cities.)Any protest. At maximum-thousands. (Actually there still are.) Here (LA) it's hectic bringing together 50 people after 7 PM. Or on a Saturday. LA is a HUGE city. Are we so complacent or tired or scared that open protests mean nothing now? Is the in thing calling and writing? What's happening? Maybe I'm just getting old. The hot air is great but I'd love to see some real protesting. Perhaps when the weather gets warmer, or something.
Oh well -- such is life.
We're seeing far fewer and smaller protests here in Madison, a city that's maybe 1/25th the size of Los Angeles. A lot of people think the battles are over and the good guys won. Bush is gone, so they're thinking there's nothing to protest.
My feeling is the opposite -- protesting from 2000-08 was a much-needed matter of mental health for we the protesters, but it had little political impact. The Bush-Cheney administration never paid the slightest attention to protest or public opinion. One of the most tangible improvements of an Obama presidency is that this President might actually pause and ponder protests, so now is the time to make a ruckus. And people have busy lives, so if they can't make it to a protest but they've written a letter to the editor, that's doing something too. Do what you can, is all I ask.
The biggest protests I've been to recently were about local issues. "Pro-life" wackos have been out in force here, trying to get abortions banned at a local clinic, but we've joyously beaten back their efforts.
Helen & Harry Highwater
What an interesting perspective. It never even entered my mind that people would stop protesting because they thought the good guys won, because there is still so much going wrong. I do understand people having busy lives but my fear is that their lives are going to become "unbusy" very quickly if they don't start paying attention to what's going on around them.
We don't have a lot of pro-life nutters around here but they're definitely in the pockets of Ventura County, the Central valley, and up North toward the border.
I do hope people start at least contemplating protesting again. Just because the media squelched protests and the administration ignored them didn't mean they weren't relevant. It just meant to me that our protests weren't big enough. :) I love the way France protests (for the most part). I like to see things shut down and undone. That way the media can't hide it and the politicians are forced to make statements -- even if they're harsh ones.
French protests are awesome (the word is overused, but I mean it literally). When I hear ignorant Americans belittling the French, it's the indomitable spirit of French protests that makes me shake my head no.
France has a functioning media that reports the news, but America doesn't. And that's the biggest, most obvious explanation I can pinpoint between the French attitude of taking no crap and the American attitude of taking nothing but crap.
Helen & Harry Highwater
#The curious timing of the death of Barry Jennings: Barry Jennings was in WTC7 on the morning of September 11, 2001. He found himself trapped in the building because of an explosion. He has said that the explosion occurred before either WTC1 or WTC2 collapsed. [link] He was trapped in the building for several hours and said he heard other explosions.
Barry Jennings died on August 19, 2008, but oddly the news of his death was not released until several weeks later. The cause of death has not been revealed. [pdf]
Two days after Barry died, NIST released their report on the cause of the collapse of WTC7. They concluded there were no explosions in WTC7.
Their conclusion is that fire weakened one key steel support column causing it to give way and this led to a progressive collapse of the entire building. This is the first and only case of a high rise building collapsing due to fire. The fires burned for about 7 hours before the building collapsed.
911research.wtc7.net has a picture of the rubble pile of the collapsed building. Remarkably, the pile confined itself to a very small footprint, not touching any of the nearby buildings.
One famous high rise fire occurred in Madrid Spain in 2005. The Windsor Hotel burned for 24 hours. It did not collapse. Compare the damage sustained by this building, which can be seen here with the fire damage sustained by WTC7 which can be seen here.
In view of Barry Jennings' testimony that there were explosions in WTC7, the many photos of other high rise buildings which suffered catastrophic damage from fire yet did not collapse and the absence of any other high rise ever collapsing due to fire, I do not find the NIST conclusions credible.
While Barry is no longer with us to contradict the NIST report, another individual, Michael Hess, who was trapped in WTC7 with Barry has also testified he heard explosions.
My friend, you cannot imagine the depth of my disinterest in publishing a website where the minutia of 9/11 conspiracy theories are discussed in detail.
It's not "odd" to me, if Mr Jennings' death wasn't reported until the next issue of his workplace newsletter -- not every death in New York City gets an obituary in the Times. It's not unusual and not suspicious that the cause of his death hasn't been publicly announced. The timing of his death is not "curious" to me -- he was an overweight black man in his 50s, and thus susceptible to numerous health issues. You imply that he was silenced before the release of the NIST report, but in his seven years after 9/11 the media was never interested in his recollections, so really, what's to silence? It's not like he'd be on 20/20 if he was alive.
I don't know much about how buildings collapse. I've read several dueling articles on the subject, but I'd need at least a few semesters of night school to form an informed opinion about such things, or about how the collapse of a Spanish hotel compares to the collapse of WTC7. I will never have the knowledge or confidence to state, as you do, that a report by the National Institute of Science and Technology is not credible.
I have questions about the tidy collapse of Building 7, of course, and about virtually all the events of 9/11. But I don't have answers. The truth on such topics isn't waiting to be discovered by people who share the right articles or click certain websites. The answers will come only with a serious investigation by people who have genuine expertise, ample funding, subpoena power, and a commitment to digging as deep as it takes to find the truth. You may have one of these four necessary attributes, but I have none.
Helen & Harry Highwater
Perhaps I should have used "odd coincidence" instead of "curious." I didn't mean to imply
there was any causal connection. In fact, the other man who was trapped with Jennings is
alive. And he also states there were explosions. He is living proof there is no causal
relationship between Jennings death and the release of the NIST report.
If anything can be gathered from the timing, it is that things happen at odd times and
have no causal relationship. Conspiracy theorists sometimes like to use an odd
coincidence as evidence of the conspiracy. Jennings death is an example which shows the
human mind is apt to jump and make causal relationships when there are none.
To me the important part of the testimony is that people say there were explosions and yet
NIST states there is no evidence there were explosions. Perhaps to them, witness
statements are not evidence. NIST's 7 year investigation of the collapse is seriously
flawed. That was the point I was trying to make with my clumsy wording.
For me, the most likely cause of the collapse is a combination of explosions in the
morning, which Jennings heard, weakening the structure of the building and 7 hours of
fire. The explosions weakened the supports enough so that the sustained fire was
sufficient to cause the final collapse. But I left that out of my earlier email because
it is only my opinion. I'm putting it in this email because you've falsely jumped at
concluding I am advocating putting Jennings' story on your page because of some conspiracy
The most recent entry on your 9/11 page is dated in
March of 2008. The NIST report came out in the summer of 2008 and
merits some inclusion on that page. Possibly you're not updating that page anymore?
It's been a long time since I've seen anything that seemed 9/11 newsworthy, but if we saw something we'd still post it on that page. I remember news accounts about the NIST report, but I didn't and don't see how that's worthwhile as unknown news -- the NIST report is just the official story. And some guys said they heard explosions, but I don't see how that's worthwhile either. Until somebody who's credible establishes that there were or weren't explosions, it's a story that leads nowhere.
Helen & Harry Highwater
Asking for an independent investigation is nice, but it won't happen. Who would fund it?
Surely not the government as they already found what they wanted to find. Looking any
closer might turn up something unpleasant. The NIST report marks the end of all federal
government investigations into the collapse of the WTC buildings on September 11, 2001.
Almost certainly you are correct, which means that whatever's been covered up will remain covered up. It stinks like a fresh dead skunk, but there it is.
It would be a sweet improvement if the opposition in government could fund their own opposition investigations. But for eight years there's been no opposition at all.
Helen & Harry Highwater
Just send him over to Mike at whatreallyhappned.com. Mike keeps his 9/11 pages updated
frequently and if there isn't an article that can answer in the pages or the archive Sir
J's question Mike will surely know in which direction to point him.
Hey, I don't want to send SirJ anywhere -- I love the guy.
I like What Really Happened, and it's in my regular surf cycle for news gathering, but Mike is a lot looser about what he's willing to link to than we are. We prefer to keep our distance from the fringe stuff, while Mike revels in it -- but to each his or her own.
Helen & Harry Highwater
i have a new meal for healthier eating. perhaps you will like it...
i have been buying chicken half breast packages, which is what I like but I guess whole chickens are good too. anyway, I bake the whole batch for about an hour at 400 and then put them in the frig or freezer for later use (one per day per person.) this produces a lot of chicken grease which gets poured off and discarded or recycled.
then... quick soup:
cut up onion fast as possible, big chunks ok. put in pot with about 2 qts water along with some dried garlic and 1 tablespoon of turmeric and a little bit of cinnamon pepper or hot sauce and little bit of salt
start heating to a boil.
cut/break up chicken meat into bite size pieces and add to boiling onion stock (take off skin to get rid of extra fat)...
reduce heat to medium/low.
then wash off some cabbage leaves, carrots and broccoli
the carrots and broccoli stems you can cut quickly by whittling the stem at an angle to create 1/4 inch thick bite size chunks that cook quickly.
then add the veggies and turn off the heat, but put a lid on and let the residual heat soften the veggies.
when cool, eat up. makes quite a bit of food, enough for an entire day.
this is extra good if you have some split pea soup leftovers. those can be added to the soup stock for flavor and heft.
P.S. the turmeric is the key ingredient! it makes the soup yellowish. you can add even more if you like. recently I bought a pound of the stuff on sale for about $3 but normal groceries charge about $4 for 1.5 ounces. good stuff. is main ingredient in mustard if you even check the ingredient list of that...
Excerpt: ISPs aren't the only game in town-especially in small towns. WISPs, or
wireless Internet service providers, would like a chance to connect you as
I checked for WISPs in my area and found one in the neighboring county (so we can't use it). Are their rates affordable? No idea. I'd have to refresh my comprehension regarding bandwidth rates to figure that out.
Tech talk is usually over my head, but I want to be intrigued by any affordable option for reliable internet access. I spent ten minutes looking into wireless internet service providers, but before any of it sunk into my head I stumbled across these guys, offering internet access through your electric wiring, which strikes me as just plain wacky. Do you (does anyone) know anything about this?
This is one of many hyped up internet possibilities which seems to have fizzled out due to technical (and maybe safety) glitches, mainly. Otherwise power companies everywhere would surely have jumped on it (people have been discussing it and experimenting with it for at least 10 years now). One of the biggest trial rollouts was in Britain I think, and something unexpected happened with street lamp posts (can't recall the details).
Using your home's electrical wiring as a LAN might be much more practical than actually letting your ISP come in over AC. But even that doesn't seem to have gotten much traction.
Peer to peer wireless will likely be the ultimate connection method for both cell phones and the net. And could roll out amazingly fast if somebody big pushed it (like cover 70% of the US in roughly a year). The hold-up seems to be fighting over tech specs and corporations wanting to milk present infrastructure as long as possible. So places like Africa might actually leapfrog us on this.
When I say peer-to-peer wireless here, I mean every new example of car, desktop, laptop, cell phone, and video game would be its own tiny transmitting tower, always talking to any others in range. The more such gadgets showed up in your local town, the faster and more reliable (and cheaper) the net would get, automatically.
Have you checked into the HughesNet service? I used it a year ago when I was house-sitting a friends house in an area which although it had phone ISP service there was no AOL free connection and the service was too expensive. It isn't cheap either but it provides reliable connection to the Internet. I've had to stop service because I've sold my trailer and moved into an apartment complex that doesn't permit dishes on the property. I've been looking for someone in the area who might be interested in the equipment (dish and modem) for nothing but their ability to come and pick up the equipment. No takers yet. Guess there are too many other ISP's in the area.
I should probably just shut up and be content with Charter Communications. Certainly can't afford to pay more than they're charging. They're reliable until there's a problem, but when you're talking to their phenomenally incompetent service department you might as well be mumbling to yourself in the corner.
Helen & Harry Highwater
Whoops! Cringely says I spoke too soon about internet over power lines. He claims Google's new power meter is maybe just the first step in Google somehow bringing the internet to us all over our electric wires.
It sounds like they might be overcoming the earlier problems with net over power wires by stringing optical fiber alongside the power wires -- and only running the net through actual electric wires the last 100 feet or so into the home (or maybe covering the last 100 feet wirelessly instead).
Doing it this way seems a neat solution to covering the final few feet in the system, which everyone has complained about for years as being messy and expensive.
But still, installing all those new meters on everyone's home, PLUS stringing all that optical fiber, still sounds like some pretty big hurdles to get over, to me (and something which could require another 5-10 years, too -- damn it!).
This new net channel also wouldn't be free, but just new competition for the cable and phone companies.
But at least it's a hint of a rumor of a guess about some improvement we might see down the road...much like what the whole Obama Administration has been so far...
Power to the People
#Sister Rachel ... over the edge Well, Harry & Helen, it is ironic that Doug Noland's "Credit Bubble Bulletin" of Feb 6 hit the wires just as Rachel's Friday night show began (excerpted following my comments).
If it were not for the fact that the Obama government is heading the USA into monetary and fiscal oblivion, Rachel's rants and raves about the Repug opposition to the stimulus bill would make perfect sense to me. Certainly I am in favor of helping individuals with food, shelter, medical care and transportation to job locations (but not excessively comfortably), while giving zero to corporations, who need to be strengthened by competition (just as the Swedes would do ... or Jesus :-)
The reality is that President Obama is turning out to be a Very Bad President. He isn't about stopping the wars, but is escalating in Afghanistan, and he is not prosecuting the war criminals in the former regime. He is spending more on defense and is doing bupkis for the poor. His cabinet is full of Democrats who helped create the current crisis and apparently few of them can even operate Turbo Tax competently -- or at least, feed it truthful data. Obama is just a cog in the Machine. Better than Bush but basically just a confidence man, a smooth talking bullsh*t "artiste".
Obama complained today that everyone now claims to be an economist. Well, I'd rather not have "economists" assisting us anymore. I'd rather have people who know how to run a business advising us, or who know how to do an honest day's work. Few economists could survive in the "real world", outside of academia or Big Government, so why are we betting our future on these charlatans?
The good news is that we Know the Truth now about Obama and his regime. The uncertainty is gone and we can place our wagers using actual data and make informed speculations.
Excerpt from Doug Noland's latest: What are we really dealing with here? First of all,
the system is suffering through the breakdown in
contemporary "Wall Street finance." As wrenching and
destabilizing as it continues to be, this process
should be differentiated from outright financial
collapse. Confidence in Wall Street "money" (their
previously perceived safe and liquid securities and
instruments) has been shattered. Myriad sophisticated
Credit instruments have been discredited and thus will
no longer provide a viable mechanism for system Credit
expansion. Importantly, however, confidence has been
sustained for system "money" more generally.
As I've noted in previous writings, analysts made a
momentous blunder earlier this decade when they
mistook the collapse of the technology Bubble (and
attendant recession and corporate debt problems) for
the onset of "deflation." Reflationary policymaking
without regard to the nature of inflationary
consequences proved disastrous. We're about to repeat
this error. ...
Mary Ann M.
Clearly, from his campaign and from his first weeks in office, it's fair to say that Obama is a middle-of-the-road moderate who doesn't like to ruffle anyone's feathers. And since we're basically plunging over the abyss from decades of "moderate" leadership and eight years of sheer insanity, we need something much more radical than moderate featherbedding and feather-smoothing.
My inclination is to give Obama at least a couple of months before settling into a firm opinion regarding his success or failure. Maybe he'll pull an FDR -- realize that moderate tactics aren't working, and start making the big changes, 'cuz big changes are the only thing that could save America's economy from a slump so long we'll be dead before it's over.
Your man Noland is a little over my head, but if I'm getting his meaning he seems to be spot on -- a radical overhaul is imperative, and airdropping billions into the economy won't fix the system's inherently stupid structure. Time is of the essence, and Obama needs to snap out of his trance pronto. While we're waiting for the President to maybe wake up, his "honeymoon" of political power dwindles, and the already enormous problems grow ever more enormous.
Looks to me like we've got a rickety building made of rotting plywood and it's on fire. A well-aimed fire hose isn't a bad idea, but if there's not some serious hammer-and-nail reconstruction too, then it just makes a teetering, flimsy shack soggy. So we're left with a waterlogged hovel -- it might not burn to the ground, but just lean on the wrong wall or step on a squeaky floorboard and the whole shack is going to collapse into rubble and ruin.
Helen & Harry Highwater
I am inclined to agree with you, and with Rachel M.
BUT... I can't (except in a personally supportive
way for you personally). Obama simply does not
have the team needed to do the job properly,
and he doesn't have the ability to do everything
by himself (to say nothing of the fact that he
leads the rest of the government using an invisible
leash -- and they'll not go along with actual
changes until a real disaster strikes ... so more
of the same old sh*t is in store.)
Here is another news item. The Geithner plan to
stabilize the banking system is supposed to be
announced Monday. The news mills are pumping out
the rumors that this is merely a plan to handle
the TARP money. If these rumors are true then the
stock markets are headed for a steep decline next
week because it was generally believed that
Obama/Geithner had a comprehensive plan that
would require two trillion dollars. If they are
merely updating us on how they plan to spend
the next $350 billion then -- WOW -- they obviously
don't have a grasp of the extent or nature of
the problem. All hell is likely to break out.
Watch the GLOBEX futures markets Sunday night and
see the S&P futures crater:
Mary Ann M.
Boobs. Obama has put boobs in charge almost everywhere. They look like boobs, act like boobs, and they have long résumés inside brassieres. Most of Obama's boobs are nominally better than Bush-Cheney's cronies and criminals, but several seem of equal boobitude to me -- Geithner and Paulson look like a matched set.
Excerpt: Netanyahu's Likud party is leading the polls for the coming elections of February 10. He has opposed creation of new settlements, but said he would allow "natural growth."
Over the last decade, Israel has officially not built any new settlements, but termed all new settlement construction necessary to "natural growth."
It used to be known as "bald face lying". Any challenge to this policy is immediately denounced as "anti-Semitism".
As an American, if you offer any serious complaints about American policies, there's a stupid and dishonest but loud subsection of Americans who'll shout "Why do you hate America?" And similarly, if you point out the obvious inhumanity of Israel's policies, you'll hear from a stupid and dishonest but loud subsection of Israelis and Americans, "Why do you hate the Jews?" In both cases, it's just the stupid, trying to drown out what they don't want to hear, and the dishonest, trying to drown out what they don't want others to hear.
Agreed. My problem with this is that, as a "bleeding heart liberal" believing in the basic goodness of people but at the same time a realistic pragmatist knowing that there is also a devious strain in some people, it's so difficult to defend the basic goodness side.
Excerpt: ... d'Escoto's absence also averted what was likely to be an awkward scene at the ceremony. In recent days, several strongly pro-Israel Jewish organizations had called for him to step aside, citing his attacks on Israeli policies and his embrace of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following Ahmadinejad's speech at the U.N. in September 2008.
Abraham H. Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said Friday that D'Escoto's "presence would be an insult to the memory of the millions of victims slaughtered at the hands of the Nazis and a slap in the face to the survivors of those atrocities, to the families of those lost, and to the Jewish people".
In view of the victims SLAUGHTERED at the hands of the Israelis it's time that the Israeli continued attempt to accuse everyone on its blacklist of being "an insult to the memory" be relegated to the junk pile of history. If they want to keep it an internal Israeli remembrance, OK, but it's time they ceased its use of "THE HOLOCAUST" as a club against the world.
I lived through the second world war and am well aware of the atrocities committed by the Nazis and I don't think the world has to be instructed perpetually by the Jews who think they have been the only ones who have been mistreated throughout history. I found the Nazi treatment of the Jews an abomination. I also find the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians equally an abomination.
Excerpt: In 2007, Robert Nardelli was ousted as chief executive of Home Depot after a series of strategic moves failed to boost the
firm's stock price. Much to the outrage of shareholders and lawmakers, the company
pushed Nardelli out the door with a $210 million golden parachute.
If failing to boost the stock price was the reason for giving the "golden parachute" it would seem to me the greedy stockholders are more to blame than Nardelli.
Excerpt: The company would also have to craft a "name and shame" policy that discloses how executives spend company funds on holiday parties, corporate jets and other luxury items.
Would the US Congress be required to practice what it preaches?
Excerpt: Government officials have said that no aid will be offered to Chrysler unless the company submits a restructuring plan to the administration by Feb. 17.
What a farce. What and who knows what this exactly means. This was made by the Bush knuckleheads who presided over the economic decent that's lead to the present mess.
Whether or not there is a federal case here, I wonder if there is a philosophical
question involved. Question: If it is unlawful for a person to misrepresent him or herself as a law enforcement officer, why isn't it unlawful for law
enforcement officers to misrepresent themselves as lawbreakers? In both cases
deception is the motive. Now, I'm all in favor of law enforcement but it seems to
me that deception by anyone is not kosher.
Philosophically, I don't have a problem with cops working undercover to catch genuine bad guys, but I would definitely like to see the bar for entrapment lowered, so that undercover cops can't coax people into illegal activities. I would also object to non-cops impersonating law enforcement officers, since we the people are required to do what cops tell us to do (with only very exceptional exceptions), from being pulled over on the highway to letting them into our homes when they show a piece of allegedly official paper. I do think there's something Just Plain Wrong about the Martha Stewart law, where it's a crime to lie to investigators (that was the crime she went to prison for).
There's the rub. Stewart goes to jail for lying to the FBI investigators. But they don't go to jail for lying to people. I can't for the life of me follow the logic in differentiation. It's like the legal concept "Implied Consent". It drives me up the wall. But you see my problem is in being an anachronism. A free thinker in a highly regulated legal entrapment society.
Excerpt: "Israel believes in freedom of the press and in the public's right to know," a Foreign Ministry official said Monday. "This is a rearrangement of relations between Israel and the Al Jazeera network in light of the present situation."
LOL!!! Right, a "rearrangement of relations" I can't control my laughter.
Why are Democrats so perpetually stupid about naming their legislation? Why is this being called a "stimulus package" instead of a jobs bill? It's a heck of a lot easier for Republicans to argue against a "stimulus package" than it would be to argue against a "jobs bill"...
Dems are the same geniuses who call children's health insurance "S-CHIP". Who the hell wants to argue for something called S-CHIP? If they would've called it the Children's Health Insurance Bill it would've passed years ago. All this while Republicans double the legal smog limit and call it "The Clear Air Act".
#A note from your editors: While surfing the web for news, I always prefer sites where clicking a link opens a new window, so we're thinking of making that the default setting for Unknown News links. If you have an opinion pro or con, please let me know.
Like the URL says, this website is about "unknown news". It's a thrice-weekly round-up of reports we think merit more attention, from mainstream, professional journalists, or (rarely) other sources we trust entirely.
We assume our readers are well- informed before they click here, so we focus on news that's generally unknown or under-reported. We don't usually mention the murders, kidnappings, house fires, auto wrecks, celebrity crap, wacky fluff, and other nonsense that's pushed real news right out of the newscasts.
We're not at all interested in Area 51, the Bilderberger Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, eyeballs inside pyramids, flying saucers, FreeMasons, Paris Hilton, "Holocaust revisionism," the Illuminati, JFK's assassination, Vince Foster's suicide, the North American Union or its alleged Amero, Planet X, Protocols of the Elders, the Rockefellers, Rosicrucians, Rothchilds, Skull & Bones, space aliens, technologies supposedly suppressed, the Trilateral Commission, or theories you don't really understand about the collapse of the World Trade Center.
We'll never link to 'news' from nutball or unreliable sources such as americanfreepress.net, Art Bell, cloakanddagger.ca, Tom Flocco, David Icke, Lyndon LaRouche, Wayne Madsen, Henry Makow, Al Martin, Prison Planet, Sherman Skolnick, Edgar Steele, Webster Tarpley, or your brother-in-law.
Disclaimer for dummies: Our front page is free from nudity and profanity, but interior pages and external links may not be safe for work, and you may be shocked, offended, or in trouble with your boss. A link doesn't imply that we agree with every sentence and every sentiment on every site we link to. We use our noggins, and suggest you use yours.
We always welcome comments from readers, and we're especially interested in hearing and considering different perspectives, so please don't be shy. All we ask is that you conduct yourself sanely and civilly, so consider yourself invited to speak your mind.
Anything sent to Unknown News may be published. If you don't want it published, say so plainly. When we publish incoming emails, we usually edit out the sender's last name, email address, or anything else that would tend to identify the author in the real world (if we slip up, please let us know). But if your email is unambiguously intended only to annoy, insult, or threaten us, we'll publish it with all the details and leave it on-line forever.
Please don't email us unless you're sending a communication you're not sending to anyone or everyone else. If you add us to your mailing list, send "Dear friend" newsletters, or send a "press release" every time you add a post to your blog, you're a spammer and we'll simply block your emails.
If you see or receive any of the above, it's not from us. It's coming from spyware you picked up elsewhere, or an "exit" pop-up from another site you have visited, or spammers mimicking our email address.
If you donate or buy something we'll say thank you, and never bother you again. We do not send any reminders to re-donate or buy more stuff. Incoming emails and orders are deleted within 72 hours, and we keep no records of contact information about customers, donors, or emailers.
If you use your credit card to donate or buy something, it's processed by PayPal (their privacy policies are here). We do not file or even see your credit card information.
We try to avoid linking to sites that require logging in, so if you click any links here that ask for registration or a password, please let us know and we'll try to find a not-so-nosey link to similar coverage elsewhere.
Nothing at Unknown News bounces, flashes, flickers, sings or speaks, twinkles, or moves. We don't use any coding practices that intentionally frustrate or annoy readers.
You can help: We try not to whine too much or too loudly, but we are poor and this site eats a lot of time and especially money. Just a buck or two can make all the difference and help keep Unknown News alive.
We believe in liberty and justice for all, so of course, we oppose many US government policies. This doesn't mean we're anti-American, redneck scum, pinko commies, militia members, or terrorist-sympathizers. It means we believe in freedom, as more than merely a cliché.
We believe you have the right to live your own life as you choose, and others have the equal right to live their lives as they choose. It's not complicated.
We believe freedom leads to peace, progress, and prosperity, while its opposite -- oppression -- leads to war, terrorism, poverty, and misery.
We believe it's preposterously stupid to hate people because of their appearance, their race or nationality, their religion or lack of religion, how they have sex with other consenting adults, etc. There are far more apropos reasons to hate most people.
We believe in questioning ourselves, our assumptions, each other -- and we especially believe in questioning authority (the more authority, the more questions). We believe obedience is a fine quality in dogs and young children, but not in adults.
Like America's right-wingers, we believe in
hard work to get ahead,
and stern punishment for serious crimes.
We believe big government should not be blindly trusted.
But unlike most right-wing leaders, we mean it.
Like America's left-wingers, we believe in
equal treatment under law,
war as a last (not first) resort,
and sensible stewardship of natural resources.
We believe big business should not be blindly trusted.
But unlike most left-wing leaders, we mean it.
Like libertarians, we believe it's wrong and reprehensible to arrest people for what they think, believe, look like, wear, eat, smoke, drink, inhale, inject, or otherwise do to themselves.
But unlike many libertarians, we're not obsessed with the gold standard, we don't believe incorporation is humanity's highest achievement, and we don't believe everything in life comes down to dollars and cents. We've read and enjoyed Ayn Rand's novels, but we understand that they're works of fiction.
We're skeptical, and we're sick of so-called 'journalists' who aren't skeptical at all.
A reader asks, what are our solutions? We propose no solutions except common sense, which is never common. We like the principles of democracy, and the ideals broadly described as 'American'. The US Constitution is a fine and workable framework for solutions, when it's actually read and thoughtfully understood by intelligent statesmen and women. So, no manifestos from us. We don't dream that big, and if there's one thing the world doesn't need it's yet another manifesto.
Our suggestion is: think. A fact-based instead of faith-based approach leads to solutions for most of the recurring issues of our time, from abortion to global climate change, pollution to universal health care, careful but real regulation of industry and economy, hunger, war, terror, human rights for humans not for corporations, science not religious doctrine in public schools, equal protection and prosecution under law, etc. Approach problems without glorifying stupidity, without demonizing intelligence, and answers usually come into focus.
These pages are published by Harry and Helen Highwater, happily married low-income nom de plumes and rabble-rousers from Madison, Wisconsin (with a few friends scattered around the world helping out).
We try to spotlight news that hasn't gotten enough (or appropriate) attention in American media, along with our opinions and yours.
We bang our keyboards against the wall, because it doesn't hurt as much as banging our heads.
Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution expressed a desire in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several states as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures to be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the said Constitution. viz: Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress and Ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.