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Monday
Feb.  9,  2009
 
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."

     Carl Sagan  
 [ Associated Press ]

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 ]

Fools and liars

Fox's Beck says Obama's stimulus bill is "really truly stepping beyond socialism and starting to look at fascism"

Cable news stations continue wild imbalance, still favoring Republican viewpoint almost 2-1

Rove lies that he known no-one who's talking about tax cuts only, when that's the standard Republican position

Anti-eavesdropping whistleblower Russell Tice gets the Fox News treatment, by Bill O'Reilly's attack camera crew

Forbes magazine gives anti-science activists an open, unchallenged platform

Fox's Beck implies that unions will have him killed

Hoekstra (R-Michigan) twitters his secret trip to Iraq

New York Times reports claim that 61 Guantánamo detainees have "returned to the fight" without noting that DoD made different claim in January

Fox's Beck compares Gore to Joseph Goebbels and drug dealers

Remember ex-Bush aide Andy Card's silly complaint about the dress code in the Oval Office? It was a lie, of course.

CNN's Dobbs again lies that recovery bill has $4 billion for "groups such as ACORN"

Years after it's debunked, Fox's Hannity still flies with Pelosi plane falsehood

Fox News trumpets non-existent "war on Christians"

Disney's Savage continues decline to insanity


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
From  unknownnews.org/cops.html 
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
From  unknownnews.org/debunk.html 
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 ]

Shoe-tosser Muntazer al-Zaidi now has a trial date: February 19.  [ Agence France-Presse ]

Norm Coleman, the apparent loser in Minnesota's razor-thin Senate race, is now petitioning to count the exact same ballots he argued earlier shouldn't be counted.  [ Talking Points Memo ]

In analyzing recent shifts in Americans' party affiliation, this guy has prepared a map of the United States that reminds me again, blue is my favorite color.  [ Open Left ]

With the passing of Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity. the world has one less good guy.  [ Cable News Network ]

Dick Cheney, meanwhile, is perhaps too controversial to be honored at the American Museum of Fly-Fishing.  [ Rutland Herald ]

Poster artist Shepard Fairey has been arrested on graffiti charges.  [ Boston Globe ]

Ann Coulter is under investigation for vote fraud. Again.  [ Gawker ]

Should Ben & Jerry's add a flavor honoring former President George W. Bush?  [ FiredogLake ]


Recommended sites for gathering unknown or underreported news:
 Media Matters   Pro Publica   ThinkProgress   Washington Monthly   TruthOut 


Older entries
Compiled by Helen & Harry Highwater
for www.unknownnews.org

Newer entries
#  Readers' comments

Please send your news tips, comments, and criticisms to <unknownnews at inbox.com>. If that address ever fails, check our contact page for our alternate email addresses.

#  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.

Sherri B.  
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.

Sherri B.  
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.
 
Excerpt from nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.html: NIST concluded that blast events inside the building did not occur and found no evidence supporting the existence of a blast event.

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.

I hope you will include this on your page about 9/11.

SirJ  
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
#  2/10/2009:   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 theory.

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?

SirJ  
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.

SirJ  
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
#  2/12/2009:   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.

Sherri B.  
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.

Amber Perez  

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...

#  Want wireless broadband today? Try a WISP.
 
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 well.

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?       H&HH
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.

JR Mooneyham  (www.jrmooneyham.com/)  
Info appreciated. Intriguing.

Helen & Harry Highwater
#  2/10/2009:   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.

Wig  
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
#  2/14/2009:   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

JR Mooneyham  (www.jrmooneyham.com/)  

#  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.

Helen & Harry Highwater

#  Leaked settlement data puts Israeli peace drive in doubt
 
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.       H&HH
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.

==                                ==                                ==

Gaza tensions shadow U.N. holocaust ceremony
 
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.

==                                ==                                ==

Chrysler chief could be first test of pay limits
 
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.

==                                ==                                ==

Four-year probe led to rockfish trafficking charges in Virginia, Maryland

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).       H&HH
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.

==                                ==                                ==

Israeli government to impose sanctions on Al Jazeera's operations
 
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.

Wig  

#  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".

Gloria Denham  

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Helen & Harry Highwater (unknownnews at inbox.com)  


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Some unknown news you might have missed

9/11 victim's wife asks questions

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Acquittal as US hides 9/11 evidence

Americans held in secret prisons

America's outsourced economy

Apocalypse preacher advises Bush

Army PSY-OPS infiltrated CNN, NPR

Bin Laden denies 9/11 involvement

Black boxes found in WTC rubble

Boycotting Israel is illegal?

Bush considers God a political ally

Bush family's Nazi connections

Bush's recurring lie about Saddam

Bush says he speaks for God

Casualties from Afghanistan and Iraq

Cheney is blocking 9/11 investigation

CIA infiltrates American media

Cops you won't see on TV's Cops

Debunked non-news

Detention camps in America

Election 2000: Counting the vote

Expert skeptical about bin Laden tape

Getting to know Pope Benedict XVI

God told Bush to strike al Qaeda?

Google refuses our ad

Guantanamo suicides: an ongoing lie

Guns confiscated in New Orleans

G.W. Bush & bin Laden's brother

Homophobia linked to homosexual arousal

Hurricane freed US killer dolphins

Identifying the 9/11 hijackers

Internet access blocked?

Investigating 9/11, or not so much

Is George W. Bush a Christian?

Is George W. Bush insane?

Judge scolds man beaten by cops

Julia Child's letter on McCarthyism

Justice Dept. lied about terror cases

Katrina: A criminal catastrophe

Los Angeles Times fudges the truth

Log of Bush-Cheney lies

The myth of the spat-upon veteran

Officials canceled trips on 9/10/2001

Phony 'Osama bin Laden' tapes

Plans for Iraq attack began on 9/11

Police raid tomato growing operation

Pope ordered pedo priest cover-up

Pre-9/11 warnings "suppressed"

Republican Family Values

Rice briefs 'Christian Zionists'

Saddam: America's man in Iraq

Smedley Butler's page

Sun Myung Moon & the Republicans

"Threat assessment" before 9/11

Some unanswered 9/11 questions

US Attorney General proposes concentration camps for Americans

US uses napalm in Iraq, lies about it

US runs network of secret prisons

Warning on depleted uranium

Wars based on lies

Was 9/11 "another Pearl Harbor"?

What happened at Waco?

Why Daniel Pearl is dead

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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.

Amendment I

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.

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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.

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Amendment IX

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Amendment X

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Do we know the answers to these questions about September 11?

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