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Archive for March 26th, 2008

McCain’s Supporters Think He Is Wasting Time

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:45 PM MST

McCain’s golden opportunity

From Dana Bash
CNN

updated 1:22 p.m. EDT, Tue March 25, 2008

Chula Vista, CALIFORNIA (CNN) — While the Democratic presidential candidates are duking it out on the campaign trail, Sen. John McCain is trying to fill up his campaign coffers. But some supporters fear he’s not making the most of his time.

Just back from his eighth trip to Iraq, McCain returned to the campaign trail Monday in Chula Vista,California, with last week’s words from Osama bin Laden in hand.

“He urged Palestinians and people of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to — quote — ‘help and support the mujahadeen brothers in Iraq, which is greatest opportunity and the biggest task,’ ” McCain said.

It’s proof, he argued, that Democrats are dead wrong about the war in Iraq.

“My Democrat opponents, who want to pull out of Iraq, refuse to understand what’s being said … the central battleground is Iraq in this struggle against radical Islamic extremism,” he said.

Absent from McCain’s remarks to California veterans was any mention of the new grim death toll released Monday: 4,000 U.S. troops in the war zone he just visited. Video Watch more of McCain’s campaign travels »

Asked about the toll, McCain responded with a personal story of one soldier’s heroism.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Sweet Emotion

 By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST


Aerosmith — Sweet Emotion

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The Tide Is Turning

by Bob Cesca @ 12:01 PM (EST)

I have no idea who Roger Waters is supporting in this thing (and I hasten to note that this video was created without his permission), but when I heard Senator Obama’s historical Philadelphia address last week, this song, “The Tide Is Turning,” from Waters’ underrated 1987 album Radio KAOS kept running on a loop in my head.

The song and the speech compelled me to take a break from the snark to assemble this mash-up as a tribute to everyone who has endured this seven-year-long dark ride; and to everyone who hopes that America can and will change for the better.

Until recently, I honestly didn’t think it was possible. And even though it’s only the beginning, Senator Obama’s campaign is clearly our best shot to, at the very least, turn the tide against this seemingly interminable darkness.

Bob Cesca’s Goddamn Awesome Blog! GO! and Cross-Posted at Huffington Post

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Is The ‘Romance’ Of “The Surge” Over?

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:00 AM MST

Is ‘success’ of U.S. surge in Iraq about to unravel?

Posted on Monday, March 24, 2008

BAGHDAD — A cease-fire critical to the improved security situation in Iraq appeared to unravel Monday when a militia loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr began shutting down neighborhoods in west Baghdad and issuing demands of the central government. Simultaneously, in the strategic southern port city of Basra, where Sadr’s Mahdi militia is in control, the Iraqi government launched a crackdown in the face of warnings by Sadr’s followers that they’ll fight government forces if any Sadrists are detained. By 1 a.m. Arab satellite news channels reported clashes between the Mahdi Army and police in Basra.The freeze on offensive activity by Sadr’s Mahdi Army has been a major factor behind the recent drop in violence in Iraq, and there were fears that the confrontation that’s erupted in Baghdad and Basra could end the lull in attacks, assassinations, kidnappings and bombings. As the U.S. military recorded its 4,000th death in Iraq, U.S. officials in Baghdad warned again Monday that drawing down troops too quickly could collapse Iraq’s fragile security situation.

Pentagon officials said that military leaders are watching for any signs of backsliding as they consider whether to keep drawing down troops below pre-surge levels.

President Bush spoke about the death toll, saying, “One day, people will look back at this moment in history and say, ‘Thank God there were courageous people willing to serve, because they laid the foundations for peace for generations to come.’ “

Even as he spoke, the situation on the ground was rapidly worsening.

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anthony @ 16:06 GMT

American Society of Civil Engineers lied about inability of skyscrapers to withstand airliner impacts

Paul Joseph Watson | Prison Planet | Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The American Society of Civil Engineers – an organization that was funded by FEMA to investigate the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 – has been accused of engaging in a cover-up to protect the government, with critics charging the organization falsified conclusions that skyscrapers could not withstand getting hit by airplanes.

The group has been forced to convene an investigative panel which could lead to a suspension in government funding.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency paid the group about $257,000 to investigate the World Trade Center collapse and their report was released in 2002.

In an attempt to explain away the complete implosion of the twin towers shortly after the planes hit, the study concluded that skyscrapers were not designed to withstand jetliner impacts, a claim completely disproved by historical studies and contemporary investigations.
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By- Suzie-Q @ 8:00 AM MST

Pentagon says it mistakenly shipped ballistic missile parts to Taiwan

RAW STORY
Published: Tuesday March 25, 2008

The Pentagon has announced that it mistakenly shipped non-nuclear ballistic missile components to Taiwan from a U.S. Air Force base in Wyoming.

It said the items have been returned to the United States.

At a Pentagon news conference, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said the misshipped items were four nose cone assemblies for ICBMs. He also said they were delivered to Taiwan in March 2005 and had been sent instead of helicopter batteries that had been ordered by Taiwan.

“This could not be construed as being nuclear material. It is a component for the fuse in the nosecone for a nuclear system,” Wynne said. “We are very concerned about it.”

Wynne said the matter is under investigation. He said the Taiwanese authorities notified U.S. officials of the mistake.

Neither the Chinese Embassy nor Taiwan diplomats in Washington immediately responded to requests for comment.

Ryan Henry, the No. 2 policy official in the office of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said President Bush was notified of the mistake and the actions to recover the items. Henry called the mistake “disconcerting” and intolerable. He said the Chinese government has been notified of the error.

Henry said an examination of the site in Taiwan where the components had been stored after delivery indicated that they had not been tampered with. He said the components were “quite dated,” as part of a system designed in the 1960s.

(with wire reports)

This video is from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast March 25, 2008.

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A Picnic for Wall Street Insiders

anthony @ 13:07 GM

The Money Launderers

Alan Farago | Counterpunch | March 24, 2008

A week ago, on the day President Bush disavowed government intervention in financial markets, the Federal Reserve announced the fruit of its weekend labor: essentially guaranteeing hundreds of billions in toxic financial derivatives owned by banks. Money laundering has become the de facto standard of Federal Reserve policy.

The financial press has been filled with praise for the US government rescue of Bear Stearns, one of the worst offenders of reason and logic in the issuance of securitized mortgage debt. You have to turn to blogs to get a sense of the malfeasance.

Excerpt from the Hussman Funds’ Weekly Market Comment (3/24/08) regarding the Fed’s involvement on JPMorgan’s (JPM) deal to buy out Bear Stearns (BSC):

In effect, the Federal Reserve decided last week to overstep its legal boundaries ­ going beyond providing liquidity to the banking system and attempting to ensure the solvency of a non-bank entity. Specifically, the Fed agreed to provide a $30 billion “non-recourse loan” to J.P. Morgan, secured only by the worst tranche of Bear Stearns’ mortgage debt. But the bank ­ J.P. Morgan ­ was in no financial trouble. Instead, it was effectively offered a subsidy by the Fed at public expense. Rick Santelli of CNBC is exactly right. If this is how the U.S. government is going to operate in a democratic, free-market society, “we might as well put a hammer and sickle on the flag.”

What is a “non-recourse loan”? Put simply, if the homeowners underlying that weak tranche of debt go into foreclosure, they will lose their homes, and the public will lose as well. But J.P. Morgan will not lose, nor will Bear Stearns’ bondholders. This will be an outrageous outcome if it is allowed to stand.

… ­ it’s a picnic for insiders, bought and paid for through the abuse of public funds by government officials too unprincipled even to recognize the abuse. The only good thing about this deal is that it buys time while principled ways of busting and restructuring it can be settled.

CLICK ON TAB BELOW VIDEO TO CONTINUE READING ARTICLE

Teddy Bears Picnic

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Airlines Explore EMD Electro-Shock Bracelets!

GEF @ 6:08 AM MST

LAWWWSUITS…

Will Homeland Security the Militarized Police State Shock You Into Submission?

This is perhaps one of the most kooky and creepy Security State tactics that I have come across: the EMD safety bracelet, which is being billed as the “last line of defence.” A company called Lamperd Firearm Training Systems (scroll down) is trying to commercialize this item as an “airline security product.” The company’s video that hawks this device talks about the current facial recognition system called biometrics, where cameras capture photos of people and compare those images to the images of “terrorists” in its “terrorist” database. No matter how sophisticated this technology, it can all too often allow a terrorist on board a plane, and, this technology can also have the effect of creating airport bottlenecks. Ahem.

The solution? The “viable, workable answer” is an electronic ID bracelet. This bracelet will replace the need for a ticket and contain all necessary information about the person, and as a bonus, it can allow the passenger to be tracked through the terminal. Crew members would be empowered with radio frequency transmitters to subdue “hijackers.” The technology will override a person’s central nervous system and zap them down quicker than you can say “Homeland Security.” The company assures us that being dragged through the bracelet process is a “small inconvenience in order to assure your safe arrival.” In fact, its studies show that most people would “happily opt” for wearing the bracelet to “insure their own security.”

Here’s the Lamperd video on YouTube – you must watch it. Here’s the patent for this device. The patent actually reads this:

Upon activation of the electric shock device, through receipt of an activating signal from the selectively operable remote control means, the passenger wearing that particular bracelet receives the disabling electrical shock from the electric shock device. Accordingly, the passenger becomes incapacitated for a few seconds or perhaps a few minutes, during which time the passenger can be fully subdued and handcuffed, if necessary. Depending on the type of transmission medium used to send the activating signal, other passengers may also become temporarily incapacitated, which is undesirable and unfortunate, but may be unavoidable.

Lamperd even posts a series of letters on its website showing interest in the product for use “outside of airport security,” which, of course, is the real reason for the product. Why it can be used for border control to subdue illegal aliens or by local law enforcement agencies to control the “criminal element!”

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By- Suzie-Q @ 5:00 AM MST

Ashley Alexandra Dupre: Not Rich Yet, Probably Won’t Ever Be

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Remember all that money Ashley Alexandra Dupre was going to make? It’s disappearing, fast. As we noted before, Ashley has made plenty of money for media outlets, but hasn’t seen a penny of it herself. And given that her story is now… yawn… a couple weeks old, it will be increasingly hard for her to cash in. Ad Age:

“Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis was prepared to pay her $1 million to appear in the company’s new magazine, but then rescinded the offer when it was discovered she was already in one of the company’s videotapes from 2003. Even the Orlando Sentinel discovered it had a topless image of her from a story that year on the “Girls Gone Wild” series. Us Weekly posted more than 50 photos of her from a “modeling” shoot on its website last week.

But by the end of the week, most websites and blogs had let stories about her slip to the bottoms or back pages of their news sites. The Spitzer scandal began and essentially ended within days, said Rita Tateel, president of the Celebrity Source, which matches stars with corporate events and campaigns. “Unlike Monica Lewinsky, who had a little bit more of 15 minutes because Bill Clinton did not resign, here Ashley has more like eight minutes.” And even that may be too generous given the speed of media cycles today.

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America’s Ruling Clique

Sudhan @10:30 CET

 Charles Sullivan | Information Clearing House, March 25, 2008

Neoconservatives derive much of their political strength from the portrayal of big government as the enemy of the people: a belief that plays only too well in America. Big government is indeed the enemy of the people when it does not serve the people’s interests, or when it betrays them.

Where the neoconservatives and the chicken hawks have been spectacularly successful is in the field of perception management. The super rich—or the ruling clique—constitutes no more than 0.1 percent of the US population. Yet they control the mainstream media, every branch government, the electoral process and the country’s major financial institutions.

Thus, 99.9 percent of the people are being manipulated and cannibalized by a tiny but powerful minority. It is the interests of this powerful minority that are served by government and it is their interests that are defined as the national interest or as national security; and it is hardly benign. Robbing the poor to pay the rich causes irreparable harm to the victim.

Continued . . .

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