Archive for January 22nd, 2008

John Edwards: Your Attention Please!

By- Suzie-Q @ 6:45 PM MST

Senator Edwards, We Need You To Lead

By: Jane Hamsher Tuesday January 22, 2008 3:00 pm

John Edwards should challenge his rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to go back to Washington, DC and fight against retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

The Republicans are not going to let Reid punt and extend the Protect America Act for another 18 months so it looks like the FISA bill is going to come back up again on Monday. Chris Dodd’s objection to Unanimous Consent still stands, so they will pick up in the middle of the Motion to Proceed debate.

Glenn Greenwald:

It will be increasingly difficult to listen to Edwards, Obama and Clinton tout their supreme leadership attributes and their commitment to “changing the way Washington works” if they choose to sit by, more or less mute, and allow such a blatant and corrupt evisceration of the rule of law — and such a vast and permanent expansion of the limitless surveillance state — to occur without a fight. Any one of them, or all three, has a unique opportunity to actually demonstrate with actions, rather than pretty speeches, their commitment to the principles they claim to espouse.

John Edwards is the perfect person to lead with this message. Such an action would illustrate his genuine commitment to change and fighting vested interests in Washington, and hopefully it will channel that intense anti-immunity passion toward his campaign. He won’t be able to participate in the filibuster himself, but by offering to leave the campaign trail and go back to DC with Clinton and Obama he’ll be able to show leadership in challenging all Democrats to put thoughts of personal gain aside and join together in the fight to save the constitution.

Without the help of the presidential candidates, we are doomed to lose this fight. And all their calls for change will ring hollow if they allow George Bush to railroad this bill through a supine Democratic-controlled Senate because of their absence.

You can email Senator Edwards directly at john@johnedwards.com.

(We’ll be working with Glenn Greenwald and others to fight against retroactive telecom immunity in the coming days. If you’d like to receive updates about what you can do, sign up here. You can contact Clinton, Obama and McCain here.)

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Do Israeli’s really own 10% of the moon?

by Geezer Power …2:34 pm

Israelis blast past others in bid to own moon

Jan 4, 2007

Israelis own 10 percent of the privately owned area on the moon, according to Tom Wegner, a spokesman for Crazyshop, a company that sells plots of moon land to private individuals in Israel.

About 10,000 Israelis have purchased moon property since it became available in 2000. Of the 10 million acres sold worldwide, 1 million are owned by residents of Israel, Wegner said Wednesday.

“Some Israelis believe that buying land on the moon is an original gift and a great investment that their grandchildren might benefit from,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

Israeli moon property sales rose dramatically last month following NASA’s announcement on December 5 that it would establish an “international base camp” on one of the moon’s poles, landing astronauts in 2020 – and setting up a permanent colony four years later.

Although the sales also increased in the United States, nowhere in the world were they as high as in Israel. While about 9,000 Israelis purchased plots from 2000 until December’s announcement, a full 1,000 did so over the last month, Wegman said. “This trend will continue to increase in Israel; it is a snowball effect,” he said.


Inheritance and Sale of “Extraterrestrial Real Estate”

8-10 March 2001, “Lunar Real Estate: Buyer, Beware!“, Paper presented at the First Convention of Lunar Explorers, Palais de la Découverte, Paris, 8-10 March 2001.. Also downloadable from http://www.spacefuture.com/archive/lunar_real_estate_buyer_beware.shtml

During the past decade, mass-media has reported about individuals and companies that have claimed ownership of various celestial bodies and, in most of the cases, subsequently offered them for sale to the public. While the most publicized “extraterrestrial real estate” company is Dennis Hope’s Lunar Embassy, lunar sales date back to 1955, when Robert R. Coles, a former chairman of New York’s “Hayden Planetarium”, incorporated and started selling lots on the moon for one dollar per acre – because no one else had claimed the Moon1. In January 1962, prior to the launching of “Ranger 3”, the first US lunar probe, an individual in one of the British dominions sent President Eisenhower a telegram, informing him that he filed claim to a certain lunar area and that he intended to hold the United States responsible for any damage the probe would cause to his property2. The affair did not develop any further, maybe because Ranger 3 missed the Moon by 36,793 kilometres3. In 1969, soon after Apollo 11 mission, Brazilian police arrested a man for selling lunar lots priced at $25 each. In his pro domo plea, the salesman said he had sold the first lots to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and that they went to the Moon to inspect their properties4.

Eleven years later, Dennis Hope from Rio Vista, California, founded the first “extraterrestrial estate” agency, the Lunar Embassy. In 1980, unaware of the previous affairs and thus believing that the Moon had not been previously claimed by anybody, and convinced that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibition of national appropriation in outer space would not apply to individuals, Hope registered at the federal office of his county a claim over the Moon and a “lunar constitution”5, subsequently copyrighting his work with the US Copyright registry office. He also sent notifications of his claim to the USSR and US governments and to the UN, and he did not receive any answer6. Convinced of the legality of his claim, Hope divided the visible side of the Moon in 3 million parcels7 that he began selling in supermarkets and later on the internet8. Hope has extended his extraterrestrial real estate business to properties on Mars, Venus and Io. He sells an extraterrestrial parcel at the price of $15.99 plus $10 postage and packing, and $1.16 for ‘lunar tax’. By June 2000, there were more than 60,000 people holding real estate certificates from the Lunar Embassy9, including Hollywood celebrities like Tom Cruise and Harisson Ford and, apparently, two former US presidents – Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter10.

Hope is not the only one in the extraterrestrial real estate business. A number of “copycat companies” have appeared – at least six by August 199711, such as the Universal Lunarian Society, that sells parcels on the lunar crater Copernicus for US$50 an acre12, Space Pioneers – that claimed in April 1992 “all the planets in the Milky Way Galaxy”13 and subsequently begun to sell deeds to parcels on Mars priced at US$ 29.95 an acre14, and the Martian Consulate that handsomely states that “Giving a land claim on Mars is truly a unique way to say ‘I Love You’, ‘Happy Birthday’, … or even ‘Thank You'”15.

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Russian Cmdr to USA: Back Off Now or We’ll Nuke You!

GEF @ 3:08 PM MST

Russia ready to use nuclear weapons if threatened – army chief

MOSCOW, January 19 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s top military commander said on Saturday that the country is prepared to use its nuclear weapons to defend itself and allies in the event of a severe external threat.

The Chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Yury Baluyevsky, told a conference at the Academy of Military Sciences in Moscow: “We do not intend to attack anyone, but consider it necessary that all our partners clearly understand, and that no one has any doubts, that the Armed Forces will be used to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, including preventative action, and including the use of nuclear weapons.”

Baluyevsky’s comments come amid growing tensions between Russia and NATO over the alliance’s expansion into the former Eastern Bloc, the United States’ plans to deploy missile defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic, and Moscow’s increasingly assertive military stance.

Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans last August, and on December 12, 2007 imposed a unilateral moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, a key arms reduction pact.

Baluyevsky said that in order to protect Russia’s interests, military force “can and must be used” when “all other means prove ineffective.”

Programs to develop Russia’s military must be closely linked to national fiscal planning, “taking into account the state’s economic resources,” he said.

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The My Ol Mao Mitch Reelection Campaign


by Cliff Schecter @2:57 pm ET

Not so far off actually. With the number of jobs Kentucky Kingfish McConnell has shipped from the Bluegrass State and the U.S. overall to China (with an assist to his Labor Secretary wife), not to mention accepting illegal campaign contributions from Chinese nationals and befriending government tyrants there, I could see why Mao would be a big fan.

Weren’t Republicans supposed to be anti-Communist? Oh that’s right, they were supposed to be good for the economy, against bathroom-stall free for alls and for the Constitution too. So it kinda makes sense.

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anthony @ 9:10 GMT

Crimes of the State | Monday, January 21, 2008

“After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only one (1) hour to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy… We stand by that verdict and have no doubt that the truth about this terrible event has finally been revealed.” –Statement of King Family on the Justice Department’s “Limited investigation” of the MLK Assassination, January 15, 2007

The assassination of Dr. King was one of the most devastating assaults on democracy and the rule of law in our nation’s sordid history. It came in an environment of FBI COINTELPRO harassment and surveillance of opposition leaders. It came as one incident in a string of assassinations which included Black Panther leaders, Malcolm X, John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy. The telltale signs of government cover-up followed each of these events.

The Vietnam Speech

Prior to Dr. King’s assassination, several radical changes had happened. Dr. King had become one of the most articulate, credible, and outspoken critics of the Vietnam War in the US. He had expanded his view beyond African American issues, and had confronted American imperialism head on. This provided a clear motive for those opposed to peace and justice to want Dr. King silenced. (more…)

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Feds Want 60 Years In Prison For Brent Wilkes

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:45 PM MST

Federal probation officials are recommending that Brent Wilkes, the Poway defense contractor who was convicted of bribing former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, should be sentenced to 60 years in prison, according to court records.

Wilkes was scheduled to be sentenced on Monday, but that has been put off until Feb. 19 at the request of his lawyer, Mark Geragos. In court papers, Geragos said he needed more time to analyze and challenge the report from the federal probation office, which he received Jan. 15 – later than required under court rules.

Such a lengthy sentence recommendation, even in an era of increasingly stiff penalties for white collar crimes, is significant, said Shaun Martin, a law professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

“I’m sure Wilkes’ lawyers’ jaws dropped to the floor when they read 60 years,” he said. “It’s a huge number. Bribing public officials is worse than stealing from shareholders. Both are terrible, but one is worse.”

A jury convicted Wilkes of 13 counts of bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud Nov. 5. Over the course of nearly a decade, prosecutors said he plied Cunningham with cash bribes of at least $625,000, lavish meals, trips and gifts.

In exchange, Cunningham used his influence to steer millions in federal contracts to Wilkes’ company, ADCS Inc. of Poway.


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Afternoon Jukebox… Give Me One Reason

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:30 PM MST

Tracy Chapman – Give Me One Reason

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