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Archive for August, 2009

Telegraph.co.uk

The man who allegedly abducted American schoolgirl Jaycee Lee Dugard almost two decades ago has admitted that he did a “disgusting thing” but went on to defend himself, saying the public would be surprised by the “heart-warming story”.

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 8:15AM BST 28 Aug 2009

Jaycee Lee Dugard who was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11. She disappeared when a man and a woman pulled her kicking and screaming into a car at a school bus stop just yards from her home in South Lake Tahoe

Jaycee Lee Dugard who was kidnapped in 1991 at the age of 11. She disappeared when a man and a woman pulled her kicking and screaming into a car at a school bus stop just yards from her home in South Lake Tahoe

Convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, 58, is being held on suspicion of various kidnapping and sex charges relating to the disappearance of Miss Dugard, who was aged 11 when she was snatched from her school bus stop in 1991.

Mr Garrido, gave a bizarre and sometimes incoherent phone interview to KCRA-TV from the El Dorado County jail.

According to investigators Mr Garrido allegedly raped Miss Dugard and fathered two children with her, the first when she was about 14. Along with Miss Dugard, who is now 29, the children, both girls now 11 and 15, were also kept hidden away from the world in the backyard compound of the Garrido house in California.

More.

Jaycee Dugard and the parallels with Fritzl and McCann

The Californian’s abduction in 1991 was similar to the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann, from the media frenzy surrounding the missing girls to the desperate appeals to find them.

More.

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If they’re going to name the final healthcare reform bill after Senator Kennedy, we ought to be demanding with voices as powerful and booming as the late senator’s…

The bill must not suck.

But if it does, perhaps they should name it after Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley. The Blame Baucus and Grassley for This Sucky Act. Or maybe borrow the name of the House bill, the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, which, by the way, reminds me more of a frozen diet meal than a robust healthcare reform bill (the final House bill is actually pretty robust — it’s just a ridiculous name).

On this day of national mourning, we’re reminded that Senator Kennedy’s political legacy has been inextricably bound to the cause of universal healthcare. Affordable, portable, reliable healthcare.

It’s difficult to know for sure, but I can’t imagine, had he not been stricken with cancer, that the senator would be lending his unmistakable baritone to the awfulness, equivocation and bipartisan hackery that’s on display within the ranks of the Max Baucus ‘Gang of Six’. It goes without saying that left to their own spineless and corrupt devices, these six senators will absolutely deliver a terrible healthcare reform bill, one that would only serve to besmirch the Kennedy legacy.

So what exactly does a sucky healthcare bill look like?

Naturally, without a beefy public health insurance plan, healthcare reform would be an utter disaster — or worse. To refer to the public option as just a “sliver” of the bill, or to push for eliminating it altogether is almost as bad as having no reform at all. Journalists, writers and bloggers who I otherwise respect have been damning the public option with faint praise lately. Let’s not sabotage healthcare reform with partisan ultimatums, they say. We can have a great bill without it, they say.

No, sirs. No we can’t.

They’re not seeing the big picture here. I get it, though. There are many other meaningful aspects to healthcare reform. Banning exclusions for pre-existing conditions, setting caps on out of pocket expenses, bans on rescission. These are all excellent and historic.

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If you’re a reporter looking for a hot quote, Waxman’s the wrong man to see. Anyone watching his “Daily Show” appearance with Jon Stewart could tell you that. Waxman is all policy, determined to explain everything in detail. But he’s smart, tough and knows how to get results. He showed that last year when he went against the House seniority system and took over the Energy and Commerce Committee by unseating John Dingell, its longtime chairman.

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Bill Boyarsky
Truthdig
Aug 25 2009

By the time Congress returns from its recess and takes another whack at the health insurance mess, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., will have started revealing the deceit that protects health business profiteers.

Waxman has already begun by demanding that major insurance companies reveal how much they pay top executives and board members and, most important, the size of their profits from selling policies.

He is getting to the heart of the health insurance debate. It’s all about the health business—insurance, hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, medical equipment makers and others.

Their economic goal is bigger profits. Their political goal is to protect their interests by making sure the 2010 election puts enough Republicans and sympathetic Democrats in Congress. Even if the Democrats retain control of the House and Senate, health care lobbyists will pour celebratory drinks as long they have enough power to shape legislation. That’s how it works. Don’t be deluded by party labels.

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This is Ted Kennedy’s presidential concession speech to Jimmy Carter in 1980 on the floor of the Democratic Convention. It is widely recognized as the last of the famous Camelot speeches by the Kennedy’s.

This is just an excerpt. To hear the entire oration, and to see his appearance at the 2008 Democratic National Convention to support Obama’s nomination as Democratic candidate for President of the United States, please click on link below.

I’ve also posted his 2004 DNC speech which I watched live on my TV in my room in the YMCA hostel just off Central Park South West, New York, on my first and, as yet, only visit to the USA.

The 2004 DNC was held in Boston, where I had first set foot on American soil a few days earlier, and Kennedy’s speech contain many references to that wonderful city. (more…)

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Mr. Kennedy on Capitol Hill in 2007

Mr. Kennedy on Capitol Hill in 2007

August 27, 2009
By JOHN M. BRODER

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77.

The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the Senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.

ORIGINAL NYT ARTICLE

Kennedy dead at 77

Liberal lion of the Senate, symbol of family dynasty succumbs to brain cancer

By Martin F. Nolan
Globe Correspondent / August 26, 2009

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who carried aloft the torch of a Massachusetts dynasty and a liberal ideology to the citadel of Senate power, but whose personal and political failings may have prevented him from realizing the ultimate prize of the presidency, died at his home in Hyannis Port last night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 77.

ORIGINAL GLOBE ARTICLE

TED KENNEDY

A seven-part series on the Massachusetts Senator from The Boston Globe

Chapter 1 TEDDY

A Kennedy family portrait taken in Bronxville, NY. Seated (left to right): Eunice, Jean, Edward, Joseph Sr., Patricia, and Kathleen. Standing: Rosemary, Robert, John, Rose, and Joseph Jr.

A Kennedy family portrait taken in Bronxville, NY. Seated (left to right): Eunice, Jean, Edward, Joseph Sr., Patricia, and Kathleen. Standing: Rosemary, Robert, John, Rose, and Joseph Jr.

On a spring day nearly two years ago, Senator Edward Kennedy sat on the porch of his sprawling Hyannis Port home with a friend of five decades, Edmund Reggie, who is also his father-in-law. The two men gazed out at the ocean that has been such an anchor in Kennedy’s life, and talked about the future.“ You’re nuts to beat yourself to death like this on the Senate floor,” Reggie said. “Passing a new law won’t be any more glorious for you than the reputation you’ve made. Some people say you and Daniel Webster are the greatest senators of all time.” Kennedy looked at the older man and deadpanned: “What did Webster do?” It was a telling line, typical of the competitive Kennedys. But Reggie persisted.

More…

Remembering the Real Deal

Robert Scheer
Posted on Aug 25, 2009

The light has gone out, and with it that infectious warm laugh and intensely progressive commitment of the best of the Kennedys. Not, at this point, to take anything away from the memory of his siblings—Bobby, whom I also got to know, was pretty terrific in his last years—but Senator Ted Kennedy was the real deal.

ORIGINAL TRUTHDIG ARTICLE
 

Chappaquiddick_Island

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THERE. WE SAID IT. ANYBODY GOT ANYTHING ELSE TO SAY?

TEDDYkennedyVWad Copyright 2009 Cosanostradamus blog me no blogs

THE LAST OF THE 1960′s KENNEDY BROTHERS IS DEAD. LET THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION BEGIN!

YOUTUBE: ANOTHER KENNEDY FUNERAL
“Robert Kennedy Funeral- Eulogy delivered by Senator Edward Kennedy”
“Some men see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’

“Teddy Was A Murderer. Teddy Was Fat. Teddy Was A Drunk. Teddy Divorced His Wife.”

Worst of all, Teddy Kennedy was a liberal. And a damned effective one, too; a rarity in our conservatively-gridlocked government. Out of sheer Irish stubbornness, Teddy persevered. He never wanted to be a politician. He was never quite ready to go all the way. But he could not let the murder of his two older brothers stand. He could not let the assassins win. He may have been reluctant to pick up the banner and lead the charge, but he did pick it up and he did fight on. And for that we all owe him and his entire family our gratitude.

In our corporate medieval State, only the rich may hold high office. Those who are not extremely wealthy, or in their employ, are not even entitled to an opinion. We technoserfs do have the enhanced ability to communicate and express our opinions to each other, but no one in power will ever hear us: Except those who choose to take up our cause, out of enlightened self-interest, a guilty conscience, noblesse oblige, actual concern or whatever: It hardly matters why. There are so damned few millionaires and billionaires who are even aware much less concerned about the problems of the peasantry that we peasants can not afford to be too critical of them when they do work for us, the plebian majority, and not for their own ilk, the aristocratic minority.

So, even if all the worst things that the corporate technobility and their lackeys can say about such rare champions of the commoners should turn out to be true, all that really matters is that they fought for our side. They were among the very few who were willing to give us peons even a small voice in our own affairs. Without these few knights errant, we would have absolutely no say, and no stake in the grand illusion once known as the American Dream. And now that Teddy Kennedy is dead, we all have that much less influence on our own “democratic” government. So, yes, we have reason to mourn. Our healthcare may have just died with him.

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This letter is now illegal in Pakistan

From Tanveer Ansari | London Review of Books, Vol. 31, No. 15, August 6, 2009

Tariq Ali’s Diary notwithstanding, Asif Ali Zardari’s misdemeanours can no longer be satirised (LRB, 23 July). Helpless citizens who have been exchanging anti-Zardari jokes in which he is referred to as a dacoit, Mr Ten Per Cent, Mr Thirty Per Cent, as a US drone, a thief, a liar, a womaniser, a murderer, are to be deprived of this liberty. Rehman Malik, Zardari’s business associate, whose day job is to act as the country’s interior minister, has pushed through a new law that makes the circulation and transmission of ‘ill-motivated and concocted stories against the civilian leadership’ illegal; the authors of such stories will be ‘punished’.

It is a truly atrocious law and a serious blow to what few civil liberties and modes of expression we have left. It is unbelievable that it should have been passed so quietly, without any opposition in the National Assembly. Spoofing, spamming, and having an email address registered to a name other than the one on your passport are also punishable with jail sentences. The real joke is that these measures will increase the circulation of satirical jokes a hundredfold: they will travel by word of mouth, as they did in the days before mobile phones and the internet. Those who have been texting Zardari directly will, sadly, now have to search for other means to communicate with their leader. This letter is now illegal. Whether articles such as Ali’s are also proscribed has yet to be determined.

Meanwhile Muhammad Aslam, Benazir Bhutto’s former protocol officer and himself a lawyer, who was on guard duty on her jeep’s running board the day she was murdered, has publicly accused Rehman Malik, among others, of being a prime suspect in the case. Aslam has demanded that the police register a case against the interior minister. The worms are crawling out of the can, which might help explain the rush to introduce the new law.

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Is Glenn Beck Finished?

By Tana Ganeva, AlterNet. Posted August 24, 2009.

A Color of Change campaign has cost Beck’s show 36 advertisers so far. Will Fox decide he isn’t worth it?

In his eight months at Fox, Glenn Beck has repeatedly prophesied the advent of both Socialism and Fascism. He’s wished for Osama bin Laden to attack America. He’s hosted 911 truther Alex Jones on his show, and helped fan the bizarre conspiracy theory that FEMA plans to imprison dissidents in internment camps. He paces, rants and cries on the air like a crazy person. Once, he pretended to set someone on fire.

Beck’s weird theatrics and paranoid right-wing rants have earned him the 3rd highest ratings on Fox (Bill O’Reilly still regularly beats Beck, Sean Hannity beats him sometimes), even as liberals, many corporate media pundits and most non-crazy people shrink away with equal parts bewilderment, horror and disdain. The week before last Beck averaged 2.4 million viewers a day, edging out Hannity for the number 2 spot.

But a Color of Change campaign urging advertisers to drop Beck has already been so successful that Fox may have to reconsider whether Beck is worth it, despite his popularity with the right-wing fringe. At last count, 36 advertisers have pulled their advertising from Beck’s show. These include: GEICO, Radio Shack, SC Johnson, Progressive Insurance and Sprint. Last Monday Wal Mart – hardly a poster-child for progressive politics – also dropped Beck’s program.

Color of Change, an African-American grassroots organization devoted to ensuring that the interests Black Americans are represented in political life, launched their petition against Beck in response to the talk show host’s predictably over-the-top, bizarre contribution to the debate surrounding the arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates. On a July 28th guest appearance on Fox and Friends, Beck pulled a popular right-wing trick – whining about reverse racism when confronted with real racism – and absurdly claimed, “The President has exposed himself as a guy … over and over and over again … who has a deep-seated hatred for white people … or the white culture…. I don’t know what it is”.

Even Brian “we’ve diluted our gene pool” Kilmeade gaped in shock, and asked Beck how the President could hate white people when almost his entire cabinet was made up of them. Beck clarified his point: “I’m not saying he doesn’t like white people. I’m saying he has a problem. This guy is, I believe, a racist.”

Beck’s comments set off a firestorm of controversy. “Has he gone to far?” headlines abounded. Talking heads slammed Beck for absurdly arguing that a man raised by a white mother and grandparents hated white people. Even fellow conservatives like Joe Scarborough expressed outrage. Like the standard fare peddled by many luminaries of right-wing hate talk, Beck’s accusation insinuated the President’s “otherness”, hinting at some nefarious plot to bring about general doom by way of Islam/socialism/fascism/racism/ACORN.

For Color of Change, Beck had crossed a line into flagrant racebating.

MORE HERE

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Published: August 24, 2009
Then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, dressed in drag for a satire of “Victor/Victoria” entitled “Rudy Rudia.” It’s almost hard to believe he wasn’t able to win the Republican nomination for president. AP Photo / Joe DeMaria

Then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, dressed in drag for a satire of “Victor/Victoria” entitled “Rudy Rudia.” It’s almost hard to believe he wasn’t able to win the Republican nomination for president. AP Photo / Joe DeMaria

Nineteen months after ending his disastrous run for the presidency, Rudolph W. Giuliani is clearing a path for a possible race for governor in 2010, believing public anger at an ineffectual Albany and unease over the economy could create ideal conditions for a Republican to reclaim the governor’s mansion.

Mr. Giuliani has told associates that he will decide on a candidacy within 30 to 60 days, as he weighs whether he can be elected statewide and what impact another campaign would have on his business interests.

He is already laying the groundwork. On Friday he traveled to Long Island to encourage the state Republican Party chairman, Joseph N. Mondello, to step aside, a maneuver that party insiders viewed as the former mayor’s most concrete step yet toward a run.

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By Saed Bannoura
Global Research, August 23, 2009

17s04bilalaBY_jpg_998448bFormer Palestinian detainee, researcher Abdul-Nasser Farwana, stated that all facts on the ground, since decades, prove that the Israeli occupation executed Palestinian detainees after they surrendered and refused to hand their bodies to their families. Hundreds of bodies were transferred to the families days, months or even years after the fact, and when the bodies were sent back, they were missing vital internal organs.

Link for the Aftonbladet report by Swedish journalist Donald Boström:
http://www.aftonbladet.se/kultur/article5652583.ab

Farwana added that the Swedish report, written by Donald Boström and published by Aftonbladet, Stockholm daily paper, regarding illegal trafficking of body parts of Palestinians is directly connected to the execution of Palestinians after they surrendered to the army, and is connected with the arrest of 40 well-known figures, including Rabbis in New Jersey for money laundering and corruption, in a scheme that involved sales of Israeli kidneys in the US and other corruption rackets.

Farwana added that one of the illegal acts carried out by Israel is having secret detention facilities in which dozens of detainees were imprisoned and never heard of anymore. This is in addition to the “Numbers Graveyard” in which “unknown” Palestinian and Arab fighters are buried.

MORE HERE

Israel wants Swedish apology over “organ trade”

A diplomatic row has erupted between Sweden and Israel over an allegedly anti-semitic newspaper article. Israel wants an apology after the Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet repeated claims that Israeli troops stole and then sold the organs of Palestinians who died in custody in the early 1990s.

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