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Archive for June, 2010

Tuesday morning on CNBC, the spazzy white guys in lower Manhattan were debating how the administration and Congress can best repair the economy, and mainly the jobless numbers. At one point, Rick Santelli, the hyperkinetic shoutcaster and instigator of the tea party movement, began to flail around, waving his arms above his head while yelling, “Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending!”

And contrary to accusations from one of the other spazzy white panelists, Santelli insisted he wasn’t calling for more tax cuts. Just a freeze in government spending. Somehow.

Fine. Show us another time in American history when a spending freeze — and a spending freeze alone — jump-started an economic recovery following a deep recession and high unemployment. Show us. Where in the world is Santelli getting this?

It doesn’t really matter from which hole Santelli’s latest television meltdown was extricated. Suffice to say, there is no historical precedent for any such thing. In fact, the often-referenced spending cuts of 1937 caused the opposite effect: a backslide in the economic recovery during the Great Depression. Oh, sorry. There we go again — referencing actual “history” instead of just screeching incongruous, contradictory and unsubstantiated nonsense, which seems to be the accepted style of discourse these days.

Santelli’s rant is just another performance in a broader strategy by the Republicans and tea party movement to deliberately sabotage the economic recovery. Not unlike Santelli’s “stop spending” idea, this is a strategy which also, to the best of my knowledge, has no historical precedent. For the first time ever — and this is worth repeating — one of the two major political parties in America is sabotaging a delicate economic recovery for the sake of humiliating the president and his party, and subsequently recapturing a political majority.

More than a year ago, Rush Limbaugh both predicted this and set the table for it to occur. They want the president to fail, and now it’s clear that they’re willing to take the economic recovery down in order to make it so. Is there any doubt who leads the Republican Party?

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By Stephen Zunes, Foreign Policy In Focus, June 25, 2010

Gaza FlotillaPosted as a complement to Stephen Zunes’s Foreign Policy in Focus piece Israel’s Dubious Investigation of Flotilla Attack.

In a letter to President Barack Obama date June 17, 329 out of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives referred to Israel’s May 31 attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters, which resulted in the deaths of nine passengers and crew and injuries to scores of others, as an act of “self-defense” which they “strongly support.” Similarly, a June 21 Senate lettersigned by 87 out of 100 senators — went on record “fully” supporting what it called “Israel’s right to self-defense,” claiming that the widely supported effort to relieve critical shortages of food and medicine in the besieged Gaza Strip was simply part of a “clever tactical and diplomatic ploy” by “Israel’s opponents” to “challenge its international standing.”

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by Miles Goslett and Stephen Frost, Daily Mail/UK, June 26, 2010

The official story of Dr David Kelly is that he took his own life in an Oxfordshire wood by overdosing on painkillers and cutting his left wrist with a pruning knife.

He was said to be devastated after being unmasked as the source of the BBC’s claim that the Government had ‘sexed up’ the case for war in Iraq.

A subsequent official inquiry led by Lord Hutton into the circumstances leading to the death came to the unequivocal conclusion that Kelly committed suicide.

Yet suspicions of foul play still hang heavy over the death of the weapons expert whose body was found seven years ago next month in one of the most notorious episodes of Tony Blair’s premiership.

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By Ma’an News Agency, Monday, June 28, 2010

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Seven oxygen machines donated to the Palestinain Authority by a Norwegian development agency were seized by Israeli officials en route to hospitals in the West Bank and Gaza, the Ramallah-based health ministry said.
The machines, the ministry said in a Thursday statement, were confiscated by Israeli officials who claimed that the generators attached “came under the category of possible use for non-medical purposes” if they were delivered to the southern Gaza governorates.

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Obama Insists His Focus Is on Winning the War

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  June 27, 2010

Speaking today in the wake of the G20 Summit, President Barack Obama criticized what he called “a lot of obsession” about ending the war in Afghanistan and withdrawing some 100,000 American troops from the nation.

Obama insisted that instead of considering if and how the war will ever come to some sort of end, his “focus right now is how do we make sure that what we’re doing there is successful, given the incredible sacrifices.”

The US initially invaded Afghanistan in late 2001. The number of troops in the nation has rising precipitously since President Obama took office in 2009, inheriting a war with 30,000 troops and turning it into a war with 100,000 troops.

Obama’s comments reflect those he made earlier this week, disavowing his pledge to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July of 2011. Now President Obama says that date is just the “beginning of a transition phase” and there is no particular timeline for leaving Afghanistan.

With the war increasingly unpopular, the president presented the 2011 drawdown date as a way to make his most recent escalation more palatable. With the surge troops now deployed, the date appears to have been discarded, and those still clamoring for some sort of end to the nearly decade-long war condemned for losing sight of some ill-defined victory.


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Excellent coverage by Pressfortruth.ca, showing months of prepartion for the G 20 convention with a billion dollar price tag that would make, even, the Bu$h administration proud.

weavingspider | May 29, 2010
In the eyes of the global elite it is time for Canadians to be whipped into a state of fear in order to accept the increasing police state under big brothers watchful eye and to move us another step closer to a North American Union and a One World Government. Their favorite tactic in this sinister agenda is to manipulate the masses into begging for their own slavery. This is often achieved incrementally by utilizing their theory of “order out of chaos”.

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http://www.youtube.com/user/weavingspider#p/u/2/yFpH32wnWrM

http://www.youtube.com/user/weavingspider#p/u/0/rq9ruy4WeKM

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Supreme Court voids Chicago handgun ban, expands gun rights nationwide

By Raw Story
Monday, June 28th, 2010 — 10:18 am

Group: ‘People will die because of this decision’

Gun owners upset about states “trampling on their rights” have reason to cheer Monday.

“In another dramatic victory for firearm owners, the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional Chicago, Illinois’ 28-year-old strict ban on handgun ownership, a potentially far-reaching case over the ability of state and local governments to enforce limits on weapons,” CNN reports.

The Associated Press adds, “The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Constitution’s “right to keep and bear arms” applies nationwide as a restraint on the ability of the federal, state and local governments to substantially limit its reach.”

“The justices on Monday cast doubt on a Chicago area handgun ban, but also signaled in their 5-4 decision that less severe restrictions could survive legal challenges,” the AP article continues.

The ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito, decided that the 2nd Amendment “applies equally to the federal government and the states.”

The AP adds, “The court was split along familiar ideological lines, with five conservative-moderate justices in favor of gun rights and the four liberals, opposed.”

Liberal anti-gun groups are already fuming. Washington, DC’s Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand issued the following statement to RAW STORY:

“People will die because of this decision. It is a victory only for the gun lobby and America’s fading firearms industry. The inevitable tide of frivolous pro-gun litigation destined to follow will force cities, counties, and states to expend scarce resources to defend longstanding, effective public safety laws. The gun lobby and gunmakers are seeking nothing less than the complete dismantling of our nation’s gun laws in a cynical effort to try and stem the long-term drop in gun ownership and save the dwindling gun industry. The 30,000 lives claimed annually by gun violence and the families destroyed in the wake of mass shootings and murder-suicides mean little to the gun lobby and the firearm manufacturers it protects.

“It is our hope that Chicago’s citizens will follow the lead of the residents of the District of Columbia–who were stripped of their handgun ban in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. In the two years since that decision, only 900 firearms have been registered in the District that otherwise could not have been registered before the Heller ruling. The citizens of DC reject the wrong-headed notion that more guns make us safer. We know the facts prove the opposite and that areas of the country with the highest concentration of gun ownership also have the highest rates of gun death. We urge Chicago residents to consider these indisputable facts before considering bringing a handgun into their homes–an act that could well prove fatal to themselves or a loved one.”

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