Saturday, January 31, 2009

geopolitiks: occupation, colonization, assimilation

italians occupy site of proposed US military base in vicenza
italians occupy site of proposed US military base in vicenzafrom global research: Opposition to what would be a major new hub for the U.S. military in Europe is not new. Protest marches have filled Vicenza's streets. The Italian Prime Minister has lost his job. But now construction has neared, and protesters have occupied the site to prevent it. See background here. This morning around 10 a.m. the movement opposing the new U.S. base in Vicenza, Italy, entered and occupied the site. The police were caught completely off guard and the activists were able to cut the fence and gates and occupy the area. Once the police arrived, they were planning to forcibly remove the protesters. However, the protesters are occupying an area that was the airport Dal Molin, which is technically under control of the Italian civilian aviation authority, ENAC, who has said the protest is legitimate. So far the police have backed off. Tonight there will be a public assembly followed by a dinner and concert. Monday, Feb 2, had been announced by the movement as the start of a week of initiative to protest the demolition work that is being carried out in preparation for the construction of the base, but it looks like the activists got off to an early start!

israel hopes to colonize parts of iraq as 'greater israel'

doctors spooked by israel's mystery weapon
doctors spooked by israel's mystery weaponfrom danger room: Critics continue to press the case that Israel committed "war crimes" in its war with Hamas, because of the civilian casualties in Gaza. Ironically, many of these wounds may have been caused by a weapon designed to reduce collateral damage. Not that the Israelis admit they have the thing. We first reported on Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) munitions in 2006... There are a large number of reports from Gaza that suggest this type of weapon has been used, and, unfortunately, caused civilian deaths. There are reports and pictures of victims peppered with small particles, and descriptions which are consistent with very localized blast... Erik Fosse, a Norwegian doctor working in Gaza says that the weapon "causes the tissue to be torn from the flesh. It looks very different [from a shrapnel injury]. I have seen and treated a lot of different injuries for the last 30 years in different war zones, and this looks completely different." According to Fosse and his colleague Mads Gilbert, the weapon typically amputates or tears apart lower limbs and patients often do not survive. It's no more illegal than normal blast-and-shrapnel weapons, but it is a mystery.

iceland to be assimilated into the eu
from guardian: Iceland will be put on a fast track to joining the European Union to rescue the small Arctic state from financial collapse amid rising expectations that it will apply for membership within months, senior policy-makers in Brussels and Reykjavik have told the Guardian. The European commission is preparing itself for a membership bid, depending on the outcome of a snap general election expected in May. An application would be viewed very favourably in Brussels and the negotiations, which normally take many years, would be fast-forwarded to make Iceland the EU's 29th member in record time, probably in 2011.

chinese state media goes global
from asia times: Even as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is projecting hard power across the four corners of the earth, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is mapping out a multi-pronged strategy to publicize globally the apparent viability of the "China model". The administration of President Hu Jintao is spending around 45 billion yuan (US$6.58 billion) to boost what party insiders call "overseas propaganda" (waixuan gongzuo). Prominent state media including CCTV and Xinhua news agency will vastly enhance programs and news feeds in different languages for Western and Asian audiences, and an English news channel modeled on al-Jazeera is set to let the world get the Chinese take on issues and events ranging from politics and finance to culture and religion.

dea quits bolivia on morales' order
from upi: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has removed all its agents from Bolivia, complying with orders by President Evo Morales, officials said. The DEA began pulling agents out several weeks ago and the last agents left Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The development comes even as Bolivian officials say coca cultivation and cocaine processing are growing. Morales ordered the DEA out in November, more than three decades after the DEA began working there. He expelled U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg last year and the Bush administration has decertified Bolivia's anti-drug campaign. Citing senior law enforcement officials, the Times reported this is the first time the DEA has been ordered to pull its entire operation out of a country. Officials said DEA personnel would be redeployed to bordering countries, where they could monitor developments in Bolivia.

n korea cancels military & political agreements with s korea
n korea cancels military & political agreements with s koreafrom wikinews: According to media reports in North Korea, the government has severed all political and military ties with its neighbor, South Korea. The North also canceled cooperation, non-aggression and reconciliation agreements that were agreed upon in the early 1990's. N. Korea claims that the South is acting with hostile intent towards their government. The report comes as the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) was quoted as saying that the South reduced North Korea to dead documents, "[pushing the two] to the brink of a war." "All the agreed points concerning the issue of putting an end to the political and military confrontation between the North and the South will be nullified," said the CPRK in a statement which also said that there is no hope of improving relations. "They have reached the extreme point where the clash of fire against fire, steel against steel, has become inevitable." A spokesman for the Unification Ministry of South Korea, Kim Ho-Nyoun, says the South Korean government deeply regrets the decisions made by the North.

bbc won't play this gaza aid appeal
from 9/11 blogger: The BBC has been joined by Sky News in their boycott of this aid appeal for the children of Gaza. But you can watch it on YouTube, as the Disasters Emergency Committee has posted the ad:

confusion over british cannabis status

sign hacker broadcasts zombie warnings

sign hacker broadcasts zombie warningsfrom statesman: Someone reprogrammed two city construction road signs near the University of Texas early Monday morning in an attempt to warn Austin of an imminent zombie attack. Messages that typically alert Lamar Boulevard drivers to a detour for Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard splashed several warnings like “Caution! Zombies Ahead!” and “Nazi Zombies! Run!!!”... The biggest safety hazard came from drivers slowing down or stopping their car to take pictures, Jones said. The hacking occurred within weeks of various articles appearing online with descriptions of how to hack into these road signs — which point out that such an act is illegal... “It’s a pretty childish prank,” he said... No zombies have been seen in the area, and with any luck, Tuesday night’s cold front killed off any undead with ghoulish plans to invade the city.

flashback: 'aqua teen' bomber scare

ground zero lounge: big hairy inaugural balls

ground zero lounge: big hairy inaugural ballsfrom clyde lewis: It takes balls to give an ecumenical prayer in front of people who threaten lawsuits. It takes bigger balls to make a racist statement during a benediction. It takes some big hairy inaugural balls to propose changing the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in a speech.

stream (part1/part2)
download (part1/part2)

Recorded every Monday evening in front of a live audience at Dante's Inferno in Portland Oregon, the Ground Zero Lounge features Clyde Lewis in this audience participation discussion of current events as they relate to the paranormal.

Friday, January 30, 2009

media monarchy episode109

listen live to the revere radio network

banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies on the one-hundred & ninth episode of media monarchy w/ stimulus bouts & secret accounts, chicago gangsters & davos banksters, biofuels & biometrics, cyborg moths & killbots, the stupor bowl, 9/11 money & drill trail, military mp3 players, music by cursive and tons more...


listen live to the portland radio authoritymedia monarchy is originally broadcast live on the portland radio authority & revere radio network every friday at 10am pacific/1pm eastern...

plus, you can always get podcasts of previous episodes thanks to itunes, &

media monarchy episode108b

media monarchy episode108bthe b-side of episode108 from media monarchy was broadcast live on the portland radio authority w/ lobbyists, lies, airstrikes & the obama deception + the torture question, the war on the weak & the boys from brazil are little hitlers, listen to what you've got by idlewild and tons more...



Thursday, January 29, 2009

a bitter end for blagojevich: illinois governor impeached

illinois senators vote 59-0 to oust 'devious' & 'unfit' governor

a bitter end for blagojevich: illinois governor impeachedfrom washington post: The state senators stood up one by one in a hushed chamber on Thursday to call Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) a liar and a hypocrite who put his ego and his pocketbook ahead of the interests of Illinois. One called him "devious, cynical, crass and corrupt." Another said the evidence of abuse of power was "overwhelming." A third said he was "without a doubt unfit to govern." Together, they voted 59 to 0 to reject Blagojevich's theatrical last-minute pleas and remove him from office, ending a stormy tenure that left the nation's fifth-largest state paralyzed by its governor's alleged misdeeds and nationally ridiculed for its latest bout of corruption. "I believe our state must enter rehab," Sen. Randall Hultgren (R) told his colleagues before the vote. "Moral rehabilitation."

video: blago called for kennedy, mccain & emanuel to be fired
from raw replay: Speaking at his Illinois senate impeachment trial, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said that if he was being impeached then Sens. Ted Kennedy, John McCain and President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, should also be fired. RAW STORY has more details here. This video is from, broadcast Jan. 29, 2009.

flashbacks: illinois gov arrested for trying to sell obama's senate seat & illinois gov may send natl guard into chicago to fight crime

envirohealth: corn syrup, mercury, vaccines & carbon bullprint

study finds high-fructose corn syrup contains mercury
study finds high-fructose corn syrup contains mercuryfrom healthday news: Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies. HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average. "Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies, said in a prepared statement. In the first study, published in current issue of Environmental Health, researchers found detectable levels of mercury in nine of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. And in the second study, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), a non-profit watchdog group, found that nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury. The chemical was found most commonly in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments.

not so sweet: missing mercury & high fructose corn syrup [448kb PDF]
much high fructose corn syrup contaminated with mercury [156kb PDF]
environmental health article
table a: total mercury detected in 55 brand-name foods and beverages high in hfcs [84kb PDF]
dr wallinga on democracy now

video: mercury found in corn syrup

vaccines & other govt propaganda
from infowars: In the seventh installment of his new audio blog, Alex Jones and his wife Violet discuss various government propaganda, as well as television programs, which advance the idea that those who don’t vaccinate will contaminate the rest of society. Violet discusses an episode of Private Practice which features a scenario where the mother of an autistic child had refused to vaccinate another child out of concern about the link between vaccine & autism. That action is portrayed as a dangerous misjudgment leading to the second child spreading measles– which the doctors see as evidence that the woman’s children should be taken by CPS. Alex also discusses USA Service ads that are promoted by Obama, government propaganda about the supposed dangers of marijuana smokers, the pro-abortion culture, and other issues. Click the player button below to hear the latest installment.

carbon-calculating supercomputer has huge carbon footprint
carbon-calculating supercomputer has huge carbon footprintfrom times online: For the Met Office the forecast is considerable embarrassment. It has spent £33m on a new supercomputer to calculate how climate change will affect Britain – only to find the new machine has a giant carbon footprint of its own. “The new supercomputer, which will become operational later this year, will emit 14,400 tonnes of CO2 a year,” said Dave Britton, the Met Office’s chief press officer. This is equivalent to the CO2 emitted by 2,400 homes – generating an average of six tonnes each a year. The Met Office recently published some of its most drastic predictions for future climate change. It warned: “If no action is taken to curb global warming temperatures are likely to rise by 5.5ºC and could rise as much as 7ºC above pre-industrial levels by 2100. Early and rapid reductions in CO2 emissions are required to avoid significant impacts of climate change.” However, when it came to buying a new supercomputer, the Met Office decided not to heed its own warnings. The ironic problem was that it needed the extra computing power to improve the accuracy of its own climate predictions as well as its short-term weather forecasting. The machine will also improve its ability to predict extreme events such as fierce localised storms, cloudbursts and so on.

police state int'l: borders, biometrics & stupor bowl security

US/mexico border fence almost complete
US/mexico border fence almost completefrom ap: The fence along the U.S.-Mexico border is mostly finished. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lloyd Easterling says that 601 miles of the project had been completed as of a week ago. Easterling says 69 miles of the fence still must be built to meet the goal set during the Bush administration. In December, then President-elect Barack Obama said he wanted to evaluate border security operations before he considers whether to finish building the fence under his administration. Easterling said the Obama White House has not told Homeland Security to stop building the fence.

military pushing the biometrics agenda
from ap: On the front lines in Iraq, U.S. troops can scan someone's eye or finger to try to determine if he is a potential enemy or has been connected to a terror attack. At military bases on U.S. soil, it's not that easy. The use of biometrics _ ranging from simple fingerprints to more advanced retinal and facial scans _ has thrived in Iraq, where soldiers carry handheld devices that enable them to link to databases filled with hundreds of thousands of identities. But in Colorado, military bases just 20 miles or so apart have different identification requirements and access procedures for personnel or contractors trying to get onto the property. The gaps raise security concerns and worries of another attempted massacre scheme, like the one foiled at Fort Dix in New Jersey in 2007. "Interestingly, we are probably further forward in using biometrics outside our country in some of the combat environments than we are inside our country," Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command, said Tuesday. "We've got to find a way to fix that." Speaking at a biometrics conference, Renuart said the military services and law enforcement agencies around the country all carry different ID badges, and many are embedded with different information. And in some cases those agencies, he said, also have different computer databases that don't communicate well.

general wants to scan more US irises & fingerprints
general wants to scan more US irises & fingerprintsfrom danger room: Air Force Gen. Victor Renuart, the Pentagon's homeland security commander, thinks one of the tools the military uses to combat insurgents in Iraq - the collection of biometric data - is needed here at home. The Associated Press has this alarming intriguing quote from Renuart, who spoke Tuesday at a defense industry conference in northern Virginia: "Interestingly, we are probably further forward in using biometrics outside our country in some of the combat environments than we are inside our country," said the general. "We’ve got to find a way to fix that." Tuesday's conference was devoted to discussion of implementation of HSPD-24, a homeland security directive signed by President George W. Bush in 2008. The directive is supposed to harmonize the way federal agencies and the military collect, store, analyze - and share - biometric data. As it stands, the directive instructs the Attorney General to work with the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology to create an action plan for implementing HSPD-24 by this June. The new administration may be reviewing a number of Bush directives, but now might be a really good time to read up on the military's use of biometric technology. Noah reported extensively on the use of biometrics to deny freedom of movement to insurgents in Anbar province; he also noted the privacy and human-rights implications. For good measure, go read this fascinating transcript of this bloggers' roundtable from 2007 with Lt. Col. John Velliquette, then the chief of biometrics collection in Iraq. In the conference Tuesday, Renuart seemed to be talking largely about security badges for military bases. But as anyone who's been on the receiving end of the U.S. military's biometric identification process knows, it's an intrusive process. More importantly, deciding who has access to the databases - and how that info will be shared - will continue to be a major concern for the government and for privacy advocates.

scotus says passenger can be frisked
from ap: The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police officers have leeway to frisk a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation even if nothing indicates the passenger has committed a crime or is about to do so. The court on Monday unanimously overruled an Arizona appeals court that threw out evidence found during such an encounter. The case involved a 2002 pat-down search of an Eloy, Ariz., man by an Oro Valley police officer, who found a gun and marijuana. The justices accepted Arizona's argument that traffic stops are inherently dangerous for police and that pat-downs are permissible when an officer has a reasonable suspicion that the passenger may be armed and dangerous. The pat-down is allowed if the police "harbor reasonable suspicion that a person subjected to the frisk is armed, and therefore dangerous to the safety of the police and public," Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said. The case is Arizona v. Johnson, 07-1122.

'behavior detection' experts to boost stuper bowl security
'behavior detection' experts to boost stuper bowl securityfrom tampa tribune: If an officer asks if you need help on Super Bowl Sunday, he might be more than just gracious. For the first time, the Transportation Security Administration's "Behavior Detection Officers" are enhancing security at the championship event by watching people for combinations of suspicious behavior. "They're trained to do exactly that – pick people out of a crowd," Gary Milano, federal security director for the TSA's Tampa office, said today. These officers don't have the power to arrest but are uniformed behavioral experts, Milano said. The TSA and the U.S. Secret Service trained about 70 Tampa police officers and Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies working the event in their techniques. Milano described them as "telltale signs of people about to engage in wrongdoing" based on the Israeli security system. Each behavior, such as profuse sweating, could be innocent on its own but raises eyebrows when coupled with other behaviors, Milano said. He declined to elaborate.

new orleans terror drills from jan27 to feb8
from katc: The New Orleans Police Department is warning residents not to panic if they see helicopters flying around the city after dark. The department will be hosting military training in and around the city between Jan. 27 and Feb. 8. The training includes the use of military helicopters flying after dark throughout the city. Police say they want residents of New Orleans and outlying areas to know it's a training event. The activities, authorities say, have been carefully planned and are safe.

flashbacks: black helicopters over portland for dod terror drills & black helicopters over denver for terror drills

police state int'l: fema camps, biofuels, cyborg kill-bots & dhs

new legislation authorizes fema camps in US
new legislation authorizes fema camps in USfrom paul joseph watson: A new bill introduced in Congress authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to set up a network of FEMA camp facilities to be used to house U.S. citizens in the event of a national emergency. The National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645 mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of to providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill. The legislation also states that the camps will be used to “provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations”. Ominously, the bill also states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse. Many credible forecasters have predicted riots and rebellions in America that will dwarf those already witnessed in countries like Iceland and Greece. With active duty military personnel already being stationed inside the U.S. under Northcom, partly for purposes of “crowd control,” fears that Americans could be incarcerated in detainment camps are all too real.

saic awarded $25m biofuels contract by darpa
saic awarded $25m biofuels contract by darpafrom prnewswire: Science Applications International Corporation (NYSE: SAI) today announced it has been awarded a prime contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help develop an affordable alternative to petroleum-derived jet fuel (JP-8) from agricultural and aquacultural feedstock materials. The contract has a total value of up to $25 million if all phases of the development program are completed. Work will be performed primarily in Georgia, Florida, Hawaii and Texas. DARPA's BioFuels program explores energy alternatives and fuel efficiency efforts in a bid to reduce the military's reliance on traditional fuel. For an alternative to be viable, the fuel must be produced at a cost that is economically competitive with current supply costs. Under this contract, SAIC will lead a team of industrial and academic organizations to develop an integrated process for producing JP-8 from algae at a cost target of $3/gal. SAIC and its team will develop technologies and processes to help achieve DARPA's goal including integrating algae strain selection, water and nutrient sourcing, farming, harvesting, separation, triglyceride purification, algal oil processing, and economic modeling and analysis.

update: saic awarded $85m contract by the library of congress

will 2009 become the year of the kill-bot?
will 2009 become the year of the kill-bot?from techradar: Robot maker iRobot announced its 2008 financial figures today, but more interestingly predicted that sales of military robots would soar in 2009. The cybernetic manufacturer revealed that its government and industrial business grew more than 50 per cent in the last quarter compared with the same period a year ago, taking its revenues for the year to over $305 million (£210 million). Domestic robots like the robo-cleaner Roomba 500 and the gutter-scouring Looj helped international sales double year-on-year, but it's in the military sector that iRobot predicts the greatest growth. iRobot has already been awarded $2 million (£1.4 million) by the US Congress to develop the Warrior 700: a powerful and rugged robot for use in danger zones and inaccessible areas. The Warrior 700 will perform a variety of critical missions, including providing real-time video, audio and sensor readings to combat troops and local law-enforcement SWAT teams. The robot features an advanced digital architecture and a multi-mission chassis that supports payloads of up to 68kg (roughly equivalent to a skinny adult or fat kid). The company expects more military sales in 2009, which should supplement the fall in US consumer sales as they slacken off due to the recession.

pentagon's cyborg beetle spies take off
pentagon's cyborg beetle spies take offfrom danger room: Perhaps you are not particularly worried about the idea of remote-controlled insects spying on you, on behalf of the Pentagon. Darpa-funded researchers at the University of California, Berkeley would like to disabuse you of that notion. They've succeeded in "controlling a live rhinoceros beetle by radio," Tech-On reports. Researchers hooked a series of six electrodes up to the brain and muscles of the insect. Then, during a demonstration at the MEMS 2009 academic conference in Sorrento, Italy, "they equipped the beetle with a module incorporating a circuit to send signals to the electrodes, wireless circuit, microcontroller and battery. The university has so far succeeded in several experiments of electrically controlling insects, but it used a radio control system this time." ... It's one of a number of Darpa-backed experiments, to develop insect spies. The University of Michigan has its own cyborg beetles. University of Georgia researchers are implanting mini-machines into larval moths, so they can live to a ripe, old, remote-controlled age. Then there's the idea to use sex-starved insects to follow bank robbers. Seriously.

flashback: darpa to create brain-chipped cyborg moths

dhs publishes 315-page book honoring chertoff’s ‘select speeches'
dhs publishes 315-page book honoring chertoff’s ‘select speeches'from thinkprogress: The Department of Homeland Security recently sent out an entire book honoring former Secretary Michael Chertoff’s “Select Speeches” from 2005-2008. The 315-page book contains 36 of Chertoff’s speeches and press conferences (many of whichif not all — are most likely available online). ThinkProgress recently obtained a copy of the book and contacted DHS to find out how much taxpayer money was spent on the book’s production. However, we received no response. But Michele Nix, a former top official for former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, told ThinkProgress that this homage seemed to be exclusive to Chertoff, as the department did “nothing” similar for her former boss. Let us know in the comments section if you remember any of Chertoff’s speeches being particularly memorable.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

econocrash: davos, panic, pyramid schemes & market magic

do we need a north american currency?
do we need a north american currency?from marketwatch: Thomas Jefferson once said: "When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on." As the global financial system pushes on a string, investors are desperately trying to hold tight. The New World Order is upon us, full of hope, promise and a fair amount of fear. In our recent discussion regarding the direction of our country, we noted the risks of catering to conventional wisdom and the implications for the U.S. dollar. See MarketWatch column on New World Order. Years ago, the Federal Reserve wrote a "solution paper" regarding the need to combat zero-bound interest rates. The concern was the flight of capital from the U.S. and an option discussed was a two-tiered currency, one for U.S citizens and one for foreigners. Canadian economist Herbert Grubel first introduced a potential manifestation of this concept in 1999. The North American Currency - called the "Amero" in select circles - would effectively comingle the Canadian dollar, U.S. dollar and Mexican peso. On its face, while difficult to imagine, it makes intuitive sense. The ability to combine Canadian natural resources, American ingenuity and cheap Mexican labor would allow North America to compete better on a global stage. Experience has taught us, however, that perceived solutions introduced by policy makers and politicians don't always have the desired effect.

white house will 'create crisis' & 'panic' to push stimulus
from business & media: Is the new Obama administration taking cues from the Bush administration to get Congress to act? It certainly seemed that way to, South Carolina’s junior Republican senator, Jim DeMint. DeMint, speaking Jan. 27 at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., explained the Obama administration will “create crisis and widespread panic” just like its predecessor in order to get Congress to act expeditiously. “I’ve been around long enough to know whenever someone tells me I have to make a decision right now, my response is no,” DeMint said. “That clears it up right away and I think more and more the Bush administration and now this administration knows that they’re not going to get a quick reaction out of Congress unless they create crisis and widespread panic. And that’s going to be their M.O. to get Congress to act.” Another senator, James Inhofe, R-Okla., explained the Bush administration used a similar tactic, under the direction of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, to get the $700-billion TARP bailout bill passed by Congress back on Oct. 4, 2008.

bipartisanship? demint predicts zero senate gop votes for obama stimulus

ny ceo arrested over pyramid scheme
from afp: A New York CEO was to be arraigned Tuesday on charges of fleecing investors through a pyramid, or Ponzi scheme, authorities said. A spokeswoman for the FBI said that Nicholas Cosmo, chief executive of Agape World Inc, was due in court following his arrest late Monday. Cosmo "planned and carried out a fraudulent scheme" targeting some 1,500 investors and a total of 370 million dollars, the US prosecutor's office in New York said.

baboon’s blood offers davos leaders shakespearian market magic
baboon’s blood offers davos leaders shakespearian market magicfrom bloomberg: That old black magic has even the World Economic Forum in its spell. “Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble,” says WEF delegate Richard Olivier, one of the 2,500 global business and political leaders starring at the forum’s 39th annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland. The son of Shakespearian actor Laurence Olivier isn’t conjuring up Wall Street’s Triple Witching Hour before its next scheduled appearance in March. He’s hosting a seminar titled “Leadership Lessons From Macbeth” for WEF delegates who include Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. “Cool it with a baboon’s blood,” the 47-year-old Olivier advises, reciting the witches’ recommendation to the troubled Thane of Cawdor in Shakespeare’s play. The WEF’s theme this season is “Shaping the Post-Crisis World.” Yet Olivier reckons the kettle of fiscal crises currently heating up WEF delegates from JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon to American International Group Inc. Vice Chairman Jacob Frenkel makes the Davosian stage an ideal venue for the princes of Wall Street to delve into the magic of “Macbeth” and discuss how they persuaded people, including themselves, to believe in things that were not real.

un crime chief says drug money keeps banks afloat
from iht: The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday. Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year. "In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor." The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way." Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be involved. He only said Austria was not on top of his list, Profil said.

stimulus bill sends thrill through region

banks & standing armies: ron paul on glenn beck
from infowars: Glenn Beck actually quotes Thomas Jefferson on the fact that “banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.”

ron paul: strengthening or weakening the economy?

update: navy's idea of 'stimulus': torpedoes, missiles & jets
navy's idea of 'stimulus': torpedoes, missiles & jetsfrom danger room: The Navy is hoping the stimulus bill will pay for more missiles, and fighter jets, and torpedoes. The gazillion dollar economic aid package, making its way through Congress, puts a premium on projects that can generate jobs, ASAP. So the Pentagon has given "some suggestions in terms of military hospitals, clinics, barracks, some child-care centers and things like that, where we think the work could begin right away or is already under way and could be accelerated," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told senators the other day. But an internal Navy memo, obtained by ace Chris Castelli, goes farther than these mom-and-apple-pie construction projects. Instead, the Navy suggests, what about some: "Tomahawk cruise missiles, MK-48 torpedoes or SM-2 air defense missiles; warfighting equipment such as small boats, riverine and coastal warfare craft"... Which sounds a lot more like the Navy's typical shopping list, than an attempt to get Americans working in a hurry. Not surprising. But lame. Meanwhile, Taxpayers for Common Sense finds an extra billion in the stimulus bill for nuclear stockpile watchers at the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Plus, there's another $200 million for the oft-troubled effort to build a high-tech fence along the Mexican border. "DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano at her nomination hearing this month criticized the fence, which has already doubled in cost since construction began," the good-government group notes. "Considering the controversy around increased spending on the weapons complex and border fence, these passages of the legislation should raise some flags over its shovel-readiness." Here's my question to y'all: Should defense projects even be considered part of the stimulus package? Obviously, some of them do generate jobs. But with the Pentagon already gobbling up more than $600 billion a year, hasn't the military-industrial complex had more than its fill? Talk it over, in the comments.

more americans joining military as jobs dwindle
more americans joining military as jobs dwindlefrom iht: As the number of jobs across the nation dwindles, more Americans are joining the military, lured by a steady paycheck, benefits and training. The last fiscal year was a banner one for the military, with all active-duty and reserve forces meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals for the first time since 2004, the year that violence in Iraq intensified drastically, Pentagon officials said. And the trend seems to be accelerating. The army exceeded its targets each month for October, November and December — the first quarter of the new fiscal year — bringing in 21,443 new soldiers on active duty and in the reserves. December figures were released last week... "When the economy slackens and unemployment rises and jobs become more scarce in civilian society, recruiting is less challenging," said Curtis Gilroy, the director of accession policy for the Department of Defense. Still, the economy alone does not account for the military's success in attracting more recruits. The recent decline in violence in Iraq has "also had a positive effect," Gilroy said.

from soviet agent to london newspaper proprietor
from soviet agent to london newspaper proprietorfrom time: What can you get for a single unit of Britain's poor, battered currency? Not much - apart from power, influence and an entrée into the highest echelons of the British establishment. These are the potential byproducts of an agreement reached on Jan. 21 by Russian oligarch and politician Alexander Lebedev to buy London's largest newspaper, the Evening Standard, from its current owners Associated Newspapers for the nominal fee of one pound sterling. The bargain-basement price is arguably the least startling aspect of a transaction that if confirmed next month following a staff consultation process - and barring any intervention by the British government - will open a new and bizarre chapter in Anglo-Russian relations. Lebedev, after all, is a former KGB operative, who spied on Britain under diplomatic cover during the Cold War, by his own account scouring news sources such as the Standard for tidbits to feed to his handlers back home. His exotic pedigree has caused a few splutters. Richard Ottway, a Conservative MP, said he felt that "the fact that [Lebedev] has been a member of a foreign security service" meant there should be an inquiry into the sale. "I think it's one more example that we are no more a serious nation that we allow a serious paper to be taken over in our capital by a Russian oligarch," harrumphed Sir Peregrine Worsthorne, an octogenarian former newspaper editor.

irish millionaire found dead of suspected suicide
from wikinews: Irish property businessman Patrick Rocca has been found dead in his home. Police reports indicate that suicide is the probable cause. He was 42. Rocca was discovered dead yesterday morning, with one shot to the head. The Irish Times has confirmed that there appears to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding this shot, and that the firearm involved has been confiscated. Rocca was believed to have assets worth €500 million. He had worked in business for around 25 years, since he joined his family business, Rocca Tiles. His first property deal involved the purchase of two Gatwick office blocks in 2005.

over 8 in 10 corporations have tax havens
from ap: Eighty-three of the nation's 100 largest corporations, including Citigroup, Bank of America and News Corp. (NWSA), had subsidiaries in offshore tax havens in 2007, and some of the companies received federal bailout funding, a government watchdog said Friday. The Government Accountability Office released a report that said Bank of America Inc., Citigroup Inc. (C) and Morgan Stanley (MS) all had more than 100 units in countries that maintain low or no taxes. The three financial institutions were included in the $700 billion financial bailout approved by Congress.

update: putin calls for end of dollar stranglehold
from telegraph: Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has called for concerted action to break the stranglehold of the US dollar and create a new global structure of regional powers. "The one reserve currency has become a danger to the world economy: that is now obvious to everybody," he said in a speech at the World Economic Forum. It is the first time that a Russian leader has set foot in the sanctum sanctorum of global capitalism at Davos. Mr Putin said the leading powers should ensure an "irreversible" move towards a system of multiple reserve currencies, questioning the "reliability" of the US dollar as a safe store of value. "The pride of Wall Street investment banks don't exist any more," he said.

update: diplomat says 'jewish money' controls US
from afp: South Africa’s deputy foreign minister has been taken before the national human rights body for allegedly saying that "Jewish money" controls the United States, officials said Thursday. Fatima Hajaig allegedly told a political rally two weeks ago in Johannesburg that Jews "control America, no matter which government comes into power, whether Republican or Democratic, whether Barack Obama or George Bush... Their control of America, just like the control of most western countries, is in the hands of Jewish money," she allegedly said. Outraged by the remarks, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies — a civil rights group — said it filed a complaint Wednesday against Hajaig at the human rights commission.

9/11 updates: nsa, money trail, insider trading & drills

nsa could have prevented 9/11 hijackings
nsa could have prevented 9/11 hijackingsfrom raw story: The super-secretive National Security Agency has been quietly monitoring, decrypting, and interpreting foreign communications for decades, starting long before it came under criticism as a result of recent revelations about the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Now a forthcoming PBS documentary asks whether the NSA could have prevented 9/11 if it had been more willing to share its data with other agencies.

terrorists working for western countries
terrorists working for western countriesfrom nafeez ahmed: It came to my attention that a senior correspondent, Kristin Aalen, working for a national Norwegian broadsheet - Stavanger Aftenbladet (Stavanger Evening News) - just recently printed a detailed article in the newspaper on Western covert operations sponsoring al-Qaeda after the Cold War... based almost entirely on my research in The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism. Entitled "Terrorists Working for Western Countries" (24.11.08), it even gives a country-by-country summary breakdown complete with a handy geopolitical world map of the wide arc of these operations. It's a very useful piece from a mainstream national European paper that very effectively summarizes the thrust of my research into this unpalatable subject. A shame that the British press is so reticent about such issues. There are some caveats. Kristin sometimes oversimplifies my geopolitical explanations, and this can lead to serious misinterpretations, such as her rendition of my examination of Pentagon sponsorship of al-Qaeda fighters in the Balkans - she says that the US and NATO helped the Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs, provoking them, and thus preventing peace. This is caricature of my argument, which is more fully fleshed out in The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry.

'rogue' trader highlights possible 9/11 & 7/7 insider trading
'rogue' trader highlights possible 9/11 & 7/7 insider tradingfrom steve watson: According to an article in The London Times today, Société Générale rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel profited enormously on the day of the 7/7 London bombings. He has also revealed how his company made huge profits on September 11th 2001, prompting some to return to questions over insider foreknowledge of both terrorist attacks: “The best trading day in the history of Société Générale was September 11, 2001... At least, that’s what one of my managers told me. It seems that profits were colossal that day... I had a similar experience during the London attacks in July 2005.” Kerviel was charged almost exactly one year ago in the Société Générale trading loss incident which cost the financial services company an estimated €4.9 billion. Until the Bernard Madoff fraud incident last month, it was reported to be the largest fraud in banking history.

yet another military exercise occurring on 9/11 uncovered
yet another military exercise occurring on 9/11 uncoveredfrom 9/11 blogger: When it seems impossible to discover additional shady military exercises occurring Sept. 11, 2001, there comes along yet another investigator uncovering secret documents pointing to unprecedented military actions happening the same day.

National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson is reporting in his new book, "Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America's Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad," that the U.S. nuclear bomb squad, known as the Nuclear Emergency Search Team, was out of the country on its first foreign deployment since 1998, at a British air base in the Cotswolds, on Sept. 11 as part of Operation Jackal Cave.

According to the book, the exercise involved more than 500 personnel, 62 aircraft, 420 short tons of cargo, the CIA and a special operations force that would seize a mock nuclear device that the NEST squad would disable.

The after-action report from the deployment, ""DOE EXERCISE 03-01 JACKAL CAVE" notes the early termination of the exercise because of the attacks, but finds useful "strengths and weaknesses" including the need to "[i]ssue secure international cell phones to control members and team leaders."

The heavily redacted report created in 2003 and prepared for the Department of Energy's Office of Emergency Response by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education gives only hints of the exercise, including continuing training and exercises between the Department of Energy's Joint Technical Operations Teams (JTOT) and the Army's 21st Ordnance Company (EOD) to "enhance command and control relationships."

A Sept. 13, 2001 report by the BBC News Online quotes British Squadron Leader John Morris of Royal Air Force station Fairford that U.S. planes were flying to the station after being recalled from their participation in Operation Jackal Cave.

Morris is also quoted in a story printed in the Swindon Advertiser in South West England in an article dated Aug. 30, 2001 in which he describes RAF Fairford, a former wartime base, hosting a major United States European Command sponsored training exercise between September 5 and 18. Morris said Fairford would be used as a transit point for the exercise.

rehearsing 9/11: how training exercises foretold the attacks
rehearsing 9/11: how training exercises foretold the attacksfrom 9/11 blogger: In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, senior U.S. government and military officials repeatedly claimed that what happened that day was unexpected. In May 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said, "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile." [1] Two years later, President Bush stated, "Nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale." [2] General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of NORAD on September 11, said, "Regrettably, the tragic events of 9/11 were never anticipated or exercised." [3]

Yet these claims were untrue. Not only had the U.S. military and other government agencies discussed the possibility of such attacks, they also conducted numerous training exercises in the year or two before September 11 based around scenarios remarkably similar to what occurred on 9/11. As John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, said, "No one knew specifically that 20 people would hijack four airliners and use them for suicide attacks against major buildings ... but the idea of such an attack was well known [and] had been wargamed as a possibility in exercises before September 11." [4]

The existence of these training exercises proves that official claims that the events of September 11 were unimaginable have been false. However, future investigations of 9/11 will need to determine whether these exercises served a more nefarious purpose. For example, might they have been intended as a smokescreen for rogue individuals working within the military and other government agencies who were involved in planning the attacks? Thus, if colleagues overheard these individuals discussing matters such as planes hitting the World Trade Center or crashing into the Pentagon, they could have claimed they were simply talking about a forthcoming training exercise.
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