Will This Blow Over?

clipped from www.americablog.com

Looks like Rudy lied when he blamed NYPD for the very unusual billing practices

by Joe Sudbay (DC)
· 11/30/2007 05:27:00 PM ET

this post here: Comments (7) · digg it · reddit · FARK · · Link

A break from the hostage situation in NH to get an update on Rudy’s growing scandal.

This thing just keeps getting worse for Rudy as ABC’s The Blotter gets more information that contradicts the former Mayor. This has become a textbook campaign scandal. Now, we’re dealing with the lies and the cover-up of the original scandal about Rudy using taxpayer dollars to finance his extra-marital affair with Judith Nathan. Yesterday, Rudy tried to blame NYPD. NYPD’s chief says otherwise. Lies and cover-up:

Giuliani said Thursday the unusual billing practice was not intended to hide anything but instead to speed payment of American Express credit card bills.

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Australia boots Howard, elects sane Prime Minister

Excerpt: Conservative Prime Minister John Howard, one of the Bush administration’s staunchest allies, suffered a humiliating election defeat Saturday at the hands of an opposition leader who has vowed to pull troops out of Iraq.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd, a Chinese-speaking former diplomat, has also promised to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, leaving the US as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

Comment: Maybe I’m being unreasonably optimistic, but it seems more and more, the United States stands alone for war and stupidity. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US wants to arm rebel tribes in Pakistan

Excerpt: A new and classified American military proposal outlines an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy, American military officials said.

If adopted, the proposal would join elements of a shift in strategy that would also be likely to expand the presence of American military trainers in Pakistan, directly finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective and pay militias that agree to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists, officials said.

Comment: We’re starting a civil war in someone else’s country again? Yawn. We’re sending John “Iran-Contra” Negroponte to help set that up again? Double yawn. But Pakistan has nuclear weapons and not the imaginary kind of nuclear weapon that the voices in Dick Cheney’s head insist Iran has, but actual, non-theoretical nuclear weapons. So, yeah, LET’S DO THAT. Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

Musharraf shuts down two of Pakistan’s biggest private television news channels

Excerpt: The way the transmission of GEO-TV and ARY TV were stopped last night has exposed the ugly face under the cover of which the government wants to snatch people’s freedoms. We understand that it is not only a measure against freedom of the press but equivalent to economic murder of certain people.

Bush: Musharraf has not ‘crossed the line’

Excerpt: Last night in an interview with ABC News, President Bush “offered his strongest support of embattled Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf,” nearly three weeks after Musharraf declared emergency rule. Bush said that Musharraf hasn’t yet “crossed the line” and insisted Musharraf has “advanced democracy in Pakistan.”

Comment: Okay, declaring martial law and arresting the supreme court in order to thwart an election is “not crossing the line”? Not exactly what you want to hear from someone who the “opposition party” has decided to leave in power through the next American election instead of impeaching him already. Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

Iran — Run-up to the next war

Israel asks Nobel Peace Prize winning IAEA chief to step down

Excerpt: Irked by a soft report on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has called upon International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammed ElBaradaei to step down.

Comment: ElBaradaei stands in the way of war. Rebecca PERMANENT LINK

War profiteers test-market potential sales pitches for attack on Iraq

Excerpt: After joining a half dozen other women in a conference room, she found, to her surprise, that she had been called in to help some of the country’s most prominent hawks test-market language that could be used to sell a war against Iran to the American public. “The whole basis of the whole thing was, ‘we’re going to go into Iran and what do we have to do to get you guys to along with it,” Sonnenmark, 49, tells Mother Jones.

Powell: Iran is a long way from having nuclear weapon

Excerpt: Iran is a long way from acquiring a nuclear weapon and is “foolish” for not investing its resources in its people instead of a nuclear program, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday.

Iraq’s foreign militants ‘come from US allies’

Excerpt: Around 60% of all foreign militants who entered Iraq to fight over the past year came from Saudi Arabia and Libya, according to files seized by American forces at a desert camp.

The files listed the nationalities and biographical details of more than 700 fighters who crossed into Iraq from August last year, around half of whom came to the country to be suicide bombers, the New York Times reported today.

Comment: Again, the actual facts on the ground: Almost everyone fighting in Iraq is either Iraqi or American. And of the few foreign militants who come to Iraq to fight, exponentially more are British than Iranians. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US blames Iran-backed group for Baghdad bombing

Excerpt: “Based on subsequent confessions, forensics and other intelligence, the bombing was the work of an Iranian-backed ‘special groups’ cell operating here in Baghdad,” [US military spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith] said.

Comment: I don’t know Admiral Smith from Adam, and lord knows I’d like to assume he’s an honorable man, not a bald-faced liar. But under the Bush administration, “US military spokesman” is a synonym for liar, so while Admiral Smith holds that title it’s only prudent to assume he’s [art of the Bush administration’s organized strategy of lying America into another war. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US military demands signing bonuses back from wounded soldiers

Excerpt: The US Military is demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

To get people to sign up, the military gives enlistment bonuses up to $30,000 in some cases.

Now men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyesight, hearing and can no longer serve are being ordered to pay some of that money back.

Comment: The Bush administration hates the troops. No exaggeration, no hyperbole that’s the only logical conclusion to be drawn from the way this administration treats soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Bush’s “anti-drug” funds force Mexico to change entire justice system

Excerpt: The Bush administration’s proposed counter-narcotics aid package for Mexico would set in motion a vast reengineering of the country’s justice system, revamping the legal education process, creating a network of court clerks and helping to write new laws, according to two summaries obtained by The Washington Post.

Nearly every sector of Mexico’s federal justice system would receive a slice of the proposed aid, with millions being doled out for equipment and training for prosecutors, federal police, prison managers and customs inspectors. About 40 percent of the aid package would go to the Mexican military, which has been accused of human rights violations by several international organizations.

The plan proposes helping to “develop appropriate legislation,” which some analysts believe could be perceived as an attempt by the United States to dictate Mexican laws.

Comment: “Which some analysts believe” … “could be perceived” … as the US dictating Mexican law? Is there any other plausible way to interpret this? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

New York Times again suppresses news, this time for three years

Excerpt: Since [Washington Bureau Chief Dean] Baquet’s tenure as bureau chief only stretches back to March 2007, he was not privy to the discussions in 2004 which he described as “a completely different era.”

And while Baquet added that he doesn’t like “the idea of holding stories,” he said he is not in a position to judge the circumstances faced by his predecessor.

Former White House Press Secretary says Bush ‘involved’ in CIA leak case

Excerpt: A former White House press secretary has said the US president was involved in misinforming the public over the leaking of a CIA agent’s identity.

In an excerpt from his book, Scott McClellan says George W Bush helped mislead the public over the role in the affair of two White House aides.

Bush personally involved in CIA leak cover-up

Excerpt: In early fall 2003, George W. Bush joined in what appears to have been a criminal cover-up to conceal the role of his White House in exposing the classified identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

That is the logical conclusion one would draw from a new statement by then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan when it is put into a mosaic with previously known evidence.

Comment: There is no definition of treason worth spit that wouldn’t include Bush, Cheney, and Rove in this matter… or half a dozen other matters Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Blackwater — America’s most famous mercenaries

Blackwater guards subpoenaed by grand jury

Excerpt: A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C. has opened an investigation into the role of Blackwater security guards in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi citizens in September in Baghdad, federal law enforcement sources tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

Brother of State Dept official resigns from Blackwater board

Excerpt: The brother of embattled State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard quit as an adviser to Blackwater Worldwide on Friday, two days after the relationship with the security contractor was sharply criticized by a congressional oversight committee.

However, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Howard Krongard may have not answered truthfully about his brother’s role with Blackwater and said it would continue to investigate.

Congress has more questions for official “overseeing” Blackwater

Excerpt: Rep. Henry A. Waxman said yesterday that he is moving forward with plans to call Baltimore’s Krongard brothers before his committee next month – despite attempts by Howard “Cookie” Krongard during the weekend to cancel the hearing.

The California Democrat sent a memo to committee members Friday, saying, “These discrepancies between the testimony of Howard [Cookie] Krongard and the information from Buzzy Krongard raise questions about the truthfulness of Howard Krongard’s testimony.”

Cookie Krongard’s State Department office is investigating whether the security firm smuggled weapons into Iraq and has been accused of blocking an inquiry into allegations that its guards killed at least 17 Iraqi citizens without obvious provocation. Buzzy Krongard was invited to join the Blackwater board this summer.

Iraqis arrest (non-American) mercenaries for shooting Iraqi woman

Excerpt: Iraqi officials took a hard line Tuesday on alleged abuses by foreign security contractors, saying criminal charges would be filed in the nonfatal shooting of a woman Monday as a guarded convoy carrying laborers passed by.

Iraqi forces arrested 43 people who had been traveling in the convoy, including laborers and security personnel. The detainees were two Fijians, 10 Iraqis, 21 Sri Lankans, one Indian and nine Nepalese, the US military said Monday.

The employer of the workers involved in Monday’s shooting, Almco Group, is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and has contracts with the US Department of Defense to provide some bases with essentials such as food, water and tents, the US military said.

Attempts to prosecute could prove problematic because Iraqi law currently grants immunity to foreign contractors under an order issued by US officials in 2004.

President of Associated Press blasts US for imprisonment of photographer

Excerpt: Bilal Hussein has been imprisoned by the US military in Iraq since he was picked up April 12, 2006, in Ramadi, a violent town in a turbulent province where few Western journalists dared go. The military claimed then that he had suspicious links to insurgents. This week, Editor & Publisher magazine reported the military has amended that to say he is, in fact, a “terrorist” who had “infiltrated the AP.”

We believe Bilal’s crime was taking photographs the US government did not want its citizens to see. That he was part of a team of AP photographers who had just won a Pulitzer Prize for work in Iraq may have made Bilal even more of a marked man.

Comment: This is a hard-hitting attack on the embarrassing imprisonment of AP photographer Bilal Hussein. Adds a lot of gravitas that it’s written by AP’s President, and the man deserves some kudos for speaking out and saying the right things.

But criminy, Bilal Hussein has been held prisoner for a year and a half. What took the President of Associated Press so long to find his voice? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US defends AP photographer’s ongoing imprisonment

Destroying civil liberties is like letting the terrorists win

Senate surveillance bill still authorizes warrantless surveillance

Excerpt: Even with the substantial improvements made by the Committee yesterday, the bill still authorizes unconstitutional surveillance of Americans’ international communications; the bill eliminates the prior judicial approval for such surveillance that was contained in FISA before the Protect America Act and is required by the Fourth Amendment.

Colorado measure would grant legal rights to fertilized human eggs

Excerpt: The measure, just one paragraph long, would ask voters whether inalienable rights, due process rights and equality of justice rights as defined in the state Constitution should be extended to “any human being from the moment of fertilization.”

The deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, Toni Panetta, said state courts could be swamped by suits claiming specific rights for a fertilized egg that the broad language of the ballot measure did not clarify.

Comment: There is apparently no limit to the flat-out insanity of the fetus fetish crowd. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Millions undergo background checks under post-9/11 laws

Excerpt: Already this year, 25 million Americans have had background checks by the federal government, a number that’s risen every year since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Amid the rise, a notable shift has occurred: More civilians are now checked each year than criminals. And checks on the vast majority come back clean, even as states allot more money for their growing screening operations.

US prison system ‘costly failure’

Excerpt: The US prison population has risen eight-fold since 1970, with little impact on crime but at great cost to the taxpayer, researchers say.

US leads world in jailing children for life

Excerpt: The United States has far more juveniles serving life terms than any other country 2387. Israel, the only other country that imprisons juveniles for life, according to a new study by the University of San Francisco’s Center for Law & Global Justice, has seven and has not issued such a sentence since 2004.

Six imams kicked off flight win a round in court

Excerpt: [Judge Ann] Montgomery said it is “dubious” that a reasonable person would conclude that the imams were about to interfere with the crew or aircraft. She said the plaintiffs had stated a plausible claim that [airport] officers violated their constitutional rights.

Judge grows annoyed at being lied to by CIA

Excerpt: A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case. …

After the hearing, [US District Judge Leonie Brinkema] said she no longer feels confident relying on the government briefs, particularly since prosecutors admitted last week that similar representations made in the Moussaoui case were false.

In a letter made public Nov. 13, prosecutors in the Moussaoui case admitted to Brinkema that the CIA had wrongly assured her that no videotapes or audiotapes existed of interrogations of certain high-profile terrorism detainees. In fact, two such videotapes and one audio tape existed.

Flamboyantly unqualified US Attorney removed
from office in Minnesota (transferred to Washington)

Excerpt: While Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department was purging some of its most talented and upstanding prosecutors, it hired Rachel Paulose as United States attorney for Minnesota. Ms. Paulose was not qualified, but she did have the right political connections. The recent decision to remove her from the job is overdue and a hopeful sign that the new attorney general, Michael Mukasey, may be serious about fixing his department. …

Ms. Paulose has reportedly been reassigned to work in the department’s Washington headquarters. It is odd that the department, which was so flippant about firing distinguished prosecutors, has decided to keep her on its payroll. Based on her record, she should not have any role in setting department policies of any kind.

Comment:The New York Times is flat-out deceiving readers by pretending that this somehow reflects that Mukasey is a “serious” reformer. A serious reformer would fire Paulose not move her closer to the reigns of power. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Life in liberated Afghanistan & Iraq

Afghanistan falling into Taliban hands

Excerpt: The report said: “It is a sad indictment of the current state of Afghanistan that the question now appears to be not if the Taliban will return to Kabul, but when this will happen and in what form.”

Comment: Round and round the cobbler’s bench / The monkey chased the weasel / The monkey thought ’twas all in fun / Pop! Goes the weasel … Wig PERMANENT LINK

Iraq to seek long-term US presence

Excerpt: Iraq’s government, seeking protection against foreign threats and internal coups, will offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership, two Iraqi officials said Monday.

The proposal, described to The Associated Press by two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue, is one of the first indications that the United States and Iraq are beginning to explore what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence.

Comment: I enjoyed the article’s humorous acceptance of the notion that “Iraq’s government” somehow exists as an actual entity, not only distinct from the US but capable of “negotiating” with Condi Rice et al. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

At least 20,000 Iraq combat brain injuries not noticed by Pentagon

Excerpt: The data, provided by the Army, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs, show that about five times as many troops sustained brain trauma as the 4,471 officially listed by the Pentagon through Sept. 30. These cases also are not reflected in the Pentagon’s official tally of wounded, which stands at 30,327.

Sanchez, former commander of US troops in Iraq, wants to bring them home

Excerpt: Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who commanded US troops in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, is scheduled to speak on behalf of the Democratic Party this weekend in support of a House war funding bill that would require President Bush to bring the bulk of US troops home from Iraq by the end of next year.

American-backed killer militias strut across Iraq

Excerpt: Members of the Baghdad Brigade receive $300 a man each month from the Americans, who also provide vehicles, uniforms and flak jackets. In return the brigade keeps out Al-Qaeda, dismantles roadside bombs and patrols the area, a task performed with considerable swagger by many of its 4,000 recruits.

The US military is delighted with the results achieved by the brigade in Abu Ghraib and by similar groups in other former “hot spots” of sectarian conflict that have seen a sharp decline in violence.

US military convoy opens fire on Iraqi traffic

Pope calls for end to Iraq war … ‘cuz he’s worried about Iraq’s Christian minority

Book examines taboo topic: Israel’s role in American politics

Excerpt: America spends $3-billion a year in largely military assistance one-sixth of its direct aid budget to help a prosperous, nuclear-armed country, and strongly backs Israel in negotiations on Middle East peace.

But according to [John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard], the US gets remarkably little in return.

Where have all the Burmese monks gone?

Excerpt: What’s happened is that the military junta has forced many monks to flee the cities, continues to jail those it sees as ringleaders in the protests, has persuaded abbots some of them already collaborating with the regime to get rid of dissidents and has placed many other monks under “monastery arrest.” They are not allowed to leave their campuses, except perhaps to collect their daily alms, which most monks do in the early morning. Further, the regime has forcibly “de-robed” many monks, implying they no longer are clerics. Some terrified monks simply fled, some to the countryside, others to neighboring Thailand and China. “Some monks went away and others, their parents came to get them,” says a 26-year-old monk who himself was jailed for 19 days. “The monasteries in my neighborhood seem to be empty. In my monastery, we used to have 100, now we’re down to about 31. I can feel the silence in the monasteries.”

Five million civil servants join French strikes

Excerpt: French President Nicolas Sarkozy is facing his stiffest political test on Tuesday as five million public servants stage a one-day strike. They are joining transport workers who are staying off the job for the seventh straight day. Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said Monday that the transport strike was costing the economy between $440 million and $513 million a day.

Comment: I don’t understand it, so I’m asking seriously: What does French society have that imbibes its people with such backbone? And whatever this magic ingredient is, where can America get some? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

New mega-gun for US military fires one million rounds per minute

Excerpt: Brisbane, Australia-based Metal Storm has delivered a four-barrel weapon to the Naval Surface Warfare Center for testing that uses a small electrical current instead a conventional firing pin to deliver stacked rounds at an astounding rate.

How astounding? Try 1 million rounds per minute. That’s the rate, by the way, not the volume; still, there’s no way you want to be anywhere near the wrong end of one of these puppies.

Comment: Can you think of any business-related applications that require a gun shooting a million rounds per second? Would anyone use such a weapon for hunting? I can’t even envision its use in warfare this is only a weapon for use in war crimes or utter totalitarian slaughters.

There’s no mention in the article about how many of these monstrous machines the US government has ordered, and only the obliquest mention of at whom these guns might be aimed. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

There are more than three stooges
(and one of them will be America’s next President)

All six of CNN’s “undecided voters” were Democratic operatives

Excerpt: I went back to the beginning of the debate to see how Blitzer introduced the format. Did he offer any details on who’d be doing the questioning? Why, yes. After mentioning that the debate was sponsored by the national party something likely understood by most viewers as a mere formality he described them as “ordinary people, undecided voters.” Note: not even “undecided Democrats.” Just undecided.

So-called ‘debates’ sidestep the big questions

Excerpt: Through 17 debates this year, roughly 1,500 questions have been asked of the two parties’ presidential candidates. But only a small handful of questions have touched on the candidates’ views on executive power, the Constitution, torture, wiretapping, or other civil liberties concerns. …

Only one question about wiretapping. Not a single question about FISA. There has, however, been a question about whether the Constitution should be changed to allow Arnold Schwarzenegger to be president.

Not one question about renditions. The words “habeas corpus” have not once been spoken by a debate moderator. Candidates have not been asked about telecom liability. … But NBC’s Brian Williams did ask the Democratic candidates what they would “go as” for Halloween.

Rudy Giuliani offers messianic paranoia

Excerpt: Islamic Terrorism is no longer merely “a threat to our freedoms.” It isn’t even just an existential threat to our country any more. It’s been upgraded rather severely in Giuliani’s mind: it’s now a threat to civilization itself. And Rudy Giuliani is running for President because he is “going to save civilization” his words from the Terrorists.

Romney recommends lying to kids about drugs

Excerpt: Mitt Romney thinks it’s just awful that Barack Obama has been honest about past experience with alcohol and illegal drugs:

“It’s just not a good idea for people running for President of the United States who potentially could be the role model for a lot of people to talk about their personal failings while they were kids because it opens the doorway to other kids thinking, ‘well I can do that too and become President of the United States,'” Romney told an Iowa audience today. “I think that was a huge error by Barack Obama … it is just the wrong way for people who want to be the leader of the free world.”

Rudy Giuliani adds war/disaster profiteer to campaign staff

Excerpt: Joe Allbaugh, George W. Bush’s longtime Texas pal and the campaign manager of his 2000 presidential campaign, is probably best known for being the man who gave the American people “Brownie” Michael Brown, the former head of the International Arabian Horse Association (IAHA) a breeders’ and horse-show organization based in Colorado who Allbaugh brought into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and who later succeeded him as head of the agency. Brown’s disastrous tenure at FEMA is only one of the FEMA-wrecking projects on Allbaugh’s resume.

‘Health plans’ of Giuliani, McCain, and Thompson would leave
cancer victims like Giuliani, McCain, and Thompson with no coverage

Obama comes clean about booze, pot, and cocaine

Human rights groups decry demolition of 3,000 units of New Orleans public housing

Excerpt: “To demolish affordable housing without sufficient remaining low-income housing stock is not only irresponsible, but a violation of international human rights standards,” said Jared Feuer, southern regional director of Amnesty International USA.

20,000 protest at US terror academy

Excerpt: In what has become the nation’s largest annual gathering for peace and human rights, over twenty thousand people protested outside the gates of Fort Benning, GA on November 18, 2007. Eleven people were arrested on federal criminal charges and face up to six months in prison. Fort Benning is the site of the internationally notorious US Army training school for Latin American military and security personnel. For decades it was called the School of the Americas (SOA) – it is now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). The school has graduated hundreds of military officers who have lead or participated in nearly every human rights atrocity in the hemisphere.

America’s ongoing health care catastrophe

Uninsured patients’ medical debt becomes new profit source for finance giants

Excerpt: “Hospitals can’t just be an interest-free finance vehicle,” says Todd Cole, director of patient accounting at TriHealth, a $2 billion pair of nonprofit hospitals in Cincinnati. “The world of $5 sent to the hospital and they will never send me to collections, never sue me that world has gone away,” he adds. TriHealth sells patient accounts at a steep discount to firms that specialize in collecting delinquent consumer debt. “Hospitals need their cash,” Cole says. “It is the lifeblood that supports the doctors, the nurses.”

Lobby to hide cancer dangers has government’s helping hand

Lead levels even well below US standard may cause brain damage in children

Cannabis compound ‘halts breast cancer’

Simple grain offers health benefits to diabetics

Cops you won’t see on TV’s COPS

Tasers a form of torture, says UN Committee against Torture

Excerpt: Taser electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America.

“The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,” the UN’s Committee against Torture said.

“In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,” the committee of 10 experts said.

Canadian police Tasers kill third man in five weeks

Man to sue Utah Highway Patrol after traffic stop tazing

No charges against cop who tasered teen girl to shut her up

Deputies raid wrong address, terrify residents, kill dog, don’t apologize

Lightning round news

Global warming: Jellyfish
attack wipes out salmon farm

Garry Kasparov is jailed
for “unauthorized protest”

Illegal immigrant saves boy’s life,
is arrested by Border Patrol

Dollar hits new low versus Euro

Murtha fights Marine’s defamation lawsuit

Lawyers steal homeowner’s land

U.K. Tax Chief resigns after losing personal
tax data of half the British population

Posthumous book claims Ford knew of
CIA cover-up in Kennedy assassination

Bush administration won’t condemn Saudi court’s punishment of gang rape victim

Six out of seven US bridge players
OK with weird Bridge Federation agreement

After the cyclone, Bangladesh
begins to bury its thousands of dead

Neighbor remorseful about
killing burglars, attorney says

All newly built homes must produce more
energy than they consume by 2020 (in France)

Liars, scoundrels, and hypocrites

Rove lies that White House opposed
politicizing pre-war Iraq vote

Time‘s Joe Klein again makes
demonstrably false statements

Klein writes weasly, misleading ‘correction’

Chris Matthews repeats long-
debunked smears of Gore

O’Reilly blasts USO

CNN‘s Beck tells another whopper

Christian kooks seek to
sue BBC for blasphemy

AP lies about Social Security ‘crisis’

Fox News host advocates tasers
or billy clubs for protesters

Stephanopoulos, Politico allowed
Thompson’s claims about his
abortion record to go unchallenged

Unindicted AG Gonzales heckled
at University of Florida

Bill O’Reilly hates the troops

Fox News‘s status as a politically impartial
channel is at last being exposed as a fiction

Markets ignore Fox News as it gets
facts, then correction both wrong

The love of money is the root of all evil

Google refuses to run impeachment ad

Bank of America, Capital One, Chase and Discover
caught actively working to undermine bankruptcy laws

Roche and GlaxoSmithKline flu drugs linked to childhood hallucinations, convulsions, deaths

Erectile dysfunction faux drugs recalled

Sony is ordered to pay $5-million for suppressed logo

Vodafone wins iPhone court ruling in Germany

Big Lots and other retailers recall lead-based jewelry

Retailer of poison Aqua Dots refuses to refund customers’ money

Aqua Dots recalled nearly 3 weeks ago advertised in Target flyers

Flashing pacifiers recalled over choking hazard

Hazardous toys still on US store shelves

Graco recalls some SnugRide car seats

20th Century Fox has bad reviews pulled off YouTube

Freddie Mac files $2-billion loss

Boeing guards its right to tail employees


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This week’s commentary

Batten down your e-hatches
by Hazel Burke, Unknown News

Excerpt: To defend against identity theft and various scams involving credit, there are steps that a reasonable person can take which are not very expensive …

Your government is killing you and your loved ones
by Herb Ruhs, MD, Unknown News

Excerpt: When uranium burns, as described in the article, it does not (as implied in the coverage) conveniently stay put. These ultra-fine particles are raised into the atmosphere and spread throughout the world. You and your family are participating in a turkey shoot where you are the turkeys and the people using uranium as convenient weapons are the shooters.

The first Thanksgiving, and the latest Thanksgiving
by Kevin Good, Unknown News

Excerpt: To celebrate the bounty of food brought to our tables, the American settlers welcomed the Indians, who helped them survive a difficult year, to join in the feast and celebration. …

Yup, that’ll do it
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Most of all we fear Fear
by Mr. Chuckles, Unknown News

Excerpt: We know what happens when we are afraid, and we are afraid of allowing ourselves to become afraid. When we are afraid our heart races, legs shake, adrenaline pumps, and we sweat the pure stink of Fear as we get ready for Fight or Flight! When we are afraid we lose our rationality and become like animals. So we are justified in being afraid of fear … up to a point.

Happy Thanksgiving
by Michelle L., From Reason to Freedom

Excerpt: I am thankful that I am able to homeschool my 8 year old daughter; otherwise I might find myself in jail for not being current on her shots or worse, subjecting her to the military recruiters on campus that want to buy her future enlistment.

JFK and Thanksgiving: 44 years later
by A Proud Liberal

Excerpt: Thanksgiving this year falls on the anniversary of the assassination John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was forty-four years ago in Dallas that the direction of this country was irrevocably changed. Changed for the worse. There have been brief periods of hope only to have the downward spiral continue in even steeper rushes to oblivion. …
Never refer to the Bush administration with deference. They are war criminals and need to be referred to as such.

How John Edwards might save America
by Leigh Saavedra, My Town

Excerpt: So here is the question keeping me from sleep: If Senator Clinton is the least likely candidate to get us out of Iraq, then why are the majority of Democrats polled, those demanding that the war be ended, supporting her? I have no theories except to suppose that the voters do not yet know which candidates represent which stances.

We have two fine second-tier candidates, Senator Barack Obama, gaining a bit of ground lately but still running a distant second place to Clinton, and former Senator John Edwards, who runs some distance behind Obama. And yet the COMBINATION of votes expected for Obama and those for Edwards often overwhelm those in support of Clinton. The most common complaint made against these two second-tier candidates is that they are short on foreign policy experience. We sometimes forget that these two men have far greater foreign policy experience and general knowledge of the world than Governor Bush did when he ran against Al Gore in 2000. At that time, even Republicans who acknowledged Bush’s lack of worldliness assured us (and themselves?) that he would have a staff to rely on, experienced people upon whose experience he could immediately draw.

Bill O’Reilly’s seasonal freak-out
by Wisco, Griper Blade

Excerpt:Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly has fired the first shot in the “War on Christmas,” a seasonal PR stunt the religious right pulls every year to convince Christians that they’re being oppressed in America. See, Christmas is under attack by “secular progressives.” That’s why, when you go to the mall, there aren’t any Christmas decorations, no department store Santas, and no “Carol of the Bells” playing over and over and over and over and over on the Muzak speakers that seem to even be in the bathrooms. It’s why there are no Christmas specials on TV and no Christmas movies at the theaters. It’s why you have to go to special Christian stores to by Christmas wrapping paper and ornaments and trees and big inflatable snowmen.

The heroics of Dennis J. Kucinich
by Maryann Mann, Atlantic Free Press

Excerpt: Dennis Kucinich was right on Iraq. The Congressman stood up to ideological war hawks, refusing to submit to the constitutional calamity of a preemptive invasion.

He was right on the PATRIOT Act. Kucinich lambasted the serpentine piece of legislation acting as a gateway to eroding our cherished civil liberties.

The Congressman is right on health care. Unlike slipshod “universal coverage” plans proposed by Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama (all of which attempt to incurably fix a broken, private system by virtually mandating that every American buy into it) Kucinich knows first hand that the only morally and economically satisfying version of health care is the one beginning with the words: not-for-profit.

In the history of the American Republic, perhaps no political family has been more protected from scandal than the Bushes
by Robert Parry, Consortium News

Excerpt: Though the evidence is now overwhelming that President Bush was part of a White House cabal that leaked Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity as a covert CIA officer and then covered up the facts, major newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, continue to pooh-pooh this extraordinary scandal.

Previous commentary

History of lies and lies of history imperil America’s mental health
by Herb Ruhs, MD, Unknown News

Excerpt: If we are to liberate ourselves from this tyranny we I believe will need to examine carefully all, and rewrite much, of what we have been taught to think of as our history.

Do we really love uniforms so much?
by JS Magruder, Unknown News

Excerpt: I keep insisting I won’t read the paper anymore because I don’t need to be brutalized amid stories about the latest diet or shopping fad. If I’m going to be assaulted by brutish reality, there are places I can (and do) see it laid bare in all its ugliness. I don’t need people pretending to be respectable as they engage in their violence of the mind. I really don’t.

by Don Nash, Unknown News

the delusion of empire
the ravages of war machines
fueling their engines
on slaughter
produces only atrocity
with a modicum of apathetic apocalypso

Straight poop on the
Democrats’ debate of 15-Nov-2007

by Mr Chuckles, Unknown News

Excerpt: The reality is that the race is a huge fur-ball but “Big Media” has already selected Hillary Clinton and are giving her a free ride. Americans will believe just about anything they see on TV and they’re seeing respected journalists like Wolf Blitzer treat her as a credible potential Leader of the Free World. There is nothing in Hillary’s background to suggest leadership experience; she has run nothing.

Some of us know better
and some of us never will

by Kathy Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: I look at it this way: It’s too late for the sheeple, they’re well trained brainwashed. They’ll buy and believe anything their masters tell them.

As for us? We are the gang that knows too much. In fact we know their next move and we predict their next blunder. Hell sometimes we even throw a wrench in their plans and make them go back to the drawing board …

Could a change of strategy be
in the works for Genocide-Man?

by Don Nash, Unknown News

What oil and natural gas pipelines can
tell us about possible WWIII alliances

by Marie K., Unknown News

Excerpt: If geo-strategies and oil and natural gas really ARE the real issues behind 20th and now the 21st century wars/conflicts, then the plans related to new pipelines ought to provide some clues as to who would fight and who would become allies.

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A7News: Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

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Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

With no end in sight to Kassam attacks, the 20 Gazan terrorists the IDF killed this week could be harbinger of a major IDF anti-terror offensive.

  1. Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah
  2. Olmert Indictment Unlikely; Appeal Threatened
  3. Jews Around the World Protest Israel’s Government
  4. 3 New Outposts for the 5th Chanukah Light
  5. Teachers Unions Threaten to Shut Down Entire School System
  6. Historic UN Vote of November 29 Reenacted in Rishon LeTzion
  7. Photo Essay: Protesting Partition in Annapolis

TV Programs
Ascending to Homesh in memory of Ido Click to view
Nov 29: Ascending to Homesh in memory of Ido Click to view

Radio Programs
Audio: Journey Through the Bible, Exploring Prophecy and… Click to Listen
Audio: PLO: ‘Olmert lying about Temple Mount’ Click to Listen

1. Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

by Hillel Fendel

As Kassams continue to fly towards Sderot and north of Gaza, the 20 Gazan terrorists killed by the IDF this week are apparently the harbinger of a major IDF anti-terror offensive. Volunteers are preparing a joyous Chanukah for the besieged Sderot residents.

Four Hamas terrorists were killed on Thursday by the IDF, for a total of about 20 this week. The dead terrorists were engaged in firing Kassam rockets and mortar shells at Israel, or placing explosives designed to explode upon Israeli forces.

IDF Offensive Nears, Fatah Prepares
With Hamas preparing feverishly for a Hizbullah-style onslaught of Israel, including non-stop smuggling of explosives and weapons into Gaza, it is a matter of near-consensus that a large-scale IDF operation inside Gaza is inevitable. Now that the Annapolis summit has ended, the time appears to be getting much nearer.

Though Hamas currently runs Gaza, after having taken it over from Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization in a military coup this past summer, Fatah terrorists in Gaza plan to fight alongside Hamas in the event of an IDF invasion. The Jerusalem Post quotes a “senior Fatah official” in Gaza City saying that “Fatah won’t remain idle… We will definitely fight together with Hamas against the Israeli army. It’s our duty to defend our people against the occupiers.”

Fatah terrorists already fight against Israel in Gaza. The Washington Times reports that Fatah members took a day off from firing Kassams against Israel in honor of the Annapolis summit, upon orders from above. “But we are permitted to renew our regular activities once the summit is over,” a Fatah terrorist is quoted as saying.

Fuel Embargo May Begin
Meanwhile, Israel is trying to fight the Kassam-firing terrorists with a fuel and electricity embargo – with little success. Over a month after the Cabinet announced that it would cut off fuel and electricity to Gaza in response to the ongoing rocket attacks, the Supreme Court has finally ruled that these measures may be taken – partially.

The Court ruled on Thursday that fuel supplies to Gaza might be cut back, but that regarding electricity, further clarifications must still be provided. Electricity cutbacks are thus expected to begin only 12 days from now. The Court wishes to ensure that cutting back electricity and fuel will not lead to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Kassams Fly
Kassam rockets continued to fly this week: One this morning (Friday), two yesterday, two Wednesday, and four on Tuesday. Mortar shells have also been fired, even more frequently than Kassam rockets. No physical damage was reported over the past few days.

Joyous Chanukah in Sderot
In Sderot, several organizations have banded together to hold a joyous and large-scale Chanukah celebration next week for the residents whose lives have been upended by the ongoing onslaught of rockets. Next Wednesday, the 2nd day of the eight-day holiday, hundreds of volunteers will descend upon the town, and will distribute family gift baskets, Chanukah donuts and chocolate coins while singing together with professional musicians. Three bands will perform in the streets on large open trucks.

Youths are to arrive at 3 PM, with families arriving around 5 PM. Many volunteers will visit Sderot families as they light Chanukah candles in their homes. The activities will end with a public candle-lighting ceremony, using a large Menorah made from Kassam rocket shells, accompanied by a huge musical event with Hassidic music star Aaron Razel and his band.

Sponsoring organizations include Connections Israel, the Bat Ami National Service program, Yeshivat Hesder Sderot, Afikim BaNegev, Table to Table, Orot Hessed, and Merimim Degel.

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2. Olmert Indictment Unlikely; Appeal Threatened

by Hillel Fendel

The police team investigating Israel’s sale of Bank Leumi has found evidence of suspicious and illegal involvement by Prime Minister Olmert – but not enough to justify recommending an indictment.

The official Israel Police investigative team has found some evidence that Ehud Olmert, when serving as Acting Finance Minister in November 2005, acted illegally in promoting his friends’ interests during the privatization of Bank Leumi. The team presented its findings on Thursday afternoon, but recommended to the State Prosecution that Olmert not be indicted.

Appeal Expected
It is now up to Moshe Lador, who will assume the position of State Prosecutor on Sunday, to decide whether or not to indict the Prime Minister. Lador is expected to go along with the police recommendations – and if he does, the Movement for Quality in Government and Accountant-General Yaron Zelikha, who first made the accusations against Olmert, promise to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The police planned to announce the findings this past Sunday, just as Olmert was departing for the Annapolis summit in the United States. Public criticism of the timing, however, led the police to push off the announcement until this evening, just hours after Olmert is scheduled to return from the U.S.

A press conference scheduled by the police investigative team for this evening was also called off, as the police decided to maintain a “low profile” in the case.

Accountant-General Warned Olmert
The police found evidence linking Olmert with some of the criminal allegations against him. The allegations against Olmert began in November 2005, during a well-attended Finance Ministry meeting on the topic of the sale of Bank Leumi. Outgoing Accountant-General Zelikha said on that occasion:

“Mr. Finance Minister, I want to say for the protocol that in opposition to my own professional opinion and that of my staff, you have decided to increase the benefit [for the potential buyer] to 10%. Also in opposition to my professional opinion, you wish to increase [another sum], and you insist on bringing us to a situation of selling [the bank] under its evaluated worth – something that is unprecedented in the history of the State of Israel…

“You are the Finance Minister and it’s your right to decide whatever you want, but instead of accepting our solution that will increase the number of participants in the bidding, you are choosing a solution that is good for one very specific group, and that is liable to end up in a sale for less than its value. In addition, you have ignored and did not want to discuss the problems of the other strategic groups [of potential buyers], and insist only on dealing with the issues of one group. It is my obligation to tell you the grave ramifications of your decision.”

After hearing this, Olmert called a recess, and stepped outside for a private consultation with his top aide, Yossi Bechar. When he returned, he retracted most of his decisions, and the group he was allegedly trying to help – that of his friend Frank Lowy – then pulled out of the bidding.

A few days later, Zelikha turned to the State Comptroller with his suspicions that Olmert had been acting illegally, and the issues have been under investigation ever since.

Other Investigations Still Underway
Though it does not appear that Olmert will be charged in the Bank Leumi sale, the police are still investigating Olmert’s activities in several other affairs. Among these are:

• Olmert’s purchase of a luxury apartment on Cremieux St. in Jerusalem for a price hundreds of dollars less than the apparent going price – allegedly in return for using his influence in the Jerusalem Municipality, which he once headed, to gain zoning benefits for the contractor.

• Olmert is also being investigated for having dealt with a case, as Minister of Industry and Trade, in which his friend, former business partner and current lawyer was involved.

• Olmert is further being investigated for a series of allegedly political appointments he made while heading the Small Business Administration.

• Another set of allegations was published this month by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss regarding Olmert’s intervention on behalf of an entrepreneur after the latter’s request for 7.67 million shekels in government aid was turned down.

• Finally, investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak has written that Likud activist Shlomi Oz said he transferred $100,000 in illegal campaign funding for Olmert during the 1999 Likud party primaries.

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3. Jews Around the World Protest Israel’s Government

by IsraelNN Staff

Statements by Israeli officials that appear to compromise Israeli sovereignty over parts of Jerusalem have infuriated world Jewry and friends of Israel. In the video below, IsraelNationalTV documents some of the anti-Olmert protests held during the Annapolis Summit.

Click here if you cannot see the video player above

While Diaspora Jews are usually cautious not to criticize Israeli government policy, recent statements by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his ministers have led to an unprecedented amount of criticism from around the Jewish world.

On Monday, Olmert declared at a news conference that “the government of Israel has a sovereign right to negotiate anything on behalf of Israel,” making clear his position that Jews outside of Israel have no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem. The prime minister told reporters that the issue had “been determined long ago.”

Amongst the organizations which expressed outrage at Israeli government policy was the British Herut. The group’s chairman and president issued the following statement:

Likud-Herut UK deplores Monday’s statement by Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to American Jewish leaders that “Jews outside of Israel have no right to participate in decisions about the future of Jerusalem” and his indication that the issue of Jerusalem had already “been determined long ago.”

We regard this as a gross breach of trust committed by the government of Israel against the Jewish nation and an insult to Jews all over the world who have faithfully provided moral and financial support whenever called upon by the State.

Jerusalem was recaptured in 1967 to be held in trust for the Jewish nation. For this government to treat parts of Jerusalem as bartering currency represents the greatest act of treachery in 2,000 years of Jewish history.

We call upon Jews in the UK and worldwide to join in condemnation of this statement and the intentions of this, the most unpopular and discredited leadership in the history of the State of Israel.

Signed, Eric Graus, President and Zalmi Unsdorfer, Chairman

Comment on This Story

4. 3 New Outposts for the 5th Chanukah Light

by Hana Levi Julian

Land of Israel activists in Judea and Samaria said Thursday they planned to establish three new Jewish communities in the region during Chanukah. In addition, activists plan to return to three communities that were originally built this past Sukkot but which police have repeatedly torn down. Two of those built on Sukkot are still standing.

The activists said they will build the new communities on the fifth day of Chanukah, Sunday, December 9. One will be located near Beit El, and will be called Givat HaOr, “The Hill of Light.” The second new community, Maoz Esther (“Esther’s Fortress”), will be built near Kokhav Yaakov just north of the capital, and a third town will be built near the Jerusalem suburb of Maaleh Adumim.

Earlier this month, Arab workers from the Civil Lands Administration uprooted saplings and destroyed a temporary synagogue at the site of the budding hilltop community of Givat HaOr, which was originally established on Chanukah a year ago, though without buildings. The Arabs also demolished a temporary shelter where people prepared for ritual immersion in a nearby spring.

Five outposts that have been repeatedly torn down by the government have been resurrected by activists each time.

At least two of the five are located in Judea. One is Maalot Halhoul, a hilltop overlooking the Palestinian Authority-controlled Arab town of Halhoul near Kiryat Arba, with a stunning view of the rocky green Hevron Hills. A second one is Eitam Hill, located at the northern end of the city of Efrat. The latter is expected to connect the eastern and western sections of Gush Etzion.

In the Binyamin region of Samaria, near the town of Hashmonaim, activities by volunteers undeterred by government efforts to dislodge them have begun to transform a hilltop into the community of Nofei Hashmonaim, ten kilometers east of Ben Gurion International Airport.

In western Samaria near Kedumim, government troops have also repeatedly hauled activists out of the small outpost of Shvut Ami (“Return of My Nation”), established during Sukkot and rejuvenated by activists after each evacuation by government forces.

Not so far away, near Elon Moreh in eastern Samaria, a hilltop named Harchivi (meaning “Expand,” based on Isaiah 54: “Expand the place of thy tent…for thou shalt break forth both right and left”) has also been peopled by activists and depopulated by government forces.

Activist Daniella Weiss said the new communities would be a response to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plans to establish an Arab state in Judea and Samaria. “He wants to put us in a ghetto,” she said, “but we will burst out with our spirit, the spirit of the Maccabees, and will establish new communities.”

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5. Teachers Unions Threaten to Shut Down Entire School System

by Hana Levi Julian and Hillel Fendel

At least 400,000 students have been out of school for over seven weeks, but that number could easily double on Sunday if the Secondary School Teachers’ Association (SSTA) makes good on its threat to shut down the entire school system.

The National Teachers Union, which includes teachers in the elementary schools, threatens to shut down every class in the country next week, except for special education classes, in light of another round of failed talks between the SSTA and the government. Negotiations broke up at 5 a.m. Friday with no agreement – and with the threat of back-to-work orders to be issued on Saturday night.

The Labor Party faction in the Knesset – a member of the government coalition – issued a statement on Friday demanding that Prime Minister Olmert intervene in the negotiations with the teachers. Olmert has ignored such calls in the past. Labor also demands that the Cabinet discuss the education crisis in its weekly meeting this Sunday.

SSTA Chairman Ran Erez, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On were all present in the National Labor Court on Thursday for a stormy three-hour session that ended, yet again, with no progress made.

Teachers Protest
Police clashed with union members Thursday night as the teachers demonstrated outside the court. One teacher was arrested. Erez went outside upon hearing of the clashes and slammed the government representatives when he returned. “You should be ashamed,” he said. “If Israel’s teachers have come to this, it is thanks to the Finance Ministry and the Education Ministry, and this will come back at you like a boomerang.”

Representatives from all sides have been in and out of court for the past week. The government has asked the court to force the teachers back to work, while the teachers threaten to quit altogether if the court issues the order.

Longest Strike Ever
The strike is already the longest teachers’ strike in the country’s history, and the Finance Ministry says the damage caused to high school seniors is irreversible. The university lecturers’ strike, which began a week after the high schools strike, also appears to be unending, and the autumn semester is in danger of being canceled altogether.

The teachers’ union has been struggling to reach an agreement with the government on a wage hike and improved teaching conditions since the beginning of the school year, without success. Talks between the union and representatives of the Education and Finance Ministries have broken down repeatedly, even with the participation of Ofer Eini, head of the Histadrut national labor federation, as mediator.

The teachers’ union has dropped its demands for an immediate wage hike of 20 percent, whichi it later lowered to 15 and then 13.5 percent. The government at first offered a 5 percent raise in gradual increments over a period of months, and later raised the offer to 8.5 percent – on condition that a proposed across-the-board educational reform is implemented; this issue is also in dispute.

Demonstrations and protests supporting the union’s position have continued throughout the country, including a mass demonstration last week by some 100,000 protestors who gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to express their disgust at the forced idleness of youths across the country.

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6. Historic UN Vote of November 29 Reenacted in Rishon LeTzion

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

The historic United Nations vote of November 29, 1947, which partitioned the Land of Israel into two states, Jewish and Arab, was dramatically reenacted in the city of Rishon LeTzion on Thursday.

Ambassadors of the 33 countries that voted in favor of the 1947 partition were
Ambassadors of the 33 countries that voted in favor of the 1947 partition were invited to the unique event.
invited to the unique event, as were family members of the ambassadors to the UN from those nations. Among the guests was the grandson of the UN General Assembly chairman who presided over the session, Dr. Oswaldo Aranha of Brazil.

The event took place in Rishon LeTzion’s new Leaders of the Nation Park, which was officially opened today in conjunction with the November 29 commemoration.

President Shimon Peres met separately on Thursday with the families of the Latin American ambassadors who recommended the creation of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel 60 years ago. Peres credited the ambassadors with Israel’s creation, saying, “The People of Israel thanks you and your families for your massive contribution on the path to the creation of the state of Israel. If it were not for your support in the UN and the preparations your parents made behind the curtains, we would have been left with nothing, with no state.”

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved, 33 to 13, Resolution 181, a partition plan that would have created two states, one Jewish and the other Arab, in what was then the British-controlled Palestine Mandate. According to the resolution, Jerusalem was to be a separate, international city, under UN jurisdiction. The November 29 decision was also a rare instance of the Soviet Union and the United States voting on the same side of a major foreign policy issue, which allowed their satellite nations to vote in favor of partition as well.

The Aftermath
Time magazine of December 8 1947, reports that a rabbi who attended the historic UN vote recited from a psalm of praise, “This is the day the Lord hath made, let us be glad and rejoice therein!”

As Jews danced in the streets of what was to become the State of Israel, Arab delegates to the UN left the plenum in a huff. They said that their nations rejected the plan and that they were prepared to wage war to prevent partition. According to the 1947 Time magazine article, “All Arab delegations announced that they would boycott the partition plan, have nothing more to do with UN discussions of Palestine.”

The failure of the British government and the United Nations to implement UN Resolution 181, and an Arab onslaught to strangle the new Jewish entity, led to Israel’s War of Independence. As a result of the war, the borders of the new Jewish State were significantly expanded beyond the UN partition lines. Most of the lands that were to have become an Arab state under the terms of the partition, along with Jerusalem, were conquered and incorporated by Jordan and Egypt.

Neither of those two states offered to create a Palestinian state in the lands of Judea, Samaria and Gaza at any time during their 19-year occupations.

‘On This Date, the World Received a Gift’
In 1977, the UN General Assembly called for the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B). The day is generally marked as a day of mourning in UN circles. This year, ambassadors from Iran, Syria and Lebanon spoke before the General Assembly as part of the day’s events.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman also addressed the international body.
Hamas demanded that the UN rescind its November 29, 1947 partition.
Gillerman insisted that despite Arab states’ mourning, the day should be one of celebration. “On this date, the world received a gift: a state which contributes to humanity more than all the countries in the UN that mourn on this day.”

Gillerman called on the UN to move forward and to replace “the spirit that currently blows through the halls, that brings hatred and eternalized the past” with “the spirit of Annapolis.” Arabs could have had a state called “Palestine” 60 years ago, he pointed out. He told the delegates to “look what Israel has accomplished… and where those who tried to destroy us and who continue to try to destroy us are today,” and called on them to build “a coalition in favor of peace and against violence and extremism.”

‘No Room for Jews’
For its part, the terrorist Hamas organization demanded Thursday that the United Nations rescind its November 29, 1947 partition of British Mandatory Palestine. “Palestine is Arab Islamic land, from the river to the sea, including Jerusalem,” the group said. “There is no room in it for the Jews.”

Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Authority negotiator Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) recently suggested using the UN partition plan to determine contemporary Israeli borders.

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7. Photo Essay: Protesting Partition in Annapolis

by Ezra HaLevi

Arutz-7’s Ezra HaLevi made the journey to Annapolis together with lovers of Jerusalem from across the globe Tuesday.

6 AM – The A Train leaves from Washington Heights, heading south toward Annapolis…
“We weren’t planning on coming, but we heard a talk by [Israel National Radio show host] Ari Abramowitz last night at Stern College and decided we had to come.”
David, an activist on behalf of protecting Temple Mount archaeology, was in good spirits.
12:30 PM – Arrival in Annapolis.
Annapolis’s big day.
12:35 AM – Jews from the pro-surrender Neturei Karta sect show up in a bus from Monro, NY.
Various local, state and military police units are on hand surrounding the various protests.
Rabbi Shmuel Hertzfeld leads the recitation of Psalms and speaks out against the division of Jerusalem.
Activist Rabbi Eli Kohl brings songs of Jerusalem and the Nation of Israel’s eternality to the protest.
Molly, a student activist, said: “We want peace too, but we know that this plan will only bring war.”
Photos of some of the more than 1,500 Jews murdered by terrorists since the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.
An enthusiastic non-Jewish supporter of Israel and Jerusalem.
One of the entrances to the Annapolis Naval Academy.
A reluctant conservative calls for George W. Bush to stay loyal to his anti-terror statements.
Many of the protesters hailed from University of Maryland.
An activists calls for the release of American Jew Jonathan Pollard, serving a life-sentence in a US jail after being convicted of passing classified information to a US ally – Israel.
Activist Buddy Macy speaks out against further withdrawals.
Dancing breaks out during a song about Jerusalem.
A protester’s placard shows a map of how Annapolis negotiations aim to render Israel.
An activist from Sweden protests the negotiations.
An older activist braves the long trip from New York to stand up for Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
One of the more esoteric protest messages.
Arabs and anarchists arrive.
The protests, situated outside the academy, on King George Street.
Activists from the One Voice group, assisted by the Foreign Ministry, demonstrate briefly in favor of the Annapolis Conference.
Pro-Annapolis demonstrators back from a lunch-break.
Missionaries showed up claiming to explain why Israel suffers from wars.
A ‘Jews 4 Jesus’ missionary.
A leftist homosexual group calls for a Jew-free Judea and Samaria.
Members of Neturei Karta square off opposite the anti-Annapolis protesters.
“Surrender is the Torah Way” according to Neturei Karta.
A female pro-Israel activist is pushed and berated by Neturei Karta members.
Journalists and photographers flock to the Neturei Karta group.
A contingent of protesters posed for Israeli journalists in support of the ongoing teachers’ strike in Israel, declaring that ‘education is necessary for security.’
Noahides came out to protest.
Two Christian women who drove in from Oklahoma to ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ in Annapolis.
These two women say they quit their jobs to pray full time at G-d’s behest. They drove to Annapolis from Oklahoma to pray for Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
When the protest is ended by the police it becomes a march through the streets of Annapolis.
Some late-arriving unaffiliated demonstrators.
A sign blows out of a protester’s hands over the Naval Academy’s fence.
Young activists mingling after the protest.
Peace Now and other leftist groups demonstrate in favor of the summit.
The Annapolis Knesseth Yisrael synagogue went all out, emptying all its pantries and fridges for the guests.
Trinkets commemorating the Jewish towns destroyed in Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement from Gaza.
At the day’s end, protesters celebrated Sheva Brachot – the post-wedding week-long daily celebrations for a new bride and groom – with a new couple in town from the Holy Land.

(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)
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OpinionJournal – On the Editorial Page – November 30, 2007


Video — Now Playing on WSJ.com
The Republican Debate in Review
OpinionJournal.com’s Brendan Miniter critiques the Republican presidential candidates’ performances at last night’s debate. Kelsey Hubbard reports.
November 29, 1:56 p.m.


On the Editorial Page
The trial bar on trial: “. . . it ain’t but three people in the world that know anything . . .”
12:01 a.m. EST

Peggy Noonan
Death, taxes and Mrs. Clinton: Only two of them are inevitable.
12:01 a.m. EST

Too bad Fred Thompson won’t sell his good ideas.
12:01 a.m. EST

The Journal Editorial Report
Tune in this weekend for an interview with John Bolton and discussions of Abu Dhabi and GOP Senate prospects.
12:01 a.m. EST


Review & Outlook

The Trial Bar on Trial
‘. . . it ain’t but three people in the world that know anything . . .’
Nov 30 2007

A Conviction Politician
Hyde’s career in Congress was more consequential than most.
Nov 30 2007

American Brain Drain
Why we need foreign-born Ph.D.s.
Nov 30 2007


A North Korean Political Prisoner’s Tale
‘I was forced to witness the execution of my mother and brother.’
Nov 30 2007

Saviors of the Citi
We’d better get used to more big investments from abroad.
Nov 30 2007

Day of the ‘Jackals’
Russia’s president declares liberals enemies of the people.
Nov 30 2007

Potomac Watch

Fred’s Folly
Too bad Mr. Thompson won’t sell his good ideas.
Nov 30 2007


Oil for Food Convictions
The U.N. prosecutions are just a drop in the ocean of dirty cash.
Nov 30 2007


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CIA Shortcomings Infuriated Nixon, Newly Released Documents Reveal


President Nixon and his top national security adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, thought the reports they received from the Central Intelligence Agency suffered from “serious defects,” newly declassified documents show, and prompted them to complain repeatedly about the caliber of the reporting to then-CIA Director Richard Helms.

The Nixon White House’s chronic dissatisfaction with CIA work product was among the revelations contained in some 123,000 pages of Nixon-era documents released to the public this week by the National Archives. In ways that bear striking similarities to the difficulties today’s intelligence professionals face in analyzing the war on terror, the newly released documents record the intelligence community’s struggles to assess accurately a variety of cold war threats from across the globe.

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OpinionJournal – Best of the Web Today – November 29, 2007


Best of the Web Today – November 29, 2007


    Today’s Videos on WSJ.com:

    Take That, You Little Cracker!
    Here’s an appalling press release from the University of Texas:

    Challenging the idea that racism education could be harmful to students, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin found the results of learning about historical racism are primarily positive. The study appears in the November/December issue of the journal Child Development.

    Psychologists Rebecca Bigler and Julie Milligan Hughes found white children who received history lessons about discrimination against famous African Americans had significantly more positive attitudes toward African Americans than those who received lessons with no mention of racism. African-American children who learned about racism did not differ in their racial attitudes from those who heard lessons that omitted the racism information, the study showed. . . .

    Both white and black children who learned about racism were more likely to value racial fairness and to express greater satisfaction with the lesson. White children whose lessons included information on discrimination showed more defensiveness, had more racial guilt (if they were older than 7) and were less likely to accept stereotypical views about African Americans.

    Breaking down stereotypes is all well and good, but what kind of sicko thinks it’s “positive” to make 7-year-olds feel guilty about the color of their skin?

    Appeal to Authority
    This column likes and admires John McCain, but an exchange in last night’s Republican debate reminds us why we are uneasy with the idea of his becoming president. McCain had an exchange with Mitt Romney on the subject of “waterboarding,” an interrogation technique that the CIA is believed to have used to extract life-saving information from a few high-level al Qaeda terrorists. Romney has no clear position on whether waterboarding is “torture,” but McCain does. He said:

    I am astonished that you would think such a–such a torture would be inflicted on anyone in our–who we are held captive and anyone could believe that that’s not torture. It’s in violation of the Geneva Convention. It’s in violation of existing law.

    And, governor, let me tell you, if we’re going to get the high ground in this world and we’re going to be the America that we have cherished and loved for more than 200 years. We’re not going to torture people.

    We’re not going to do what Pol Pot did. We’re not going to do what’s being done to Burmese monks as we speak.

    Romney persisted in leaving his options open, and McCain replied:

    Well, then you would have to advocate that we withdraw from the Geneva Conventions, which were for the treatment of people who were held prisoners, whether they be illegal combatants or regular prisoners of war. Because it’s clear the definition of torture.

    McCain profoundly misunderstands the Geneva Conventions, which were designed to impose basic rules of warfare. Protecting those who ignore the rules is directly contrary to the purpose of the conventions.

    The conventions did not in fact protect illegal combatants, and to the extent that they now do, it is the result only of activist judges–namely, the five justices who ruled last year, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, that enemy combatants are entitled to some protections under the conventions’ Common Article 3–which was written to apply to civil wars, not conflicts with international terrorist organizations. (For a full exposition, see our June 26 Wall Street Journal op-ed.)

    It is true that it would be a violation of international law to torture even an al Qaeda terrorist. The relevant treaty, however, is not the Geneva Conventions but the Convention Against Torture, which imposes an absolute ban. If McCain doesn’t know this, why is even Romney eager to credit him as some sort of authority? “Sen. McCain,” Romney said, “I appreciate your strong response, and you have the credentials upon which to make that response.”

    McCain, of course, is supposed to have “moral authority” because, as a naval airman decades ago, he was tortured at the hands of his North Vietnamese communist captors. (By the way, were any of them ever tried for war crimes?) Moral authority, however, is not a substitute for accurate information.

    Furthermore, it is a matter of controversy whether waterboarding constitutes torture. McCain’s position is certainly a defensible one, but we find his instinct unsettling. There are going to be gray areas in the war on terror, and we’d rather have the man at the top be someone who, when faced with difficult questions, errs on the side of protecting American women and children from being murdered rather than protecting terrorists from being treated unpleasantly.

    In the Garden, Growth Has Its Seasons–II
    Earlier this month we noted that Hillary Clinton’s campaign had planted softball questions in audiences at campaign appearances. At last night’s debate, CNN was embarrassed when one of the questioners turned out to be an adviser to Mrs. Clinton, NewsBusters.com reports:

    CNN, as part of its Republican debate with YouTube, failed to mention that retired general Keith Kerr, who announced he was gay after his retirement from the Army, is a member of Hillary Clinton’s “LGBT Americans For Hillary Steering Committee.” Not only did General Kerr ask the question via a YouTube video, but he was also present in the audience, and got to ask the candidates for a “straight answer” (pardon the pun).

    CNN apparently was not aware of Kerr’s connection to Mrs. Clinton when it selected his question. During postdebate coverage, NewsBusters reports, moderator Anderson Cooper said that “had we had that information, we would have acknowledged that in using his question, if we had used it at all.” According to HotAir.com, the network cut Kerr from its rebroadcast of the debate. Keeping it in and adding a disclosure would have been more honest.

    It’s also unclear whether Kerr was acting in coordination with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. It’s hard to believe she would be eager to raise the issue that occasioned her lesser half’s first big blunder as president–a subject on which public opinion probably is not on her side, even if it is less hostile than in 1993.

    Breaking News From 93 Years From Now
    Here is a bit of “journalism” that is ludicrous even by Reuters’ standards:

    If nothing is done to combat global warming, two of Florida’s nuclear power plants, three of its prisons and 1,362 hotels, motels and inns will be under water by 2100, a study released on Wednesday said.

    In all, Florida could stand to lose $345 billion a year in projected economic activity by 2100 if nothing is done to reduce emissions that are viewed as the main human contribution to rising global temperatures, according to the Tufts University study.

    That equals about 5 percent of what economists project the state’s gross domestic product will be by the end of the century.

    Why is it news that some guys are speculating about what is going to happen 93 years from now? To put things in perspective, 93 years ago Woodrow Wilson was in his first term; Archduke Ferdinand had just been assassinated, setting off what would for decades be known as the Great War; the Soviet Union and commercial radio had yet to come into existence; Adolf Hitler was an enlisted man in the Bavarian Army; and Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo were among America’s 10 most populous cities.

    Just about everyone who reads this Reuters dispatch today will be dead by 2100. If that doesn’t make this story “too good to check,” we don’t know what would.

    Humer Nods
    The byline of yesterday’s column (since corrected) incorrectly identified the author as James “Taratnto.” In fact, our name yesterday was James Taranto, as it is today and has been on every other day we can remember. We regret the error.

    Where’s John Kerry When You Need Him?
    “U.S. 4th-Graders Slip in Global Test”–headline, USA Today, Nov. 28

    Maybe He Should Threaten Politely
    “Leahy Threatens White House With Contempt”–headline, SwampPolitics.com, Nov. 29

    Life Imitates the Onion

  • “Disgruntled Ninja Silently Kills 12 Co-Workers”–headline, Onion, Sept. 29, 1999
  • “Natavia Lowery: Linda Stein Was Killed by Rogue Ninja”–headline, New York magazine Web site, Nov. 28, 2007

All Your Base Are Belong to Us
“Fans Pelt Telly Perv at Footie”–headline, Sun (London), Nov. 29

Someone Set Up Us the Bomb
“Deters Seeks ‘Sex Offender’ Label”–headline, Enquirer (Cincinnati), Nov. 29

News You Can Use

  • “Getting a Grasp on Teenage ‘Love’ Can Be Complicated”–headline, Miami Herald, Nov. 29
  • “Sex With Americans Risky for Mexican Hookers”-headline, San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov. 28
  • “Hidden Dangers in Visiting Porn Sites”–headline, Associated Press, Nov. 28

Bottom Stories of the Day

  • “No Action Likely Tonight on Impact Fee”–headline, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov. 28
  • “Ice Cream Parlor Is Big on Flavors”–headline, Miami Herald, Nov. 29
  • “California Highway Patrol Chasing Black Cow on 58th Avenue in Indio”–headline, Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.), Nov. 28
  • “Reports: Former Officer Moved Container”–headline, Associated Press, Nov. 28
  • “Clinton Says She Has Her Own Mega-Celebrities”–headline, Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 28

Reliable Sources
From an Associated Press dispatch by Edison Lopez:

A spokesman for the U.S. embassy, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said he was unaware of the document.

C’mon, Lopez, you call that reporting? We thought we could do better, so we phoned one of our favorite sources, veteran journalist James Taranto. His line was busy, but we caught up with him as he was looking into the bathroom mirror in his Manhattan apartment. We seized the opportunity for a face-to-face interview.

“I am not authorized to speak on the matter either,” Taranto told us. “But dammit, I’ve been silent long enough. I am unaware of the document. There, I’ve said it–let the chips fall where they may.”

Let that be a lesson to aspiring journalists: You don’t have to settle for anonymous quotes. You can find a source courageous enough to go on the record. All you need is shoe leather and moxie.

(Carol Muller helps compile Best of the Web Today. Thanks to Michael Segal, Ethel Fenig, Kevin Aylward, Tom Vail, Pat Rowe, Michael Yore, Kurt Jarrett, Kevin Englet, Michele Schiesser, Tom George, Don Stewart, John Keyes, Danyelle McDow, Barry Sine, Hillel Cohen, Paul Stewart, Quentin Neill, Don Hubschman, David Gerstman, Peter Minton, Mike Stevens, Henry Grimmelsman, Ed Jordan, Jared Schultz, Patrick Bedwell, Bruce Goldman, Kathleen Sullivan, Kyle kyllan, Ray Hendel and Fred Furia. If you have a tip, write us at opinionjournal@wsj.com, and please include the URL.)

URL for this article: http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110010923

Today on OpinionJournal:

  • Review & Outlook: Abu Dhabi takes Manhattan–and Washington, too?
  • Dan Henninger: Amazon debuts Kindle just as the National Endowment for the Arts says reading is fading.
  • John Hulsman: What’s wrong with Michael Gerson’s “heroic conservatism.”


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