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Welcome to UNKNOWN NEWS News that’s not known, or not known enough.
Helen & Harry Highwater’s cranky weblog of news and opinion.
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Draft Al Gore for President Not one dime for the Democratic Party

Iran — Run-up to the next war

There is still no evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons

Excerpt: Chief UN atomic watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday he had no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons and accused US leaders of adding “fuel to the fire” with recent bellicose rhetoric.

“I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear weapons program going on right now,” the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency told CNN.

Comment: Just plain duh. Bush, Cheney, Rice, and everyone in this administration are about to kill another million people for another pack of lies. They’re following the Iraq script all over again, lying their asses off, and anyone who doesn’t know it is either stupid or faking stupid or just watching TV newscasts, where Bush-Cheney lies are parroted around the clock. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US sanctions sharpen confrontation with Iran

Excerpt: With one fell swoop of the US government’s pen, Washington has hit Iran with some of the strongest US unilateral sanctions since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, singling out Iran’s Defense Ministry, Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), and its elite Quds Force in a move that sharpens the confrontation over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program.

Item in war request stokes fears of Iran strike

Excerpt: Some Democrats are worried that President Bush’s funding request to enable B-2 “stealth” bombers to carry a new 30,000-pound “bunker buster” bomb is a sign of plans for an attack on Iran.

Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans

Excerpt: The US is secretly upgrading special stealth bomber hangars on the British island protectorate of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to military sources.

Der Spiegel says Cheney’s plan for World War III starts with Israeli missile strike

Excerpt: In the scenario concocted by Cheney’s strategists, Washington’s first step would be to convince Israel to fire missiles at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. Tehran would retaliate with its own strike, providing the US with an excuse to attack military targets and nuclear facilities in Iran.

Castro claims Bush could spark WWIII

Excerpt: Fidel Castro wrote Tuesday that President Bush is threatening the world with nuclear war and famine an attack on Washington a day before the White House was to announce new plans to draw Cuba away from communism..

“The danger of a massive world famine is aggravated by Mr. Bush’s recent initiative to transform foods into fuel,” Castro wrote in Cuban news media, referring to US support for using corn and other food crops to produce gasoline substitutes. The brief essay titled “Bush, Hunger and Death” also alleged that Bush “threatens humanity with World War III, this time using atomic weapons.”

“Dictators say a lot of things, and most of them can be discounted, including that,” said White House press secretary Dana Perino.

Comment: The Associated Press’s headline, “Castro claims Bush could spark WWIII,” is a laughable attempt to spin the unspinnable. I suppose if Castro said water was wet, the headline would be “Castro claims water is wet”.

Bush himself threatened to start World War III just a week ago, and anyone with a quarter-ounce of consciousness understands that the odds aren’t long against Bush triggering armegeddan. So Castro is just plain inarguably correct, and the headline is a weak attempt at propaganda. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US denies being on warpath with Iran

Excerpt: The White House on Friday rejected any parallels between its Iran rhetoric and the run up to the Iraq invasion, adding it had not ruled out the use of force but was “very hopeful” of avoiding war.

Comment: A denial from these liars is an iron-clad confirmation. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Att’y general nominee refuses to call waterboarding is “torture”

Excerpt: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee clashed on Thursday with attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey over what constitutes torture and whether the White House could be found in contempt of Congress.

Under questioning, Mukasey said torture violates the U.S. Constitution. But he declined to specifically say whether waterboarding simulated drowning is torture.

“If it amounts to torture, it is not constitutional,” said Mukasey, 66, a retired federal judge and former prosecutor.

“I’m very am disappointed in that answer. I consider it purely semantic,” replied Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat.

Senators say Mukasey shouldn’t be confirmed unless he denounces waterboarding

Excerpt: Michael Mukasey should be denied Senate confirmation as U.S. attorney general unless the retired judge denounces as torture the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, a top Democrat said on Sunday.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said Mukasey must declare such simulated drowning to be unlawful while two more Republicans said the nominee should clearly stake out a position against waterboarding.

Mukasey is expected to spell out his position this week in responses to written questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

President needs no warrant to wiretap, says Atty General nominee

Excerpt: President Bush’s choice for attorney general told senators Friday the Constitution does not prevent the president from wiretapping suspected terrorists without a court order.

Michael Mukasey said the president cannot use his executive power to get around the Constitution and laws prohibiting torture. But wiretapping suspected terrorists’ without warrants is not precluded, he said.

Comment: Any Senator who votes to approve this peckerwood Mukasey is endorsing a police state. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Confirming Michael Mukasey will, of course, further cripple Congress

Senators vow to block fast decision on media consolidation

Excerpt: Two U.S. senators on Wednesday threatened to introduce bipartisan legislation that would block the U.S. Federal Communication Commission from acting quickly to ease rules governing media ownership.

Sens. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, and Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, said they were studying possible legislation that would nullify an FCC decision expected on December 18.

FCC commissioners say chair is only pretending to hold public meetings

Excerpt: Later on Wednesday, Martin scheduled an October 31 hearing on broadcasters’ role in local communities, one of the final hearings the agency needs to hold before it can move forward with any media ownership rule changes.

But the move provoked criticism from the two Democrats on the FCC, who said the hearing should not be held on such short notice.

“Is the Commission serious about allowing the public to participate in the agency’s decision-making? Or is the goal to be able to claim that hearings have been held, even if the public has not had a chance to fully participate?” the two commissioners, Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, said in their statement.

Guantanamo military lawyer breaks ranks to condemn “unconscionable” detention

Excerpt: [The whistleblower’s] critique will be the centrepiece of a hearing on 5 December before the US Supreme Court when another attempt is made to shut the prison down. So nervous is the Bush administration of the latest attack and another Supreme Court ruling against it that it is preparing a whole new system of military courts to deal with those still imprisoned.

Comment: That’s completely missing the point. The Bush-Cheney administration is already operating under the second or third phony “system” of military courts for kangaroo trials beyond any judicial precedent. If they make up yet another “system” for kangaroo trials, will it again re-start the clock, and re-require re-filing of re-complaints and re-hearings before judges who’ll re-decide all over again that it’s all un-constitutional? It’s really just another way to extend the illegal imprisonment and torture of hundreds for a few years longer. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Blackwater — America’s most famous mercenaries

Iraq revokes security contractors’ immunity

Excerpt: The Iraqi government announced on Wednesday that it has decided to formally revoke the immunity from prosecution granted to private security companies operating in the war-ravaged country.

“The cabinet held a meeting yesterday and decided to scrap the article pertaining to security companies operating in Iraq that was issued by the CPA (Coalition Provision Authority) in 2004,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

“It has decided to present a new law regarding this issue which will be taken in the next cabinet meeting.”

Comment: Three cheers, of course, for Iraqi leadership that’s standing up to free-lance tyranny. But I doubt that this much sovereignty will be allowed by the Bush-Cheney criminal administration. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Two gov’t reports criticize State Dept’s oversight of mercenaries

Excerpt: A State Department review of its own security practices in Iraq assails the department for poor coordination, communication, oversight and accountability involving armed security companies like Blackwater USA, according to people who have been briefed on the report.

At the same time, a government audit expected to be released Tuesday says that records documenting the work of DynCorp International, the State Department’s largest contractor, are in such disarray that the department cannot say “specifically what it received” for most of the $1.2 billion it has paid the company since 2004 to train the police in Iraq.

“New” mercenary rules say they still don’t have to answer to any silly system of laws

Comment: This Washington Post article insists repeatedly that contractors will now be subject to more oversight. Buried in one sentence on the second page is the revelation that they still will not be subject to any legal system on the planet. Sensitivity training, interpreters, and a panel appointed by the same corrupt and bungling State Department that has been “overseeing” the contractors up to this point are no substitute for the rule of law. Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

Blackwater guards involved in shooting now back in US

Excerpt: The New York Times has revealed that the leader of the Blackwater squad that carried out the shooting and two or three subordinate guards involved are now back in the United States. An anonymous Blackwater employee says the squad leader supposedly left Iraq to have shrapnel removed from his leg. The other guards are said to have left Iraq because their contracts expired. But their departure will likely fuel speculation that Blackwater is trying to avoid scrutiny and punishment.

Waxman spots evidence of massive tax evasion by Blackwater

Excerpt: When you testified before our Committee on October 2, 2007, Congresswoman Norton asked you why Blackwater treats its security personnel as independent contractors, while your competitors treat their guards as employees. You responded that Blackwater treats its guards as contractors because you found “it is a model that works” and because your guards prefer the “flexibility” of an independent contractor relationship.

Since the hearing, I have learned that the IRS determined in March six months prior to your testimony that your classification of a security guard working in Afghanistan as an independent contractor was “without merit.” The IRS advised that “[y]ou are responsible for satisfying the employment tax reporting, filing, and payment obligations that result from this determination.” By its terms, the IRS ruling applied only to the individual security guard who protested his classification, but the IRS warned that its ruling “may be applicable to any other individuals engaged by the firm.” The logic of the ruling would appear to apply to your entire workforce in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Boob at State Dept who “handled” Blackwater resigns

Excerpt: The assistant secretary of state, who oversaw diplomatic security, submitted his resignation in the wake of a report critical of his handling of Blackwater security contractors, according to the State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

McCormack confirmed Ambassador Richard Griffin had told his staff earlier today he would be submitting his resignation to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice …

Comment: Griffin’s gone, hooray, and his two underlings who approved every Blackwater contract along the way have been promoted. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Families of Blackwater victims turn down compensation

Excerpt: The U.S. Embassy on Wednesday began offering tens of thousands of dollars in payments to victims and families of victims of the Sept. 16 shootings in Baghdad involving security guards from the firm Blackwater Worldwide, according to relatives and U.S. officials.

Family members of several victims turned down the compensation, out of concern that accepting the funds would limit their future claims against the North Carolina-based security contractor and its chief executive, Erik Prince.

Others said that the money being offered in some cases $12,500 for a death was paltry and that they wanted to sue Blackwater in an American court.

Envoy lauds Blackwater despite ‘horrific’ killings

Excerpt: US ambassador [Ryan Crocker] said yesterday he still held Blackwater USA bodyguards in “high regard” even as he labeled the killing of 17 Iraqis by the company’s security contractors a “horrific” incident that prompted him to seek an FBI probe.

Republicans’ Steal-the-Election initiative is back in California

Excerpt: The initiative, which received nationwide attention this summer, would mean that California’s 55 electoral votes would almost all be doled out by the presidential winner in each of the state’s congressional districts. And given the wide swath of GOP red in inland California, that could give the Republican nominee as many electoral votes here as could be won in Ohio.

Longtime GOP attorney Tom Hiltachk, the author of the initiative, pulled out of the campaign several weeks ago. But it’s now been revived by a group of conservatives that includes anti-tax crusader Lew Uhler and former 2003 recall campaigner Tony Andrade. Andrade submitted a similar initiative for circulation a few weeks before Hiltachk, but says he’s put his own version “on ice,” and is now focused on Hiltachk’s version.

FEMA stages phony press conference as wildfires rage

Excerpt: The agency much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency’s deputy director.

The questions were predictably soft and gratuitous.

“I’m very happy with FEMA’s response,” Johnson said in reply to one query from an agency employee.

Comment: There’s nothing about this administration that isn’t either phony, corrupt, or both. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

California officials: half of our firefighters and equipment are in Iraq

Excerpt: A top California official has criticized President Bush’s visit and called on him to order California National Guard out of Iraq to help out in their home state. Speaking on MSNBC, California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi said Bush’s visit would distract from the relief effort. He said: ‘What we really need are those firefighters, we need the equipment. We need frankly we need our troops back from Iraq.” His comments come as California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer said the California National Guard is operating with just the half the equipment it needs because of the war in Iraq.

Biggest and best firefighting planes are Russian … and
unapproved for use against American forest fires

Gov’t auditors warned Bush administration about poor firefighting plans

Vice President Cheney sleeps through emergency meeting on California wildfires

Fox News has a lie/scoop: Al Qaeda is causing the California wildfires

Guy who staged fake FEMA press conference gets promoted

Excerpt: CNN reports that John “Pat” Philbin, the Director of Public Affairs responsible for FEMA’s recent faked news conference, is effectively receiving a promotion. PRNewser was notified by an email which said that Philbin’s new job was an “amazing opportunity to head the communications shop at Office of Director of National Intelligence.”

Senator who’s pushing for telecom immunity received fat donations (bribes) from telecoms

Excerpt: Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.

Senate FISA bill seems to immunize FBI ‘black-bag jobs’

Excerpt: A hotel manager who lets FBI agents into a guest’s room to copy a laptop’s hard drive in secret would not be liable. An apartment manager who gives Homeland Security the key to a tenant’s unit to place a key logger in a PC would not be liable. A private security firm that divulges a customer’s alarm code would not be liable. A university that agrees to forward a student’s e-mail messages to the Defense Department would not be liable. An antivirus company that helps the NSA implant spyware in an unsuspecting customer’s computer would not be liable.

No court order is required. And if an eventual lawsuit accuses the hotel manager or antivirus firm of unlawful activities, it’ll be thrown out of court as long as the attorney general or the director of national intelligence can provide a “certification.” The “certification” is, of course, secret–all a judge may say publicly is that the rules were followed, and then dismiss the case.

Plenty of money for war, but only enough heating assistance for 1/6 of people who need it

Excerpt: About 30 million low-income American households who will need help paying heating bills this winter from a U.S. government program will be left in the cold because of a lack of funding for the program.

The poor, already digging deep to pay for expensive gasoline, also will face much higher heating fuel costs, especially if oil prices stay near record levels.

The government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, only has enough funding to cover 16 percent of the 38 million poor households eligible for the program.

The current $2.16 billion LIHEAP budget in only $300 million more than what the program had when it was created by Congress in 1981. Despite higher energy costs, the Bush administration has proposed cutting the program’s budget.

FBI got false 9/11 confession by threatening innocent man’s family with torture

Excerpt: Higazy then realized he had a choice: he could continue denying the radio was his and his family suffers ungodly torture in Egypt or he confesses and his family is spared. Of course, by confessing, Higazy’s life is worth garbage at that point, but … well, that’s why coerced confessions are outlawed in the United States.

Court redacts itself so record won’t show torture

Excerpt: “This opinion has been redacted because portions of the record are under seal,” the new ruling reads. “For the purposes of the summary judgment motion, Templeton did not contest that Higazy’s statements were coerced.” Such redactions are imperfect in the Web age, and the original document remains accessible through links on sites and blogs devoted to appellate-court and legal issues.

18,000 Americans die annually due to lack of health insurance

Excerpt: More than 18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and can’t get proper health care, researchers report in a landmark study released Tuesday.

Comment: That’s six World Trade Center bombings every year. Except it’s the Republicans, with the consent of most Democrats, who have hijacked the plane. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Trashing (or saving?) the planet

“Humanity’s very survival” is at risk, says UN

Excerpt: The speed at which mankind has used the Earth’s resources over the past 20 years has put “humanity’s very survival” at risk, a study involving 1,400 scientists has concluded.

America’s going to get awfully thirsty

Excerpt: The government projects that at least 36 states will face water shortages within five years because of a combination of rising temperatures, drought, population growth, urban sprawl, waste and excess.

White House whitewashes CDC climate testimony

Excerpt: The White House severely edited congressional testimony given Tuesday by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the impact of climate change on health, removing specific scientific references to potential health risks, according to two sources familiar with the documents.

Link to CDC’s original report on health affects of global warming

Lightning round:

Global warming could wipe out half of all species

Comment: But will Britney get custody of her kids? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Four states sue feds for tougher emission limits

New CO2 evidence means climate change predictions are ‘too optimistic’

Continent-size toxic stew of plastic trash fouling swath of Pacific Ocean

Tests reveal high chemical levels in kids’ bodies

Cro magnon judicial nominee nears Senate approval

Excerpt: By a vote of 59-38, the Senate approved Bush’s long-stalled nomination of Mississippi Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, drawing swift reaction from many of those running to be elected next year to replace Bush in the White House.

Comment: Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new circuit coutrt judge: Leslie Southwick “has a pattern of voting against workers and the injured and in favor of corporations. According to the advocacy group Alliance for Justice, Southwick voted “against the injured party and in favor of business interests” in 160 of 180 cases that gave rise to a dissent and that involved employment law and injury-based suits for damages. When one judge on a panel dissents in a case, there’s an argument it could come out either way, which makes these cases a good measure of how a judge thinks when he’s got some legal leeway. In such cases, Judge Southwick almost never favors the rights of workers or people who’ve suffered discrimination or been harmed by a shoddy product.”

Leslie Southwick is the judge who declared a mother unfit to raise her 8-year-old child solely because she’s a lesbian. And I dare you to read through the other lowlights on his résumé. And he’s AOK with enough so-called Democrats that his approval is a mortal lock. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

US cops seize Canadian peace activist’s car

Excerpt: In these days of shock-and-awe travel, nobody can be sure whether a casual trip to Buffalo will end up in Syria or as an all-expenses-paid tour of Guantanamo Bay. …

“We haven’t been charged with anything, but they won’t tell us why they want to keep our car,” said 23-year-old Lenna Titizian, who borrowed her father’s compact Dodge to drive to Washington on Sunday with friends Adam Lewis, Kendra Foord and Jamie Adams.

NBC (owned by defense contractor GE) bars anti-war candidate from debate

Excerpt: Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Gravel was forced to withdraw from the Oct. 30 Drexel debate after being unable to meet the required criteria for polling and fundraising.

The criteria to participate are set by NBC news and include sufficient and polling requirements, as well as an actively documented campaign. “There was no record that Gravel made more than five separate appearances in New Hampshire [and] Iowa, where the first caucuses will be held,” NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd said.

Gravel’s campaign committee claims that he has made more appearances, but that his schedules were not released.

GE-banned candidate has history of questioning military-industrial complex

Excerpt: In a debate in South Carolina earlier this year, Gravel, 77, said the United States not only should pull out of Iraq, but that Congress should make it a felony to stay.

During the same debate, Gravel asserted that the United States has “no important enemies.” He asked NBC moderator Brian Williams: “Who are you afraid of, Brian?” and later asked Obama: “Who do you want to nuke?”

Comment: I am not enough of a conspiracy theorist to say there is definitely a direct link between Mike Gravel’s politics and his exclusion from this debate. But just the appearance of a conflict of interest should be a major problem for anyone who cares about democracy. It’s impossible to fully trust an election system that allows defense contractors to decide who can and can’t fully participate as a presidential candidate. Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

NASA suppresses air safety survey

Excerpt: NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since ending the interviews at the beginning of 2005 and shutting down the project completely more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge the results publicly.

Just last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers.

Iraq, Afghan wars to cost $2.4 trillion

Excerpt: The administration has requested 481.7 billion dollars for the base US defense budget in fiscal 2008 and nearly 200 billion dollars more to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office this week projected the total cost of the wars ballooning to 2.4 trillion dollars by 2017, including the cost of servicing the debts.

Comment: This is $8000 dollars for every American. At the very same time, the government is making it impossible for poor people to get health insurance for their kids, or energy to heat their home. USA! USA! Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

Bush asks for (read: will get) another $46-billion for Middle East slaughters

Excerpt: The figure brings to $196.4 billion the total requested by the administration for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere for the budget year that started Oct. 1. It includes $189.3 billion for the Defense Department, $6.9 billion for the State Department and $200 million for other agencies.

Guardian America goes on-line

Comment:The Guardian is arguably England’s best newspaper, and routinely reports the news in a bluntly truthful manner that makes papers like the New York Times or Washington Post look like the overhyped propaganda-pushers and reputation-riders that they are.

And now, dare I say like a knight in shining armor, The Guardian has begun publishing an American edition. There’s not a lot there yet, but it is no exaggeration to state that by simply existing, Guardian America is itself the best news of the week. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

BP settles overcharging allegations for $373 million

Excerpt: Global energy giant BP P.L.C. agreed yesterday to pay $373 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it overcharged US propane consumers by millions of dollars and ignored environmental warnings, resulting in an oil spill in Alaska and a deadly explosion in Texas.

Additionally, a federal grand jury in Chicago indicted four former BP traders who were caught on tape discussing an alleged scheme to pump up profits by cornering the propane markets.

Comment: How long does it take them to make that much? A couple of hours? Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

9/11 rescue worker faces foreclosure due to 9/11-related medical bills

Excerpt: Giles took oral steroids for five years to treat worsening asthma, which caused bone loss and eventually required replacement of his right hip. He anticipates at least two other surgeries: replacement of the other hip and his right knee are pending and a lung transplant is possible. In addition to incurring bills, complications -14 prescriptions, fractioned pulmonary function and hip replacement and another two or three pending surgeries have prohibited the father of two from working.

With doctors’ visits and $400 worth of prescriptions, Giles said he faces more than $1,000 in medical bills each month. And his disability ran out this fall.

Life in liberated Afghanistan & Iraq

Bush offers to bomb Kurds

Excerpt: The Bush Administration is considering air strikes, including cruise missiles, against the Kurdish rebel group PKK in northern Iraq. The move would be an attempt to stave off a Turkish invasion of that country to fight the rebels.

Lightning round:

Iraqi refugees turn to prostitution

US has to shanghai diplomats for duty in Iraq

Republicans use little-known legislative weapon to block Democrats in House

Excerpt: Sometimes called the MTR, its full name is the motion to recommit, with or without instructions. Ironically offered as a minority-party right by Newt Gingrich in the heyday of the Contract With America, its aim is to allow the often-powerless House minority a chance to shape legislation as it moves toward a vote. Even if Democrats allow no debate on amendments to a bill, the MTR guarantees Republicans a vote usually minutes before final passage either on new additions they have written or on forcing the measure back to square one.

Republicans use Justice Department to subvert justice

Justice Dept went after Democrats, says Attorney General under Reagan, Bush Sr

Excerpt: Former US Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, a Republican who headed the Department of Justice under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, yesterday accused a US attorney in Pennsylvania of pursuing a politically motivated indictment of a prominent regional Democrat.

Gonzales’ legal troubles may just be beginning

Excerpt: The scope of his legal troubles has expanded with the scope of the IG’s probe. When Fine began his internal investigation, he was just looking at the propriety of the mass dismissals of nine US attorneys last winter. The office is now investigating charges ranging from improper hiring practices at Justice to the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, the rampant abuse of national security letters, and Gonzales’ alleged efforts to influence Monica Goodling’s Senate testimony. Fine’s office does not have the authority to bring criminal charges. He can only refer his findings to criminal prosecutors or recommend the appointment of a special prosecutor to follow up.

Senate rejects citizenship for children of immigrants

Excerpt: Legislation to give some children of illegal immigrants a path toward legality failed a crucial Senate vote Wednesday, probably dooming any chance of major changes to the immigration system this year.

Supporters needed 60 votes to advance the proposal, but the tally was 52-44. The measure would have allowed illegal immigrants who plan to attend college or join the military, and who came to the United States with their families before they turned 16, to move toward legality.

“Children should not be penalized for the actions of their parents,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat.

“What crime did these children commit?” added Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat. “They committed the crime of obeying their parents and following their parents to this country.

Tancredo wants to arrest immigrant kids for speaking about immigrant-rights

Excerpt: Hill Democrats were planning to hold a press conference today featuring three college students whose parents came to the United States illegally in order to promote the DREAM Act. But the event was postponed after anti-immigrant Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) called on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to arrest the three students.

Comment: Tancredo wants to arrest people for what they say in public? Who isn’t the real American here? Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

10 most dangerous organizations in America!
(OR: “These progressives on the Internets are freaking me out!!”)

Comment: Which is funniest: that #10 and #5 are actually the same thing (Think Progress is a blog created by the Center for American Progress); that higher education is the second biggest threat to our country; or that he criticizes the League of the South as “racist” after saying that “as a Jew,” he hates the Muslim Students of America? Madeline Zane PERMANENT LINK

Comment: And Family Security Matters is a phony group, part of the vast rightwing conspiracy. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Ecuador wants a military base in Miami, since the US has one in Ecuador

Excerpt: Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador’s Pacific coast.

Correa has refused to renew Washington’s lease on the Manta air base, set to expire in 2009. US officials say it is vital for counter-narcotics surveillance operations on Pacific drug-running routes.

Book details US use of ‘methods of the most tyrannical regimes’

Excerpt: More than 100,000 pages of newly released government documents demonstrate how US military interrogators “abused, tortured or killed” scores of prisoners rounded up since Sept. 11, 2001, including some who were not even expected of having terrorist ties, according to a just-published book.

Skull fractures prompt recall of baby seats sold at Target,
Wal-Mart, Sears, Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, USA Baby …

… but all the manufacturer is doing is adding a warning sticker

Excerpt: But like many recall campaigns officially sanctioned by the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Bumbo effort is little more than a lukewarm publicity campaign, critics say.

That’s because, like many recalls, it isn’t what most people think of when they hear the word “recall.” The seats are not being called back for retrofitting or disposal. Instead, parents are being asked to contact Bumbo to get a new safety sticker.

House Judiciary Committee compromises whistleblowers’ e-mail addresses

Excerpt: In a mass Friday e-mail sent to all parties who submitted tips or complaints, the recipients’ addresses were left visible, and the message was copied to the Vice President. An attempt at recalling the message revealed the addresses again.

At least dozens ‘disappeared’ into secret US prison system

Excerpt: On Sept. 6, 2006, President Bush announced that the CIA’s overseas secret prisons had been temporarily emptied and 14 al-Qaeda leaders taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But since then, there has been no official accounting of what happened to about 30 other “ghost prisoners” who spent extended time in the custody of the CIA.

Comment: I wish I could just grab America by the scruff and knuckle the national forehead and say, hey, hello, is anybody in there? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

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

Giuliani defends hiring of priest accused of child molestations

Excerpt: Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims’ groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

Did Rudy Giuliani have mafia suspects tortured?

Excerpt: [Giuliani says] “It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately.”

You got that? If it really is what it is, then it’s bad, but if the United States has created a kinder, gentler version of waterboarding, then it’s all good. Maybe we’re just gently washing the faces of detainees.

Comment: This is an interesting post, and hardly has any lurid descriptions of sexual acts. A good read. Hazel Burke PERMANENT LINK

Anti-gay crusader sings at Obama rally

Excerpt: When the campaign announced the lineups for the three-city “Embrace the Change!” Gospel tour last week, one name stood out to gay bloggers: Donnie McClurkin. The Grammy-award winning singer/preacher is on record as saying homosexuality is a choice, and that he himself was “once involved with those desires and those thoughts,” but was able to get past them through prayer. To say the least, neither of those arguments are very popular in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Testimony shows Giuliani didn’t have squat to do with terror planning in New York City

Excerpt: However, in private testimony before the 9/11 Commission in 2004, Rudy gave a very different version of how much he knew about terrorism when the World Trade Center was attacked. That testimony isn’t scheduled to be released publicly until after the 2008 presidential election, but the Voice has obtained a copy of it. And it reveals a New York mayor who was anything but an “expert on terrorism.”

Spokesman says Obama will support filibuster of any bill containing telecom immunity

Excerpt: “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.”

Comment: That’s a good thing, and I suppose we should just say “Thank you, Barack Obama.” But criminy, how long does Obama need to hem and haw and hold his finger in the wind before the public pressure is so intense he’ll let his spokesman issue a statement the the Senator will do the right thing?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have leadership that LEADS instead of follows? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Lightning round:

Was Romney’s Osama-Obama comment a mistake?

Stephen Colbert moves ahead of Richardson, closes in on Biden in Presidential poll

No joke: Colbert’s campaign may run afoul of law

CIA goes to court in 2007 to keep secrets of JFK 1963 assassination

Excerpt: The three-judge panel, chaired by Judge Karen Henderson, heard oral arguments in the federal courthouse here about whether the FOIA requires release of the records, most of which are more than 40 years old. These records were never shared with any JFK assassination investigation.

Medical marijuana advocate kills herself after DEA seizes her medicine

Excerpt: At the time, the DEA special agent in charge of the Rocky Mountain Field Division said federal agents were “protecting people from their own state laws” by seizing such shipments.

“I feel immensely let down,” [Robin] Prosser would write a few months later, in a guest opinion for the Billings Gazette published July 28. “I have no safety, no protection, no help just to survive in a little less pain. I can’t even get a job due to my medical marijuana use can’t pass a drug test.”

Federal prosecutors declined to charge Prosser, but fear spread through the system of marijuana distribution set up in the wake of the medical marijuana act. Friends said Prosser turned to other sources for marijuana, but found problems nearly everywhere she turned.

Comment: I’ve wondered before, and I’ll rhetorically ask again, How does the DEA do such a good job screening out any potential applicants with a conscience or a soul? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

60 Minutes‘ Valerie Plame interview edits out her mission keeping WMD out of Iran

Excerpt: CBS News has confirmed, in advance of a 60 Minutes interview with outed CIA agent Valerie Plame to be run this Sunday, that Plame “was involved in operations to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.”

Stark (D-California) apologizes for speaking the truth

Excerpt: “I want to apologize to my colleagues, many of whom I have offended,” Stark began. He then apologized to “the president and his family” and “the troops.”

“I hope that with this apology, I return to being as insignificant as I should be,” he concluded through a voice cracking with emotion.

Comment: Of course, Stark’s original comment “You don’t have money to fund the war or children, but you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.” was blunt but honest. He had nothing to apologize for.

Congressman Stark has been wasting a seat in Congress since Nixon was President, but speaking the truth made him briefly appear to have some principles. It was, of course, just an illusion.

And it’s an illusion we’ve seen innumerable times: Republicans are free to lie, distrort, lie, smear, lie, spin, lie, and impugn the patriotism of anyone to the left of Hermann Goering, but when a Democrat speaks a plain, inarguable, literal truth, he has to apologize. (I’d like to add, and even if a Democrat doesn’t apologize, he’ll be mocked for life but there’s no way of knowing, since no Democrat has ever not apologized in such a situation.)

Can someone reading this, anyone… please provide a shred of evidence that it’s not all just a charade? That we’re not living in a one-party system where Democrats and their supporters are allowed to pretend to have a voice? Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Oklahoma lawmakers object to gift of Qurans, return their copies to advisory panel

Excerpt: Two dozen Oklahoma lawmakers plan to return copies of the Quran to a state panel on diversity after a lawmaker claimed the Muslim holy book condones the killing of innocent people.

The books were given to Oklahoma’s 149 senators and representatives by the Governor’s Ethnic American Advisory Council.

“Most Oklahomans do not endorse the idea of killing innocent women and children in the name of ideology,” Representative Rex Duncan said.

Comment: The standard fake-Christian’s explanation is that when Americans bomb and kill and main brown people, it’s with sadness and it’s God’s will. When the brown people kill Americans it’s because they’re Islamo-savages. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Russia plans center to track Western rights abuses

Excerpt: Russia plans to turn the tables on Western critics of its human rights record by setting up an organisation to monitor rights abuses in Europe and the United States, the man behind the project said on Friday.

Anatoly Kucherena, a prominent lawyer and presidential appointee to an official council on human rights and civil society, said the organisation would have its headquarters either in Brussels or Germany.

Police shut down website after two-year music piracy inquiry

Excerpt: British police have closed down what they claim is one of the world’s largest music piracy websites after a two-year pan-European operation. A series of raids in Middlesbrough and Amsterdam resulted in the arrest of a 24-year-old man and the closure of Oink, a private website that allowed users to locate and download music, movies and other files.

Governments aren’t perfect, but it’s the libertarians who bleed us dry

Excerpt: Northern Rock’s former chairman liked to rage against regulation, until his bank had to beg 16 billion pounds from the detested state.

Lightning round news

Schwarzenegger says marijuana
is not a drug, ‘it’s a leaf’

French President Sarkozy
cuts off “stupid” CBS interview

Video shows Canadian waterfall as part of US

Comment: Lie one million and one from Bush & Co. Marshall S. PERMANENT LINK

British mercenaries sued
over death of US soldier

Thousands march against the war
in San Francisco, across the country

One of the little lies of the
abortion debate is debunked

Bush says he’ll veto health bill again

Remember the war profiteer who spent
$10-million on his daughter’s bat mitvah?
He’s been arrested for
insider trading, fraud, tax evasion.

TSA breaks laptop, threatens arrest

Valerie Plame calls it what it is: Treason

Rights groups file torture case
vs Rumsfeld in France

Georgia Supreme Court frees
Genarlow Wilson, teen sex ‘criminal’

Report: US terror ‘watch list’ that includes
1 in 400 Americans may be getting too long

Comment: Gee, d’ya think? Cassandra PERMANENT LINK

Afghanistan is lost, says Lord Ashdown

Dingbatty Virginia traffic law carries $2500 fine

Court strikes down draconian age
verification requirement for adult sites

Woman confronts Condi Rice
with ‘blood’ on her hands

Immunity for telecoms may set
bad precedent, legal scholars say

Comment: Well, duh. Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

IMF chief warns dollar may suffer ‘abrupt fall’

Comment: Those shrill dollar warnings are coming from the establishment now. JR Mooneyham PERMANENT LINK

Homeland Security Dept eyes abandoned
insane asylum as its new headquarters

US sub crew faked nuclear
cooling system inspection records

Cops you won’t see on TV’s COPS

Lawsuit after lawsuit leaves
Aussie police union in the red

Cops mysteriously can’t find their
video of officers forcing pregnant woman
to lie face down on the ground

Cops “acted well within state guidelines”
in “Don’t taze me, Bro” tazing

Health and planet

Hospitals resist effective staph screening

Government may waste anthrax vaccine

As drought dries the South, Duke
University waters its fake soccer turf

Nutritional and environmental interventions can help decrease child deaths worldwide

Comment: If America preferred keeping children happy and alive rather than miserable or dead, we’d pay more attention to stuff like this. JR Mooneyham PERMANENT LINK

Liars, scoundrels, and hypocrites

Bill “everybody’s got to relax on
all this gay stuff” O’Reilly keeps talking
about J.K. Rowling’s gay wizard

ABC’s Note blog identified as “Must-Read”
week-old American Spectator column
advancing anti-Clinton rumor that
Note itself has advanced

O’Reilly lies that Medal of
Honor coverage is scant

Phony anti-gay church is sued
by grieving father of dead Marine

You’re still supposed to be
scared about shoe bombers

Matthews repeats ancient,
trivial lie about Clinton

Fox News says Obama
has “patriotism problems”

O’Reilly lies that Edwards is for
“abolition of all anti-terror measures”

Newsday refers to Romney as
“the family values candidate”

Oral Roberts says he won’t let the
devil steal Oral Roberts University

Time magazine wants you to think the Supreme Court doesn’t matter

Rep McHenry’s (R-NC) financial reports
are long on shadows, short on facts

CNN’s Glenn Beck says “a handful
of people who hate America … are
losing their homes in a forest fire today”

Flashback: CNN’s Beck called hurricane survivors in New Orleans “scumbags,” said he “hates” 9/11 families

AP lets Limbaugh get away with
lying about “phony soldier” insult

Clinton criticized over relinquishment
of family cat, but reports
ignore Romney dog-roofing

The love of money is the root of all evil

Another reason hemp is illegal

10-year-old slaves make clothes for The Gap

Verizon says it’ll stop lying
about “unlimited” internet access

Google hammers web sites, perhaps
for paid links who knows?

USDA announces plans to appoint
blue-ribbon committee to dink around
and maybe come up with possible suggestions to reduce E. coli contaminations

Child safety seats recalled
for being not-so-safe

More apps, groupware clients
affected by Comcast traffic blocking

Comcast instructs employees to
lie about impeding internet traffic

Congressman to Comcast: Stop interfering with internet traffic

Microsoft finally folds in
European antitrust case


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This week’s commentary

Halloween with the Santorums
by Kevin Good, Unknown News

Excerpt: The names of those who did not participate in the Halloween Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week were noted by zee Homeland Security Department with the warning, “Be Afraid, be very afraid.”

The war of terror
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Psychoactive drugs are almost
certainly part of Bush’s torture routine

by Hazel Burke, Unknown News

Excerpt: Imagine being blindfolded, stripped naked and freaking on a mix of acid and speed while torturers bring out snarling dogs to nibble on your nuts, and intermittently flip the switch to electrify the jumper cables strategically clamped to your flesh.

Gullible? Uninformed? Nowhere to turn?
by Kathy Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: “They can do want they the hell they want here at home, it can crash for all I care, in a month my ass is out of here and I’m going to Iraq.”

Stopping the violence in Iraq using nothing but violence
by Pavel C., Unknown News

Excerpt: It is too late to withdraw. We have invested five hundred billion dollars already, and we cannot leave that behind. Instead we must make Iraq the 51st state in the Union, whether they want to or not.

Spraying for cockroaches in government
by JR Mooneyham, Unknown News

Excerpt: The super-villains may try to collapse America that way, out of sheer stupidity or malevolence, but there are other powers in the world besides them powers which I believe will step in and start spraying pesticide if the cockroaches get too thick.

Obliterating Iraq’s infant insurgents
by Chris D., Unknown News

Excerpt: When holding lives directly in one’s hands, stupidity should never be tolerated. Not for doctors, not for lawyers, not for cops, not for teachers, and certainly not for generals. Somehow I doubt anybody in the military is having their license to kill revoked or even suspended pending an ethics committee review.

Media offers the anti-truth, and nothing but
by Mr. Chuckles, Unknown News

Excerpt: Having seen it over and over again, I have come to expect the professional new media to provide information that is so totally slanted and couched in terms deferential to “authority” that it is 180 degrees from the truth, and is thus, Anti-Truth.

It never rains in Southern California
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Straightjacket Bush
by Rosa Brooks, Los Angeles Times

Excerpt: Liberals, put it behind you. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney shouldn’t be treated like criminals who deserve punishment. They should be treated like psychotics who need treatment.

Because they’ve clearly gone mad. Exhibit A: We’re in the middle of a disastrous war in Iraq, the military and political situation in Afghanistan is steadily worsening, and the administration’s interrogation and detention tactics have inflamed anti-Americanism and fueled extremist movements around the globe. Sane people, confronting such a situation, do their best to tamp down tensions, rebuild shattered alliances, find common ground with hostile parties and give our military a little breathing space. But crazy people? They look around and decide it’s a great time to start another war.

Comment: The American President is, of course and obviously, out of his frickin’ mind. He has been for years. But it’s startling to see it said in the Los Angeles Times.

Is this op-ed actually in the on-paper edition of the paper? Will this column still be on the L.A. Times website in a few hours? If the answer is yes, we might see the public conversation take a step or two toward acknowledging reality… Helen & Harry PERMANENT LINK

Why those who love America are feeling brokenhearted
by Andrew Greeley, Chicago Sun-Times

Excerpt: At a remarkably frank meeting of middle-range officers (majors and colonels) at Fort Leavenworth, the soldiers debated not whether there should have been a war in Iraq, but who was to blame for losing it. Was it the senior officers or the joint chiefs or the civilian leaders? The war is not even over yet, and already the officers who fought it and will have to fight its continuation have already given up hope. Too bad for them, because the president has made up his mind that we are still going to win the war and the Democratic presidential candidates speak about a 10-year presence in Iraq. Whatever the political leadership is or will be in 2009, no candidate seems capable of saying, “We’re getting out now!” And the rest of the world laughs at us because both parties are led by fools.

Previous commentary

Keeping America safe from artists and musicians
by Mr. Chuckles, Unknown News

Excerpt: These foreigners are likely not just dirty, badly dressed sexual deviants who don’t know their instruments, they are probably terrorists, or have close ties to terror suspects, or are related to people who are known to have ties to terror suspects or people associated with networks of suspicious persons who know actual terrorists.

War’s orgy
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: We’re having some fun now!

Uncomfortably numb
by Chris D., Unknown News

Excerpt: I might be a day behind or so (occupational hazard of the night shift) but I read in the paper that The Other Butcher of Baghdad gave some stiff and harshly worded warnings to Turkey about invading Iraq while pushing further for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. These warnings included the allegation that Turkey was about to start WWIII.

On the apparent paradox of
big things with no witnesses

by Herb Ruhs, MD, Unknown News

Excerpt: Time sanitizes truth. As professional investigators well know, the period just after a crime holds forth the opportunity to reveal the truth, but with each passing hour, day, week, month, year, decade, that possibility becomes increasingly remote to the point of impossibility.

Hoarding ammo at the Alamo
by Pavel C., Unknown News

Excerpt: The Bush Regime does not believe in “free markets” any more than they believe in freedom or human rights for all mankind. They believe in government bailouts when losses happen, and private profits in boom times. Their “free market” mantra has no basis in reality.

President Relevant
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: “I am relevant. Yes, I am.”

Iran, Israel, and the whole Middle East
is locked and loaded and ready to go

by The Canadian, Unknown News

Excerpt: The game in the Middle East is running its final diplomatic course.

George W. Bush is not a douche bag!
by Michelle L., From Reason to Freedom

Excerpt: I have been known to visit websites that are frequented by, shall we say, somewhat less-than-politically-correct commentators. A rash of recent comments have stated, “George W. Bush is a douche bag”.

I disagree. When used for it’s intended purpose, a douche bag is a useful item — one that renders previously contaminated areas clean and fresh.

America’s coming war with China
by Leon Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: The corrupt economic and political leadership of the United States must be ousted and replaced with those whose priorities are that of the American people, not Wall Street nor any of the myriad domestic and foreign lobbies which presently influence policy making in Washington.

Nothing short of this will save us from endless war, economic ruin, and martial law imposed by the corporate-fascists in Washington and their rubber stamp Congress.

A thing of beauty?
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: This is Our Lady of the Military-Industrial Complex. Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she dignified?

Bush’s defeat victory
by Kevin Good, Unknown News

Excerpt: If Bush and company’s case before the Supreme Court is defeated, the Texas conviction and death sentence will stand and a legal precedent will be set, that US laws and courts are not bound by any international laws or treaties, like the Vienna or Geneva Conventions — and Bush wins.

National disgrace!
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: “The slaughter is our gift to you.”

The more I see of the way things
are now, the more convinced
I am that Ron Paul is right

by Mr. Chuckles, Unknown News

Excerpt: The US government is trying to control *everything*, at fine levels of detail. They pass “laws” that are hundreds of pages long, without regard for Constitutionality — or contents, because most Senators and Representatives do not actually read the laws they vote on, the bills are too long and detailed. As they spend two trillion dollars a year, borrowing money they don’t have, to do things that are futile or self-destructive, the end is approaching — and in the end, the “feel good” programs that help people will simply disappear.

So it is now a question of saving ourselves, saving what can possibly be saved.

Congressman Paul is just wrong, wrong, wrong
by Chris P., Unknown News

Excerpt: Name an issue and Congressman Paul is wrong about it.

Congressman Paul, like Rush Limbaugh, thinks government is pretty much ONLY about police and fire and providing an economic framework that enables the strong to thrive.

Well, I disagree, and I think most Americans disagree if they stop and think about it.

Gangsters in politicians’ clothing
by Herb Ruhs, MD, Unknown News

Excerpt: There is no meaningful way in which the US can be considered a nation of laws. We are, to a first approximation, a nation of gangsters armed to the teeth and out to loot the rest of the world at the tip of a nuclear bayonet.

The joys of torture!
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: Our Lady of the Military Industrial Complex says, “Torture is war-profitable, so just lie about it and get on with the business at hand!

Urgent memo from the
Reality Liberation Front

by Hazel Burke, Unknown News

Excerpt: Now we are at the point where vast fortunes wait to be won and lost. One day, those who wager correctly will make huge sums in no time at all — or be allowed to stay in business — while those who buy into the government propaganda stand to lose everything in mere hours.

Cause and effect, pause and reflect
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: This is the effect a warmongering madman has on the world.

We are not them
by Chris D., Unknown News

Excerpt: Two men murder each other. Which one was the criminal? You only get to pick one. Vicious little circle, isn’t it?

Propaganda kills
by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: The Bush Reich War of Terror is winding up for a blitzkrieg on Iran. I know it, you know it, and most of the world’s barely above literate know it. The Bush Reich propaganda machine is working double overtime to prepare, or should that read dummy down, the American people for Middle East Conflagration Part Deux. Here we go again. If they’re successful in pulling a little ‘shock-and-awe’ wool over our eyes, that will probably engage the civilized world in a War of Finality. Armageddon, so to speak. Russia and China aren’t going to stay idle on the sidelines for this one, kids. No how, no way.

Viewing the world and life
as a vast shade of gray

by Chris M., Unknown News

Excerpt: In America “WAR” per se is an abstract concept. Except for the Civil War there has never been any bloodshed on American soil. The people here do not know what it is like to have guns and tanks and bombs going off… soldiers shooting anything that moves… seeing those next door blown to bits… their children, relatives and friends tortured, maimed or killed… their houses and cities blown to bits…

The neo-Blues Brothers ride again
by Kevin Good, Unknown News

Excerpt: “We’re getting the band back together again, man. We’re on a mission, a mission from God.”

‘Joliet’ Jake Cheney and Elwood Rumsfeld in their up-armored ‘BluesMobile’ are getting together the ‘Chicken-Hawk War and Blues Review’ for another victory tour.

God forbid you might actually
want to do something about it

by Kathy Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: If you blink you miss the reports on the war and world news reports. They carefully sandwich them in with How to get thin, How to buy the right shoes, Where the best restaurants are…

Why? Because they want you to keep consuming, keep going to work, and not think about the real goings on in the world.

Elephants in the room
by JR Mooneyham, Unknown News

Excerpt: We’ve allowed true evil-doers to set up an enormous maze of pitfalls and traps for any good-hearted or well-intentioned person to traverse, while constructing a super-wide express lane for villains to easily slide right into our highest seats of power, and easily deflect all attempts to pry them out again.

So what’s a real people’s hero to do in such a situation?

It is too late
by Leon Fisher, Unknown News

Excerpt: You see the rot setting in everywhere — rising prices, the housing bust, a wildly fluctuating stock market, foreign governments getting rid of dollars for other more stable currencies such as the Euro, stagnant wages, no health benefits, increasing numbers of homeless, America’s cities and states dangerously close to bankruptcy …

Don’t you just hate “them”?
by Sherri B., Unknown News

Excerpt: Can you do it in time? Can you drop your hatred for other cultures and religions in time to band together against the enemy? If you can’t — well, it’s been a good ride.

The blind leading
the amazingly stupid

by Don Nash, Unknown News

Excerpt: We are trapped in the demented psychosis of G. Bush. His dementia is our living nightmare and there’s not much ‘we the people’ can do about our current hell. Congress refuses to act, and where could the American people turn for a “redress of grievances?” Congress is closed to regular Americans, and listens only to the special interest monied corporate elite.

What if it’s all on purpose?
by FOMAD, Unknown News

Excerpt: There is total chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran is dealing with the IAEA, sweating out a possibility of nuclear extermination, Syria just got lit up by Israel, the Palestinians are in about the worst shape ever, Russia and China are new best buds, torture, renditions, mini-nukes, global economy crash, depleted uranium, GIs going haywire due to the stress, mercenaries without a law, everyone in the world hates America, global warming seems to be accelerating the glacier melts at an alarming rate, not to mention the ice-free passages in the northern regions, but is it possible that we are indeed being out-thought? That all this is on purpose?

When greed turns
to fear and loathing

by Ding Pahc, Unknown News

Excerpt: After 6.75 years in office most of the members of the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve are “loyal Bushy” appointees. A lot of the original crew members resigned without much in the way of explanation. When Greenspan receives his “Hero of the Peoples’ Republic” medal and a pat on the back, “Heckuva job, Greenie!”, you will want to look into the overall personnel situation at the Federal Reserve.

Why do Americans
refuse to get angry?

by Jafo, Unknown News

Excerpt: They are slaughtering a lot of innocent people the world over. People disappear at random into the secret prison system to be tortured and kept indefinitely. Our leaders steal, they pillage, they rape, they torture, they starve people. They refuse to help people that are being slaughtered by others because it is our ally slaughtering them, or because they don’t have any more natural resources for big corporations to steal. We watch them take away what our forefathers laid out for us as our natural rights as human beings and they tell us it’s for our own good. When people are being beaten and tasered for having the nerve to speak out, speak up, or speak against, American citizens actually cheer!

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