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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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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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