Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dudley Did-Wrong: Taser Torture in the Great White North

by William Grigg

What would Constable Benton Fraser, the genteel, scrupulously honest, and self-effacing Canadian Mountie from “Due South,” say about this:

“A Selkirk, Man., RCMP officer denies any wrongdoing in the case of a teenage girl who says she was injured with a Taser while in police custody two years ago….

The teenager was taken into custody after she and some friends were found drunk in her parents’ van, which her mother had reported stolen.

In her statement of claim, the girl says she was put in a cell by several officers, and after punching or shoving one of them, was allegedly shoved onto the floor, knelt on by four officers, and hit with a stun gun in her thighs three times.

In the documents, Gavel admits that a stun gun was used, but only after `it became necessary to physically restrain [the girl, and] fit her with a spit mask.’

Contrary to the girl’s claims of being shocked numerous times, the documents said the Taser was `successfully applied’ only once to the inside of the girl’s thigh.”

So, let’s get this straight: A 16-year-old girl was pinned to the floor by four fully-grown men (well, nominal males, in any case), and then subjected to electro-shock “pain compliance” torture in which the business end of the Taser was pressed against her inner thigh. That’s the sort of thing that, if done by people not on a government’s payroll, would result in someone being placed on a sex offender registry.

In literature, drama, and even cartoons, the Mounties have been depicted as a corps of professional, highly disciplined police not given to the violence, corruption, and vulgarity so frequently found here in the Lower 48. (Once, when exceptionally frustrated, Constable Fraser let loose with his idea of a curse word: “Bindlesnitch!”)

Apparently, whatever it is that has turned so many American policemen into state-licensed sadists is contagious, and the Mounties have come down with a severe dose.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Agent of Empire Visits Vassal

Rare bit of truth from one of our overlords.

"At the risk of sounding undiplomatic, Pakistan has to have internal investment in your public services and your business opportunities," Clinton told businessmen, taking swipe at tax evasion in the cash-strapped country.

"The percentage of taxes on GDP is among the lowest in the world... We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn't move, and that's not what we see in Pakistan," she said.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

North Korea Detonates Mass Murder Device

The state is excellent when it comes to the production of "bads". Mass murder is, unfortunately, one of those things that the state is accomplished at, creating large amounts of weapons (nuclear and non-nuclear) designed specifically for this purpose. It was brought to my attention recently that had the United States captured, lined up, and shot hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians during WWII the world would have been outraged. However, dropping two bombs to do essentially the same thing is defended vigorously. Why is that?

North Korea Conducts Nuclear Weapons Test
Posted By Jason Ditz On May 24, 2009

South Korea’s cabinet is holding an emergency meeting this morning after it detected an “artificial earthquake” in North Korea, a sign that the nation may have conducted a test explosion of an atomic weapon.

Those fears were later confirmed by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA), which confirmed that the nation conducted its second underground nuclear test at approximately 10:00 am Monday local time (roughly 9 pm Sunday EST). The seismic activity detected was similar to the October 2006 test. The South Korean stock exchange plummeted over the news. The Japanese market lost some of its gains as well.

Yet the news was not entirely shocking, as South Korean officials said they had detected “brisk” activity at the nation’s nuclear test site earlier this month. Japan’s Foreign Ministry has promised to respond responsibly, while the European Union termed the test “worrying.”

North Korea pulled out of 6-party talks last month after the United Nations condemned them for what they claimed was a satellite launch but which the West dubbed a “missile test.” The nation ordered International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors out and said it was preparing new nuclear tests.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Truth From A Liar's Mouth

Amazing. A 1:54 he says: " are privatizing something that is what essentially sets a nation-state apart which is the monopoly on violence."

No One Dares Call It Fascism

This will not end well. It now seems inevitable that the American people will be on the hook for sinking auto companies burdened by regulations, unions, mismanagement, and backward thinking. What fresh hell will tomorrow bring?

U.S. Expected to Own 70% of Restructured G.M.
Published: May 26, 2009

DETROIT — The government will hold a large share of General Motors after the company emerges from bankruptcy protection, and will provide G.M. with about $50 billion in financing so that it can reorganize, people with direct knowledge of the situation said Tuesday.

The Treasury Department will receive about 70 percent of the new G.M., while the United Automobile Workers union will hold 17.5 percent through its retiree health care fund.
The fund also would receive warrants for an additional 2.5 percent of stock in the new G.M., with a price to be determined later, potentially giving it a total of 20 percent.

That is about half of the stock that the U.A.W.’s fund, called a Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association, or VEBA, was expected to receive under plans drafted this spring.

The figures were outlined to union leaders in Detroit, who met Tuesday to consider a new agreement between the U.A.W. and G.M.

Bondholders will receive about a 10 percent stake of the new company, and others will receive a smaller percentage, these people said.

G.M., which has already received $19.4 billion in financing from Treasury, would get an additional $50 billion or slightly more in debtor-in-possession financing, which it would draw upon during its reorganization.

The Treasury plans to create a new version of G.M. with its most attractive assets, like Chevrolet, Cadillac and some of its manufacturing operations. The rest of G.M. would be sold or liquidated.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Music Video - "Hero of War"

No Missle Defense For You!

The Israeli Military is labeled "Made In The USA".

US Promises to Fully Fund Israeli Missile Defense System, While Cutting Its Own
Posted By Jason Ditz On May 20, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

Even as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was being raked over the coals in Congress for the decision to cut funding to America’s missile defense systems, Israeli defense officials have revealed that Israel’s own Arrow 3 missile defense system will be “fully funded” by the United States yet again this year.

Israel has been working on the Arrow defense system for over 20 years with heavy US backing. It is reported that the costs for the upcoming year will be nearly $100 million. Israel’s system will be showcased later this year in a joint operation with the US military.

A successful test of a long-range Iranian missile today brought the issue of America’s missile defense systems in Europe into focus, though the missile’s maximum range still put it well short of the US bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, ostensibly being built for that purpose.

Secretary Gates defended the $1.2 billion in cuts to the Missile Defense Agency, despite criticism from some members of Congress. Gates said the suitability of some of the cut programs for their purposes were “highly questionable.” The newfound concern over the usefulness of US weapons programs will not, it seems, extend to foreign military aid.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Entrapment Results in State Enforcer Grandstanding Photo Op

So, let me get this straight... some guys with animosity toward the USA's foreign interventions are stirred up by state agents, who also sell them fake weapons they would not have been able to obtain otherwise, get arrested because they would have blown up innocent people had the federal agents made real weapons available to them? Unfortunately, this is going to fool a lot a people, and these poor saps will go to jail for having listened to and accepting help from undercover agents.

4 Accused of Bombing Plot at Bronx Synagogues

Four men were arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y.

The men, all of whom live in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City, were arrested around 9 p.m. after planting what they believed to be bombs in cars outside the Riverdale Temple and the nearby Riverdale Jewish Center, officials said. But the men did not know the bombs, obtained with the help of an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were fake.

The arrests capped what officials described as a “painstaking investigation” that began in June 2008 involving an F.B.I. agent who had been told by a federal informant of the men’s desire to attack targets in America. As part of the plot, the men intended to fire Stinger missiles at military aircraft at the base, which is at Stewart International Airport, officials said.

“This latest attempt to attack our freedoms shows that the homeland security threats against New York City are sadly all too real and underscores why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent terrorism,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. The mayor was expected to appear at 6:45 a.m. Thursday at the Riverdale Jewish Center morning services, joined by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

The charges against the four men represent some of the most significant allegations of domestic terrorism in some time, and come months into a new presidential administration, as President Obama grapples with the question of how to handle detainees at the Guantánamo Bay camp in Cuba.

Rabbi Jonathan I. Rosenblatt, the senior rabbi at the Riverdale Jewish Center, a modern Orthodox congregation, said the police informed him on Wednesday evening that his synagogue was a target of the plot, as well as the Riverdale Temple, a Reform synagogue that is a short distance away, on Independence Avenue. The two buildings are about six blocks apart, each with a brick facade. Outside the synagogues on Wednesday night, the streets were eerily quiet.

Rabbi Rosenblatt said in a phone interview that he took the news with “shock, surprise — a sense of disbelief that something which is supposed to belong to the world of front pages and the evening news had invaded the quiet world of our synagogue.”

Jonathan Mark, associate editor of The Jewish Week newspaper who grew up in Riverdale, said it would have been the third plot in the past decade against the synagogues in Riverdale.

Law enforcement officials identified the four men arrested as James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, all of Newburgh. Some of the men were of Arabic descent, and one is of Haitian descent, according to law enforcement officials. At least three were United States citizens, according to officials. They are all Muslim, a law enforcement official said.

Mr. Cromitie, whose parents had lived in Afghanistan before his birth, had told the informant that he was upset about the war in Afghanistan and that that he wanted to do “something to America.” Mr. Cromitie stated “the best target” — the World Trade Center — “was hit already,” according to the complaint.

In April, Mr. Cromitie and the three other men selected the synagogues as their targets, the statement said. The informant soon helped them get the weapons, which were incapable of being fired or detonated, according to the authorities.

Mr. Kelly told Jewish leaders Wednesday evening that the attackers planned simultaneous attacks, and the men planned to leave the bombs in the cars in front of the two synagogues, drive back to Newburgh and retrieve cellphone-detonating devices and then proceed with the attack on the air base — simultaneously shooting down aircraft while remotely setting off the devices in the cars.

On Wednesday night, they planted one of the mock improvised explosive devices in a trunk of a car outside the temple and two mock bombs in the back seat of a car outside the Jewish center, the authorities said. Shortly thereafter, police officers swooped in and broke the windows on the suspects’ black sport utility vehicle and charged them with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use antiaircraft missiles.

Around 9 p.m., a law enforcement official said an 18-wheel New York Police Department vehicle blocked the suspects’ black sport utility vehicle at 237th Street and Riverdale Avenue. Another armored vehicle arrived and officers from the department’s Emergency Service Unit took the men out of the truck and handcuffed them.

After the plot was broken up, the team of uniformed officers took the suspects away.

Three of the four men were escorted by federal agents from Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan around 1 a.m. Thursday. They were handcuffed and did not respond to reporters’ questions as they were loaded into the back of vehicles to be taken to the nearby Metropolitan Correctional Center. There, they emerged one by one.

Mr. Cromitie, who was wearing a dark blue shirt and jeans, gazed at the assembled reporters and photographers but again did not respond to questions. David and Onta Williams also did not answer questions as they quickly walked by, staring at the ground. The four defendants were to be taken to White Plains later on Thursday morning, where they were to appear in federal court.

A federal law enforcement official described the plot as “aspirational” — meaning that the suspects wanted to do something but had no weapons or explosives — and described the operation as a sting with a cooperator within the group.

“It was fully controlled at all times,” a law enforcement official said.

Stewart International Airport is used by the New York Air National Guard and United States Air Force, according to the complaint, and it stores aircraft used to transport military supplies and personnel to the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Political leaders responded to the news of the arrests with statements expressing relief.

“This was a very serious threat that could have cost many, many lives if it had gone through,” Representative Peter T. King, Republican from Long Island, said in an interview with WPIX-TV. “It would have been a horrible, damaging tragedy. There’s a real threat from homegrown terrorists and also from jailhouse converts.”

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a statement: “If there can be any good news from this terror scare it’s that this group was relatively unsophisticated, infiltrated early, and not connected to another terrorist group. This incident shows that we must always be vigilant against terrorism — foreign or domestic.”


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stormtroopers Popping Pills

To the State, people are just resources to be used.

U.S. military: Heavily armed and medicated
Prescription pill dependency among American troops is on the rise
By Melody Petersen
updated 7:30 a.m. CT, Tues., May 19, 2009

Marine Corporal Michael Cataldi woke as he heard the truck rumble past.

He opened his eyes, but saw nothing. It was the middle of the night, and he was facedown in the sands of western Iraq. His loaded M16 was pinned beneath him.

Cataldi had no idea how he'd gotten to where he now lay, some 200 meters from the dilapidated building where his buddies slept. But he suspected what had caused this nightmare: His Klonopin prescription had run out.

His ordeal was not all that remarkable for a person on that anti-anxiety medication. In the lengthy labeling that accompanies each prescription, Klonopin users are warned against abruptly stopping the medicine, since doing so can cause psychosis, hallucinations, and other symptoms. What makes Cataldi's story extraordinary is that he was a U. S. Marine at war, and that the drug's adverse effects endangered lives — his own, his fellow Marines', and the lives of any civilians unfortunate enough to cross his path.

"It put everyone within rifle distance at risk," he says.

In deploying an all-volunteer army to fight two ongoing wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has increasingly relied on prescription drugs to keep its warriors on the front lines. In recent years, the number of military prescriptions for antidepressants, sleeping pills, and painkillers has risen as soldiers come home with battered bodies and troubled minds. And many of those service members are then sent back to war theaters in distant lands with bottles of medication to fortify them.

According to data from a U. S. Army mental-health survey released last year, about 12 percent of soldiers in Iraq and 15 percent of those in Afghanistan reported taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or sleeping pills. Prescriptions for painkillers have also skyrocketed. Data from the Department of Defense last fall showed that as of September 2007, prescriptions for narcotics for active-duty troops had risen to almost 50,000 a month, compared with about 33,000 a month in October 2003, not long after the Iraq war began.

In other words, thousands of American fighters armed with the latest killing technology are taking prescription drugs that the Federal Aviation Administration considers too dangerous for commercial pilots.


Guantanamo Concentration Camp to Remain

Change we can believe in?

Senate Dems to Block Funding for Gitmo Closure

Posted By Jason Ditz On May 19, 2009

Earlier this month, Congressional Democrats pulled funding from the “emergency” war funding bill which was to be used in the Obama Administration’s pledge to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Today, a top Democratic official revealed that the Senate Democrats will block funding for the Guantanamo closing going forward.

President Obama’s pledge to close the facility has been put into serious doubt by his declaration last week that he was going to restart the military tribunals, which he had previously ordered halted pending the facility’s closure.

The administration has yet to provide a plan to Congress for the closure of the facility, and it is speculated that the Senate may reconsider funding if it approves of a future plan. At the same time, Republicans are pushing an amendment which would bar the 241 detainees from ever seeing trial on American soil.

Senator Mitch McConnell (R - KY) says he believes “shuttering this facility now could only serve one end: and that is to make Americans less safe than Guantanamo has.” Republicans have been quite encouraged by the administration’s willingness to go back on its previous promises of change and transparency, they will likely have another reason to take heart, as one more promise goes unfulfilled.


Monday, May 18, 2009

City Calls Enforcers To Force A Tree To Be Planted

Property is not owned in this country. It is occupied at the indulgence of the legal gangs. Ownership is but an illusion.

Brooklyn woman objects to city tree - and gets threatened with jail
Saturday, May 16th 2009, 10:39 PM

The million trees program should be cut to 999,999.

Or maybe the city could just move the tree it planted outside Marion D. Smith's home on 11th St. in Park Slope on Friday.

The Brooklyn block has two empty tree pits, but of course the work crew went right to where the city had promised the 79-year-old widow it would not put a tree.

A tree had stood on this spot for decades but died six years ago, shortly after Smith lost her husband.

"It died right after he died," she noted.

She kept after the city for five long years before the stump was finally removed. She is disabled and had expressed concern that she would have difficulty sweeping up the leaves if a new tree were planted there.

"Don't worry, they won't put another tree there," a very nice city official assured her.

With that pledge, Smith had the pit paved over at her own expense. She was understandably surprised to see a small bulldozer with a pavement-busting attachment take up position there Friday morning.

"What are you doing?" Smith inquired from her front door.

"We're putting in a tree," the man in charge said.

"I didn't ask for a tree," Smith said. "I told them I didn't want a tree there. Put it somewhere else."

"This is going here," the man said.

"I don't want a tree there!" Smith exclaimed. "Who's going to rake the leaves?"

A particularly good-hearted neighbor, Nancy Cardozo, approached and attempted to intervene.

"She doesn't want a tree," Cardozo noted.

"Sorry, I have the contract and I have a big payroll," the man replied. "I have to put the tree there."

The man's tone remained remarkably amiable, even though Cardozo positioned herself in a way that might impede the work.

"You can have the tree moved later," he offered.

"Wouldn't it make more sense just to put it where we want it?" Cardozo inquired.

"No, this is what I have to do," he said.

Cardozo dialed 311 from her cell phone. An operator informed her the city owns the sidewalk and has the right to put a tree there.

"Who's responsible if somebody slips on the leaves?" Cardozo inquired.

"The homeowner," the operator replied.

The operator then connected Cardozo to somebody in the Parks Department who did not answer. Cardozo left a message that would not get a reply.

Meanwhile, the man in charge was on his own cell phone to the Parks Department forestry office. He handed his phone to Cardozo.

"The tree's going in," an instantly nasty forestry guy told Cardozo. "There's nothing she can do about it."

Cardozo inquired if perhaps the work could be suspended until Smith spoke to the city.

"Do you want me to send the police and have you arrested?" the forestry guy responded.

"No, thank you, but I would like you to give me your name," Cardozo said.

"I need you to move," the forestry guy said.

"I need you to tell me your name," Cardozo insisted.

"You'll find out my name soon enough," the forestry guy said.

Smith called to Cardozo from her front door, asking what was happening.

"They're sending the police," Cardozo replied.

"Nancy, I don't want you to get arrested for a tree," Smith declared.

Cardozo stepped back from what a passerby might have taken to be the opposite of tree hugging. She is in truth a big supporter of the Million Trees program. And she had to admire the work crew's speed and precision in breaking up the pavement and planting the tree.

"One in a million - that's what this tree is, one small step toward a green New York," the tag also said.

The tag reported that this particular tree was a ginkgo. A female ginkgo means cleaning up fallen fruit whose smell has been variously compared to rancid butter, vomit and dog droppings.

"We're hoping it's not a female," Cardozo said.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taxeater Drives Stolen Car On Taxpayer's Dime

The powers conferred upon state employees presents temptations towards corruption that are hard to resist for present oriented fat cats that populate city halls around the country.

Illinois State Police Seize and Keep Desirable Cars for Personal Use
Influential Illinois State Police official gets personal use of a muscle car confiscated from a motorist.

Illinois State Police troopers seized a high-performance muscle car and set it aside for the personal use of an influential police official. The Associated Press reported that a suspected drunk driver in a 2006 Dodge Charger was pulled over in January 2007. The troopers used a state seizure law to confiscate the vehicle.

Once the paperwork was complete, the 425-horsepower vehicle -- which had an as-new base price of $38,000 -- was handed over for the personal use of Ron Cooley, 56, the Executive Director of the Illinois State Police Merit Board. Taxpayers also pick up the fuel tab for gas-guzzling 6.1 liter V-8 as he drives to and from work each day and on various business trips.

A good relationship with the merit board is essential for any state trooper looking to move up into a position of responsibility.

"The mission of the Illinois State Police Merit Board is to remove political influence and provide a fair and equitable merit process for the selection of Illinois State trooper candidates and the promotion and discipline of Illinois State Police officers," the board website explains.

According to AP, the Charger is just one of two dozen desirable cars -- including an Audi and a Cadillac Escalade -- grabbed and kept by state troopers. State police officials decline to identify the beneficiaries of the confiscated car policy claiming it could endanger officers if the type of car they drove at taxpayer expense were made public.

Source: AP Exclusive: Bureaucrat driving seized hotrod (Associated Press, 4/30/2009)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Afghans riot over air-strike atrocity

"They hate us because we are free." Ha!

Witnesses say deaths of 147 people in three villages came after a sustained bombardment by American aircraft. Patrick Cockburn, in Herat, reports

Friday, 8 May 2009
Shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government", thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.

The riot started when people from three villages struck by US bombers in the early hours of Tuesday, brought 15 newly-discovered bodies in a truck to the house of the provincial governor. As the crowd pressed forward in Farah, police opened fire, wounding four protesters. Traders in the rest of Farah city, the capital of the province of the same name where the bombing took place, closed their shops, vowing they would not reopen them until there is an investigation.

A local official Abdul Basir Khan said yesterday that he had collected the names of 147 people who had died, making it the worst such incident since the US intervened in Afghanistan started in 2001. A phone call from the governor of Farah province, Rohul Amin, in which he said that 130 people had died, was played over the loudspeaker in the Afghan parliament in Kabul, sparking demands for more control over US operations.

The protest in Farah City is the latest sign of a strong Afghan reaction against US air attacks in which explosions inflict massive damage on mud-brick houses that provide little protection against bomb blasts. A claim by American officials, which was repeated by the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates yesterday in Kabul, that the Taliban might have killed people with grenades because they did not pay an opium tax is not supported by any eyewitnesses and is disproved by pictures of deep bomb craters, one of which is filled with water. Mr Gates expressed regret for the incident but did not go so far as to accept blame.

The US admits that it did conduct an air strike at the time and place, but it is becoming clear, going by the account of survivors, that the air raid was not a brief attack by several aircraft acting on mistaken intelligence, but a sustained bombardment in which three villages were pounded to pieces. Farouq Faizy, an Afghan radio reporter who was one of the first to reach the district of Bala Baluk, says villagers told him that bombs suddenly, "began to fall at 8pm on Monday and went on until 10pm though some believe there were still bombs falling later". A prolonged bombing attack would explain why there are so many dead, but only 14 wounded received at Farah City hospital.

The attack was on three villages – Gerani, Gangabad and Koujaha – just off the main road. It is a poppy growing area of poor farmers and there were several fields of poppies near the villages. The Taliban are traditionally strong here and the police and soldiers waiting around the villages were said by eyewitnesses to be frightened. This would explain why Afghan army commanders might have been eager to call for US airstrikes, though they would have needed the agreement of American special operations officers.

Provincial officials, including the governor Rohul Amin, say that in the lead-up to the bombing there was heavy fighting between hundreds of Taliban and the Afghan Army and police. Going by Mr Faizy's account there had been, "a fight some seven or eight kilometres from the three villages in which two Afghan Army and a US Humvee were destroyed. A third Afghan Army vehicle was captured." Three police were killed and four wounded, as was one American and one Afghan army soldier. This was hardly a major military engagement, but the pro-government forces seem to have got the worst of it and their burned out vehicles still stand in the road.

The loss of life in Afghanistan from air strikes is often worse than in Iraq where houses are more modern and usually have basements. In the villages in Farah, people were living in compounds with mud brick walls which crumbled easily. Pictures of the aftermath of the attack show people standing beside the remains of a relative which often only looks like a muddy pile of torn meat. One elderly white bearded man, said by neighbours to have lost 30 members of his family, squats despairingly beside a body that has been torn into shreds. Among the few wounded to stay alive is a child with a badly burned face.

One reason why US bombing inflicts such heavy civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq is that both are very poor countries in which houses are very crowded. When the US used air strikes and heavy artillery with little restraint in the siege of Fallujah in 2004 it caused serious loss of life. Wedding parties in both countries have often been mistaken for "terrorist" gatherings and bombed.

In Afghanistan opinion polls show that support for the Taliban and for armed attacks on foreign forces rises sharply after events like the bombing in Farah. President Hamid Karzai frequently criticises the US military for wantonly inflicting civilian casualties, attacks which his opponents say is an opportunistic effort to burnish his nationalist credentials.

The Taliban increasingly use tactics developed by insurgents in Iraq, notably suicide bombing on a mass scale and IEDs, or mines in the road detonated by a control wires or electronically. In Helmand province yesterday a suicide bomber killed 12 civilians in an attack on a foreign military convoy near the bazaar of the town of Gereshk. No foreign troops were killed by the explosion, though two were wounded.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

US Air Strikes in Iraq Killed Mostly Women and Children

Bombs do not know the difference between the innocent and the guilty no matter how "smart" you make them.

In a report to be published in tomorrow’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have concluded that air strikes by US-led coalition forces have killed mostly women and children. 39 percent were children, while 46 percent were women.

Interestingly enough, though the high-tech weaponry used by the invading forces killed a disproportionately large number of (presumably mostly non-combatant) women and children, it showed that among victims of suicide bombings only 12 percent were children.

The researchers used a database of 60,481 civilians violently killed during the first five years of the war, which was compiled by Iraq Body Count. They say that the shocking number of women and children killed are a function of using air strikes in urban combat settings, and the report may have policy implications elsewhere, where US air strikes seem to be killing large numbers of innocent civilians as well.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Report: US Air Strikes in Iraq Kill Mostly Women, Children

Wondering whether or not Saddam Hussein would have done worse to them is irrelevant. He was a cruel despot. We expect this sort of thing of his kind, but we should demand better of those coming in the name of "peace".

In a report to be published in tomorrow’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers have concluded that air strikes by US-led coalition forces have killed mostly women and children. 39 percent were children, while 46 percent were women.

Interestingly enough, though the high-tech weaponry used by the invading forces killed a disproportionately large number of (presumably mostly non-combatant) women and children, it showed that among victims of suicide bombings only 12 percent were children.

The researchers used a database of 60,481 civilians violently killed during the first five years of the war, which was compiled by Iraq Body Count. They say that the shocking number of women and children killed are a function of using air strikes in urban combat settings, and the report may have policy implications elsewhere, where US air strikes seem to be killing large numbers of innocent civilians as well.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Family Massacred by Liberators

The state does at lease one thing well. Unfortunately it involves murder.

ALI DAYA, Afghanistan (AFP) – An Afghan army colonel whose wife and children died in a US-led raid demanded action against the troops responsible Friday as President Hamid Karzai condemned the killings.

The operation in the eastern province of Khost around midnight Wednesday killed the wife of Afghan National Army artillery commander Awal Khan, two of his children and a brother.

The troops, who had been hunting a militant linked to radical Islamist groups, also shot a pregnant woman and killed her unborn baby, which had almost come to term, Khan and a provincial health official said. The woman survived the shooting.

The mounting civilian death toll from military operations is one of the main sources of tension between Afghan authorities and the US and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

"The (international) coalition has to stop this cruelty and brutal action," a grieving Khan told AFP in the village of Ali Daya a few kilometres (miles) south of Khost.

Khan said he was flown home from his base in the eastern province of Ghazni in a military helicopter Thursday after being told of the deaths.

"I want the coalition leaders to expose those behind this and punish them," Khan said, adding that the Afghan government should resign if it could not protect its people.

Khan lost his schoolteacher wife, a 17-year-old daughter named Nadia, a 15-year-old son, Aimal, and his brother, who worked for a government department. Another daughter was wounded.

After the shooting, the pregnant wife of Khan's cousin, who lived next door, went outside her home and was shot five times in the abdomen, the army officer said.

She was taken to Khost provincial hospital, where the nine-month-old foetus was removed, he said.

"She survived but her child died. The child was hit by bullets," said Khost province health director Abdul Majeed.

Police said troops stood on the roofs of houses surrounding that of a militant suspect, and appeared to be intruders to neighbouring residents, who came out with weapons and opened fire.

The US-led military initially said four people killed by troops were "armed militants."
But a statement Thursday said investigations "suggest that the people killed and wounded were not enemy combatants as previously reported."

US military spokesman Colonel Greg Julian told AFP Friday it had become clear that the four were not associated with the targeted militant, who was arrested.

"It was an unfortunate set of circumstances where they may have thought they were being robbed or attacked and came out, and the forces may have thought they were associated with the targeted individual," he said.

"There will undoubtedly be some financial assistance and other types of assistance," he added.
In a statement expressing sadness about the incident, Karzai said he had ordered his interior and defence ministries, the intelligence service and local government to investigate and present their findings to him Saturday.

Karzai had "for several years repeatedly asked the international military forces (to) carry out their counter-terrorism operations in ways that do not cause civilian casualties," it said.

The Khost provincial council, meanwhile, stopped work to protest against the military action.
International humanitarian organisation CARE said in a statement that the slain schoolteacher had been working at a school that it supports.

"CARE strongly condemns the action and demands that international military forces operating in Afghanistan are held accountable for their actions and avoid all attacks on innocent civilians in the country," it said.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Video of British Police Beating Bystander at G20 Summit

This sort of thing happens everyday. Not shocking considering the attitude of state enforcers that citizens are to be treated with suspicion and contempt.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fascism in America: Il Duce Fires Head of GM

It's really not funny how politicians who have never run a business and leeched off of others for most if not their entire life are in the position of controlling multi billion dollar industries. What right does he have to do this? Why are we paying for this crap? Why are we putting up with this abuse? How much longer will we remain silent while this state rapes our land!?

General Motors CEO will resign: White House

General Motors Corp. chairman and chief executive Rick Wagoner will step down immediately at the request of the White House, administration officials said Sunday.

The news comes on the eve of U.S. President Barack Obama's unveiling of his plan to reinvigorate the U.S. auto industry.

Obama and other administration officials have said they will demand deeper restructuring from General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC before they get any more government loans.

Both companies are surviving on a total of $17.4 billion US in government aid from Washington.

Appearing on the CBS show Face the Nation in a Sunday broadcast, Obama said the Detroit automakers and all those with a stake in their survival need to take more hard steps to help them restructure for the future and receive additional government aid.

"They're not there yet," he said.

Wagoner's departure indicates that more management changes may be part of the bailout deal. Wagoner has repeatedly said he felt it was better for GM if he led it through the crisis.

Wagoner, 56, joined the company in 1977, serving in several capacities in the United States, Brazil and Europe. He's been CEO since May 1, 2003.

Resignation worries Canadian Auto Workers

The head of the Canadian Auto Workers union said Wagoner's departure, combined with the release of Obama's restructuring plan for the U.S. auto industry, are making Canadian employees extremely nervous about the future.

"That just puts all of us on more pins and needles," Ken Lewenza said. "It leaves us all in this… emotional state of, What happens next?

"I never, ever thought the White House or the Parliament of Canada could manage and operate an automobile company," he said.

Lewenza said Wagoner's departure is unfortunate because he is a "car man" and given the troubles that GM is facing, now is not the best time for a shakeup at head office.

That the White House said it orchestrated Wagoner's departure is also worrying, Lewenza said. "It would reflect a lack of confidence in the business plan of General Motors."

Canadian restructuring plans due Tuesday

GM Canada and Chrysler Canada are supposed to submit finalized restructuring plans, including new labour contracts, to the federal and Ontario governments by March 31 in order to receive the billions in aid they have requested. GM Canada is seeking up to $7 billion in government loans, while Chrysler Canada has asked for about $2.8 billion.

Chrysler and the CAW have been holding talks but remain far apart on a deal on wage concessions, according to Lewenza.

The union reached a deal with GM earlier this month that would cut labour costs by about $7 an hour.

However, Chrysler is demanding more concessions than the union made to GM. Ford of Canada has also called the agreement with GM insufficient for its needs.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Conterfeiter Brazenly Robs From Innocent Bystanders

A chief evil in modern economies is the Central Bank. There is only one main difference between them and criminal counterfeiters: they are legal. They unrepentantly print up money using various contrived reasons to justify it, but the cumulative result is to rob purchasing power from those holding the currency (saving) and giving it to those favored by the state. History is replete with examples of the destruction caused by money managed by the state.

Swiss franc plunges on intervention

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 12, 2009
LONDON: The Swiss franc slumped by a record amount against the euro Thursday after the country's central bank confirmed it was intervening to stem the currency's sharp appreciation due to its status as a safe haven.

In its statement accompanying its latest interest rate reduction, the Swiss National Bank said it would "increase liquidity substantially by engaging in additional repo operations, buying Swiss franc bonds issued by private sector borrowers and purchasing foreign currency on the foreign exchange markets."

Following the announcement and its apparent actual intervention in the markets, the euro shot up over 3 percent from 1.4880 Swiss francs to a high of 1.53.

During the financial crisis over the last three months the Swiss franc has been in demand as investors looked to put their money into what is widely considered to be a safe haven asset.

Simon Derrick, currency strategist at Bank of New York Mellon, said the Swiss National Bank was clearly concerned that its recent hefty interest rate reductions were not keeping the franc from rising. A stronger franc makes life more difficult for the country's hard-pressed exporters.

In its statement alongside the quarter point rate cut, which took the three-month Libor target rate to 0.25 percent, the Swiss National Bank predicted that the country was on course to experience deflation of 0.5 percent in 2009 as a result of the hefty fall in imported goods and services and goods.

It also warned that economic output would fall between 2.5 percent and 3 percent in 2009, with nearly all sectors of the Swiss economy hit hard by the global economic slowdown. Export industries will be particularly affected, it said.

Bank of New York's Mellon said the repercussions of the Swiss National Bank's move in the currency markets were widespread with gold surging and the yen falling.

Gold has risen from $908 an ounce before the announcement to a high of $930 as investors looked for the other major asset considered to be a safe haven.

Meanwhile, the yen has fallen against the dollar as the market speculated that the Bank of Japan, itself concerned by the export-sapping appreciation of the Japanese currency, may be next to intervene in the currency markets.

Derrick said there's a real danger now that "beggar thy neighbor" policies could be enacted around the world as countries look to gain an advantage relative to others by reducing the value of their currencies.

It is widely considered that one of the reasons why the 1930s depression lasted so long was that countries acted independently to protect their own interest by undermining their currencies and that as a result it may come up in discussions, at least on a bilateral level, at this weekend's G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in southern England.

"I have to suspect that given that this has happened, it will be on the agenda at least away from the main forum as the last thing anyone wants is beggar-thy-neighbor policies," said Derrick.

Christine Lagarde, France's finance minister, has been vocal in her concerns about how Britain is gaining an advantage by doing nothing to stem the sharp fall in the pound against the euro, and has argued that the monetary authorities have been pursued a policy of benign neglect in the hope that it will give Britain an edge in export markets when they recover.


Use of Military During Shooting Investigation Under Review

Each encroachment of state power must be taken seriously. Deployment of professional killers among the civilian population must be greeted with great suspicion.

Army reviews troop use after fatal Ala. shootings
By JAY REEVES – 4 days ago

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Army said Wednesday it opened an inquiry into whether federal laws were broken when nearly two dozen soldiers were sent to a south Alabama town after 11 people died in a shooting spree last week.

State officials said the deployment of 22 military police officers and the provost marshal from Fort Rucker was requested neither by Republican Gov. Bob Riley nor the White House, which typically is required by law for soldiers to operate on U.S. soil.

Col. Michael J. Negard of the Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va., said officials are trying to determine who ordered the soldiers to Samson, who requested them, why they were sent and what they did there.

"In addition to determining the facts, this inquiry will also consider whether law, regulation and policy were followed," he said. He declined further comment.

Former Samson resident Michael McLendon, 28, fatally shot nine victims in the town and killed a 10th in a neighboring county. The March 10 spree ended when McLendon killed himself, and the soldiers arrived in the hours after.

Investigators said McLendon was despondent over his inability to hold a job and his failure to become a Marine or a police officer.

Riley isn't concerned whether the military overstepped its bounds, said Press Secretary Jeff Emerson.

"From what I understand it was a few folks who came to direct traffic or help where they could," Emerson said. "If it had been more than what it was there might be a reason for concern, but these folks just came to see if they could help and left."

The White House press office did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Reporters and curious citizens poured in after the slayings, overwhelming the town of 2,000 near the Florida state line. Samson is about 35 miles from Fort Rucker, the Army's main helicopter training base.

Samson's tiny police force and county officers were stretched to the limit after the shootings, which left investigators with at least seven different crime scenes to check for evidence.

Samson Mayor Clay King said he did not know why the soldiers showed up in town, but he was glad they did.

"The only function they did was directing traffic. They took drinks and snacks to other people working crime scenes," King said. "I'm proud they were here."

Residents said soldiers from Fort Rucker, a major employer in southeastern Alabama, have a reputation for helping nearby communities in emergencies.

According to a summary by the Congressional Research Service, federal law generally prohibits the armed forces from being used as domestic police. Exceptions include emergencies, when troops can help civilians but don't directly act as police.

The chairman of the Libertarian Party of Alabama, Stephen Gordon, said while many are worried about the use of Army troops in civilian police roles, he doubts there was anything nefarious about the soldiers in Samson.

"There is no apparent harm here, but the principle still needs to be upheld," Gordon said. "The barrier has been lowered for the next time, and we really need to take a look at what happened."


Minimum Wage Causing Kidnapping Wave

What happens when the illegitimate power of the state over the economy is held by the economically illiterate? Unintended consequences.

Honduras Kidnappings on the Increase

Americas - Honduras
6 Mar 2009


Over the past three years, kidnappings for ransom in Honduras have steadily increased. According to Government of Honduras statistics, kidnappings rose from five in 2005, to 16 in 2006, 42 in 2007, and 121 in 2008. Ransoms were paid in 40 percent of the kidnappings in 2008, totaling an estimated US$ 850,000. The Regional Security Officer in Tegucigalpa notes that kidnappings are often underreported throughout Honduras, and these figures may not be representative of the real amount.

Honduran kidnapping gangs prefer to target affluent Honduran entrepreneurs or their family members. These gangs have targeted, to a lesser extent, foreign and local business managers of multinational corporations or their family members. U.S. citizens, although not specifically targeted for kidnapping, have been kidnapped in Honduras. There have been three kidnappings of U.S. citizens in February alone. In these cases, however, their abductions appear to have little to do with their U.S. citizenship but more to do with the victim’s family connection to an affluent Honduran entrepreneur.


Kidnapping gangs in Honduras spend time studying potential victims before selecting a target, which could be either an affluent entrepreneur or a family member. Potential targets include those with predictable routines and who do not pay attention to their surroundings. A typical kidnap for ransom incident includes armed individuals who force the victim into their car. The kidnappers then drive to a second location to call the victim’s family in order to transmit a ransom demand. In most cases, the family negotiates a ransom, the ransom is paid and the hostage is subsequently released.

Recent Incidents

• In September 2008, gunmen kidnapped an owner of a hotel in San Pedro Sula and held him hostage for a week. According to open source press reporting, four gunmen accosted the victim in front of his hotel and forced him into his car. Honduran government officials stated that the victim was found in Copan, about 250 miles west of Tegucigalpa.
• In February, the brother of a Honduran Congressman was kidnapped in Copan. According to Honduran media reporting, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of US$ 1 million. The victim was abducted by two armed men and forced into his car, which was later found abandoned not far from the scene of the kidnapping. At this time, there are no reports on the status of the victim.


In January, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya increased the minimum wage 60 percent, raising monthly wages from US$ 181 to $289. As a result, an estimated 15,000 people have been laid off in urban areas. This number is expected to steadily increase as businesses cannot afford the new mandatory wages. Remittances from Hondurans in the U.S. have also decreased throughout 2008.

Some analysts predict increased crime in Honduras due to citizens unable to find legitimate sources of income. Many unemployed Hondurans could look to kidnapping for ransom in order to obtain large sums of money for a small amount of planning and effort. As the disparity between economic classes continues, wealthy Hondurans or foreigners of affluent appearance conducting business in Honduras could continue to be targeted at a higher rate.

Best Practices

The following best practices have been provided by the Regional Security Officer:

o All travelers should take measures to ensure their health, valuables, and personal property are safeguarded during their stay in Honduras.
o Excessive or expensive jewelry should not be worn and visitors should not carry large sums of money or other valuables.
o Visitors should maintain a low profile at all times and never resist an armed robbery attempt.
o If possible, vary routes and times to and from home or the office, in order to avoid developing routines.
o Whenever possible, visitors should travel in groups of two or more persons, particularly after dark.
o Protect personal information, and instruct household staff not to share any detailed information with strangers.
o Thoroughly vet household staff in order to prevent hiring anyone with links to organized crime.


While U.S. citizens are not targeted specifically for kidnapping, those not paying attention to their surroundings can become victims when in the wrong place at the wrong time. Local-nationals working for OSAC constituents are at an increased risk if in mid- or upper-level management, and U.S. citizens related to wealthy Hondurans are also at an increased risk of kidnapping. It is useful to apply some of the listed best practices in order to prevent becoming a victim. Finally, it is important to report instances of kidnapping to your corporate security manager and the Regional Security Officer in Tegucigalpa.

Source and Secondary Source
Troops are just fodder for the War Machine. Pawns of the Merchants of Death. Wake up Universal Soldier!

Pentagon knowingly exposed troops to cancer-causing chemicals, document shows

Filed by John Byrne

A newly leaked military document appears to show the Pentagon knowingly exposed US troops to toxic chemicals that cause cancer, while publicly downplaying the risks exposure might cause.

The document, written by an environmental engineering flight commander in December of 2006 and posted on Wikileaks (PDF) on Tuesday, details the risks posed to US troops in Iraq by burning garbage at a US airbase. It enumerates myriad risks posed by the practice and identifies various carcinogens released by incinerating waste in open-air pits.

Because of the difficulties in testing samples, investigators could not prove that chemicals exceeded military exposure guidelines. But a military document released last December found that chemicals routinely exceeded safe levels by twice to six times.

The leaked report was signed off by the chief for the Air Force's aeromedical services. Its subject is Balad Airbase, a large US military base about 70 kilometers north of Baghdad.

"In my professional opinion, the known carcinogens and respiratory sensitizers released into the atmosphere by the burn pit present both an acute and a chronic health hazard to our troops and the local population," Aeromedical chief Lt. Colonel James Elliott wrote.

According to the document, a US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative Medicine investigator said Balad's burn pit was "the worst environmental site I have ever personally visited," including "10 years working... clean-up for the Army."

While the Curtis memo document is a new release to Wikileaks, it was previously disclosed online by the founder and editor of, Larry Scott, in December 2008.

Military outfits have routinely incinerated garbage in what are called burn pits. At Balad, the trash was hauled by contractors from the engineering giant KBR, a former Halliburton subsidiary.

Last December, the Pentagon issued a "Just the Facts" sheet about the burn pits to troops. While acknowledging that lab tests from 2004-2006 had found occasional carcinogens, it asserted that "the potential short- and long-term risks were estimated to be low due to the infrequent detections of these chemicals."

The sampling reports are classified, according to the Army Times.

The Pentagon report adds, "Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidance, long-term health effects are not expected to occur from breathing the smoke."

Strikingly, however, it does acknowledge that air samples taken in 2007 found particulate matter levels higher than military recommendations in 50 of 60 cases -- some two times allowable toxic levels, but others as many as six times.

The flyer given to troops appears to contradict assertions by the Air Force's own investigators. In the leaked document, titled "Burn Pit Health Hazards," Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight Commander Darrin Curtis expressed shock that troops were knowingly exposed to such risks.

"It is amazing that the burn pit has been able to operate without restrictions over the past few years without significant engineering controls being put in place," Curtis wrote.

"In my professional opinion, there is an acute health hazard for individuals," he added. In addition to carcinogens, "there is also the possibility of chronic health hazards associated with the smoke."

Curtis noted that the chemicals associated with burning plastics, rubber and other common trash items included arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, sulfuric acid and various other chemicals.

"Just the Facts," while playing down long-term risks, also identified dioxins among tested samples. Dioxins were also present in Agent Orange, the notorious herbicide used during the Vietnam War. Benzene is known to cause leukemia, and cyanide and arsenic have throughout history been used as poisons to induce death.
Soldiers complain of chronic conditions

An Army Times investigation in 2008 found anecdotal evidence of health conditions caused by exposure to the fires.

"Though military officials say there are no known long-term effects from exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 100 service members have come forward to Military Times and Disabled American Veterans with strikingly similar symptoms: chronic bronchitis, asthma, sleep apnea, chronic coughs and allergy-like symptoms. Several also have cited heart problems, lymphoma and leukemia," Army Times reporter Kelley Kennedy wrote in December.

"A lot of soldiers in my old unit have asthma and bronchitis," a staff sergeant stationed in Iraq in 2005 was quoted as saying. "I lived 50 feet from the burn pit. I used to wake up in the middle of the night choking on it."

"I've seen four or five cardiologists, but no one can tell me what's wrong with my heart," the staff sergeant added.

"It seems like most of these cases, anecdotally, are people who were exposed heavily to the burn pits and they got sick quickly," Kerry Baker, legislative director for Disabled American Veterans, said. "There must be some areas that take a hit much harder than others. Everything seems to be pointing opposite to what the Defense Department is saying."


Surprise! State Collaborators Will Not Be Punished

The state's monopoly of justice is often selectively used.

Panetta: No one to be punished for interrogations

Panetta: No CIA employees to be punished as a result of Senate review of harsh interrogations

Mar 05, 2009 17:42 EST

CIA Director Leon Panetta says agency employees who took part in harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects are not in danger of being punished.

Panetta delivered that message to CIA employees in an e-mail Thursday, reiterating what he told Congress last month. He said then that he would oppose prosecutions of any CIA employee who adhered to their legal guidance on interrogations.

He sent the message after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced its review of the CIA's interrogation and detention program under President George W. Bush.

The committee will look at how the CIA decided whom to interrogate, whether it told Congress the truth about the program and whether it was legal. It will also try to determine whether the harsher methods the CIA used elicited valuable intelligence.


360,000 GIs Could Have Brain Trauma

Disposable heroes. The prosecutors of the states wars are also victims. Listen young people! Pick up your sword to defend yourself and your family but beware of bearing the sword on behalf of empire!

Brain-injured GIs Could Number 360,000

March 05, 2009
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The number of U.S. troops who have suffered wartime brain injuries may be as high as 360,000 and could cast more attention on such injuries among civilians, Defense Department doctors said Wednesday.

The estimate of the number injured - the vast majority of them suffering concussions - represents 20 percent of the roughly 1.8 million men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where blast injuries are common from roadside bombs and other explosives, the doctors said.

The estimate came in a Pentagon news conference on activities planned this month to bring attention to brain injuries. The doctors said the number could be as low as 180,000, based on estimates that between 10 percent and 20 percent of troops might have received such injuries.

The previous high estimate offered publicly was 320,000 in a study released a year ago by the private Rand Corp. It was based on about 1.6 million who had done tours of duty in the wars from late 2001.

Though so-called "traumatic" brain injury can range from a mild form such as concussions to severe forms with penetrating head wounds, officials said the majority of injuries among troops are the mild form.

The overwhelming majority heal - and heal without treatment - but an estimated 45,000 to 90,000 troops have suffered more severe and lasting symptoms, said Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton, the head of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

The Army alone spent $242 million last year for staff, facilities and programs to serve troops with brain injuries, said Lt. Col. Lynne M. Lowe of the Army surgeon general's office.

Sutton said that, as in previous wars, the research and other work being done by the military will eventually benefit the civilian world. Whether the injuries occur while people ride bicycles, play football, skateboard or ski, "we know that this is an issue across the country," she said.

"In the past ... it was difficult to get this on the radar screen," said Dr. James Kelly, director of the National Intrepid Center for brain injuries and psychological health. "Brain injury was not recognized as a problem ... of any consequence and was, especially in the sports community, often dismissed or trivialized."

"I think that now you're seeing it being taken very seriously," Kelly said. "The wartime experience has been a big part of that."


Afghans Civilians Still Being Ground Up in War Machine

Yankee Go Home!

Report: Five Afghan Civilians Killed in US Raid
US Insists "Militants" Killed in Attack on Mayor's House
Posted March 22, 2009

US Special Forces killed five people in a pre-dawn raid on a home belonging to a local mayor in the Kunduz Province. In its official statement the military declared that the operation was against a “terrorist network” and that the five killed were “militants.” Four others were also reportedly detained.

Yet Afghan officials say that all five of the people killed in the attack were civilians. Provincial police chief Abdul Rehman Actash said those killed included the district mayor’s driver, his cook, two of his guards, and a guest from Sari Pul Province. Though the US insisted the operation was carried out with help from local police, the police say they weren’t even informed of the operation until after the fact.

A growing number of Afghan civilian deaths caused by US and allied forces have strained relations between the two. Last month a similar raid killed five children in Oruzgan Province. The Australian military insisted that those killings were “in accordance with the rules of engagement.”


Friday, March 20, 2009

People Demand Their Lifestyle Be Subsidized Even More

It is not right to force others to pay for your problems. Each man must stand on his/her own two feet.

Family who are 'too fat to work' say £22,000 worth of benefits is not enough

A family of four with a combined weight of 83 stone say they are "too fat to work" and need more than the £22,000 they currently receive in benefits.

Philip Chawner, 53, and his 57-year-old wife Audrey weigh 24st. Their daughter Emma, 19, weighs 17st, while her older sister Samantha, 21, weighs 18st.

The family from Blackburn claim £22,508 a year in benefits, equivalent to the take-home pay from a £30,000 salary.

The Chawners, haven't worked in 11 years, claim their weight is a hereditary condition and the money they receive is insufficient to live on.

Mr Chawner said: "What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more."

The family claim to spend £50 a week on food and consume 3,000 calories each a day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

"We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine.

"All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight," she added.

Each week, Mr and Mrs Chawner, who have been married for 23 years, receive £177 in income support and incapacity benefit. Mrs Chawner is paid an extra £330-a-month disability allowance for epilepsy and asthma, both a result of being overweight.

Mr Chawner gets £71 a month after developing Type 2 diabetes because of his size. He was on a waiting list for a gastric band last year, but a heart condition made the operation unsuitable. Their daughter Samantha receives £84 in Jobseekers' Allowance each fortnight while Emma, who is training to be a hairdresser, gets £58 every two weeks under a hardship fund for low-income students.

Emma, said: "I'm a student and don't have time to exercise" she said "We all want to lose weight to stop the abuse we get in the street, but we don't know how."


Monday, March 16, 2009

Big Brother Filmed; Arrest Cameraman

The more the state and its servants tighten their grip around the people, the sillier they look. Will its day of reckoning ever come? Notice how hypocritical the police are in justifying this outrage.

Cops Arrest Priest For Filming Them
Police Report Says Priest Wielded Unknown Object; But Cop On Tape Knows It’s A Camera

(AP) A Roman Catholic priest who monitors law enforcement treatment of minorities with a video camera released footage that appears to contradict the police account of his own arrest.

A police report says the Rev. James Manship was confronted and arrested Feb. 19 because he was holding an "unknown shiny silver object" and struggled with an officer who was trying to take it from him. But a 15-second video released this week by Manship's attorneys shows East Haven police Officer David Cari asking Manship, "Is there a reason you have a camera on me?"

"I'm taking a video of what's going on here," Manship replies.

"Well, I'll tell you what, what I'm going to do with that camera," Cari says as he approaches the priest. The tape then goes blank.

The arrest has reignited the debate about racial profiling and ethnic discrimination in East Haven, a working-class community of about 28,000 that borders New Haven. The shooting death of an unarmed black man by an East Haven officer in 1997 sparked harsh criticism by minority groups that has lingered. Manship and his parishioners say officers have been unfairly targeting Hispanics in recent months.

Hugh Keefe, a New Haven attorney who represents East Haven police, said the videotape shows only a small portion of what happened and confirms part of what Cari wrote in his report. He also said the tape doesn't show what happened from the time the camera was turned off until Manship's arrest.

Marcia Chacon, co-owner of My Country Store, where Manship was arrested, said Friday that the priest surrendered peacefully after the camera was shut off.

"He didn't say anything," she said.

Manship was not at his parish, St. Rose of Lima Church in New Haven, midday Friday and did not return a telephone message left Friday afternoon. He is due in court March 27 on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer.

Keefe criticized Manship for "creating controversy where none needed to be."

"You've got to conclude that he was out there with a video camera in an attempt, in my view, to provoke the police to do something," Keefe said. "If his goal was to attempt to stop the perceived harassment of the Hispanic community in East Haven by the police department, why didn't he go to the mayor's office?"

Chacon, a 36-year-old immigrant from Ecuador who moved to the U.S. 15 years ago and a parishioner of Manship's church, said she had called the priest to her store that day because the two officers were confiscating license plates displayed on the store's wall, saying they were illegal. She and her husband, Rodrigo Matute, were given a $372 ticket.

She said the seizure and ticket were part of a pattern of racial profiling against Hispanics by town police over the past eight months.

"I don't know why it happened," Chacon said of the priest's arrest and the seizure of the license plates. "We work very hard and ... everything we do is legal."

Keefe said there has never been a complaint, oral or written, about town officers harassing Hispanic people. If a complaint were filed, city officials would look into it, he said.

Last weekend, anti-immigrant fliers apparently printed by a white supremacy group were left in front of Chacon's store, she said. And on Monday, someone broke the window of her home's basement door, she said.

"I'm very scared," Chacon said.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Viva Democracy!

Western democrats would sneer at this story, but are the western democratic states much different? Elections are filled with candidates parroting similar ideologies. Welfare and warfare are their cries, theft and murder are their tools. Is Kim Jong Il so different?

Kim wins re-election with 99.9% turnout

The Associated Press
Monday, March 9, 2009

Kim Jong Il was unanimously re-elected to North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament, state media said Monday, in elections closely watched for signs of a political shift or hints the autocratic leader is grooming a successor.

Turnout Sunday was 99.98 percent, with all voters backing the sole candidate running in their constituency, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

Observers will be analyzing the list of legislators for clues as to how Kim and the ruling elite will govern the Communist nation over the next five years, and any signs he is grooming a successor.

Kim's third son, Kim Jong Un, reportedly ran for a seat Sunday in what analysts say would be a strong sign he is poised to inherit power. The 26-year-old is the youngest of the leader's three known sons and is said to be his father's favorite.

Kim, 67, reportedly suffered a stroke last August, around the time the elections were due to be held. North Korea denies he was ill and did not provide a reason for the delay to March.

The new assembly is expected to convene in early April to reconfirm Kim as leader in his capacity as chairman of the all-powerful National Defense Commission.

Elections in North Korea are largely a formality, since candidates are widely believed to be hand-picked by Kim and the ruling Workers' Party, and only one candidate runs in each constituency.

The North Korean Parliament meets only a few times a year to affirm bills vetted by the ruling party. But lawmakers also fill key party, government and military posts, making the list of legislators a telling indicator of how Kim's third term will take shape, analysts say.

KCNA traditionally provides a list of legislators around noon the day after the poll. But a report late Monday from KCNA said only that 686 lawmakers had been elected, without providing their names.

The past two elections have resulted in significant turnover. The 1998 balloting was Kim's formal ascension to power; he had inherited the country's leadership upon his father's death four years earlier but waited for the poll to clear out nearly two-thirds of the assembly's lawmakers.


Monday, March 9, 2009

George Obama? Or Barak Bush?

Vague differences in the ideology of the main parties only serves to present people with an illusion that there is an alternative to state power. In truth, there is but one party, and it will not diminish it's power without a fight. Republicans and Democrats by and large agree that the use of state power is legitimate, they merely haggle sometimes over it's use and breadth.

Obama Channels Cheney
Obama adopts Bush view on the powers of the presidency.

In a federal lawsuit, the Obama legal team is arguing that judges lack the authority to enforce their own rulings in classified matters of national security. The standoff concerns the Oregon chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi Arabian charity that was shut down in 2004 on evidence that it was financing al Qaeda. Al-Haramain sued the Bush Administration in 2005, claiming it had been illegally wiretapped.

At the heart of Al-Haramain's case is a classified document that it says proves that the alleged eavesdropping was not authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. That record was inadvertently disclosed after Al-Haramain was designated as a terrorist organization; the Bush Administration declared such documents state secrets after their existence became known.

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the President's right to do so, which should have ended the matter. But the San Francisco panel also returned the case to the presiding district court judge, Vaughn Walker, ordering him to decide if FISA pre-empts the state secrets privilege. If he does, Al-Haramain would be allowed to use the document to establish the standing to litigate.

The Obama Justice Department has adopted a legal stance identical to, if not more aggressive than, the Bush version. It argues that the court-forced disclosure of the surveillance programs would cause "exceptional harm to national security" by exposing intelligence sources and methods. Last Friday the Ninth Circuit denied the latest emergency motion to dismiss, again kicking matters back to Judge Walker.

In court documents filed hours later, Justice argues that the decision to release classified information "is committed to the discretion of the Executive Branch, and is not subject to judicial review. Moreover, the Court does not have independent power . . . to order the Government to grant counsel access to classified information when the Executive Branch has denied them such access." The brief continues that federal judges are "ill-equipped to second-guess the Executive Branch."

That's about as pure an assertion of Presidential power as they come, and we're beginning to wonder if the White House has put David Addington, Mr. Cheney's chief legal aide, on retainer. The practical effect is to prevent the courts from reviewing the legality of the warrantless wiretapping program that Mr. Obama repeatedly claimed to find so heinous -- at least before taking office. Justice, by the way, is making the same state secrets argument in a separate lawsuit involving rendition and a Boeing subsidiary.

Hide the children, but we agree with Mr. Obama that the President has inherent Article II Constitutional powers that neither the judiciary nor statutes like FISA can impinge upon. The FISA appeals court said as much in a decision released in January, as did Attorney General Eric Holder during his confirmation hearings. It's reassuring to know the Administration is refusing to compromise core executive-branch prerogatives, especially on war powers.

Then again, we are relearning that the "Imperial Presidency" is only imperial when the President is a Republican. Democrats who spent years denouncing George Bush for "spying on Americans" and "illegal wiretaps" are now conspicuously silent. Yet these same liberals are going ballistic about the Bush-era legal memos released this week. Cognitive dissonance is the polite explanation, and we wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Holder released them precisely to distract liberal attention from the Al-Haramain case.

By the way, those Bush documents are Office of Legal Counsel memos, not policy directives. They were written in the immediate aftermath of a major terrorist attack, when more seemed possible, and it would have been irresponsible not to explore the outer limits of Presidential war powers in the event of a worst-case scenario. Based on what we are learning so far about Mr. Obama's policies, his Administration would do the same.


Friday, March 6, 2009

State Prohibits Doctor From Offering Cost Effective Service

The state has driven up medical costs through regulation and cartelization. It has hampered the production of drugs, the amount of doctors, and free entry into the market place. The trend is for nationalization. It intervenes into the market, causes chaos, then intervenes again to correct the harmful consequences of its previous intervention. Any competitors to this, offering alternatives to state mismanagement, will be crushed.

NY regulators frown on doctor's flat-fee system

Published: March 4, 2009 - 2:20 pm

(AP) - A New York City doctor's flat-fee, $79-a-month medical practice has run afoul of state insurance regulators who have told him to shut it down.

Dr. John Muney said Wednesday he's negotiating to try to keep the arrangement at his AMG Medical Group centers. The fee includes unlimited office visits, some tests and in-office surgeries. It doesn't cover treatment requiring hospitalization or specialized care.

Dr. Muney sees it as a formula for making health care affordable and patient-friendly at a time when many people are losing jobs and medical benefits.

But the state Insurance Department says Dr. Muney's system amounts to insurance and requires a license.


State Thug Presumes To Know Better Than Parents

The power given to the state causes irrational behavior. The power holders actually believe their powers to be legitimate even while they talk about absurd activities. Somehow, though, it is a fitting image: the state taking a toys away from children. A bully's activity.

Barbie Could Be Banned In West Virginia


Her measurements are still 36-18-38 as Barbie turns 50 this week.

But if one West Virginia lawmaker has his way, Barbie could be banned in the Mountain State.

"I just hate the image that we give to our kids that if you're beautiful, you're beautiful and you don't have to be smart," said Del. Jeff Eldridge of Lincoln County, W. Va.

Eldridge proposed a bill to ban sales of Mattel's blond bombshell and others like her because it puts too much emphasis on physical beauty, but he's finding it hard to get people to sign on.

"I knew a lot of people were going to joke about it and make fun of me," said Eldridge. "I couldn't get anybody to sign on the bill with me and I said, 'I'm still going to introduce it.'"

"I think that it's nice to have a male member of the House of Delegates worried about women's image and what they're supposed to do or what they think they're supposed to do to succeed," said Del. Nancy Peoples Guthrie of Kanawha County. "My sense is that this is probably not a bill that's going to pass."

At least one mother said it's not the state's place to worry about her daughters.

"I think that there are other ways to promote confidence and instill values in your daughters other than the toys that they play with," said Amy Smith, of Charleston, W. Va. "I don't have a problem with Barbie."

The Barbie doll officially turns 50 on March 9.

Mattel has made big plans this year to mark the anniversary.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

UK State Kidnaps Children On False Pretenses, Refuses to Return Them

The argument that the state organization is needed to prevent the perversion of justice is demonstrably false. It is in fact the case that the state virtually guarantees the organized and efficient perversion of justice. A monopoly on the production of justice unsurprisingly produces less and less justice with ever increasing costs. The state can also be predicted to rule mostly in its favor.

Couple told they cannot have their children back after being wrongfully accused of abuse to take court battle to Europe

By Tom Kelly
Last updated at 3:54 PM on 12th February 2009

A couple forced to give up three children for adoption despite a judge ruling they may have been wrongly accused of abuse yesterday vowed to take their legal fight to Europe.

Mark and Nicky Webster said they will never give up the battle to win back their daughter and two sons after the Appeal Court ruled this week that it was 'too late' for the family to be reunited.

The couple have not seen the children, now aged nine, seven and five, since they were put up for adoption four years ago.

Mrs Webster, from Cromer in Norfolk, said: 'We promised right from the very beginning that we were going to fight on no matter what.

'That has not changed, despite all the disappointments we have suffered.

'We need to discuss with our lawyers exactly where we stand but we will do whatever we can.

'If that means going to House of Lords or all the way to the European courts then that's what we will do.

'I've never stopped thinking about my children and I never will.'

The couple's nightmare started in October 2003 when Mrs Webster took their second son to hospital with a swollen leg.

He was found to have a number of small fractures which doctors said could be caused only by physical abuse.

The following year they were permanently removed and put up for adoption after a one-day court hearing.

Medical experts later concluded that the injuries were not caused by violent twisting and shaking, but were symptoms of rare case of scurvy.

Mr Webster, 35, and his 27-year-old wife fled to Ireland in 2006 to stop their fourth child, Brandon, being taken into care at birth.

The Appeal Court ruled on Wednesday that even though the Websters 'may well' have been victims of a miscarriage of justice the adoption order on their eldest three children could not be revoked because the youngsters are now settled with their adoptive parents.

Mrs Webster, who is pregnant with a fifth child due in April, said: 'The judgement has left a lot of unanswered questions.

'On the one hand they are saying it's in our favour and they fully understand why we're doing what we're doing.

'But on the other hand they're saying they can't help us.

'I'm also disappointed that they haven't cleared our names.

'The judges only skimmed the surface. They haven't dug deeper.

'You see cases on the news about people harming their children. It's beyond belief that we were put in a similar pigeon hole to that.'

Helen Broughton, an adoption law specialist from Morecrofts Solicitors, said the case highlighted the 'chronic weaknesses' in the Family Justice System.

'A tragic situation like this has almost certainly happened before and sadly it will very likely happen again,' she said.

'There is a serious shortage of resources. Medical experts are expensive and courts are only required to provide one for each adoption case, which allows no room for error.

'Had there been a second medical opinion when concerns were first raised about this couple this whole very sad situation would almost certainly have been avoided.'

But she warned that the Websters would face a very tough battle to overturn the adoption order in either the House of Lords or the European Court of Justice.

'The courts may rule that they have been wronged, but they are extremely unlikely to reverse the adoption order, because in almost all cases adoption is final.'


Update: The Websters have again been denied their children by the courts. Read about it here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

AIG Does Not Stand For "Against Intervention By Government"

What kind of civilization do we have if thievery is unrepentantly practiced in the open sun?

U.S. offers more funds to help fraught AIG
$30 billion more in loans; $61.7 billion lost in the fourth quarter
The Associated Press
updated 6:11 p.m. CT, Mon., March. 2, 2009
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The U.S. government announced a restructuring of a bailout plan for the troubled insurer American International Group Inc. Monday, extending $30 billion in additional aid to the company.

News of the additional funds came as AIG, once the world’s largest insurer, said it lost $61.7 billion in the fourth quarter, the biggest quarterly loss in U.S. corporate history, amid continued financial market turmoil.

The government’s new financial assistance to AIG includes providing the troubled company another $30 billion on an “as needed” basis.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning, AIG chairman and chief executive Edward Liddy said: “We’re going to be able to pay back the Federal Reserve. The new $30 billion is a stand-by line. It’s not necessarily something that we think we’ll have to draw on right away.”

The Federal Reserve said Monday it will also take stakes in two international units.

Instead of paying back $38 billion in cash with interest that it has used from a Federal Reserve credit line, AIG now will repay that amount with equity stakes in Asia-based American International Assurance Co. and American Life Insurance Co., which operates in 50 countries.

AIG also announced plans to spin off part of its property-casualty business, to be renamed AIU Holdings Inc.

It marked the fourth time the government has stepped in to help AIG. Its initial lifeline came in September. The action was announced jointly early Monday by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.

The new package is designed to enhance the company’s capital and liquidity to facilitate the “orderly completion of the company’s global divestiture program,” the agencies said.

They said the company continues to face “significant challenges” due to the rapid deterioration in certain financial markets in the last two months of the year. “The additional resources will help stabilize the company and in doing so help stabilize the financial system,” the agencies said.

AIG has been forced to seek more help in part because of the ongoing recession and its falling stock price, now well under $1. Among its biggest problems: It can’t sell assets to pay back government loans because the credit crisis is preventing would-be buyers from getting financing to complete such deals.

As of Feb. 13, AIG had sold interests in nine businesses.

In November, the U.S. government restructured previous loans provided to AIG, giving the company about $150 billion in total as part of a rescue package to help the insurer remain in business amid the worsening credit crisis. That package replaced earlier loans, including the original $85 billion lent in September, after it became apparent the insurer needed more funds.

Problems at AIG did not come from its traditional insurance operations, but instead from its financial services units, and primarily its business insuring mortgage-backed securities and other risky debt against default.

“Our insurance policy holders, they’re in good shape. They’re secure, they’re protected,” Liddy said in the “Today” show interview. “It’s all the other ancillary businesses that are causing this. And it’s the decline in asset values around the globe.”

New York-based AIG said Monday it lost $22.95 per share in the last three months of 2008. It lost $5.3 billion, or $2.08 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue fell to negative $23.8 billion, as the company had to reverse gains it recorded from investments in past quarters.

The latest results include $7.2 billion in unrealized losses and credit valuation adjustments at AIG Financial Products, the source of credit-default swaps, and pretax losses of $21.6 billion tied to the declining value of AIG’s investment portfolio.

AIG’s general insurance business swung to a loss on $2.8 billion in net realized capital losses. General insurance net premiums dropped 16.3 percent to $9.2 billion, and net premiums earned fell 5.9 percent to nearly $11 billion.

Adjusted to exclude certain items, operating losses totaled $37.9 billion, or $14.17 per share, versus a loss of $3.2 billion, or $1.25 per share, last year.

The results fell drastically short of estimates. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, forecast a loss of 37 cents per share on revenue of $24.82 billion. Analysts have been dropping coverage of AIG in recent weeks due to the uncertainty of AIG’s future.

“We have made meaningful progress in addressing liquidity issues related to AIG Financial Products and our securities lending activities and have announced several divestitures,” AIG’s Liddy said. “However, the economy and capital markets remain in turmoil and we are taking additional steps to preserve the value of our businesses and maximize the ultimate proceeds for the benefit of all stakeholders, including taxpayers.”

For the full year, AIG lost $99.3 billion, or $37.84 per share, compared with a proft of $6.2 billion, or $2.39 per share, a year earlier. Total revenue fell 89.9 percent to $11.1 billion from $110.1 billion a year ago.