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.