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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

25 Oct - Dreams,Destruction,Disillusionment

War CriminalImage by danny.hammontree via Flickr

http://www.nytimes.com/  In pictures: Fleeing Waziristan
Some aid agencies are reported to be have been told not to give assistance to those who have fled. Officials are worried it will flow back to their tribesman, many of whom have links to the al-Qaeda fighters.

U.S. forces struggle with Washington’s perceptions and reality in Afghanistan

“Guys back in Washington need to get, I think, a better operational understanding, [of] what goes on here,” she said. “To separate the enemy from the population to make progress will take a really long time, and the administration really needs to understand that. Even more than in Iraq, to get to the point where they … they can build a government — which they can’t do now — [and] get rid of corruption, is going to take years.”
( The U.S. government is going to rid Afghanistan of corruption ? Depends...on how many lobbyists are available for reassignment I would think. )

Obama's Minions Are Ingrates
here are two separate and very serious charges that Obama White House officials are making about their predecessors. First, that the Bush administration had no real Afghanistan policy and failed for eight years to ask the important questions about the war there. And second, that the Bush administration ignored requests from commanders on the ground to increase troops in Afghanistan.

Bush administration officials were furious.

"The idea that we just sat on our f--ing asses--it's really a slander," says one senior Bush administration official. "It's just not credible that we didn't take this seriously."

In fact, the Bush administration did ask those questions. From mid-September to mid-November 2008, a National Security Council team, under the direction of General Doug Lute, conducted an exhaustive review of Afghanistan policy. The interagency group included high-ranking officials from the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, the office of the director of national intelligence, the office of the vice president, the Pentagon, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its objective was to assess U.S. -policy on Afghanistan, integrating a simultaneous military review being conducted by CENTCOM, so as to present President Bush with a series of recommendations on how best to turn around the deteriorating situation there.

Rather misses the point, doesn't it ? When you're promoting resolve to do something with armed services which is contrary to their purpose and design...repeatedly reporting that it doesn't work as advertised is more basic than which particular policy one considers/promotes to achieve failure. )

Sheila Samples

Sunday, July 19, 2009
Fading Into Mist...
(2 comments) Are not crimes against humanity just that, regardless of who is committing them?
Friday, May 8, 2009
Seeds of Truth
(24 comments) This goes way beyond garnering profits for agriculture conglomerates such as Monsanto. It is about disrupting the natural order of life -- whether plant or animal. And, for those orchestrating this havoc, it is about control.
Monday, March 2, 2009
It's Time for the Madness to Stop
(5 comments) The most ghastly experiment conducted was Operation Crossroads, a series of "Manhattan Project" tests in 1946 to study the effects of nuclear weapons on ships and equipment. US officials knew the effect of massive radiation on human beings. They had to know. So what else were the thousands of navy personnel positioned on ships from five to eight miles from the Bikini Atoll bomb site in the central Pacific if not guinea pigs?
Friday, November 28, 2008
Through a Hole in the Air...
(17 comments) The fascist lies and smears of Republicans and their doppleganger radio creeps should come as no surprise to those paying attention. However, the ripples of uneasiness and fear surging through Democratic ranks as a result of these assaults is a bit puzzling. Perhaps it's because after eight years of covering--and uncovering--deceit, lies, and monstrous war crimes of George Bush, they are hesitant to trust any president.
Friday, September 26, 2008
The Peter Principle Playoffs
(2 comments) We need to get our minds around who is the aggressor here. Because if we continue to passively watch the evil unfold; if Dick Cheney wins the behind-the-scenes, off-court power struggle, the Peter Principle Playoffs will be over and the entire Middle East will explode in nuclear flames.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
(4 comments) We are under the control of the criminally insane. Cheney has turned the greatest democratic republic ever conceived into a world corporation and anointed himself its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He has supplanted two centuries of protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with executive orders and secret laws.
Monday, March 24, 2008
What It's All About...
(8 comments) The media is determined to choose the president no matter what voters want. Little by little, the media has inserted itself into the process until elections are no longer about candidates or issues. They're about the media and what the media thinks about candidates and issues.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Traffic Jam on the Highway to Hell
Our government is nothing but a Good Ol' Boys and Girls club, with judges, journalists, legislators and administration jesters whooping it up while pillaging the Treasury, ignoring cries of their victims, turning a blind eye to slaughtered and displaced innocents, and sending thousands of their own citizens to their deaths. They have mauled, raped and obstructed Justice until that once noble Lady is no longer recognizable.

New York Times

 At Plant in Coal Ash Spill, Toxic Deposits by the Ton
In a single year, a coal-fired electric plant deposited more than 2.2 million pounds of toxic materials in a holding pond that failed last week, flooding 300 acres in East Tennessee, according to a 2007 inventory filed with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hundreds of acres were flooded by sludge last week in a coal ash spill from a holding pond filled with heavy metals at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant 40 miles west of Knoxville.

The inventory, disclosed by the Tennessee Valley Authority on Monday at the request of The New York Times, showed that in just one year, the plant’s byproducts included 45,000 pounds of arsenic, 49,000 pounds of lead, 1.4 million pounds of barium, 91,000 pounds of chromium and 140,000 pounds of manganese. Those metals can cause cancer, liver damage and neurological complications, among other health problems.
And the holding pond, at the Kingston Fossil Plant, a T.V.A. plant 40 miles west of Knoxville, contained many decades’ worth of these deposits.  More

US bank failures top 100 for year
More US banks have now failed this year than in any year since 1992.

The number is expected to rise as banks continue to suffer from the bad loans that precipitated the financial crisis. 

In theory, a near worthless dollar is great for American manufacturers, American jobs. Lower costs for American goods means US exports should rise, reducing our trade deficit and helping pay off the national debt! That's the theory, the rationale behind Richard Nixon's decision to take the US off the so-called 'gold standard' back in the 70s.

The reality is this: despite the right wing's subversion of the dollar, despite the deals Nixon and subsequent GOP regimes gut with China, US exports have decreased, US jobs have decreased, the US standard of living as decreased as just one percent of the population has prospered at everyone else's expense at least since Ronald Reagan's tax cut of 1982, a tax cut which benefited only this rich base of GOP/right wing supporters. These downward trends have defined US history since the 1970s despite temporary gains made during the Carter and Clinton years. I have previously posted the key 'stats' which prove this to have been the case.

Check out the CIA's World Fact Book which lists the US at the very bottom of the list with the world's largest negative Current Account Balance. China, which pegs the Yuan to the dollar, is at the top of the list with the world's largest positive Current Account Balance. ........
    The enormous scale of foreign borrowing and money creation necessary to finance Washington’s wars are sending the dollar to historic lows. The dollar has even experienced large declines relative to currencies of third world countries such as Botswana and Brazil. The decline in the dollar’s value reduces the purchasing power of Americans’ already declining incomes.

    Despite the lowest level of housing starts in 64 years, the US housing market is flooded with unsold homes, and financial institutions have a huge and rising inventory of foreclosed homes not yet on the market.

    Industrial production has collapsed to the level of 1999, wiping out a decade of growth in industrial output.

    --Paul Craig Roberts, The US as Failed State

If the US is a 'failed state', it is because it has been impoverished by at least two trends: 1) the transfer of US wealth upward to just one percent of the US population which now owns more than 95 percent of the rest of the nation combined; 2) the decline of the US dollar, a trend begun when Richard Nixon eschewed the Bretton-Woods agreement.

Science Daily

New Tumor Suppressor Destroys Key Link In Cancer Chain

Alliance for Natural Health

Swine flu vaccine: are you joining the queue?

ANH looks at a cross section of views about the swine flu vaccination


Find out who is controlling the global food supply and why change is needed now!

 Judge Rejects Blackwater Attempt to Dismiss Cases Filed by Iraqi Victims
A federal judge has rejected a series of arguments by lawyers for the private military contractor Blackwater who were seeking to dismiss five war crimes cases brought by Iraqi victims against the company and its owner, Erik Prince. We speak to award-winning investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent, Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Confessions of Witches Under Torture
Catalog #: SKU2503
Or why torture is really useless as a tool for interrogation.. You'll get the answer you want under torture every time.

 I am pulling this out of a Group with attribution denied : a book review
Hey, I like F&SF
Pocket, August 2009
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
ISBN: 9781416584124
Also available as an original e-book
ISBN: 9781416584261

Subject: Gabriel Bleak. Status: Civilian. Paranormal skills: Powerful. Able to
manipulate AS energies and communicate with UBEs (e.g. "ghosts" and other
entities). Psychological profile: Extremely independent, potentially dangerous.
Caution is urged....

As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of
making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty
hunter, or "skip tracer," in the psychic minefield known as New York City.
Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of
Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human
supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control
Gabriel, they'll gain access to the Hidden -- the entity-based energy field that
connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel's got other ideas. With a growing
underground movement called the Shadow Community -- and an uneasy alliance of
spirits, elementals, and other beings -- Gabriel's about to face the greatest
demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to
repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak.

Anomaly News Syndicate

Great Pyramid of Giza Research Association

Uncle Sam in Afghanistan: Good Help Is Hard to Find
Now the Obama administration and congressional leaders — with Sen. John Kerry playing a starring role in recent days — are making a determined effort to legitimize the Afghan government as a prelude to further U.S. escalation of the war.
This kind of thing happened so many times during the Vietnam War that people lost count.

Did Thucydides Really Tell the Truth?
The Greek historian, Kagan notes, was not a disinterested observer but a participant in the events he described. A member of the Athenian elite, he served as a military commander, and the city sent him into exile when he failed to protect Amphipolis, a strategically valuable colony. When he began to write, he had an agenda of his own.

Booman Tribune

 Disabled and Begging in America - by Steven D

I found this internet post unexpectedly while doing some web surfing today. This is what happens when people can't work, not won't work, but can not work because of a health crisis in America, and I don't think it's an uncommon occurrence these days:

    I have worried and worried about posting this, but decided, in the end, to do so. I was forced from my Paramedic job last year due to disability. My lawyers are handling this, but it could be up to two years before the government decides if I get disability or not. I had to close my tattoo shop due to this disability. (COPD, CHF).The problem is, I am a recluse in my small town and have no friends, nor any family. I did manage to get food stamps, but no monetary assistence. The problem is, I have Dogs I have to feed and proprty tax to pay or I lose my house...plus several other things that I need money to pay, main thing at this moment being heat. I have always considered the denizens of the JD my family, so I swallow my large chunk of pride and come here.

    I don't want any of you to consider this begging, even though it so clearly is, but I know nothing else to do. I have been everywhere and done everything I can do. There just ain't much out there by way of help for a 64 year old dyke with a lot of pencils. I can't sell my computer, because it is the only outlet and link that I have...that would kill me. It's an old one, anyway.

    So...and this is so hard for me...if any of you could afford a small contribution so I could feed my dogs and the tax man, it would be beyond appreciated. I will pay you all back whenever I get my first disability check, I swear it. This is KILLING me to ask. But if you can, please send it to:

    Tammy T. Peaden
    121 Burrus Place
    Tarboro, NC
    PH # 252-823-2563

    I thank all of you in advance for anything you can do, even if it is only a prayer. And please forgive me for the audacity to ask; I simply had to try every door I knew. Thank you guys for listening.

I don't know Tammy personally, but I have read some of her poetry before and it is very good in my opinion. Here's one award winning poem of hers (scroll down). I can't vouch for her claims, but since I know of her writing, I thought I would pass this along. Since she posted this on an open board, I don't think she'll mind.

The larger issue is that today, there are thousands of people like her, who cannot work but who have to fight to get their disability claims approved. It shouldn't have to be that way. In a decent, civilized society it wouldn't be necessary. You wouldn't have insurance companies that can deny your health benefit and disability claims based on nothing more than the sheer desire to maintain high profits. I speak from personal experience. My disability claim against a major insurance company was denied, not because I wasn't disabled but because I couldn't prove, as a matter of law that the insurance company had acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in denying my claim.

    Any time an insurance disability policy is part of an employee benefit package, it is regulated by federal ERISA regulations. When an insurance policy is purchased privately by a person through an independent insurance agent, these policies are not governed by federal ERISA regulations. When a disability benefit is governed by ERISA, the procedural rules governing a lawsuit for benefits are slanted heavily in favor of the insurance company.

    When filing a claim for benefits under an ERISA disability insurance policy, it is imperative that the appropriate steps and procedures be taken in the case. Unlike other lawsuits where a claimant will have the opportunity to come to court to provide proof that they are disabled, in an ERISA disability case there is no trial. ERISA disability insurance cases end up in Federal Court where the court reviews the decision of the insurance company under an arbitrary and capricious standard.

    When a court reviews a decision under an arbitrary and capricious standard, the court reviews the insurance company’s file to determine whether the insurance company abused it’s discretion. In the typical claim for benefits under a disability insurance policy, unless the claimant takes appropriate action, the insurance file will contain very little information in support of the application and overwhelming evidence that supports a denial of the application.

    Essentially, disability insurance companies have put together a business plan that maximizes premiums and minimizes the payments of benefits to the people covered under those insurance policies. The standard claim process provides for a certification by the person’s treating physician that they are unable to perform their previous occupation. Typical forms that the physician is asked to fill out are one to three pages long and provide very little information regarding the claimant or his/her claim. Typically, an insurance company will ask for one years worth of medical records and then review this information to determine whether benefits should be paid. It is common for these companies to hire outside physicians to read these records and then write lengthy reports in support of a denial.

Despite the abundance of evidence demonstrating my inability to work, the insurance company met that standard by sending my medical records to a medical doctor I never met, and based on his review, he declared that I was not disabled. When we took the case to federal court, it was dismissed on summary judgment.

The presiding Federal District Court Judge wrote that despite there being credible evidence that I might indeed be disabled, he couldn't rule that the insurance company had acted in violation of the "arbitrary and capricious" standard in denying me benefits under the disability policy I had contributed to as a partner in my law firm because that one doctor who the insurance company employed had given his opinion that I was not. I was advised not to even bother applying for Social Security Disability because the denial of my claim by the Insurance Company and my lack of a definitive diagnosis would likely have resulted in denial of SSD benefits. In fact, as of 2005, only 52% of disability claims filed for SSDI benefits were approved by the Federal Government, a startling low number. Yet by 2008 the approval percentage had fallen even lower, to 38% of all claims filed.

    Over the past 10 years, SSDI benefits rose dramatically by 98%, even as the percentage of applications approved dropped from 52% in 1998 to 38% in 2008.

Imagine that. You can't work because you're disabled, but you have almost no chance of getting approved for benefits if you are covered under your employer's defined benefit plan, and less than a 2 in 5 chances of being approved for benefits from the Federal Government. Even assuming some cases of fraud, you can't tell me that all those people who are being denied benefits are trying to scam the private insurance companies and the Feds. If my wife hadn't been employed at the time, I would have been without any health insurance, and been forced to declare bankruptcy and apply for Medicaid. Assuming I would have qualified for that, which is no given.

I don't blame Tammy (and I imagine many others similarly situated who are out there) for humbling herself to beg for her daily bread. What other options do we give people in such dire straits? Today, I saw in a coffee shop a poster for a benefit by a Boy Scout Troop for a young man with brain cancer, to help cover the costs of medical expenses not covered by insurance. That's the America we live in, one in which the unfortunate must hope and pray for the kindness of strangers to come to their rescue. Help, which for most of them, never arrives.

So, all you healthy people who think you have adequate insurance in case of a catastrophic medical illness or disabilty, think again. What happened to me, to Tammy and to many others in every state in this union of ours could easily happen to you.


Updated October 25, 2009 - 12:09 AM EDT

Pak Troops Retake Waziristan Taliban Stronghold

US Drone Attack Kills 27 in Pakistan's Bajaur

Pakistan Insurgents Putting Up Tough Fight in Waziristan, Report Says

Pakistan: Lahore High Court Moves Against Blackwater, Drones

NATO 'Sorry' for Killing More Afghan Civilians

Morale Dips for American Marines in Afghanistan

Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Knowing Your Enemy

UN Nuclear Inspectors Head to Iran to Visit Site

Iranian Site Prompts US to Rethink Assessment

Iraq PM: Poll Delay Would Damage Legitimacy

General: Iraq Risks More Instability if Polls Delayed

New Israel Lobby Offers an Alternative to Hawks

J Street Lobby Group Works to Loosen Big Beasts' Grip on Congress

J Street Absorbs Another Pro-Peace Group to Extend Its National Reach

Abbas Decrees Elections, With or Without Hamas

German Leaders Vow to Rid Country of US-Based Nukes

Obama's War
Interview with Col. Andrew Bacevich

ElBaradei to the Rescue
by Gordon Prather

Pentagon Instructs Officials to Cancel Contracts with ACORN  by Jeremy Scahill

Make the World Go Away  by Jeff Huber

The Cold War Never Ended
by Michael C. Moynihan

Left, Right and Wrong in Honduras
by Abraham F. Lowenthal

Read more


Obama's War Council

Al-Qaeda Big Wig Killed. Again?

Look at Insurgent Groups on Afghan-Pakistan Border

Some Troops in Iraq Look Longingly to Afghanistan

The Great American Arm-Twist in Afghanistan

As Indonesia Debates Islam's Role, US Stays Out

Israel Confirms Settlers Ramping Up West Bank Construction

Ever-Present Surveillance Rankles the British Public

British Police Relaunch Lockerbie Bombing Investigation

 Kerry becomes de facto diplomat for Obama
He's not president, a Cabinet member or ambassador, but Sen. John Kerry has ascended to the unofficial role of President Barack Obama's global adviser on key issues that could reshape the nation's image around the world.

Holbrooke missing from Afghan talks
By Jon Ward

President Obama called Richard Holbrooke "one of the most talented diplomats of his generation" when he named the globe-trotting foreign policy expert to be special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. But 10 months later, Mr. Holbrooke was anchored in Washington and far from the front lines of diplomacy that led to Tuesday's Afghan election deal.

The Obama administration used other intermediaries to apply the pressure that got Afghan President Hamid Karzai to agree to a runoff after fraud-tainted elections.

Meet the People Who Were Passed Over for Obama

Outrage at government plan for secret inquests

Plans to introduce secret inquiries into controversial deaths from which the public and bereaved families could be banned are to be pushed through the House of Commons by the Government.

Last night ministers suffered a humiliating defeat for the proposals in the House of Lords, but insisted that they were "clear" that "harmful material" must not be made public, and would reintroduce the measures in the Commons.

The new powers would allow them to turn inquests like that of Jean Charles de Menezes or those involving the deaths of British soldiers into secret hearings.

Lithuanian President Announces Investigation into CIA Secret Prison
The president of Lithuania called for an official investigation Tuesday into an ABC News.com exclusive report in August that the CIA housed a secret prison for al Qaeda suspects in Lithuania for more than a year beginning in 2004.

I thought it would be worth taking a little time at the end of each week as the potentially seminal UN summit approaches to take stock of what's happened and ponder where it might all lead.

A Spiritual Mind Movie - August 2009
Law of Attraction - Most Professional Mind Movie Yet

heroetu (2 months ago) that was wonderful, loved the whole thing music, graphics and words used.. keep these kind of videos coming :) peace and love to all... awake and about to be awake ones.
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