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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.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Anniversary - Afghanistan | Peace Prize

coffins Image by fsgm via Flickr

Obama Won the Nobel Peace Prize! Harharharhar!!!

Pictorial Essay on War 

( I like your 'take'.
Moving targeting of the War machine from murdering civilians in their homes in Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan is not my idea of 'peacemaking' either. Nor is unconditional support for Israel in imprisoning Palestinians, whether Muslim,Christian, or whoever. Even their wells are being bulldozed.
But the pip is 'efforts to curtail nuclear proliferation.'
Read the Wikipedia article on the NPT. If I understand the Third Pillar properly, then nations trying to follow it are to be rewarded for compliance.
Does that sound anything like the constant comedy act around Ahmadinejad - mistranslating his speeches and wretchedly twisting what he says ? Or, for that matter, the b.s. trying to pose Iran as the threat to peace by nuclear-armed powers ?
'No good deed shall go unpunished' is what it looks like to me. Think the Iranians would support the award ?
Get a load of military budgets worldwide sometime. Opit )

Extract from August 30, Lawlessness and Chaos : 'Policy' 

Link including pictures of deformed children born in Afghanistan
Death Made in America

Israel has Iran in its sights
if Israel decides that Iranian nuclear weapons are an existential threat, it will be deaf to entreaties from U.S. officials to refrain from using military force. Soon after the operation, Washington will express concern to Tel Aviv publicly and privately. The long-standing U.S.-Israeli relationship will remain as strong as ever with continued close diplomatic, economic, intelligence and military cooperation.

Should Tehran prove unwilling to meet the September deadline and bargain away its growing and latent nuclear weapon capability, we can expect an Israeli attack that does not require U.S. permission, or even a warning.

Micah Zenko is a fellow in the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations.
( 'Decides' in this case refers to a propaganda program point. Reality is 'what they say it is'. Iran is being handled in classic logical fallacy fashion : Poisoning the Well. Nothing it can say or do will stem the cascade of lies, innuendo and well-established media tirades of absolute unmitigated bullshit. The nuclear rogue state { Israel } even ignores Russia's blunt threat of reprisals if Iran is attacked. So much for the 'existential threat' of Iran being candidly assessed.

'Foreign Relations'. So that's what the buzzword for mass production murder is these days!

Planetary Rescue Operations

Thoughts of an Injured, Jobless G20 Protester

Posted by msrb on September 26, 2009
sent by a reader

MR Obama, We Need Jobs in the US, NOT War in Afghanistan!

‘GOD!’ How could this happen? How could it all go so horribly wrong?

obama reuters
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama wait for leaders as they arrive at the Phipps Conservatory for an opening reception and working dinner for heads of delegation at the Pittsburgh G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 24, 2009.  REUTERS/Jim Young. Image may be subject to copyright.

Lord, I don’t want you to think that I’m ungrateful for being born here instead of Afghanistan!

A demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister fired by police
I mean this is just a
teargas canister, and people get worse things thrown at them every day. [A demonstrator kicks a tear gas canister fired by police. Photo: Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright.

When people of Afghanistan asked for more food, the President sent more soldiers with rockets and bombs to silence them!

nato airstrike
Local villagers in Afghanistan bury some of the victims of an airstrike in a mass grave near Kunduz. Scores of people were feared killed in northern Afghanistan when NATO aircraft struck hijacked fuel tankers as villagers came to collect fuel, Afghan officials said. Photograph by: Stringer, Reuters. Image may be subject to copyright

When people of Pittsburgh asked for more jobs, the President sent them more policemen armed with teargas and smoke to shut them up!

Police threw canisters of pepper spray and smoke at marchers- ap
I've gotta a job and you don't. And my CIC says I can throw
at you all the sh*t that you see on me! [Policeman smiles sheepishly as he prepares more canisters of pepper spray and smoke to throw at the jobless marchers. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.]
It wasn't long before police decided to use tear gas  getty images
It wasn’t long before police decided to fire the real stuff, teargas, at the marchers. Photo: GETTY IMAGES. Image may be subject to copyright.

Related Links:

Ten Percent

 8 Years Ago Today

 7 October, 2009 — RickB

“A US military attack would be another catastrophe for Afghanistan”
Behjat, RAWA spokeswoman
25th September 2001
Sunday October 7th 2001
US President George W Bush has addressed the nation to announce the start of attacks on Afghanistan…
“On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taleban regime in Afghanistan.”
Monday October 8th 2001
The first sign that Enduring Freedom, the US-led retaliation for last month’s terrorist attacks, had begun would have been visible from the cornfields of the American Midwest, where black, bat-winged stealth bombers took to the air with a full load of bombs. The B2 bombers, first used extensively in the Kosovo conflict, took off from the Whiteman air force base in Missouri and flew 17 hours to Afghanistan, arriving at about 9pm local time, just as cruise missiles launched from the Arabian sea were hitting their targets.
For all the talk of this being a new form of warfare, the first few hours followed a classic pattern of US military doctrine: destroy as much as possible of the enemy’s ability to fight back in a coordinated and overwhelming burst of violence.
The Taliban did not have much of an air force and its anti-aircraft defences were rudimentary, but the US air force does not take chances. One of the first reported tar gets to be destroyed was a radar command centre at the military air base outside Kabul.
The Pentagon had not issued “battle damage assessment” reports by late last night, but it is likely that the initial strikes also destroyed the few dozen Mig and Sukhoi Soviet-era fighters the Taliban has managed to maintain with Pakistani help over the years.
A total of 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles, costing $1m (£670,000) apiece, were used in the assault. According to the Pentagon, they were launched from four US surface ships and a submarine which make up the battle groups surrounding the USS Carl Vinson and USS Enterprise carriers in the Arabian sea. Some were also fired from HMS Triumph and HMS Trafalgar, two submarines in the naval taskforce accompanying HMS Illustrious.
Once launched, the cruise missiles flew low over the water at just below the speed of sound. They crossed Pakistani air space, as agreed previously with the government in Islamabad, and then over the border into Afghanistan, hugging the terrain on the way to their targets to avoid radar detection.
By that time, there would have been many other warplanes in the air. Swing-wing B1 bombers and huge lumbering B52 Stratofortresses, the same giants which carried out the blanket bombing of Cambodia and Vietnam 30 years ago, took off from the British-run island of Diego Garcia in the Indian ocean. In the month since September 11, the island has witnessed a steady build-up of aerial firepower, and it represents an important el ement of the British contribution to Enduring Freedom.
At about the same time as the bombers were launched, bulky C17 military transport planes took off from the Ramstein US air force base in Germany, laden with 37,000 bags of subsistence rations to be dropped for Afghan refugees and impoverished civilians. In view of the size of the humanitarian problems facing the country, it was a token effort, but the symbolism of dropping food alongside bombs was thought to be central to the Bush administration’s war strategy.
To press home the point, leaflets were also dropped, explaining that the military strikes were directed only at the Arabs of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organisation and the Taliban leaders who had led Afghanistan into the firing line by agreeing to offer shelter to foreign terrorists.
Number of casualties- unknown, and after the Iraq war began nobody bothered trying to count for all of 2004, see Marc Herold or the wiki page, or this at Unknown News. Starts at 7,589 civilians and goes to 28,028 or more.
The US has spent at least $223 Billion, the UK at least £12 Billion. Afghansitan GDP for 2008 $22.27 billion. Overall costs of the injured, dead, mentally damaged, homeless, the spousal abuse, the child abuse, drug abuse, medical services, prison service, police… is incalculable at this point, war does not end in a field somewhere over there. Children as yet unborn will be affected by it, that is a truth our militaries and governments will never admit, a bitter harvest for the homeland. When you look at how our governments treat their own citizens, be it welfare cuts or denial of basic healthcare ask yourself why they are spending our money in a country they could buy and sell several times over, where they care so little about the people they do not even count how many they have killed.
Malalai Joya-
On behalf of the long-suffering people of my country, I offer my heartfelt condolences to all in the UK who have lost their loved ones on the soil of Afghanistan. We share the grief of the mothers, fathers, wives, sons and daughters of the fallen. It is my view that these British casualties, like the many thousands of Afghan civilian dead, are victims of the unjust policies that the Nato countries have pursued under the leadership of the US government.
Almost eight years after the Taliban regime was toppled, our hopes for a truly democratic and independent Afghanistan have been betrayed by the continued domination of fundamentalists and by a brutal occupation that ultimately serves only American strategic interests in the region.
You must understand that the government headed by Hamid Karzai is full of warlords and extremists who are brothers in creed of the Taliban. Many of these men committed terrible crimes against the Afghan people during the civil war of the 1990s.
So far, Obama has pursued the same policy as Bush in Afghanistan. Sending more troops and expanding the war into Pakistan will only add fuel to the fire. Like many other Afghans, I risked my life during the dark years of Taliban rule to teach at underground schools for girls. Today the situation of women is as bad as ever. Victims of abuse and rape find no justice because the judiciary is dominated by fundamentalists. A growing number of women, seeing no way out of the suffering in their lives, have taken to suicide by self-immolation.
… US vice-president Joe Biden asserted that “more loss of life [is] inevitable” in Afghanistan, and that the ongoing occupation is in the “national interests” of both the US and the UK.
I have a different message to the people of Britain. I don’t believe it is in your interests to see more young people sent off to war, and to have more of your taxpayers’ money going to fund an occupation that keeps a gang of corrupt warlords and drug lords in power in Kabul.
What’s more, I don’t believe it is inevitable that this bloodshed continues forever. Some say that if foreign troops leave Afghanistan will descend into civil war. But what about the civil war and catastrophe of today? The longer this occupation continues, the worse the civil war will be.
The Afghan people want peace, and history teaches that we always reject occupation and foreign domination. We want a helping hand through international solidarity, but we know that values like human rights must be fought for and won by Afghans themselves.
I know there are millions of British people who want to see an end to this conflict as soon as possible. Together we can raise our voice for peace and justice.

NATO Afghan mission extended by 1 year

the resolution does not acknowledge the debate occurring in many NATO countries about whether to increase or reduce their forces in Afghanistan.
Defence Minister Peter Mackay told the House of Commons defence committee on Thursday that Canada's troops may stay in Afghanistan in a non-combat role after 2011.
(  If this was Fox News, there would be a headline blaring Mackay confirms Canada is currently committed to killing Afghans : I just don't propose to say he's that frank!  )

Obama wins Nobel “Peace” Prize, gives imperialism a facelift for the 21st Century

Today, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Given his cult of personality and his stature in the so-called “international community,” it is not a big surprise that Obama has won. After all, the Prize has a long history of being awarded to war mongers, racists, imperialists, and frauds. So, Obama joins the likes of indicted mass-murder Henry Kissinger; fascist Lech Wałęsa; feudalist despots like the Dalai Lama; Menachem Begin, who personally led the attack on Deir Yassin, killing 750 Palestinian civilians; imperialist Theodore Roosevelt; and so on. Obama fits right in with such a reactionary, motley crew. Obama has overseen a violent coup d’etat in Honduras; threatened troop escalation and caused mass murder in Afghanistan; expanded war to Pakistan; overseen torture, mass murder and military escalation in Iraq and mass murder in Gaza, Palestine; threatened war against Iran and northern Korea; and many other crimes in his ten months of office. Obama, despite being perceived as Black, has asolutely zero record on working with the Black nation on civil rights or other issues.

That Obama has won the Prize says much about how Obama has transformed the image of the US. Obama has given imperialism a big makeover. Since Obama took office, people’s opinion about the US has become more favorable in almost every country polled. The US’s improved poll ratings extend even across the Third World, although they are lowest in Muslim and Middle Eastern countries. Thus Obama’s regime represents a more effective imperialism. Obama represents turn away from the the unilateral, cowboy approach of the George W. Bush administration. Obama is the new-age imperialist, sensitive and sophisticated. If George W. Bush was the bad cop of modern imperialism, Obama is the good cop.  

Obama more than any other recent US president represents a globalist turn in imperialism. The Obama administration seeks a world order where the Europeans and other imperialists have a say and cooperate alongside the US. Obama represents an imperialism that is both globalist, but still with the US at its center. Obama is the imperialist for an age without significant inter-imperialist rivalry. Obama is the imperialist antagonist of Lin Biao’s Long Live the Victory of People’s War! Obama is the imperialist in a world where inter-imperialist rivalries have been replaced, for the moment, by inter-imperialist cooperation against Third World peoples. Obama represents a more mature and stable imperialist system. 

( But...when the Wall Street Journal weighs in with
Most Embarrassing Moment
Oh. Neat psyops guys. We needed something to shake us out of our lethargy.

Not that candor isn't a convenient tool to establish 'street credit'. Here's one to lambaste Hillary with too. )

What I Heard in Honduras

Our ambassador is the only person I met there who thinks there was a 'coup.' Let's release the State Department legal analysis. 

In the last three months, much has been made of a supposed military "coup" that whisked former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power and the supposed chaos it has created.
After visiting Tegucigalpa last week and meeting with a cross section of leaders from Honduras's government, business community, and civil society, I can report there is no chaos there. There is, however, chaos to spare in the Obama administration's policy toward our poor and loyal allies in Honduras.
That policy was set in a snap decision the day Mr. Zelaya was removed from office, without a full assessment of either the facts or reliable legal analysis of the constitutional provisions at issue. Three months later, it remains in force, despite mounting evidence of its moral and legal incoherence.

While in Honduras, I spoke to dozens of Hondurans, from nonpartisan members of civil society to former Zelaya political allies, from Supreme Court judges to presidential candidates and even personal friends of Mr. Zelaya. Each relayed stories of a man changed and corrupted by power. The evidence of Mr. Zelaya's abuses of presidential power—and his illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a la Hugo Chávez—is not only overwhelming but uncontrovertedAs all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved The presidential election is on schedule for Nov. 29. Under Honduras's one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti—who was installed after Mr. Zelaya's removal, per the Honduran Constitution—is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them—including Mr. Zelaya's former vice president—expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation.Indeed, the desire to move beyond the Zelaya era was almost universal in our meetings. AlIn a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya's ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo LlWhen I asked Ambassador Llorens why the U.S. government insists on labeling what appears to the entire country to be the constitutional removal of Mr. Zelaya a "coup," he urged me to read the legal opinion drafted by the State Department's top lawyer, Harold Koh. As it happens, I have asked to see Mr. Koh's report before and since my trip, but all requests to publicly disclose it have been denieOn the other hand, the only thorough examination of the facts to date—conducted by a senior analyst at the Law Library of Congress—confirms the legality and constitutionality of Mr. Zelaya's ouster. (ItUnlike the Obama administration's snap decision after June 28, the Law Library report is grounded in the facts of the case and the intricacies of Honduran constitutional law. So persuasive is the report that after its release, the New Republic's James Kirchick concluded in an Oct. 3 article that President Obama's hastily decided Honduras policy is now "a mistake in search of a rationale.The Hondurans I met agree. All everyone seemed to want was a chance to make their case, or at least an independent review of the factsSo far, the Obama administration has ignored these requests and instead has repeatedly doubled down. It's revoked the U.S. travel visas of President Micheletti, his government and private citizens, and refuses to talk to the government in Tegucigalpa. It's frozen desperately needed financial assistance to one of the poorest and friendliest U.S. allies in the region. It won't release the legal basis for its insistence on Mr. Zelaya's restoration to power. Nor has it explained why it's setting aside America's longstanding policy of supporting free elections to settle theBut these elections are the only way out—a fact even the Obama administration must see. The Honduran constitution prohibits Zelaya's return to power. The election date is set by law for Nov. 29. The elections will be monitored by international observers and overseen by an apolitical body, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, whose impartiality and independence has been roundly praised, even by Ambassador Llorens.
America's Founding Fathers—like the framers of Honduras's own constitution—believed strong institutions were necessary to defend freedom and democracy from the ambitions of would-be tyrants and dictators. Faced by Mr. Zelaya's attempted usurpations, the institutions of Honduran democracy performed as designed, and as our own Founding Fathers would have hoped.
Hondurans are therefore left scratching their heads. They know why Hugo Chávez, Daniel Ortega and the Castro brothers oppose free elections and the removal of would-be dictators, but they can't understand why the Obama administration does.
They're not the only ones.
Mr. DeMint, a Republican senator from South Carolina, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 ( The duty of the Opposition is to oppose. Well done! )

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia
Published on Monday, October 5, 2009 by TruthDig.com
War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war. The hushed voices, the well-tended grass, the flapping of the flags allow us to ignore how and why our young died. They hide the futility and waste of war. They sanitize the savage instruments of death that turn young soldiers and Marines into killers, and small villages in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq into hellish bonfires. There are no images in these memorials of men or women with their guts hanging out of their bellies, screaming pathetically for their mothers. We do not see mangled corpses being shoved in body bags. There are no sights of children burned beyond recognition or moaning in horrible pain. There are no blind and deformed wrecks of human beings limping through life. War, by the time it is collectively remembered, is glorified and heavily censored. ....

There is a burning need, one seen in the collective memory that has grown up around World War II and the Holocaust, to turn the horror of mass murder into a tribute to the triumph of the human spirit. The reality is too unpalatable. The human need to make sense of slaughter, to give it a grandeur it does not possess, permits the guilty to go free. The war makers—those who make the war but never pay the price of war—live among us. They pen thick memoirs that give sage advice. They are our elder statesmen, our war criminals. Henry Kissinger. Robert McNamara. Dick Cheney. George W. Bush. Any honest war memorial would have these statesmen hanging in effigy. Any honest democracy would place them behind bars.
David Cameron's war on the state
David Cameron today used what may be his final party conference speech before becoming Britain's 53rd prime minister to say he would use power to tear down Labour's big government, replacing it with a stronger society that nourishes personal responsibility, strong families and community.
He sketched out in the broadest terms what small government might look like, saying there would be fewer targets in the criminal justice system, greater freedom for professionals in the public services, more competition between schools, greater patient accountability in the NHS, and a sweeping away of the "rotten surveillance state".Labour and the Liberal Democrats dismissed the speech as the work of a man determined to kick away the protection of the state, leaving the most vulnerable dependent on charities.
Liam Byrne, the chief secretary to the Treasury, dismissed the speech. "It was classic Cameron in that delivery was powerful, emotional and good but in this business actions speak louder than words. It concealed the judgment calls he has consistently got wrong and the real threat of what he would do,"

Thousands of Homeowners Cite Drywall for Ills
drywall from China, imported during the housing boom to meet heavy demand — that he says is contaminated with various sulfur compounds.
“There could be 60,000 to 100,000 homes that are worthless and have to be ripped completely down and rebuilt,” said Arnold Levin, a Philadelphia lawyer and co-chairman of the plaintiffs’ steering committee.
One target of the lawsuits is Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, a German company with manufacturing plants in China that supplied about 20 percent of the Chinese drywall brought into the United States.

Don Hayden, the company’s lawyer, said that its own toxicology tests from affected homes showed that the drywall presented no health problems. Even so, he said his company was cooperating with American government investigations.

“Unlike other Chinese manufacturers, we are the only one to come to the United States to address this problem,” said Mr. Hayden. “We’ve spent considerable time and energy and hope that we can provide a workable solution to U. S. homeowners.”

Calling All Sheriffs

here is Arizona's most highly decorated Peace Officer and official "oathkeeper" Jack McLamb's, mission statement:
Our association's singular goal is to prevent our brothers and sisters in uniform from being unwittingly used to enslave the people of free nations under the anti-God, anti-Freedom (United Nations-led) world government system.
 We understand two most important points concerning the globalists' plan:
  • They intend to gain, through any available means, total dictatorial control over all the peoples of the world. 

  • They cannot realize their goal if their would-be enforcers (we police and soldiers) refuse to assist them in their treachery.

    Please visit Officier McLamb's website to understand how seriously he is handling the swine flu deception. It is his biggest concern in a potential takeover of our nation. Does that not warrant a closer look?
Below is what Sheriff Mack has to say about a private company cleverly calling themselves, "American Police Force" (APF) apparently poised to take over Hardin, Montana's police duties. Whether they have official foreign ties has yet to be seen but they are blatantly flaunting the Serbian coat of arms. Their website is www.americanpolicegroup.com
And though this particular case seems to be more of a conman's way to make a buck, it sends a distressing question to Americans: "Is it so easy to waltz into any American town, flash some cash and take over the police force?" If so, then we are in bigger trouble than maybe any of us actually realize.

• In the USA in 1960, two virologists discovered that both polio vaccines were contaminated with the SV 40 virus which causes cancer in animals as well as changes in human cell tissue cultures. Millions of children had been injected with these vaccines. (Med Jnl of Australia 17/3/1973 p555)

• In 1871-2, England, with 98% of the population aged between 2 and 50 vaccinated against smallpox, it experienced its worst ever smallpox outbreak with 45,000 deaths. During the same period in Germany, with a vaccination rate of 96%, there were over 125,000 deaths from smallpox. The Hadwen Documents

•1918 Spanish Flu outbreak kills 10's of millions worldwide. Sparked by the first mandatory vaccination program of US military during WWI. Vaccination program then spread worldwide. The countries that opted out of the vaccination program experienced no Spanish flu outbreak. (Vaccination: The Silent Killer p 28)

• In Germany, compulsory mass vaccination against diphtheria commenced in 1940 and by 1945 diphtheria cases were up from 40,000 to 250,000. (Don't Get Stuck, Hannah Allen) 

• In 1967, Ghana was declared measles free by the World Health Organisation after 96% of its population was vaccinated. In 1972, Ghana experienced one of its worst measles outbreaks with its highest ever mortality rate. (Dr H Albonico, MMR Vaccine Campaign in Switzerland, March 1990)

• In 1977, Dr Jonas Salk who developed the first polio vaccine, testified along with other scientists, that mass inoculation against polio was the cause of most polio cases throughout the USA since 1961. (Science 4/4/77 "Abstracts" )

• In the UK between 1970 and 1990, over 200,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in fully vaccinated children. (Community Disease Surveillance Centre, UK)

• In the 1970's a tuberculosis vaccine trial in India involving 260,000 people revealed that more cases of TB occurred in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. (The Lancet 12/1/80 p73) In 1978, a survey of 30 States in the US revealed that more than half of the children who contracted measles had been adequately vaccinated. (The People's Doctor, Dr R Mendelsohn)

• The February 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90% of obstetricians and 66% of pediatricians refused to take the rubella vaccine.

• In 1979, Sweden abandoned the whooping cough vaccine due to its ineffectiveness. Out of 5,140 cases in 1978, it was found that 84% had been vaccinated three times! (BMJ 283:696-697, 1981)

• In the USA, the cost of a single DPT shot had risen from 11 cents in 1982 to $11.40 in 1987. The manufacturers of the vaccine were putting aside $8 per shot to cover legal costs and damages they were paying out to parents of brain damaged children and children who died after vaccination. (The Vine, Issue 7, January 1994, Nambour, Qld)

• Austria 2009, Investigative Journalist, Jane Burgermeister files criminal charges with the FBI against the UN and WHO for an attempted global genocide plot using a manufactured swine flu pandemic as its front. www.theflucase.com

On My Opera I posted the following October 4
'Flu' Emails

Canada posts surprisingly high job gains
Canadian employers hired six times more workers than expected in September, knocking down the unemployment rate for the first time since July 2008

Conservationists Call For Continued Protection of Fragile Utah Lands

WASHINGTON - October 8 - As the Department of Interior and Bureau of Land Management evaluate the impacts that oil and gas development would have on red rock wilderness lands in Utah, conservation groups are calling for ongoing protection of these treasured areas. Following the Bush Administration's attempted last-minute auction of 77 parcels of lands last year, the courts ruled that BLM did not follow proper procedures. Today, the DOI received recommendations on the propriety of the lease sale, including recommendations to improve the decision-making process. As these recommendations are evaluated, several groups involved in the lawsuit are working to make sure that these valuable natural resources are protected.
Today's announced report follows a decision by federal district court judge Ricardo Urbina on January 17, 2009 issuing a temporary restraining order prohibiting BLM from issuing these leases.

Men Arrested for G-20 Twittering say It's Free Speech

Published on Monday, October 5, 2009 by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 The quick evolution of technology has changed the way Americans do almost everything, including how law enforcement combats crime, and consequently, how criminals elude law enforcement.
Those two concepts converged during the G-20 summit, when state police arrested two New York men for using Twitter to inform protesters in Pittsburgh about the movements of local officers.
[A line of policemen blocks the street during a protest march during the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania September 25, 2009. Police have arrested two New York men for using Twitter to inform protesters in Pittsburgh about the movements of local officers.(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)]A line of policemen blocks the street during a protest march during the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania September 25, 2009. Police have arrested two New York men for using Twitter to inform protesters in Pittsburgh about the movements of local officers.(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)
They are accused of hindering apprehension, criminal use of communication facility and possessing instruments of crime. The charges raise questions about the use of technology in areas where the First Amendment and potential criminal activity converge."Anyone can tweet, but the truth is, sometimes speech can be criminal," said John Burkoff, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
The charges came to light late last week when an attorney for self-described anarchist Elliot Madison filed a motion in federal court in New York asking for the return of much of the evidence seized during a 16-hour FBI search. Agents arrived at the man's Queens residence at 6 a.m. Thursday to investigate potential violations of "federal rioting laws."
Several people live in the house, Mr. Madison's lawyer said, and much of the material taken did not belong to his client.
While there were many potentially relevant items seized -- gas masks, computers, corked glass vials, beakers and test tubes -- there were lots of likely irrelevant materials seized, as well -- posters of a cat and another of Curious George, photographs of Karl Marx and Lenin, along with MP3 players.
Also taken were files of Mr. Madison's clients. He is a social worker in Manhattan and has two master's degrees.
Attorney Martin R. Stolar describes his clients, Elliot and Elena Madison, as "political activists dealing with social justice issues as well as paralegal support workers for those contemplating political action and those arrested as a result of political demonstration activity."
Elena Madison is not charged in the case but is one of the plaintiffs requesting return of the seized items.
They work as part of a confederation known as The Peoples' Law Collective.

US: New Legislation on Military Commissions Doesn’t Fix Fundamental Flaws 

Proceedings to Try Detainees at Guantanamo Remain Substandard

NEW YORK - October 8 - Draft legislation on military commissions fails to remedy the system's serious flaws, Human Rights Watch said today. The amendments to existing military commissions legislation - to be called the Military Commissions Act of 2009 - were included in the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The new rules are expected to be passed by Congress this week.
"Tinkering with the discredited military commissions system is not enough," said Joanne Mariner, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Program director at Human Rights Watch. "Although the pending military commissions legislation makes important improvements on the Bush administration's system, the commissions remain a substandard system of justice.".......

Human Rights Watch warned that as the latest version of the military commissions created by the Bush administration, the revised tribunals would be viewed globally as unfair, harming international cooperation on counterterrorism. It noted that trying only non-US citizens before the commissions would raise further concerns about fairness and discrimination. And it pointed out that by allowing child suspects to be prosecuted in military proceedings, the US was bucking a global trend to end this practice.
 Unlike the federal courts, which enjoy constitutional protection against executive pressure, the commissions lack independence. Indeed, the previous commissions were highly susceptible to improper political influence, leading several military prosecutors to resign in protest.

Senate Committee Passes Patriot Act Reauthorization Bill 

Bill Does Not Go Far Enough to Protect Americans’ Privacy, Says ACLU

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the USA PATRIOT Act Extension Act of 2009 today, a bill which falls far short of restoring the necessary civil liberties protections lacking in the original Patriot Act. The bill, passed by the committee after two sessions of debate, makes only minor changes to the disastrous Patriot Act and was further watered down by amendments adopted during markup. The American Civil Liberties Union had endorsed the JUSTICE Act, an alternative bill that would heavily reform not only the Patriot Act but other overly broad surveillance laws.

There were two amendments included in the final bill - both offered by Senator Feingold - that are victories for privacy: The Department of Justice would be ordered to discard any illegally obtained information received in response to an NSL and the government must notify suspects of "sneak and peek" searches within seven days instead of the thirty days currently outlined in the statute. "Sneak and peek" searches allow the government to search a home without notifying the resident immediately.

: www.reformthepatriotact.org

ACLU Opposes Texas D.A.'s Attempt To Use Seized Assets To Pay For Her Own Legal Defense  

Top County Law Enforcement Official Accused Of Illegally Seizing Cash From Minority Motorists

Seven Arrested at Chicago Cigna Health Insurance Office Calling for End to Denial of Treatment, Real Health Care Reform

 October 8 - Seven citizens and health care providers who are fed up with the state of our health care and the health care debate were arrest at the downtown offices of Cigna today. The sit-in is part of a national mobilization to end insurance abuse and build support for real reform - Medicare for All, a single-payer plan. The mobilization involves civil disobedience at insurance company offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and other cities. Almost 700 people have already signed up to risk arrest at a health insurance company office, joining one of the largest campaigns of nonviolent civil disobedience since the civil rights movement. Many of these event are occurring next week on Thursday, October 15 in a dozen cities across the country.
"Hundreds of people die each day because insurance companies deny them lifesaving care that they need," said Marilena Marchetti, 29, an occupational therapist and a resident of Gold Coast, Chicago, who was arrested at today's sit-in. "I put myself on the line for them. We need a system that places patients before profit."

Bank Buster: Elizabeth Warren is Wall Street's Worst Nightmare

Warren is applying a people-first philosophy by simultaneously running the Congressional Oversight Panel, which monitors the $700 billion TARP bailout program on behalf of the taxpayers, and pushing for a new agency to protect consumers from predatory lenders. Now, as Congress seriously considers her proposal (and lobbyists maneuver to kill it), the question is: Can a middle-class populist in Ivy League garb change the world-or at least Big Finance?

Common Dreams

Newswire - October 2009

Thursday • October 8, 2009

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