Thursday, June 10, 2010

Did The IDF Execute Mavi Marmara Victims? (Is The Sky Blue And Do Bears Crap In The Woods?)

It is so amazing how the Media in the United States is completely controlled by Israeli Interest. It is also confounding how most people in the United States (and Canada as well) are still totally unaware of the massacre of Humanitarian Aid workers on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla bound for the concentration camp called Gaza on the morning of May 31st, 2010. So much for any more doubts that the so called "free press" is no longer free!

Now comes more interesting revelations about the massacre carried out by Israeli commandos on the high seas against innocent people. According to this new report from Counterpunch at, it seems that the passengers on the Mavi Marmara were killed execution style by being shot in the back by the Commandos! This is astonishing, and here is that article for my own readers to ponder:

20 More Signs Of A Full-On Economic Collapse

So just how bad is the U.S. economy? Well, the truth is that sometimes it is hard to put into words. We have squandered the great wealth left to us by our forefathers, we have almost totally dismantled the world's greatest manufacturing base, we have shipped millions of good jobs overseas and we have piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of mankind.

We have taken the greatest free enterprise economy that was ever created and have turned it into a gigantic house of cards delicately balanced on a never-ending spiral of paper money and debt. For decades, all of this paper money and debt has enabled us to enjoy the greatest party in the history of the world, but now the bills are coming due and the party is nearly over.

In fact, things are already so bad that you can pick almost every number and find a corresponding statistic that shows just how bad the economy is getting.

You doubt it? Well, check this out....

For many, recovery means lower expectations

PROSPER, Texas (AP) - Advised by a Walgreens superior that a promotion was "very highly likely" if he transferred to the drugstore chain's Dallas division, Chris Cummings uprooted his family and bought a spacious house in this hopefully named suburb.

"The sky's the limit," he was told.

But instead of a promotion, the company for which Cummings had been an assistant manager three and a half years cut his hours so drastically that he had to take a second job. In March, he was laid off, and his part-time second job became full-time.

And so that is how a 40-year-old father of four with a master's in business administration from the University of Notre Dame finds himself bagging groceries at Sprouts, a local health-food store.

"I never thought I'd be here with the education that I have and that I'd worked hard on," Cummings said before a recent shift in the checkout lane at the Sprouts in nearby Frisco. "Probably where the frustration comes most is when I get the alumni magazine and I see what my classmates are doing. And that's not a good feeling."

The federal government says the "Great Recession" is over - has been for months now - and that we're well into the recovery. But don't tell that to Cummings, who has seen his income cut by three-quarters and can't afford health insurance for his family.

Or Af Shirinzadeh, who went from a $100-an-hour chiropractic job to part-time work as a docent in an Atlanta museum that features plasticized human cadavers.

Or welder Mark Sepeda, who had to move his family of six from a spacious home in Nevada's lush Carson Valley to a two-bedroom apartment when the Las Vegas building boom came to a screeching halt.

Or Paul Lechner, who, with a mixture of gratitude and dejection, accepted a job stocking shelves at a Super Target after two years and hundreds of applications failed to land him a position in advertising, the field for which he trained.

Yes, the stock markets have largely rebounded. Housing and car sales are back up. And though job creation isn't robust - last week, the Labor Department reported private employers added just 41,000 jobs, down from 218,000 in April and the fewest since January - the economy is growing again.

But, if "recovery" means getting back to where you were before things fell apart, many aren't even close. To people like Lechner, 43, who came to North Carolina's Research Triangle full of hope for a bountiful future, it's meant resigning himself to lower expectations:

That any mental stimulation he gets will come from crossword puzzles, conversations with his wife or the weekly pub trivia nights with the guys - not from his work. That if he ever manages to get another job in advertising, it'll probably be too late for any awards or recognition. And that his 4-year-old son, Jerry, will likely be his only child.

"An optimist sees the glass as half full. A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. I see the glass as twice as big as it needs to be," Lechner says.

The American landscape is littered with huge and half-empty glasses, and men and women like Paul Lechner.


Af Shirinzadeh holds out a preserved human lung and smiles as two young women make grossed-out faces.

"Step on up," he says. "There is no teeth on this one. It doesn't bite."

The joke draws the women in, and within seconds they are holding actual human organs while Shirinzadeh talks to them about the science behind what they are feeling. He beams.

As a docent in the "touch booth" at "Bodies ... The Exhibition," Shirinzadeh gets to lay his hands on human bodies, albeit dead ones.

"I'm so grateful for this job," says the 38-year-old suburban Atlanta man, who was laid off last year from his job as a chiropractor and spent six months on unemployment looking for any kind of work. "I'm able to educate others, and share my knowledge, and keep myself sharp."

The job pays a tenth of what Shirinzadeh made as a chiropractor, and it's only three or four days a week. The layoff has forced him to rethink his plans for the future - and re-evaluate his past choices.

Shirinzadeh's wife, an elementary school teacher, has gone back to graduate school to get a credential that will give her a bump in pay. Shirinzadeh would do the same, if he wasn't already saddled with considerable college debt - and if the couple could afford regular day care for their 2-year-old son.

His father had wanted him to become a medical doctor. The son wonders if he made the right choice in becoming a chiropractor.

"I didn't think it was going to be like this," he says. "I thought, 'I'll be a doctor of chiropractic. I'll work hard, save up a bunch of money, maybe retire early.' Now it's like, work until you die."


When the economy was up, so was Mark Sepeda.

The 50-year-old welder walked the iron atop some of Sin City's newest skyscrapers. The Encore Las Vegas Casino and the Mandarin Oriental hotel at the massive $8.5 billion CityCenter are among the more recent pleasure palaces he's helped to soar.

These days, Sepeda's view on the world is strictly earthbound.

Since being laid off in January 2009, Sepeda has been reduced to soliciting freelance auto mechanic work through online classifieds and word-of-mouth referrals. His family's tiny apartment is just east of the Las Vegas Strip, within sight of the skyscrapers he helped build.

They used to live in a house in Gardnerville, a Carson Valley town not far from the 24/7 casinos of Reno and the serene beauty of Lake Tahoe. "We had a huge backyard over there, too," he says. "You could park your boat and your RV back there and still be able to drive your vehicle around it."

Now, the kids sleep two to a room (two of Sepeda's daughters share a bed with the family pit bull, Milo). At night, Sepeda and his wife, Sue, bunk on the living-room floor.

When Sepeda was working iron, it was a matter of pride that his wife could stay at home and focus on the kids. She recently took a job at a car wash that pays $15 an hour.

"Now is when the wife and the kids step up to help me, because I can't do it all by myself no more, like I used to," he says. "They used to want for nothing."

When Sepeda isn't working on cars, he spends his days training for other hands-on jobs and trying to find steady work anywhere he can.

He's been close to getting hired as an apartment maintenance person at a couple of complexes, but needs certification in pool maintenance. And after some night school, he's seeking to become a card-carrying smog technician.

"I've learned this town is about cards," he says. Another thing he's learned: In this economy, you make your own luck.


Joe Lechner was a plumber, Betty Lechner was a secretary, and they drilled a simple truth into their elder son's head: A college degree was the key to success. It had taken him 16 years and three different schools, but Paul Lechner finally got it - a bachelor's degree in advertising, with a concentration in copywriting and minor in marketing.

Lechner had a half-dozen good years in his chosen field before he was laid off in 2006. His wife, Julie, had just given birth to their son, and it seemed a perfect time to move closer to the grandparents, to start anew.

After much scouting, they decided on Holly Springs, N.C. - a Research Triangle bedroom community halfway between his parents' home in upstate New York and their winter retreat in Florida.

"Looking back on it, ... the horizons were WIDE open," he says. "There was a lot of promise and prospect. We bought a very nice house in a really nice neighborhood in a great section of town."

They landed just as the boom was going bust. Agencies were downsizing, not hiring; the freelance work that had kept him afloat slowed to a trickle, then dried up completely.

Finally, after two years of fruitless searching, Lechner took a job stocking shelves at a Super Target, because it offered affordable health insurance for Julie and Jerry.

"It was intended to be something that was a way to stop the bleeding," he says.

If his father didn't hold the mortgage on their house, Lechner says, "we'd have been living in a cardboard box six months ago." The last movie he and his wife saw at the theater was "The Dark Knight" - two summers ago.

The trivia nights at Woody's Sports Tavern in nearby Cary are Lechner's only "extravagance." He doesn't just enjoy them - he needs them.

When the waitresses come around for beer orders, they know not to bother asking Lechner. He always has iced tea - not because he's a teetotaler, but because the refills are free.

Two hours and several baskets of Buffalo wings later, Lechner and team "Vernon T. Money" have scored their second straight victory. The $50 pot goes onto the table to help cover the tab.

"It's $14, $15 that I don't need to spend, but the effects, psychologically, are immeasurable," Lechner says. "It just FEELS good ... an opportunity for me to feel like I'm actually contributing to something."


As head of human resources for Nationwide Auction Systems, it was Wivory Bell's job to travel around California in late 2008 and tell people they were being let go. By last April, there were so few humans left, her own services were no longer required.

The 43-year-old single mother threw herself into the job search. But she didn't just sit around the house waiting for the offers to come rolling in.

Bell volunteered with the career renewal ministry at Huntington Beach's St. Simon and St. Jude Catholic Church.

She led a 2 1/2 -hour Advanced Career Strategies class at the church every Thursday, and taught Step 3 - managing your online profile - of the "Eight Steps to Career Renewal."

Bell began coaching two unemployed people each week, going over "power stories" and "elevator pitches," refining resumes and practicing job interview questions.

She also managed to boost her own resume, using her "free" time to earn her Global Professional Human Resources certification, her Corporate Wellness certification and her coaching certification. She even started classes to get her master's degree in business administration.

After hundreds of applications and 20 face-to-face interviews, the hard work paid off. On May 6, a year and a week after her layoff, the Orange County woman started a full-time human resources job at an assisted living facility just down the road from her Aliso Viejo home.

It's just a contract job, so there are no benefits. But there's a chance it could become permanent, and Bell is over the moon about having a paycheck again.

Bell - whose e-mails end with the phrase, "Make It A Results-Driven Day" - says her 14-year-old daughter, Rian, is her inspiration and biggest cheerleader. Each morning before she leaves for school, Rian tells her mother, "Make me proud today."

"If nothing else, I'm showing her that when you do reach times of adversity, it's how you handle yourself and how you're going to come out of it," she says. "Not wallowing, not self-pity. That's not how you're going to get to the next level."


William Marshall didn't have nearly as far to fall as some. But that doesn't make the pain any less keen.

After five years in the warehouse of a Milwaukee heating and cooling equipment wholesaler, the 43-year-old father of three had worked his way up to $14.90 an hour. In January 2009, he and his wife, Janet, emerged from a painful bankruptcy and were hoping for a fresh start.

Five months later, the company let him go, leaving the couple strapped to pay thousands of dollars in uncovered medical costs from their daughter's hip surgery.

It took Marshall seven months to land another job, with a company that locates utility lines. It paid just $12 an hour.

That job lasted about six weeks. Luckily, Janet Marshall knows how to handle money.

The 45-year-old bank payment specialist has had to get creative with meals - using less expensive foods like macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, hamburger and chicken. She's become expert at finding coupons and watching for sales.

The couple have had to put off replacing their oven, box spring and television, and they only buy the necessities. They spend little, if anything, on entertainment or clothes.

"It's sad when your kids say, 'Mom, Do you have $5?' And you can't even give them $5 because every dollar is ... allocated to go somewhere that is more important than them having $5 at the mall," Janet Marshall says.

In March, William Marshall finally landed a new job, in shipping and receiving. He's making $13.25 an hour.

The ups and downs, false starts and backward slides have taken their toll. Like many Americans, Marshall was taught that the man was the breadwinner, and he confesses to struggling with depression.

"It is hard," he says. "It's in the back of your mind all the time, like 'Man we could be doing better. We SHOULD be doing better.'"

But his Pentecostal faith tells him that things happen for a reason. Although his salary isn't quite where it was, he's with a good company, one where he seems to fit.

"I think I really have to experience the things I've had to experience to get me where I'm going," he says. "I can't really explain it, but I'm a whole lot happier than I've been in a long time."

As if on cue, the couple's dilapidated van died recently. They bought a replacement, meaning their hopes of socking away some money will have to wait a bit longer.

"Just once I want to catch a break," Marshall says.


Chris Cummings knew a "reduction in force" was coming at Walgreens. But with a marketing degree from a prestigious university, he thought he was insulated.

Then he heard the words, "This is going to be your last day." For a moment, he thought he might faint.

His wife, Kristie, stays home to care for the kids - Kelsie, 13; Meghan, 10; Spencer, 7; Tyler, 5. Chris Cummings is the sole breadwinner.

The folks at Sprouts gave Cummings more hours, but he still didn't qualify for benefits. Even if he was eligible, he'd be hard pressed to afford the coverage.

Something as simple as the purchase of four new tires so his wife's car could pass inspection can throw the family's finances into turmoil. Cummings doesn't want to think where he'd be without occasional financial help from his family and church (a member who owns a ranch made an anonymous gift of beef).

"I feel like we're RIGHT on the edge financially of being able to make it and generally avoid having incurred too much debt to get over this bridge time," says Cummings, clad in his bright-red "Team Sprouts" T-shirt.

Bagging groceries is not exactly mindless work, but it is hardly intellectually taxing. Cummings confesses that his mind sometimes wanders to the job applications he's sent out, the positions he's competing for.

"What if they don't come up?" he asks himself. "What if they don't happen?"

Cummings has heard other out-of-work professionals scoff at such menial jobs as being "beneath" them. But his parents taught him that all work is meaningful.

Besides, he has a wife and four children to feed. He can't afford such airs.

"It DOES feel good to be doing what I can and feeling like this isn't permanent, that this is gonna end, and there will be something better," he says.

Cummings doesn't regret his decision to move to Prosper. The school district is great, and he loves the community.

"The only missing piece is the employment that matches my education and experience," he says. "And I'm confident it will happen soon, and we will, indeed, prosper in Prosper."


National Writer Allen G. Breed reported from Holly Springs, N.C., Video Journalist Rich Matthews from Prosper, Texas. Associated Press writers Carrie Antlfinger reported from Milwaukee, Gillian Flaccus from Alisa Viejo, Calif., Oskar Garcia from Las Vegas, and Peter Prengaman from Atlanta, Mike Householder from Washington Township, Mich., and Brian Skoloff from West Palm Beach, Fla.

Defense Dollars Building Boom: Pentagon Looks to Construct New Military Bases in Central Asia

The Pentagon is preparing to embark on a mini-building boom in Central Asia. A recently posted sources-sought survey indicates the US military wants to be involved in strategic construction projects in all five Central Asian states, including Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In perhaps the highest-profile project, the Pentagon intends to construct an anti-terrorism training center in southern Kyrgyzstan. The facility was originally intended to be built in Batken. But now it appears that it will be situated in Osh.

According to the notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website in mid-May, the US Army Corps of Engineers wants to hear from respondents interested in participating in “large-scale ground-up design-build construction projects in the following Central South Asian States (CASA): Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; and Uzbekistan.”

“We anticipate two different projects in Kyrgyzstan. Both are estimated to be in the $5 million to $10 million dollar range,” the announcement said. It added that up to $5 million each was earmarked for Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It also listed two separate proposals for Tajikistan, one valued at up to $5 million, the other worth up to $10 million.

“[The] Contractor is encouraged to utilize CASA local sources and service to the maximum extent practicable when it does not conflict with other requirements, especially quality,” the sources-sought survey noted. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].

Financing for the proposed facilities will come from US Central Command’s counter-narcotics fund. The proposed projects are said to include border-crossing checkpoints in Turkmenistan that will be built in “conjunction” with the Turkmen government. The proposed US-funded anti-terror training center in southern Kyrgyzstan, costing $5.5 million is to be financed from the same counter-narcotics pot. However, the facility is now being billed as the “re-construction” of a training range. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive].

“At the request of the Kyrgyz government we are putting $5.5 million into the reconstruction of a range complex outside of Osh City,” a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Bishkek told The facility would be used for border-security and counter-narcotics training, the embassy official indicated.

“This [Osh] Center will be used by Kyrgyz armed forces for training. This is the only construction project of this size that we are familiar with,” the embassy representative continued. “The 'sources sought market survey' is sometimes used to develop a database of qualified contractors to be considered for future projects. That may be the case with this survey.”

A spokesman for the Kyrgyz Ministry of Defense said that Kyrgyz military officials were unaware of any proposal for US-funded projects in Osh. Representatives of the US Embassy in Bishkek and the US Central Command declined to discuss what the second project in Kyrgyzstan might be.

The first of the pre-solicitations for individual projects was advertised on the FBO website on June 7. It outlined a “National Training Center” proposed for Karatog, Tajikistan.

“Work includes but is not limited to construction of a garrison compound and training ranges. The garrison compound includes administrative facilities, officer quarters and enlisted barracks, dining facility, and other supporting facilities to provide a secure, fully operational compound,” the announcement said.

“The range facilities include weapons firing and qualification (rifle, pistol, crew-served weapons and explosive/unexploded ordinance), Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) facilities, vehicle operator training range, sniper/observer training and operations, repelling and fast rope towers, and support facilities (for example: control towers, outdoor classrooms, sanitary facilities),” it added.

In 2009, Russia announced an intention to create a military base in southern Kyrgyzstan but abandoned the idea after the US revelation in early March of this year that the Pentagon intended to construct an anti-terror training center in the region. Analysts suggested that the demise of Moscow’s base plan was due in large part to a disagreement over where the facility would be located. Moscow reportedly wanted it in Osh, while Bishkek preferred Batken, not far from the Uzbek border. The Batken concept drew loud complaints from Uzbekistan. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Deirdre Tynan
is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.

Global Research Articles by Deirdre Tynan

Helen Thomas! A Real American Investigative Reporter!!







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China reaps benefits of Iraq war with oil deals

From critic to beneficiary, China reaps oil and economic benefits of Iraq war

Perspiration staining their orange jumpsuits, the Chinese engineers and laborers form Al-Waha Oil Co. work alongside their Iraqi counterparts under a sweltering sun readying an expanse of arid land southeast of Baghdad for infrastructure to extract and carry the viscous liquid on which Iraq's future lies: oil.

A red banner hangs at the entrance of the office of the company — the Iraqi affiliate of China's state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. — its Chinese characters promising anyone who can decipher them: "We will try our best to make this project a success."

The scene, an increasingly common one in the new postwar Iraq, is more than a reflection of how the country home to the world's third largest proven reserves of crude is pushing to boost its output. It's also a testament to the lengths to which China will go to secure the oil it sorely needs to fuel its galloping economy as its own crude supplies fall far short of demand.

"For China, oil security is largely about avoiding disruption to supplies and cushioning the effects of dramatic fluctuations in oil prices," said Barclays Capital oil analyst Amrita Sen. "Iraq has become an obvious target to secure the barrels of oil for future consumption."

From among the most outspoken of critics of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, China has emerged as one of the biggest economic beneficiaries of the war, snagging five lucrative deals. While Western firms were largely subdued in their interest in Iraq's recent oil auctions, China snapped up three contracts, shrugging off the security risks and the country's political instability for the promise of oil.

The quest for crude has left a heavy Chinese footprint in a number of countries where others have shied away, whether because of violence, human rights violations or sanctions.

In the broader Middle East, China has helped develop and expand the oil industry in Sudan, a nation whose president is under international indictment for war crimes. It has also signed deals in Iran, where the hardline government is facing a potential fourth round of U.N. sanctions over its controversial nuclear program. Iran has denied claims by the U.S. and others that its nuclear efforts are geared to weapons production.

The result of its efforts is that about half of China's oil comes from the region. It has ousted the United States as OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia's top oil customer. Saudi Arabia has also set up a joint venture refinery in China.

Iraq, however, has emerged as one of Beijing's best hopes for oil in a world where cheap, reliable sources of new crude are increasingly harder to obtain. While dealing with Iran carries political baggage for China, Iraq is a more calculated risk.

Sanctions in place against Iran sharply limit investments in the country and have largely precluded Western oil majors from aggressively following up on projects there. A potential new sanctions round before the United Nations could expand those restrictions. Even so, Iran is China's third largest supplier.

"Iraq is extremely important for Chinese companies' growth strategy, especially given that Iran is likely to face much of a standstill for years," said IHS Global Insight's Mideast oil analyst, Samuel Ciszuk.

The country, whose oil sector has been battered by years of neglect, war, sabotage and under-investment, produces only about 2.4 million barrels per day — well below its pre-2003 invasion production levels.

But contracts awarded during two oil and gas field auctions over the past year are expected to raise output to as much as 12 million barrels per day within seven years, according to Iraqi officials. Analysts say those estimates are too ambitious.

Either way, production will rise, and China will play a role and stands to benefit.

While the 20-year contracts mainly gave companies a fixed price for every barrel they produce, they also carry the option of payment in crude. That affords the firms a long-term and stable supply of oil. The contracts can also be extended for five more years.

China's energy needs are as obvious as they are challenging. While the world struggled with its worst recession in over six decades, China's economy expanded by 8.7 percent in 2009. The International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of 10 percent this year.

A recent report by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos, found that China's demand for oil hit 8.43 million barrels per day in April, a 12.7 percent increase over April 2009 levels. Current demand is more than twice China's domestic production.

Of a dozen deals the Iraqi central government awarded since 2003, four went to China. The autonomous, oil-rich Kurdish region in the north independently signed nearly two dozen oil deals with foreign companies, one of them with China.

The Chinese oilmen with Al-Waha, sweating under the sweltering Iraqi sun while drilling wells and preparing the ground to build other infrastructure in the relatively peaceful Wasit province, are among the first signs of that new cooperation.

The company started exploring the southeast of Baghdad near the Iranian border last year, but ran into trouble with farmers there after it destroyed some crops.

Iraqi officials stepped in quickly, meeting with local tribal leaders to calm tensions.

The incident showed Iraq's determination to not upset the international oil companies operating in the country. It also speaks of the growing presence of Chinese wildcatters in an industry once dominated by western oil majors. Those companies, however, failed to bid as aggressively as many anticipated — focusing their sights instead on fields in relatively stable regions where the oil was also easy to extract.

The Chinese had no such qualms.

Officials have hired 350 people from the area to protect the oil infrastructure, and dozens more will provide support services.

"I think the political and social environment is good, said Miao Youliang the Chinese project manager at al-Waha. "The security was not so bad as we imagined."


Associated Press Business Writer Joe McDonald in Beijing, China contributed to this report.

US places No. 85 -- behind Libya -- in Global Peace Index

The 2010 Global Peace Index is an attempt to quantify which countries are the most secure and the least violent. New Zealand is No. 1, Iraq is last, and the US is in the middle.

A New Zealand soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) walks during a patrol in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Province on July 8, 2008. New Zealand ranked as the world's most peaceful nation in the Global Peace Index, which weighs 23 factors.

Shah Marai/AFP/file/Newscom


The world is slightly less peaceful than it was a year ago, in part as a consequence of the global recession. But falling military expenditures in the Middle East and shrinking access to small arms in sub-Saharan Africa are two bright spots in an assessment of the world’s broad trends in peace and violence.

Those are among the findings of the 2010 Global Peace Index, the fourth edition of an annual attempt to objectively quantify peace in a large majority of the world’s countries.

New Zealand ranks as the world’s most peaceful country, the survey finds, based on a list of factors ranging from military expenditures (high is bad) and participation in United Nations peacekeeping (high is good) to social unrest and incarceration rates (both are not good).

IN PICTURES: The most and least peaceful nations in the world

Iraq comes in last at 149 out of 149 countries assessed – the same ignominious placement it snagged last year.

And the United States ranks right in the middle at 85, achieving good marks for factors like respect for human rights and relations with neighbors and other countries, but low scores in areas like domestic homicides, military expenditures, and involvement in external conflicts. Given the criteria, the US not surprisingly comes up as “less peaceful” than countries like Austria and Costa Rica, but it also trails Libya, Cuba, and Equatorial Guinea.

“We work with a definition of peace that is not as the opposite of war but the absence of violence,” says Clyde McConaghy, board director of the Institute for Economics and Peace – the Sydney, Australia, think tank that amasses the information behind the Global Peace Index, or GPI. Weighing 23 factors ranging from domestic instability to militarization, the GPI “provides a snapshot of relative peacefulness among nations,” he adds.

A research team of peace-studies experts from around the world uses the compiled information to come up with the index.

The GPI’s conclusion that the world in 2009 was slightly less peaceful than in 2008 is based on the perspective that the global recession has been a catalyst for conditions that lead to violence. The GPI affirms a “correlation between economic prosperity and peacefulness,” Mr. McConaghy says.

Still, he cautions, growing prosperity does not necessarily equate with a rising peace index: Russia has experienced some impressive (though not necessarily equitable) economic growth in recent years, but remains near the bottom of the GPI (No. 143) after a recent downturn, conflict with Georgia, and internal violence concerning Chechnya.

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Climate change ‘a moral issue’ – ex-US vice president Al Gore

Climate change is much more than just an environmental or political concern, according to Al Gore, who called it a moral issue that threatens humanity unless drastic action is taken within a decade.

Gore, former United States vice president and Nobel laureate for his documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," was in the country on Tuesday for a one-time appearance at the SMX Convention Center. The audience of about 4,000 people included President Gloria Arroyo, newly arrived US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. and other members of the diplomatic corps in Manila, Henry Sy Sr. and his family, whose company, SM Prime, organized the event.

“Climate change is not only a natural or a technology issue,” he said. “It is indeed a single, reckless and immoral act if one fails to take his part in addressing this problem.”

Climate change was a moral issue, “because the decisions made by the current generation will have such a profound effect on all future generations.”

He even quoted from the Bible, saying, “Love thy neighbor.” Gore, who was once congressman of Tennessee in America’s so-called Bible Belt, quoted from the Good Book several times, even though he noted that he was not proselytizing.

“If we are doing harm to someone who’s [present] here, then we would stop,” Gore said. “If we do mortal harm on others [who’s] not here, that’s a moral issue as well.”

He said that people today would have to answer to future generations, especially given overwhelming evidence that business as usual has contributed to rising carbon dioxide emissions that were now at alarming levels. The Nobel Prize winner added that other pieces of evidence on global warming include more severe storms, drought in others because of increased evaporation caused by warmer temperatures, melting polar ice caps and other glaciers also resulting in raising levels, and potentially cataclysmic events.

Not yet too late
He began his nearly two-hour presentation saying that he did not come to the Philippines to give a lecture, per se. “I’m here to also ask you to be part of the solution.”

Gore said that it was not yet too late to reverse the harmful effects of climate change, citing the opinion of scientists whom he trusts.

If God has given the people the technology to destroy the Earth, “surely we can do something,” he explained.

People are capable of change, and history has proved it.

Gore noted that in the case of the ozone layer, which filters the harmful affects of the sun, governments around the world collectively formulated a solution—ban chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which were blamed for causing a hole in the ozone layer.

Another promising development was the increasing acceptance and use of renewable energy sources, and he cited the use of windmills in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte. Gore also praised the country for tapping geothermal energy, which he noted was second only to the United States worldwide.

“The Philippines and the US are the top resource of geothermal energy, and the Philippines’ efforts in using this energy is a living testimony that a developing country such as the Philippines could substantially effect change and become a role model to those more developed countries,” he said.

But Gore emphasized that much more needed to be done.

“We have a decade or so to change the trends,” he said.

The polar ice caps—a disturbing large part has already melted—can come back, Gore added. But if people continue not doing enough, climate change will eventually be irreversible, he explained.

“It’s complicated,” Gore said, referring to the issues. “There’s no way around that. [But] just because it’s complicated does not give us an excuse not to act.”

Little implementation
Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who authored the biofuels act, could not agree more.

After the Gore presentation, Zubiri said that what’s lacking in the Philippines was the implementation of environmental protection laws—not the lack of legislation.

Heherson Alvarez, climate change secretary and former senator, noted that Gore’s presentation seems to have “moved on” from his celebrated documentary An Inconvenient Truth, focusing more on prescriptions.

In statement released also on Tuesday, Alvarez said that he hopes “Gore, as he travels the world, signals to the leaders in the ongoing climate talks to manage the tangled thickets of parliamentary process, which could be stalling the ultimate goal of addressing the problem of climate change.”

The secretary added that the “ongoing climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, continue to thread cloudy horizons on issues primarily, among others, financial mechanisms, as it progressively deviates from the “heart” of the matter, which is to tackle effectively the objective of cutting by half the amount of greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions in the atmosphere by 2050 and clip the huge gap in the global carbon budget.”

“The Philippine delegation bewails that this cumbersome body is moving like a dinosaur,” said Alvarez as he reiterated that delays in the climate talks would not prevent harsher storms brought about by climate change to ravage low-lying developing countries like the Philippines.

Gore said in his presentation that acting responsibly toward the environment did not have be in conflict with economic priorities—especially for developing countries like the Philippines. On the contrary, saving the planet makes sense for the economy.

For example, he added, the combustible engine in an automobile uses a mere 10 percent of its fuel for transporting people. In other words, 90 percent is wasted. Gore explained that making cars more efficient would not only be better for the environment, it would cost less in terms of fuel consumption.
With report from Katrina Mennen A. Valdez

Was Freedom Activist Jim Purcey 'Suicided'?

Jim had been receiving death threats for quite some time, and according to friends, he had a new grand-daughter on the way and everything to live for. The “facts” are not adding up.

Details are coming slow… Here’s what we know:

Dead man found in burning car

Officials found a 59-year-old Huntington Beach man dead Monday afternoon in a vehicle fire, officials said.

A witness called the Huntington Beach Fire Department at 2:55 p.m. Monday to the Pelican Cove apartment complex at 16960 Algonquin St. for a vehicle fire, said Martha Werth, spokeswoman for the Fire Department.

The fire sprinklers were going when 17 firefighters arrived at the underground parking structure, Werth said. It took about 12 minutes to put out the fire, she said.

When the smoke and fire subsided, officials realized there was a body in the vehicle and called in the Huntington Beach Police Department, Werth said.

The body is of a 59-year-old Huntington Beach man, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Coroner’s records.

Officials aren’t releasing the name of the man yet.

No cause has yet been determined for the fire and both police and fire officials are investigating the incident, Werth said.,0,4259852.s...


——————————————————– FOLLOW UP:

About one hour after posting this I received an email from the paper it came from, they wanted to know HOW
I knew that it was Jim Purcey. My Source is Royal Edwards – Jim’s best friend.
I am still waiting for the final confirmation, but it all seems to be true. The paper has yet to report what we have told them. Something is very strange here. ~ JB

More news articles:


Arson Investigators Find Body In Burning Car


Huntington Beach Police are investigating the discovery of a body inside a burning car Monday afternoon.

Detectives are working with coroner’s investigators to identify the body which was burned beyond recognition, Huntington Beach police Lt. John Domingo said.

Firefighters were called to a car fire in the underground garage of the Pelican Cove condominiums at 16900 block of Algonquin Street at 2:55 p.m. Monday, Jeff Lopez of the Huntington Beach Fire Department said.

After the blaze was extinguished, the body was found inside the vehicle, Domingo said.

The incident remained under investigation.

HUNTINGTON BEACH – Investigators found a body inside a vehicle that was burned in a parking structure at a condominium complex on Monday, authorities said.

Officers have yet to disclose information about the body, including whether it is a male or female.

At 2:55 p.m. Monday, firefighters responded to a call of a vehicle fire in the underground parking garage of the Pelican Cove complex, 16960 Algonquin St., said Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Lopez, a spokesman for the Huntington Beach Fire Department. The sprinklers came on and the fire was put out before it could spread.

After the fire was out, investigators discovered a body inside the vehicle. Arson investigators, police officers and officials from the Orange County Coroner’s Division were called to the scene.

Police have yet to release information about the vehicle. The complex has 48 units.

Gulf of Mexico oil leak sparks price rise warning

There are warnings that oil prices could rise substantially because of stricter regulations brought in to prevent another oil spill like that in the Gulf of Mexico.

Contracts to buy oil are already rising in price, with a 10% increase in cost for those which end next year compared to those ending next month.

Meanwhile US output is forecast to drop by 25m barrels next year because of the six-month ban on deepwater drilling.

Matt Prodger reports.

READ MORE: Attack by Obama hits BP's shares

Pentagon Tightens Grip on the Obama Administration and the Intelligence Community

President Barack Obama's appointment of retired Gen. James Clapper as the director of national intelligence (DNI) demonstrates the Pentagon's enormous influence over the president and indicates that there is little likelihood of genuine reform of the hidebound intelligence community. Once again, the president has appointed a general officer to an important strategic position that should be in the hands of an experienced civilian who understands the need for change. President Obama has given retired generals the key positions of national security adviser, ambassadors to Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and DNI (on two occasions in a 17-month period) to career military officers. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is about to name a retired general who was responsible for special operations in Afghanistan as the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism. These career military officers are not known for strategic thinking, having been trained to focus on worst-case assessments of geopolitical problems. It is no wonder that there have few diplomatic successes during the Obama administration, that the State Department remains underused and without influence and that the humongous Pentagon budget remains largely untouchable.

In the political panic that followed the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration permitted the creation of two large bureaucratic entities - the Department of Homeland Security and the office of national intelligence - that have been largely sclerotic and demonstrated genuine incompetence during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the attempted suicide bombing of a commercial airliner in 2009, respectively. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has convinced the mainstream media that Clapper's predecessor, retired Adm. Dennis Blair, was forced to resign because of the pathetic performance of the intelligence community in December 2009 when the young Nigerian bomber was permitted to board a commercial airline and the Central Intelligence Agency demonstrated incredible incompetence in a series of events that led to the successful bombing of its most important operational base in Afghanistan.

In fact, Blair cannot be blamed for these intelligence failures. The CIA, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the State Department were all at fault for the attempted suicide bombing. The State Department ignored the Nigerian's multiple-entry visa for the United States, the State Department and the CIA ignored warnings from the Nigerian's father; the NSA didn't exploit collection opportunities that would have provided significant information and NCTC failed to pursue information that would have placed the Nigerian on a no-fly list. The NCTC should have had operational control of counterterrorism operations, but the 2004 statute that created Blair's position specifically states that the NCTC director "may not direct the execution of counterterrorism operations." President Obama's principal adviser on counterterrorism, John Brennan, should have taken this problem to Congress, where it needs to be corrected; he still hasn't done so. None of the numerous human errors that were made could be placed at Blair's door; no one has been held accountable or even responsible.

Blair's major problem was one he shares with many general and flag officers who lack experience in Washington but are placed in sensitive political positions for which they are not prepared. As a result, Blair created unnecessary battles within the intelligence community that he was destined to lose, particularly the effort to control the appointment of chiefs in CIA stations that are located in US embassies around the world. Station chiefs have always been CIA operations officers and it simply made no sense to raise the possibility of placing NSA officers or Defense Intelligence Agency officers as station chiefs. Blair lost that battle, but that did not stop him from trying to halt all clandestine operations in France, which would have weakened the CIA's counterterrorism mission and placed the CIA too close to a French intelligence operation that has been penetrated by foreign intelligence over the years. Blair also never established a personal rapport with President Obama, despite his regular visits to the White House to conduct intelligence briefings. Military officers typically lack the background and experience to provide these largely geopolitical briefings, which should be given by intelligence professionals.

If President Obama were truly interested in intelligence reform, he would have abolished the office of national intelligence and the position of intelligence czar or at least placed the DNI in civilian hands to counter the Pentagon's control of intelligence personnel and intelligence spending. The Pentagon already controls nearly 85 percent of the $70 billion intelligence budget and nearly 90 percent of the 100,000 intelligence personnel. Active duty and retired general officers now command nearly all of the major institutions of the intelligence community, although my 18 years on the faculty of the National War College confirmed my impression that military officers are not distinguished in the fields of strategic intelligence or geopolitical problem solving.

Strategic management of the 16 agencies of the intelligence community is the DNI's major challenge, but the last three intelligence czars have been unqualified general and flag officers. The absence of an independent civilian to counter the power of military intelligence threatens civilian control of the decision to use military power and makes it more likely that intelligence will be tailored to suit the purposes of the Pentagon. The president's erratic decision making on Afghanistan over the past year points to military domination of the decision making process.

Finally, the mainstream media, particularly The New York Times, has demonstrated an ability to accept briefing guidance from the White House on the Clapper appointment and an inability to scrutinize Obama's actions. Saturday's New York Times, for example, cited Clapper's "decades of experience" without mentioning that his experience in communications intelligence and military spy operations is not relevant to his major missions as intelligence czar. The Times credited the president with "pushing the reset button" in order to "recalibrate the intelligence structure," when Clapper's appointment really amounts to new wine in old bottles. The Times also discussed Clapper's ability to refashion and reorganize the intelligence community, without noting that the Pentagon's undersecretary of defense for intelligence has veto power over the ability of the DNI to transfer personnel or budgetary authority from individual intelligence agencies into joint centers or other agencies in order to integrate strategic intelligence.

Clapper is familiar with this problem even if the mainstream media isn't; he served as undersecretary for intelligence for both Secretaries of Defense Gates and Donald Rumsfeld. At that time, moreover, he was responsible for managing the Counterintelligence Field Activities Office, which managed an illegal database that included information about antiwar protests planned at churches, schools and Quaker meeting halls. Perhaps, some of these issues will be raised at his Senate confirmation hearings.

Attorney: Deepwater Horizon Managers Knew About Oil Rig Problem Before Explosion

Attorney: Deepwater Horizon Managers Knew About Oil Rig Problem Before Explosion 090610top

Top Houston attorney Tony Buzbee says he has new evidence which indicates that Deepwater Horizon’s managers knew that the BP oil rig had major problems before its explosion on April 20, citing the eyewitness account of a crew member who rescued burning workers on the rig of a conversation between Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell and someone in Houston. According to the witness, Harrell was screaming, “Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig’s on fire! I told you this was gonna happen.”

Harrell was talking via satellite phone and whoever was on the other end of the line was apparently trying to calm him down as the rig burned.

“I am fucking calm,” said Harrell, according to Buzbee. “You realize the rig is burning?”

A boat captain then asked Harrell to leave the bridge. Transocean have refused to confirm or deny that the conversation took place.

Buzbee is a respected lawyer with a successful history of winning cases brought against oil companies. He represents 15 rig workers along with dozens of shrimpers, seafood restaurants, and dock workers. The witness to the conversation signed a 3 page statement attesting to the fact that it took place, but refuses to be identified for fear of reprisals.

Though Harrell himself has denied allegations of a feud with BP or Transocean in public hearings, the Atlantic’s Josh Harkinson points out that there were two other witnesses who personally experienced Harrell’s problems with their safety procedures.

“Testifying before the Coast Guard and MMS panel last month, Douglas Brown, the chief mechanic on the Deepwater Horizon, said that on the morning of the day that the rig exploded Harrell had a “skirmish” over drilling procedures during a meeting with BP’s “company man,” well site leader Robert Kaluza. “I remember the company man saying this is how it’s going to be,” Brown told the panel. As Harrell was leaving the meeting, according to Brown, “He pretty much grumbled, ‘I guess that’s what we have those pincers for,’” referring to the blowout preventer on the sea floor that is supposed to be the last resort to prevent a leak in the event of an emergency. The blowout preventer failed following the explosion on the rig, causing the massive spill. (Transocean’s chief electronics technician, Mike Williams, also recalled the argument but named a different BP “company man,” BP’s top official on the rig, Donald Vidrine),” writes Harkinson.

“Other rig workers have also claimed that they were pressured by BP and their supervisors to cut corners,” adds Harkinson. “Transocean roustabout Truitt Crawford told the Coast Guard that he overheard senior management saying that BP was “taking shortcuts” by replacing drilling mud in the well with saltwater, which would have provided less weight to contain the well’s surging pressure. Transocean’s Williams told 60 Minutes that a supervisor had dismissed evidence that the well’s blowout preventer had been damaged. And workers with Halliburton, the well’s cementing contractor, had complained that BP’s use of cement “was against our best practices” and told the oil company that it would likely have “a SEVERE gas flow problem” unless the well’s casings were centered more carefully.”

The details of this story would appear to point to mere negligence on behalf of Transocean and BP were it not for the plethora of other evidence indicating foreknowledge of the event and even possible deliberate sabotage of the oil well.

As we highlighted yesterday, on page 37 of British Petroleum’s own investigative report into the oil spill, it is stated that the Hydraulic Control System on equipment designed to automatically seal the well in an emergency was modified without BP’s knowledge sometime before the explosion.

Highly suspicious stock and share trades by people connected to BP before the explosion indicate some extent of foreknowledge.

Goldman Sachs dumped 44% of its shares in BP Oil during the first quarter of 2010 – shares that subsequently lost 36 percent of their value, equating to $96 million. The current chairman of Goldman Sachs is Bilderberg luminary Peter Sutherland, who is also the former chairman of British Petroleum.

Furthermore, as reported by the London Telegraph on June 5th, Tony Hayward, the current BP CEO sold £1.4 million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the spill.

On April 12th, just over one week before the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, Halliburton, the world’s second largest oilfield services corporation, surprised some by acquiring Boots & Coots, a relatively small but vastly experienced oil well control company.

Halliburton is named in the majority of some two dozen lawsuits filed since the explosion by Gulf Coast people and businesses who claim that the company is to blame for the disaster.

Halliburton was forced to admit in testimony at a congressional hearing last month that it carried out a cementing operation 20 hours before the Gulf of Mexico rig went up in flames. The lawsuits claim that four Halliburton workers stationed on the rig improperly capped the well.

Alex Jones discusses more of the evidence which indicates a cover-up and the potential motivations behind it in the clips below.

North Sea oil platform evacuated

Around 90 workers on the Gullfaks C oil platform in the North Sea were evacuated late Thursday evening, following a sudden pressure change during the drilling of a new well, TV 2 reports.

It was discovered that there was a fault on one of two valves, designed to prevent a blow-out.

- The situation on the platform is secure, and there are no leaks from the well. Work is underway to stabilize the pressure, and we have evacuated personnel not engaged in the ongoing work, says Statoil press spokesman Gisle Johanson to TV 2 News.

140 persons are still at work on the platform, trying to bring the situation back to normal.

Johanson admits to newspaper Aftenposten that the drilling of the new well has been demanding, with several unforeseen pressure changes.

Statoil was unable to say when the platform would be back to normal operations.


In apparent lie, BP continues to deny existence of huge oil plumes

Appearing on no less than three major networks Wednesday, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles continued to deny the existence of oil plumes underneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Suttles' comments came despite the fact that government and university scientists confirmed Tuesday they had found large plumes of oil, according to The New York Times.

The tests, the first detailed chemical analyses of water from the deep sea, show that some of the most toxic components of the oil are not necessarily rising to the surface where they can evaporate, as would be expected in a shallow oil leak. Instead, they are drifting through deep water in plumes or layers that stretch as far as 50 miles from the leaking well...

Scientists outside the government noted that the plumes appeared to be so large that organisms might be bathed in them for extended periods, possibly long enough to kill eggs or embryos. They said this possibility added greater urgency to the effort to figure out exactly how sea life was being affected, work that remains in its infancy six weeks after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded.

"There's yet to be anyone who has found any significant quantities below the surface. Whether that's just below the surface, or at deep levels," Suttles told ABC's Elizabeth Vargas.

"We're hearing scientists say there are huge plumes below the surface. Are you denying that still?" Vargas asked.

"Well, what I can tell you is, no one yet has found any concentrations that measured below the parts -- or higher than parts per million. So I think it may be depending on how you're defining this. But what I can tell you -- and I looked at this data -- is that we have not found any significant concentration of oil below the surface," replied Suttles.

Suttles seems to be echoing comments made by BP CEO Tony Hayward last week.

"The oil is on the surface," said Hayward. "There aren't any plumes."

This video is from ABC's Good Morning America, broadcast June 9, 2010.

FBI cash funded shoot 'slay' trip

Federal agents trying to build an extortion case against Joran van der Sloot secretly gave him the cash that wound up funding his trip to Peru, where he killed a young woman exactly five years after the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, The Post has learned.

Van der Sloot tried to shake down Holloway's mother by offering information about her daughter's 2005 disappearance, and agents decided to set him up with a $25,000 payoff, a source told The Post yesterday.

An intermediary acting under the direction of the FBI gave van der Sloot the dough in Aruba on May 10 -- and four days later, he flew to Peru, where he allegedly murdered 21-year-old Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room.

Van der Sloot was free to travel because after the money was given to the 22-year-old Dutch national, the feds didn't promptly file charges against him. US authorities also did not ask that he be detained in Aruba, even after officials there warned that he was about to leave the island, the source said.

The failure to stop van der Sloot shocked and infuriated Holloway's mom, Beth Twitty. She had been "told that an arrest was going to happen before he left" Aruba, where he was the last person believed to have seen Holloway alive when she vanished, the source said.

Van der Sloot took his payola from the feds -- a $15,000 wire transfer and $10,000 in cash -- and went to Peru to play poker, the source said.

It was only last Thursday -- hours after van der Sloot was nabbed on the lam in Chile for Flores' murder -- that federal prosecutors in Alabama announced they were charging him with extortion and wire fraud in the Holloway shakedown.

Van der Sloot has confessed to beating Flores and breaking her neck in his hotel room on May 30 -- the fifth anniversary of Holloway's disappearance -- according to the confession he gave Peruvian police.

The suspect said he attacked Flores -- whom he had met at a Lima poker tournament -- because she had looked at his laptop computer without permission and found information about his role in the Holloway case.

"I did not want to do it," van der Sloot told cops, according to La Republica newspaper. "The girl intruded in my private life. She had no right.

"I confronted her. She was frightened, we argued, and she wanted to get away. I grabbed her by the neck and hit her."

Van der Sloot is expected to recreate the crime at the scene for cops today.

A coroner in Lima said Flores likely had been beaten to death with a tennis racket found in the room. A source told CNN that van der Sloot admitted to being high on marijuana during the vicious assault.

Is Obama BP's Poodle?


After BP successfully placed a cap to divert some of the spewing oil into tankers, tens of thousands of gallons continue to flow daily into the gulf. August is slated as the earliest date that any permanent solution may emerge. BP remains totally in charge of potentially the largest environmental disaster in the earth’s recorded history, a fact that proves — in “check mate” fashion — that corporations dominate the inner workings of the U.S. government, a truth previously revealed by the bank bailouts.

More than one gigantic eco-system may be destroyed by BP, and the President of the U.S. is sadly reduced to lecturing in “serious tones,” with daily adjustments of tone based on the results of polling agencies.

When the polls reported that Obama wasn’t taking the oil spill seriously enough, his next TV appearance depicted him as “outraged.” Yet his continuing lack of action doesn’t match his new, stronger emotions; nor does his inaction match the dire seriousness of the situation.

Indeed, Obama continues to allow BP to lie about the seriousness of the spill, even when numerous independent scientists disputed BP’s estimates of the spillage. Of course Obama knew that BP had a profit incentive to lie, while Obama has his own incentive to allow the lie — and continued lies — of BP.

One reason Obama doesn’t challenge BP is because he’s on their payroll. The news agency Reuters explains: “During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.” (May 5, 2010).

In July, BP is set to give its shareholders multi-billion dollar dividends — prompting more toothless anger from Obama — while BP continues to maintain a healthy distance from taking complete accountability for the oil spill.

The results are sadly predictable: many of the effects of the spill will be permanent, while the cleanup and recovery will go on for years and decades, possibly costing the extinction of some species and the United States billions and maybe trillions of dollars in the long term.

BP will throw itself at the mercy of the courts, an elite entity much friendlier to the mega-corporations than to the millions of U.S. workers demanding justice. Add to the equation BP’s elite attorneys and you have an eventual settlement — after years — that will equal the tiniest fraction of the caused devastation. This prediction was all but confirmed by the mainstream media, when Curt Anderson of the Associated Press reported:

“More than half of the federal judges in districts where the bulk of Gulf oil spill-related lawsuits are pending have financial connections to the oil and gas industry, complicating the task of finding judges without conflicts to hear the cases...” (June 6, 2010).

Aside from the above financial blocks to holding BP accountable, there lays a deeper code of ethics that prohibit government interference into the matters of private corporations, no matter how great the damage done to the general public.

At the top of this corporate code of ethics is the sacredness of property rights, meaning that large corporations have complete control — outside the grasp of any government — to do what they want with their giant wealth and facilities, wherever and whenever they want.

To the U.S. government, this right pre-empts human rights, environmental rights, etc. Property rights are enshrined in every free-trade agreement the U.S. government signs, so that overseas corporate investments are strictly protected, prohibiting foreign nations from using U.S. corporate facilities for the social needs of their native populations. Although BP is a British corporation, the rules of this code are mutual and global.

Nowadays, the tiniest crack in the foundation of corporate property rights constitutes “communism” — a right wing accusation hurled at Obama after he partially nationalized General Motors and other institutions in response to the economic crisis. And although Obama intruded into the sanctity of property rights when the financial crisis exploded, it was with the general consent of the corporate establishment — who viewed those actions as necessary, short-term evils — meant to save the investments of the rich, while using taxpayer money to rehabilitate the companies before they were eventually handed back to shareholders.

The emergency in the Gulf of Mexico, on the other hand, is viewed by the corporate elite as a lesser crisis, demanding the government not set another precedent that would point to the necessity of public ownership.

Obama’s unwillingness to push aside BP and take government charge of the operation makes him an accomplice to the environmental disaster. For example, in order that BP be allowed to remain at the helm, Obama has given them professional credibility where none should exist — “they have the expertise and technology,” etc. BP’s actions prior to the spill constitute criminal negligence. The comments of BP’s CEO since the spill undoubtedly prove that the company views the disaster as more of an inconvenience, to be handled at their leisure.

Furthermore, every public appearance of a BP executive or spokesperson serves to minimize the crisis, implying that a less immediate reaction is required. Indeed, as a for-profit company, BP’s actions remain motivated by concern for their shareholders, whose only motivation is profit. In practice, this means fewer resources are dedicated to the spill than would be otherwise, since higher cleanup costs equal lower profits. One glaring example of this was cited in The New York Times, which quoted a scientist working for the Flow Rate Technical Group, a team of scientists trying to accurately gauge the flow of oil into the Gulf:

“It’s apparent that BP is playing games with us, presumably under the advice of their legal team,” Dr. Leifer said. “It’s six weeks that it’s been dumping into the gulf, and still no measurements.” (June 7, 2010).

Local government officials in Florida are also disgusted with BP’s lack of action in preventing the oil from landing on their beaches, while doing next to nothing in cleaning up the beached oil. The attorney general of Florida complained:

“I’m outraged…why are we waiting so long to do this? Why is the Coast Guard, Obama, BP waiting? They’ve seen it coming, so why are we waiting?” (Bloomberg, June 7, 2010).

Obama’s religious faith in BP to properly handle the spill — after it had no emergency plan to deal with such a spill in the first place — borders on lunacy. But the logic is sensible from the corporate prospective, which preaches that all is rational which protects profits.

In a sane world, BP’s executives would be facing severe criminal charges, and the billions of profits they’ve earned in the last year would be confiscated to pay for the cleanup. BP’s infrastructure would be taken under the control of the U.S. government, which could ensure that the job was done correctly, timely, and publicly, as opposed to the shield of corporate secrecy currently protecting BP.

The ultimate lesson of this environmental/economic catastrophe is that Obama is not at all serious about confronting corporate interests. Rather, he allows them to stampede over the public interests, ensuring that such disasters will happen again.

Swiss vessel to join “Fleet of Freedom 2”

Switzerland, June 9, (Pal Telegraph) The European campaign to End the Siege on Gaza announced that preparations are being conducted on a Swiss vessel to participate in the "fleet of Freedom 2," which is being prepared by the "fleet of freedom" coalition, and expected to launch into the Gaza Strip in the up-coming weeks.

Anwar Al Gharbi, representative of the campaign in Switzerland, said that at the end of a global daily sit-ins week before the Human Rights Plaza at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, called by the association of "rights for all" and the "European Campaign" - with the participation of more than twenty Swiss Assemblies and political parties; including "Centre Party", "Party of the Public", "The Socialist Party," "Greens Party", and "Labour Party" for this initiative – where the beginning of preparing the Swiss vessel to join the “fleet of Freedom 2” was announced.

Gharbi added in a press statement today that "following the announcement of launching the process of equipping the Swiss vessel , a major fund raising campaign was launched too; where the vessel was showered with the support of dozens of political, artistic and athletic figures from Switzerland.

The head of the “rights for all” Swiss association, and the member of the European campaign, explained that this ship has big support from prominent figures in Europe, pointing out that the campaign is witnessing wide contributions, especially after the Zionist massacre committed against the "fleet of freedom," which was sailing towards the Gaza Strip with 750 international peace activists on board, along with about ten thousand tons of humanitarian aid.

Gharbi saw that the " Israeli massacre", which was committed against the peace activists on board of the "fleet of freedom," formed a great stimulus to the free world in order to support more campaigns aimed at breaking the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Hollywood Cops Attack Bike Riders

Click this link .....!

Liberals... You Have Been Deceived!

I keep telling the Political left that they have been misled and the proof is undeniable... now, it's time to pay the piper and face the music. The fact is that BOTH political parties are to blame for the mess this country is in. The process began when the Democrats gained full control over all three Houses in Washington DC under Clinton. Arrogant, prideful and demanding... they held the power and we must follow their lead instead of them serving us as representatives of the will of the people. THEY passed subprime lending into law with everyone warning them they were making the banks loan money to people who couldn't pay the money back... they were WARNED and they didn't give a damn that it would ultimately lead to a national financial collapse as long as their precious agenda was fulfilled. But in 1994, the American people said ENOUGH by electing the Republicans to power over Congress and the Senate bringing about one of the greatest economic recoveries in US history because it forced the two parties to work together being that Democrats couldn't get anything passed the Senate of Congress without Republicans, and Republicans couldn't get anything past a Presidential veto with Clinton in the White House.

Then Bush was elected giving Republicans control over all three Houses... same thing happened but unlike Clinton, Bush had the disaster of 9/11 and because Clinton already had the plans drawn up to invade Afghanistan and remove the Taliban, just not the support for doing it, Democrats fell in line with Republicans and we went to war. The Democrats hadn't planned on the war in Iraq, but many of them supported it nonetheless and should have known this would happen... we all should have because the war in Afghanistan was over too quickly and still, we didn't accept victory and get out like we should have... in fact, that's why we're still there and it's why Obama's losing this war... because he didn't provide change and continued the same disastrous course of leadership Bush provided and which only the Surge in Iraq gave us victory and the Surge was the first time Bush took control over the war since the first weeks after the war began.

Obama's voting record looks like he's a Republican as often as he voted against the Democrats and specifically... against Liberals. But Obama isn't a Republican and his beliefs are anything but Conservative. Could it be there's a reason for these seeming contradictions?

In the mid 1960's the Socialist Party of America, a political party that had existed since 1901, entered it's final years. The Liberals had stolen almost every idea they had and every issue stealing away the SPA's member base. it was finally decided to end the SPA merging with the Democratic Party where due to the Cold War, they began calling themselves Liberals and they began slowly taking over much as the Neocons would take over the Republican Party.

The New Liberal ideology began in the mid 19th century alongside various other groups of Socialists and Communists like the Socialist Labor Party. Compared to these other groups, the New Liberals were extremely mild in their ideology which attracted people to them in regard to the issues they represented They represented issues similar to the Republicans but their political ideology was Socialist in contrast to their Republican counterparts. In 1901, the Socialist Party of America formed from a splinter group that abandoned the Socialist Labor Party who's ideology, most agree, has never even been Socialist... they were Anarcho-syndicalists which is one reason labor unions within the Democratic Party have done so much damage... because this was a strong element within the SPA and the SLP. These elements also began to be adopted by the New Liberals as well because of their success and being within the Democratic Party, they were more successful that their competition.

When the Great Depression struck, the Liberals split against one another. The reason for this is that those who believed in the ideals of the Liberals did not believe in their political agenda because they viewed it as Socialist and Communist. Those who supported the liberal social issues split from the Socialists and Communists blaming them for their part in creating the Great Depression. These people were, in fact, the strength and bulk of the Liberal movement which is why they found their voice and remained true only to certain elements of Liberalism as they remained supporters of big government and government control only when industry failed... but they did continue to support big government even as their hatred for Socialism and Communism would lead them to push us into every war we have fought since WWII. They called themselves NeoConservatives or New Conservatives not because they were Conservatives or that they believed in the Conservative ideology... they were New Conservatives meaning they believed in tradition but their traditions were not those of Republicans or the political right., just opposed to the Liberals.

By the 1960's, the Liberals had experienced a resurgence thanks in no small part to the baby boom generation and improvements in education. The Golden Age had also generated a new sense of awareness about social issues and affluence which led to greater empathy towards others. The Republicans remained faithful to their beliefs and causes but were dominated by Conservative values meaning they supported tradition and slow change which could be maintained and improved upon instead of radical change which could bring rapid improvements at the cost they could do as much damage as good or fail completely. But the 1960's were a time of upheaval and demands for change which the Liberals were better placed to address. The Neoconservatives supported JFK but by the time Johnson became president, many of them were turning against their leaders within the Democratic Party because these leaders were supportive of the Liberals and their agenda. By the end of the 60's, the Neocons had lost the culture war and began changing political parties becoming Republicans... and this is where the political shift occurred where Republicans became more like Old Democrats and Democrats became more like Old Republicans... we know this change took place, very few understand where and why. Neocons were not racists anymore than the Liberals themselves were or are. They hated Socialism and the Liberals with such a passion, that their discrimination turned inward not against minorities... but against Republicans who supported what Neocons saw as Socialism.

But while the Neocons were changing parties and began taking over the Republican party, the Socialist Party of America was in it's last days having all it's issues and supporters stolen away by the Liberals. It was then that they dissolved themselves into the Democratic Party much as had many Socialist groups including many of the Socialist Labor Party.

Most Liberals say they aren't Socialists... very true, they are not. They are Americans who support the issues Liberals represent and which, thanks to the Neocons, Republicans stopped representing. Most Liberals do not support the political agenda of the liberal Movement because that political agenda is Socialist. This is why over the past few decades, many Liberals have become Moderates and many others who remain Liberals are Capitalists. They don't like the abuses of Capitalism or the Plutocracy which runs rampant throughout American industry... but they aren't Socialists nor are they leftwing Progressives.

But question for those of you who say that isn't true... where are the Republican civil rights groups and womens rights groups? If they exist, they are so impotent almost no one knows they exist and thus, they are of no consequence. if you support these issues, you have to support the Liberals... that doesn't make you one of them, it only means you care. However, the Socialists have created so much hatred for the political right that it blinds Liberals who find themselves drawn in and following along leading to them becoming blind sheep. The Neocons are no different, they do not believe in True Conservative ideology which actually does stand against big government, big government spending and war... the Neocons are the exact opposite on these and many other areas.

Enter Barack Obama, a man who's voting record looks like he's a Republican and is nothing but a long list of betrayal for Liberals as the only one's benefiting from his voting record would be Conservative Democrats. He not only voted for Republicans and what they wanted much of the time, but in favor of the very big corporations and even promoting people under suspicion of war crimes at Gitmo. So how could such a man who led the fight to preserve the worst parts of the Patriot Act, a man who gave Big Pharma a complete exemption from his health care plan when they are the largest reason we even needed health care reform and then the Big Oil deal giving American oil companies everything they wanted including exemptions from existing regulations???

What has happened in this country is that the two parties have become extremely polarized against one another and the ideologies within each have become thoroughly and completely infiltrated and corrupted by ideologies not their own. The Liberal Democrats are now led by Socialists and the Conservative Republicans by Neocons. Both groups have lost their way, are confused, angry, filled with hate and have lost their way. Things are further complicated by the fact most of our political leaders are self serving career politicians with no integrity, no substance of character and no more ability to lead than fools running into a fire because they left water boiling on the oven.

What we have with President Obama is America's first Socialist President and the reason his voting record reads like a handbook of betrayal against Liberals is because he is not, nor has he ever been, a Liberal... he is and has always been a Socialist. His actions can only be understood if his intentions were to destroy the Liberals from within and build up the Republican Party as an enemy to unite the Democrats behind the emerging Socialist ideology.

it's time to fight back against people like Pelosi who was one of the biggest recipients of health care lobby money from the health care industry. Regardless what lapdogs like Keith Olbermann say, it is an undeniable fact that the Democrats received more health care money than Republicans, that his health care plan is no different than Romneycare in Massachusetts which is a total disaster and now the oil deal that DID NOT HAVE TO BE MADE... NO ONE FORCED OBAMA TO DO IT!! He stabbed the Liberals in the back yet again, just damn unfortunate there was an oil rig explosion a few weeks later to expose his stupidity and now his sheep are still trying to blame everyone but him... but the sheep are waking up and the Democrats who have opposed him, since the Democratic nomination process against Clinton, are now again finding their voice.

Liberals.... you have been deceived...


The Socialists have finally returned to destroy you just as you destroyed their political party in the 1960's leading them to dissolve their political party into yours where they began calling themselves Liberals until you elected one of them to lead this country. Now, they have found their voice as well and proudly call themselves Socialist Democrats. After a hundred and fifty years, they have finally achieved what they have always wanted... they have finally gotten a Socialist President and his voting record reveals that almost from the beginning he's been trying to destroy you. Not the Republicans, no... he needs a strong enemy to blind you while he destroys you from within because he's done more damage to the Democrats than the Republicans ever could. While you support him blindly, you haven't noticed that the things he's had you doing have strengthened your enemies against you and turned you into a laughing stock before the entire world as you sacrifice everything you believe to support this man. Even now, you fall on your face before him so he can walk on your backs... and then stabs each and every one of you with a sharpened steel spear as he does so.

YOU HAVE BEEN DECEIVED... now wake up and fight back before it's too late and he leads you like sheep to slaughter!

If you are not Socialists as you claim, then look at Obama's voting record, the fact he never once opposed Bush but gave him everything he wanted. If you support the issues represented by Liberals but not their Socialist political agenda, then it's time to raise your voices and fight back... stop believing their lies, stop refusing to criticize this President and stop blaming everyone else when he alone with his blind support base are to blame no differently than Bush and his blind support base were when he was President.

Bush was not qualified to lead this country as he did not have the experience. He was, however, more experienced than Obama and the only intelligence Obama has shown is to deceive the Liberals into thinking he's one of them... in every other way, he's proven a failure as he was just in the right place at the right time and the political left were so blinded by their anger at Bush that they allowed themselves to be manipulated and refuse to see that they have become everything they claim to hate about the political right... and that they have to sacrifice everything they believe in if they are to support this President no different than they would had John McCain won and they had to find some way to support him.

Jon Stewart says it better than I do about Obama's priorities and leadership and for everyone saying Obama didn't create this mess... Bush didn't create Hurricane Katrina either. Obama did, however, strike one of the biggest oil deals in US history just weeks before the oil rig explosion giving the oil companies everything they wanted including exemptions fro existing regulations. No Republican could have done that... it took a Liberal Democrat to betray his supporters knowing they would fall before him ignoring what he did and making millions of excuses for him..

You can't be that stupid Liberals and I'm telling you straight... I don't think you are. I think you're as intelligent as anybody else but because of how the political parties are polarized by anger against one another and the ideologies of each party have become so corrupted that no one knows what to believe anymore... and both sides have to sacrifice everything they believe in to support the Pied Pipers and False Messiahs... Neocons and Socialists.

Americans... you have all been deceived... but it's whichever political party is in power that determines who does the damage as one is a continuation of the other and what one party does wrong, the other's damned and determined to make it worse claiming they want to make things better.

Rant Over