Boycott AOL Time Warner
AOL Time Warner

Boycott Coca-Cola

Boycott Delta Galil
Delta Galil

Boycott Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder

Boycott Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson

Boycott Lewis Trust Group Ltd
Lewis Trust Group Ltd

Boycott Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer

Boycott News Corporation
News Corporation

Boycott Revlon

Boycott Selfridges

Boycott Home Depot
Home Depot

Boycott Starbucks

Boycott McDonald's

Flying Snail - News & Views for Remnants of Paradise

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech aren't really important unless they're heard...It's hard for me to stay silent when I keep hearing that peace is only attainable through war. And there's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicated this Emmy to all the people who feel compelled to speak out and not afraid to speak to power and won't shut up and refuse to be silenced. - Tommy Smothers

The Legends of Wilmington Jazz

Steven Leech writes: The Legend of Wilmington Jazz covers 70 years of jazz produced by such artists from the past and present as Clifford Brown, Lem Winchester and Betty Roché to Ernie Watts and Matthew Shipp. Works of others who had produced jazz in Wilmington will be heard, along with some rare recordings. The Legends of Wilmington Jazz will be broadcast every Friday at 6pm, beginning on June 4th.

Boysie Lowery
Boysie Lowery

Boysie Lowery not only was Clifford Brown's music teacher, but he mentored nearly every jazz artist to have come from Wilmington. A rare recording of Boysie and Clifford Brown playing together will be heard as part of The Legends of Wilmington Jazz.

Betty Roché
Betty Roché

Betty Roché was born in Wilmington in 1920. She was a member of Duke Ellington's band in the early 1940s and early 1950s, and first performed with Ellington at his Carnegie Hall concert in 1943. Because she recorded only one commercial recording with Ellington, all other Ellington sides will be rare recordings. She also recorded three solo albums in the 1956 and the early 1960s.

Jazz and Poverty
by Steven Leech

In addition to my interest in uncovering Delaware’s literary past, I’m also interested in uncovering the story of jazz produced by Wilmington’s past musicians since the 1930s. Many know about the contributions of the legendary jazz trumpet player Clifford Brown, but fewer know about the contributions made by those like Lem Winchester, Betty Roché, Gerald Price and others both living and dead. All of the aforementioned have made a mark, to some greater or lesser extent, on the American jazz idiom.

For me the history of Delaware’s literary past is compatible with the history of Wilmington’s jazz. There are a couple of notable parallels regarding the two: the first is the influence they’ve had upon their respective segments of American culture and the other is the lack of respect they’ve received from purveyors of our local cultural establishment. While I firmly believe that the shabby treatment of our literary past has more to do with its content, which tends to deliver some unwelcome truths, the lack of curiosity about our local jazz heritage has more to do with ignorance driven by a kind of covert racism.

Wilmington is a small city of less than 100,000 people. Unlike larger cities that can accommodate its population of poverty, like Philadelphia, Boston or New York, by also containing large middle class and upper class populations, Wilmington’s large population of poor and lower middle class people is too easy to see. A visit to Wilmington’s downtown Market Street any day of the week will demonstrate my point. After the sun goes down on any night, including Friday and Saturday nights, the city’s a virtual ghost town. People from surrounding suburbs are hesitant to come into Wilmington for many reasons. Cultural venues featuring the performance of jazz are sparse, and the long standing 2nd Saturday Poetry Reading, which had been located in the city for over 20 years, has moved out to a suburban location which is inaccessible by public transportation. In fact, local public transportation basically doesn’t exist Saturday night in Wilmington and is inadequate between the city and surrounding suburbs the remainder of the week, which has had the affect of fueling Wilmington’s inability to pull itself out of poverty.

If I may be permitted my artist’s prerogative to invoke some vision of the greater truth, I see inner cities like Wilmington as the convenient dumping ground for a byproduct of capitalist accumulation. That byproduct is poverty. I firmly believe that the amount of poverty is an indication of the amount of wealth accumulated, hoarded and hidden away by the capitalist class for the last 150 or more years. The abject poverty found in the Third World, in failed states especially, is proportional to the amount of excessive wealth that is used as a resource to exploit, poison and threaten those millions living in poverty around the landfills and open sewers of Third World cities.

Back in Wilmington poverty runs deeper than the inability to find a good job (accessible only by inadequate public transportation), by the inability to get out from under housing provided by slumlords, and by an inner city where the illegal drug trade engenders excessive criminal activity. Poverty is more than merely economic. Poverty of the spirit accompanies the poverty of economics.

In a city where once clubs that hosted live jazz dotted its east side and downtown, there is only one club in a gentrified neighborhood on the western fringes of the city where live jazz is regularly performed. There is still a plethora of talented jazz artists in Wilmington that are grossly disproportional to available venues, but are only heard occasionally at venues sponsored by a local church or in a public park or private club. These events are spotty and the musicians are almost never paid. They play merely for something called the love of the music.

Having written literature for more than 50 years, I have come to firmly believe that creating a cultural product for free or little remuneration, much like nearly all of Wilmington’s hugely talented remaining jazz artists, is an indication of our cultural poverty, engendered by those grim reapers of the economic wealth we produce for them, which in turn could have produced a vital cultural wealth for the rest of us. It is easy for the capitalist to impoverish those like the local producers of jazz because they can initially dump the poverty they produce in a place, hidden behind a kind of insidious subconscious racism we have yet to deal with, and almost too easily, yet very conveniently, retreat, as the local 2nd Saturday Poetry Reading has done, into the suburbs. By the same turn, we can deny that such poverty, both economic and cultural, is important, because those who live and try to find a livelihood in the city which we can avoid visiting can easily be ignored simply because we don’t have to see them.

Rink Foto
Rink Foto

Rink Foto has been photographing the LGBT community since 1969.

He started during the counter-culture era and ventured into politics when he met Harvey Milk.

His 1974 Gay Parade display in Harvey Milk's Castro Camera windows was the first public display of same-sex couples. These same windows were broken in 1977 by homophobes angered by a similar display.

Rink has worked with many historic activist groups over the years. He has presented and documented visuals of the LGBT community as a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines and newsletters since the early 1970s.

Rink Foto covers 10-15 events a week, over 600 events a year, including theater events, protests, parties, benefits, film festivals, parades, street fairs, leather, drag, transgender, intersex, people of color, bisexuals, youth, AIDS (since its emergence), women's health issues, and just about every aspect of the LGBT community.

The Rink Foto archive includes over 400,000 photographs and negatives, and hundreds of important items of memorabilia and artwork (some of which were featured in the movie “Milk”). - blog - Archives - Flickr - YouTube - Show - [ Gay Freedom Day 1977 local]

Pranams Ji

I hope and trust that all is well with you !!! Please check out this video from the Kumbh Mela:

Becoming Shri Mahant

It is about when myself, Ram Puri ji and Vasudev Puri Ji were made Mandal ka Shri Mahants by the Juna Akhara in March !!!

Here also is a link to some of my photos from the Kumbh:

Enjoy, Goddess bless you, AUM NAMO NARAYAN !!! - M. Shri Mahant Mangalanand Puri (Goa Gil)

M. Shri Mahant Mangalanand Puri AKA Goa Gil
M. Shri Mahant Mangalanand Puri AKA Goa Gil

[Notes: Sita Ram -> Ram Puri and Goa Gil -> Mangalanand Puri are the only two westerners (non-Indian) to have EVER achieved the highest title of Shri Mahant in the history of the Das Nam Akcharas (10 Names of the original orders)! - Truly an amazing feat & honor. - Amestizo (Crazy Horse)]

Mike Wilhelm - New Old Pawnshop Blues - MP3
Mike Wilhelm - New Old Pawnshop Blues - MP3

Zen Mind Zen Soul
Contributed by Swami Akshara via Amestizo

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either; just leave me the hell alone.

2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.

3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

4. Don't be irreplaceable; if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

5. No one is listening until you make a mistake.

6. Always remember you are unique, just like everyone else.

7. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

8. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

9. It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

10. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

11. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

12. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

13. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat & drink beer all day.

14. If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

15. Don't squat with your spurs on.

16. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

17. If you drink, don't park; accidents cause people.

18. Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

19. Don't worry, it only seems kinky the first time.

20. Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

21. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

22. Timing has an awful lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

23. A closed mouth gathers no feet.

24. Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side & a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

25. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

26. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your mouth is moving.

27. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

28. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Speaking in Tongues a film by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider
Speaking in Tongues
a film by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider

We're delighted to be writing with very exciting news. Speaking in Tongues, our award-winning film about kids growing up bilingual, has been selected by PBS to air, and stream on the web, this fall.

For us, this is very satisfying. Not only can people in the U.S. view the film for free on TV but anyone in the world can watch it on a computer. This will bring the issues and opportunities of bilingualism to a very broad audience and help push forward local initiatives.

To maximize the effectiveness of the film's broadcast, we can use your help.

· Write a post to our Facebook group page about why Speaking in Tongues is relevant to your community. Is there something happening in your area--a new school, legislation in your state, or controversy over immigration or bilingual education?

· Sign up to help coordinate a Town Hall screening or a House Party.

· Donate to our tax-deductible nationwide community engagement campaign. Every dollar will go directly toward creating resources for advocacy and raising awareness.

Over the next few weeks, we need to raise $5,000 to pay for a publicist. We want national press, not just mentioning our film, but, more importantly raising the issues critical to our students' futures. Without this support, our film, will get lost among all the media competing for attention.

· Connect us. If you know funders interested in these issues, advocates who might want to spearhead screenings, publications that might write about the film, please introduce us. You can forward the downloadable e-mail flyer on our website or send along the link to our trailer.

Ken and I have been working for six years to create the film. We appreciate all the work everyone in our network has already done, sharing it with their students and communities. Now we have an opportunity to have wider impact.

Please help us make the most of it.

Best, Marcia Jarmel, PatchWorks Films


Year after year, Israeli Zionists have gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums of money, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use they could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Israeli Zionists could resume their ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by Scooter Libby and others facing indictment reveal that Israeli Zionists aid and protect terrorists. Secretly, and without fingerprints, they could create another 9/11, provide one of their hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Israeli Zionists could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those Neocon hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Israeli Zionists. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Israeli Zionists is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

The Zionists who are assembling the world's most dangerous weapons have already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Israeli Zionists: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of the United States: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day they are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)

War Criminal
He Said It

Why Do Israel's Holy Nuclear Zionist Warriors want to Destroy the World ?
 Israeli troops confront flotilla activists - A Steve Bell Cartoon

Steve Bell - The Guardian - Israeli troops confront flotilla activists - Tuesday 1 June 2010

Even today I am willing to volunteer to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them, to have everyone hate us, to pull the rug from underneath the feet of the Diaspora Jews, so that they will be forced to run to us crying. Even if it means blowing up one or two synagogues here and there [? 9/11 ?], I don’t care. And I don’t mind if after the job is done you put me in front of a Nuremberg Trial and then jail me for life. Hang me if you want, as a war criminal… What you lot don’t understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it. - Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Break the Silence - Who Is the Terrorist?

Republicans and Democrats are Lying Hypocrites
Who Support Selective Terrorism Against U.S. Military

U.S.S. Liberty Memorial
Remember the U.S.S. Liberty
34 U.S. Military Dead, 171 Wounded

The Assault on the USS Liberty Still Covered Up After 26 Years

By James M. Ennes Jr.
Washington Report On Middle East Affairs
June 1993, Page 19

Twenty-six years have passed since that clear day on June 8, 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty with aircraft and torpedo boats, killing 34 young men and wounding 171. The attack in international waters followed over nine hours of close surveillance. Israeli pilots circled the ship at low level 13 times on eight different occasions before attacking. Radio operators in Spain, Lebanon, Germany and aboard the ship itself all heard the pilots reporting to their headquarters that this was an American ship. They attacked anyway. And when the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime.

There is no question that this attack on a U.S. Navy ship was deliberate. This was a coordinated effort involving air, sea, headquarters and commando forces attacking over a long period. It was not the "few rounds of misdirected fire" that Israel would have the world believe. Worse, the Israeli excuse is a gross and detailed fabrication that disagrees entirely with the eyewitness recollections of survivors. Key American leaders call the attack deliberate. More important, eyewitness participants from the Israeli side have told survivors that they knew they were attacking an American ship.

Israeli Pilot Speaks Up

Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

Later, a dual-citizen Israeli major told survivors that he was in an Israeli war room where he heard that pilot's radio report. The attacking pilots and everyone in the Israeli war room knew that they were attacking an American ship, the major said. He recanted the statement only after he received threatening phone calls from Israel.

The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery.

Key members of the Lyndon Johnson administration have long agreed that this attack was no accident. Perhaps most outspoken is former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer. "I can never accept the claim that this was a mistaken attack," he insists.

Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk is equally outspoken, calling the attack deliberate in press and radio interviews. Similarly strong language comes from top leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency (some of whose personnel were among the victims), National Security Council, and from presidential advisers such as Clark Clifford, Joseph Califano and Lucius Battle.

A top-secret analysis of Israel's excuse conducted by the Department of State found Israel's story to be untrue. Yet Israel and its defenders continue to stand by their claim that the attack was a "tragic accident" in which Israel mistook the most modern electronic surveillance vessel in the world for a rusted-out 40-year-old Egyptian horse transport.

Despite the evidence, no U.S. administration has ever found the courage to ever found the courage to defy the Israeli lobby by publicly demanding a proper accounting from Israel.

How Does Congress React to These Complaints?

Most members of Congress respond to inquiries about the Liberty with seemingly sympathetic promises to "investigate." Weeks or months later they write again to report their "findings": "The Navy investigated in 1967 and found no evidence that the attack was deliberate," they say." Israel apologized, calling the attack a tragic case of misidentification, and paid damages for loss of life, injuries and property damage. The matter is closed.

The fact is, however, that the Navy's "investigation" examined only the quality of the crew's training, the adequacy of communications and the performance of the crew under fire. The Navy was forbidden to examine Israeli culpability and Navy investigators refused to allow testimony showing that the attack was deliberate or that Israel's excuse was untrue. [Continue Reading]

Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it. - Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Heads-Up Award
Lieberman Bill Gives Feds ‘Emergency’ Powers to Secure Civilian Nets

By Noah Shachtman June 2, 2010 | 2:07 pm

Joe Lieberman wants to give the federal government the power to take over civilian networks’ security, if there’s an “imminent cyber threat.” It’s part of a draft bill, co-sponsored by Senators Lieberman and Susan Collins, that provides the Department of Homeland Security broad authority to ensure that “critical infrastructure” stays up and running in the face of a looming hack attack.

The government’s role in protecting private firms’ networks is one of the most contentious topics in information security today. Several bills are circulating on Capitol Hill on how to keep power and transportation and financial firms running in the event of a so-called “cybersecurity emergency.”

Last week, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn floated the idea of extending a controversial cybersurveillance program to hacker-proof the firms. Meanwhile, the military’s new Cyber Command is readying itself to march to these companies’ aid.

Lieberman and Collins’ solution is one of the more far-reaching proposals. In the Senators’ draft bill, “the President may issue a declaration of an imminent cyber threat to covered critical infrastructure.” Once such a declaration is made, the director of a DHS National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications is supposed to “develop and coordinate emergency measures or actions necessary to preserve the reliable operation, and mitigate or remediate the consequences of the potential disruption, of covered critical infrastructure.”

“The owner or operator of covered critical infrastructure shall comply with any emergency measure or action developed by the Director,” the bill adds.

These emergency measures are supposed to remain in place for no more than 30 days. But they can be extended indefinitely, a month at a time.

The DHS cybersecurity director has to ensure that the emergency measures “represent the least disruptive means feasible” and that “the privacy and civil liberties of United States persons are protected,” according to the bill. It also allows the private firms to handle network threats on their own — if DHS approves of the measures.

Senate staffers familiar with the bill acknowledge that it grants broad powers over private businesses; the staffers couldn’t think of an analog in the physical world, except for the Federal Aviation Administration’s authority to ground air traffic after 9/11. But the staffers say that the emergency powers will only apply to a relatively small number of companies, and only in the most extreme cases — when an electronic exploit might cause “catastrophic regional or national damage” resulting in “thousands of lives or billions of dollars” lost.

In order for the President to declare such an emergency, there would have to be knowledge both of a massive network flaw — and information that someone was about to leverage that hole to do massive harm. For example, the recent “Aurora” hack to steal source code from Google, Adobe and other companies wouldn’t have qualified, one Senate staffer noted: “It’d have to be Aurora 2, plus the intel that country X is going to take us down using that vulnerability.”

A second staffer suggested that evidence of hackers looking to leverage something like the massive Conficker worm — which infected millions of machines and was seemingly poised in April 2009 to unleash something nefarious — might trigger the bill’s emergency provisions. “You could argue there’s some threat information built in there,” the staffer said.

The Lieberman/Collins bill is hardly the the most extreme cybersecurity proposal that’s circulated on Capitol Hill in recent years. That dubious distinction belongs to a bill from Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe that empowered the feds to “order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security.” That provision was neutered after a public outcry. Now, it calls on the U.S. government to “develop and rehearse detailed response and restoration plans” in the event of a major network threat. - More & Article Source

Yeah, I Know, ... But Standards Are Standards!


It would seem Nobody cares about Page Validation, except me, and W3C.

This morning I viewed Apple's Examples of HTML 5 and thought I would run them through W3C's Validator. They all failed!

To be fair, the following message appears on W3C's Validation page:

Using experimental feature: HTML5 Conformance Checker.

The validator checked your document with an experimental feature: HTML5 Conformance Checker. This feature has been made available for your convenience, but be aware that it may be unreliable, or not perfectly up to date with the latest development of some cutting-edge technologies.


Video - 3 Errors, 1 warning(s)
Typography - 2 Errors, 1 warning(s)
Gallery - 2 Errors, 1 warning(s)
Transitions - 3 Errors, 1 warning(s)
Audio - 3 Errors, 1 warning(s)
360 - 2 Errors, 1 warning(s)
VR - 2 Errors, 1 warning(s)
Apple's Main Page - 3 Errors, 1 warning(s)

also for reference:

Microsoft's Main Page - 355 Errors, 31 warning(s)
Adobe's Main Page - 36 Errors, 18 warning(s)
White House Main Page - 28 Errors, 1 warning(s)
Pentagon's Main Page - 141 Errors, 89 warning(s)


Flying Snail's Main Page - Passed

Report condemns swine flu experts' ties to big pharma

Trio of scientists who urged stockpiling had previously been paid, says report

Randeep Ramesh, social affairs editor, The Guardian, Friday 4 June 2010, Article history

Scientists who drew up the key World Health Organisation guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a flu pandemic had previously been paid by drug companies which stood to profit, according to a report out today.

An investigation by the British Medical Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the not-for-profit reporting unit, shows that WHO guidance issued in 2004 was authored by three scientists who had previously received payment for other work from Roche, which makes Tamiflu, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), manufacturer of Relenza.

We Interrupt This Article to Point Out Torture & Murder R-US War Criminal, Republican, Donald Rumsfeld Made Big PROFITS Off Tamiflu

The Flu Torture

by Albert Bates, 26 April 2009, Culture Change
via Keith Lampe

We really would like to get off our torture rant, but feel the obligation to connect the dots when we see them line up. We picked up a copy of the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal while passing through the desolate, echoing canyons of Nashville's international departure lounge at mid-day on Saturday and felt a sudden urge to scream. A two-hour flight and the in-flight wifi system on Delta/Northwest offered a better alternative.

What prodded us to write, at 30,000 feet over Mississippi, en route to Mexico, were the fascinating connections between the four seemingly different stories on the Weekend Journal's page A2. We started drawing arrows on the page with our pen. Top left was a story under the headline, "Memos' release upended strategy on past" in which Evan Perez and Jonathan Weisman wander behind the scenes at the White House to parse the intentions of the Obama administration concerning prosecution of war crimes by their predecessors.

The Perez/Weisman story would have it that Obama is adamant in squelching Congressional truth commissions and Justice Dept. special prosecutors while providing full and infuriating disclosure through slow time-release of historical documents and photos. The nuance unreported is that by taking that stance, the White House deflects right wing political heat, including that of Blue Dog Democrats, while stoking the fires of litigation and international prosecutions that will ultimately provide justice for the perpetrators. The President also gets to watch his political opponents slowly twist in the wind, hoisted by their own "maintain the cover-up for the sake of the country" petard. In a nation addicted to breaking-scandal news cycles, that Blue Dog just won't hunt.

Top right was a story under the headline "U.S. releasing Iraq, Afghan prison photos" although the actual release is still a month away. The release of part of the Pentagon's trove of abuse photos was ordered by a federal court as part of a case brought by civil libertarians in 2003, pre-Abu Gharib. The decision to let them go public now is part of that fire-stoking thang.

Of course, what we, the scandal addicted, would really like to see is the secret photos that circulated betwixt congressional oversight committees in 2006, showing sexually-explicit abuses of women Abu-Gharib prisoners. Those may never see the light of day, any more than the abuse of children pictures or the CIA's torture videos. Perhaps they can be viewed through plexiglas frames in a George W. Bush museum in Crawford, Texas, some day, something akin to the Dracula museum in Transylvania.

Lower left A2 was the headline, "Scientists fear people can spread new virus," over a story reporting the World Health Organization's concern that A/H1N1 flu represents "a cross of swine, avian and human viruses in a way that hasn't been seen before" and a warning that it could augur a global pandemic similar to 1918, if not stopped.

Lower right was the continuation of front-page-above-the-fold: "Mexico races to stop deadly flu outbreak." At press time, the Mexico City outbreak of H1N1 had infected 854 people, of whom 59 died within the preceding 48 hours. H1N1 was already showing up in central Mexican states, Texas and California, and the CDC's acting director was saying containment was no longer an option. These numbers and locations have since increased, and rumors emanating from workers in Mexico's hospitals say as many as 1000 fatalities occurred in a single hospital. People are fleeing the city, which has now closed schools, public buildings and places of entertainment. The official cases number in Mexico is 1400 at this writing.

What ties these four stories together?
Donald Rumsfeld.

Rummy was the Stan Laurel to Dick Cheney's Oliver Hardy in the Ford, Reagan and Bush Administrations, and not only knows where the skeletons are buried, probably did much of the spadework. [1]

Like Forrest Gump, Rummy is an apex of historical confluence, whether bringing a pair of golden cowboy spurs to Saddam Hussein [2], selling nuclear reactors to North Korea [3], or reassuring us that weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq eventually. Whether Rumsfeld had a role in slipping superthermite girder paint past Marvin Bush at the World Trade Center [4], secreting nano-tefloned GMO anthrax from a national weapons lab and mopping up witnesses [5], or downing [6] a light plane that carried Paul Wellstone and his staff [7], we may never know. [8]

As a former chairman and major stockholder of Gilead Sciences [9], Rummy stands to gain financially from sales of Tamiflu, which, by sheer coincidence, is one of only two [10] anti-viral drugs that H1N1 appears [11] to not tolerate, very odd for a pill genetically designed for avian flu, not swine flu. One might not unreasonably inquire whether the Former Defense Secretary might be building a war chest for his coming legal fees, once the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [12] starts releasing its findings to The Hague. Perhaps Rumsfeld hopes to stay out of prison long enough to enjoy his huge new fortune, but Tick Tock, old man.

Oh, and Carl Levin, Diane Feinstein and Al Franken? Those guys should really get some flu shots.

Open Source Reference in New Tab or Window.

Donald Rumsfeld makes $5m killing on bird flu drug

By Geoffrey Lean and Jonathan Owen, The Independent, Sunday, 12 March 2006, Article Source

Donald Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu. The US Defence Secretary has made more than $5m (£2.9m) in capital gains from selling shares in the biotechnology firm that discovered and developed Tamiflu, the drug being bought in massive amounts by Governments to treat a possible human pandemic of the disease.

More than 60 countries have so far ordered large stocks of the antiviral medication - the only oral medicine believed to be effective against the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease - to try to protect their people. The United Nations estimates that a pandemic could kill 150 million people worldwide.

Britain is about halfway through receiving an order of 14.6 million courses of the drug, which the Government hopes will avert some of the 700,000 deaths that might be expected. Tamiflu does not cure the disease, but if taken soon after symptoms appear it can reduce its severity.

The drug was developed by a Californian biotech company, Gilead Sciences. It is now made and sold by the giant chemical company Roche, which pays it a royalty on every tablet sold, currently about a fifth of its price.

Mr Rumsfeld was on the board of Gilead from 1988 to 2001, and was its chairman from 1997. He then left to join the Bush administration, but retained a huge shareholding .

The firm made a loss in 2003, the year before concern about bird flu started. Then revenues from Tamiflu almost quadrupled, to $44.6m, helping put the company well into the black. Sales almost quadrupled again, to $161.6m last year. During this time the share price trebled.

Mr Rumsfeld sold some of his Gilead shares in 2004 reaping - according to the financial disclosure report he is required to make each year - capital gains of more than $5m. The report showed that he still had up to $25m-worth of shares at the end of 2004, and at least one analyst believes his stake has grown well beyond that figure, as the share price has soared. Further details are not likely to become known, however, until Mr Rumsfeld makes his next disclosure in May.

The 2005 report showed that, in all, he owned shares worth up to $95.9m, from which he got an income of up to $13m, owned land worth up to $17m, and made $1m from renting it out.

He also had illiquid investments worth up to $8.1m, including in partnerships investing in biotechnology, issuing reproductions of paintings, and operating art galleries in New Mexico and Wyoming. He also has life insurance with a surrender value of up to $5m, and received up to $1m from the DHR Foundation, in which he has assets worth up to $25m, and $773,743 from the Donald H Rumsfeld Trust, in which he has assets of up to $50m.

Late last week no one at Gilead Sciences was available to comment on Mr Rumsfeld's sale of its stock. In a statement to The Independent on Sunday the Pentagon said: "Secretary Rumsfeld has no relationship with Gilead Sciences, Inc beyond his investments in the company. When he became Secretary of Defence in January 2001, divestiture of his investment in Gilead was not required by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Office of Government Ethics or the Department of Defence Standards of Conduct Office.

"Upon taking office, he recused himself from participating in any particular matter when the matter would directly and predictably affect his financial interest in Gilead Sciences."

We End the Interruption of This Article to Point Out Torture & Murder R-US War Criminal, Republican, Donald Rumsfeld Made Big PROFITS Off Tamiflu

City analysts say that pharmaceutical companies banked more than $7bn (£4.8bn) as governments stockpiled drugs. The issue of transparency has risen to the forefront of public health debate after dramatic predictions last year about a swine flu pandemic did not come true.

Some countries, notably Poland, declined to join the panic-buying of vaccines and antivirals triggered when the WHO declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic a year ago this week. The UK, which warned that 65,000 could die as a result of the virus, spent an estimated £1bn stockpiling drugs and vaccines; officials are now attempting to unpick expensive drug contracts.

The cabinet office has launched an inquiry into the cost to the taxpayer of the panic-buying of drugs.

Today, the Council of Europe, produces a damning report into how a lack of openness around "decision making" has bedevilled planning for pandemics.

"The tentacles of drug company influence are in all levels in the decision-making process," said Paul Flynn, the Labour MP who sits on the council's health committee. "It must be right that the WHO is transparent because there has been distortion of priorities of public health services all over Europe, waste of huge sums of public money and provocation of unjustified fear."

Although the experts consulted made no secret of industry ties in other settings, declaring them in research papers and at universities, the WHO itself did not publicly disclose any of these in its seminal 2004 guidance. In its note, the WHO advised: "Countries that are considering the use of antivirals as part of their pandemic response will need to stockpile in advance."

Many nations would adopt this guidance, including Britain. In 2005, the government said it had begun bulk-buying the drug Tamiflu, initially ordering 14.6m doses after bird flu killed 40 in Asia.

The specific guidance on antivirals was written by Professor Fred Hayden. He has confirmed in an email that he was being paid by Roche for lectures and consultancy work at the time the guidance was produced and published. He received payments from GSK for consultancy and lecturing until 2002. He said "[declaration of interest] forms were filled out for the 2002 consultation".

The previous year Hayden was also one of the main authors of a Roche-sponsored study that asserted what was to become a main Tamiflu selling point – its claim of a 60% reduction in flu hospitalisations.

Dr Arnold Monto was the author of the WHO annex dealing with vaccine usage in pandemics. Between 2000 and 2004, and at the time of writing the annex, Monto had openly declared consultancy fees and research support from Roche and GSK. No conflict of interest statement was included in the annex published by the WHO.

When asked if he had signed a declaration of interest form for WHO, Dr Monto said "conflict of interest forms are requested before participation in any WHO meeting".

The third scientist, Professor Karl Nicholson, is credited with the WHO's influential work Pandemic Influenza. According to declarations he made in the BMJ and Lancet in 2003, he had received sponsorship from GSK and Roche.

Even though the previous year these declarations had been openly made, no conflict of interest statement was included in the annex. Nicholson said he last had "financial relations" with Roche in 2001.

When asked if he had signed a declaration of interest form for WHO, he replied: "The WHO does require attendees of meetings, such as those held in 2002 and 2004, to complete declarations of interest."

A WHO official told the BMJ it had to balance an individual's privacy with the robustness of guidelines, which were subject to a wide external review process.

God Gave, Man Destroyed - Big Oil Profits Not People and Animal Results
Republicans, with Democrat Support, Scuttled the United States

The Department of Interior Oil and Gas Royalty Scandal and Its Wyoming Roots

By Laton McCartney and Rone Tempest, WyoFile, Guest Writer, 9-03-09

[snip] Minerals Management Service is, to the few people outside the energy industry who’ve ever heard of it, an obscure Interior Department agency. Yet it has an enormously important mission: leasing out onshore and offshore sites for exploitation by oil and gas companies, and collecting tens of billions of dollars in royalties from those companies. In fiscal 2008, those revenues came to a whopping $23.4 billion. Royalty payments are this country’s second largest source of income (the largest, of course, being taxes). And not incidentally, Wyoming, which gets 49 percenti of the federal royalties collected in the state, ii is the largest recipient of these revenues. In fiscal 2008, the Cowboy State received $1.27 billion dollars in federal oil, gas and coal royalties, almost twice as much as any other state.

The Lakewood branch of Minerals Management operated differently from its parent in Washington, D.C. Following the Bush administration’s oft-expressed desire to run government like a business, the Lakewood office functioned like a quasi-business, collecting royalty payments not in cash, but in “kind,” that is, in actual oil and gas. The Lakewood office then sold this oil or gas on the open market, competing with private sector traders.

Lakewood’s operations were unique in another way. The office had become a rogue enterprise, a feds-gone-wild hotbed of sex, payola, cocaine and corruption. iii Which was why Salazar’s visit was no ordinary meet-and-greet. Eight days after taking office, Salazar and his colleagues had come to Colorado to lay down the law.

“We are no longer doing business as usual,” the Stetson-wearing secretary told reporters. “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

“The President has made it clear that the type of ethical transgressions, blatant conflicts of interest, wastes and abuses that we have seen over the past eight years will no longer be tolerated,” Salazar warned Lakewood employees. He vowed to re-open a two-year-old investigation into alleged corruption and mismanagement that critics—and former Interior Department employees—claim had cost Americans billions of dollars in lost revenue.

When you read Inspector General Devaney’s 2008 report on the office, the word “tawdry” leaps to mind, astonishment not so much that Minerals Management personnel were corrupt, but how cheap they were. Devaney’s report doggedly details hundreds of industry gifts to federal Royalty-in-Kind employees: golf games, tacky little sight-seeing tours, luggage, golf bags, silver-plated trays, dip bowls, boozy Christmas parties, visits to bars, ski lift tickets, snowboarding lessons, hotel rooms, country music concerts, tailgating parties, paintball outings, drunken dinners etc., etc. Sure, it all adds up to tens of thousands of dollars, but come on!

The contempt in which the oilmen held the government officials shines up off the pages: references to Minerals Management marketers as the “MMS chicks;” e-mails damp with sexual innuendo, such as the Shell Pipeline Company official inviting the marketing specialist “girls” to “meet at my place at 6 a.m. for bubble baths and final prep. Just kidding…”

Yet the report also has its moments of pathos, as when Minerals Management marketing specialist Stacy Leyshon tells Devaney that, yes, she did sleep with a Shell Oil guy, but she didn’t have an improper “personal relationship” with him because a “one-night stand” isn’t personal. iv And what about the hurtful revelation to Minerals Management marketing specialist Crystal Edler? She thought she was dating a man from Hess Corporation, but Devaney found that the guy was putting her down on his expense account when they went out—he was working.

And then there was Greg Smith, the Lakewood office boss of the Royalty-in-Kind program. Devaney’s report observes, almost as an aside, that Smith used illegal drugs and had sex with his subordinates “in consort with industry,” which brings to mind a fairly unlovely picture. The statement that government was in bed with the oil and gas industry was not, in this case, metaphorical. [snip] - Continue reading


How the ‘Royalty in Kind’ Scandal Went From Wyoming to the National Stage

The second of a two-part investigative series from WyoFile detailing the Wyoming roots of a national Department of Interior scandal.

By Laton McCartney and Rone Tempest, WyoFile, Guest Writer, 9-03-09

[snip] The Department of the Interior is institutionally unwilling to aggressively collect the money owed to the American people by the oil industry,” stated Maloney’s report, titled A Wink and A Nod:

How the Oil Industry and the Department of Interior are Cheating the American Public and California Schoolchildren.

The report said that “for decades” Interior had given “loyal and devoted service to the petroleum industry” and had a record “replete with mismanagement, duplicity, evasions, and outright lies.

[snip] Bush’s transition to power was conducted by his vice-president, Dick Cheney. Cheney had left his $25-million-a-year job as CEO of Halliburton, the oil-field services and construction giant co-headquartered in Dubai and Houston, to run for office in 2000. Cheney was an active executive. In an unheard-of xiii move, he “seized the initiative” to staff much of Bush’s Cabinet during the hiatus provided by the Florida recount. Cheney, not Bush, announced the appointment of several key transition team officialsxiv.

He selected David J. Gribbin III, a faithful friend from their days together in high school in Casper and at the University of Wyoming, to be the transitional liaison with Congress. To follow his mentor back into politics, xv Gribbin left his job as chief lobbyist for Halliburton. With Gribbin in place, Cheney took charge of negotiations with lawmakers about the legislative agenda.

Cheney chose Thomas Sansonetti, the Cheyenne lawyer xvi and GOP activist, to head the inner-circle team choosing top personnel for the Interior Department.

Sansonetti, who has never held elected office, xvii is a well-known quantity in the Wyoming party and preceded Diemer True as the state’s Republican organizational powerbroker: he was Republican National Committeeman, 1996-2001 (True took over in 2002) and chairman of the state Republican Party from 1983-87 (True was chair 1992-96). When Craig Thomas won the 1989 special election to replace Cheney, who had left his seat to become George H.W. Bush’s defense secretary, Sansonetti became Thomas’ aide. A member of the Federalist Society xviii, Sansonetti was also a lobbyist for the coal industry.

Although the energy industry was represented at all important levels within the incoming administration, industry lobbyists continued their own efforts. According to Newsweek, oil and gas lobbyists met at the American Petroleum Institute offices nine days before the Inauguration to draw up a “wish list” for a Bush energy plan. The list was sent over to the Bush Energy Department transition team. The expansion of the royalty-in-kind program was near the top of the list.

Membership on the Energy Department team was a political plum, and the incoming administration rewarded generous supporters with seats at the table. Men who had given the Bush campaign more than $100,000, like Tom Kuhn, head of the Edison Electric Institute, or more than $200,000, like Enron’s Kenneth Lay, became Energy transition team players. Some transitional heavyweights were not among the largest contributors, but were important in themselves, as high-level industry lobbyists. Diemer True, at this time chairman of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association, was a team member in Energy, although he and his family had given only $125,000 to state and national Republican parties and candidates in recent election cycles.

The Bush transition team, prevented from occupying the customary federal transition team quarters by the long dispute over who had won the election, had raised its own transition office money and rented a 20,000-square-foot office in a southern Virginia suburb. There it began the work of accepting résumés for 6,125 federal jobs within the new Republican administration’s gift.

To head the critical Department of the Interior, Sansonetti’s team chose Denver oil-and-gas lawyer Gale Norton, a protégée of Reagan’s first Interior Secretary, James G. Watt. Sansonetti had worked with Norton in Watt’s Interior in the ’80s. Like Watt, Norton was a Mountain States Legal Foundation attorney, and like Sansonetti, she was a member of the Federalist Society. Norton was confirmed almost immediately after Bush’s inauguration.

But her department was not fully staffed for months.xix The expansion of the royalty-in-kind program, near the top of the energy industry’s wish list, was going to have to take place in Interior’s Minerals Management Service, which lacked a new leader for some time. Thomas R. Kitso, who had replaced Cynthia Quarterman in February 1999 and stayed on after January 2001, resigned that November. Deputy secretary of Interior J. Steven Grilesxx announced that Lucy Querques Denettxxi of the Minerals Revenue Management division would be Acting Director until “further notice.” [snip] - continue reading

Israel defends intensity of military force after autopsy results reveal total of 30 bullets in bodies of nine protesters - Saturday 5 June 2010 - The Guardian

Martin Rowson cartoon on the Gaza flotilla attack - Israel defends intensity of military force after autopsy results reveal total of 30 bullets in bodies of nine protesters

Bible Stories Retold... A soldier, standing on the Ark, with his foot squashing a recently murdered bird of Peace, says to Noah (about the bird): "It was clearly intent on PECKING innocent civilians." A cartoon by Martin Rowson on the Gaza flotilla attack.

World Collapse Explained in 3 Minutes

Amestizo (Crazy Horse)writes: World economy explained in under 3 minutes! Amazing watch.

Autumn Fenders writes: Please view: Americans For Fair Taxation

Prez, USA-Exile writes: Good morning, mon. Here's another powerful photo:

Hermit Crabs and the BP OIL SPILL

Hermit crabs struggle to cross a patch of oil from the the Deepwater Horizon spill on a barrier island near East Grand Terre Island, La, Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP / Charlie Riedel)

A photograph showing Peace Could Be Universal- Zionists Do Not Represent All of Israel by Bill Perry, VVAW/VFP/IVAW location: Baltimore MD, 1.10.09
Photograph: Bill Perry, VVAW/VFP/IVAW location: Baltimore MD, 1.10.09 via Phoenix

I remember 2036 very clearly. It is difficult to describe 2036 in detail without spending a great deal of time explaining why things are so different.

In 2036, I live in central Florida with my family and I'm currently stationed at an Army base in Tampa. A world war in 2015 killed nearly three billion people. The people that survived grew closer together. Life is centered on the family and then the community. I cannot imagine living even a few hundred miles away from my parents.

There is no large industrial complex creating masses of useless food and recreational items. Food and livestock is grown and sold locally. People spend much more time reading and talking together face to face. Religion is taken seriously and everyone can multiply and divide in their heads.

Life has changed so much over my lifetime that it's hard to pin down a "normal" day. When I was 13, I was a soldier. As a teenager, I helped my dad haul cargo. I went to college when I was 31 and I was recruited to "time travel" shortly after that. Again, I suppose an average day in 2036 is like an average day on the farm.

There is a civil war in the United States that starts in 2005. That conflict flares up and down for 10 years. In 2015, Russia launches a nuclear strike against the major cities in the United States (which is the "other side" of the civil war from my perspective), China and Europe. The United States counter attacks. The US cities are destroyed along with the AFE (American Federal Empire)...thus we (in the country) won. The European Union and China were also destroyed. Russia is now our largest trading partner and the Capitol of the US was moved to Omaha Nebraska.

One of the biggest reasons why food production is localized is because the environment is affected with disease and radiation. We are making huge strides in getting it cleaned up. Water is produced on a community level and we do eat meat that we raise ourselves.

After the war, early new communities gathered around the current Universities. That's where the libraries were. I went to school at Fort UF, which is now called the University of Florida. Not too much is different except the military is large part of people's life and we spend a great deal of time in the fields and farms at the "University" or Fort.

The Constitution was changed after the war. We have 5 presidents that are voted in and out on different term periods. The vice president is the president of the senate and they are voted separately.

Nobody Gets It The First Time Around
None of the Above
Should Be On Voter Ballots!

Our Summer In Tehran - A film by Justine Shapiro
Our Summer In Tehran - A Film By Justine Shapiro

Dear Friends of Promises and Globe Trekker,

After 5 years, I’ve completed my documentary film!!! Our Summer in Tehran is an entertaining and educational film that takes viewers into a world few have ever seen. - Justine Shapiro

SYNOPSIS: Justine Shapiro, a Jewish-American filmmaker and former host of the travel series Globe Trekker, takes her 6-year-old son with her to Tehran where they spend the summer with Iranian mothers, fathers, children and grandparents. Our Summer In Tehrantranscends overt politics in favor of subtle, human, and often humorous moments. The film features 3 middle class Iranian families: a modern, cosmopolitan family; a conservative religious family; and a single mom who is an actress. Two months into the summer Justine and Mateo are suddenly given 48 hours to leave Iran. Promising relationships are severed.

59 minutes. In English, Persian & French with subtitles. Will broadcast on PBS and internationally in 2011.

Visit Source:

California ballot battle pits PG&E against consumer groups

Campaigners warn against electricity giant's 'outrageous' bid to enshrine business advantage in state constitution

Ewen MacAskill in Washington,, Monday 7 June 2010 20.11 BST, Article history

Californians go to the polls tomorrow in an extraordinary David v Goliath contest that pits one of the biggest electricity companies in America against consumer groups.

The Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a private firm, has succeeded in putting a proposal on the state's ballot paper that could give it an in-built advantage over public competitors. If successful, the change, which opponents claim would create a virtual monopoly, would be enshrined in the California constitution.

It is being opposed by Democratic politicians, consumer groups, environmentalists and more than 60 newspapers.

"It's outrageous that a regulated company could decide to write its own business advantage into the state constitution," John Geesman, a former member of the California Energy Commission, told the Los Angeles Times.

Even by the standards of US election spending, the expenditure of PG&E is eye-popping at $45m (£31m), mainly on TV, radio, newspaper and website advertising. Its opponents have spent $80,000.

California law allows for votes on single issues and the ballot comes on the same day as a series of other elections, including the Republican primary for California governorship. In the past there have been votes on issues such as legalisation of marijuana or same-sex marriages.

PG&E is proposing that any move by cities, districts or councils to create a public-backed power corporation would require the support of two-thirds of the electorate, which can be difficult to deliver. At present municipalities can set up public corporations without any vote.

Private companies account for about 70% of electricity provision in California.

A campaign group funded almost entirely by PG&E, called Californians to Protect Our Right to Vote, arguing in favour of the change, wants local communities to be able to have a say in how their money is spent, especially given the size of California's debt.

The campaign against PG&E is led by consumer group the Utilities Reform Network. Mindy Spatt, a spokeswoman for the group, said today: "It is going to be close, which will be a victory for us given the spending differential."

Spatt accused the company of attempting to hijack democracy for financial benefit and claimed a vote for the proposal would lead to higher electricity prices. "It is not just about electricity but how far can corporations go in imposing their will on the rest of us," she said.

The US for more than a century has seen such private-public battles over the provision of power, with private companies spending millions in support of sympathetic members of Congress. But it is unusual to see it end up on a public ballot and with spending on this scale. -- TIPS

Eat the Rich has new meaning now?

A Steve Bell cartoon series at The Guardian - UK
Spending cuts:
Tax the people not the banks! - Steve Bell Series

Telecoms Broke the Law
AT&T website hack leaks iPad 3G user emails

By Prince McLean, Published: 05:00 PM EST, June 9, 2010

Black hat hackers have exploited a security flaw on AT&T's web servers which enabled them to obtain email addresses from the SIM card addresses of iPad 3G users.

The breach, profiled in a report by Gawker, described the event as "another embarrassment" for Apple and outlined a variety of high profile individuals whose email addresses were obtained by automated script attacks on AT&T's web server based on their iPad 3G SIM addresses (ICC ID).

The publication claimed that the identifying information meant that thousands of iPad 3G users "could be vulnerable to spam marketing and malicious hacking," while also pointing out that many users have actually already published their iPad ICC ID numbers in Flickr photos. Presumably, many of them also have public email addresses and therefore already receive spam like the rest of us.

The attack on AT&T's web servers resulted in at least 114,000 iPad 3G users' emails being leaked to the hackers, who were coy about wether or not they were planning to enable others to access the data. The security leak, which returned a user's email address when their ICC-ID was entered via a specially formatted HTTP request, has since been patched.

The group automated requests of the email address information for a wide swath of ICC-ID serial numbers using a script. No other information was discovered.

"No direct security consequences"

The report suggested that having known ICC IDs would leave iPad 3G users vulnerable to remote attacks, citing the attackers involved in the security breach as claiming that "recent holes discovered in the GSM cell phone standard mean that it might be possible to spoof a device on the network or even intercept traffic using the ICC ID."

However, Gawker also talked to telephony security experts who disputed that the ICC ID email breach was a serious issue. It cited Emmanuel Gadaix, a "mobile security consultant and Nokia veteran" who said that while there have been "vulnerabilities in GSM crypto discovered over the years, none of them involve the ICC ID […] as far as I know, there are no vulnerability or exploit methods involving the ICC ID."

The report also noted that Karsten Nohl, a "white hat GSM hacker and University of Virginia computer science PhD," informed them "that while text-message and voice security in mobile phones is weak," the "data connections are typically well encrypted […] the disclosure of the ICC-ID has no direct security consequences."

At the same time, Nohl described AT&T's lapse in publishing the email information as grossly incompetent, saying, "it's horrendous how customer data, specifically e-mail addresses, are negligently leaked by a large telco provider."

Dot under rug
FBI Investigating iPad Breach (Update)

by Ryan Tate, Gawker

The FBI has confirmed it is investigating how private information about iPad users was compromised via an insecure AT&T Web server, as Gawker first reported yesterday. The FBI also contacted Gawker Media today.

The federal law-enforcement agency told the Wall Street Journal it is "very early" in an investigation into "these possible computer intrusions," in which a group of security researchers harvested iPad customer email addresses and network IDs and exposed a hole in AT&T's network.

We can confirm that Gawker Media was contacted by the FBI earlier today and issued a formal preservation notice.

We've reached out to the security group that first discovered the vulnerability, Goatse Security, and have asked for a statement. We're waiting to hear back.

Update: In a lengthy blog post, a member of Goatse Security states that "there was no illegal activity or unauthorized access" involved. The group says that while it did not directly contact AT&T, it "made sure that someone else tipped them off." Goatse also says that the security hole was closed before the vulnerability was publicized; that the private user information it gathered—a copy of which was provided to us—was later destroyed; and that the group was not paid or otherwise compensated by Gawker, which is correct.

An excerpt:

This disclosure needed to be made. iPad 3G users had the right to know that their email addresses were potentially public knowledge so they could take steps to mitigate the issue (like changing their email address). This was done in service of the American public. Do you really think corporate privacy breaches should stay indefinitely secret? I don't. If you're potentially on a list of exploit targets because someone has an iPad Safari vulnerability and they scraped you in a gigantic list of emails it is best that you are informed of that sooner than later (after you've been successfully exploited)....

All data was gathered from a public webserver with no password, accessible by anyone on the Internet. There was no breach, intrusion, or penetration, by any means of the word...

Your iPads are safer now because of us.

Time For A Corporate Death Penalty - Image via Black Agenda Report
Time For A Corporate Death Penalty

by Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report managing editor, Wed, 06/09/2010 -10:35, corporate rule

There are more than 40 federal offenses for which the death penalty can be applied to human beings, most of them connected to homicide of one kind or another. But countless homicides committed by the artificial persons we call corporations go unpunished every day. Apparently “personal responsibility” applies only to humans who are not operating behind the legal shield of corporate personhood.

Click to download or play the MP3 of this BA Radio commentary

Over the last hundred or so years, corporations have gained many of the rights previously accorded only to human beings. Corporations have the right to buy and sell anything or anyone that can be bought or sold. Corporations have claimed the right to lie in their advertising and PR as "free speech," along with the right to help us mere humans choose our judges and elected officials with unlimited amounts of cash, including anonymous cash. Corporations have been awarded the right to patent genetic sequences of diseases and to monopolize their cures, as well as patent rights to living plants and animals not of their invention. A whole type of new anti-pollution regulation called "cap and trade" actually enshrines a corporate right to pollute and establishes exchanges upon which speculators can bid, trade and capture rents for those alleged rights. And unlike a working person, who has no right to next month's let alone next year's wages, legal scholars working for corporations have devised and popularized something they call the "regulatory takings" doctrine, under which corporations may claim and recover from the government rights to profits they might have made in years to come. And let's not even talk about trillions in corporate welfare for banks, military contractors, Wal-Mart and others.

While many argue that corporations have too many rights as it is, this might be a good time to extend them at least one more right we humans have kept for ourselves until now; the right to be put to death for serious crimes. Right now federal statutes alone offer individuals more than 40 different ways to earn the death penalty, including kidnapping, treason, aircraft hijacking, espionage and many varieties of murder, conspiracy, threatening murder and some drug crimes. Individual states offer the death penalty for a host of similar offenses.

Putting bad corporate actors down the way we do rabid dogs and serial killers is not a new or even a radical idea. Corporations are created by the charters of individual states, so states DO have the power to revoke them. Early in this country's history, corporate charters used to limit a company's existence to a set number of years, to confine their operations to manufacturing a certain item, building a specific road or canal and prohibit them from changing ownership, dumping or concealing their assets or engaging in other kinds of business. These are legal powers that our governments have not used in a long, long time, but which it's high time to reclaim.

Homicidal profit-seeking on the part of corporations has become an everyday fact of modern life. Whether it's employers cutting health and safety corners, marketers pushing unsafe drugs, food and products of all kinds, or the deadly industrial fouling of the planet's air, soil, oceans and climate we are living in the midst of a corporate crime wave of murderous and epic proportions. If we value human life, it only makes sense to treat corporate serial killers like, well, corporate serial killers, to confiscate their ill-gotten assets, to revoke their corporate charters and sentence the artificial personae of corporate malefactors to death. If corporations are legal persons, it's time to enforce some personal responsibility upon them with a corporate death penalty.

After we accomplish that, it will be time to think about extending a little of that personal responsibility to the actual humans who operate behind the legal shield of the corporations. But right now, as the saying goes, a corporation can't even get arrested in this country, which, come to think of it is still another right we humans ought to bestow upon them.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at - Article source

Denialist Creed
Dear Citizens of the World

I believe the time has come to reveal to you some of the perplexities you have faced in recent decades.

[Ed Note: The above was (imo) too depressing for 'my taste' and has been moved. Click Here to View ~@~]

Busy San Francisco Weekend via Richard Ivanhoe & Cat Bell

Friday, June 11, 6:00 to 8:00 pm -- Art Show opening for David Wills's show at Coffee to the People, 1206 Masonic (near Haight).

Saturday, June 12, beginning at noon or 12:30 pm -- Memorial brunch for Waterfall at People's Cafe, 1419 Haight Street (between Ashbury and Masonic).

Sunday, June 13 - Haight Ashbury Street Fair, 11:00 am to 5:30 pm. -- We will be at our booth, the Tea Parlor (used to be the Tea Party, but the meaning of those words seems to have changed since last year), on the north side of Haight Street, between Clayton and Ashbury, just east of the Haight Street Market at 1530 Haight. Come early to avoid the crowds (we will probably be ready to go well before the fair opens), or come late to enjoy the crowds. Either way, we'll be giving out free tea and cookies.

Mike Wilhelm & Hired Guns
Mike Wilhelm
Photograph by Richard Hoyt
Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 4:30 - 8:30 pm
Photograph by C. Spangler
Riviera Hills Restaurant, Lounge and Recreation Club
10200 Fairway Drive, Kelseyville, CA.

Chemical Imbalance a painting by David Normal
"Chemical Imbalance", Oil on Panel, 18.5" x 21" (47 x 53.3 cm), 2010

David Normal writes: Greetings, This is my latest painting, "Chemical Imbalance"

Chemical Imbalance is a depiction of change from one state of being to another state. It explores the moment after your choice is made but the outcome is still unknown, yet there is simply no turning back. It is an expression of the chemical reaction that cannot be reversed, and whose result, for better or worse, weighs in the balance . . . a "Chemical Imbalance."

David Normal Art Show Poster

The first exhibit of my series of self illuminating prints, "The Illuminations" will take place at Finder's Creepers in Des Moines, Iowa. June 26th - July 16th, 2010.

David Normal: -

Have A Great Summer and BE SAFE OUT HERE !!!

Laura Bush: pro abortion and gay marriage

Only several years after it might have made any difference, Laura Bush publicly supports gay marriage and abortion

Laura Bush: controversial views now that it doesn't matter
Hawk Loves Chicken
McCain and Iran

Posted by JOE KLEIN Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The New Republic perplexes me. It has some of the best and smartest writing around. And then it allows John McCain, whose lack of knowledge about Iran is encyclopedic, to hold forth in its pages. McCain, blustery as ever, wants regime change. Amen to that. But his vague, neocolonial sense that (a) we can help bring that about and (b)that the Iranian people want us to bring it about, is debatable, to say the very least. (Add: McCain claims to want peaceful regime change; but it was two months ago that he was explicitly supporting an American attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, which he may still.) In any case, his lack of knowledge--his tendency to bloviate without thinking--can be staggering, as in this case:

Is it any wonder that this is the same regime that spends its people's precious resources not on roads, or schools, or hospitals, or jobs that benefit all Iranians—but on funding violent groups of foreign extremists who murder the innocent?

Yes, the regime spends money funding noxious terrorist outfits like Hizballah. But it also spends vastly on its people. The road, school and medical systems far surpass those of neighboring countries--they approach the level achieved in that other regional petro-giant, Saudi Arabia (the Iranian school system, though riddled with propaganda when it comes to the teaching of history, is excellent when it comes to math and science--and it is fully coeducational; Iran's women are, without question, the best educated in the region).

More important, under Ahmadinejad, a phenomenal amount of money and attention has gone directly to the poor, especially the widows and children of the 1 million Iraq war casualties, raising them into the middle class. This sort of populism has been controversial among the conservative principalists close to the Supreme Leader; the faction led by the Larijani brothers and a fair number of Revolutionary Guard muckamucks believe that those funds should have gone to long-term economic development projects. Ahmadinejad's populism, however, has had sort-term political benefits: he has the undying support of Iran's less-educated workers. Indeed, as I reported last year, he might even have won the election (narrowly) if the votes had ever been counted. But the Revolutionary Guard regime was never going to take a chance on democracy.

In any case, life--and foreign policy, especially Iran--is never quite as simple as John McCain would make it. As much as we'd all like to see Iran have a government worthy of its people--and this is the greatest mismatch between a people and a government of any country in the world--an accurate sense of what the government does and does not do domestically is essential to formulating a policy avoids the historic stupidities the west has committed in dealing with Iran. I'd have hoped that the New Republic would have published something more insightful than this onanistic rant.

2010 June 15 04:26:58 UTC

5.7 Magnitude San Diego earthquake as seen from Van Nuys, CA Public Seismic Network
5.7 Magnitude San Diego earthquake and floating swarm USGS map
Current (201006.15) San Diego County Seismic "Floating" Swarm

Supes back posting of cell phone emission levels

Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer, Wednesday, June 16, 2010

San Francisco moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first city in the nation to require that retailers post in their stores notices on the level of radiation emitted by the cell phones they offer.

The Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to give preliminary approval to the proposal. Final approval is expected next week. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd was the lone vote in opposition. Mayor Gavin Newsom, an early proponent of the legislation, plans to sign it into law when it reaches his desk.

Cast by backers as a pro-consumer measure, the ordinance would not ban the sale of certain cell phones but would require retailers to provide the "specific absorption rate" - a measurement of radiation registered with the Federal Communications Commission - next to phones displayed in their shops. Consumers also would be notified about where they can get more educational materials.

"This is about helping people make informed choices," said Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, chief sponsor of the legislation.

But a trade group for the cell phone industry said the law could lead to confusion.

"Rather than inform, the ordinance will potentially mislead consumers with point-of-sale requirements suggesting that some phones are 'safer' than others, based on radio frequency emissions," John Walls, vice president of public affairs for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, said after the vote. "In fact, all phones sold legally in the U.S. must comply with the Federal Communication Commission's safety standards for (radio frequency) emissions."

The FCC has adopted limits for safe exposure to radiation. The measurement shows the amount of radio frequency energy people absorb in their bodies when talking on a cell phone.

The potential long-term health impacts of cell phone use, particularly on the brain, is still a matter of scientific debate.

A similar right-to-know measure, carried by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, died in the Legislature this year amid heavy lobbying by the cell phone industry.

Small business advocates in San Francisco also lobbied against the local labeling law, saying they didn't have an appetite for more government mandates, particularly in this tough economic climate.

"This is not about discouraging people from using their cell phones," said Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker. "This is a modest and commonsense measure to provide greater transparency and information to consumers."

The posting requirements would be phased in, beginning in February. Violators would face fines of up to $300. City officials still need to educate retailers and figure out how the law would be enforced, when and if it is finally adopted. Hundreds of stores in San Francisco sell cell phones.

Renee Sharp, director of the California office of the Environmental Working Group, a national nonprofit research and advocacy group, lauded San Francisco for its "leadership in protecting the public's health and right to know, and we hope it's the beginning of a movement that won't stop until everybody shopping for a phone has easy access to this information."


Profits Not People?
CASHCPR - Citizens Against Second Hand Cellular Phone Radiation

Steve Bell Cartoon with Bush (as a little ape) holding paws with (dark figures) Rumsfeld and Cheney, saying, 'I'll always stand by you Rummy and Dick!' ...and (fwiw) Cheney and Bush stood by a Prince of Darkness and his evil, murderous BLACKWATER.
Steve Bell

Justice: Blackwater case should have gone forward


WASHINGTON — There was more than enough untainted evidence to justify a trial for five Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad, the Justice Department told a federal appeals court.

In court papers seeking to reinstate criminal charges, the department asserted that some of the evidence tainted by immunized statements in the case was harmless and did not justify scuttling the manslaughter charges against the guards.

In December, a federal judge dismissed the case against the security guards, who had opened fire on a crowded Baghdad street. Seventeen people were killed, including women and children, in a shooting that inflamed anti-American sentiment in Iraq.

In the filing released Wednesday by the appeals court, the government said the judge who dismissed the charges lost sight of the key question of whether the defendants' testimony given under a grant of immunity from prosecution was actually used against them.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina "unjustifiably drew the curtain on a meritorious prosecution," Justice Department lawyers wrote.

Urbina ruled on Dec. 31 that the Justice Department mishandled evidence and violated the guards' constitutional rights.

The Moyock, N.C.-based Blackwater, now called Xe Services, has said the guards were innocent, contending they were ambushed by insurgents. Prosecutors said the shooting was unprovoked. - Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Blackwater: The World’s Largest Mercenary Army

“Blackwater is a company that began in 1996 as a private military training facility in — it was built near the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina. And visionary executives, all of them former Navy Seals or other Elite Special Forces people, envisioned it as a project that would take advantage of the anticipated government outsourcing.

Well, here we are a decade later, and it’s the most powerful mercenary firm in the world. It has 20,000 soldiers on the ready, the world’s largest private military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, including helicopter gunships. It’s become nothing short of the Praetorian Guard for the Bush administration’s so-called global war on terror. And it’s headed by a very rightwing Christian activist, ex-Navy Seal named Erik Prince, whose family was one of the major bankrollers of the Republican Revolution of the 1990s. He, himself, is a significant funder of President Bush and his allies.”

— Jeremy Scahill, from an interview on Democracy Now.


Blackwater Owner Fleeing To United Arab Emirates?

by Jim Newell

The Nation reports that creepy Blackwater owner Erik Prince, who has abruptly put his company up for sale, may move to the UAE, which has no extradition treaty with the United States. He hasn't been charged with any crimes, yet.


Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world

The Deepwater Horizon disaster is not just an industrial accident – it is a violent wound inflicted on the Earth itself. In this special report from the Gulf coast, a leading author and activist shows how it lays bare the hubris at the heart of capitalism

Naomi Klein, The Guardian, Saturday 19 June 2010, Article history

Everyone gathered for the town hall meeting had been repeatedly instructed to show civility to the gentlemen from BP and the federal government. These fine folks had made time in their busy schedules to come to a high school gymnasium on a Tuesday night in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, one of many coastal communities where brown poison was slithering through the marshes, part of what has come to be described as the largest environmental disaster in US history.

"Speak to others the way you would want to be spoken to," the chair of the meeting pleaded one last time before opening the floor for questions.

And for a while the crowd, mostly made up of fishing families, showed remarkable restraint. They listened patiently to Larry Thomas, a genial BP public relations flack, as he told them that he was committed to "doing better" to process their claims for lost revenue – then passed all the details off to a markedly less friendly subcontractor. They heard out the suit from the Environmental Protection Agency as he informed them that, contrary to what they have read about the lack of testing and the product being banned in Britain, the chemical dispersant being sprayed on the oil in massive quantities was really perfectly safe.

But patience started running out by the third time Ed Stanton, a coast guard captain, took to the podium to reassure them that "the coast guard intends to make sure that BP cleans it up".

"Put it in writing!" someone shouted out. By now the air conditioning had shut itself off and the coolers of Budweiser were running low. A shrimper named Matt O'Brien approached the mic. "We don't need to hear this anymore," he declared, hands on hips. It didn't matter what assurances they were offered because, he explained, "we just don't trust you guys!" And with that, such a loud cheer rose up from the floor you'd have thought the Oilers (the unfortunately named school football team) had scored a touchdown.

The showdown was cathartic, if nothing else. For weeks residents had been subjected to a barrage of pep talks and extravagant promises coming from Washington, Houston and London. Every time they turned on their TVs, there was the BP boss, Tony Hayward, offering his solemn word that he would "make it right". Or else it was President Barack Obama expressing his absolute confidence that his administration would "leave the Gulf coast in better shape than it was before", that he was "making sure" it "comes back even stronger than it was before this crisis".

It all sounded great. But for people whose livelihoods put them in intimate contact with the delicate chemistry of the wetlands, it also sounded completely ridiculous, painfully so. Once the oil coats the base of the marsh grass, as it had already done just a few miles from here, no miracle machine or chemical concoction could safely get it out. You can skim oil off the surface of open water, and you can rake it off a sandy beach, but an oiled marsh just sits there, slowly dying. The larvae of countless species for which the marsh is a spawning ground – shrimp, crab, oysters and fin fish – will be poisoned.

It was already happening. Earlier that day, I travelled through nearby marshes in a shallow water boat. Fish were jumping in waters encircled by white boom, the strips of thick cotton and mesh BP is using to soak up the oil. The circle of fouled material seemed to be tightening around the fish like a noose. Nearby, a red-winged blackbird perched atop a 2 metre (7ft) blade of oil-contaminated marsh grass. Death was creeping up the cane; the small bird may as well have been standing on a lit stick of dynamite.

And then there is the grass itself, or the Roseau cane, as the tall sharp blades are called. If oil seeps deeply enough into the marsh, it will not only kill the grass above ground but also the roots. Those roots are what hold the marsh together, keeping bright green land from collapsing into the Mississippi River delta and the Gulf of Mexico. So not only do places like Plaquemines Parish stand to lose their fisheries, but also much of the physical barrier that lessens the intensity of fierce storms like hurricane Katrina. Which could mean losing everything.

How long will it take for an ecosystem this ravaged to be "restored and made whole" as Obama's interior secretary has pledged to do? It's not at all clear that such a thing is remotely possible, at least not in a time frame we can easily wrap our heads around. The Alaskan fisheries have yet to fully recover from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and some species of fish never returned. Government scientists now estimate that as much as a Valdez-worth of oil may be entering the Gulf coastal waters every four days. An even worse prognosis emerges from the 1991 Gulf war spill, when an estimated 11m barrels of oil were dumped into the Persian Gulf – the largest spill ever. That oil entered the marshland and stayed there, burrowing deeper and deeper thanks to holes dug by crabs. It's not a perfect comparison, since so little clean-up was done, but according to a study conducted 12 years after the disaster, nearly 90% of the impacted muddy salt marshes and mangroves were still profoundly damaged.

We do know this. Far from being "made whole," the Gulf coast, more than likely, will be diminished. Its rich waters and crowded skies will be less alive than they are today. The physical space many communities occupy on the map will also shrink, thanks to erosion. And the coast's legendary culture will contract and wither. The fishing families up and down the coast do not just gather food, after all. They hold up an intricate network that includes family tradition, cuisine, music, art and endangered languages – much like the roots of grass holding up the land in the marsh. Without fishing, these unique cultures lose their root system, the very ground on which they stand. (BP, for its part, is well aware of the limits of recovery. The company's Gulf of Mexico regional oil spill response plan specifically instructs officials not to make "promises that property, ecology, or anything else will be restored to normal". Which is no doubt why its officials consistently favour folksy terms like "make it right".)

If Katrina pulled back the curtain on the reality of racism in America, the BP disaster pulls back the curtain on something far more hidden: how little control even the most ingenious among us have over the awesome, intricately interconnected natural forces with which we so casually meddle. BP cannot plug the hole in the Earth that it made. Obama cannot order fish species to survive, or brown pelicans not to go extinct (no matter whose ass he kicks). No amount of money – not BP's recently pledged $20bn (£13.5bn), not $100bn – can replace a culture that has lost its roots. And while our politicians and corporate leaders have yet to come to terms with these humbling truths, the people whose air, water and livelihoods have been contaminated are losing their illusions fast.

"Everything is dying," a woman said as the town hall meeting was finally coming to a close. "How can you honestly tell us that our Gulf is resilient and will bounce back? Because not one of you up here has a hint as to what is going to happen to our Gulf. You sit up here with a straight face and act like you know when you don't know."

This Gulf coast crisis is about many things – corruption, deregulation, the addiction to fossil fuels. But underneath it all, it's about this: our culture's excruciatingly dangerous claim to have such complete understanding and command over nature that we can radically manipulate and re-engineer it with minimal risk to the natural systems that sustain us. But as the BP disaster has revealed, nature is always more unpredictable than the most sophisticated mathematical and geological models imagine. During Thursday's congressional testimony, Hayward said: "The best minds and the deepest expertise are being brought to bear" on the crisis, and that, "with the possible exception of the space programme in the 1960s, it is difficult to imagine the gathering of a larger, more technically proficient team in one place in peacetime." And yet, in the face of what the geologist Jill Schneiderman has described as "Pandora's well", they are like the men at the front of that gymnasium: they act like they know, but they don't know.

BP's mission statement

In the arc of human history, the notion that nature is a machine for us to re-engineer at will is a relatively recent conceit. In her ground-breaking 1980 book The Death of Nature, the environmental historian Carolyn Merchant reminded readers that up until the 1600s, the Earth was alive, usually taking the form of a mother. Europeans – like indigenous people the world over – believed the planet to be a living organism, full of life-giving powers but also wrathful tempers. There were, for this reason, strong taboos against actions that would deform and desecrate "the mother", including mining.

The metaphor changed with the unlocking of some (but by no means all) of nature's mysteries during the scientific revolution of the 1600s. With nature now cast as a machine, devoid of mystery or divinity, its component parts could be dammed, extracted and remade with impunity. Nature still sometimes appeared as a woman, but one easily dominated and subdued. Sir Francis Bacon best encapsulated the new ethos when he wrote in the 1623 De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum that nature is to be "put in constraint, moulded, and made as it were new by art and the hand of man".

Those words may as well have been BP's corporate mission statement. Boldly inhabiting what the company called "the energy frontier", it dabbled in synthesising methane-producing microbes and announced that "a new area of investigation" would be geoengineering. And of course it bragged that, at its Tiber prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, it now had "the deepest well ever drilled by the oil and gas industry" – as deep under the ocean floor as jets fly overhead.

Imagining and preparing for what would happen if these experiments in altering the building blocks of life and geology went wrong occupied precious little space in the corporate imagination. As we have all discovered, after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on 20 April, the company had no systems in place to effectively respond to this scenario. Explaining why it did not have even the ultimately unsuccessful containment dome waiting to be activated on shore, a BP spokesman, Steve Rinehart, said: "I don't think anybody foresaw the circumstance that we're faced with now." Apparently, it "seemed inconceivable" that the blowout preventer would ever fail – so why prepare?

This refusal to contemplate failure clearly came straight from the top. A year ago, Hayward told a group of graduate students at Stanford University that he has a plaque on his desk that reads: "If you knew you could not fail, what would you try?" Far from being a benign inspirational slogan, this was actually an accurate description of how BP and its competitors behaved in the real world. In recent hearings on Capitol Hill, congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts grilled representatives from the top oil and gas companies on the revealing ways in which they had allocated resources. Over three years, they had spent "$39bn to explore for new oil and gas. Yet, the average investment in research and development for safety, accident prevention and spill response was a paltry $20m a year."

These priorities go a long way towards explaining why the initial exploration plan that BP submitted to the federal government for the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon well reads like a Greek tragedy about human hubris. The phrase "little risk" appears five times. Even if there is a spill, BP confidently predicts that, thanks to "proven equipment and technology", adverse affects will be minimal. Presenting nature as a predictable and agreeable junior partner (or perhaps subcontractor), the report cheerfully explains that should a spill occur, "Currents and microbial degradation would remove the oil from the water column or dilute the constituents to background levels". The effects on fish, meanwhile, "would likely be sublethal" because of "the capability of adult fish and shellfish to avoid a spill [and] to metabolise hydrocarbons". (In BP's telling, rather than a dire threat, a spill emerges as an all-you-can-eat buffet for aquatic life.)

Best of all, should a major spill occur, there is, apparently, "little risk of contact or impact to the coastline" because of the company's projected speedy response (!) and "due to the distance [of the rig] to shore" – about 48 miles (77km). This is the most astonishing claim of all. In a gulf that often sees winds of more than 70km an hour, not to mention hurricanes, BP had so little respect for the ocean's capacity to ebb and flow, surge and heave, that it did not think oil could make a paltry 77km trip. (Last week, a shard of the exploded Deepwater Horizon showed up on a beach in Florida, 306km away.)

None of this sloppiness would have been possible, however, had BP not been making its predictions to a political class eager to believe that nature had indeed been mastered. Some, like Republican Lisa Murkowski, were more eager than others. The Alaskan senator was so awe-struck by the industry's four-dimensional seismic imaging that she proclaimed deep-sea drilling to have reached the very height of controlled artificiality. "It's better than Disneyland in terms of how you can take technologies and go after a resource that is thousands of years old and do so in an environmentally sound way," she told the Senate energy committee just seven months ago.

Drilling without thinking has of course been Republican party policy since May 2008. With gas prices soaring to unprecedented heights, that's when the conservative leader Newt Gingrich unveiled the slogan "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" – with an emphasis on the now. The wildly popular campaign was a cry against caution, against study, against measured action. In Gingrich's telling, drilling at home wherever the oil and gas might be – locked in Rocky Mountain shale, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and deep offshore – was a surefire way to lower the price at the pump, create jobs, and kick Arab ass all at once. In the face of this triple win, caring about the environment was for sissies: as senator Mitch McConnell put it, "in Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana and Texas, they think oil rigs are pretty". By the time the infamous "Drill Baby Drill" Republican national convention rolled around, the party base was in such a frenzy for US-made fossil fuels, they would have bored under the convention floor if someone had brought a big enough drill.

Obama, eventually, gave in, as he invariably does. With cosmic bad timing, just three weeks before the Deepwater Horizon blew up, the president announced he would open up previously protected parts of the country to offshore drilling. The practice was not as risky as he had thought, he explained. "Oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." That wasn't enough for Sarah Palin, however, who sneered at the Obama administration's plans to conduct more studies before drilling in some areas. "My goodness, folks, these areas have been studied to death," she told the Southern Republican leadership conference in New Orleans, now just 11 days before the blowout. "Let's drill, baby, drill, not stall, baby, stall!" And there was much rejoicing.

In his congressional testimony, Hayward said: "We and the entire industry will learn from this terrible event." And one might well imagine that a catastrophe of this magnitude would indeed instil BP executives and the "Drill Now" crowd with a new sense of humility. There are, however, no signs that this is the case. The response to the disaster – at the corporate and governmental levels – has been rife with the precise brand of arrogance and overly sunny predictions that created the disaster in the first place.

The ocean is big, she can take it, we heard from Hayward in the early days. While spokesman John Curry insisted that hungry microbes would consume whatever oil was in the water system, because "nature has a way of helping the situation". But nature has not been playing along. The deep-sea gusher has bust out of all BP's top hats, containment domes, and junk shots. The ocean's winds and currents have made a mockery of the lightweight booms BP has laid out to absorb the oil. "We told them," said Byron Encalade, the president of the Louisiana Oysters Association. "The oil's gonna go over the booms or underneath the bottom." Indeed it did. The marine biologist Rick Steiner, who has been following the clean up closely, estimates that "70% or 80% of the booms are doing absolutely nothing at all".

And then there are the controversial chemical dispersants: more than 1.3m gallons dumped with the company's trademark "what could go wrong?" attitude. As the angry residents at the Plaquemines Parish town hall rightly point out, few tests had been conducted, and there is scant research about what this unprecedented amount of dispersed oil will do to marine life. Nor is there a way to clean up the toxic mixture of oil and chemicals below the surface. Yes, fast multiplying microbes do devour underwater oil – but in the process they also absorb the water's oxygen, creating a whole new threat to marine life.

BP had even dared to imagine that it could prevent unflattering images of oil-covered beaches and birds from escaping the disaster zone. When I was on the water with a TV crew, for instance, we were approached by another boat whose captain asked, ""Y'all work for BP?" When we said no, the response – in the open ocean – was "You can't be here then". But of course these heavy-handed tactics, like all the others, have failed. There is simply too much oil in too many places. "You cannot tell God's air where to flow and go, and you can't tell water where to flow and go," I was told by Debra Ramirez. It was a lesson she had learned from living in Mossville, Louisiana, surrounded by 14 emission-spewing petrochemical plants, and watching illness spread from neighbour to neighbour.

Human limitation has been the one constant of this catastrophe. After two months, we still have no idea how much oil is flowing, nor when it will stop. The company's claim that it will complete relief wells by the end of August – repeated by Obama in his Oval Office address – is seen by many scientists as a bluff. The procedure is risky and could fail, and there is a real possibility that the oil could continue to leak for years.

The flow of denial shows no sign of abating either. Louisiana politicians indignantly oppose Obama's temporary freeze on deepwater drilling, accusing him of killing the one big industry left standing now that fishing and tourism are in crisis. Palin mused on Facebook that "no human endeavour is ever without risk", while Texas Republican congressman John Culberson described the disaster as a "statistical anomaly". By far the most sociopathic reaction, however, comes from veteran Washington commentator Llewellyn King: rather than turning away from big engineering risks, we should pause in "wonder that we can build machines so remarkable that they can lift the lid off the underworld".

Make the bleeding stop

Thankfully, many are taking a very different lesson from the disaster, standing not in wonder at humanity's power to reshape nature, but at our powerlessness to cope with the fierce natural forces we unleash. There is something else too. It is the feeling that the hole at the bottom of the ocean is more than an engineering accident or a broken machine. It is a violent wound in a living organism; that it is part of us. And thanks to BP's live camera feed, we can all watch the Earth's guts gush forth, in real time, 24 hours a day.

John Wathen, a conservationist with the Waterkeeper Alliance, was one of the few independent observers to fly over the spill in the early days of the disaster. After filming the thick red streaks of oil that the coast guard politely refers to as "rainbow sheen", he observed what many had felt: "The Gulf seems to be bleeding." This imagery comes up again and again in conversations and interviews. Monique Harden, an environmental rights lawyer in New Orleans, refuses to call the disaster an "oil spill" and instead says, "we are haemorrhaging". Others speak of the need to "make the bleeding stop". And I was personally struck, flying over the stretch of ocean where the Deepwater Horizon sank with the US Coast Guard, that the swirling shapes the oil made in the ocean waves looked remarkably like cave drawings: a feathery lung gasping for air, eyes staring upwards, a prehistoric bird. Messages from the deep.

And this is surely the strangest twist in the Gulf coast saga: it seems to be waking us up to the reality that the Earth never was a machine. After 400 years of being declared dead, and in the middle of so much death, the Earth is coming alive.

The experience of following the oil's progress through the ecosystem is a kind of crash course in deep ecology. Every day we learn more about how what seems to be a terrible problem in one isolated part of the world actually radiates out in ways most of us could never have imagined. One day we learn that the oil could reach Cuba – then Europe. Next we hear that fishermen all the way up the Atlantic in Prince Edward Island, Canada, are worried because the Bluefin tuna they catch off their shores are born thousands of miles away in those oil-stained Gulf waters. And we learn, too, that for birds, the Gulf coast wetlands are the equivalent of a busy airport hub – everyone seems to have a stopover: 110 species of migratory songbirds and 75% of all migratory US waterfowl.

It's one thing to be told by an incomprehensible chaos theorist that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can set off a tornado in Texas. It's another to watch chaos theory unfold before your eyes. Carolyn Merchant puts the lesson like this: "The problem as BP has tragically and belatedly discovered is that nature as an active force cannot be so confined." Predictable outcomes are unusual within ecological systems, while "unpredictable, chaotic events [are] usual". And just in case we still didn't get it, a few days ago, a bolt of lightning struck a BP ship like an exclamation mark, forcing it to suspend its containment efforts. And don't even mention what a hurricane would do to BP's toxic soup.

There is, it must be stressed, something uniquely twisted about this particular path to enlightenment. They say that Americans learn where foreign countries are by bombing them. Now it seems we are all learning about nature's circulatory systems by poisoning them.

In the late 90s, an isolated indigenous group in Colombia captured world headlines with an almost Avatar-esque conflict. From their remote home in the Andean cloud forests, the U'wa let it be known that if Occidental Petroleum carried out plans to drill for oil on their territory, they would commit mass ritual suicide by jumping off a cliff. Their elders explained that oil is part of ruiria, "the blood of Mother Earth". They believe that all life, including their own, flows from ruiria, so pulling out the oil would bring on their destruction. (Oxy eventually withdrew from the region, saying there wasn't as much oil as it had previously thought.)

Virtually all indigenous cultures have myths about gods and spirits living in the natural world – in rocks, mountains, glaciers, forests – as did European culture before the scientific revolution. Katja Neves, an anthropologist at Concordia University, points out that the practice serves a practical purpose. Calling the Earth "sacred" is another way of expressing humility in the face of forces we do not fully comprehend. When something is sacred, it demands that we proceed with caution. Even awe.

If we are absorbing this lesson at long last, the implications could be profound. Public support for increased offshore drilling is dropping precipitously, down 22% from the peak of the "Drill Now" frenzy. The issue is not dead, however. It is only a matter of time before the Obama administration announces that, thanks to ingenious new technology and tough new regulations, it is now perfectly safe to drill in the deep sea, even in the Arctic, where an under-ice clean up would be infinitely more complex than the one underway in the Gulf. But perhaps this time we won't be so easily reassured, so quick to gamble with the few remaining protected havens.

Same goes for geoengineering. As climate change negotiations wear on, we should be ready to hear more from Dr Steven Koonin, Obama's undersecretary of energy for science. He is one of the leading proponents of the idea that climate change can be combated with techno tricks like releasing sulphate and aluminium particles into the atmosphere – and of course it's all perfectly safe, just like Disneyland! He also happens to be BP's former chief scientist, the man who just 15 months ago was still overseeing the technology behind BP's supposedly safe charge into deepwater drilling. Maybe this time we will opt not to let the good doctor experiment with the physics and chemistry of the Earth, and choose instead to reduce our consumption and shift to renewable energies that have the virtue that, when they fail, they fail small. As US comedian Bill Maher put it, "You know what happens when windmills collapse into the sea? A splash."

The most positive possible outcome of this disaster would be not only an acceleration of renewable energy sources like wind, but a full embrace of the precautionary principle in science. The mirror opposite of Hayward's "If you knew you could not fail" credo, the precautionary principle holds that "when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health" we tread carefully, as if failure were possible, even likely. Perhaps we can even get Hayward a new desk plaque to contemplate as he signs compensation cheques. "You act like you know, but you don't know."


An Impeachment Hearing would have exposed Cheney's secret energy meetings were really about Oil and Congress did not do their job == starting with Nancy Pelosi = off the table war criminal supporter

[Note: Somebody (in the U.S.) gave permission for oil drilling in the Gulf ...&... Halliburton (Big Oil) stole from U.S. tax payers during an illegal Republican Iraq war. ... One cannot put a Band-Aid on cancer & expect a cure!]

May 15, 2001

Halliburton & KMNF [Azerbaijan] Ink 12 Year Contract

"Halliburton International Inc. and KASPMORNEFTELOT (KMNF), the marine division of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), have entered into a 12-year contract for a marine base and associated services to support Halliburton Sub sea offshore construction activity in the Caspian region. Halliburton Sub sea is a business unit of Halliburton Company’s Energy Services Group. "The base, with a 6,000-square metre lay down area, is located at KMNF’s Southern Basin adjacent to Caspian Shipyard. It will be primarily utilized to support Halliburton Sub sea’s catamaran crane vessel Qurban Abbasov (previously known as the Titan 4) during the restoration and upgrade of the vessel and during the forthcoming offshore construction, pipe lay and sub sea activities. The site will also be developed to provide warehouse, office and training facilities that will include advanced diver and life support technician training, utilizing the company’s 16-man modular saturation system. "The Qurban Abbasov is operated by Halliburton Sub sea in an alliance agreement with SOCAR for a period of 12 years. It will provide an advanced, stable, dynamically positioned construction platform for saturation and remote vehicle diving; flexible and bundle pipeline installation with trenching; emergency pipeline repair, subsurface well intervention with wire line; and coiled tubing. It also will be used in flotel configuration for hook-up and commissioning work. "'The acquisition of the marine base is a further indication of our commitment to the Caspian region and to the success of the partnership arrangements with SOCAR,' says Edgar Ortiz, President and Chief Executive Officer, Halliburton’s Energy Services Group." --Aylward, Marine Publishers and Halliburton Press Release, May 15, 2001.

[Ed. NOTE: The original documents are currently missing and here were their link addresses: - and - . Another interesting point is this contract runs out in 2013 and perhaps why Iran is of interest. - Source plus Rice Oil]

October 4, 2001

Ted Rall  Cartoon - I can see clearly now the pain is gone

Ted Rall cartoon October 4, 2001 This cartoon was done less than a month after 9/11 and shows a rectangle divided into four smaller rectangles. At the top it says: I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE PAIN IS GONE

The upper section (of each smaller rectangle) has a black background, with white print, and below them there is a cartoon.

1st small rectangle shows a cartoon of an oil man with a wrench working on an offshore oil rig.



2nd rectangle, next to the one above, shows a cartoon of two oil executives talking in a room with UNOCAL Petroleum on the wall.



3rd rectangle, bottom left, shows a cartoon map with a pipeline running from the Caspian Sea to the Port of Karachi, across several countries the U.S. is currently fighting in.


Below, in the cartoon, it shows the: SHORTEST POSSIBLE PIPELINE ROUTE

4th rectangle, next to the one above, shows a cartoon of a gas station with a gas price sign.


Below, in the cartoon, the gas price sign says: UNLEADED 1.89 9/10 PLUS TAX - Source

Something Stinks!
Re-Investigate 9/11
What Were Cheney's Secret Oil Energy Meetings Really About?

Kipper Williams cartoon on Smart Meters
Kipper Williams - [Smart Meters] It tells me how much energy I've used shouting at the TV

Teacher Layoffs

Posted by JOE KLEIN Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 8:32 am, Swampland, A blog about politics
83 Comments • Related Topics: education, michael bloomberg, teachers unions

I'm generally in favor of President Obama's efforts to prevent massive layoffs of public employees at the state and local level. But--you knew a "but" was coming, right?--there have to be some strings attached. I'm not sure Charles Lane is right that this isn't as bad as it seems. The pain won't be distributed equally. The districts that will be hit the hardest will be the poorest districts, which don't have the lush property tax base of the suburbs. And so, what to do? Which strings to attach?

First, the unions should forego their raises for the next few years--Michael Bloomberg has already negotiated this sort of deal in New York; other mayors and governors are trying to do the same. Second, and more important: layoffs should not be made according to (lack of) seniority. They should be made according to merit. Older teachers are often priceless mentors, the glue that holds a school together--but they are, just as often, burnt out cases. And they cost a lot more than younger teachers. Younger teachers lack the experience, internal status and respect that master teachers have, but the best of them bring energy and innovation to their work--and the need to prove themselves (a necessary requirement that tenure strips from older teachers).

The question is, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? By managing well, by making tough decisions, by choosing a mix of young and old, energy and experience. The unions would have teachers treated as coal miners, strictly by seniority--without any of the quality considerations that other professionals must meet in order to keep their clientele. Yes, if teachers were sorted out by merit, decisions would sometimes be made on the basis of cronyism and sometimes creative troublemakers would be weeded out. But a more accountable system would make principals more accountable, too. Schools that were run by fools, crooks or hidebound martinets wouldn't achieve the results that schools run on merit would; sooner or later, the bad principals would be sacked.

At least, that's the theory. Given the twin crises that the education establishment is facing--fiscal and qualitative--it sure seems well past time to test that theory.


Steve Bell cartoon on United States torture.
Steve Bell

Republican "Contract With Lie to America"
October 3, 2005 by Balz

As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body we propose not just to change its policies, but even more important, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.

That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written commitment with no fine print.

This year's election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.

Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act "with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right." To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.

On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:

  • FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
  • SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
  • THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
  • FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
  • FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
  • SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
  • SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
  • EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.

Thereafter, within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, we shall bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote and each to be immediately available this day for public inspection and scrutiny.

1. THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.

2. THE TAKING BACK OUR STREETS ACT: An anti-crime package including stronger truth-in- sentencing, "good faith" exclusionary rule exemptions, effective death penalty provisions, and cuts in social spending from this summer's "crime" bill to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.

3. THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: Discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to minor mothers and denying increased AFDC for additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs, and enact a tough two-years-and-out provision with work requirements to promote individual responsibility.

4. THE FAMILY REINFORCEMENT ACT: Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption, strengthening rights of parents in their children's education, stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in American society.

5. THE AMERICAN DREAM RESTORATION ACT: A S500 per child tax credit, begin repeal of the marriage tax penalty, and creation of American Dream Savings Accounts to provide middle class tax relief.

6. THE NATIONAL SECURITY RESTORATION ACT: No U.S. troops under U.N. command and restoration of the essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen our national defense and maintain our credibility around the world.

7. THE SENIOR CITIZENS FAIRNESS ACT: Raise the Social Security earnings limit which currently forces seniors out of the work force, repeal the 1993 tax hikes on Social Security benefits and provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let Older Americans keep more of what they have earned over the years.

8. THE JOB CREATION AND WAGE ENHANCEMENT ACT: Small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis, strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.

9. THE COMMON SENSE LEGAL REFORM ACT: "Loser pays" laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages and reform of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of litigation.

10. THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE ACT: A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.

Further, we will instruct the House Budget Committee to report to the floor and we will work to enact additional budget savings, beyond the budget cuts specifically included in the legislation described above, to ensure that the Federal budget deficit will be less than it would have been without the enactment of these bills.

Respecting the judgment of our fellow citizens as we seek their mandate for reform, we hereby pledge our names to this Contract with America.

Photo of George and George fishing in 'Nawlins'  during Katrina.  With smiles on their faces, Sr. holds the rod and Jr. holds the fish on a boat, while African Americans, in the background, wade through the flooded streets. (Spoof)

THEY Took Your Jobs
THEY Took Your Homes
THEY Took Your Money
THEY Started Illegal Wars
THEY Destroyed the Economy
THEY Put Martha Stewart & Tommy Chong In Jail

and... THEY
Held the Teachers Accountable!

This Little Piggie Went to Market

Alternative Article - (Feldman's investments in Halliburton (Deepwater Horizon) and Transocean Ltd. stock)

[Ed. Note: We interrupt this post to show how F'd Up Justice is. Here's a story [Man sentenced to three years in prison for abalone poaching] everybody should read and then ask themselves, "How many F'n Corporate Criminals (Telecom, Oil, Government) have gone to jail?" I think you'll find the answer is NONE; thus proving, Alberto Gonzales turned Justice into a cheap whore! - Justice is not blind, Justice turns a head for corporate money. - Dahbud]

[Republican] Judge in oil-drilling case protects oil companies -- and his own investments

7:22 am June 23, 2010, by ctucker

Joined by the Sierra Club, the Obama administration will appeal a decision by a New Orleans judge blocking the moratorium on oil drilling.

While the original legal brief may have been hastily put together, the Interior Department has more than enough reasons to justify its decision to suspend all deep-water drilling for six months, including this: In recent Congressional testimony, the executives of several major oil companies admitted that all of them had used the same consultant to assemble disaster plans just like BPs, which listed a dead scientist as an emergency contact. If BP’s emergency response plan didn’t work . . .

The administration also has ample reason to ask Judge Martin Feldman to recuse himself. From the NYT:

Groups supporting the moratorium quickly took aim on Tuesday at the judge, who was appointed to the federal bench in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan. Disclosure forms from 2008 obtained by the group Judicial Watch show that Feldman has invested in companies involved in offshore oil and gas exploration, including deep-water rig owner Transocean, shallow-water drillers Hercules and Rowan, and international rig and tool provider Parker Drilling. The investments were as much as $15,000 each, according to the forms.

But the amounts really don’t matter. A journalist/law school friend sent me the following:

The rules on judicial disqualifications are clear.

Judge Margaret McKeown recently explained the issue to Congress. “Even owning a single share of stock in a party mandates recusal,” McKeown told the House Judiciary Committee last year.

Unfortunately for the courts and the claimants before them, the oil and gas industry has deeply insinuated itself into the lives and financial portfolios of people along the Gulf Coast. It would be difficult to find a judge who wouldn’t need to recuse himself/herself, according to AP:

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, an Associated Press analysis of judicial financial disclosure reports shows.

Thirty-seven of the 64 active or senior judges in key Gulf Coast districts in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida have links to oil, gas and related energy industries, including some who own stocks or bonds in BP PLC, Halliburton or Transocean — and others who regularly list receiving royalties from oil and gas production wells, according to the reports judges must file each year. The AP reviewed 2008 disclosure forms, the most recent available.

Because oil is so important to Louisiana’s economy, Gov. Bobby Jindal has urged Obama not to appeal the decision, even as he berates the president for failing to respond to the spill quickly enough. Jindal is playing politics, but I feel sorry for the workers whose paychecks are imperiled by the moratorium. Still, given the eleven lives that were lost when the Deepwater Horizon exploded and given the extensive ongoing damage to the Gulf of Mexico and the coasts of several states, it’s imperative to make sure that other rigs are as safe as possible before deepwater drilling, which is inherently dangerous, resumes.

It would be irresponsible for President Obama to lift the ban too soon.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Read: Alternative Article

US blows hot, blows cold over Pak-Iran gas pipeline

THE US is apparently using the Pak-Iran gas pipeline deal also as leverage against both Pakistan and Iran and part of its carrot and stick policy. Mr. Holbrooke, President Obama’s special envoy to the region, who is currently visiting Islamabad, told journalists on Saturday that the US had no objection to Pakistan getting natural gas from Iran since it was facing an acute energy crisis. The observation was received with mixed feelings since the energy-starved people of Pakistan’s predicament has been no secret nor has this affliction struck Pakistanis suddenly; then how come the US, which has been indicating its disapproval of the deal and has even managed to convince its new paramour in the region, India to renege on the deal, now express “no objection”. Indeed a number of Pakistanis were relieved at the US tacit approval of the deal, but the thinking ones and those with a penchant for the conspiracy theory were wondering what could possibly have induced Washington to drop its opposition to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. After all, neither the fact of the power shortage, that has been crippling the whole gamut of our life for nearly three years, was hidden from it nor has the reason of its opposition to the pipeline project vanished. The Daily Mail still remembers the intense arm twisting and wrangling on the part of USA over the deal and in return, the snubs it received from the US, whenever Pakistan raised the question of a civil nuclear energy deal like the 123 deal between US and India. Pakistan’s requests were rebuffed by USA, sometimes by raising the spectre of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan’s network and others by flogging the dead horse of nuclear proliferation.

However, the pleasure and satisfaction of the sanguine group in Pakistan was short lived as the very next day, Sunday, Richard Holbrooke flip-flopped and reminded Pakistan that Iran was under sanctions and this could affect the Pak-Iran gas pipeline deal. The Daily Mail is wondering what changed overnight for Mr. Holbrooke to recant his earlier statement. Did he receive fresh “advice” from Washington or did sweetheart New Delhi whisper sweet nothings in Mr. Holbrooke’s ear for pressurizing Pakistan. Pakistanis too are an emotional bunch. In one moment they are at the top of the world that “US has no objections” and the next their hopes are dashed by Mr. Holbrooke that “We cautioned the Pakistanis not to over-commit themselves until we know the legislation (that was under preparation in the US). (and that it could be) comprehensive.”

The Daily Mail believes that pragmatism should have prevailed because the sanctions against Iran were imposed prior to Mr. Holbrooke’s visit and if anything, the sanctions would have intensified the pressure on both Pakistan and Iran. Richard Holbrooke of course is a suave diplomat and does not get stabbed by pangs of conscience that one day he raises the hopes of Pakistanis and the next he dashes them. He does it ever so deftly that both Machiavelli and Chanakya would have been proud of their able disciple.

The Daily Mail is appreciative of Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman’s statement that “the UN resolution does not stop Pakistan from carrying on with the gas pipeline project because both China and Russia ensured that Iran’s energy sector, including gas and oil, is not targeted when UN resolution 1929 was passed by the UNSC. The scope of the resolution is limited.” Spokesman Abdul Basit also was being diplomatic, while setting aside Holbrook’s twisting remarks said that the gas deal would not be affected and Pakistan would go ahead with the deal to meet its energy needs since the oil and gas sectors were not a part of UN sanction over Iran. However, he said that the sanctions imposed on Iran were imposed by the Security Council, and that Pakistan would respect the sanctions. Of course the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project has become a new whip in the hands of the US to lash both Iran and Pakistan if the need arises. Iran, which has so far borne all pressures gracefully may not be affected, but it is Pakistan that has to show spine.


Afghanistan war chief's resignation was forced by US president for remarks in Rolling Stone magazine
Barack Obama and Stanley McChrystal are standing in the White House Oval Office and Stanley is saying, I'M SORRY, LET ME REPHRASE: WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM BIGEARS, SIR? a cartoon by Steve Bell at The Guardian UK
Steve Bell on Barack Obama and Stanley McChrystal -, 24 June 2010 01.15 BST

[Ed. Note: For X,Y,Z Generations - During the 1960s there was an awareness of how things 'could be' in the future because of 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov; which, (imo) are great vacation reading and most of them are available on-line. One more thing. In the past, before most of you were born, all of Corporate Media presented reports on how the war in Afghanistan would be, and was, the downfall of the Soviet Union, which drove them into poverty, and eventually into Russia. Nobody, today, in corporate media, has brought this up and all one has to do is look at the Ted Rall cartoon, below, and notice we're fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan so the F'n Oil Companies can build an Oil Pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Port of Karachi - Dahbud - P.S. I added an animation at the bottom of the page and it is not work safe]

Did BP Cheney Deliberately Cause the Oil Spill to Cripple Obama?

Diary Entry by Karen Fish, at

Was the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico an accident, an act of negligence or intentional, planned and deliberate?

During the Democratic debates, Senator Mike Gravel said to Hillary Clinton, "Hillary, why did you stay with that schmuck? You know full well that the Congress is owned lock, stock and barrel by the military industrial complex." Today the oil industry is telling us that the pelicans are adapting quite well to the oil.

Camelot died on Friday, Nov. 22, 1963. The topic of who killed John F. Kennedy and why has been hotly debated for 47 years. If anything it testifies to the obsessive compulsive nature of human beings.

Replace the word environmentalist with antipoisoner. The motto at Antipoisoner International is "Antipoisoners, Stop the Poisoners." British Petroleum and Transocean and Halliburton have now poisoned the Gulf of Mexico with the oil spill and cancer causing corexit. The question is, was it an accident, was it a case of negligence, or was it intentional. If it was intentional, why did they do it?

The obvious answer is money. Halliburton is Dick Cheney's company and their motto is "Solutions for today's energy challenges." Halliburton's challenge is how to make more money. Our challenge is how to keep life on earth from going extinct at the hands of the poisoners, the oil companies, chemical companies and the nuclear bomb makers.

Adolf Hitler wrote his manifesto, "Mein Kampf." Dick Cheney, who controlled George Bush and ran the United States from 2000 to 2008 is a founding member of the Project for a New American Century, PNAC. The goal of the Project for a New American Century, PNAC is Global Domination by the United States of America. The goal of the neo cons is to own the world's oil and to make a fortune selling and burning it. This is the same goal as the goal of the oil companies. "Goooooooooaaallll! Gooooooooooooooooal! Gooooooaaal!"

In the PNAC Manifesto of Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Jeb Bush, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, "Rebuilding America's Defenses", written in 2000, in Section V, it says that the needed revolutionary change in America will take too long unless there is "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor", like a 9/11, like a Gulf of Mexico oil spill catastrophe, caused by Halliburton messing up the cement job, and BP ignoring their own people telling them that their own people had broken the well.

Dick Cheney and Tony Hayward both took "Lying 101" from the Prince of Lies. Cheney has gotten away with mass murder, torture, rape and pillaging with impunity and he's just warming up. Adolf Hitler was imprisoned before making a comeback and almost becoming Emperor of the World.

Many Americans believe that 9/11 was orchestrated by Dick Cheney and PNAC. Everyone knows that Dick Cheney lied us into Iraq, sending Colin Powell to the UN with a fairy tale slide show and outing Valerie Plame. PNAC went to Iraq to get the oil and conquer the Middle East.

The goals of President Obama are the opposite of the goals of Halliburton and BP. President Obama is an antipoisoner who wants to switch the world from oil to wind and solar energy. Put simply, an end to burning oil is the end of BP and Halliburton. In addition, President Obama campaigned on a promise to bring in a windfall tax on vast oil company profits and end the congress controlling influence of oil companies and their lobbyists, glorified politician bribers. Now that the Cheney Supreme Court has given Oil Companies the right to make unlimited political contributions the oil companies can install whoever they like to run our country.

The media makes a fortune from oil company advertising, telling Americans that BP stands for green energy, beyond petroleum to wind and solar energy, and so they parrot every lie of the poisoners. The world has been turned upside down by the GOP and their ministry of propaganda. Black is white, day is night and up is down. Although BP and Cheney and PNAC and the GOP and Halliburton caused the oil spill, the volcano of oil, President Obama is the one being blamed by the media and he is plummeting in the polls. Cheney and BP will never cap the oil spill before the mid term elections. The oil spill is having its desired effect of getting rid of the Democratic Congress to Tonya Harding knee cap President Obama and his plans to leave Iraq, Afghanistan and switch us off of oil.

The GOP sees the writing on the wall and the Republican politicians and media are saying the most outlandish things now to curry favor and money and power and electoral victory from the oil companies. Sarah Palin's worst comments were not "drill baby drill, oh yah, oh baby, yah, oh yes!" Sarah Palin's worst comments were her repeated chantings that offshore drilling was environmentally friendly and safe. Now Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are saying that the oil spill was caused by the environmentalists, the antipoisoners, and the media reports this over and over and over until people don't know night from day. This oil spill has handed PNAC founder Jeb Bush or anyone Dick Cheney and BP choose the 2012 Presidency on a platter.

While he was the President, Dick Cheney set up a White House Council on Environmental Quality. Cheney made Phillip Cooney the head of it. Cheney ordered Phillip Cooney to edit the scientific research to say that burning oil was good for the environment by deleting every fact to the contrary. George Bush's oil company was financed by the Bin Laden family. After Phillip Cooney got caught when the memo was published by the New York Times, Phillip Cooney went to work for the PR department at Exxon Mobil.

The GOP see the writing on the wall. They know that Exxon Mobil and BP and Halliburton are staging another coup in the upcoming mid terms and in the 2012 Presidential Election. This is why Joe Barton espoused official GOP policy by apologizing to BP and Tony Hayward for President Obama asking BP for money to help clean up the oil spill. Joe Barton called President Obama a shakedown artist Al Capone. Privately Joe Barton, Sarah Palin and every member of the GOP got down on their knees and swallowed every last drop of oil from Tony Hayward's fire hose.

The liberal base does not remember that President Obama is up against a dead economy inherited from Dick Cheney, PNAC, Stanley McChrystal, Banksters, an entire Congress including his own party members bought and paid for by BP and Exxon Mobil, the filibuster rule, the Supreme Court of the United States, deep seated white racism, and still President Obama was able to avert a depression and become the first President to bring in Health Coverage for the poor, Financial Reform, and next a switch to clean energy, which the liberal base will never allow because in their attacks on Barack Obama they are bringing back a GOP congress and President Dick Cheney to poison more water, earth and air, and fatten the purses of the warmongers in quagmire after quagmire.


[Ed. Note: Dick Cheney is a war criminal who got away with murdering and maiming "expendable" (a word he used) U.S. Military during two illegal Iraq wars, with a Bush in command. Did you know 2/3 of the Military who served during the first Iraq War have severe health problems that corporate media keep a lid on and over 1/3 of the Homeless are Vietnam Veterans with Honorable Discharges? This is how criminal politicians, talk the talk, when they have never 'walked the walk'. Maybe Cheney should do "the honorable thing" (Seppuku); but then again, he is a chickenhawk coward. Continue reading about Cheney's deferments on my page - Dahbud]

(The Coup's) Ride the Fence by Haik Hoisington - - NOT WORK SAFE

Stop the Bullshit, Else,

The State Department Is Infested With Communists

I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.

FBI's Russian spy ring claims are 'contradictory'
Updated Source:

Moscow says it is investigating the arrest by the FBI of 10 alleged Russian spies who were part of a 'deep cover' network

Chris McGreal in Washington and Luke Harding in Moscow,, Tuesday 29 June 2010 09.47 BST, Article history

FBI says Russian spies found living in suburban homes Link to this video

Russia today said it was investigating the arrest by the FBI of 10 alleged spies who were part of a "long term, deep cover" network of agents and spent years adopting American identities and gathering intelligence.

In its first reaction to the scandal, Russia's foreign ministry this morning described as "contradictory" FBI claims that the Russian spies had sought out sensitive information on nuclear weapons, the gold market and even personnel changes at the CIA.

"They have not explained anything to us. I hope they will do so. The moment when all this was done was chosen quite smartly," the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said at a news conference today, according to Interfax news agency. [snip]

Mossad’s modus operandi exposed
-- from art students to kiosk operators

By Wayne Madsen, Online Journal Contributing Writer, Jan 8, 2009, 00:24

(WMR) -- On December 19, 2008, WMR reported on the 9/11-related activities of an Israeli “art student” in the United States. The art students were suspected by federal law enforcement and U.S. intelligence agencies of being Israeli spies.

WMR reported that a ”female Israeli ‘art student’ who lived on an Israeli kibbutz for a year and who is also a British national, told our source in London that in the weeks prior to 9/11 she was ‘selling art in Washington [DC]. Before her arrival in Washington, the Israeli art student said she was in the San Francisco Bay Area attending college as an “art student” but denied selling any art while in the Bay Area. She also said she spent some time in South Carolina prior to 9/11. A leaked Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report on the activities of Israeli art students prior to 9/11 revealed that female Israeli art students were active in Palo Alto and Fresno. The British-Israeli art student said that on the morning of 9/11 she was standing outside the Pentagon. She admitted she never saw a plane hit the building but saw a huge ‘hole’ in the building after an explosion. The art student also said that she was in Times Square in New York the next day, September 12, attending a memorial service for the 9/11 victims. She said she had a ticket to fly out of New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on September 12 but that because commercial planes were grounded she had to find another way to leave the country. The art student sad she ‘had to get out’ of the United States because she did not have a proper visa to continue working in the United States. She said she left the United States over the Canadian border. When quizzed why she left so quickly after 9/11, the art student replied that she ‘had to leave cause the United States Government thought Israelis had something to do with 9/11.’”

WMR has learned that the one-time Israeli art student who was active in selling art in the months preceding 9/11 and was outside the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11 is now operating two market kiosks in London that primarily sell women’s handbags. They are situated in Notting Hill and Camden in two neighborhoods where a number of people from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Arab countries reside.

On December 31, 2008, two Israelis who worked in a hair products kiosk at the Rosengaard Mall in Odense, Denmark, on the island of Funen, were shot and slightly wounded by a Danish assailant who was born in Lebanon and was of Palestinian origin. One of the Israelis owned the kiosk, which sold Dead Sea hair and skin care products, a usual front for Israeli intelligence operations. Apparently, the Israelis’ activities had caught the attention of Middle Eastern youth in Odense days before the shooting and the two Israelis had been harassed. The Danish Security and Intelligence Service was reported to have been notified about the incident by Odense police. The two Israelis, in their 20s, had only been in Denmark for about a week.

Israeli charge d’affaires Dan Oryan said it was disturbing that the two Israelis were targeted merely because they were Israelis. Oryan’s reaction is in keeping with other Israeli denials and obfuscation that their young nationals are engaged in intelligence operations while masquerading as art students, mall kiosk vendors, and moving company employees.

The National Security Agency (NSA) and other U.S. intelligence agencies have warned that Israeli mall kiosks are suspected Israeli intelligence fronts. However, in bust after bust, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau of the Homeland Security Department, headed by Israeli agent-of-influence Michael Chertoff, merely deports Israelis who work illegally on tourist visas. No Israelis are ever charged with espionage or other major crimes in a trial.

Israeli national Ohad Cohen entered the United States multiple times in 2004 to manage kiosks and supervise other Israelis, all working in the United States illegally, at Oakview Mall in Omaha and Gateway Westfield Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nine Israelis were arrested and all were deported without a trial. Cohen was forced to forfeit over $35,000 he made from kiosk sales in Nebraska.

In December 2004, the FBI and ICE arrested 15 Israelis at various Minnesota mall kiosks for selling illegally copied electronic games software. Yonatan Cohen was charged with illegal copyright violations. Also in 1994, ICE agents arrested three Israelis working at a mall kiosk in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Grand Forks and Omaha are home to major Air Force bases.

On October 31, 2001, nine Israelis were arrested by Immigration and Naturalization Service agents while working at a Toledo, Ohio, area mall kiosk selling Israeli toy helicopters called “Zoom Copters.” Seven Israelis were released but two, Yaniv Hani and Oren Behr, were deemed “special interest” cases in a federal law enforcement probe of terrorism activities and the 9/11 attack. Hani and Behr told the Associated Press that FBI agents asked them if they were spies for the Israeli government. FBI agents also asked the Israelis detailed questions about their Israeli military service.

Mark Regev, then a spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in Washington and now a shill for the government of Israel in Jerusalem, denied that any Israelis arrested in the United States were espionage agents.

After 9/11, some 30 Israelis were arrested in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia, Missouri, for being in the United States illegally. Other Israeli kiosk workers were detained in California. The Israelis said they were hired by a Miami Beach-based company called Quality Sales to work at shopping mall kiosks in Missouri.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

John O'Neill
Head Investigator Of The USS Cole Attack - Assassinated

Albright and Bodine Panic as O’Neill Investigation Points to Israel - Albright complains to upper echelons of the FBI about O'Neill.

Bodine wanted O'Neill to drop his bodyguards and he became suspicious of Mossad assassination. Bodine and Madeleine Albright finally went to the Zionist Jewish FBI Director, Louis Freeh, to remove John O'Neill from Yemen.

Then January 2001 came, and O'Neill wanted to go back to Yemen. But, Ambassador Bodine wouldn't give him clearance. In July 2001, O’Neill resigned from the FBI.

On June 24th Judicial-Inc Was Shut Down Again

90% of Judicial-Inc is merely current news links, and the other 10% is just commentary on world events. Judicial's number of 'host-suspensions' may set a record for the most banned website on the internet. So you need to ask - why? Obviously the simple answer is some of the analysis is hitting too close to home. There are probably twenty other websites with the same format, and none of them have been touched. In addition to the internet harassment, the ADL has hired a stalker named Jacob Levy, and it's been made plain that this site will not reopen.

I have to suspect there will be a major event such as a nuke in an American city, followed by an attack on Iran, and this is followed by an economic implosion.

BP Swim Warning
Photo gallery
: Ripple effects of the BP oil spill



U.S. corporate media are constantly accused of lying for their government by everyone; including foreign governments.

Oh, you silly people, of course we lie. In this way we can keep the people unbalanced and always facing controversy, which is very helpful to us. Have you not seen the talk show spectacles on FOX?

Some of you believe we are the liberals and the good people are the conservatives. In reality, both serve our purposes. Each camp merely serves with the stamp of our approval, but they are not allowed to present real issues.

For example, consider BP's Oil Spill. By creating controversy on all levels, no one knows what to do. So, in all of this confusion, we go ahead and accomplish what we want with no hindrance. If fact, we teach this within a fraternity in one of your nation's older universities. - continue

[Note: A new, insidious, cookie has appeared and this one is more nasty than the previous one. Rather than get into 'what the cookie does,' due to legalese, I will share with you, HOW TO LOCATE and ELIMINATE IT, because your Browser is not equipped to deal with it and OS makes no difference. - Click Here for the Fix and please bookmark the site, and do this on, at least, a weekly basis ~@~]


Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten. - Cree Prophecy

Artist, John Flores

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear. So the man yelled "God, speak to me" and the thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you" and a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice. And the man shouted, "God show me a miracle" and a life was born. But the man did not know. So the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are there" Whereupon God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Somebody is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way you expect.