Unnamed officials from two different US government agencies have told CNN that the Pentagon is looking at possible Iranian ties to a "brazen attack" on a meeting in Karbala which left five American troops dead.
As reported here previously, the attackers wore American combat fatigues, drove black GM Suburbans, carried American weapons and spoke English. The attack was bold and swift, obviously carefully planned and well rehearsed.
According to CNN, Pentagon officials are looking at whether the attack was "carried out by Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives". CNN adds:
Both officials [...] agreed this possibility is being looked at because of the sophistication of the attack and the level of coordination.
WinterPatriot: Well forgive me for asking, but... Since when have Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives been known for their "sophistication of attack" or "level of coordination"? Have Iranians or Iranian-trained operatives ever conducted an attack which was notable for its "sophistication of attack" or its "level of coordination"?
--- Ahem, forgive me for answering but … research SAVAK (CIA/Mossad trained) and VEVAK (new and improved savak). The 1980s Operation Undeniable Victory was pretty coordinated. Were Iranian operatives behind the "angry young mob of Iranian students" who took American hostages in 1979?
Perhaps Iran's intel is so sophisticated one doesn't know when, what, or where it attacks. No worldwide broadcast of bungled raids, no blundered foreign coup attempts, no Plamed book deals, no botched rescue or faked rescue news. Wouldn't that make the CIA and Mossad drool; the former student outsmarts the teachers? Unless of course we're supposed to know about our own national bungling, blundering, and botching ...
I don't know with certainty who is behind the Karbala attack, but don't underestimate Iranian intel - and/or any other unnamed companies/countries - involved in operations in Iraq. I do know BushCo, CIA/Mossad are not the only actors on the Middle East stage.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Jan 30, 2007 — WASHINGTON - "Full Senate approval is now possible because Democrats agreed to Republican demands to include tax cuts for small businesses to help cover the cost of raising the minimum wage over two years to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour."
Dec 30, 2005 — KAB Ministry of Wages - "So Bubba, when you finally get that minimum raise to $6 or $7-sumpin' sumpin' you can thank the moral thinking Democrat pols for lifting you up "just to be at the poverty level" - it's only fair."
Posted by Kate-A at 5:09 PM
Washington: The navy admiral poised to take command of U.S. forces in the Middle East warned Tuesday that "time is short" to change the course in Iraq, but he said that this still might be achieved through a "more realistic" approach combining intense political and economic efforts with military persistence. Admiral William Fallon also bluntly told the Senate Armed Services Committee, at a confirmation hearing, that "what we've been doing is not working." It was time to "redefine the goals" in Iraq, he said.
(We need help.)
This Congress was never meant to be a rubber stamp,' Sen. Barbara Boxer told her colleagues last week. 'Read the Constitution. The Congress has the power to declare war. And on multiple occasions, we used our power to end conflicts.' Boxer has proposed a bill that would call for troops to come home in 180 days, allowing a minimum number to say behind to hunt down terrorists and train Iraqi security forces.
(New congress, new rubberstamp.)
General Ban Ki Moon: Ban's initiative comes just months after the United Nations' top U.S. official, Christopher Burnham, stepped down as the head of its management department. The Bush administration has agreed to relinquish that post -- which an American has headed for 15 years -- in the hopes of securing the top post in the growing Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which oversees 100,00 peacekeepers and has an annual budget of nearly $5 billion.
(Peacekeeping department or "nation building" under the UN.)
Dennis Kucinich offers plan to end war: Key to Kucinich's plan is the use of the United Nations in developing an international security and peacekeeping force, managing Iraq's oil assets and helping reconstruct the country - with the U.S. contributing financially.
(Same old, same old, Euro/US bashes in the door, then pay "peacekeeping" troops to mop up.)
The reichwing will rule the world and make ya believe it's radically progressive.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:16 PM
Sunday, January 28, 2007
I, more than or as much as anyone, am against war, and regular readers know I believe all wars are planned and managed by TPTB to their benefit. I have had a blood stake in every war this country has ever had and have been against every war this country has had. So with that in mind, I ask fellow anti-war folks the following:
If US troops are brought home, I say brought home, not "redeployed" to take chaos into neighboring States of the Middle East, but H-O-M-E, what do you believe will occur in Iraq?
Will the US puppet Shia government collapse? And if it does, would chaos continue and who, if anyone, will step in to "bring peace" to the internal affairs of Iraq? Would it be Iran? Saudi? Russia? China? The US return bigger and badder? All of the above? Or no one?
Optimistically, if the US withdraws, and if the current Shiite dominated government does not collapse and the sects in Iraq manage to form a peace pact of sorts and begin rebuilding their country, who will infuse Iraq with sufficient funds to rebuild/maintain the oil fields which the US currently guards? (Notice we rarely hear of oil fields being destroyed.) Will it be Russia, China, Iran, India, Saudi, US, all of the above?
Remember, it's going to take a few years for Iraq to rebuild and begin marketing oil at the level the world market needs. Perhaps if the US withdraws from the ME a united Iraq will forgive and deal fairly to meet US energy needs? Or will the US consumer be buying Iraqi oil through a third or fourth nation-state?
Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Sarandon and Fonda can afford $10 per gallon at the pump, can you? They can HVAC their mansions, villas, NY apartments, ranches, regardless what price energy, can you? I doubt the steaks and salad they eat are trucked to Wal-mart, are yours?
Rather than walking away from the mess which US "leaders" and their spoiled congressional children have created, would not demanding the billion$ being pilfered by profiteers be better spent on providing water, energy, food and housing, security to the Iraqi people? A population safe, with sufficient simple comforts, food/shelter, jobs, are less inclined to wage guerrilla war.
Is it possible that perhaps the stage-managed anti-war movement is supposed to "win" - so that in the end the profiteers make even bigger profits with the excuse of being forced to make less than favorable energy deals through unfriendly States?
As I recall, right around the end of the Vietnam War there was an energy crisis, the beginning of cultural decline, urban decay, the cost of living rose dramatically, manufacturing left the country, greed became good, and the majority of America decided status quo was okay – don't worry - be fat, dumb, and happy.
Sometimes I suspect "we the people's" position is not what's best for all concerned, but nothing more than MSM feeding the public its pablum, telling folks the flavor package says "grassroots movement" - but made and marketed by TPTB Propaganda, Inc.
You know how the pundits love to cry "crisis." If we achieve the goal of "end the war now" and eventually it will have an ending of some sort, I expect the coming crisis with the next staged "peace" will be a doozy. But I'm ready, are you?
Posted by Kate-A at 11:28 AM
Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say that at night he didn’t do anything but cry.
They say he didn’t eat and didn’t do anything but drink.
They swear that heaven shuddered when it heard his cry,
How he suffered for her, calling out to her even as he died.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he sang.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he wept.
Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, he sang.
As he died of mortal passion.
That a sad dove came that morning to sing to him,
To the small house with its windows open wide.
They swear that the dove is nothing less than his soul,
That is still waiting for her to come back, her, the unfortunate.
Cucurrucucú, don’t cry.
The stones never do, dove,
What do they know of love?
Posted by Kate-A at 9:27 AM
Friday, January 26, 2007
Highlights from a report by the Pew Center and People & the Press. It's fairly safe to assume the majority of respondents were white middle America, overall optimistic, ages 18-25.
They are the "Look at Me" generation. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and MyYearbook allow individuals to post a personal profile complete with photos and descriptions of interests and hobbies. A majority of Gen Nexters have used one of these social networking sites, and more than four-in-ten have created a personal profile.
About half of Gen Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.
Beyond these social issues, their views defy easy categorization. For example, Generation Next is less critical of government regulation of business but also less critical of business itself. And they are the most likely of any generation to support privatization of the Social Security system.
They maintain close contact with parents and family. Roughly eight-in-ten say they talked to their parents in the past day. Nearly three-in-four see their parents at least once a week, and half say they see their parents daily. One reason: money. About three-quarters of Gen Nexters say their parents have helped them financially in the past year.
They are somewhat more interested in keeping up with politics and national affairs than were young people a generation ago. Still, only a third say they follow what's going on in government and public affairs "most of the time."
In Pew surveys in 2006, nearly half of young people (48%) identified more with the Democratic Party, while just 35% affiliated more with the GOP. This makes Generation Next the least Republican generation. (Rut-ro, here comes Hillary and Johnny Reid)
Voter turnout among young people increased significantly between 2000 and 2004, interrupting a decades-long decline in turnout among the young. Nonetheless, most members of Generation Next feel removed from the political process.
They are significantly less cynical about government and political leaders than are other Americans or the previous generation of young people. A majority of Americans agree with the statement: "When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful," but most Generation Nexters reject this idea.
They are more comfortable with globalization and new ways of doing work. They are the most likely of any age group to say that automation, the outsourcing of jobs, and the growing number of immigrants have helped and not hurt American workers.
Asked about the life goals of those in their age group, most Gen Nexters say their generation's top goals are fortune and fame. Roughly eight-in-ten say people in their generation think getting rich is either the most important, or second most important, goal in their lives. About half say that becoming famous also is valued highly by fellow Gen Nexters.
------- In the .pdf the report also states that job/career is of concern to GenNext who feel their opportunities are less than previous generations. I guess their inability to connect big business, outsourcing and immigration to their own fate is a real brainteaser.
The report states respondents overwhelmingly claimed to hold "traditional family values" which conflicts somewhat with the liberalism of their views on homosexuality, sexual freedom, gay marriage, etc.
Sadly, GenNexters also report little concern (2%) regarding the War in Iraq. The old no-draft me no giveashit syndrome.
But whatever their social liberalism – GenNexters are well-groomed for the new world with benign views toward government and business, feeling removed from the political process, placing fame and fortune of utmost importance, as real world problems are not fun; which by the way when asked what word best describes their generation "fun" was one of the top descriptors.
Approximately 83-93 percent, or 8 to 9 out of 10, are satisfied with their parental relationships, housing situation, standard of living, and amount of leisure time at their disposal. Damn, sounds as though they still live at home with mom and dad.
Of course, youth should be "fun" and each generation of Americans seem to have more "fun." Apparently GenNexters are quite content with the world as is.
By the time GenNext realizes fortune and fame dropped to the bottom of their "to do" list - they will be disgruntled disoriented cogsters, living in a hut full of toys on a global service kibbutz with pisspot poor funds from the privatized Social Security accounts they begged for; their gray heads clamoring "look at me, look at me" on MyOldSpace.
(KAB generally does not think highly of public opinion polls, surveys, peew reports, etc. believing such services, more often than not, aid in manufacturing opinion rather than reflect it, but maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.)
Posted by Kate-A at 10:57 AM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
FYI – sneaky. Wesley Clark likes it:
General Clark's Strategy for Mobilizing the Citizenry in a Time of Need:
For all the talk of service and sacrifice by the President over the past two years, we are no more prepared today to mobilize the citizenry in the event of another attack than we were on September 10, 2001. General Clark's job stimulus plan provides additional funds to train first responders like firefighters and police. But in times of crisis or urgent need, professional first responders are not enough. General Clark's Civilian Reserve proposal enables us to draw on the vast array of skills and the ingenuity of ordinary Americans without creating a new bureaucracy.
Creating a 21st Century Civilian Reserve for 21st Century Challenges. General Clark challenges all Americans, men and women, to sign up for the Civilian Reserve. By signing up for the Civilian Reserve, volunteers promise to make a sacrifice for their country, when and where needed. In exchange, members of the Civilian Reserve would know that their unique talents and abilities were being effectively mobilized.
Calling Americans to Service in Times of Need. The changing threats and issues that face our country require a new and innovative approach to mobilizing the citizenry in times of need. The Civilian Reserve offers a flexible approach. Volunteers will match their skills with the needs of specific crises, such as local communities in times of natural disaster, cities hit by terrorist attack, or famine-stricken countries.
…. Crisis urgent need skills sacrifice for country when and where needed, (or other "famine-stricken" countries, i.e. the 1991 humanitarian relief operation in Mogadishu), mobilized volunteers, aka the "left's" version of service to the State. A challenge from the General himself - to sign up. Sounds good huh? and "flexible."
Posted by Kate-A at 11:27 AM
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
MIAMI - Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, imprisoned on international drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges since 1990, will be released from prison on Sept. 9 - thanks to good behavior and other credits.
Noriega, who was toppled by a massive U.S. invasion in late 1989, was automatically eligible for parole after serving about two-thirds of his 30-year federal sentence.
U.S. authorities have no desire to keep him here after he's released, but when Noriega, 72, steps out of his apartment-like cell at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Southwest Miami-Dade County, he probably won't end up a free man. Both Panama and France want him on criminal charges.
Noriega was once considered one of the United States' closest allies in Central America. A former head of Panama's intelligence service, he was a paid informant for the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming the head of Panama's national guard, which he renamed the Panamanian Defense Force in 1983.
--- As early as 1972, reports of Noriega's drug trafficking irked the DEA, and the State Department complained of his dealings with other intelligence services, notably those of Israel and Cuba. Don't worry, said the CIA-he's our boy. In 1976, Noriega paid a visit to CIA Director George Bush in Washington. Bush's successor was less comfortable with Noriega and took him off the CIA payroll, but when Bush became vice-president in 1980, Noriega went back on, with a six-figure annual salary.
--- --- Hmmm. "Noriega used the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) as a means to launder his wealth. His personal banker, Amjad Awan, was a senior manager at BCCI, and then moved on to setup his own securities trading firm. Ultimately, BCCI's collapse was in part because of Noriega's laundering activities."
For those too young to remember BCCI was aka the Bank of Crooks & Criminals International.
The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was a major international bank founded in Pakistan in 1972. At its peak, it operated in 78 countries, had over 400 branches, and claimed assets of $25 billion.
BCCI became the focus in 1991 of the world's worst financial scandal ... found by regulators in the United States and the United Kingdom to be involved in money laundering, bribery, support of terrorism, arms trafficking, the sale of nuclear technologies, the commission and facilitation of tax evasion, smuggling, illegal immigration, and the illicit purchases of banks and real estate.
Noriega was so active in banking he contributed to the collapse of BCCI. Where did all that laundry go?
Drugs, guns, human smuggling/trafficking, nuke tech sales, terrorism - it's enough to make any billionaire shy away from past connections to Panama.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:41 PM
Jan 11, IRNA The US troops in Iraq attacked Iran's representative office in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on Thursday morning.
Based on reliable sources, the American forces disarmed the guard of Iran's representative office around 5:00 am and then broke the door and entered into the building.
Upon entering the office, they arrested five employees, smashed the furniture and took away the detainees along with some computers and administrative documents to an unidentified destination without making any explanation.
BAGHDAD, Jan 23— An Iranian diplomat on Tuesday denied Arab media reports that the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad had been besieged by U.S. forces, saying witnesses had mistaken the heavy security provided for a visiting U.N. envoy for a raid.
The denial came quickly after Arab media, citing witnesses, reported that U.S. and Iraqi troops had entered the embassy building twice and helicopters were flying low over the area.
The U.S. military also denied that its forces were involved.
"We have confirmation that there are no U.S. troops involved in anything going on at the Iranian Embassy," the military said in an e-mailed statement.
Iranian diplomat Abbas Otri told The Associated Press that the top U.N. envoy in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, had visited the embassy earlier Tuesday and witnesses appeared to have thought his guards were a force carrying out a raid in the embassy.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:31 AM
Monday, January 22, 2007
Spotted from a post at BreakForNews. From the War College archives, 1997, by Major Ralph Peters.
Information destroys traditional jobs and traditional cultures; it seduces, betrays, yet remains invulnerable. How can you counterattack the information others have turned upon you? There is no effective option other than competitive performance. For those individuals and cultures that cannot join or compete with our information empire, there is only inevitable failure (of note, the internet is to the techno-capable disaffected what the United Nations is to marginal states: it offers the illusion of empowerment and community). The attempt of the Iranian mullahs to secede from modernity has failed, although a turbaned corpse still stumbles about the neighborhood. Information, from the internet to rock videos, will not be contained, and fundamentalism cannot control its children. Our victims volunteer.
These noncompetitive cultures, such as that of Arabo-Persian Islam or the rejectionist segment of our own population, are enraged. Their cultures are under assault; their cherished values have proven dysfunctional, and the successful move on without them. The laid-off blue-collar worker in America and the Taliban militiaman in Afghanistan are brothers in suffering.
It is a truism that throughout much of the 20th century the income gap between top and bottom narrowed, whether we speak of individuals, countries, or in some cases continents. Further, individuals or countries could "make it" on sheer muscle power and the will to apply it. You could work harder than your neighbor and win in the marketplace. There was a rough justice in it, and it offered near-ecumenical hope. That model is dead. Today, there is a growing excess of muscle power in an age of labor-saving machines and methods. In our own country, we have seen blue-collar unions move from center stage to near-irrelevance. The trend will not reverse. At the same time, expectations have increased dramatically. There is a global sense of promises broken, of lies told. Individuals on much of the planet believe they have played by the rules laid down for them (in the breech, they often have not), only to find that some indefinite power has changed those rules overnight. The American who graduated from high school in the 1960s expected a good job that would allow his family security and reasonably increasing prosperity. For many such Americans, the world has collapsed, even as the media tease them with images of an ever-richer, brighter, fun world from which they are excluded. These discarded citizens sense that their government is no longer about them, but only about the privileged. Some seek the solace of explicit religion. Most remain law-abiding, hard-working citizens. Some do not.
…Secular and religious revolutionaries in our century have made the identical mistake, imagining that the workers of the world or the faithful just can't wait to go home at night to study Marx or the Koran. Well, Joe Sixpack, Ivan Tipichni, and Ali Quat would rather "Baywatch." America has figured it out, and we are brilliant at operationalizing our knowledge, and our cultural power will hinder even those cultures we do not undermine. There is no "peer competitor" in the cultural (or military) department. Our cultural empire has the addicted--men and women everywhere--clamoring for more. And they pay for the privilege of their disillusionment…
When we speak of a global information revolution, the effect of video images is more immediate and intense than that of computers. Image trumps text in the mass psyche, and computers remain a textual outgrowth, demanding high-order skills: computers demarcate the domain of the privileged. We use technology to expand our wealth, power, and opportunities. The rest get high on pop culture. If religion is the opium of the people, video is their crack cocaine. When we and they collide, they shock us with violence, but, statistically, we win…
There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing…
Culture is fate. Countries, clans, military services, and individual soldiers are products of their respective cultures, and they are either empowered or imprisoned. The majority of the world's inhabitants are prisoners of their cultures, and they will rage against inadequacies they cannot admit, cannot bear, and cannot escape. The current chest-thumping of some Asian leaders about the degeneracy, weakness, and vulnerability of American culture is reminiscent of nothing so much as of the ranting of Japanese militarists on the eve of the Pacific War. I do not suggest that any of those Asian leaders intend to attack us, only that they are wrong. Liberty always looks like weakness to those who fear it…
The next century will indeed be American, but it will also be troubled. We will find ourselves in constant conflict, much of it violent. The United States Army is going to add a lot of battle streamers to its flag. We will wage information warfare, but we will fight with infantry. And we will always surprise those critics, domestic and foreign, who predict our decline.
--- Written a decade ago. Maj. Peters is no Smedley Butler.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:02 PM
UNITED NATIONS Jan 2007 (AP)— The United States has drafted a U.N. resolution condemning the denial of the Holocaust, a spokesman said Monday, a month after Iran provoked widespread anger by holding a conference casting doubt on the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II.
--- Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference ... The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed -- would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper -- the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:56 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush will propose a tax deduction of $7,500 for individuals and $15,000 for families regardless of whether they buy their own health insurance or receive medical coverage at work.
The proposal, to be announced Tuesday in his State of the Union address, is aimed at giving the uninsured an incentive to purchase a medical plan. It also is designed to encourage those with generous plans to either embrace cheaper insurance or pay taxes on the part that exceeds the deduction, a Bush administration official familiar with the proposals said Saturday.
If passed by Congress, the proposal would be the first time that workers could get a tax break if they bought their own insurance.
But it also would be the first time that some employer-provided health care benefits could be taxed. Health care benefits provided by companies are currently exempt from income and payroll taxes.
--- GoozNews explains : "It's hard not to conclude that this plan was carefully designed to put another nail in the coffin of the employer-based health insurance system, and build upper-middle-class support for individual families purchasing their own plans and care. It has nothing to do with insuring the uninsured, since the benefits are far less than what is needed to effectively move them into the insurance pool."
(Goozner is author of The $800 Million Pill -- "Goozner contends that American taxpayers are in fact footing the bill twice: once by supporting government-funded research and again by paying astronomically high prices for prescription drugs. Goozner demonstrates that almost all the important new drugs of the past quarter-century actually originated from research at taxpayer-funded universities and at the National Institutes of Health.")
Posted by Kate-A at 3:39 PM
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. Jan 22, 2007 (AP)— Robert F. Tate, 64, of Greenwich, admitted possessing between 150 and 300 pornographic images of children, some engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Prosecutors said some children in the images were younger than 12 years old.
"Yes, your honor. I regret to say I did it," Tate told a federal judge.
Tate was the longtime music director of Christ Church in Greenwich, where former President George H.W. Bush attended while growing up. Funeral services for his parents, Prescott Bush Sr. and Dorothy Walker Bush, were held there.
At his last hearing in December, President Bush's aunt and other members of the church attended to support Tate.
Tate oversaw the church's renowned choir programs, including those involving children. Tate traveled with the choir for performances around the country and in Europe.
--- According to a November '06 NYT article (paid subscription) the church computer the porno was on disappeared. "At Christ Church in Greenwich, Conn., the whereabouts of a church computer said to have had pornographic images of prepubescent boys is now a mystery."
Posted by Kate-A at 12:06 PM
Friday, January 19, 2007
As unceremoniously as it unveiled, it was killed. In a two-page letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced the death of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the super-secret program authorized by the president to eavesdrop on phone calls and e-mails of Americans believed to be communicating with suspected terrorists.
For the past 13 months, since The New York Times broke the news that the program existed, the Bush Administration vehemently defended it. From the president on down, every official called it "critical," "vital," and "crucial to our national security." So what happened?
In one grand, but unceremonious move, the Bush administration thwarted the critics, saved itself from potentially nasty court battles over the program, and at the same time, ensured surveillance would continue.
--- Woohoo we won and all that ….
Posted by Kate-A at 1:34 PM
"Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, would require grassroots causes, even bloggers, who communicate to 500 or more members of the public on policy matters, to register and report quarterly to Congress the same as the big K Street lobbyists. Section 220 would amend existing lobbying reporting law by creating the most expansive intrusion on First Amendment rights ever. For the first time in history, critics of Congress will need to register and report with Congress itself.
"The bill would require reporting of 'paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying,' but defines 'paid' merely as communications to 500 or more members of the public, with no other qualifiers."
Even James Dobson considered Section 220 a “grave threat” and Focus on the Family launched its first-ever petition drive to oppose it.
The bill defined grassroots lobbying activity as a person engaging in "paid efforts" to encourage the "general public to communicate their own views on an issue to federal officials." That message would have to be sent to at least 500 individuals. The person would also have to spend or receive at least $25,000 related to his or her political efforts over any three-month period in order to trigger the registration requirements.
Mark Fitzgibbons, who runs the GrassrootsFreedom.com advocacy site that opposed Section 220, argued that would mean a political blogger who raised $25,000 to run a political advertisement in The New York Times would be forced to register with the government.
Latest - The U.S. Senate has rejected a proposal that may have required some political bloggers to register as lobbyists or face prison time.
Whew!! Dobson and I dodged another lobbying bullet.
Now that political blog-lobbers will not be forced to register paid efforts, please send KAB a quarterly $24,999 (just to be on the safe side) - so's KAB can run an anti-political something ad in the local paper (circ. 300) ... and "stimulate" my grassyroots.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:18 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
John Edwards: On Issues of Race, War and Poverty in America, Silence is Betrayal – And Dreaming is Not Enough. Pretty boy Johnny Reid Edwards begins stumping for the Black vote (as if the votes aren't already counted for 2008).
Johnny (real name) covers it all. War, inequality, poverty, minimum wage, health care, housing, education, and that old time favorite – Edwards famous term, the two Americas - the haves and have-nots - as if all the political lying puppets in government haven't contributed to the dumbing, numbing, dividing and povertization of the middle and working class, in earnest, for the past 4 decades.
Johnny on Katrina : We saw Americans, largely divided by race, abandoned by their own government; a vivid depiction of the need for serious change to improve the lives of people living in poverty in this country. … And still, today, the situation is terrible. We must continue to demand accountability and press government leaders to do what's necessary to get hurricane-ravaged areas back on their feet. We should all continue to work together to ensure that America fully responds to the wake-up call delivered on Katrina's wind.
"Serious change"… Hmmm now how often have we heard that?
Black America managed to survive slavery's holocaust, Jim Crowe, Great Depression, foreign wars, KKK, segregation, State abuse, the Civil Rights movement -- but still needs the government to pull our wet ass into a trailer and call it improvement, change? It's the government, here to help you boy, again. Somebody needs a wake-up call.
Johnny on wages : This week, the House of Representatives finally voted to raise the federal minimum from $5.15 per hour to $7.25, pulling millions of Americans closer to a living wage.
Pulling millions CLOSER to a living wage? Not a wage you can live on … but close.
Edwards : Dr. King’s call to service and to action couldn’t be more appropriate today. Edwards says waiting is not enough and dreaming is not enough. He says "to solve these problems we’ve all got to be willing to go out and get our own hands dirty. To solve these problems, we’ve got to act."
What is meant by service, action, go get dirty hands, Edwards doesn't say exactly, other than vague mention of helping one another (on minimum wage?) and lending a hand (after clocking out from your second job).
You can bet Johnny Reid doesn't mean lock arms with him and march on Washington, D.C. demanding accountability from politicians so corrupt the only color they $ee is green.
Posted by Kate-A at 6:21 PM
There is a woman in Somalia
Scraping for pearls on the roadside
There's a force stronger than nature
Keeps her will alive
This is how she's dying
She's dying to survive
Don't know what she's made of
I would like to be that brave
She cries to the heaven above
There is a stone in my heart
She lives a life she didn't choose
And it hurts like brand-new shoes
Hurts like brand-new shoes
There is a woman in Somalia
The sun gives her no mercy
The same sky we lay under
Burns her to the bone
Long as afternoon shadows
It's gonna take her to get home
Each grain carefully wrapped up
Pearls for her little girl
She cries to the heaven above
There is a stone in my heart
She lives in a world she didn't choose
And it hurts like brand-new shoes
Hurts like brand-new shoes.
By Your Side
Posted by Kate-A at 4:18 PM
(Foto Benon Sevan, really.)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Former executive director Benon Sevan, the highest ranking U.N. official to be charged in relation to the program (Oil for Food), and Ephraim Nadler, brother-in-law of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, were named in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday.
More than 2,300 companies have been investigated and some governments accused of having abused the $64 billion humanitarian program, which ran from 1996 until 2003."
---- Sevan, career UN diplomat since 1965. (What a pisser to have to take the slap on the wrist for all those involved over the years.)
Last I read Benny claimed his windfall cash came from his aunt. FT claimed "inquiries by investigators working for the US Congress are scrutinising statements by Mr Sevan that he received tens of thousands of dollars in cash annually from an aunt in Cyprus."
Inquiries by the FT suggest Mr Sevan's only close relative in Cyprus was an aunt who raised him after his parents' death. Unfortunately, auntie died after falling into an elevator shaft. Police, who declared her death an accident, never had a chance to interview her.
Note - Benny is accused of "abusing" the program, not rob, steal, thieve, poach, rustle, shoplift, pocket, purloin, swipe, etc.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:11 PM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Why I Oppose Troop Surge
Christopher Ruddy : The problem is not simply one of nation building. America has taken responsibility for a nation torn by ethnic and religious factions, notably divisions between Arabs and Kurds and between Sunnis and Shiites.
I gained insight into the situation in Iraq during a recent visit to London, where I chatted with respected businessman Nadhmi Auchi, president of Britain's Anglo-Arab Organisation."
--- What caught my attention in the above article was not only Mr. Billionaire Ouchie but that the article was bylined by Christopher Ruddy, bossman at Newsmax .
Newsmax, for those who don't know, is a ragmag favored by angry white people without a clue. It is listed under the Buzzflash heading of "WHITE HOUSE/GOP PROPAGANDA MISINFORMATION SOURCES, along with Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. That should give you some idea of its journalistic leanings.
Sourcewatch cites Newsmax' integrity as "The journalistic integrity of NewsMax.com is highly dubious, including attempts to hold news media outlets to higher standards when they fail to follow the same standard" from Terry Krepel's 2002 article Is NewsMax Corrupt?, yes, in an incompetent, John Gotti sort of way.
But what can ya expect from a questionable entity which reportedly received backing by rightwing billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife?
Ruddy's suggestion for Iraq : "… the United States should seek to create a multinational force or United Nations force that could replace American troops during a phased withdrawal, followed by the creation of a strong and secular military in Iraq, one with close ties to the United States and NATO. This has proven to be a successful model in Muslim Turkey, and would allow the United States to escape the Iraq quagmire, put Iraq on "the path to democracy" and concentrate on a potentially much greater threat: a militant Iran."
I guess chatting it up with Mr. Ouchie offered Ruddy ..... a number ...... of .... oh yea, "insights".
Will the typical Newsmax reader, conservative shortsighted white herd person, will he mimic the theme - put in the UN and concentrate on Iran - because he read it from Ruddy?
I'm on the edge of my seat, all ears and eyeballs with curious anticipation - will Newsrag Ruddy readers be so gullible? Is Newspox that influential on BushCo's man in the street? Do we want Bush concentrating on Iran?
Wonder how much journalists are selling for these days.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:53 AM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
U.N. Backs Deployment of Troops to Somalia
The U.N. Security Council said it backs the speedy deployment of African troops to Somalia and strongly urges a dialogue among all political players, in addition to the delivery of humanitarian aid to the country.
They favor speedy deployment of IGASOM," a new force to be set up by the African Union and a seven-nation regional group.
The rout of the Islamic movement that controlled most of Somalia for the past six months by Somali government troops and Ethiopian soldiers has allowed the country's weak U.N.-backed transitional government to enter the capital, Mogadishu, for the first time since it was established in 2004.
But U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern that U.S. airstrikes in southern Somalia _ which Washington said was aimed at fleeing al-Qaida terrorists _ could escalate hostilities and harm civilians. Some civilian casualties have been reported.
On Dec. 6, the Security Council authorized an African force to protect the transitional government against the Islamic Courts. The council also authorized the force to train Somali government troops, and lifted a U.N. arms embargo for the African troops.
IGASOM : The plan seems to envision deploying thousands of troops from regional countries across Somalia costing US$335 million for the first year, and seems predicated on the belief that international donors will fund it. Interestingly, IGASOM military planners also seem to assume that the mission will be deployed in a consensual environment.
--- The UN position is being driven by the US & Pals, manipulating/enabling Ethiopia and other regional powers, to install a client regime in Somalia, to create an ideal environment for Business in the oil-rich Horn of Africa. Or, while "expressing concern" and arming for "peace" the UN bends over for Business (see previous post).
Posted by Kate-A at 8:19 AM
NEW YORK Jan 10, 2007 (AP)— "Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said Wednesday the United Nations and the business community have the same objectives building strong economies, providing opportunities for people to earn a living, and ensuring that everyone can live in dignity."
KAB Interpretation : Joint operation to manage expenses and expansion, rice and bean wages for most workers worldwide.
"Even though business focuses on economic growth and profit while the United Nations works to promote peace and security, reduce poverty and ensure human rights, Ban said that "the United Nations and business need each other."
KAB Interpretation : The UN, a "peacekeeping" business, protects Business interests with the "peacekeeping" shield and Business focuses on profits, or business as usual.
"Ban told the Business Council for the United Nations and the Association for a Better New York in his first speech outside the U.N. since becoming secretary-general on Jan. 1 that business is increasingly aware of the "symbiotic relationship" between the U.N. and business."
KAB Interpretation : Symbiotic, i.e. intimate relationship, or - there's enough bribes, oil-for-food, child molesting, financial misconduct, graft, larceny, and palm grease for all the bigwigs in the "relationship".
"We need your innovation, your initiative, your technological prowess," he said. "But business also needs the United Nations. In a very real sense, the work of the United Nations can be viewed as seeking to create the ideal enabling environment within which business can thrive."
KAB Interpretation : UN will assure the "don't want to think about it" crowd that it's humanitarian to keep the restless natives calm so Business can thrive; "peacekeeping" troops create an ideal environment for prowessing.
U.N. efforts to maintain peace and eradicate poverty help stabilize the world economy and U.N. technical standards for aviation, shipping, telecommunications, trade, intellectual property rights and other areas are also critical to global economic operations, Ban said.
KAB Interpretation : Poverty is not being eradicated, it's the number of poor.
"Most important, Ban said, the values the U.N. advocates including freedom, justice and the peaceful resolution of disputes are the cornerstone of an interdependent world."
KAB Interpretation : When "disputes" cannot be resolved peacefully, and they never are, the UN passes a resolution, bends over, grabs its ankles, and gets re-solution by Business, then Business leaves a few dollars on the nightstand.
He noted that 3,000 businesses from more than 100 countries have signed the Global Compact, a voluntary agreement established in 2000 by the U.N. to promote human rights, good labor practices, environmental protection and anti-corruption standards for businesses. An unexpected benefit, Ban said, has been that the U.N. system is learning from working with businesses how to make its own operations more effective and efficient.
KAB Interpretation : Global Compact 2000, or - a world full of little worker people can now be more effectively and efficiently gangbanged.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:51 AM
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls will cost just over R5 million a month to maintain - but it will never "in the next 100 years be for one day a burden on the government of South Africa".
The R300-million school, for girls from poor backgrounds who show exceptional academic and leadership potential, opened to great fanfare in Henley-on-Klip, Gauteng, on Tuesday.
Academy chief operating officer John Samuel said this week that the queen of talk had committed herself to creating an endowment fund to ensure that the school operates for as long as it can. He said the academy was like a little community that needed a range of support services to run effectively, and "we are ensuring that the well-being of the girls, which is a prime consideration, is met".
"We have outsourced the catering, maintenance and security to a private company. This is because we wanted to make sure that the environment was secured for the girls, as we have taken that responsibility from their parents."
--- Five million Rand (ZAR) is around $693,000 USD. Over half a million a month running cost. Catering, maintenance, and security outsourced to an unnamed private company.
What does "private company" mean? I hope it's not Wackenhut Corp.
There are 2 full-time psychologists at the school and HIV testing, with parents' permission, meaning more or less mandatory.
From another article : Winfrey's academy offers a way out for the 152 girls, aged 11 to 12, who were selected from 3,500 applications across the country ... Eventually the academy will accommodate 450 girls. Many were interviewed by the celebrity, who was reported to have been moved by visits to some of the girls' homes, a reminder of her own poor beginnings.
"These girls deserve to be surrounded by beauty, and beauty does inspire," Winfrey told Newsweek. "I wanted this to be a place of honor for them because these girls have never been treated with kindness. They've never been told they are pretty or have wonderful dimples. I wanted to hear those things as a child."
--- Oprah cannot know that all "her girls" are kindness starved and compliment deprived, or was that one of the interview questions? Surely some had kind loving parents who inspired them or they would not have been among the 3500 applicants.
Oprah when asked why she chose Africa for the school, rather than a US inner-city, replied she was frustrated with America's urban youth, i.e. they didn't want to learn, they didn't appreciate "free" education, they just want iPods.
South Africa's "free education" for its 1 million Black school children is experiencing the same problems as the US "free education" system : Lack of facilities, books, etc., high level of violence and crime, high unwed teen pregnancy rates, joblessness … in fact a close look at South Africa and lawlessness and I'd rather walk alone at night in Southside Chicago than Johannesburg or Soweto.
Must be awful for Oprah – after givin' up on America's urban youth - havin' to go halfway 'round the world to handpick a hundred or so 12 y/o girls who know how to appreciate a swanky education in state of the art surroundings – minus the iPod of course.
Well, in truth ... not all that swanky - aside from the yoga studio, beauty salon, indoor and outdoor theaters - the bedsheets were only 200 thread-count, even Wal-mart has better.
Posted by Kate-A at 6:55 PM
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
From KansasCityStar : In a Najaf soccer stadium, troops from the Iraqi army, the police and other emergency units paraded for an hour before a reviewing stand filled with U.S. and Iraqi dignitaries.
Then, in what seems to have been the high point of the affair, the members of a commando unit gave a dramatic demonstration of their courage.
According to published accounts, each commando plucked a frog from his pocket, bit off its head and flung aside the twitching lower parts. Then their leader cut open a rabbit and passed it to the others to chew on its still-beating heart.
Bear in mind, these are U.S.-trained forces — elite members of the Iraqi military upon which the future of that country, if it has one, is said to depend.
---- Okay, who told these guys about Fear Factor, the All Gross Edition? Where young pretty athletic types eat live beetles, squirming worms, popping maggots, crawling spiders, fat juicy earthworms, or sheep uterus and sheep eyeballs, and get dunked in tanks of nasty liquids, bobbing in blood as this young thing :
SAIRA GOUVEIA: When I started putting the earplugs and the noseclips and the goggles on, I started getting very, very claustrophobic. You can't hear and you can't breathe through your nose and it was a terrible feeling. And I knew I wasn't going to be able to see anything in there. And when I stuck my head in that blood and I came out, I also found out that I couldn't really breathe through my mouth because it was so thick. It was terrible. Ugh.
FEAR FACTOR: What did the blood taste like? What was the smell like?
Sample FF Menu:
Milk the Goat
Worm & Roach Blender
Bobbing in Blood
Eat Horse Rectum
Slugs & Bile
Chitlins anyone? Cannibal sandwich?
Posted by Kate-A at 3:45 PM
Read this today regarding the US air strikes on Somalia. Aside from the fact that the US is again slaughtering the natives in the Anglo War of Terror disguised as the War on Terror, this remark caught my eye :
"The 32-year-old Fazul joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and trained there with Osama bin Laden, according to the transcript of an FBI interrogation of a known associate."
Hmmm… 32 years old. According to government issued facts on bin Laden, Osama went to Afghanistan in the mid 1980s to fight the Russians, chasing the Russians out of Afghanistan by 1989, at which time OBL, according to Infoplease, returned to SaudiArabia and worked in his family's construction business.
Which means Fazul age 32 in the above January 2006 article, would have "trained" with Osama in Afghanistan somewhere between 1985-89, at age …. 10, 11, 12 …? (Or using one of the FBI Most Wanted DOBs, 1972, Fazul could have been in training at the ripe old age of 13, 14, 15.)
Much could be read into that math, i.e. known associates being interrogated will say anything to get the electrodes removed. Or perhaps they meant Fazul joined up with OBL during another stint in Afghanistan, in 1994 when Osama was expelled from Saudi for anti-government activities - but no, wait, in 1994 bin Laden went to Sudan. In the mid 1990s Fazul was in Kenya, getting married to a local woman, and teaching school.
Hmmm maybe Fazul's age will be adjusted to better fit the scenario, maybe not. Maybe the guvmint wants to show Islamic boys could be terrorist members-in-training. And of course we've all seen footage of child soldiers with guns "over there". You just never know which little boy begging for water is your worst enemy.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:49 PM
Monday, January 08, 2007
Like yellow daffodils in a pasture of cowpies. "Former" agents, spies, intel masters, CIA officers, etc. Latest to cross the radar is Mr. Robert David Steele Vivas.
Another retired guvmint employee; i.e. overpaid, overtitled, and a minor cog in the big machine, willing to lead the little peeple with his insider experience and knowledge.
Mr. Bob, when not writing obtusely wordy and boring "papers" for his Masters and others, writes reviews for Amazon.com. He also has the website OSS.com (cute, is that after the original OSS of WWII, or does it stand for Open Source Shit?).
Steele pours Kool-Aid for those who like to think they refuse to drink the Kool-Aid. If you can spend the time on the OSS site there's talk of suitcase nukes, strike on Iran, wishing George Tenet well, serious articles on the fake Al Qaeda, etc. and the usual progressive/leftist barfbag of regurgeformation, i.e. intel bad/citizens good, current dem/rep regimes bad/former exspurts good. In OSS words "We *will* clean house." Or, this gem "This is about a wall to wall floor to ceiling purge and reconstitution of the entire national intelligence community writ large." (John Kennedy supposedly said it better .."smash the CIA into a thousand pieces".)
The OSS meme seems to be "all information in all languages all the time" and the world will be safe I guess. Steele/OSS has graphics/charts for those who need to have a picture drawn. And there's the PDB, "public daily brief." God, one could almost feel presidential.
OSS : "We respectfully encourage all IO professionals from all nations to communicate useful information to the editor of this newsletter. Alternatively, if there are other IO newsletters, in any language, we will gladly post pointers to them from this portal page. Sharing, not secrecy, is the operative principle now." No more secrets – wasn't there a movie with Robert Redford where the villain used that line of thought?
IO – information operations - professionals. Creating the world brain. Web based intelligence teams. Cap'n Decoder rings? Impotent ur… uh… important stuff. Another real spy come to help.
The site also claims to have 45 dictators willing to talk if we offer them comfortable sanctuary. I say we first clean out the "former" Latin American dictators and war criminal cronies we gave Miami comfy to already.
Steele describes himself as "... an estranged moderate Republican." (Comments section.) He's been popping up in the blogosphere more the past 6 months or so. Is strange … there are herds of republicans of late who have lost affection for their party, although I haven't actually met one, the blogosphere assures me they are all over the place, and willing ... nay eager, to bring down Bush. There was a mass epiphany - lifelong republican government employees awoke from their slumber.
Steele is a proponent of "international information sharing". Now that's a phrase to blanket your cover and warm your cockles. If you ask me, the Office of Strategery Services is still baa baa being served.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:58 PM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Monday, January 01, 2007
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he will not renew the licence for the country's second largest TV channel which he says expires in March 2007. In an address to troops, Mr Chavez said he would not tolerate media outlets working towards a coup against him. --- Insert "towards a coup" in the rhetoric and suppression is justifiable among most of America's "left".
Believe everything seen on YouTube, such as the really ridiculous video of the real Saddam being really hanged, and the real event being really captured on real video. Remember, the real show trial was a real sham and unjust and illegal. Make really clever remarks such as "it was a lynching" or "fallen tyrant murdered in revenge" or "Saddam was right/Bush was wrong" and really believe the phrases. (Could the real Osama be next?)
TV hosts and interviewers talk warmly and fondly to Angelina Jolie for being a major humantarian, giving 1/3 of her income to charity (note that's income not net worth; $3-4 million if she gets 10 million per movie, tax deductible). Praise her support of the UN body (now that she's no longer kissing and feeling up her brother's body). Obviously, her Billy Bob days are over since she's with the Pitt. Can anyone forget those award winning riveting performances in Gia and Girl, Interrupted. Or that Angelina says she is the star most likely to have an affair with her female fans (Madonna might argue that one). Angie's become an earth mother. She's no Audrey Hepburn but also no longer the 'girl gone wild' – all grown up with stretch marks and a cause. Brangelina, models of modern parenting.
And here's one to really appreciate. Birth of the first global super-union. " British, American and German unions are to forge a pact to challenge the power of global capitalism in a move towards creating an international union with more than 6 million members." --- Yep, 6-7 million Euro/Americans workers could unite to challenge global capitalism, and 5+ billion other earthlings will take nonunion jobs. If you think a one world union will lead to a new way, sign up now, pay your dues, and wait for the global union bosses to bed the global corporate bosses.
HONG KONG (AP) Hong Kong welcomed a near-blanket ban on smoking Monday, although not all residents in the Chinese territory were happy about losing their right to light up in public. The former British colony joins Singapore as the latest city in Asia to ban smoking in most public places. The ban — effective Jan. 1 — prohibits lighting up in restaurants, workplaces, schools, karaoke lounges and public areas. Even smoking outdoors, at public beaches, swimming pools, sports grounds, museums and most areas in public parks is forbidden. --- Has planet earth been infiltrated by extraterrestrial life with an allergy to something in tobacco?
Like clockwork, CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan was arrested Thursday afternoon outside President Bush's ranch, according to a law enforcement official.
Remember one and all, it is not your place to take care of yourself – the government should. Be dependent. Demand more programs that will keep citizens even more dependent and less likely to rock the system. Keep shopping. Be entertained. Eat your way to an early grave, take an antidepressant. Stay tuned for the latest repackaged sociopolitical argument, so many to choose from in the land of plenty. Supermarketed aisles of heroes and zeroes and the in-between. Fill the cart.
And, we the people will be reminded on a regular basis that the world despises/condemns the US (all the way to the central banks). Yessir, time to rein in the USA and let some other "civilized" nation or "world body" lead the new millenium.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:52 AM