Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bordaberry condemned for 1973 coup

For the first time in Latin America, a judge has sent a former head of state to prison for the crime of an "Attack against the Constitution." In an unprecedented ruling last month in Montevideo, former Uruguayan President Juan María Bordaberry was sentenced to serve 30 years for undermining Uruguay's constitution through an auto-coup on June 27, 1973, and for being a participant in nine disappearances and two political assassinations committed by the security forces while he was president between 1972 and 1976.

Declassified U.S. documents provided as evidence in the case by the National Security Archive show Bordaberry as justifying his seizure of extra-constitutional powers on June 27, 1973, by telling the U.S. Ambassador that "Uruguay's democratic traditions and institutions... were themselves the real threat to democracy." Another document, written within days after the coup, shows that the police were ordered to launch, in coordination with the military, "intelligence gathering and operations of a 'special' nature"--references to death squad actions that ensued.

"These declassified U.S. documents," said Carlos Osorio, who heads the National Security Archive's Southern Cone project, "helped the Court open the curtain of secrecy on human rights crimes committed during Bordaberry's reign of power."

~ more... ~

Saturday, March 27, 2010

One of the most curious features of the neoconservative...

How to Disappear Completely by Eric Martin

One of the most curious features of the neoconservative political/philosophical movement is the near reflexive, compulsive tendency on the part of its adherents to conceal the full breadth of their positions, beliefs and ideological moorings. It's like they fear truth as a matter of course.  The first most extreme example of this pattern probably came when David Brooks tried to claim that there was, actually, no such thing as a neoconservative in the first place (just a crude form of anti-Semitic classification). Though ultimately unsuccessful, Brooks' Copperfield-esque attempt to make the entire neoconservative movement disappear from sight would have made a lot of subsequent small-bore efforts at subterfuge unnecessary.

Speaking of those lesser sleights of hand, Michael Ledeen is probably the most prolific in terms of comical self contradiction. As I've documented over the past years, Ledeen has a peculiar tic whereby he pens impassioned calls for military confrontation with Iran, but then claims- with a straight face - that he opposes any such use of force. Perhaps emboldened by his own perceived success in terms of Iran-related duplicity, Ledeen took it one step further and actually claimed, against the weight of the evidence, that back in 2002 he opposed the invasion of Iraq!  The audacity of that attempt alone secures his status as my favorite hawk in dove's feathers. few 

The attempts to conceal their policy proposals - and identities - are understandable on some level. The total war agenda outlined in prominent neoconservative texts such as Norman Podhoretz's dream of World War IV, and Richard Perle and David Frum's An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, is shocking in its unrestrained bellicosity - each advocating for a series of wars with Iraq being just the first, brief pit stop.  Further, when their ideology has been put in practice under the stewardship of its practitioners, as in Iraq, the results have been so utterly disastrous that one can appreciate the desire to create distance. If I were a neocon, I'd sure want to pretend I wasn't.

If Richard Perle's recent statements are any indicator, the desperation in the neoconservatives camp is palpable.  Perle, it seems, is returning to the David Brooks playbook: trying to, again, convince the world that there's no such thing as a neoconservative.  Dana Millbank (via Steve Benen):

"There is no such thing as a neoconservative foreign policy," Perle informed the gathering, hosted by National Interest magazine. "It is a left critique of what is believed by the commentator to be a right-wing policy."

So what about the 1996 report he co-authored that is widely seen as the cornerstone of neoconservative foreign policy? "My name was on it because I signed up for the study group," Perle explained. "I didn't approve it. I didn't read it."

Mm-hmm. And the two letters to the president, signed by Perle, giving a "moral" basis to Middle East policy and demanding military means to remove Saddam Hussein? "I don't have the letters in front of me," Perle replied.

Right. And the Bush administration National Security Strategy, enshrining the neoconservative themes of preemptive war and using American power to spread freedom? "I don't know whether President Bush ever read any of those statements," Perle maintained. "My guess is he didn't."

Benen adds:

It was apparently quite a performance, which literally drew laughter when Perle insisted, "I've never advocated attacking Iran." He added that he doesn't "accept" the notion that there's even a "neoconservative school of thought," and said his book, "An End to Evil," is actually a text devoted to realism.

Not even a "neoconservative school of thought"?  Maybe Perle should consult with Irving Kristol, whose 1995 book is entitled, Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea.  Or maybe The Neoconservative Imagination: Essays in Honor of Irving Kristol, a compilation edited by William Kristol, another non-neo-con.  Or NeoConservatism: Why We Need It and The Neocon ReaderOr Joshua Muravchik who wrote an essay a few years back on how to save a school of thought that is...apparently a figment of our collective imaginations? 

Oh, and give Muravchik credit for openness:

Make no mistake, President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office.

But don't be surprised when at some point in the future he confidently assures the reader of his longstanding - and well known - opposition to bombing Iran.

~ Source: Obsidian Wings ~

Three cheers for the reconstruction of Iraq!

BAGHDAD POOR POUNCE ON ELECTION FLOTSAM

Impoverished Iraqis recycle and sell remains of election paraphernalia.

By Daud Salman in Baghdad

The hours after Iraq's parliamentary election were a tense time for Baghdad resident Hasan Obaid, but his anxiety had little to do with politics.

The 49-year-old father waited out the election curfew in silence before slipping out of the bare mud-brick home, where his wife and eight children were sleeping, to go hunting for a roof.

"I could barely sleep on the night of election day. I dreamed of how much scrap metal I would be able to get from the leftovers of the big election billboards. I wanted to make a ceiling for the mud room I share with my family. I will sell the rest of it," said Obaid as he tugged a large metal frame across railroad tracks near his home.

In the weeks ahead of the vote earlier this month, Baghdad streets were cluttered with thousands of billboards each adorned with the image and campaign slogan of one of the hundreds of politicians vying for the capital's 70 seats in parliament.

For Obaid and other impoverished residents of Baghdad's makeshift slums, Iraq's election campaign provided a bonanza of building materials.

The ten-metre-long metal billboard frames are large enough to shield families from the summer heat, while other pieces of wood and scrap metal are used to reinforce walls or sold to buy food.

Many Baghdad residents were stunned by the massive scale of campaigning and the enormous amount of money spent on the billboards and banners that dominated intersections, main streets and even shop fronts and homes in the capital.

While campaign spending figures have not been made public, some have speculated that the major parties forked out as much as hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign paraphernalia.

Tariq Mamouri, an analyst with al-Mada Cultural Organisation in Baghdad, said political parties and candidates were reluctant to release details about their financing because “it would greatly impact [their] popularity” if the public knew how much was spent.

Because no law bars politicians from accepting financial help from abroad, some experts, including Mamouri, believe money was pumped into campaign coffers by interested international governments and companies.

Izzat al-Shahbandar, an independent candidate from the State of Law coalition, said big political blocs paid for some of their candidates' campaigns while independent contenders paid for their own.

"The average of cost spent on campaigning ranged between 10,000 and 30,000 US dollars. If the candidate used satellite channels, the cost might hit the millions of dollars," said Shahbandar, who estimated his own campaign spending, including ads, posters and billboards at roughly 10,000 dollars.

Munthir Ahmad, a billboard maker at the Baghdad Printing House, put the price higher. By his estimate, candidates from the big coalitions spent roughly 50,000 dollars each on billboards at his shop.

Baghdad residents said the billboards disappeared rapidly in the days following the election.

"Since dawn after the election day (March 8), I have seen a large number of people grabbing and carrying the metal billboards of the candidates. It is election gift to the poor and disadvantaged people," said bus driver Muhammad Ali Muhsin, 58, with a shrug.

Obaid came to Baghdad from Maysan six years ago and has been unable to find work. He lives with thousands of other families in ramshackle dwellings in the Abu Disheer district near the railways in south Baghdad.

Along with his children, Obaid sifts through rubbish mounds and landfills each day, living on what they are able to scavenge. He voted in the election - although he declined to specify for which party - but said he was disappointed in the campaign spending.

“It would have been better for the politicians to spend their huge campaign funds on us and rescue us from the shantytowns,” he said. “In return we would vote for them. This is best way to campaign: help the poor.”

Daud Salman is an IWPR-trained journalist in Baghdad. Ali Kareem, an IWPR-trained journalist, contributed to this report from Baghdad.

~ Source: Institute for War and Peace Reporting ~

Friday, March 26, 2010

South Korean ship sinking

From STRATFOR:

A South Korean ship has been sunk in the vicinity of the maritime border with North Korea. While details are sketchy, initial reports suggest that some South Korean naval ships had been involved in combat with an unidentified ship in the area immediately preceding the incident. Other reports suggest that the ship was struck by a torpedo. Yet another indicates a stern explosion.

Tensions between the two Koreas have always been at least moderately high, but previous governments in the South have tended to seek a rapprochement. That warming has cooled significantly in recent months; one result has been occasional naval skirmishes.

There are three issues to keep in mind when evaluating the potential for an inter-Korean conflict. First, the South Korean army, air force and navy are far better equipped and run than the North's, despite the North's numerical superiority when it comes to men in uniform. Stratfor has little doubt that the South could ultimately prevail in a military conflict.

But – and this is the second issue – it would come at a massive cost. The North maintains many thousands of artillery emplacements within range of Seoul. So while the South's military is superior by most measures, the North could quite easily decimate the South's capital and largest city. Roughly one in four South Koreans live in Seoul.

Third, the South Koreans are not alone. Despite recent shifts in American military posture, the United States still maintains 25,000 troops in South Korea – so an inter-Korean conflict immediately escalates to a global issue.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Repo Men - trailer



In the futuristic action-thriller Repo Men, humans have extended and improved our lives through highly sophisticated and expensive mechanical organs created by a company called The Union. The dark side of these medical breakthroughs is that if you dont pay your bill, The Union sends its highly skilled repo men to take back its propertywith no concern for your comfort or survival.

Jude Law plays Remy, one of the best organ repo men in the business. When he suffers a cardiac failure on the job, he awakens to find himself fitted with the companys top-of-the-line heart-replacementas well as a hefty debt. But a side effect of the procedure is that his hearts no longer in the job. When he cant make the payments, The Union sends its toughest enforcer, Remys former partner Jake (Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker), to track him down.

Now that the hunter has become the hunted, Remy joins Beth (Alice Braga), another debtor who teaches him how to vanish from the system. And as he and Jake embark on a chase across a landscape populated by maniacal friends and foes, one man will become a reluctant champion for thousands on the run.

www.repomenarecoming.com

Marshall Mcluhan - Life & times



Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Aversion therapy for conspiracy theories

Parental advisory - contains profanity

Namibia - Genocide and the Second Reich (European imperialism [racism] - reparations)

Terrorists 'could use exploding breast implants to blow up jet'

Radical Islamist plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in lawless areas of Pakistan, security sources are said to warned.

Explosives experts have reportedly said just five ounces of Pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate packed into a breast implant would be enough to blow a “considerable” hole in the side of a jumbo jet.

It would be virtually possible for airport security scanners to detect the explosive if hidden inside a breast, medics have said.

Joseph Farah, a terrorism expert, told The Sun: "Women suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaeda are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast enhancing surgery."

Plastic surgeons may also have inserted the chemical into the buttocks of would-be suicide bombers.

~ more... ~

French correct British scientists: G spot does exist

From the Telegraph:

In a Gallic riposte to researchers at King's College London , a gathering of French doctors insisted the G spot - supposedly a cluster of internal nerve endings - is far from a myth.

"The English study is barking up the wrong tree," said Sylvain Mimoun, France's best-known gynaecologist, who ws speaking at the "G-Day" conference.

The King's College study published earlier this month is the biggest to date, involving 1,800 women - all of whom were pairs of identical or non-identical twins. If the G-spot did exist, it said, then genetically identical twins would have been expected to both report having one. However, no such pattern emerged.

But Mr Mimoun disagreed with the findings. "It is not a question of genetics but of use," he said.

Odile Buisson, another expert, said the G-spot was "a reality" for at least 56 per cent of women and its effects could be observed in scans. To say otherwise, she added was "medical machismo".

sacré

Indian military to weaponize world's hottest chili

The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili.

After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday.

The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chili. It is grown and eaten in India's northeast for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat.

It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.

~ more... ~

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

US Social Forum - Another world is possible, Another US is necessary

What is the US Social Forum?

The US Social Forum (USSF) is a movement building process. It is not a conference but it is a space to come up with the peoples' solutions to the economic and ecological crisis. The USSF is the next most important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multi-sectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country and changes history. We must declare what we want our world to look like and we must start planning the path to get there. The USSF provides spaces to learn from each other's experiences and struggles, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, build relationships, and align with our international brothers and sisters to strategize how to reclaim our world.

What We Believe

We, the organizers of the first United States Social Forum:

    * Believe that there is a strategic need to unite the struggles of oppressed communities and peoples within the United States (particularly Black, Latino, Asian/ Pacific-Islander and Indigenous communities) to the struggles of oppressed nations in the Third World.

    * Believe the USSF should place the highest priority on groups that are actually doing grassroots organizing with working class people of color, who are training organizers, building long-term structures of resistance, and who can work well with other groups, seeing their participation in USSF as building the whole, not just their part of it.

    * Believe the USSF must be a place where the voices of those who are most marginalized and oppressed from Indigenous communities can be heard--a place that will recognize Indigenous peoples, their issues and struggles.

    * Believe the USSF must create space for the full and equal participation of undocumented migrants and their communities.

    * Believe the USSF should link US-based youth organizers, activists, and cultural workers to the struggles of their brothers and sisters abroad, drawing common connections and exploring the deeper meanings of solidarity.

    * Believe the USSF is important because we must have a clear and unified approach at dealing with social justice issues, and meaningful positions on global issues.

    * Believe that a USSF sends a message to other people's movements around the world that there is an active movement in the United States opposing U.S. policies at home and abroad.

    * Believe that the USSF will help build national networks that will be better able to collaborate with international networks and movements.

    * We believe the USSF is more than an event. It is an ongoing process to contribute to strengthening the entire movement, bringing together the various sectors and issues that work for global justice.

Why a 2nd US Social Forum?

The gathering in Atlanta in June 2007 had 12,000 people come together in the belief that "Another World Was Possible!" Movement forces from all over the country took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate, organize, teach, debate and otherwise contribute to a growing sense that "Another U.S. Is Necessary!" The USSF made clear our need for greater convergence among progressives and the left in this country and to begin to articular our vision for "Another World."

The purpose of the USSF is to effectively and affirmatively articulate the values and strategies of a growing and vibrant movement for justice in the United States. Those who build towards and participate in the USSF are no longer interested in simply stating what social justice movements “stand-against,” rather we see ourselves as part of new movements that reach beyond national borders, that practice democracy at all levels, and understand that neo-liberalism abroad and here in the US is not the solution. The USSF provides a first major step towards such articulation of what we stand for.

Why Detroit?

To win nationally, we must win in places like Detroit. The Midwest site of the USSF marks a fierce resistance movement for social, racial, gender, and economic justice. Detroit has the highest unemployment of any major city in the country—23.2% (March 2009)—with nearly one in four Detroiters unable to find work. Michigan has had the highest number of unemployed people in all 50 states for nearly four years. Thousands of living wage jobs have been permanently lost in the automotive industry and related sectors. Some think that it will take at least until 2025 for Michigan to recover from the economic collapse and social dislocation. What is happening in Detroit and in Michigan is happening all across the United States. Detroit is a harbinger for what we must do in our communities! As grassroots activists and organizers, we work to address the indignities against working families and low-income people, and protect our human right to the basic necessities of life. In Detroit, we can make change happen!

The US Social Forum provides this space—drawing participants from different regions, ethnicities, sectors and ages across the U.S. and its colonies. Community-based organizations, Indigenous nations, immigrants, independent workers organizations, unions, unemployed,
youth, children, elders, queers, differently-abled, international allies, academics, and advocacy organizations will be able to come together in Detroit for dialogues, reflection and to define future strategies.

World Social Forum to USSF - Globalizing the Resistance

A global movement is rising. The USSF is our opportunity to prepare and meet it! The World Social Forum (WSF) has become an important symbol of global movement convergence and the development of alternatives to the dominant paradigm. Over the past nine years, the WSF has gathered the world's workers, peasants, youth, women, and oppressed peoples to construct a counter-vision to the economic and political elites of the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland. After gathering 100,000 people in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2005, the International Council (IC) decided that in 2006 there would be regional social forums to culminate in a WSF in 2007. The IC delegated Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) to help shepherd the US Social Forum process, stating that it was strategic to hold a gathering of peoples and movements within the “belly of the beast” that were against the ravages of globalization and neoliberal policies in the US and worldwide. GGJ is an alliance that grew out of people-of-color-led grassroots groups who participated in the first WSF. These grassroots leaders initiated a process to create the first USSF National Planning Committee (NPC) and Atlanta was selected as the USSF host city. In early 2009, the NPC selected Detroit as the second host city for 2010.

Call to Participate in Building the Road to Detroit

We call those who fight for justice to converge and act, and to reflect on the potential of our position and the power of our connections. Although we have built organizations that push forward an integrated, multi-issue, multiracial strategy, we have yet to build our movement on a scale relative to our sisters and brothers in the Global South. The USSF II offers the opportunity to continue to gather and unify these growing forces. We must seize this moment and advance our collective work to build grassroots leadership, develop collective vision and formulate strategies that keep a strong movement growing.

~ more... ~

'Cuffed again for raucous rumpy-pumpy'

From Loud sex ASBO woman back on the job:

The Tyne and Wear woman earlier this year spared jail for breaching an ASBO requiring her to refrain from unnaturally loud sex has been cuffed after once again failing to put a sock in it.

Caroline Cartwright, 49, was handed an eight-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, for three breaches of the order designed to protect fellow residents of Washington from her vocalisations. The judge warned her that "if you commit further offences of this nature that sentence will be passed and you will made to serve it".

Despite Cartwright moving her bed into the dining room in the hope that neighbours would be spared the worst of her wailing while on the job with hubby Steve, cops received a further complaint and she is now back in the bail hostel where she spent eight months prior to her January appearance before the beak.

[ ... ]

Cartwright faces a committal hearing on 13 May. She bemoaned: "This is causing stress on our marriage. We aren't doing it as much as we used to because it's not exactly relaxing knowing that everyone is listening for you to make a noise. ...

~ more... ~

Google to stop censoring search results in China

Google announced Monday that it would stop censoring search results on its site in China, forcing authorities in Beijing to decide whether they are willing to forsake one of the most important tools of modern technology so that they can maintain their iron grip over the flow of information.

In negotiations with Chinese authorities over the past two months, Google had tried to determine whether it could operate an unfiltered search engine in China under the country's laws. But Chinese officials, the company said Monday, made it "crystal clear . . . that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement."

As a result, Google has made what analysts described as a shrewd but risky business decision -- to redirect users in mainland China to its search engine based in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China that operates its own economic and political systems. The company described the move as a "sensible solution."

"This move is entirely legal by Chinese law and Hong Kong law, and that is important to know: that we are abiding by the law," a source at Google said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Still, the decision puts the Internet search giant, which has a huge financial stake in China, on a collision course with Beijing. Despite Google's intention to keep some of its business operations in China, the government there could shut it down, block all of its sites or even take action against some of its 700 employees there.

That concern was evident in Google's announcement Monday, which stressed that "all these decisions have been driven and implemented by our executives in the United States, and that none of our employees in China can, or should, be held responsible for them."

The move drew a quick and angry response in Beijing, where an unnamed government official said that the Chinese had been patient with Google but that the company had nonetheless "violated its written promise" to censor search results, according to the state-run New China News Service.

"We're uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations," said the official, a spokesman for the office of the State Council, China's cabinet.

As of Tuesday morning in Beijing, China had started blocking results for sensitive searches on Google's Hong Kong-based site, Google.com.hk. Searches for sensitive subjects such as the banned spiritual sect Falun Gong or Tiananmen 64 -- shorthand for the June 4, 1989, crackdown on student-led protests in Beijing -- produced a blank screen or an error message. Earlier in the morning, results were generated but the links were blocked.

~ more... ~

Cigna gives $110.9 million compensation package to ex-CEO

The insurance giant Cigna last year gave compensation packages worth more than $120 million to two executives who left the company, according to a filing with the SEC on Friday.

The vast majority of that total went to former chairman and CEO H. Edward Hanway who left his post with a retirement package worth $110.9 million -- which included $18.8 million in executive compensation for 2009, as well as a healthy pension plan, deferred compensation and stock options.

With more than $19 billion in revenues reported in 2008, Cigna remains one of the most profitable insurers in the country. Though, unlike some of its competitors, it does not appear to have raised premiums on customers in an effort to improve somewhat sagging recent profits.

~ more... ~

Sceptic challenges guru to kill him live on TV

When a famous tantric guru boasted on television that he could kill another man using only his mystical powers, most viewers either gasped in awe or merely nodded unquestioningly. Sanal Edamaruku's response was different. “Go on then — kill me,” he said.

Mr Edamaruku had been invited to the same talk show as head of the Indian Rationalists' Association — the country's self-appointed sceptic-in-chief. At first the holy man, Pandit Surender Sharma, was reluctant, but eventually he agreed to perform a series of rituals designed to kill Mr Edamaruku live on television. Millions tuned in as the channel cancelled scheduled programming to continue broadcasting the showdown, which can still be viewed on YouTube.

First, the master chanted mantras, then he sprinkled water on his intended victim. He brandished a knife, ruffled the sceptic's hair and pressed his temples. But after several hours of similar antics, Mr Edamaruku was still very much alive — smiling for the cameras and taunting the furious holy man.

“He was over, finished, completely destroyed!” Mr Edamaruku chuckles triumphantly as he concludes the tale in the Rationalist Centre, his second-floor office in the town of Noida, just outside Delhi.

Rationalising India has never been easy. Given the country's vast population, its pervasive poverty and its dizzying array of ethnic groups, languages and religions, many deem it impossible.

Nevertheless, Mr Edamaruku has dedicated his life to exposing the charlatans — from levitating village fakirs to televangelist yoga masters — who he says are obstructing an Indian Enlightenment. He has had a busy month, with one guru arrested over prostitution, another caught in a sex-tape scandal, a third kidnapping a female follower and a fourth allegedly causing a stampede that killed 63 people.

This week India's most popular yoga master, Baba Ramdev, announced plans to launch a political party, promising to cleanse India of corruption and introduce the death penalty for slaughtering cows. Then, on Wednesday, police arrested a couple in Maharashtra state on suspicion of killing five boys on the advice of a tantric master who said their sacrifice would help the childless couple to conceive.

~ more... ~

AFL-CIO: Join us and make Wall Street pay

From the AFL-CIO NOW BLOG:

Starting today, the union movement and our allies are taking our fight for good jobs now to the biggest Wall Street banks whose reckless greed has gone a long way to wreck the U.S. economy and kill American jobs.

From March 15-26, working people will hold rallies and demonstrations at branches of the Big Six Wall Street banks—Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia-Wells Fargo—across the country. They will tell the banks: “I Am Not Your ATM” and “Make Wall Street Pay for Creating New Jobs.”

You also can tell Wall Street executives to pay to create good jobs by sending a letter urging them to do the right thing. Just click here.

Find out about events in your area here. If you take part in an event, be sure to send us your photo or video here.

The AFL-CIO Good Jobs Now site has all the tools you’ll need to let Wall Street know we mean business. There’s a Wall Street fact sheet, along with an explanation of our stand on making Wall Street pay to create good jobs, arguments for extending unemployment insurance benefits, creating good, green jobs with benefits and other issues.

The AFL-CIO supports four proposals for banks to pay a fair share to restore the economy: fees on Wall Street banks to pay back the cost of the bank bailout; a special levy on Wall Street bonuses, as proposed in the United Kingdom; a tax on the income of hedge fund and private equity managers, the wealthiest people in the country, at ordinary income rates, by closing the carried interest loophole and a financial speculation.

Inside out - British medical cannabis



Sarah Martin has Multiple Sclerosis and, while the British government sells British manufactured cannabis medicines to other countries, it continues to deny it to it's own patients. Countries such as Germany and Denmark purchase Sativex, made by GW Pharmaceuticals, as pain and spasm relieving medicine. Sativex is a cannabis tincture, effectively a new strain of SKUNK in a bottle. The tax payer should not be asked to support the growth of a benign plant and manufacture of a medicine that can be grown for free. Basic common sense and medical guidance will allow the patient to treat themselves safely in their own homes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Neurosis

Many parents make the mistake of not picking up their child sufficiently out of fear of "spoiling" him. By ignoring him, this is precisely what they do, and later they will be swamped by the child's insatiable demands for symbolic substitutes — until the day they crack down on him. The consequences of that are both inevitable and dreadful.

by Dr. Arthur Janov

We all are creatures of need. We are born needing, and the vast majority of us die after a lifetime of struggle with many of our needs unfulfilled. These needs are not excessive — to be fed, kept warm and dry, to grow and develop at our own pace, to be held and caressed, and to be stimulated. These Primal needs are the central reality of the infant. The neurotic process begins when these needs go unmet for any length of time. A newborn does not know that he should be picked up when he cries or that he should not be weaned too early, but when his needs go unattended, he hurts.

    At first the infant will do everything in his power to fulfill his needs. He will reach up to be held, cry when he is hungry, kick his legs, and thrash about to have his needs recognized. If his needs go unfulfilled for a length of time, if he is not held, changed or fed, he will suffer continuous pain either until he can do something to get his parents to satisfy him or until he shuts off the pain by shutting off his need. If his pain is drastic enough, death may intervene, as shown in studies of some institutional babies.

Since the infant cannot himself overcome the sensation of hunger (that is, he cannot go to the refrigerator) or find substitute affection, he must separate his sensations (hunger; wanting to be held) from consciousness. This separation of oneself from one's needs and feelings is an instinctive maneuver in order to shut off excessive pain. We call it the split. The organism splits in order to protect its continuity. This does not mean that unfulfilled needs disappear, however. On the contrary, they continue throughout life exerting a force, channeling interests, and producing motivation toward the satisfaction of those needs. But because of their pain, the needs have been suppressed in the consciousness, and so the individual must pursue substitute gratifications. He must, in short, pursue the satisfaction of his needs symbolically. Because he was not allowed to express himself, he may be compelled to try to get others to listen and understand later in life.

Not only are unattended needs that persist to the point of intolerability separated from consciousness, but their sensations become relocated to areas where greater control or relief can be provided. Thus, feelings can be relieved by urination (later by sex) or controlled by the suppression of deep breathing. The unfulfilled infant is learning how to disguise and change his needs into symbolic ones. As an adult he may not feel the need to suck his mother's breast owing to abrupt early weaning but will be an incessant smoker. His need to smoke is a symbolic need, and the essence of neurosis is the pursuit of symbolic satisfactions.

Neurosis is symbolic behavior in defense against excessive psychobiologic pain. Neurosis is self-perpetuating because symbolic satisfactions cannot fulfill real needs. In order for real needs to be satisfied, they must be felt and experienced. Unfortunately, pain has caused those needs to be buried. When they are buried, the organism goes into a continuous state of emergency alert. That alert state is tension. It propels the infant, and later the adult, toward the satisfaction of need in any way possible. This emergency alert is necessary to ensure the infant's survival; if he were to give up hope of ever having his needs fulfilled, he might die. The organism continues to live at any cost, and that cost is usually neurosis — shutting down unmet bodily needs and feelings because the pain is too great to withstand.

~ more... ~

The GM war in Europe starts here

Not just a spud, this is likely to prove a very hot political potato indeed. It is living, knobbly proof of the determination of Brussels bureaucrats to spread GM crops throughout Europe, against the will of most of its people.

In a little-noticed move last week, the European Commission defied most of the governments to which it is supposed to answer to give the green light to growing a modified potato across the continent. It was the first time a GM crop had been authorised for cultivation in 13 years. But, now the long moratorium has been broken, similar approvals for others are expected rapidly to follow.

The decision has its origins in a couple of secret, top-level meetings called by Jose Manuel Barroso, the Commission's strongly pro-GM president. He invited the prime ministers of each of the 27 EU member states to send a personal representative along to discuss how to "speed up" the spread of the technology and "deal with" public opposition.

You can see why he was frustrated. Only one GM crop – a maize produced by Monsanto – had ever been cleared for growing in Europe, and that was way back in 1998. Other applications, including the GM potato, had failed to get through the Council of Ministers, representing the EU governments. No surprise there: about three times as many Europeans oppose genetic modification as support it.

As a result, GM crops cover only about 0.12 per cent of Europe's agricultural land, mainly in Spain – and the continent accounts for just 0.08 per cent of the area growing them worldwide. And they have been losing ground. In the past two years, both France and Germany banned the Monsanto maize, joining Austria, Hungary, Greece and Luxembourg.

The meetings' confidential minutes show that Barroso was trying to get the prime ministers to over-rule their own agriculture and environment ministers, and "look at the wider picture". And the leaders' emissaries duly called for "the speeding up of the authorisation process, based on robust assessments so as to reassure the public".

But little changed: the Commission tried to force countries to lift their bans on growing the Monsanto maize, but again failed at the Council of Ministers. So it undemocratically took matters into its own hands to launch the GM potato. Called Amflora – developed by BASF to produce starch for paper, textiles and glue – the potato has twice been to the Council for approval, in December 2006 and August 2007. Each time, as in almost all GM applications, the ministers were split between pro and anti-GM countries, and the Commission could not get the qualified majority it needed. So, last week it cynically approved the spud for cultivation – using a provision that allows it, when ministers are deadlocked, to decide over their heads.

~ more... ~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2nd mystery 'hit' - Israeli jet flyover amid Hungary slay

In a possible sequel to the Dubai assassination, Israeli spy planes flew uninvited and unannounced over Budapest the same day a Syrian man was shot to death in his car, Hungarian media reported yesterday.

Two Israeli air force Gulfstream V-type jets, equipped with sophisticated intelligence gear, flew more than 1,300 miles over Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania on Wednesday before flying over eastern Budapest and then disappearing, the reports said.

The incident occurred the same day Budapest police said a 52-year-old Syrian was gunned down while stopping his black luxury car at a traffic light on the east side of the capital.

The attacker fired several shots before stealing a black briefcase from the car and fleeing on foot, authorities said.

Police have yet to identify the victim or give a motive.

~ more... ~

Anti-War March in Washington DC, March 20, 2010



Thousands marched in Washington Saturday, March 20 after a Noon anti-war rally at Lafayette Park, with some of the protesters carrying symbolic, draped coffins that were dropped off at five locales, the offices of Halliburton, the Washington Post, the Mortgage Bankers Association, The National Endowment for Democracy and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The event was hosted by ANSWER (Stop War and End Racism) and attracted a wide array of groups and organizations opposed to both George Bush's and the Obama Administration' continuing foreign policies of seemingly endless warfare and occupation.

Funk The War paints recruiter, sets banner on Treasury Dept 2nd floor ledge



On March 19th, the 7th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, Funk the War scored a direct hit on the military recruiter at 14th and L sts with a paint projectile, and two activists climbed to the second floor ledge of the US Treasury building and held a banner.



There were six known arrests One was at the recruiter, two more arrests happened when security at the Treasury grabbed those they allege were holding the banner-and three for nothing more than stepping into the street.

In one of the latter cases, a person was detained, possibly was one of those arrested for no more than trying to rejoin the crowd after leaving-even though no police line forbade entry! Police were present, lines or not, around the entire protest, and this arrest or detention comes dangerously close to violating the laws that were passed and court orders that followed the mass arrests in the 2000 IMF and 2002 Pershing Park mass arrest incidents.

One person then reminded Capt Harold that he was in line for $18,000 from that IMF mass arre[s]t in 2000-and did the cops want to go for $36,000?

In addition to the arrests, cops grabbed and threw people in the process of clearing people from the sidewalk in front of the recruiter and then from L st. This included people with bicycles, recklessly risking breaking people's legs.

The Park of Exarcheia (Self organized occupied park in Athens, Greece)



Free Art Zone
http://zonafreeart.blogspot.com/
&
Void Network
http://voidnetwork.blogspot.com/

presents
the short film

The Park of Exarcheia (Self Organized Occupied Park in Athens / Greece)

"Occupied Self Organized Park in Eksarchia area in Athens is a creation of the power of the people. More than 1000 people participated in the occupation of this public space and the creation of a open park for all people of the city. Through the participation to the assembly of the park, the events, the concerts, the political and social talks and the gatherings the self-organized park of Exarcheia is an alive liberated public space, a public space created by the people and belonging to all the people of this world,

info about Exarcheia area:
The Exarcheia region is famous as a stomping ground for Greek anarchists.
The district of Exarcheia was created between 1870 and 1880 at the confines of the city and has played a significant role in the social and political life of Greece. It is there the Athens Polytechnic uprising of November 1973 took place. Exarcheia is a place where many intellectuals and artists live and an area where many socialist, anarchist, and antifascist groups are accommodated. Police stations and other symbols of authority (and capitalism) such as banks are often targets of far-leftist groups. Exarcheia is also an art hub where theatrical shows and concerts take place around the central square. In December 2008, the shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Exarcheia caused rioting throughout Greece."

The Greek riots: Some basic facts



Urban guerrilla offensive in Athens



An urban guerrilla offensive seems to be underway in Athens with two major bomb attacks within the last 48 hours, one against the headquarters of the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn, and one against the Police Directorship for Immigrants.

In less than 48 hours two major bombs have hit Athens, marking what seems to be an urban guerrilla spring offensive in the greek capital.

The first bomb exploded a little after 8:00 a.m. on Friday 19 March at the headquarters of Chrisi Avgi (Golden Dawn) the neon-nazi party of greece, an organisation responsible for countless murder attempts, arson attacks and pogroms against immigrants, leftists and anarchists. The group is led by Mr Mihaloliakos a convicted bomber who founded the Golden Dawn in the early 1980s under the direct orders of the imprisoned head of the colonels junta, Georgios Papadopoulos. The daily Eleftherotypia has published documents of Mr Mihaloliakos salary details in the service of EYP, the greek secret services. The bomb that hit the offices on Sokratous street had been pre-announced to the daily Eleftherotypia, giving 20 minutes to evacuate the building and the near by hotel. The bomb, which has been estimated by the police as "very strong" but with a slow diffusion as to minimise the blast wave that could damage near-by buildings, has demolished the officers, creating a crater through the concrete floor and leaving none but cement columns standing. To this moment no urban guerrilla group has claimed responsibility for the attack which the anti-terrorist bureau has coined "a classic divergence tactic" in relation to the investigations on Lambros Foundas, the 35 year old anarchist shot dead during a gun battle with the police earlier this week. The man is proclaimed by the anti-terrorist bureau as "a key member of one of the big new generation terrorist groups" of greece. Anarchist have launched an extended campaign in honour of Lambros Foundas with thousands of posters and a one thousand strong protest march to the spot of his assassination being realised today noon.

~ more... ~

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Human trafficking - the 2nd largest criminal industry









First Iceland, then the World

Who cleans up the mess when ignorant, greedy bankers rack up massive debt then go broke? The people of Iceland made a strong statement Saturday. The sins of big bankers and government regulators shouldn't fall on the citizens. By a  93% to 2% margin, they voted down a proposal requiring them to cover bad debt incurred by one of the nation's oldest and largest banks. Covering the debt would have cost Iceland's 317,000 citizens around $17,000 each.

Iceland's national referendum was the first opportunity for the people of any nation to vote directly on who pays when the financial elite fail.

Icelanders are struggling with a collapsed economy. Businesses are failing at a startling rate, unemployment is soaring, and the prospects for the future are simply not there. Yet the British and Dutch governments demand that their swindled citizens receive compensation from beleaguered Icelanders. Where were the British and Dutch central banks and politicians while their citizens were being fleeced? Aren't the rulers of these countries aware that the failed Icelandic bank was owned by wealth investors, not the citizens?

Iceland's size and the very dire circumstances offer a focused preview for citizens around the world. The banks make bad deal after bad deal. When they're about to fail, the government steps in with a taxpayer bailout. It doesn't matter which faction of the narrow political spectrum is in charge. The message is starkly clear — when the banks fail, you pay. The solution is presented to citizens as a fait accompli, a mandatory submission to indefinite financial slavery for the benefit of the failed financial elite. The will of the people doesn't matter even when there's a direct vote.

The failed financial enterprises that control global commerce are opening their new show on the road in Iceland. Greek citizens are next in line for indentured servitude, thanks to their lying leaders and Wall Street's Goldman Sachs.

Citizens in the United States remain overwhelmingly opposed to bailouts for Wall Street and big banks. Like Iceland's Prime Minister, members of Congress and the president don't care. Big banks have now received at least $12 trillion in credit and cash from the US Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank. The 17 million citizens out of work, their families, and the eight million forced to work reduced hours are barely mentioned and get just a pittance compared to the ultra wealthy bankers.

How did the financial elite and their political minions do it in Iceland? The lesson is instructive.

~ more... ~

Johann Hari: The Pope, the Prophet, and the religious support for evil

What can make tens of millions of people – who are in their daily lives peaceful and compassionate and caring – suddenly want to physically dismember a man for drawing a cartoon, or make excuses for an international criminal conspiracy to protect child-rapists? Not reason. Not evidence. No. But it can happen when people choose their polar opposite – religion. In the past week we have seen two examples of how people can begin to behave in bizarre ways when they decide it is a good thing to abandon any commitment to fact and instead act on faith. It has led some to regard people accused of the attempted murders of the Mohamed cartoonists as victims, and to demand "respect" for the Pope, when he should be in a police station being quizzed about his role in covering up and thereby enabling the rape of children.

In 2005, 12 men in a small secular European democracy decided to draw a quasi-mythical figure who has been dead for 1400 years. They were trying to make a point. They knew that in many Muslim cultures, it is considered offensive to draw Mohamed. But they have a culture too – a European culture that believes it is important to be allowed to mock and tease and ridicule religion. It is because Europeans have been doing this for centuries now that we can no longer be tyrannised into feeling bad about perfectly natural impulses, like masturbation, or pre-marital sex, or homosexuality. When priests offer those old arguments, we now laugh in their faces – a great liberating moment. It will be a shining day for Muslims when they can do the same.

Some of the cartoons were witty. Some were stupid. One seemed to suggest Muslims are inherently violent – an obnoxious and false idea. If you disagree with the drawings, you should write a letter, or draw a better cartoon, this time mocking the cartoonists. But some people did not react this way. Instead, Islamist plots to hunt the artists down and slaughter them began. Earlier this year, a man with an axe smashed into one of their houses, and very nearly killed the cartoonist in front of his small grand-daughter.

This week, another plot to murder them seems to have been exposed, this time allegedly spanning Ireland and the United States, and many people who consider themselves humanitarians or liberals have rushed forward to offer condemnation – of the cartoonists. One otherwise liberal newspaper ran an article saying that since the cartoonists had engaged in an "aggressive act" and shown "prejudice... against religion per se", so it stated menacingly that no doubt "someone else is out there waiting for an opportunity to strike again".

Let's state some principles that – if religion wasn't involved – would be so obvious it would seem ludicrous to have to say them out loud. Drawing a cartoon is not an act of aggression. Trying to kill somebody with an axe is. There is no moral equivalence between peacefully expressing your disagreement with an idea – any idea – and trying to kill somebody for it. Yet we have to say this because we have allowed religious people to claim their ideas belong to a different, exalted category, and it is abusive or violent merely to verbally question them. Nobody says I should "respect" conservatism or communism and keep my opposition to them to myself – but that's exactly what is routinely said about Islam or Christianity or Buddhism. What's the difference?

This enforced "respect" is a creeping vine. It soon extends beyond religious ideas to religious institutions – even when they commit the worst crimes imaginable. It is now an indisputable fact that the Catholic Church systematically covered up the rape of children across the globe, and knowingly, consciously put paedophiles in charge of more kids. Joseph Ratzinger – who claims to be "infallible" – was at the heart of this policy for decades.

Here's what we are sure of. By 1962, it was becoming clear to the Vatican that a significant number of its priests were raping children. Rather than root it out, they issued a secret order called "Crimen Sollicitationis"' ordering bishops to swear the victims to secrecy and move the offending priest on to another parish. This of course meant they raped more children there, and on and on, in parish after parish. Yes, these were different times, but the Vatican knew then that what it was doing was terribly wrong: that's why it was done in the utmost secrecy.

~ more... ~

Treason in America - the conference




From Treason in America Conference: organizing the painfully obvious to save America:

If evidence of treason by American political “leadership” was obvious, do you have the integrity and courage to follow your heart and mind’s most virtuous expression of what you should do about it as an American citizen?

That wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were based on known lies is clear and beyond doubt when anyone of average intelligence examines what our own government has disclosed of the “evidence.” It is also clear and beyond doubt that these wars are unlawful upon one hour invested to understand the strict laws to prevent the scourge of war. The reasons for war with Iran are provable and absolute lies. For American political “leaders” to levy war against our US soldiers by sending them to unlawfully invade other countries is legal treason.
Five thousand American soldiers have died from this crime, and over one million of our Brothers and Sister Human Beings in other lands. Americans are obligated to pay for these crimes with $3 to $5 TRILLION in long-term known costs.
Several hundred people attended the perfectly-accurately named “Treason in America” conference in Valley Forge on March 6 and 7. The topics of the conference:
  • Evidence that the government’s version of what happened on 9/11 is provably false.
  • US wars are unlawful and based on provable lies.
  • The US Constitution, the heart of this nation and the Oath of Enlistment and Office for US military and government officials to support and defend, is being destroyed before our eyes with torture, indefinite detention, and escalating legislation to imprison any American without evidence and without legal recourse to challenge.
Corporate media, complicit in their lies of omission and commission and documented by our own government disclosures as completely infiltrated by government disinformation agents, covered the “Treason in America” conference only to tie the group with the individual who was shot and killed in an alleged attack on the Pentagon.
You can compare the coverage between Russia Today and ABC Nightline below. Additional video of speakers can be viewed here and here. For my best organizational summary of evidence of the 9/11 Truth Movement versus government-supported explanations, go here.
It’s time.
It’s time for our men and women in government and military to choose: either stand with the US Constitution you’ve sworn to support and defend against all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, or remain complicit in ongoing Wars of Aggression, mass murder of our soldiers and our fellow humans in other lands and throwing trillions of our tax dollars to do so, pushing the world ever-closer to an apparently planned and desired nuclear Third World War (and here), and guilty of what Dr. Martin Luther King called “Silence is Betrayal” before the US government assassinated him according to the only trial conducted for his murder.
It’s time for our men and women in the military and government to refuse all orders associated with our unlawful wars and preparation for unlawful war with Iran over one gram of medical isotope worth $75,000 in 20% enriched nuclear fuel. It is hard to imagine a more ridiculous case for war.
It’s time for our men and women in the military and government to refuse all orders associated with our unlawful wars and preparation for unlawful war with Iran and stand with the American public who declare in a ratio of 9 to 1 that our government no longer represents them under the US Constitution.
It’s time: exercise your 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech and press, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Please provide this article to all Americans if you find it helpful to stop current and future unlawful wars.
Over 5,000 US soldiers have been killed so far as pawns of the civilian and military brass tyrants. Multiples more have been crippled physically and emotionally. There is no end in sight to current wars; indeed, the US is expanding them into Pakistan and Yemen and threatening more war with Iran. The dead are comforted by God; their families are devastated by the loss of their loved-ones. The crippled and their families face a range of challenges; many so severe that a total of 6,000 US veterans commit suicide every year. One-third of all US homeless men are veterans.

~ more... ~

coil - where are you

George Smoot on the design of the universe



At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos -- with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids -- got built this way.

Astrophysicist, cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner George Smoot studies the cosmic microwave background radiation -- the afterglow of the Big Bang. His pioneering research into deep space and time is uncovering the structure of the universe itself.

Mexicans kill US consulate staff

Comment: If the war on drugs did not exist, you would not be reading this article!

WASHINGTON — Suspected drug cartel “hit teams” gunned down an American consular employee and her husband in a Mexican border city and killed a co-worker's Mexican husband in a separate attack, a US official said Sunday.

The victims — two Americans and a Mexican — came under fire in separate locations as they were driving Saturday through Ciudad Juarez after earlier attending the same social event, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The killings marked an ominous turn in the drug violence wracking northern Mexico, and prompted the State Department to announce that Americans working at six US consulates in the border area could send their families away.

President Barack Obama said he was “deeply saddened and outraged by the news of the brutal murders,” said National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer.

The victims came under fire in separate locations after attending the same social event earlier in the day, the US official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Suspected drug cartel hit teams fired on locally employed staff, Consulate General Juarez, in their privately owned vehicles,” the official said.

“The attacks resulted in three fatalities — two American citizens and one Mexican citizen,” he said.

The victims included a US woman employed by the consulate's American citizens services section who was with her American husband and infant daughter when they came under fire, the official said.

The infant, who was in the back seat, survived the attack unharmed, but the woman and her husband were killed, he said.

In the second attack, a Mexican employee of the consulate was following her husband and two children in a separate car, when her husband's vehicle came under fire, killing him and wounding the two children, the official said.

~ more... ~

Musical Innerlube: Can



Synagogue bomb suspects: The feds put us up to it!

Defense attorneys say an alleged plot to bomb New York synagogues was hatched and directed by a federal informant.

Lawyers for four men from Newburgh have filed a motion to dismiss the terror indictment against them.

They said the informant badgered the defendants until they got involved in the plot.

They said the informant chose the targets, supplied fake bombs for the synagogues and a fake missile to shoot down planes. The motion said he also offered to pay the defendants, who attorneys alleged weren't inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.

"The government well knew that their case had been a government-inspired creation from day one and that the defendants had not been independently seeking weapons or targets," the motion said.

Ffederal court spokesman Herb Hadad said the government would file its response next month.

The four men, who were arrested last May, face up to life in prison if convicted. They have been previously identified as James Cromitie, 55, David Williams, 28, Onta Williams, 32, and Laguerre Payen, 27, all of Newburgh in upstate New York, where authorities were conducting raids at their homes, sources said.

Authorities have said they had the plotters under surveillance since June of 2008 and there was "no chance" the alleged scheme could succeed. They credited the work of a long time informant with keeping tabs on the group.

The FBI has said the Muslim suspects were angry and full of hate for America.

~ more... ~

See also “The Reason For This Cover-Up Goes Right To The White House”

Investigate 9/11, just not too deeply



Investigate, but don't go too deep: According to new documents, that is the message the Bush Administration sent to the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks. Russ Baker says that the government doesnt wan't full disclosure on this issue and that people who investigate may be crossing the line.

The vernal equinox of death and kisses



From the second edition of Antonio Hopson's widely published short stories...

"The 'Vernal Equinox' is a collection that blows open our personal reference points. It is a finger pointing toward our false sense of reality, bringing us to wonder and question."

British royal family link to reptilian aliens possibly exposed

A snake clasped in the hand of England's Queen Elizabeth I has appeared in a painting from the 1580s or 90s lending credence to the link between reptilian aliens and the European royal families.

The painting by an unknown artist of the hideous dead queen has been unearthed from archives at the National Portrait Gallery in London to accompany the exhibit Concealed and Revealed: The Changing Faced of Elizabeth I, on show from Mar. 13 to Sept. 26.

The snake was painted over by a bunch of roses, and the gallery stated in a press release that the removal of the snake may have been because of the ambiguity of the symbolism attached to the creature.

Snakes have sometimes been used to represent wisdom, reasoned judgement and prudence but also aliens, Satan and original sin.

A statement from the gallery said: “The snake is mainly black but has greenish blue scales and was almost certainly painted from imagination.”

The gallery also revealed X-ray technology uncovered the paining of the Tudor monarch covers a portrait of an unknown woman in a French hood with her head facing the opposite direction and in a higher position than the queen.

The mystery woman's eyes and nose are visible through chipped paint on Elizabeth's forehead.

Dr. Tarnya Cooper, of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project told BBC News, “The queen certainly owned jewellery and costume including emblems of serpents, which were probably understood as a symbol of wisdom. However no other portrait of Elizabeth appears to depict her holding a snake.”

ALIEN THEORY:

The theory about the reptilian aliens is essentially that the aliens, such as the Anunnaki, visited Earth in intervals of 3,600 years when their planet Nibiru was closest in orbit to Earth.

The time-frame is supported by the Sumerian texts that document the ancient people that became the backbone for the Old Testament texts.

Also, the critical periods of development of humans occurred around every 3,600 years: the beginning of farming circa 11,000 B.C.; prehistoric culture circa 7,500 B.C.; civilization circa 3,800 B.C. according to research by Sitchen (Jim Marrs, Rule by Secrecy, p. 393).

During the time before the civilizations of Mesopotamia, as documented in Cuneiform, the aliens supposedly used the humans in the area as workers for building projects, such as dams and mining, and breed with some of the humans to create hybrids.

~ more... ~

Freemasons shake off ruling on judiciary

Prospective judges will no longer have to declare if they are Freemasons, the government has announced .

For the past 11 years, anyone applying to be a judge or a magistrate for the first time had to declare on an application form whether they belong to the Freemasonry.

But Jack Straw, the justice secretary, said that as a review had shown no evidence of impropriety or malpractice as a result of a judge being a Freemason it would be "disproportionate" to continue with the practice, introduced in 1998.

There were "existing safeguards that help support the proper performance of judicial functions", including the judicial oath and an official complaints procedure, Straw said.

The United Grand Lodge of England made representations to ministers in May and indicated it may seek judicial review of the policy. This followed two cases at the European court of human rights where Italian Freemasons successfully argued it was discriminatory to be asked to declare membership of a non-secret society.

The Ministry of Justice said all levels of the judiciary were affected by the decision, but not coroners, who are appointed by local authorities.

~ more... ~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Anunnaki secret history on earth

Colombian court rules against extraditing warlord to U.S.

The Colombian Supreme Court has ruled against extraditing drug lord and rightist militia chief Daniel Rendon Herrera to the United States.

In Wednesday's ruling, the court said Rendon should stand trial in Colombia for charges of crimes against humanity – both those currently pending and others that may be brought in the future.

The U.S. embassy in Bogota had filed a request for the extradition of Herrera, alias “Don Mario,” on July 21, 2009, on terrorism and drug trafficking charges.

U.S. federal prosecutors accuse him of providing material support to a terrorist organization – the now-defunct AUC militia federation – and of conspiring to import, manufacture, possess and distribute cocaine in the United States.

Don Mario, captured in April of last year, was a member of the Elmer Cardenas Bloc of the AUC, which was dismantled in mid-2006 after more than 31,000 paramilitary fighters handed in their weapons.

More than 3,000 homicides and other crimes, including forced displacement and disappearance, have been attributed to the Elmer Cardenas Bloc and specifically to Don Mario and brother Freddy Rendon Herrera, who are being held in maximum-security prisons.

Both are cooperating with prosecutors from a special unit of the Attorney General's Office created to investigate and prosecute demobilized AUC fighters.

Don Mario must first appear before Colombian judicial authorities and make reparations to victims of his paramilitary activity, the Supreme Court said.

If he were to be extradited to the United States, “that would undermine the Colombian government's obligations in the fight against impunity for crimes against humanity,” the high court said.

It “would also gravely damage the rights of the victims and Colombian society, who would not have the chance to know the truth and obtain reparations for the crimes committed” by the AUC.

Rendon went underground after the AUC demobilized between the end of 2003 and mid-2006 as part of the peace process with President Alvaro Uribe's administration.

He seized control of the smuggling routes and markets of other drug warlords, including Salvatore Mancuso, Diego Fernando Murillo Bejarano and Ramiro Vanoy Murillo, all of whom were extradited by the Colombian government to the United States on May 13, 2008, to face drug and money-laundering charges.

Uribe said at the time they were extradited after violating the terms of the peace accords they had signed with his government.

The AUC encompassed most of the rightist rural security organizations created in the 1980s to fight leftist guerrillas.

Over the years, however, those groups turned into drug-running death squads.

~ more... ~

Interfaith dialogue ends with vow to uphold human rights, diversity

Reiterating their commitment to protect and promote human rights and freedom of expression, member-states including those with bleak human rights records concluded Thursday the special ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on interfaith dialogues.

The two-day conference ended with ministers and representatives of 118 member-states adopting the Manila Declaration and Program of Action. The document states that inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue is a “productive tool to promote economic and social development, peace and security, and human rights and the rule of law."

Under the declaration, NAM states agree to ensure that people fully enjoy the right to freedom of expression while preventing abuses and incitement to religious hatred “as provided for in the international human rights instruments to which states are parties."

Member-states reiterated the need for international cooperation in building inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue at the national and regional levels towards conflict prevention and nuclear disarmament.

They likewise emphasized the need to promote respect for the diversity of religions, beliefs, cultures and societies, and for prophets, religious symbols and personalities.

They also noted the value of spiritual practices as an aid to promoting peace and resolving conflict.

Dismal human rights records

Human rights situations in NAM states, however, have not been very encouraging in the past years.

The non-aligned movement counts among its 118 member-states the junta-ruled Myanmar, North Korea, Iran and even the Philippines, where rampant human rights violations have been scored by international rights watchdogs, including United Nations bodies.

Of special concern is Myanmar's passage of a law that would ban opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the national elections expected to be held this year. Suu Kyi has been in and out of detention for a total of 14 years since she was elected Prime Minister in the country's 1990 elections.

~ more...  ~

Human rights being trampled in Australia, says former WA premier Geoff Gallop

Basic human rights are being trampled on by "authoritarian" governments in Australia in the absence of a federal bill of rights, former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop says.

Mr Gallop, in a speech to a Human Rights Arts and Film Festival forum in Perth today, said recent state laws - including confiscation of assets and unexplained wealth legislation - had "crossed the line" on people's rights.

Australia was the only democratic country without a bill or charter of human rights, leaving its citizens at the mercy of bureaucracies, Mr Gallop said.

"What's missing in Australia, compared to a lot of other countries, is a consciousness that human rights are important," he said.

"There are very few human rights enshrined in law in Australia - we're very light on human rights."

Mr Gallop said recent legislation in Australia, including WA's tough anti-hoon laws that have led to the impounding cars belonging to innocent parties, and asset-freezing laws that undermine the presumption of innocence, had gone "too far".

Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.

End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.

"Some of those laws come very close, if not cross the line, on human rights and we need to expose that so we have a proper debate," he said.

"I think a charter of rights is designed to put a spotlight on those things, which is exactly what we need."

Mr Gallop said state governments had been put under pressure in recent times to get tough on crime, but had to be careful not to go too far.

"All governments are under pressure sometimes to push the executive power in the interests of the public," he said.

"(But) I think governments get too authoritarian.

"I really think, having been in government, you do need to have people question what you're doing, examining what you're doing - you need second opinions on things.

Mr Gallop told the forum at the University of WA that Australia still had "significant pockets of racism", "crude and nasty" populism and nationalism.

~ more... ~

Google
 

image from http://www.spitting-image.net

Favorite Links

~325~ ~9-11...Who Really Did It~ ~10:10~ ~10 Zen Monkeys~ ~911 Truth~ ~13 Indigenous Grandmothers~ ~15O~ ~15th October~ ~Activist Post~ ~ACT UP~ ~Adbusters~ ~Aerogaz (greek)~ ~Afinity Project~ ~Aging Hipsters~ ~Alecto's Ophelia~ ~Al-Jazeera~ ~Alex Constantine's Blacklist~ ~Alliance for Human Research Protection~ ~All Things Cynthia McKinney~ ~All Things Pakistan~ ~Alternative Insight~ ~Alternative Press Review~ ~Alternet~ ~American Friends Service Committee~ ~American Street~ ~Anarkismo~ ~Andy Worthington~ ~Anglican Pacifist Fellowship~ ~Anomaly News Syndicate~ ~Another Day In The Empire~ ~AntiWar~ ~Antiwar League~ ~Anxiety Culture~ ~Appeal For Redress From The War In Iraq~ ~A Poetic Justice~ ~Artists Without Frontiers~ ~Art of Europe~ ~Arts And Letters Daily~ ~Attack the System~ ~Athens IMC~ ~Ballardian~ ~Bilderberg.org~ ~Black Box Voting~ ~BlackListed News~ ~Black Vault~ ~Blog Bioethics net~ ~Blog of the Unknown Writer~ ~Blondsense~ ~Boiling Frog~ ~Boiling Frogs Post~ ~BoingBoing~ ~Book Ninja~ ~Bookslut~ ~Bradley Manning Support Network~ ~Brand New Law~ ~Brainsturbator~ ~Bring Them Home Now~ ~Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing~ ~Buckminster Fuller Institute~ ~Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists~ ~Bureau of Public Secrets~ ~Business & Human Rights Resource Centre~ ~Buzzflash~ ~Campaign For Real Farming~ ~Catapult the Propaganda~ ~Campus Antiwar Network~ ~Cargo Culte~ ~Castan Centre for Human Rights Law~ ~Catch of the Day~ ~Censorship Paradise~ ~Center for Media and Democracy~ ~Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan~ ~Centre for Research and Action for Peace~ ~Center on Law and Security~ ~Chapati Mystery~ ~Choike~ ~Chomsky.info~ ~Chronicle of Higher Education~ ~Church of the FSM~ ~CIA & Drugs~ ~Citizens for Legitimate Government~ ~Citizens for Tax Justice~ ~Clandestina~ ~CODEPINK~ ~Coilhouse mag~ ~Collateral Murder~ ~Common Dreams~ ~Complete 9/11 Timeline~ ~Concerned Africa Scholars~ ~Connexions~ ~Conspiracy Archive~ ~Contra Info~ ~Corrente~ ~COTO Report~ ~Coup d'Etat in America~ ~Countercurrents~ ~Crapaganda~ ~Create Real Democracy~ ~Creative-i~ ~Crimes of the State~ ~CrimethInc~ ~Crisis Group~ ~Critical Legal Thinking~ ~Cronache da Mileto (Italian)~ ~Crooks and Liars~ ~Crowd Modelling~ ~Cryptoforestry~ ~Cryptome~ ~Cyclos~ ~Culture Change~ ~Cutting Through The Matrix~ ~Cyrano's Journal~ ~Daily What~ ~Damn Interesting~ ~Dangerous Minds~ ~Deliberative Democracy Consortium~ ~Democracy Center~ ~Democracy Journal~ ~Democracy Now~ ~Democratic Underground~ ~Detournement~ ~Digital Rights [greek lang.]~ ~Diplomacy Lessons~ ~Direct Power!~ ~Discoveries-Researchings-Visions-Understandings-Enlightenments~ ~Disinformation~ ~DistributorCap NY~ ~Dr Hugo Heyrman-Motions of the Mind~ ~Dylanology~ ~EAGAINST~ ~Earthnocentric~ ~Eco Tort~ ~Ectoplasmosis!~ ~Educate Yourself~ ~E-Flux~ ~Electronic Frontier Foundation~ ~Electronic Intifada~ ~Eliminate War Forever~ ~End Evil~ ~Energy Bulletin~ ~Eradicating Ecocide~ ~EROCx1 Blog~
~Europeanrevolution~ ~European Revolution~ ~Eurozine~ ~Exposing the Truth~ ~Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond~ ~Families of the Fallen for Change~ ~Fellowship of Reconciliation~ ~Financial Armageddon~ ~FKN Newz~ ~Food For Your Eyes~ ~Forward the Revolution~ ~Franchot's Band~ ~Free Bloggers in Greece~ ~Free Expression Network~ ~Free Press International~ ~Freethinking for Dummies~ ~Free Thought Manifesto~ ~From the Wilderness~ ~F-t-W's Peak Oil Blog~ ~G1000~ ~Ghostdancing in Venice~ ~GIMP~ ~Gilles Duley~ ~Global Guerillas~ ~Global Integrity~ ~Global Policy Forum~ ~Global Revolution~ ~Global Security Institute~ ~Global Voices Online~ ~Gold Star Families for Peace~ ~Government Dirt~ ~Greek Alert [greek lang.]~ ~Greek Assembly in London~ ~Green Left Weekly~ ~Groklaw~ ~Hack Democracy~ ~Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy~ ~Hiroshima Peace Institute~ ~History Is A Weapon Blog~ ~How Appealing~ ~How To Vanish~ ~Human Rights Law Review~ ~I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy!~ ~Idler~ ~Impropaganda~ ~Independent Media Center~ ~INIREF~ ~Institute for Media Peace and Security~ ~International Action Center~ ~International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)~ ~In These Times~ ~Information Clearing House~ ~Information Liberation~ ~Infoshop~ ~Institute for Policy Studies~ ~Institute for War and Peace Reporting~ ~Insurgent American~ ~Intel Hub~ ~International Labor Rights Forum~ ~Intrinsic Impact~ ~Invisible History~ ~Iraq Citizens Against the War~ ~Iraq Freedom Congress~ ~Iraq Veterans Against the War~ ~Irish Peace Institute~ ~Issues and Alibis~ ~James Howard Kunstler~ ~Jesus Radicals~ ~John Zerzan~ ~Jorgen Schäfer's Homepage~ ~JUST~ ~Just For The Love Of It~ ~Justice Not Vengeance~ ~Kasama Project~ ~Keep Talking Greece~ ~Kia Mistilis~ ~Kill Me If You Can by Bob Miller~ ~Killer Coke~ ~Labor Rights~ ~Labor Rights Now~ ~Labour Start~ ~Lava Cocktail~ ~Lemon Gloria~ ~Lemony Snicket~ ~L'ennui mélodieux~ ~Lessig~ ~Liberation Theology~ ~Libertarians for Peace~ ~Life After the Oil Crash~ ~Life & Peace Institute~ ~Lunch Street Party~ ~Lycaeum~ ~Links by George~ ~Literary Kicks~ ~Lubinproductions~ ~MacNN~ ~Mad Cow Morning News~ ~Manageable Ants~ ~Mario Profaca's Cyberspace Station~ ~Maro Kouri~ ~Maud Newton~ ~May it Please the Court~ ~McSpotlight~ ~Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture~ ~Metta Center for Nonviolence~ ~Metanoia~ ~Michael Moore - Must Read~ ~Mind Control~ ~Military Families Speak Out~ ~Mind in Peace (greek)~ ~Miss Welby~ ~MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence~ ~Molly's Blog~ ~Mother Jones~ ~MungBeing Magazine~ ~MyAntiwar.org~ ~n +1 mag~ ~National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee~ ~Natural Farming~ ~Neatorama~ ~Neuromarketing~ ~Neurosecurity~ ~New Internationalist~ ~News Dissector~ ~News Frames~ ~News Making News~ ~News Now~ ~New Tactics in Human Rights~ ~New World Dawning~ ~NEXUS~ ~NFAK~ ~Nomadic Academy Of Fools~ ~Non Fides~ ~Noor Images~ ~Not In Our Name~ ~Not Stupid~ ~Nuclear Resister~ ~NUTOPIA2~ ~[Occupy] 2012 Scenario~ ~Occupy America Social Network~ ~OCCUPY Cafe~ ~Occupy Istanbul~ ~Occupy Together~ ~Occupy Together Field Manual~ ~OWS~ ~Occupy Writers~ ~October 2011~ ~Odious Debts~ ~ODYS~ ~Olmaz~ ~On the Path to 2012~ ~Op Ed News~ ~Open Letters to George W. Bush from his ardent admirer,Belacqua Jones~ ~Open Revolt!~ ~Open Source Ecology~ ~Orthodox Peace Fellowship~ ~Orwell Today~ ~Outlaw Journalism~ ~OWNI~ ~Patriots Question 9/11~ ~Peace in Mind (greek)~ ~PeaceJam~ ~Peace Now~ ~Peaceful Tomorrows~ ~Peak Moment~ ~People's Assemblies Network~ ~Peter Frase~ ~Photography is Not a Crime~ ~Picture the Homeless~ ~Pieman~ ~Places the U.S. has bombed~ ~Pogo Was Right - privacy news~ ~Political Reform.ie~ ~Post Carbon Institute~ ~Praxis Peace Institute~ ~Primate Poetics~ ~Prisoner Solidarity~ ~Professors question 9/11~ ~Project Camelot~ ~Project Censored~ ~Project for the Old American Century~ ~Project on Corporations, Law and Democracy~ ~Psyche, Science and Society~ ~Psychogeography~ ~Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility~ ~Radical Anthropology~ ~Rainbow Family~ ~RawStory~ ~Reality Sandwich~ ~Real Democacy GR~ ~Real Democracy Now.net~ ~Rebel Dog~ ~Reflections on a Revolution~ ~Reporters Without Borders~ ~Re-public~ ~Resistance Studies Magazine~ ~Resource Based Economy Foundation~ ~Re-volt Radio~ ~Richard Heinberg's Museletter~ ~Rockefeller's War on Drugs~ ~Ruckus Society~ ~Sacred Texts~ ~Salon~ ~Save Orphan Works~ ~Scholars and Rogues~ ~Scoop~ ~SCOTUS Blog~ ~Secrecy News~ ~Service Academy Graduates Against the War~ ~Shadow Government Statistics~ ~Signs of the Times News~ ~Slovenia Peace Institute~ ~Smirking Chimp~ ~smygo~ ~SNU Project~ ~Soil And Health Library~ ~SourceWatch~ ~Speaking Truth to Power~ ~Spirit Horse Foundation~ ~Spunk~ ~Squattastic~ ~Starhawk~ ~Stockholm International Peace Research Institute~ ~StopCartel TV-GR~ ~Stop The Arms Fair~ ~Stop the Spying.org~ ~Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness~ ~Students Against War~ ~Survival Acres~ ~Survival International~ ~Swan's Commentary~ ~Take The Square~ ~Tangible Information~ ~Tax Justice Network~ ~Tax Research UK~ ~Theatre of the Oppressed~ ~The Black Commentator~ ~The Black Vault~ ~The Borowitz Report~ ~The Carpetbagger Report~ ~The Center for Public Integrity~ ~The Daily Reckoning~ ~The Dark Age Blog~ ~The Digger Archives~ ~The End of Being~ ~The Guardian~ ~The Hidden Evil~ ~The Huffington Post~ ~The Intelligence Daily~ ~The Lazy Man's Guide To Enlightenment~ ~The Mountain Sentinel~ ~The Nation~ ~The National Security Archive~ ~The New Z-Land Project~ ~The Other Israel~ ~The Pathology Guy~ ~The Progress Report~ ~The Progressive Magazine~ ~The Real News~ ~The Situation Room~ ~The Truth Seeker~ ~ The Watcher Files~ ~Think Progress~ ~Third World Traveller~ ~This Land Is Ours~ ~This Modern World~ ~TomDispatch~ ~Total Collapse~ ~Total Dick-Head~ ~Transform!~ ~Transnational Institute~ ~Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research~ ~True Democracy~ ~Troops Out Now~ ~True Democracy Party~ ~Truthdig~ ~Truth News~ ~Truthout~ ~TW3 and fotografia la dolce vita~ ~Uncommon Thought~ ~United for Peace & Justice~ ~United States Institute of Peace~ ~Unknown News~ ~UNPA Campaign~ ~Urbanibalism~ ~US Labor Against the War~ ~VBS TV~ ~Veterans Against the Iraq War~ ~Veterans for Peace and Justice~ ~Video Rebel's Blog~ ~Vietnam Veterans Against the War~ ~Virusmyth - Rethinking AIDS~ ~visionOntv~ ~Voices for Creative Non-Violence~ ~Void Network~ ~Voice Memo~ ~Voters for Peace~ ~Waging Nonviolence~ ~Waking the Midnight Sun~ ~Want To Know~ ~War Costs~ ~War Crimes and Military Improprieties~ ~War Criminals Watch~ ~War on Society~ ~War is Illegal~ ~War Resisters International~ ~War Resisters League~ ~Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi?~ ~Watergate Exposed~ ~West Point Graduates Against The War~ ~What Really Happened~ ~What’s On My Food?~ ~Why Work? Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery~ ~Wikileaks~ ~WikiLeaks Central~ ~Wild Wild Left~ ~willyloman~ ~Winning Cancer~ ~Win Without War~ ~Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)~ ~Wonkette~ ~World Prout Assembly~ ~Worldwide Hippies~ ~Yes Lab~ ~Yippie Museum~ ~Young Protester~ ~Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR)~ ~Zapatistas~ ~Zine Library~ ~Zippy Elder-at-Large~ ~ZMag~
~ Thank you for visiting Circle of 13 ~

FAIR USE NOTICE

This blog may contain videos with copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.