Bush Stimulates The Porn Industry With His Economic Package

Related video: – Why America deserves G. W. Bush

When President Bush announced his economic stimulus in January, he bragged that his package was the “right size” and would “boost” the economy:

I am pleased that this agreement meets the criterion that I set forth last week to provide an effective, robust, and temporary set of incentives that will boost our economy and encourage job creation. This package has the right set of policies and is the right size. The incentives in this package will lead to higher consumer spending and increased business investment this year.

It sure has led to “higher consumer spending,” but not where Bush had probably hoped. The adult pornography industry reports that has seen a huge uptick in business thanks to Bush’s package. According to a press release from the Adult Internet Market Research Company:

An independent market-research firm, AIMRCo (Adult Internet Market Research Company), has discovered that many websites focused on adult or erotic material have experienced an upswing in sales in the recent weeks since checks have appeared in millions of Americans’ mailboxes across the country.

According to Kirk Mishkin, Head Research Consultant for AIMRCo, “Many of the sites we surveyed have reported 20-30% growth in membership rates since mid-May when the checks were first sent out, and typically the summer is a slow period for this market.”

Jillian Fox of LSGmodels.com (nsfw) said that in a survey to its members, “thirty two percent of respondents referenced the recent stimulus package as part of their decision to either become a new member, or renew an existing membership.”

The Bush administration has attempted to wage an aggressive fight in the War on Porn. In fact, cracking down on “manufacturers and purveyors” of pornography was “one of the top priorities” of Alberto Gonzales while he was Attorney General, often coming before terrorism prosecutions.

Ironically, the porn industry is now thanking Bush for his policies. “Getting more people to buy porn was probably the last thing Bush had on his mind when he came up with his ‘stimulus package,’ but we’ll take it,” said Fox.

July 02, 2008

Source: Think Progress

US: Big Trouble for General Motors, Crysler and Ford

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Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs
Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008
Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail

Shares of General Motors are trading at prices last seen in the 1950s.

(Consider that the Dollar today is worthless compared to 1950! – The Infinite Unknown)

America’s automobile industry may be facing the biggest turnaround challenge in its history, a problem punctuated Tuesday as the carmakers released monthly sales results.

Times were tough enough in Detroit before gasoline hit $4 per gallon, but in the past two months the outlook has taken a turn for the worse.

Shares of General Motors are trading at prices last seen in the 1950s, their value cut in half in just eight weeks. Ford and Chrysler are in even worse shape, analysts say.

The sobering implication: The Big Three may have to become the Big Two, and even survivors will have a tough road ahead.

Bankruptcy is not a near-term threat, but the three carmakers are fast burning through cash reserves. And while government assistance – or perhaps an energy policy that supports new automotive technologies – could become a lifeline, it can’t substitute for the hard work of transforming product lines.


Reporter Mark Trumbull discusses the current situation for car manufacturers.

“The rate of cash usage is alarming,” says Gregg Lemos Stein, an auto analyst at Standard & Poor’s in New York, which has put all three carmakers on “credit watch” to review the default risk on their debts. “They’ve never been lower than this,” he adds, referring to S&P’s current B rating on their debt.

The current debt ratings place the Detroit automakers in what’s known as “junk bond” status, below the typical quality range known as investment grade. The good news: Bankruptcy or default isn’t an imminent risk, Mr. Lemos Stein says, because the companies headed into this crisis with cash on hand.

But the credit watch, in place as of June 20, means that analysts are concerned about a deteriorating outlook.

“We believe all three companies currently have ample liquidity for at least the rest of 2008 as measured by cash balances, available bank facilities, and … unencumbered assets” that could be sold, S&P analysts said in their recent report.

The cash-flow problem could reach “undesirable” levels by the second half of next year, they said.

Read moreUS: Big Trouble for General Motors, Crysler and Ford

Police ‘torture’ videos cause uproar in Mexico


A frame from a video obtained by the Heraldo de Leon newspaper shows a torture session.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) Videos showing Leon police practicing torture techniques on a fellow officer and dragging another through vomit at the instruction of a U.S. adviser created an uproar Tuesday in Mexico, which has struggled to eliminate torture in law enforcement.

Two of the videos — broadcast by national television networks and displayed on newspaper Internet sites — showed what Leon city Police Chief Carlos Tornero described as training for an elite unit that must face “real-life, high-stress situations,” such as kidnapping and torture by organized crime groups.

But many Mexicans saw a sinister side, especially at a moment when police and soldiers across the country are struggling with scandals over alleged abuses.

“They are teaching police … to torture!” read the headline in the Mexico City newspaper Reforma.

Human rights investigators in Guanajuato state, where Leon is located, are looking into the tapes, and the National Human Rights Commission also expressed concern.

“It’s very worrisome that there may be training courses that teach people to torture,” said Raul Plascencia, one of the commission’s top inspectors.

One of the videos, first obtained by the newspaper El Heraldo de Leon, shows police appearing to squirt water up a man’s nose — a technique once notorious among Mexican police. Then they dunk his head in a hole said to be full of excrement and rats. The man gasps for air and moans repeatedly.

(George Orwell 1984 – The Infinite Unknown)

In another video, an unidentified English-speaking trainer has an exhausted agent roll into his own vomit. Other officers then drag him through the mess.

“These are no more than training exercises for certain situations, but I want to stress that we are not showing people how to use these methods,” Tornero said.

Read morePolice ‘torture’ videos cause uproar in Mexico

DROUGHT-STRICKEN CYPRUS GETS WATER FROM GREECE

NICOSIA, Cyprus – A Greek tanker carrying about 1.76 million cubic feet of water arrived in the Cypriot port of Limassol on Monday to help the drought-stricken island replenish its dwindling water reserves.

The tanker is the first in a fleet of ships chartered by the Cypriot government at a cost of $65 million to provide water to towns now experiencing emergency rationing.

With the Mediterranean island’s 17 main reservoirs now at critical levels – just seven percent full – Cypriots have endured meager water rations since March.

The main water pipelines have been turned on for only a few nights each week. And some residents, particularly those living in high-rise apartment blocks, have complained of not getting any water at all because pressure has been insufficient to push the water to rooftop storage tanks.

Cypriots have been forbidden to wash their cars or water their gardens. Underground water pumped from boreholes has also become scarce.

Read moreDROUGHT-STRICKEN CYPRUS GETS WATER FROM GREECE

UFOs Spotted by Navy Engineer, Soldiers and Helicopter Police

Royal Navy aircraft engineer claims to have seen a “glowing” UFO hover over the M5 motorway.

Michael Madden, 25, said he watched in disbelief as the disc-shaped object floated above his head before it “zoomed off at incredible speed”.

He said the unidentified flying object flew for up to three minutes above junction 21 of the M5, near Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.

Mr Madden was on his way back from Manchester with colleague Michael Casson, 22, at 9.50pm on Sunday June 29 when he saw the suspected ‘extra-terrestrial’ craft.He said: “I work with aircraft and grew up next to Manchester Airport so I know exactly what a plane looks and sounds like. This was definitely not a plane.

“It was a circular disc which was glowing bright, hovering hundreds of metres up.

“Other people must have spotted it. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life. It really did look like the alien aircraft in films. It had an antenna fixed to the back.”

Mr Madden’s claim follows a string of recent UFO “sightings”.

On June 7 three soldiers said they saw 13 UFOs, which looked like “rotating cubes”, while on night patrol at Tern Hill military barracks near Market Drayton, Shropshire. One, Corporal Mark Proctor, 38, of the 1st Battalion of the Irish Regiment, recorded the sighting on his mobile phone and reported it to Army officers.

That sighting came just two hours before helicopter police officers reported an encounter with a huge craft 80 miles away near Cardiff. They claimed to have given chase to the “flying saucer-shaped” object after it almost collided with their aircraft near the Ministry of Defence base of St Athan.

Then Father-of-two David Osborne, 47, videoed 12 orange objects in the night sky above Basingstoke, Hampshire, at 10.40pm on June 28.

The alleged UFOs moved across the sky, switching from a D formation, to a random pattern, to a line then a triangle before disappearing.

02/07/2008

Source: Telegraph

Pentagon Plans a High Risk Chemical Weapons Transport

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is considering a plan to ship deadly chemical weapons to military sites in four states to accelerate the destruction of the munitions, a new report to Congress says.

The idea of transporting such lethal agents along routes such as from Colorado to Oregon is prompting opposition from Congress and watchdog groups.

They say the plan exposes the American public to unnecessary risks as the U.S. government is concerned about terrorist attacks.

To honor a 1997 treaty banning chemical weapons, Congress has ordered the military to destroy all its munitions by the end of 2017.

In an unpublicized report delivered to lawmakers last week, the Pentagon said it probably could not meet that deadline unless it ships nerve agents and mustard gas to additional sites for destruction.

Even adding more people and working around the clock at the two sites with complicated dismantling requirements in Kentucky and Colorado may not help the military meet the 2017 deadline, the report said.

Work would be speeded up if some weapons at Kentucky’s Blue Grass Army Depot are moved to sites in Alabama and Arkansas, the report said, while some at the Pueblo, Colo., site are sent to Utah and Oregon.

Congress would have to change laws that forbid moving the weapons, the report said.

That prospect is uncertain. While chemical weapons have been destroyed safely at the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama, it is too risky to ship more there, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said in a statement.

It’s shocking and irresponsible for the Department of Defense to even propose to ship large volumes of weapons of mass destruction across the highways of the United States considering the risks and atmosphere of terrorist threats,” said Craig Williams, director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group, a Kentucky citizens organization.

Read morePentagon Plans a High Risk Chemical Weapons Transport

Europe may push the Fed to raise rates

The European Central Bank is expected to boost a key rate Thursday in order to fight inflation. The move may cause a weaker dollar and force the Fed’s hand.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The fireworks may come a day early for the financial markets if the European Central Bank, as expected, raises interest rates on Thursday.

If the ECB, Europe’s counterpart to the Federal Reserve, hikes rates, that could put even further pressure on the anemic dollar and send commodity prices even higher.

The ECB will announce its decision on interest rates early the morning of July 3 and will hold a press conference shortly thereafter to discuss the decision.

Members of the ECB, most notably its president Jean-Claude Trichet, have been talking loudly about inflation concerns in recent weeks and have hinted that a rate hike will take place at Thursday’s meeting.

If the ECB does raise rates by a quarter-of-a-percentage point, that would leave its benchmark short-term rate at 4.25%. By way of comparison, the Fed’s federal funds rate is just 2%.

Read moreEurope may push the Fed to raise rates

Dow suffers worst 1st half since ’70

Related articles and videos:

Fortis Bank Predicts US Financial Market Meltdown Within Weeks

Barclays warns of a financial storm as Federal Reserve’s credibility crumbles

Jim Rogers: Avoid The Dollar At All Costs

Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008

Marc Faber: ‘Misleading’ Fed Should Let Banks Fail

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 were little changed on Monday on the final trading day of the second quarter as record oil boosted energy shares, offsetting weak financial stocks amid nagging concerns of further credit losses.

But even with the pause on Monday, the Dow and S&P posted their worst one-month drop since September 2002. The Dow also suffered its worst first half since 1970.

The Nasdaq ended the session lower, hurt by a drop in the shares of Yahoo as it battles with shareholders after takeover talks with Microsoft fell apart.

Read moreDow suffers worst 1st half since ’70

U.S. Military to Patrol Internet

Related article and video:Air Force Aims for ‘Full Control’ of ‘Any and All’ Computers

WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) — The U.S. military is looking for a contractor to patrol cyberspace, watching for warning signs of forthcoming terrorist attacks or other hostile activity on the Web.

“If someone wants to blow us up, we want to know about it,” Robert Hembrook, the deputy intelligence chief of the U.S. Army’s Fifth Signal Command in Mannheim, Germany, told United Press International.

(…and the place where you can read about any planned terrorist attack is the Internet, of course!)

In a solicitation posted on the Web last week, the command said it was looking for a contractor to provide “Internet awareness services” to support “force protection” — the term of art for the security of U.S. military installations and personnel.

“The purpose of the services will be to identify and assess stated and implied threat, antipathy, unrest and other contextual data relating to selected Internet domains,” says the solicitation.

Hembrook was tight-lipped about the proposal. “The more we talk about it, the less effective it will be,” he said. “If we didn’t have to put it out in public (to make the contract award), we wouldn’t have.”

He would not comment on the kinds of Internet sites the contractor would be directed to look at but acknowledged it would “not (be) far off” to assume violent Islamic extremists would be at the top of the list.

The solicitation says the successful contractor will “analyze various Web pages, chat rooms, blogs and other Internet domains to aggregate and assess data of interest,” adding, “The contractor will prioritize foreign-language domains that relate to specific areas of concern … (and) will also identify new Internet domains” that might relate to “specific local requirements” of the command.

Officials were keen to stress the contract covered only information that could be found by anyone with a computer and Internet connection.

“We’re not interested in being Big Brother,” said LeAnne MacAllister, chief spokeswoman for the command, which runs communications in Europe for the U.S. Army and the military’s joint commands there.

“I would not characterize it as monitoring,” added Hembrook. “This is a research tool gathering information that is already in the public domain.”

Experts say Islamic extremist groups like al-Qaida use the Web for propaganda and fundraising purposes.

________________________________________________________________________________

And these are the real terrorists:

Government Insider: Bush Authorized 9/11 Attacks:
“This (9/11) was all planned. This was a government-ordered operation. Bush personally signed the order. He personally authorized the attacks. He is guilty of treason and mass murder.” -Stanley Hilton

Rumsfeld: Why not another 9/11?:
In a newly-released tape of a 2006 neocon luncheon meeting featuring former War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, attended by ex-military “message force multiplier” propaganda shills Lt. General Michael DeLong, David L. Grange, Donald W. Sheppard, James Marks, Rick Francona, Wayne Downing, Robert H. Scales and others, Rumsfeld declared that the American people lack “the maturity to recognize the seriousness of the ‘threats’” — and need another 9/11.

USA Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Although the extent to which it is employed in operational planning is less clear, most agree that important information about targeting and tactics can be gleaned from extremists’ public pronouncements.

Read moreU.S. Military to Patrol Internet

State-Sponsored Terror: British and American Black Ops in Iraq

Shining Light on the “Black World”

In January of 2002, the Washington Post ran a story detailing a CIA plan put forward to President Bush shortly after 9/11 by CIA Director George Tenet titled, “Worldwide Attack Matrix,” which was “outlining a clandestine anti-terror campaign in 80 countries around the world. What he was ready to propose represented a striking and risky departure for U.S. policy and would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history.” The plan entailed CIA and Special Forces “covert operations across the globe,” and at “the heart of the proposal was a recommendation that the president give the CIA what Tenet labeled “exceptional authorities” to attack and destroy al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.” Tenet cited the need for such authority “to allow the agency to operate without restraint — and he wanted encouragement from the president to take risks.” Among the many authorities recommended was the use of “deadly force.”

Further, “Another proposal was that the CIA increase liaison work with key foreign intelligence services,” as “Using such intelligence services as surrogates could triple or quadruple the CIA’s effectiveness.” The Worldwide Attack Matrix “described covert operations in 80 countries that were either underway or that he was now recommending. The actions ranged from routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks,” as well as “In some countries, CIA teams would break into facilities to obtain information.”[1]

P2OG: “Commit terror, to incite terror… in order to react to terror”

In 2002, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) conducted a “Summer Study on Special Operations and Joint Forces in Support of Countering Terrorism,” portions of which were leaked to the Federation of American Scientists. According to the document, the “War on Terror” constitutes a “committed, resourceful and globally dispersed adversary with strategic reach,” which will require the US to engage in a “long, at times violent, and borderless war.”As the Asia Times described it, this document lays out a blueprint for the US to “fight fire with fire.” Many of the “proposals appear to push the military into territory that traditionally has been the domain of the CIA, raising questions about whether such missions would be subject to the same legal restraints imposed on CIA activities.” According to the Chairman of the DSB, “The CIA executes the plans but they use Department of Defense assets.”

Specifically, the plan “recommends the creation of a super-Intelligence Support Activity, an organization it dubs the Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG), to bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence and cover and deception. For example, the Pentagon and CIA would work together to increase human intelligence (HUMINT) forward/operational presence and to deploy new clandestine technical capabilities.” The purpose of P2OG would be in “‘stimulating reactions’ among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction, meaning it would prod terrorist cells into action, thus exposing them to ‘quick-response’ attacks by US forces.”[2] In other words, commit terror to incite terror, in order to react to terror.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2002 that, “The Defense Department is building up an elite secret army with resources stretching across the full spectrum of covert capabilities. New organizations are being created. The missions of existing units are being revised,” and quoted then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, “Prevention and preemption are … the only defense against terrorism.”[3] Chris Floyd bluntly described P2OG in CounterPunch, saying, “the United States government is planning to use “cover and deception” and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let’s say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people–your family, your friends, your lovers, you–in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.”[4]

“The Troubles” with Iraq

Read moreState-Sponsored Terror: British and American Black Ops in Iraq

GLOBAL ECONOMY – Factories hit worldwide as commodity prices soar

LONDON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Soaring commodity costs are denting manufacturing activity in Asia and Europe and the outlook looks bleak as new orders drop off in the face of rising prices, surveys showed on Tuesday.

Manufacturing activity in the euro zone contracted in June for the first time in three years while business confidence in Asia’s largest export markets is buckling and output has likely contracted further in the United States.

Purchasing managers indices showed manufacturing activity in the euro zone fell to 49.2 in June, China saw its index fall to a near three-year low of 52.0 while in Britain it contracted at its sharpest rate since December 2001.

The 50.0 mark separates growth from contraction. Factories worldwide have struggled in the face of soaring raw material and energy costs — oil hit over $143 a barrel on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan’s tankan corporate index of big manufacturers’ sentiment dropped to plus 5, from 11 in March, showing their mood has not been darker since 2003.

Read moreGLOBAL ECONOMY – Factories hit worldwide as commodity prices soar

NATO, US forces suffer deadliest month in Afghanistan

June was the deadliest month for foreign troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 fall of the Taliban and the second in a row in which casualties exceeded those in Iraq, official figures showed Tuesday.

Forty-nine soldiers from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the separate US-led coalition died in combat, attacks or accidents in June, according to an AFP tally based on military statements.

June accounted for more than 40 percent of the 122 deaths of foreign soldiers in Afghanistan during 2008, according to the independent website icasualties.org.

Most were killed by roadside bombs hitting their convoys or patrols.

ISAF spokesman General Carlos Branco said the figures should be seen in the context of rising numbers of international forces fighting a resurgent Taliban militia.

Read moreNATO, US forces suffer deadliest month in Afghanistan

Starbucks to cut as many as 12,000 positions

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) said on Tuesday it plans to close another 500 underperforming stores and eliminate as many as 12,000 fill- and part-time positions.

The company, which now plans to close a total of 600 underperforming stores, will take related charges totaling more than $325 million.

The majority of the stores will be closed by the end of the first half of its fiscal year ended September 2009, the company said.

Read moreStarbucks to cut as many as 12,000 positions

US called Waterboarding a War Crime in 1947

Mukasey Won’t Say Waterboarding Is Torture. But in 1947 the U.S. Called It a War Crime, Sentenced Enemy Officer to 15 Years Hard Labor

Immoral Relativism: George Bush’s nomination of Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general – once thought to be smooth sailing – is experiencing a bit of turbulence. The problem is, Mukasey can’t bring himself to say whether or not waterboarding is torture:

During his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Mukasey said he believes torture violates the Constitution, but he refused to be pinned down on whether he believes specific interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, are constitutional.

“I don’t know what’s involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional,” he said.

But after World War II, the United States government was quite clear about the fact that waterboarding was torture, at least when it was done to U.S. citizens:

[In] 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II,” he said.

Mukasey’s non-answer has raised doubts among Democrats, and even some Republicans, on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

[The] Democrats on the committee signed a joint letter to Mukasey, making sure that he knew what’s involved, and demanded an answer to the question as to whether waterboarding is torture.

Then two days later, the doubts grew louder. Two key Democrats, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) both said publicly that their votes depended on Mukasey’s answer to the waterboarding question.

Then it was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who saw an opening after Rudy Giuliani refused to call waterboarding torture (“It depends on who does it.”). Most certainly it’s torture, McCain said. When pressed, he stopped short of saying that he would oppose Mukasey’s nomination if he didn’t say the same, but he added to the chorus of those who professed to be interested in what Mukasey’s answer to follow-up questions will be.

Yesterday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said that if Mukasey “does not believe that waterboarding is illegal, then that would really put doubts in my own mind.”

[Sen.] Arlen Specter (R-PA) has also thrown in his lot of doubts and concerns.

Of course, if the past is a guide, Mukasey will easily win nomination, and nearly all these senators who have expressed concern will vote for him.

Waterboarding has become an isssue because the Bush White House signed off on it as an interrogation technique – and thus moved the United States into the company of pariah states that permit torture – after the 9/11 attacks.

Source: Pensito Review

Israel May Attack Iran, Pentagon Official Tells ABC

July 1 (Bloomberg) — Israel is increasingly likely to attack Iranian nuclear facilities this year, a U.S. Defense Department official told ABC News.

Iran’s government dismissed as propaganda the ABC report on the unidentified Pentagon official’s comments. Israeli government officials declined to comment on the report.

In the U.S., Pentagon spokesmen Bryan Whitman declined to address the report. “I don’t comment for Israel,” he said. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said he had “no information that would substantiate” the ABC report and criticized the official for not speaking publicly.

An Israeli strike might be triggered by the production of enough enriched uranium at Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant to make a bomb, ABC cited the official as saying. A second possible trigger would be the delivery of a Russian SA-20 air-defense system, the installation of which would make an Israeli attack more difficult, the U.S. official told ABC.

Oil rose on concern any conflict would cut supplies from OPEC’s second-largest producer. Crude oil for August delivery increased as much as $2.95, or 2.1 percent, to $142.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Former Israeli Air Force General Isaac Ben-Israel, now a lawmaker in Israel’s ruling Kadima party, told Germany’s Spiegel that his nation is “prepared” for an attack if diplomacy and United Nations sanctions fail to stop Iran from making a nuclear weapon. Ben-Israel helped plan Israel’s 1981 strike on an Iraqi nuclear reactor, the magazine said.

Before Bush Leaves

A strike on Natanz would only temporarily damage Iran’s nuclear program and could spark a wave of attacks on U.S. interests, ABC said in yesterday’s report, citing unidentified Pentagon officials. The U.S. and many of its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its production of enriched uranium is intended to produce electricity and is legal under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Ron Paul also says what Iran does is “perfectly legal”!

This is a very important Video!

Ron Paul on Iran and Energy June 26, 2008


Source: You Tube

The Israeli government may want an attack to take place before President George W. Bush leaves office, Ephraim Kam, deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said today in a telephone interview.

“There is no doubt that such an operation is being considered, but it’s not going to happen tomorrow,” Kam said. “We still have some time. The Bush administration may be more sympathetic to an Israeli operation against Iran than whoever the next president may be, so it could happen before the end of the year.”

Israeli Maneuvers

More than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighter planes took part in maneuvers over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece during the first week of June, the New York Times reported on June 20. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Israel last weekend for meetings with Israeli military leaders, ABC said.

Read moreIsrael May Attack Iran, Pentagon Official Tells ABC

America’s Shrinking Groceries

American supermarkets are epics of excess: it often seems like every item in the store comes in a “Jumbo” size or has “Bonus!” splashed across the label. But is it possible that the amount of food Americans are buying is, in fact… shrinking? Well, yes. Soaring commodity and fuel prices are driving up costs for manufacturers; faced with a choice between raising prices (which consumers would surely notice) or quietly putting fewer ounces in the bag, carton or cup (which they generally don’t) manufacturers are choosing the latter. This month, Kellogg’s started shipping Apple Jacks, Cocoa Krispies, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks containing an average of 2.4 fewer ounces per box.

Similar reductions have recently happened or are on the horizon for many other products: Tropicana orange juice containers are shrinking from 96 ounces to 89; Wrigley’s is dropping its the 17-stick PlenTPak in favor of the 15-stick Slim Pack; Dial soap bars now weigh half an ounce less, and that’s even before they melt in the shower. Containers of Country Crock spread, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Edy’s and Breyer’s ice cream have all slimmed down as well (although that may not necessarily be a bad thing).

“People are just more sensitive to changes in price than changes in quantity,” says Harvard Business School Professor John Gourville, who studies consumer decision-making. “Most people can tell you how much a box of cereal costs, but they have no clue how much is actually in it.” Other segments of the economy have made similar moves to pass on their higher costs to the consumer without raising prices directly. American Airlines announced in May that it would charge $15 each way for a single checked bag, part of what airlines have dubbed “a la carte” pricing, which – along with the industrywide drive to put price tags on former freebies like soft drinks, meals and headphones – some airline observers say is really an effort to avoid increasing base ticket prices.

Read moreAmerica’s Shrinking Groceries

The US is not a republic anymore

Related article:US needs 100 years to recover from Bush


Gore Vidal

An interview with Gore Vidal by Afshin Rattansi, Press TV, Tehran:

Press TV:We hear that Michael Mukasey is going to become the latest of the President’s Attorney-Generals to be subpoenaed, this time over his conversations with Bush and Cheney – does this show that Congress is serious about calling the executive to account?

Gore Vidal: No, Congress has never been more cowardly, nor more corrupt. All Bush has do is to make sure certain amounts of money go in the direction of certain important congressmen and that’s end of any serious investigation. After all, one of the bravest members of Congress is Dennis Kucinich who brought the article of impeachment in to the well of the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives must then try the president, and then after that it goes to the Senate for judgment. However, none of these things will happen because there’s nobody there except for Mr. Kucinich who has the courage to take on a sitting president who is kind of a Mafioso.

Press TV: How can it just be one person among so many hundreds of Congressmen who wants the impeachment of George W. Bush in these circumstances?

Gore Vidal: Well it’s because we no longer have a country. We don’t have a republic any more. During the last 7 or 8 years of the Bush regime, they’ve got rid of the Bill of Rights, they’ve got rid of habeas corpus. They have got rid of one of the nicest gifts that England ever left us when they went away and we ceased to be colonies – the Magna Carta – from the 12th century. All of our law and due process of law is based on that. And the Bush people got rid of it. The president and little Mr. Gonzales who for a few minutes was his Attorney General. They managed to get rid of all of the constitutional links that made us literally a republic.

Press TV: You have often written about the US’s superpower status in terms of the history of previous superpowers. Do you think we’re witnessing the end of US power as some suggest. Will the White House be seen like Persepolis?

Gore Vidal: Well it won’t make such good ruins, no. It’ll be more like the tomb of Cyrus nearby. They managed to destroy the United States – why? Because they’re oil and gas people and they’re essentially criminals. I repeat that this is a criminal group that’s seized control of the country through what looked like an ordinary election. But there’s some very nice films and documentaries about what happened in the year 2000 when Albert Gore won the election for president and they saw to it that he couldn’t serve. They got the Supreme Court – which is the Holy of Holies ordinarily in our system – to investigate and then accuse the thieves of being absolutely correct and the winners – Mr. Gore and the Democrats – of being the cheaters. It’s the first law of Machiavelli, whatever your opponent’s faults are, you pick his virtues and you deny he has them. That’s what they did when Senator Kerry ran a few years ago for president. He’s a famous hero from the Vietnam War. They said he was a coward and not a hero. That’s how it’s done. When you have a bunch of liars in charge of your government you can’t expect to get much history out of that. But later on we’ll dig and dig… and we will dig up Persepolis.

Press TV: Senator Obama talks about change but of course he has courting Wall Street as well as the Israeli lobby – do you see any prospect of change with him as president?

Gore Vidal: Not really. I don’t doubt his good faith, just as I do not doubt the bad faith of Cheney and Bush. They are such dreadful people that we’ve never had in government before. They would never have risen unless they were buying elections as they did in Florida in 2000, as they did in the State of Ohio in 2004. These are two open thefts of the Presidency. When I discovered that this did not interest the New York Times or the Washington Post or any of the press of the country I realized our day was done. We are no longer a country we are a framework for crooks to go in and steal money. Knowing that they’ll never be caught and they’ll be admired for it. Americans always take everybody on his own evaluation. You say I’m a state and they say “oh, yeah yeah yeah, he’s a state, isn’t that great.” And you accuse the other people of your crimes before you commit them. It’s an old trick which was known to Machiavelli who wrote about it in his handbook, the Prince.

Press TV:Finally that issue which is exercising so many minds in the Middle East and beyond. You, yourself have written about so many Imperial wars of the United States. Do you think Bush and Cheney would risk another war in what Mohammad ElBaradei of the IAEA calls a fireball?

Gore Vidal: They are longing to but they have spent all of the money. They have got it in their own private companies like the Vice-President and a company called Halliburton which is stealing more money and should be on trial sooner or later before Congress. But perhaps not, who knows? But it’s well known in Washington, these people are leaking away the money of the country. Well there’s no more money. They are longing for a war with Iran. Iran is no more a harm to us than was Iraq or Afghanistan. They invented an enemy, they tell lies, lies, lies.
The New York Times goes along with their lies, lies, lies. And they don’t stop. When the public that’s lied to 30 times a day it’s apt to believe the lies, is not it?

Read moreThe US is not a republic anymore

US: Oil blockade constitutes an act of war


Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff

The commander of US naval forces in the Persian Gulf says any attempt by Iran to shut down the Strait of Hormuz will be an ‘act of war’.

Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff, the commander of the Fifth Fleet – responsible for naval operations in the Persian Gulf -, said Monday that the White House will not allow the strategic Persian Gulf oil passage to be sealed off.

Cosgriff made the remarks after Iran warned that it would not hesitate in taking all necessary measures to safeguard its national interests in case of an enemy offensive.

“When a country comes under attack, it naturally uses all its capacities to confront the enemy,” said Major General Mohammad-Ali Jafari on Saturday in reference to the country’s ability to cut oil supplies by closing the Strait of Hormuz.

The commander of US Naval Forces Central Command, however, warned that such comments by high-ranking Iranian officials are ‘not helpful’.

Cosgriff suggested that a blockade ‘will not be an action against the United States but against the international community’.

While the Bush administration continues to beat the drums of war against Tehran, Tel Aviv has fueled speculation about the possibility of an attack on Iran. Recent reports indicate that the Israeli regime may have staged military maneuvers to prepare for air strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.

The Islamic Republic, however, affirms that it is fully prepared to counter any act of aggression on its soil.

Mon, 30 Jun 2008
Source: Press TV

Related article: America Is the Rogue Nation:
(“More to the point, Iran has been equipped by Russia with the fastest anti-ship missile on the planet. The SS-N-22 Sunburn can travel at Mach 3 at high altitude and at Mach 2.2 at low altitude. That is faster than anything in our arsenal.

Iran’s conventional forces include an army of 540,000 men and 300,000 reserves, including 120,000 Iranian Guards especially trained in unconventional warfare. It has more than 1,600 main battle tanks and 21,000 other armored combat vehicles. It has 3,200 artillery pieces, three submarines, 59 surface warships and 10 amphibious ships.”)

Iran ‘digging 320,000 graves for invaders’


Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh

A senior Iranian commander says the country is digging some ‘320,000 graves’ in its bordering provinces for future slain invaders.

Brigadier General Mir-Faisal Baqerzadeh, the Head of the Foundation for the Remembrance of the Holy Defense, said Sunday that the decision had been approved by Iran’s Armed Forces Headquarters.

“We will dig 15,000 to 20,000 graves in each of the border provinces,” he said.

“We do not wish the families of enemy soldiers to experience what Americans had to go through in the aftermath of the Vietnam War,” added Brig. Gen. Baqerzadeh, who is also the head of the search committee for missing soldiers.

The commander said the preemptive measures would decrease the time slain soldiers would be ‘missing in action’.

“The burial of slain soldiers will be carried out decently and in little time,” he continued.

Baqerzadeh added that the decision is in line with the Islamic Republic’s commitment to comply with the Geneva Convention and the additional protocol regarding wartime cooperation between Iran and the Red Cross.

Read moreIran ‘digging 320,000 graves for invaders’

A Declaration of U.S. Independence from Israel

This is a talk given at the Nassau Club in Princeton by Chris Hedges, former New York Times Middle East bureau chief:

Israel, without the United States, would probably not exist. The country came perilously close to extinction during the October 1973 war when Egypt, trained and backed by the Soviet Union, crossed the Suez Canal and the Syrians poured in over the Golan Heights. Huge American military transport planes came to the rescue.

They began landing every half-hour to refit the battered Israeli army, which had lost most of its heavy armor. By the time the war as over, the United States had given Israel $2.2 billion in emergency military aid. The intervention, which enraged the Arab world, triggered the OPEC oil embargo that for a time wreaked havoc on Western economies. This was perhaps the most dramatic example of the sustained life-support system the United States has provided to the Jewish state.

Israel was born at midnight May 14, 1948. The U.S. Recognized the new state 11 minutes later. The two countries have been locked in a deadly embrace ever since.Washington, at the beginning of the relationship, was able to be a moderating influence. An incensed President Eisenhower demanded and got Israel’s withdrawal after the Israelis occupied Gaza in 1956.

During the Six-Day War in 1967, Israeli warplanes bombed the USS Liberty. The ship, flying the U.S. Flag and stationed 15 miles off the Israeli coast, was intercepting tactical and strategic communications from both sides. The Israeli strikes killed 34 U.S. Sailors and wounded 171.

The deliberate attack froze, for a while, Washington’s enthusiasm for Israel. But ruptures like this one proved to be only bumps, soon smoothed out by an increasingly sophisticated and well-financed Israel lobby that set out to merge Israel and American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Israel has reaped tremendous rewards from this alliance. It has been given more than $140 billion in U.S. Direct economic and military assistance. It receives about $3 billion in direct assistance annually, roughly one-fifth of the U.S. Foreign aid budget. Although most American foreign aid packages stipulate that related military purchases have to be made in the United States, Israel is allowed to use about 25 percent of the money to subsidize its own growing and profitable defense industry. It is exempt, unlike other nations, from accounting for how it spends the aid money.

Read moreA Declaration of U.S. Independence from Israel

Philippines: Food Shortage Looms – Arroyo Adviser

Related article (Typhoon Fengshen):
Fishing industry suffers after ferry tragedy:

“The government suspended all diving operations to recover bodies inside the vessel and banned fishing around the island on Friday after it was revealed the ferry was carrying a highly toxic pesticide.”

“Should the chemicals leak into its pristine waters the impact on local marine life would be devastating, according to marine biologists.”
__________________________________________________________________________________________

ILOILO CITY, Philippines – A “food shortage” looms in the next one to two months after massive floods due to typhoon “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen) devastated farm lands and livestock in the Western Visayas, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s adviser for the region said Sunday.

“We may face a food shortage, that is the extent of the damage from the typhoon,” Presidential Adviser on the Western Visayas Raul Bañas told reporters here after he received a delivery of relief supplies from Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Alexander Yano.

“In our aerial sorties, we saw firsthand how grave the damage is to crops. I think that’s one of the major problems we are facing,” he said.

Bañas said one of the affected provinces, Iloilo, is one of the top three rice-producing provinces in the country.

He said the floods destroyed 22 hectares or rice lands, equivalent to 66,000 metric tons of rice, and “almost wiped out” livestock and fisheries in the region.

In Cadiz town in Negros Occidental, Bañas said the storm destroyed half a billion pesos worth of fishing boats.

Bañas appealed for donations of potable water, saying the water systems destroyed by the storm have not been repaired.

By Joel Guinto
06/29/2008

Source: Inquirer.net