Bin police force residents to hand over personal medical details

Families are furious about plans by a council’s bin police to question them about their medical history.

Officials in Plymouth, Devon, are to send a questionnaire to every household asking them to give intimate personal details about their family.

Householders are also being asked to nominate one person who will take legal responsibility for anything put in their bins.

The council is even asking how many children families have and whether they use disposable nappies.

The forms are to be sent to all homes in the city as part of a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on bins.

The council wants to increase fixed penalties from £50 to £110 for those who put bins out early, fail to recycle, overfill wheelie bins or put the wrong rubbish in the wrong containers.

They are asking each household to nominate one person as responsible so it will be easier for them to prosecute without having to prove who put out the offending bins.

The council is also considering interviewing suspected bin offenders under caution in procedures similar to the way police question criminals.

The draft letter, which has been seen by opposition councilors, also asks how many people live at each address, whether they have any medical conditions and if their families use disposable nappies.

Officials from the Conservative-run council hope the information sent back by families will make it easier to prosecute or impose fixed penalties.

It follows the failure of a pioneering prosecution by Exeter City Council 45 miles away which failed because they could not prove that household waste in a recycling bin was put there by the householder.

More…

The draft letter to all homes in Plymouth will set out what is and is not allowed in each type of bin.

Read moreBin police force residents to hand over personal medical details

Tories plan boot camps for jobless youths

A future Conservative government will bring in “boot camps” for unemployed young people aged between 18 and 21 who refuse to take a job, Chris Grayling, the party’s welfare spokesman, will say tomorrow.

In a significant hardening of Conservative policy towards welfare claimants, he will announce the abolition of benefit payments for any able-bodied person under 21 who is out of work for more than three months and who refuses to go on a compulsory community service programme or a “boot camp” training course aimed at improving their work discipline and giving them basic skills to get a job.

Grayling plans to ask private sector companies and voluntary organisations to run the intensive training centres – with the £5,000 it costs to support a single person on the dole being offered to the company or voluntary group once the person has been in work for one year. Individuals will be expected to report to the centre every day for an intensive training programme.

Read moreTories plan boot camps for jobless youths

Carter says Israel has arsenal of 150 nuclear weapons

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has said Israel holds at least 150 nuclear weapons, the first time a U.S. president has publicly acknowledged Israel’s atomic arsenal.

Asked at a news conference at Wales’s Hay literary festival on Sunday how a future U.S. president should deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, Carter put the risk in context by listing atomic weapons held globally.

“The U.S. has more more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union (Russia) has about the same, Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more. We have a phalanx of enormous weaponry … not only of enormous weaponry but of rockets to deliver those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks.

Carter also condemned Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip as “one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth,” according to the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Carter said in reference to the situation of Palestinians in Gaza that, “There is no reason to treat these people this way.”

The 83-year-old was subjected to criticism on a recent visit to Israel for his meetings with officials from Palestinian militant group Hamas as well as his trip to Syria where he met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal.

He has also in the past branded a “crime and an atrocity” the Israeli blockade of Gaza, imposed in response to ongoing rocket attacks launched from the territory.

Related articles:

  • Our debt to Jimmy Carter
  • Ex-U.S. President Carter answers questions from Haaretz Editor-in-Chief
  • Jimmy Carter: Israel’s ‘apartheid’ policies worse than South Africa’s
  • Last update – 21:23 26/05/2008

    Source: Haaretz.com

    Israeli siege leads to soaring anemia in Gaza newborns

    The Israeli siege of Gaza that has restricted access to food, water, and medicine is beginning to cause serious problems for newborn babies and pregnant mothers. “Many babies are born suffering from anemia that they have inherited from their mothers,” said Dr. Salah al-Rantisi, head of the women’s health department at the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza. The mothers are becoming anemic because they do not get enough nutrition during pregnancy due to the Israeli blockade that has choked the supply of food and medicines.

    Dr. al-Rantisi also heads the women’s health unit at Nasser hospital, where 30 to 40 children are born every day. Many suffer from anemia, he said.

    Anwaar Abu Daqqa, 30, has lost three babies prematurely. The fetuses were malformed as a result of lack of nutrition and medicine for the mother, Dr. al-Rantisi said. In the last case, Daqqa got to the hospital late because she could not find transport. “Premature babies born dangerously underweight are a daily and increasing phenomenon in Gaza’s hospitals,” he said.

    Read moreIsraeli siege leads to soaring anemia in Gaza newborns

    Libertarian Party picks Barr as presidential candidate

    The Libertarian Party on Sunday picked former Republican Rep. Bob Barr to be its presidential candidate after six rounds of balloting.

    Barr beat research scientist Mary Ruwart, who also sought the party’s presidential nomination unsuccessfully in 1983, on the final ballot. The vote was 324-276.

    Barr endorsed Wayne Allyn Root, who was eliminated in the fifth round, to be his vice-presidential nominee.

    Barr left the GOP in 2006 over what he called bloated spending and civil liberties intrusions by the Bush administration.

    The former Georgia congressman said he’s not in the race to be a spoiler.

    “I’m a competitor and I’m in this to win. I do not view the role of the Libertarian Party to be a spoiler and I certainly have no intention of being a spoiler,” Barr said.

    Barr said he expects the party to be on the ballot in at least 48 states and perhaps all 50 if the party can qualify in West Virginia and Oklahoma. Barr said he also expects to be invited to the national political debates by qualifying with poll support of 15 percent or more of registered voters.

    Sunday’s election also marked the end of the latest chapter in the political career of Mike Gravel, a former senator from Alaska who recently dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.

    “I just ended my political career,” he said. “From 15 years old to now, my political career is over, and it’s no big deal. I’m a writer, I’m a lecturer, I’m going to push the issues of freedom and liberty. I’m going to push those issues until the day I die.”

    Gravel left the Democratic Party after he was excluded from some Democratic debates because he failed to meet fundraising or polling thresholds. He said the Democratic Party no longer represented his values because it continues to sustain Iraq war, the military-industrial complex and imperialism.

    (This version CORRECTS that Ruwart was not party’s presidential nominee in 1983 or vice presidential nominee in 1992.)

    By STEVEN K. PAULSON,
    Associated Press Writer
    Sun May 25, 7:33 PM ET

    Source: AP

    Titanic search was cover for secret Cold War subs mission

    Actors Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and Kate Winslet (R) in a scene from the movie
    Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in a scene from the movie Titanic

    The man who located the wreck of the Titanic has revealed that the discovery was a cover story to camouflage the real mission of inspecting the wrecks of two Cold War nuclear submarines.

    When Bob Ballard led a team that pinpointed the wreckage of the liner in 1985 he had already completed his main task of finding out what happened to USS Thresher and USS Scorpion.

    Both of the United States Navy vessels sank during the 1960s, killing more than 200 men and giving rise to fears that at least one of them, Scorpion, had been sunk by the USSR.

    Dr Ballard, an oceanographer, has admitted that he located and inspected the wrecks for the US Navy in top secret missions before he was allowed to search for the Titanic.

    Only once he had used his new underwater robot craft to map the submarine wreck sites was he able to use it to crisscross the North Atlantic seabed to pinpoint the last resting place of the luxury liner. It meant he had only 12 days to find the Titanic.

    “I couldn’t tell anybody,” he said. “There was a lot of pressure on me. It was a secret mission. I felt it was a fair exchange for getting a chance to look for the Titanic.

    “We handed the data to the experts. They never told us what they concluded – our job was to collect the data. I can only talk about it now because it has been declassified.”

    Dr Ballard said what he had seen during the inspection of the wrecks gave him the idea of finding a trail of debris that would lead to the main sections of the Titanic. Thresher, had imploded deep beneath the surface and had broken up into thousands of pieces and Scorpion was almost as completely destroyed. “It was as though it had been put through a shredding machine. There was a long debris trail.” Dr Ballard developed a robotic submarine craft in the early 1980s and approached the US Navy in 1982 for funding to search for the Titanic, which sank in 1912 with the loss of 1,500 lives after hitting an iceberg.

    He was told that the military were not willing to spend a fortune on locating the liner, but they did want to know what had happened to their submarines.The military were anxious to know how the nuclear reactors had been affected by being submerged for so long.

    Read moreTitanic search was cover for secret Cold War subs mission

    Student researching al-Qaida tactics held for six days

    · Lecturers fear threat to academic freedom
    · Manual downloaded from US government website

    A masters student researching terrorist tactics who was arrested and detained for six days after his university informed police about al-Qaida-related material he downloaded has spoken of the “psychological torture” he endured in custody.

    Despite his Nottingham University supervisors insisting the materials were directly relevant to his research, Rizwaan Sabir, 22, was held for nearly a week under the Terrorism Act, accused of downloading the materials for illegal use.

    The student had obtained a copy of the al-Qaida training manual from a US government website for his research into terrorist tactics.The case highlights what lecturers are claiming is a direct assault on academic freedom led by the government which, in its attempt to establish a “prevent agenda” against terrorist activity, is putting pressure on academics to become police informers.

    Sabir was arrested on May 14 after the document was found by a university staff member on an administrator’s computer. The administrator, Hisham Yezza, an acquaintance of Sabir, had been asked by the student to print the 1,500-page document because Sabir could not afford the printing fees. The pair were arrested under the Terrorism Act, Sabir’s family home was searched and their computer and mobile phones seized. They were released uncharged six days later but Yezza, who is Algerian, was immediately rearrested on unrelated immigration charges and now faces deportation.

    Read moreStudent researching al-Qaida tactics held for six days

    Washington State Residents the Most Recent Victims of Homeland Security

    According to the news articles linked to below, the Department of Homeland Security has continued the expansion of its un-American enforcement activities by directing them against Washington State residents utilizing Northwest domestic Ferry services.

    Specifically, Border Patrol Agents have established suspicionless checkpoints at domestic Ferry terminals servicing the residents of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. The islands are part of Washington State and island inhabitants are Washington State residents.

    Despite the fact that the Ferry services in question never cross an international border, this hasn’t deterred Homeland Security agents from directing scarce ‘security’ resources against Washington State residents absent reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. Thus proving once again that DHS either has no clue on how to defend the ‘Homeland’ or no intention of doing so.

    Rather the specter of terrorism and illegal immigration are used as excuses for the continued expansion of federal influence and control at the expense of the founding principles of this country.

    While recent events in Washington State are being mimicked in one form or another in border states across the country, I’d like to bring attention to a quote from attorney Matt Adams of the Northwest Immigration Rights Project:

    They can ask you where you’re from; they can ask you to show your papers or to show your driver’s license or to show your birth certificate — but you don’t have to provide that information,” Adams says.

    Because these checkpoints are not on the border, people have a greater right to privacy, Adams says.

    “What I suggest to individuals is to politely refuse to answer questions, and then if they still don’t let you go, to say ‘Am I under arrest? If I’m not under arrest, I’d like to continue on my way,’ ” he says.

    Words we all need to take to heart as ‘Homeland Security’ intrusion continues to grow in our daily lives.

    Putting a stop to the burgeoning American police state will not happen from the top down. It will only happen when enough individuals decide to take individual action in common cause.

    Several recent articles detailing this story appear below along with links back to the original websites:

    Read moreWashington State Residents the Most Recent Victims of Homeland Security

    The Real Life Ministry Of Love Is Being Built

    The federal government is continuing the incremental agenda to build a Ministry of Love styled detention camp system for the American people. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency or ICE is building three new detention camps in the United States. The detention facilities will be minimum-security residential facilities that the federal government says will be used to house illegal aliens. Considering that the majority of the American people are against illegal immigration and just want immigrants to come into the country legally, most people will believe that this is a reasonable step to solve the illegal immigration problem. Unfortunately, this is really nothing more than a phony solution to solve a problem that has been created by government policies that have been implemented to encourage the illegal alien problem. The federal government is using the illegal immigration problem as an excuse to build the detention camp apparatus that is really meant for the American people. This is pretty obvious considering Rex 84, the Army’s Civilian Inmate Labor Program, the preservation of detention camps for Japanese Americans used during World War II and additional detention facilities built by KBR. Building a series of detention facilities is not going to resolve the illegal immigration problem with an administration that has supported policies to ensure as many illegal aliens enter the country as possible. As the economy unravels and as more and more people begin to protest against this criminal government, the establishment will need these detention facilities to lock up large numbers of Americans.

    Recently in Waterloo Iowa, the federal government through ICE and FEMA built a temporary detention facility on the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds to round up a group of illegal aliens working in the area. Rounding up a few hundred illegal aliens does absolutely nothing to reverse the long standing policies that created the illegal immigration problem in the first place. In fact, all they are doing to the illegal aliens they round up is to process them through their temporary FEMA camp. This is clearly not an effective way to stop illegal immigration. Under the guise of solving the illegal immigration issue they are simply having their people go through the motions in order to practice the deployment of a FEMA camp and the processing of live test subjects through the FEMA camp.

    According to a report from Radar Magazine, top secret continuity of government operations includes a database called Main Core which contains a list of 8 million Americans. During a national emergency, people in this database could be arrested and detained by government authorities. In 2007, George W. Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive 51 which gives the president authority over all three branches of government during a catastrophic emergency. The Bush administration has also refused to reveal details on specific details of continuity of government operations to the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee. Perhaps the Main Core database and the plans to round up American citizens listed in this database during a national emergency is one of the reasons why they are keeping these details secret.

    FEMA has also announced that they are expanding a program to transport a large number of American citizens using trains during an emergency. This is the same method that the Nazis used to transport large numbers of Jews and political dissidents to their death camps.

    Read moreThe Real Life Ministry Of Love Is Being Built

    Government Insider: Bush Authorized 9/11 Attacks

    Keep in mind when reading this, that the man being interviewed is no two-bit internet conspiracy buff.

    Stanley Hilton was a senior advisor to Sen Bob Dole (R) and has personally known Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz for decades. This courageous man has risked his professional reputation, and possibly his life, to get this information out to people.

    The following is from his latest visit to Alex Jones’ radio show.

    Note: All honor to Stanley Hilton for risking his life so that we may know the truth of 9/11.

    The Bush Junta Unmasked

    “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

    Alex Jones interview of Stanley Hilton, attorney for 911 taxpayers’ lawsuit

    AJ: He is back with us. He is former Bob Dole’s chief of staff, very successful counselor, lawyer. He represents hundreds of the victims families of 9/11. He is suing Bush for involvement in 9/11. Now a major Zogby poll out – half of New Yorkers think the government was involved in 9/11. And joining us for the next 35 minutes, into the next hour, is Stanley Hilton. Stanley, it’s great to have you on with us.

    SH: Glad to be on.

    AJ: We’ll have to recap this when we start the next hour, but just in a nutshell, you have a lawsuit going, you’ve deposed a lot of military officers. You know the truth of 9/11. Just in a nutshell, what is your case alleging?

    SH: Our case is alleging that Bush and his puppets Rice and Cheney and Mueller and Rumsfeld and so forth, Tenet, were all involved not only in aiding and abetting and allowing 9/11 to happen but in actually ordering it to happen. Bush personally ordered it to happen. We have some very incriminating documents as well as eye-witnesses, that Bush personally ordered this event to happen in order to gain political advantage, to pursue a bogus political agenda on behalf of the neocons and their deluded thinking in the Middle East. I also wanted to point out that, just quickly, I went to school with some of these neocons. At the University of Chicago, in the late 60s with Wolfowitz and Feith and several of the others and so I know these people personally. And we used to talk about this stuff all of the time. And I did my senior thesis on this very subject – how to turn the U.S. into a presidential dictatorship by manufacturing a bogus Pearl Harbor event. So, technically this has been in the planning at least 35 years.

    AJ: That’s right. They were all Straussian followers of a Nazi-like professor. And now they are setting it up here in America. Stanley, I know you deposed a lot of people and you’ve got your $7 million dollar lawsuit with hundreds of the victim’s families involved.

    SH: 7 billion, 7 billion

    AJ: Yeah, 7 billion. Can you go over some of the new and incriminating evidence you’ve got of them ordering the attack?

    Read moreGovernment Insider: Bush Authorized 9/11 Attacks

    U.S. Will Attack Iran

    Israel’s Army Radio is reporting that President Bush intends to launch a military strike against Iran before the end of his term.

    The Army Radio, a network operated by the Israeli Defense Forces, quoted a government source in Jerusalem. The source disclosed that a senior official close to Bush said in a closed meeting that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney believed military action against Iran was now called for.

    Bush concluded a trip to Israel last week, where he said, “The objective of the United States must be to . . . support our strongest ally and friend in the Middle East.”

    The Radio report, which was quoted by the Jerusalem Post, disclosed that the recent turmoil in Lebanon, where the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah had seized virtual control of the country, was encouraging an American attack.

    Hezbollah’s aggression in Lebanon is seen as evidence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s growing influence, and the U.S. official said that in Bush’s view, “the disease must be treated, not its symptoms,” according to the Post.

    The White House on Tuesday denied the Army Radio report, saying in a statement: “As the president has said, no president of the United States should ever take options off the table, but our preference and our actions for dealing with this matter remain through peaceful diplomatic means. Nothing has changed in that regard.”

    However, numerous signs point to a U.S. strike on Iran in the near future:

    # A leading member of America’s Jewish community told Newsmax in April that a military strike on Iran was likely and that Vice President Cheney’s March trip through the Middle East came in preparation for the U.S. attack.

    # The Air Force recently declared the B-2 bomber fleet – a critical weapons system in any U.S. attack on Iran – as airworthy again. The Air Force had halted B-2 flights after a February crash in Guam. As Newsmax reported, the Air Force has refitted its stealth bombers to carry 30,000-pound “bunker buster” bombs, needed to destroy Iran’s hardened nuclear facilities.

    # A second U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, joined the carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Persian Gulf in May, carrying far more weaponry and ammunition than on previous deployments.

    # Israel is gearing up for war. In April, it conducted its largest homeland military exercises ever. The Jewish-American source said Israel is “preparing for heavy casualties,” expecting to be the target of Iranian retribution following the U.S. attack.

    # Saudi Arabia is taking steps to prepare for possible radioactive contamination from U.S. destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Saudi government reportedly approved nuclear fallout preparations a day after Cheney met with the kingdom’s highest-ranking officials.

    # The USS Ross, an Aegis-class destroyer, has taken up station off the coast of Lebanon. Military observers speculate it is there to help defend Israel from missile attacks.

    Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a recent Pentagon briefing that the Iranians are systematically importing and training Shiite militia fighters, who slip back across the Iraqi border to kill American troops.

    And Israeli intelligence has predicted that Iran will acquire its first nuclear device in 2009, much earlier than previous U.S. estimates.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008 12:40 PM
    By: Newsmax Staff

    Source: Newsmax.com

    Pentagon Cannot Account for For $15 Billion

    The inspector general for the Defense Department said yesterday that the Pentagon cannot account for almost $15 billion worth of goods and services ranging from trucks, bottled water and mattresses to rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns that were bought from contractors in the Iraq reconstruction effort.

    The Pentagon did not have the proper documentation, including receipts, vouchers, signatures, invoices or other paperwork, for $7.8 billion that American and Iraqi contractors were paid for phones, folders, paint, blankets, Nissan trucks, laundry services and other items, according to a 69-page audit released to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

    An earlier audit by the inspector general found deficiencies in accounting for $5.2 billion of U.S. payments to buy weapons, trucks, generators and other equipment for Iraq’s security forces. In addition, the Defense Department spent $1.8 billion of seized Iraqi assets with “absolutely no accountability,” according to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), who chairs the oversight committee. The Pentagon also kept poor records on $135 million that it paid to its partners in the multinational military force in Iraq, auditors said.

    Read morePentagon Cannot Account for For $15 Billion

    Unmarked chopper patrols NY city from high above

    On a cloudless spring day, the NYPD helicopter soars over the city, its sights set on the Statue of Liberty.

    A dramatic close-up of Lady Liberty’s frozen gaze fills one of three flat-screen computer monitors mounted on a console. Hundreds of sightseers below are oblivious to the fact that a helicopter is peering down on them from a mile and a half away.

    “They don’t even know we’re here,” said crew chief John Diaz, speaking into a headset over the din of the aircraft’s engine.

    The helicopter’s unmarked paint job belies what’s inside: an arsenal of sophisticated surveillance and tracking equipment powerful enough to read license plates — or scan pedestrians’ faces — from high above the nation’s largest metropolis.

    Police say the chopper’s sweeps of landmarks and other potential targets are invaluable in helping guard against another terrorist attack, providing a see-but-avoid-being-seen advantage against bad guys.

    “It looks like just another helicopter in the sky,” said Assistant Police Chief Charles Kammerdener, who oversees the department’s aviation unit.

    Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said that no other U.S. law enforcement agency “has anything that comes close” to the surveillance chopper, which was designed by engineers at Bell Helicopter and computer technicians based on NYPD specifications.

    The chopper is named simply “23” — for the number of police officers killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The $10 million helicopter is just part of the department’s efforts to adopt cutting-edge technology for its counterterrorism operations.

    The NYPD also plans to spend tens of millions of dollars strengthening security in the lower Manhattan business district with a network of closed-circuit television cameras and license-plate readers posted at bridges, tunnels and other entry points.

    Police have also deployed hundreds of radiation monitors — some worn on belts like pagers, others mounted on cars and in helicopters — to detect dirty bombs.

    Read moreUnmarked chopper patrols NY city from high above

    War Abroad, Poverty at Home

    The US Senate has voted $165 billion to fund Bush’s wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq through next spring.

    As the US is broke and deep in debt, every one of the $165 billion dollars will have to be borrowed. American consumers are also broke and deep in debt. Their zero saving rate means every one of the $165 billion dollars will have to be borrowed from foreigners.

    The “world’s only superpower” is so broke it can’t even finance its own wars.

    Each additional dollar that the irresponsible Bush Regime has to solicit from foreigners puts more downward pressure on the dollar’s value. During the eight wasted and extravagant years of the Bush Regime, the once mighty US dollar has lost about 60% of its value against the euro.

    The dollar has lost even more of its value against gold and oil.

    Before Bush began his wars of aggression, oil was $25 a barrel. Today it is $130 a barrel. Some of this rise may result from run-away speculation in the futures market. However, the main cause is the eroding value of the dollar. Oil is real, and unlike paper dollars is limited in supply. With US massive trade and budget deficits, the outpouring of dollar obligations mounts, thus driving down the value of the dollar.

    Each time the dollar price of oil rises, the US trade deficit rises, requiring more foreign financing of US energy use. Bush has managed to drive the US oil import bill up from $106 billion in 2006 to approximately $500 billion 18 months later–every dollar of which has to be financed by foreigners.

    Read moreWar Abroad, Poverty at Home

    Violence in South Africa spreads to Cape Town

    Officials said yesterday that more than 10,000 Mozambicans have fled South Africa to escape the attacks which have killed at least 42 people. More than 500 people have been arrested.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    The wave of violence against foreigners in South Africa, which began 12 days ago in Johannesburg, has spread to Cape Town where Somalis and Zimbabweans have been attacked by mobs who have looted their homes and shops overnight, according to police.

    Hundreds of African migrants were evacuated yesterday from a squatter camp near Cape Town as Somali-owned shops were looted in the resort town of Knysna, on the south-western coast.

    More attacks were expected over the weekend, authorities have warned, adding that additional assistance from the military would be sought if necessary.

    “We don’t know the exact number of shops looted and burnt, but it’s a lot,” said Billy Jones, senior superintendent with the Western Cape provincial police.

    Read moreViolence in South Africa spreads to Cape Town

    Bush’s disapproval rating worst of any president in 70 years

    WASHINGTON – President Bush has set a record he’d presumably prefer to avoid: the highest disapproval rating of any president in the 70-year history of the Gallup Poll.

    In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing; 69% disapprove. The approval rating matches the low point of his presidency, and the disapproval sets a new high for any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

    The previous record of 67% was reached by Harry Truman in January 1952, when the United States was enmeshed in the Korean War.

    (I want to add here a quote from G.W.Bush:
    ‘Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say,’ he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. ‘I’m the President and I’ll do whatever I goddamned please. They don’t know shit.’ – G.W.Bush – The Infinite Unknown)

    Bush’s rating has worsened amid “collapsing optimism about the economy,” says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies presidential approval. Record gas prices and a wave of home foreclosures have fueled voter angst.

    Bush also holds the record for the other extreme: the highest approval rating of any president in Gallup’s history. In September 2001, in the days after the 9/11 attacks, Bush’s approval spiked to 90%. In another record, the percentage of Americans who say the invasion of Iraq was a mistake reached a new high, 63%, in the latest poll.

    Assessments of Bush’s presidency are harsh. By 69%-27%, those polled say Bush’s tenure in general has been a failure, not a success.

    Low approval ratings make it more difficult for presidents to maneuver, limiting their ability to get legislation passed or boost candidates in congressional elections.

    “The president understands war and the slowdown in the economy weigh down public opinion, but the situation in Iraq is improving, and the economy is about to get a big boost from the stimulus package,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

    Bush has had dismal ratings through most of his second term. His approval rating hasn’t reached as high as 50% since May 2005. He has been steadily below 40% since September 2006.

    Views of Bush divide sharply along party lines. Among Republicans, 66% approve and 32% disapprove. Disapproval is nearly universal – 91% – among Democrats. Of independents, 23% approve, 72% disapprove of the job he’s doing.

    By Susan Page

    Source: USA TODAY

    PNAC Think Tank Web Site Shut Down

    The web site of the neoconservative based Project for a New American Century think tank has been taken down. The think tank in their own documents advocated the virtues of using the U.S. military as a global police force. They also endorsed preemptive war as a way to shape the world and even lobbied to get Bill Clinton to invade Iraq back in 1998.

    Contributors and signatories associated with the think tank included several high profile figures in George W. Bush’s administration including Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Armitage and Richard Perle. Documents originating from this think tank have been the subject of a great deal of criticism by the 9/11 truth and anti-war movements. It now looks as if the neoconservatives whose agenda has been faltering as of late have decided to pull the plug on the web site for the purposes of damage control. If not, than somebody forgot to pay their Internet provider. We’ll let you be the judge of which is the more likely scenario.

    In 2000, the think tank released a 90 page document entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses. In the document, the think tank actually advocates a catastrophic and catalyzing Pearl Harbor event in order to seek faster global transformation using U.S. military might. In addition, one of the core missions outlined in the report is “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars.” What luck for the neoconservatives that a catastrophic and catalyzing event occurred on September 11th, 2001 that made one of their core missions in their report become a reality.

    The following quote is taken direct from the document advocating a catastrophic and catalyzing event to further their agenda of global transformation. The 9/11 truth movement has pointed to this quote as additional evidence that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by criminal elements within the U.S. government. Considering that many of the think tank’s signatories were in high level positions in the Bush administration during the 9/11 attacks and the think tank believed that such an attack was in order, the neoconservatives certainly had a motive to pull off this false flag terror attack. After all, their entire agenda was fulfilled as a result of the 9/11 attacks.

    “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”

    Read morePNAC Think Tank Web Site Shut Down

    US Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11

    Twenty-five former U.S. military officers have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. They include former commander of U.S. Army Intelligence, Major General Albert Stubblebine, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Col. Ronald D. Ray, two former staff members of the Director of the National Security Agency; Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, PhD, and Major John M. Newman, PhD, and many others. They are among the rapidly growing number of military and intelligence service veterans, scientists, engineers, and architects challenging the government’s story. The officers’ statements appear below, listed alphabetically.

    Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD “A lot of these pieces of information, taken together, prove that the official story, the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 is a bunch of hogwash. It’s impossible,” said Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force (ret). With doctoral degrees in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, Col. Bowman served as Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

    “There’s a second group of facts having to do with the cover up,” continued Col. Bowman. “Taken together these things prove that high levels of our government don’t want us to know what happened and who’s responsible. Who gained from 9/11? Who covered up crucial information about 9/11? And who put out the patently false stories about 9/11 in the first place? When you take those three things together, I think the case is pretty clear that it’s highly placed individuals in the administration with all roads passing through Dick Cheney.”

    Regarding the failure of NORAD to intercept the four hijacked planes on 9/11, Col. Bowman said, “I’m an old interceptor pilot. I know the drill. I’ve done it. I know how long it takes. I know the rules. … Critics of the government story on 9/11 have said: ‘Well, they knew about this, and they did nothing’. That’s not true. If our government had done nothing that day and let normal procedure be followed, those planes, wherever they were, would have been intercepted, the Twin Towers would still be standing and thousands of dead Americans would still be alive.”

    Read moreUS Military Officers Challenge Official Account of September 11

    Teachers given right to screen pupils’ computers and mobile phones in crackdown on school gangs

    Schools are being told today to monitor possible gang members by examining pupils’ computer accounts and taking photographs of graffiti “tags”.

    New guidelines say teachers must intervene to stop pupils – including primary children – from joining gangs.

    They emerged as the Government also announced sweeping new measures to combat gang violence in a bid to halt the wave of stabbings and shootings on Britain’s streets.
    Gang kids


    Threat: The new guidelines are released amid fears that gang members are getting younger. (Picture posed by models)

    Teachers are being told to gather proof about gang membership from computers and evidence such as photographs, it is claimed.

    The guidelines advise them to look out for tell-tale signs of gang membership such as the wearing of certain colours, jewellery or clothing – including weapon-proof clothes – or the drawing of graffiti “tags” in books and on walls, according to a report in The Guardian newspaper.

    The guidelines – which supplement previous advice on searching pupils for weapons and dealing with bullying and drug-taking – also provide emergency advice on what to do if gang violence breaks out.

    Read moreTeachers given right to screen pupils’ computers and mobile phones in crackdown on school gangs

    Italian’s Detention Illustrates Dangers Foreign Visitors Face

    He was a carefree Italian with a recent law degree from a Roman university. She was “a totally Virginia girl,” as she puts it, raised across the road from George Washington’s home. Their romance, sparked by a 2006 meeting in a supermarket in Rome, soon brought the Italian, Domenico Salerno, on frequent visits to Alexandria, Va., where he was welcomed like a favorite son by the parents and neighbors of his girlfriend, Caitlin Cooper.

    But on April 29, when Mr. Salerno, 35, presented his passport at Washington Dulles International Airport, a Customs and Border Protection agent refused to let him into the United States. And after hours of questioning, agents would not let him travel back to Rome, either; over his protests in fractured English, he said, they insisted that he had expressed a fear of returning to Italy and had asked for asylum.

    Ms. Cooper, 23, who had promised to show her boyfriend another side of her country on this visit — meaning Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon — eventually learned that he had been sent in shackles to a rural Virginia jail. And there he remained for more than 10 days, locked up without charges or legal recourse while Ms. Cooper, her parents and their well-connected neighbors tried everything to get him out.

    Mr. Salerno’s case may be extreme, but it underscores the real but little-known dangers that many travelers from Europe and other first-world nations face when they arrive in the United States — problems that can startle Americans as much as their foreign visitors.

    Read moreItalian’s Detention Illustrates Dangers Foreign Visitors Face

    Senate passes Iraq war funding bill with add-ons

    Senate Republicans have broken with President Bush to help Democrats add support for veterans and the unemployed to a bill paying for another year of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    The 75-22 vote also added billions of dollars in other domestic funds such as heating subsidies for the poor and money for fighting wildfires to funding for military operations overseas.

    Shortly afterward, the Senate voted 70-26 to approve $165 billion to pay for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next spring, when Bush’s successor will set war policy. All told, the measure contains $212 billion over the coming two years, plus about $50 billion more through 2017 for veterans education benefits.

    The vote on the domestic add-ons was a rebuke to Bush, who has promised to veto the measure if it contains the domestic measures. However, the president still has enough GOP support in the House to sustain a veto.

    Read moreSenate passes Iraq war funding bill with add-ons

    Georgia family challenges federal vaccine law

    Stefan Ferrari got his required vaccines before he was 18 months old. At the time, his parents said, he was a healthy, verbal boy.

    But after his last round of booster shots, Stefan stopped speaking and, now 10 years old, he has not spoken since.

    Stefan’s parents, Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari of Atlanta, filed suit, alleging the vaccines caused neurological damage to their young son. On Tuesday, the family’s lawyer asked the Georgia Supreme Court to let the case against two vaccine manufacturers, Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, go forward.

    Lawyer Lanny Bridgers told the court it was bad timing when Stefan received his last shots. A year later, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that thimerosal, a preservative used for multi-dose vaccine vials, be removed from childhood vaccines. The Ferraris contend that manufacturers should have made vaccines without thimerosal before Stefan was vaccinated.

    But a lawyer arguing on behalf of the manufacturers told the state high court that the suit is barred by the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act.

    The law says no vaccine maker shall be held liable in a civil action for damages arising from an injury or death caused by vaccines given after Oct. 1, 1988.

    (The same situation we have with cellphone towers in the U.S.:
    Even if all the experts in the world would 100% agree that these towers cause cancer etc. – and they do! – then those towers cannot be taken down for any health risk reason because there is a law in place that prevents exactly that and if ten million people would go to court because they got cancer than they will have to leave the court with empty hands because thats the law. (!Unconstitutional!)

    How can you come up with such a law if you do not know that cellphone towers are harmful for health?

    The only reason for this is like with the law regarding vaccines is to protect the corporations and to continue destroying peoples brains and it is the government that backs it all up. The Hitlers of today are much more sophisticated.

    One more thing on vaccinations: There are parents, repeating what they are told by mass media and Dr.’s, that say that those kids that aren’t vaccinated are posing a health risk to those that are vaccinated!!! How come???

    Think about it, if your child is vaccinated than it should be absolutely protected if the vaccination works, as big pharma and their salesman in white coats (Dr.’s), tell you. Those children that aren’t vaccinated should be those that are in trouble right? So these poor parents are totally brainwashed by big pharma, government and Dr.’s who they consider to be authorities on the subject and do not think anymore for themselves. What good fortune for governments that the people do not think. – Adolf Hitler
    Let’s see how much you will trust your government after you have read this article:
    Vaccines and Medical Experiments on Children, Minorities, Woman and Inmates (1845 – 2007)
    …and there is a lot more that you can find on the website.
    Well, wake up now. – The Infinite Unknown)

    The exceptions are if the vaccine was improperly prepared or contained improper directions or warnings. Neither of these were involved in Stefan’s case, Daniel Thomasch, a lawyer for the manufacturers, told the court.

    “It was the clear intent of Congress to pre-empt precisely the claims that are at issue here,” he argued.

    Congress passed the law after hundreds of lawsuits were filed against vaccine manufacturers. The litigation increased insurance costs, drove out some manufacturers and threatened the continued production of some vaccines, even though the lawsuits were largely unsuccessful, Thomasch said.

    Read moreGeorgia family challenges federal vaccine law

    McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will (AUDIO)

    John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God’s behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a “hunter,” sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God’s will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.

    Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: “‘And they the hunters should hunt them,’ that will be the Jews. ‘From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.’ If that doesn’t describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can’t see that.”

    He goes on: “Theodore Hertzel is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said ‘I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.’ So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.

    “Then god sent a hunter. A hunter is someone with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter. And the Bible says — Jeremiah writing — ‘They shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and from the holes of the rocks,’ meaning there’s no place to hide. And that might be offensive to some people but don’t let your heart be offended. I didn’t write it, Jeremiah wrote it. It was the truth and it is the truth. How did it happen? Because God allowed it to happen. Why did it happen? Because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel.” (Listen to the audio below.)

    The sermon, which was first posted by Bruce Wilson on his site, Talk To Action, adds another element to Hagee’s controversial stance on the state and history of Israel. It also may provide a new round of political headaches for McCain who has admitted that seeking out Hagee’s endorsement was a mistake, but still declared himself “glad to have” it.

    John Hagee’s Ministries did not immediately return request for comment.

    Since McCain secured the endorsement, both his campaign and Hagee have been pressed to explain a series of derogatory remarks the Reverend made about the Catholic Church, including his reference to the institution as “the Great Whore.”

    Hagee has since apologized for those remarks. But his interpretation of the role of the Nazis could be harder to dismiss, in part because McCain and Sen. Barack Obama are expected to compete heavily over the Jewish vote come the general election, in part because McCain has said he admires Hagee’s commitment to Israel, but mainly because similar theories have found their way into much of the Reverend’s writings.

    As Wilson notes, in his 2006 book “Jerusalem Countdown”, Hagee proposed the theory that “anti-Semitism, and thus the Holocaust, was the fault of Jews themselves — the result of an age old divine curse incurred by the ancient Hebrews through worshiping idols and passed, down the ages, to all Jews now alive.” He also wrote that “Most readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.”

    Hagee is considered, in many political circles, to be one of the most passionate and strident supporters of Israel. He has spoken at AIPAC conferences and leads the evangelical group Christians United for Israel. But his views of the country, while possibly shared by others in the evangelical community, can be, at times, startling. Holding to the belief that Armageddon will come to earth following the reestablishment of the Kingdom of Israel, Hagee has advocated an aggressive war against Iran and has opposed any Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank.

    McCain, at least in the public record, has sought to thread the needle with the Hagee association: distancing himself from the controversial comment while reaping the political benefits of the Reverend’s endorsement. Appearing on ABC’s “‘This Week” in late April 2008, McCain criticized Hagee’s past remarks on the Catholic Church, but said that, “I admire and appreciate his advocacy for the state of Israel, the independence of the state of Israel.”

    May 21, 2008 01:24 PM

    Source: The Huffington Post

    The View co-host brings up Prescott Bush’s Nazi ties

    When host Whoopi Goldberg raised the issue of George W. Bush’s comparing anyone who wants to talk to Iran or Syria with the appeasers of Nazi Germany on Monday’s edition of ABC’s The View, the panel erupted into furious debate.

    Conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck repeatedly attempted to question whether Bush’s remarks were really aimed at Barack Obama. She insisted, “It’s not always about him,” and suggested Obama is being defensive because he knows his support for talks with Iran is a weak spot.

    “I think the president was very clear in what he meant,” Goldberg replied tartly.

    “The Bush administration is out there talking to North Korea, talking to Syria,” noted liberal Joy Behar. “Isn’t that what diplomacy is about? This guy doesn’t know the difference between the word ‘diplomacy’ and ‘appeasement.’ He’s just stupid.”

    “One more point,” continued Behar, pulling out a prepared statement. “It’s very interesting and ironic that George Bush, Senior’s — er, George Bush, this one — his grandfather — this one — the late — I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, but in this case it’s fun — he was a United States senator, Prescott Bush. Okay — he was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.”

    “This is his grandfather,” Behar continued. “He has no business talking to Jewish people when he’s got this right in his backyard.”

    “How come you can bring up this backyard but then it’s not alright to dig into Obama’s backyard and family history?” was all the flustered Hasselbeck could find to say.

    RAW STORY‘s Larisa Alexandrovna also cited the Prescott Bush connection last week. In her blog, at-Largely, she wrote:

    Dear Mr. Bush,

    Your speech on the Knesset floor today was not only a disgrace; it was nothing short of treachery. Worse still, your exploitation of the Holocaust in a country carved out of the wounds of that very crime, in order to strike a low blow at American citizens whose politics differs from your own is unforgivable and unpardonable. …

    Well Mr. Bush, the only thing this comment lacked was a mirror and some historical facts. You want to discuss the crimes of Nazis against my family and millions of other families in Europe during World War II? Let me revive a favorite phrase of yours: Bring. It. On!

    Your family’s fortune is built on the bones of the very people butchered by the Nazis, my family and the families of those in the Knesset who applauded you today. …

    You family did not stop with supporting fascists and Nazis abroad, did they Mr. Bush? Surely you must know of your grandfather’s role in the treasonous plot of 1933 to overthrow democracy in America? Let me remind you.

    Grandpa Bush – that is to say, your grandfather – wanted fascism imported into the United States, or as you now call this type of transformation, “exporting democracy.” Prescott went so far as to subsidize a coup attempt in order to achieve his dream of a fascist America.

    This video is from ABC’s The View, broadcast May 19, 2008.


    Download video

    David Edwards and Muriel Kane
    Published: Tuesday May 20, 2008

    Source: The Raw Story

    The Pentagon Is America’s Biggest Polluter

    The nation’s biggest polluter isn’t a corporation. It’s the Pentagon. Every year the Department of Defense churns out more than 750,000 tons of hazardous waste — more than the top three chemical companies combined.

    Yet the military remains largely exempt from compliance with most federal and state environmental laws, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pentagon’s partner in crime, is working hard to keep it that way.

    For the past five decades the federal government, defense contractors and the chemical industry have joined forces to block public health protections against perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel that has been shown to effect children’s growth and mental progress by disrupting the function of the thyroid gland which regulates brain development.

    Perchlorate has been leaking from literally hundreds of defense plants and military installations across the country. The EPA has reported that perchlorate is present in drinking and groundwater supplies in 35 states. Center for Disease Control and independent studies have also overwhelmingly shown that perchlorate is existent in our food supplies, cow’s milk, and human breast milk. As a result virtually every American has some level of perchlorate in their body.

    Currently only two states, California and Massachusetts, have set a maximum allowable contaminant level for perchlorate in drinking water. But the EPA won’t follow these states’ lead. In the Colorado River, which provides water for over 20 million people, perchlorate levels are high. The chemical is most prevalent in the Southwest and California as a result of the large number of military operations and defense contractors in the region.

    Read moreThe Pentagon Is America’s Biggest Polluter