Chris Hedges, May 2012: Don't waste any more time or energy on the presidential election than it takes to get to your polling station and pull a lever for a third-party candidate-just enough to register your obstruction and defiance, and then get back out into the street. That is where the question of REAL POWER is being decided. Runaway capitalism is moving unrelentingly towards sociopolitical-environmental collapse, cheered on by a two-headed single party machine known as US Congress. Activists, who see the coming disasters as catastrophic, are seeking revolutionary change through non-cooperation, and occupy disruptions. Yet, many are the still delusional hopefuls desperately fumbling with traditional responses, including "Kum ba yah" marches, and the futile support for progressive left-leaning candidates seeking positions of influence inside the Washington beltway. Do we understand that habeas corpus is no longer a legal protection in the US, or that the US president can torture and kill American citizens, let alone anyone in the world? How can we ignore the inconvenient truths of warrant-less wire taps and electronic monitoring for everyone? Why do we tolerate that US-NATO forces killing people in over one hundred countries in the world using special service operatives, private assassins and drones - a million civilian deaths in Iraq alone? How can we be so blind as not to see our corporate media is a propaganda fog machine for the one percent? These questions, reflecting the reality of America today, are so far from the values of our traditions, that accepting any aspect of authority from Washington DC is a sacrilege to our honor. We are in desperate times!!
You know when Western powers are getting trigger happy towards Iran again because the mainstream media propaganda machine starts cranking out lurid scare stories. The latest wheeze is based on computer-generated drawings allegedly depicting a nuclear explosion blast chamber that Iran has allegedly been using to test mini nukes. The drawings were provided exclusively to the Associated Press news agency by an unnamed official from a country tracking Iran's nuclear program, who said it proves the structure exists. Don't you just love the way unnamed sources are quoted, who go on to prove their own unverifiable claims? The AP story has since been picked up, predictably, by all and sundry Western media. Not only are the stories illustrated with computerized images of the alleged blast chamber, there are also mathematical details of chamber dimensions, design and structure. A good rule-of-thumb is that when western media and unnamed diplomats assiduously provide details on suspect installations, then it is a sure sign of desperation to convince the wider public about otherwise dubious claims. The template for this kind of "disinformation" stunt was the presentation by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell in February 2003 before the United Nations Security Council. Then, in a contrived performance that smacked of sheer theater, Powell presented audio recordings and satellite images to British Prime Minister Tony Blair's hysterical notion that Iraq had the capability of launching such weapons within 45 seconds. In sonorous tones, Powell declared to the world: "My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, SOLID SOURCES.
For Palestinians, May 15 represents 64 years of Nakba suffering. Survivor testimonies bare witness. No words adequately explain their catastrophe. An unnamed Jew said: "I am writing through tears. I wept when I saw the photo of the ruined village of al-Sanbariyya because it was my former brother-in-law who helped destroy the village and the lives of those who lived there." "My now deceased brother-in-law was born in Los Angeles, and after World War II decided he wanted to live in Palestine. He met his wife-to-be at a training camp somewhere in the midwest." "While at the camp, many of the people decided they wanted to build a kibbutz in then Palestine. I am not sure that they gave a thought to the fact that they would be taking the lands of others. But then, I don't know. I wasn't there." "As a Jew who was raised to believe in justice for all people, I believe that it is my obligation to speak out about Israel and to try in whatever way possible to bring about Israel, and to try in whatever way possible to bring about a better life in Palestine for the people who belong there - The people who were cruelly evicted from their lands." A Palestinian also shared memories, saying: "I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try." "First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries." "My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days." "The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen." "I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?"
"The livelihood of millions of people throughout the World is at stake. It is my sincere hope that the truth will prevail, and that the understanding provided in this detailed study will serve the cause of World Peace. This objective, however, can only be reached by revealing the falsehoods behind America's War on Terrorism and questioning the legitimacy of the main political and military actors responsible for extensive war crimes." In this expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky's 2002 bestseller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack by "Islamic terrorists". Through meticulous research, the author uncovers a military-intelligence ploy behind the September 11 attacks, and the cover-up and complicity of key members of the Bush Administration. Chossudovsky starts by dispelling the fiction that the US and Al Qaeda have been long-term adversaries. He also probes US oil policy, which is obviously of particular concern to George W Bush. Chossudovsky argues that the US has a much different relationship between Russia and China than is ever indicated in the mainstream or progressive press. Simply put, the US is moving into the countries which neighbor Russia and China, in order to plunder natural resources and expand the reach of the US Empire. Pakistan's Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been playing a key role in destabilizing the region as well, as offering support in other intelligence matters. War and Globalization is full of surprises, even for those of us who consider ourselves well-informed. Chossudovsky is examining the true nature of US foreign policy and arguing that the terrible events of 9/11/01 have changed little of it. According to Scott Loughrey, from The Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel: "Canadian professor of economics Michel Chossudovsky contains that rare gift of a writer who can compile massive documentary evidence, propounding it in a succinct, lucid manner.
Benoit Coeure says conditions were very dangerous in autumn of 2011, and banks faced severe difficulties to fund themselves. A senior executive at the European Central Bank has admitted 'euro-zone' banks were on the brink of collapse last autumn. In an interview with the BBC to be broadcast on Thursday, Benoit Coeure, executive director of the ECB, said: "In the autumn of 2011, the conditions were very dangerous: European banks were facing severe difficulties to fund themselves, to access finance, and we were very close to having a collapse in the banking system in the euro area, which would have also led to a collapse in the banking system in the euro area, which would have also led to a collapse in the economy and to deflation. And this is something that the ECB could not accept." The concern about the state of the banking system led to C1tn being lent to banks through three-year loans and came as UK banks were told to make preparations for a potential exit from the single currency. In November Andrew Bailey, the Financial Services Authority's top regulator, told banks: "We must not ignore the prospect of the disorderly departure of some countries from the eurozone." Those contingency plans are now being dusted down amid speculation over a Greek exit. British banks have taken steps to reduce their exposure to Greek government bonds and other loans. Icap, the City currency broker, is ready to reintroduce a drachma trading facility by installing a new panel on its electronic screens. Michael Spencer, its chief executive, said: "I don't think it's going to happen in the next week, but I think it's going to happen."
Gold demand grew 16pc over the past 12 months, with $59.7bn spent globally on the precious metal. The figure was boosted by China upping their investment by 10pc in a bid to hedge inflation.Gold demand globally hit 1,o98 tons in the first three months of the year, 5pc off the record high, but a significant increase on the same period in 2011. The World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends report cited increased investment into the precious metal in China, as investor's continue to hedge against feared inflation. Jewelry demand in China also increased to 156.6 tons, 30pc of the global appetite. This increase places China as the largest jewellery market for the third consecutive quarter. Central banks across developed and emerging markets purchased 80.8 tons of gold in the first three months of the year, at an average price of $1,691, 22pc more expensive than in a year ago. Retail and institutional investors buying exchange traded funds (ETFs) accounted for $1.4 tons of gold purchased in the three months to the end of March, at a total value of $2.4bn. The World Gold Council stated that this movement was in stark contrast to the first quarter of 2011, when the ETF sector witnessed net outflows. How would a euro collapse hit us in the pocket? The only market to experience a downturn in gold demand was India, as high gold prices and the introduction of import taxed curbed appetites. Jewellery demand in the region fell 19pc and investment demand fell 19pc and investment demand fell a considerable 46pc. Marcus Grubb, from the World Gold Council said, "China and India have seen continuing economic growth, and while China's economy is expected to slow, it will nonetheless surpass the rates of growth in the West.
When two white newspaper reporters for the Virginian-Pilot were driving through Norfolk, and were set upon and beaten by a mob of young blacks, beaten so badly that they had to take a week off from work, that might sound like news hat should have been reported, at least by their own newspaper. But it wasn't! The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel was the first major television program to report this incident. Yet this story is not just a Norfolk story, either in what happened or in how the media and the authorities have tried to sweep it under the rug. Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by young black gangs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls, or in other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles, and other places across the country. Both the authorities and the media tend to sweep these episodes under the rug. In Milwaukee, for example, an attack on whites at a public park a few years ago left many of the victims battered to the ground and bloody. But when the police arrived at the scene, it became clear that the authorities wanted to keep this quiet. One 22-year-old woman, who had been robbed of her cell phone and debit card, and had blood streaming down her face, said, "About 20 of us stayed to give statements and make sure everyone was accounted for. The police wouldn't listen to us, they wouldn't take our names or statements. They told us to leave. It was completely infuriating."The police chief seemed determined to head off any suggestion that this was a racially motivated attack by saying that crime is color-blind. Officials elsewhere have said similar things!!
Monsanto has recently been noted as one of the key power players in the welfare of people across the country, continually extending their influence to the more remote parts of the world as well. Monsanto has also been engineering extensively genetically modified crops for the past several decades, and now finally has a type of soybean crop that can survive sustained pesticide exposure, for maximum insect control of course. What seems to be a positive situation is actually a most dangerous toxic product, made specifically to deflect the harmful effects of the pesticides and weed killers on the growing plants, the Roundup Ready crops are recognized as the root cause of disease and discontent spread upon the Argentinean mass growing plains known as the Pampas. There was a time when the Pampas were littered with small farms, but ever since Monsanto hit the scene, the Pampas have been a major GMO growing operation. The genetically engineered crops' effect on the population has been simply terrible. The crop itself is not the only problem. The crops are sprayed on a regular basis with gallons pesticides and weed killers, which has taken the toll on the locals. They consume much of the crops themselves, either by exports or to be consumed themselves - the soybean crop accounts for a very large portion of income, and is also a centerpiece in the Argentine diet. Effects vary, but some people have been known to develop breasts, have a variety of birth defects, and have been known to experience carcinogenic effects as well. The people are also becoming sterile over time. Given the rate of consumption, they will likely be completely sterile within a decade. The studies have also proven that extended use of non-organic crops and pesticides will continuously affect the body and the core functions of the body, primarily in the reproductive areas.
Amid recent reports that the bodies of four Mexican journalists were discovered in a canal in the port city of Veracruz, less than a week after another journalist based in that city was found strangled in her home, the US State Department "plans to award a contract to provide a Mexican government seurity agency with a system that can intercept and analyze information from all types of communications systems." Next Gov reported. The most glaring and obvious question is: Why? Since President Felipe Calderon declared "war" against some of the region's murderous drug cartels in 1006, some 50,000 Mexicans have been butchered. Activists, journalists, honest law enforcement officials, but also ordinary citizens caught in the crossfire, the vast majority of victims, have been the targets of mafia-controlled death squads, corrupt police and the military. Underscoring the savage nature of another "just war" funded by US taxpayers, last week The Dallas Morning News reported that "23 people were found dead Friday, nine hanging from a bridge and 14 decapitated-across the Texas border in the city of Nuevo Laredo." The arcane and highly-ritualized character of the violence, often accompanied by sardonic touches meant to instill fear among people already ground underfoot by crushing poverty and official corruption that would make the Borgias blush, convey an an unmistakable message: "We rule here!" "The latest massacres are part of a continuing battle between the paramilitary group known as the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel," the Morning News averred. "The violence appears to be part of a strategy by the Sinaloa cartel," the Morning News averred. "The violence appears to be part of a strategy by the Sinola cartel to disrupt one of the most lucrative routes for drug smugglers by bringing increased attention from the federal government."
The Occupy movement has been an extremely excitement development. Unprecedented, in fact. There's never been anything like it that I can think of. If the bonds and associations it has established can be sustained through a long, dark period ahead, because victory won't come quickly, it could prove a significant moment in American history. The fact that the Occupy movement is unprecedented is quite appropriate. After all, it's an unprecedented era and has been so since the 1970s, which marked a major turning point in American history. For centuries, since the country began, it had been a developing society, and not always in very pretty ways. That's another story, but the general progress was toward wealth, industrialization, development, and hope. There was a pretty constant expectation that it was going to go on like this. That was true even in the very dark times. I'm just old enough to remember the Great Depression. After the first few years, by the mid 1930's, although the situation was objectively much harsher than it is today, nevertheless, the spirit was quite different. There was a sense that "we're gonna get out of it," even among unemployed people, including a lot of my relatives, a sense that "it will get better." There was militant labor union organizing going on, especially from the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations). It was getting to the point of sit-down strikes, which are frightening to the business world, you could see it in the business press at the time, because a sit-down strike is just a step before taking over the factory and running it yourself. The idea of worker takeovers is something which is, incidentally, very much on the agenda today, and we should keep it in mind. Also New Deal legislation was beginning to come in as a result of popular pressure. Despite the hard times, there was a sense that, somehow, "we're gonna get out of it."
A solid case for the prosecution of Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Chaney, their legal counsel and others, for war crimes, crimes against the peace, torture, and crimes against humanity has been established at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, with a guilty verdict on day 5 of the third major session of the Tribunal. The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these "Accused" persons may enter their jurisdictions. Global Research Director Michel Chossudovsky is a member of the KL War Crimes Commission, and was present throughout the Tribunal hearings. The five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered a guilty verdict against former United States President George W Bush and his associates at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal hearing that had started on Monday, May 7th. On the charge of Crime of Torture and War Crimes, the tribunal finds the accused persons former US President George W Bush and his associates, namely Richard Cheney, former US Vice President, Donald Rumsfeld, former Defense Secretary, Alberto Gonzales, then Counsel to President Bush, David Addington, then General Counsel to the Vice-President, William Haynes II, then General Counsel to Secretary of Defense, Jay Bybee, then Assistant Attorney General, and John Choon Yoo, former Deputy Assistant Attorney-General guilty as charged and convicted as war criminals for Torture and Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment of the Complainant War Crime Victims. Earlier in the week, the tribunal heard the testimonies of three witnesses, namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hammeedi. They related the horrific tortures they had faced during their incarceration.
The US court judgment issued in December 2011 (Havlish v.Iran) which blames the Iran government for the 9/11 attacks is part of the propaganda ploy, which consists in demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran. As we all know, the reality is quite different: Silverstein, the Jew who owned the towers at that time, decided that he did not want to pay for the restoration of the huge amount of dangerous asbestos in his buildings, and decided, what the heck, why not kill a lot of his people, and make a lot of money in the process. The many lives lost were not important to him, since he was a was only involved with the possible money, as most Israelis are. Like many similar lawsuits in America, this legal procedure's ultimate goal is to draw off important sums of money from the Iranian government, leading to the possible confiscation of assets, thereby further strangling the country's economy, already strangling the country's economy, already targeted by US sanctions, while simultaneously reinforcing Iran's image of a state sponsor of terrorism. This ruling allows the families involved to claim damages from the Iranian government, as well as from a number of Iranian State corporations, the amount of which is still unknown, but could reach billions, like last December's judgment which found Iran liable for the 1983 Beirut bombings. This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the "fabricated" War on Terror, to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabalizing Iran as well as justfying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The "expert" witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists, to intelligence and military officers, including former US officials!
In Robert E. Gamer's book "The Developing Nations" is a chapter called "Why Men Do Not Revolt." In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced: They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the "patron-client" networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups," he writes. Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule, offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive, and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called "the wretched of the earth," including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to a subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education.
When civilizations start to die, they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life . Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes though exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki's pregnancy, Hulk Hogan's sex tape and Kim Kardashian's denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags, and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony. At times when the page is turning," Louis-Ferdinant Celine wrote in "Castle to Castle," "when History brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!" The Quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of the empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth, as Karl Marx observed, is modern society's version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of the infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who want to entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression, which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum!
Washington journalism is like high school. It has the same cool kids, mean girls, social rankings and the big prom, the White House Correspondents' Association's annual dinner. Butunlike what happens in high school, the insular behavior of the Washington media affects the whole nation. The voive of the cool kids is Mike Allen's Playbook column on the Politico website, emailed early morning to addicted readers such as me. The column, interestingly, is titled "POLITOCO Playbook, presented by the American Petroleum Institute." It is a mixture of breaking news, plugs for books by Washington A-list writers and a detailed recitation of weddings, births, job changes, dinner dates, vacations and birthdays of those hot enough to attract Mike's notice. Halfway through the column is a word from the apparent sponsor. On Monday, it was: "A message from the American Petroleum Institute: Americans from all walks of life are becoming energy voters. They know America needs more energy from all sources, including domestic oil and natural gas, to create jobs and get our economy moving." For those who missed it, the message was repeated at the end. As someone who labored through the social maze of high school, I can only pity those whose wedding or birthday don't make Mike's column. But it gets worse. The mean girls weigh in at Fishbowl DC, a column at the Media-bistro website. Fishbowl sarcastically names those who have fallen from grace, or never made it. Then it hounds them, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. Then there is the annual White House Correspondent's Association Dinner, where the journalists mingle with their guests, many of them Hollywood celebrities. The guest list becomes more famous every year. On Monday, I scrolled through The Washington Post website's coverage of the parties held after dinner. This is how The Post led off its display of images: "At the 2012 MSNBC and Bloomberg/Vanity Fair after-parties, Hollywood celebrities and Capitol power brokers keep mingling into the night."
Quebec college and university students are now in the 13th week of their militant province-wide strike while voting by overwhelming majorities to reject a government offer that met none of their key demands. After a 22-hour bargaining session involving ministers of the Charest government, university and college heads, and leaders of the major trade-union centrals, the student leaders agreed on May 6 to put the offer to a vote of their respective membership without recommending acceptance. If the offer were accepted: The 75 per cent hike in tuition fees, now spread over seven years, but indexed, would remain, albeit with slightly liberalized access to scholarships and loans, and provision for repayment of loans geared to future income. A provisional committee would examine university budgets and propose possible cuts. Each dollar cut would go to reducing incidental fees not related directly to tuition, admission, registration, sports services, technology, etc. The committee would include four students, but also fourteen other members: 6 university rectors, 4 trade union representatives as well as 2 representatives of business, 1 from the ministry of education, and a chair with a tie-breaking vote, the latter four all designated by the minister of education. The committee would table its recommendations by December although if necessary its mandate could be extended by one more year. It might then be replaced by a permanent committee appointed by law, its composition undetermined at this point. Pending the provisional committee's conclusions, the students incidental fees would be deferred. However, these fees would apply retroactively to the students in any amount the committee is unable to cut from current expenses.
While seeming to tone down the rhetoric, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nonetheless spoke of "crimes" of the "Zionist regimes." Ahead of upcoming nuclear talks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad downplayed the threat Israel poses to Iran, comparing it to an annoying bug. "Israel is nothing more than a mosquito which cannot see the broad horizon of the Iranian nation," he said Saturday in northeastern Iran's Khorassan province, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Ahmadinejad said "regional states" were being duped into buying billions in arms from "arrogant and imperial powers," driven in part by all the talk surrounding a potential war involving Iran and Israel, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Such military purchases, he said, are unnecessary because there is no war on the horizon between those two nations. The Iranian president alluded to "rulers" who sold "their oil" for $60 billion worth in arms, though he did not mention by name either the purchasing or selling country. Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a 20-year, $60 billion arms deal with the United States, including nearly $30 billion for F-15 fighter jets announced late last year. Ahmadinejad has long questioned the existence of the "Holocaust" and, months after taking office in October 2005, he participated in a lengthy protest called "World Without Zionism" and has repeatedly derided Israel. "With the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism," he said then, according to another IRNA report!
A symbolic War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia has found former US President George W. Bush and several other members of his administration guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The second "Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal", part of an initiative by former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad, in a unanimous vote on Saturday found Bush and seven of his associates, including former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld guilty of torture and war crimes. The court also heard evidence from former detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, of torture methods used by US soldiers during their captivity in prisons run by American forces. A former inmate, Abbas Abid appeared in a scarf fearing reprisals. He enacted how US troops subjected him to electric shocks, beatings and sexual abuse over a number of months. High ranking former UN officials present in the courtroom expressed frustration over the evidence. "The UN is a weak body, and it is corrupted by member states, who use the Security Council for their own interests. They don't respect the charter. They don't respect the international law. They don't respect the Geneva Conventions," former UN Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday told Press TV. "As long as they continue to use the UN, it's going to be somehow redundant, possibly a dangerous and certainly corrupted organization," Halliday went on to say. Meanwhile, Mahatir remains determined to bring Bush and his cohorts to justice.
Quite incredibly, the EPA issued a positive report on May 1, 2012 regarding the safety and toxicity of various dispersants used in the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Included in this assessment was the use of Corexit. This report "indicated that all eight dispersants had roughly the same toxicity, and all fell into the "practically non-toxic" or "slightly toxic" category. Scientists found that none of the eight dispersants displayed endoctrine-disrupting activity of "biological significance." The same report went on to say that "dispertant-oil mixtures were generally no more toxic to the aquatic test species than oil alone." The first question that jumps out for those who have researched this subject with any degree of thoroughness is how this recent report fails to reconcile with previous studies performed by the EPA. Here is some test data retrieved from the EPA website that was posted previously to the BP Gulf Oil Spill. "The dispersant (Corexit 9500) and dispersed oil have demonstrated the following levels of toxicity per the EPA website link that follows: (1) 10.72 parts per million (ppm) of oil alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours. (2) 25.20 parts per million of dispersant (Corexit 9500) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours. (3) 2.61 parts per million of dispersed oil (Corexit-laden) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours. This data diverges from the recent report to such a significant degree that the results which were just posted at the EPA GOV website under the title of "The BP Oil Spill: Responsive Science Supports Emergency Response" must be seriously scrutinized. What is the buying public to make of such conflicting data?
Sinclair News reported in October 2011, after Barack Obama spoke at the Annual Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner in Washington, DC, that Obama would eventually come "OUT" in support of Gay Marriage when it became politically necessary. When the LGBT and HRC members made it known this week they would with-hold further campaign contributions until Obama publicly took a position on Gay Marriage, it became politically necessary. Never ever dismiss the financial means available from the LGBT community. After all Obama told the "Lady Gaga" worshiping crowd of intolerant activists for tolerance, "I am committed to seeing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) go into the history books as he did with 'don't ask, don't tell.' Today's official announcement by Barack Obama that his 'evolving' position on Gay Marriage has finally reached the point where he now supports it, is by no means a surprise. A day after voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, President Obama told ABC News that "same-sex couples should be able to get married." Obama has said for years that his views on gay marriage were "evolving," and his announcement of support for same-sex marriage comes three days after Vice President Joe Biden said he's "absolutely comfortable" with two men or two women getting married. Just a few weeks agoObama loyalist MSNBC and his former Green Czar Van Jones laid the groundwork for what will be in the end an Obama 'coming OUT' party.
Presidential hopeful Ron Paul has condemned a plan being considered in the United States House of Representatives that would allow the US to continue aiding in the defense of Israel by equipping the Jewish state's military with added weaponry. From Washington, DC on Wednesday, Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) attacked the contents of an act currently up for discussion that, if passed, would reestablish America's major role in Israeli affairs Rep Paul fears, however, that it would do more harm than good for all nations involved. To House Speaker John Boehner, Paul said that HR 4133, the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, "is another piece of one-sided and counter-productive foreign policy legislation." This bill's real intent seems to be more saber-rattling against Iran and Syria," insisted Paul, and it undermines US diplomatic efforts efforts by making clear that the US is not an honest broker seeking peace for the Middle East." "The bill calls for the United States to significantly increase our provision of sophisticated weaponry to Israel, and states that it is to be US policy to 'help Israel preserve its military edge' in the region,"added the congressman. The bill itself was created to reaffirm America's "commitment to Israel's security as a Jewish state,""provide Israel with the military capabilities to defend itself," "expand military and civil and civil cooperation" and encourage Israel's neighbors to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, among other matters according to the official synapsis included in the legislation. When I served as the Intelligence Operations Officer in our 4th US Armored Division in Goeppingen, Germany, I had the occasion to hear General Sherrer's comment on our "ally Israel". While I showed him the cable of Israel's sinking of our USS Liberty, he said: "With friends like Israel, we have no need of enemies!!"
Despite the Japanese PM's optimistic assessment of Fukushima, experts have new worries about the plant's recovery. In December, Japan's prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, declared that "a cold shutdown" had been achieved, and that the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was now over. "Today, we have reached a great milestone", Noda told the Japanese people in a televised address. "The reactors are stable, which should resolve one big cause of concern for us all." But Mr Noda's optimistic assessment appears to have been premature. Nuclear engineer and former power company executive Arnie Gunderson compared the prime minister's statement to President George Bush declaring "mission accomplished" on the deck of the USS Lincoln in 2003. Gunderson calls the situation at Fukushima "a long battle, far from over." Even Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), which owns the Fukushima facility, says it will take another 40 years to fully decommission the reactors there, a project which poses unprecedented engineering challenges. But the company's own tests disclose a more immediate danger. Rising radiation levels within one of the reactors, the highest recorded so far, and evidence of a leak in the critical cooling system demonstrate that the situation is still far from stable. Tepco revealed at the end of March that protective water levels in the containment vessel of Reactor No 2, were far shallower than had been expected, which might mean that the uranium fuel rods there are no longer completely submerged, and are heating up. The Japan Times reported on 29 March that radiation inside the vessel has reached 73 sieverts per hour, high enough to administer a lethal dose to a human in a matter of minutes, even to disable the robotic devices which are sent regularly into the reactor to monitor what is happening there.