Steven Strauss: Is Our Republic Ending?

Eight Striking Parallels Between the Fall of Rome and our US. Lawrence Lessig's Republic Lost documents the corrosive effect of money on our political process. Lessig persuasively makes the case that we are witnessing the loss of our republican form of government, as politicians increasingly represent those who fund their campaigns, rather than our citizens. Anthony Everitt's Rise of Rome is fascinating history and a great read. It tells the story of ancient Rome, from its founding, circa 750 BCE to the fall of the Roman Republic, circa 45 BCE. When read together, striking parallels emerge, between our failings and the failings that destroyed the Roman Republic - circa 45 BCE. When read together, striking parallels emerge, between our failings, and the failings that destroyed the Roman Republic. As with Rome, just before the Republic's fall, America has seen: 1. Staggering Increase in the Cost of Elections, with Dubious Campaign Funding Sources: Our 2012 election reportedly cost $3 billion. All of it was raised from private sources, often creating the appearance, or the reality, that our leaders are beholden to special interest groups. During the late Roman Republic, elections became staggeringly expensive, with deplorable results. Caesar reportedly borrowed so heavily for one political campaign, he feared he would be ruined if not elected. Politics as the Road to Personal Wealth: During the late Roman Republic period, one of the main roads to wealth was holding public office, and exploiting such positions to accumulate personal wealth. As Lessig notes: Congressman, Senators and their staffs leverage their government service to move to private sector positions, that pay three to ten times their government compensation. Given this financial arrangement, "Their focus is therefore not so much on the people who sent them to Washington. Their focus is instead on those who will make them rich." Continuous War: A national state of security arises,, distracting attention from domestic challenges with foreign wars, Similar to the late Roman Republic, the US, for the past 100 years, has either been fighting a war, recovering from a war, or preparing for a new war: WWI, 1917-18, WWII 1941-1945, Cold War 1947-1991, Korean War 1950-1953, Vietnam 1953-1975, Gulf War 1990-1991, Afghanistan 2001 ongoing, and Iraq 2003-2011, and this list is far from complete.      

Alan Hart: Obama's Hagel Test!

By all accounts, President Obama wants to nominate Chuck Hagel, the former two term Republican senator from Nebraska to replace Leon Panetta at the Pentagon as Secretary of Defense, but a coalition led by the Zionist lobby is mounting a smear campaign against Hagel. Why? It hopes to persuade Obama that he would be foolish to nominate Hagel, because he is unlikely to be confirmed by a Senate, in which many members are content to do Zionism's bidding in order to protect their own backs. I'll get to what it is about Hegel's record that troubles and even frightens the Zionist lobby in a moment, but first can we, please, get the terminology right. Almost everyone who speaks and writes about the Israel Palestine conflict does not get it right, and that creates an obstacle to understanding. The monster that controls Congress, and ties any president's hands on policy for dealing with Israel Palestine is not the "Jewish lobby" and not the "Israel lobby." It is wrong to describe it as the Jewish lobby for two reasons. One is that such a description implies that it represents and speaks for all Jews. It most certainly does not. The other is that such a description implies that it's not only Jews who make up the lobby. Another key element of it is composed of the "Bring on Armageddon" Christian fundamentalists. It is wrong to describe it as the Israel lobby because such a description implies that it represents and speaks for all of Israel's Jews, and the nearly one quarter of its citizens who are Arabs. It most certainly does not. The most accurate long description of the Zionist lobby would be that it is composed of those of all faiths and none who give and demand unconditional support for the Zionist (not Jewish) state of Israel, right or wrong. In my view the most practical short form of that is the Zionist lobby, though some call it the "Likud lobby".  That was a case for doing so in the past, but today there are emerging fascist forces in Israel even further to the right than Likud, and the Zionist lobby speaks for them, too. Even the term "pro Israel" is an obstacle to understanding. When it is used without qualification, as it almost is, it can mean either pro Israel inside its borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war, or pro an Israel in occupation of the West Bank (in defiance of international law) and laying siege to the Gaza Strip.      

James F Tracy: The Newtown School Tragedy!

More than one gunman? It is now beyond question that the assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr all involved patsies, additional gunmen and perhaps mass media complicity to achieve their political ends. Along these lines, and in a fashion now characteristic of how such public executions are framed, the observations and analyses of citizen journalists and alternative media suggest how coverage of the Newtown Connecticut school shooting was substantially altered in the several hours and days following the event. After the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing, central elements that would help the citizenry make sense of the event, such as unexploded ordnance found in the structure and Timothy McVeigh's accomplice, were stricken from the official narrative. Along these lines at the probable behest of government authorities, a second gunman accompanying Jared Lee Loughner in 2011 was quickly tossed down the memory hole by news outlets covering the incident. Similar reportorial lapses took place at the Aurora Colorado massacre last July, where eyewitnesses attested to spotting James Holmes collaborators, or handlers inside the theater. When the news media act as willing partners in such acts, the public becomes an unwitting accessory in its own psychic imprisonment, lulled into the notion that fair play still exists, and public servants remain intent on service. One of the most important red flags of a staged shooting is a second gunman, health science and investigative writer Mike Adams observes, indicating the shooting was coordinated and planned. There are often mind control elements at work in many of these shootings. James Holmes, for example, was a graduate student actually working on mind control technologies funded by the US government. There were also chemical mind control elements linked to Jared Lee Loughner. Several independent researchers, and most recently Infowars.com reporter Rob Dew have over the past few days pointed to evidence strongly suggesting how two additional Sandy Hook shooting suspects were apprehended by police in the minutes following 9:35 AM, when officers were dispatched to the elementary school. Recordings of the 911 dispatcher and the first responders to the campus all but wholly corroborate initial reports of at least two persons attempting to flee from the scene, with audio evidence of law enforcement officers actually encountering the suspected assailants at around 9:40 AM. Excerpts were replayed on Fox News the evening of December 14.   


Wolfgang Peter May: By the way, when I was the Intelligence Operations Officer fo , you snivelling jew:

Officer under Colonel Akula, I was the first person to document the Israeli atrocities against the USS Liberty, which was being destroyed by Israeli aircraft and subsequently sunk, with all hands on board. When I gave the sad news to General Sherrer, he had only one comment: With friends like Israel, we have no need of enemies. The atrocities committed by Israel will continue to live in infamy!

Ira Chernus: Are the US and Israel Heading for a Showdown?

No one thinks so, but it just might happen! Here's the question no one is asking as 2012 ends, especially given the effusive public support the Obama administration offered Israel in its recent conflict with Hamas in Gaza. Will 2013 be a year of confrontation between Washington and Jerusalem? It's on no one's agenda for the New Year, but it could happen anyway. It's true that the Israeli Palestinian peace process appears dead in the water. No matter how much Obama might have wanted that prize, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuffed him at every turn. The president appears to have taken it on the chin, offering more than the usual support for Israel, and in return getting nothing at all. However, the operative word here is "appears." In foreign affairs what you see, a show carefully scripted for political purposes often bears little relation to what you actually get. While the Obama administration has acceded to the imagery of knee jerk support for whatever Israel does, no matter how outrageous, behind the scenes its policies are beginning to look far less predictable. In fact, unlikely as it may seem, a showdown could be brewing between the two countries. If so, the outcome will depend on a complicated interplay between private diplomacy and public theater. The latest well masked US intervention came in the brief November war between Israel and Gaza. It began when Israel assassinated a top Hamas leader deeply involved in secret truce talks between the supposedly non communicating foes. Destructive as it was, the war proved brief indeed for one reason: the American president quickly stepped in. Publicly, he couldn't have sided more wholeheartedly with Israel. It felt as if Mitt Romney had won, not lost the election. In private though, as he pressured Egyptian President Morsi to force Hamas to a truce, he reportedly pushed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu just as hard. The truce agreement even had an Obama required twist. It forced Israel to continue negotiating seriously with Hamas about easing the blockade that, combined with repeated destructive Israeli strikes against the Palestinian infrastructure, has plunged Gaza so deep into poverty and misery. Talks on the blockade are reportedly proceeding, though wrapped in the deepest secrecy. It's hard to imagine Israel upholding the truce and entering into a real dialogue to ease the blockade without significant pressure from Washington.   

Jim W. Dean: Israel's deep cover agents inside the IAEA

Why the IAEA is an ongoing fraud, a tool to be used against some, or a free pass for others. Would Israel have a reason to penetrate the IAEA? Oh yes, I said it. And I will say it again. The IAEA is an ongoing fraud. Why? Because it has become totally politicized and I strongly suspect, an intelligence asset for someone. I will give you a homework assignment of figuring out who. In intelligence analysis you generally use a dual track approach of reviewing what can be seen, and then, what is often more revealing, what you don't see that you should. The IAEA's main qualification for the Nobel Prize fake international agency medal is its many years of secret service to the Israeli weapons of mass destruction programs. And what service is that, you ask? It is giving the Zios a free pass on any mention of their decades long programs, in effect putting their stamp of approval on offensive WMD proliferation. Excuse me if I have a little problem with this. I cannot think of another organization that has failed so miserably in its appointed purpose, but therein the plot begins to thicken. Why would the IAEA continue to be funded, while not being able to discover and report to the world about the Zionist weapons hoard that we all knew they had? After all, American intelligence, declassified and classified, has always concluded that Israel had had complete conventional military superiority over all of its neighbors. This left only one reason for its long running investment in all of these WMD programs, their offensive threat value. Now why would an organization like the IAEA not want to discover a threat like this? Could it be that it is working with a group that is selective about what threats are spotlighted, and which are not? After all, the Israeli WMD was an obvious incentive for surrounding nations to try to have some kind of a retaliatory deterrent. Would Israel have a reason to penetrate the IAEI? Oh yes, I said it. And I will say it again. The IAEA is an ongoing fraud. Why? Because it has become totally politicized, and I strongly suspect, an intelligence asset for someone. I will give you a homework assignment of figuring out who. In intelligence analysis you generally use a dual track approach of reviewing what you can be seen, and then, what is often more revealing, what you don't see that you should.  

Michel Chossudovsky: The Mayan 2012 Prophecy

Orwellian "End of the World" Doomsday is "Made in America". The 2012 Mayan Prophecy has been readily distorted and misunderstood. The End of the Mayan Calendar on December 21, 2012 has nothing to do with the "End of the World". In fact, the Mayan calendar does not end on December 21st. Rather, December 21 marks the beginning of a new "Long Cycle" in the Mayan calendar system. The End of the World concept is a falsehood and misinterpretation of Mayan thought. What is at stake is a renewal, the unfolding of a new era. For the Mayans, December 21 marks the beginning of a new long cycle. Meanwhile, "End of the World" stories and commentary are plastered on the news tabloids. While the Western media readily refutes the Mayan prophesy, the apocalypse narrative, when repeated ad nauseam, serves as a distraction and distortion. A Reuters Ispos poll conducted last May confirms that 10% of the World's population believe that. "The Mayan calendar, which some say ends in 2012, marks the end of the world". Ironically, in sharp contrast to the Mayan prophesy of "renewal, the real World we live in at the outset of the 21st Century is marked by a formidable economic and social crisis, which is impoverishing millions of people, literally destroying people's lives. In the figurative sense, we are in the midst of an unfolding "doomsday scenario"of a complex political, social and economic nature: it's man made, it's "Made in America", it is the consequence of the fracture of the judicial system, the evolving Homeland Security apparatus, the fraudulent deregulation of financial markets, the mismanagement of the real economy. These fundamental shifts in America's institutional and social fabric are coupled with a far reaching global military agenda, and a self serving US foreign policy. The latter under the helm of Secretary Hillary Clinton points towards a potential breakdown of the channels of international diplomacy. War and Economic Crisis are intimately related. While the global economy is in a state of chaos, marked by the collapse of productive systems, the US and its allies, including NATO and Israel, have embarked upon a military adventure, a long war under the disguise of a "global war on terrorism". The Pentagons global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously. Pentagon war games routinely focus on simulating World War III scenarios. This "End of the World" military agenda potentially threatens the future of humanity.    


Lesley Clark: Obama Urges Congress to ban Assault Weapons

President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to ban the sale of military style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips, and said Vice President Joe Biden would lead an effort to stem an epidemic of gun violence that plagues this country every single day. Obama said he'd asked Biden to deliver his recommendations by next month, and the president pledged to move quickly to enact them. "This is not some Washington commission," Obama said, speaking at the White House five days after a lone gunman in Connecticut opened fire in an elementary school with a semi automatic rifle, killing 20 first graders and six adults. "This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now. The Biden led team, which will include members of the president's Cabinet and outside organizations, also will look at improving access to mental health services and, Obama said, at a culture that, all too often, glorifies guns and violence. The president argued that there is a growing consensus for stepped up gun control, contending that a majority of Americans support banning the sale of military style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips. He said most Americans also supported background checks before gun purchases, including those at gun shows, and he urged the incoming Congress to vote on gun control in a timely manner. An ABC News Washington Post poll taken after the Connecticut shooting found that 54 percent of Americans favor stricter gun control laws in general. The powerful gun lobby has resisted most new regulations. Obama said he believed that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms, but he added that he also believes that most gun owners think the US should be able to keep an irresponsible, law breaking few from buying a weapon of war.  

G. Pascal Zachary: Why is the Will to Secede not a Right Wing Fantasy?

From time to time, the breakup of the United States becomes appealing to many citizens, patriots of various stripes who "in the Course of human events" have come to believe that it is necessary for one people to dissolve the political band which have connected them. We are in one of those periods now, and while the reasons are unique and the historical moment singular, looking forward at past episodes of secessionist fervor exemplify a passing fancy? Or does it rather suggest a deeper, even revolutionary, change in the American political terrain? The immediate trigger was Barack Obama's victory, which heralded a new coalition of voters, women, people of color and young people, who voted for the Democratic candidate at such a rate that, given the prevailing demographic trends, the Democratic Party appears to possess a major advantage for the foreseeable future. After the election, right wing activists immediately called for Texas to secede from the union. This echoed a declaration by progressive Vermonters, first made in 2003, to explore ways to opt out of a country that they deemed too reactionary. A November 9 petition asking the Obama administration to peacefully grant the state of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America, has garnered nearly 120,000 signatures to become by far the most popular petition on White House.gov. Additional secession petitions have come in from the other 49 states, with those from Louisiana, Florida and Georgia amassing more than 30,000 signatories apiece. One thing is certain: a bloc of Southern states that once were essential to any Democratic majority, from Wilson to Clinton, from the onset of World War I to the defeat of Al Gore in 2000 is no longer. Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina: The Democrats now can lose every one of these states in a presidential race and still win handily. Obama just did. The Southern strategy is gone.  

Meghan Murphy: Why are Men Committing Horrible Massacres?

But what about these men? It's a question that has been avoided by the mainstream media within the context of mass shootings. The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut sparked thousands of conversations across the continent about gun laws, mental illness, and violence, and sadly, we've been here before. We have had conversations about access to guns. The victims would still be alive today, after all, if there were no gun. We have talked about the need to better address mental illness in Noryh America, about how people need access to services and treatment. With proper support, potential perpetrators could get the help they need before it's too late, and what about the media? We see violence all the time in movies, video games, and on television. Have we become so desensitized to violence that mass murder has become par for the course? Or, worse, a way to achieve fame in a culture obsessed with celebrity as a goal unto itself? All these factors are relevant. All of these conversations should be had, but no one is asking what is, for once, the single most important question: What about the men? In 1984, a 39 year old man opened fire at an upscale nightclub in Dallas, after a woman rejected his aggressive sexual advances. The man, Abdelkrim Belachheb, went out to his car, retrieved his gun, and returned to the bar, shooting the woman to death. He then reloaded his gun, returned to the bar, shooting the woman to death. He then reloaded his gun and killed a total of six more people. Capital punishment quickly became the center of the national conversation. In fact, Belachheb's crime is most remembered as it lead to the passage of House Bill 8 in Texas, the "multiple murder" statute, which made serial killing and mass murder capital crimes. That same year, James Oliver Huberty, a man whose violent temper and history of domestic violence is documented, opened fire at a McDonald's restaurant in California, killing 21 people, before being shot dead by a police officer. At the time, this shooting was the largest single day, single gunman massacre in US history.      


Jack A Smith: What's Behind America.s Gun Violence?

There is more than the act of one individual involved in the mass gin killings that take place in America, the most recent being the massacre of 20 young children and seven school workers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut December 14. The main culprit, of course, is the late killer, Adam Lanza, 20. But such events occur within a context of shared responsibility for the unparalleled number of mass and individual shooting deaths that take place in the United States every year. This includes the political system and politicians, the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbies, and federal, state and local governments. Each has played an indirect role in the latest and earlier slaughters. Of these other responsible parties, one is our political system that refuses to strengthen absurdly deficient federal and state restrictions on the possession of various types of arms. Another is the irresponsible politicians who make it relatively easy for criminals, people with mental problems, and those who are unfit to possess weapons for other reasons to accumulate a private arsenal. In recent decades, despite the fact that last year there were over 11,000 murders by firearms in the US, and another 20,000 gun deaths from accidents and suicide, not to mention many more injuries, the great majority of American politicians have been too gutless to fight for tougher laws. President Obama was moved to tears in announcing the deaths of 6 and 7 year old children in Newtown, and said he might take meaningful action of an unidentified nature, but Obama is risk averse, and has shown a disinclination to tangle with the pro gun lobbies throughout his first term, so there's a chance all well get is tears and rhetoric, even though 80% of the American people want gun owners to secure police permits, and nearly 90% would require background checks on all gun sales. On the other hand, the fact that 20 youngsters were massacred, has shocked the nation to the extent that it may be politically advantageous for the White House and Congress to pass token legislation. Most conservative Republicans will do whatever is possible to block progress on gun control, but they may be less obstructive if a proposed law is weak and limited. No major changes are anticipated.         

James F Tracy: Chemtrails, Aerosol Geoengeneering

and Bio-engineering: A Massive Biological Experiment of Unknown Purpose. "The ultimate solution is a multiplication of leverage by citizens to the point where it simply cannot be denied". Clifford Carnicom. The materials disbursed in stratospheric aerosol "geo-engineering" operations contain a combination of "ionizable" metallic salts, filaments, gel type materials, and crystals. These are the longstanding and deeply interrogated observations of independent environmental research scientist Clifford Carnicom given on a December 10 conference call organized by Global Skywatch.com director Russ Tanner. During the meeting, coincidentally held on International Human Rights Day, Carnicom asserted that because the system of responsible government has failed, the immediate collective efforts of citizens are necessary to claim their rights on this planet. His remarks were made just three months after his presentation at the Consciousness Beyond Chemtrails conference held in Los Angeles last summer. In that talk, Geo-engineering and Bioengineering: The Unmistakable Link, Carnicom upheld his research detecting such a correlation. Is there a direct relationship between the alteration of living systems (us) and ecosystems (the environment)?" he asks. "My answer is unequivocally, Yes. Mr. Carnicom's work began in 1999, when he noted clear changes in the skies overhead. He has since produced a large body of sound and meticulous, yet accessible research reports examining the nature and contents of such aerosols, all of which are available at carnicom institute.org. Carnicom also oversees the Morgellons Research Group, a body of concerned citizens, health care professionals, scientific researchers and microbiologists who devote their time to investigating this unfolding syndrome. The implications of his observations that virtually every breathing organism is an unwitting participant in a massive biological experiment of unknown purpose have proven terrifying enough to prevent many individuals from even tentatively considering his investigations and hypotheses. There's a personal journey everyone has to take about the reality of this, Carnicom told call participants.       

Israeli Embassy: If alive today, Jesus and Mary would be lynched b

by hostile Palestinians. Israel's diplomatic corps finds itself in hot water, after posting an inflammatory message on an official Facebook page. Although the message has not been deleted, this is not the first time Israel has used social media to post controversial views. The message appeared on the Israeli Ireland Facebook page, which is linked to on the official embassy site, on Monday morning. The post comprised a painting of Mary and Jesus, accompanied by the following caption: "A thought for Christmas. If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians. Just a thought." The message sparked immediate heated debate, but was taken down within hours. "An image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page. We have removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended," said an official statement from the Israeli embassy in Dublin. Since then, the Israeli Ireland page has been shut down altogether, and the link on the official website has been removed. This was not the first time the account, which is updated by an unnamed embassy staff, broadcast strong opinions. It previously claimed that Palestinian children play how to launch a missile in order to hit innocent Israeli children, women and men. The apple does not fall far from the tree, and that Pro Palestinianism is often just a politically correct cover for anti Semitism. Although a popular tourist destination for Israelis, Ireland has a tempestuous relationship with Israel. The Israeli mission, which is headed by Boaz Mozai, who is deputized by his wife, Nurit Mondai, has captured the headlines with its confrontational approach. Last year Tinari Modai claimed in a letter that Ireland based Jews should have their private information made public, if they criticize their homeland, yet the post doesn't appear to be an isolated incident, and appears as an example of Israel's wider policy of hasbara. Hasbara is seen as the concerted effort to forcefully promote Israeli views in the face of what Jerusalem perceives to be predominantly anti Israeli media coverage worldwide. Although the term appeared in the 1970's the policy has gained new impetus with the ascent of social media. 

Stephen Lendman: Gun Violence in America!

US civilian gun ownership is the highest worldwide. Yemen ranks second. America doubles the Yemeni level. Gun related violence follows. In America it's endemic. In Chicago alone, gun related deaths exceed one a day. More Chicago' ans are shot and killed than US forces in Afghanistan by any means. Gun ownership makes it simple as ready, aim, fire. It lowers the threshold between anger and homicide. Proliferation in society leaves everyone vulnerable. On Friday, 28 Sandy Hook Elementary School Newtown, CT children and teachers were murdered. A heavily armed 20 year old man used semiautomatic pistols and a semiautomatic rifle. It was the third deadliest gun related massacre in US history. The second worst occurred in Blacks-burg, VA Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's campus. On April 16, 2007, 33 students and teachers were shot and killed. Others were wounded. In January 1923, shootings and other violence killed 150 Rosewood, FL Blacks. No convictions followed. Governor Lawton Chiles, 1991-1998 later called what happened a "blind act of bigotry." In 2004, Florida declared Rosewood a state Heritage Landmark. Survivors of dead victims are unforgiving. Numerous other gun related lesser scale massacres pockmark US history. The right to own, conceal, and use assault and other deadly weapons is an ugly America tradition. It's long past time it ended. On November 18, 2012, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said "epidemic levels of gun violence claim over 30,000 lives annually." US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data document it. Every gun related death leaves two others wounded. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are gun violence victims. Countless others are irreparably harmed. Nothing whatever is done to curb or prevent what's shocking and intolerable. The 1968 Gun Control Act fell woefully short. Federal regulation enacted was weak and ineffective. Gun manufacturers supported the measure. It prohibits interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers. It did nothing to curb gun proliferation across America. 


Editing: Jim W. Dean: Israeli Foreign Minister Liberman

resigns following indictment. A 12 year investigation resolved with indictment a month before elections. Israeli politicians beat a lot of these corruption charges. This could easily follow that path. Rampant Israeli corruption spawns investigations lasting more than ten years. Avigdor Lieberman has resigned as Israel's foreign minister following his indictment for fraud and breach of trust. "I have committed no offense but wish to put behind me this issue, which is what remains of many years of investigation," Lieberman said in a statement Friday. Lieberman said he would also step down as vice prime minister, and lift his immunity from prosecution, to which he is entitled as a member of Knesset. On December 13, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein closed a 12 year investigation on Lieberman, dismissing most of the charges, but he indicted Lieberman for fraud and breach of trust for advancing former ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben Aryeh's position in the Foreign Ministry, allegedly in exchange for information about an investigation against Lieberman being conducted in Belarus. Last spring, Ben Aryeh confessed that he had received and passed documents to Lieberman in 2008. In his statement, Lieberman added: "I am stepping down also because I believe the citizens of Israel deserve to go to the ballot box with this thing already settled, so I can resume serving the state of Israel and its citizens." According to Ynet, Lieberman does not plan to resign as number two of Halikud Beiteinu, the merger of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud, and the movement headed by Lieberman, Yisrael Beiteinu. Lieberman has said he wished for a "quick trial" but it is not known whether this could be concluded ahead of Israel's general elections scheduled for January 22.  

Joshua Holland: How an Astounding New Right Wing Lie Is Born!

There's a new economic myth that's now being amplified by the conservative media. It demonizes vital public services, and suggests that the poor are doing just fine, thanks to the largesse of the country's "makers." Conservatives are being told that the United States is now spending vast fortunes combating poverty, more than we dedicate to national defense, Social Security and Medicare. This new spin is notable not for its mendacity, although it is completely divorced from reality, but because its origins are easily traced, allowing us to see how these kinds of distortions come to be. This one originated with the work of an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, which is well known for its intellectual dishonesty. It was then picked up by Republican staffers on Capitol Hill, who lent the claim credibility by requesting a Congressional Research Service report on the analysis. They then further distorted the narrative before distributing it to friendly writers at conservative media outlets, who dutifully reported the falsehood. It will soon become conventional wisdom on the Right, further distorting conservative's view of taxes and spending. Several conservative outlets had the story before Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard, but his piece is the one that's been cited by hundreds of conservative blogs, right wing radio talkers and Fox News. Halper, citing "the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee," framed the story like this: "Welfare spending per day per household in poverty is $168, which is higher than the $137 median income per day. When broken down per hour, welfare spending per hour per household in poverty is $30.60, which is higher than the $25.03 median income per hour." For fiscal year 2011, CRS identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011, more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion. Common sense should tell you that this is a ridiculous claim. Given that the United States has one of the weakest social safety nets in the world, it's pretty obvious that we're not spending more on each family in poverty than the median income, or more on the poor than we spend on defense, Social Security and Medicare. 

Kourosh Ziabari: America's Power Game. Iranian People Victims!

of US Economic Sanctions. Iran's nuclear program seems to have reached a dead end. Iranian officials have politically invested a lot on the country's nuclear program, which was initially set in motion 6 decades ago, when President Dwight D Eisenhower decided to help his close friend Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi construct the first nuclear reactors in Iran, and it seems to be embarrassing for the Iranian government to announce out of the blue that they don't want to pursue nuclear technology anymore, which will give the West a pretext to launch a new psychological war against Tehran, and trumpet this victory that it has retreated from its position, and from the other hand, the obdurate United States and its European allies have not indicated that there mind and come to terms with a nuclear Iran. The reality is, that if the United States and its European allies had compelling evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, they would not hesitate for a moment to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, and what troubles them is that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons. The only reason for the decade long controversy over Iran's nuclear program, is that the two sides of the conflict are engaged in a power game, and nobody likes to be the loser in this erosive confrontation. Acquiring nuclear technology will promote Iran to the level of a regional superpower and a serious rival for Israel, and this is something which the West cannot tolerate. However, it seems that the ordinary Iranian citizens are the only victims of this power game and charade of double standards. The US government, which shamefully protects Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal, and sides with Israel every time that the international community decides to demand Israel to legalize its nuclear activities, such as in the case of the recent UN General Assembly resolution, has pulled out all the stops to prevent Iran from nuclear technology, while even the intelligence agencies inside the United States have admitted that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons or intending to do so. The 2012 National Intelligence Estimates reports refuted the allegations that Iran's nuclear program has a military dimension. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency has never published any reports that Iran is moving towards developing nuclear weapons, except for the claims that Iran is not fully cooperating with the agency, but the United States and its allies are hell bent of punishing Iran for the crime it has not committed, and have targeted Iran with backbreaking economic sanctions, which are taking a heavy toll on the innocent Iranian people, and almost paralyzing the Iranian society and its economy.