Posts from the ‘Nuclear Power’ Category

Exposé: Iran and Syria’s Nerve Gas is Made in Europe – Op-Eds – Israel National News


Nothing keeps a German or French firm – and a British, Italian or Swiss one – from making a good profit. And if it puts the Zionist state in danger, no problem.

Giulio Meotti
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.
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Syria threatens to use chemical weapons, including lethal gas and germs, against “external forces”. And the unthinkable becomes much more concrete in Israel.

The gas mask distribution centers have increased their activities in the last few days. Health authorities may start inoculation of soldiers and emergency care personnel against smallpox. Family drug kits, including antibiotics against anthrax, may be delivered door-to-door. The Education Ministry will prepare material for all students instructing them on the ABC’s of chemical and biological warfare. The message is clear: Israel should be prepared for the worst.

The Germans used chlorine gas against the Allies in World War I; in 1937, they developed nerve gas, the most deadly of all. Mustard gas was used by the Egyptians in the war with Yemen. But by far the worst were the Iraqis in the Iran-Iraq war, when nerve gas killed untold numbers. Saddam Hussein was also responsible for the gassing of thousands of Kurdish civilians in 1988.

The sarin gas attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan in 1994-1995, the anthrax attack in the United States in October 2001 and the chlorine attacks by al-Qaida in Iraq in 2006-2007 are a few examples that serve to remind us that the use of weapons of mass destruction can be a reality in today’s Middle East.

Already in May 2011, then US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned about the possibility that Hizbullah is armed with chemical warheads. Syria’s stockpiles could fall into the hands of al-Qaeda, which is involved in the fighting, a military faction, or a post-Assad regime controlled by Islamists.
It’s the worst kind of nightmare.

A four milligram droplet of VX kills in under an hour. The first symptoms include drooling, sweating, difficulty breathing and the constriction of pupils to zombie pinpoints. Then come gastrointestinal spasms, vomiting, convulsions and asphyxiation. Unlike other nerve gases, such as sarin, VX evaporates slowly so winds can’t blow it away. And unlike sarin, VX penetrates the skin.

What very few people know is that European companies and scientists gave Iran, Syria, Libya and Iraq the material to attempt to kill the Jews, again.

In 1992 a 100-page report, prepared by the Paris-based Middle East Defence News, listed about 300 European firms which the centre said it believed had “played a significant role in the unconventional weapons programmes in Iran, Syria and Libya”.

Germany topped the list of suppliers with 100, the report said, then 29 French, 22 British, 13 Italian and 13 Swiss.

German companies have played a crucial role in helping Iran to build a chemical weapons industry, and have illegally supplied nerve gas precursor chemicals,” the report said. It said France had played a “crucial role…in helping Syria to develop both a chemical weapons and a biological weapons capability”.

The West German firm Degussa supplied of chemicals to Libya used to manufacture poison gas. This company also owned a 42.5 per cent share in the Degesch company, which supplied the Zyklon B gas used in the death camps. Degesch is the acronym for “Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Schaedlingsbekaempfung”, a company for the extermination of vermin.

It developed the method of using hydrogen cyanide, Zyklon B, as an ingredient in its fumigation gas for buildings and ships. The gas it supplied to Auschwitz was used in the killing of two million Jews.

“For years, Iraqi officers had asked us how it had been with the gassing of the Jews.” said Maj. Gen. Karl-Heinz Nagler, former head of the East German Army’s chemical service, who had trained the Iraqi Army in chemical warfare for 15 years.

The manufacturing of di-fluoro – from which nerve gas is obtained – requires resistant glass components. Two German companies gave these to the Syrians.

French scientific institutes also played a role, through scientific exchanges.

In 1988, the Wall Street Journal revealed that German companies sold Saddam what he needed to perfect new types of poison gas, including manufacturing equipment for hydrogen cyanide, the active ingredient of Zyklon B, the gas used in Hitler’s crematoriums.

In 1990, members of the German parliament demanded a confidential briefing from Economics Minister Helmut Haussmann. What they heard surpassed their worst fears. Haussmann read off a list of companies believed to have supplied Iraq and Syria with the means to manufacture arms.

A German company was the chief supplier for six plants in Samarra, Iraq, that make nerve and mustard gases, gases already used against the Kurds and the Iranians. We know that some of Saddam’s chemical weapons have been moved to Syria.

In 1996, the weekly ‘Stern’ revealed the German involvement in a toxic gas facility in Aleppo, similar to that of Tarhuna in Libya.

According to Raul Hilberg, the use of pesticides in the Final Solution was no accident. In German propaganda Jews had frequently been portrayed as insects. Hans Frank, Head of the German Occupation Government in Poland, and Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, had stated that the Jews were parasites who had to be exterminated like vermin.

Today, again, Jews are described by Islamists as sub-humans, with expressions like “pig,” “cancer,” “filth”, “microbes” or “vermin”.

Without the European chemical companies, there would be no Syrian and Iranian germs and gas’ threat to Israel.

We can be partners in the Jewish struggle against the new apocalypse. Or we can be part of it. The European companies and scientists have made their choice.

Let’s hope that one day we will not have to judge these Europeans responsible for another catastrophe, like the one facilitated with Degesch’s Zyklon B.

Tags: Germans ,chemical warfare

More on this topic

Golan Heights Residents Calm Amid Chemical War Fears
‘Israel Will Go to War if Hizbullah Gets Chemical Weapons’
Syria Warns It May Use Chemical Weapons on ‘Foreign’ Forces
Why Did a Vice Chairman of the German-Israel Association Resign?
Brit Mila and Secular Intolerance in Germany
Arab MK Zoabi Tells Germans Israel is Fascist
Muslims and Jews Join to Fight German Circumcision Ban
‘Israel in Shadow of Syria’s Chemical Weapons’
Kara: All of Assad’s Officers Were Trained in Iran
Gunter Grass Lashes Out Against Israel, Yet Again

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Beware of CAIR Where is Syria’s Peace Now Movement? And Their Beinart? From Washington to Jerusalem: The Year of the Centrists
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Comments (2)
Post CommentOpen All comments
1. Finally someone said it.
Sergio HaDaR Tezza, (30/7/12)
2. and these same countries own the Israeli government (n.c)
Rudy, (30/7/12)
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Mayor 1%’s new rules try to thwart protest, while groundswell of public dissent grows


In the last ten days, literally thousands of people from across Chicago and beyond rallied a massive amount of public outcry against efforts to restrict free speech and the right to dissent in Chicago.



To help folks separate spin from fact, we’ve put together this analysis to help you understand how local rules have changed in ways that undercut protest and political speech. While these revisions will not deter us from speaking out and protesting, they do change the excuses the police may use to try to prevent us from protesting.

It’s also important that we understand these changes so we can educate our friends and neighbors – and fight for meaningful change that puts people’s rights and the greater good ahead of the fear-mongering and greed that drove Mayor 1%’s push for these changes.

City Hall made only token changes to “improve” these revisions, and the worst of Mayor 1%’s proposed revisions remain. While the old protest ordinance was pretty terrible in its own right, the changes approved this week make it even worse. How? Because the revisions give the police more excuses to target protesters they don’t like and speech they oppose with greater fines and penalties. The revisions also give police more excuses to try and censor the tools we use to speak out – sound equipment, signs, banners and whatnot.

Let’s be clear, under the old ordinance, police routinely repressed speech they disliked anyway. More than a few protesters have been arrested for absolutely no reason, only to find that the police have cooked bogus charges as an afterthought – and an excuse for targeting them in the first place.

But few aldermen or reporters understand the problems with the OLD ordinance, and they certainly have no experience with the police department’s chronic selective enforcement of the rules. Most have taken Mayor 1% at his word on the impact of these changes – setting them up for serious buyers’ remorse once City Hall starts using these changes as an excuse to suppress political speech.

It’s also important to note that Mayor 1%’s latest efforts to suppress our civil liberties do not occur in a vacuum. For the past several months, personnel from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Secret Service have been on the ground in Chicago working to coordinate overall security measures for the NATO/G8 summits – and have made recommendations to municipal authorities on how to “enhance” these security measures.

This occurs at a time when Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act and other repressive measures, and where strong evidence exists of a nationally coordinated, inter-city campaign to suppress the Occupy movement. The National Lawyers Guild and its legal partners have filed a series of Freedom of Information requests seeking evidence of this federal role in the Occupy crackdown, and they have painted an ugly picture of federal coordination at the highest levels to undermine the most basic precepts of our right to dissent.

We “strongly suspect that the 72 so-called Fusion Centers created by the Homeland Security Department around the country, and the many Joint Terror Task Forces operated by the FBI in conjunction with local police in many cities, are serving as coordination points for the increasingly systematic attacks on the Occupy Movement,” writes the Guild .

Inevitably, much of this will be litigated in the courts. Meanwhile, this latest effort by Mayor 1% and his yes-men and women – as well as his national federal partners – will not deter the legitimate right of the rest of us to speak our minds, raise our grievances and protest government policy, whether or not new “rules” give the police another excuse to try to censor us.

We may not have won on Wednesday, but every single person who spoke out, showed up, shot off an email or phoned their alderman has joined a growing groundswell of truly grassroots opposition to the abuse of power. And that is very, very powerful.

The 1% can make new rules. We honor a higher law and more fundamental freedoms: the human right to equality, dignity and peace with justice, the human right to challenge those who rip us off, undercut our health and safety and abuse our basic freedoms, and the human right to defend these freedoms with words and deeds.

Basic talking points – what has changed with the new ordinances

1. We defeated the increased penalties for “resisting arrest,” but Chicago’s onerous interpretation of what constitutes “resisting” remains, overly penalizing many forms of non-violent civil disobedience. The penalties remain a minimum fine of $25 and a maximum of $500.

2. The City originally wanted minimum violations of the parade permit and public assembly ordinances to jump 20-fold, from $50 to $1000, and double the maximum penalty from $1000 to $2000, while keeping in place the maximum jail time penalty of 10 days. The new ordinances will make the minimum fine “only” quadruple, to $200, while keeping in place the current maximum penalties of $1000 and/or 10 days in jail. The old ordinance was used to exact a “free speech tax” on messages the City disliked, and so the new ordinance just makes that much worse, while providing additional criteria to find alleged “violations.”

3. The new parade permit ordinance proposed in December and the revised version floated January 12th both required that organizers provide in their permit application – something typically prepared months before the event – “a description of any recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be used in connection with the parade.”

Besides being logistically unworkable, this was an obvious 1st Amendment restriction. The great “concession” in the new ordinance is that it demands that organizers include in the permit application “a description of any sound amplification or other equipment that is on wheels or too large to be carried by one person, and a description of the size and dimension of any sign, banner or other attention-getting device that is too large to be carried by one person, to be used in connection with the parade.” [emphasis ours]

4. The “reformed” version of the legislation is thus only a slightly less obvious 1st Amendment restriction and begs the question, will parade organizers be required to ban “unauthorized” banners under threat of fine and/or jail time?

Speaking at the City Council’s Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation meeting on Tuesday, Michelle T. Boone, the Commissioner of the Department of Cultural affairs and Special Events, tried to soft-pedal this provision by implying that there would be no penalty for violation of it. But if that’s so, why include the provision in the ordinance at all?

5. By changing the definition of what constitutes a “large parade,” the new ordinance slips in onerous insurance and other burdens on demonstration organizers. Unless one gets a financial waiver from the Commissioner of Transportation, every street march in the downtown area will require $1 million liability insurance and “indemnify the city against any additional or uncovered third party claims against the city arising out of or caused by the parade; and (3) agree to reimburse the city for any damage to the public way or to city property arising out of or caused by the parade.” Failure to provide proof of insurance with one’s permit application will be grounds for rejection of the application.

6. Under the new ordinance, one can apply to the Commissioner of Transportation for a waiver of the financial requirements “if the application is for an activity protected by the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution [virtually every activity is protected by the 1st Amendment] and the requirement would be so financially burdensome that it would preclude the applicant from applying for a parade permit for the proposed activity. An application for a waiver of the application fee or insurance requirement shall be made on a form prescribed by and contain reasonable proof acceptable to the commissioner.”

There is no definition as to what constitutes “reasonable proof acceptable to the commissioner.” Moreover, both the old and new versions of the ordinances allow the Transportation Commissioner to “establish…rules and regulations” in addition to those specified in the legislation – i.e., a virtual blank check to institute unpopular measures that might have difficulty passing the City Council.

7. The new ordinance repeats most of the bureaucratic limitations on “public assembly” that were contained in the old ordinance. The city defines “public assembly” as any gathering that does not use the street, but does use sidewalks and “which is reasonably anticipated to interfere with or impede the flow of pedestrian traffic.”

When a member of the public raised concern about this during a City Council committee meeting, Boone tried to allay the concern by noting that the language had been lifted wholesale from the old ordinance and that “they [the police] don’t enforce a lot of it.” The reality is that there has been very selective enforcement of this provision of the old ordinance, amounting to a 1st Amendment content-based restriction.

By making the public assembly provisions a new subsection of the Municipal Code, the City will either enforce the old provisions against everyone, or continue its selective enforcement. Either result is a serious retreat away from the 1st Amendment.

8. The deputizing of police authority, perhaps even to private security outfits, remained intact in the legislation as passed. There is no sun-set clause on this provision.

9. The only “temporary” ordinance concerns the issuance of no-bid contracts. It is important to make sure that this truly goes away on July 30th as provided for in the legislation as passed.

Transparency

Emanuel claimed that his mayoralty would have “the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen.” As many have commented, given Chicago’s history, that’s hardly setting the bar very high. Our struggle has given the lie to Mayor 1%’s claims of transparency:

a) The approximately half-dozen aldermen in the Committee on Special Events, etc. apparently had the latest version of the parade permits ordinance when they passed it out of committee on Tuesday afternoon. It was announced that paper copies of it would be distributed to them at the start of that meeting. When one of us asked for a show of hands during public comment section as to who had read it, all six or so claimed they had.

The fact remains, though, that the “latest” versions of the legislation that the City Clerk’s office gave us 90 minutes before the Council vote on Wednesday were outdated, and as of yesterday, the Clerk’s website still only had the old versions. So there was no way the general public had access to what was being voted on and thus have the opportunity to meaningfully weigh in on them.

b) As noted above, there is only one item in the whole body of legislation that has a sunset clause. This legislation then was not just for G8/NATO, as Emanuel claimed. In a January 17 City Council committee meeting, Mike Simon of the CDOT said that the permits ordinance revisions had been in the works since 2009. As one of us said to Tunney after the committee meeting, they’ve had this under review for two years and they’ve apparently talked to all players except those who actually use the ordinance.

c) The January 12th not-for-attribution press briefing (with no paper copies of what the revisions were) was accepted with virtually no criticism by the City Hall beat press crew. This was as much a statement about them as it was about Emanuel. Right up to and after Wednesday’s vote, most accepted City Hall’s spin that there were dramatic concessions to our side in the revised legislation.

d) Next up in the transparency department – what are the G8/NATO summits going to cost city taxpayers? Mayor 1% said that “We’ll make sure that taxpayers don’t take on the bill” and in a Council committee meeting, Alderman Pope falsely claimed that “Historically host cities have been wholly reimbursed.” But wholesale violations of protesters’ rights by police have typically cost host cities millions in civil suits after the fact.

Win, lose, or somewhere in between?

Finally, there is the issue of whether or not to call what happened on Wednesday a “victory” for our side or not. Most (but not all) mainstream media accounts accepted the 5th floor’s spin that Mayor 1% had listened to the people and revised the legislation to address our concerns – a victory for protesters. We obviously don’t think so, but at the same time, it would be wrong to label what happened as a wholesale defeat.

It is standard operating procedure for the City is to introduce draconian measures to the CTA, etc. in so-called “doomsday” budgets, only to then walk back the cuts to more “acceptable” levels once there is public outcry – the “acceptable” levels being the ones they planned on instituting all along. But we don’t think that this was the initial plan for this legislation – “professional protesters” (their term) are not a group in the chain of power that they think merits any concessions. We think that they introduced the legislation in the form that they wanted it to pass, and were taken aback at the level of resistance our side was able to muster.

There was no advance plan for the January 12th Mayoral dog-and-pony shows. Those and the other spin measures were crafted in response to our resistance, and the City had to deliver at least minimal concessions in order to make them credible. If we had not fought, we would not have won anything.

Aside from the teachers and those fighting the health clinic cuts, we were the first group to take the new mayor on in a sustained battle. And we’re really not a group at all – many thousands of people who did not know each other united in opposition to the mayor’s plans. As with any new administration, there are always those in the public who hope that the new guy will be better than the old one, that he can be reasoned with, etc. This was an uphill battle on those grounds alone.

Our sustained battle over the ordinances helped take Emanuel’s credibility down at least a few notches, concretizing his reputation as Mayor 1%. Moreover, we sent the message that if the City messes with us, we will fight back tenaciously.

Given the rubber stamp nature of our City Council (reinforced by Emanuel’s deep pockets, etc.), the idea that anyone could defeat him first time out was a total long-shot. Thanks to this struggle, the odds of people defeating him on other issues in the future have gotten at least a little bit better.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Previous articles in this series can be found here, here, here and here.

Here are the new versions of the ordinances:


G8NATOSub.pdf (75 k)


Parade & public assembly ordinances, new.pdf (56 k)

 
 

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An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich From the Pastors of Poor Children


Mr. Gingrich,

For this you still owe our children an apology:

“Some of the things they could do is work in a library, work in the front office, some of them frankly could be janitorial; what if they clean up the bathrooms, what if they mopped the floors, what if in the summer they repainted the school; what if in the process they were actually learning to work, learning to earn money; if they had their own money, they didn’t have to become a pimp or a prostitute or a drug dealer. [If] they had the dignity of work and learned how to be around adults who actually wanted to mentor them and help them. This is not a casual comment… It grows out of a lot of thinking over many years of trying to figure out how do we break out people trapped in poverty who have no work habits.” — Gingrich

We, the students and faculty of the Delaware Annual Conference Ministerial Institute of the AME Church, representing over 34 congregations and their constituents throughout Delaware and southern Pennsylvania are outraged at your continued demeaning of poor children and their families.

As a candidate vying for the Republican Presidential nomination, to suggest that poor children collectively lack a work ethic and drive for legal and productive work is entirely classist. Your national platform is no place for such irresponsible remarks. Our children deserve better than your degrading rhetoric.

In fact, they deserve an apology, and we — their pastors and advocates — demand one.

Mr. Gingrich, what your remarks have demonstrated is a failure to acknowledge the resilience of many who work daily and yet are unable to escape poverty. For many, low wages, a poor economy, and sparse full time employment opportunities have landed many families into the category of what the U.S. Department of Labor & Labor Statistics call the working poor. Contrary to what your remarks propagate, a significant number of children in households below the American poverty line (and those one paycheck away from it) are in homes with working family members; many of them are in our congregations weekly and are active citizens.

Mr. Gingrich, not only did you get the “cause” of poverty wrong, but your “solution” is just as unsubstantiated and offensive. Mandating that poor children become the janitors of their own failing public schools to better their work ethic is not a well thought out, viable, or realistic solution. Such a proposal is not only insulting, it is ridiculous.

Where would the currently employed janitors work (obviously this is a back handed assault on union employees)? If poor children are to benefit from extracurricular employment, why not at least provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) opportunities to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace? Why not invest in education reform instead of cutting back early education/head start programs? Why not put forth solutions to the unemployment crisis in our nation, so that those who have the dignity, but not the work, can have an opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their children?

But, no — instead you fan the flames of prejudice to get votes. With a move right out of Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy play book (i.e., “Welfare Mothers” = Lazy Blacks), you have managed to stir the xenophobia and racist fears of your far right republican base with the statement:

“I’ve been talking about the importance of work, particularly as it relates to people who are in areas where there is public housing, et cetera, where there are relatively few people that go to work.” (Emphasis added)

Mr. Gingrich, the poverty of many poor minority children is the byproduct of systemic injustices that bar them from participation in the American Dream because of their racial and social location — not laziness.

We understand that you are of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” camp, but the last time we checked Mr. Gingrich, it is impossible to pull yourself up by your own boot straps, and even more difficult when you have no boots to begin with.

Consequently, as pastors and leaders of the poor and their children, we are called to champion those without the boots of opportunity, fair play, and justice. For us not to mandate an apology for such biased, erroneous and offensive remarks would be as irresponsible as the remarks themselves. Today, Mr. Gingrich, we extend to you the opportunity to recant your “war on poor children” rhetoric and the opportunity to apologize to our children for speaking such falsehoods over their lives.

Awaiting your response,


Delaware Annual Conference Ministerial Institute

The Rev. Dr. Janet J. Sturdivant, Dean of Ministerial Institute
The Rev. Silvester S. Beaman, Chairman of Board of Examiners
Sis. Joi Orr, M.Div, Organizer & Institute Student

 
 

Follow Joi Ruth Orr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joi_orr

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Obama to offer economic blueprint in State of the Union


WASHINGTON — Vilified by the Republicans who want his job, President Barack Obama will stand before the nation Tuesday night determined to frame the election-year debate on his terms, promising his State of the Union address will offer an economic blueprint that will “work for everyone, not just a wealthy few.”

In a video released Saturday to millions of campaign supporters, Obama said he will concentrate on four areas designed to restore economic security for the long term: manufacturing, energy, education, job training and a “return to American values.” The release came the same day as the South Carolina primary, where four candidates competed in the latest contest to determine Obama’s general election rival.

The prime-time speech will be not just a traditional pitch about the year ahead. It will be perhaps Obama’s biggest stage to make a sweeping case for a second term.

“We can go in two directions,” the president said in the video. “One is toward less opportunity and less fairness. Or we can fight for where I think we need to go: building an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.”

That line of argument about income equality is emerging as a defining theme of the presidential race, as Republicans are in their own fierce battle to pick a nominee to challenge Obama in the fall.

By notifying the millions of supporters on his email list, Obama gave advance notice to his Democratic base and trying to generate an even larger audience for Tuesday’s address.

Obama’s preview did not mention national security. He is not expected to announce new policy on that front in a speech dominated by the economy — the top concern of voters.

Obama is expected to offer new proposals to make college more affordable and to ease the housing crisis still slowing the economy, according to people familiar with the speech. He will also promote unfinished parts of his jobs plan, including the extension of a payroll tax cut soon to expire.

His policy proposals will be less important than what he hopes they all add up to: a narrative of renewed American security. Obama will try to politically position himself as the one leading that fight for the middle class, with an overt call for help from Congress, and an implicit request for a second term from the public.

The timing comes as the nation is split about Obama’s overall job performance. More people than not disapprove of his handling of the economy, he is showing real vulnerability among the independent voters who could swing the election, and most Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

So his mission will be to show leadership and ideas on topics that matter to people: jobs, housing, college, retirement security.

Vision for re-election
The foundation of Obama’s speech is the one he gave in Kansas last month, when he declared that the middle class was a make-or-break moment and railed against “you’re on your own” economics of the Republican Party. His theme then was about a government that ensures people get a fair shot to succeed.

That speech spelled out the values of Obama’s election-year agenda. The State of the Union will be the details.

The White House sees the speech as a clear chance to outline a vision for re-election, yet carefully, without turning a national tradition into an overt campaign event.

On national security, Obama will ask the nation to reflect with him on a momentous year of change, including the end of the war in Iraq, the killing of al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and the Arab Spring protests of peoples clamoring for freedom.

But it will all be secondary to jobs at home.

In a winter season of politics dominated by his Republican competition, Obama will have a grand stage to himself, in a window between Republican primaries. He will try to use the moment to refocus the debate as he sees it: where the country has come, and where he wants to take it.

In doing so, Obama will come before a divided Congress with a burst of hope because the economy — by far the most important issue to voters — is showing life.

The unemployment rate is still at a troubling 8.5 percent, but at its lowest rate in nearly three years. Consumer confidence is up. Obama will use that as a springboard.

The president will try to draw a contrast of economic visions with Republicans, both his antagonists in Congress and the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.

Despite low expectations for legislation this year, Obama will offer short-term ideas that would require action from Congress.

His travel schedule following his speech, to politically important regions, offers clues to the policies he was expected to unveil.

Both Phoenix and Las Vegas have been hard hit by foreclosures. Denver is where Obama outlined ways of helping college students deal with mounting school loan debt. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Detroit are home to a number of manufacturers. And Michigan was a major beneficiary of the president’s decision to provide billions in federal loans to rescue General Motors and Chrysler in 2009.

For now, the main looming to-do item is an extension of a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits, both due to expire by March. An Obama spokesman called that the “last must-do item of business” on Obama’s congressional agenda, but the White House insists the president will make the case for more this year.

If anything, Republicans say Obama has made the chances of cooperation even dimmer just over the last several days. He enraged Republicans by installing a consumer watchdog chief by going around the Senate, which had blocked him, and then rejected a major oil pipeline project the GOP has embraced.

Obama is likely, once again, to offer ways in which a broken Washington must work together. Yet that theme seems but a dream given the gridlock he has been unable to change.

The State of the Union atmosphere offered a bit of comity last year, following the assassination attempt against Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. And yet 2011 was a year of utter dysfunction in Washington, with the partisanship getting so bad that the government nearly defaulted as the world watched in embarrassment.

The address remains an old-fashioned moment of national attention; 43 million people watched it on TV last year. The White House website will offer a live stream of the speech, promising graphics and other bonuses for people who watch it there, plus a panel of administration officials afterward with questions coming in through Twitter and Facebook.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Obama to offer economic blueprint in State of the Union

Is Reversing Citizens United or Corporate Personhood Enough?


Which president told Congress: “I recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign expenses of any party…let individuals contribute as they desire; but let us prohibit in effective fashion all corporations from making contributions for any political purpose, directly or indirectly?”

If you recognize this Presidential quote, it probably means you’re a history buff (or you watch too much Jeopardy). The correct answer: Who was Theodore Roosevelt?

While the speech has become a notable quotable, it’s often forgotten that it followed public outrage surrounding Roosevelt’s acceptance of huge corporate contributions that locked-in his election in 1904.  This popular clamor for accountability (the Progressive Era; maybe they were the Occupiers of their times) was enough to move Teddy and Congress to pass the first ever Federal legislation prohibiting corporations from making monetary contributions to national political campaigns, called the Tillman Act.

Now for extra points: What happened to the Tillman Act?

Like so many other attempts over the last 100+ years to restrict, reform, reign in, eliminate and otherwise account for Big Money in politics, the Tillman Act didn’t even need to be overturned for the corporate elite to get around it. It was simply whittled away. How is this done?  In the same way Congress later banned unions from making political contributions in the 1940′s, only to see Big Labor skirt the restrictions by forming the first-ever PAC, and collecting campaign donations (sometimes coercively) outside of regular worker’s dues.

OK, now for a Civics question: What is the source of power for the corporate elite?

Throughout our history as a nation, the wealthy elite have always held power, and its not an accident, or the result of a few bad decisions, or even corruption (though those all exist), its far more structural and insidious than that.  TheConstitution itself provided—from the beginning—for a government by and for the 1%. The Founding Fathers truly believed that the best form of government was one in which wealth made the rules. At the time the Constitution was being debated, the majority of people were against it, despite how our folklore has remembered it.

Turns out the 99% of yesteryear were quite prescient indeed.

Fast-forward to the present day, the ways money has seeped through the cracks of our political system and pooled into the pockets of our elected officials has only grown despite generations upon generations of ever-ongoing reform efforts.

* Dozens of Acts of Congress have been passed attempting to address corruption in government and our elections yet for every reform our system has enabled bigger, better ways for wealth to hold the reigns.

* Lobbyists. They walk right into lawmaking areas and help write bills and buy votes. They present politicians with corporate-friendly Bills already drafted. They are well paid to successfully influence, chop and change legislation, and work deals with our elected officials and even with Supreme Court Justices. Under our Constitution this is protected as free speech and despite the numerous laws to regulate lobbyists, the practice is only on the rise.

*  Constitutional laws.  Many states—not only Montana— wrote their Constitutions to include the subordination of corporations to the will of the people, and banned corporate political expenditures in state elections.  Over the years, most of those Constitutional provisions have been amended to pave the way for more corporate-friendly laws.(Montana, of course still has this language in their Consitution, and has used it to challenge Citizen’s United)

Bill Moyers, David Stockman On Crony Captialism



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January 20, 2012 09:39 PM

Bill Moyers, David Stockman on Crony Capitalism

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By Diane Sweet

Moyers & Company Show 102: On Crony Capitalism from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Bill Moyers and former White House budget director David Stockman on the all-too-cozy relationship between Washington and Wall Street.

This weekend, continuing its sharp multi-episode focus on the intersection of money and politics, Moyers & Company explores the tight connection between Wall Street and the White House with David Stockman – yes, that David Stockman — former budget director for President Reagan.

Now a businessman who says he was “taken to the woodshed” for telling the truth about the administration’s tax policies, Stockman speaks candidly with Bill Moyers about how money dominates politics, distorting free markets and endangering democracy. “As a result,” Stockman says, “we have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.”

Stockman shares details on how the courtship of politics and high finance have turned our economy into a private club that rewards the super-rich and corporations, leaving average Americans wondering how it could happen and who’s really in charge.

“We now have an entitled class of Wall Street financiers and of corporate CEOs who believe the government is there to do… whatever it takes in order to keep the game going and their stock price moving upward,” Stockman tells Moyers.

Full transcript here.

Tags: 1 percent, 99 percent, Bill Moyers, CEOs, crony capitalism, David Stockman, democracy, Free Markets, Money, Politics, Wall Street, washington

He’s One of the Nation’s Highest-Paid CEOs—and You’ve Never Heard of Him


One of the nation’s highest-paid executives is sitting on a massive pile of stock options and enjoys a private jet wherever he goes. Gary Rivlin on John Hammergren, the 1 percenter you’ve never heard of.

James Reda thought he was beyond surprise when it came to executive pay.


But then Reda, a New York–based compensation consultant who sometimes puts together mega-pay packages on behalf of publicly traded behemoths, learned about John Hammergren, the CEO of the McKesson Corp., a giant medical-supply company in California. Hammergren is the $145 million man, top dog on the latest listing of the country’s highest-paid chief executives.

But so what if he made $145 million in a single year? The lion’s share of that money was the slew of stock options Hammergren cashed out after holding them for years. “That’s what you want,” Reda says. A new CEO gets a fat basket of stock options, and if the company does well, the CEO also prospers. “As long as the original stock-award amounts were reasonable, it makes no difference if it ends up providing a huge payoff,” Reda says.

Then I read him Hammergren’s annual total compensation payouts, taken from the company’s public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission: $46 million in 2011; $55 million in 2010; $37 million in 2009; another $41 million in 2008. Hammergren hadn’t founded the company. Wall Street analysts covering McKesson can tell you of the disappointments and miscues that have marked his tenure. But his haul in the 13 years he has been running McKesson? More than $500 million, according to data provided by Equilar, an executive-compensation data firm.


John Hammergren, CEO of McKesson Corp., George Nikitin / AP Photo

For a moment, Reda is silent. “$40 million, $50 million a year is excessive, no matter what the yardstick,” he says. The average pay package for a CEO running a top 100 company these days, Reda says, is around $12 million. That includes everything, from salary to stock awards to contributions to a retirement account. Yet last year McKesson contributed more than $13 million just to Hammergren’s pension, according to company documents. Among the other perks he enjoys: a chauffeur to drive his company car, free use of the corporate jet for personal travel, and an extra $17,000 a year to pay for a financial planner because handling all those hundreds of millions is no doubt complicated stuff.

“He doesn’t leave anything on the table, does he?” Reda asks.

***

John Hammergren isn’t necessarily the highest-paid CEO in America. Sure, he topped the list when GMI, a well-regarded research firm, published its 2011 annual CEO survey in December. But that’s because he cashed out $112 million in accumulated stock options in a single year, according to GMI. He ranked 14th on Forbes‘s 2011 executive-pay list and 22nd on its 2010 ranking. And of course there are CEOs like Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Google’s Larry Page. Page has a net worth north of $15 billion, and Ellison is worth more than $30 billion, but then each was a cofounder of the company he runs.

Robert Reich and ‘Amend 2012′ Launch Campaign for Constitutional Amendment to Overturn ‘Citizens United’


Robert Reich appears in a new video from a new organization, Amend 2012, calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United. In just over two minutes, Reich clearly and effectively explains how Citizens came about and why it is dangerous to U.S. politics. The campaign focuses on the idea that corporations aren’t people, only people are people. Reich then asks everyone to take action in support of Amend 2012′s call for a constitutional amendment:

Thanks to the Supreme Court and Citizens United, the same big corporations and billionaires that destroyed our economy and caused millions of us to lose our jobs and homes, are spending obscene amounts to drown out our voices in elections and take over our government.

But together, “We the People” can set things right.

The campaign website has a petition, a way for supporters to donate to the cause, and a way to sign up for the campaign’s ‘Constitution Crew’ with numerous other ways to support the amendment drive. The website also offers state-by-state toolkits for activists, the latest news about related issues and a more thorough explanation of the court ruling and the problems it creates.

The campaign is a project of Common Cause. Public Citizen is also pushing for an amendment to overturn Citizens United.

A recent poll shows that two-thirds of small business owners say that Citizens United hurts them, while only nine percent found it to be a positive thing.

Tags: Amend 2012, Citizens United, Common Cause, Robert Reich

https://www.youtube.com/v/Qq-9A9CGTYU?version=3&feature=player_embedded

$422,320 for a College Degree? With Tuition Skyrocketing, It is Time to Rethink Higher Education


That’s what The Daily, News Corp. and Apple’s daily news outlet for the iPad, calculated a college education could cost members of the class of 2034—children born this year, for the most part—if they attend one of the nation’s priciest schools. But even an average public university will cost $81,000 for four years if tuition hikes continue at current rates—which are increasing much faster than inflation. As tuition continues to go up, and even the president calls for solutions, some are looking at radical possibilities for keeping tuition down—or even eliminating it.

The Daily found that tuition has been increasing even faster at public schools than private—4.5 percent a year for public universities and only 3.5 percent for private. According to Jane Wellman of the Delta Project, which studies the cost of higher education, public schools have been relying on tuition rather than endowments to make up for state education budget cuts..

That last statement shouldn’t be surprising—with the Age of Austerity upon us, cuts have been coming fast and hard to state university budgets. Last year, the University of California system saw a $500 million reduction in the support it gets from Sacramento, a 16.4 percent drop.

With support for public universities dwindling in the ongoing economic slump, the cost of college is falling on the shoulders of families and on the students themselves, who are increasingly forced to mortgage their future on student loans that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Family incomes certainly haven’t kept up with the rise in college costs—The Daily notes that family incomes, adjusted for inflation have only grown by 1 percent since 1987, and the median family wage is down from 2009. Poverty is at an 18-year high. And while Rick Santorum might be attempting to burnish his working-class credentials telling audiences that President Obama is a “snob” for saying that he wants everyone to go to college, Catherine Rampell at the New York Times notes that college graduates’ incomes are actually going up in comparison to those of high school grads.

A professor that Rampell interviewed, Philip Babcock from the University of California at Santa Barbara, noted that perhaps it’s less that incomes are going up for people with degrees and more that incomes are stagnating or dropping for those without them. Rampell wrote, “Additionally, some public policies that helped support the earnings of lower-skilled workers have become less generous over time. The minimum wage, for example, has not kept pace with inflation.”

The decline of unions, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs that used to provide a solid middle-class income and benefits, and conservative politicians refusing to maintain the minimum wage against inflation have all contributed to a situation where a college education is seen, despite Santorum’s posturing, as the best way for young people to guarantee a good future. Yet if the price of a college education continues to rise above and beyond what working families can afford, we end up with two results: one, that the children of the already-wealthy get the benefits of advanced degrees without debt (how many families can afford to spend $20,000 a year putting a kid through school without taking out loans?) and two, that big banks and student lenders will continue to reap the rewards, raking in interest as they dish out loans to “the 99%.”

An Alternative Plan?

Last month, President Obama and education secretary Arne Duncan met with a group of college presidents (mostly from public universities) and others, including the Delta Project’s Jane Wellman, to discuss ways of keeping college tuition down and improving graduation rates.

War Crimes Committed In Iraq



 

 

 

 


Firebombing Falluja: The United States is using napalm in Falluja
US Troops Fire on Ambulance
Letter from a GI in Falluja: “This wasn’t a war, it was a massacre” ‘Improved’ Napalm For Falluja With ‘Improved’ Effect By Mike Whitney

Report: Raytheon ‘Heat Beam’ Weapon Ready for Iraq
Iraq’s Health Disaster Under the Occupation
James Petras: US war crimes in Iraq
Irregular Weapons Used Against Iraq
‘Unusual Weapons’ Used in Fallujah
200 Children Die Every Day Iraq’s Health Care Under the Occupation
US Lawyers Warn Bush on War Crimes

Secret Report Gave Early Warning of Abu Ghraib
Gitmo Torture and Rumsfeld’s and Tenet’s War Crimes
U.S. Accused of Using Poison Gases in Fallujah
US army blocks aid convoy for Falluja
FALLUJAH NAPALMED
Statement from Falluja: 5000 were killed by USA chemical weapons in Falluja- 22/11/2004
Doctors In Baghdad: US did use chemical weapon in Al Falluja  Voice

‘Unusual Weapons’ Used in Fallujah
Iraqi Official: More Than 2,000 People Killed in Fallujah
Puppet “Iraqi ministry of health” orders Baghdad hospitals not to admit wounded patients from al-Fallujah.
Witnesses Say GIs Killed Unarmed Civilians
Independent aid convoy enters Fallujah, forced to turn back
Fallujah in Pictures
Statement from Falluja: 5000 were killed by USA chemical weapons in Falluja- 22/11/2004
US Mercantilist Law Prevents Iraqi Farmers From Saving Own Seeds

Iraqi Physican Confirms US Chem Weapons Use In Fallujah
ANOTHER WAR CRIME
Video :Eyewitness from Falluja said  the American used chemical and phosphoric weapons. ( download file and open with Media player)
Assault on Falluja – Week Three Pictures
American Crimes against the  civilians in Al Ramadi in Pictures
Marines Gun Down Iraqi Civilians at Ramadi Checkpoint
Resistance Targets Rear US Fallujah Positions; Chemcial Weapons Use In South Expected
Falluja women, children in mass grave
Troops Raid Mosul Hospital
US soldier accused of killing civilian
Witnesses Say GIs Killed Unarmed Civilians
In Fallujah, Marine ‘Diplomacy’: Hold Civilians Hostage for Insurgent Attacks
Independent aid convoy enters Fallujah, forced to turn back
Fallujah in Pictures
Statement from Falluja: 5000 were killed by USA chemical weapons in Falluja- 22/11/2004
US Mercantilist Law Prevents Iraqi Farmers From Saving Own Seeds

Iraqi Physican Confirms US Chem Weapons Use In Fallujah
Video :Eyewitness from Falluja said  the American used chemical and phosphoric weapons. ( download file and open with Media player)
Assault on Falluja – Week Three Pictures
Marines Gun Down Iraqi Civilians at Ramadi Checkpoint
Falluja women, children in mass grave
Troops Raid Mosul Hospital

Fallujah in Pictures Thursday, November 18,2004
Pictures: American terrorists killing injured civilians in Falluja mousque
Video: American terrorists in Al Falluja mosque
VIDEO: Watch Marines entering a Fallujah mosque where one rebel was reportedly shot and killed. NBC Says Marine Killed Unarmed Wounded Iraqi
Look and hear what the American terrorists doing in the Iraqi cities. Falluja 15/11/04The resistance in BaghdadThe resistance in BuhruzBeji,    Eyewitnesses Voice,   Eyewitnesses Voice2
Falluja and the American terrorists ,     Pictures
Marines shoot wounded Iraqi in Falluja mosque (Video)
The American TERROR on Al Falluja  Video
US troops ‘preventing aid’ to Falluja
Falluja in pictures
Al Falluja 14/11/2004 The American crimes Pictures,        The situation in Falluj ( Voice)
Private Jet Takes US Prisoners to Torture Hosts
US Shot Civilians Escaping From Fallujah
Rights Experts: US Might Have Committed a War Crime in Sending Civilians Back to Fallujah
US Troops in Fallujah Shoot Into Homes, Then Search
I have just witnessed a murder on my TV screen
Battle for Falluja Pictures

Fallujah Rebels Say US Using Gas Weapons
Half Mosques Downed, Human Crisis Unfolds in Fallujah
The American Terror on Iraq Flash (4 MB)

US Troops Reportedly Gassing Fallujah
The American Terror on Al Falluja Video
US air raid on Fallujah clinic kills dozens: witnesses ‘Body Parts Everywhere’ in Fallujah
Fallujah: US Declares War on Hospitals, Ambulances
Residents Say Over 20 Medics, Dozens of Others Killed in Air Raid on Clinic
The American’s Terror on Iraq Flash (4 MB)
US air raid on Fallujah clinic kills dozens: witnesses
Pictures,   Badir Militia attacking the hospital of Al Falluja,    Victims of the US air strike on Al Falluja,   The resistance in Hayfa street of Baghdad
Video: US Pilots Kill Civilians
Children used as human shields by US MILITARY in Iraq
VICTIMS OF THE USA AIR STRIKE TERROR IN PICTURE
US bombs Falluja in Pictures
In Pictures: U.S. Bombs Falluja
Daughter of Soldier Contaminated with Depleted Uranium in Iraq Born with Deformities:
Civilians killed in US ‘precision strike’ on Falluja Pictures
Hepatitis spreads in 2 Iraqi districts Collapse of water and sewage systems is believed to be at root of the illness
Five UK Soldiers May Face Trial Over Killing of Sargeant
Woman’s Lawyer Expects Iraq Abuse Trial Poisonous Legacy: Flash presentation. About the D-Uranium ( The photos are of Iraqi children)  (Special Thank for the Flash designer)

Iraq’s Child Prisoners pictures

USA Crimes in Tall Afar NOrthern Iraq Pictures
In pictures
Carnage in Falluja

Flash
Animation on Depleted Uranium
Civilians killed in US ‘precision strike’ on Falluja Pictures

US bombs Falluja in Pictures   Map of America prisons in Iraq  ( the red is secret prisons ) Children and women are spread on those persons
After Abu Ghraib
Huda Alazawi was one of the few women held in solitary in the notorious Iraqi prison. Following her release, she talks for the first time to Luke Harding about her ordeal  Arabic translation
Are the infidel American forces hiding their losses …… where is the proof  Where have all the young men gone? With the illusion of honor and the glory of a mass grave in a foreign land.
         
More information

The Detection of Sixteen Dead Bodies in A mass Grave in Falluja
.
Probably belong to American soldiers who were buried in a ditch in the North West sector of the city.

In Pictures  Grief in Baghdad

AP video of Americans killing unarmed Ramadi civilian demonstrators    video

Iraq: Uranium Contamination

Effects Of War And The Use Of Depleted Uranium On Iraq

Iraqi’s the victims of  Depleted Uranium picturs

WHO ‘suppressed’ scientific study into depleted uranium cancer fears in Iraq
 

The Evidence File:
Court case against General Franks in Brussels 

THE COMPLAINT:

Texte complet de la plainte contre Franks  (pdf),  Complete text in English: MS Word document

PICTURES :

Pictures #1 : Ambulance Under American Fire,

Pictures #2 : The Plaintiff’s, Pictures # 3 : destruction of civilian infrastructure

Pictures # 4 : Protection and organisation of Looting, Pictures # 5 : the use of cluster bombs

FACTS FILE:

The use of cluster bombs, Destruction to infrastructure that’s vital for public health, Protection and organization of Looting, Civilian casualties .

VIDEO EVIDENCE:

video of the testimonies by Geert Van Moorter, Fred & fico 

The reality of iraqi children by Geert van Moorter & fico May 03, 2003

An Iraqi ambulance under fire by Geert Van Moorter & fico 2003-05-03 

American soldiers shoot at a civilian bus in Iraq by Geert Van Moorter & fico 2003-05-03

Plundering a hospital filmed by Geert Van Moorter, edited by Chloé & fico April 24 

American soldiers shoot at a civilian bus in Iraq by Geert Van Moorter & fico 2003-05-03

Plundering a hospital filmed by Geert Van Moorter, edited by Chloé & fico April 24 

American’s are like a baby by Geert Van Moorter, chloé & fico 2003-04-29

The feeling of an Iraqi doctor by Geert Van Moorter & fico 2003-05-03

We will build it again…and again…and again filmed by Geert Van Moorter, edited by fico & Chloé April 24

La voix des enfants de Charleroi à Bagdad by Huito & Fico 2003-04-30

  These Pages Depict The Horror And Reality Of “OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM”

 Crimes by days
March 22 | March 23 | March 24 | March 25 | March 26 | March 27 | March 28 | March 29 | March 30 |

March 31 | April 1 | April 2 | April 3 | April 4 | April 5 | April 6 | April 8 | April 9 | April 10 | April 12 |

April 15 | April 16 | April 17 | April 18 | April 19 | April 20 | April 21 | April 22 | April 23 | April 25 |

April 27 | April 28 | April 29 | May 1 | May 4 | May 5 | May 6 | May 7 | May 8 | May 9 | May 10 |May 12 |

 May 14 | May 15 | May 16 | May 17 | May 18 | May 19 | May 20 | May 21 | May 22 | May 23 | May 25 |

 May 26 | May 28

 who have been terrorised

Pictures of Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq

The Weapons of American Terrorism:
Cluster Bombs

Click Here to know more about the devastating effects of these weapons

Depleted uranium they contain.

Iraq: War Against the People,   video

Death & Destruction of ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom”

Page 1  Page 2  Page 3  Page 4  Page 5  Page 6  Page 7  Page 8

Pictures That bush Does Not Want You To See 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11

The Results of the Use of Depleted Uranium

Miscellaneous Pictures of the War 1 2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  

34  35  36  37  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  

Human rights watch

Iraq: Civilian Deaths Need U.S. Investigation Press Release, October 21, 2003

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