Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: What's Wrong With The Upcoming Elections? They're On Tuesday!

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceOctober 21 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: What's Wrong With The Upcoming Elections? They're On Tuesday!

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In The News:
Thanks this morning to ChrisM, my MP3Angel, for supplying the news and commentary audio files.

What do we know about Saudi Arabia? They're incredibly rich, a nepotic familial kingdom, a police state with the latest technology that allows them to exert authoritarian control on one of the most basic requirements in Islam, the Pilgrimage to Mecca (click the picture on the left to find out how), have control over a whole lot of oil, and they're about to buy SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS worth of high tech armaments from the U.S... Which is about right, considering that the nation of Saudi Arabia only came into existence because some British Cartographers drew lines on a map to suit their regional cronies and the United States backed that play. See Here, and Here.

Like a ping-pong ball... The Pentagon's 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy:
The Obama administration won a temporary stay against the moratorium on "don't ask, don't tell" Wednesday, granting the Pentagon the right to once again enforce the 17-year-old ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued the decision, giving itself time to consider the Justice Department's appeal of last week's injunction by U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips... Washington Post
Expect a 'final kill' during the lame duck congressional session after the elections because it's included in the already overdue Military Appropriations bill.

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has just finished a three day meeting with president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and there will be an R&D and production link-up between the two countries.

NATO is claiming a victory somewhere in Afghanistan... No details yet.

A LITTLE detail from Foreign Policy Magazine:
"There are signs that the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan's Kandahar province is beginning to make progress, as military and local sources have reported that the Taliban have been driven from some of their key strongholds in the region. The improvement in conditions is the result of President Barack Obama's troop surge, which increased troop strength in the province to 12,000 coalition soldiers and 7,000 Afghan security forces, and made it possible to carry out operations in crucial areas of the province simultaneously.

The offensive against the Taliban has targeted areas around Kandahar City: First, Afghan forces captured the town of Mehlajat, which had been largely abandoned, to the south of the city. U.S. forces then moved into the district of Arghandab to the north and the district of Zhare to the southwest. Last weekend, a joint U.S. and Afghan force tackled the district of Panjwai, to the west of Kandahar city. According to NATO commanders, local Afghan security forces, and even some of the Taliban themselves, the insurgents were surprised by the intensity of the attack and retreated to Pakistan in significant numbers.

One commander in Arghandab said that Taliban attacks had declined from 50 a week in August to only 15 per week in October." Source: Foreign Policy
It's also notable that, under the rubric of "The Fog Of War"...
"Blackwater prosecutions unravel: Almost four years after prosecutors indicted contractors operating under the security firm Blackwater for murder and excessive use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan, those cases are falling apart due to the difficulty of retrieving evidence from war zones, and a form of legal immunity granted to the contractors by U.S. embassy officials." (sourced from link above)

The "Great California Shakeout", an earthquake emergency drill, is due to occur statewide in California this morning.

In OTHER News...

It's coming unglued in France as the workers strike and disrupt by the MILLIONS. Yesterday the teachers went on strike unleashing hordes of students into the streets, who then 'smashed and trashed' various areas in a number of cities.

Mark Weisbrot at The Center for Economic and Policy Research say the "French Protesters Have It Right: No Need to Raise Retirement Age" (unless the Plutocracy just wants to maximize it's looting of the French economy)

Nevertheless, a legislative vote is due soon on France's restructured pension plan. What happens next could be truly, truly, ugly:
France clears fuel blockades before pension vote

French General Strike - Reuters

By Nick Vinocur
PARIS Wed Oct 20, 2010

(Reuters) - President Nicolas Sarkozy sent in police to clear access to barricaded French fuel depots and restore supply as trade unions kept up their resistance on Wednesday to a pension reform due for a final vote this week.

Fuel imports hit a record high on Tuesday, the government said, as it tried to get round a 24-day blockade of France's largest oil port, near Marseille, where 51 oil tankers lay idle in the Mediterranean, unable to dock.

With more than 3,000 service stations out of nearly 12,500 in France out of fuel, police could also be deployed to clear access to striking oil refineries, according to Sarkozy's order.

A nine-day transport strike in 2007 cost France about 400 million euros ($550 million) a day, according to the economy ministry, although analysts do not see the current strikes costing as much.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Britain's Channel 4 television that she could not estimate the full cost of the strike action for France but it was unlikely to have a major impact on gross domestic product if it did not last too long.

Earlier on France's TF1 television Lagarde said the government hoped petrol pumps would be full again in a few days, and urged people rioting on the fringes of protests or blockading fuel depots to think about France's image and its need to speed up its economic recovery.

"I truly appeal to people's sense of responsibility, particularly those who think it's fun to blockade things and smash them up," Lagarde said. "It's serious for our country because France is missing a chance to come out of the crisis under better conditions than others." In Full @ Reuters
In OTHER words: "If you all behave it won't hurt you as much economically as if you resist." That ALMOST passes for a backhanded insinuation of collective punishment against the citizens of France if they forcibly reject the French government's idea of what their 'Austerity" should consist of, and what ABOUT those "Others"? Should the average French worker care about that?

We WILL see... As I said at the top... "What happens next could be truly, truly, ugly."

Just so you know, and because the mainstream US media is not reporting it, there are also economic upheavals and rebellion elsewhere in Europe:
Rome - Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the Italian capital Rome on Saturday, demanding worker rights and democracy.

Seven chartered trains and 70 buses from across Italy brought people to the protest, which had been called by the metal-worker union FIOM, local media reported.

Students and workers from other fields also took part.

'We want to defend work contracts, jobs and democracy -given one of the biggest assaults of all times on the rights of workers,' said the secretary general of FIOM, Maurizio Landini.

The protest came amid criticism of the economic policies pursued by the conservative government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, as well as an attempt by Italian carmaker Fiat to push through more flexible work conditions and contracts at its Pomigliano branch near Naples - threatening to close the plant otherwise. MORE
And in NOT-SO-MERRY Olde England the biggest spending cuts since WWII are announced. For instance, the BBC has been 'restructured' with a 16% budget cut and...
"...the Treasury finally backed off money-saving plans to remove child benefit from 17- and 18-year-olds, but went ahead with plans to cut the means-tested education maintenance allowance aimed at largely the same age group.

There was acute embarrassment for the government, meanwhile, as Danny Alexander, the Treasury chief secretary, allowed himself to be photographed with a briefing paper showing that the government accepts that 490,000 public sector jobs will be lost by 2014-15 as a result of the spending cuts, which will finally be outlined by the chancellor, George Osborne, today.

Osborne acknowledges that his unprecedented spending review will take Britain into uncharted social and economic territory as he announces £83bn of spending cuts over the next four years.

The cuts will involve the loss of thousands of jobs, massive cuts in university funding, wholesale reform of public housing and further cuts to the welfare budget.

The coalition will also announce the state retirement age is to be raised to 66 in 2016, 10 years earlier than previously planned and liable to save billions of pounds in the medium term. It is also expected there will be big cuts to the budget for sport in schools and the abolition of the specialist school network. Some departments including the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Communities and Local Government and the culture department will see cuts of 30%, involving multibillion-pound reductions in the prison programme and to legal aid.

Voluntary groups and private companies operating on a payment-by-results basis will be asked to take over the rehabilitation of released prisoners. For More
Also, as reported here yesterday, the British Navy is going to scrap the last aircraft carrier in the fleet as part of the British military's cost-cutting plan.

Yesterday I reported on the closure of the Santa Cruz Veterans Hall earlier this year leading to the inability of literally hundreds of volunteers to host a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meal, three days in the making each time, intended to feed approximately 1,000 people. It was pointed out yesterday on the local IndyMedia bbs that the county had secured the Civic Center for the holiday meals.

My commentary follows: "Yesterday (Oct 18)? They secured it YESTERDAY? Kinda short notice to plan a full meal and festivities for 1000 a month from now using volunteers that need to be coordinated over a three day period... especially when the county KNEW they had closed down the traditional venue." The Christmas meal will undoubtedly be better handled, but it is STILL unacceptable that a county with one of the HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATES IN THE NATION should not have foreseen this inevitability."

Expect no change and you won't be disappointed... In a Hill Magazine poll a majority questioned said there was "No 'change' under Obama, or change for the worse" in Washington.

FINALLY... Elvira (bio), with a video response to Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee seeking Delaware's open Senate seat, who apparently has a history of... wait for it... "Witchcraft!", although she claims she hasn't 'done that thang' since she was just wee High School trollop wearing the ever-fashionable-amongst-Visigoths black lipstick.

I'm not a witch. I'm you, except with bigger %$#*

Ht: Jesus' General


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