Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: A Privatized Army For 'Eradication Nation'? Are Government Run Armies Too Cumbersome?

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 29 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: A Privatized Army For 'Eradication Nation' - Is Government Control Too Cumbersome A Way To Run A Modern Industrial Nation's Army?

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

The presidential commission on the Deepwater/Horizon spill has come to the same conclusion as the critics and independent specialists. The cement used in the final installation of the well was NOT TO SPEC, and the tests they used before pouring showed that. Halliburton may get shafted for this.

The cost of making enemies everywhere... The intelligence agencies of the United States have put out a KNOWN budget (black and 'wet' ops not enumerated anywhere of course). The estimate... 80 BILLION DOLLARS for 2010 alone.

The offensive in Kandahar Afghanistan is OFFENSIVE with local hospitals reporting LARGE NUMBERS OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES. That should win their hearts and minds, for our enemies.

He claims retirement is a human right... The Dali Lama says he might retire after all these long hard years of enlightenment, enlightening, organizing a guerrilla insurgency in Tibet in return for 'extraction' by the CIA (he was 17 at the time), appearing in Western advertising, etc.

For more on the CIA and it's involvement in Tibet see: The CIA Circus: Tibet's Forgotten Army (How the CIA sponsored and betrayed Tibetans in a war the world never knew about) by R Sengupta, Outlook, February 15, 1999.

42! - China has a new super-computer that can do 2705 TRILLION calculations per second.

"Toe to Toe with the Rooskies" when we finally make that (less budget draining) move to invade the South for it's extractive resources? Russia has decided to go into the mercenary business after seeing some countries such as the United States, South Africa, Colombia, and Samoa do the same. It will consist of ex-soldiers and police to guard their oil installations, some of which are in Latin America.

Speaking of Mercenaries, something NOT ALLOWED under US law, BlackwaterUSA criminal and tort cases are collapsing despite the utter illegality of running a mercenary organization from US soil... No matter that the State Department and other government agencies employ them, they're still outlaws.

...And Finally:

Iraq...
Remember Iraq?
Invaded and infrastructure destroyed based on a pack of lies, then left essentially government-less (Chalabi is in the hot-seat, but illegitimately so, due to parliamentary deadlocks.)
bitterlemons-international.org
Middle East Roundtable

Edition 20 Volume 8 - October 28, 2010

Regional ramifications of the governmental impasse in Iraq

Analysis, critique, and commentary by Faiza Alaraji, Hamid Alkifaey, Safa A. Hussein, and Mahjoob Zweiri


• The dilemma of democracy in new Iraq - Faiza Alaraji

The key to Iraq's future is not in the hands of the Iraqi people anymore.
• Iran-weary Arabs won't be comfortable with a Shiite government in Baghdad - Hamid Alkifaey

Many believe the current political impasse in Iraq is due to a regional power struggle over control of the country.
• Opportunities for foreign influence - Safa A. Hussein

It is not difficult to foresee Iraq emerging as an influential regional power.
• Iran's linkages - Mahjoob Zweiri

Iraq, in Iran's backyard, must not become a source of threat. That is Iran's strategic goal.
Read these articles @ bitterlemons-international.org

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 29 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News: Voting - It May Or May Not Be Another Futile Exercise In Democracy But It Certainly Won't Be Over Soon

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 28 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Voting - It May Or May Not Be Just Another Futile Exercise In Democracy But It Certainly Won't Be Over Next Week

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

The WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs report is not being ignored by everyone like it has been (publicly) by the US government and Pentagon... The UN is going to investigate the abuse of Iraqi prisoners documented therein. Some say the data was setup and fed to WikiLeaks to embarrass the Iraqis (and Iran, whom the US has technically lost the Iraq War to..). Razer's thoughts on the subject:
"The "Collateral Damage" caused by US forces was more likely to be kept secret or 'lost', automatically skewing any statistics, and what exactly were the US forces going to do if their 'trainees' F up? Shoot them, or 'hang them out to dry' later. Just food for thought." source, Facebook
International Safety Infrastructure, FAIL FAIL FAIL! It is notable that before Indonesia was hit by a 7.7 earthquake and the concurrent 10 foot plus tsunami last week no one got a warning... despite millions of dollars spent by the international community for an early warning system, because the system was not maintained. Now the biggest volcano on Sumatra has begun to erupt leading to mass evacuations.

Who's in charge of the Mexican government? The Mexican drug cartels have declared war on the whole of the government's anti-drug operation and have said they'd kill one person for every ton of the 135 tons of marijuana burned in a massive raid a while back. They are keeping up on their promise. Body count follows and more.

Since no one in a position of economic authority has been keeping tabs on the aid and reconstruction contractors, the re-builders of Afghanistan, SEVEN THOUSAND of them have taken TEN BILLION DOLLARS since 2006, and no one knows where it went.

Osama bin-Laden has called for attacks on French citizens no matter where they are even as the French government says it's pulling (most of) it's troops out of Afghanistan by 2011.

The Republicans will be sending poll watchers (ie. harassment crews) out to observe next weeks elections because they assume everyone is just as crooked as they are, and the contested ballots will most likely keep election results obscured for... a... while.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Vote Early Vote Often, Could It Be True If Voting Really Counted They Wouldn't Let Us Do It?

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 27 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: 'Vote Early Vote Often'... Could It Be True? 'If Voting Really Counted They Wouldn't Let Us Do It'?

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

Due to technical difficulties there is some 'garbling' in the last few seconds of the news audio.

Republican congressional contender Carly Fiorina has been hospitalized with an infection and it may be a week or more until she's back on the campaign trail against incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Also, Meg Whitman was booed at yesterday at a women's college conference in Southern California when she resisted toning down the 'hit' campaign ads against Democrat Jerry Brown.

In the rest of the country many races are too close to call and voters are obviously restless >>> angry about the economy, a lost trillion dollar war, and other issues.

Speaking of "Lost Trillion Dollar Wars", The latest from Afghanistan is they're talking about talking, but in the real news, two days ago the New York Times said the Iranians were funding the Karzai presidency by sending $1 million dollars a year in discretionary funds, and despite Karzai's rejection of blame, and accusations of the US doing the same, the White House laughably denies sending "Big Bags Of Cash", like they did with the Iraqi government.

As reported last week:
Who would have thought there'd be gunfire (or that said gunfire would be news) near the building that houses the people who control most of the planet's fired weapons? Shots fired at Pentagon, no injuries. The person who did this appears to have 'experience':
Director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Steven Calvery said he considered the shooting to be "a random event" and did not foresee any new security measures.

But he added that the investigation was continuing and that authorities were looking for any possible link to a shooting over the weekend at the nearby National Museum of the Marine Corps, which also only caused minor damage to the building.

"Right now we consider this just a random event. But if our investigation and others' ascertain that it's part of a larger incident, we would have to evaluate that," Calvery told a Pentagon news briefing.

The Pentagon was one of the targets of the September 11, 2001 attacks and Calvery said the Joint Terrorism Task Force was assisting in the Pentagon investigation, along with local police.

Still, it appeared as if investigators had little firm initial evidence. No bullet casings have been found or suspects identified. While investigators believe a high-velocity rifle was used, ballistic tests still needed to be done. (Reuters) (src)
There have been ballistics tests done and the shots fired at various federal buildings and memorials, including the US Marine Memorial appear to have come from the same weapon.

A quick election statistic... Tallying the seats up for grabs in the house and senate races, there has been an average $4 million dollars spent for each.

There may be ramifications to US/Eastern European relations due to a Saudi citizen who was a suspect in the USS Cole bombing having been granted "Victim Status" by the Polish government... because they appear to have evidence that his torture and other abuse at the hands of CIA personnel and their hired henchmen happened on Polish soil. More At Telegraph.co.uk

George Soros, who has already backed other drug reform initiatives (including the not-yet-fully-acted-on Measure K, demanding the prioritization of police activities, which by rote would put Marijuana enforcement at the bottom, in Razer's hometown) chips in $1 million dollars on the Prop 19 campaign in California. More at the LA Times

In OTHER News:
Democrats: 'If We're Gonna Lose, Let's Go Down Running Away From Every Legislative Accomplishment We've Made'

October 27, 2010

WASHINGTON—Conceding almost certain Republican gains in next month's crucial midterm elections, Democratic lawmakers vowed Tuesday not to give up without making one final push to ensure their party runs away from every major legislative victory of the past two years.

Party leaders told reporters that regardless of the ultimate outcome, they would do everything in their power from now until the polls closed to distance themselves from their hard-won passage of a historic health care overhaul, the toughest financial regulations since the 1930s, and a stimulus package most economists now credit with preventing a second Great Depression.

"There's a great deal on the line, and we know it isn't going to be easy for us," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), speaking from the steps of the Capitol. "But if we suffer defeat, we will do so knowing we cowered away from absolutely anything we produced that was even remotely progressive or valuable in any way."

"And we will keep cowering right up until Election Day," Reid continued. "From Maine to Hawaii, in big cities and small towns, we will collapse into a fetal position and refuse to take credit for our successes anywhere voters could conceivably be swayed by learning what we have achieved on their behalf."

Democrats are spending millions of dollars on a last-minute campaign to remind Americans how utterly spineless they are.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) acknowledged the task would be difficult, but said Democrats would remain steadfast in permitting their opponents to deride... In Full

[After the News, a human interest story from the ONN network, and after the commentary, Smoky Joe does a little electioneering with the assistance of the respective artists and KPIG radio Freedom California Earth]

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: School... Incarceration Of Children Makes Life Convenient For The Capitalists And Parents

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 26 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: School... The Daily Incarceration Of Children To Make Life Convenient For The Capitalists And The Parents

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

The most piviotal and important election in decades has the level of spending on the midterm elections reaching new highs, and may exceed TWO BILLION DOLLARS... Meanwhile, the intensity of advertising and lying in the campaigns has hit it's peak and it will all be over a week from today.

As mentioned yesterday, The pirates of Somalia have moved South, taking ships and hostages en masse. A German naval vessel has freed a German cargo vessel. The pirates escaped, but their movement has left the West with a larger area to patrol with the same number of ships... to keep the African coast safe FOR European Nuclear waste dumpers.

The strikers in France are raising the ante - In Marseilles it's smelling worse than their traditional fish markets because there have been no trash pick ups since the strike began, and the smell is beginning to extend to the rest of the country in most of the other major urban areas. Trucking is shut down... so are the gas stations, and airports are barely functional.

There will be a min-debate held today at a Southern California womens college conference hosted by California's First Lady, with the governor, Jerry Brown, and Meg Whitman in attendance.

The governor AND Meg Whitman on the same stage?

It'll be like 'Deja Vu all over again':



(Thanks 'Montana'!)

Meg Whitman also likes to talk about how great California was when she moved here 30 years ago.

Jerry Brown simply wants to mention he was governor 30 years ago... That video is HERE

Representative Weiner has called for YouTube to take down Expat American Muslim preacher Anwar al-Awlaki's page which gives access to 700 videos of Jihad philosophy, while Adam Gahdan, Al Qaeda's ostensible English spokesman has a new video calling on loyal American Muslims to take action, 'small unit action' on Detroit and Dearborn Michigan. Interesting note from Wikipedia... Gadahn's paternal grandfather, Carl Pearlman, was on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Defamation League.

Ford Powered UAVJust a moral equivalency note on behalf of Gahdan... Ford, headquartered in Dearborn, manufactures Hydrogen Powered motors and other parts for Combat Drones (Don't you wish they offered that option in their gas-hog Explorer SUVs?) that are killing massive numbers of Pakistanis, Afghanis, Somalis... leaving Gahdan's call for action echoing another time in history when a civilian German city that starts with the letter "D" engaged in military manufacturing during WWII and was attacked, destroyed under the "military use" rationale, because their ceramics industry was involved in the development and manufacture of the V-2. That city was, and is, Dresden. It was firebombed into nothingness in three days of incessant aerial attacks by allied bombers which killed massive numbers of civilians.
The Bombing of Dresden was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as part of the allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War. In four raids, 1,300 heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city, the Baroque capital of the German state of Saxony. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square miles (39 square kilometres) of the city centre.[1]

A 1953 United States Air Force report written by Joseph W. Angell defended the operation as the justified bombing of a military and industrial target, which was a major rail transportation and communication centre, housing 110 factories and 50,000 workers in support of the Nazi war effort. source

In light of the commentary, a cartoon illustrating the problem:

School=Gulag
School=Gulag, CrimthInc
Courtesy of CrimethInc... The EX-Workers Collective

-30-

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Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: CRAP(s)! The Police And Victimless Crime As A Tool In Social Management

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 25 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: CRAP(s)! The Police And Victimless Crime As A Tool In Social Management

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

The nation and world are still going over the 400,000 WikiLeak'd communiques in our war on Iraq even as WikiLeaks says it will dump 15,000 more documents from our invasion of Afghanistan, which will include US State Department memos discussing Afghan government corruption and reliability. It turns out that the Iranian government sends the Afghan government $1 million dollars a year in 'discretionary funds'. Afghanistan's president Karzai defends that... More.

From the 400,000 item leak it's interesting to note that there IS another lie that had been told about our war on Iraq.

When General Tommy Franks said: "We don't do body counts..." src He WAS lying.
Wikileaks Iraq war logs: every death mapped

"The Wikileaks Iraq war logs provide us with a unique picture of every death in Iraq.
These are those events mapped using Google Fusion tables."

When the Hand Cursor points at a red dot, click once for the specifics of that particular death.

Go To The Guardian (UK) For More


The Somali pirates are changing tactics because the maritime shipping nations are putting their Navies in the region to prevent ship seizures an hostage taking So the pirates of the Somali coast have sailed South... to Madagascar where they have proceeded to capture twenty ships and taken forty hostages. Now the governments have to relocate some VERY EXPENSIVE military assets. If the do, it will leave the Gulf of Aden exposed and change the entire naval deployment structure of the Western Indian Ocean.

The Cholera outbreak in Haiti continues to take it's toll. If it gets into the Port-au-Prince water supply, there are well over a million people at risk.

The last dash - President Obama is in Rhode Island and will stop in Maryland later today in the run up to the US elections. There are huge amounts of money being spent by both parties to win you over to their candidates.

In OTHER News:

From Reuters to Rense...

The US cuts loose with some funds for Pakistan's military and SAYS there ARE controls over where the money goes:
US unveils $2bn military aid plan

Saturday, 23 October 2010

AP - The United States has laid out a five-year, $2bn (£1.3bn) military aid package for Pakistan, and has pressed the Islamabad government to step up the fight against extremists there and in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, announced the plan at the end of the latest round of US-Pakistani strategic talks.

The new aid package will not benefit Pakistani military units suspected of human rights abuses. The Obama administration has already cut off aid to some Pakistani units over concerns they may have been involved in abuses that include extrajudicial killings and torture. Reuters
Meanwhile... unintended consequences of our war on Afghanistan... It's gone Nuclear throughout the region and all along the Himalayan ridge. There is High level Radiation over Lahore India and other densely populated places:
Downwind Airflow Maps Of US DU War On Afghanistan

Hi Jeff - Here are two maps by Peter Eyre (former UK Naval Intel, and weatherman) that he just sent to me for DOWN WIND air flow at three altitudes - Low, Medium and High - for Afghanistan, India and Australia. Rense.com

In regard to "lies" of the sort told that were quoted at the top of today's news, it would be prudent to note they don't just lie about wars...
"MATTHEW HINTON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE A boat travels through oil that was spotted in West Bay just west of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River Friday October 22, 2010." In Full

Had Enough?

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Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Bullying Of America's Gay Youth - More Proof That Schools ARE THE PROBLEM

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 22 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: The Bullying Of America's Gay Youth - More Proof That Schools ARE THE PROBLEM And A Simple Solution

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Anthrax? Sheep and Cattle get it, and this guy isn't...The office of an Arizona congressman who voted against the state's unconstitutional "immigration bill" has received an envelope of toxic white powder... No word on the toxin yet but it's common knowledge that the nutcase right has a penchant for Anthrax and a number of these cretins, some in business suits with lab connections, have been picked up and/or investigated over the last decade or so for possession and transport of it and other biotoxins.
...a right-wing agricultural-chemical entrepreneur from Nebraska, currently sells copies of a germ-warfare cookbook he authored that experts say is accurate enough to be dangerous." More on the topic of toxins
President Obama is in the San Francisco Bay area today, and Nevada tomorrow stumping for Democratic candidates Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid.

The Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, has been fired after 16 years in office (receiving a three million ruble ($100,000) severance package in the process) and replaced by a confidante of Vladimir Putin, with the firing done by president Medvedev. Whys and Wherefores @ RIA/NOVOSTI

There is a Cholera outbreak in the tarp-covered and squalid U.N./Haitian government run refugee camps set up in the wake of the earthquake that occured January this year. 1,000 people or more have been exposed and 135 are dead.

The situation in Haiti going to become critical this winter.

From Monday's synopsis:
Finally... Haiti... remember Haiti? Had a BIG earthquake just a while back and the international community sprang into action?

Haiti's 1.3 Million Camp Dwellers Waiting in Vain
Friday 15 October 2010
by: Correspondents | Inter Press Service | Report


Grand Goave - Rosie Benjamin is just one of over 1.3 million people living in Haiti's 1,354 squalid refugee camps. She and 1,200 others are jammed into 300 tents and plastic tarp-shacks on a soccer field in Grand GoĆ¢ve.

Like about 70 percent of Haiti's refugee camps, the residents here are on their own. Apart from water deliveries, they get nothing from the government and the massive humanitarian apparatus on the ground. No food. No jobs. And no news about their future.

"We went to City Hall, we didn't learn anything. We went to Terre des Hommes, nothing," Benjamin said. "So far we haven't gotten anything. Nothing. We are sitting here and we have no idea what anyone is thinking."

Benjamin and her neighbours live on money from relatives overseas, share what food they have, and every now and then a non-governmental organisation (NGO) drops off some bulgar wheat and vegetable oil, but that's about it. Some of the children – many of whom will likely not go to school this year – even have orange-tinted hair.

Asked about that obvious sign of malnutrition and other conditions, Deborah Hyde, a member of the U.N. "Shelter Cluster" – a U.N.-mandated management team tasked with trying to coordinate the NGOs working on the shelter issue – said...

Find out what she said here

Did anyone notice? There was a 6.0 earthquake yesterday offshore of Sinaloa Mexico.

The French Pension Protests continue with major street actions in Paris, Marseille, and Lyon. Transportation throughout the country is almost completely shut down. The unions say there will be a break in the STREET (emphasis added)action until next Thursday.


Finally, questions to dwell on over the week end:

Why DID we go to war in Afghanistan, apparently for a pipeline? (a pipeline that already had a consumer for the Natural Gas transiting it when completed... China.)

Why IS all that Natural Gas on the back side of Central Asia so darn important?

Why SHOULD Americans give a flying about Georgia, ex-CIS Vs South Ossetia (which recently had Russian and US troops stationed and battle ready within just yards of each other) or the Caspian basin?

Why are the US and Britain, Russia, Iran, AND Israel vying for geopolitical influence in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan?


Caspian Pipeline Map
[Click the map for a definitive writeup on Central Asia @ the OilDrum]
COAL POWER DOWNSIZING
Is coal power headed for a downsizing in US?
"Coal power, with about 340,000 megawatts of generating capacity, today produces about half of US electricity. After expected (ed. Now federally required) emissions upgrades, the coal fleet will continue to have plants, producing about 103,000 megawatts, that are still "lacking any major emission controls," the study says. The oldest, smallest coal plants with few emissions controls make up an "at-risk" (of closure) portion that account for about 20 percent of total US coal-fired generating capacity, or 69,000 megawatts."
Utilities may close up to 1 in 5 coal-fired power plants after tougher EPA air pollution rules go into effect next year, Wall Street investment banker Credit Suisse recently reported. Coal power is losing its price edge to natural gas, too. In Full @ Christian Science Monitor

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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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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. Guardian.co.uk 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

-30-

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Womens & Big Pharma's Greed - Estrogen 'Therapy' Increases The Risk Of Breast Cancer By 33%

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

Cabale News ServiceOctober 20 2010 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Womens & Big Pharma's Greed - A US Government Report Indicates Estrogen Therapy Increases The Risk Of Breast Cancer By 33%

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

The situation for Gays in the US military is getting more complicated and more open at the same time. The Pentagon has apparently ordered recruiters to re-enlist openly Gay military personnel discharged under the Pentagon's Don't Ask Don't Tell rule even as the judge who ruled it unconstitutional has refused to stay the ruling. Although an appeal is likely to be filed, for now DADT IS no longer lawful.

In France the continuing "rolling strikes" have hit the transportation and fuel industry. 5000+ of 7000+- gas stations are closed and the railroads are not running. NOW the teachers have gone on strike releasing the students, who are RIOTING IN THE STREETS.
"At least a million protesters demonstrated in cities across France in the biggest and most persistent challenge to economic reforms anywhere in Europe... ...Speaking in the seaside town of Deauville where he met the leaders of Russia and Germany, (president) Sarkozy appealed for restraint as hooded protesters in the southern city of Lyon torched cars and looted shops after using cafe chairs to smash windows... ...Police used tear gas to disperse protesters in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, where the mayor said 200 youths set cars on fire and smashed public property." More @ Reuters
Feeling left out? Don't worry America, you'll get your chance to be impoverished... As an outcome of the G20 Toronto, the IMF has an austerity plan for YOUR Social Security too!

What? You don't believe they're going to "austerize" America's Social Security? Read "The Attack of the Real Black Helicopter Gang: The IMF Is Coming for Your Social Security", by economist Dean Baker.

More on the New Look Of Global Austerity at these links:

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/57612

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/06/27/g-20-to-announce-global-hooverism-scheme/

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/06/06/g-20-cancels-fiscal-expansionism-hooverism-on-a-global-scale/

http://www.g20breakdown.com/2010/09/austerity-roundup/

Women have been doing this under doctor's orders for 20+ years... and now a government commission has filed a report on the link between breast cancer and 'estrogen replacement therapy' which has shown a DEFINITE link.. A 33% greater risk of cancer if women take BigPharma's pills. Cessation of the pill regimen is generally advised.

But do the Afghanis care what NATO thinks? The NATO Afghanistan peace conference in Vienna has included Iran in the talks.

Democracy is it's own reward... The results are in from Afghanistan's government election a few months back. 3.1 million out of a total of 5.3 million ballots were disqualified.

Into the sunset... The British government is about to scrap it's last remaining aircraft carrier.


In OTHER News...

Who would have thought there'd be gunfire (or that said gunfire would be news) near the building that houses the people who control most of the planet's fired weapons? Shots fired at Pentagon, no injuries. The person who did this appears to have 'experience':
Director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency Steven Calvery said he considered the shooting to be "a random event" and did not foresee any new security measures.

But he added that the investigation was continuing and that authorities were looking for any possible link to a shooting over the weekend at the nearby National Museum of the Marine Corps, which also only caused minor damage to the building.

"Right now we consider this just a random event. But if our investigation and others' ascertain that it's part of a larger incident, we would have to evaluate that," Calvery told a Pentagon news briefing.

The Pentagon was one of the targets of the September 11, 2001 attacks and Calvery said the Joint Terrorism Task Force was assisting in the Pentagon investigation, along with local police.

Still, it appeared as if investigators had little firm initial evidence. No bullet casings have been found or suspects identified. While investigators believe a high-velocity rifle was used, ballistic tests still needed to be done. (Reuters)

Speaking of Austere times, The Crystal Cathedral in Southern California files for Bankruptcy

October 19, 2010

The 10,000 member megachurch in Orange County, Calif. declared bankruptcy Monday. The church, home of the televangelist show "Hour of Power," has debts of more than $43 million.


Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com



In case you're wondering why they have "Gold Toilets" and you don't...
...It's because criminals prosper in the Plutocratic States Of America:
Banks Sold the Same Mortgage Over and Over to Investors
By: David Dayen

Tuesday October 19, 2010


I mentioned this at the end of this post about investor lawsuits, but it deserves to be highlighted. This is a level of fraud that I probably should’ve seen coming, but didn’t.

Apparently, Bank of America has admitted in a court filing that they sold the same mortgage loan in multiple pools to investors.

In layman’s terms, say I own the FDL News Cupcake Food Truck and you come up to buy a cupcake. I sell it to you, and then I sell the same cupcake to the guy behind you, and the guy behind you. As you all wait for your order, you talk to each other and realize that you were all sold the same cupcake. So who actually owns it?

Mortgage - Triple-Pledged


That’s directly from the court document, saying that many loans and other mortgage-related assets “have been double- and even triple-pledged to various constituencies.” It would be impossible to designate ownership in that scenario unless the trustees of the mortgage pools took back all the loans and assigned them again.

You’re talking about the same mortgage loan sold two or three times to different people. In the hustle to get as much paper out the door as possible, all kinds of fraudulent occurrences like this happened. An anonymous whistleblower at Zero Hedge basically corroborates this today... More at Firedoglake

...And In Razer's home town, Santa Cruz California, the Veterans who run the VFW Hall made a Holiday Dinner Announcement

There will be none.
SC Vets Hall Thanksgiving

The County closed the building, alleging it is unsafe, a situation which has prompted the United Veterans Council – of which VFW Post 5888 is a part – to bring suit against the County in Superior Court, jury trial is scheduled to commence November 15th. The eviction, and lack of offers by the County for substitute facilities, resulted in a regrettable decline of in services for veterans and the community at large. At the last Post meeting, October 6, the decision was made that the Post is unable to hold the Holiday Dinners, this year.
In other words the county has mysteriously declared the building that VFW Post #1588 (Bill Motto, ANTI-war) has used for at least the thirty five years of Razer's residence here a 'seismic hazard' because of an un-level floor and some loose plaster.

Auntie Imperial commented on the IndyBay thread regarding why no one sought another place to prepare the meal:
If they knew...
by Auntie Imperial
Tuesday Oct 19th, 2010


The only other public place that comes to mind that could handle the 1000+- people who attend and the THREE DAYS of preparation time needed would be the Civic Auditorium, and you don't REALLY believe the city would host such an event for their impoverished, seniors, houseless, and community in general?

Their WHOLE TACTIC IS destruction of the current community. They've already eliminated all low wage resident workers (as opposed to college students who party on the 'wages' provided by the 16 hr a week jobs offered by most DT businesses) who used to live downtown and replace them with over-the-hill commuting, shopping mall as entertainment worshiping 'citizenry' of people who are socially isolated and have homes to cook meals in... ...and college students... who mostly won't be around on Thanksgiving.

At least that's their target for a Santa Cruz city population, and they're actively working on it.

Do you REALLY think the city and the tourist trash businesses they pander to would want their underclass downtown while the affluent window shop the day before "The busiest shopping day of the year"?

Of course not.

Hell... Councilmember Cynthia Matthews even engaged in personal communications with the Presbyterian arch-diocese implying that Father Joel at the Red Church was not cooperating with the city's "homeless plan" by continuing to operate the Monday evening youth meal, which caused an investigation by the diocese.

BTW... Turn your back on these pigs for a second and they'll just drop the vets hall into it's own footprint... level the ground,and build some 'telecommuting cubies' In Full

-30-

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 and The Berne Convention on Literary and Artistic Works, Article 10, the news clippings, audio, and images used in this posting are made available without profit for research and educational purposes.



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