Jul 1, 2010

Geoffrey Dunn: Palin Guilty of Major Ethics Act Violation: Must Return $386,000 in Contributions

Sarah Palin loves to lecture people about fiscal responsibility. That's like getting a lesson from the Catholic Church about child abuse.

Geoffrey Dunn: Palin Guilty of Major Ethics Act Violation: Must Return $386,000 in Contributions: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Jun 10, 2010

May 28, 2010

Obama Plays Three-Card Monty

Is The President The Kind of Leader Chairman Mao Warned Us About?

by Danny Schechter

We now know that it was the Obama Administration led by the President himself who used techniques well understood and denounced decades earlier by none other than Mao TseTung.

Mao had no use for those who talked left to move right.

In several high profile speeches, Obama lashed out at Wall Street for its greed and mendacity, proposing financial reforms that appeared to be hard hitting if only because of the way the lobbyists for the financial services industry squealed about them.

But even as he was feinting left, he and his main economic operative, Tim Geithner, were moving right to kill off amendments that the bankers hated like Senator Bernie Sanders's proposal for a deep audit of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Brown-Kaufman Amendment that would have broken up the six biggest banks in America."


As John Heilman explained in New York Magazine, "Geithner's team spent much of its time during the debate over the Senate bill helping Senate Banking Committee chair Chris Dodd kill off or modify amendments being offered by more-progressive Democrats."

He used an old trick: embracing reform publicly while modifying its toughest provisions privately.

No wonder bank stocks went up when the bill passed.

James Kwak praised the Obamacrats skill at political manipulation on BaselineScenario.com, "The administration is happy with the financial reform bill roughly as it turned out, and it got there by taking up an anti-Wall Street tone (e.g., the Volcker Rule), riding a wave of populist anger to the point where the bill was sure of passing, and then quietly pruning back its most far-reaching components. If anything, that's a testament to the political skill of the White House and, yes, Tim Geithner as well.

But guess what, the banksters didn't really get the flim-flam that was going on. Reports Heilman:

"Today, it's hard to find anyone on Wall Street who doesn't speak of Obama as if he were an unholy hybrid of Bernie Sanders and Eldridge Cleaver. One night not long ago, over dinner with ten executives in the finance industry, I heard the president described as ‘hostile to business,' ‘anti-wealth,' and ‘anti-capitalism'; as a ‘redistributionist,' a ‘vilifier,' and a ‘thug.' A few days later, I recounted this experience to the same Wall Street CEO who'd called the Volcker Rule a testicular blow, and mentioned I'd been told that one of the most prominent megabank chiefs, who once boasted to friends of voting for Obama, now refers to him privately as a ‘Chicago mob guy.' Do all your brethren feel this way? I asked. ‘Oh, not everybody-just most of them,' he replied. ‘Jamie [Dimon]? Lloyd [Blankfein]? They might not say Obama's a socialist, but they come pretty close.'"

Do any of these "smartest guys in the room" remember that in his last incarnation, Cleaver became a raving right-wing lunatic? In fact, Kwak believes that that lunacy is pervasive on Wall Street, and at the highest levels.

"Forget the whole issue of whether they should be grateful to Obama for first saving their banks from collapse and then toning down the reform bill so it (a) doesn't break up their banks, (b) doesn't meaningfully prevent them from engaging in proprietary trading, (c) says nothing of substance about compensation, (d) doesn't set any hard capital requirements, (e) . . . The fact that they can see the policies this administration is pursuing and somehow think they are "anti-wealth" or "anti-capitalist" is as close to proof as you will find that they are deeply stupid, blinded by their self-interest, or both."

Stupid or not, there was one Obama policy they liked: The decision not to punish any of them by prosecuting their crimes. Not only will they go scot free but the structural changes so badly needed to prevent a re-occurrence of this crash. Thus there will be new rules, not real reforms or a transformation.

In the world of finance, there is almost a universal insistence that only mistakes were made, mistakes that do not rise to the level of crime. This past week, AUG, the giant insurer, now owned by the government, was told it would not be prosecuted criminally,

At the same time, the Administration is still feinting left-- appointing a new financial crimes task force and considering criminal action against Goldman Sachs. Authorities in Britain have gone further setting up a tough new agency that makes combating pervasive financial crime a priority.

What a scandal inside this scandal. The Financial Services industry spent a fortune buying political influence for deregulating and decriminalizing their industry before housing bubbled so they could later claim their chicanery and scams were legal.

Then, the investment banks and hedge funds worked with the real estate and insurance industries to commit a massive fraud against the American people while "extracting trillions for themselves. They then had the chutzpah to criticize homeowners as irresponsible.

Sadly, many of our journalists bought this hype and look the other way by only focusing on laws that protect investors. We need a full investigation and the use of our RICO anti-conspiracy laws.

Were crimes committed? You know they were.

The FBI found an "epidemic of mortgage fraud." (These mortgages were later bundled by Wall Street and sold worldwide with misrepresented values provided by crooked ratings agencies.) These subcrime mortgages were insured to protect the investors who knew they were unaffordable. Wall Street profited while 14 million families lost their homes.

The American people are clamoring for justice but our voices are still being ignored. The President says he is on our side.

Is he?

Mediachannel’s News Dissector Danny Schechter investigates the origins of the economic crisis in his new book Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal (Cosimo Books via Amazon). Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org

May 17, 2010

Killing Us Softly

I grabbed this from Alex Jones' Prison Planet site (Purists will sneer here about "conspiracy nuts" but will not be able to refute the article.) and decluttered it for distraction-free reading. I also corrected a couple of minor typos, at least one of which was created by the copy/paste process.

Mike Adams
Natural News
May 17, 2010

Over a week ago, I published an article here on NaturalNews questioning the media spin on the massive oil spill in the Gulf. That story, entitled Is Gulf oil rig disaster far worse than we’re being told? (http://www.naturalnews.com/028749_G…), stated the following:

“It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on in the Gulf right now, especially because there are so many conflicting reports and unanswered questions. But one thing’s for sure: if the situation is actually much worse than we’re being led to believe, there could be worldwide catastrophic consequences. If it’s true that millions upon millions of gallons of crude oil are flooding the Gulf with no end in sight, the massive oil slicks being created could make their way into the Gulf Stream currents, which would carry them not only up the East Coast but around the world where they could absolutely destroy the global fishing industries.”

Now, barely one week later, it turns out that the oil slick is FAR worse than what we were being told.

USA Today now reports:

Researchers warned Sunday that miles-long underwater plumes of oil from the spill could poison and suffocate sea life across the food chain, with damage that could endure for a decade or more. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation…)

That same article also explained:

“Researchers have found more underwater plumes of oil than they can count from the blown-out well, said Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia. She said careful measurements taken of one plume showed it stretching for 10 miles, with a 3-mile width.”

The Christian Science Monitor also reports now that as much as 3.4 million gallons of oil may be leaking into the Gulf every day!

“The oil that can be seen from the surface is apparently just a fraction of the oil that has spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since April 20, according to an assessment the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology. Significant amounts of oil are spreading at various levels throughout the water column… Scientists looking at video of the leak, suggest that as many as 3.4 million gallons of oil could be leaking into the Gulf every day – 16 times more than the current 210,000-gallon-a-day estimate, according to the Times.” (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0…)

Massive underwater oil cloud may destroy life in Gulf of Mexico

The New York Times also chimed in on the topic over the weekend with some absolutely shocking (and disturbing) revelations:

“Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/u…)

Scientists studying video of the gushing oil well have tentatively calculated that it could be flowing at a rate of 25,000 to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. The latter figure would be 3.4 million gallons a day. But the government, working from satellite images of the ocean surface, has calculated a flow rate of only 5,000 barrels a day.”

In other words, while the government has been telling us the leak is only 5,000 barrels a day, the true volume could be more like 80,000 barrels a day.

WIPING OUT THE GULF

It hardly needs to be stated that 80,000 barrels of oil a day leaking into the Gulf of Mexico could destroy virtually all marine life in the region.

Oxygen levels have already fallen by 30 percent in waters near the oil. When water loses its oxygen content, it quickly becomes a so-called “dead zone” because marine species simply can’t live there anymore. (Fish and other aquatic creatures need oxygen to live, obviously.)

With this volcano of oil still erupting through the ocean floor, we could be witnessing the mass-murder of virtually all marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

And yet we’re faced with a virtual blackout of truly accurate news on the event. Both the oil industry and the Obama administration are desperately trying to limit the videos, photos and stories about the spill, spinning everything to make it seem like it’s not really much of a problem at all.

It’s much like the media coverage of the War in Iraq, where all video footage had to be vetted by the Pentagon before being released to the public. Remember the uproar over the leaked photos of coffins draped in American flags? That’s what the Obama administration no doubt hopes to avoid by suppressing photos of dead dolphins and sea birds in the Gulf of Mexico.

The truth, as usual, is being suppressed. It’s just too ugly for the public to see.

Of course, the truth has always been suppressed in the oil industry. Even the inspections on this particular oil rig were, well, rigged. It turns out the rig wasn’t even inspected on schedule (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100516…).

It also turns out that the Obama administration actually gave the Deepwater Horizon an award for its history of safety! That was before the whole thing literally blew up in their faces.

CORRUPTION IN WASHINGTON LEADS TO CATASTROPHE

The oil industry, you see, is just like every other industry that’s regulated by the federal government: It has a cozy relationship with regulators.

It’s the same story with Big Pharma and the FDA, or the meat industry and the USDA. Wall Street and the SEC. Every industry that’s regulated eventually turns the tables on its regulators and ends up rewriting the rules for its own benefit.

The oil industry has been able to get away with so many exemptions and loopholes that the regulatory environment is now lenient at best. The Deepwater Horizon, for example, was given all sorts of exemptions to engage in risky drilling operations without following proper safety procedures. And who granted it these exemptions? The U.S. federal government, of course!

So now the U.S. government is just as guilty as the oil industry in this mass-murder of life in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the government that allowed the series of events that led to catastrophe in the first place. And now, this catastrophe could lead to a near-total wipe out of marine life throughout the Gulf (and possibly beyond).

In a worst-case scenario, this could destroy some percentage of life in oceans all around the world. It could be the one final wound to Mother Earth who bleeds her black blood into the oceans for ten thousand years, destroying life as we know it on this planet.

All for profit, of course. Let nothing stand in the way of another billion dollars in oil company profits! (Regulators? Bah!)

COLLUSION BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY ALWAYS LEADS TO DISASTER

I hope BP can find a way to suction some of that oil out of the ocean. If they can manage such a solution, they should then turn around and dump the entire slick across the landscape of Washington D.C. to coat all the bureaucrats in the black slimy shame they no doubt deserve. This isn’t about some random accident, you see: It’s about a failure of federal regulators to enforce safe drilling practices.

The fishing industries in and around the Gulf of Mexico could be devastated for decades. The diversity of life in the marine ecosystems there may soon find itself on the verge of collapse. And still there is no real solution for stopping the volcano of oil that continues to gush out of this gaping wound in the Earth herself.

I can only wonder what kind of hare-brained ideas these oil men are coming up with now to stop the flow. A nuke bomb expert has reportedly been sent to the area by the Obama administration as part of some sort of “dream team” of super smart people to find a solution.

But it begs the question: If we were so smart, why are we still running the world on fossil fuels in the first place? There’s enough sunlight energy striking the deserts of Arizona to power the entire nation indefinitely! Free energy technology continues to be suppressed in large part by oil company interests (and the arrogant scientific community), and renewable energy technology has received virtually no government support whatsoever.

If we were really smart, we wouldn’t be drilling holes in the ocean floor and hoping we can cope with whatever comes gushing out. We’d be installing Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) installations across the deserts of America or building more wind power generators. We’ve be investing in electric cars and alternative fuels rather than burning up our future with fossil fuels.

The smartest thing we could do right now — after capping the volcano of oil, of course — would be to make a commitment to end our world’s dependence on fossils fuels forever. But that goes against the financial interests of the oil companies who all want to keep us trapped in their system of fossil fuel dependence no matter what the cost to the environment.

And so we plug along, handcuffed to an outdated fuel source and still running our ridiculously historical internal combustion engines which should have been phased out decades ago and replaced with electric motors.

Humans are slow learners, it turns out. Our modern civilization isn’t really that “modern,” and it only seems to learn from catastrophe rather than intelligent planning.

The question remains: How much more damage can our planet handle from Man’s arrogant pollution? At what point does all the chemical contamination, fertilizer runoff, carbon emissions and runaway oil pollution of the ocean add up to a global extinction event?

We’re playing a global game of Russian Roulette right now with the future of human civilization… and the oil companies just can’t stop pulling the trigger. There’s little question where we’re all going to end up if we don’t change our ways and find a cleaner way to power our infantile civilization.

Apr 20, 2010

Something Different: Medicine

The British Medical Journal reviewed 2.500 modern medical treatments and found only 36% to be either effective or "likely to be effective." Instead of health-care "reform," maybe we should reform medicine first.

British Medical Journal Findings

Apr 19, 2010

Idiot Ayatollah Wannabe Limbaugh Knows God: Meanwhile, God's PR Problems Persist

It is time for Rush to untie that half of a brain he keeps behind his back. What he is using is in a dark and very severely oxygen-deprived environment. The college dropout propaganda whore suddenly knows the mind of God and declares that the volcanic eruptions in Iceland are God's answer to the passage of health-care reform (such as it is) in the US. I am surprised he did not throw in something about a homosexual agenda for good measure.

In the meantime, God continues to have His own problems as Mexican priest Alberto Athie tells why he left the Catholic church, largely because of Ratzinger's complicity in protecting pedophiles.

And while the Nazi-deserter now claims he will bring pedophile priests to justice, Gerhard Gruber, Ratzinger's general vicar when he was Archbishop in Munich, reveals that he was pressured to take the heat for mishandling the case of Peter H. when that sordid story broke last month, in order to shield His-Holy-Perfection-By-Committee.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the Associated Press--that bastion of homosexual left-wing radicals---reveals its discoveries of child-abusing priests being shuffled around the world.

God's answer to health-care passage
Ratzinger Refused to Defrock Child-Molester For Nine Years
Taking The Rap For The Pontiff
Pedophile Shell Game

Apr 18, 2010

More Church Dirt

This appears on the Daylight Atheism Blog.

Every time I think we've seen the worst of what the Roman Catholic church and this pope are capable of, they come up with a way to sink lower still. Back in January, when Benedict reinstated a misogynist, Holocaust-denying bishop, I could never have imagined that that would be the least offensive and disgusting thing they'd have done this year - yet it seems like that may very well be the case.

The newest evidence of this comes via this story from the AP. I previously detailed a case where the current pope, back when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, assigned a known child molester to therapy and then washed his hands of the matter; and another case where Ratzinger ignored urgent letters from an archbishop requesting an ecclesiastical trial for a priest known to have molested as many as 200 deaf boys. But this story is the most direct evidence yet of Ratzinger's culpable neglect and stonewalling over cases of child rape.

Back in 1981, the diocese of Oakland wrote to Ratzinger, who was then head of the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, urging him to begin proceedings to defrock Rev. Stephen Kiesle, another confessed priestly pedophile. Kiesle had previously pleaded no contest to tying up and molesting two children in a church rectory, and the diocese wrote to Rome asking that he be defrocked (in fact, Kiesle himself requested to be defrocked). Ratzinger ignored multiple letters for four years. Finally, in 1985, he wrote back - but said that the case needed still more time, and that proceedings had to be slow and deliberate in order to safeguard "the good of the universal church" (!)

This court, although it regards the arguments presented in favor of removal in this case to be of grave significance, nevertheless deems it necessary to consider the good of the Universal Church together with that of the petitioner, and it is also unable to make light of the detriment that granting the dispensation can provoke with the community of Christ's faithful, particularly regarding the young age of the petitioner. (source)

The young age of the petitioner - that is, the pedophile priest! Incredibly, Ratzinger was more concerned about the harm defrocking a child molester would do to the Church's public image than he was about the harm that the molester had already done and might still do to vulnerable children. As multiple commenters have pointed out, the young age of the molester (he was 38 at the time) might well have been a factor also. Ratzinger must be aware of the aging and dwindling priesthood and the paucity of new recruits; it's likely that he wanted to hang on to every ordained man as long as possible, regardless of the price.

Andrew Sullivan, himself a conservative Catholic, calls this outrageous letter "the third strike" for this pope:

It is a document designed to prevent dismissing a priest as young as 38. Perhaps the fast-aging priesthood was a concern and dismissing such a young priest was to be avoided. But it's clear that the age of the priest is of far more importance to Ratzinger than the age of the minors he raped. All the sympathy and concern is with the rapist, not the raped. This is a document about protecting the powerful even when they rape the powerless.

So far, the typical Vatican apologist defense has been to claim that Ratzinger was an ivory-tower type, so concerned with ponderous matters of theology that he couldn't stoop to deal with such mundane trivia as a man in his employ raping and molesting children. But in 2006, when an archbishop openly defied the Vatican's rule on celibacy by ordaining married men as priests, Pope Benedict excommunicated him six days later. Again, this is the same man who took four years even to respond to a letter pleading with him to do something about an active pedophile.

All of this has led to this announcement, by a British human-rights lawyer seeking to have the Pope put on trial for crimes against humanity the next time he visits the U.K. It's a good idea, although I'm not yet convinced that the Pope's culpability rises to the level of the criminal. Despicable as they were, it seems that his sins were of omission rather than commission - failing to do anything about pedophiles preying on children, rather than actively assisting them in doing so - though given the steady trickle of new details, I may have to retract that statement in the near future. And in any case, I'm sure the U.K. government would do everything in its power to preempt any criminal investigation (conservative Catholics are still an influential voting bloc). However, I think a civil lawsuit is a very real possibility and a legal avenue that should be explored.

Lastly, and in case there was any doubt in your mind remaining about the Catholic church's intentions, there's this story from Connecticut. The state legislature has proposed a bill that would lift the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases, and the bishops ordered a letter to be read during Mass urging their parishioners to lobby against it. This shows, more clearly than anything else possibly could, that the Catholic church is still concerned first and foremost with protecting itself, rather than seeing that justice is done. If they truly wanted to be sure that no molesters were left in their ranks, they'd welcome this bill - and the fact that they oppose it can only mean that they know of more cases of molestation that haven't yet come to light.

But if I had to pick one quote to sum up the depths of wickedness and hypocrisy displayed by this church, it'd be this one from the columnist Libby Purves, a former Catholic turned deist. She beautifully turns their own words against them by quoting the Penny Catechism she learned as a child:

Numbers 328 and 329 refer, making it clear that we are "answerable for the sins of others" when we share the guilt "by counsel, command, consent, provocation, by concealment, by silence..."

Forget the lordly authoritarianism which speaks of the "good of the Universal Church": that Church itself plainly states that concealing crime by silence is wrong, and that it is worse still to counsel and command others to commit the same sin of silence and concealment. Yet this crime, this sin, was being regularly urged on children, parents and parishioners by men in authority: the solemn clerical authority which purports to draw its privilege direct from the eternal Truth and to see into the depths of the heart. It is an all-male authority, too, in which the greenest young priest outranks an experienced nun or devout mother. It has been the perfect screen for wickedness.

Mar 25, 2010

Sean Hannity Defrauds Public

Yep. Sean Hannity's "Freedom Concert" charity turns out to be a big scam, with very little of the money raised going to the injured troops and children they claim to be raising money for. What a surprise.

Hannity Scam

Mar 15, 2010

Texas Curriculum Determined By Religious and Racial Bigots

The Texas "Board of Education" is being held hostage by a faction of rabid fundamentalist bigots who seek to whitewash the racial prejudice that fueled much of the Texas revolution against Mexico and delete the murder of thousands of Hispanics by the Texas Rangers from textbooks and the classroom. They see the founding fathers' struggles over religious freedom and separation of church and state as "interpretation" by "liberal professors." They are driven by political favoritism and bigotry, as well, eliminating Dolores Huerta—co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America—from textbooks because she was a socialist. Artists are being eliminated from the curriculum because board members find some of their works "questionable." Is it coincidence that Hispanic artists are being replaced by white ones?

The article below ends abruptly, seemingly in mid-thought. Maybe that is where author Jeremy Binckes passed out from sheer disgust.

How The Texas Textbook Revision Came To Be

Mar 14, 2010

Oklahoma Challenges Texas For King Of Bigot Hill

Gee, just when Texas seems to have a decent lead in the race to see which state is most bigoted, Oklahoma steps up. By golly, they passed a nifty state law that allows them to sequester or destroy evidence of hate crimes investigated in Oklahoma if the red-neck police and courts don't convict their brethren of wrongdoing. How convenient for them. Maybe we should arrange for an old-fashioned tag-team cage match to determine the top bigots.

Oklahoma Opts Out Of Federal Hate Crimes Laws

Mar 13, 2010

Shake Your Head In Wonder

A selection of delicacies emerge today as the world gets saner and smarter...NOT!!

The US government cares about your health and well-being. Right. That's why they are selling—at bargain prices, of course—trailers that are known to be seriously contaminated with formaldehyde. Does the Consumer Protection Agency know about this?

Feds Sell Contaminated Trailers

Israel, our great ally, staunch friend and defender of freedom; the Jewish homeland that was created out of the goodwill and sympathy of the world for what the Jewish people suffered at the hands of Hitler's minions—let's not mention the Zionist terrorism that paved the way for it, that would be politically incorrect—in its zeal for God and justice, might have to (reluctantly, I'm sure) exterminate Europe if it feels threatened. Historian Martin Karfeld points out that his wonderful, compassionate country is capable of destroying the whole world. Isn't God good? His Chosen Ones are so loving and full of God's grace and care for His creation that they are willing to kill off the rest of the planet because they have no faith that their Lord will protect them. We can only presume that Israel has a super-secret plan for surviving the nuclear holocaust they will inflict on the entire world. They must have vast stores of radiation-proof water and food and air and who knows what else stored under the sands of their blood-soaked "holy land."

Israel Will Exterminate Europe

This one is just for fun, but really, how far off are we from this becoming reality?

PR Firm To Run For Congress