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31 December, 2008

Encounter at Indian Point

*EXCLUSIVE* "Encounter At Indian Point" (From our January Newsletter)
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 12:07 SGRA

http://www.sgra-media.org/new/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=75:exclusive-qencounter-at-indian-pointq-from-our-january-newsletter&catid=34:sgra-information

The following article was written exclusively for our organization by Philip Imbrogno and appears in our January newsletter issue, as well as here on our website. Please feel free to send us your thoughts at dispatch@sgra-media.org

* Special Note: Thanks to Remy Chevalier of the Green Nuclear Butterfly blog for helping in making this article possible.

30 December, 2008

Will members of the Bush Administration be prosecuted for prisoner abuse?

I don't know how all of the people who read this blog feel, but I think many will certainly welcome prosecution of Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, and Cheney!

These people are criminals from wayback and deserve all the misery they've got coming. 
---------

Jonathan Tepperman
Newsweek Web Exclusive
http://www.newsweek.com/id/176044

The United States, like many countries, has a bad habit of committing
wartime excesses and an even worse record of accounting for them afterward.
But a remarkable string of recent events suggests that may finally be
changing-and that top Bush administration officials could soon face legal
jeopardy for prisoner abuse committed under their watch in the war on
terror.

In early December, in a highly unusual move, a federal court in New York
agreed to rehear a lawsuit against former Attorney General John Ashcroft
brought by a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar. (Arar was a victim of the
administration's extraordinary rendition program: he was seized by U.S.
officials in 2002 while in transit through Kennedy Airport and deported to
Syria, where he was tortured.) Then, on Dec. 15, the Supreme Court revived a
lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld by four Guantánamo detainees alleging abuse
there-a reminder that the court, unlike the White House, will extend
Constitutional protections to foreigners at Gitmo. Finally, in the same week
the Senate Armed Service Committee, led by Carl Levin and John McCain,
released a blistering report specifically blaming key administration figures
for prisoner mistreatment and interrogation techniques that broke the law.
The bipartisan report reads like a brief for the prosecution-calling, for
example, Rumsfeld's behavior a "direct cause" of abuse. Analysts say it
gives a green light to prosecutors, and supplies them with political cover
and factual ammunition. Administration officials, with a few exceptions,
deny wrongdoing. Vice President Dick Cheney says there was nothing improper
with U.S. interrogation techniques-"we don't do torture," he repeated in an
ABC interview on Dec. 15. The government blamed the worst abuses, such as
those at Abu Ghraib, on a few bad apples.

High-level charges, if they come, would be a first in U.S. history.
"Traditionally we've caught some poor bastard down low and not gone up the
chain," says Burt Neuborne, a constitutional expert and Supreme Court lawyer
at NYU. Prosecutions may well be forestalled if Bush issues a blanket pardon
in his final days, as Neuborne and many other experts now expect. (Some see
Cheney's recent defiant-sounding admission of his own role in approving
waterboarding as an attempt to force Bush's hand.)

Constitutionally, Bush could pardon everyone involved in formulating and
executing the administration's interrogation techniques without providing
specifics or naming names. And the pardon could apply to himself. Such a
step, however, would seem like an admission of guilt and thus be politically
awkward. Even if Bush takes it, civil suits for monetary damages could still
proceed; such cases, though hard to win, are proliferating. Yet most legal
scholars argue that a civil suit would not the best approach here. Neuborne
calls it an "excessively lawyer-centric" strategy and says judges are
extremely reluctant to award damages in such cases. Conservative legal
experts like David Rifkin (who served in the Reagan and first Bush
administrations) argue that no accounting is necessary, since the worst
interrogation techniques, like waterboarding, have already been abandoned
and Obama is expected to make further changes.

A growing group of advocates are now instead calling for a South
African-style truth and reconciliation commission. Kenneth Roth, executive
director of Human Rights Watch, says that although "we know what went on,"
"knowledge and a change in practices are not sufficient: there must be
acknowledgment and repudiation as well." He favors the creation of a
nonpartisan commission of inquiry with a professional staff and subpoena
power, calling it "the only way to definitively repudiate this ugly chapter
in U.S. history."

But for those interested in tougher sanctions, one other possibility looms.
Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author
of "The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld," points out that over 20 countries now
have universal jurisdiction laws that would allow them to indict U.S.
officials for torture if America doesn't do it itself. A few such cases were
attempted in recent years but were dropped, reportedly under U.S. pressure.
Now the Obama administration may be less likely to stand in their way. This
doesn't mean it will extradite Cheney and Co. to stand trial abroad. But at
the very least, the threat of such suits could soon force Bush aides to
think twice before buying plane tickets. "The world is getting smaller for
these guys," says Ratner, "and they'll have to check with their lawyers very
carefully before they travel." Jail time it isn't-but it may be some justice
nonetheless.

29 December, 2008

Obituary, Ralph Rene, Author of NASA MOONED AMERICA

Dear Friends,

The PO Box today was loaded with mail since I hadn’t had a chance to check it over the holidays. There were about probably thirty pieces of mail.

As I went through it a lonely white post card caught my attention. It was a typewritten note on an index card addressed to me personally from Ralph Rene, author of the 1992 classic self published tract, NASA MOONED AMERICA, as well as "World Trade Center Lies and Fairytales" and other alternative theoretical tracts. I had interviewed Ralph for Paranoia in 1994 and we used to talk on the phone frequently back in the day. I also received several letters from him in the last few years; when he was onto something new he would send it to me or he would comment on something he saw in Paranoia.

My heart sank as I read the postcard twice to confirm that I was indeed reading a suicide note mailed from Scottsburg, Indiana and post stamped on December 17. The card read as follows:

“On _________ (on the line handprinted in black ink the date 12-10-08) I exercised my option to walk away from the loneliness of the past few years and 34 years of continuous pain. The final straw was when my doctors sent me for a pre-operation stress test mandated by their mal-practice insurers. It was a test that an Olympic athlete with a sprained ankle couldn’t pass, let alone a man on a walker. This took away my last chance for hip joint surgery. What they didn’t factor in was that I was a survivor.

I always did my best for my friends, my fans and the world in general, sometimes with detriment to myself!

Good-by,

René”


As you can see, the note is confusing. René, as he always called himself, claims he’s a survivor. What did he mean? Also the card was mailed on the 17th but he had filled in the blank on the 10th!

So I did an internet search and found the following video. Ralph Rene indeed did commit suicide on December 10, 2008. I presume he had several of these cards written out to friends and someone mailed them out afterward. I don’t know any of the details surrounding this at this time.




Rest in peace weary traveler. Thank you for your dedication and commitment at all times to what you felt strongly was the truth.

Ralph was an early proponent of the Apollo moon landing hoax theory and got a lot of press on this subject. Ralph’s research and scientific arguments for the moon landing hoax were quite convincing. I always had a hard time reconciling the work of Richard Hoagland and Michael Bara with the work of Ralph Rene. His reasons for believing Apollo never landed on the moon are as follows:

• Astronauts (whom he called “Astro-nots”) could not have survived the radiation that they would have been exposed to while passing through the Van Allen radiation belt.
• Photos taken on the moon do not show stars in the background.
• He pointed out the letter "C" on a rock in a photo insisting it was a Hollywood prop rock.
• The gloves on the Apollo space suits would have expanded in the vacuum of space to the point where they would be immobile.

More of Ralph Rene's Space Oddities:

· A camera panned upwards to catch Apollo 16's Lunar Lander lifting off the Moon. Who did the filming?

· One NASA picture from Apollo 11 is looking up at Neil Armstrong about to take his giant step for mankind. The photographer must have been lying on the planet surface. If Armstrong was the first man on the Moon, then who took the shot?

· The pressure inside a space suit was greater than inside a football. The astronauts should have been puffed out like the Michelin Man, but were seen freely bending their joints.

· The Moon landings took place during the Cold War. Why didn't America make a signal on the Moon that could be seen from Earth? The PR would have been phenomenal and it could have been easily done with magnesium flares.

· Text from pictures show only two men walked on the Moon during the Apollo 12 mission. Yet the astronaut reflected in the visor has no camera. Who took the shot?

· The flags shadow goes behind the rock so doesn't match the dark line in the foreground, which looks like a line cord. So the shadow to the lower right of the spaceman must be the flag. Where is his shadow? And why is the flag fluttering?

· How can the flag be brightly lit when its not facing any light?

· And where, in all of these shots, are the stars?

· The Lander weighed 17 tons yet the astronaut's feet seem to have made a bigger dent in the dust.


And so many more questions posed by a man who ran out of time.

For more about Rene, read these links or just do a search of his name to locate his prolific work, interviews, documentaries and such:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Rene

http://science.krishna.org/Articles/2000/12/00227.html


There are a bunch of youtubes about Rene’s work here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/greenmagoos


I’ll try to write more later after I process this.

If anyone knows anything else, please let me know here.

Joan d'Arc

P.S. I have been contacted by Jarrah White, who has done several video projects based on Rene's work (posted on youtube). He has explained to me that Rene got into a car accident on December 8, and the van he was riding in rolled over. Ralph was hurt but was sent home from the hospital in one day, of course, to fend for himself because America only bails out the rich. After this he was in significantly more pain than he had been previously. In short, he went home and wrote the post cards and then wrote one note to a friend asking that friend to mail the cards.

The good news is, as Jarrah tells me, Rene had no idea just how many friends he has. There will be a service for him in New Jersey in June and hundreds of people will be attending. I will post information on that when I have it in the coming months.

Adam Gorightly, Charles Manson and the Ufos



Stormy Weather chats with Adam Gorightly about Ufos, occult ritual, psi-ops and Charles Manson (pictured above, clean-cut!). We discuss the overlap between Ufology, occultism, and conspiracy, how Adam first wandered into the Chapel Perilous of paranoid awareness, the possibility of Manson being a patsy for a governmental psi-op designed to discredit the counterculture, directed energy weapons and spontaneous human combustion, and the difference between "historical revisionism" and parapolitical research. Adam's website is www.adamgorightly.com

RNC Chairman candidate Saltzman's Christmas CD / Barack the Magic Negro

I am amazed at the stupidity of politicians sometimes. Yes, I know they are mostly stupid, but the degree to which they are stupid sometimes still amazes me.

This song, Barack the Magic Negro, was included on a CD sent by RNC chairman candidate, Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman, to members of the RNC. What a boob!

I must admit, the song is very funny and has been out there for a while, but its inclusion on a Christmas CD mailed to RNC members by a candidate for RNC Chairman is ludicrous.

Here's the CNN report:

RNC chairman candidate defends 'Barack the Magic Negro' song
By Rebecca Sinderbrand

(CNN) -- A candidate for the Republican National Committee chairmanship
said Friday the CD he sent committee members for Christmas -- which
included a song titled "Barack the Magic Negro" -- was clearly intended
as a joke.

"I think most people recognize political satire when they see it,"
Tennessee Republican Chip Saltsman told CNN. "I think RNC members
understand that."

The song, set to the tune of "Puff the Magic Dragon," was first played
on conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh's radio show in 2007.

Its title was drawn from a Los Angeles Times column that suggested
President-elect Barack Obama appealed to those who feel guilty about the
nation's history of mistreatment of African-Americans. Saltsman said the
song, penned by his longtime friend Paul Shanklin, should be easily
recognized as satire directed at the Times.

The CD sent to RNC members, first reported by The Hill on Friday, is
titled "We Hate the USA" and also includes songs referencing former
presidential candidate John Edwards and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, among
other targets.

According to The Hill, other song titles, some of which were in bold
font, were: "John Edwards' Poverty Tour," "Wright place, wrong pastor,"
"Love Client #9," "Ivory and Ebony" and "The Star Spanglish Banner."

Saltsman was national campaign manager for former Arkansas Gov. Mike
Huckabee's presidential bid in 2007 and 2008. Before that, he held a
variety of posts, including a number of positions under former Sen. Bill
Frist of Tennessee.


Dr. Steel in The Singularity

Enjoy a little commercial break from the fabulous Dr. Steel of World Domination Toys.



28 December, 2008

In Monaco ethics are chopped, changed

Sent to me by Robert Eringer, The Investigator

December 27, 2008 12:00 AM

Three weeks ago Prince Albert II of Monaco scrapped a scheme to build a peninsula on platforms upon the sea as a means of expanding his densely populated Principality. His Minister of State, Jean-Paul Proust, corrected the Prince. It's not terminated, said Mr. Proust, breaching protocol (one must never suggest the Prince is wrong), but merely "suspended."

Which actually means Monaco is in a suspended state of confusion, brought about by conflicting factions battling over backhand commissions, even while the Prince speaks of cracking down on money laundering and corruption.

"We are not a place that tolerates illegal financial activities or money laundering in any form," Prince Albert announced while opening a Monaco embassy in London last year.

Yet the prince knows the identities of a number of money-launderers -- including persons engaged in illicit arms dealing -- who continue to thrive as residents in his Mediterranean tax haven.

"Ethics cannot be chopped and changed," Prince Albert added.

But one needs only examine the case of Monaco's former finance minister to understand that ethics in Monaco, under the Prince's rule, are easily chopped and changed.

On the streets of Monte Carlo, Finance Minister Franck Biancheri was known as "Mister Ten Percent" for his proclivity to accept secret partnerships in business enterprises -- including a restaurant chain -- whose applications he swiftly rubber-stamped in exchange for a silent 10 percent stake.

In a clear conflict of interest, the finance minister tried to place his wife, Sylvia, on the board of a Monaco bank. He also demanded cash under the table to permit a money launderer to invest in ASM, Monaco's soccer team, and then arranged for the money launderer to acquire Monegasque nationality.

But most astonishing was how Mr. Biancheri bought and built his personal home: He orchestrated a scenario whereby the government donated land to a senior citizen association, which then sold the land cheaply to his friend, who then split the land with Mr. Biancheri for a pittance, after which building permission was quietly granted. Mr. Finance Minister then dispatched construction laborers from Monaco's Forum Grimaldi (presided over by his wife), to get cracking. Plumbing, heating and air conditioning subcontractors installed their wares and sent invoices to Forum Grimaldi for payment. A company called Sicobois tried to deliver 42 custom doors to the convention center -- doors billed to the Forum. The goods receiver at Forum Grimaldi was baffled until the driver found a different delivery address: The Biancheri villa.

Was Mr. Biancheri arrested and prosecuted for corruption and fraud?

No.

Franck Biancheri is now Monaco's foreign minister.

How does such a thing happen in a country whose royal head of state publicly declares, "Ethics are not divisible"?

Everyone has heard wacky conspiracy theories about Freemasonry. So bear in mind what follows is not far-fetched secret society paranoia, but factual information about how Freemasonry operates within France.

Freemason lodges maintain a formidable, covert influence within the French judicial and police structures. All three Freemason lodges in France have gained reputations in recent years for being "affairiste" -- a French term meaning corrupt business practices, to include influence trafficking and false invoicing, particularly in companies controlled by the state. Freemasons in the judiciary hamper investigations through bureaucratic measures -- "routine" inspections, internal investigations, and reassignments -- designed to torpedo any serious attempt at reform

The most prominent of France's three Freemason lodges is Paris-based Grande Loge Nationale Francaise (GLNF). One of GLNF's most senior Masons is Jean Paul-Proust, a former Paris police chief -- and, since 2005, Monaco's Minister of State.

Mr. Proust and Mr. Biancheri enjoy a Masonic bond, with Mr. Proust having engineered Mr. Biancheri's initiation into the so-called "Circle of 500," a lodge spin-off.

When Prince Albert was confronted with evidence of Mr. Biancheri's widespread corruption, he took six months to accept the finance minister's "resignation" -- and allowed Mr. Proust to immediately appoint him "special adviser to the minister of state" and chairman of economic development. Mr. Proust then craftily steered Mr. Biancheri back into his cabinet.

Another GLNF Mason in Monaco is Philippe Narmino, Secretary-General of Monaco's Red Cross since 1988. Mr. Narmino is alleged to have misappropriated a painting by Joan Miro valued at 1 million euros, donated to the Red Cross but never logged. A senior judge, in addition to Red Cross honcho, Mr. Narmino habitually accepted gifts, including a yacht named Brave Captain, and he engaged in a scheme, with close friend Gerard Brianti, to profit from valuations conducted on high-ticket items contributed to the Red Cross.

By anyone's standards in a civilized country, complicity in such dealings and acceptance of expensive gifts by a judge constitutes gross impropriety and is wholly unethical.

Yet, fully aware of Mr. Narmino's disreputable doings, Prince Albert selected him to be Chief of Judicial Services -- the highest-ranking justice position in Monaco -- due to GLNF pressure tactics.

Another shady character in sunny Monaco is Jean-Paul Carteron. Mr. Carteron left Paris in 1981 to work for "Papa Doc" Duvalier and wound up looking after the Haitian dictator's corrupt fortune. He carried on with "Baby Doc," facilitating real estate deals along the French Riviera. The Duvalier dynasty was brutal and murderous -- and the beginning of Mr. Carteron's own fortune. After bloodying his hands with both "Docs," Mr. Carteron -- in 1989 -- created Crans Montana Forum in Switzerland and re-styled himself as "humanitarian." His forum provided respectability for brutal, corrupt regimes in Africa, from which Mr. Carteron personally profited.

The Swiss, by 1996, suspected Mr. Carteron of laundering money and requested he move his forum elsewhere. He took it to the Principality and re-named it Monaco World Summit, creating the erroneous perception among foreign governments that his private entity was a Monaco institution. Then, mixing with representatives of the world's smaller nations, Mr. Carteron became a broker. Not stocks and bonds. Mr. Carteron brokers honorary consulships to Monaco. His going rate is 50,000 euros.

Prince Albert knew about these unethical antics, but rather than point the door to Mr. Carteron, His Serene Highness designated him co-fundraiser for a pet project called "Peace Through Sport."

But the prize for Most Unethical Behavior goes to Thierry Lacoste, Prince Albert's Paris-based lawyer. Mr. Lacoste works hard to manipulate the Prince's decision-making in Monaco while simultaneously representing Monaco-based clients whose presence in the Principality is diametrically opposed to the "new ethic" promised by the Prince. Such clients include Samy Maroun, a Lebanese businessman connected to several scandalous oil deals, including the corrupted U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

Which brings us back to where we began: the $10 billion land reclamation project. Mr. Lacoste reportedly urged his client, the Prince, to shut it down -- get ready, folks, this is good -- because the consortium with which he had secretly aligned himself was eliminated in favor of rival vendors.

"Monaco is in crisis," a Monegasque insider told The Investigator. "Fifteen years of growth was destroyed by this. People in Monaco are angry. So are the vendors, who wasted their time and money for two-and-a-half years. And what does the Prince do? Right after New Year's he goes to Antarctica for a month to look at penguins. He's not serious."

He is also not sincere. Upon accepting the role of monarch, Prince Albert vowed to put "morality, honesty and ethics at the forefront of my government and cabinet."

Sadly, and shamefully, it was all a sham.

The opinions in the column are Robert Eringer's and not necessarily the newspaper's. Readers may write Robert Eringer c/o the News Press. P.O. Box 1359, Santa Barbara 93102-1359. Or if you have a story idea for The Investigator, contact him at eringer33@aol.com. State if your query is confidential.

27 December, 2008

Madoff Whistleblower went unheeded for years

"The government never acted, Madoff continued his ways, and people lost billions."

Mathematical analysis in 1999 showed Madoff's returns were unreal.

Here is his 2005 report to the SEC:

http://www.slideshare.net/hblodget/markopolos-madoff-complaint-presentation?type=document

Boston - His repeated warnings that Wall Street money manager Bernard Madoff was running a giant Ponzi scheme have cast Harry Markopolos as an unheeded prophet.

But people who know or worked with Markopolos say it wasn't prescience that helped him foresee the collapse of Madoff's alleged $50 billion fraud. Instead, they say diligence and a strong moral sense drove his quixotic, nine-year quest to alert regulators about Madoff.

"He followed through on everything he ever did. He never let up," said his mother, Georgia Markopolos, in an interview Thursday. "Some kids just let it go if it's too hard, but he wouldn't do that."

"He feels very sorry for these people that got taken," she added. "It wouldn't have happened if they would have listened to him long ago."

Markopolos waged a remarkable battle to uncover fraud at Madoff's operation, sounding the alarm back in 1999 and continuing with his warnings all through this decade. The government never acted, Madoff continued his ways, and people lost billions.

Markopolos reached his conclusion with the help of mathematicians like Dan diBartolomeo, whose analysis of the Madoff's methods in 1999 helped fuel Markopolos' suspicions.

"People should have seen the writing on the wall," diBartolomeo said.

[...]

Researching Madoff's numbers, using data the firm distributed to prospective investors, diBartolomeo concluded within hours that it was impossible for Madoff to get the returns he reported while using the strategy he said he used.

"As the market goes up and down, this strategy should have done a little better or a little worse, just like everybody else," he said. "Instead, it appeared to be indifferent as to whether the market went up or down. They made money all the time."

Markopolos complained to the SEC's Boston office in May 1999, saying it was impossible for the kind of profit Madoff was reporting to have been gained legally.

But Madoff continued to thrive, even as Markopolos continued to pursue the case.

In 2005, he submitted a report to the SEC saying it was "highly likely" that "Madoff Securities is the world's largest Ponzi scheme." In the report, he says he knew his research could ruin people's careers and asked the SEC be discreet about circulating the report and his name.

"I am worried about the personal safety of myself and my family," he wrote.

The report highlights 29 "red flags" about Madoff's business, among them the returns of a third-party hedge fund managed by Madoff's firm which had negative returns in just seven on the 174 months Markopolos analyzed.

"No major league baseball hitter bats .960, no NFL team has ever gone 96 wins and only 4 losses over a 100 game span, and you can bet everything you own that no money manager is up 96% of the months either," he said.

His warnings were heard too late, and he's become a symbol of a botched oversight of Madoff by the SEC. His mother says the father of three boys under 5 has been bombarded by media requests. Now, a man who tried to be heard for years is going to lay low for a bit, she said.

"Right now, he's out relaxing some place," he said. "I can't even get in touch with him."

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

See also this interview with James Hedges, who knew absolutely that something was wrong with Madoff’s company.

http://www.truthout.org/122708D

James Hedges suspected there was something wrong a decade ago.

James Hedges, President and founder of LJH Global Investments in Naples, Fla., has invested billions in hedge funds and private equity since 1990 through relationships with numerous hedge funds.

Barron's chatted recently with Hedges about why he was able to dodge a bullet when he walked out of Madoff's offices eleven years ago without a deal.

Barron's: You once took a pass on investing in Bernie Madoff's fund. What troubled you?

Jim Hedges: I went in 1997 to meet Madoff, and spent two hours with him in his offices. His manner with me was wildly outside the traditional rapport I have had with managers and the kinds of access I have had to managers. I was told it was unusual for him to meet with anyone for that length of time, and that he was perturbed with the process. His whole tone during the meeting was curt, truncated, and he volunteered nothing. It was an extraction process to get him to answer anything. He was distracted the whole time, looking at people out on the trading floor through the glass wall of his office. Mind you, I was coming in to potentially invest billions of dollars for prominent families and institutions, representing extraordinarily well-known clientele. I couldn't be more the type of person for whom you would open up the kimono. And what it told me was that it was a fraud, full-stop. It was wildly impressionable on me. I have said over the years to many people: Do not touch Madoff with a barge pole.

Q: What didn't you like in that initial interview?

 [...]

See link above to see just how obvious it was that Madoff was running a Mad House and nobody was listening!

Is the U.S. government going to continue to bail out rich people and banksters and hucksters for behaving so stupidly? Doesn't Darwinian "survival of the fittest" also apply to them?

Congressional Oversight Panel Holds First Field Hearing

Wow, Twin States. Nevada has the highest mortgage foreclosure rate. Rhode Island the highest jobless rate at 9.3 percent (some saying it will be at 10 percent shortly). Any other contenders out there? Tell us about your state.

Wait a minute: This JUST IN. Michigan has just, as of last week, surpassed Rhode Island at 9.6 percent. This is a race to see how fast we can sit on our asses and watch TV all day! Ready, set, go!

http://money.cnn.com/pf/features/lists/state_unemployment/


December 16, 2008:

Clark County, NV—Ground Zero of the Housing and Financial Crises

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the Congressional Oversight Panel held its first field hearing in Clark County, Nevada, the center of the housing and financial crises that have buffeted the country during the past year. Data released last week showed that Nevada has been the state with the highest foreclosure rate for 23 straight months. Clark County has been the center of the foreclosure crisis in the state, with an expected 30,000 foreclosures in Clark County in 2008, an increase of nearly 300% from last year.





Document:

Questions about the $700 Billion Bailout

cop.senate.gov

26 December, 2008

“Class is a dirty word”

An Interview with Michael Parenti sent to me by Jason Miller. I have added two videos of Michael Parenti at the bottom.


“Class is a dirty word”

“Class is a dirty word in that it gets close to the truth about who governs and for whose benefit.”

-Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti interviewed by Jason Miller

12/24/08

In the land of those who think they’re free and the home of savage capitalism, class is indeed a dirty word. Remember, we’re a nation of Joe the Plumbers. If we just work hard enough and fend off those socialist vampires who want to suck us dry by redistributing our hard-earned wealth, we can all be financial successes. And if you’re a faux-progressive presidential candidate—like Obama, you’re doomed to political perdition unless you sign a blood oath disavowing your ties to socialism.

Yet there are a few political analysts and academics who dare to blaspheme against capitalism, which is the “God” this benighted land truly worships—despite the disgustingly hypocritical veneer of faux Christianity. Remember that Michael Parenti has one of the filthiest mouths you’ll ever hear. He dares to repeatedly spew profane diatribes against capitalism, the sacrosanct basis for our precious American Way of Life. Parenti has the chutzpah to derisively attack our system, which we all know is the best that’s ever been (or will be), by asserting that there are divisions amongst US Americans based on socioeconomic standing. And worst of all? He uses the “C” word! Somebody needs to give his mouth a good cleansing with a bar of Dial!

Parenti recently answered a few questions Jason Miller threw his way. Let’s see how much further he traveled on the road to perdition…..

Jason Miller: You’re one of the best kept secrets of the “American Left” (ridiculously marginalized and small in number as we are). Why is it that despite your brilliant critiques, particularly of bourgeois revisionist history, you remain relatively obscure even amongst the more radical segment of the US population?

Michael Parenti: It’s really not all that bad. People do describe me as “widely acclaimed” and “internationally known” etc. and I do reach varied audiences in North America and abroad with my writings, lectures, and interviews. But it is true that there are sectarian or small minded elements on the left– including some very prominent figures–who are quiet practitioners of McCarthyism in that they exclude or try to isolate anyone who (a) places a strong emphasis on the realities of class power (b) occasionally uses a Marxist analysis or (c) finds some things of value in existing socialist societies that are worthy of being preserved, such as human services, guaranteed right to a job, free education, free medical care, affordable housing for all, etc. These societies, now mostly defunct, have been deemed by most of the left as worthy of nothing but a constant unremitting denunciation.

JM: Do you think the bourgeoisie has begun demonizing environmentalists and animal rights advocates because they perceive us to be a legitimate threat to the system, is the Green Scare simply another aspect of the divide and conquer tactic, do animal and Earth exploiters wield that much power within the system, is it a combination of these, or something more?

MP: The purveyors of free-market global capitalism believe that they have a right to plunder the remaining natural resources of this planet as they choose. Anyone who challenges their agenda is to be subjected to whatever misrepresentation and calumny that serves the free market corporate agenda.

JM: How has the capitalist class in the US been so successful at convincing the masses that we live in a “classless society” and etching a cultural standard in granite that it is taboo to discuss class issues?

MP: Through control of the universe of discourse, including the media, the professions, the universities, the publishing industry, many of the churches, the consumer society, the job market, and even the very socialization of our children and the prefiguring of our own perceptions, the ruling interests are able to exercise a prevailing ideological control that excludes any reasoned critique of the dominant paradigm. Class is a dirty word in that it gets close to the truth about who governs and for whose benefit.

JM: What are your thoughts on Obama and what change we may see under his presidency?

MP: I greeted Obama’s electoral victory with very little enthusiasm but much relief that the lying slime- bag right-wing John McCain was defeated. I think Obama will be another Bill Clinton, perhaps not as bad. Some people see his accession to the White House as a great historic victory for African Americans and for democracy. But I am not all that impressed. When the victory is extended into social democratic policies that have a salutary effect on millions of struggling impoverished African-Americans and other working poor, then I’ll start dancing in the streets.

JM: Prior to Obama’s election, a number of radical thinkers posited that the US was in a pre-revolutionary stage. What impact do you think the Obama administration will have on the potential of consciousness, anger, and social unrest reaching critical mass amongst the working class in the US in the near future? Or better yet, are you even optimistic that the American people will catch fire and revolt against our wretchedly rapacious and imperialistic system?

MP: I do not think we are entering a pre-revolutionary stage. However political struggle can be a surprising phenomenon emerging with great democratic force and sudden movement in the most unexpected ways. We are approaching an economic crisis of momentous scope. The radical reactions may not be all that progressive and rational. The unfortunate thing about corporate capitalism is that it is often advantaged by the very wretched conditions it itself creates. I am hoping that the social groups that have been activated by Obama’s campaign will not go to sleep and will not let up the pressure for progressive change.

JM: What do you say to critics who assert that socialism is a utopian dream in the abstract and a nightmare in reality?

MP: Your question is a paraphrase of the one I posed in my book, Democracy for the Few. “Is socialism not just a dream in theory and a nightmare in practice?” In response I pointed out that the features which make life livable in capitalist society are mostly socialistic in practice, including human services, infrastructure development, environmental protections, and even many technological advances that are funded or even created by government sources.

JM: With Castro hanging in there and now Chavez, Morales, Correa, and Ortega in place, to what extent do you think socialism will continue to expand and flourish in Latin America?

MP: It is not likely that the reforms in Latin America will really lead to socialism but at least to some gains for the most desperately oppressed.

JM: Some argue that there is a “third way” that represents a better alternative to capitalism than socialism. Your thoughts?

MP: Maybe they are referring to the social democracy that is found in some Western European countries that provide decent human services and better regulation of corporate doings. But even these social democracies are under attack and face rollback Look at what has happened to Britain.

Michael Parenti is an internationally known award-winning author and lecturer. He is one of the nation’s leading progressive political analysts. His highly informative and entertaining books and talks have reached a wide range of audiences in North America and abroad. For more on Michael, visit his website at http://www.michaelparenti.org/.

Jason Miller is a tenacious anti-capitalist and vegan animal liberationist. He is also the founder and editor of Thomas Paine’s Corner, associate editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online, blog director for The Transformative Studies Institute and associate editor for the Journal for Critical Animal Studies.

To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/.



Michael Parenti: Who Owns America?




Michael Parenti: Support our Troops?




Search Youtube and Amazon for more on Michael Parenti.

25 December, 2008

23 December, 2008

Depression 2009: What would it look like?

Some dork named Drake Bennett at Boston.com wrote an article on what Depression 2009 will look like. The people at Boston.com think it will look like this:





Someone watching TV over a spare room in a garage.

This entire article is out of touch with reality.

What TV will you be watching if you can’t pay your electricity and your cable bill?

I say it will look more like this:


Dark secret of new EU president

Sent to me by Robert Eringer


Dark secret of new EU president

By Robert Eringer

December 20, 2008 12:00 AM

The European Union will have a new president in 12 days. Unfortunately, he was a long-term communist collaborator who may still be under the influence of Russian Intelligence, knowledgeable sources within the intelligence community have told The Investigator. Vaclav Klaus, 67, is President of the Czech Republic, which will rotate to leadership of the EU on January 1.

This is the first time a former Soviet-bloc country will lead the EU -- an irony compounded by Mr. Klaus's opposition, earlier this decade, to Czech membership in the political and economic union of 27 countries and almost 500 million Europeans.

Renowned for his arrogance, the prickly Mr. Klaus is no Santa. Often referred to as Europe's rudest politician, he is more like The Grinch. Such audacious behavior, perhaps, helps him mask a 46 year-old secret.

We can reveal exclusively that Mr. Klaus, while a 21-year-old student at the University of Economics, Prague, in 1962, was recruited by Czech counterintelligence officers and put to work as a spy against democratic reformers with whom he studied and later worked. For five decades he has concealed a murky past of betrayal and deception.

Codenamed "Vodichka," Mr. Klaus is said to have been "an avid and willing informant" who reported on the political reliability of his classmates -- two of whom were expelled because of the information he provided.

For his cooperation, Mr. Klaus was allowed to travel abroad on research projects --first to Italy in 1966, and three years later to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Mr. Klaus is understood to have reported to Czech intelligence officers on the activities of Czech opposition groups within the United States during the aftermath of the "Prague Spring" rebellion.

In 1970 Mr. Klaus starred in "Operation Rattrap," staged by Czech counterintelligence with the assistance of Soviet KGB advisers. Mr. Klaus was publicly named as an "anti-socialist malcontent" and "purged" from the Economic Institute. Its purpose was to pose Mr. Klaus as a "victim" of the regime so he could continue to penetrate dissident circles as a deep-cover mole. The ruse was successful and Mr. Klaus effectively monitored opposition activities and reported dissident intentions, succeeding also in establishing a personal relationship with underground leader Vaclav Havel, who would become the Czech Republic's first democratically-elected president in 1993.

Mr. Klaus was officially "rehabilitated" by the state in 1987 to allow him to join the Economic Forecasting Institute of the Academy of Sciences -- "a nest of counterrevolution," in the minds of Czech counterintelligence officials, who wanted it infiltrated. Again, Mr. Klaus was their man. Successfully planted within its ranks, he informed on the activities of other members while further building his reputation as a subversive.

But in the 15 years before that, Mr. Klaus had been permitted a career at Czechoslovak State Bank -- most unusual for true critics of the communist regime. He also enjoyed travel privileges, which were practically impossible for genuine dissidents.

Mr. Klaus entered politics in 1989 as a member of the Civic Forum party and got appointed Minister of Finance. Three years later he became prime minister.

One of Mr. Klaus's first acts as a state official was to track down the operational file kept on him by Czech counterintelligence -- and shred it. However, unbeknownst to him, a duplicate "Red File" had been dispatched to Moscow, in October 1989, for safekeeping. It remains in the archives of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

Mr. Klaus was instrumental in pushing Civic Forum to the right, and the so-called Klaus-wing of the party became the core of the Civic Democratic Party, which he has led since its founding.

In December 1997 Mr. Klaus was forced to resign as prime minister due to complicity in a political funding and corruption scandal stemming from a secret Swiss bank account in his name containing $5 million -- exposed at the time as secret donations in exchange for special favors.

Just over a year later, Mr. Klaus began a series of secret meetings with the SVR's Resident (station chief) in Prague.

An SVR officer told The Investigator, "We opened an operational file on Klaus under the codename 'Kolesnikov,' and did not rule out the possibility of a recruitment attempt (on the basis of possessing his file and being privy to his darkest secret)."

It is unclear whether Mr. Klaus's political career was resurrected with SVR assistance, but crystal clear that Mr. Klaus has since established an unusually close relationship with Russian supremo Vladimir Putin, who one year ago this month rewarded Mr. Klaus -- a fluent Russian speaker -- with the Pushkin Medal, ostensibly for promoting Russian culture.

Mr. Putin paid a rare state visit to the Czech Republic only after Mr. Klaus succeeded Vaclav Havel as President in 2003. (Mr. Havel led the "Velvet Revolution," which brought freedom to Czechoslovakia). While hosting Mr. Putin, Mr. Klaus' submissive behavior was described by Czech journalists as "borderline sycophancy."

Ever since, Mr. Klaus's support for the Putin regime has been strong and unwavering. For example, when the European Union vehemently condemned Russia's invasion of Georgia earlier this year, Mr. Klaus sided with the Kremlin. "The responsibility of Georgia," he declared, "is unexceptionable and fatal."

An active critic of same-sex couples and the green movement, Mr. Klaus has called global warming a "false myth" and referred to Nobel Prize winner Al Gore as "an apostle of arrogance."

So no surprise that the Czech president took umbrage last week when the EU sealed a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. "This is scandalous," he said, upset that French President Nicholas Sarkozy (current EU President) managed to push it through before his term expired. Mr. Klaus had hoped to quash it. "Oh God," proclaimed the Austrian daily newspaper Die Presse in reference to EU leadership, "Vlaclav Klaus will come next."

Indeed. This Euro-skeptic's imminent arrival as EU chieftain bodes not well for European unity -- or the world.

The opinions in the column are Robert Eringer's and not necessarily the newspaper's. Readers may write Robert Eringer c/o the News Press. P.O. Box 1359, Santa Barbara 93102. Or if you have a story idea for The Investigator, contact him at eringer33@aol.com. State if your query is confidential.

20 December, 2008

Chat with Vyzygoth

I talked with Vyzygoth last week about conspiracy research, Masonic sorcery, mythic narrative, etc. You can download the audio here.

16 December, 2008

We Hold These Truths by Richard C. Cook


Lots of good books seem to be coming out just in time for Christmas! I just received my copy today. It looks fantastic. Richard also sent me the article below. You can read the whole thing at the link above.

Joan

_______________________________________
This book is available at the Paranoids On-Line store! 
_______________________________________

Prepared for the
U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network Annual Conference
New York, N.Y., February 27-March 1, 2009
Submitted by Richard C. Cook
December 12, 2008

“This system is not free enterprise, and it is not capitalism. It is a cancer that is destroying the world.”


Isn’t it Finally Time to Enact a Basic Income Guarantee?

By Richard C. Cook

The lack of individual and family income security in the midst of a highly-developed economy is a travesty under any circumstances, but the basic contradiction of “poverty in the midst of plenty” that has plagued the world since the start of the Industrial Revolution is becoming much worse in the early years of the 21st century as the Recession of 2008 picks up speed.

Winston Churchill spoke on the subject when giving the Romanes Lecture at Oxford University on June 19, 1930, a few months after the crash of the U.S. stock market that started the Great Depression. He said:

“Who would have thought that it would be easier to produce by toil and skill all the most necessary or desirable commodities than it is to find consumers for them? Who would have thought that cheap and abundant supplies of all the basic commodities would find the science and civilization of the world unable to utilize them? Have all our triumphs of research and organization bequeathed us only a new punishment: the Curse of Plenty? Are we really to believe that no better adjustment can be made between supply and demand?

Yet the fact remains that every attempt has failed. Many various attempts have been made, from the extremes of Communism in Russia to the extremes of Capitalism in the United States. They include every form of fiscal policy and currency policy. But all have failed, and we have advanced little further in this quest than in barbaric times. Surely it is this mysterious crack and fissure at the basis of all our arrangements and apparatus upon which the keenest minds throughout the world should be concentrated.”

Evidently we’ve learned nothing since Churchill spoke. Isn’t it shameful—or just surprising—that since the proponents of “post-modern” economics restructured the U.S. economy around the concept of a deregulated financial sector over the past 30 years, income and wealth disparities between rich and poor have become much worse?


Perhaps we are finally ready to reopen the question of whether human beings have a right to a sufficient income to keep body and soul together. This question has been mostly lost since President Ronald Reagan declared in his 1981 inaugural address that, “Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.”

But it is only government that can authorize and implement what is today called a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG). Otherwise, if government is trapped in the ideological straightjacket Reagan and his fellow conservatives put it in, then the only possible paradigm is Social Darwinism—survival of the fittest. Today it is not difficult to see that implementation of a BIG, had it been put in place when the concept still had political life in the 1960s and early 1970s, would have gone a long way toward ameliorating human distress from poverty along with assuring a degree of economic justice. And we would clearly be much better off today.

The last serious efforts at a BIG were President Richard Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan, which passed the House but was defeated in the Senate in 1970, followed by implementation of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families, enacted in 1975. Since then, every step toward economic “reform” has been one permutation or another of trickle-down economics, including the supply-side tax cuts of the Reagan and Bush II administrations.

Of course, the purpose of the move to deregulate the financial industry that has been going on for the past generation was supposed to have been to create a new “ownership” society based on having our money “work for us.” But the deregulated bubble economy has now blown up, exposed as the biggest fraud in history.

Yet even in the midst of massive government bailouts for the banks and the as-yet-to-be-implemented economic stimulus proposals for the people, a BIG is never mentioned, not even by progressives. One problem with BIG is that its proponents always presented it as a transfer-of-wealth program, where a portion of the earnings of people with earned incomes would be diverted to support those in need. Even the idea of diverting military expenditures to a BIG could be viewed as a transfer program, since a smaller war machine would mean a reduction of salary and benefit payments to military personnel and civilian contractors.

In other words, even those in favor of BIG have viewed it as a kind of charity. As such, it is likely safe to say that BIG has little, if any, chance to be implemented within the U.S. at any time in the foreseeable future, at least in an amount to have an impact.

But there are other ways to look at the problem. One way is that of the Social Credit movement, where a regular dividend payment to individuals is seen not only as fair but is viewed as a necessary balancing force within a developed economy. But Social Credit concepts, while once a force in the British Commonwealth nations, is virtually unknown in the U.S. Another way is shown by the Alaska Permanent Fund (APF), where residents enjoy by right a share of the resource wealth of the state.

Both Social Credit and the APF as models for action will be discussed in this paper. The paper focuses on the U.S., though the concepts are universally applicable, and proposes a method of providing a BIG as part of a program to rebuild the economy from the bottom up. I call this program, based on dividend-type approaches, a “Bailout for the People,” as opposed to the bank bailouts that are adding trillions of dollars to the national debt. I have presented it previously in articles on the internet as “The Cook Plan.” (Richard C. Cook, “How to Save the U.S. Economy,” Global Research, October 10, 2008)

Such a program is urgently needed. There is no time to waste in rescuing our citizens from the onrushing catastrophe that is befalling an economy where both manufacturing and family farming were long ago gutted to create today’s anemic service economy. If things continue to go as they are today, there could be U.S. citizens starving within a year, and Congress knows it.


Please read more at the above link.

Thank you.

15 December, 2008

The Franklin Scandal by Nick Bryant


We have been waiting for this book for a long time. It’s coming out in March 2009. 

Pre-order now at the link above.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Shipping in March 2009.
PRE-ORDER NOW!
The 1st 1000 pre-orders get a book signed by the author.

Audio interview with Nick Bryant here:

http://franklinscandal.com

Click on the link at the top: “Listen to author interviews” for the mp3 of a fantastic interview with author, Nick Bryant.

The FRANKLIN SCANDAL
A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal

Allegations of crimes, conspiracies, and cover-ups in the heartland and the capital
A chilling exposé of corporate corruption and government cover-ups, this account of a nationwide child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States tells a sordid tale of corruption in high places. The scandal originally surfaced during an investigation into Omaha, Nebraska's failed Franklin Federal Credit Union and took the author beyond the Midwest and ultimately to Washington, DC. Implicating businessmen, senators, major media corporations, the CIA, and even the venerable Boys Town organization, this extensively researched report includes firsthand interviews with key witnesses and explores a controversy that has received scant media attention.

The FRANKLIN SCANDAL is the story of a nationwide pedophile ring that pandered children to a cabal of the rich and powerful. The ring’s pimps were a pair of Republican powerbrokers who used Boys Town as a pedophiliac reservoir, had access to the highest levels of our government, and connections to the CIA.

Nebraska legislators nearly exposed the ring in 1990, but its unveiling had the potential to produce seismic political aftershocks, so a rash of deaths and a full court press by federal and local law enforcement effected an immaculate cover-up.
State and federal grand juries in Nebraska and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia played an integral role in the cover-up, and the author has had access to thousands of documents that would ultimately be sealed by the two grand juries. My documentation includes Omaha Police Department reports and internal memos, Nebraska State Patrol reports, Nebraska Department of Social Services reports, internal Boys Town reports, victim debriefings, hundreds of the ring’s airline receipts, etc.

The power elite sating their appetite for forbidden fruit via pedophilia and pedophiliac sadism is an evil that dates back millennia: Roman emperor Tiberius reportedly indulged in pedophilia and then murdered his victims. Moreover, pedophile rings linked to the powerful have recently been exposed in Belgium, Portugal, Chile, and Mexico.

The FRANKLIN SCANDAL will be the first commercially-published book to tell the tale of a power elite pedophile ring in the U.S. and also of the cover-up of its heinous crimes. Various news organizations have attempted to break aspects of this story, but the reports have either been ignored or mysteriously shelved. Major news agencies, including ABC, have backed away from pursuing this story; conversely, CBS abetted its cover-up. It’s obvious that very powerful people have a vested interest in safeguarding this secret.

WTC 7 - Never Forget

14 December, 2008

Selling Books, Selling Wars



(Above: David Ray Griffin lecture from earlier this year on the 9/11 Commission Report.)


I recently had the good pleasure of attending a lecture by Dr. David Ray Griffin at a University of California classroom. His patient, evidence-based debunking of what he terms the official conspiracy theory (i.e., that Muslims conspired to attack us on 9/11) was a model of logic and clear analysis—and his point about the linguistic manipulation of the term “conspiracy theory” is superb. Naturally those like Dr. Griffin who propose an alternate theory, or question the government-media sanctioned version of events, are written off as “conspiracy kooks;” promoting a whole conspiracy story involving Muslims isn’t allowed to be questioned as a conspiracy theory at all. Such is the successful manipulation of the Group Mind by the Cryptocracy, although Dr. Griffin’s lecture was well attended, and his recent book has been noted by Publisher’s Weekly—a possible indication of a crack in the trance state.

One disrupter or plant in the audience behind me kept his cell phone ringing throughout the lecture, then stood at the end and mumbled something about a Chevy Corsica filled with Korans. His presence and point were more pitiable than profound, and he soon left.

A second man rose to state that he was “not convinced,” and that Dr. Griffin seemed to be saying that “everything has been faked.” Dr. Griffin responded that each point which the government and/or media has reported simply needs to be evaluated for evidence. The other man kept shaking his head, but stayed.

Unfortunately, I had to leave before I could speak with Dr. Griffin afterwards, but I hope to meet him at a later time. Over the weekend, however, I spent some time with relatives, one of whom told me that she also does not “believe in conspiracy theories.” When I asked her if she believed that Muslims conspired to attack us on 9/11, and pointed out that by definition such a story is a conspiracy theory, she was disturbed and tried to change the subject. Later she stated that the “people” who propose [alternate] conspiracy theories are simply “selling books.”

I replied that her side is using their conspiracy theories to sell wars. She has not responded to that point, and I doubt that she will.

I believe in looking at evidence, and following it wherever it leads, even if it means completely disrupting one’s psychological comfort structure. I would apply this approach to anyone on any subject, including history, religion, science, theism, atheism, or one’s own life. It is a monumental task, a constant process, and it can make a person unpopular. And yes, if an author uses the approach well, it can sell books—or lead to a boycott, depending on the topic.

On the other hand, the current government-media approach is to bury evidence, distort, lie, repeat lies, use technology and prestigious titles to sell the lies, and hypnotize the populace into blindly believing the lie of choice. There are plenty of books abounding which swim in this current, and note: they sell. In fact such books are far easier to sell, for people look for confirmation of the comfortable.

But in addition to selling books, this sold-out side sells something else: war. If nothing else leads someone to question official, media-sanctioned conspiracy theories, I would leave this one point for meditation, as a type of koan: why trust those who promote war? Do we need to remind ourselves of the actuality of war by looking at pictures of shredded mothers, fathers, children, and babies, some dead, some living an amputated nightmare existence? Shouldn’t we call into question everything which promotes such an outrage?

If such thoughts don’t crack the trance, then we are dealing with a zombie, and the only remaining course of action is to wipe the dust from one’s sandals and move on. Zombies will likely buy someone’s book, but the prostitutes promoting war via print are far worse than any hooker down the block. Those who sell war through their books have had their day. It won’t last; whores and wars have a life span.

Time permitting, I’ll continue to write, and use my pen to fight the sword of the war whores. If I sell a few books, I won’t apologize.

George Bush Cinderfella

The Bush Administration is now rounding up all the men in the land with a size 10 shoe for questioning and possible disappearance.


(December 16 NOTE: See link above. Bush shoe-thrower 'tortured'.)


BAGHDAD - President George W. Bush says the Iraq war is not over.

Then a man threw his shoes at him and was dragged away by security officials during the president's farewell trip to Iraq.

The incident occurred as Bush was appearing Sunday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Bush ducked and wasn't hit by either shoe. Bush joked, saying that all he can report was that it was a size 10 shoe, then calmly took questions.


TODAY (December 15), the reports have a bit more information about the incident:

The Iraqi government condemned the act and demanded an on-air apology from Al-Baghdadia television, the Iraqi-owned station that employs Muntadar al-Zeidi.

Several people descended on the man immediately after, wrestling him to the ground, and it took a minute or two for security agents to clear the crowd and start hauling him out. As they dragged him off, he was moaning and screaming as if in pain. Later, a large blood trail could be seen on the carpet where he was dragged out of the room.

He was taken into custody and reportedly was being held for questioning by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs.

Other Arab journalists and commentators, fed up with U.S. policy in the Middle East and Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam, echoed al-Zeidi's sentiments Monday. Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the influential London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote on the newspaper's Web site that the incident was "a proper goodbye for a war criminal."

After a meeting with Hamid Karzai in the capital of Kabul, Bush said he told the president of Afghanistan: "You can count on the United States. Just like you've been able to count on this administration, you'll be able to count on the next administration as well."

13 December, 2008

Obituary: Nude Pixie Bettie Page Dies at 85





Being a nude pixie is way more fun than typing. Says Bettie Page: "I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous."

"God approves of nudity. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were naked as jaybirds."
But for those of us who no lookee so goodee nakid: Keep typing!

-------------------------ADVERTISEMENT------------------------------------

Check out the great Betty Page memorabilia and books at our on-line store!  Click HERE!


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This part I didn’t know: Born April 22, 1923, in Nashville, Tenn., Page said she grew up in a family so poor "we were lucky to get an orange in our Christmas stockings." The family included three boys and three girls, and Page said her father molested all of the girls.

After the Pages moved to Houston, her father decided to return to Tennessee and stole a police car for the trip. He was sent to prison, and for a time Betty lived in an orphanage.


LOS ANGELES – Bettie Page, the 1950s secretary-turned-model whose controversial photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, died Thursday. She was 85.

Page was placed on life support last week after suffering a heart attack in Los Angeles and never regained consciousness, said her agent, Mark Roesler. He said he and Page's family agreed to remove life support. Before the heart attack, Page had been hospitalized for three weeks with pneumonia.

"She captured the imagination of a generation of men and women with her free spirit and unabashed sensuality," Roesler said. "She is the embodiment of beauty."
Page, who was also known as Betty, attracted national attention with magazine photographs of her sensuous figure in bikinis and see-through lingerie that were quickly tacked up on walls in military barracks, garages and elsewhere, where they remained for years.

Her photos included a centerfold in the January 1955 issue of then-fledgling Playboy magazine, as well as controversial sadomasochistic poses.
"I think that she was a remarkable lady, an iconic figure in pop culture who influenced sexuality, taste in fashion, someone who had a tremendous impact on our society," Playboy founder Hugh Hefner told The Associated Press on Thursday. "She was a very dear person."

Page mysteriously disappeared from the public eye for decades, during which time she battled mental illness and became a born-again Christian.

After resurfacing in the 1990s, she occasionally granted interviews but refused to allow her picture to be taken.

"I don't want to be photographed in my old age," she told an interviewer in 1998. "I feel the same way with old movie stars. ... It makes me sad. We want to remember them when they were young."

The 21st century indeed had people remembering her just as she was. She became the subject of songs, biographies, Web sites, comic books, movies and documentaries. A new generation of fans bought thousands of copies of her photos, and some feminists hailed her as a pioneer of women's liberation.

Gretchen Mol portrayed her in 2005's "The Notorious Bettie Page" and Paige Richards had the role in 2004's "Bettie Page: Dark Angel." Page herself took part in the 1998 documentary "Betty Page: Pinup Queen."

Hefner said he last saw Page when he held a screening of "The Notorious Bettie Page" at the Playboy Mansion. He said she objected to the fact that the film referred to her as "notorious," but "we explained to her that it referred to the troubled times she had and was a good way to sell a movie."

Page's career began one day in October 1950 when she took a respite from her job as a secretary in a New York office for a walk along the beach at Coney Island. An amateur photographer named Jerry Tibbs admired the 27-year-old's firm, curvy body and asked her to pose.

Looking back on the career that followed, she told Playboy in 1998: "I never thought it was shameful. I felt normal. It's just that it was much better than pounding a typewriter eight hours a day, which gets monotonous."

Nudity didn't bother her, she said, explaining: "God approves of nudity. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were naked as jaybirds."


Keep reading at the above link.

BEWARE: “Work at Home” Scams and “Pre-foreclosure experts"

Sent to me by Robert Eringer.

Local scam artists exposed

By Robert Eringer, “The Investigator” Santa Barbara News-Press


December 13, 2008 12:00 AM

Work-at-home, "mystery-shoppers" and other get-rich-quick schemes. Here's how they work: Local con men place nationwide ads offering information on work-at-home "opportunities" -- or they offer interviews for entry into a so-called "job placement program."

You phone a toll-free number to inquire; their objective is to extract your credit card details -- and exact payment to "get you started" on what essentially is a non-starter.

They prey upon people especially hard during downturns in the economy, when jobs are lost and working part-time at home seems like a practical solution, hoodwinking those who can least afford to lose money.

And now the swindlers: Government Jobs Standard Publishing uses an accommodation address at 1187 Coast Village Road in Montecito. A would-be customer who phoned their toll-free number, (888) 611-9333, was directed to pay $69 by credit card in exchange for application forms.

Hiding behind this official-sounding name is Richard Wells Hughes, 62. He claims Studio City as his whereabouts, but collects voluminous mail from punters daily. The Investigator tracked him to his home address in Santa Barbara.

Since June, the Better Business Bureau has received 517 inquiries or complaints about Government Jobs Standard Publishing, and issued it an F rating -- the lowest -- partly for failing to respond to the BBB's own inquiries.

The Investigator offered British-born Mr. Hughes an opportunity to demonstrate that his scheme is genuine. He declined.

Another "get-rich-quick" ruse (in which the scam artist gets rich quick, not you) is Anchor House Financial, hiding behind the same 1187 Coast Village Road address -- a UPS Shop, which rents "suites" for receiving mail.

Anchor House bills itself as "pre-foreclosure experts" and purports to identify home foreclosure bargains for real-estate investors. Punters are instructed to purchase their "Book Package" for $199 -- credit card details eased out of you and speedily processed, no refunds.

"They never sent me paperwork they said I would receive in 5-7 business days," wrote Alysia W. of San Jose, "so I contacted them and they gave me a number to another business, which gave me these services for free."

Not the kind of testimonial these alleged fraudsters post on their Web sites to lure prey.

Anchor House's mail drop in Montecito connects to Susan Quinn, who bills herself on the Internet as a Santa Barbara-area "Owner at MQ SQ Productions" -- which may exist only in her criminal mind. Ms. Quinn also claims to have majored at Santa Monica College in business marketing, though what she practices is business bilking.

Multiple posts about Anchor House on Complaints Board (a Web site) include:

• "I saw the ad on Craigslist. They charged $199 to my credit card, and I have gotten no further information."

• "Crooks, crooks, crooks."

The Investigator telephoned Anchor House Financial at its toll-free number, (866) 900-9684. A female answered, but refused to identity the owner, manager, or any personnel in what she pretended was a vast empire with multiple departments.

In reality, it is just a telephone, a desk and a credit-card processor. Nor would "Michelle" confirm that Anchor House connects to Susan Quinn, even though Ms. Quinn connects herself to Anchor House on www.linkedin.com. (This means they're not only crooked, but also stupid.)

The Investigator offered Anchor House the opportunity to demonstrate that their scheme is genuine. They did not call back.

We identified these scams to The UPS Shop at 1187 Coast Village Road. "I think it's despicable," co-owner Chris Quinnell told The Investigator, "and we would cooperate with law enforcement if they contact us."

Another such outfit is American Data Group, run out of 424 E. Cota St. in Santa Barbara, under the corporate name Frontier Publishing, which offers a "government job program." You pay $69.95 plus $10 shipping. You do not get a government job.

The Investigator phoned American Data Group -- 560-6160 -- and spoke with Olivia Bastaneda. We gave American Data the chance to demonstrate that their enterprise is genuine. Its owner William Clayton phoned The Investigator to say, "I work very hard at what I do," and to express surprise and indignation that his record with the Better Business Bureau is so poor. (It holds the record for most inquiries and complaints this year: 2,505.) But a tentative plan for The Investigator to meet Mr. Clayton at his office to discuss his company's bona fides went undone when he did not phone back.

Another F-rated company is National Sales Group, which operates out of an accommodation address at 27 W. Anapamu St. Its owner is Anthony Newton; one of its principals, Mark Lawrence, has a shady history with American Direct Marketing and ADM Auctions.

"Advertising Sales Execs Needed!" they advertise. But they have no such jobs to give; it's all about take -- your money. Complaints (more than 150) include everything from not receiving a refund (44) to not performing as agreed (56).

Goleta-based Consumer Loyalty Group runs a scam called Suppliers Online, which offers to "supply you with the tools, training, and, most important, the inventory you need to earn the extra cash you deserve."

What really happens is this: they cash your credit card.

They: a group of chums -- Chris Sidell, Mike and Todd Hill, Chris Eberz -- who have been running credit card scams in Santa Barbara for 15 years, according to the Better Business Bureau. These were the same cheats behind HUD Refund a few years ago. So named to create the misleading impression of association with Housing and Urban Development, a U.S. government agency, HUD Refund cultivated a scandalously bad record before it ceased to exist in 2005.

Its founders continue to thrive, same old scam, new official-sounding names.

The Better Business Bureau has logged 547 complaints against Consumer Loyalty/Suppliers Online -- and issued it an F rating.

Also in Goleta, next door to Consumer Loyalty Group, at 35 S. Patera Lane, is ProShoppers: Omni Computer and Information Management. Owned and operated by James Gibson, this flimflam operation has accrued, over several months, an astonishing 1,521 inquiries and complaints with the Better Business Bureau -- another F rating.

Ripoffreport.com has stated the following about Mr. Gibson's scam: "Don't get involved with this company, save your $29.95 and prevent getting charged $9.95 a month thereafter."

Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman Lorenzo Duarte has this advice for anyone suckered by credit card scammers: "Report the crime to police and contact your credit card companies, which will request a police report number to facilitate their investigation."

Rick Copelan, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Santa Barbara, told The Investigator: "Santa Barbara has long been a haven for telemarketing operators. Since money is no object for them, they may as well operate from a nice location."

Dave Saunders, chief investigator for the District Attorney's office, told The Investigator, "Consumer protection cases and unlawful business practices fall within the purview of the DA's office."

So The Investigator brought our findings to Allan Kaplan, Senior Deputy District Attorney with Santa Barbara County. "We have prosecuted numerous cases like this," said Mr. Kaplan. "We look forward to prosecuting more -- and to seeing your column."

A crackdown may be in order.

The opinions in the column are Robert Eringer's and not necessarily the newspaper's. Readers may write Robert Eringer, c/o the News-Press, P.O. Box 1359, Santa Barbara 93102-1359 or if you have a story idea for The Investigator, contact him at eringer33@aol.com. State if your query is confidential.

12 December, 2008

Alex Jones Over The Top?

INEXPLICATA Interviews Manuel Carballal


Inexplicata contributing editor Manuel Carballal has seen it all, and endured the slings and arrows of believers and opponents of the paranormal alike. Along with researchers Javier Sierra and Josep Guijarro, he forms part of the “third generation” of Spain’s UFO community and has gone on to enjoy success in television, radio and in print. We managed to steal a few minutes from his schedule to ask him a few questions:

Hi Manuel – I remember that the first of your projects that I translated was for my Samizdat bulletin back in 1994. What’s your opinion about the trajectory that UFO research has taken since then?


Entirely foreseeable. Interest in UFOs, like all fashions in Western civilization, is cyclical. In Spain we have gone through UFO boom and bust cycles, respectively, in the 70s, 80s, 90s...I intuit that they’ll be in fashion again, and it’s only logical that the number of people involved in its research, and therefore the energy with which said research is carried out, fluctuates from one period to another. But even when many curiosity-seekers and fans engage the subject enthusiastically, and become disenchanted with the subject when the fashion fades, we are always left with a core group, a natural selection, which consists of those who feel true passion for the study of the unknown. For this reason, and for all the discoveries we have made over the past 14 years, I think that we know a lot more about UFOs now than in the 90s, the 80s and of course, more than in the 50s. It’s also true that the “noise” generated around certain radical groups of ET believers, pseudo-skeptics and pseudo-scientists, alien cults, etc. is louder than ever, since the modern media is faster and more global than ever before. However, new cases have emerged in recent years – new sources that have provided far greater perspective on what we know, for example, the connection between UFOs and the military. For example, I can tell you that in the last year and a half I’ve learned more about the back of the UFO declassification shop in Spain, and in other European countries as well, than over the past 15 years. And all of this thanks to a new information source directly involved in the declassification, who is furnishing us a veritable flood of files, documents and unknown reports. And this represents an infusion of enthusiasm and energy to keep researching.

Manuel, at this stage of the game, so to speak, is it still worth devoting ourselves to the study of UFOs and the paranormal?

I can’t think of anything better to devote my spare time to. Research into anomalous phenomena forces us to become familiar with all fields of science and culture that can offer us explanations for one case or another. It is for this reason that researchers are obligated to seek training in fields as disparate as astronomy, illusionism, physics, astronautics, chemistry, architecture, theology, history...with regard to other “passions”, I think that if we had been seduced by coin collecting, stamp collecting or hot-rodding, we wouldn’t have read as many books, wouldn’t have traveled so much, or would have met so many extraordinary people as we have, feeling this passion for anomalies. In the end, what we’re pursuing is something so huge and pretentious as to seek the existence of other life forms, other parallel realities, the Newtonian paradigm that outlines our map of the universe...and this unquestionably requires all our efforts. Therefore, yes. It’s worthwhile, without question.

However, it is true that some people believe that these subjects represent an easy way to make money or acquire celebrity. Particularly those who have failed in scientific or cultural fields and see the assault or the irrational defense of mysteries as a modus vivendi. I would like to think that natural selection will cause these parasites of the mysterious to tire and move away from this subject.

Your journal, El Ojo Crítico, will be celebrating its 15th anniversary before long. How do you account for its success and longevity?

Well, I can only think of one answer: the stubbornness and imagination of those of you who, with your articles and cooperation, have made it possible. When the first issue of El Ojo Critico appeared 15 years ago, there were many other bulletins and fanzines created by well-known researchers and disseminators such as Javier Sierra, Iker Jimenez, the CEI, etc. As time went by, the ease of use of the Internet, and above all, the price of photocopying, forced all the others, except EOC, to disappear. And this is a shame to me. I find it highly positive to have alternatives to large circulation commercial publications. Means of communication that allow us to publish less commercial critical articles and more specialized critiques. And I suppose that it’s precisely because we pursue this independent, often transgressive line, with which it was born 15 years and 60 issues ago, that so many fans and researchers have requested the print copy of EOC or download it directly from its web, www.ojo-critico.blogspot.com or from the dozens of friendly websites that also enable its download. In some of them, such as E-Lecturas or La Sombra del Espejo, the moderators tell me that the thousands download the newsletter, so we’ve lost track as to how many people may read us.

No one gets away without answering this question: What’s your take on Roswell?

Experience has taught me that it’s overly bold to opine about what one doesn’t know, and I’ve never been to Roswell. That can only be done in the U.S. (I don’t believe in investigations done by e-mail or by phone). However, I’ve had the opportunity to investigate several very interesting cases involving unidentified flying object crashes on Spanish soil, and clandestinely collected by U.S. troops. In some of these cases, such as the object that crashed in southern Spain a few years ago, a Spanish citizen was able to take up to 10 photos of U.S. troops from the Rota Base collecting the object’s remains, which had caused deathly fear among several witnesses prior to its collision, and which even resulted in a parliamentary complaint to the Ministry of Defense by the Izquierda Unida political party. In the end we found out that it was an American spy plane that was flying illegally in Spanish airspace. This has occurred on other occasions, so I’m not surprised to find that civilian witnesses are telling the truth when they describe the collision of a strange object, and that military personnel rapidly cordon off the area to clandestinely recover the remains. The provenance of the crashed object is a different matter altogether. However, I have hard time imagining a marvelous technology that’s able to surpass the speed of light, capable of overcoming all of our aeronautical and physical shortcomings, and later crashes in such a suspiciously human fashion. It would be tantamount to saying that Apollo 11 reached the Moon, and that Armstrong got out of the lunar module in an oxcart.

With so many years of work behind you, would you share any advice with young researchers who are wading into the murky waters of the paranormal?


I’m not one to dispense advice, but the perspective of the years, and having met so many people in this time period, has taught me that it’s very important to not lose one’s enthusiasm. As I tried to describe in an article that caused, and still causes, a controversy in the Spanish paranormal research community (“La prostitucion del periodismo paranormal”), when you enter this field you tend to believe in the good will of researchers, “skeptics”, witnesses, disseminators...and over time you find out that there are financial interests and vanities as in any other field. Then, with the unavoidable disenchament of learning that many alleged skeptics, or visionaries, or researchers are in fact charlatans, it’s easy to feel the urge to quit it all. However, the anomalous events, the mysteries, the UFOs, have existed far longer than any of us, and will endure after we’re gone. And if what motivates you isn’t the wellspring of these enigmas, rather than the people who seek to monopolize them, you learn that you don’t need anyone’s blessing to continue with your personal search. That’s what makes these subjects so wonderful. We have so much to learn yet...

[Manuel Carballal’s blog can be seen at www.manuelcarballal.blogspot.com]

11 December, 2008

86 yr old man missing in RI


FOUND! Safe and sound!
Willie was located in Bristol, RI and is home safe.

Here's a picture from a year ago.

E. Donald Ellinwood




Illinois Gov. tries to sell Obama's vacant senate seat!

This is why we absolutely need the death penalty for corruption in office! These types of politicians should be considered traitors against the people and tried as such! 

Perhaps when they hang in public will they then serve as examples to others of what not to be!

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081209/ap_on_re_us/blagojevich_corruption_probe