Agence France-Presse | RawStory.com
The US State Department announced plans on Monday to promote online youth groups as a new and powerful way to fight crime, political oppression and terrorism.
Drawing inspiration from a movement against FARC rebels in Colombia, the State Department is joining forces with Facebook, Google, MTV, Howcast and others in New York City next week to get the “ball rolling.”
It said 17 groups from South Africa, Britain and the Middle East which have an online presence like the “Million Voices Against the FARC” will attend a conference at Columbia University Law School from December 3-5.
Observers from seven organizations that do not have an online presence — such as groups from Iraq and Afghanistan — will attend. There will also be remote participants from Cuba.
They will forge an “Alliance of Youth Movement,” said James Glassman, under secretary of state for public diplomacy.
From Paul Richmond, richmond4congress.com
Today is the Nine Year Anniversary of the Seattle WTO protests.
I’ve posted videos I’ve shot during the Seattle WTO Protests at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0OXEpTK27E and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcP0wYPIjrw.
The first video was my perspective on when the police cleared the street in front of the Sheraton Hotel, at 11:20 AM. Chemical agents were used on several hundred demonstrators, several hours before any property damage occurred.
The second video was a series of arrests I observed a few hours later where the police repeatedly applied pepper spray into the eyes of seated protesters.
The demonstrations were against “free trade” policies which have simultaneously lost jobs and damaged the environment here in the United States, while prompting others who’ve lost their livelihoods in other countries to migrate to the United States, creating the rationale for the insane and arguably illegal policies of our border patrol.
While there’s much cause for hope with our new president, pragmatically I have to point out that much of those who fostered these policies (and the policies that armed the police with chemical agents) are the leaders of this new administration.
My reports on the Seattle WTO protests are at http://www.olympicpeninsulalaw.com/docs/NLG-WTOReport.pdf, and http://www.olympicpeninsulalaw.com/docs/ShowLetter.pdf.
A guide I’ve written on videotaping police at Political Demonstrations is posted at http://www.olympicpeninsulalaw.com/docs/VideotapingPoliceAtPoliticalDemos.pdf.
I also will point out that one of the strongest supporters of these Free Trade policies (as well as the person who takes credit for bringing much of the Homeland Security insanity to the Northwest, is my opponent last election, Representative Dicks. I continue to explore a run in 2010. See my website www.richmond4congress.com .
Join our Meetup
Due to the David Ray Griffin event on Wed December 3, we’re moving this months social to the First Thursday of the month, Dec 4th.
Please join us at Linda’s on Capital Hill for their Prime Time Happy Hour. $7.50 microbrew pitchers and $1 mini-burgers from 7-9pm. Cheap beer really helps get the creative juices flowing and we always have a great time and great conversations.
So, if there ever was a social bar night you DID NOT want to miss, it’s THIS one.
Mark Brown | Guardian.co.uk
Politicians searching for historical precedents for the current financial turmoil should start looking a bit further back after an Oxford University historian discovered what he believes is the world’s first credit crunch in 88BC.
The good news is that Philip Kay knows how the Romans got themselves into financial bother. The bad news is no one knows how they got themselves out of it.
“The essential similarity between what happened 21 centuries ago and what is happening in today’s UK economy is that a massive increase in monetary liquidity culminated with problems in another country causing a credit crisis at home. In both cases distance and over-optimism obscured the risk,” said Kay, a supernumerary fellow at Wolfson College.
The monetary historian is giving a lecture today in which he will reveal how Cicero, the Roman orator, gave a speech in 66BC in which he alluded to the credit crunch. Cicero was arguing that Pompey the Great should be given military command against Mithridates VI, king of Pontus on the Black sea coast of what is now Turkey. He reminded his audience of events in 88BC, when the same Mithridates invaded the Roman province of Asia, on the western coast of Turkey. Cicero claimed the invasion caused the loss of so much Roman money that credit was destroyed in Rome itself.
Donna Marsh O’Connor, mother of 9/11 victim Vanessa Lang Langer, recently posted an “idea” at change.org, “which was then promoted at both 911truth.org and 911blogger” for America to have a new investigation into the attacks of 9/11.
Unfortunately, Donna’s “idea” never picked up steam.However, on 11/28/2008, Debora Blake posted a similar “idea” at change.org, and for whatever reason, that entry “took off.” Within 2 days, the “idea” for a new investigation into 9/11 was #1 on the entire site with 660 votes. The #2 entry, “Pass the DREAM Act Now!,” posted on 11/24/2008, only has 347 votes.
They have since deleted every “idea” calling for a new investigation into 9/11, including the #1 entry. Here is the email I just received from change.org: (more…)
Paul Joseph Watson | PrisonPlanet.com
After brazenly declaring that the Mumbai attacks were the work of Al-Qaeda, the corporate media has been forced to backtrack, while India continues to blame Pakistan in a dangerous escalation of rhetoric between the two nuclear-armed powers.
Bellicose propaganda about Bin Laden being behind the massacre, which was initially propagated by the BBC, London Times and Fox News amongst others, has largely evaporated, with the majority of the establishment press being forced to admit they have no idea who was behind the siege on India’s financial capital.
However, India’s claim that Pakistan had a hand in the attacks is beginning to find favor in the U.S., where one counterterrorism official told CNN, “the level of sophistication in the attack leads officials to believe that it might be tied to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (Army of the Pure), an Islamic extremist group that has carried out previous attacks in India.”
Lashkar-e-Tayyiba would be a useful scapegoat because it has alleged links both to Al-Qaeda and Pakistani’s ISI secret service, but since the group has vehemently denied responsibility and terrorists normally like to claim responsibility for their handiwork, any attempt to pin the blame is likely to run out of steam. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba always claim responsibility for their attacks, so their outright denial is the death knell for this explanation.
A unit of Canadian soldiers is at a multinational training facility conducting exercises to prepare for evolving risks in an urban combat zone.
The 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment is at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Germany as part of the Cooperative Spirit 2008 training initiative along with troops from the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, the Canadian National Defense Force reported.
The monthlong urban combat training initiative is part of an effort to test the allied countries’ communication interoperability and whether they can work together effectively. Officials say the exercises include shoot-house scenarios and other live-fire training in an urban combat environment.
“ABCA (America, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) countries have experience in many different areas; a lot of useful knowledge that Canada can use,” Cpl. Scott Preeper said in a statement.
“We are getting some very high-speed training. The instructors have been very helpful.”
Whenever I discussed the current bailout situation with people, I find they have a hard time comprehending the actual numbers involved. That became a problem while doing the research for the Bailout Nation book. I needed some way to put this into proper historical perspective.
If we add in the Citi bailout, the total cost now exceeds $4.6165 trillion dollars. People have a hard time conceptualizing very large numbers, so let’s give this some context. The current Credit Crisis bailout is now the largest outlay In American history.
Jim Bianco of Bianco Research crunched the inflation adjusted numbers. The bailout has cost more than all of these big budget government expenditures – combined:
• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion
TOTAL: $3.92 trillion (data courtesy of Bianco Research)
That is $686 billion less than the cost of the credit crisis thus far.
Paul Joseph Watson | PrisonPlanet.com
Coordinated attacks across Mumbai, India’s financial capital, which have killed up to a hundred people and injured hundreds more, are likely to be blamed on a terrorist organization linked to the Pakistani ISI, providing further justification for controversial U.S. bombings inside Pakistani territory and heightened rhetoric against Pakistan on behalf of President elect Barack Obama.
Terrorists armed with AK-47’s and grenades conduced a series of rampages on hotels, restaurants and public transport facilities today, killing around 80 and injuring over 250 people. Initial reports that terrorists had seized western hostages were later dismissed by Indian government officials.
With the corporate media desperate to pin the blame in order to score much needed propaganda points for the ailing war on terror, suspicion is likely to fall on Pakistan, a country that President elect Barack Obama openly threatened during his presidential campaign.
Ken Armstrong | SeattleTimes.com
Richard Sanders, a justice on the Washington State Supreme Court, has never been one to shy from controversy or blunt language. And last week, as he sat at a Federalist Society dinner and listened to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Sanders reached his tipping point.
After listening to Mukasey defend the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies — its detainment practices at Guantánamo Bay, its interpretation of the Geneva Conventions’ reach — Sanders stood and shouted “Tyrant! You are a tyrant!”
“Frankly, everybody in the room was applauding or sometimes laughing, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to stand up and say something.’ And I did,” Sanders told The Seattle Times Tuesday. “I stood up and said, ‘Tyrant,’ then I sat down again, then I left.”
Robert Kiyosaki | YahooFinance.com
How did we get into the current financial mess? Great question.
Turmoil in the Making
In 1910, seven men held a secret meeting on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia. It’s estimated that those seven men represented one-sixth of the world’s wealth. Six were Americans representing J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and the U.S. government. One was a European representing the Rothschilds and Warburgs.
In 1913, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank was created as a direct result of that secret meeting. Interestingly, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank isn’t federal, there are no reserves, and it’s not a bank. Those seven men, some American and some European, created this new entity, commonly referred to as the Fed, to take control of the banking system and the money supply of the United States.
In 1944, a meeting in Bretton Woods, N.H., led to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. While the stated purposes for the two new organizations initially sounded admirable, the IMF and the World Bank were created to do to the world what the Federal Reserve Bank does to the United States.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon signed an executive order declaring that the United States no longer had to redeem its paper dollars for gold. With that, the first phase of the takeover of the world banking system and money supply was complete.
In 2008, the world is in economic turmoil. The rich are getting richer, but most people are becoming poorer. Much of this turmoil is directly related to those meetings that took place decades ago. In other words, much of this turmoil is by design.
Mimi Hall | USAToday.com
Agents along the Canada and Mexico borders are using a controversial new machine that can “read” the personal information contained in some government-issued ID cards — such as passports and driver’s licenses — as travelers approach a checkpoint.
The Homeland Security Department says the new practice will tighten security and speed the flow of traffic. Privacy advocates say the technology could make Americans less secure because terrorists or other criminals may be able to steal the personal information off the ID cards remotely.
“There’s this strange rush to a fancy or shiny new technology,” says Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The cards “are quite vulnerable” to being cloned or having their codes broken.
Machines are in place at five crossings — Blaine, Wash.; Buffalo; Detroit; Nogales, Ariz.; and San Ysidro, Calif. — as part of the government’s requirement that anyone who crosses the border must show a passport or other government documents proving citizenship and identity. The machines are being activated in Buffalo today; machines in Blaine and Nogales are in use; the rest will be on line over the next couple of months.
The new technology is being used in conjunction with new government passports, passcards and driver’s licenses embedded with computer chips that contain the holder’s name, date of birth, nationality, passport or ID number and a digitized photo. The personal data can be “read” by a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) machine as the person approaches a border-crossing checkpoint.
William Engdahl | GlobalResearch.ca
On Friday November 21, the world came within a hair’s breadth of the most colossal financial collapse in history according to bankers on the inside of events with whom we have contact. The trigger was the bank which only two years ago was America’s largest, Citigroup. The size of the US Government de facto nationalization of the $2 trillion banking institution is an indication of shocks yet to come in other major US and perhaps European banks thought to be ‘too big to fail.’
The clumsy way in which US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, himself not a banker but a Wall Street ‘investment banker’, whose experience has been in the quite different world of buying and selling stocks or bonds or underwriting and selling same, has handled the unfolding crisis has been worse than incompetent. It has made a grave situation into a globally alarming one.
‘Spitting into the wind’
A case in point is the secretive manner in which Paulson has used the $700 billion in taxpayer funds voted him by a labile Congress in September. Early on, Paulson put $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for his old firm, Goldman Sachs. However, if we compare the value of the equity share that $125 billion bought with the market price of those banks’ stock, US taxpayers have paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could have bought for $62.5 billion, according to a detailed analysis from Ron W. Bloom, economist with the US United Steelworkers union, whose members as well as pension fund face devastating losses were GM to fail.
That means half of the public’s money was a gift to Paulson’s Wall Street cronies. Now, only weeks later, the Treasury is forced to intervene to de facto nationalize Citigroup. It won’t be the last.
The nearly 40% of American people who doubt the official account regarding the September 11, 2001 attacks will be gratified to learn that their misgivings have become recommended reading by a pillar of the book trade, Publishers Weekly.
The leading starred review on PW’s “Web Pick of the Week” ( http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6617001.html?industryid=47159 ) is Dr. David Ray Griffin’s newly released “The New Pearl Harbor Revisited”, Interlink/Olive Branch press, 2008.
In its November 24, 2008 online issue, PW writes:
Griffin “addresses many points in exhaustive detail, from the physical impossibility of the official explanation of the towers’ collapse to the Commission’s failure to scrutinize the administration to the NIST’s contradiction of its own scientists to the scads of eyewitness and scientific testimony in direct opposition to official claims.
“Citing hundreds, if not thousands, of sources, [Griffin’s] detailed analysis is far from reactionary or delusional, building a case that, though not conclusive, raises enough valid and disturbing questions to make his call for a new investigation more convincing than ever.”
Weekly reviews from this trusted and prestigious publisher have guided the book trade, including booksellers, publishers, librarians, and literary agents, for 136 years.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday ordered his top department leaders to conduct a broad review to determine whether the military, National Guard and Reserve can adequately deal with domestic disasters and whether they have the training and equipment to defend the homeland.
The 41-page memo signaled an acknowledgment that the military must better recognize the critical role of the National Guard and Reserves in homeland defense, but stopped short of requiring many specific policy changes.
His memo comes in the wake of a stinging 400-page independent commission report that concluded the military isn’t ready for a catastrophic attack on the country, and that National Guard forces don’t have the equipment or training they need for the job.
That report, released early this year by the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, said the Pentagon must use the nation’s citizen soldiers to create an operational force that would be fully trained, equipped and ready to defend the nation, respond to crises and supplement the active duty troops in combat.
Kurt Nimmo | InfoWars.com
In October, the CBC reported on the “exceedingly polite protest” in Iceland as the bankers looted the country. A placard at a demo outside of Iceland’s parliament in Reykjavik stated: “Stay calm while we rob you.” CBC asked: “How long will these people stay polite about their losses?”
It now appears they are no longer polite, even for Icelanders. Last Saturday, protesters angry over the 50 percent devaluation of the Krona and the impending third worldization of their small country clashed with police. “Police clashed with hundreds of protesters outside a police building Saturday, and several demonstrators were sent to the hospital with injuries,” reported the Associated Press. “Police used pepper spray after protesters tried to break down a door of the police building in the Icelandic capital. The demonstrators demanded that a fellow protester being held by police since Friday be allowed to go home.”
“The security and intelligence division of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) recently identified a network that was spying on the country’s military organizations,” Fars news agency quoted the chief IRGC commander, Brigadier General Mohammad-Ali Jafari, as saying on Monday. ”The network’s link with Mossad was established after extensive intelligence and tracking operations.
Members of the cell were arrested during an operation,” Brig. Gen. Jafari said. He added that sophisticated communication systems and other modern equipment had been confiscated during the crackdown. According to a senior Iranian counter-espionage official, Tehran has become involved in a ‘serious intelligence war’ with Tel Aviv.
Leonard Doyle |theindependent.co.uk
Before Hillary Clinton has been formally offered the job as Secretary of State, a purge of Barack Obama’s top foreign policy team has begun.
The advisers who helped trash the former First Lady’s foreign policy credentials on the campaign trail are being brutally shunted aside, as the price of her accepting the job of being the public face of America to the world. In negotiations with Mr Obama this week before agreeing to take the job, she demanded and received assurances that she alone should appoint staff to the State Department. She also got assurances that she will have direct access to the President and will not have to go through his foreign policy advisers on the National Security Council, which is where many of her critics in the Obama team are expected to end up.
The first victims of Mrs Clinton’s anticipated appointment will be those who defended Mr Obama’s flanks on the campaign trail. By mocking Mrs Clinton’s claims to have landed under sniper fire in Bosnia or pouring scorn on her much-ballyhooed claim to have visited 80 countries as First Lady they successfully deflected the damaging charge that he is a lightweight on international issues.