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Tainted water confirmed to have seeped into sea from nuke plant Water with high levels of radiation has been confirmed to have seeped into the sea from the No. 2 reactor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, government officials said Saturday, raising wider fears of environmental contamination by the release of radioactivity.
The water has been leaking into the sea from a 20-centimeter crack detected at a pit in the reactor where power cables are stored, the government's nuclear safety agency said.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. took steps to encase the fracture in concrete as an emergency measure but the utility said later that the amount of leakage was unchanged even after the measure was taken.
The utility, known as TEPCO, said the pit is connected to the No. 2 reactor's turbine building and a tunnel-like underground trench, in which highly radioactive water has been spotted so far. (Kyodo News)
Why Fukushima Isn’t Like Chernobyl Despite media hype about the radiation dangers, the Fukushima nuclear crisis won't end like Chernobyl, Alexander Sich tells The Diplomat.
Is the kind of massive radiation release that occurred with Chernobyl possible at the Fukushima plant?
No, it can’t have that kind of massive release. It simply can’t do that. The question is to what extent the zirconium alloy, which clads the fuel pellets, is damaged in the core, and how much of the fuel has failed. And I don’t necessarily mean melted, I mean failed. There’s been an ambiguous use of the word ‘melting’ applied to the core. But when people talk about meltdown, they should be very specific about what they mean by the word. (The Diplomat)
Six Ways Fukushima is Not Chernobyl The crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi has already been dubbed the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, and the situation there continues to worsen.
But along with references to the "ch-word," as one nonproliferation expert put it , experts have been quick to provide reasons why the Daiichi crisis will not be "the next Chernobyl."
Experts have noted several key differences in the design of the reactors in question, as well as in the government's reaction to the crisis:
1. Chernobyl's reactor had no containment structure.
The RBMK reactor at Chernobyl "was regarded as the workhorse of Soviet atomic energy, thrifty and reliable -- and safe enough to be built without an expensive containment building that would prevent the release of radiation in the event of a serious accident," The Guardian's Adam Higginbotham noted .
As a result, when a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, the radioactive material inside went straight into the atmosphere .
Fukushima's reactors  are surrounded by steel-and-concrete containment structures . However, as the New York Times reported Tuesday, the General Electric Mark 1 reactors at Fukushima have "a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure " that has drawn criticism from American regulators. In a 1972 memo , a safety official suggested that the design presented serious risks and should be discontinued. One primary concern, the Times reported, was that in an incident of cooling failure -- the kind Fukushima's reactors are now undergoing -- the containment structures might burst, releasing the radioactive material they are supposed to keep in check. (ProPublica)
Greenpeace radiation team pinpoints need to extend Fukushima evacuation zone Need to protect pregnant women and children - Greenpeace radiation experts have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten micro Sieverts per hour (1) in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km (2) beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.
“The Japanese authorities are fully aware (3) that high levels of radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have spread far beyond the official evacuation zone to places like Iitate, yet are still not taking action to properly protect people or keep them informed them about the risks to their health”, said Greenpeace radiation safety expert Jan van de Putte.
“It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days. When further contamination from possible ingestion or inhalation of radioactive particles is factored in, the risks are even higher.”
“The authorities must stop choosing politics over science and determine evacuation zones around the Fukushima nuclear plant that reflect the radiation levels being found in the environment. In addition to coming clean on the true dangers of the current nuclear crisis, the smartest move for Japan and governments around the world is heavily invest in energy efficiency, and redouble their efforts to harness safe and secure renewable energy sources.” (Greenpeace)
Yearly radiation dosages in Sieverts Yearly dose examples
* Living near a nuclear power station: 0.0001–0.01 mSv/year
* Living near a coal power station: 0.0003 mSv/year
* Sleeping next to a human for 8 hours every night: 0.02 mSv/yr
* Cosmic radiation (from sky) at sea level: 0.24 mSv/year
* Terrestrial radiation (from ground): 0.28 mSv/year
* Natural radiation in the human body: 0.40 mSv/year
* Radiation produced by the granite of the United States Capitol building: 0.85 mSv/year
* Average individual background radiation dose: 2 mSv/year; 1.5 mSv/year for Australians, 3.0 mSv/year for Americans
* Atmospheric sources (mostly radon): 2 mSv/year
* Total average radiation dose for Americans: 6.2 mSv/year
* New York-Tokyo flights for airline crew: 9 mSv/year
* Smoking 1.5 packs/day: 13-60 mSv/year
* Current average limit for nuclear workers: 20 mSv/year
* Background radiation in parts of Iran, India and Europe: 50 mSv/year
* Elevated annual regulatory limit for workers during Fukushima emergency: 250 mSv/year
 Dose limit examples
* Criterion for relocation after Chernobyl disaster: 350 mSv/lifetime
* In most countries the current maximum permissible dose to radiation workers is 20 mSv per year averaged over five years, with a maximum of 50 mSv in any one year. This is over and above background exposure, and excludes medical exposure. The value originates from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and is coupled with the requirement to keep exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) – taking into account social and economic factors.
* Public dose limits for exposure from uranium mining or nuclear plants are usually set at 1 mSv/yr above background.
FUKUSHIMA: 1,000 MILLISIEVERTS PER HOUR IN THE AIR INSIDE THE PIT OF REACTOR TWO Update: Japanese Turn to Paper and Sawdust to Plug Fukushima Nuclear Leak [???] - Via: Guardian:
Where concrete has failed to prevent highly radioactive water pouring into the sea, workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have shifted hope of plugging the leaks to an absorbent polymer mixed with sawdust and shredded newspaper that expands 50-fold when in contact with water.
Although officials conceded the polymer had made little impact so far, they will wait until Monday before deciding whether to abandon it. “We were hoping the polymers would function like diapers, but we have yet to see a visible effect,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for Japan’s nuclear safety agency.
Officials separately has warned that the nuclear crisis could drag on for months, the first time that they have offered a timescale. Goshi Hosono, an aide to the prime minister, Naoto Kan, said everything possible was being done to contain leaks, which have contaminated the environment and food and water supplies, necessitated mass evacuations, and fomented fear as far away as Tokyo, 150 miles to the south.
I’ve become very hesitant to post any information that originates from the criminals at TEPCO, but this number (1,000 mSv/hour) has remained standing for over a day now.
According to the IAEA, the limit for public radiation exposure is 1 mSv per year:
The dose limits for practices are intended to ensure that no individual is committed to unacceptable risk due to radiation exposure. For the public the limit is 1 mSv in a year, or in special circumstances up to 5 mSv in a single year provided that the average does over five consecutive years does not exceed 1 mSv per year.
At Fukushima, they’re dealing with 1,000 mSv/hour. (Cryptogon)
Nuclear crisis deepens in Japan Tension grows in the Tokyo metropolis. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has now admitted that a partial meltdown has taken place at one of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, and this is a cause of the relatively high levels of radiation escaping from the plant.
Critics have been pouncing on the sluggish communications from the government. (Press TV)
Osama's Confession; Osama's Reprieve How Osama was Really Taped Boasting of the 9/11 Attacks; Why the Release of the Tape was as Good as a De Facto Pardon - On September 21, 2001, ten days after 9/11 a sting operation against Osama Bin Laden was launched. It was to be a two-part affair.
Part 1 was the taping of Bin Laden describing the 9/11 attack.
Part 2 was to be his capture or elimination.
On September 26, 2001, ten days prior to military operations in Afghanistan, Part 1 was successfully conducted and we have seen the result; the Bin Laden confessional tape. Part 2 failed due to bad weather on November 2, 2001.
For Part 1, intelligence had about 4 days advance notice of the meeting where the taping took place; about 24 hours advanced notice of its location, and knew that Bin Laden was going to be there for more than 3 hours.
The capture was deferred to Part 2. A person from the sting team was left behind - the sting team was a minimum of 3 - to alert Special Forces of Bin Laden's return to the village where his family and favorite son Hamza were living.
The operation failed because of a simple case of freezing rain.
The release of the tape on December 13, 2001, was the result of world pressure for proof, especially from Muslim countries; the release was 3 days before the end of Ramadan.
The first mention of a sting operation in the press was in a UPI report, August 17, 2001 from Pakistan:
“The U.S. government has requested Pakistan to provide active support for an operation inside Afghanistan to catch terrorism-suspect Osama Bin Laden, a report said Friday. The United States has also discussed with Pakistani officials the possibility of "using U.S. special forces" for a sting operation inside Afghanistan, The News newspaper reported.”
The same UPI report stated that Pakistani authorities dissuaded the U.S. from proceeding for political reasons that were internal to Afghanistan. (Counter Punch)
Osama Gump? The Camera That Couldn't Shoot Straight After days of anticipation, television viewers the world over witnessed the grand premiere of the mystery tape in which, according to British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, "bin Laden confirms his guilt" and consequently "totally vindicates the action that we, the U.S. and the international coalition have taken in Afghanistan."
The tape, the proverbial smoking gun, was found late November in a house in Jalalabad under circumstances enshrouded in mystery. The Pentagon which, apparently, spent two weeks agonizing over its release, proffered the tape to the networks with a translation of the material.
The Pentagon gives us the setting for the tape. "In mid-November, Osama bin Laden spoke to a room of supporters, possibly in Kandahar, Afghanistan."
A paraplegic Sheikh visits bin Laden. "We came from Kabul", he tells his host. "We asked the driver to take us, it was a night with a full moon." Later, he places the conversation in context to "this holy month of Ramadan". The full moon of Ramadan occurred around the 30th of November, not mid-November - exactly around the time the tape was allegedly found.
The transportation service in war-ravaged Afghanistan must be extraordinary. First, the tape moves from Kandahar to Jalalabad at a speed that would make Fedex envious! (Counter Punch)
Mistranslated Osama bin Laden Video -- the German Press Investigates A GERMAN TV show found that the White House's translation of the
"confession" video was not only inaccurate, but even "manipulative".
ON December 20, 2001, German TV channel "Das Erste" broadcast its analysis
of the White House's translation of the OBL video that George Bush has
called a "confession of guilt". On the show Monitor, two independent
translators and an expert on oriental studies found the White House's
translation not only to be inaccurate, but "manipulative".
Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini, one of the translators, states,
"I have carefully examined the Pentagon's translation. This translation is
very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove
the guilt of Bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic."
Whereas the White House would have us believe that OBL admits that "We
calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy", translator
Dr. Murad Alami finds that:
"'In advance' is not said. The translation is wrong. At least when we look
at the original Arabic, and there are no misunderstandings to allow us to
read it into the original."
At another point, the White House translation reads: "We had notification
since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that
day." Dr. Murad Alami:
"'Previous' is never said. The subsequent statement that this event would
take place on that day cannot be heard in the original Arabic version."
The White House's version also included the sentence "we asked each of
them to go to America", but Alami says the original formulation is in the
passive along the lines of "they were required to go". He also say that
the sentence afterwards - "they didn't know anything about the
operation" - cannot be understood. (WelfareState.com)
Afghanistan: Why it’s impossible to support the war It’s been eight years since the United States invaded Afghanistan. After all these years many Americans have lost sight of the alleged purpose of our invasion – to hunt for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
What has also been lost is any government inquiry whatsoever into the accuracy of the “smoking gun” evidence that the Bush Administration presented as the final justification for invading Afghanistan – the peculiar “Osama bin Laden confession video.”
Released on December 13, 2001, the videotape of bin Laden and associates taking pleasure in the 9/11 attack was seen around the world – over and over again. I remember the 24 hour news channels playing the same scenes practically non-stop while the talking heads told their audiences that this was absolute proof that the United States invasion of Afghanistan a few months earlier on October 7, 2001 was the right action. (The Muslim Observer)
The Crime Behind the Criminal Wars! If your first guess is the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, guess again.
It is a different crime, just as hideous by any legal standard and in any jurisdiction, but this crime, due to its very serious implications, is preferred by many to remain a secret.
It is a crime whose victims are not just the innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also every unsuspecting military personnel who put his or her life on the line in this synthetic war on terror, and you, the reader.
All preventable wars are illegal and criminal. According to the UN charter, “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”
Bush and Blair had the evidence that Bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks as early as September 26, 2001, but that evidence was only shared with those who were important for the execution of their war, such as NATO and Pakistan (Bush, Blair, and the Terrorism Shell Game), and kept away from those sane entities who were looking for a just and peaceful outcome. (MyDemocracy.net)
Fear Factor The recent release of the new Bin Laden video has sparked some controversy over its authenticity. Collateral takes a look at the old bin laden video and questions it's origins. (Woodshop Films)
Transcript of Bin Laden Videotape Following is a transcript of the videotape released by the Pentagon of Osama bin Laden, that U.S. officials say provides additional evidence that the al Qaeda leader is responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Source: U.S. Defense Department. - (US Department of Defense)
Taking the fat out of the fat bin Laden confession video For millions of people seeking the truth about September 11,2001, the videotape released by the Department of Defense on December 13, 2001 in which Osama bin Laden confesses to prior knowledge of 9/11 has been a powerful talking point when making the case that the government is covering up what actually happened on that notorious day.
Many in the global movement to discover the truth about 9/ 11 have referred to this video as the fat bin Laden video, including yours truly. When we see frames from the video such as in Figure 1, any person with eyes can look and see that the bin Laden in
the video appears much fatter than any other known image of Osama.
However, when one or even a few frames are taken from a 35-minute segment of video, and those selected frames exploit t he least recognizable images of bin Laden while hundreds of other frames resemble him more closely, it is a misrepresentation of the truth. Clearly,the center frame above is one of those frames in the video that least resembles Osama bin Laden - yet has been picked and published as if the entire video reveals bin Laden in this distorted image, when it does not. - While reading some of the coverage and investigation done by Maher Osseiran on the bin Laden confession tape, and his assertion that the tape is likely actually a tape of bin Laden himself, it occurred to me that since the tape was recorded in the Pakistan region, it was likely recorded in PAL video format. In the United States, we use the NTSC format. The difference is primarily that the standard PAL format has the same spatial resolution horizontally, but vertically it has a higher spatial resolution (720 x 576 for PAL – 720 x 480 for NTSC) than doe NTSC. Many PAL and NTSC converters simply eliminate the extra horizontal lines from the PAL format in order to conform to the NTSC format. This results in an image that appears to be ‘squashed’ along the vertical axis...making people and objects look fatter after the conversion. (Muckraker Report)
Pentagon Releases Bin Laden Videotape: U.S. Officials say Tape Links Him to Sept. 11 Attacks The Pentagon has released a videotape of Osama bin Laden, that it says provides additional evidence that the al Qaeda leader is responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Administration officials say the tape shows bin Laden had specific knowledge of when and where those attacks would occur before they took place.
Osama bin Laden tape
The videotape -- discovered in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan -- shows a relaxed bin Laden discussing the attacks in Arabic with another man who appears to be a cleric. On the tape, bin Laden says he was pleasantly surprised by the amount of destruction caused at the World Trade Center; he only expected the top portion of the twin towers to collapse.
According to a translated transcript issued by the Pentagon, bin Laden says the attacks on the World Trade Center did more damage than expected. "...we calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower," he says, according to the transcript. "We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all. (...Inaudible...) due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for." (National Public Radio)
THE JFK MYTH: Was he assassinated because he opposed the Fed? This is in reply to an e-mail I received pointing out the views of the Christian Common-Law Institute regarding an alleged conflict between JFK and the Federal Reserve. It also suggested that this could have been the reason he was assassinated. On their website, the CCLI stated:
On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. President Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the treasury."... Perhaps the assassination of JFK was a warning to all future presidents not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money.
This is what I refer to on page 569 of my book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, as "The JFK Rumor." I cannot accept this interpretation of history because of the following facts:
THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
If you look at a copy of EO 11110 you will find that it does not order the issuance of Silver Certificates. It orders an amendment to EO 10289. If you then look up EO 10289, you will find that it says:
The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby designated and empowered to perform the following-described functions of the President without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President. (Freedom Force International)
What the Malthusians Say The shocking adoption of an official (if secret) policy by the United States, of defining its own national security in terms of the reduction of population of other, poorer nations, represents the predominant influence, but not yet the core worldview, of the neo-Malthusians. Their policies are represented to governments in terms of economic or strategic coercion, the exercise of raw power of empires or superpowers to stop the development of other, competitor nations. But their core objective is sheer racial and class hatred, a desire to eliminate as many brown, black, yellow, or poor human beings as possible. Malthus himself, as a paid writer for the British East India Company, was an out-and-out petty thief, who plagiarized the bulk of his work from eighteenth century Venetian Giammaria Ortes. Using Ortes's assertion that the Earth has a finite ``carrying capacity,'' Malthus wrote in order to abolish the poor laws in the British Isles, causing the death of poor children, and in order to justify a massive increase of looting of India, which led to the famines, drug wars, and population collapse of the nineteenth century on the Indian subcontinent.
``We are bound in justice and honour formally to disdain the Right of the poor to support. ``To this end, I should propose a regulation to be made, declaring that no child born from any marriage taking place after the expiration of a year from the date of the law, and no illegitimate child born two years from the same date, should ever be entitled to parish assistance.... ``The infant is, comparatively speaking, of little value to society, as others will immediately supply its place.'' --Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (American Almanac)
Rockefeller on Bilderberg and the Press According to the article “Behind The Bias” (W. N. Grigg, The New American, February 10, 2003, p. 4), “Excerpts from Rockefeller’s opening address were leaked to two independent French publications. They then came to the attention of Hilaire du Berrier, an international correspondent living in Monaco, who published them in his newsletter, HduB Reports.”
According to various internet sources, the French publications were Minute, 19 June 1991, and Lectures Françaises, July/August 1991 and it was the HduB Reports of September, 1991 which republished the quote. (WikiMedia)
Sorry, Andrew Jackson Probably Never Said That "Den Of Thieves" Quote Because Andrew Jackson was a determined opponent of entrenched banking interests, he has become a heroic figure to many who opposed the bailout of our financial system.
Unfortunately, he probably never spoke some of the most famous words attributed to him.
Here's the alleged quote:
Congress in 1836, Jackson closed the second Federal Bank (est. 1816) with these comments:
The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government. . . are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.
I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country. (Business Insider)
Jefferson Spurious Quotations: Private Banks Quotation: "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Earliest known appearance in print: 1937 - Status: This quotation is at least partly spurious; see comments below. (The Jefferson Encyclopedia)
Al-Qaida leaders welcome Arab uprisings, says cleric Anwar al-Awlaki uses online magazine to explain why Middle East revolts are not a setback for al-Qaida - Anwar al-Awlaki's article appeared in online magazine Inspire and appears to have been written before the fall of Hosni Mubarak two months ago. Photograph: AP
Senior al-Qaida leaders have welcomed the uprisings in the Arab world in their first comprehensive statement on recent events, published in an internet magazine earlier this week.
Anwar al-Awlaki – the radical preacher who grew up in America but is now a fugitive in Yemen – used a lengthy article in an English-language magazine called Inspire to explain why the revolts sweeping the Middle East were not a setback for al-Qaida.
"Our mujahideen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation," Awlaki wrote in an article entitled The Tsunami of Change. (London Guardian)
Inside the Beltway: EXPLOSIVE NEWS A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center.
“In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards,” says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry.
“The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials,” Mr. Gage adds. (Washington Times)
Mainstream Media Questions Inaccuracies in 9/11 Story: The Washington Times publishes story questioning official account. The mainstream press is showing interest in a taboo, however glaring subject; the inconsistencies in the Bush White House 9/11 account.
As The Washington Times reports today, "A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center."
The problems with the official federal stories are endless and according to some of the world's top minds, the suggested account is impossible.
When we first began to write about these seemingly pressing questions, our Web Designer Matt Lintz caught the U.S. Air Force attempting to hack into Salem-News.com.
One person who has never let the matter fade away is Richard Gage. He's a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Gage told The Washington Times, "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards."
The federal government wants you to believe that fires brought the buildings to the ground, yet in all recorded history, no fire has ever toppled a skyscraper. They burn to the framework but they don't fall down. (Salem News)
12 Lessons That South Carolina Can Learn From Katrina In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ranked the most likely and deadly disasters that could befall the United States.
The top three were:
* a terrorist attack on New York
* an earthquake in San Francisco
* a hurricane in New Orleans
The list was announced at a conference on Sept. 10. The next day was 9/11.
Two of those three uber-disasters now have occurred, and emergency response to the catastrophes is being criticized as inadequate and, in some cases,
”such as housing refugees in New Orleans' Louisiana Superdome” irresponsible.
Friday, President Bush called the federal response to Hurricane Katrina "unacceptable."
(The State Newspaper)
Privacy Groups Cheer FTC's Action Over Google Buzz Privacy advocates cheered on Wednesday in response to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's crackdown on Google over privacy violations it called deceptive and potentially illegal resulting from the bungled launch of the Buzz social networking and microblogging service.
The only thing that tempered the joy of privacy watchdogs over the slap from the FTC was a desire for a stiffer punishment for Google.
Google deserves what the complaint settlement doles out and more, after trampling roughshod over the privacy of millions of Gmail users with the launch of Buzz in February 2010, according to watchdog groups.
At the time, the outcry was instantaneous, as horrified Gmail users realized that they had been opted into Buzz by default, which meant that sensitive information, such as the people they interacted with the most on Gmail, was shared with other users without their consent. (PC World)
Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.
''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .
''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.''
Forty democratic senators were gathered for a lunch in March just off the Senate floor. I was there as a guest speaker. Joe Biden was telling a story, a story about the president. ''I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,'' he began, ''and I was telling the president of my many concerns'' -- concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. '''Mr. President,' I finally said, 'How can you be so sure when you know you don't know the facts?''' (New York Times)
Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette Of all the places in all the world where no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list.
The Japanese archipelago is located on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, a large active volcanic and tectonic zone ringing North and South America, Asia and island arcs in Southeast Asia. The major earthquakes and active volcanoes occurring there are caused by the westward movement of the Pacific tectonic plate and other plates leading to subduction under Asia.
Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates, at the edge of the subduction zone, and is in one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. It was extreme pressures and temperatures, resulting from the violent plate movements beneath the seafloor, that created the beautiful islands and volcanoes of Japan.
Nonetheless, like many countries around the world -- where General Electric and Westinghouse designs are used in 85 percent of all commercial reactors -- Japan has turned to nuclear power as a major energy source. In fact the three top nuclear-energy countries are the United States, where the existence of 118 reactors was acknowledged by the Department of Energy in 2000, France with 72 and Japan, where 52 active reactors were cited in a December 2003 Cabinet White Paper. (Japan Times)
EXPOSED: Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Political Syndicate (w/ Wayne Madsen) Who is Rahm Emanuel? How did he get into politics? The Emanuel family; just how powerful are they? What influence do they have on lobbying, and power politics? His workings with the Chicago Democratic Machine, how did he get started, is there a shady past he is trying to hide? Is Rahm being blackmailed because of his past with Obama on Chicago's North Side? The Blago trial; why was he and others never questioned about Obama, Valerie Jarret, and Jesse Jackson Jr. What role did he play in the attempt to bring the Olympics to Chicago? What is the connection to key players in Chicago and Washington DC winding up dead? Are there secret video tapes waiting to surface? If he is Mayor, what will the city of Chicago look like? Could he become another Rudy Giuliani? In this exclusive Special Investigation the Reality Report begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting goes deep and digs up the dirt that no Chicago media outlet would dare to report. This is a must see expose for anyone who has questions about Rahm Emanuel but just didn't know who to ask. (Reality Report)
SPECIAL REPORT. Obama and Emanuel: members of same gay bath house club in Chicago President Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel are
lifetime members of the same gay bath house in uptown Chicago,
according to informed sources in Chicago's gay community,
as well as veteran political sources in the city.
The bath house, Man's Country, caters to older white men
and it has been in business for some 30 years and is known as
one of uptown Chicago's "grand old bathhouses." WMR was told by
sources who are familiar with the bath house that it provides
lifetime memberships to paying customers and that the club's
computerized files, and pre-computer paper files, include
membership information for both Obama and Emanuel. However,
sources close to "Man's Country" believe the U.S. Secret Service
has purged the computer and filing cabinet files of the membership
data on Obama and Emanuel.
Members of Man's Country are also issued club identification cards.
WMR learned that Obama and Emanuel possessed the ID cards, which
were required for entry.
Obama began frequenting Man's Country in the mid-1990s, during the
time he transitioned from a lecturer at the University of Chicago
Law School to his election as an Illinois State Senator in 1996.
Emanuel, reportedly joined Man's Country after he left the Clinton
White House and moved back to Chicago in 1998, joining the
investment firm of Wasserstein Perella and maintaining his
membership during his 2002 campaign for the U.S. 5th District
House seat vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who was elected governor. (Wayne Madsen)
From the archives: Rahm Emanuel, Freddie Mac and the big bucks years From Rahm Emanuel's profitable stint at mortgage giant and Freddie Mac scandals began during Emanuel's watch by Bob Secter and Andrew Zajac, and The House Rahm Built -- How Chicago's profane, ruthless, savvy operative, remade the Democrats in his image by Naftali Bendavid.
Before its portfolio of bad loans helped trigger the current housing crisis, mortgage giant Freddie Mac was the focus of a major accounting scandal that led to a management shake-up, huge fines and scalding condemnation of passive directors by a top federal regulator.
One of those allegedly asleep-at-the-switch board members was Chicago's Rahm Emanuel-- now chief of staff to President Barack Obama-- who made at least $320,000 for a 14-month stint at Freddie Mac that required little effort....
What is less known, however, is how little he apparently did for his money and how he benefited from the kind of cozy ties between Washington and Wall Street that have fueled the nation's current economic mess..... (Chicago Tribune)
Emanuel Was Director Of Freddie Mac During Scandal New Obama Chief of Staff, Others on Board, Missed "Red Flags" of Alleged Fraud Scheme - President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by ABCNews.com.
According to a complaint later filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freddie Mac, known formally as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.
Emanuel was not named in the SEC complaint (click here to read) but the entire board was later accused by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) (click here to read) of having "failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention." (ABC)
Rahm Emanuel: Barack Obama's Sarah Palin? Jubilation was heard in Tel Aviv as Haaretz, the Israeli daily, boasted November 6th: "Obama kick-starts transition, picks Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff."
Best known for his fundraising prowess among wealthy Jewish Democrats, the naming of Emanuel as the first presidential appointment echoes Sarah Palin's famous one-liner, "I love Israel." That claim was voiced in her vice-presidential debate with Joe Biden who is featured on a YouTube video famously proclaiming, "I am a Zionist."
In sharp contrast to Obama's claim that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, Emanuel claims he would do it again today. As chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he directed party funds to pro-invasion candidates and recruited candidates to oppose anti-war Democrats.
Known in Washington as an outspoken pro-Israel hardliner, he joins Speaker Nancy Pelosi in bringing to the Middle East peace process a record of support for Tel Aviv's targeted assassinations of Palestinian political leaders. ("Pelosi supports Israel's attacks on Hamas group," San Francisco Chronicle, June 14, 2003). (Huffington Post)
Come, O Come, Emanuel: It ain't over till it's over. But at some point soon, someone may have to not-so-gently tell Hillary time is up. Enter 'Rahmbo.' Rahm Emanuel has been described as a street fighter with a killer instinct—as explosive, profane, wired and ruthless—sometimes as a compliment, sometimes not. But no one has ever cast him in the role of elder statesman, at least up until now. Emanuel, a 48-year-old congressman who grew up, somewhat weirdly, to study ballet and practice Chicago politics, has generally adapted to his situation in a combative, not diplomatic, manner. As an indifferent high-school student, he badly cut his finger on the beef-slicing machine at Arby's. That night, after his high-school prom, he jumped into Lake Michigan. The tip of his finger became infected and he nearly died. Ever since, Emanuel has relished raising his hacked-off middle figure at his foes. In conversation with almost anyone about anything, Emanuel uses the F word like a sergeant in a World War II motor pool.
Emanuel would never be confused with Averell Harriman, who, in a gentlemanly way, stood up to presidents from FDR to LBJ. Still, someone may have to deliver the bad news. When the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives voted articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon in the summer of 1974, it fell to the GOP's grand old man, Barry Goldwater, to go to the president and say, "Mr. President, this isn't pleasant, but you want to know the situation and it isn't good." Goldwater told Nixon that there were, at most, 18 votes to acquit in the Senate—and then twisted the knife by saying that he himself was undecided. (Newsweek)
Ezekiel Emanuel confronted by Anton Chaitkin Chaitkin was on the fourth panel, where he was able to deliver his full statement without interruption, denouncing the CE Council for reviving the euthanasia program of Hitler, and called for the Council to disband and to reverse course. The moderater, clearly destabilized, brought himself to say “Thank you” to Tony, and to call on the next witness. After that witness, Ezekiel Emanuel intervened and said “my reputation has been besmirched” and that “I think I do have a very long record of writing against the legalization of euthanasia.” He protested that “the association of me and that, seems a little strange given 25-30 years of writing on the topic against legalization. so just to clarify the record for everyone in the room.” Tony rebutted this (although mostly inaudible on the webcast) saying that yes, you wrote that, but you also write that care should be withdrawn from people which accomplishes the same thing. (LPAC TV)
Rahm Emanuel's Father Problem Rahm Emanuel is his own man, with an identity distinct from his father's. He is not responsible for the actions or opinions of Benjamin Emanuel, a Chicago pediatrician who worked in the 1940s with Irgun, the militant Zionist group that committed acts against Palestinian and British targets that have been widely categorized as terrorism. (In 1938, according to the scholar Avi Shlaim, members of the group attempted to ambush an Arab bus, an attack that failed when a grenade did not detonate. In 1946, members of the group bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people.)
But that does not mean that Rahm Emanuel, or Barack Obama for that matter, can easily ignore the fact that Benjamin Emanuel recently said a nasty thing about Arabs in the Israeli press. This is from the Jerusalem Post's account of an interview Benjamin gave after news of his son's appointment to the Obama administration was announced:
In an interview with Ma'ariv, Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, said he was convinced that his son's appointment would be good for Israel. "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel," he was quoted as saying. "Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House." (Time)
Neutron beam observed 13 times at crippled Fukushima nuke plant Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.
TEPCO, the operator of the nuclear plant, said the neutron beam measured about 1.5 kilometers southwest of the plant's No. 1 and 2 reactors over three days from March 13 and is equivalent to 0.01 to 0.02 microsieverts per hour and that this is not a dangerous level.
The utility firm said it will measure uranium and plutonium, which could emit a neutron beam, as well. (Kyodo News)
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