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Development Fund for Iraq: Department of Defense Needs to Improve Financial and Management Controls (SIGIR 10-020) Weaknesses in DoD's financial and management controls left it unable to properly account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in DFI funds it received for reconstruction activities in Iraq, This situation occurred because most DoD organizations receiving DFI funds did not establish the required Department of the Treasury accounts and no DoD organization was designated as the executive agent for managing the use of DFI funds. The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss. - SIGIR recommends that the Secretary of Defense take a number of actions to include specifying procedures for the accounting and reporting of non-U.S. funds in future contingencies, designating an executive agent to establish and oversee policy on the use of funds, establishing milestones for issuing guidance consistent with our DFI recommendations made in October 2009, and determining whether DoD organizations are still holding DFI funds. (Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction)
SIGIR: Defense can't account for $8.7 billion The Defense Department is unable to account for $8.7 billion of the $9.1 billion in Development Fund for Iraq monies in received for reconstruction in Iraq. This according to a study published today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
"This situation occurred because most DoD organizations receiving DFI (Development Fund for Iraq) funds did not establish the required Department of the Treasury accounts and no DoD organization was designated as the executive agent for managing the use of DFI funds," the report states. (Federal News Radio)
Document leak part of U.S. plot, says Pakistani ex-general with ties to Taliban From the deluge of leaked military documents published Sunday, a former Pakistani spy chief emerged as a chilling personification of his nation's alleged duplicity in the Afghan war -- an erstwhile U.S. ally turned Taliban tutor.
Now planted squarely in the cross hairs, retired Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul seems little short of delighted.
In an interview Tuesday, Gul dismissed the accusations against him as "fiction" and described the documents' release as the start of a White House plot. It will end, he posited, with an early U.S. pullout from Afghanistan -- thus proving Gul, an unabashed advocate of the Afghan insurgency, right.
President Obama "is a very good chess player. . . . He says, 'I don't want to carry the historic blame of having orchestrated the defeat of America, their humiliation in Afghanistan,' " said Gul, 74, adding that the plot incorporates a troop surge that Obama knows will fail. "It doesn't sell to a professional man like me." (Washington Post)
Democrats attacking GOP as tea party Democrats are planning to link the tea party and Republicans, overlapping the two groups to paint the GOP as a party of extremists and the grassroots activists as tools of the establishment.
Democratic National Committee sources say the party's strategy is to pose the November midterm elections as a contest between Democrats and a joint GOP-tea party plan for the country. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official launch of the plan Wednesday by DNC Chairman Tim Kaine.
Democrats plan to cite tea party activists' statements and GOP support and introduce a "Republican-Tea Party Contract With America," a send-up of the 1994 GOP Contract With America that helped Republicans win control of the House for the first time in four decades.
Democrats plan to say the tea party is "the most potent force in Republican politics," according to a DNC source familiar with the plan. (Associated Press)
The year America dissolved It was 2017. Clans were governing America.
The first clans organized around local police forces. The conservatives’ war on crime during the late 20th century and the Bush/Obama war on terror during the first decade of the 21st century had resulted in the police becoming militarized and unaccountable.
As society broke down, the police became warlords. The state police broke apart, and
the officers were subsumed into the local forces of their communities. The newly formed tribes expanded to encompass the relatives and friends of the police.
The dollar had collapsed as world reserve currency in 2012 when the worsening economic depression made it clear to Washington’s creditors that the federal budget deficit was too large to be financed except by the printing of money.
With the dollar’s demise, import prices skyrocketed. As Americans were unable to afford foreign-made goods, the transnational corporations that were producing offshore for US markets were bankrupted, further eroding the government’s revenue base. (Paul Craig Roberts)
Reichstag fire was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany. - Inside the building, a thorough search conducted by the police resulted in the finding of Marinus van der Lubbe. Van der Lubbe was a Dutch insurrectionist, council communist, and unemployed bricklayer who had recently arrived in Germany, ostensibly to carry out his political activities. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were subsequently arrested. Adolf Hitler, who had been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany four weeks before, on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the "ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany". With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. With them gone and their seats empty, the Nazis went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed this position and thus allowed Hitler to consolidate his power. Meanwhile, investigation of the Reichstag fire continued, with the Nazis eager to uncover Comintern complicity. In early March 1933, three men were arrested who were to play pivotal roles during the Leipzig Trial, known also as the "Reichstag Fire Trial": Bulgarians Georgi Dimitrov, Vasil Tanev and Blagoi Popov. The Bulgarians were known to the Prussian police as senior Comintern operatives, but the police had no idea how senior they were; Dimitrov was head of all Comintern operations in Western Europe.
Historians disagree as to whether Van der Lubbe acted alone or if the Communists or Nazis were involved. The responsibility for the Reichstag fire remains an ongoing topic of debate and research. (Wikipedia)
EXCLUSIVE: To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them Speaking at the Campus Progress journalism conference earlier this month, Seymour Hersh — a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for The New Yorker — revealed that Bush administration officials held a meeting recently in the Vice President’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran.
In Hersh’s most recent article, he reports that this meeting occurred in the wake of the overblown incident in the Strait of Hormuz, when a U.S. carrier almost shot at a few small Iranian speedboats. The “meeting took place in the Vice-President’s office. ‘The subject was how to create a casus belli between Tehran and Washington,’” according to one of Hersh’s sources. - HERSH: There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.
Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of — that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.
Hersh argued that one of the things the Bush administration learned during the encounter in the Strait of Hormuz was that, “if you get the right incident, the American public will support” it.
“Look, is it high school? Yeah,” Hersh said. “Are we playing high school with you know 5,000 nuclear warheads in our arsenal? Yeah we are. We’re playing, you know, who’s the first guy to run off the highway with us and Iran.” (Think Progress)
Iran will 'burn' Tel Aviv and US shipping in Gulf if nuclear programme attacked Iran has said that it would retaliate against any pre-emptive attack on its nuclear facilities by “burning” the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and American shipping in the Persian Gulf.
In rhetoric which further raises the temperature in the Islamic Republic's stand-off with the West, an aide to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, today emphasised that his country would not hesitate to spark off a regional war if any state tried to destroy its programme.
Israel has vowed to deny Iran any atomic technology which gives it bomb-making potential, and last month carried out a military exercise over Greece that was widely interpreted as a coded warning to Iran to halt its programme or face the consequences.
The comments today by Ali Shirazi, Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative to the Revolutionary Guard, will intensify the war of words between Iran and the West and increase fears of military confrontation, which has helped to boost world oil prices to record highs in recent weeks.
U.S. Warns Iran Against 'Provocative Actions' Following Incident in Strait of Hormuz The United States issued a stern warning to Iran Monday following an incident near the Strait of Hormuz in which Iranian speedboats veered dangerously close to three U.S. Navy ships and intercepted radio signals said U.S. "ships would explode."
U.S. ships blew whistles, issued radio warnings and took evasive maneuvers to avoid striking the Iranian boats, which motored as close as 200 yards from the American ships by one account. The naval ships armed their weapons, and the five unmarked Iranian boats — believed to belong to the Iran Revolutionary Guard — sped away.
The incident lasted less than 30 minutes, Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of the the 5th fleet, told reporters Monday. (FOX)
Mitsui Says Oil Tanker Possibly Attacked Near Hormuz Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., operator of the world’s second-largest oil-tanker fleet, said one of its ships may have been attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, deemed by the U.S. to be the most important chokepoint for oil supply.
An explosion, which “may have been caused by an external attack,” occurred at 5:30 a.m. Tokyo time, injuring one of the crew, Mitsui said in a statement. The vessel, M. Star, was on its way to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates to assess the damage and no oil is leaking, Mitsui said. The tanker was damaged by rough seas, the official U.A.E. news agency WAM reported, citing Musa Murad, director of the Port of Fujairah. (Bloomberg)
Report: Billions for Iraq reconstruction unaccounted for; lax oversight blamed A federal audit of $9.1 billion targeted for reconstruction in Iraq cannot account for more than 95 percent of it, a federal report said Tuesday.
The report, by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, blamed "weaknesses in DoD's [the Department of Defense's] financial and management controls" and called on the Pentagon to improve its financial and management controls. (CNN)
Mainstream Media Implodes on 9/11 along with WTC 7: TV Coverage of Remarkable Building Collapse Analyzed The shocking collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11 caused great alarm, not only in the architectural and engineering community (among those who have become aware of it) but with mainstream media – right from day one. While Dan Rather’s commentary on the remarkable collapse (that it looked like it was knocked down by well placed dynamite) is more often quoted, Peter Jennings also had similar thoughts as he reflected on the shocking 47-story collapse shortly after the event.
Jennings showed the building coming down in slow motion. As he reflected on the enormity of it he said, “Well, there’s Building 7 coming down. When you think that part of the component of news coverage around the country every year is the excitement, the fun, that people get watching an old building being demolished, and they wire it very carefully for days. It’s a very careful operation in order to make sure a building comes down safely. I think the last one we saw was when they brought down one of the old casinos in Las Vegas. It’s just stunning to see these buildings come down...and now, number seven World Trade Center which is 47 stories tall.” (Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth)
Brave Rifles train with APD oldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment are preparing to deploy to Iraq this summer. The months and days leading up to their impending deployment have been full of preparation and training for the upcoming mission. The regiment returned from its last deployment to Iraq in February 2009. Since then, the environment in Iraq has changed. To address those changes, the Brave Rifles recently teamed up with the Austin Police Department to train.
“Third ACR leadership came and approached us, and asked if there was any way we could possibly assist, like we did back in ‘07, in helping prepare the Soldiers in a law enforcement manner for their next deployment,” said Lt. Steve Deaton of the Austin Police Department’s Special Operations unit. (Fort Hood Sentinal)
Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.
The idea of an Internet "kill switch" that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or Web sites.
On Thursday, both senators lauded Lieberman's bill, which is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA. Rockefeller said "I commend" the drafters of the PCNAA. Collins went further, signing up at a co-sponsor and saying at a press conference that "we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber resources." (CNet)
David Rosenberg: You Know You Are In A Depression When... Congress moved to extend jobless benefits seven times, as has been the case
over the past two years, at a time when almost half of the ranks of the
unemployed have been looking for at least a half year.
The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle
and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is
stuck near 25%. These developments will have profound long-term
consequences – social, economic and political.
The fiscal costs of the depression continue to mount, with the White House on
Friday raising its deficit projection for 2011 to $1.4 trillion from $1.267 trillion.
That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire
budget deficit back in 2002. Amazing.
You also know it is a depression when you find out on the weekend that the FDIC
seized and shuttered another seven banks, making it 103 closures for the year.
What a recovery! - You also know it's a depression when a year into a statistical recovery, the
central bank is still openly contemplating ways to stimulate growth. The Fed was
supposed to have already started the process of shrinking its pregnant balance
sheet four months ago and is now instead thinking of restarting Quantitative
Easing. Of course, we are in this bizarre environment where bank credit
continues to contract – last week alone, bank wide consumer credit outstanding
fell $2.2 billion; real estate lending contracted $9.2 billion; and commercial &
industrial loans slid $5.1 billion.
What did the banks do this past week? They replaced cash with government
securities – the $47.5 billion net buying was the second largest in the past three
years. As the banks find few opportunities to lend – households are either not
creditworthy enough to lend to or are busy paying off debts and companies that
do have any expansion plans have enough cash on their balance sheet to
finance their initiatives – they are likely to use their $1 trillion in excess reserves
buying government and related securities, especially with the yield curve so
steep and the Fed ensuring that it has no intention of taking the 'carry' away for
a long, long time. (Business Insider)
NYT defends publishing leaked military records The White House condemned Sunday night's leak of more than 90,000 secret military records covering the Afghanistan War by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts secret documents online.
National Security Adviser Jim Jones, in a statement, said “the United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.” - Baquet, along with reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt, went to the White House last week to discuss what they planned on publishing. (Politico’s Glenn Thrush first reported on aspects of the meeting, but did not speak with Baquet.)
“I did in fact go the White House and lay out for them what we had,” Baquet said. “We did it to give them the opportunity to comment and react. They did. They also praised us for the way we handled it, for giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible.”
Jones said that WikiLeaks, unlike the Times, did not contact the U.S. government first.
That's not too surprising, given the recent friction between WikiLeaks and the military. In April, WikiLeaks posted a classified video of a U.S. attack in Baghdad that killed several civilians and Reuters employees. (Yahoo)
New York Times reporters met with White House before publishing WikiLeaks story The administration "praised" New York Times reporters for their handling of leaked Afghan war material - The White House was very upset with WikiLeaks for its decision to publish thousands of pages of classified reports and documents describing our mission in Afghanistan. But according to Yahoo's Michael Calderone, it was very pleased with how the New York Times dealt with its semi-exclusive access to the documents.
Times Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet took reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt to the White House last week to brief the administration on what they planned on publishing. And they all got gold stars.
“I did in fact go the White House and lay out for them what we had,” Baquet said. “We did it to give them the opportunity to comment and react. They did. They also praised us for the way we handled it, for giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible.” (Salon)
Tucker Trumps Trilats Trilateral Commission (TC) members, angry over their failure to establish a world government and the economic crisis they generated, called for war with Iran when they gathered behind closed doors here in Dublin, Ireland May 7-10.
War plans were revealed by Mikhail Slobodovsici, a chief adviser to the Russian leadership, when he strolled off the grounds of the Four Seasons resort, where TC had hunkered down behind armed guards and locked doors. He thought he was talking to a TC colleague when speaking with Alan Keenan, who operates the web site WeAreChange.org.
“We are deciding the future of the world,” Slobodovsici said. “We need a world government,” he said, but, referring to Iran, said “we need to get rid of them.”
Clearly, it was a TC war call. Many of the TC’s billionaires and millionaires are heavily invested in manufacturing, and wars produce huge profits. (American Free Press)
Report: Israel convinces Obama to plan for Iran strike According to a report in Time magazine Israel has managed to convince Washington to put the option of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities back on the table.
Israel has long argued that all of the international sanctions against Iran are pointless unless Western powers are prepared to back them up with the threat of force.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pressing that point since US President Barack Obama pushed through a new package of sanctions at the UN Security Council last month. (Israel Today)
'US psywar plan includes 2 hot wars' Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the United States and Israel plan to attack two countries in the Middle East as part of a conspiracy to apply pressure on Iran.
"We have precise information that the Americans have devised a plot, according to which they seek to launch a psychological war on Iran," Ahmadinejad stated in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Monday.
"They plan to attack at least two countries in the region within the next three months," he added.
He said the US seeks to achieve two main objectives with the scheme. (Press TV)
Charles S. Robb and Charles Wald: U.S. must be prepared to attack Iran When President Barack Obama signed into law tough, new legislative sanctions against Iran last week, he capped a month of new measures against that country’s nuclear program. Earlier in June, the Obama administration achieved a new round of U.N. Security Council sanctions, and the European Union declared plans to adopt additional sanctions in July. This activity, the culmination of months of negotiations, is welcome. Absent a broader and more robust strategy, however, sanctions alone will prove inadequate to halt Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. (Madison)
Obama Is Preparing to Bomb Iran After about two and a half years during which the danger of war between the United States and Iran was at a relatively low level, this threat is now rapidly increasing. A pattern of political and diplomatic events, military deployments, and media chatter now indicates that Anglo-American ruling circles, acting through the troubled Obama administration, are currently gearing up for a campaign of bombing against Iran, combined with special forces incursions designed to stir up rebellions among the non-Persian nationalities of the Islamic Republic. Naturally, the probability of a new fake Gulf of Tonkin incident or false flag terror attack staged by the Anglo-American war party and attributed to Iran or its proxies is also growing rapidly. (Webster Tarpley)
US Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces, FM 31.20-3, 2003 Insurgent Strategies.
There are three general strategies of insurgency: foco, mass-oriented, and traditional.
A foco (Spanish word meaning focus or focal point) is a single, armed cell that emerges from hidden strongholds in an atmosphere of disintegrating legitimacy. In theory, this cell is the nucleus around which mass popular support rallies. The insurgents build new institutions and establish control on the basis of that support. For a foco insurgency to succeed, government legitimacy must be near total collapse. Timing is critical. The foco must mature at the same time the government loses legitimacy and before any alternative appears. The most famous foco insurgencies were those led by Castro and Che Guevara. The strategy was quite effective in Cuba because the Batista regime was corrupt and incompetent. The distinguishing characteristics of a foco insurgency are The deliberate avoidance of preparatory organizational work. The rationale is based on the premise that most peasants are intimidated by the authorities and will betray any group that cannot defend itself. The development of rural support as demonstrated by the ability of the foco insurgency to strike against the authorities and survive. The absence of any emphasis on the protracted nature of the conflict.
In 1952, Fidel Castro began his revolutionary movement in Cuba. After an unsuccessful attack of Ft. Moncada, he was imprisoned. Upon release in 1955 he fled to Mexico to train a new group of guerrilla warriors. In 1956, Castro and 82 of his followers returned to Cuba on a yacht. Of this group, only 12 of Castro's followers made their way to the Sierra Maestra mountains. From his remote mountain base, he established a 100to 150-man nucleus. As Castro's organization grew, small unit patrols began hit-and-run type operations. While Castro continued to expand his area of influence, the popularity of the corrupt Batista government waned. In May of 1958, the government launched an attack on the Sierra Maestra stronghold. Castro withdrew deeper into the mountains, while spreading his message on national reform. Batista's continuing repression of the country led to general strikes and continuing growth in popular support for Castro's small cell of revolutionaries. Finally, Batista fled the country on 1 January 1959, and Castro established a junta and became the Prime Minister and President. (US Special Forces)
Tropical Storm Bonnie Forms, Heading for Florida and BP's Gulf Oil Spill Tropical Storm Bonnie has formed south of the Bahamas and is on a track to move across the southern tip of Florida and into the oil-fouled waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers), and is expected to build strength as it bears down on the Florida Keys tomorrow, according to a special hurricane center advisory issued at 6:15 p.m. Miami time. (Bloomberg)
US Special Forces counterinsurgency manual analysis "[T]he psychological effectiveness of the CSDF concept starts by reversing the insurgent strategy of making the government the repressor. It forces the insurgents to cross a critical threshold-that of attacking and killing the very class of people they are supposed to be liberating." -- US Special Forces doctrine obtained by Wikileaks - So states the US Special Forces counterinsurgency manual obtained by Wikileaks, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004). The manual may be critically described as "what the US learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making.
The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.
FID operations are designed to prop up "friendly" governments facing popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported ("In formulating a realistic policy for the use of advisors, the commander must carefully gauge the psychological climate of the HN [Host Nation] and the United States.") The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable. (Wiki Leaks)
Ex-CIA chief: Strike on Iran seems more likely now A former CIA director says military action against Iran now seems more likely because no matter what the U.S. does diplomatically, Tehran keeps pushing ahead with its suspected nuclear program.
Michael Hayden, a CIA chief under President George W. Bush, says that during his tenure a strike was "way down the list" of options. But he tells CNN's "State of the Union" that such action now "seems inexorable." (Associated Press)
Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen About 10 years ago, I took on the task to teach global development to Swedish undergraduate students. That was after having spent about 20 years together with African institutions studying hunger in Africa, so I was sort of expected to know a little about the world. And I started in our medical university, Karolinska Institute, an undergraduate course called Global Health. But when you get that opportunity, you get a little nervous. - I end now with the world. There, the Internet is coming. The number of Internet users are going up like this. This is the GDP per capita. And it's a new technology coming in, but then amazingly, how well it fits to the economy of the countries. That's why the 100 dollar computer will be so important. But it's a nice tendency. It's as if the world is flattening off, isn't it? These countries are lifting more than the economy and will be very interesting to follow this over the year, as I would like you to be able to do with all the publicly funded data. Thank you very much. (Applause) (Ted Talks)
Reinventing Collectivism: The New Social Democracy On every front, collectivism is in retreat. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the idea of state socialism is dead. For many people, the triumph of the market economy has legitimised the ideals of economic self-interest. Throughout the Western world, the traditional role of government is under question: the large, centralised bureaucracies of the welfare state appear to be out-of-step with an increasingly self-reliant electorate. The public’s faith in the public sector is at an all-time low.
So too, we have entered an era of political disengagement. The hierarchies of organised politics have generated enormous public distrust and dissatisfaction. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a government policy that still fosters a strong sense of collective interest and collective responsibility. We are losing the battle for public mutuality.
Not surprisingly, the foundations of community life are also weak. Society is experiencing exclusion at the top as well as the bottom. The trend towards walled housing estates and gated communities erodes social capital, no less than the exclusion of poor neighbourhoods. There is a thing called society but unhappily, we are losing it.
This is the crisis of Left-of-Centre politics: the widespread decline in collective institutions and collective ideals. Unless this crisis is addressed, our hopes for social democracy will hollow out. We will become a cause for power, rather than a cause for a good society. While from time to time we will still win elections, we will not know what to do with our electoral success. - One of the characteristics of Information Age politics is a growing sense of self-reliance. With the spread of mass information and education, the public wants to make more of its own judgements, to take greater control of the decision making process. Across society, institutions that tell people what to do are losing support. This is true of all forms of hierarchy, whether expressed through government agencies, political parties, trade unions or churches. We have entered an era of institutional rebellion.
Left-wing politics is the most prominent victim of this process. Each of our major institutions is in crisis. Trade union membership in Australia , for instance, has fallen to below 25 per cent of the workforce. The union movement has been crippled by an organisational contradiction: while economic activity has become more decentralised, it has gone down the path of amalgamations and centralised super-unions. This is one of the most ill-advised strategies in the history of Australian labour.
Likewise, the old politics of statism is in decline. Contrary to the promise of the welfare state, there is not a government program for every social problem. Indeed, it is difficult to find a section of society that remains enthusiastic about the work of government. At one level, these shortcomings are entirely predictable. The state has adopted the organisational principles of the Industrial Age: hierarchies, mass production and standardisation. It is out of step with the demands of an increasingly diverse and self-reliant electorate. (University of New South Wales)
Community (Communist) Oriented Policing: The consensus (dialectic) process There is a myth that communism is dead and that the cold war is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. The problem is that few people today understand what communism really is and just where the cold war battle lines are actually drawn. Crack open a dictionary and look up the term “Dialectical Materialism.” You should find something like this:
“A philosophy founded by Karl Marx… which forms the basis of Communist doctrine: it combines the materialistic idea of matter over mind with the Hegalian dialectic in which opposing forces are constantly being reunited at a higher level.” --Webster Dictionary
But that definition might beg the question, “What is the Hegelian dialectic?” For modern man, the answer to that question is epic. The Hegelian dialectic has profoundly impacted the world in which you live. - Transformational Marxists such as Kurt Lewin refined their weapon for the new battlefield: Using group dynamics to invade the culture to affect the paradigm shift. The weapon looks like this:
1. A Diverse Group (“Diversity” needed for conflict)
2. Dialoging to Consensus (Dialectic process)
3. Over a Social Issue (Problem/Crisis/Issues)
4. In a Facilitated Meeting (Controlled environment using facilitator/change agent)
5. To a Predetermined Outcome (Paradigm shift)
(News With Views)
New Legislation Authorizes FEMA Camps In U.S.: “National emergency centers” on military bases to house American citizens A new bill introduced in Congress authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to set up a network of FEMA camp facilities to be used to house U.S. citizens in the event of a national emergency.
The National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645 mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of to providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill.
The legislation also states that the camps will be used to “provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations”.
Ominously, the bill also states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse.
Many credible forecasters have predicted riots and rebellions in America that will dwarf those already witnessed in countries like Iceland and Greece. (Prison Planet)
Retailers disgruntled about bag tax A central Maine lawmaker is reopening the debate about the use of plastic shopping bags with a proposed 10-cent-per-bag fee on the disposable sacks.
Sen. John Nutting, D-Leeds, has introduced legislation that he says will encourage the switch to reusable bags and keep plastic out of the state's environment and landfills. If the bill passes, Maine shoppers will be charged a dime for each plastic bag they use. The money will go into a state fund to promote recycling.
"In a lot of foreign countries now, they charge you," Nutting said. "Even if these bags are corn-based and may eventually biodegrade, they're taking up valuable landfill space." (Kennebec Journal)
World Bank Carbon Fund to Pay for Protecting Forests The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), announced by the World Bank on Thursday, will be part of UN climate change negotiations in Bali in December to shape a global agreement for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
"A lot will depend on what the global agreement will be, but we think potentially this could yield a lot of money," Joelle Chassard, manager of the World Bank's carbon finance unit, told Reuters in an interview.
Chassard said the new facility would provide financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. (Reuters)
Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate. The developer of the salmon has been trying to get approval for a decade. But the company now seems to have submitted most or all of the data the F.D.A. needs to analyze whether the salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment, according to government and biotechnology industry officials. A public meeting to discuss the salmon may be held as early as this fall.
Some consumer and environmental groups are likely to raise objections to approval. Even within the F.D.A., there has been a debate about whether the salmon should be labeled as genetically engineered (genetically engineered crops are not labeled).
The salmon’s approval would help open a path for companies and academic scientists developing other genetically engineered animals, like cattle resistant to mad cow disease or pigs that could supply healthier bacon. Next in line behind the salmon for possible approval would probably be the “enviropig,” developed at a Canadian university, which has less phosphorus pollution in its manure.
The salmon was developed by a company called AquaBounty Technologies and would be raised in fish farms. It is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon. - Virtually all Atlantic salmon now comes from fish farms, not the wild.
The F.D.A. must also decide on the environmental risks from the salmon. Some experts have speculated that fast-growing fish could out-compete wild fish for food or mates.
Mr. Stotish said the salmon would be grown only in inland tanks or other contained facilities, not in ocean pens where they might escape into the wild. And the fish would all be female and sterile, making it impossible for them to mate.
The F.D.A. is expected to hold a public meeting of an advisory committee before deciding whether to approve the salmon. Typically at such advisory committee meetings, much of the data in support of the drug application is made public and there is some time allotted for public comment.
But Gregory Jaffe, biotechnology project director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said such meetings often do not give the public enough time to analyze the data. (New York Times)
GM Salmon Muscle In on Wild Fish When Food Is Scarce The advance of genetically modified crops and farm animals has opened up fears of ecological disaster if the engineered, or transgenic, organisms were to escape the confines of the farm. Assessing the environmental risk posed by transgenic populations requires an understanding of how they would compete with their wild counterparts under such circumstances. To that end, new laboratory research has found that wild salmon tend to experience reduced growth in the company of salmon engineered to attain a large body size. The presence of transgenic fish also increases the likelihood of population collapse when food is in short supply.
The study, published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved growth hormone (GH) transgenic coho salmon, which have greater appetites and can grow up to seven times bigger than wild cohos. (Scientific American)
GM goat spins web based future A goat that produces spider's web protein is about to revolutionise the materials industry.
Stronger and more flexible than steel, spider silk offers a lightweight alternative to carbon fibre.
Up to now it has been impossible to produce "spider fibre" on a commercial scale. Unlike silk worms, spiders are too anti-social to farm successfully.
Now a Canadian company claims to be on the verge of producing unlimited quantities of spider silk - in goat's milk.
Using techniques similar to those used to produce Dolly the sheep, scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies in Quebec have bred goats with spider genes. (BBC)
Tonkin Gulf Intelligence "Skewed" According to Official History and Intercepts: Newly Declassified National Security Agency Documents Show Analysts Made "SIGINT fit the claim" of North Vietnamese Attack The largest U.S. intelligence agency, the National Security Agency, today declassified over 140 formerly top secret documents -- histories, chronologies, signals intelligence [SIGINT] reports, and oral history interviews -- on the August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Included in the release is a controversial article by Agency historian Robert J. Hanyok on SIGINT and the Tonkin Gulf which confirms what historians have long argued: that there was no second attack on U.S. ships in Tonkin on August 4, 1964. According to National Security Archive research fellow John Prados, "the American people have long deserved to know the full truth about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The National Security Agency is to be commended for releasing this piece of the puzzle. The parallels between the faulty intelligence on Tonkin Gulf and the manipulated intelligence used to justify the Iraq War make it all the more worthwhile to re-examine the events of August 1964 in light of new evidence." Last year, Prados edited a National Security Archive briefing book which published for the first time some of the key intercepts from the Gulf of Tonkin crisis. (George Washington University)
National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II. The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. His power was extremely limited and it was difficult for him to exercise the authority to make his office effective. This was later changed in the amendment to the act in 1949, creating what was to be the Department of Defense.
President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 onboard this VC-54C Presidential transport, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One. (At the time it was not painted with "U.S. Air Force" because it belonged to the USAAF.)
The Act merged the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense. It was also responsible for the creation of a separate Department of the Air Force from the existing Army Air Forces. Initially, each of the three service secretaries maintained quasi-cabinet status, but the act was amended on August 10, 1949, to assure their subordination to the Secretary of Defense. At the same time, the NME was renamed as the Department of Defense. The purpose was to unify the Army, Navy, and what was soon to become the Air Force into a federated structure.
Aside from the military reorganization, the act established the National Security Council, a central place of coordination for national security policy in the executive branch, and the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S.'s first peacetime intelligence agency. The function of the council was to advise the president on domestic, foreign, and military policies so that they may cooperate more tightly and efficiently. Departments in the government were encouraged to voice their opinions to the council in order to make a more sound decision.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff was officially established under Title II, Section 211 of the original National Security Act of 1947 before Sections 209-214 of Title II were repealed by the law enacting Title 10 and Title 32, United States Code (Act of August 10, 1956, 70A Stat. 676) to replace them.
The act and its changes, along with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, were major components of the Truman administration's Cold War strategy.
The bill signing took place aboard Truman's VC-54C presidential aircraft Sacred Cow, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One. (Wikipedia)
We Are Change Austria's Natascha Koch: Forced Psychotherapy Yesterday, as we have learned this afternoon, Swiss-Austrian blogger Natascha Koch was lured to the local police station under false pretenses and then carried off to the Sigmund Freud Psychiatry Clinic in Graz where she is now being held prisoner without any consent. - She was advised not to deal with „such things“, and that even research about Jan van Helsing would be taboo. She was told that she had major perception problems and was offered pharmaceutical drugs on multiple occasions.
NATASCHA KOCH NEEDS OUR HELP!
We ask our fellow freedom lovers who are located around Graz to become ACTIVE and DEMAND HER IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
Natascha Koch is currently held on Station P22, Room 11 against her will! The repressive actions against her were initiated by a woman named Dr. Beisser. We ask all Austrians who stand up FOR freedom of expression and AGAINST forced psychotherapy to inform the press and television stations!!! (We Are Change)
Oakland Okays Indoor Medical Marijuana Mega-Farms In a marathon session Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council Tuesday approved an historic plan for large-scale indoor marijuana farms, but only after hearing from a cavalcade of medical marijuana patients, growers, and dispensary operators intent on ensuring that small and medium-sized growers are not squeezed out. While the ordinance is aimed at medical marijuana, the council, which has endorsed the Proposition 19 tax and regulate cannabis initiative, clearly sees the potential for tax revenues and jobs under a perhaps not-so-distant marijuana legalization in California.
The council passed a proposal that will authorize city officials to issue permits for four indoor marijuana farms to supply the city's four allowed existing medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance sets no size limitations. Some would-be medical marijuana cultivation entrepreneurs have proposed growing operations as large as 100,000 square feet.
Applicants for the four permits would submit proposals to the city. Permit holders would have to pay a $211,000 annual fee, as well as any taxes imposed by the city. The city currently taxes dispensaries at 1.8% and has plans to increase that tax to 8%. The large-scale grows would have a similar tax burden. (Drug War Chronicle)
Obama faces growing credibility crisis Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s chief spokesman, got into hot water this week for daring to speak the truth – that the Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives in November. But it could be even worse than that.
Contrary to pretty much every projection until now, Democratic control of the Senate is also starting to coming into question. While Mr Obama’s approval ratings have continued to fall, and now hover at dangerously close to 40 per cent according an ABC-Washington Post poll published on Tuesday, the fate of his former colleagues in the Senate looks even worse. - “The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”
In private, informal advisors to Mr Obama are almost as negative. According to one, the US public’s loss of confidence in Mr Obama’s leadership is a factor above and beyond their dissatisfaction over the state of the real economy, which continues to slow as last year’s $787bn stimulus starts to run dry. The adviser, who asked to remain anonymous, said the public did not know what Mr Obama really believed. Examples include his lukewarm support last year for a public option in the healthcare bill and his equally lukewarm support today for a Senate bill that would extend unemployment insurance and aid state governments to keep teachers in their jobs. (Financial Times)
Hearing: Halliburton warned BP 2 days before blast Halliburton Co. warned BP two days before the deadly Deepwater Horizon accident that it could have a severe problem with natural gas escaping from its Macondo well if it stuck with an existing well plan, according to an internal report that emerged in an investigative hearing Tuesday.
The April 18 report was sent to BP officials on land and on board the Deepwater Horizon and made recommendations about the cement job being used to secure pipe-like casing to the walls of the Macondo well.
A faulty cement job by Halliburton has been cited as a possible factor in the April 20 blowout that killed 11 workers, sank the Deepwater Horizon two days later and launched the worst U.S. oil spill.
The emergence of the report, however, suggests that BP may have ignored warning signs about potentially dangerous conditions in the well in the days leading up the accident. - Questions also arose in the hearing over whether BP should have stopped drilling the Macondo well weeks before the accident when it discovered leaks in the blowout preventer on the seafloor.
One of two control pods on the blowout preventer was leaking hydraulic fluid as of mid-March, but Sepulvado said the leaks did not affect the functioning of the blowout preventer, the last line of defense against loss of well control.
Federal offshore drilling regulations state that if control stations or pods on a blowout preventer don’t function properly, drilling operations should be suspended until they’re fixed. (Houston Chronicle)
Senate climate bill drops 'cap and trade' term -- REPUBLICANS LABEL IT A 'MASSIVE ENERGY TAX' Senate Democrats tried out a new catch phrase Wednesday to sell their global warming bill: pollution reduction and investment, or PRI.
But it's just another name for cap and trade, a term derided by Republican critics as "cap and tax" because it will increase energy prices and which Democratic polls have shown faring poorly with voters. - The idea to remake cap and trade into pollution reduction and investment came from Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., author of the bill unveiled Wednesday. He came up with it about a month ago to refocus attention on what the bill would do, not how it goes about doing it.
"Cap and trade doesn't mean anything to people, " Kerry said in an interview, insisting that "this is an actual description of what's happening here."
At a news conference on the bill, cap and trade, the legislation's centerpiece, got nary a mention. Instead, the buzz words were "national security," "economic growth" and "jobs from clean energy development." Kerry and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the other key sponsor, entitled it The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
"We are here and we introduced this legislation because of one word -- security," said Kerry. "It is time to reinvent the way Americans use energy."
The words "cap and trade," "global warming" and "climate" also didn't appear in a White House statement responding to the bill's introduction. (Trib.com)
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