Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Comet Storm in a Nearby Star System

An artist's concept of a comet storm around Eta Corvi. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Oct. 19, 2011: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected signs of icy bodies raining down in an alien solar system. The downpour resembles our own solar system several billion years ago during a period known as the "Late Heavy Bombardment," which may have brought water and other life-forming ingredients to Earth.

"We believe we have direct evidence for an ongoing Late Heavy Bombardment in the nearby star system Eta Corvi, occurring about the same time as in our solar system," said Carey Lisse, senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., and lead author of a paper detailing the findings to appear in the Astrophysical Journal.
Interesting article posted here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Testimony by Lizzy Phelan: "The war on Libya is a war on Africa"

Back in the UK, after several months spent in Libya covering NATO war crimes and uncovering mainstream media lies, freelance journalist Lizzie Phelan continues to fight for truth and justice on behalf of the Libyan people. Her testimony below is a gripping example of her commitment.

Lizzie Phelan spent her last days in Libya - where she was reporting for PressTV - trapped in the Rixos Hotel, together with Thierry Meyssan, Mahdi Nazemroaya and two other members of the Voltaire Network team.

She said a Western-backed genocide is taking place in Libya and there are no independent journalists left on the ground to cover the story.
Watch video testimony here

New York State flood relief needed

While protesters fill the streets of New York City,
the rural part of the New York State, which was
devastated by floods, faces Third World shortages
of food, warm clothing, shelter, tools and building

Winter's coming soon...and, true to form, the
corporate news media can't be bothered to
tell the story.

The Governor of the State, best buddy of the
Wall Street scam machine (he played his role
as head of HUD), did a few helicopter fly bys
and has been missing in action ever since.

How bad is it? Pretty bad.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Christians of the Orient stand up against the new Western colonialism

Invited at the Elysee the 5th of September 2011, S.B. Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and the entire Middle-East (the head of the most important Church in the Middle-East that is attached to Rome) heard that France and its allies will soon intervene militarily in Syria to establish the Muslim Brothers as the leaders of the country. The Christians of the Orient, who would lose their place in society, would then have to prepare themselves for the exodus and could find refuge in Europe.
© Présidence de la République - P. Segrette

by Thierry Meyssan

The war against Syria, planned by the United States, France and the United Kingdom for mid-November 2011, has been blocked in extremis by the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the Security Council. According to Nicolas Sarkozy, who informed the Maronite Patriarch of the matter during a stormy meeting at the Elysée Palace on 5 September 2011, the plan contemplates the expulsion of Middle East Christians by the Western powers. In this context a press campaign is underway in Europe to accuse the Christians of the Orient of collusion with the dictatorships. Mother Agnès-Mariam of the Cross, mother superior of the monastery of James the Mutilated in Qara (Syria) responds to this war propaganda.

Insightful article posted here

2,000 OWS protesters nabbed in US

Demonstrators affiliated with the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement protest in Times Square in New York City on October 15, 2011.

The US police have arrested nearly two thousand Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters since the outbreak of the anti-corporatism and -corruption movement in New York in mid-September, Press TV reports.

Fresh arrests come as the movement is spreading across the globe.

The police have come up with various charges against the demonstrators in order to clear the streets filled with protest tents.

Chicago police say they have made 175 arrests on Saturday after protesters refused to obey orders to leave public areas and as more than 2,000 people marched from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to Grant Park.

Also on Saturday, nearly 90 demonstrators were detained in New York, while police forces apprehended over 70 people in Phoenix and Colorado.

Protesters have, however, pledged to remain on the streets, despite the heavy-handed clampdown.

The OWS movement was initiated on September 17, when a group of people began rallying in New York's financial district to protest 'corporate greed' and top-level among other instances of social inequality in the United States.

The campaign has now spread to tens of major cities, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Boston, as well as hundreds of communities across the nation.

More and more Americans are, meanwhile, joining the demonstrations each day.

According to a Press TV survey published on Saturday, many believe that the American Awakening -- represented by the OWS movement -- stems from misguided financial policies of the US establishment, thought to be behind the country's current economic crisis.

Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal were also some of the countries that saw huge OWS-inspired protest rallies on Saturday.
Article source here

Publicly-owned Banks as an Instrument of Economic Development: The German Model

by Ellen Brown

Publicly-owned banks were instrumental in funding Germany’s “economic miracle” after the devastation of World War II. Although the German public banks have been targeted in the last decade for takedown by their private competitors, the model remains a viable alternative to the private profiteering being protested on Wall Street today.

One of the demands voiced by protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement is for a “public option” in banking. What that means was explained by Dr. Michael Hudson, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, in an interview by Paul Jay of the Real News Network on October 6:

[T]he demand isn’t simply to make a public bank but is to treat the banks generally as a public utility, just as you treat electric companies as a public utility. . . . Just as there was pressure for a public option in health care, there should be a public option in banking. There should be a government bank that offers credit card rates without punitive 30% interest rates, without penalties, without raising the rate if you don’t pay your electric bill. This is how America got strong in the 19th and early 20th century, by essentially having public infrastructure, just like you’d have roads and bridges. . . . The idea of public infrastructure was to lower the cost of living and to lower the cost of doing business.

We don’t hear much about a public banking option in the United States, but a number of countries already have a resilient public banking sector. A May 2010 article in The Economist noted that the strong and stable publicly-owned banks of India, China and Brazil helped those countries weather the banking crisis afflicting most of the world in the last few years.

In the U.S., North Dakota is the only state to own its own bank. It is also the only state that has sported a budget surplus every year since the 2008 credit crisis. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the lowest default rate on loans. It also has oil, but so do other states that are not doing so well. Still, the media tend to attribute North Dakota’s success to its oil fields.

However, there are other Western public banking models that are successful without oil booms. Europe has a strong public banking sector; and leading it is Germany, with eleven regional public banks and thousands of municipally-owned savings banks. Germany emerged from World War II with a collapsed economy that had degenerated into barter. Today it is the largest and most robust economy in the Eurozone. Manufacturing in Germany contributes 25% of GDP, more than twice that in the UK. Despite the recession, Germany’s unemployment rate, at 6.8%, is the lowest in 20 years. Underlying the economy’s strength is its Mittelstand—small to medium sized enterprises—supported by a strong regional banking system that is willing to lend to fund research and development.
Continue reading article here

Friday, October 14, 2011

Things are heating up in New York

More photos and story here

Black Libyans make their stand in Sirte and Bani Wali

The Black defenders of Sirte and Bani Walid fight like lions because they have no choice.

By Glen Ford

← Stop NATO: Day 209 of War Against Libya, Crown of Africa
Black Libyans make their stand in Sirte and Bani Walid
Posted on 2011/10/13 by Quoriana

The Black defenders of Sirte and Bani Walid fight like lions because they have no choice.

By Glen Ford

Both NATO and their Libyan rebel surrogates express wonder at the fact that loyalist forces continue to fight so fiercely in the contested cities of Sirte and Bani Walid, despite being vastly outnumbered on the ground and unceasingly pummeled from above by the world’s largest air armada. But one look at a picture of Gaddafi loyalist prisoners, captured at a hospital in Sirte, tells the story: they are all Black. The assault on Libya has largely devolved into a race war, and the Black soldiers are fighting for survival against the world’s biggest lynch mob, armed to the teeth by the United States and Europe.
Article continues here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Black American perspective on events in Libya

'US claim insults global intelligence'

Iran's Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaei

Iran's envoy to the UN says US allegations about Tehran's involvement in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington are an “insult to the intelligence” of the people of the world.

“We are used to the baseless allegations made by some US officials over the past three decades, but the big lie they have told today is so unfounded that it sounds like the work of Hollywood's scenario writers,” Mohammad Khazaei said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.

“It is a major insult to the intelligence of ordinary people in the US and the world,” he added.

He said the accusation that Iran attempted to assassinate the envoy of a neighboring Muslim country in Washington is a fabrication created by “warmongers” who seek to poison the atmosphere and create fear in the people's minds.

They fabricate false security threats to advance their political objectives, Khazaei said, adding that the move was a testimony to the West's unquenchable thirst to create imaginary enemies.

Khazaei said Iran categorically rejects the allegations and cautions the Americans not to fall for such malicious propaganda campaigns aimed at mounting political pressure on Iran.

Khazaei's remarks came in response to the recent claims made by the US Justice Department that Iran was involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubeir with help from a suspected member of a Mexican drug cartel.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast rejected the accusation, saying such 'ludicrous' claims hinged on the hostile joint stances adopted by the US and Israel against the country.

"These threadbare attitudes, which are based on the age-old and hostile American-Zionist policies, are a ridiculous show in line with certain [instances of] scenario fabrication of divisive ends on the part of the enemies of Islam and the region," he said.

Iran has also sent a letter of complaint to the UN over Washington's allegations.

Article source here

Chalk it up to experience

NATO Secretary General attends Special Forces exercise in Denmark

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is attending joint Special Forces exercise, NIGHT HAWK, in Denmark on 12-14 October 2011.

The exercise brings together representatives of Special Forces from 8 NATO Allies and Partner nations in a scenario involving simultaneous hostage rescues in multiple locations. It is hosted and organised by Denmark.

The Secretary General is accompanying a Special Forces group from the Netherlands on the initial stages of the mission, and observing the final stage of the operation from close to the site.

Land and air units from NATO Allies Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and partners Finland and Sweden, are also taking part in the exercise.

There are no media opportunities.

Editor: Hostage rescues or planned assassinations?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Old divisions surface in Egypt

Cairo remains tense after clashes left at least 24 people dead and over 270 injured in the worst violence in the Egyptian capital since the country’s revolution in February.
Article posted here

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ancient farming damaged landscape in Peru

Relict canal course, Lower Ica Valley, Peru

A study of food remains from ancient settlement sites along the lower Ica valley in Peru confirms earlier suggestions that farming undermined the natural vegetation so badly that eventually much of the area had to be abandoned.

A research team led by the University of Cambridge looked for evidence of wild and domesticated foods from settlement sites spanning roughly 750 BC to 1000 AD. They found that, in less than two thousand years, the valley inhabitants had gone from subsisting on gathered foods, through a period of intense agriculture, and back again to a largely subsistence diet.
Read the whole article here

Harvest moon over Turin, 2011

Iceland update

From crisis to constitution

Thorvaldur Gylfason
11 October 2011

As economic protests continue throughout Europe, many wonder whether such efforts will be in vain. This column explores what happened in Iceland, where a “pots-and-pans” revolution in response to the devastating financial crisis gave rise to a new constitution.

Political upheaval is the most common precursor of constitutional change. The collapse of communism in 1989 produced a large number of new constitutions in East and Central Europe and Asia (Elster 1995). Economic crises are less common triggers of constitutional change. The Great Depression did not prompt the Americans to change their constitution – changes of the law, such as the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, were thought sufficient.
Check out Iceland's proposed new constitution here

Adding insult to injury

"It used to be routine practice to try to sterilize Indian women..."

Documents acquired by the American Indian movement demonstrated a
vast and secret plan was being carried out by the government to
sterilize women and reduce the Native American population.

Columbus Day is the best day of all to be mindful of how the
natives have been treated by the government, AFTER having had their
lands stolen from them...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A haunting past...

Syria Claims Armed Bands Have Killed 1,100 People

Syria will pass to the United Nations the names of 1,100 people that it said were killed by terrorists who received arms from neighboring countries, reports the Lebanese television Al Manar.

The reports quotes Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Al-Moqdad (photo above) in Geneva as saying that his country has been facing terrorist threats, and indicated that "in the coming few days we will hand in a list of 1,100 martyrs who were employees and police officers, who were killed by terrorists."

Al-Moqdad further clarified that members of the Syrian security forces have been martyred by armed bands who received weapons from Syria’s neighboring countries.

The Foreign Minister attended the session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The official went on explaining that "throughout the last seven months my country has confronted various wars, including a media war as well as media deception and lies, and all sorts of threats."

He recalled the package of reforms that President Bashar Al-Assad had announced, and said that Syria needed more time for implementing it as "reforms cannot be done while Syrians are being killed on daily basis by extremist terrorist groups."

"We have received humanitarian activists and the international committee of the Red Cross, and this indicates that we have nothing to hide," he added.

On the other hand, Iran, Russia, Cuba, and China praised the reforms that President Al-Assad had pledged to implement including lifting the state of emergency and carrying out local elections, while Britain, France, the United States called Syria to end its "criminal acts against civilians".
Article source here

Global geo-political overview with William Engdahl

Libya's NATO sponsored Civil War - no end in sight

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meltdown Within 2-3 Weeks? (7 Oct)

Washington targeting China's Achilles heel

Between February and March 2011, China had evacuated some 36,000 of its nationals employed in the oil, construction, railways and telecoms industries.

by F. William Engdahl

While nervously watching China edging closer to becoming the predominant world power in the 21st century, Washington has also been keeping a keen eye on China’s heavy reliance on foreign oil to meet its growing energy needs. Engdahl analyses the oil trap that Washington has laid for China in Libya and through AFRICOM’s deployment in Africa.

The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi’s Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to “protect innocent civilians.” In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China’s economic Achilles heel, namely China’s strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world’s second largest imported of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.
Article continues here

Who needs Middle East oil - or oilsands for that matter?

3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate—
Released: 4/10/2008 2:25:36 PM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center

Reston, VA - North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.

A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.

Technically recoverable oil resources are those producible using currently available technology and industry practices. USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas resources.
Article continues here

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Target Killing Americans

Conversation Required

By Joe Anglin

For nearly a decade the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and AltaLink LLP have gone to great lengths to keep the public out of the conversation about the need for new transmission lines in Alberta. AltaLink went so far as to register as a lobbyist for the passage of Bill-50. Bill-50 subsequently passed as the Electric Statues Amendment Act eliminated the public’s right to question the need for new transmission lines. Now Alison Redford has been elected as our new Premier and the conversation about transmission lines is back. Will Premier Redford restore the public’s right to be part of the conversation?

This is a question that has far reaching implications for all Albertans. Since deregulation of the electricity system Albertans have been gouged by ever increasing [extra charges] on their electricity bills. The extra charges have prompted jokes claiming that it would be cheaper to drive a truck to a local generator, and recharge a series of battery to bring back to the farm, rather than suffer the administrative and transmission charges tacked onto our bills by companies like AltaLink.

All joking aside, the question remains! What do Albertans really need? If we need to upgrade our transmission system, how do we do it for the maximum benefit of Albertans? If we need more electricity in one particular geographic area of the province, what is the best solution? Transmission lines are not always the best solution. Why? Transmission lines only transfer electricity from one location to another. Electricity transmitted from Edmonton to Calgary means that the electricity transmitted is not available for consumption in Edmonton.

The Heartland transmission line project illustrates the problem created by Bill-50. AESO and AltaLink claim a $580 million dollar transmission line is required to increase the amount of electricity in the Heartland. However, for less than half the cost of a transmission line, ($263 million dollars to be exact), Capital Power has proven that it can build a new generator in the Heartland that would actually increase the amount of electricity in the Heartland by 43%.

From the public’s perspective, it is far more prudent to build a generator in the Heartland. For the Premier’s benefit this is a $317 million dollar savings she could use to refund education. However, if it is our primary intention to provide AltaLink with an income, then a transmission line at twice the cost would be more appropriate.

Premier Redford, what say you? Will you restore the public’s right to question the need for new transmission lines? Will you restore the law that requires that we build what is in the best interest for all Albertans? Will you invite the public back into the conversation? After all, the public is paying for these projects. Let us know by your actions: Repeal Bill-50 and void the Heartland hearings. Cancel the scheduled HVDC hearings. Let’s have an informed conversation based on facts and evidence to determine what is best for Albertans.

Joe Anglin
(403) 843-3279
(403) 963-0521 (cell)

Occupy Wall Street Live Feed

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

'Sarkozy involved in graft scandal'

French millionaire arms broker Ziad Takieddine (L) and President Nicholas Sarkozy

A French businessman says President Nicholas Sarkozy and Interior Minister Claude Gueant must acknowledge their roles in the kickbacks on the arms deal and illegal funding.

In an interview with French financial newspaper La Tribune published on Saturday, French millionaire arms broker Ziad Takieddine said that he was commissioned by Gueant, Sarkozy's former presidential election campaign head, to conclude arms contracts with former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"I remember telling Gueant: You know me more than anyone else. Each of my acts amount to an official mission,” Takieddine stated.

“I went to see Gaddafi in Libya, and Assad in Syria only on the request and authorization from the president,” the Franco-Lebanese businessman added.

The remarks come as Gaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam had said in March that Libya would publicize all the bank details relating to Sarkozy's campaign funding in 2007.

In a half-dozen interviews this weekend, Takieddine has called on Sarkozy to lift the lid on French arms sales to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia that were illegally kicked back to fund the 1994-5 presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur.

Sarkozy, Balladur's budget minister and presidential campaign spokesman at the time, has validated the commission system.

Takieddine also told La Liberation that he has met twice with Sarkozy when he was the French interior minister.

The Franco-Lebanese millionaire, however, denies having served as a middleman for the diversion of commissions from French arms deals.

Takieddine is said to have received payment from a sale of frigates to Saudi Arabia, a contract authorized in 1994 by Sarkozy.

Documents obtained by examining magistrates suggest that he has received €91 million (USD 120 million) between 1997 and 1998.

France also signed a deal that year to sell three submarines to Pakistan. Several witnesses have told the magistrates that Takieddine was imposed by the Balladur camp as an intermediary.

French judge Renaud van Ruymbeke believes that through offshore accounts in Luxembourg Takieddine has returned a portion of the money earned via arms contracts to France. He, however, has withdrawn the money from his accounts once he was in Switzerland.

The judge has found that at least €3 million (USD 4 million) as parts of the “commissions” were siphoned off to help fund the 1994 presidential campaign of Edouard Balladur, then prime minister.

Takieddine was charged in September with fraud over arms contracts with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in which he was allegedly the middleman.

Nicolas Bazire, 54, the manager of Balladur's presidential campaign and now a director of luxury goods giant LVMH, and Gaubert, 60, an advisor to Sarkozy when he was budget minister, have also been charged with the misuse of public funds.

Article published here

Can Canada's federal system be a role model for Europe?

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Marshall Auerback: The ECB v. Germany

By Marshall Auerback, a portfolio strategist and hedge fund manager

I’ve been in Amsterdam and met some people very well connected with the ECB. The topic de jour is the apparent split between the Germans and the ECB, especially in light of the resignation of Jürgen Stark last week from the ECB executive board. This has been a move hailed as a German protest of the errant ways of the ECB, andStark is now touting his conservative ideas around Europe in a hope to undermine the central bank’s current interventions. That’s the public line.

But the people to whom I’ve spoken here contend that Stark’s resignation does reflect the reality that the Germans are losing out as far as the ECB goes. The profound objections to what the ECB is becoming on the part of Germany is also accompanied by a realisation that it is the only supranational game in town and has little choice but to take on this quasi-fiscal function that it is now undertaking.

Stark (and Weber before him) had no desire to associate themselves with this but the resignation reflects the view that they were powerless to stop it.Most of the ‘blame the Mediterranean profligates rhetoric we’ve been hearing has been diversionary, to draw local attention away from the fact that Germany’s hardcore Bundesbankers are losing this battle. .

The pan-Europeanists are the ones who will support a coordinated response to financial issues, not coincidentally because this will be the only way to retain existing benefit levels once some sovereigns and the banks exposed to them go soft.

Stark’s replacement, Asmussen, is an SPD guy and even though he makes all of the same hawkish noises, he’s not as hard-line as Stark. It was also indicated to me that if Germany were to go for the Hans Olaf Henkel proposal of a DM bloc (to which I alluded in an earlier post), it would screw the French totally and they won’t stand for it.

Keep reading this interesting article here

Brooklyn Bridge video: Police arrest Occupy Wall Street protesters

Things are heating up, finally, in the US. Check out this post

Murder From the Skies on a Budget UAV's... A Cost Effective Way to Kill Civilians

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Turkish warships harass Israeli freighters. Israeli missile boats off Cyprus

Israel F-15 warplanes react to Turkish harassment

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 2, 2011, 11:10 AM (GMT+02:00)

Increasingly assertive Turkey is setting the scene for clashes in the eastern Mediterranean. Since Thursday, Sept. 29, Turkish warships have been harassing Israeli merchant vessels in waters off Cyprus, debkafile's military sources report. They come close enough to establish wireless communication and caution the Israeli vessels they are in contravention of international law and ordering them to change course. The Israeli crews mostly ignore these "orders", treating them as Ankara's latest bid to assert Turkish naval mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean. But the situation is getting explosive enough to spark a major incident.
Article continues here

Anwar al-Awlaki Another Burned Asset? (Flashback) Look Who Came to Dinner...