Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Monday, 5 November 2007
Farm Bill is really helping the rich - Contact Congress Today
Now Playing: FARM BILL - TAKE ACTION my fellow Z3 READERS
Topic: BIG MONEY PLAYERS
The 2007 Farm Bill provides a powerful opportunity to reduce poverty at home and abroad. The Farm Bill passed by the House of Representatives, however well intentioned, maintains an unfair system of harmful commodity subsidies.
Zebra 3 Readers....
TAKE ACTION TODAY
Don't let the Senate play trick or treat with the Farm Bill
The Senate is playing trick or treat with the Farm Bill.
The Senate's trick: claiming the Farm Bill is good for everyone when in truth it hurts poor farmers here and abroad. And who gets a treat from the Senate? Millionaire farmers who receive unfair subsidies.
This is our last chance to enact real reform, but the Senate won’t listen unless thousands of people take action. Poor farmers are counting on you!
The Senate bill being considered, like the House version that passed, favors a relatively small number of producers at the expense of most farmers and rural communities, and it falls short of meeting its obligations to families that depend on food stamps and to conservation programs that protect rivers and streams. To make things worse, the Farm Bill would actually hurt poor farmers in developing countries—if we don't take action to fix it.
Please contact your senators and ask them to insist that the Farm Bill that comes to a vote in the Senate reduces trade-distorting subsidies and uses the savings to support programs that provide public benefits such as nutrition, conservation, and rural development. The Farm Bill only comes up once every five years, so it is critical that you take action today.
CLICK THE LINK I PROVIDED BELOW:
These subsidies undercut farmers and rural economies at home and abroad. Only one-quarter of American farmers receive commodity subsidies. Of these, the largest 10 percent of producers receive 75 percent of all payments. Contrary to the notion that subsidies help promote economic growth in rural America, the counties that receive the most commodity subsidies have seen job gains below the national average. Moreover, the commodity subsidies that our taxpayer dollars support lead to excess production, reducing world market prices, undermining the livelihoods of millions of small farmers around the world.
Your leadership can bring about change. As a voting constituent, I urge you to:
1. Vote yes on the Lugar-Lautenberg Farm Ranch Equity Stewardship and Health (FRESH) Amendment. The FRESH Amendment will provide a more effective safety net for all farmers regardless of what they grow or where they farm. The amendment reinvests $16 billion in savings over five years into several programs: $1.5 billion will go to new support for specialty crop farmers; $2.0 billion will go to improve diet and health; $6.2 billion will go to invest in popular conservation programs; $4.3 billion will go to help more hungry Americans; $3.0 billion will go to reduce the federal deficit; and $1.6 billion will go to support investments in renewable energy. The amendment will also bring our farm policy into compliance with international trade rules-removing the threat of real threat of retaliation.
2. Vote yes on the Grassley-Dorgan Payment Limits Amendment. The Grassley-Dorgan Payment Limits Amendment will place a real limit on the amount of money any one entity can receive, and it will close loopholes that allow some producers to evade limits altogether. This amendment will level the playing field for family farms and rural communities by producing budget savings that can be reinvested into programs?such as nutrition, conservation, and rural development-that deliver enhanced social benefits.
3. Provide mandatory funding for all programs, including $15 million for the 2501 Outreach and Education Program to match H.R. 2419. Mandatory funding will allow this program to help address inequities faced by farmers of color here at home.
4. Vote yes on amendments that would reduce cotton subsidies that hurt poor farmers around the world. Cotton subsidies maintained by the Agriculture Committee are especially troubling, with just 12,000 farms receiving up to three billion dollars in subsidies annually. These subsidies have a devastating effect on poor cotton farmers around the world. Failure to reform these trade-distorting subsidies will mean that those who don't need subsidies in the US continue to benefit at the taxpayers' expense while those who need the most help -the 10 million people in West Africa for whom cotton is their only source of income - suffer more. Cotton is often the only source of cash income for these families, most of them living on less than $1 a day. Reforming U.S. cotton subsidies would increase world cotton prices, resulting in added income that could feed an additional million children for a year who live in extremely poor West African cotton growing households.
Commodity subsidies hurt family farmers and cheat taxpayers. The Senate can succeed where the House of Representatives failed by making the Farm Bill fair.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 5:48 PM PST
Sunday, 4 November 2007
IMPORTANT = ANTI WAR SIT IN - SOLIDARITY NEEDED
Now Playing: High School Kids make ststement - need support from alies
Scores of H.S. Students Face Expulsion Following Antiwar Sit-In
Over 30 anti-war protesters at Morton West High School in Berwyn face expulsion for a demonstration at the school on Thursday.
Scores of Students Face Expulsion Due to Sit-in
Over 70 students participated in a sit-in against the Iraq War on All Saint's Day, Thursday, November 1st. It began third hour when dozens of student gathered quietly in the lunchroom at Morton West High School and refused to leave. Administrators and police became involved immediately and locked down the school for a half hour after class ended. Students report that they were promised that there would be no consequences besides cutting classes if they took their protest outside so as not to disturb the school day. The students agreed and were led to a corner outside the cafeteria where they sang songs and held signs while classes resumed. "At first they tried to make us like leave the school, " said Jerry Petrack, who was with the protest from the beginning. Petracek refers to the massive walk-out for immigrant rights in 2006 as a guide for their actions. (chicago.indymedia.org/newswire/display/71540/index.php
) "They were like march the streets or whatever and we were like no we don't wanna leave the school because last time there was a protest outside the school and kids got arrested and we remembered that."
Despite the caution tape and a police line set up between the protestors and the student body, many other students joined the demonstration. Organizers say they chose November first because it is the Christian All Saints holy day and a national day of peace. They wrote a letter and delivered it to Superintendent, Dr. Ben Nowakowski who was present at the time, stating the reason for their protest.
John Acevedo, a junior says he has been thinking about the world since he was a freshman. " I've noticed that there are many students that do not really notice anything that is going on in the world. They focus on themselves or their music and I really wanted to show and lead them on to these ideas that what really is happening in the world."
Adam Swarek says that a lot of people thought they just wanted to cut classes. "It was a lot more spiritual than that." "Bascially, you know the school has people in military uniforms that you know stand out there and they give away prizes for doing pull-ups and doing this and that and what they're basically representing and trying to put out there is murder and killing. That's all that basically represents when it comes down to war, you know. Like, what else is there?
So we were just trying to do something opposite, like peaceful and they took it as insubordinant."
Deans, counselors and even the Superintendent tried to change the minds of a few, mainly those students with higher GPA scores to abandon the protest. The school called the homes of many of the protestors. Those whose parents arrived before the end of school and took their students home, or left before the protest ended at the final bell, received 3-5 days suspension. All others, an estimated 37 received 10 days suspension and expulsion papers. Parents report that Nowakowski stated those who are seventeen will also face police charges.
Parents who are frantically trying to spare their child's expulsion flooded the school yesterday to file appeals on the matter. So far, Superintendent Nowakowski has held firm on the punishments. They are expected to find out the results of the appeals on Tuesday. Parents and students report and the school's videotape shown to some of the parents confirms that the students were non-violent in their action and there was no damage to property.
The protest came on the heels of a recent incident on October 15th, when a student reported hearing that another student had a gun on campus. The story of the eyewitness was deemed unreliable and the school was not locked down. Later that week (October 19), the Berwyn police, acting on a tip arrested one of the youths originally questioned for gun possession and he allegedly confessed to carrying an unloaded semi-automatic handgun that day. All these issues, plus the expected announcement of whether uniforms will be established in the school should make the next Board of Education meeting on Wednesday at 7:00pm at the Morton East campus very well-attended.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 6:33 PM PDT
Friday, 2 November 2007
TSA cheats and fixes their own screening - Security my ass!
Now Playing: CAN YOU SAY "scammed - lied to - cheating - phoney TSA"
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
TSA cought cheating
on their own screening checks
= "SCAM on us Americans"
Official sends e-mail detailing tests;
agency's inspector general investigates
WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration touts its programs to ensure security by using undercover operatives to test its airport screeners. In one instance, however, the agency thwarted such a test by alerting screeners across the country that it was under way, even providing descriptions of the undercover agents.
The government routinely runs covert tests at airports to ensure that security measures in place are sufficient to stop a terrorist from bringing something dangerous onto an airplane. Alerting screeners when the undercover officer is coming through and what the person looks like would defeat the purpose.
But that’s exactly what happened on April 28, 2006, according to an e-mail from a top TSA official who oversees security operations.
In an e-mail to more than a dozen recipients, including airport security staff, the TSA official warned that “several airport authorities and airport police departments have recently received informal notice” of security testing being carried out by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The e-mail from Mike Restovich, assistant administrator of TSA’s Office of Security Operations, relayed an alert that described a couple who were testing security. The woman is white but has “an oriental woman’s picture” on her identification card, it stated. “They will print a boarding pass from a flight, change the date, get through security (if not noticed) and try to board a flight and place a bag in the overhead.”
Because the pair had altered the date on a boarding pass, the e-mail advised: “Alert your security line vendors to be aware of subtle alterations to date info.”
The TSA inspector general is investigating the incident, and the agency would not discuss details of the case because it’s part of an ongoing investigation.
TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe said, “We are confident in the overall integrity of the program. Tip-offs are not a systemic problem because we do so much testing.”
Lawmakers are asking for more details on the incident as well.
“Any effort to undermine the integrity of covert testing of TSA’s screening checkpoints is unacceptable,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote in a letter Thursday to TSA Administrator Kip Hawley. Thompson chairs the House Homeland Security Committee.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:48 PM PDT
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
Congress passes 7-year Net tax ban
Now Playing: NO TAX ON INTERNET USE - for at least 7 more years
Posted by Richard Koman @ October 30, 2007 @ 2:09 PM
The House unanimously passed a seven-year extension of a ban on Internet taxes, in harmony with a bill passed by the Senate last week. The bill goes to President Bush for approval, just two days before the existing tax moratorium is scheduled to expire, Computerworld reports.
While many Republicans and Bush had supported a permanent ban, Bush is expected to sign the seven-year plan.
It’s great to see Congress act on time for a change and take an enormous step for Internet tax freedom — banning access taxes and protecting e-mails and instant messaging for the next seven years,” Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) said in a statement. “I will continue to fight for a permanent ban on access taxes, but this is a strong step forward. Taxing the Internet is wrong for consumers and wrong for the economy.”
Washington politicians and lobbyists alike spoke enthusiastically about the extension. “Americans will not face a toll road when they get on the information superhighway” if Bush signs the bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said. The extension “will ensure continued investment and growth in the broadband marketplace,” Verizon lobbyist Peter Davidson said, according to Bloomberg.
Even governors agreed the bill is `reasonable” and will “close tax loopholes, promote Internet usages and protect states,” in the words of Raymond Scheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association in Washington.
One key issue: The original House bill failed to exempt email services not bought as part of an access package. The final version continues the exemption for independent email and IM services.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:56 AM PDT
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
War on Drugs is a "FAILURE & TOTAL DISASTER"
Now Playing: da Texas Judge is "Right On"
War on Drugs a ‘failure, ‘total disaster’
By: Stephen Webster
Denton Co. Judge Jake Collier, a Flower Mound resident, takes top honors in poll of peers, calls for drug policy reform, regulation, control, rehabilitation
Jake Collier, 67, of the 158th District Court in Denton, Texas, is riding the only tidal wave of fame afforded to judges outside of the rising insanity of celebrity justice. Since being named “Best Judge in Denton” by the Denton County Bar Association for his conservative viewpoints, efficient use of court time and strict interpretations of the law, Judge Collier has been the toast of the county’s legal community.
When this reporter called for an interview about bench time, legal philosophy and the dark humor one acquires from a life in legal practice, it was more than a little surprising when Collier began to solicit his views on America’s Drug War.
To begin, however, the judge reinforced the principal requirement of his job.
“It does not matter whether a judge agrees or disagrees with the law,” he said. “We must know it and uphold it, and that’s what I do.”
In the state of Texas, election to District Court Judge requires at least five years as bar-certified attorney. Judge Collier, currently serving in his fifth year with the court, has been a legal professional since 1969, when he first moved to Lewisville. A graduate of the University of Texas, Collier has worked in almost every sector of the legal world, from corporate and real estate law to family law to criminal defense. The father of two children, and grandfather to three, Judge Collier feels his service to the county and the court reflects his respect for the American system of justice and his philosophy of civic duty.
However, he said, there is one frequented issue in his court that causes him a great deal of moral turmoil.
“My experience is the War on Drugs that has been waged by America for all these years is an absolute, total disaster … A failure,” he said. “We’re putting people in jail for possession, and we seldom if ever really run across a dealer. I don’t think, since I’ve been in office, we have not had more than four or five dealers come through my court.”
Judge Collier said he looks at countries such as England and the Netherlands as having a more intelligent approach to substance abuse, especially pertaining to the dangerous and addictive drug heroin.
“[Regulation and control] seems to work in countries that regulate the dangerous drugs,” said Judge Collier. “They do not have the criminal problem with heroin that the Untied States has. I believe Texas is one of just four or five states that do not have a free needle exchange program. In almost every other state, if someone is going to shoot up, they can get a clean needle. Now, we know they’re going to shoot up, and nothing we’ve ever done has made a bit of difference with that, but at least we’re going to help prevent a disease such as AIDS. But Texas doesn’t do that. We’re hell bent; by God, that’s a crime and we ain’t gonna help you do it.”
As for America’s number one cash crop, Judge Collier does even go as far as batting an eye at marijuana.
“Marijuana is well on its way, even in the state of Texas, to not being much of a crime,” he said. “I don’t hear marijuana cases. The only marijuana cases I hear is when somebody has four ounces or more. In other words, they’ve already reduced possession of a couple of joints to the level of a throw-away misdemeanor. I would not be surprised to see it be treated more like a parking violation, where you’d have to pay a fine for being caught with it in public.”
Judge Collier reinforced his belief in incarceration as a tool for reform, or to protect society at large, but continued his insistence that drug policy must be reformed.
“I don’t believe in violent crime,” he said. “Give me a chance and I’ll put you in jail for the rest of your life if you’re violent. But I truly do think we’re making a terrible mistake, locking up all these people for possession of drugs, even serious drugs, especially if they’ve only physically hurt themselves. There’s a philosophical point that says it is not the government’s business what someone puts in their body. Everybody says, ‘Oh, but it ruins lives.’ Well, hell, so does liquor! Liquor is the worst drug in the world. There are more people’s lives and family’s lives that have been ruined and more deaths each year from drinking alcohol than from all the drugs combined.”
However, just because he opines a progressive stance on drug policy does not mean he is somehow soft on crime. This is especially true when confronted with intoxicated drivers, for whom the judge has zero tolerance.
“Within six months of me taking the bench, word was out in the legal community that you do not want Judge Collier to set the penalty in a DWI case,” he said. “By the time I see them, they’re on their third DWI, making it a felony. And to be perfectly honest, at that point, I just do not know what to do other than put them away for their entire lives. You can do what you want to with your body in your own home, but when you drive without clarity of mind, you risk others’ lives and that is unacceptable.”
Finally, Collier concluded: “We’re getting our butts kicked. That’s all there is to it. The Mexican drug mafia is about to move across the Rio Grande into Texas. It’s real simple. If I can buy a pencil for a penny, walk across the street and sell it for a dollar, there’s no way in hell you’re going to prevent me from buying a bunch of pencils and walking across the street. The money is too good. The same is true in the drug trade. There’s no way we’re going to prevent all these people from growing all these drugs and manufacturing methamphetamine and all these things. There’s too much profit. We’ll only reduce drug use if we take away that profit from the bad guys, and put funding into really educating our children that you ought not to do this. That’s the only way we’ll ever stop being a user nation.”
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:54 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2007 4:59 PM PDT
1961 - biggest bomb ever was dropped
Now Playing: 58 megaton bomb from Russia
|On This Day|
October 30, 1961 - The Soviet Union detonated a 58 megaton yield hydrogen bomb over Novaya Zemlya, which is still the largest nuclear device to ever be detonated.
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:01 AM PDT
Monday, 29 October 2007
FEMA & FAKE NEWS - THIS IS NOT NEW
Now Playing: SCAM, LIES, FORGERY, MISUSE, nothing new here
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
FEMA PR chief loses new job after fake news briefing
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The man who oversaw public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency when it held a fake news conference last week will no longer be taking over as head of public relations for the director of national intelligence.
Pat Philbin, FEMA's external affairs director, was scheduled to become director of public affairs for National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether he offered his resignation or was fired just as he was set to begin the job.
As of Sunday, officials only said that they were aware of concerns.
But Monday, the director of national intelligence office issued this statement: "We do not normally comment on personnel matters. However, we can confirm that Mr. Philbin is not, nor is he scheduled to be, the director of public affairs for the office of the director of national intelligence."
FEMA Director David Paulison said Philbin sent him an e-mail in which he took full responsibility for last week's staging of the news conference.
FEMA, part of the Department of Homeland Security, called a news conference Tuesday in Washington on the agency's handling of the California wildfires.
The agency said no media representatives showed up because the conference was announced at the last minute. Instead, reporters called in on a phone line but couldn't ask questions
The agency released a video of the conference with FEMA employees asking less than hard-hitting questions.
Deputy Director Harvey Johnson, who was fielding questions, gave no indication at the time that staff members were asking the questions. Watch what happened at FEMA's fake news conference »
He later apologized, calling the fake briefing an "error in judgment."
"I am calling to apologize and say it will not happen again," Paulison said in a phone call to CNN.
He said rules are changing to prevent any reoccurrence. Reporters will be given at least an hour's warning before a press conference and those calling in will be able to ask questions in the future, he said.
Paulison said he is continuing to investigate. He said he understands that FEMA officials did not plan to ask questions and did so only when reporters failed to appear.
Disciplinary action is being taken against some FEMA employees, he said.
Another official said that reprimands have been issued and more may be coming.
Johnson "really didn't have an awareness" of what was taking place, according to Paulison. The FEMA director said Johnson wasn't familiar with everyone in the press office and did not recognize staffers asking questions.
"He just feels sick about it," Paulison said. "He feels his credibility has been hurt."
However, reporters noted that Johnson called on at least one person by name.
FEMA generally received high marks for its response to the California wildfires after fierce criticism over its handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but Paulison said he was sure the conference flap has had a bad effect on morale.
"The last two years of planning for a major disaster fell in place," Paulison said. "Things were working as they were supposed to ... and that just killed everything you tried to have happen."
The head of homeland security also has blasted the fake news briefing and said those behind it showed "extraordinarily poor judgment."
"I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I've ever seen since I've been in government," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Saturday.
The White House said it was unaware of the briefing beforehand.
"It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House," said press secretary Dana Perino. "We certainly don't condone it."
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 4:31 PM PDT
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Good Cop / Grouchy Cop = Seattle - O27 - Peace March
Now Playing: Coffee Shop - Police & Protesters
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:15 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 28 October 2007 11:16 PM PDT
Friday, 26 October 2007
USA WAR MONGERS RAMPING UP FOR IRAN WAR
Now Playing: Sanctions Against Iran = Good Job America (sic)
World Socialist Web Site www.wsws.org
US imposes unilateral sanctions on Iran:
One step closer to war
By Bill Van Auken
26 October 2007
Back to screen version | Send this link by email | Email the author
In an act unprecedented in the history of international relations, Washington on Thursday unilaterally imposed harsh and potentially crippling economic sanctions against Iran’s main uniformed security force, as well as against more than 20 Iranian companies and the country’s three major banks.
The sanctions, announced by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, represent a deliberate provocation aimed at precluding any negotiated settlement to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and making a US war against the country all but inevitable.
In announcing the measures—which are considerably more punitive than those imposed by Washington during the seizure of the US embassy which followed the 1979 Iranian revolution—Rice said they were designed “to increase the costs to Iran of its irresponsible behavior.”
The sanctions are directed in the first instance against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the US government has now branded as “proliferators of weapons of mass destruction,” and its Quds Force, which has been labeled a “supporter of terrorism.”
The Revolutionary Guards, a force of some 125,000, is responsible for law enforcement, border patrol and resistance against foreign attack. It also organizes Iran’s people’s militia, providing military training to some 12 million volunteers.
The Quds Force is a special unit within the Revolutionary Guards that handles overseas operations. It has acted in a number of countries with the direct approval of Washington.
In Bosnia, it provided arms to the US-backed Muslim government; in Afghanistan, it aided the forces fighting the Soviet military and then supported those fighting the Taliban; in Iraq, it assisted Kurdish guerrillas against the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein.
Elsewhere, it has aided organizations opposed by the US, principally those resisting Israeli aggression, such as Hezbollah, the mass Shia movement in Lebanon, and organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories.
By imposing these designations upon the official armed forces of a sovereign state, the Bush administration is carrying out a brazen intervention into the internal affairs of Iran. In so doing, it is setting out a pseudo-legal framework for war, spelling out two alternative pretexts—weapons of mass destruction and terrorism—which are identical to those contrived and propagated in preparation for the unprovoked US invasion of Iraq.
Washington has charged that Iran is pursuing its nuclear program in order to construct a nuclear weapon. Tehran has denied this charge, insisting that it is utilizing the program for peaceful purposes, in particular, the development of an alternative power source.
In regard to the second casus belli, the Bush administration and some senior US military commanders have repeatedly accused Iran and the Quds Force, in particular, of arming, funding and training forces in Iraq responsible for attacks on US occupation troops.
Washington has yet to provide concrete evidence to back these charges and has produced no one that it can credibly claim is an Iranian agent engaged in these alleged activities. Tehran has denied responsibility for the attacks, which it points out are carried out in their great majority by Sunni resistance fighters, not the Shia movements with which the Iranians have enjoyed a longstanding relationship.
The sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards are aimed at inflicting significant damage to the Iranian economy. The Guards’ role in Iran includes far-ranging economic activities.
Its engineering unit, for example is involved in a number of major projects, ranging from a $2 billion contract for the development of the country’s main gas field, to a $1.3 billion contract for a new pipeline directed to Pakistan, to the construction of a Tehran metro extension, a high-speed rail link between the capital and Isfahan, shipping ports and a major dam.
The immediate impact of sanctions allowing the freezing of assets in US banks or barring US businesses from economic ties to the Iranian Guards, as well as the named Iranian bank and other companies, is negligible, given that Washington’s imposition of sanctions in response to the 1979 revolution that overthrew the US-backed dictatorship of the Shah had already largely frozen American banks and corporations out of the Iranian market.Blackmailing foreign banks and corporations
The aim of these measures—which are far more sweeping than anything the US could hope to get passed in the United Nations—is to blackmail foreign banks and corporations with the threat that their continued operations inside Iran could lead to American-imposed penalties and exclusion from the US market.
Treasury Secretary Paulson called upon “responsible banks and companies around the world” to cut off all ties with the named bank, companies and all affiliates of the Revolutionary Guards. US officials have stressed that the Guards’ ties are so widespread that any economic relations whatsoever with Iran carry with them the threat of US retaliation.
The US action won quick endorsement from the British government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which, according to some press reports, has also signaled its willingness to go along with eventual US air strikes against Iran. Brown appears prepared to play the same role that Blair played in paving the way for the invasion of Iraq, by pushing for the United Nations Security Council to impose another set of sanctions, a move that is opposed by Russia and China, both of which have substantial interests in Iran and hold veto power on the council. In 2003, Bush invoked the failure of the UN to pass a resolution authorizing military action as the pretext for unilaterally launching the US war.
Other European powers, however, were more cool towards Washington’s diktat. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeir said Thursday that any decision on further sanctions against Iran should await an evaluation of Iran’s willingness to answer more questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). German companies exported $5.7 billion worth of goods to Iran last year, while the German Economics Ministry granted the government in Tehran $1.2 billion in export credit guarantees.
Iran’s new nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, joined by his predecessor, Ali Larijani, held two days of talks this week with the European Union’s foreign policy director, Javier Solana, in Rome to discuss Tehran’s nuclear program. At the end of the talks Wednesday, the Iranian negotiators joined Solana and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi in a joint press conference in Rome. Both sides described the talks as “constructive,” while Prodi insisted that “dialogue is the only way to find a solution for Iran’s nuclear program in the UN Security Council and Italy encourages this way.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced a harsh reaction to the US sanctions. Meeting with European Union leaders at a summit in Portugal, he insisted that the controversy over Iran’s nuclear program should be resolved through negotiations, along the lines of those pursued with North Korea.
“Why worsen the situation and bring it to a dead end by threatening sanctions or military action?” Putin said. In an obvious characterization of Bush, he continued, “Running around like a madman with a razor blade, waving it around, is not the best way to resolve the situation.”
Iran dismissed the US sanctions. “The hostile policies of America against the respectful Iranian nation and our legal organizations are against international regulations and have no value,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini. “Such ridiculous measures cannot rescue the Americans from the crisis they themselves have created in Iraq.”
Speaking at a conference on “Privatization in Iran” held in Dubai for foreign investors, the head of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, Mohammad Nahvandian, said that while the sanctions could lead to “an increase in costs,” they could not “disturb or stop Iran’s massive trade relations with other countries.”
The principal aim of the sanctions, however, appears to be not so much economic as political. By increasing tensions, they are designed to slam the door on any negotiated settlement of the nuclear dispute and pave the way for US military action.
In that sense they are of a piece with the steady escalation of threats against Iran, including Bush’s warning last week about “World War III” and Cheney’s threat last Sunday that Iran would face “serious consequences” if it continued on its present course, and that the US would not “stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions.”
Fresh evidence of US war preparations against Iran came in the details of the nearly $200 billion budget request sent to Congress last Monday for funding the continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Included was nearly $88 million for fitting “bunker-busting” bombs onto B-2 stealth bombers. Some lawmakers and congressional aides pointed out that there is little use for such weapons in the current counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the bombs were in all likelihood intended for attacking Iran’s underground nuclear facilities.
As the Bush administration prepares for yet another war, the Democrats in Congress have once again emerged as willing accomplices. The administration’s imposition of sanctions was actually prefigured by legislation passed in the Democratic-led House—by an overwhelming 397-16 vote—that would impose sanctions on non-US energy companies doing business in Iran.
While Democratic leaders claimed the measure was intended to cut off funding for Iran’s nuclear program, its real intention is evident. American oil conglomerates frozen out of the Iranian market want to deny their competitors any advantage.
In the final analysis, the propaganda about nuclear threats and terrorism notwithstanding, a US war against Iran would be launched to impose American capitalism’s hegemonic control over the strategic oil reserves of the Persian Gulf.
World Socialist Web Site
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 3:21 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007 3:24 PM PDT
BBC story on young man violating helpless woman on street
Now Playing: ASSHOLE jerk arrested for pissing on helpless lady
Topic: ANYBODY * ANYDAY
Generally there is plenty of sick / shocking news
all over in the media.
This story struck me as one that needed to be exposed "more"
The sick part I want to emphases
is how people stood around laughing and watching
....and did nothing to stop the jerk
who was doing obscene stuff to this helpless woman.
That is the issue that irritates me.
The disturbing concept that....."this will make a good YouTube video"
is demented and speaks of the slippery slope
of reporting or "encouraging" sick twisted actions of stupid people
Here is the BBC story that I copied from::
Man jailed for urinating on woman
A man who urinated on a woman as she lay dying and shouted "this is YouTube material" has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Christine Lakinski had "a difficult life"
Anthony Anderson also covered Christine Lakinski with shaving foam after she collapsed in a Hartlepool street.
The 50-year-old, who suffered from a number of medical conditions, was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Anderson, 27, and from Raby Road in the Teesside town, had earlier admitted outraging public decency.
The court heard how, on 27 July, Miss Lakinski was making her way home with a box of laminate flooring when she fell ill and stumbled into a doorway.
Anderson, a former soldier, had smoked a cannabis joint and been drinking when he and two friends spotted her.
He tried to rouse her by throwing a bucket of water over her, before urinating on her and covering her with shaving foam.
A crowd had gathered around, watching and laughing, and the incident was filmed on a mobile phone.
She was later declared dead at the scene, the cause of death being given as pancreatic failure.
ASSHOLE - Anthony Anderson was filmed urinating on Christine
Magistrates in Hartlepool had referred the case to Teesside Crown Court so a longer jail term could be handed out.
Judge Peter Fox, the recorder of Middlesbrough sitting at Teesside Crown Court, said: "You violated this woman in an incredible way, and the shocking nature of your acts over a prolonged period of time must mean that a prison sentence of greater length is appropriate in this case."
Outside court, Miss Lakinski's family said in a statement: "We remain totally shocked that anyone could behave in such an appalling way.
"The fact that Christine was dying makes this man's actions even more sick and inhumane.
"However, those who stood by and did nothing to stop Anderson are also guilty in our eyes.
"It beggars belief that these people chose not only to condone his cruelty, but also to walk away from a neighbor who was clearly in distress and needed help."
The family statement added that Christine had "faced immense challenges throughout her life", yet still had managed to "forge an independent life for herself".
Posted by Joe Anybody
at 11:13 AM PDT
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