Zebra 3 Report by Joe Anybody
Thursday, 20 May 2010
No Blackwater No Contractors being given free rein in Iraq
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Stop Military Industrial spending / policy abuse and crooked contarctor no bid projects
Topic: WAR

 Blackwater is just the tip of the iceberg  

President Bush opened the floodgates for outsourcing government jobs, and we're still reeling from the effects.Blackwater (now known as Xe), Halliburton, DynCorp, KBR, and Triple Canopy are just some of the multitude of private, for-profit corporations that became integral parts of the American war machine during the simultaneous Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

There is already legislation that has been introduced to tackle some of this problem. The Stop Outsourcing Security Act would prohibit the American government from using mercenaries to fight our wars.But military contractors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reckless government outsourcing.


We have an opportunity to change direction. The Obama administration is seeking public comments on the definition of "inherently governmental" functions, which sets the parameters government-wide for what can and cannot be outsourced.Submit a public comment to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

It's vital that we speak out to make sure the federal government steps back from the Bush-era practice of dismantling our government and giving free rein to Blackwater and companies like it.The role of Blackwater in Iraq and Afghanistan offers a clear picture of the rot that infects our government when we outsource important functions to private entities that only care about their own bottom lines.When we use private contractors, we sacrifice even the insufficient transparency and accountability we have over our military.

Meanwhile, our reliance on greedy and shameless entities magnifies both the human and monetary cost of war.

In 2007, Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, testified before Congress that over 90 percent of Blackwater's contracts were with the federal government (and publicly available data shows over 2/3 of those government contracts were awarded as no-bid contracts).Weeks before Prince's testimony, Blackwater mercenaries needlessly slaughtered 17 civilians in Nisour Square in Baghdad while guarding American State Department officials. Despite massive and widespread outrage in Iraq and elsewhere, the State Department still has a contract with Blackwater to provide protection for its personnel.

There's no justifiable reason why our government ought to outsource the decision to pull the trigger and take another life in our name. And what's true for shooting a gun and taking a life is also true for a whole host of broad areas where our of government should act directly, not through a company looking to squeeze a buck out of the process. Speak out and submit a public comment about the definition of "inherently governmental" functions.

This issue is, of course, about more than Blackwater, and it's about more than military contractors. The lack of clarity about what can and cannot be outsourced and the willingness of the American government to outsource as much as possible has allowed the role of federal contractors to metastasize and transform in horrific ways.It's even gotten to the point that we cannot adequately oversee contracts and have contractors evaluating the performance of other contractors on behalf of the American government.

We can no longer allow the government to abdicate responsibility of core government functions based upon the unfounded hope that the profit motive will somehow ensure everything will turn out okay.We need to speak out.

There are some things that only the government should do. This outsourcing craze needs to come to an end. Submit your public comment about "inherently governmental" functions today!  

====================================

Letter below:

 I am very concerned about the outsourcing of government jobs to private contractors.  I think the proposed OFPP policy letter should reflect a definition of "inherently governmental" that specifically incorporates all "critical" and "closely associated with inherently governmental" functions, and should explicitly reject the notion that a federal agency should presume to outsource any function not reserved for federal employees. 

I am especially, although not exclusively, concerned with the use of private security contracts.  As we have seen with the reliance on private military contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq, the performance of mission critical security functions by profit-driven contractors is at a minimum counterproductive and can be immoral and criminal. 

OFPP, through its proposed policy letter, should add to its list of inherently governmental functions the following physical security activities: guard services, convoy security services, pass and identification services, plant protection services, the operation of prison or detention facilities, and any security operations that might reasonably require the use of deadly force. 

Additionally, the proposed OFPP policy letter should specifically exclude contractors from performing the following: support of intelligence activities (including covert operations), interrogation, military and police training, and the repair and maintenance of weapon systems. 

Given the resistance of contractors to effective oversight, and the costs and controversies associated with the contracting out of these functions, the government must in-source these services to provide the proper oversight and accountability. 

Therefore, the list of "inherently governmental" functions ought to include these activities explicitly. 

I furthermore urge that OFPP incorporate the new definition and compliance guidance into the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

 

To send your own letter click here:

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/inherently_gov/?r=5569&id=9248-191083-K3el2tx

 

==============================================


Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:08 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 20 May 2010 10:11 AM PDT
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Wiskey & Gunpowder article
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: something happened to the economy - did you notice - well wiskey & gunpowder did
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:35 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 18 May 2010 11:39 AM PDT
Monday, 17 May 2010
Israeli Defense Force, Col. Bentzion Gruber - Denver University 5.11
Mood:  loud
Now Playing: Israel Uses Senior Military Officers to Justify Killing
Topic: HUMANITY

=====

 
Israel Uses Senior Military Officers to Justify Killing
Charles E. Carlson  May 16, 2010

An event at Denver University on May 11, 2010---

I was fortunate to attend a speech Tuesday by a senior military officer of the Israeli Defense Force, Col. Bentzion Gruber, speaking at Denver University on May 11, about the "morality and restraint" of the IDF in dealing with their "terrorist" neighbors... fortunate because this is the first time I have seen an Israeli propagandist lambasted for lying to his audience.  Col. Gruber looked like he had been run over by his own bulldozers when a few knowledgeable members of the audience refused to sit quietly and have their intelligence insulted.

The meeting was sponsored by the Institute for Study of Israel in Middle East and the DU chapter of Hillel, a Jewish fraternity on campus. Gruber's lecture was called, "The Most Rigorous Military Code of Ethics in the World." Gruber is a Deputy Commander of the Reserve Division that served in Operation Cast Lead, the Christmas 2008 one month massacre in Gaza, which has, in fact, been followed by a blockade. He is now a reserve officer, but he also served during the Second Intifada (1998-02) during which Israeli forces killed 4789 Palestinians.

Gruber was interrupted constantly by individuals one-by- one who constantly challenged his facts.  The resistance resulted from the efforts of eight to ten people who called a Mother's day strategy meeting in a Denver park. They know the only way to refute Gruber was not to allow one lie to pass unchallenged. It worked.

Gruber became unnerved and struggled unsuccessfully to finish his speech, limping through his allotted time with the aid of police, who ushered out one by one those who spoke clearly from the floor. Later Gruber was to be roundly challenged by his general audience, including a professor and some of the students, during a Q & A period. Most attacked Gruber's facts and his country's credibility.

Angered, the flustered Colonel stated, "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims," causing shouts from the stunned audience to bring the meeting to a temporary halt. Gruber was forced to apologize, but he stuck to his guns in referring to every Palestinian who resists Israel as a "terrorist."

Gruber's lecture made the same points that are made in every Israeli propaganda speech: Israel is the victim, not the aggressor. For evidence, the Colonel cited suicide bombers, rockets and missiles, and the evil Hamas hiding behind civilians. He used an IDF propaganda film to attempt to show how careful Israel is to avoid killing civilians. The film contained obviously misleading statements about the Gazans and Hamas, including alleging Gazans used over three thousand "rockets" and "mortars" against Israelis.

His challengers cited the now famous Goldstone Report, which states otherwise. He was told the Gazans have no missiles, their rockets are the homemade kind that don't explode, and only four Israelis were killed by rocket fire in all the history of it. Mortar rounds are so scarce they are rarely used on rural Israel that surrounds Gaza, and are saved to fight off invasions.

The IDF also showed footage of a human bomber attacking a bus that he insisted was carrying women and children. But the movie was clearly faked, with dubbed in gunfire much too loud for the long range and grainy film. A questionable close-up of the grinning "suicide bomber" was offered to prove how happy Palestinian terrorists are just before they blow themselves up. Gruber was asked why he did not tell the audience that Palestinian's homemade rockets do not explode and that Israeli buses carry on-duty military and are therefore military targets. The audience of students did not buy the film once some of Gruber's misstatements were exposed.

Some challenged Gruber and the IDF film on its claims of humanitarian restraint in battle by citing the Goldstone Report, which documented the massacre 16 months ago. The Colonel's response was that Goldstone was "full of lies," and Israel "never used white phosphorus bombs."

He ended his much contested speech by reciting a sad but irrelevant story of his family being "holocaust" survivors sixty years ago and one of his family members being raped by a German, springing from this to the defense of Israel with no explanation as to what this had to do with the IDF's slaughter of the Gazans. The final questioner asked why he did this, and Gruber did not say how the Palestinians were involved in Germany's acts sixty years ago.

We in the United States are increasingly subjected to the influence of military personal on our payroll, used by politicians to tell us why this war or that war is needed. A generation ago it was a violation of the military code. General Douglas Mac Arthur, American five-star hero of World War II, was fired and ousted from the military for making statements about the Korean War.

Today it is commonplace for retired and even active duty officers to give interviews and public statements about the progress of the war, apparently deemed necessary by our political leaders to support the war effort. A recent example is found in a story by retired General Paul Vallaly whose claims go beyond fantasy.

Vallaly is listed in Wikipedia as a senior military analyst for Fox News. He claims tiny Lebanon has "50-60,000 missiles and rockets" hidden in houses and orchards aimed at Israel, that Iran already has nuclear bombs and is getting ready to mount them on "Scud" missiles from Russia, and that surrounding Islamic countries are planning a chemical attack on Israel. This war propagandist general repeatedly suggests he has privileged information. His final words: "We cannot allow Israel to stand alone in this."  Endnote 1.

Israel, not unlike the USA, uses their military, like Colonel Gruber, to sell the false idea that it is the victim, and is a humane, surgically clean eliminator of "terrorists". The response at Denver University was an encouraging surprise and another sign of a "turning" in our time that is finally beginning to happen in the minds of those who think about what they are being told, especially students.

=====

1.) "General (Vallaly) Warns of Chemical Attacks against Israel" <http://www.pjtv.com/v/3505>http://www.pjtv.com/v/3505

Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:00 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 18 May 2010 11:41 AM PDT
Philosopher - silly - leisure thinker - relaxed and anti social
Now Playing: what is a philosopher question is answered by Simon Critchley
Topic: ANYBODY * ANYDAY

Good Day Z3 Readers... I find an article titled "What is a Philosopher?" in the NY Times this morning, pasted below is what the writer explains is the definition of what a philosopher is or suppose to be.

 Original article is located here:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/what-is-a-philosopher/?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fopinion%2Findex.jsonp


  

May 16, 2010, 5:00 pm

What Is a Philosopher?

By SIMON CRITCHLEY
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/what-is-a-philosopher/?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fopinion%2Findex.jsonp 

There are as many definitions of philosophy as there are philosophers – perhaps there are even more. After three millennia of philosophical activity and disagreement, it is unlikely that we’ll reach consensus, and I certainly don’t want to add more hot air to the volcanic cloud of unknowing. What I’d like to do in the opening column in this new venture — The Stone — is to kick things off by asking a slightly different question: what is a philosopher?

As Alfred North Whitehead said, philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato. Let me risk adding a footnote by looking at Plato’s provocative definition of the philosopher that appears in the middle of his dialogue, “Theaetetus,” in a passage that some scholars consider a “digression.” But far from being a footnote to a digression, I think this moment in Plato tells us something hugely important about what a philosopher is and what philosophy does.

Socrates tells the story of Thales, who was by some accounts the first philosopher. He was looking so intently at the stars that he fell into a well. Some witty Thracian servant girl is said to have made a joke at Thales’ expense — that in his eagerness to know what went on in the sky he was unaware of the things in front of him and at his feet. Socrates adds, in Seth Benardete’s translation, “The same jest suffices for all those who engage in philosophy.”

What is a philosopher, then? The answer is clear: a laughing stock, an absent-minded buffoon, the butt of countless jokes from Aristophanes’ “The Clouds” to Mel Brooks’s “History of the World, part one.” Whenever the philosopher is compelled to talk about the things at his feet, he gives not only the Thracian girl but the rest of the crowd a belly laugh. The philosopher’s clumsiness in worldly affairs makes him appear stupid or, “gives the impression of plain silliness.” We are left with a rather Monty Pythonesque definition of the philosopher: the one who is silly.

 

But as always with Plato, things are not necessarily as they first appear, and Socrates is the greatest of ironists. First, we should recall that Thales believed that water was the universal substance out of which all things were composed. Water was Thales’ philosophers’ stone, as it were. Therefore, by falling into a well, he inadvertently presses his basic philosophical claim.

But there is a deeper and more troubling layer of irony here that I would like to peel off more slowly. Socrates introduces the “digression” by making a distinction between the philosopher and the lawyer, or what Benardete nicely renders as the “pettifogger.” The lawyer is compelled to present a case in court and time is of the essence. In Greek legal proceedings, a strictly limited amount of time was allotted for the presentation of cases. Time was measured with a water clock or clepsydra, which literally steals time, as in the Greek kleptes, a thief or embezzler. The pettifogger, the jury, and by implication the whole society, live with the constant pressure of time. The water of time’s flow is constantly threatening to drown them.

The freedom of the philosopher consists in either moving freely from topic to topic or simply spending years returning to the same topic out of perplexity, fascination and curiosity.

By contrast, we might say, the philosopher is the person who has time or who takes time. Theodorus, Socrates’ interlocutor, introduces the “digression” with the words, “Aren’t we at leisure, Socrates?” The latter’s response is interesting. He says, “It appears we are.” As we know, in philosophy appearances can be deceptive. But the basic contrast here is that between the lawyer, who has no time, or for whom time is money, and the philosopher, who takes time. The freedom of the philosopher consists in either moving freely from topic to topic or simply spending years returning to the same topic out of perplexity, fascination and curiosity.

Pushing this a little further, we might say that to philosophize is to take your time, even when you have no time, when time is constantly pressing at your back. The busy readers of The New York Times will doubtless understand this sentiment. It is our hope that some of them will make the time to read The Stone. As Wittgenstein says, “This is how philosophers should salute each other: ‘Take your time.’ ” Indeed, it might tell you something about the nature of philosophical dialogue to confess that my attention was recently drawn to this passage from Theaetetus in leisurely discussions with a doctoral student at the New School, Charles Snyder.

Socrates says that those in the constant press of business, like lawyers, policy-makers, mortgage brokers and hedge fund managers, become ”bent and stunted” and they are compelled “to do crooked things.” The pettifogger is undoubtedly successful, wealthy and extraordinarily honey-tongued, but, Socrates adds, “small in his soul and shrewd and a shyster.” The philosopher, by contrast, is free by virtue of his or her otherworldliness, by their capacity to fall into wells and appear silly.

Socrates adds that the philosopher neither sees nor hears the so-called unwritten laws of the city, that is, the mores and conventions that govern public life. The philosopher shows no respect for rank and inherited privilege and is unaware of anyone’s high or low birth. It also does not occur to the philosopher to join a political club or a private party. As Socrates concludes, the philosopher’s body alone dwells within the city’s walls. In thought, they are elsewhere.

This all sounds dreamy, but it isn’t. Philosophy should come with the kind of health warning one finds on packs of European cigarettes: PHILOSOPHY KILLS. Here we approach the deep irony of Plato’s words. Plato’s dialogues were written after Socrates’ death. Socrates was charged with impiety towards the gods of the city and with corrupting the youth of Athens. He was obliged to speak in court in defense of these charges, to speak against the water-clock, that thief of time. He ran out of time and suffered the consequences: he was condemned to death and forced to take his own life.

A couple of generations later, during the uprisings against Macedonian rule that followed the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E., Alexander’s former tutor, Aristotle, escaped Athens saying, “I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy.” From the ancient Greeks to Giordano Bruno, Spinoza, Hume and right up to the shameful lawsuit that prevented Bertrand Russell from teaching at the City College of New York in 1940 on the charge of sexual immorality and atheism, philosophy has repeatedly and persistently been identified with blasphemy against the gods, whichever gods they might be. Nothing is more common in the history of philosophy than the accusation of impiety. Because of their laughable otherworldliness and lack of respect for social convention, rank and privilege, philosophers refuse to honor the old gods and this makes them politically suspicious, even dangerous. Might such dismal things still happen in our happily enlightened age? That depends where one casts one’s eyes and how closely one looks.

Perhaps the last laugh is with the philosopher. Although the philosopher will always look ridiculous in the eyes of pettifoggers and those obsessed with maintaining the status quo, the opposite happens when the non-philosopher is obliged to give an account of justice in itself or happiness and misery in general. Far from eloquent, Socrates insists, the pettifogger is “perplexed and stutters.”

Of course, one might object, that ridiculing someone’s stammer isn’t a very nice thing to do. Benardete rightly points out that Socrates assigns every kind of virtue to the philosopher apart from moderation. Nurtured in freedom and taking their time, there is something dreadfully uncanny about the philosopher, something either monstrous or god-like or indeed both at once. This is why many sensible people continue to think the Athenians had a point in condemning Socrates to death. I leave it for you to decide. I couldn’t possibly judge.

 

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 18 May 2010 11:38 AM PDT
Sunday, 16 May 2010
David Icke-Finding the Warrior within (Time to grow up)
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: VIDEO: David Icke descibes and encourages, finding the warrior within
Topic: SMILE SMILE SMILE

Posted by Joe Anybody at 6:28 PM PDT
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Obama doesnt want Marijuana legal
Mood:  irritated
Now Playing: Same old crock of disinformation and fear
Topic: FAILURE by the GOVERNMENT
comments13 COMMENTS

Obama Administration ‘Firmly Opposes’ Marijuana Legalization — Here’s Why

So this is your administration on drugs. Any questions?

Obama drug plan ‘firmly opposes’ legalization as California vote looms
via The Hill

The Obama administration said Tuesday that it “firmly opposes” the legalization of any illicit drugs as California voters head to the polls to consider legalizing marijuana this fall.

The president and his drug czar re-emphasized their opposition to legalizing drugs in the first release of its National Drug Control Strategy this morning.

“Keeping drugs illegal reduces their availability and lessens willingness to use them,” the document, prepared by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, says. “That is why this Administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug.”

Is anyone surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all, this is the same Gil Kerlikowske that has said repeatedly that legalization is not in his vocabulary, and publicly stated, “Marijuana is dangerous and has no medicinal benefit.” And this is the same administration that recently nominated Michele Leonhart to head the DEA — the same Michele Leonhart who overruled the DEA’s own administrative law judge in order to continue to block medical marijuana research, and publicly claimed that the rising death toll civilians attributable to the U.S./Mexican drug war “a signpost of the success” of U.S. prohibitionist policies.

Yet, given that national polls now indicate that an estimated one out of two Americans nationwide support legalization, and that a solid majority of west coast voters and Californians back regulating the retail production and distribution of pot like alcohol, it seems politically counterproductive for the administration to maintain such a ‘flat Earth’ policy. So what could possibly be their reasoning?

It’s actually spelled out here, in the White House’s 2010 Drug Control Strategy:

We have many proven methods for reducing the demand for drugs. Keeping drugs illegal reduces their availability and lessens willingness to use them. That is why this Administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug. Legalizing drugs would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of use. Diagnostic, laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological studies clearly indicate that marijuana use is associated with dependence, respiratory and mental illness, poor motor performance, and cognitive impairment, among other negative effects, and legalization would only exacerbate these problems.

There it is in black and white — in less than 100 words: The federal government’s entire justification for marijuana prohibition; their entire justification for a policy that has led to the arrest of over 20 million Americans since 1965, that is responsible for allowing cops to terrorize families and kill their pets, that has stripped hundreds of thousands of young people of their ability to pursue higher education, and that is directly responsible for the deaths of over 20,000 civilians on the U.S./Mexico border. And that’s just for starters.

Yet the entire premise for maintaining the government’s policy — that keeping marijuana criminally prohibited “reduces [its] availability and lessens willingness to use [it]” — is demonstrably false. Under present prohibition, more than 1/3 of 8th graders, more than 2/3rds of 10th graders, and some 85 percent of 12th graders say that marijuana is “easy to get.” Even according to the stridently prohibitionist group CASA (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University), more teens say that they can get their hands on pot than booze, and one-quarter say that they can buy marijuana within the hour. That means, President Obama and Gil Kerlikowske, that 25 percent of teens can obtain marijuana as easily — and as quickly — as a Domino’s pizza!

This is your “proven” method for “reducing availability?” Don’t make us laugh.

By contrast, dozens of studies from around the globe have established, consistently, that marijuana liberalization will result in lower overall drug use. For example, no less than the World Health Organization concluded:

“Globally, drug use is not distributed evenly, and is simply not related to drug policy. … The U.S. … stands out with higher levels of use of alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis, despite punitive illegal drug policies. … The Netherlands, with a less criminally punitive approach to cannabis use than the U.S., has experienced lower levels of use, particularly among younger adults. Clearly, by itself, a punitive policy towards possession and use accounts for limited variation in national rates of illegal drug use.”

In fact, NORML has an entire white paper devoted to addressing this issue here.

Of course, the best option to truly reduce youth availability to cannabis is legalization and regulation. This strategy — the same one that we employ for the use of virtually every other product except cannabis — would impose common sense controls regarding who can legally produce marijuana, who can legally distribute marijuana, who can legally consume marijuana, and where adults can legally use marijuana and under what circumstances is such use legally permitted.

But we already know that this option isn’t in the administration’s vocabulary, now don’t we?

I’ve written time and time again that this administration ought to view marijuana legalization as a political opportunity, not a political liability. They obviously aren’t listening. Nevertheless, it is the voters who have led — and will continue to lead — on this issue, and it is the politicians who will follow. Could we expect it to be any other way?

After all it was the federal government that followed the states lead in 1937 — federally criminalizing pot, but only doing so after virtually every state in the nation had already done so. California, for instance, outlawed marijuana use in 1913 — nearly a quarter of a century before the Feds acted similarly. Likewise, it is going to be the states — and California in particular — that are going to usher in the era of re-legalization.

And it will be the Feds who eventually will have no other choice but to fall in line.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 4:35 PM PDT
Monday, 10 May 2010
CEO's and the battle keep their jobs
Mood:  lyrical
Now Playing: CEO and job stability in the Electronic Industry
Topic: CORPORATE CRAP
Lonely at the top: 10 CEOs out in 2009
http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=EWQ1INNDQ5PEZQE1GHRSKHWATMY32JVN?articleID=220301672 

Page 1 of 3
EE Times


It's been a tough year for the global electronics industry, and chief executive officers are among those who have felt the pain. Some failed to adapt, others were swamped by red ink. A few ended their tenures on a high note.

We examine the fates of 10 electronic CEOs who were shown the door in 2009. No doubt others will follow during the fourth quarter. Dissecting what went wrong at each company may shed light on how to avoid their mistakes in the future as the global electronics industry looks to recover from an historic downturn.

Despite the seemingly large number of dismissals at the top, one industry analyst reports that "most corporate executives today have managed to hold their own while a significant portion of employees working under them continue to remain fearful for their jobs or worse."

According to Liberium Research, who focuses on corporate management trends, overall CEO turnover actually declined 10 percent in September compared to the same time last year. Still, the fourth quarter could reverse of the trend.

"An increasing number of top executives may find their positions at greater risk as we move through the fall and into the winter," the market researcher warned.

What follows is our analysis of the most significant CEO changes in the electronics industry during the first three quarters of 2009:

 



Page 2: Lonely at the top: 10 CEOs out in 2009
Page 3: Lonely at the top: 10 CEOs out in 2009

Page 1 2 3

Posted by Joe Anybody at 12:01 AM PDT
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Oil Spill - Iran Offers to Help - Wait we are Sanctioning You?
Mood:  mischievious
Now Playing: Iran offers to help contain US oil spill
Topic: POLITICS
 
Iran offers to help contain US oil spill
Mon, 03 May 2010 13:29:49 GMT
Font size :
A dead fish is seen on the Mississippi beach on May 2, 2010. While the death has not been linked to the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, concerns over wildlife continue.
The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Following an explosion on a BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, at least 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil are thought to be spilling into the water every day.

NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm's readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company's public relations office told Press TV.

"Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world," Bahmani said.

Overlooking the new US drive for slapping more UN sanctions on Iran over its civilian nuclear program, the company said that there is an urgent need for action to protect the nearby coasts from the advancing oil spill.

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Florida have reportedly called a state of emergency for fear of the oil slick's environmental and economic damages.

The disaster has also prompted the White House to ban oil drillings in new areas of the US coast until the British company explains the cause of the explosion that killed 11 employees and resulted in the oil spill.


 

Posted by Joe Anybody at 11:14 PM PDT
Friday, 23 April 2010
Whose Side Are You On Son?
Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Pogue Colonel: Don't you love your country? - Private Joker: Yes, sir.
Topic: WAR

 

Pogue Colonel: Marine, what is that button on your body armor?

Private Joker: A peace symbol, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Where'd you get it?

Private Joker: I don't remember, sir.

Pogue Colonel: What is that you've got written on your helmet?

Private Joker: "Born to Kill", sir.

Pogue Colonel: You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?

Private Joker: No, sir.

Pogue Colonel: You'd better get your head and your ass wired together, or I will take a giant shit on you.

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Now answer my question or you'll be standing tall before the man.

Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.

Pogue Colonel: The what?

Private Joker: The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Whose side are you on, son?

Private Joker: Our side, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Don't you love your country?

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Then how about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.

Private Joker: Aye-aye, sir.

Posted by Joe Anybody at 10:02 AM PDT
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Congressman, member of the House of Representatives, Duncan Blasts "Useless" Air Marshal Service
Now Playing: TSA Air Marshal are more trouble - then they are help

Duncan Blasts "Useless" Air Marshal Service


VIDEO

Washington, DC -- Mr. DUNCAN:  Madam Speaker, probably the most needless, useless agency in the entire Federal Government is the Air Marshal Service.

In the Homeland Security Appropriations bill we will take up next week, we will appropriate $860 million for this needless, useless agency. This money is a total waste: $860 million for people to sit on airplanes and simply fly back and forth, back and forth. What a cushy, easy job. 

And listen to this paragraph from a front-page story in the USA Today last November: “Since 9/11, more than three dozen Federal air marshals have been charged with crimes, and hundreds more have been accused of misconduct. Cases range from drunken driving and domestic violence to aiding a human-trafficking ring and trying to smuggle explosives from Afghanistan.''

Actually, there have been many more arrests of Federal air marshals than that story reported, quite a few for felony offenses. In fact, more air marshals have been arrested than the number of people arrested by air marshals.

We now have approximately 4,000 in the Federal Air Marshals Service, yet they have made an average of just 4.2 arrests a year since 2001. This comes out to an average of about one arrest a year per 1,000 employees.

Now, let me make that clear. Their thousands of employees are not making one arrest per year each. They are averaging slightly over four arrests each year by the entire agency. In other words, we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest. Let me repeat that: we are spending approximately $200 million per arrest.

Professor Ian Lustick of the University of Pennsylvania wrote last year about the money feeding frenzy of the war on terror. And he wrote this: “Nearly 7 years after September 11, 2001,'' he wrote this last year, “what accounts for the vast discrepancy between the terrorist threat facing America and the scale of our response? Why, absent any evidence of a serious terror threat, is a war to on terror so enormous, so all-encompassing, and still expanding?  The fundamental answer is that al Qaeda's most important accomplishment was not to hijack our planes but to hijack our political system.”

“For a multitude of politicians, interest groups and professional associations, corporations, media organizations, universities, local and State governments and Federal agency officials, the war on terror is now a major profit center, a funding bonanza, and a set of slogans and sound bites to be inserted into budget, grant, and contract proposals.''

And finally, Professor Lustick wrote: “For the country as a whole, however, it has become maelstrom of waste.'' And there is no agency for which those words are more applicable than the Federal Air Marshal Service.

In case anyone is wondering, the Air Marshal Service has done nothing to me, and I know none of its employees. But I do know with absolute certainty that this $860 million we are about to give them could be better spent on thousands of other things.

As far as I'm concerned, it is just money going down a drain for the little good it will do. When we are so many trillions of dollars in debt, a national debt of over $13 trillion, we simply cannot afford to waste money in this way.


Posted by Joe Anybody at 8:18 AM PDT

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