Thursday, October 30, 2008
BBC Thursday, 30 October 2008
Syrians stage mass anti-US rally
Thousands of people have held a peaceful demonstration in Damascus against an alleged US raid on a village that Syria says killed eight people.
Riot police armed with batons and shields surrounded the US embassy in Damascus, which closed due to what it said were increased security concerns.
The US state department and the White House have refused to confirm, deny or comment on the alleged attack.
The Syrian government has demanded an apology from Washington. Read On
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
BBC Monday, 27 October 2008
US military helicopters have carried out a raid inside Syria along the Iraqi border, killing eight people including four children, Syrian officials say.
The official Syrian news agency Sana said the attack took place in the Abu Kamal border area, in eastern Syria.
Damascus has condemned the strike as a "serious violation" of its territory.
The US has neither confirmed nor denied the incident. It has previously accused Syria of allowing foreign militants into Iraq.
Syria has summoned the US and Iraqi envoys in Damascus to protest at the raid.
"Syria condemns this aggressive act and holds American forces responsible for this aggression and all of its repercussions," a government official said.
If confirmed, the raid would be the first known attack by US forces inside Syrian territory, says BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus. Read On
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
By ALAN ZIBEL, AP Business Writer
October 26, 2008
WASHINGTON - Each day from July through September, more than 2,700 Americans lost their homes in foreclosure.
That number, up from 1,200 a day a year ago, is a sign that the mortgage industry and government programs have done little to help troubled homeowners.
The mortgage market's troubles have proved to be far more serious and intractable than most in government or the private sector had predicted a year ago.
"We are behind the curve. We are falling behind," Sheila Bair, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. told a Senate hearing Thursday. "There has been some progress, but it's not been enough, and we need to act. And we need to act quickly, and we need to act dramatically to have more wide-scale, systematic (loan) modifications...."
More than 4 million homeowners with a mortgage were at least one month behind on their payments at the end of June, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, and a record 500,000 had entered the foreclosure process. Read On
Meanwhile, the rich are rewarded for their contributions to the foreclosure crisis:
"Wall Street Bankers In Line For $70 Billion Payout"
"CEOs Parachute to Safety"
"After Bailout, AIG Execs Lounged At Resort"
"As Lehman Collapsed, Execs Were Rewarded"
"Bailout No Bar To Bonus At Banks"
Both leading presidential candidates support the $850 billion wall street bailout, er, rescue package. Is it a quid pro quo exercise?
Top Contributors to Barack Obama
University of California
JPMorgan Chase & Co
National Amusements Inc
Sidley Austin LLP
Skadden, Arps et al
Latham & Watkins
University of Chicago
Top Contributors To John McCain
JPMorgan Chase & Co
Credit Suisse Group
Blank Rome LLP
Bank of America
Greenberg Traurig LLP
US Dept of Defense
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Los Angeles (E! Online) – Sen. Barack Obama, a fan and friend of Jennifer Hudson, took time out from his campaign Saturday to send his condolences to his fellow Chicagoan.
"Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedy, and we want Jennifer and to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew."
What should be of great concern to all people is that Obama's compassion seems to be selective as evidenced here:
- Obama hasn't expressed any heartbreak over the deaths of a million civilians , the severe refugee crisis, and the destruction that resulted from the United States' unprovoked war of aggression on Iraq.
- To the dismay of Pakistani officials, Obama threatens to use military attacks in Pakistan, which have already caused violent deaths of many innocent people and is fueling anti-American sentiment.
- Obama wants to escalate war in Afghanistan, where U.S.-led bombing campaigns have violently killed and injured thousands of innocent people, and justifiably angers Afghans, which the Taliban successfully uses as a recruiting tool.
If you're reading this, please do me a favor and direct me to any statements Obama has made in which he expresses concern for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who are, have been, and will be subjected to unimaginable violence by the U.S. military.
I worry for humanity.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Posted on Saturday, October 18, 2008
By Hussein Kadhim and Corinne Reilly McClatchy Newspapers
BAGHDAD — Tens of thousands of Iraqis rallied in the streets of Baghdad Saturday against a proposed American-Iraqi deal that would allow U.S. troops to stay in the country for three more years.
Muqtada al Sadr, a widely influential Shiite cleric who called for the demonstration, issued a statement demanding that Iraq's parliament reject the deal.
"These are the Iraqi people in front of you, rejecting this agreement," Sadr's statement said. "The treaty is in your hands, so the destiny and reputation of Iraq also is in your hands ... If (the government) told you that this agreement will give you sovereignty, they are liars."
After seven months of wearying back and forth, negotiators completed a draft deal this week. For it to take effect, however, the proposal must win approval from Iraq's Political Council for National Security, the prime minister's cabinet and parliament.
U.S. officials are desperately hoping to finalize the agreement before Dec. 31, when a United Nations mandate that has allowed American troops to operate in Iraq will expire. If a deal isn't in place by the end of the year, American forces in Iraq could technically become illegal occupiers. Read On
Thursday, October 16, 2008
BBC Thursday, 16 October 2008 18:19 UK
At least 18 civilians have been killed in an air strike by foreign forces in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, reports say.
A BBC reporter in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah saw the bodies - three women and the rest children - ranging in age from six months to 15.
The families brought the bodies from their village in the Nad Ali district, where they say the air strike occurred. Read On
Friday, October 10, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008By Mushtaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR: Nine people, five of them civilians, and four suspected foreign militants, were killed and several others injured in yet another missile attack by a US spy plane on Ghundai village of Tapi area of the North Waziristan tribal region Thursday evening.
Tribal sources said two US spy planes were seen flying at extremely low altitude over Ghundai village during the attack. Sources close to militants told this correspondent from Tapi village near Mirali that the US aircraft fired two Hellfire missiles on the house and hujra of Maulvi Sahar Gul in Ghundai village.
Maulvi Sahar Gul is said to have affiliation with pro-government tribal militants led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who gave up fighting against Pakistani security forces under a peace agreement signed between the two sides on February 17.
The sources said both the missiles levelled the house and hujra of Maulvi Sahar Gul to the ground. Five among nine people killed in the attack were family members of Maulvi Sahar Gul, including three children and two women, and four guests staying at the hujra. Read On
U.S. Officers' "Phone Sex" Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers
By BRIAN ROSS, VIC WALTER, and ANNA SCHECTEROct. 9, 2008
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia. Click Here To Read On
The Post-Crescent • October 9, 2008
APPLETON — Pierce Manufacturing announced Thursday that it was awarded a $10.7 million U.S. Army contract for 68 Pierce pumper rescue vehicles.
The order also has provisions for up to 115 additional trucks, the company said. The order from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command will support military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq security forces. Delivery is scheduled to begin in July and be completed by November.
The order for Pierce is in addition to five other military orders announced by its parent Oshkosh Corp. in recent weeks. On Oct. 1, the company announced it was awarded a contract of $180 million to supply 1,500 reducible-height armor kits to the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command. Click Here To Continue Reading
By Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, Friday, 10 October 2008
A powerful member of the Iraqi parliament that is loyal to the anti-American Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was killed in a carefully planned assassination in Baghdad yesterday.
A bomb hidden in a hole in the road exploded as a convoy carrying Salehal-Auqaeili and other lawmakers went past an Iraqi army checkpoint near Sadr City. It is probable that the killing was carried out by the Badr Organisation, the armed wing of the other large Shia party, the Iraqi Supreme Council of Iraq, who are long-time rivals of the Sadrists. Click Here To Read On
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
We're being evicted from our homes. Tent cities are popping up all over the place.
Flush with a humongous amount of fresh cash our government is transferring from us to them, against our will, fuckers who created this mess are living large:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - American International Group Inc could get nearly $38 billion in fresh cash under a program announced by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, as the insurer tried to fend off criticism of a lavish event held days after getting an initial $85 billion government loan.
Under the new plan, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will take up to $37.8 billion in investment-grade, fixed-income securities from AIG in exchange for cash.
The securities were previously lent by AIG's insurance company subsidiaries to third parties. The Fed said the new program will allow the company to replenish liquidity used in settling transactions with counterparties.
AIG had drawn fire in Washington on Tuesday for spending $200,000 on hotel rooms and $23,000 on spa services at an event, just days after it got the emergency loan from the government to avoid bankruptcy in the middle of the worst credit crisis since the Great Depression.
As lawmakers grilled former top executives at a hearing, Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said: "They were getting facials, manicures and massages, while the American people were footing the bill." (Click here to continue reading)
REPORT: US military and political elite place very low value on Afghan civilians' lives
Federal agents terrorize 300 people at South Carolina poultry plant
"At least 12 Iraqis were killed and 29 more wounded"
"US backs Taliban return to power in Afghanistan"
US Army brigade assigned to US to help with 'civil unrest' and 'crowd control'
Shell opens new office in Baghdad in deal with US-backed Iraqi government
Monday, October 6, 2008
October 6, 2008
A Futile Bailout as Darkness Falls on America
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
America has become a pretty discouraging place. Americans, for the most part, will never know what happened to them, because they no longer have a free and responsible press. They have Big Brother’s press. For example, on September 28, 2008, a New York Times editorial blamed the current financial crisis on “antiregulation disciples of the Reagan Revolution.”
What utter nonsense. Every example of deregulation that the New York Times editorial provides is located in the Clinton Administration and the George W. Bush administration. I was a member of the Reagan administration. We most certainly did not deregulate the financial system.
The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial from investment banking, was the achievement of the Democratic Clinton Administration. It happened in 1999, over a decade after Reagan left office.
It was in 2000 that derivatives and credit default swaps were excluded from regulation.
The greatest mistake was made in 2004, the year that Reagan died. That year the current Secretary of the Treasury, Henry M. Paulson Jr, was head of the investment bank Goldman Sachs. In the spring of 2004, the investment banks, led by Paulson, met with the Securities and Exchange Commission. At this meeting with the New Deal regulatory agency tasked with regulating the US financial system, Paulson convinced the SEC Commissioners to exempt the investment banks from maintaining reserves to cover losses on investments. The exemption granted by the SEC allowed the investment banks to leverage financial instruments beyond any bounds of prudence. Click Here To Continue Reading
Here's a link to a NY Times piece on the meeting that took place with the SEC and top wall street bankers, including Henry Paulson, then CEO of Goldman Sachs and now Bush-appointed US Secretary of Treasury.