Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Israeli Torture: Accountability Denied

The Intel Hub
By Stephen Lendman
February 20, 2012
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PACTI) “believes that torture and ill-treatment of any kind and under all circumstances is incompatible with the moral values of democracy and the rule of law.”
Yet it’s systematically practiced by Israel’s Police, Israel Securities Authority (ISA), Israeli Prison Service (IPS), and Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

An earlier 2009 PACTI report discussed the practice and systematic disregard of hundreds of complaints filed from 2001 – 2009.

A new January report updates the earlier one, titled, “Accountability Still Denied,” saying:
No investigations followed over 700 earlier complaints filed. Israel whitewashed and forgot them for two reasons: “either denial or justification under the necessity defense doctrine,” even though international law prohibits torture at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions.

Read more http://theintelhub.com/2012/02/20/israeli-torture-accountability-denied/ 

The 2013 US budget: “difficult cuts” for Americans, gravy for Israel

By Josh Ruebner

22 February 2012

Josh Ruebner argues that while the Obama administration is making budget cuts that are impoverishing and threatening the health and wellbeing of Americans, it is simultaneously increasing the US taxpayers’ subsidy to the Israeli war machine, helping it retain and colonize illegally-occupied Palestinian territories and commit grievous violations of Palestinian human rights – all contrary to US foreign policy objectives.

Speaking before students at Northern Virginia Community College on 13 February, President Obama unveiled his 2013 budget request, in which he proposed “some difficult cuts that, frankly, I wouldn’t normally make if they weren’t absolutely necessary. But they are.” These budget cuts are unavoidable, the president argued, because “the truth is we’re going to have to make some tough choices in order to put this country back on a more sustainable fiscal path”. In a sad commentary on the misplaced priorities of the Obama administration, however, these “tough choices” will affect the delivery of basic services to US citizens while the Israeli military hits the jackpot at taxpayer expense.

Read more http://www.redress.cc/americas/jruebner20120222 

NSA Warns “Cyber Terrorists” Anonymous Can Take Out Entire Power Grid Posted by Alexander Higgins - February 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm - Permalink - Source via Alexander Higgins Blog NSA Warns Anonymous Can Take Out Entire Power Grid Rate This Post 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars 0digg Share 0 New Share 0 Email U.S. officials step up cyber terrorism rhetoric, warning Cyber Armageddon is inevitable, and demanding “cyber terrorists” be subject to NDAA battlefield detention. NSA Warns Anonymous Can Take Out Entire Power Grid NSA Warns Anonymous Can Take Out Entire Power Grid U.S. officials are invoking the specter of an all out cyber Armageddon in order justify draconian laws to clamp down on the Internet. In the latest round of hype lawmakers are hammering home the point that personal freedoms and civil liberties must take the back seat to the “imminent” threat of cyberwar being launched by “enemies of the state”, either at home or abroad. U.S. legislatures say that the gloom and doom talk taking place in congress is quite real, claiming threats to national security from online hackers is a clear and present danger. Russia Today goes on to report that the situation is quite over-hyped and will soon lead to American citizens being labeled as terrorists just for voicing dissent online.

NSA Warns Anonymous Can Take Out Entire Power Grid

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U.S. officials step up cyber terrorism rhetoric, warning Cyber Armageddon is inevitable, and demanding “cyber terrorists” be subject to NDAA battlefield detention.

NSA Warns Anonymous Can Take Out Entire Power Grid
U.S. officials are invoking the specter of an all out cyber Armageddon in order justify draconian laws to clamp down on the Internet.

In the latest round of hype lawmakers are hammering home the point that personal freedoms and civil liberties must take the back seat to the “imminent” threat of cyberwar being launched by “enemies of the state”, either at home or abroad.

U.S. legislatures say that the gloom and doom talk taking place in congress is quite real, claiming threats to national security from online hackers is a clear and present danger.

Russia Today goes on to report that the situation is quite over-hyped and will soon lead to American citizens being labeled as terrorists just for voicing dissent online.  Read more http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/02/21/nsa-warns-cyber-terrorists-anonymous-power-grid-85671/

Virginia law would force women seeking abortion to undergo probe

Women seeking an abortion would be forced to undergo a procedure described by critics as "state-sponsored rape", under a controversial new law set to be passed by an American state this week.
The new law is due to be signed this week by Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell
To obtain a termination under the Republican plan, women in Virginia would first be made to have an ultrasound, which would allow them to see their foetus and to hear its heartbeat.

During the first three months of pregnancy – when 80 per cent of abortions occur – such an ultrasound must be carried out by vaginal probe. The plan is furiously opposed by women's rights groups and Democrats.

It is due to be signed this week by the state's governor, Bob McDonnell, who is a high-profile ally of Mitt Romney, and is frequently tipped as a potential Republican vice-presidential candidate.

Firsthand Account: Israeli Plot to Murder Former US Senator

Former US Senator James Abourezk

by Alison Weir

James Abourezk represented South Dakota in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1971 to 1973 and in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 1979. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Advise & Dissent: Memoirs of South Dakota and the U.S. SenateCNI asked Mr. Abourezk about his experiences with the Israel Lobby while he served in Congress. In his response he told of an Israeli plot against him that has received perplexingly little coverage in the U.S. press.

Below is his description of this and other incidents:
Read more http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/02/21/firsthand-account-israeli-plot-to-murder-former-us-senator/ 

Lisbon Maine Town Managers Contract Renewal

                         Town Managers Contract Renewal

Lisbon’s Managers Contract will  be up for renewal at the next council meeting 2/21/2011. I feel that the following incidents should be taken into consideration at that contract renewal session.

Mr. Eldridge  authored the infamous Memo to his subordinates calling two sweeper operators idiots.  This is one of the most egregious management infractions any town manager could make. It gives insight into his true character and feelings about  his subordinates.

He has cost the taxpayers of Lisbon at least 7 thousand dollars in unnecessary legal fees because he repeatedly refuses to comply with  legal FOAA requests.

The Manager Has not been able to manage his staff effectively.
  •     He has not insisted that his  Police Chief  enforced the town statutes evenly. (i.e. winter parking in Houston Park)
  •     He hasn’t kept the Town’s Web Site up to date.  Especially when it comes to placing workshop and town meeting materials on the town web site even though this has been requested many times.
  •     His  judgment in recommending and promoting unqualified personnel and giving excessive salary increases in this challenging economic environment has proven to be less than insightful.

My understanding is that at least on one occasion he has yelled at and/or  attempted to intimidate  a taxpayer at Town Hall .

If Mr. Eldridge were a rank and file employee any one of the previous acts would be enough to terminate his employment. At the very least he should be placed on probation and be required to attend management training classes.  A masters degree in and of  itself doesn’t make a good manager.

This renewal decision will ultimately fall on the shoulders of our Councilors.  I hope they have the intestinal fortitude to do whats in the best interest of the Town and not shirk their responsibility.

Joe Hill

Lisbon Maine Managers Contract Renewal


Life is all about making the right choices and this Tuesday night our town council will have to make a choice on retaining our town manager or letting Eldridge go.  As you all know, I am in favor of letting him go because it is the right choice.  I am going to spend a few minutes reviewing Eldridge’s CHOICES as our town manager.

Since Eldridge was hired as town manager, on the recommendation of Interim Town Manager Chief Brooks, the town of Lisbon has been going downhill.  There are numerous businesses which have closed causing a large loss in revenue to the town.  This loss of revenue forced the town to increase taxes.  The amount of taxpayers’ dollars for legal fees has skyrocketed because of poor choices on the part of Eldridge.  Also let’s review the individuals Eldridge hired such as Rosie Bradley, Pat Dow, Scott Benson and finally William Van Tuenin.  We all know about the loans Mrs. Bradley make only to have them fail and the town wrote them off such as Maria’s.  Pat Dow could not even perform a simple task such as a valid commitment and the town had to redo the commitment costing the taxpayers approximately $10,000.  The book is still out on Scott Benson and William Van Tuenin but I do not see an improvement in the town since Scott Benson took over instead I see the closing of the Lisbon Falls Florist, Inc,; T&A Variety; Firehouse Diner; and Kitty Korner.  Also, there were two loans which matured in 2008 still on the books.  This clearly demonstrates Eldridge’s inability to hiring competent personnel to handle our tax dollars.

Now let’s review Eldridge’s managerial skills or the lack thereof.   Eldridge has violated more than twelve provisions of the town charter. In June Eldridge sent an official correspondence to the head of Public Works calling one of the town employees an idiot.  Publishing such a document defaming an employee is not in any managerial handbook and does not present a good working environment for town employees. A citizen came into the town office to pay back taxes he owed on property and the town, under orders from Eldridge, would not accept his payment.  The council had to overturn this decision and allow the individual to pay his back taxes.  This is not managing our tax dollars very effectively when a resident is trying to pay back taxes and is refused.  If the town council had not stepped in; the town probably would have burn his house to the ground too.  Instead of working with the people to find an equitable solution, it is much easier to turn your back on the people of Lisbon who pay Eldridge’s inflated salary.  Do you really call these examples of good management; because I surely do not?

The latest example of Eldridge’s decision making process is the consolidation of Public Works, Solid Waste and Waste Water Treatment Department under the town engineer.  This was clearly a mistake as stated by the town engineer at the last workshop.  When asked by Bowie, Leighton stated he was experiencing problems with the employee’s not following his orders.  This is a problem because Leighton has absolutely no experience managing personnel.  Why in the world would you place an individual who has no experience managing personnel in this position?  Eldridge tried to defend his decision by explaining to the council all department heads are receiving management training.  You can be assured this training is costing the taxpayers, when in fact; these department heads should already possess this trait because the town is paying their inflated salaries.  Keep in mind, the department heads, which were already in place and were doing an outstanding job, retained their same salaries; so where was the cost savings to the town? 

Now for my favorite and very personal to me; I submitted two requests for information under the Maine Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) which was ignored by Eldridge.  I then sought the services of an attorney to determine why I did not receive a written denial within 5 days which is required by Maine law.  My attorney contacted the town attorney and was ignored by Terriault.  The only course of action left was to file a law suit against the town for not complying with Maine Law.  As stated by Eldridge in one of his monthly managerial reports it had cost the taxpayer over $7,000 to defend my law suits.  This cost to the taxpayers could have been eliminated if Eldridge had reached out and offered to discuss this with me or my attorney.  This is the first rule of a manager; try and resolve any confrontation informally but since Eldridge has no managerial traits this was not done.  A good manager has to be able to identify potential situations and to informally try to resolve them.  This course of action probably would have eliminated both law suits and saved the taxpayer a great deal of money because I won both cases. 

The real tragedy here is that two individuals in key positions in this town are making decisions which  cost the taxpayers a great deal of money and they do not live in Lisbon or pay taxes here.   Both Terriault and Eldridge have no vested interest how they spend our tax dollars.  Last year our legal fees were over $46,000 dollars and this year they are already over $37,000 dollars.  I cannot believe this figure is accurate because the law suit filed against Celotex would have exceeded the $37,000 dollars.  By the way, do you ever hear about any law suits or their results; NEVER.  In my case, Therriault delayed the preceding’s two or three times adding to his legal fees paid.  This is his normal process in hopes you either run out of money or will give up because it is taking so long but the whole time he is collecting his legal fees from the taxpayers.  Truly a perfect scam!!!!!! 

As you can see Eldridge has not made many good choices for the taxpayers of Lisbon so why keep him around.  The town of Lisbon cannot begin its healing process and move forward until we get rid of Eldridge.  Eldridge is mirroring his actions the same as he did in Rumford and they are still suffering from his reign there.  Let’s end the damage he has done to this community and begin to rebuild Lisbon 

 Pay close attention to the vote Tuesday and see which councilors really have the best interest of the town at heart.  This vote is the first test for Councilor Ward to demonstrate if she will put the people first or turn into a puppet for Bowie.  

Will these councilors make the right choice?

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

Military, police square off over Marine’s death

By Julie Watson - The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Feb 19, 2012 13:57:30 EST
For the Marines who served with Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr., it would have been an injustice to stay quiet.
So in a move that broke with the military’s tradition, Loggins’ commanding officer at California’s Camp Pendleton publicly rebuked civilian authorities in neighboring Orange County for their handling of the investigation into the fatal Feb. 7 shooting by a deputy of the highly esteemed Marine.

Many Marines have been investigated by police and had their behavior publicly dissected by civilian prosecutors in high-profile cases. Only weeks before Loggins’ death, a former Camp Pendleton Marine was arrested in the killing of four homeless men in Orange County.
While Marines have each other’s backs on the battlefield, when they get into trouble back home off base, the military tends to step aside while police investigate. But Marines say this time was different.

The death of Loggins has rocked the tight-knit Marine Corps community. Fellow troops describe him as a devout Christian man who was dedicated to his pregnant wife and three children — and was nothing like the picture painted by law enforcement.

Read more http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/02/ap-military-police-square-off-over-marines-death-021912/ 

Occupy protesters rally against prison conditions

By Reuters
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:20 EST
SAN QUENTIN, California (Reuters) – Hundreds of anti-Wall Street demonstrators and prison reform activists joined forces outside the gates of a prison in San Quentin, California on Monday to protest high incarceration rates and harsh living conditions.

Speakers rallying at the San Quentin State Prison said the state’s sentencing laws are too strict. They called for an end to solitary confinement and the death penalty and said children should not be tried as adults.
“I myself experienced more than 14 months of solitary confinement,” said Sarah Shourd, 33, an American who was imprisoned in Iran after being arrested while hiking near the Iraq border in 2009.“And after only two months my mind began to slip,” she said.

Read more http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/21/occupy-protesters-rally-against-prison-conditions/

10 Outrageous Things Rick Santorum Has Said

There are politicians who make gaffes, and then there’s Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator and Republican presidential contender has gained respect from some conservatives for what they see as a politician sticking to his guns, but others think he’s just a few Knights Templar short of a holy war. From presidential prostrations to medieval aggression, rounds up Santorum’s kookiest utterances.

1. Canine Lovin’

This one has followed Santorum for nearly a decade. In a 2003 interview with The Associated Press, Santorum argued that if the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws and allowed people to perform homosexual acts in their own homes, thousands of years of civilization would go out the window. Marriage as an institution that exists only between a man and a woman must be upheld, he said. “In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality,” Santorum said. “That’s not to pick on homosexuality. It’s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

2. America’s Trojan Horse

In a freewheeling interview with conservative blog CaffeinatedThoughts.com last October, Candidate Rick spent a good deal of time rhapsodizing about what President Rick would do about contraception and sexual ethics. “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country,” Santorum said. “Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s OK; contraception is OK. It’s not OK. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

3. Penny for His Thoughts

At a January campaign stop in Iowa, Santorum took on entitlement reform. He took criticism for his remarks when he told a monochromatic Iowa audience, “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn money.”

A suicidal veteran’s plea for help could land him in jail

At the lowest moment of his life, Sean Duvall pulled out his cellphone just past midnight and called a suicide hotline. He was carrying a final note to his family, a letter confirming his eligibility to be buried in the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery and a homemade gun fashioned from a pipe.

He told the Department of Veterans Affairs counselor who answered the phone that June night that he was going to kill himself.

(Family photo) - Sean Duvall now faces four federal counts related to manufacturing and possessing the homemade gun, which could lead to a 40-year prison sentence.

Stay put, the counselor urged him, after learning that Duvall had wandered onto the campus of Virginia Tech. Help is on the way.Soon a police officer arrived and took the 45-year-old homeless Persian Gulf War veteran to a psychiatric facility, where he was treated for depression and began feeling better.
Had it ended at that, Duvall’s story would be evidence that the efforts to save veterans — who take their lives at a rate of 18 a day — are having an impact. But what happened next has infuriated veterans groups and mental health advocates.

Shortly after Duvall was released from the hospital, he found himself in trouble again. This time with the law.

More here http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-suicidal-veterans-plea-for-help-could-land-him-in-jail/2012/02/17/gIQAmyXhPR_story.html?hpid=z4 

Terror War Cheerleader Gets Reality Check On Underwear Bomber Facts

C-Span callers hammer home U.S. government’s role in aiding Abdulmutallab
Paul Joseph Watson
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
A proponent of the war on terror was left with egg on his face during a recent C-Span appearance when caller after caller hammered home the fact that the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was allowed to board Delta flight 253 by the U.S. government.

The victim of this ‘truth bomb’ was Mickey McCarter, a prominent mouthpiece for the military-industrial complex that relies heavily on the manufactured ‘war on terror’ to the tune of billions of dollars every year.
McCarter is a journalist specializing in “homeland security matters” and has also worked for government agencies like the US Navy’s Bureau of Naval Personnel and the Defense Contract Management Agency.
After discussing the recent conviction of the underwear bomber with no mention of the fact that he boarded the plane only with the aid of the U.S. government, McCarter faced a barrage of callers who set him straight.
The first caller immediately drew attention to Flight 253 passenger Kurt Haskell, an attorney who witnessed a well dressed Indian man force airport officials to let Abdulmutallab board the plane despite the fact that he had no passport and was on a terror watchlist.

“Why would a CIA agent….get that guy on the plane,” the caller asked, to which McCarter responded by claiming, “I am not familiar with the story,” before erroneously claiming that Abdulmutallab “raised no alarm”.
In reality, the State Department was ordered not to revoke Abdulmutallab’s visa by “federal counterterrorism officials” even though the accused bomber had known terrorist ties, in addition to the fact that his own father had warned U.S. intelligence officials of the threat posed by Abdulmutallab a month before the attempted attack.   Read more http://theintelhub.com/2012/02/21/terror-war-cheerleader-gets-reality-check-on-underwear-bomber-facts/

Scientists Fear Antibiotics are Perpetuating Diseases Impossible to Treat

Bugs and bacteria rapidly adapt to survive, only taking months to for the genetic mutations to occur. Antibiotics, although successful in wiping out most of the bacterial invaders, don’t kill absolutely all of them. Over time the bacteria which survive the antibiotics become resistant, and continue to reproduce, only now with a quirk in their genetic structure allowing them to survive.
The slow but problematic growth of resistant organisms are resulting in antibiotics being nearly useless. The Independent reports:
Using standard antibiotic regimens, there is a one in 10 chance that treatment of an E.coli infection will fail because the bug is resistant. But, as numbers of resistant infections rise, there will be increasing pressure to use more powerful antibiotics, called carbapenems, which are the last line available. And resistance to those is already emerging…The warnings follow increasing reports from Europe of patients with infections that are almost impossible to treat.
But should this be a problem, as antibiotics, even if used in higher doses, are still killing off the invading bacteria? Sadly antibiotics do not discriminate against beneficial and bad bacteria. These medical giveaways are virtually depleting your body of all beneficial bacteria, leading to numerous health complications due to poor gut flora.
Antibiotics, linked to skyrocketing mental illness rates, are being identified as a player in the soaring obesity rates around the globe. In one study regarding the depletion of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, researchers explained how antibiotics administered to mice ultimately resulted in altered behaviors far beyond diarrhea and pain.