Wednesday, July 6 2011 - Editorials
TSA Abuses and Failures
July 06, 2011
by Ron Paul
The Daily Bell
The press reports are horrifying: 95 year-old women humiliated; children molested; disabled people abused; men and women subjected to unwarranted groping and touching of their most private areas; involuntary radiation exposure. If the perpetrators were a gang of criminals, their headquarters would be raided by SWAT teams and armed federal agents. Unfortunately, in this case the perpetrators are armed federal agents. This is the sorry situation ten years after the creation of the Transportation Security Administration.
The requirement that Americans be forced to undergo this appalling treatment simply for the "privilege" of traveling in their own country reveals much about how the federal government feels about our liberties. The unfortunate fact that we put up with this does not speak well for our willingness to stand up to an abusive government.
Many Americans continue to fool themselves into accepting TSA abuse by saying "I don't mind giving up my freedoms for security." In fact, they are giving up their liberties and not receiving security in return. Last week, for example, just days after an elderly cancer victim was forced to submit to a cruel and pointless TSA search, including removal of an adult diaper, a Nigerian immigrant somehow managed to stroll through TSA security checks and board a flight from New York to LA -- with a stolen, expired boarding pass and an out-of-date student ID as his sole identification! He was detained and questioned, only to be released to do it again 5 days later! We should not be surprised to find government ineptitude and indifference at the TSA.
Monday, July 4 2011 - Other Important News
From the US Boat to Gaza: A July Fourth Shame on the Founders
by Ray McGovern
Published on Saturday, July 2, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Yes, that was I standing before the U.S. Embassy in Athens on the eve of the July Fourth weekend holding the American flag in the distress mode -- upside down.
[Photo: Ret. US Army Colonel Ann Wright, 64, from Honolulu, chants slogans as she
and other activists rally in protest outside the U.S. embassy in Athens, Greece,
Friday, July 1, 2011. The activists hope to join an international flotilla and
to sail to Gaza.]
In the Declaration of Independence, they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to a new enterprise of freedom, democracy and the human spirit. The outcome was far from assured; likely as not, the hangman's noose awaited them. They knew that all too well.
But they had a genuine audacity to hope that the majority of their countrymen and women, persuaded by Thomas Paine's Common Sense and the elegant words of Thomas Jefferson, would conclude that the goal of liberty and freedom was worth the risk, that it was worth whatever the cost.
These days we have been seduced into thinking that such principles have become "quaint" or "obsolete" -- words used by President George W. Bush's White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to make light of important international agreements like the Geneva Conventions.
As every American should know, and remember, the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence were based on the firm belief that ALL men are created equal, that they have UNALIENABLE rights -- among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Not just "all Americans," mind you, but all people. The Declaration of Independence was meant to be a statement expressing the "self-evident" rights of all mankind. Those principles had a universality that was a beacon to the world.
Sunday, July 3 2011 - First Responders/Health Effects
9/11 Zadroga Health Care Law Goes Into Effect
By ALEX KATZ
It took years of lobbying and partisan bickering, but the 9/11 Zadroga
Act to help ailing Ground Zero responders finally took effect today.
Saturday, July 2 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded
By Glenn Greenwald
July 1, 2011
In August, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder -- under continuous, aggressive prodding by the Obama White House -- announced that three categories of individuals responsible for Bush-era torture crimes would be fully immunized from any form of criminal investigation and prosecution: (1) Bush officials who ordered the torture (Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld); (2) Bush lawyers who legally approved it (Yoo, Bybee, Levin), and (3) those in the CIA and the military who tortured within the confines of the permission slips they were given by those officials and lawyers (i.e., "good-faith" torturers). The one exception to this sweeping immunity was that low-level CIA agents and servicemembers who went so far beyond the torture permission slips as to basically commit brutal, unauthorized murder would be subject to a "preliminary review" to determine if a full investigation was warranted -- in other words, the Abu Ghraib model of justice was being applied, where only low-ranking scapegoats would be subject to possible punishment while high-level officials would be protected.
Yesterday, it was announced that this "preliminary review" by the prosecutor assigned to conduct it, U.S. Attorney John Durham, is now complete, and -- exactly as one would expect -- even this category of criminals has been almost entirely protected, meaning a total legal whitewash for the Bush torture regime:
Wednesday, June 29 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
How much will our wars cost? Report says $4 trillion
June 29, 2011
By Liz Goodwin
The Lookout blog at Yahoo.com
A new report out of Brown University [Ed. note: Brown University Press Release below] estimates that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq--together with the counterinsurgency efforts in Pakistan--will, all told, cost $4 trillion and leave 225,000 dead, both civilians and soldiers.
The group of economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists involved in the project estimated that the cost of caring for the veterans injured in the wars will reach $1 trillion in 30 or 40 years. In estimating the $4 trillion total, they did not take into account the $5.3 billion in reconstruction spending the government has promised Afghanistan, state and local contributions to veteran care, interest payments on war debt, or the costs of Medicare for veterans when they reach 65. (Continued)
From Brown University's press release (in full below): "This project's accounting is important because information is vital for the public's democratic deliberation on questions of foreign policy," said Lutz. "Knowing the actual costs of war is essential as the public, Congress and the President weigh the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, and other areas including the deficit, security, public investments, and reconstruction."
"There are many costs and consequences of war that cannot be quantified, and the consequences of wars don't end when the fighting stops," Crawford said. "The Eisenhower study group has made a start at counting and estimating the costs in blood, treasure, and lost opportunities that are both immediately visible and those which are less visible and likely to grow even when the fighting winds down."
The Eisenhower Research Project is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit, scholarly initiative that derives its purpose from President Eisenhower's 1961 farewell address, in which he warned of the "unwarranted influence" of the military-industrial complex and appealed for an "alert and knowledgeable citizenry" as the only force able to balance the often contrasting demands of security and liberty in the democratic state.
The Costs of War has released its findings online, at www.costsofwar.org, to spur public discussion about America at war.
Wednesday, June 29 2011 - Other Important News
The Painful Collapse of Empire: How the 'American Dream' and American Exceptionalism Wreck Havoc on the World
We must tell the truth about the domination that is at the heart of the American Dream so that we may face the brokenness of our world.
June 27, 2011
Whether celebrated or condemned, the American Dream endures, though always ambiguously. We are forever describing and defining, analyzing and assessing the concept, and with each attempt to clarify, the idea of an American Dream grows more incoherent yet more entrenched.
The literature of this dream analysis is virtually endless, as writers undertake the task of achieving, saving, chasing, restoring, protecting, confronting, pursuing, reviving, shaping, renewing, and challenging the American Dream. Other writers are busy devouring, recapturing, fulfilling, chasing, liberating, advertising, redesigning, rescuing, spreading, updating, inventing, reevaluating, financing, redefining, remembering, and expanding the American Dream. And let's not forget those who are deepening, building, debating, burying, destroying, ruining, promoting, tracking, betraying, remaking, living, regulating, undermining, marketing, downsizing, and revitalizing the American Dream.
We are exhorted to awaken from, and face up to, the dream, as we explore the myths behind, crisis of, cracks in, decline of, and quest for the American Dream.
My favorite book title on the subject has to be Andy Kaufman: Wrestling with the American Dream, which explores the comedian's career "within a broader discussion of the ideology of the American Dream." According to the book's publisher, the author "brilliantly decodes Kaufman in a way that makes it possible to grasp his radical agenda beyond avant-garde theories of transgression. As an entertainer, Kaufman submerged his identity beneath a multiplicity of personas, enacting the American belief that the self can and should be endlessly remade for the sake of happiness and success. He did this so rigorously and consistently that he exposed the internal contradictions of America's ideology of self-invention."
As we can see, writers are eager to dive deep into the American Dream to find strikingly original insights, bold new interpretations, previously unexplored nuances. I will take a different approach: I want to skate on the surface and state the obvious. It's a strategy seldom employed, I believe, because such a reckoning with our past leaves us uneasy about the present and terrified of the future. That strategy leaves us in anguish.
I believe that to be fully alive today is to live with anguish, not for one's own condition in the world but for the condition of a broken world. My anguish flows not from the realization that it is getting harder for people to live the American Dream, but from the recognition that the American Dream has made it harder to hold together the living world.
So, our task is to tell the truth about the domination that is at the heart of the American Dream so that we may face the brokenness of our world. Only then can we embrace the anguish of the American Dream and confront honestly our moment in history.
Wednesday, June 29 2011 - 9/11 A/V Galleries
New Film: "9/11 Truth - Hollywood Speaks Out"
This recently released film has been brought to our attention by Naomi Breeze. Posting the film here is an attempt simply to make the information known to our readers, not as an endorsement of the film or anyone featured in it. It does provide a rather nice historical review of 9/11 truth in the media and overview of questions being asked by some of our more famous citizens.
"The Hollywood community speaks out for 9/11 Truth. Steve Bates and Wake Up Productions present an excellent and compelling film, compiled from news clips and interviews with celebrities from across the spectrum."
View this film on YouTube Here or download via torrent from the producer's page here.
Thursday, June 23 2011 - Research/Evidence
The explosive nature of nanothermite
June 19, 2011
by Kevin Ryan
In the last few years, a series of peer-reviewed scientific articles has been published that establish the presence of thermitic materials at the World Trade Center (WTC). [A-D]
Although we know that nanothermite has been found in the WTC dust, we do not know what purpose it served in the deceptive demolition of the WTC buildings. It could be that the nanothermite was used simply to drive fires in the impact zones and elevator areas -- fires which would otherwise have gone out too early or not been present at all -- and thereby create the deception that jet fuel-induced fires could wreak the havoc seen. Nanothermite might also have been used to produce the explosions necessary to destroy the structural integrity of the buildings.
Nanothermite, also called superthermite, is the common name for a subset of metastable intermolecular composites (MICs) characterized by a highly exothermic reaction after ignition. Nanothermites contain an oxidizer and a reducing agent that are intimately mixed on the nanometer scale. Such nano-energetics are produced for various applications including propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics.
There are various ways to make nanothermites. They can be made as solid mixtures of aluminum and metal oxides which are typically produced using techniques like dynamic vapor phase condensation and arrested reactive milling. These mixtures are much like typical thermite mixtures, but with the components introduced on a much smaller scale. Alternatively, nanothermites can be made in a liquid solution that later gels, capturing the reactive components in an intimately mixed composite which is dried before it can be ignited. These are called sol-gel nanothermites, also known more generally as energetic nanocomposites.
Sol-gel nanothermites often contain other components such as fluorinated silanes, and therefore carbon and silicon. The nanothermite found in World Trade Center (WTC) dust samples contains carbon and silicon as well. Ignition of such a nanothermite results in the production of gas which rapidly expands and does pressure-volume work.
Below are ten references to the fact that nanothermites can be made to be explosive.
Tuesday, June 14 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
US appeals court overturns release of detainee
By NEDRA PICKLER
June 11, 2011
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Yemeni detainee ordered to be freed from Guantanamo Bay has to stay now that a U.S. appeals court has overturned his release.
Friday, June 10 2011 - Get Involved
Top US architect in Europe on 9/11 speaking tour
June 9, 2011
Richard Gage, AIA, a member of the American Institute for Architects, has studied the evidence at length and concluded the official story of 9/11 cannot be true in respect of the three (sic) building collapses in New York.
Thursday, June 9 2011 - Resources and Materials
New Building 7 Poll
Download Press Release (PDF)
Download Poll Results (PDF)
NEW POLL OF NEW YORKERS FINDS LINGERING DOUBTS ABOUT OFFICIAL EXPLANATION OF 9/11 ATTACKS, INCLUDING THIRD TOWER'S COLLAPSE
Siena Research Institute Poll Commissioned by "Remember Building 7" Campaign Shows Significant Skepticism of Official Account
June 8, 2011
NEW YORK CITY, NY -- Amid its June 6th launch of 425 advertising spots on New York television, Remember Building 7 -- an advocacy campaign calling for a new investigation into the collapse of a third skyscraper on 9/11 -- has released findings from a new poll it commissioned on what New Yorkers believe about that day.
The May polling of 643 New Yorkers (including respondents in all of New York City's five boroughs) by the independent Siena Research Institute shows meaningful levels of doubt and concern regarding the truth about what happened that day, with only 60 percent of New Yorkers ready to "move on", and 48 percent in favor of the Manhattan District Attorney or New York City Council opening a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7.
The poll finds:
Friday, June 3 2011 - Research/Evidence
Responses to questions re thermite, nanothermite, conventional explosives used in the WTC destruction
Former BYU Physics Professor Steven Jones has posted an update of information on his blog at 911blogger.com. Please see the source here for the ongoing updates and edits he mentions. For more information on this topic, see also Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice and Journal of 9/11 Studies.
May 10, 2011
Dr. Steven Jones
Blog at 911blogger.com
Here I field questions that come to me fairly often, to help get the facts out and to counter misrepresentations and misunderstandings. I expect to make edits for a while and welcome comments.
1. Can nanothermites (also called superthermites) be explosive?
The definition of "explosive" can lead to endless debates. Is a flash of light required? Is a loud sound required? How loud? What rate of energy generation is required for a material to be called an explosive? Where is the line between low explosives and high explosives? Rather than getting mired into ad nauseum debates, I will use the term "explosive" in conjunction with superthermites/nanothermites IF the national defense laboratories which developed these materials use the term. Here we go.
"Researchers can greatly increase the power of weapons by adding materials known as superthermites that combine nanometals such as nanoaluminum with metal oxides such as iron oxide, according to Steven Son, a project leader in the Explosives Science and Technology group at Los Alamos. "The advantage (of using nanometals) is in how fast you can get their energy out," Son says. Son says that the chemical reactions of superthermites are faster and therefore release greater amounts of energy more rapidly... Son, who has been working on nanoenergetics for more than three years, says that scientists can engineer nanoaluminum powders with different particle sizes to vary the energy release rates. This enables the material to be used in many applications, including underwater explosive devices... However, researchers aren't permitted to discuss what practical military applications may come from this research." (Gartner, John (2005). "Military Reloads with Nanotech," Technology Review, January 21, 2005; http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=14105&ch=nanotech)
Friday, May 27 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
House Passes Authority for Worldwide War
Read details of this extremely important bill, H.R. 1540, at Thomas.gov with final vote results here. Bravo to Rep. Justin Amash (D, Mich) for introducing Amendment 327 to strike section 1034 of the bill, relating to the authorization for use of military force. Sadly, the amendment failed 187-234 (see roll call vote results). Rep. Jason Chaffetz (D., Utah) introduced an amendment requiring US ground troops to withdraw from Afghanistan and require the Secretary of Defense to submit a withdrawal plan to Congress within 60 days. It, too, failed, 123-294. List of all amendments and results here.
May 26, 2011
The House just passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a provision to authorize worldwide war, which has no expiration date and will allow this president -- and any future president -- to go to war anywhere in the world, at any time, without further congressional authorization. The new authorization wouldn't even require the president to show any threat to the national security of the United States. The American military could become the world's cop, and could be sent into harm's way almost anywhere and everywhere around the globe.
Before the vote, the House debated an amendment that would have struck the worldwide war provision. That amendment was introduced by a bipartisan group of representatives: Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Given the enormity of the proposed law, you'd expect the House to debate the amendment to strike it extensively, but that's not what happened. The amendment was debated for a total of 20 minutes. That's right. Twenty minutes to debate whether Congress should hand the executive branch sweeping worldwide war authority.
House approves $690 billion defense budget
By Agence France-Presse
WASHINGTON -- The US House of Representatives passed a $690 billion Pentagon budget Thursday that bars American ground forces in Libya and limits the Obama administration's powers on handling Guantanamo detainees.
Lawmakers voted 322-96 in favor of the budget plan which met the Defense Department's request for $119 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It also placed restrictions on President Barack Obama's authority to reduce the US nuclear weapons stockpile under the new START treaty with Russia, prompting a White House veto threat earlier this week.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon said the bill "mandates fiscal responsibility within the Department of Defense" as the United States struggles to recover from its worst recession in decades by cutting "wasteful" programs and using the funds for "higher priorities."
Shortly before passing the bill, which must now be reconciled with a Senate version, the House narrowly defeated by 215-204 an amendment demanding an accelerated timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Friday, May 27 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
4 senators win promise of a Patriot Act hearing/There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
May 26, 2011
By PETE YOST
WASHINGTON -- Four Democratic senators won the promise Thursday of a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing into what they say is a secret and expansive Justice Department interpretation of the information collection the Patriot Act allows.
The criticism by Intelligence Committee members Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado came as Congress moved to extend the government's Patriot Act powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps.
Wyden said there is a growing gap between what the law says and what the senators call a classified interpretation of the law by the Justice Department.
Udall said his constituents "would be alarmed if they knew" how the Patriot Act was being carried out.RELATED:
There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
By Spencer Ackerman
You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it's worse than you know.
Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation -- an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy "dragnets" for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.
"We're getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says," Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. "When you've got that kind of a gap, you're going to have a problem on your hands."
Friday, May 27 2011 - 9/11 Consequences
House approves Senate Patriot Act bill, sends to White House
ACLU article, "Congress Reauthorizes Overbroad Patriot Act Provisions" here.
Now might be a great time to become involved with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, eh?
By Pete Kasperowicz
May 26, 2011
The House Thursday night approved the Senate version of the Patriot Act extension bill, a clean etension of three surveillance authorities until June 1, 2015.
The House finished voting at about 7:50 p.m., and approved the measure in a 250-153 vote. In the final vote, 54 Democrats voted for it, along with all but 31 Republicans.
The hastily arranged debate happened just minutes after the Senate approved the same bill by a 72-23 vote. With the House vote, the White House is expected to be able to approve it tonight with the help of an automated presidential signature, as President Obama is still in Europe.
House members rushed to approve the bill before three surveillance authorities expired at midnight, but spent some time debating it, even though the debate covered mostly familiar ground. Democrats generally opposed the bill, calling it something that would extend the government's invasion of privacy.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) said the death of Osama bin Laden in particular means the three authorities should be reconsidered.
"At a time like this, we should re-examine the restoration of our constitutional protections," he said. "This is the type of government intrusion which the bill of right was designed to prevent."[Continued]RELATED:
Senator Rand Paul slams GOP for blocking efforts to amend PATRIOT Act
By Eric W. Dolan
Freshman Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) lashed out at the leadership of his own party, blaming them for preventing debate on the extension of the PATRIOT Act, which the Senate passed Thursday.
"I've been working for two long days filibustering the PATRIOT Act in hopes that we can have a constitutional debate over certain provisions of it and we can try to reform it to take away some of the encroachments on our freedoms," Paul told CNN.
"Unfortunately, what we're finding now is that the Democrats have agreed to allow me to have amendments but my own party is refusing to allow me to debate or present my amendments."
|home | about us | contact | research | grassroots | calendar | links | search|