Saturday, July 5, 2008

Former Cabinet Member: Bush Looked to Invade Iraq before 9-11

"This is the full CBS 60 Minutes 2004 interview of Former Secretary Of Treasury Paul O'Neil and reporter Ron Suskind that discusses Bush asking his National Security Council to "find a way" to invade Iraq during their first meeting in January 2001. Almost 9 months before the September 11th attacks. This seems to have been forgotten by the mainstream media, and the Congress."

Child Pornography Becomes Mainstream

This is an extreme example of the anything goes culture we find in the West. The media will do anything it can get away with. It is only a matter of time before this monstrosity comes to the states. After all, don't the ISPs tolerate extreme pornography on their sites? We've become so indifferent that we allow the apologists for decadence, under the guise of freedom, to brainwash us. We've allowed ourselves to be convinced that what's bad for us is in fact good. The best example is the current occupant of the White House. He has destroyed our country and our freedoms and we we've gone along with it.

A TAXPAYER-funded magazine has put a naked six-year-old girl on the cover in protest at the "hysteria" over similar images by photographer Bill Henson.

The July edition of Art Monthly Australia also includes several provocative photos of children posing naked in adult jewellery as well as naked teenage girls.

In the editorial, Maurice O'Riordan said he chose the 2003 picture of the young girl in the "hope of restoring some dignity to the debate" and to "validate nudity and childhood as subjects for art".

The image, taken by Melbourne-based Polixeni Papapetrou, is believed to be her own daughter.

Mr O'Riordan, who does not have children of his own, told The Sunday Telegraph he did not care if it stirred community complaint.

"I believe the image is of a six-year-old girl," he said.

"Maybe this is bold, but I don't see the need to give in to that sort of hysteria or the prospect of complaint.

"I couldn't really understand the furore."

The artist, Ms Papapetrou, said she supports the use of her work for the magazine's cover.

"We need to be clever enough to distinguish art from other types of images, otherwise we live in danger of eradicating any image of childhood in this culture for future generations to see."

[...]Mr Henson was cleared of any wrongdoing following a police investigation.

A spokeswoman for the Australia Council yesterday defended their decision to help fund the magazine. She said the Council regarded Mr Henson as one of the country's premier artists.

Free Enterprisers to Blame for Airline Woes

I was amused to hear Steve Forbes blame the government for the problems with the airline industry and the poor service they provide. It turns out that the problems began when the industry was deregulated in 1978. The greatest consequence of that decision was September 11th. Today's problems have only worsened because of high oil prices and greater security measures. Therefore, Mr.Forbes, you and your type are to blame.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Salmonella Outbreak's Victims Rise To 943

The government is still clueless...just like this President.

The U.S. government on Saturday announced an increase in the number of people reported being sickened in a record salmonella outbreak in which tomatoes are the leading suspect although investigators are testing other types of fresh produce.

There have been 943 reported cases across the United States, with at least 130 hospitalizations since mid-April after the first salmonella illnesses appeared, the Food and Drug Administration said Saturday.

That compares with a total of 922 people about two days ago and 869 reported earlier in the past week.

On Tuesday, the government it would test numerous other kinds of fresh produce while insisting that tomatoes remained the leading culprit. Investigators have kept quiet about exactly what other vegetables are getting tracked but said they are looking at items commonly served with fresh tomatoes.

Amnesty Urges Indonesia to halt Serial Killer's Execution

Amnesty should concentrate on stopping the oppression of innocent people worldwide, not fighting for murderers. This might explain why they are so ineffective in stopping false imprisonments and torture worldwide:

Rights group Amnesty International called on Indonesia Saturday not to execute a man who murdered 42 women in "black magic" rituals.

Self-proclaimed shaman Ahmad Suraji was sentenced to death in 1998 after police found the women's bodies buried in a sugar cane field.

He confessed to strangling most of the women and drinking their saliva to improve his magical powers after they came to him for help.

Amnesty said it recognised the need to address serious crime, but was "convinced that the death penalty does not provide a solution."

"(We are) calling for the planned execution of Achmad Suradji to be halted immediately and for his sentence to be commuted," it said in a statement.

Prosecutors said this week Suraji and four other Indonesians would "soon" be executed after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon rejected his clemency application. Amnesty also urged authorities to spare the lives of the four others.

New West Nile Virus Strain may Worsen Epidemic

I've argued for years that West Nile Virus appearing on U.S. soil when it did was an act of terror by Saddam Hussein. And I oppose the Iraq War. Unfortunately, like the anthrax attacks, no one in law enforcement understands the connection. And it would seem the government as a whole is clueless as to how to deal with this menace.

A new strain of West Nile virus is spreading better and earlier across the United States, and may thrive in hot American summers, researchers said on Thursday.

The virus infected an estimated 175,000 people last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in its weekly report on death and disease on Thursday.

The mosquito-borne virus caused an estimated 35,000 cases of fever, was reported to have killed 117 people and caused serious disease such as encephalitis and meningitis in 1,227 people in 2007, the CDC reported.

A second team of researchers said a new strain of the virus that has completely overtaken the original strain is particularly well suited to hotter weather -- which in turn means West Nile outbreaks may worsen in the north.

It also means that North America may suffer more from West Nile virus than other parts of the world, said Lyle Petersen, who helps lead West Nile surveillance at the CDC.

West Nile was introduced to the United States in 1999 -- during a particularly hot summer in New York City.

Related Link:
- Saddam Connection: West Nile Virus the First Bioweapon?
- Is West Nile virus Saddam's revenge?

16 Civilians said Killed in US-led Strike, Afghan MP Shot Dead

The situation in Afghanistan continues to worsen. It's always bad when you end up killing civilians. It serves as great propaganda for the enemy--even if it is provoked by them.

An Afghan provincial governor said Saturday 16 civilians including women, children and doctors were killed in US-led coalition air strikes but the force insisted the dead were militants.

In other violence, gunmen killed a legislator while 10 militants were blown up by their own bomb in troubled southern Afghanistan, authorities said.

The air strikes were carried out on Friday in the remote district of Waygal in the mountainous northeast province of Nuristan, about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the border with Pakistan.

Provincial governor Tamim Nuristani told AFP 16 civilians were killed as they were travelling out of the area after being told by security forces to leave ahead of an operation against Islamic insurgents.

"They included two women, two children and workers and shopkeepers travelling in two pick-up vehicles," Nuristani told AFP. Two doctors and a female nurse were also dead, he said.

But the coalition said Friday and again Saturday the dead were militants who were escaping after attacking an NATO-led military base in the rugged area.

A big part of the problem is Pakistan, where the Taliban go to hide and regroup without much fear of being caught.
Pakistani security forces have eased an operation against insurgents in a tribal region near the border with Afghanistan as local elders try to negotiate peace with a militant leader, a government official said Saturday.

The operation is a shift for Pakistan's government, which has sought to end militant violence through peace deals since coming to power after February elections.

That approach has faced criticism from the United States, where officials say the deals will simply give militants time to regroup and intensify attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.

The operation has also faced criticism from skeptics who say it has met with scant resistance and appears to have led to the death of only one militant. Many militants apparently fled before the operation started.

Hidden Camera Footage Exposes Mugabe 'Vote-rigging'

As I argued previously, the only hope for the people of Zimbabwe, ironically, are cameras. Without video the media ignores oppression. And if the media ignores it the politicians and public ignore the horror.

Secret footage filmed by a Zimbabwean prison guard shows how a supporter of President Robert Mugabe rigged votes in his favour, British newspaper The Guardian said.

The hidden camera images apparently show one of Mugabe's so-called war veterans -- with the power to denounce prison workers as opposition supporters -- supervising their votes, logging each one against the voter's identification number and watching as they mark the ballots.

"It is believed to be the first footage of actual ballot-rigging," The Guardian said.

Harare prison guard Shepherd Yuda, 36, who filmed the clips, has since fled the country with his pregnant wife and their children.

The 10-minute film is on the British daily's website. It was filmed during the six days before the June 27 presidential election second round run-off.

The Guardian gave Yuda the camera to film the daily life of a prison guard but he found himself recording the overseeing of ballots by supporters of Mugabe's ZANU-PF ruling party.

- See the video here.