Mar 08 07:33

Video - Prisons and profit motives: Jailing and drugging kids for profit

I'm speechless - almost

Two judges in Pennsylvania US took over $2.6 million in bribes from a privately owned prison company to put THOUSANDS of kids in jail for extended sentences for NOTHING!

This took place in broad daylight and scores of people in the justice system in Pennsylvania watched, stood by and did nothing.

Mar 08 05:14

Mixed Opinions of a Judge Accused of Misconduct - Nope, she's a murderer alright.

The New York Times GRETEL C. KOVACH DALLAS — If Sharon Keller, the presiding judge of Texas’ highest criminal court, has ever doubted her judgment, she has not shown it.

In 1998, Judge Keller wrote the opinion rejecting a new trial for Roy Criner, a mentally retarded man convicted of rape and murder, even though DNA tests after his trial showed that it was not his semen in the victim.

“We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,” she later told the television news program “Frontline.” “We would have no finality in the criminal justice system, and finality is important.”

Sharon Keller, who was first elected to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 1994, is now its presiding judge.

Mar 08 04:59

Discipline of Military Redirects Dropouts - Teaching kids to kill provides leadership skills!

New York Times ERIK ECKHOLM - FORT GORDON, Ga. — By his own account, Donte’ A. Dungey had no motivation in high school, sleeping through classes and sometimes showing up only for the free lunch to reduce the burden on his mother, who was struggling with nine other children. Held back three times and scheduled to enter the 10th grade at nearly 18, he knew that “high school just wasn’t going to work for me,” he said.

But he was also ready to change. More than five months ago, Mr. Dungey took up residence in a program for dropouts called Youth Challenge, run by the National Guard, that is proving effective at using military atmosphere and discipline to turn around at-risk teenagers.

Mar 08 04:35

You call THAT a College Degree? Colleges Sweat Out Admissions This Year

The New York Times Just as nervously, colleges — facing a financial landscape they have never seen before — are trying to figure out how many students to accept, and how many students will accept them.

“It’s a consumer confidence issue,” said Steven Syverson, vice president for enrollment at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. “Families are feeling like they can’t afford it even if they’re in the same financial position they were three months ago.”

Mar 08 04:18

Cycling, Like Baseball, is Bullshit - Schumacher banned for two years

BBC - Germany's Stefan Schumacher has been banned from cycling for two years after failing a drugs test during last year's Tour de France.

Schumacher tested positive for advanced blood doping product Cera (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator).

Mar 08 04:09

NY 'mafia cops' get life in jail - Say it ain't so! - New York, New York! It's a wonderful town!

BBC - Two men have been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of eight murders as well as other crimes while they were New York policemen.

Stephen Carapacca, 67, and Louis Eppolito, 61, had 44 years' police experience between them.

But they were also secretly on the payroll of Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, the second-in-command of New York's Lucchese mafia family, a court found.

Mar 07 09:51

"Access-A-Ride" Program Harming More Than Helping The Disabled in New York City

And as if it isn't enough to increase the fares on everyday train and bus commuters, it appears the MTA is going after the disabled and economically disadvantaged as well. In addition, disturbing incidents of blatant discrimination also appear to be on the rise, with two separate incidents occurring within the span of just two days in Queens aboard "Access-A-Ride" busses.

Mar 07 08:32

What Battered Newsrooms Can Learn From Stewart's CNBC Takedown

The piece wasn't just the laugh-out-loud funniest thing on TV all week (and this was a week in which NBC rebroadcast the SNL "more cowbell" sketch, so that's saying a lot) but it was exquisitely reported, insightful, and it tapped into America's real anger about the financial crisis in a way that mainstream journalism has found so elusive all these months, in a time when we all need to be tearing down myths. As one commenter on the Romenesko blog noted, "it's simply pathetic that one has to watch a comedy show to see things like this."

But that's not all. The Stewart piece also got the kind of eyeballs that most newsrooms would kill for in this digital age -- planted atop many, many major political, media and business Web sites -- and the kind of water-cooler chatter that journalists would crave in any age. In a time when newspapers are flat-out dying if not dealing with bankruptcy or massive job losses, while other types of news orgs aren't faring much better, the journalistic success of a comedy show rant shouldn't be viewed as a stick in the eye -- but a teachable moment. Why be a curmudgeon about kids today getting all their news from a comedy show, when it's not really that hard to join Stewart in his own idol-smashing game?

Mar 07 08:25

Mr. Simmons' Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border

In the summer of 1999 a BBC story, 'CIA ordered to topple Milosevic': US report, detailed the genesis and gestation period of Washington's new and refurbished coup design:

Replete with sledgehammer-wielding toughs, rent-a-mobs attacking the parliament building, ballots in the contested election being burned by Western-controlled 'democracy advocates' and suitcases of domestic and foreign currency provided by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright smuggled in from Hungary, the 2000 Belgrade coup was the fons et origo of all subsequent 'regime change' campaigns in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, replicated in Georgia in 2003.

The scenario would be repeated in most every particular a year later in Ukraine, which readers will recall was one of Simmons' main bureaux at his new NATO post.

Mar 07 05:29

Afghanistan, the Gift that Keeps on Giving - Russia Is Top Heroin Consumer, Report Finds

The New York Times REUTERS World Briefing | Europe March 6, 2009

Moscow Russia has become the world’s biggest heroin consumer, and the flood of the drug from Afghanistan poses a threat to national security, Russia’s drug enforcement chief said Friday. “In recent years Russia has not just become massively hooked on Afghan opiates, it has also become the world’s absolute leader in the opiate trade and the number one heroin consumer,” Viktor Ivanov, head of the Federal Drug Control Service, said in a report made public on Friday.

Mar 07 03:29

Spin of the Day- Job Losses Hint at Vast Remaking of U.S. Economy - (No remaking, just more collapsing)

The New York Times Peter S Goodman - Jack Healy March 6, 2009

As government data revealed that 651,000 more jobs disappeared in February, a sense took hold that growing joblessness may reflect a wrenching restructuring of the American economy.

[...] a machine toolmaker [...] Unable to find another full-time job, he is subsisting on day labor and one-week stints for contractors. “Who’s going to put me to work?” he asked. “Where’s the work at? It’s just a great big black hole.”

Mar 06 22:06

Should George W. Bush Be Arrested in Calgary Alberta To Be Tried For International Crimes?

On the other hand by pointing its initial surge of juridical activism at the local criminality of individuals in those afflicted regions of Africa where resource cartels and their client regimes often dominate, the ICC has called attention to the West’s hypocrisy in shielding its own war lords and war profiteers in the military-industrial complex from any legal accountability for the violent acts its operatives, many of them in the so-called private sector, regularly plan, instigate, finance, arm, facilitate, commit and exploit.4 Indeed, the double standard promoted by the ICC in the choice of its targets for prosecution replicates in the international arena much of the duplicity of the criminal justice system in the United States.

Mar 06 21:46

Obama's War - Liberal interventionism in the age of Obama

Illusions die hard. Especially the ideological kind. When the illusion of Barack Obama, the peacemaker, is finally dispelled, we are going to wake up and find ourselves waist-deep in a war that will soon threaten to dwarf the disastrous invasion of Iraq, both in human and material cost.

We know this from what he has said he will do, and what he has already done. He's already announced he's sending 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total to nearly 40,000. Not that this comes as any surprise: his entire critique of the Bushian foreign policy during the campaign was that we've been fighting the wrong war: that we had to get out of Iraq so we could occupy and pacify Afghanistan, and make a proper job of it. He advocated going into Pakistan, and outflanked the Republicans on the right.

Mar 06 14:47

Rachel Beck: Markets face 'irrational pessimism' - Including a picture of Ms Rachel.

Associated Press - Yahoo! News - Rachel Beck, AP Business Writer - Fri March 6, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) -- You've heard of "irrational exuberance," right? That's the expression Alan Greenspan coined more than a decade ago when he warned that investors could be bidding stock prices too high. His worry was that escalating asset values were trumping reality.

These days, the opposite seems to be the case. Call it "irrational pessimism," a fear that stock prices are headed in only one direction -- lower and lower -- because asset values and profits seem certain to fall.

[I'm from New York City! Listen to me! ]

Mar 06 10:27

Somewhere a Wing, no Bird is Flying.

I read somewhere (wish I had saved it) that this April there’s a near exact configuration as existed at the start of one of the last World Wars and I’m getting this antsy thing and all sorts of premonitions about the period between April and June of this year. I don’t think it has anything to do with the birds on my lawn during either period or that dream I had last night which was mega powerful. I don’t think it has anything to do with my recent Jeremiads at that public toilet of a forum called The Best of the Fray. On the other hand, I don’t know.

Mar 06 09:36

Pictured: The credit crunch tent city which has returned to haunt America

A century and a half ago it was at the centre of the Californian gold rush, with hopeful prospectors pitching their tents along the banks of the American River.
Today, tents are once again springing up in the city of Sacramento. But this time it is for people with no hope and no prospects.
With America's economy in freefall and its housing market in crisis, California's state capital has become home to a tented city for the dispossessed.

Mar 06 09:28

The Judeo-Russian Mafia : From the Gulag to Brooklyn to World Dominion

The very fact that the Jewish mafia (often misnamed the “Russian” mafia) was capable of completely covering its tracks, being completely left out of all news reports surrounding the incident, while the common people (in Russia) were utterly convinced of their complicity, proves the immense strength of this rather new movement of organized crime. The Jewish mafia is nothing like their Irish or Italian predecessors in its American or European operations. They are richer, more international in scope and far more violent and ruthless. They kill children. They kill policemen and their families. They kill whomever they like.

There has been nothing like it before in the history of the globe. And they are just getting started.

Mar 06 09:00

Different name, same stink

I mention this now because the group just issued a piece aimed at the private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide. Or that’s what it used to be called. The company founded by Michigan native Erik Prince has changed its name to Xe (pronounced Zee).

I got a good laugh out of a cartoon accompanying the story posted on the watchdog group’s Web site. It shows three bugs around a desk in a PR firm’s office, with one of the creepy-crawlers saying, “First of all, we want our name changed from ‘cockroach’ to ‘companion beetle.’”

That pretty much captures the rationale behind the name change.

Mar 06 08:27

Chart of the Day - Metropolitan Life Insurance Over One Year

Yahoo! Finance

This is that Snoopy Dog company. The chart is worth a peek.

Mar 06 08:05

Wells Fargo Slashes Dividend 85% to Preserve $5 Billion a Year

Bloomberg Business Propaganda Linda Shen March 6, 2009

Wells Fargo & Co., the fourth- largest U.S. bank, slashed its dividend 85 percent to save about $5 billion a year and said operating months for January and February were “strong.”

Mar 06 07:51

GE, Siemens Will Fight Obama Plan to Cut Costs of MRIs, X-Rays - Not On Our Watch!

Bloomberg Business Propaganda Alex Nussbaum March 6, 2009

General Electric Co. and Siemens AG, the biggest makers of medical imaging machines, say President Barack Obama’s plan to slash spending on the use of MRIs and X- rays threatens patients, and they’ll lobby Congress to block it.

Mar 06 07:28

Undisclosed Losses at Merrill Lynch Lead to a Trading Inquiry - But No One Ever Goes to Jail

The New York Times LOUISE STORY and ERIC DASH March 6, 2009

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One Merrill Lynch trader apparently gambled away more than $120 million in the currency markets. Others seemingly lost hundreds of millions on tricky credit derivatives.

But somehow all this red ink did not spill into plain view until after Merrill earmarked billions for bonuses and staggered into the arms of Bank of America.

Merrill hemorrhaged $13.8 billion during the final three months of 2008 alone.

Mar 06 07:17

Calling a Spade a Spade - In Senate, Republicans Block Spending Measure

The New York Times DAVID M. HERSZENHORN March 5, 2009

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a $410 billion omnibus spending measure on Thursday night, forcing Congressional Democrats to prepare a stopgap budget resolution to keep the federal government from shutting down.

Although Republicans were glad to needle the Democrats by delaying the bill, there are reasons not to scuttle it. Doing so would result in a $8.4 million budget cut for Senate Republican committees, forcing staff layoffs.

Mar 06 07:02

Anatomy of Rapacious Greed - All Boarded Up

The New York Times Alex Kotlowitz March 4, 2009

Magazine Preview - All Boarded Up

And in December, just when local officials thought things couldn’t get worse, Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, posted a record number of foreclosure filings. The number of empty houses is so staggeringly high that no one has an accurate count. The city estimates that 10,000 houses, or 1 in 13, are vacant. The county treasurer says it’s more likely 15,000. Most of the vacant houses are owned by lenders who foreclosed on the properties and by the wholesalers who are now sweeping in to pick up houses in bulk, as if they were trading in baseball cards.

Mar 06 06:01

Video - Fox peddles doomsday - why?

Beck warms against "Bubba"
It's hard to tell what evil Fox is up to now.

The "news" network was completely happy to provide daily - make that hourly - support to the first full blown American tyranny (Bush/Cheney & Co.)

Now they're devoting regular air time to spinning doomsday scenarios that involve the federal government morphing into a full blown tyranny including the military shooting at US civilians.

Mar 05 22:06

No Parking: a tree by any other name

Scientists who discovered a new species of tree standing beside a country road have named it "no parking" after a sign that was nailed to the trunk.

A team of botanists found the tree in a north Devon lay-by while working on a project in which 14 new species and hybrids across the British Isles were discovered.

It was known locally as the No Parking Tree and the nickname has stuck as it is listed in Watsonia, the scientific journal of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, as no parking whitebeam. The tree's Latin name is Sorbus admonitor, meaning to admonish or tell off, and it grows at Watersmeet, between the villages of Lynton and Lynmouth.

Mar 05 19:40

Republicans Object to Obama Tax Hikes Connie Hair March 4, 2009

Estimates from places like the EPA say that gas could go up $1.70 [per gallon], that electricity rates will go up as high as eighty percent as a result of this ‘tax and trade’ energy tax.

John Boehner (R-Ohio) said of the energy tax increases in the Obama budget, “If you drive a car, or you have a job, or if you have the audacity to flip on a light switch, you’re going to pay higher taxes. They call this ‘cap and trade’ because people don’t quite understand it. It’s a bit of an illusion, but let’s just call it what it is: it’s a carbon tax.

Mar 05 11:58


CNN - March 5, 2009

Blast damages businesses in Montana town

The blast occurred about 8:15 a.m. MT (10:15 a.m. ET) on the town's Main Street, said Fire Chief Jason Shrauger.

Mar 05 11:07

Car bomb hits Iraq cattle market

BBC March 5, 2009

Grim scene

Cattle merchants, farmers, butchers and buyers had been gathering for one of the busiest trading days of the week when the parked car exploded at around 0900 local time (0600 GMT).

One eyewitness described a grim scene of bodies and animal carcasses strewn around the area following the blast.

Mar 05 10:40

Daughter of Orthodox rabbi tells court of father's sexual abuse

And he repeatedly tried to show that religious Jews are not that different, once even parting his jacket and exposing leggings he said are similar to those worn by George Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At least he didn't blame it all on the Holocaust!

Mar 05 10:37

UPDATE 1-One in 8 US households late paying or in foreclosure

Reuters Thu Mar 5, 2009 Lynn Adler

A record 11.18 percent of loans on one-to-four unit residences were at least one payment past due or in the foreclosure process in 2008.

"In a recession like this, housing is never just about housing," said Jed Kolko [...]

Mar 05 08:56

Canada should bar or prosecute Bush

As George W. Bush’s St. Patrick’s Day visit to Calgary draws near, the federal government is facing pressure from activists and human rights lawyers to bar the former U.S. president from the country or prosecute him for war crimes and crimes against humanity once he steps on Canadian soil.

Mar 05 08:41

Condi Rice to face hostility at Stanford

Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice will be returning to Stanford University with an office at the Hoover Institution.

She will face hostility from Iraq war opponents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's keep it simple. Who will she NOT face hostility from?

Mar 05 08:26


Earlier in the week, visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a ‘Two State Solution’ to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. She made her statements when addressing the conference on Gaza held at the Egyptian border town of Sharma Sheikh.

Mar 05 07:07

Brown Comes To Town - Calls for Cattle Prods and Terrorism to Jolt the World Economy

The New York Times Brian Knowlton March 4, 2009

Brown Urges Bold Effort to Shape an Expansion

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain urged American leaders on Wednesday to “seize the moment,” [...]

Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Brown called for [...] cooperating closely to fight terrorism.

He has urged greater accountability and transparency, and stricter oversight, for banking and other financial institutions.

Mar 05 06:38

U.S. Bancorp Cuts Its Dividend by 88%

The New York Times Wed March 4, 2009

The dividend will be cut to 5 cents a common share, from 42.5 cents per common share.

Mar 05 06:17

Ford Seeks to Eliminate $10.4 Billion of Its Debt - They're offering 30 cents on the dollar in mostly stock.

The New York Times Bill Vlasic - Nick Bunkley March 4, 2009

DETROIT — The Ford Motor Company said on Wednesday that it hoped to eliminate as much as $10.4 billion in debt by giving cash and stock [...]

Ford said it would put up $2.2 billion in cash, including $1.8 billion from its lending arm, Ford Motor Credit, and 500 million shares of stock to persuade bondholders and other creditors to accept its restructuring offer. [That's 3.135 billion in cash and shares offered for 10.4 billion in debt excluding interest]

Mar 05 05:48

Markets: Your Odds of Winning Are Worse Than The Lottery Because We're Thieves

The New York Times Diana B. Henriques March 4, 2009

14 Trading Firms Settle Charges for $69 Million

More than a dozen Wall Street trading firms systematically cheated their customers of millions of dollars by improperly slicing bits of profit from countless trades, federal regulators said on Wednesday.

Mar 04 14:35

Investors Return to the Market After Heavy Selling - Lies from AP and Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Finance - Sara Lepro, AP Business Writer Wed March 4

Stocks move higher after 5 days of heavy selling

NEW YORK (AP) -- The stock market is showing signs of life as investors find glimmers of hope for an economic turnaround.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to a light 1.1 billion shares.

Mar 04 11:38

Massachusetts treasurer proposes slot machines, privatizing lottery, and legalizing child prostitution to make ends meet

Reuters top ten news - Wed Mar 4, 2009 Svea Herbst-Bayliss

Mass. treasurer proposes slots, privatizing lottery

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill proposed privatizing the state lottery and licensing thousands of slot machines to quickly raise billions of dollars for the financially ailing state.

"If we could get this seed money, we would be the first state in the country to have a fund for this type of cost," Cahill said.

Mar 04 10:13

Obama Pulls U.S. Out of UN Conference on Racism, But Congressional Black Caucus Should Attend Anyway

When Eric Holder, the new U.S. Attorney General called the nation to account for its historic reluctance to honestly talk about race and racism, its manifestations and consequences, he could have been talking about his boss the president. By withdrawing from the UN Conference on Racism he is leading backwards, in the direction of Clinton and Bush rather than forward into the 21st century. The fact that the President of Change can't bring himself -- or us --- to an honest discussion about race says a lot for his willingness to lead on the subject.

Mar 04 07:29

Tenants Wary of Clustering of Homeless - The New Reality - Not The New Deal

The New York Times Julie Bosman March 3, 2009

Henry Perry just cannot get used to the 10 p.m. curfew notice posted since October in the Bronx apartment building where he has lived since 1963. Or the sign-in sheet, where the newer residents dutifully log comings and goings. Or the 24-hour security guard seated at a desk in the lobby.

Twenty-one of the 50 units in Mr. Perry’s five-story brick building are now occupied by homeless families as part of a Bloomberg administration program that has turned dozens of apartment buildings throughout the city, most of them in the Bronx, into de facto homeless shelters.

Mar 04 07:08

The debt economy has no shame

The New York Times David Streitfeld March 3, 2009

You’re Dead? That Won’t Stop the Debt Collector

Dozens of specially trained agents work on the third floor of DCM Services here, calling up the dear departed’s next of kin and kindly asking if they want to settle the balance on a credit card or bank loan, or perhaps make that final utility bill or cellphone payment.

The people on the other end of the line often have no legal obligation to assume the debt of a spouse, sibling or parent. But they take responsibility for it anyway.

Mar 04 06:19

Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid

The New York Times March 2, 2009 Solomon Moore

One in every 31 adults, or 7.3 million Americans, is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost to the states of $47 billion in 2008, according to a new study.

As states face huge budget shortfalls, prisons, which hold 1.5 million adults, are driving the spending increases.

One in 11 African-Americans, or 9.2 percent, are under correctional control, compared with one in 27 Latinos (3.7 percent) and one in 45 whites (2.2 percent).Only one out of 89 women is behind bars or monitored, compared with one out of 18 men.

Mar 03 21:37

Scholar presaged U.S. descent to destitution

In two hours, the smooth new president, about whom Johnson pronounced himself “satisfied,” was going to address Congress. I asked Johnson what he would say if Barack Obama sought his advice.

“I'm now going to lecture you about things you refuse to know,” Johnson said, channeling the imaginary conversation.

“I'm going to lecture you about history. History tells us there's no such thing as a successful democracy and also a successful empire. You can be one or the other – but you can't be both. If you are a successful empire, it will destroy your democracy. That's essentially why Britain gave up at the end of World War II. They concluded that just after defeating the Nazis, they couldn't continue to use Nazi methods. It wasn't well done, but they preserved their democracy.”

Though dismantling the military may be political suicide, a third-rail far more electrifying than Social Security, Obama will have to face that task someday, Johnson said.

Mar 03 10:12


Mar 03 09:05

JPMorgan Derivatives Group Earned $5 Billion in Wall Street's Worst Year - It's not honest work, but it pays well.

Bloomberg Matthew Leising and Elizabeth Hester

March 3 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. managed to generate $5 billion in profit during the worst year in Wall Street history by trading over-the-counter fixed-income derivatives, two people with knowledge of the results said.

The unit was among the most profitable at the New York-based company, said the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to divulge the figures. JPMorgan spokeswoman Kristin Lemkau declined to comment.

Mar 03 08:57

Bailout The SEC: Complete Interview of Harry Markopolos On CBS 60 Minutes. Broadcast March 1st

Key snip: It took me five minutes to know that it was a fraud. It took me another almost four hours of mathematical modeling to prove that it was a fraud. Harry Markopolos on Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Mar 03 08:22

Logan parking costs may soar

In the same month that Logan International Airport hiked its parking rates by $1, Governor Deval Patrick is asking for another $2 parking "carbon fee" as part of his transportation overhaul filed this week.

The carbon fee, described on page 137 of Patrick's 141-page bill, would that mean a 20- or 30-minute trip to pick up a relative at Logan could cost $6 in parking alone, not including tunnel tolls, which could rise to as much as $7 if legislators fail to pass Patrick's other proposal to raise the gas tax. Three hours in a Logan garage would cost $18; all-day parking in a garage would run $26.

Mar 03 08:12

Roaches and Rats Thrive in a Depression - It's a complete collapse

The New York Times Michael Wilson March 2, 2009

Veterans in the pest control industry said that their customers, both residential and commercial, appear to be sacrificing on regular exterminations as a cost-cutting measure.

“He said, ‘It’s very simple. I don’t know if we can make the rent or the payroll,’” Mr. Agatowski recalled. “‘So in other words, you’re out. We’ll step on the bugs and kick the mice.’ The exterminating almost becomes like a luxury item.”

Mar 03 07:57

Cutting the Cable as the Economy Pinches - Something Positive in the News

The New York Times City Room - Ken Belson

For most New Yorkers, moving into a new home means calling Con Edison, Verizon and the cable company. But some younger New Yorkers are no longer paying for cable television [...]

“So many of my friends treated cable as a utility, that it wasn’t a home until it was set up,” said Nick Jackson, 24, who lives on the Lower East Side and works in publishing. “I basically chose Internet over the cable.”

Mar 03 07:48

Prosecutors Fight Release of Spitzer Records - Huh? What are they up to?

The New York Times March 2, 2009 William K. Rashbaum

Prosecutors of the prostitution case that exposed Eliot Spitzer as a client are appealing a court order directing them to unseal records that may shed light on the origins of the investigation.

The prosecutors, from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, filed a notice in court on Monday saying that they would appeal Judge Rakoff’s ruling to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, a decision that was made by senior Justice Department officials in Washington.

Mar 02 21:25

Preaching to the Choir

Mar 02 20:47

$150 Billion Here, $30 Billion There, & Pretty Soon...

This is what happens when you run a really, really big scam, as opposed to a small-time con like an illegal shell game on a city street. In the latter case, cops and prosecutors will hound you, and rightly so. In the former, Washington will simply throw obscene amounts of money at you without even blinking.

Mar 02 19:23

$700 million eyed for toll projects

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This means taxpayer-paid for roads will be taxed again.

And this isn't happening only in Texas; it's happening nationally.

Mar 02 19:10

Family Sues Charity Over Suicide, Donation

A family claims a Denver-area charity did nothing to prevent a suicide so that it could hold onto a $100,000 donation. The claim is contained in a lawsuit against Laradon Hall, a mental health facility for developmentally disabled children and adults.

Mar 02 19:03

Holder's Much Touted Speech on Race Lets White People Off the Hook

It was all too predictable that Attorney General Eric Holder would be attacked for his recent remarks about race in America. To suggest that the nation is still haunted by the specter of racism is unacceptable it seems, especially since, with the election of President Barack Obama, we have ostensibly entered the "post-racial" era.

But in truth, the nation's chief law enforcement officer deserves criticism more for what he didn't say than for what he did

Mar 02 17:44

Rod Blagojevich gets a book deal

Los Angeles Times Monique Garcia March 2, 2009

The former Illinois governor will focus on the process of picking Barack Obama's Senate successor and expose the 'dark side of politics' that he witnessed, a news release says.

Blagojevich's publicity agent, Glenn Selig, said the deal was with an independent publisher, Phoenix Books, and was worth six figures. The news release said Blagojevich will expose the "dark side of politics" that he witnessed as a former congressman and governor.

Mar 02 16:32

4 Tons of Fertilizer Stolen From Store

At least four tons of fertilizer was stolen over the weekend in Frederick, city police said. No motive had been determined.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here is a clue: It's planting season during hard economic times.

(Danged city fellas!!!)

Mar 02 16:09

Letter to the Neighborhood

Dear Neighbor,

I imagine that your 401(k), your house value, and your portfolio are all getting hammered.

Mine are too.

I imagine that you are furious at the government and banks for getting us into this mess.

I am also.

But the question is: what can we do about it?

Mar 02 14:37

Chavez sends army to rice plants

BBC News March 1, 2009

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered the army to take control of all rice processing plants in the country.

Major rice processors in the country include the US-owned giant Cargill and Venezuela's main food company, Polar.

"I will expropriate them, I have no problem with that, and I'll pay them with bonds. Don't count on me paying with hard cash," he said, without mentioning any companies by name.

Mar 02 13:55

This chart RIGHT NOW shows the pathetic volume in the DOW.

The collapse is nearing capitulation.

Soon enough, there will be no buyers at any price.

Mar 02 08:49

Airlines, plane maker sued over crash near Buffalo

Relatives of a passenger killed when a commuter plane crashed into a house outside Buffalo have sued Continental Airlines and the flight's operators, claiming the aircraft had inadequate deicing equipment and an improperly trained crew

Mar 02 07:04

Starvation and Strife Menace Torn Kenya

The New York Times JEFFREY GETTLEMAN Feb 28, 2009

NAIROBI, Kenya — One year after this country exploded in ethnic bloodshed, trouble is brewing here again.

Ten million people face starvation, partly because farmers in crucial food-producing areas who fled their homes last year have not returned, instead withdrawing deeper into their ethnic enclaves, deeper into fear.

President Obama, whose father was Kenyan, has become a savior to many people here, in part because Kenyans say their own leaders have been such a disappointment.

Mar 02 06:52

Ukraine Teeters as Citizens Blame Banks and Government - A Common Theme!

The New York Times CLIFFORD J. LEVY March 1, 2009

KIEV, Ukraine — Steel and chemical factories, once the muscle of Ukraine’s economy, are dismissing thousands of workers. Cities have had days without heat or water because they cannot pay their bills, and Kiev’s subway service is being threatened. Lines are sprouting at banks, the currency is wilting and even a government default seems possible.

The sign held by Vasily Kirilyuk, an unemployed plumber camped out with other antigovernment demonstrators here in the past week, summed up the pervasive frustration: “Get rid of them all,” it said.

Mar 02 05:45

How a Man Was Thrown into Gitmo and Tortured for Clicking on My Article

A British 'resident' held at Guantanamo Bay was identified as a terrorist after confessing he had visited a 'joke' website on how to build a nuclear weapon, it was revealed last night.

Binyam Mohamed, a former UK asylum seeker, admitted to having read the 'instructions' after allegedly being beaten, hung up by his wrists for a week and having a gun held to his head in a Pakistani jail.

Mar 01 21:29

Taxpayers Clearing House Prize Patrol

They present invoices to taxpayers for their portion of the bailout. See the parts where they throw fiat paper at Geithner and ask Olympia Snowe to sign the check to Amtrak.

Mar 01 19:19

FLASHBACK - Ryanair's Eurostar claim banned

Ryanair has been banned from claiming its flight from London to Brussels is faster and cheaper than making the journey by Eurostar.

Mar 01 19:18

FLASHBACK - Ryanair to appeal over wheelchair

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has spoken out strongly against a court judgement that has ordered his airline to provide free wheelchairs.

Mar 01 19:16

FLASHBACK - Ryanair: £30 charge if you can't fit duty free in your hand luggage

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is a lesson here. If you piss off the bloggers, we will fight back!

Mar 01 19:15

FLASHBACK - Ryanair left me to carry my disabled wife onto plane, claims holidaymaker

A husband had to carry his disabled wife onto a Ryanair flight after staff refused to help – because of health and safety rules.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Is this any way to run an airline?

Mar 01 15:21

CFR Professor Reveals Plot for Military Coup in 2012

During the FIU New World Order Summit, a professor at the school named Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg raised the concern during a panel session about the possibility of a military coup taking place in the United States by the year 2012. This was not theorizing, he was simply citing a study that took place at the Army War College.

Mar 01 11:05

The Snake Dancing Broadcasting Mind Control.

We’re told that certain people are our enemies but our real enemies are the people telling us this. We’re told that certain things are bad for us but these things aren’t even as bad as the things they tell us we can have and which they make and sell to us so that we can hear the lies better and to put us in the mood to agree with the lies which cause us to injure ourselves and each other. The people who tell us these lies all went to school together and they learned to speak a certain language so that they can say things to each other that we won’t understand. While they were in their special schools they had their humanity removed so that they could do things that no human being would even consider because they have no conscience to inhibit their behavior.

Mar 01 08:17

Stock chart of the day GE over one year - Stunned OVER TEN BILLION SHARES ISSUED

And GE just announced a massive dividend cut. I fact, without large infusions of government bailout money, GE couldn't pay any dividend.

GE would be forced into liquidating its holdings.

Mar 01 07:04

Paul Harvey, Talk-Radio Pioneer, Is Dead at 90

The New York Times March 1, 2009

[...] a heartland icon, delivering news and commentary with a distinctive Midwestern flavor.

In 2000, at age 82, he signed a 10-year contract with ABC Radio Networks.

Feb 28 22:05

Holder's appeal for gun control for MEXICO'S sake

Have you noticed how often the proponents of more government control rarely cite their real intentions and instead make some emotional appeal about helping some victim class? Holder's claims that we should crack down on guns in the US because it helps MEXICO infuriates me.

This morning I hear David Shorr (who is pretty hard to listen to in the best of circumstances) repeating the Obama/Holder propaganda that the guns in Mexico come mostly from the US. The archive isn't up yet and I will add it when I can. But until then, consider the retort below (I have not verified it, fwiw)

It was written in response to a similar news story in the Wall Street Journal (see )


Feb 28 12:16

Anti-tax movement holds 'Tea Party' to protest Obama policies

Describing themselves as the spark of a "new conservative counterculture," several thousand anti-tax protesters took to the streets in over thirty cities on Friday to object to President Obama's plans to counter the growing economic crisis with government spending.

The extensive media coverage of the event was perhaps disproportionate to the actual size of the protests, which drew around 200 to 300 participants in most locations. The greatest turnout may have been in St. Louis, Missouri, where some 1000 people showed up.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Although the numbers reported appear small, I am seeing a growing anger in the heartland at what We the Taxpayers are supposed to fork over in taxes due to the financial errors and excesses of others.

The American people, as a whole, getting thoroughly fed up with this new "Taxation without Representation".

Oh yes, we go through that Kabuki ritual of elections every so often, just to enforce the illusion that we have people who actually represent us in Congress.

Unfortunately, however, most of those who continue to get elected continue to get elected due to the covert and overt financial clout of the corporations which have actually acquired them. So hard working American, sometimes working two and three jobs just to keep the roof over their families' heads, are really SOL at this point in this country's history, until something changes.

This new "Tea Party" movement may well be the harbinger of that change.

Feb 28 10:33


Feb 28 00:58

DEA to halt medical marijuana raids

Supporters of programs to provide legal marijuana to patients with painful medical conditions are celebrating Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement this week that the Drug Enforcement Administration would end its raids on state-approved marijuana dispensaries.

Feb 27 23:03

The Abrupt Limits of Glenn Beck's Understanding

Like most other conservative authoritarians, Beck apparently cannot understand the principle involved here, or why some people like myself who neither smoke nor drink nor take drugs of any kind would want to end the murderous fraud called the War on Drugs.

Feb 27 18:56

Spanish seize huge cocaine haul - Your money for nothing and your chicks for free

BBC News Feb 27, 2009

A Venezuelan fishing boat has been seized near the Canary Islands with five tonnes of cocaine on board, Spanish customs officials have said.

The drug shipment is thought to have a street value of 250m euros (£221m). Five Venezuelan crew members were held.

Feb 27 11:24

KBR Q4 Profit Climbs As Revenues Surge 42%

(RTTNews) - Engineering, construction and services company KBR, Inc. (KBR: News ) Wednesday, reported a rise in the fourth-quarter profit, helped by a 42% rise in revenue and positive contribution from LNG project change order.

KBR's net income for the quarter increased to $88 million or $0.54 per share from $71 million or $0.42 per share in the comparable period. Income from continuing operations rose to $88 million or $0.54 per share, from last year's $48 million or $0.28 per share.

Feb 27 11:13

The Silence of the Liberals As Obama launches "war on terrorism" II

The smarty-pants tone and style of this administration is already beginning to grate on my nerves, as they pander to their base on the symbolic issues – like the coffin question – in hopes no one will notice as they backtrack on more important matters. So far, it doesn't seem to be working out all that well.

Glenn Greenwald isn't cutting them any slack on the torture brouhaha – he's already pointed out that they'll still be torturing people, albeit not with their own hands in some instances, and that if Guantanamo is closed, Bagram – where similar activities are known to take place – is going to be open for "business."

Feb 27 09:49

The Serious Disconnect in Modern Culture.

There is a serious disconnect in any society that promotes the use of the most destructive chemical agents and ruthlessly suppresses the use of more benign agents. It’s not accidental. It’s all about control and the manipulation of the human consciousness through marketed illusions which track back to life on rails and shopping as an avocation.

Feb 27 08:46

In Revision, G.D.P. Shrank at 6.2% Rate at the End of 2008

The New York Times CATHERINE RAMPELL Feb 27, 2009

The economy at the end of last year contracted at a far faster rate than initially estimated, a government report released Friday said.

[...] the last quarter of 2008 was the worst since the 1982 recession [...]

Feb 27 01:21

Crisis in the US newspaper industry - BBC

BBC News Americas February 27, 2009 Max Deveson

If the economic crisis goes on much longer, will there be any newspapers left in the US to write about it?

The "crisis" in the newspaper industry may, therefore, be more of a crisis for the journalists and publishers who are currently facing job losses and bankruptcy.

But if it is merely the quantity, but not the quality, of journalism that declines then - for readers - there may not be a crisis at all.

Feb 27 01:01

Do you regret voting for Barack Obama? Sodahead Poll

Sodahead Poll

current poll numbers (It's sort of a trick question.)

812 -51% say, No regret voting for Obama
586 -37% say, Didn't vote for Obama
204 -13% say, Yes regret voting for Obama

A 13% decline in support says the mandate weeks are over. The comment board is vaguely interesting though demonstrative of a growing class of morons in this country.

Feb 26 16:17

The Gatekeeper Rahm Emanuel on the job - The New Yorker

The New Yorker - Letter from Washington - Ryan Lizza - March 2, 2009

The Gatekeeper - Rahm Emanuel on the job.

“Collins and Snowe are kind of like, at this point, looking at their shoes,” Emanuel went on, “because Specter says, ‘Well, why make it seventy-two? What do you mean? We all have it at sixty-five, in the middle.’ ”

Feb 26 13:13

Satellite Collision Debris Tracking in Google Earth

Google Earth network link

Two satellites, Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251, made the news a couple of weeks ago when they accidentally collided 400 miles above the Earth. This was a rare occurrence, but the possibility of further collisions has now increased. The resulting orbital debris from the collisions is being tracked by Norad and other services. Celestrak is providing data on the debris from the collision. Rob Simpson of Orbiting Frog has released a Google Earth network link [Google Earth Required. You must have GE installed.] that lets you see the current orbital positions of some of the debris from the February collision. The file automatically updates with the current orbital positions.

Feb 26 10:36

Army tanks roll toward Bangladeshi capital

Bangladeshi tanks rolled into the capital Thursday, according to local media reports, hours after the prime minister warned mutinous border guards she would "do whatever is needed to end the violence."

Feb 26 09:16

Jews Are Guilty of Anti-Gentilism, Aren't They ? It Has to Stop !

As a Gentile, I believe I'm being subjected to Anti-Gentilism

As a result of suffering this persecution lifelong, I am traumatised and believe I'm deserving of compensaying for my pain and loss

Where do I lodge my claim .. Israel ?

My solicitors have said I should claim for 300 million dollars at minimum

Feb 26 06:25

The CIA Beyond Redemption and Should be Terminated

The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.

Feb 26 05:57

The Deep Politics of Hollywood. In the Parents` Best Interests

GE/Universal’s Munich (2005) – Steven Spielberg’s exploration of Israeli vengeance following the Palestinian terrorist attack at the 1972 Olympics – raises similar suspicions. Although the Zionist Organisation of American called for a boycott of the film because they felt it equated Israel with terrorists, such a reading is less than convincing. Indeed, by the time Munich’s credits begin to roll its overriding messages have been stamped indelibly into the brain by the film’s Israeli Special Forces characters: “Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values,” “We kill for our future, we kill for peace,” and “Don't f*ck with the Jews.” Predictably, Israel is one of GE’s most loyal customers, buying Hellfire II laser missiles as well as propulsion systems for the F-16 Falcon fighter, the F-4 Phantom fighter, the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, and the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. In Munich’s 167 minute running time the voice of the Palestinian cause is restricted to two and a half minutes of simplistic dialogue. Rather than being an “evenhanded cry for peace,” as the Los Angeles Times hailed it, General Electric’s Munich is more easily interpreted as a subtle corporate endorsement of the policies of a loyal customer.

Feb 26 05:15

Asswipe--The Environmentalist Contribution to a Better World

The New York Times LESLIE KAUFMAN Feb 25, 2009

Mr. Whipple Left It Out: Soft Is Rough on Forests

The national obsession with soft [toilet] paper comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada. Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material [...]

Feb 25 22:58

Yes we are raging - against a Government that spies on its citizens while ignoring the crimes of greedy bankers

That the public is being watched by Big Brother at every turn is deeply alarming. That the innocent were being tracked going about their every day lives while a blind eye was being turned to a financial sector apparently hell-bent on destruction is unforgivable.

Feb 25 18:00

Angry Taxpayers throw "BOSTON TEA PARTY" in St. Louis

Feb 25 16:58

Indiana Amish community helps in Texas cow country

Amish volunteers helping rebuild after Ike
By Cindy Horswell
Sunday, February 22, 2009

"That is why Fellowship of Christian Farmers organized the relief effort: "Building fences in Texas until the cows come home."
Among the volunteers answering the call have been groups of Amish who learned of the ranchers' plight from their community newsletter in Elkhart and LaGrange counties in Indiana. That's the area that President Barack Obama last week singled out as having the nation's highest unemployment rate.

Many of the 35 Amish volunteers helped out, though they are facing their own financial crises at home. Many have been laid off or had their hours slashed at factories that make recreational vehicles.

Feb 25 16:18

Ben Bernanke - LIAR

"We believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited"

- Ben Bernanke, May 2007

"There is a reasonable prospect that the current recession will end in 2009"

- Ben Bernanke, February 2009

Feb 25 09:56

At least nine killed as Turkish Airlines plane crashes near Amsterdam

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Now THIS is what it really looks like when an intact plane crashes into a field. Quite a contrast with the wreckage of flight 93 which was spread out over 8 miles.