Monday, June 23, 2008

World Exclusive: WTC7 Survivor Barry Jennings Account

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P.O.V.: Traces of the Trade | PBS

Film shows how North profited from slavery

JOANNE OSTROW; The Denver Post
Last updated: June 23rd, 2008 01:23 AM (PDT)

Katrina Browne’s wealthy Rhode Island clan has a secret. The well-mannered Yankees would rather not speak of it, but their forefathers were perhaps America’s biggest slave-trading dynasty.
After introducing her ancestors via distinguished-looking oil paintings in the family mansion, now a museum, Browne sets out to retrace the physical route and the rocky emotional terrain of how her forefathers built their fortune.

The journey – from tearful soul-searching to squirming at the dinner table when confronted with the family’s obvious elitism – makes for a stunning documentary.

“Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” airing Tuesday on PBS’ “P.O.V.,” is eye-opening and important, digging deeper than what may be comfortable into what stands in the way of race relations in this country.

The filmmaker, Browne, is a seventh-generation descendant of Mark Anthony DeWolf, the family’s first slave trader. From 1769 to 1820, the DeWolfs trafficked in human beings as part of what was know as the “Triangle Trade.”

They sailed their ships from Bristol, R.I., to West Africa with rum to trade for African men, women and children. Captives were taken to plantations that the DeWolfs owned in Cuba or were sold at auction in Havana or Charleston, S.C. The proceeds bought sugar and molasses in Cuba, which were shipped to the family-owned rum distilleries in Bristol.

Rum traded for slaves, slaves traded for sugar, sugar used to make rum.

Over the generations, the family owned 47 ships that transported thousands of chained Africans across the Middle Passage into slavery. By the end of his life, James DeWolf was reportedly the second-richest man in the United States. He was also a U.S. senator who was granted political appointments and other favors from none other than Thomas Jefferson.

The film upends stereotypical notions about the American North fighting for abolition while slaves toiled away down South. Browne documents how crucial the slave trade was to New England for more than 200 years.

Individual homes may have acquired one or two slaves, as opposed to the masses on plantations in the South, but the textile mills, banks and insurance companies in the North were built on profits from the slave trade.

The documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, follows 10 of DeWolf’s descendants (ages 32-71, ranging from sisters to seventh cousins) as they retrace the steps of the Triangle Trade: the DeWolf mansion in Bristol, slave forts on the coast of Ghana and the ruins of a family plantation in Cuba.

Family archives document various trades: In one entry, nine slaves (one woman and eight men) were swapped for “tobacco, rum, hats, bread, mackerel.” James DeWolf once gave his wife two African children, a boy and a girl, as a Christmas present.

Back home, Browne delves into questions of repair: How do the sins of the fathers weigh on the sons and daughters; what should be done about it? Are financial reparations due, and what spiritual/emotional work is owed, as well?

The film was nine years in the making and ought to spark conversations on race for at least that long. “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North” airs as part of “P.O.V.”

When: 10 p.m. Tuesday

Where: KCTS, Channel 9

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thug Cop Slams Teenager’s Head Against Wall

June 18, 2008

Leave it up to the corporate media to deny reality. “A Michigan police officer has been suspended on suspicion of roughing up a teenager during an arrest, and the whole thing was caught on tape,” reports KNBC 4 in Los Angeles.

Suspicion? Maybe it was Derek Nugent’s doppelgänger that slammed the kid’s head against the wall. Did KNBC bother to look at the video footage posted on their website and apparently broadcast over their network?

“The teen, who was arrested on charges of violating rules outside of the Kalamazoo Transportation Center, suffered facial injuries and damage to three of his teeth, police said.”

Damage? In fact, the kid lost the teeth.

Nugent was “suspended” for 10 days without pay. Ouch, that’ll teach him. Not. He should be arrested, brought up on assault charges, convicted, and sent to the hoosegow.

But that will not happen. Because government prefers cops like Nugent to put the commoners in place, especially the poor black ones who ride public transport. Next time, maybe the cops will lose the video tape.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

FEMA gives away $85 million of supplies for Katrina victims

From Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost
CNN Special Investigations Unit

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- FEMA gave away about $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims, a CNN investigation has found.

The material, from basic kitchen goods to sleeping necessities, sat in warehouses for two years before the Federal Emergency Management Agency's giveaway to federal and state agencies this year.

James McIntyre, FEMA's acting press secretary, said that FEMA was spending more than $1 million a year to store the material and that another agency wanted the warehouses torn down, so "we needed to vacate them."

"Upon review of our assets and our need to continue to store them, we determined that they were excess to FEMA's needs; therefore, they are being excessed from FEMA's inventory," McIntyre wrote in an e-mail.

He declined a request for an on-camera interview, telling CNN the giveaway was "not news."

Photos from one of the facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, show pallet after pallet of cots, cleansers, first-aid kits, coffee makers, camp stoves and other items stacked to the ceiling. Watch dismay over "out of touch" FEMA »

FEMA said some of the items were donations from companies after Katrina, but most were purchased in the field as "starter kits" for people living in trailers provided by the agency. And even though the stocks were offered to state agencies after FEMA decided to get rid of them, one of the states that passed was Louisiana.

Martha Kegel, the head of a New Orleans nonprofit agency that helps find homes for those still displaced by the storm, said she was shocked to learn about the existence of the goods and the government giveaway.

"These are exactly the items that we are desperately seeking donations of right now: basic kitchen household supplies," said Kegel, executive director of Unity of Greater New Orleans. "These are the very things that we are seeking right now. FEMA, in fact, refers homeless clients to us to house them. How can we house them if we don't have basic supplies?" Watch the great FEMA giveaway »

Kegel's group works with FEMA and other local organizations to rehouse victims of Katrina, the 2005 hurricane that flooded New Orleans and killed more than 1,800 people along the Gulf Coast. Community groups say thousands of people are still living in abandoned buildings in the city, though fewer than 100 people remain housed in tents.

Kegel said FEMA was told in regular meetings that Unity was desperate for household supplies and that the group has been forced to beg for donations. But she said FEMA never told Unity and other community groups that it had tens of millions of dollars worth of brand-new items meant for storm victims.

She said she learned of it from CNN, which found that those items never made it to people such as Debra Reed.

"An honest person like me didn't get nothing," said Reed, 54, who recently moved from a tent beneath a New Orleans bridge to a home with the help of Kegel's group. "I'm gonna turn, 'cause I'm gonna cry. I didn't get nothing. I fought to get my money, but they wouldn't give it to me. So I ended up going under the bridge."

FEMA confirmed that it had kept the merchandise in storage for the past two years and then gave it away to cities, schools, fire departments and nonprofit agencies such as food banks. In all, General Services Administration records show, FEMA gave away 121 truckloads of material.

McIntyre said that most of the items given away were not "standard-issue type supplies" that FEMA would have distributed after other disasters. He said that using the GSA, which manages federal property, to get rid of those stockpiles was "standard process."

Asked whether FEMA believed that Katrina victims no longer needed the items, McIntyre wrote: "If the state did not request the supplies, then FEMA would not know." Watch Kegel describe "the needs are just overwhelming" »

Pallets at the Fort Worth warehouse were piled high with boxes of buckets, boots, cleansers, mops and brooms. There were stacks of tents, lanterns and camp stoves for people still displaced, as well as clothing, bedding, plates and utensils.

Meanwhile, Kegel said, Unity's clients can take only "one fork, one spoon, one knife; they can only take one plate. We don't have enough to go around."

But FEMA said the items were no longer needed in the stricken region. So it declared them "federal surplus" and gave them away.

Federal agencies such as the Bureau of Prisons, Postal Service and Border Patrol got first dibs on the material when FEMA started giving it away. Other agencies that received items include the National Guard, U.S. Marshals Service, the Air Force and Navy and the departments of Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, according to a list the GSA provided to CNN.

These items also were offered to all states -- yet Louisiana, where most of the people displaced by the storm live, passed on taking any of them.

John Medica, director of the Louisiana Federal Property Assistance Agency in Baton Rouge, said he was unaware that Katrina victims still had a need for the household supplies.

"We didn't have anybody out there who told us they wanted it," Medica said.

Instead, 16 other states took the free items.

"Louisiana Recovery Authority Director Paul Rainwater is taking the lead on determing where this serious breakdown in communication occured and ... is working to pursue options for the state to still make use of these important supplies," said Michael DiResto of the Division of Administration.

DiResto said Rainwater has already taken up the issue with a FEMA official.

Kegel said she could not understand how Medica could not be aware of the need in the New Orleans area.

She said she had not heard of the agency and was not registered with them, but after CNN's interview, the agency contacted her about registering Unity of Greater New Orleans so it could qualify for available supplies in the future.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Police State Now in Effect in US: D.C. Police to Check Drivers In Violence-Plagued Trinidad

By Allison Klein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, June 5, 2008; A01

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced a military-style checkpoint yesterday to stop cars this weekend in a Northeast Washington neighborhood inundated by gun violence, saying it will help keep criminals out of the area.

Starting on Saturday, officers will check drivers' identification and ask whether they have a "legitimate purpose" to be in the Trinidad area, such as going to a doctor or church or visiting friends or relatives. If not, the drivers will be turned away.

The Neighborhood Safety Zone initiative is the latest crime-fighting attempt by Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who have been under pressure from residents to stop a recent surge in violence. Last weekend was especially bloody, with seven slayings, including three in the Trinidad area.

"In certain areas, we need to go beyond the normal methods of policing," Fenty (D) said at a news conference announcing the action. "We're going to go into an area and completely shut it down to prevent shootings and the sale of drugs."

The checkpoint will stop vehicles approaching the 1400 block of Montello Avenue NE, a section of the Trinidad neighborhood that has been plagued with homicides and other violence. Police will search cars if they suspect the presence of guns or drugs, and will arrest people who do not cooperate, under a charge of failure to obey a police officer, officials said.

The enforcement will take place at random hours and last for at least five days in Trinidad, with the option of extending it five more days. Checkpoints could be set up in other neighborhoods if they are requested by patrol commanders and approved by Lanier.

The strategy, patterned after a similar effort conducted years ago in New York, is not airtight. There are many ways to get in and out of Trinidad, not just on the one-way Montello Avenue. And pedestrians will not be stopped, which is something critics say might render the program ineffective.

"I guess the plan is to hope criminals will not walk into neighborhoods," said D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large). "I also suppose the plan is to take the criminal's word for it when he or she gives the police a reason for driving into a neighborhood."

Since taking over as chief in December 2006, Lanier has struggled with the issue of violent crime. She has added patrols, revived a unit specializing in getting guns off the streets and changed commanders in six of the city's seven patrol districts. Last weekend, officers were close enough in one case that they heard the barrage of gunfire coming from a triple homicide on Holbrook Street in Trinidad.

The program is aimed at the city's most troubled areas. The 5th Police District, which includes Trinidad, has had 22 killings this year, one more than all of last year. Since April 1, the Trinidad neighborhood has had seven homicides, 16 robberies and 20 assaults with dangerous weapons, according to police data. In many cases in Trinidad and across the city, gunshots are fired from passing cars, victims are found in cars or cars are used to make fast getaways.

"We have to try to take away the things that are facilitating the ability to commit crime," Lanier said.

Leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday that they will be watching what happens closely and that legal action is likely.

"My reaction is, welcome to Baghdad, D.C.," said Arthur Spitzer, legal director for the ACLU's Washington office. "I mean, this is craziness. In this country, you don't have to show identification or explain to the police why you want to travel down a public street."

Interim Attorney General Peter J. Nickles said that his office reviewed the initiative and that similar efforts had survived court tests.

"I don't anticipate us being sued," Nickles said. "But if you do want to sue us, the courts are open."

U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor said that D.C. officials consulted his office about their plans and that prosecutors suggested some changes to try to ensure that any arrests would hold up in court. "We applaud the District's efforts to make neighborhoods safer," Taylor said. "Whatever we do has to be consistent with the Constitution."

New York police set up a nearly identical checkpoint in 1992 in a neighborhood of the Bronx that was plagued by drug dealing and drive-by shootings. Police ran the Watson Avenue Special Operation on a random basis, mostly in evening hours. Officers stopped drivers, but not pedestrians, coming into the area, to confirm that they had a legitimate reason to be there.

A federal appeals court upheld the legality of the New York effort, saying in a 1996 ruling that it "served an important public concern" and was "reasonably viewed as an effective mechanism to deter crime in the barricaded area."

D.C. police have used various forms of checkpoints for years. In 1988, for example, they blocked streets and searched courtyards in a pair of apartment complexes in Northeast Washington in a bid to drive out drug dealers. That move came during the crack cocaine epidemic, in a year when the city recorded 372 homicides. Last year, the city had 181 killings.

Former D.C. police chief Isaac Fulwood Jr., who led the department from 1989 until 1992, said he liked using checkpoints because his officers were able to make arrests and gather intelligence.

"They are effective. You recover stolen cars and firearms," Fulwood said. "You've got to have a lot of them if you're going to have them. You need to move as the criminal element shifts."

Some residents expressed support for the plan yesterday, saying they are willing to submit to the checks if it makes the neighborhood safer. "We can't endure any more homicides," said neighborhood activist India Henderson.

But others said they were disappointed police have not developed relationships that would allow them to gather information and find criminals without resorting to the stepped-up tactics.

"I knew eventually we'd be a police state," said Wilhelmina Lawson, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years. "They don't talk to us, they're not community minded."

One of Lanier's plans, the Safe Homes initiative, has yet to get off the ground because of a community backlash. The plan, announced by Lanier and Fenty at a news conference in March, called for police to go door-to-door in crime-ridden areas and ask residents whether they could go inside and search for guns. Residents and some council members voiced concerns that homeowners would feel intimidated by police. Lanier backed off, but said she plans to move forward soon by having residents call police to set up appointments.

Another plan, to arm hundreds of patrol officers with semiautomatic rifles, starting this summer, also got mixed reviews from residents.

Kristopher Baumann, head of the D.C. police lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he was concerned about public perception of the checkpoints and the potential that it could lead to more citizen complaints. He questioned Lanier's overall approach, saying, "There is no strategy and no mid-term and long-term planning.

"That's the biggest disappointment of Chief Lanier's tenure," Baumann said. "One thing we were excited about and optimistic about was, for once, we'd have strategies to combat crime and not just be reactive. But we haven't seen it. It's been a year and a half."

Council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5), who represents Trinidad and other parts of Northeast Washington, said he had informal discussions with Lanier in which she had mentioned the possibility of the checkpoint announced yesterday, but he got little notice before the news conference. Civil liberties are always a concern, said Thomas, who maintained that residents are so concerned about violence that they will be willing to give the latest program a try.

"I think the general consensus is that we have to do something because people live in fear," he said. "What would you rather have?" he asked. "A positive pattern of [police] checking things . . . or these folks who come into the community and wreak havoc?"

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Catholic Priest rips Fox News a new one

Looks like Fox News thought they were going to embarass Obama supporter Father Michael Pfleger, by sending out one of their henchmen to ambush him over his ties to and support of Barack Obama. Instead they got their tiny, little bigoted and ignorant heads handed to them.

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Sunday, May 25, 2008


JESSE should run for independent president 2008 he would smoke everyone else if he was allowed to debate. Listen to his messages as he confounds Donny DOUCHE!
Donny asked Jesse why we cannot find Bin Laden if you remember Bush said he no longer CARED about BIN LADEN!

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Keith Olbermann Blasts Hillary Clinton

Keith Olbermann Blasts Hillary Clinton: **MUST SEE** Regarding her Assassination Comment on Bobby Kennedy and Barack Obama

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Cokely Vs Rubin

See Black Nationalist Steve Cokely and the late Zionist Irv Rubin go at it.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

911 operator: 'I don't give a sh*t what happens to you'

David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
Raw Story
Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Nashville woman who waited hours for someone to respond to her call to 911 emergency services didn't hear the worst part of the call.

After Sheila Jones hung up the phone, a local news reporter found that one 911 operator said, "I really just don't give a shit what happens to you."

"I think I'm more hurt than I am mad that my life didn't mean a damn thing to them," said Jones, after hearing the tape played back to her for the first time. Jones had called for help after an ex-boyfriend assaulted and threatened her.

911 officials told Nashville's NewsChannel 5 that the staffer who took the call "was a trainee who was [later] fired ... not for the comment, but for flunking his final exam."

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Philadelphia Police Beating Victims Not Connected to Shooting

CNN's Rick Sanchez speaks with CNN analyst Mike Brooks and the Rev. Al Sharpton about the beating case in Philadelphia.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

The Red Pill

Short documentary film on the history of the shadow government within the United States and their role in the 9/11 attacks.

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Court ordered a Chief Medical Examiner to Remove Any Reference to a Taser as an Precursor in the Deaths of Three Men

Physicians speak out on bullying tactics of Taser International over its "less than lethal" weapons

Steve Watson
Thursday, May 8, 2008

Doctors have condemned as corporate "intimidation" a court decision ordering a chief medical examiner to remove any reference to the use of a taser as an antecedent in the deaths of three men.

Ohio examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler had noted in her autopsy reports that electrical shocks from Tasers were partially to blame for the deaths of individuals in three separate confrontations with police.

Taser International, now notorious for it's stern legal defense having won 68 out of 68 lawsuits, filed and won a civil suit, forcing Kohler to delete all mentions of the weapons and to term the deaths "accidental".

Jeffrey Jentzen, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, an organization that represents the majority of medical examiners in the United States, has warned that the actions of Taser International and the court ruling have set a dangerous precedent:

"Our membership is very concerned about these cases and the reaction of Taser to these cases," he said last night.

"Our membership is looking into the area and although Taser has developed its own opinion, there are certainly opposing opinions as to their involvement in causing sudden death in individuals.

"Our organization feels that it violates the physician's ability to make a medical decision. Ordering a professional physician to change or alter their records is in violation of their right to practice medicine.

"Taser has sued a number of medical examiners for making informed medical opinions in an attempt, I think, to both protect their product and send a threatening message to medical examiners.

"It is dangerously close to intimidation," he said. "They are attempting to send a message to medical examiners that if they elect to make that determination they may face a civil suit."

Dr. Matthew Stanbrook of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) also voiced his concern over the legal ruling, stating that the decision fails to take into account the difficulty of determining an exact cause of death in almost every case.

"If we were required to have at the level of scientific and medical certainty that something was the cause of death, before we were permitted to declare it, most of the people who died in North America would have died of unknown causes," Stanbrook said.

"It is a physician making their best judgment given all the facts available."

Stanbrook has called for an independent review of the stun guns and has intimated that most of the existing research into the effects of the weapon has been carried out by, or at the behest of, Taser International itself.

Steve Tuttle, Taser's vice-president of communications responded to the comments stating:

"Taser International's products have been demonstrated by numerous medical studies to be safe and effective. Taser International therefore aggressively defends our products in all litigation brought against the company with the best legal, scientific and medical expertise available."

Despite Tuttle's claims, many scientists and doctors have raised concerns about possible links between Tasers and potential heart and respiration problems, mental health and an individual’s state of exhaustion or agitation in confrontations with authorities.

Taser International CEO Rick Smith told CBC News in January that medical examiners had to be sure of their facts because if they made what he called a careless opinion, they will be held accountable in court.

However, It is not just physicians that are raising such concerns. Amnesty International has also cited hundreds deaths around the world after Taser use and has called for a full taser suspension while a thorough investigation into the impact of the weapon is conducted.

More recently, a UN Committee said the stun gun "causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture".

Deaths occurring where tasers have been used are now a daily occurrence, yet police and private security forces worldwide continue to be equipped with the weapons.

Recent reports have revealed that police are using the Taser as soon as someone displays a "fighting stance" or simply to get a non-violent suspect to do what they are told, rather than for their intended purpose as the last line of defense before lethal action.

Most recently police in Vancouver have been using the devices on transit fare dodgers.

As we previously reported, The Department of Homeland Security is now looking to evolve the technology in pursuing the introduction of a device known as the Security Bracelet, a wearable tag that would allow authorities to inflict pain compliance on suspects from a distance, while also recommending law enforcement applications and potential use in "crowd control situations".

Many Civil Liberties Associations and police departments across North America have called for a moratorium on the weapons. The stun gun is under particular scrutiny in British Columbia, Canada as part of an ongoing inquiry following the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport in October.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Al Sharpton & Shawn Bell Supporters Arested

OBM: The mainstream media is purposely not covering this in their continued campaign to marginalize Al Sharpton and this travesty of justice. March on ya'll.... I'm with you!!!!

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TV video shows Philly officers kicking, hitting 3 suspects

May 6 08:09 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A half-dozen police officers kicked and beat three men pulled from a car during a traffic stop as a TV helicopter taped the confrontation.
The video, shot by WTXF-TV, shows three police cars stopping a car Monday, two days after a city officer was shot to death responding to a bank robbery.

The tape shows about a dozen officers gathering around the vehicle. About a half-dozen officers hold two of the men on the ground. Both are kicked repeatedly, while one is seen being punched; one also appears to be struck with a baton.

The third man is also kicked and ends up on the ground.

"On the surface it certainly does not look good in terms of the amount of force that was used," Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said. "But we don't want to rush to judgment."

The officers were responding to a report of a shooting nearby, police said. It was not immediately clear what preceded the confrontation.

Ramsey said Philadelphia officers have been on edge since Saturday, when Officer Stephen Liczbinski was fatally shot with an assault rifle after a robbery.

Police fatally shot one of the robbery suspects; another was arrested Sunday and a third man is still being sought.

"There is also a lot of heightened emotions since Sgt. Liczbinski was murdered on the streets just Saturday," Ramsey said.

Liczbinski was the third officer slain on duty in the city in the last two years.

Attorney D. Scott Perrine, who represents the three men seen in the video, said that as terrible as the officer's death was, it does not excuse such actions by police.

"We don't take into consideration the emotions of police officers when it comes to the discharge of their duties. ... Your emotional state, being tired, doesn't justify what's on that video," Perrine said.

He said one of his clients suffered a welt on his head the size of a baseball and one of his legs was seriously injured; he didn't know the extent of any injuries on the other two men.

Perrine also said he did not know what preceded the traffic stop but called the actions seen on the tape unjustified.

"It clearly shows a lack of any reasonable investigation before these police yank these individuals out of the car and take turns delivering blows," he said. "This is a time for a thorough investigation to see what it is that happened here."

Perrine said that police told him all three men would be charged with aggravated assault.

Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, did not immediately return a call for comment from The Associated Press.

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Shift Happens Narrated


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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Pastor Wright is RIGHT!

The White Supremacist media has distorted Jeremiah Wright out of context. They racists are accusing their victims of racism!

Viewed from this different context, we see that everything he was talking about WAS TRUE.

His speeches confronted White Supremacy, and it is White Supremacists in the media and in the public who have tried to call Wright a racist in an immoral attempt derail the truth about White Supremacist crimes.

For the past month we have heard a lot about The Reverend Jeremiah Wright. There are endless loopings of the same half a dozen out-of-context sound bites. This is nothing more than a collective gang bang by mindless narcissistic media stars who intentionally dumb down what he said to create a phony scandal for Barak Obama. These tapes were probably unearthed by someone in the Hillary machine, or McCain’s, or one of their sympathisers. So now there is open season on this preacher. What is the substance of these attacks? It is no more substantive than late night TV or stand up comics. Besides the misquotations, the media focused on his style as a black minister.

We have heard endless loops showing how outrageous or bombastic he is. We heard clips of him singing Handel’s “And the Glory of the Lord” and his “God Damn America”. It’s as if the media were shocked!.....SHOCKED!! that there is such a thing as black Full Gospel preaching style, complete with spontaneous responses accompanied by organ improvisation. This genre is famous for using politics and themes of racial oppression for over 100 years. You would think that The Reverends Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson were unknown. Or Al Sharpton.

The Reverend Wright, in an attempt to add some substance to this sound bite circus, spoke at the National Press Club in Washington DC. last week. He was not giving a sermon. He was not “bombastic”. He spoke in a temperate voice and gave a scholarly speech on the black theological tradition in the USA. He talked about the role that “Liberation Theology” played in both the black churches, and in the Yankee Congregationalist, United Church of Christ.

The entire media were glued to this speech. They were not looking for a dispassionate discussion of theology in black churches, or context to his previous statements – that would be too boring – they were looking for another sensationalist sound bite, the more outrageous the better. They got it during the question & answer session after the speech, with confrontational questions which clearly showed the hostile bias of the questioner. The questions assumed that Wright is a kooky conspiracy theorist, and a blaspheming traitor to his country. No one really listened to what he said. In its reporting, the media reduced his comments to platitudes, and the endless references to his speech followed the predictable collective script of the fatuous imbeciles in the media to see who can repeat the same hackneyed phrases to win kudos from their colleagues.

What did he say that was so outrageous? Based on the comments of the lemming pundits, I seriously wondered whether they saw the same speech I did. I listened to the whole thing twice and was hard pressed to find anything that was outrageous or insane. I certainly have my criticism of “Liberation Theology” with its close association with Marxism, especially in Latin America. But this was not the focus of the media. Their focus was on him defiantly defending his “outrageous” remarks. Almost all of those remarks I agreed with.

He was asked if he was patriotic, and said that he served 6 years in the military and that it was more military time than Dick Cheney served. Was this an insane or even false statement?

He said that the US government oppresses people around the world, that it sends Americans, “to die for a lie”. When asked why he blamed the US for 911, he said that the “chickens have come home to roost” in the form of blowback from our policies overseas. Most did not bother to find out that he was quoting Edward Peck, the former ambassador to Iraq, and deputy director of terrorism under Ronald Reagan. Wright added, quoting the Bible’s golden rule, that you can not do terrorism to others and not have it come back to you. This is virtually the same thing for which Dr. Ron Paul got raked over the coals. Questioning the cause of 911 is the modern American Intellectual Inquisition equivalent of heresy. It is double heresy if you equate our government with a terrorist organisation, even though bombing civilians does cause terror. Recognised states don’t do terrorism unless they are Iraq or Iran.

He was asked if he would apologise to the American people for blaming them for 911. He made the distinction, lost on most Americans, between the people and their government. This is total blasphemy in the minds of the orthodox American Establishment. In their thinking the American people and their government are one in the same because of Democracy, and the vaunted electoral process. The idea that the government in this, “the most free and democratic nation on earth - EVER” would have its own corrupt agenda against the best interests of the people is a thoughtcrime. This is odd, since most Americans have no trouble spotting corruption at the state or local level, or complaining of excessive spending and taxation. In the NYC area, we have had three governors (NJ, NY, Conn.) resign in the last ten years for corruption. However, at the federal level, especially when it comes to war, Americans refuse to look at the truly mammoth corruption, distortion, and immorality of their government.

He was asked about his relationship to Reverend Louis Farrakhan. As he explained, this had to do with a statement made by Farrakhan 20 years ago about Israel, a sacred cow in the minds of the establishment. Wright explained his position regarding Israel: that it had a right to exist, that they were the children of God, BUT that they need to reconcile with their enemies; the Israelis need to sit down with the Palestinians and come to a peaceful understanding so that their children “don’t grow up talking about killing each other”. He said that reconciliation, not killing was God’s way. Is that an “insane” or “outrageous” notion? Is it theologically erroneous? The media had a field day with Wright’s comparing Farrakhan to stock broker EF HUTTON. Do media pundits not understand the use of analogies or similes or metaphors in speech? Wright was saying that when Farrakhan talks, the black community listens. Is this a false statement? If so, then why do the media, who are mostly white, bother to cover Farrakhan?

The punditry went berserk over his “conspiracy theory” that the US Government invented AIDS. The Reverend Wright cited the Tuskegee experiment, where the government used blacks to experiment on syphilis. He also pointed out that the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq were sold to Saddam by the US Government back when he was our ally and that he used them on the Iranians with our blessing. He said that, given the history of our government and its use of deception, he believed “it was possible”.

I personally doubt the conspiracy theory that the US Government invented AIDS, but I personally doubt any number of conspiracy theories of my friends, whilst I harbor conspiracy theories of my own with which others disagree. In fact most Americans believe in some form of conspiracy or secret, illegal dealings committed by their government. Why is that? Is this unique to Americans as a culture? I don’t know. We know the US Government has lied to us in the past. We know that the US has used the CIA to topple governments in South America at the behest of the United Fruit Company. We know, in spite of the official, revisionist “spin” that the government knew in advance of the Japanese carrier force prior to Pearl Harbour; and that even in the DC media there was open speculation that war with Japan was imminent. We know that the Navy translated the communiquĂ© of the Japanese to their ambassadors in Washington and that they were instructed “to burn all documents and code machines”. We know the US Government lied about the Tonkin Gulf Incident, and lied about being in Laos and Cambodia. We know the US Government has been a king maker in the Mideast while denying same. None of these revelations ever get admitted at the time; only years later do books by insiders get written telling the truth. Would there be so many conspiracy theories in America if our government were transparent and honest or followed the Constitution? If you Google “conspiracy theory”, why do so many hits deal with the United States? Why doesn’t Switzerland come up except as a movie title? Why not Canada?......or Iceland?

Then there was the “God Damn America” quote. He explained this also, yet the media pretended not to hear. He said “damn” is derived from “condemn”, and that God condemns the actions of the US Government (again NOT the people) for inflicting violence on other nations and that non-violence was consistent with Christian teaching. He asked the questioner if he heard the whole sermon from which that quote was taken. But context or understanding did not figure into the thinking of the questioner. I wonder if there are examples, say in the Old Testament, of God condemning wicked immoral nations?

This electronic tabloid circus unfortunately drags in supposedly high-brow broadsheet press into the mud. This was especially true last week after his National Press Club Speech. One after another, the senior Washington polemicists and bureau chiefs chimed in so they could be counted in the “me too” column. There were the obligatory references to Wright as “crazy” and “lunatic” or “loony” with no attempt to address what he said. But the “intellectual” writers of the papers of record added new buzzwords, to wit: “narcissistic”, “solipsistic”, “divisive” “his fifteen minutes of fame” “revenge on Obama”.

Here we have the Establishment Left, many of whom, tired of the sleazy fraud of the Clintons, want Obama nominated and hope that he’ll beat McCain. Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote,”….Wright went to Washington on Monday not to praise Barak Obama but to bury him…….Feeling dissed by Sen. Obama, Mr. Wright gets revenge on his former follower…... He’s living a narcissist dream. At long last his 15 minutes have arrived.”

They called him divisive but not the mudslingers who brought edited sound bites public and replayed them over and over; sound bites that were part of a long sermon. Why are they dumping on Wright rather than blaming the tabloid media for taking him out of context? Here’s the reason. To quote Mr. Herbert:

“The question that cries out for an answer from Mr. Wright is why – if he is so passionately committed to liberating and empowering blacks – does he seem so insistent on wrecking the campaign of the only African-American ever to have had a legitimate shot at the presidency.”

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DC Madam Palfrey's Murder: Alex Jones on Geraldo

Fox News' Geraldo has Alex Jones on to examine the evidence that shows that DC Madam Deborah Jean Palfrey was murdered-- despite the official claim that she committed suicide.

Jones points out the numerous statements Palfrey made in refutation of suicide, as well as the criminology that women rarely hang themselves, generally preferring pills.

Geraldo and two co-hosts admit they agree with Alex Jones-- that claims of Palfrey's suicide are "stinky" and suspicious and that the case should be further investigated.

One woman even says that the John's on Palfreys list-- including many high-level politicians-- should be revealed and prosecuted.

Palfrey's hi-rise apartment manager in Florida says he saw Palfrey only days before her death when she told him a contract may be out on her life. Additionally, she made arrangments to secure her apartment for the next six years-- the approximate time she expected to be in prison--seemingly pointing to the idea that she expected to stay alive.

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The Superclass

David Rothkopf
Carnegie Endowment for Peace

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Saturday, May 03, 2008


If you want want to know more about the banking and credit card scam, if you want to learn about the possibilities of beating them, then do your self and family and friends a favour and read this "MUST READ" book: www.natural-person.ca/pdf/mary_croft.pdf about this documentary: How credit cards impose modern slavery on the people. To give people digits on their bank account and charge interest on something that is not real, backed up by nothing except debt, never had value, does not have value and will never have value

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

In Lies We Trust: The CIA, Hollywood and Bioterrorism

This feature length documentary about medical madness, cloaked in bioterrorism preparedness, will awaken the brain dead. It exposes health officials, directed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), for conducting a “War of Terror” that is killing millions of unwitting Americans. This urgent life-saving DVD comes without copyright restrictions. Every viewer is encouraged to reproduce and distribute copies to others. Donations to Tetrahedron Films to cover costs and produce more films like this are greatly appreciated online at www.inlieswetrust.com or by calling toll free 1-888-508-4787. You can screen the film on behalf of local charities. It was produced by award-winning humanitarian, Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz (www.DrLenHorowitz.com), a world-renowned authority in public health education, covert intelligence agency operations, and emerging diseases investigations. He is the author of three American bestsellers, including Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola—Nature, Accident or Intentional? and Healing Codes for the Biological Apocalypse. (Tetrahedron Press; 1-888-508-4787) This monumental film exposes the agents and agencies behind: Hollywood films and the media creating a profitable culture of bioterror; the “War on Terrorism” used to control populations; the most lucrative war in history—the “War on Cancer;” the onslaught of dozens of new immunological diseases and deadly flus; the “War on AIDS” triggered by contaminated vaccines; the anthrax mailings resulting in restricted freedoms, and sales of toxic drugs, deadly vaccines, and more. Documents displayed in film may be viewed online at inlieswetrust.com For over 400 of the top Critically important videos see netctr.com/media -- Much more at the site. Wake up, get involved, Save the Republic - Your kids, grand kids and your life will depend on what you do from now on. Key words: propaganda, war, terrorism, vaccinations, immunizations, cancer, biological warfare, weapons of mass destruction, pharmaceuticals, AIDS, anthrax, healthcare, Hollywood, CIA, CDC, and FDA.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jeremiah Wright NAACP Dinner Full Speech April 27, 2008

OBM: Great speach.....The Rev. Jeremiah Wright delivered an unapologetic speech on Sunday, alternately fiery and humorous as he defended the preaching that has taken center stage in the presidential campaign.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008







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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Out of Control Fraud: Our Tax Dollars at Work


For four generations now, the Bush family has been involved in supporting the country's enemies (most notably the Nazi Party in Germany) and robbing the country blind.

The family was directly involved and profited from the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980s and has participated in security fraud as well.

With this understanding as a background, the Iraq War can be viewed as their "masterpiece."

The Bush family and its associates have stolen countless billions of dollars in the course of the war. In fact, one of their motivations for pushing the war in the first place was the opportunity for theft.

Chances are the destruction of World Trade Tower Seven, the home of crucial and now lost forever SEC and other federal law enforcement evidence and case files was carried out to cover their tracks.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is Peak Oil? & What Will Be the Effects?

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum production is reached, after which the rate of production enters its terminal decline. If global consumption is not mitigated before the peak, an energy crisis may develop because the availability of conventional oil will drop and prices will rise, perhaps dramatically. M. King Hubbert first used the theory in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970. His model, now called Hubbert peak theory, has since been used to predict the peak petroleum production of many other countries, and has also proved useful in other limited-resource production-domains. According to the Hubbert model, the production rate of a limited resource will follow a roughly symmetrical bell-shaped curve based on the limits of exploitability and market pressures.

Some observers, such as petroleum industry experts Kenneth S. Deffeyes and Matthew Simmons, believe the high dependence of most modern industrial transport, agricultural and industrial systems on the relative low cost and high availability of oil will cause the post-peak production decline and possible severe increases in the price of oil to have negative implications for the global economy. Although predictions as to what exactly these negative effects will be vary greatly, "a growing number of oil-industry chieftains are endorsing an idea long deemed fringe: The world is approaching a practical limit to the number of barrels of crude oil that can be pumped every day."[1]

If political and economic change only occur in reaction to high prices and shortages rather than in reaction to the threat of a peak, then the degree of economic damage to importing countries will largely depend on how rapidly oil imports decline post-peak.

Secondary Effects of Peak Oil

Peak Oil is a cascading effect problem. We know it, but we may not yet be informed enough to realize the cascading effect problem is so pervasive. We know that MOST of the energy we use and food we eat comes directly or indirectly from non-renewable petroleum deposits. It is often argued that our large population, though only occupying a small physical area on the earth itself, is only sustained through the use of all these non-renewable resources. The obvious fix to this is switch to renewables and sustainable agriculture so we can keep as many people from starving as possible. Why? Starvation leads to war, and with nukes available in the countries most affected (China and India), it would be a very bad thing.

Additional problems are power shifts. Russia used to be very powerful, then their economy collapsed and a lot of people suffered and the ruthless rose to greater power, a meritocracy of crime and influence. Now Russia has surpassed the Saudis for oil production and they currently provide most of the natural gas heating homes and powering industry in Western Europe. The Russians want more power and influence, so they play games with supply, chiselling its called. Chip a little here, a little there and soon the other guy will give you his last dollar and the shirt off his back to keep going forward to his dreams. This is a reason I don't respect those who "follow their dreams". The romantic times are over with the cheap oil. Following your dreams in today's world gets your frilly behind killed or jailed. I respect practical people. You should too. So Russia is going to continue to rise in power, and use that power to force its Will on the rest of Europe in a way Hitler only dreamed he could get away with. The only freedom from the tyranny of Russian influence in Europe will be renewable power. It will have to be cheap, pervasive, and reasonably efficient.

As the price of oil rises it will cause a severe contraction in the world economy. Most observers of this occurrence agree that this will translate into higher prices all the way down the food chain- literally- right down to bread and fruit- as not only road and air transportation will be affected directly but the price of nearly ever commodity and product consumed in the world economy will be impacted indirectly.

When world petroleum production peaks, energy prices will go up dramatically. There will be a recession similar to the recessions that followed the energy price increases of 1974 and 1979, but with one difference: the US Federal Reserve Bank is much more active in setting economic policy than it was then, and its main focus is fighting inflation, so we can expect much lower inflation and much higher unemployment than in the 1970s. As interest rates soar, housing prices will fall and the stock market will suffer.

Eventually, the rest of the decline in oil production would have to be absorbed by a prolonged economic depression. Whenever energy prices soar, the Fed will raise interest rates until they have slowed the economy enough to stop inflation. To keep the demand for energy from exceeding the physical supply, they might have to reduce the GDP by 10 or 15 percent over 15 or 20 years. That could mean unemployment over 20 percent - about as high as it was during the worst years of the Great Depression.

Vast amounts of oil and gas are used as raw materials and energy in the manufacture of fertilizers and pesticides, and as cheap and readily available energy at all stages of food production: from planting, irrigation, feeding and harvesting, through to processing, distribution and packaging. In addition, fossil fuels are essential in the construction and the repair of equipment and infrastructure needed to facilitate this industry, including farm machinery, processing facilities, storage, ships, trucks and roads. If the price of oil rises substantially- all of these sectors of the food industry will have to pass on the extra costs to the consumer.

Commercial food production is oil powered. Most pesticides are petroleum- (oil) based, and all commercial fertilizers are ammonia-based. Ammonia is produced from natural gas. Oil based agriculture is primarily responsible for the world's population exploding from 1 billion at the middle of the 19th century to 6.3 billion at the turn of the 21st Oil allowed for farming implements such as tractors, food storage systems such as refrigerators, and food transport systems such as trucks

It's not just transportation and agriculture that are entirely dependent on abundant, cheap oil. Modern medicine, water distribution, and national defense are each entirely powered by oil and petroleum derived chemicals.

Most of the consumer goods we buy are made with plastic, which is derived from oil.

All manufacturing processes consume huge amounts of oil. For instance, the average car - including hybrids - consumes the energy contained in 25-50 barrels (or about 1,200-2,400 gallons) of oil during its construction, while the average computer consumes 10 times its weight in fossil fuels during its construction.

All electrical devices - including solar panels and windmills - make use of silver, copper, and/or platinum, all of which are discovered, extracted, transported, and fashioned using oil-powered machinery.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Food Rationing in America Confronts Breadbasket of the World

BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 21, 2008
URL: http://www2.nysun.com/article/74994

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food rationing. Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.

At a Costco Warehouse in Mountain View, Calif., yesterday, shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy.

"Where's the rice?" an engineer from Palo Alto, Calif., Yajun Liu, said. "You should be able to buy something like rice. This is ridiculous."

The bustling store in the heart of Silicon Valley usually sells four or five varieties of rice to a clientele largely of Asian immigrants, but only about half a pallet of Indian-grown Basmati rice was left in stock. A 20-pound bag was selling for $15.99.

"You can't eat this every day. It's too heavy," a health care executive from Palo Alto, Sharad Patel, grumbled as his son loaded two sacks of the Basmati into a shopping cart. "We only need one bag but I'm getting two in case a neighbor or a friend needs it," the elder man said.

The Patels seemed headed for disappointment, as most Costco members were being allowed to buy only one bag. Moments earlier, a clerk dropped two sacks back on the stack after taking them from another customer who tried to exceed the one-bag cap.

"Due to the limited availability of rice, we are limiting rice purchases based on your prior purchasing history," a sign above the dwindling supply said.

Shoppers said the limits had been in place for a few days, and that rice supplies had been spotty for a few weeks. A store manager referred questions to officials at Costco headquarters near Seattle, who did not return calls or e-mail messages yesterday.

An employee at the Costco store in Queens said there were no restrictions on rice buying, but limits were being imposed on purchases of oil and flour. Internet postings attributed some of the shortage at the retail level to bakery owners who flocked to warehouse stores when the price of flour from commercial suppliers doubled.

The curbs and shortages are being tracked with concern by survivalists who view the phenomenon as a harbinger of more serious trouble to come.

"It's sporadic. It's not every store, but it's becoming more commonplace," the editor of SurvivalBlog.com, James Rawles, said. "The number of reports I've been getting from readers who have seen signs posted with limits has increased almost exponentially, I'd say in the last three to five weeks."

Spiking food prices have led to riots in recent weeks in Haiti, Indonesia, and several African nations. India recently banned export of all but the highest quality rice, and Vietnam blocked the signing of a new contract for foreign rice sales.

"I'm surprised the Bush administration hasn't slapped export controls on wheat," Mr. Rawles said. "The Asian countries are here buying every kind of wheat." Mr. Rawles said it is hard to know how much of the shortages are due to lagging supply and how much is caused by consumers hedging against future price hikes or a total lack of product.

"There have been so many stories about worldwide shortages that it encourages people to stock up. What most people don't realize is that supply chains have changed, so inventories are very short," Mr. Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer, said. "Even if people increased their purchasing by 20%, all the store shelves would be wiped out."

At the moment, large chain retailers seem more prone to shortages and limits than do smaller chains and mom-and-pop stores, perhaps because store managers at the larger companies have less discretion to increase prices locally. Mr. Rawles said the spot shortages seemed to be most frequent in the Northeast and all the way along the West Coast. He said he had heard reports of buying limits at Sam's Club warehouses, which are owned by Wal-Mart Stores, but a spokesman for the company, Kory Lundberg, said he was not aware of any shortages or limits.

An anonymous high-tech professional writing on an investment Web site, Seeking Alpha, said he recently bought 10 50-pound bags of rice at Costco. "I am concerned that when the news of rice shortage spreads, there will be panic buying and the shelves will be empty in no time. I do not intend to cause a panic, and I am not speculating on rice to make profit. I am just hoarding some for my own consumption," he wrote.

For now, rice is available at Asian markets in California, though consumers have fewer choices when buying the largest bags. "At our neighborhood store, it's very expensive, more than $30" for a 25-pound bag, a housewife from Mountain View, Theresa Esquerra, said. "I'm not going to pay $30. Maybe we'll just eat bread."

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Church Sign Outrage: Pastor Questions Obama’s Faith With Link to Osama

Daily Motion
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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'Perfect storm' food crisis grips globe

By Marc Lacey
in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

HUNGER smashed in the front gate of Haiti's presidential palace. Hunger poured on to the streets, burning tyres and taking on soldiers and the police. Hunger sent the country's prime minister packing.

Haiti's hunger, that has become fiercer than ever in recent days as global food prices spiral out of reach, rising by as much as 45% since the end of 2006 and turning staples such as beans, corn and rice into closely guarded treasures.

Saint Louis Meriska's children ate two spoonfuls of rice apiece as their only meal and then went without any food the following day. His eyes downcast, his own stomach empty, the unemployed father said: "They look at me and say 'Papa, I'm hungry', and I have to look away. It's humiliating and it makes you angry."

That anger is palpable across the globe. The food crisis is not only being felt among the poor but is also eroding the gains of the working and middle classes, sowing volatile levels of discontent and putting new pressures on fragile governments.

In Cairo, Egypt, the military is being put to work baking bread as rising food prices threaten to become the spark that ignites wider anger at a repressive government. In Burkina Faso and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, food riots are breaking out as never before. In reasonably prosperous Malaysia, the ruling coalition was nearly ousted by voters who cited food and fuel price increases as their main concerns.

"It's the worst crisis of its kind in more than 30 years," said Jeffrey D Sachs, the economist and special adviser to the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon. "It's a big deal and it's obviously threatening a lot of governments. There are a number of governments on the ropes, and I think there's more political fallout to come."

Indeed, as it hits developing nations, the spike in commodity prices has pitted the world's poorer south against the relatively wealthy north, adding to demands for reform of rich nations' farm and environmental policies. But experts say there are few quick fixes to a crisis tied to so many factors, from strong demand for food from emerging economies such as China's to rising oil prices to the diversion of food resources to make biofuels.

There are no scripts on how to handle the crisis either. In Asia, governments are putting in place measures to limit hoarding of rice after some shoppers panicked at price increases and bought up everything they could.

Even in Thailand, which produces 10 million more tons of rice than it consumes and is the world's largest rice exporter, supermarkets have put up signs limiting the amount of rice shoppers are allowed to buy.

But there is also plenty of nervousness and confusion about how best to proceed and how bad the impact may be, particularly as already strapped governments struggle to keep up their food subsidies.

"This is a perfect storm," President Elias Antonio Saca of El Salvador said last week at the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Cancun, Mexico.

"How long can we withstand the situation? We have to feed our people, and commodities are becoming scarce. This scandalous storm might become a hurricane that could upset not only our economies but also the stability of our countries."

In Asia, if Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of Malaysia steps down, which is looking increasingly likely amid postelection turmoil within his party, he may be that region's first high-profile political casualty of fuel and food price inflation.

In Indonesia, fearing protests, the government has revised its 2008 budget, increasing the amount it will spend on food subsidies by about $280m.

"The biggest concern is food riots," said HS Dillon, a former adviser to Indonesia's Ministry of Agriculture. Referring to small but widespread protests touched off by a rise in soybean prices in January, he said: "It has happened in the past and can happen again."

The Philippine government has started selling subsidised rice at military bases to ensure soldiers and their families have a sufficient supply of cheap grain, while other supplies are being stockpiled for the poorest members of society.

Last month in Senegal, one of Africa's oldest and most stable democracies, police in riot gear beat and used tear gas against people protesting over high food prices and later raided a television station that broadcast images of the event.

Many Senegalese have expressed anger at President Abdoulaye Wade for spending lavishly on roads and hotels for an Islamic summit meeting last month while many people are unable to afford rice or fish.

The rising prices are altering menus, and not for the better. In India, people are scrimping on milk for their children. Daily bowls of dahl are getting thinner, as a bag of lentils is stretched across a few more meals.

In Cairo's Hafziyah Street, peddlers selling food from behind wood carts bark out their prices. But few customers can afford their fish or chicken. Food prices have doubled in two months.

Ahmed Abul Gheit, 25, sat on a wooden chair by his own pile of rotting tomatoes. "We can't even find food," he said, looking over at his friend Sobhy Abdullah, 50. Then, raising his hands toward the sky as if in prayer, he said: "May God take the guy I have in mind."

Abdullah nodded, knowing full well that the "guy" was President Hosni Mubarak.

It is the kind of talk that has prompted the government to treat its economic woes as a security threat, dispatching riot forces with a strict warning that anyone who takes to the streets will be dealt with harshly.

Niger does not need to be reminded that hungry citizens overthrow governments. Its first postcolonial president, Hamani Diori, was toppled amid allegations of rampant corruption in 1974 as millions starved during a drought.

More recently, in 2005, it was mass protests in Niamey, the Nigerian capital, that made the government sit up and take notice of that year's food crisis, which was caused by a complex mix of poor rains, locust infestation and market manipulation by traders.

"As a result of that experience the government created a Cabinet-level ministry to deal with the high cost of living," said Moustapha Kadi, an activist who helped organise marches in 2005. "So when prices went up this year, the government acted quickly to remove tariffs on rice, which everyone eats. That quick action has kept people from taking to the streets."

In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically only consumed by the most destitute.

"It's salty and it has butter and you don't know you're eating dirt," said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. "It makes your stomach quiet down."

But the grumbling in Haiti these days is no longer confined to the stomach. It is now spray-painted on walls of the capital and shouted by demonstrators.

In recent days, President Rene Preval of Haiti – who has already seen his prime minister voted out – has patched together a response, using international aid money and price reductions by importers to cut the price of a sack of sugar by about 15%. He has also trimmed the salaries of some top officials. But those are considered temporary measures.

Meanwhile, most of the poorest of the poor suffer silently. In the sprawling slum of Haiti's Cite Soleil, Placide Simone, 29, offered one of her five offspring to a stranger. "Take one," she said, cradling a listless baby and motioning toward four rail-thin toddlers, none of whom had eaten that day. "You pick. Just feed them."

• Lydia Polgreen in Niamey, Niger; Michael Slackman in Cairo, Egypt; Somini Sengupta in New Delhi; Thomas Fuller in Bangkok, Thailand; and Peter Gelling in Jakarta, Indonesia contributed to this report

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Ex-NFL Player Tasered For Pointing At Cop

Incorrect body language, talking to an officer now results in "pain compliance"


Ex-NFL player Timothy Worley was tasered by Georgia police for "becoming confrontational" at a traffic stop according to news reports, but the video shows that the extent of Worley's aggression was merely pointing at the cop and raising his voice.

After Worley exits the vehicle and appears calm, the cowardly officer accuses him of "making fists" when Worley is doing no more than crossing his arms. Apparently, incorrect body language is now an offence that justifies "pain compliance" correction by means of a Tasering.

Worley even puts his palms together in a prayer-like pose in an attempt to reassure the officer he is calm but that is not good enough, after Worley points at the cop for half a second, the officer then approaches Worley who backs away but is then Tasered.

What should Worley's correct body language have been to have avoided 50,000 volts shooting through his body? Should he have kneeled and licked the officer's boots while he was being lectured?

Why are police being trained that simply talking to cops or pointing a finger is evidence of an imminent physical threat?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Homosexuality Explained in 17min.

Is homosexuality genetic, or is it something people choose? What if it's neither! Dr. Julie Harren, a Licensed Marriage and Family ... all » Therapist in private practice in Palm Beach, Florida, discusses the meaning and causes of homosexuality. Dr. Harren is also an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Graduate Counseling Psychology program at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Dr. Harren speaks in churches in churches, schools, and other settings on the topic of homosexuality.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Police Raid MoVal Black Barbershops in California

Thursday, 10 April 2008
By Chris Levister

Moreno Valley barbers targeted in the April 2 raids claim police used inspectors from the California Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (BBC) as a ruse to raid Black owned barbershops, intimidate customers and conduct "highly questionable" shop searches without a warrant.

Moreno Valley Police, BBC inspectors and city code compliance officers conducted a mid-day sweep of five barbershops and a beauty salon along busy Sunnymead Boulevard. Five of the six shops are owned and operated by African-American barbers.

Police Chief Rick Hall denied African-American barbershops were targeted and said "he had no information on customers being questioned or searched." He did however confirm that a customer was taken into custody for carrying a concealed weapon.

"This was a cumulative effort with the BBC the over arcing entity aimed at cracking down on business license and health and safety violators. Race was not a factor," said Hall. Chief Hall insisted individual businesses were selected from a list compiled by the city's code compliance office.

Contacted at the Sacramento offices of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) spokesman Kevin Flanagan said "Moreno Valley police sought out the agency's assistance."

"This was not our operation. Basically Moreno Valley police contacted us and said they wanted to look at these shops, naturally we agreed to go along," said Flanagan. "We found mostly ‘cleanliness' violations. Usually we'll only go along if there is a public safety issue. In my five years with the DCA I don't recall the agency participating in a local law enforcement operation like this. Our resources are scarce," he said.

A second DCA spokesman Russ Heimerich said "we tagged along, these types of operations are rare but not unheard of. The Moreno Valley raids appeared to be aimed at ‘shutting down drug operations'."

BBC inspectors routinely conduct random and targeted ‘health and safety' inspections on more than 250,000 establishments licensed under the state Bureau of Barbering and Cosmetology that offer barbering, manicurist, cosmetology, electrology and esthetician services.

Police reports show the raids resulted in at least two arrests, nearly $20,000 in fines and 49 citations mostly for health and safety infractions. Reports show police and code officers issued several citations for not having a business license, and parole violations. A barber was taken into custody for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and released.

Hair Shack, in business since 1984, was issued 11 BBC health and safety citations and fined $1,500. Owner and barber stylist Kevon Gordon, well known in city civic and business circles including the DARE anti-drug program, angrily questioned police tactics. "These were minor violations like combs out of place." He claims during business hours five law enforcement officers, three BBC inspectors and three code compliance officers bolted through his front door while he was away on lunch break.

Barber Ron Jones who was watching television with a customer in the shop lobby claims officers and inspectors jumped from their vehicles and rushed the shop.

"They said ‘this is a health and safety inspection'." Jones, a barber for more than 20 years who is used to BBC inspectors dropping in unannounced, claims he was shocked to see them accompanied by five police officers dressed in bulletproof vests. "When I asked what's going on, an inspector showed her badge and began inspecting equipment and supply drawers. She then asked for my driver's license, I complied. She wrote down the license number, as she handed the license back to me a police officer snatched it and left the building to run my license for outstanding warrants," said Jones.

Jones said officers conducted a lengthy search of the shop opening closets and drawers. He noted officers picked up a box of crackers from the counter and shook it. "They asked my customer - "do you have any outstanding warrants?" the customer replied "no" but was clearly intimidated and confused by the police action."

"They were looking for ‘something' beside business and health and safety violations," said Gordon who says he plans to ask for an investigation into the raid.

"I've been here 24 years. We serve men, women and children. I don't tolerate loitering, drug dealing or rough play. What were the criteria used for selecting a business? Was this racial profiling? What was BBC's ‘real' role in the raids? We have no prior history of police trouble," said Gordon.

He claims the huge police presence in and around his shop aroused the suspicions of neighboring business owners, threatened to impugn his community standing and left him and Jones humiliated in the eyes of customers, many of whom are law enforcement officers. "Did they raid the white owned nail salon two doors down? I want answers," demanded Gordon.

"I've never seen inspectors accompanied by police in flack jackets," said Donzell ‘Vader' Tate a barber at Top of the Line Barbershop since 2005. "I didn't know individual barbers needed a business license," said Tate who was cited for not having one.

"The police rushed in and locked the doors. When we asked for search warrants, an officer announced this is a ‘health and safety inspection'. They kept insisting, ‘this is a DCA operation'," said Tate.

L.C. Whitehorn, Jr., a Top of the Line barber since 2005, was taken into custody on three misdemeanor violations and released. He was also cited and fined for not having a business license. Whitehorn claimed the BBC inspector showed a badge and while she performed routine checks for cleanliness and professional licensing, police and code officers took over the barbershop and demanded that everyone including customers show identification. They questioned customers and asked if anyone had warrants,

In addition to Hair Shack, and Top of the Line, the series of raids targeted Fades Unlimited, Untouchables, Hair Professionals and Hair Sculptures.

Hair Sculptures beauty salon co-owner Jackie Brazeau who is Latino said while she welcomes code compliance in the industry, the heavy handed police tactics left her shaken.

"I was shocked and insulted. They walked in and demanded an inspection. This was unusual since one of the inspectors in the raid had performed a routine inspection in December." Brazeau said "police officers rushed to the rear of the shop and started opening cabinets and drawers. They appeared to be looking for drugs or something. It was very confusing. They searched the place said some trays were not labeled and left the shop."

"Wouldn't the energies of these state and local agencies be better spent educating and encouraging small minority business owners, particularly (Black male) owed?" said hair products supplier Lorenzo Griffin. "I've serviced the Hair Shack for 25 years I've never witnessed even a whiff of drug or criminal activity."

"This operation was clearly a blatant abuse of police power. They co-opted the authority of the DCA hoping to uncover rampant drug dealing and criminal activity - without a search warrant, in violation of the barber's civil rights," said Griffin.

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While You Slept Your Congress Took Away Your Constitution

YouTube | April 11, 2008

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Co-Payments Soar for Drugs With High Prices

Robin Steinwand had been paying $20 a month for her multiple sclerosis drug, which she keeps in the refrigerator. When she went to pick up her prescription in January, it cost $325.

NY Times.com

Health insurance companies are rapidly adopting a new pricing system for very expensive drugs, asking patients to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for prescriptions for medications that may save their lives or slow the progress of serious diseases.

With the new pricing system, insurers abandoned the traditional arrangement that has patients pay a fixed amount, like $10, $20 or $30 for a prescription, no matter what the drug’s actual cost. Instead, they are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month.

The system means that the burden of expensive health care can now affect insured people, too.

No one knows how many patients are affected, but hundreds of drugs are priced this new way. They are used to treat diseases that may be fairly common, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, hepatitis C and some cancers. There are no cheaper equivalents for these drugs, so patients are forced to pay the price or do without.

Insurers say the new system keeps everyone’s premiums down at a time when some of the most innovative and promising new treatments for conditions like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis can cost $100,000 and more a year.

But the result is that patients may have to spend more for a drug than they pay for their mortgages, more, in some cases, than their monthly incomes.

The system, often called Tier 4, began in earnest with Medicare drug plans and spread rapidly. It is now incorporated into 86 percent of those plans. Some have even higher co-payments for certain drugs, a Tier 5.

Now Tier 4 is also showing up in insurance that people buy on their own or acquire through employers, said Dan Mendelson of Avalere Health, a research organization in Washington. It is the fastest-growing segment in private insurance, Mr. Mendelson said. Five years ago it was virtually nonexistent in private plans, he said. Now 10 percent of them have Tier 4 drug categories.

Private insurers began offering Tier 4 plans in response to employers who were looking for ways to keep costs down, said Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents most of the nation’s health insurers. When people who need Tier 4 drugs pay more for them, other subscribers in the plan pay less for their coverage.

But the new system sticks seriously ill people with huge bills, said James Robinson, a health economist at the University of California, Berkeley. “It is very unfortunate social policy,” Dr. Robinson said. “The more the sick person pays, the less the healthy person pays.”

Traditionally, the idea of insurance was to spread the costs of paying for the sick.

“This is an erosion of the traditional concept of insurance,” Mr. Mendelson said. “Those beneficiaries who bear the burden of illness are also bearing the burden of cost.”

And often, patients say, they had no idea that they would be faced with such a situation.

It happened to Robin Steinwand, 53, who has multiple sclerosis.

In January, shortly after Ms. Steinwand renewed her insurance policy with Kaiser Permanente, she went to refill her prescription for Copaxone. She had been insured with Kaiser for 17 years through her husband, a federal employee, and had had no complaints about the coverage.

She had been taking Copaxone since multiple sclerosis was diagnosed in 2000, buying a 30 days’ supply at a time. And even though the drug costs $1,900 a month, Kaiser required only a $20 co-payment.

Not this time. When Ms. Steinwand went to pick up her prescription at a pharmacy near her home in Silver Spring, Md., the pharmacist handed her a bill for $325.

There must be a mistake, Ms. Steinwand said. So the pharmacist checked with her supervisor. The new price was correct. Kaiser’s policy had changed. Now Kaiser was charging 25 percent of the cost of the drug up to a maximum of $325 per prescription. Her annual cost would be $3,900 and unless her insurance changed or the drug dropped in price, it would go on for the rest of her life.

“I charged it, then got into my car and burst into tears,” Ms. Steinwand said.

She needed the drug, she said, because it can slow the course of her disease. And she knew she would just have to pay for it, but it would not be easy.

“It’s a tough economic time for everyone,” she said. “My son will start college in a year and a half. We are asking ourselves, can we afford a vacation? Can we continue to save for retirement and college?”

Although Kaiser advised patients of the new plan in its brochure that it sent out in the open enrollment period late last year, Ms. Steinwand did not notice it. And private insurers, Mr. Mendelson said, can legally change their coverage to one in which some drugs are Tier 4 with no advance notice.

Medicare drug plans have to notify patients but, Mr. Mendelson said, “that doesn’t mean the person will hear about it.” He added, “You don’t read all your mail.”

Some patients said they had no idea whether their plan changed or whether it always had a Tier 4. The new system came as a surprise when they found out that they needed an expensive drug.

That’s what happened to Robert W. Banning of Arlington, Va., when his doctor prescribed Sprycel for his chronic myelogenous leukemia. The drug can block the growth of cancer cells, extending lives. It is a tablet to be taken twice a day — no need for chemotherapy infusions.

Mr. Banning, 81, a retired owner of car dealerships, thought he had good insurance through AARP. But Sprycel, which he will have to take for the rest of his life, costs more than $13,500 for a 90-day supply, and Mr. Banning soon discovered that the AARP plan required him to pay more than $4,000.

Mr. Banning and his son, Robert Banning Jr., have accepted the situation. “We’re not trying to make anybody the heavy,” the father said.

So far, they have not purchased the drug. But if they do, they know that the expense would go on and on, his son said. “Somehow or other, myself and my family will do whatever it takes. You don’t put your parent on a scale.”

But Ms. Steinwand was not so sanguine. She immediately asked Kaiser why it had changed its plan.

The answer came in a letter from the federal Office of Personnel Management, which negotiates with health insurers in the plan her husband has as a federal employee. Kaiser classifies drugs like Copaxone as specialty drugs. They, the letter said, “are high-cost drugs used to treat relatively few people suffering from complex conditions like anemia, cancer, hemophilia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and human growth hormone deficiency.”

And Kaiser, the agency added, had made a convincing argument that charging a percentage of the cost of these drugs “helped lower the rates for federal employees.”

Ms. Steinwand can change plans at the end of the year, choosing one that allows her to pay $20 for the Copaxone, but she worries about whether that will help. “I am a little nervous,” she said. “Will the next company follow suit next year?”

But it turns out that she won’t have to worry, at least for the rest of this year.

A Kaiser spokeswoman, Sandra R. Gregg, said on Friday that Kaiser had decided to suspend the change for the program involving federal employees in the mid-Atlantic region while it reviewed the new policy. The suspension will last for the rest of the year, she said. Ms. Steinwand and others who paid the new price for their drugs will be repaid the difference between the new price and the old co-payment.

Ms. Gregg explained that Kaiser had been discussing the new pricing plan with the Office of Personnel Management over the previous few days because patients had been raising questions about it. That led to the decision to suspend the changed pricing system.

“Letters will go out next week,” Ms. Gregg said.

But some with the new plans say they have no way out.

Julie Bass, who lives near Orlando, Fla., has metastatic breast cancer, lives on Social Security disability payments, and because she is disabled, is covered by insurance through a Medicare H.M.O. Ms. Bass, 52, said she had no alternatives to her H.M.O. She said she could not afford a regular Medicare plan, which has co-payments of 20 percent for such things as emergency care, outpatient surgery and scans. That left her with a choice of two Medicare H.M.O’s that operate in her region. But of the two H.M.O’s, her doctors accept only Wellcare.

Now, she said, one drug her doctor may prescribe to control her cancer is Tykerb. But her insurer, Wellcare, classifies it as Tier 4, and she knows she cannot afford it.

Wellcare declined to say what Tykerb might cost, but its list price according to a standard source, Red Book, is $3,480 for 150 tablets, which may last a patient 21 days. Wellcare requires patients to pay a third of the cost of its Tier 4 drugs.

“For everybody in my position with metastatic breast cancer, there are times when you are stable and can go off treatment,” Ms. Bass said. “But if we are progressing, we have to be on treatment, or we will die.”

“People’s eyes need to be opened,” she said. “They need to understand that these drugs are very costly, and there are a lot of people out there who are struggling with these costs.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 15, 2008
An article on Monday about a large increase in insurance co-payments for high-priced drugs misstated the way the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone is administered. It is injected, not taken in pill form.

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