Monday, June 18, 2007
US Air Strike Kills 7 Children in Afghanistan
In eastern Afghanistan, at least seven children have died after a US-led air strike blew up a compound housing a mosque and a religious school. The US blamed al Qaeda for the deaths, claiming that the children had been used as human shields.
35 Die in Afghan Bus Bombing, Deadliest Attack in Kabul Since 2001
The US air strike came hours after 35 people died in Kabul in a bombing aboard a bus filled with Afghan-police instructors. It was the deadliest bombing in the Afghan capital since the Taliban was ousted in 2001.
Abbas Forms New Palestinian Cabinet
In the West Bank, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has formed an emergency cabinet to replace the unity government which he dissolved last week after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas officials said they do not recognize the new government, which was installed without the approval of the democratically elected Hamas-led Palestinian parliament. One Hamas official dismissed Abbas' new cabinet as an illegitimate lackey of Israel and the United States. Mahmud Abbas selected Salam Fayyad as the new Palestinian prime minister. Fayyad is a US-educated economist who previously worked for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
What are Fayyad's views concerning the World Bank and International Monetary Fund?
Israel Blocks Cargo Shipments into Gaza
While both the US and Israel have said they plan to lift restrictions on aid for the West Bank, Israel has blocked all cargo shipments into Gaza where supplies of fuel, food, and medicine are running low. Many areas of Gaza have been without electricity since last week's fighting.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Kevin Kennedy said, "What we really need to do as a first step is to resume our full program in Gaza. As you might know, the United Nations feeds nearly one million people a month in Gaza, not their entire ration but very important of their diet, and we have to get these operations back up running in full speed along with the medical clinics, the hospitals, and the schools."
Israel has also blocked Palestinian civilians from leaving Gaza.
Say one thing and do another, that's the Machiavellian-Straussian way.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat of Fatah dismissed Hamas as a group of gangsters but said the Palestinian people in Gaza need help.
Erekat said, "Gaza has 1.5 million people. These people have suffered more than enough. These people have nothing to do with the coup d'etat and this group of gangsters who are terrorizing them now. These people should not (way of life) these people's fuel, electricity, water, food, medical supplies should not be undermined. So we appeal to all not to add to the complexities and to add to the suffering of those 1.5 million Palestinians."
In other news from the region, two rockets exploded near the Israeli town Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanese border.
Second Mosque in Basra Blown Up
In Iraq, suspected Shiite militants blew up a major Sunni mosque in Basra on Friday. It was the second mosque destroyed in the city since last week's bombing of the Shiite Golden Shrine in Samarra.
US: Only 40 Percent of Baghdad is Under Control
On Saturday, a top US general admitted security forces have full control over just 40 percent of Baghdad five months after the beginning of the so-called surge. The top US military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, said the US is launching a new Baghdad offensive against al Qaeda.
Petraeus said, "A fairly large coordinated offensive operation with all of these surge forces (and these large three pieces are very, very important) has only just now been launched."
Report: Private Security Companies Launch Parallel Surge in Iraq
This comes as the Washington Post reports that private security-companies are engaged in a parallel surge in Iraq. More than 100 firms are now operating in Iraq, and they are boosting manpower, adding expensive armor, and stepping up offensive attacks.
Iraq Newspaper Editor Found Dead in Baghdad
The war on journalists in Iraq is also continuing. On Sunday, the body of Flayeh Wadi Mijdab was found four days after he was abducted by gunmen in Baghdad. Mijdab was managing editor of the state-owned daily newspaper al Sabah.
Another Justice Department Official Resigns Over US Attorneys Scandal
In Washington, another top Justice Department official has resigned for his involvement in the US attorneys scandal. Michael Elston served as chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty. Several of the fired prosecutors said Elston personally threatened them not to speak publicly about what happened.
New Orleans Seeks Foreign Aid to Help Rebuild City
New Orleans is turning to foreign aid to help rebuild the city nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina. The city is talking to more than five countries, because the federal government in Washington has been so slow in sending assistance. As of last week, the city said it had received just over half of the $320 million FEMA has obligated for rebuilding the city.
What a disgrace for the name of the nation. Of course, it's racism. The rich whites don't want the city rebuilt too quickly. They want all the displaced blacks to have settled elsewhere where they would be less likely to want to pull up stakes again to move back to New Orleans.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
US Lifts Embargo on Palestinian Authority
Yesterday, the United States lifted its embargo on direct aid to the Palestinian government in an effort to support Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah's struggle against Hamas. Last week Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip. Abbas responded by dismissing the democratically-elected Hamas-led government and formed a new cabinet led by a prime minister who has the backing of Israel and the United States.
Salam Fayyad, Abbas's choice for prime minister, must be a neoliberal economist in order to have the backing of the Bush administration.
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said, "Hamas has made its choice. It has sought to attempt to extinguish democratic debate with violence and to impose its extremist agenda on the Palestinian people in Gaza. Now, responsible Palestinians are making their choice, and it is the duty of the international community to support those Palestinians who wish to build a better life and a future of peace."
However, when Fatah was in charge, the neocons wouldn't negotiate with them. Now that Hamas has come to the fore, the neocons work to use them against each other so they won't be united against Israel's illegal and immoral and ungodly occupation, settlements, and euphemistic transfer policy (expulsion), etc.
Today, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will meet with Bush in Washington to discuss the situation. Olmert has said Israel recognizes Abbas's new government.
Olmert said, "I promised the Palestinians that our government would consider the new Palestinian government free of any Hamas people as a genuine partner. We will cooperate with this government. We will defreeze monies that we kept under our control because we didn't want these monies to be taken by Hamas in order to be used for a terrorist action."
This is just more of the method of dividing the Palestinians against themselves for the sake of Israel's covetousness and expansionism.
Olmert is also expected to urge Bush to help isolate the Gaza Strip, but humanitarian groups have warned Israel not to cut off Gaza.
Mazen al Aloul, the head of a maternity ward at the al Shifaa Hospital in Gaza, said, "Separate the politics and humanitarian cases. This is a hospital, and we have something like one million and half citizens that are treated in the hospital. And they need all sorts of medicine. Some have cancer. Others have kidney problems, and we rely a lot on electric devices. And cutting the power off will be a disaster for the patients, like cutting their lives off."
Is he talking to the wall? He's calling out for help from people of good conscience. He wants the common people around the world to speak up against the inhumane actions of the Israelis. He knows those at the top of the neocon heap love it that lives of Arabs are cut off. They want all the sons and daughters of Ishmael to die out leaving all the land and resources to the sons and daughters of Jacob. It's that simple. It's antichrist.
Report: Israel Planning Invasion of Gaza
The Times of London reports Israel's new defense minister Ehud Barak is considering an attack on Gaza to crush Hamas. Citing unnamed Israeli military sources, the paper says Israel has drawn up plans to send 20,000 troops into Gaza within weeks if Hamas resumes attacks against Israel.
Cause chaos for the sake of having a pretext for attacking directly. That's what that is.
10,000 US Troops Launch New Offensive in Iraq
In Iraq, about 10,000 US soldiers have launched a major offensive in Baqouba targeting alleged al Qaeda militants. US forces have killed at least 22 people so far.
US Values Iraqi Life at $2,500
A new US government report has raised questions over a US-military program to offer financial payments to Iraqis affected by the war. The report found that the military offers a maximum of $2,500 to families of Iraqis civilians killed as a result of US forces. The US offers the same amount of money to Iraqis if their car is destroyed because of US actions.
The program is degrading. It's meant to be. It's a psychological ploy. The imperialists want to condition the Iraqis into valuing themselves as being lesser than are the American occupiers.
Iraq Ranked Second Most Unstable Nation in the World
A new survey by Foreign Policy Magazine has determined Iraq is the second most unstable country in the world behind Sudan. Afghanistan was ranked eighth in the annual Failed States Index.
Hundreds of Thousands of White House Emails Destroyed
House investigators have learned that the Bush administration has routinely violated federal laws by using private email accounts for official business. At least 88 White House officials have Republican National Committee (RNC) email accounts, and House investigators say hundreds of thousands of these emails may have been destroyed. Bush's top adviser Karl Rove sent or received 140,000 emails on his RNC account. According to House investigators, the RNC has preserved only 130 e-mails sent to Rove during Bush's first term and no e-mails sent by Rove prior to November 2003, including the period in the lead up to the Iraq war. Congressman Henry Waxman accused the Bush administration of completely disregarding the Presidential Records Act.
They deliberately circumvented the law for the sake of the very outcome we see and that is that they have covered their tracks. They have covered the audit trail of their dirty tricks and corruption.
What will Congress do?
Scrutiny Increases over Bush's Use of Signing Statements
A new government study has revealed that federal officials have disobeyed several new laws that Bush challenged by issuing signing statements. According to the Boston Globe, the report provides the first evidence that the government may have acted on claims by Bush that he can set aside laws under his executive powers. Bush has used signing statements to challenge more than 1,100 sections of bills, more than all previous presidents combined. Virginia Sloan, of the Constitution Project, condemned the president's use of signing statements. Sloan said, "This report should put to rest any doubts as to the real impact of signing statements. The Constitution does not bestow upon the president the power to simply ignore portions of laws he doesn't like." The Congressional study did not cover any of Bush's most controversial claims such as his assertion that he can set aside a torture ban and new oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act because he is the commander in chief.
What Samuel Alito had in mind when he advised the administration to use signing statements was to attempt to elevate the executive to a position where it could claim an equal position with the judiciary branch in interpreting the Constitution and finally rise above the court to assume more monarchical and absolutist power: The imperial presidency.
Court: Government Needs Warrant to Search Emails
Civil-liberties advocates are hailing a new federal appeals court ruling that determined that the government may not secretly search emails without a warrant. The appeals court said protecting emails is "as important to Fourth Amendment principles today as protecting telephone conversations has been in past." The executive branch has contended that e-mails stored with service providers may be seized without warrants.
Yes, but will the four and a half more fascist-leaning justices of the US Supreme Court defend this judicial decision?
Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims Argue Case in NYC Court
Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange appeared in a New York courtroom on Monday to argue that US chemical companies should be held accountable for manufacturing the toxin. One of the plaintiffs, Nguyen Van Quy, said he has suffered from cancer and two of his children had birth defects.
He said, "I am here as a living evidence to tell the people in the court that dioxin really has a negative impact on human beings as well as the environment."
US warplanes dumped about 18 million gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. Constantine Kokkoris is one of the attorneys representing the Vietnamese plaintiffs.
Kokkoris said, "It poisoned an entire country. Even though the effect of that poison was latent, it took a long time to manifest in some cases. It's still poisoning nonetheless. It's basically like dropping an atom bomb during a war and then having people affected by radiation for the next 30 years. That's illegal under international law, and we hope that they're going to see that point."
The Vietnamese government says more than three million people have been disabled by Agent Orange, but the representative of the United States administration maintains there is no scientifically proven link between the wartime spraying and the disabilities.
Attorney Jonathan Moore disputed the claims of the Bush administration.
Jonathan Moore said, "Well, we spent three and a half hours listening to issues about Agent Orange and fully vetted our belief that what these companies did during the war was a violation of international law because they used poison and because it was unnecessary and unjustified under any standard. Hopefully, the court will agree with this and let us go forward."
Lebanese Government Accused of Torturing Palestinian Detainees
In Lebanon, the Nahr al Bared refugee camp remains under siege as fighting continues for a fifth week between Lebanese troops and militants from the group Fatah al Islam. The fighting is Lebanon's worst internal violence since the civil war ended in 1990. At least 162 people, including 32 civilians, have been killed so far. Meanwhile human-rights organizations have accused the Lebanese government of abusing Palestinian refugees rounded up at the Nahr al Bared camp.
Caoimhe Butterly, of Voices in the Wilderness, said, "The patterns that emerged in the gathered testimonies indicate both physical and psychological abuse. In a number of cases, detainees have been told that they would be killed or tortured. Detainees have been told for example that their toes would be cut off or that they would be electrocuted. Most detainees have reported being hooded or blindfolded during the beatings and being handcuffed and forced to kneel in pressured positions for up to a day."
Italian Judge Suspends CIA-Rendition Trial
An Italian judge has suspended the trial of 26 CIA agents accused of kidnapping an Islamic cleric from the streets of Milan in 2003. The Italian government has asked the court to throw out the indictments in the politically sensitive case. On Monday, the presiding judge suspended the trial until the country's highest court can rule on the case.
Pakistani Lawmakers Decry British Knighthood for Rushdie
Britain's decision to honor the writer Salman Rushdie with a knighthood has sparked controversy in Pakistan and Iran. On Monday, Pakistan's national parliament passed a resolution demanding Britain retract the award. The Pakistani resolution stated that Rushdie is still hated in the Muslim world because of his book The Satanic Verses. In 1989, Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Rushdie to death because of Rushdie's depiction of the prophet Mohammad. Britain has defended the decision to make Rushdie a knight. A government spokesperson said the knighthood is not intended to be an insult to Islam or the Prophet Mohammed.
ABC Reporter Picked To Be New Pentagon Spokesperson
In military news, the Pentagon has hired a new press spokesperson - ABC News Correspondent Geoff Morrell. Morrell has covered the White House for ABC News since April 2003.
Cuba's First Lady, Vilma Espinn, 77, Dies
The wife of acting Cuban president Raul Castro has died at the age of 77. Vilma Espin was widely viewed as the first lady of Cuba. Espin was a key figure in the Cuban Revolution and founded the Cuban Women's Federation.
Havana resident Francisco Hernandez said, "It is a very painful loss, because it deals with one of the heroines of this country, a woman who sacrificed much, who gave everything for the revolution."
Celebrations Mark Juneteenth
Juneteenth celebrations are being held today across the country. It was on June 19th 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas finally learned that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had abolished slavery in the US.
New York Lawmakers to Apologize for Slavery
Lawmakers in the New York State Assembly are considering passing a bill to officially apologize for slavery in New York. If the bill passes New York would become the first Northern state to offer an apology for its role in the slave trade.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
US Launches New Offensive as Iraq Bombing Kills Dozens
In Iraq, up to eighty people were killed and more than eighty-five wounded in a suicide truck-bombing on a Baghdad mosque. The attack came as the US military launched one of its largest operations of the Iraq War. At least ten thousand troops have been deployed around Diyala province against what the military says are al Qaeda groups.
Iraqi Red Crescent: Internal Displacements Quadruple in 2007
Iraq's largest aid group is warning a record number of civilians, mostly women and children, are fleeing their homes to avoid worsening violence. In a new report, the Iraqi Red Crescent says the number of internal refugees has quadrupled since January. An increasing number of pregnant women are being forced to obtain illegal abortions because of a lack of available medical care.
Bush Olmert Vow Abbas Support, Gaza Blockade
In Washington, Bush met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Tuesday to voice support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and back the continued isolation of the Gaza Strip. Abbas dismissed the democratically-elected Hamas-led government last week after Hamas forces seized control of Gaza. The US has lifted the aid embargo on the West Bank while promising to tighten the blockade on Gaza. Bush said he hopes Abbas will lead Palestinians in a "different direction."
Bush said, "Our hope is that President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad who is a good fellow will be strengthened to the point where they will be able to lead the Palestinians in a different direction with a different hope. The Prime Minister has spoken to me, and I have spoken to him about our desire to help suffering Palestinians. Nobody likes suffering on the border. Nobody likes suffering in the world."
Hundreds Trapped at Gaza Border
Gaza's humanitarian crisis is growing. Hundreds of Palestinians are trapped in Gaza's border crossing with Israel trying to flee to the West Bank. An estimated ten people have been let in so far. The Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights is asking Israel's High Court to order immediate entry for all Palestinians in need of medical treatment.
Palestinian Factions Claim Authority over Gaza
As the situation in Gaza declines, tensions are escalating between the two Palestinian factions. On Tuesday, former Gaza security chief Mohammad Dahlan called Hamas militants in Gaza an occupation force.
Dahlan said, "The Palestinian National Authority and President Abu Mazen and the PLO is in charge politically and legally of the West Bank and Gaza. There is no place for things that we are hearing, and all these matters that took place are illegal. And we will not recognize it at all. In reality, Hamas is besieging the Gaza Strip. We will treat it as an occupation force, but we will not resist the occupation force now."
Senior Hamas leader Khalil al Hayya vowed Hamas will not relinquish its new control.
He said, "[Hamas] will be completely taking over legal responsibilities in order to serve. If we have to choose between us and between caretaking for the West Bank, we will take on our full responsibility in Gaza. We will not allow anyone to take over this responsibility from us or interfere in the government's authority."
Iran, Pakistan Protest Rushdie Knighthood
A diplomatic row is widening over Britain's decision to knight the writer Salman Rushdie. On Tuesday, Iran told the British embassy the move was a provocative act. In 1989, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced Rushdie to death because of Rushdie's depiction of the prophet Mohammad in his book the Satanic Verses. Pakistan's national parliament has passed a resolution demanding Britain retract the award. Pakistan's Minister For Religious Affairs, Ijazul Haq, said, "People like Salman Rushdie, who do not carry any weight anywhere in the world, if we start encouraging people like this, I am sorry, the gulf between the Western countries and the Muslim Ummah is going to widen. And it has hurt the feelings of every Muslim who is alive. Let me tell you this."
Oxfam Pulls Out of Darfur's Largest Refugee Camp
The international aid group Oxfam has announced it's pulling out of the largest refugee camp in Darfur. Oxfam says local authorities in Gereida have failed to prevent violence against aid workers. Gereida is under control of the Sudan Liberation Movement, which signed a peace agreement last year.
Judge Blocks Anti-Immigrant Housing Law
A federal judge has blocked a Dallas suburb from enforcing a sweeping anti-immigration law that would have barred the rental of homes to most undocumented immigrants. Landlords in Farmers Branch would have been forced to check if renters are US citizens or visa-approved immigrants before giving them a lease. US District Judge Sam Lindsay ruled that town officials were trying to regulate immigration separately from the federal government.
Mundanely however, what the suburb was trying to do was not illegal.
People are sneaking into the US so they can earn more money and attempt to live what is called the American Dream. Many are just trying to escape poverty that has been inflicted upon them by robber barons, landlords, and warlords in their home countries.
The entire system of private property, that spirit of selfishness, anti-Golden Rule, antichrist, has caused all the problems of the world.
New York Mayor Leaves GOP
In New York, mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced he's leaving the Republican party to become an independent. The announcement is fueling speculation Bloomberg is preparing a run for the White House.
Giuliani Dropped out of Iraq Study Group for Paid Speaking Engagements
More news has emerged that could hurt the election chances of former New York mayor, Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani. Newsday has revealed Giuliani dropped out of the Congress-backed Iraq Study Group last year after he failed to attend a single meeting. Giuliani was given an ultimatum to either show up at the sessions or step down. Both of his absent meetings conflicted with scheduled speaking appearances where he collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.
The Real Liberal Christian Church position on this is that the Iraq Study Group was a farce anyway. It was just a cover for the oil industry's push for a new Iraqi oil law to privatize all of Iraq's oil to rob the people of Iraq. It was just the standard operating procedure for the Empire.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Abbas Rules Out Talks With Hamas
In Israel and the Occupied Territories, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has ruled out talks with Hamas for what he says was a plot on his life. Abbas dismissed the democratically-elected, Hamas-led government last week after Hamas forces seized control of Gaza. On Wednesday, Abbas said he had obtained footage of Hamas militants smuggling explosives meant for an attack. Abbas called Hamas, "murderous terrorists, killers, and coup seekers," but he also warned Israel not to exploit the internal Palestinian conflict.
Abbas said, "Our problems are not only with Hamas - I emphasize my rejection of any Israeli attempt aiming to take advantage of this disdain, perpetrated by the coup militants, to choke our people."
Hamas immediately dismissed Abbas' remarks and accused him of collaborating with Israel and the US
Hamas Offers Ceasefire with Israel
A top official said Hamas would enter a ceasefire with Israel if the Israeli military halted operations in Gaza and the West Bank. The offer came as Israel launched its first attacks in Gaza since the Hamas takeover. Israeli troops killed four militants after nine rockets were fired at the Israeli border town of Sderot.
Israeli Court Limits Entry of Wounded Gaza Residents
Israel's High Court has rejected a motion for immediate entry of all Gaza residents in need of life-saving medical attention. Israel has allowed in at least thirty-five Palestinians, but some twenty-five remain stranded at Gaza's crossing with Israel. Sari Bashi of the Israeli human-rights group Gisha urged the Israeli government to allow them entry.
Bashi said, "Since Thursday, Israel has closed the borders of Gaza. No one can leave. These are patients who if they don't enter Israeli hospitals immediately, their life is threatened. Because Israel continues to exercise control over Gaza's borders, it has an obligation to let patients receive life-saving treatment outside of Gaza."
Carter: US-led Boycott of Palestinians "Criminal"
Former President Jimmy Carter has weighed in on the Bush administration's role in the current crisis. Speaking in Ireland, Carter said the US, Israel, and the European Union are trying to divide the Palestinian people. Carter also called the administration's refusal to accept Hamas' election win last year, "criminal." He said, "The United States and Israel decided to punish all the people in Palestine and did everything they could to deter a compromise between Hamas and Fatah."
Carter is speaking truth here. This should be the official position of the Democratic Party and all of its candidates.
Report: US Wants Blair for Middle East Envoy
BBC News is reporting British Prime Minister Tony Blair is in talks with the White House about becoming a Middle East envoy when he steps down next week. The administration reportedly wants Blair to represent the quartet of the US, European Union, the UN, and Russia. Blair is resigning after ten years in office.
Vigils Mark 100th Day of Captivity for BBC Reporter
Friends, family, and colleagues of the BBC reporter Alan Johnston gathered Wednesday to mark the one hundredth day since he was kidnapped in Gaza. A moment of silence was observed at vigils in more than a dozen cities, including London, Jerusalem, Kabul, New York, and Washington.
US Airstrike Wounds 11 in Baqouba
In Iraq, at least thirteen people have been killed and more than seventy wounded in a suicide attack just outside Diyala province. Thousands of US troops are engaged in a new offensive there against what the Pentagon says are al Qaeda militants. Earlier today at least eleven civilians were wounded in a US airstrike in Baqouba. The US military says it was firing on a militant safehouse but missed its target. The violence comes as the Washington Post reports Iraq's government is in disarray. Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi said he tried to resign last week amidst growing frustration with Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.
Nigerians Strike over Fuel Prices and Wages
Nigeria has been brought to a standstill as hundreds of thousands of people take part in a general strike. Union leaders are demanding better wages, a drop in rising oil prices, and the reversal of a new tax increase.
Nigerian citizen Debo Thorpe said, "As far as Nigeria is concerned, we are rich; but, the government is wasting our money on useless things. Some of them having 50 houses, 150 houses, while others are living in a mud house, in a wooden house, on the water side, in the slum. We are suffering, and we are tired of this."
South Koreans Protest US Trade Deal
In South Korea, thousands of South Korean farmers gathered in Seoul Wednesday to protest a pending trade agreement with the United States. American negotiators are set to arrive today to revise the deal according to environmental and labor standards in last month's bi-partisan trade pact. South Korean officials say the talks amount to a consultation, not a renegotiation. Park Eui-Kyu of the Korea Advanced Farmers Federation said, "Free trade with the United States is like robbing our right to live. We will have no place to live after the free trade. We're protesting to get our right to live back."
Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Research Bill
Bush has vetoed a bill funding research on embryos from human stem cells. Wednesday's move marks the third veto of his presidency.
Bush said, "I made it clear to congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line. Last year, Congress passed a similar bill, and I kept my promise by vetoing it. And today I'm keeping my word again. I'm vetoing the bill that Congress has sent."
Democrats will need a two-thirds majority in Congress to overturn the veto.
We've written before of the Real Liberal Christian Church position on this matter. We believe that Bush is doing this not for moral reasons but rather for power-to hold the so-called Christian right, false Christians, in his corner.
Giuliani South Carolina Campaign Treasurer Indicted on Coke Charges
There are more campaign woes for Rudy Giuliani. The treasurer of the former New York mayor's South Carolina campaign has been indicted on charges of distributing cocaine. The treasurer, Thomas Ravenel, faces up to twenty years in prison.
Does Giuliani stand a chance? The Holy Spirit is outing his network.
CIA Legal Nominee Questioned on Torture Views
The Bush administration's nominee for the top legal position at the CIA has revealed he supported the infamous 2002 Justice Department memo that said torture would not occur unless a prisoner experiences pain serious enough to cause organ failure or death. Speaking before the Senate Select Committee, John Rizzo also refused to publicly answer whether the CIA has transferred prisoners to countries using torture. Rizzo said he would answer the question in closed-session.
Rizzo obviously has no business being nominated let alone being confirmed as anything within leadership.
Study said, Number of Uninsured Veterans Rises
In military news, a new Harvard Medical School study shows around 1.8 million US veterans lack basic health-insurance or access to care. The number of uninsured veterans has increased by nearly three hundred thousand since Bush took office in 2000.
Does this show the hypocrisy of the Bush administration to the so-called conservatives? He can't even support those who support him the most.
ACLU Sues for End to Drugging Immigrants Facing Deportation
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class-action suit on behalf of two immigrant males who say they were drugged against their will as US officials tried to deport them. One of the men is an Indonesian national seeking asylum. The other is a Senegalese married to a US citizen. Both say they were forcibly injected with psychotropic drugs. The ACLU wants a judge to block all drugging of immigrants facing deportation proceedings.
No one should ever be drugged against his or her will. It isn't for people to force substances into other people's bodies. The system that does that is inherently defective. We don't include children here.
Why were they drugged?
Children must be treated in a way that they accept being taken care of rather than being forced. This is no easy proposition if the child has been, or is still being, subjected to all the mixed and iniquitous messages of the worldly, Godless, loveless system. That system is the prime cause for more unruliness in children.
...and children shall rise up against their parents.... (Mark 13:12).
Friday, June 22, 2007
NATO Airstrike Kills 25 Afghan Civilians
At least twenty-five civilians have been killed in a NATO airstrike in southern Afghanistan. Nine women and three infants are among the dead. Afghan police say the attack came after insurgents opened fire from civilian homes. International aid groups including the Red Cross have recently accused the US-led NATO force of ignoring measures to prevent civilian deaths.
Thousands Rally Against al Qaeda, US in Najaf
In Iraq, thousands of people took to the streets of Najaf in a show of unity following last week's attack on the Askariya mosque in Samarra. Demonstrators waved Iraqi flags and Shia banners with slogans including "Death to al Qaeda." Marchers also called for an end to the US-led crackdown on Baghdad.
This is just what the neocons have wanted and have deliberately caused. Muslim against Muslim so much that they will be focused on killing each other off while the neocons consolidate power throughout the region.
Abbas Releases Video of Alleged Assassination Plot
In the Occupied Territories, tensions are on the rise between the ruling factions Fatah and Hamas. On Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas released video he says proves Hamas militants tried to carry out a plot on his life. The video shows men in Hamas uniforms placing a device inside a tunnel. Abbas says the device was a bomb and the tunnel near a road he takes to his Gaza residence, now under Hamas control. Hamas military commander Abu Ubaida denied the accusation.
Abu Ubaida said, "Qassam Brigades have never considered Mahmoud Abbas as a target, and we have never considered any of the politicians as targets. Our people have not forgotten the attempted assassinations and the RPG's fired onto the house of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and onto the house of former foreign minister and fighter Mahmoud al Zahar and the assassination of political leader Dr. Mahmoud al Ajawa, who's killers are known to Mahmoud Abbas, who fled to Ramallah now and are under his care."
How much money does Abbas have in his personal accounts? How much money does his family now have that it didn't have before he became Palestinian President? Where has that money come from?
Hamas, Fatah Spar over Israel Meeting
Abbas dissolved the democratically elected Hamas-led parliament after Hamas forces seized control of Gaza last week. Meanwhile, Hamas officials are denouncing Abbas for agreeing to a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Egypt.
Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said, "At this time we are, we are in Hamas, against this type of meeting, because the main issues or the main concern of the Arab and Islamic world is to end the occupation, to tell the world about the faults and terrorism from the situation which was committed against our Palestinians."
Fatah says it sees Hamas as an occupation force in Gaza and will negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian government. Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo said Fatah will carry out talks on forming a Palestinian state.
Rabbo said, "We think the success of this summit will depend on the decision of the Israeli side to proceed with the political negotiations in order to reach an agreement on all issues related to the final status, so that we will be able to establish a Palestinian independent state on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital."
Dozens Flee Gaza as Israel Tightens Hold
Israel is tightening its hold over Gaza. Foreign nationals and a small number of Palestinians have been allowed to leave, but the entry of goods and supplies has come mostly to a halt. An unidentified Palestinian-American said he is leaving an uncertain situation.
He said, "The situation now, nobody knows what's going to happen next. Inside Gaza the situation now has calmed down, there is no violence, no firing, but what's coming next nobody knows."
Bush Administration Denies Pending Guantanamo Closure
The Bush administration is denying a report its nearing a decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Anonymous officials told the Associated Press, the White House is near agreement on a plan that would transfer prisoners to several Pentagon facilities across the United States. One of the proposed sites said to be under discussion is the US military base at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Cheney Tried to Shut Down Oversight of Compliance on Classified Information Rules
Newly-released documents show Vice President Dick Cheney has refused to follow laws on how the executive handles classified information and tried to shut down the oversight office that asked him to comply. On Thursday, Congressmember Henry Waxman disclosed Cheney tried to shut down the National Archives' Information Security Oversight Office in 2004. Cheney has argued the vice president's office shouldn't be considered within the executive branch, because it also performs a legislative role. Waxman says Cheney is trying to operate with "unprecedented secrecy."
"...refused to follow laws on how the executive handles classified information...tried to shut down the oversight office that asked him to comply." What is Congress going to do? What are the leaders of the Democratic Party going to do, nothing?
The system is irreparably broken. It was from the start. It is unholy. It is based upon selfishness.
New Orleans Death Rate up Nearly 50% Since Katrina
In New Orleans, a new study shows the city death rate has risen nearly fifty percent since Hurricane Katrina. The study is the first to track the mortality rate of both evacuees and remaining residents. Researchers attribute the increase to the lack of health care for low-income residents regardless of whether they left or stayed in New Orleans.
As we said, the system is irreparably broken. It was from the start. It is unholy. It is based upon selfishness.
Wife of Missing Soldier Won't Be Deported
Immigration officials have announced they won't deport the wife of a missing US soldier in Iraq who has been facing deportation. Yaderlin Jimenez entered the US from the Dominican Republic without a visa in 2001, meaning she sneaked into the country illegally (against the mundane law). Her husband, Army Specialist Alex Jimenez, is one of the soldiers who disappeared following an attack from insurgents last month. US forces found his ID tag last week. Authorities began investigating after he made a formal request for a green card and legal residence for his wife. The Department of Homeland Security says it will stop deportation proceedings for now but will not grant Yaderlin Jimenez a green card.
Don't expect the worldly system and Empire to be Christlike. It can't. Its roots are wrong.
US Shutting Down Multi-Billion Dollar Spy-Satellite Program
National Intelligence director Mike McConnell has announced he's shutting down a multi-billion dollar satellite program that would have been used for spying. McConnell says the system has grown too expensive. Few details have been released, but officials say it was developed by the weapons giant Lockheed Martin.
House Reverses Foreign-Aid Abortion Ban
The US House has voted to reverse the Bush administration's ban on any aid to groups that perform or promote abortions overseas. The House attached the measure to a bill that pays for State Department operations next year. Bush is expected to issue a veto.
Kill the fetus. What kind of solution is that? It isn't. It's a symptom of the root disease that is selfishness.
Of course, the Bush administration, again, isn't taking a stand for moral reasons but rather to hold support of so-called conservative Christians, who will save the unborn and then wipe out millions of the relatively innocent born.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)