Pam Rotella's Vegetarian FUN page -- News on health, nutrition, the environment, politics, and more!
Week of 9th to 15th of August 2009
I've decided to try a WEEKLY (rather than daily) format because of scheduling issues. With a weekly format, I can post news items as I have time throughout the day, rather than stressing first thing in the morning. I may switch back to a daily format when I have a more predictable schedule, but for now this will be the same news links, just all under one weekly header. I'm also getting rid of the quotations around the excerpts just to save time in formatting the text here -- the italicization will serve to show quotation. I'm also going to swap the colors of used and unused links, just because as I was scrolling down that seemed to be a more intuitive combination. I may have to change them again in the future if this doesn't make the status clear enough. - PR
Sen. Jim Webb Wins Release Of American In Myanmar
Stung by international outrage over the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's ruling generals agreed Saturday to hand an American prisoner involved in her case to a visiting U.S. senator.
Sen. Jim Webb was also granted an unprecedented meeting with the junta chief, and was allowed to hold talks with Suu Kyi, the first foreign official permitted to see the Nobel laureate since she was sentenced to 18 more months of house arrest on Tuesday.
American John Yettaw, who was sentenced to seven years of hard labor for swimming uninvited to Suu Kyi's lakeside house in Yangon, will be deported on Sunday, Webb said in a statement from his Washington office.
Senator Wins Promise to Free Detained American
The senator�s office said he had secured the release of the American, John Yettaw, who was sentenced to prison on Tuesday after intruding at the home of the pro-democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
In another gesture by the government, Mr. Webb, a Democrat, was allowed to meet with Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was sentenced at the same trial to 18 months of added house arrest, arousing international condemnation. She has spent 14 of the past 20 years under house arrest.
PAM COMMENTARY: Here's an old description of the ruling junta in Burma from a 2002 Democracy Now! show:
Burma has been under military rule for forty years. The current group of generals came to power in 1988 after bloodily crushing a pro-democracy movement during which Suu Kyi came to prominence. The junta called general elections in 1990, but refused to hand over power after Suu Kyi's party won a landslide victory. In 1991, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Prize.
International sanctions have pushed the country's economy to the brink of collapse. Since 1995, over 50 multinational corporations have cut ties with Burma, and the UN International Labor Organization recently increased pressure by exposing the pervasive use of forced labor throughout the country.
Suu Kyi says her party has not yet changed its support for economic sanctions.
In Pictures: 'Senator Jim Webb in Burma'
[A photo gallery of Webb�s trip to Burma]
Senator wins release of American in Myanmar; Jim Webb also holds talks with imprisoned Nobel laureate Suu Kyi
Yettaw's wife, Betty Yettaw, said in a phone interview Saturday from her home outside Camdenton in central Missouri that she had not received any official notice that he would be returning home. But "if it's true, of course I'm extremely happy, and we're ecstatic," she said.
"Incestuous" relationships between Blackwater and U.S. government [AJ]
What is outrageous, Madsen said, is that Eric Prince, the head of Blackwater, is supposed to act on behalf of the U.S. government, yet behaved as a self-proclaimed crusader against Islam.
�What we have here is an individual who received billions of dollars in US contracts, and still was under contract with the U.S. government, and fancied himself someone who wanted to wipe out Islam and kill Arabs and Muslims,� Madsen said.
PAM COMMENTARY: See earlier posts on Blackwater.
Auto dealers still waiting for clunker payments
WASHINGTON�Auto dealers say they still haven't been repaid for the majority of Cash for Clunkers deals they have made, creating cash crunches for many as they wait for the government to reimburse them under the popular $3 billion vehicle trade-in program.
Some dealers report they have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rebates they have submitted to the federal government for repayment that are still outstanding, including deals that were made in the first days of the program nearly three weeks ago.
Duane Paddock, who owns a Chevrolet dealership in Kenmore, said dealers may stop selling clunkers under the program because of the funding lags.
"I've got dealers who are reporting to me that they've got over $3 million that they've fronted and they haven't been paid anything. It's just killing dealer cash flow right now," said Paddock, who serves as co-chair of GM's northeast region dealer council.
PAM COMMENTARY: There were many stories like this in local papers across the country -- see also articles from Las Vegas and Milwaukee.
Alleged Obama-Era Rendition Victim Accuses US of Torture, Coercion
SCOTT HORTON: Had body cavity search. Then sleep deprivation occurred; he was not permitted to sleep for a day and a half. Hyperthermia, it was near freezing in his cell. He was given only a thin jumpsuit to wear.
So, these procedures, if they're standard procedures, they�re procedures that we�ve seen employed before in connection with renditions. And in a criminal justice perspective, they�re really abusive. In fact, I think a lot of people I�ve shown this to, including career prosecutors, looked at it and looked at what happened and said this is an exercise of very questionable judgment by people in the Justice Department.
PAM COMMENTARY: Again, why would something considered to be torture continue under Obama? Wasn't he elected to stop old Bush war crimes like that? Maybe we need a rollback to rules and internal procedures from BEFORE Bush was elected.
"You Do Not Cut Deals with the System that Has to Be Replaced": Ralph Nader on Secret White House Agreements with the Drug Industry
RALPH NADER: So, what Obama failed to do, because he's never done it when he was campaigning, he did not pay adequate and due regard to the folks that brung him to the White House. He has not mobilized the progressive base in this country. He has not done anything but, you know, humor the labor unions. And as a result, he doesn't have a base out there.
You point quite clearly to, or you imply, that there a lot of people for a single payer, a full Medicare-for-All system. And that's true. Every poll has shown a majority of the American people, majority of doctors, majority of nurses, are for the single-payer system.
So why isn't the President of the United States, who was elected in large part by these same people, why isn't he representing them in Congress and in the White House? Because he is not a transforming leader. He is a harmony ideology person. He's a concessionary person. He wants any bill with the label �health insurance reform� on it, no matter what. He's not even willing to draw the line and say there will be no bill, I will veto any bill that doesn't have a vigorous public option, not a phony public option that will allow�that will allow people to be dumped into the public option when they're the sickest and leave the healthiest people for the profiteering insurance companies.
Webb Arrives in Burma for Talks With Junta
Suu Kyi and two companions were sentenced Tuesday to 18 months under house arrest for hosting an American intruder who entered her heavily guarded villa uninvited. John W. Yettaw, the 54-year-old American who swam across a lake to get to Suu Kyi's home, was sentenced to seven years in prison, including four years of hard labor.
A source familiar with the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Webb hoped to use the trip to secure Yettaw's release.
"All Roads Lead to Rove": Fmr. New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias on New Evidence Linking Bush Admin to Firings
AMY GOODMAN: And explain exactly what's the problem with a politician calling you, the US attorney, there.
DAVID IGLESIAS: Well, it's a complete violation of separation of powers. The members of Congress don't enforce federal law; they pass the law. In fact, there are federal statutes that prohibit corruptedly influencing members of the executive branch. Prosecutions have to be based on the evidence and the law. It's purely a executive branch function; it's not a legislative function. So it's potentially possible that they or others could face obstruction of justice charges for attempting to influence me to hurry these indictments.
AMY GOODMAN: So we're talking about criminal prosecution?
DAVID IGLESIAS: Exactly. And as I understand it, the special counsel, who's the acting US attorney in Connecticut, she's looking at possible perjury charges against Gonzales and possible obstruction of justice charges against other members, including possibly Wilson and Pete Domenici.
PAM COMMENTARY: See my earlier post on Iglesias' previous Democracy Now! appearance.
GOP, Right-Wing Pundits� Misinformation Fuels Hysteria at Democrats� Public Forums on Healthcare Reform
STANLEY ZUBER: Actually, the way that the whole�the way it works, the gentleman that we just saw in the clip was correct. They handed out thirty cards. We were unaware of that. Myself and some associates got there very early, and there was�like we were within the first ten or so, and the doors weren't going to open for five hours. And we just sat talking, as people started to filter in. And this is something that really surprised us. There was a group of young men that came in, and after they arrived, there was like this mad rush to the doors. And all of these folks lined up first. And obviously, they were aware that cards were going to be passed out to the first thirty people. We weren't. So we ended up�I was lucky to get a card. I got question number twenty-one, which was in the back.
So, from my perspective, what you see at these town hall meetings are people with this agenda against reform understanding that they need to get in line first, possibly to get a card�certainly that was the case up at Bucknell�so they could, you know, ask their questions that were basically against reform. And those of us that may have had some other ideas about how we can make this work, we were very fortunate just to be able to ask a question.
PAM COMMENTARY: Just one of many articles in the press right now on "disruptions at town hall meetings" -- this one in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. (Ugh! I'm familiar with that area -- it's a nest of sexual predators. Avoid all areas in Pennsylvania from Harrisburg east, if possible. I might cover that sometime, when I have time to update my travel page.)
The reason I chose this particular article is because Mr. Zuber had a first-hand account of what seemed to be organization among those planning to disrupt the meeting. I'm not sure that all outbursts are organized in these meetings, but it does appear that many individuals typically spout the same sort of talking points. That would indicate that their "concerns" probably didn't originate with themselves. I'll try to post more on the whole health care debate soon.
Feds: Key witness in drug case seduced, killed; Woman allegedly "lured" victim on behalf of boyfriend, an accused dealer
It soon became obvious to investigators that the mystery woman had not been looking for love, according to federal authorities who have recently detailed Hayes's last days in court papers and at a hearing. In fact, they allege, she seduced the 32-year-old on behalf of her boyfriend, an accused drug dealer hoping to eliminate Hayes, a key witness against him in a federal drug case.
PAM COMMENTARY: Sounds pretty elaborate for a couple of petty drug dealers. With the CIA historically involved in trafficking drugs, it makes ya wonder if this was a government hit.
Here's a flashback -- a video on the CIA's Nicaraguan operation, covering just a portion of the massive and complex CIA/drug/Contra operation (click past the ad to see the video):
The Mena Connection: Bush, Clinton, and CIA drug smuggling part 1/6
The Mena Connection: Bush, Clinton, and CIA drug smuggling part 2/6
The Mena Connection: Bush, Clinton, and CIA drug smuggling part 3/6
The Mena Connection: Bush, Clinton, and CIA drug smuggling part 4/6
The Mena Connection: Bush, Clinton, and CIA drug smuggling part 5/6
The Mena Connection: Bush, Clinton, and CIA drug smuggling part 6/6
Exit, Wizard of Waukesha (Les Paul, "father of electric guitar," dies at 94)
Gibson President Dave Berryman called Paul "the father of the electric guitar" and "one of the world's greatest innovators."
The Waukesha native was lauded as a pioneer for his creation of the solid body electric guitar and for inventing overdubbing and multitrack recording techniques. Paul also was a star of television and radio in the early '50s with his wife, Mary Ford, with hits such as "Tennessee Waltz," "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."
There is a video from his home state of Wisconsin here (starts with an ad for the local digger's hotline):
Les Paul Remembered as Father of Electric Guitar
An article from Wisconsin TV station:
Les Paul Remembered as Father of Electric Guitar
New York times obituary (includes a good video 2/3 down the page):
Les Paul, Guitar Innovator, Dies at 94
New York Times, Les Paul slide show
MSNBC�s footage aired 8/13 of plane/helicopter crash over the Hudson
Warning: The video starts with a drug ad
Cheney Uncloaks His Frustration With Bush; 'Statute of Limitations Has Expired' on Many Secrets, Former Vice President Says
Cheney's post-White House career is as singular as his vice presidency, a position he transformed into the hub of power. Drained of direct authority and cast aside by much of the public, he is no less urgently focused, friends and family members said, on shaping events.
The former vice president remains convinced of mortal dangers that few other leaders, in his view, face squarely. That fixed belief does much to explain the conduct that so many critics find baffling. He gives no weight, close associates said, to his low approval ratings, to the tradition of statesmanlike White House exits or to the grumbling of Republicans about his effect on the party brand.
John P. Hannah, Cheney's second-term national security adviser, said the former vice president is driven, now as before, by the nightmare of a hostile state acquiring nuclear weapons and passing them to terrorists. Aaron Friedberg, another of Cheney's foreign policy advisers, said Cheney believes "that many people find it very difficult to hold that idea in their head, really, and conjure with it, and see what it implies."
PAM COMMENTARY: What an ingrate! Any other government would have thrown him in jail for war crimes. But instead, he's out roaming around griping about "terra-ists". He sounds something like this:
DICK CHENEY: (Deforming his mouth to speak out of one side only) Wah! Wah! All this money going to Wall Street and Detroit, and none to Dick Cheney! None to Halliburton! None to KBR or my other cronies! That's it, time to go on TV and slam Obama, saying he's soft on terrorists, and any new attacks by my friends in covert ops are his fault personally. Who's going to start the next oil war, other than me personally? [Not actual quote of course, rather an impression of what he really means.]
Here's a flashback -- to a SERIES on Cheney put out by the Washington Post:
The Washington Post's "Angler" series:
Chapter 1: 'A Different Understanding With the President'
Chapter 2: Pushing the Envelope on Presidential Power
Chapter 3: A Strong Push From Backstage
Chapter 4: Leaving No Tracks
Authorities ask for help in finding terrorism suspect
A federal judge denied bail last week for six of the men, but expressed skepticism about the charges against them.
Magistrate Judge William Webb said the defendants had made a number of statements espousing holy war, and said the statements could be interpreted in isolation as braggadocio.
But because some group members had amassed a large arsenal and ammunition and had engaged in firearms training, Webb found there was reason to believe that they harbored criminal intent and presented a flight risk or a possible danger to the community.
PAM COMMENTARY: See my links to another story on Boyd and his North Carolina �terra-ism ring� below -- his stories didn�t check out, and he was assumed to be telling tall tales when bragging of his exploits.
Not ones to turn up any chance of justifying their bloated "terra-ism" budgets, the Feds took him seriously enough to file charges without bothering to investigate his stories first. Now it looks like they're keeping 'em locked up anyway -- 'cuz they had weapons!
Yeah, go down to North Carolina, search any house down there. They ALL have weapons. Wait, let me prove it, through observations common enough to have turned into a stereotype we've all heard before -- the southern "redneck":
Redneck - Stereotypes: Encyclopedia II - Redneck - Stereotypes
The stereotypical redneck lives in a trailer or old weatherbeaten farm house in a rural area, and drives an old, large, beat-up pickup truck, possibly adorned with the Confederate Battle Flag, with a gun rack [emphasis added] in the rear window. He may wear a "Wifebeater" (a white sleeveless undershirt), or a farmer t-shirt. He also wears blue jeans, a baseball or trucker hat. The jeans of redneck men often have a permanent circle on the back-pocket from carrying a can of dipping tobacco, such as Skoal or Copenhagen. Their hair is often worn in the mullet style, or in a military-style haircut. He is also prone to swearing, perhaps not as much as the stereotypical Yankee, but more than other Southerners, Mountaineers, or Appalachians.
A redneck is stereotypically imagined as consuming mass produced American beer such as Budweiser or Miller by the case. Other beverages might include Moonshine, Pabst Blue Ribbon, as well as Jack Daniel's whiskey.
Stereotypical hobbies include hunting [emphasis added again], fishing, riding 4-wheelers, and watching professional wrestling, Stock car racing, and monster truck rallies. Rednecks are characteristically fond of repairing car engines and collecting junked cars on their lawns . . .
Obama's torture hangover; The lawyer president still hasn't reversed Bush's flouting of the Geneva conventions, despite lofty words and election pledges
In 2003, at a meeting with a group of senior staff from the US judge advocate general's office (which deals with criminal trials of military personnel), I was told that as a result of decisions taken in the Bush White House, a long American tradition of compliance with the Geneva conventions had come to an end.
The consequences will be apparent soon enough, I was told. In April 2004, the first photographs of prisoner abuse in Iraq appeared in the New Yorker and on CBS's 60 Minutes. The Bush administration struggled to attribute the scenes of torture to a "few bad apples," but it quickly became plain that these photographs were the result of policy choices, and the abuses of Abu Ghraib were going on in Bagram, Guant�mo and unknown CIA "black sites" around the world. As classified administration documents began to leak, we soon learned that denigrating the Geneva conventions was a sort of sport for neocon lawyers � they were derided as "quaint" and "obsolete," and their protections of civilians amounted to "law in the service of terrorists".
PAM COMMENTARY: Yeah, when IS Obama going to start separating himself from Bush and Bush�s crimes? A lot of people want Bush prosecuted, too, including myself.
Babies' brains "reach" for toys, study shows Experiment measures "mirror neurons" in 9-month-olds
The look of amazement in the eyes of an infant suggests the wheels are churning away inside that noggin. New research confirms they are. Scientists have shown that when 9-month-olds watch people reach for objects, the motor region in their brains gets activated, as if the babies were doing the reaching themselves.
The brain ability is likely due to so-called mirror neurons, which fire both when we do an action ourselves, and when we watch others do a similar action. While such neurons have only been directly measured in monkeys, scientists think they exist in adult humans, and now in infants.
Machete mob murders British gemstone miner in Kenya; Campbell Bridges, a renowned British gemstone mine owner, has been murdered in the Kenyan bush by a gang of illegal prospectors armed with machetes, spears and bows and arrows. [R]
The murder was the culmination of a three-year battle with squatters stealing rare tsavorite gems, first discovered more than 40 years ago by Mr Bridges, a senior jewel consultant with Tiffany and Company in New York.
"They had dragged thorn bushes across the road and as soon as we got out of the vehicle, eight of them came running towards us, screaming "We are going to kill you all," Bruce Bridges, 32, told The Daily Telegraph in Nairobi.
Nicotine improves brain function in schizophrenics [WRH]
OXFORD, U.K.: Nicotine enhances attention and memory in schizophrenics, says a study that supports the development of new treatments which could relieve symptoms and prevent smoking-related deaths.
A strong link between schizophrenia and smoking � with over three times as many schizophrenics smoking (70 to 90%) as the population at large � prompted scientists to investigate the link.
PAM COMMENTARY: Nicotine is an incredible drug, acting as a stimulant that also calms a person down at the same time. Aside from its addictive nature, that's one of the reasons it's so hard for people to quit. But obviously schizophrenia isn't caused by a deficiency in nicotine. Rather, some doctors have come up with certain nutrients that seem to be linked to the problem. (Google Abram Hoffer and how he used vitamin B3 to cure schizophrenics. Others have said that Omega-3 or B vitamins in general help a lot.) It's always better to find the root of the problem when possible.
The list of 599 cigarette additives approved by the US Government [R]
The list of 599 additives approved by the US Government for use in the manufacture of cigarettes is something every smoker should see. Submitted by the five major American cigarette companies to the Dept. of Health and Human Services in April of 1994, this list of ingredients had long been kept a secret.
. . . While these ingredients are approved as additives for foods, they were not tested by burning them, and it is the burning of many of these substances which changes their properties, often for the worse. Over 4000 chemical compounds are created by burning a cigarette, many of which are toxic and/or carcinogenic. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide and ammonia are all present in cigarette smoke. Forty-three known carcinogens are in mainstream smoke, sidestream smoke, or both.
It's chilling to think about not only how smokers poison themselves, but what others are exposed to by breathing in the secondhand smoke. The next time you're missing your old buddy, the cigarette, take a good long look at this list and see them for what they are: a delivery system for toxic chemicals and carcinogens.
The fake Obama birth certificate [WRH]
The above is a certified copy of birth registration from Australia! This appears to be the same document as used for the purported Kenyan Birth Certificate, and while British colonies might be expected to use identical forms, Kenya was independent in 1964 and not likely to be using British regulatory paperwork.
PAM COMMENTARY: Mike Rivera has been at the forefront of debunking claims that Obama was born in Kenya. And by �debunking,� I don�t mean writing a page of unsupported opinions, which some seem to think suffices as �proof.� Rivera has done original research on the topic, and when the news broke of the supposed �Kenyan birth certificate� being a fake, Rivera again presented more research.
Now, I�m not saying that it�s impossible for Obama to have been born in Kenya -- other sites have offered a close-up of certain portions of his alleged Hawaiian birth certificate and claimed that it shows a female�s name in faint lettering, as though Obama�s people had taken someone else�s Hawaiian birth certificate and altered it. That, or the forms were filled out in a pile, and the one in front of Obama�s form bled through.
Either way, the recent fake may have been orchestrated to stop the rumors of a Kenyan birth. That�s a standard government ploy -- discrediting a legitimate concern by planting their people in the midst of it to behave badly and detract from the legitimate issue. (Peace activists are familiar with this -- they suffer agents provocateur from the police and FBI all the time.) So the fake may have been planted in an effort to say �Nothing to see here, folks. Obviously claims that Obama was born in Kenya were the machinations of this one wacko who did the fake birth certificate.� No, there are still legitimate people who question the location of Obama�s birth, including other politicians.
Anyway, the supposed birth certificate that I linked to on an earlier date is now widely accepted as a fake, and Mike Rivera�s article shows why.
Were N.C. terror suspect's stories exaggerated?; U.S. officials with experience in the Middle East doubt his stories
Milton Bearden, a highly respected former CIA officer who was station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to the summer of 1989, doubted Boyd's stories. For starters, he said the Soviets started withdrawing officially on May 15, 1988, after the Geneva Accords were signed. The withdrawal ended Feb. 15, 1989.
Boyd's mother has said Boyd went to Pakistan in October 1989.
"It makes no sense that a 19-year-old American shows up to train for a fight that's over," Bearden said. "There were some major battles in 1988 when the Soviets did major sweeps in the east and even in the south but 23-day battles don't make any sense. And besides, a 23-day battle at a training camp doesn't make any sense. None of this is calibrating."
PAM COMMENTARY: I meant to post this a few days ago. I thought the story of a white American who somehow managed a store here, while also finding time to be a terrorist from Afghanistan, was rather odd. Of course I thought the government was at the fabricating end of that story, but now it appears as though the stories were a bunch of tall tales from the accused -- tales that the Feds took at face value without a proper investigation before grandstanding to the press. Who knows whether it was just male-pattern bragging, or a mental illness where the man believed the stories himself.
What�s even sadder is that the Feds and law enforcement have hired so many youngsters and newbies that people charged with enforcing the law don�t even know the basic Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech. . . WHAT�S THAT? Probable cause? What are you, a terrorist from Mars? Etc.
So now any outlandish story from a sloppy-looking white guy is automatically true, investigations are too much trouble, and anything that pisses them off is illegal. One observation -- Alex Jones has said on air many times that whenever the government (first Bush, now apparently Obama) needs a boost in popularity, or needs to justify outrageous expenditures on �Homeland Security� or the �War on Terra� (Bush dialect), they conveniently come up with a �terrorist� plot. And when the details of the plot are finally aired in the press, the �perpetrators� turn out to be retarded or mentally ill.
Documents: Rove involved in U.S. attorney firing
�After all the delay and despite all the obfuscation, lies, and spin, this basic truth can no longer be denied: Karl Rove and his cohorts at the Bush White House were the driving force behind several of these firings, which were done for improper reasons,� said Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
PAM COMMENTARY: Yeah, as if we didn�t already know that . . . This is the story where certain Republicans wanted Iglesias to fabricate charges against Democratic voters before the election, so that they could use the bogus cases as talking points against Democrats. Iglesias refused to do anything illegal for the party, and that�s when he was forced out. Another flashback:
Former US Attorney David Iglesias on �In Justice: Inside the Scandal that Rocked the Bush Administration� [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: A Few Good Men, Tom Cruise�s character was based on you, is that right, David Iglesias?
DAVID IGLESIAS: That�s�Amy, that�s partially true. I had two other colleagues that tried two separate cases in Guantanamo, but yeah, I went down to Gitmo back in 1986, and that�s where the movie has its genesis.
. . . DAVID IGLESIAS: Right. In the election cycle of 2004, there had been a tremendous amount of local publicity in New Mexico about alleged voter fraud. And the sheriff of Bernalillo County, Darren White, who�s currently running for Congress, had made a lot of splash about there�s voter fraud out there, that a US attorney needs to do something about it. So I convened only one of two election fraud task forces convened in the country, and it was state, local and federal law enforcement. I worked for the Justice Department.
We took over 100 complaints. I set up a toll-free number. I had a press conference. And then we looked at the evidence, because a prosecutor can�t just accuse people. You have to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you can go in the court and make stick. So, after looking at the complaints, I had one possible case. And then, after looking actually with�in consulting with the FBI and the Justice Department�s election fraud unit, we all concluded this case was not provable. So I didn�t file any cases.
. . . But I was at home, and I get a call out of the blue from Steve Bell, who is [then NM Senator, now retired] Domenici�s chief of staff. He indicated to me there were complaints about me, and then he passed the phone over to Senator Pete Domenici, who just got right down to brass tacks. No �How are you doing? How�s the family?� Nothing like that. It was�I mean, what he said was �I�ve been hearing about these corruption cases or corruption matters, and I want to know, are these going to get filed before November?� And I said I didn�t think so, which is about as much as I could say without getting into trouble myself. And then he said, �I�m very sorry to hear that,� and then he hung up on me. The line went dead.
And then I looked at my wife, and it was one of those moments where you�ll never forget, knowing something really bad just happened. But we weren�t sure what the repercussions were.
So, those are the two phone calls, and which I believe led to removal my removal, that I didn�t rush indictments against a prominent Democrat, and I didn�t file any bogus voter fraud cases. You have to understand, the Justice Department had sent out emails to every US attorney, both in �02 and �04, asking us to work with election officials and enforce election law. I thought that was the MO for the Justice Department long-term, later found out that was a Bush administration thing.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies at 88
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, younger sister of president John F. Kennedy and founder of the Special Olympics, died Tuesday morning at the age of 88.
Shriver had suffered a series of strokes in recent years and had been hospitalized in Cape Cod, Mass. She was surrounded by relatives when she died, including her husband, her five children and all 19 of her grandchildren.
PAM COMMENTARY: At least it was nice to see one of the Kennedy kids live a long life.
Here�s a flashback for you -- let�s start with the Infowars.com video from the Alex Jones radio show. After famous covert CIA operative E. Howard Hunt died, Hunt�s son revealed that his father had taped confessions for him about the John F. Kennedy assassination. People familiar with that assassination already suspected Hunt as one of the �tramps� photographed on the scene that day. On his taped confessions, Hunt traced JFK�s assassination back to Vice-President Johnson, who many suspected as �wanting to be President pretty bad� at the time. Saint John Hunt (E. Howard Hunt�s son) first recalled some breaking news on one of Jones� shows, that his father had told him people in the CIA wanted to �finish the job� after the JFK and RFK assassinations, and also assassinate Edward Kennedy, now a US Senator:
World Exclusive: E. Howard Hunt Details JFK-Plot on Video [AJ]
Rolling Stone broke the confessions first -- here�s the article that put the story on the national stage:
The Last Confessions of E. Howard Hunt; He was the ultimate keeper of secrets, lurking in the shadows of American history. He toppled banana republics, planned the Bay of Pigs invasion and led the Watergate break-in. Now he would reveal what he'd always kept hidden: who killed JFK
And here�s an Infowars version of the Rolling Stone story that includes a photo of Hunt as a �tramp� during the JFK assassination:
The Last Confessions of E. Howard Hunt
Finally, here�s Saint John Hunt�s web site where you can buy a DVD of the E. Howard Hunt confessions, and for a reasonable price:
Saint John Hunt
GM says Volt to get 230 miles per gallon in city; Would be first to break the triple-digit mileage barrier, if EPA tests concur
DETROIT - General Motors Corp. said Tuesday its Chevrolet Volt rechargeable electric car should get 230 miles per gallon (98 kilometers per liter) of gasoline in city driving, more than four times the current champion, the Toyota Prius.
The Volt is powered by an electric motor and a battery pack with a 40-mile (65-kilometer) range. After that, a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles (480 kilometers). The battery pack can be recharged from a standard home outlet.
GM is marketing the 230-mile (370-kilometer) figure following early tests using draft guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for calculating the mileage of extended range electric vehicles.
PAM COMMENTARY: Incredible, if true. Somehow a product that good doesn�t seem like anything the oil industry would allow to come to market.
Orangutans make musical instrument; Finding marks first time animal is known to use tool to help communicate
The evidence is mounting that culture isn't something unique to us humans: Orangutans in Borneo have developed and passed along a way to make a useful, improvised instrument, researchers report.
When in a tight situation, the orangutans will strip the leaves off a twig and make a crude musical instrument to alter the calls they use to ward off predators � not exactly a Stradivarius, but it seems to get the job done.
Several animals, particularly our primate cousins, have been found to use tools to aid in efforts such as foraging for food, a sign of culture, specifically the transmission of knowledge. This new finding marks the first time an animal has been known to use a tool to help it communicate, say the scientists who studied the behavior.
PAM COMMENTARY: Not just cute redheads, but musical too! I�ve seen zoo orangutans who were clearly intelligent beings, just didn�t speak my language.
Deaths from avoidable medical error more than double in past decade, investigation shows [R]
Preventable medical mistakes and infections are responsible for about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to an investigation by the Hearst media corporation. The report comes 10 years after the Institute of Medicine's "To Err Is Human" analysis, which found that 44,000 to 98,000 people were dying annually due to these errors and called for the medical community and government to cut that number in half by 2004.
The precise number of these deaths is still unknown because many states lack a standard or mandatory reporting system for injuries due to medical mistakes. The investigative team gathered disparate medical records, legal documents, personnel files and reports and analyzed databases to arrive at its estimate.
PAM COMMENTARY: I doubt that the real number will ever be known, as doctors and hospitals fear malpractice lawsuits and are inclined NOT to admit that they�ve accidentally harmed or killed someone. Drug deaths may be more honest, because medical staff don�t have to worry about big pharma�s liability as much, and in fact may be angry that patients� lives were lost due to risky products marketed as safe.
Health reform idea: Put down the doughnut; Critics say consequences of individual choice missing from reform debate
If you ask Dr. Steven Spady, there are two important words missing from the nation�s conversation about health reform: �personal responsibility.�
But Spady, a 54-year-old emergency physician in rural Kentucky, can�t talk about the topic right now. He�s too busy caring for people who he says don�t take care of themselves.
�I just had to go take care of man that left our hospital this morning and now has gone and got drunk and will suck up more health care dollars,� Spady wrote in a hurried e-mail late on a recent weeknight.
PAM COMMENTARY: I�m not inclined to blame all patients for eating too many doughnuts. The deck is stacked against Americans, for example think of those endless ads on TV promoting food with little nutrition. (It�s almost as bad as those irritating TV drug ads.) We also have a culture of convenience over nutrition -- minimizing food preparation time and effort so that mom has enough time to work outside the home. People then eat more (even becoming obese) because their bodies don�t get enough nutrition from the boxes and bags they eat from, often full of chemicals to preserve and flavor them. Some advertising campaigns are more merciless than others -- for example fast food joints with low prices but lots of fried foods and white bread, and an inclination to exploit CHILDREN to get their parents into the store. I�ve known many people whose kids, including my sister�s, would BEG for �happy meals� when they were young, because the toy included with the meal was advertised on TV. There was a time when my parents would take their grandkids to McDonald�s nearly EVERY DAY because the grandkids just �had� to have that day�s �collectible� cheap toy worth less than a dollar. After I started mentioning this to other people, I met lots of parents who had the same problem, and the consensus was that we�d like to see such marketing practices banned. And there are other causes of obesity and diseases related to diet-- for example a culture of not drinking water as the preferred beverage. Sometimes hunger comes from wanting the water (or salt) contained in foods. And then there�s the whole issue of MSG, which some claim drives hunger as well, aside from being an excitotoxin. And I could go on, but I�ll save the rest for future articles. I�m sure there�ll be plenty.
Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House Plan
WASHINGTON � The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama�s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.
. . . Many Democratic lawmakers have railed for years against what they consider the industry�s excessive profits and pointedly insisted in recent days that they do not feel bound by the White House�s commitments.
. . . The drug industry has already contributed millions of dollars to advertising campaigns for the health care overhaul through the advocacy groups like Healthy Economies Now and Families USA. It has spent about $1 million on similar advertisements under its own name.
All of the commercials closely echo common Democratic themes about medical care for all, consumer protection and �health insurance reform.� Some supporters of the overhaul have hired public affairs and advertising firms with close ties to the White House and Senate Democrats, including GMMB, which worked on the Obama campaign, and AKPD, which previously included David Axelrod, who is now the president�s top political adviser.
PAM COMMENTARY: The obvious question is, what were they promised in return?
Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Look Back at the U.S. Atomic Bombing 64 Years Later [DN]
This year marks the 64th anniversary of the US atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed over 150,000 people instantly. Commemorations this weekend in Japan and around the world marked the US bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and then, on August 9th, of Nagasaki. We play the report of Wilfred Burchett, the first journalist to make it into Hiroshima as well as Anthony Weller, the son Pulitzer-prize winning journalist George Weller, who was the first reporter to enter Nagasaki after the bombing, and we hear from Hiroshima survivor Shigeko Sasamori.
PAM COMMENTARY: Nice coverage by Democracy Now!, including a story by George Weller that was originally censored out of the news. There�s also a good roundtable discussion here:
"For the 64th Time: No More Nuclear War"�A Roundtable Discussion on Disarmament
250 Inmates Hurt In Chino Prison Riot
More than three dozen inmates were released from hospitals Sunday after being involved in a racially motivated riot that badly damaged a Southern California prison and forced the lockdown of nine others.
The riot that erupted Saturday night sent 55 prisoners to the hospital and injured more than 250 inmates in all, officials said. Thirty-eight inmates were treated and were expected to return to the California Institution for Men in Chino, east of Los Angeles, by late Sunday, said Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman George Kostyrko.
. . .The prison has about 5,900 inmates; it was designed to hold 3,160.
All 10 prisons in Southern California were put on lockdown as a precaution and visitations have been suspended because of the melee, officials said.
PAM COMMENTARY: Follow-up to earlier post: KPFA-Berkeley was reporting on the morning of 8/10 that this was a riot based on tensions between black and Latino inmates (hence �racially motivated�), and that this was one of the prisons considered to be overcrowded.
Google Acting as Government Censor in Legitimate FBI Whistleblower Case [AJ]
Google also shut down the blog of Sibel Edmonds last week. Edmonds is a former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. Edmonds is fighting efforts by the FBI and the Department of Justice to prevent her from testifying in a case of alleged election fraud. Edmonds is scheduled to testify before the Ohio Elections Commission and both the Department of Justice and the FBI are attempting to halt her from testifying.
On July 31, Edmonds told the Mike Malloy Show the U.S. government had �intimate relations� with Osama bin Laden right up to the day of the attacks in New York on September 11, 2001. �These �intimate relations� included using Bin Laden for �operations� in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These �operations� involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner �as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,� that is, fighting �enemies� via proxies,� reported the Brad Blog.
In an email sent today, Edmonds writes about Google blocking her Blogger account. �My Blog Site http://123realchange.blogspot.com is now blocked by Google�s Blogger. They will not let me post during this most sensitive period, when I am about to provide deposition on Foreign US government illegal operations in the United States!�
PAM COMMENTARY: Edmonds� revelations have covered many more issues than this, and rather than investigating her claims the government�s efforts have been to force her to shut up!
Death toll up to 8 in California police chase
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The death toll climbed to eight in a crash tied to a police pursuit in central California, authorities said Sunday.
An 8-year-old injured in Saturday's crash died at a hospital that night, said John Maxfield of the California Highway Patrol.
The collision occurred when police tried to stop a Dodge Neon over a traffic infraction in Dinuba, said CHP officer Felipe Martinez. Dinuba is about 30 miles southeast of Fresno.
PAM COMMENTARY: This is why those chases are so controversial, and should only be used as a last resort -- it�s not too hard to just get the tag number and show up at the car owner�s house later.
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Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com