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Tuesday
Mar042008

Taxpayers are Paying Billions of Dollars in Increased Costs

By Julie Creswell and Vikas Bajaj / NY Times

Does Wall Street underrate Main Street?

A growing number of states and cities say yes. If they are right, billions of taxpayers’ dollars — money that could be used to build schools, pave roads and repair bridges — are being siphoned off in the financial markets, where the recent tumult has driven up borrowing costs for many communities.

A complex system of credit ratings and insurance policies that Wall Street uses to set prices for municipal bonds makes borrowing needlessly expensive for many localities, some officials say. States and cities have begun to fight back, saying they can no longer afford the status quo given the slackening economy and recent market turmoil.

Municipal bonds, often considered among the safest investments, sank along with stocks last week, darkening the already grim mood in the markets. Several big hedge funds unloaded bonds as banks further tightened credit to contain the damage from mounting losses on home mortgages and other loans.

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Tuesday
Mar042008

MSNBC Reporter: "I hope there is a secret prison for all 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists"

By Steve Watson / Info wars

The corporate media has stepped up an ongoing smear campaign against anyone who dares to question the government's leaky and falsified account of the events of September 11th 2001.

We received reports this morning that MSNBC ran a piece on Morning Joe during which a reporter called for anyone questioning the official account to be placed in secret CIA prisons.

One emailer wrote:

MSNBC Reporter on Morning Joe Today said "I hope there a secret prison for all 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists in Eastern Europe somewhere"

So when is it official that we live in the New Soviet Union, the U.S.S.A.?

The piece was a response to events in Corpus Christi yesterday where police arrested and detained a 9/11 truth protester with a sign at a Bill Clinton rally.

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Tuesday
Mar042008

Doctors Interrogate Children as Informants for the Government

By David Gutierrez 

Encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pediatricians across the United States have begun questioning children about their parents' habits, in some cases even filing police reports based on this information, according to an opinion article published in the Boston Herald.

Article author Michael Graham recounts that his own children were asked by their doctor whether their parents used drugs and alcohol, owned guns, or were abusive. The doctor did not seek parental permission before asking the questions, nor did he inform them that they were being asked; Graham and his wife found out only after their children came home from the visits.

"The doctor wanted to know how much you and mom drink, and if I think it's too much," Graham reports his daughter saying. "She asked if you two did drugs, or if there are drugs in the house. The doctor wanted to know how we get along. And if, well, Daddy, if you made me feel uncomfortable."

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Tuesday
Mar042008

Americans Give up on Sleep

Editor's Note: Sleep deprivation is a form of torture. Americans are currently shackled to a system that has them torturing themselves! Sleep deprivation combined with fluoride and other NWO schemes(nanotechnology,GMO,mercury,DU,etc) help the "elite" control the sheeple.

By Jennifer Harper / Washington Times

The nation is in a state of unrest — literally. We're working longer and sleeping less, struggling with less than seven hours of sleep a night.

The drowsy majority — 84 percent — consider daytime sleepiness and fatigue a given in modern life and "just keep going," according to a survey of our shut-eye habits released yesterday by the Washington-based National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

Half the respondents said they wake up unrefreshed, while more than two-thirds report they have a problem falling asleep — or staying asleep — several nights a week. We sleep an average 6 hours and 55 minutes, then head in for a workday that lasts well more than nine hours.

The result: 50 million of us now have sleep-related problems with our careers, relationships and personal safety.

Twenty percent, for example, said they had lost interest in sex because they were too sleepy.

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Tuesday
Mar042008

Feds Warn States of ID Deadline

Homeland Security officials are pushing recalcitrant states to adopt stricter driver's license standards to end a standoff that could disrupt domestic air travel.

States have less than a month to send a letter to the Homeland Security Department seeking an extension to comply with the Real ID law passed following the 2001 terror attacks. Some states have resisted, saying it is costly, impractical and an invasion of privacy.

Four states — Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and South Carolina — have yet to seek an extension.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argues that the law fixes a critical gap in security identified by the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks: the ease of obtaining government-issued ID. It will also hinder would-be con artists and illegal immigrants, he said.

Real ID-compliant driver's licenses would have several layers of new security features to prevent forgery. They would also be issued after a number of ID checks, including verification of birth certificates, Social Security numbers and immigration status. Officials acknowledge it will take years to phase in all the different security measures.

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Tuesday
Mar042008

Penalties in Clinton Health Care Plan Scare Voters Off

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both share a passion for health care reform. The main difference between the two is what experts call "the mandate."

Will the government compel everyone to purchase insurance? Mrs. Clinton answers yes. Her plan mandates that every American must have health insurance — through employers, the government or a private plan. Mr. Obama answers no. He only compels that parents insure their children. The Illinois senator believes the costs of insurance are too high, so why force people to buy something they can't afford?

The two Democratic campaigns clash regularly on the issue. The dispute erupted again quite recently when Mrs. Clinton complained about flyers sent out by the Obama campaign, charging the New York senator's health plan would impose new and expensive obligations on people without the means to pay for it.

Polling suggests Mr. Obama may be on to something. Universal health care coverage is one of those public-policy issues where it's easier to find consensus on the goal than the solution.

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Tuesday
Mar042008

The Israeli Agenda and the Scorecard of the Zionist Power Configuration for 2008

By James Petras -- author of The Power of Israel in the U.S.

The strategy of the Jewish state is the complete Zionization of Palestine, the takeover of land, water, offshore gas (estimated to be worth $4 billion dollars) and other economic resources and the total dispossession of the Palestinian people.  Tel Aviv’s tactics have included daily military assaults, giant walls ghettoizing entire Palestinian towns, military outposts and controls undermining commerce and production to force bankruptcy, poverty, severe deprivation and population flight.  The second priority of the Israeli colonial state is to bolster the Jewish state’s political and military supremacy in the Middle East, using preposterous arguments of ‘survival’ and ‘existential threats’.  The key postulate of Israeli Middle East policy is to destroy or intimidate the principle adversaries of its Zionization of Palestine and its expansionist Middle East policy.  In pursuit of that policy, it invaded southern Lebanon to destroy Hezbollah, bombing neighborhoods and critical infrastructure in Beirut and other cities, bombed Syria as a provocation. 

Earlier the Israeli state played a major role in directing the ZPC in formulating US war policy toward destroying Iraq as a viable nation.  Recently Israel, through the ZPC in the US, has engaged in a comprehensive, intense and highly charged political, diplomatic, economic and military campaign to isolate and ultimately destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Tuesday
Mar042008

Sunnis Make Merry on US's Dime

By Gareth Porter -- author of Perils of Dominance

For months, US President George W Bush and General David Petraeus have been touting the program of recruiting tens of thousands of Sunnis into US-financed "Awakening Councils" as a master stroke of Iraq strategy which has weakened al-Qaeda in Iraq and helped reduce sectarian conflict through "bottom-up reconciliation".

But the mainstream Sunni insurgents who have been fighting al-Qaeda appear to have outmaneuvered US strategists by using the councils to pursue their interests in weakening their most immediate enemy, reducing pressures from the US military and establishing new political bases, while continuing to mount attacks on US and Iraqi government forces.

The biggest question surrounding the strategy from the beginning was whether the Awakening Councils - called Sahwa in Arabic - would be a haven for Sunni insurgents.

High-ranking US officers issued public assurances last year that former insurgents would not be allowed to enter the program, but last month, Iraqi government officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, began raising the specter of "infiltration" of the Awakening groups by al-Qaeda or "Ba'athists".

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Tuesday
Mar042008

The Gaza Bombshell

The Al Deira Hotel, in Gaza City, is a haven of calm in a land beset by poverty, fear, and violence. In the middle of December 2007, I sit in the hotel’s airy restaurant, its windows open to the Mediterranean, and listen to a slight, bearded man named Mazen Asad abu Dan describe the suffering he endured 11 months before at the hands of his fellow Palestinians. Abu Dan, 28, is a member of Hamas, the Iranian-backed Islamist organization that has been designated a terrorist group by the United States, but I have a good reason for taking him at his word: I’ve seen the video.

It shows abu Dan kneeling, his hands bound behind his back, and screaming as his captors pummel him with a black iron rod. “I lost all the skin on my back from the beatings,” he says. “Instead of medicine, they poured perfume on my wounds. It felt as if they had taken a sword to my injuries.”

On January 26, 2007, abu Dan, a student at the Islamic University of Gaza, had gone to a local cemetery with his father and five others to erect a headstone for his grandmother. When they arrived, however, they found themselves surrounded by 30 armed men from Hamas’s rival, Fatah, the party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. “They took us to a house in north Gaza,” abu Dan says. “They covered our eyes and took us to a room on the sixth floor.”

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Monday
Mar032008

Federal Immigration Policies Cripple U.S. Border Region

An in-depth assessment of the economic, political and social conditions of the 24 U.S. counties that border Mexico exposes the devastating impact that illegal immigration has had on those communities.

Failed federal immigration policies have crippled their justice system, allowed a record number of deadly diseases—tuberculosis and hepatitis among them--to infest their communities and made them number one nationally in serious crimes.

The crucial analysis was conducted by a nonpartisan coalition of elected officials from the 24 county governments located on the U.S.-Mexico border. The group (United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition) is dedicated to addressing the huge challenges faced by U.S. municipalities located near the southern border.

Its latest report is the result of lengthy research conducted by scholars at two major universities, in the border states of California and Arizona. It reveals that the 24 counties studied spent well in excess of $1 billion in less than a decade to respond to the federal government’s failure to secure the nation’s borders and the figure includes more than $800 million annually to provide emergency health care to uninsured populations. The counties are located in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

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