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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rabbi Shafran: SELICHOS, 1939

Selichot - Repentance, Prayers for forgiveness

Originally, Selichot prayers were recited early in the morning, prior to dawn. There was a custom in Eastern Europe that the person in charge of prayers would make the rounds of the village, knocking three times on each door and saying, "Israel, holy people, awake, arouse yourselves and rise for the service of the Creator!"

It later became common practice to hold the first Selichot service - considered the most important - at a time more convenient for the masses of people. Therefore, the Saturday night service was moved forward to midnight.

The effect of a Selichot service can be quite moving. The mere gathering together of people at a time when they are usually asleep is impressive. We sense the extraordinary nature of the prayer and turn introspectively within ourselves. The prayers themselves are pleas for mercy. The melodies are sad and full of longing. Properly chanted, they form an oratorio expressing the despair that accompanies separation from God and the desire to change and repent. The self‑deprecation contained in the words, which express the feeling of life's fleetingness, and the burden of vanity that motivates so much of what one does, all cause us to ponder how we can break the cycle of our lives and change ourselves for the better. The possibility of change and of a better life is inherent in these prayers

"O Lord, hear our voice in the morning;
in the morning we set them before You
with hopeful expectation. Hear our voice…"




SELICHOS, 1939
by Rabbi Avi Shafran

September 1 marked 70 years on the Gregorian calendar since the German invasion of Poland that began the Second World War and the destruction of Eastern European Jewry.

The war’s outbreak rudely interrupted the plans of millions, including those of a 14-year-old boy in a Polish shtetl. The boy – my father, may he be well – had been scheduled to travel to Bialystok to attend yeshiva.

He would eventually make it to yeshiva, in Vilna, but not before he, his family and all the townsfolk of Ruzhan would flee their town ahead of the advancing German army. On Friday, September 8, they found themselves in a town called Govrov, just before the Germans arrived there. The following Saturday night was the first night of Selichos – the special pre-Rosh Hashana supplications asking G-d’s forgiveness recited late at night or early in the morning before services.

I am preparing to publish my father’s memoirs (with G-d's help, this winter) – about his youth and flight from the Nazis, his yeshiva days, his war years’ sojourn in Siberia (as a guest of the Soviet Union), and his subsequent emigration to America and service as a congregational rabbi in Baltimore for more than 50 years

When I attend this year’s first Selichos services, on September 12 – actually, the 13th, since the special prayers will begin after midnight – my thoughts will be drawn to that first night of Selichos in 1939. I will be standing in a comfortable, beautiful shul in Staten Island. But I will be envisioning a place thousands of miles distant in space and seventy years in time.

I will see a scene in my father’s memoirs:

… My family and I were lying on the floor of a local Jew’s house when we heard angry banging on the door and the gruff, loud words “Raus Jude! Raus Jude!” – “Jew, out!”

These visitors were not simple German soldiers, but member of the SS, the Schutzstaffel – the Nazi military organization that operated separately from the regular German army. SS members swore allegiance to Hitler, and they hated Jews.

The SS men chased us from the houses, prodding us with bayonets to raise our hands and join the town’s other Jews – several hundred people – in the middle of the town’s market area. As we walked, hands raised, the Nazis photographed us.

Some of the Germans approached the men among us who had beards and cut them off, either entirely or purposely leaving an odd angle of beard, just to humiliate the victims. One man had a beautiful, long beard. When he saw what the Germans were doing, he took a towel he had with him and tied it around his beard, in the hope that our tormentors might not see so enticing a target. But of course, they went right over to him, removed the towel and shaved off what to him and us was a physical symbol of experience, wisdom and holiness. He wept uncontrollably.

We stood there and the smell of smoke registered in our nostrils, becoming more intense with each minute. It didn’t take long to realize that the town’s homes had been set aflame. Later we heard that a German soldier had been discovered killed nearby and that the SS men had assumed that the culprits were Jews… We Jews were ordered into the synagogue… It became clear that all of us remaining in the synagogue were being confined there – the doors were locked and SS men stood outside to ensure that no one managed to escape – to be roasted alive… The town had been set afire, and the Nazis clearly intended to let the flames reach the synagogue. Houses nearby were already wildly burning…

The scene was a blizzard of shouting and wailing and, above all, praying. Psalms and lamentations and entreaties blended together, a cacophony of wrenched hearts. Everyone realized what was in store and there was nothing, absolutely nothing, that any of us could possibly do.

The smell of smoke grew even stronger as did the cries of the hundreds of Jews packed in the synagogue awaiting a terrible death. And then, a miracle occurred.

How else to explain what happened? Those in the synagogue who were standing near the doorway and windows saw a German motorcycle come to a halt in front of the building. A German officer – apparently of high rank – dismounted from the machine and began to speak with the SS men guarding our intended crematorium. The officer grew agitated and barked orders at the other Nazis. After a few minutes, the doors to the synagogue were suddenly opened and, disbelieving our good fortune, we staggered out…

What made the officer order them to release us we did not know and never will. Some of us suspected he was not a German at all, but Elijah the prophet, who, in Jewish tradition, often appears in disguise.

We were ordered across a nearby brook… and were told to sit on the grass and to go no further. And so there we sat, all through the Sabbath, watching as the synagogue in which we had been imprisoned mere hours earlier was claimed by the flames and, along with all the Torah-scrolls and holy books of both Ruzhan and Govrov, burned to the ground…

That night was the first night of Selichos…

© 2009 AM ECHAD RESOURCES

[Rabbi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.]

Friday, September 4, 2009

WFRL: Time


Floatin' Powa News Service: The Forced Normalization of Evil



Former Shin Bet senior: Iran knew of Israeli Arab shadowing Ashkenazi
Hizbullah, Golan said, was subservient to Iran and it was probable that recruiting the Israeli Arab who was trying to gather intelligence on Ashkenazi was done in coordination with Teheran. Hizbullah, Golan went on to say, was constantly trying to recruit Israeli Arabs to gain knowledge on Israel from within, and had doubled such efforts since the assassination of Hizbullah terror mastermind Imad Mughniyeh, which the organization attributes to Israel.

Moving on to global issues, Golan said US President Barack Obama and other Western leaders erroneously estimated that a compromise with extremist Islam could be reached. Golan cited Iran and al Qaida as examples. "Their ideology is not up for discussion. They believe they work according to the will of God and no one compromises on that," he said. Golan also warned that the second generation of European Muslims had a stronger Islamic identity, citing the Internet as one of the reasons for this.
Low Expectations May Be a Helpful Start for Mideast Talks
Woo Hooo! Low Expectations Man to the rescue!

Erekat: Netanyahu's W. Bank plan 'absolutely unacceptable'
It was unclear if Washington had prior knowledge of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's plan to approve hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank before considering a brief settlement freeze, but Kurt Hoyer, spokesman for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, said it was "doubtful" the Obama administration had signed off on the decision
Venezuelan president bashes Israel in Syria trip
All the cool multi-polar kids are doing it!
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attacked Israel Thursday during his visit to Syria, calling it an imperialist nation that annihilates other people. Chavez comments came during a news conference with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad after a one-hour meeting at the hilltop presidential palace."Israel has become a country that annihilates people and is hostile to peace," he said, according to the Arabic translation of his remarks to reporters.

In comments carried by Venezuelan state television, he also accused Israel of being part of imperialist efforts to divide the Middle East. "The entire world knows it. Why was the state of Israel created? ... To divide. To impede the unity of the Arab world. To assure the presence of the North American empire in all these lands," he said.Chavez is on an 11-day trip to Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus and Russia in his bid to build a multi-polar world and decrease U.S. influence in the region."I believe it is a fateful battle. It's either now or never in order to liberate the world from imperialism and change the world from a unipolar into a multi-polar world," Chavez told reporters in Damascus.
Haneya voices hope for prevailing stability in Iran

Hamas Leader Congratulates Iranian President


Senior Hamas delegation to visit Cairo Saturday

Fatah: We Never Relinquished the Right to Armed Struggle
Yeah? OK then. Me neither.

Tiny Islamist group claims attack on Gaza security HQ
Tiny Islamists? Jihadi midgets?
Jund Ansar al-Jihad wal Sunna -- The Soldiers of the Partisans of Jihad and the Tradition of the Prophet -- said in a statement that explosives they set off at the security compound on Sunday claimed several victims.Witnesses at the time reported no casualties from what they said was a grenade attack."We urge our jihadist brothers to join forces to conduct painful joint attacks against those miscreant apostates and end their reign," the statement said in reference to Hamas.

'Abbas is a third world tyrant'
Not even third. Fourth world, if ya ask me. MFer is president of a non-existent pretend country!
At a meeting of PLO leaders chaired by Abbas in Ramallah last week, Amr lashed a scathing attack on the PA president, dubbing him a "third-world tyrant" and accusing him of forging the results of the Fatah elections. A PLO official who attended quoted Amr as accusing Abbas of trying to seize control over the PLO "the same way he did with Fatah."

Norway fund expels Israel firm for barrier work
Well, breathing whilst Juden IS a violation of international law you know...
Norway's $400 billion-plus wealth fund has excluded Israeli company Elbit Systems for supplying surveillance equipment for the separation barrier in the West Bank, the government said on Thursday. "We do not wish to fund companies that so directly contribute to violations of international humanitarian law," Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen said in a statement.

WCC Calls on Israel to Dismantle Settlements
The WCC began as a commie infiltration group. Excellent work, comrades!

Jerusalem police on high alert ahead of 2nd Ramadan weekend

Fourteen Centuries of War Against European Civilization
“The Jihad, the Islamic so-called Holy War, has been a fact of life in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East for more than 1300 years, but this is the first history of the Muslim wars in Europe ever to be published. Hundreds of books, however, have appeared on its Christian counterpart, the Crusades, to which the Jihad is often compared, although they lasted less than two hundred years and unlike the Jihad, which is universal, were largely but not completely confined to the Holy Land. Moreover, the Crusades have been over for more than 700 years, while a Jihad is still going on in the world. The Jihad has been the most unrecorded and disregarded major event of history. It has, in fact, been largely ignored. For instance, the Encyclopaedia Britannica gives the Crusades eighty times more space than the Jihad.”
The Enemy Is Us
The glaring problem, though, with the idea that a prostrate America is an improved America—that submission to other nations will earn their admiration—is that those other nations are basically hungry to see the U.S. go down. It is absurd to interpret their eagerness to help President Obama dismantle American power as a sign of friendship.
Sacked Muslim scholar to sue Dutch university

Terrorism takes on democracy in Indonesia

Indonesia should be different than everywhere else? They want a worldwide Caliphate and they are getting it. Wake the fuck up.

The Saudi connection
Deposed and discredited Pakistani leaders can always bank on being rescued by the Saudis. First it was Nawaz Sharif, he was plucked from Musharaf's clutches, and now it is Musharaf himself. Hopefully, Mr Zardari will also be able to bank on the Saudis if things go wrong. However, the bar in his case may be higher, for obvious reasons, the kind in which Agha Shahi's candidature for the OIC Secretary General's post was vetoed by the Saudis.
Brutal reality of Nigeria killing
Few Nigerians will be surprised that their police force killed renegade Islamic sect leader Mohammed Yusuf after four days of violence in the northern city of Maiduguri. After all, their motto used to be "Fire for Fire".

Many ordinary Nigerians will even have the same reaction to the news, viewing it as a good turn of events. Police say the 39-year-old preacher was killed in a shootout on Thursday night. It happened after Mr Yusuf was paraded by the police in front of journalists, and after he was apparently filmed begging for his life.

He was said to have been shot while trying to escape. But many Nigerians will assume he was simply executed.
Nigerian Jihadist describes training in Afghanistan
A member of a radical Nigerian Islamist sect that attacked security forces in July, unleashing a bloodbath in which 700 people died, said Wednesday he received bomb-making training in Afghanistan. Abdul Rasheed, 23, told The Associated Press that he had been a member of the Boko Haram sect for six months and was given $500 cash by his leader to go to Afghanistan and train in bomb-making. Rasheed spoke Wednesday at police headquarters while in custody.Boko Haram operated in northern Nigeria and Rasheed's account, which could not be immediately verified, would be the first to tie the group to Islamic insurgents in Afghanistan.

America supports one of the most vile regimes in Africa
And believe me, the competition in that category is FIERCE.
The largest delegation of U.S. lawmakers to visit Zimbabwe in a decade is calling on the country's leaders to ensure the success of the unity government. The delegation concluded a two-day visit Thursday to monitor the progress of the government formed in February. The visit included meetings with President Robert Mugabe and other government leaders. The delegation included Gregory Meeks (D-New York), Jack Kingston (R-Georgia), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Melvin Watt (D-North Carolina) and Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio).
Art exhibit featuring female suicide bombers causes storm in Israel
A Tel Aviv art exhibition has caused a storm in Israel for presenting portraits of female Palestinian suicide bombers in the pose of a Madonna and child. The exhibition, entitled 'A Lady, A Mother, A Murderer: Exhibition on Ferror (Female Terror)' by Israeli artists Galina Bleikh and Lilia Chak, was slated to open Thursday night in the Journalists' Centre in downtown Tel Aviv. The artists were quoted in the Yediot Ahronot daily Thursday as saying that the 'exhibition comes out against the acts of these women.'
Go Ahead, Make My High Holidays
These men are now under surveillance as domestic terrorists, no doubt, as tumbleweeds roll past the mosques:
It's high noon for the high holidays. Fearing jihadists will attack synagogues during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a group of badass rabbis has developed a program to turn your average shul-goer into a lean, mean fighting machine. The group, which calls itself the International Security Coalition of Clergy, was founded by Rabbi Gary Moscowitz, who boasts a black belt in karate, teaches martial arts and was an NYPD cop for nine years.
Turkey 'unable' to give more water to Iraq, Syria
I am telling you the water crisis in the ME is huge, and the push to control The Golan will get ugly very soon.

Turkey to give Iraq, Syria more water from Tigris
Well which is it?

Iraqi PM challenges Syria to explain militant aid

Reported NATO Airstrike Kills Scores in Northern Afghanistan


Protesters face police in China riot city
As dawn broke over western China, riot police took up their positions near the centre of Urumqi, using barricades to block off roads.Some were armed with rifles and wore body armour; others carried shields and wooden batons. Most were members of the People's Armed Police, a force charged with restoring order whenever unrest breaks out in China. Tens of thousands of protesters staged angry protests on Thursday and the authorities seemed determined to prevent a repeat performance on Friday.
China denies US reporters were seized in China
China rejected on Thursday claims by two U.S. journalists that they were seized on Chinese territory before being dragged into North Korea and jailed there for illegal entry into the reclusive state. The journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee said in an article in the Los Angeles Times that they strayed into North Korean territory in March when visiting a frozen river that marked the border with China. They said they rushed back to the Chinese side but North Korean guards chased them and dragged them into North Korea.

China investors to fund Australian lithium project

FACTBOX: A look at North Korea's nuclear arms program

N. Korea 'in final uranium enrichment stage'

Pakistan concerned over reports of India's new nuclear test

Russian expert in Arctic Sea case flees country
The Russian maritime expert who was among the first to raise the alarm about the mysterious disappearance of the Arctic Sea freighter said Thursday he has fled the country after receiving a threatening phone call. Mikhail Voitenko, the editor of the online Maritime Bulletin-Sovfracht, posted an article about the ship's disappearance on Aug. 8. He then speculated that the ship might have been carrying a secret cargo, possibly weapons.

There has been mounting speculation that the freighter was intercepted by Israel to prevent the delivery of missiles or nuclear materials to Iran or Syria. The Arctic Sea, which left Finland on July 21 with 15 Russian crew members and a cargo of timber, failed to arrive in Algeria on Aug. 4 as scheduled. The ship's signal had disappeared off France's coast in late July. Russia sent naval vessels Aug. 12 to search for the ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Days later, the government said it had found the Arctic Sea off West Africa and arrested eight hijackers. But many baffling aspects of the freighter's journey, including a reported attack by masked men in Swedish waters, remain unexplained.

US Marines Begin Training Georgian Troops for ISAF Mission
Vlad allows, he has his reasons. You will see.

U.S. Marines In The Caucasus
Sikharulidze was forced to retract his comments within hours of their utterance, and not because they weren’t true but because they were all too accurate. The Pentagon was not eager to have this cat be let out of the bag.
US, Russia Make Progress on Nuclear Arms Deal
VOA is American Pravda

Russia's past: The Unhistory Man

Russia's War in Ingushetia
Oh, what ..... you don't care that they do this to these people because they are Muslim? Just like you do not care WTF China did with 10,000 Muslim Uighurs? Well fuck you too then, thrice. In Soviet Russia & People's China next throat slashed chicken shed bled out Muslim is you.
The death squad called at the family home shortly after breakfast. Masked soldiers dragged Shamil Makhloyev, 21, from his mother, sister and pregnant wife and killed him in a chicken shed in the backyard. His family do not know who the soldiers were or why they killed him. For the Kremlin Mr Makhloyev was another dead “terrorist” in its dirty war in Ingushetia.
Report: Russia to supply jets to Syria
Syrian terrorists are just alright with me.
~ Vlad

Court orders renewed probe into Russian slaying
SPDS! Nothing will come of it. Only a bone for the dogskis so they STFU.
Russia's Supreme Court changed the rules Thursday for the investigation into Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya's killing, giving her family a glimmer of hope for justice and testing President Dmitry Medvedev's commitment to judicial reform.
UK Court Orders Arrest Of Russia Tycoon
A British court has issued an arrest warrant for a Russian mobile phone tycoon wanted in Moscow on charges of kidnapping and blackmail, a source connected to British law enforcement agencies told Reuters on Thursday.

Russian prosecutors said they had received notification from Britain that a court in Westminster had issued an order for the arrest of Yevgeny Chichvarkin after Moscow asked for his extradition."It has been issued (the arrest warrant) but not executed," the source in London said."We confirm that a Westminster court has issued an order to arrest Chichvarkin," a spokeswoman for the Russian Prosecutor-General's office said. She gave no further details.

A spokesman for the British Embassy in Moscow declined comment while Chichvarkin did not answer repeated calls to his cell phone.Chichvarkin helped found Euroset, one of Russia's biggest mobile phone retailers, but sold his stake in the firm last year. He has accused corrupt officials of being behind the charges, which he denies.Unmet extradition requests have been a sore point in Russia's worsening relations with Britain in recent years.
Arabtec (Dubai) Shares Up On Gazprom Project Talks

Violence Flares at Gazprom Tower Hearing

Gazprom sees 51-59 pct rise in Ukraine gas fee
MWAHAHAHAHA!
~ Vladski Most Badski

Putin Orders State Banks to Support Mechel's Elga Development
Behold the kind of power Obamnable seeks over banks in the US

A visit to Tajikistan in downtown Boulder
Well ain't that special! Who knew?
Oh yes, the Tajik teahouse. The Dushanbe Teahouse, whose decorative elements were handcrafted by Tajik artistans, is easily one of Boulder's most visually stunning structures. A gift from Mayor Maksud Ikramov, the Dushanbe Teahouse was presented to Boulder in celebration of the ties between the sister cities in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, over 40 artisans throughout Tajikistan labored over the hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, columns, stools, tables and the ceramic exterior panels, which were all shipped to Boulder for assembly upon completion.
NATO Envoy Plays Down Turkmen Base Plans
Well, NATURALLY! What did you expect him to do?

Turkmenistan says tests confirm huge gas reserves
All your huge reserves are belong to me, Turkmen dogskis. You will see.
~ Vladimir Putin, Mui Macho Czar for Life!

Turkmen, Azeri leaders plan to mend ties after row


Bloggers face jail over donkey video
Two bloggers in Azerbaijan are facing up to five years in jail for posting a video of a donkey giving a news conference. The men, both in their 20s, posted the satirical video on YouTube in a send-up of the Azerbaijan government and media. It shows the donkey in an over-sized grey suit, extolling the virtues of life in Azerbaijan, in the Caucasus region, and praising the government for its treatment of donkeys. The donkey is surrounded by gravely-nodding journalists. But the bloggers were later arrested and have been held under a detention order until their trial, which is due to start tomorrow.
China, Kazakhstan vow to deepen energy, resources co-op

Kazakhstan's Human Rights Drop Through the Floor

Today a court outside of Almaty sentenced the country's most well known human rights advocate, Yevgeny Zhovtis of the Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and the Rule of Law, to four years in prison on charges of manslaughter and traffic violations related to a July 26 accident. The court had not even been in session for three full days, only two of which defense lawyers were present for, while numerous procedural violations were racked up right before observers from several embassies and international human rights organizations. As Zhovtis himself said before being hauled off to a prison colony, the proceedings were a "political setup" by the state.

Many longtime Central Asia watchers will tell you that Kazakhstan has been a fairly terrible place for human rights for many years now, but with the conduct of the government in the past six months, especially in relations with the Austrian prosecutors in the case of the former ambassador and Nazarbayev son-in-law, Rakhat Aliyev, things have really gone off the rails.

KAZAKHSTAN: RIGHTS ACTIVIST CALLS GUILTY VERDICT "POLITICAL SETUP"
I have zero doubt that it is.

Meaford welcomes Ambassador to Kazakhstan
His Excellency Mr. Yerlan Abildayev, Kazakhstan Ambassador to Canada, was the guest of honour at a special reception held at the Hall. The Ambassador accepted an invitation to attend the third annual Meaford International Film Festival.
Uzbekistan and China forming the uranium joint venture
Uz-China Uran Company will be engaged in search of uranium deposit on the perspective Boztau area in Navoi region. Government of Uzbekistan has approved creation of Uz-China Uran joint venture by the State committee on geology and mineral resources together with CGNPC Uranium Resources Co. affiliated Chinese Nuclear Power Corporation.
Uzbekistan: Christians Arrested
Anti- Terror Police. Watch out they don't take you to the chicken shed like they do the Muslims.
Members of the Anti-Terror Police claimed the service was “unauthorized” and although three men were released on the same day, four, including the pastor, Vladimir Tyo, were sentenced to 15 days in prison. They have been charged with “violation of the procedure for organizing and conducting meetings.” The judge ordered the confiscated literature be destroyed.
Uzbekistan unilaterally develops border with Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz clampdown on radical Islam may fail
Kyrgyzstan's clampdown on banned Muslim groups may increase the number of their followers, especially among the Central Asian state's women, the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank said on Thursday. Any instability in the impoverished former Soviet republic is a worry for the United States which runs a military air base there to support its operations in Afghanistan.
Federal Reserve profits on bailout funds no mystery

Study: Speculators dominate oil futures market
YA think? WTF would we do without expensive "studies"?

AFL-CIO Pushes Tax on All Stock Transactions

From uranium to contemporary art: Lehman's assets are sold off
Liquidators even discovered that Lehman was sitting on a stockpile of enough mined uranium "yellowcake", which, if enriched, could power a nuclear reactor or, notionally, make a bomb. The substance, a legacy from an exotic commodities trading arm, is locked up in secure storage facilities in Canada.
Treasury backs down in clash with bailout watchdog
The Treasury Department has decided not to challenge the independence of the government watchdog agency that Congress created to oversee spending of the $700 billion rescue package for the financial sector.

The confrontation between Treasury and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, SIGTARP, had prompted congressional complaints that the Obama administration was seeking to restrain the work of inspector general Neil Barofsky.

This week, Barofsky declared in a letter to lawmakers that Treasury had, in effect, acknowledged that he is not subject to Treasury's supervision."We applaud Treasury's decision to bring to a close this needless distraction," Barofsky wrote.

Uphill fight for Wall Street crackdown
Obama plans to use the one-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse to prod Congress to crack down on Wall Street.
Financial Leaders Join Together in Nation's Capital
The New Republic will host leaders from Washington and Wall Street for an honest examination of our current financial system. Participants will discuss solutions offered since the market's collapse, their successes (and shortcomings), and the various rules for going forward -- nationalization efforts, stress tests, accounting systems and responsibility, incentives, and the magnitude and pace of regulatory change. Timed to coincide with the anniversary of last year's significant market failures, and with the release of new economic indicators, "Inflection Point" will provide a critical look at where the economy is now and where we hope to go.
Lessons in ignoring red flags from the SEC
The Securities and Exchange Commission, which has the power to strike fear into the hearts of financial types, is the one getting beaten up today by its own inspector general. Turns out that tips came in over 16 years that should have raised red flags and could have uncovered Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion ponzi fraud before his December 2008 confession.
Congress to probe SEC's lapse on Madoff
You call that a lapse?

CEO Pay at TARP Banks 37% Higher than the Average Bear

Executive pay: All the numbers you need, and then some
All the usual suspects are here -- Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, etc.

Geithner to attend BRICs meeting in Russia (at his own request)
IOW he was not invited and had to beg his Russian overlords for a chair. Thick with da BRICs!
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is set to attend part of a meeting of BRIC finance ministers on Friday at his request, a Russian delegation source said on Thursday. Representatives from emerging market powerhouse Brazil, Russia, India and China are meeting on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers summit in London. "The voice of the BRICs has grown stronger, and proof of that is that U.S. finance minister Geithner has asked to come to the BRIC meeting and to discuss a range of issues," the Russian delegation source told reporters. "The BRICs will discuss the situation in the global economy, as well as in the BRIC countries, and reform of financial organisations." The source added that the meeting would likely result in a communique, which could well include a proposal with numbers for the reform of International Monetary Fund quotas and votes.

Sugar rush for hyperactive BRICs
The price of raw sugar is hitting highs not seen for nearly three decades - and the surge is having a sweet-and-sour effect on two of the burgeoning Bric economies.
SAIC gains week's most as GM lifts China forecast

SAIC spent $860K lobbying government in 2Q

Financial News: New World Order Beckons For Bank Chiefs
STFU there's that phrase again. ELEVENTY, you loon!

Lessons of Financial Crisis Forgotten in Heady Speculation
Ya think?

Interview with VANITY FAIR profiler of Czar Paulson
Purdum interviewed Secretary Paulson a total of eight times, most recently in January of this year. Those discussions are the basis of Purdum's article "Paulson's Longest Night." It's in the newest issue of Vanity Fair magazine, and Todd Purdum joined me in our studios in Washington.
USDA to buy $30 million in pork to help farmers
HARRRRRRAMMMM~ Swine Flumeat!

Firm with political ties in line for CA rail pact
NO! Absurd! Unheard of!

Obamanable Turnspeak: Lobbyists not welcome in my administration
Except under Unusual & Exigent circumstances, so STFU you gleeking plebes can you not see I am trying to eat my fucking waffle here?
Our current president, on the other hand, prefers the more traditional—and completely hypocritical—approach to the subject. He condemns them while campaigning, and then gets in bed with them after winning the election.
NJOEM Introduces NJ Alert
"NJ Alert will help direct public action in the event of a large scale emergency whether we are dealing with a hurricane or act of terrorism. Our goal is to utilize latest technology to protect lives and property," added Fuentes. Additionally, NJ Alert can receive homeland security and crime related tips and leads via the www.njalert.gov site or via text messaging.

SNIP

"The capacity of the NJ Alert system allows the state's 'all crimes - all hazards' fusion center, the Regional Operations Intelligence Center, to communicate instantly to our private sector and critical infrastructure partners in order to provide timely situational awareness messages. This will further enhance our goal of communicating with law enforcement and homeland security organizations, other government agencies, and the private sector," added
Richard Kelly, Director of the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center.

Texas Judge Dismisses Raytheon's Trade Secrets Claims
We don't know how much Raytheon is seeking in its multi-claim lawsuit against FLIR and its subsidiary Indigo Systems over infrared camera technology. That number is for attorneys' eyes only. But we assume that a big chunk of that figure was based on claims that have now been tossed out by Sherman, Texas, federal district court judge Richard Schell.

Indigo was launched in the mid-1990s by former Raytheon employees. The company, which had a consulting contract with Raytheon, eventually became a significant player in the infrared imaging market, sometimes beating out Raytheon. After identifying a correlation between ex-Raytheon personnel who left to work at Indigo and the types of technology they developed there, Raytheon filed its lawsuit, claiming, among other things, that Indigo had misappropriated Raytehon's trade secrets. But in a decision issued Monday, Judge Schell dismissed Raytheon's claims for trade secret misappropriation and fraudulent concealment, finding them barred by statute of limitations.
Conservatives Revolt Over Obama Speech to Students
Domestic terrorists!

Holdren Gets Warm Embrace From Letterman on Climate Policies
REBRAND! And fuck you, Dave.
The words "bantering" and "climate change" rarely go together. But last night, presidential science adviser John Holdren and late night talk show host David Letterman pulled it off. Making his second appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Holdren deftly handled all manner of questions, both serious and silly, on the topic while simultaneously plugging the Obama Administration's policies.

After Letterman asked whether global warming means his son may never see snow, Holdren shot back, "It depends on his latitude." But when Letterman called coal the "culprit" and said he doubted there was such a thing as "clean coal," Holdren chose his words carefully. "There is no such thing as clean coal," he began, "but there is cleaner coal." Asked whether he could leaven the continuing stream of bad news about the worsening impact of global warming on the planet, Holdren mentioned the U.S. economy's increasingly efficient use of energy and talked about opportunities for people "to make a lot of money" on new energy technologies.
Radicals to the left of us and jokers to the right
Progressives, Radicals, Black Nationalist, Communist and Marxist all documented as being in the inner circle of the President of the United Sates Barack Obama. Advising him.. helping write the bills like the Stimulus and Healthcare bill.
UN Guide for Sex Ed Generates Opposition
Just from us loons!

Grassley Predicts 'Scaled Down' Health Bill Will Pass

REBRAND!

Health Care Bill Gives Obama Power to Appoint "Health Choices" Czar
The health care bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would give President Obama the authority to name a new federal “Health Choices Commissioner” who would have sweeping power to govern the health insurance plans offered in a so-called "exchange" where millions of Americans would get their health insurance if the bill is enacted.
Obama to 'GMA' before addressing Congress
Ucccchhh!
Next Wednesday, Obama will sit down with "Good Morning America" host Robin Roberts, the same day he plans to address a joint session of Congress on health care. According to the release, Roberts will focus on Obama's education intiative "as well as news of the day." Given Obama's plans for that night, I'd imagine health care will come up. There's been a lot of talk about the future of 'GMA' in the past day, with Diane Sawyer leaving to become anchor of "World News." Roberts, who remains on the show, has been successful in getting Obama family interviews this year. On inauguration night, Roberts got the first interview with Obama as president. In June, Roberts sat down with Michelle Obama to discuss health and wellness issues.

Drug company paid $750,000 to MN doctors
An analysis by a nonprofit group shows a drug company paid Minnesota doctors more than $750,000 in 2008. The Pew Prescription Project reviewed documents filed with the state and found Forest Laboratories Inc. paid 62 doctors at least $1,000 each in speakers' fees. Twenty-eight doctors received more than $10,000 each. The analysis found Forest Laboratories paid a total of $754,127 to doctors in 2008. Minnesota is among several states that require drug companies to disclose payments to doctors.
Australia: Govt continues push to legalise drug-induced abortion

Obama's Special Ramadan Guest
The White House invited an ACLU attorney, who has built a career over the past six years of litigating against the United States in support of terrorists, to an official White House dinner last night to celebrate Ramadan with President Obama.

Jameel Jaffer, who runs the ACLU's "national security project," has filed lawsuits challenging the FBI's "national security letter" authority, the constitutionality of warrantless wiretaps, and has been a leader in pushing for the shut down of Guantánamo Bay, and providing legal rights to terrorists held by the United States overseas in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan.

His efforts enabled the leaking of "torture photos" out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and some sources inside the Central Intelligence Agency believe he was one of the lawyers who provided legal advice to the Department of Justice to pursue an investigation into enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA. Jaffer, a Canadian citizen, was vetted for the dinner by White House staff.

His invitation was approved by the White House Counsel's Office, as well as the Office of Political Affairs. Jaffer also was a lead attorney attempting to have the 2004 visa ban lifted for Tariq Ramadan, who is often identified as a "Swiss Islamic academic." At the time of the controversy, Daniel Pipes wrote about Ramadan:
Fidel Castro says he and Oliver Stone spoke of Bush "horrors"
Oh naturally! WTF else would they speak of? Israel's horrors, probably. Stone is an moron churning out poorly crafted commie propaganda, and Castro castigating America for "torture" is just the height of irony.
Fidel Castro discussed the political "errors and horrors" of former US president George W. Bush with filmaker Oliver Stone, the Cuban leader wrote Thursday.

Castro, 83, in an editorial carried in official media, said he had a long talk with Oliver Stone about his film "W" about the Bush presidency.

Slamming Bush for dragging the United States to war in Iraq and failing to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, Fidel Castro said he told Stone "my point of view about Bush's responsibility" for those and other political missteps.

Castro wrote that "after the political errors and horrors of George W. Bush," former US vice president Dick Cheney appallingly justified torture."Let's get this straight, it is a question of political ethics: 'the end does not justify the means.' Torture does not justify torture; one crime does not justify another crime," Castro added.

DHS clarifies—but upholds—border search policy

Drug treatment center targeted in Mexico, 18 dead


US, Mexico Strike Agreement to Set Up Cross-Border Network
Mexican Fusion!
The governments of the United States and Mexico signed an agreement Wednesday to build a new cross-border communications network to enable international communication between law enforcement agencies dealing with border security issues.

Officials of the United States-Mexico High-Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications (HLCC) signed an agreement that set up an international working group to oversee the creation and operation of the communications network, managed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Mexican Secretariat of Public Safety (SSP). The network, when completed, would provide law enforcement agencies with the means to transmit voice, data and video to enable collaborative responses to border incidents. The HLCC agreement essentially establishes a framework for interoperable communications between federal, state, local, and tribal agencies that use the network.
Brightpoint Names Former Homeland Security Secretary To Board
"Tom Ridge brings a significant amount of additional depth and experience to the board and I am delighted that he is joining us," said Robert J. Laikin, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "His expertise in risk management and global trade security are particularly valuable to Brightpoint and our vendors and customers."
Brightpoint INC
Long-term success in the wireless industry is a series of wins, all shrewdly aligned and appropriately leveraged. No company is winning alone. Smart collaborations are driving success, and there is no other collaborator in wireless with the insight, the experience and the infrastructure to equal Brightpoint.
He (Tony Blair) said he feared that discussing his religious beliefs while still in Downing Street would have led to him being branded a "nutter"

Amazon Defense Coalition:Major Flaws Emerge In Chevron Bribery Story
My feeling is they set the whole thing up themselves.

Chevron says Nigeria onshore oil operations normal

What is normal in Nigeria?

Chevron vs. Ecuador: The Battle Heats Up

Big oil strike fuels Congo conflict

UN coltan report: A supply chain nightmare
COLTAN is TANTALUM

The Dawn of Scarcity Industrialism
The first bit of news was a report that the Chinese government is planning to ban the export of rare earth elements. Those of my readers who don’t track the latest fads in technology may not know that these have become crucial to many cutting edge technologies. Lanthanum, for example, is used in high-tech batteries, and neodymium goes into the permanent magnets used in electric motors and wind turbines. The innards of the Prius and other hybrids, to say nothing of the as-yet-imaginary electric cars being hyped by what’s left of the American auto industry, depend on rare earth elements, and China currently produces well over 90% of the world’s supply of most of them. The report thus sparked claims of an imminent shortage in these minerals and, predictably, a flurry of speculative interest in (and hype-ridden articles about) mines outside of China that can produce the same minerals
Firm to fund study on Virginia uranium mining

Dozens show up for anti-nuke pills

Akrotiri, Santorini: the "Minoan Pompeii"

Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano Acting Up


New Design Pulls Buildings Upright After Violent Quakes

Indonesian quake toll at 63, dozens still missing


Indonesia quake landslide attracts voyeurs
Vultures.

LA wildfires declared an act of arson

Abrupt reversal detected in Arctic cooling trend

That GOD's a funny guy.

Has Jesus Christ been spotted on Mars?
Jewsus save us lololololol


Oregon tried to deter wolves for months

Teen Cries Tears of Blood

Yet more stumped experts.
Fifteen-year-old Calvino Inman, of Rockwood, Tenn., appears to have a bizarre medical condition that doctors can't seem to explain with any degree of certainty. He cries tears of blood. Inman says he has cried blood for three months, up to three times a day. So, what's the reason for his condition? Experts are stumped.
CDC: LA teachers ill from pot brownies

Waiter... there's a dismembered frog in my Pepsi
A Florida man who cracked open an ice cold can of Pepsi "indeed" found dismembered remains of a frog, the US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday."It has been verified, and it was indeed a frog," Charles Watson, a spokesman at the US food inspection authority, told AFP from Florida, noting that the animal had been identified by an FDA lab.Fred DeNegri of Ormond Beach told CNN television that he was taken aback by the "disgusting" blob he was not expecting in his drink.