And that is all.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Floatin' Powa News Service: So, Sufi...What The Fatwa?

The sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.'
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky...
~ Sufi Proverb

I searched for God and found only myself.
I searched for myself and found only God.
~ Sufi Proverb
Drought problems envelop Syria

New York Times covers up fierce anti-Israel radicalism at "moderate" Fatah Confab
In its Aug. 7 edition, the New York Times runs an article by Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner about the Fatah party conference that is a textbook example of keeping a lid on how Mahmoud Abbas's political movement has veered toward undying hostility toward Israel ("Fatah Delays Elections, But Extends Conference" page A7).

Kershner devotes the first nine paragraphs of her 13-paragraph story to acrimonious disagreements over voting procedures and other disputes between the party's old and new guards. This allows her to downplay and defang the real news of the conference -- blaming Israel for Arafat's death and the presence of a terrorist killer -- at the bottom of her article. And even then, she goes to extreme lengths to avoid mentioning what really happened in these two instances and why they are more significant than intra-party disagreements.
Fatah: We'll sacrifice victims until Jerusalem is ours
"Fatah will continue to sacrifice victims until Jerusalem will be returned [to the Palestinians], clean of settlements and settlers"
Barenboim concert for 'Arab capital' Jerusalem
Maestro Daniel Barenboim brought his troupe of young Arab and Israeli classical musicians to Geneva on Friday for a concert dedicated to the late Palestinian-American academic Edward Said and the contentious choice of Jerusalem as this year's "Arab Cultural Capital."
ISRAEL: Fatah And Hamas Agree On War Objectives
DEATH TO JUDEN! It's the only thing the entire Glow Ball can agree on.

Hamassholes hold Fatahss officials in Gaza

Hamas tests upgraded rocket

Group says Hamas attacks are war crimes

Say...I know, let's make them "peace partners!"

Make room for Hamassholes!
Western calls for democratization in the Arab world have been tainted by the West’s rejection of the 2006 Hamas electoral victory, regardless of how undesirable that outcome may have been. Yet Hamas’ victory was predictable: polling over the past 10 years has shown that the Arab public tends to be more anti-Israeli, anti-American and more Islamist than most Arab leaders, despite the recent positive bounce from the so-called “Obama factor.” As a result, it should have come as no surprise that the isolation of Hamas by Israel and the West has proven fruitless and is unlikely to cause Hamas to buckle to Western demands.
US Taxpayers Fund Pro-Hamas Propaganda
With the federal government facing trillions of dollars in red ink, one might think that the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), which receives upwards of $30 million a year from the taxpayers, would want to show Congress it wasn't squandering money on propaganda for terrorist groups like Hamas. But that hasn't happened. Instead, USIP has issued a new report that twists reality to argue that Hamas has moderated and Israel needs to negotiate with the terror organization. The authors of the report are a Jew and Muslim, USIP informs readers: Paul Scham, a visiting professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland College Park, and Osama Abu-Irshaid.

USIP identified Irshaid as a writer who "is completing a Ph.D. thesis on Hamas at Loughboro University, U.K., and is founder and editor in chief of Al-Meezan newspaper, published in Arabic in the United States." But USIP (and Foreign Policy magazine, which has published lengthy excerpts of the report ) neglected to inform readers that Irshaid used to be editor of Al-Zaytounah, the biweekly Arabic-language newspaper published by the Islamic Association for Palestine
Israel Radio suggests tensions with Lebanon

Israel Fears Hizbullah Has Advanced Air Defene Systems

Bahrain, Jordan seek air-to-air missiles
RAYTHEON to the rescue!

Convicted Yemeni Cleric to Be Deported
A terrorism-financing case against a Yemeni cleric, which the U.S. government once claimed as a major victory against al-Qaeda, came to a murky end Friday as a federal judge ordered him to be released and deported, despite his 2005 sentence to 75 years in a maximum-security U.S. prison. Sheik Mohammed al-Moayad, 60, a high-ranking political leader in Yemen, had been convicted after a five-week federal trial in New York City of conspiracy, providing material support to Hamas and attempting to support al-Qaeda.

Yemeni cleric pleads guilty to aiding terrorists

A seeker went to ask for guidance on the Sufi way.
The teacher counseled,
"If you have never trodden the path of love,
go away and fall in love; then come back and see us."
~ Sufi Proverb
De-classified document reveals U.S. courting of Taliban in late 1990s
In September, 1996, as the Taliban cemented its control over Afghanistan and began its reign of terror in Kabul, the U.S. State Department sent several pages of memos spelling outs its desire to open good relations with the Talibs. They reveal a timid and naive powder-puff tone toward one of the most vicious regimes in history. Although some language indicates suspicions of the Talibs, the overall softness and phrases of encouragement seem quite inappropriate for the already well-demonstrated despotism of the Taliban regime.
Clinton’s U.S. election consultant James Carville advising "Taliban with a tie"
Ashraf Ghani , well-funded presidential candidate and long-time Karzai supporter benefitting from "unofficial" U.S. campaign help. James Carville, captain of Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaigns became an advisor to Afghan Presidential Candidate, Ashraf Ghani in early July. Carville has close ties to the Democratic Party, President Clinton and his wife, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Carville and the State Department claim neither he nor Ghani have the official backing of the U.S. government. No contract details have been disclosed, including any fees Carville might receive.
Karzai in secret talks to ensure victory at general election
Afghanistan's second democratic polls threaten to split the country along sectarian lines and undermine US and British-led peace efforts that are already under threat from the Taliban resurgence.Mr Karzai and his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, hail from different ethnic groups and different regions. If neither wins outright in round one on 20 August, officials fear Afghanistan could be engulfed by violence reminiscent of the civil war of the 1990s.

Although Mr Karzai, a Pashtun, is still the favourite, his supporters fear that a third candidate, Ashraf Ghani, could split the Pashtun vote.To avoid this, it has emerged that the President was trying to join forces with Mr Ghani to knock Mr Abdullah out of the race, the Independent reports.Officials said the President had offered Mr Ghani a job as chief executive – a new post described as similar to prime minister. "If Ghani agrees to the terms, Karzai will dump his team and move forward, with Karzai as President and Ghani as chief executive," a campaign official told the paper.
Seems Ashraf Ghani has some Afghani Nirther Issues:
Which makes the whole thing even more interesting, nu?
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzay, one of political supporters of Taliban murderers, is known as necktie Taliban. He is also a US citizen. According to an Italian News Agency, he is a US citizen. There are many references that Ashraf Ghani is a US citizen. Separate to his citizenship, he was the minister of Finance, and illegally he was the President of the Kabul University for a while. Contrary to the law, he was absent while he occupied the Kabul University.
Karzai family's wealth 'fuelling insurgency'
Silly policy makers, do you not see your own governments hand all up his Afghani ass?
Persistent allegations of corruption aimed at Hamid Karzai's family are undermining Western efforts in Afghanistan and feeding the Taliban-led insurgency, Washington policy-makers have warned

EAST LANSING, MI - The feds sponsor a three-year effort at Michigan U to build an online library about Islam and Muslims in West Africa
The university says the National Endowment for the Humanities grant will underwrite creation of a "digital repository of information for scholars, researchers, teachers and students." Project leader professor David Robinson says the "tremendous impact" of the 9/11 terrorist attacks shows the importance of scholars helping Americans gain an accurate understanding of Islamic cultures.
Michigan State's Center for Humane, Arts, Letters and Social Studies Online will collect and create access to photographs and video as part of the $250,000 project.
A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.
~ Sufi Proverb
Amnesty says large spike in executions in Iran
No doubt!

Report: Iranian authorities kill 7 lawyers

Protesters Press on in Iran

Living on Obammaed Time...

Four years, huh? LOL! How convenient. Perhaps Herr Ahmadi-Nedjad has promised he will not detonate till the day after Obamanable's ass leaves the seat...?
US State Department officials estimate that Iran will be unable to develop a nuclear weapon in the next four years despite previous assessments
The Caspian Sea, good for sightseeing or drowning?!
TEHRAN -- Iran’s northern provinces -- Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan -– are surrounded by scenes of outstanding beauty. Home of thick humid forests and located on the borders of the Caspian Sea, these coastal regions are famous tourist destinations. Unfortunately, these exotic locations also have the distinction of being the number one site in Iran for death by drowning.
Letters from Tokyo: Buddhists Fear to Walk in Southern Thailand
The radical Sunni Islamic insurgency desires to spread fear, hatred, and an area where Buddhism is eradicated just like what happened in Afghanistan or what is happening in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in modern day Bangladesh.

Therefore, the brutal Sunni Islamic insurgency is killing both moderate Muslims and Buddhists for different reasons. The reason for killing Buddhists is because certain elements within radical Sunni Islam do not believe in religious co-existence. Also, Buddhists are deemed to be infidels and within Islamic Sharia law they have no legal rights and conversion to Islam or death is sanctioned because they are not monotheists.
Indonesia police in shootout with suspected militants
Indonesian police have shot dead a man suspected to be fugitive Islamic militant Noordin Mohammad Top during raids in Central Java and were trying to identify his body, a police source said on Saturday.
If words come out of the heart,
they will enter the heart,
but if they come from the tongue,
they will not pass beyond the ears.
~ Sufi Proverb
Suspicious North Korean ship detained off Andamans
CHENNAI: The Coast Guard on Thursday detained a ``suspicious'' North Korean ship, which had dropped anchor off Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, after more than six hours of high drama that ended with Indian sailors firing in the air. Officials of Army intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and other agencies are set to inspect the ship and interrogate its occupants. ( Watch )

K R Nautiyal, DIG, Coast Guard, Andaman and Nicobar Region, told TOI over phone that ``several things were amiss'' about merchant vessel MV Musen, which later declared that it was carrying 16,500 tonnes of sugar from Thailand to Umm Qasr in Iraq. ``She shouldn't have dropped anchor here in the first place, she didn't respond to our signals, and her log book was found to be vague,'' Nautiyal said.

North Korean ships have often been found to be involved in ferrying nuclear and missile components for regimes clandestinely seeking to acquire such arsenals. Early on, it was a recipient of clandestine transfers of weapons technology and materials from China. It has since emerged as a major source of proliferation; its alleged clientele include Pakistan, Syria, Iran, and now, Myanmar.

Chevron Makes Angolan Oil Find
Chevron Corp. said Friday it has made a "significant" oil discovery in Angola's offshore waters, underscoring the West African nation's growing significance to Chevron and the country's rising stature as an energy producer as neighboring Nigeria copes with militant attacks.
Nigeria: Three Pastors Beheaded
Corroborating the account of the killing, a Senior pastor with Good News Church, Wulari Maiduguri Rev. Baba Gata Ibrahim told Daily Sun in an interview that a pastor in his church, Pastor George Orjih was beheaded on the instruction of the Boko Haram leader because the clergy man refused to accept Islam.

“An eye witness who was also captured by the Islamic militants gave us details of how the pastor was killed. He told us they were persuading him to accept Islam and he said over his dead body. He was even said to have preached Christ to Mohammed Yusuf and that reportedly angered the sect leader who then as he ordered that the pastor and others be killed immediately,” he disclosed.


Quoting from the bible in Revelation 7: 9-15, the regional chairman of the church told Christians to prepare to die anytime as their calling demand.
Indonesia police halt criminal probe into mud flow
Some scientists have said that energy firm PT Lapindo Brantas' drilling for a gas exploration well set off the mud volcano, but Lapindo has denied it
When a thief sees a saint, all he sees are his pockets.
~ Sufi Proverb
Kyrgyzstan Detains Six Islamists For 'Propaganda'
But it's perfectly legal for Hizb ut-Tahrir assemble and to call for a Caliphate in America, Canada and the UK ~
Kyrgyz police have detained six members of the banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir for distributing radical propaganda, the Interior Ministry said.
Controversial Kyrgyzstan Presidential Vote

The dispute over the legitimacy of the election has set the stage for nationwide protests in Kyrgyzstan, which hosts a U.S. air base crucial to operations in Afghanistan and is the focus of competition between Washington and Moscow for regional influence. Atambayev said the vote was illegitimate and a new election should be held. He called for mass protests against the government. But plans for a protest march to the Central Election Commission fizzled.

Atambayev told reporters authorities were planning to provoke violence and then blame it on the opposition. But Atambayev said Bakiyev’s opponents would press their fight, saying the government “wants to rule the people by theft.” The political opponents claim their supporters have been threatened. Atambayev said he had sent his wife and daughter away from the country after being intimidated. He has now flown to Moscow seeking support - although Russia has traditionally backed President Bakiyev. Protests by opposition followed and many people were arrested and forced into waiting police buses.

A rally by opposition supporters in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, has been broken up by police. Previous polls under Bakiyev have also been criticized by international monitors, but Russia supported its ally. The situation contrasts with that of 2005 when he came to power following the so-called Tulip revolution. He won a landslide victory gaining almost 90% of the vote. Four years on his critics say his government has curbed free speech and become increasingly repressive.

The protesters had planned a march at the town of Balykchi on the shore of Lake Issyk-Kul, close to where the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan will gather to discuss the creation of a joint rapid-response military task force.

Kyrgyz officials had warned the opposition that they would not tolerate protests during the summit. Leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition, protesting the outcome of last week’s presidential elections, said that they would not hold public actions Friday or Saturday, when the Collective Security Treaty Organization will be holding an informal summit there. During the vote, clashes between opposition members and government forces were reported in the northern town of Balykchi. A group of about 300 protesters had left a market on the outskirts of Bishkek and had gone a short distance towards an opposition headquarters when they were intercepted by police, the leader of the opposition United People’s Movement, Topchebek Turgunaliev said..


US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has sent a thank-you note to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev for allowing the Manas air base to continue operating as a transit center in support of coalition force operations in Afghanistan.

"I thank you for your guiding role in permitting the United States to station the transport and logistics hub at Manas Airport," Gates wrote in a letter released by Bakiyev’s office on August 7.

"The transport and logistics hub will play an important role to support operations in Afghanistan. The decision of your government makes a significant contribution into efforts of the international community [ . . . ] in Afghanistan, where we face a common enemy and have a common interest in the achievement of success. The agreement will allow the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic to continue earlier established highly productive military relations," Gates added.

Militants recently captured or killed in southern Tajikistan were on their way to, not returning from, Pakistan, a Tajik newspaper report alleges. And Mirzo Ziyoev, a former minister and opposition commander killed on July 11, was murdered by his own men because he "betrayed" them by failing to get them across the border, according to a security expert quoted by the Farazh newspaper.

"They [the militants] got stuck in Tajikistan because the crossing of several groups into Afghanistan caused a lot of hue and cry," expert Amrullo Sobir said in the report, published August 5. "They were heading for Waziristan [ . . . ] one of them says that Mirzo Ziyoev betrayed them. He failed to help them cross the border and they were captured and killed there."

The official version of events is that after his arrest on July 8, Ziyoev decided to assist authorities negotiate the surrender of the remaining members of his outfit, which included fighters led by Nemat Azizov. However, he was shot dead three days later as the convoy he was traveling in was ambushed by Azizov’s men, the Interior Ministry maintains.

Azizov was killed on July 28. His brothers, who were reportedly captured days later, turned themselves in at the request of their mother, the report also claimed.

Indo-Tajikistan Army Expedition in Leh
"This expedition will not only help both the Armies learn from each other's varied experiences but would go a long way in strengthening the ties between both the two nations,” a defence spokesman said in Srinagar today. Indian Army in the past has organized similar expeditions with Australia, Nepal, USA, UK and Kazakhstan.
Russia Oversees Tajikistan's Efforts to Find Partners in South Asia
While Moscow's decision to open another base in Kyrgyzstan received intense coverage in the international media, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's recent visit to Tajikistan was largely overlooked. Along with the Presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Asif Ali Zardari and Hamid Karzai, Medvedev visited Dushanbe last week to discuss cooperation in the hydropower sector and regional security. Together with Tajikistan's President Emomali Rakhmon, Medvedev participated in the four-party meetings, showing that Russia is playing an active part in Tajikistan's efforts to develop its relationships with its southern partners.
US diplomat in Peshawar posted to Turkmenistan
This is not the first time that Ms Tracy has been posted to a Central Asian country. Earlier, she served at the US embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. She also served at the US embassy in Afghanistan, which is located in Central Asia but is also a member of the South Asian regional body, SAARC.
Turkmenistan is also stalling on announcing the winner of the East-West tender, a decision which could ultimately reveal where Ashgabat’s export intentions lie. The East-West gas spur is tentatively designed to link up with the Prikaspiiski pipeline, a Gazprom-controlled gas artery. But the spur could also be used to divert gas to Europe. In a surprise move, Turkmenistan in late March threw the project open to bids from international companies. Prior to that announcement, Gazprom was widely seen as the overseer of the project. Observers tell EurasiaNet that if a Russian entity wins the tender, it would be a sign of a rapprochement between the Kremlin and Ashgabat.

Turkmenistan's gifted president
Parisian cabbies call President Obama President Barak Jesus Obama. His most salient characteristic is that he may be the messiah.But President Jesus has nothing on the hands-on accomplishments of the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.President Berdymukhamedov is hailed as one of Turkmenistan’s leading dentists. But dentistry is just the beginning what this renaissance man politician can do, A few years, when he was in need of a skillful surgeon, he scoured the country for its most talented physician. After careful consideration, he performed the surgery on himself. But there is more.


The Human Rights Activist from Kazakhstan: Scandal in Austria has wrong reasons ...
English not first language.... please to forbearance
The head of the “Tagdyr” human rights foundation Armangul Kapasheva believes the strange scandal concerning her native Kazakhstan which started in Austria last week is absurd. Today the man who is responsible for her husband’s and other citizens’ of Kazakhstan disappearance stays in Austria absconding.

This man’s name is Rakhat Aliyev. The former son-in-law of the President of Kazakhstan, multi-millionaire, ex-secret police head and former ambassador now is convicted to 40 years of prison in his motherland, for kidnappings and a criminal group organization inter alia. But for some strange reason he is protected by the Austrian authorities. Besides it doesn’t bother the public there, and this is really illogical.

Herewith Austrian Member of Parliament’s simple inquiry concerning “Aliyev’s case” faced disruptive reaction. The “too curious” MP was immediately accused of being bribed by the Kazakh government. Kapasheva thinks it’s awful injustice: “Why no one in Austria can take interest in this case without being suspected in links with Kazakhstan? Whom Aliyev is so protected by? And where is the public who should have cried out after such an incident? This is totally strange!”

Today Rakhat Aliyev is enjoying luxurious life in Vienna, writing a book and calling himself a leader of the Kazakh opposition allegedly persecuted just for his “battle against the regime” that in truth had given him his power in earlier years. The Austrian authorities claim that the Kazakh court “complies with demands of political leaders of Kazakhstan”. But they take it slow in judging Aliyev by their own independent court, closing their eyes at the fact that there is a whole foundation uniting relatives of this man’s victims shouting under their windows.

But Kapasheva is not the kind of person that will stay idle: “I want to know what happened to my husband. My children have a right to know of their father’s fate. People are vanishing in close proximity to Europe. They are possibly killed. And the criminal can lead luxurious life in Austria. What kind of world is it, if such things are allowed there? Why the row around the inquiry is warmed up, while the aim of this inquiry is to know the reasons of Vienna backing Aliyev?”

Compulsory religious studies course to be introduced in Kazakhstan

We don't kill a pig every day!
~ Sufi Proverb
Vladimir Putin determined to kill me, says Georgian President
HAHAHA! If I am determined to kill you, my advice is dig a hole because you are already dead, comrade.
~ Vladdest of Them All
Georgia’s pro-Western President said yesterday that Vladimir Putin remained determined to kill him as part of ambitions to restore Russia’s former Soviet empire.
Gas deal cements ties between Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin

Russia's Medvedev puts state firms under scrutiny
This is the Central Scrutinizer....

Web Attack Targeted Critic of Russia
Vlad hates to be mocked!
Facebook Inc. said it rooted out the cause of the attack after noticing that the compromised computers which began flooding its site Thursday morning were directing traffic to the page of a single blogger, who uses the account name "Cyxymu," which represents the name for the city of Sukhumi in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. The blogger has been a prolific critic of Russian officials through accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal and YouTube, Google Inc.'s video-sharing service. On Twitter -- where he calls himself George and describes his location as "Georgia, Tbilisi" -- he has written "Russia is aggressor." On YouTube, he has posted video clips of Russian politicians with mocking comments.
Russia pushes for CAsia energy projects
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday pushed for energy and transportation projects—in which Russia is likely to lead the way—to boost economic development in Afghanistan and surrounding countries. Meeting with the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, Medevdev called building energy infrastructure a vital prerequisite for prosperity. "Energy projects are what really help governments that need to strengthen their economy," he said. "Assistance must not just be a one-off, it should be aimed toward the future."

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari appeared to welcome the prospect of a greater Russian role in improving stability and enabling economic development. "We are a region that is asking for help," he said. "The people of Pakistan, the people of Afghanistan are looking forward and looking up to the leadership in the region to help them come out of their problems."


Russia parries US thrust in Central Asia

The Uzbeks explain the ingenuity of their mind by often repeating a saying that goes: when they speak, they seldom mean what they say; and when they act, they almost always disregard what they have in mind.

To be sure, it is hazardous to attempt a definitive interpretation of what the Uzbek Foreign Ministry in Tashkent meant on Monday when it alleged that the "implementation of such projects" as a Russian decision to set up a second military base in Kyrgyzstan could "reinforce militarization processes" as well as "seriously destabilize the situation in the vast region", apart from "provoking various kinds of nationalist struggles".

Was it genuine concern, a veiled threat or mere rhetoric? Earlier on Saturday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Kyrgyz counterpart Kurmanbek Bakiyev signed a memorandum on Russia's military presence in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan already hosts a Russian airbase in Kant and four other Russian military facilities. An estimated 400 Russian military personnel from Russia's 5th Air Army are located at the base as well as Su-25 Frogfoot strike aircraft and Mi-8 transport aircraft.

The memorandum signed in Bishkek envisages that Kyrgyzstan will host an additional Russian contingent up to a battalion size and a training center for both countries' service personnel. Moscow originally offered to deploy a battalion-sized unit as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Kyrgyzstan's Batken region in the south. The memorandum is in the nature of a bilateral Russian-Kyrgyz framework. Kyrgyzstan says it is receptive to inputs from CSTO partners regarding the new base that will be formalized in an agreement by November. CSTO comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.


Putin says Russia's defense orders to rise in 2010
State defense orders include spending on arms by all of Russia's military organizations -- such as the Defense Ministry, Interior Ministry and special services -- as well as repairs and spending on research and development.

Russia's Entrenched Corruption Defies Solutions
What, tovarich? You think America is any different? You will see.

Russian Court Won't Halt Politkovskaya Murder Trial
A Moscow military court on Friday turned down a petition by the family of murdered Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya intended to push authorities to find the unknown figure they believe ordered her shooting.

The judge refused to halt a retrial of three alleged accomplices in her murder, who were cleared at a first trial.The family believe the retrial is a distraction from the hunt for a man on the run thought to have pulled the trigger, and further investigation into who might have ordered the hit.

State prosecutors and lawyers for the defence had supported the family's petition."We will appeal against this very strange decision by the military court," Ilya, Politkovskaya's son, told Reuters by telephone. "Everyone supported further investigation." We want further investigation and then one court for everyone involved from the killer to the person who really ordered the murder," he said.
Cirque du Soleil to develop permanent business in Russia

Gazprom to store gas in Hungary for Serbia

Everyone knows that the drop merges into the ocean.
Few consider that the ocean also merges into the drop.
~ Sufi Proverb
Russia Beats California as Default Swaps Favor BRICs
Investor demand for emerging-market bonds is driving the cost of insuring against debt defaults below industrialized governments for the first time. Credit-default swap prices from Turkey to Indonesia are falling as bonds rise amid signs that their economies are recovering faster than developed nations. As the U.S. and U.K. borrow record amounts to fund bank bailouts and stimulus, Brazil, Russia, India and China have $3 trillion in reserves, up 19 percent from January 2008 and now 43 percent of the worldwide total, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

South Korea, India sign free trade pact

Ukrainian govt to nationalize problem commercial banks

Collapsed Icelandic bank made yacht loans, documents reveal

AIG, Government Bailouts and Shariah Financing
In its request to dismiss the lawsuit, the DOJ argued that the plaintiff in the case, Kevin Murray, who is a former Marine and a federal taxpayer, lacked standing to bring the action. And even if he did have standing, DOJ argued that the use of the bailout money to fund AIG’s operations did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The court disagreed, noting, in relevant part, the following:

“In this case, the fact that AIG is largely a secular entity is not dispositive: The question in an as-applied challenge is not whether the entity is of a religious character, but how it spends its grant. The circumstances of this case are historic, and the pressure upon the government to navigate this financial crisis is unfathomable. Times of crisis, however, do not justify departure from the Constitution. In this case, the United States government has a majority interest in AIG. AIG utilizes consolidated financing whereby all funds flow through a single port to support all of its activities, including Sharia-compliant financing. Pursuant to the EESA, the government has injected AIG with tens of billions of dollars, without restricting or tracking how this considerable sum of money is spent. At least two of AIG’s subsidiary companies practice Sharia-compliant financing, one of which was unveiled after the influx of government cash. After using the $40 billion from the government to pay down the $85 billion credit facility, the credit facility retained $60 billion in available credit, suggesting that AIG did not use all $40 billion consistent with its press release. Finally, after the government acquired a majority interest in AIG and contributed substantial funds to AIG for operational purposes, the government co-sponsored a forum entitled “Islamic Finance 101.” These facts, taken together, raise a question of whether the government’s involvement with AIG has created the effect of promoting religion and sufficiently raise Plaintiff’s claim beyond the speculative level, warranting dismissal inappropriate at this stage in the proceedings.”
Goldman Sachs, Foreign Banks Cut 1100 Jobs in Japan

Driving a Bargain With the Treasury

Geithner's F-Bombs Don't Scratch Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs' Cohen: New US bull market has begun!
Yah it's bull alright... Say...what's in a name? The Gold Man Sacks has their own High Priest! (A kohen or cohen, Hebrew כּהן, 'priest', pl. כּהנִים, kohanim or cohanim is a Jew who is a direct male descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses, with a separate status in Judaism)

Something Is Rotten In The State Of Wall Street
Hey I know, let's give the Gold Man a State! Waitaminnut......

Huge challenge awaits new chief of Fannie and Freddie

We do not walk by our legs, but by our will.
~ Sufi Proverb
DoJ website: Fusion Centers
Behold the Glow Ball justice, my fine fused friends.
As part of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative's (Global) efforts to develop fusion center guidelines, the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council (CICC), in support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), recommended the creation of the Fusion Center Focus Group. This focus group was tasked with recommending guidelines to aid in the development and operation of fusion centers.

Concurrently, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) Intelligence and Information Sharing Working Group focused on developing guidelines for local and state agencies in relation to the collection, analysis, and dissemination of terrorism-related intelligence in the context of fusion centers. The recommendations resulting from the HSAC's efforts assisted in the development of the fusion center guidelines.

The 8 signs of terrorism
Could the language BE any creepier?
The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI put together a list of eight signs of terrorism. Denver-based Center for Empowered Living and Learning (The CELL) is working on a video that will educate citizens and police on what those eight signs are.


"It's not people just reporting on their neighbors, it's actually signs of surveillance, signs of suspicious activity going on all across Colorado," Captain Steve Garcia with CIAC said.
Obama's global redistributionist
Does President Obama believe economic and population growth should be stopped because they imperil the planet and that wealth should be redistributed both within the United States and among nations? Or does he think such a view is ludicrous? He does not think it is ludicrous; a man who has promoted zero growth and global wealth redistribution for years is now one of Mr. Obama's top advisers. In December, Mr. Obama announced he was naming John P. Holdren, director of the Woods Hole Research Center, to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Mr. Obama expressed admiration for Mr. Holdren's work and said, "I look forward to his wise counsel in the years ahead."

So, what wise counsel had Mr. Holdren given in the past?
White House's top geek talks tech
Aneesh Chopra is chief geek at a White House known for tech fluency. As the nation's first chief technology officer, Chopra is responsible for setting a tech agenda for the country to ensure its global competitiveness and for incorporating technology into government policy, programs and operations.

Chopra, who was appointed May 22, works within the Office of Science and Technology Policy and reports to presidential science adviser John Holdren.

But he also directly advises President Barack Obama. Chopra plans to visit Silicon Valley as much as once a quarter. He spent two days here this week, visiting startups, venture capitalists and academics. Chopra paused from his frenetic schedule to talk with the Mercury News. Here is an edited version of the interview:
Top Cybersecurity Official Steps Down
A top operational official in charge of protecting civilian government computer networks has resigned, dealing another blow to the federal effort to enhance cybersecurity. Mischel Kwon, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, submitted her resignation letter this week. "Moving on is a hard step for me, but one I must take," she said, according to the letter obtained by The Washington Post.

Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff Says NSA's Einstein 3 Is 'Where we have to go"
Yes Herr Cobra Face, I am well aware of where you have to go.
Chertoff spoke of the need to engage, define and regulate cyber crime on an international level. Chertoff asked the question, “what is the line between an individual acting on his or her own, [someone] who is motivated by sympathy, someone who is enabled by a foreign government, someone who has a foreign government turning a blind eye, and someone who is actually being ordered by a foreign government?”
For every sin but the killing of Time there is forgiveness.
~ Sufi Proverb
Nine Republicans vote for Sotomayor, Kennedy out, final tally: 68-31

Federal officials release new swine flu guidelines for schools

Why Are We Moving Toward Socialized Medicine?
The solution to this ongoing crisis is to recognize that the very idea of a “right” to health care is a perversion. There can be no such thing as a “right” to products or services created by the effort of others, and this most definitely includes medical products and services. Rights, as the Founders conceived them, are not claims to economic goods, but to freedoms of action.

Oculus Innovative Sciences Reports 52% Increase in First Quarter
Oculus: Archaeology ~ a design representing an eye, as on funerary pottery found in megalithic tombs of Europe.

Oculus: Architecture ~ a circular opening, esp. one at the apex of a dome.

Their motto is "Innovative Sciences, Disruptive Technologies" which I find incredibly creepy.

Recent Milestones:

-- Secures FDA Clearances for Two Microcyn(R) Products Including New Reimbursable Wound HydroGel

-- Vetericyn Partner Launches Four Microcyn-Based Animal Healthcare Products into U.S. Market and Initiates National TV Advertising Campaign with Strong Buying Response in First Month of Commercialization

-- Announces Agreement with OroScience, Inc. for Marketing of Microcyn(R)-Based Oral Care Products in U.S., Canadian and European Professional Dental Markets

-- Second U.S. Independent Laboratory Confirms that Microcyn(R) Technology Effective at Inactivating H1N1 Swine Flu

-- Company Reaffirms Guidance Targeting Cash Breakeven in March 2010

-- Raises $6 Million in Funding for Expansion of its Product Portfolio and New Product Launches

With Strong Buying Response in First Month of Commercialization!

Toward Global People's Autonomy!
Historical People's Movement! Glow Ball One World Orderliness! There's no fool like a Utopian fool.
My point of departure in imagining "another world" is that we are in the second wave of historical people's movement against capitalism, the first wave being the 19-20 century communist-socialist movement concentrating on the seizure of state as the decisive instrument of social change. Here I can hardly go into historical assessment of that state-centered paradigm but it is obvious that the historic movement guided by that paradigm was tested and failed in a big way, leaving global capitalism triumphant, though in a miserable shape. The second wave is there to undermine and overthrow the capitalist regime in new ways, that is, ways not dedicated to the seizure of the state and establishment of the party-state. I believe that that is the major lesson learned from the failure of the first wave. The second wave struggle certainly requires new practice guided by new visions and using new means to achieve "another world." What then should be the visions and strategies of the second wave?
This Thing we tell of can never be found by seeking,
yet only seekers will find it.
~ Sufi Proverb
RIP Amos Kenan, 82 Writer Helped Shape Israeli Culture

Phony shooting report leads to big pot bust in LaPorte County
NOoooOOO! Free the Holy Leaf!
“Entry was made, however, due to the exigent circumstances and once inside deputies discovered a large marijuana growing operation,” police said
Mouse builds nest egg in ATM with $20 bills

NASA Testing Nuclear Power for Moon, Mars Base
Do not forget they have found significant uranium on the moon so the race is on...

Niger votes 'yes' to extending president's rule
The tiny West African state of Niger has the world largest uranium deposit but remains one of the poorest nations on earth - this extension of his term has to do in large part with the continuance of existing uranium mining contracts
Niger's electoral commission on Friday released provisional results showing the West African country's president can extend his rule for years past the constitutional limit, a move critics say grants him near totalitarian powers.
Despite coming to the end of his second five-year term, Tandja says he needs more time in power to carry out political reforms and complete large projects
...which include a dam, oil refinery and a uranium mine financed by French nuclear energy giant Areva.
There are also mounting allegations that the Niger government expelled nomadic Tuareg tribes to make way for the French operation.
Tuareg rebels have threatened to attack the uranium mine and transport as they did once in 2007.
Shipments of depleted uranium from SC to start arriving in Utah in October
The first shipments of nearly 15,000 drums of depleted uranium from a former nuclear weapons complex in South Carolina will begin coming to Utah in October.
The 14,800 drums of radioactive waste will be disposed of at EnergySolutions' disposal facility in the western Utah desert. The shipments are scheduled as Utah's Radiation Control Board considers placing a moratorium on the disposal of depleted uranium.

Depleted uranium is different from other low-level radioactive waste EnergySolutions Inc. is licensed to accept because it becomes more radioactive over time for up to a million years. An environmental group wants a moratorium in place until the Nuclear Regulatory Commission develops new rules for the safe disposal of the material, which could take years.
Enlightenment must come little by little
otherwise it would overwhelm you.
~ Sufi Proverb
The Temple Mount sifting project has been in existence since November 2004 under the direction of archaeologists Dr. Gabriel Barkay and Zachi Zweig, the support and management of the Ir-David Foundation, the help of private donors and the cooperation of the Israel National Parks authority.

In October 1999, the Islamic Waqf, the Moslem trust, and the Islamic Movement conducted an illegal construction operation on the south-east corner of the Temple Mount. This operation included a dig which inflicted much irreparable archaeological damage. These actions are also part of a general trend by the Islamic Waqf to prevent any archaeological research on the mount that may reveal elements of its Jewish past. But the main goal of this construction was to create “facts on the ground” by turning every vacant point on the mount into a mosque. The Waqf also converted the underground chamber that they dug out and the entrance to it, known as “Solomon’s Stables” into a Mosque for prayer, the third on the Temple Mount.

The earth from this shameful operation, bursting with archeological wealth relevant to Jewish, Christian and Moslem history, was removed by heavy machinery and unceremoniously dumped by trucks into the nearby Kidron Valley. Although the archeological finds in the earth are already not in situ, this soil still contains great archeological potential. No archeological excavation was ever conducted on the Temple Mount, and this soil is the only archeological information that has ever been available to anyone.

The first task of our project was moving the earth from the Kidron Valley to the Tzurim Valley National Park. Some of the soil was then sifted by a mechanical portable screener, in order to minimize the amount of sifting done by hand. We then began to manually sift the rest of the soil. We began a process of washing the material and scrutinizing it to identify all the archaeological artifacts.

2008: Digging out the truth?

My first introduction to Jerusalem in 2006 took place on Tisha Be'av, the fast commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples. I stood at the Western Wall, during that time of the Second War in Lebanon, watching thousands of Jewish faithful, from all different walks of life - women and men, soldiers and Hassidim, Sephardim and Ashkenazim - gathered in unity to remember and to mourn. It was like entering the very soul of Israel.

This Tisha Be'av caused me to reflect further on those lost Temples, particularly now that I have spent two years in the country, during which I had occasion to visit the Temple Mount. After passing through two security checks before entering, a different world appeared - one with no visible vestige of Judaism - on that ancient and holiest of Jewish sites.

Christianity hasn't fared any better. In fact, for Christians, the writing is on the wall - literally and figuratively - the wall inside the Dome of the Rock. In Arabic calligraphy dating from the seventh century, the text declares that God has no son; that Jesus was not resurrected (Islam also denies that he was crucified); that Jews and Christians, "the People of the Book," transgress by not embracing Muhammad's revelation; and that Allah's reckoning will come swiftly on those who do not believe.

Christians' attachment to the Temple Mount is based on Jesus's words and deeds as recorded in the Gospels.

It was strange enough for me to discover, therefore, that Jews and Christians are not permitted to read their scriptures or pray aloud there. But it wasn't until learning that during the 2000 Camp David negotiations, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat had denied that any Jewish Temple had ever existed on the Mount that I grasped the depth of the divergence from the Hebrew Scripture, New Testament and historical records that is out there, and not as fringe an idea as one might assume.

SIFTING THROUGH tons of rubble that had been illicitly dug up on the Temple Mount by the Muslim Wakf and stealthily dumped into a landfill, biblical archeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay, professor at Bar-Ilan University, is in the midst of the project of a lifetime. I put the question of Temple denial to him.

"This denial of the historical, spiritual and archeological connections of the Jews to the Temple Mount is something new," he says. "There was always talk about the temple of Solomon in Jerusalem - called the 'praise of Jerusalem'- in Arabic literature, in Islamic literature. This new idea of Temple denial is due to the Arabic fear of Jewish aspirations connected to the Temple Mount. It is part of something I call the 'cultural intifada.'"

Barkay says the change took place in the 1990s: "In the Washington DC think tanks surrounding president Bill Clinton, it was understood that the Temple Mount was the crux of the problem of the Middle East conflict. These think tanks decided that if there could be 'split sovereignty' on the Temple Mount, then split sovereignty could also be achieved over the entire land of Palestine. So they suggested that in a future agreement, the Temple Mount would be split horizontally. That is to say that whatever is above ground, the part that includes the shrines of the Muslims, would be under Palestinian sovereignty. Whatever is underground, which would include the remnants of the Temple of the Jews, would be under Israeli sovereignty.

"It's a brilliant idea, an excellent idea, but totally idiotic from a practical point of view. You cannot have a building standing with its foundations in another country. You cannot have a building with the infrastructure and the plumbing in another country. And you cannot have sovereignty on the subground without having accessibility to the subground, because the accessibility is from above ground. The whole thing was stupid."

Barkay explains that the Temple Mount is honeycombed with more than 50 different cavities, holes, passageways and cisterns that are "filled with earth which is saturated with very valuable archeological materials. Enormous damage was done in these works which were carried out mainly from 1996 and onward. The idea that came from the circles surrounding Bill Clinton and leaked to the Wakf authorities is what generated the illicit building activities - I wouldn't call them excavations - but destructive work which was carried out brutally on the Temple Mount. The fear, the fear of anything representing a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount drove them mad."

PRIOR TO my own visits to the Mount, I had been warned not to carry a bible or "holy objects" with me, and to stay away from the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Aksa Mosque, into which non-Muslims are forbidden to go. Nor was I allowed to see a third edifice which I'd read about - the Marwani Mosque - a gigantic, subterranean building, located in the southeast corner of the Temple Mount Plaza. In 1996, the Wakf had reconfigured an underground structure, formerly known as "Solomon's Stables," into a mosque. Their contractors lowered the inside surface of the building by removing large quantities of priceless soil, rich in archeological evidence.

According to Barkay, the history they hauled away in dump trucks was not Muslim. "The building was never a mosque. It is actually more connected to traditions about Jesus. There are quite solid hints in the literature of the existence of an early Christian church there, marking the place where St. James was killed in the first century. The place is more Christian than Muslim."

In November 1999, the Wakf asked permission from the Israeli government to open an emergency exit leading from the Marwani Mosque.

"The prime minister at that time was Ehud Barak, and as usual he didn't consult with anybody else," Barkay recalls. "He gave them permission. But instead of an emergency exit, they created a main entrance to the building - a monumental entrance. For that entrance, they dug a pit 40 meters long and 12 meters deep. They did it with bulldozers in the most destructive manner possible, that of a bull in a china shop. The work on that place should have been done carefully, not with bulldozers. They removed 400 truckloads of earth."

For Barkay, sifting through those truckloads of material is essential, because it amounts to exploring a black hole in archeological history. Although Israel is one of the most excavated places in the world, explored continuously since the 1850s, the Temple Mount has been surveyed but never excavated. Therefore, ironically, the digging and removal of earth in the 1990s has provided a new opportunity.

"At least it enables us to look at the soil, though everything comes from a very disturbed context," Barkay says. "But we know it comes from the Temple Mount. And we have tens of thousands of finds."

These finds, that cover approximately 15,000 years, have altered the historic understanding of the area's history. Sponsored by the Ir David Foundation, volunteers working with Barkay have been sifting through the debris, and have found Stone Age flint implements. They have discovered pre-Israelite material, Bronze Age pottery, two Egyptian scarabs and several seals and seal impressions.

One very significant find, confirming the recorded history of the Temple's existence, is the fragment of a bulla, a clay lump with a seal impression upon it, which is about 2,600 years old and dates from the First Temple period. Its inscription bears part of official's name, Gealyahu son of Immer. The Immer family is recorded in the Bible. "In Jeremiah 20:1," Barkay says, "probably the brother of Gealyahu is mentioned, a priestly man named Pashur son of Immer. He is introduced as the man in charge of the Temple."

Findings from the time of Solomon's Temple up to the 20th century illuminate the raging conflicts of passing civilizations. "We have enormous quantities of war artifacts: We have lead slingshots of the Seleucid armies in the battles of Judah Maccabee. We have arrowheads of the army of Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed the First Temple. We have arrowheads of the Hellenistic period. We have one arrowhead bearing distinguishing markings of having been shot by a catapult. Those machines were only used by the armies of Titus in 70 CE in the destruction of the Second Temple. We have stone slingshots; we have spearheads; and we have medieval arrowheads from the Crusader conquest of the Temple Mount. There are even bullets from both the Turkish army and the British army in World War I."

Other findings on the Temple Mount - jewelry, coins, pottery shards and architectural fragments - provide specific details of human life spanning several millennia. "We have material dating back to the 10th century BCE, the time of David and Solomon. We have material from the time of the kings of Judah. We have material in abundance from the early Christian period. This is very significant, because it is written in most history books that the churches moved to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher after it was built (it dates back to at least the fourth century), and that thereafter the Temple Mount was neglected and was a garbage heap. But now we have to build a new history, based on archeological evidence.

"We have fragments of capitals from church buildings. We have remnants of chancel screens that separated the presbytery from the nave of the church. We have several bronze weights for weighing gold coins from the Christian era. We have to rethink the role of the Temple Mount in the time of early Christianity. Was it a garbage heap? Or is that biased history? I think that history was ideological."

Barkay says that large quantities of animal bones have been found on the Mount. "Bones are very important. We have pig bones which had to have come from pagan or Christian times. We also have bones of foxes. And that is interesting, because in the Talmud we have a story about foxes which until recently I thought was a legend."

IN SPITE of these discoveries, Temple denial remains a growing phenomenon in Europe and America, particularly in leftist intellectual circles. It is supported by the reality that there are no visible remains of the temples of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount. Barkay contends that there were remains still visible in the 1960s and 1970s, which have either been removed or covered up by gardens.

"The Islamic Wakf says, 'We are not going to let you dig, but show us any remains of the Temple.' You cannot have it both ways. If you don't allow people to dig, then don't use this absence of remains as an argument.

"Temple denial is a very tragic harnessing of politics to change history. It is not a different interpretation of historical events or archeological evidence. This is something major. I think that Temple denial is more serious and more dangerous than Holocaust denial. Why? Because for the Holocaust there are still living witnesses. There are photographs; there are archives; there are the soldiers who released the prisoners; there are testimonies from the Nazis themselves. There were trials, a whole series of them, starting with Nuremberg. There are people who survived the Holocaust still among us. Concerning the Temple, there are no people among us who remember.

"Still, [to deny the Temples], you have to dismiss the evidence of Flavius Josephus; you have to dismiss the evidence of the Mishna and of the Talmud; and you have to dismiss the writings of Roman and Greek historians who mention the Temple of Jerusalem. And you have to dismiss The Bible. That is, I think, way too much."

If someone remarks:
"What an excellent man you are!"
and this pleases you more than his saying,
"What a bad man you are!"
know that you are still a very bad man.
~ Sufi Proverb

Friday, August 7, 2009

WFRL: Get Thee Behind Me, Satan!

Jesus turned and said to Peter,
"Get behind me, Satan!
You are a stumbling block to me;
you do not have in mind the things of God,
but the things of men."
~Matthew 16:23

Floatin' Powa News Service: Dancing At The Mobster's Ball

US Congressman: Iran is Threat, Not Israeli Settlements
Soon to be residing under the Republican Party Bus with the other dissenters we have Congressman Eric Cantor....
"Any discussion of settlements, any discussion of the issues of living in East Jerusalem, should not take precedent over the primary focus of import which is the growing threat of a nuclear Iran," Cantor said.
Fatah Postpones Elections, but Extends Conference

The Elusive Palestinian Center
Silly headline. It is elusive because it does not exist. Death to the Jews!

Israeli settlement freeze 'not enough for Saudis'
Death to Jews!

Headline in "The Christian Science Monitor":
Israel's Jerusalem evictions defy Obama, undermine peace proces
I see.

White House: 'War on terrorism' is over
Viva La Preemptive Surrender! Always the war begins with the words in your mouth....

It's official. The U.S. is no longer engaged in a "war on terrorism." Neither is it fighting "jihadists" or in a "global war." President Obama's top homeland security and counterterrorism official took all three terms off the table of acceptable words inside the White House during a speech Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. "The President does not describe this as a 'war on terrorism,'" said John Brennan, head of the White House homeland security office, who outlined a "new way of seeing" the fight against terrorism. The only terminology that Mr. Brennan said the administration is using is that the U.S. is "at war with al Qaeda."
Turkey hems in its Islamist fringe
Turkey is renewing efforts to crack down on its radical Islamist fringe, even as the movement gains increasing grassroots support.Security forces have been on high alert in 2009 and have conducted several sweeps to round up suspected militants and radicals. The latest raids occurred on July 24 when police arrested almost 200 alleged members of the group Hizb ut-Tahrir during operations in 23 provinces across the country.

According to a police statement, two handguns, a Kalashnikov, four rifles, more than 240 bullets and documents linking the suspects to Hizb ut-Tahrir were discovered. The Islamic organization, which is legal in the United States and the United Kingdom, was outlawed as a terrorist outfit by a Turkish court in 2004.

Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded in 1953 and came to Turkey in 1978 espousing its global aims of establishing an Islamic caliphate and introducing sharia law. According to Emrullah Uslu, an analyst at the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think-tank, "It [Hizb ut-Tahrir] has only recently emerged as a power in Turkey. Now it is starting to gain ground."

Uslu puts this down to two primary reasons: the group's advocacy of a caliphate, which increasingly resonates with observant Turks' nostalgia for the days of the Ottoman caliphate, and its deeply anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric, the populist tone of which is being appropriated to significant effect.
Pakistan bans 25 militant organisations
Including Hizbut Tahrir.

Pakistan: Local Militants Struggle with Taliban Government for Control of Khyber Agency
Control of the Khyber Agency is important for both the Taliban and the government. The main land route to Afghanistan and the Central Asian states is via the Khyber Pass, now a vital supply route to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
European, Muslim nations identified to comprise Philippine peace talks
SEVERAL MEMBERS of the influential Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) are looking at joining an International Contact Group (ICG) that the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed to form to hasten the peace process. In an interview with Palace reporters, MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said among the OIC countries that are likely to join the group are Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The government and the MILF both agreed to establish the ICG during preparatory talks in Kuala Lumpur last month. The ICG will help the two side in implementing any signed agreements.
Afghans Pin Hopes on Mining As Taliban Attacks Intensify
Afghanistan's mining ministry, emboldened by its first copper tender and undeterred by escalating violence, is inviting more bids in hopes the industry can eventually drive economic growth and help bring security.
Iran shuts down journalists' association
Armed men raided and sealed the Tehran offices of the Association of Iranian Journalists late on Wednesday, said the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) which also called for Iran to free up to 42 reporters currently jailed. "It is true, it has been closed down," said a member of the Iranian association who declined to be named. "

Government actions against media and journalists erode further the credibility and standing of the Government in national and the world opinion," the IFJ said in a statement. Iran has arrested dozens of leading pro-reform politicians, journalists, lawyers and campaigners since the June 12 presidential election which reformists say was rigged in favor of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
New opposition protest in Tehran

Power struggle hits Iran's intelligence agency
Beyond the power struggle playing out on the streets of Tehran is a complex battle for control of Iran's intelligence ministry -- a pivotal institution in the regime's repression of dissent. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who began a second term this week, fired Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei late last month after Mr. Ejei objected to the president's efforts to name an in-law as first vice president.

The departure of Mr. Ejei, a hard-line cleric close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, two other Khamenei loyalists and nearly 20 other high-ranking officials appeared to weaken the leader's hold over the ministry and strengthen the power of the Revolutionary Guards, Iran's elite military force.

The Guards have been heavily involved in the crackdown on dissent since the disputed June 12 presidential election, and there is an unconfirmed report that the force has created a parallel intelligence service called Tehran intelligence. Mr. Ahmadinejad and many of his closest allies are Guards veterans.
Iran bans Ramadan umra pilgrimage as swine flu spreads
Iran has banned Iranians from performing the umra pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia during the holy month of Ramadan to slow spread of swine flu in the country, a health ministry official said Thursday. The umra can be performed at any time but is popular during Ramadan, which this year starts in August. "Iranians are banned from attending the holy places in Saudi Arabia during fasting month of Ramadan," deputy Health Minister Hassan Emami-Razavi told state television.
China Investigates Top Nuclear Official
Everywhere, the purges.... maybe he can share a cell in glorious people's gulag with Kazakhstan's Nuke Chief.
The top official of China’s civilian and military nuclear power programs is being investigated for “grave violations of discipline,” a phrase often used in corruption inquiries, the Chinese Communist Party’s disciplinary committee has announced. The official, Kang Rixin, is the general manager and Communist Party secretary of China National Nuclear Corporation, a vast holding company that is spearheading plans to increase the nation’s capacity to generate nuclear power at least sixfold in the next decade.Mr. Kang, 56, also is a member of the Communist Party Central Committee, the party’s senior ruling body, and sits on the same party disciplinary committee that is investigating him.
Former Beijing Airport Director Is Executed
China executed the former head of a huge state-owned airport holding company on Friday, six months after he was convicted on bribery and embezzlement charges involving more than $14.6 million. The executive, Li Peiying, had been the chairman and general manager of Capital Airports Holding Company, a conglomerate that runs 30 airports in nine Chinese provinces, including Beijing’s much-acclaimed new international airport.

China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, said that Mr. Li was executed in Jinan, a Yellow River city in Shandong Province. The province’s Higher People’s Court rejected an appeal in July.The execution underscored the gravity of the national government’s campaign against official corruption, which President Hu Jintao has labeled a serious threat to stability. Graft, especially at lower levels of government, is woven into the fabric of everyday Chinese life, and disclosures of especially outrageous instances often provoke outcries on Internet chat sites and, sometimes, even street demonstrations.
Africa: China Leads Investment in Continent

Everything old is new again, my friend.
The women’s faces gaze down from the walls, young and old, dark and fair, blue-eyed and brown-eyed. Some look sad, some stoical, some bitter, and some simply confused. These women, who came from all over the Soviet Union, had one thing in common: they had been incarcerated in Stalin’s gulag although they were not even suspected of committing an offense themselves.

Their crime? Being married to an enemy of the state, for which they were sent to this prison in Soviet Kazakhstan, ending up in part of the infamous network of concentration camps which stretched across Siberia, down onto the Kazakh steppe. This link in a chain christened "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was called Alzhir, a Russian acronym for the Akmola Camp for the Wives of Traitors to the Motherland.

It was not only wives who served time here, but mothers, sisters and daughters, too. There were also children in Alzhir -- and not just the offspring of "enemies of the people." From its inception in 1937 to its closure after Stalin’s death in 1953, the camp witnessed 1,507 births by prisoners raped by their guards. A museum now stands on this quiet spot just outside Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital. The entrance is marked by a striking black and silver monument, the Arch of Grief, whose conical shape represents a traditional Kazakh bridal headdress. Fragments of barbed wire and a watchtower are vivid symbols of the imprisonment.

Bakiyev win in Kyrgyzstan a victory for continuity if not democracy
Oh sure, all the world loves their continuity! Continuity Through Fascist Dictatorships Akbar!
Kyrgyzstan's July 23 presidential elections resulted in a decisive victory for sitting President Kurmenbek Bakiyev. While the OSCE has criticised the election process, Bakiyev's peaceful return to power has been welcomed by businesses and international investors as a sign of continuity, though not by democracy advocates.
Kyrgyz opposition leader suspects he was poisoned
Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's main opponent in July elections believes he has been poisoned and is leaving the Central Asian country for treatment, his office said Thursday.

Almazbek Atambayev, 52, who came second in a poll criticized as undemocratic by Western observers, will leave for Turkey on Friday for a week of medical treatment, his spokesman Zhoomart Saparbayev said. "We think it was poisoning. He felt terrible, his fingernails became brown, he vomited and was dizzy," Saparbayev said.

There have been a series of high-profile poisonings in the former Soviet union in recent years, including that of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, who was disfigured by dioxin during the 2004 presidential election.
Alabama guardsman supports troops in Kyrgyzstan
For four months, Lt. Col. Gary Kirk got to play mayor. He wasn't governing a town, though. In fact, he wasn't even in the U.S.Kirk was in Kyrgyzstan help­ing run the only U.S. air base in the former Soviet Union. The base was known as Manas Air Base until June, when the U.S. renegotiated the lease with the Kyrgyzstan government. It's now called the Transit Center at Manas.
Gazprom takes stake in Kyrgyz gas company

30 members of the 165th Airlift Wing return home
Uzbekistan? Supposedly we were evicted from our base in Uzbekistan in 2005. Mmhmm.
Since the beginning of operations in the Persian Gulf, several elements of the Wing have been deployed throughout the region, serving in Uzbekistan, Turkey, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Uzbekistan - President receives credentials from two ambassadors
New ambassadors of Georgia and the United Kingdom presented credentials to President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on 5 August in Tashkent
'King Of Uzbek Comedy' Dies In Tashkent

Ten Years After IMU Raids, Central Asia Still Battling Militants
When a small band of armed "refugees" crossed the Pamir Mountains from Tajikistan and seized a small village in Kyrgyzstan in August 1999, they did not appear to pose much of a threat. It has since become clear that the storming of the international stage by those gunmen shattered the hopes of Central Asian governments that they could escape Pakistan- and Afghanistan-style Islamist insurgencies. It also set in motion events that would seriously damage relations among the three states that share the restive Ferghana Valley.

A full 10 years after the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) announced its arrival with the Pamir crossing and villague seizures, the group is now hunted across Central and South Asia and its name is frequently linked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The IMU's alliances with those two groups began after the IMU joined the Taliban's efforts to fight forces commanded by Ahmad Shah Mas'ud in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

Then militants from across the Muslim world, particularly Arabs and increasing numbers from former Soviet states with Muslim majorities, flocked to Afghanistan for training, indoctrination, and refuge. The IMU was among them, and after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 led to a U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, IMU members fought alongside Al-Qaeda.

Turkey and Russia Strike a Series of Energy Deals
When Vlad makes offer you do not refuse, comrades of the ottoman ummah.

Russian Tech eyes $3 bln investment in Udokan copper

Russia Military Force Changes to Add Border Strength
Dude must be a freakin' Mensa member:
Russia is reshaping its ground forces into a structure that would enable it to “militarily dominate” most of its neighbors, the head of U.S. intelligence said.
No shit, Sherlockovitch!

RUSSIA: AvtoVAZ workers want nationalisation
Hundreds of workers at AvtoVAZ, Russia's biggest carmaker, have demanded the state nationalise the company...
Bulgarian Government Suspends Energy Negotiations with Russia

Georgia marks anniversary of war

Russia and Georgia in verbal war
All wars start in the mouth

NATO secretary general wants to go beyond "normal relations" with Russia
Tovarich NATO, there is nothing normal about any of my relations. Would you like to visit the back of beyond? Come, I'll take you!
~ Vladdest in Whole GlowBall!

Putin, Russian subs flex muscles in Siberia and off US East Coast

Vlad will remind world how real man flexes his muscle.

Putin's influence widespread

HA HA HA my friends! Vlad is Glow Ball's Capo di tutti Capiski deluxe! And you all know it! Kiss my ring, insolent proles!

JOHNNY ZEITGEIST Red Beret: Vladimir Putin Conquers the Wilderness

I am loving it.
~ Vlad of the Jungle

The weak get beat: Putin marks 10 years in power
~ Vladdyweight Champion of Whole Glow Ball

Russia's Putin strips for stardom, again
Comrades, you know you want me. Never has such swaggering manhood strutted before your sorry eyes with such open arrogance since Yul Brynner as Ramses!
~ Vlad's too sexy for his shirt

Was Goldman Sachs ever even close to failure?
Now that Goldman is minting money again, the bank insists that it was never in any real danger. Mr. Blankfein, in an e-mail message this week, disputed his private account, saying Goldman’s survival was never in doubt. Other Goldman executives reject the notion that the bank was rescued at all. “We did not have a near-death experience,” said Gary D. Cohn, Goldman’s president. The government saved the financial industry as a whole, but it did not save Goldman Sachs, he said.
Goldman: 2008 commodity redux coming

Goldman's Unexpected GDP Boost

AIG Posts $1.82 Billion Profit, First Since 2007

US Stocks Fall As Investors Grow Nervous About July Jobs Data

Report on Icelandic bank fuels fury

It's Congress vs. ICANN in the battle for Internet authority
The current three-year working arrangement between the US Dept. of Commerce and the institution that maintains the Internet's top-level domain structure, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), expires at the end of this September. With the Internet being perceived as more of an international platform than an American one, support is growing among overseas legislators including the European Commission for the US Government to let lapse the term of its oversight role, and let ICANN be answerable to an international agency.
Austin, Texas: City authorizes agreement for controversial FUSION Center
The round up of dangerous mobsters will likely begin one sleepy Chicken Shit Bingo night at Ginny's Longhorn.
Despite overwhelming public opposition, the Austin City Council voted during its Aug. 6 meeting to authorize an agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety to establish an operating space for the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, also referred to as the Fusion Center.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo addressed the council and hashed out details of the Fusion Center, which tentatively could be operating by December. The hope of city and law enforcement officials is that the center will act as a tool to combat terrorism and solve other crimes in the area through information sharing on the local, state and federal levels.

Several members of the public, including at least two affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, voiced their opposition to the establishment of a Fusion Center citing a violation of privacy. Concerns of violations to civil liberties and civil rights were also expressed. The agreement with the DPS will allow for the improvement and leasing of an existing DPS building to house the center.

Funding for the build out and improvements is provided through the Office of Emergency Management Urban Area Security Initiative Grant Fund and was recommended by the Urban Area Working Group and will not exceed $200,000. The council authorized the agreement, but added a motion to hold a public hearing in order to address community concerns regarding the operation of the Fusion Center. The meeting is expected to take place in late September.

Raytheon sells its first 'pain ray'
As you are no doubt aware, one of the perks of being in the corporate security field is that you get to try out things that would come across as, well, unseemly if put in the hands of the government. While there's been some controversy over the possible use of Raytheon's 10,000 pound "portable" Silent Guardian by the military, it appears that at least one private customer has no such qualms.

We're not sure exactly who placed the order -- news of an "Impending Direct Commercial Sale" was just one bullet point of many at Raytheon's recent presentation at a NATO workshop on anti-pirate technologies.

The company itself is being mum on the subject, saying that it would be "premature" to name names at the present time, but rest assured -- this is only the beginning. As soon as these things are small enough to fit in your briefcase or glove compartment, every nut in your neighborhood will want one. In the mean time, looks like you're stuck with the Taser. [Warning: PDF read link] [Via Wired]
Science Applications Receives $55 Million Army Task Order
To do what? WhoTF knows....
San Diego-based Science Applications International (SAIC) is a scientific, engineering, and technology applications company whose roughly 45,000 employees serve customers in the U.S. Department of Defense, the intelligence community, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, other U.S. government civil agencies and various commercial markets.
SAIC is a FORTUNE 500®
Deep Domain Knowledge! Solving Problems of Vital importance to Nation and World!
...scientific, engineering, and technology applications company that uses its deep domain knowledge to solve problems of vital importance to the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health. We do this with the constant and deliberate commitment to ethical performance and integrity that has marked SAIC since its founding.
Feds join $3.2 billion Stennis “whistleblower” lawsuit
This must be an example of SAIC's commitment to ethics and integrity:
The U.S. Justice Department has intervened in a so-called "whistleblower" lawsuit that accuses several companies and former government employees of rigging a winning bid on a $3.2 billion computer contract at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The lawsuit, unsealed Wednesday by a federal judge in Gulfport, alleges three former or current federal employees conspired to steer the Stennis contract to Science Applications International Corp. A company started by one of those former employees had teamed up with Science Applications (SAIC) to bid on the contract.

The defendants allegedly shared secret information about the bidding process with Science Applications and chose a type of contract that favored the company's successful bid in 2004. The Justice Department estimates the scheme cost the federal government more than $116 million.
So what do we do then? Give them more contracts, obviously!

Janet Napolitano: The Cyber Czar?
In remarks Thursday at a cybersecurity conference sponsored by the Secret Service, a Homeland Security agency, Napolitano said: "In terms of cybersecurity, we've been living in a cyber 1.0 world and we need to be cyber 3.0 and beyond. Because the minute we start talking about a particular methodology of cyber the cyber bad guys are already moving ahead. This is a very, very rapidly evolving environment in which real crime and real damage can occur."
Army Monitoring Protest Groups
Stephen Dycus, a professor at Vermont Law School who focuses on national security issues, said the Army was prohibited from conducting law enforcement among civilians except in very rare circumstances, none of which immediately appeared to be relevant to the Fort Lewis case. Mr. Dycus said several statutes and rules also prohibited the Army from conducting covert surveillance of civilian groups for intelligence purposes.“Infiltration is a really big deal,” he said. He said it “raises fundamental questions about the role of the military in American society.”

Catherine Caruso, a spokeswoman for Fort Lewis, said in a written statement that “the Fort Lewis Force Protection Division, under the Directorate of Emergency Services, consists of both military and civilian employees whose focus is on supporting law enforcement and security operations to ensure the safety and security of Fort Lewis, soldiers, family members, the work force and those personnel accessing the installation.”
The Guardian UK: Turning the US army against Americans
An antiwar activist in the state of Washington had been exposed as an undercover informant for the US army, stationed at massive Fort Lewis, south of Tacoma. And in one of those Kafkaesque twists for which our government is renowned, the army is now investigating itself to determine how such an arrangement came to pass.
Obama Administration Weighs in on State Secrets, Raising Concern on the Left
The Obama administration’s brief argued, though no one had asked, that the state secrets privilege was rooted in the Constitution.
War on Terrorism: CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism
ProcessProxy Corp. in Ellwood City is in line to get $2 million for a health information technology project in Lawrence County
Health information technology project? Now WTF could that be?

Health Information Technology
Project Mission:
The mission of the Health Information Technology project is to drive adoption of health information technology to help create a Nationwide Health Information Network, a secure, interoperable system where all stakeholders electronically exchange individual health and healthcare information.

Project Goals:

1) Drive adoption of electronic health records and other information technologies
2) Reach consensus and convergence on open data standards for interoperability
3) Facilitate research of de-identified healthcare data for new treatments, health management, and trends
4)Engage consumers on using personal health records in their health and healthcare management
Administration Plans Overhaul of Immigration Detention System
"We need a system that is open, transparent and accountable," Morton said. "With these reforms, ICE will move away from our present decentralized jail approach to a system that is wholly designed for and based on civil detention needs and the needs of the people we detain."
Esquire ~ The Last Abortion Doctor
For thirty-six years, Warren Hern has been one of the few doctors in America to specialize in late abortions. George Tiller was another. And when Dr. Tiller was murdered that Sunday in church, Warren Hern became the only one left.

The young couple flew into Wichita bearing, in the lovely swell of the wife's belly, a burden of grief. They came from a religious tradition where large families are celebrated, and they wanted this baby, and it was very late in her pregnancy. But the doctors recommended abortion. They said that with her complications, there were only two men skilled enough to pull it off. One was George Tiller, a Wichita doctor who specialized in late abortions.

They arrived in Wichita on Sunday, May 31. As they drove to their hotel, a Holiday Inn just two blocks from the Reformation Lutheran Church, they saw television cameras. They wondered what was going on, a passing curiosity quickly forgotten.

But when they got to their room, the phone was ringing. Her father was on the line. "There was some doctor who was shot who does abortions," he said.

They turned on CNN. Dr. Tiller had just been killed, shot in the head as he passed out church leaflets. In their shock, they mixed up the clinic and the church: We were supposed to be there. What if it had happened while we were there? What if he couldn't complete the procedure?

Now there is only one doctor left.


Without Dr. Hern, she says, she doesn't know what she would have done. It's crazy that he's the only one left. She is grateful, grateful, so grateful that she will be here to raise her son. And as the words tumble and repeat you hear, in the urgency unleashed by her deliverance, a love too sad for sermons, too personal for headlines, a private benediction, the abortionist's reward, the love song of Warren Martin Hern, M.D.

Abortion Doctor Blames 'Hate Speech' For Killing
In a profile to be published in Esquire's September issue, Hern said he got hate mail and death threats in 1970 when he started working in family planning. Hern, a friend of slain Kansas doctor George Tiller, said the threats resumed in 1973 when he helped start Boulder's first non-profit clinic.

"I started sleeping with a rifle by my bed. I expected to get shot," Hern told the magazine. Tiller was shot May 31 while serving as an usher at his church. Hern said Tiller's death was the result of 35 years of "hate speech" against abortion providers, something he blames on anti-abortion politicians and commentators.
Valve manufacturer pleads guilty to federal bribery charges
CCI designs and manufactures service control valves for oil and gas, nuclear, and power generation customers. According to the information and plea agreement, from 1998 through 2007, CCI violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Travel Act by bribing numerous officers and employees of national and privately-owned customers in China, Korea, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries to obtain or retain business.
DHL to pay $9.4M to settle shipping dispute
The Obama administration announced Thursday that DHL has agreed to pay the government $9.4 million to settle a dispute that the company made shipments to Iran, Sudan and Syria in violation of U.S. embargoes.

The Treasury Department alleged that the company, which is part of Deutsche Post DHL, based in Bonn, Germany, made more than 300 shipments from the United States to Iran and Sudan between 2002 and 2007 in violation of U.S. embargoes with those countries. The department also alleged that the company failed to keep records of certain shipments to Iran between 2002 and 2006.

Intel To SEC: No Ties To 'Sponsors Of Terrorism'
The SEC earlier this year had sent a letter to Intel asking the chip giant to describe the nature of its business contacts with such countries as Cuba, Iran and Syria, which have been identified as "state sponsors of terrorism," according to a company filing with the federal agency. In response, the company wrote the SEC saying, "Intel prohibits all transactions with countries identified under certain trade-related sanctions." Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said that, "to the best of my knowledge," it was the first time the SEC has ever raised such a concern with the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company.

South Africa's ANC denies arms deals accusations
South Africa's ruling ANC on Thursday denied opposition allegations that the country's arms control body had authorized "dodgy" deals such as a weapons exhibition for North Korea and possible sales to Iran, Syria and Libya. The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) said a number of "dodgy" deals had "slipped through the cracks" when the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) last met in 2008.
A Brave New World For DiCaprio And Scott
Risky Biz Blog is reporting that director Ridley Scott will be teaming up with Leonardo DiCaprio to make a movie based on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. The classic novel tells the story of a future where humans are engineered both scientifically and psychologically to be passive and consistenly useful to the ruling order. Huxley’s vision of the future takes place in 2540 AD. The book was written in 1931. Farhad Safinia, who wrote the script for Apocalypto, is expected to start working on the script for Brave New World very soon.

Engineering Earth's Climate Could Be Dangerous
Ya think? Freakin' Obama's Czar of Loon Science Sez:
Presidential science advisor John Holdren said this year he wouldn't rule out engineering the Earth's climate as an option to slow global warming.
Men make very shitty gods my friends.