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Sen. Harry Reid Breaks With Obama Over 'Ground Zero Mosque'

Sen. Harry Reid Breaks With Obama Over 'Ground Zero Mosque' --President Obama's Support for Islamic Center Opened Door to Republican Assault 16 Aug 2010 President Obama's staunchest ally in the Senate broke with the president today over the controversial Islamic center planned for a site near Ground Zero, and said he is opposed to its construction. The office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada issued a statement saying, "The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else." Reid's comments came just days after Obama told a White House gathering that Muslims had a right to build the mosque, and Republicans vowed to make the president's stand an issue in the November elections. [Yes, go run under the couch and hide, Reid. People would rather vote for candidates who advocate 'Second Amendment remedies' than cowardly, pathetic, sycophantic trolls. No, I'm not a Sharron Angle advocate - save your emails. I am merely making the point that people would rather stand with those who don't cower in the face of GOP-owned-and-driven media hysteria. --LRP]

9th Circuit grants indefinite stay in Prop 8 case

9th Circuit grants indefinite stay in Prop 8 case 16 Aug 2010 The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has just granted an indefinite stay in the Prop 8 case, prohibiting any same-sex marriages from taking place. The lower court had ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, and ordered same-sex marriages to be allowed in California again by 5 p.m. Wednesday. But a three judge panel of the appeals court just stayed, or delayed his order, so same sex marriages are on hold once again, in California.

The Decrepit Character of the "Professional Left"

The Decrepit Character of the "Professional Left" --In its ignorance, the "professional left" disavows the real left. Mr. Gibbs, with enemies like this, who needs friends? By Dr. Rec 17 Aug 2010 According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the professional left is supposedly President Barack Obama’s dreaded enemy, apparently more so than the professional right, whom he works consistently to assuage. To the professional left, Gibbs and company offer no apologies. But what is there to fear in this "professional left?" Is it the dreaded critical monster that the glib Gibbs has made it out to be?

Gates prepares to depart amid Afghan turmoil

Gates prepares to depart amid Afghan turmoil 18 Aug 2010 Amid the turmoil of the Afghanistan war, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who was a cabinet holdover from the Bush regime, is indicating that he will be resigning from his post sometime in 2011. Gates said he wants to give President Obama time to select a successor during a non-election year. Gates, 67, who has held the position since December of 2006, would be the fourth longest serving Secretary of Defense.

Iraq plunges into darkness and fuel queues make comeback

Iraq plunges into darkness and fuel queues make comeback 14 Aug 2010 Iraq's national grid is out and millions of Iraqis are without electricity amid scorching heat. Iraqi provinces, apart from the three Kurdish provinces in the north, have plunged into darkness. The reason, according to the Electricity Ministry, is excessive use of electricity. The ministry says many provinces have been 'encroaching' on the national grid, using more megawatts than their 'legal' allocations. [Isn't this the same electric grid that the US taxpayers have funded and refunded about 600 times as part of the contractors' stimulus in Iraq?]

Polish soldiers blow up Afghan dwelling 'for fun'

Polish soldiers blow up Afghan dwelling 'for fun' 13 Aug 2010 A new video has been released of a group of soldiers from the Polish Army blowing up a dwelling in a deserted area of Afghanistan, a move which goes against the Geneva Convention. "What a beauty!" comments one of the soldiers when the building is blown to pieces in the 3-minute video, recorded by Polish soldiers from the Army’s 6th rotation during their tour of duty between October 2009 and April 2010. "It was done for fun," a non-commissioned officer at the time serving in Afghanistan told the Rzeczpospolita daily, adding that there were more deserted buildings in the area, the remains of a village.

FBI issues more top secret clearance for terrorism cases

FBI issues more top secret clearance for terrorism cases --As of last month, the number of clearances this year were on pace to equal or surpass last year's totals. 13 Aug 2010 More state and local law enforcement officers are getting top-secret clearances from the FBI to access sensitive federal information in terrorism cases than at anytime since the Sept. 11 attacks, a USA TODAY review of bureau records shows. Clearances granted to members of the FBI's network of regional terrorism task forces jumped to 878 in 2009, up from 125 in 2007, signaling intensified attention to domestic terror threats. During the same period, clearances granted to other law enforcement officers and contractors soared to 945 from 364.

Bushehr fuel to be loaded Sep 16

Bushehr fuel to be loaded Sep 16 16 Aug 2010 A senior Iranian lawmaker says nuclear fuel will be loaded into the long-delayed Bushehr power plant on September 16 to make the nuclear reactor operational. "Nuclear fuel will be injected to the Bushehr nuclear power plant on September 16," IRNA quoted Spokesman for Energy Commission of Iran's Majlis (parliament) Emad Hosseini on Sunday. Earlier on Saturday, the Director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi had said that the needed fuel would be transferred to the nuclear facility's building next week.

Republicans Seek to Make Ground Zero Mosque an Issue in November Elections

Republicans Seek to Make Ground Zero Mosque an Issue in November Elections 16 Aug 2010 Republicans will likely use President Barack Obama’s support for the right of a Muslim group to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site to force Democrats to defend an unpopular position in the November election campaign. With opinion polls showing public opposition to the proposal, Obama’s remarks will not gain any new voters and may alienate others, said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Dr Kelly: Just one in five believes it was suicide as official cause of death is branded 'impossible'

Dr Kelly: Just one in five believes it was suicide as official cause of death is branded 'impossible' 15 Aug 2010 The official verdict that Dr David Kelly committed suicide has been overwhelmingly rejected by the public. According to an exclusive Mail opinion poll, only one in five people accepts the Hutton Inquiry’s finding that the government weapons inspector took his own life. The survey also reveals that eight out of ten people want a full inquest. With senior MPs making the same demand, the Coalition is under strong pressure to act. It comes as a medical report says it was 'impossible' that Dr Kelly bled to death in the way described by the inquiry.

Court tosses out Taser-maker's appeal of Dziekanski inquiry

Court tosses out Taser-maker's appeal of Dziekanski inquiry 10 Aug 2010 The company that makes Tasers has lost its legal bid to quash a high-profile report that found the weapons can kill. The British Columbia Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a legal challenge by Taser International to overturn results of the inquiry into the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski.The company was trying to quash retired justice Thomas Braidwood’s findings that the weapons increase the risk of fatal heart failure. Dziekanski, 40, died on Oct. 14, 2007, at Vancouver International Airport after being Tasered five times by four RCMP officers responding to a 911 call.

Petraeus denounces 'reprehensible' Wikileaks

Petraeus denounces 'reprehensible' Wikileaks 15 Aug 2010 The top US military commander in Afghanistan on Sunday blasted as "reprehensible" the release of Afghan war documents, saying that US partners named in them have been put at risk. General David Petraeus's comments came in response to a threat by the founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, to make public another batch of secret documents in a "couple of weeks" despite mounting Pentagon protests.

WikiLeaks to shift base to friendly Sweden

WikiLeaks to shift base to friendly Sweden 15 Aug 2010 The founder of WikiLeaks says he will seek a publishing license for his controversial operation in Sweden where whistleblower protections are strong. Julian Assange said he would apply for a Swedish publishing license this week in order to maximize legal protections for the sources who provide WikiLeaks with documents that some governments don't want released to the public. "We're dealing with organizations that don't obey the law," Assange told the Swedish news agency TT. "We're dealing with intelligence agencies."

N.Korea warns of 'severest punishment' over war games

N.Korea warns of 'severest punishment' over war games 15 Aug 2010 North Korea's military threatened Sunday to launch the "severest punishment" against South Korea for staging massive joint war games with the United States this week. The North's army and people will "deal a merciless counterblow" to the allies "as it had already resolved and declared at home and abroad", a spokesman for the country's army General Staff said in a statement published by state media. "The military counteraction of (North Korea) will be the severest punishment no one has ever met in the world," he said. The warning came a day before US and South Korean troops begin the 10-day war games called "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" [*puke*].

US Navy says 4 ships robbed off Iraqi coast

US Navy says 4 ships robbed off Iraqi coast 15 Aug 2010 Gunmen robbed four commercial ships anchored near the southern oil hub of Basra in a rare attack off the Iraqi coast, the U.S. Navy said Sunday. Two men armed with AK-47 rifles boarded the American ship Sagamore in the vicinity of an Iraqi oil terminal in the northern Persian Gulf at 4 a.m. on Aug. 8, taking computers, cell phones and money from crew members before fleeing the vessel after about 40 minutes on board, according to Lt. John Fage, a spokesman for the Navy's Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. He said three other ships were also robbed under similar circumstances during a two-hour period starting about 2 a.m. the same day. On July 28, a Japanese oil tanker elsewhere in the Gulf was damaged and one crew member was injured in what the United Arab Emirates said was a suicide bombing.

Harvard University fund sells all Israel holdings

Harvard University fund sells all Israel holdings --No reason for sale was mentioned in report to SEC 15 Aug 2010 In another blow to Israeli shares, the Harvard Management Company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday that it had sold all its holdings in Israeli companies during the second quarter of 2010. No reason for the sale was mentioned. The Harvard Management Company manages Harvard University's endowment.

Outgoing Ala. AG files oil spill suits over GOP governor's objections

Outgoing Ala. AG files oil spill suits over GOP governor's objections 13 Aug 2010  Alabama Attorney General Troy King filed two lawsuits Thursday, suing oil giant BP and others over the Gulf oil spill. King, who says the oil company has broken too many promises about accepting responsibility for the disaster, filed the suits in federal court in Montgomery on behalf of the state. The lawsuits -- one against BP and the other against Transocean, Halliburton and other companies associated with the spill -- seek economic and punitive damages. King sued against the wishes of Gov. Bob Riley (R-BP wh*re), who hopes to reach an out-of-court settlement [for 84 cents?] with the companies.

Jarhead: The little bear that beat the odds

Jarhead: The little bear that beat the odds 13 Aug 2010 It took 10 days for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists to catch a black bear cub in Marion County that was days away from death. They were ultimately successful, but it took extraordinary efforts from both FWC employees and local residents working together. The 6-month-old cub, its two siblings and mother were regular visitors to unsecured trash containers in a small community near Weirsdale, in the Ocala National Forest. One day in late July, FWC dispatch got a call from one of the residents concerned about a cub running around with a clear, industrial-size plastic jar stuck on its head.

Petraeus to talk Obama out of pullout

Petraeus to talk Obama out of pullout 15 Aug 2010 The commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan says he reserves the right to advise US President Barack Obama against a troop pull-out from the country in 2011. General David Petraeus [Betrayus] said Obama had assured that him he would seek the commander's advice before making any decision on withdraw from Afghanistan. "The president has been clear...this is the date when the process begins which is conditions-based," Gen Petraeus said in comments broadcast by NBC on Sunday.

NATO vehicle kills five Afghan civilians

NATO vehicle kills five Afghan civilians 15 Aug 2010 At least five Afghan civilians, including a woman and her three children, have been killed after a NATO supply vehicle hit their motorcycle in southern Afghanistan. According to Afghan officials, the accident took place on a road in Helmand province, a Press TV correspondent reported Sunday. Sources say the vehicle's driver was also injured in the incident.

11 people killed, 29 wounded in Iraq's violence

11 people killed, 29 wounded in Iraq's violence 15 Aug 2010 Up to 11 Iraqis were killed and 29 others were wounded in gunfire and a series of bomb attacks across the country on late Saturday and Sunday, the police said. Abid Khalaf, an Awakening Council [US death squad] group leader, was killed by a sticky bomb planted in his car in Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Two of Khalaf's bodyguards were wounded by the attack, the source said.

Scissors, Glue, Pencils? Check. Cleaning Spray?

Scissors, Glue, Pencils? Check. Cleaning Spray? 16 Aug 2010 Schools across the country are beginning the new school year with shrinking budgets and outsize demands for basic supplies. And while many parents are wincing at picking up the bill, retailers are rushing to cash in by expanding the back-to-school category like never before. Now some back-to-school aisles are almost becoming janitorial-supply destinations as multipacks of paper towels, cleaning spray and hand sanitizer are crammed alongside pens, notepads and backpacks. ...And at Pauoa Elementary School in Honolulu, every student must show up with a four-pack of toilet paper. [Why do students have to bring their own toilet paper to school? See: The Obusha AfPak Money Pit: Congress doesn't ask if funding the Taleban to blow up contractors' bridges will add to the US deficit By Lori Price.]

U.S.-Saudi Arms Plan Grows to Record Size

U.S.-Saudi Arms Plan Grows to Record Size --Addition of Apaches, Black Hawks Swells Deal to $60 Billion 14 Aug 2010 The Obama administration plans to include attack helicopters in an expanded arms package for Saudi Arabia, swelling the size of the proposed deal to as much as $60 billion over 10 years, according to officials familiar with the matter. The deal would be the largest overseas U.S. arms sale, the officials said, though the size could change as the package is finalized, one official said. Negotiated largely in secret because of the sensitivities in the region, the sale is part of a strategy spearheaded by the George W. Bush administration and expanded by President Barack Obama to beef up the militaries of Arab allies as a counterweight to Iran.

Khadr's attorney airlifted from Guantanamo, trial delayed one month

Khadr's attorney airlifted from Guantanamo, trial delayed one month 14 Aug 2010 The military was evacuating Omar Khadr's lone defense attorney from this remote Navy base for medical treatment on U.S. soil Friday, delaying for at least a month the first full war crimes trial of the Obama administration. Army Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, 39, collapsed in the tribunal chamber hours after opening statements Thursday. The Pentagon-appointed defender was questioning a retired Special Forces soldier who testified that he shot Khadr, then 15, twice in the back while raiding a suspected al Qaeda compound on July 27, 2002.

'US govt. lawyers okayed torture'

'US govt. lawyers okayed torture' 14 Aug 2010 Senior US government lawyers of the Bush administration schemed to circumvent the Geneva Conventions in order to torture the Guantanamo detainees more aggressively, a certified Queen's Counsel says. In an interview with Press TV, Philip Sands, the author of Torture Team, blamed lawyers close to former Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for marginalizing international laws to sanction the torture of detainees at US-run prisons. Sands cited a memo that Rumsfeld signed on December 2, 2002 as proof of the US officials' crime. The memo sought to help the US government coerce imprisoned suspected terrorists into revealing intelligence.

Michael Howard leads MPs' call for full inquest into death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly

Michael Howard leads MPs' call for full inquest into death of weapons inspector Dr David Kelly 15 Aug 2010 Former Tory leader Michael Howard tonight put himself at the head of a powerful all-party campaign to force a full inquest into the death of Min­istry of Defence weapons expert Dr David Kelly. Mr Howard, Conservative leader when the Hutton Report found Dr Kelly took his own life, said: 'In view of the growing number of relevant questions that have arisen and cast doubt on the conclusions reached by Lord Hutton, I believe it would now be entirely appropriate for a full inquest to be held.'

Obama Says Backing of Right to Build Mosque Not an Endorsement

Obama Says Backing of Right to Build Mosque Not an Endorsement 14 Aug 2010 President Barack Obama said today his support for the right of a Muslim group to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site doesn’t mean he necessarily endorses the project. "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there," Obama said in Panama City, Florida, during a trip with his family to the Gulf of Mexico. "I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding. That is what our country is about."

Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents

Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents --'While the stealth war began in the Bush administration, it has expanded under President Obama.' 15 Aug 2010 In roughly a dozen countries, the United States has significantly increased military and intelligence operations, pursuing the enemy using robotic drones and commando teams, paying contractors to spy and training local operatives to chase [alleged] terrorists... The administration’s demands have accelerated a transformation of the C.I.A. into a paramilitary organization as much as a spying agency, which some critics worry could lower the threshold for future quasi-military operations. For its part, the Pentagon is becoming more like the C.I.A.

US drone strike kills 13 in Pakistan

US drone strike kills 13 in Pakistan 14 Aug 2010 A US drone attack has left at least thirteen people dead and five injured in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region amid growing discontent over the increasing number of civilian casualties. According to local security officials, the attack took place in east of Miranshah in North Waziristan on Saturday. US drones have targeted the region several times over the past two days. [Pakistan's plagues: Cholera, flooding, and the US. Eventually, nations can rid themselves of the former -- but they'll never be able to rid themselves of the latter. --LRP]

Cholera hits Pakistan amid floods

Cholera hits Pakistan amid floods 14 Aug 2010 The United Nations has confirmed the first death from cholera following two-weeks of floods in Pakistan that have devastated millions in the South Asian country. The international body said on Saturday that the victim died in the main town of Mingora in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley. "There has been at least one cholera confirmed case in Mingora," AFP quoted spokesman for the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs Maurizio Giuliano as saying.


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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"


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