Friday, Nov 27th

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Calamity of Iraq’s orphans & morality of America

According to the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs’ January 2008 Report, 4.5 million Iraqi children have been made orphans. Of these, only 459 orphans are in government care. I’ll say that again. Out of 4.5 million, only 459 children are in government care. 800 orphans at the time of this report were being held in Iraqi prisons, 100 of these in American prisons, charged as terrorists.

In proportion to the US population of 310 million, this would mean the equivalent of 19.3 million US orphans. That’s the size of the combined populations, all ages, of our six biggest cities, New York, LA, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, and Philadelphia, all rendered orphans.


Campaign Against Emissions Picks Number 350

Campaigners against global warming have drawn on an arsenal of visually startling tactics over the years, from posing nude on a Swiss glacier to scaling smokestacks at coal-fired power plants.

On Saturday, they tried something new with the goal of prodding countries to get serious about reaching an international climate accord: a synchronized burst of more than 4,300 demonstrations, from the Himalayas to the Great Barrier Reef, all centered on the number 350.


Israel lobby speaker questioned Israel's role in 9/11 attacks

J Street was formed a year and half ago as a more liberal alternative to the nation's main pro-Israel lobbying organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC. J Street's executive director has said that he wants his group to be the "blocking back" for Mr. Obama's efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

But by taking on the long-established AIPAC and the hawkish Israeli government, and by embracing individuals who have expressed hostility to Israel, J Street also has alienated some veteran Israel supporters in Washington. For example, one of next week's speakers is a Muslim activist who has said that Israel should be considered a suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


Genome analysis changes diagnosis

A critically ill Turkish boy has had his life saved after scientists were able to read his genome quickly and work out that he had a wrong diagnosis.

The scientists writing in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, say they completed the analysis of his blood in just 10 days. They were able to see that he had a mutation on a gene that coded for a gut disease and tell his doctors.
Clinical tests proved that the boy had the disease and he is now recovering.


How Faking the Moon Landings Nearly Cost Stanley Kubrick his Marriage and his Life

We have to begin to understand Kubrick's story from his use of symbols. As I like to say: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a symbol is worth a thousand pictures. For it will be through the use of symbol that the real story of The Shining can be revealed.

The Manager of the Overlook, while interviewing Jack, has an American Eagle right behind his head. It is as if "The Eagle" is the power behind the Manager.


No way home: The tragedy of the Palestinian diaspora

It is a cynical but time-honoured practice in Middle Eastern politics: the statesmen who decry the political and humanitarian crisis of the approximately 3.9 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Gaza ignore the plight of an estimated 4.6 million Palestinians who live in Arab countries. For decades, Arab governments have justified their decision to maintain millions of stateless Palestinians as refugees in squalid camps as a means of applying pressure to Israel. The refugee problem will be solved, they say, when Israel agrees to let the Palestinians have their own state.


Retired General Slams Cheney As "Incompetent War Fighter"

Retired General Paul Eaton, senior adviser to the National Security Network, has hit back hard at Dick Cheney a day after the former vice president criticized the Obama administration again for "dithering while America's armed forces are in danger." In a speech Wednesday night, Cheney said, "President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission."

In an NSN press release, Eaton empties his chamber:

Read more... reports Sibel Edmonds testimony

After seven years of forced silence, a government whistleblower is opening up on what she learned while working as a Turkish translator for the FBI in the wake of 9/11. In sworn testimony to attorneys on Aug. 8, Sibel Edmonds described a Pentagon where key personnel helped pass defense secrets to foreign agents or provided them names of knowledgeable officials who were vulnerable to blackmail or co-option.

And firmly rooted in this espionage program in the 1990s, according to Edmonds’ deposition, were two men who, with the election of George W. Bush as president in 2000, found themselves in the Pentagon:  Douglas Feith, who would head the Office of Special Plans, and Richard Perle, who would become chairman of the Defense Advisory Board.



Afghan opium fuels 'global chaos'

Afghanistan has a monopoly on illegal opium production that has devastating global consequences, a UN report says. UN findings say an opium market worth $65bn (£39bn) funds global terrorism, caters to 15 million addicts, and kills 100,000 people every year.

The UN says corruption, lawlessness and uncontrolled borders result in only 2% of Afghan opiates being seized locally. The UN says more Russians die annually from Afghan drugs than Soviet soldiers were killed during its Afghan conflict.


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