Saturday, July 04, 2009
VIDEO SARAH PALIN RESIGNATION SPEECH
SARAH PALINS OFFICE WEBSITE
I THINK SARAH PALIN KNOWS THE NEW WORLD ORDER NUTCASES ARE GOING TO ROB AND PILAGE AMERICA AND BRING IT TO ITS KNEES AND BEING A CHRISTIAN SHE KNOWS THE BIBLE SAYS THE EU WILL HAVE ECONOMIC CONTROL OF THE WHOLE EARTH SO THERES NO WAY SHE CAN CHANGE THE PROPHECIES FROM HAPPENING IN THESE LAST DAYS.SHE PROBABLY JUST WANTS TO TRY TO WIN SOULS FOR JESUS' KINGDOM NOW TILL HE COMES ANY TIME FOR US AT THE RAPTURE OF THE TRUE CHRISTIANS IN THE CLOUDS.WAY TO GO SARAH FOR THE STRENGTH FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADING YOU WITH WISDOM AND GUIDANCE AND KNOWLEDGE TO GET OUT OF THE WORLDS SYSTEM AND CONCINTRATE ON GODS (KING JESUS) KINGDOM.
Gov. Sarah Palin to resign her office July 26 Posted: July 3, 2009 03:14 PM EDT by Andrew Hinkelman, Lori Tipton, Jason Lamb and Ted Land.
WASILLA, Alaska - In a stunning announcement whose shockwaves will likely reverberate from Alaska's state capitol to the Beltway politics of Washington, D.C., Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday morning that she will resign her office July 26.I really don't want to disappoint anyone with this announcement, Palin said during the press conference at her home. Not with the decision that I have made. All I can ask is that you trust me with this decision and know that it is no more politics as usual.Speculation has swirled for weeks, perhaps months that Palin would not seek re-election in 2010 as she pursues a political career on the national stage. The former vice presidential candidate has long been rumored to be considering a run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.Palin did not address those rumors, nor did she take questions from reporters. After making her announcement she traveled with her family to Juneau, according to a spokesperson.I have no idea why the governor did what she did,Rep. John Harris, R-Anchorage said.You can only speculate, but you know, that might be a reasonable speculation.Harris declared his intention to run for governor Friday afternoon, the first of what is almost sure to be a cavalcade of candidates for Alaska's chief executive.Palin implied that her real decision was not to seek re-election, and that the resignation was a natural step after that in order to avoid a lame-duck final 18 months of her term.With this announcement that I'm not seeking re-election, I've determined it's best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor (Sean) Parnell,Palin said.I'm determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional and is not so comfortable.And I am willing to do this so this administration, with its positive agenda and its accomplishments and its successful road to an incredible future for Alaska, so that it can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success.
Palin said that as she percolated over her decision whether to seek re-election, she thought about how her final months would play out as a lame duck.I thought about, well, how much fun some governors have as lame ducks,she said.They travel around their state, travel to other states, maybe take their overseas, international trade missions so many politicians do that.And then I thought that's what's wrong. My choice is to take a stand and affect change and not just hit our head against the wall and watch valuable state time, money millions of your dollars go down the drain in this new political environment.Local pollster Ivan Moore, who typically consults for Democrats, did not think much of Palin's decision.They're going to look at the fact that she quit being governor of Alaska, and have real doubts as to whether she should be elected president,he said.I don't see any way how that can help you get re-elected to a higher office, so I think what she's done today has effectively ended her political career.While Palin did not talk of any possible higher political aspirations, she did touch on her desire to wield her influence in other arenas.We know we can affect positive change outside government at this moment in time on another scale and actually make a difference for our priorities, so we will for Alaskans and for Americans,she said.The former point guard for Wasilla High School then launched into a somewhat labored sports analogy.I use (sports) because you are naive if you don't see a full-court press from the national level picking away right now,Palin said.A good point guard, here's what she does: she drives through a full-court press, protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket, and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win.And that is what I'm doing. Keeping our eye on the ball. It represents sound priorities remember, they include energy independences, our government and national security, freedom, and I know when it is time to pass the ball for victory.One of her most outspoken political opponents and someone who declared his intention to run before Palin said she would resign does not think Friday's move is a sign of victory at all.
It's something I think most Alaskans won't approve of,Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage said.It's not something we love. We love the musher who drives on through the storm to the finish, not the musher who quits halfway.Former state representative and failed Congressional candidate Ethan Berkowitz who has said if were to run for any office in 2010 it would be governor also weighed in.Alaska is the greatest state in the nation, but we are also a state in need of a new vision and new ideas,he said in a written statement. I'm not alone in questioning whether Sean Parnell can provide that strong leadership.Parnell will be inaugurated as Palin's successor at the Governor's Picnic at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks on Sunday, July 26. Parnell said he will seek election to the governor's office in 2010. He also ran for Congress unsuccessfully against Rep. Don Young in the Republican primary last year.It's with a heavy heart that I hear those words,Parnell said of Palin's resignation announcement. I profoundly respect your decision for I know the depth of character and integrity that brought you to that. Rare indeed are such selfless acts, in a public arena.
You've been a strong leader for our state. You've inspired a nation and youth. You've ignited the fire of real hope around the world.Reaction from Alaska's congressional delegation started coming in Friday afternoon.I'm as surprised as anyone by this announcement, but I support her decision and wish her well,Young said.I'm as surprised as all Alaskans by Governor Palin's decision to step down with nearly two years left in her term,Sen. Mark Begich said. There was speculation she would not seek re-election, but she gave no indication of a resignation when I met with her for 45 minutes in her Anchorage office two days ago.Palin's constituents also offered their thoughts on her sudden resignation.I was shocked and kind of disappointing because Alaska has had to stand behind her through all of the publicity and the scandals and everything, and I can't believe it,Lisa Tidwell said.
Well I hate to see her go. I thought she was doing a good job and I like her and I'm just wondering what she's got planned,Steve Loff said.I was very happy. I think it's a long time coming and I can't wait to see the reasons that she's doing it. I think something big is about to break and happen,Patti Lenhart said.I think it's immature. I think she should be finishing up what she started,Dawn Munoz said.Palin's impending resignation has effectively thrown the 2010 gubernatorial race wide open.Already among the Democrats Bob Poe has announced he will run with French and Berkowitz now seemingly likely candidates. On the Republican side Harris announced his intentions hours after Palin did the same.With so many fronts that have been left in a state of stagnation while Governor Palin has been pursuing her national goals, I think that it's a good statement on the governor's part that she's recognizing we do need a fulltime governor,Poe said.She's stepping aside from that, I think that the campaign is obviously going to get much more interesting very quickly and I look forward to the debate and discussing with the future candidates how we can move Alaska forward.
A statement released by Palin's office said that Lt. Gen. Craig Campbell, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs commissioner, would be elevated to lieutenant governor upon Parnell's inauguration as governor.This is a breaking story. Return to KTUU.com for more information. Watch the Channel 2 News evening broadcasts for complete coverage.Andrew Hinkelman, Jason Lamb and Ted Land reported from Anchorage. Contact the Channel 2 News room at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Sarah Palin Quit By JAY NEWTON-SMALL / WASHINGTON JULY 3,09
In bowing out as Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin harkened back to her high school basketball days although there was no sign of the Barracuda,as she was nicknamed for her ability to cut through the opposing team's offenses. In a hastily called press conference on the eve of a three-day holiday, Palin presented herself as a point guard exhausted by the full court press from the national level.The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee explained how the metaphorical point guard should respond. She drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on the basket, and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win,Palin said.And I know when it's time to pass the ball for victory.Or take a timeout, as the case may be. Palin's stunning announcement raised more questions than it answered: Is she bowing out of public life? Is there a more nefarious reason for her resignation after only two-and-half years in office yet another G.O.P. scandal in the offing? Or is the woman who tops most G.O.P. 2012 shortlists to challenge Barack Obama stepping down to get a head start on her next presidential campaign? Palin took no questions after her unscripted, rambling address, and her comments seemed to hint both ways: that she's passing the ball of elected office, and that she plans on working for all Americans, not just Alaskans. Some are going to question the timing of this and let me just say that this decision has been in the works for a while. In fact this decision comes after much consideration,Palin said, holding up her left index finger as she amended her thought,Much prayer and consideration. And finally, I polled the most important people in my life, my kids. And the count was unanimous. While in response to asking, Hey, do you want me to be a positive influence and fight for all our children's futures from outside the governor's office? it was four yeses and one Hell, yeah. The Hell, yeah sold it.
If her goal is to position herself for higher office, the stagecraft and timing of her announcement left Republicans scratching their heads. The Friday before Independence Day, when media attention is at its lowest, would be a more appropriate moment for a scandal-plagued politician to slink from the national stage. Palin made the announcement with no fanfare, no teleprompters, no prepared remarks. Waterfowl in the background at times challenged her for the microphone. To step down on a Friday before a three-day holiday, people are going to scrutinize it: why is she doing it, question her judgment,said Ed Rollins, who ran former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign last year.It leaves her with less than three years as governor on her resume not a very strong argument to run for president. The way she did it the fact she did it damages her, damages her immensely. People aren't happy about a governor quitting, unless you're Governor [Mark] Sanford [currently under fire for his extramarital affair in Argentina]. Her doing this adds to the Sarah Palin mystique, but not in a good way.Palin's had a rough 2009 thus far, drawing headlines often more suitable for Britney Spears than for a serious politician and gracing the covers of more tabloids than news magazines. She's picked heated public battles with Levi Johnston, the father of her teenage daughter's baby, and with late night comedian David Letterman for crossing the line in mocking her daughter's sex life. In the last week, she's been eviscerated in a Vanity Fair article that has reduced the Republican Party into two camps, Palin supporters and detractors, who slug it out on the cable shows. She's also rankled Republican insiders by accepting two high profile speaking engagements and then bailing out. And then she twice bolted a congressional dinner before finally agreeing to appear, but declining to speak. Such fickle behavior has not endeared her to many party stalwarts, and her name is consistently left off the list when reporters ask the likes of John McCain and former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush for ideas on who could be the next leader of the party. Perhaps because of these missteps, many GOP advisers have urged Palin to keep a low profile, to follow the Ronald Reagan trajectory by studying up on the issues, maybe do a listening tour and spend time building relationships behind the scenes. After finishing out his term as Governor of California, Reagan spent four years traveling the country, speaking to groups, building support, says Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the conservative Eagle Forum. Palin certainly is the most sought-after speaker on the Republican side at this time. She draws big crowds; anywhere she goes, she's a star. I hope she'll continue that we need good speakers,Schlafly said in a phone interview.It's what Reagan did to great success.
But by quitting her governorship, she relinquishes her best platform.I wouldn't call this a strategy,said John Weaver, a former top adviser to McCain. This makes no sense. The way for her to increase her chances in 2012 is to be reelected in 2011. Weaver cited the difficulties faced by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's in competing in 2008 against politicians still in office, adding, A good point guard doesn't quit.This is classic Sarah Palin, the mixture of the personal and political, says Michael Carey, an Anchorage talk show host.It's all done ad hoc. There's no strategic plan. It's, This is what I'm going to do, baby. Here we go, Carey said in a phone interview. A Washington friend with whom Palin spoke Friday morning said the soon-to-be ex-Governor of Alaska doesn't have a concrete plan going forward but she plans on working on her book bought by HarperCollin's in May and helping Republican candidates. The friend also said that Palin, who will step down July 25, had become increasingly unhappy with the media scrutiny, her battles with the state legislature, the 15 ethics complaints filed against her by outside progressive groups and politics as a whole. Palin's announcement caps a miserable few weeks for the Republican Party. Senator John Ensign, often mentioned as a potential 2012 candidate, resigned his leadership position after admitting to an affair, followed the next week by Governor Sanford's admission of several indiscretions. The way we are going, if you are the Junior Jaycees president in Memphis you could be in line for the nomination,quipped Weaver. Indeed, many in the GOP must now be wondering whether being on the party's 2012 shortlist is a blessing or a curse.With reporting by Michael Scherer and Karen Tumulty in Washington and Mark Halperin in New York.
TRANSCRIPT OF SARAHS RESIGNATION SPEECH.
The Governor's website posted this transcript on Friday, July 3.
Hi Alaska, I appreciate speaking directly TO you, the people I serve, as your Governor. People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska. Serving her people is the greatest honor I could imagine.I want Alaskans to grasp what can be in store for our state. We were purchased as a territory because a member of President Abe Lincoln's cabinet, William Seward, providentially saw in this great land, vast riches, beauty, strategic placement on the globe, and opportunity. He boldly looked North to the Future. But he endured such ridicule and mocking for his vision for Alaska, remember the adversaries scoffed, calling this Seward's Folly. Seward withstood such disdain as he chose the uncomfortable, unconventional, but RIGHT path to secure Alaska, so Alaska could help secure the United States.People who know me know that besides faith and family, nothing's more important to me than our beloved Alaska.Alaska's mission to contribute to America. We're strategic IN the world as the air crossroads OF the world, as a gatekeeper of the continent. Bold visionaries knew this Alaska would be part of America's great destiny.Our destiny to be reached by responsibly developing our natural resources. This land, blessed with clean air, water, wildlife, minerals, AND oil and gas. It's energy! God gave us energy.
So to serve the state is a humbling responsibility, because I know in my soul that Alaska is of such import, for America's security, in our very volatile world. And you know me by now, I promised even four years ago to show MY independence... no more conventional politics as usual.And we are doing well! My administration's accomplishments speak for themselves. We work tirelessly for Alaskans.We aggressively and responsibly develop our resources because they were created to be used to better our world... to HELP people... and we protect the environment and Alaskans (the resource owners) foremost with our policies.
Here's some of the things we've done:
We created a petroleum integrity office to oversee safe development. We held the line FOR Alaskans on Point Thomson and finally for the first time in decades they're drilling for oil and gas.We have AGIA, the gasline project a massive bi-partisan victory (the vote was 58 to 1!) also succeeding as intended protecting Alaskans as our clean natural gas will flow to energize us, and America, through a competitive, pro-private sector project. This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. THIS is energy independence.And ACES another bipartisan effort is working as intended and industry is publicly acknowledging its success. Our new oil and gas clear and equitable formula is so Alaskans will no longer be taken advantage of. ACES incentivizes NEW exploration and development and JOBS that were previously not going to happen with a monopolized North Slope oil basin.We cleaned up previously accepted unethical actions; we ushered in bi-partisan Ethics Reform.We also slowed the rate of government growth, we worked with the Legislature to save billions of dollars for the future, and I made no lobbyist friends with my hundreds of millions of dollars in budget vetoes... but living beyond our means today is irresponsible for tomorrow.We took government out of the dairy business and put it back into private-sector hands where it should be.We provided unprecedented support for education initiatives, and with the right leadership, finally filled long-vacant public safety positions. We built a sub-Cabinet on Climate Change and took heat from Outside special interests for our biologically-sound wildlife management for abundance.
We broke ground on the new prison.
And we made common sense conservative choices to eliminate personal luxuries like the jet, the chef, the junkets... the entourage.And the Lt. Governor and I said no to our pay raises. So much success in this first term - and with this success I am proud to take credit... for hiring the right people! Our goal was to achieve a gasline project, more fair oil and gas valuation, and ethics reform in four years. We did it in two. It's because of the people... good public servants surrounding the Governor's office, with servants' hearts and astounding work ethic... THEY are Alaska's success!
We are doing well! I wish you'd hear MORE from the media of your state's progress and how we tackle Outside interests daily SPECIAL interests that would stymie our state. Even those debt-ridden stimulus dollars that would force the heavy hand of federal government into our communities with an all-knowing attitude I have taken the slings and arrows with that unpopular move to veto because I know being right is better than being popular. Some of those dollars would harm Alaska and harm America I resisted those dollars because of the obscene national debt we're forcing our children to pay, because of today's Big Government spending; it's immoral and doesn't even make economic sense! Another accomplishment our Law Department protected states' rights TWO huge U.S. Supreme Court reversals came down against that liberal Ninth Circuit, deciding in OUR state's favor over the last two weeks. We're protectors of our Constitution - federalists protect states' rights as mandated in 10th amendment.But you don't hear much of the good stuff in the press anymore, do you? Some say things changed for me on August 29th last year the day John McCain tapped me to be his running-mate I say others changed.
Let me speak to that for a minute.
Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I've been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters' questions.
Every one all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We've won! But it hasn't been cheap the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to opposition research that's money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the politics of personal destruction ... Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime so they're not going to stop draining public resources spending other peoples' money in their game.It's pretty insane - my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with THIS instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more politics as usual,but THIS isn't what anyone had in mind for ALASKA.
If I have learned one thing: LIFE is about choices!
And one chooses how to react to circumstances. You can choose to engage in things that tear down, or build up. I choose to work very hard on a path for fruitfulness and productivity. I choose NOT to tear down and waste precious time; but to build UP this state and our country, and her industrious, generous, patriotic, free people!
Life is too short to compromise time and resources... it may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: Sit down and shut up, but that's the worthless, easy path; that's a quitter's way out. And a problem in our country today is apathy. It would be apathetic to just hunker down and go with the flow.Nah, only dead fish go with the flow.No. Productive, fulfilled people determine where to put their efforts, choosing to wisely utilize precious time... to BUILD UP.And there is such a need to BUILD up and FIGHT for our state and our country. I choose to FIGHT for it! And I'll work hard for others who still believe in free enterprise and smaller government; strong national security for our country and support for our troops; energy independence; and for those who will protect freedom and equality and LIFE... I'll work for and campaign for those PROUD to be American, and those who are INSPIRED by our ideals and won't deride them.I WILL support others who seek to serve, in or out of office, for the RIGHT reasons, and I don't care what party they're in or no party at all. Inside Alaska - or Outside Alaska.
But I won't do it from the Governor's desk.
I've never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this - to make a difference... to HELP people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more freedom to progress, all the way around... so that Alaska may progress... I will not seek re-election as Governor.And so as I thought about this announcement that I wouldn't run for re-election and what it means for Alaska, I thought about how much fun some governors have as lame ducks... travel around the state, to the Lower 48 (maybe), overseas on international trade as so many politicians do. And then I thought that's what's wrong many just accept that lame duck status, hit the road, draw the paycheck, and milk it. I'm not putting Alaska through that I promised efficiencies and effectiveness! ? That's not how I am wired. I am not wired to operate under the same old politics as usual.I promised that four years ago and I meant it.
It's not what is best for Alaska.
I am determined to take the right path for Alaska even though it is unconventional and not so comfortable.With this announcement that I am not seeking re-election... I've determined it's best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell; and I am willing to do so, so that this administration with its positive agenda, its accomplishments, and its successful road to an incredible future can continue without interruption and with great administrative and legislative success.My choice is to take a stand and effect change not hit our heads against the wall and watch valuable state time and money, millions of your dollars, go down the drain in this new environment. Rather, we know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time, on another scale, and actually make a difference for our priorities and so we will, for Alaskans and for Americans.Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me sports... basketball. I use it because you're naïve if you don't see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket... and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I'm doing that keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it's time to pass the ball for victory.I have given my reasons candidly and truthfully... and my last day won't be for another few weeks so the transition will be very smooth. In fact, we will look to swear Sean in in Fairbanks at the conclusion of our Governor's picnics.I do not want to disappoint anyone with my decision; all I can ask is that you TRUST me with this decision but it's no more politics as usual.
Some Alaskans don't mind wasting public dollars and state time. I do. I cannot stand here as your Governor and allow millions upon millions of our dollars go to waste just so I can hold the title of Governor. And my children won't allow it either. ? Some will question the timing. ? Let's just say, this decision has been in the works for awhile.In fact, this decision comes after much consideration, and finally polling the most important people in my life my children (where the count was unanimous... well, in response to asking: Want me to make a positive difference and fight for ALL our children's future from OUTSIDE the Governor's office? It was four yes's and one hell yeah! The hell yeah sealed it and someday I'll talk about the details of that... I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently.) Um, by the way, sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig I know he needs me, but I need him even more... what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT that time is precious... the world needs more Trigs, not fewer.My decision was also fortified during this most recent trip to Kosovo and Landstuhl, to visit our wounded soldiers overseas, those who sacrifice themselves in war for OUR freedom and security... we can ALL learn from our selfless Troops... they're bold, they don't give up, they take a stand and know that LIFE is short so they choose to NOT waste time. They choose to be productive and to serve something greater than SELF... and to build up their families, their states, our country. These Troops and their important missions - those are truly the worthy causes in this world and should be the public priority with time and resources and NOT this local / superficial wasteful political bloodsport.
May we ALL learn from them!((Gotta put First Things First))
First things first: as Governor, I love my job and I love Alaska. It hurts to make this choice but I am doing what's best for Alaska. I've explained why... though I think of the saying on my parents' refrigerator that says Don't explain: your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe you anyway.But I have given my reasons... no more politics as usual and I am taking my fight for what's right for Alaska in a new direction.Now, despite this, I don't want any Alaskan dissuaded from entering politics after seeing this REAL climate change that began in August... no, we NEED hardworking, average Americans fighting for what's right! And I will support you because we need YOU and YOU can effect change, and I can too on the outside.We need those who will respect our Constitution where government's supposed to serve from the BOTTOM UP, not move toward this TOP DOWN big government take-over... but rather, will be protectors of individual rights who also have enough common sense to acknowledge when conditions have drastically changed and are willing to call an audible and pass the ball when it's time so the team can win! And that is what I'm doing!Remember Alaska... America is now, more than ever, looking North to the Future. It'll be good. So God bless you, and from me and my family to ALL Alaska you have my heart.And we will be in the capable hands of our Lieutenant Governor, Sean Parnell. And Lieutenant General Craig Campbell will assume the role of Lieutenant Governor. And it is my promise to you that I will always be standing by, ready to assist. We have a good, positive agenda for Alaska.In the words of General MacArthur said,We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADE BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
EU CALLS FOR WORLD GOVERNMENT
EXCELLENT EU REVIEW - WORLD REGIONS,GLOBAL CURRENCY
LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE INFOWARS.COM
ENDGAME GLOBAL ENSLAVEMENT
THE LISON TREATY VIDEO - REGIONAL BLOCKS WORLD CURRENCY WITH A WORLD BANK
ISRAELI ELECTRIC CARS
ARABS FOCUS ON ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS
THEY MUST THINK WE ARE ALL AS DAFT AS THEY ARE! CHECK IT OUT WHOM HAS LARGE INTEREST IN TAMIFLU OH YES...ALLEDGEDLY RUMSFIELD AND GORE!? Teen is swine flu's first victim in London as ministers warn 40 a day could die by end of summer By DANIEL MARTIN Last updated at 2:07 PM on 03rd July 2009
Israeli Firms Bid for Unique ID Card Project
Tammuz 10, 5769, 02 July 09 02:49by Zalman Nelson
(Israelnationalnews.com) Israeli information technology (IT) firms are partnering with Indian companies in a joint bid for a unique identification card project for the Indian government, according to an Israeli IT official.The government-funded project, to be implemented by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is looking to create unique identification cards for all citizens by 2011.Israeli IT firms with domain expertise in e-governance and Homeland Security will bid for the unique ID card project jointly with Indian vendors, as local participation is key to such projects dealing with critical mass,Israeli software industry business development manager Katrin Melamed told Silicon India.Our leading IT firms have the architecture and the model for the Indian ID card project, which is set to cover over a billion people,Melamed said.Many Israeli firms have developed the technology and solutions for e-governance projects like ID cards with security features such as biometric or fingerprints, said Melamed who is leading a week-long Israeli IT delegation to India sponsored by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) and funded by the Israeli government. The 14-member delegation of IT firms is scouting for Indian partnerships in digital broadcast media, modernization solutions, homeland security and e-governance.
In the absence of a lucrative domestic market for historical and social reasons, we are an export-oriented nation with only human capital and limited natural resources due to scarce land and smaller size of the country,Melamed pointed out.As a result, Israeli IT industry focuses more on research and development, product innovation, and technology upgrading to maintain globally competitiveness. Spanning hardware and software, the Israeli hi-tech industry is comprised of about 3,000 IT firms which accounting for $5.8 billion in exports in 2008. About 40 percent of Israel's total IT exports go to North America, while Europe accounts for 30 percent and the remained is generated from rest of the world, including Asia.
JOHN LOEFFLER THE CLIMATE BILL GOES THROUGH WITHOUT THE HOUSE READING IT (WHAT A SCAM)
CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS HORROR STORIES
Democrats’ Cap-and-Trade Bill Creates Retrofit Policy for Homes and Businesses
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 By Matt Cover
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (AP Photo)(CNSNews.com) – The 1,400-page cap-and-trade legislation pushed through by House Democrats contains a new federal policy that residential, commercial, and government buildings be retrofitted to increase energy efficiency, leaving it up to the states to figure out exactly how to do that.
This means that homeowners, for example, could be required to retrofit their homes to meet federal green guidelines in order to sell their homes, if the cap-and-trade bill becomes law.The bill, which now goes to the Senate, directs the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement a national policy for residential and commercial buildings. The purpose of such a strategy – known as the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) – would be to facilitate the retrofitting of existing buildings nationwide.The Administrator shall develop and implement, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, standards for a national energy and environmental building retrofit policy for single-family and multi-family residences,the bill reads.It continues: The purpose of the REEP program is to facilitate the retrofitting of existing buildings across the United States.The bill leaves the definition of a retrofit and the details of the REEP program up to the EPA. However, states are responsible for ensuring that the government’s plans are carried out, whatever the final details may entail.States shall maintain responsibility for meeting the standards and requirements of the REEP program,the bill says.States may contract with private agencies to oversee the retrofitting and measuring of improved efficiency and environmental friendliness of houses and other buildings, making sure that private citizens have a variety of choices for retrofitting their homes.
States and local government entities may administer a REEP program in a manner that authorizes public or regulated investor-owned utilities, building auditors and inspectors, contractors, nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, and other entities to perform audits and retrofit services,reads the bill.It further says,A State or local administrator of a REEP program shall seek to ensure that sufficient qualified entities are available to support retrofit activities so that building owners have a competitive choice among qualified auditors, raters, contractors, and providers of services related to retrofits.In fact, individual homeowners are even allowed to retrofit buildings themselves. The bill gives specific protection to individual owners’ rights to choose who inspects and retrofits their property.Nothing in this section is intended to deny the right of a building owner to choose the specific providers of retrofit services to engage for a retrofit project in that owner’s building.Even though Congress says the states are responsible for carrying out the retrofits, the EPA and the Department of Energy will establish the guidelines and rules for doing so.The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall establish goals, guidelines, practices, and standards for accomplishing the purpose stated in subsection (c) [the retrofits],the bill says.The program would involve a system of certified auditors, inspectors, and raters who inspect homes and businesses using devices such as infrared cameras (which measure how much heat a building is giving off) to measure their energy efficiency. The results of these energy audits would then be used to determine what retrofits need to be performed. The audits would examine things like water usage, infrared photography, and pressurized testing to determine the efficiency of door and window seals, and indoor air quality.Those retrofits would be performed by licensed retrofit contractors using government-approved methods and resources including roofing materials that reflect solar energy.[B]uilding retrofits conducted pursuant to a REEP program utilize, especially in all air-conditioned buildings, roofing materials with high solar energy reflectance,the legislation states.After the retrofitting is complete, the government – state, local, or federal – will come back and re-inspect the house to determine how much energy has been saved and whether the retrofit is up to federal government standards.Determination of energy savings in a performance-based building retrofit program through — (A) for residential buildings, comparison of before and after retrofit scores,the proposal states.To help pay for the cost of these retrofits, states and localities may provide loans, utility rate rebates, tax rebates, or implement retrofit programs on their own. In fact, the government will even pay up to 50 percent of the cost of a retrofit through financial awards to individual home and building owners.PERCENTAGE.—Awards under clause (i) shall not exceed 50 percent of retrofit costs for each building,reads the bill.www.cnsnews.com
GERALD CELENTE ON CAP AND TRADE
Make No Mistake - America Has Been SOLD By The NWO Was America Sold?
By Nancy Levant NewsWithViews.com 7-3-9
In 1992, George H.W. Bush signed Executive Order 12803, which gave D.C. the authority to sell America's infrastructure. They called this authority Infrastructure Privatization.E.O. 12803 tells us this power cleared the way for the disposition or transfer of an infrastructure asset such as by sale or by long-term lease from a State or local government to a private party.
E.O. 12803 also lists examples of America's saleable and/or lease-able infrastructure:
· Electricity supply facilities
· Mass transit
· Rail transportation
· Recycling/wastewater treatment facilities
· Solid waste disposal facilities
E.O. 12803 tells us that this list represents infrastructure examples.Let us, therefore, assume that this is not the complete list of America's saleable infrastructure. However, this list is a stunning confession.Notice that all items listed in 12803 are the very same infrastructure items listed in all Martial Law Executive Orders (see here). Martial Law kicks in to power during declared states of emergency and with the single signature of the president. Strangely (and ignorantly), we currently have multiple declared states of emergency:
· Act of March 9, 1933, a declared state of emergency at the request of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This state of emergency was never lifted.
· Global pandemic - Level 6
· Mortgage/housing crisis
· Banking/lending crisis
· Automobile industry crisis
· Insurance industry crisis
· Healthcare crisis
· Southwestern border crisis
· Black market drug crisis
· National education crisis
· Nature/global warming crisis
· Jobs/unemployment crisis
· On-going weather and forest fire crises
· Extreme and unread congressional legislation crisis due to on-going crises
What are the odds of complete and total social and natural crisis in every single facet of our lives and all at the same time? I will tell you how it was accomplished with simple math:Federal Reserve System + Politicians + Tell-A-Vision = Assembly Line Crises. It is called the Hegelian Dialectic Show.Everything in the country, including the current planet-sized medical emergency, is in crisis. So enters Martial Law.
Think of our president's promises to change the country and to fix the economy (which the Federal Reserve and Congress destroyed) by rebuilding America's infrastructure, including 21st Century schools and by greening-up our living standards and conditions (International Code Council, Carbon Credits, Waxman-Markey Climate Bill, etc.) - minus, of course, privately owned land and homes (Agenda 21). In the last six months, consider the massive growth of the Federal Government, the national debt, and the powers of the Federal Reserve Central Banking System - all with stated intentions of fixing the economy that they single-handedly destroyed - and fixing it with infrastructure projects.As Martial Law militarily guards all of E.O. 12803's infrastructure as listed in the Order, and with homeland paramilitary armies holding practice drills with foreign armies, local law enforcement, and emergency responders all across the nation (and with a big drill planned July 27th through July 31st in FEMA Region 6),And with all public schools, private schools, and universities forced to have lock-down policies and to be forced-used as quarantine holding tanks, and with all Americans having been repeatedly told to prepare for an emergency (meaning an emergency that will bring Martial Law into the full light of day, which the drills have clearly done),AND the very same infrastructures listed in Executive Order 12803 are also listed in all Martial Law Executive Orders, and all these infrastructures having been for sale, lease-able, or having been sold during the last 17 years- including our children's schools, our hospitals, and our homes - I suggest to you that you are witnessing Central Banking Debt Magic at its finest moment. Wouldn't you love to know how much money has been made by selling our nation to the highest bidders?
Let us review:
1. The country's infrastructure has been for sale for 17 years. Roads, tunnels, bridges, electricity supply facilities, mass transit, rail transportation, airports, ports, waterways, water supply facilities, recycling/wastewater facilities, solid waste facilities, prisons, hospitals, schools, and housing -- this being of examples of saleable infrastructure and not the entire list of saleable items according to E.O. 12803--so the question begs: What exactly has been sold to private parties in our nation? We would like to see the complete list. We know that many highway systems have been sold to foreign countries, but what of the other listed items? Have they been sold as well? If so, who owns them, and more to the question, which D.C. department sold them and for how much? Did the Federal Reserve and Congress sell our nation? Where is the paperwork? Did they repay any of America's debt that they purposefully created with their pyramid fiat money lending schemes? And why are they still raising our taxes if America is no longer America but belongs to foreign nations or private parties? Since the Federal Reserve is a private corporation, did the Fed buy any of America's infrastructure assets? As American housing is on 12803's list, and since D.C. recently took over the mortgage industry, has the housing market been sold and/or leased to a private party like a foreign nation or the Federal Reserve Corporation? Are the American people tenants to unknown parties? Are American children occupying foreign-owned schools, and are our loved ones lying in foreign hospitals that are clearly chock-full of foreign doctors? Equally, who, exactly, is financing the building of 21st Century schools and classrooms complete with foreign curricula? The questions beg: who are the foreigners....the foreigners or the American people? More to the point, who is dissolving, partitioning, and/or divvying up our nation? Is it Obama? Geithner? Bernacke? Bushes? Clintons? FDR? Wilson? American morons? It would seem that we are preparing for the Big Transfer - the transfer of our nation to and beneath a new authority or several new authorities. It now makes a great deal of sense why foreign troops have been cross-training with our new paramilitary systems, and yes, there are foreign troops on American soil, which I fear may not be American soil at all. Equally, multiculturalism suddenly makes a great deal of sense. I believe we can call it behavior modification so that we the stupid people will behave and be obedient under the new rules of new and foreign leaders.I ask you, has our nation been sold out from under us, and without our knowledge? Could there be any other possible explanation for selling the most critical components of our country, while at the same time creating new, multicultural and cross-trained armies; permanently bankrupting the nation and selling its debt to foreign countries, and having Martial Law orders written specifically to protect the sold assets of our nation--including our schools and homes? Are America's new owners to be protected by new Martial Law armies, cross-trained with foreign armies, while our traditional military is spread all over the planet - except here with its nation's people? Are we being transferred to new ownership as we speak?
Washington D.C. debts were sold to foreign nations.
· Washington D.C. = politicians
· Debts = Federal Reserve Central (Fiat) Banking
· Sold = Wall Street
Is it not realistic to think that big league politicians, bankers, and CEOs are loyal to no nation when they were massively enriched by internationalized banking, internationalized trade, absurd and illegal taxation, and by interest rates forced upon the people of this nation, while at the same time selling our nation to other central banks around the world and private parties - and for personal profit? Truth is, they sold the infrastructure first, and then they sold we the people as tax generators and life-long human resources to their global banking and business partners in crime.What is the crime, you ask? The Federal Reserve, which is a piece of a global banking cartel, and their politicians and CEO partners who made counterfeiting and Ponzi/pyramid schemes legalized theft on continental scales. Your country is 1) not your country and, 2) not what you thought it was for at least 100 years. You are going to have to seek God's grace to be relieved from the bitterness of that truth. Today, we don't know under whose authority we live, but Washington, D.C. and the Federal Reserve do know.Big, big changes are on the horizon. All I can tell you is to remember that freedom, granted to all by God, is first and foremost a state of mind. Pray for guidance. Prepare yourselves because Obama spoke the truth. It is all about infrastructure.The promised change has arrived. The question is this: who owns America? Who have the American people been committed to serving and beneath what form of government? We can pretty much assume that Asia owns a very large chunk of America, as does Great Britain, India, Middle Eastern countries, and perhaps Mexico and Canada, as well. We can also assume that Martial Law armies will be guarding all the sold assets during what could be an extraordinary and massively tyrannical transfer of power. The love of money is the root of all evil. No truer words were ever spoken.
THESE NUTCASE ENVIRMENTALISTS NEW AGE OCCULTISTS AGAIN BLOW UP THE B.C PIPELINE.
Blast hits Canadian gas pipeline
Thu, 02 Jul 2009 23:13:42 GMT
Trans-Canada gas pipeline crossing the Great Sand Hills, Saskatchewan.
A gas leak, at a pipeline in Canada's western British Columbia province, has been caused by a blast that police say is the fifth act of sabotage in the region over the past year. The oil and natural gas company informed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Wednesday, after company employees noticed a loss in pressure in the pipeline close to Dawson Creek, in the northeast of the province. In a statement, the RCMP said preliminary examinations allowed them to confirm that the rupture was caused by an explosion,AFP reported. This blast is considered the fifth in a series of criminally motivated acts that have occurred at EnCana sites in northeastern British Columbia spanning 2008 and into 2009,the RCMP said. Police have said they believe the acts are the work of local residents.Last year, a local newspaper received a suspicious letter that called on energy companies to leave the area.
Obama Think-Tank: Israel Should Cede Jerusalem Sovereignty
A think tank which is arguably the most influential in Washington is proposing an interim neutral administration to govern Jerusalem instead of Israel.The Center for American Progress (CAP), headquartered just three blocks from the White House in Washington, is regarded as one of the most influential think tanks in the city, if not the most influential. CAP has been an incubator for liberal thought and helped build the [Democratic party] platform that triumphed in the 2008 campaign, according to a Bloomberg.com report, which noted that some of the group's recommendations were adopted by Obama while he was still president-elect.Four weeks ago, CAP held a panel discussion based on the premise that the Old City of Jerusalem is the main impediment in finding a solution to the Israel-Arab problem in the Holy Land. Michael Bell, a former Canadian Ambassador to Jordan, Egypt and Israel, presented a plan entitled the Jerusalem Old City Initiative. The plan does not call for the internationalization of Jerusalem but is not far off from that. It recommends that both Israel and a future state of Palestine appoint a third-party administrator that would run and police the city. Bell explained that the plan calls for an administration or regime that would govern the Old City of Jerusalem for an interim period, without either Israel or the PA giving up their demands for sovereignty: Frankly, I don’t think there’s going to be any agreement on sovereignty. I think that the two sides need not cede their demands for sovereignty; these claims can remain exactly as they are today. The sides would simply agree to delay the implementation or assertion of these claims until after an agreement is reached. Until then, a special administration would be set up, with the two sides agreeing to set this up, at least on an interim basis. And what this would do … would be to ensure dignity, human rights and equity for all living in the Old City, all visitors, and all pilgrims.
Questions and Clarifications
The implication that these values are not currently provided and offered by Israel was not challenged. An audience member did ask afterwards why the status quo could not simply be retained, and Bell responded, We thought of this option ourselves, but we thought it would be too intangible…He also said,I don’t think you would find a majority on either side to the conflict that would agree to defer its claims to sovereignty though Israel is already sovereign there, and would seemingly not mind retaining the status quo.Bell did not quantify the plan’s interim period, though he did imply that it could very well be close to permanent.The Chief Administrator would be appointed by both sides to administer the city according to the mandate they give him,Bell said.He would be accountable to them, but the mandate would have to be sufficiently forthcoming. They would have to agree that he would handle crises such as massacre, land-grab, or whatever, without their intervention.
CAP Report Cites Western Wall as Holiest Site
The CAP report on the event states,The Temple Mount’s Western Wall is the most sacred place of Jewish worship, and the al-Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), where Muslims believe that Mohammad ascended into the heavens, is the third holiest site in Islam. However, law professor Marshall Breger co-author of Jerusalem's Holy Places and the Peace Process and consultant to the Jerusalem Old City Initiative who spoke at the panel about the competing religious claims, said more than once that it was the Temple Mount itself, and not the Western Wall outside it, that is the holiest place in Jerusalem.
Bell: Whether Belief Systems are Historically Valid is Beside the Point
Both Breger and Bell dismissed the claims of those who challenge Islam’s connection to the site. Breger agreed, but implied that current Islamic claims that Judaism’s Holy Temple was never built there are totally unfounded, noting that the Waqf itself published literature some decades ago boasting that the Dome of the Rock is on the site of the Holy Temple. At that point, Bell said, It’s very important to realize that it’s beside the point whether these belief systems are historically valid or not… It’s not up to me to tell you whether your narrative is valid or not…
Breger: Take Politics Out
Breger similarly said that the argument that Jerusalem is not so holy to Islam is a silly one.He said,It’s true that when Jerusalem was not under Islamic control, such as during the Crusader period, the British Mandate and under Israeli control, there was more discussion about Jerusalem in Muslim sources… but it’s silly to say that it’s not so holy to Islam, because you have to accept a religion’s definition of what is holy.However, this appeared to contradict what he said just minutes before:One of our problems is that we have to weed out the politics of religion from the doctrine of religion.
He did not note that Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Quran.
Breger did say that the current Muslim clerical view that non-Muslims should not enter the Temple Mount was clearly not always the Muslim view,since just a few decades ago the Waqf charged admission to non-Muslim visitors.
Daniel Kurzer on Jerusalem
Daniel Kurtzer, an Orthodox Jew and diplomat who has been credited with coining the concept land for peace and insisting long ago that Jerusalem be included in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, was the moderator. He said that discussing the option of imposing a settlement freeze on Jerusalem would make it easier to have serious negotiations.Kurtzer further warned that a solution for Jerusalem had better be found before Israel builds its E-1 housing project near Maaleh Adumim and before the City of David (Silwan) Jewish settlement project proceeds much further.
Israeli sub said armed with nuclear-capable torpedoes navigates Suez Canal
DEBKAfile Special Report July 3, 2009, 8:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Dolphin-class attack submarine is reported to be the first Israeli naval vessel to transit the Suez Canal in four years on its way from Haifa to Eilat last month. According to DEBKAfile's military sources, the move indicates a strengthening of the informal Israel-Egyptian-Saudi pact forged in recent months against Iran and first revealed by our sources. The three Middle East nations have opted for an Iran policy which is separate from the track pursued by US president Barack Obama. According to foreign military sources, the Israeli Dolphins are stationed in the Mediterranean, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean opposite Iran's shores. They are said to be armed with torpedo tubes capable of launching nuclear-capable cruise missiles.To transit the Suez Canal, the armed submarine would have required Egyptian permission at the highest level, possibly even President Hosni Mubarak. An official in Cairo told Reuters that its passage would not be problematic as Egypt and Israel are not at war.This noncommittal response indicates that Egypt has no objection to Israeli military craft passing through the canal on their way to the Red Sea and on to the Persian Gulf in case of a decision to strike Iran. The alternative would be a voyage of weeks around the Horn of Africa.Our military sources report that since the Israel Navy lost the Dakar submarine near Greece in 1968, all Israeli subs are armed when they move out of harbor. Disclosure of the Israeli sub's passage through the Suez Canal last month is rated by our sources as of high regional significance, over and above the Middle East diplomatic moves afoot.
Fundamentally Freund: A place where Israel is loved: Finland loves Israel
By MICHAEL FREUND JULY 1,09
Tucked away in a far corner of northern Europe, the tranquil and resourceful nation of Finland often gets unjustly overlooked. Flanked by a swaggering and increasingly quarrelsome Russia to the east and its larger and blonder Swedish neighbor to the west, the Finns seem to receive neither the attention nor the consideration that they rightly deserve.Indeed, despite being beset by harsh winters and a dearth of arable land, as well as enjoying the dubious distinction of being the European Union's most sparsely populated country, Finland has nonetheless built one of the most pleasant and peaceful societies on the entire continent.There is little crime and virtually no political corruption, and public places are spotlessly clean, bordering on the pristine. It is akin in many ways to Switzerland, except that the Finns are nice.
But there is something else that distinguishes Finland, setting it apart from much of the rest of contemporary Europe, and that is the deep-seated love and admiration for Israel that exists among large sectors of the public.On a recent trip to the country, which included a lecture tour in six towns and cities, I found what can only be described as a remarkable level of support for the Jewish state, one that cuts across religious and regional boundaries. From the capital of Helsinki to Tampere, Finland's third largest city, to the small town of Ikaalinen in the western part of the country, hundreds of non-Jews in each locale came out to demonstrate their solidarity.
There are churches where the Israeli flag is proudly displayed side-by-side with the Finnish national colors, and where entire Christian congregations recite Hatikva first in Hebrew and then in Finnish.Literally dozens of Finns approached me to recount how proud they were to have spent periods of time volunteering in Israel at schools and in hospitals or on kibbutzim. They voiced great concern over Iran and its nuclear ambitions, and many pray for Israel and its welfare daily.In Helsinki, Pastor Seppo Seppala approached me and, much to my surprise, engaged me in conversation in fluent Hebrew. He has been to Israel dozens of times, and continues to bring groups of Finnish tourists. And he is not alone. Without exception, after every speech I gave, there were always several non-Jews who came up to me and addressed me in Hebrew. Many take part in weekly private Hebrew classes, taught by fellow non-Jews, simply out of a love for the language and the people of Israel.PARTICULARLY NOTEWORTHY is the fact that Finnish Christian support for the Jewish state is not the province of any one particular denomination, but rather it includes such diverse groups as Baptists, Pentecostals and Lutherans. However much they might disagree over theological or doctrinal issues, when it comes to Israel they stand united.This was most evident at a day-long meeting I attended on June 14 in Heinola, a town in the south-central part of the country. Organized by the dynamic Finnish branch of the International Christian Embassy-Jerusalem (ICEJ) under the leadership of Juha Ketola, it brought together dozens of pro-Israel community leaders from across the country to discuss efforts to promote and support aliya.For the past two decades, the Finns have been actively involved in helping Jews from the former Soviet Union to move to Israel, and Helsinki served as a gateway to Zion after the fall of communism.
On March 10, 1990, the indefatigable Kaarlo and Ulla Jarvilehto, a former member of the Finnish parliament who headed the ICEJ Finland branch at the time, teamed up with the Jewish Agency to help the first Soviet Jewish family go through Helsinki on its way to Tel Aviv. Since then, the Finns have sponsored the aliya of well over 17,000 Russian Jews.As I sat and listened to the proceedings with the aid of a translator, an extraordinary exchange unfolded. The representatives discussed contingency plans in case there was a crisis and large numbers of Jews had to leave for Israel via Finland at a moment's notice. They then began to argue with one another politely, of course - over which Finnish towns or cities would welcome the Jews, with each one wanting to make sure that his or her community was not left out.I couldn't help but marvel at the fact that after centuries in which Europeans often vied with one another to get rid of Jews, here were Finns competing for the right to host them.What accounts for this phenomenon? To some extent, it is based on certain parallels between Finland and Israel, both of which are small countries which had to fight for independence and whose historically ravenous neighbors have occasionally coveted their land. But in many instances, it is because Finnish Christians feel a profound religious and spiritual obligation to champion Israel due to God's promise to Abraham that I will bless those who bless you(Genesis 12:3).OF COURSE, not all is rosy in Finland. In January, for example, the Finnish Green League's paper Vihrea Lanka published a cartoon strip in which the Star of David was compared to a swastika. The paper's editor offered a peculiar justification for the caricature, asserting that it is quite clearly the flag of Israel featured in the strip and not just any Star of David,as if that somehow makes it OK.And the general Finnish media, like much of the mainstream press throughout Western Europe, is often biased and slanted in its coverage of the Middle East.Nonetheless, it is refreshing to see that there is a place in Europe where Israel is truly loved. So much of our focus is on our foes and those who hate us, that we often don't pay enough attention to our friends.This needs to change, and Israel and world Jewry must do more to cultivate relations with Helsinki, where the ground is fertile for deepening the bonds of friendship between the two countries. For at a time when anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment are on the rise, it is comforting to know that in at least one corner of Europe, there are countless thousands of good and decent people with a warm place in their hearts for the Jewish state.
Setback for Tony Blair's ambition to be president of Europe
Tony Blair's ambition to become Europe's first president have been set back by stiffening opposition from Sweden and Spain, the two countries chairing the EU for the next year.Senior officials in Stockholm, which assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU today, said they feared a President Blair would be a divisive figure, triggering friction between small and large European countries, and added that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, was even more strongly opposed to Blair securing the post and usurping Madrid's running of the union next year.The decision to appoint a new sitting European president, for a maximum of five years, is to be taken before the end of the year if Ireland votes yes in October in a referendum on the Lisbon treaty streamlining the way the EU is run and also creating the new post.Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister, made clear his aversion to Blair securing the plum post, without mentioning the former prime minister by name.
The small countries don't want a strong leader because they fear he will be run by the big [EU] countries,said Reinfeldt.European governments had to decide whether the post ought to be turned into a strong leader for Europe or whether the president's role should be limited to chairing EU summits and not putting the [European] commission president in the shadow,said the Swedish prime minister.It was clear he preferred the latter role, a lower profile and less influential function that would probably be less attractive to Blair.The former prime minister is believed to be strongly considering bidding for the post. Former close aides have indicated they could be moving to Brussels. But no announcement of a candidacy is expected until after the Irish referendum.When Blair's name first surfaced for the position last year, it quickly became clear that he had the support of France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, but was opposed by Berlin, where the chancellor, Angela Merkel, is said to prefer a more limited role for the president and a weaker figure.That situation may no longer obtain. Sarkozy is said to have gone cool on Blair and could support Felipe González, the former Spanish prime minister, while Merkel's opposition seems to have diminished despite the fact that Blair is widely mistrusted in Germany for his role in the Iraq war and because he failed to use his 10 years in Downing Street to put Britain at the heart of Europe.
Privately, senior Swedish officials questioned the merits of a Blair presidency. Running the EU for the next year, the Swedish and Spanish governments enjoy agenda-setting powers that could complicate a Blair bid.The Briton's main assets, however, are name and brand recognition, international contacts, and the absence, so far, of any serious rival for the post.Last year, the Germans were said to be backing either Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran prime minister of Luxembourg, or Wolfgang Schüssel, the former Austrian chancellor. Both are no longer mentioned as credible contenders.
Rather than names, the Swedes want to concentrate on settling the job description and defining the role and powers for the new post.The job of European president, held for a maximum of two terms of 30 months, is established by the Lisbon treaty, along with the new post of European foreign policy chief, who is also to be a vice-president of the European commission.The president is to be appointed by European heads of state or government, but the role and powers have yet to be agreed, except that the person should be a former president or prime minister.British diplomats say that the first president will shape the role, while the Swedes say the job description should precede the appointment.
The Rise Of Paganism
Look out, here come the pagans. It's late May in central London and a man dressed as a tree, a witch in a velvet robe and a woman pretending to be a raven with a long black beak are dancing through the streets of Holborn, with several hundred others, moving to the rhythm of a dozen loud drums. They could wake the god of thunder with their noise but it's OK, the people at the back with the broadswords and shields are followers of Thor. This is a parade to celebrate pagan pride, and it would be wise not to get in the way.We are moving into a new time,says the leader, brandishing a huge set of antlers.We are becoming more accepted. Paganism is reasserting itself.
Who is going to argue? Her name is Jeanette Ellis and she looks like the figurehead of a mighty galleon, cleavage pushing up out of a medieval dress (although her bottom half is mostly foliage). Ellis has been organising parades for more than a decade. There has been such a dramatic change,she says,in the way we are perceived.Paganism is casting its spell over more people now than ever before in the modern age. There are said to be a quarter of a million practising pagans in this country, double the number of a decade ago. That would make them more numerous than Buddhists (of which there are 144,500, according to the 2001 census) and almost as numerous as Jews (259,000) - and it doesn't even allow for the growing tribe of unofficial, instinctive pagans such as my friend Cath, who planned to celebrate the summer solstice in the early hours yesterday by going out into the garden at dawn and just tuning in. At Stonehenge at least 30,000 people were expected to watch the sun rise in the company of the druids who see themselves as practising the ancient faith of pre-Christian Britain. For them, the sun is symbolic of one aspect of the universal force which flows through the world and which can be encouraged to flow through us, according to Philip Carr-Gomm, founder of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and author of the new Book of English Magic. The druids are only a small part of modern paganism, which encompasses a bewildering number of traditions or paths, but central to them all is this idea of a divine force inherent in nature. It is an individualistic faith that encourages each person to respond in their own way, so you don't have to be a druid, or belong to any kind of order at all.Away from Stonehenge, much smaller groups of people celebrate the summer solstice by gathering before sunrise in gardens or woods, on beaches or hilltops across the country, some for organised rituals and some, like Cath, just responding to their own understanding of a spirituality that seems to work best in the open air. Ask her faith and she says pagan straight away. She sees no need to join in with anybody else, but Cath is far from alone.What we believe is suddenly everywhere,says Bantu, a dreadlocked 29-year-old who planned to be on a hill in Wales when the moment came. He started to worship Gaia, the earth goddess, after going to a workshop at a climate camp.Everyone's a pagan now.
Not quite, maybe, but the rise has been dramatic. The census in 2001 recorded 40,000 pagans, but the true figure may be higher.Pagans don't like telling the government what they're up to,says Ellis. A decade ago Ronald Hutton, a professor of history at Bristol University, calculated that there were 120,000 people going to rituals or meetings (often in pubs) called moots. That was before Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Lord of the Rings, Charmed and Sabrina the Teenage Witch made pagan spirituality and mythology part of pop culture.The Pagan Federation, which aims to represent all followers of a polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religion, claims the number of adherents has trebled at least. That would mean there were 360,000 committed, practising pagans, putting them ahead of the Sikhs (329,000) and fourth behind Hindus (552,000), Muslims (1.5 million) and Christians (42 million, according to the census).Hutton adds that there has been a much greater acceptance of pagan ideas among the wider public.It is best to think in terms of concentric circles,he says, from those who are initiated members of a group such as a coven, out to those who go to Stonehenge for a drink and a party.The Pagan Federation's membership list includes druids as well as wiccans, practising modern witchcraft; shamans, engaging with the spirits of the land; and heathens, worshipping the gods of the north European tribes (including Thor). But then there are the neopagans such as Bantu, always visible at environmental protests, who wouldn't think of belonging to any kind of federation and who pursue a rainbow of revived, recreated or invented beliefs with nature at their heart.All you have to believe to be a pagan, according to the federation, is that each of us has the right to follow our own path (as long as it harms no-one else); that the higher power (or powers) exists; and that nature is to be venerated. If you asked everyone in Britain if they agreed with those three statements, millions would put their hands up. At its loosest, paganism is beginning to look like our new national faith.The circles can be seen widening in the most unlikely places. Nine years ago, Ray and Lynda Lindfield and their friends tried to start a pagan festival on the seafront in ultra-conservative Eastbourne in East Sussex, and were threatened with arrest.It had to be pointed out that we had a right to practise our religion in public,says Lynda. Lammas is now one of the big local draws of the summer.These public events usually include a re-enactment of whatever stage of the pagan cycle is being marked. In Eastbourne they needed some dancers to perform the cutting down of the male sun god, represented as the mythical character John Barleycorn, and so a morris-dancing group, Hunters Moon, was born. It is now the most fashionable side (as morris-dancing groups are sometimes known) in the country, having recently been hired to perform at a party in London for Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, among others. It is also part of what amounts, in morris dancing, to a pagan coup.
The Morris Ring, which represents the hanky-waving sides everyone thinks of as morris dancers, announced in January that young people were not interested. That was news to Hunters Moon, and other recently formed, pagan-inspired sides across the country such as Wolf's Head and Vixen, the first gothic morris outfit, whose members wear mirror shades and look like the Sisters of Mercy. Half of the two-dozen dancers at a recent Hunters Moon rehearsal were under 30, including teenage students. They hopped, they skipped, they smashed big sticks together until the splinters flew and then used them for gestures that were, quite frankly, rude. Hunter's Moon dance with blacked-up faces (not racist but medieval, they insist, having been a way for mummers to hide their identities from their daytime employers as they went door to door for trick or treat) and outfits that make them look like ragged crows that have mated with Hell's Angels. Not every member is a pagan, but they wear pentagrams and the dances include arcane elements such as the spiral. Those that know what it is,says Armstrong,know what it is.Witchcraft is another driving force in the rise of paganism. Leading members of the Federation are part of this closed tradition that became public in 1954when a retired civil servant called Gerald Gardner claimed to have been introduced to pre-Christian occultism by one of the last surviving covens. Their version of the divine force is embodied in a horned male god and a mother goddess, and their response to its energy all around us involves the casting of spells and incantations to influence real events. Gardner's critics called it fiction, but wicca now has 7,000adherents, according to the census, which again is probably an understatement. What do you have to do to join? If I told you, I would have to kill you, says Chris Crowley, a wiccan high priest who speaks for the Federation.That's a joke, I think.
His partner, Vivienne, has written acclaimed books on wicca, or at least on its public side. Wiccans believe in the ability to communicate directly with the divine by calling down the god or goddess to enter the body, which can involve going into a trance and allowing them to speak through you. The most common wiccan symbol is the pentagram, whose points represent the elements essential to life: air, fire, water, earth and the spirit that ties them all together. They see themselves as inheritors of the wise craft that led men and women to be ducked and burned in previous ages, so if you want to know their deepest secrets you have to prove you are sincere and committed. Joining a coven traditionally takes a year and a day.It is a mystery religion,says Crowley.You do have to be initiated.Crowley is a head-hunter for public sector recruitment, and dresses in jeans and blue blazer.We look normal,he says, because we are.Jeanette Ellis is not a wiccan but a traditional witch, who follows a path she found among her family roots in the west of Ireland.I work with the Morrigan, a Celtic goddess.One associated with death and war (and ravens), I subsequently discover.We do not target people in our spells,insists Ellis, who calls her home in east London her covenstead. The 13 members meet when the moon is full. People bring ideas for spells. If someone has split up with her boyfriend, for example, we may cast a love spell that will make her more confident and attractive.
She is not so shy about ritual and is able to explain why so many people on the parade are wearing knives, including those broadswords (with the police turning a blind eye).That is the athame, a director of energy. It must not touch blood. There are no sacrifices going on.The knife is placed in a chalice to bless wine. She also describes the male high priest pushing the athame into a scabbard held by the high priestess. Hang on, this is all about sex, isn't it? There is a sexual energy, I wouldn't deny it,says Ellis, chuckling.The sexual union happens within every ritual, usually symbolically.Usually? It's not about orgies. Of course, after any full moon, if you want to go out into the garden and have ... that's fine, as long as you're a couple. You don't just go off with whoever you fancy.Do they ever do it as part of the ritual? Expecting a denial, I am surprised by her answer. Some do. Less and less, I think. I don't know what other covens get up to.
Nobody does. That's the point. It's hard to join.
Some wannabe wizards did go on to take an adult interest in the esoteric after reading Harry Potter, but the boy wizard's bigger impact has been in the adoption of pagan ideas into the mainstream: the BBC uses pagan spirituality as a source of inspiration even for children's shows such as Raven and Merlin, or Saturday tea-time blockbusters Robin Hood and Doctor Who. It is in pop culture that witchcraft meets the other main force behind the rise in paganism: environmentalism. James Lovelock made the link explicit in his influential 1979 description of the earth as a single, living organism, which he named after the Greek goddess Gaia. Some take this more theologically than others, but it remains the most famous example of how the desire for alternative lifestyles that began to flourish in the 60s has led to both a questioning of our attitude to the natural environment and a turning away from the established, patriarchal faiths towards new forms of spirituality. Of course, you don't have to be a pagan to be a green. Far from it. But the two movements have given each other energy, as each has grown.For many pagans, becoming a green campaigner is a way of demonstrating faith with practical action. For many activists who come at it from the opposite direction, the pagan idea of an ancient and universal spirit that animates the earth gives their actions a personal, spiritual framework. Not that you have to read eco-theory to get it these days, just watch Teletubbies. The indoctrination into things like recycling starts at an early age,says Catherine Hosen, a druid from Kent who watches a lot of CBeebies with her children.If you start off trying to be environmentally aware, it is not much of a step to seeing all of nature as sacred, and from there to becoming a pagan.
Restoring Babylon? U.S., Iraqi experts developing plan to preserve Babylon
The remains of what was once the greatest city in the world occupy a vast site on the bank of the Euphrates River.Their roots go back 3,800 years to when the city of Babylon was the heart of a Mesopotamian empire, and the remnants include great slabs of stone that are said to be the remains of King Nebuchadnezzar’s castle. A giant stone lion guards one end of the fortifications, but the most stunning remnants were removed by European archaeologists in the early 20th century. Now soldiers with the 172nd Infantry Brigade are exploring the ruins as part of a U.S.-Iraqi effort to preserve the ancient city and plan for the return of Western tourists.Members of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment escorted a group of U.S. heritage tourism experts to the ruins last week for the first of several visits to develop a preservation and tourism plan for the area.U.S. and coalition troops have been criticized in the past for damaging and contaminating artifacts. In a 2006 report, the head of the British Museum’s Near East department said that, among other things, military vehicles crushed a 2,600-year-old brick pavement, and sand and archeological fragments were used to fill military sandbags.Now the rapidly improving security situation in surrounding Babil province has persuaded the U.S. State Department and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to embark on the preservation project, dubbed the Future of Babylon Project.
The State Department and the World Monuments Fund have committed $700,000 to the project, which will see U.S. and Iraqi experts develop a plan to preserve the site and develop a local tourism industry, said Diane Siebrandt, the U.S. embassy’s cultural heritage officer.The Babylon project is one of several that the State Department is involved in to conserve ancient sites in partnership with the Iraqi government, she said.Two people with expertise developing tourism plans for historic sites in third-world nations, Gina Haney and Jeff Allen, have been employed by the State Department to run the U.S. side of the project. They visited the ruins for the first time last weekend. Haney said the pair will involve the local community in the plan’s development, as they did with a similar project encouraging Western tourists to visit Ghana’s Gold Coast.You could throw money at it and do all this work, but unless you can create a sustainable situation, your opportunities for tourism will run out, Allen said.The idea is to develop something that is going to be here 30 to 40 years from now and has benefits for the local people. We don’t want something that will only benefit outsiders.
The Iraqi government will be involved in the planning as well.
If you have 200,000 people a year coming to this site, you will have people staying at hotels, visiting restaurants, buying souvenirs,Allen said.The site is in some ways a revenue generator for the local community.Babylon could be comparable to the Egyptian pyramids, which draw millions of tourists each year. But the area lacks the tourist infrastructure that has been built at sites such as the pyramids, he said.
There is nothing for tourists here, but if you interpret and present it in the right way, you can spark interest,he said.Allen, who has experience designing walkways and signs for other heritage sites, said detailed planning won’t happen until authorities have worked out how best to preserve the ruins. The crumbling rocks of the original city are surrounded by more elaborate and modern fortifications, including a maze-like collection of interior walls built on top of genuine ruins during Saddam Hussein’s time.Some of the past restoration work hasn’t been very good, he said. Saddam was trying to inherit the power of the ancients and continue that legacy. His restoration methods helped reinforce that vision of himself, and he created a pattern of restoration and repair work that benefited a certain agenda.One of the 172nd soldiers who visited the ruins, 1st Lt. Bryan Kelso, 24, of Jacksonville, Fla., walked in wonder near the ancient stones.It’s amazing to be surrounded by this history. To think that we are standing where Alexander the Great has been, he said, referring to the great Macedonian conqueror who died in Babylon.Babylon is one of the oldest and first civilizations known to man. They created the wheel and the first calendars. Everybody coming here gets a sense of what this place really is and how it all traces back.
African Nations Debate How Much Power To Give to African Union
African Union (AU) members have agreed a plan to give its executive arm enhanced powers to co-ordinate common-interest policies, officials say.But the African Authority will not be able to act internationally unless it has a mandate from heads of state. The compromise on the draft came after hours of heated debate in a closed session in the Libyan town of Sirte. Correspondents say its creation is regarded as a stepping stone towards a federal government for the continent.This is of the ambition of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who wants a United States of Africa. The African Authority proposal had been resisted by South Africa and Nigeria, among others, who objected to giving the body too much power.It aims to simplify the AU's structure, allowing more control over diplomatic, trade and defence matters. The African Authority will represent the common interests of the member states of the union and speak in their name in international forums on international trade, Reuters news agency quoted the draft agreement as saying.
The structure will create a president, a vice-president, and a secretary of peace and security and common defence. Other secretaries will replace the current union's commissioners.But the BBC's Rana Jawad in Sirte says the powers of the Authority focus on co-ordination rather than unilateral implementation. While it will co-ordinate key policies, it will only be able to act with the consent of members, rather than exercising power over them.Benin's Foreign Minister Jean-Marie Ehouzou said the final text reflects everybody's position. The states are ready to cede a little bit a part of their sovereignty for the benefit of the [union],he said.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, also the current AU chairman, had pushed hard for the grouping to be given wider regional and defence powers. But supporters of Col Gaddafi's proposal faced opposition from the continent's largest economy, South Africa, and oil-producing nations like Angola and Nigeria. They were concerned about losing sovereignty over their own defence and foreign policy issues.One Libyan diplomat criticised the limits placed on the Authority by the final agreement. They have introduced the concept of a union government, but the Authority was not meant for that,he said.It was meant to be an inter-governmental organisation.The changes to the AU have yet to be ratified by member states, who have also agreed to discuss the financing of the plan at a later date.
A List of Corporate Lobbying by Jill Richardson
By Jill Richardson La Vida Locavore, June 18, 2009 Straight to the Source
Out of curiosity I decided to see who was spending the most on lobbying in America. And Oh My Goodness - NO WONDER our policy sucks. No wonder it's nearly impossible to pass health care reform that provides all Americans with affordable care, a global warming bill that doesn't suck, and the Employee Free Choice Act. No wonder we're in these two stupid wars. I know everyone's aware of the problems lobbying poses to our country, but good lord, if people saw the sheer magnitude of it (and the comparatively paltry amounts spent in the people's interest) they would be outraged. So here goes. Here's the list of the top 100 (ranked by amount spent on lobbying in Q109). Enjoy.I pulled up all of the reports for first quarter 2009 but over 20,000 items came up (and the report only shows the first 3000). OK, try again - all reports for over $1 million for first quarter 2009. This time a little over 100 came up (including AIG, who spent $1,250,000 on lobbying during that period).So here's how to read this list: These are the amounts spent by the corporations listed. However, many (if not most) of these corporations ALSO contract out to private lobbying firms, so the amounts you see here MIGHT not be the total amount they spent on lobbying in Q109. For example, Monsanto spent $2,094,000 for its in house lobbying but then contracted out to Arent Fox LLP; Lesher, Russell & Barron, Inc. ($60,000); Ogilvy Government Relations ($60,000); Parven Pomper Strategies ($40,000); Sidley Austin LLP; TCH Group, LLC ($50,000); The Nickles Group, LLC ($63,000); The Washington Tax Group, LLC ($40,000); and Troutman Sanders Public Affairs Group ($30,000) - for a total of $2,437,000 in first quarter 2009.
Health Care, Health Insurance, & Pharma
3. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America: $6,910,000
6. Pfizer, Inc: $6,140,000
12. American Medical Association: $4,240,000
18. American Hospital Association: $3,580,000
19. Eli Lilly and Company: $3,440,000
37. America's Health Insurance Plans, Inc: $2,030,000
39. CVS Caremark Inc: $2,005,000
47. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association: $1,800,000
49. GlaxoSmithKline: $1,780,000
63. Merck & Co: $1,500,000
65. United Health Group, Inc: $1,500,000
69. Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc: $1,460,000
76. Novartis: $1,347,134
87. Abbott Laboratories: $1,260,000
89. Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals, LP: $1,250,000
92. Medtronic, Inc: $1,238,000
2. Exxon Mobil: $9,320,000
4. Chevron U.S.A. Inc: $6,800,000
7. Conoco Phillips: $5,980,935
16. BP America, Inc: $3,610,000
20. Marathon Oil Corporation: $3,380,000
45. American Petroleum Institute: $1,810,000
5. Lockheed Martin Corporation: $6,380,000
11. General Electric Company: $4,540,000
28. Northrop Grumman Corporation: $2,570,000
30. Boeing Company: $2,410,00
51. Honeywell International: $1,760,000
73. Raytheon Company: $1,360,000
10. AT&T Services, Inc: $5,134,873
14. Verizon (excluding Verizon Wireless): $3,760,000
21. National Cable and Telecommunications Association: $3,370,000
23. Comcast Corporation: $2,760,000
68. Motorola, Inc: $1,470,000
22. General Motors: $2,800,000
27. United Services Automobile Association: $2,590,244
52. Ford Motor Company: $1,750,000
84. Toyota Motor North America: $1,290,000
86. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: $1,264,400
32. Financial Services Roundtable: $2,260,000
33. Prudential Financial, Inc: $2,180,000
41. American Bankers Association: $1,890,000
61. Visa, Inc: $1,540,000
74. Investment Company Institute: $1,359,917
75. Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: $1,350,000
82. J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.: $1,310,000
90. Citigroup Management Corp: $1,250,000
90. Credit Union National Association: $1,250,000
36. Monsanto: $2,094,000
40. Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO): $1,920,000
44. Bayer Corporation: $1,843,672
24. Association of American Railroads: $2,759,545
54. Union Pacific Corporation: $1,717,108
71. BNSF Railway: $1,400,000
42. American Council of Life Insurers: $1,867,075
44. New York Life Insurance Company: $1,840,000
64. State Farm Insurance: $1,500,000
93. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company: $1,237,000
1. Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A.: $9,996,000
8. National Association of Realtors: $5,727,000
9. U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform: $5,480,000
13. AARP: $4,090,000
15. Southern Company: $3,650,000
17. Altria Client Services Inc: $3,580,000
25. Amgen, Inc: $2,750,000
26. National Association of Broadcasters: $2,600,000
29. Edison Electric Institute: $2,550,000
31. Fedex Corporation: $2,370,000
34. Textron, Inc.: $2,140,000
35. General Dynamics Corp: $2,101,945
38. International Business Machines (IBM): $2,030,000
43. United Technologies Corporation: $1,860,000
46. Recording Industry Association of America: $1,810,000
48. CTIA-The Wireless Association: $1,790,000
50. Time Warner Inc. $1,780,000
53. The Dow Chemical Company: $1,735,000
55. American Electric Power Company: $1,716,913
56. Microsoft Corporation: $1,650,000
57. Qualcomm, Incorporated: $1,620,000
58. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc: $1,600,000
59. L-3 Communications: $1,580,000
60. Exelon Business Services, LLC: $1,540,000
62. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc: $1,530,000
66. Norfolk Southern Corporation: $1,485,026
67. Koch Companies Public Sector LLC: $1,480,000
70. American Airlines: $1,450,000
72. Oracle Corporation: $1,390,000
77. Air Transport Association of America, Inc.: $1,340,000
78. Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.: $1,330,000
79. Sepracor, Inc: $1,324,157
80. National Association of Home Builders: $1,320,000
81. UPS: $1,316,426
83. Siemens Corporation: $1,300,000
85. Duke Energy Corporation: $1,282,770
94. Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., Inc: $1,230,000
95. Business Roundtable: $1,220,000
96. Wellpoint, Inc: $1,220,000
97. American Wind Energy Association: $1,212,504
98. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd: $1,206,427
99. National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: $1,200,000
99. CBS Corporation: $1,200,000
(Update: I removed a typo for one company whose report says $990,000,000 making them the #1 spender on lobbying... turns out they spent $990,000)
January 21, 2008 10:00 AM PST
Israel launches electric-car program
by Michael Kanellos Font size Print E-mail Share 3 comments Yahoo! BuzzCorrection 10:35 a.m. PST: This blog initially misidentified the prime minister of Israel. He is Ehud Olmert. It also misidentified the person whose speech can be found on the Project Better Place Web site--it is by Shai Agassi and as such an earlier version of this post also incorrectly attributed a quote from that speech.Renault-Nissan, the government of Israel, and an electric charging station start-up founded by Shai Agassi are mounting an effort to make electric cars part of ordinary life in Israel in the next decade.Project Better Place, Agassi's organization, will try to build 500,000 electric charging stations in the country, according to the organization. At some these stations, attendants will swap out depleted batteries and put in fully charged ones. This saves the several hours typically required to charge a lithium-ion battery pack made for cars. (You can also charge the batteries at home.) Renault-Nissan, meanwhile, will ship electric cars to the country in three years or so. Ultimately, the company hopes to ship 10,000 to 20,000 a year. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, and Agassi in Israel on Monday. Agassi's speech can be found on the Project Better Place site.
Israel has been considered Project Better Place's likely starting point. Agassi is an Israeli and the bulk of the company's $200 million in funds comes from investors in Israel. The country also relies on imported oil yet it remains locked in conflict with several Arab oil-exporting nations. Agassi in an interview last year said the organization was concentrating on islands, but added that an island can be part of a continent and isolated in other ways. Israel is also small, which makes it an easier market for electric cars as well as companies building electric charging stations. Electric cars can only go so far without a charge or a new battery. Ghosn said that the company's cars would go about 100 kilometers (45 miles) in the city and 160 kilometers (72 miles) on the highway on a charge, according to a Reuters story. Some surveys in the U.S. say buyers generally want to see a 200-mile range on an electric car. The relatively short range of electric cars has been one of the primary reasons they haven't moved into the mainstream, according to electric car execs, battery execs, and some academics. With all the major cities crammed pretty close to each other as in Israel, the range problem shrinks. Among large car makers, Renault-Nissan is one of the more aggressive when it comes to fully electric cars. At Tokyo's Ceatec conference in October, Nissan execs told CNET News.com that the company wants to start to put out fully electric cars by 2011 or 2012.The cars will run on batteries being developed under a deal between Renault-Nissan and NEC.
October 3, 2007 6:23 AM PDT Nissan bets on electric cars, not biofuels by Michael Kanellos
CHIBA, Japan--Nissan is going to come out with more hybrid cars and completely electric vehicles in a few years.But it's less excited about ethanol and biodiesel.
Nissan's Minoru Shinohara amid the Ceatec crowds.(Credit: Michael Kanellos/CNET News.com)Technically speaking, designing an ethanol or biodiesel car is fairly straightforward, said Minoru Shinohara, senior vice president and general manager of the Technology Development Division at Nissan, during a meeting at the Ceatec show here this week.The problem is the cost of the fuel. Both biodiesel and ethanol cost more than regular gas, when changes in mileage and other factors are calculated. The most important thing is availability of fuel,Shinohara said. In the future, he speculated, biofuel cars could account for 10 percent to 20 percent of all cars sold. It's a large percentage, but nowhere close to a majority. There are also the political and societal questions, he added. Do you have to use cropland that might be better used in growing food? Do you have to cut down tropical forests? It's the opposite with cars that run on electricity. The societal questions are easy. The tough part is coming up with a battery that is small enough and cheap enough to put into a car.Electric cars probably won't be replacements for current petroleum cars. Batteries can't provide a range that gas-powered cars can. Instead, manufacturers will tout them as second cars or town cars designed for ordinary, short commutes. Getting consumers to understand, and act on, the town car concept is going to take a lot of marketing and work, Shinohara said.
They (electric cars) are not a replacement for traditional vehicles,he said. Nissan's electric plans are already under way. The company currently sells some hybrid vehicles that rely on components and technology from Toyota. It will come out with cars based on its own hybrid system in 2010. (Nissan got a good share of the buzz at last month's Frankfurt auto show with its electric-powered concept car, the Mixim.) The first mass-produced electric car from Nissan will then likely follow in 2011 or 2012, Shinohara added. It will likely be a city car. He's a lot less excited about the concept about plug-in hybrids again, it's the price/benefit equation. The basis of these future hybrids and electrics will likely come from batteries from a joint venture formed earlier this year between Nissan and NEC.
How Goldman Sachs and Citi Run the Show ,The Wall Street White House
By ANDREW COCKBURN JULY 2,09
Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, is to be installed as Under Secretary of Economics, Business, and Agricultural Affairs. This comes as one more, probably unnecessary reminder of the total control exercised by Wall Street over the Obama administration’s economic and financial policy. True, Hormats is a talker rather than a decider according to one former White House official, but he will find plenty of old friends used to making decisions, almost all of them uniformly disastrous for the U.S. and global economy.Among the familiar Wall Street faces that Hormats will encounter in his new post will that of Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, lately Chief Financial Officer of Citigroup Alternative Investments Group which lost $509 million in the first quarter of 2008 alone. On visits to the White House he is sure to bump into Michael Froman, who also tore a swath through the Citi balance sheet at the alternative investments shop (they specialized in esoteric investments such as private highways) but is now Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs. If Froman is otherwise engaged, Hormats can interface with Froman’s deputy, David Lipton, who was until recently running Citi’s global country risk management effort. Citigroup is also well represented at Treasury, in the form of Lewis Alexander, formerly the bank’s chief economist and now Counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.Given the role played by all of the above in bankrupting us all, Alexander’s 2007 verdict on the onset of the mortgage crash,I think that’s not going to spill more broadly into the economy and so I think we’re going to have a normal kind of housing cycle though the middle of this year,can only have been a recommendation in the eyes of his current employer.
Alexander’s function at Citi may have been merely to endorse the financial depredations of colleagues with economic blather, rather than exercise loss-making functions personally. Not so Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, who has moved over to the number two job at the department from the Hartford Insurance Company, where he served as president and chief operating officer of the Property and Casualty Group. Hartford was one of the insurance companies that got suckered by the banks into backing their ruinous investments in real estate and other esoterica, but Wolin’s Treasury has just handed Hartford $3.4 billion of our money in the form of TARP funds.Hormats’ agricultural responsibilities will of necessity bring him into frequent contact with the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gary Gensler a former Goldman partner.As Assistant Secretary of Treasury in the Clinton Adminsitration Gensler played a key role in greasing the skids for the notorious Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which set the stage for the great credit default swaps scam that underpinned the recent bubble and subsequent collapse. News of the appointment did generate threats of obstruction in the Senate any one of the senators could have blocked the appointment had they really wished to do so but such threats proved predictably hollow. Had they been otherwise, Treasury Chief of Staff Mark Patterson could of course have lent the expertise he gained as Goldman’s lobbyist to overcome the obstacle.For sheer gall it would be hard to equal the appointment of Gensler, one of the engineers of this catastrophe, but the administration has managed it with the selection of Linda Robertson, formerly a key Enron lobbyist and intimately involved in pushing through the commodity futures act as chief flack for the Federal Reserve. Prior to joining the crooked energy-trading firm, Robertson was an important figure in the Clinton Treasury Department, latterly serving her friend Larry Summers and before him Robert Rubin during their terms as Treasury Secretaries.
Such connection to the key enablers of our bankrupt casino helps explain many of the other hires listed above. Michael Froman was Chief of Staff to Robert Rubin at Treasury before following Rubin to his reward at Citigroup.Most significantly, it was Froman who first introduced Rubin to his Harvard classmate Barack Obama.David Lipton also served in the Rubin Treasury, as deputy under secretary for international affairs.Neal Wolin, on the other hand, appears to have more an acolyte of Summers, who cherished him as Treasury General Counsel from 99 to 01.Summers and Robertson were similarly close, and certainly he raised no objection to her fatal submissions on behalf of her paymasters at Enron. Recent reports suggest that financial industry lobbying in Washington, at $104.7 million for the first three months of 2009, is 8% down on last year. But that is to be expected why should Wall Street continue paying top dollar for a wholly owned subsidiary? Andrew Cockburn writes about national security and related matters. His most recent book is Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy. He is the co-producer of American Casino, the feature documentary on the ongoing financial collapse. He can be reached at email@example.com.
TEXT OBAMA INTERVIEW OF AP
OBAMA YOU CAN'T PLAY WITH FIRE (ISLAM,RUSSIA) AND NOT GET BURNED (NUKED).
AP Interview: Obama tells Putin Cold War is over, US-Russian relations entering new chapter Jennifer Loven July 3rd, 2009 Obama tells Russia’s Putin the Cold War is history
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said former Russian President Vladimir Putin and his hand-picked successor should expect an in-person reminder the Cold War is over when the U.S. leader makes his first trip to a Moscow summit.Days before he departs for Russia, Obama said Thursday that Putin still has a lot of sway in his nation as its nominal prime minister. I think that it’s important that even as we move forward with President Medvedev that Putin understand that the old Cold War approaches to U.S.-Russian relations is outdated,he said.Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama discussed a wide range of topics:
—The president said he could see abandoning his own proposal to indefinitely hold some terror detainees it gives me great pause and that he would not be comfortable ordering such a disposition for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prisoners without congressional action.
—In light of recent Supreme Court cases dealing with highly charged questions about the nation’s racial progress, Obama said the high court was moving the ball away from affirmative action. Yet he also noted that the justices had not foreclosed the continued use of racial preferences in hiring and college admissions, which he said he supports in some circumstances. In any case he said affirmative action is neither the panacea nor the problem that it’s often made out to be.
—With most experts in agreement that there’s a good chance Iran could have a usable nuclear bomb sometime during his presidency, Obama said, I’m not reconciled with that.
—Asked about Michael Jackson’s death, an event that has transfixed many, Obama said he didn’t see any controversy in the fact that he did not issue a formal public statement about the pop star and knew of no dissatisfaction among blacks about that. He called Jackson a brilliant performer whose talents were paired with a tragic, sad personal life.The 24-minute interview, with Obama nearly six months into his job and his approval ratings still high, ranged from the serious to the silly. Asked to let Americans in on a secret about White House life, the president chose the pastry chef and rued that the best pie I have ever tasted is a challenge to the first couple’s self-discipline and waistlines.Asked to choose between basketball greats Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, Obama a committed hoops player and fan of Jordan’s Chicago Bulls didn’t pause for even a second. Michael,he said, picking the retired superstar.I haven’t seen anybody match up with Jordan yet.Scheduled to depart Sunday for a trip to Russia, an international summit in Italy and his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president, Obama praised Moscow for its cooperation in international efforts to persuade North Korea and Iran to abandon their nuclear development programs. After North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test in May, the United Nations approved the most robust sanction regime that we’ve ever seen with respect to North Korea, he said.He expressed optimism he could get international agreement for even tougher action if North Korea persists in defying demands that it dismantle its nuclear weapons and stop production. The U.N. sanctions, for instance, did not include one thing the U.S. wanted: allowing the use of military force to board and inspect ships suspected of carrying banned weapons.In international diplomacy, people tend to want to go in stages,Obama said.There potentially is room for more later.The main agenda item for Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow is to advance talks on a new strategic arms reduction treaty to replace one that expires in December.In addition to sitting down with Medvedev, Obama also is meeting with Putin, the former president who now is prime minister but still a major force.He said Medvedev understands that, but Putin needs convincing that the U.S. wants cooperation rather than an antagonistic relationship.
Putin responded Friday in characteristically colorful language.
We don’t know how to stand so awkwardly with our legs apart,he said in televised remarks.We stand solidly on our own two feet and always look into the future.His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, had said earlier Friday that Obama was wrong about the premier. Such a point of view has nothing to do with a true understanding of Putin, he told the AP, and suggested the reason for Obama’s view was simply that he has not yet spoken with Putin they are not acquainted.Peskov said that Obama’s planned breakfast meeting with Putin on Tuesday should clear the air.I am convinced that after this meeting, the president (Obama) will change his point of view about (Putin),he said.On Afghanistan, Obama said he intends to reassess the possible need for additional U.S. troops after the nation holds national elections in August, but that he believes America’s key goals can be met there without us increasing our troop levels.He has ordered 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan this summer, bringing the U.S. total to 68,000.Minutes before his vice president, Joe Biden, landed in Iraq for a two-day visit, Obama said he was confident but not certain that the timetables for removing U.S. troops from that war will hold. This week marked a major milestone in the war when U.S. troops pulled out of major Iraqi cities.I reserve the right to make changes based on changing circumstances to protect U.S. security,he said.With joblessness rising, the president said he was deeply concerned that too many families are worried about whether they will be next.New government figures out Thursday showed the unemployment rate grew to 9.5 percent last month, and economists agree it is likely to rise into the double digits. Since Obama signed the $780 billion economic stimulus bill in February, the economy has shed more than 2 million jobs.
What we are still seeing is too many jobs lost,said Obama.
Independent missile experts think NKorea missile can reach Seattle, uses Soviet technology Pamela Hess July 3rd, 2009 Missile experts see Soviet parts in NKorean rocket
WASHINGTON — With concerns rising about a possible North Korean long-range missile test this weekend, two independent scientists say the regime may be using an old Soviet ballistic missile to boost a rocket capable of reaching the West Coast of the United States.North Korea is not known to have nuclear warheads and faces years of research and testing before building such a reliable weapon.But the scientists say that if North Korea does have such a Russian-made ballistic missile in its arsenal, it could modify the rocket into a two-stage missile that could reach Seattle, Wash., carrying a 900-kilogram warhead, or San Francisco carrying a 700-kilogram charge.The design of a long-range missile tested by North Korea last April represents a very significant advance in rocket technology, said Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Ted Postol and Union of Concerned Scientists’ David Wright in a June 29 assessment published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.Using data and imagery from North Korea’s April 4 launch, Postol and Wright calculated that the second stage of the North Korean rocket had the external dimensions, engine power and key features of an SS-N 6, a Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile first deployed in 1968.
Their theory is at odds with U.S. officials’ skepticism of the recent North Korean long-range missile launch, dismissed as a failure.Missile expert and former U.N. arms inspector Mike Elleman cautioned against assuming that the similarities between the external dimensions of the North Korean second stage and the SS-N 6 mean that the two are the same technology.But Elleman added that the coincidence is hard to explain.
Geoffrey Forden, another missile expert with MIT, sees merit in the Russian missile theory and believes North Korea may have its own production line for SS-N 6 missile components.
South Korea says NKorea may fire more missiles amid concern about long-range launch.Kwang-tae Kim July 3rd, 2009 South Korea says NKorea may fire more missiles
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea shrugged off North Korea’s firing of short-range missiles, saying Friday they were part of routine military exercises, but it warned more launches are likely in coming days.But whether the communist country will fire a long-range missile aimed at the United States remained unclear, though U.S. Defense officials said such a launch did not appear imminent.The North fired four short-range missiles off its east coast Thursday, just ahead of the U.S. Independence Day holiday that falls this weekend. The U.S. and Japan called the North’s move provocative.But Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae said South Korea did not attach much significance to the missile launches, calling them part of a routine military exercise.The short-range missiles are not seen as a threat by South Korea and the U.S., which have far more sophisticated weapons. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unidentified military official, reported that all four missiles flew about 60 miles (100 kilometers).The launches, however, have highlighted concerns over North Korea’s broader missile intentions, especially after the country warned ships to stay away from waters off its eastern coast until July 10.Speculation has centered on whether the North may try to fire a long-range missile toward Hawaii during the period. In April, North Korea threatened to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile. Such a move would be seen as another challenge to the United States, which has been rallying international support for enforcement of U.N. sanctions imposed against Pyongyang following its May 25 nuclear test.Earlier Friday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was closely monitoring North Korean military sites because the communist nation may fire more missiles in coming days.Several U.S. Defense Department officials, however, said there was nothing to indicate that North Korea is ready to launch a long-range ballistic missile and there appears to be no immediate threat to the United States.Missile defenses were strengthened following a mid-June report in a Japanese newspaper that the North might fire a long-range missile toward Hawaii in early July.
While Americans were celebrating Independence Day in 2006, North Korea also fired a barrage of missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 that broke apart and fell into the ocean.Separately, a North Korean ship that had changed course after being shadowed for more than a week by the U.S. Navy passed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and was heading toward North Korea, South Korean news channel YTN reported, citing an unidentified diplomatic source.The Kang Nam 1 originally believed to be bound for Myanmar, possibly with illicit weapons on board turned around at Myanmar’s request and the Southeast Asian country appeared to have offered compensation to the North, YTN said.A U.N. resolution passed after North Korea’s May 25 nuclear test seeks to clamp down on the country’s trading of banned arms and weapons-related material by requiring U.N. member states to request inspections of ships suspected of carrying prohibited cargo.North Korea has said it would consider any interception of its ships a declaration of war.
SKorea says NKorea fires 3 missiles off east coast By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer JULY 4,09
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea fired three missiles off its eastern coast Saturday, South Korea said, in what was likely to be seen as a message of defiance to the United States on its Independence Day holiday.The launches, which came two days after North Korea fired four short-range missiles, could further escalate tensions in the region as the U.S. tries to muster support for tough enforcement of the U.N. resolution imposed on the communist regime for its May nuclear test.South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were fired Saturday morning, but declined to elaborate on the type. Two missiles were fired early Saturday, while a third was fired later in the morning, it said.South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted military officials as saying the missiles appeared to be a type of Scud missile.A senior presidential official told The Associated Press the missiles fired are believed to have a range of less than 300 miles (500 kilometers).Our military is fully ready to counter any North Korean threats and provocations based on strong South Korea-U.S. combined defense posture,the Joint Chiefs of Staff statement said.
North Korea's state news agency carried no reports on the launches.
The chief of U.S. Naval operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, said the American military was ready for any North Korean missile tests.Our ships and forces here are prepared for the tracking of the missiles and observing the activities that are going on, Roughead said after meeting Japanese military officials in Tokyo on Saturday.
Speculation had been high that the communist country might launch more missiles. North Korea had warned shipping to stay away from its east coast effective through July 10.The senior presidential official cautioned that North Korea could fire more missiles in coming days, but said there was little possibility it could fire the intercontinental ballistic missile it threatened in April.He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.Saturday's launches came on July 4, or U.S. Independence Day. The North has a record of timing missile tests for the U.S. national day.The missiles were seen as part of military exercises, but North Korea also appeared to have sent a message to the U.S. through the missile launches, the presidential official said, without elaborating.The Japanese government condemned the North's action.The launch is a serious act of provocation against the security of neighboring countries, including Japan, and is against the resolution of the U.N Security Council,Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said in a statement. The statement also urged North Korea to suspend all missile development activities.
In Beijing, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said he had no immediate comment.
In 2006, Pyongyang fired a barrage of missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 that broke apart and fell into the ocean less than a minute after liftoff. Those launches while Americans were celebrating the Fourth of July holiday also came amid nuclear tensions with the U.S. A long-range missile launch by North Korea toward the United States would directly flout a U.N. sanctions resolution punishing Pyongyang for its May 25 nuclear test. Despite early speculation fueled by Japanese media and the North Korean warning to shipping, spy satellites have apparently not detected any of the preparations that would normally presage a launch. I think North Korea is moving step by step,Kim Yong-hyun, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University and an expert on the country, said Friday.Thursday's tests were a warm-up to medium-range missile launches,he said.The North wants to show Washington that it is not yielding to pressure, and the regime is likely to save a long-range launch for later, he said.
Associated Press writers Yuri Kageyama and Tomoko A. Hosaka in Tokyo and Henry Sanderson in Beijing contributed to this report.