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Sun, 16 May 2021
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Bad Guys

'Special Tribunal for Lebanon Part of Psywar Against Resistance' says Nasrallah

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© unknown
Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah
The Hezbollah leader says the US-funded Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was established to turn world public opinion against the resistance and to foment sectarian strife in Lebanon.

Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah made the remarks in Beirut on Saturday night during a televised speech in which he condemned the UN tribunal's decision to issue indictments for four Hezbollah members over the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

The Hezbollah leader rejected the allegations that Hezbollah was involved in the assassination, saying the indictments were premeditated and politicized.

He went on to say that the STL is part of a new US plot to tarnish the image of the popular resistance movement.

He questioned the credibility of the tribunal and said those behind the "politicized" investigation are linked to US and British intelligence agencies.

Israel benefits the most from the US-backed tribunal, he stated.

Nasrallah said the evidence Hezbollah had presented earlier was sufficient to indict Israel for involvement in the attack that killed the former Lebanese prime minister.

Nuke

Meltdown: What Really Happened at Fukushima?

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© Reuters

It's been one of the mysteries of Japan's ongoing nuclear disaster: How much of the damage did the March 11 earthquake inflict on Fukushima Daiichi's reactors in the 40 minutes before the devastating tsunami arrived? The stakes are high: If the quake alone structurally compromised the plant and the safety of its nuclear fuel, then every other similar reactor in Japan is at risk.

Throughout the months of lies and misinformation, one story has stuck: "The earthquake knocked out the plant's electric power, halting cooling to its reactors," as the government spokesman Yukio Edano said at a March 15 press conference in Tokyo. The story, which has been repeated again and again, boils down to this: "after the earthquake, the tsunami - a unique, unforeseeable [the Japanese word is soteigai] event - then washed out the plant's back-up generators, shutting down all cooling and starting the chain of events that would cause the world's first triple meltdown to occur."

But what if recirculation pipes and cooling pipes, burst, snapped, leaked, and broke completely after the earthquake -- long before the tidal wave reached the facilities, long before the electricity went out? This would surprise few people familiar with the 40-year-old Unit 1, the grandfather of the nuclear reactors still operating in Japan.

Dollar

Strauss-Kahn's Accuser was a Maid Cleaning Up as a 'Hooker'

Big tips for extra 'turndown service' * Prosecutors list litany of lies, scams


Dominique Strauss-Kahn's accuser wasn't just a girl working at a hotel -- she was a working girl.

The Sofitel housekeeper who claims the former IMF boss sexually assaulted her in his room was doing double duty as a prostitute, collecting cash on the side from male guests, The Post has learned.

"There is information . . . of her getting extraordinary tips, if you know what I mean. And it's not for bringing extra f--king towels," a source close to the defense investigation said yesterday.

The woman was allegedly purposely assigned to the Midtown hotel by her union because it knew she would bring in big bucks.

"When you're a chambermaid at Local 6, when you first get to the US, you start at the motels at JFK [Airport]. You don't start at the Sofitel," the source said. "There's a whole squad of people who saw her as an earner."

The woman also had "a lot of her expenses -- hair braiding, salon expenses -- paid for by men not related to her," the source said.

Heart

Gaza Flotilla Determined to Sail Despite Setbacks

Audacity of Hope
© The Associated Press
The activist run boat Audacity of Hope is escorted by the Greek coast guard in port of Perama, near Athens, Greece, July 1, 2011.

An international aid flotilla is continuing with plans to sail to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip despite a series of setbacks.

Pro-Palestinian activists organizing the aid flotilla say they still intend to challenge Israel's blockade on Gaza, a day after an American boat was intercepted by the Greek coast guard and turned back to Athens. American Greta Berlin, who was on board the vessel, blames Israel and the United States for the setback.

"The Greek government is under a huge amount of pressure from the Israeli government and probably our own government as well," said Berlin.

Israel and the U.S. have urged the flotilla not to violate the Gaza blockade, warning that the mission is dangerous and provocative. Last year ago, Israeli naval commandos intercepted a Gaza aid flotilla, and in the botched raid, nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed. The incident sparked international outrage and raised regional tensions.

The United Nations and European Union have backed the Israeli and U.S. position, which calls for the flotilla to dock in Israeli or Egyptian ports and transfer their cargo to Gaza legally over land.

Dollar

Meaner Tougher IMF with Lagarde

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© N/A
Christine Lagarde
On June 28, New York Times writer Liz Alderman headlined, "France's Lagarde Named New Head of IMF," saying:
She'll assume "one of the most powerful positions in global finance as a worsening crisis in Greece threatens the euro currency union and rattles financial markets worldwide."
Washington's choice all along, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner endorsed her over Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carsten, her only competitor after IMF board of directors excluded Israeli central bank governor Stanley Fischer. Allegedly because of age, he, in fact, lacked support outside Israel, and US officials stuck with traditional IMF policy of a European in charge.

An American always heads the World Bank, yet Washington dominates all international lending agencies, assuring it anoints officials heading them, public discourse notwithstanding.

USA

The Business Of America Is War

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Noted trends analyst Gerald Celente said it, and it's true. In fact, America's business is war, more war, multiple wars, permanent wars, pillaging one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance, while homeland needs go begging.

America never was and isn't now the "land of the free and home of the brave." In fact, it's become a "Let 'em eat cake" society.

Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said it, France's 1789-99 revolution was very real, delivering guillotine justice, not promised "Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite," a status now destroying what's left of American freedom, heading for the trash bin of history if not already there.

Earlier articles discussed Washington's wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen, as well as numerous proxy ones in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working households.

Combined, they represent a shocking contempt for rule of law justice, democratic values and humanity, notions now mere artifacts long ago abandoned to advance America's imperium.

Alarm Clock

Roger Ailes' Secret Nixon-Era Blueprint for Fox News

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© Unknown
Republican media strategist Roger Ailes launched Fox News Channel in 1996, ostensibly as a "fair and balanced" counterpoint to what he regarded as the liberal establishment media. But according to a remarkable document buried deep within the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, the intellectual forerunner for Fox News was a nakedly partisan 1970 plot by Ailes and other Nixon aides to circumvent the "prejudices of network news" and deliver "pro-administration" stories to heartland television viewers.

The memo - called, simply enough, "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" - is included in a 318-page cache of documents detailing Ailes' work for both the Nixon and George H.W. Bush administrations that we obtained from the Nixon and Bush presidential libraries. Through his firms REA Productions and Ailes Communications, Inc., Ailes served as paid consultant to both presidents in the 1970s and 1990s, offering detailed and shrewd advice ranging from what ties to wear to how to keep the pressure up on Saddam Hussein in the run-up to the first Gulf War.

The documents - drawn mostly from the papers of Nixon chief of staff and felon H.R. Haldeman and Bush chief of staff John Sununu - reveal Ailes to be a tireless television producer and joyful propagandist. He was a forceful advocate for the power of television to shape the political narrative, and he reveled in the minutiae constructing political spectacles - stage-managing, for instance, the lighting of the White House Christmas tree with painstaking care. He frequently floated ideas for creating staged events and strategies for manipulating the mainstream media into favorable coverage, and used his contacts at the networks to sniff out the emergence of threatening narratives and offer advice on how to snuff them out - warning Bush, for example, to lay off the golf as war in the Middle East approached because journalists were starting to talk. There are also occasional references to dirty political tricks, as well as some positions that seem at odds with the Tea Party politics of present-day Fox News: Ailes supported government regulation of political campaign ads on television, including strict limits on spending. He also advised Nixon to address high school students, a move that caused his network to shriek about "indoctrination" when Obama did it more than 30 years later.

All 318 pages are available here. First, some highlights:

Bad Guys

Fox News Plan Exposed By Document

MSNBC/The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur speaks with John Cook of Gawker about a Nixon era document that involved current Fox News president Roger Ailes laying out how to create a Republican propaganda TV network.

Alarm Clock

Record 44.7 Million People on Food Stamps

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© foodfreedom.wordpress.com
The one and only clearest indication of just how effective the recovery and QE2 (Quantitative Easing 2) in general has been, comes courtesy of the USDA, whose just released update of April participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps, shows yet another record, this time 44.647 million people, an increase from May's 44.587 million. And after rising modestly in the last month, the average monthly benefit per household dropped again to a post April 2009 revision low of $282.38/month.

Newspaper

Neoconservatives Want War and More War

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© Unknown
The neoconservatives remain powerful in Washington in large part because of their continued influence inside leading opinion-setting journals like the New York Times and the Washington Post, two prestige newspapers that have pressed ahead with the neocon agenda despite serious blows to their credibility in recent years

Sometimes the New York Times and the Washington Post behave like two vintage ocean-liners competing to see which will edge out the other in a competition to become the flagship for American neoconservatism. Think of a cross-Atlantic race between the Titanic and the Lusitania.

The Times was pouring on the coal in Friday's editions, pushing the Obama administration and NATO to finish off the war in Libya. The Times editors seemed most concerned at the prospect of negotiations to resolve the conflict without a clear-cut military victory over Col. Muammar Gaddafi.

"There has been recent talk by all sides about a possible political deal between the rebels and the government," the Times fretted. "We are eager to see an end to the fighting. But Washington and NATO must stand firmly with the rebels and reject any solution that does not involve the swift ouster of Colonel Qaddafi and real freedom for Libyans."