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Heart - Black

Former Governor Mike Huckabee Speaks of His Positive Outlook on Rape

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© J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, seen in a file photo, spoke Monday in defense of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), saying that "horrible" rapes can result in the births of admirable human beings.
The man trying to provide Rep. Todd Akin the softest possible landing after the congressman's foolish comments about pregnancy and rape was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a strong supporter of Akin during his run to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate.

In the furor over Akin's remarks and increasing pressure for him to drop out of his race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, Huckabee used his syndicated radio program Monday to give the embattled candidate a safe venue to express remorse and his determination to remain in the race. Huckabee also took the opportunity to cast the best possible light on Akin's awkward position. The former Arkansas governor and onetime GOP presidential contender suggested a couple of cases in which he suggested that rapes, though "horrible tragedies," had produced admirable human beings.

"Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape," Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: "I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things."

Sheriff

US in pursuit of Assange, Australian diplomatic cables confirm

Julian Assange
© Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Australian diplomats have no doubt the United States is still gunning for Julian Assange, according to Foreign Affairs Department documents obtained by The Saturday Age.

The Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo: Reuters

The declassified diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information laws, show Australia's diplomatic service takes seriously the likelihood that Assange will eventually be extradited to the US on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.

This view is at odds with Foreign Minister Bob Carr's repeated dismissal of such a prospect.

Heart - Black

Rep. Steve King: I've Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest

Rep. Steve King
Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why - he might agree with parts of Akin's assertion.

King told an Iowa reporter he's never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

"Well I just haven't heard of that being a circumstance that's been brought to me in any personal way," King told KMEG-TV Monday, "and I'd be open to discussion about that subject matter."

A Democratic source flagged King's praise of Akin in the KMEG interview to TPM. But potentially more controversial for King is his suggestion that pregnancies from statutory rape or incest don't exist or happen rarely. A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found "at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men."

Contacted by TPM, King's office said that King didn't mean he had never heard of pregnancy resulting from statutory rape or incest but that he had no direct, personal knowledge of such instances. "What he was saying was, he personally does not know a girl who was raped," Brittany Lesser, a spokesperson for King said. "He never says, 'I've never heard of that.' There's a fine line between 'I've never heard of that' and 'I don't know personally anybody who's been raped. There's a difference. There is a difference."

Heart - Black

'Gorgeous' George Galloway makes ugly comments about rape on allegations against Julian Assange


There are some things in life you never want to know. I was going to write a list of them, but most of them are sordid and unpleasant and since by their nature you don't want to know about them, I thought I'd leave it. But very, very high on such a list would be George Galloway's views on sex. Unfortunately, the MP for Bradford West has been holding forth on precisely such matters.

If it were merely a matter of him telling us his peccadilloes, that would be one thing. But no: Gorgeous George has gone further, and decided to tell us what is, and what is not, rape.

Vader

History Repeats: Citing phantom WMDs, Barack Obama threatens full-scale US military engagement in Syria

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US President George Bu... er, Barack Obama, wants to invade Syria to protect the world from Assad's WMDs.
US president Barack Obama bluntly warned Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on Monday not to cross a "red line" by using chemical or biological weapons in his country's bloody conflict and suggested that such action would prompt the United States to consider a military response.

Pointing out that he had refrained "at this point" from ordering US military engagement in Syria, Obama said that there would be "enormous consequences" if Assad failed to safeguard his weapons of mass destruction.

It was Obama's strongest language to date on the issue, and he warned Syria not only against using its unconventional weapons, but against moving them in a threatening fashion.

"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilised," Obama said. "That would change my calculus."

"We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people," Obama told an impromptu White House news conference. He acknowledged he was not "absolutely confident" the stockpile was secure.

Dollar

Social Darwinism - the Road to Ryan and Ruin

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In the 132 years between 1797 and 1929, there was no effective regulation of U.S. economy. No federal agencies existed to control corruption, fraud and exploitation on the part of the business class. Even during the Civil War, economic management on a national level was minimal and war profiteering common. As a result the country experienced 33 major economic downturns which impacted roughly 60 of the years in question. These included 22 recessions, 4 depressions, and 7 economic "panics" (bank runs and failures).

Then came the Great Depression starting with the crash of the New York stock market in 1929. This soon became a worldwide affair which lasted until the onset of World War II. Millions were thrown out of work, agricultural production partially collapsed, and the fear of rebellion and revolution was palpable both in the U.S. and Europe.

Hourglass

Netanyahu 'determined to attack Iran' before US elections, claims Israel's Channel 10

TV reporter adds: 'I doubt Obama could say anything that would convince PM to delay a possible attack'

Netanyahu and Obama
© Avi Ohayon/GPO/FLASH90
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with US President Barack Obama at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 21, 2011.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is determined to attack Iran before the US elections," Israel's Channel 10 News claimed on Monday night, and Israel is now "closer than ever" to a strike designed to thwart Iran's nuclear drive.

The TV station's military reporter Alon Ben-David, who earlier this year was given extensive access to the Israel Air Force as it trained for a possible attack, reported that, since upgraded sanctions against Iran have failed to force a suspension of the Iranian nuclear program in the past two months, "from the prime minister's point of view, the time for action is getting ever closer."

Asked by the news anchor in the Hebrew-language TV report how close Israel now was to "a decision and perhaps an attack," Ben-David said: "It appears that we are closer than ever."

Comment: Sounds a lot like an ultimatum for Obama - even a threat.


Eye 1

War in the Shadows: The Psychopath's Dream

Skull and Bones
© Mr Fish
A Swedish documentary filmmaker released a film last year called Last Chapter - Goodbye Nicaragua. In it he admitted that he unknowingly facilitated a bombing, almost certainly orchestrated by the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, which took the lives of three reporters I worked with in Central America. One of them, Linda Frazier, was the mother of a 10-year-old son. Her legs were torn apart by the blast, at La Penca, Nicaragua, along the border with Costa Rica, in May of 1984. She bled to death as she was being taken to the nearest hospital, in Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica.

The admission by Peter Torbiornsson that he unwittingly took the bomber with him to the press conference was a window into the sordid world of espionage, terrorism and assassination that was an intimate part of every conflict I covered. It exposed the cynicism of undercover operatives on all sides, men and women who lie and deceive for a living, who betray relationships, including between each other, who steal and who carry out murder. One knows them immediately. Their ideological allegiances do not matter. They have the faraway eyes of the disconnected, along with nebulous histories and suspicious and vague associations. They tell incongruous personal stories and practice small deceits that are part of a pathological inability to tell the truth. They can be personable, even charming, but they are also invariably vain, dishonest and sinister. They cannot be trusted. It does not matter what side they are on. They were all the same. Gangsters.


Comment: Such individuals could more accurately be described as Psychopaths, a pathology far deeper than an inability to tell the truth. The picture should also to be expanded beyond the low level thugs on the ground to include the equally pathological individuals that are pulling the strings. For a better understanding of the scale and depth of the problem read Political Ponerology.


Handcuffs

French Economy Falls Victim to U.S. Allegiance, Zionist lobbying

hollande
© Reuters
François Hollande.
François Hollande's presidential campaign largely consisted of denunciations of the catastrophic policies and garishness of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. He pledged that change would come immediately. One hundred days after his election, Hollande may have altered the style of rule but not the policies which remain the same even as France sinks ever deeper into crisis.

The main themes being debated by the French press as well as the manner in which these themes are framed expose the rank submission of the French governing classes to U.S. domination. They also serve to justify that acquiescence.

Bad Guys

How Not to Reconstruct Iraq, Afghanistan - or America: A Guide to Disaster at Home and Abroad

iraq billions
Imperial Reconstruction and Its Discontents

A war and occupation thousands of miles away that lasted seven years and involved more than 1.5 million Americans, military and civilian, has passed into the history books and yet we still know remarkably little about so much of it. Take American military bases in Iraq. There were, of course, none in March 2003 when the Bush administration launched its regime-change invasion with dreams of garrisoning that particular stretch of the planet's oil heartlands for generations to come.

At the height of the American occupation, in the face of Sunni and Shiite insurgencies and a bloody civil war, the Pentagon built 505 bases there, ranging from micro-outposts to mega-bases the size of small American towns -- in one case, with an airport that was at least as busy as Chicago's O'Hare International. As it happened, during all but the last days of those long, disastrous years of war, Americans could have had no idea how many bases had been built, using taxpayer dollars, in Iraq. Estimates in the press ranged, on rare occasions, up to about 300. Only as U.S. troops prepared to leave was that 505 figure released by the military, without any fanfare whatsoever. Startlingly large, it was simply accepted by reporters who evidently found it too unimpressive to highlight.

And here's an allied figure that we still don't have: to this day, no one outside the Pentagon has the faintest idea what it cost to build those bases, no less maintain them, or in the end abandon them to the Iraqi military, to the fate of ghost towns, or simply to be looted and stripped. We have no figures, not even ballpark ones, about what the Pentagon paid crony corporations like KBR to construct and maintain them. The only vague approximation I ever saw was offered in an engineering magazine in October 2003 by Lt. Col. David Holt, the Army officer "tasked with facilities development" in Iraq. At a moment when U.S. base building was barely underway, he was already speaking of the program being in the "several billion dollar range," adding proudly that "the numbers are staggering." So for the full seven-year figure, let your imagination run wild.