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Cronin on his attempted arrest of Israel's Lieberman: "There's an onus on journalists, indeed all people of conscience, to stand up to the state of Israel"

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Irish journalist David Cronin made international news headlines on Tuesday when he attempted a citizen's arrest on Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Foreign Minister in the EU Council in Brussels.

Cronin is an author and long time pro-Palestininan activist. He previously attempted to place former UK PM Tony Blair under Citizen's arrest, failing in both attempts so far.

His action's have led to him having his journalist accreditation revoked, a small price to pay, he says.


Handcuffs

Irish freelance journalist attempts citizens arrest of Israeli foreign minister Lieberman in Brussels

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The Brussels reporter who made headlines around the world last year for attempting to place former UK prime minister Tony Blair under a citizen's arrest has done it again, this time with the foreign minister of Israel, the hard-right Avigdor Lieberman.

David Cronin, a freelance reporter in the European capital since 1998, on Tuesday morning (22 February) called out to the minister as he entered the press room of the Justus Lipsius building, the headquarters of the European Council, for a briefing following an meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council: "Mr Lieberman, this is a citizen's arrest. You are charged with the crime of apartheid. Please accompany me to the nearest police station."

He was grabbed by a pair of security guards and shuffled out of the room.

"Free Palestine!" he continued as he was led away.

A spokesman for the Israeli mission to the EU told EUobserver: "This was utterly uncivilised, in bad taste. But Israel, like the EU, is very supportive of free speech. It's just a shame that some people take advantage of that freedom sometimes."

"He is obviously obsessed with Israel, judging by what he's written, a dedicated anti-Israel activist. Unfortunately this will now get an echo in the press," he added.

Comment: Well, DID this get an "echo in the press"? SOTT did not come across this until now!


Handcuffs

Monsanto Shifts ALL Liability to Farmers

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© Monsanto via The New York Times
Monsanto researchers in Stonington, Illinois, work to develop new soybean varieties that will be tolerant to agricultural herbicide.
Farmers like genetically modified (GM) crops because they can plant them, spray them with herbicide and then there is very little maintenance until harvest. Farmers who plant Monsanto's GM crops probably don't realize what they bargain for when they sign the Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement contract. One farmer reportedly 'went crazy' when he discovered the scope of the contract because it transfers ALL liability to the farmer or grower.

Here is the paragraph that defines Monsanto's limit of liability that shifts it to the farmer:
"GROWER'S EXCLUSIVE LIMITED REMEDY: THE EXCLUSIVE REMEDY OF THE GROWER AND THE LIMIT OF THE LIABILITY OF MONSANTO OR ANY SELLER FOR ANY AND ALL LOSSES, INJURY OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM THE USE OR HANDLING OF SEED (INCLUDING CLAIMS BASED IN CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, PRODUCT LIABILITY, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT, OR OTHERWISE) SHALL BE THE PRICE PAID BY THE GROWER FOR THE QUANTITY OF THE SEED INVOLVED OR, AT THE ELECTION OF MONSANTO OR THE SEED SELLER, THE REPLACEMENT OF THE SEED. IN NO EVENT SHALL MONSANTO OR ANY SELLER BE LIABLE FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES."

Newspaper

Forbes Writer: GMO Labeling Would Violate Corporate Speech Rights

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© GMO Compass
Civilization goes on in the Netherlands, despite the menace of mandatory GMO labeling.
In a blog post on Forbes.com, Glenn Lammi, general counsel for the right-wing, pro-business think tank the Washington Legal Foundation, goes on the attack against Mark Bittman's recent New York Times op-ed column calling for the labeling of genetically engineered food. Lammi, aside from indulging in ad hominem attacks mocking Bittman's "modestly named iPhone/iPad application, How to Cook Everything," not to mention "the foodie elites and Luddite activists" who oppose genetically engineered food, also indulged in just about every pro-GMO trope in the books.

Lammi extols the supposed virtues of genetically engineered food: how their safety is beyond question, how they increase agricultural productivity and lead to lower prices, etc. As Grist's coverage has explained time and again, none of this is so clear cut. But my favorite bit had to be this:
Biotechnology allows crops to grow larger, faster, with fewer or no pesticides, and in otherwise intolerable climates.

Eye 2

US: Wisconsin governor tells prank caller he considered sending agents provocateurs among protesters, Madison Police Chief disturbed

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Madison, WI police chief Noble Wray: not impressed
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) may have more than his own embarrassment to deal with in the wake of the prank call from from a progressive blogger claiming to be David Koch.

The police chief in Madison, Wisc. -- site of the protests at the state Capitol -- tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel the he found parts of the recorded call between Walker and "Koch" "very unsettling and troubling."

Specifically, Chief Noble Wray says that Walker's claim that he considered sending infiltrators into the crowd (prompted by a suggestion by "Koch," played by blogger Ian Murphy) made him nervous.

"I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members," Wray said. "I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers."

Comment: This is the prank call from "David Koch" to Scott Walker:



Source: TheBeastvideos


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Psst. No shutdown during a 'government shutdown'

trays of printed social security checks
© AP
In this Feb. 11, 2005 file photo, trays of printed social security checks wait to be mailed

Social Security checks would still go out. Troops would remain at their posts. Furloughed federal workers probably would get paid, though not until later. And virtually every essential government agency, like the FBI, the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard, would remain open.

That's the little-known truth about a government shutdown. The government doesn't shut down.

And it won't on March 5, even if the combatants on Capitol Hill can't resolve enough differences to pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the government while they hash out legislation to cover the last seven months of the budget year.

Fewer than half of the 2.1 million federal workers subject to a shutdown would be forced off the job if the Obama administration followed the path taken by presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. And that's not counting 600,000 Postal Service employees or 1.6 million uniformed military personnel exempt from a shutdown.

Mr. Potato

Stark, Raving, Mad: First Gunfire, Then Gadhafi Blows Kisses

Libyan strongman Moamar Gadhafi blew kisses to a crowd of supporters in Tripoli today after his troops fired on demonstrators who had been chanting that Gadhafi must go.


The dictator appeared in Green Square, the city center, to proclaim, "I am here."

Although the past week has seen several bloody battles that have left anywhere from 300 to 1,000 dead, Gadhafi extorted the youth in the crowd, "Dance, sing, live your lives. Dance! Dance and Sing! Be happy! Ghadafi is here among his people."

He ended his speech by blowing kisses to the cheering crowd.

Bad Guys

Behind the Arab revolt is a word we dare not speak

Egypt protest
© unknown
Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I interviewed Ray McGovern, one of an elite group of CIA officers who prepared the President's daily intelligence brief. McGovern was at the apex of the "national security" monolith that is American power and had retired with presidential plaudits. On the eve of the invasion, he and 45 other senior officers of the CIA and other intelligence agencies wrote to President George W. Bush that the "drumbeat for war" was based not on intelligence, but lies.

"It was 95 per cent charade," McGovern told me.

"How did they get away with it?"

"The press allowed the crazies to get away with it."

"Who are the crazies?"

"The people running the [Bush] administration have a set of beliefs a lot like those expressed in Mein Kampf... these are the same people who were referred to in the circles in which I moved, at the top, as 'the crazies'."

I said, "Norman Mailer has written that that he believes America has entered a pre-fascist state. What's your view of that?"

"Well... I hope he's right, because there are others saying we are already in a fascist mode."

On 22 January, Ray McGovern emailed me to express his disgust at the Obama administration's barbaric treatment of the alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning and its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. "Way back when George and Tony decided it might be fun to attack Iraq," he wrote, "I said something to the effect that fascism had already begun here. I have to admit I did not think it would get this bad this quickly."

Vader

Zimbabwean army helping Gaddafi in Libya

Speculation that members of the Zimbabwe National Army are in Libya to help prop up cornered dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, has gained momentum. This follows Zimbabwe's Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa avoiding giving a straight answer to a question posed in Parliament.

With the eastern part of Libya having fallen to anti-Gaddafi protesters, it's being reported that mercenaries from several African countries, including Zimbabwe, are putting up a stand in the west of the country, including the capital Tripoli, on behalf of Gaddafi. They are reportedly gunning down unarmed civilians at random and Arab TV channel Al Jazeera said that Zimbabwe was helping to provide mercenaries, along with Chad and other African countries.

In Parliament on Wednesday MDC-T MP and Chief Whip, Innocent Gonese, asked Mnangagwa to respond to reports that soldiers from Zimbabwe are involved. Instead of giving a straight answer Mnangagwa said "...that there are mercenaries who are African and are in Libya - I have no mandate in my duty as Minister of Defence to investigate activities happening in another African country."

Wolf

Please help us, my good friend Tony Blair: Gaddafi's son asks for former PM's help to 'crush enemies'

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Deal in the desert : Tony Blair meets Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi at his desert base outside Sirte south of Tripoli in 2007.

Tony Blair is still a 'good friend' of the Libyan dictatorship and should broker a deal to keep it in power, according to a son of Colonel Gaddafi.

A close ally of Saif Gaddafi last night urged the former prime minister to help put his country on a 'stable footing'.

The Tripoli-based official told the Mail: 'Tony Blair was attending meetings with the Brother Leader until last year.