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Thu, 30 Nov 2023
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Here We Go Again: An Oil Spill from a Shell Platform has Become the Worst in the North Sea in a Decade

© Reuters
The Royal Dutch Shell platform Gannett Alpha is seen in the North Sea in a 2009 file photograph
An oil spill from a Shell platform has become the worst in the North Sea in a decade, it was disclosed last night.

Government figures show that the 216 tonnes of oil which have already entered the water have exceeded the annual totals for the area for the last ten years.

Environmentalists said the light crude oil posed a "serious risk" for thousands of young birds, including puffins and guillemots, if they came into contact with it.

Oil began to escape from part of the Gannet Alpha drilling rig about 112 miles east of Aberdeen last Wednesday.

Engineers have slowed the leak but have so far failed to totally stop it, with the equivalent of around five barrels a day continuing to escape.

It is very small compared to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, in which 4.9 million barrels of oil escaped at a maximum rate of around 62,000 barrels a day.

Heart - Black

"The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse, and Betrayal": An Interview with Nick Bryant

© Unknown
American Commentary readers, be prepared to take another trip into the rabbit hole. If you haven't heard of the Franklin Scandal, the story is so bizarre it will seem impossible to be true. But if you do a little looking into the background of this case, it immediately becomes clear that at the very least, something fishy has transpired. Wikipedia actually has a pretty good summary of the original scandal. On Nick Bryant's website is a documentary that was made for the Discovery Channel, which also has a lot of good information. I spoke with Nick Bryant over the phone to learn more about this case.

American Commentary: Nick Bryant, I'm glad to be talking to you. You wrote a book called The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse, and Betrayal. Can you give me a basic overview of The Franklin Scandal?

Nick Bryant: The Franklin Scandal is a book that I spent seven years investigating, and I traveled 40,000 miles. It's about an interstate pedophile network that pandered children to the rich and powerful, and was ultimately covered up by a corrupt subgenus of federal law enforcement, and state law enforcement. The epicenter of the network was Omaha Nebraska, and the network had two primary camps, one was Lawrence E. King of Omaha, Nebraska, and the other was Craig Spence of Washington DC. They were both Republican powerbrokers . What ultimately happened, and how the book got its name, The Franklin Scandal, is Lawrence King was the manager of a credit union, the Franklin Credit Union. The credit union provided lower socio-economic loans, to people who aren't as well off. Well the Feds raided the Franklin Credit Union [in 1988] - it hadn't been audited in over four years, even though the audits were supposed to be annual.

So ultimately, what happened is the Franklin Credit Union came up 40 million dollars short. Then a state subcommittee formed to investigate the 40 million dollar embezzlement. Now when the state subcommittee formed to investigate the embezzlement, they had no idea about the child abuse allegations, and the interstate pedophile network that was essentially being run by Lawrence King. Also what happened is social services had gotten wind of the network much earlier, and they notified both federal and state law enforcement that Lawrence E. King was running an interstate pedophile network, but they were simply ignored by both federal and state law enforcement. So when the state subcommittee formed , these social services personnel went to the senate, and said there's much more going on than just embezzlement at the Franklin Credit Union.

Bad Guys

Forget Your Rights: "New Normal" Police State Takes Shape

As Economy Tanks, "New Normal" Police State Takes Shape

police state, US, orwellian, white house
© Evolvefish.com
Forget your rights.

As corporate overlords position themselves to seize what little remains of a tattered social net (adieu Medicare and Medicaid! Social Security? Au revoir!), the Obama administration is moving at break-neck speed to expand police state programs first stood-up by the Bush government.

After all, with world share prices gyrating wildly, employment and wages in a death spiral, and retirement funds and publicly-owned assets swallowed whole by speculators and rentier scum, the state better dust-off contingency plans lest the Greek, Spanish or British "contagion" spread beyond the fabled shores of "old Europe" and infect God-fearin' folk here in the heimat.

Fear not, they have and the lyrically-titled Civil Disturbances: Emergency Employment of Army and Other Resources, otherwise known as Army Regulation 500-50, spells out the "responsibilities, policy, and guidance for the Department of the Army in planning and operations involving the use of Army resources in the control of actual or anticipated civil disturbances." (emphasis added)

With British politicians demanding a clampdown on social media in the wake of London riots, and with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) agency having done so last week in San Francisco, switching off underground cell phone service to help squelch a protest against police violence, authoritarian control tactics, aping those deployed in Egypt and Tunisia (that worked out well!) are becoming the norm in so-called "Western democracies."

War Whore

Surprise!: UK Banks Fund Deadly Cluster-Bomb Industry

Cluster bomb victim
© Reuters
A victim in Iraq receives treatment
British high-street banks, including two institutions that were bailed out by taxpayers, are investing hundreds of millions of pounds in companies that manufacture cluster bombs - despite a growing global ban outlawing the production and trade of the weapons.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.

One year ago this month, Britain became an active participant in the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a global treaty that bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster bombs. To date, 108 countries have signed the treaty, which also forbids parties from assisting in the production of cluster weapons.

Yet there has been no attempt by the Coalition Government to rein in banks and investment funds that continue to finance companies known to manufacture the weapons.

Heart - Black

Conspiracy of Silence

Conspiracy of Silence, a documentary listed for viewing in TV Guide Magazine was to be aired on the Discovery Channel, on May 3, 1994. This documentary exposed a network of religious leaders and Washington politicians who flew children to Washington D.C. for sex orgies.

Many children suffered the indignity of wearing nothing but their underwear and a number displayed on a piece of cardboard hanging from their necks when being auctioned off to foreigners in Las Vegas, Nevada and Toronto, Canada.

At the last minute before airing, unknown congressmen threatened the TV Cable industry with restrictive legislation if this documentary was aired. Almost immediately, the rights to the documentary were purchased by unknown persons who had ordered all copies destroyed.

A copy of this videotape was furnished anonymously to former Nebraska state senator and attorney John De Camp who made it available to retired FBI Agent Ted L. Gunderson. While the video quality is not top grade, this tape is a blockbuster in what is revealed by the participants involved.


Protests without conscience: Israel's "social justice revolution" extends to illegal mega-settlement of Ariel

© Unknown
The settlers of Ariel demand "social justice" during J14's August 14 protest
Many observers of the massive July 14 "social justice revolution" sweeping through Israel have been wondering when the protest movement would deal directly with the occupation of Palestine, or whether it would it all. On August 14, a month after the demonstrations began, the movement finally tackled the situation across the Green Line. But instead of connecting the concept of social justice to the rights of everyone living under Israeli control, July 14 officially endorsed (website is in Hebrew) a tent protest for "social justice" in the illegal West Bank mega-settlement of Ariel.

War Whore

UK: Home Office stripping more dual-nationality Britons of citizenship

Theresa May UK home office
© Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Home secretary Theresa May can strip dual nationals of their British citizenship if it is "conducive to the public good".
Home Office refuses to explain why use of law introduced following London bombings has increased

Increasing numbers of British nationals are being stripped of their citizenship under Home Office powers introduced in the wake of the 2005 London bombings.

The number of people subject to the power, under which the home secretary can deprive dual nationals of their British citizenship if it is deemed to be in the public interest, has increased since the coalition government came to power.

The measure was included in the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act as a direct result of the July 2005 bombings in which 52 people died and more than 700 were injured. It was used only four times in the following four years, but has been used nine times since last year's general election.

Five of the dual nationals deprived of their citizenship were British Pakistanis, while two were of dual British and Sudanese nationality. The remaining six were Australian, Iraqi, Russian, Egyptian and Lebanese dual nationals.

To date 10 of the orders have been appealed against.

The figures were obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act after the Home Office refused to release them. It also refused to offer any explanation for the increase, saying: "British nationality is a privilege and the home secretary has the ability to remove it from dual nationals when she believes it to be in the public good."


The Monsanto Anschluss: Long Laid Plans to Undo the Rule of Law

© foodfreedom.wordpress.com
To begin to appreciate the scope of Monsanto's attack on the American people, one can look in three places, beginning with the USDA's ruling on genetically modified Kentucky Bluegrass, and the agricultural - that is to say, food - element involved.

Kentucky bluegrass is one of four primary grasses foraged by or fed to grass-fed animals, along with alfalfa (the GM version of which has also been approved).

It is a inadequate to speak only of GM "lawns" (though the impact of its use for lawns is huge) when the entire organic meat and dairy industry is also threatened by GM bluegrass.

Star of David

Israel go-ahead for West Bank settler homes dents peace hopes

Illegal housing Jerusalem
© Ariel Schalit/AP
Israel has approved the building of 277 homes in Ariel, defying criticism of continued construction on lands the Palestinians claim for a state.
The Palestinians accuse Ehud Barak of contempt for peace talks by giving approval for building of 277 homes in Ariel

The Israeli government has authorised the construction of 277 homes in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, a move that will diminish the prospects for a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

An announcement from the defence ministry said approval for the scheme was given last week. The government also backed the building of 1,600 homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo. Further announcements are expected in the coming days.

Ariel, home to almost 20,000 Israelis, extends 12 miles (20km) inside the West Bank. Its future under any agreement on borders with the Palestinians is uncertain.

Israel is determined to annex such a large settlement, but the Palestinians and many in the international community argue that it would cut the West Bank nearly in two, making a contiguous Palestinian state almost impossible.

The housing units had been in the planning process for several years before being approved by the defence minister, Ehud Barak. One hundred homes will be reserved for settlers evacuated from Gaza in 2005; the remainder will be sold on the open market.

The Palestinian Authority said the approval "makes clear to the world Israel's contempt for a negotiated two-state solution". Israel, it said in a statement, was "racing against time to make the two-state solution harder and harder by building on the land that is supposed to be the Palestinian state. The international community must ask Israel how it can pretend to be ready to negotiate while expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank?"

Comment: The hypocrisy of the Israeli government is once again on display.


As Texas Gov. Rick Perry Enters GOP Race, New Exposé Reveals His Close Ties to Radical Evangelicals

Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is expected to announce his entry into the 2012 presidential race. Perry will make the announcement Saturday at a conference in South Carolina organized by Erick Erickson's RedState.com. Early backers of Perry's presidential run have heralded him as being behind the so-called Texas economic miracle. However, many have questioned Perry's economic claims in Texas. Questions have also arisen over Perry's close ties to the radical wing of the Christian evangelical movement. Last Saturday, Perry helped organize and spoke at a controversial seven-hour Christian prayer rally in Houston titled "The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis." While the prayer session drew 30,000 participants and received national press, little attention was paid to the Christian evangelicals Perry worked with to organize the event. The Texas Observer has just published an explosive article titled "Rick Perry's Army of God." It exposes how a group of radical Christians and self-proclaimed prophets from a little-known movement known as New Apostolic Reformation have been quietly pushing for Perry's presidential bid. We speak with the Texas Observer's Forrest Wilder.

Rush transcript below.

Comment: For more information on the Seven Mountains and Dominionism see:

America's own Taliban

The Terrifying Christian Right

Hijacking The Holy - C Street, Dominionism and Sarah Palin

America's Dirty Secret: How a Psycho-Sexual Cult Holds America Prisoner