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US: God is alive, due process is dead

Nietzsche stumbled. God is alive, due process is dead

President Barack Obama is God. He holds the power of life and death over every creature on the planet.

The Roman Senate waited until Caesar Augustus's death for deification.

The United States Congress, by nonfeasance and appalling irresponsibility, has deified President Obama during his White House tenure.

Through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 and acquiescence in repeated executive usurpations, Congress has empowered President Obama to kill any person anywhere in the world who is secretly listed as an enemy on a list that's reminiscent of the Lord High Executioner's "Little List" in The Mikado. The putative "battlefield" is boundless. The standards for listing are secret. The evidence justifying a listing is secret. The legal justification for the assassinations is secret. The secrecy persists after the alleged enemy target is vaporized. No proof is proffered that the corpse had conspired or attempted or had actually engaged in hostilities against the United States; or, that capturing the victim for criminal prosecution or detention would have been unfeasible. Instead, the White House summons into being as its defense a counter-constitutional divine doctrine of presidential infallibility when it comes to killing suspected enemies. Due process is buried in the detritus of "collateral damage."

But enshrined in Article 39 of the Magna Carta, due process is the very wellspring of civilization - the most important concept in the history of mankind. It recognizes that humans are prone to err. Cravings for money, power, domination, fame and vanity routinely distort truth-telling. Events or actions are multi-dimensional, not one-dimensional, and lend themselves to competing rational interpretations. Justice and human dignity alike require listening to all relevant parties before decisions are forthcoming. Due process should be honored because of what it says about us as a people. It is not saluted as a concession to enemy suspects.

Comment: The author of this article is incorrect when he says that Putin killed Litvinenko. Litvinenko's death, allegedly by radioactive poisoning, was clearly a ham-fisted effort to make it look like the Kremlin was responsible. See our series of articles on the topic.


Pistol

US, New York: Rockville Centre Woman Held Teen At Gunpoint After 'Ring And Run' Prank

Image
© Nassau County Police Department
Bernadette Greenwald
A Rockville Centre attorney is under arrest after allegedly holding a suspected teenage prankster at gunpoint until officers arrived at her home Sunday night, Nassau County police said.

Bernadette Greenwald, 47, apparently lost her cool after someone repeatedly rang her doorbell and ran from the home around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.

The "ding, dong, ditch" prank was apparently carried out three times and after the last incident, police said Greenwald, a former Bronx Assistant District Attorney, grabbed her .9 mm pistol and fired one round into the air in front of her house.

Police said Greenwald later saw a 17-year-old boy walking in front of her N. Forest Avenue home. She allegedly approached the teen and pointed the gun at him. Greenwald's retired Air Force pilot apparently returned home to discover the youth inside his home.

Shoe

Australians chase their prime minister out of town

Julia Gillard stumbles and loses shoe trying to escape indigenous rights demonstrators protesting against Australia Day


The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, stumbled and was caught by a security guard as riot police helped her force a path through a crowd of rowdy protesters following a ceremony to mark Australia Day.

About 200 supporters of indigenous rights surrounded a Canberra restaurant and banged its windows on Thursday while Gillard and the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, were inside officiating at an awards ceremony.

Dollar

Canada, British Columbia: Vancouver Airport Improvement Fee Jumps to $20 to Pay for Upgrades

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© Wikipedia
Passengers flying out of Vancouver International Airport for destinations beyond B.C. are going to have to pay more for the privilege starting May 1.

The Vancouver Airport Authority has announced $1.8 billion in upgrades and says it's hiking the airport improvement fee by 33 per cent in order to pay for the work.

The fee will jump from $15 to $20 for people flying outside of B.C., while passengers flying within the province and Yukon region will continue to pay five dollars.

USA

US Special Forces Troops Free US, Danish Hostages, Kill 9 Pirates in Somalia Raid

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© unknown
American Jessica Buchanan and Dane Poul Hagen Thisted have been rescued by US Navy SEALs
U.S. Navy SEALs parachuted into Somalia under cover of darkness early Wednesday and crept up to an outdoor camp where an American woman and Danish man were being held hostage. Soon, nine kidnappers were dead and both hostages were freed.

President Barack Obama authorized the mission by SEAL Team 6 two days earlier, deploying the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden last year. Minutes after the president gave his State of the Union address to Congress he was on the phone with the American's father to tell him his daughter was safe.

The Danish Refugee Council confirmed the two aid workers, American Jessica Buchanan and Poul Hagen Thisted, a Dane, were "on their way to be reunited with their families."

Buchanan, 32, and Thisted, 60, were working with a de-mining unit of the Danish Refugee Council when gunmen kidnapped the two in October.

Heart - Black

US: Psychic Peaches Stevens Scammed Florida Woman Out Of $136,000

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© Jail Base
'Fraud' psychic Peaches Stevens allegedly scammed a Florida woman out of $136,000
What else is in the teachings of Peaches? Fraud, that's what.

So say Florida cops, who arrested "psychic" Peaches Stevens for allegedly defrauding a woman in Windermere out of $136,000 over seven years, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Stevens was collared on Jan. 11 and thrown in Orange County Jail after a years-long bid by one of her alleged victims to out the fizzling fortune-teller.

For the victim -- identified during an interview with Anderson Cooper last fall as Priti Mahalanobis -- there were plenty of signs that Stevens wasn't exactly legitimate. First, Stevens allegedly told Mahalanobis to stuff 11 $100 bills and 11 names of relatives on a piece of paper in an envelope under her bed, along with a grapefruit, to quell the evil that Stevens said was wreaking havoc on Mahalanobis's family.

People

Occupy Movement Exposes Uncomfortable Facts

occupy protestors
© n/a
The recent Pew Research report on tensions between the rich and poor gives a road map to the ofttimes unfocused Occupy movement. Since 2009, the study found, there is "a growing awareness of class conflict" among Americans.

Whatever its findings, that the mainstream Pew Research Center would frame the report in the usually verboten language of "class conflict" is itself remarkable. Whenever verbiage such as "class" or "class struggle," let alone "class conflict" is used by academics or politicians to describe the incongruity between democracy and capitalism, it is rejected as Marxist ideological rant.

Even the avoidance of the use of "working class" for the more centrist "middle class" by President Obama led to the farcical cry of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum that Obama was encouraging class warfare.

This is hardly surprising, for when Obama attempted to raise taxes on the wealthy for the benefit of the larger populace, he was charged with encouraging class warfare rather than attempting a more equitable distribution of wealth. Although the concept of a fair distribution of assets is democratic, not Marxist, in thrust, and the 1 percent have been waging a rigged undeclared war against the 99 percent for decades, now that the 99 percent have begun pushing back, there is an inevitable cry of foul from the reactionary rich.

Crusader

What Kind of Christianity Is This?

Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount.
© Painting by Carl Bloch
Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount.
Though founded by a pacifist, Christianity has justified some of the most brutal slaughters in human history, from the wars of the late Roman Empire to the Crusades to the Inquisition to world wars to genocides against "heathens," Muslims and Jews. Yet, Gary G. Kohls says the essence of Christianity can still be reclaimed.

From time to time, I read about condemnations of religion coming from non-religious groups, especially concerning the all-too-common violence perpetrated in the name of religious gods. Indeed there is plenty to condemn.

Altogether too many religions sects of both major and minor religions, despite verbally professing a desire for peace and justice in the world, are actually pro-war, pro-homicide and pro-violence in practice (or they may be silent on the subject, which is, according to moral theology, the same as being pro-violence).

Obvious examples include those portions of the three major war-justifying religions of the world: fundamentalist Islam, fundamentalist Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity.

Gear

Canada Extradites Phoney Rabbi Accused in 'Massive Immigration Fraud Mill'

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© unknown
A former New York lawyer who was posing as an orthodox rabbi in Toronto has been extradited to the United States, where he is accused of perpetrating a massive immigration fraud, raking in millions of dollars by processing up to 25,000 falsified immigration applications.

Earl Seth David, also known as Rabbi Avraham David, is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, and fled to Canada when authorities uncovered what prosecutors called "a massive immigration fraud mill."

But to many in the Jewish community around Toronto, he was known as a Torah scholar and author of Code of the Heart, a 2005 book claiming to decode the Torah, the Hebrew Bible.

His book uses numerology and other techniques to find hidden meaning that influence and foreshadow world events, including the war in Iraq, the 9/11 terror attacks and even the rape allegations against basketball star Kobe Bryant.

The book's promotional materials said the world would be hearing a lot more from Rabbi Avraham David. On Wednesday, it did.

Attention

Military Coup Reported in Papua New Guinea

There are unconfirmed reports that a military coup has taken place in the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. News in Australia is reporting that soldiers loyal to ousted former prime minister Sir Michael Somare have staged a bloodless mutiny.

ABC said that early Thursday morning, about a dozen soldiers are believed to have raided the defense force headquarters and placed the head of the army, Brigadier General Francis Agwi, under house arrest.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warned Australians to limit their travel in the capital, due to what it described as "disturbances" at two barracks.