Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 30 Mar 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Maine AG says mural removal is 'government speech'

© Reuters
Portland, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage's administration was exercising its right to "government speech" when it removed a labor history mural from the state Labor Department headquarters, the Maine attorney general said Monday.

In a document filed in U.S. District Court, Attorney General William Schneider said a lawsuit seeking to have the mural returned to its original location presents a political, not legal, issue on "where the government speaks." The previous administration was speaking when it chose to display the mural, and the current administration is speaking by having it removed, he wrote.

"Plaintiffs strongly agree with the 'speech' of a prior administration by means of the exhibition of a work of art in a particular government building, and disagree with the 'speech' of the present administration by not exhibiting that work of art at that particular government building," he wrote in an objection to a motion seeking a temporary restraining order aimed at returning the mural to the Labor Department.


Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus

jesus protect
The results from a recent poll published by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveal what social scientists have known for a long time: White Evangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumb-founding ironies in contemporary American culture. Evangelical Christians, who most fiercely proclaim to have a personal relationship with Christ, who most confidently declare their belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, who go to church on a regular basis, pray daily, listen to Christian music, and place God and His Only Begotten Son at the center of their lives, are simultaneously the very people most likely to reject his teachings and despise his radical message.

Jesus unambiguously preached mercy and forgiveness. These are supposed to be cardinal virtues of the Christian faith. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of the death penalty, draconian sentencing, punitive punishment over rehabilitation, and the governmental use of torture. Jesus exhorted humans to be loving, peaceful, and non-violent. And yet Evangelicals are the group of Americans most supportive of easy-access weaponry, little-to-no regulation of handgun and semi-automatic gun ownership, not to mention the violent military invasion of various countries around the world. Jesus was very clear that the pursuit of wealth was inimical to the Kingdom of God, that the rich are to be condemned, and that to be a follower of Him means to give one's money to the poor. And yet Evangelicals are the most supportive of corporate greed and capitalistic excess, and they are the most opposed to institutional help for the nation's poor -- especially poor children. They hate anything that smacks of "socialism," even though that is essentially what their Savior preached. They despise food stamp programs, subsidies for schools, hospitals, job training -- anything that might dare to help out those in need. Even though helping out those in need was exactly what Jesus urged humans to do. In short, Evangelicals are that segment of America which is the most pro-militaristic, pro-gun, and pro-corporate, while simultaneously claiming to be most ardent lovers of the Prince of Peace.

What's the deal?


Longtime oil industry champion now calls BP liars, almost a year after oil spill

© Ted Jackson, The Times-Picayune
Ryan Lambert, owner of Cajun Fishing Adventures Lodge, one of the state's largest is furious with BP for not paying out claims. For his peak spring-summer season, business was down 94 percent from his average, a drop he says eventually cost him $1.1million. To help hedge his bets, he has gone into partnership in Willowdale Country Club in Luling, trying to bring it back from the brink, and looks over the fairways and ponds Thursday, April 7, 2011.

A year after the Deepwater Horizon exploded 60 miles south of his Buras hunting and fishing lodge, Ryan Lambert can distill his opinion of BP and the oil industry down to one word: Liars.

It's an opinion he never thought he'd have.

"The fishing industry has always lived side-by-side with the oil industry down here in Plaquemines Parish, and they've always told us that if anything happened, they would take care of the problem -- they would repair the damages and they would make us whole -- and I believed them," said Lambert, whose Cajun Fishing Adventures Lodge is one of the state's largest.


Snakes on a bus: Argentina nabs wildlife trafficker

© Agence France-Presse
Two boa constrictors are pictured in 2009. Passengers on a bus in Argentina got an unwelcome surprise when police found more than 600 snakes and other reptiles packed in the luggage compartment, a ranger said Saturday
Passengers on a bus in Argentina got an unwelcome surprise when police found more than 600 snakes and other reptiles packed in the luggage compartment, a ranger said Saturday.

Acting on a tip-off, police intercepted the bus in a northern province bound for Buenos Aires, asked to see passengers' documents, then began poking into their bags.

"A passenger came onboard with 40 snakes, plus what he had in the boxes" in the bus luggage hold, said ranger Daniel Chersich, warden of Santa Fe province.

Police "were terrified of opening the bags," Chersich, who was investigating a wildlife trafficking network and joined in the operation, told the daily Clarin.


For life, liberty and the burqa: Muslim women defy France's ban on full-face veils

  • French ban on full-face veils starts today
  • Risk of fine if women refuse to show faces
  • Muslims women say they are not oppressed
  • Libs back minister who called burqa alien

They are the women prepared to defy France for the burqa.


US: Thousands rally in Chicago to support union movement


Thousands of Illinois public service workers on Saturday rallied in downtown Chicago to support the union employees in Wisconsin and other states where the government have proposed limiting workers' collective bargaining rights.

The demonstrators, including teachers, painters, carpenters and other public workers, carried signs "We are one," showing support to movements organized by labor unions.

The rally is the latest of a wave of protests against the state government's proposal to force state employees to contribute more to their health-care and pension costs and give up their collective bargaining rights.


Finkelstein counters Goldstone retraction


The old Richard Goldstone found evidence that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza; the new Richard Goldstone suggests it didn't. Here's the evidence. Decide for yourself where is the truth.

An expanded and revised edition of Norman Finkelstein's This Time We Went Too Far, releasing later this month, refutes Richard Goldstone's recent recantation of his report on Gaza.

This significantly revised and expanded edition is the only comprehensive book-length study of the 2008-2009 Israeli invasion of Gaza and its consequences. It is based on thousands of passages of human rights reports as well as the statements of Israeli soldiers and Israeli officials. It covers the full documentary record - including all the official Israeli reports and investigations - right up until Dec. 31, 2010. In light of Richard Goldstone's recent recantation of the report he authored on the Gaza invasion, Finkelstein's book provides a unique vantage point for judging whether the original report, or Goldstone's current position, is more credible.


Letter to the Ruling Class


You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit... we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution!


The Serfs.

Che Guevara

Israeli Embassy in Cairo Under Siege

"Just when the Palestinians in Gaza thought they were facing this new Israeli attacks alone and with their backs against the wall, they found out they forgot, over the years, that they had brothers in Egypt who are willing not only to accompany them in their struggle against Israel but to protect their backs as well"

Editor's notes: The western press and even Al Jazeera have failed to report today's demonstrations in Tahir Square, Cairo accurately. Thousands of Egyptians marched from the square to the Israeli Embassy, demanding that the current military government end diplomatic relations with Israel in wake of the recent assault on Gaza by the IDF.

Israel claims that a school bus was attacked with a mortar round this week and it was necessary for the army to respond with tanks, helicopters, rockets and a step-up of the nightly bombing campaign that has gone on for months.

Skeptics doubt Israel's claim of an attack from Gaza, citing Israel's propensity for fabricating threats and the bizarre choice of weapons. From an American intelligence source who has worked with Israel for decades:
Israel has been using the "mortar attack" story more and more. Any small explosive charge can be made to look like a mortar attack. even a hand grenade. You only need to throw a few shards of metal around, the cheapest and dirtiest "false flag" possible and Israel has done this dozens of times.

Hamas has mortars but they also have thousands of RPGs. That's the weapon used to go after a vehicle. Saying someone shot a mortar at a bus is simply idiotic. If Gaza has the weapons Israel claims, Russian Kornet and RPG 29s which are capable of destroying Israel's Merkava tanks quite readily, as Hizbollah proved, the "school bus" story is even more fictional.


US: Legend of the 'Zodiac' killer still going strong

Benicia -- -- Just inside Benicia's city limits, tucked in one of the winding coils of Lake Herman Road, is a small turnout that was once a scene of bloody carnage.

"Nothing has changed here," said Tom Voigt, founder of www.ZodiacKiller.com, as he surveyed the gravel floor, the pristine rolling hills and the shadowy face of Mt. Diablo across the fields and waterways.

It was in that picturesque turnout that the mysterious Zodiac killer -- perhaps Vallejo's most notorious son (if the unknown killer is actually a male) -- began a killing spree that gripped the Bay Area in fearful paranoia during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Attacks attributed to the elusive Zodiac killer spanned at least Solano, Napa and San Francisco counties. The alleged serial killer sent encrypted messages to several newspapers, including the Times-Herald.

By the time the high-profile case faded with the public hysteria, at least five people were killed and two wounded. Authorities remain perplexed at the mysterious killer's identity.

And it's that mystery that drives Voigt, 44, who was just 1 year old when the slayings began.

"God, I hope they ID him in my lifetime," said Voigt, standing just on the other side of barbed wire fence and a "No Trespassing" sign that has been graffitied with the Zodiac's infamous cross-hair symbol.

The case remains open in the Vallejo Police Department, which maintains an active Zodiac crime tips link on its website.