Bernard Madoff Circus Goes Public Today

The Bernard Madoff Circus Goes Public Today: Will There Be Justice?
by Danny Schechter (Author of Plunder)
Thursday is “BM Day” in New York, the day that Wall Street Wonder Bernie Madoff, wearing his electronic bracelet perhaps, surrounded by a phalanx of security goons on guard for some modern day Jack Ruby among his distraught investors, and followed by a voracious media pack, meets Da Judge, the Honorable Denny Chin in the new federal courthouse named after former Senator Moynihan.
For some those initials “BM” might be thought of in the bowel movement sense for a discredited financial system, as this big bad wolf gets some comeupance, or at least a first recknoning, but clearly he didn’t act alone and was surely not the only one.
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Not Quite... Neocons Rattle Yet

The Neocons Strike Back
by Robert Parry
The neoconservatives have demonstrated that their power in Washington remains strong as they have succeeded in keeping veteran diplomat Chas Freeman out of a top intelligence job. Freeman dropped out of the running for chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which oversees preparation of intelligence estimates about threats to the United States, after an intense campaign spearheaded by neocons angered over Freeman’s criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
Jon Chait of The New Republic

In effect, the neocons showed that their influence over the national news media, especially the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, combined with solid Republican support and some key Democratic backing, still lets them blackball potential government appointees who favor a more evenhanded approach toward the Middle East.
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Iraq +6: Accountability Rally

Rally in Richmond Va for Peace on 6th Anniversary of Iraq Invasion
by David Swanson
March 19, 2009, 5:30 p.m., Kanawha Plaza, Richmond, Virginia We will gather in downtown Richmond to mark the 6th anniversary of the occupation of Iraq, with an action and rally to express support for a major shift in our country's priorities. The sponsoring coalition aims to draw attention to bloated U.S. spending on war and foreign occupations at this time of severe economic crisis.

The coalition calls for:

• Deep cuts in military spending and real funding for jobs, housing, schools, health care, green infrastructure, services for the poor, and returning veterans.

• An end to war and foreign occupations, including immediate withdrawal from Iraq, ending the occupation of Afghanistan and no attacks on, sanctions against or covert interference in Iran.

• Putting people’s needs before bank profits and taking monetary policy out of the hands of private banks and the Federal Reserve.
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Not the Path a Reverend Would Walk

by Sherwood Ross
Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away” is the reason President Obama gave for forging “a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan…”
Yet Americans, in their anger over 9/11, need to ask if subjecting Afghanistan to escalating conflict in order to bring Osama bin Laden to justice and/or punish the Taliban, is the way to go about it.

If past is prologue, once the Pentagon’s war machine revs up, there will be a wave of new civilian casualties, more wedding parties slaughtered on misinformation, more children killed in their beds, more hospitals bombed by accident, more people that want to live just as much as you and I do who will never see another sunrise.
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Langford Lord Lout Says: "Bailout the Bear"

Langford City Council Special Meeting on a
Federal Bailout for Bear Mountain Projects
by Zoe Blunt
Turns out Mayor Stew Young's statement at the South Skirt Mountain public hearing was true -- Langford is lining up to demand a taxpayer bailout for its debt-ridden interchange and controversial South Skirt Mountain development plan. A special meeting of Langford City Council is set for tomorrow, Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 pm. Council will consider a proposal for the Building Canada Fund, the infrastructure grant money from Ottawa.

It takes a special kind of hypocrisy to brag (loudly and constantly) that this interchange will be 100% paid for by developers, and then turn around and beg for a federal grant. Of course, the grant would have to be matched by municipal revenue, meaning taxpayers get soaked twice for a bridge to nowhere. That would be enough for most public officials, but here Langford ups the ante and demands millions more for a parkway to service a half-built, half-abandoned golf resort. That takes real gall. 

Here's a thought: why not ask the taxpayers what projects deserve a federal grant? Or how about  considering what projects would benefit the most people? Hint: most people don't own property on Skirt Mountain, and don't stand to make $1.7 billion in profit from an "investment" of millions in public money.

The notion is absurd. The language in the proposal is also really strange.
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True 9/11 Conspirators Reveal Themselves

True 9/11 Conspirators Reveal Themselves
by C. L. Cook
The New York Times printed yesterday a definitive conclusion of the untried mystery behind the crime of the century. Since 2001, they've all said it had to happen: "Sooner or later, someone on the inside would come forward." A conspiracy as large as 9/11 couldn't stay buried forever.
Times reporter, William Glaberson grabbed the by-line for the announcement of the possible release of a document purportedly authored by five prisoners of the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prison complex. Glaberson says the five prisoners are described in a document not yet released to the public as the shadowy sounding , '9/11 Shura Council.'
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Veterans Call on Harper to End Deportations

Vietnam and Iraq Veterans Call on Harper to End Deportations
by War Resisters Support Campaign
A group of U.S. military veterans will visit Vancouver this week to show support for war resisters who are seeking sanctuary in Canada.
"We are proud of our young men and women who have refused to be part of the illegal war in Iraq," declared Mike Ferner, President of Veterans For Peace.  "These war resisters had the courage to listen to their consciences.  Unlike President Bush, they obeyed international law."
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One Canadian Killed Four Injured in Kandahar Blast

One Canadian Killed Four Injured in Kandahar Blast
by C. L. Cook
Trooper Marc Diab died Sunday following an encounter with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) just outside Kandahar, Afghanistan. His death brings to 112 the number of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan and the fourth to die in less than a week.
Diab's four unnamed crew-mates were listed in "stable" condition, three being evacuated to the American hospital at  Landstuhl, Germany.

The 22 year old career soldier was attached to the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Petawawa, serving member of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group. Diab's mother, Jihan Diab said Marc was due home later this month, and planned to get engaged upon his return.
His sister, Jessica said;

"I feel he would be happy knowing that he did what he had wanted to do all his life… even if we do not feel the same way."  
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Gaza Caravan: Puncturing the Siege on the Prophet's Birthday

15.30 (GMT) Monday 9th March 2009
by Viva Palestina
And they entered side by side like heroes, some on foot some in their vehicles, tears, smiles, hugs, flowers. It was historic, it was legendary. Gaza we are here. We have fulfilled the promise - Viva Palestina! The lifeline from the people of Britain to you, the people of Gaza, has arrived.

We have broken the barriers, we have opened closed borders, we have defied the odds,we have overcome the challenges across thousands of miles and three continents. We are here to be with you, to embrace you, to share your tragedy with you.

After another morning of intense negotiations, a deal was reached to allow all of the members of the convoy to go through. In the end, Viva Palestina had to make the sacrifice of agreeing that some vehicles will have to cross the border from the Al Ouja Israeli controlled crossing point. This includes our mascot, the fire engine and the boat. This was due to the restrictions imposed by Egyptian law governing the Rafah Crossing.
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Mayor Lout Allows Second Langford Hearing on Bear Mountain Expansion Plans

Second Hearing for Langford Skirt Mountain Develpment
by Zoe Blunt
Hi everyone, Our team won the first round, now we advance to the finals! Langford Mayor Stew Young has caved in and scheduled a second public hearing on the massive South Skirt Mountain towers project. The blustery mayor denies there was a problem with the public process, but fortunately we're here to educate him!
New public hearing: Monday, March 16, at Langford City Hall (877 Goldstream Ave.) Doors: 6:30 pm. Anyone is welcome to speak and everyone who spoke the first time should make sure to re-submit their comments.
Everyone is invited to join us for a big thumbs-down to the massive new condo development proposed for South Skirt Mountain, part of Victoria's Greenbelt and adjacent to Goldstream Provincial Park. "Unlimited height" towers are planned to replace rare garry oak and arbutus bluffs, home to great horned owls, screech owls, pileated woodpeckers and bald eagles, only 20 km west of Victoria.
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Turn Whilst You Can!

Turn around while you can! Trust me, Queens sucks too!"
by Greg Palast
The occupied territory of Manhattan is supposed to be a demilitarized zone - as long as you ignore the blown-apart corpses in front of the bodegas and Trustwell Corp assassins infiltrating the block parties.

Click to get a feel for it. Page from DMZ #6
I don't review other writers' books.  Mostly, because I don't like what I see.  But this graphic novel, DMZ by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli, is too good to let go by unheralded. DMZ is New York in the future, and it looks uncomfortably too much like America today.  There's a phony war on terror, a hunt for illusory insurgents and troublemakers which becomes the trigger-point excuse for crushing the heaving, rising underclass.

Except here, in the comic, America's culture war and class war has moved to its inevitable bloody conclusion:  a corporate junta pretending to provide safety to war-torn New York while using high-tech military intelligence and scum-bag death squads to hold on to power.
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Gaza Aid Caravan: Idling at Rafah

SO CLOSE... GAZA WAITS - Viva Palestina Email Alert 23.30 (GMT) Sunday 8th March
by Viva Palestina
Tonight, the Viva Palestina aid convoy is spending the night in Al Arish close to the Rafah crossing after an eventful day. At one point everything seemed to point out to a smooth crossing until they hit new obstacles, which were not resolved later in the day (see earlier posts)

Some Libyan trucks carrying medical aid have been allowed through. There is a consensus though amongst the members of the convoy that no vehicle will go through any Israeli controlled crossing. The motto is 'ALL for one and one for ALL'.

They are hopeful that early in the morning, they will start their final leg of a very long journey and roll into Gaza - where thousands of Palestinians have waited all day at the gates of Rafah to greet and welcome them.
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