Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ISRAEL UP TO OLD TRICKS?

TEHRAN BOMBINGS HAVE “ALL THE SIGNS”
OF MOSSAD















Massoud Mohammadi, a professor at Tehran University, was killed on Tuesday when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle was triggered by remote control outside his home.



(November 30, 2010, The United Nations, NY, NY) Well, what do we do now? What can we say?

There was a time when we would have had a leg to stand on, when the United States possessed sufficient “moral authority” to at least be in the position to do or say something. Something with some meaning, some heft, some weight behind it. Sadly, those days are gone for good and, at least for the time being, gone also is our international standing and reputation. The Cheney / Bush Administration saw to that. Now, we have a torrent of “leaked” information from diplomatic correspondence and other sources from which the world can draw their own conclusions about the United States, our veracity, our ability to be a friend and “honest broker” when it comes to some of the most delicate of foreign relations and dealings with the world at large.

Two prominent physics professors were blown up earlier today in Teheran by as yet to be identified operatives. The bombings have all the hallmarks of The Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Service known as much for their ability to carry out assassinations across all borders as they are for “gathering” intelligence. One of the “nuclear scientists' killed as was his wife, the other targeted academic survived with injuries. Yes. It was a matter of time. Israel simply cannot stand the fact that she will at some point have nuclear armed neighbors.

And why should her neighbors not be nuclear armed? The oh so tired and all too often repeated claim that poor Israel, the only “democracy” in a sea of hostile Arab nations, needs to be able to “defend” herself just doesn't cut it anymore. Actually, it really never did. Israel has been a nuclear power for decades although, to this day, she refuses to acknowledge or admit the truth. Israel was provided all the “nuclear secrets” she needed to develop her own nuclear weapons program by spies and sympathizers decades ago. That is just one among the unknown and unknowable host of “secrets'”she has either directly stolen from us or had deliberately obtained by other nefarious activities. Israel has arguably perpetrated the greatest number of espionage scams against us than any other nation “friend” or otherwise.

Yes, Israel, our “Ally” in all matters of security. Israel, who we routinely provide carte blanche coverage for in the United Nations no matter how heinous her actions may be. Israel who criminally prosecutes a decades long occupation against the Palestinian people, murders men, women, and children with American supplied arms of every caliber and kind. Israel, the Zionist state immune from international and United Nations sanctions of any kind, free to murder and maim with impunity; possessed of sufficient hubris, safe in the knowledge that she can hide behind America's fraying apron strings when the international outrage becomes too hot, yes Israel has done it again.

The bomb attacks on two prominent Iran nuclear scientists is just the latest in a litany of international crimes committed by Israel in the factious name of her “national security.” Admittedly there is no evidence circumstantial or otherwise linking Israel to these assassinations however, the modus operandi is all too familiar to those in the international intelligence community. One former CIA operative now working in the private sector, speaking anonymously to protect his identity commented, “ As soon as I learned of the details of the attacks in Tehran, I knew, without a moment of doubt that this was the handiwork of the Mossad.” Other sources throughout Europe and the Middle East were equally harsh in their assessment of what are broadly considered to be “terrorist actions”. Lord Philip Lloyd Dunham, retired Scotland Yard veteran and Middle East expert commented, “Israel has a long history of violating international law, flaunting her brazen activities and generally conducting herself abominably. Sadly, due to her “special relationship” with the Americans, Israel has a sense of unaccountability. She has ignored UN Security Council Resolutions for as long as I can recall and I fear with each passing year she grows more emboldened. Israeli behavior of the sort seen in Tehran yesterday will, no doubt, one day trigger a crisis of massive proportions. I pray and hope that somehow something can be done to reign in what is, in essence, a rogue nation.”

Iran has long held nuclear ambitions and, despite American and Israeli beliefs to the contrary, has insisted their nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes. Long standing international sanctions of the materials required to refine uranium and conduct other highly sophisticated processes vital for developing nuclear power generation have denied Iran the ability to fulfill her desire. Despite repeated overtures from Iran to conduct her nuclear program under the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , the United States has spearheaded the sanctions efforts. Most objective observers however, agree that Iran should be permitted to develop a nuclear program until “ Iran demonstrates her intentions to be that other than power generation.”

Iran has had troubled relationships with the west and the United States in particular since the days of the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979.


TAGS: Current Events, News Opinion, Editorial Commentary, Iran Nuclear Program, Iranian Nuclear Scientists, Israel, The Mossad, United Nations, Israeli Crimes, Zionist Regime, CIA, Scotland Yard, IAEA.


LINKS:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/29/AR2010112906300.html

http://www.hamsayeh.net/hamsayehnet_iran-international-news1941.htm

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8909100932
http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=214969

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/11/201011297228879910.html

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2033725,00.html

http://www.aljazeerah.info/News/2010/November/30%20n/US,%20Israel,%20Britain,%20MKO%20Collaborating%20in%20Assassination%20of%20Iranian%20Scientists,%20Says%20Iranian%20Defense%20Minister.htm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-01/iran-calls-nuclear-physicist-s-killing-terrorism-notes-western-silence-.html

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/153477.html



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SCRAMBLED EGGS BENEDICT

POPE CAN'T PUT YOLK BACK IN CRACKED SHELLS













Pope Benedict XVI: more progressive than anyone would have imagined.


(Nov. 23, 2010 – Vatican City, Rome, Italy) What the hell is going on here? Has the Pope suddenly realized some of the harsher realities of life in the 21st century? Does the 82 year old Pontiff want some modernization of the Roman Catholic Church to be part of his legacy? Or did he simply misspeak during an interview with a German journalist?

Whatever the answers to these questions might or might not be, there can be no denying the scale and scope of the fallout from some comments the Pope made during a series of interviews which are being published as a book. Early leaked excerpts from that book included a statement accredited to the Pope where he said that condom use for male prostitutes comports with Catholic doctrine provided the condoms are worn to prevent the spread of AIDS. Holy Moses! The Pope, male prostitution, and condoms all in the same sentence? That is impressive. What's more impressive are the implications of Pope Benedict's words.

The Roman Catholic Church has been, arguably, the least receptive to a changing world when compared to other major organized religions around the globe. Her (The “Church”, for Catholics, is typically referred to in the feminine sense,i.e.: She, Her) intransigence if not flat out hostility to many of the issues facing Her followers, the world and the Church in general has resulted in dwindling flocks in America and other western countries. The Catholic Church has seen Her greatest expansion in some of the poorest places on the planet; many of the developing countries in Central and South America as well as throughout the African continent. This has presented unique challenges to the Vatican but, more about that lsome other time.

Back to the Pope and condoms.

Birth control has long been one of the most strict doctrines of the Catholic Church and among the most divisive and contentious for American Catholics. The fight began when the first birth control pill, known as “THE PILL” hit the market in the late 1960's. Suddenly men and women could copulate freely, recreationally, without the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Men no longer had to carry “rubbers” in their wallets or steal them from their Dad's sock drawer. The Sexual Revolution had been declared a victory but the powers that be in the Vatican responded like stranded Japanese soldiers still fighting World War II alone on some anonymous atoll in the South Pacific long after VJ Day.

When the Supreme Court decided the landmark case known as Roe v. Wade in 1973 essentially legalizing abortions in the United States, the Catholic Church held firm in their unshakable opposition and adhered to the belief that abortion is “murder”. That is some heavy duty stuff.

For centuries the Vatican's word on issues related to sexual behavior was so ingrained in predominately Catholic nations that the demographics of those nations were profoundly affected. Among specific staunchly Catholic nationalities, the birthrate remained staggeringly high even as people struggled with high infant mortality rates and poverty. On the other side of the coin until very recently in history a marriage that ended in divorce was sufficient for excommunication from the Catholic Church. Many Catholics were driven from the Church believing that extramarital sex, the use of birth control, or having a divorce automatically meant they could no longer be “practicing” Catholics. It became a common notion among people, Catholics and non-Catholics, that the Church of Rome, The Vatican, The Holy See, and its Pope, the titular head of the Roman Catholic Church on earth, were backwards at best, behind the times, stuck in the Dark Ages, oppressive, unyielding, and basically, not very Christian in the broadest sense of the term.

They were all correct.

To truly be a practicing Catholic from the mid 1960's on (after the Vatican II Conference, when The Church sought to “modernize” the liturgy and some of Her teachings, proclamations, and social positions) was not an easy way of life. People coming of age during those years of true social upheaval of every kind in American society found themselves at odds with their parents and Church over issues that had increasingly become more publicly debated and more valued as “personal freedoms”. In virtually all the major issues of the day, The Church obstinately held on to Her dogma, doctrine and traditions even as self identified Catholics in America deserted The Church in droves. So many left embittered, humiliated, and angry that many of them have felt ostracized on some level to this day.

As the world turned and life went on, as the sixties gave way to the seventies and beyond, The Church never varied. So stubborn was Her position that The Vatican would always oppose any United Nations initiative that included introducing birth control into the largest emerging Catholic populations in the worlds who just happened to live in the poorest parts of the planet.

Now after two disastrous decades of being battered by sexual abuse scandals committed by Priests and covered up by the Church hierarchy at every level, this gaffe prone Pope drops a bomb on the core of Roman Catholicism. Intentional or not, in one fell swoop, one run-on sentence, one statement perhaps mangled in translation, may have unwittingly brought Catholics into the present day. No Catholic of a certain age could read the Pope’s statements without feeling that finally, after all these years, the Catholic Church recognizes the realities of the world and that many who have stumbled and strayed from Her teachings may suddenly find a renewal of Faith in the Church of their youth.

People have sex, people use birth control, abortions are performed legally for a variety of reasons both medical and personal and it is no Church’s or governments business. There are deadly sexually transmitted diseases, Catholics in the poorest countries should be able to practice birth control without the burden of feeling as though they have “sinned”. Priests have been predators, some predators pedophiles and the Church in all Her majestic splendor and glory has been fallible, yes indeed, horribly, oh so humanly fallible.



Tags: News Comment, Current Events, Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict, The Vatican, Condoms, Birth Control, Abortion, Opinion, Observation, Editorial, Church Scandals







http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/11/20/pope-oks-condoms-in-some-cases-cites-use-by-male-prostitutes-av/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/11/23/2010-11-23_pope_benedict_xvi_and_vatican_on_condoms_men_and_women_can_use_condoms_to_preven.html

http://wtaq.com/news/articles/2010/nov/23/pope-words-on-condoms-bolster-aids-fight-in-africa/

http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=31026

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101121/ap_on_re_eu/eu_pope_condoms


Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 19, 2010

THE INCONVENIENCE OF PRIORITIES

TERRORISTS TESTING AVIATION SECURITY


















Port Authority Police Officers on duty
at NYC's JFK Airport.


(Nov. 19, 2010 – Queens, NY) While stories of passengers discontent with the recently implemented screening techniques at our nation's airports have dominated press and Internet coverage, there is a more important story playing out beneath the inane headlines and viral videos on YouTube. Security experts throughout the government intelligence apparatus and the private sector have concluded that terrorist cells have been conducting “tests” by sending packages, some capable of exploding, via air freight since late October. Thus far authorities believe they have “intercepted” all the suspicious parcels but there is some doubt as to whether or not some “dummy packages” have made it through multiple security checks at different airports and, ultimately, to terrorists operatives here in the United States. Most of these packages have originated in Yemen or Sudan; both North African countries have become favored havens for al-Qaeda and other like-minded groups.

Just as during the months prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the intelligence community has been reporting a significant increase in “chatter” among known terrorist groups from the towering mountains of the Afghanistan – Pakistan border all the way across Central Asia and into North Africa. The notoriously tight lipped National Security Agency (NSA) as well as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have each made off the record statement confirming their shared belief that the “terrorists are probing, planning, and plotting. We have not seen this level of chatter since August 2001 and we all know what happened after that”, said one DIA analyst speaking not for attribution. She continued, “We now know that Mohammed Atta and his crews took many cross country flights to observe the in-flight security procedures on the types of planes they were planning to hijack. They meticulously collected their own intelligence and, as a result of their preparations, were able to pull off the fatal hijackings of that God awful day. We had all better take notice of this chatter now and begin to act accordingly.”

The “enhanced” screening procedures causing so much outcry from travelers, some pilots and civil libertarians have been implemented to interdict nonmetallic objects, including plastic explosives, that could be used in-flight to cause damage to an aircraft or actually “blast it out of the sky.” Some major airports are now equipped with full body scanners, an imaging technique that travelers can refuse for health or personal reasons. The frisk method or “pat down” as it has been called in the media, is similar to the techniques law enforcement officers have employed on the streets of America for decades. Some of the loudest opponents to the pat downs claim that TSA officers are not as well trained as most police officers and that some of the pat downs have turned into “humiliating public gropings.” Administrators at both the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claim the new techniques have been developed with privacy, decorum, and professionalism in mind. One senior manager at TSA speaking anonymously commented, “Sure, some folks are upset, some see it as a waste of time and a hassle. Obviously these folks have lost sight of the real threats we confront and have short memories. 9 – 11 was not even ten years ago and already the national mood seems to have turned against security measures in all aspects of our lives. The fact of the matter is that it is just a matter of time until some terrorist group or splinter cell manages to launch a successful attack against some vulnerable aspect in our infrastructure or transportation systems. After that, people will be complaining that we (TSA & DHS) did not do enough. You can't win in this climate of impatience.”

Airports and air passenger carriers around the world have been on a higher alert level since the initial parcel bombs were discovered on planes in Germany and Britain on October 29th, just 3 weeks ago. A timely “tip” from the Saudi Intelligence service and fast action on the ground resulted in the bombs being rendered harmless and thus subject to detailed analysis and testing by intelligence agencies from Scotland yard, to our CIA and FBI. Two of the original bombs were addressed to synagogues in Chicago and, after extensive testing that took several days, the British Intelligence Ministry revealed that those two bombs were “sophisticated” and ‘intended to blow up in the skies over Chicago.” the bombs were far more powerful than first indicated but also bore some of the hallmarks of other recent al-Qaeda manufactured explosive devices. “The use of cell phones as trigger or detonation mechanisms pointed to al-Qaeda on the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP), a terrorist group based in Yemen with related suspected sects or cells in Sudan, Kenya and possibly Libya.

Under orders from President Barak Obama the United States military has increased the number of un-manned flying vehicles (known as drones) patroling the skies above remote sectors of the Yemeni desert. These drones are capable of firing guided missles and are often armed with other classified ordnance. The government in Yemen, although weak, has pledged to assist in counter-terrorism efforts and step up their own persuit of al-Qaeda members known to be at large in their country.
Late today the Pilot’s Union was able to secure a deal with the TSA that would exempt their members from the enhanced screening procedures that have been the source of thousands of complaints. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is also looking into taking some legal action against the TSA and some of their personnel at specific airports where the highest number of complaints have been logged.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner and operator of the 3 major metroploitan New York City airports who also have their own police force said the complaints in their 3 airports have not been overwhelming. Captain Terrance Flynn who commands the counter terrorism unit at JFK here in Queens said, “At first we had a lot of angry travelers. there was a good deal of anger and simple bitching. But, when people realized that everything is done with their safety in mind, most travelers just accept it. We could be saving lives, but, hopefully, we will never know. I pray every night that we do not get hit again.”


TAGS: TSA, Parcel Bombs, Pat Down Screening, CIA, NYPD, PAPD, al-Qaeda, Aviation - Airport Security, Yemen, Terrorism Risk, Threat Level, ACLU, Pilot’s Association,




UPDATED LINKS:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/business/19security.html?_r=1&hp

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/20/world/europe/20germany.html?hp

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-10-30-yemen-us-mail-attack_N.htm

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/10/29/2010-10-29_suspicious_ups_packages_across_east_coast_including_one_in_brooklyn_under_invest.html

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/11/18/tsa-enhanced-imaging-kept-illegal-dangerous-items-plans-year/

http://www.tsa.gov/

http://www.panynj.gov/police/

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/11/19/airport.security.issues/

http://www.zimbio.com/The+Brooding+Cynyx/articles/SQgOrlMPKqZ/THE+THREAT+REMAINS

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=7758263

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1119/Pilots-to-be-exempt-from-airport-scanners-intrusive-pat-downs

Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

CHARLIE FINALLY WRANGLED



HOUSE VOTES TO CENSURE HARLEM DEMOCRAT
















 


THE ORIGINAL SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
GUILTY OF ETHICS VIOLATOINS: ARROGANT TO THE END





(Nov.19, 2010 – Harlem, NYC) Standing on the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue one finds themselves in the figurative if not geographic center of the New York's 15th Congressional District represented for the last 40 years by the Democrat Charlie Rangel. The 15th is geographically the smallest Congressional Dstrict in the nation as well as one of the poorest. It is comprised of famous neighborhoods such as Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, as well as a slice of Astoria Queens. From this corner one can walk in any direction and find themselves on streets named after icons of the Civil rights Movement such as Malcolm X, Percy Sutton, and Martin Luther King. Hollowed halls such as the Apollo Theater and The Audubon played key rolls in the tumultuous history of Black New York in the sixties and seventies.

Charlie Rangel's political career was shaped as much by the issues that resonated with the residents of these communities as it was by his own opportunism, greed, hubris and blatant exploitation of his own constituents. After years of rumors and innuendo the House Ethics Committee began an investigation into allegations related to Rangel's income, taxes, and political influence peddling in 2008. Just today, after being found guilty of 12 out of 13 charges, the Ethics Committee voted to have the 80 year old Congressman censured. This action would basically be a slap on the wrist. Rangel made a tearful plea to the Committee asking for leniency. What the ultimate outcome will be remains to be seen. One thing is certain, though; finally, after a 50 year run in politics, the gravel-voiced Puerto Rican's legacy will forever be tarnished. And rightfully so.

If one were to plot the course of Rangel's political ascendency, it would become clear that his career has been defined by crass opportunism. At every step of the way he was able to launch forward on the backs and ideology of other far more gifted, noble men.

While it is true that Rangel performed with valor in the Korean War, was wounded in combat and received decorations for his meritorious service, so did tens of thousands of other men. The overwhelming majority of them returned home after the war and went about the rest of their lives in obscurity; toiling to raise their families and provide a better future for their children. Rangel took advantage of the GI Bill to attend college and law school and worked as an Assistant Federal Prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. He ran for Assemblyman and quickly threw his hat into the ring running for Congress against the very popular Harlem icon Percy Sutton. Rangel was victorious and has never looked back. The story of how he managed to become a multimillionaire on a Congressional salary of 40 years is one that largely played out in the shadows of the NYC Democratic Machine. Representing Harlem, an iconic neighborhood to African Americans for over 100 years, Rangel leveraged that position into one of power, influence, and wealth. That he exploited his own constituents and African Americans at large, never seemed to give him pause.

Rangel is Puerto Rican, albeit dark skinned. His appearance in Congress in 1971 coincided with the first true representation of “people of color” in the House of Representatives. His complexion was “close enough”, as one long time Democratic operative recently noted. Rangel immediately aligned himself with the Civil Rights movement and the brutal struggles that played out across our Country in the sixties, particularly, in the South, despite the fact that he never participated in it. His ambition and egotism was unbounded and he stood on the shoulders of true Civil Rights heroes such as John Lewis, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and so many others who sacrificed in the Jim Crow South promoting himself as a “Black Leader”. He was a charter member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was “tolerated” by the other members simply because “...they needed numbers. They needed all the help they could get in those days”, said former Washington DC Mayor, Marion Barry.

If there was one talent that Charlie always demonstrated, it was his true gift for “talking a good game.” Rangel could schmooze, bullshit, back-slap, intimidate, threaten, and simply produce such an avalanche of boilerplate rhetoric, race baiting incendiary, and trash talk, that he became a favorite of the press always ready to grab one of his sound bites. Gabe Pressmen, the legendary newsman at New York City's NBC Flagship Station WNBC, who covered NYC politics for over 50 years once said, “Charlie has never found a camera or microphone he didn't like. I remember when he first ran for Sutton's seat in Congress. He was ruthless in his attacks and with money from who knew where, he was able to win. Throughout his years in Washington he became so far removed from the people and issues of his District that it was quickly apparent he was in it (Congress) for himself. Journalist's in town (NYC) knew decades ago that he was a crook. A real smooth talker with a true mean streak. He used his 'race' as camouflage and to accuse his detractors as racists. He was always basically a scum bag.”

The specifics of Charlie's guilty charges are not unique; he is but the latest hack politician to be caught with his grubby dirty hands in various cookie jars. The one charge New Yorker's are most sensitive to and angered by is his blatant abuse of the Holy Grail of your average New Yorker's life – rent controlled apartments. If not for NYC's strict “rent stabilization” rules there would be no working class, blue collar people living in the fFive Boroughs. The people who keep that City afloat and running only live there by the grace of rent control. Rangel used several rent controlled apartments as offices and for nepotistic gain while his declared residence is in Washington, DC. “The income and property tax structure in the District of Columbia is far more favorable to a bum like Rangel than it is in New York City”, commented Filbertto de Leone, a prominent tax attorney in The Bronx.

African American's in New York City have always been protective of and loyal to the politicians who look like them. This is only natural. It was always easy for Charlie to go back home and bemoan how all the “redneck White Republican's” in Congress “have it out fore.” But, ask the man or woman on the street here in this neighborhood about Rangel's rent controlled hijinks and a truer picture emerges about hos they feel about “Our Charlie.” DeShawn Thigpen, a 42 year old father of two , an unemployed carpet layer and a self described “Old time Democrat and lifelong supporter of Charlie Rangel”, said “This deal of his with the apartments. That is a slap in the face to all of us who live up in here. He oughtta be punished for that if nothing else.”



TAGS: Current Events, News Commentary, Opinion, New York City Politics, Charles Rangel, Charlie Rangel Scandal, Charlie Rangel Censure, Charlie Rangel Ethics Violations, Editorial, Sarcastic Commentary, Political Satire



LINKS:


http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6AF47I20101116

http://weaselzippers.us/2010/11/03/harlem-sends-a-career-criminal-charlie-rangel-back-to-congress/

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/08/12/charlie-rangels-birthday-bash-a-night-for-ethics-amnesia/

http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/08/13/the-other-scandal-of-the-charlie-rangel-scandal/

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/just_don_o4LUuhrmDip5pcpADAecPK

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-03-01/the-scandal-that-could-doom-the-democrats/



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 1, 2010

THE THREAT REMAINS

PARCEL BOMBS LATEST REMINDER
al-Qaeda Intentions Never Waned













A UPS Cargo jet is inspected at Newark Airport on Friday morning aftert two explosive devices found on similar aircraft overseas.



(Nov. 1, 2010 – New York, NY) While the FBI continues to analyze components of the explosive devices found on two cargo planes in Britain and Dubai last Thursday night, some answers have already been pieced together. Members of the international intelligence and counter terrorism community have already admitted that the two devices bear “most of the hallmarks” of being constructed by a member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Ibrahim Hassan Al Asiri , a known AQAP bomb maker. Al Asiri is thought to have constructed a bomb he later sewed into the underwear worn by his 23 year old brother, Abdullah, who later died in a failed attempt to murder a Saudi Prince, Muhammad Abdul Aziz Al-Saud , who runs a program in his Country intended to “re-educate” repentant jihadis. The Prince survived with minor injuries while Abdullah was blown to pieces.

The “sophisticated” explosive devices were concealed in the commonplace toner cartridges within computer printers. The devices contained 300 and 400 grams of the plastic explosive PETN, a compound favored by terrorists and detected in other home made bombs and long known to be utilized by al-Qaeda and its affiliate brigades. Authorities in Britain, Germany and at the international police agency Interpol have expressed the belief that each of these devices was capable of “taking a plane” out of the sky and may have been intended to be detonated “during flight.” Authorities in America, both in the FBI and CIA have been reluctant to classify the devices in such a way. One CIA analyst, speaking confidentially noted, “these devices could have been sent as part of a 'dry run' or simply to see if they would be detected and what the response would be. If that is the case, they have probably been able to make certain assumptions about the security of commercial cargo aircraft.”

Perhaps most disturbing to experts around the world is the fact that these two devices managed to be transported undetected on four separate flights. After a timely tip from the Saudi Intelligence agency, the devices were located on planes at airports in Britain and Dubai. Apparently the construction, composition and concealment of the explosives in computer printer toner cartridges was sufficient to thwart existing security screening measures at airports from Yemen to Germany and Great Britain. According to address labels on the packages they were intended for a Chicago area synagogue. Currently security procedures regarding airfreight and air cargo planes is under review world wide. Air transport security officials and experts in America acknowledge that 'huge gaps” still persist to be in evidence in this area almost 10 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Dr. Raymond Onelli, a specialist in airport and air freight security currently at BronxWest Consulting, a security, analytics, and counter - terrorism consultancy commented, “I'm often stunned by how quickly people, people in our own government have seemingly forgotten the horror of September 11th. All the promises of funding, training and increased security measures have been lost. Our priorities after the initial shock of September 11th have reverted to the 'old order', 'business as usual' mindset. It saddens me to think that we can be hit again and that our government will once again be culpable.” Many terrorism experts in America and around the world have echoed Dr. Onelli's sentiments. Sir Benteley Pith Whitehouse, a former British Intelligence operative said, “we appear to have dodged a major bullet this time. What this incident means as far as the operative effectiveness of AQAP is unclear. However, it most certainly does tend to remind us that their intent has never waned.”

The North African nation of Yemen, a country that shares a porous border with Saudi Arabia has been of increasing interest to intelligence agencies in the United States and abroad in recent years. Many of Saudi Arabia's most feared and sought after terrorists have fled to Yemen in recent years. The growing presence of AQAP in Yemen has received even greater scrutiny after a failed plot to bomb a Detroit bound airplane during the 2009 Christmas travel season and several assassination attempts of British and United Nations personnel in Yemen. One British intelligence officer, speaking not for attribution for his own operational safety commented, “Some of the wealthier and better educated disaffected Saudis have made their way to Yemen. I fear that Yemen will be the launching point for the next series of terrorist actions worldwide. Yes, I said 'actions', for I do believe it to be just a matter of time until they are successful in either bringing down a plane in flight or initiating a mass fatality incident in an urban center in Europe of America. They need not pull off another attack on the scale and scope of 9 11. No, they can be highly effective on a much smaller scale as we have all witnessed the cold efficiency of IAD's (Improvised Explosive Devises) in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

As the investigation continues in many countries, American intelligence officials have been more guarded in making conclusions about the devices and their purpose. As Bruce Crumley of TIME Magazine writes in today's edition from his post in Paris, “John O. Brennan, President Obama's top anti-terrorism adviser, suggested on CNN that the bombs' construction didn't require someone aboard to "physically detonate them" — raising the likelihood that they were meant to blow up mid-flight, as British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested.”

President Obama, speaking on Saturday, called the incident a “credible terrorist threat.”



Tags: Current Events, News Analysis, Commentary, Yemen, Parcel Bombs, AQAP, Intelligence, Counter terrorism, PETN, Air Freight, Airport Security, BronxWest Consulting, CIA, FBI.



http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/1029/Suspicious-US-bound-packages-from-Yemen-A-terrorist-test-run

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-the-new-crucible-of-global-terrorism-2121364.html

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39911024/ns/us_news-airliner_security/

http://www.cfr.org/publication/23281/growing_terrorism_threat_postmarked_yemen.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/01/germany-yemen-cargo-_n_776951.html

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news227836.htm

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/features/n_8286/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/8099241/Yemen-parcel-bombmaker-believed-to-be-al-Qaeda-terrorist-Ibrahim-Hassan-Al-Asiri.html



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 18, 2010

YE OF LITTLE FAITH

DEMS POISED TO GIVE UP
CONGRESSIONAL MAJORITIES














President Obama is getting poked in the eye
by Democrats as often as Republicans as
his Administration limps into the midterms and a probable electoral rebuke.





(October 18, 2010. Middle America, USA) If the polls, for what they are, can be believed, the looming midterm elections will see a major shift in power in Washington come the morning after. President Obama's poll numbers have been in a steady decline and, while he is not yet as unpopular as Congress, Wall Street, Banks, and mortgage firms, he has fallen far enough from his lofty numbers of just 22 months ago to cause real concern among Democrats. As his fortunes have taken on water so to the fortunes of his party. Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress are predicted to fall. What a difference the reality of governing makes.

President Obama was swept into Office by a wide and deep current of intense discontent, frustration, anger, and even gross disgust after having witnessed the unmitigated individual failures that collectively defined the eight year reign of the Cheney / Bush Administration. That candidate Obama was running against a feeble-minded, self serving creature of Washington in John McCain, and his barely literate, woefully inept, dangerously unequipped, running mate he inexplicably grabbed from the obscurity of Alaska's Governor’s Mansion, the hopelessly dimwitted Sarah Palin, no doubt helped Obama's cause. The time was right for “change” and, at least on the most superficial of criteria, candidate Obama did personify change.

Our first African American President was elected by a broad coalition of traditional Democratic interests as well as hundreds of thousands of others, voters, who had come to feel disenfranchised as our economy tanked, banks failed, homes were lost at as fast a rate as jobs, we learned of the lengthy trail of lies that lead us into a fabricated, criminal, “war of choice” in Iraq while we remained deeply entrenched in an untenable conflict across the expanse of Afghanistan while the elements that attacked us on 9-11-01 reconstituted under our puppet government in that perpetually ungovernable failed nation / state. Yes, the Cheney / Bush fiasco had easily paved the way for a freshman Senator to bill himself as just what was needed in Washington, DC. That he was able to defeat the formidable political juggernaut of Hillary and Bill Clinton merely added to his appeal for many, for those most eager to see actual, tangible, change come to the White House and a reversal of the way our government had been co-opted by the many negative forces of hubris, greed, deceit, special interests, as well as the dangerous disconnect from reality across the board. The public was more than restless and, obviously, more than ready to give Mr. Obama the keys to the White House.

He was not given those keys by any one demographic or segment of voters. He was not elected by African Americans, labor unions, any traditional Democratic allies alone. His victory was a coalition in the truest and broadest sense of the term or, at least, as broad as is possible in our heavily divided, dangerously polarized, ultra-partisan electorate. His victory was a shining example of what a diverse and disparate electorate could accomplish if sufficiently motivated. Self identified Republicans and Independents cast their votes for Obama as did record numbers of young and first time voters. The victory and history making coalition was initially viewed as commanding enough to represent a mandate. That may have been so. Certainly, the “anti-Bush” Obama was granted a relatively long honeymoon and was also blessed by a wave of good will not seen by any President in many years. For a time, a time not easily defined but, still, a time of substance, virtually anything was possible. The public was ready to believe, was prepared to accept the facts that the Cheney / Bush Administration had left the new President was such an array of daunting, complex, and ever increasing problems, that there was not going to be a “quick fix”; solutions to the enormous troubles that ailed the Country and remained on the desk in the Oval Office even as the imbecilic Bush retreated to his simpleton existence in Texas, would require tough measures. None of the problems would readily succumb to “black and white” fixes and, after an especially black and white Cheney / Bush Administration, there would be some very difficult and nuanced challenges to be met head on. Shades of gray colored days while time was of the imperative.

As of this writing, President Obama has been in Office for 687 days. 687 days. Given the glacial pace our Government has devolved to working at, given the severity, complexity and sheer number of issues that needed to be addressed, why has the coalition that gave Obama his victory allegedly crumbled? Why is there so much dissatisfaction among the population that certain Democratic defeats are all but confirmed?

There are no easy answers to these questions and, the most likely answers being bandied about fall short of reality. They are but partial and, in some respects, “pseudo” answers. Our collective attention deficit disorder is a partial reason for the pronounced discontent with the President as is the rapid pace of the simple-minded “newsertainment” cycle. The non-stop inflammatory blather from the right wing media outlets and such dangerously demented demagogues as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, the village idiots at FOX News, and all the other more insidious cast of behind the scenes characters, financiers, organizers, zealots, and flame throwers provide just another piece of an answer. The answers, just like the questions, defy simplicity. This is not to imply they are not understandable. Not at all. However, they do require some thought, some small modicum of effort to understand, and an appreciation for the interconnectedness that defines our world and all topical landscapes today. The problems of today have been years in the making and, in some cases, decades of efforts by various factions in the business, banking, regulatory, lobbying, and Congressional corridors acted with blatant, arrogant purposefulness to create the conditions and climate that made the institutional melt downs and subsequent fires possible. The “mortgage crisis”, “toxic assets”, “deregulation”, and all the other myriad causative factors were permitted to amass under the eight long years of the Cheney / Bush regime of greed and gall.

THEM


Say what you will about the Republican Party but, there is much to be learned from them.  Aside from being able how to launch massive smear campaigns, lie with unmitigated impunity, dodge issues while creating phantom causes, and having absolutely no interest in the greater good, the GOP is at least unified, for the most part.  they exercise a discipline of message and matters the Democrats can not match.  Right or wrong they support their leadership as was in evidence virtually every day of the Cheney / Bush disaster.  They talk without speaking, they oppose without offering alternatives, and they can erect huge edifices of “social issues” they stand behind tossing incendiary rhetorical grenades into the political landscape.  While their may be various factions within their numbers, they present a united front.

US

The Democrats, on the other hand, have so little patience and discipline that they are eager to self destruct over substantively marginal issues rather than adopt a long term strategy.  President Obama could do nothing fast enough for certain factions while he rushed to quickly according to others within the sprawling, tattered, threadbare canvas of the “Big Tent”.  Currently he is taking as much heat from inside his Party as he is from the GOP and others who sit on the sidelines defining the debates absent any relationship to reality.  Those on the far Left seem poised to allow the Congressional majorities to vanish simply to “prove a point.”  The idiocy, the sheer churlishness of such a tactic is beyond comprehension when the alternative is fully considered.

THEN

Candidate Obama’s Presidential campaign was in many respects a work of political art.  What he was able to accomplish while starting as a relative unknown on the national stage has not been seen for decades or, arguably, ever.  As much as the time was rigfht for his campaign and for the candidate himself, circumstances had coalesced to present a rare electoral opportunity, sufficient numbers of grassroots organizers, field workers a well oiled campaign machine was assembled and run up to the red line level for almost 2 years. The candidacy of Barak Obama was able to move people, inspire people, and, for a host of reasons allow divergent forces to gather the momentum that swept him to victory. Sadly, his political instincts have not served him well as President up to this point.

NOW

However, no matter his failings, shortcomings, or quirks of personality, real or imagined, he is the best hope for the greater good. To abandon hope now, at this early junction of his first term in Office is to defy whatever promise once prompted record numbers of voters to propel Candidate Obama into the Presidency.

Some of the most extreme left wing elements in the Democratic Party have expectations so far removed from reality that they are prepared to throw the baby out with the bath water. The bath water that will fill the tub once it is painted Republican Red, they will soon find out, will be of a temperature that will scald all their hopes and dreams. Gay rights? Forget it. Environmental concerns? Not a chance. Energy policy? Get real. The issues that drive many factions of the Democratic Party and sway the much courted “Independents” must be carefully raised, addressed, and incrementally attacked. Any broad sweeping legislation meant to cure a perceived social ill or address a “cultural issue” will not stand a chance of surviving more than an hour or two on Capital Hill. In their discipline the GOP are extremely dedicated, motivated, obstructionists. Just look at what they have managed to destroy or neuter in the last two legislative sessions.

As all midterm elections this one is being touted as a referendum on the entire Obama Administration. Historically the majority Party and Party in the White House suffer loses. This election cycle has seem record amounts of money funding special interest groups with a ferocity that belies all reality. The mainstream media has once again proven to be unable or unwilling to investigate some of the irregularities in campaigns across the country. The advent of the bizarre “Tea Party Movement” is the just the latest iteration of a wacky fringe movement that actually taps into the fears, frustrations and more sinister idealizations of the “base” of the Republican Party. So crass are their efforts that they have taken to fear mongering and intimidation as never before.

Memories are short in America and, apparently, especially where our politics are concerned. It was just 22 months ago that arguably the worst Administration in the history of America left Washington with an economic collapse rivaling the Great Depression, our banking and financial institutions on the brink of total annihilation after years of unmitigated deregulation, record home foreclosures, staggering unemployment on two full fledged military conflicts that have somehow receded into the not so distant past yet the costs we are paying in blood and treasure continue to escalate, all awaiting President Obama. He inherited a series of challenges of such scale and scope that was unprecedented. No other new Administration had ever taken Office under such dire circumstances domestically and internationally. That the Obama Administration has been able to enact some stabilizing measures to stop the worst of the hemorrhaging is a testament to their tenacity. Every measure they have managed to enact has been done with virtually no Republican support or, if any GOP'ers did “cross the aisle” out of conscience or pragmatism, they were less than a handful in number.

This election cycle will play out as it will. If the predictions prove prescient President Obama will have to find a way to work with republican majorities in the House and Senate. If voters think that divided government configured this way provides “checks and balances” they are sadly mistaken. One only has to look back a few years and see just how the Republicans govern when handed the reigns of power. We are still digging out from the wreckage and debris of their last go around in power and it will take years more of heavy lifting to see our way clear again. President Obama has a far better chance to chart a path to recovery on many levels provided he has a friendly Congress. We will see what happens and we will have to live with the consequences. The stakes are high, perhaps higher than nervous, petulant democrats can imagine.



Tags: Political Commentary, Social Observation, Midterm Election, Democratic Majority, President Obama, Current Events, News Comment, Opinion.




http://themoderatevoice.com/89351/mid-terms-2010-will-likely-symbolize-the-political-depreciation-of-barack-obama/

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iKmo4HyVujR3h6CDP6985hPJ2UnQ?docId=078b9051ec1d48ff94faf9b19f81360b

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/10/17/2010-10-17_many_of_obamas_2008_supporters_will_flee_to_gop_in_midterms_mccain_backers_flipf.html

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/147158.html

http://www.freep.com/article/20101018/NEWS07/10180378/1001/NEWS/Many-looking-to-GOP-for-change-poll-shows

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Election-2010/2010/1017/Boo!-Halloween-for-Democrats-comes-early-with-spooky-poll-numbers



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

REMAINS OF THE DAY

REMAINS OF THAT DAY










 



ALL THOSE REMAINS


(October 5, 2010, Barclay & Church St., Lower Manhattan, NYC) In a cold, dispassionate, and practical sense it was a crime scene, albeit a crime scene of unprecedented proportions infused with emotional, if not sacred significance, for a large number of people across the diverse spectrum that is New York City and its Metropolitan Area. The sheer number of fatalities contained within this hulking, smoldering 16 acre debris field that soared to over 10 stories in height in some places and continued below ground for another seven stories, put it in a class of its own. The nature of the deaths and destruction, a blatant act of war on our soil, in our City, forever sanctified this plot of real estate and everything that would be removed from it.

From the very beginning, while the smoke and dust still obscured the bright September sun, the task at hand appeared monumental, insurmountable. As the hours of that day of infamy bled away and the darkness of the early September 12th, 2001 morning shifted the wind ever so slightly to the west, every man and women whose fate had placed them there grudgingly admitted that this would not be a mass rescue mission; it was realized that early on that it would be a recovery effort. Initial assessments and carefully orchestrated forays into the wreckage by members of FDNY revealed a level of devastation that would most likely not yield any survivors. The incessant electronic pings from the hundreds of fire fighters location beacons punctuated the silence. Certainly there were unknown thousands who perished, whose remains were held captive by the forbidding steel and concrete mountains that just mere hours ago had been two towering office building, 220 acres of office space where 50,000 or so came to work every day. Head counts continued frantically into the dawn of the 12th, every FDNY House and NYPD Precinct, all the government agencies who had office space in buildings throughout World Trade Center Plaza, as well as all the employers in Tower I and Tower II needed to determine who was missing, who was not, and who had been were when that morning prior.

***** ***** *****










The troops gather at the beginning of a morning shift at the WTC Site.


“The number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear ultimately”, replied the Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, just hours after the Towers collapsed when asked by a reporter about the number of casualties. The actual number would be unknown and unknowable, with any degree of certainty, for many days. This harsh fact steeled the recovery workers determination and it was this knowledge, the knowledge that this monstrous, sprawling crime scene was the site of a mass fatality event the likes of which no other modern American city had ever witnessed. It was not fully realized at that time that this Site would be a grave, the heap a funeral pyre for so many, that so many would forever be entombed, unidentified, rendered unidentifiable by the brutality of the jet fuel feed infernos, the shear physics of fire, force, and magnitude of the pulverizing collapse.

***** ***** *****

Yesterday the 2010 – 2011 session of the United States Supreme Court was called to order. Among their first pronouncements was that they had decided not to hear a case, the case docket number 09-1467 entitled “World Trade Center Families for Proper Burial v. New York City”. Essentially the case addresses the approximately 1.6 million tons of materials that was removed from the WTC site and transported to a closed landfill on Staten Island. While this material was handled as meticulously as possible throughout the recovery process, was scrupulously sifted both at the WTC site and again at the Fresh Kills Landfill, the families contend that it is inappropriate to have this material, which contains the remains of those who perished, interred at a landfill. They also sought a ruling on their allegation that 223,000 tons of material was never processed for human remains. There have been no positive identifications made for approximately 1,100 of the 2,752 people killed at the WTC Plaza on September 11, 2001.

***** ***** *****

















An uninterrupted procession of dump trucks ran 24 / 7 for over 8 months from the Pile to barges which would transport the debris to Staten Island for additional scrutiny.



The massive task at hand was undertaken with a distinct sense of solemnity that was in stark contrast to the horror and brutal, jagged lines of the Pile. Within days of the twin collapses, the Site was divided into four quadrants each under the supervision of a different contractor. The men and women of FDNY, NYPD, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of NYC,(OCMENYC) the FBI, and other agencies were tasked with the recovery of “biologics”, human remains. The WTC Plaza became a well coordinated job site were man and machinery, the senses of smell and tactility were augmented by computer mapping and GPS. Meticulously each and every fragment of a biological nature was cataloged first by its GPS coordinates, bagged, labeled and sent for processing first to an on site examination tent and then on to the OCMENYC. The Medical Examiner's Office soon had to rent several refrigerated semitrailers to store the collected remains. The existing storage space and laboratories were overwhelmed by sheer volume.

At the same time personal items from the missing were being delivered by next of kin; toothbrushes, combs, hairbrushes, anything that might contain traces of DNA with which to establish a data base. The recovered remains would be processed if they were determined to be “viable” - amenable to genetic analysis. Other labs in far away places such as Virginia joined the effort. Everyone involved knew the scale and scope of the endeavor was staggering yet not one among them ever baulked or tried to cut corners. If anything, the benefit of the doubt was applied more often than not simply in deference to the “maybe factor”, perhaps this small, irregular fragment of human tissue might render viable DNA that will lead to a data base match and ultimately to “closure” for one family out of the thousands torn apart by the uncertainties of the circumstances and the rapidity with which the fabric of their lives had been forever tattered.

***** ***** *****

Ask the men and women who labored on the recovery teams how they feel about some of issues that have arisen since that fateful day 9 years ago. Most will tell you it is time to dismiss forever the designation of “Ground Zero” for the more respectful and dignified monickers such as “The Site”, “The Pile”, or ”The Hole”. Ask them about the controversy surrounding a mosque and Muslim Center proposed to be built just two blocks from the northeast corner of the WTC Site. Most will reply that the mosque is a non issue. The real issue that the City of New York and all the individual agents and special interests should have addressed long ago is the rebuilding of the Site and a permanent, appropriate memorial of some kind. The fact that that open, jagged wound still exists on the tip of Manhattan in 2010 is abominable.

***** ***** *****













One conveyer line at Fresh Kills manned by members of
NYPD Homicide, CSU, The OCMENYC, and FBI Forensics Specialists.




The cleanup that ensued over the 8 months immediately after the events of 9 11 01 will be studied by engineering, demolition, excavation, and other construction trade specialists for years to come. It was a logistical nightmare tamed by the minds and backs of all those called upon to participate.

As a crime scene it too will be studied and recognized as a seminal undertaking in the history of forensics, mass fatality events, crime scene processing, DNA identification, and a host of other sciences that were utilized during every step of the recovery.

Not only was every square inch of debris scoured on site at The Pile, it was examined just as closely, if more slowly, once it arrived at the Fresh Kill Landfill. Mining equipment from Pennsylvania and West Virginia was set up. Conveyors and sifting trays of increasingly finer gauge trapped fragments of tissue as well as remnants of personal effects such as jewelry. Whether an individual fragment of human tissue yielded sufficient viable genetic material for the rigors of the identification process was another story. No matter, each captured fragment was handled as if it contained the treasures for a positive identification and with the respect afforded a corpse at burial. Nothing was taken lightly, nothing dismissed as irrelevant.












The Liberty Street medical Examiner’s Station. One among many at the largest crime scene ever processed on American soil.

***** ***** *****

that the Supreme Court decided yesterday to not hear the case brought by surviving family members of some of those killed at the WTC Site was not a surprise. Lower Courts had not seen the case as having merit. Perhaps this defeat is for the best. Maybe those family members can find some permanent closure knowing the debris in question is on Staten island. Certainly that material is in a distinct segment of the vast, closed landfill. A memorial marker of some type can be placed there. This was a legal matter that never had a great deal of public or political support.

Given the fact that the Courts on every level have not treated 9 11 01 issues very well, people whose lives are inextricably linked to that day, that Site and those remains have found satisfaction and peace in other ways.

Politically, the fallout from 9 11 01 reverberates in the corridors of power and for all the wrong reasons. The latest insult perpetrated on the 9 11 01 Recovery Worker’s is the Congressional defeat of a Bill that would have afforded those workers suffering from the various respiratory illnesses associated with the contaminants in the WTC Site air, a measure of security in that their medical costs would be covered. Those who labored there in the harsh conditions and are now sick themselves are, for the most part, stoic in the face of their illness and own mortality. That September day taught many a powerful lesson on mortality, the whims of circumstances and chance, the unseen eddies of fate and destiny. Who lived and who died was often a matter of inches or seconds, the smallest increments that we measure time, distance, action, reaction, fear. fight, and flight. There is a story behind every one who left those buildings intact physically just as their is a story for every soul that did not.

In the Common Book of Prayer the Burial of the Dead, Rite I, contains the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust”. And so it is.

In a sense the remains of the unidentified have already been spread by the prevailing winds of that day as well as by the otherworldly gusts that billowed as the pulverized constituent elements and over 1000 souls wear reduced to their most elemental forms. Those angry roiling clouds of smoke and dust spread far beyond the immediate area. Some particles from those clouds went high into the atmosphere are were caught in the jet stream and whisked far and wide. Others came to rest much closer to their point of origin. In either case all the remains, as they are, could never physically be recovered. Having had over 20,000 “biologics” recovered was remarkable but never satisfactory. The best efforts were exerted in the pursuit of remains.

The names of the unidentified are known today. Families and friends, colleagues and coworkers, neighbors and acquaintances have mourned appropriately. Those who perished are not forgotten nor will they ever be. Out of respect for all involved the powers that be should work tirelessly so that a fitting memorial be erected soon at the WTC Site and progress should be measured in stories complete on the structures that have been ever so slowly taking shape on that 16 acre plot.

The Burial Rite continues after mention of ashes and dust saying, “All we go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. And so it is and so many songs waft from that Site heard to ears receptive to the words carried in the winds.








http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/sifting_for_remains_at_fresh_k.html

http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/bodies.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/911-human-remains-found-ground/story?id=10980468

http://www.silive.com/westshore/index.ssf/2010/02/debris_from_world_trade_center.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center_site



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Saturday, October 2, 2010

COMBAT: THE ULTIMATE BULLY

MILITARY SUICIDE RATE SETS INFAMOUS RECORD UNNOTICED
GAY STUDENT JUMPS FROM GWB - MEDIA NOTICES












Suicide among active duty members of the Armed Forces as well
as veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan combat has reached epidemic proportions.




(Saturday Oct.2, 2010 Piscataway,NJ) Makeshift shrines comprised of framed photos of the young suicide victim, votive candles, short hand written notes, and stuffed animals dot the sprawling campus of Rutgers University. Earlier this week a 19 year old freshman, Tyler Clementi, apparently jumped to his death from the towering span of the George Washington Bridge just days after a sexual encounter between Clementi and another man was caught on a hidden video camera and spread on the Internet. The two students responsible for streaming the sex video may face criminal charges. This case has gotten has tremendous amount of attention in the national media and two New Jersey Congressional Representatives have announced plans to introduce a Bill to combat such “hate crimes.”

Far from this tree lined, grassy, rather sleepy college campus in the dusty flats of West Texas, Fort Hood, one of the largest Army bases in the Country, is still in the grips of its own suicide crisis. Before Tyler Clementi jumped to his death as the result of Internet “bullying” four combat veterans from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan killed themselves; just the latest in what is quickly turning into a veritable “suicide epidemic” in the Armed Forces of the United States. The military suicides received nowhere near the publicity the Clementi death has and, therein lies a dilemma if not a corollary: returning Vets suffer in silence and obscurity.

Wracked by profound cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), thousands of young war veterans continue to live the horrors of their battlefield experiences, many spiraling down into the darkness of severe depression,many self medicating with excessive alcohol and drug intake,while others among them, many others, having sought relief from their suffering by killing themselves. Yet, what merits the national attention, which tragic circumstance is embraced as the latest cause celebre’ by famous actors and artists, and what has come to define the suicide debate among politicians? Clearly, it is not the ongoing crisis in the ranks of our military service personnel, both veterans as well as active duty. After almost 10 years of continuous war on two disparate fronts, years of multiple deployments, inadequate mental health care resources, and increasingly greater demands placed on their young shoulders, the men and women of our military have become largely forgotten by the media and their fellow Americans. That is tragic for everyone on both sides of the equation.

What merits our attention, outrage, and ultimately our action, says a great deal about the culture, the society we live in. We as a country ask great efforts and sacrifices from those few among us who answer the call of their own to voluntarily serve their country in uniform. Gone are the days of shared sacrifice. Long ago is the time when going into the “service” was a right of passage for men in times of peace and times of struggle. When our elected leaders had that common service experience among them, they were much less willing to ask other young men (and women) to go and serve in armed combat, to put lives “in harm’s way”. When our leaders were familiar with the brutality and horrors of war, the nuts and bolts of close combat and all that it entails, they recognized exactly what it meant to send troops to defend our national interest, our “National Security”. Now the burden is borne by a mere fraction of the population and the hell of war for the rest of us is reduced to short film clips on the news. We can little imagine or appreciate what stresses our troops incur having to live hypervigilantly in horrid environments with the very real specter of their own deaths as well as the taking of others lives is a major constant component of thier reality.

Our society is still beset by internal conflicts of varying importance and significance. We have overcome some of our greatest collective fears and failures yet pockets of ugliness exist in segments of the populace as well as among individuals within it. That Mr. Clementi came of age during years of increasing tolerance and understanding for all individual rights seems sadly ironic when juxtaposed with the stark fact that he was “done in” by the unjust intolerance and cruelty of his peers. Certainly his death, the fact that mockery and “bullying” figuratively pushed him over a very real ledge, is proof of the lack of understanding that still exists. His death should not be “in vain” (as if any death can ever be classified as such) and should be held as a tragic example of what stresses our misunderstanding and lack of tolerance can put on an individual, a vulnerable, young individual just beginning to find his way in life.

Likewise we as a nation should recognize the stresses we are expecting our service members to endure for years on end and recognize that many of them are returning home badly damaged physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We need our Government to repay these brave men and women by giving the military all the resources required to assure everyone in need of help, no matter the nature of the condition or malady, has the opportunity to receive it. We as a people should hold our elected representatives accountable. We should expect as much vigor and enthusiasm to greet our returning warriors as there was when we sent them away to do our battles.

By every metrics available as quantified in clinical studies by agencies from the CDC to the DOD the mental health crisis in all branches of our military is truly at epidemic proportions. Suicide is just the tip, a sad and very obvious tip of a cold, heavy, impenetrable iceberg that extends deeper than anyone ever thought it could. Our military is broken and many of the young enlistees are coming back to civilian life accompanied by demons we cannot imagine. They need as much attention as do the young people who live closed lives wrestling with their sexual identity or a myriad of other mental health troubles that leave them damaged and more vulnerable.

Until every suicide of a young American results in the same level of outcry and outrage from the public we will continue to send youngsters to fight our wars and allow others among us to live in fear. Equal rights are equal rights and should be equal. Sadly, we only begin to approach matters of equality and responsibility when the damage is already done and can no longer be avoided.

Please support our military veterans.

Please teach your children the meaning of tolerance.




LINKS:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/30/AR2010093006496.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/us/30hood.html

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/military/fort-hood-suicides-hit-record-number

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/commander_orders_review_after_four_gi_suicides_104186824.html

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpps/news/mullen-warns-of-rise-in-troop-suicides-dpgonc-20100930-gc_9889244

http://www.livescience.com/health/ptsd-veterans-medical-illnesses-100928.html

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20430930,00.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/10/02/2010-10-02_vile_and_viral.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20018170-504083.html



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 1, 2010

CNN SHOWS SANCHEZ THE DOOR

ANCHOR CANNED FOR “OFFENSIVE” COMMENTS














Rick Sanchez did not leave CNN Headquarters without a fight.
Security guards had to taser, mace, pepper spray and beat him before tossing
him out to the street.


(October 1, 2010, Atlanta, GA) Rick Sanchez was unceremoniously dismissed by CNN in the aftermath of some racially charged comments he'd made during a radio interview with an XM/Sirius Radio host broadcast on Wednesday. During his on the air talk with Pete Dominick host of the Stan Up program, Sanchez called Comedy Central star John Stewart a “bigot” and stated his belief that the major media outlets in America are controlled by “Jews”. The outcry over his comments was swift and loud and came from many in the Jewish community and others who support Israel. While Sanchez, a Cuban-American, was trying to make a valid point about who is and who is not in a “oppressed minority” in America, the mere mention of “Jews” in what can be perceived as a derogatory characterization, was sufficient to end his 6 year term with CNN.

Sanchez began his employ with CNN as a field reporter. Known as a journalist of “barely mediocre talents”, he was often sent out to spots far and wide to cover natural disasters such as hurricanes, mudslides, sinkholes, brush fires and locust infestations. “Rick was good at that. He would stand in the pounding surf during a wicked hurricane and not be afraid to look like an idiot. I admired that about him”, said Niles Dirley and associate producer at CNN. “Rick would do anything he was told to do no matter how asinine. He was a real trooper, a bit daft, but a real trooper”, noted Sanchez's former colleague at CNN Frank Sesno.

Some observers and experts who follow media issues see Sanchez's firing as “unfair” and as a “reinforcement” of his stated opinions. Brent Bozell president of the Media Watchdog Center commented, “Rick was simply telling the truth. Jews do run all the major media outlets in the United States in print, in radio and on the networks. For as small of a percentage as Jews are population wise in this country, they have a grossly disproportional amount of content control in the media. That is why so little truth is ever reported about the Palestinians and the fact that they are held in captive occupation by the Israeli government. God help you if you dare speak ill of the Jews, Israel, or their barbaric policies”.

Other critics point to some of the outlandish rhetoric that pervades the cable news airways on networks such as FOX and MSNBC. Professor Floyd L. Phungall, director of Media Studies at Central Lower State University in Blemish North Dakota said, “Glen Beck has called President Obama a 'racist' with a 'deep seated hatred of white folks' while on FOX News, and that pompous moron, Keith Olbermann on MSNBC was brutal in his commentary during the Bush Administration. Still those 2 scum suckers still have jobs”. Professor Phungall continued, “The vitriol on the TV these days, on talk radio and on the so called cable news channels is stunningly low brow, vile, irresponsible, and just plain cruel. Sure, is there a modicum of truth embedded within some of that kind of commentary? Of course. But, when Limbaugh, Beck,or that total idiot Hannity, Chris Matthews and Olberamann get their audiences whipped up into an irrational frenzy over non-issues, who is there to reign them in”?

Some well respected media commentators have kept quiet and are waiting to see the fallout from the Sanchez dismissal before entering the debate. One such expert affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School of Journalism, speaking anonymously noted, “Perhaps this Sanchez matter will generate some honest debate at the highest levels in media company board rooms across the country. The last few years has seem a dramatic and rapid decline in both the quality of what they bill as 'news shows' and ' serious journalism' . What they have surrendered to are the ratings, advertising revenue, and the lowest common denominators. They play to the ultra extremists on the left and the right, inflaming base passions, inciting anarchy and even violence. FOX is the tool of the Tea Party movement while MSNBC is an arm of the Deomocrats. Neither of these outlets or the outcasts, rejects, have-beens, and never-were's they employ truly air anyting close to “news”. They are entertainment shows using carnival barkers, village idiots, town criers, and just plain old talentless, brainless, egotistical assholes. I do not consider any of these networks to be serious nor can they be taken seriously by the public. The really do a great deal of damage and hurt the democratic process by spreading false information, propaganda, and tripe”.


LINKS:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-et-cnn-sanchez-20101002,0,7072209.story

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/01/AR2010100107147.html

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/10/02/the-kernel-of-truthiness-behind-rick-sanchez-s-ugly-rant/

http://www.mediaite.com/online/rick-sanchez-names-msnbc-olbermann-maddow-to-list-u-dont-want-2-be-on/

http://www.zimbio.com/The+Brooding+Cynyx/articles/675/CABLE+S+BIGGEST+EGO



Tags: Political Humor, Satire, Sarcastic Commentary, Cynical Opinion, Cultural Humor, Media Issues, Truth in Media, Critique, Rick Sanchez- Buffoon, Keith Olbermann – Ass.

Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 30, 2010

OBAMA CHIEF OF STAFF BAILING OUT

EMANUEL WILL RUN IN CHICAGO MAYORIAL RACE
EARLY DEPARTURE OMINOUS SIGN BEFORE MIDTERM ELECTIONS




Rahm gives Obama his good bye salute



(Sept. 30, 2010, Washington, DC) Despite what will no doubt be vigorous statements to the contrary, the early exit of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, ostensibly to run for Mayor of Chicago, is but the first of what will be several high profile departures of top aides and advisers just 20 months into Obama's first term in Office. Members of the Administration's Cabinet and Economic team are expected to jump ship shortly after the upcoming mid-term elections if not sooner. The fact that an exodus of a small but highly placed and trusted band of those closest to the President is an ominous sign and does not bode well for Mr. Obama and his legislative agenda.

No matter what arguments the White House and Democratic Party spin machine spew forth as one by one Obama says good bye to those abandoning his ship, there is great disappointment and frustration among Democrats and Independents both in and out of the White House and across the country. Some of candidate Obama's strongest allies have grown disenchanted with many of the stands the President has taken on such major issues as the protracted economic recession, the automobile industry bail outs, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. No amount of spin can obscure the absolute failures and self inflicted wounds that have left a restless public angry and poised to unseat Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress.

It is true that on the day he was sworn in to Office Mr. Obama inherited a mother lode of staggering problems, domestic and international, compliments of the horrendous 8 year reign of ignorance and hubris of the Cheney / Bush Administration. However, his electoral victory was interpreted by many as a mandate. The President had control of both Houses of Congress, public support, and an opportunity to capitalize on the apparent “good will” the public had towards him as our first African American President. And a radical departure from the moronic, messianic Bush.

As the Obama team set out to prioritize the host of problems before them they felt confident that they would be able to maneuver their legislative remedies through the Democratically controlled House and Senate. Emanuel's appointment as Chief of Staff was advertised as a huge asset; they claimed that Rahm's experience “working on the Hill” as a member of Congress would allow them to shepherd their bills and initiatives through the “friendly” Congress and , perhaps, pick up some “bipartisan” support for some of the thorniest issues such as health insurance reform. Mr. Obama's honeymoon was doomed to be over very quickly. Emanuel proved to be not only “ineffective” among his former Congressional colleagues, he actually served to inflame the passions of the Republican minority by employing his well known tactics of “sharp elbowed politicking”.

When the then President-elect began announcing the names of those who would go on to comprise his Cabinet and upper echelon advisers, many were disappointed with the lack of “creative' choices he was making. Many of his Cabinet nominees came with baggage, poor reputations, and scant credentials for the positions they were about to assume. “President Obama had the opportunity to draw a great deal of 'new blood' into Washington. He could have populated his Administration with some real outsiders, some very talented minds were not even considered”, said Hank Belcher, a long time, behind the scenes Democratic Party operative. Belcher went on, “Many of us were not only disappointed with his (Obama's) choices but were actually dismayed. Rahm was never going to be a truly effective Chief of Staff and many of us knew that”.

Now as the President faces the possibility of substantial mid term election loses in his Party with the Majority status in both Houses on the line, some of his ship jumpers are inflicting “extra damage” to an already bloodied and wounded Administration. One of Obama's top aides speaking not for attribution commented, “Let's face it. Our economic team has been disastrous. Our outreach to the GOP was doomed from the get go yet we persisted thinking they were acting in good faith. That especially hurt us in negotiations for the health insurance overhaul. Rahm had us talking to assholes like Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, and Ben Nelson when we knew these guys were bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical and insurance special interests and in the pockets of lobbyists. We should have written our bill our way and dared them to vote publicly up or down. I can tell you one thing, had we done that, we would be looking at an entirely different political landscape this fall”.

The President in recent days has taken to “campaign style” rallies across the country in the hopes of boosting the Democratic candidates in tight House and Senate races. Mr Emanuel's decision to leave and run for Mayor of Chicago has been a “distraction” to say the least. “I wish he would have left months ago if he knew he had any intentions of running for Office”, noted Obama's closest adviser, David Axelrod. He continued, “Rahm and I have known each other for years. I never liked or trusted him and he knew that. I blame him for many of the gross missteps, miscalculations and inaccurate readings of the political winds over the last 20 months. Frankly, he should go run for mayor of Tel Aviv”.



Tags: Political Commentary, Political Humor, Satire, Cynical Observation, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama, Midterm Elections, Obama Cabinet.

LINKS:

http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2010/09/the-rahm-emanuelinsult-fill-in-the-blank-challenge.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704483004575524011330451740.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2010/09/bob_woodwards_tough_takes_on_d.html

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/09/27/axelrod-stabs-rahm-runs-from-wreckage-of-health-care-bill/

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/tifs-chicago-mayor-election-rahm-emanuel/Content?oid=2492034

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704814204575508253319631386.html



Copyright TBC 2010 © All Rights Reserved