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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 28,759

Journal Archives

Sochi Sign: 'We Do Not Serve FBI And CIA Agents'...

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Here's an odd sign that Associated Press photographer Jae C. Hong ran across Friday in the mountains outside Sochi, where Olympic skiing and snowboarding competitions are being held.

No word on the restaurant's policy toward the NSA.


US-Russia Rift Widens At Sochi

The Olympic Games, created to bring countries together around sports, appear to be having the opposite effect on U.S.-Russia relations.

Rising animosity between the former Cold War powers was on full display Friday when Russia chose a former figure skater who tweeted out a racially charged picture of President Obama for the symbolic lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

That came just a day after the world found out that a personal phone call between State Department official Victoria Nuland and the U.S. ambassador to Kiev, where she can be heard saying “F—k the EU,” had been intercepted and leaked on You Tube.
The Obama administration immediately pointed the finger at Moscow, which did little to signal a denial over an incident that embarrassed Washington.

To be sure, there are hard feelings in Russia toward the U.S. and the Obama administration, too.



Michigan RNC Candidate Wants Gays Purged From The GOP, Blames Satan For Homosexuality

A candidate running for one of Michigan’s seats on the Republican National Committee wants gays “purged” from the GOP and claims homosexuality is a “perversion” created by Satan.

According to the Huffington Post, Mary Helen Sears, vice chair of the Michigan Republican Party’s 1st District, wrote a post last year on the Schoolcraft County GOP website claiming that homosexuals prey on children, arguing that “Satan uses homosexuality to attack the living space of the Holy Spirit.” She also said that Republicans “as a party should be purging this perversion and send them to a party with a much bigger tent.”

Sears is currently running for a seat on the Republican National Committee recently vacated by Terri Lynn Land who resigned her seat, saying she wanted to focus on her U.S. Senate campaign.

In her post on the Schoolcraft County GOP website, Sears wrote that Communist college professors were guilty of indoctrinating young people and claimed that Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory “gave rise to Hitler’s Third Reich, Mussolini’s Italy and Stalin’s Russia.”

“If the GOP continues down this trend and stand for perversions and the daily social fad,” Sears wrote “The GOP will be truly dead and Satan will have had his day,” .



WATCH: While Sochi Celebrates, Moscow Police Arrest Protesters Waving Rainbow Flags

In the video embedded below, a group of LGBT rights protesters were arrested for marching in Moscow’s Red Square. As the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremonies unfolded in Sochi, the protesters were taken into custody in Moscow for waving the rainbow LGBT flag while singing the Russian national anthem.

Reportedly, the protesters were a mix of Russians and members of RFSL, Sweden’s Riksförbundet för homosexuellas, bisexuellas och transpersoners rättigheter (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights) who traveled to Moscow to protest the country’s draconian anti-LGBT laws.

In the video, the singing protesters struggled to stay linked to each other and to hold on to their rainbow flags as a phalanx of uniformed Russian police tried to pull them apart and bundle them into waiting squad cars.

Watch video of the arrests, embedded below:



Bill O'Reilly Is to Journalism What the WWE Is to Fighting

Every so often, President Obama grants a one-on-one television interview to a broadcast journalist, and I sit at home cursing the interviewer for going easy on him. Remember the laughable questions Steve Kroft asked on 60 Minutes last winter? Well this year, Bill O'Reilly was the one lobbing softballs. The Fox News host scored a one-on-one interview that aired during the Super Bowl pre-game show. I fervently hoped he would use the opportunity to press for useful information. Few broadcasters are as intent on signaling to others that they're tough.

Instead he conducted a faux-tough interview made up of questions that were virtually guaranteed to elicit nothing of value. "I want to get some things on the record," he began, implying that he would ask something that hasn't previously been answered on the record. "So let's begin with healthcare," he continued. "October 1st it rolls out. Immediately, there are problems with the computers. When did you know that there were going to be problems with those computers?"

First of all, Obama answered that months ago in a nationally broadcast press conference. That he would tell the same banal story was virtually guaranteed. Second, who cares when he knew? The catastrophic launch can never be re-done. At this point, the fix is more important. Obama is never running again for reelection. But there are lots of consequential decisions that he'll make as president, on healthcare and any number of other vital issues. So why focus on when Obama knew that Healthcare.gov had problems? (Because conservatives "know" he lied.)

The next question was a bit better.

"Why didn't you fire Sebelius, the secretary in charge of this? Because I mean she had to know, after all those years and all that money, that it wasn't going to work." O'Reilly said. "I'm sure that the intent is noble, but I'm a taxpayer. And I'm paying Kathleen Sebelius' salary and she screwed up. And you're not holding her accountable." More to the point, Obama doesn't seem to have held anyone accountable. I'd have preferred something like, "Did you hold people in leadership positions accountable for this failure? Tell me: Who specifically was held accountable and how?" And how about, "What have you done to make sure that the next time the government has to undertake an IT project it won't be a disaster?"



National Republican Congressional Campaign Using Fake Democrat Websites To Lure Voters

Posted by
CNN Special Investigations Unit Reporter Drew Griffin

(CNN) – A warning this election season: If you are searching the Web for information on Democratic congressional candidates, read the fine print.

At least 15 websites that appear to be official campaign sites for Democratic candidates, are actually the handiwork of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In an effort to improve their online efforts this election season, the NRCC’s digital team came up with what the group believes is a great idea: get out the Republican message through fake Democrat sites.

“The idea is people who are looking for information on the candidate, one of the places we all go now is online and so this is a way for folks to find out more about the candidates and information they may not find on the candidate’s own site,” said Daniel Scarpinato, the NRCC's press secretary.

The NRCC bought up hundreds of URLs on potential weak Democratic candidates and created sites that mimic the real ones.



AIPAC Is Losing Its Influence

For 40 years, Aipac, the American Israel Political Action Committee, has been the definitive lobbying voice for Israel in US politics.

A body with 100,000 members, Aipac has used its financial muscle and political skills to become arguably the most influential non-governmental voice on foreign policy in the US.
For most of that time, Likud-dominated governments have been in power in Israel and the organisation’s unquestioning promotion of Likud’s right-wing agenda — and Aipac acolytes’ harsh criticism of those who disagree — has left many US Jews, by inclination liberal, feeling alienated.

Slowly, though, Aipac’s supremacy is being challenged. Here are two recent examples.
On January 24, New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, held an unannounced meeting with Aipac leaders. A reporter sneaked into the meeting and recorded it. Mr De Blasio told the group: “City Hall will always be open to Aipac. When you need me to stand by you in Washington or anywhere, I will answer the call and I’ll answer it happily because that’s my job.”

Within days, an open letter to the mayor was circulated to the Jewish press taking him to task for the meeting and reminding him...



Elderly, Children Evacuated from Blockaded Syrian City

The United Nations says 83 Syrian civilians, including the elderly and children, were evacuated from rebel-held areas of the city of Homs Friday.

Aid workers escorted frail old men and women draped in blankets as part of a three-day humanitarian pause to let civilians out and help in.

A year-long blockade of Homs by Syrian government forces has created severe food shortages. U.N. relief coordinator Valerie Amos says many sick and wounded civilians remain trapped. She is calling on all sides to grant humanitarian workers full access to Homs and other besieged Syrian cities.

Russia said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government made an agreement with the United Nations Thursday for a three-day cease-fire to allow aid into Homs.

Also Friday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Makdad said the government will take part in the next round of peace talks with the opposition. The new talks are set to open Monday.



Post-Snowden, Why Were U.S. Diplomats Talking On Insecure Line?

BERLIN — Not long before Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was secretly recorded cursing the European Union’s efforts in Ukraine, two European Union officials were caught in a very similar situation, complaining about the United States.

In the first recorded conversation, EU diplomat Helga Schmid was speaking to the EU’s ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Tombinski, discussing perceived slights.

“The Americans are going around telling people we’re too weak, while they are tougher on sanctions,” Schmid can be heard saying. “It really bothers us that the Americans are going around naming and shaming us.”

But what matters more than the content of the calls – in hers, Nuland was recorded saying “F--- the EU” – is the context: Both calls were made by senior diplomats in Kiev, both were discussing the crisis there, both were recorded and both audio recordings were anonymously put up on YouTube.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/07/4806031/post-snowden-why-were-us-diplomats.html#storylink=cpy

'Israel Must Prosecute West Bank Land Thieves'

Settlement depends on deception, lies and theft. So why aren’t the police and prosecution doing everything in their power to put an end to it?

By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz)

The story was supposed to be simple: Yoel Tzur, the CEO of the Company for the Development of the Yeshiva Town in Beit El (Yesh Din dealt with this shady company previously) admitted during his police interrogation that he built what would come to be known as “Ulpana Hill” on private Palestinian land, for which he had no valid contract. Tzur told the police that he began construction in 1998, and that by 2000 he thought he obtained a contract for the land, which turned out to be forged. That is, Tsur himself says he began the construction two years before he even thought he had a contract. Everything was done on private land (since it’s Palestinian land, who cares?), and not just that – as was exposed by the press (Hebrew), Tzur also misled the buyers, good Jews who preferred not to ask any questions.

But the police preferred to close the case, citing, with chutzpah, the “no criminal guilt” clause. That was impressive even by the usual standards of the SJPD (Samaria and Judea Police District). As part of Tzur’s investigation, the investigators came uncomfortably close to Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, whose hand is in every plate. During his interrogation, Tzur connected Hever’s communal society, Amana, to the land purchase that never took place. Hever denied it. The police, which interrogated him as a witness rather than as a suspect, did not bother to do what was expected of it and didn’t search Amana’s offices nor its computers. This, after all, comes too close to the centers of power.

But Hever is not the only powerful man involved: the lawyer who edited the forged purchase documents is David Rotem. You may know him as member of Knesset David Rotem from Yisrael Beitenu, or former head of the Law, Constitution and Justice Knesset Committee. But do the cops look for trouble? They eventually closed the case.

Yesh Din expects little of the SJPD. Its expertise, after all, is botching investigations, at which it is quite successful. Turns out there’s nothing much to expect of the prosecution. We appealed the police’s decision on December 14th, 2010, more than three years ago, demanding the investigation be completed and Tzur be indicted. We have been waiting for the conclusion since.


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