Author Archive | tonyviner

Greek Protesters Urged to Retreat from ‘Abyss’ (Video)

BBC News reports:

Greece is “on the brink of the abyss”, President Karolos Papoulias has warned, after three people died during protests over planned austerity measures. “We are all responsible so that it does not take the step into the void,” the president said in a statement.

It followed a day of violence during which protesters set fire to a bank, killing three employees. Greece’s government has vowed to pursue the spending cuts — a condition of its 110bn euro ($142bn; £95bn) bail-out.

“We are prepared to pay the heavy political cost,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told parliament during Wednesday’s debate on the bill. “We will not take a single step backwards.”

The euro hit a fresh 13-month low against the dollar and European stock markets were also hit, amid concerns over Greek bail-out plans. There are also fears Greece’s debt crisis could spread to other countries.

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The Gulf Coast Oil Spill: An American Chernobyl?

The World Socialist Web Site writes:
Oil Spillers

With each passing day, the scale of the disaster unleashed by the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico increases. Somewhere between 5,000 (the official estimate) and 25,000 (the estimate of some scientists) barrels of oil is surging into the Gulf every day.

Before it is over, millions, if not tens of millions of gallons of oil will be washed up on America’s wetlands and shorelines.Eleven workers are already dead in the latest industrial disaster in the American energy industry. Now, the fishing and seafood industry along the Gulf coast may be shut down for years, perhaps even a generation. The destruction of the fragile ecosystems of the region will likely be irreparable.

The disaster implicates one of the world’s largest corporations, British Petroleum, together with partners and subcontractors like Transocean Ltd., operator of the drill rig, and Halliburton, which carried out major operations on the wellhead only a week before the explosion.

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Imagine if the Tea Party Was Black

Tim Wise (photo: timwise.org)

Tim Wise (photo: timwise.org)

This is by a guy named Tim Wise:

Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure – the ones who are driving the action – we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

So let’s begin.

Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition.

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Serial Killer Won On ‘The Dating Game’

Rodney Alcala, 66, is representing himself in the penalty phase of  his trial.

Rodney Alcala, 66, is representing himself in the penalty phase of his trial.

By Gabriel Falcon for CNN:

“Oh yeah, I remember it quite clearly,” said Jed Mills, the game-show contestant who sat next to Alcala in 1978. “He was creepy. Definitely creepy.”

Found guilty in February of murdering four women and a child, Alcala, 66, is acting as his own attorney in the penalty phase of the trial. He is hoping to persuade the jury in Santa Ana, California, to spare his life.

The crimes Alcala committed date to the late 1970s. Nobody at the time knew the man with the wavy long hair and toothy grin was a psychopath — an unstable, antisocial personality.

That includes Mills, a veteran television and film actor, whose only encounter with Alcala was when both of them appeared on “The Dating Game.”

“That’s when I became part of a nightmare, and I didn’t realize it was a nightmare until 32 years later,” Mills said.

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Ahmadinejad: 9/11 Was A ‘Big Lie’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called 9/11 attacks a way  for the U.S. to invade Afghanistan. From CNN:

Two days before his official trip to Afghanistan, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a “big lie” intended to pave the way for the invasion of a war-torn nation, according to Iranian state media.

Ahmadinejad, known for his harsh rhetoric toward the West and Israel, said the attack on U.S. soil was a “scenario and a sophisticated intelligence measure,” Iran’s state-run Press TV reported Saturday.

The assault was a “big lie intended to serve as a pretext for fighting terrorism and setting the grounds for sending troops to Afghanistan,” Press TV reported Ahmadinejad as saying.

It’s not the first time Ahmadinejad has denied a historical tragedy. In the past, he has denied the existence of the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of some 6 million Jews during World War II, and suggested Israel should be “wiped off the map.”

“Today,” he said Saturday, “with blessings from the Almighty, the capitalist system, founded by the Zionists, has also reached an end,”…

[continues at CNN]… Read the rest

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Birth Defects on the Rise in Fallujah

Via the Daily Mail:

Fallujah

A Fallujah mother holds her little girl, who was born without a left forearm and hand.

A high number of children are being born with birth defects in an Iraqi city where U.S. forces may have used chemical weapons during a fierce battle in 2004.

Children in Fallujah are being born with limb, head, heart and nervous system defects.

There is even a claim that a baby was born with three heads. The number of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than the rate in Europe.

The city, 40 miles west of Baghdad, was the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq war in late 2004. U.S. Marines led Operation Phantom Fury to recapture it from insurgents.

British troops were involved in manning checkpoints on the outskirts of the city as the Americans went in. The U.S.

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Republicans Playing on People’s Fears (Officially)?

Ben Smith writes on the Politico:

The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on “fear” of President Barack Obama and a promise to “save the country from trending toward socialism.”

The strategy was detailed in a confidential party fundraising presentation, obtained by POLITICO, which also outlines how “ego-driven” wealthy donors can be tapped with offers of access and “tchochkes.”

Secret RNC Fundraising Presentation

The presentation was delivered by RNC Finance Director Rob Bickhart to top donors and fundraisers at a party retreat in Boca Grande, Florida on February 18, a source at the gathering said.

In neat PowerPoint pages, it lifts the curtain on the often-cynical terms of political marketing, displaying an air of disdain for the party’s donors that is usually confined to the barroom conversations of political operatives.

The presentation explains the Republican fundraising in simple terms.

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Senator Bayh Calls Senate “Broken and Dysfunctional”

By Dan Balz for the Washington Post:

Sen. Evan Bayh’s surprise decision not to seek reelection touched off a debate Tuesday among strategists and scholars about whether the Indiana senator’s depiction of the “brain dead” politics and hyper-partisanship of Congress is accurate or overblown — and, if accurate, whether walking away was the right decision.

Bayh dealt a triple blow to his Democratic Party and to President Obama with his announcement Monday that he is sick of the partisanship in Washington and will not seek a third term…

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Sarah Palin Criticizes TV’s ‘Family Guy’

Family_GuyBecky Bohrer for Yahoo News/AP:

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sarah Palin is lashing out at the portrayal of a character with Down syndrome on the Fox animated comedy Family Guy:

In a Facebook posting headlined “Fox Hollywood — What a Disappointment,” the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and current Fox News contributor said Sunday night’s episode felt like “another kick in the gut.” Palin’s youngest son, Trig, has Down syndrome.

The episode features the character Chris falling for a girl with Down syndrome. On a date, he asks what her parents do.

She replies: “My dad’s an accountant, and my mom is the former governor of Alaska.”

Palin resigned as Alaska governor last summer. Palin’s oldest daughter, Bristol, also was quoted on her mother’s Facebook page, calling the show’s writers “heartless jerks.”…

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