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Posted: february 24, 2008, Draft edition

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1) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited. After the abstract there's analysis and commentary, links to related articles, and a link to the database with suggested search terms.


Russia: U.S. may use satellite blast to test weapon

Reuters, 16 Feb 2008

 Russia's Defense Ministry said on Saturday a U.S. plan to shoot down an ailing spy satellite could be used as a cover to test a new space weapon.



Main points of Putin's last annual news conference

ria novosti, 14/ 02/ 2008



MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's outgoing President Vladimir Putin gave on Thursday his seventh and last annual news conference, which also was his longest lasting four hours and 40 minutes.


However, Putin is Russia's first leader to have introduced the practice of annual news conferences. The world's absolute champion in the field is Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who boasts a world record of an eight and a half hour air time on his Hello, President traditional Sunday program.


Another talkative leader, Cuba's ever-lasting Fidel Castro, gave a five-hour speech in May 2005, excusing himself by saying he had obviously failed to fulfill his intention not to speak much.


In his last annual meeting with over 1,300 journalists Putin answered 100 questions from 78 reporters. He said:


- there is no danger of military conflict between Russia and the United States, despite current disagreements


- Russia could be forced to retarget its missiles on Ukraine if NATO bases are deployed in the country


- tensions in economic relations with Poland are linked to U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in the Central European country


- Russian-U.S. relations should not depend on the personalities of the new presidents of both countries


- Russia backs Washington's moves to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East


- Russia does not intend to limit energy deliveries to Europe, including Poland, but is set to diversify supply routes


- Russia has no plans to adopt an "illegal" policy of retaliation if Western countries acknowledge Kosovo's independence


- rejected arguments by European powers that Kosovo is a "special case" in seeking independence, and accused the countries of employing double standards on the issue


- Russia will not allow anyone to dictate terms to it, but that it will honor its international commitments in full


- he is ready to meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili during an informal Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit in Moscow on February 22


- Russia's Arctic research is aimed at proving that the country has the right to a part of the Arctic shelf


- excessive subsidies for agriculture within the EU affect Russia


- Russia will protect its agricultural producers when it joins the World Trade Organization (WTO)


- the introduction of a 7% threshold for parliamentary elections benefited the development of Russia's politics


- Russia's three-layer government system established in 2004 is not effective enough


- Russia will need to adopt anti-corruption laws


- the Amur Region, in Russia's Far East, is the most favorable location for the construction of a new space center


- there is no sense adding new national projects to those being currently implemented in healthcare, education, agricultural development and housing


- Russia has no plans for moving to state capitalism


- domestic problems, not foreign expansion, are Russia's main focus


- it was relatively easy for Russia's banking system to survive the recent global financial crisis


- the government will make sure that its commitments to put into practice demographic incentives are honored


- the government's priority task for 2008 will be to curb inflation


- Russia could spend more to develop its nuclear energy, one of its most competitive industries


- recently-established government corporations will be gradually prepared for initial public offerings (IPOs)


- Russian companies, including energy giant Gazprom, are much more interested in asset swaps with foreign partners, than in attracting funds


- he had never been tempted to stay on as Russia's president for a third consecutive term


- he was satisfied with the results of his second term in office and stated that he had achieved all he had set out to do


- presidential candidate First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev would be a successful and effective head of state


- there will be no power-sharing disputes between him as premier and Dmitry Medvedev if he wins the March 2 presidential election


- if his ally wins next month's presidential election, he is prepared to be premier as long as Medvedev is president


- Medvedev would need no assistance from him if he is elected president


- media reports about his 'huge fortune' was "empty chatter and nonsense"

1c) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.

Ally of West loses razor sharp election in serbia

bbc, 1-21-08

Hardline nationalist Tomislav Nikolic has won the first round of Serbia's presidential election, but will face a run-off poll, officials say.



Ally of West wins in Serbia

Serbia election victory for Tadic

bbc, 2-4-08



Ally of West wins in georgia

Saakashvili narrowly re-elected

isn, 1-8-08



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Judicial Races Now Rife With Politics

Corporate Funds Help Fuel Change


By Robert Barnes

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, October 28, 2007; Page A01

BUTLER, Pa. -- It's always packed for Wing Night at American Legion Post 117, and in the crowd Seamus McCaffery saw the building blocks of his electoral success.


The local sheriff, the union guys, the daughter of a veteran who said, "I like your commercial about being a Marine." And the beefy biker in black leather, with the long gray ponytail and ZZ Top beard.


"You think the big politicians are going to ask for his vote?" scoffed McCaffery, himself a biker. "They'd be afraid of him!"

McCaffery is one of two Democrats facing two Republicans in a Nov. 6 election that has broken the state's record for Supreme Court campaign contributions, at more than $5 million so far. It follows a line of recent judicial contests across the country that set records for spending, as well as for negative television ads and special interest involvement.


Experts believe it is all a warm-up for 2008, as pro-business groups and trial lawyers bring their fight over tort laws to the state level and as partisan groups vow a greater role in the elections.

The spending increases in large part reflect a decision by business groups to get involved in the contests. The National Association of Manufacturers announced in 2005 that it was establishing the American Justice Partnership to promote tort reform in the states, and the resulting battles between trial lawyers and business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce have led to some of the most expensive campaign battles.


A large majority of the money raised for races in 2005 and 2006 was spent in 10 states, and 44 percent of it came from business interests, the National Institute on Money in State Politics found. That was about twice as much as was given by lawyers, who had traditionally funded the campaigns.

The heightened spending and increasingly aggressive tone of the contests have alarmed nonpartisan groups and judges from around the country. Retired Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a longtime critic of judicial elections, has taken the lead in denouncing what she has called the "arms race" in campaign fundraising, and at a recent conference she presided over at Georgetown University Law Center, two of her like-minded former colleagues -- Justices Stephen G. Breyer and David H. Souter -- were in the audience.


"The reputation of the American judiciary is in the hands of the state courts," Breyer said. The rising demands on judges to raise money for their expensive campaigns -- plus the spending of outside groups -- could lead to the impression that the courthouse door "is open to some rather than the door is open to all.''

Some judicial candidates have been even more outspoken than in the past since a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said some state restrictions on the speech of judicial candidates were unconstitutional.


Former Alabama chief justice Drayton Nabors, unseated in the 2006 election, said in one of his television commercials: "I'm pro-life. Abortion on demand is a tragedy. And the liberal judicial decisions that support it are wrong."


Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer declared in his 2003 campaign, "I am pro-choice and proud of it."


The Pennsylvania candidates this time have been more circumspect. "People know that I'm bound by a code of judicial conduct," said Republican Maureen Lally-Green, who like McCaffery is a judge on the state's Superior Court. "If I'm going to rule on any case, I can't promise what I'm going to do."


But the candidates can give hints. Republican Mike Krancer's television commercials declare him a conservative who doesn't believe in legislating from the bench, while the screen flashes his endorsement from the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.


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Judge Says Campaign Regs Are Too Lenient



Wednesday, September 12, 2007


(09-12) 13:50 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --


A federal judge struck down campaign finance regulations Wednesday that govern when candidates and independent groups can coordinate their political messages. The judge called on the Federal Election Commission to write stricter rules in time for the 2008 elections.



The decision marks the second time that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has invalidated the FEC regulations as too lenient. They were drafted in response to a landmark 2002 law that restricts political donations.



Kollar-Kotelly said the FEC regulations too narrowly apply to coordinated advertising that takes place within 90 days of a congressional election or 120 days before a presidential election.



The regulations unreasonably ignore advertising run outside those windows, the judge said.



The FEC argued that its regulations covered almost all of the independent political advertising that occurs in a campaign cycle. Critics said that the agency created a loophole for advertising that falls outside FEC regulations and ignored the expansion of political campaigns into year-round events.

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Business Lobby Presses Agenda Before ’08 Vote


LAT, December 2, 2007




WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 — Business lobbyists, nervously anticipating Democratic gains in next year’s elections, are racing to secure final approval for a wide range of health, safety, labor and economic rules, in the belief that they can get better deals from the Bush administration than from its successor.


Hoping to lock in policies backed by a pro-business administration, poultry farmers are seeking an exemption for the smelly fumes produced by tons of chicken manure. Businesses are lobbying the Bush administration to roll back rules that let employees take time off for family needs and medical problems. And electric power companies are pushing the government to relax pollution-control requirements.


Even as they try to shape pending regulations, business lobbies are also looking beyond President Bush. Corporations and trade associations are recruiting Democratic lobbyists. And lobbyists, expecting battles over taxes and health care in 2009, are pouring money into the campaigns of Democratic candidates for Congress and the White House.


Randel K. Johnson, a vice president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, said, “I am beefing up my staff, putting more money aside for economic analysis of regulations that I foresee coming out of a possible new Democratic administration.”


At the Transportation Department, trucking companies are trying to get final approval for a rule increasing the maximum number of hours commercial truck drivers can work. And automakers are trying to persuade officials to set new standards for the strength of car roofs — standards far less stringent than what consumer advocates say is needed to protect riders in a rollover.

. Documents on file at several agencies show that business groups have stepped up lobbying in recent months, as they try to help the Bush administration finish work on rules that have been hotly debated and, in some cases, litigated for years.

At the Interior Department, coal companies are lobbying for a regulation that would allow them to dump rock and dirt from mountaintop mining operations into nearby streams and valleys.

Some of the biggest battles now involve rules affecting the quality of air, water and soil.


The National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association have petitioned for an exemption from laws and rules that require them to report emissions of ammonia exceeding 100 pounds a day.

On another issue, the Environmental Protection Agency is drafting final rules that would allow utility companies to modify coal-fired power plants and increase their emissions without installing new pollution-control equipment.


Loren B. Thompson, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a policy research organization, said: “Defense contractors have not only begun to prepare for the next administration. They have begun to shape it. They’ve met with Hillary Clinton and other candidates.”



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Court backs ruling against congressman

By MATTHEW DALY - Associated Press Writer

Published 8:31 am PST Monday, December 3, 2007


The long legal fight between two members of Congress over an illegally taped telephone call ended Monday when the Supreme Court refused to review the case.


The court left in place a federal appeals court ruling that Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., acted improperly in giving reporters access to a recording of a 1996 telephone call of Republican leaders discussing the House ethics case against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.


Boehner was among several GOP leaders heard on the December 1996 call, which involved ethics allegations against Gingrich. Then the House speaker, Gingrich was heard on the call telling Boehner and others how to react to allegations. He was later fined $300,000 and reprimanded by the House.


McDermott, who was then serving on the ethics panel, leaked the tape to two newspapers, which published stories on the case in January 1997.

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New anthrax vaccine doomed by lobbying

America's sole supplier faced oblivion if its rival's product was adopted. It was time to call on political connections.

By David Willman

Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2007,0,3465779,full.story?coll=la-home-center



WASHINGTON — Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the subsequent anthrax mailings, top U.S. science advisors said the country "urgently needed" a new, improved anthrax vaccine.


The existing vaccine often caused swollen arms and muscle and joint pain. Inoculation required six injections over 18 months, followed by yearly booster shots. The estimated shelf life was just three years.


Yet nearly six years later, the old vaccine is still the only one available -- and the government is buying it in mass quantities for the Strategic National Stockpile.


The manufacturer, Emergent BioSolutions Inc. of Rockville, Md., prevailed in a bitter struggle with a rival company that was preparing what federal health officials expected to be a superior vaccine. The episode illustrates the clout wielded by well-connected lobbyists over billions in spending for the Bush administration's anti-terrorism program.


Emergent's rival, VaxGen Inc. of South San Francisco, had spent four years developing a new anthrax vaccine and had won an $877.5-million federal contract to deliver enough doses for 25 million people. The contract threatened Emergent's very existence. The old vaccine, its only moneymaker, would likely be obsolete if VaxGen succeeded.


Emergent responded by mobilizing more than 50 lobbyists, including former aides to Vice President Dick Cheney, to make the case that relying on the new vaccine was a gamble and that the nation's safety depended on buying more of Emergent's product.


The company and its allies in Congress ridiculed VaxGen and impugned the competence or motives of officials who supported the new vaccine. The lobbying effort damaged VaxGen's credibility with members of Congress and the Bush administration, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

Finally, a year ago, officials canceled VaxGen's contract, all but capsizing the company.


Emergent, meanwhile, has won federal contracts worth at least $642 million for the old vaccine and is in line to win many millions more as the government expands the strategic stockpile.


Yet Dr. Philip K. Russell, a vaccinologist and retired Army general who was a senior biodefense official in the Bush administration, described the outcome as "a big, dramatic failure."


"National security took a back seat to politics and the power of lawyers and lobbyists," said Russell, who supported the decision to award VaxGen the contract.


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Official: Justice Dept. slowed probe into phone jamming

By Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2007


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department delayed prosecuting a key Republican official for jamming the phones of New Hampshire Democrats until after the 2004 election, protecting top GOP officials from the scandal until the voting was over.


An official with detailed knowledge of the investigation into the 2002 Election-Day scheme said the inquiry sputtered for months after a prosecutor sought approval to indict James Tobin, the northeast regional coordinator for the Republican National Committee.


The phone-jamming operation was aimed at preventing New Hampshire Democrats from rounding up voters in the close U.S. Senate race between Republican Rep. John Sununu and Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Sununu's 19,000-vote victory helped the GOP regain control of the Senate.


While there were guilty pleas in the New Hampshire investigation prior to the 2004 presidential election, involvement of the national GOP wasn't confirmed. A Manchester, N.H., policeman quickly traced the jamming to Republican political operatives in 2003 and forwarded the evidence to the Justice Department for what ordinarily would be a straightforward case.


However, the official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told McClatchy that senior Justice Department officials slowed the inquiry. The official didn't know whether top department officials ordered the delays or what motivated those decisions.


The official said that Terry O'Donnell, a former Pentagon general counsel who was representing Tobin, was in contact with senior department officials before Tobin was indicted.


In October, the House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation to determine whether partisan politics undermined the federal probe.


The official said that department officials rejected prosecutor Todd Hinnen's push to bring criminal charges against the New Hampshire Republican Party.


Paul Twomey, a lawyer for the state Democratic Party, said the delay spared Republicans embarrassment at the peak of the campaign because a pending deposition would have revealed that several state GOP officials knew about the scheme, which was hatched by their executive director, Charles McGee. The delay also stalled the case beyond its statute of limitations, depriving Democrats of full discovery, he said.


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A Bloody Stalemate in Afghanistan

nyt, 2-24-08



abstracted tidbit:

One full-moon night I was sitting outside a sandbag-reinforced hut with Kearney when a young sergeant stepped out hauling the garbage. He looked around at the illuminated mountains, the dust, the rocks, the garbage bin. The monkeys were screeching. “I hate this country!” he shouted. Then he smiled and walked back into the hut. “He’s on medication,” Kearney said quietly to me.


Then another soldier walked by and shouted, “Hey, I’m with you, sir!” and Kearney said to me, “Prozac. Serious P.T.S.D. from last tour.” Another one popped out of the HQ cursing and muttering. “Medicated,” Kearney said. “Last tour, if you didn’t give him information, he’d burn down your house. He killed so many people. He’s checked out.”


As I went to get some hot chocolate in the dining tent...


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Dreams Stifled, Egypt’s Young Turn to Islamic Fervor

nyt, 2-16-08

Here in Egypt and across the Middle East, many young people are being forced to put off marriage, the gateway to independence, sexual activity and societal respect. Stymied by the government’s failure to provide adequate schooling and thwarted by an economy without jobs to match their abilities or aspirations, they are stuck in limbo between youth and adulthood.

“I can’t get a job, I have no money, I can’t get married, what can I say?” Mr. Sayyid said one day after becoming so overwhelmed that he refused to go to work, or to go home, and spent the day hiding at a friend’s apartment.

In their frustration, the young are turning to religion for solace and purpose, pulling their parents and their governments along with them.

With 60 percent of the region’s population under the age of 25, this youthful religious fervor has enormous implications for the Middle East. More than ever, Islam has become the cornerstone of identity, replacing other, failed ideologies: Arabism, socialism, nationalism.

The wave of religious identification has forced governments that are increasingly seen as corrupt or inept to seek their own public redemption through religion. In Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Morocco and Algeria, leaders who once headed secular states or played down religion have struggled to reposition themselves as the guardians of Islamic values. More and more parents are sending their children to religious schools, and some countries have infused more religious content into their state educational systems.

In Egypt, where the people have always been religious and conservative, young people are now far more observant and strict in their interpretation of their faith. A generation ago, for example, few young women covered their heads, and few Egyptian men made it a practice to go to the mosque for the five daily prayers. Now the hijab, a scarf that covers the hair and neck, is nearly universal, and mosques are filled throughout the day with young men, and often their fathers.

In 1986, there was one mosque for every 6,031 Egyptians, according to government statistics. By 2005, there was one mosque for every 745 people — and the population has nearly doubled.

“The whole country is taken by an extreme conservative attitude,” said Mohamed Sayed Said, deputy director of the government-financed Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. “The government cannot escape it and cannot loosen it.”

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Bush "Democracy" Requires People Vote for Bush's Side, or our Dictators will Kill you

Our system only likes elections when they are fixed, and our dictator is assured victory

aw, june 20, 2007

The existing governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt are American supported dictatorships who have no democratic or Islamic legitimacy. Their Kingdoms are propped up by American military and economic support.

Our support for these tyrannies is now as much of a threat to their continuation as our power is necessary for their continuation.

These governments will instantly crumble in open elections, or if our military and economic support is withdrawn.

The dictators of all three have only one viable solution to this contradiction: They are radicalizing their positions to reflect the hatred of their people for America.

They must do this to maintain what little authority they still have over their people, and delay the day when they either pay for their disloyalty with their heads, or flee to the protection of the United States.

Bush has accelerated the fall, and inflamed Arabic rage against the American supported Tyrants who have throttled their voices, crushed their rights, killed their people and stolen their lands.

The inevitable fall of the Saudi, Jordanian, and Egyptian dictatorships will end the Arab peoples' forced recognition of Israel.

Israel's legitimacy cannot be honestly recognized in the Middle-East until the Arab peoples have rid themselves of American supported dictatorships, and form legitimate governments that represent their beliefs, positions, and interests.

Only then will there be legitimate negotiating partners that represents the Arab's true perspective on Israel.

That has happened in Iran, and Syria. And it should come as no surprise that they hate Israel and the US, as we imposed dictators and foreign policies on them that represented foreign interests, rather than their own interests and beliefs.

We can strengthen and expand this hatred, by crushing the Arabs as they revolt against American dictatorships. This will fail, and when the Arabs emerge out from under American-sponsored dictatorships, there will be hell to pay.

Or we can diminish the hatred. We have a choice with the parts of the Middle East we still control, Let's tell our Arab dictators that our reign of terror is over, and we are going to force elections or take away the military and political protections that shield our dictators.

Rather than justice, it is obvious that our choice is to strengthen tyranny and increase violence. This will fail.

When failure occurs, the survivors, the rich Saudi Princes, and the minions of the Egyptian dictator, will move here, their true “homeland,” with billions of dollars.

Just like the Shah's buddies did in 1979. And when this happens, the people of these countries will hate us for the abuses we visited on their people and countries through the dictatorships we forced on them.

Look for oil prices to skyrocket, and American control of the world oil market to end.

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Also See:

Corruption Updates 18, 7th article on page, FOR MODERATE DEMOCRACY: EGYPTIANS BELIEVE DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT IS NOT A REAL CONCERN (of the United States)

nyt, CAIRO, Oct. 31, 2006: Egypt Sends Sadat's Nephew to Prison for Defaming Military page, states that:

“The United States had at one time talked about Egypt as leading the way toward democratic reform in the Middle East. But with the chaos in the region, and the political uncertainty in Egypt, officials in Egypt said the United States has dropped all pressure to make democratic reforms.” Now compare that with our latest rational for the Iraq war: “We Will Spread Democracy across the Middle East.”

Corruption Update 27, 5th article down, Egypt Cracks Down on Brotherhood

Corruption Update 27, 5th article down, Egypt adopts Bush style arrests based on no more than the will of the President

Corruption Update 27, 6th article on page,2007, Redrawing the Map,” This article describes Mubarak's suppression of democracy through arbitrary Constitutional amendments.

Corruption Updates 32, 1st article on page,RICE THANKS EGYPTIAN DICTATOR FOR REGIONAL SUPPORT

Corruption Update 40, 6th article on page, "Before the vote" MUBARAK ABOUT TO IMPOSE BUSH RULES ON EGYPT The Constitutional changes Mubarak is about to impose on Egypt are the same powers Bush has claimed here

Corruption Updates 52, 5th article on page, Muslim Brothers in military trial


Form many more articles about the american supported tyranny in egypt, see the link list for egypt


Corruption Database

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Fujimori 'ordered kidnapping' of PM 


7:33 MECCA TIME, 4:33 GMT



Peru's prime minister has testified that Alberto Fujimori, the former president, ordered his kidnapping and the attempted assassination of Alan Garcia, the incumbent president and leader from 1985 and 1990.


Jorge del Castillo said on Friday in Lima that the moves occurred on the night of a military-supported "self-coup" on April 5 1992.


He was speaking in the rights-abuse trial of Fujimori, 69, who was president between 1990 and 2000.


The court heard that del Castillo had been with Garcia at his Lima home, the night Fujimori sent tanks to shut down Peru's judiciary and legislature in a power grab.


He said soldiers arrived to arrest Garcia but found del Castillo who was stalling in order that Garcia could flee.


Del Castillo said that soldiers opened fire on the house.


"We heard on a loudspeaker: 'In the name of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, come out with your hands up, Dr Garcia, and everyone else inside.' Then they started to fire on the house."


Physical elimination


Del Castillo said that they wanted to "physically eliminate him [Garcia], there's no doubt".


Garcia escaped and later took asylum in Colombia and then France.


Del Castillo was a legislator for Garcia's Aprista party at the time.

Del Castillo referred to a document signed by General Nicolas Hermoza, the highest-ranking military commander at the time, which stated that the arrests were carried out "on orders from above".


Hermoza verified the authenticity of the document in a trial in 2005 in which he was sentenced to eight years in prison for corruption.


"It was a kidnapping. They never told me why I was being arrested over those five days I was held in military installations," said del Castillo.


Out-of-control violence


Fujimori argued that the actions were needed to counter the out-of-control violence by the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement leftist fighters.


The group was virtually eliminated during Fujimori's presidency.


Only a small number of their fighters are still active in the Peruvian jungle.


Fujimori is on trial for kidnapping and allegedly sanctioning two army death-squad massacres in 1991 and 1992 which killed 25 people.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Central America has been ruled with an iron fist by Spanish Colonial Elites since the conquest.

In peru, the election of garcia seems to indicate something is different: we are not supporting a military coup to kill him, but instead signing free trade agreements.

This great change in american attitudes: from death to agreements is a product of alternative: left-wing gen. humala, a strong ally of hugo chavez of venezula.

this is indicative of the tectonic changes in the political climate across south america. No longer are the peasants cowed by authoritarian military regimes backed by american banana companies: now they have spoken through revolutions in the cities, jungles, and the ballot boxes.

It has taken all three for the people of south and central america to make any headway at all against american dictators and authoritarian regimes who depend on a 500 year legacy of aristocratic authority.

Dedication has paid off: after a hundred years of struggle against american backed dictators and elites, they have almost made the whole of south america politically independent of the american global empire.

The next step to aid the emerging post colonial world is to neutralize the main source of empire at it's source: We must drive the power and wealth of corporations, and especially the multi-national corporations, out of our government.



March 5, 2007 (edited 11-28-07)

Central America has been ruled with an iron fist by Spanish Colonial Elites since the conquest.

These elites have maintained power for the last 100 years by trading their country's resources, both human and natural, for American military, political, and economic support for their regimes.

The American program to dominate Central and South America has been an ugly affair from the start, when the us first entered the quest for empire by seizing Cuba and the Philippines from Spain.

The latest chapter in the horror story of our quest to dominate central and south america begins with the overthrow of the american dictator batista, and the declaration of cuban independence.

After Cuba gained independence, our continental dominance began to seriously fail during the '70s, leading Nixon and Kissenger to commit crimes against humanity in Chile, and spreading waves of death squads across Central and South America.

This was a losing battle, and by the early '80s Regan was facilitating the movement of large amounts of drugs into the United States from both Afghanistan and Colombia to fund the death squads and terrorist armies that were trying to prop up our tottering dictatorships from Guatemala to chile.

Regan's coke money flowed together with the profits generated by Osama's afghan hash exports, which were helping, with the coke money, to fund Osama's Afgan war against the Russians. These dirty deeds created concentrations of wealth and power that still driving events in Central and South America today.

The perfect example today is our President of Colombia. Uribe is directly linked to the Right wing private coke armies and death squads that are attempting to maintain their control of both the nation and cocaine trade of Colombia.

We must adopt this handy rule: We can take political power with force, but we cannot maintain political power with force alone. To maintain power, we must match our military force with an equally powerful political or moral force that operates within our democratic value systems, and prevents the power of our government from becoming a tool of empire.

We have failed to maintain our principals in our dealings with south and central america. We have discredited democracy by using it as a thin justification for imposing economic and political domination by the force of our arms.

Despite our powerful propaganda and loud claims to be the bearer of the political and moral principals of freedom, justice, and democracy, our behavior paints a different picture than our words.

Our support of dictators and death squads in Central and South America has made our claims to hold a moral high ground hollow. Our hypocritical support of dictators and authoritarian elites's violence has been the main fuel for not just indigenous marxists and nativist revolutions in central and south america, but has also fueled rejection of american corporate democracy across the Middle-East, empowering radical islamic alternatives to our violent imposition of false democracy and hollow freedoms on conquered peoples.

As we have no moral force equal to our military force, we are doomed to walk down a long, bloody trail to failure in every region of the world we rule through proxies or direct occupation.

We are coming to the end of our long, bloody trail of domination in South America.

Despite our violent objections, South America has effectively taken the control of their political and economic affairs out of our hands, and are, for the first time in 500 years, almost in complete charge of their own affairs. Central America is not far behind South America.

The Agent of our Empire in Guatemala and Hondorus during the formation of the death squads was John Negroponte. Today's death squads are the children of American foreign policy, the children of Negroponte, Poindexter, North, and the crew of criminals that was the Regan administration.

Death squads are still used by authoritarian and military governments. Extra-judicial violence is used to maintain political and economic control over the people in Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia.

The recent "election" in Mexico, and the subsequent violent suppression of democracy in Oxacha highlight the fraud and violence employed by the spanish elite mafia that rules over mexico.

Until we stop the corporate criminals in the United States from suppressing Our Constitution, perverting our democracy, and stealing our government, our foreign policy will continue to be an instrument for violently separating people around the world from their rights and resources.

Before we can bring the benefits of democracy and freedom to the world, we must first establish them here.

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Also See:

Peru's president recommends coca, bbc, 12-20-2006

President Bush and President Garcia of Peru Sign H.R. 3688, white house, 12-2007


C.I.A. Links Cited on Peru Arms Deal That Backfired: CIA-Clinton-fujimori links, nyt, 11-6-2000

Fujimori back in Peru for Death Squad trial, bbc 12-07

Fujimori guilty of abuse of power, bbc 12-12

Fujimori goes nuts at death squad trial, csm 12-12

CIA-Clinton-Fujimori history, nyt 11-2000


latin american links


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11) The Articles linked below were Abstracted from the sources cited.

Arcane Market Is Next to Face Big Credit Test


nyt, February 17, 2008



Few Americans have heard of credit default swaps, arcane financial instruments invented by Wall Street about a decade ago. But if the economy keeps slowing, credit default swaps, like subprime mortgages, may become a household term.


Credit default swaps form a large but obscure market that will be put to its first big test as a looming economic downturn strains companies’ finances. Like a homeowner’s policy that insures against a flood or fire, these instruments are intended to cover losses to banks and bondholders when companies fail to pay their debts.


The market for these securities is enormous. Since 2000, it has ballooned from $900 billion to more than $45.5 trillion — roughly twice the size of the entire United States stock market.

No one knows how troubled the credit swaps market is, because, like the now-distressed market for subprime mortgage securities, it is unregulated. But because swaps have proliferated so rapidly, experts say that a hiccup in this market could set off a chain reaction of losses at financial institutions, making it even harder for borrowers to get loans that grease economic activity.

an inkling of trouble emerged in a recent report from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a federal banking regulator. It warned that a significant increase in trading in swaps during the third quarter of last year “put a strain on processing systems” used by banks to handle these trades and make sure they match up.


And last week, the American International Group said that it had incorrectly valued some of the swaps it had written and that sharp declines in some of these instruments had translated to $3.6 billion more in losses than the company had previously estimated. Its stock dropped 12 percent on the news but edged up in the days after.


A.I.G. says it expects to file its year-end financial statements on time by the end of this month with appropriate valuations.


Placing accurate values on these contracts is just one of the uncertainties facing the big banks, insurance companies and hedge funds that create and trade these instruments.


“This is just a giant insurance industry that is underregulated and not very well reserved for and does not have very good standards as a result,” said Michael A. J. Farrell, chief executive of Annaly Capital Management in New York. “I think unregulated markets that overshadow, in terms of size, the regulated ones are a real question mark.”


Because these contracts are sold and resold among financial institutions, an original buyer may not know that a new, potentially weaker entity has taken over the obligation to pay a claim.


Credit default swaps were invented by major banks in the mid-1990s as a way to offset risk in their lending or bond portfolios. At the outset, each contract was different, volume in the market was small and participants knew whom they were dealing with.

Commercial banks are among the biggest participants — at the end of the third quarter of 2007, the top 25 banks held credit default swaps, both as insurers and insured, worth $14 trillion, the currency office said, up $2 trillion from the previous quarter.


JPMorgan Chase, with $7.8 trillion, is the largest player; Citibank and Bank of America are behind it with $3 trillion and $1.6 trillion respectively.


But many speculators, particularly hedge funds, have flocked to these instruments to bet on a company failure easily. Before the insurance was developed, such a bet would require selling short a corporation’s bond and going into the market to borrow it to supply to the buyer.


The market’s popularity raises the possibility that undercapitalized participants could have trouble paying their obligations.

Roughly one-third of the credit default swaps provided insurance against a default by a specific corporate debt issuer in 2006, according to the British Bankers’ Association. Around 30 percent of the contracts were written against indexes representing baskets of debt from numerous issuers.


But 16 percent were created to protect holders of collateralized debt obligations, complex pools of bonds that have recently experienced problems because of mortgage holdings.


There is no exchange where these insurance contracts trade, and their prices are not reported to the public. Because of this, institutions typically value them based on computer models rather than prices set by the market.


Neither are the participants overseen by regulators verifying that the parties to the transactions can meet their obligations.

To be sure, the $45 trillion in credit default swaps is not an exact reflection of what would be lost or won if all the underlying securities defaulted. That figure is impossible to pinpoint since the amounts that are recovered in default situations vary.

For example, when Delphi, the auto parts maker, filed for bankruptcy in October 2005, the credit default swaps on the company’s debt exceeded the value of underlying bonds tenfold. Buyers of credit insurance scrambled to buy the bonds, driving up their price to around 70 cents on the dollar, a startlingly high value for defaulted debt.


“The insurance business is very difficult to quantify risk in,” said Mr. Farrell of Annaly Capital Management. “You have to really read the contract to make sure you are covered. That is going to be the test of the market this year. As defaults kick in and as these events unfold, you are going to find out who has managed this well.”


And who hasn’t.


All fall down?

Jan 18th 2008 | NEW YORK




Huge new problems in the capital markets?



AMERICA’S big bond insurers, which have underwritten some $2.4 trillion of private and public-sector bonds, usually go about their business largely unnoticed. But now they are looking distinctly wobbly they have started to attract attention. If one or more of them were to topple over, there will be a huge knock-on effect on banks and other financial institutions that rely on their guarantees. This in turn will further worsen the credit crunch and cause an even bigger headache for policymakers already grappling with a sharp slowdown in the American economy.


The threat of such a financial domino effect looms large. Moody’s, a credit-rating agency, has signalled that it might downgrade the AAA-ratings of two of the biggest bond insurers, MBIA and Ambac, in the near future. On Friday January 18th, Ambac said that it had dropped a plan to raise $1 billion of new equity capital to preserve its rating—making futher downgrades even likelier. In response, Fitch, another rating firm, cut Ambac's rating.


Bond insurers in effect “lend” their top-notch ratings to lower-quality debt, raising its value in the eyes of investors. Any cut in those ratings may make it impossible for the bond insurers to take on new business and would reduce the value of the securities they have already underwritten. Such cuts are now a distinct possibility because the insurers have underwritten billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities, including those notorious collateralised-debt obligations (CDOs) that have now gone sour.

There are already signs that the insurers’ woes are contagious. On Thursday Merrill Lynch wrote down $3.1 billion on debt securities that it had hedged with ACA and other bond insurers. Other banks have also made writedowns to reflect their lack of confidence in ACA’s ability to meet its commitments. The full extent of the “counterparty risk” banks face in dealing with bond insurers is only now becoming apparent

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Sales of New Homes Fell by 26% in 2007


nyt, January 28, 2008


The housing industry, caught in a maelstrom of sinking demand, rising foreclosures, and bulging inventories, is in its worst slump in decades, a growing body of economic evidence shows.


Sales of new homes fell last year by 26 percent, the steepest drop since records began in 1963, the Commerce Department said on Monday.


Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned single-family homes, a large portion of the overall housing market, suffered their biggest annual drop in 25 years. And the median price of those homes fell for the first time in at least four decades, and possibly since the Great Depression.


“There is no sign of a bottom in any of these data,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, a London-based economist at High Frequency Economics.

What's Really Going on Here??


Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., Feburary, 2008

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12) The Article linked below was Abstracted from the source cited.

Los Angeles Editor Ousted After Resisting Job Cuts




The top editor of The Los Angeles Times has been forced out for resisting newsroom budget cuts, executives at the paper said Sunday, marking the fourth time in less than three years that the highest-ranking editor or the publisher has left for that reason.


The removal of the editor, James E. O’Shea, by the publisher, David D. Hiller, mirrors the odd spectacle of a little more than a year ago, when the previous publisher, Jeffrey M. Johnson, was fired for refusing to eliminate newsroom jobs as directed by the paper’s owner, the Tribune Company. In each case, a longtime Tribune executive was expected to rein in costs at the paper, but instead sided with the newsroom and lost his job for it.


The departure of Mr. O’Shea appears to contradict statements by Samuel Zell, the Chicago real estate magnate who took over the company last month and is now its chairman and chief executive. Mr. Zell has criticized the previous regime of the financially troubled company for trying to improve the bottom line by cutting costs, and he has said that the path to profit lies in finding new revenue, not paring costs.

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What's Really Going on Here??

Alex Wierbinski, Berkeley, Ca., Feburary, 2008

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Also See:

Times Publisher Johnson Forced Out, lat, 10-5-06

L.A. Times editor to leave the paper, lat, 11-7-06

LA Times: The Circular Firing Squad in California, Looks Like the Hindenberg is..., lat, 3-2607

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Today's Headlines

Russia recently

1] Russia suspects satellite shoot-down as cover for weapons test,

1b] Putin's last press conference

1c] Serbia and Georgia elect western leaning leaders

Buying lawmakers, Judges, and Justice

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3] Fed Judge sends weak contribution rules back to FEC

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America's International repercussions

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10] Fujimori fingered for kidnapping and assassination

economic chaos spreading

11] Market rotten at the core: Credit and Bond insurers under severe pressure, new homes sales drop 26% in 2007

The Corporate Press

12] LAT fires yet another editor as its news collecting is falling to the level of entertainment tonight