Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Daylight Saving Time Kills Of course it does. It’s a government program.

Daylight-saving time may cause heart attacks, accidents

Although daylight-saving time was sold politically as an energy-conservation measure, it does no such thing. Studies conducted in Indiana prior to 2006, when that state operated under three different time regimes, show either no difference in energy consumption or a small increase in power usage during the months after clocks were moved one hour ahead.
The annual ritual of springing forward and falling back thus possibly produces no energy savings and may be counterproductive.

Dr. Osvaldo Bustos of George Washington University's School of Medicine pointed out to me that shifting time forward or backward has negative, and possibly deadly, health consequences.
A Swedish study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Oct. 30, 2008, reports increases in the incidence of myocardial infarction (heart attack) after the beginning of daylight-saving time and the subsequent return to standard time.
Depending on whether the shift occurred in the fall or spring, men and women were found to vary in the extent to which their heart-attack risks were increased, but the study's authors concluded from the clinical evidence that the time change triggered more myocardial infarctions in the two groups overall than they would have suffered otherwise.
The underlying causal mechanism has to do with how the hypothalamus regulates humankind's circadian rhythms. When the "clock" that governs those rhythms abruptly is shifted one hour forward or backward, it struggles to adjust the body's internal physical, chemical, electrical, hormonal and immunological environment to the new conditions. Most people, fortunately, are made aware of the hypothalamus' attempts to cope by having to put up with feeling groggy and being less productive at work or at home for a few days only.
It would be cold comfort were only a small fraction of the population subject to the untoward health consequences of time shifting. As the Swedish study notes, more than 1.5 billion people around the globe are exposed to the transitions demanded of them at the beginning and ending of daylight-saving time. Many of the companies located overseas that provide technical support or other services to U.S. businesses operate on New York time.
When a small elevated risk of heart attack per person is multiplied by the 1.5 billion people exposed to that risk, you realize that many men and women suffer debilitating heart attacks and death every time we spring forward and fall back.
Some students of daylight-saving time suggest that accidents involving pedestrians spike immediately after the return to standard time as well, because drivers have not yet adjusted to commuting home in the dark.
There are few, if any, measurable benefits from switching to daylight-saving time in the spring and back to standard time at the end of October. But time shifting imposes real costs.
William F. Shughart II is the F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Mississippi and a senior fellow at The Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. Web site:

Source: Azstarnet

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Why would any writer make up stories about the Holocaust?

Why would any writer make up stories about the Holocaust? Melissa Katsoulis explores the strangest corner in the bizarre world of the literary hoax

Researching a book about literary hoaxes led me to investigate a sub-section of the misery-memoir genre which often left me reeling in amazement: the Holocaust hoaxers. Special privilege must be given to those increasingly few witness-writers who survived the Second World War in Europe, but they have certain duties too.

It is their right to write how and when they want (perhaps many decades later, if they are ready) and, as with Elie Wiesel, with their own definitions of truth and fiction. It was he who said that "Some stories are true that never happened."

However, those memoirists who think that they can pretend they were there when they weren't ought to remember that hijacking the experiences of others for selfish ends will only end in ignominy. Their motivations were, as so often in life and letters, a combination of pain, hope and greed, and they were emboldened by a marketplace in thrall to the misery memoir.

Why the huge demand for such books? Perhaps what readers seek in trauma stories is akin to what people look for in pornography: something edgy they have never seen before, followed by a spectacular resolution. And they want to identify (safely) with what they are reading; to try on someone else's crisis for a while and see how it compares to their own. All these hoaxers had difficult childhoods but, feeling that their truth was shamefully small, they sought the grand signifier of the Holocaust to attract the compassion that they desired.

Misha Defonseca's story began to emerge from her adopted Massachusetts in the mid-1990s and was, like many a hoaxer's tale, one which in retrospect seems ridiculously far-fetched. It also had that great asset of the schmaltzy life-story: the love of a four-legged friend.

She told of crossing the wastes of war-torn Europe as a lonely child and not only being adopted by a pack of friendly wolves, but single-handedly murdering a burly German soldier. She gave inspirational talks about her epic journey, smiled sweetly for the camera at a local wolf sanctuary and eventually published her story in 1997.

Misha: A Memoir of the Holocaust Years was an instant success, embodying the vain hope that belief, endurance (and fluffy animals) could mean something even in the face of Hitler's machine. It was money that brought her down. A falling-out about royalties led her publisher to enlist the help of historians to look into what was beginning to seem like a fishy back-story. When zoologists confirmed that no such wolf-woman love could have existed, and photos appeared of her war-time childhood (smiling, well-fed and out shopping with her grandmother), "Misha" knew the game was up.

Last year she finally confessed, admitting that she was in fact a Belgian Christian whose father's work for the Gestapo left her traumatised by the stigma of being a "traitor's child". She said: "It is not the actual reality – it was my reality, my way of surviving".

Binjamin Wilkomirski, who turned out not to be a Latvian-Jewish orphan but a rather comfortably-off Swiss clarinettist, is the most famous example. His spectacular lies were similarly accounted for by the repentant author. He initially claimed he had escaped to Switzerland after nearly dying in the camps, and in Fragments detailed rats feasting on corpses and Nazis crushing men to death. The book won him a host of literray prizes, but survivors noticed that his descriptions of camp life were unconvincing.

Research revealed him to be a local lad, Bruno Grosjean, fostered during the war after his mother gave him up. In her meticulous exposé in Granta, Elena Lappin concluded that as a child Bruno and his mother might have been indentured labourers, but that he had been conflating this with an imagined ghetto past for so long that he had become a "Man with Two Heads".

His humiliation was complete when it was revealed that one of the girls he claimed to have befriended in the camps, Laura Grabowsky, was a fraud herself – an unhinged American serial-hoaxer who had written not only a fake Holocaust memoir but a phoney one about satanic ritual abuse to boot.

The most recent case is Herman Rosenblat, the twinkly-eyed American pensioner who came forward with a story so magical that it lifted the heart of every cynic in New York. As a young boy in Buchenwald, he said, he strolled daily along the perimeter fence to meet a little girl on the outside. She would toss him a shiny apple and in so doing gave him the hope - and the vitamins - to carry on.

Decades later, as he wrote in Angel at the Fence, which very nearly got published earlier this year, he randomly met a woman in New York who had also fled post-war Europe. As they talked, Herman decided that she must be the apple girl. They went on to fall in love and marry.

When his story came out, via appearances on Oprah, it was easy to debunk: anyone approaching the perimeter fence would immediately have been shot. Rosenblat had been promised a comfortable retirement on the proceeds of his late-flowering career as a memoirist, and his claim that he was only trying to spread a little hope with his story fell on deaf ears.

In fact, he really had been in a sub-camp of Buchenwald and the true story of his and his devoted brothers' survival is far more moving than the one he made up. Only nobody wants to listen to that now.

These three had at least been born in or near the theatre of war. But what would make an Australian born in 1972 fabricate a Holocaust story? The case of Helen Demidenko is the most peculiar of them all. Demidenko - real name Darville - was a right-wing student in Brisbane who in 1993 published The Hand That Signed the Paper, about the wartime experiences of the narrator's Ukrainian father and uncle. However, they were not victims of Nazi violence but the perpetrators, having joined the Einsatzgruppen after being terrorised by Russian-Jewish "commissars".

Florid accounts of their life as merry Jew-hating death squad members flowed enthusiastically from her pen, and when she won the Australian/ Vogel Literary Award she began appearing in Ukrainian national dress and speaking in a funny accent. Her unmasking was aided by the ire of the international Jewish community at her sideline as an anti-Israeli journalist. Interviewing David Irving was not her finest hour.

But unlike the other hoaxers, she remained unrepentant, blithely speaking of the "wog accent" she put on and her annoyance at a politically-correct culture whose prejudices she despised.

Darville's case may not be typical of Holocaust hoaxers, but it fits exactly into the mould of the Australian literary hoax. All of them, even the harmless-sounding Ern Malley poetry hoax, whose victim was a radical Jewish poetry editor despised by the young fogies who made up Ern's oeuvre, are characterised by a combination of racial anxiety and anti-intellectualism.

Darville is more than just a juvenile postscript to the strange canon of the Shoah-fantasists. She would never have committed her distasteful hoax had she not picked up on and wanted to subvert that dangerous concept of the "Holocaust bore".

That idea is perpetuated by people – like Defonseca, Wilkomirski and Rosenblat – whose output contributes to the notion of an unregulated Holocaust "industry", where victimhood is rewarded by money and fame.

Yes, the notion of absolute truth in life-writing is notoriously fraught. But when a writer stands before other survivors and gives as scripture what is stolen from the memories of real witnesses, they can expect little sympathy.

Source: The Independent

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The British State Bares its Fangs (Again) Police Rebrand Protesters "Domestic Extremists"

In “Mind Your Tweets: CIA and European Union Building Social Networking Surveillance System,” Antifascist Calling explored the trend by security agencies in Europe and the United States to build political dossiers on dissidents by data mining their electronic communications.

Taking a page from America’s political police force, the FBI, the British state is beefing-up an ever-growing watch list of “domestic extremists.”

As we know, that trend has taken on a Kafkaesque life of its own here in the heimat. Secrecy News reports that during a Q&A last year with the Senate Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller told the panel that each day between March 2008 and March 2009, “there were an average of more than 1,600 nominations for inclusion on the [Terrorist] watch list.”

With this in mind, The Guardian published a series of extraordinary reports that revealed the mass monitoring of legal political activities by British citizens by the secret state.

Investigative journalists Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Matthew Taylor provided chilling details how police and corporate spies “are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases.”

Are these activists part of a shadowy network of al-Qaeda “sleeper cells” or environmental saboteurs intent on bringing Britain to its knees by targeting critical infrastructure?

Hardly! According to The Guardian, a “hidden apparatus has been constructed to monitor ‘domestic extremists’,” one that stores this information “on a number of overlapping IT systems, even if they have not committed a crime.”

Three national police units responsible for combating domestic extremism are run by the ‘terrorism and allied matters’ committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo). In total, it receives £9m in public funding, from police forces and the Home Office, and employs a staff of 100. (Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Matthew Taylor, “Police in £9m scheme to log ‘domestic extremists’,” The Guardian, October 25, 2009)

That’s a lot of boodle to spy on antiwar activists, environmentalists, arms’ trade opponents and the state’s usual suspects–anarchists, socialists and labor militants.

As the journalists point out, the phrase “domestic extremism” is not a lawful term. In fact, the widespread use of the term is a demonstration of how powerful constituencies have perverted law, thus creating their own all-embracing interpretation of the role of protest in a democratic society.

Indeed, senior officers “describe domestic extremists as individuals or groups ‘that carry out criminal acts of direct action in furtherance of a campaign. These people and activities usually seek to prevent something from happening or to change legislation or domestic policy, but attempt to do so outside of the normal democratic process’.”

Needless to say, that covers a lot of ground and under these fast and loose standards, it is clear that police intelligence agencies and their political masters are seeking to criminalize long-established forms of citizen action such as demonstrations, sit-ins, public meetings and strikes.

Among the newspaper’s revelations we discover that the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), housed at a secret London office, is a giant database of “protest groups and protesters in the country.”

NPIOU’s brief is “to gather, assess, analyse and disseminate intelligence and information relating to criminal activities in the United Kingdom where there is a threat of crime or to public order which arises from domestic extremism or protest activity”.

Chock-a-block with information gathered by Special Branch officers, corporate spies and paid infiltrators attached to the Confidential Intelligence Unit, ACPO’s national coordinator Anton Setchell told the publication that intelligence collected in England and Wales is shunted to NPIOU which “can read across” all the forces’ intelligence and regurgitate what are called “coherent” assessments.

Additionally, Lewis, Evans and Taylor reported:

• Vehicles associated with protesters are being tracked via a nationwide system of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

• Police surveillance units known as Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) and Evidence Gatherers, record footage and take photographs of campaigners as they enter and leave openly advertised public meetings. These images are entered on force-wide databases so that police can chronicle the campaigners’ political activities. The information is added to the central NPOIU.

• Surveillance officers are provided with “spotter cards” used to identify the faces of target individuals who police believe are at risk of becoming involved in domestic extremism. Targets include high-profile activists regularly seen taking part in protests. One spotter card, produced by the Met to monitor campaigners against an arms fair, includes a mugshot of the comedian Mark Thomas.

• NPOIU works in tandem with two other little-known Acpo branches, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (Netcu), which advises thousands of companies on how to manage political campaigns, and the National Domestic Extremism Team, which pools intelligence gathered by investigations into protesters across the country. (The Guardian, op. cit.)

Why would British police target law-abiding citizens exercising their right to protest the depredations of the capitalist order?

Because they can! With a logic that only a policeman’s mother could love, Setchell told The Guardian: “Just because you have no criminal record does not mean that you are not of interest to the police. Everyone who has got a criminal record did not have one once.”

And there you have it: Precrime washes up on Blighty’s fabled shores!

Merchants of Death and the Secret State: Best Friends Forever!

As if to underscore the point that the business of government in the UK, in the United States, indeed everywhere, is business, the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU) “helps police forces, companies, universities and other bodies that are on the receiving end of protest campaigns.”

Created by the Home Office in 2004, NETCU’s Superintendent Steve Pearl told The Guardian New Labour was “getting really pressurised by big business–pharmaceuticals in particular, and the banks–that they were not able to go about their lawful business because of the extreme criminal behaviour of some people within the animal rights movement.”

But as with all things relating to “security,” once our minders get a taste of what can be gleaned by deploying new technologies, mission creep inevitably follows. Seamlessly traversing the narrow terrain between “animal rights’ extremism” and environmental campaigners, Pearl told the newspaper that the Green movement has now been brought “more on their radar.”

But greens and antiwar activists aren’t the only ones making an appearance in the “domestic extremist” database. What with enterprising capitalist grifters, pardon, defense corporations, making a killing on a planet-wide scale, it should come as no surprise that the scandal-tainted arms manufacturer, BAE, would be keen to get a handle on who might object to their grisly trade.

Indeed, one of the “domestic extremists” listed on the police spotter card as “target X” was in fact “an alleged infiltrator from the arms company BAE.”

According to The Guardian Martin Hogbin “was national co-ordinator for the Campaign against the Arms Trade. He was later accused of supplying information to a company linked to BAE’s security department, but denied the allegation.”

With billions of pounds at stake, Europe’s largest arms manufacturer continues to be caught-up in a decades’ long bribery scandal that spans continents.

And New Labour under Bush’s poodle, former Prime Minister Tony Blair and current PM Gordon Brown, have done everything in their power to suppress BAE’s prosecution by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office. As the World Socialist Web Site reported earlier this month:

Labour has operated a revolving door between powerful companies, financial consultants and Whitehall, under the guise of bringing entrepreneurial expertise into the civil service, giving the major companies enormous lobbying power. Following pressure from BAE, Rolls Royce and Airbus, the government put a stop to the Export Credit Guarantee Department’s attempts to introduce stronger anti-bribery measures. It took a judicial review to get them reinstated.

The late Robin Cook, a former foreign secretary, famously wrote in his memoirs, “I came to learn that the chairman of BAE appeared to have the key to the garden door to No 10. Certainly I never knew No 10 to come up with any decision that would be incommoding to BAE.” (Jean Shaoul, “Britain: BAE Systems faces prosecution for bribery,” World Socialist Web Site, October 5, 2009)

That “revolving door” between the secret state, arms manufacturers and the police campaign against protest is spinning ever faster.

When campaigners from the Smash EDO activist group sought to shut down an arms factory near their home, they were in for a shock.

EDO, an American arms’ firm gobbled-up by defense and communications giant ITT Corp. in 2007, reportedly for $1.8 billion according to Washington Technology, pledged to “unite EDO’s business with its own sensing and surveillance capabilities.”

ITT Corp. ranked No. 11 on the publication’s 2009 “Top 100″ list of prime federal contractors with some $2.5 billion in total revenue.

ITT is a piece of work itself. According to Anthony Sampson’s book The Sovereign State of ITT, one of the first American businessmen to pay homage to Adolf Hitler after the Nazis’ 1933 seizure of power was none other than Sosthenses Behn, ITT’s powerful CEO.

During the 1970s, the firm funded the far-right newspaper El Mercurio, the CIA’s propaganda arm that was instrumental in the overthrow of Chile’s democratically-elected socialist president, Salvador Allende. Documents published by The National Security Archive, revealed the close collaboration between ITT and the CIA “to rollback the election of socialist leader Salvador Allende.”

But that’s all in the past, right? Think again!

Smash EDO avers that “EDO’s military products include bomb racks, release clips and arming mechanisms for warplanes. They have contracts with the UK Ministry of ‘Defence’ and US arms giant Raytheon relating to the release mechanisms of the Paveway bomb system.” Needless to say, the firm’s “products” have been used in facilitating imperialist massacres of civilian populations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

One can see why EDO and parent ITT would be keen on gagging protesters who object to war crimes.

The Guardian reports that the firm, with the assistance of “Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden (nicknamed TLC by activists) has been accused of gagging protesters’ right to demonstrate. The former Household Cavalry officer’s favourite legal weapon is the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act. Numerous companies have hired Lawson-Cruttenden and other City lawyers to injunct protesters under the act, a law originally introduced to protect vulnerable women from stalkers.”

Under British law, protesters who defy draconian high court injunctions can be jailed for up to five years if they break the terms of the court orders.

Lawson-Cruttenden, who claims to have influenced the drafting of the law, obtained an injunction against Smash EDO in 2005 after the attorney worked with Sussex police to frame a statement that would be beneficial to his client, EDO, which claimed the demonstrators had been “intimidating and harassing” company employees.

But as documents obtained by The Guardian show, Lawson-Cruttenden “developed extensive links with many of the police forces across England and Wales to assist with the policing of injunctions”.

Although a high court judge criticized the attorney for obtaining confidential police material, after being hired by EDO he “continued to acquire secret police papers even though the high court judge in the case had ruled that he was not entitled to them, as they were irrelevant.”

Undeterred however, Lawson-Cruttenden obtained assistance from “the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (Netcu) which targets ‘domestic extremists’. The head of Netcu, Superintendent Stephen Pearl, has testified for a number of firms which have obtained injunctions.”

The Guardian revealed that private emails “show that Inspector Nic Clay and Jim Sheldrake of Netcu gave Lawson-Cruttenden the names and contact details of officers at two other police forces as he was ‘keen’ to obtain statements about the activities of the campaigners at a third firm.”

Pearl denied that NETCU had provided assistance to EDO and told the newspaper: “Let me make this quite clear: Netcu, or me, were not involved in the EDO injunction in any way.”

When his mendacious statement was exposed by a close reading of the documents, in an obvious climb-down a NETCU spokesperson claimed there had been a “misunderstanding” and that the unit “had not given evidence for the injunction.” Translation: police had “only” leaked the information to a high-priced corporate attorney who did the dirty work.

The firm lost, the injunction was lifted and the company was forced to pay court costs for the Smash EDO protesters.

Despite this minor victory the secret state, fully in cahoots with giant multinational corporations responsible for the current capitalist economic meltdown, endless imperialist wars of conquest and accelerating environmental destruction will continue to index and target citizens who object to capitalism’s systemic criminality.

Source: Dissident Voice

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Britain: Israeli settlements are 'illegal' and 'obstacle' to peace

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Tuesday criticized Israel's construction of settlements in the West Bank as "illegal" and said they represented an "obstacle" in the path of peace.

"Settlements are illegal in our view and an obstacle" that impedes efforts which seek to work out a final settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, Miliband told a press conference at the end of a one-day visit to Jordan and talks with King Abdullah II.

The British Foreign Secretary also conferred in Amman with the U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell to review the outcome of a regional tour Mitchell and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clint arrying out to try to spur the stalled peace process.

Miliband supported the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and expressed concern over Israeli violations in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War.

"The current situation is obviously particularly tense in respect to Jerusalem. We view events there with considerable concern, along with our EU and international partners," he said.

Miliband also warned that any alternative to a two-state vision as
a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would be "dark and unwelcome".

Abdullah II, for his part, urged the international community to pressure Israel to stop its "unilateral actions" in East Jerusalem, according to a royal court statement following their meeting.

"The monarch underlined the importance of the European Union's role, particularly that of Britain, in efforts aimed at ensuring the setting up of an independent Palestinian state, which is a prerequisite for Middle East peace," said the statement.

King Abdullah warned against "the dangers inherent in the Israeli unilateral actions, especially the construction of settlements and other measures that threaten the identity of Jerusalem and holy places there, and called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to halt such steps," added the statement.

Egypt: Israel taking 'racist steps' to rid Jerusalem of Arabs

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, urged the international community to protect Jerusalem from the "racist steps" being taken by Israel to change the demographics of the city.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman appealed to the United Nations Security Council with the complaint that Israel has been trying to change the demographic reality in all Palestinian territory, particularly in Jerusalem.

The Egyptian complaint came just before Clinton arrived in Cairo, culminating days of meetings across North Africa and in Israel. Clinton was met in Cairo late Tuesday by the U.S. Mideast peace envoy, Mitchell.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit also said on Tuesday that Cairo wants assurances that any Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations would ensure a Palestinian state and not be used to "waste time".

Clinton, facing Arab accusations that she had been too soft on Israel, later said in Morocco that Israel's offer to show restraint on settlements fell short of U.S. expectations.

"We want to have guarantees for the Palestinians ... that ensure them that these negotiations will not be used to waste time or to accomplish Israeli objectives against them," Aboul Gheit told a news conference in Cairo.

He said Egypt also wanted "guarantees that give them the right for a Palestinian state".

Clinton is on a whirlwind trip through the Middle East seeking to garner Arab support for the resumption of stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

She is due to arrive in Cairo later on Tuesday and will meet with Aboul Gheit and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman before holding talks on Wednesday with President Hosni Mubarak. The talks are likely to focus on the peace process.

Aboul Gheit, asked about Clinton's stance on resuming talks, said he was hoping for clarification on Washington's view.

"I have to wait and see the reaction of the American Secretary of State as she arrives in Cairo tonight, because she gave certain explanations last night. We have to get them ourselves and then consider the issue," he said.

While in Morocco, Clinton offered aid to boost ties with the Muslim world and urged Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries to move beyond recrimination in the search for peace.

After a weekend of heated words about the perceived U.S. tilt toward Israel on the issue of settlements in the West Bank, Clinton said it was important for all sides to "be careful about what we say" and avoid angry rhetoric.

"We are determined and persistent in the pursuit of that goal," she said in a speech at a development forum in Morocco attended by Arab ministers.

"We need to work together in a constructive spirit toward this shared goal of a comprehensive peace. I believe very strongly that it is attainable ... (and) that with your support we can find a way through."

Clinton's speech unveiled a modest new set of aid proposals aimed at building on President Barack Obama's promise in a June address in Cairo to make a "new beginning" on Washington's strained ties with the Islamic world.

But it came after Clinton sparked a new outburst of Arab anger by praising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer of "restraint" on settlements without repeating earlier U.S. calls for a freeze on them, which is the Palestinian position.

Clinton repeated that the United States is committed to reaching a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, saying this was a key to achieving a peaceful and prosperous future for the region.

Hoping to cast the United States as a helpful partner in development for Muslim communities, Clinton outlined a series of small steps to increase funding for civil society groups, youth empowerment and job promotion.

"We are committed to building ladders of opportunity to help develop the enormous talent that resides in the people of this region," she said.

The programs Clinton announced on Tuesday include a $76 million project to boost economic opportunities in Yemen, a $30 million project for vulnerable young people in Jordan and an entrepreneurship summit in Washington next year to bring Muslim innovators together with U.S. business leaders.

Taken together the new package pales in comparison to the billions of dollars in aid that Washington extends to governments in the region, including both Israel and Egypt.

Obama's Cairo speech had sparked some hope in the Arab world that Washington was ready to take a tougher line with Israel, with the U.S. president saying flatly that Israel should stop building settlements on the West Bank.

Those hopes turned to anger as Washington backed off.

On Monday, Clinton sought to control the damage, saying that her praise on Saturday for Israel's offer of restraint on settlements was aimed at encouraging moves toward dialogue.

Clinton said the Obama administration still believed that Israel's offer fell short of U.S. expectations, and urged both sides to take more positive steps to set the stage for resuming peace talks stalled since December.

"I think President Obama was absolutely clear. He wanted a halt to all settlement activity," Clinton told Al Jazeera television on Tuesday. "And perhaps those of us who work with him and for him could have been clearer in communicating that that is his policy, that is what we're committed to doing".

Clinton was due to travel to Egypt for a meeting with President Hosni Mubarak which was also expected to focus on the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

After Clinton's visit to Jerusalem, Palestinians accused the United States of "back-pedaling" on settlements and said a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks was not in sight.

Netanyahu has proposed limiting building for now to some 3,000 settler homes already approved by Israel in the West Bank. He does not regard building in East Jerusalem, annexed in defiance of international opposition, as a settlement.

Source: Haaretz News
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The United States of Israel has just voted to condemn the goldstone report. With 344 in favor to 36 opposed, with 22 chicken shits who voted "absent" to support murder, slaughter, collective punishment, internment and ALL forms of International Law breaking. Israel has spent it's money well inside America. All those years of bribes, billions in campaign contributions and arm twisting has paid off big time for Israel. And to think, I thought the American slaves were freed, guess not.

Today America has done its masters bidding and voted to condemn the Goldstone Report, and in doing so sends a very CLEAR message to the Arab and Muslim world. That message says that equality under the law does not exist for you, legal avenues are shutdown for you, the law means nothing, it doesn't apply to you. And to think Obama wants to "extend the hand of friendship" to the Muslim world? When in fact his message has been heard loud and clear, choose violence and resistance over the law....THAT is America's message.
As expected, the House approved Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s (R-Fla.) resolution condemning South African judge Richard Goldstone’s inquiry for the United Nations into war crimes committed last year in Gaza by Israel and Hamas. The lopsided final vote was 344 in favor to 36 opposed, with 22 “present” votes. source
Although this is a non-binding resolution, Obama has never shown any backbone since he's been in office, hence I don't expect him to go against what the Zionist owned politicians voted for today.

Source: Irish4palestine

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Dennis Kucinich: Almost As Serious As Committing War Crimes Is Covering Up War Crimes!

Source: Dandelion Salad

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Settlers Boot (Yet Another) Palestinian Family From Their Home

Rioting settlers on Tuesday forced a Palestinian family from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah out of its home, after the district court denied the residents' appeal to remain on the premises.

Shortly after the verdict was passed dozens of settlers stormed into the house with hired security guards, and demanded that the family vacate immediately.

A violent riot erupted between the settlers and the neighborhood's Palestinian residents, and police were called to disperse the protesters.

A legal battle has raged for some 30 years over the ownership of 28 houses in this neighborhood.

This particular house, built 10 years ago by the al-Kurd family, was unoccupied and locked for eight years by court order pending settlement of a land-ownership dispute.

Police kept members of the family back as a dozen Israeli men removed furniture.

"They can go to Syria, Iraq, Jordan. We are six million and they are billions," said Yehya Gureish, an Arabic-speaking Yemen-born Jew who said his family owned the land and had Ottoman Empire documentation to prove it.

"This land is Israel. We are in Israel. God gave this land to the Jews. The Torah tells us so. You want war? Declare war on God, not on us," he said.

"I am Jerusalemite, a Palestinian. I didn't come from all over the world," said Rifqa al-Kurd, who had the house built 10 years ago for her married daughter.

Source: The Truth Will Set You Free

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