December 23, 2009 - The Constantine Report    
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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

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March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
Image
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Big Oil gets the Biggest U.S. Energy Subsidies of All

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

” … Today, the oil industry receives north of $100 billion per year in subsidies and collateral support. This is the equivalent of one AIG bailout per year, every year. … “

By Blaine Townsend
Special to the SJ Mercury News
12/23/2009

Ever since New England Whalers ran the oil business, we’ve been a country of “barrel half-full” types. There will always be more oil! All it takes is a prone leviathan, a deposit in an unstable, war-torn country or a new find in the middle of some environmentally sensitive area.

Unfortunately, we need to find the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every four years just to keep up with demand around the world. And that isn’t getting any easier. Pumping seawater under the Arabian Desert and squeezing oil from tar sands near Glacier National Park is a lot more expensive than boiling blubber or watching oil gush on the West Texas plains. And we all foot the bill.

Today, the oil industry receives north of $100 billion per year in subsidies and collateral support. This is the equivalent of one AIG bailout per year, every year. The web of direct subsidies includes billions in government sponsored low-cost construction loans and tax breaks like the Foreign Tax Credit. “Last in, first out” accounting practices, special write-downs for core operations and royalty “relief” for leases in the Gulf of Mexico have robbed the federal coffers of billions more.

This past September, the Environmental Law Institute released a study on direct subsidies to Big Oil from 2002-2008. The conservative tally was $72 billion, compared to $13 billion for nonethanol alternatives. And unlike support for alternative energy or other industries, many of these direct subsidies are written permanently into the tax code, not phased in and out of various legislations.

By contrast, funding for alternative fuels waxes and wanes with political will. For example, funding for alternatives took a precipitous drop in 2006 and 2007 before rebounding last year.

These oil subsidies began nearly a century ago to support the nascent domestic oil industry, just as whaling was dying out. After joining forces with other special interests, the industry then helped cement its growth by influencing public policy toward highways over public transportation and fuel inefficiency over conservation and innovation.

With ExxonMobil earning more in 2008 than the US government spent on wind and solar energy during this entire decade, it’s safe to say the wind, solar and biofuel industries could use more help going forward.

Despite the causal relationship between energy consumption and gross domestic product growth, the indirect costs of Big Oil may eventually wipe out the economic benefits. After all, GDP is just an accounting convention. It does not account for externalities. In fact, the cleanup of an oil spill might actually add to GDP. It’s a shell game (pun intended).

Neither the environmental mitigation nor health costs associated with pollution or climate change nor the legal liabilities of international exploration are burdens oil companies have to bear in the “free market.” Nor are the direct and considerable costs of protecting oil supply lines from the Persian Gulf — by many estimates more than $50 billion a year. If you are in the camp that draws a correlation between our energy policy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this collateral number is much, much larger.

With a trillion dollar deficit and a mountain of liabilities to come, subsidizing alternative energy at the expense of Big Oil seems like an obvious choice. If we don’t, our “black gold” policies may become our “white whale.” And it might be wise to heed Herman Melville’s warning on that subject: “It was that accursed white whale,” he wrote in Moby-Dick, “that “… made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!”

BLAINE TOWNSEND is a senior portfolio manager at Nelson Capital Management LLC, a Palo Alto-based investment firm specializing in sustainable investment strategies. He wrote this article for the Mercury News

http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_14059017?nclick_check=1

December 02, 2009

I really had to write in reference to Kevin O’Brien’s ironic column of Nov. 26, in which he commented on the importance of truth in journalism, and the few letters to the editor of Nov. 27 and 28, calling him “spot on” and decrying the “government” and “liberals” who are trying to squelch him.

Fear not, O’Brien is the deputy editorial page editor; he’s not going anywhere.

I would like to suggest to moderate Republicans that the GOP is being hijacked — swift-boated, if you will — by people who are neither journalists nor truthful. We are in far more danger of losing our freedoms because of the machinations of the Republican Party and its silent condoning of the takeover of our media by the conservative right: Between Clear Channel Stations on radio (heck, you can’t even hear sports-talk radio without a diatribe about Democrats from the host) across the country — with deregulation, just how many channels is this? (Three companies own half the radio stations); TV (as in Fox News Cable); and newspapers (Murdoch-owned — as well as the radio stations he owns), I would say that there is an awful lot of media slanted to the right. All-conservative, all-the-time. No dissenting voices for a well-balanced dialogue. Haven’t you noticed?

They work people into a lather about misinformation. WMDs are just a tip of the iceberg. Think “birthers” and “death panels.” Now the Republicans have a list of do’s and don’ts for their candidates to follow in order to be backed for their runs for office.

Republicans may think they look as if they are presenting a united front, but to me they look like they are lock-stepped and can only do something for the “good of the party.” How very communistic!

And if the only purpose of their party is to block Democratic initiatives, then they don’t have the good of the citizens in mind. Can’t Republicans think for themselves? Very dangerous!

Fellow readers, we need to fact-check everything.

Rita Rose, Mentor

http://blog.cleveland.com/letters/2009/12/republican_party_has_been_hija.html

Related: Change Blindness: Research and History Show Americans are as Blind to US Fascism as Nazi-Era Germans

The name of the arrested USAID officer is Abid Mehmood (see second story below). – AC

Also see: American Sponsorship of Global Terrorism, and “Islamabad: Americans Dressed as Afghans Caught With Illegal Weapons and Explosives”
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Islamabad police arrests 35 highly educated activists of banned outfit
Retweetby ANI on October 18, 2009

Islamabad, Oct.18 (ANI): The Islamabad police on Sunday arrested 35 people belonging to a banned terror organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir, including their key leaders.

The activists of the banned organization, which included highly qualified persons such as computer engineers, telecom engineers, environment scientists, civil engineers, businessman and an officer of US-Aid project, have been booked under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

Hate literature and other objectionable materials were also recovered during the raid, The News reports.

“The government had banned the outfit and barred its activities but the organization was working secretly and creating unrest among the public through the SMS and statements. The arrested activists have been charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act,” Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Syed Kaleem Imam said.

All the arrested activists would be presented before a local court later for further proceedings. (ANI)

http://trak.in/news/islamabad-police-arrests-35-highly-educated-activists-of-banned-outfit/15134/

—— Second-Report Substantiation ——

Nuclear scientist among held Hizbut Tahrir activists
Daily Times Monitor
October 20, 2009

LAHORE: The recently arrested Hizbut Tahrir activists from Islamabad include a nuclear scientist, a private TV channel reported on Monday.

According to the channel, the arrested men include the scientist, a USAID official and an environmental scientist. The activists who are being interrogated by the Islamabad police include: Rizwan Aleem, a nuclear scientist and currently a PhD student at the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology; Abid Mehmood, an officer of a United States Agency for International Development; and Aman Hamza, an environmental scientist.

Sources say the Hizbut Tahrir activists were likely to be handed over to intelligence agencies for further interrogation. Nearly all the 32 arrested activists belonged to educated families, the channel reported.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C10%5C20%5Cstory_20-10-2009_pg7_12

Camp Delta at the US naval station in Guantánamo, Cuba. A joint US/UK military force is reputed to have detained hundreds of Iraqi and Afghan prisoners at the detention centre. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

• Parliamentary group turns to Washington court for disclosure on detainee programme

• Transfer of prisoners to US hands and use of UK airports feature on ‘freedom of information’ request

Ian Cobain
guardian.co.uk | 15 December 2009

A group of MPs is suing the CIA in the American courts in an attempt to force the agency to hand over information about Britain’s secret involvement in its extraordinary rendition programme.

In a case thought to set a legal precedent, the group, led by Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, is to file a complaint in a district court in Washington tomorrow seeking a judicial review of the agency’s failure to disclose the information.

The MPs from the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition have made requests to the CIA, FBI and the department of homeland security over the last 12 months, under US freedom of information legislation, seeking more information about Britain’s role in rendition.

Hundreds of pages of documents have been disclosed but Tyrie said the specific information he requested had not been revealed. “The current drip-drip of information on rendition is hugely damaging. To achieve closure on rendition we need disclosure. It is in everyone’s interests that the truth on the US rendition programme comes to light. Bringing this litigation against the CIA, department of defence, department of justice, and other US government agencies, represents a globalisation of accountability for two of the world’s leading democracies. I hope that this groundbreaking litigation will lead to comprehensive disclosure in the US. Only then can we give the public confidence that we have got to the bottom of rendition and British involvement in it.”

The MPs want to learn more about the use of British airports and airspace, about agreements between the US and the UK on rendition, the use of Diego Garcia, a British territory in the Indian Ocean, and about the transfer of detainees from British to American hands. They have also demanded information about specific detainees, including two rendered through Diego Garcia, and others whom British special forces in Iraq handed over to US forces, and who were then flown to Afghanistan.

The MPs have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to UK government departments. Most are now with the Information Commissioner’s office, pending appeals against the government’s refusal to disclose the information.

Similar requests are to be made of Australian government departments in an attempt to discover more about prisoner-exchange agreements known to have been made by the UK, US and Australian governments.

Tyrie has made a series of allegations about Britain’s involvement in the programme since he established the all-party group four years ago: he claims that the UK has facilitated rendition; that Diego Garcia was used for rendition; and that British troops have been involved in the process. “Each allegation was categorically denied,” he said. “Each has subsequently been admitted.”

In September 2005 the Guardian reported that aircraft involved in the CIA’s rendition programme had flown into the UK at least 210 times since the al-Qaida attacks in the US four years earlier.

Three months after that report, the then foreign secretary, Jack Straw, told the Commons foreign affairs committee: “Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the US and also let me say, we believe that secretary [Condoleezza] Rice is lying, there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition, full stop – because we have not been, and so what on earth a judicial inquiry would start to do I have no idea.”

Straw and Tony Blair also denied that any rendition flights landed on Diego Garcia. In February last year David Miliband, the foreign secretary, said they had.

After the government repeatedly denied that British forces in Iraq had been involved in rendition, John Hutton, who was defence secretary, admitted this year that they had; he also disclosed that two cases were detailed in documents sent to Straw and Charles Clarke.

While the government has now admitted to involvement in a small number of rendition cases, there is evidence that British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have been involved in many more.

Last year Ben Griffin, a former SAS member who served in Iraq, said a joint US/UK task force detained “hundreds if not thousands” of people who were then kept at Guantánamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib. Griffin said a senior officer expressed concern that the SAS squadron “were becoming the secret police of Baghdad”. He said that the task force had broken international law, contravened Geneva conventions and disregarded the UN convention against torture, and that ministers must have known that British soldiers The defence ministry responded by obtaining an injunction to silence Griffin.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/15/mps-sue-cia-secrecy-rendition