October 6, 2010 - 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
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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
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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

Slowly Righting a Wrong for Pa. Youth in ‘Kids for Cash’ Scandal

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

By HEATHER LONG
The Patriot-News | September 25, 2010

When news broke in 2008 that judges in Luzerne County were sending thousands of kids to detention facilities for minor incidents (the kind they would typically get a warning or community service for) and receiving kickbacks from the facilities, the world paused in shock.

This wasn’t your typical state political scandal. This involved ruining the lives of children. Dubbed the “kids for cash” scandal, the news quickly gained national and international attention.

It sounded like something out of a Charles Dickens novel with young kids being sent away unjustly, except Luzerne judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, who pocketed $2.8 million from the scheme, made Ebenezer Scrooge look charitable.

Two years later, the story isn’t over. It’s just stalled in the state Legislature.

While there have been many vows this will never happen again in our state, lawmakers have yet to act to change any laws to ensure it doesn’t.

As a refresher, judges Ciavarella and Conahan were sending just about every young person they saw to detention facilities, not just true rebel rousers. A young woman who posted a negative comment about a principal on a MySpace page spent several months behind bars. It might have been a foolish move, but months in a detention facility was a punishment that didn’t fit the “crime.”

This didn’t happen a few times. There were 5,000 such cases. Worse, parents tried to raise the red flag about faulty practices in the courtroom, but their complaints were ignored in the bureaucratic judicial oversight chain.

After five years, the smoking gun came when several particularly egregious cases came to the attention of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia. The group dug deeper and discovered from public data that more than half of these young people being sent away didn’t even have legal representation in the courtroom.

It is alleged that Judge Ciavarella was often advising young people and their parents not to bother with legal counsel for such “minor incidents” even though it was their right to have someone there. The system designed to ensure fair treatment was entirely skewed toward the pockets of the judges.

Two years after this story broke, where are we really in ensuring this never happens again?

–Thankfully, the rulings were overturned so the young people don’t have a permanent record anymore. It’s some justice, albeit slow and hard fought and coming years after the kids spent time locked up.

–The judges were removed from the bench. Conahan plead guilty. Ciavarella maintains his innocence and is awaiting trial.

–The Pa. Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission is closely monitoring statistics on how many youths “waive legal representation.” These figures now appear in the commission’s annual reports.

–Finally, a yearlong investigation into the failures of the system concluded in May with the publication of a frank report that made numerous recommendations for change.

What we really need now is for state lawmakers to enact those recommendations. Priority one is to make it mandatory for juveniles to have counsel in the courtroom.

Rep. Todd Eachus (D-Luzerne) and Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) have introduced bills to this effect. Similarly, Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne) has introduced a bill to give the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission more power to monitor and intervene when juvenile proceedings go awry.

“One bill is not going to be the magic solution. It really takes a concerted effort for system-wide reform,” said Charles Quinnan, Rep. Mundy’s chief of staff.

Changing these laws is the final step in restoring confidence in Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system and righting the wrongs of the past. Most of these bills have bi-partisan support and rightfully so. The problem is lawmakers are so swept up in Marcellus Shale at the moment that issues such as juvenile justice reform are falling by the wayside.

For example, Mundy’s bill passed the House unopposed last week, but it hasn’t even been referred to a Senate committee. As for Eachus’ bill and Bakers’, neither one has even made it to the floor, not a good sign with only three weeks left before recess.

For state lawmakers to drop the ball now would be another injustice in this tragedy.

Heather Long is deputy editorial page editor. 255-8104 or hlong@pnco.com.

http://www.pennlive.com/editorials/index.ssf/2010/09/slowly_righting_a_wrong_for_pa.html

“… Letters made public in recent years and a 2008 biography suggest that the visionary known for his cool, spare designs and revolutionary urban planning ideas was a Nazi sympathizer whose Fascist tendencies went far beyond what was previously known. …”

By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER
Associated Press | October 6, 2010

NEVA—He’s one of the titans of 20th Century architecture, but Le Corbusier is suddenly feeling the weight of history working against him.

The modernist master’s legacy is coming under pressure after Switzerland’s largest bank dropped an ad campaign featuring the architect and artist last week. Now, Zurich authorities are debating whether to dump plans to name a square after him.

Letters made public in recent years and a 2008 biography suggest that the visionary known for his cool, spare designs and revolutionary urban planning ideas was a Nazi sympathizer whose Fascist tendencies went far beyond what was previously known.

One letter shows Le Corbusier expressing clear enthusiasm for Hitler, even if at other times he calls the German leader a “monster.”

“If he is serious in his declarations, Hitler can crown his life with a magnificent work: the remaking of Europe,” Le Corbusier wrote to his mother in October 1940, at a time when he was shopping his radical ideas about urbanism across the continent. That was also shortly after Hitler’s armies conquered France and much of Western Europe.

It’s been a tough week in Switzerland for the artist born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, who died in 1965 after helping to create an international modern architecture movement along with giants such as American Frank Lloyd Wright and German Bauhaus innovators Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe.

The revelations are not completely surprising, as it has long been known that Le Corbusier aligned himself with the French far-right in the 1930s and accepted a post as a city planner for the Vichy regime that ruled France and collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II.

What is perhaps most noteworthy is the sudden Swiss rejection of a native son—born in the sleepy town of La Chaux-de-Fonds—whose face appears on the 10-franc bill. His name graces a square in the capital of Bern and a street in Geneva.

“For UBS, the most important thing in our campaign is the message we wish to communicate,” said Jean-Raphael Fontannaz, a spokesman for the Zurich-based banking giant. “We don’t want the message to be lost in a discussion about Le Corbusier. We also don’t wish to hurt the feelings of anyone.”

Fontannaz said UBS AG used Le Corbusier in an advertising drive that began in August. It dropped the artist last week.

UBS’ decision came after protests from Jewish groups and publishers in Switzerland, who accused Le Corbusier of being an anti-Semite. The accusation hit a raw nerve with a bank that suffered a crisis in the 1990s over revelations that it prevented Jewish claimants from accessing Holocaust-era accounts belonging to their ancestors. The row resulted in a $1.25 billion settlement.

“It’s incomprehensible that UBS chose Le Corbusier as an exemplary Swiss personality,” Vreni Mueller-Hemmi, head of the Swiss-Israel Society, told the weekly SonntagsZeitung. The group’s vice president, Lukas Weber, told The Associated Press that he was pleased with UBS’ decision.

Zurich authorities decided three years ago to name a square next to the central train station after Le Corbusier once construction was completed. But authorities now say they are taking another look at the historical record. A decision will be made at a meeting of the city’s street-naming commission next month, said spokeswoman Charlotte de Koch.

Le Corbusier left an enormous body of work, including some 30,000 architectural plans, 7,000 watercolor paintings, 500 oil paintings and 52 books. He was perhaps as famous for his philosophy of architecture as for actual works. Among his most famous structures are the Villa Savoye near Paris, the Punjab government complex at Chandigarh, India, the Unite d’Habitation apartment block in Marseille and Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France.

Despite the recent controversies, Le Corbusier still has Swiss defenders.

“It’s a different issue if you make a publicity campaign,” said Werner Abegg, spokesman for the money-printing national bank. “The bank note highlights essentially the influence of a person. It’s uncontested in the case of Le Corbusier.”

Abegg told the AP that the bank had no plans to change its currency.

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_16266839?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian spy agencies may have helped trace the movements of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose whistleblowing website published tens of thousands of secret US military files, reports said on Friday.

Attorney General Robert McClelland said Australia cooperated on security matters with international bodies, but refused to say whether authorities had shared information about the Australian-born Assange.

“It’s not the sort of thing that I would comment on, but again, we do cooperate with respect to a number of matters internationally,” he said in comments reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

WikiLeaks in June released close to 77,000 files from the US military about the Afghan war, some of which alleged that Pakistani spies met the Taliban and that deaths of innocent civilians by foreign forces were covered up. The documents also included names of some Afghan informants, prompting claims that the leaks have endangered lives.

Assange has denied that the release of the confidential documents had jeopardised the safety of people, telling an audience in London on Thursday that the site aimed to protect people.

“We do not have a goal of innocent people being harmed. We have precisely the opposite goal,” he said at London’s City University.

The 39-year-old, who has applied for a permit to live in Sweden, has claimed that he is a victim of a “smear campaign” aimed at discrediting his website over the release of the secret US documents.

WikiLeaks is expected to reveal another 15,000 files shortly.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iJw-RBk449rShHIOaMmNR7WBty2g?docId=CNG.0c3a53ff7267f11501a5b3dbd9567dbf.1f1

” … Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who recently called Medicaid ‘welfare,’ nevertheless supports medicare payments to doctors because he’s an ophthalmologist … As the Tea Party candidates on the dole show, they’re not so much against government spending as they are against government spending on other people. … “

Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

By Adam Serwer
Washington Post | October 5, 2010

The most common trait of so-called “Tea Party” candidates is that they rail against government spending. The second most common trait of so-called “Tea Party” candidates is that they’re the direct beneficiaries of government spending.

It’s a trend that’s so consistent it would have been rejected as a plot point on a 1970s sitcom because it’s too much of a cliche. Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who recently called Medicaid “welfare,” nevertheless supports medicare payments to doctors because he’s an ophthalmologist who thinks “physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living.” New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, a real estate millionaire who warned “the ruling class” about “the people’s revolution” in his primary acceptance speech, secured $1.4 million in squandered government subsidies. Alaskan Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller has admitted to receiving farm subsidies but like a number of his colleagues running for office this year thinks the minimum wage is unconstitutional. Then, of course, there’s Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who wants to privatize veteran’s health care and is herself a recipient of health care from the federal government.

As Jonathan Chait writes in his review of the new book by the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks, while conservatives want to believe they’re a part of some manichean struggle between the forces of capitalism and statism, conservatives and liberals are actually both seeking some degree of balance between market and state. The frame of a binary struggle may benefit conservatives politically as they try to portray themselves as the Luke Skywalker half of a lightsaber duel with Darth Vader, but as the Tea Party candidates on the dole show, they’re not so much against government spending as they are against government spending on other people.

That’s what this argument is really about — not whether the government shapes the market, but who benefits. As these Tea Party candidates’ opposition to everything from health-care coverage to the poor to a federal minimum wage standard shows, they’re simply opposed to government intervention on behalf of those who might actually need it.

UPDATE 1:00 p.m: Brian Beutler reports that Miller’s wife received unemployment benefits, despite Miller’s contention that they’re “not constitutionally authorized.”

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/tea_partiers_on_the_dole.html

By Eva Ludemann
Gepubliceerd: maandag 20 september 2010

‘Moslims in Europe, pack your bags and run. You are not safe anymore! Soon ethnic cleansing will begin, the displacement of millions of people which none would have thought possible years ago.’

This predicts American futurologist Gerald Celente in Dutch newspaper De Pers. According to Celente the hostility against Islam can no longer be put to a halt and will be boosted up by ‘populist, new-right wing oriented governments’. These governments will be using double law standards: one for the indigenous people, and one for immigrants.

Celente is a wel known source in the United States who is quoted repeatedly by media such as The Economist, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Celente predicted among other things the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Credit Crunch.

http://www.depers.nl/buitenland/510512/Islamhaat-niet-meer-te-stuiten.html

 

Members of a ‘kill team’ have been accused of murdering civilians

By Andrew Purcell in New York
Scotland Herald | October 3, 2010

The United States military is struggling to contain a war crimes scandal that has the potential to be the most damaging since revelations of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004.

According to an internal investigation, a squad of US soldiers based in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, formed a “kill team” that murdered unarmed civilians for sport, sometimes keeping body parts as souvenirs.

When reports of torture first emerged from Abu Ghraib, it was the images that shocked: naked Iraqi captives in a pile on the floor, leashed, like dogs, or standing hooded on a chair. There are known to be photographs in this case, too, showing American soldiers posing with the corpses of their victims and brandishing the severed fingers they kept as trophies. The army has so far managed to prevent them from being published.

As with Abu Ghraib, the key question is whether the accused men can be dismissed as a rogue unit – a few bad apples – or whether failures of command created an environment in which some soldiers felt they could kill with impunity.

The first to appear in court, Specialist Jeremy Morlock, is accused of taking part in three murders. At a pre-trial hearing, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington State, prosecutors described him as an “eager participant” who killed for kicks.

Morlock’s defence is that he suffered traumatic brain injuries when roadside bombs exploded near his armoured vehicle, after which army doctors dosed him with a cocktail of sleeping pills, anti-depressants and painkillers. In common with the other soldiers charged, he also claims that Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, his squad leader, instigated the attacks and pressured him to join in.

In a video of Morlock’s testimony, he describes killing an unarmed Afghan man, dragged from his compound: “[Gibbs] pulled out one of his grenades, popped it, throws the grenade and tells me and Winfield ‘Alright, wax this guy. Kill this guy, kill this guy.’”

According to sworn statements, when Gibbs joined Bravo Company, in November 2009, he bragged about getting away with “stuff” in Iraq and suggested possible “scenarios” for killing civilians in Afghanistan. One soldier said Gibbs bartered with Afghan security forces, trading pornography for “AK-47s, RPG rounds and mortars”. A magazine from an AK-47 rifle was placed next to one of the corpses, to give the impression that the Afghan was an insurgent.

Corporal Emmitt Quintal, who is accused of covering up the crimes, said Gibbs once pulled out a pair of shears and mused: “I wonder if these can cut off a finger?” Another soldier said Gibbs was collecting fingers for a necklace. A water bottle containing two severed fingers was found at the base.

Two soldiers testified that after the third killing, in May, Gibbs pulled a tooth from the victim. Specialist Michael Wagnon allegedly kept a whole skull. Gibbs denies the charges, saying he acted in self-defence, in combat situations. He declined to talk to investigators, but did show them a tattoo, on his left calf, featuring six skulls. Three of the skulls were coloured red, for kills in Iraq, while the others, in blue, represented his tally in Afghanistan.

The alleged war crimes were uncovered during an investigation into hashish use at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, west of Kandahar City. The 5th Stryker Brigade’s armoured vehicles were defending the Arghandab valley from Taliban attacks. This was an especially dangerous mission, involving daily firefights and the constant threat of improvised explosive devices. They suffered some of the highest casualty rates of any US unit in Afghanistan.

It was common knowledge that soldiers smoked cannabis, sometimes laced with opium, during periods of heavy stress. Quintal told investigators that “nearly his entire platoon had been smoking hashish consistently”.

The revelations have led to calls for a credible investigation to establish whether the command environment – which favours full-on engagement with the enemy – encouraged abuses, and what, if anything, senior officers knew about the killings and substance abuse on the base. There are also question marks over whether the army’s whistleblower system failed to act on reports of a death squad.

Specialist Adam Winfield told his father about the first murder in February, in a Facebook chat. “It was two guys who actually killed the dude but the whole platoon knew about it,” he wrote. “There’s no-one in this platoon that agrees this is wrong … There are no more good men left here.”

Fearing for his son’s safety, Chris Winfield called an army hotline. He spoke to a sergeant who told him that unless Adam was “willing to report it to his superiors in Afghanistan, there was little the army could do.” If this version of events proves to be correct, two of the killings could have been averted.

Adam Winfield is accused of shooting an unarmed man in May, after Gibbs detonated a grenade. He claims that when Gibbs ordered him to shoot, he missed, deliberately. Details of the alleged war crimes will come out in court, over the next several months. Should the photographs come to light, providing graphic evidence that American soldiers killed civilians for sport, the damage will be hard to quantify.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/world-news/porn-hashish-and-killing-for-kicks-what-fuelled-a-gi-death-squad-in-afghanistan-1.1058941

By Daniel Coysh
Morning Star | October 6, 2010

The Truth About Spain! Mobilizing British Public Opinion, 1936-1939
by Hugo Garcia (Sussex Academic Press, £55)

The Spanish civil war remains a subject both endlessly fascinating and divisive for the left in Britain thanks to its status as the first war against fascism in Europe and the revolutionary nature of parts of the Spanish republican government.

The refusal of the British and French ruling classes to assist Spanish democracy and the intervention of the Soviet Union and the International Brigades remain a source of fury and pride to socialists today.

In Spain itself the issue has only really resurfaced in the past decade. This is due to the long post-Franco hangover and recent efforts by progressives in the Spanish government and legal system to locate and give proper burials to the thousands massacred by fascist militias during the civil war.

This has proved incredibly divisive. Tainted by Francoism, the Spanish right wing have fought such moves all the way.  Hugo Garcia has deliberately avoided this controversy in his book, which tries hard to be an “objective” scholarly examination of the propaganda efforts in Britain by both sides of the war.

Republicans believed that getting Britain onside would cause other powers to follow, so their efforts were focused there.

Originally part of his PhD, Garcia’s book is scrupulously researched and based on a combination archive material from Spain, Britain, France and the US and second-hand sources.  It shows that both sides used techniques first developed by the British during World War I, as well as laying the foundations for the propaganda onslaught seen across Europe during World War II.

The goal was to convince foreign public opinion of the righteousness of each side’s cause, whether that was the defence of the democratic Spanish republic or the defence of “Spain” against “godless communism.”  Tactics included rallying cries behind symbols of freedom, solidarity, unity or “the nation,” as well as depictions of atrocities carried out by the enemy and claims of “illegal” intervention by other powers.

Garcia analyses these forensically, alongside the media used to spread such propaganda. He takes in pamphlets, posters, newspaper reports – the Daily Worker’s Claud Cockburn is mentioned several times – newsreels, documentaries and art exhibitions.

He also considers the effectiveness of the campaigns, arguing that they were highly effective at mobilising the British left on the side of the republic and the far-right on the side of Franco while alienating most people, who continued to back the Baldwin and Chamberlain governments’ “non-intervention” policy.

This book is an excellent resource for anyone fascinated by this period of history, even if it lacks the rallying cry of “No Pasaran!” that many of us feel is still relevant today.

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/96105