November 11, 2012 - 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

UK: Activists Step Up Campaign against Secret Justice Bill

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

By Sam Masters

Independent, November 2, 2012

Human rights groups will start the firing gun on their campaign against Government proposals to allow national security evidence to be heard behind closed court doors under the so-called “secret justice” bill.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Liberty and Reprieve will lobby against the Justice and Security Bill which is due to be debated in the House of Lords on November 19 and 21.

The reforms have been described as a “real threat” to the principles of fairness and open justice while potentially allowing the Government to “hide the truth” on national security grounds. They have raised fears that inquests into police shootings, soldiers killed by friendly fire and other hearings with the potential to cause embarrassment to authorities could be held in secret.

Amnesty International last month produced a highly-critical study on the proposals which included testimony from 25 barristers and solicitors who have acted in cases where evidence had been heard in secret.

“The Government wants a system where it can simply play the national security card whenever it wants,” said Amnesty International’s UK researcher Alice Wyss.

Due to take part at today’s briefing at parliament on the bill are the widely-respected independent crossbench peer, Lord Pannick QC, Lord Beecham, the opposition spokesman on justice issues, Baroness Berridge the conservative peer, and Lord Strasburger, the Liberal Democrat peer.

Clare Algar, the executive director of Reprieve, said: “It is not too late for ministers to think again before taking a wrecking ball to the British tradition of fairness and equality before the law which is an example to the world.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/activists-step-up-campaign-against-secret-justice-bill-8305002.html

By John Kemp

Climate Spectator, November 9, 2012

“Elections have consequences, and Eric, I won,” President Barack Obama famously told House Republican Whip Eric Cantor shortly after his first inauguration in January 2009.

Four years later, Wall Street as well as the oil and gas industry will return to work today knowing that they heavily backed the losing side and now have very little political capital with the re-elected Obama administration and the Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.

Some urgent bridge-building will be required in the coming days if they are to influence financial regulation and energy policy over the next four years.

VOTES HAVE CONSEQUENCES

President Barak Obama’s re-election ensures the Democrats will retain their 3-2 majorities on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the agencies charged with implementing the controversial derivatives portions of the 2010 Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Senate Democrats and the president will block any attempt to re-write the Dodd-Frank Act, and the continuing Democratic majority in the Senate will leave the president with a relatively free hand to nominate regulators committed to a fairly aggressive interpretation of the landmark financial law.

On energy and the environment, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will remain in the hands of conservation-minded policymakers, who want to tilt the energy market in favour of clean technologies, back strict controls on greenhouse emissions and vehicle efficiency and are somewhat sceptical about drilling for oil and gas.

BACKING THE LOSING SIDE

In the past 18 months, the financial services and fossil energy industries moved into outright opposition to the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, making little secret of their desire to see a Republican takeover in Washington.

Employees of banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase and Co, as well as many brokerages and derivatives dealers poured millions of dollars into political action committees that supported Romney for president and backed other Republicans in a bid to seize control of the Senate.

The American Petroleum Institute (API), which lobbies on behalf of the oil and gas industry, created and funded Vote4Energy to campaign for oil- and gas-friendly policies in battleground states. The organisation was nominally independent, but its positions and advocacy closely mirrored the views of the Romney campaign.

In return, Romney’s campaign promised to repeal the hated Dodd-Frank law and ease restrictions on the development of fossil energy.

MORE GUERRILLA WARFARE?

Wall Street and the fossil energy industry now must decide how to cope with the new reality that the White House and the executive branch will remain under Democratic control for the next four years, while Democrats will control the Senate until the start of 2015.

One option is to maintain a strong oppositional stance. The U.S. House of Representatives remains in the hands of a solid Republican majority and can be counted on to block any attempts to pass fresh legislation on energy or financial services that the industries do not like.

The U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which review most financial and environmental regulations, remain in the hands of conservative judges, most appointed by Republican presidents, and will continue to review regulations critically.

Lobbying groups such as the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), the API and the U.S. Chambers of Commerce have mounted a series of legal challenges to regulations implementing Dodd-Frank and in some cases have won the first round.

It is part of a broader coordinated effort to roll back financial, energy and environmental regulations by citing cost-benefit concerns.

The two industries could continue to mount a guerrilla campaign against the new regulations in the courts and the House, harrying regulators with legal challenges, cuts to agency budgets and congressional hearings.

But most of the legal victories that the industries have won so far have been on peripheral issues, such as lack of adequate cost-benefit analysis. They have been unable to prevail on the substance of the new laws and regulations. And regulators now have four more years to redraft any regulations that the courts find deficient.

BURYING THE HATCHET?

In 2012, business lobby groups and the Republican Party made some headway among voters with their argument that the Obama administration was over-regulating the economy and harming the recovery, but it was not enough. By 2016, Dodd-Frank and the administration’s energy policies will be well entrenched and the argument may not have so much resonance with the electorate.

So industry leaders will come under intense pressure in the weeks and months ahead to bury the hatchet and take a more conciliatory approach to the administration and Senate Democrats.

Banks and energy companies have spent record amounts on lobbying in Washington in the past four years. Goldman Sachs, for example, spent almost $3.3 million lobbying senators and representatives in the 12 months to September, according to filings with the congressional lobbying database, on issues connected with derivatives reform and tax policy.

But however much money they pour into lobbying efforts, the perception that energy companies, banks and brokerages, as well as most of their employees, are solidly behind the Republican Party will limit their future influence on a range of issues that are vital for both industries.

Pressure to rebuild a constructive relationship with the White House and at least part of the Senate Democratic Caucus will therefore be intense.

In fact there are a variety of issues on which the two sides could reset the relationship. Fiscal reform is one area in which there could be scope for compromise. Business and financial leaders have been signalling for weeks that they are ready to support moderate tax increases as part of an overall tax and spending package to avert the fiscal cliff.

The Keystone XL pipeline is another early decision where the president could reach out to the industry and appear to back the development of fossil fuel resources, albeit with strict safety and environmental safeguards.

But it will take a spirit of compromise on both sides. After a resounding defeat, the energy and financial services industries would be wise to repair relationships.

http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/fossil-fuel-lobbys-election-gamble-backfires

 

By Marcel Fürstenau

Deutsche Welle, November 11, 2012

How much influence did former Nazis wield in establishing and operating Germany’s postwar democracy? That’s what parliament debated. But tackling the issue was not easy, since many files still remain classified.

It almost seems a bit antiquated. More than six decades after the end of the murderous Hitler regime, members of the German parliament debated to what extent federal ministries and public offices in the country have dealt with their Nazi past. It comes after the opposition Left Party’s parliamentary group submitted a formal request to the government for information about the post-war era.

The parliamentary debate coincided with a separate event – prosecutors bringing formal charges against supporters and the sole surviving member of a neo-Nazi cell suspected of committing ten murders between 2000 and 2007.

The revelations about the neo-Nazi gang, the National Socialist Underground (NSU), are a hugely pressing and current issue. By comparison, the debate about postwar Germany’s Nazi past seems so outdated. But the past is constantly catching up with Germany as it struggles to find out how the neo-Nazi cell could have evaded authorities for more than a decade.

The charges against NSU member Beate Zschäpe mark a decisive phase in long-running efforts to shed light on the group’s suspected racially-motivated killing spree.

By contrast, the question of just how far West German authorities were riddled with former Nazi party members seems nowhere near resolution.

That impression is strengthened by the government’s 85-page response to the Left Party’s request about old Nazis in the halls of power. It’s an interim summary of ongoing research conducted by historians in the archives of many ministries and federal agencies.

Shredding files not new

The debate in the German parliament was marked by constant references to the current neo-Nazi scandal that has rocked the country.

Since the NSU’s discovery, Germany’s national security apparatus has come under intense scrutiny for its failure to connect the dots and apprehend the suspects. Earlier this year, it was discovered that intelligence files on right-wing extremists had been destroyed the same month the NSU was discovered on the orders of an official in the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic intelligence service.

The shredding of important files pertaining to far-right extremism has sparked outrage and shock, raising suspicions that incriminating information was covered up and that the perpetrators may even have been protected.

But it’s not the first time it has happened. In the late 1990s, files on mass murderer Alois Brunner, a high-ranking SS officer, disappeared. The German intelligence service (BND) was said to have destroyed files containing conflicting information as to whether Brunner had worked for the BND at some point.

Adolf Eichmann lived undercover in Argentina for several years.

Brunner was a close aide and confidante of Adolf Eichmann who organized the Holocaust from his desk in Berlin. He was sentenced to death in 1961 in Jerusalem. Though the BND knew Eichmann’s location, he lived undetected in Argentina for several years.

The BND is also believed to have protected war crimes criminal Klaus Barbie who was responsible for sending hundreds of Jews in France to their death. Just like Eichmann, Barbie went underground in South America. He even worked as an agent for the BND in the mid 1960s.

Opposition calls for change

The fact that files on Barbie, Eichmann and others responsible for war crimes still remain classified has sparked anger among several German politicians and led to heated exchanges in parliament.

Wolfgang Thierse, president of the German parliament, has appealed to members of the ruling parties – the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) – to stop blocking the opening of the files.

Volker Beck, head of the parliamentary group of the opposition Green Party, said it could not be in the public’s interest to block publishing files with references to the Nazi past in order to “protect the work of our intelligence agencies.” And especially not in light of the current debate about right-wing extremism in Germany, Beck added.

Jan Korte, from the opposition Left Party, spoke of a “second guilt” of Germans, a reference to a book of that name written by Ralph Giordano, a German writer and publicist. It focuses on the denial and suppression of Germany’s Nazi past.

But not everyone sees things that way. Armin Schuster, a member of the CDU, said Korte was too one-sided in his criticism of West Germany’s Nazi past. Former communist East Germany, too, had several ex-Nazis in leading positions, Schuster added.

Foreign ministry investigation a model

The one thing that politicians across party lines agreed on, however, was that an increasing number of ministries and federal agencies have been willing to commission investigations to investigate their Nazi pasts.

One of the most high-profile efforts was undertaken last year by historians Eckart Conze and Norbert Frei who looked into Nazi involvement at the foreign ministry. The no-holds-barred report was commissioned in 2005 by then-Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.

The controversial study on Nazi involvement at the foreign ministry was marketed as a bestseller.

Several ministries and agencies have followed the foreign ministry’s example and initiated research projects to dig around in their past. That includes the BND, the Federal Crime Office (BKA), as well as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).

The German government, by its own admission, says it “wholeheartedly” supports such research projects. It is important that “the results of such work lead to a critical discourse in the public sphere,” it said.

But critics, such as the Left Party’s Jan Korte, have raised doubts about the independence of the scientists and researchers commissioned for the investigations.

Korte has pointed to the conditions laid down by the government for investigating the Nazi past at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, including a ban on researchers making any public statements during the project phase. Each statement also must be discussed beforehand with the head of the project at the BfV. “That is censorship and not befitting of what’s at stake here,” Korte maintained.

http://www.dw.de/parliament-holds-heated-debate-on-nazi-past/a-16368238