Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

ABC News: Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

“It felt like prison,” says Jones, who told her story to ABC News as part of an upcoming “20/20″ investigation. “I was upset; I was curled up in a ball on the bed; I just could not believe what had happened.”

Finally, Jones says, she convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her father in Texas.

“I said, ‘Dad, I’ve been raped. I don’t know what to do. I’m in this container, and I’m not able to leave,’” she said. Her father called their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

“We contacted the State Department first,” Poe told ABCNews.com, “and told them of the urgency of rescuing an American citizen” — from her American employer.

Poe says his office contacted the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Jones’ camp, where they rescued her from the container.

Lovely. Just lovely.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Senate Bill 1959 to Criminalize Thoughts, Blogs, Books and Free Speech Across America

The end of Free Speech in America has arrived at our doorstep. It’s a new law called the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and it is worded in a clever way that could allow the U.S. government to arrest and incarcerate any individual who speaks out against the Bush Administration, the war on Iraq, the Department of Homeland Security or any government agency (including the FDA). The law has already passed the House on a traitorous vote of 405 to 6, and it is now being considered in the Senate where a vote is imminent. All over the internet, intelligent people who care about freedom are speaking out against this extremely dangerous law: Philip Giraldi at the Huffington Post, Declan McCullagh at CNET’s News.com, Kathryn Smith at OpEdNews.com, and of course Alex Jones at PrisonPlanet.com

This bill is the beginning of the end of Free Speech in America. If it passes, all the information sources you know and trust could be shut down and their authors imprisoned. NewsTarget could be taken offline and I could be arrested as a “terrorist.” Jeff Rense at www.Rense.com could be labeled a “terrorist” and arrested. Byron Richards, Len Horowitz, Paul Craig Roberts, Greg Palast, Ron Paul and even Al Gore could all be arrested, silenced and incarcerated. This is not an exaggeration. It is a literal reading of the law, which you can check yourself here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h1955_rfs.xml

—-

This is scary stuff. Time to get in gear folks.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Local 2 Investigates Police Secrecy Behind Unmanned Aircraft Test - Local 2 Investigates News Story - KPRC Houston

Montalvo told reporters the unmanned aircraft would be used for “mobility” or traffic issues, evacuations during storms, homeland security, search and rescue, and also “tactical.” She admitted that could include covert police actions and she said she was not ruling out someday using the drones for writing traffic tickets.

A large number of the officers at the test site were assigned to the department’s ticket-writing Radar Task Force. Capt. Tom Runyan insisted they were only there to provide “site security,” even though KPRC cameras spotted those officers heavily participating in the test flight.

Houston police contacted KPRC from the test site, claiming the entire airspace was restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration. Police even threatened action from the FAA if the Local 2 helicopter remained in the area. However, KPRC reported it had already checked with the FAA on numerous occasions and found no flight restrictions around the site, a point conceded by Montalvo.

HPD leaders said they would address privacy and unlawful search questions later.

Out of control. WTF?

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Obama’s education rollout - First Read - msnbc.com

I liked this guy. I thought he had some good ideas on the front of turning around the country and restoring the national character.
I applauded that he was taking on education.
So how is he going to pay for it?
By cutting NASA and leaving us with no manned launch capability of course.
Short-sighted idiot.

Frak. I’m left with nothing.
Ron Paul is all I’ve got and there’s no way in hell he’s going to win.
Sad day.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Will China Beat the United States Back to the Moon? - Associated Content

“I personally believe that China will be back on the Moon before we are. I think when that happens, Americans will not like it, but they will just have to not like it. I think we will see, as we have seen with China’s introductory manned space flights so far, we will see again that nations look up to other nations that appear to be at the top of the technical pyramid, and they want to do deals with those nations. It’s one of the things that made us the world’s greatest economic power. So I think we’ll be reinstructed in that lesson in the coming years and I hope that Americans will take that instruction positively and react to it by investing in those things that are the leading edge of what’s possible.”

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Georgia says it fired at Russian plane this week | International | Reuters
TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgian forces fired at a plane they believed was Russian after it violated the Caucasus republic’s airspace on Wednesday, a senior interior ministry official said.

The incident marks an intensification of a row between the two countries in which Georgia has accused Russian planes of violating its border and of dropping a missile near Tbilisi.

Russia called the Georgian statement a provocation. It has not reported any plane missing, and when asked specifically about the Georgian statement an official denied Russian aircraft had violated Georgian airspace.


This should end well.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Iraq on Yahoo! News Photos
An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City. At least 175 people were slaughtered on Tuesday and more



Hahaha - notice anything about those bullets? I guess they were thrown at her house.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Bush War Adviser Says Draft Worth a Look
WASHINGTON (AP) - Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush’s new war adviser said Friday.

“I think it makes sense to certainly consider it,” Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”

“And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation’s security by one means or another,” Lute added in his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.

Ohhh - this would end well. Good Grief what Tools!

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Think Progress » Rep. Bill Sali: Religious Diversity In Congress ‘Was Not Envisioned By The Founding Fathers’
Rep. Bill Sali: Religious Diversity In Congress ‘Was Not Envisioned By The Founding Fathers’

When Idaho State Rep. Bill Sali was running for Congress in 2006, Vice President Cheney visited his state and said, “Bill is ready to make a difference in Washington, and he’s going to be the kind of Congressman who will make you proud.” Now-Congressman Bill Sali (R-ID) is demonstrating his worth by criticizing the new religious diversity embodied in the 110th Congress:

We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes — and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers.

Really? Sali may want to take a peek at Article VI of the Constitution, which notes that there is no religious test for public office:


What a dumbass.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

From Bad Astronomy…

Bad Astronomy Blog » Texas: really, really doomed
When I posted about Don McLeroy, a creationist who the Texas governor just appointed to head the State Board of Education, I knew the situation was serious. Following in the bleak tradition of this current White House of making sure you appoint the absolute worst 180-degree-wrong person for a job, McLeroy seems to be the perfect candidate: he thinks the Universe is 6000 years old, he thinks evolution is wrong, he wants to bring religion into the classroom, he honestly thinks abstinence-only sex education is a good idea. I read his website, too, where he makes all this — and much more — very clear.

On his own this guy would just make me sad. But as the head of the BoE, he is dangerous. He wants to brainwash kids. And his ideas would make someone’s from the Dark Ages appear quaint.


I’ve known Rick Perry was a douchebag for awhile…. he’s really validating my opinion with this dumbass.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Bush Signs Law to Widen Reach for Wiretapping - New York Times
President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.

Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government’s ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States.

They also said that the new law for the first time provided a legal framework for much of the surveillance without warrants that was being conducted in secret by the National Security Agency and outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that is supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens.

“This more or less legalizes the N.S.A. program,” said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington, who has studied the new legislation.

Previously, the government needed search warrants approved by a special intelligence court to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, e-mail messages and other electronic communications between individuals inside the United States and people overseas, if the government conducted the surveillance inside the United States.

Today, most international telephone conversations to and from the United States are conducted over fiber-optic cables, and the most efficient way for the government to eavesdrop on them is to latch on to giant telecommunications switches located in the United States.

By changing the legal definition of what is considered “electronic surveillance,” the new law allows the government to eavesdrop on those conversations without warrants — latching on to those giant switches — as long as the target of the government’s surveillance is “reasonably believed” to be overseas.

For example, if a person in Indianapolis calls someone in London, the National Security Agency can eavesdrop on that conversation without a warrant, as long as the N.S.A.’s target is the person in London.

Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman, said Sunday in an interview that the new law went beyond fixing the foreign-to-foreign problem, potentially allowing the government to listen to Americans calling overseas.

But he stressed that the objective of the new law is to give the government greater flexibility in focusing on foreign suspects overseas, not to go after Americans.


Yeah - because we all know it’s all about the intent. And the intents are wholly honorable. WTF ever. More fascist power-grabbing. And Congress is going along for the ride.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Privacy: Proposed Legislation In Ohio Would Require Women To Get A Man’s Permission To Have An Abortion - Consumerist
New proposed legislation in Ohio would make it illegal for a woman to get an abortion without a man’s permission, according to the Record-Courier.

Not knowing who the father of the fetus is couldn’t be used as an excuse under the new law. Women would have to provide a list of potential fathers who would then be required to submit themselves to paternity testing until a father is found. It would also make it illegal for a man who isn’t the father to provide the permission.

What about rape or incest? A woman seeking an abortion would have to provide “reasonable cause” for the doctor to believe the rape of incest occurred, which, in our estimation, would probably mean police reports and charges filed.

My head just exploded.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Bush Insults BBC Political Editor at Press Conference
NEW YORK At a recent press conference at Camp David, President George Bush insulted BBC political editor Nick Robinson, the Daily Mirror reports.

Robinson, who has asked Bush pointed questions in the past such as whether the president was “in denial” over the Iraq war, posed a question to Bush about whether he could trust visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown not to “cut and run” from Iraq.

Bush replied with a dismissal: “Are you still hanging around?”

Later on, Bush poked fun at the bare-pate of Robinson, joking, “You’d better cover up your bald head, it’s getting hot out.”

The respected British reporter shot back, “I didn’t know you cared.”

Bush responded with a cool, “I don’t.” The Mirror reports that Bush then “snorted disdainfully” and “walked away to laughter.”

Isn’t it great to have such an awesome President? Good grief. What a piece of shit.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

The Crypt’s Blog - Politico.com
In a massive flare-up of partisan tensions, Republicans walked out on a House vote late Thursday night to protest what they believed to be Democratic maneuvers to reverse an unfavorable outcome for them.

The flap represents a complete breakdown in parliamentary procedure and an unprecedented low for the sometimes bitterly divided chamber.

The rancor erupted shortly before 11 p.m. as Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.) gaveled close the vote on a standard procedural measure with the outcome still in doubt.


Pretty sad. Looks like the government is falling apart.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Just What the Founders Feared: An Imperial President Goes to War - New York Times
The nation is heading toward a constitutional showdown over the Iraq war. Congress is moving closer to passing a bill to limit or end the war, but President Bush insists Congress doesn’t have the power to do it. “I don’t think Congress ought to be running the war,” he said at a recent press conference. “I think they ought to be funding the troops.” He added magnanimously: “I’m certainly interested in their opinion.”

The war is hardly the only area where the Bush administration is trying to expand its powers beyond all legal justification. But the danger of an imperial presidency is particularly great when a president takes the nation to war, something the founders understood well. In the looming showdown, the founders and the Constitution are firmly on Congress’s side.

Given how intent the president is on expanding his authority, it is startling to recall how the Constitution’s framers viewed presidential power. They were revolutionaries who detested kings, and their great concern when they established the United States was that they not accidentally create a kingdom. To guard against it, they sharply limited presidential authority, which Edmund Randolph, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the first attorney general, called “the foetus of monarchy.”


King George II. Wheee!

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Iran launches new crackdown on unIslamic fashion

Iran on Monday launched a new wave of a moral crackdown against women who “dress like models” and men whose hairstyles are deemed unIslamic, police said.
Tehran’s police force dispatched dozens of police cars and minibuses into the early evening rush-hour to enforce the dress rules at major squares in the city centre, an AFP correspondent said.

The new “plan to increase security in society” — which is limited to Tehran but will later extend nationwide — comes after a pre-summer drive by the police resulted in thousands of warnings and hundreds of arrests.

“We have vowed to continue the campaign to reinforce the plan to increase security in society with new personnel who have received the necessary training,” the Tehran police head of information Mehdi Ahmadi told reporters as the first police forces were dispatched.

Good grief. Where’s that asteroid impact?

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Challenge to Secret Wiretaps Is Dismissed - New York Times
A divided federal appeals court yesterday dismissed a case challenging the National Security Agency’s program to wiretap without warrants the international communications of some Americans, reversing a trial judge’s order that the program be shut down.
The majority in a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled on a narrow ground, saying the plaintiffs, including lawyers and journalists, could not show injury direct and concrete enough to allow them to have standing to sue.

Because it may be impossible for any plaintiff to demonstrate injury from the highly classified wiretapping program, the effect of the ruling was to insulate it from judicial scrutiny. Thus, the program’s secrecy is proving to be its best legal protection.

So this is just wonderful. The Executive Branch can now wiretap without warrants with impunity. Even when King George II is gone.
Forget the Constitution - the ruling that it was illegal was reversed on appeal because the plaintiffs can’t show harm. ???? It violates the Constitution - why should the burden of showing harm be an issue. Especially when all the evidence of harm is “secret” and can’t be used. Nice.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Venezuela’s Chavez seen wanting office “for life” - washingtonpost.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insecurity, “malignant narcissism” and the need for adulation are driving Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s confrontation with the United States, according to a new psychological profile.

Eventually, these personality traits are likely to compel Chavez to declare himself Venezuela’s president for life, said Dr. Jerrold Post, who has just completed the profile for the U.S. Air Force.

Chavez won elections for a third term last December. Since then he has stepped up his anti-American rhetoric, vowed to accelerate a march towards “21st Century socialism” and suggested that he intends to stay in power until 2021 — a decade beyond his present term.

But Post — who profiled foreign leaders in a 21-year career at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and now is the director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University — doubts that Chavez plans to step down even then. “He views himself as a savior, as the very embodiment of Venezuela,” Post said in an interview.

“He has been acting increasingly messianic and so he is likely to either get the constitution rewritten to allow for additional terms or eventually declare himself president-for-life.”

Post portrays Chavez as “a masterful political gamesman” who knows that his popularity largely rests on being seen as a strong leader who takes on the United States, the Venezuelan elite and a host of other perceived enemies — often with public insults that are rarely used by other leaders.

“To keep his followers engaged, he must continue outrageous and inflammatory attacks,” Post said.

Even Chavez’s most determined opponents concede that he is a gifted orator and has a rare ability to mesmerize audiences. In the language of political psychology, this is a “charismatic leader-follower relationship.”

The Venezualans voted for him. At least we potentially/hopefully have a way out with our elected dictator.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Follow up…

My Way News - Screaming Paris Hilton Sent Back to Jail
Paris Hilton was sent screaming and crying back to jail Friday after a judge ruled that she must serve out her sentence behind bars rather than in the comfort of her Hollywood Hills home.

“It’s not right!” shouted Hilton, who violated her probation in a reckless driving case. “Mom!” she cried out to her mother.


Indeed - it isn’t right that you were released to start with.

Originally published at Twixel.net. You can comment here or there.

Less Than 0.01% Of Homeland Security Cases Are Terrorism Related
Records obtained from the immigration courts under the Freedom of Information Act show that only 0.0015 percent of the total number of cases filed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were terrorism related, despite the fact that the Bush administration has repeatedly asserted that it is the primary focus of the DHS.

So now I need to find out who this TRAC group is that did the report.

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