Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New York Medicaid Fraud May Reach Into Billions

"It has drawn dentists like Dr. Dolly Rosen, who within 12 months somehow built the state's biggest Medicaid dental practice out of a Brooklyn storefront, where she claimed to have performed as many as 991 procedures a day in 2003. After The New York Times discovered her extraordinary billings through a computer analysis and questioned the state about them, Dr. Rosen and two associates were indicted on charges of stealing more than $1 million from the program."

New York Medicaid Fraud May Reach Into Billions

The inefficiency and ineffectiveness of public services...what a waste of resources. The guy had been busted for fraudulent claims before, and it still took them 10 years to figure this out!

Health Care: Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform

At the table on May 26 were about 20 donors willing to fork over $10,000 or more to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, including executives of major insurance companies, hospitals and other health-care firms.

"Most people there had an agenda; they wanted the ear of a senator, and they got it," said Aaron Roland, a San Francisco health-care activist who paid half price to attend the gathering. "Money gets you in the door. The only thing the other side can do is march around and protest outside."

Health-Care Firms Have Supported Lawmakers Debating Reform - washingtonpost.com

Regulations are put in place to help individual companies, not to help "us."  The only way to prevent this is to minimize the ability to make regulations.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

UK Telegraph: Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape'

"Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq."

Abu Ghraib abuse photos 'show rape' - Telegraph

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rumsfeld Was the One that Gave North Korea The Nuke Technology

The Gov't Thinks Some French Journalist Can See the Torture Photos, But We Can't?

“I saw many more pictures than were ever published in the press,
including, I believe, many—if not most—of the photos that president
would now prefer that you don’t see,” he writes.

He can see them, but we can’t.

So Philip Gourevitch Can See the Torture Photos, But We Can’t? | The Progressive

Former Interrogator Says Torture Doesn't Work

Petraeus Backs Obama, Not Cheney, On Torture And Gitmo

"General David Petraeus said this past weekend that President Obama's decision to close down Gitmo and end harsh interrogation techniques would benefit the United States in the broader war on terror.

In an appearance on Radio Free Europe on Sunday, the man hailed by conservatives as the preeminent military figure of his generation left little room for doubt about where he stands on some of Obama's most contentious policies.

"I think, on balance, that those moves help [us]," said the chief of U.S. Central Command. "In fact, I have long been on record as having testified and also in helping write doctrine for interrogation techniques that are completely in line with the Geneva Convention."


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lindsey Graham VS Lindsey Graham on Detainee Torture

The Disturbing Link Between Gitmo and the Tactics I Used in Vietnam

American Street Trivia

Contrasting Policies: China vs. U.S

3) China has been mobilizing its dollar-reserves by buying an enormous amounts of real assets:

China has bought at least 454 tonnes of gold
B) China has been importing 70 percent more copper than they consume
C) China has been filling up its strategic petroleum reserve
D) China has been building up its grain inventory.
E) China has been going around the world making deals
for raw materials and acquisitions of small-enough companies that they fly under the radar

4) In contrast, the Federal Reserve has been accumulating debt of insolvent institutions:

A) Making uncollateralized loans to insolvent banks.
B) Swaping banking system’s toxic assets (subprime CDOs squared) for dollars.
C) Buying US treasuries
D) Buying mortgage backed securities

Market Skeptics: *****Have China watchers never heard of a decoy?*****

Which strategy is better the their country's long-term health?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Your Credit Card Company Is Building A Psychological Profile Of You

The Fed FORCED AIG to Pay Out More than Market Price

"The secret is out; it has long been assumed that the AIG bailout was a
stealth bailout for AIG's counterparties: another way to shovel
taxpayer dollars to Wall Street and European banks without going to
Congress for permission.  Aig CEO Edward Liddy admitted as much
yesterday in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee under
questioning from California Republican Darrell Issa.  Liddy said he
acted under explicit instructions from the Fed to pay AIG counterpary
obligations at 100 cents on the dollar (par), even though the contracts
were trading at substantial discounts and could have been settled for
much less."

Liddy On AIG Payouts At Par: "The Fed Made Us Do It" (Video) - Home - The Daily Bail - The Bailout News Central Depository. News, Interviews,Videos, Comedy, Songs, Opinion & Analysis

Hmmm, who benefits?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible

In Ehrman's latest book, "Jesus, Interrupted," he concludes:

Doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus and heaven and hell are not based on anything Jesus or his earlier followers said.

At least 19 of the 27 books in the New Testament are forgeries.

Believing the Bible is infallible is not a condition for being a Christian.
"Christianity has never been about the Bible being the inerrant word of
God," Ehrman says. "Christianity is about the belief in Christ."

Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible - CNN.com

The Pledge of Allegiance A Short History

Blackwater-affiliated contractors investigated for shooting

Ron Paul on the Floor

The NYT sums up Obama's civil liberties record in one paragraph

"President Obama’s decisions this week to retain important elements of
the Bush-era system for trying terrorism suspects and to block the
release of pictures showing abuse of American-held prisoners abroad are
the most graphic examples yet of how he has backtracked, in
substantial if often nuanced ways, from the approach to national
security that he preached as a candidate, and even from his first days
in the Oval Office."

The NYT sums up Obama's civil liberties record in one paragraph - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

Gitmo general told Iraq WMD search team to torture

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ron Paul Predicted Economic Collapse in Debates

Ron Paul’s Economic Theories Winning GOP Converts

“There’s a growing recognition that the GOP is intellectually bankrupt and morally bankrupt,” explained Bovard. “Most of these Republican ‘rebranding’ efforts amount to a group of overpaid consultants getting detached from reality, but I’m glad that Paul is putting together these meetings. I hope the battle of ideas is changing.”

The Washington Independent » Ron Paul’s Economic Theories Winning GOP Converts

Monday, May 4, 2009

Was Torture Really Part of a Religious Crusade?

"Conservative Christians were the biggest backers of the Iraq war.

Churchgoers were more likely to back torture of suspected terrorists than atheists (and see this).

One of the top Pentagon officials involved in the Iraq war - General William Boykin - literally:

Sees the "war on terror" as a religious war between Judeo-Christian civilization and Satan, with Islam of course cast in the latter role."

Washington's Blog

The Disturbing Link Between Gitmo and the Tactics I Used in Vietnam by Frank Snepp

"When Bush administration lawyers wrote their memos authorizing extreme interrogation tactics at Guantanamo, they had to conjure up horrible images: Prisoners gagging and sputtering as their interrogators reproduced the sensation of drowning. Human heads slammed repeatedly into walls. Insect-phobic prisoners cowering in fear in 8-by-10-foot cages.

How can the lawyers live with those images? And what damage did the interrogators who used the techniques sustain to their souls?

These are not academic questions for me. As a CIA interrogator in Vietnam during the last five years of the war, I know I put my soul at extreme peril. I am still haunted by what I did, and I suspect that what I witnessed and perpetrated in those years set the stage for the Bush Justice Department's approach to torture"

Frank Snepp: Tortured by the Past

Dick Cheney's Old Company is 'Majority' of Fraud Referrals

Jeb Bush Suggests the Party Should Leave Reagan Behind After Media Covers Ronny's Disdain for Torturers

The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support torture, with white evangelical Protestants most likely to condone it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Politicians Are In Office But Banks Are In Power:Time To Fight Back?

‘Abu Ghraib US prison guards were scapegoats for Bush’ lawyers claim

Fractional Reserve Banking as Economic Parasitism

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power [of money] should be taken away from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.” —Thomas Jefferson

As M.A. Rothschild asserted, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.”

Banking as Economic Parasitism « Quantum Pranx

Obama Says He Is Against Torture, But May Use "Confessions" From Guantanamo in Prosecutions

"The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself."

Oh Bummer: Obama may use torture "confessions" in prosecutions

FDIC Insurance is a Scam...It's Really Insured by Your Tax Dollars

Scalia Doesn't Feel We Need More Privacy Protection...Until They Start Researching Him

"Last year, when law professor Joel Reidenberg wanted to show his Fordham University class how readily private information is available on the Internet, he assigned a group project. It was collecting personal information from the Web about himself.

This year, after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made public comments that seemingly may have questioned the need for more protection of private information, Reidenberg assigned the same project. Except this time Scalia was the subject, the prof explains to the ABA Journal in a telephone interview.

His class turned in a 15-page dossier that included not only Scalia's home address, home phone number and home value, but his food and movie preferences, his wife's personal e-mail address and photos of his grandchildren, reports Above the Law.

And, as Scalia himself made clear in a statement to Above the Law, he isn't happy about the invasion of his privacy..."

Fordham Law Class Collects Personal Info About Scalia; Supreme Ct. Justice Is Steamed | ABA Journal - Law News Now

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The State-Secrets Privilege, Tamed

"Of the many ways that the Bush administration sought to evade accountability for its violations of the law and the Constitution under the cover of battling terrorism, one of the most appalling was its attempt to use inflated claims of state secrecy to slam shut the doors of the nation’s courthouses.

Sadly, the Obama administration also embraced this tactic, even though President Obama criticized the cult of secrecy while running for office, leaving it to the courts to stand up for transparency and accountability.

And that is just what a panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco did on Tuesday by firmly rejecting the claim that the government can prevent a judge from even hearing those who say they were hurt by federal polices and actions.

The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated a civil lawsuit brought against a government contractor by five victims of the extraordinary rendition program, under which foreigners were kidnapped and flown to other countries for interrogation and torture."

Editorial - The State-Secrets Privilege, Tamed - NYTimes.com

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Future of Food - Introduction

An EXCELLENT documentary (available on streaming Netflix), that explains the changes taking place in the agriculture business. You might be surprised to find out what you're feeding your family.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pirates vs. Emperors

CIA official: No proof harsh techniques stopped terror attacks on America

"I call on all governments to join with the United States... in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture." -George W. Bush, June 2003

"The Bush administration pledged yesterday for the first time that the United States will not torture terrorism suspects or treat them cruelly in an attempt to extract information, a move that comes as the deaths of two Afghan prisoners in U.S. custody are being investigated as homicides."

U.S. Pledges to Avoid Torture (washingtonpost.com)

China Builds a Navy as US Focuses on Guys in Caves

Why You’ve Never Heard of the Great Depression of 1920

Iraqi oil recovery still a mirage

What Caused the Economic Crisis?

Warren Buffett called them “weapons of mass destruction” in 2003.

President Bush said they had to be regulated.

So did the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the current head of the Federal reserve.

As did the G-20 group of the world’s 20 richest nations.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan - after being one of their biggest cheerleaders - now says they are dangerous.

And a Nobel prize-winning economist said they should be “blown up or burned”, and we should start fresh.

What Are They Talking About?

What are the above-listed folks talking about?

A financial instrument called “credit default swaps” (CDS for short).

What Caused the Economic Crisis?

Ron Paul gets some love from Hillary Clinton 04/22/2009 CSPAN

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Fearless Independent Media Ignore the Pulitzer Prize That Calls Them On Their Own Conflicts of Interest

Waterboarding Used to Be a Crime

What We Know So Far: A Torture Timeline (Updated)

Waterboarding Approved Specifically To Justify Iraq War

"The excellent and much-respected Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild of the USA and Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, has discovered that waterboarding was first approved in July 2002 by Condoleeza Rice, specifically to force confessions of links between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein."

Craig Murray - Waterboarding Approved Specifically To Justify Iraq War

Pelosi Now Remembers Harman Wiretap

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged today that she had indeed been briefed about a wiretap that recorded conversations involving Representative Jane Harman, contradicting a statement she made on Tuesday when she said she didn’t remember being advised of such surveillance."

Pelosi Now Remembers Harman Wiretap - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

US interpreter who witnessed torture in Iraq shot herself with service rifle

Torture? It probably killed more Americans than 9/11

"The reason why foreign fighters joined al-Qa'ida in Iraq was overwhelmingly because of abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and not Islamic ideology," says Major Matthew Alexander, who personally conducted 300 interrogations of prisoners in Iraq.

Torture? It probably killed more Americans than 9/11 - Middle East, World - The Independent

We Executed Japanese for Waterboarding our POWs

"McCain is referencing the Tokyo Trials, officially known as the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. After World War II, an international coalition convened to prosecute Japanese soldiers charged with torture. At the top of the list of techniques was water-based interrogation, known variously then as 'water cure,' 'water torture' and 'waterboarding,' according to the charging documents. It simulates drowning." Politifact went on to report, "A number of the Japanese soldiers convicted by American judges were hanged, while others received lengthy prison sentences or time in labor camps."

Paul Begala: Yes, National Review, We Did Execute Japanese for Waterboarding

Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) says torture photos endanger troops

"Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, strongly disputed that the photos would endanger the United States and argued that practicing harsh interrogation techniques poses risks for the troops.

“What happened at Abu Ghraib is what endangers our troops. It's the practices that were authorized by high-level civilian people in the Bush administration which endangers our troops,” Levin said on the same TV program."

TheHill.com - Bond says torture photos endanger troops

Reagan's DOJ Prosecuted Texas Sheriff for Waterboarding Prisoners

"George W. Bush's Justice Department said subjecting a person to the near drowning of waterboarding was not a crime and didn't even cause pain, but Ronald Reagan's Justice Department thought otherwise, prosecuting a Texas sheriff and three deputies for using the practice to get confessions."

t r u t h o u t | Reagan's DOJ Prosecuted Texas Sheriff for Waterboarding Prisoners

We're All Torturers Now

The reaction to the Abu Ghraib scandal was swift and bipartisan. Within days, President George W. Bush had offered a public apology for "the terrible and horrible acts," and his secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, took "full responsibility" for the scandal, promising that the offenders would be brought to justice, because the victims "are human beings. They were in U.S. custody. Our country had an obligation to treat them right. We didn't do that."

Will anything about the U.S. torture scandal ever scandalize us again? - By Dahlia Lithwick - Slate Magazine

Bush in 2003, "War crimes will be prosecuted, war criminals will be punished and it will be no defense to say, "I was just following orders."

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Income Tax: WWII Disney Propaganda

Is America the new Russia?

"Is the US Russia? The question seems provocative, if not outrageous. Yet the person asking it is Simon Johnson, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund and a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In an article in the May issue of the Atlantic Monthly, Prof Johnson compares the hold of the “financial oligarchy” over US policy with that of business elites in emerging countries. Do such comparisons make sense? The answer is Yes, but only up to a point."

FT.com print article

Ex-Bush official says waterboarding is torture

Armitage: 'Maybe I should have quit'

Richard Armitage, the former US Deputy Secretary of State, tells Avi Lewis on Al Jazeera's Fault Lines why he should have resigned from the Bush administration over its lack of respect for the Geneva conventions.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bailed-out banks to 'lend' staff their deferred bonuses immediately, making mockery of Government ban

U.S. phone intercepts go beyond legal limits: report

NSA spied on member of Congress and broke new laws, report says

Two FBI Whistleblowers Confirm Illegal Wiretapping of Government Officials and Misuse of FISA

US Air Strikes in Iraq Kill Mostly Women, Children - New England Journal of Medicine

Pentagon Closes Office Accused of Issuing Propaganda Under Bush

China buys less U.S. debt as reserve growth slows

"Chinese purchases of U.S. debt help fund the U.S. government's budget deficit. Last month, Premier Wen Jiabao worried publicly about the "safety" of those investments. If China were to sell its massive Treasury holdings, U.S. interest rates could soar."

China buys less U.S. debt as reserve growth slows - USATODAY.com

The world is buying less, just as we are creating more than we ever have.

Desperate veterans turn to suicide; VA blamed for failing to help Iraq, Afghan veterans

"Several branches of the military are reporting significant spikes in the number of suicides committed by both active-duty troops and veterans returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Experts are calling the number of military-related suicides sweeping the country an "epidemic.""

Desperate veterans turn to suicide | detnews.com | The Detroit News

Tuesday, April 14, 2009