Monthly Archives: June 2008

Another Blow To The New World Order:”The Irish People Have Spoken; Lisbon Is dead”

Mike Whitney /
Online Journal | June 18, 2008

“Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly . . . All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way.” V.Giscard D’Estaing*, Le Monde, June 14, 2007

Irish voters delivered a knockout punch to European elites and corporatists last Friday by rejecting plans for an EU Superstate.

The so-called Lisbon Treaty was nothing more than a dolled-up version of the failed European Constitution that was defeated by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The treaty was loaded with the typical “democratic” gobbledygook to conceal the vicious neoliberal policies at its heart. If it had passed, the treaty would have paved the way for greater privatization of public services, diminished workers rights, less state control over trade policies and civil liberties, and an aggressive plan to militarize Europe.

Ireland’s entire political and corporate class stood solidly behind the treaty, but the Irish people shrugged off the fear-mongering and bogus promises of prosperity and voted No. The referendum results showed 53.4 percent voted No, while 46.6 percent voted Yes. Despite the massive public relations campaign; the vote was not even that close.

A spokesperson for the No campaign put it like this: “The Irish people have spoken. Contrary to the predictions of social and political turmoil, we believe that hundreds of millions of people across Europe will welcome the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty. This vote shows the gulf that exists between the politicians and the elites of Europe, and the opinions of the people. As in France and the Netherlands, the political leaders and the establishment have done everything they could to push this through – and they have failed. The proposals to further reduce democracy, to militarize the EU and to let private business take over public services have been rejected. Lisbon is dead. Along with the EU Constitution from which it came, it should now be buried.” [Socialist Worker online]

Europe’s political class tried to ratify the treaty via a stealth campaign which intentionally obscured the implications of the new regime that would be put in place. Former Irish Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald*, summed it up like this in the Irish Times on June 30, 2007: ”The most striklng change [between the EU Constitution in its older and newer version] is perhaps that in order to enable some governments to reassure their electorates that the changes will have no constitutional implications, the idea of a new and simpler treaty containing all the provisions governing the Union has now been dropped in favour of a huge series of individual amendments to two existing treaties. Virtual incomprehensibilty has thus replaced simplicity as the key approach to EU reform. As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty, most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum.”

Hmmm. In other words, European policymakers figured the only way they could pass the pro-business treaty was to make it as unreadable as possible. It’s no wonder, too. According to multiple sources, the treaty contains language that would restore the death penalty and override national decision making on critical issues. So much for sovereignty!

The observations of blogger Paul from Dublin seemed to epitomize the feelings of a great number of people who expressed deep suspicions over the agenda behind the treaty: “I am also deeply concerned at the direction the EU is going. Whereas it seemed originally to be an idealistic and benevolent project for Europe, accentuating all that was best about Europe, in recent times it seems to have fallen into the hands of the globalist gangster capitalist cabal of neo-liberals, following the US philosophy of every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost.

“I also discovered some very sinister organisations none of which the mainstream media informed us about. Organisations such as the Transatlantic Economic Council, the Transatlantic Policy Network & the Streit Council which seeks a union between the US and Europe, and whose agenda is clearly a political as well as an economic union. In the fall 2007 journal of that body, a world bank economist said that you could not have economic integration without political integration.”

Whether Paul is right to be skeptical or not is beside the point. The truth is that many Europeans think that the EU no longer operates in the best interests of the people. Clearly, this had a dramatic affect on the election’s results.

News of the defeat has not been well received in England where the neoliberal government of Gordon Brown has already indicated that it will reject the election results and “press ahead” in an effort to ratify the treaty. Neither Brown nor his friends in Brussels are likely to be deterred by anything as trivial as the will of the people. Labour MP and former Europe Minister Denis MacShane summed it up like this: “I personally think that a vote in a foreign country should not determine the democratic decisions taken in the British Parliament.”

MacShane’s view is apparently shared by EC President Jose Manuel Barroso who said that EU member states should continue ratifying the Lisbon treaty, even though more than half of Ireland’s 43 constituencies rejected it outright. So much for democracy.

Also, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a joint statement Friday saying they hoped the remaining countries would continue the ratification process: “We are convinced that the reforms contained in the treaty of Lisbon are necessary to make Europe more democratic and more efficient.”

The No vote makes matters particularly difficult for Sarkozy who is scheduled to take over the EU’s rotating presidency next month and was hoping to beef up Europe’s military capability while making big changes to the EU’s immigration policies. The failed referendum will derail the French president’s plans to play a bigger role in the war on terror or to help out in security operations in Afghanistan, Africa or Asia. In the final analysis, the No vote will hurt Washington as much as Euro-elites who were hoping for a blank check for more “free market” looting and foreign adventurism.

BRUSSELS PLAN: “Quarantine the Irish”

According to the UK Guardian: “Germany and France moved to isolate Ireland in the European Union yesterday, scrambling for ways to resuscitate the Lisbon Treaty a day after the Irish dealt the architects of the EU’s new regime a crushing blow.Refusing to take Ireland’s ‘no’ for an answer, politicians in Berlin and Paris prepared for a crucial EU summit in Brussels this week by trying to ringfence the Irish while demanding that the treaty be ratified by the rest of the EU.

The Franco-German plan is to get all 27 EU states to ratify the treaty as soon as possible, to quarantine the Irish and then come up with some legal maneuver enabling the treaty to go ahead.

‘We’re sticking firmly to our goal of putting this treaty into effect,’ said the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. ‘So the process of ratification must continue.’

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who devoted most of last year to getting the EU’s members to agree on the Lisbon Treaty after the failure of the EU’s proposed new constitution in 2005, said: ‘We must carry on.’” (EU tries to isolate Irish after Treaty rejection, UK Guardian)


The Irish have plenty to celebrate today. They’ve thrown a spanner in the plans of the bankers and corporate mandarins who want to replace representative government and national sovereignty with their own skewed vision of Capitalist Valhalla; a Euro-Utopia where short-term profits always take priority over the needs of ordinary people.

Bravo, Ireland.

* Quotes from Lisbon Treaty Irish Referendum Blog – National Platform.

Bush: Give More Power To The Fed

Associated Press
June 19, 2008

WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the government must move quickly to give the Federal Reserve more powers to regulate the financial system.

Paulson said Thursday that the central bank’s powers need to be expanded in the wake of the near collapse earlier this year of Bear Stearns, the giant Wall Street investment firm.

Read article

Calif. Government Mandates New Cars Carry “Green” Sticker

Associated Press
June 20, 2008

Green sticker
New cars sold in California will have to include under government mandate a green label showing estimated greenhouse gas emissions.

New-car shoppers in California will see an easy-to-read label revealing a vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions as soon as next month.

The California Air Resources Board said Thursday the window sticker will give consumers the information they need to choose a cleaner-burning car or light truck.

“This label will arm consumers with the information they need to choose a vehicle that saves gas, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps fight smog all at once,” board chairman Mary Nichols said in a statement. “Consumer choice is an especially powerful tool in our fight against climate change. We look forward to seeing these stickers on 2009 model cars as they start hitting the showrooms in the coming months.”

Approved earlier by California lawmakers and supported by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the regulation was signed into law this week by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

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White Al-Qaeda May Be Excuse To Come After Patriot Movement

CBS Reports Easily Debunked Domestic Terror Plot

Kurt Nimmo
June 18, 2008

“An ex-commando, working undercover for the FBI, took photographs as aspiring terrorists plotted to carry out attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq,” reports CBS, doing its best to convince us al-Qaeda is active domestically in the United States and we should be afraid. “Only this didn’t happen in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. This training played out in Toledo, Ohio, and involved three Americans drawn to the call of Jihad, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Bob Orr reports.”

Bob Orr, like most corporate media journalists, or maybe that should be script readers and transcribers, didn’t care to do his homework. You’d think Orr would spend a few minutes with the Google search engine, but apparently that is not permitted activity for corporate media hacks, especially if facts contrary to the official fairy tale get in the way.

CBS continues:

While these radicals have now been convicted, CBS News has learned e-mails and phone calls connect the Toledo cell to terror suspects in at least three other North American cities – and to a notorious al Qaeda operative.

“Its important that we just don’t look at cells in isolation, we look at their connectivity to each other,” said CBS News homeland security consultant Paul Kurtz.

Here’s how this radical web was spun.

The Toledo trio was in frequent contact with two Chicago men who are now charged with plotting attacks of their own.

Those Chicago suspects in turn communicated with two college-age students in Atlanta, sending e-mails asking them to “come and see our preparation…” for violent Jihad.

That preparation, the government charges, was conspiring with a Canadian terror cell to bomb Toronto landmarks.

And it all connected through the Internet, and to a shadowy al Qaeda webmaster known as Irhabi 007.

Irhabi 007 certainly is shadowy, same as a spook lurking behind the scenes is shadowy. First and foremost, consider that “Irhabi” is an absurd name for a supposed jihadist. It translates in Arabic as “terrorist” and 007, of course, is a reference to James Bond, the fictional British secret agent. As we shall see, 007 is a good choice for Younes Tsouli, the real name of the Moroccan-born resident of the United Kingdom behind the silly and rather revealing moniker.

Tsouli is said to have built al-Qaeda websites and forums with vanilla names such as Muntada al-Ansar al-Islami (Islam Supporters Forum). Tsouli also stands accused of distributing over the internet video material filmed by the Iraqi resistance. So careless was the “world’s most wanted cyber-jihadist,” he was captured after the arrest of a Swedish citizen as a terrorist in Sarajevo. Lo and behold, the authorities found Younes Tsouli’s name on the Swede’s laptop. For a supposedly sophisticated and technologically savvy jihadist, Tsouli was so apparently so stupid he allowed himself to end up on a buddy list and was traced by cell phone records to Shepherds Bush, London. But then, of course, as a member of al-Qaeda it should be expected Terrorist 007 would either be captured for propaganda purposes, killed in theatrical fashion, or remain at large forever like the dead Osama bin Laden.

As it turns out, Irhabi 007 is an intelligence contrivance. As the corporate media reported after his arrest, the young Mr. 007 administered an Islamist web forum entitled Al-Ansar, which had 4,500 members. Al-Ansar battled with another Islamist website, Al-Tajdeed, run by one Dr. Muhammad al-Massari, a Saudi dissident who has lived legally in London since 1994. Muhammad al-Massari’s site “launched such a struggle against, a leading Islamist site that often posts messages from Al Qaeda. Al-Tajdeed accused Al-Hesbah [an Arabic message board] of serving Arab and Western intelligence agencies, as well as exposing the founders of the famous Al-Ansar website (, including the operator known as ‘Irhabi 007′ and other members of the Global Islamic Media Front,” writes Gabriel Weimann, author of the book Terror on the Internet. “On March 5, 2006, Al-Tajdeed published an article signed by ‘Omar bin Hanif,’ titled ‘A Series of Exposures of Spies — [Who Is] the Traitor who Sold Irhabi 007?’”

“According to the Jamestown Foundation, suspicions were cast that Saudi intelligence had infiltrated Al-Hesbah and gleaned information leading to the rapid arrests of suspects linked to the attack on the Abqaiq oil facility in February 2006,” writes Paul Joseph Watson. “The website was subsequently suspended after two of its foremost users, Muhammad al-Zuhayri and Muhammad Tamallat, were exposed as intelligence agents.” It also apparently served as a platform to groom clueless patsies.

Not word one of these suspicious and documented connections in the CBS report. “When police raided 007’s London flat in 2005 they found among the evidence a video showing security at the U.S. Capitol, fuel tanks and other targets in Washington. The video was shot by the Atlanta suspects. None of these plots came close to working — all were infiltrated and busted. But, the connections suggest there is an active network of support for homegrown radicals looking to do us harm.”

Indeed, they appear not only to be radicals, but dim-witted radicals run by intelligence agencies. As we know, Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence, was intimately involved with the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI. The CIA collaborated with Pakistani and Saudi intelligence to launch the Afghan war against the Soviets and this marriage of tawdry convenience spawned the mujahideen, a rag-tag rabble of fanatics and cutthroats that would later morph into al-Qaeda.

If “homegrown radicals” are “looking to do us harm,” as CBS claims, we may conclude they are patsies handled by “undercover” FBI operatives at the behest of intelligence agencies. In other words, the FBI and the CIA are “looking to do us harm” in the name of fake terrorism.

Change Your Grades, Get 38 Years in Prison

Chris Ayres

Times Online
June 20, 2008

It could be a long time before Omar Khan goes to college: as long as 38 years, according to Orange County prosecutors, who have arrested and charged the 18-year-old student with breaking into his prestigious high school and hacking into computers to change his test grades from Fs to As.

If convicted on all 69 counts, including altering and stealing public records, computer fraud, burglary, identity theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy, Mr Khan could spend almost four decades in prison.

He is currently being held on $50,000 (£25,500) bail and is scheduled to appear in court today.

Mr Khan’s defence lawyer, Carol Lavacol, described her client as “a really nice kid” and said: “There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.”

Prosecutors claim that between January and May, Mr Khan, who lives in Coto de Caza, one of Orange County’s oldest and most expensive gated communities, repeatedly broke into Tesoro High School, which was made famous by the reality TV series Real Housewives of Orange County.

Read article

Criminal Crackdown Targeting Christians

Biggest danger is to religious conscience of business owners’
Posted: June 16, 2008
10:00 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

When a Christian pastor in Canada wrote a commentary on the Bible’s perspective on homosexuality, a government commission ordered him to renounce his faith and apologize. When a family-owned photography studio in New Mexico refused, on religious grounds, to take pictures at a same-sex ceremony, the fine for such “discrimination” was $6,600. Now the experts say Colorado is joining in the repression of the practice of Christianity. “Getting beyond the bathroom and locker room issue, the biggest danger this law poses is to the religious or moral consciences of small business owners who may object to doing business with people whose lifestyle they do not want to promote,” Bruce Hausknecht, a spokesman with Focus on the Family, told WND about Colorado’s new law, SB200. WND reported earlier when the chief of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, criticized Gov. Bill Ritter for signing the law because of its dangerous implications for anyone who provides a “public accommodation” because they no longer will be able to discriminate based on sexual orientation or even “perception.”
“Who would have believed that the Colorado state legislature and its governor would have made it fully legal for men to enter and use women’s restrooms and locker-room facilities without notice or explanation?” Dobson said at the time. “Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence,” Dobson said. The governor’s office has declined to respond to WND requests for comment on the issue, which also is creating controversy in Montgomery County, Md., where a public vote is scheduled this fall on an administrative plan to open restrooms and locker rooms to those who perceive themselves to be that particular sex. Hausknecht said there are a number of concerns generated by the law, but he believes the most significant is the same issue that already has played out in New Mexico, resulting in a fine of $6,600 for a family owned small business. In that case, the state’s Human Rights Commission ordered the fine imposed against Elane Photography LLC, run by owners Jon and Elaine Huguenin. They had declined, on religious grounds, to take photographs at a same-sex ceremony, and one of the people involved in that stunt, Vanessa Willock, then filed a complaint with the state. Lawyers working on behalf of the photography studio were appalled. “The Constitution prohibits the state from forcing unwilling people to promote a message they disagree with and thereby violate their conscience,” said Jordan Lorence, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, which is working on an appeal. “The commission’s decision shows stunning disregard for our client’s First Amendment rights,” he said. “SB200 creates the same legal scenario that we saw in New Mexico this year, where a Christian couple operating a small photographer studio were dragged before the NM Human Rights Commission and fined $6,600 for refusing, on religious grounds, to photograph as same-sex commitment ceremony,” Hausknecht told WND. “SB200’s definition of ‘public accommodations’ is broad enough to include any and all businesses, and we fear that we will be seeing these types of cases fairly soon here in Colorado. “The fiscal note attached to SB200 indicated that the legislature was anticipating 30 complaints and three court cases per year. I predict that small business run by religious owners will see the brunt of those complaints and cases as this bill pans out,” he said. There are groups who fear the law will do far more than that. “American RTL [Right to Life] Action is a political 527 group headquartered a half-block from the Colorado capitol, and we’re not going to hire someone cohabitating outside of marriage, let alone a homosexual,” said Steve Curtis, the group’s president and former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. “SB200 also makes it a crime for us to publish biblical teaching on immorality, so we are prepared to violate this anti-Christian government censorship. The liberals always said what homosexuals do in private could never affect anyone else; of course that was always a lie; they’re trying to criminalize traditional Christianity. The fight is on.” Hausknecht said such a dire view of a ban on even publishing biblical teachings may not be supported clearly by the law, although its provisions regarding “discrimination” against same-sex behavior still have yet to be tested. He said the law is divided into sections, and the definition for public accommodations is not the same throughout the law. Publishing houses such as Focus, the nearby International Bible Society and even the Navpress publishing empire located a few miles away, probably would not be covered under a “public accommodations” section defining those as “any inn, tavern, or hotel, … for the benefit, use, or accommodation of those seeking health, recreation, or rest, and any restaurant, eating house, public conveyance on land or water, bathhouse, barber shop, theater, and music hall.” There is some small risk to publishers under another section, he said, but, “by far the greater risk under that ‘publishing’ section would be the advertising or promotion of an event at a facility that would indicate or imply that it was not inclusive of all sexual orientations.” Others, however, fear the worst already has arrived in Colorado. Pastor Bob Enyart, a Denver-area activist on Christian issues, said he fears significant levels of censorship are coming to churches, and soon. “There are free speech rights to condemn cohabitation, homosexuality, state that homosexuals should not marry, should not adopt children,” Enyart said. “It’s now illegal in Colorado for anyone involved in a facility or business of public accommodation to give any communication that would advocate discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation.” He said he expects the law to be only “lightly” enforced until “it just becomes an entrenched part of our legal framework.”

As Patriot Movement Grows On Internet, Restrictions May Soon Follow

Death of the Internet! Long Live Internet 2!
Published on Thursday, June 19, 2008.

Source: NY Times
Some people use the Internet simply to check e-mail and look up phone numbers. Others are online all day, downloading big video and music files.

For years, both kinds of Web surfers have paid the same price for access. But now three of the country’s largest Internet service providers are threatening to clamp down on their most active subscribers by placing monthly limits on their online activity.

One of them, Time Warner Cable, began a trial of “Internet metering” in one Texas city early this month, asking customers to select a monthly plan and pay surcharges when they exceed their bandwidth limit. The idea is that people who use the network more heavily should pay more, the way they do for water, electricity, or, in many cases, cellphone minutes.

That same week, Comcast said that it would expand on a strategy it uses to manage Internet traffic: slowing down the connections of the heaviest users, so-called bandwidth hogs, at peak times.

AT&T also said Thursday that limits on heavy use were inevitable and that it was considering pricing based on data volume. “Based on current trends, total bandwidth in the AT&T network will increase by four times over the next three years,” the company said in a statement.

All three companies say that placing caps on broadband use will ensure fair access for all users.

Internet metering is a throwback to the days of dial-up service, but at a time when video and interactive games are becoming popular, the experiments could have huge implications for the future of the Web.

Millions of people are moving online to watch movies and television shows, play multiplayer video games and talk over videoconference with family and friends. And media companies are trying to get people to spend more time online: the Disneys and NBCs of the world keep adding television shows and movies to their Web sites, giving consumers convenient entertainment that soaks up a lot of bandwidth.

Moreover, companies with physical storefronts, like Blockbuster, are moving toward digital delivery of entertainment. And new distributors of online content — think YouTube — are relying on an open data spigot to make their business plans work.

Critics of the bandwidth limits say that metering and capping network use could hold back the inevitable convergence of television, computers and the Internet.

The Internet “is how we deliver our shows,” said Jim Louderback, chief executive of Revision3, a three-year-old media company that runs what it calls a television network on the Web. “If all of a sudden our viewers are worried about some sort of a broadband cap, they may think twice about downloading or watching our shows.”

Even if the caps are far above the average users’ consumption, their mere existence could cause users to reduce their time online. Just ask people who carefully monitor their monthly allotments of cellphone minutes and text messages.

“As soon as you put serious uncertainty as to cost on the table, people’s feeling of freedom to predict cost dries up and so does innovation and trying new applications,” Vint Cerf, the chief Internet evangelist for Google who is often called the “father of the Internet,” said in an e-mail message.

But the companies imposing the caps say that their actions are only fair. People who use more network capacity should pay more, Time Warner argues. And Comcast says that people who use too much — like those who engage in file-sharing — should be forced to slow down.

Time Warner also frames the issue in financial terms: the broadband infrastructure needs to be improved, it says, and maybe metering could pay for the upgrades. So far its trial is limited to new subscribers in Beaumont, Tex., a city of roughly 110,000.

In that trial, new customers can buy plans with a 5-gigabyte cap, a 20-gigabyte cap or a 40-gigabyte cap. Prices for those plans range from $30 to $50. Above the cap, customers pay $1 a gigabyte. Plans with higher caps come with faster service.

“Average customers are way below the caps,” said Kevin Leddy, executive vice president for advanced technology at Time Warner Cable. “These caps give them years’ worth of growth before they’d ever pay any surcharges.”

Casual Internet users who merely send e-mail messages, check movie times and read the news are not likely to exceed the caps. But people who watch television shows on, rent movies on iTunes or play the multiplayer game Halo on Xbox may start to exceed the limits — and millions of people are already doing those things.

Streaming an hour of video on Hulu, which shows programs like “Saturday Night Live,” “Family Guy” and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” consumes about 200 megabytes, or one-fifth of a gigabyte. A higher-quality hour of the same content bought through Apple’s iTunes store can use about 500 megabytes, or half a gigabyte.

A high-definition episode of “Survivor” on can use up to a gigabyte, and a DVD-quality movie through Netflix’s new online service can eat up about five gigabytes. One Netflix download alone, in fact, could bring a user to the limit on the cheapest plan in Time Warner’s trial in Beaumont.

Even services like Skype and Vonage that use the Internet to transmit phone calls could help put users over the monthly limits.

Time Warner would not reveal how many gigabytes an average customer uses, saying only that 95 percent of customers use under 40 gigabytes each in a month.

That means that 5 percent of customers use more than 50 percent of the network’s overall capacity, the company said, and many of those people are assumed to be sharing copyrighted video and music files illegally.

The Time Warner plan has the potential to bring Internet use full circle, back to the days when pay-as-you-go pricing held back the Web’s popularity. In the early days of dial-up access, America Online and other providers offered tiered pricing, in part because audio and video were barely viable online. Consumers feared going over their allotted time and bristled at the idea that access to cyberspace was billed by the hour.

In 1996, when AOL started offering unlimited access plans, Internet use took off and the online world started moving to the center of people’s daily lives. Today most Internet packages provide a seemingly unlimited amount of capacity, at least from the consumer’s perspective.

But like water and electricity, even digital resources are finite. Last year Comcast disclosed that it was temporarily turning off the connections of customers who used file-sharing services like BitTorrent, arguing that they were slowing things down for everyone else. The people who got cut off complained and asked how much broadband use was too much; the company did not have a ready answer.

Thus, like Time Warner, Comcast is considering a form of Internet metering that would apply to all online activity.

The goal, says Mitch Bowling, a senior vice president at Comcast, is “ensuring that a small number of users don’t impact the experience for everyone else.”

Last year Comcast was sued when it was disclosed that the company had singled out BitTorrent users.

In February, Comcast departed from that approach and started collaborating with the company that runs BitTorrent. Now it has shifted to what it calls a “platform agnostic” approach to managing its network, meaning that it slows down the connection of any customer who uses too much bandwidth at congested times.

Mr. Bowling said that “typical Internet usage” would not be affected. But on the Internet, “typical” use is constantly being redefined.

“The definitions of low and high usage today are meaningless, because the Internet’s going to grow, and nothing’s going to stop that,” said Eric Klinker, the chief technology officer of BitTorrent.

As the technology company Cisco put it in a recent report, “today’s ‘bandwidth hog’ is tomorrow’s average user.”

One result of these experiments is a tug-of-war between the Internet providers and media companies, which are monitoring the Time Warner experiment with trepidation.

“We hate it,” said a senior executive at a major media company, who requested anonymity because his company, like all broadcasters, must play nice with the same cable operators that are imposing the limits. Now that some television shows are viewed millions of times online, the executive said, any impediment would hurt the advertising model for online video streaming.

Mr. Leddy of Time Warner said that the media companies’ fears were overblown. If the company were to try to stop Web video, “we would not succeed,” he said. “We know how much capacity they’re going to need in the future, and we know what it’s going to cost. And today’s business model doesn’t pay for it very well.”

Employers Ponder Tough Tactics To Halt Smoking

Victoria Colliver / San Francisco Chronicle | June 18, 2008

Howard Weyers tried the “carrot” approach by giving his employees incentives and encouragement to quit smoking. But when that didn’t work, he resorted to the stick. A big stick.

Weyers, owner of a health care benefits administrator in Lansing, Mich., gave his 200 employees an ultimatum in 2004: Quit smoking in 15 months or lose your job. He refused to hire smokers. Ultimately, he extended his smoking ban to employees’ spouses and monitored compliance through mandatory random blood testing.

Weyers’ method, while effective, wouldn’t fly in California because the state has laws that prohibit employers from making hiring or firing decisions based on employee participation in a legal activity. But participants in a smoking cessation forum hosted Monday by the Commonwealth Club of California found the idea nonetheless intriguing.

“We’re talking about ending an epidemic. This is a global pandemic,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, likening Weyers’ approach to controlling an outbreak of disease.

About 45 million Americans, 4 million of whom live in California, smoke cigarettes despite more than three decades of public efforts to encourage people to quit.

Government “Strike Teams” Invade Homes, Harass Flood Victims

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No reentry
People who attempt to gain access to their home before it has been “cleared” by authorities are being apprehended, and those who attempt to drive around police checkpoints that have been set up in the affected areas are arrested at gunpoint.

Shocking footage out of Cedar Rapids Iowa shows cops and government employee “strike teams” breaking into houses of flood victims and threatening anyone who questions their actions in complete violation of the 4th amendment right that protects against unlawful search and seizure.

No warrant, no knock home invasions are being carried out on the flimsy pretext of “checking for structural damage” as cops harass and threaten with arrest people who refuse to have their homes ransacked by thugs in uniforms.

Cedar Rapids police chief Greg Graham promised residents over the weekend that “Law enforcement officers are not entering homes,” and that firefighters would only enter homes through unlocked doors and windows yet the video clearly shows locked houses being broken in to.

People who attempt to gain access to their home before it has been “cleared” by authorities are being apprehended, and those who attempt to drive around police checkpoints that have been set up in the affected areas are arrested at gunpoint.

“Each strike team consisted of six or seven people, including police, firefighters, utilities workers, and city employees,” reports the Iowa Gazette.

Angela Tague, a member of the STAR 1 search and rescue team from Ames, ran into any angry homeowner on E Avenue NW.

“He was saying ‘Where do you live?’ and ‘How would you like it if someone busted your door open?,” Tague said.

Police Officer Josh Bell later had a heated exchange with the man, and told him that if he didn’t go back inside his house and stop harassing the strike team, he would be escorted out of the area.

The man was visibly agitated about his broken door and pointed at Bell.

“It’s wrong,” the man said, over and over.

So people who are uncomfortable with jackbooted thugs breaking down their door without even knocking and express their distaste for it are to blame for “harassing the strike team”?

Respondents to the You Tube clip and the newspaper article expressed their outrage at the behavior of those in the video tasked with “helping” flood-stricken people yet doing nothing more than intimidating and invading their homes.

“You break down the door of my private residence and when I object you threaten to escort me off my own property. Fine example of police work. Did anyone think to knock first? Thomas Jefferson said that the main reason for citizens to be armed was to protect themselves from tyrannical government. If this isn’t tyranny then I don’t know what is. A man’s home is his castle,” states Steve Delaloye.

“A sad day for America when government thugs abuse the trust of the citizenry like this,” writes one.

“So these cops and fire fighters are part time structural engineers, or what?? What are they inspecting for in the structures? Gas and electric could be shut off at the source, and any spills are so diluted they wont catch fire. The police chief said no police would enter any homes, and what do you know, mr fat ass cop goes piling through the window thinking he’s T.J Hooker. Damn, this is just sad, sad , sad,” adds another.

One Iowa resident expresses her anger that authorities will not let her re-enter her home.

“I sit here with tears streaming down my face. I have been trying to be patient and await to enter my home. Now today, I am told there will be no re-entry’s until further notice. I cannot express how ****ing mad I am. I understand the houses can be unsafe. Just let me at least see my house, so that I can assess if it hit my top floor. I have pictures and memories on my top floor of my deceased mother, all I want to do is rescue those,” she writes.

As we reported in 2005, Hurricane Katrina was exploited by the federal government and used as a martial law drill while victims were abused and treated like rats in a laboratory.

Door to door gun confiscations were ordered and cops ransacked homes and took weapons from multi-million dollar homes which were in the high and dry areas and completely unaffected by the hurricane. In some cases, residents were kicked out of their own homes for no reason.

Outrageous footage showed cops seizing handguns from the home of a grief-stricken old women as they assaulted and punched her in the face.

Where does the government think it derives the authority from to break into people’s homes whose lives have already been devastated by massive floods on the flimsiest of pretexts?

The 4th amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Even if there was a legitimate reason to inspect homes, why on earth do they not even bother to knock on the door?

Cops immediately attempt to break in or climb through windows uninvited because this procedure is all about sending a message – when a crisis unfolds we are the bosses and you – the peasants – will yield to our tyranny.

Lawsuits need to be filed immediately by people in Iowa and elsewhere who have had cops invade their homes in complete violation of the 4th amendment and a pretext needs to be set that will put a stop to the government’s routine exploitation of natural disasters as an opportunity to impose martial law measures on needy victims that have already had their lives devastated.

With reports indicating that the Mississippi river is in danger of bursting its banks, the precedent that was set with Hurricane Katrina could be set to advance as government minions and jackbooted thugs across the country lick their lips at the prospect of kicking down more doors and harassing innocent people.

Contact the Iowa ACLU and demand they pressure the authorities to stop these illegal home invasions immediately.

Government Terrorists Terrorize Iowa Homeowners

These government bureaucrats should be removed from office for allowing these checkpoints to be setup and not allowing people to go back to their homes.

Lee Rogers
Rogue Government
June 18, 2008

Government terrorists are continuing their agenda of terrorizing the American people and destroying individual liberty. Using the guise of keeping people safe from the floods in Iowa, uniformed terrorists are setting up Nazi like checkpoints forbidding people from going back to their homes. These checkpoints are not only unnecessary but also illegal as people should not be forbidden from going back to their own private property because some Nazi in a uniform is claiming that they are blocking the road for the purposes of public safety. People have the right to travel freely regardless of what these uniformed terrorists say. Like Hurricane Katrina, the government is taking advantage of this disaster to setup a system of control that Hitler and Stalin would have approved of. These government terrorists need to be held accountable for unlawfully violating the Constitutional rights of American citizens. It doesn’t matter if there’s a flood, earthquake, tornado or an invasion by space aliens, the Constitution is still the supreme law of the land. The government does not have the right to block law abiding citizens from their own private property regardless of the situation.

A perfect example of these government terrorists in action was an incident reported by this Associated Press report on these unconstitutional checkpoints.

Police twice caught a man in his flood-damaged home before the property had been cleared by city inspectors. But Rick Blazek vowed to return — even if he had to sneak behind bushes.

“Once I’m in there, I’m not coming out unless they have handcuffs and leg shackles,” he pledged Sunday at a checkpoint where authorities were limiting access.

That’s what happened Monday when officers pulled Blazek out of his pickup after he tried to run a checkpoint. When he allegedly bumped an Iowa state trooper with the truck, police drew their guns, broke a window on his vehicle and wrestled Blazek out. He was charged with assaulting an officer.

Blazek was among thousands of flood victims frustrated by authorities’ decision Monday to cut off access to flood-damaged homes because of safety concerns. About 25,000 people have had to leave their homes since the Cedar River began flooding.

This is entirely ridiculous. The so called police officers are the real criminals by infringing on this man’s right to freely travel. At the very least, these individuals should be charged with destruction of property for breaking Mr. Blazek’s truck window and be required to compensate him accordingly. Here is a man who was simply trying to access his private property. These government goon squads had no right to block this man from his private property in the name of public safety. This man was not infringing on anyone else’s liberty and should have been left alone. The fact that he bumped one of these goons with his automobile would not have happened if these uniformed terrorists weren’t unlawfully blocking the road and preventing people from accessing their private property. The fact that he is being charged with assaulting an officer is absurd. He’s not the one terrorizing homeowners by not letting them access their private property.

What is really insane about this whole deal is that while people are not allowed to access their homes, these inspectors from the government are allowed to wander around to people’s property for safety purposes. This is a recipe for corruption. How can people be assured that their homes are not being looted by these so called government officials? Governments have time and time again proven to be one of the most corrupt and criminal institutions in the history of mankind. If you don’t believe this to be true, take a look at the looting and pillaging that is currently taking place by the crooks in the federal government.

In Iowa City, the Mayor actually ordered hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. This government bureaucrat has no right to order people to leave their private property regardless of the situation. If people believe the conditions are unsafe, they’ll leave, if not, they’ll stay. It is up to the individual to make that decision, not the government.

These government bureaucrats should be removed from office for allowing these checkpoints to be setup and not allowing people to go back to their homes. In addition, it is disgraceful that these uniformed terrorists are enforcing these unconstitutional orders. With insanity like this going on, this country is gone. We can certainly expect more of this as this nation descends further into the depths of the New World Order.

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