7-Eleven stores in Taiwan pull Hitler lookalike items 1

From CNN.

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7-Eleven stores in Taiwan pull Hitler lookalike items

These items were pulled from 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan after complaints about their resemblance to Adolf Hitler.

In Taiwan, 7-Eleven stores have pulled products featuring a cartoon vampire that bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler after receiving complaints from the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei (ISECO) for selling the items, according to several media reports.

The convenience store chain, whose 4,400 Taiwanese locations are owned by the President Chain Store Corp., has suspended sales of the key chains, USB drives and magnets sporting the apparent caricature of the Nazi dictator. Company officials originally denied that the cartoon was meant to depict Hitler, first calling the black square on the figure’s face a tooth, then a nose, rather than a mustache. But on Wednesday, the company acknowledged that many saw the image as offensive and said that it did not intend to be insensitive by selling the items.

“Because there are people with doubts, we’ve stopped selling the products for now,” a representative from 7-Eleven told the German Press Agency, according to an Israeli newspaper.

The ISECO, which is Israel’s de facto embassy to Taiwan, since China does not allow its diplomatic allies to have official ties with the island, says that while it does not think the products were meant to be a show of support for anti-Semitic ideology, the cartoon figure does signify a lack of understanding of the Nazi party’s history.

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A $64 million runway for no one in Alaska? Reply

From CNN.

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A $64 million runway for no one in Alaska?

A $64 million runway for no one in Alaska?

The route a hovercraft would take between the village of Akutan and the runway on Akun Island.
September 28th, 2011
12:56 PM ET

 

Remember Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere,” a $400 million span that was supposed to connect Ketchikan to its airport on sparsely inhabited Gravina Island? The project gained infamy in 2005 as a waste of taxpayer dollars and the funds earmarked for it were withheld. The 8,000 residents of Ketchikan continue to be connected to their airport by ferry.

Fast forward six years and another remote Alaskan airport project is raising questions about how the government spends money.

The price this time is $77 million and the place is Akutan, a remote island village in the Aleutian chain, according to a report from the Alaska Dispatch.

By next winter Akutan is scheduled to have a 4,500-foot-long runway, built at a cost of $64 million ($59 million in federal and $5 million state funds), the Dispatch reports. The problem is, the runway is on Akun Island, 6 miles from the village across the treacherous waters of the Bering Sea. Plying those waters can be tricky with seas over 6 feet and winds above 30 mph.

Original plans called for using a hovercraft – at a cost of $11 million – to ferry passengers from Akutan to Akun. But, the Dispatch points out, the same model hovercraft planned for the route has proven unreliable under similar conditions elsewhere in Alaska. And when it did run, operating losses were in the millions.

Now, transportation officials are considering using a helicopter to ferry passengers from Akutan, according to the Dispatch report. Cost of that is still being determined.

Should officials get it all figured out and funded, who’ll benefit? Akutan has a year-round population of 100, but that spikes to about 1,000 in the summer when Trident Seafoods processing plant, the largest seafood processing plant in North America, is in operation, the Dispatch reports. Trident is contributing $1 million to the project, the Dispatch says.

And why is this necessary? Air service to Akutan is now provided by World War II-era amphibious aircraft operated by Peninsula Airways. Those are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, Peninsula Vice President Brian Carricaburu told the Dispatch.

Carricaburu also says the runway could cut the government’s costs in one way. Peninsula Airways routes to Akutan are now subsidized by about $700,000 annually under the federal Essential Air Service program. Using bigger, more efficient aircraft could bring that cost down, he told the Dispatch.

But to reach that point, it looks like a lot of figurative bridges have to be crossed.

South Florida ICE official arrested on child porn charges Reply

From CNN.

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updated 2:51 PM EST, Wed September 28, 2011
Anthony Mangione faces three charges related to child pornography, the Justice Department says.
Anthony Mangione faces three charges related to child pornography, the Justice Department says.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Report: Anthony Mangione will undergo a psychological evaluation
  • NEW: He pleaded not guilty to the charges in federal court
  • Mangione’s indictment was unsealed Wednesday, authorities say
  • If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison

Miami (CNN) — The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for South Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.

“According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” the statement said. “The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period.”

Mangione was arrested Tuesday by FBI agents and made an initial appearance Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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Banned in the US: the Film You Won’t See Reply

Article by Stuart Bramhall.

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Banned in the USBanned in the US

 

Film Review

The War You Don’t See

Produced and directed by John Pilger

Americans now have the opportunity of seeing John Pilger’s critically acclaimed The War You Don’t See as a free download at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/war-you-dont-see/ The groundbreaking documentary was effectively banned in the US when Patrick Lannan, who funds the “liberal” Lannon Foundation, canceled the American premier (and all Pilger’s public appearances) in June 2010. Pilger provides the full background of this blatant act of censorship at his website www.johnpilger.com. After seeing the film, I believe its strong support of Julian Assange (who the US Department of Justice is attempting to prosecute) is the most likely reason it’s not being shown in American theatres.

Pilger’s documentary centers around the clear propaganda role both the British and US press played in cheerleading the US/British invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. It includes a series of interviews in which Pilger confronts British and American journalists (including Dan Rather) and news executives regarding their failure to give air time to weapons inspectors and military/intelligence analysts who were publicly challenging the justification for these invasions. The Australian filmmaker focuses heavily on the fabricated evidence (Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction and links to 9-11) that was used to convince American and British lawmakers to go along with an illegal attack on a defenceless nation (Iraq).

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The Nazi Obession: It's Time to Move On 5

Hear, hear! Article by Simon Jenkins.

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What is the matter with us? We seem unable to get the Nazis out of our system. Earlier this summer the curtain rose on Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust at the London Coliseum, and my heart sank. The stage was alive with stormtroopers and jackboots. The banality was crashing: Faust, the Devil … Hitler, get it? By act two we were deep in the Holocaust. This week the same opera house launched Weinberg’s The Passenger. It is set in Auschwitz.

At the same time ITV is fighting the first world war from Downtown Abbey. The BBC has spent the week immersed in Stalin, Spitfires and “Entertaining the Troops”. Radio 4 has decamped to the eastern front where we must hear the Ukrainian novelist, Vasily Grossman, enduring unimaginable privations. Monday’s entire edition of Start the Week was devoted to presenting his Life and Fate as a 1940s War and Peace.

Small wonder Hitler is now the ruling obsession of the national curriculum. I remember my son asking me, after a punishing term of the Weimar republic, if there was a second world war when was there a first? The GCSE history website scores 417,000 mentions of Hitler against just 157,000 for Henry VIII and the Tudors.

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Jose Padilla and how American justice functions Reply

Article by Jose Padilla.

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(updated below – Update II)

The story of Jose Padilla, continuing through the events of yesterday, expresses so much of the true nature of the War on Terror and especially America’s justice system.  In 2002, the American citizen was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, publicly labeled by John Ashcroft as The Dirty Bomber, and then imprisoned for the next three years on U.S. soil as an “enemy combatant” without charges of any kind, and denied all contact with the outside world, including even a lawyer.  During his lawless incarceration, he was kept not just in extreme solitary confinement but extreme sensory deprivation as well, and was abused and tortured to the point of severe and probably permanent mental incapacity (Bush lawyers told a court that they were unable to produce videos of Padilla’s interrogations because those videos were mysteriously and tragically “lost”).

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Mearsheimer resists urge to say ‘I told ‘em so’ Reply

Article by Kelley Vlahos.

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John Mearsheimer wears his vindication well.

The 63-year-old University of Chicago professor and co-author of The Israel Lobby and U.S Foreign Policy (with Harvard Professor Stephen Walt) never said he felt vindicated, per se, but the glint in his eye and that smile – like the cat that just ate the mouse – said it all.

In a brief exchange with TAC at the Committee for the Republic’s regular Empire Salon last night, Mearsheimer affably addressed Tom Friedman’s pointed – and unprecedented — use of the designation “powerful pro-Israel lobby” in his recent New York Times Sunday column.

“There’s no question that it’s easy to talk about ‘the lobby’ now because we talked about it so much. We wrote the article, and we wrote the book,” he said. However, “because we were the ‘corridor cutters’ we knew we would pay a significant price. And because we’re not Jewish, we paid an even greater price.”

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U.S. to build new massive prison in Bagram Reply

Article by Glenn Greenwald.

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As the Obama administration announced plans for hundreds of billions of dollars more in domestic budget cuts, it late last week solicited bids for the construction of a massive new prison in Bagram, Afghanistan.  Posted on the aptly named FedBizOps.Gov website which it uses to announce new privatized spending projects, the administration unveiled plans for “the construction of Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), Bagram, Afghanistan” which includes “detainee housing capability for approximately 2000 detainees.”  It will also feature “guard towers, administrative facility and Vehicle/Personnel Access Control Gates, security surveillance and restricted access systems.”  The announcement provided: “the estimated cost of the project is between $25,000,000 to $100,000,000.”

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Ahmadinejad: Good, Bad, and Ugly 2

From Taki’s Mag.

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Thursday bore the ripely rotten fruit of a now-yearly autumnal Manhattan ritual—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, vilifying the West and being vilified by the West in return. He said “hateful” things and in turn was hated for it. For the third consecutive year, Western delegates stormed out in a tiff during his speech—or at least the ones who bothered to show up. Israel and Canada chose to play hooky from the start.

For someone who purportedly hates Jews so much, Ahmadinejad always seems to be flying to New York. His speech came a day after Iran released a pair of American hikers they’d held captive for over two years. It also came a day after Iranian officials publicly hanged a 17-year-old for murdering an athlete known as “Iran’s Strongest Man.” Proving once more that the United Nations ain’t so united, Ahmadinejad hammered away at his familiar bêtes noires: Western economic imperialism, America’s use of nuclear weapons, and the cynical employment of the Holocaust as a pretext “to pay [a] fine or ransom to the Zionists.” As he did in last year’s speech, he questioned “the hidden elements involved in [the] September 11 incident” and whether it had been staged to excuse full-blown Western military intervention in the Middle East.

Judging from the infantile mass walkout and the hyperbolic verbal fallout, one might think Ahmadinejad was purposely trying to be an asshole—an unapologetic Ahmadinejerkoff—rather than honestly speaking his mind. US mission spokesman Mark Kornblau accused him of tossing out “abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories.” With robotic predictability, he was labeled a fascistically tyrannical poison-peddling hatemongering WWIII-precipitating Demon Seed of Hitler.

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Walkout at U.N. as Ahmadinejad speaks Reply

From CNN.

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United Nations (CNN) — Delegations from the United States and several European nations walked out of the U.N. General Assembly Thursday during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech, in which he repeatedly condemned the United States and said some countries use the Holocaust as an “excuse to pay ransom… to Zionists.”

Delegates from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom were among those who walked out. Delegations from Canada and Israel were not present from the beginning.

In his remarks, Ahmadinejad called the September 11, 2001, attacks “mysterious” and said they were a pretext for a U.S.-led war against Afghanistan and Iraq.

He said the United States killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden instead of assigning a fact-finding team to investigate “hidden elements involved in September 11.”

He also placed blame on the United States for numerous global problems including the financial crisis, criticizing it for dominating the world’s “policy-making establishments,” overspending on the military, and “printing trillions of dollars” that triggered inflation, according to an English translation of his speech provided by Iran’s U.N. mission.

Ahmadinejad said the U.S. government views Zionism as “sacred,” and that “European countries still use the Holocaust after six decades as the excuse to pay (a) fine or ransom to the Zionists.”

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Wings of Death – US Builds Global Drone Base Reply

Watch the video.

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Relations between the U.S. and Pakistan have hit a new low, after a top American military chief accused Pakistan’s Intelligence service of supporting a group behind last week’s attack on the American Embassy in Kabul. Islamabad has strongly denied the claims. One of the stumbling blocks in U.S- Pakistan relations is that American drone attacks on al-Qaeda operatives on Pakistani territory continually resulted in civilian deaths. However, the U.S. military considers them so effective that it is building a number of new drone bases in Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula. But as RT’s Gayane Chichakyan reports, this policy has caught America in a vicious circle.

Kidnap victim files complaint, blasting feds' 'inexcusable' lack of oversight 2

From CNN.

Interesting. Maybe this will start a trend of suing the state every time it fucks up. The shear volume of lawsuits alone should bring the system to a halt.

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A picture of Jaycee Dugard before she was kidnapped sits framed in her stepfather's home.
A picture of Jaycee Dugard before she was kidnapped sits framed in her stepfather’s home.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Abuse is due to “the U.S. parole commission’s colossal blunders,” a lawyer says
  • Federal authorities oversaw Philip Garrido’s parole between 1988 and 1999
  • He and his wife abducted Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and held her 18 years
  • Dugard’s representative claims, in a release, that feds rejected two private mediation requests

(CNN) — Jaycee Dugard filed a complaint against the federal government Thursday, seeking compensation for what she called its failures to track the man who held her captive for 18 years.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday morning in the U.S. District Court for Northern California. This comes after the U.S. government “summarily rejected” two requests from Dugard “for private mediation in the case,” according to a press release from Nancy Seltzer and Associates, a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that represents the long-time kidnap victim.

The U.S. Justice Department had no immediate comment Thursday, as it had not seen and thus did not know the details of the complaint, said spokesman Charles Miller.

Dugard was 11 years old in 1991, when she was abducted from the street in front of her South Lake Tahoe, California, home. Philip and Nancy Garrido held her and the two daughters she gave birth to in subsequent years in a hidden compound of sheds and tarpaulins until they were found in 2009.

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Capitalists Never Sleep Reply

Article by Stuart Bramhall.

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TPPA Protest in Chicago (Sept 2011)TPPA Protest in Chicago (Sept 2011)

My fifth and final post about the antiglobalization movement – and why it’s more important than ever in 2011.

Activists mustn’t be lured into a false sense of security by the collapse of Doha round of WTO negotiations. Globalization is very much alive and well. WTO tribunals continue to meet secretly in Geneva enforcing trade provisions that have already been agreed. Moreover after a two year hiatus, an informal meeting at the May G20 Summit in Paris has resulted in the scheduling of a WTO ministerial in Geneva in December 2011. The goal of the December meeting is to try to reach a “partial” agreement on the Doha round.

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Christians Fined for Bible Study 2

Article by Matthew Heimbach.

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Say goodbye to the days when you could have your friends, family, or members of your Church over to your house to read the word of God. A married California couple were fined $300 dollars because their bible study “violates a city zoning code.” The Fromms are accused of having “impacts on the residential neighborhood on street access and parking” when they hold their twice a week Bible study. Brad Dacus who is a lawyer for the Public Justice Institute responded to this accusation by stating “the Fromms live in a semi-rural area and have not caused any parking problems for neighbors.” This seems to be the continuation of blatant bigotry against practicing Christians by the establishment who are using any excuse to persecute believers in this supposed secular age. In a world where the BBC Christian program “Songs of Praise” may now “explore other faiths”, Christians throughout the Middle East are being targeted with bombs and bullets by Muslim extremists, and here at home atheists are even suing to remove the 9/11 cross from being a part of the September 11th memorial. Against this backdrop a couple in California is being forced to pay $300 dollars for meeting with friends to discuss the Gospel. Religious tolerance? I don’t think so.