News, commentary and calls on this 31st day of January 2011 from Our Narrator and Radio Gun, Jack Blood.
BOSTON — Documents in a lawsuit against United Airlines, which claim negligence in security leading to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, show that a United flight attendant spotted one of the hijackers on a Boston-bound flight 12 days before the attacks.
Flight attendant Greg McAleer was working United Flight 514 from Chicago to Boston on Aug. 20, 2001. McAleer testified to investigators from the 9/11 Commission that as he was greeting passengers a man in casual clothes displayed a jump-seat pass.
United issued such a pass to pilots from other airlines. It allowed them to ride as passengers in the jump seat in the cockpit. The flight’s pilot would not let the passenger sit in the jump seat because he did not have proper ID, but he was allowed to fly as a passenger.
After Sept. 11, McAleer recognized the man as Fayez Banihammad, one of the 19 hijackers.
Terrorists are planting normal, hard-working Muslim Americans throughout the nation to get us to lower our guard.
Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will be honored with the “Defender of the Constitution Award” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual event attended by numerous conservative activists, journalists, and politicians.
WorldNetDaily columnist Brad O’Leary and American Conservative Union chairman David A. Keene will present the former Defense secretary with the award on Feb 10, according to the conference’s schedule of events (.pdf).
Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh was presented with the “Defender of the Constitution Award” at CPAC in 2009.
Rumsfeld, who was Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006, oversaw the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was replaced by current Defense secretary Robert Gates after a number of generals called for his resignation.
A regional official said that the police commander in charge of security for the World Economic Forum has died in an apparent suicide.
The regional governor said Markus Reinhardt was found dead Tuesday in his Davos hotel room.
The five-day forum starts Wednesday and will attract 2,500 of the world’s business and political elite to the Swiss Alpine resort.
Reinhardt, 61, was captain of Graubuenden’s cantonal police and was responsible for organizing Davos’ security.
This afternoon, a federal judge in Florida ruled that key portions of Obamacare, a.k.a. the health-care reform bill, a.k.a. the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” were unconstitutional. Because the bill as passed lacked any sort of severability clause to hold the ruling to individual portions of the bill, the entire bill would now be recognized as unconstitutional.
In his decision in the case of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson stated that the “individual mandate” which would force consumers to purchase some form of health insurance was in violation of the Commerce Clause and cited numerous examples where such government expansion of powers was deemed to be out of order. He also stated that “(I)t would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivtity under the Commerce Clause” which could then extend beyond any rational enumeration of powers set forth in the Constitution.
Sunday, 30 Jan 2011
By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter
Donald Trump is mad as hell — and he’s letting everybody know it.
In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Friday, the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star lashes out at China, OPEC, Obama’s Middle East dealings, the president’s State of the Union address and more.
Trump takes aim at America’s “horrible” trade agreements, declares that the Middle East is going to explode, warns about “catastrophic” oil prices, and charges that Obama’s Afghanistan policy is “dangerous and stupid.”
He also complains that the United States is a “laughing stock” throughout the world — and confirms that he is seriously considering running for president in 2012.
Asked directly about a possible run, Trump tells Newsmax: “I’m thinking about it. I’m looking at what’s happening with this country and frankly, it’s very sad. I see what’s happening left and right, how we’re being abused by other nations, and I don’t like it. I don’t like what’s happening with jobs. I am seriously thinking about it.”
Trump says if he does run it will be as a Republican and not as a third party candidate, and explains why he would run.
“I love the country. I’ve done well in the country. My businesses have never been better because I’ve made some good decisions. It shouldn’t be good. It should be terrible because a lot of other businesses are terrible. But I’ve made some very good decisions.
“I love the country and I hate what’s happening to the country. In 12 years China will take over as the world’s leading economic power, if not sooner, and the way we’re going this country will not be a great country as it was anymore. That’s so very very sad to me.”
Trump has a lot more to say about China.
“I’m a big buyer of products, and I’m also unfortunately a big buyer of Chinese products,” he says. “It’s very hard not to buy Chinese products, including sheetrock, which has destroyed many a development and many a life.
“I’ll say this: We make better products than China. The problem is they manipulate their currency so badly that it’s almost impossible for a person like me to buy outside China.
“I want to buy an American product. The Chinese products come in, they’re cheaper. They’re not as good but they’re cheaper. And it’s not because of their workers, it’s because of their manipulation of their currency.
“Another thing: If you try to do business in China, it’s almost impossible. They want all your technology. They want you to build your plants in China.
“We have a very weak policy. Whether it’s China, or the horrible agreement just signed with South Korea, or any of the other horrible deals that we make, we don’t have the ability to make good deals with other countries.
We’re like a whipping post for other countries. We are standing there and being beaten by South Korea, by Mexico, by China, by India. If you have a problem with a credit card and you call somebody up, that person is based in India.
“And then they wonder why we’re not going to have jobs for another five or six years.
“Ben Bernanke said recently it’s going to be at least five years before our jobs really come back. And I say, why? All our jobs are going to China. We’re rebuilding China and other places.”
Trump insists the United States needs to change its trade policies with the People’s Republic.
“If we ever taxed Chinese products coming into this country, we would pay off the debt so fast. More importantly, we would start creating jobs in our country.
“They cheated at the Olympics with their gymnasts, they’re cheating us with their manipulation of the currency. They’re not our friends. I know them very well. I do business with them. I’m not angry at them. I just can’t believe that they can get away with it.
“My friends from China said to me just recently — they didn’t know that I might be thinking about running for president — we cannot believe how stupid your politicians are to allow us to get away with what we’re getting away with.
“They thought they were talking to me as a business guy and they were all laughing and smiling. We are a laughing stock throughout the world.”
Referring to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Trump says: “He didn’t talk about the deficit, he didn’t talk about how to pay off all the debt that we have. Instead he’s telling everybody what a great country China is, that China has the fastest computer in the world. That should be for the president of China to talk about, not President Obama.
“Unless we get tough, and smart, and unless we stop having dinners for people that are destroying us, like when the president of China came two weeks ago to this country and we gave him a great state dinner, we’re going to have big problems.”
Trump has a surprising response to speculation that the turmoil in Egypt and other countries in the Middle East could push oil prices to as high as $200 a barrel.
“It also could go the other way. Frankly, the Middle East is a tinderbox. It’s going to explode. OPEC will probably be destroyed if it explodes, and oil prices could go the other way.
“I understand economics. You break up what would normally be an illegal monopoly, OPEC, and break it up very strongly. The Middle East is exploding, and I’m saying that could have a positive impact on oil prices.
“If you look at oil right now, it’s soon going to be $100 a barrel. Far too high. It’s set by OPEC. I think OPEC would explode with the Middle East and that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.”
Trump has especially harsh words for OPEC and its grip on oil prices.
“I think it’s unfair. I think it’s illegal,” he declares. “If you have a store and I have a store and we collude and set prices, we go to jail.
“Here you have 12 men, in this case all men, they sit around a table and they set the price of oil.
“We have so much oil. There’s so much oil out at sea. I see $3.50 for a gallon of gas. Cars are lined up trying to get it, and at $3.50. It’s a shame. It’s a ridiculous shame.
“Plus we don’t use our natural gas. We have more natural gas than anybody. Why we not using it is an amazing thing.
“Abu Dhabi, which has plenty of oil, just went to all natural gas for transportation because they want to sell us the oil at exorbitant prices. When you tell me about Obama and what he’s doing in the Middle East, I don’t think he’s doing anything in the Middle East.”
Trump warns of the dangers to the United States posed by OPEC and high oil prices.
“We have to do something about OPEC because that’s the life blood of the country. Right now, until we get on natural gas and other things, they really have us, and they’re sitting around inflating the price.
“When we had our problem not so long ago, a few years ago, oil was almost $150 a barrel. They’re blaming the banks, and the banks were terrible, and lots of other things were terrible, but I give a lot of the credit for the almost collapse of this country to the price of oil. It’s going to be up there again very soon and you’re going to have another catastrophic problem.
“By the way, any time a country comes up with oil they invite them in. Join OPEC. The United States is stupid, the people who represent the United States are really stupid, so join us and we’ll take advantage of the United States, sell them oil at inflated prices. They’re draining our life blood. We cannot allow that to continue. What kind of power do we have over OPEC? They wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for us.”
Asked where he thinks the price of oil is headed, Trump responds: “I think it could go, with proper leadership, down to $40 a barrel. I think if we continue the way it is, it’s going to go up to $150 a barrel.”
Turning to Afghanistan and the timeline President Obama has proposed for withdrawal of American troops, Trump tells Newsmax: “We should be out of there as soon as possible. At the same time, when Obama announced that he’s going to be out at a certain date, these militants are just sitting back saying, ‘He gave us a specific date. This is fantastic. We’ll just sit back and then we’ll take it over the minute they leave.’
“So for him to give a date was a very dangerous, stupid, and foolish thing to do.”
* Venezuelan leader accuses U.S. of meddling
* Briefed by Libya’s Gaddafi and Syria’s al-Assad
CARACAS, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s firebrand leader Hugo Chavez accused the United States on Sunday of a “shameful” role in the Egyptian crisis and of hypocrisy for supporting, then abandoning strongmen round the world.
Chavez, Washington’s leading critic in the Americas, said he had spoken to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad for a briefing on the protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world.
“In Egypt, the situation is complicated, Chavez said.
“Now you are seeing comments from Washington and some European nations. As President Gaddafi said to me, it’s shameful, it makes you kind of sick to see the meddling of the U.S., wanting to take control.”
The United States has urged an orderly transition to democracy in Egypt to avoid a power vacuum but has stopped short of calling on President Hosni Mubarak, an ally of three decades, to step down. [ID:nN30161335]
The socialist Chavez has generally cast himself as pro-Arab and opposed to the policies of Israel and the United States.
But in brief comments carried on state TV, he avoided any further specific comment on Egypt, saying only that “national sovereignty” should be respected.
Chavez scoffed at what he said was the United States’ chameleon-like foreign policy.
“See how the United States, after using such-and-such a president for years, as soon as he hits a crisis, they abandon him. That’s how the devil pays,” he said.
“They didn’t even give a visa or anything to the president of Tunisia,” he said, referring to President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who lost power this month after failing to quell the worst unrest of his two-decade rule.
Chavez spoke after inspecting an army ammunitions depot where predawn explosions killed one person and injured another three, lighting up the sky and terrifying locals.
Though the incident appeared to be an accident, the government said it was not discounting any cause given the depth of feeling against Chavez by political opponents.
Venezuelans have been following events in the Arab world closely, with some Chavez foes privately expressing hopes for a similar uprising against him after nearly 12 years in power.
ILLUSION: Zbigniew Brzezinski is in Fear of Egypytian Uprising? Reality (in his own words) Not so much
As President Jimmy Carter’s national-security adviser during the 1979 fall of the shah in Iran, Zbigniew Brzezinski has dealt intimately with history-bending revolutions. After mass protests deposed a regime in Tunisia and later spread to the streets of Egypt and Yemen last week, NEWSWEEK’s John Barry talked to the Johns Hopkins professor about the way young people across the Arab world—many of them disaffected and disenchanted—are now connecting on the circuits of a new revolutionary age.
A few years back you said a “demographic revolution” awaited the Middle East like a “political time bomb.” Has that moment come?
Today we have somewhere between 80 million and 130 million young people around the world who come from the socially insecure lower middle class and constitute a community of mutual infection with angers, passions, frustrations, and hatreds. These students are revolutionaries-in-waiting. When they erupt at volatile moments, they become very contagious. And whereas Marx’s industrial proletariat more than a century ago was fragmented in local groups, today these young people are interacting via the Internet.
On sites like Facebook and Twitter, are they communicating more than broad ideas?
They’re actually transmitting techniques, as major social movements long have. Think back to the upheavals in Central Europe a generation ago. Solidarity used slogans and colors. The more recent uprisings in Central Europe followed suit: the Velvet Revolution, the Orange Revolution. Everybody is imitating everybody. And today we see that young people in Cairo have clearly been watching what is happening in Tunis and have been energized to action.
Are the events in Tunisia a youth revolution?
Yes. But all revolutions are young. What is new is the scale of the numbers of disaffected youth and the level of their political consciousness. In addition to their shared slogans, there is a lot of ideology mixed up with emotion and hatred and nationalism. (youth ARE Idealistic and can be controlled by men like Z-Big)
What sets the Arab world apart?
A very special feature of this new political consciousness, of course, is religious fanaticism. Look at the average age of the suicide killers. They are very young. Enthusiasm for change can quickly degenerate into fanaticism, and with it comes brutal lethality and self-destruction.
So youth revolutions may not always have democracy as their goal?
What young people want is political dignity. “Democracy” may enhance that. But political dignity also encompasses ethnic or national self-determination, religious self-definition, and human and social rights. All of this now takes place in a wired world where the youth are acutely aware of economic, racial, and social inequities.
And the protests in Egypt?
Egypt is seething. And if it erupts it is not only going to destabilize the country, but it will also change the relationship with Israel and it will affect Saudi Arabia, because the masses there are also seething underneath the surface. (Z Big has always had it in for Israel, and can control The Saudi’s with cash… The bigger game is the “Grand Chessboard” and bringing in the “technotronic era” which in his words will channel all power into the hands of a few elites (unrestrained by traditional values – AKA: nationalism)
So, from the West, what is to be done?
To the extent it is possible, it is best to channel these aspirations. That does mean coping with certain problems that we know are contributing to the intensification of radicalism and extremism. One of those factors is indeed the nature of the regimes in the region. Simply sweeping these problems under the rug is not a solution. So I think Obama started out right in outlining in his Cairo speech a notion of how to deal with, specifically, the Islamic problem. But since then, he has simply lapsed into passivity.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says undercover New York investigators illegally purchased semi-automatic pistols in Arizona, not long after the mass shooting in Tucson. He says it exposes a “dangerous gap” in federal gun laws. (Jan. 31)