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School Kids Brainwashed to Worship Obama – Jesus Lyrics (no background music)

Red and Yellow, Black and White
They’re all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

- Bible song

Red, and yellow black and white,
They’re all equal in his sight

- Barak Obama childrens song lyrics

This was filmed around June 19, 2009 at the B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, NJ.

Posted by ben on September 24th, 2009 No Comments

New Government Policy Imposes Strict Standards on Garage Sales Nationwide

Americans who slap $1 pricetags on their used possessions at garage sales or bazaar events risk being slapped with fines of up to $15 million, thanks to a new government campaign.

The “Resale Round-up,” launched by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, enforces new limits on lead in children’s products and makes it illegal to sell any items that don’t meet those limits or have been recalled for any other reason.

The strict standards were set in the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act after a series of high-profile recalls of Chinese-made toys.

The standards were originally interpreted to apply only to new products, but now the CPSC says they apply to used items as well.

“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Resale stores should make safety their business and check for recalled products and hazards to children.”

In order to comply, stores, flea markets, charities and individuals selling used goods — in person or online — are expected to consult the commission’s 24-page Handbook for Resale Stores and Product Resellers (pdf) and its Web site for a breakdown of what they can’t sell.

Violators caught selling anything on the enormous list face fines of up to $100,000 per infraction and up to $15 million for a related series of infractions.

CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson says the fines are intended for large companies with serious infractions.

“CPSC is an agency that has used its penalty powers over its 30-year history against companies,” Wolfson told FOXNews.com. “CPSC is not seeking to pursue penalties against individuals hosting a garage sale or yard sale, we are encouraging them to take the right steps to not resell recalled products.”

But FOX News Legal Analyst Bob Massi says the law makes no distinction for families and small resellers.

“Most people having garage sales at this point don’t have much anyway, so to have a fine levied against them is tantamount to harassment,” Massi told FOXNews.com. “And if you or I asked 100 people about this, they would never even know the law exists.”

Don Mays, senior director of product safety planning at the publisher of Consumer Reports, says the hefty penalties are necessary to have an impact.

“The former civil penalty limit of $1.87 million was too small to be an effective deterrent to large companies who flagrantly violated the law,” Mays told FOXNews.com. “Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher-Price, for example, recently paid a $2.3 million penalty for importing about 2 million toys that violated the CPSC 30-year-old lead paint ban — that amounts to just over one dollar per toy.”

When FOXNews.com came to his garage sale, vendor Ilan Broochian said the same was not the case for his household.

“You fine me in today’s economy $1000 dollars and that would hurt me,” Broochian said. “So, just make the fine bigger to them; don’t take their responsibility and put it on me.”

VIDEO: FOXNews.com Visits the Broochians’ Garage Sale

“It is scary to think that there could be such hefty fines imposed on unsuspecting households,” another garage sale organizer, Patti Lombardi, told FOXNews.com. “I think I speak for many people when I say that the government spends too much time interfering in the individual citizen’s personal life and this is almost bordering on the ridiculous … what if it opens up a Pandora’s box of litigation brought by the purchasers of items at garage sales?”

Wolfson says the law may be tough, but it’s necessary to keep consumers — and especially children — safe.

“Many children have choked and died on small parts that have broken off or been incorporated into toys,” Wolfson told FOXNews.com.

He noted that dozens of children have swallowed powerful magnets that fell out of magnetic toys and have needed open-chest surgery as result.

“We don’t make haphazard decisions about risks here at CPSC,” he said. “So much of what we do here and what this new law aims to achieve is looking at issues where children have been hurt previously.”

But critics say the Resale Round-up is just another example of the government overstepping its boundaries.

“It’s absurd when nanny-state bureaucrats want to regulate things we buy at mom-and-pop shops or second-hand stores,” Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian National Committee, told FOXNews.com. “Consumer product safety is best left to a free market where suppliers can compete based on reputation and track records. American grown-ups aren’t stupid, and they know they need to be careful about what they buy for their children from complete strangers at no-name stores.”

Toy industry expert and TimetoPlayMag.com content director Chris Byrne says the law is well-intended, but it may be taking things too far.

“The overall law I think is awfully broad and doesn’t take all of the science into effect,” he told FOXNews.com. “You can’t consume lead by touching something and putting your finger in your mouth. That’s not how it happens. The lead has to be injested and has to be injested in particles small enough to enter the bloodstream or on a material in the stomach where it will be digested in the stomach acids and go into the bloodstream — and that’s never happened from toys.”

In cases where toys have injured children, Byrne said the injuries often resulted from misusing the product.

“In virtually all the cases of magnet swallowing these were things that were swallowed by kids that were below the age grade, or in the case of the older kids they were pretending to have tongue piercings. By banning magnets, you’re not going to stop that level of play,” Byrne said.

PHOTOS: Controversial Recalls

“When you bring something into your home there should be an assumption of risk,” he added. “And if you have a child under 3 and you bring in something age graded for 5 and up – who’s responsibility is that? I think it’s the parents’.”

And toys aren’t the only issue. Byrne said the biggest challenge now is for all school products.

“If I’ve got a wirebound notebook, the lead content in that wire binding is now under scrutiny, even though the chance of ingesting lead in any amount from something like that is virtually non-existent,” he said. “It’s a level of political grandstanding to say ‘we’re taking care of everything,’ but the science clearly demonstrates that the transference is not really possible — I mean, a child who eats the wire binding from a notebook is going to have significantly worse health problems than lead.”

The Resale Round-up has led some resale stores and charities to stop accepting children’s goods altogether, something President and CEO of Goodwill Industries Jim Gibbons said has some clients concerned.

“I saw on blogs, consumers saying, ‘Don’t take away my ability to shop at Goodwill for children’s clothing – this is how I clothe my kids and get them to school,’” Gibbons told FOXNews.com.

The problem, he said, is every not-for-profit and ‘mom and pop thrift shop’ has different capabilities and resources and a broad-brush approach may leave them unable to provide services.

Still, Gibson said, Goodwill generally has been able to continue serving its communities, and he believes CPSC is working hard to take a law “that was probably written in haste” and implement it in an effective manner.

“They’re really committed to common-sense approaches and working in good faith with at least the social services kind of thrift segment,” he said. “And we’ve been working very proactively with them to make sure that folks at Goodwill are educated, have access to the CPSC guidelines and are making themselves available for as much training as CPSC can provide as they try to figure out how to work with this legislation.”

For more information on the Resale Round-up go to www.cspc.gov.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,552021,00.html

Posted by ben on September 22nd, 2009 No Comments

Sprint Gives FEMA GPS Tracking Technology

http://newsreleases.sprint.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=127149&p=irol-newsArticle_newsroom&ID=1333809

Sprint Provides Cellular and GPS Services to FEMA for its Nationwide Vehicle Tracking Program

Nextel handsets equipped with TeleNav Track™ GPS services offer FEMA ease of deployment and cost reductions for their emergency communications

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep. 21, 2009– The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is relying on Sprint (NYSE:S) to provide 2,000 Nextel handsets in support of FEMA’s nationwide vehicle tracking system. As part of an agreement signed earlier this year, Sprint is providing handsets equipped with industry-leading Nextel Direct Connect® and TeleNav Track, a cell phone-based GPS navigation and tracking service. This powerful combination of technologies allows the agency do its job efficiently during an emergency by supporting quick deployment and effective management of its critical resources. The ability to set up anywhere and at any time is crucial for FEMA, especially when the agency is called upon to provide disaster support.

Several hundred of the 2,000 Motorola i365 phones are being used by FEMA employees and the rest are on standby and staged throughout the country, ready to deploy in case of an emergency. For example, units have been staged in the Gulf Coast region throughout the hurricane season. All phones are prepackaged in a FEMA kit – a rugged pelican case that includes the handset, a car charger, a wall charger, a splitter and two batteries.

In addition to the devices, the Sprint solution also includes integration and project management services to ensure that the agency met its deadlines for setting up the vehicle tracking program before the hurricane season. After receiving the initial request, Sprint and TeleNav rapidly set up the entire program, including device configuration and testing.

“Interoperable communications and emergency preparedness have always been top priorities for Sprint, especially in wake of some of the recent natural and man-made disasters. Whether it’s the reliability of our network or support from the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT), we have always been ahead of our competition in supporting our customers including the federal agencies tasked with disaster preparedness and recovery,” said Bill White, vice president, Federal Programs at Sprint. “We take pride in serving FEMA with our voice and data services powered by Sprint’s Now Network™.”

While Nextel Direct Connect allows instant and seamless communication among FEMA personnel and interoperable communications with first responder and law enforcement agencies, TeleNav Track allows FEMA to monitor in near real-time the location of its mission-critical resources, including ambulances, buses and trucks. With geo-fencing, authorized FEMA personnel can also receive alerts if a tracked unit travels outside or inside a defined geographic boundary. A key enabler of this solution is the rugged Motorola i365 handset with an embedded GPS location system and advanced operating system. The Motorola operating system includes features which automatically run the TeleNav Track application in the background on power-up, eliminating the need for any user interaction and preventing unauthorized changes to the application.

Sprint, whose Now Network was recently named most reliable 3G network in a 13-city test by PC World, serves FEMA through its newly formed Business Markets Group (BMG). Composed of more than 4,000 sales, support, marketing and operations personnel, Sprint’s BMG is dedicated solely to enterprise, general business and public sector customers. BMG delivers wireless, wireline and converged solutions for companies, drawing on the nation’s most dependable 3G mobile broadband network,* 4G capabilities that are well ahead of Sprint’s competition, the fastest national push-to-talk network,** and a comprehensive solutions portfolio of devices and applications.

Sprint offers the following hurricane preparedness tips, pandemic flu tips for businesses and consumers. To learn more, click on this link to watch a Sprint executive speaking about Sprint’s pandemic planning and preparations tips for businesses and general consumers.

For more information on Sprint business solutions, visit www.sprint.com/business or contact your Sprint account team. For more information on Sprint ERT, visit www.sprint.com/ert

*Dependable” based on independent, third-party drive tests for 3G data connection success, session reliability and signal strength for the 50 most populous markets, January 2008 – February 2009. Not all services available on 3G and coverage may default to separate network when 3G unavailable.

**“Fastest” based on initial call set-up time.

ABOUT SPRINT NEXTEL

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving almost 49 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

ABOUT TELENAV

TeleNav, Inc., a privately-held company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, was the first to launch a cell phone GPS system in the United States. Deployed by 14 carriers in 29 countries, TeleNav is a global leader in wireless location-based services (LBS). Currently, the company’s solutions are available in four continents, including North and South America, Asia and Europe.

TeleNav’s solutions include GPS navigation, Mobile Resource Management (MRM), social networking and local search. The company’s flagship service, TeleNav GPS Navigator™, offers functionalities comparable to in-car systems and standalone navigation devices, such as automatically-updated maps and business locations, full-color 3D moving maps, traffic alerts with one-click rerouting, location-sharing, business reviews, speech recognition, Wi-Fi hotspot finder, gas price finder and more. TeleNav also delivers its award-winning navigation service on the TeleNav Shotgun™, a standalone GPS personal navigation device (PND) tailored specifically for business travelers. TeleNav’s enterprise application, TeleNav Track™, incorporates GPS-enabled tracking, time sheets, wireless forms and navigation. TeleNav Track is a widely adopted service with approximately 9,000 customer organizations using it today.

TeleNav services are available on more than 500 wireless devices and run on most major mobile platforms currently available.

For more information on TeleNav, please visit www.telenav.com.

Source: Sprint

Sprint
Sukhi Sahni, 703-592-7779
sukhi.sahni@sprint.com
or
TeleNav, Inc.
MaryBeth Lowell, 425-531-0122
marybethl@telenav.com

Posted by ben on September 22nd, 2009 No Comments

Daycare Worker Told She’ll Be Fired For Refusing Mandatory Flu Shot

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Daycare Worker Told Shell Be Fired For Refusing Mandatory Flu Shot 220909top

A daycare worker employed by Northeast Health in Albany New York was shocked to be told by her boss that she would be fired if she refused to take a seasonal swine flu shot on the spot. Similar stories have been pouring in to us from all over the country as fears that the upcoming H1N1 shot will also be mandatory continue to grow.

The case emphasizes why President Obama’s claim that the swine flu shot will be voluntary is completely deceptive and misleading. Americans across the country, even those not directly connected with health care work, are being ordered to take the mandated seasonal and swine flu shots or lose their jobs.

The story of what happened to the daycare worker, who would like to go by the pseudonym “Clare,” was sent to us by her sister who also provided Clare’s real name and the full name of the facility she is employed with.

Clare works in a daycare center which is affiliated with the local hospital but in a completely separate building. It was reported earlier this month that all hospital workers in the entire region would be forced to take the seasonal flu shot or lose their jobs and that the vaccine would become a condition of employment.

“On the Tuesday morning following the Labor Day weekend (Sept 8th), the director of the daycare of Northeast Health announced to employees on the spot (without a meeting, memo or discussion) that everyone had to go get a flu shot immediately and staff would be rotated so that everyone would be inoculated by the end of the day,” writes Clare’s sister.

“Clare said “I don’t get flu shots” and was told “well then you’ll be fired.”

The director told Clare that the H1N1 shot would also be mandated in the same way when it becomes available. When Clare warned the director that the swine flu shot contained mercury, squalene and other dangerous additives, the director told her that regardless of her objections, if she refused to be vaccinated she would be suspended from November 13th and then formally fired on November 30th.

“Clare asked how she can be fired for something that was not a condition of her employment when she was hired? She was told it was not Northeast Health’s policy, it was the director of the New York State Department of Health who made the shot mandatory,” writes her sister.

However, according to the NYSDOH decree for mandatory vaccinations, exemptions exist for “personnel who have a medical contraindication and for workers, such as those offsite, who would have no contact with patients and only incidental contact with direct-care staff.” Clare clearly falls into this category as she works in a separate building from the hospital and has no direct regular contact with hospital workers.

Clare demanded answers to the following questions, none of which have been addressed by the daycare director.

1. The regular seasonal flu hasn’t even hit so how will this first mandated shot provide any immunity when it is clearly the vaccine from last year?

2. When the H1N1 is mandated – as I believe it will be – and if I did get the shot to save my job and should I have one of the adverse reactions that the CDC has predicted, will I be covered under Workers Comp since the action that caused the injury was job related? (The cost of which will fall on the employer NOT the State of New York.)

3. Should I refuse the shot will I be eligible for Unemployment Compensation since I did nothing to warrant being terminated?

4. Malpractice insurance providers in Australia are refusing to extend coverage to their clients who give the shot; will this be the case in New York?

5. Are insurance companies going to cover subscribers who fall ill as a result of the H1N1 inoculations that were mandated by the NYS Department of Health?

After concerned parents started to ask Clare why she was leaving, it some became apparent that the director had immediately produced a letter and circulated it around the daycare, claiming that Clare was leaving for “personal reasons,” without mentioning the real reason, that she refused to take the vaccine.

Clare took the letter to the head of human resources but was told that, “the New York State Labor Department would probably be instructed to side with the Department of Health and determine that you were fired for not following an order from your employer and not approve Unemployment Compensation. The meeting ended with him stating that it was the NYS Department of Health’s call and not Northeast Health and there was no way around it.”

“Not only have my sister’s rights as an employee been violated but her employer’s justification for terminating her is based on a falsehood on top of which she may be prevented from receiving Unemployment Insurance for this wrongful termination,” writes Clare’s sister.

As an addendum, Clare’s sister informs us that one of the daycare teachers who did take the seasonal flu shot on September 8th suffered a reaction less than a week later. Clare’s sister takes up the story;

“It began with symptoms similar to Pink Eye on her left side and then her eye swelled; the swelling then spread further down her check and then into her neck where a mass formed. This 30 year old mother of three has been unable to work since the symptoms in her eye surfaced, around the 14th. My sister Clare asked school officials if her ill coworker would be covered by Workers Comp and was told they believe she would be. The co-worker has been on antibiotics that don’t seem to be working. Her doctor told her if the RX doesn’t clear it up the “infection(?)” soon they’ll have to take more drastic action. My sister was told by her ill co worker: “Clare you were right to say no to the shot, the job isn’t worth it, I should never have gotten the shot.”

Clare is now facing unemployment as a result of refusing to take the seasonal flu vaccine, not to mention the H1N1 shot. Thousands of other health workers are now in a similar position whereby they will be forced to take the dangerous swine flu shot or be fired over the course of the next few weeks. Polls indicate that at least a third of nurses and health workers will refuse to take the vaccine and another third are still unsure. If even as little as a quarter of health care professionals stand up in unison and refuse to be intimidated into taking the shot, authorities will probably have to back off and make the shot voluntary.

However, Clare’s deeper concern is that another primary target of the first round of swine flu vaccinations, young children, will be even more vulnerable to having the shot forced upon them with no warning or notice whatsoever.

“My sister has three children in public school and is extremely concerned that the head of the New York State Department of Health, Dr. Richard Daines, will next decree the shots are mandatory for all school children,” writes Clare’s sister.

“She is prepared to home school them but is scared to death that in the mean time an UNANNOUNCED flu shot clinic will be sprung on school districts some morning to get around parental objections to having their children vaccinated. She has told her children in no uncertain terms are they to accept the shot(s) but realizes the Hobson’s choice they too may soon face and that they are so much less prepared than she to fight this unconstitutional authority.”

http://www.infowars.com/daycare-worker-told-shell-be-fired-for-refusing-mandatory-flu-shot/

Posted by ben on September 22nd, 2009 No Comments

Alleged 9/11 perpetrator studying Vietnam War atrocity film

crosenberg@MiamiHerald.com

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The man accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks has received a copy of a 30-year-old Hollywood film on the My Lai massacre.

War court prosecutor Robert Swann said Monday he had arranged for alleged al Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheik Mohammed to get a copy of Judgment: The Court Martial of Lt. William Calley, a 1975 docudrama about an American Army officer held responsible for the murder of Vietnamese civilians by a squad of U.S. soldiers in a village called My Lai.

It was directed by Stanley Kramer, an independent movie producer better known as director of the 1967 drama, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and the 1963 comedy, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

“The camp provided them,” Swann announced at a war crimes court hearing before Army Col. Stephen Henley, which tackled what resources Mohammed and his fellow four accused have gotten to prepare for trial while in the custody of Task Force Platinum at Camp 7 here. Henley on Monday delayed the case for two months.

The accused were also given a law dictionary and English-Arabic dictionary, Swann said, as well as copies of two National Geographic documentaries: Inside The Vatican and Inside Mecca.

Mohammed, 44, skipped his hearing, as did two other former CIA-held captives whom Henley has authorized to serve as their own attorneys, and allowed his Boise, Idaho, attorney David Nevin to represent his interests as standby counsel.

Mohammed and four former CIA-held captives here are charged with nearly 3,000 counts of murder for allegedly conspiring in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and could be executed if convicted. The trial format is under review by the Obama administration, which is trying to close the prison camps early next year and prefers federal trials instead.

A military jury convicted Calley of 22 counts of premediated murder for the March 1968 massacre of hundreds of civilians in the Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai by U.S. soldiers in his squad. The Army at first denied, then downplayed the event, saying most of the dead were Viet Cong.

But in November 1969, journalist Seymour Hersh exposed the events, setting into motion a war crimes investigation and Calley’s subsequent trial and conviction by a military jury.

He served 3.5 years of a life sentence, most of it under house arrest at Fort Benning, Ga.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking-news/story/1244796.html

Posted by ben on September 22nd, 2009 No Comments

When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
09/08/09 7:11 AM EDT

George H. Bush, 41st President of the United States (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)

The controversy over President Obama’s speech to the nation’s schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush’s speech — they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.

Unlike the Obama speech, in 1991 most of the controversy came after, not before, the president’s school appearance. The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president’s political benefit. “The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,” the Post reported.

With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.’”

Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush’s appearance. On October 17, 1991, Ford summoned then-Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and other top Bush administration officials to testify at a hearing devoted to the speech. “The hearing this morning is to really examine the expenditure of $26,750 of the Department of Education funds to produce and televise an appearance by President Bush at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, DC,” Ford began. “As the chairman of the committee charged with the authorization and implementation of education programs, I am very much interested in the justification, rationale for giving the White House scarce education funds to produce a media event.”

Unfortunately for Ford, the General Accounting Office concluded that the Bush administration had not acted improperly. “The speech itself and the use of the department’s funds to support it, including the cost of the production contract, appear to be legal,” the GAO wrote in a letter to Chairman Ford. “The speech also does not appear to have violated the restrictions on the use of appropriations for publicity and propaganda.”

That didn’t stop Democratic allies from taking their own shots at Bush. The National Education Association denounced the speech, saying it “cannot endorse a president who spends $26,000 of taxpayers’ money on a staged media event at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C. — while cutting school lunch funds for our neediest youngsters.”

Lost in all the denouncing and investigating was the fact that Bush’s speech itself, like Obama’s today, was entirely unremarkable. “Block out the kids who think it’s not cool to be smart,” the president told students. “If someone goofs off today, are they cool? Are they still cool years from now, when they’re stuck in a dead end job. Don’t let peer pressure stand between you and your dreams.

Posted by ben on September 9th, 2009 No Comments

Twenty Minutes with the President by Charlie Sheen – Mock interview

Animal Farm Show editors note: This is not a real interview, but a mock interview based on what Charlie Sheen feels might be an accurate representation of a 20 minute interview with the president.

Reported by Charlie Sheen
Infowars
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

charlie sheen

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with our 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, while he was out promoting his health care reform initiative. I requested 30 minutes given the scope and detail of my inquiry; they said I could have 20. Twenty minutes, 1200 seconds, not a lot of time to question the President about one of the most important events in our nation’s history. The following is a transcript of our remarkable discussion.

————————————————————————————————————————

Charlie Sheen – Good afternoon Mr. President, thank you so much for taking time out of your demanding schedule.

President Barack Obama – My pleasure, the content of your request seemed like something I should carve out a few minutes for.

CS – I should point out that I voted for you, as your promises of hope and change, transparency and accountability, as well as putting government back into the hands of the American people, struck an emotional chord in me that I hadn’t felt in quite some time, perhaps ever.

PBO – And I appreciate that Charlie. Big fan of the show, by the way.

CS – Sir, I can’t imagine when you might find the time to actually watch my show given the measure of what you inherited.

PBO – I have it Tivo’d on Air Force One. Nice break from the traveling press corps. (He glances at his watch) not to be abrupt or to rush you, but you have 19 minutes left.

CS – I’ll take that as an invitation to cut to the chase.

PBO – I’m all ears. Or so I’ve been told.

CS – Sir, in the very near future we will be experiencing our first 9/11 anniversary with you as Commander in Chief.

PBO – Yes. A very solemn day for our Nation. A day of reflection and yet a day of historical consciousness as well.

CS – Very much so sir, very much so indeed…. Now; In researching your position regarding the events of 9/11 and the subsequent investigation that followed, am I correct to understand that you fully support and endorse the findings of the commission report otherwise known as the ‘official story’?

PBO – Do I have any reason not to? Given that most of us are presumably in touch with similar evidence.

CS – I really wish that were the case, sir. Are you aware, Mr. President, of the recent stunning revelations that sixty percent of the 9/11 commissioners have publicly stated that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11 and that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack?

PBO – I am aware of certain “in fighting” during the course of their very thorough and tireless investigative process.

CS – Mr. President, it’s hard to label this type of friction as “in fighting” or make the irresponsible leap to “thorough,” when the evidence I insist you examine regarding 6 of the 10 members are statements of fact.

(At this point one of Obama’s senior aides approaches the President and whispers into his ear. Obama glances quickly at his watch and nods as the aide resumes his post at the doorway, directly behind me.)

PBO – No disrespect Mr. Sheen, but I have to ask; what is it that you seem to be implying with the initial direction of this discussion?

CS – I am not implying anything Mr. President. I am here to present the facts and see what you plan to do with them.

PBO – Let me guess; your ‘facts,’ allegedly supporting these claims are in the folders you brought with you?

CS – Good guess Mr. President.

(I hand the first folder of documents to the President)

CS – Again sir, these are not my opinions or assumptions, this is all a matter of public record, reported through mainstream media, painstakingly fact checked and verified.

(the President glances into the folder I handed him)

CS – You’ll notice sir on page one of the dossier dated August of ‘06 from the Washington Post, the statements of John Farmer, senior council to the 9/11 commission, his quote stating, “I was shocked how different the truth was from the way it was described.”

PBO – (as he glances down at the report, almost inaudible) …. um hmm….

CS – He goes on to further state “The [NORAD Air Defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years….”

(the President continues to view the documents)

CS – On pages two and three, sir, are the statements, as well, from commission co-chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, commissioners Bob Kerrey, Timothy Roemer and John Lehman, as well as the statements of commissioner Max Cleland, an ex-Senator from Georgia , who resigned, stating:

“It is a national scandal. This investigation is now compromised. One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9/11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up.”

He also described President Bush’s desire to delay the process as not to damage the ‘04 re-election bid. They suspected deception to the point where they considered referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation. Mr. President, this information alone is unequivocally grounds for a new investigation!

PBO – Mistakes were clearly made but we as a people and as a country need to move forward. It is obviously in our best interest as a democratic society to focus our efforts and our resources on the future of this great nation and our ability to protect the American people and our allies from this type of terrorism in the coming years.

CS – Sir, how can we focus on the future when THE COMMISSION ITSELF is on record stating that they still do not know the truth??

PBO – Even if what you state, might in some capacity, begin to approach an open discussion or balanced debate, I can’t speak for, or about the decisions certain commission members made during an extremely difficult period. Perhaps you should be interviewing them instead of me. Wait, don’t tell me; I was easier to track down than they were?

CS – Not exactly sir, but let’s be honest. You’re the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, the buck stops with you. 9/11 has been the pretext for the systematic dismantling of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Your administration is reading from the same playbook that the Bush administration foisted on America through documented secrecy and deception.

PBO – Mr. Sheen, I’m having a difficult time sitting here and listening to you draw distorted parallels between the Bush/Cheney regime and mine.

CS – Mr. President the parallels are not distorted just because you say they are. Let’s stick to the facts. You promised to abolish the Patriot Act and then voted to re-authorize it. You pledged to end warrantless wire tapping against the American people and now energetically defend it. You decried the practice of rendition and now continue it. You promised over and over again on the campaign trail, that you would end the practice of indefinite detention and instead, you have expanded it to permanent detention of “detainees” without trial. This far exceeds the outrages of the former administration. Call me crazy Mr. President, but is this not your record?

PBO – Mr. Sheen, my staff and I authorized this interview based on your request to discuss 9/11 and deliver some additional information you’re convinced I’d not previously reviewed. Call me crazy, But it appears as though you’ve blindly wandered off topic.

CS – Sir, the examples I just illustrated are a direct result of 9/11.

PBO – And I’m telling you that we must move forward, we must endure through these dangerous and politically challenging years ahead.

CS – Mr. President, we cannot move forward with a bottomless warren of unanswered questions surrounding that day and its aftermath.

PBO – I read the official report. Every word every page. Perhaps you should do the same.

CS – I have sir, and so have thousands of family members of the victims, and guess what; they have the same questions I do and probably a lot more. I didn’t lose a loved one on that horrific day Mr. President and neither did you. But since then I, along with millions of other Americans lost something we held true and dear for most of our lives in this great country of ours; we lost our hope.

PBO – And I’d like to believe that I am here to restore that hope. To restore confidence in your leaders, in the system that the voting public chose through a peaceful transfer of power.

(An odd moment of silence between us. Precious time ticking away).

CS – Mr. President, are you aware of the number of days it took to begin the investigation into JFK’s assassination?

PBO – If memory serves I believe it was two weeks.

CS – Close. Seventeen days to be exact. Are you aware sir, how long it took to begin the investigation into Pearl Harbor?

PBO – I would say again about….two weeks.

CS – Close again sir, eleven days to be exact. Are you aware Mr. President how long it took to begin the investigation into 9/11?

PBO – I know it must have seemed like a very long time for all the grieving families.

CS – It was a very long time Mr. President – four hundred and forty days. Roughly 14 months. Does it bother you Mr. President that it only took FIVE HOURS for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the initial attack to recommend and endorse a full scale offensive against Iraq?

PBO – I am not aware of any such purported claim.

CS – I have the proof Mr. President, along with scores of documents and facts I’d like you to take a look at. Here.

(I hand him another file – much thicker than the first)

PBO – I see you came prepared Charlie.

CS – No other way to show up Mr. President. When in doubt over prepare I always say.

PBO – Now you sound like the First Lady.

CS – That’s quite a compliment sir.

PBO – As you wish. Please continue.

CS – Sir, I’d like to direct your attention to the stack of documents in the folder I just handed you. The first in from the top is entitled “ Operation Northwoods“, a declassified Pentagon plan to stage terror attacks on US soil, to be blamed on Cuba as a pretext for war.

PBO – And I’d like to direct your attention to the fact that the principle draftsman of this improbable blueprint was quickly denied a second term as Joint Chiefs chairman and sent packing to a European NATO garrison. Thank God his otherworldly ambitions never saw the light of day.

CS – I wouldn’t be so certain about that Mr. President.

PBO – I could easily say the same to you Charlie.

(the President checks his watch)

featured stories   Twenty Minutes with the President
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Charlie Sheen writing 20 Minutes with the President. Photo by Alex Jones.

CS – The next document reads “Declassified staged provocations.” Now, Honestly Mr. President I wish I was making this stuff up. I’m certain you are familiar with the USS Maine Incident, the sinking of the Lusitania, which we all now know brought us into WW1, and of course the most famous, the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

PBO – Of course I am familiar with these historical events and I’m aware that there’s a measure of controversy surrounding them. But to be quite frank with you, this is all ancient history.

CS – Mr. President, it has been often said; “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” And I concede to you sir, these events are the past.

PBO – A vastly different world young man, shouldering a radically disparate state of universal affairs.

CS – No argument sir, I’m merely inviting you to acknowledge some credibility to the pattern or the theme. Case in point; the next document in your folder. It was published by the think-tank, Project For a New American Century and it’s entitled “ Rebuilding Americas Defenses“, and was written by Dick Cheney and Jeb Bush. To quote from the document sir – (the President interrupts)

PBO – “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

CS – Touche, sir. Your thoughts on this statement Mr. President?

PBO – I would call this a blatant case of misjudgment fueled by an unfortunate milieu of assumption. For some, the uninformed denial of coincidence.

CS – Interesting angle sir. Nevertheless, Vice President Cheney didn’t stop there. In early 2008, Pulitzer prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh and MSNBC, both reported that Cheney had proposed to the Pentagon an outrageous plan to have the U.S. Navy create fake Iranian patrol boats, to be manned by Navy Seals, who would then stage an attack on US destroyers in the Strait of Hormuz. This event was to be blamed on Iran and used as a pretext for war. Does any of this information worry you Mr. President? Should we just ignore it, until these realities can be dismissed years from now by our children, as ancient history as well?

PBO – Of course this information worries me, yet it’s not nearly as worrisome as you sitting here today suspiciously implying that 9/11 was somehow allowed to happen or even orchestrated from the inside.

CS – Mr. President I am not suspiciously implying anything. I am merely exposing the documents and asking the questions that nobody in power will even look at or acknowledge. And as I stated earlier, I voted for you, I believed in your message of hope and change. Mr. President I have come to you specifically hoping for a change. A change in the perception that our government has not yet made itself open and accountable to the people. These are your words Mr. President not mine. The lives of thousands were brutally cut short and those left behind to suffer their infinite pain are with me today Mr. President. They are with me in spirit and flesh, and the message we carry will not be silenced anymore by media fueled mantras insisting how they are supposed to feel. Deciding for them, for 8 long years, what can be thought, what can be said, what can be asked.

PBO – And I appreciate your passion, I appreciate your conviction. In spite of your concerns, in spite of what your data might or might not reveal, what you and the families must understand and accept is that we are doing everything we can to protect you.

CS – Mr. President , I realize were very short on time, so please allow me to run down a list of bullet points that might illuminate some reasons why we don’t embrace the warm hug of Federal protection.

PBO – We’ve come this far. Fire away.

CS – Please keep in mind Mr. President everything I’m about to say is documented as fact and part of the public record. The information you are holding in your hands chronicles and verifies each and every point.

PBO – You have five minutes left. The floor is yours. Brief me.

CS – Thank you Mr. President. Okay, first; On the FBI’s most wanted list Osama Bin Laden is not charged with the crimes of 911. When I called the FBI to ask them why this was the case, they replied: “There’s not enough evidence to link Bin Laden to the crime scene,” I later discovered he had never even been indicted by the D.O.J.

CSNumber 2; FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, was dismissed and gagged by the D.O.J. after she revealed that the government had foreknowledge of plans to attack American cities using planes as bombs as early as April 2001. In July of ‘09, Mrs. Edmonds broke the Federal gag order and went public to reveal that Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban were all working for and with the C.I.A. up until the day of 9/11.

CSNumber 3; The following is a quote from Mayor Giuliani during an interview on 9/11 with Peter Jennings for ABC News. “I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barkley Street, which was right there with the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner, the Head of Emergency Management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out, walked north, and took a lot of people with us.”

WHO TOLD HIM THIS??? To this day, the answer to this question remains unanswered, completely ignored and emphatically DENIED by Mayor Giuliani on several public occasions.

CSNumber 4; In April 2004, USA Today reported, “In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties.” One of the targets was the World Trade Center.

CSNumber 5; On September 12th 2007, CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360′, reported that the mysterious “white plane” spotted and videotaped by multiple media outlets, flying in restricted airspace over the White House shortly before 10am on the morning of 9/11, was in fact the Air Force’s E-4B, a specially modified Boeing 747 with a communications pod behind the cockpit; otherwise known as “The Doomsday Plane”.

Though fully aware of the event, the 9/11 Commission did not deem the appearance of the military plane to be of any interest and did not include it in the final 9/11 Commission report.

CSNumber 6; Three F-16s assigned to Andrews Air Force Base, ten miles from Washington, DC, are conducting training exercises in North Carolina 207 miles away as the first plane crashes into the WTC. Even at significantly less than their top speed of 1500 mph, they could still have defended the skies over Washington well before 9am, more than 37 minutes before Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, however, they did not return until after 9:55am.

Andrews AFB had no armed fighters on alert and ready to take off on the morning of 9/11.

CSNumber 7; WTC Building 7. Watch the video of its collapse.

CSNumber 8; Flight 93 is fourth plane to crash on 9/11 at 10:03am. V.P. Cheney only gives shoot down order at 10:10-10:20am and this is not communicated to NORAD until 28 minutes after Flight 93 has crashed.

Fueling further suspicion on this front is the fact that three months before the attacks of 9/11, Dick Cheney usurped control of NORAD, and therefore he, and no one else on planet Earth, had the power to call for military sorties on the hijacked airliners on 9/11. He did not exercise that power. Three months after 9/11, he relinquished command of NORAD and returned it to military operation.

CSNumber 9; Scores of main stream news outlets reported that the F.B.I. conducted an investigation of at least FIVE of the 9/11 hijackers being trained at U.S. military flight schools. Those investigations are now sealed and need to be declassified.

CSNumber 10; In 2004, New York firefighters Mike Bellone and Nicholas DeMasi went public to say they had found the black boxes at the World Trade Center, but were told to keep their mouths shut by FBI agents. Nicholas DeMasi said that he escorted federal agents on an all-terrain vehicle in October 2001 and helped them locate the devices, a story backed up by rescue volunteer Mike Bellone.

As the Philadelphia Daily News reported at the time, “Their story raises the question of whether there was a some type of cover-up at Ground Zero.”

CSNumber 11 – Hundreds of eye witnesses including first responders, fire captains, news reporters, and police, all described multiple explosions in both towers before and during the collapse.

CSNumber 12; An astounding video uncovered from the archives shows BBC News correspondent Jane Standley reporting on the collapse of WTC Building 7 over twenty minutes before it fell at 5:20pm on the afternoon of 9/11. Tapes from earlier BBC broadcasts show news anchors discussing the collapse of WTC 7 a full 26 minutes in advance. The BBC at first claimed that their tapes from 9/11 had been “lost” before admitting that they made the “error” of reporting the collapse of WTC 7 before it happened without adequately explaining how they could have obtained advance knowledge of the event.

In addition, over an hour before the collapse of WTC 7, at 4:10pm, CNN’s Aaron Brown reported that the building “has either collapsed, or is collapsing.”

CSNumber 13; Solicitor General Ted Olson’s claim that his wife Barbara Olsen called him twice from Flight 77, describing hijackers with box cutters, was a central plank of the official 9/11 story.

However, the credibility of the story was completely undermined after Olsen kept changing his story about whether his wife used her cell phone or the airplane phone. The technology to enable cell phone calls from high-altitude airline flights was not created until 2004. American Airlines confirmed that Flight 77 was a Boeing 757 and that this plane did not have airplane phones on board.

According to the FBI, Barbara Olsen attempted to call her husband only once and the call failed to connect, therefore Olsen must have been lying when he claimed he had spoken to his wife from Flight 77.

CSNumber 14; The size of a Boeing 757 is approximately 125ft in width and yet images of the impact zone at the Pentagon supposedly caused by the crash merely show a hole no more than 16ft in diameter. The engines of the 757 would have punctured a hole bigger than this, never mind the whole plane. Images before the partial collapse of the impact zone show little real impact damage and a sparse debris field completely inconsistent with the crash of a large jetliner, especially when contrasted with other images showing airplane crashes into buildings.

CSNumber 15; What is the meaning behind the following quote attributed to Dick Cheney which came to light during the 9/11 Commission hearings? The passage is taken from testimony given by then Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.

During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, “The plane is 50 miles out.” “The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to “the plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the Vice President, “Do the orders still stand?” And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?”

As the plane was not shot down, in addition to the fact that armed fighter jets were nowhere near the plane and the Pentagon defensive system was not activated, are we to take it that the orders were to let the plane find its target?

CSNumber 16; In May 2003, the Miami Herald reported how the Bush administration was refusing to release a 900-page congressional report on 9/11 because it wanted to “avoid enshrining embarrassing details in the report,” particularly regarding pre-9/11 warnings as well as the fact that the hijackers were trained at U.S. flight schools.

CSNumber 17; Top Pentagon officials cancelled their scheduled flights for September 11th on September 10th. San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, following a security warning, cancelled a flight into New York that was scheduled for the morning of 9/11.

CSNumber 18; The technology to enable cell phone calls from high-altitude airline flights was not created until 2004, and even by that point it was only in the trial phase. Calls from cell phones which formed an integral part of the official government version of events were technologically impossible at the time.

CSNumber 19: On April 29, 2004, President Bush and V.P. Cheney would only meet with the commission under specific clandestine conditions. They insisted on testifying together and not under oath. They also demanded that their testimony be treated as a matter of “state secret.” To date, nothing they spoke of that day exists in the public domain.

CS – And finally Mr. President – Number 20; A few days after the attack, several newspapers as well as the FBI reported that a paper passport had been found in the ruins of the WTC. In August 2004, CNN reported that 9/11 hijacker Ziad Jarrah’s visa was found in the remains of Flight 93 which went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

At least a third of the WTC victim’s bodies were vaporized and many of the victims of the Pentagon incident were burned beyond recognition. And yet visas and paper passports which identify the perpetrators and back up the official version of events miraculously survive explosions and fires that we are told melted steel buildings.

(The Senior aide appears again beside the President whispering in his ear. He then quickly moves off).

PBO – Well Charlie I can’t say this hasn’t been interesting. As I said earlier you’ve showed up today focused and organized. Regardless how I feel about the material you’ve presented, I must commend your dedication and zeal. However, our time here is up.

(the President rises from his chair , I do the same).

CS – Mr. President! One more second!

(The President starts towards the door – I follow him quickly step for step).

CS – Mr. President, I implore you based on the evidence you now possess, to use your Executive Power. Prove to us all Sir, that you do, in fact, care. Create a truly comprehensive and open Congressional investigation of 9/11 and its aftermath. The families deserve the truth, the American people and the rest of the free world deserve the truth. Mr. President -

(He pauses. We shake hands).

CS – Make sure you’re on the right side of history.

(The President breaks the handshake).

PBO – I am on the right side of history. Thank you Charlie, my staff and I will be in touch.

(I watch as he strides gracefully out of the room, the truth I provided him held firmly by his side; in the hand of providence.)

Twenty Minutes With The President 080909sig

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A comprehensive bibliography containing all of the evidence presented above can be viewed at http://www.prisonplanet.com/20_minutes_bibliography.html

Get this interview in PDF format here.

Author’s Note: What you have just read didn’t actually happen… yet.

This is an open letter to the President requesting a new investigation.

Charlie Sheen.

Posted by ben on September 8th, 2009 No Comments

Senator Edward Kennedy dies at age 77

HYANNIS PORT, Massachusetts (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party who took the helm of one of America’s most fabled political families after two older brothers were assassinated, died at age 77, his family said.

Kennedy had brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2008. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, near this graves of his brothers President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy.

He was one of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history, a liberal standard-bearer who recovered politically from a string of personal scandals to become known as a consummate congressional dealmaker.

Kennedy’s death marked the twilight of a political dynasty and dealt a blow to Democrats who lost their chief champion of President Barack Obama‘s call for an overhaul of the healthcare system.

Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts),” the Kennedy family said in a statement early on Wednesday.

Kennedy was a longtime advocate of healthcare reform, a signature issue of Obama’s presidency. Obama said on Wednesday he was heartbroken to hear of the death of Kennedy, a crucial supporter of his presidential candidacy.

“I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the presidency,” Obama said. “And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as president from his encouragement and wisdom.”

Kennedy’s endorsement last year was seen as pivotal in Obama’s winning of the Democratic presidential nomination. Many saw it as the passing of the political torch to a new generation. A year to the day before his death, Kennedy made an electrifying speech to the Democratic convention that nominated Obama for president.

Kennedy had recently urged Massachusetts lawmakers to change state law so the Democratic governor, if necessary, could quickly fill a Senate vacancy.

Known as “Teddy,” he was the brother John Kennedy, assassinated in 1963, Robert Kennedy, fatally shot while campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, and Joe Kennedy, a pilot killed in World War Two.

FROM LIGHTWEIGHT TO LION

When he first took the Senate seat previously held by John Kennedy in 1962, he was seen as something of a political lightweight who owed his ascent to his famous name.

Yet during his nearly half century in the chamber, Kennedy became known as one of Washington’s most effective senators, crafting legislation by working with lawmakers and presidents of both parties, and finding unlikely allies.

At the same time, he held fast to liberal causes and was a lightning rod for conservative ire.

“The Kennedy name is synonymous with the Democratic Party, and at times Ted was the target of partisan campaign attacks. But in the United States Senate I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection,” Obama said.

Kennedy helped enact measures to protect civil and labor rights, expand healthcare, upgrade schools, increase student aid and contain the spread of nuclear weapons.

“There’s a lot to do,” Kennedy told Reuters in 2006. “I think most of all it’s the injustice that I continue to see and the opportunity to have some impact on it.”

A Catholic, Kennedy was nonetheless a staunch supporter of abortion rights, a fact noted by the Vatican’s official newspaper in an article about his death.

The newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, praised Kennedy for fighting for immigrant rights, gun control and higher minimum wages, but regretted his “unfortunate” support of abortion.

After Robert Kennedy’s death, Edward was expected to waste little time in vying for the presidency. But in 1969, a young woman drowned after a car Kennedy was driving plunged off a bridge on the Massachusetts resort island of Chappaquiddick after a night of partying.

Kennedy’s image was tarnished after it emerged he had failed to report the accident to authorities. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and received a suspended sentence.

Kennedy eventually ran for his party’s presidential nomination in 1980 but lost to then-President Jimmy Carter.

His presidential ambitions thwarted, Kennedy devoted himself to his Senate career.

A 2009 survey by The Hill, a Capitol Hill publication, found that Senate Republicans believed Kennedy was the chamber’s easiest Democrat to work with and most bipartisan.

Republican Senator John McCain called him “the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results.”

‘LION’ BATTLED ON

Kennedy had been largely sidelined in Congress since becoming ill. The “Lion of the Senate” began to use a cane and often looked drained as he mixed work with treatment.

Twelve Publishing said Kennedy “worked valiantly” to finish his 650-page autobiography, “True Compass,” which is scheduled to be released September 14.

Colleagues and staff said he remained determined to fulfill what he called “the cause of my life,” providing health insurance to all Americans. He helped draft legislation to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system.

Kennedy’s interest in healthcare dated from his own back injury suffered during a 1964 plane crash that damaged his spine and left him with persistent pain, and later, his son’s bout with cancer in the 1970s.

“I’ve benefited from the best of medicine but I’ve also witnessed the frustration and outrage of patients and doctors alike as they face the challenges of a system that shortchanges millions of Americans,” he wrote in a May 28 issue of the Boston Globe.

Kennedy never fully escaped the cloud of the Chappaquiddick accident. A decades-long argument arose about whether the senator, who was married to Joan Kennedy at the time, tried to cover up his involvement by leaving the scene while Mary Jo Kopechne’s body remained submerged and whether police helped sweep such questions under the rug. All involved denied any cover-up.

Kennedy was divorced from Joan in 1983.

The 1991 Palm Beach rape trial of his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, caught a bloated Uncle Ted in a media glare. Reports of heavy drinking and womanizing led to a public apology for “the faults in the conduct of my private life.”

Kennedy was remarried soon after that to Victoria Reggie, a 38-year-old lawyer with two young children from her first marriage. He poured renewed energy into the Senate, where he would become the third-longest serving senator in history.

Even his Republican foes recognized Kennedy’s dedication as he worked to protect civil rights, give federal help to the poor, contain the spread of nuclear weapons, raise the minimum wage, expand health coverage and improve America’s schools.

FAMILY STANDARDS

Born on February 22, 1932, Edward Moore Kennedy was the last of four sons and five daughters born to millionaire businessman Joseph Kennedy, who would later be ambassador to Britain, and his wife, Rose.

The Boston Irish family combined the competitive spirit of nouveau riche immigrants with acquired polish and natural charm. The sons were expected to mature into presidential timber and were groomed for that starting with the oldest, Joseph Jr., a bomber pilot who died in World War Two.

“I think about my brothers every day,” Kennedy told Reuters. “They set high standards. Sometimes you measure up, sometimes you don’t.”

(Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro and Bill Trott in Washington and Patricia Zengerle in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts; Editing by Alan Elsner and Jackie Frank)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090826/us_nm/us_kennedy

Posted by ben on August 26th, 2009 No Comments

Seller, beware: Feds cracking down on garage sales

WASHINGTON — If you’re planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you’d best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.

The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that’s been recalled by its manufacturer.

“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.

Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.

Staffers for the federal agency are fanning out across the country to conduct training seminars on the regulations at dozens of thrift shops.

“Even before this law, we had good mechanisms in place for pulling recalled products,” said Jim Gibbons, the chief executive of Goodwill. “The law just kicks it up a notch, so Goodwills around the country will continue to improve our process.”

Goodwill uses $2 billion in annual sales at its 2,300 thrift shops nationwide to pay for its job-training and employment placement programs.

Gibbons said the nonprofit group was accustomed to inspectors from the Consumer Product Safety Commission making unannounced visits to its stores.

Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the agency, said it wouldn’t be dispatching bureaucratic storm troopers into private homes to see whether people were selling recalled products from their garages, yards or churches.

“We’re not looking to come across as being heavy-handed,” he said. “We want to make sure that everybody knows what the rules of engagement are to help spur greater compliance, so that enforcement becomes less of an issue. But we’re still going to enforce.”

The agency is working with eBay, Wolfson said, to help the online sales giant install software filters that will flag auction items subject to manufacturers’ recalls.

The commission’s Internet surveillance unit is monitoring Craigslist and other “top auction and reselling sites” for recalled goods. If the agency discovers that a recalled product has been sold online, it will try to find and inform the buyer, Wolfson said.

To kick off its Resale Roundup, the federal agency released a list of the 11 most dangerous previously recalled children’s products.

The oldest is the March 10, 1993, recall of 11,600 portable cribs sold as Playskool Travel-Lite Play Yards and made by Kolcraft, an Aberdeen, N.C., firm that’s the nation’s largest crib manufacturer.

Adele Meyer is the executive director of the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops, which represents more than 1,100 store owners.

“Even before it was criminal to resell recalled goods, our members have always been diligent because children’s safety is always foremost in their minds,” she said. “But having consumers look out for recalled products that are sold at garage sales and flea markets, that is a problem, and hopefully this law will help.”

Nancy Lothrop, a mother of two in Monroe, Wash., was surprised to learn that she might be violating the law by selling about $200 worth of Polly Pocket dolls and accessories on Craigslist that her 12-year-old daughter no longer wants.

In two large recalls from November 2006 to August 2007, the El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel asked consumers to return 9.7 million units of several dozen different sets of Polly Pocket dolls.

The recalled dolls and accessories, made for Mattel in China, had tiny magnets that could become loose and then swallowed or inhaled by young children. The magnets have caused three serious injuries — intestinal tears requiring surgery — that the Consumer Product Safety Commission knows of.

Lothrop’s daughter, Laura, was upset about four years ago when Mattel changed the clothing for many of the Polly Pocket dolls from a rubber-type material to plastic and inserted small magnets to hold it on the figures.

Laura didn’t like the new material or the way it fit her dolls. So, at 8, she e-mailed a complaint to Mattel. The toy giant never responded.

Now, Nancy and Laura Lothrop must do a painstaking inventory of her collection, searching for tiny model numbers to see whether they match any of the recalled items. If they find matches, they’ll pull the recalled dolls and accessories from the group that they’re selling.

Nancy Lothrop, though, doesn’t quite understand why the dolls are being singled out.

“Many toys have small pieces that could be dangerous,” she said. “My son played with army men, Lego blocks, all kinds of things with little parts. A toddler can put anything in his mouth. Parents need to have common sense. Ultimately, the parent needs to really evaluate and be watchful of what the child is playing with. We as consumers have to be careful. It really comes back to us.”

The Resale Roundup is being enforced under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law last year.

The law has a number of other beefed-up consumer protections, including much tougher standards for selling products that contain lead or lead-based paint. After stalling for years, the legislation gained new life after widely publicized massive recalls of Chinese-made dolls and toys with lead paint that started in late 2007.

The law also restored the full five seats on the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the first time in a quarter-century.

President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are crafting an appropriations bill that would boost the agency’s funding next year by more than 11.4 percent — to $117 million — and it’s already hiring new inspectors and other employees in anticipation of the funding infusion.

MOST DANGEROUS RECALLED PRODUCTS:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a drive to prevent used goods that have been recalled from being resold. Among thousands of recalled products on the market, the federal agency has identified 11 that it considers very dangerous for children:

Product………………………………………………………………..When recalled

Playskool Travel-Lite Play Yards (portable cribs)………..March 10, 1993

Baby Trend Home and Roam.(portable cribs)……………Dec. 19, 1994

Evenflo Happy Camper Play Yards (portable cribs)…….June 25, 1997

Baby Express Portable Cribs and Play Yards……………Feb. 28, 2001

Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets…………………………….March 31, 2006

Polly Pocket dolls with magnets………………………………Nov. 21, 2006

Easy-Bake Ovens………………………………………………….July 19, 2007

Simplicity Drop Side Cribs……………………………………….Sept. 21, 2007

Simplicity Bassinets………………………………………………. Aug. 27, 2008

Hill Sportswear hooded drawstring sweatshirts………….Feb. 12, 2009

Evenflo Envision high chairs……………………………………April 2, 2009

Posted by ben on August 26th, 2009 No Comments

Dictator Castro Calls Obama Opposition Racist

Reuters
August 26, 2009

HAVANA (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is trying to make positive changes in the United States, but is being fought at every turn by right-wingers who hate him because he is black, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday.

In an unusually conciliatory column in the state-run media, Castro said Obama had inherited many problems from his predecessor, George W. Bush, and was trying to resolve them. But the “powerful extreme right won’t be happy with anything that diminishes their prerogatives in the slightest way.”

Obama does not want to change the U.S. political and economic system, but “in spite of that, the extreme right hates him for being African-American and fights what the president does to improve the deteriorated image of that country,” Castro wrote.

“I don’t have the slightest doubt that the racist right will do everything possible to wear him down, blocking his program to get him out of the game one way or another, at the least political cost,” he said.

Castro, who writes regular commentaries for Cuba’s state-run media, has criticized Obama, complimented him occasionally and said that he is watching him closely to see if he means what he says about changing U.S. policy toward Cuba.

His latest column comes during a visit to Cuba by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson that has stirred speculation that he may try to push U.S.-Cuba relations forward.

Richardson has been a diplomatic trouble-shooter in nations with which the United States has poor relations. In 1996 he negotiated with Castro for the release of three Cuban political prisoners.

Obama has said he wants to end 50 years of hostilities between the United States and Cuba and has eased the long-standing U.S. trade embargo against the communist-led island.

But he has said the embargo will be lifted only if Cuba shows progress on political prisoners and human rights. Cuban President Raul Castro has said he is happy to discuss these issues but will make no unilateral concessions.

Obama has been criticized by anti-embargo groups for moving too slowly on Cuban policy.

Castro, 83, ran Cuba for 49 years after taking power in a 1959 revolution, but stepped down last year so Raul Castro, his younger brother, could succeed him.

He has not been seen in public since undergoing intestinal surgery in July 2006, but still plays a behind-the-scenes role in government and maintains a high profile through his writings.

He appeared on Cuban television on Sunday for the first time in 14 months meeting with Venezuelan students.

He seemed in good health as he smiled and talked with the students in an appearance some experts believe was aimed at shoring up support for his brother and the government at a time when Cuba is in deep economic crisis.

(Reporting by Jeff Franks; editing by Chris Wilson)

Posted by ben on August 26th, 2009 No Comments

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