source: Interview with Sitar Player Stephan Mikes
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, 28% of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing; 69% disapprove. The approval rating matches the low point of his presidency, and the disapproval sets a new high for any president since Franklin Roosevelt.
The previous record of 67% was reached by Harry Truman in January 1952, when the United States was enmeshed in the Korean War.
Bush's rating has worsened amid "collapsing optimism about the economy," says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies presidential approval. Record gas prices and a wave of home foreclosures have fueled voter angst.
Bush also holds the record for the other extreme: the highest approval rating of any president in Gallup's history. In September 2001, in the days after the 9/11 attacks, Bush's approval spiked to 90%. In another record, the percentage of Americans who say the invasion of Iraq was a mistake reached a new high, 63%, in the latest poll.
Assessments of Bush's presidency are harsh. By 69%-27%, those polled say Bush's tenure in general has been a failure, not a success.
~ more... ~
SA Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) general secretary Randall Howard said: "Satawu does not agree with the position of the South African government not to intervene with this shipment of weapons.
"Our members employed at Durban Container Terminal will not unload this cargo neither will any of our members in the truck driving sector move this cargo by road."
He said the ship, the An Yue Jiang, should not dock in Durban and should return to China.
"The view of our members is that nobody should ask us to unload these weapons," he said.
Satawu said it planned to engage support from the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu).
Defence secretary January Masilela on Thursday that the scrutiny committee of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee's (NCACC) scrutiny committee, which he chairs, had approved the conveyance permit on Monday already.
Athens - A former Greek spy on Sunday returned to Athens after spending 14 years in prison in the United States, ending a spectacular espionage affair between the two countries.
Steven John Lalas
Steven (Stavros) John Lalas is a Greek American and a former State Department communications officer. Charged with passing sensitive military and diplomatic information to Greek officials, he was arrested in northern Virginia on May 3, 1993.
The Sombolay and Lalas Cases
These two cases underscore the miscarriage of justice and the unequal treatment that occurred in the Pollard Case.
Lalas: Something Wasn't Right
Steven J. Lalas, an American of Greek descent, was a State Department communications officer stationed with the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece. He also served at posts in Belgrade, Istanbul, and Taiwan. Charged with passing sensitive military information to Greek officials, he was arrested in Northern Virginia on May 3, 1993.
The U.S. Government received the first tip that led to identification of Lalas as a spy as a result of an accidental slip in a conversation between an official of the Greek Embassy in Washington and a State Department official. The Greek official knew of information that could only have come from a secret communication between the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the State Department. The State Department official recognized something wasn't right and reported it. This led to an investigation, and Lalas was later observed through a video monitoring system stealing documents intended for destruction.
"Profile of a Spy," in Security Matters, the FBI Security Education Bulletin. Summer 1996.
A military engineer has appeared in court in the US on charges of passing classified information to Israel.
Ben-Ami Kadish is alleged to have given secrets involving information about nuclear weapons, fighter jets and missiles to Israel in the 1980s.
He was charged with four counts of conspiracy, including disclosing documents relating to national defence and acting as an agent of Israel.
He declined to comment on leaving the Manhattan courthouse.
~ read on... ~
The Israeli secret service has launched a new venture: it has started to carry an internet diary, or blog, written by four of its agents.
The agents discuss how they were recruited, and what sort of work they perform; they also answer questions sent in by members of the public.
The tone of the blog is chatty, at times even facetious.
[ ... ]
The blogs are intended to draw members of the public into other areas of the Shin Bet website - in particular the recruitment section.
Some of the positions are advertised with a red star and the slogan "hot job".
There is the opportunity to work on what are described as "irregular missions"; to work on one's own; and to acquire a variety of "special skills".
~ more... ~
While calls for secession have been heard, a primary force driving recurrent waves of disturbances in the south and elsewhere in recent months appears to be the poor economic management of Saleh's General People's Congress (GPC) and discontent at its untrammeled domination of the governance system.
Public sector and military employment is a fulcrum for southern protests because the security services constitute the largest single employer in a country in which up to 40 percent of the population live in poverty and unemployment stands at anywhere between 20-40 percent.
The analyst who requested anonymity explained that, "What is sparking them [the protests] is part of a much larger grievance against the regime. And what you are starting to see now is an increasingly common narrative between what is going on in the south and what's going on in the north [al-Houthi rebellion].
"At their heart, these demonstrations are about the inability of the government to provide basic services that include most of the people in the decision-making," she said, adding that the wave of southern protests is "building" and looks set to increase in "seriousness."
[ ... ]
The US has ordered all non-essential diplomatic staff to leave the country and has issued a travel warning for its citizens following a mortar attack on its Sana'a embassy compound on 18 March. According to a government official the main suspect in the bombing is al-Qaida militant Hamza al-Dayan.
Al-Qaida in Yemen has stepped up its attacks on government targets and foreign interests and nationals in recent months, conducting a series of audacious assaults that appear to confirm the severing of the long-rumored relationship with the Saleh government – which reputedly enjoyed a modus vivendi with the old al-Qaida leadership.
Stracke explained that US assassination strikes against al-Qaida leaders in the wake of the 2001 USS Cole attack in Aden harbor, and a related government crackdown on the group, led to a period of relative quiet from 2004-2005.
"This changed in 2006 when 23 [jihadi] prisoners escaped. And among them was the leader of the new Yemen al-Qaida group, Nasir al-Wuhayshi," she said.
~ more... ~
"Load up the pantry," says Manu Daftary, one of Wall Street's top investors and the manager of the Quaker Strategic Growth mutual fund. "I think prices are going higher. People are too complacent. They think it isn't going to happen here. But I don't know how the food companies can absorb higher costs." (Full disclosure: I am an investor in Quaker Strategic)
Stocking up on food may not replace your long-term investments, but it may make a sensible home for some of your shorter-term cash. Do the math. If you keep your standby cash in a money-market fund you'll be lucky to get a 2.5% interest rate. Even the best one-year certificate of deposit you can find is only going to pay you about 4.1%, according to Bankrate.com. And those yields are before tax.
Meanwhile the most recent government data shows food inflation for the average American household is now running at 4.5% a year.
And some prices are rising even more quickly. The latest data show cereal prices rising by more than 8% a year. Both flour and rice are up more than 13%. Milk, cheese, bananas and even peanut butter: They're all up by more than 10%. Eggs have rocketed up 30% in a year. Ground beef prices are up 4.8% and chicken by 5.4%.
These are trends that have been in place for some time.
And if you are hoping they will pass, here's the bad news: They may actually accelerate.
~ more... ~
- Cartoonist Alan Moore, the Guy Fawkes Mask, and Occupy Wall Street
- 'The History of Oil - by Robert Newman
- Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
- Riots or revolt? - An insight into why Greece is now in flames
- Salvador Dali expounds on his 'Paranoiac Critical Method' philosophy
- The Last Roundup
- The Merchant of Death: Basil Zaharoff
- UPDATED: Warriors out of their minds: Drugs of choice for super soldiers
- Holocaust Deniers - a growing club
- Smokey the Bear Sutra by Gary Snyder
- Twilight of the Psychopaths
- The Bankers' Manifesto of 1892
- Jacques Ellul on Propaganda
Last Month's 13 Most Viewed Entries
- The pineal gland: Interface between the physical and spiritual planes?
- Uganda: Devil worship
- Obama and the Anti-Christ
- '1984: Grace Commission Report under Ronald Reagan showed IRS is a fraud that collects taxes for the Banking Dynasties'
- The Illuminated Ones
- Martial Law declared in United States
- Illuminati Occult Symbolism in The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony
- Israeli women take off clothes for Egypt “nude revolutionary” blogger
- The Bollywood star who nearly became Pakistan's First Lady
- Belgian Police brutality in action! Warning- this is upsetting
- Gregg Braden - A Field Exists That Connects Everything Together - The Ether Field
- Noble Gas Engine
- Hopi and Tibetan Buddhist Prophecies - The Connection