Samstag, 30. Januar 2010

Fremdfirma "ermittelte" bei Hartz-IV-Empfängern

"Bedarfsfeststellungsdienste" oder anders formuliert: Bespitzelungen von Hartz IV Betroffenen durch eine beauftragte Fremdfirma - was offensichtlich bei der ARGE Rhein-Erft im Westen Nordrhein-Westfalens von 2006 bis 2009 zur gängigen Praxis gehörte, wurde nun in einem vom Rechnungsprüfungsamt dem Fachausschuss vorgelegten Bericht zumindest für die Jahre 2007 und 2008 laut der "Kölnischer Rundschau" als "aus vergaberechtlichen und datenschutzrechtlichen Gründen [.] bedenklich eingestuft." Lesen Sie weiter:

Can We Still Believe in That Change Obama Ran On?

This Week in Banking: Root Canals, Rhetoric or Real Reform?


AWOL From the State of the Union: Peace, Reconciliation and Debt

Robert Naiman, Truthout: "On foreign policy, while the president said some good things, he missed key opportunities to say better things. In particular, he missed key opportunities to promote reconciliation as an essential way of ending our wars and promoting peace. In speaking about US domestic politics, the president is eloquent in his efforts to promote reconciliation, but he seems to have lost his voice in applying these ideas to our foreign policy."

Drifting Toward Catastrophe: A Seven-Headed Beast

Bernard Weiner, Truthout: "This country, humanity, the globe are rushing pell-mell to disaster, mostly by neglecting what needs to be done while we're diddling with the political minutiae. This tendency to avoid the obvious larger questions reminds one of the thrust of Albert Einstein's famous quote: 'The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.'"


The Annotated Obama

By Joe Bageant

No jobs, but lots of support. Yellow ribbons and free prosthetic limbs for all.

An Ugly Week For The Human Race And Other Living Things

By David Michael Green

Obama's peculiar sin is that he - unlike Reagan or Clinton or the pathetic Bush family goobers - is stuck presiding over the national decline at the moment it has slipped into fourth gear, and at a time after which all those other clowns have more or less exhausted the suite of remotely plausible diversionary tactics.


False Hope in Financial Free Lunch

EU Farmers Face Genetic Contamination of Seeds

Obama makes clear that Missile Shield is about Russia, not Iran

While the Bush administration claimed that the missile shield was about dealing with a threat from Iran, Obama has made it clear that it is about a threat from Russia, or at least a perceived threat.

Russia condemns US move to put missiles in Romania

The Kremlin said it was taken aback by news that Romania's top military body had agreed to host US SM-3 interceptor missiles and other military infrastructure in response to an alleged missile threat from Iran.

Makarov: US anti-missile shield targets Russia

Nikolai Makarov, the chief of Russia's general staff, brushes aside Washington's statements of reassurance regarding US plans to deploy an anti-missile shield in Europe, saying the system is aimed at targeting Russia.

From Information Clearing House


Russia will not just watch Patriot missiles deployed

From Global Network

America's Secret Afghan Prisons

In its attempt to stamp out the growing Taliban insurgency and Al Qaeda, the US military has been arresting suspects and sending them to one of a number of secret detention areas on military bases, often on the slightest suspicion and without the knowledge of their families. These night raids have become even more feared and hated in Afghanistan than coalition airstrikes.

CIA black sites may amount to crime against humanity

UN human rights experts warned on Wednesday that "widespread and systematic" secret detention of terror suspects could pave the way for charges of crimes against humanity.

From Information Clearing House


"America's Secret Afghan Prisons": Investigation Unearths New US Torture Site, Abuse Allegations in Afghanistan


The 700 Military Bases of Afghanistan Black Sites in the Empire of Bases

Nick Turse, "In the nineteenth century, it was a fort used by British forces. In the twentieth century, Soviet troops moved into the crumbling facilities. In December 2009, at this site in the Shinwar district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province, U.S. troops joined members of the Afghan National Army in preparing the way for the next round of foreign occupation. On its grounds, a new military base is expected to rise, one of hundreds of camps and outposts scattered across the country."

Corruption in Washington is Smothering America's Future

By Johann Hari

This week, a disaster hit the United States, and the after-tremors will be shaking and breaking global politics for years.

Corporations are people too!

Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Corporation Run for Congress


"It's our democracy. We bought it, we paid for it, and we're going to keep it." Murray Hill Inc.

Your Disappointment In Obama Is Your Teaching Moment

By Carolyn Baker

Last week's Supreme Court ruling lifting limits on campaign financing by corporations was truly the last nail in the coffin of democracy and sealed the fundamental definition of fascism attributed to Mussolini which was simply, "the corporate state." Abramoff rules, and politicians no longer have any reason to function...


The 'Devastating' Decision

Fight Campaign Finance Ruling, One Step at a Time

Free Speech for Corporation: What Does the Citizens United v. FEC Decision Mean for You and for Democracy?

Unions Bash Democrats, Warn of Political Fallout


Legislation to Counter Supreme Court's Campaign Finance Ruling Gaining Support

Kyle Berlin, Truthout: "In the wake of last week's sweeping 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, which struck down several longstanding prohibitions on corporate political contributions, Democratic lawmakers are proposing legislation to counter some of its effects."

It's Not Too Late to Limit or Reverse the Impact of the Supreme Court's Disastrous Decision in Citizens United v. FEC

Fran Korten, Yes! Magazine: "Pro-democracy groups, business leaders, and elected representatives are proposing mechanisms to prevent or counter the millions of dollars that corporations can now draw from their treasuries to push for government action favorable to their bottom line. The outrage ignited by the Court's ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission extends to President Obama, who has promised that repairing the damage will be a priority for his administration."

Personal Corporatehood: Coping With the Reason Divided of Citizens United

Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., Truthout: "There's great consternation brewing over the recent Supreme Court decision that cements and extends the misbegotten logic of 'corporate personhood,' and rightly so. Surely, one of the most farcical and tortuous doctrines ever established in our system of jurisprudence, this conflated concept has drawn the ire of (small-d) democrats at least as far back as Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in 1816, 'I hope we shall ... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.'"

Remembering Our Humanity

Michael N. Nagler, Truthout: "The decade has not begun with a paean to human wisdom. Two recent acts of folly in particular share a deep and pernicious connection that bears some pondering, and I am not even referring to the capture of Ted Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts. I am referring to the 5-4 Supreme Court decision on Thursday last week ratifying an absurd and dangerous notion that had been let loose in the public discourse almost by accident nearly a century ago, namely the legal 'personhood' of corporations, and secondly to the introduction of full-body scanning for 'security' that is coming soon to airports near you."

Big Money in Politics

Bill Moyers Journal: "In the wake of a controversial Supreme Court decision giving corporations and unions more freedom to spend on elections, many federal and state lawmakers are hoping to curb Citizens United v. the FEC's effect on elections. The 'Journal' explores how some legislators are fighting to curb Big Money spending even as the court invalidates laws in 24 states aimed at keeping elections clean."


The Supreme Court 5 And Their Magic Fact Appearing Cabinet, Because Only The People Speaking Out Can Reverse The Dreadful Corporate Personhood Decision

This is the third in our series of lambasts against the various multitude of gross errors in the ruling by the Supreme Court 5 (Roberts, Kennedy, Alito, Scalia & Thomas) to turn corporations into super citizens. The first alert addressed their constructive treason in expressly empowering foreign corporations to speak in our elections, the second vivisected their haste and derelict abandonment of all prudent procedure.

Be sure to submit the two action pages on this issue from which we are just starting to build the movement and political will to repudiate the rogue Supreme Court 5.

Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People

Action Page: Impeach The Supreme Court 5

And if you have a web page of your own, please get the simple code from one of the pages above to place a button to help us give away bumper stickers to protest this hideous injustice.

This third installment will demonstrate their ad hoc prestidigitation of findings of fact on which to ground the opinion. Again we will reference specific page citations to the actual opinion, together with our review of all the legal filings in this case, including the so-called "amicus" (friend of the court) third parties, and the transcript of the oral argument, itself telling in many ways.

We had already pointed out that Kennedy, writing for a skin's teeth of a majority, plowed ahead without sending the case back down to the lower court for the development of a factual record on the issue THEY wanted to rule on (in a predetermined and unprecedented way as it turns out). Instead he conjured facts out of thin hot air to justify his holding, and we will have to play detective somewhat to figure out where this factual garbage even came from.

Critical to Kennedy's justification for why corporations should for the first time be awarded the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to tilt the tables of our elections was the finding, as a matter of fact, that existing PAC (political action committee) alternatives were too BURDENSOME and suppressive of this magical new corporation free speech right to drown out the voice of actual citizens in our elections. (opinion pp. 21-22).

And as support for this sweeping and totalitarian assertion of factual reality, what source does Kennedy lean on?? Why, little more than his OWN DISSENT in the one of very Supreme Court cases (McConnell) this opinion revisits and overrules (so much for respect for stare decisis), where HE made that assertion in DEFIANCE of the majority ruling in that case. Again here, he just recites his personal grudge list of the cruel and unusual (in his opinion) filing requirements for PACs, absent any determination by any trier of fact
(besides his absolute self) that these requirements are per se onerous.

Oh, but it gets worse. For you see, no actual party to this litigation made any such factual claim that we can find in the record on appeal. Instead, in this part of the opinion Kennedy is just essentially regurgitating verbatim the ARGUMENTS of one of the THIRD PARTY amicus briefs!! (opinion p. 22) What he did here was take the assertions of a non-party in a tangential filing, the ONLY one to make such arguments, totally after the fact of anything tried in the actual case, and he elevated those arguments to the pedestal status of a complete factual record from the court below.

How much more offensive to any sense of judicial fair play could it possibly get? The point of a TRIAL is to take testimony, to try factual assertions in the crucible of a fact finding court, to have a judge determine based on a full and fair record what facts are to be given weight, with both parties given an opportunity to present any relevant evidence. But in our new Supreme Court of the Five Kangaroos, they can sit as judge, jury and executioner of all facts without any such procedural fairness, and based on their OWN prejudicial predetermination.

To her credit, in oral argument Justice Sotomayor attempted to address the fact that the Court appeared to be bent on proceeding in the absence of an adequate factual record on the issue it purportedly was to decide (oral argument p 25, lines 12-22). Here was attorney Ted Olsen's response to her question.

"It is the government has the burden to prove the record that justifies telling someone that wants to make a 90-minute documentary about a candidate for president that they will go to jail if they broadcast it. The government has the obligation and the government had a long legislative record and plenty of opportunity to produce that record and it's their obligation to do so." (oral argument p. 25, line 25 - p. 26, line 7, and please take careful note of Olsen's unbelievably snaky reference to a "legislative" record, as contrasted with a FACTUAL record by trial in a lower court, and his inflammatory use of the word "jail").

Where did this guy get his law license ... out of a cereal box??

In the first place, the government was not the "plaintiff" (the one bringing the case) here. The government was not prosecuting a case here to put anybody in jail. The plaintiff in this case was so-called Citizens United, both on appeal and in the court below. In our system of justice the plaintiff is ALWAYS the one with the burden of proof, and where, as here, they ABANDONED the issue that the Supreme Court 5 raised from the dead by a wave of their unilateral godlike hand, there was NO requirement for the government to make a case to the contrary. Indeed, on the issues that WERE tried below, the government DID develop whatever factual record was necessary to win, even by the biased standards of this Supreme Court (opinion p. 10).

What kind of dishonest advocate would try to throw the obligation of proof back on the defendant so long after the fact of an issue waived?

And what kind of dishonest Supreme Court would try to pass off as justice such a short shrift of a factual record? Kennedy asserts in the opinion that it's really all OK because in one of the stare decisis cases (which they are REVERSING) there was a record of 100,000 pages on roughly the same issue (opinion p. 15), so they can rely on that, totally disregarding that THAT case ruled AGAINST Kennedy's zombie proposition. What has changed? Nothing has changed but an additional right wing drop kick ideologue on the court to vote to take the SAME facts and arrive at the diametrically contrary result many years later. 100,000 pages of record that went the other way against a new record in this case of ZERO pages. Some record!

It just so happens that Anthony M. Kennedy is the LAST person who should ever be allowed to make a finding of a fact about anything in the real world, let alone from the bench of the Supreme Court. Consider this pearl of cave dwelling mentality from his mouth in the oral argument, in defense of the admittedly ad hominem corporate hit piece about Hillary Clinton in this case.

"But, No. 1, the phenomenon of -- of television ads where we get information about scientific discovery and -- and environment and transportation issues from corporations who after all have patents because they know something, that -- that is different." (oral argument, p. 73, lines 5-10)

Oh sure, that's what corporations do all day long with their TV ads, finance educational and enlightening public service announcements. You mean like all those ads from defense contractors pitching their new missile system as being people friendly? If any court ever needed a factual record to tell them what is actually going on out here in the real world it surely must be this one.

But alas, at this point this alert is already quite long, and we have still only scratched the surface of the totally bogus findings of purported fact on which this outrageously heinous decision was based. So we will have to keep you in suspense until the next installment of the analysis of this shameful decision in ... the ongoing and tragic Saga of the Outlaw Supreme Court 5.

Bumper Stickers Shipping Today!!

We have all the labels printed for the many thousands of you who have already requested your "Corporations Are NOT The People" bumper stickers and your "Impeach The Supreme Court 5" bumper stickers protesting the Supreme Court decision, and will be shipping all of those in the next day or so by first class mail. Otherwise, please get your request in from this page so we can all demonstrate our opposition together.

Bumper Stickers for no charge:

You can have your choice of either action bumper sticker for no charge, not even shipping. If you want both at the same time please make a donation of any amount, and especially please make a donation if you CAN, because this is what allows us to send free bumper stickers to anyone who cannot make a donation right now.

And again, be sure to submit the two action pages on this issue from which we are just starting to build the movement and political will to repudiate the rogue Supreme Court 5, comprising Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy.

Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People

Action Page: Impeach The Supreme Court 5

Facebook participants can also submit the ALTERNATE action pages at

Corporations Are Not The People:

Impeach The Supreme Court 5:

And on Twitter, just send the following Twitter reply for the Corporations Are Not The People action

@cxs #p1029

And this Twitter reply for the Impeach The Supreme Court 5 action

@cxs #p1030

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.


Tony Blair Faces Iraq Inquiry

By Nick Robinson

Even before the attacks on New York, he told the inquiry, "force was always an option... if necessary, we were going to remove him."

Blair at Chilcot: a Well-rehearsed Performance

By Michael Billington

What did we expect? That Tony Blair would break down in front of the Chilcot inquiry admitting he had taken Britain to war on the basis of flimsy intelligence? That he would beg God's forgiveness for the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis? That he would guiltily confess that at the famous meeting at Crawford, Texas, he had given George Bush unequivocal support for military action?

Iraq inquiry is being 'gagged' after secret documents withheld

Crucial evidence about the reasons Britain went to war against Saddam Hussein is being kept secret it has emerged - leading to accusations that the Iraq inquiry has been "gagged".

'You're a liar and murderer'

Blair booed after telling Iraq inquiry he has no regrets.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Blair

Iran in 2010 more dangerous than Iraq in 2003

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Iran in 2010 was more dangerous in terms of its nuclear program than Iraq was in 2003. He made the remarks to a public inquiry into the Iraq war in London.,7340,L-3841531,00.html

Hans Blix: Blair's blind faith in intelligence

A month before the war, I told Tony Blair it would be absurd if 250,000 troops were to invade Iraq and find no WMD. So it was...

Plan to oust Saddam drawn up two years before the invasion

By Michael Savage

The document, headed "confidential UK/US eyes", was finalised on 11 June 2001 and approved by ministers. It has not been published by the Iraq inquiry but a copy has been obtained by The Independent and can be revealed for the first time today.

Clare Short at Iraq inquiry

Clare Short, the former International Development Secretary, certainly did not pull any punches. She told the Iraq Inquiry today that: Tony Blair lied in the build up to war - He deceived her about his commitment to UN involvement - The Cabinet never had meaningful debates about Iraq (or, indeed, anything else).

Clare Short: Goldsmith 'Misled' Cabinet Over Iraq

By Real News Network

Clare Short accuses Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, of misleading the Cabinet over the legality of the Iraq war.

From Information Clearing House


Defiant Blair: 'No Regrets', Audience Member: 'You Are a Murderer!'

Remember the Illegal Destruction of Iraq?


Chilcot inquiry shows UK's 'military linkage with US' is fundamental


Short: Blair “deceived Parliament”

The Press Association [UK]


Tony Blair deceived Parliament about the grounds for invading Iraq because he believed it was right to go to war, the inquiry into the conflict has heard. Former Cabinet minister Clare Short accused the ex-prime minister of ‘leaning on’ attorney general Lord Goldsmith to make him mislead the Government about the legality of the March 2003 invasion...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Zuschüsse an Sozialkassen sollen bald gesenkt werdenür+Arbeit

Der talentierte Mister Blair

Potemkinsche Dörfer in Afghanistan

The Precarious State of Our Union

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lied

The Neoconservative Empire

We've Been Neo-Conned

Ron Paul on what happened to the Republicans

The Neoconservative Empire

The Pro-Life Assault on Ron Paul and the Constitution


Boxed in by neoliberalism

Porcupine Blog
by Larry Gambone


Systems that are inflexible and thus incapable of positive change do one of two things. They collapse like Rome or the USSR or have revolutions like Bourbon France or Tsarist Russia. For a system to reform, there must be viable political alternatives and such options must get an intelligent hearing in the media. The US political system has reduced the political spectrum to a fraction — the centre-right/far-right...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Independent Media Source

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