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The Predators Tour

Morgan Stanley Protest

"If these activists are as dedicated as they are desperate, expect this to become a trend."

I like the title of their protest - The Predators Tour!
I wonder how long before these demonstrations turn violent? They are sure to attract some agent provocateurs.

From the Raw Story:

Homeowner group protests 'predator' CEOs outside their mansions
Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday February 9, 2009

Monday, a group of 350 to 400 at-risk homeowners, organized by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, staged a series of protests outside the mansions of wealthy bankers in a moneyed Connecticut neighborhood.

"Called the 'Predators Tour' these actions were the start of NACA's 'accountability campaign,' an aggressive, confrontational protest aimed at several top executives of companies that refuse to allow NACA to renegotiate the terms of loans on behalf of members, according to NACA CEO Bruce Marks," reported the Stamford Times.

"Sporting bright yellow shirts that read, 'Stop Loan Sharks,' protesters demanded more accountability from the CEOs of the financial institutions responsible for the millions of unaffordable mortgages in the state and across America," reported NBC New York in an article titled, "Grab Your Torch and Pitchfork."

Protesters also gathered outside the mansions of William Frey, the CEO at Greenwich Financial Services, and John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley.

"The move was part of the nonprofit group's national accountability campaign to get company executives to support refinancing loans to keep people in their homes, according to Liz Floyd, one of the organizers and a counselor with the group," reported the Stamford Advocate. "... [The] group believes the executives contributed to the subprime mortgage crisis."

"During the protest, organizers shouted through bullhorns and carried signs in the middle of the road for more than an hour, prompting the police to shut down a portion of Glenville Road, according to Lt. James Heavey," reported the Greenwich Times.

None of the protesters were arrested, but "more than 100 signs" were left on the front gate of Frey's mansion. Lt. Heavey told the Greenwich Times that Frey was not home, and he had not returned a call from the Associated Press at deadline.

"Frey was targeted, Marks explained, because he has filed a class-action lawsuit against Bank of America on behalf of two of the bank's major investors alleging that the bank violated contractual law when it moved to modify hundreds of mortgages to make them more affordable," continued reporter Amanda Norris.

"Marks said that despite the risk and controversy involved in confronting millionaire money brokers on their own turf, NACA's tactics were the only effective means of exerting pressure on an otherwise uncaring and oblivious elite."

The protests were just one portion of a three-day homeowners workshop put on by the NACA.

The organization is setting up a "financial predators registry" of executives who did not cooperate with the group. On its Web site, CEOs of institutions such as National City, HSBC, Nation Star, HomeQ, Litton and others are prominently displayed, along with links to photos and valuations of their homes and their direct phone numbers.

"'No one has ever gone in such huge numbers to these guys' homes,' Marks continued. 'If they don't do the right thing, we'll be back. We are the junkyard dogs. Once we grab on, we will not let go.'"

The group's Web site explains: "Some lenders, such as Bank of America and Citigroup, have sought out NACA as a valuable partner in reaching underserved communities and have achieved great success. When lenders have exploited low- and moderate-income and minority communities, as in the case of Fleet or The Associates, NACA proved to be a tireless foe.

"... Corporations prefer to hide behind a veil of anonymity, but in reality they are run by people who make decisions and are responsible for the consequences. NACA shines a spotlight on the CEOs, executives and directors who perpetrate financial injustice. NACA ensures that their neighbors, relatives and employees are made aware of their actions. In addition, NACA holds the decision-makers accountable to the public everywhere they go. NACA’s hundreds of thousands of members across the country may appear at and disrupt their speeches, events, and meetings. Backed by extensive research, NACA and its members deliver a compelling wake-up call to decision makers everywhere, letting them know that they will be held personally accountable for their actions."

"Morgan Stanley said its mortgage servicing business 'actively collaborates' with NACA to structure solutions for qualified borrowers so they can remain in their homes," reported the AP. "A proposed agreement by NACA was delivered Saturday afternoon.

"'We are reviewing it now and expect to come to mutually agreeable terms,' Morgan Stanley said in a statement."

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UNRWA Press Conference on Gaza humanitarian situation

UNRWA Press Conference on Gaza humanitarian situation

"The situation in Gaza is one of growing misery," the top United Nations official in the war‑torn territory said today, telling reporters it was "shameful" that Israeli politics had stranded tons of relief supplies at blocked crossing points and, in the latest blow to the beleaguered recovery effort, armed Hamas police had broken into a warehouse and seized thousands of blankets and food packs meant for needy Gaza residents.

...the Agency expected to run out of the plastic bags it needed to pre‑package relief supplies by Sunday... We are having no success at the operation level [and that] is feeding the despair and frustration of the people," he said.

He frankly could not understand why the flow of basic necessities, building materials and school supplies was being obstructed. "It’s beyond comprehension. I need these questions answered simply," he continued, saying he was tired of hearing the same "circular argument rationalized by political analysis" about who might get access to this or that. The politicians were not paying the price. Students and ordinary people were being hurt, because they were being denied access to educational materials and basic necessities. Everyone knew that all this would lead to more desperation, more anger and more violence."

I'm sure this works out well for Israel. More anger and violence by Palestinians = more reasons to attack them again.

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An Update on Canada's First Convicted Terrorist

Canada's first convicted terrorist was back in court this week. WP blogged about his trial here. He was convicted in September 2008 of "participating in terrorist activities' but his conviction has not technically been registered, pending the outcome of the defence's abuse-of-process motion to have the charges stayed.

His trial and conviction is just pathetic and shameful. If it wasn't for the "US-compliant Anti-Terrorism Act" the worst thing they could have convicted this underage defendant with is shoplifting that was not even related to the 'plot'. As it is, he could get ten years in prison. His most damning entry on the audio tapes presented at the trial was to ask "if Muslims were allowed to use Nivea cream."

The defendant's lawyer is planning to argue that the police agent who recruited the teen for the 'terrorist training camp' (by telling him it was a religious retreat) had committed more illegal acts than his client.

From the Galloping Beaver:

Toronto18/ Paintball11/ Tim Hortons10 terrorist fatcamp update

G&M : RCMP agent concedes key role in set-up, running of terrorist training camp

Mubin Shaikh on Friday:

"I thought that if the RCMP didn't tell me I couldn't do it, I inferred that I could do it," Mr. Shaikh testified.

Lawyers for Canada's first underage convicted terrorist argued in court Friday that without Mubin Shaikh, assigned by CSIS and paid by the RCMP, there would have been no terrorist conspiracy at all.

In fact, minus Canada's new US-compliant Anti-Terrorism Act, the most he could have been charged with is shoplifting - and shoplifting items that were not even used in the RCMP/CSIS plot to, uh, blow up the Houses of Parliament, along with CBC and CSIS, although they weren't sure where the parliament buildings were, and behead Prime Minister Paul Martin, having failed to note he was no longer the PM.

Let's review, courtesy of Thomas Walkom, our young convicted terrorist's complicity in the plot :

He did not make bombs or buy guns. Nor did he advocate doing so.
He did not threaten to kill anyone, did not call for holy war, did not pledge allegiance to Osama bin Laden.
He did not even badmouth Canada's military efforts in Afghanistan.

His most damning entry on the audio tapes helpfully provided by Mr Mehta, who testified along with the other crown witness at the kid's trial in September that he believed him to be innocent, was to ask "if Muslims can use Nivea cream".

So what was he convicted of ?
Walkom explains Superior Court Justice John Sproat's guilty verdict last September :

"Under the anti-terror legislation, the government doesn't need to prove an accused terrorist took part in or even knew about a specific plot.
All it has to prove is that he knowingly participated in the activities of a terrorist group and contributed either directly or indirectly to anything "enhancing" its abilities."

Oh well, the kid definitely qualifies then.
As RCMP/CSIS fatcamp troop leader and prosecution star witness Mubin Shaikh testified at the kid's trial, he convinced the reluctant teen to attend the training camp by telling him it was a religious retreat:

"I don't believe that (he) is a terrorist," he said outside the courtroom.
"I don't believe he should've been put through what he was put through, but that's our system."
Shaikh said he did not believe that the defendant was aware of the group's violent plans."

And yet under "our system", if the kid's lawyers are not successful in overturning his conviction by a sole judge, the kid could get ten years for, as Hysperia remarked in comments at the time, "something that someone else might have been doing without his knowledge.".

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Masters of War - Not Finished Yet

Bob Dylan-Masters of War-Woodstock 1994

After the masters of war claimed they had met all their objectives in Gaza (just in time for the coronation of the Prince of Change) it looks like they weren't quite finished after all. The Guardian reported today that Israel is threatening a "fierce and disproportionate" response to recent Palestinian rocket fire. (I guess disproportionate attacks are the 'norm' now, no need to even pretend your actions are moral.) Zippy L, whose Kadima party is trailing Bibi N's Lukids in the polls with just nine days to the election, is demanding immediate reprisals. "We need to use strength and a lot of it, there is no reason to wait," she said. Ehud B is reported to be preparing the army for a surprise attack. (Making sure there are getting lots of ruffage in their diets I suppose.) He said, "Hamas was dealt a severe blow and it will be dealt one again." (Well actually, I think he means the imprisoned civilian population of Gaza will be dealt another severe blow).

Meanwhile, Hamas is busy threatening peace and reported to be considering an Egyptian brokered year long truce which would begin on Thursday.

Update: Thanks to Littlehorn for pointing out to me that the slide show pictures I had posted here of Gazans breaking through the border of Rafah were from the Guardian Jan 2008. They were linked on the same page as the article from which I took the information on the above post, along with some other articles from Jan 2009 so I mistakenly assumed they were current. My apologies for having posted them. This article from Guardian (Feb. 1 2009) describes the food crisis that Gazans are facing.

"...between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked by the three-week Israeli attack, which followed two years of economic siege. is going to be almost impossible for Gaza to produce the food it needs for the next six to eight months, assuming that the agriculture can be rehabilitated.
...Before the blockade and the attack...Gaza produced half of its own food. Now that has declined by 25%
...The wholesale destruction of farms, greenhouses, dairy parlours, livestock, chicken coops and orchards has damaged food production, which was already hit by the blockade.
...Buildings heavily damaged during Israel's Operation Cast Lead included much of its agricultural infrastructure. The Ministry of Agriculture was targeted, the agriculture faculty at al-Azhar university in Beit Hanoun largely destroyed, and the offices of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees in Zaitoun - which provides cheap food for the poor - ransacked and vandalised by soldiers who left abusive graffiti.
...Although international and local officials are still gathering figures, they believe that scores, perhaps hundreds, of wells and water sources have been damaged and several hundred greenhouses have been levelled, as well as severe damage inflicted on 60,000-75,000 dunums of Gaza's 175,000 dunums (44,000 acres) of farmable land.

Masters Of War

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

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The Shit Left Behind by the 'most moral army in the world'

Now that the self proclaimed 'most moral army in the world' has slithered back to its den along the borders of Gaza, disgusting evidence of the piles of excrement it left behind is exposed by Canadian human rights activist Eva Bartlett.

Writing from the Gaza strip: Where every family has a story...

..."The army was creative in their destruction, in their defacing of property, in their insults. Creative in the ways they could shit in rooms and save their shit for cupboards and unexpected places. Actually, their creativity wasn't so broad. The rest was routine: ransack the house from top to bottom. Turn over or break every clothing cupboard, kitchen shelf, television, computer, window pane and water tank."
"...F. tells me: "The smell was terrible. The food was everywhere. Very disgusting smell. They put shit in the sinks, shit everywhere. Our clothes were everywhere. ...they put shit everywhere: in cupboards, on beds -- my bed is full of shit."
"...Sabreen opened her clothing cupboard: there was a bowl of shit in it! They used our clothes for the toilet."
"...Amnesty International sent a fact-finding team to Gaza following the Israeli attacks. Chris Cobb-Smith, also a military expert and an officer in the British army for almost 20 years, said "Gazans have had their houses looted, vandalized and desecrated. As well, the Israeli soldiers have left behind not only mounds of litter and excrement but ammunition and other military equipment. It's not the behavior one would expect from a professional army."
...The mother led me through her house, pointing out the many violations against their existence, every graffitied wall, each shattered window, glass and plate, slit flour bags -- when the wheat is so precious -- and the same revolting array of soldiers' left-overs: spoiled packaged food, feces everywhere but the toilet, clothes used as toilet paper. The same stench."
============================================================================== with other houses in occupied areas, residents who returned to houses still standing found a disaster of rubbish, vandalism, destruction, human waste and many stolen valuables, including mobile phones, gold jewelry, US dollars and Jordanian dinars (JD), and in some cases even furniture and televisions, used and discarded in the camps Israeli soldiers set up outside in occupied areas. Shrater says the soldiers stole about USD 1,000 and another 2,000 JD (approximately USD 828) in gold necklaces."
...They used my kids' clothes for their sniper bags," Shrater complains. "The clothes they didn't put in sandbags they threw into the toilet,".

In these two excellent reports from Channel 4 News', Jonathan Miller, you get a sense of the scale of wanton destruction. Zippy, the numero uno shit dispenser, Livni is quoted as saying she is ""at peace with the fact that we did it" describing the civilian death toll as "the product of circumstance".

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Warning: These images are very disturbing and may make you sick!


Somewhere near the Gaza border as the IDF masses their forces....there is music and dancing and wierd horns...

and laughter and celebration...

and lots of drinks and snacks for everyone!
(Remember to bring your shades it's sunny out there.)


(From Danish TV Jan 09/09 - watch at 38 sec for the interview in english)

Keren Levy (Real Estate agent): They Chose Hamas to rule them, it's their fault, they got it to where it is now
Danish TV: Don't you think it gets worse bombing them?
Keren Levy: No I think that is the only solution, I think they should just clear off all the city, just take it off the ground.....Yes I'm a little bit fascist.

God to Saul:
"Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." (1 Sam. 15:3).

Flavius Josephus on Saul:
"He betook himself to slay the women and the children, and thought he did not act therein either barbarously or inhumanly; first, because they were enemies whom he thus treated, and, in the next place, because it was done by the command of God, whom it was dangerous not to obey" (Flavius Josephus, Antiquites Judicae, Book VI, Chapter 7).

In Jewish tradition, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews.
The term has been used non-genetically, to refer to certain types of enemies of Judaism and decency throughout history, including Adolf Hitler, and controversially, and rarely ultra-rightists compare the Palestinians to Amalek....Rabbi Israel Hess claimed once that Palestinians are Amalekites.

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