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Archive for February 24th, 2011

“Main Street Movement” Surges To Protest War On US Middle Class

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February 24, 2011: Zaid Jilani / Think Progress via Truth-Out.org – February 24, 2011

Be careful what you ask for, and who you ask to get it. Some are wise, some are otherwise… - SJH

Last week, 14 Wisconsin Senate Democrats inspired the nation when they decided to flee the state rather than allow quorum for a vote on a bill that would have decimated the state’s public employee unions and dealt a crippling blow to the state’s hard-working teachers, sanitation employees, and other middle class union members.

Since then, tens of thousands of Wisconsinites have taken to the streets in even greater number than before the walkout in support of the fleeing legislators and in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) anti-middle class agenda.

Inspired by the events in Wisconsin, thousands of Americans all over the country are taking action to battle legislation that would attack their labor rights, defund their schools, threaten their health and safety, and decimate the American middle class. Here are just some of the places across the nation that are taking part in this new “Main Street Movement” to defend and rebuild the American middle class:

- GEORGIA: Hundreds of workers demonstrated outside the Georgia capitol yesterday, declaring their solidarity with striking Wisconsin workers. Some demonstrators wore “cheesehead” hats, a clear reference to a cultural tradition in Wisconsin.

IDAHO: Hundreds of teachers marched against legislation that would layoff 770 teachers and leave schools severely understaffed.

INDIANA: In Indiana, House Democrats fled the state, preventing a vote on legislation that would enact “right-to-work” laws that would’ve crippled the right to organize. After the House Democrats took off, hundreds of workers and students marched into the capitol building and staged a massive sit-in, pledging not to leave until the radical legislation was withdrawn. Yesterday, Indiana’s Main Street Movement scored its first victory as Republican lawmakers withdrew the anti-union bill. Indiana Democrats are refusing to come back until right-wing legislators withdraw legislation to undermine the state’s public education system.

MONTANA: More than a thousand “conservationists, sportsmen, firefighters, teachers, correctional officers and others” descended on the Montana capitol to protest against “unprecedented GOP attacks on public services and education and laws that protect land, air, water and wildlife.” Students carried signs that read “Keep Us In School,” protesting crippling cuts to the state’s education system.

OHIO: In Ohio, thousands of ordinary Americans who rely on the right to organize to earn good, middle class incomes are facing off with Wisconsin-style legislation backed by Gov. John Kasich (R). Nearly 10,000 protesters demonstrated in Columbus, Ohio, gaining the support of former Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). So many demonstrators showed up that the Ohio Highway Patrol was ordered to lock the doors of the state capitol to stop more demonstrators from getting into the building.

TENNESSEE: Hundreds of Tennesseans gathered to protest a bill that would completely strip Tennesee teachers of collective bargaining rights. “What you have right now is 300 or so of us, standing and asking the state legislature to focus on what the priorities are right now, instead of attacking working people,” said Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action. “If they listen to us, well then that’s great. … If not, I can see this thing growing.”

– WASHINGTON: 2,000 demonstrators in Olympia, Washington, marched against the state’s proposed budget cuts that would harm students and middle class Washingtonians and in solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. “If Scott Walker succeeds in ending worker rights in Wisconsin, the birthplace of public servants’ liberty, it could happen here,” said Federation of State Employees President Carol Dotlich.

ThinkProgress has put together a video compilation highlighting protests by ordinary Americans all over the nation to defend the middle class from this unprecedented assault. Watch it!

Even larger demonstrations are planned this Saturday, as thousands more Main Street Americans plan to take to the streets to protest the ongoing assault against the middle class. Moveon.org is organizing protests at every single state capitol in the country, aiming to “Save the American Dream.”

Meanwhile, US Uncut, an activist group inspired by United Kingdom’s UK Uncut, plans to protest against American tax dodgers, asking why the rich in the country have been able to get off easy on their taxes while low- and middle-income Americans continue to be asked to sacrifice.

UPDATE To see what the war on the middle class that the Main Street Movement is battling looks like, see this chart of the income distribution from Mother Jones:

UPDATE Dozens of parents protested yesterday outside Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R-TX) local office, demanding that the congressman not support drastic cuts to the Head Start program.

Main Street Movement Erupts As Thousands Protest

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This sure sounds great until you actually find out who is promoting it all. Moveon.org was created and generously funded by globalist George Soros. Follow the money, America! - SJH

Link to link to original article below…

http://www.truth-out.org/main-street-movement-erupts-as-thousands-across-country-protest-war-on-the-middle-class68039

Gaddafi Blames Libyan “Unrest” On Al Qaeda And Osama Bin Dead

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February 24, 2011: Al Jazeera Editors / Al Jazeera – February 24, 2011

On the cusp of madness! - SJH

Libyan leader says protesters are young people being manipulated by al-Qaeda, as violence continues across the country…

Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, has said in a speech on Libyan state television that al-Qaeda is responsible for the uprising in Libya.

“It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda,” he said, speaking by phone from an unspecified location on Thursday.

He said that the protesters were young people who were being manipulated by al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, and that many were doing so under the influence of drugs. “No one above the age of 20 would actually take part in these events,” he said. “They are taking advantage of the young age of these people [to commit violent acts] because they are not legally liable!”

At the same time, the leader warned that those behind the unrest would be prosecuted in the country’s courts. He called on Libyan parents to keep their children at home. “How can you justify such misbehaviour from people who live in good neighbourhoods?” he asked.

The situation in Libya was different to Egypt or Tunisia he said, arguing that unlike people in the neighbouring countries, Libyans have “no reason to complain whatsoever”. Libyans had easy access to low interest loans and cheap daily commodities, he argued. The one reform he did hint might be possible was a raise in salaries.

‘Symbolic’ Leader

Gaddafi argued that he was a purely “symbolic” leader with no real political power, comparing his role to that played by Queen Elizabeth II in England. He also warned that the protests could cut off Libya oil production. “If [the protesters] do not go to work regularly, the flow of oil will stop,” he said.

Ibrahim Jibreel, a Libyan political activist, said that the fact that Gaddafi was speaking by phone showed that he did not have the courage to appear publically, and proved that he remained “under self-imposed house arrest in Tripoli”.

Jibreel said there were similarities between Thursday’s speech and one Gaddafi gave earlier in the week. “The theme of people who have taken pills and hallucinations is one that continues to occur,” he said. Jibreel noted Gaddafi’s reference to loans and that he would reconsider salaries. “I think that there [are] some concessions that he wants to make, in his own weird way,” he said.

Struggling

Gaddafi is struggling to maintain his authority in the country, as major swathes of territory in the east of the vast North African country now appear to be under the control of pro-democracy protesters.

Ali, an eyewitness to the shooting, told Al Jazeera by phone that soldiers began shooting at peaceful protesters on Martyrs’ Square with heavy artillery at around 6am and had continued for 5 hours. “They were trying to kill the people, not terrify them,” he said, explaining that the soldiers had aimed at the protesters’ heads and chests.

He estimated as many as 100 protesters had been killed. Approximately 400 people had been injured and were now in the town’s hospital. He said he had filmed the bodies after the shooting had stopped, but was unable to send the footage because internet access has been cut off.

“The people here didn’t ask for anything, they just asked for a constitution and democracy and freedom, they didn’t want to shoot anyone,” he said. Gunfire could be heard in the background as Ali spoke, and he said the protesters were expecting the soldiers to launch another direct attack on Martyrs’ Square later in the evening. Despite the risk of more shooting, he said he and the other protesters would continue their protest, even if it cost their lives.

Mosque ‘Attacked’

Also on Thursday, a Libyan army unit led by Gaddafi’s ally, Naji Shifsha, blasted the minaret of a mosque being occupied by protesters in Az Zawiyah, according to witnesses.

According to witnesses, pro-Gaddafi forces also attacked the town of Misrata, which was under the control of protesters. They told Al Jazeera that “revolutionaries had driven out the security forces”, who had used “heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns”.

They said the pro-Gaddafi forces were called the “Hamza brigade”. Similar clashes have also been reported in the cities of Sabha in the south, and Sabratha, near Tripoli, which is in the west. Anti-government protesters appeared to be in control of the country’s eastern coastline, running from the Egyptian border through to the cities of Tobruk and Benghazi, the country’s second largest city.

Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam, one of Gaddafi’s top security official and a cousin, defected on Wednesday evening, saying in a statement issued by his Cairo office that he left the country “in protest and to show disagreement” with “grave violations to human rights and human and international laws”.

Al-Dam was travelling to Syria from Cairo on a private plane, sources told Al Jazeera. He denied allegations that he was asked to recruit Egyptian tribes on the border to fight in Libya and said he went to Egypt in protest against his government’s used of violence.

Communications Blocked

Libyan authorities are working hard to prevent news of the events in the country from reaching the outside world. Thuraya, a satellite phone provider based in the United Arab Emirates, has faced continuous “deliberate inference” to its services in Libya, the company’s CEO told Al Jazeera.

Samer Halawi, the company’s CEO, said his company will be taking legal action against the Libyan authorities for the jamming of its satellite. “This is unlawful and this is uncalled for,” he said. The company’s engineers have had some success in combating the jamming, and operations were back on almost 70 per cent of the Libyan territory on Thursday, Halawi said. The blocking was coming from a location in Tripoli.

The Libyan government has blocked landline and wireless communications, to varying degrees, in recent days. Some phone services were down again on Thursday. In the town of Az Zawiyah, phone lines were working but internet access was blocked.

Nazanine Moshri, reporting from the northern side of the Tunisian-Libyan border near the town of Ras Ajdir, said that security forces were confiscating cellphones and cameras from people crossing into Tunisia. “The most important thing to them is to not allow any footage to get across the border into Tunisia,” she reported.

Capital Paralysed

Tripoli, the Libyan capital, meanwhile, is said to be virtually locked down, and streets remained mostly deserted, even though Gaddafi had called for his supporters to come out in force on Wednesday and “cleanse” the country from the anti-government demonstrators.

Libyan authorities said food supplies were available as “normal” in the shops and urged schools and public services to restore regular services, although economic activity and banks have been paralysed since Tuesday.

London-based newspaper the Independent reported, however, that petrol and food prices in the capital have trebled as a result of serious shortages. Foreign governments, meanwhile, continue to rush to evacuate their citizens, with thousands flooding to the country’s borders with Tunisia and Egypt.

Gaddafi Blames Al Qaeda And Osama Bin Laden

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: It was only a matter of time before Osama Bin Dead was resurrected and al CIA-da would be cast into the spotlight. How predictable as the US readies to invade Libya…  - SJH

Link to original article below…

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/02/2011224143054988104.html

Libya’s Turmoil Leads To Highest February Gas Prices In 21 Years!

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February 24, 2011: Alan Farnham and Susanna Kim / ABC News – February 24, 2011

As Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi threatened to destroy his country’s oil fields, crude oil touched nearly $102 a barrel in Asia this morning amid fears that Libya could halt exports.

For the first time since 2008, oil hit $100 a barrel Wednesday before settling at $98.10 in New York trading.

If oil and gas prices continue to surge, it could not only hurt consumers but stall an economy that has been gaining traction after more than two years in the doldrums, economists warned.

Daniel O’Connell, vice president of energy at MF Global, said if gas prices continue to accelerate, by May, when “driving season” picks up, “it will cripple the economy.”

The U.S. weekly average price of gas per gallon rose to $3.19, up 54 cents from a year ago, and slightly higher than last week’s $3.14. This was the highest weekly price posted during the month of February since 1990, according to available data.

The most expensive regions for gas are again New England at $3.23 a gallon, and California at $3.56. According to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge, the state with the least expensive gas is Wyoming, at $2.98 a gallon as of Feb. 23.

Crude oil, meanwhile, surged another 5 percent Wednesday, after rising 9 percent Tuesday. O’Connell said if crude oil does reach the brief high of $147 a barrel as it did in July 2008, then the price of gas could also average $4.11 as it did then. If that happens, he said consumers and retailers couldn’t absorb the higher gas prices as they did three years ago.

What happens if gas prices go even higher? “If gas goes to $5, it will cripple any recovery,” O’Connell said. “People will be taking public transportation, road trips will be put on hold and flying will be a dream,” warned O’Connell.

But O’Connell said he does not expect gas and oil prices to continue to accelerate for very long. “Libya is too much of a wild card to say we are in a new range, but I suspect it will settle back down,” he said.

As protests seemed to subside in Egypt, anti-government unrest continued in Bahrain and Libya. In a speech Tuesday, a defiant Gadhafi said he maintains control of the country despite the spread of anti-government protests from the city of Benghazi to the capital of Tripoli.

Unlike Egypt and Bahrain, Libya is a significant exporter of light, sweet crude, said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. Most of that is exported to Europe: Italy, Germany, France and Spain. But it still affects the United States.

The U.S. imports 40 percent of its crude from Europe, refines it, and then exports the distillates back to Europe, including gasoline and diesel. So any disruption in Europe reverberates in the U.S. “You hear that we import a lot of crude,” Lipow said. “And yes, we import about 9 million barrels a day. But less than 1 percent of that comes from Libya.

Lipow said oil investors fret that unrest in Egypt and Libya will spread to other areas in the Middle East. “What if that should spread to Saudi Arabia, which accounts for 9 percent of the world’s supply?” Lipow said. “They are the supplier of 11 percent of our crude oil. The market is worried about that supply being disrupted.”

The U.S. consumer is going to see rising prices — almost immediately over the next seven to 10 days, Lipow said. That’s because there’s not a lot of lag time when it comes to pricing. “Much of our imported crude and imported product [gasoline, diesel] is priced the minute it lands in the U.S.,” he said. Prices will get worse, he predicts, if the unrest worsens.

Oil Surges Above $100 While Gold Rises On Inflation Worries

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Meanwhile, Egypt has cut off a gas pipeline to Israel. Story below- SJH

Israeli Pipeline Peril: Natural Gas Supplies Shuttered By Egypt

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/israeli_pipeline_peril_BnO3obIwc5Xw2vshopHEXI

Link to original article below…

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/libya-unrest-sends-oil-102-barrel-time-2008/story?id=12980085&page=1

US And Canada Agree To “Swap” Troops During Civil Emergencies!

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February 24, 2011: Ottawa Citizen / Canada.com – February 22, 2011

This is treason by our governments! - SJH

Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.

The U.S. military’s Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

The new agreement has been greeted with suspicion by the left wing in Canada and the right wing in the U.S. The left-leaning Council of Canadians, which is campaigning against what it calls the increasing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries, is raising concerns about the deal.

“It’s kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration. We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites,” said Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians.

Trew said there is potential for the agreement to militarize civilian responses to emergency incidents. He noted that work is also underway for the two nations to put in place a joint plan to protect common infrastructure such as roadways and oil pipelines. “Are we going to see (U.S.) troops on our soil for minor potential threats to a pipeline or a road?” he asked.

Trew also noted the U.S. military does not allow its soldiers to operate under foreign command so there are questions about who controls American forces if they are requested for service in Canada. “We don’t know the answers because the government doesn’t want to even announce the plan,” he said.

But Canada Command spokesman Commander David Scanlon said it will be up to civilian authorities in both countries on whether military assistance is requested or even used.

He said the agreement is “benign” and simply sets the stage for military-to-military co-operation if the governments approve. “But there’s no agreement to allow troops to come in,” he said. “It facilitates planning and co-ordination between the two militaries. The ‘allow’ piece is entirely up to the two governments.”

If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military, Scanlon added.

News of the deal, and the allegation it was kept secret in Canada, is already making the rounds on left-wing blogs and Internet sites as an example of the dangers of the growing integration between the two militaries.

On right-wing blogs in the U.S. it is being used as evidence of a plan for a “North American union” where foreign troops, not bound by U.S. laws, could be used by the American federal government to override local authorities. “Co-operative militaries on Home Soil!” notes one website. “The next time your town has a ‘national emergency,’ don’t be surprised if Canadian soldiers respond. And remember — Canadian military aren’t bound by posse comitatus.”

Posse comitatus is a U.S. law that prohibits the use of federal troops from conducting law enforcement duties on domestic soil unless approved by Congress.

Scanlon said there was no intent to keep the agreement secret on the Canadian side of the border. He noted it will be reported on in the Canadian Forces newspaper next week and that publication will be put on the Internet. Scanlon said the actual agreement hasn’t been released to the public as that requires approval from both nations. That decision has not yet been taken, he added.

Canadian And U.S. Marines Conduct Room Clearing Training

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This is being done because foreign troops will have no problem firing on civilians from another country. This has been done throughout history- SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=403d90d6-7a61-41ac-8cef-902a1d14879d&k=14984

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