NYTIMES:Oil prices continued their two-week slide on Wednesday after a government report showed demand for crude products dropped even further from the weak levels of a year ago when the recession's grip on the economy was strongest.
Benchmark crude for March delivery fell $1.04 to settle at $73.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the lowest settlement price since Dec. 14, when crude dipped to $73.46.
Wholesale prices for natural gas, heating oil and gasoline also tumbled.
WE PREDICTED IT.
NO ONE ELSE DID, ANYWHERE.
Fifty-four members of the US Congress have signed a letter, initiated by Jim McDermott from Washington and Keith Ellison from Minnesota, asking President Barack Obama to put pressure on Israel to ease the siege of the Gaza Strip. The authors have pointed to the necessity for ease of movement of people into and out of Gaza, especially students, the sick, aid workers, journalists, and those with family concerns. They have also asked for the import of building materials to rebuild houses. The letter summarises:
This concern [regarding ongoing Hamas missiles] must be addressed without resulting in the de facto collective punishment of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.
We ask you to press for immediate relief for the citizens of Gaza as an urgent component of your broader Middle East peace efforts.
The Israeli Embassy in Washington has responded:
The Israeli position is that the Hamas government in Gaza does not meet the conditions set forth by the international community and the Quartet. And as long as Hamas continues to attack Israel with missiles and other means, Israel will not open the border crossings. With this, Israel is doing everything possible to ensure that humanitarian aid enters Gaza in a controlled manner so that it is ensured that the population receives what it needs, including medical care in Israel. But Israel will not allow a neighbor that calls for its destruction to enjoy the benefits of an open border.
Meanwhile, Ellison criticized the US House of Representatives’ rejection of the Goldstone Report on the Gaza War, arguing that the report “only presents facts and raises recommendations for the future”. He said that the rejection hurt the Obama government’s role as an honest broker in the Middle East conflict.
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/12/prweb3366004.htm Torgerson states her opponent; Congressman Keith Ellison is closely associated with CAIR (The Council on American Islamic Relations). She says voters in Minnesota should know that “CAIR was named a co-conspirator, albeit un-indicted, in the recent Holy Land Foundation criminal trial, resulting in conviction(s) for sending millions in funds to terrorists, namely Hamas. Keith Ellison has helped raise funds for CAIR. CAIR has helped Keith Ellison conduct fund-raising for his campaign. Keith Ellison should not be an elected official in our federal government.”
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Previously at Atlas: Swedish Carl Bildt, The Caliph of Malmö
Ilmar Reepalu:Arab self determination is fine,it's Jewish self determination that I object to.
Another antisemitic Swedish/Scandinavian politician denies the Jews their obvious right to determine their own lives. In an interview, ironically about stamping out antisemtism in Malmö, Sweden, Mayor of Malmö, Ilmar Reepalu, blames the collective Jew, Israel, for recent attacks against Jews in Malmö, "due to the conflict in Gaza last year spilled over to Malmo."But Reepalu goes further to elucidate his true views on Israel, which basically follows the thinking in the Islamic world, that Jews are not allowed a national movement of their own. For him, Zionism equals racism. But he wouldn't ever dream labeling the Palestinian movement as racist, for not wanting a single Jew to remain on "Arab land", as well as the Arab/Muslim states that support their position. From the interview:Skånsen.se: "Have You considered to say in public, that Malmö does not accept antisemitism. Or is it controversial?*NOTE: A sloppy google trans of the Swedish interview in English is available here.Ilmar Reepalu: We don´t accept Zionism or antisemitism. They are extremists, which want to set themselves over other groups and believe they are worth less."
This interview (in Swedish) is related to the previous story about the Mayor of Malmö, who blames Israel for rising antisemitism in Sweden, and stated that Zionism is racism. Here is the reason why Jews are leaving Sweden for the land of Israel. KGS
NOTE: Interesting that haters of Israel use that argument about Israeli politics influencing the Arab street in Europe, though Arab actions in the Middle East against Israel does not result in the same.*The translation into English is by Google
The reason Israel did not deny the story is because it was true; until it was stopped, there had, in fact, been illegal organ harvesting, irrespective of ethnic origins. But, as an Israeli Embassy spokesman said, the problem with the BBC report was that it was a “despicable attempt” to claim that Israelis have been involved “in the specific harvesting of Palestinian organs.” Israel protested the BBC’s emphasis on “simply one component” and called it “an attempt to manipulate the hearts of the readership.”
Mideast media analyst Tom Gross noted that some countries, such as China, “do remove live organs for transplant. There is scarcely a word about this in the British media. The Iranian-backed Lebanese terror militia Hezbollah has been accused of harvesting the organs of Lebanese Christians, with hardly any investigation of this charge by the so-called human rights groups of America and Europe.”
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's supreme leader predicted the destruction of Israel in comments posted on his Web site on Wednesday, in some of his strongest remarks in years about the Jewish state.In the past, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called Israel a "cancerous tumor" that must be wiped from the map, but the new comments mark the first time in years he has openly speculated about Israel's demise.
"Definitely, the day will come when nations of the region will witness the destruction of the Zionist regime," Khamenei was quoted as saying. "How soon or late (Israel's demise) will happen depends on how Islamic countries and Muslim nations approach the issue."
- Reversing 63 years of restrictions on free speech, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could, indeed, directly campaign for the candidates of their choice, causing Obama – clearly not one of the candidates of most of their choices – to term the ruling “devastating.”
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that union membership in the U.S. had plummeted a staggering 10 percent in 2009, bringing it to an all-time low of just 7.2 percent of all private sector workers – and further debasing the value of Obama’s cozy relationship with union bosses.
At issue is whether corporations, unions and issue advocacy organizations should be allowed to use unlimited amounts of money from their treasuries on independent political expenditures in support or opposition of a candidate.
Today's oral arguments focused, in part, on the tension between the First Amendment freedom of speech rights and congressional efforts to limit the influence of special interests that have millions of dollars to spend on speech. While corporations and unions are prohibited from making independent political expenditures, individuals may freely do so.
"Robust debate about candidates for elective office is the most fundamental value protected by the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech," said Theodore Olson, the lawyer for the conservative nonprofit corporation Citizens United and former President George W. Bush's solicitor general, during oral arguments. "Yet that is precisely the dialogue that the government has prohibited if practiced by unions or corporations, any union or any corporation."
The first big impact of the Supreme Court’s decision lifting restrictions on certain corporation campaign spending may be at the American Civil Liberties Union, which, after years of opposing restrictions on free speech grounds, is considering whether to reverse course and endorse government limits on money in politics.
The ACLU has long opposed government limits to how much a donor can give to a political campaign or spend airing advertisements on an issue during an election. On this point, the ACLU has been in agreement with conservative organizations that believe money contributions are a form of political speech and deserving of First Amendment protection. It has been at odds with many liberal organizations, which have argued money in politics must be strictly limited so that rich organizations and individuals don't wield outsize influence.
But Thursday’s Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, which would enable corporations to spend freely on political causes, is forcing the ACLU to address what one internal memo describes as a "Skokie moment," a reference to the controversy in which the organization defended the right of American Nazis to march in the Chicago suburb of Skokie. The moment is often seen as one of the acid tests of the ACLU’s willingness to stick to its First Amendment principles.
The First Amendment, opening article of the Bill of Rights, says that Congress “shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . .” It was cited in Thursday’s Supreme Court’s decision, which was is in accord with the ACLU’s traditional position that the government should keep out of regulating money in politics. The organization had filed a brief in support of the winning side in the case. But concern that the Supreme Court ruling will fundamentally alter American democracy has ignited within the union an intense debate that was aired on Saturday at the regular quarterly meeting of the 83-member board of directors and in interviews with this reporter. The board on Sunday sent the issue to its special committee on campaign finance to mull the impact of Citizens United.
“The ACLU's version of democracy is from the ground-up,” one civil rights lawyer, David Gans, on Saturday told the ACLU's board, which was assembled downtown at One New York Plaza. “Now Exxon Mobil can spend 2% of its money and blow that all up.”
Mr. Gans was one of several attorneys invited to the board meeting to debate whether the ACLU should change its position on money in politics. Another, Burt Neuborne, also urged the ACLU to change its policy, saying that any effort to salvage campaign finance regulation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling would face trouble “if the ACLU says it’s against the First Amendment.”
The prosecution did not object to calling the witnesses for the purpose of shedding light on the Quran and "Mein Kampf" and only objected to the high number of witnesses named (17). The court will thus most likely allow most witnesses on the list to testify. Without doubt, there are many anti-Jewish remarks in the Quran. According to some researchers, there may be more of these in the Quran than in Mein Kampf. So it is quite conceivable that the court will judge that Geert Wilders was within his right to compare the Quran to Mein Kampf.
Asherah: The Goddess of the Sea and wife of El. An important council to El with a minor association to fertility.
Ba'al was apparently a war god. the bible does not clarify this. he is not the big cheese. kind of funny that the Hebrew word for "Master" comes from Ba'al. like Ba'al Shem Tov.... meaning "Master of the Good Word"
but it is interesting to me that the creator god gets castrated by the "Master". it would seem that women had a lot of power in this theology.
El: The father of all gods and chief creator of all creatures. The authority figure of the gods, El is the chief judge of any dispute amongst the gods but is apparently distant from his human subjects.
Baall: The god of the storm. Baal is responsible for the annual rainfall and fertility cycle of the earth. Baal is often also depicted as the triumphant General and lord of War.
Anat: Sister and wife of Baal. Like the Babylonian Goddess, Ishtar, Anat combines the aspects of the goddess of love and war simultaneously.
Astarte: Another Goddess relating to fertility, strongly resembling Anat.
-All sourced from Boadt, 218
Asherah (Hebrew: אֲשֵׁרָה) in Semitic mythology, is a Semitic mother goddess, who appears in a number of ancient sources including Akkadian writings by the name of Ashratum/Ashratu and in Hittite as Asherdu(s) or Ashertu(s) or Aserdu(s) or Asertu(s). Asherah is generally considered identical with the Ugaritic goddess Athirat (more accurately transcribed as ʼAṯirat).The Book of Jeremiah written circa 628 BC possibly refers to Asherah when it uses the title "queen of heaven" in chapters 7 and 44. For a discussion of "queen of heaven" in the Old Testament, please see Queen of heaven (Antiquity).
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