KKE: Interview with the Greek Communist Party

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wikinews reporter Iain Macdonald has performed an interview with Dr Isabella Margara, a London-based member of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). In the interview Margara sets out the communist response to current events in Greece as well as discussing the viability of a communist economy for the nation. She also hit back at Petros Tzomakas, a member of another Greek far-left party which criticised KKE in a previous interview.

The interview comes amid tensions in cash-strapped Greece, where the government is introducing controversial austerity measures to try to ease the nation’s debt-problem. An international rescue package has been prepared by European Union member states and the International Monetary Fund – should Greece require a bailout; protests have been held against government attempts to manage the economic situation.

McCain and Obama face off in U.S. presidential candidate debate

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The two major party presidential candidates in the US, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain, faced each other yesterday in the first TV debate. Despite that McCain had asked to postpone the debate, both were present at the University of Mississippi. The debate, which was moderated by PBSJim Lehrer, was planned to be focused on foreign policy, however due to concerns about the US financial crisis, the debate began focused on economy.

McCain repeatedly referred to his experience, drawing on stories from the past. Often, he joked of his age and at one point seemed to mock his opponent. Obama spoke of mistakes and repeatedly laid out detailed plans.

The debate was widely seen as a draw. A CBS poll conducted after the debate on independent voters found that 38% felt it was a draw, 40% felt Obama had won, and 22% thought that McCain had won. Voters and analysts agreed that Obama had won on the economy, but that McCain had done better on foreign policy issues, which were the focus of the debate. However, Obama had a more substantial lead on the economy than McCain did on foreign policy.

The McCain campaign faced some ridicule prior to the debate, after airing an internet ad declaring McCain had won the debate hours before it had started.

Contents

  • 1 Financial & bailout plans
  • 2 Fundamental differences
  • 3 Post-financial crisis plans
  • 4 Lessons of Iraq
  • 5 Troops in Afghanistan
  • 6 Iran
  • 7 Diplomacy
  • 8 Relationship with Russia
  • 9 Alternative energy
  • 10 Likelihood of another 9/11
  • 11 Sources

The candidates were asked where they stood on the country’s financial plans.

Obama put forward four proposals for helping the economy. First, to “make sure that we’ve got oversight over this whole [bailout] process”. Second, to “make sure that taxpayers, when they are putting their money at risk, have the possibility of getting that money back and gains”. Third, to “make sure that none of that money is going to pad CEO bank accounts or to promote golden parachutes”. And lastly, “make sure that we’re helping homeowners, because the root problem here has to do with the foreclosures that are taking place all across the country”.

He then went on to say, “we also have to recognize that this is a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by George Bush, supported by Senator McCain, a theory that basically says that we can shred regulations and consumer protections and give more and more to the most, and somehow prosperity will trickle down”.Lehrer then turned to McCain, giving him two minutes as well.

McCain, on the other hand, stressed the urgency of the crisis and the partisanship present in Washington before going on. “This package has transparency in it. It has to have accountability and oversight. It has to have options for loans to failing businesses, rather than the government taking over those loans. We have to — it has to have a package with a number of other essential elements to it,” he told viewers, pausing to briefly mention energy and jobs before Lehrer stopped him.

Lehrer asked the two to come back to his question and urging them to speak to each other, first turning to Senator Obama.

“We haven’t seen the language yet,” Obama began, speaking to Lehrer and not McCain. “And I do think that there’s constructive work being done out there”, he said, before noting he was optimistic a plan would come together. “The question, I think, that we have to ask ourselves is, how did we get into this situation in the first place?”

He continued, stressing his foresight on the issues two years ago, before Lehrer turned to McCain, asking if he planned to vote for the bailout plan.

McCain stammered that he hoped so. Lehrer asked again, and McCain replied, “Sure. But — but let me — let me point out, I also warned about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and warned about corporate greed and excess, and CEO pay, and all that. A lot of us saw this train wreck coming.”

McCain then continued, giving a story about former US President Dwight Eisenhower, who “on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letter”. Eisenhower, he said, had taken accountability for his actions.

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“As president of the United States, people are going to be held accountable in my administration. And I promise you that that will happen.”

Obama then agreed with McCain, adding that more accountability was needed but not just when there’s a panic. “There are folks out there who’ve been struggling before this crisis took place,” Obama continued, “and that’s why it’s so important, as we solve this short-term problem, that we look at some of the underlying issues that have led to wages and incomes for ordinary Americans to go down, the — a health care system that is broken, energy policies that are not working, because, you know, 10 days ago, John said that the fundamentals of the economy are sound”.

Obama was asked to say it to McCain. Obama replied, “I do not think that they are”. Lehrer asked him to say it more directly to McCain, and Obama laughed, repeating himself to McCain.

McCain joked about his age, saying, “Are you afraid I couldn’t hear him?”

Obama said that he and McCain disagreed fundamentally and that he wanted accountability “not just when there’s a crisis for folks who have power and influence and can hire lobbyists, but for the nurse, the teacher, the police officer, who, frankly, at the end of each month, they’ve got a little financial crisis going on. They’re having to take out extra debt just to make their mortgage payments”. Tax policies, he said, were a good example.

McCain disagreed. “No, I — look, we’ve got to fix the system. We’ve got fundamental problems in the system. And Main Street is paying a penalty for the excesses and greed in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street. So there’s no doubt that we have a long way to go. And, obviously, stricter interpretation and consolidation of the various regulatory agencies that weren’t doing their job, that has brought on this crisis”.

Lehrer went on to the next question, asking if there were fundamental differences between the approaches of the two.

McCain began by saying he wanted to lower “completely out of control” spending. He promised as president to “veto every single spending bill” He then attacked Senator Obama’s use of earmarks, citing it as a fundamental difference.

Senator Obama agreed that earmarks were being abused, but not that it was a large problem. “Earmarks account for $18 billion in last year’s budget. Senator McCain is proposing — and this is a fundamental difference between us — $300 billion in tax cuts to some of the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the country, $300 billion. Now, $18 billion is important; $300 billion is really important.” He then attacked McCain’s tax plans, saying, “you would have CEOs of Fortune 500 companies getting an average of $700,000 in reduced taxes, while leaving 100 million Americans out”.

He then stressed his focus on the middle class, saying, “We’ve got to grow the economy from the bottom up. What I’ve called for is a tax cut for 95 percent of working families, 95 percent”.

McCain was called on.

“Now, Senator Obama didn’t mention that, along with his tax cuts, he is also proposing some $800 billion in new spending on new programs,” McCain said, attacking his opponent. He also said that Obama had only suspended pork barrel spending after he started running for president.

“What I do is I close corporate loopholes,” Obama objected, “stop providing tax cuts to corporations that are shipping jobs overseas so that we’re giving tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States. I make sure that we have a health care system that allows for everyone to have basic coverage”.

He then turned to McCain, asking him to look at his tax policies, which he said were ignoring the middle class and a continuation of Bush policies.

Lehrer asked McCain to respond directly to Obama’s attack on his tax policies.

“Well — well, let me give you an example of what Senator Obama finds objectionable, the business tax,” McCain began. He then explained the reasoning behind his business tax cuts, saying that companies would want to start in countries where they would pay less taxes. “I want to cut that business tax. I want to cut it so that businesses will remain in — in the United States of America and create jobs”.

Obama explained that his tax cuts would affect 95% of taxpayers, then replied, “Now, John mentioned the fact that business taxes on paper are high in this country, and he’s absolutely right. Here’s the problem: There are so many loopholes that have been written into the tax code, oftentimes with support of Senator McCain, that we actually see our businesses pay effectively one of the lowest tax rates in the world”.

McCain, he said, opposed closing loopholes but just wanted to add more tax breaks on top of that.

This was a clear victory for Barack Obama on John McCain’s home turf. Senator McCain offered nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies, and Barack Obama made a forceful case for change in our economy and our foreign policy.

He went on, attacking McCain’s health credit idea, saying that McCain wanted to tax health credits. “Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you’re getting from your employer. And if you end up losing your health care from your employer, you’ve got to go out on the open market and try to buy it”.

McCain responded with an example of Obama voting for tax breaks of oil companies.

Obama cut in, “John, you want to give oil companies another $4 billion”, he pointed out.

McCain shot back, attacking Obama’s earmark spending and tax policies. “Who’s the person who has believed that the best thing for America is — is to have a tax system that is fundamentally fair?”, he said, referring to himself. “And I’ve fought to simplify it, and I have proposals to simplify it”.

He then accused Obama of voting “to increase taxes on people who make as low as $42,000 a year”. Obama repeated several times that McCain’s accusations were untrue.

McCain then accused him of giving tax cuts to oil companies, which Obama once again said was untrue. “The fact of the matter is, is that I was opposed to those tax breaks, tried to strip them out,”he said. “We’ve got an emergency bill on the Senate floor right now that contains some good stuff, some stuff you want, including drilling off-shore, but you’re opposed to it because it would strip away those tax breaks that have gone to oil companies.”

Lehrer then broke in, stopping the argument. He switched to a new question, asking what priorities and goals for the country the candidates would give up as a result of the financial crisis.

He allowed Obama to answer the question first, who said many things would have to be delayed but not forgotten. He then began to list what he felt the country had to have to continue to compete.

“We have to have energy independence,” he said, “so I’ve put forward a plan to make sure that, in 10 years’ time, we have freed ourselves from dependence on Middle Eastern oil by increasing production at home, but most importantly by starting to invest in alternative energy, solar, wind, biodiesel”.

He continued, saying that the health care system had to be fixed because it was bankrupting families.

“We’ve got to make sure that we’re competing in education,” he continued. “We’ve got to make sure that our children are keeping pace in math and in science.” He also mentioned making sure college was still affordable.

He also stressed making sure the country was still stable structurally, “to make sure that we can compete in this global economy”.

Lehrer then turned to McCain, asking him to present his ideas.

“Look, we, no matter what, we’ve got to cut spending”, McCain began and reminded the audience that he “saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion by fighting a contract that was negotiated between Boeing and DOD that was completely wrong”.

Lehrer broke in, asking if it was correct that neither of them had any major changes to implement after the financial crisis.

Obama replied that many things would have to be delayed and put aside, and that investments had to be made. He then agreed with McCain that cuts had to be made. “We right now give $15 billion every year as subsidies to private insurers under the Medicare system. Doesn’t work any better through the private insurers. They just skim off $15 billion. That was a give away and part of the reason is because lobbyists are able to shape how Medicare work”.

McCain then made a suggestion. “How about a spending freeze on everything but defense, veteran affairs and entitlement programs”. Lehrer repeated “spending freeze?” and McCain went on, “I think we ought to seriously consider with the exceptions the caring of veterans, national defense and several other vital issues”.

Obama disagreed with McCain’s idea, saying it was “using a hatchet”. Some vital programs, he said, were seriously underfunded. “I went to increase early childhood education and the notion that we should freeze that when there may be, for example, this Medicare subsidy doesn’t make sense”.

The two candidates began to argue more directly.

“We have to have,” McCain argued, “wind, tide, solar, natural gas, flex fuel cars and all that but we also have to have offshore drilling and we also have to have nuclear power”.

He accused Obama of opposing storing nuclear fuel.

Lehrer interrupted the two with another question, asking how the financial crisis would affect how they ran the country.

Obama replied first. “There’s no doubt it will affect our budgets. There is no doubt about it”. He went on to stress that it was a critical time and the country’s long term priorities had to be sorted out.

There was one man who was presidential tonight, that man was John McCain. There was another who was political, that was Barack Obama. John McCain won this debate and controlled the dialogue throughout, whether it was the economy, taxes, spending, Iraq or Iran.

McCain replied by criticizing Obama’s health care plans. “I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government,” he said, then called for lower spending.

He went on to speak about the national debt and stressing the importance of low taxes.

Obama went on the offensive, attacking McCain’s record of voting. “John, it’s been your president who you said you agreed with 90 percent of the time who presided over this increase in spending”, he said, accusing him of voting for an “orgy of spending”.

McCain countered that he had opposed Bush “on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoner, on – on Guantanamo Bay. On a — on the way that the Iraq War was conducted”. He called himself a maverick, and referred to his running mate as a maverick as well.

Lehrer asked the two what the lessons of Iraq were.

McCain answered first, stressing that the war in Iraq was going well. “I think the lessons of Iraq are very clear,” he answered, “that you cannot have a failed strategy that will then cause you to nearly lose a conflict”.

He went on to praise the efforts in Iraq, saying the strategy was successful and the US was winning. “And we will come home with victory and with honor. And that withdrawal is the result of every counterinsurgency that succeeds”, and continued that Iraq would make a stable ally.

Lehrer asked Obama how he saw the lessons of Iraq, who began by questioning the fundamentals of the war and whether the US should have gone in the first place.

“We took our eye off [bin Laden]. And not to mention that we are still spending $10 billion a month, when they have a $79 billion surplus, at a time when we are in great distress here at home, and we just talked about the fact that our budget is way overstretched and we are borrowing money from overseas to try to finance just some of the basic functions of our government”.

The lesson, he said, was to “never hesitate to use military force”, but to use it wisely.

McCain was asked if he agreed on the lesson, though he did not comment on a lesson learned. Obama, he said, had been wrong about the surge.

The two opponents then began arguing, as Lehrman tried to mediate them.

McCain felt it was remarkable that “Senator Obama is the chairperson of a committee that oversights NATO that’s in Afghanistan. To this day, he has never had a hearing”.

“The issues of Afghanistan,” Obama responded, “the issues of Iraq, critical issues like that, don’t go through my subcommittee because they’re done as a committee as a whole”.

He then began to attack McCain’s optimism. “You said that we were going to be greeted as liberators. You were wrong. You said that there was no history of violence between Shiite and Sunni. And you were wrong”.

McCain responded to the criticism by telling a story of when he spoke to troops who were re-enlisting. “And you know what they said to us? They said, let us win. They said, let us win. We don’t want our kids coming back here. And this strategy, and this general, they are winning. Senator Obama refuses to acknowledge that we are winning in Iraq”.

McCain repeatedly accused Obama of opposing funding to troops.

Obama responded by speaking to Lehrer, to explain why he had voted against funding troops. “Senator McCain opposed funding for troops in legislation that had a timetable, because he didn’t believe in a timetable. I opposed funding a mission that had no timetable, and was open- ended, giving a blank check to George Bush. We had a difference on the timetable”.

“Admiral Mullen suggests that Senator Obama’s plan is dangerous for America,” McCain cut in once Obama had finished.

Obama said it was not the case, that the wording was “a precipitous withdrawal would be dangerous”.

McCain then argued that Iraq, and not Afghanistan, was the central battle ground against terrorism. He also attacked Obama’s surprise that the surge had worked.

Lehrer switched to a new question. “Do you think more troops — more U.S. troops should be sent to Afghanistan, how many, and when?”

Obama mentioned he had been saying more troops in Afghanistan were needed for over a year. He argued that no Al-Qaeda were present in Iraq before the invasion, and the people there had nothing to do with 9/11.

He then went on to list a three part plan beginning with pressuring the Afghani government to work for it’s people and control it’s poppy trade. He also pressed the need to stop giving money to Pakistan.

To be frank, I’m surprised McCain didn’t play the POW card more tonight, consider how frequently he and his campaign have used it earlier in the campaign.

McCain responded by saying Iraq had to be stabilized and that he would not make the mistake of leaving Iraq the way it is.

“If you’re going to aim a gun at somebody,” he said, “you’d better be prepared to pull the trigger”.

Obama responded by arguing that if the Pakistani government would not take care of terrorists in it’s borders, action had to be taken. He then commented on past US policies with Pakistan, saying that the US support of Musharraf had alienated the Pakistani people.

“And as a consequence, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan. We spent $10 billion. And in the meantime, they weren’t going after al Qaeda, and they are more powerful now than at any time since we began the war in Afghanistan. That’s going to change when I’m president of the United States”, he finished.

McCain quickly replied that Pakistan was a failed state at the time. He then went on to talk about his voting record. “I have a record of being involved in these national security issues, which involve the highest responsibility and the toughest decisions that any president can make, and that is to send our young men and women into harm’s way”.

Obama argued that Afghanistan could not be muddled through, and that problems were being caused by not focusing on Al-Qaeda. As he finished, Lehrer attempted to announce a new question, but McCain quickly attacked Obama, saying his plans would have a “calamitous effect” on national security and the region.

Lehrer directed his next question towards McCain, asking about his thoughts on Iran and it’s threat to the US.

McCain’s reading of the threat in Iran was “if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it is an existential threat to the State of Israel and to other countries in the region”. He stressed the need to avoid another Holocaust, and the need for a league of democracies

Anybody hearing a snicker from McCain while Obama is talking?

to battle Iran. “I am convinced that together, we can, with the French, with the British, with the Germans and other countries, democracies around the world, we can affect Iranian behavior”.

Obama went next, focusing on the Iraq war’s effect on Iran. Iraq, he said, was Iran’s “mortal enemy” and had kept Iran from becoming a threat. “That was cleared away. And what we’ve seen over the last several years is Iran’s influence grow. They have funded Hezbollah, they have funded Hamas, they have gone from zero centrifuges to 4,000 centrifuges to develop a nuclear weapon”.

He then went on to say that refusing to use diplomacy with hostile nations has only made matters worse and isolated the US.

Lehrer turned to McCain, asking him how he felt about diplomacy as a solution.

McCain hurried through his response, attacking Obama on his willingness to meet with hostile leaders without preconditions. People like Ahmadinejad, he said, would have their ideas legitimized if a President met with them.

Obama responded by pointing out that Ahmadinejad was only a minor leader. Meeting leaders without preconditions, he said, “doesn’t mean that you invite them over for tea one day”. He then turned to attacking McCain, who he said “would not meet potentially with the prime minister of Spain, because he — you know, he wasn’t sure whether they were aligned with us. I mean, Spain? Spain is a NATO ally”.

McCain retorted that he was not yet President so it would be out of place. The two then began to argue over the comments of Dr. Kissinger’s stance on meeting foreign leaders.

McCain argued that meeting with and legitimizing ideas was dangerous and naive, and said it was a fundamental difference of opinion.

Obama accused McCain of misrepresentation, stressing that he would not speak without low level talks and preparations.

McCain responded by mocking Obama. “So let me get this right. We sit down with Ahmadinejad, and he says, ‘We’re going to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth,’ and we say, ‘No, you’re not’? Oh, please”.

The two started arguing among each other, as Lehrer attempted to interject, finally succeeding with a new question. He turned to Obama, asking how he saw the relationship with Russia and it’s potential.

Obama began spelling out his opinion, stating that he felt the US approach to Russia had to be evaluated. He then continued that the US has to press for a unified alliance and for Russia to remove itself from other nations, adding that the US had to “explain to the Russians that you cannot be a 21st-century superpower, or power, and act like a 20th-century dictatorship”.

He went on, stressing the importance of diplomacy and affirming relationships, and inviting Russian-influenced countries into NATO. “Now, we also can’t return to a Cold War posture with respect to Russia. It’s important that we recognize there are going to be some areas of common interest. One is nuclear proliferation”.

McCain responded by attacking Obama’s reaction to the Russian-Georgian conflict, criticizing his initial comment that both sides should show restraint, calling it naive. “He doesn’t understand that Russia committed serious aggression against Georgia. And Russia has now become a nation fueled by petro-dollars that is basically a KGB apparatchik-run government”.

Lehrer asked Obama if there were any major differences between the two’s opinion on Russia, who answered that he and McCain had similar opinions on Russia. He then stressed foresight in dealing with Russia, as well as reducing dependence on foreign oil through alternative energy.

“Over 26 years, Senator McCain voted 23 times against alternative energy, like solar, and wind, and biodiesel,” he mentioned.

The two began to argue over alternative energy. As Lehrer began announcing the next question, McCain interjected. “No one from Arizona is against solar. And Senator Obama says he’s for nuclear, but he’s against reprocessing and he’s against storing So,” he continued, as Obama objected, “it’s hard to get there from here. And off-shore drilling is also something that is very important and it is a bridge”.

McCain continued, as Obama interrupted to correct him, saying that he had voted for storing nuclear waste safely.

The two began interrupting each other, each trying to get a word in, before Lehrer stopped them and moved on.

“What do you think the likelihood is that there would be another 9/11-type attack on the continental United States?” asked Lehrer.

McCain said that America was far safer since 9/11, which he claimed a hand in. He went on to stress better intelligence and technology in keeping America safe, but that he felt the US was far safer.

Lehrer then turned to Obama.

Obama disagreed slightly, saying America was safer in some ways, but “we still have a long way to go”. He also felt that the US was not focusing enough on Al-Qaeda and fighting in Iraq was not making the US safer.

McCain accused Senator Obama of not understanding that “if we fail in Iraq, it encourages al Qaeda. They would establish a base in Iraq”.

Lehrer asked if Obama agreed.

Obama argued that the sole focus was currently Iraq, but that “in the meantime, bin Laden is still out there. He is not captured. He is not killed”. He noted that $10 billion was spent in Iraq every month, instead of going to healthcare. He argued that veterans were not getting the benefits they deserved, and that the next president’s strategies had to be broader.

McCain responded by attacking Obama saying he didn’t think Obama had the knowledge or experience to be President.

Obama then said that the job of the next President would be to repair America’s image and economy.

McCain concluded by citing his POW experience. “Jim, when I came home from prison, I saw our veterans being very badly treated, and it made me sad. And I embarked on an effort to resolve the POW-MIA issue, which we did in a bipartisan fashion, and then I worked on normalization of relations between our two countries so that our veterans could come all the way home”.

“And that ends this debate tonight,” finished Jim Lehrer.

What Types Of Services Maids In Salt Lake City Typically Provide

byAlma Abell

The one thing holding most people back from hiring a cleaning services is the lack of knowledge as to the types of services typically offered, what to expect, and the cleaning routinely scheduled for hire. This information is about maids in Salt Lake City, what they offer, typical services and the level of cleanliness you can expect to enjoy at an ongoing basis.

The biggest mistake most home owners make is understating their needs, this problem is easily eliminated as maids commonly provide a long list of services and are proud and skilled at the routine household cleaning needs busy residents forget. A major need is the abundance of dust and mold, the two most over looked cleaning issues home owners forget and right under their noses. Maids in Salt Lake City eliminate the overwhelming accumulation of dust and mold and prevent it from occurring again with routine maintenance. You will note a significant improvement in your overall health and well being, one of the most popular benefits of clients bar none.

The services you can expect to receive from a good maids service includes; a good and thorough cleaning of the baseboards, mirrors, in and around the entire house. A skilled maid service will clean and sanitizing the kitchen and bathroom sinks, showers, baths, counters and back splashes also the cabinets, handles and levers.

The kitchen microwave will be cleaned inside and out as will the laundry room and appliances. The window sills throughout the house will be cleaned with the exception of the windows themselves, this is an extra service usually hired by a window service. In addition maid services routinely include the cleaning of door frames, banisters and moldings in and around the home removing smudges and finger prints on walls, doors and woodwork.

There are other services available specific to the clients needs such as laundry services, and more detailed cleaning all negotiable and to be scheduled as needed upon request. The varied services may include carpet cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping. Most any cleaning detail can be added, subtracted or tailor fit to meet the individual needs of each client, no house or client is the same and maid services pride themselves on their flexible ability to meet those individual needs.

SEALs say US officer’s cover-up was reported by fake SEAL

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Tampa, Florida –Frank Ford, an honorably discharged U.S. veteran sergeant who works as a California state prison guard has reported witnessing torture in Iraq and the cover-upactivities of his commanding officers: December 8, 2004, Veteran sergeant accounts US torture coverup. Ford says he was hustled out of Iraq for psychological evaluations at military hospitals in Germany and USA as part of an Army cover-up strategy. David DeBatto, who wrote the original article about Frank Ford states that every doctor that evaluated Ford found him to be completely normal, with absolutely no psychological or mental health issues. However according to VeriSEAL, which claims to provide independent and no-cost verification of Special Operations Forces personnel backgrounds, the cover-up accusations are being made by a fake SEAL member.

Ford has already made several unsubstantiated claims including being a member of President Nixon’s security detail, a medical doctor, a nobleman with a castle in Europe, a Navy SEAL and knowing the exact location of Saddam Hussein and Ali Hassan al-Majid known as “Chemical Ali”. Also Ford has said he has saved the life of a soldier in Iraq, but according to the sources familiar with the incident—doctors and other witness—his claims were exaggerated and he did nothing more than hold the wounded soldier’s IV bag. The name of Ford is listed at the Identified SEAL Impostors page from VeriSEAL.

When inquired about some of the Ford’s exaggerated stories, David DeBatto said:Ford IS an inveterate braggart. This is beyond question as far as I am concerned. However, although that trait may make him unpopular with some, it does not make him a liar. Some people seem to have a hard time separating the two.

According to Ford he attended a discontinued BUD/S program for Navy corpsmen during 1980’s as a doctor assigned to a Navy SEAL team. However Navy records do not list Ford among the program graduates. About this DeBatto said: he called himself “Doc” when I met him too at Fort Bragg in February 2003. However, I asked him right away if he was an MD or PhD. and he told me no, he was just a medic, but he has always been referred to as “Doc” since becoming a Navy medic over 30 years ago. It just kind of stuck he said. He also said he was in some kind of medical school or internship, which, upon later research, turned out to be true. It ain’t Harvard, but it is a legitimate medical school. Actually Frank Ford is a “Doctor of Naturopathy” by the Clayton School of Natural Healing in Alabama.

According to Col. C. Tsai, a military psychiatrist who examined Ford at the Army Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, Tsai had found nothing at all unstable about Ford.” Tsai was also interviewed by Speigel Television in Germany on this issue. According to Capitain Vic Artiga, Ford’s company commander, who Ford implicates, he was evacuated for “combat stress” behavioal problems.

In a interview to Los Angeles Times reporter, Lt. Col. Timothy J. Ryan, Ford’s commander, said: all allegations of prisoner abuse in Samarra were investigated immediately and no wrongdoing was ever found. Lt. Col. Timothy J. Ryan is also implicated by Ford’s testimony.

Ford said that Artiga accused him of being “delusional” and gave him “30 seconds to retract or face psychiatric referral”. Artiga, who is a police officer in Redwood City as civilian, denied Ford claims:That’s just laughable. In my years as a policeman, I’ve done hundreds of investigations. I can tell yoou that the investigation we did was as thorough as they come.

According to Sergeant First Class Michael Marciello, an alleged witness, when Captain Vic Artiga saw an initial psychiatrist’s report, Artiga was, “livid”. He “stormed” back to the psychiatrist and “browbeat” her to change her report to read that Ford was mentally unstable, and ordered her to have Ford shipped out of the country. Ford was later strapped to a medical gurney and medvac’d out of Iraq. He was initially sent to Kuwait and eventually to Landstuhl, Germany. Ford then underwent psychological evaluation in Germany and also two bases in the United States for approximately 8 months.

The Ford accusation was reported by David DeBatto and the article can be seen at Salon News. The case is under investigation.

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Lewis Hamilton wins 2009 Singapore Grand Prix

Monday, September 28, 2009

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton won yesterday’s Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore.

Toyota driver Timo Glock took second place after starting seventh on the grid. Previous Singapore GP winner Fernando Alonso took the last spot on the podium for Renault, having started one place ahead of Glock.

Sebastian Vettel came in fourth for Red Bull after a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. His teammate Mark Webber, suffering from brake trouble, span off and retired on lap 45. Both Toro Rosso cars also retired due to mechanical problems.

Vettel was chased by both Brawns of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, the current leaders of this season. Hamilton’s teammate Heikki Kovalainen secured seventh place for McLaren. The top eight was closed by Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber.

Monday this week saw a conclusion of the “crashgate” scandal around Renault, as the World Motor Sport Council gave the team a two-year suspended ban. This was for a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Former team boss Flavio Briatore was banned for life from any FIA-sanctioned event and was replaced by Bob Bell on this post and chief engineer Pat Symonds was banned for five years. The Renault team also lost two sponsors this week: ING Group and Mutua Madrileña.

Following the race Jenson Button still leads the Championship with 84 points. Button’s teammate Barrichello is 15 points behind, and Brawn are the leading team with 153 points. Vettel is 10 points behind Barrichello and is the only competitor from another team who has a mathematical chance to win the championship. Red Bull are 42.5 and other teams more than 90 points behind Brawn.

Dramatics Of Hair Loss In Women

By Marlene Affeld

Have you noticed a gradual and progressive increase in the number of hairs lost when combing or brushing? Perhaps after months or years of vain denial, you have realized that the mirror does not lie, visible thinning has occurred. You’re not alone if you’re experiencing breakage, increased hair shedding or significant hair loss.

Many women may cover it up with wigs, hair extensions, hats or scarves. Others choose one of the several approved medications or surgical procedures that are available to treat baldness.

Excessive hair loss or balding is mistakenly perceived as a strictly something that happens to men although women actually make up to forty percent of American hair loss sufferers. In America, one in four, or over 30 million women will seek solutions and treatment for hair loss annually.

First of all, don’t panic! Hair loss or hair shedding is consistent within the hair growth cycle and it is normal to lose some scalp hair each day. The average human scalp has roughly 100,000 to 150,000 individual hairs and the normal hair growth cycle results in the loosening or shedding of about 100 to 150 hairs on a daily basis. New hair growth then emerges from these same previous dormant hair follicles, growing at the average rate of about half an inch per month.

Hair is composed of two separate parts: the follicle and the hair shaft. The follicle lies below the scalp and produces the hair strands that we see growing out of our head. The follicle is alive, however the hair strand is simply composed of dead cells that have no regenerative ability.

For most people, 90% of our scalp hair is always in a to six year growth phase (anagen) while the remaining 10% is in a dormant period (telogen), which lasts about three months. When the dormant period ends the hair is shed; these are the worrisome hairs we obsess over in our comb, hairbrush, on our pillow or down the shower drain. Relax, some hair loss is perfectly normal.

Baldness or Alopecia happens when the normal pattern of hair growth is disrupted. The normal pattern of human hair growth is growing, resting, shedding and growing again. If the growth pattern is out of balance, hair does not grow back as readily as it falls out. A family history of androgenetic alopecia increases your risk of balding. Heredity also affects the age at which you begin to lose hair and the development, pattern and extent of your baldness.

What concerns us is not these normally shed hairs, but the noticeable thinning we confront in the mirror. For a woman, thick, vibrant hair is our crowning glory, our vanity visible. A luxuriant full mane epitomizes the beauty of a woman and is integrally woven into our self image. Our culture strongly identifies femininity with a thick, silky head of hair. Throughout recorded history, images of shining, full bodied hair are associated with female beauty, youth, desirability and good health. Society unfairly identifies dry, lack luster and thinning hair with old age, sickness and poverty.

A dramatic decrease in self esteem is evident in women when their hair begins to fall out. Hair shedding is not physically painful, however it often causes severe emotional distress. We obsess over our thin tresses as we battle depression and self loathing. Women frequently become introverted and withdraw from the world. We avoid intimate contact and make futile attempts to disguise the quality and quantity of our hair.

Hair loss is especially injurious to those who have professions or careers where physical appearance plays a significant role. A young woman is especially vulnerable to the stigma of balding. Not until we are confronted with the loss of our hair do we fully realize how essential hair is to our overall perception of ourselves.

A woman’s hair is at its thickest by age 20. Once we pass 20, however, our hair gradually begins to thin, shedding more than the normal 100-150 hairs a day. With aging, hair strands hold less pigment and become smaller so that what was once the luxuriant and thick hair of our youth becomes thin, fine and lighter in color. For even the elderly woman, significant hair loss can threaten self image. A woman’s sense of sexuality and femininity as well as her establish place in family and society are often undermined by hair loss.

It is hardly surprising when a man starts balding. By the age of thirty-five about 25 percent of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss and about 75 percent are either bald or have a balding pattern by age 60.

In men, hair loss is often perceived as a sign of virility, a demonstrable sign that his male hormones are functioning at maximum capacity. To project strength and masculinity, men often choose to shave their heads.

Although many men are quite dismayed by a receding hairline, research indicates that the phycological pain of hair loss does not affect men as adversely as it impacts women. What makes coping with hair loss so difficult is the frightening lack of control, the feeling of the inability to do anything to make our hair stop falling out.

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Causes Of Hair Loss In Women

As we age, women face a multitude of changes and challenges: wrinkles, a widening waist, cellulite deposits and thickening ankles. It does not seem fair that for many of us hair loss is yet another blow to our self esteem.

Female pattern baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in women and is genetic in nature. This type of female balding is caused by the chemical Dihydrotestosterone or DHT which builds up around the air follicle and over time destroys both the hair shaft and the hair follicle. Pregnancy or the onset of menopause may cause a fluctuation in the production of estrogen. Lacking sufficient estrogen to produce testosterone-blocking enzymes, testosterone is then converted to DHT on the scalp. The result is a shorter hair growth cycle, finer hair and excessive hair loss from shedding and breakage. Some women experience an increase in hair loss several months after delivering a baby.

Genetics aside, there are many other reasons why women lose hair. Surgery, extreme physical or emotional stress, hormonal imbalances, chemotherapy and scalp infections are but a few. Female hair loss can also be triggered by birth control medications, certain prescription drugs or result from the use of harsh chemicals or aggressive styling that can cause permanent damage to the fragile hair follicle. Excessive hair shedding may also be symptomatic of rapid weight loss from dangerous fad-dieting or an eating disorder such as anorexia. The use of street drugs such as cocaine will also exhibit sudden and severe hair shedding.

When To Contact A Medical Professional

Reacting intensely to the physical state of our thinning hair may seem like excessive vanity, but it is not. Baldness is not usually caused by disease, but is more commonly related to heredity, aging and hormone function. However, changes in hair appearance, texture and growth patterns may indicate serious health concerns. Hair is one of the first areas, along with skin and nails, to reflect nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance and illness. It is wise to pay attention.

Women’s hair seems to be particularly sensitive to underlying medical conditions so it is important that women with undiagnosed hair loss be properly evaluated by a physician. If your thinning hair is a result of a medical condition, your doctor will treat these ailments and as a result you may experience significant growth of new hair.

Once you and your doctor have identified the cause of your hair loss you may be referred to a hair specialist or implant surgeon to learn about the treatment options available such as or hair transplant procedures to promote growth or hide loss. For some types of alopecia, hair may resume normal growth without any treatment.

A healthy balanced diet, regular exercise, hydration and rest can go a long way towards preventing hair loss and maximizing the potential of your hair growth cycle.

Although medical research is on going, the following have proved beneficial in growing and maintaining a healthy head of hair.

Nutrition

Poor nutrition is often an underlying cause of hair loss as the hair is a reliable indicator of nutritional well being. Discuss with your health care provider your diet, all medications and any supplements you may be taking. Dull hair color or dry and brittle hair may be indicators of a deficiency in essential fats in the diet, oily hair may be a sign of a B vitamin deficiency.

Recent medical studies have found that a high percentage of women with thinning hair are deficient in iron and the amino acid lysine. It is difficult to obtain sufficient lysine through diet alone. Lysine is important in the transport of iron and necessary to support hair growth. Lysine is found in eggs and red meat so vegetarians needs to be aware of this potential shortfall in their diets.

The amino acids L-Cysteine and L-Methionine are believed to improve hair texture, quality and growth.

Low-fat foods that rank high in protein, low in carbohydrates, can play a vital role in sustaining healthy hair growth and aid in preventing hair loss. Important essential fatty acids for maintaining hair health are found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, sardines, spinach, soy and canola oil. Omega 3 and Omega 6 Oils protect the heart as well as your hair so include salmon in your diet on a regular basis.

Herbal Remedies Offer Hope For Hair Loss

Discuss with your nutritional advisor or medical professional the benefits of herbs. The following natural plant derivatives have properties to encourage a healthy head of hair.

Aloe

Arnica

Birch

Burdock

Catmint

Chamomile

Horsetail

Licorice

Marigold

Nettles

Parsley

Rosemary

Sage

Hair Care

Always choose organic natural products to avoid the chemicals and toxins found in many hair care products. Harsh chemicals may strip the natural oils from your hair and lead to breakage and poor hair growth. Dye, hair straightening and permanent solutions are highly destructive to the hair shaft and follicle as well as the delicate sebum balance of the scalp.

Be gentle with your hair. Allow hair to dry naturally rather than using a hair dryer. A natural bristle brush is helpful in preventing damage. Do not style until completely dry. Wet hair is weak hair so handle with care.

Avoid or break any bad habits you may have that pull or twist the hair. Try not to constantly run your fingers through your hair, tug at the hair and avoid hair clips or rubber bands that pull at and break off the hair. Minimize the usage of mousse, gels and hair sprays. These products dry and weigh down the hair shaft and dull the natural luster of your hair.

Avoid salt and chlorinated water when swimming. If exposed, always wash the hair with cool water and an organic gentle shampoo and apply a mild conditioner. Sun worshippers should make sure that hair care products have sunscreen properties to protect hair from the damaging affects of UV rays. Remember to wear a hat to prevent sunburn of the scalp.

Healthy Lifestyle

Hair loss is traumatic, however our hair is only part of who we are. I remind myself to keep my obsession with my hair loss in perspective and be happy with all the other areas of my life that are going right and in balance. Focus on the positive, eat well, rest well and be at peace with who you are. Remember, that for some, hair grows back as mysteriously as it disappeared.

About the Author: Marlene Affeld writes for the Nandu Green Team.

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Al Gore-owned cable news channel to relaunch August 1 with viewer-created content

Monday, April 4, 2005

San Francisco, California — A year after buying the struggling Newsworld International 24-hour U.S. and Canada cable news channel, former U.S. vice president Al Gore and his partner, millionaire Ohio attorney and politician Joel Hyatt, plan to re-launch the channel with a new name, a new concept and a new target audience.

Starting August 1, the channel will be known as Current and will aim its news programming at the 18-34 year old demographic that traditionally does not tune into cable news. “The Internet opened a floodgate for young people whose passions are finally being heard, but TV hasn’t followed suit. Young adults have a powerful voice, but you can’t hear that voice on television … yet,” Gore said in a press release issued from the network’s San Francisco studios.

Gore said the new channel will be partly created by citizen journalists, where viewer-created reports will find their way on air. “We want to transform the television medium itself, giving a national platform to those who are hungry to help create the TV they want to watch. We’re creating a powerful new brand of television that doesn’t treat audiences as merely viewers, but as collaborators,” Gore said in the release. The network posted submission guidelines on its new website which launched Monday.

Gore bought Newsworld International (NWI) from Vivendi Universal last year for $70 million. It was the only TV asset of Vivendi’s not snapped up by NBC in the creation of the NBC Universal media conglomerate. NBC already had two struggling cable news channels of its own. NWI’s current news content is mostly rebroadcasts of news produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Originally, the network was going to be remodled as a liberal counterpart to the popular Fox News Channel, which some critics claim is a conservative-slanted newscast despite the network’s denial that it is “fair and balanced” in its reporting. But after market research, the new owners of NWI decided that a liberal news network was not financially feasible.

Instead, they focused on a youth-skewed news channel under the code name “INdTV” (pronounced “Indy Tee Vee”). The new name, Current, and re-launch date announcement was timed to coincide with the annual National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention, which is being held this week in San Francisco, the same city as Channel’s new headquarters.

Jermaine Pennant jailed for drink-driving

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Aylesbury, England – The Arsenal F.C. midfielder Jermaine Pennant, currently on loan to Birmingham City, has today pleaded guilty to drink-driving, driving while disqualified, and driving without insurance by Aylesbury magistrates court. Pennant received a sentence of three months imprisonment. Pennant’s lawyer, Bary Warbutton, has said that the footballer will appeal against the severity of the sentence.

The incident occurred on January 23 of this year, Pennant was arrested after crashing teammate Ashley Cole’s car into a lamppost. The 22-year-old claimed that he crashed the car after attempting to operate the car’s Satellite navigation system.

Despite the claim by Warbutton that imprisonment “could completely destroy his career”, Birmingham City have said that they will stand by the player, and help to rehabilitate him. Arsenal released a statement saying that the sentence would not impact the player’s future with the club; his contract with club expires in the summer, at the same time as his loan-spell with Birmingham ends.

Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ren and Stimpy. Bugs Bunny. Philip J. Fry and Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama. Sparx. Bi-Polar Bear. Popeye the Sailor Man. Woody Woodpecker. You may not think you have ever heard Billy West, but chances are on a television program, a movie, a commercial, or as Howard Stern’s voice guru in the 1990’s, you have heard him. West’s talent for creating personalities by twisting his voice has made him one of a handful of voice actors—Hank Azaria and the late Mel Blanc come to mind—who have achieved celebrity for their talent. Indeed, West is one of the few voice actors who can impersonate Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from Warner Bros. cartoons.

What is the fulcrum in Mr. West’s life that led him to realize a talent to shape personalities with his voice, and how did the discovery of that gift shape him? Wikinews reporter David Shankbone found that like many great comedians, West faced more sour early in life than he did sweet. The sour came from a physically and emotionally abusive alcoholic father (“I could tell you the kind of night I was going to have from the sound of the key in the door or the way the car pulled up.”), to his own problems with drug and alcohol use (“There is a point that you can reach in your life where you don’t want to live, but you haven’t made the decision to die.”).

I’m telling you stuff that I never said to anybody…

If sin, suffering and redemption feel like the stages of an endless cycle of American existence, West’s own redemption from his brutalized childhood is what helped shape his gift. He performed little bits to cheer up his cowed mother, ravaged by the fact she could not stop her husband’s abuse of young West. “I was the whipping boy and she would just be reduced to tears a lot of times, and I would come in and say stuff, and I would put out little bits just to pull her out of it.”

But West has also enjoyed the sweet. His career blossomed as his talent for creating entire histories behind fictional characters and creatures simply by exploring nuance in his voice landed him at the top of his craft. You may never again be able to forget that behind the voice of your favorite character, there is often an extraordinary life.

Below is David Shankbone’s interview with renowned voice actor Billy West, who for the first time publicly talks about the horrors he faced in his childhood; his misguided search for answers in anger, drugs and alcohol; and the peace he has achieved as one of America’s most recognizable voice actors.

Contents

  • 1 The use of celebrities for voiceovers
  • 2 Iconic characters and choosing projects
  • 3 Discovering his talent
  • 4 “It was a horror chamber where I grew up”
  • 5 West moves to Boston after his parents divorce
  • 6 How West dealt with his father’s abuse
  • 7 Rehabilitation and sobriety
  • 8 Is West glad he experienced addiction?
  • 9 West on his career
  • 10 West on politics
  • 11 Billy West on modern American society
  • 12 Billy West on telling it like it is
  • 13 Source