Aletho News


Just how low does sterling have to go to boost exports?

By Jeremy Warner | The Telegraph | March 9th, 2010

So much for hopes of an export led recovery. You might have thought that by now the 25 per cent devaluation in sterling seen since the beginning of the crisis would have shown up in a narrowing trade gap, but no, there is still no sign of it whatsoever.

Even allowing for the icy weather, which may have disrupted exports, January’s trade figures make disappointing reading. Britain’s trade deficit, both with Europe and the rest of the world, widened considerably in January to its highest level since August 2008. Exports dropped sharply, and despite the supposed pricing disavantage of the exchange rate, imports were up too. The pound has duly taken another beating. Just how low does it have to go before there is any noticeable effect on trade?

There are a number of explanations for why the devaluation is having so little effect. The charitable one is that slow growth elsewhere makes it difficult for the UK to achieve any improvement in its external balance, however cheap, relative to others, its goods and services become. Yet this doesn’t provide a complete answer. Some emerging European markets are beginning to perform well on the back of strong exports to the eurozone.

As Kate Barker, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, pointed out in a speech on Monday, the trouble is that “manufacturing output in the UK has not so far performed any better in the early stages of recovery than has the US, Germany and France”, even though it has the advantage of a devalued currency.

Recent surveys suggest exports should soon be on an improving trend. For example, the February 2010 CIPS/Markit survey of manufacturing suggested that last month export orders grew at their fasterst pace since the survey began in 1996. So there may be a lag effect.

Rather more worrying, however, is the explanation recently ventured by Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, that British companies are merely taking the extra margin in export markets afforded by the lower pound and banking the proceeds, rather than using the advantage to generate sales growth.

This is, unfortunately, what you would expect in the “deleveraging” environment we now find ourselves in. Both companies and individuals are happier to pay down debt and save than invest and spend. The effects of this phenomenon are not entirely negative.

For instance, the City, which does most of its business in dollars and euros but whose costs are largely in sterling, has suddenly found itself fantastically more profitable, so much so that the benefits of devaluation counters the supposed tax disadvantages of being in London by a considerable margin. As long as the pound remains so weak, you’ll not see the mass exodus of top bankers that some have threatened.

Yet it also highlights part of the problem. Britain’s manufacturing base has been run down to such a degree that it struggles to capitalise on the pricing advantages of devaluation. We simply don’t produce enough manufactured goods any longer. And the sort of stuff we do produce, mainly services, is not particularly price sensitive. It becomes more profitable as a result of devaluation, but does not necessarily generate more volume.

The difficulty the UK economy faces is that it is not just the private sector which is seeking to restore balance sheet health. The public sector too is desperate to reduce its deficit. If there is to be no improvement in the UK’s external balance to compensate, then prospects for growth are not good. The only way growth could be achieved is by a further deterioration in household and corporate sector.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Economics | Comments Off on Just how low does sterling have to go to boost exports?

Cherry Picking, Black Swans and Falsifiability

By Doug L. Hoffman – 02/28/2010

Whenever a skeptic points out a new paper or journal article refuting some claim made by the theory of anthropogenic global warming, climate change alarmists often shout “cherry picking!” Evidently, most climate change true believers do not understand how science works or how theories are tested. Scientific theories must make predictions by which they can be tested. Providing evidence that AGW has failed in its predictions is not cherry picking, it is refutation. Unfortunately, when confronted with failed predictions the standard alarmist answer is to disavow the predictions. They will say that those are not predictions at all, they are projections—and that means AGW is not a scientific theory at all.

I recently received a long email from a friend, who is a global warming believer, regarding my earlier post, “Why I Am A Global Warming Skeptic.” This friend is an educated person, a philosopher but not a scientist. In reading his objections and counter arguments to my points I found a number of common misunderstandings that arise when laymen try to jump into a scientific debate. In this report I will address some, but by no means all of my friend’s objections.

Having written previously on how to judge global warming as a scientific theory, perhaps it is time to recap some of that discussion. In The Resilient Earth, we wrote about the philosophy of science and how scientific theories are formulated and then validated. Science is both a body of knowledge and an approach to understanding nature by gaining more knowledge. It is based on gathering empirical evidence.

Empirical means simply what belongs to or is the product of experience or observation. If you can touch it, smell it, feel it, see it or measure it, it’s empirical. Collecting empirical data through observation or experimentation is how the correctness of theories is established. It is also how theories are found to be invalid.

An important point is that, in order to be testable, a theory must make predictions about how nature behaves. This idea comes from the work of Karl Popper who made the following observations as to what makes a good scientific theory:

  1. It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory — if we look for confirmations.
  2. Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theory — an event which would have refuted the theory.
  3. Every “good” scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is.
  4. A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice.
  5. Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it. Testability is falsifiability; but there are degrees of testability: some theories are more testable, more exposed to refutation, than others; they take, as it were, greater risks.
  6. Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory; and this means that it can be presented as a serious but unsuccessful attempt to falsify the theory. (I now speak in such cases of “corroborating evidence.”)
  7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers — for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status.

Popper made a distinction between what he termed conditional scientific predictions, which have the form “If X takes place, then Y will take place,” and unconditional scientific prophecies, which have the form “Y will take place.” It is the former rather than the latter which are typical of the natural sciences. This means that predictions made by scientific theories are typically conditional and limited in scope—taking the form of a hypothetical assertion stating that certain specified changes will come about if particular preceding events take place. Conversely, if X takes place and Y does not, then the hypothesis must be false.

The Cherry Picking Argument

The first point of contention in this discussion is the time worn claim of “cherry picking.” This charge is often heard when a skeptical article cites papers in support of its position. The complaint as lodged by my friend goes like this:

You are surely here guilty of cherry picking a couple of published articles that go your way (at least when read in a certain way) out of all the thousands of articles in the literature, most of which don’t go your way. To form a fair assessment of the state of the science you need to look at all of it, not just take one or two articles out of context.

The problem here is, if you don’t cite some recent papers then you have provided no references and will be accused of making unsubstantiated claims (unless, of course, you are presenting experimental observations of your own). If you cite a few representative articles to underline your point you are accused of cherry picking. According to Wikipedia, cherry picking is the act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. While this is certainly a bad thing when dealing with data and collections of repeated experimental results, the definition does not necessarily extend to general scientific argumentation.

The reason for this lies in the concept of falsifiability—a condition that must be met by all valid scientific theories. Popper noted that it is easy to obtain evidence in favor of virtually any theory, and he consequently held that such corroboration should count scientifically only if it is the positive result of a genuinely “risky” prediction. Risky here means that the prediction could conceivably have been false. For Popper, a theory is scientific only if it is refutable by a conceivable event. Every genuine test of a scientific theory, then, is logically an attempt to refute or to falsify it, and one genuine counter-instance falsifies the whole theory.

Basically, a theory must make predictions about how nature behaves so that the validity of the theory can be tested through experimentation and/or observation. For example, say I claim that all swans are white, based on my direct observation of a sample of swan populations. If someone finds a single black swan and is able to document the observation (e.g. by taking a picture or capturing the beast) then the white swan theory is disproved. In this case a single contradicting observation is sufficient to invalidate the theory.

It is possible that a disproved theory can be modified to better fit nature as observed—the white swan theory could be amended to say “most swans are white.” In this case the new theory could not be disproved by a single black swan siting, it would take finding a numerical majority of non-white swans to disprove it. Scientific philosophy would say that the first white swan theory is a stronger theory, the assertion that all swans are white being much more restrictive than the modified “most swans” theory. Simply put, the stronger the theory the simpler it is to disprove, the argument being that an easily disprovable theory which stands the test of time is stronger than a theory, which would take a much larger effort to debunk. It takes a deeper understanding of the assertions made by a theory to know what kind of argument is needed to disprove it.

When it comes to the AGW theory, which states that human generated CO2 is the reason for increasing world temperature, there is some wiggle room for its proponents, but not much. If it can be shown that the sum total of other contributing factors is more influential than CO2 then the theory is proven false. Any valid observation which shows CO2‘s influence is less important to climate change than other factors diminishes the validity of the theory. Moreover, if many of the predictions made by the theory are shown to be false then the theory is weakened—the death of a thousand cuts scenario.

If a theory claims to explain climate change and new work shows that there are phenomena that the theory does not explain then that theory is incomplete. If nature shows assertions made by the theory to be wrong then the theory is false. The papers I cited showed that there is dispute among scientists, that nature is still serving up big surprises that climate science is at a loss to explain, that the science is not settled. Given this evidence, for any layman to state otherwise is preposterous but as Popper himself said, “irrationalism will use reason too, but without any feeling of obligation.”

Furthermore, scientific arguments are not won by counting the number of papers written either for or against a particular theory. As was demonstrated above, a single counter example can be sufficient to disprove a theory, no matter how many scientists think the theory to be correct. In science there is an ultimate arbiter—nature.

Returning to the charge of cherry picking, the reason I chose the papers I did was because they were both recent, written by known climate scientists who are not fringe denier kooks, and (yes) they help to support my position. The intent is not to provide an argument from authority, another typical logical fallacy, but to show that the arguments presented do originate from trustworthy sources. Even so, that is immaterial to the real argument.

Those papers explicitly stated that mechanisms other than CO2 are noticeably involved in climate regulation. Moreover, the postulated positive feedback mechanism linking CO2 and water vapor does not respond in the expected way. Far from being a minor detail, this directly refutes part of the AGW theory as presented to the public.

If someone purposefully selects data or data sets so a study will give desired, predictable results—which may be misleading or even completely contrary to actuality—then the charge of cherry picking is valid. Michael Mann’s use of selected tree ring data sets and then manipulating them statistically to produce the infamous “hockey stick” graph, that was cherry picking. Citing specific evidence that refutes fundamental assertions made by a theory, that is not cherry picking. Under the latter circumstance, the cherry picking retort is weak argumentation and intellectually lazy to boot. Dispute the articles, challenge the assertions, or provide some counter examples of your own but for heavens sake, argue the matter at hand.

Judged and found wanting

Returning to the subject of proving or disproving the theory of anthropogenic global warming, there are only three possibilities here: AGW makes no predictions and hence is not a scientific theory; AGW depends on vague feedback mechanisms that must be constantly reinterpreted, making AGW a very weak theory and scientifically useless; or the predictions made by climate scientists about the effects of AGW are just that, predictions, and if those predictions can be shown to not be true then AGW is a false theory.

It is hard to believe that any pro-AGW climate scientist would agree to the first interpretation, that AGW is simply not a scientific theory, so we can eliminate all that crap about AGW not making any predictions. If it is a theory it must make predictions, it must be falsifiable based on empirical evidence.

In the second scenario, the argument is often made that AGW is correct but not perfect, that it is getting better and its predictions more accurate every day. This fits Popper’s final observation about theories, where ad hoc modifications are constantly needed to rescue a theory from falsification. Since such actions rescue a theory from refutation only at the price of destroying or lowering its scientific status—again an outcome that no AGW true believer would accept—we will move on to the final possibility.

The final scenario is that AGW as formulated does indeed qualify as a scientific theory. In this case it must make specific predictions that permit the theory to be falsified. So what are the strongest predictions made by the AGW theory? Let us first identify AGW’s primary tenant. That is that human CO2 emissions are causing Earth’s temperature to rise. What are the observed facts?

  • Are CO2 levels rising? The evidence seems to indicate that this is true.
  • Is the increase in atmospheric CO2 being caused by human activity? There is some debate over how much is due to nature and how much due to man but let’s simply accept this assertion as well.
  • What does AGW theory predict should happen as a result of these conditions? The obvious answer is that global temperature should rise.

In fact, back in 1988, NASA’s in house climate alarmist James Hansen presented a prediction of steadily rising temperatures to Congress. Has this prediction been substantiated, proving that AGW is a valid theory? It should be obvious from the graph below that Hansen got it wrong.

Not only was Hansen wrong back in 1988, all the models used by all the AGW proponents managed to miss the leveling off and slight downturn in temperature rise that started in 1995. In an email to Michael Mann, Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), asked “where the heck is global warming?” He went on to explain:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

Trenberth was a lead author of the 1995, 2001, and 2007 IPCC Scientific Assessment of Climate Change. If he had any sense of shame he would give back that Nobel Prize he shares (as a member of the IPCC) with Al Gore.

Furthermore, Dr. Phil Jones from the UK’s Climate Research Unit (CRU), has recently conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now–suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon. He is quoted as saying that for the past 15 years there has been no “statistically significant” warming. Yet the yearly averaged atmospheric CO2 level has continued to steadily rise. What we have here, as Popper showed, is a false theory.

When contradicting evidence is found you must reevaluate the theory that made the discredited assertions. Based on direct measurement, AGW’s fundamental prediction that an increase in CO2 levels causes an increase in temperature is false, therefore AGW is a false theory. The correct answer might not be known but the wrong answer is still wrong. In the mean time, climate scientists must stop making unsubstantiated claims or accept that their theory has been proven false by the very predictions they use to argue their case.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | Comments Off on Cherry Picking, Black Swans and Falsifiability

Peace Negotiations Charade Creates Space for Further Dispossession

J Street says Obama is serious (but Israeli Foreign Ministry shrugs)

By Bruce Wolman | March 9, 2010

J Street and the Israeli Foreign Ministry offer contrasting reactions to the just announced Israeli-Palestinian “proximity talks” – indirect talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians with the United States serving as the go-between. By summer we should know for certain which organization has a better read of Obama Administration policies.

Isaac Luria of J Street sent out an email with the group’s key reactions to the upcoming talks. First J Street makes clear that in its view, “The announcement of proximity talks is a positive step in the right direction.” Continuing its cheer-leading role for the Obama administration, J Street applauds “the determination shown by the United States, President Obama and, in particular, Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell to get the parties to agree to talk.”

Well, almost talk. The Americans are going to shuttle between the two sides, relaying messages and responses. Okay, I know, it sounds a little anachronistic in this age of Instant Messaging – an Israeli invention by the way – where any two people anywhere in the globe can instantly communicate with one another. But hey, it is a start, even if it takes us back full circle to the prelude before the Madrid Conference of 1991.

In case anyone is thinking of using the talks to serve as a smokescreen for maintaining the status quo, J Street is quick to emphasize that “Process and talk, while commendable, are not the goal. Achieving a two-state solution is.” Let’s hope Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are on J Street’s e-mail list.

J Street avows that “The US role in this process is, to state the obvious, vital to any hopes of success,” insisting that “nearly all experts know that the parties alone cannot reach an agreement.” Yet, the Obama administration has so far resisted Palestinian requests that the United States announce what are its parameters for a settlement, as Clinton did in 2000.

An unidentified senior American official informed Ha’aretz:

“We told the parties that our goal is to achieve two states for two peoples through negotiations. If there are obstacles we will try to help to overcome them and to propose our own ideas, and if we think one of the parties is not meeting its obligations we will say so.”

With the talks restricted to four months, it won’t take long to see if the Obama Administration is serious about taking on this “obvious” role.

Finally, J Street admonishes the parties that

Now is the time to get serious. The stakes are enormous. There are those who believe that the United States will put no political capital behind the process and will do little to help bridge the gaps because of the upcoming Congressional elections. This view fails to recognize that the window of opportunity to achieve a viable two-state solution is nearly closed and the coming years are the last chance to secure Israel’s future as a democracy and a national home to the Jewish people.”

What J Street doesn’t mention in its email, except indirectly in a footnote, is that among those that “believe that the United States will put no political capital behind the process and will do little to help bridge the gaps because of the upcoming Congressional elections” is the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

A few days ago the Foreign Ministry leaked a classified document to its favorite conduit at Ha’aretz, Barak Ravid. The report, prepared by the Foreign Ministry’s Center for Political Research, was intended for distribution to the Foreign Minister and Israeli diplomatic missions abroad, but one has to ask the motivation for giving it to Ha’aretz.

The report concludes the following:

“The U.S. administration will not put a lot of effort into the upcoming indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, opting instead to focus on the November Congressional elections.”

Washington is aware of the domestic political problems faced separately by both Netanyahu and Abbas and has decided to concentrate on achieving the limited goal of restarting the negotiations. The peace talks will not be at the top of the Obama administration’s agenda,

“In our assessment the administration will focus in the coming year on domestic issues that are expected to determine the results of the Congressional elections. As such, and due to the difficulties to date in achieving significant gains in the peace process we can assume that the administration’s focus on this issue will be limited and will predominantly remain in the hands of Mitchell’s teams.”

Washington can be expected to portray the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian talks as a domestic and international achievement, in the hope of creating an atmosphere that is conducive to direct negotiations between the parties on the core issues.

“The authors of the report also predict that the administration will avoid taking any position that suggests disagreement with Israel, because of the support that Israel enjoys among both parties in Congress.”

Meanwhile, J Street ended its email with “We’ll be in touch soon with concrete ways you can support strong American leadership in this latest effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution.” Can’t wait.


Haaretz: “[T]he [Obama] administration will avoid taking any position that suggests disagreement with Israel, because of the support that Israel enjoys among both parties in Congress.” Why? One must talk about money, media, and religious belief.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | Comments Off on Peace Negotiations Charade Creates Space for Further Dispossession

Israel ‘to unveil plans to build nuclear power plant’

BBC | March 8, 2010

Israel is expected to unveil plans this week to build a nuclear power plant, reports say.

They say an announcement will be made by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau at an energy forum in Paris.

Israel is facing a crisis over electricity supplies, but environmental objections have blocked efforts to build a new coal-fired plant.

Israel has two nuclear reactors, including the Dimona facility which is said to have produced nuclear weapons.

The secret reactor is located in the south of the country. Israel neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons under its policy of “ambiguity”.

The other facility is a research reactor near Tel Aviv, which is open to international inspections.

Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which is designed to curb the spread of nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential.

‘Joint project’

Mr Landau is expected to tell the conference in Paris that Israel is considering building a nuclear power plant, reports say.

He has reportedly discussed the possibility of co-operating in the project with French Energy Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, together with neighbouring Jordan.

France is one of the world leaders in electricity production from nuclear power.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Militarism, Nuclear Power | Comments Off on Israel ‘to unveil plans to build nuclear power plant’

Israeli Defense Ministry goes on trial for Corrie death

By Mya Guarnieri – Ma’an – 09/03/2010

Jerusalem – On Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry will go on trial as a court hears a case filed by the parents of an American woman run down by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza, in March 2003.

A civil suit seeks to hold Israeli forces responsible for the death of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old activist who was crushed to death as she protested a Palestinian home from demolition in the Gaza Strip.

“We claim that her assassination was intentional,” or, at the very least, that the army is guilty of “huge negligence,” Hussein Abu Hussein, the attorney who filed the petition on behalf of Corrie’s parents, commented.

Abu Hussein cites the state’s acknowledgment of the fact that Corrie and other members of the International Solidarity Movement—a Palestinian-led peace organization that advocates non-violent means of resistance to the Israeli occupation—were demonstrating in the area for several hours before Corrie was struck by the bulldozer. He also points out that Corrie was wearing a fluorescent orange vest to increase her visibility.

At the time of her death, the Israeli military response was that the driver of the machine did not see Corrie.

“If you see people, you should stop and think of all the needed steps not to harm [them]. Instead of stopping the D9, which weighs 64 tons, they continued. And due to that, [Corrie] was killed,” Abu Hussein said.

Four of Corrie’s fellow activists who witnessed her death were initially denied entry into Israel where they were asked to testify at the trial, but US pressure reportedly changed the Israeli position. A US citizen and three UK nationals will now be able to speak at the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.

Israel will not issue an entry permit to Dr Ahmed Abu Nakira, the Gazan physician who saw Corrie after she was injured and declared her dead. The state rejected the request for his entry on the grounds that there is no coordination between Israel and Gaza, due to the Israeli blockade that began after Hamas rose to power in 2007.

“It’s an obstacle to justice,” Abu Hussein said. “On the one side, [Israel] won’t give permission [for Dr Abu Nakira] to come; on the other they won’t allow him to testify by video-conference, which is used daily by courts everywhere in the modern world.”

Speaking shortly after Corrie’s death, an Israeli military representative called the incident a “regrettable accident.” An internal investigation conducted by the Israeli army later absolved the soldier operating the bulldozer of any wrongdoing.

The report, released in April 2003, claimed that Corrie was not killed by the “engineering vehicle” but “was struck by a hard object, most probably a slab of concrete which was moved or slid down while the mound of earth which she was standing behind was moved.” The army accused Corrie and the other activists present of behaving in an “illegal, irresponsible, and dangerous” manner.

Abu Hussein says that the army’s investigation lacked transparency. The civil suit, which was filed in 2005, is the only way to hold the state accountable for Corrie’s death, he says.

While it is exceedingly rare for the Defense Ministry to take direct responsibility in such cases, the state has made financial reparations to a handful of families like the Corries. Just two months after Rachel’s death, British journalist and filmmaker James Miller, 34, was shot to death by an Israeli soldier. After an army investigation found no wrongdoing, the UK warned it would extradite the soldiers involved. Last year, Israel settled out of court with Miller’s family for approximately 1.5 million pounds (2.25 million US dollars).

“The family is not seeking money. They’re seeking acknowledgment of responsibility by the state,” Abu Hussein says. If the Corries do receive compensation from Israel, they intend to donate the sum to “the matter Rachel was struggling for—for peace.”

The Corries’ suit “underscores that Israel doesn’t prosecute” soldiers accused of wrongdoing and that the state behaves as though it is “exempt from accountability,” Abu Hussein said.

“In the cases brought by Palestinians against the IDF [Israeli forces], more than 90 percent are denied,” he says, pointing to a culture of immunity that has been criticized human rights groups.

From 2000 to 2009, the Israeli NGO Yesh Din monitored almost 2000 Israeli military investigations into incidents in which a Palestinian or international claimed the army was guilty of a criminal offense, including unlawful shooting that led to injury or death. Indictments were filed in only six percent of these cases. Many of the soldiers who were prosecuted cut deals with the court that reduced the severity of both the charges and punishments.

“When we look at the number of cases, and we look at the fact that only six percent yield indictments, it is safe to assume that a soldier in the field today will know that he can get away with pretty much anything,” Yesh Din’s research director Lior Yavne remarked.

A representative for the Corries emphasized that the family hopes the upcoming trial will bring attention to ongoing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territories. “The issue is Palestine and human rights defenders,” the liaison says. “They want to highlight Gaza in light of [the UN-commissioned] Goldstone [report] and Operation Cast Lead.”

Mya Guarnieri is a regular contributor to The National (Abu Dhabi), The Huffington Post, and The Jerusalem Post.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | Comments Off on Israeli Defense Ministry goes on trial for Corrie death

Settlers destroy natural spring used by Palestinians for farming near Salfit

International Solidarity Movement | 8 March 2010

A group of Israeli settlers today destroyed a spring by the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the Salfit district. The settlers poured sand and cement into the spring, guarded by five armed members of the Israeli military.

Palestinians from the village were forced to watch helplessly as events unfolded, prevented by the soldiers from moving close to the spring or from filming what was happening. International Solidarity Movement volunteers were able to secretly film for a short time before the soldiers noticed, and made both Palestinians and Internationals leave, saying that the area was now designated as a Closed Military Zone.

Last Friday, a large group of both Palestinians and internationals spent the day clearing the area around the spring to make it more accessible from the village. This followed previous attacks from settlers on nearby springs and farmland, during which a child suffered serious head wounds, from which he is still recovering in hospital, and an elderly man had his arm and leg broken.

Locals intend to continue their attempts to keep the spring open, and to turn the area around it into a park for the use of the village.

Under international law, the settlement next to Qarawat Bani Hassan is illegal, as are all other settlements in the occupied West Bank.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | Comments Off on Settlers destroy natural spring used by Palestinians for farming near Salfit

Congressional Junket Front-Page News Unless It’s a Trip to Israel

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

The ongoing controversy regarding Representative Charles Rangel (D, NY-15) and trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008 has refreshed the discourse on privately funded congressional travel. Following the Jack Abramoff scandal of 2006 stricter limits were adopted by the House in order to expose and prevent corporate-sponsored junkets. The new ethics rules stipulated that members could not accept trip funding from non-profits that had received corporate donations, which would constitute lobbying.

Rep. Rangel was investigated for having violated these rules by attending conferences in St. Maarten sponsored by the Carib News Foundation. Major corporations, including Citigroup and Pfizer, however, appear to have earmarked donations to Carib News specifically for the trips. Rep. Rangel’s staff was apparently aware of the connection between the corporations and Carib News, whereas Rep. Rangel maintains that he was never informed of such a link. Therein lies the debate: Is Rep. Rangel to be held accountable for the improper conduct of his staff?

The case, moreover, exposes the inconsistencies of the ethics rules constraining congressional behavior. The rules intend to restrict the influence of lobbyists; however, they do nothing to constrain so-called “educational” organizations. Under the current rules, a non-profit like the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) is considered an independent entity from its parent group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which self-identifies as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby.”

Under this arrangement we are to assume that AIPAC’s hard-line, rightist views of the Arab-Israeli conflict have not once influenced the “education” imparted on the 480 trips (at a cost of $4,024,845) sponsored by AIEF since Jan. 2000. Unfortunately, the link between AIEF’s “educational” efforts and AIPAC’s lobbying are as obvious as they appear. Members and staffers participating in the trips are bombarded by a one-sided distortion of reality. The perspectives generated by these “educational” sojourns rarely include moderate or left-leaning voices in Israel. When, if ever, was B’Tselem or Peace Now involved in the “education” process? Furthermore, the trips neglect the Palestinian perspective altogether.

A spade will always be a spade and a lobby will always be a lobby, whether or not it markets itself as an “educational” organization. Clearly, the ethics rules in place do not do enough to prevent the undue influence of lobbies on the legislative process.

For further information regarding trips sponsored by AIEF and similar groups please consult the following table:

Top Ten Members in Terms of Approved Trips Sponsored by Pro-Israel Groups Pro-Israel Groups Funded Travel*

1 Hoyer, Steny H (D, Maryland District 5 ) $142,426.02 17
2 Berkley, Shelley (D, Nevada District 1 ) $102,910.67 14
3 Blunt, Roy (R, Missouri District 7 ) $69,356.98 10
4 Kirk, Mark (R, Illinois District 10 ) $64,503.09 9
5 Green, Gene (D, Texas District 29 ) $50,527.94 4
6 Wexler, Robert (D, Florida District 19 ) $46,171.94 5
7 Pence, Mike (R, Indiana District 6 ) $45,288.05 5
8 Gohmert, Louis B Jr (R, Texas District 1 ) $44,753.60 3
9 Bachmann, Michele (R, Minnesota District 6 ) $44,381.14 3
10 Langevin, Jim (D, Rhode Island District 2 ) $43,302.15 7

Member Pro-Israel Groups Funded Travel*
* – Trips are those approved, which includes all trips from office both by members and by staffers…

Abercrombie, Neil (D, Hawaii District 1 ) $0.00 0
Ackerman, Gary (D, New York District 5 ) $13,504.03 7
Aderholt, Robert B (R, Alabama District 4 ) $0.00 0
Adler, John H (D, New Jersey District 3 ) $18,235.00 1
Akaka, Daniel K (D, Hawaii Senate) $4,610.00 1
Akin, Todd (R, Missouri District 2 ) $0.00 0
Alexander, Lamar (R, Tennessee Senate) $3,650.85 1
Alexander, Rodney (R, Louisiana District 5 ) $15,763.13 2
Altmire, Jason (D, Pennsylvania District 4 ) $13,656.90 1
Andrews, Robert E (D, New Jersey District 1 ) $0.00 0
Arcuri, Michael (D, New York District 24 ) $16,811.00 1
Austria, Steve C (R, Ohio District 7 ) $7,325.84 1
Baca, Joe (D, California District 43 ) $0.00 0
Bachmann, Michele (R, Minnesota District 6 ) $44,381.14 3
Bachus, Spencer (R, Alabama District 6 ) $2,588.40 1
Baird, Brian (D, Washington District 3 ) $2,694.94 1
Baldwin, Tammy (D, Wisconsin District 2 ) $23,918.83 2
Barrasso, John A (R, Wyoming Senate) $36,555.99 2
Barrett, Gresham (R, South Carolina District 3 ) $4,850.00 1
Barrow, John (D, Georgia District 12 ) $12,484.35 2
Bartlett, Roscoe G (R, Maryland District 6 ) $0.00 0
Barton, Joe (R, Texas District 6 ) $0.00 0
Baucus, Max (D, Montana Senate) $0.00 0
Bayh, Evan (D, Indiana Senate) $5,435.23 2
Bean, Melissa (D, Illinois District 8 ) $25,755.16 3
Becerra, Xavier (D, California District 31 ) $13,234.49 2
Begich, Mark (D, Alaska Senate) $0.00 0
Bennet, Michael F (D, Colorado Senate) $0.00 0
Bennett, Robert F (R, Utah Senate) $5,201.99 3
Berkley, Shelley (D, Nevada District 1 ) $102,910.67 14
Berman, Howard L (D, California District 28 ) $7,595.58 7
Berry, Marion (D, Arkansas District 1 ) $0.00 0
Biden, Joseph R Jr (D, Delaware Senate) $2,500.00 3
Biggert, Judy (R, Illinois District 13 ) $18,853.62 2
Bilbray, Brian P (R, California District 50 ) $0.00 0
Bilirakis, Gus (R, Florida District 9 ) $10,391.01 1
Bingaman, Jeff (D, New Mexico Senate) $0.00 0
Bishop, Rob (R, Utah District 1 ) $14,376.98 1
Bishop, Sanford D Jr (D, Georgia District 2 ) $7,639.28 2
Bishop, Timothy H (D, New York District 1 ) $5,669.82 1
Blackburn, Marsha (R, Tennessee District 7 ) $0.00 0
Blumenauer, Earl (D, Oregon District 3 ) $0.00 0
Blunt, Roy (R, Missouri District 7 ) $69,356.98 10
Boccieri, John A (D, Ohio District 16 ) $0.00 0
Boehner, John (R, Ohio District 8 ) $17,096.91 2
Bond, Christopher “Kit” (R, Missouri Senate) $13,043.19 2
Bonner, Jo (R, Alabama District 1 ) $17,297.85 2
Bono Mack, Mary (R, California District 45 ) $0.00 0
Boozman, John (R, Arkansas District 3 ) $13,746.69 2
Bordallo, Madeleine Z (D, Guam At Large) $6,599.15 1
Boren, Dan (D, Oklahoma District 2 ) $0.00 0
Boswell, Leonard L (D, Iowa District 3 ) $8,690.55 1
Boucher, Rick (D, Virginia District 9 ) $0.00 0
Boustany, Charles W Jr (R, Louisiana District 7 ) $5,258.27 1
Boxer, Barbara (D, California Senate) $5,422.96 2
Boyd, Allen (D, Florida District 2 ) $14,682.09 3
Brady, Kevin (R, Texas District 8 ) $0.00 0
Brady, Robert A (D, Pennsylvania District 1 ) $0.00 0
Braley, Bruce (D, Iowa District 1 ) $0.00 0
Bright, Bobby (D, Alabama District 2 ) $16,249.04 1
Broun, Paul Jr (R, Georgia District 10 ) $0.00 0
Brown, Corrine (D, Florida District 3 ) $2,823.98 1
Brown, Henry (R, South Carolina District 1 ) $0.00 0
Brown, Scott (R, Massachusetts Senate) $0.00 0
Brown, Sherrod (D, Ohio Senate) $0.00 0
Brown-Waite, Ginny (R, Florida District 5 ) $28,533.14 2
Brownback, Sam (R, Kansas Senate) $15,275.43 4
Buchanan, Vernon (R, Florida District 13 ) $21,329.00 1
Bunning, Jim (R, Kentucky Senate) $4,973.51 1
Burgess, Michael (R, Texas District 26 ) $0.00 0
Burr, Richard (R, North Carolina Senate) $0.00 0
Burris, Roland (D, Illinois Senate) $0.00 0
Burton, Dan (R, Indiana District 5 ) $3,161.50 1
Butterfield, G K (D, North Carolina District 1 ) $0.00 0
Buyer, Steve (R, Indiana District 4 ) $0.00 0
Byrd, Robert C (D, West Virginia Senate) $0.00 0
Calvert, Ken (R, California District 44 ) $0.00 0
Camp, Dave (R, Michigan District 4 ) $5,537.60 1
Campbell, John (R, California District 48 ) $0.00 0
Cantor, Eric (R, Virginia District 7 ) $129,054.90 17
Cantwell, Maria (D, Washington Senate) $7,493.74 2
Cao, Joseph (R, Louisiana District 2 ) $0.00 0
Capito, Shelley Moore (R, West Virginia District 2 ) $13,791.22 1
Capps, Lois (D, California District 23 ) $0.00 0
Capuano, Michael E (D, Massachusetts District 8 ) $9,271.80 2
Cardin, Ben (D, Maryland Senate) $0.00 0
Cardoza, Dennis (D, California District 18 ) $13,849.45 3
Carnahan, Russ (D, Missouri District 3 ) $21,278.41 2
Carney, Chris (D, Pennsylvania District 10 ) $5,258.27 1
Carper, Tom (D, Delaware Senate) $11,046.74 2
Carson, Andre (D, Indiana District 7 ) $0.00 0
Carter, John (R, Texas District 31 ) $20,859.13 2
Casey, Bob (D, Pennsylvania Senate) $5,816.00 1
Cassidy, Bill (R, Louisiana District 6 ) $0.00 0
Castle, Michael N (R, Delaware District 1 ) $0.00 0
Castor, Kathy (D, Florida District 11 ) $0.00 0
Chaffetz, Jason (R, Utah District 3 ) $15,813.47 1
Chambliss, Saxby (R, Georgia Senate) $6,999.91 2
Chandler, Ben (D, Kentucky District 6 ) $0.00 0
Childers, Travis W (D, Mississippi District 1 ) $15,449.04 1
Christian-Christensen, Donna (D, Virgin Islands At Large) $0.00 0
Chu, Judy (D, California District 32 ) $0.00 0
Clarke, Yvette D (D, New York District 11 ) $0.00 0
Clay, William L Jr (D, Missouri District 1 ) $2,694.94 1
Cleaver, Emanuel (D, Missouri District 5 ) $0.00 0
Clyburn, James E (D, South Carolina District 6 ) $25,065.52 4
Coble, Howard (R, North Carolina District 6 ) $0.00 0
Coburn, Tom (R, Oklahoma Senate) $0.00 0
Cochran, Thad (R, Mississippi Senate) $8,364.76 2
Coffman, Mike (R, Colorado District 6 ) $14,624.33
Cohen, Stephen Ira (D, Tennessee District 9 ) $10,444.86 1
Cole, Tom (R, Oklahoma District 4 ) $7,705.02 2
Collins, Susan M (R, Maine Senate) $8,387.92 3
Conaway, Mike (R, Texas District 11 ) $21,495.70 1
Connolly, Gerry (D, Virginia District 11 )
Conrad, Kent (D, North Dakota Senate) $0.00 0
Conyers, John Jr (D, Michigan District 14 ) $0.00 0
Cooper, Jim (D, Tennessee District 5 ) $0.00 0
Corker, Bob (R, Tennessee Senate) $0.00 0
Cornyn, John (R, Texas Senate) $11,922.83 4
Costa, Jim (D, California District 20 ) $14,623.94 2
Costello, Jerry F (D, Illinois District 12 ) $3,877.00 2
Courtney, Joe (D, Connecticut District 2 ) $0.00 0
Crapo, Mike (R, Idaho Senate) $8,690.62 1
Crenshaw, Ander (R, Florida District 4 ) $0.00 0
Crowley, Joseph (D, New York District 7 ) $37,670.20 10
Cuellar, Henry (D, Texas District 28 ) $0.00 0
Culberson, John (R, Texas District 7 ) $0.00 0
Cummings, Elijah E (D, Maryland District 7 ) $3,151.25 1
Dahlkemper, Kathleen (D, Pennsylvania District 3 ) $0.00 0
Davis, Artur (D, Alabama District 7 ) $12,499.46 10
Davis, Danny K (D, Illinois District 7 ) $14,838.20 3
Davis, Geoff (R, Kentucky District 4 ) $24,626.40 1
Davis, Lincoln (D, Tennessee District 4 ) $15,446.04 1
Davis, Susan A (D, California District 53 ) $14,039.70 2
Deal, Nathan (R, Georgia District 9 ) $0.00 0
DeFazio, Peter (D, Oregon District 4 ) $0.00 0
DeGette, Diana (D, Colorado District 1 ) $8,646.81 1
Delahunt, Bill (D, Massachusetts District 10 ) $2,587.90 1
DeLauro, Rosa L (D, Connecticut District 3 ) $3,292.00 1
DeMint, James W (R, South Carolina Senate) $18,324.36 2
Dent, Charlie (R, Pennsylvania District 15 ) $17,112.40 1
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (R, Florida District 21 ) $0.00 0
Diaz-Balart, Mario (R, Florida District 25 ) $3,761.56 1
Dicks, Norm (D, Washington District 6 ) $2,131.06 1
Dingell, John D (D, Michigan District 15 ) $0.00 0
Dodd, Chris (D, Connecticut Senate) $2,323.04 2
Doggett, Lloyd (D, Texas District 25 ) $0.00 0
Donnelly, Joe (D, Indiana District 2 ) $0.00 0
Dorgan, Byron L (D, North Dakota Senate) $0.00 0
Doyle, Mike (D, Pennsylvania District 14 ) $2,131.00 1
Dreier, David (R, California District 26 ) $7,680.99 1
Driehaus, Steve (D, Ohio District 1 ) $9,401.02 1
Duncan, John J (Jimmy) Jr (R, Tennessee District 2 ) $0.00 0
Durbin, Dick (D, Illinois Senate) $5,459.45 3
Edwards, Chet (D, Texas District 17 ) $0.00 0
Edwards, Donna (D, Maryland District 4 ) $0.00 0
Ehlers, Vernon J (R, Michigan District 3 ) $0.00 0
Ellison, Keith (D, Minnesota District 5 ) $22,023.89 2
Ellsworth, Brad (D, Indiana District 8 ) $15,437.04 1
Emerson, Jo Ann (R, Missouri District 8 ) $0.00 0
Engel, Eliot L (D, New York District 17 ) $28,854.98 9
Ensign, John (R, Nevada Senate) $2,828.98 1
Enzi, Mike (R, Wyoming Senate) $0.00 0
Eshoo, Anna (D, California District 14 ) $0.00 0
Etheridge, Bob (D, North Carolina District 2 ) $0.00 0
Faleomavaega, Eni F H (D, American Samoa At Large) $32,598.15 2
Fallin, Mary (R, Oklahoma District 5 ) $23,937.93 2
Farr, Sam (D, California District 17 ) $6,340.72 1
Fattah, Chaka (D, Pennsylvania District 2 ) $4,973.84 1
Feingold, Russ (D, Wisconsin Senate) $0.00 0
Feinstein, Dianne (D, California Senate) $2,694.95 1
Filner, Bob (D, California District 51 ) $0.00 0
Flake, Jeff (R, Arizona District 6 ) $11,584.20 1
Fleming, John Calvin Jr (R, Louisiana District 4 ) $21,134.56 2
Forbes, J Randy (R, Virginia District 4 ) $11,780.00 1
Fortenberry, Jeffrey Lane (R, Nebraska District 1 ) $0.00 0
Foster, Bill (D, Illinois District 14 ) $18,955.50 1
Foxx, Virginia (R, North Carolina District 5 ) $18,291.52 2
Frank, Barney (D, Massachusetts District 4 ) $7,146.82 5
Franken, Al (D, Minnesota Senate)
Franks, Trent (R, Arizona District 2 ) $21,359.70 1
Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R, New Jersey District 11 ) $0.00 0
Fudge, Marcia L (D, Ohio District 11 ) $0.00 0
Gallegly, Elton (R, California District 24 ) $0.00 0
Garamendi, John (D, California District 10 )
Garrett, Scott (R, New Jersey District 5 ) $9,559.62 1
Gerlach, Jim (R, Pennsylvania District 6 ) $7,942.00 1
Giffords, Gabrielle (D, Arizona District 8 ) $15,049.12 2
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D, New York Senate)
Gingrey, Phil (R, Georgia District 11 ) $9,716.84 1
Gohmert, Louis B Jr (R, Texas District 1 ) $44,753.60 3
Gonzalez, Charlie A (D, Texas District 20 ) $3,570.29 1
Goodlatte, Bob (R, Virginia District 6 ) $14,589.49 1
Gordon, Bart (D, Tennessee District 6 ) $0.00 0
Graham, Lindsey (R, South Carolina Senate) $14,360.74 2
Granger, Kay (R, Texas District 12 ) $0.00 0
Grassley, Chuck (R, Iowa Senate) $4,352.28 1
Graves, Sam (R, Missouri District 6 ) $0.00 0
Grayson, Alan (D, Florida District 8 ) $0.00 0
Green, Al (D, Texas District 9 ) $5,452.47 1
Green, Gene (D, Texas District 29 ) $50,527.94 4
Gregg, Judd (R, New Hampshire Senate) $0.00 0
Griffith, Parker (D, Alabama District 5 ) $15,449.04 1
Grijalva, Raul M (D, Arizona District 7 ) $0.00 0
Guthrie, Steven Brett (R, Kentucky District 2 ) $0.00 0
Gutierrez, Luis V (D, Illinois District 4 ) $10,906.00 1
Hagan, Kay R (D, North Carolina Senate) $0.00 0
Hall, John (D, New York District 19 ) $3,200.00 1
Hall, Ralph M (R, Texas District 4 ) $0.00 0
Halvorson, Deborah (D, Illinois District 11 ) $24,850.27 2
Hare, Phil (D, Illinois District 17 ) $15,586.41 2
Harkin, Tom (D, Iowa Senate) $0.00 0
Harman, Jane (D, California District 36 ) $5,293.60 1
Harper, Gregg (R, Mississippi District 3 ) $22,230.53 2
Hastings, Alcee L (D, Florida District 23 ) $4,490.28 1
Hastings, Doc (R, Washington District 4 ) $24,753.40 2
Hatch, Orrin G (R, Utah Senate) $0.00 0
Heinrich, Martin (D, New Mexico District 1 ) $0.00 0
Heller, Dean (R, Nevada District 2 ) $0.00 0
Hensarling, Jeb (R, Texas District 5 ) $7,358.99 1
Herger, Wally (R, California District 2 ) $0.00 0
Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie (D, South Dakota District 1 ) $0.00 0
Higgins, Brian M (D, New York District 27 ) $7,607.37 2
Hill, Baron (D, Indiana District 9 ) $12,077.03 3
Himes, Jim (D, Connecticut District 4 ) $18,131.04 1
Hinchey, Maurice (D, New York District 22 ) $9,219.00 3
Hinojosa, Ruben (D, Texas District 15 ) $0.00 0
Hirono, Mazie K (D, Hawaii District 2 ) $12,258.26 1
Hodes, Paul W (D, New Hampshire District 2 ) $19,159.40 1
Hoekstra, Peter (R, Michigan District 2 ) $10,214.00 1
Holden, Tim (D, Pennsylvania District 17 ) $0.00 0
Holt, Rush (D, New Jersey District 12 ) $0.00 0
Honda, Mike (D, California District 15 ) $9,185.43 2
Hoyer, Steny H (D, Maryland District 5 ) $142,426.02 17
Hunter, Duncan D (R, California District 52 )
Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R, Texas Senate) $0.00 0
Inglis, Bob (R, South Carolina District 4 ) $0.00 0
Inhofe, James M (R, Oklahoma Senate) $0.00 0
Inouye, Daniel K (D, Hawaii Senate) $0.00 0
Inslee, Jay R (D, Washington District 1 ) $0.00 0
Isakson, Johnny (R, Georgia Senate) $20,156.06 2
Israel, Steve (D, New York District 2 ) $40,263.08 10
Issa, Darrell (R, California District 49 ) $4,217.20 1
Jackson Lee, Sheila (D, Texas District 18 )
Jackson, Jesse Jr (D, Illinois District 2 ) $24,218.37 4
Jenkins, Lynn (R, Kansas District 2 ) $0.00 0
Johanns, Michael O (R, Nebraska Senate) $0.00 0
Johnson, Eddie Bernice (D, Texas District 30 ) $0.00 0
Johnson, Hank (D, Georgia District 4 ) $5,452.47 1
Johnson, Sam (R, Texas District 3 ) $0.00 0
Johnson, Tim (D, South Dakota Senate) $6,840.00 2
Johnson, Timothy V (R, Illinois District 15 ) $8,241.29 2
Jones, Walter B Jr (R, North Carolina District 3 ) $0.00 0
Jordan, James D (R, Ohio District 4 ) $14,757.74 1
Kagen, Steve (D, Wisconsin District 8 ) $0.00 0
Kanjorski, Paul E (D, Pennsylvania District 11 ) $0.00 0
Kaptur, Marcy (D, Ohio District 9 ) $0.00 0
Kennedy, Patrick J (D, Rhode Island District 1 ) $5,452.47 1
Kerry, John (D, Massachusetts Senate) $0.00 0
Kildee, Dale E (D, Michigan District 5 ) $0.00 0
Kilpatrick, Carolyn Cheeks (D, Michigan District 13 ) $0.00 0
Kilroy, Mary Jo (D, Ohio District 15 )
Kind, Ron (D, Wisconsin District 3 ) $0.00 0
King, Pete (R, New York District 3 ) $11,156.84 2
King, Steven A (R, Iowa District 5 ) $14,140.69 2
Kingston, Jack (R, Georgia District 1 ) $20,347.00 1
Kirk, Mark (R, Illinois District 10 ) $64,503.09 9
Kirk, Paul (D, Massachusetts Senate) $0.00 0
Kirkpatrick, Ann (D, Arizona District 1 ) $18,919.44 1
Kissell, Larry (D, North Carolina District 8 ) $0.00 0
Klein, Ron (D, Florida District 22 ) $0.00 0
Kline, John (R, Minnesota District 2 ) $8,378.65 2
Klobuchar, Amy (D, Minnesota Senate)
Kohl, Herb (D, Wisconsin Senate) $0.00 0
Kosmas, Suzanne (D, Florida District 24 ) $10,075.72 1
Kratovil, Frank M Jr (D, Maryland District 1 ) $16,019.44 1
Kucinich, Dennis J (D, Ohio District 10 ) $0.00 0
Kyl, Jon (R, Arizona Senate) $15,866.15 7
Lamborn, Douglas L (R, Colorado District 5 ) $22,394.72 1
Lance, Leonard (R, New Jersey District 7 ) $18,375.74 1
Landrieu, Mary L (D, Louisiana Senate) $0.00 0
Langevin, Jim (D, Rhode Island District 2 ) $43,302.15 7
Larsen, Rick (D, Washington District 2 ) $6,598.55 1
Larson, John B (D, Connecticut District 1 ) $8,690.92 1
Latham, Tom (R, Iowa District 4 ) $0.00 0
LaTourette, Steven C (R, Ohio District 14 ) $0.00 0
Latta, Robert E (R, Ohio District 5 ) $19,003.74 1
Lautenberg, Frank R (D, New Jersey Senate) $11,919.83 3
Leahy, Patrick (D, Vermont Senate) $0.00 0
Lee, Barbara (D, California District 9 ) $5,968.63 2
Lee, Christopher J (R, New York District 26 ) $15,024.74 1
LeMieux, George S (R, Florida Senate)
Levin, Carl (D, Michigan Senate) $0.00 0
Levin, Sander (D, Michigan District 12 ) $0.00 0
Lewis, Jerry (R, California District 41 ) $0.00 0
Lewis, John (D, Georgia District 5 ) $3,287.00 1
Lieberman, Joe (I, Connecticut Senate) $32,443.97 9
Lincoln, Blanche (D, Arkansas Senate) $3,657.00 1
Linder, John (R, Georgia District 7 ) $0.00 0
Lipinski, Daniel (D, Illinois District 3 ) $0.00 0
LoBiondo, Frank A (R, New Jersey District 2 ) $0.00 0
Loebsack, David (D, Iowa District 2 ) $0.00 0
Lofgren, Zoe (D, California District 16 ) $0.00 0
Lowey, Nita M (D, New York District 18 ) $21,821.70 5
Lucas, Frank D (R, Oklahoma District 3 ) $0.00 0
Luetkemeyer, Blaine (R, Missouri District 9 ) $14,464.36 1
Lugar, Richard G (R, Indiana Senate) $0.00 0
Lujan, Ben R (D, New Mexico District 3 )
Lummis, Cynthia Marie (R, Wyoming District 1 ) $0.00 0
Lungren, Dan (R, California District 3 ) $14,665.04 2
Lynch, Stephen F (D, Massachusetts District 9 ) $4,170.70 1
Mack, Connie (R, Florida District 14 ) $0.00 1
Maffei, Dan (D, New York District 25 )
Maloney, Carolyn B (D, New York District 14 ) $14,131.30 2
Manzullo, Don (R, Illinois District 16 ) $0.00 0
Marchant, Kenny (R, Texas District 24 ) $8,578.52 1
Markey, Betsy (D, Colorado District 4 ) $19,069.94 1
Markey, Edward J (D, Massachusetts District 7 ) $0.00 0
Marshall, Jim (D, Georgia District 8 ) $11,629.00 1
Massa, Eric (D, New York District 29 )
Matheson, Jim (D, Utah District 2 ) $0.00 0
Matsui, Doris O (D, California District 5 ) $0.00 0
McCain, John (R, Arizona Senate) $0.00 0
McCarthy, Carolyn (D, New York District 4 ) $2,493.00 1
McCarthy, Kevin (R, California District 22 ) $0.00 0
McCaskill, Claire (D, Missouri Senate) $0.00 0
McCaul, Michael (R, Texas District 10 ) $0.00 0
McClintock, Tom (R, California District 4 ) $24,355.56 2
McCollum, Betty (D, Minnesota District 4 ) $0.00 0
McConnell, Mitch (R, Kentucky Senate) $7,358.19 2
McCotter, Thad (R, Michigan District 11 ) $0.00 0
McDermott, Jim (D, Washington District 7 ) $10,522.00 1
McGovern, James P (D, Massachusetts District 3 ) $0.00 0
McHenry, Patrick (R, North Carolina District 10 ) $10,280.60 1
McIntyre, Mike (D, North Carolina District 7 ) $0.00 0
McKeon, Howard P (Buck) (R, California District 25 ) $0.00 0
McMahon, Michael E (D, New York District 13 ) $0.00 0
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy (R, Washington District 5 ) $0.00 0
McNerney, Jerry (D, California District 11 ) $17,387.90 1
Meek, Kendrick B (D, Florida District 17 ) $10,876.00 1
Meeks, Gregory W (D, New York District 6 ) $12,925.23 5
Melancon, Charles (D, Louisiana District 3 ) $9,453.07 2
Menendez, Robert (D, New Jersey Senate) $0.00 0
Merkley, Jeff (D, Oregon Senate) $0.00 0
Mica, John L (R, Florida District 7 ) $0.00 0
Michaud, Mike (D, Maine District 2 ) $10,103.33 2
Mikulski, Barbara A (D, Maryland Senate) $4,508.24 2
Miller, Brad (D, North Carolina District 13 ) $12,073.02 2
Miller, Candice S (R, Michigan District 10 ) $0.00 0
Miller, Gary (R, California District 42 ) $12,132.00 1
Miller, George (D, California District 7 ) $0.00 0
Miller, Jeff (R, Florida District 1 ) $10,517.51 2
Minnick, Walter Clifford (D, Idaho District 1 )
Mitchell, Harry E (D, Arizona District 5 ) $16,275.44 1
Mollohan, Alan B (D, West Virginia District 1 ) $0.00 0
Moore, Dennis (D, Kansas District 3 ) $3,936.29 2
Moore, Gwen (D, Wisconsin District 4 ) $4,168.67 1
Moran, Jerry (R, Kansas District 1 ) $28,121.50 1
Moran, Jim (D, Virginia District 8 ) $0.00 0
Murkowski, Lisa (R, Alaska Senate) $2,598.35 1
Murphy, Chris (D, Connecticut District 5 ) $0.00 0
Murphy, Patrick J (D, Pennsylvania District 8 ) $21,335.82 2
Murphy, Scott (D, New York District 20 )
Murphy, Tim (R, Pennsylvania District 18 ) $0.00 0
Murray, Patty (D, Washington Senate) $0.00 0
Murtha, John P (D, Pennsylvania District 12 ) $0.00 0
Myrick, Sue (R, North Carolina District 9 ) $0.00 0
Nadler, Jerrold (D, New York District 8 ) $30,418.22 5
Napolitano, Grace (D, California District 38 ) $0.00 0
Neal, Richard E (D, Massachusetts District 2 ) $0.00 0
Nelson, Ben (D, Nebraska Senate) $2,647.63 1
Nelson, Bill (D, Florida Senate) $0.00 0
Neugebauer, Randy (R, Texas District 19 ) $9,213.84 1
Norton, Eleanor Holmes (D, District of Columbia At Large) $0.00 0
Nunes, Devin Gerald (R, California District 21 ) $23,852.02 3
Nye, Glenn (D, Virginia District 2 ) $9,401.02 1
Oberstar, James L (D, Minnesota District 8 ) $0.00 0
Obey, David R (D, Wisconsin District 7 ) $0.00 0
Olson, Pete (R, Texas District 22 ) $23,295.91 2
Olver, John W (D, Massachusetts District 1 ) $0.00 0
Ortiz, Solomon P (D, Texas District 27 ) $0.00 0
Owens, Bill (D, New York District 23 )
Pallone, Frank Jr (D, New Jersey District 6 ) $15,587.50 3
Pascrell, Bill Jr (D, New Jersey District 8 ) $5,258.27 2
Pastor, Ed (D, Arizona District 4 ) $7,358.99 1
Paul, Ron (R, Texas District 14 ) $0.00 0
Paulsen, Erik (R, Minnesota District 3 ) $4,700.00 1
Payne, Donald M (D, New Jersey District 10 ) $0.00 0
Pelosi, Nancy (D, California District 8 ) $4,793.47 2
Pence, Mike (R, Indiana District 6 ) $45,288.05 5
Perlmutter, Edwin G (D, Colorado District 7 )
Perriello, Tom (D, Virginia District 5 ) $0.00 0
Peters, Gary (D, Michigan District 9 ) $18,971.42 1
Peterson, Collin C (D, Minnesota District 7 ) $0.00 0
Petri, Tom (R, Wisconsin District 6 ) $0.00 0
Pierluisi, Pedro (3, Puerto Rico At Large) $0.00 0
Pingree, Chellie (D, Maine District 1 )
Pitts, Joe (R, Pennsylvania District 16 ) $10,584.85 3
Platts, Todd (R, Pennsylvania District 19 ) $0.00 0
Poe, Ted (R, Texas District 2 ) $0.00 0
Polis, Jared (D, Colorado District 2 )
Pomeroy, Earl (D, North Dakota District 1 )
Posey, Bill (R, Florida District 15 ) $5,452.47 1
Price, David (D, North Carolina District 4 ) $3,650.85 1
Price, Tom (R, Georgia District 6 ) $38,366.70 3
Pryor, Mark (D, Arkansas Senate) $860.50 1
Putnam, Adam H (R, Florida District 12 ) $9,426.94 2
Quigley, Mike (D, Illinois District 5 ) $18,755.18 1
Radanovich, George (R, California District 19 ) $0.00 0
Rahall, Nick (D, West Virginia District 3 ) $0.00 0
Rangel, Charles B (D, New York District 15 )
Reed, Jack (D, Rhode Island Senate) $806.70 1
Rehberg, Denny (R, Montana District 1 ) $4,168.67 1
Reichert, Dave (R, Washington District 8 ) $0.00 0
Reid, Harry (D, Nevada Senate) $19,279.56 4
Reyes, Silvestre (D, Texas District 16 ) $0.00 0
Richardson, Laura (D, California District 37 ) $22,211.50 1
Risch, James E (R, Idaho Senate) $0.00 0
Roberts, Pat (R, Kansas Senate) $8,967.82 2
Rockefeller, Jay (D, West Virginia Senate) $610.00 1
Rodriguez, Ciro D (D, Texas District 23 ) $3,570.89 1
Roe, Phil (R, Tennessee District 1 ) $15,917.74 1
Rogers, Hal (R, Kentucky District 5 ) $0.00 0
Rogers, Mike (R, Michigan District 8 ) $10,608.60 1
Rogers, Mike D (R, Alabama District 3 ) $0.00 0
Rohrabacher, Dana (R, California District 46 ) $0.00 0
Rooney, Tom (R, Florida District 16 ) $14,947.74 1
Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R, Florida District 18 ) $36,314.16 6
Roskam, Peter (R, Illinois District 6 ) $0.00 0
Ross, Mike (D, Arkansas District 4 ) $20,185.79 2
Rothman, Steven R (D, New Jersey District 9 ) $7,821.15 2
Roybal-Allard, Lucille (D, California District 34 ) $0.00 0
Royce, Ed (R, California District 40 ) $8,739.47 2
Ruppersberger, Dutch (D, Maryland District 2 ) $16,374.78 1
Rush, Bobby L (D, Illinois District 1 ) $0.00 0
Ryan, Paul (R, Wisconsin District 1 ) $14,724.54 1
Ryan, Tim (D, Ohio District 17 ) $13,016.40 3
Salazar, John (D, Colorado District 3 ) $14,119.78 1
Sanchez, Linda (D, California District 39 ) $5,809.05 1
Sanchez, Loretta (D, California District 47 ) $21,004.85 6
Sanders, Bernie (I, Vermont Senate) $0.00 0
Sarbanes, John (D, Maryland District 3 ) $0.00 0
Scalise, Steve (R, Louisiana District 1 ) $9,155.87 1
Schakowsky, Jan (D, Illinois District 9 ) $16,951.76 5
Schauer, Mark (D, Michigan District 7 ) $0.00 0
Schiff, Adam (D, California District 29 ) $5,573.93 2
Schmidt, Jean (R, Ohio District 2 ) $20,278.90 1
Schock, Aaron (R, Illinois District 18 ) $15,301.43 2
Schrader, Kurt (D, Oregon District 5 )
Schultz, Debbie Wasserman (D, Florida District 20 ) $10,881.27 7
Schumer, Charles E (D, New York Senate) $18,035.36 4
Schwartz, Allyson (D, Pennsylvania District 13 ) $15,230.08 2
Scott, David (D, Georgia District 13 ) $20,273.45 2
Scott, Robert C (D, Virginia District 3 ) $0.00 0
Sensenbrenner, F James Jr (R, Wisconsin District 5 ) $0.00 0
Serrano, Jose E (D, New York District 16 ) $0.00 0
Sessions, Jeff (R, Alabama Senate) $0.00 0
Sessions, Pete (R, Texas District 32 ) $0.00 0
Sestak, Joseph A Jr (D, Pennsylvania District 7 ) $0.00 0
Shadegg, John (R, Arizona District 3 ) $0.00 0
Shaheen, Jeanne (D, New Hampshire Senate) $0.00 0
Shea-Porter, Carol (D, New Hampshire District 1 ) $0.00 0
Shelby, Richard C (R, Alabama Senate) $456.59 1
Sherman, Brad (D, California District 27 ) $0.00 0
Shimkus, John M (R, Illinois District 19 ) $13,094.61 2
Shuler, Heath (D, North Carolina District 11 ) $8,472.80 2
Shuster, Bill (R, Pennsylvania District 9 ) $0.00 0
Simpson, Mike (R, Idaho District 2 ) $3,650.85 1
Sires, Albio (D, New Jersey District 13 ) $23,585.07 3
Skelton, Ike (D, Missouri District 4 ) $0.00 0
Slaughter, Louise M (D, New York District 28 ) $0.00 0
Smith, Adam (D, Washington District 9 ) $0.00 0
Smith, Adrian (R, Nebraska District 3 ) $12,842.10 1
Smith, Chris (R, New Jersey District 4 ) $0.00 0
Smith, Lamar (R, Texas District 21 ) $0.00 0
Snowe, Olympia J (R, Maine Senate) $2,588.40 1
Snyder, Vic (D, Arkansas District 2 ) $2,588.40 1
Souder, Mark E (R, Indiana District 3 ) $21,469.70 1
Space, Zachary T (D, Ohio District 18 ) $0.00 0
Specter, Arlen (D, Pennsylvania Senate) $0.00 0
Speier, Jackie (D, California District 12 ) $0.00 0
Spratt, John M Jr (D, South Carolina District 5 ) $0.00 0
Stabenow, Debbie (D, Michigan Senate) $1,865.00 1
Stark, Pete (D, California District 13 )
Stearns, Cliff (R, Florida District 6 ) $1,480.49 2
Stupak, Bart (D, Michigan District 1 ) $4,352.28 1
Sullivan, John (R, Oklahoma District 1 ) $5,422.42 1
Sutton, Betty Sue (D, Ohio District 13 )
Tanner, John (D, Tennessee District 8 ) $25,390.71 2
Taylor, Gene (D, Mississippi District 4 ) $0.00 0
Teague, Harry (D, New Mexico District 2 )
Terry, Lee (R, Nebraska District 2 ) $5,744.00 1
Tester, Jon (D, Montana Senate) $0.00 0
Thompson, Bennie G (D, Mississippi District 2 ) $7,922.99 1
Thompson, Glenn (R, Pennsylvania District 5 ) $16,629.92 1
Thompson, Mike (D, California District 1 ) $0.00 0
Thornberry, Mac (R, Texas District 13 ) $0.00 0
Thune, John (R, South Dakota Senate) $0.00 0
Tiahrt, Todd (R, Kansas District 4 ) $0.00 0
Tiberi, Patrick J (R, Ohio District 12 ) $3,602.60 1
Tierney, John F (D, Massachusetts District 6 ) $0.00 0
Titus, Dina (D, Nevada District 3 ) $15,899.04 1
Tonko, Paul (D, New York District 21 ) $0.00 $0.00
Towns, Edolphus (D, New York District 10 ) $0.00 0
Tsongas, Niki (D, Massachusetts District 5 )
Turner, Michael R (R, Ohio District 3 ) $5,215.42 1
Udall, Mark (D, Colorado Senate) $0.00 0
Udall, Tom (D, New Mexico Senate) $0.00 0
Upton, Fred (R, Michigan District 6 ) $3,476.20 1
Van Hollen, Chris (D, Maryland District 8 ) $10,740.66 1
Velazquez, Nydia M (D, New York District 12 ) $0.00 0
Visclosky, Pete (D, Indiana District 1 ) $0.00 0
Vitter, David (R, Louisiana Senate) $5,669.82 1
Voinovich, George V (R, Ohio Senate) $2,588.40 1
Walden, Greg (R, Oregon District 2 ) $3,287.00 1
Walz, Timothy J (D, Minnesota District 1 )
Wamp, Zach (R, Tennessee District 3 ) $3,650.85 1
Warner, Mark (D, Virginia Senate)
Waters, Maxine (D, California District 35 )
Watson, Diane E (D, California District 33 )
Watt, Melvin L (D, North Carolina District 12 ) $0.00 0
Waxman, Henry A (D, California District 30 ) $33,467.72 4
Webb, James (D, Virginia Senate) $0.00 0
Weiner, Anthony D (D, New York District 9 ) $26,345.79 7
Welch, Peter (D, Vermont District 1 ) $0.00 0
Westmoreland, Lynn A (R, Georgia District 3 ) $22,706.30 1
Wexler, Robert (D, Florida District 19 ) $46,171.94 5
Whitehouse, Sheldon (D, Rhode Island Senate) $0.00 0
Whitfield, Ed (R, Kentucky District 1 ) $0.00 0
Wicker, Roger (R, Mississippi Senate) $0.00 0
Wilson, Charlie (D, Ohio District 6 ) $9,402.52 1
Wilson, Joe (R, South Carolina District 2 ) $29,964.04 3
Wittman, Rob (R, Virginia District 1 ) $6,835.04 1
Wolf, Frank R (R, Virginia District 10 ) $0.00 0
Woolsey, Lynn (D, California District 6 ) $12,515.14 2
Wu, David (D, Oregon District 1 ) $0.00 0
Wyden, Ron (D, Oregon Senate) $11,207.46 7
Yarmuth, John A (D, Kentucky District 3 ) $17,660.60 1
Young, C W Bill (R, Florida District 10 )
Young, Don (R, Alaska District 1 ) $0.00 0

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Corruption, Wars for Israel | 1 Comment

Japanese city rejects hosting US base

Press TV – March 8, 2010

Relocation of US troops from Futenma Marine airfield in Okinawa’s Ginowan to the smaller town of Nago faces opposition by the Nago assembly.

The assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution of protest against the ruling coalition’s People’s New Party (PNP).

The PNP plans to present an alternative to a 2006 US-Japan deal to relocate Futenma from the crowded city of Ginowan on Okinawa to the coastal area of Nago.

The PNP program “will result in only moving the noise and dangers of Futemma to Nago,” according to the assembly’s resolution.

It “will destroy the living and educational environments (for local residents) and is simply impermissible,” it added.

Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had earlier announced that it would decide on the agreement by May.

Accidents and crimes committed by US service personnel near Okinawa’s residential areas have turned the local population against the presence of the American forces there.

Washington has nearly 50,000 troops based in Japan, more than half of whom are in Okinawa.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | Comments Off on Japanese city rejects hosting US base

Israeli Official: West Has 4-8 Weeks Left for Iran Diplomacy

Deputy FM Advises China to Look for Energy Deals With Saudi Arabia

By Jason Ditz | March 08, 2010

Adding to the harsh rhetoric coming out of the nation in recent days, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon today announced that the nation was giving the West another 4-8 weeks to attempt diplomacy with Iran, and that after that they would have to impose crippling sanctions on the nation.

In his speech, Ayalon cautioned that Iran might try to inflate international oil prices to “sabotage” the sanctions against its petroleum industry, and urged China, a nation with economic interests in Iran, to seek alternative sources of energy in Saudi Arabia.

He urged international unity in the move against Iran’s civilian nuclear program, adding that “Iran is a big and vulnerable country… calling their bluff is the only way.” Israel has repeatedly threatened military strikes against Iran.

Israel’s threats against Iran are not new, but the growing number of US official visits in recent days are seen as being at least in part based on fear that an Israeli attack could be in the offing.

Though the US has been pressing for the “crippling sanctions” demanded by Israel for quite some time, Chinese officials have repeatedly reiterated their opposition to further sanctions. Russia has also said it will only accept very limited sanctions, and will oppose the “crippling” sanctions sought by Western nations.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | 4 Comments