Did Rock-Swapping Bring Life To Earth?

PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — Microorganisms embedded in fragments of distant planets that crashed to Earth might have been seeds of life on our planet, U.S. and European researchers say.

Scientists from Princeton University, the University of Arizona and the Centro de Astrobiologia in Spain, writing in the journal Astrobiology, said there is a possibility that life came to Earth — or spread from Earth to other planets — during the solar system’s infancy when Earth and planetary neighbors orbiting other stars would have been close enough to each other to exchange lots of solid material.

The scientists said their research provides support for “lithopanspermia,” the idea basic life forms are distributed throughout the universe via meteorite-like planetary fragments cast forth by disruptions such as volcanic eruptions and collisions with other matter.

Eventually, another planetary system’s gravity traps these roaming rocks, which can result in a mingling that transfers any living cargo, they said.

Lithopanspermia could happen under a process called weak transfer wherein solid materials meander out of the orbit of one large object and happen into the orbit of another, a Princeton release reported.

Our solar system and its nearest planetary-system neighbor could have swapped rocks at least 100 trillion times well before the sun journeyed away from its native star cluster, the researchers said.

“If this mechanism is true, it has implications for life in the universe as a whole,” lead study author Edward Belbruno said.

“This could have happened anywhere.”

Dolphin Dubbed ‘Beggar’ Found Dead In Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (UPI) — A wild dolphin dubbed Beggar for his habit of freeloading off food offered by tourists and fishermen in Florida has been found dead, officials said.

Although feeding dolphins in Florida is illegal, Beggar had been cadging food off boats for 20 years in the Intracoastal Waterway near Nokomis, the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

His underweight, decomposing body was found Friday in south Sarasota County, the newspaper said.

Beggar was known for approaching any passing boat and sticking his head out of the water in search of food handouts.

Marine scientists say they could not pinpoint the exact cause of death, but suggested Beggar’s close association with humans apparently damaged his health.

Broken ribs and scars from old wounds suggested numerous encounters with boat propellers, they said, while fish hooks were found in his stomach.

“All of these things indicate that he was spending more time attempting to get food from humans than foraging on his own,” said Gretchen Lovewell, the manager of the Mote Marine Laboratory Stranding Investigations Program, who performed the necropsy.

Beggar was between 25 and 35 years old, researchers estimated.

Dog Nurses Abandoned Kitten

JORDAN, Minn., (UPI) —  A Minnesota woman said her 4-year-old Pekingese adopted a newborn kitten found by her grandson and began producing milk for the tiny feline.

Pat Weber of Jordan said her teenage grandson found the days-old kitten, which had yet to open its eyes, on the floor of their pole barn, where it had apparently been abandoned by its mother, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Tuesday.

“He brought her into the house and said ‘I think she’s dead,’ ” Weber said. “But I held her in the palm of my hand, and I could tell she was moving.”

Weber said she set the “little ball of fur” on the carpet so she could call a veterinarian, and Mittens, her 4-year-old dog, then approached the kitten and allowed it to suckle.

“She decided that little kitten needed a mother,” Weber said.

“I couldn’t believe it at first,” Weber said. “Later I took some pictures and took them to church and told people I had a miracle to share. The miracle was that after three days my dog had milk to feed the kitten with, and I didn’t have to get up every two hours to feed her formula out of bottle.”

Weber said Mittens gave birth to a litter of puppies about two years ago, and she had long since stopped nursing.

Weber said the kitten, which she named Bootsie, is now a healthy member of the family.

John King, a Le Sueur veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association, said it is not unheard of for a dog to adopt a kitten.

“There’s a strong maternal instinct in many animals, and they will foster other species. It depends on the temperament of the individual animals, both the baby and particularly the mother,” he said.

Deputies: Suspect Had Squirrel In Shirt

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla., (UPI) —  Authorities in Florida said a drunken driving suspect told deputies he was being eaten by the squirrel inside his shirt.

Clay County sheriff’s deputies said Warren Michael III, 23, was pulled over Saturday night on Fleming Island after driving off the road, nearly hitting a parked vehicle and veering over the center line, WJXT-TV, Jacksonville, Fla., reported Tuesday.

Deputies said Michael’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, his speech was slurred and he had the strong odor of alcohol on his breath. The report said Michael told a deputy the squirrel inside his shirt was “eating” him.

The report said Michael was unable to find his license and registration.

I had the defendant secure the squirrel and then exit the vehicle,” the deputy wrote.

Deputies said Michael had a difficult time maintaining his balance during a field sobriety test.

He was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and driving without a seat belt and was also given a warning for driving a vehicle in an unsafe condition.

Police said the vehicle and the squirrel were turned over to Michael’s girlfriend.

158.2-Carat Diamond Unearthed In Russia

NYURBA, Russia, (UPI) —  A Russian diamond mining company said it has unearthed a rare 158.2-carat diamond worth more than $1.5 million.

Alrosa, Russia’s largest diamond mining company, said the gem was discovered this month at factory No. 16 of the Nyurbinsk mine in the Republic of Yakutia, northeastern Russia, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

“In the estimate of Alrosa’s specialists, this diamond may be sold for over $1.5 million at auction. This diamond, if it is processed, may also produce several quality diamonds, each of them worth over several hundred thousand U.S. dollars,” Alrosa said.

Teacher Forces Pupils To Eat Paper

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines, (UPI) —  A parent of a Filipino high school student has accused a math teacher of forcing the class to eat notebook paper for being rowdy, an official said.

Benjamin Tiongzon of the education department in the central Philippines Mandaue City said the parent filed a formal complaint against the teacher with the Office of the Ombudsman, Gulf News reported Tuesday.

Gulf News said filing of the complaint was revealed by The Freeman, a daily broadsheet published in the central Philippines.

The teacher, whose name has not been released, asked for forgiveness during an investigation conducted by the education department’s regional office, Tiongzon said.

One of the pupils in the class told a television interviewer that the teacher threw a chair at her because she refused to swallow paper.

The  teacher in question was a past recipient of an “outstanding teacher” award, the high school principal said.

Haitians Can Stay In U.S. Extra 18 Months

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  Earthquake-displaced Haitians will be allowed to stay in the United States for another 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security has announced.

The decision Tuesday by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will allow about 60,000 Haitian citizens to remain in the United States until July 2014, The Miami Herald reported.

Haitian activists welcomed the decision, but complained that discrimination and double standards against Haitians would continue.

Marleine Bastien, founder of Haitian Women of Miami, said Haitian students who arrived in the United States after the January 2010 earthquake are prevented from going to college by the high out-of-state-tuitions. Some in nursing school are unable to take nursing exams because of their designation by the U.S. government as “temporary protected status.”

Bastien said Haitians continue to be deported despite the sluggish economy there and a continuing cholera epidemic.

Immigration activist Steve Forester said that some Haitian immigrants have waited up to 11 years to be approved to reunite in the United States with family members who are U.S. citizens or who have legal resident status.

DHS says there 112,000 Haitians in such situations, about 15,800 of whom are minors.

Romney Offers Mideast ‘Prosperity Pacts’

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, speaking in New York Tuesday, said employment may cool Middle East and North African unrest.

“The population of the Middle East is young, particularly compared with the population of the West,” Romney said in prepared remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative. “And typically, these young people have few job prospects and the levels of youth unemployment across the region are excessive and chronic. In nations that have undergone a change in leadership recently, young people have greater access to information that was once carefully guarded by tyrants and dictators. They see the good as well as the bad in surrounding societies. They can now organize across vast regions, mobilizing populations. Idle, humiliated by poverty, and crushed by government corruption, their frustration and anger grows.”

U.S. foreign aid must play a role in shaping the region, Romney said.

“Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike,” he said. “Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.”

Romney said as president he will “initiate ‘Prosperity Pacts.’ Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment, trade and entrepreneurialism in developing nations. In exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights.

“We will focus our efforts on small and medium-size businesses.” he said. “Microfinance has been an effective tool at promoting enterprise and prosperity, but we must expand support to small and medium-size businesses that are too large for microfinance, but too small for traditional banks.”

Romney has been a critic of U.S. foreign policy since an anti-Islam film sparked riots across the Arab world     after an attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. personnel.

The former Massachusetts governor said there “are three, quite legitimate, objects of our foreign aid.

“First, to address humanitarian need. … Second, to foster a substantial United States strategic interest, be it military, diplomatic, or economic.

“And there is a third purpose, one that will receive more attention and a much higher priority in a Romney administration. And that is aid that elevates people and brings about lasting change in communities and in nations.”

Russian City Reaches 5 Million Population

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, (UPI) —  The governor of Russia’s second largest city said a baby born during the weekend was the metropolis’ 5 millionth resident.

Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko of St. Petersburg said officials have awarded a four bedroom apartment to the Sharkov family in honor of the birth of baby Lyudmila, who brought the city’s population to 5 million, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

“Today the girl’s father will fire the cannon at the Peter and Paul fortress (the old citadel built by Emperor Peter the Great) to celebrate the girl’s birth,” Poltavchenko said.

American Al-Qaida Spokesman In New Video

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  A new propaganda video supporting rebel uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa was released by U.S.-born al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn.

The address to rebels is Gadahn’s second appearance in September in al-Qaida videos posted on jihadist online forums, CNN reported.

The video, “Advice and Support to Our Rebel Brothers Against Injustice,” was released last week and reportedly was produced in April by al-Qaida’s media unit.

The two videos are the first Gadahn videos since before Osama bin Laden was killed during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last year.

Gadahn’s remarks also were included in Ayman al-Zawahiri’s message recorded for the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Since he first appeared in an al-Qaida propaganda video under the name Azzam al-Amriki in 2004, Gadahn, of California, has been in numerous videos disparaging the West because of his appeal to Western Muslims and his knowledge of Western culture, observers note.

Unlike American Anwar al-Awlaki, who played a significant operational role for the Yemeni al-Qaida offshoot before his death in a drone strike last year, Gadahn appears to be expanding his role in communications for al-Qaida, CNN said.

“Gadahn appears to have carefully crafted a role for himself in the organization and through competent performance, has presumably garnered the respect necessary to expand that role,” analysis by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, N.Y., indicated.

Hillary Clinton: Rich Must Pay More Taxes

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for the rich around the world to pay more taxes, drawing laughs when she said she was “out of American politics.”

“One of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country,” she said about 20 minutes into a 30-minute talk at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, founded by her husband, Democratic former President Bill Clinton.

“You know, I’m out of American politics,” Hillary Clinton went on, drawing a moment of laughter and applause, “but it is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money.

“There are rich people everywhere,” she said. “And yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries. They don’t invest in public schools, in public hospitals, in other kinds of development internally.

“And so it means for leaders telling powerful people things they don’t want to hear,” she said.

“It means being transparent about budgets and revenues, and bringing corruption to light, and when that happens, we shouldn’t punish countries for uncovering corruption — we should reward them for doing so.

“And it means putting in place regulations designed to attract and protect investment,” Clinton said.

She did not mention the U.S. presidential campaign. Her boss, President Barack Obama, has called for the nation’s richest to pay more taxes, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney proposes cutting tax rates 20 percent.

Romney also said on “60 Minutes” Sunday his tax policy would follow a study The Washington Post said indicated Romney would actually increase taxes on people earning $200,000 to $250,000 a year or less and cut them only for people earning more.

The Romney campaign had no immediate comment.

Hillary Clinton, defeated by Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, has said she plans to leave the State Department if Obama wins a second term.

Bill Clinton, who founded CGI to address major societal challenges around the world, told the CBS News program “Face the Nation” Sunday he had “no earthly idea” if his wife would run for president in 2016.

He said she planned to “take some time off, kind of regroup, write a book.”

Hillary Clinton received a standing ovation after her address.

Obamas Do ‘The View’

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  President Obama, in a joint appearance with his wife, Michelle, got into politics, foreign policy and personal stuff on ABC’s “The View” Monday in New York.

Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck asked Obama if his administration is failing the middle class. The president pointed out the country’s serious economic situation when he took office and said his policies, such as rescuing the auto industry, have helped.

“The question now for the American people is, how are we going to move forward? Governor Romney, I think is a good man and means well, but the policies he’s putting forward are precisely the policies that got us into this mess,” Obama said.

Asked by co-host Barbara Walters what would be so terrible if Mitt Romney were elected, Obama replied Americans “can survive a lot.”

“But the American people don’t want to just survive,” he said. “We want to thrive. I’ve just got a different vision of how we grow an economy. We grow fastest when the middle class is doing well.”

The first lady then interjected, “I’m voting for him,” prompting cheers and laughter from the audience.

“What a surprise,” Walters responded.

Obama, asked if the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was terrorism, said the type of weapons used and the length of the assault left “no doubt … that it wasn’t just a mob action.”

“The overwhelming majority of Muslims, they want the same things that families here want,” he said. “They want opportunity, kids want an education, they want jobs, they want peace. But there are extremist strains that are there.”

The president was sporting a dark suit with white shirt and dark-striped tie, while the first lady wore a sleeveless emerald green dress cut below the knee.

The president brought a basket of gifts from the White House for Walters, who celebrated her 83rd birthday Monday. The goodies included White House M&Ms, a deck of Marine One playing cards, some White House beer and a White House golf ball.

Obama quipped he brought the gifts “rather than have her steal napkins” from the White House.

Noting he was the only male on stage, Obama joked, “I told folks I’m just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys.”

They also talked about the Obamas’ upcoming 20th wedding anniversary, Oct. 3, the night of the first presidential debate.

The Obamas, who held hands most of the taping, discussed their feelings toward each other.

“I like lavishing her with all kinds of attention when she deserves it, and she always deserves it,” the president said.

She called him “very loving,” “very giving,” “very open” and “funny” but added, “I’m funnier.”

She disclosed he can raise his voice and get angry at times.

“Yeah, yeah, he does. I can make him mad — any number of ways,” she said.

“By being thoroughly unreasonable,” he added, smiling.

The first couple also discussed their daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Mom Questions Texas Teen’s School Spanking

SPRINGTOWN, Texas, (UPI) —  A Texas mom says she OKd her 15-year-old daughter’s spanking punishment at school but is questioning the severity of the single whack.

Taylor Santos initially received a two-day in-school suspension for allegedly letting a classmate copy her homework, but then opted for an optional spanking to void the second day. Springtown High School Vice Principal Kirt Shaw administered a single blow with a large wooden paddle Sept. 19.

The girl’s mom, Anna Jorgensen, said Shaw did so with such a violent, upward motion that it left a numbing, burn-like mark.

“She was more humiliated and embarrassed than anything, but the more she and I thought about it, it wasn’t fair and I thought I needed to do something about it,” Jorgensen told Fox News.

“I really don’t think he had to hit her that hard. I’m not saying he went in to intentionally hurt my daughter, but intentional or not, it did happen.”

The district policy allows corporal punishment but stipulates it must be administered by a teacher or administrator of the same gender as the student.

Springtown Independent School District officials have responded by considering changing the same-sex spanking rule to allow cross-gender spanking, Fox News said.

District Superintendent Mike Kelley said the board was to discuss that option Monday night.

Jorgensen said changing the policy would just be the district officials trying to “cover themselves.”

“If you’re going to have corporal punishment, the [same gender] policy should stand,” she said. “But it’s about the force and the fact that I knew the school policy before it happened.”

Fox noted 31 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have abolished corporal punishment in public schools.

Florida School District Hopes To Celebrate LGBT History Month

A school district in south Florida is expected to celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender History Month. During LGBT History Month, a different “icon” is recognized every day.

Tomorrow, Broward County School Board members are expected to approve a decision to support LGBT History Month. Kindergarteners and seniors alike will be introduced to new role models.

Started in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a high school history teacher in Missouri, LGBT History Month takes place every October and has been well received in California and Philadelphia.

“Administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students are encouraged to take part in LGBT History Month in any way that is most positive and uplifting to their schools and communities,” states the Broward County school board’s proposed resolution. “And to coordinate efforts to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community.”

Michael Rajner, a former member of the Broward school system’s Diversity Committee, said: “It gives youth a role model to look up to. And to realize that they themselves are a wonderful human being, and can be a productive, important member of our society.”

Some believe that if schools would support LGBT History Month, it would help put an end to bullying.

Eliana Mor, a 17-year-old female who says she has been picked on for wearing boy’s clothing, supports the decision.

“Coming from middle school and being bullied for so long, for so many years and seeing how everything has come full circle, it’s just great to see,” she said. “I knew by age 10, yeah, I liked boys, but I liked girls, too.”

NYC Schools Give Out Morning-After Pill

The New York City Department of Education is supplying morning-after pills to students. It has become a practice in at least 13 schools.

Making the practice even more controversial is that parents are not notified when the school nurse gives girls emergency contraceptives. Girls as young as 14 are given pills when they ask for them.

The birth control is supplied by CATCH (Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health). Health Department doctors write prescriptions that enable school nurses to give out the drug. This fall, students can receive birth-control injections every three months.

A student must simply inform a school nurse that she has had unprotected sex. If the girl passes a pregnancy test, she can be given the pill.

Last year in five schools, 567 students received Plan B tablets and 580 students were given Reclipsen, according to the New York Post.

Parents are able to sign a form stating that their daughter cannot be given contraceptives. But according to the Department of Education, only 1-2 percent of parents have opted out.

New Study Shows GM Corn And Monsanto’s Roundup Cause Cancer

A two-year study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that rats eating genetically modified corn (NK603 maize, which is approved in the United States for human consumption) and drinking water contaminated with Roundup in levels permitted in drinking water in the United States developed large tumors at an alarming rate.

Previously, only 90-day studies and those produced by companies at the behest of and on the payroll of Monsanto have been published. This is the first independent study of rats given with Roundup-tolerant genetically modified corn.

The study found that female rats were two to three times more likely to die than rats fed non-GM corn, and they developed mammary tumors more often. Males eating the GM corn were four times as likely to develop tumors, and those tumors developed up to 600 days earlier than the control group. Males also developed liver congestions and necrosis at a rate 2.5 to 5.5 times greater than the control group. Both sexes showed kidney-related problems.

Monsanto is spending untold millions of dollars attempting quash efforts to require mandatory GM labeling on all foods. Monsanto is a stealth terrorist organization far more dangerous than al-Qaida. It is creating a future generation of cancer patients, and it’s all FDA-approved.

It’s Not Me; It’s You

Dear Democratic Party,

I wish it didn’t have to be this way, but you just haven’t left me with any other choice. We’ve been together for decades now — since the days of President Roosevelt (the “New Deal” one, not the “Man in the Arena” one), if not earlier. I’ve put up with your madness because I wanted to make it work. After all, we do share a home. But this just isn’t working out anymore. And I just wanted to let you know why.

The money is a real problem. I work hard to keep us afloat; yet I can’t seem to make enough to satisfy you. And the things on which you spend my hard-earned dough really don’t work for me. It’s bad enough that you spend my cash like a high-school girl who got ahold of Daddy’s American Express Gold Card, but your spending habits don’t even make sense. Obamacare? So now, not only do I have to cover your doctor’s bills, but the IRS is going to break down the front door if I refuse? And after all that, some stuffed suit from the Department of Health and Human Services is going to means-test my viability? I’m sorry, honey; that doesn’t work for me.

And your pal Bernanke and his “quantitative easing” are making the cash I do earn worth less than the commemorative copies of those Michael Moore DVDs you keep buying. Also: Have you ever considered staying at a regular hotel? You know the Holiday Inn Express may not offer the same high-thread-count sheets as the Four Seasons, but it does have a nice breakfast buffet — and there’s a rumor that staying there can boost your brainpower a bit. You should consider that. And there are perfectly fashionable clothes out there that don’t cost as much as the rest of us make in a month. Some of them even fit — a tip you should share with your BFF, Michelle Obama.

I’m also not comfortable with some of the people with whom you hang out. That Barry Obama guy is a perfect example. He’s never held down a real job in his life, and you think he’s the guy to lead private enterprise back to prosperity? Have you even listened to this guy read a teleprompter? I’ve heard more sense on “The View.” He actually believes in something he calls “redistribution” and the rest of us call “theft.” I can dig your affinity for the whole “retro” thing, but why can’t you just hearken back to the 1980s instead of the 1880s? For someone who pretends to call herself “progressive,” you’re about as forward-looking as the AFL-CIO.

And we need to talk about those clowns, too. Union thugs are not simply bad news, doll. They’re bad guys. I know they seem like fun, but people who cross them have a tendency to meet severe fates. Look at what happened to those old folks who protested Obamacare. For that matter, look at what happened to General Motors. For that matter, look at what happened to Jimmy Hoffa — and he was one of their guys.

The union thugs aren’t even the heaviest hitters around. I know none of your little pals like to talk about it, but that Eric Holder is some piece of work. He’s the top law enforcement official in the United States, and he perjured himself in front of Congress as easily as Obama skips national security briefings to play 18 at Congressional. You really ought to think about the effect an association with a man who thinks engineering and then covering up the murder a Federal agent can have on your reputation.

Then, there are those gals from Planned Parenthood. As I told you before, if you want to vacuum babies out of your uterus, you’re welcome to it. But I can’t be a part of that. I don’t glean any joy from upsetting you; but I’d rather risk your wrath than His, if you get my drift.

And, baby, the fact that you’ll let someone like Joe Biden anywhere near you freaks me out. This is the guy you’re comfortable allowing within one heartbeat of “The Button,” and I’m not convinced he can spell either “heartbeat” or “button.” I’m actually not even convinced he can spell “the.” I’m willing to admit he can be somewhat entertaining, but so can the better Vegas floor shows. And no one thinks the girls with the small clothing and the fans should be one office down from nuclear Armageddon.

I won’t even get into those sock puppets at the Democrat Channel (MSNBC) and the rest of the corporate media flunkies you listen to. The right has some borderline personalities of their own, but your “news” sources are about as informative as those late-night infomercials. Honey, Chris Matthews is absolutely certifiable. Between Chrissie and the rest of the Obama Protection League claiming everything anyone says is racist, we’re all going to end up with a smaller vocabulary than one of those so-called “Occupy” fleabags after a turn in the “hemp tent.”

You also really don’t do well with our neighbors. If someone tries to burn down the house, you don’t give him my money and hope that encourages him to find a new hobby. And you certainly don’t blame me for his lack of compunction. Likewise, blaming our friendlier neighbors because the hoodlums down the street can’t behave themselves is poor form.

We’ve had some good times, baby. But we’ve clearly grown apart. I believe in freedom, justice and American exceptionalism; and you’re a Democrat. It’s time we see other people. I’m going to stay here, since I paid for the place. You should check out some places where the folks share your interests. I’m thinking North Korea. I wish I could say “it’s not you; it’s me;” but I really can’t. It isn’t me; it’s really you.

Good luck,

Ben

Mideast: A New America

In an illustration of American foreign policy so elegantly simplified that even the most un-informed among American citizens can see that it is flawed, former President Bill Clinton explained on Sunday what destabilized Mideast countries like Libya need the most: Wal-Mart.

Amid the upheaval throughout the Arab world that has been — questionably — attributed to the discovery of an offensive anti-Muslim film produced by an American smut peddler, Muslim protesters have spoken out against the influence of Western culture. Anti-Western protests are phenomenon not uncommon throughout Arab nation-states for more than half a century.

Clinton, speaking to a gathering at the annual Clinton Global Initiative Summit, challenged Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke, who was a panelist at the event. “If the new president of Libya asked you to open a store in Tripoli, would you consider it?”

Clinton’s reasoning is that people simply want jobs, and giving those jobs would stabilize radicalism.

At the same conference, the former President’s wife and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also had a message for countries in the process of restructuring.

“One of the issues I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country,” Clinton said. “It is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere, and yet they do not contribute to their growth of their own countries.”

In essence, despite the idealistic lie that Americans are simply in the business of disseminating democracy throughout the world, it is not the sort of people-first democracy that is romanticized in American high-school textbooks. It is the “democracy” currently enjoyed by citizens of the United States, wherein government is run by elite banksters and corporate money movers via political affiliations. Those who do not have the connections to benefit from government manipulation are then taxed into oblivion, creating a corporate-political feudal system whereby all the players are on the same team.

This will be nothing new to Arab nation states, only the dictators will have a different, less blatant appearance. But, don’t expect to see the Mideast States of America become a fluid reality any time before the war that will eliminate any dissent in the region.

Will Your Child Be Safe At School If A Pandemic Strikes?

These days, everyone from your neighbor to your employer and, hopefully, you may be developing preparedness plans in the event of bioterrorist attacks or flu pandemics. Unfortunately, your child’s school is likely to be very unprepared.

Despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the dire consequences that faced the Nation in 2009 during the H1N1 influenza pandemic-that-wasn’t resulted in 18,000 deaths worldwide, many U.S. schools are not prepared for bioterrorism attacks, outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases or pandemics, according to a study by researchers at Saint Louis University’s Institute for Biosecurity.

The study, led by Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., surveyed about 2,000 nurses working in elementary, middle and high schools across 26 States. Findings revealed that only 48 percent of schools address pandemic preparedness and only 40 percent of schools have updated their plans since the 2009 H1N1 scare that affected 214 countries.

“There is a lot of research that shows influenza spreads quickly in schools because it’s a communicable disease and kids interact closely,” Professor Rebmann said. “Schools need to have a written pandemic plan in order to be prepared to put interventions into place quickly when an event occurs.”

Published in the American Journal of Infection Control, the study also found that 44 percent of schools do not participate in community surveillance that tracks the presence of a disease based upon symptoms reported by area residents. These efforts are coordinated through local public health departments that assess indicators of biological threats.

“Health care professionals can best inform school administrators about unique aspects of pandemic planning that need to be included in school disaster plans,” Rebmann said. “Results from this study indicate that better prepared schools were ones that involved their nurses in the disaster planning committee. The school nurse is the best person in a school district to know about infection control and be able to make recommendations about the best interventions to implement during a biological event.”

The Cookie Of Communism

While President Barack Obama and his corporate media minions have tried desperately to dodge the heat they deserve for the Pandora’s box of ills currently dominating the headlines, one of Obama’s lowlights has surfaced; and it literally defines Obama then and Obama now.

Speaking to an audience at Loyola University Chicago in 1998, then-State Senator Obama stated:

I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some [wealth] redistribution — because I actually believe in some redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.

Although the video doesn’t show it, methinks the erstwhile community organizer must have had a copy of Das Kapital open in his lap, because nothing else could even approach explaining a philosophy so diametrically opposed to everything that makes the American system so much better than the late and unlamented efforts to impose Karl Marx’s ideology on the planet. And though 15 years have passed since young Legislator Obama showed his cards to everyone at the table, older President Obama is still playing the same hand.

Think of it this way: Let’s say someone bakes cookies. I then eat the lion’s share of the cookies, though others hoped for a bite. According to Obama circa-1998 through 2012, the only way to give everyone a cookie is to take some from me — by force, if necessary (and if the cookies are chocolate chip, then force will absolutely be required). It never occurs to liberals like Obama that they could simply bake more cookies. In an ever-diversifying global economy, there are always more cookies. Just because I gorge myself doesn’t mean everyone else has to go hungry. They do have to get in the kitchen, however.

Of course, that would require actual work, which would in turn take time away from standing around in Zuccotti Park demanding I hand over the snickerdoodles. People who work and buy their own dessert quickly learn that once they’ve earned a cookie, they’ll be damned if they’ll hand it over to the deadbeats who join Obama in accusing them of hoarding Mrs. Fields® treats.

The Democrats attempted to dismiss Obama’s remarks as somehow out of date or unimportant by deploying the corporate media’s self-proclaimed “fact checkers,” which is the political equivalent of assigning Marion Barry to lead an anti-drug task force. The same guys who thought vaguely sourced tales of Mitt Romney’s five-decades-old amateur hairstyling were worth a mention have decided that Obama’s statement in support of what amounts to Marxism isn’t relevant because he said it way back in the 1990s.

Herr Marx said essentially the same things way back in the 1890s. His ideas led to the deaths of uncountable millions, oppression on a global scale, two world wars and nearly a century of proxy conflicts. Should Obama succeed in his clearly stated plan to impose the same “redistribution” on the rest of us, no one outside his select group of hypocrites will get any cookies at all.

Ben Crystal

Village Voice And Backpage.com Are Split

DENVER, (UPI) —  One of the new owners of the Village Voice said his firm had no interest in purchasing the New York newspaper’s online classified ad company Backpage.com.

“Backpage.com has been a distraction, there is no question. It’s just not about what we do,” said Scott Tobias, who is slated to take the chief executive officer position at Voice Media Group, which is taking control of the Village Voice and 12 other alternative newspapers.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Village Voice Media Holdings LLC, is keeping Backpage.com, a controversial classified ad service that includes advertisements for adult entertainment that have provoked accusations that the company promotes child sex trafficking.

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Village Voice has lost 40 percent of its circulation since 2006, when it was bought by Village Voice Media Holdings, which is controlled by Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

The company’s attorney says it is in a good position to help law enforcement deal with child sex crimes.

“The commercial sexual exploitation of children is an abhorrence in our society. It is an appalling street crime and it is appalling as an Internet crime. It is also an extremely complex problem and it must be fought intelligently,” said the company’s general attorney, Elizabeth McDougall.

“Backpage is at the forefront of fighting it intelligently online with approximately 80 percent of its staff dedicated to operating a 24/7 triple-tier prevention system … and an unparalleled law enforcement support system,” she said.

Backpage has 79 percent of the market share of online adult service classified ads and takes in $2.3 million in revenue each month, Advanced Interactive Media Group says.

GM Initiates Huge Recall

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  General Motors is recalling 426,240 vehicles with a quirk in a cable that could falsely give the impression the cars are in park, regulators said.

The recall involves Chevrolet Malibus from model years 2008-2010, Pontiac G6 vehicles from the same years and Saturn Auras from model years 2007-2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday.

The models recalled have four-speed automatic transmissions.

The faulty component is the gear position indicator, which relies on tabs at the end of a transmission shift cable to properly align the indicator with the shifter. When the tabs fracture, “the driver would be able to move the shifter to ‘PARK’ and remove the ignition key, but the transmission gear may not be in ‘PARK.’ The vehicle may not be able to be restarted and the vehicle could roll away after the driver has exited the vehicle, resulting in a possible crash without prior warning,” the commission said in a statement.

GM will replace the shift cable or install a retainer over the cable end free of charge, the NHTSA said.

Consumers can call 800-521-7300 for information.

Crude Oil Ducks Under $92

NEW YORK, (UPI) —  Crude oil prices slipped over the weekend, sliding under $92 per barrel as equities were weak in Asia and Europe.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery gave up 99 cents to $91.90 per barrel.

Natural gas lost 1.6 0.8 cents to $2.869 per million British thermal units. Home heating oil shed 1.7 cents to $3.1007 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 2.11 cents to $2.7984 per gallon.

At the pump, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.833 per gallon, down from Thursday’s $3.846, AAA reported.