Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Big Dan's Big News Dec. 25, 2007

Democracy NOW! DISH channels 9410 & 9415, DirecTV channel 375:

U.S. Soldiers Stage Mutiny, Refuse Orders in Iraq Fearing They Would Commit Massacre in Revenge for IED Attack

We speak with a reporter from the Army Times who gives an inside account of how an army unit committed mutiny and refused to carry out orders in Iraq. After an IED attack killed five more members of Charlie 1-26, members of 2nd Platoon gathered for a meeting and determined they could no longer function professionally. Several platoon members were afraid their anger could set loose a massacre.

DN! transcript or DN! video

· The Military Times link, see interviews with the soldiers, read the 4-part series right on the Military Times website (click here)...

Other news:

· "The Directives to Torture come from the Top": What Is Probably in the Missing Tapes (by Naomi Wolf)

· 9/11 Commission Chairman: ‘No Question’ CIA Attempted ‘To Impede Our Investigation’

· Military Evangelism Deeper, Wider Than First Thought

· The annual "War on Christmas" rightwing nonsense would just be seasonal silliness if it were not cover for a more sinister drumbeat. The right has taken to flying the "Christian" flag in ways that suggest none too subtly that foreigners - Muslims - are stealing our culture and traditions. "They" are stopping "us" celebrating Christmas and teaching Christian stories to our children. When Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, appeared on GMTV this week, although as usual he denied any atheist plot against Christmas, the theme in about 3,000 emails afterwards was: "We are not Muslims, our culture must not be silenced to avoid offending them."

· Jim Hightower's Gifts for a Happier New Year [VIDEO]; Wait till you hear about the gifts I gave to some of America's power elites for Christmas.

· System being designed to help hospitals figure out whether you'll pay them; The new medFICO score, being designed with the help of credit industry giant Fair Isaac Corp., could debut as early as this summer in some hospitals. People with low medical credit scores could receive lower-quality care than those with a healthy medFICO.

· Court curbs insurers' ability to rescind medical policies;
A ruling restricts the ability of California health plans to cancel coverage after patients run up medical bills.

· CIGNA has ignored this medical decision and calls the transplant “experimental” as justification for denying the treatment. CIGNA’s refusal of Nataline’s liver transplant—overruling the urgent appeals of an array of doctors and nurses—is indicative of the failures of the new healthcare plan sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fabian Nunez. That plan, which is actively supported by CIGNA, requires every single Californian to purchase insurance products from companies like CIGNA, but does not address the problem of denial of care evident in this situation.

· Unpaid credit cards bedevil Americans; AP Impact: Americans' see their debt woes expand as unpaid credit card bills are on rise

· Some of us -- in my case, a political conservative and evangelical Christian -- are getting a queasy feeling when it comes to the presidential campaign of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and much of it has to do with his use of faith in this political campaign. Many who don't know Huckabee were initially impressed with him, me included. He comes across as authentic and likable, humorous and self-deprecating. He is an excellent debater and a first-rate speaker. But if you look closely, a disturbing pattern emerges.

· Crisis may make 1929 look a 'walk in the park'; As central banks continue to splash their cash over the system, so far to little effect, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues things are rapidly spiralling out of their control

· The US Senate is holding special one man sessions throughout Christmas and the New Year to prevent President George W. Bush from making appointments without the approval of the Democratic majority.

· The US government ignored numerous warnings over the past two years that private security firms in Iraq were operating with little supervision and instead expanded their role, a media report said Monday.

· "Motorists Against Detection, the vigilante anti-speed camera group have announced a summer of MADness which will see them target for destruction all speed cameras in the UK. It’s now going to be a period of zero tolerance against all speed cameras, said their campaigns director Capt Gatso. (((A remote descendant of General Ludd, I reckon.))) "The group claims speed cameras are just money-making machines and they have given the authorities long enough to prove their worth. The first camera to fall in the summer campaign is in south east London on the A2 at the Sun in the Sands roundabout on-slip heading northbound towards the Blackwall Tunnel.
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