Daily Archives: April 4, 2012

There Really Is A Secret Alliance Between Ron Paul And Mitt Romney

businessinsider.com | Apr 3, 2012

by Grace Wyler

For the past few weeks, reports have been circulating about a “secret alliance” between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, fueling speculation that, if the price was right, the iconoclastic Congressman might be ready to cut a deal and throw his support behind the eventual nominee.

Paul said Monday that he is “not sure” whether he will endorse the GOP’s candidate in the likely event that he loses the nomination fight. His senior advisors deny that there is any deal in the works, and bristle at the suggestion that their candidate could be bought.

“I think the narrative is amusing to no end — I would say 99.9 percent of it is media speculation,” the campaign’s official blogger Jack Hunter told Business Insider. “Ron Paul’s principles will not be compromised. I’m shocked that anyone would think that.”

“Ron Paul is incorruptible,” senior campaign advisor Doug Wead added. “In 22 years, there have been no women, no money, nothing — so I can’t believe he would make a deal now.”

Senior Paul advisors also suggested that Paul’s perceived lack of attacks on Romney could have more to do with his animosity toward Santorum and Gingrich than with any “friendship” with the frontrunner. Santorum endorsed Rand Paul’s primary opponent Trey Grayson in the 2010 Kentucky Senate race, and Gingrich once campaigned for an opponent of the elder Paul when both men were serving in the House.

“Our most cordial relationship is probably with Romney’s people, but cordiality doesn’t imply anything other than that we are civil,” Paul’s campaign manager Jesse Benton told BI. “Just because we’re polite doesn’t mean we’re cutting deals.”

But sources close to the campaign told Business Insider that, behind the scenes, there have been ongoing discussions between the two campaigns that appear to include, or at least be the precursor to, an eventual deal.

“The courtship has been underway for a long time,” a source who declined to be named, talking about internal campaign affairs told Business Insider. “They are smart enough to know that he [Paul] can’t win the nomination or get a Cabinet position … but Ron Paul has to go somewhere.”

At stake, is Paul’s legacy and the future of his movement. After two decades in the House and three presidential campaigns, the libertarian septuagenarian is nearing the end of his political career. And while his performance in the 2012 primaries far exceeded even the campaign’s expectations, there is a growing acceptance among some campaign advisors they must come to some kind of agreement with Romney and the party’s Establishment or risk forfeiting the gains made since 2008.

“You don’t have to be a math genius to know that it is going to be very hard for us to get to Tampa with 1,144 delegates,” Benton said. But, he added, ““short of Dr. Paul being the nominee, there would be a substantial price for us to throw our support behind someone else.”

The problem with any potential deal, of course, is that Paul’s support is predicated on the candidate’s unwillingness to compromise his principles, many of which are at odds with mainstream Republican positions. Any evidence that Paul had abdicated those ideals for political expediency would destroy both his movement and the Paul brand.

“Our supporters wouldn’t let us sell out, so even if we wanted to sell out it would be fruitless,” Benton said. “If it turns out we can’t make Ron the nominee, we would have to communicate with our people to see what would be acceptable to them.”

Media reports have speculated that a possible deal might include a prime speaking slot at the Republican National Convention or influence over the party’s platform discussions — neither of which is likely to be enough for Paul’s supporters.

“To think that is to think Dr. Paul is cheap,” Benton said. “He wants to save America — a speaking slot at a convention isn’t that important.”

The other option that has been floated is a possible Cabinet position for Paul’s son Rand. But Rand Paul does not engender the same devotion among the Movement, and Paul diehards are more likely to see his acceptance of a role in Romney’s administration as a betrayal than as a victory.

“There’s no way, because he would be working under a neo-con,” Dale Decker, a prominent grassroots organizer for Paul in Wisconsin, told BI. “Ron Paul Nation will not vote for a Mitt Romney-Rand Paul ticket – it’s Ron Paul or None At All.”

Kristan Harris, another Paul devotee from Wisconsin who is applying to be an RNC delegate, was more circumspect:

“It would never happen because you’d kill the movement,” Harris said. “The only scenario where I can imagine Ron Paul accepting Rand as vice president, is if they made him head of the Treasury.”

In the end, any deal between Romney and Paul will likely be implicit and reflect Paul’s broader goal to shape the Republican Party from the inside.

Paul is now poised to take advantage of the fractured Republican party, and leverage his 2012 success into a broader acceptance of his movement by the party. Sources familiar with the Paul campaign have even suggested that a quiet promise to support (and fund) Paul’s Campaign For Liberty PAC would go a long way in discussions about a deal.

The agreement would actually be a natural progression of Paul’s relationship with the Republican Establishment. Since his 2008 presidential campaign, the Paul camp made a conscious decision to diminish the perception that the candidate was about fringe issues, shifting control of the movement out of the hands of local organizers and volunteers and professionalizing the campaign with the addition of veteran GOP operatives whose first loyalty is to the party, rather than to Paul.

But as Paul’s team contemplates its next move in the glare of the national spotlight, it must strike a delicate balance between its new ideological elasticity and loyalty to the grassroots activists who have propelled the Ron Paul Revolution.

Vatican accused of cover-up over teenage girl’s mysterious disappearance

The Vatican has been accused of hiding the truth about one of Italy’s most intractable mysteries – the disappearance of a teenage girl nearly 30 years ago.

One theory is that the girl’s father, a Vatican employee, had stumbled on documents that connected the Vatican’s bank with organised crime in Rome and that she was seized in an attempt to silence him.

Telegraph | Apr 3, 2012

By Nick Squires, Rome

Prosecutors in Rome say that “someone in the Vatican” knows the fate of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished in June 1983.

Her kidnap in Rome by unidentified men has been the subject of scrutiny for three decades, with allegations that it was connected to blackmail and banking scandals involving the Holy See.

One theory is that the girl’s father, a Vatican employee, had stumbled on documents that connected the Vatican’s bank with organised crime in Rome and that she was seized in an attempt to silence him. The alleged mastermind of the kidnapping was Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis, the leader of the Magliana gang, Rome’s most ruthless criminal band.

He was shot dead by rival gangsters in a street in central Rome in 1990 and his body interred in a crypt in the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare.

It has always been seen as highly unusual that a known mafioso should have been given the honour of being buried in a church in which popes and cardinals are interred.

There has been speculation that Miss Orlandi was murdered and her remains hidden in the tomb alongside De Pedis.

Prosecutors in Rome have for the first time explicitly pointed the finger at the Vatican, saying that senior cardinals are covering up the truth.

Giancarlo Capaldo, a senior prosecutor who is investigating the case, said he had found evidence that serving members of the Curia — the Vatican’s governing body — knew much more than they were saying about Emanuela’s disappearance.

“There are people still alive, and still inside the Vatican, who know the truth,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera.

Pietro Orlandi, Miss Orlandi’s brother, seized on the remarks, saying it was time for the Vatican to come clean and calling on investigators to open the tomb of De Pedis to establish whether it contained his sister’s remains. “The Holy See now has a moral duty to give a response after refusing for years to collaborate with the magistracy,” he said. “Their silence is becoming embarrassing.”

The Vatican insists that it has divulged all it knew about the case. “If someone on the inside had known something, they would have said,” said Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 78, who was number three in the Vatican Secretariat of State at the time. “We were all interested in clarifying the matter, but unfortunately we were not able to find out anything about it.”

Over the years it has been claimed that Emanuela’s kidnapping was carried out on the orders of a Catholic archbishop, Paul Marcinkus, the disgraced head of the Vatican bank, the Istituto per le Opere di Religione. The IOR was involved in the bankruptcy of Italy’s largest private bank, the Banco Ambrosiano, in 1982.

Its president, Roberto Calvi, nicknamed “God’s Banker”, was found hanged beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London, with investigators unable to rule whether he had committed suicide or was murdered, possibly by the Mafia.

The Vatican has denied that Archbishop Marcinkus, who died in 2006, had anything to do with the teenager’s disappearance.

Knights Templar Claim To Have Negotiated Drop in Food Prices

insightcrime.org | Apr 3, 2012

by  Christopher Looft

Mexico’s Knights Templar are allegedly behind a series of “narco-banners” claiming the group has helped lower food prices across the state of Michoacan, the latest in a series of ambitious public relations efforts by the criminal group.

According to news service Agencia Esquema, one banner read, in part, “The Knights Templar are not narcos, much less a criminal cartel, the Knights Templar are are a brotherhood of citizens who respect the constitution… in the past few days our brotherhood has invited the meat and tortilla vendors to lower their prices. An invitation accepted by our friends the merchants and recognized by the neediest people of our state. Keeping clear that for said action to occur there existed no pressure, nor blackmail, much less charging fees.”

“Narcomantas” were reported in the cities of Morelia, capital of Michoacan state, as well as Zitacuaro, Lazaro Cardenas, Uruapan, Apatzingan, Ocampo, and Tuxpan.
InSight Crime Analysis

This series of “narcomantas” follows the truce called by the Knights Templar in advance of the Pope’s visit to Guanajuato, a state neighboring Michoacan. The group, an offshoot of the Familia Michoacana, has, like its predecessor, cultivated a unique image through its use of banners and religious iconography, like the Roman-style helmets seized in late February.

This latest round of banners appears to be another cynical ploy to shore up public support. It seems unlikely that the Knights Templar were able to convince vendors to lower their prices without offering some kind of incentive, whether a threat or a bribe. Additionally, despite their claims otherwise, violence was not completely halted in their stronghold of Michoacan during the Pope’s visit to neighboring Guanajuato, calling into question the sincerity of their public announcements.

Italian painter Caravaggio may have been killed on orders of the Knights of Malta

Beheading of St John by Caravaggio graces the Oratory of St John’s Co-Cathedra. Photo: Daniel Cilia

Was Caravaggio killed by the Knights of Malta?

timesofmalta.com | Apr 3, 2012

Caravaggio, the Italian painter whose Beheading of St John graces the Oratory of St John’s Co-Cathedral, may have been killed on orders of the Knights of Malta, according to a researcher quoted by UK media.

The cause of his death in 1610 has always been a mystery, with possible causes having said to be lead poisoning from the oil paints he used, malaria or a brawl.

Professor Vincenzo Pacelli, from the University of Naples, has now claimed that according to secret Vatican documents, Caravaggio, 38, was killed on orders from the Knights of Malta after he seriously injured a knight in an earlier brawl.

The body was then thrown into the sea near Rome and was never given a funeral.

The claims are being disputed by John T. Spike, a Caravaggio expert at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia who said the knights had ample opportunities to kill him sooner – while he was in Malta, or during the time he spent in nearby Sicily afterwards.

Two years ago, Italian researches claimed to have located his remains in a church grave in Porto Ercole in Tuscany.

Pof Pacelli claims that the “state-sponsored assassination” was carried out with the secret approval of the Vatican.

“It was commissioned and organised by the Knights of Malta, with the tacit assent of the Roman Curia” – the governing body of the Holy See – because of the grave offence Caravaggio had caused by attacking a high-ranking knight, he said.

The academic found historical documents which suggest that the Vatican, which objected to Caravaggio’s questioning of Catholic doctrine, tried to cover up the truth of Caravaggio’s death.

He discovered mysterious discrepancies in correspondence between Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a powerful Vatican secretary of state, and Deodato Gentile, a papal ‘nuncio’ or ambassador, in which the painter’s place of death was cited as the island of Procida near Naples, “a place that Caravaggio had nothing to do with.”

A document written by Caravaggio’s doctor and first biographer, Giulio Mancini, claimed that the painter had died near Civitavecchia, but the place name was later scrubbed out and replaced by Porto Ercole.

Prof Pacelli has also found an account written 20 years after Caravaggio’s death, in which an Italian archivist, Francesco Bolvito, wrote that the artist had been “assassinated”.

Caravaggio was known to have many enemies and he suffered a violent attack in Naples in 1609 by unidentified assailants which left him disfigured.

Michelangelo Merisi di Caravaggio lived a turbulent life which saw him fleeing from one city to another.

After finding fame in Rome for his distinctive “chiaro-scuro” painting technique – the contrast of shadow and light – he suddenly had to leave the city in 1606 after he was involved in a brawl in which he killed a man.

He eventually ended up in Malta where he was made a member of the Knights of Malta.

But by 1608 he was in prison, most probably after becoming involved in another fight, in which he wounded a knight.

He was expelled by the Knights on the grounds that he had become “a foul and rotten member” of the order and imprisoned in a dungeon.

He was released under mysterious circumstances and fled to first Sicily and then Naples.

He was heading to Rome in the hope of obtaining a papal pardon for the murder he had committed when he died.

The “Massive Con” Causing a Suicide Every 30 Minutes

mercola.com | Apr 3, 2012

By Dr. Mercola

I personally visited India when I met with Organic India.

It’s been called the “largest wave of recorded suicides in human historyi.”

Indian farmers have been robbed of their livelihoods, causing them to take their own lives in despair.

Over the past 16 years, it is estimated that more than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide.

Who is responsible for this tragedy?

The most obvious culprits are global corporations like Monsanto, Cargill and Syngenta and the genetically engineered seed they have forced upon farmers worldwide.

None are hit harder than those in India, where socioeconomic and environmental factors have magnified the impact, making it almost impossible for these farmers to survive.

In fact, genetically engineered seeds are so fundamental to the problem that it’s been termed “GM Genocide.”ii

The rate of Indian farmer suicides has greatly increased since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002iii.

This is not a pleasant subject to read about, but it is a necessary one… one that can help you understand why it’s so important to continue fighting seed monopolies with ever-increased resolve.

I experienced the Indian farmers’ plight firsthand while spending two weeks in India, where I saw for myself the devastating effects of GM seed upon the lives and livelihoods of these rural farmers.

I worked closely with Organic India, a company helping more than 150,000 farmers change back to time-honored methods of producing high quality plants and herbs. If you have any doubts about the dire global implications of GM crops, the plight of these farmers should put those doubts to rest.

A Farmer Commits Suicide by Pesticide Every 30 Minutes in India

The statistics are staggering. According to a publication from the New York University School of Lawiv, in 2009 alone (the most recent year for which official figures are available) 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide—that’s one farmer every 30 minutes. A great number of those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular.

Cotton exemplifies India’s general shift toward cash crop cultivation, a shift that has contributed significantly to farmer vulnerability. The cotton industry, like other cash crops in India, has been dominated by foreign mega-corporations that promote genetically modified seeds and exert increasing control over the entire agricultural industry. Most farmer suicides are a direct result of overwhelming indebtedness. And the suicide numbers may be grossly underestimated.

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