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planing lakes



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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

into the buzzsaw

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...

It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.

This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.

I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.

. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.

The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.

Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.

Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.

Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .

Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


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Thursday, January 29, 2004

UK OKs cannabis rating downgrade, essentially meaning no one will be arrested for possession

If only it weren't the most surveilled country in the world, where the mild-mannered BBC is castigated for good investigative journalism while the cops, MI5 and Downing St. (and their undercover minions) can pretty much kill whom they want and call it suicide.

11:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

I feel a draft file:

shrubco wants to add 30,000 troops to active duty by "enticing" soldiers at the end of their contracts to re-enlist and through "stop-loss" actions which basically extend active duty for soldiers without their approval

11:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


Robin Givens hits an 89-year-old monkey who was wrestling with a poisonous snake he got in the mail after his Bowflex backboard collapsed under him when he smelled monkey musk down the hall and got carried away after scoring pot at a local suburban high school

CNN -- the clear leader in hard-hitting investigative journalism.

9:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Nepal nears political collapse
It is not just the horror that has prompted international concern. Outside the capital, a dangerous anarchic vacuum is developing throughout the countryside, the majority of which is under the control of neither the Maoists nor the army. Nepal's civil structure is disintegrating in the face of conflict, weak central control and the absence of local elected leaders. Thomas Marks, author of Insurgency in Nepal, says that since 1996, Maoists have destroyed 1,321 village administration buildings and 440 post offices, while police have abandoned 895 stations and teachers have abandoned 700 schools. Little has been done to address the endemic poverty that fuels the conflict, with 42% of the population earning less than $1 a day. Adding to the sense of a nation in flames, past weeks have seen students demanding a republic by setting fires, torching effigies of the King and smashing car and shop windows in Kathmandu. The fear of deepening chaos is now on every observer's lips. "The smell of burning tires on the streets of the capital reeks of democracy in decay," writes Nepali Times commentator C.K. Lal. Says Kenichi Ohashi, the World Bank's country director for Nepal: "The student agitation could get out of hand. And outside the capital there is a risk of things slowly falling apart, a sense that the country is at risk of becoming a failed state.

12:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Surprise surprise file:

Hutton inquiry whitewashes Kelley "suicide", absolves govt

Rarey's take.

12:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

CIA warns of possible civil war in Iraq [u]
Iraq may be on the verge of a civil war to trifurcate the country into three states -- Kurdish, Sunni and Shia -- the CIA has reportedly warned US administration officials.

The Central Intelligence Agency's bleak assessment was delivered orally to Washington this week, according to the Carnegie Foundation.

It starkly contradicts the upbeat assessment President George W Bush gave on Iraq in his State of the Union address three days ago.

11:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

I'd heard about Morgan Spurlock's doc about eating at McDonald's for a month straight, but didn't realize how sick it made him [u]
Within a few days of beginning his drive-through diet, Spurlock, 33, was vomiting out the window of his car, and doctors who examined him were shocked at how rapidly Spurlock's entire body deteriorated.

"It was really crazy - my body basically fell apart over the course of 30 days," Spurlock told The Post.

His liver became toxic, his cholesterol shot up from a low 165 to 230, his libido flagged and he suffered headaches and depression.

11:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Nice column by Michael Arvey on 9-11 widow Ellen Mariani's RICO Act lawsuit against shrubco "charging Bush with foreknowledge of 9-11 and failing to act accordingly", and the ever-growing suspicions about the complicity of some in the administration/intel community/who the fuck knows [u]
Since 9-11, the Bush administration has essayed to curtail, cover-up, stonewall and underfund serious 9-11 investigation beyond ascertaining the depth and reach of intelligence lapses. What has evolved into the current 9-11 federal commission remains a token inquiry, considering the attacks were a major crime and presumably should require a criminal and forensics examination.


Considering how this administration cheated its way into the White House, how it planned invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq prior to 9-11, and how it has barefacedly lied to the American public regarding Iraq and Hussein, how could its possible dark complicity in 9-11 not draw suspicions? As the old saying goes, if it looks, quacks and walks like a duck, then it probably is one. Certainly the politically far-right Bush administration got what it needed and what it wanted most in this world out of 9-11: War and a host of other items on its wish list.

11:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

If you're interested in what's up at Davos, the IHT lists a few insider blogs to check out; I'd also check Morgan Stanley's Steve Roach
Concerns over mounting protectionist sentiment in the US Congress were especially evident in Davos. Japan and the US have led the way in China bashing, and there is fear that Europe is about to follow suit. History does not speak well of the world?s ability to cope with large entrants in the arena of global commerce. The darkest fears of Davos pertained to the lessons of such episodes in history and how they may apply to a world that is now attempting to cope with the rapid emergence of China and India ? nations that collectively account for more than 35% of the world?s population. Trade liberalization, the mainstay of globalization, cannot be taken for granted in this climate.
Clearly, the dominance of the West in the world economy is not what it used to be, and getting less so all the time.

10:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

The MyDoom virus really slowed things down for me today; Yahoo was particularly slow, and it's the first time (I've noticed anyway) that webmail has been hit so hard by a virus

10:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Lost in the primary hubbub

Cali's Large Man broke a state campaign law last year

10:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, January 26, 2004

The travesty of US contractors in Iraq

War reconstruction racketeers slow rebuilding by not hiring local companies plus 12 years of UN sanctions really did a number on the Iraqi infrastructure

And 3 out of 4 power plants were built in Russia, France or Germany -- countries barred from contracts.

11:59 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

For the first time Pentagon admits Agent Orange & dioxin exposure during Vietnam War connected to cancer

Imagine how long it will take before they admit the effects of vaccines given to soldiers and depleted uranium in Iraq...

3:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Human Rights Watch says "there were no ongoing human rights violations on a scale which could justify the US-led invasion" of Iraq

3:27 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

US scientists predict Canadian climate in Britain due to changes in water circulation in the North Atlantic [drudge]
Scientists have long expected that global warming could, paradoxically, cause a devastating cooling in Europe by disrupting the Gulf Stream, which brings as much heat to Britain in winter as the sun does: the US National Academy of Sciences has even described such abrupt, dramatic changes as "likely". But until now it has been thought that this would be at least a century away.

The new research, by scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Acquaculture Science at Lowestoft and Canada's Bedford Institute of Oceanography, as well as Woods Hole, indicates that this may already be beginning to happen.


Ominously, the trend has accelerated since 1990, during which time the 10 hottest years on record have occurred. Many studies have shown that similar changes in the waters of the North Atlantic in geological time have often plunged Europe into an ice age, sometimes bringing the change in as little as a decade.

The National Academy of Sciences says that the jump occurs in the same way as "the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips a switch and turns on a light". Once the switch has occurred the new, hostile climate, lasts for decades at least, and possibly centuries.

When the Gulf Stream abruptly turned off about 12,700 years ago, it brought about a 1,300-year cold period, known as the Younger Dryas. This froze Britain in continuous permafrost, drove summer temperatures down to 10C and winter ones to -20C, and brought icebergs as far south as Portugal. Europe could not sustain anything like its present population. Droughts struck across the globe, including in Asia, Africa and the American west, as the disruption of the Gulf Stream affected currents worldwide.

Some scientists say that this is the "worst-case scenario" and that the cooling may be less dramatic, with the world's climate "flickering" between colder and warmer states for several decades. But they add that, in practice, this would be almost as catastrophic for agriculture and civilisation.

3:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

India pissed off at US bill aiming to staunch jobs exodus

...and the move aims to protect US corps from Indian tax, nothing to do with working stiffs.

3:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


Fed judge rules parts of PATRIOT Act unconstitutional

Not much, but a first step anyway.

2:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Canadian doc shows why corporations are psychotic [u]
Corporations are not only the most powerful institutions in the world, they are also psychopathic, a new Canadian documentary on globalization elegantly argues.

While the corporation has the rights and responsibilities of "a legal person", its owners and shareholders are not liable for its actions. Moreover, the film explains, a corporation's directors are legally required to do what is best for the company, regardless of the harm created.

What kind of person would a corporation be? A clinical psychopath, answers the documentary, which is now playing in four Canadian theatres.

11:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

MIT apparently proves CAPPS II would make flying more dangerous [u]

11:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Census Bureau loses all confidentiality cred in one fell swoop [u]
U.S. census information provided by millions of Americans was used in a government study to profile airline passengers as terrorist risks.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration also obtained for its study the private information of hundreds of thousands of passengers flying Northwest Airlines, an action NASA denied to The Washington Times in September.

11:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

16 murders (all couples) over the last 35 years in Italy's Chianti area attributed to "split-level" coven of ritual murderers (including 13 police officers in Florence), despite repeated attempts to cover up the ritual aspects of the crimes [The Anomalist]

11:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

What's the deal with the Robert Blake trial?

Seems like the prosecution doesn't want any of the defense's evidence on the character of his wife or accusers -- or anything else...
Prosecutors concede that Bakley ran a mail order business and sold nude photos of herself to lonely men, and the defense is expected to argue that other people who contacted Bakley had a motive to kill her.

Tuesday's motion noted the defense had disclosed 857 pages of letters from prison inmates who wrote to Bakley as well as information on each inmate, their charges and their release dates.

The prosecution demanded that no mention be made of this in the trial, calling the evidence irrelevant.


Other requests made by prosecutors included excluding evidence about the character and criminal records of two retired stuntmen who have said the actor tried to solicit them to kill his wife.

10:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'

Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."

Blog of the Day


In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.

-- Malcolm Muggeridge

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

-- Mark Twain

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[Get Opera!]


They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.

Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."

Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."

Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down

Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
What Law?

There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

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