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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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Saturday, February 14, 2004

shrubco Medicare drug law TV ad such an bald-faced lie (as well as a taxpayer-financed political ad) that CBS pulls it "while Congress investigates its accuracy"
The 30-second advertisement, prepared by the Bush administration, assures Medicare beneficiaries that the program is not changing in any way except to provide "more benefits." Democratic members of Congress and some liberal advocacy groups say the advertisement amounts to a taxpayer-subsidized political commercial for the administration.

Dana McClintock, a spokesman for CBS in New York, said: "The ad has been pulled. It violated our longstanding policy on advocacy advertising. We pulled it as soon as we became aware of the investigation."

The government is spending $9.5 million to run the advertisement on national network and cable programs in the next six weeks.

The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, is examining the advertisements at the request of several Democrats. The lawmakers say the commercials are inaccurate and constitute an illegal use of federal money to promote the re-election of President Bush.

11:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Another story on the 13 elite Israeli troops (Sayeret Matkal) who have refused to serve in the Palestinian territories for humanitarian reasons, and their subsequent vilification by all sides of the Israeli political spectrum
In their first interview with the foreign media, they told the Observer that they felt compelled to act after witnessing Israeli soldiers behaving in a way that was unimaginable a few years ago. Zohar, 35, an actor when not doing duty in the elite commando unit, said: 'I could not believe three years ago that we could live in the situation that we live in today. I have seen an acceleration downwards in the standards of Israeli society. Things I thought no Israeli soldier could ever do, I have found myself and others doing.'

Avner, aged 27, a student, said he was concerned that the violence that the conscript soldiers had experienced could have a direct impact on life in Israel. 'Already violence is the default in our society. You can see it in the way people drive, the way children treat each other,' he said.

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

Friday, February 13, 2004

Google bans environmental textad

2:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Half of Americans still think shrub honest & trustworthy

Which are worst numbers of his presidency (from his POV)...

9:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

A Capital Idea

George at Urban Survival suggests a Global Minimum Wage Petition to staunch job hemorrhaging (scroll down to Wednesday)

Don't hold your breath, but this is coming before the end of the decade.

9:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Gay marriage to be legal in Mass til '06 at least

10:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

The end of the middle class file

The stats
-- In the past 25 years, the number of families in bankruptcy has increased 400 percent, and housing foreclosures are up 350 percent.

-- The average middle-class family can no longer buy a house without putting both husband and wife to work.

-- Parents with young children are more than twice as likely to go bankrupt than any other segment of the population.

-- More than 90 percent of those in bankruptcy would qualify as middle-class.

If these trends continue, the authors contend, more than 5 million families with children will file for bankruptcy by the end of this decade.

11:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Israel nearly completes circuit of Jerusalem with settlements to prevent Palestinian claims to city [drudge]

2:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Aljazeera reports Iraqis not allowed to leave country as threat of civil war looms
"I don't doubt that the minute we pull out of here, there is going to be a full-on civil war," said specialist David Percy, a 23-year-old air force technician serving at the Kirkuk airbase.

2:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Through my search referrals I found a few people came here from this page on a 5.3 quake at Yellowstone on Friday unreported by the USGS

The European site that supposedly listed the quake (see bottom of this page) has no record of it now.

These sites seem a bit giddy ("Yakuza/AumShinrikiyo teams inside Russia"?), but I had heard somewhere that there was a quake last week at Yellowstone.

1:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Dissent = Terror file:

Iowa antiwar meeting attendees slammed with subpoenas
The school's subpoena called for detailed information on the lawyers guild and its members, including the names of those who are officers, and guild meeting agendas and annual reports since 2002.

The subpoena also focused on the Nov. 15 antiwar forum, asking for "all requests for use of a room, all documents indicating the purpose and intended participants in the meeting, and all documents or recordings which would identify persons that actually attended the meeting."

Wendy Vasquez, 52, a clerical worker in Des Moines, also received a subpoena last week. Ms. Vasquez was one of those arrested outside the National Guard base the day after the forum at Drake. She said that in the past, she had been arrested for protesting the war in El Salvador and advocating for homeless people.

But this investigation, she said, appeared to be different.

"It was just another very mellow Iowa protest, so it's hard to know what this is all about," Ms. Vasquez said. "I guess it's meant to terrify the peace movement. I don't see what else they could be doing."

12:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Haiti descends into chaos
Tension has mounted since Aristide's party won flawed legislative elections in 2000 and international donors blocked millions of dollars in aid. Misery has also deepened with most of the nation's 8 million people living without jobs and on less than $1 day despite election promises from Aristide, a former priest who had vowed to bring dignity to the poor.

With no army and fewer than 5,000 poorly armed police, the government is ill-equipped to halt the revolt. Police stations have been a major target because they symbolize Aristide's authority and officers are accused of siding with government supporters in a wave of protests that began in mid-September.

Since capturing Gonaives, a city of 200,000 people, on Thursday, the rebels have spread to towns to the west and north, including the Artibonite valley that is the breadbasket of Haiti.

In Port-au-Prince, opposition parties met to discuss whether they should join the rebels and agreed late Monday to distance themselves from the uprising.

"We do not recognize ourselves in the armed insurrection but in the peaceful struggle of the people for democracy," said Mischa Gaillard, an opposition politician. "We deplore violence."

12:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, February 09, 2004

Why this? Why now?

Have to wonder why the Plame investigation is going so gung ho now, when shrubco has done so much else far more worthy of the fine tooth comb
At first, the investigation seemed narrowly focused on trying to identify who at the White House provided the information about Ms. Plame to Mr. Novak. But more recently, prosecutors have focused on a Sept. 28, 2003, article in The Washington Post, which said the newspaper had been told that "yesterday, a senior administration official said that before Novak's column ran, two top White House officials called at least six Washington journalists and disclosed the identity and occupation of Wilson's wife."

Prosecutors, referring to the story as "one by two by six," have sought to learn the identity of the senior administration official or the two top White House officials, believing that whoever provided the information to the Post knew who spoke with Mr. Novak

11:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Seniors prescribed dangerous drugs in 1 of 12 doctor visits

11:46 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Also from defensetech, this link to his rundown of the afterlife of the TIA at Wired

11:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Ricin in Senate is mostly paper dust, and even if it weren't, you'd have to eat it to get sick; meanwhile, the Rovian/Neocon Terror is Everywhere rumor mill gears up, no doubt in response to shrubco's eroding poll numbers

More on the ricin thing at defensetech.

11:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Good Doonesbury today

3:01 PM - [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

(link to list against Iraq War)


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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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