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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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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Suddenly -- as David Paul Hammer's book is about to be published (see post from last month) -- more evidence that there were members of a white supremacist group wanted for a string of bank robberies involved with McVeigh in OKCity bombing

No mention in the AP story of the "shadowy military types" that Hammer claims originally recruited McVeigh to gather info on violent white power groups, or when he "went native" . . . or was still in touch with and working for the military when the bombing happened.

New (permanent?) link to archived story on Hammer's book here.

6:47 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Some jobs not going overseas taken by prisoners who work for $130 a month
"Obviously, it doesn't do anything for the labor market here," said University of Oregon political science professor Gordon Lafer, author of a study on prison labor.

"It's like bringing little islands of the Third World right here to the heartland of America," he said. "You get the same total control of the work force, the same low wages, and it does nothing for the inmates."

Also, convicts don't benefit much from training for jobs that no longer exist in America because they have all gone overseas or into prisons, he said.

2:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

My friend Alex kindly forwarded this email from, a Canadian peace and disarmament site, on US missiles being allowed in Canada
During an astonishing television interview on February 22nd, Defence Minister David Pratt refused to rule out the building of U.S. radar stations and missile launchers in Canada. That means that American rocket-like missiles may be stationed on Canadian territory as part of the U.S. missile defence shield.

This move by the government will completely undermine Canada's international reputation. David Pratt and Paul Martin are willing to throw Canada's 40-year international peacekeeping and disarmament reputation out the window in order to become friends with George W. Bush.

We need to tell Prime Minister Martin that Canadians do not want U.S. missiles and new radar stations to be placed in Canada. Please visit today and send your message directly to the Prime Minister's office opposing this unprecedented development. And please forward this e-mail to ten friends, co-workers and family members.

Steven Staples
And visit Alex's site too. He's a fine composer/musician.

11:21 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Life in the feudal corporatocracy
In the United States, when private sector workers in America try to form a union through the National Labor Relations Board process, they are subjected to weeks, months or even years of harassment, surveillance, subtle and overt intimidation, and retaliation -- including demotions, suspensions, firings, and sometimes beatings.


Three years ago, Human Rights Watch issued a report documenting the fact that the United States is in violation of international law and internationally accepted human rights standards for failing to protect the rights of American workers to freely form unions. According to the NLRB, an average of 20,000 American workers a year are victimized by their employers for organizing and union activity. [link]

6:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Putin fires Prime Minister & Cabinet, consolidating power

5:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, February 23, 2004

Organizers are mobilizing to protest the GOP convention in late August/early September (natch -- I'm surprised thery're not holding it at Ground Zero on the 11th...)
Six months before any delegate is to take a seat at Madison Square Garden, it is clear that many groups are already planning strategy and activities. Labor unions, environmentalists, self-declared anarchists and others who merely label themselves as anti-Bush or anti-Republican are making plans to turn out. Barely a week passes without several planning sessions in New York, focusing on everything from housing and tactics to legal strategy and what to expect in interactions with the police.

Organizers have gathered in a private loft in SoHo, in offices owned by the United Federation of Teachers near Wall Street, in a church in the East Village, and in offices around the city. The groups have names like United for Peace and Justice and Not in Our Name, and their intentions run the gamut from wanting to shut the convention down to holding the Labor Day parade on Thursday, Sept. 2, the day President Bush is scheduled to accept his party's nomination.

There are people planning tent cities to accommodate protesters from across the country, lawyers' committees to assist those who are arrested, legal observers to monitor the police, and baby sitters, dog walkers, translators, medics, even clergy members. All are working to help protesters overwhelm the positive message Republicans are hoping their convention generates.


The problem of backfiring protests is much on the minds of many protest organizers, who say that any violence would serve only to marginalize their message and strengthen Mr. Bush's appeal.

"We all can see that it works very much to the advantage of the administration if the president strikes a heroic pose in New York, identifying with the tragedy of Sept. 11 yet again, and if the people who are registering displeasure are doing so in a violent and disruptive way," said Mr. Laarman, who left his post as senior minister at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square in Greenwich Village to help plan anti-convention activities for the Accountability Project.

2:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Virus closes US army bases in Germany [drudge]

2:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Protestant sex abuse harder to track but perhaps just as rampant as Catholics

2:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

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

"This book is like having a smoke-filled room in the palm of your hand."
[review link]

See link/picture in left column.

1:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

In case you think polygraph testing is reliable or even scientific
Perversely, the "test" is inherently biased against the truthful, because the more honestly one answers the "control" questions, and as a consequence feels less stress when answering them, the more likely one is to fail. Conversely, liars can beat the test by covertly augmenting their physiological reactions to the "control" questions. This can be done, for example, by doing mental arithmetic, thinking exciting thoughts, altering one's breathing pattern, constricting the anal sphincter muscle, or simply biting the side of the tongue. Truthful persons can also use these techniques to protect themselves against the risk of a false positive outcome. Although polygraphers frequently claim they can detect such countermeasures, no polygrapher has ever demonstrated any ability to do so, and peer-reviewed research suggests that they can't.

1:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Meet the new boss?

Kerry on Vietnam
"I could never agree with those in the antiwar movement who dismissed our troops as war criminals or our country as the villain in the drama. That's one reason, in fact, that I eventually parted ways with the VVAW [Vietnam Veterans Against the War] organizations and instead helped found the Vietnam Veterans of America." If the United States was not a villain in the "drama" of the Vietnam war, then who is to blame for the million-plus Vietnamese who were killed during the 20-year period of naked U.S. aggression that ended in 1975? Surely, John, you don't wish to blame certain communist dead-enders in Vietnam for the carnage?

On the next page, Kerry informs his reader that it's time we stop questioning U.S. foreign policy intentions: "As a veteran of both the Vietnam War and the Vietnam protest movement, I say to both conservative and liberal misinterpretations of that war that it's time to get over it and recognize it as an exception, not as a ruling example, of the U.S. military engagements of the twentieth century. If those of us who carried the physical and emotional burdens of that conflict can regain perspective and move on, so can those whose involvement was vicarious or who knew nothing of the war other than ideology and legend." This last passage is probably the most unsettling part of Kerry's book and one that every advocate of the Anyone-But-Bush 2004 election strategy should read before heading to the polling station in November. [Mark Hand at]

1:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles [u]
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a
virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut


G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your
town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with
him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men
young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of
course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)

12:51 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Good article on the growing child-free movement
"Here, we know we don't have to listen to touching stories or about home schooling or what kind of diaper anyone is using," says Schneider, 40, a four-year member of the Boston chapter of No Kidding. She's here tonight with her husband, though he's still in the closet and declines to give his name. As a teacher in Framingham, he fears his anti-kid sentiment might cost him his job.

This is life for the child-free. In a culture often defined by breeders, those who dare not have children feel they must band together. They need support to help fend off parents who are desperate for grandchildren, or friends and co-workers who wonder how these seemingly productive members of society could be so selfish. They're not interested in hearing about the latest family-tested flick from Pixar. They're tired of hearing: "But you'd be a great parent." They don't need tips on using a Chinese adoption agency. They can have kids, they just don't want them. And they're fighting back.

Over the last decade, the movement's been growing. Today, there are numerous support groups such as No Kidding, which was launched in 1984 and has a fast-growing number of chapters in big cities in the United States and around the world. The Internet now has countless e-mail groups and Web pages --,, to name two -- dedicated to people who don't have kids. There are even extreme political activists pushing a kid-free society, such as Somerville-based The Church of Euthanasia, launched in 1992 to try to persuade the world with guerrilla-style tactics to stop having babies.


A report released last year by the Rutgers University National Marriage Project shows that fewer people -- just one-third of American households -- are choosing to have children. That's down from 80 percent in the mid-1800s and 50 percent in 1960. By 2010, the US Census Bureau projects, just one-quarter of all American households will have children living in them.


All this is profoundly troubling to Rutgers professor David Popenoe, who coauthored the study and co-directs the marriage project. He thinks the child-free are hitting enough of a critical mass to mobilize a culture war that pits them against people in more traditional families: mother, father, kids. "In public life in America, the shift has been away from child-centeredness," he says. "You already see this in zoning and the cases of building housing deliberately to discourage children and their effects on tax dollars. You have schools under attack more than ever before, turning down bond issues, and the feeling that if you have children, you should therefore pay for them and don't expect us to pay for them. I just think it would be a national tragedy if the culture war were extended to the issue of children versus no children," Popenoe says. "But it could well be a big issue in the future as you have more and more people who are single and childless."
For the record, while I'm child-free and expect to stay that way, (1) I like kids and they generally get along with me, (2) I do think there's a prejudice against people without kids, both socially and economically (3) I don't think it's so hard to allow for everyone's choice in this matter, without creating social or economic problems.

6:31 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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