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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, March 01, 2003

"Remains" of 2 9/11 hijackers identified -- but which two only the FBI knows
...authorities had to develop DNA profiles from items the men were believed to have handled or had in their possession

7:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

GM e.coli the new thing in drug delivery
The Arkansas team modified E. coli bacterium so that one of its flagella -- or tentacles -- is tethered to the platform of the nanodispenser. In this way, the bacteria are "planted" in a line within the microscopic channels of the dispenser.

"These bacteria are the world's smallest living motors -- they are only 30 nanometers in diameter," said Ajay Malshe, an associate professor of mechanical engineering with the University of Arkansas.

The bacteria are also genetically modified so they all rotate in the same direction. The spin of the bacteria works to push the drug around and out of the dispenser.

7:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Oh that's what it is...

Health care workers want to make sure they get paid when the smallpox vaccine makes them sick
"All of us, I certainly did, underestimated the impact of the compensation issue," said Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.
Oh yeah.

Sign me up right quick.

7:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Photogs harassed and attacked at NYC protest on 2/15 [u]

12:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Letter from Davos posted (a little more than half way down the page) at Undernews
US unilateralism is seen as arrogant, bullyish. If the U.S. cannot behave in partnership with its allies -- especially the Europeans -- it risks not only political alliance but business, as well. Company leaders argued that they would rather not have to deal with US government attitudes about all sorts of multilateral treaties (climate change, intellectual property, rights of children, etc.) -- it's easier to just do business in countries whose governments agree with yours. And it's cheaper, in the long run, because the regulatory environments match. War against Iraq is seen as just another example of the unilateralism.
Worth reading in toto.

12:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Weapons testing or de-population?

Study finds very high levels of DU and non-DU in Afghanistan
It was predicted that signatures of depleted or enriched uranium would be found in the urine and soil samples taken during the research. The team was unprepared for the shock of its findings, which indicated in both Jalalabad and Kabul, DU was possibly causing the high levels of illness but also high concentrations of non-depleted uranium. Tests taken from a number of Jalalabad subjects showed concentrations 400% to 2000% above that for normal populations, amounts which have not been recorded in civilian studies before.

Those in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British precision bombing showed extreme signs of contamination, consistent with uranium exposure and with some types of chemical or biological weaponry. These included pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation. Many of these symptoms are found in Gulf War and Balkans veterans and civilians. Those exposed to the bombing report symptoms of flu-type illnesses, bleeding, runny noses and blood-stained mucous.

The study team itself complained of similar symptoms during their stay. Most of these symptoms last for days or months. The team also conducted a preliminary sample examination of new-born infants, discovering that at least 25% may be suffering from congenital and post-natal health problems that could be associated with uranium contamination. These include undeveloped muscles, large head in comparison to body size, skin rashes and infant lethargy. Considering that the children had access to sufficient levels of nutrition, the symptoms could not be due to malnourishment.


The only conclusion is that the allied forces are now possibly using milled uranium ore in their warheads to maximize the effectiveness and strength of their weapons, as well as to mask the uranium, hoping that it may be discounted as part of any local natural deposits.

12:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, February 28, 2003

The "Total War" PR nexus: Benador Associates [u]
...she has started a mailing service, through which subscribers receive, free of charge, up to six daily articles. Anyone who wishes to monitor the developing thoughts of America's neo-conservatives, and can resist being offended by the content, will find a subscription informative.

11:43 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gunmen fire on police guarding US consulate in Karachi, killing 2 & injuring 5

5:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Fed appeals court throws out shrubco challenge to Pledge of Allegiance's unconstitutionality

5:15 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Tied to al Qaeda"

shrubco bows to Russian pressure on Chechens

5:06 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Mass protests in Yemen, Egypt, Bahrain

12:16 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrubco's "Total war all the time" policy

12:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Career diplomat resigns in war protest [a]
The diplomat, John Brady Kiesling, the political counselor at the United States Embassy in Athens, said in his resignation letter, "Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson.


It is rare but not unheard-of for a diplomat, immersed in the State Department's culture of public support for policy, regardless of private feelings, to resign with this kind of public blast. From 1992 to 1994, five State Department officials quit out of frustration with the Clinton administration's Balkans policy.

Asked if his views were widely shared among his diplomatic colleagues, Mr. Kiesling said: "No one of my colleagues is comfortable with our policy. Everyone is moving ahead with it as good and loyal. The State Department is loaded with people who want to play the team game -- we have a very strong premium on loyalty."

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

Mike Ruppert on the sichiashun
The Washington Post tells us that U.S. embassies around the globe are inundating Washington with cables saying that the world both hates and mistrusts this "dry drunk", megalomaniac who would be laughable except for the fact that he represents a power structure as demented as he is. As if to go Tony Blair ... who recently plagiarized a graduate research paper to compile his sensitive intelligence dossier on Iraq ... "one better", George W. recently cited figures to support his tax cut from a report that doesn't exist. He was caught in that lie by NewsDay's James Toedtman. And retired Air Force Chief of Staff Tony McPeak is publicly saying on a Portland, Oregon TV station that Bush should admit he's made a mistake and that, as far as Iraq is concerned, "I regard the nuclear threat as zero. I regard the connection between Saddam and al-Qaida as less than zero."

As The Sydney Herald tells us that 114 countries are urging the United States to back down from the invasion Capitol Hill Blue is reporting that senior Bush advisors are quietly trying to find a way out of war with Iraq now that they have realized that it is a no-win situation.

10:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Another blow to a responsible and free press

A Florida appeals court has overturned a ruling ok'd by 3 other Florida judges that reporters Jane Akre and Steve Wilson had the right not to be forced to lie by a local Fox affiliate

Fox was uncomfortable with their report on the effects of the use of growth hormone in cows.

Jane wrote a chapter in Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press about this case.

I'm sure this will go to a higher court, but you can see the potential for the Orwellian lockdown that will happen if shrubco gets its judicial mafia in place.

It's OK though -- Daddy will tell us everything we need to know.

Doncha worry your little head about it.

Just take another pill.

10:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

While I still think the North Korea situation is a red herring, it's the first blowback from shrubco's "Attila the Hun holding the Book of Revelations" preemption scheme, and the catastrophic potential is only beginning to register

And South Korea isn't nearly as willing to let Uncle Sam just roll in and takeover the situation either.

Shrubco is making enemies everywhere it turns and blaming it on anti-American sentiment like some deranged debutante diva with a shotgun who thinks everyone who hates her is just jealous.

10:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, February 27, 2003

"Nothing here, move along" file:

Hussein Kamel, the Iraqi defector who blew the whistle on Iraq's claims of not having pre-Gulf War bio-weapons stated uncategorically in 1995 that "[a]ll weapons-- biological, chemical, missile, nuclear, were destroyed."

The story was buried in Newsweek's "Periscope" section, and no other media outlet has picked up the story.

Here's an analysis by Glen Rangwala, who broke the UK Iraq dossier story.

11:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Allbritton: New moon war or not, as Franks returns to Qatar

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

Coalition of US Soldiers, Parents of US Soldiers, and Members of Congress File Federal Lawsuit in Boston Challenging Bush's Authority to Wage War [HNN]

10:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

One of xymphora's questions about the "moral argument" for the Iraq War
Apart from everything else, this war is going to destroy much of the authority of the United Nations and international law. The United Nations was established to allow for an international mechanism to avoid war. Now, the Bush Administration is explicitly threatening that it will remove all authority from the United Nations if it does not rubber-stamp his war, a war that breaches all rules of international law. In other words, Bush is threatening the effective end of the United Nations unless it goes against all the principles for which it was established. He is simultaneously threatening to destroy the international understanding that comprises international law that is the result of hundreds of years of rational thought on war. How can anyone see this as moral?

1:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Chilean prosecutors begin to circle in on Pinochet's culpability for human rights abuses

1:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Despite "malignant evasion of control". . .

Alexander Litvinenko can't buy himself jailtime in Russia (though he didn't hang around to find out either)
A court on Tuesday rejected an appeal to jail a former security agent who has accused his superiors of ordering him to kill tycoon Boris Berezovsky and of engineering the bombing of apartment buildings.

Alexander Litvinenko, who fled to Britain in 2000 and received political asylum, was convicted in absentia in June of abuse of office and stealing explosives, and given a 3 1/2-year suspended prison sentence.


Litvinenko was an agent of the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB. His troubles with the agency began in 1998 when he accused his superiors of ordering him to kill Boris Berezovsky, a one-time Kremlin insider who later also went into exile in Britain. Litvinenko was arrested and jailed a year later on abuse of office charges but was subsequently acquitted.

In July, he said he had received evidence indicating that a Chechen rebel who allegedly bombed two Moscow apartment buildings in 1999 may have been drawn into the action by the security agency, known by its initials FSB.
Litvinenko's target Berezovsky also accuses the FSB of masterminding the '99 apartment bombings (which always seemed suspicious to me), as well as "complicity" in the Chechen rebel theatre raid in October that resulted in the death of 129 hostages.
Among the questions he posed were why all the hostage-takers killed, when some presumably could have been useful in providing information about terrorist acts and many did not put up resistance; and why none of the hostage-takers detonated explosives after the gas was released but before it took effect.

Berezovsky is a one-time Kremlin insider who became extremely wealthy in the early post-Soviet years, with holdings in the automobile and news media businesses. He initially supported Putin, but later became a vehement opponent.
Perhaps the powers-that-be would rather just have Litvinenko fade away quietly in the London mists, so embarrassing questions aren't asked, eh? Though there's still that pesky Berezofsky. . .

1:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

New BBC2 Cambridge Spies documentary reveals the context behind the Philby spy ring [cicentre]
Cambridge Spies is the first drama that has told the whole story of the four men from when they were recruited to work for the KGB in their student days in the early 1930s, to the defection of Burgess and MacLean in 1951.

"This is the first time that they can be seen to be heroic because it's post-cold war," said a BBC spokesman.

"It's possible now to step back and appreciate the spread of communism as an idealistic response to the spread of fascism across Europe. This wouldn't have been possible before.

"In Cambridge Spies, we see and understand why it was that these young men were so implacably opposed to fascism - their focus was the Spanish civil war - and how communism was the only legitimate response to it, everything else was appeaseme
CS will be broadcast in April. I'll have to see if my buddy with a dish can get it off BBCAmerica.

You might want to check out Another Country in the meantime, which is a version of Guy Burgess's story. It focuses on his time at university and I don't know how true to life it is, but it's pretty good. This was the debut of Colin Firth and Rupert Everett's first big role (that I know of).

12:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Canadian tax dollars at work

Wardriving Albertans monitored as safety risk by Canadian spooks

I am no expert on such things. But it seems to me encrypting the signals or whatever should be the priority, not chasing after WiFi enthusisasts like Keystone Kops.
Mr. Haines sees war driving as beneficial to CSIS because it points out network vulnerabilities.

"We're actually out to help them in their job, because we've already done a lot of the legwork for them," he said. "It's perfectly legitimate, it's fun. Nobody's being hurt by it, in fact they're gaining knowledge from it."

He was particularly surprised at the attention from the spy agency in light of an encounter at a computer hackers convention in Las Vegas last summer. Mr. Haines met a woman he believes was a Canadian intelligence officer doing research on wireless security tools.

"Her job was to test out hardware and software for their use."

12:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

A judge in Venezuela has ordered that seven former managers of the state-owned oil company be arrested for their role in the country's two-month strike

'Bout time, I'd say. Chavez Frias had a right to do this months ago, though he probably had good reason not to.

I can't believe their "civil group" is called "Petroleum People."

There's Irony gasping on the floor again.

12:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

RSS engaged

I've been generating this all along, but didn't know.

Now I do, and you can.

11:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Win Without War Coalition exceeds goal

Antiwar phone protest jams congressional phones for hours

7:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gulf War Vets say US started oil well fires in Kuwait [Stratiawire]

The American Gulf War Veterans Association is also calling for Rumsfeld to resign.

4:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Moblogging" -- posting audio clips on the fly -- touted as the next blogging wave [Blogging News]

Eventually this would include posting snapshots and video as well, but the mobile phone technology has a ways to go.

This looks like an interesting development, but more an adjunct to blogs than a next step.

I'm posting this here instead of planing lakes because the potential for competing with media outlets in crisis situations -- or otherwise for that matter -- is the most intriguing application to me.

4:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"For the first time, fertility levels in developing countries are likely to fall below replacement levels" due to AIDS and lowered fertility rates

3:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Just give us your oil and buy BrandAmerica and let our stooges run your country

shrubco tries to deflect criticism that Iraqis would have no say in government, claims "American presence in Baghdad would be only temporary"

3:15 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Blair stays away from war vote in Parliament, Labour party isolates him further

3:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

You can bet we'll go to war fast now

43% approve/48% disapprove of shrubco on economy

12:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Guess Turkey got the package they were looking for from shrubco
The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Ankara says it looks very much as if Turkey is preparing to become a front-line state.

He says that while parliament - like the Turkish people - is hostile to war, it is thought likely that it will approve the deployment of US troops when it votes.

12:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Yevgeny Primakov visited Saddam after the Rather interview took place and SH apparently agreed to cooperate fully with the inspectors, and invited US/UK energy companies back after a 30-year hiatus

But Christopher Allbritton figures shrubco would never go for his staying in power, since shrub wouldn't get to bring the bone to Daddy, and of course the "Clash of Civilizations" demographic and the Dark Lords of the Apocalypse in the WH would never go for it.

1:23 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Aron Trauring's insider FAQ on the IDF (107k .pdf)
1. The IDF is the main reason that Israel continues to illegally occupy the West Bank and Gaza, and refuses to reach a just and permanent solution with the Palestinians.

2. The IDF is the key institution that undermines democracy in Israel, and perpetuates inequality and corruption in Israeli society.

1:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Historians get with the military to try to preserve Iraq's historical treasures
But because Iraq has so many important sites and so few have been accurately mapped, the effort will be hit-or-miss at best, they say. The sites range from ancient cities and small villages still buried beneath desert sands to excavated palaces and well-stocked museums that, until the Gulf War of 1991, were popular tourist destinations.

Iraq contains most of ancient Mesopotamia, which is considered the world's cradle of civilization. The first cities and municipal governments grew along the fertile flanks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia was home to the world's first wheel, the first known writing and the foundations of law, bureaucracy, astronomy, art, architecture, agriculture and science.

Some scholars believe much of the Old Testament was written in Mesopotamia, which translates as "land between the rivers." A clay tablet excavated at Nineveh, on the Tigris River, provided a record of a great flood and a boat that survived it.

12:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

MI5 hires its own historian to write its history in preparation for the 2009 centennial
"He has a reputation for belonging to the 'ho ho' school," says a fellow historian. "His Mitrokhin book served a key function for both MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (M16) by making it seem like a great British intelligence success."

12:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

2 from rebecca's pocket

She recommends an interview with a Pakistani journo on NPR.

A military bureaucrat's inside scoop on what his colleagues think of the Iraq War. [via Sassafrass]

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

Qwest execs indicted for overstating revenues by $144mil

12:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

UN attacks states for easing drug prohibition

11:54 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

John Dvorak on the threat of online sales taxes

11:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

UNICEF to vaccinate 4 million Iraqi children against polio: but if a third of them are malnourished (as the article claims) is this disguised depopulation, as Jon Rappaport suggests? [second link requires free registration]

1:10 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

UK military & Intel oppose Iraq War [a]
Why now? The question is of course being asked by those opposed to a war against Iraq, and those who have not made up their minds. But it has also been asked by one of the most senior Whitehall officials at the centre of the fight against terrorism. The message was clear: the threat posed by Islamist extremists is much greater than that posed by Saddam Hussein. And it will get worse when the US and Britain attack Iraq.

Tony Blair may not want to admit it, but this is the common view throughout the higher reaches of government. As a leaked secret document from the defence intelligence staff puts it: "Al-Qaida will take advantage of the situation for its own aims but it will not be acting as a proxy group on behalf of the Iraqi regime." Osama bin Laden must be praying for a US assault on Iraq.

"Do we help or hinder the essential struggle against terrorism by attacking Iraq?" asks the former Conservative foreign minister, Lord Hurd. "Would we thus turn the Middle East into a set of friendly democratic capitalist societies ready to make peace with Israel, or into a region of sullen humiliation, a fertile and almost inexhaustible recruiting ground for further terrorists for whom Britain is a main target?" He poses the rhetorical questions in the latest journal of the Royal United Services Institute.

11:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrubco thug-diplomats start serious arm-twisting in Security Council [Antiwar]

11:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Afghanistan February 2003 [og]
There are plenty who dislike the presence of the Americans and their allies sweeping around their pot-holed streets in shiny new four-by-fours or army jeeps. This is a city that still has a deeply conservative strain -- despite all the trumpeting about the liberation of women, many of those on the streets still wear burqas -- and one whose capacity for trust has been corroded by past international betrayals. But a fear of abandonment -- or at least a sharp fall-off in international support -- is palpable and encompasses many international aid agency workers as well as residents. One agency official, a veteran of several previous conflicts, told The Independent: "The Pentagon and the White House have absolutely no policy on Afghanistan."


There are other ominous signs. Some 400 rockets have been fired at American forces in 10 months. They find two or three caches of arms, often 107mm Chinese rockets, each week. "This place is a 100 times more dangerous than Iraq," said one US reserve officer at Bagram, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991. "Here they are liable to toss a grenade under your vehicle at any time." A fortnight ago the Taliban issued what is thought to be its first communiqué since being removed from power. It named two senior figures -- Mullah Obaeidullah and Mullah Biradar -- as commanders in a new campaign to oust the Americans.

3:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

A teenager who was suspended from high school for building a Web page mocking his assistant principal has won $10,000 in damages. [og]

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

Canadians starting to lean on Chretien on the Iraq issue

2:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Fascist Lunacy file:

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey Barred Entry to the United States
According to her daughter, Deidre, two INS officers threatened to arrest, jail, and even shoot the legendary civil rights campaigner when she arrived at Chicago's O'Hare airport. McAliskey (56) was then photographed, finger-printed and returned to Ireland against her will on the grounds that the State Department had declared that she "poses a serious threat to the security of the United States."

2:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

The murder of an American and the kidnapping of 3 suspected CIA agents in Colombia might trigger military response [og]

The "Department of Defense contractors" who were kidnapped were hunting for illegal coca. CIA not getting their cut maybe? Looking for bin Laden? Supplying the paramilitaries funded by ranchers and coca barons with new lethal technologies?

Wait a minute. . .coca barons. . .

In any case, got to provide cover for those Texans drilling for oil down theyah.

2:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Stupid White Men wins Book of the Year in the UK -- the first year the public is allowed to vote

2:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Spanish and Colombian embassies in Caracas bombed

2:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, February 24, 2003

The remarkable, Oswaldian Ali Mohamed
-- while in the Egyptian Army he joined Egyptian Islamic Jihad

-- while on a U. S. State Department 'watch list', he managed to obtain a visa to come to the United States

-- his military personnel files shows that he underwent a curiously incomplete Army background check in 1987

-- while in the U. S. Army, in 1988, he went off on an unauthorized trip to fight in a foreign war, came back to boast about it, was written up by his superior, but received no punishment

-- while in the U. S. Army he was training Islamic fundamentalists in New Jersey (also while in the Army, he received at least two U.S. Army medals and a commendation for "patriotism")

-- he stole written materials from Fort Bragg, materials which were found in the possession of a man who was the assassin of Rabbi Kahane and an associate of a later convicted World Trade Center bomber, but received no punishment for providing these materials to terrorists

-- he was detained in Canada in 1993 for smuggling an illegal alien but told the RCMP to phone a contact with the FBI, and was released after this call
He also appears to be a US Intel agent who duped bin Laden mentor Ayman al-Zawahiri for the CIA in a plot to overthrow the Egyptian government in the early 90s.

7:06 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Former flagship of the Hearst empire the San Francisco Examiner cuts back to skeleton staff, becomes free paper nearly half its former self in size

6:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


European food retail giant Ahold admits overstating earnings: stock drops 63%, execs resign

Ahold is huge, and owns Stop and Shop and other chains in the US.

6:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Boy, has Verizon been fucking over NYC with its failure to live up to its agreement to upgrade the city's broadband infrastructure [...perspectives...]

6:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Manhattanville College basketball player Toni Smith stages a brave oncourt protest of US policy
Before Thursday's game, the Mount St. Mary student government handed out small flags before the game. More than 500 people filled the small gym, and jeered Smith at every opportunity.

At the end of the game between Manhattanville and Mount St. Mary, the crowd sang "God Bless America."

When Manhattanville played at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Feb. 11, more than 300 flag-waving midshipmen greeted Smith with chants of "USA" and "Leave our country."

When Smith picked up two fouls in the first three minutes and was benched, the crowd chanted, "We want Toni," according to The Journal News.

* * *

They, like everyone else, assumed that Smith turns away to protest America's march toward the war with Iraq. That's part of it, Smith said in a written statement.

"For some time now, the inequalities that are embedded into the American system have bothered me," Smith wrote. "As they are becoming progressively worse and it is clear that the government's priorities are not on bettering the quality of life for all of its people, but rather on expanding its own power, I cannot, in good conscience, salute the flag."

10:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Ministers of Doom behind Mordor

Summary of the agenda and rise to power of Paul Wolfowitz and Karl Rove

For more background:

Ignore the Larouchian flourishes and this piece from October 2001 had it on the nose about the Prime Movers behind the current administration (not including the Texas capo Rove).
The adherents of the so-called "Wolfowitz cabal," pushing the "Clash of Civilizations" theory, are nothing less than "an enemy within" the United States, a network that cuts across the Defense Department, the State Department, the White House, and the National Security Council. This report is not a "good guys" versus "bad guys" description of the Bush Administration; rather it is a warning that this cabal is a close-knit rogue network that is trying to hijack U.S. policy, and turn the current Afghanistan mess into a global war. The cabal bears a dangerous resemblance to the "secret parallel government" of North and Gen. Richard Secord's "Project Democracy" operation that ran Iran-Contra.

12:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

I am Shocked and Surprised file:

xymphora on the mysterious missing al Qaeda fighters -- thousands strong -- that the US somehow let slip through their fingers in Afghanistan

Remember when we were um trying to stop them and that guy ... what was his name?

Exactly what is the CIA's relationship -- since 9/11 and before -- with Pakistani intel (ISI)? How many relationships and deals have there been?

Was capturing bin Laden and Zawahiri and their followers ever really on The Agenda?

12:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Public outraged at handling of oil tanker spill

Photo gallery of protesters 100,000 strong in Spain today

12:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, February 23, 2003

In this excerpt from Greg Palast's book (in paperback on Tuesday with 100 new pages) he summarizes how the IMF/World Bank/White House etc. bankrupt debtor states to set up their infrastructure and resources for takeover by multinationals
This document, nominally produced by the World Bank, represents the interlocking directives of both the Bank and the IMF, as well as, indirectly, the wishes of both institutions' largest patron, the United States Treasury Department. Marked "Confidential" or "Official Use Only," these reports are seldom publicized to the citizenry bound up in their stipulations. And yet for the 100-plus that rely on IMF and World Bank loans-countries such as Argentina, Tanzania, Ecuador, Sierra Leone-such agreements serve as de facto legislation, meticulous in detail and ideological in thrust. Although couched as loan conditions or as helpful development advice, these reports more closely resemble the minutes of a financial coup d'etat....

11:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

WiFi & bicycle generators leapfrog a Laotian village into the 21st century [u]

They'll even be making their first phone calls.

4:26 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

In case you haven't heard or seen some breathless headline on the 7th Reich network or Drudge, the UK is considering outlawing sex education [u]

12:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Clay Conrad of the Fully Informed Jury Association on the Ed Rosenthal case [u]
Jury nullification occurs when a criminal trial jury decides not to enforce a law because they believe it would be unjust or misguided to convict.  This allows average citizens, in deliberative bodies, to limit the scope of the criminal sanction, so that acts not broadly condemned are not widely punished.  History shows juries have taken this enormous power very seriously, and have used it responsibly. Rosenthal's jurors agree. 

Jury foreman Charles Sackett has said the jury probably would have nullified the law and acquitted, had they known this was a medical marijuana case.  Half the jury appeared on NBC's Dateline, decrying having been kept in the dark and manipulated into returning a verdict which does not reflect their conscientious judgment.  Eight of his jurors apologized to Rosenthal, and petitioned Judge Breyer to grant a new trial.  

This sort of thing is just not supposed to happen.  If being a juror means anything, it should mean never having to say you're sorry.  If the law is just and justly applied, jurors have no reason to apologize to those they convict or to feel they have been used by their Government to commit injustice.  Our jurors should hear and be empowered to act upon evidence which implicates the "moral underpinnings" of the law, regardless of which side benefits.

12:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

ThugHouse manners
Tensions between veto-holding members of the UN Security Council grew yesterday after Russia said pressure was being exerted on weapons inspectors to give a negative assessment of Iraqi compliance or to accept they will have to leave the country soon. [Independent 2/21]

In recent days, an Independent on Sunday investigation reveals, [the US and Britain] have stepped up attacks on missile sites near Basra which could threaten the military build-up in Kuwait and the Gulf.

The raids are being carried out by aircraft patrolling the "no-fly" zones in northern and southern Iraq, established by the victors after the first Gulf war. They claim the patrols are being carried out in the name of the UN -- especially ironic, given the passionate debate over the need for a second Security Council to authorise war on Iraq. [Independent 2/23]

An invasion of Iraq by the US and Britain could come even sooner than expected, as United Nations weapons inspectors threw down a double challenge to Saddam Hussein, and President Bush issued his sternest warning yet to the UN to fall into line or face irrelevance. [Independent 2/23]

12:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

When U.S. Foreign Policy Meets Biblical Prophecy [Spin of the Day]
Does the Bible foretell regime change in Iraq? Did God establish Israel's boundaries millennia ago? Is the United Nations a forerunner of a satanic world order?

For millions of Americans, the answer to all those questions is a resounding yes. For many believers in biblical prophecy, the Bush administration's go-it-alone foreign policy, hands-off attitude toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and proposed war on Iraq are not simply actions in the national self-interest or an extension of the war on terrorism, but part of an unfolding divine plan.
I've been thinking recently about the veracity of shrub's conversion experience, and I think perhaps it's more than just a front for his (and whoever else's) agenda. Certainly he's a canny, ruthless political fixer, as Mark Crispin Miller claims in The Bush Dyslexicon. But it's quite possible that 9/11 whammyed his head to the point where he actually sees himself fulfilling a Biblical prophecy.

Maybe bin Laden -- also an astute political animal -- has the same compartmentalized, apocalyptic fervor beneath his dominant opportunistic and manipulative self.

I felt that both of these men were cynically using these polarizing beliefs to pursue a basically political and economic agenda (neither of them being at the top of their respective pyramids of power), and still do. But I've grown to think that you almost have to have a version of multiple-personality disorder to be a politician -- even a state congressman, for instance. So who knows what weird rooms are locked away in mansions as eldritch as Bush's and bin Laden's? It would make them easier for their handlers to manipulate, for sure.

Anyway, the issue of faith and spirituality is in our faces in a new way now. I used to just shake my head at the feverish scenarios in the fear-and-guilt saturated monotheisms that have preempted and distorted spirituality over the last millennia. Spirituality is the center of my life, and I have issues with organized religion going back lifetimes.

I don't begrudge people their beliefs, whatever they are. I'm a spiritual libertarian.

But I don't intend to be sucked into anyone's personal little inferno of gleeful self-destruction either.

Now that 9/11 has enspelled so many into apocalyptic and highly polarized scenarios, I think it's time to look a little more deeply into the belief system of world leaders. Let's put those cards on the table.

Certainly reason and science are essential. But they are no substitute for spiritual or moral self-awareness either. Nor are those who tell me I don't have a soul and am just (for instance) a genetic vector any less misguided than fundamentalist Christians or Muslims or Jews or whoever.

If you think building atomic bombs or developing new super strains of smallpox or fashioning ID implants or even slanting a "scientific" drug study to suit your corporate benefactors is a process that operates beyond moral precepts, you are doing harm. If you believe these actions are moral if they are only directed at those who don't share your beliefs -- you are deluded.

Anyone whose actions belittle or cripple human potential, and balefully or cluelessly promotes limitation, ignorance or fear, is pulling the people around him or her down into their own little living hell. If we don't become conscious of these often subconscious beliefs, bad things will happen. Much worse even than what we've seen lately.

We need to be able to step outside ourselves, to see whether we are doing harm to others, and see the suffering in front of us without blinders of belief or "scientific objectivism".

Finding our hearts is more important than finding God.

Forget spirituality if you find it embarrassing or stupid.

Just be aware of the effect of your actions on others.

We used to have the luxury (or thought we did) of observing and commenting from a safe pontifical distance on these issues.

We don't anymore.

12:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

History lesson

Robert Fisk on the Suez Canal debacle of 1956 -- and the depressing parallels with you-know-what
There was secret collusion, a fraudulent attempt to use the United Nations as a fig leaf for war, a largely unsympathetic British public, journalists used as propagandists and our enemy -- an Arab dictator previously regarded as a friend of the West -- compared to the worst criminals of the Second World War. Sound familiar? Well, it happened almost half a century ago, not over oil but over a narrow man-made canal linking the Mediterranean with the Red Sea.


It killed many civilians -- all Egyptian, of course -- and brought shame upon the allies when they turned out to have committed war crimes. It rested on a lie -- that British and French troops should land in Egypt to "separate" the Egyptian and Israeli armies, even though the British and French had earlier connived at Israel's invasion. Colonel Gamal Abdul Nasser was described by the British Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, as "the Mussolini of the Nile" even though, scarcely a year earlier, Eden had warmly shaken Nasser's hand in an exchange of congratulations over a new Anglo-Egyptian treaty -- shades of Donald Rumsfeld's chummy meeting with the "Hitler of Baghdad" in 1983. In the end, British troops -- poorly equipped and treating their Egyptian enemies with racial disdain -- left in humiliation, digging up their dead comrades from their graves to freight back home lest the Egyptians defiled their bodies.

12:02 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

© me