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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
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
Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare
The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press
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.
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.
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.
Saturday, March 29, 2003
The Iraq links disappeared mysteriously a couple days ago. I had thought it was Wayne doing it for some tech reason, but apparently not; re-adding them now
5:59 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Good Doonesbury today (Mar 29)
10:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Second connection to China for PerleWhile he led an influential Pentagon advisory board, Richard N. Perle advised a major American satellite maker, Loral Space and Communications, as it faced government accusations that it improperly transferred rocket technology to China, administration officials said today.
Officials at the State Department said that the senior official considering how to resolve the rocket matter, Assistant Secretary Lincoln P. Bloomfield Jr., was contacted by Mr. Perle once or twice in the second half of 2001 on behalf of the company. At the time, Mr. Bloomfield, who heads the State Department's bureau of political-military affairs, and other officials were investigating accusations that Loral turned over expertise that significantly improved the reliability of China's nuclear missiles.
10:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Mine-sweeping dolphin goes AWOL
10:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
CNN, Fox, MTV, and Comedy Central reject ads against war
12:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The corporate gangBorn on Chicago's south side in the late 1940s, the Latin King Nation began as a Hispanic social organization. It evolved into one of the nation's largest and most violent street gangs, with 25,000 current members in Chicago alone, according to police estimates.
The gang's rapid growth occurred in the late 1980s and '90s when incarceration rates quadrupled. Inside prison walls, members enlisted new recruits and refined their rules.
"They got very well-organized, with manifestoes and organizational charts," says Dwight Conquergood, an ethnographer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who is writing a book on the Latin Kings. "They could give seminars to MBA students."
12:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, March 28, 2003
New bio of "one of the great muckrakers," Charles Edward Russell
11:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
BBC attacked for not being a total Media Whore to The Cause [u]"The Beeb is a mandatory government-run service staffed with the usual people who go into government-run media, i.e. left-wing hacks," British expatriate Andrew Sullivan writes on his Web site. "The BBC is increasingly perceived, even by sympathetic parties, as the voice in part of the anti-war forces. . . . How the Beeb ceased to become an objective news source and became a broadcast version of the Nation is one of the great tragedies of modern journalism."NB: Donations to Andrew Sullivan's website make you automatically eligible to take part in his online role-playing game, Gestapo Lust.
11:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
One day closer to Brazil file:
DoJ OKs FBI circulating bad info [u]The Justice Department lifted a requirement Monday that the FBI ensure the accuracy and timeliness of information about criminals and crime victims before adding it to the country's most comprehensive law enforcement database.
The system, run by the FBI's National Crime Information Center, includes data about terrorists, fugitives, warrants, people missing, gang members and stolen vehicles, guns or boats.
Records are queried increasingly by the nation's law enforcement agencies to help decide whether to monitor, detain or arrest someone. The records are inaccessible to the public, and police have been prosecuted in U.S. courts for misusing the system to find, for example, personal information about girlfriends or former spouses.
Officials said the change, which immediately drew criticism from civil-liberties advocates, is necessary to ensure investigators have access to information that can't be confirmed but could take on new significance later, FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said.
11:16 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Spanish proposal to collect and disseminate to police agencies data on all air travelers within the EU, with even more attention paid to foreign nationals form outside the EU [u]
11:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Here's the pdf of that report that's floating around detailing the deal-making between Bechtel, the Reagan Administration (Rumsfeld) and Saddam re the Aqaba pipeline project [u]This paper reveals how the White House, through the Department of State and the National Security Council, pressured the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) and U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to approve financing for this deal. Reagan officials ignored all sorts of travesties at the hands of Saddam Hussein while they pursued this goal with single-minded focus. And it notes that the break in US-Iraq relations occurred not after Iraq used chemical weapons on the Iranians, nor after Iraq gassed its own Kurdish people, nor even after Iraq invaded Kuwait, but rather, followed Saddam's rejection of the Aqaba pipeline deal.
Finally, this paper shows that the main actors in the 1980s drama are now back on center stage, this time justifying military action against Iraq in terms of national security. These men's conduct during the Reagan administration -- when they negotiated a major oil pipeline deal on behalf of Bechtel with Iraq -- belies their present insistence that Saddam Hussein must be toppled because he holds weapons of mass destruction and is tied to terrorists.
10:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Those star-covered Pentagon idiots promised us a victory march and flowers on the armor. What we got instead were those damned fanatics fighting for every dune and the sand squeaking in your ass!"
GRU summary of first week of war
8:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
xymphora claims Perle is still on the DPB, just not the chairman
He will be flakking on Larry King on Sunday, I believe.
9:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Only 1 out of 18 health workers targeted have been vaccinated for smallpox due to workers' concerns; 2 women die of heart attacks soon after vaccinations, though connection uncertain
9:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
3000 Torontonians asked to quarantine themselves to contain SARS [drudge]Anyone who has even visited the Scarborough Grace hospital since March 16 has been asked to voluntarily isolate themselves in their homes for 10 days since their last visit.
"We realize this is a substantial number of people," said Dr. Sheela Basrur, Toronto's medical officer of health. "It could be in the thousands.
"This is an incident of unprecedented scope and magnitude," Basrur said. "It's a daunting task.
"This is a pretty unusual step for us to be requiring healthy individuals to be under quarantine," she said. "The concern with SARS is we do not know when people become contagious and we want to take an extra step of precaution."
2:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Fine Michael Moran piece from Oct 2001 on the origins of al Jazeera and why it's the chosen mouthpiece for al Qaeda and others: they've earned respect in the Arab world by working for it [Global Beat]Al-Jazeera worked hard covering the Afghan story when the very notion of doing so would have been dismissed at an American news meeting. It is important to remember that the list of American journalists who have set foot in Afghanistan over the past five years is short, indeed. It's not that it wasn't possible: My MSNBC.com colleague Preston Mendenhall did it just this spring and produced our series Pariah Nation.
Still, we couldn't get NBC to air any of the hours of video he shot while there. It simply didn't fit the mold of what NBC executives thought would garner the largest possible audience.
In contrast, al-Jazeera -- and the BBC, until its correspondent was ejected by the Taliban -- stayed in Kabul through the 1990s to cover a civil war that has been raging, in part with American weaponry, for more than a decade. So do we blame al-Jazeera for covering this war? As Fox would say, "You decide."
That brings us to the final lesson here: what passes for news in America. For the past 10 years, roughly since the idiotic O.J. Simpson trial, the language of marketing has entered American newsrooms like a badly targeted cruise missile. Talk of plot lines and demographics, sexiness and "water-cooler" appeal have polluted a mission that is protected by its own constitutional amendment. Celebrity journalists interview celebrity dimwits about their sex lives, while American foreign policy is left running on auto-pilot.
The hard truth is that the U.S. media left America as unprepared for these terrorist attacks as any Air Force general or CIA bureaucrat. As we dropped bombs on Iraq for 10 years running -- justified or not -- the U.S. media failed to report on it. Then suddenly, on Sept. 11, we think "We're at war" when in fact there hasn't been a day since the Gulf War ended when an American aircraft hasn't locked onto a target with a missile or bomb. We were at war, it's just that the media didn't think it was interesting enough to tell you about it.
1:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Detailing the "special relationship" between US forces and the oil industry as wells are captured [use VHeadlines info at left]The oil industry has gone to great lengths to distance itself from any planning related to the potential post-war opening of Iraq's massive fields, now partly in US and British hands. But it is becoming clear that a number of companies played significant advisory roles in military operations taking place on those fields, underscoring an unusual partnership between the military and private companies in the Iraq campaign.
BP PLC employees in Kuwait showed the Royal Engineers and other combat troops how oil fields operate before their assault on South Rumeila, along the Kuwaiti border. Houston fire-fighting firm Boots & Coots International Well Control Inc. helped draw up emergency and contingency plans for securing the field, and private-sector US oil executives, serving as US reserve officers, ran soldiers and combat engineers through fields in West Texas in preparation for the attack. There is no evidence that any of the firms were paid for their oil-field advice, but coalition military engineers considered the advice critical.
12:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
US media applauds bombing of Iraqi TV despite Geneva violation [FAIR]Human Rights Watch affirmed (3/26/03) that it would be illegal to target Iraqi TV based on its propaganda value. "Although stopping enemy propaganda may serve to demoralize the Iraqi population and to undermine the government's political support," said HRW, "neither purpose offers the 'concrete and direct' military advantage necessary under international law to make civilian broadcast facilities a legitimate military target."This article is from an email alert; it wasn't up at FAIR when I posted this, but it should be soon.
Some U.S. journalists, however, have not shown much concern about the targeting of Iraqi journalists. Prior to the bombing, some even seemed anxious to know why the broadcast facilities hadn't been attacked yet. Fox News Channel's John Gibson wondered (3/24/03): "Should we take Iraqi TV off the air? Should we put one down the stove pipe there?" Fox's Bill O'Reilly (3/24/03) agreed: "I think they should have taken out the television, the Iraqi television.... Why haven't they taken out the Iraqi television towers?"
Given such attitudes, perhaps it's not surprising that discussions of the legality of attacking Iraqi TV have been rare in U.S. mainstream media.Yet when the White House accused Iraq of violating the Geneva onventions by airing footage of American POWs, media were eager to engage the subject of international law. It's a shame U.S. media haven't held the U.S. government to the same standards.
12:19 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, March 27, 2003
shrubco delays release of millions of 25 year-old documents for 3 years
Though the declassification structure defined under Clinton was pretty much unchanged, which is good.
Exactly why 25 year-old docs are going to be suddenly safe to release at the end of 2006 instead of now remains a mystery, at least to me.
9:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrub shakes fist, throws 120,000 more troops into the muddle
8:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco begs Arabs to believe US media
8:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Now that was fast
Perle resigns from Defense Policy Board
Now that he's got his sinecure set up, why hang around with all these nasty questions floating around, eh?
Not that he won't have his hand in somewhere -- or maybe he sees the ship sinking and wants to be the first in the lifeboat?
In any case, one less little fascist nabob near the Halls of Power is better for everybody.
We'll miss ya. Dick.
5:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
SF Chronicle tech columnist suspended without pay after taking part in antiwar demo
3:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Supreme Court barely allows states' program to supply legal aid to the indigent to continue
2:54 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Ellsberg and Nobel laureates arrested near White House
2:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Medicare premium expected to rise over 12% in '04, while MDs get less
2:47 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
WP: shock & awe to quagmire in one week?The combination of wretched weather, long and insecure supply lines, and an enemy that has refused to be supine in the face of American military might has led to a broad reassessment by some top generals of U.S. military expectations and timelines. Some of them see even the potential threat of a drawn-out fight that sucks in more and more U.S. forces. Both on the battlefield in Iraq and in Pentagon conference rooms, military commanders were talking yesterday about a longer, harder war than had been expected just a week ago, the officials said.
"Tell me how this ends," one senior officer said yesterday.
2:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monbiot on shrubco's Geneva record re GITMOSuddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty which impedes its attempts to run the world, but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of the Iraqi television cameras on Sunday, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, immediately complained that "it is against the Geneva Convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them."
He is, of course, quite right. Article 13 of the third convention, concerning the treatment of prisoners, insists that they "must at all times be protected ... against insults and public curiosity." This may number among the less heinous of the possible infringements of the laws of war, but the conventions, ratified by Iraq in 1956, are non-negotiable. If you break them, you should expect to be prosecuted for war crimes.
This being so, Rumsfeld had better watch his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare is, as head of the defense department, responsible for a series of crimes sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his natural life.
2:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
New bill proposing tax breaks for cyclists
'Bout time, says this cyclist.
2:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sam Smith on who shouldn't gain from reconstructing Iraq, and supporting the soldiersIraq is not the only place that's going to need reconstruction after the war; America already needs it. Here are a couple of starter ideas:
The first comes from journalist Jon Rowe: we should recognize the role played by powerful individuals and corporations in making Saddam Hussein the man he became. Suggests Rowe: "No person or corporation who did business with Saddam Hussein, except regarding such items as food and medical supplies, should be able to cash in on the rebuilding of that country."
The second idea addresses the question of whether those of us who oppose the war support our soldiers. Your editor's response is sometimes, "Sure I support our soldiers, I just don't support their generals." But then I offer this proof:
Since we have been told repeatedly that Saddam Hussein is a reincarnation of Hitler and that September 11 was Pearl Harbor all over again, we should treat the veterans of Gulf War Two at least as well as we treated the veterans of World War II. My suggestion is that they not only receive the equivalent of the GI Bill for college education and the VA home loan programs, but that they become entitled to coverage under Medicare immediately upon leaving the military.
This flag-waving administration and Congress, even as this is written, are substantially cutting into veterans' benefits. This is nothing new. Veterans have done progressively worse after each war since WWII, despite the programs that were instituted following that conflict being among the most productive social policies ever created by an American government.
If people want to yammer about patriotism, let them put their money where their mouth is.
2:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Review of Baudrillard's essay on 9/11The essence of the towers' pull for Baudrillard is the idea of their twinness. For him, non-competitive, monopoly capitalism (and consumerist media culture) can only be expressed in the form of a dual mirror image. "The fact that there were two of them," he writes, "signifies the end of any original preference." The doubling of the towers mirrored the exponential doubling of every image and product in global capitalism, a process that kills the authenticity of the original reference. The towers were thus the perfect embodiment of the end of "specificity" in thought and culture. They were, in short, the bland Janus twins standing athwart the end of History.I guess I don't think the end of History is quite as bad a thing as Baudrillard.
Baudrillard hated the towers because the end of History means the end of serious politics and the debasement of thought, but the towers' destruction has not changed this. Rather, the process has merely been accelerated.
But they'll be plenty weird for awhile.
2:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Michael Stipe on the war
Rough mix (WM or QT) and lyrics to new R.E.M. song "The Final Straw" [popdex]
I'll put the lyrics up at planing lakes too.
1:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
CNN: Soldiers blogging too
Caption quote: "'Blogs of War' and other sites sometimes beat traditional sources with the latest war news."
1:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
shrubco speeding decline of US empire, according to investor research paper
6:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Silent quake in far NW that started on Feb 26 is adding stress to locked plate zone [drudge]
Apparently the quake is ending now.
6:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Daily Kos on rest of world uniting against shrubco/US due to war
9:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
From The Agonist -- a couple bloggers question the accuracy of the Russian intel site
I'll leave it up for now though, since I still trust it more than US media.
Agonist is probably the best bet, but use mirror or RSS link he has up in his left column to ease load. Above link is one of those.
9:06 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The NSA want an exemption from FOIA requests for operational filesSimilar exemptions have been granted to the CIA (in 1984), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (1999), and the National
Reconnaissance Office (2002).
12:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
National Security Archive audit shows FOIA system "in extreme disarray" [FAS]Agency contact information on the web was often inaccurate; response times largely failed to meet the statutory standard; only a few agencies performed thorough searches including e-mail and meeting notes; and the lack of central accountability at the agencies resulted in lost requests and inability to track progress.
"The Freedom of Information Act is one of the glories of American democracy and an inspiration for open government advocates around the world," commented Archive director Thomas Blanton. "But the administrative system that makes FOIA a reality is in grave disrepair, plagued with delays, and byzantine in its complexity for the ordinary requester; and Attorney General Ashcroft seems only to have thrown sand in the gears."
11:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
US eBay seller cancels winning Canadian bid on a printer because "if you're not with us you're against us"
I can say no more.
11:15 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
On phantom SCUDs and WMD
FAIR indictment of "embedded" Iraq reportage
TV = Mind Control
8:26 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
DoD investigation of Perle/Global Crossing connection broached by Congressman Conyers
8:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
War News link update
I've replaced the link to Venik's own site at the top of column/iraq links at right with the Information Clearing House page, which unlike Venik's is updated, and recent reports listed on the same page beneath.
It's the same text.
ICH seems a worthy site.
6:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
A new turn in the Berezovsky/Litvinenko story I spoke of a while back: Berezovsky's been arrested by UK police on a Russian fraud charge
No doubt he's done very bad things -- what plutocrat in Russia hasn't? -- but as you can see from the old post, there's the small matter of his accusations of the government staging terrorist attacks.
Note that there's no mention of the fact that Litvinenko (without the "T" in this story) was originally sent to kill Berezovsky by Russian intel, then became convinced (through some information not from Berezovsky) that Berezovsky's claims that Russian intel was behind the apartment buildings attack in 1999 were true.
The Pravda article on his arrest has no mention of Litvinenko or the charges Berezovsky brings. They doubt whether he'll be extradited though.
Looking back on Pravda, Russian counterintelligence accused Berezovsky of being behind the theatre attack last fall.
It's all pretty confusing, and yet fascinating for me anyway. It's hard to believe Putin couldn't get to Berezovsky and shut him up if he really wanted to. What part the Brits are playing in this, how much Pravda is a mouthpiece for Putin, what exactly Litvinenko knows that keeps him out of jail or alive, is all beyond me right now. As is whether the "Chechen terrorists" are simply agents of various factions in Moscow power politics.
5:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Surprise surprise file:
No WMD at Najaf site [a]
Looks like Israeli propaganda.
I'm sure that this will get just as much play on the BigBrother network(s) as the rumor did.
Oh yeahhh. . .
1:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, March 24, 2003
If you're looking for the latest on a topic in blogs, check the RSS search engine feedster (formerly roogle)
8:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Raed is back
11:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco's arrogance and Genghis Khan-style diplomacy losing PR warIn Britain, even supporters of the war denounced the flag-raising as a stupid act, undermining claims that the goal is to liberate Iraq, not to conquer it - and by nightfall the Iraqi flag was back.
In the midst of more dramatic events, this was a very minor incident, but a telling one nonetheless: it highlighted a credibility gap that may yet become a catastrophic flaw in America's war strategy.
Most wars start by accident or with a flourish of misplaced jingoism. But this war is unique. It is hard to recall any conflict in history that aroused so much opposition even before it began. At best its legitimacy and purpose is in serious doubt. At worst, millions regard it as illegal and/or immoral.
Besides that, it is led by a president for whom few outside the United States have any respect. Just as the onus was placed on Iraq, during the period of inspections, to prove that it had no weapons of mass destruction, the onus now is on the invasion forces to convince a sceptical world of their bona fides. This is probably impossible to do, since the official and unofficial aims of the war cannot be reconciled.
11:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Halliburton already raking in the War Bounty [u]As the first bombs rain down on Baghdad, CorpWatch has learned that thousands of employees of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, are working alongside US troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars. According to US Army sources, they are building tent cities and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq in addition to other hot spots in the "war on terrorism."
2:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sam Smith's rating of news sources for the warBEST CONVENTIONAL SOURCES FOR WAR NEWSEven the best of these can be seriously compromised by their handlers -- but the word "conventional" is the warning, I guess.
GUARDIAN - Perhaps the world's best daily
INDEPENDENT - Robert Fisk & other goodies
HAARETZ - Solid reporting from Israel
AGENCE FRANCE PRESS
BBC - Good on facts but government agency
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR - Not comprehensive but good.
DEBKA FILE - Close to Israeli intelligence but some good stuff
NEW YORK TIMES
TIMES OF LONDON
CNN - In bed with the military
FOX NEWS - Heavy handed conservatism
MSNBC - Trying to outfox Fox on the right and often succeeding
NPR - Run by an ex-government broadcast propagandist and sounds that way
WASHINGTON POST - Voice of the hawks and the spooks
And if you're a regular reader here, you know the caveats already.
2:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Secret surveillance by the DoJ and FBI not subject to judicial or Congressional oversight soars to unheard of levels since 9/11
And how do we know who's being watched or why or whether these acts have led to arrests, never mind convictions?
2:24 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, March 23, 2003
UK newspaper chain bans antiwar articles
7:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Very high levels of flame-retardant chemicals found in mothers and babies [Unknown News]
7:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
IMF admits its policies don't work [Unknown News]In a paper that will be seized on by IMF critics across the political spectrum, leading officials reveal they can find little evidence of their own success.
Countries that follow IMF suggestions often suffer a "collapse in growth rates and significant financial crises", with open currency markets merely serving to "amplify the effects of various shocks".
Kenneth Rogoff, the IMF chief economist who is one of the report's authors, called the findings "sobering".
A recent study by the United Nations reported that the 47 poorest countries in the world - the biggest recipients of loans from the IMF and the World Bank - are poorer now than they were when the IMF was founded in 1944.
6:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Was a staged terrorist attack foiled and suppressed at Laguardia Airport on Friday?
The most suspicious detail to me is that the woman was allowed to board the plane without her bag and gas mask. Why would someone get away with that, when so many others over the last year and a half have been strip-searched or detained for hours etc., for spurious reasons?
6:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
How to make money on gold whether the price rises or drops
Be a billion dollar mining company and have a friend at J P Morgan, essentially.
1:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Politics not involved" file:
Secret USAID bidding for Iraq's reconstruction limited to 7 GOP donors, all American firms"If you don't have an open process, the odds are you may not get the best price, you may not get the best contractor, you may not have the best quality control, which may impact your mission success," [law professor Steven] Schooner said.International development groups -- which "emphasize the involvement of local people" were shut out as well.
1:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
New WP report of al Qaeda bio-attack plans and Australian tourist alert for Bali seem like carefully timed releases to keep fear ramped up and show that "we're still on the case"
Anything related to the Khalid capture is automatically suspect, and sentiment in Australia is still antiwar 47%-45% (at least).
1:20 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
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
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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
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
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
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