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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, April 05, 2003

Madsen & Stanton on those pesky Imperial Parallels
Historians write that the Roman Empire, in its final days, experienced many of the phenomena that now plague Pax Americana. Roman senators formed their own wealthy class of landowners who rarely attended senate meetings but enjoyed the privileges of their office. Consider that most U.S. Senators and Representatives spend most of their time outside of Washington soliciting contributions from corporations. One does not need a time machine to actually witness what was occurring in Rome during its tumultuous decline. William Langer, in his tome An Encyclopedia of World History, writes "the lethargy" of Rome resulted from "the unwieldy and inflexible system and ... the poor mental caliber of the rulers." (the inbred George W. Bush II and the insane John Ashcroft?).

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

That crazy Dick Perle file:

From Slate:
The background is that back in 1989, after seven years of boosting Turkey inside the Pentagon as a Bush I appointee, Perle helped found International Advisors Inc., which lobbied for Turkey. Perle negotiated his way around federal regulations that prevent Pentagon officials from immediately serving interests, like Turkey, that they recently dealt with in an official capacity. He told the Wall Street Journal's John J. Fialka he wouldn't lobby the Pentagon on behalf of Turkey but he would head the firm's advisory committee, for which he was paid $48,000 a year between 1989 and 1994.

In the Journal piece, the ethical Perle stated:
I find very distasteful this business where people leave the government and the next thing you know, they're on the other side of the table negotiating with the U.S.
Perhaps this was Perle's way of saying it's more ethical to stay inside government and negotiate with the U.S. than to spin through the revolving door and negotiate from the outside.

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

Amnesty's report on human rights hypocrite George Bush
The repeated assertions by members of the current U.S. administration that they remain committed to international human rights standards rings hollow as U.S. officials flout those very same standards. This may not be a new phenomenon -- Amnesty International has for many years been concerned with the U.S.A.'s pick-and-choose approach to international standards. But, as the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights said in March 2002, "the protection of human rights is even more important now than ever" and gave assurances that "the U.S. Government is deeply committed to the promotion of universal human rights." His government's failure to live up to those words since the attacks of 11 September 2001, has caused great damage to the international image of the U.S.

1:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"We're going to have to find a whole new way of connecting"

US Congress worries about shrubco's silence on post-war Iraq
Rebuilding Iraq will be expensive and the Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, said Iraqi oil revenue will fall far short of paying the costs. If the United States doesn't want to bear the burden alone, it will have to work with other nations - including some like France and Germany that have opposed the war.

"We need to make peace in Iraq the world's responsibility, not just our own," he said.
Good luck.

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

American peace activist shot in the face by Israeli soldier

1:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Iraq links at this archive page til we figure out what's up with my template

9:12 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

GRU report

8:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Game Over?

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

Friday, April 04, 2003


I dunno. This whole thing seems a bit out of hand

They're not even sure it's a virus, and already shurbco is adding it to the list of forced quarantine diseases. That means you could be herded into some facility whether you have symptoms or not.

Like Jon Rappaport, I'm not even convinced there is a "SARS". Immune deficiencies are so rampant in the world now, and people are so nervous, who can tell if this isn't a new wave of immune breakdowns from various causes, instead of a single germ? A germ is something people can get a grip on and believe there's a cure to. Widespread immune deficiency because of chemical saturation, radiation exposure, poor diet, stress and many other causes is maybe too big to deal with, and the CDC would have no answer for it. That would be even scarier perhaps.

Once again, since I wouldn't put anything past the powers-that-be, I can't be sure.

There's never been an administration I've trusted less than this one. And they've already shown how terror is their calling card.

8:46 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Short disinfo primer [a]
The title of the article sounds quite definitive. The article starts, however, with the mush less certain "Military officials said the Shiite population of Basra ... appeared to be rising". "Military officials" and "appeared to be" should immediately raise a red flag for a reader, especially given a mismatch with such a definitive title. Why "officials"? Were they speaking in a chorus? Or was each one providing a complementary piece of information? A genuine report certainly would tell us this and also name the officials or at least say why they cannot be identified.

BTW, I accessed al Jazeera'a English site for the first time yesterday. Hasn't changed much since, and it says "Temporary Site" across the top.

5:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Rumsfeld claim that Syria supplied military equipment to Iraq is bullshit [a]

5:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Eddie Vedder impales and crushes Bush mask, angers some fans

What the hell's happened to rockshow/fans in the last 20 years anyway?

Never mind the politics, what's the big bloody deal?

4:06 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Recent search referrals from Military/Gov't sites
World-Trade-Center "Viggo Mortensen "
f-16 mouse cursor .ani
"stanislaw lem" "english translation" solaris quality
stratfor username and password
Apparatus of Lies: Saddam's Disinformation
"army national guard restructuring initiative"
"world-wide water deficit"
"Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative"
popdex [Blair interview page]
"pow photos"
landmine warfare pics
where did the black culture in new orlean arrive from
anti-war [doe thru roogle]
editorial cartoon "camp delta"
unicor scandals
"celebrities against the war" "list"
twa 800 arnett
military propaganda posters remixed
The last one was just now from CENTCOM, their first visit to my knowledge.

Hi guys!

3:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Never mind Jesus -- Mammon lurks panting with anticipation just behind (or beside) the Coalition troops [Agonist]
Companies in Britain, like those in the United States, have deployed their corps of corporate scouts in military uniform. These are usually reserve officers, who accompany and assist combat forces and at the same time identify the business opportunities for civilian contractors that will emerge when the shooting stops and governments want to jump-start the return of normal life.

Iraq, of course, presents opportunities far beyond those of the 1991 Gulf War for rebuilding Kuwait. Beyond the first reconstruction, postwar Iraq could be spectacularly transformed from a basket case in the Middle East into an economic powerhouse, buoyed by the country's oil wealth and the return of an estimated million skilled Iraqis, who have been working abroad to escape the rule of Saddam. Getting there first can position companies for longer-term business.

3:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Good piece on al Jazeera's travails [Agonist]
First, American and British military brass denounced al-Jazeera for showing video of coalition casualties and POWs. Then the New York Stock Exchange responded by ejecting al-Jazeera's financial reporters. Then the network's English-language Web site debuted, only to be hit by computer hackers who emblazoned "Let Freedom Ring" across it, then knocked it out entirely.

Still, Mirazi greets this bombardment with a shrug and a smile. He's seen it all before.

"This is very typical of what al-Jazeera has been through in the Arab world and in many authoritarian regimes," says Mirazi, 45, as he sits in his K Street office, where two TVs are tuned to war coverage -- one on CNN, the other on al-Jazeera. "It's just sad that the U.S. and U.S. institutions didn't deal with us any differently than the Iraqi regime did."

Yesterday Iraq expelled one al-Jazeera reporter and barred another from reporting in Baghdad. It was unclear why, but it wasn't the first time the network has run into trouble with Iraqi officials.

3:10 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Israeli anthropologist Jeff Halper on Israel & US "being autistic with power" [u]
Anything goes if you are the victim, he explains: you don't care about the consequences of your actions for other people, you need not take any responsibility for the effect of your policies on others, you don't care about how others feel. Israelis always think they're right, he says. They believe everything they do is right because the Jewish nation is "right," because they are only responding to what others do to them, only retaliating. "If you combine three elements: the idea that we are right, with the notion that we're the victim, and with our great military power," he says, you have a lethal combination. "It's like being autistic with power. You don't care about other people because you've cast the others as the aggressors. You create a situation where Israel is off the hook." Israel can act with brutality, but the responsibility, the fault, lies elsewhere

1:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrubco to begin dismantling state regulations "to open public services to foreign, for-profit ownership and strictly curtail state regulation of banking, insurance, electricity, water systems, transportation, alcohol distribution and professional services, including those provided by doctors, lawyers and accountants." [u]

Click on Iowa link for longer sample article.

I smell citizen-initiated states' revolts against the corporatocracy fairly soon, myself. If people get what's happening.

1:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

The bankruptcy bill passed by the House a few weeks ago is a disaster for consumers [u]
The purpose of the bankruptcy system is to get the debtor back on his or her feet by managing existing debt and creating a solid financial footing going forward. But this legislation would make it more likely that debtors will lose their homes, their cars, and a chance at a fresh start with a clean slate. Here are some examples showing how devastating this bill would be:
Under the bill, homeowners who fall prey to predatory lenders -- those that charge exorbitant rates to people who otherwise can't get credit -- would find no help in the bankruptcy court. Seniors who are unwittingly duped into loans could end up losing their homes, while the unscrupulous finance companies that provided those loans, or the "legitimate" banks that buy those loans, would get their money.


The bill also does nothing to help people who lose their health insurance when a medical crisis hits. It does nothing for the millions of people who are out of work and fighting just to keep a roof over their head. It does nothing to stop credit card companies from luring college students and others into traps where the easy availability of a plastic card leads to serious debt, ruining credit ratings for years to come.
On the other hand, the bill remarkably legitimizes strong-arm tactics employed by credit unions against their members who have filed for bankruptcy. It protects the interests of predatory lenders, but not their victims who are forced into bankruptcy when they can't keep up with unconscionably high payments. It does nothing to require that credit card companies disclose the true cost of the credit they provide to cardholders.

1:21 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Clearly I've been misled by anti-Israeli propaganda and anti-Semitism. The fact that half the Senate and one third of the House, Powell and Rice paid homage at the AIPAC meeting this week has nothing to do with anything [u]
"If a widget maker were having a convention, the talk would be about Iraq," said Nathan Diament, a lobbyist for orthodox Jews and a participant in the conference. "It's not what this meeting is all about, but it's the context."

I'm such a dupe.

1:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Oil company bribes to Kazakh pols fox US-Kazakh relations

12:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Former Guatemalan paramilitaries hold pipeline hostage for cash

12:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Nigerian parliament orders arrest of Shell director

12:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Violence in Nigeria's oil-rich delta expands

12:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Text of Kucinich speech on stopping the war
Stop the war now. As Baghdad will be encircled, this is the time to get the UN back in to inspect Baghdad and the rest of Iraq for biological and chemical weapons. Our troops should not have to be the ones who will find out, in combat, whether Iraq has such weapons. Why put our troops at greater risk? We could get the United Nations inspectors back in.

12:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Stratfor says shrubco beginnning to portray Pakistan as North Korea-type nuke threat: coalition with India in future?

That would piss off Muslims no end, which seems to be the idea.

Not that nuclear proflieration should be ignored. But nobody in the White House is spotlighting Israel, are they?

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

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

WP muses over war's aftermath re the US's image overseas
There is a growing sense of outrage in the Arab and Muslim worlds about the Iraq war. Those feelings seem to belie the Bush administration's contention going into the war that all but the most radical elements in the Middle East would embrace America's effort to dislodge Saddam Hussein, and that U.S. soldiers would be viewed as liberators.

In fact, there is scary and disconcerting evidence that Hussein, despised by many Arabs for years, has morphed into a hero for the Arab resistance movement. Such developments have potentially serious ramifications. For once the fighting in Iraq has ended, the United States could be less safe than it was when the war began.

4:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Morgan Stanley economist predicts world recession due to SARS + war

4:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Supreme Court forces HMOs to open doctor networks

'Bout time they did something for the people.

4:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Huge toxic spill from pulp mill in Brazil
One Brazilian newspaper warned the environment could take 10 years to recover.

12:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monbiot on how Iraq invasion is bad news for the US/UK no matter what the outcome is [og]
Our next discovery is likely to be, as John Gray pointed out some months ago, that the choice of regimes in the Middle East is not a choice between secular dictatorship and secular democracy, but between secular dictatorship and Islamic democracy. What the people of the Middle East want and what the US government says they want appear to be rather different things, and the tension between the two objectives will be a source of instability and conflict until western governments permit those people to make their own choices unmolested. That is unlikely to happen until the oil runs out. The Iraqis may celebrate their independence by embracing a long-suppressed fundamentalism, and the United States may respond by seeking to crush it.

The coalition might also soon discover why Saddam Hussein became such an abhorrent dictator. Iraq is a colonial artefact, forced together by the British from three Ottoman provinces, whose people have wildly different religious and ethnic loyalties. It is arguable that this absurd construction can be sustained only by brute force.

A US-backed administration seeking to keep this nation of warring factions intact may rapidly encounter Saddam's problem, and, in so doing, rediscover his solution. Perhaps we should not be surprised to see that George Bush's government was, until recently, planning merely to replace the two most senior officials in each of Saddam's ministries, leaving the rest of his government undisturbed.

2:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

2 ex-KGB moguls tapped as consultants by Homeland Security, according to Al Martin [og]

Can't find confirmation of this elsewhere, but it's worth noting.

1:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

"Drugs & Terror" ad campaign kaiboshed by shrubco, as well as study that said the ads weren't working

1:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Scene of girl flashing peace sign cut from TV movie ad

1:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Some interesting stuff floating around; I haven't commented much on the endless flow of info/disinfo/wrong info, since others are doing the job very well, and there's so much bullshit [most of this from antiwar]

Anyway, here are some highlights:
Thousands of volunteers for Iraq flow through Syria

CIA gives up on high level defectors

US missile stockpiles depleted; there's much speculation on supply problems, from MREs to munitions

First conscientious objector: Marine in Seattle

North Korean missile test didn't happen

Najaf and Karbala are Islamic holy sites

Judicial Watch calls for Perle investigation

Condi Rice's AIPAC speech closed to press/public

1:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Arizona State the new "M" for the CIA [og]
Arizona State University President Michael Crow is one of the leaders in the movement. He has top-secret clearance and is on the board of directors of a nonprofit group funded by the CIA to seek out the latest James Bond-like technology for spy work.

Crow arrived on ASU's campus last summer, and students and professors say they already see more emphasis on government research on campus. The more friendly relationship between academics and the CIA is a "troubling" development now in play at universities around the country, said David Gibbs, a University of Arizona political scientist and a critic of CIA research on campuses.

Academia is supposed to promote open thought, he said.
"The CIA isn't an ordinary government agency," he said. "It is an espionage agency and the norms of espionage ... include secrecy and propaganda."

There's little outcry on ASU's campus.

1:58 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Your tax dollars at work file:

"Overzealousness" of L.A. police during 2000 Democratic Convention leads to $2.75mil settlement with 71 arrested and strip-searched cyclists

1:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Christiania colony in Copenhagen under threat of being bulldozed, responds with drug dealers' strike [u]
"We want to show the government that an open market for soft drugs is better then forcing people on to streets where much harder stuff is sold illegally."

1:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, March 31, 2003

Sucking DU in Iraq
The half life of the stuff is about 4 billion years, give or take a million years.

In other words, the "coalition" troops have, without a doubt, collectively sucked down enough depleted uranium dust (DUD) in the past week to kill them hundreds of times over, along with generations of their children. I find no mention of this anywhere. Perhaps the organisers of the invasion just forgot the stuff was there. Those of us exposed to the dust storm footage, whether "for" or "against" the invasion, were watching people being killed by nuclear weapons.

Apart from any other consequences of the current invasion, the troops invading Iraq have been sentenced by their government to a life of severe illness, early death, and grotesque birth defects for their children.

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

Robert Fisk performs lost art called journalism, proves Baghdad market bombing was coalition missile, despite propaganda blaming the Iraqis [xymphora]

4:58 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Yet another article on how Iraq is just the beginning for the New Mongols in the White House [Warblogs:cc]
For months Americans have been told that the United States is going to war against Iraq in order to disarm Saddam Hussein, remove him from power, eliminate Iraq's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and prevent Baghdad from blackmailing its neighbors or aiding terrorist groups. But the Bush administration's hawks, especially the neoconservatives who provide the driving force for war, see the conflict with Iraq as much more than that. It is a signal event, designed to create cataclysmic shock waves throughout the region and around the world, ushering in a new era of American imperial power. It is also likely to bring the United States into conflict with several states in the Middle East. Those who think that U.S. armed forces can complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading beyond Iraq's borders, are likely to be mistaken.

4:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

The Daily Kos on the spreading discontent with that squinty adolescent Ah Pook Rumsfeld -- and how "dishonored" conservative columnist Robert Novak has been on this case for months

12:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, March 30, 2003

The eerie parallels with Vietnam are unavoidable: Peter Arnett stirring things up, an administration that believes superior technology and a massive show of force "can't lose," underestimating the "home team," a deepening fracture in domestic opinion and -- most of all -- a war which was supposed to be quick and painless already turning into something long and ugly and nightmarish, reeking of mass death and delusion [a]

Reading William Prochnau's excellent Once upon a Distant War: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett-Young War Correspondents and Their Early Vietnam Battles again only underlines the feeling of disconnect in Washington, that surreal, lost-in-the-abstract atmosphere that made any reports of the real situation seem traitorous.

Here are some more parallels:
1. Cabal of oldsters who won't listen to outside advice? --Check.
2. No understanding of ethnicities of the many locals? --Check.
3. Imposing country boundaries drawn by Europeans, not by the
locals? --Check
4. Unshakeable faith in our superior technology? --Check.
5. France secretly hoping we fall on our asses? --Check.
6. Russia secretly hoping we fall on our asses? --Check.
7. China secretly hoping we fall on our asses? --Check.
8. SecDef pushing a conflict the JCS never wanted? --Check.
9. Fear we'll look bad if we back down now? --Check.
10. Corrupt Texan in the White House? --Check.
11. Land war in Asia? --Check.
12. Right-wing unhappy with outcome of previous war? --Check.
13. Enemy easily moves in/out of neighboring countries? --Check.
14. Soldiers about to be dosed with "our own" chemicals? --Check.
15. Friendly-fire problem ignored instead of solved? --Check.
16. Anti-Americanism up sharply in Europe? --Check.
17. B-52 bombers? --Check.
18. Helicopters that clog up on the local dust? --Check.
19. In-fighting among the branches of the military? --Check.
20. Locals who cheer us by day, hate us by night? --Check.
21. Local experts ignored? --Check.
22. Local politicians ignored? --Check.
23. Locals accustomed to conflicts lasting longer than USA has been a
country? --Check.
24. Against advice, Prez won't raise taxes to pay for war? --Check.
25. Blue-water navy ships operating in brown water? --Check.
26. Use of nukes hinted at if things don't go our way? --Check.
27. Unpopular war? --Check [Undernews]

11:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

I'm still playing around with RSS readers, and can't get this page up in Hot Sheets. Let me know whether the xml link works for you.

8:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Military families unite in protest [a]
"We feel it's the most supportive, patriotic thing we can do for our troops and our country -- to stop the war from continuing," he said. "War is ruining international relations, creating enemies all over the world and undermining democracy in the United States. This war is setting a trend for U.S. foreign policy and a precedent for military intervention."

Richardson said he was afraid the United States would become the world's vigilante.

"My father said war is never a good thing, although sometimes it's necessary," he said. "But this is not one of those times."

For more information about Military Families Speak Out, visit, e-mail or call 617-522-9323.

3:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Antiwar movement mainstreaming [a]
"If we're going to be a force that needs to be listened to by our elected officials, by the media, by power, our movement needs to reflect the population," said Leslie Cagan, co-chairwoman of United for Peace and Justice, and a career political organizer.

"It needs to be diverse," Ms. Cagan went on, "it needs to be large, it needs to include the people who could be described as mainstream -- but that doesn't exclude the people who are sometimes thought of as the fringes."

Even the more mainstream groups are full of people who have spent large stretches of their lives on the front lines of protest movements, from the civil rights struggles to antiglobalization campaigns. But they say they have learned from their own mistakes. So while attacking corporate America for driving this war, antiwar groups have co-opted corporate strategies, rolling out media campaigns as if opposition to war were a new kind of cola.

For weeks, public relations firms have sent news organizations daily suggestions for interviews and "great visuals" that feature protesters. Groups practicing civil disobedience make sure their designated publicity person avoids arrest, to remain available to television cameras. One organization even "embedded" reporters among protesters the way the Pentagon did with its troops.

3:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Similarities between the US invasion of Iraq and the UK invasion of Ireland [u]
A British soldier in the south of Iraq earlier in the week compared Basra to Northern Ireland, where the British fought a war against a tiny enemy for 30 years and still couldn't win.


The British troop were confronted not by thousands of guerrilla warriors of the sort Saddam can muster, but by perhaps 800 to 900 active IRA members. The IRA waged a twin campaign, bombing commercial targets in cities such as Belfast and Derry, while using ambushes and booby traps to kill British soldiers. They were so successful with this sort of fighting, that the British were virtually driven off the streets in parts of Northern Ireland.


Saddam is in a far superior position. He is head of a government that presumably has been importing and making arms for years. Where the IRA faced grave difficulties in importing arms into an island colony, Saddam is surrounded by friends in the Arab world. The more the allied invasion is seen as an attack on Iraq as a nation, the more friends he will have. The U.S. thinks of him as a vicious dictator, and the Bush government would like to stop him from becoming a martyr. But if guerrilla warfare takes hold, Saddam can transform himself into a nationalist desert hero.

2:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

On Stevedoring Services of America, the US company which won the contract to rebuild Umm Qasr [u]
According to recent press reports, SSA is unhappy with the compromise agreement reached by the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association. In February, SSA was one of four companies cited by Washington State for requiring longshore workers to remain on the job as much as 17 hours straight without adequate rest time.

SSA has also been at the center of controversy in Bangladesh, where it has proposed to build a $500 million containerized terminal in the city of Chittagong. The project has faced intense opposition from local trade unions and their members, who fear that the new terminal would result in large job losses. Workers have staged hunger strikes, work stoppages and other actions to dramatize their cause.

SSA has used the U.S. government to press its case. Last year, the U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mary Ann Peters, spoke out publicly in support of SSA, implying that the country would pay a price if the project did not go forward. She told Agence France Presse: "Future investments in Bangladesh by American companies might be threatened if the plan for the SSA port is not approved by the Bangladesh government." In November, the High Court of Bangladesh ruled that the project was illegal because of inadequate feasibility studies, but the company could appeal that ruling to the country?s supreme court.

1:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Undernews reprints some of Jeet Heer's "Operation Anglosphere" article on the number of New Imperialists who are foreign-born
"I think there's more openness among children of the British Empire to the benefits of imperialism, whereas some Americans have never gotten over the fact that our country was born in a revolt against empire," notes Max Boot, currently a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "But lots of people who are advocating pro-imperial arguments - such as Bill Kristol and me - are not Brits or Canadians." (Boot, who was born in Russia, moved to the United States as a baby.)

Imperialism is often seen as an expanding circle, with power radiating outward from a capital city like London or Paris to hinterlands. But a quick review of history shows that imperial enthusiasm doesn't emanate only from the center. Often, the dream of empire is nursed by those born on the periphery of power, precisely because empire would give them a place in a larger framework. Alexander the Great, for example, was born in Macedonia and went on to create an Hellenic empire. And France's greatest empire-builder was the Corsican Napoleon.
Having just read (most of) Carroll Quigley's The Anglo American Establishment, the neocon/neoliberal imperialism of the Commonwealth (including the US) is clearly the brainchild of the Milner Group, begetter of the Royal Institute of International Affairs and its better known US counterpart, the Council of Foreign Relations, and their clones around the world.

That this agenda is being so openly and arrogantly promoted since 9/11 is undoubtedly the sign of its imminent demise.

See also Kevin Phillips discussion with James Fallows in The Atlantic about parallels between the declines of the British and Dutch empires and the US now. It's all been the same empire, in an "Anglosphere" sense.

1:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

More comprehensive list of DPB defense industry connections

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

Ten days, fifteen stories bungled [u]
The war is only a week old and already the media has gotten at least 15 stories wrong or misreported a sliver of fact into a major event. Television news programs, of course, have been the prime culprits. Newspapers, while they have often gone along for the ride, have been much more nuanced and careful. Newspaper coverage has not been faultless, as photos and headlines often seem shock-and-awe-struck but, compared with TV, newspapers seem more editorially -- and mentally -- balanced. Some have actually displayed a degree of skepticism of claims made by the military and the White House -- what used to be known as "journalism."

1:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Iraqometer [u]

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

Mainstream media discover unreliability of computer voting [u]

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

Nice Sam Smith piece on making war seem inevitable and homo mechanicus
It will be some time before places such as Harvard and the Council on Foreign Relations are seen for what they are: the White Citizens Councils of state violence. Still, in a little gift of history, one of their lesser offspring, George W. Bush, may speed things up a bit as he brags and blithers about, gleefully brutalizes, perversely exaggerates, and cynically promotes cruel and authoritarian ideas his brighter colleagues have worked so hard to wrap in the costume of decency and democracy. He is the Council on Foreign Relations out of the closet, the carefully contrived paradigm run amuck, the great man of history turned dangerous fool, real politik turned into absurdist caricature. For that at least, we should thank him: he has shown us the true nature of a great lie.
Let's hope so.

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

Claims that the suicide bombing in Iraq today was the work of terrorists highlight the speed of blowback these days

Terror supports the agenda of shrubco, bin Laden and Sharon et al. But perhaps the special environment that is Iraq right now will create an environment that even they cannot use to their advantage.

"Nothing is true. Everything is permitted." Indeed.

May peace and sanity prevail soon.

12:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Short WSJ piece on ethics conflicts of other DPB members

12:14 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

(link to list against Iraq War)


Philip K. Dick


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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