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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, May 10, 2003
Good summary of the evolution of neocon influence from Carter to shrubAs reflected in the draft DPG, these forces first saw their opportunity in the "unipolar moment" that followed the Gulf War. But they were stymied by the "conservative crack-up" after the Soviet collapse, not to mention the cautious realism of the Bush Sr. administration itself. As a result, much of the 1990s marked a period of great frustration for these men who had nothing but contempt for Clinton's fashionable talk of transnational issues such as climate change, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping, conflict prevention, social and environmental standards for the global economy, and the creation of new multilateral mechanisms like the International Criminal Court (ICC). They regarded these transnational challenges and multilateral responses as nothing less than new constraints on Washington's freedom of action and diversions from the real task of identifying and confronting potential military rivals for its primacy. To them, American foreign policy under Clinton, which they sometimes called "globaloney," was dangerously unfocused.
At the same time, these forces grew alarmed at the strong isolationist streak in many of the Republicans who took control of Congress after the mid-term elections in 1994. While they applauded the freshmen's contempt for the United Nations and other multilateral agencies, they also fretted about the growing Republican opposition to any form of military engagement abroad, especially in places like the Balkans that they deemed vital to the U.S. national interest. They loved the new Republicans' unilateralism, but deplored their disengagement.
11:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bodine pulled out of Baghdad as shrubco "reconstruction" stumbles forwardOne senior American official in Baghdad said the U.S. team had been so concerned about being seen as an occupying power that officials were overly reluctant to exert their full authority.This is more a debate within the White House than in Iraq -- being seen as the occupying authority is fine with the Warheads, but diplomatically incorrect.
"We came in here hands-off," the official said. "There was a bit of ambivalence between being an authority and being authoritarian. We were so concerned about being authoritarian that we didn't exercise authority."
10:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
From a Mike Ruppert article summary on the SARS phenomenonIn this role, SARS fits the bill perfectly because it has successfully terrified much of the world's population, weakened the Chinese economy and set the stage for more deadly diseases while avoiding the real issue. SARS serves the role of something long-practiced in covert operations and warfare -- a dry run on serious population reduction and management. Ultimately something will give. And ultimately -- as people begin to starve -- population issues will have to be addressed, both in terms of number and in terms of maintaining order. SARS, while most likely not the agent envisioned by some scientists as the "big one", conveniently serves the dual purpose of conditioning populations for the time when forced vaccinations may accomplish the task or when they will be told to surrender all personal liberties as a more deadly disease occupies the stage.
But to think of SARS only in that context is to miss a great many other "side effects" of the disease, not the least of which is the fact that it forces China to accept western medical and business practices favored by globalized financial interests and the pharmaceutical industry. It also strengthens the political clout of China's new leader Hu Jintao as he is forced to respond decisively.
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Salam Pax on the Current SituationPrices of weapons on the market have been going up. At one point you could get a hand grenade for 500 dinars, that's a quarter of a dollar. A Kalashnikov for $200 and a brand new Uzi for a bit more. These are on display on the roads. In Baghdad-al-Jadida and al-baya districts but the cheapest could be found in Thawra (revolution) district (It used to be caleed Thawra then Saddam now they are calling it al-Sadir district). It is like a militarized zone in Thawra. If you don't live there you better not go.
The streets markets look like something out of a William Gibson novel. Heaps of cheap RAM (stolen of course) is being sold beside broken monitors beside falafel stands and weapons are all available. Fights break out justlikethat and knives come out from nowhere, knives just bought 5 minutes ago. There are army sighting thingys, Weird looking things with lenses. And people selling you computer cases who tell you these are electric warmers, never having seen a computer case before. Really truly surreal...
American civil administration in Iraq is having a shortage of Bright ideas. I keep wondering what happened to the months of "preparation" for a "post-saddam" Iraq. What happened to all these 100-page reports, where is that Dick Cheney report? Why is every single issue treated like they have never thought it would come up? What's with the juggling of people and ideas about how to form that "interim government"? Why does it feel like they are using the [lets-try-this-lets-try-that] strategy? Trial and error on a whole country?
The various bodies that have been installed here don't seem to have much coordination between them. We all need to feel that big sure and confident strides forward are being taken; it is not like this at all. And how about stopping empty pointless gestures and focusing on things that are real problems? Can anyone tell me what the return of children to schools really means? Other than it makes nice 6 o'clock news footage.
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The May 8th Undernews has a long section at the bottom on the cold fusion issueThe stakes in the debate about cold fusion are enormous. In this case, an unholy alliance seems to have come together. The principle players are the fossil fuel industry, which has no interest in seeing itself eclipsed by a new, non-polluting source of energy, and the mainstream physics community, which wants to protect, seemingly at all costs, the federal funding it relies on to continue its massively expensive hot fusion experiments.There are replies to an earlier post from skeptics as well.
I've seen how squirrelly even good people can get when a few of their bucks are in jeopardy. So it's not surprising that when several trillion dollars are on the table, there are signs of skullduggery.
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Looking for a police state in Europe for a vacation getaway?
Genoa police get away with murder at G8 protest in 2001
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Friday, May 09, 2003
Class action suit against ChevronTexaco to be held in Ecuador [u]Lawyers representing some 30,000 impoverished Ecuadoreans are expected to sue ChevronTexaco Corp. today, accusing the second-largest U.S. oil company of contaminating the rainforest and sickening local residents.
The suit alleges that a ChevronTexaco unit discharged billions of gallons of contaminated water, causing widespread pollution and illness.
11:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Muslims in the US are having their credit card accounts cancelled - for no reason other than their race/religion [u]
11:43 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
It's just free speech file:
538 "Pioneers" supplied half the $100mil for shrub's 2000 campaign
But in the end, 5 judges did the trick.
11:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
FoxNews may be pulled from UK for violating "impartiality" standards
10:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
British Gulf War I vet wins case connecting military injection with Gulf War Syndrome [u]
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Operation Support Garner [u]The massacre in Falluja was symptomatic. The town was quiet for two weeks after Iraqi troops and local Ba'ath party leaders fled. The imams halted the looting and got much of the stolen property returned. A new mayor arranged for schools to re-open and persuaded police to return to work. Then the Americans arrived, arrested imams, put up roadblocks and occupied a school - all without prior discussion with local leaders.
They seemed to be working from a one-size-fits-all Pentagon textbook. First "liberate", then move in and provide policing whether people want it or not. In Baghdad there were indeed security problems after Saddam's forces vanished, and many residents asked why US forces did so little to halt the looting of key buildings. Having failed initially there, the US over-compensated elsewhere. It came down too hard in Falluja and other cities where people did not want a US hand.
The contrast with Afghanistan is sharp. For months Afghans pleaded for the US to deploy international peacekeepers beyond Kabul to cities where warlords held sway or were fighting for power. The US refused, either for fear of taking casualties or because of lack of interest in a poor country once its anti-western regime was toppled.
In Iraq, where there are no warlords and people feel they have the expertise to run the country themselves, the US insists on moving in and staying.
8:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Pentagon well aware of DU contamination danger
From a yahoo groups posting quoted on Undernews a few days ago
A Special Operations Command Colonel -- Okay, I'll give you some dirt if that's what you're looking for. The Pentagon knows there are huge health risks associated with DU They know from years of monitoring our own test ranges and manufacturing facilities.
There were parts of Iraq designated as high contamination areas before we ever placed any troops on the ground. The areas around Basra, Jalibah, Talil, most of the southern desert, and various other hot spots were all identified as contaminated before the war. Some of the areas in the southern desert region along the Kuwaiti border are especially radioactive on scans and tests.
One of our test ranges in Saudi Arabia shows over 1000 times the normal background level for radiation. We have test ranges in the U.S. that are
extremely contaminated; hell, they have been since the 80's and nothing is ever said publicly. Don't ask don't tell is not only applied to gays,
it is applied to this matter very heavily.
I know at one time the theory was developed that any soldier exposed to DU shells should have to wear full MOP gear (the chemical protective suit). But they realized that just wouldn't be practical and it was never openly discussed again.
7:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
After 3 months, less than 10% of health care workers have taken the smallpox vaccine -- out of the shrubco goal of 450,000
Now that the big travesty is done, the little travesties of shrubco move forward.
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Only in America -- or, say, Iran -- would nude tennis be such a big bloody deal
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Found a search referral from the US embassy of the United Arab Emirates, looking for "IASPS A Clean Break," by Richard Perle"
Here's the post I did back in September on the neocon agenda and 9/11.
3:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Diplomats loot UN cafeteria after workers walk out in pay dispute [Undernews, yes, again]The decision to make the cafeterias into "no pay zones" spread through the 40-acre complex like wildfire. Soon, the hungry patrons came running. "It was chaos, wild, something out of a war scene," said one Aramark executive who was present. "They took everything, even the silverware," she said. Another witness from U.N. security said the cafeteria was "stripped bare." And another told TIME that the cafeteria raid was "unbelievable, crowds of people just taking everything in sight; they stripped the place bare." And yet another astonished witness said that "chickens, turkeys, souffles, casseroles all went out the door (unpaid)."
The mob then moved on to the Viennese Café, a popular snack bar in the U.N.'s conference room facility. It was also stripped bare. The takers included some well-known diplomats who finished off the raid with free drinks at the lounge for delegates. When asked how much liquor was lifted from the U.N. bar, one U.S. diplomat responded: "I stopped counting the bottles." He then excused himself and headed towards the men's room.
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Environmental catastrophe is "Good News"
I've started the Gerard Colby/Charlotte Dennett book on the close ties between Anglo-American plutocrats (Rockefeller in that case) and the evangelical movement in the Amazon so this comes as no surprise [u]In his book "The Carbon Wars," Greenpeace activist Jeremy Leggett tells how he stumbled upon this otherworldly agenda. During the Kyoto climate change negotiations, Leggett candidly asked Ford Motor Company executive John Schiller how opponents of the pact could believe there is no problem with "a world of a billion cars intent on burning all the oil and gas available on the planet?" The executive asserted first that scientists get it wrong when they say fossil fuels have been sequestered underground for eons. The Earth, he said, is just 10,000, not 4.5 billion years old, the age widely accepted by scientists.
Then Schiller confidently declared, "You know, the more I look, the more it is just as it says in the Bible." The Book of Daniel, he told Leggett, predicts that increased earthly devastation will mark the "End Time" and return of Christ. Paradoxically, Leggett notes, many fundamentalists see dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and other environmental destruction not as an urgent call to action, but as God's will. In the religious right worldview, the wreck of the Earth can be seen as Good News!
Some true believers, interpreting biblical prophecy, are sure they will be saved from the horrific destruction brought by ecosystem collapse. They'll be raptured: rescued from Earth by God, who will then rain down seven ghastly years of misery on unbelieving humanity. Jesus' return will mark the Millennium, when the Lord restores the Earth to its green pristine condition, and the faithful enjoy a thousand years of peace and prosperity.
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Dyncorp -- under "new corporate culture" of recent buyer Computer Sciences -- drops appeal and pays Balkan sex scandal whistleblower [u]Kathryn Bolkovac was sacked by Dyncorp after revealing that UN peacekeepers employed by the firm had gone to nightclubs where girls aged 15 were forced to dance naked and have sex with customers. UN personnel and international aid workers were also revealed to have links to prostitution rings in the Balkans.See this post for background.
In November an employment tribunal awarded Ms Bolkovac £110,221 and criticised the company's "callous, spiteful and vindictive" manner towards her.
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Fighter jet school symbol in Cali town stirs controversy [u]
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Nature Conservancy now a front for plutocratic rapacity [u]The Arlington-based Nature Conservancy has blossomed into the world's richest environmental group, amassing $3 billion in assets by pledging to save precious places. Known for its advertisements decorated with forests, streams and the soothing voice of actor Paul Newman, the 52-year-old charity preserves millions of acres across the nation.
Yet the Conservancy has logged forests, engineered a $64 million deal paving the way for opulent houses on fragile grasslands and drilled for natural gas under the last breeding ground of an endangered bird species.
The nonprofit Conservancy has traveled far beyond its humble beginnings, when it relied on small donors and acquired a few small plots at a time. Its governing board and advisory council now include executives and directors from one or more oil companies, chemical producers, auto manufacturers, mining concerns, logging operations and coal-burning electric utilities.
Some of those corporations have paid millions in environmental fines. Last year, they and other corporations donated $225 million to the Conservancy -- an amount approaching that given by individuals.
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Nader on the Wall Street conflict-of-interest fines [u]Responding to criticism that he and other regulators had gone lightly in fining ten large Wall Street firms $1.4 billion for alleged conflicts of interests, New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer contended that harsher penalties would have done more harm than good for the economy. "We made a decision not to destroy these financial institutions," he told reporters.
Never mind that some of the small investors who lost hundreds of billions of dollars were themselves nearly destroyed because of the misleading information they received from these bank and brokerage analysts, who, for their own profits, continued to issue "buy" recommendations even as companies' shares plummeted. Never mind that even New York Times columnist Paul Krugman calls the fines a "slap on the wrist". Never mind that after the settlement was announced Morgan Stanley's chairman said: "I don't see anything in the settlement that will concern the retail investor about Morgan Stanley. Not one thing."
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The US government's Arab language satellite news station "produced" by "rabidly pro-Israel" fundamentalist Christian media group [u]
Though they're attempting to distance themselves by saying the station is just using their facilities.
1:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Commandant Franks sees "rough behavior...for the foreseeable future" in
the 51st stateIraq
So the secret's out.
1:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, May 08, 2003
Liberian President Charles Taylor and the destabilization of West Africa [Global Beat]Western Côte d'Ivoire has become a magnet for mercenaries of many nationalities. The failure of the international community to devise a regional disarmament program has given the hard-line Sierra Leone fighters who fled to Liberia another chance to sell their skills. While international attention is focused on Iraq, a regional humanitarian crisis is raging throughout Liberia and western Côte d'Ivoire. Neither the Ivorian government nor rebel groups have allowed the UN or other donors access to assist the tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons who are trapped by two brutal conflicts. The international community must act before Liberia's conflict spreads to other West African countries. Sanctions and containment policies have not stopped Charles Taylor from supporting rebellions beyond Liberia's borders. Whether he has grand regional designs or simply cannot control his ill-disciplined forces, he remains a regional security problem.
7:06 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Pentagon readies parallel legal system with no judicial oversightHaving assigned prisoners captured in Afghanistan and Iraq to a netherworld outside the norms of the U.S. legal system and impervious to international law, the Pentagon is now forming its guidelines for "military commissions" which will rule ex post facto on actions that the administration considers, in retrospect, to have been criminal. Not exactly kangaroo courts, the military commissions will allow civilian attorneys, provided the Afghans prisoners incarcerated at Guantanamo for the last several months can afford to fork over the cash required, and if the attorneys manage to obtain a secret security clearance. If they can't afford that, the Secretary of Defense has made provisions to choose U.S. military officers to act in the prisoners' defense. The proceedings are likely to be carried out in secret.
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Leo Strauss and the neocons' Neo-Platonic Endarkenment [Global Beat]Robert Pippin, the chairman of the Committee on Social Thought at Chicago and a critic of Strauss, told me, "Strauss believed that good statesmen have powers of judgment and must rely on an inner circle. The person who whispers in the ear of the King is more important than the King. If you have that talent, what you do or say in public cannot be held accountable in the same way." Another Strauss critic, Stephen Holmes, a law professor at New York University, put the Straussians' position this way: "They believe that your enemy is deceiving you, and you have to pretend to agree, but secretly you follow your own views." Holmes added, "The whole story is complicated by Strauss's idea -- actually Plato's -- that philosophers need to tell noble lies not only to the people at large but also to powerful politicians."
When I asked one of Strauss's staunchest defenders, Joseph Cropsey, professor emeritus of political science at Chicago, about the use of Strauss's views in the area of policymaking, he told me that common sense alone suggested that a certain amount of deception is essential in government. "That people in government have to be discreet in what they say publicly is so obvious -- 'If I tell you the truth I can't but help the enemy.'" But there is nothing in Strauss's work, he added, that "favors preëmptive action. What it favors is prudence and sound judgment. If you could have got rid of Hitler in the nineteen-thirties, who's not going to be in favor of that? You don't need Strauss to reach that conclusion."
Some former intelligence officials believe that Shulsky and his superiors were captives of their own convictions, and were merely deceiving themselves. Vincent Cannistraro, the former chief of counter-terrorism operations and analysis at the C.I.A., worked with Shulsky at a Washington think tank after his retirement. He said, "Abe is very gentle and slow to anger, with a sense of irony. But his politics were typical for his group -- the Straussian view." The group's members, Cannistraro said, "reinforce each other because they're the only friends they have, and they all work together. This has been going on since the nineteen-eighties, but they've never been able to coalesce as they have now. September 11th gave them the opportunity, and now they're in heaven. They believe the intelligence is there. They want to believe it. It has to be there." [my emphasis]
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Well done, Zippy!
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The future of SUVs [u]
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What is wrong with this picture?
Civil Rights Commission loses case against Hispanic woman who claimed ethnic discrimination
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US "truce" with People's Mujahideen in Iraq tranforms "terrorist" group into "freedom fighters" [u]The group was added to the US state department's list of terrorist organisations in 1997. However, it was credited with revealing to the CIA details of the Iranian government's clandestine nuclear programmes.
An American military official said the group could provide intelligence regarding Iranian government activities both in Iraq and in Iran.
A state department official, meanwhile, said the deal with the terrorist group was not inconsistent with the broader effort against terrorism and it would help the US learn more about Iraq's ties to terrorism and the nature of its former government.
1:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Israel to bar pro-Palestinian activists from entering country
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A group of former CIA analysts assemble a checklist of planted evidence used as a pretext for military action by the US [u]One of the more egregious and embarrassing uses of fake material evidence occurred on the eve of the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, when Alabama National Guard B-26 bombers attacked a Cuban Air Force base in Havana. When Cuba?s UN ambassador protested, US Ambassador Adlai Stevenson (himself misinformed by the White House) insisted that the attacking planes were those of defecting Cuban Air Force pilots.
Two of the aircraft were shot down in Cuba, however, and others were forced to land in Miami where they could be examined. When it became clear that the planes were not Cuban, Washington?s hand was shown and Stevenson was in high dudgeon.
Legends, however, seem to die more slowly than dudgeon. The U.S. government clung unconscionably long to "plausible denial" regarding the B-26s. Four Alabama National Guardsmen had been killed in the incident and Cuba kept trying to get the US to accept their bodies. Not until 1978 did Washington agree to receive the remains and give them to the families of the deceased.
1:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Iraqi hostility at US running highIraqis say they view the U.S. military occupation with suspicion, anger and frustration. Many even say life was in some ways better under the regime of Saddam Hussein. The streets, they say, were safer, jobs more secure, food more plentiful and electricity and water supplies reliable.
"I'm sitting here without money, without a job, without electrical power," says Hussein Mohammed Ali, 52, who held a variety of jobs with state-run Iraqi companies. "How can I believe in anything the USA tells me?"
"The Americans made promises, but we have seen nothing," says Kamaran Abdullah, 35, a once-prosperous Kurdish merchant. His Baghdad shop was ransacked and looted when Saddam's government fell and hasn't reopened. "Everybody's afraid to go shopping. People have weapons. They take your pocket money and threaten to kill you."
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Proconsul Bremer is a former Kissinger crony and stealth hawk, a solid citizen in the Great Anglo-American HierarchyBremer' appointment is likely to cause, at least initially, as much confusion as it solves. Press reports do not say what his relationship will be with the provisional Iraqi government scheduled to be elected in late May. Reportedly, under Bremer, Garner will stay in charge of reconstruction, while Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's special envoy to Iraq, will oversee the political transition that now centers on forming an interim Iraq authority.
As Bremer has no particular Persian Gulf or Iraqi expertise, his selection seems to signal that the Bush administration is less interested in a democratic revival of Iraq than in ensuring that it cannot serve in the future as an kind of base for threats against the American homeland, which was one of the rationales offered by the Bush administration for its invasion in the first place.
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Berlusconi -- standing trial himself for bribery -- seeks to restore immunity for "senior politicians"
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Trade sanctions worth $4bil a year may be imposed on the US in the fall, due to corporate subsidies
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EU recognizes health threat of exposure to chemical cocktail in the environment
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From J Orlin GrabbeRumsfeld quietly pushes bills eliminating oversight of the Pentagon and allowing it carte blanche on contracts.
Director of a Paris theatre where a satire on shrub is playing was slashed with a box cutter.
Alex Jones claims proof -- and testimony from NYC firemen -- that the WTC was brought down by explosives
Before beginning this article, I met Auxiliary Lieutenant Fireman and former Auxiliary Police Officer, Paul Isaac Jr. at the World Trade Center Memorial. Paul, along with many other firemen, is very upset about the obvious cover-up and he is on a crusade for answers and justice. He was stationed at Engine 10, across the street from the World Trade Center in 1998 and 99; Engine 10 was entirely wiped out in the destruction of the towers. He explained to me that, "many other firemen know there were bombs in the buildings, but they're afraid for their jobs to admit it because the 'higher-ups' forbid discussion of this fact." Paul further elaborated that former CIA director Robert Woolsey, as the Fire Department's Anti-terrorism Consultant, is sending a gag order down the ranks. "There were definitely bombs in those buildings," he told me. He explained to me that, if the building had 'pancaked' as it's been called, the falling floors would have met great resistance from the steel support columns, which would have sent debris flying outward into the surrounding blocks. I asked him about the trusses, and quoted the History Channel's 'don't trust a truss' explanation for the collapses. He responded in disbelief, and told me, "You could never build a truss building that high. A slight wind would knock it over! Those buildings were supported by reinforced steel. Building don't just implode like that; this was a demolition."
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Gangs (including formerly exiled members of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress) and police raid and occupy private houses in Iraq [xymphora]
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An Asia Times series on how China is "improving" the Mekong River and quieting resistance in SE Asia with "cash and cooperation"Some Mekong countries have joined in an anti-China chorus. Although a direct beneficiary of some of the electricity generated by China, Thailand's Songkhram River Conservation Group believes that the high-wall Manwan dam has already caused "the lowest water level and lowest fish catches in Laos and northern Thailand in living memory". The conservation group's position on the future dams is clear: "No more dams, please!"
The scale and impact of China's plans continue to trouble officials in the lower-basin countries. "We had no idea about the potential of the upper basin," said Prachoom Chomchai, formerly Thailand's representative on Mekong issues. Prachoom and marine-life scientists have been concerned not only about the potential reduction in the flow of water during the dry season, but also pollution. China dumps toxic wastes into the Mekong from paper mills around Dali in Yunnan. In that area alone, China's once clean and sparkling Lake Erhai is now choked with waste and agricultural runoff.
2:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Unrepentant dish file:
Ashton Kutcher on partying with the shrub twins"So we're hanging out ... The Bushes were underage drinking at my house. When I checked outside, one of the Secret Service guys asked me if they'd be spending the night. I said no. And then I go upstairs to see another friend and I can smell the green wafting out under his door. I open the door, and there he is smoking out the Bush twins on his hookah."
1:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Cronkite & Safer unknowingly(?) shill for BigPharma in "educational" videos
1:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Disconnect in the UK file:
Blair's approval ratings back up to pre-poodle levels
Can any of my British readers explain this to me? Anyone?
9:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Ex-paramilitaries in Guatemala riot for backpayThousands of former militia members who fought in Guatemala's civil war have burned down buildings and taken a provincial governor hostage in the south of the country.
The kidnappers are former members of Guatemala's civil defence patrols who are demanding payment for their services during the war, which ended in 1996.
Human rights groups say patrol members, many of whom were forced into service by the army, were responsible for hundreds of massacres of suspected left-wing guerrillas and Mayan Indian civilians.
1:23 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Terror = Security file:
Large cash outlays must be reported in Britain
Supposedly to avert money laundering and terrorism, laws which require a credit purchase above a certain price ceiling are moving into place in the EU and the US as well.
The big boys are clearing out the riff-raff.
And more freedom disappears in the name of "security."
I find this very creepy. And the people behind terror are laughing.
1:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, May 05, 2003
Links on the history of Iraq, from the History News Network
5:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Texts of the previously closed McCarthy hearings, text & pdf links
The pdfs (which are a lot easier to read, as well as being smaller) are also here.
5:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Holding teens was last straw
US finally releases some Gitmo prisoners
Seems like they still don't have dick, doesn't it?
4:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, May 04, 2003
US economic prescriptions still failing in Latin AmericaAnti-US sentiment in Latin America is running about as high as it has been since riots forced Vice-President Richard Nixon to cut short his 1958 goodwill tour of South America. The war in Iraq has been immensely unpopular, leaving many Latin Americans wondering what "regime change" might be next on Washington's hit list.
Closer to home, Latin Americans are increasingly rejecting "neoliberalismo," the economic experiment that their governments have adopted -- at Washington's urging -- over the last two decades. There can be no doubt as to the failure of this experiment, which has included indiscriminate opening to foreign trade and investment flows, large scale privatizations, and the widespread implementation of unsuccessful macro-economic policies advocated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
11:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco censors EPA discussions of perchlorate-tainted lettuce [u]In another step, the White House Office of Management and Budget intervened last month to delay further regulatory action on perchlorate, by referring the health debate to the National Academy of Sciences for review, according to people familiar with the matter. Pending that study, which could take an additional six to 18 months, the EPA ordered its scientists and regulators not to speak about perchlorate, said Suzanne Ackerman, an EPA spokeswoman.See previous posts here and here.
The gag order prevented EPA scientists from commenting or elaborating Friday on the two lettuce studies, which show lettuce, available in U.S. supermarkets, appears to absorb and concentrate perchlorate from polluted irrigation water in significant amounts. Other scientists familiar with the studies said both are limited in scope and are only suggestive, not conclusive, on the question of whether Americans are consuming perchlorate in food.
According to these scientists, definitive data on the perchlorate content in U.S. produce --- specified as a top EPA and Pentagon research priority in the late 1990s --- were supposed to have been available at least two years ago. But in 2000, after much time and effort had gone into designing a perchlorate study plan with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Data Program, the Defense Department refused to fund the roughly $215,000 needed to collect vegetables for sampling, said Cornell Long, who heads perchlorate research on food sources for the Air Force.
11:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"The government has no effective system of overseeing genetically altered crops after they go to market, a regulatory gap that could pose acute problems as more such crops are commercialized" [link] [u]
11:06 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Proto-fascist Jewish activist sites detail how to shut down "offensive" websites [u]
11:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
dubya resumé [u]
A small excerpt:In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their job.
Cut unemployment benefits for more out of work Americans than any president in US history.
Set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12 month period.
Appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
Set the record for the least amount of press conferences than any president since the advent of television.
Signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any president in US history.
Attacked and took over two countries.
Spent the surplus and bankrupted the treasury.
Shattered record for biggest annual deficit in history.
Set economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12 month period.
Set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
First president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
First president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
10:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Victory" message squelched in high speed PR spin on Iraq invasion
shrubco seeks proper "freedom" spin to parades for Iraq vetsThe Bush administration, which has shown great discipline in preparing its public message during the campaign against terror, wants the world to see an America honoring liberation, freedom and democratic ideals, and not gloating over a fallen adversary in the Arab world.What perfect horseshit.
12:47 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)
Philip K. Dick
DEEPER NEWS LINK
The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Christian Science Monitor
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan
BLOGS WITH A BULLET
Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
The Mink Dimension
The Asylum Eclectica
VINTAGE BLOGS, DIVERSIONS
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
a bright cold day in april
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
follow me here
Watch It! (site update notifier)
Ask Now (24/7 reference help)
The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk
Chilling Effects (online rights)
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative (Computer recycling)
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Astrodienst (free charts)
Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Privacy Rights Now
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Physicians for a National Health Program
insound (music and mags)
half.com (books & music cheap)
Web Source Sales (ink carts cheap)
Invisible Web search
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