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planing lakes



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

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

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy

into the buzzsaw

Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...

It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.

This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.

I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.

It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.

Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.

. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.

The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.

Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.

Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.

Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .

Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


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Saturday, June 21, 2003

International corporations can use the "investor-to-state" resolution clause of NAFTA to win cash awards from US (or Canadian or Mexican) taxpayers if the local government does something they doesn't like
If a corporation wins its case, it can be awarded unlimited amounts of taxpayer dollars from the treasury of the offending nation even though it has gone around the country's domestic court system and domestic laws to obtain such an award.


This extraordinary attack on normal government activity such as operating a civil justice system through courts, denying a construction permit or establishing health and other public interest regulations has drawn growing criticism to NAFTA's Chapter 11 investment rules. For some Republican and Democratic members of Congress who voted for NAFTA, these cases have been an unexpected and unwelcome result of the agreement. The Republicans were promised NAFTA would not undermine U.S. local and state sovereignty and control. The Democrats were promised NAFTA would not undermine domestic environmental and health laws. Both were promised NAFTA would not give foreign investors better treatment than local businesses or open the U.S. Treasury to new demands from foreign investors. But the NAFTA Chapter 11 cases have made a mockery of these promises.

10:59 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Slandered antiwar Labour MP wins apology from Christian Science Monitor [a]
The Christian Science Monitor, which accused Mr Galloway of accepting payments totalling $10m in return for promoting Saddam's interests in the west, has admitted that the documents which were the basis for its story appear to be forgeries.

An "extensive investigation" by the Monitor revealed that the six papers, dated between 1992 and 1993, were in fact written within the last few months, according to chemical analysis of the ink.

"At the time we published these documents, we felt they were newsworthy and appeared credible, although we did explicitly state in our article that we could not guarantee their authenticity," said Paul Van Slambrouck, the editor of the Monitor.

"It is important to set the record straight: we are convinced the documents are bogus. We apologize to Mr Galloway and to our readers," he added.

Previous post.

10:49 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

US troops use Wagner piece from Apocalypse Now to spook Iraqis on raids

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

The New Unreality file:

Raving lunatics at neo con directorate AEI claim NGOs "undemocratic"

Of course many are under the influence of corporate sponsors, as Jane Roelofs' book (see left column) explains.

But that's not what Perle & Ledeen & co. are talking about.

10:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pvt Lynch and the media myth machine [u]
The race to land the most sought-after interview of the war in Iraq intensified as soon as Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch arrived at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in April, after her rescue from an Iraqi hospital.

Katie Couric of NBC News sent Private Lynch, now 20, a bundle of patriotic books, including Rudolph W. Giuliani's memoir, "Leadership." Diane Sawyer, of ABC News, sent a locket with a photograph of Private Lynch's family home in Palestine, W. Va.

But CBS News, in addition to the usual personal touches, exhibited an apparent new gambit in its pursuit of an exclusive interview with the newsmaker of the moment, known in the television business as "the get." In its letters to Private Lynch's family and officials at the medical center, obtained by The New York Times, CBS News combined its pitch for a two-hour documentary with many other projects envisioned by the other divisions of its corporate parent, Viacom.

In the process, CBS renewed concerns among critics about the independence of news divisions owned by media giants.

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

Philip Knightley on the carte blanche to kill journos the Pentagon appears to believe the public has granted them [u]
Brigadier General Vince Brooks, deputy director of operations, has told us the Americans do not target journalists. But some war correspondents do not believe him, and Spanish journalists have demonstrated outside the US embassy in Madrid shouting 'murderers'. I believe that the traditional relationship between the military and the media - one of restrained hostility - has broken down, and the US administration has decided its attitude to war correspondents is the same as that set out by President Bush when declaring war on terrorists: 'You're either with us or against us.'

Journalists prepared to get on side - and that means 100 per cent on side - will become 'embeds' and get every assistance. Any who follow an objective, independent path, the so-called 'unilaterals', will be shunned. And those who report from the enemy side will risk being shot.

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

Pax Israel

US and British intel have been advised by Israeli operatives for decades
Though "C", the head of the MI5 has been traditionally able to call on the services of the SAS and the "Increment", a small special forces unit dedicated to secret intelligence, an ever increasing number of covert and potentially politically explosive operations required the use of contracted "retired" officers operating within commercial paramilitary companies; organized crime assets or even "friendly" foreign intelligence agencies such as Mossad. The SIS has now apparently decided, presumably with full approval of the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Cabinet Office, that it must have its own operatives to do much of the "dirty work" in future. In common with their colleagues at the CIA, the senior management at Vauxhall Cross are now busily returning the service to the bad old days of "political action" and assassination as the official, though of course deniable, policy for dealing with external threats.
Excellent article.

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

Claim that Iraqis attacking or being attacked by US troops are all "pro-Saddam Baath loyalists" is clearly bullshit [u]

But you knew that, didn't you?

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

Friday, June 20, 2003

Troops wonder WTF?
In conversations in a half-dozen towns across central Iraq, soldiers complained that they have been insufficiently equipped for peacekeeping and too thinly deployed in areas where they are under attack from fighters evidently loyal to deposed president Saddam Hussein. Others questioned whether the armed opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq may be deeper and more organized than military commanders have acknowledged.

"What are we getting into here?" asked a sergeant with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division who is stationed near Baqubah, a city 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. "The war is supposed to be over, but every day we hear of another soldier getting killed. Is it worth it? Saddam isn't in power anymore. The locals want us to leave. Why are we still here?"

10:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, June 19, 2003

New laws initiated by EV (electric vehicle) advocates unintentionally threaten cyclists' and other slow travellers' right to use roads [u]

10:07 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

William Bowles on the American disconnect [u]
But the essence of the entire Bush policy of the 'war on terrorism' rests on the notion that there is no connection between US policies and the rise of 'terrorism'. It attempts to sell us the idea of a benign US government peacefully going about its business that has been 'provoked' into taking extreme measures in order to defend 'freedom and democracy'. Yet the reality couldn't be further from the truth. Several decades of US foreign and domestic policy and actions contradict this assertion. Millions of people in the developing world who have been on the receiving end of US 'democracy' can tell you the tale far better than I can and as the endless litany of examples of double-speak attest to, it's not as if one has to look far or dig deep for proof of US government hypocrisy in this regard.

10:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Families of 9/11 victims fed up with shrubco's suppression of investigation [a] [salon clickthrough blah blah]
Family advocates also wanted to know why the government -- and specifically the Bush administration -- has been so reluctant to find answers to any of the obvious questions about what went wrong that day, why so little has been fixed, and why virtually nobody has accepted any responsibility for the glaring failures.

While the administration of President George W. Bush is aggressively positioning itself as the world leader in the war on terrorism, some families of the Sept. 11 victims say that the facts increasingly contradict that script. The White House long opposed the formation of a blue-ribbon Sept. 11 commission, some say, and even now that panel is underfunded and struggling to build momentum. And, they say, the administration is suppressing a 900-page congressional study, possibly out of fear that the findings will be politically damaging to Bush.

"We've been fighting for nearly 21 months -- fighting the administration, the White House," says Monica Gabrielle. Her husband, Richard, an insurance broker who worked for Aon Corp. on the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center's Tower 2, died during the attacks. "As soon as we started looking for answers we were blocked, put off and ignored at every stop of the way. We were shocked. The White House is just blocking everything."

6:15 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

French court suppresses book by judge on endemic corruption in France

10:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Nixon legal counsel and indicted Watergate figure John Dean says Bush's manipulation of intel to invade Iraq grounds for impeachment

His essay at the FindLaw site.

5:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

"Getcha vaccine, multi-purpose vaccine right heah..."

Even monkeypox threat not enough to get people to take smallpox vaccine

8:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Before they came and built the pipeline, there were no soldiers," Jane Doe 2 said. "When the pipeline came, it destroyed our lives. We lost our home. We lost our livelihood. We lost everything."

Tyrannical, oppressive regime OK with shrubco, as long as Unocal owns the pipeline
[Twin Cities Babelogue]
The May 1992 report was frank: The government "habitually makes use of forced labour to construct roads," it said, adding that the Tatmawdaw was ordering whole villages to relocate. The goal was to cut any ties the villagers may have had with Karen and Mon rebels, a tactic the U.S. Army employed in its "strategic hamlets" relocation program in Vietnam.

"There are credible reports of military attacks on civilians in the regions," the report continued, and "the local community is already terrorized."

Back at headquarters in California, at least one executive was concerned that Unocal would be relying on the Myanmar junta to provide protection for the pipeline and that the military would be "out of our control," as Stephen Lipman, then Unocal's vice president of international affairs, recounted in a deposition.

But the oil and gas exploration project in the central part of the country had proceeded smoothly, Unocal's lawyers noted, with no evidence that locals ever had come to any harm. Oil and gas companies routinely do business in politically unpleasant or unstable climates, and it's customary for foreign governments to provide security.


If Jane Doe 1 and 14 other plaintiffs succeed in forcing Unocal to defend itself in a courtroom thousands of miles from the scene of the alleged crimes, they will make history.

More than two dozen suits have been filed in U.S. courts over the last decade against U.S. corporations -- including Exxon Mobil Corp., Ford Motor Co. and IBM Corp. -- for alleged human rights abuses in countries from Colombia to South Africa. None has been tried.

Should the Unocal case be the first, a Los Angeles jury will face questions moral as well as legal: Can a corporation be held liable for human rights violations by a foreign government that is a business partner? How much of a hand in the abuses must the company have had to be found responsible? What if it simply turned a blind eye?

12:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

AZ news

I wondered if Bishop O'Brien's little hit-and-run affair today would make the nationals
Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, already beleaguered by a sexual misconduct scandal involving clergy, was arrested Monday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident in Phoenix.

The prelate's new turmoil, nearly biblical in scope, may put Arizona's Catholic leadership in limbo as it rocks a diocese that has endured months of tortured scrutiny about deviant priests who were allowed to prey on children.


Williams said O'Brien admitted "he was driving the vehicle and he might have hit something, but we don't know more."
Now check out this pic of his car:

Bishop's car

"might have hit something"?

12:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, June 16, 2003

Rich white folks to buy African wildlife refuges the locals can't afford to keep

Sounds benevolent, but I'm just a skeptical guy. And the fact that the World Bank approves doesn't soothe me.

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

New antibiotics just a tad iffy in the long term
Even minor cuts and grazes will take far longer to heal, [some scientists] warn, and could even progress to far more serious bacterial infections.

In addition, the researchers say, the body's inability to keep down other types of bacteria could lead to a surge in chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cystic fibrosis.

The new family of drugs, called "Ramp" antimicrobials, are being developed in response to growing resistance to existing antibiotic drugs.

There are fears that virtually all drugs could be rendered far less effective as microbes evolve to dodge their attacks.

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

CorpWatch on Bechtel's record
This report provides case studies from Bechtel's history of operating in the water, nuclear, energy and public works sectors. These case studies reveal a legacy of unsustainable and destructive practices that have reaped permanent human, environmental and community devastation around the globe. Letters from "Bechtel affected communities" included here provide first-hand descriptions of these impacts, from Bolivia to Native American lands in Nevada. The report reveals a 100-year history spent capitalizing on the most brutal technologies, reaping immense profits and ignoring the social and environmental costs.
Bandits with lawyers in a world where governments are bought for a song.

I'm not much into posting lately, and have stuff on this week, so things might be slow here.

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

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Senate prescription plan for seniors a scam [u]

12:02 AM - [Link] - Comments ()


from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'

Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."

Blog of the Day


In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.

-- Malcolm Muggeridge

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

-- Mark Twain

(link to list against Iraq War)


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[Get Opera!]


They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.

Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."

Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."

Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down

Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
What Law?

There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

© me