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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, June 28, 2003
3 months of lies FoxNews has told about the Iraq War [PR Watch]
30 all told.
12:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Destroying the US economy just part of the neocon agenda? [PR Watch]"The lunatics are now in charge of the asylum," declared a Financial Times editorial last month. The sentiment was seconded by Harvard economist Paul Krugman in his New York Times column. Krugman, like the Financial Times, argues that the administration ideologues are deliberately creating a fiscal crisis in order to achieve their goal of dismantling a social and economic system that ensured domestic tranquility since the New Deal. "The people now running America aren't conservatives: they're radicals," wrote Krugman. "How can this be happening? Most people, even most liberals, are complacent. They don't realize how dire the fiscal outlook really is, and they don't read what the ideologues write."
12:44 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
New book on the selling of the Iraq War by the authors of Trust Us, We're the Experts and the PR Watch siteWe've always known what good PR and advertising could do for a new line of sneakers, cosmetics, or weight-loss products. In Weapons of Mass Deception, Rampton and Stauber show us a brave new shocking world where savvy marketers, "information warriors," and "perception managers" can sell an entire war to consumers. Indeed, Washington successfully brought together the world's top ad agencies and media empires to create "Operation: Iraqi Freedom" - a product no decent, patriotic citizen could possibly object to.
12:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, June 27, 2003
Mysterious outbreak of hepatitis B and C in Wyoming
Since when are kids who attend daycare routinely given the hep vaccine?
8:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Post-9/11 roundup of Muslim and Arab immigrants a failure on every level...the government's efforts to depict some of those who were detained as terrorists were simply wrong. "The only charges brought against them were actually for routine immigration violations or ordinary crimes," concludes the 165-page report, "America's Challenge: Domestic Security, Civil Liberties and National Unity After September 11".
"Many of the policies that have been adopted in the wake of Sep. 11 are an attempt to use immigration as a proxy for anti-terrorism," said Vincent Cannistraro, a former senior counter-terrorism official in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who is on MPI's board of advisers and helped prepare the report.
"We haven't learned anything about pre-empting terrorism in America, but we have intimidated, antagonised and alienated many (minority) communities (which is) counter-productive to what the FBI and other agencies are trying to do," he added at the report's release.
8:23 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Smart mobs develop class consciousness
Perhaps a sociologist will someday call the GOP "rent-a-rioters" in Florida before the 2000 coup the "proto-smart mob".
6:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Idiot fascist glee continues in America
Gen Franks "victory" in Iraq called "one of the signal achievements in military history" by Foreign Affairs magazine [link] [u]After all, he's a "soldier's general" with plenty of down-home charm who's drawn raves from President Bush ("I really trust Tommy"), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ("Brilliant") and Pentagon adviser Newt Gingrich ("He's a lot like Eisenhower").Puke bags available at the door.
Sam Smith:This is not only absurd, it's a bit insulting to, say, WWII veterans, not to mention Alexander the Great. Among other things, the US has been spending 26 times as much on its military budget as have Iraq, Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria combined.
5:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The company does business at the confluence of the war on terrorism and corporate responsibility. It is a world that few of us can even imagine, full of clandestine meetings, quid pro quo deals, bitter ironies, and petty jealousies. And the cast of characters includes some of the most famous and powerful men in the world. This is today's America. This is the Carlyle Group.
New book on how the Carlyle Group is making big bucks post-9/11: The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group by Dan Briody [u]
5:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Nice summary by Dan Baum of the issues brought up by megacorps which blur the line between the government/military and the private sector, like Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root and Dyncorp [u]Representative Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California, is in high dudgeon lately, suggesting that Vice President Dick Cheney's former chairmanship of Halliburton gave KBR the inside track on the Iraqi oil-fields contract, which could be worth as much as $7 billion. But the reality is subtler: KBR didn't need any help. It is by now so enmeshed with the Pentagon that it was able essentially to assign the contract to itself.
Outsourcing military missions also lets the Pentagon do things Congress might not approve. Congress, for example, has said the military can have only 400 U.S. soldiers in Colombia, an oil-rich country destabilized by guerrillas and the cocaine trade. But for years, civilian pilots employed by DynCorp, a KBR competitor, have been flying what amount to combat missions in Colombia under contract to the State Department, spraying coca crops with defoliant and occasionally getting shot at. Representative Janice Schakowsky, Democrat of Chicago, has been trying to put a stop to this kind of end run around Congressional oversight, but in the bellicose post-9/11 atmosphere on Capitol Hill, she can't get traction. Congress would never authorize the U.S. military to perform such a politically explosive mission as the Colombian spraying, Schakowsky argues, and if an American soldier was killed in Colombia it would be Page 1 news.
"Is the U.S. military privatizing its missions to avoid public controversy or embarrassment -- to hide body bags from the media and shield the military from public opinion?" she asks. Iraq, Schakowsky says, is no different. "We talk a lot in Congress about how many U.S. troops are there and for how long, but not at all about the contractors," she said. "They don't have to follow the same chain of command, the military code of conduct may or may not apply, the accountability is absent and the transparency is absent -- but the money keeps flowing."
5:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
You can supposedly block 80% of telemarketers by either going to the www.donotcall.gov website or calling 1-888-382-1222 from your home
The FTC will begin the call blocking in October, but if you wait til after September 1st, it will take 3 months from when you call or register online for the blocking to take effect.
The service is only for west of the Mississippi til July 7th, when it should be national.
You have to renew every 5 years.
1:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Center for Public Integrity has a searchable database for finding out who owns your local telecom, cable or media company
Cable One, my local cable co., is owned by Washington Post Inc., apparently.
1:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Prosecutorial misconduct pandemic in USSince 1970, individual judges and appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges at trial, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in at least 2,017 cases, a three-year investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has found.
Sometimes the consequences are severe. In 28 cases, involving 32 separate defendants, misconduct by prosecutors led to the conviction of innocent individuals who were later exonerated, the Center found. Innocent men and women were convicted of serious charges, including murder, rape and kidnapping and assault.
Guilty defendants have also had their convictions overturned. Sometimes those defendants cannot be retried because of double jeopardy rules and are placed back on the streets of the community.
A team of 21 researchers, writers and editors analyzed 11,450 cases in which charges of prosecutorial misconduct were reviewed by appellate court judges. In the majority of cases, the allegation of misconduct was ruled harmless error or was not addressed by the appellate judges, and the conviction stood.
12:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, June 26, 2003
"I wrote a book about Machiavelli, and I know the struggle against evil is going to go forever"
A heart-swelling portrait of Michael Ledeen -- Richard Perle's evil twin and Karl Rove's Iago [a]He is also close to key figures in the administration, particularly Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas Feith, whose pro-Likud politics he largely shares; Vice President Dick Cheney's powerful chief of staff, I Lewis Libby; and Elliott Abrams, the director for the Near East on the National Security Council. To that list can now apparently be added Rove, who is as close to Bush as it is possible to get.Ledeen was also tied to the P-2/Vatican scandal in the 80s in Italy. See the Paul WIlliams book on the Vatican pictured in the left column for more on that, or try someplace like here.
Throughout his career, Ledeen has insisted that war and violence are integral parts of human nature and derided the notion that peace can be negotiated between two nations. He was a fierce opponent of the Oslo peace process. "I don't know of a case in history where peace has been accomplished in any way other than one side winning a war [and] imposing terms on the other side," he said two years ago.
7:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Terrorism case in NJ revealed as bullshit, calls DoJ secret evidence methods into question (again) [a]Mohamed Atriss spent six months here in the Passaic County Jail based on accusations by county prosecutors that he had ties to terrorism -- allegations prosecutors called so sensitive that they had to be kept secret from Atriss despite his constitutional right to confront evidence against him.
Today, the superior court judge who took the secret evidence last November unsealed the hearing transcript, revealing that the allegations were based largely on inaccurate information that Atriss and his lawyer said they could have rebutted, if only they had been allowed to see it.
"We are glad to expose these transcripts for what they are -- slanderous, hearsay, double- and triple-hearsay, unsubstantiated allegations," said attorney Miles Feinstein, with Atriss at his side in his law office. "It illustrates the dangers and irreparable harm that comes from secret evidence."
Atriss said he may file a civil suit against county authorities. "To think they kept me in jail on this!" he said with tears in his eyes.
7:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Not enough death in Iraq for shrubco just yet [a]
7:09 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The "team of outside experts" the Pentagon is sending to Iraq is (unsurprisingly) dominated by neocon think tank CSIS membersThe mission comes as companies looking to invest in Iraq or win reconstruction contracts are being warned of an "even" chance of the country descending into open revolt.On CSIS:The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a right-wing, neoconservative think tank which was founded in 1962. Ray S. Cline was a cofounder. Until 1986, CSIS was affiliated with Georgetown University. Its first fulltime staff member was Richard V. Allen, a conservative Republican who was President Reagan's first National Security Adviser. CSIS describes itself as "an independent insitution for public policy research in the field of foreign and national security affairs." It focuses on "the issues and challenges that confront the United States in advancing its global interests and discharging its global responsibilities." It claims to be a non-partisan institution of international, interdisciplinary scholars.
However, Timothy S. Healy, president of Georgetown University, examined its affiliate and decided that CSIS was academically somewhat less credible than it claimed to be. Apparently, CSIS has no library, its faculty are seen more often on television than in the classroom (over 4,000 appearances in 1985), and its publications have a reputation (by academic standards) of being superficial. CSIS has been called "a parking lot for former government big shots," and a "conservative propaganda machine," particularly for the policies of the Reagan administration. Most CSIS senior fellows do not teach classes, but do draw handsome salaries (up to $70,000). [second link above]
6:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
TIME magazine blogger ventures into the heart of darknessThe Vietnam comparisons may exist mostly in our heads ? both the soldiers obsessed with imagery from "Full Metal Jacket" and "Apocalypse Now," and a media corps looking for simple analogies to describe complex problems. But what they do reveal is a growing anxiety over the long-term nature of the Iraq occupation. Nor is there much comfort in the observation by those coalition-of-the-willing Spanish, who are finally sending 1,100 troops to join the fray in Iraq, that the situation there is not at all like Vietnam. No, says the daily El-Mundo, it's more like the Palestinian intifada.
9:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Supreme Court OKs gay sex and (by default) allows case against Nike "corporate free speech" to continue
9:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Dangers of botox "unrevealed" by company
8:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Good Doonesbury today (Jun 25)
12:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
shrubco trying to roll back the 40 hour work week [u]
12:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Gen Clark admits he was told "immediately after 9/11" to publicly link terrorism with Saddam -- which he refused to do because he "never got any evidence"
This happened on Meet the Press on June 15 and disappeared without a trace -- no mention in the US media.
12:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Illegal immigrant children abused and mistreated by US [u]
12:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, June 23, 2003
"Morally superior" shrubco admin now negotiating with "defeated" Taliban [u]
6:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"I guess if Ari had to rebel, being a Republican is better than being on drugs, but not by much." -Alan Fleischer, Ari Fleischer's father and a life-long Democrat [u]
6:16 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
US ship carrying marines and sailors diverted from Iraq-US route to Liberia [u]The change of tack apparently results from the possibility that Monrovia could soon descend into a bloodbath and the country return to the ?failed state? condition of the 1990s. Whilst Britain has effectively colonised Sierra Leone with the aid of a large United Nations force and France has deployed 4,000 troops in the Ivory Coast, the war in Liberia threatens to destabilise the whole of West Africa, with dire consequences for one of the US?s major sources of oil.
6:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Whie there was some outcry when manufacturing jobs moved overseas to cut corporate costs, it'll be interesting to see what happens as middle-class services jobs do too [u]None of this bodes well for the jobless white-collar workers who are hoping that a more robust recovery will bring the next paycheck. The numbers of those who are searching are staggering. Of the nine million Americans out of a job, 17.4% are managers or specialty workers, according to a study of Labor Department data by Hofstra University economist Irwin Kellner. During the 1990-91 recession only 10% of that group was unemployed. Even after the much deeper recession of the early 1980s, just under 8% of unemployed workers were white collar. Sure, there are more white-collar workers today, but joblessness among them has risen faster than their share of the overall job market.
"White-collar workers and college graduates are in a state of shock," says Kellner. "It appears these job losses are permanent. They're not necessarily coming back when the economy does."
At the bleeding edge of the blue-collarization trend are techies--not just the twentysomethings who jumped on dot-com jobs either...
In the next 15 years Forrester Research predicts that 3.3 million service jobs will move to countries like India, Russia, China, and the Philippines, with the IT sector leading the way. The financial services industry is expected to be another major job exporter, according to consulting firm A.T. Kearney, shifting more than 500,000 jobs, or 8% of its U.S. workforce, abroad by 2008. "The debate at major financial services companies today is no longer whether to relocate some business functions but rather which ones and where," concludes Kearney managing director Andrea Bierce. "Any function that does not require face-to-face contact is now perceived as a candidate for offshore relocation."
6:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
What we still don't know (virtually everything that matters) about 9/11.
Disinfo on Iraq came from Chalabi and non-Massad Israeli intel out of Sharon's office.
1:28 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