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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, July 12, 2003
1 in 4 US bridges need repairs [u]
11:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Naomi Klein skeptical recent Canadian progressive initiatives will outlast Chrétien [jakeneck]...Chrétien's nose-thumbing at Washington should be regarded with skepticism. Every poll shows that when Chrétien steps down, he is going to be succeeded by his archrival, Paul Martin. By passing a bunch of laws that piss off the Bush Administration and then retiring, Chrétien wins on two fronts: He gets to be remembered as the man who rescued Canada's sovereignty, while Martin gets stuck dealing with the fallout. Watch for Martin, who represents the right of the Liberal Party and is the favorite of the business community, to do whatever it takes to get back into Bush's good books, even if it means overturning Chrétien's last-minute laws.Stay the course, Canada!
Our economic dependence on the United States is staggering: Almost 40 percent of Canada's gross domestic product comes from exports to the United States. More troubling, particularly given the Bush Administration's unquenchable thirst for oil and gas, we have traded away our right to put Canadian energy needs before those of the United States. A little-known clause in NAFTA states that even in the event of a severe energy shortage, Canada cannot cut off its oil and gas exports to the United States--we can only reduce the flow south by the same rate as we reduce our own domestic consumption.
This dramatic ceding of power to the United States is Jean Chrétien's true legacy, which is why, in his final months in office, he's racing to be remembered as a principled man. But Chrétien's last-ditch attempts to declare Canada's independence--significant as they are--can't mask the fact that on trade and security, the Liberals are following Washington more obediently than ever.
This much is predictable. The wild card is how the Canadian people will respond. Will we embrace obedience once again, or will we demand more of this whole independence thing? Well, so far there are no signs of retreat.
10:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Worldwide Muslim group calls for abandonment of Western currencies for dinar
I don't know how big they are, but it's an interesting development.
10:24 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Schools outsourcing non-teacher jobs due to budget woes
10:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
John Shirley on "The Mental State of the Union"The poor are also more likely to be exposed to major environmental toxins. The refineries that keep breaking down and leaking are, many of them, snuggled right up against low-income communities. I stayed at a cheap motel once, in the San Fernando Valley, a block from the Budweiser brewing factory. This place put out some major fumes, sulfur dioxide probably among them, that burned the eyes and hurt my lungs-and I was there only overnight. The factory is right smack in the middle of housing for the poor. They live with those burning eyes and aching lungs, and whatever neurological effects the pollution from the place may generate.
Last time the EPA worked it out, almost two billion pounds of randomly mixed chemicals were dumped into our nation's water systems. In that same year two and a half billion pounds of chemicals were released into the atmosphere; with the total chemical attack on the environment estimated at almost six billion pounds. This is only in one year.
Seventy thousand-that's seventy-thousand-chemicals in commercial use today have not been tested for neurotoxic effects.
Known neurotoxins that we are most commonly exposed to-these are not from that seventythousand group-are lead, mercury, cadmium and pesticides. Most of these toxins are colorless and odorless, making sensory detection impossible. Round Up and other herbicides are being quietly phased out after years of vast public use because we're just now finding they cause serious brain damage in children. The symptoms of those kinds of poisoning may come on slowly due to a gradual build up. The kid gets weirder and weirder and weirder and then one day...
When I was watching the Gulf War on television, just like an action based television show about aerial combat, I was caught up in it-I am opposed to any but the most absolutely necessary wars, but found myself really digging it when those smart bombs zipped from my country, by extension from me, to blow people up in that cross-hair marked building. I enjoyed it-and I was opposed to it, both at once.
I was insanely self contradictory-but then I was just taking part in the collective mass hypnosis. We as a species are far more prone to mass unified behavior than we know. How else to explain what made Khmer Rouge do what it did, how else to explain the Holocaust and whole towns in the American south partying around lynchings-how else to explain the lunacy of the McCarthy era? How else to explain Jonestown? We have a gift for dehumanizing human beings in our minds and making a sort of mass ritual of it --and that is a form of insanity.
What is insanity? Among other things, it's the idea that we're immune to consequences. A madman thinks he's invulnerable, at times-when he's not being paranoid, as our Sane Leaders were in the McCarthy era. We think we can dump billions of pounds of toxins into ourselves-and not have one in three people come down with cancer and one in five with a psychiatric disorder. We are insane as a society. We are far more asleep, more automatic, more mechanistic in our reactions, our behavior than we know-and that is something psychiatry diagnoses as disassociation.
2:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Age of Consent by George Monbiot: reviews (amazon link Canadian for the usual reason)
From an essay in nth position based on the book:That the Security Council should be disbanded and its powers devolved to a body representing all nation states is evident to anyone who cannot see why democracy should be turned back at the national border. That the UN General Assembly, as now constituted, is ill-suited to the task is equally obvious. I propose that each nation's vote should be weighted according to both the number of people it represents and its degree of democratisation.
The government of Tuvalu, representing 10,000 people, would then have a far smaller vote than the government of China. But China in turn would possess far fewer votes than it would if its government was democratically elected. Rigorous means of measuring democratisation are being developed by bodies such as Democratic Audit. It would not be hard, using their criteria, to compile an objective global index of democracy. Governments, under this system, would be presented with a powerful incentive to democratise: the more democratic they became, the greater their influence over world affairs.
No nation would possess a veto. The most consequential decisions - to go to war, for example - should require an overwhelming majority of the assembly's weighted votes. Powerful governments wishing to recruit reluctant nations to their cause would be forced to bribe or blackmail most of the rest of the world to obtain the results they wanted. The nations whose votes they needed most would be the ones whose votes were hardest to buy.
1:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Air Loom Gang by Mike JayThere were two compelling reasons why, in 1810, the resident apothecary at the Royal Bethlem Hospital - Bedlam - wrote the first ever book-length psychiatric report on a mad patient's delusions. One was professional: the delusions in question were the most unusual and systematic that anyone had ever come across. The other was rather more personal: the apothecary, John Haslam, was determined to prove, against a great deal of contrary opinion, that the patient was indeed mad, and by the same token that he himself was the model for a new and specialist category of doctor.The amazon link is the UK store because this book isn't available here, though it will be out in Canada in September.
His patient's name was James Tilly Matthews, and his view of the world had by this point become one of the strangest ever recorded in the annals of psychiatry. Haslam's account is still acknowledged as the first example in history of the now-familiar notion of mind control by an 'influencing machine'. For everyone who has since had messages beamed at them through fillings, mysterious implants or TV sets, or via hi-tech surveillance, MI5, Masonic lodges or UFOs, James Tilly Matthews is Patient Zero. [nth position]
A fascinating story from the above article anyway. Mason actually was a political mover who lost favor due to shifting political winds, and ended up a virtual political prisoner. He had a remarkable imagination:Matthews was convinced that outside the grounds of Bedlam, in a basement cellar by London Wall, a gang of villains were controlling and tormenting his mind with diabolical rays. They were using a machine called an 'Air Loom', of which Matthews was able to draw immaculate technical diagrams, and which combined recent developments in gas chemistry with the strange force of animal magnetism, or mesmerism. It incorporated keys, levers, barrels, batteries, sails, brass retorts and magnetic fluid, and worked by directing and modulating magnetically charged air currents, rather as the stops of an organ modulate its tones. It ran on a mixture of foul substances, including 'spermatic-animal-seminal rays', 'effluvia of dogs' and 'putrid human breath', and its discharges of magnetic fluid were focused to deliver thoughts, feelings and sensations directly into Matthews' brain. There were many of these mind-control settings, all classified by vivid names: 'fluid locking', 'stone making', 'thigh talking', 'lobster-cracking', 'bomb-bursting', and the dreaded 'brain-saying', whereby thoughts were forced into his brain against his will. To facilitate this process, the gang had implanted a magnet into his head. As a result of the Air Loom, Matthews was tormented constantly by delusions, physical agonies, fits of laughter and being forced to parrot whatever nonsense they chose to feed into his head. No wonder some people thought he was mad.The combination of real political intrigue and an elaborate depiction of a nightmare alternate reality is very familiar to us today.
1:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, July 11, 2003
shrubco and Congress go over the line with OT rules -- expect this to be a major issue in election, as the economy nosedives
10:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wall Street says "fuck you" to investors
House bill to "sharply limit" state regulation of brokers passes
US capitalism continues to rot from the core out.
1:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, July 10, 2003
shrubco statistics on terror suspects- Number of al Qaeda or allied terror suspects arrested by officials since 9/11: 2,700.
- Number of U.S. citizens indicted by a federal grand jury for al Qaedarelated activities: 5.
- Number of immigrants detained after 9/11 - some up to eight months: 762.
- Number of convicted al Qaeda members: 0.
- Number of people the Justice Department charged with terrorism in the first two months of 2003: 56.
- After a Philadelphia Inquirer investigation, the number of those cases that were found to have nothing to do with terrorism: 41.
- Number of cases that involved Latinos using phony Social Security numbers: 28.
- As of April 22, number of passengers in San Francisco who have been detained for questioning because of the government's "no-fly list": 339.
- Since the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the number of people secretly detained without charges as "material witnesses" in the 9/11 attacks: 50.
- Percentage of librarians who said they "probably" would defy an agent's order to see patrons' records: 16.1.
- Percentage of librarians who said they "definitely" would defy an agent's order to see patrons' records: 5.5.
9:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
While some ex-slaves did settle there, Liberia was actually founded by some rich white guys -- slaveowners -- who hoped freed slaves would move there to get them out of the USA [u]
9:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, al Qaeda, and America's bloody creep in Liberia, Charles Taylor [u]
Can you say "outlived his usefulness"?
Think Noriega, Saddam, and others who were dubious, corrupt allies of the US who became targets of the Big Dog when their time was up.
2:42 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
More homeless families on the street in Manahattan now than during the Great Depression [u]
2:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
This was going to be a post about Coulter and Conason, but fuck it.
She's like several archetypes from a fifties movie rolled into one: the Nancy Reagan-type wire-bound damsel from Donovan's Brain, the soulless pod woman from Body Snatchers and her hero McCarthy, the whining deranged fascist thug who thrives on hate and verbal abuse.
Just for the record, I'm not crazy about Hillary Clinton either.
2:24 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Wal Mart cancels RFID test (wireless control inventory)
4:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The New Libertarian
Michael Kinsley on resolving the gay marriage debate by privatizing marriage [u]It's going to get ugly. And then it's going to get boring. So we have two options here. We can add gay marriage to the short list of controversies -- abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty -- that are so frozen and ritualistic that debates about them are more like kabuki performances than intellectual exercises. Or we can think outside the box. There is a solution that ought to satisfy both camps, and may not be a bad idea even apart from the gay marriage controversy.
That solution is to end the institution of marriage. Or rather (he hastens to clarify, dear) the solution is to end the institution of government-sanctioned marriage. Or, framed to appeal to conservatives: End the government monopoly on marriage. Wait, I've got it: Privatize marriage. These slogans all mean the same thing. Let churches and other religious institutions continue to offer marriage ceremonies. Let department stores and casinos get into the act if they want. Let each organization decide for itself what kinds of couples it wants to offer marriage to. Let couples celebrate their union in any way they choose and consider themselves married whenever they want. Let others be free to consider them not married, under rules these others may prefer. And, yes, if three people want to get married, or one person wants to marry herself, and someone else wants to conduct a ceremony and declare them married, let 'em. If you and your government aren't implicated, what do you care?
4:27 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Clear spray for license plates outfoxes traffic cameras [u]
4:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Severe doubts about controlling wildfires through forest-thinning [u]...the Hayman fire offers several caveats to that way of thinking:
* The impact of forest thinning projects on fire -- what works and what doesn't under differing conditions -- is not well understood. The research record is spotty at best.
* The amount of acres that need thinning to protect homes may be far less than commonly thought. Much of it is in private, not federal hands.
* The critical factor in keeping homes safe, according to a Forest Service researcher, is reducing flammable vegetation within 150 feet of homes and using fire-resistant building materials.
* Climate cycles, including global warming, may play as important a role in the recent increase in catastrophic fires as how people manage forests.
4:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The usually staid and conservative World Meteorological Organization issues unprecedented warning of climate change [u]Supercomputer models show that, as the atmosphere warms, the climate not only becomes hotter but much more unstable. "Recent scientific assessments indicate that, as the global temperatures continue to warm due to climate change, the number and intensity of extreme events might increase," the WMO said, giving a striking series of examples.Saw this the other day and let it go, but now that I've seen it twice...
In southern France, record temperatures were recorded in June, rising above 40C in places - temperatures of 5C to 7C above the average.
In Switzerland, it was the hottest June in at least 250 years, environmental historians said. In Geneva, since 29 May, daytime temperatures have not fallen below 25C, making it the hottest June recorded.
In the United States, there were 562 May tornadoes, which caused 41 deaths. This set a record for any month. The previous record was 399 in June 1992.
In India, this year's pre-monsoon heatwave brought peak temperatures of 45C - 2C to 5C above the norm. At least 1,400 people died in India due to the hot weather. In Sri Lanka, heavy rainfall from Tropical Cyclone 01B exacerbated wet conditions, resulting in flooding and landslides and killing at least 300 people. The infrastructure and economy of south-west Sri Lanka was heavily damaged. A reduction of 20-30 per cent is expected in the output of low-grown tea in the next three months.
4:16 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
New Presidential line of succession bill would bump Tom Ridge past 10 cabinet members to #8 [u]
The current line acording to the 1947 bill now in effect:It specifies that the vice president, the speaker of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate and the secretary of state are next in line to assume the presidency. Other Cabinet members were listed according to the date their offices were established.
4:10 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Repression through Psychiatry
16 year-old incarcerated in Mormon re-education camp due to
being a teenager"Oppositional Defiance Disorder" [u]"To the dismay of his parents, Alex's life was going down a path that was different from their old and obsolete values," said Darren Kramer of Ever Reviled Records after finding out what happened to Alex. "Alex's parents would use whatever means they had at their disposal to try to coerce him into adopting their values. They sent him to school psychiatrists, prescribed him sedative drugs, and put him in special programs -- all against his will."
Sadly, because Alex was 16 years old at the time of his removal from ISE he has virtually no rights and no control over what happens to him. In the eyes of the law Alex's fate is the hands of his parents, who through their social position can use psychiatry, school counselors, the courts and the law to treat him as an object to be molded.
Psychiatry has often played a key role in the marginalization and control of "social undesireables" or "deviants" throughout history.
Leah said that she could not tell if there has been a measurable increase in the use of psychiatry to repress activists, but she pointed out that psychiatry has often played a key role in the marginalization and control of "social undesireables" or "deviants" throughout history -- from political activists to queers and transgendered people. Some of the most compelling examples of psychiatry being used against activists include Leonard Roy Frank, who went on to found the anti-psychiatry movement, and Daphne Scholinski, who was forced to wear dresses and feather boas as part of her "gender correction treatment."
3:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Florida campaign official takes the fall for misappropriating funds, pressuring state court to rule in favor of Bush in 2000 "election" [Buzzflash]...state administrative law judge Harry L. Hooper, who presided over McCarty's hearing in February on the campaign finance charges, concluded on May 1 that the former Palm Beach County Republican Party chairwoman was little more than a front for a Washington, D.C.-based campaign against the justices, which was organized during the 2000 presidential election recount battle.
That campaign, Judge Hooper found, was orchestrated by Roger J. Stone Jr., a Republican lobbyist and political operative who has said he worked for President Richard Nixon's Watergate-era re-election committee and served as a campaign strategist for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Stone, who owns a $2.2 million bayfront mansion in Surfside, received $1.8 million from the Miami-Dade County Commission last year for political work he did for the county.
According to Judge Hooper's 36-page order, Stone, through his Washington, D.C.-based firm Ikon Public Affairs, was the real agent behind the campaign in late 2000 and 2001 to defeat the Florida justices in the 2002 merit retention election. But who, if anyone, was paying Stone and giving him orders remains unclear.
A complaint was not filed against Stone and no charges were filed against him. He never was questioned or offered testimony because neither the FEC nor McCarty was able to locate him to serve him with a subpoena. State investigators also did not pursue a number of leads that might have shed light on Stone's role. Craig Snyder, Stone's partner in Ikon Public Affairs, was never questioned either.
11:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Strike one for Sterling
Microtransmitters (we're not even talkin' nano here) to replace bar codes within 2 decadesA computer chip smaller than the head of an ant and a thin antenna attached to a bottle, box, can or package will alert retailers and suppliers when a product is taken off a store shelf or moved out of a warehouse. A radio signal is beamed to an electronic reader, which then delivers a message to a computer in the store or factory.
Homes equipped with receiver-readers could alert consumers when they are running low on orange juice or their prescription for heart medicine is about to expire. Hooked up to a national network like the Internet, the at-home devices could also provide details to marketers about a family's eating and hygienic habits.
2:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
R.I.P. Yuri ShchekochikhinShchekochikhin had long campaigned against Boris Yeltsin's brutal war in Chechnya - viciously continued by Vladimir Putin - and had reported frankly on more than a dozen visits to the battle-scarred region. "In my worst dream, I could not imagine sitting in an armoured personnel carrier, shots raining down, bodies at the side of the road. Oh Lord!" he wrote in his recent collection of articles documenting the conflict. "I know I am not the main witness. But I was there, I saw."Dead from "fatal allergy."
Shchekochikhin had also reported on corruption in the Moscow municipal administration, the defence ministry, the prosecutor-general's office, and the Russian military forces in Chechnya. Last year, as part of his attempts to broker a peace deal in the region, he travelled to Liechtenstein to meet Akhmed Zakayev, an envoy to the Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov; Zakayev is regarded as a criminal by the Kremlin and is currently fighting extradition from Britain.
A veteran journalist who took full advantage of the greater freedoms launched by Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s, Shchekochikhin never shied away from such dangerous topics as organised crime and corruption at the highest levels
2:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
shrubco stonewalling already-fixed panel on 9/11
I can't imagine how relatives of victims of that day feel when they read evil shit like this.
6:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Strange bedfellows in the New Dark Age of Plutocratic Fascism
Court allows Sierra Club/Judicial Watch suit against Cheney/energy gangsters connection [drudge]
And those fifth columnists the Dixie Chicks testify in Congress against media consolidation.
6:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Gangsters ping my blog
I got 4 hits today (so far) from some copyright watchdog bot
Nice work if you can get it, I guess.
5:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco in Africa
It's the oil, stupid
11:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Time magazine's breezy take on the thorny problems in the new colonyThe problems in Iraq are at least in part of America's own making, the result of shoddy planning, undue optimism and lackluster leadership. Before the war, Administration hawks believed a long occupation with a massive U.S. force contingent would be unnecessary. Even today Pentagon officials say they have no plans to send more troops to Iraq, though the Administration is actively pushing its allies to send up to 30,000 more of their troops there by the end of September.
Bremer toured the Iraq National Museum last week in an effort to show the progress made since the chaotic days of early April, when the facility was looted. As beaming museum officials showed Bremer a collection of ancient gold and jewelry?"Which one can I take home for my wife?" Bremer cracked?a member of his security detail interrupted, informing him of reports of four grenade attacks near Bremer's palace headquarters. Minutes later Bremer climbed into a waiting suv and headed back to the office, managing a few hurried handshakes as he left. Later that day a U.S. soldier was shot and killed while guarding the museum.
Americans remain the target of blame for the country's woes, not because they are hated, but because many Iraqis are baffled that the same military machine that won the war in three weeks has proved so ineffective at running the country after it. Even Iraqis sympathetic to the Americans say Bremer and his team remain too distant from ordinary people and have yet to prove to Iraqis that the U.S. is committed to seeing the project through. Kais al-Shakrchi, 52, a TV repairman in Baghdad, believes the U.S. still possesses a reservoir of popular goodwill for removing Saddam, but it will evaporate if the U.S. fails to put its money where its might is, invest in the country's future and bring more Iraqis into the rebuilding effort. "We are millions, and we are ready to help. Ninety-nine percent want America and want to work with them," he says. "But if I am hungry, I will kill my own father, not just the Americans."
12:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Post 9/11 nonsense file:
Interisland travel in Hawaii has become so inconvenient and expensive since 9/11, vacationers from the islands who used to go to Kauai are opting for Las Vegas and points in the 48 instead
12:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, July 07, 2003
Another blog I found, in the process of googling "Howard.Dean Illuminati": South Knox Bubba
The last 2 posts courtesy of little red cookbook, another one to check out.
These are more mainstream blogs than I usually read, but what the hell.
12:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
PNAC.org: "An effort to investigate, analyze, and expose the Project for the New American Century, and its plan for a "unipolar" world"
12:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, July 06, 2003
A case for the Foreign Elite of the US, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany as the main instigators of Middle East turmoil [xymphora]
In order to make sure oil is under their control, that it's priced in dollars and to subsidize weapons manufacturers.
11:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The US Coalition of Service Industries lobby and its members' connections with recent corruption scandals, as well as its push for privatization at any cost and scamming IMF/World Bank deals at the expense of citizens
5:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The proposed Macal River dam in Belize is a scamA billion-dollar Canadian corporation, Fortis Inc., and Belize's government are racing to build a dam that would flood 22 miles of the valley. The project would destroy more than 2,000 acres of crucial habitat while keeping energy bills outrageously high for Belizeans. The Belizean government hastily approved the dam without holding public hearings, as required by law, or investigating a highly flawed environmental assessmentBioGems action page.
...AMEC, the London-based company that conducted the so-called "independent" environmental assessment, has apparently signed a subcontracting agreement for the design and construction of the dam, even though the company previously denied that it would do so. AMEC also denies that it whitewashed the dam's threats in order to win the project's approval. But the company's own consultants at the Natural History Museum of London admit that the dam would in fact damage the region's biodiversity, threaten an international wildlife corridor, and possibly wipe out Belize's scarlet macaw.
5:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
US troops looted and vandalized Baghdad Airport
12:18 PM - [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
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They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.
Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."
Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.
from Big If by Mark Costello
Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."
Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.
from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down
Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
-- John Cale