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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.
Friday, August 08, 2003
"A press culture that tolerates character assassination tends to be fertile ground for humor and investigations"
A brief on Greece's unabashedly biased and free (though mostly controlled by rich families) press [Big, Left, Outside]
2:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Unusually cold water temps along Atlantic coast down to Florida & half of Yellowstone geyser basin closed because of high activity [Dan's Earth Changes]
1:50 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, August 07, 2003
shrubco fudges EPA's own water purity statisticsThe inquiry was launched June 18, five days before then-EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman released the "Draft Report on the Environment," which stated that "94 percent of the population served by community water systems were served by systems that met all health-based standards."
Internal agency documents, however, show that EPA audits for at least five years have suggested that the percentage of the population with safe drinking water is much lower -- 79 to 84 percent in 2002 -- putting an additional 30 million Americans at potential risk.
10:59 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tobacco co. offers early death for celeb willing to sell soulFreedom launched its first line of cigarettes in March. Called Legal (pronounced "lay-GAHL"), sales of the Colombian-made cigarettes have totaled about $500,000.Where do I start?
Freedom paid covert actresses, called "leaners," to smoke the cigarettes in Manhattan bars and nightclubs for several weeks this spring in a New York effort to promote the fledgling brand, company spokeswoman Nancy Tamosaitis said.
The company is also behind the Right to Smoke Coalition, a group organized to fight bans against public smoking, like the one recently enacted in New York City.
As of Wednesday, no celebrities, other than a group of clothing designers, had accepted Freedom's offer, Carroll said. He stressed the company was not seeking celebrities who appealed to children.
1:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Mainstream media now questioning anti-depressant usageDoctors are just beginning to react to the finding reported first by British drug authorities in June and then endorsed the next week by the Food and Drug Administration that unpublished studies about Paxil show that it carries a substantial risk of prompting teenagers and children to consider suicide.
Because the studies also found that Paxil was no more effective than a placebo in treating young people's depression, the regulators recommended that doctors write no new Paxil prescriptions for patients under 18. Experts say that the suicide risk is highest in the first few weeks young patients are on the drug.
The concern that Paxil and drugs like it could cause suicide had been weighed, and rejected, by regulators a dozen years ago, amid early concerns about the group of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or S.S.R.I.'s. In the meantime, millions of people have taken the drugs, and many experts say that they have prevented far more suicides by teenagers and children than any reading of the new findings suggests they could have caused.
Almost no one suggests that Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and their cousins are not safe for the vast majority of adults, although studies have shown them to be only modestly effective.
10:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Surprise surprise file:
Banks hide billions from statesSome of the nation's biggest banks have sheltered hundreds of millions of dollars from state taxes by creating investment funds that didn't sell shares publicly but paid tax-exempt dividends to the banks, Thursday's Wall Street Journal reported.
A review of Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites) records shows that at least 10 major banks shifted more than $17 billion into such funds. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) alone transferred at least $8 billion into its fund, sheltering more than $750 million in income from 1999 through last May. The banks contend the funds were legitimate vehicles for raising investment capital, but many appear to have served little purpose beyond sheltering income. In effect, the funds converted interest income from the banks' loan portfolios into tax-exempt dividends.
Exactly how much the strategy has cost cash-strapped California, where many of the banks have their headquarters, is unclear. Revenue officials said a sampling of tax returns from just a handful of banks showed that the maneuver trimmed those institutions' levies by a total of $46 million in 2000.
10:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
I don't think Cynthia McKinney is a saint, but this speech is on the moneyBoth President Bush and Vice President Cheney asked Tom Daschle not to investigate what went wrong on September 11th. An Australian newspaper ran the headline, "Bosses so lax, agents felt they were spies." They were describing our FBI.
"Bosses so lax, agents felt they were spies."
To this day that I know of no one in any decision-making position in the whole of this Administration has accepted responsibility for failing the American people. Instead, from this Administration we have obstruction, obfuscation, dissembling, and deception.
"Beware the Land of Oz. For it is only in the land of Oz that a handful of vainglorious men could send hundreds of thousands of young soldiers off to fight in an illegal war. And only in the Land of Oz can The Grand Wizard erode basic civil rights and call it enhanced security. And where but in Oz could a felon, convicted of lying in public, be put in charge of Total Information Awareness? 75 million Americans had no health insurance in 2001 or 2002. Unemployment is at an 8-year high. Meanwhile, at the Wizard's court, men of dubious reputation gorge themselves at the people's expense. Expose the Grand Wizard; this is our America, not Oz."
9:49 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Maureen Dowd on the neocons coup de Département d'ÉtatWhen the neocons want something done, they'll get it done, no matter what Bush thinks. And they think Colin Powell has downgraded the top cabinet post into a human resources job, making nicey-nice with the United Nations and assorted bad guys instead of pursuing the neocon blueprint for world domination through what the former CIA director James Woolsey calls World War IV (World War III being the Cold War).
11:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
For IT pros
Your Job Is Going To India.com [Urban Survival]
11:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
US reporter who hung with Aceh rebels claims Indonesian military casualty figures less than accurate, rebels optimistic, civilians short on food due to army restrictions
11:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sasha Abramsky on the "broken windows" social theories of 70s criminologists which ushered in a new era of harsh, pointless, anti-social criminalization of drugs, and the legacy of former New Mexico governor Paul Johnson, who began to turn the policy juggernaut around in the face of nearly universal criticism in the 90s [disinfo]The idea of putting more and more Americans in prison, a great number of them for crimes related to drug addiction, grew out of "broken windows" social theories developed by criminologists such as James Q. Wilson in the 1970s. Wilson and his acolytes believed that unless police and the courts aggressively cracked down on crime, the social compact would degenerate into anarchy. They argued that even nonviolent offenses, such as breaking windows or possessing small amounts of marijuana, contributed to an anything-goes climate in which more serious crimes would proliferate. By the 1980s, these theories had entered the political mainstream, allowing Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and now George W. Bush to score political points by denouncing addicts and appearing tough on crime all at the same time. Though politicians may have embraced this framework because it sold well to voters, its implications for the nation's health have been extreme. The drug war exiled addiction from the realm of public health, placing it almost exclusively in the hands of law enforcement and the courts.
At the philosophical core of this war on drugs, as fought by the likes of Bush Sr.'s drug czar, Bill Bennett, are twin ideas: Drug use is a moral wrong in itself, and drug use makes people more likely to commit a host of other crimes, from prostitution to burglary to murder. To fight drugs, the drug warriors have insisted, it isn't enough to go after the narco-kingpins; government agencies and courts must disrupt the drug supply-and-demand by prosecuting, and imprisoning, increasing numbers of low-level street dealers, even users themselves.
1:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Roots of PATRIOT Act in Clinton administration [u]
I think Clinton has closer ties to the Bushes than most realize.
1:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Space Exploration = War
All future NASA flights will have military missions
Of course this started long ago, no doubt.
1:03 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco pushes gas pipeline backed by ususal crony companies (Hunt Oil, Kellogg Brown Root) [u]The pipeline slices through some of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Their remoteness has preserved an extraordinarily rich ecosystem in the coastal Paracas reserve, which is home to such rare species as Humboldt penguins, sea lions and green sea turtles.
The Camisea natural gas project - with reserves of 13,000 billion cubic feet of gas - has already scared off two big investors, Citigroup and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. According to an internal report by the US Export Import Bank, obtained by the lobby group Amazon Watch, proposals to mitigate the environmental impact of the project are "woefully inadequate" and will lead to mudslides, destroy habitats and spread diseases among indigenous peoples.
12:50 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
12-step program for recovering economists [u]Good evening. My name is Jim. And I am an economist. It is seventeen days since I last uttered the phrase "supply and demand." But the demon still lurks, untamed, within me.
I know it's wrong that my particular profession hogs so much attention, and is granted so much undeserved credibility. I know it's wrong to pretend you can forecast complex economic outcomes with three-decimal accuracy. I know it's wrong to reduce the whole of the human endeavour to the endless pursuit of material prosperity. Yet still I yearn for economics. I hunger for the prestige that comes with being the only social science to regularly make The National. I savour the smug power of belonging to that exclusive sect of financial mystics who understand the magical circuits of money and commodities.
12:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, August 04, 2003
Good hits on GNN:
Col. Hackworth and Soldiers for Truth, "a revolutionary site allowing U.S. soldiers in Iraq to directly communicate their plight to the world."
US continues to develop bio-chem weapons.
shrubco muzzles Niger government over uranium row.
Casualties from Iraq/Afhganistan overflowing into local DC hotels.
9:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
A Blog Tip to the wandering hillbilly for the link!
I like the Babel Fish link . . . check out his site and you'll see what I mean.
I'm going to link to his site on planing lakes, since in spite of the political links, this is basically a (very funny) lit site, post-wise.
8:38 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"I said no I can tell you this categorically, we've got the weakest president and weakest government in the history of my 50 years of public service
Senator Hollings retirement announcement
8:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
ATM fraud on the rise, and news of it suppressed by banksNo one can say precisely how much is lost through ATM-related crimes. In fact, no U.S. government agency knows how many cash machines are operating, where they all are or who owns them. Though banks are reluctant to discuss their losses, they say there is no cause for alarm. But from Canada to Malaysia to the United Arab Emirates, investigators report new assaults on ATM's.
The criminals, both foreign and homegrown, include gangs, embezzlers and, on occasion, money-launderers, according to investigators and public records.
And while ATM industry officials say the Frljuckic case shocked them into tougher self-policing of privately owned machines, they also confess that the thieves are remarkably resourceful, shifting their attention now to bank-owned machines. In recent months, skimming devices have been found attached to bank machines around Boston and Chicago.
12:21 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The unreported cost of war: at least 827 American wounded [a]US military casualties from the occupation of Iraq have been more than twice the number most Americans have been led to believe because of an extraordinarily high number of accidents, suicides and other non-combat deaths in the ranks that have gone largely unreported in the media.
Since May 1, when President George Bush declared the end of major combat operations, 52 American soldiers have been killed by hostile fire, according to Pentagon figures quoted in almost all the war coverage. But the total number of US deaths from all causes is much higher: 112.
The other unreported cost of the war for the US is the number of American wounded, 827 since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
Unofficial figures are in the thousands. About half have been injured since the president's triumphant appearance on board the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln at the beginning of May. Many of the wounded have lost limbs.
12:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Iraqi newspaper shut down by US [USW]While some media outlets are enjoying new press freedoms, one independent paper has been shut down.
Dhari Al Duleimi used to work as editor-in-chief of the Al Mustaqilla newspaper, which literally means "The Independent" in Arabic.
He says that without warning U.S. forces broke down the door and ransacked the paper's office two weeks ago.
"I can't call it anything else but barbaric. We found things turned upside down. It's not a press house any more, it's just ruins," Al Duleimi told CNN.
He says U.S. troops took away the safe, the Iraqi dinars in it, as well as office records and computers. They also arrested the owner, who remains in detention to this day.
12:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Public pension plans depleted by stock losses stress already dire state budgets
8:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Work, work, work - I am almost a German"
Italy's "shrub" sticks it in again
8:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
How Brooklyn's questionable system for electing judges has led to endemic corruption and one judge after another being sent to jailDistrict Attorney Charles Hynes has launched a grand jury investigation into the cozy relationships between Brooklyn's elected judges, lawyers and politicians in response to allegations that civil judgeships - with annual salaries $125,000 or more - are for sale.
At issue is an arcane system in which voters pick delegates to a judicial nominating convention, but do not pick the judges themselves.
Critics say the system allows political party leaders to steer nominations to judicial candidates who have strong party ties and deep pockets - not sound legal credentials. And because the city's most populous borough is heavily Democratic, that party has had a near lock on selecting judges.
"You have to be connected to get on the bench in Brooklyn," said Alan Fleishman, a reform-minded Democratic district leader. "Are there payoffs? There's always been that buzz in the court community."
2:15 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Walter Mosley on the parallels between the black experience in America and the Muslim experience overseasThe only purpose that my father's muted rage has here is to help us try and understand the rage that men and women around the world feel towards America today, especially the Muslim population of the Middle East. The similarities are undeniable: a group of people who feel intense political and economic pressures from an external culture; people who are pushed to adhere to standards that make them outcasts in their own culture, their own skins. We see them on CNN or on the cover of our magazines and newspapers: enraged dark-skinned people burning effigies and flags, marching and loudly denouncing the capitalist imperialists - us. From Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, they rage. For decades, they say, America has interfered with their religion, their money and their rulers. Sometimes we run away. Often, we get involved with covert military actions. But lately, we've been preparing for all-out war.
2:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Bush Administration's Top 40 Lies about War and Terrorism1) The administration was not bent on war with Iraq from 9/11 onward.
Throughout the year leading up to war, the White House publicly maintained that the U.S. took weapons inspections seriously, that diplomacy would get its chance, that Saddam had the opportunity to prevent a U.S. invasion. The most pungent and concise evidence to the contrary comes from the president's own mouth. According to Time's March 31 road-to-war story, Bush popped in on national security adviser Condi Rice one day in March 2002, interrupting a meeting on UN sanctions against Iraq. Getting a whiff of the subject matter, W peremptorily waved his hand and told her, "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out." Clare Short, Tony Blair's former secretary for international development, recently lent further credence to the anecdote. She told the London Guardian that Bush and Blair made a secret pact a few months afterward, in the summer of 2002, to invade Iraq in either February or March of this year.
2:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
See post on my other site on how politics and 9/11 delayed the release of the movie Buffalo Soldiers for 2 years
1:55 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Just good business file:
How Wall Street helped decimate the Argentinian economyIn [the late 90s], Wall Street firms touted Argentina as one of the world's hottest economies as they raked in fat fees for marketing the country?s stocks and bonds.
Thus were sown the seeds of one of the most spectacular economic collapses in modern history, a debacle in which Wall Street played a major role.
The fantasyland that Argentina represented for foreign financiers came to a catastrophic end early last year, when the government defaulted on most of its $141 billion debt and devalued the nation's currency. A wrenching recession left well over a fifth of the labor force jobless and threw millions into poverty.
An extensive review of the conduct of financial market players in Argentina reveals Wall Street's complicity in those events. Investment bankers, analysts and bond traders served their own interests when they pumped up euphoria about the country's prospects, with disastrous results.
1:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
A short history of neocon propagandist David Kay [xymphora]In fact, until Kay came along, most experts in most western nations believed there was no evidence for an extensive WMD program in Iraq. But after the war, when Bush I needed greater validation for his actions in the run up to the 1992 election, Kay was made chief nuclear inspector for the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) on Iraq. UNSCOM was created in response to the Bush claims that Iraq was a hotbed of WMD weaponry that had to be 'dismantled.' Kay's investigations turned up all sorts of 'evidence' -given the time lapse from the end of the war to Kay's mission, who knows how much of it was planted -possibly all of it. Certainly the contributions of some 'defectors' have been totally dicredited. But UNSCOM produced the same sort of arrays of conveniently -in fact, unbelievably- detailed documents, all just left 'just laying around,' waiting to be found by Kay and company. The same evidence we hear reported ad infinitum and sans question on NBC, CNN, et al. Thanks to Kay's obliging efforts for Bush after Gulf War I, the stage was neatly set for Gulf War II. In fact, the entire invasion of Iraq was trumped up over the UN clause referring to WMDs.Kay is now the leader of shrub's team to "discover" WMD in Iraq.
Whenever Kay makes the rounds of the Bush-controlled media these days, he is *always* introduced only as 'former UN chief weapons inspector' and 'senior fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Research.' In short, Kay skips over several years of his interim history. Why? Maybe because during the 'missing years,' he was Vice President of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a company with extremely close ties to the Pentagon and to the Bush administration in particular. A company up to its armpits in post-war Iraqi business, not to mention secret contracts rumored to involve electronic spying. A company in which Kay is rumored to still hold a sizeable chunk of stock, one where he maintains a rich network of inside connections.
See more at the xymphora link above.
1:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
"Baathist sympathizer" theory of guerrilla actions scoffed at
Less than a third of Iraqis believe the attacks on US troops are the work of Saddamites
In Ramadi and Fallujah -- where many of the recent attacks have occurred -- "fewer than 5 per cent of those surveyed saw former regime sympathisers behind the attacks, 36 per cent said the attacks were provoked by US forces, and 52 per cent named 'resistance' as chief cause."
1:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, August 03, 2003
Sarez Lake in Tajikistan poses danger of massive flood during earthquakeThey say an earthquake in nearby Afghanistan could rupture the natural barrier holding back the lake, unleashing a torrent of water up to 100m (328ft) high, Tajik TV reports.
The resulting flood could surge down the Panj and Amu Darya rivers and devastate large swathes of inhabited land not only in Afghanistan and Tajikistan themselves, but also in neighbouring Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
The floods could reach as far down as the Aral Sea, more than 1,000 kilometres (621 miles) away.
12:10 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
"This is the way the killing fields end: not with a bang, but with a theme park"
Cambodia's Bugsy Siegel Hun Sen & co. want your tourist dollarsWhat followed in Cambodia was a Vietnamese puppet regime - of which "puppet" Hun Sen was a vital part - so the civil war lasted for most of the 1980s until the UN finally made its move in 1990. In the UN-supervised 1993 elections - which capped an intervention that cost up to $3 billion - the CPP lost. But - in a very Myanmar-junta way - it refused to give up power. Hun Sen, the second prime minister in a coalition with Prince Ranariddh, had to wait until July 1997 finally to stage a coup and get rid of Ranariddh. There was not a peep from the "international community". From their point of view, from the coup in 1997 up to last Sunday's elections, Cambodia is "stable", peaceful and arguably more democratic than Laos, Vietnam or Myanmar. Hun Sen has become a friend of capitalism and has opened the country to foreign investors hungry for cheap labor.
1:21 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
US companies with ties to the Saudi regime [newsmakingnews]Kroll O'Gara Hess + Eisenhardt
Kroll O'Gara Eisenhardt is one of the oldest security companies in the United States and, some say, responsible for every U.S. President since the end of WW2. What does an upstanding, powerful company like Kroll do in its spare time? Why it trains local forces in Saudi Arabia, of course!
One partner of Kroll, Cable & Wireless provides training in Counter-Terrorism and Urban Warfare in Saudi Arabia. In August 2001, former Kroll employee, Jerome Hauer, arranged a security job in the Twin Towers for FBI Agent John O'Neill. At the time, O'Neill had been investigating ENRON's business deals with the Taliban and was subsequently pulled from that investigation. Neither Kroll nor Hauer was asked to testify about this coincidence.
1:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
France and the UK muck about in Colombia [newsmakingnews]According to official sources in Colombia and Brazil, France recently ordered a secret Amazon mission to rescue the dual French-Colombian citizen and former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, held hostage by rebel forces. At the same time, the English daily The Guardian reported that the British Government delivers equipment and advice to its Colombian counterpart to fight insurgency.
France recently took a false step when tried to assist Betancourt and landed a Hercules military transport plane in the Brazilian city of Manaus after the family of the French-Colombian politician heard she might be freed near there. The move outraged Brazilian authorities who ordered the Hercules to immediately leave its territory, as Colombia called on France to explain itself.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which grabbed Betancourt at a roadblock 17 months ago as she campaigned for Colombia's presidency, said they had never planned to hand her over to a French "humanitarian mission" in the Brazilian Amazon. It seems like Chirac's government became trapped by the enthusiasm of Betancourt's relatives in France, who claim for an humanitarian deal with the rebel groups to release her.
On June, a failed rescue military operation to free hostages headed by Colmbia's army ended in tragedy when the rebels noted the operation was underway. They were told that it would be an exchange of prisoners, but regular forces launched an attack on them. The failed operation left 13 killed, including all the 10 prisoners and Betancourt relatives made President Uribe responsible for the massacre.
12:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Vintage Corporate Poisoning
Love Canal 25 years laterLois Gibbs, the local activist who first raised concerns about Love Canal, says little has been learned in the quarter century since her neighborhood was declared dangerous.
Gibbs led a pilgrimage to allegedly toxic Erie County neighborhoods Thursday and The Buffalo News reports that at each site, the message was the same: "After 25 years, I thought I'd come back and this stuff would be cleaned up," said Gibbs. "Not only is it not over, but Western New York is in trouble ? and our leaders are not listening."
The newspaper reports state funding has run dry and sites marked for cleanup still haven't been cleaned.
Many locals are dissatisfied with the slow progress. Rev. Darius G. Prigden pointed out how quickly city officials responded to graffiti in North Buffalo, whereas known poisons across the street have remained there for years. Neighborhood children have been found to carry high amounts of lead in their blood, as high as anywhere in New York State, the Buffalo News says.
"We would love to get the attention that vandals got," Prigden said.
12:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'
Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."
Blog of the Day
In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-- Mark Twain
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
Philip K. Dick
DEEPER NEWS LINK
The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Christian Science Monitor
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan
BLOGS WITH A BULLET
Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
The Mink Dimension
The Asylum Eclectica
VINTAGE BLOGS, DIVERSIONS
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
a bright cold day in april
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
follow me here
Watch It! (site update notifier)
Ask Now (24/7 reference help)
The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk
Chilling Effects (online rights)
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative (Computer recycling)
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Astrodienst (free charts)
Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Privacy Rights Now
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Physicians for a National Health Program
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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