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

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

Arrogant Capital

Arrogant Capital

Great American Political Repair Manual

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

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

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

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare

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

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

into the buzzsaw

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

Amazon Light

Stop Policeware

Campaign for Audiovisual Freedom

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

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

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

from Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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

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

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

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

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

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

from Distraction by Bruce Sterling


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Saturday, September 27, 2003

Prescription drug pushers squeeze seniors

Elderly Americans are taking out 2nd mortgages to cover BigPharma's protection racket
The Kings worry that their Medicare HMO may cut their drug benefit as of Jan. 1, and to make matters worse, the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government are trying to shut off the flow of drugs from Canada where the cost is as much as 50 percent less than it is here.

"It's very scary, like a black cloud," she said. "We have enough to worry about to follow the doctor's orders so we can survive for the rest of our lives."


"Even if they pass [the drug bill], we don't get a benefit out of it until 2006. Two years later may be too late for people in our age group," Etta King said. "This is four or five years that we've been pleading for a drug plan. The drug companies are having a field day with us, and [we] need these drugs to survive."

If this Congress passes a drug bill that President Bush signs, it most likely will help some, provide no help to others, and still leave many, like the Kings, paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket.

11:24 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Poll says half of Brits want Blair to resign [drudge]

12:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, September 26, 2003

Fawaz Gerges on the real (diverse, fragmented and increasingly dangerous) opposition in Iraq
The perception in Washington that attacks against U.S. forces and other targets are conducted mainly by hardened elements of the old Saddam Hussein regime -- along with Ansar al-Islam, a small, fundamentalist Kurdish group with no proven ties to Hussein -- is dangerously myopic.

Though elements of the Saddam regime predominate, other important groups -- whose interests converge with those of the old regime -- play vital roles. Secular Baathists, indigenous Iraqi fundamentalists, Arab Islamists, and dissatisfied Iraqis all resist the U.S. occupation.


Hundreds of these jihadi fighters from various Arab countries entered Iraq immediately before and during the U.S.-led war, and others are still slipping into the country through Iraq's porous borders. Although some, if not most, of these fighters sympathize with al Qaeda, they cannot all be lumped together as President Bush has done, calling them "al Qaeda-type fighters."

Islamist Web sites and Internet chat rooms suggest Iraq has emerged as a powerful recruiting tool for Islamist militancy. Before the war, I and others who study the region warned that Iraq could become a symbol of Islamist resistance, just as Afghanistan did during the Soviet incursion in the 1980s. Our predictions, unfortunately, seem to be on target.

11:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

More detailed Said obit

8:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Analyst who warned that "the government's increasing reliance on Microsoft desktop software makes federal systems "susceptible to massive, cascading failures" gets shitcanned
Geer presented the report at a meeting of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), a trade group that promotes open systems and networks and that has been critical of the Redmond, Wash., giant. Geer said Microsoft's near monopoly of government business ensures that its software will continue to be the number one target of viruses, worms and other attacks.

Geer urged the government to require Microsoft to make its code available in order for competitors to design applications that integrate better with Microsoft products. He also said the government should require Microsoft to design its applications to work better with competitors' programs.

The report was promptly criticized by another trade group, which includes Microsoft as one of its members, as "marketing by fear to line the pockets of a handful of large companies" that compete with Microsoft.


Microsoft also denied it had any hand in the matter.
Right right.

8:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Many flights out of Sydney delayed or cancelled because of fuel shortage

8:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, September 25, 2003

"the most eloquent spokesman for the plight of the Palestinians"

R.I.P. Edward Said

7:45 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Only half of the recent gas price increase reflected in shrubco consumer price inflation report [Urban Survival]

Also from USW, Fed Reserve suit whispers about taxpayer bailout of pension funds . . . in Moscow.
Poole said taxpayers would probably have to help in a rescue in the event of trouble for the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), a U.S. government agency which gives mandatory insurance for defined-benefit pension plans run by private companies.

"If the PGBC could not meet its obligations, a typical assumption is that the U.S. taxpayer would provide support," he said. "The burden of bailing out the PGBC could hit at the same time as taxpayers are asked to meet shortfalls in the Social Security system."

He said a Social Security Trust Fund set up to cushion the U.S. Social Security pensions system once revenues drop below benefit payments in 2018 was no long-term solution.

"Given current contribution and benefit levels and the best estimates of demographic trends and labour productivity, the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted before mid-century," he added.

8:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

US troops "cleared" in Fallujah "friendly fire massacre" earlier this month

8:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Notoriously Stasi-like TIA shitcanned by Congress, mission to go underground to other less visible agencies [drudge]

8:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

The Big One

At 8:00AM PT the robot had 56% of the vote on CNN's "Who won the Cali debate?" poll

Think we're talkin' tipping point here, folks.

8:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Chief looter in waiting

Chalabi chafes at restraints, as Europeans are assured the payout is in the (ahem) pipeline

See post on Chalabi here, with link to essential Robert Dreyfuss piece.

12:54 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

27 Israeli pilots sign letter signalling their refusal to participate in West Bank/Gaza bombing [drudge]

4:02 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The rising tide of dissent in the US military
George Bush probably owes his presidency to the absentee military voters who nudged his tally in Florida decisively past Al Gore's. But now, with Iraq in chaos and the reasons for going to war there mired in controversy, an increasingly disgruntled military poses perhaps the gravest immediate threat to his political future, just one year before the presidential elections.

From Vietnam veterans to fresh young recruits, from seasoned officers to anxious mothers worried about their sons' safety on the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah, the military community is growing ever more vocal in its opposition to the White House.

"I once believed that I served for a cause: 'To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States'. Now I no longer believe that," Tim Predmore, a member of the 101st Airborne Division serving near Mosul, wrote in a blistering opinion piece this week for his home newspaper, the Peoria Journal Star in Illinois. "I can no longer justify my service for what I believe to be half-truths and bold lies."

9:37 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"Changes in language precede changes in behavior"

AL TA IR from the uh folks at
[see Urban Survival Weekly for more info, intrerpretation]
Today is House 7 in the Meso-American Long Count (calendar). It is fitting then, in a tidy Universe fashion, that the skin2skin action today will be dominated by the United Nations meeting. In the Meso-American Long Count, also known as Tzolkin, 7 (seven) is the dividing line between void, and light. Seven was considered to be the mirror which reflects back only one image, the 'non-void' or reality. House, as understood in the Tzolkin, is the symbol for dawning light, as in the light that clears away the fog of sleep or illusion. A fitting day.

The ALTA data run overnight shows a developing situation related to the event stream which began in June-July. The impact of this event stream will be realized in skin2skin market action today. The supplication required at the UN meeting by Bush will not be seen. Instead, negative influences will rise to this occasion and misfortune will result. Bush does not grasp that the world populace understands his view of them as inferior persons. There is no realization of the sensibilities of the populace. That the populace is viewed as insignificant people clearly comes through all messages delivered. What is not understood is the significant alienation of the populace to the message, and thus the subsequent rejection of the 'commands' of the Bush Administration.

The developing tone of the overnights' is clearly negative for the outcome of the UN meeting. Further, the nature of the negativity is somewhat dire. It speaks of 'flailing flesh' from 'chafing thighs' and 'unfold evil aspects'. There are also references within the BushCo entity to 'beheading fish', 'draining' the 'swamp'. [Ed Note: The draining of the swamp reference is conjoined to repeated references to 'unleashing evil on guests', 'great mistake (to) expose the sands', 'going too far', 'dangerous situation', among others.]
Judeo-Christian, indeed.

7:36 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gulf War I vets at higher risk of developing Gehrig's Disease [refdesk]

7:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the United States a Judeo-Christian country on Monday but quickly amended that to "a country of many faiths"

Nice one, Colon

And even Judeo-Christian-Islamic isn't even close. There are many agnostics and atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Native Americans with tribal beliefs, wiccans and others.

I know it's easy to forget we're not living in Atwood's Gilead from your perch there on the set of the Wewelsbergian theocratic aerie that is the White House, deep in the shadows of the Giant Owl.

6:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, September 22, 2003

Computer voting machine uh "reliability issues" hit mainstream [salon clickthrough blah blah required]

11:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Roots of the Holocaust in early 20th century American eugenics movement [u]
Eugenics was the racist American pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings except those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. The philosophy was enshrined into national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions enacted in 27 states. In 1909, Connecticut became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in "colonies," and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are just learning. In Connecticut, only some 600 were coercively sterilized, but hundreds of thousands more were slated for the surgery before the plan was abandoned.

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for massive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with America's most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims. Connecticut was considered both an epicenter for eugenic propaganda and a test case for ethnic cleansing.
Also check here for connections to the shrub dynasty.

4:31 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Stop US Military Aid to Israel dot net [u]

4:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

100 years and the erosion of liberty in America [u]
The threat to liberty comes mainly from good intentions.

We want a drug-free society, so we allow our employers to hand us a cup and demand evidence that we haven't committed an offense no one has any reason to suspect us of. We want to be safe from terror, so we allow law enforcement agents to break through our doors and into our computer files on only the whisper of suspicion.

We want a civil society, so we allow our activities to be almost constantly monitored. We accept cameras on red lights and computer chips in rental cars, and soon, electronic tethers on our children. We are willing to submit to ever more coercive methods to assure good behavior.

Switch on the television and we see cops beating confessions out of suspects, and we feel good because they're getting the bad guys, and that's all that matters. Playing by the constitutional rules seems a needless handicap.

3:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Republicans trying to sneak ANWAR drilling into energy bill, risking filibuster

3:43 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

EFF petition to end RIAA legal onslaught against citizens [u]

1:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

'Do not resuscitate' instructions often ignored, overlooked [u]
More than a decade after Congress required health care facilities to tell patients they can refuse life-saving treatments, many patients are still thwarted when they attempt to control the way they die, according to scientific studies and the accounts of advocates. Do-not-resuscitate orders are misplaced or overlooked in the hospital, or are not available at all because they are on record somewhere else.

Relatives designated as medical decision-makers are ignored. Requests for "no heroic measures" are interpreted too broadly.

1:00 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Dixie Chicks apparently quit country music for rock after negative reaction to shrub comment

12:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Boycott Taco Bell for using slave labor to pick tomatoes

6:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Yasuhiko Genku Kimura of Vision in Action on creating a culture of responsibility
In public discourse we hear more about the violation of individual rights than about the abdication of individual responsibility. Yet it is the abdication of individual responsibility that leads to the violation of individual rights, because it is intrinsic in the nature of responsibility that responsible individuals respect and honor the rights of others. Today we live amid a pandemic of irresponsibility -- irresponsibility within governments, business, education, the media, the arts, academe, and other sectors. In this culture of rampant irresponsibility, responsibility as such has become almost a forgotten ethical value and moral virtue. However, it is the responsible action that alone carries with it the requisite integrity that brings about real change. Therefore, unless we can transform the present culture of irresponsibility into a culture of responsibility, social movement of any kind, including peace movements, will bear only bitter fruit, if any.

6:47 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

(link to list against Iraq War)


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[Get Opera!]


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

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

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

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

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

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

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


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

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

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

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

© me