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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, October 11, 2003

Sam Smith on the Plame outing
The current hysteria over the outing of a CIA official by Robert Novak is of little benefit to anyone except those wishing to perpetuate the myth of the agency among the general populace. The incident is a classic case of the capital's concern for an issue being in inverse proportion to its importance.

The media attention is being driven by a number of puerile factors: -- Some Bush capos' desire to embarrass Joseph Wilson.

- The CIA's desire to embarrass George Bush
- The Democrats desire for an issue, any issue, that might work
- And the media's desire for an issue it can understand.


The CIA has all the virtues and failings of a government bureaucracy but without even the minimal open oversight that other departments get. During its history, only a tiny number of agents have been killed or endangered by the media. Its own failings, exercises in institutional machismo, career stuffing, and foolhardy fantasies have cost far more lives.

Howe many? Well, the notorious CIA official James Angleton said shortly before his death, "You know, the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed. . . We played with lives as if we owned them. We gave false hope. We - I - so misjudged what happened. . .

"Fundamentally, the founding fathers of US intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted. These people attracted and promoted each other. Outside their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things, that in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it. . . Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie, and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell. . . I guess I'll see them there soon."

10:43 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, October 10, 2003

New study claims suicide bombings widespread and have little to do with religion [u]
Wherever you find suicide bombings, Mr. Pape says, there is a common thread. "It is not driven by religion, but by a clear strategic goal," he says. "What all the suicide terrorist campaigns have in common over the last 20 years is that the groups that pursue them are seeking to compel liberal democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists view as their homeland, from Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Kashmir to the West Bank."

Even al-Qaida fits the pattern. The terrorist group is seeking to force the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Gulf region.

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

Health insurer demands repayment of funds used for thereapy because of "inadequate documentation" of sessions [Undernews (original story)]

No doubt there's some fraud there, but more likely this is a desperate attempt to reduce costs as the health care and insurance industries lurch toward total collapse.

Obviously the question of doctor/patient privacy is on the block here, just like the lawyer/client relationship has been recently.

The original NY Times story is now behind the paid archive wall, thus the link above.

12:27 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

What democracy? file: was lawyered off the net before the recall election by Diebold, I just belatedly found out

Tom Flocco's site quotes activist Bev Harris challenging the recall vote.
The vibrant 52 year-old activist-grandmother told us that internet service provider Advance Internet Technologies (AIT) notified her that to exposing election fraud in America--had been flagged for ten to fourteen days, effectively blocking the site and its damaging information from public view until after the California recall/gubernatorial election ballots are counted.

At issue is the controversial contents of Harris' website and potential candidate vote-count challenges that could result after today's election--regardless who wins. "At the website, there is analysis of internal memos and actual files from Diebold Corporation's Global Election Management Systems (GEMS), maker of both touch-screen and optical-scan voting machines to be used in 14 California counties on Tuesday--including the two largest minority and ethnic--Los Angeles and Oakland-Alemeda," Harris said, adding "the memos indicate possible end-runs around the integrity of the voting system in California's recall election."
Links for her new book's first 7 chapters are at the first address above.

This is outrageous and should be easily trumping stories like Kobe's trial.

I'm behind the news, esp. Undernews. Too much going on in my life right now. But I'll keep up as I can.

12:16 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, October 09, 2003

A "diverse group of ex-judges, diplomats and former military lawyers" claim 'justice denied' at Guantanamo
Don Guter, the US navy's judge advocate general until last year, said extreme measures were necessary after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

But Mr Guter, who was inside the Pentagon when it was deliberately hit by a hijacked plane that day, said it was not acceptable simply to hold suspected al-Qaeda or Taleban members until the US' war on terror was over.

Such a victory might never come he said, and even if there was no public outcry about the treatment of Guantanamo detainees the US should permit them various rights, not least to stop possible retributions.

The argument filed to the Supreme Court by Mr Guter and other former military lawyers said: "The lives of American military forces may well be endangered by the United States' failure to grant foreign prisoners in its custody the same rights that the United States insists be accorded to American prisoners held by foreigners."

11:55 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Interesting wide angle scenarios on the real reasoning behind Putin's oil-pricing/new nuke brinkmanship salvos at Urban Survival

6:35 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Shameless COI (conflict of interest) file

More the e-voting scam
On the board of the Enterprise Solutions Division of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) -- a lobbying organisation bidding to provide a $200,000+ public opinion manipulation campaign on electronic voting -- is a senior vice president of SAIC, the company tasked with investigating the security of the Diebold voting machine technology in the states of Maryland and Ohio.
And here's a nice piece in the St Petersburg Times
Who's behind these private companies? It's hard to tell: the corporate lines - even the bloodlines - of these "competitors" are so intricately mixed. For example, at Diebold - whose corporate chief, Wally O'Dell, a top Bush fundraiser, has publicly committed himself to "delivering" his home state's votes to Bush next year - the election division is run by Bob Urosevich. Bob's brother, Todd, is a top executive at "rival" ES&S. The brothers were originally staked in the vote-count business by Howard Ahmanson, a member of the Council for National Policy, a right-wing "steering group" stacked with Bushist faithful.

Ahmanson is also one of the bagmen behind the extremist "Christian Reconstructionist" movement, which openly advocates a theocratic takeover of American democracy, placing the entire society under the "dominion" of "Christ the King." This "dominion" includes the death penalty for homosexuals, exclusion of citizenship for non-Christians, stoning of sinners and - we kid you not - slavery, "one of the most beneficent of Biblical laws."

1:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Time is running what looks like a pretty good article on the Wilson/Plame flap
The charge on the table is that the White House leaked her name as an act of revenge, to punish her husband Joseph Wilson for suggesting in public that the Bush Administration had stretched the evidence about Saddam Hussein's nuclear arsenal in order to justify a new kind of war. With the latest polls showing support for that war waning and anger over its price tag rising, the Wilson flap fueled the perception that the White House cared more about selling its case for war than ensuring that the case was right in the first place.
Oh no, they'd never do that...

1:18 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Jeez, and I thought Vlad was a Good Ol' Boy down theah in Crawfud

Russia considering pricing oil in euros

Also: strikes me the Philly mayoral bugging would be a much bigger story if the Recall Cartoon wasn't hogging the Newstream.

Looks like someone's gunning for the FBI. Who knows what weird shit is going on behind the scenes of these creepy secrecy addicts (intel, shrubco, whoever) -- clearly, they eat their own and anyone else who happens along.

1:09 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

New study supports environmental groups' protests against Navy sonar due to effect on whales -- and who knows what else?

4:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Fix in again to drop another imperial presidency?

Philly mayor's office bugged, FBI already acting suspicious
"What the campaign does find incredibly curious is that the FBI could so quickly leap to the conclusion that this was not related to the mayoral campaign in any way, shape or form," said Street campaign spokesman Frank Keel. "The timing of the discovery of these listening devices seems incredibly strange, seeing that we are four weeks out of the election, and we have a Democratic mayor ahead in the polls, and we are on the eve of the first mayoral debate."
Having just finished Silent Coup, naturally I wonder if this is another nail in the coffin of an over-reaching administration no one will miss, perhaps the work of a vengeful and queer collaboration of intel & military interests...usually not allies...

Is that Brutus in the wings?

4:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Indian woman's home stoned by crowds for accusing alleged husband of harassment

8:46 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

More on sickened US troops: rash of blood clot-related deaths [drudge]

1:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Spike in prescription drug abuse due to online access and rise in legal use of PD

12:17 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, October 06, 2003

More potential vote-tampering issues with e-voting machines: security lapses and poor worker training

9:46 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Pentagon caught selling biowar supplies over the net

9:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Here in AZ the housing boom is being accompanied by a record number of foreclosures

9:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Rummy in the doghouse

Condi to the rescue!

8:44 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Good Zippy today on the recall

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


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

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

Blog of the Day


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

-- Malcolm Muggeridge

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

-- Mark Twain

(link to list against Iraq War)


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[Get Opera!]


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

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

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

from Big If by Mark Costello

*       *       *       *

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

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

from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings

*       *       *       *


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

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

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

Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow

-- John Cale

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