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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 25, 2003

NYTimes admits ouster of Bolivian Pres and unrest there are inextricably tied to US Drug War's decimating effect on the local economy

6:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Completely attached to delusion file:

shrubco somehow figures is can run out the clock on its own 9/11 commission, and not make it look like it's got something to hide
Mr. Kean suggested that he understood the concerns of the White House about the sensitivity of the documents at issue, saying that they were the sort of Oval Office intelligence reports that were so sensitive and highly classified that they had never been provided to Congress or to other outside investigators.

"These are documents that only two or three people would normally have access to," he said. "To make those available to an outside group is something that no other president has done in our history.

"But I've argued very strongly with the White House that we are unique, that we are not the Congress, that these arguments about presidential privilege do not apply in the case of our commission," he said.

"Anything that has to do with 9/11, we have to see it -- anything. There are a lot of theories about 9/11, and as long as there is any document out there that bears on any of those theories, we're going to leave questions unanswered. And we cannot leave questions unanswered."

While Mr. Kean said he was barred by an agreement with the White House from describing the Oval Office documents at issue in any detail -- he said the White House was "quite nervous" about any public hint at their contents -- other commission officials said they included the detailed daily intelligence reports that were provided to Mr. Bush in the weeks leading up to Sept. 11. The reports are known within the White House as the Presidential Daily Briefing.
Just like Iraq echoes Vietnam, 9/11 echoes Watergate.

If Bush is (re)elected, impeachment is virtually inevitable.

6:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, October 24, 2003

AZ supermarket strike averted for now

6:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Implanted chip ready for next "crisis" [u]
Of course, the first applications will be for the ultra-high security government and business facilities, but that's where acceptance of this chip will start and trickle down. I used to have some faith that the American people would rise up against this creeping total security state but history, especially recent history, has shown we are no longer the land of the free and home of the brave but the land of the scared and home of the slaves. One more act of terrorism in the 'homeland' and I guarantee you, Americans will line up to 'take the chip' like it was Rubella Sunday all over again (1969 for those who remember).


Since the technology is now here, it won't be long before you either 'voluntarily' (of course, it will be voluntary) take the chip or forget getting into government buildings, maybe even roads, military bases and such. Later, if you want to visit your bank, you'll have to take the chip. Want to go to the airport and board a plane? How do you know you're not a 'terrorist?' Take the chip with your unique ID number and other biometric information, and be assured that you are a 'trusted person.'

What you will really be at that point is a slave. And you will never get that freedom back without copious amounts of bloodshed.

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

Death of the 1st Amendment file

shrubco sues to shut down Greenpeace for voicing dissent
Three miles off the Florida coast in April 2002, two Greenpeace activists clambered from an inflatable rubber speedboat onto a cargo ship. They were detained before they could unfurl a banner, spent the weekend in custody and two months later were sentenced to time served for boarding the ship without permission.

It was a routine act of civil disobedience until, 15 months after the incident, federal prosecutors in Miami indicted Greenpeace itself for authorizing the boarding. The group says the indictment represents a turning point in the history of American dissent.

"Never before has our government criminally prosecuted an entire organization for the free speech activities of its supporters," said John Passacantando, the executive director of Greenpeace in the United States.

12:13 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Supermarket strike in Cali and potential strike in AZ (where I live) highlight the dismantling of the middle class [u]
Earlier in the week, 50,000 clerks and baggers who belong to seven UFCW locals [in California] voted by a 98 percent margin to reject the employers' concessions demands. These include substandard pay and benefits for new-hires, drastic givebacks in health and pension benefits, reductions in premium pay, and the gutting of work rules. Under the proposed contract:

* The top pay of new-hires would be permanently capped at $14.90 an hour, establishing a two-tier wage system. Newly hired courtesy checkers (baggers) would not only receive the $6.75 poverty-level wage of those presently employed, they would also be deprived of health benefits.

* Workers would lose dental and optical coverage and have to pay $75 a month for prescription coverage and $15 a week for health insurance. Hospital stays and chemotherapy treatments would be capped, potentially adding tens of thousands of dollars to workers' health bills. These changes would shift $1,300 a year in health costs from the supermarkets to the workers' families.

* Work rule changes would permit outsourcing of stocking duties and allow the operation of nonunion stores in some areas. Split shifts would be introduced for part-time workers and night shift premiums would be cut for all workers. Sunday shift premiums would be frozen for current employees and slashed by $1 for new-hires.

* Pensions for new-hires would be substantially downgraded, and the employers' contributions to the pension plan would be sufficient to cover only benefits accrued up to now, but insufficient to guarantee future benefits

* There would be no wage increase for the first two years of the three-year agreement.

UFCW officials have declared that they are defending middle class living standards. For the majority of grocery workers, however, anything resembling such standards was surrendered by the UFCW in previous contracts. Throughout the 1990s, the UFCW repeatedly bowed to the employers' demands for wage and work rule concessions that have resulted in cuts in real wages and benefits and the slashing of jobs nationwide.
The supermarkets here in AZ have taken out 3/4 page ads for "temporary workers" in the local paper, and in my relatively small town of Cottonwood, I hear something kind of surprising -- people grumbling about the chains' oppressive demands. Enough people work in Fry's and Safeway for a strike to affect a lot of people. AZ is not known for being labor-friendly, but maybe the worm is finally beginning to turn, at least among the local folks who aren't affluent.

I'm not sure what to do. Basha's -- the only other supermarket -- is non-union.

This is an example of Wal-Mart's pernicious influence as related below, as their policies are being used as an excuse for cutting benefits and pay.

11:54 PM - [Link] - Comments ()


Suspicious returns in Cali recall

See post above this on Miller's site as well.

I know this isn't breaking news, but it's very important.

Still catching up on Undernews.

8:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Phoenix to institute new more comprehensive crime reporting system, first big city to risk reporting all crimes not just worst of cluster will give the appearance that there has been a massive increase in crime.

That's because under the old system, an incident involved several criminal acts was reported only by the most severe of the crimes. Under the NIBRS system, all the criminal acts are reported.

For example, if a person was raped and killed during a burglary, only the most severe crime, the homicide, would be recorded under the old system. But under the NIBRS system, all three crimes that took place would be reported in the city's crime statistics.
This could also be used as an excuse for the media -- or police forces -- to lobby for an increase in the law enforcement budget.

8:29 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Missing $4billion

British charity questions accounting of Iraqi oil profits
[Urban Survival]

7:53 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gangsters (old school variety) now using DoS attacks to muscle victims [u]

12:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Eyewitness remembers JFK autopsy and how it differed from the Warren Report [u]
Also entering the hospital was a bronze casket that government officials claimed contained Kennedy's body. David, although he never saw the body himself, said he was told by four men who were in the autopsy room that the gray casket contained Kennedy's body.

Four hours later, David said he was asked to type a memo while an FBI agent dictated it.

While typing the memo, the agent placed a small bottle next to David. Inside the bottle were around four pieces of lead that David said were too much for one bullet, the "magic bullet" labeled "Commission Exam 399."

The only time David said he was ever warned was when he was typing the memo. The agent who dictated it told him it was classified information and he could not talk about it with anyone.

The memo has never been found nor have the lead pieces.

12:32 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

South Carolina Demos seek corporate sponsor for primary [u]

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

See Navy quote at bottom of this page ("It's about greed, stupid" file)

Chalabi's nephew & Zionist Israeli settler start investment business in Iraq
Sam Chalabi's "partner for international marketing" is Marc Zell, a rightwing Zionist lawyer who has offices in Jerusalem and Washington and previously ran a legal practice with Douglas Feith - now a leading Pentagon hawk with responsibility for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Until recently, Mr Zell - an Israeli citizen - was the registered owner of the Iraqi firm's website. Registration was transferred to Sam Chalabi's name on September 25 - the day after Mr Zell's ownership of the site was revealed by an article on Guardian Unlimited.

Data buried in the "Iraqi" website's source code has not been changed, however, and shows that the content was produced by a member of Mr Zell's Jerusalem office staff.

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

Hydrogen cars seem pretty far away

12:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Imported Workers Filling U.S. Jobs
Some two million U.S. jobs have gone by the wayside over the last two years. And at the same time, the number of foreigners granted special visas to work in the U.S. has risen.

Employers defend the practice. But pink-slipped Americans who've lost jobs to lower-paid replacements are calling it visa abuse.

Last year, Phil Marraffinni earned a salary of $100,000 as a computer programmer.

Today he is a handyman because he says workers imported from India took his job.

"They started bringing them in because, obviously, they would work for less money," he says.

And when the Indian programmers arrived at the First Data Corporation in Coral Springs, Florida, Marraffinni had to teach them the system -- effectively training the people who later replaced him.

"I had to give classes. And I wasn't the only one," he says.

11:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Hi-tech Harry Limes

WaPo has been running a series on the huge counterfeit prescription drug business that the FDA until recently was basically ignoring which looks essential
Last summer, a drug wholesaler was forced to recall nearly 200,000 counterfeit and mislabeled Lipitor tablets after patients complained that their medication tasted bitter. In May 2002, investigators discovered that nearly 110,000 bottles of cut-strength Epogen had passed undetected into the open market. In the past three years, counterfeit, adulterated or diluted medications have been found in drug wholesaler warehouses in Maryland, Kentucky and California. Some of the drugs were distributed in Hawaii, Texas, Washington, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Driven by advanced technology and old-fashioned greed, a new breed of highly sophisticated criminals has insinuated itself into the system that distributes medication from drug manufacturers to patients. These rogue operators have sold everything from fake cholesterol-lowering Lipitor to diluted blood-boosting Epogen to saline labeled as the growth hormone Nutropin, and a shadow market reaches from small wholesalers to the nation's largest drug distributors.

Purchase orders, sales records and information from numerous state and federal investigations illustrate how easily counterfeit and mislabeled medication makes its way from the shadow market into the legitimate marketplace.
Series starts here.

10:35 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Completely attached to delusion file:

Also from BLO: the FBI is trying to get permission to walk into your house and delete public records from your computer

2:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Al Giordano links to this article on the Reason site on the role of the US's imposed drug war on the unrest and overthrow of the puppet president in Bolivia
And you'll find the war on drugs. It's a strange species of doublethink that allows the Bolivian government to say it is introducing "market reforms" while simultaneously carrying out a brutal and expensive crusade to wipe out one of the country's most successful markets. I'm not playing word games here. While the proximate cause of the uprising that just brought down Bolivia's president was nationalist opposition to the export of natural gas, a deeper source of both this and other recent revolts is the war on coca cultivation. Before last week's protests, the most significant conflict in 21st-century Bolivia was probably the fight in 2001 over the military's invasion of the Chapare region, launched to destroy the coca fields and interrupted after tremendous protest.


...Bolivia could use some market reforms -- not tax hikes and "privatized" monopolies, but a war on the red tape that strangles new enterprises (according to a World Bank study, it takes 67 days and $1,500 to start a small business in Bolivia) and the institutional corruption that has made ordinary Bolivians so suspicious of privatization and foreign investment. But the most important market reform, the most important reform of any kind, is still off the table. It's hard to imagine the country's poverty and social unrest coming to an end until the drug war has ended first.

2:48 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

From Dan's Earth Changes:
-- Robins and porcupines are invading Eskimo territory (Dan points out that there isn't even an Eskimo word for "robin"), as the permafrost melts and their ice cellars become ponds.

-- the cold water ecosystem of the North Sea is undergoing a "complete meltdown": salmon & cod disappearing, warm water fish taking over.

2:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

College texts cost half as much overseas as in the US -- or less
Many students have begun to compare the text prices posted on American sites like, with the lower prices for the same books on foreign sites like The differences are often significant: "Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry," 3rd edition, for example, lists for $146.15 on the American Amazon site, but can be had for $63.48, plus $8.05 shipping, from the British one. And "Linear System Theory and Design," 3rd edition, is $110 in the United States, but $41.76, or $49.81 with shipping, in Britain.

9:12 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Military rushes to improve dire conditions of Reserve & National Guard sick & wounded, while AWOL soldiers on leave from Iraq soft-pedaled by Pentagon as low morale spreads [drudge]

9:28 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Gaza airstrikes shame even Israeli ministers into protest

Also from the BBC:
-- locust plague threatens North Africa.

-- Vietnam govt shies away from criticizing US on '67 massacre: Buddhist reticence? Political maneuvering?

9:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, October 20, 2003

'67 Nam massacre, coverup

An elite unit of American soldiers mutilated and killed hundreds of unarmed villagers over seven months in 1967 during the Vietnam War, and a U.S. Army investigation was closed with no charges filed [link]

1:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Kecksburg UFO incident (& govt coverup) in '65 explored on SciFi this Friday

12:53 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

From Psychwatch

Prozac found in Texas stream fish, while antidepessant use or even brief grief counseling could be grounds for you to be denied individual health insurance

12:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Paging Mr Jones

US mood: something's wrong but we don't know what it is

Unease level at January '92 point, though Americans not blaming shrubco (yet, anyway).
-- Asked about the way things were going in the country, 59% said they were "angry about something" and 39% said they were generally content.

-- Support for unspecified changes in the political system was strong: 17% in favor of a "complete overhaul" and another 33% backing major reforms. Just one in 10 said no reform was necessary.

-- Four in 10 said a third major political party was needed.

-- The close divide that marked the 2000 election hasn't changed. In the poll, 38% of registered voters said they definitely would vote for Bush and 38% said they would definitely vote against him. In the middle: 24% who haven't decided.

12:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Drought in West to continue through warmer than normal winter

12:32 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

shrubco secrecy obsession hindering security

Spies confirm openness key to intel success
"Our secrecy system is all about protecting secrecy officers, and has nothing to do with protecting secrets. It's a self-licking ice-cream cone," said Rich Haver, until recently Donald Rumsfeld's special assistant for intelligence, now with Northrop Grumman. "We're compartmentalizing the shit out of things. It's causing a total meltdown of our intelligence processes."

12:50 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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