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planing lakes



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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, November 08, 2003

National strike which paralyzed Italy on Oct 24th "reflected a growing tension in Western Europe as many governments reassess the affordability of their pension systems and many citizens chafe against the prospect of diminished entitlements" [u]

10:13 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

The American Way of Democracy file:

As Washington prepares special commissions to judge inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, 17 prisoners sentenced in controversial circumstances by a similar US-financed tribunal in nearby Grenada are marking two decades in jail

10:07 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

"The bad news is that it's occurring and that's unfortunate -- we want to stop that"

12 assault or harassment cases reported at Air Force Academy since new leadership took over

10:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Missed this one a few weeks ago

President Johnson ordered the inquiry into the USS Liberty incident to find it "an accident"
In a signed affidavit released at a Capitol Hill news conference, retired Capt. Ward Boston said Johnson and McNamara told those heading the Navy's inquiry to "conclude that the attack was a case of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

Boston was senior legal counsel to the Navy's original 1967 review of the attack. He said in the sworn statement that he stayed silent for years because he's a military man, and "when orders come ... I follow them."

He said he felt compelled to "share the truth" following the publication of a recent book, "The Liberty Incident," which concluded the attack was unintentional.
Odd to see Thomas Moorer quoted in this article, as he was a key character in a book I read recently on Watergate, Silent Coup, which portrays his (among others) coverup of rampant military spying on the Nixon White House, and the part it played in Nixon's resignation. Not that Moorer's position on the Liberty is in conflict with later events.

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

A Tip o' the blog to A- Changin' Times for the link!

7:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Jesse Jackson, Al Franken, Ralph Nader "insist on attending"

National Conference on Media Reform in Madison WI draws big names, crowd

Robert McChesney's Media Reform site here.

11:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Senior staff at major Indian paper arrested for "breach of privilege" for criticizing government

11:45 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

9/11 committee subpoenas Pentagon for documents

11:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"We still can't handle the truth"

Vinay Menon on Saving Jessica Lynch

1:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Friday, November 07, 2003

"The fact that he's alive is unhelpful"

Evidence of the anthrax story being distraction; the "leaked scoop" of the "covert force" hunting Hussein and bin Laden (does anyone take this shit seriously?)

1:31 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

In case you missed drudge, Pvt Lynch says "rape" and "heroic rescue" are bullshit

So far I don't see any BigMedia outlets playing this up at all, it's all about the 3rd chopper crash, the "drop" in joblessness, and this suspiciously well-timed anthrax story.

I sense a lot of distracting PR spin stores in the media this week, as the unpleasant news from Iraq and lack of troop support from other countries, the kaiboshing of the abortion bill by several judges and the highly questionable touting of "economic recovery" point to the accelerating collapse of the dominant neocon paradigm.

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

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Drug Gangsters & govt give seniors the kissoff

BigPharma and spineless Congress shut down drug store chain that helps customers buy cheaper Canadian drugs

9:29 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Flesh-eating bacteria strikes 8 Florida bathers [u]

11:09 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Take Back Your Time Day

...if our country's work load were on a par with the rest of the industrialized world, you would have the rest of 2003 off

11:05 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

[From a speech by Bill Blum]

Attempting to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments.

Unprovoked military invasion of some 20 sovereign nations.

Working to crush more than 30 populist movements which were fighting against dictatorial regimes.

Providing indispensable support to a small army of brutal dictatorships: Mobutu of Zaire, Pinochet of Chile, Duvalier of Haiti, Somoza of Nicaragua, the Greek junta, Marcos of the Philippines, Rhee of Korea, the Shah of Iran, 40 years of military dictators in Guatemala, Suharto of Indonesia, Hussein of Iraq, the Brazilian junta, Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, the Taliban of Afghanistan, and others.

Dropping powerful bombs on the people of about 25 countries, including 40 consecutive days and nights in Iraq, 78 days and nights in Yugoslavia, and several months in Afghanistan, all three of these countries having met the first requirement as an American bombing target -- being completely defenseless.

Not once ever has the United States come even close to repairing the great damage caused by its bombings.

Repeated use of cluster bombs.

Assassination attempts on the lives of some 40 foreign political leaders.

Crude interference in dozens of foreign democratic elections.

Gross manipulation of labor movements.

Shameless manufacture of "news."

Chemical or biological warfare or the testing of such weapons, and the use of powerful herbicides, all causing terrible effects to the people and environments of China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Panama, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Serbia and elsewhere.

Encouragement of drug trafficking in various parts of the world when it served the CIA's purposes.

Supporting death squads, especially in Latin America.

Causing grievous harm to the health and well-being of the world's masses by turning the screws of the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and other international financial institutions, as well as by imposing unmerciful sanctions and embargoes.

10:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Denver hospitals shutting out Medacar/Medicaid patients [u]
Referring doctors said that in the past year, they have collected refusal notices from University stating that patients won't be seen because clinic doctors are not accepting new Medicaid or Medicare patients. Others said their patients face six- to eight-month waits for appointments.

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

How gangs easily spread to suburbs [u]
The gangs infiltrating our area have a powerful presence on the Internet, complete with chat rooms, message boards, file swapping, photo galleries and music videos.


Add page upon page devoted to the splendors of marijuana and the purported exploits -- criminal, sexual and violent -- of MS-13 members, and the result is intoxicating to kids in neighborhoods where parents often work double shifts and the hours after school seem an endless desert.


Los Angeles authorities have sought to prohibit gangs from gathering in public. That gives police extra tools but does little to diminish MS-13's appeal. This is an international structure, with complex webs of drug sales and arms purchases that investigators say create a steady supply of weapons to criminals in El Salvador.

But most of that is way over the heads of the kids who sign up to be a part of MS-13. They're just following the leader, joining the crowd. "Especially in the suburbs," Alonso says. "That's the big trend, everyone trying to look like gang members, be part of it."

10:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

After my own heart file:

Dan Burden's mission to make towns more pedestrian- and bike-friendly

10:31 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

U.S. forces are losing the intelligence battle in Iraq to an increasingly organized guerrilla force that uses stealth, spies and surprise to inflict punishing casualties

9:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

12:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

On the Harmonic Concordance this weekend

12:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Philly voters rise against suspect FBI allegations against Demo mayor, wins 3-2

12:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Largest solar flare in recorded history, off the scale, "well over X-20"

Short animation at spaceweather.

"Severe radio blackout" in North America apparently too, unsurprisingly, though not much of the magnetic wave will impact Earth. Fortunately.

11:51 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Health system fails seniors half the time

7:11 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Oil Overlords' autumn years file:

Oil industry insider's take on the Yukos putsch in Russia

Worth a look.

7:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

"...Sun is more active than it has been in living memory"

Another, mild geomagnetic storm hits Earth, with 3 M-class flares following 3 X flares; big one lst week produced auroras as far south as Orlando

6:43 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

GOP "saint" biopic suppressed

Craven, cowering US media censors itself, reaches new low

6:38 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

Monday, November 03, 2003

States charging poor for legal defense [u]

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

WaPo -- setting the pace for craven media last month -- killed the "Boondocks" sequence on writing a personal ad for Condoleeza Rice last month [u]

No other newspaper censored the strip.

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

Al Giordano on the Khodorkovsky spin
Not just the U.S. State Department and Commercial Media are knee-deep in the spin campaign, but also Liliya Shevtsova, senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment, an institution that no doubt has the interests of the common Russian working man and woman at heart, according to today's Guardian of London:

"Mr Putin has unleashed his dogs...The question is, to what extent does the affair now have a life of its own, or can Mr Putin stop it? My hunch is that he cannot, because saying 'stop' will be seen by his people, and the Russian electorate, as a sign of weakness."
Lots of tears are being cried for the poor little rich guy, who, according to AP, is now being held in "Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina, one of the detention units regarded as often worse than the prisons to which convicts are sent." AP also notes that 8,500 prisoners have been held there in the past year. I must not have noticed the concern over any of them by the Commercial Media, the State Department, or the Carnegie Endowment.

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

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Extraordinary solar activity continues

2 more X-class flares erupted in the last 12 hours

9:19 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

First gay awareness parade in Chinese-speaking world in Taipei

12:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()

Sudanese locust swarm releases hormone triggering mass asthma attacks, 11 deaths
As adult, winged insects they form swarms that can travel in tens of millions and travel great distances, crossing international borders in search of food.

They can devastate crops within minutes.

A major locust plague in 1987 to 1989 originated in western Sudan and spread as far as India.

[The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation] says a full-fledged desert locust plague has the potential of damaging the livelihood of a tenth of the world's population.

11:56 AM - [Link] - Comments ()

French officials apparently accuse English royal family of coverup in Diana death [drudge]

11:48 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

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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