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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return
Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed
American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare
The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press
Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...
It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.
This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.
You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.
By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.
The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.
Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.
Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.
Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .
Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.
Saturday, December 06, 2003
Time to back off the Ambien dosage, boys...
Soooo ... shrubco wants to send a mission to the moon to polish his image because of the bad press they're getting from the budget deficit?!?
This can only mean Halliburton thinks there's oil on the moon or something. That's what the Chinese figure. Time to start pillaging other planets...
And the Bush's are maybe desperate to see themselves as at least the equal of the Kennedy clan, and JFK got major props from the space program...
Hard to know what delirious fantasies they'll come up with next.
Not that either of these bonehead projects will get off the ground...
3:08 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
memigo is a promising, personalizable news agent [edwardmillerdotorg]
2:40 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
First time I've seen a freeway closed because of serial shootings
Awful lot of "random" violence lately. That Utah couple in Rio, the prosecutor in PA, the corpse at the UN...
2:13 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Poor houses -- they'll be filling all those new branded stadiums...
Nearly half the investors polled in a survey erroneously believed that stock market losses were insured and 70 percent were unaware of the risks of buying stocks on margin, according to the National Association of Securities Dealers. [cryptogon]
1:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Rents dropping in 80% of the country [u]
11:57 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Advertisers want the mice to hit the lever faster and longer
Neuromarketing ethics questioned [u]"The neuroscience wing at Emory University," the New York Times reports, "is the epicenter of the neuromarketing world."
That is a dubious honor. Universities exist to free the mind, and enlighten it. They do not exist to find new ways to subjugate the mind and manipulate it for commercial gain. Emory?s quest for a "buy button" in the human skull is an egregious violation of the very reason that a university exists.
The BrightHouse website boasts of having the "most-advanced neuroscientific research capabilities and understanding of how the brain thinks, feels and motivates behavior." This knowledge of the brain enables corporations to "establish the foundation for loyal, long-lasting consumer relationships," the website says. Loyalty through brain mapping, in other words.
11:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The significance of the Cali supermaket strike [u]More than 70,000 workers at 859 locations across central and southern California have been on strike in protest against plans by supermarket chains to cut their health and pension benefits. This week, the strike, called by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, intensified as Teamsters union drivers refused to cross picket lines at depots. The strike's most significant backers, however, are the shoppers who are also refusing to cross picket lines, reducing turnover in some stores to a third of the normal volume.
The stakes are high. Victory for the strikers would accelerate attempts to unionize other big service companies, say union organizers; defeat could have a chilling effect on recruitment. Union leaders say the strike could be the first round in a fight in which major companies seek to reduce traditional benefits because they claim they are being undercut by vast non-union firms, such as Wal-Mart.
11:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
On Canada's surprising move toward an identity not defined by the USRecently, while musing about his retirement plans, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said he might just kick back and smoke some pot. "I will have my money for my fine and a joint in the other hand," he said with a smile.
The glibness of the remark made it nearly impossible to imagine an American president uttering it. But in a nation where the dominant West Coast city, Vancouver, has come to be known as Vansterdam, few Canadians blinked.
When Massachusetts' highest court ruled for gay marriage, the issue instantly loomed over American politics. Conservatives vowed to change the Constitution. President George W. Bush said he would defend marriage. Even the major Democratic presidential candidates backed away from supporting gay marriage outright.
Contrast that with Canada, where two provincial courts issued similar rulings this year. With little national anguish, Canada became only the third country - after the Netherlands and Belgium - to allow same-sex marriage as a matter of civil rights.
11:22 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, December 01, 2003
Dissent now equals terrorism
Naomi Klein from the Miami barricades [u]Police violence outside of trade summits is not new, but what was striking about Miami was how divorced the security response was from anything resembling an actual threat. From an activist perspective, the protests were disappointingly small and almost embarrassingly obedient, an understandable response to weeks of police intimidation.
Listening to the incessant roar of helicopters and the march of police boots, I couldn't shake the feeling that something new was going on. It felt less like we were the targets of this operation than the target practice, unwitting extras in an elaborate military drill.
But in order for the Miami Model to work, the police first had to establish a connection between legitimate activists and dangerous terrorists. Enter Miami Police Chief John Timoney, an avowed enemy of activist "punks" who repeatedly classified FTAA opponents as "outsiders coming in to terrorize and vandalize our city."
With the activists recast as dangerous aliens, Miami became eligible for the open tap of public money irrigating the "war on terror." In fact, $8.5-million spent on security during the FTAA meeting came directly out of the $87-billion President Bush extracted from Congress for Iraq last month -- a fact barely reported outside of the Miami press.
11:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Public Citizen's page on the AARP's conflicts of interest re the Medicare bill [u]AARP's financial records show that, if the bill is passed, the group stands to make tens of millions of dollars through its various commercial health care ventures. A representative for AARP acknowledged Friday in the New York Times that about 24% of the AARP's revenues come from their health insurance-related activites.
11:30 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, November 30, 2003
The Nightmare of a (re-)elected shrubcoShortly upon taking office in 2004, Bush's PCS [political-corporate-state apparatus] will move rapidly on a number of fronts. Unbound by the constraints of campaigning, the real work of the Bush PCS will begin. First, the Bush PCS will continue to rupture federal and state programs that assist the middle and lower classes of America and their culture and environment. The US Supreme Court will eliminate a woman's right to choose. Constitutional amendments banning gay rights, women's rights and civil rights/affirmative action will be proposed by the Bush PCS and, in all likelihood, will succeed. An additional amendment to the constitution concerning military rule in case of an attack on US soil by any foreign individual or state will be added easing the way towards military rule in America.
While the nation debates these issues, Bush will quietly issue an edict supporting a return to the draft...
10:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
shrubco to drop steel tariffs in the face of an all-out trade war with Europe
10:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Some interesting shots of the New Israeli Supreme Court complex
The text is kind of boilerplate anti-Illuminati-speak, but you have to wonder about that Seeing Eye Pyramid and the peculiar layout.
10:46 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Baghdad Burning points to Imad Khadduri's new Iraq's Nuclear Mirage: Memoirs and Delusions for the lowdown on Iraq's "nuclear threat"The book gives details of the varying nuclear and 'secret' sites that were open to inspections and discusses how the program fell apart after the war in 1991 and what happened to the documents and information gathered by the scientists for over a decade. It also discusses the fakes and the flakes, like Chalabi and Khidhir Hamza, the 'bomb-maker' who helped build the WMD case against Iraq with the help of Chalabi and a very vivid imagination.It's been serialized at Ether Zone too.
Imad Khadduri writes about Khidhir Hamza:
"In the mid-nineties, an Iraqi physicist, Khidir Hamza, managed to escape from Iraq and seek tutelage of the CIA. At the end of 1999, he published a book titled "Saddam's Bomb Maker". It is worth mentioning that at no point in time did Khidir Hamza get involved in any research work related to the nuclear bomb or the effects of a radioactive accident when we dabbled with such research?"
I found the book particularly fascinating, I guess, because Imad Khadduri is a *real* person. He's not one of those exiles who have been outside of Iraq for decades (he left in late 1998) and his words are painfully familiar- especially when he discusses family bonds and life in Iraq during the sanctions. He's very real, and very well-known and respected in Iraq. The author also played a prominent role in rebuilding Iraq after the 1991 war.
5:54 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Some in GOP perhaps smelling the "Medicare" bill ready to bite them on the ass on election day [drudge]
5:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Things you have to believe to be a Republican today [u]Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
"Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.
If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.
Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.
What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the 80s is irrelevant.
Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
1:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Publically financed elections
Just $6 (Americans for Campaign Reform) [u]
1:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Paris police unit nabs crooks on rollerblades [u]
1:14 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Two-time Pulitzer nominee Russell Banks detained at Canadian Customs for criticizing shrubco [u]Interestingly, this was the first time Banks had had this experience. He lives in upstate New York, relatively close to the Canadian border, in the state's Adirondack region. Over the years he's driven (as opposed to flown) many times in and out of Canada and numbers author Michael Ondaatje and filmmaker Atom Egoyan among his good friends.
So what has Russell Banks learned from his encounter with Canada Customs? "For me, the meaning of the event is that Canada Customs has access to my FBI file, and I was on a list to be stopped. And if I'm on, people who are a lot more active than me are on it, too."
1:08 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sam Smith on putting culture back into politicsWe also need to do a better job of helping people justify to themselves why they should become active. Activists naturally are always looking for action, but helping people find the right attitude sometimes comes first. Especially in a time when no action seems adequate
Among those who understood this was the beats of the 1950s. It is instructive during a time in which even alienated progressives outfit themselves with mission and vision statements and speak the bureaucratic argot of their oppressors to revisit that under-missioned, under-visioned culture of what Norman Mailer called the "psychic outlaw" and "the rebel cell in our social body." What Ned Plotsky termed, "the draft dodgers of commercial civilization."
Unlike today's activists they lacked a plan; unlike those of the 60s they lacked anything to plan for; what substituted for utopia and organization was the freedom to think, to speak, to move at will in a culture that thought it had adequately taken care of all such matters.
To a far great degree than rebellions that followed, the beat culture created its message by being rather than doing, rejection rather than confrontation, sensibility rather than strategy, journeys instead of movements, words and music instead of acts, and informal communities rather than formal institutions.
1:01 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Bacterium resists antibiotics by "stealing" genes from other bacteria
12:47 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'
Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."
Blog of the Day
In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-- Mark Twain
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
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They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.
Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."
Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.
from Big If by Mark Costello
Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."
Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.
from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down
Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
-- John Cale