Wednesday, November 30, 2005.
This should be, ahem, interesting:
The dizzying high point of Showtime's new Masters of Horror series, the hour-long Homecoming (which premieres December 2) is easily one of the most important political films of the Bush II era. With its only slightly caricatured right-wingers, the film nails the casual fraudulence and contortionist rhetoric that are the signatures of the Bush-Cheney administration. Its dutiful hero, presidential consultant David Murch (Jon Tenney), reports to a Karl Rove–like guru named Kurt Rand (Robert Picardo) and engages in kinky power fucks with attack-bitch pundit Jane Cleaver (Thea Gill), a blonde, leggy Ann Coulter proxy with a "No Sex for All" tank top and "BSH BABE" license plates. Murch's glib, duplicitous condescension is apparently what triggers the zombie uprising: Confronting an angry mother of a dead soldier on a news talk show, he tells this Cindy Sheehan figure, "If I had one wish . . . I would wish for your son to come back," so he could assure the country of the importance of the war. The boy does return, along with legions of fallen combatants, and they all beg to differ.
How fitting that the most pungent artistic response to a regime famed for its crass fear-mongering would be a cheap horror movie. Jaw-dropping in its sheer directness, Homecoming is a righteous blast of liberal-left fury (it was greeted with a five-minute ovation in Turin, the most vocal appreciation seeming to come from the American filmmakers and writers in attendance).
Allegedly, Showtime's running a free preview this weekend, so even if you don't normally get the channel, you might have a chance to tune in if you have cable or satellite tv.
One of the nation’s leading suppliers of electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from criminal prosecution should it fail to disclose software code as required by state law.
Diebold Inc., which makes automated teller machines and security and voting equipment, is worried it could be charged with a felony if officials determine the company failed to make all of its code — some of which is owned by third-party software firms, including Microsoft — available for examination by election officials in case of a voting mishap.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by US soldiers in an effort to polish the image of the American mission in Iraq, a US newspaper reported.
US military "information operations" troops have written the articles, which are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based defense contractor, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Many articles are presented to Iraqi newspapers as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists, the daily said, citing documents it obtained and unnamed US military officials.
The stories denounce insurgents and tout the work of US and Iraqi troops and the US-led effort to rebuild Iraq.
The United States has paid Iraqi newspapers to publish dozens of articles, the LA Times said.
"The operation is designed to mask any connection with the US military," it said.
The Lincoln Group helps translate and place the stories. The contractor's Iraqi staff, or its subcontractors, sometimes pose as freelance journalists or advertising executives to hand the stories to Iraqi papers.
Some senior US military officers in Iraq and at the Pentagon have criticized the operation, saying it could ruin the US military's credibility in other countries and with the US public.
"Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq. Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we're breaking all the first principles of democracy when we're doing it," a senior Pentagon official who opposes the planting of stories was quoted as saying.
Much of the effort was being directed by the "Information Operations Task Force" in Baghdad, part of the multinational corps headquarters commanded by Army Lieutenant General John Vines, the newspaper said.
The task force has even bought an Iraqi newspaper and taken control of a radio station, a military official said, refusing to name the outlets to protect their staff from insurgent attacks.
Shhh, don't tell anyone but I'm planting stories here at Amsam.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005.
Find more of Andrew's work here
A question for the Internets
Does anyone know the name of the clip art package David Rees uses for Get Your War On
and his other strips?
War of agression is the highest crime possible. Peeps might wanna bone up on the above subject.
Monday, November 28, 2005.
Washington, D.C. — The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has joined with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and PEN American Center in a legal action against the U.S. Departments of State, Justice, and Homeland Security and the Central Intelligence Agency. , In a complaint filed today
the national groups charge that these federal agencies are illegally withholding information on the government’s practice of excluding prominent foreign intellectuals based on their political views.
This should scare the Fuck out of you whether or not you are Republican or Democrat or Indy...
The White House is considering expanding the power of a little-known Pentagon agency called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, which was created three years ago. The proposal, made by a presidential commission, would transform CIFA from an office that coordinates Pentagon security efforts—including protecting military facilities from attack—to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the United States such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage.
Jewish Newspaper, the Forward, published article by renowned Israeli (Presumably) Military Historian @Hebrew Univ. calling for Bush's impeachment.(He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers.):
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.
Jose Padilla's gang was on our side
in Kosovo in 1998-1999 & his case is based on funds transferred via a CIA network in Kosovo (Global Relief Foundation)Link
Awoken Research Grouphttp://valis.cjb.cc/
Sunday, November 27, 2005.
Photographer Clayton James Cubitt's personal chronicle of what hurricane Katrina has done to his family.http://www.claytoncubitt.com/
Are we a Police state yet, daddy?
The best news this week, I think, is the Canadian government's $4.3 billion (US) plan
to fight poverty in native communities, and the agreement to pay out $1.7 billion in restitution
to victims of abuse at residential schools. I'm interested in seeing how the Canadian program goes, because I've always been conflicted about the best way to approach the continued injustices faced by natives in the United States. The US has still not issued a formal apology for its crimes against humanity (germ warfare, etc.), so I suppose that would be a good place to start. At least Canada is moving in the right direction, I hope we can learn something from them.
Regardless of what you may think of the Democratic Party, it's a good thing to have an organized opposition party in Washington. This week, the Christian Science Monitor tracks the progress the Dems have made towards becoming a more unified party
. This is one of the practical outcomes of Bush's abysmal approval ratings: Dems are more comfortable opposing Republican policies.
This week and late last week the GOP's had to tone down their attacks on war supporters. With public sentiment firmly anti-war, it makes no sense for the White House to continue the party line that opposing the war is un-Patriotic. Bush and Cheney have both admitted publicly that those who question of the wisdom of the war can still be patriots. And of course, Jean Schmidt has been trying to weasel out of calling John Murtha a coward
.The ACLU has taken the “Denver Three” case
, so finally we are seeing some legal challenge to the outrageous lengths the administration has taken to limit free speech during the electoral process.
- Rose Colored News
This week's headlines:
Politics:Canada outlines native cash deal
.Abuse payout for Canadian natives
.GOP loses an asset: ‘purple’ Democrats
.“Mean Jean” back peddling on “coward” comment
.Former DeLay lacky cops plea
.ACLU takes “Denver Three” case
Health:Illinois Law Offers Coverage for Uninsured Children
.Bruce Sterling on pandemics
.Inflatable buildings may fight against flu pandemic
.HIV Rates Decline Among US Minorities
Other:Pakistan exceeds aid target
Saturday, November 26, 2005.
Friday, November 25, 2005.
An excellent and insightful analytical piece.
The modern incarnation of CoIntelPro activities within the perfect anonymity of Blogs ? 'Net CoIntelPro, where agents would be assigned multiple topics/blogs to track and monitor and 'engage/influence/disrupt/misinform' with a series of defined almost schizophrenic, yet relatively consistent, individual 'persona's', no small task though ... shades of 'Rendon'. ? ...
Thursday, November 24, 2005.
It was of course foolishly short sighted of me to link only to America's Second Harvest in my last post... and to assume only those with plenty could contribute.
At the Hunger Site
a click a day sends food all over the world, at no cost to you.
And the Mercy Corps
provides poverty relief around the world.
(feel free to post more worth while charities in the comments).
Robert Dreyfuss on the 3 day Cairo talks, where multi- factions in Iraq are inching toward full spectrum talks including the resistance -- all to the chagrin of US officials (who didnt even attend)
Wednesday, November 23, 2005.
As I prepare to leave town for the holiday, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts. I'll spare you posting Burrough's “Thanksgiving Prayer,” as I'm sure many others will do today or tomorrow. I'll also spare you a rant on the brutal rape the Native Americans suffered (and continue to suffer, as we see as the Abramoff case unfolds). I'll leave that to better informed people.
I just want to ask you to be thankful to everyone who had a part in bringing you food this year. The animals and plants, to the ranchers and farmers and hunters, everyone involved in food processing, canning, etc., everyone in involved with shipping food around the world and within your country, the grocery store and restaurant workers, your family and friends who prepared you meals, and anyone I may have forgotten. And, if you will, the gods and goddesses and other spirits that made it all possible, or just the awesome power of nature.
And everyone who has plenty might consider making a donation to America's Second Harvest
or the Mercy Corps
Also, at the Hunger Site
a click a day sends food all over the world, at no cost to you.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005.
"In June, over 200 people traveled to Sacramento to voice their concerns at a public hearing before a panel of advisors to the Secretary of State on voting systems. Since then, every scheduled meeting of the Voting Systems Panel has been cancelled, and now the Secretary has simply disbanded the VSP without notice, without hearings, without any type of due process." This isn't the only jurisdiction in which Diebold is attempting to circumvent legal requirements - in North Carolina they filed for and received a broad exemption from new disclosure rules recently passed into law. The EFF are now suing to force Diebold to comply with the law. As if that wasn't enough, an official Certification Test (PDF) for Diebold's Optical Scan voting machines confirms an earlier threat analysis test (PDF) that the memory cards on these machines run uncertified and arbitrary executable code, a charge that
Diebold has vigorously denied.
Even some of you "conservative" dinks, who frequent the comments here should be concerned w/the above, for afterall, the left plays good cop to the right bad cop. And is paid handsomely for it.
Bush’s sickness is our own.
Sunday, November 20, 2005.
Wacky-Off: Jean Schmidt vs. Pat Robertson
I can't decide who's wackier, Ohio's Jean Schmidt or Pat Robertson. Here's the first of my pair of limericks about Jean Schmidt's outrageous House floor speech, in which she called John Murtha a coward because of his Iraq withdrawal plan:
A Rep From Ohio Named Jean
By Madeleine Begun Kane
A Rep from Ohio named Jean
Called John Murtha a coward. How mean!
The Dems were quite riled
At her unprovoked bile.
She beat Hackett? How sad and obscene!
You can find both Schmidt limericks plus a Pat Robertson limerick here.
And here's my audio / podcast version.
"For the last twenty years, it’s been common practice among law professors to view modern human rights law, and in a sense the entire international law system, as something that started with the gavel that convened the first of the Nuremberg criminal tribunals. That gavel fell sixty years ago today. These tribunals gave force to the concept that international law was not just about relations between nations. International law also created obligations for individuals, who could be subject to trial and severe sanction. America was the most aggressive proponent of this course, and the American prosecutor, Justice Robert Jackson, was extremely conscious of what this meant for his country. “We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants today is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow. To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our lips as well."
Saturday, November 19, 2005.
The CIAs and the State Departments 'realists' have been progressively sidelined, the agencies gutted, their functions stripped, duplicated and detached. So too the apolitical and truly professional (troublesome ?) senior officers in the ranks of the Pentagon ... retired, discharged, or 'framed' out of the services if they don't drink the Kool-aid.
Hm, the Dem's winning an election will obvious make all of the above, and the direct challenge, nay suborning of, democracy, all well again. Not.
As W. Blake said, "One law for the Lion and different one for the Ox is Tyranny."
Continuing on the theme of the link below: BBC Newsnight Report: The contribution of the blogger to war reporting WP-in-Fallujah, comes, once again, a profound comment that I have been thinking about, but haven't been able to articulate. Debs is dead, over at Moon unpacks everything I haven't been able to conceptualize w/regards to the situation we find ourselves in.
Friday, November 18, 2005.
Update see below:
BBC Newsnight, probably the corporation's most serious news offering, spectacularly violated Godwin's Law last night in reporting on the WP-in-Fallujah story. (The broadcast is available above for a limited period.)
It ran footage of the aftermath of the Luftwaffe's 1937 attack on Guernica over a soundtrack of Nazi dismissals of the eyewitness journalist accounts that women and children had been murdered as a result.
It then cut to footage of the US using WP in an attack on Fallujah, with a commentary that eyewitness journalist accounts had been denied by the US military.
Note:Look On the right hand side of the link page for: The contribution of the blogger to war reporting
The US has continued to maintain that it has done nothing wrong by firing weapons with white phosphorous in Iraq.
The story has shown the limits of the mainstream media and the commitment of the blogger. Paul Mason reports.
You may find some of the pictures in this report distressing
FIRST BROADCAST 17 NOV 05Update:Dr Grey of GPOD was kind enough to torrent the above here
: BBC Newsnight Report: The contribution of the blogger to war reporting WP-in-Fallujah
Much thanks, Dr.Grey.
Thursday, November 17, 2005.
The Japanese have learned that Tamiflu kills the hard way:
"Japan's health ministry says it plans to reissue a warning of dangerous behavioral side effects linked to the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu. This comes amid reports that several children in Japan died after taking the medication. Governments around the world are stockpiling the medicine amid growing fears of a possible human pandemic of avian influenza."
Thanks to debs is dead over at Moon. (A must read comment).
"If Christian fundamentalists are to be believed, America's invasion of Iraq and the consequent brutal slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in that country are all part of a grand divine plan that will finally culminate in the 'second coming' of Jesus Christ. Establishing an empire that will extend all over the globe, Christ will rule like a powerful monarch, saving those who believe in him and dispatching non-believers, all non-Christians and non-conformist Christians, to everlasting perdition in hell. This is no childish nonsense for millions of Christian fundamentalists, who sincerely believe this to be predicted in the Bible. Not surprisingly, American Christian fundamentalists are today among the most fanatic supporters of Bush's global imperialist wars, in Iraq and elsewhere, which they see as in keeping with the divine mandate. They are no eccentric or lunatic fringe elements, for today Christian fundamentalists exercise a powerful influence in American politics. Among them is George Bush himself, who insists that the American invasion of Iraq has been sanctioned by God ,
with whom he claims to be in personal communication."
CALL AND FAX YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES NOW!
Look up their contact information here Patriot Act Becomes An Anti-Civil Liberties Christmas Tree
by Congressman John Conyers
and More here
Put youre thinking caps on fellers, (and ladies) and come w/me on a journey:
(Note sit back bare w/ it for a moment; you'll be glad you did).
William Blake warned his contemporaries against the dangers of the 'single vision,'of the reductive worldview, originated in 'Newton's sleep.
First lets start w/ the above link about halfway down:
Especially, "Strategies to counteract naïve belief"
and "The empirical evidence"
Take a moment to let that sink in, then get ready to have your head caved in, in a good way:Aristotle's Law of Identity
Though these links may seem like a beating or pulling your lip over your skull, there are some powerful messages here.
Finally, one my favorite Enlightenment-fetishizing political philosopher was Mary Wollstonecraft.
She was not a very good novelist, but she was a great rhetoritician.
There will be a quiz, (j/k)but, comments are welcome ;-) (Tell me what you got out of this exercize).
Now, In a complete reversal, Robert Anton Wilson says, "we must break out of the Aristotle straight jacket of black/white, up/down, binary logic".
Politics =2-dimensonal "mind" [[foward/back. up/down]
Art & science =multidimenssional "mind"
"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost."
As a doctor, I was required to provide medical care to wounded prisoners who were tortured during questioning. I was asked by the regimental intelligence officer if I would administer succinyl choline to temporarily paralyze the muscles of respiration of POWs as an aid to interrogation. I could not abide it and after six months I registered a public protest during a change-of-command ceremony for my commanding officer. I was arrested for "conduct unbecoming an officer" and my career in military medicine was over.
What the fuck? Who the fuck are these people writing these GODDAMN LAWS?
aMERICA HAS BECOME CAUGHT UP IN SOME KIND OF Illearth War
Set your clock, cause it's about to be cleaned!
Note:It'll be available for download on November 17. (Today) Another "good" (i.e., damning) video.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005.
The Pentagon has confirmed that US troops used white phosphorus during last year's offensive in the northern Iraqi city of Falluja.
'It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants,' spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC.
Col Venable denied that the substance - which can cause burning of the flesh - constituted a banned chemical weapon.
Just when you think the sick and sinister Bush gangsters have hit bottom, they blow a hole in the floor and drag us down even deeper:
Adel is innocent. I don't mean he claims to be. I mean the military says so. It held a secret tribunal and ruled that he is not al Qaeda, not Taliban, not a terrorist. The whole thing was a mistake: The Pentagon paid $5,000 to a bounty hunter, and it got taken.
The military people reached this conclusion, and they wrote it down on a memo, and then they classified the memo and Adel went from the hearing room back to his prison cell. He is a prisoner today, eight months later. And these facts would still be a secret but for one thing: habeas corpus...
He has no visitors save his lawyers. He has no news in his native language, Uighur. He cannot speak to his wife, his children, his parents. When I first met him on July 15, in a grim place they call Camp Echo, his leg was chained to the floor. I brought photographs of his children to another visit, but I had to take them away again. They were "contraband," and he was forbidden to receive them from me...
In a wiser past, we tried Nazi war criminals in the sunlight. Summing up for the prosecution at Nuremberg, Robert Jackson said that "the future will never have to ask, with misgiving: 'What could the Nazis have said in their favor?' History will know that whatever could be said, they were allowed to say. . . . The extraordinary fairness of these hearings is an attribute of our strength."
The world has never doubted the judgment at Nuremberg. But no one will trust the work of these secret tribunals.
Dr Avi Rubin, Prof of Computer Science at John Hopkins, got a copy of Diebold Source Code. They poured over all 49k lines of source code... Yes, kids it was Written Expressly to Be Hacked. Go read Mark's posts.
hands across the water by artifice:
"The wheels are coming off the bus," a giddy Shallow Throat said. "Now that the Bush Administration is imploding from within, it's time for those of us on the outside to set more political charges. . .
"In short, we're at the shores of Lake Critical Mass, my friend -- but not quite to the Promised Land. Tell your liberal Dem colleagues to ratchet up the pressure and join us traditional conservatives in pushing this crew off the political cliff. If we each work our respective constituencies with intelligence and determination, the long nightmare will soon be over. . .
"To change metaphors, the Bush Administration is like a Great White Shark beached right now, mostly by its own actions. In such a position, it's extremely vulnerable, but in order to ensure that it doesn't escape at the next HardRight tide, you've got to tie it up tightly. You've got to organize the various teams so that everyone knows how and where to throw the ropes over the carcass, where the nodal points of weakness are.
"If everyone's merely running around shouting and cheering, you'll just get your ropes all tangled up and little will be accomplished, except to make everyone temporarily feel good. We don't want to feel good, we want to get this batch of crooks and liars and power-hungry zealots out of the peoples' White House. Then we can set about the long process of undoing years of Bush&Co. damage, and start the restoration process. . .
BEWARE THE WALKING WOUNDED
"Which translates into: They will do anything, ANYTHING, to stave off their impending loss of power. If they feel they have to totally shift the focus, to distract the public from the Administration's self-created woes, they will act accordingly; launch an attack on another country; look the other way again as a large-scale terrorist attack (or public health threat) takes place inside the United States; kick their slime-machine into high gear against anyone who criticizes them. In short, don't take your eyes off the Busheviks for a second; they're wounded, cornered animals ready to do anything to strike out and escape the political noose -- and, not incidentally, likely criminal prosecutions down the line."
Group Trains Air Force Cadets to Proselytize
A private missionary group has assigned a pair of full-time Christian ministers to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where they are training cadets to evangelize among their peers, according to a confidential letter to supporters.
The letter makes clear that the organized evangelization effort has continued this year despite an outcry over alleged proselytizing at the academy that has prompted a Pentagon investigation, congressional hearings, a civil lawsuit and new Air Force guidelines on religion.
"Praise God that we have been allowed access by the Academy into the cadet areas to minister among the cadets. We have recently been given an unused classroom to meet with cadets at any time during the day," the husband-and-wife team of Darren and Gina Lindblom said in the Oct. 11 letter to their donors.
Lauren Libby, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Navigators, said the Lindbloms were assigned to the academy earlier this year, replacing a previous young couple. He said the Navigators have placed full-time staff members at the academy for more than a decade. "We're there as a spiritual resource to cadets," he said. "We've had a very good experience there."
These folks visiting that academy will be tomorrows officers to control the U.S. nukes. At least they will pray while pressing the buttons and turning the keys ...
Monday, November 14, 2005.
Two persistent sources of confusion in this debate have been misreadings of the Geneva Conventions and sloppy (or willfully distorted) use of the word "torture." The Geneva Conventions are very strict about which detainees qualify for the protections of "prisoner of war" status: They must, for example, have fought in uniform and shown some respect for the laws of war, such as avoiding attacks on civilians.
What's more, any form of manipulation, including positive reinforcements such as better rations, are forbidden when it comes to interrogating legitimate POWs. Recognizing guerrillas and terrorists as POWs would be a form of unilateral disarmament, and, worse, would legitimize their behavior. The U.S. was respecting, not skirting, international law when it refused to classify them as such.
Have we declared war yet?
The situation now is akin to that of a bully who's authority has been challenged. The road downhill can go further. Having bent the rules of civilised discourse and political behaviour so far, there really isn't a safety net underneath them anymore.
They have made enough internal enemies (Paul O'Neill, Colin Powell, Joe Wilson, Lawrence Wilkerson, John McCain - to name just a few public instances) that first impeachment and later trial for war crimes in the Hague or treason at home are a real possibility. You can push people so far before even your nominal allies come and take you out. Think of Beria's fate
. The entire Central Committee turned against him and he was executed after secret trial within two weeks.
Sunday, November 13, 2005.
Good news for the week of November 7th
Saturday, November 12, 2005.
Bush 2. How depressing, corrupt, unlawful and tragically absurd the administration's world view actually is...how low the moral bar has been lowered...and (though I know I'm capable of intellectually lazy notions of collective guilt) how complicit our silence as citizens is...Nixon, a true fiend, looks like a paragon of virtue next to the criminally incompetent robber barons now raiding the present and future.
But where are the Dems? [more]
A confidential memo circulating among senior Republican leaders suggests that a new attack by terrorists on U.S. soil could reverse the sagging fortunes of President George W. Bush as well as the GOP and "restore his image as a leader of the American people."
The closely-guarded memo lays out a list of scenarios to bring the Republican party back from the political brink, including a devastating attack by terrorists that could “validate” the President’s war on terror and allow Bush to “unite the country” in a “time of national shock and sorrow.”
The memo says such a reversal in the President's fortunes could keep the party from losing control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections. [more]
Friday, November 11, 2005.
The destruction of Falluja was an act of barbarism that ranks alongside My Lai, Guernica and Halabja
Thursday November 10, 2005
One year ago this week, US-led occupying forces launched a devastating assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja. The mood was set by Lt Col Gary Brandl: "The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He's in Falluja. And we're going to destroy him."
The assault was preceded by eight weeks of aerial bombardment. US troops cut off the city's water, power and food supplies, condemned as a violation of the Geneva convention by a UN special rapporteur, who accused occupying forces of "using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population". Two-thirds of the city's 300,000 residents fled, many to squatters' camps without basic facilities.
more...(and more sickening)
Thursday, November 10, 2005.
"Dr. Aric Sigman aims to draw our awareness to the glaring imbalance in our lives and show us how we can re-establish control away from the remote control.
He explores how exposure to greenery can counter the harmful effects of the screen and how replacing TV time with family and friend time will lead to happier, fuller and above all healthier lives."
Wednesday, November 09, 2005.
Today’s "Der Spiegal" looks back to November 8 ... 1939:
The Carpenter Elser Versus the Führer Hitler
By Claus Christian Malzahn
A step back in time (2002) ... a paper from the American Society of International Law. (pdf, numerous footnotes and reference's re precedents ...)
The international law of self-defense supports the American use of force in Afghanistan. After the devastating attacks of September 11, the United States had the right to defend itself against continuing terrorist attacks mounted from Afghan territory. The United States has no right, however, to invade another state because of speculative concerns about that state's possible future actions. The current international order does not support a special status for the United States or a singular right to exempt itself from the law. To maintain a legal order that restrains other states and to uphold the rule of law, the United States should continue its conservative commitment to limits on the unilateral use of force, and reject a reckless doctrine of preemptive self-defense.
"Yeah, right, tell it to Cheney and his front-man, the Preznit.
They don't comply with laws, they [think they] are, da Law". And it looks as if they are at this time, and if that is true what does that say about our representative democracy?
"A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."
Hats off to Outraged for the above
Tuesday, November 08, 2005.
Tricky Dick back from the grave?
Monday, November 07, 2005.
Good news for the week of October 31st
Here is the Italian Satellite TV that Broadcast Evidence of US Use of Chemical Weapons on Civilians. The following is a somewhat translation of the front page:
The hidden massacre
of Sigfrido Ranucci
"I have felt it order to make attention because he came used phosphorus white man on Fallujah. In the military jargon he comes called Willy Pete. The phosphorus burns the bodies, quite melts them ".
It is this the tremendous testimony of Jeff Englehart, veteran of the war in Iraq. "I have seen the bodies burns you of women and children have added to the former soldier American-the phosphorus explode and form a cloud, who find themselves in the beam of 150 meters are dealt".
Witnesses have seen "a rain of incendiarie substances of varied color that, when they hit, burnt the persons and also those that were not hit had difficulty to breathe", tell Mohamad Tareq al-Deraji, director of the center studies for the human rights of Fallujah.
Update: Here is the bittorrent hash #:
if anyone is interested in downloading the RAI report on Fallujah. It saves bandwidth on their servers.
Information: any difference that makes a difference!
the public trust of the Merican Stasi can be broken w/this if you pass it on!
Every single element is almost in place to end individual liberty for all time in the United States. Very few people know it. Very few people discuss these issues regularly.
We're almost in hell -- and almost no one understands or talks about what is happening.
I take no consolation at all from the fact that every single American will know it soon enough. Then it will be far too late. I'm sure many people will be very, very sorry.
And it won't matter a damn.
"We will ask not only what is legal, but what is right.
A Vatican representative has expressed a defense of the theory of evolution, stating that it is "perfectly compatible" with the Genesis story of creation. "The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference.
Yet Another White House Leak
Now that Harriet Miers' office has announced mandatory ethics classes for all White House EOP staffers, I guess we're supposed to forget about Libby's indictment and Karl Rove's ethical transgressions. Of course, these classes are nothing more than window dressing designed to dupe us into thinking Bush gives a damn about ethics.
How do I know this? A top secret White House source leaked this Harriet Miers memo to me, in a MadKane.com exclusive.
And on another topic, I'm newly in love with Senator Harry Reid and Rule 21. Senator Frist, however, doesn't share my feelings. And that brings me to my latest limerick.
Finally, my latest podcast is here.
The US special forces will conduct a massive war drill near the Gulf of Oman to apparently convey a message to Iran that blocking the sea routes in the event of hostilities won’t be possible.
The US defence department during a classified briefing to the senate armed forces committee said Iran is laying powerful underwater and surface water mines in the Strait of Hormuz but within its own territory.
The Pentagon suspects it is an offensive strategy, and Iran is training its forces to lay mines that could play havoc in a sea war.
To counter this, the US has already urged Russia and China not to sell sea mines to Iran or related advanced technologies which could be used against America and its allies in the region.
The US war drill in the Gulf of Oman could take place around February 2006 and there is a possibility that some Nato members may send their warships and troops to join.
Alongwith the US, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Yemen will participate, while Britain, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy have expressed a desire for such a war drill.
During the drill, the US and its allies will practice their minesweeping skills, and exercise their anti-submarine warfare, long-range maritime reconnaissance, and sea to surface attack capabilities.
Sunday, November 06, 2005.
A national security letter cannot be used to authorize eavesdropping or to read the contents of e-mail. But it does permit investigators to trace revealing paths through the private affairs of a modern digital citizen. The records it yields describe where a person makes and spends money, with whom he lives and lived before, how much he gambles, what he buys online, what he pawns and borrows, where he travels, how he invests, what he searches for and reads on the Web, and who telephones or e-mails him at home and at work.
Saturday, November 05, 2005.
Future leaders are going to have to think a lot faster than that.
You are now free to move about the country.
Friday, November 04, 2005.
”After getting notification from the Justice Department about 8 p.m. that night, he asked if he could inform staffers at the White House early in the morning , and that was okayed. Schieffer then asked if he at least informed anyone at the White House that first night to “get ready” for the order. Yes, Gonzales said, he told the president’s chief of staff that night, and then the president himself “first thing” the next day.
Bob Shieffer of Face the Nation got this tidbit today (and as he implied, but did not explicitly state, it's a bombshell):Gonzales admitted to Shieffer that he told the White House Chief of Staff (aka Andrew Card) right away that he had received notice of the Justice Dept. investigation right after he (Gonzales) found out at 8PM that night ...
How many goddamn documents were shred in that 12 hours!!!???
This fucking nation is beyond corrupt!!!!!
A growing number of Republican leaders, party strategists and political professional now privately tell President George W. Bush that his presidency "is effectively over" unless he fires embattled White House advisor Karl Rove, apologizes to the American people for misleading the country into war and revamps his administration from top to bottom.
When a GOP strategist suggested last weekend that the President fire Rove, Bush exploded.
"You go to hell," he screamed at the strategist. "You can leave and you can take the rest of these lily-livered motherfuckers with you!" The President then stormed out of the room and refused to meet further with any other party leaders or strategists.
Thursday, November 03, 2005.
· UN condemns night noise attacks as indiscriminate
· Agencies say they cause trauma and miscarriages
Chris McGreal in Gaza
Thursday November 3, 2005
Israel is deploying a terrifying new tactic against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by letting loose deafening "sound bombs" that cause widespread fear, induce miscarriages and traumatise children.
- snip -
Mr de Soto said he did not accept that the tactic was a legitimate response to Islamic Jihad and Hamas firing rockets into Israeli towns. "Sonic booms are an indiscriminate instrument, the use of which punishes the population collectively. We ask therefore that their use be stopped without delay," the letter said.
The military was forced to apologise after one sonic boom was unintentionally heard hundreds of kilometres inside Israel last week. Maariv newspaper described it as sounding "like a heavy bombardment. The noise that shook the Israeli skies was frightening. Thousands of citizens leapt in panic from their beds, and many of them placed worried calls to the police and the fire department. The Tel Aviv and central district police switchboards crashed."
Wednesday, November 02, 2005.
By Chris Hedges for Theocracy Watch
"Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School , told us that when we were his age, he was then close to 80, we would all be fighting the 'Christian fascists.'
"The warning, given to me 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global, Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible.
"He was not a man to use the word fascist lightly. He was in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and worked with the underground anti-Nazi church, known as The Confessing Church, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Adams was eventually detained and interrogated by the Gestapo, who suggested he might want to consider returning to the United States . It was a suggestion he followed. He left on a night train with framed portraits of Adolph Hitler placed over the contents inside his suitcase to hide the rolls of home movie film he took of the so-called German Christian Church, which was pro-Nazi, and the few individuals who defied them, including the theologians Karl Barth and Albert Schweitzer. The ruse worked when the border police lifted the top of the suitcases, saw the portraits of the Fuhrer and closed them up again. I watched hours of the grainy black and white films as he narrated in his apartment in Cambridge .
"He saw in the Christian Right, long before we did, disturbing similarities with the German Christian Church and the Nazi Party, similarities that he said would, in the event of prolonged social instability or a national crisis, see American fascists, under the guise of religion, rise to dismantle the open society. He despaired of liberals, who he said, as in Nazi Germany, mouthed silly platitudes about dialogue and inclusiveness that made them ineffectual and impotent. Liberals, he said, did not understand the power and allure of evil nor the cold reality of how the world worked. The current hand wringing by Democrats in the wake of the election, with many asking how they can reach out to a movement whose leaders brand them 'demonic' and 'satanic,' would not have surprised Adams . Like Bonhoeffer, he did not believe that those who would fight effectively in coming times of turmoil, a fight that for him was an integral part of the Biblical message, would come from the church or the liberal, secular elite.
"His critique of the prominent research universities, along with the media, was no less withering. These institutions, self-absorbed, compromised by their close relationship with government and corporations, given enough of the pie to be complacent, were unwilling to deal with the fundamental moral questions and inequities of the age. They had no stomach for a battle that might cost them their prestige and comfort. He told me that if the Nazis took over America '60 percent of the Harvard faculty would begin their lectures with the Nazi salute.' This too was not an abstraction. He had watched academics at the University of Heidelberg , including the philosopher Martin Heidegger, raise their arms stiffly to students before class.
"Two decades later, even in the face of the growing reach of the Christian Right, his prediction seems apocalyptic. And yet the powerbrokers in the Christian Right have moved from the fringes of society to the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Christian fundamentalists now hold a majority of seats in 36 percent of all Republican Party state committees, or 18 of 50 states, along with large minorities in 81 percent of the rest of the states. Forty-five Senators and 186 members of the House of Representatives earned between an 80 to100 percent approval ratings from the three most influential Christian Right advocacy groups – The Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council. Tom Coburn, the new senator from Oklahoma , has included in his campaign to end abortion a call to impose the death penalty on doctors that carry out abortions once the ban goes into place. Another new senator, John Thune, believes in Creationism. Jim DeMint, the new senator elected from South Carolina , wants to ban single mothers from teaching in schools. The Election Day exit polls found that 22 percent of voters identified themselves as evangelical Christians and Bush won 77 percent of their vote. The polls found that a plurality of voters said that the most important issue in the campaign had been 'moral values.'
"President Bush must further these important objectives, including the march to turn education and social welfare over to the churches with his faith-based initiative, as well as chip away at the wall between church and state with his judicial appointments, if he does not want to face a revolt within his core constituency.
"Jim Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, who held weekly telephone conversations with Karl Rove during the campaign, has put the President on notice. He told ABC’s 'This Week' that 'this president has two years, or more broadly the Republican Party has two years, to implement these policies, or certainly four, or I believe they’ll pay a price in the next election.'
"Bush may turn out to be a transition figure, our version of Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck used “values” to energize his base at the end of the 19 th century and launched kulturkampt
, the word from which we get 'culture wars,' against Catholics and Jews. Bismarck ’s attacks split the country, made the discrediting of whole segments of the society an acceptable part of the civil discourse and paved the way for the more virulent racism of the Nazis. This, I suspect, will be George Bush’s contribution to our democracy."Chris Hedges, a reporter for The New York Times, is the author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning . He holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School . His next book , Losing Moses on the Freeway: America 's Broken Covenant With The Ten Commandments is published by The Free Press.
Just in time for Christmas:
"The State Department said Tuesday that it's adding two security features to the new electronic passports that it will start issuing in December.
"The announcement partially assuaged privacy advocates who feared the technology wouldn't protect travelers from identity theft or from people who aim to harm Americans traveling abroad.
"'Is it a step forward? Yes. Is it foolproof? That remains to be proven,' said Barry Steinhardt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union [or, more accurately, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program
"As a result of tougher [yeah, let's get tough!
] post-Sept. 11 security requirements, all new U.S. passports issued by the end of this year are supposed to have a microchip containing the holders' name, nationality, sex, birth date, place of birth, issuing office and a biometric identifier -- a digital photograph
"A tiny antenna embedded in the passport cover will allow remote reading devices to capture the data on the chip. Privacy advocates said anyone with a portable reader could remotely read, or 'skim,' a passport holder's personal information.
"The State Department said its original proposal in February generated 2,335 comments that were overwhelmingly opposed to the [did they mention it was unencrypted?] technology because of concerns that terrorists could identify and target them as U.S. citizens.
"So the new passports' front covers and spines will include an anti-skimming material that blocks the radio waves that could pick up the data...
"Other countries are also switching to microchipped, biometric passports at the request
of the United States. The Patriot Act says visitors from 27 countries whose citizens don't now need visas to visit the United States would have to get electronic passports by next October.
"The State Department will test the electronic passports in December with government employees who use official or diplomatic passports for government travel. The U.S. traveling public is expected to start receiving new or replacement electronic passports in early 2006."What's funny is that I read this page about how to obtain a second passport/overseas residency not five minutes before I skimmed through the wire and saw the story above.
CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons.
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.
The Washington Post is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials. They argued that the disclosure might disrupt counterterrorism efforts in those countries and elsewhere and could make them targets of possible terrorist retaliation.
Also see: Detainee Policy Sharply Divides Bush Officials
The Bush administration is embroiled in a sharp internal debate over whether a new set of Defense Department standards for handling terror suspects should adopt language from the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "cruel," "humiliating" and "degrading" treatment, administration officials say.
A central player in the fight over the directive is David S. Addington, who was the vice president's counsel until he was named on Monday to succeed I. Lewis Libby Jr. as Mr. Cheney's chief of staff. According to several officials, Mr. Addington verbally assailed a Pentagon aide who was called to brief him and Mr. Libby on the draft, objecting to its use of language drawn from Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005.
President Bush sent Porter Goss to the CIA to keep the agency in line. What he’s really doing is wrecking it.
Chas W. Freeman is a former assistant secretary of defense and U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia under the first President Bush. “What Goss is doing is an effort that originated outside the agency to impose a vision on it that its analysts and operatives reject as simply not based on reality,” he says. “It’s totalitarian. We are going to end up with an agency that is more right-wing, more conformist, and less prone to produce people with original views and dissenters.”
...on goss purging the cia: "He served on the HPSCI for eight years," says Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. "What the fuck was he doing for the last seven years?"
although i totally respect the man, mcgovern cracks me up - can't help but think of george carlin when i watch/listen to him. there's another attribution in the article that's probably also hisMany of those who remain inside the CIA are distraught, convinced that their work is wasted on an administration that doesn’t want to hear the truth. "How do you think they feel?" asked one recently retired CIA officer with three decades of experience. "They’re watching a fucking idiotic policy, run by idiots, unfold right before their eyes!"
what really adds to it is that mcgovern helped create the coalition "veteran intelligence professionals for sanity" and, as co-director of the servant leadership school, the department Ray heads
at the School deals with the biblical injunction to "speak truth to power"
fucking-a, ray. give 'em hell. -b real
thanks to b, and b real, over at MOA for this interesting post..
Ever wondered what it would look like if you saw an adult man sucking blood from an infant's mutilated penis while other men looked on in admiration? This image from The Jerusalem Post Magazine
, Nov. 5, 1976 shows just that. The menche in question is a Rabbi, following the ancient tradition of the Mohel found in Shabbath 19:2 which states: "They may perform on the Sabbath all things that are needful for circumcision: excision, tearing, sucking [the wound], and putting thereon a bandage and cumin. If this had not been pounded up on the eve of the Sabbath a man may chew it with his teeth and then apply it."
As previously reported
in American Samizdat, in 2005 Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer caused three infants to become infected with herpes by sucking blood from their mutilated penises. One of the boys died from it. But heaven forbid
anything be done to interfere with Rabbi Fischer's freedom of religion; New York has seen fit to drop all charges
against him, and his quivering lips are hungrily inching toward your baby nephew's cock right now.
Isn't religion wonderful?
Targeting Bloggers: Who is Citadel Consulting Group LLC?
Maybe our very own troll(s) Scott/Chris dr.watson get a check from these NGO's (wink wink nudge nudge).Who watches the watchmen?
Four Sam Alito Limericks
Now that Harriet Miers is back doing whatever it is she does best (writing Bush mash notes and covering his tracks?) Bush has a new nominee to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. And I'm afraid he's just the sort of extremist judge we feared a weakened Bush would come up with - 3rd Circuit Judge Samuel Alito. And that means it's time for some limericks. Here's one of four:
There Once Was A Judge Named Alito
By Madeleine Begun Kane
There once was a judge named Alito,
Who's often called Judge Sam Scalito.
He's fond of state powers.
At labor he glowers.
The Dems must Alito's name veto.
All four of the limericks are here.
And my audio / podcast version is here.
Rigorous Intuition brings up the novel Libby wrote.
I knew he’d written something but hadn’t realised it described, amongst other things, children in cages having sex with bears. I had pictured politics and spy stuff, a sloppy plot, etc.
At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.
Predictably, in the comments, someone asks: How do they get away with it?
"He also serves, who serves in jail."
While Berlusconi dishes out his intergalactic bullshit (Title of il Manifesto yesterday: Balle spaziale) as a latter-day peacenik, the Bonini- D'Avanzo team publish a new series that promises to have far-reaching consequences. The first installment reveals what happened at the secret Rome meetings starting in December 2001, involving Sismi agents, Ledeen, Franklin, Rhode and the crucial protagonists, Aras Habib Karim and Francis Brooke. Ghorbanifar, according to Sismi sources, had a minor role, more as a decoy, to divert attention.
Yeah, the Tarantino method
What happens when you mix Plato's Republic with Quentin Tarantino's "Resevoir Dogs?" Why a very sick and twisted take on justice and philosophy of course! (warning, unsuitable language ahead)
Alcibiades: Socrates, you're supposed to pour your libations on the ground, not drink them till you're talking like a crazy Bacchae bitch.
Socrates: Normally, I'd be pouring libations with your spinal fluid right now, but since I'm feeling at peace with the universe I'll try to enlighten your sorry ass instead. Imagine there's this dark, underground cave.
Socrates: And there's this rapist-motherfucker, and he's got this gimp, right, tied up in the cave. See that?
Socrates: And this rapist, he's a sick motherfucker, so let's say one day he sends down a coupla pipe-hittin' negroes to cut the gimp's ear right off.
Alcibiades: Cut his ear off?