American Samizdat

Saturday, December 31, 2005. *
be beautiful

year of the dog
posted by Youngfox at 11:59 PM
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[...]
I heard a US soldier talk about his photographs of the 12 prisoners he had shot with a machine-gun: ‘I shot this guy in the face. See, his head is split open. I shot this guy in the groin. He took three days to bleed to death.’ I heard him say he was a devout Christian: ‘Well, I knelt down. I said a prayer, stood up, and gunned them all down.’
[...]
I heard Congresswoman Jean Schmidt say: ‘The big picture is that these Islamic insurgents want to destroy us. They don’t like us. They don’t like us because we’re black, we’re white, we’re Christian, we’re Jew, we’re educated, we’re free, we’re not Islamic. We can never be Islamic because we were not born Islamic. Now, this isn’t the Islamic citizens. These are the insurgents. And it is their desire for us to leave so they can take over the whole Middle East and then take over the world. And I didn’t learn this just in the last few weeks or the last few months. I learned this when I was at the University of Cincinnati in 1970, studying Middle Eastern history.’
[...]
[This lengthy and worthy essay reads like the opening statement of the prosecution in a war crimes trial for the Bush administration. Except God's favorite President isn't on trial and I'm not holding my breath.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 6:49 PM
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President gives self excuse not to talk about wiretaps.
Eroding freedom
Ordinance by ordinance
Law by law
Secret file by secret file

Also see: Conspiring Against the Voters:
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:05 PM
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These are fairly recent posts to Norman Finkelstein's website. There are three write ups on his talk at Yale in October 2004 and three MPGs of the same. Finkelstein's talk mirrors the introduction to his latest book, Beyond Chutzpah, which is an exposé of the "misuse of anti-semitism and the abuse of history." The second part of the book is a denunciation of Alan Dershowitz's book "The Case for Israel". The book, Beyond Chutzpah can be ordered here. You could also get Dershowitz's book at the same place but since it seems to be an almost direct copy of the discredited From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters you might want to cut out the middleman and go straight to source or simply trust Finkelstein and read his exposé of a complete hoax.

Just as an aside, the UK's Melanie Phillips, uses as an example of resurgent anti-semitism the fact that someone reported going into a bookstore in either Oxford or Cambridge (let's say Oxbridge) in the UK and asking for a copy of "The Case for Israel" only to be told by the shop assistant that "there is no case for Israel." I didn't know that fair comment could be construed as anti-semitism. But then read Finkelstein's book and you will see that whilst Melanie Pillips is considered a bit loony in the UK, her rantings about anti-semitism are positively mainstream in the US.
posted by levi9909 at 4:10 AM
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Friday, December 30, 2005. *
Roll up your sleeves, we ain't done yet!

if nothing else, spread this around...
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:07 PM
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“There is no such thing as a little domestic spying, or a limited repression of dissidents. Once this evil process begins, it is almost impossible to halt. Electronic files live on no matter what efforts are made to curtail their use or destroy them. They are every security agency’s most precious asset and stock in trade.”
Eric Margolis

youngfox vandalizes a MoPaul
posted by Youngfox at 7:59 PM
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In a speech to the Institute of World Politics, Bruce, a CIA veteran was also quoted as saying, "We've got to do whatever it takes -- if it takes sending SWAT teams into journalists' homes -- to stop these leaks." He also urged, "stiff new penalties to crack down on leaks, including prosecutions of journalists that publish classified information." The FDDC appears to be a follow-on to the old Director of Central Intelligence's Unauthorized Disclosure Analysis Center (UDAC).



and guess what? They're doing it: Justice Dept. Probing Domestic Spying Leak


addendum:

Boy King wants to play spy?

Covert CIA Program Withstands New Furor
"In the past, presidents set up buffers to distance themselves from covert action," said A. John Radsan, assistant general counsel at the CIA from 2002 to 2004. "But this president, who is breaking down the boundaries between covert action and conventional war, seems to relish the secret findings and the dirty details of operations."


He relishes this? He isn't just looking for little legal circles, he's looking to keep these programs alive because he likes the idea of playing in espionage. Since when does using your own lawyers who will write opinions giving you legal justification for your actions constitute the "rule of law?"
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:54 AM
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Thursday, December 29, 2005. *
....for a full dismantling and deconstruction, to be sold off in pieces to the highest bidders. A post and a list of the U.S. Businesses that have been sold to Foreign companies.


America has been carved out like a pumpkin and the seeds spit in our faces.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:38 PM
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In Europe, five years into the 21st century, two writers face trial and imprisonment for something they said or wrote. Both could be incarcerated, not for physically harming another person or for damaging property, but for uttering words that European states deem offensive.

Yet only one has been defended by the international literati, who have described the attempt to curtail his freedom of speech as an act of "anachronistic brutality." The other writer's plight has been ignored; worse, many liberals have supported the campaign to punish him for expressing outrageous views.

As such, the two cases cast a harsh light on the debate about free speech in Europe: They suggest we Europeans have a partial, picky attitude to freedom of expression, and thus do not understand the real meaning of this fundamental liberty.

[A story from Europe that is an opportunity for we citizens of the United States to consider whether we understand the real meaning of this fundamental liberty - a liberty much of the world thinks we have, and which to a large extent we do.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:41 AM
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005. *
Enmoron.

More important:

ENRON Chief Accountant Flips


Prosecutors are expected to gain valuable ammunition in their case against Enron's former top two officials when ex-Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey enters a guilty plea this afternoon.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:22 AM
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Tuesday, December 27, 2005. *
In a Virginia case, Edward B. MacMahon Jr., a lawyer for Ali al-Timimi, a Muslim scholar in Alexandria who is serving a life sentence for inciting his young followers to wage war against the United States overseas, said the government's explanation of how it came to suspect Mr. Timimi of terrorism ties never added up in his view.

F.B.I. agents were at Mr. Timimi's door days after the Sept. 11 attacks to question him about possible links to terrorism, Mr. MacMahon said, yet the government did not obtain a warrant through the foreign intelligence court to eavesdrop on his conversations until many months later.

Mr. MacMahon said he was so skeptical about the timing of the investigation that he questioned the Justice Department about whether some sort of unknown wiretap operation had been conducted on the scholar or his young followers, who were tied to what prosecutors described as a "Virginia jihad" cell.

"They told me there was no other surveillance," Mr. MacMahon said. "But the fact is that the case against a lot of these guys just came out of nowhere because they were really nobodies, and it makes you wonder whether they were being tapped."
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:14 PM
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Auld Lang Impeachment
I thought I'd help everyone celebrate New Year's Eve with my Auld Lang Impeachment. Here's how it begins:

Auld Lang Impeachment -- Song Parody (Sing to Auld Lang Syne)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

"Bush/Cheney's wrongs won't be forgot.
Each one we'll keep in mind.
These evil men must be locked up
For all their many crimes.

They spied on U.S. citizens.
They lied us into war..."

You can read the rest of Auld Lang Impeachment here, and you can hear me sing it here.

Happy new year!
posted by Mad Kane at 2:54 PM
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drilling beneath the headlines: truthdig
posted by ben at 9:53 AM
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Just as appropriate then as now.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:09 AM
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Saturday, December 24, 2005. *
OVO 16 AntiChrist
I published my first zine in 1979 (age 12). My main zine, OVO, was published between 1987-1992. OVO was the first to publish several essays by Hakim Bey that later appeared in his book T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone. OVO published work by Mike Diana long before his work drew the attention of State and Federal employees. Photographs of body piercing appeared in OVO two years before the Modern Primitives issue of Re/Search. The phrase 'phone tag' appears in print for the first time in the first issue of OVO. 'Liberating Wednesday' by PM, author of bolo'bolo, appears here for the first (and only) time; this is nearly a decade before and fifty-two times more radical a suggestion than 'Buy Nothing Day.' Crop circles and the Men in Black are referenced at a time when they were still obscure. The first appearance of Ride Theory in print occurs in Ignatz Topolino's contribution to OVO. And OVO was aware enough of the outer edges of scientific ethics to mention gene patents in the same year they first were granted.

I switched to BBS / Web publishing in early 1990s. In the late 1990s I scanned all the back issues of the zine. OpenOffice allowed for easy creation of PDFs from those scans, and PDFs allowed me to distribute the zine in electronic form while allowing the reader to print out the zine for themselves. This distributed printing model worked well: 600,000 pages were distributed in a few month's time. The entire body of work is given to the public domain.

Going through the zine again, knowing that I could get zines in people's hands with less expense in printing and postage, inspired me to publish OVO once more. After a thirteen year break, new issues of OVO have been published.

The latest issue is OVO 16 AntiChrist, containing original unpublished work by Trevor Blake, Dennis Dread, Dan Howland, Peter Lamborn Wilson and others. OVO 16 AntiChrist is a tool kit for disabusing the reader of Christianity. Do what no Christian wants you to do; read what their Bible says and learn what their religion advocates. OVO does not criticize Christianity because it is a good religion perverted to bad ends. It is much more the case that a few good people (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., perhaps) have perverted the bad religion of Christianity to good ends. All the good done in the name of Christianity could and does occur through entirely secular means. What remains distinctly Christian if such duplication of labor is removed? Threats of eternal damnation, denial of the pleasures and wonders of this short life, confusion and deception. When Christianity has supported individual rights it has done so only after a 'revelation' that (a) goes against its own history and (b) miraculously is in harmony with contemporary public opinion. For example, many Christians opposed slavery in the United States; but many more supported slavery and did so for much longer. Even today the Bible contains many passages supporting slavery and not one passage condemning it. Christianity is a slave religion, a misogynist religion, a queer-killing religion, a nonsense religion, but good people keep twisting their bad faith to good ends. Wouldn't it be better to just do good deeds without wasted efforts to placate an invisible monster that lives in the sky?

OVO does not advocate killing Christians. OVO does not advocate making Christianity illegal. OVO advocates the withering away of Christianity through reason and scorn. Get your copy (free download, low-cost print-on-demand) today!
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:20 AM
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The reason for the season
posted by Klintron at 10:18 AM
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In light of the recent surveillance scandals, some of you might be interested in this article on encryption I wrote for Disinfo a few years ago, right after 9/11.
posted by Klintron at 9:13 AM
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"With all of the controversy about the news that the NSA has been monitoring, since 9/11, telephone calls and email messages of Americans, some folks might now be wondering if they are being snooped on. Here's a quick and easy method to see if one's email messages are being read by someone else." [via boing boing]


Bonus posts:
civil society networks ?
The Power of Strategic Listening

and

Delete Google
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:32 AM
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What have you got to lose!
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:29 AM
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"There is no war on crime. There is no war on drugs, no war on terrorism. There is only the ongoing effort by the federal government to collect as much information on as many people as possible."

-- Jim Redden, author of Snitch Culture: How Citizens Are Turned Into the Eyes and Ears of the State
posted by mr damon at 1:27 AM
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How neocons interpret "Let me be your backdoor man"
"The National Security Agency has conducted much broader surveillance of e-mails and phone calls -- without court orders -- than the Bush administration has acknowledged, The New York Times reported on its Web site.

"The NSA, with help from American telecommunications companies, obtained access to streams of domestic and international communications, said the Times in the report late Friday, citing unidentified current and former government officials. The story did not name the companies..."

I must interrupt this inverted pyramid with a special reminder: always read the last couple of 'graphs in a Times story first. This is often where you will find "the nugget." For example:

"One outside expert on communications privacy who previously worked at the N.S.A. said that to exploit its technological capabilities, the American government had in the last few years been quietly encouraging the telecommunications industry to increase the amount of international traffic that is routed through American-based switches.

"The growth of that transit traffic had become a major issue for the intelligence community, officials say, because it had not been fully addressed by 1970's-era laws and regulations governing the N.S.A. Now that foreign calls were being routed through switches on American soil, some judges and law enforcement officials regarded eavesdropping on those calls as a possible violation of those decades-old restrictions, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which requires court-approved warrants for domestic surveillance.

"Phil Karn, a computer engineer and technology expert at a major West Coast telecommunications company, said access to such switches would be significant. 'If the government is gaining access to the switches like this, what you're really talking about is the capability of an enormous vacuum operation to sweep up data,' he said."

I now return you to this news story in progress:

"Since the disclosure last week of the N.S.A.'s domestic surveillance program, President Bush and his senior aides have stressed that his executive order allowing eavesdropping without warrants was limited to the monitoring of international phone and e-mail communications involving people with known links to [what has been alleged to be --Ed.] Al Qaeda.

"What has not been publicly acknowledged is that N.S.A. technicians, besides actually eavesdropping on specific conversations, have combed through large volumes of phone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might point to terrorism suspects. Some officials describe the program as a large data-mining operation.

"The current and former government officials who discussed the program were granted anonymity because it remains classified.

"Bush administration officials declined to comment on Friday on the technical aspects of the operation and the N.S.A.'s use of broad searches to look for clues on terrorists. Because the program is highly classified, many details of how the N.S.A. is conducting it remain unknown, and members of Congress who have pressed for a full Congressional inquiry say they are eager to learn more about the program's operational details, as well as its legality.

"Officials in the government and the telecommunications industry who have knowledge of parts of the program say the N.S.A. has sought to analyze communications patterns to glean clues from details like who is calling whom, how long a phone call lasts and what time of day it is made, and the origins and destinations of phone calls and e-mail messages...

"This so-called 'pattern analysis' on calls within the United States would, in many circumstances, require a court warrant if the government wanted to trace who calls whom.



"The use of similar data-mining operations by the Bush administration in other contexts has raised strong objections, most notably in connection with the Total Information Awareness system, developed by the Pentagon for tracking terror suspects, and the Department of Homeland Security's CAPPS program for screening airline passengers. Both programs were ultimately scrapped after public outcries over possible threats to privacy and civil liberties."


As a side note,
on this day in 1992:


"President Bush [the first] today granted full pardons to six former officials in Ronald Reagan's Administration, including former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger.

"Mr. Weinberger was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 5 on charges that he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran and efforts by other countries to help underwrite the Nicaraguan rebels...

"But in a single stroke, Mr. Bush swept away one conviction, three guilty pleas and two pending cases, virtually decapitating what was left of [special prosecutor Lawrence E.] Walsh's effort, which began in 1986. Mr. Bush's decision was announced by the White House in a printed statement after the President left for Camp David, where he will spend the Christmas holiday."
posted by mr damon at 12:12 AM
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Friday, December 23, 2005. *
So what would the NSA need to do that isn't covered by the provisions of FISA?

My guess is the government decided after 9/11 to monitor everyone.


"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

~ King George
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:30 PM
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(Image via The Bulldog Manifesto.)
posted by The Continental Op at 9:33 AM
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Thursday, December 22, 2005. *
Ryan of God is for Suckers writes: "Now that it’s unconstitutional to teach Intelijunt Desine as an alternative to evolution, it’s made me wonder: How can we as a country get some things right and others so wrong? The Dover decision is for every assbag that ever said 'If you don’t want GOD in the Pledge of Allegiance/national motto/US currency, then LEAVE to a GODLESS country!'

"I can’t wait to tell them to LEAVE and go to a SCIENCELESS country. But these cocksnacks exist and will continue to exist, saying that Judge Jones is oppressing and censoring them. Face it Chet - you lost. You tried to mask Creationism as science by dressing it up with a fancy name. BANG! Shot down by scientists and biology professors who saw through the bullshit. You tried to get your religion into public schools by electing close-minded hillbillies. Score currently stands tied 1-1. You then tried to go through the courts to have Creationism taught to children as a viable explanation for the origin of species. BANG! Shot down. Kansas, you’re next…

"Speaking of BANG, I wish I had a bazooka for every dumbass who still thinks that I'm out to destroy Christmas. [...] If there is someone in the world who is holding you back from saying 'Christy Christmas and a very Christy New Christ' to every mouth-breathing motherfucker who walks down the street, please tell them I have a bazooka saved for them too. Problem is, there is no one stopping you from doing so. Not person number one. Scream it from the top of your lungs. Wear the stupid sweaters, making sure to piss your dog off by making them wear one too. Have them match for shit’s sake - I don’t care. But stop playing victim! I'm sick of these assholes making things up to raise money for the Jerry Falwell retirement fund."
posted by Trevor Blake at 4:36 PM
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a striking visual, beyond the numbers.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:57 AM
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Bush's real target is the Internet. This is a quite interesting analysis, I reconmend it highly.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:15 AM
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005. *
This has the material for a FULL BLOWN constitutional crisis.

Which of course, was the plan all along.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:17 PM
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An Overview

The so-called "War on Terrorism" is a lie.

Amply documented, the pretext to wage this war is totally fabricated.

Realities have been turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards restoring ‘democracy’.

Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping operations."

The derogation of civil liberties under the so-called "anti-terrorist legislation" is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

Meanwhile, the civilian economy is precipitated into crisis; expenditures on health and education are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and the police state.

Under the American Empire, millions of people around the world are being driven into abysmal poverty, and countries are transformed into open territories.

U.S. protectorates are installed with the blessing of the so-called "international community." "Interim governments" are formed. Political puppets designated by America’s oil giants are casually endorsed by the United Nations, which increasingly performs the role of a rubber-stamp for the U.S. Administration.

Reversing the tide of war can not be limited to a critique of the US war agenda. Ultimately what is at stake is the legitimacy of the political and military actors and the economic power structures, which ultimately control the formulation, and direction of US foreign policy.

While the Bush administration implements a "war on terrorism", the evidence (including mountains of official documents) amply confirms that successive U.S. administrations have supported, abetted and harbored international terrorism.

This fact, in itself, must be suppressed because if it ever trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the so-called "war on terrorism" collapses "like a deck of cards." And in the process, the legitimacy of the main actors behind this system would be threatened.

How does one effectively break the war and police state agendas? Essentially by refuting the "war on terrorism" which constitutes the very foundations of the US national security doctrine.

A war agenda is not disarmed through antiwar sentiment. One does not reverse the tide by asking President Bush: "please abide by the Geneva Convention" and the Nuremberg Charter. Ultimately a consistent antiwar agenda requires unseating the war criminals in high office as first step towards disarming the institutions and corporate structure of the New World Order.

To break the Inquisition, we must also break its propaganda, its fear and intimidation campaign, which galvanizes public opinion into accepting the "war on terrorism".
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:57 PM
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005. *
Wired News: Judge Bars Intelligent Design

[Enter your comment here]

Read more at www.wired.com/news/poli...

posted by emg at 7:44 PM
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The Pentagon's newest counterterrorism agency, charged with protecting military facilities and personnel wherever they are, is carrying out intelligence collection, analysis and operations within the United States and abroad

CIFA is a three-year-old agency whose size and budget remain secret. It has grown from an agency that coordinated policy and oversaw the counterintelligence activities of units within the military services and Pentagon agencies to an analytic and operational organization with nine directorates and ever-widening authority.

Interesting indeed, in light of VP Cheney's order TO STAND DOWN .
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:36 PM
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The new technology at the root of the NSA wiretap scandal
From digg.com... an article on The new technology at the root of the NSA wiretap scandal

There's something very serious and very scary going on with the NSA wiretaps, and all signs point to something technologically massive.


Well - you'll have to read the article to see if that very alarmist quote lives up to your expectations
posted by ben at 1:55 PM
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HOUSE LEADERSHIP SEEKS TO INVOKE "MARTIAL LAW,"
FORCING MEMBERS TO VOTE ON KEY BUDGET BILLS
WITHOUT FULL KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THEY ARE VOTING ON:Move Represents Erosion of the Democratic Process
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:20 AM
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Monday, December 19, 2005. *
Some required reading from Mr Engelhart
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:57 PM
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posted by Uncle $cam at 7:47 PM
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A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."


via BoingBoing and reported by The Stanford-Times
posted by ben at 4:05 AM
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Sunday, December 18, 2005. *
Bill O'Reilly's Faux War On Christmas -- Song Parody
My latest song parody "celebrates" Bill O'Reilly's faux war on Christmas. Here's how it starts:

Bill O'Reilly's Faux War On Christmas -- Song Parody (Sing to "Get Me To The Church On Time" from "My Fair Lady")

"Bill says we're waging war on Christmas,
Spouting another Fox News lie.
Bill's rarely proper.
Loves telling whoppers.
Ain't nothing that his fans won't buy.

Bill claims we're screwing blessed Christmas.
We're greeting people wrong, he cries.
Not saying merry,
Christmas is very,
Belligerent and most unwise..."

The rest of my Bill O'Reilly's Faux War On Christmas is here and my audio / podcast version is here.
posted by Mad Kane at 7:08 PM
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Calling the blogsphere, it's time. This could be the event horizon . However, the power is yours.

In ordering the NSA to spy secretly on America, George Bush has overturned United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18, which prohibits domestic spying by NSA; violated the federal act which created the FISA court to oversee covert domestic investigations; and trampled upon the Fourth Amendment guarantee against warrantless searches.


The only campaign that would be worthy of this issue, in my opinion, will be one that produces the biggest fire-storm that Washington has ever seen.If we do not attempt to take back our country now, then when?


It's Cyber war boys and girls! Pass it on! Before the The Panopticon Singularity comes into being.

Also see:

This comment sounds like a winner: The world can't fucking wait! No really, The world can't wait !
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:02 AM
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Saturday, December 17, 2005. *
Bush to nominate voter suppression specialist to the FEC

A big hat tip to Rick Hasen who noticed this White House press release (buried in the Friday night trash). President Bush is going to nominate Hans von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission.

Who?
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:36 PM
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It just never stops w/these people...

Note this is the DHS, not the FBI, nor NSA, nor CIA, nor DIA, nor...

*waves at "friendly" establishment types*

Addendum:

Homeland's "2SR" reorganization about domestic spying?

Chertoff's Second Stage Review of Homeland Security (2SR) is a plan for a major re-organization of the Bureaucracy of DHS. In trying to find out what might happen to FEMA, I stumbled across a chilling, if speculative, possibility: DHS could become home to domestic intelligence operations. (2SR appears to be based, in large part, on a December 2004 the Heritage Foundation in a document called DHS 2.0: Rethinking the Department of Homeland Security )
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:54 PM
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Friday, December 16, 2005. *
Congressional Research service:

Memorandum

By virtue of his constitutional role as commander-and-in-chief and head of the executive branch, the President has access to all national intelligence collected, analyzed and produced by the Intelligence Community.The President's position also affords him the authority which, at certain times, has been aggressively asserted (1) - to restrict the flow of intelligence information to Congress and its two intelligence committees, which are charged with providing legislative oversight of the Intelligence Community. (2) As a result, the President, and a small number of presidentially-designated Cabinet-level officials, including the Vice President (3) - in contrast to Members of Congress (4) - have access to a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence information, including information regarding intelligence sources and methods. They, unlike Members of Congress, also have the authority to more extensively task the Intelligence Community, and its extensive cadre of analysts, for follow-up information. As a result, the President and his most senior advisors arguably are better positioned to assess the quality of the Community's intelligence more accurately than is Congress. (5)


so much for us having the same info bullshit...
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:07 PM
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President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.

Also see:

Bush spying claim causes US storm

and

British Intelligence Leaker Facing Prison Time For Exposing U.S.-UN Surveillance Scandal .
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:21 PM
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Santa Declared Enemy Number One
{cross posted from Scrutiny Hooligans}

Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, the Liberty Counsel, the Catholic League, American Family Association, and their attack poodle - Bill O'Reilly - have joined together to declare Santa Claus, enemy #1 in the War on Christmas.

Stating Santa represents all that is wrong with Christmas, this group - now calling themselves - the Christmas Holy Warriors - have started a campaign to end the commericalism in Christmas.

"Presents under the tree?" yelled one woman, "What the hell does that have to do with Jesus?"

"The ACLU created the myth of Santa Claus to undermine Christianity," declared Pat Roberton, "Santa is not in the best interest of America, we should take him out."

Christmas Holy Warriors are encouraging their supporters to skip the commerical aspect of Christmas all together and from now on.

"I have seen the true face of Santa," preached Jerry Falwell, "Santa is a fallen angel, and looks like this..."

>------------------------------>
>------------------------------>
>------------------------------>

"Santa is dead," O'Reilly gleefully told a classroom of small children on Monday, "he obscured the true meaning of Christmas. I killed him for Jesus."


Later that day, O'Reilly announced the release of his new book: Santa is a America-hating Liberal and other Interesting Facts.

UPDATE: The Christmas Holy Warriors released the following list of items to avoid during the Christmas season: colored lights, decorations, mistletoe, figgy pudding, secular songs like rudolph-the-rednosed-reindeer and frosty-the-snowman, presents of any sort, shopping, stockings, fairytales like twas-the-night-before-christmas, movies like the-polar-express, holiday sweaters, and snowglobes.
posted by Gordon Smith at 9:13 AM
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Here are excerpts from two articles concerning counterfeit money:

The 10-year-old boy admitted he made the cash on his home computer. Police say he enlisted the help of another boy and a girl to help him pass off the cash:

"We were very surprised. We're working with the Secret Service and they say this is the youngest they've ever seen. And, some of it is pretty good quality for a 10-year-old to do by himself," said Det. Cpl. Darlene Breitenstein with the Gary Police Department.

But there were several giveaways that the bills weren't quite right. All of the serial numbers were the same. Some of the bills weren't cut too well, and the paper didn't feel right.

The three children face charges of forgery and theft.


The kids are facing charges; counterfeiting a handful of twenties is a Federal offense, after all.

Prosecutors in federal court decided to drop all charges yesterday against an Israeli man who had wanted to plead guilty to smuggling $1.5 million in fake U.S. currency into Maryland.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Michael Wolff asked U.S. District Judge Andre M. Davis to dismiss the indictment against Hazki Hen, 65, because he is severely ill and wants to return to Israel to die.

Further into the article

He was indicted last November by a federal grand jury in Baltimore for allegedly importing and attempting to sell about $1.5 million in high-quality counterfeit $100 bills for 35 cents on the dollar. In discussions with an alleged accomplice and an undercover U.S. Secret Service agent, they talked about future transactions upward of $100 million, according to court records.


Lesson: Wait until you are an elder, kids, or you and your accomplices will fall under the penalties of the law.
posted by m at 7:46 AM
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"Today, our world is fast paced, constantly shifting and filled with a wide range of challenges," Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley wrote in a joint Letter to Airmen. "Our mission is our guiding compass, and now more than ever we need it to be clear and precise."

The mission statement defines the "where and what" the Air Force accomplishes on a daily basis:

The mission of the United States Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests -- to fly and fight in Air, Space, and Cyberspace.


[more]

So, alongside the frightening prospect of the militarization of space now the US Air Force will be fighting and flying in cyberspace.

Beef up your firewalls folks...
posted by m at 6:05 AM
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Thursday, December 15, 2005. *
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:44 PM
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Snip: The internet was a DARPA project, as most people are aware. [...]it still is

Bonus: At Stake: The Net as We Know It Google et al fear broadband carriers will tie up traffic with new tolls and controls. Ultimately, it could mean a world of Internet haves and have-nots
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:14 PM
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Keep in mind this was 2002.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:07 PM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Some Diebold-made voting machines, which are used in Florida and elsewhere throughout the country, can be hacked to change the results of an election, according to tests conducted for Leon County's elections supervisor and a monitoring group.
Ion Sancho said tests by two computer experts showed an insider could secretly change election results and the number of ballots cast on Diebold's optical-scan machines. The tests caused Sancho this week to scrap Leon's Diebold machines for a system made by Election Systems and Software, according to a story published Thursday by The Miami Herald.


And so it goes...
posted by platts42 at 12:36 PM
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High off of a 9 month wait with tickets, and 18 years between U2 concerts, I decided to post some good news for a change.

U2 band members were awarded Amnesty International's highest human rights accolade -- the "Ambassador of Conscience" Award for 2005.

U2 have sung themselves to where great singing comes from, that place where art and ardency meet in the light of conscience," said Nobel Literature Laureate Seamus Heaney, upon hearing of the award to U2 band members Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. Adam Clayton and manager Paul McGuinness.

Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan also praised the work of the band and their ongoing commitment to human rights and Amnesty International, which stretches back over 21 years. "On the day when human rights are being celebrated around the world and Amnesty International launches its first global music venture 'Make Some Noise', U2 is being honoured with this year's 'Ambassador of Conscience' Award," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

"From Live Aid in 1985 and Amnesty International's 1986 'Conspiracy of Hope' tour, through to Live 8 this past July, U2 has arguably done more than any other band to highlight the cause of global human rights in general and Amnesty International's work in particular. Their leadership in linking music to the struggle for human rights and human dignity worldwide has been ground-breaking and unwavering. They have inspired and empowered millions with their music and by speaking out on behalf of the poor, the powerless and the oppressed."

Bill Shipsey, founder of "Art for Amnesty" -- the organization's global artist support network that organises the annual Award event -- said that "for their art and music alone U2 would be worthy candidates of Amnesty International's most prestigious human rights Award. With songs like 'Pride (In The Name of Love)', 'MLK', 'Miss Sarajevo', 'Mothers of the Disappeared', 'Walk On' (written for Burmese political activist Aung San Syu Kyi), and of course the song that has become an anthem to Amnesty, 'One', U2 has helped spread the human rights message of Amnesty International to a global audience."

He continued, "But U2 is, and always has been, about much more than just music. Band members have used their music and celebrity to champion countless human rights causes. Through their more recent involvement with DATA and The ONE Campaign they have brought the issues of debt, aid and trade -- particularly as they affect Africa -- to the world's attention. They have shown that it is not enough to leave it to the politicians and 'traditional' world leaders to change the world. They have empowered and inspired millions of people with their music, their example and their action."

The Award announcement also cited U2's promotion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which features prominently on a giant video screen during all concerts on U2's current "Vertigo" World Tour. U2's Edge is quoted as saying that they regard the Universal Declaration as the "greatest piece of literature ever written"

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson joined in the tributes, quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, who stressed the importance of human rights "mattering in small places close to home". She added that "it helps to have them matter under bright lights on a big stage in front of thousands of people"

Background

Amnesty International's "Ambassador of Conscience" Award recognises exceptional individual leadership and witness in the fight to protect and promote human rights.

The Award, inspired by a poem written for Amnesty International by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, aims to promote the work of the organization by association with the life, work and example of its 'Ambassadors', who have done so much to inspire and uplift.

U2 joins past winners, including Vaclav Havel and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson as recipients of this distinguished human rights Award.
posted by platts42 at 7:17 AM
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The chief executive officer of electronic voting company Diebold who once famously declared that he would "deliver" Ohio for President Bush has resigned effective immediately


via MetaFilter
posted by ben at 5:25 AM
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005. *
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:26 PM
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Be sure you read the last paragraph in the story.

Update: Also see, Pentagon admits mistake in spying on Americans, vows to expunge database.
The Pentagon has built a massive security database to help protect U.S. military interests that includes unwarranted information on war opponents and peace activists in the United States. A DOD official now says it had mistakenly swept up and kept information on citizens who were not really threats.

hahahahahahahahaha!!!
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:07 PM
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005. *
Atta & 'Blind Sheik' Rahman connected to CIA network in Brooklyn
"Why did the 9-11 commission pick 1996 and not go back beyond that?" he asked rhetorically. "There is some very interesting material that needs to be tied in. The '93 attack on the Trade Center. The blind sheik's trial. None of that was looked at by the 9-11 commission, and the American people need to ask the question why. We will be asking that question during the Able Danger hearings."
[Link]

It wasn’t any of us researchers here at ARG, but ‘Able Danger’ that found the Mohamed Atta link to Al-Farooq Mosque.

During the CIA's Jihad, Al-Farooq Mosque & the Alkifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn were [the blind sheik] Rahman's key bases of operation and a springboard for "the string of jihad offices that had been set up across America with the help of Saudi and American intelligence." Rahman didn't just pop up in Brooklyn by accident. Rahman received four visas from "CIA agents acting as consular officers at American embassies in Khartoum and Cairo."

What could the 9-11 Commission possibly want to hide about the '93 WTC bombings? Well, the FBI totally screwed it up. According to the Thursday October 28, 1993 New York Times on Page A1, The FBI did more than allow the 1993 WTC bombing to happen. They found an informer, told him to build the bombs, and when the informer secretly recorded his FBI master telling him to use real explosives insted of the fake harmless powder that was part of the "sting", they "called it off".

From where we sit, It looks like it's the Legend that might crash next.


Awoken Research Group
http://valis.cjb.cc/

posted by valis at 10:40 PM
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Is the Pentagon spying on Americans?
Secret database obtained by NBC News tracks ‘suspicious’ domestic groups
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:15 PM
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In a wide-ranging interview, 'Wag the Dog' author Larry Beinhart describes how members of the news media censor stories -- even as they publish them.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:37 PM
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In 19 states, blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to live in neighborhoods where air pollution seems to pose the greatest health danger, the analysis showed.

More than half the blacks in Kansas and nearly half of Missouri's black population, for example, live in the 10 percent of their states' neighborhoods with the highest risk scores. Similarly, more than four out of every 10 blacks in Kentucky, Minnesota, Oregon and Wisconsin live in high-risk neighborhoods.


Of course these are the results of a government study. You gotta have the numbers where common sense and direct observation apply.

My first response is: This is news? No shit. Whitey gets to move deeper and deeper into the 'Burbs away from the city industy, while the blacks are forced to stay put. In St. Louis, where I live the majority of Blacks live right across the river from the giant chemical plants in East St. Louis, or right in the area where a lot of Dioxin was dumped in the 70s. Big fucking surprise.

Second and Third Responses: I'm glad this has been reported...too bad nothing will come of it.
posted by platts42 at 12:55 PM
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Colombia's indigenous people take back land, force a draw with military using slingshots, sticks and stones
"The Colombian police, hardened in combat against Marxist rebels, have given up trying to throw a determined group of Nasa Indians off farms they grabbed nearly two months ago in a drive for land rights.

"Long ignored by government and targeted by both far-right paramilitary outlaws and Marxist rebels, Indians in the southern province of Cauca showed signs of a new militancy five years ago, when they launched a program of passive resistance against combatants in Colombia's 41-year-old guerrilla war.

nasa indians, colombia

"Emboldened by their partial success in using only ceremonial sticks and stubbornness to drive away armed fighters, the Indians of Cauca have now launched a bid to force the government to hand over land they say it promised them in 1971.

"About 2,000 Indians chose the symbolically charged date of October 12 -- Columbus Day, which commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas and the beginning of European settlement -- to invade 19 farms, with a total area of 10,000 acres, owned by absentee landowners in Cauca.

"The Indians say they will stay on the farms, which include the historic Hacienda Japio cattle ranch which once gave shelter to South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, until the government hands over 545,000 acres of land they say is theirs by tradition. They say the land has religious significance, as part of 'Mama Kiwe' or Mother Earth.

"At first, the police tried to kick them out, using batons and tear gas. But the Indians fought back with slingshots, stones and sticks, surprising Colombians who are more used to seeing them as passive victims of conflict."
posted by mr damon at 6:37 AM
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Monday, December 12, 2005. *
Do you believe in redemption?
posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:57 PM
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"'I feel like I'm getting really good advice from very capable people, and that people from all walks of life have informed me and informed those who advise me. And I feel very comfortable that I'm very aware of what's going on,' Bush said.








"'I'm very aware of what's in the news. I'm aware because I see clips. I see summaries,' he said. Bush added that staffers also brief him daily on what's brewing on domestic and international issues.

"'Frankly, it is probably part of my own fault for needling people, but it's a myth to think I don't know what's going on,' Bush said. 'And it's a myth to think that I'm not aware that there (are) opinions that don't agree with mine. Because I'm fully aware of that.'"









posted by mr damon at 10:41 PM
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How many were "Collateral Damage" you fuck. How many were the "Bad Guys"? How many innocent men, women and children are injured and scarred for life. The blood is on your hands Georgie. Yours. In case you didn't know...this is what 30,000 looks like. Each one was a human life.
posted by platts42 at 12:27 PM
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Also see: A round up of even more Scandals . Nay, CRIMES!
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:05 PM
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I did up a brief summary of some reading I was doing on the very interesting Canadian Oil Sand's mining operations. Though I'd post it here in case any of you were interested. Summary of Canadian Oil Sands
posted by ben at 9:28 AM
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Sunday, December 11, 2005. *
Bring it [fucking] on!! W/ no apologies to Bu$h.
via whatreallyhappened blog
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:58 PM
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Naomi Klein nails it, as usual.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:45 PM
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Saturday, December 10, 2005. *
Thursday, December 08, 2005. *

. . . via Treehugger

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:27 PM
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"This has to be the most bizarre twist in the WMD saga yet. Insurgents in Iraq could very well have chemical weapons. And they may be using them - on themselves." After experimenting on a variety of hallucinogens, the Pentagon selected BZ, or 3-quinuclidinyl benzillate, a potent mind-altering substance that was colorless and odorless and readily amenable to delivery in an aerosol cloud, to weaponize in the '50's. It incapacitates with both physical and mental effects, supposedly without lethality. (From the description, it appears that its effects are largely anticholinergic actions. Anticholinergic toxicity from medications is a common cause of confusion, agitation and delirium in hospitalized patients. — FmH) However, it produced uncontrollable aggression in its victims, which among other unpredictable effects, caused it to fall out of favor. Supposedly, the US stockpile of hundreds of thousands of pounds of BZ was destroyed by 1990.

Although the US CIA discounts the reports, British intelligence sugests that Iraq developed a similar compound. A weblog by a US Marine, since taken down, suggested that insurgents were often juiced up with this chemical warfare agent, among other mind-altering drugs, in preparation for suicide attacks on occupation forces, the modern equivalent of the proverbial half-pint of rum issued to British seamen before naval actions. The article suggests that 'cannon fodder' guerrillas were exposed to the agent involuntarily, since it seems unlikely that anyone would take 'this ultimate bad trip' voluntarily.

Interesting speculation but, as the article takes pains to conclude, it is only speculation, with little evidence. It leaps from surmise to hypothesis to assumption, it seems to me. I find it much more likely that the paranoia and fanaticism of the insurgents attacking occupation forces have been inflamed by reason, not madness.

via follow me here blog



Also see:

PUBLIC LAW 95-79 [P.L. 95-79] TITLE 50, CHAPTER 32, SECTION 1520 "CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE PROGRAM" "The use of human subjects will be allowed for the testing of chemical and biological agents by the U.S. Department of Defense, accounting to Congressional committees with respect to the experiments and studies." "The Secretary of Defense [may] conduct tests and experiments involving the use of chemical and biological [warfare] agents on civilian populations [within the United States]." -SOURCE- Public Law 95-79, Title VIII, Sec. 808, July 30, 1977, 91 Stat. 334. In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 91, page 334, you will find Public Law 95-79. Public Law 97-375, title II, Sec. 203(a)(1), Dec. 21, 1982, 96 Stat. 1882. In U.S. Statutes-at-Large, Vol. 96, page 1882, you will find Public Law 97-375.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:42 PM
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Art as social dissidence?

Here's a nice meme that could go either way. Perhaps, this meme could be spread in the blogsphere. While, I'm a bit ambivalent to it, as it could only be a placebo for the masses as in Roman times, i.e. by keeping the people entertained/distracted etc or a great enantiodromia (things becoming their opposites).As so often happens. In part, (imo) because even so called 'progressives' have no understanding of systems theory , system dynamics nor of lateral thinking .Paradoxical and or parallaxical ?


On the otherhand, it would rachet up the surface tension of our 'rulers'. On a third hand, it would give the spooks a chance to use their new technology e.g. crowd control non lethal weapons and practice urban warfare stratagies.


Win-win?
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:20 PM
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-Bill O'Reilly (A Christian) calls out Jon Stewart (A Jew) as a leader in the War against Xmas. O'Reilly during the most watched news hour on Cable TV [Link]
-Jon Stewart is quick to point to his audience that the clip Bill used was from 12 months ago. It's easy to trust Jon's word on that.
-Jon Stewart to Bill O'Reilly "I am your Enemy..." leading to a fantastic punchline.

What a weird media exchange. A "Newsman" attacking a fake news show by lying about the date of the clip in question. What sort of demented world is O'Reilly living?

A brief note to Bill O'Reilly: Its a comedy, fake news program. If you weren't such a freak and providing grist for the mill with your antics, no one would even care. They lampoon EVERYBODY, not just you or the Republican Party, but self-important idiots who insist on making life miserable for others in order for self gain. In case you don't get it, you fall into that category.
posted by platts42 at 9:39 AM
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How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore if any American soldier or for that matter politician finds himself in the dock Bush has warned that he will send in the marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they're interested. It is Number 10, Downing Street, London. more
posted by pilgrim at 5:10 AM
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The Guardian's piece on Pinter's speech

There was something oddly Beckettian about Harold Pinter's Nobel lecture, which was broadcast yesterday by More4, and which even now is blazing its way across the world's media. It was Beckettian in that Pinter sat in a wheelchair, with a rug over his knees and framed by an image of his younger self, delivering his sombre message: memories of Hamm in Beckett's Endgame came to mind. But if Pinter's frailty was occasionally visible, there was nothing ailing about his passionate and astonishing speech, which mixed moral vigour with forensic detail.
...


Get ready to have the rug pulled out from under your nationalistic ass!
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:37 AM
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Wednesday, December 07, 2005. *
"'Movie, music or game with your Big Mac, sir?' That's what The Walt Disney Company in Hollywood has in mind. Patents filed by Disney reveal plans to drip-feed entertainment into a portable player while the owner eats in a restaurant.

"You only get the full programme by coming back to the restaurant a number of times to collect all the instalments. McDonalds could use the system instead of giving out toys with Happy Meals, suggests Disney's patent.

"Portable players and modern cellphones store entertainment files in memory cards. They often have built-in Bluetooth or WiFi, too, for wireless downloading. Big files, such as a movie, take a long time to capture, so Disney will break the file into several segments that can be downloaded separately and spliced together by the player.

"When the owner buys a meal they get an electronic code that authorises a partial download. If the file is in five parts, then there is a strong incentive to come back for four more meals.

"In the future, a dedicated player sold or even given away by the restaurant could help the scheme to run more smoothly -- and create a new market opportunity for electronics companies."

via New Scientist
posted by mr damon at 11:41 PM
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Watch it on C-span
it is entitled:Challenges Facing African-American Evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, Part 1

Also see: Concentration Camps in New Orleans?
Leah Jah, Chair of the Causeway Concentration Camp Committee in New Orleans
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:52 PM
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005. *
The age of the International War on Terror seems to have turned itself into an unusually grim time in world history, an era of awesome and unforeseeable catastrophes, giant steps backward in the journey of civilization, ruinous and far-reaching political blunders and violently disillusioning confrontations with man's limitations. Even the most godless among us has to tremble before the biblical scale of the past twelve months' headlines: the tsunami that swallowed south Asia, the deadly lady named Katrina (also known as America Not Immune) and now this. We do not seem to be going forward very much, but every few months we lose, somewhere, a big piece of the world map, a mysterious and enervating process that is becoming like an ominously steady drip that can be heard all over the planet.

And this, the massive earthquake that rocked Kashmir on October 8th, is the worst by far of the troika. It is a calamity the dimensions of which the world so far has completely failed to appreciate or understand. Coupled with the geopolitical nature of the misfortune -- testing the nerve of two antsy nuclear antagonists and the political health of a somewhat notorious but also critically important American ally regime -- the continuing disaster known as the Kashmiri earthquake threatens to be a world-shaping event as important as the Iraq War itself. [more]
posted by Bill at 11:12 AM
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The birth of Talk To Action: I was helping to set up ePluribus Media, but sometimes people who start things aren't always best suited to run them or bring them to full fruition. Not in that case anyway. So I left, but I'd met Frederick Clarkson in the project, and Fred was going down to NYC to the CUNY Open Center for the world's first conference, a two day event, focusing solely on the "real agenda" of Dominionism and the Christian Right movement. "Fred," I ventured, "you know most of the hardest core of the hardcore researchers into the religious right, and the writers, on so on. You'll be there anyway. Ask them to all post in one place on the net. I'll deal with the software...oh, sure"

Thus, Talk To Action was born - six months later, after grappling up the steeper part of the Scoop learning curve, Talk To Action was born - a site featuring by far the heaviest concentration of specialists on the Christian theocratic right movement anywhere on or off the net.

This is not a trivial thing : these people, who represent the pool of deep knowledge on the theocratic movement, have been largely ignored and marginalized for decades and the result has been...... well, just look at it. Politicians have never so far - and still don't - consult this group of specialists. Big mistake. In any case, Talk To Action is your one-stop shop for the best info on the theocratic movement which you'll likely be fighting for much of the rest of your lives ( provided you're not in it ) - Bruce Wilson
posted by Bruce Wilson at 10:29 AM
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Monday, December 05, 2005. *
“Terrorism” can be defined as a primarily a psychological tool of “strategic leveraging” and a form of “propaganda by deed,” that can be utilized by both anti-state partisan revolutionary groups and state leaderships. The nature of “terrorism” and use of tools differ somewhat from epoch to epoch with changing technologies, but the perceptions of precisely what is a “terrorist” action may differ substantially among differing societies and classes. What one society/government considers to be an act of “terrorism” may be considered as a justifiable military action or else an act of just revenge by another. In general, however, in the effort to manipulate emotions and cause fear and panic, individuals, groups, or states who engage in violent acts of “terrorism” seek to demonstrate by concrete actions an iron will to use violence even if that means martyrdom and mass murder....

via wood s lot
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:29 PM
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Saturday, December 03, 2005. *
The big news of the week was Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham pleading guilty to a slew of corruption charges. The right wing noise machine is trying to spin corruption as a bipartisan issue, but is generally failing. Cunningham is likely only the first of many high profile Republicans likely to be convicted for various sorts of corruption.

I was also encouraged by North Carolina's refusal to protect Diebold from criminal prosecution if they released their source code. Hopefully more states will follow North Carolina's lead in demanding transparency in voting machines.

This week's headlines:

Politics:

Full Iraq war investigation in UK.

Cunningham admits to bribery charge, resigns. Talking Points Memo has full coverage.

Dean as DNC chair retrospective.

Virginia governor reprieves man facing 1,000th execution.

North Carolina refuses to protect Diebold.

Corporation found guilty of negligent homicide.

5000 janitors unionize in Houston.

South Africa’s high court approves gay marriage.

Environment:

Clean tech investment goes mainstream.

Health:


Nicotine vaccine has promise for helping smokers quit
.

Other:

New solution for landmine clearance: arrows.

- Rose Colored News.
posted by Klintron at 7:17 PM
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Friday, December 02, 2005. *
The theory that HIV was introduced in humans:

During the 90's Edward Hooper, a British journalist, traveled to Africa and became convinced that AIDS was an act of man, not an act of God. He interviewed hundred of participants and collected thousands of documents to support his theory.

In 1999 he published a book, The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS which rocked the scientific community again. Hooper mapped the locations where Koprowski's CHAT vaccine was given and where the earliest cases of AIDS were discovered. It showed a dramatic geographical correlation.

Edward Hooper: "The earliest cases of AIDS occurred in central Africa, in the same regions where Koprowski's vaccine was given to over a million people in 1957-1960. I think that what we have here is the route whereby this chimpanzee virus arrived in humans."

Hooper claims that kidneys from chimpanzees infected with SIV were used to grow the polio virus during Koprowski's 1950's vaccination campaign. Archival footage confirms that a large number of chimpanzees were housed at Camp Lindi, located upstream from Koprowski's medical laboratory in Stanleyville in the former Belgian Congo.

But in his book Hooper provided evidence to show what happened to the four hundred chimps brought to the camp and killed in the space of two years.

Camp assistant Christophe Bayelo, cared for the chimps at Lindi. He told Hooper that the staff, including Paul Osterrieth, the lab's head of virology, systemically harvested organs from the camp's chimps.


The camp workers claimed that some of the animals were dissected alive. Hooper argued that the main reason for doing so would have been to harvest living tissue cultures needed to make the polio vaccine.

Paul Osterrieth and Hilary Koprowski steadfastly denied that chimpanzee tissue was used to grow the polio virus in the Congo.

Before his death Pierre Doupagne, the chief technician at the laboratory of Stanleyville admitted to Edward Hooper that he made sterile tissue culture from chimps for Paul Osterrieth.

Bill Hamilton, a renowned evolutionary biologist, felt that Hooper's theory had merit. In an interview with CNN he explained why he felt it was necessary to take a closer look.

Bill Hamilton: "I feel it's not only the origin of AIDS that is in question here, it is the conduct of science towards the hypothesis, which has been one of paranoid rejection. I think I would not exaggerate to describe it as medical science's worst hated hypothesis."

Hamilton traveled to Africa to collect chimpanzee samples but contracted malaria and died in March 2000. Before his death he asked the Royal Society of Scientists in London to stage a debate on the 'hunter vs. the vaccine' theory of the origin of AIDS.

William Hamilton was an evolutionary biologist, some say the most influential since Darwin.

He traveled to the former Belgian Congo to collect chimpanzee feces. He wondered whether the wild chimpanzees there carried traces of the SIV that has been linked to AIDS.

If they did, this would have provided support for Hooper's theory.
In September 2000 the world's top AIDS specialists assembled at London's Royal Society for a conference on the origins of AIDS. It was meant to give Edward Hooper a chance to present his evidence to the scientific community.

From the opening of the conference arguments were launched against Hooper's theory. Then there was was a surprise announcement. Samples of Kopowski's CHAT vaccine had been located and tested and found not to have any trace of HIV, SIV or chimp DNA.

This announcement was viewed by the scientific community as a decisive statement against Hooper's theory. Articles were published in Nature and Science concluded that Hooper's hypothesis was not viable.

Dr. Cecil Fox: "They (the scientists), once again, claimed to have laid to rest the idea that HIV could have come from Polio vaccine and I don't think they did a better job than they had done before. There are still great gaping holes in their story."

However Hooper pointed out that the samples were discovered in the U.S. and not used in the Congo and that no vaccines still exist from that time.

In 2003 Michael Worobey returned to the Congo to complete the studies attempted by Bill Hamilton years ago. In a scientific paper published in April 2004 (read the paper ) they concluded that the SIV found in the chimpanzees near Stanleyville was not the strain that crossed over to humans to cause HIV years ago. The authors stated that this provided proof evidence against the polio vaccine theory.

In response, Edward Hooper claims that the chimps used at Camp Lindi came from a large geographical area then tested by Worobey. And he maintians, this means that the researchers cannot claim to have put the issue to rest. He plans to publish a book this year in support his theory.

Although Koprowski insists that his polio vaccine could not have sparked the AIDS epidemic, he was one of the key scientists to convince the U.S. government to make polio vaccines with synthetic cells in 1997.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:49 AM
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Mainstream Media, Meet 9/11 Truth
posted by valis at 12:45 AM
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Thursday, December 01, 2005. *
Tomorrow's issue of The New Yorker will win a new round of headlines for Seymour Hersh, but if American journalism runs true to form, it'll focus on two things -- military strategy in Iraq, and Bush's detachment from execution of policy -- and stay well clear of a third. Hersh's piece -- as summarized in the magazine's PR e-mail notice -- includes quotes from several Pentagon sources, and concludes that Bush is, in fact, looking at pulling out ground troops from Iraq. [...] But I suspect we won't see much of the corporate media focus on another aspect of Hersh's piece -- that Bush's obstinance on Iraq has its roots in his religious certitude. Here's a taste of it from that PR e-mail:

Hersh speaks with several senior officials who confirm that President Bush “remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq.” One senior official, who served in President Bush’s first term, tells Hersh that, after September 11th, he was told that the President felt that “God put me here” to deal with the war on terror, and a former defense official says that the President has grown detached, leaving more to Karl Rove and Vice-President Dick Cheney. “They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,” he says.

That gray world is safe for Bush for several reasons. The one that concerns me most right now, however, is that the media have declared it a DMZ. The media are simply too ill-informed, too cowardly and too simplistic to address basic issues of how politicians' religious beliefs shape their political beliefs and guide their actions. It's insane that any politician vying for federal office, or even statewide office, doesn't as a matter of course, end up addressing questions about what supernatural forces they believe in, what system they believe guides those supernatural forces, how those supernatural forces affect their own actions, etc., etc. Part of the problem, I think, is condescension. Much of the northeastern-based, well-educated media can't imagine that most Americans (and most American politicians) actually believe in a "personal" god that has sentience and intentionality. So they feel dumb or patronizing or just plain weird asking about it.

Which is too bad. Because people are dying as a result.
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:29 PM
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"Scanning the papers every day I find evidence enough for my thesis to fill many columns -- usually in short articles crammed into the middle of the business section and not covered at all on broadcast news. But it's enough to observe how many feel comforted that gas prices have temporarily dipped to the levels of late August -- though in late August, everybody thought gas prices were outrageous. What was outrageous in August is comforting in November.

"That's the behavior of people attempting to acclimate to an ongoing, growing crisis. An emergency that isn't going away. The defining feature of that emergency, at present, is this: We are on our own.

"Emotional push-button issues and ideological obsessions constitute almost the whole of the federal agenda. No attention is being paid to what is necessary. Neither the White House nor Congress gives more than lip service to issues upon which our future depends. Energy, transport, global warming, education, health care, subsidies, scientific research, sustainable agriculture, infrastructure upkeep and modernization, state-of-the-art communication, manufacturing capacity -- at the federal level, you will find almost nothing concrete, nothing useful, nothing that addresses root problems. It is government by, for, and of the lobbyists, as even Peggy Noonan admits. Hurricane Katrina demonstrated, and Iraq every day confirms, that the powers-that-be are dysfunctional. We are on our own."

"A most important fact of our situation was shoved back to page 5 of The New York Times' business section on Oct. 1: 'Since the end of 2000... federal debt is up by $1.1 trillion. American investors, as a group, have lent not one penny of that.' Almost all that money has been lent by foreign entities. This means that the USA no longer owns itself. Not only are we on our own, but as a nation, we are owned.

"When the emergency heightens and we are more helpless, foreign investment will dry up. Our government will have far less money. One can always depend on governmental stupidity: All available monies will pour into the military first, nothing second, everything else third. Education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other programs upon which many depend will be crippled or let go. Not in rhetoric, but in practice. For most things, federal regulation and enforcement will exist only on paper. That will be good and bad.

"As we-the-people realize that many laws and regulations can no longer be enforced (because there's no money and therefore no manpower for enforcement), we will dutifully fill out the paperwork and cleverly (or not) make arrangements of our own. On a local level, America will become the Ad-Hoc Nation. The Improvised Nation. Where we-the-people are resourceful that will work very well -- better than now. In other places, not so well. Elsewhere, it will be a disaster. It will all come back to the fact that we're on our own."

Michael Ventura, from his "Letters at 3 AM" for The Austin Chronicle
posted by mr damon at 9:56 PM
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"The rising cost in blood and treasure of US President George W. Bush's four-year incursion into Iraq has generated among Americans a question rooted in Sun Tzu: Is the cost worth it? Increasing numbers of Americans, including scores of military leaders, seem to think not.

"This billowing skepticism suggests a more profound question: Beyond Iraq, have Americans wearied of the burden of worldwide security commitments and deployment of forces that are more extensive than any since the Roman Empire? Are Americans ready to retract them?

"In a word, are the Yankees on the verge of going home?"
posted by mr damon at 9:36 PM
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Death Mask: The Deliberate Disintegration of Iraq
Abstract

The phenomenon of death squads operating in Iraq has become generally accepted over recent months. However, in its treatment of the issue, the mainstream media has zealously followed a line of attributing extrajudicial killings to unaccountable Shia militias who have risen to prominence with the electoral victory of Ibramhim Jafaari’s Shia-led government in January. The following article examines both the way in which the information has been widely presented and whether that presentation has any actual basis in fact. Concluding that the attribution to Shia militias is unsustainable, the article considers who the intellectual authors of these crimes against humanity are and what purpose they serve in the context of the ongoing occupation of the country.

. . .

I tentatively suggest that the intelligence apparatus at the Interior Ministry is contriving attacks on Sunnis and that British and US special forces in conjunction with the intelligence apparatus at the Iraqi Defence Ministry are fabricating insurgent bombings of Shias. Overseeing the entire operation is the ‘cream’ of CMAD under the direction of top-level US intelligence asset Mowaffak Rubaie, a man already experienced at participating in bombing campaigns, undoubtedly working hand in glove with the CIA and the National Security Council in the US.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:34 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, John Lennon is the author of this millennium's anthem. Picture a world united by this type of imagination, and destroying the societal rot and fungus of religious fundamentalism everywhere. Imagine no more crazy fucking theocracies, no Jerry Falwell, too. No cliterectomies, or the bad type of stoning if you screw. You may call me a dreamer, yea, but fuck if I'm going to waste what may be my only shot at life prostrating myself in front of a fairy tale, or let those who worship fairy tales tell anybody else what to do based on their own retarded literal interpretations of such fairy tales. Imagine a human race which chooses reality--at least as its base--and then takes its highly-recommended flights of fancy from there.

Edward Albee once said [pp], "It's OK to have illusions, as long as you know they're illusions."

posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:29 PM
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The suspension of many of the rules of war on the Eastern Front(Russian) during World War II coupled with an escalation in criminal actions caused human misery on a scale never seen before. Many actions which ignored the rules of war were initiated or at least condoned by the authorities on both sides. They argued that in such a clash of ideology any methods which achieved victory over the enemy were justified.

Sound familiar ?

The suspension of many of the rules of war in the Pacific and Asian Theatres of World War II particularly in the Sino-Japanese conflict, caused wide scale human misery . Many actions which ignored the rules of war were initiated or at least condoned by the Japanese authorities.

Again, sound familiar ?

War crimes
... appear to only be enforceable against the losers, never the victors ... and least of all the supposed champions of righteousness, democracies, the 'West' ...

In Britain ...

MPs dismiss torture flight denial
MPs expressed astonishment yesterday at statements by ministers that they are unaware of CIA "torture flights" or the presence of detention centres in Britain ...
Blair faces allegations of complicity in torture
By Colin Brown and Andrew Buncombe in Washington. Pressure is mounting on the White House to answer claims that the CIA is using...

In America...

We're the White hats (i.e. good guys), or are we?
Riding With the Bad Boys

Finally, the Rumsfeld/Pace press conference is essential to understanding where we stand. (This is must see tv).
[Tip o'dee hat to Outraged over @Moon.]
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:26 PM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:10 PM
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[that's a rhetorical question if I've ever seen one -- ed.]

By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

(excerpt)

A handful of unembedded journalists, most prominently from Al Jazeera, were providing the world with independent, eyewitness accounts. Al Jazeera's camera crew was also uploading video of the devastation [of Falluja] for all the world, including Iraqis, to see. Inspired by the defense of Falluja and outraged by the US onslaught, smaller uprisings broke out across Iraq, as members of the Iraqi police and army abandoned their posts, some joining the resistance.

Faced with a public relations disaster, US officials did what they do best--they attacked the messenger. On April 11, with the unembedded reporters exposing the reality of the siege of Falluja, senior military spokesperson Mark Kimmitt declared, "The stations that are showing Americans intentionally killing women and children are not legitimate news sources. That is propaganda, and that is lies." A few days later, on April 15, Rumsfeld echoed those remarks calling Al Jazeera "vicious."

It was the very next day, according to the Daily Mirror, that Bush told Blair of his plan. "He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere," a source told the Mirror. "Blair replied that would cause a big problem. There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do--and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

more
posted by Bruce at 12:37 PM
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