American Samizdat

Sunday, April 30, 2006. *
Project for a New American Revolution
The following is an e-mail I go the other day. - Klintron

Two things happened today. First, I received a forward. I rarely get
them, as I make it clear that I don't much like them. Every once in a
while though, one is actually worth reading. This one was, but I'll
spare you of it since it's already seen wide circulation.

Later an article directed my attention back to the Project for a New
American Century page. I haven't been there for a while, but again
read their asinine and poorly written Statement of Principals. The
most impressive thing about it is still that they were able to get 25
signatories who were willing to go on record as being in agreement
with such a amoral and imperial vision of American foreign policy.

Anyway, I was inspired to edit it for them, and give them a similar
document, with a conscience. I attempted to avoid some of their
incoherencies and incomplete sentences, but the structure falls
largely in line. To take a look at the original, go to:
http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

After having done this, I'd like to hope that a more enlightened
vision of our Republic's future could garner more signatures than they
got. Read on, if you agree, add your name and pass it on. If you like
it enough, and have the skills to throw up a web page on which to host
this, it would do better at collecting signatures there.

Without further adieu:

Project for the New American Revolution
Statement of Principals

American foreign and defence policy has lost its moral and strategic
compass. Conservatives and Liberals alike have criticized the
self-destructive policies of the Bush Administration and PNAC. They
have also fallen prey to divisively partisan issues such as gay
marriage, abortion, and immigration. These have distracted them and
diluted the message, preventing a unified voice of opposition from
being heard. No plausible alternative guiding principals of American
foreign policy have been presented, and we have not fought to maintain
an American society that inspires respect and awe worldwide in order
to advance American interests in the new millennium.

We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for
American global leadership.

As the 20th century drew to a close, the United States stood as the
world's preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in the Cold
War, America faced an opportunity and a challenge: Did the United
States have the vision to maintain cultural and governmental alliances
with our Cold War allies, and to build strong ties with its former
enemies? Did the United States have the resolve to resist the calls
for needless warmongering which would doubtlessly rise from the
behemoth military-industrial complex inherited from a bygone era?

We have so far squandered the opportunity and failed the challenge.
Only a few years into the new millennium we have nearly completely
destroyed the capital – both the military investments and the foreign
policy achievements – built up by past administrations and in the wake
of September 11th. Haphazard and poorly implemented foreign affairs
and defense initiatives, utter contempt for the tools of statecraft,
and consistently disastrous leadership have made it increasingly
difficult to maintain American influence around the world. Reckless
decisions, such as administration support for the opening of the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling, demonstrate how the
promise of short-term commercial benefits threaten to override
strategic considerations. As a consequence, our nation has failed to
address present threats, and to deal with potentially greater
challenges that lie ahead.

We seem to have forgotten the essential lessons of every competent
administration's success: authority exists partly through respect, and
cannot be won by fear alone; democracy cannot be spread while being
simultaneously redefined to exclude individual freedoms; and
leadership cannot be maintained while undue secrecy causes public
distrust.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and expose the
consequences of their abandonment. Here are four steps toward remedy:

• We need to decrease foreign energy consumption and defense influence
significantly if we are to make military decisions based on our
republic's founding ideals rather than falling to temptations of
imperial powerplay;

• We need to increase our participation and regard for international
bodies charged with analysis and enforcement of proper behavior in
world affairs, and accept that our influence should be peddled with
their consensus and assistance;

• We need to evenly promote the cause of political and economic
freedom abroad without regard to strategic and economic gain.

• We need to accept that America's role as a worldwide police force is
now greatly out of favor worldwide, and in a unipolar world it
engenders fear and bitterness. It must be ended in order to extend an
international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our
principals.

Such a Franklinist policy of military restraint and moral clarity may
not be fashionable today, but it is necessary if America is to build
on the successes of its short history, and to ensure our freedom,
esteem, and influence live on in the new millennium.

Jay Snyder
posted by Klintron at 4:05 PM
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Richard Dawkins BBC Documentary: The Root of All Evil

His answer: competing and irrational fundamentalist strains of Christianity and Islam and Judiasm.

You just don't ever see this kind of thing in the United States. Check out the teapot analogy at the end of part 3.



Part Two of the show.
Part Three of the show.
posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:14 AM
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You can also catch the Colbert speech here, here and here. (It's easier than torrent...)
posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:06 AM
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Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central & ex-daily show staffer, was invited to give a tribute to President Bush at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday night. (Who Came Up w/that Brilliant Idea??) Did he ever...When it was over, the president and First Lady gave him quick nods, unsmiling, and left immediately. Laura looked pissed! It was basically 30 mins of continuous uninterrupted mocking of the president, while he was sitting 10 feet away ; he eviserated the whole administration and the press. Ball of steel; of course he should stay out of small jets from here on out. Finally, if I were Colbert I'd have a hazmat suit on to open my mail from now on.


Addendum: This is truely must see media, discribed by one commenter as, "It was like [watching] Prince Hamlet's uncle Claudius watching the play version of Claudius poisoning his brother, the King of Denmark, and marrying then marrying the freaking Queen."

For those who use torrent files:
The C&L video is incomplete -- for the full show, try
http://www.mininova.org/tor/296239
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:36 AM
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This is one of those - If You Read One Article this Month - offerings.

WHAT IS THE REAL NATURE of American capitalism today? ...

...

Today, the signature of modern American capitalism is neither benign competition, nor class struggle, nor an inclusive middle-class utopia. Instead, predation has become the dominant feature—a system wherein the rich have come to feast on decaying systems built for the middle class. The predatory class is not the whole of the wealthy; it may be opposed by many others of similar wealth. But it is the defining feature, the leading force. And its agents are in full control of the government under which we live.

Our rulers deliver favors to their clients. These range from Native American casino operators, to Appalachian coal companies...Everywhere you look, public decisions yield gains to specific private entities.

For in a predatory regime, nothing is done for public reasons. Indeed, the men in charge do not recognize that “public purposes” exist. They have friends, and enemies, and as for the rest—we’re the prey. Hurricane Katrina illustrated this perfectly, as Halliburton scooped up contracts and Bush hamstrung Kathleen Blanco, the Democratic governor of Louisiana. The population of New Orleans was, at best, an afterthought; once dispersed, it was quickly forgotten.

The predator-prey model explains some things that other models cannot: in particular, cycles of prosperity and depression. Growth among the prey stimulates predation. The two populations grow together at first, but when the balance of power shifts toward the predators (through rising interest rates, utility rates, oil prices, or embezzlement), both can crash abruptly. When they do, it takes a long time for either to recover.

The predatory model can also help us understand why many rich people have come to hate the Bush administration. For predation is the enemy of honest business. In a world where the winners are all connected, it’s not only the prey who lose out. It’s everyone who hasn’t licked the appropriate boots. Predatory regimes are like protection rackets: powerful and feared, but neither loved nor respected. They do not enjoy a broad political base.

...

But if the government is a predator, then it will fail: not merely politically, but in every substantial way. Government will not cope with global warming, or Hurricane Katrina, or Iraq—not because it is incompetent but because it is willfully indifferent to the problem of competence. The questions are, in what ways will the failure hit the population? And what mechanisms survive for calling the predators to account? Unfortunately, at the highest levels, one cannot rely on the justice system, thanks to the power of the pardon. It’s politics or nothing, recognizing that in a world of predators, all established parties are corrupted in part.

So, how can the political system reform itself? How can we reestablish checks, balances, countervailing power, and a sense of public purpose? How can we get modern economic predation back under control, restoring the possibilities not only for progressive social action but also—just as important—for honest private economic activity? Until we can answer those questions, the predators will run wild.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:31 AM
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Saturday, April 29, 2006. *
Mexico's Congress approved a bill Friday that would legalize drug possession for personal use — decriminalizing the carrying of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin. The only step remaining is the signature of the president, whose office indicates he will sign the measure, despite the implications for the war on drugs. The bill, approved by the Senate on a 53-26 vote with one abstention, had been approved earlier by the lower house of Congress.

[...] "The presidency congratulates the Congress for approving the reforms," said presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar. "This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children." The bill legalizes possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine, ectasy and marijuana. "No charges will be brought against ... addicts or consumers who are found in possession of any narcotic for personal use," the bill reads.
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:24 PM
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posted by Uncle $cam at 6:52 PM
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It's official: The Bush administration formally said Friday that it will try to halt a lawsuit that accuses AT&T of helping the National Security Agency spy on Americans illegally.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:45 PM
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Friday, April 28, 2006. *
AT&T and Verizon blocked you from viewing your favorite podcasts and blogs?
BellSouth cut off your net phone because you weren’t using their service?
Comcast forced you to download MP3s from their store while slowing other music sites?
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:33 PM
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Considering that "drills" were taking place the morning of 9/11 and 7/7 there is always the remote possibility that this is cover for another "inside job".
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:44 PM
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The "Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy" has the CRS (Congressional Research Service) report* and pdf's you need to read.


Find any details [smoking guns] WaPo "missed"? [snark]

This is hugh and a competent reporter and prosecutor would eviscerate the whole lot of war pigs whom rein.

"A man who falls from a 100-story building will survive the first 99 unscathed..." - E. J. Mishan, Economist

*See my last post entitled : [War Costs] with regards to the Importance of the Congressional Research Service report.


And as a bonus, (which indeed could use it's own post) if the above wasn't enough to re-indict the whole lot of the 'worse than watergate' "Nixonian neo-convicts,"
President Bush is expected on Friday to announce his approval of a deal under which a Dubai-owned company would take control of nine plants in the United States that manufacture parts for American military vehicles and aircraft, say two administration officials familiar with the terms of the deal, the NEW YORK TIMES will report Friday.
Bush okays Dubai military deal.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:28 PM
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For most people, Page County, in the Shenandoah Valley, is a lovely and tranquil place. For others, Page County is a criminal profit center, humming with illegal activity. As a result of this illegal activity, George Bush’s favorite brother is owed $34 million by the residents of Page County. And so far he’s getting his money, every damn penny of it.

Marvin Bush is partner and co-founder of the venture capital firm, Winston Partners, out of McLean, Virginia. Marvin’s company purchased Tellurian, the Page County’s waste management and landfill operator.

In Page County, companies like Tellurian were symbolized by the 18-wheelers that arrived around the clock laden with high-value garbage from out-of-state.

The permit for the Battle Creek landfill allows for 250 tons of garbage per day. The expected carry capacity for an 18-wheeler is about 20 tons, so 250 tons a day would bring a dozen big trucks every day into the Battle Creek facility.

Seriously folks, you can’t make money like that! So an under-the-counter deal was made between some Page County supervisors and Tellurian to illegally accept delivery of 1,500 tons/day at the Battle Creek landfill. The DEQ in Richmond, the Governor’s office (at the time this was Governor Mark Warner, now a 2008 Democratic presidential aspirant, and his Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore) and others were aware of the deal. 1,500 tons! That’s six-dozen big trucks a day, and the over-dumping began.

An illegal "amendment" to the Page County contract with Tellurian – increasing the garbage deliveries to 1,500 tons a day – was physically signed by the local County supervisors on 14 December 2001. Within hours of this illegal amendment, Tellurian was purchased by Winston Partners. Several months later, Tellurian was renamed National Waste Services of Virginia. Over-dumping continued, with help from the Virginia DEQ and the governor’s office for nearly two years.

After two years, the Battle Creek landfill was closed – not for felonious and fraudulent over-dumping by 600% – but instead for minor reasons that would be easily overturned in court, including failure to cover the garbage daily with only one inch of dirt instead of two, too-steep gradients, and the odd missing storm drain.

Upon the closure of the landfill, Marvin Bush’s NWS sued Page County supervisors. The lawsuit alleged that the closure violated the contract and had pushed NWS into bankruptcy. Even though Page County had the right to end the contract without penalty at any time, Page County supervisors agreed not only to have the County’s taxpayers clean up the environmental mess made at the Battle Creek Landfill, but for them to pay NWS’s landfill related debts.

Marvin Bush owed another company, Capitol Source, $34 million as a result of the alleged bankruptcy of NWS. Even though the court imposed no criminal or civil penalties, the settlement agreement deemed that Marvin Bush would receive $34 million, and that he would receive Battle Creek landfill profits until the debt is totally paid.

The general saga has been reported here and here. It is also well known to federal investigators.

In sum, Page County is handing over the first $34 million of profits from the recently re-opened Battle Creek landfill to Marvin Bush. Presumably, the bribes paid by NWS and Winston Partners to the various government officials – both Democrat and Republican – are covered by the $34 million.


There's more. Marvin and the WTC and the Kuwaitis, a la Wayne Madsen. But this hand in glove, garden variety criminality, on an industrial farm scale, in Ohio and Virginia and all over our country is what has done us in.

No kinks, no call-girls,[or boys] no sex-pistols. Nothing to see here but crony capitalism. The landfill bidness. For landed families like the Lucheses, the Gambinos and the Bushes.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:21 AM
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Thursday, April 27, 2006. *
While bringing these fucking kleptocrats down for fucking may be fun & games, it's the Kleptocractic elements that have me howling at the moon.

To wit:

OMB WATCH - A threat is now building in the House of Representatives: some lawmakers are pushing legislation that would force all federal programs--from Head Start to Even Start; from EPA to OSHA; and from urban development to rural healthcare--to defend themselves before an unelected commission. This one "sunset commission" would make recommendations to kill, consolidate, or "realign" all programs (with rare exception), and would have the power to force its recommendations
through Congress, limiting your representatives' ability to save important programs from the chopping block
.

The threat is real. In the scramble for votes to pass the budget, a handful of lawmakers were able to strike a deal with House leaders: in exchange for their votes, they were promised that a bill for sunset commissions would be put to a vote in the coming months. We expect this
vote as early as June.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:21 PM
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The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has made a new estimate for the costs of the War on Iraq and War on Afghanistan. Like often, the Washington Post buries the lead and the day's real headline in the last paragraph of a page A16 story:

Of the total war spending, the CRS analysis found $4 billion that could not be tracked. It did identify $2.5 billion diverted from other spending authorizations in 2001 and 2002 to prepare for the invasion.

To my knowledge, this makes the CRS report the first official one to confirm the invasion of Iraq has been actively persued since 2001. Old news you may say, but so far there were only anonymous sources and very few named people who had alleged this.

Now this is officialy acknowledged in a non-partisan report to Congress. Why does that fact not deserve an A01 headline?


Oh, this is a good good read...
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:16 AM
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006. *
America may still think of itself as the land of opportunity, but the chances of living a rags-to-riches life are a lot lower than elsewhere in the world, according to a new study published on Wednesday.

The likelihood that a child born into a poor family will make it into the top five percent is just one percent, according to "Understanding Mobility in America," a study by economist Tom Hertz from American University.

By contrast, a child born rich had a 22 percent chance of being rich as an adult, he said.

"In other words, the chances of getting rich are about 20 times higher if you are born rich than if you are born in a low-income family," he told an audience at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank sponsoring the work.

He also found the United States had one of the lowest levels of inter-generational mobility in the wealthy world, on a par with Britain but way behind most of Europe.
Nothing terribly surprising here, particularly if you've been privy to what's been published in sociology or economics in recent years. Or, perhaps, if you can recall the major articles on class from the NY Times and WSJ last year.
posted by Bill at 7:57 PM
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Your right to read news stories and writing that disrupt the government/Big Media symbiosis is under attack. And you probably don’t even know it.
The Orwellian “Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006,” sponsored by Congressman Joe Barton (R, Texas), will, if it becomes law, allow your Internet provider to charge you extra to read this column. It will allow your provider to block this column entirely.


via wrh blog
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:51 PM
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White House Shakeup Song Parody and Limericks
I've written a song parody and a pair of limericks about the so-called White House shakeup. Here's a couple of verses from my song parody, The White House Shakeup Song, sung to the tune of Good King Wenceslas:

The White House Shakeup Song (Sing to Good King Wenceslas)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

"Bolten's cleaning house they claim.
He needs staffers brainy.
Upward polls are Bolten's aim.
Why not start with Cheney?

Many think that Don must go.
Rumsfeld's quite abysmal.
Dubya answers no, no, no.
Bush is just as dismal.

Miers may just lose her job.
Nearly was "Her Honor."
Andrew Card worked way too hard..."

The rest of my song parody and my two limericks are here, and my audio podcast version (with me attempting to sing my White House Shakeup Song) is here.
posted by Mad Kane at 11:25 AM
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Mine eyes have beheld the Christ of the Right. His crown is resplendent with diamonds mined from South Africa, the red highlights encrusted blood of the poor split during their extraction. His eyes flash televangelist shows. His mouth spews forth booming words that enflame, frighten and promise blessings for a contribution. His rainment a business suit of finest dark wool, the exquisite tailoring offset by the logos of all Fortune 500 emblazoned upon it. Around about him plays the music of a trillion commercials. In his right hand, an NRA pistol. As colossal Christ strides forward, gay teens kill themselves in advance for fear of his approach. Other boys shoot their classmates and teachers in tribute. Mall girls writhe BritneyAguilera style. Businessmen bend over for a kiss. Women cackle gleefully of family and values. Police barracade away those who cannot afford access to the spectacle. Behind him crops wither, birds fall, and distant structures are backlit by fire. Christ takes his throne astride Wall St. and Madison Avenue. He crushes the Statue of Liberty with a swipe of his great hand, condemning it as an idol. Corporate jets and news helicopters circle for a look, while he pronounces New York to be the New Jerusalem....

via woods lot
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:37 AM
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For the last few years, a coalition of technology companies, academics and computer programmers has been trying to persuade Congress to scale back the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite
. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET News.com would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.


10 years in jail if you try to download a movie... This legislation is a front for something bigger, bigger brother that is. FBI being pawns for corporations and more wiretapping.

" Gonzales said, adding that proceeds from the illicit businesses are used, "quite frankly, to fund terrorism activities."


Eat [Bush's] dick Gonzales, you lying asshat.

The 24-page bill is a far-reaching medley of different proposals cobbled together. One would, for instance, create a new federal crime of just trying to commit copyright infringement. Such willful attempts at piracy, even if they fail, could be punished by up to 10 years in prison.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:20 AM
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Tuesday, April 25, 2006. *
Chimpeachment
Who wants to impeach President George W. Bush? We do!
posted by Trevor Blake at 4:35 PM
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I concur. And when joe sixpack and susie soccer mom finally realize it, they are going to have deep psychological problems. Thing is, (when they find out) they wont embrace change, they will more than likely dig themselves even deeper into denial and look for someone to save them. Therefore even more willing to be led like sheep. To bahhhhhd.

Addendum:

More should be quoted from Roberts art. linked above on the Civil War xUS elites have declared on the rest of us:

Because of jobs offshoring and illegal immigration, US consumers create jobs for foreigners, not for Americans. Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs reports document the loss of manufacturing jobs and the inability of the US economy to create jobs in categories other than domestic "hands on" services. According to a March 2006 report from the Center for Immigration Studies, most of these jobs are going to immigrants: "Between March 2000 and March 2005 only 9 percent of the net increase in jobs for adults (18 to 64) went to natives. This is striking because natives accounted for 61 percent of the net increase in the overall size of the 18 to 64 year old population."


A country that cannot create jobs for its native born population is not a superpower.


In an interview in the April 17 Manufacturing & Technology News, former TCI and Global Crossing CEO Leo Hindery said that the incentives of globalization have disconnected US corporations from US interests. "No economy," Hindery said, "can survive the offshoring of both manufacturing and services concurrently. In fact, no society can even take excessive offshoring of manufacturing alone." According to Hindery, offshoring serves the short-term interests of shareholders and executive pay at the long-term expense of US economic strength.


Hindery notes that in 1981 the Business Roundtable defined its constituency as employees, shareholders, community, customers, and the nation." Today the constituency is quarterly earnings. A country whose business class has no sense of the nation is not a superpower.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:58 AM
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The House version of the 2007 intelligence authorization bill would grant CIA and NSA security personnel the authority to make arrests for "any felony" committed in their presence, no matter how remote from the foreign intelligence mission it might be, the Baltimore Sun reported today.

Section 423 of H.R. 5020 "appears...to grant to CIA security personnel powers that have little to do with the primary mission of 'executive protection,' and potentially creates a pretext for use or abuse of these powers for the purposes of general domestic law enforcement -- something no element of the CIA has ever been empowered to perform," wrote Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight in a letter to members of the House Intelligence Committee opposing the provision.

Section 432 of the bill grants similar authority to NSA security personnel.

The bill also includes measures intended to increase penalties for unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

See "Congress cracking down on U.S. leaks" by Siobhan Gorman, Baltimore Sun, April 25.

any felony? or just selective felonies... Here come da SS!
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:42 AM
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Whether it's the war on drugs, stem-cell research, global warming science, sex, abortion or evolution, demagogues - channeled through Bush policies - are enslaving evidence to ideology and reducing facts to three-fifths the weight of faith. [...] Today's demagogues have co-opted the manners of empirical science - the academic lingo, the Ph.D. next to their names, the peer-reviewed studies. And they're making faith the loyalty oath of 21st century America. But every time a public figure cashes in on faith, the American experiment loses altitude.
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:33 AM
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On Feb. 1, congressional Democrats led by Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin introduced a bill that, if approved, would end viable third-party competition in races for the U.S. House of Representatives.


The Constitution does not mandate a two-party system, and indeed the nation was founded on the premise of multiple parties all with equal opportunity to run candidates for office. But over the years, possibly to contain the number of candidates that must be bribed in order to bypass the result of any election, the nation has evolved to a two-party system to which many special advantages are already given.

Chief among these are the primary elections, which by law automatically carry the candidates from the Republicans and Democrats, while other parties must go through a lengthy and costly petition process to get their names onto the ballot, in the process using up their already inferior financial resources.

I like the idea of shutting off large private contributions (especially from lobbying groups operating for a foreign government), but if public funds are to be made available to candidates, they should be equally available to ALL candidates.
via WRH blog in other words, Coke or Pepsi!
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:58 AM
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"Renaissance Village"? or 'detention camp'

Theresienstadt.

During the war, small bits of information about the extreme and horrific episodes perpetrated under the Third Reich reached an unbelieving world. The Nazis needed to answer the world's growing concern and yet they wanted to continue implementing their "solution" to the Jewish Question. The Nazis decided to use Theresienstadt to solve the growing outside pressure. Through deceit and subterfuge, the Nazis transformed Theresienstadt into a "model ghetto."


Also see, the Potemkin village and even the Potemkin President
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:11 AM
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Monday, April 24, 2006. *
Stephen Kinzer, author of the new book Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, on Democracy Now!:
There’s really a three-stage motivation that I can see when I watch so many of the developments of these coups [that the U.S. was involved with over the course of the past century]. The first thing that happens is that the regime in question starts bothering some American company. They start demanding that the company pay taxes or that it observe labor laws or environmental laws. Sometimes that company is nationalized or is somehow required to sell some of its land or its assets. So the first thing that happens is that an American or a foreign corporation is active in another country, and the government of that country starts to restrict it in some way or give it some trouble, restrict its ability to operate freely.

Then, the leaders of that company come to the political leadership of the United States to complain about the regime in that country. In the political process, in the White House, the motivation morphs a little bit. The U.S. government does not intervene directly to defend the rights of a company, but they transform the motivation from an economic one into a political or geo-strategic one. They make the assumption that any regime that would bother an American company or harass an American company must be anti-American, repressive, dictatorial, and probably the tool of some foreign power or interest that wants to undermine the United States. So the motivation transforms from an economic to a political one, although the actual basis for it never changes.

Then, it morphs one more time when the U.S. leaders have to explain the motivation for this operation to the American people. Then they do not use either the economic or the political motivation usually, but they portray these interventions as liberation operations, just a chance to free a poor oppressed nation from the brutality of a regime that we assume is a dictatorship, because what other kind of a regime would be bothering an American company?
posted by Bill at 12:24 PM
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Listening to records -- the old fashioned vinyl discs long believed to have been made obsolete by CDs and music downloading -- is for many young people a form of resistance against the music industry's corporate taste-makers, according to new research from David Hayes, a PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

More of this please...
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:01 AM
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The issue of preventive war as a presidential prerogative is hardly new. In February 1848 Rep. Abraham Lincoln explained his opposition to the Mexican War: "Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure [emphasis added]. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.' "

This is precisely how George W. Bush sees his presidential prerogative: Be silent; I see it, if you don't . However, both Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, veterans of the First World War, explicitly ruled out preventive war against Joseph Stalin's attempt to dominate Europe. And in the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, President Kennedy, himself a hero of the Second World War, rejected the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a preventive strike against the Soviet Union in Cuba.
...
But our Cold War presidents kept to the Kennan formula of containment plus deterrence, and we won the Cold War without escalating it into a nuclear war. Enter George W. Bush as the great exponent of preventive war. In 2003, owing to the collapse of the Democratic opposition, Bush shifted the base of American foreign policy from containment-deterrence to presidential preventive war: Be silent; I see it, if you don't. Observers describe Bush as "messianic" in his conviction that he is fulfilling the divine purpose. But, as Lincoln observed in his second inaugural address, "The Almighty has His own purposes."

There stretch ahead for Bush a thousand days of his own. He might use them to start the third Bush war: the Afghan war (justified), the Iraq war (based on fantasy, deception and self-deception), the Iran war (also fantasy, deception and self-deception). There is no more dangerous thing for a democracy than a foreign policy based on presidential preventive war.


The old guard is really coming out against a War On Iran. That makes it all the more importtant the war crims act fast!
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:42 AM
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Saturday, April 22, 2006. *
posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:42 PM
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One thing that might stop me from being my own MTV is if the duopoly of fast speed providers eliminate net neutrality. Yes, the Daily Kos and Atrios are superior to the Instapundit. But not if you have to click 18 times for the former and once for the latter. I can see the government drawing up a list now for sites that will be temporarily down a whole lot, if they haven't already. Of course, with these guys, if you can't win fair, then cheat and lie like Hell and call it Liberation.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 5:56 AM
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Look I've always wanted to run my own MTV. And now, thanks to the power of the Internets....

Frank Zappa's "Alien Oriface"




Kaki King's "Pretty Pink Noise"




Cat Power (Chan Marshall) "He War". She's always been political and against the war. Even though she is rumored to be Bjork eccentric/crazy.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 5:48 AM
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Friday, April 21, 2006. *
A visit from the great decider
George W. Bush paid a visit to Country Club University this afternoon. He was in the area for an event in nearby Silicon City, and then stopped by the campus for a dinner with the University's president and the fellows of the Eureka Institution, which is housed on campus.

The visit had not been publicized in advance. Like many on campus, I first learned of it when an administrator sent an e-mail cautioning that the campus area around the Eureka Institution would be cordoned off, and protected by snipers posted atop the Eureka Tower.

Nevertheless, word spread quickly enough to bring out students and community residents to demonstrate. The turnout was pretty lame, no doubt in part because of the late notice; but also because CCU students are not a particularly activist bunch. I saw only three students from the law school, which didn't particularly surprise me.

Separating the crowd from the Eureka grounds were a perimeter of steel barriers, and a phalanx of county sheriff's deputies and Silicon City police officers, all in full riot regalia. At least one officer carried what appeared to be a teargas gun. Eventually, a line of mounted police paraded in. But, if the aim was to create an aura of intimidation, the effect was somewhat spoiled by a small group of bicycle cops wearing
shorts and sporty sunglasses.

The show of force seemed entirely unnecessary, given the easygoing, peaceful nature of the crowd. Nothing much happened. There was, so far as I'm aware, only one arrest. At one point, a fire truck drove up behind the crowd. Thinking that the truck wanted to get through, the crowd parted to let it pass. But the truck just stopped there, separating the crowd in two. A couple of students sat down on the pavement in front of the truck, but behind the cordon. When the sheriff's deputies directed the students to move, they did. But one of them evidently didn't move quickly enough to satisfy the deputies. Five of them swooped down, grabbed her and hauled her away. Why it took five strong deputies to accomplish this feat was not at all clear, as the young woman was fairly small and put up no resistance. Meanwhile, the fire truck remained in place for a while, and then back out and drove away. There didn't appear to be any purpose to the entire exercise, other than an attempt to disperse, or perhaps harass and antagonize the crowd. If so, it didn't work. Most people remained at the scene, and those who did remained peaceful.

There were the usual chants, most prominently the now ubiquitous, "This is what democracy looks like", which, since the WTO protests in Seattle, has displaced the old favorite, "The people united, will never be defeated",1 at the top of the protest charts. Surveying the scene -- a gaggle of hapless peaceful demonstrators penned in by steel barricades under the watchful glare of rows of armed, club-wielding, helmeted, masked, jackbooted thugs, helicopters buzzing overhead, and invisible snipers aiming their rifles from on high -- it didn't appear much to me to be what democracy looks like, but rather what a police state looks like. Much more effective, I thought, was when someone took hold of the loud hailer and serenaded the cops with a lilting chorus of "Can you feel the love tonight".

The whole thing would have been pretty boring, but for one nice moment of levity. At one point, a bright yellow Hummer drove up behind the assembled demonstrators, perched atop of which were two figures masquerading as George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice (herself formerly an administrator a CCU and a Eureka Fellow). The ersatz Bush addressed the crowd, proclaiming, among other things, that, "I'm the decider. And I've decided to nuke Iran." All the while, mock-Condi stood silently by her man, gazing wistfully and nodding gently in agreement.

After that, I left. It didn't appear that the real Bush had yet arrived. But the crowd by then was thinning, and I needed to catch my train home.


_______________
1I have always found that one to be particularly annoying, not merely because it is trite and hackneyed, but more significantly because it is empirically false. In the history of social movements, there have been all-too-many instances in which the people united have been soundly defeated by a superior armed counter-revolutionary force. See, e.g., Tienanmen Square (1989).

(Cross-posted from Reports from Poisonville.)
posted by The Continental Op at 8:27 PM
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Science and Religion: A Possible Conflict?
The author of God is for Suckers writes: "It seems that Malaysia’s space problem is facing a serious roadblock in their attempts to go into space: how will their Muslim astronauts pray? After all, when floating in space, how does one know which direction is east so that he or she could bow towards Mecca? Obviously, this is an issue much stickier than any issues of scientific discovery. Furthermore, there is a concern regarding the rationing of water and the need for the astronauts to perform their daily ablutions. After all, what could be more important than ritual washing in a zero gravity environment? Malaysia is actually hosting a two day conference to discuss these pressing issues.

"You know, it’s funny that these problems aren’t accounted for in Muslim holy scripture. It’s almost as if science can provide possibilities that religion isn’t equipped to deal with. I guess if the world was run only be religious principles we wouldn’t have to worry about how to deal with things like space travel becuase such things wouldn’t be possible, along with sanitation, healthcare, transportation, adequate food production, lifespans past thirty…"
posted by Trevor Blake at 6:39 PM
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Thursday, April 20, 2006. *
I think this should be rapped by Saul Williams, who does something similar here.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 3:40 PM
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When they sang this in concert they changed "deus" to "god."

I think its a tune for Trevor.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 3:36 PM
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Here's the official God Man page where you can catch all of his holy highlights.
posted by Philip Shropshire at 3:33 PM
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Here are two Decider spoofs: One from our good friend Norm and the other is catchy rework of I Am the Walrus...
posted by Philip Shropshire at 3:06 PM
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Bush to Hu: Do as I say, not as I do
During a ceremony on the White House lawn this morning, George W. Bush lectured visting Chinese President Hu Jintao about the importance of "allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely, and to worship." The Chinese leader then got a practical lesson in how a great democracy deals with such matters, when a woman at the ceremony seized the opportunity to protest China's repression of the Falun Gong :
The woman began shouting from the top of a camera stand that was located directly in front of the two leaders so that news photographers could record the arrival ceremony on the south lawn of the White House.

She shouted in heavily accented English, "President Bush: Stop him from killing" and, "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong."

Bush, standing next to Hu, leaned over and whispered a comment to the Chinese leader, who paused briefly when the shouting began and then resumed his remarks.

The protester was waving a banner with the red and yellow colors used by Falun Gong, a banned religious movement in China. She kept shouting for several minutes before Secret Service uniformed agents were able to make their way to her position at the top of the camera stand. They dragged her off the stand.

A photographer who was standing next to the protester tried momentarily to quiet her by putting his hand in front of her mouth.
(Thanks to Crooks and Liars and Attytood for the tip.)
posted by The Continental Op at 1:35 PM
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006. *
How many Iraqis have died as the result of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of their country remains an unresolved question in the anti-war movement. It is a question the pro-war camp avoids. Yet what more important question is there?
posted by Bill at 8:32 PM
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Go on, take a guess.
posted by Bill at 8:25 PM
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Like the previous personnel shifts, the latest moves are largely cosmetic and aren't likely to result in any dramatic policy changes. Bush is expected to name a replacement for McClellan within days; Rove will continue to serve as Bush's chief political strategist, while giving up direct responsibility for domestic and foreign policy.

The reshuffling is part of an effort by newly installed White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten to re-energize the Bush administration and boost confidence in the president's leadership. But the changes to date have been incremental, typically replacing one insider with another.
posted by Klintron at 3:36 PM
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posted by Uncle $cam at 3:35 AM
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Of fucking course...Daniel Hopsicker has dug up a remarkable story -- one which I have been trying to take a small step or two further:
One of the two owners of the DC9 (tail number N900SA) busted at an airport in the Yucatan last week after lumbering in from Caracas, Venezuela carrying an astonishing 5.5 TONS of cocaine was appointed in 1993 to the Business Advisory Council of the National Republican Congressional Committee by then-Congressional Majority Leader Tom Delay, The MadCowMorningNews can exclusively report.

The plane's registered owner, “Royal Sons LLC,” a Florida air charter company, was at one time housed in a hanger at the Venice Fl. Airport owned by infamous flight school Huffman Aviation.
Further,
Interestingly enough, the DC9 was painted to resemble an official government aircraft.
Oh it gets so jucy, read more here...

P.S. Don't miss the comment section...
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:53 AM
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Ultra-right pundit Michelle Malkin posted the phone numbers of students at U.C. Santa Cruz who had protested military recruitment on campus. Although she acquired these numbers from the students' own organizational materials, she surely knew that her audience -- Freepers and their vicious ilk -- would take her post as a "suggestion" to call and make death threats. Which is precisely what has happened.


Michelle Malkin lives at 19930 Wild Cherry Lane in Germantown, Maryland, 20874. Her telephone number is (301) 515-7601.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:44 AM
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Tuesday, April 18, 2006. *
Euston Manifesto

Norm Geras and Nick Cohen both based in the U.K have stirred up a bit of a debate within the left/progressive blog community with theEuston Manifesto.

A. Preamble

...."We are democrats and progressives. We propose here a fresh political alignment. Many of us belong to the Left, but the principles that we set out are not exclusive. We reach out, rather, beyond the socialist Left towards egalitarian liberals and others of unambiguous democratic commitment. Indeed, the reconfiguration of progressive opinion that we aim for involves drawing a line between the forces of the Left that remain true to its authentic values, and currents that have lately shown themselves rather too flexible about these values. It involves making common cause with genuine democrats, whether socialist or not.

The present initiative has its roots in and has found a constituency through the Internet, especially the "blogosphere". It is our perception, however, that this constituency is under-represented elsewhere — in much of the media and the other forums of contemporary political life.

The broad statement of principles that follows is a declaration of intent. It inaugurates a new Website, which will serve as a resource for the current of opinion it hopes to represent and the several foundation blogs and other sites that are behind this call for a progressive realignment"...

The manifesto was first brought to my attention when I noticed a link at a fellow blogger's site.A blogger who I respect,both as a writer and a voice of reason.

At first I was considering showing my support as a signatory.

Though I agree with many points of the Manifesto there was some aspect that just did not sit well with me.

As I googled about I located a couple of critiques that I found very similar to my own.

The first by Drink Soaked Trotskyite Popinjay

the second by Lenins Tomb

I understand the argument that there are many on the left with out a clue,but the Manifesto seems to spend to much energy attacking the left while giving the neo-cons a free ride.

In fact on the Iraq war issue the authors of the manifesto seem to violate their own statements on their commitment to democracy.

The whole march to war was handled in away,that is the anti-thesis,of the democratic process the authors outline in their Manifesto.

But I do agree with their conclusion that there has to be a realignment within the progressive/left based on principaled activism.

But I also have to add,any realignment must also promise the possibility of meaningful change.With that in mind I believe the manifesto falls short.
posted by Dirk Buchholz at 8:21 PM
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"I just finished a new record - a power trio with trumpet and 100 voices," the 60-year-old says in a ticker-tape message posted at the bottom of his official website. "Metal folk protest? It's called Living with the War."


Neil Young is calling out Bush:

He has joined list of musicians such as the Dixie Chicks, Lou Reed, Dave Matthews, Steve Earle and REM who have used their platforms to speak out against the war or the administration in general. His song urging that Mr Bush be impeached reportedly accuses him of "lying" and features a rap with the President's voice set against the choir singing "flip-flop" - an accusation Mr Bush and other Republicans aimed at John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, during the 2004 election campaign.

Meanwhile the lyrics to the new album's title track include the words: "I'm living with war right now, And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man, And on the flat screen we kill and we're being killed again, And when the night falls I pray for peace, Try to remember peace."


Hey Neil, good to have you back, dude. You had me worried for a bit there...

more
posted by m at 5:31 PM
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The U.S. Navy's deployment of active sonar to detect submarine activity is believed to have been responsible for at least six incidents of mass death and unusual behavior among pods of whales in the last 10 years, according to a recent U.S. Congressional Research Service report.


Ever hear a whale cry?
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:26 AM
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Monday, April 17, 2006. *
Among the trendier gripes about why liberals lack power in American politics is that there isn't enough tolerance for America's faithful. A big problem, Rabbi Michael Lerner recently sighed, is that "the Left's hostility to religion and spirituality has become such a major stumbling block to the chances that progressive forces will ever win enough power" to make a difference. So the new advice, from Hillary Clinton to the New Republic's Gregg Easterbrook, is: Stop making snickering remarks at Jerry Falwell's expense. Cheer the innovation of $2 billion in federal tax money carted off to religious groups last year. Drag the "Left Behind" series into your Amazon shopping cart.

And listen, I should add, to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, owner of the conservative mouthpiece the Washington Times and self-proclaimed Messiah. Moon's warning to America is that we must have sex the way he entreats us, in the positions he has designated, or else forfeit our "love organs," as he dubs them, to the dark lord Satan.

We all know the Right wants to decide what we can't do in the bedroom. But no one ever seems to ask what the Right wants us to do instead. "After the act of love," read the instructions from the Rev. Moon's conservative Family Federation, "both spouses should wipe their sexual areas with the Holy Handkerchief. Hang the handkerchief[s] to dry naturally and keep them eternally. They must be kept individually labeled and should never be laundered and mixed up."

[... or maybe religion could be cast root and branch into the fires of history and we could get on with taking care of each other.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 4:38 PM
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A Pair Of Limericks For a Six-Pack Of Generals
My latest is "A Pair Of Limericks For a Six-Pack Of Generals." Here's one of the limericks:

War Against The Generals
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Some Gen'rals say Rummy must go.
So I'm guessing they're traitors and foes.
Soon we'll hear that they're pals
With bin Laden, et al.
Or much worse, that they're Democrat bro's.

My other limerick about the Generals is here.
posted by Mad Kane at 12:40 PM
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Full text of President's Ahmadinejad address

Is this translation to be disputed? Sounds pretty rational to me. I wonder where all those headlines come from that supposedly reflect his thinking.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:07 AM
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After three decades of headlong globalisation, the world finds itself in dangerous and uncharted waters. Globalisation has fostered the illusion of intimacy while intolerance remains as powerful and unyielding as ever - or rather, has intensified, because the western expectation is now that everyone should be like us. And when they palpably are not, as in the case of the Islamic world, then a militant intolerance rapidly rises to the surface. The wave of Islamophobia in the west - among the people and the intelligentsia alike - is a classic example of this new intolerance. When I wrote a recent article for these pages on the Danish cartoons, arguing that Europe had to learn a new way of relating to the world, I got nearly 400 emails in response. Over half of these were negative and many were frightening in their intolerance, especially those from the US, which were often reminiscent in their tone to the worst days of the 1930s.

We live in a world that we are much more intimate with and yet, at the same time, also much more intolerant of - unless, that is, it conforms to our way of thinking. It is the western condition of globalisation, and its paradox of intimacy and intolerance suggests that the western reaction to the remorseless rise of the non-west will be far from benign.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:06 AM
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Sunday, April 16, 2006. *


Haunting photographs using small dolls.
posted by riley dog at 8:26 AM
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. . . from our old friend and Samizdat member Brian Flemming.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:09 AM
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Dick Cheney has chronic gum problems and his breath smells like shit as a result. He is also a CLOSE TALKER. He keeps a small bottle of diluted hydrogen peroxide which he rinses with every hour on the hour, and he swallows it instead of spitting. He also picks his nose vigorously (violently) and hums loudly and tunelessly to himself while taking shits. [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:04 AM
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Saturday, April 15, 2006. *
Don Baker writes: "I have an Easter challenge for Christians. My challenge is simply this: tell me what happened on Easter. I am not asking for proof. My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me exactly what happened on the day that their most important doctrine was born. The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul's tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened. Since the gospels do not always give precise times of day, it is permissible to make educated guesses. The narrative does not have to pretend to present a perfect picture - it only needs to give at least one plausible account of all of the facts. Additional explanation of the narrative may be set apart in parentheses. The important condition to the challenge, however, is that not one single biblical detail be omitted. Fair enough?"

Why should a post about Easter show up at American Samizdat? Because President George W. Bush believes in Easter - but not for everybody.
posted by Trevor Blake at 11:08 AM
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Thursday, April 13, 2006. *
Cooper, a member of the Budget Committee, had referred to the document several times during that panel's truncated debate on the budget resolution. Like many of the others in the room -- including the legislators -- I had no idea what he was talking about. So I went to inquire.

Turns out there was an excuse for the widespread ignorance. The report had been completed in early December but was issued on Dec. 15. The Treasury Department, which compiled it, did not even put out a news release announcing its existence. Cooper said the total press run was 1,000 copies, and they have become such rarities that he suggested I could probably take the one he procured for me and put it up for auction on eBay.
...
The cover letter in the report from Treasury Secretary John Snow contains the bad news. Whereas the budget deficit for fiscal 2005 was officially given as $319 billion, "the government's accrual-based net operating cost . . . was $760 billion in 2005."

That $760 billion is the real difference between the money the government received and the obligations it added in the past year -- in other words, the unfunded costs being passed on to our children and grandchildren.
...
David Walker, the head of the Government Accountability Office, official bookkeeper for Congress, said at a briefing last week that the $760 billion accrual deficit "amounts to $156,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in America. For a family, it's like having a $750,000 mortgage -- and no house."


And that is only ONE year! Flease!~flease, bah.. bah...
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:40 AM
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a worthy read on von rumsfeld's "mendacity, duplicity, smirking chatter and deadly ideological blindness" unknown knowns known unknowns...

Clarity
I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.

And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.

—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing



the always kick ass, chris floyd:
In 1963, John F. Kennedy nominated Paul H. Nitze as Secretary of the Navy. This was actually a demotion for Nitze, who, as Carroll notes, had been at the very heart of American power for almost 20 years by then. He was in fact one of the godfathers of the Cold War, a Wall Street blue-blood turned high-level bureaucrat who served several presidents but was always driven by the same vision: projecting American dominance to the four corners of the earth, using an ever-expanding nuclear arsenal as the tip of the spear.
...
Nitze was the author of NSC-68, the document that more than any other engineered the militarization of American society and constituted the re-founding of the country as a "National Security State," controlled by the military-industrial complex and driven by a nightmare vision of exaggerated threats, craven fear, secrecy and deception, bellicosity and brinkmanship. This vision has waxed and waned in intensity at various times over the years, but it has never been displaced as the central dynamic of American power. The demonic, all-powerful enemy has now morphed from the Soviet Union to Islamic extremism, but the paranoid rhetoric and "Pentagon uber alles" philosophy of the Cold War has been seamlessly transferred whole cloth to the supposedly transformed "post-9/11 age."

And in the Bush administration, this nightmare Nitzean philosophy has reached its apotheosis in the war-making, liberty-gutting dictatorship of the Commander-in-Chief that George W. Bush proclaims more openly every day. Thus Nitze is one of the Founding Fathers of the new Bushist State, and Rumsfeld is one of his most dutiful sons.

All the more ironic then, that Rumsfeld began his career with a vicious smear of Nitze during his confirmation hearings for the Navy nomination.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:08 AM
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The format is abysmal - at least on a Mac - but so many must read articles. Today exc. one by Loyola Philosophy Prof. on Rise of Fascism in America - scroll down. He starts w/something I've long advocated - anti-trust laws are essential for a democracy. Does anyone know anything about this site?
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:06 AM
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Wednesday, April 12, 2006. *
On 20th April, 2005 Senate bill 256 (sponsored by Senator Charles Grassley [R-IA]) became Public Law 109-8. This law is better known by its more Orwellian title of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
And a year or so later it is just now getting ready to crest. Friendly warning to the wise.

Here's a nice formula for the above:

1. Entrench debt peonage before the lumpenproletariat catches on so they internalize their insolvency as shame.

2. Provide scapegoats for sublimation of residual rage.

3. Supply messianic vision of redemption and revenge.


A couple more references that help identify the links between corporate governance, sluggish investment, slow job and wage growth, and rising inequality are:

Corporate Governance and the "Job Loss" Recovery

The Inequality Economy: How New Corporate Practices Redistribute Income to the Top
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:51 PM
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Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong Editor of the highly publicized tome “Everything You Know About Sex is Wrong”, Russ Kick is doling out an audio series of selections from the book; bizarre, funny, strange and highly informative essays as read by the authors themselves
.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:02 AM
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The test has been named ''Divine Strake,'' adding to the outrage felt by many Native Americans, who say the test site sits on sacred land.

''It's a mystery why they call it 'divine','' said Carrie Dann, a grandmother and executive director of the Western Shoshone Defense Project. ''Isn't 'divine' used for your deity, God, your sacredness? Why don't they call it 'Hell Strake?'''

''When you are working testing weaponry of destruction of life, you should not associate it with 'divine','' Dann added. ''We want this insanity to stop. No more bombs and no more testing.''
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:45 AM
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Just as The Picture of Vietnam was the young girl running screaming naked down the road burning w/napalm, here's a picture of Iraq. It should be blown up & put on signs @Antiwar demos by Not in My Name.
warning this will make you sick. BUT YOU NEED TO SEE IT.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:33 AM
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006. *
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." Once that was true, but no longer. Emma Lazarus’ beautiful and memorable words we’ve all heard many times and know well are fading into memory. If we’re honest, they should be removed from "Lady Liberty" and be replaced with something like: We’ll take your Anglos, especially well-off ones, and the ones we choose with needed skills; you keep the rest, especially your poor, dark-skinned and desperate. We needed ’em once for our homegrown sweatshops. No longer. We’ve got plenty all around the world. It now looks like we’ll make an exception though for the menial or toughest low pay, no benefits, no security jobs no one else wants. We’re still debating it and will let you know.
posted by Bill at 8:27 PM
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Watchdog or attack dog?
Paul Woodward:
It's possible that Seymour Hersh's latest article amounts to a kind of journalistic pre-emptive attack on the Bush administration's Iran planning. In other words, making public the grave misgivings that Pentagon planners have about the recklessness of a bombing campaign against Iran -- even using tactical nuclear weapons -- might serve to diminish the chance of that happening as the administration gets an earful of editorial outrage. At the same time, the press is treading a fine line as it reports the current "attack Iran" planning. Willingly or not, the media is making itself part of the administration's propaganda campaign intended to make the Iranians believe that the mess in Iraq won't inhibit this administration from military action against Iran. Perhaps the White House really doesn't feel constrained, but it's hard right now to tell whether the media is functioning as a watchdog alerting the public to the administration's wild ambitions or as an attack dog under the administration's command. It seems like a bit of both.

...As for the likelihood of an attack on Iran, it's tempting to say that the more we hear about it, the less likely it is that its about to happen. At the same time, it's very easy for rational observers to underestimate the Bush administration's capacity for irrational behaviour.
I think this is probably the right tack to take on all of the "bomb Iran" speculation in the press.

Jim Lobe more or less makes the same point.
posted by Bill at 8:16 PM
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The critical requirement of avoiding aircrew casualties or prisoners means that a key component of US action would be a strong dependence on the B-2 long-range stealth-bomber. This plane can carry sixteen individually-targeted, highly accurate bombs; thus, a single aircraft can attack sixteen separate targets in just one operation. The basing of the B-2 far from the region is useful in preserving secrecy, but the plane's dependence on specialised servicing equipment to maintain its "stealth" radar-avoidance ability puts the only four bases worldwide where these are available at an absolute premium.

These four bases are in the United States itself, Guam (Pacific), Diego Garcia (Indian Ocean), and RAF Fairford (Gloucestershire, England). The stealth support facilities already available in the first three locations were joined by Fairford, a major United States air force (Usaf) standby base, in December 2004. This serves as a forward operating facility, especially for heavy bombers such as the B-1B, the B-2 and the B-52. In the approach to the Iraq war, Usaf's 457th air expeditionary wing was based at Fairford; fourteen B-52s flew in from Minot (North Dakota) and deployed there for seven weeks while conducting more than a hundred bombing sorties over Iraq.

Fairford underwent a major two-year development and reconstruction programme, completed in May 2002. Another building project started barely a year later to equip the base with a specialised hangar to accommodate the B-2; the fifteen months since its it came into operation have seen occasional visits by individual planes (the B-2's immense costs and specialised facilities means that only twenty-one have been built and perhaps only fifteen can be deployed at any one time).

The need for an element of surprise in any attack on Iran makes it difficult to gauge exactly when it might be imminent. Fairford offers the possibility of two tangible advance signals. The first is a more coordinated presence of B-2s at the base. It is probable that training for an attack would involve deployments of B-2 aircraft there for a few days at a time, to familiarise air and ground crew with the details of combat operations from a new base. It is likely that the first such exercise took place last week when three B-2s flew into Fairford within a few days in what appears to be the first orchestrated deployment of this kind. This may well be an indicator of training now underway.

The second signal is a sudden increase in base security at Fairford, including the policing of an extended cordon and closure of local roads to minimise any external observation of activities there. If and when that happens, the countdown to war with Iran will almost certainly be well underway. The moment may arrive at any time in the next year or more, quite possibly when it is least expected.


These people are bent on attacking Iran. Of the three legs of the triad : Oil has enjoyed its best profits ever from George's "adventure" in the Middle East and now it's "please sir may I have some more?"; the Israeli far-right has sown death, destruction and chaos in Iraq and would now love to sow the same in Iran; the War lobby, well... need I say more.

All three of thes players has reaped enormous gains from the war in Iraq. None of these players thinks they, personally, really have anything to lose from an attack on Iran.

Analyses based upon the downside for the rest of the world from an attack on Iran are not on the same page as the triad. They just do not care about Iraq or Iraqis, Iran or Iranians, or even about Israelor Israelis. That they have never cared about America or Americans should be as obvious as our American federal debt and our 2354 dead and 17269 wounded.

Britain's Snow is right when he says that an attack on Iran is nuts.

These nuts have reaped billions so far and are ready to keep on keepin' on 'til 20 Jan 2009.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:12 AM
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Monday, April 10, 2006. *
...there’s another game underway, and our sources say it’s called “pre-empting Bush” by laying out contingency plans, including the most bizarre, such as using tactical nuclear weapons on the Natanz reactor complex.

The rising drum beat of revelations, our sources argue, can have only one serious meaning: US military leaders want to force a public debate which makes it difficult for the President to talk himself into ordering a military solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. [...]

What terrifies serious US military, intelligence, and diplomatic players is how this Administration can turn a tactical military victory into strategic catastrophe.

Hit Natanz...then what? That’s the big question our sources are asking.


Mutiny?
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:28 PM
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Biotechnology's advance could give malefactors the ability to manipulate life processes, create biological weapons, and even affect human behavior.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:31 PM
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Ode to the Leaker-In-Chief
I dedicate this poem to our Leaker-In-Chief:

Ode to the Leaker-In-Chief
By Madeleine Begun Kane

"The latest revelation
In the Scooter Libby case,
Is that when it comes to leaking,
Georgie Dub is quite the ace.

Those weren't aberrations
When he ordered up those leaks.
Bush betrays his office daily... "

The rest of my Ode To The Leaker-In_Chief is here.
posted by Mad Kane at 2:43 PM
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posted by riley dog at 6:46 AM
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Sunday, April 09, 2006. *
US leak of Zarqawi letter riles Israelis
Israeli military intelligence officials have accused President George W Bush’s administration of undermining their attempts to infiltrate Al-Qaeda’s operations in Iraq by revealing the contents of a secret letter written by Osama Bin Laden’s second-in-command, writes Uzi Mahnaimi.

Israel passed the letter — in which Ayman al-Zawahiri outlined his Middle East strategy to Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, the Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq — to Washington last October on condition of strict anonymity.

Israeli officials were dismayed, however, when John Negroponte, the US director of national intelligence, made it available in both English and its original Arabic on his office web site.

Bush then referred to it during his weekly address. “The Al-Qaeda letter points to Vietnam as a model,” the president declared. “Al-Qaeda believes that America can be made to run again. They are gravely mistaken. America will not run and we will not forget our responsibilities.”

Israeli intelligence sources said officials who had worked on “Operation Tiramisu” inside Iraq took emergency steps to protect their sources, but it was not clear how successful they had been in averting the damage to their intelligence network.

They said Bush’s indiscretion had undone months of painstaking effort.

via The Corpus Callosum via The Sunday Times
posted by Cyndy at 9:05 PM
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Paul Shambroom's new body of work titled Security examines issues of fear, safety and liberty in post 9/11 America. It brings together elements of democratic processes and restricted access from his previous series Nuclear Weapons and Meetings (shown here in 2002.)

Over the last two years he has photographed official training facilities, equipment and personnel involved in the massive government and private sector efforts to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks within the nation's borders.
posted by riley dog at 1:52 PM
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(For those who don't know Kokomo, Indiana it's an unusual place. It's politics are prob. close to Kansas, sitting as it does where the Industrial North of yore meets the Bible Belt.) Anyone else but me wondering when this would happen?

April 7-9, 2006
Quality Inn (Located On US 31)
Kokomo, Indiana 46902
Meeting Introductions 7:ooPM Friday
Saturday & Sunday Begin With Registration At 8:00AM

Future of the Union
SOLIDARITY NOW!

Working people are under attack as never before. The institutions on which workers have depended–the Democratic Party and the unions have utterly failed to defend us. Democratic as well as Republican politicians support the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, savage cuts in social programs, outsourcing jobs, attacking public education, rewriting bankruptcy laws to benefit credit card companies. Union officials work with corporations to cut wages, rob retirees of their pensions, impose wage tiers, cut health care. They replace worker solidarity with worker-against-worker Company Teams. They support the war-makers in DC.


Meanwhile most working people, blue-collar and white-collar, employed and unemployed, remain unorganized and largely defenseless.


The politicians and the unions are part of the problem. We cannot rely on them and we cannot change them. We have to go around them, to create institutions that we control to fight for the values, the livelihoods, the future of working people
.


SOLIDARITY NOW is a new organization formed in Peoria, IL in 2005. Our goals are to rebuild the culture of mutual support that is natural to working people, to fight for the goals of working people, and to build a movement for democratic revolution.


If you are an auto worker, a teacher, a nurse, a student, a professor, work in an office or school or hospital or university, are employed or unemployed, working or retired, we invite you to join Solidarity Now and to join us in Kokomo for our National Meeting.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:21 PM
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We're All Watching the Watchers
R. Buckminster Fuller made maps of the trajectory of technology: from black-book military to war to heavy industry to commerce to the average person. He said we should 'not fight forces, but use them.' That is, keep the technology trajectory going because it does produce good results - just change the goal from weaponry to 'livingry.'

The same is true for surveillance technology. The tiny electronic camera that once was used only by spies, then by prisons, then by convenience stores, now exists on standard cell phones. No need to be freaked out over the creeps watching you, because you're watching them right back. Take for example Holla Back NYC: "You have the right to feel safe, confident and sexy, without being the object of some turd's fantasy." If the Bad Guys have all the good toys, it is because the Good Guys went Luddite.

Be Smart, Not Pure.
posted by Trevor Blake at 9:37 AM
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The unmasking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson by White House officials in 2003 caused significant damage to U.S. national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad

According to current and former intelligence officials, Plame Wilson, who worked on the clandestine side of the CIA in the Directorate of Operations as a non-official cover (NOC) officer, was part of an operation tracking distribution and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction technology to and from Iran.

The revelation that Iran was the focal point of Plame's work raises new questions as to possible other motivating factors in the White House's decision to reveal the identity of a CIA officer working on tracking a WMD supply network to Iran, particularly when the very topic of Iran's possible WMD capability is of such concern to the Administration.


Also, for some Ominous hallucinations see MOA's : The Public Benefits post.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:30 AM
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Saturday, April 08, 2006. *
I'm suggesting friends download the pdf (above) of the Oxford Research Group's briefing on war with Iran -
and send it to every senator, representative and leaders around the world with a demand that they act to stop this insanity. The briefing discounts the nuclear option but details from a military strategy viewpoint the likely weapons, targets and outcomes. Paul Rogers who wrote the briefing also wrote one pre-Iraq and predicted the situation we see now.

Too often, we mourn the fact that there are not millions in the streets and never actually do something ourselves. This is one tiny effort we all can make.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:36 PM
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The United States is planning a massive bombing campaign against Iran, including possible use of bunker-buster nuclear bombs to destroy a suspected--but far from proven--nuclear weapons facility, The New Yorker magazine will report in its April 17 issue.

The article is written by famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. He writes that, as in Iraq, a driving force in the scenario is "regime change."

One of the options under consideration involves the possible use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, to insure the destruction of Iran's main centrifuge plant at Natanz, Hersh writes.
posted by Bill at 9:41 AM
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...The suit also alleges that the NSA domestic spying program is essentially a "vast fishing expedition" directed at everyone in America -- a data mining program using voice recognition software and the NSA's vast array of computers to scan more or less every phone call entering or exiting the United States.
posted by Bill at 3:38 AM
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Friday, April 07, 2006. *

The 2006 Congressional Pig Book is the latest installment of Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) 16-year exposé of pork-barrel spending. This year’s list includes: $13,500,000 for the International Fund for Ireland, which helped finance the World Toilet Summit; $6,435,000 for wood utilization research; $1,000,000 for the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative; and $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, N.C.

This year, there was good news and bad news. For fiscal 2006, appropriators stuffed 9,963 projects into the 11 appropriations bills, a 29 percent decrease over last year’s total of 13,997. Despite the reduction in the number of earmarks, Congress porked out at record dollar levels with $29 billion in pork for 2006, or 6.2 percent more than last year’s total of $27.3 billion. In fact, the total cost of pork has increased by 29 percent since fiscal 2003. Total pork identified by CAGW since 1991 adds up to $241 billion.




Read it
posted by m at 9:02 PM
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Thursday, April 06, 2006. *
A former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney told a federal grand jury that President George W. Bush authorized him to leak information from a classified intelligence report to a New York Times reporter. Details of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's testimony were included in a court filing made yesterday by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, who is prosecuting Libby for perjury, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in connection with the probe into the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity. According to Fitzgerald's filing, an excerpt of which you'll find below, Libby, 55, testified in 2003 that he provided reporter Judith Miller with information from a classified National Intelligence Estimate after being told by Cheney that Bush "specifically had authorized" him to "disclose certain information in the NIE." Libby also testified that Cheney specifically directed him to speak to other reporters about information in the classified NIE (which addressed Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction programs) as well as a cable authored by Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson. The leaking of the classified material was apparently done in an effort to counter claims made by Wilson regarding the White House's justification for invading Iraq.

[Article continues at link.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 4:28 PM
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006. *
Duo of Tom DeLay Limericks
I've written two Tom DeLay limericks. Here's one of them:
Ode to the Bugman
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Tom's speech was jam-packed with some gems.
His withdrawal he blamed on the Dems.
It seems Streisand and Moore
Forced him out the House door.
Has the Bugman been sniffing his chems?

You can find both Tom DeLay limericks here.
posted by Mad Kane at 10:53 PM
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With the publication of his 2004 New York Times bestseller, “The End of Faith,” a full-throttle attack on religion, Sam Harris became the most prominent atheist in America.
[...]
How do most people react when you explain to them the thesis of your book? You meet someone at a dinner party, let’s say.

It depends where the conversation begins. If I begin with my criticism of Islam, anyone on the conservative side of the spectrum will tend to understand it, and liberals will find it to be a taboo-breaking repudiation of their political correctness and their multi-culturalism.

Conversely, if I start talking about my concerns about the intrusions of religion into our own public policy, liberals will tend to love this, as they share these concerns, but Christian conservatives will begin to protest. So I can establish rapport, or not, depending on what I emphasize in my argument.

But perhaps the most central thesis of your book, the attack on irrational faith itself, doesn’t that offend people on both sides of the political spectrum?

The most controversial aspect of my book has been this criticism I make of religious moderates. Most people think that while religious extremism is problematic and polarizing, religious tolerance is entirely blameless and is the remedy for all that ails us on this front.

But religious moderates are giving cover to fundamentalists because of the respect that moderates demand of faith-based talk. Religious moderation doesn’t allow us to say the really critical things we must say about the abject stupidity of religious fundamentalism. And as a result, it keeps fundamentalism in play, and fundamentalists make very cynical and artful use of the cover they’re getting by the political correctness in our discourse.

[See link for full interview.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:31 PM
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...the US wants to take control of the Earth's electromagnetic spectrum, allowing US war planners to dominate mobile phones, PDAs, the web, radio, TV and other forms of modern communication. That could see entire countries denied access to telecommunications at the flick of a switch by America.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:39 PM
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006. *
Monday, April 03, 2006. *
Sunday, April 02, 2006. *
The Kansas Board of Education has decided that their kids should be taught intelligent design in science classes. Intelligent Design is a religious idea that says the best way to explain the complexity of the world is to say God did it. Without a proper education, these kids are bound to be a burden on the nation. So, it's time to sell it off and cut our losses. Click on the flier below to print the FOR SALE sign. Post it on your office or school message board.



The names of the school board members who voted for intelligent design and the State School Board phone number are there for your convenience. Call them and tell them why you think they made the wrong decision.

Who would buy Kansas? We could sell it to Iraq. We've made a total mess of their country; why not sell them some of ours? We suspect that the flat featureless plains of Kansas will feel like home. It's the least we can do.
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:55 AM
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Now that the GOP has been transformed by the rise of the South, the trauma of terrorism and George W. Bush's conviction that God wanted him to be president, a deeper conclusion can be drawn: The Republican Party has become the first religious party in U.S. history.

We have had small-scale theocracies in North America before - in Puritan New England and later in Mormon Utah. Today, a leading power such as the United States approaches theocracy when it meets the conditions currently on display: an elected leader who believes himself to speak for the Almighty, a ruling political party that represents religious true believers, the certainty of many Republican voters that government should be guided by religion and, on top of it all, a White House that adopts agendas seemingly animated by biblical worldviews.
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:52 AM
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