American Samizdat

Wednesday, May 31, 2006. *
In which various current dots are connected to create a picture of the near future.

"The issue's not whether you're paranoid, Lenny, I mean look at this shit; the issue is whether you're paranoid enough."
     —Max, Strange Days
posted by Inspector Lohmann at 9:43 AM
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Monday, May 29, 2006. *
posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:55 AM
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Sunday, May 28, 2006. *
On top of the above and In light of recent developments Mr. Speaker is in deep dodo.. This certainly casts Hastert’s level of concern over the FBI raids of Congressional offices in a different light eh?

Also see: The blogsite devoted exclusively to Hastert and his financial shenanigans: Lukery kicking ass!; disclose, denny!

posted by Uncle $cam at 8:36 AM
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Reverend Pat Robertson
Remember the old story about Moses and the ten commandments? God gave Moses the ten commandments, Moses brought them to the people, but when Moses saw the people were doing bad things he destroyed the ten commandments. Then God gave Moses another copy, and that's the ten commandments we have today. Remember that old story?

Well, then you remember wrong. Read the ten commandments God gave Moses in Exodus 20, then read the replacement ten commandments in Exodus 35. They aren't the same, are they?

Maybe that's what confused Reverend Pat Robertson. Maybe he doesn't know which ten commandments he should be following, so he just does what he wants and then asks God to forgive him. Maybe he even says 'well, God, you didn't make it clear to me, so you just have yourself to blame.' For example, maybe Rev. Robertson doesn't know it isn't right to lie and say you can lift two thousand pounds in a leg press [ABC] [CBN].

I'm all for people telling fibs for art, or fun, or to trick themselves into accomplishing more in life. I don't mind that Rev. Robertson tells fibs about himself. If he tells his TV audience that prayers heals disease then turns around and gets surgery for himself, that's between him and his believers. If he tells his TV audience that prayers turn away hurricanes then hurricanes don't turn away, let him and his believers work that out. But when he plays bad cop to the good cop Bush White House, invests in blood diamonds, and gets endorsement the government, I wonder if there is any hope for the United States.

Heaven forbid Rev. Robertson demonstrate his magic powers in front of professional magicians.
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:43 AM
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Quite an interesting post on dominionism.

The Christian Right has been as successful as it has been, because it has a vision for obtaining sufficient political power to advance its agenda. The principal way it has advanced it's vision has been via the Republican Party and electoral politics. Therefore it stands to reason that any rejoinder to the Christian Right must include a broadly based engagement of citizens in electoral life. If one accepts this, it then follows that everything else is subsidiary to this focus. Does that mean that everything written or thought about the religious right needs to be processed through a filter of electoral politics? Of course not. However, in developing a political strategy, in my view, there is no substitute.

Also see: President Bush: "Prepare For Endless War."
from Damascus to Tehran
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:15 AM
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Friday, May 26, 2006. *

Item: By the way, some of the fallout from the work at the Free Press and now Greg Palast (again), is that America Coming Together actually worked in about 16 of 17 states. What we didn't count on were the hackable machines and how liberal republicans were in purging opposition voters off of the rolls. For example, I know that we--and not just ACT but ACORN and Vote America--registered about 100000 new voters in Ohio. However, black theocrat in training Ken Blackwell, purged about 300000 voters from the rolls so we actually lost ground. Then there's the 90000 provisional ballots that they never counted and that Kerry never fought for.

Item: Speaking of stolen elections, Greg Palast has a new book out. Please check out his interview here on Democracy Now.

AMY GOODMAN: You broke this on BBC.

GREG PALAST: Yeah, I broke this on BBC, and to get in the United States, we got Michael Moore to put on a chicken suit and report it here as a joke. And then, thank you very much, Amy, for bringing it across the water and breaking through the electronic Berlin Wall. By the way, all of these stories are stories developed out of BBC and Guardian that basically are blacked out, except for here on Democracy Now! That's very important, because these are the stories that they don't want you to have for good reason. And they don't want you to have it, because -- I then followed up with 2004. Now, it’s accepted 2000 pretty much was fixed. Well, there’s a chapter, “Kerry won.” 2004 was fixed. And the way it was done is that 3.6 million votes were cast and never counted in the United States. That's very important to know. This isn’t Greg Palast conspiracy nut stuff.

AMY GOODMAN: Say the number again
GREG PALAST: 3.6 million ballots cast, never counted. And that's because they call these spoiled votes or rejected provisional ballots, 1.9 million so-called provisional ballots, and then, most of those don't get counted. And so, whose votes don't get counted? If it was random, it wouldn’t matter. In other words, if these were votes where the machine doesn't record it properly, hanging chads, extra marks on a paper ballot, you had the wrong address on your absentee ballot, etc.

Three million ballots. Whose ballots? If you're a black person, the chance your ballot will be technically invalidated is 900% higher than if you're a white voter. Hispanic voter, 500% higher than if you're a white voter. Native Americans, it’s like 2,000% higher than if you're a white voter. The overwhelming majority -- and I went to the state of New Mexico, which supposedly Bush won by 5,000 votes, 89% of the ballots were cast out of minority precincts that were thrown away. Kerry won New Mexico. You go into the dumpster, and it’s black votes, 155,000 black votes that were chucked away in Ohio. Kerry won those votes. He won Ohio.

Read and listen to the whole thing as they say.

Item: More audio excerpts from Greg Palast's new and very depressing book. One has Ed Asner reading from the film Network and the other is by Brad (from Bradblog).
posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:31 AM
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Gil Scott Heron's "Winter in America". Features war footage and the work of disgraced cartoonist Micah Wright.

"Come on Let's Go" Broadcast

"Airborne" by Jaga Jazzist
posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:15 AM
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006. *
Tabloid Times, Sleeper VEEP
I have several new limerick posts including these:

Tabloid Times
"Are Bill and Hill still having sex?
By that question, the Times seems perplexed..."
Tabloid Times is continued here.

Ode To Rep. Jefferson
"Rep. Jefferson seems to have stashed
90 grand in his freezer - cold cash..."
Ode To Rep. Jefferson is here.

Sleeper VEEP
"There once was a GOP VEEP
Who in meetings fell soundly asleep..."
Sleeper VEEP is continued here.

Frist And Hastert Rediscover The Constitution
"Frist and Hastert don't care if the Bush administration invades the privacy of ordinary citizens. Nor do they seem bothered by the Executive branch's brazen power grab, evidenced by Bush's "de facto veto" signing statements, Congressional oversight avoidance, and sundry law breaking. But just let the Justice Department mess with one of their own, by raiding his House office, then suddenly Frist and Hastert whip out their long forgotten copies of the Separation of Powers clause..."

Frist And Hastert Rediscover The Constitution is continued here.
posted by Mad Kane at 4:05 PM
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006. *
Alberto Mora, in his first broadcast interview.

BBC Newsnight 05/22/06

Also see: Mora given "Profile in Courage" award monday.

posted by Uncle $cam at 10:59 PM
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Nuri al-Maliki, the new Iraqi prime minister, had a surprise for Tony Blair and his entourage in Baghdad yesterday. At a joint press conference, Mr Maliki said British troops would hand over responsibility in two provinces to Iraqi security forces by next month and that he expected US, British and other foreign troops out of 16 of the country's 18 provinces by the end of the year, a much speedier and more ambitious schedule than the US and Britain have so far admitted to.

The announcement was news to Mr Blair and his team. Mr Maliki said there was an agreement with the British: but British officials said there was no agreement. And he said the withdrawals would be in June: officials say it will be July.

Mr Blair was more vague than the Iraqi prime minister. He insisted that there was no timetable and that the handover to Iraqi forces would depend on the prevailing conditions.

It does explain the coming emergency meeting between Blair and Bush. What will they do now?

Maliki should probably avoid small planes and the like ...
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:55 PM
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Sunday, May 21, 2006. *

Turns out, in the late 90s the NSA had developed but then later dropped a well-designed communications surveillance program, ThinThread, that protected privacy concerns through encyption and that was much more efficient than the NSA's patently illegal warrantless spying adopted after the 2001 attacks.

WHY in the world would the NSA and White House have instead pushed for the massive spying that violates basic Privacy and legal protections? The articles above and below suggest the answer -- the vast warrantless spying was pushed by Hayden and the White House, because it was much more vulnerable to abuse and 'fishing' expeditions, precisely the kinds of intrusive and intimidating pressure that kills free speech and that discourages rigorous investigative journalism into governmental abuses, partisan spying, discovery of covert actions, and cultivation of insider sources revealing endemic improprieties.

Christ, but the foulness of everything these political hacks and illegitimate 'leaders' and bureaucratic operatives do extends through a multitude of layers. It's almost a full-time job cutting through the bullshit and trying to remain modestly informed and up-to-date on their schemes and rackets.

Re-meme-ber, the Patriot Act wasn't really Bush's idea. How quickly we forget

1. Many of the provisions were originally from Clinton's anti-terrorism bill of 1996


2. How the Dems rolled over like a well trained dog.

Also see, The Press and the USA Patriot Act
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:57 PM
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Saturday, May 20, 2006. *

Iraq War veteran Herold Noel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and lives out of his car in Brooklyn. Using Noel's story as a fulcrum, this doc examines the wider issue of homeless U.S. military veterans-from Vietnam to Iraq-who have to fight tooth-and-nail to receive the benefits promised to them by their government.
posted by riley dog at 6:43 AM
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posted by riley dog at 6:41 AM
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Friday, May 19, 2006. *
[See link above for article. Commentary to follow by Trevor Blake]Red = Bush approval by state.
Red = Bush approval by county.

Attention Democrats (and all other parties): take the fucking kid gloves off and put the entire Republican Party in the dock for war crimes.

posted by Trevor Blake at 7:34 AM
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Thursday, May 18, 2006. *
Following on my last post below this one, the firedoglake one, regarding todays senate hearings on Gen.(probable cause)Hayden as head of CIA, he let out that due to the Bush "idea war" (read purge), that only one in four left in CIA had more than four years experience. How dangerous is that? Here is a direct consequence and method of their ideological war i.e., Team B:

A number of current and former intelligence officials have told me that the administration's war on internal dissent has crippled the CIA's ability to provide realistic assessments from Iraq. “The system of reporting is shut down,” said one person familiar with the situation. “You can't write anything honest, only fairy tales.”

Two CIA station chiefs Bagdhad fired/demoted after writing realistic reports, one promoted after writing a fairy tail.

Killing the messengers ...
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:23 PM
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This must stop!

One of the things that Bruce Fein said struck me, and I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention here: the Bush Administration is doing everything it can to prevent any of the illegally collected data and information from being used in any courtroom context, because they do not want to have to face the consequences of a constitutional challenge to their failure to obtain a lawful warrant. Think about that for a moment — Bruce Fein is no liberal, he is a very conservative Reagan Republican, having worked in the DoJ as Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan Administration.

And he is saying, out loud, that the Bush White House is avoiding constitutional scrutiny because they know — they KNOW — they will be shown to be what they are. Lawbreakers.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:01 PM
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Wednesday, May 17, 2006. *
"I would execute gays only if we catch them indulging in sodomy," Gary DeMar, popular Christian evangelical minister is quoted in the December, 2005 issue of Mother Jones. [...] but others envision sinners in line for the death penalty would include women who commit adultery or lie about their virginity, blasphemers, witches, children who strike their parents, and gay men. Thus, DeMar is considered somewhat of a liberal in this extreme authoritarian movement. Gary DeMar is not a fringe Christian. He is in the same realm with Mainstream Extremist Christian leaders such as Televangelist Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. DeMar is leader of the Restore America Rally, head of American Vision and one of the most prolific publishers of the movement.
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:12 PM
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Tuesday, May 16, 2006. *
This song reflects my thoughts on the oil industry. Of course, since my car has been stolen for the second time in three years I don't have to worry as much about that. Now, my friendly insurance company tells me that I have to prove when my car was stolen. Otherwise, they won't honor my comprehensive policy. So I guess this song applies to them to. (What a racket: I have to pay insurance in Pennsylvania or lose my driver's license for three months, which has happened, but they're not compelled to act in good faith..For the record: sometimes I really really hate living in the United States. Everyday I get to feel a different industry raping me...)

And this also reflects my views on the President's speech:

And after being raped by both Big insurance and Big oil, not to mention being insulted by the President, I need to head to Vanessa Daou's sexy Donna Summerish erotic nightclub where I will enter the black, black forest:

posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:07 PM
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Salon has posted its interview with Matthew Aid, a historian who has written extensively about the NSA. In the interview, Aid paints a frightening picture of how "the NSA replaced the FBI as the nation's domestic surveillance agency after 9/11." The whole interview is a must-read. Aid hints at a disturbingly wide-ranging scope of surveillance:

We should be terrified that Congress has not been doing its job and because all of the checks and balances put in place to prevent this have been deliberately obviated. In order to get this done, the NSA and White House went around all of the checks and balances. I'm convinced that 20 years from now we, as historians, will be looking back at this as one of the darkest eras in American history. And we're just beginning to sort of peel back the first layers of the onion. We're hoping against hope that it's not as bad as I suspect it will be, but reality sets in every time a new article is published and the first thing the Bush administration tries to do is quash the story. It's like the lawsuit brought by EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation] against AT&T -- the government's first reaction was to try to quash the lawsuit. That ought to be a warning sign that they're on to something.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:33 PM
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Monday, May 15, 2006. *
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
posted by m at 12:01 PM
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See you in camp.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:18 AM
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He smiles like a baby, but he bites like a gator.
- Cool Hand Luke
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:09 AM
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Sunday, May 14, 2006. *
The U.S. government filed a motion on Saturday to intervene and seek dismissal of a lawsuit by a civil liberties group against AT&T Inc. (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research) over a federal program to monitor U.S. communications.

Imagine my (absence of) surprise. And the Aministration will scream "national security" - until some Judge, with some semblance of an understanding of the Constitution will slap this motion, and any others like it, down to the ground.
via WRH blog
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:35 AM
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Friday, May 12, 2006. *
This document describes several security issues with the Diebold electronic voting terminals TSx and TS6. These touch-pad terminals are widely used in US and Canadian elections and are among the most widely used touch pad voting systems in North America. Several vulnerabilities are described in this report.

One of them, however, seems to enable a malicious person to compromise the equipment even years before actually using the exploit, possibly leaving the voting terminal incurably compromised.

These architectural defects are not in the election-processing system itself. However, they compromise the underlying platform and therefore cast a serious question over the integrity of the vote. These exploits can be used to affect the trustworthiness of the system or to selectively disenfranchise groups of voters through denial of service.
posted by Klintron at 1:33 PM
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Army recruiters try to nab autistic high school student

As The Oregonian's Michelle Roberts reported in a disturbing story Sunday, Army recruiters signed Guinther, an 18-year-old high school senior, to a four-year Army contract and steered him toward a military career as a scout.

When his parents found he was taking an enlistment test, they were startled. They contacted the recruiters with information about Jared's disability, from the special education classes he's taken to the menial job he got through a program for disabled workers. Their concerns, they said, were dismissed. His stepmother said a recruiter told her, "Well, Jared's an 18-year-old man. He doesn't need his mommy to make decisions for him."

Fortunently, he has been dismissed from duty due to his disability. The Oregonian has coverage:

An Army of one wrong recruit.

When the call to service is distorted by recruiters.

Autistic Army recruit won't serve.

Recruiting: Autistic teen's case disturbing.
posted by Klintron at 12:02 PM
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The American Taliban are declaring war on us, using our children:

If you've been waiting until the Christian fascist movement started filling stadiums with young people and hyping them up to do battle in "God's army" to get alarmed, wait no longer.

In recent weeks, Battle Cry, a Christian fundamentalist youth movement, has attracted more than 25,000 to mega-rally rock concerts in San Francisco and Detroit and this weekend they plan to fill Wachovia Stadium in Philadelphia.

They claim their religion and values are under attack but, amidst spectacular lightshows, hummers, Navy Seals, and military imagery on stage, it is Battle Cry that has declared war on everyone else! Their leader, Ron Luce, insists: "This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action, telling us that the violent--the 'forceful' ones--will lay hold of the kingdom."

A glimpse at Battle Cry's Honor Academy, which trains 500 youth each year and preaches that homosexuality and masturbation are sins, reveals a lot about what kind of society they are fighting for. Interns are forbidden to listen to secular music, watch R-rated movies or date. Men can't use the internet unsupervised and the length of women's skirts is regulated. The logic behind this, that men must be protected from the sin of sexual temptation, is what drives Islamic fundamentalists to shroud women in burkhas!

Behind their multi-million dollar operation that sends more than 5,000 missionaries to more than thirty-four countries each year, are some of the most powerful and extreme religious lunatics in the country. Their partners include Pat Robertson (who got a call from Karl Rove to discuss Alito before the nomination was made public), Ted Haggard (who brags that his concerns will be responded to by the White House within 24 hours), Jerry Falwell (who blamed September 11th on homosexuals, feminists, pagans, and abortionists), and others. Their events have been addressed by Barbara Bush (via video) as well as former President Gerry Ford. This weekend's event will include Franklyn Graham who has ministered to George Bush and publicly proclaimed that Islam is an "evil religion."Meet the Shock Troops of the Christian Youth

Somebody better start finding alternatives for the young before it's too late. One can see how this is attractive to lost, angry, frightened youngsters - it offers instant community, promises of being in the vanguard in creating the future, perhaps redemption, adolescent males get to fight, and females are assured of "protection"...

The rest of us know the predators, et al have destroyed the country, wiped out the future, so what are the young to do...prob. the most sensitive will commit suicide or for the rest...
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:47 AM
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Thursday, May 11, 2006. *
Sibel Edmonds endorses this view of her case. It makes some explicit what had been just conjecture. Of course, Giraldi is only explicit in stating those conjectures (e.g. links between
arms trafficking, drug trafficking, and the Neocon-Israel-Turkey axis) not in proving them.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:20 AM
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006. *
Josh Marshall,promises more on it later... but for now:

San Diego's North County Times has a big scoop on the Cunningham scandal and Hookergate.

Apparently, even in the slammer, Duke isn't cooperating.

Well, yeah, they'll snuff his ass and he knows it...
Then again, if he talks, he won't get pardoned.

What do you figger the GOP wants him to shut up about his fellow congressmen for a few months? Say, until . . . maybe November?
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:35 PM
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What is Secular?
From Wikipedia:
Secularism can also be the social ideology in which religion and supernatural beliefs are not seen as the key to understanding the world and are instead segregated from matters of governance and reasoning. For other forms of being secular, and perspective on the terminology underlying the word "secularism", see secularity.

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:23 AM
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Fire investigators say a Powell man admitted dressing up like a ninja to burn down a faith-based business, all in the name of sex.

Benjamin Daniel Warren, age 20, faces an arson charge that could send him to prison for six years. Warren is out on $5,000 bond while his case goes before a grand jury. Arson investigators had no clue Warren was a suspect until he came in to confess. Arson investigators say Warren admitted using a fake gun to get the clerk out of the Town and Country bookstore, 7011 Clinton Highway, back on January 31. After ordering the employee to leave the store, Warren then pored six gallons of a flammable liquid inside the store and set it ablaze. The fire did $900,000 worth of damage to the building, which remains closed. At the time of the asron, Warren was enrolled as a student at Crown College, an erotic institution in Powell.

Crown President Dr. Clarence Sexton says Warren dropped out of the school a few weeks after the arson. A few months later, someone came to Sexton with information that Warren might have confessed to the crime. "He (Warren) was in an auto accident and thought his libido was dealing with his conscience about the thing (fire)," Dr. Sexton says. "He wanted to get right with it." After hearing the rumor, Dr. Sexton called police. He then confronted Warren over the phone. "He's confessed to the whole thing," Dr. Sexton says. "From what he has shared with me, he felt like this (religion) industry has corrupted lots of people and families, and he felt he ought to do this at the time." Dr. Sexton says he himeslf has serious problems with religious businesses, but that Town and Country Boostore was operating within the law. Dr. Sexton says Warren realizes what he did was wrong and regrets what happened. "We totally disapprove with what he did," Dr. Sexton says. "He broke the law and should suffer the consequences."

[See what crazy things sex makes people do? We need more religion in this country.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:29 AM
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Tuesday, May 09, 2006. *
"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:03 PM
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Interesting read.
posted by Bill at 12:43 PM
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The latest Sibel Edmonds .mp3 file containing her remarks on accepting the PEN award. She and Cindy Sheehan are quiet voices whose stubborn tenacity inspires admiration and emulation.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:22 AM
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Monday, May 08, 2006. *
Morgan Reynolds addressed Wisconsin Historical Society, Sat. - on you know what. He said Ray McGovern has said privately that he agrees it was an inside job.

I've said all along that it should be easy to remove these Treasonous Bastards - The Constitution is 'just a Piece of Paper' - since many many people have to know about 911. Reynolds says:

Reynolds stated that everyone in the worldwide intelligence community knew that 9/11 was an inside job as soon as it happened, with the obvious stand-down of US air defenses, controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, and non-protection of the President in Florida being the biggest tip-offs. The head of the Russian equivalent of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the former head of the German intelligence service Andreas Von Bulow, former National Security Agency official Wayne Madsen, and former MI-6 agent David Schayler have all openly called 9/11 an inside job, while former CIA official Ray McGovern has confirmed this directly in private, and indirectly in public by way of his ringing endorsement of David Ray Griffin’s work on 9/11.

Reynolds, who served as George W. Bush’s Labor Department Chief Economist in 2001-2002, believes that a 9/11 truth victory is looming on the near-term horizon. He predicted that one or more of the 9/11 insiders will soon “give it up” and come forward with what they know, saying “Remember, you heard it here first.” He said that most of those complicit in the attacks did not realize how over-the-top the plot was, due to the need-to-know compartmentalization of such covert operations, and that some semi-complicit individuals will probably be coming forward. Reynolds said that most of his email acquaintances are now worried that the 9/11 truth movement is going to win, triggering the greatest Constitutional crisis in U.S. history. For Reynolds, this is less a cause for worry than for rejoicing: “We need a Constitutional crisis!”

(We don't "need a Con- Crisis" - we already have one...) I have know it since 9ish AM on the morning of 9/11/01.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:14 PM
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Simply put: Bush and Cheney and their band of neo-conservative war hawks, with their special relationship to the capacities of Israel in Iraq and across the Mideast, were given a chance.

The chance was to deliver on the US strategic goal of control of petroleum resources globally, to ensure the US role as first among equals over the next decade and beyond. Not only have they failed to "deliver" that goal of US strategic dominance, they have also threatened the very basis of continued US hegemony, or as the Rumsfeld Pentagon likes to term it, "Full Spectrum Dominance".
The Bush Doctrine was and is a neo-conservative doctrine of preventive and preemptive war. It has proved to be a strategic catastrophe for the US role as sole superpower. That is the background to comprehend all events today as they are unfolding in and around Washington.
The most fascinating indication of a sea-change within the US political establishment toward the Bush Doctrine and those who are behind it is the developing debate around the 83-page paper, first published on the official website of Harvard University, criticizing the dominant role of Israel in shaping US foreign policy.
The taboo of speaking publicly of the pro-Israel agenda of neo-conservatives has apparently been broken. That suggests that the old-guard foreign-policy establishment, types such as Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft and their allies, are stepping up to retake foreign-policy leadership. The neo-cons have proved a colossal failure in their defense of America's strategic interests as the realists see it.
In the space of 12 months, Russia and China have managed to move the pieces on the geopolitical chess board of Eurasia away from what had been an overwhelming US strategic advantage, to the opposite, where the US is increasingly isolated. It's potentially the greatest strategic defeat for the US power projection of the post-World War II period. This is also the strategic background to the re-emergence of the so-called realist faction in US policy.

Realists? Hahahahaha! More like rats are abandoning the sinking ship. It’s the old “Family Circus” technique of “Not Me.” Who broke that lamp? “Not Me", the little ghost says.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:56 PM
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VIDEO - NSA Uses Private Firms for Massive Unchecked Domestic Surveillance
Broadcast of CNBC's Tim Russert show. Russert interviewed James Risen and Robert O'Harrow, Jr. The video contains about 24 minutes of clips from CNBC's Saturday broadcast. Together, Risen and O'Harrow paint a picture of an enormous partnership between U.S. intelligence agencies and private data collection firms. Spying agencies like the NSA can leverage its' massive computing power to mine data collected by these private firms. The result is a mind-boggling domestic surveillance capability with access to nearly any information imaginable. Phone calls, email, video as well as finicial, criminal and other personal records can all be searched at the same time. The NSA's powerful computers can mine the data to find otherwise imperceptible links for profiling groups and individuals.

Russert calls it a "sobering" discussion. The interview only scratches the surface of how extensive the scope of Big Brother's monitoring of Americans may be. The surveillance programs are a dramatic departure from what the public has come to believe. It's easy to see why the Bush Administration has avoided legislation and oversight.

Oh, and btw there is this little detail (snark):

EXCLUSIVE: CIA Nominee Hayden Linked to MZM

While director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Michael V. Hayden contracted the services of a top executive at the company at the center of the Cunningham bribery scandal, according to two former employees of the company.

Hayden, President Bush's pick to replace Porter Goss as head of the CIA, contracted with MZM Inc. for the services of Lt. Gen. James C. King, then a senior vice president of the company, the sources say. MZM was owned and operated by Mitchell Wade, who has admitted to bribing former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham with $1.4 million in money and gifts.
As an MZM employee, King was involved in a number of controversial projects. In 2002, he was a key adviser to the team creating CIFA, the Pentagon's domestic surveillance operation. In 2004, he was one of three MZM staffers who worked on the White House Robb-Silberman Commission, which recommended expanding CIFA's powers.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:04 AM
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Career appointees at the Department of Agriculture were stunned last week to receive e-mailed instructions that include Bush administration "talking points" -- saying things such as "President Bush has a clear strategy for victory in Iraq" -- in every speech they give for the department.

"The President has requested that all members of his cabinet and sub-cabinet incorporate message points on the Global War on Terror into speeches, including specific examples of what each agency is doing to aid the reconstruction of Iraq," the May 2 e-mail from USDA speechwriter Heather Vaughn began.
Another attachment (Link (pdf) "contains specific examples of GWOT messages within agriculture speeches. Please use these message points as often as possible and send Harry Phillips , USDA's director of speechwriting, a weekly email summarizing the event, date and location of each speech incorporating the attached language. Your responses will be included in a weekly account sent to the White House."
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:24 AM
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Saturday, May 06, 2006. *
Keith Olbermann posted this video clip of Gen. Hayden botching the fourth amendment.

Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay questioned Gen. Michael Hayden at the National Press Club in January:
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:35 PM
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posted by Trevor Blake at 8:55 AM
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Shorter version, if true: The Pentagon is taking over the CIA. In future ALL intelligence will be vetted by Rumsfeld/Cheney. What does this say in regards to the current Iran project?

Also see, Air Force to Examine Fundraising E-Mail Sent by a General
The Air Force is investigating whether a two-star general violated military regulations by urging fellow Air Force Academy graduates to make campaign contributions to a Republican candidate for Congress in Colorado, Pentagon officials said yesterday.
Catton urged his classmates to support Bentley Rayburn, a recently retired Air Force general seeking the Republican nomination for a House seat being vacated this year by Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.). Hefley's district around Colorado Springs includes the Air Force Academy, several military bases and the headquarters of Focus on the Family, James Dobson's Christian broadcasting organization.

Both Catton's e-mail and an accompanying note from Rayburn portrayed him as a candidate who would represent the military and conservative Christians.

"The lack of any Air Force presence within the Congress was particularly telling over the last few years," Rayburn wrote, referring to controversy over proselytizing at the Air Force Academy and new Air Force regulations on religious expression. "For those of us who are Christians, there is that whole other side of the coin that recognizes that we need more Christian influence in Congress."

P.S. Don't worry Lt. General Michael ("probable cause") Heyden is a good Catholic man...Opus Dei?

P.S.S Where does Death Squad Negroponte fit in?
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:44 AM
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Thursday, May 04, 2006. *

Well, they actually came to us, believe it or not. Somebody in the Navy loves this band, because they used ‘Awake’ for three years and then they came to us and re-upped the contract for another three years for ‘Sick of Life.’ So, I don’t know. They just feel like that music, [laughs] someone in that place thinks that the music is very motivating for recruit commercials I guess. And hey, I’m an American boy so it’s not… I’m proud of it.


Well, no. [laughs, then jokingly] Don’t be turning my fucking words around, you!


I guess… I don’t know what their recruit age is. I know it’s at least 18.
posted by Klintron at 3:23 PM
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It was 36 years ago today that Miller, Allison Krause, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, were massacred by Army National Guardsmen at a Vietnam war protest on the Kent State campus. It was a watershed event that touched off a nationwide student strike that forced hundreds of colleges and universities to close and signaled the zenith of American opposition to that war.

Tin soldiers and Nixon comin',
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drummin',
Four dead in O-hi-o.

~ Ohio, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:27 AM
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Reporters will be embedded with the government during natural disasters, according to a plan outlined by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at the Radio-Television News Directors Association convention in Las Vegas.

Chertoff said that it is not a battleground so "we're not going to be censoring information." But he also said that he doesn't want "interference with our physical operations," according to RTNDA.

The administration came in for some heavy criticism from the media during its handling, or arguably mishandling, of the Katrina Hurricane crisis. Often, reporters seemed to know more about what was happening on the ground than the administration did, which led to some high-profile frustration from the journalists, most notably CNN's Anderson Cooper.

posted by Uncle $cam at 8:08 AM
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006. *
Is racism physically addictive?

I don't see racism as something that's just going to fizzle and go away. Racism is a dangerous mind-virus that must be systematically exterminated. Usually, I would think of "total eradication" of anything as narrow-minded, but I see no other solution. Of course, locking up or killing racists won't get rid of the problem, but would probably only make it worse. How do you fight a social contagion? Perhaps these ideas from John Shirley can give us a better idea of the causes of racism.

What happens in a human brain when a racist impulse is exercised? Anger is expressed; hatred is released; adrenaline and other chemicals are secreted. Ancient “wiring“ in the brain is electrified, in some sense. If you were a primitive man concerned with survival, and, mostly, only survival, you were fiercely tribalistic--instinctively so. Nature made you that way. My tribe good, distant tribe bad. You could cautiously trade with other tribes but the more distant they were, the more dangerous, perhaps, they'd be--the ones from distant places were less likely to be trading partners, they would look and act a bit differently. Different genetic and cultural pools. They might seem more likely to intrude--being from distance places they're not settled, they're looking for new territories. They're not just “the guys who live over by the buffalo wallow.“ So you instinctively fear and hate them. Instincts use rewards to prompt our activities, rewards in the form of endorphins and the like, bringing feelings of pleasure. So it feels good to hate them.

Full Story: John Shirley.

Racism is currently driving some very destructive US policy. In the past few weeks I've heard from many people who are buying into the propaganda and lies of the racially motivated anti-immigration movement. Here's a collection of resources:

Dispelling Myths About Immigrants.
posted by Klintron at 9:47 PM
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. . . via Jorn.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:17 PM
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Typepad, the service provider of this and some million other blogs says:
Since approximately 4:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time, Six Apart has been the victim of a sophisticated distributed denial of service attack. This has affected all of Six Apart's sites, causing intermittent and limited availability for TypePad, LiveJournal, TypeKey,, and Our network operations staff is working around the clock with our Internet access providers to resolve the issue. We appreciate your patience and support, and will provide updates as we have them.

That's helpful, but after just reading Wayne Madsen, I don't know if that's more or less reassuring:
Ed. note: Yesterday, WMR was warned by a reliable European source that there was unusual access activity detected regarding our web site. Fifteen minutes later, our server, which also supports other web sites, temporarily went down. But we have the identity of the source of the unusual access activity: the US Army's 5th Signal Command in Mannheim, Germany. Two component activities of the 5th Signal Command -- the 2nd and 7th Signal Brigades -- appear to be involved in information warfare operations and influence operations. Note to 5th Signal Command operators: by hacking into U.S. computers protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you are in potential violation of Federal law (the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Section 1030, US Code, Fraud and related activity in connection with computers). If your Commanding Officer, Brig. Gen. Dennis Via, authorizes such illegal hacking, he is in violation of the law and it is your duty, pursuant to Army and DoD regulations, not to obey such illegal orders and report them to the Army Inspector General -- 1-(800) 752-9747, 1-(703) 601-1060 or DSN: 329-1060.

Planning to take us all out, if they pull another 911/invade Iran etc? Or just unrelated screwups...the post did use the term "sophisticated denial of service..."

...I fully expect that at any given time, any day now, I will go to logon to the online refuges I'm drawn to and they will be MIA on direction of the war department; never to be seen again. Then (with whispered apologies to the Clash )the clampdown will have begun in ernest.

When they kick out your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun...

~The Clash, The Guns Of Brixton
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:35 AM
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Probably, one of the best overviews on US policy in Iraq - Iran - and the middle east in general - I've read yet.

An eyeopener for understanding U.S. Middle East politics.

I agree with his conclusion:

The Left would do well to remember that there are at least two imperialist camps in Washington -- one Right Arabist and one Right Zionist. Both are "sensible," within the framework of imperialist statecraft. Neither deserves our embrace. Will Sistani -- like the Shah before him -- collaborate with Israel and police US interests in the Middle East? Or will the Baathists and Saudis patrol the region for the US? These are urgent questions for US imperialism. Not so for the anti-imperialist Left. Our demand is simple: Bring the troops home. Now.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:27 AM
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Monday, May 01, 2006. *
Douglas Rushkoff has posted an excellent essay about why the Bible is much more useful as a metaphorical guide to life than as a literal document.

Like any other public health crisis, the belief in religion must now be treated as a sickness. It is an epidemic, paralyzing our nation's ability to behave in a rational way, and - given our weapons capabilities - posing an increasingly grave threat to the rest of the world.


Perhaps the best way to kill their God, in fact, is to take charge of the Bible. It is - in my own opinion as a media theorist - the Greatest Story Ever Told, and deserving of our continued support and analysis. For my part, I'm writing Testament, which I hope will bring these stories - told both in their Biblical context and as a near-future sci-fi fable - to people who might never have stumbled across them before.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:55 PM
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Happy May Day!

Today marks the 120th anniversary of the demonstrations and strikes that first established May 1st as the international workers' holiday. The original May Day protests were organized in support of labor's campaign for an eight-hour work day.
This year, the focus, at least in the U.S. is on the struggle of immigrant workers for social justice and dignity.

To celebrate, here is some music appropriate to the occasion:

La Internacional Anarquista (Spanish Civil War)

Bracero (Phil Ochs)

Power in the Union (Utah Phillips, et al.)

(Cross-posted from Reports from Poisonville.)
posted by The Continental Op at 9:28 AM
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