American Samizdat

Friday, June 30, 2006. *
Wonderfull, just wonderfull.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:22 PM
Post a Comment

Am I being watched? Are you?

Remember when we discussed the secret room in San Francisco where ATT redirects internet traffic to NSA monitors? Wired has outlined a way to find out if your net activity is going there -- and thus, presumably, to Uncle

The Wired site isn't accessible at this writing, but the story was republished in pertinent part by the Left Coaster. Basically, the technique is pretty simple.

If you're running Windows, go to Start/Run/cmd to get to the DOS prompt.

Then type tracert

Your computer will then try to find a path to the NSA (whose IP number is in 30 easy steps. This process will take a little while.

The NSA's IP number probably won't show up in your traceroute -- but that's not the location you're really looking for. What you're looking for is that small room in San Francisco. Which means that the following string is key:

If those letters show up at any point in the trace route, you MAY have trouble. Here is what Wired writer Kevin Poulsen says:
If it's present immediately above or below a entry, then -- by [AT&T whistleblower Mark] Klein's allegations -- your packets are being copied into room 641A, and from there, illegally, to the NSA.

Of course, if internet pioneer and former FCC advisor J. Scott Marcus (who held a Top Secret security clearance) is correct, and AT&T has installed these secret rooms all around the country, then any entry in your route is a bad sign.
Naturally, I tried this trick. Naturally, the magic string -- -- showed up in my traceroute.

Two steps above it was an IP connected to my service provider. Sandwiched between this (quite legitimate) address and that dreaded room in San Francisco was this number: I used this service to check out who owns that number; the trail led to a building in downtown L.A. An NSA outpost? Hell if I know.

Below the sffca number, the information was routed to another location in Saint Louis, and from there to in Washington, DC. From there, it went to a mysterious number in...Ohio.

At this point, my soi-disant computer savvy has reached its limit, and I'm not sure how to interpret the info. Where does paranoia end and legitimate concern begin? We need a True Geek to speak with authority on this matter.

Try this trick at home, kids. Tell me what you come up with. Perhaps someone who knows more about tracert can tell us whether those addresses really do spell trouble.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:13 PM
Post a Comment

Henry Rollins "Liar". There are about a million of links to choose from.
Let's go with the obvious one.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:21 AM
Post a Comment

posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:40 AM
Post a Comment

Thursday, June 29, 2006. *
Front page, click for PDF (ugh...)

Here is the text:

National Security Whistleblowers Coalition

Contact: Sibel Edmonds, National Security Whistleblowers Coalition,

Whistleblowers Hold House & Senate Members Responsible
Whistleblowers’ Dirty Dozen

The following members of Congress, by their action or inaction, have stood against real investigations, hearings, and legislation dealing with government whistleblowers who have exposed waste, fraud, abuse, and or criminal activities within government agencies.

These representatives of the People are not only standing against whistleblowers, but against the public’s right to know, effective oversight, accountability, and ultimately against the democratic processes that underpin our society. (To see the pdf list click here).

We, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, together with whistleblower members of our partner coalitions, consider it our duty to advise Americans of these representatives’ collusion with government and private interests to the detriment of the People.

Our position is based on our concern for our nation’s security, for accountable government, and the People’s Right to Know what their representatives and government are doing in their name, all of which depend on vigorous congressional oversight.

Our stand is not based on any political ideology or party – our coalition members include Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents. We do not ask you to vote for or against these individuals; nor do we ask you to choose a particular candidate over another.

All we ask is that before you decide to vote, you consider the true positions of these representatives with regard to their lack of candor or courage on core issues that matter to our country’s well-being.

Over the years, time and again we have informed these representatives about illegal government actions, agency fraud, and lying to Congress by administrators and bureaucrats. Yet these representatives have consistently refused to take any action and have instead betrayed the People they have taken an oath to serve.

We hope that by appealing directly to the American people, we can help bring about needed reforms, since we have proven unsuccessful in our appeals to the following representatives: the Whistleblowers’ Dirty Dozen. ((pdf) click here).

1. Senator Hillary Clinton
2. Senator Mike DeWine
3. Rep. David Dreier
4. Rep. Dennis Hastert
5. Senator Orrin Hatch
6. Rep. Peter Hoekstra
7. Senator Jon Kyl
8. Senator Joseph Lieberman
9. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger
10. Senator Rick Santorum
11. Rep. James Sensenbrenner
12. Rep. Mark Souder

About National Security Whistleblowers Coalition
National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC), founded in August 2004, is an independent and nonpartisan alliance of whistleblowers who have come forward to address our nation’s security weaknesses; to inform authorities of security vulnerabilities in our intelligence agencies, at nuclear power plants and weapon facilities, in airports, and at our nation’s borders and ports; to uncover government waste, fraud, abuse, and in some cases criminal conduct. The NSWBC is dedicated to aiding national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods, including advocacy of governmental and legal reform, educating the public concerning whistleblowing activity, provision of comfort and fellowship to national security whistleblowers suffering retaliation and other harms, and working with other public interest organizations to affect goals defined in the NSWBC mission statement.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:59 PM
Post a Comment

Wednesday, June 28, 2006. *
Phil's Cool New Meme (Even the Kewl Kids are Repeating It..)

Open Letter to Earth Liberation Front:

1. After five books and about 2000 pages of evidence, I have concluded that the GOP purposely stole the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, not to mention numerous house and senate seats that haven't been looked at too closely.

2. I don't think nonviolent resistance can work in a reality where the vote has been and will be thwarted on a continuous basis.

3. I still can't sanction the taking of human life, but I'm quite comfortable with the destruction of things. In other words, instead of blowing up a car dealership or two, why not find the warehouses that are storing the machines and destroy the machines, preferably a day or two before the election so that the machines can't be replaced and you have to rely on a paper ballot--which is harder to hack. Just something to think about.


Philip Shropshire

(emailed to: )
posted by Philip Shropshire at 6:20 PM
Post a Comment

posted by Philip Shropshire at 5:30 PM
Post a Comment

CBS News: "Four Stars (Highest Rating).
The Scariest Damn Film You'll See This Year"
"FOUR STARS (Highest Rating). The scariest damn film you'll see this year. It will leave you staggering out of the theatre, slack-jawed and trembling. Makes 'Fahrenheit 9/11' look like 'Bambi.' After watching this movie, your comfy, secure notions about America -- and about what it means to be an American -- will be forever shattered. Producer/director Aaron Russo and the folks at Cinema Libre Studio deserve to be heralded as heroes of a post-modern New American Revolution. This is shocking stuff. You'll be angry, you'll be disgusted, but you may actually break out in a cold sweat and feel a sickness deep in your gut; I would advise movie theatre managers to hand out vomit bags. You may end up needing one."
--- Todd David Schwartz, CBS


The following interviews are available in the MP3 format. Open them with the MP3 software of your choice.

Coast to Coast AM with George Noory - Monday, May 15th
Aaron's interview took place in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th hours of the show
Each MP3 files is approximately 14MB 2nd Hour MP3
1st Hour with Jim & Gang Saturday May 13th 2006: Download MP3
KSFO Morning Show: Aaron interview with Lee Rogers and Melanie Morgan Tuesday morning May 9th 2006: Download MP3 (3.5MB)
Monday, April 24: Aaron's Interview on the Republic Broadcasting Network's National Intel Report with John Stadmiller Part 1 - MP3
Part 2 - MP3
March 25, 2006 AM 1150 Larry Sobel Interview Download MP3 (22MB)
Interviews here.

New 14 Minute Trailer Now Available!
Well worth viewing...
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:43 PM
Post a Comment

A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.


Strangely, the story was only covered in the Israeli Press.
posted by A.Q. at 4:01 PM
Post a Comment

An Interview with Steven Miles: The torture-endangered Society

From the second link:

There seem to be things Americans need to believe about themselves that require that we filter certain facts out of our awareness. In my work with the Hoover archives at Stanford, I came across documentation from an authoritative source who named 10 specific countries with which we partner in torture. We may not be the ones turning on the electricity, but our people are present when it happens. He claims this did not begin with 9/11.

Another source discussed the use of children in those experiments done decades ago.

Its interesting that there was a certain coyness about the data that came out of Iraq. The photographs that have been released so far are all photographs of men. Photographs of women have been retained and have not been released by the media sources that have them.

Sy Hersh said the other photos are much worse. He mentioned audio recordings of children screaming while being sodomized.

All of the prisoner deaths that have been included in official tabulations, which are admittedly incomplete -- curiously, you find references to the death of children by the Department of Defense only in footnotes. There is no reporting of kids’ deaths in official lists or in death certificates or anything else. So there are sets of this data that remain hidden. The data has obviously been scrubbed.

What have you seen ?

I have seen the footnotes referring to the kids' deaths and have seen credible evidence of sexual abuse described in Army investigations. I have not seen photos. I do not need to see them, but I have seen investigators’ reports.

Steve, aren’t we describing war crimes ?

Yes. We are describing war crimes and I think its important to name them for what they are for a couple of reasons. First, when you name it as a war crime, you hint at the reality of the things we have described, the gravity of the harms that have occurred. Second, in describing it as a war crime you also describe accurately the transgressions against a framework of justice and the damage to the civil order that would be avoided by pretending these are not war crimes. I think thats important to do.

You will also want to see James's post :here.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:49 AM
Post a Comment

Tuesday, June 27, 2006. *
Efforts to register new voters in Ohio will be undermined by rules written by Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and upheld yesterday by a state panel, critics said after a contentious hearing.

The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review voted along party lines not to invalidate the rules submitted by Blackwell, the Republican nominee for governor. Outvoted Democrats accused Blackwell of using the narrowest interpretation possible to suppress voter registration — especially among minority and poor residents.

"It’s just another example in a long laundry list of what Secretary Blackwell will do to trample voting rights," said Senate Democratic Leader C.J. Prentiss, of Cleveland. [more]
posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:46 PM
Post a Comment

File under the 'good news' dept.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:47 PM
Post a Comment

. . . if you haven't done so already.

"When I invented the Web, I didn't have to ask anyone's permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end in the USA."

--Tim Berners Lee, creator of the world wide web

Do not ever forget, that by giving in to the NSA, and by backing the corporate takeover of the internet with this anti-net neutrality bullshit, large telcos like AT&T, Verizon and Bell South have declared war on the American people.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:10 PM
Post a Comment

Cedar Grove Methodist Protestant Church
On 23 June 2006, the roof of the Cedar Grove Methodist Protestant Church near Thornsby, Alabama, collapsed. The building was made without the assistance of a professional architect or construction crew.

Jennifer Crossley reports: "Despite recent declarations by various authorities that the cause of Cedar Grove Methodist Protestant Church's roof collapse was due to lack of an architect and not treating the building as a commercial building, Jeff Carroll, pastor of Cedar Grove Methodist Protestant Church, says the church is not a commercial building but a house of God. "It's a house, even if the state says its commercial," he said yesterday. [...] Carroll said the Cedar Grove designs were done by church members after looking at pictures on the Internet. Later, hand drawings were made, then printed out on a computer program and used as blueprints. [...] He believes the separation of church and state should apply to state intervention into church construction as well. "If (the government) really believes that, they should stay completely out of the church's business," Carroll said. "I believe it's more of the state's way of taking over Christian rights. I feel like we're losing our liberties and rights every day." [...] "We didn't know we had to have any commercial approval.""

Greg Garrison reports: " The church sat empty Thursday night, so no one was injured when an 80-foot span of roof fell on the seating area for up to 500 people. "Just imagine if somebody's in there when it fell in," said Kippy Tate, director of the Alabama Building Commission. "If it killed somebody, then it doesn't matter how much money they saved. There needs to be a value placed on building and design professionals." [...] "By law, church facilities have to have an architect do the design work," said Cynthia Gainey, executive director of the Alabama Board of Architecture. "There's no exception for churches; churches are very clearly delineated as requiring an architect." [...] State law requires a licensed architect to design a building meant for public assembly, said state Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Thompson. "They still fall under a state building code and under architectural law.""

So many questions... Does the separation of church and state mean anyone can do anything they want as long as they call it 'religious?' Why did God allow or cause this building to collapse, and subsequently get the members of the church in legal and financial trouble? Why didn't God give them the money to hire a real architect, or find a nice Christian architect that would work for free? Does the world need another church?
posted by Trevor Blake at 2:57 PM
Post a Comment

of the Channel4 program where Richard Dawkins challenges faith calling it 'a process of non-thinking'. [~48 mins] Part Two: The Virus of Faith. [~48 mins][via mefi]
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:59 AM
Post a Comment

It's not that Kos (or Webb, for that matter) are outspoken critics of the special relationship [with Israel]. Far from it. But it is clear that the constituencies they represent, or hope to represent, are much more skeptical about U.S. intervention in the Middle East than the Democratic old guard -- which, let's face it, is practically welded to the Israel lobby. Even worse, this is all happening at a time when the Iraq quagmire is making the costs of our imperial role in the region painfully clear.

The very length of Billmon's post belies the "It's idiocy. Whatever." tone he establishes at its outset. And well it should. Billmon is quick to downplay that any of this might have its genesis at Karl Rove's desk (or trough... never been there myself), but there is quite a bit of buzz in this particular corner of the blogosphere about internet perception management.

Example: customscoop customer (or facsimile) no doubt

"NetVocates then recruits activists and consumers who share the clients views in order to reinforce those key messages on targeted blogs and rebut misinformation when appropriate."

or rebut the truth

I hardly ever read even read Kos' blog but if this seems like a swiftboat, it might be because it is a swiftboat. I won't defend a blog I hardly ever read (and by all accounts, I'm only missing out on the story as told by Corporate Party Lite), but I have every reason to believe that whisper campaigns don't generate themselves. And if a tentacle of the NYT is doing some of the whispering it might not be my tinfoil to suspect that there's something (else) rotten in the virtual state of Denmark.

If there's swiftboating afoot, it's disheartening to me that it is centered on a bastion of Corporate Lite instead of us here (or anyone else with any alternative politics). This means that while we will still feel the collateral damage of civil liberties lost, the PTB also still only view their spineless, snivelling, complicit political negative images as any kind of real threat to be duplicitously dealt with.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:30 AM
Post a Comment

I do think the recent brahooah about North Korea launching a Taepodong 2 missile (hint: there are serious doubts they do have such a thing) was a hoax.

But I didn´t know why this hoax was put out at that time. Here might be the reason:

The Pentagon is reportedly speeding up plans to deploy advanced Patriot interceptor missiles on U.S. bases in Japan for the first time, a countermeasure seen as a response to the increasing threat of North Korean missiles.

The Japanes didn´t really want those missiles to be stationed in Japan. The public opinion is against further US forces. So a bit of show was needed...

China's gonna be pleased no?

Also see:

A test missile fired from Hawaii was knocked down by a ship-based interceptor, using a Japanese ship for radar tracking. Officials say it's been planned for months, just happens to be coincidence that the test takes place in the Pacific with Japan's assistance, while North Korea threatens to test a new long-range missile, and some call for a strike against the missile...
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:44 AM
Post a Comment

In which a neoconservative jack-of-all-trades, a pair of Pentagon hawks, and an Iranian exile with a knack for tall tales try to outflank the CIA and conjure a coup in Tehran
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:43 AM
Post a Comment

Monday, June 26, 2006. *
Daniel Solove says, " NSA warrantless wiretaps. NSA collection of phone records. CIA gathering of financial records. The stories are endless. To help out reporters, I thought I'd just write a quick and easy template to make reporting a little bit easier." Excerpt:

Under a top secret program initiated by the Bush Administration after the Sept. 11 attacks, the [name of agency (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.)] have been gathering a vast database of [type of records] involving United States citizens.

"This program is a vital tool in the fight against terrorism," [Bush Administration official] said. "Without it, we would dangerously unsafe, and the terrorists would have probably killed you and every other American citizen." The Bush Administration stated that the revelation of this program has severely compromised national security.

"This program is a threat to privacy and civil liberties," [name of privacy advocate] said. But [name of spokesperson for Bush Administration] said: "This is a very limited program. It only contains detailed records about every American citizen. That's all. It does not compromise civil liberties. We have a series of procedures in place to protect liberty."
Via Boingboing
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:47 PM
Post a Comment

posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:54 PM
Post a Comment

posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:24 PM
Post a Comment

Republican congressional hopeful John Jacob believes the devil is impeding his efforts to unseat five-term Rep. Chris Cannon. "There's another force that wants to keep us from going to Washington, D.C.," Jacob told The Salt Lake Tribune. "It's the devil is what it is. I don't want you to print that, but it feels like that's what it is." [...]

Regarding the devil, Jacob said Thursday that since he decided to run for Congress, Satan has bollixed his business deals, preventing him from putting as much money into the race as he had hoped. Numerous business deals he had lined up have been delayed, freezing money he was counting on to finance his race. "You know, you plan, you organize, you put your budget together and when you have 10 things fall through, not just one, there's some other, something else that is happening," Jacob said.

Asked if he actually believed that "something else" was indeed Satan, Jacob said: "I don't know who else it would be if it wasn't him. Now when that gets out in the paper, I'm going to be one of the screw-loose people." Jacob said during a Wednesday immigration event that the devil was working against him, then reiterated his belief Thursday in a meeting with The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board. "There's a lot of adversity. There's no question I've had experiences that I think there's an outside force," he said.

Jacob, who, like Cannon and the rest of Utah's congressional delegation, is a Mormon, said he is not the only one who is being opposed by the devil. He said both Cannon and Sen. Bob Bennett have lost millions of dollars since going to Congress, and he believes their adversity is rooted in the same dark origins. Cannon chief of staff Joe Hunter said, "Chris would not attribute any adversities to any outside influence. "I'm not sure that Chris would even call them adversities. It's a conscious decision on Chris' part to do what's important to him. There's been far more important events in Chris' life than his business," he said.

Jacob explained that, when people try to do something good, there are frequently forces that align to stop them. "We have a country that was created by our Heavenly Father and it was a country that had a Constitution and everyone who came to America had strong faith. If that can be destroyed that would be the adversity. ... Whether you want to call that Satan or whoever you want to call it, I believe in the last eight months I've experienced that."

[Sure. If you plan for something then it has to happen, because you planned for it and you really wanted it. If it doesn't happen then an invisible monster that lives in the ground ruined it. The existing countries on the North American continent were not pleasing to the invisible monster that lives in the sky so Europeans and their invisible sky-monster-sanctioned slaves made a better country. Everyone that moved to the United States had a strong faith, and their ability to kill each other and the natives shows who the invisible sky-monster wanted to live and who the invisible sky-monster wanted to die. Plus he's not just a Christian, but a Mormon. I'd give this guy my vote, no question.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:44 AM
Post a Comment

For centuries, we have been told that without religion we are no more than egotistic animals fighting for our share, our only morality that of a pack of wolves; only religion, it is said, can elevate us to a higher spiritual level. Today, when religion is emerging as the wellspring of murderous violence around the world, assurances that Christian or Muslim or Hindu fundamentalists are only abusing and perverting the noble spiritual messages of their creeds ring increasingly hollow. What about restoring the dignity of atheism, one of Europe's greatest legacies and perhaps our only chance for peace?

More than a century ago, in "The Brothers Karamazov" and other works, Dostoyevsky warned against the dangers of godless moral nihilism, arguing in essence that if God doesn't exist, then everything is permitted. The French philosopher André Glucksmann even applied Dostoyevsky's critique of godless nihilism to 9/11, as the title of his book, "Dostoyevsky in Manhattan," suggests.

This argument couldn't have been more wrong: The lesson of today's terrorism is that if God exists, then everything, including blowing up thousands of innocent bystanders, is permitted - at least to those who claim to act directly on behalf of God, since, clearly, a direct link to God justifies the violation of any merely human constraints and considerations. In short, fundamentalists have become no different than the "godless" Stalinist Communists, to whom everything was permitted, since they perceived themselves as direct instruments of their divinity, the Historical Necessity of Progress Toward Communism.

[Article continues at link.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 1:54 AM
Post a Comment

Sunday, June 25, 2006. *
The White House is nearing an agreement with Congress on legislation that would write President Bush's warrantless surveillance program into law, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday.

[Article continues, Constitution ends.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 5:34 PM
Post a Comment

The video game Left Behind seemed destined to tear a giant fiery swath of controversy through the digital landscape. Based on the series of novels of the same name, Left Behind is a Christian-themed game set in New York City, a few years after the arrival of the Anti-Christ and the ascent of one-third of the world's population (presumably the "good third") into heaven. As a player, you must direct and expand the "Tribulation Force," a military organization that attempts to either convert or kill the remaining population. [...]

Now, as if the game itself was not controversial enough, it has been discovered that the publishers, Left Behind Games (a publicly traded company, even) have added money-changers to their particular temple. The game comes fully loaded with what some would term built-in spyware, in the form of in-game advertising that tracks the amount of time ads are seen, how often the game is played, and the player's geographical and personal information. It then sends this data back to the advertiser's servers.

[Article continues. I would like to add that this is not a terrorist training game because it portrays Christians killing thousands of unbelievers in New York City. If it portrayed Muslims killing thousands of unbelievers in New York City, then it would be a terrorist training game. Because some superstitions are more equal than others.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:53 AM
Post a Comment

While an abrupt, overnight switch in the propaganda machine's output from stay-the-course-forever to cut-and-run-to victory might grate on the ears of those of us who still haven't quite adjusted to the Fox News era, I doubt the vast majority of the American people will care -- or even notice. They'll just be happy that the war is "over" and the boys and girls will be coming home, allowing them to forget the whole disagreeable business. Anyone who believes otherwise must have slept through the last few elections.

Sooner or later, of course, the clueless idiots will find out that the war -- the real war, the war for the Middle East -- isn't over, and isn't likely to be over in their lifetimes, or even their children's lifetimes. But it's probably safe to assume that the first Tuesday in November will have come and gone by then.

Also see:
Fox Gets ‘Fair And Balanced’ Access to Guantanamo
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:43 AM
Post a Comment

Saturday, June 24, 2006. *
Book Review: A Question of Torture
Note: To commemorate American Samizdat's 7,000th post, I provide the following, which is merely a very rough draft of a book review I hope to submit later this summer. Feedback is certainly welcome. Also available at my humble blog.

Book Review

A. W. McCoy. A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006. ISBN 0-8050-8041-4.

Those of us who have been horrified by American atrocities committed at locations such as Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay, and have wondered how the US became a notorious perpetrator of torture will want to read McCoy's (2006) latest book, A Question of Torture. What McCoy provides is a scholarly and readable historical account of the CIA'?s role as an innovator of modern torture techniques beginning in the late 1940s and continuing on to the present.

McCoy's book highlights early efforts by the CIA to research mind control drugs in response to allegations that the Soviet Union was pioneering the use of these drugs as part of its own interrogation regimen. A number of years of research on a variety of psychoactive drugs, including LSD, failed to yield an effective mind control drug that could elicit information from suspected spies.

Of more pertinence to psychologists is McCoy's coverage of the shift in focus by the CIA from developing mind control drugs to researching key behavioral components of psychological torture. The ground-breaking work by psychologist D.O. Hebb on sensory deprivation in particular would inspire many of the torture techniques currently utilized by US-run military prisons. The second key element that was researched and developed by CIA-backed psychological research was self-inflicted pain based upon techniques pioneered by the KGB (such as forced postures for lengthy periods of time). The third key element of interest to the CIA regarded the situational factors needed to produce torturers. As McCoy notes, Stanley Milgram's (1974) research on destructive obedience - research that turned out to be funded covertly by the CIA - demonstrated that practically anyone could be turned into a torturer. These elements would be refined by the CIA and put into practice beginning in the 1960s.

One thing that McCoy covers in his chapter on psychological research is the persistent lapses in ethics. Many human participants in these various experiments were subjected to sensory deprivation and self-inflicted pain techniques served involuntarily and had no means of escaping the experimental environment. Psychiatric patients and prisoners in particular were targeted for such experimentation. Experiments relying on voluntary human participants often failed to provide adequate informed consent to these individuals, as in the case of Milgram's experiments on obedience. As McCoy notes, the negative psychological consequences (such as amnesia) for human participants as a result of being exposed to extreme sensory deprivation or self-inflicted pain was often long-lasting (even in experiments relying on voluntary participation).

McCoy goes on in subsequent chapters to outline how the CIA put these new torture techniques into practice, as well as efforts to export these techniques to various other US client states, as well as the human toll exacted on the victims. In addition McCoy provides us with a context for understanding the persistence of the use of psychological torture in the years after the end of the Cold War, as the US government shifted ultimately to a new War on Terror. Although some effort was made by the US government in the 1990s to cease the use of torture, the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks provided cover for torture'?s advocates including Alberto Gonzales (now Attorney General), John Yoo, Donald Rumsfeld, and General Geoffrey Miller.

McCoy closes the book with a summary of the effectiveness of torture. The bottom line is that at least two millennia of experience in practicing torture in its various forms have failed to yield accurate information from its victims. In fact, McCoy suggests that the persistent reliance on torture is more of a reflection of the psychological needs of government leaders in times of crisis than as a means of pursuing truth.

For psychologists desiring a historical context within which to place the US government's current use of torture and who desire the context within which the current debate within the psychological profession regarding appropriate ethical guidelines for psychologists working in military prisons, McCoy's book is an excellent resource.

posted by Don Durito at 10:23 PM
Post a Comment

Mandatory Punitive Christianity: Two Perspectives
Terry Fiedler reports: "Cory Schnurrer washed out of a boot-camp-style rehabilitation program at Willow River state prison, but things are different now. He's behind bars in Lino Lakes, immersed in Bible study. 'I totally committed to Christ,' said Schnurrer, 35, of New Ulm.

"A convicted cocaine dealer, he is among 165 other inmates taking part in an unusual, intensive Christianity program at Lino Lakes prison called the InnerChange Freedom Initiative. They spend six hours a day in religious activities, from early-morning devotions to revival meetings and Bible-based discussions of values. They live apart from other inmates and are guaranteed a job, housing and a volunteer church mentor once they get out.

"InnerChange's faith-based rehabilitation, now at six prisons nationally, is touted by some as a powerful way to turn ruined lives around. But it also is the focus of growing controversy.

"A federal judge in Iowa just ruled that a similar program there is unconstitutional because, using state funds, it coerces inmates to convert to Christianity."

And WJLA-TV reports: "A judge has ruled that a Bible-based prison program violates the First Amendment's freedom of religion clause by using state funds to promote Christianity to inmates. Prison Fellowship Ministries, which was sued in 2003 by an advocacy group, was ordered Friday to cease its program at the Newton Correctional Facility and repay the state $1.53 million.

'This calls into question the funding for so many programs,' said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed the suit. 'Anyone who doesn't stop it is putting a giant 'sue me' sign on top of their building.'

Lynn's group accused Prison Fellowship Ministries of giving preferential treatment to inmates participating in the program. They were given special visitation rights, movie-watching privileges, access to computers and access to classes needed for early parole.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt called the perks 'seemingly minor benefits' that constituted unfair treatment to those not in the religious program. Despite any claims of rehabilitating inmates, the program 'impermissibly endorses religion,' Pratt wrote."

[When you are an atheist, you accept deeply that you might be mistaken about things and (1) strive to learn from your mistakes and (2) give others the chance to make mistakes and learn from them. When you are a theist, you have an invisible monster that lives in the sky on your side and (1) anything you want to do you can (2) if other people think different then they can be forced to change their mind. Which do you prefer? Which should be enfranchised in law and supported by tax dollars? Which was the intention of the authors of the Constitution of the United States of America?] [PS: Thanks to anon for spelling corrections.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 10:50 AM
Post a Comment

Several books considered controversial by some will remain part of the collection at the Nampa Public Library, but they might not be accessible to library patrons. [...] Randy Jackson complained to the board about [“The Joy of Sex" and "The Joy of Gay Sex"], which he feels are pornographic in nature, and too easily accessible by children and teens, “I believe that the library board did not have the best interests of the community in mind when they made their decision today.” [...] Jackson checked out a copy of the book "The Joy of Gay Sex", and he says he has no plans to return it.

[That's so gay.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:41 AM
Post a Comment

Gil Scott Heron's "Lady Day and Coltrane". I couldn't stop playing this. I'm sure Gil Scott, who I saw live waaaay back in the 70s opening up for Earth Wind and Fire, would have approved of the cute dancing white girl, even if certain parties don't like it when we dance.
posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:31 AM
Post a Comment

Trail of Dead "Mistakes and Regrets"
posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:25 AM
Post a Comment

Jimi Hendrix "Killing Floor"

posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:17 AM
Post a Comment

Friday, June 23, 2006. *
..NATO is taking a shot at developing what appears to be a similar version of a multimedia “grand database,” as the Dept. of Defense formerly referred to the system. According to procurement documents that TPR has obtained, NATO already has developed a prototype electronic master-database designed to hold “large amounts of data” on people and “regions of interest” around the globe. The organization now wants to enhance that prototype system, and intends to bring aboard private contractors, trained in cognitive psychology and experienced in “human factors analysis,” to assess the system and make recommendations for its continued modernization.

The current prototype is designed to “assist with the identification of inter-relationships,” as well as to provide a limited software-based “visualization capability” for analysts working collaboratively in person and increasingly online. This “System of Systems” analysis capability, which is currently under development, envisions the creation of human-to-machine and human-to-human tools for use by NATO nations, whom eventually will work together to collect and analyze information “on a broad scale."

Once this aspect of NATO's transformation is complete, the organization will be better equipped to “provide information and analysis within and across the political, military, economic, social, infrastructure and information domains,” the statement of work (SOW) says. Consequently, NATO nations will be more adept at “identifying individuals and physical entities (including their capabilities, vulnerabilities, and inter-relationships) of adversary, non-aligned and friendly nations and groups,” according to the SOW.

The organization now wants to enhance that prototype system, and intends to bring aboard private contractors, trained in cognitive psychology and experienced in “human factors analysis,” to assess the system and make recommendations for its continued modernization.

WTF? acute mania...
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:51 PM
Post a Comment

Thanks for getting us back up Doc. Plus: And thanks for giving us a forum to post unpopular ideas, no matter how true they happen to be.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:38 PM
Post a Comment

posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:52 AM
Post a Comment

Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.

The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database.
Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.
Swift's database provides a rich hunting ground for government investigators. Swift is a crucial gatekeeper, providing electronic instructions on how to transfer money among 7,800 financial institutions worldwide. The cooperative is owned by more than 2,200 organizations, and virtually every major commercial bank, as well as brokerage houses, fund managers and stock exchanges, uses its services. Swift routes more than 11 million transactions each day, most of them across borders.

Also see:
Brokers give police private phone data

Federal and local police across the country — as well as some of the nation’s best-known companies — have been gathering Americans’ phone records from private data brokers without subpoenas or warrants.

These brokers, many of whom market aggressively across the Internet, have broken into customer accounts online, tricked phone companies into revealing information and sometimes acknowledged that their practices violate laws, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Congressional investigators estimated the U.S. government spent $30 million last year buying personal data from private brokers. But that number likely understates the breadth of transactions, since brokers said they rarely charge law-enforcement agencies.
The records also list some of America’s most famous corporate names — from automakers to insurers to banks — as purchasing information on private citizens from data brokers, which often help companies track down delinquent customers.

For instance, a 2003 customer list for data broker Universal Communications Company listed Ford Motor Credit Co., the automaker’s lending arm, as the single largest purchaser of phone toll records, paying $17,435 to buy such data that year. In all, Ford’s lending arm spent more than $50,000 with that data broker that year. Ford also paid $9,000 to another such company, Global Information Group, in 2004, the records state.


Continued lessons of entropy in the saga of American Enantiodromia.

This make me so angry I want to stomp on baby ducks!
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:23 AM
Post a Comment

Thursday, June 22, 2006. *
It's real simple. The NSA is parked in every telephone and cable complex in America today. They are "hot wired" into the phone systems and the Internet. Knowing the ISP's and IP addresses of every blog site on the Internet, (and every poster for that matter), it would be simple to introduce 'white noise', which would subtley affect 'hand shakes' in message upload and download, and slow undesirable blogs to a crawl, all without any sign of "deliberate malicious intent". Hey, it's just static.

Or ... it's ISS QSO's!

I mean, how the heck do we really know what they're doing up there, looking down on US?

heh, sometime ya gotta laugh, ya know...


President Cheney plans to announce tomorrow the suspension of US mid-term elections in November. Instead the US government will hold an all-day televised extravaganza, wherein Detroit muscle cars driven by Republican Senators, will execute so-called high-speed "drifting" manuevers within a circular concourse, each fantasy car equipped with a stainless cheese grater, and applied by the drifting and dueling mid-term Senators to a mammoth block of USDA surplus cheese substitute.

The accumulated piles of grated cheese will determine who automatically returns to Congress, and who has to 'face the music' with their voter district, in a run-off election with themselves.

The mountain of grated cheese will be donated to single-parent families who can't afford a TV to watch this incredible media extravaganza!
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:26 PM
Post a Comment

Source: The Nation, June 14, 2006

"Who needs Hill & Knowlton when you've got Benador Associates?" asks Larry Cohler-Esses in The Nation. Cohler-Esses examines a rapidly-debunked May 2006 story in Canada's National Post, which claimed that Iran's government was requiring Jewish residents to wear a yellow insignia. That story was planted by the PR firm Benador Associates,, according to its president, Eleana Benador. The firm's "stable of writers and activists" reads like "a Who's Who of the neocon movement," including Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Frank Gaffney and Amir Taheri, an Iranian exile who wrote the false story. Cohler-Esses notes that Taheri's 1989 book, Nest of Spies, was also debunked for citing "nonexistent sources," fabricating "nonexistent substance in cases where the sources existed," and distorting the facts "beyond recognition." Last year, Taheri falsely claimed that Iran's current ambassador to the United Nations took part in the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Yet, Taheri was part of an "Iraq experts" briefing of President Bush last month. "My major concern is the large picture," Benador told Cohler-Esses. "As much as being accurate is important, in the end it's important to side with what's right. What's wrong is siding with the terrorists."
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:49 AM
Post a Comment

Protecting the Children
Jill Zeman reports: "Lawyers for gay couples told the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday that a policy banning homosexuals from becoming foster parents is unconstitutional, but the state argued that it protects children's moral and spiritual welfare.

"Because the state has banned gay marriage, and its Child Welfare Agency Review Board bars unmarried couples who live together from becoming foster parents, gay couples cannot have foster children, said Kathy L. Hall, attorney for the Department of Health and Human Services.

"The state is appealing a 2004 lower court decision that found the welfare board's 1999 ban to be unconstitutional.

"The state's utmost concern is the health, safety and welfare of foster children, 'and that can't happen in a home where unmarried sex occurs,' Hall said."

[Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that the state has as much interest in the 'spiritual welfare' of children as it does the 'esp welfare' of children, and examine how another state solves the problem of children having sex...]

CNN reports: "A 15-year-old girl can enter into a common-law marriage in Colorado, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. Younger girls and boys may also be able to marry.

"While the three-judge panel stopped short of setting a specific minimum age for such marriages, it said they could be legal for girls at 12 and boys at 14 under English common law, which Colorado recognizes. "

[If I wrote the laws, I'd say (1) allow people to marry at the same age as they can enter legally binding contracts as adults (2) make marriage a gender-neutral legal contract between two people (3) let religions do whatever they want to make it a sky-monster-approved "real" marriage after the couple visits the courthouse for the gender-neutral legal contract. Everybody wins, except bigots and child molesters. What would you do if you wrote the laws?]
posted by Trevor Blake at 1:01 AM
Post a Comment

A Pentagon document classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder, decades after mental health experts abandoned that position.

The document outlines retirement or other discharge policies for service members with physical disabilities, and in a section on defects lists homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders.

[Article continues at link.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 1:00 AM
Post a Comment

Wednesday, June 21, 2006. *
posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:23 PM
Post a Comment

A Palestinian woman was killed today in Gaza after a pair of Israeli missiles veered off target, one of them slamming into a house. It was the latest in a series of botched air strikes that have killed a dozen Palestinian civilians in the last eight days.

The strike, which also injured a reported 13 people in the southern town of Khan Yunis, came a day after another strike killed three Palestinian children

Once again, the Palestinians are murdered in their homes and expected to do nothing, even as all aid, including medical, to the region is being denied by the US and Israel.
posted by A.Q. at 3:03 PM
Post a Comment

Two former AT&T employees say the telecom giant has maintained a secret, highly secure room in St. Louis since 2002. Intelligence experts say it bears the earmarks of a National Security Agency operation.

Why do they start the title w/ "Is the NSA spying on US Internet traffic?"
we know damn well they are.
*waves at nice G-man and paid contractor G-man wannabe's, Hows that job down in nawlins going? Seen Papa Legba around? You Fucks.

P.S. Does anyone know why Discordian Research Technology's cabal quit picking up our posts?
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:49 AM
Post a Comment

Tuesday, June 20, 2006. *

Attack of the Gifted Jewish Lesbian Guitarists. First up is Mimi Fox above, with a very butch cut but I held out hope that one day she would be mine. She's incredible in this clip by the way. I wish she would just cut a dvd with this band. Dumbass BET on J won't release her concert on DVD. And here's Kaki King. I think its her best live performance. She looks relaxed.

Then again...

Of course, it you're such a great lesbian Mimi then why are you sitting on Steve Vai's lap? Probably because he's just produced your two cd straight ahead jazz album, one in a group setting and one all solo pieces. I think I understand. So, when my 40 million dollar lotto ticket comes in: "Yes, is this Kaki King? I understand that you need a producer for your possibly not commercial acoustic Hawaiian marching music. I think I can help, but first: there's a lap I know that yearns and yearns for happiness, delivered with a big exuberant smile...."

posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:11 PM
Post a Comment

Frank Zappa's "The Torture Never Stops"
posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:07 PM
Post a Comment

Monday, June 19, 2006. *
The Pentagon has developed a comprehensive strategy for taking over the internet and controlling the free flow of information. The plan appears in a recently declassified document, "The Information Operations Roadmap", which was provided under the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) and revealed in an article by the BBC.

The Pentagon sees the internet in terms of a military adversary that poses a vital threat to its stated mission of global domination. This explains the confrontational language in the document which speaks of "fighting the net"; implying that the internet is the equivalent of "an enemy weapons system."

Perhaps, this explains the recent complications to blogger, typepad, 001 Broken pipe errors and others . . .

As for "fighting it" -- when the loss occurs, it will be done in such a way that it will be hard to prove it has happened, or that it is deliberate. Just as an example: a few years back, an acquaintance of mine attended a technical conference to which a bunch of teenagers had been attended. The teenagers kept eating up all the bandwidth to play games, so the technical wonks set up a scheme whereby the routers would still allow game-related traffic, but at a vastly reduced scale and speed. The teenagers were still getting through to the servers, but in such a way that they could not, in fact, play games. When they asked about it, they were merely told that there was insufficient bandwidth -- technically true, but not the whole truth by any means.

I'm sure there will be a friendly face on it.

I have gotten more Internal Server Error's this month than any previous that I can remember.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:51 PM
Post a Comment

Lawmakers yesterday forced what was originally known as the Real ID bill through the House of Representatives; it's scheduled to pass the Senate next week. Didn't hear much debate over this sweeping bill before it passed? That's because there wasn't any.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:37 AM
Post a Comment

Sunday, June 18, 2006. *

That's a picture of my late father (John Shropshire) that I drew on a computer a long time ago. I miss him. Could use his wisdom right about now. I have always believed that you can solve problems nonviolently. But if the vote is compromised, and I think that it clearly is (note for clueless dems who don't know this yet: people who have legitimately won the vote welcome recounts. It just reaffirms their victory. Judge for yourself what the Republican response has been and act accordingly.) you've lost 99 percent of what you can do nonviolently. More stuff about Pop: he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, was a pro football prospect, and had great taste in books. I stole lots of books from him: all of his Frantz Fanon and the speeches of Malcolm X. He was a cool guy. Miss him.
posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:05 PM
Post a Comment

Saturday, June 17, 2006. *
Also see, Mass. school punishes students with electric shocks

"They can be shocked for behaviors including ’failure to maintain a neat appearance’, ‘stopping work for more than 10 seconds’, ‘interrupting others’, ‘nagging’, ‘whispering and/or moving conversation away from staff’, ‘slouch in chair’ ''

N.Y. report denounces shock use at school

Looks like the generational incremental, piecemeal, and continuous conditioning hasn't changed much, it's still marching forward.

"Conspiracy theory as a theory of power, then, is an ideological misrecognition of power relations, articulated to but neither defining nor defined by populism, interpellating believers as "the people" opposed to a relatively secret, elite "power bloc." Yet such a definition does not exhaust conspiracy theory's significance in contemporary politics and culture; as with populism, the interpellation of "the people" opposed to the "power bloc" plays a crucial role in any movement for social change. Moreover, as I have argued, just because overarching conspiracy theories are wrong does not mean they are not on to something. Specifically, they ideologically address real structural inequities, and constitute a response to a withering civil society and the concentration of the ownership of the means of production, which together leave the political subject without the ability to be recognized or to signify in the public realm."
~Fenster, Mark (1999)
Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Folks, as I sit in my tinhat, this is methodical relentless and systemic. Ever seen a Buffalo Jump? the masses are being herded into an ideology. Metaphorically and quite literally i.e. physically. What other conclusion can there be? I will proudly be wrong, but I fear I'm not.

Here's a few examples of the "concentration of the ownership and the means of production" :

1) Ford is Firing 25,000 Americans, & investing $9.2Billion in Mexico to hire 150,000 mexicans. Last week Organized Labor put on a "take back America" conference. Clearly shutting down this initiative must be the focus of the conference. No? My goodness not one word. It was all about teaming up w/the JackAss Party to destroy America.

2). xUS Elites Accelerating transformation of xUS into Third World Nation by destroying American jobs & unions. Here's info. on the plan to build a super-highway from Mexican Ports straight through to Canada. Our goods, which must be manufactured here, will instead be manufactured in China, etc., wasting oil being shipped to Mexico. There they will be unloaded by mexicans to help destroy American Longshoremens Union, then driven to whatever's left of our country & Canada, by mexican drivers, further helping destroy the Teamsters. They will not encounter customs til Kansas City. Oh, and Thom Hartmann announced last night, the Predators are trying to sell this new superhighway of our destruction to Spain. more info.

(Didn't see any mention of these @kos circle-jerk either. In fact, I suspect if you dared post diaries on this you'd get the fly swatter treatment.)

As far as oil geopolitics, MKlare has finally written a Superb article on geopolitics of Iran. here.

DeBaathification of the Neo Nation
of Can-Am-Mex. Kinda nice ring to it.
C-A-N-A-M-E-X. Trips off the tongue.

Gotta do something to hold up that
trans-national corporate bottom line!
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:29 PM
Post a Comment

James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper No. 47:

The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many...may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

That extraordinary powers have, under Bush, been accumulated in the "same hands" is now undeniable. For the first time in more than thirty years, and to a greater extent than even then, our constitutional form of government is in jeopardy.

via mefi
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:10 AM
Post a Comment

Has anyone read the Counterpunch lead by former cia analysts KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON on the power of the pro-Israel lobby?

It has an intro by both Cockburn and StClair. Hard to say whether that is because it directly challenges some views which the Christisons claim are held by Noam Chomsky and Norman Finklestein or because the editors are concerned that it may be perceived as anti-semetic rather than anti-zionist.

The point of view the Christisons argue is that there has never been a consistent thread running through amerikan foreign policy since ww2 despite whichever party holds power in the US, which has been blindly supportive of Israel because supporting Israel is a pragmatic decision which favours US interests.

There's actually two points there I suppose. The first is that the pro-Israeli policy hasn't been consistent and secondly that a pro-Israel policy hasn't always been believed to favour US interests ,or maybe that a pro-israel policy hasn't always been adopted because it is believed to favour US interests.

Normally it could be considered that such hair splitting is pointless since the reality of amerikan pro-israel policy is more important an issue to deal with than any guesses at the cause of it.

However I suppose it is worth considering if only because of this point the Christisons make.

That is if it has always been perceived to be in the best interests of amerika to have a pro-israel policy, why bother with such an expensive and potentially embarassing monolith such as the AIPAC lobby? ie If being pro-israel always favours amerikan corporate and strategic goals, why bother?

I tend to go with some of what the christisons argue if only because it explains the lack of amerikan support for the anglo-french suez adventure in the 50's.

As well, since then there has been a difference in attitudes toward Israel as presidents' administrations have changed.

Up until BushCo it certainly felt like the rethugs were less inclined to toss all of amerikas chips into the israeli lobby. Interestingly the Christisons argue the Carter administration wasn't particularly pliant when subjected to zionist pressure.

The christison's are particularly scathing of the left, which they argue is mistaken to claim that a pro-israel stance has always been perceived to be in amerika's best interests.

This is where it gets tricky because I'm not certain that Chomsky has maintained that. And if he did say something like that it may have been to avoid the huge pitfall that the Christisons may have fallen into.

That is that their point of view leaves itself open to an interpretation of being motivated by anti-semitism. It begins to sound like an evil jewish banking conspiracy a la Rouche of that ilk.

It's an extremely long piece, but worth reading at least some of if only because it is provocative.

P.S. Phillip, I have yet to be banned, over at dailykos, however, that may be due to the fact that I rarely ever go there nor post...and you are right mentioning Israel is damn near verboten.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:34 AM
Post a Comment

Friday, June 16, 2006. *
full versions of almost all deleted reports are posted and guess what the first one is...
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:47 PM
Post a Comment

Meanwhile, while Atrios catblogs...
Mark Crispin Miller:
Why are the Democrats Ignoring the Stolen Election Story? He also debunks any strategery involved in not telling voters. I can understand Republicans stealing my vote. They're fuckin' evil. I will never understand why my party of the last 25 years won't fight for me or my vote. Here's Mark:


So much for the democratic spirit of the Democratic Party, which, in burying the most important civic issue of our time, has been just as complicit as the GOP, although they cloud the issue far less rudely. Take "Democracy at Risk," the DNC report on the election in Ohio, which came out in the summer of 2005. The document appears to be a very damning study of Republican malfeasance in Ohio. It offers many harrowing statistics, and some strong firsthand accounts, of Democratic disenfranchisement throughout the state -- only to deny that fraud had anything to do with it. The problem, rather, was "incompetence," which was somehow epidemic in Ohio on Election Day, and which, stranger still, invariably helped Bush/Cheney and hurt Kerry/Edwards. The report is not exactly readable, with long abstruse equations covering page after page -- a haze of math that does not quite conceal the bald self-contradictions that distort the document like heavy cracks across a windshield. For instance, the report confirms, in various ways, that there were far too few machines only in Democratic precincts, while the number of machines in GOP strongholds was more than adequate. Then, out of nowhere, toward the end, we're told that members of both parties were affected equally by the statewide shortage of machines, so that the glitch did not, of course, affect the outcome of the race.

The whole report is twisted thus, the authors tortuously bending over backward to assure us that DeLay et al. were right: "No voter disenfranchisement occurred in this election of 2004." If we look deeper into the report (and also read the pertinent expos?s by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman at, we find that it is less an earnest study of the fraud committed in Ohio than a political statement, meant primarily to distance the committee, and the party, from John Conyers and those other Democrats who had been so tactless as to harp on the abundant evidence of systematic fraud by the Republicans. This fact is highly relevant to Manjoo's attack on Robert Kennedy, as Manjoo's case is heavily dependent on the DNC report. Manjoo invokes it several times, accusing Kennedy of quoting only certain parts of it and pointedly ignoring all those later parts that clear the GOP of fraud. Your reporter calls this a "deliberate omission of key bits of data." And yet that charge is groundless, as the DNC report is only partly accurate, and Kennedy, quite rightly, quoted only its sound figures and ignored its weird exculpatory spin.

The DNC report is typical of that cowed, calculating party, whose managers consistently deny the evidence of fraud, even though the consequence is their assured political castration. Why exactly would they take that suicidal course? The reasons generally given for their silence on the subject are preposterous on their face. Kerry won't discuss the issue frankly on the record, we've been told, because he's worried that the media will smack him for it. ("They're saying that, if I don't concede, they'll call us sore losers!" he reportedly said to a stunned John Edwards just before he called it quits the morning after.) That may be what Kerry, among others, actually believes, but it's absurd, as no amount of public scorn, however withering, could ever be as frightening to a democratic politician as the twilight of democracy itself.We also hear that Democrats have been reluctant to speak out about election fraud because they fear that doing so might cut down voter turnout on Election Day. By such logic, we should henceforth utter not a peep about election fraud, so that the Democratic turnout will break records. Then, when the Republicans win yet again, because they've rigged the system, how will all those Democratic voters feel? Maybe those who haven't killed themselves, or fled the country, will recover just enough to vote again. Would it then be prudent for the Democrats to talk about election fraud? Or would it still seem sensible to keep the subject under wraps?

The argument is idiotic, yet the people who have seriously made it -- Bernie Sanders, Markos Moulitsas, Hillary Clinton's and Chuck Schumer's people, among others -- are extremely bright. The argument, as foolish as it is, does not bespeak a low I.Q., but, I would suggest, a subtler kind of incapacity: a refusal and/or inability to face a deeply terrifying truth. The Democrats refuse to talk about election fraud because they cannot, will not, wrap their minds around the implications of what happened in 2004, and what is happening right now, and what will keep on happening until we, as a people, face the issue. In short, whatever clever-sounding rationales they may invoke (no doubt in all sincerity), the Democrats won't talk about election fraud because they're in denial, which is itself based on a lethal combination of inertia, self-interest and, above all -- or below all -- fear.


Breakin' news! Here first! (Really. No one covers the unimportant trivial story of how the last two national elections were hacked. Silly blogger. Tricks are for kids.)

That's just brilliant. I'm thinking about making t-shirts. Something along the lines of "NO CONFIDENCE in election results for 2000, 2004 and elections to be named later." I suppose if you were a member of an opposition party you would use this to undermine the president with every speech and utterance, unless you're the Washington Generals political party of course..

I've signed the petition. Have you?

One House rep states she believes the election was stolen:

From Mark Crispin Miller's News from the Underground:

Courageous Schakowsky (D-IL): WAS 2004 ELECTION STOLEN? "ONLY ANSWER YES"Congresswoman 'Apologizes' for Not Taking Allegations of Stolen 2004 Election Seriously! Was it Stolen? 'Only Answer is Yes,' says Schakowsky who Claims DCCC to Announce Steps Soon to Avoid 'Repeat Performance'From the Congresswoman:For us, it (winning 2006 elections) must all be about execution.First, we must not allow the Republicans to steal the election-again. I apologize for not taking seriously enough the allegations that the 2004 election was stolen. After reading Bobby Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone, "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?", I am convinced that the only answer is yes. He documents how 357,000 Ohio voters, the vast majority Democrats, "were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes countedÅ more than enough to shift the results." Watch for the DCCC to take some very public steps in the near future to ward off a repeat performance. In the meantime, there needs to be a citizens' effort starting now to assess the machines, the ballots, the registration process within each and every election jurisdiction in each and every swing district and state, in the case of Senate races. Where the situation looks perilous, go to the media, raise a stink, demand changes. This is a great project for the many of you who have been diligently working to guarantee fair and accurate elections.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:32 PM
Post a Comment

Evidence emerges to support what many of us have long suspected.
Suggestions on tracking them down here.

p.s. sorry, I tried to delete the double below, it's just not happening..
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:59 AM
Post a Comment

Thursday, June 15, 2006. *
Blogger still isn't working yet . . .
. . . I posted this manually. It seems the problem is, the archive pages of the posts are getting published, but not the index page. As Robot Wisdom and our own prolific Uncle $cam have told us: Rigorous Intuition has also experienced this problem. A temporary workaround for those with their own hosts: go into Template on blogger, click Preview, view html and copy, save as index.htm or whatever you name your original index, then upload manually via ftp. This way everyone can still post and I can update manually.

Blogger has been mostly dependable for the 6 years I have been using it. Naturally this latest near-week long total breakdown is troubling, and the longest it has been down in my experience. More troubling is that there is no customer support whatsoever. I was willing to pay for the service--and I paid for Blogger Pro--and all I got for that was a lousy sweatshirt. Surely Google can hire a bigger staff? While I had assumed, like all times previously, that it would be back up and running within 24 hours, this obviously isn't the case, and no one has returned my email. And now they're saying that this blog has "characteristics of a spam blog?"

Until it's resolved, or I have to fumble with Wordpress, I'll manually update with all your posts at least once a day.
posted by Dr. Menlo at 5:48 PM
Post a Comment

Wednesday, June 14, 2006. *
Leaders of the nation's largest Protestant denomination Wednesday refused to support a resolution that would have urged the denomination to form an "exit strategy" for pulling Southern Baptist children from public schools in favor of home schools or private Christian schools. The proposal, offered by Roger Moran of Troy, Mo., and Texas author Bruce Shortt, came as many of the nation's 16.2 million Southern Baptists are concerned about how classrooms are handling subjects such as homosexuality and "intelligent design" [...] the notion that life is so complex it must have been created by a higher intelligence.

[Unclear from this article is whether the SBC is concerned that public schools are failing to condone homosexuality as found in the relationship between David and Johnathan (1 and 2 Samuel) or that they are concerned that public schools are failing to murder homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13). It's got to be one or the other that the schools are failing to do. I'd be pleased as punch if all those children went to private schools or home schools. Less tax burden for everyone, lower student/teacher ratios, parents taking back their parental responsibilities from the state, and - best of all - assurance we will have a new generation of superstitious morons to flip my hamburgers and dig my ditches. But of course the Christians don't want their superstition just for their children. They want it for all children. "We are commanded biblically to train our children in the nurture of the Lord. The public schools are no longer allowed ... to even acknowledge the God of the Bible."]

Also Wednesday, the SBC unofficially barred members who drink alcohol from serving as trustees or members of any SBC entity. The ban, part of a larger anti-alcohol resolution that was easily approved by delegates, was proposed by Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. While stopping short of officially preventing drinkers from serving, it "urges" that no one be elected or appointed to SBC offices if they are "a user of alcohol." "Use of alcohol as a beverage can and does impede the message of Jesus Christ" that Southern Baptists are trying to spread, Richards said.

[Yeah, because it totally doesn't at all say in 1 Timothy 3:8 or 1 Timothy 5:23 or Proverbs 31:6-7 or Ecclesiastes 9:7 or Jerimiah 13:12 or Isaiah 55:1 or Isaiah 25:6 or Joel 2:19 or Joel 3:18 or Amos 9:14 or Deuteronomy 7:13 or Deuteronomy 14:25-26 or Geneis 14:18 or Genesis 27:28 or Zechariah 9:17 or Titus 3:8 or Psalms 104:15 or Numbers 6:20 or Numbers 28:7 or Judges 9:13 that we should drink alcohol. See for yourself. Either drinking alcohol impedes the message of Jesus Christ or reading the Bible is something no Christian is supposed to do.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 5:02 PM
Post a Comment

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?

Q: I can take them off.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm interested in the shade look, seriously.

Q All right, I'll keep it, then.

THE PRESIDENT: For the viewers, there's no sun. (Laughter.)

Q I guess it depends on your perspective. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Touche. (Laughter.)

[Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Wallsten suffers from Stargardt’s Disease and is legally blind. (Laughter.)]
posted by Trevor Blake at 4:56 PM
Post a Comment

Tuesday, June 13, 2006. *
Favorable views of the United States dropped sharply over the past year in Spain, where only 23 percent said they had a positive opinion, down from 41 percent last year, according to the survey. It was done in 15 nations, including the United States, this spring by the Washington-based Pew Research Center.

Other countries where positive views dropped significantly include India (56 percent, down from 71 percent); Russia (43 percent, down from 52 percent); and Indonesia (30 percent, down from 38 percent). In Turkey, only 12 percent said they held a favorable opinion, down from 23 percent last year.

Declines were less steep in France, Germany and Jordan, while people in China and Pakistan had a slightly more favorable image of the United States this year than last. In Britain, Washington's closest ally in the Iraq war, positive views of America have remained in the mid-50-percent range in the past two years, down sharply from 75 percent in 2002, before the war.

Support for the fight against terrorism led by the United States is also down, Pew found.

Only 75 percent of Americans had heard reports of abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and at the American naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, while 90 percent of Western Europeans and Japanese had heard about them.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:24 PM
Post a Comment

Monday, June 12, 2006. *
The fact that so many of the most powerful men in America are self-proclaimed disciples of Leo Strauss is rather troublesome.

via wood's lot blog
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:12 AM
Post a Comment

This mantra of totalitarian societies has become familiar to Americans – not from movies, but from their own government. From police encounters to airport security, from political protests to public buses, your right to move around freely without "accounting for yourself" is increasingly challenged.
The Identity Project (IDP) exists to uphold the freedom to exist, wander, and live anonymously within our own country if we so choose. We believe all Americans have the fundamental right to exist without seeking or getting permission of the government, to live without constantly proving who we are or why we are here, to freely move around our country. IDP explores and defends these rights.

IDP questions the motives behind, and effectiveness of, identity based domestic security programs and asks whether the degradation of our civil liberties is justified.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:54 AM
Post a Comment

Sunday, June 11, 2006. *
posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:01 PM
Post a Comment

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a few other NGOs, have designated June Torture Awareness Month. We've created a blogroll you can join if you're interested. You can find it here.

The idea is that everyone is linked to from the blogroll, and in exchange, you discuss torture (as you already do), and link to the Torture Awareness site to help support the NGOs.

There's a lot of bloggers who are angry about human rights abuse in the War on Terror. If we coordinate, we can show our support and help Amnesty and HRW make Torture Awareness Month a success.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:05 PM
Post a Comment

A Prince George's County man who authorities say was planning to attack an abortion clinic was arrested on charges of manufacturing an explosive device, a pipe bomb that detonated in a friend's house as authorities tried to disable it. Robert F. Weiler Jr., 25, who had a loaded gun at the time of his arrest, surrendered to police early Thursday at a Garrett County highway rest stop, authorities said.

Weiler was charged with possessing an illegal explosive device, making an illegal explosive device, illegally possessing a firearm with a previous felony conviction and possessing a stolen firearm. Police said that the target was a College Park abortion clinic and doctors who performed the procedures.

The bomb -- made with black powder, galvanized pipe, nails, seven feet of fuse and one-inch-diameter end caps -- was discovered in the closet of a friend's home in Riverdale and detonated about 3:30 a.m., after Prince George's police bomb technicians were unable to disable it, said Mike Campbell, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

[This wingnut is described as going 'over the top' and having made 'very poor decisions.' But when you're a Christian and you want to kill people in the name of Christ, one thing you are not is a terrorist. Only Muslims who want to kill people in the name of Allah are terrorists. Because all religions are equal, but some are more equal than others.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:48 AM
Post a Comment

The suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, amount to acts of war, the US military says.

The camp commander said the two Saudis and a Yemeni were "committed" and had killed themselves in "an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us".

[Article continues at link. Maybe all those civilians who are dying in Iraq right now are just doing it to make us look bad, or something.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:44 AM
Post a Comment

Saturday, June 10, 2006. *
a moment of silence and or prayer for the souls of ramadi tonight.

Frightened by warnings of an imminent offensive by the U.S. troops massed around the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, residents are pouring out of that tense city to escape what they describe as a mounting humanitarian crisis.

U.S. and Iraqi forces had cordoned off the city Saturday and were asking civilians to evacuate, residents and Iraqi officials said. Airstrikes on several residential areas picked up, and troops took to the streets with loudspeakers to warn civilians of a fierce impending attack, Ramadi police Capt. Tahseen Aldulaimi said. U.S. military officials refused to confirm or deny reports that a Ramadi offensive was under way.

The image pieced together from interviews with tribal sheiks and fleeing families is one of a desperate population of 400,000 people trapped in the crossfire between anti-American insurgents and U.S. forces. Food and medical supplies are running low, prices for gas have soared because of shortages, and municipal services have ground to a stop.

Thousands of families remain trapped in the city, those who have fled say. Many can't afford to leave, or they lack transportation, and other families decided to wait for their children to finish final examinations at school before escaping.

"The situation is catastrophic. No services, no electricity, no water," said Sheik Fassal Guood, the former governor of Ramadi. "People in Ramadi are caught between two plagues: the vicious, armed insurgents and the American and Iraqi troops."

Residents have been particularly unnerved by the recent arrival of 1,500 U.S. troops sent to reinforce the perimeter of the city. Street battles between troops and insurgents have been raging for months, but the troops' deployment left residents bracing for a mass offensive to take the town back from insurgents.

"It is becoming hell up there," said Mohammed Fahdawi, a 42-year-old contractor who packed up his four children and fled to Baghdad two weeks ago. "It is unbelievable: The Americans seem to have brought all of their troops to Ramadi."


shame, shame my heart cries out.

A Vision

This Iraq will reach the ends of the graveyard.
It will bury its sons in open country
generation after generation,
and it will forgive its despot . . . .
It will not be the Iraq that once held the name.
And the larks will not sing.
So walk — if you wish — a long time.
And call — if you wish —
on all the world's angels
and all its demons.
Call on the bulls of Assyria .
Call on a westward phoenix . . . .
Call them
and through the haze of phantoms
watch for miracles to emerge
from clouds of incense.

Saadi Youssef

praying for a miracle
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:30 PM
Post a Comment

Although I have posted about David Graeber before here on amsam, this is indeed, a bang-up compilation from mefi.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:33 PM
Post a Comment

Interview with Mark Sedgwick

Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century is the history of one of the most important anti-modernist movements of the twentieth century. The Traditionalist movement, composed of a number of often secret and sometimes very influential religious groups in the West and in the Islamic world, affected the lives of many individuals and entered into both mainstream and radical political life in Italy and Russia. It also influenced the development of religious studies in the United States and France. At the end of the twentieth century it began to enter the debate in the Islamic world about the desirable relationship between Islam and modernity.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:21 PM
Post a Comment

Dr Grey always has unique and interesting media IV (Internetvision).

Conservative evangelical Christians hold key positions in the US Government and now they’re training the next generation to take power.

Surely the Nazarene necrophile has had his revenge by now. Remember, pain is just God's way of hurting you." - Bob Black Call Anytime! 1-206-666-ERIS
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:21 PM
Post a Comment

Certainly some people who lived the hippie lifestyle in the sixties continued on into the seventies, but not much farther right? So why, in 2006, does a confused young man hate hippies?

Perhaps it has to do with the "anti-Sixties party." The Republicans declared war on the Sixties long ago, claim to have won numerous elections with this stance. To win a war--at least for Republicans--you need vitriol, and you wouldn't have to scrape the scum of right wing talk radio very long even today before you discovered some spit-laden hatred directed at the Sixties.

If only the Capitol Hill shooter had turned off the Rush Limbaugh show, seething with hatred for the disgusting pro-love, anti-war types, and played Destroy All Hippies! instead.

Right wing fucks.

Get a haircut, Hippie!

posted by Dr. Menlo at 8:13 AM
Post a Comment

Friday, June 09, 2006. *
Opression is the holy law
In God I distrust
Idolic monuments will fall
Like ashes to dust
Its war and creed the master plan
The battle's where it all began
Its propaganda shouts despair
And sends its virus everywhere

Religion is hate
Religion is fear
Religion is war
Religion is rape
Religion's obscene
Religion's a whore

The pestilence of Jesus Christ
There never was a sacrifice
No man who hung the crucifix
Beware the call for purity
Infectious imbicility
I've made my choice

[lyrics continue... ]
posted by Trevor Blake at 5:21 PM
Post a Comment

At least 30 people were wounded in the shelling, they say.

The Israeli military says it has halted all shelling of Gaza and has launched an inquiry into whether ground-based artillery could have been involved.

In a statement, the military wing of Hamas threatened to resume attacks on Israel in the wake of "massacres".

The group has been observing a self-imposed ceasefire for more than a year.


Watch as this unfounded aggression gets spun by the US media into either a tragic mistake by the good-hearted Israeli occupation forces, or a necessary strike at a terrorist stronghold where "Qassem Missles" are being launched. You'll never hear that these 'missles' are homemade and have only wounded a handful of people in the few years of their operation. By tomorrow, the media line should be about Hamas' desire to attack.
posted by A.Q. at 11:58 AM
Post a Comment

Thursday, June 08, 2006. *

Site Meter

Creative Commons License