American Samizdat

Thursday, May 31, 2007. *
Two from Western Resistance
[Western Resistance posts regular, original, well-researched articles on the interaction between Islam and 'the West.' Here are two examples specific to the United States, with my encouragement for readers to read the entire articles.]

Democrats Meet With Muslim Brotherhood Members. [...] The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is not a group to be trusted, particularly for a nation with strong links to Israel. Last year, the Egyptian leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Mehdi Akef, announced during the Israel/Lebanon conflict that he had 10,000 fighters, ready to be sent to Lebanon to fight alongside Hezbollah against Israel. Akef also attacked Arab leaders in an Egyptian newspaper interview, where he said: "If they weren't Muslims, we would have killed them, because they are a bigger threat to the nation than Israel itself." The terrorist group Hamas in Israel was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood Palestinian leader Sheikh Yassin, and the "spiritual leader" of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has made a fatwa condoning suicide attacks against Israeli civilians. The Muslim Brotherhood maintains that it is against violence. If the Democrats cannot see that this is a lie, then their own credibility is at question.

Islamic Society Of Boston Abandons Its Legal Vendetta
. Finally, an end has come to the long-running saga of the Islamic Society of Boston's lawsuit against various groups whom it claimed were "defaming" it. The ISB has dropped its case.

[Not strictly about the religion of peace as encountered in America, but a delight for the eyes of infidels, is An Infidel's Prayer To Allah.]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 6:13 PM
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We all know that the thing that's wrong with Richard Dawkins is that he's mean. He's a mean 'ol atheist who's taking your hope away. I tend to think there are reasons why Richard Dawkins is a mean ol atheist.

Here's reason 49 as to why Richard Dawkins is a mean ol atheist.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:26 PM
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007. *
Not that I believe it will do any good of course...
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:50 PM
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Also see, Article III.


When there are 32 pieces on the chess board. When the real moves are the next three, not the one you see.


Addendum:

A friend from Seattle sent me the following:

Local TV news here says soldiers from Fort Lewis (Washington State) will no longer have individual memorial services for its K.I.A. "There is simply too much volume to honor all the fallen" says base spokesman. There were 19 base K.I.I.'s last month alone. So there will be monthly group services held instead.

(I wonder if they'll be buried in mass graves as well)
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:31 PM
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Conservative Christian, Right Wing Republican, Straight White American Males

more
posted by Bruce at 10:27 AM
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007. *
posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:18 PM
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Stunning video profile of Hugo Chavez by Real Journalist Greg Palast. There are three parts (part one here and part three here) to the interview at the Youtubes. Part two is what I'm showing here. Contrast this with the Hightower vid of what we're doing in Iraq and what we would probably like Venezuela to be. The United States, especially under this particularly vile Republican crew, has become a force for evil in this world. There really isn't any other way to put it.


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posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:13 PM
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...sayeth the head of the CIA's lead team on Iraqi WMD, in December 2002.
posted by Bill at 6:45 PM
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Honorable Andy Jacobs exposes bi-partisan sellout of US



Listen to the very end...
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:49 AM
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If you think you know your government, think again. Some of the most knowledgeable political pundits, congressional leaders and other elected officials would fail a simple three-question test that every American ought to ace.

My assumption is that most readers of this article will also fail this test. The result of such failure is catastrophic — in that it demonstrates the success of an insidious plot to take over this nation and run it as a dictatorship.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:39 AM
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So the "kid" of "my kid's mom" appears to have grown up into a sociopath. Yes, Derek Schlessinger, beloved soldier-boy scion of talk radio's Queen of Moralizing Mean, has shown the world just what it means to be Dr. Laura's kid.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:19 AM
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Monday, May 28, 2007. *
"While Pepsi and Coca-Cola (and others) closely guard their secrets to making cola beverages, several organizations have released their own recipes. Below is the recipe for homemade 'OpenCola,' an open-source cola beverage that invites makers to create and modify their recipe to achieve a better beverage. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License." (WikiHow)
posted by emg at 5:02 AM
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Sunday, May 27, 2007. *

OVO

Did you know OVO mastermind Trevor Blake was the original publisher of Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zone?

He is one of many we are proud to see post regularly here at American Samizdat. An old zinester like me but much earlier - thanks, Trevor!

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:35 PM
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re: trevor's request
Trevor, I can't find the tag right now to replace your posting name with the url of your choice, so at least I took the email link out. As a temporary hack, I recommend all Harbingers add their own link to the end of their post. I have always strongly encouraged shameless self-promotion here. I try to give all harbingers as much traffic as I can with my other sites. Just so you know, amsam.org is a 100% nonprofit venture except for a couple Powells links which make at best five dollars a year (and that's from all my sites).


Please email me with any requests. I know I also have to update the Harbingers list on my other sites, because great bloggers like Skippy have returned with a cameo after a long hiatus. You may commence throwing tomatoes whenever you choose. I am a vegan. I like tomatoes. Perhaps me and Pagan could get an interesting photo shoot out of it. Well, better if you threw the tomatoes at her, then. However, if you could make them organic, we would appreciate it.

posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:40 PM
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Saturday, May 26, 2007. *
ACLU Raises Concerns on Senate Immigration Bill; Proposed Legislation Would Harm Privacy, Due Process (5/25/2007)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed grave concerns about the due process and privacy implications of the Senate immigration bill. The proposed legislation would create a vast federal database to verify the work eligibility of all job applicants in America - including U.S. citizens; expand indefinite detention; and deny effective judicial review of Department of Homeland Security errors denying immigration status.

"The bill denies essential due process, seeks to overturn Supreme Court limits on detention and fails to guarantee meaningful judicial review," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office. "Substantial changes must be made to ensure that the legislation adheres to the values of our country and our Constitution. Without effective judicial oversight, any new program enacted by Congress can be gutted by an overburdened, incompetent or hostile bureaucracy."

The proposed legislation would require every job applicant in America to have their eligibility to work verified by the DHS, using the error-plagued Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS). EEVS creates a massive government database containing extraordinary amounts of personal information on everyone in America, tied to each individual’s Social Security number. If DHS makes a mistake in determining work eligibility, there will be virtually no way to challenge the error or recover lost wages due to the bill’s prohibitions on judicial review.

As a part of EEVS, every person in America would be forced to carry a hardened Social Security card perhaps containing biometric information about the cardholder - essentially a national ID - and present a Real ID-compliant driver’s license to get any new job. The proposed legislation also expands current practice of expedited removal. The ACLU noted that these policies do nothing to solve the problems of illegal immigration and violate the fundamental American value of due process.

"EEVS would be a financial and bureaucratic nightmare for both businesses and workers," said Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Legislative Counsel. "Under this already flawed program no one would be able to work in the U.S. without DHS approval - creating a ‘No Work List’ similar to the government’s ‘No Fly List.’ We need immigration reform, but not at this cost."


This provision was in the bill passed by the DEMOCRATIC Senate this week. Ahhh...thank god the Dems are back in control....go kos...Let Freedom Ring....



The State-all it has, it has stolen!
It even bites with stolen teeth!

~F.W. Niezsche
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:51 PM
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Employees of Blackwater USA, a private security firm under contract to the State Department, opened fire on the streets of Baghdad twice in two days last week, and one of the incidents provoked a standoff between the security contractors and Iraqi forces, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.


Wait till they are clashing w/ Law enforcement here at home and you get caught in the crossfire. Of course, that will never happen, right? Right?
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:48 PM
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posted by Trevor Blake at 8:31 PM
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You Can / Can't Compete With Free
The Ludwig von Mises Institute is "the research and educational center of classical liberalism, libertarian political theory, and the Austrian School of economics." They sell a number of books, and they also give away the complete contents of those books in several digital formats. Books, Online and Off by Jeffrey Tucker describes how by giving their books away their sale of books increased and the ideas contained in those books went into a wider and more active circulation. The Market Function of Piracy by Jerry Kirkpatrick goes one step further, suggesting that piracy aids non-pirated sales.

Reason is "the monthly print magazine of 'free minds and free markets.' It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity." The current issue is online for free in its entirety, as is every back issue all the way back to 1971. You can subscribe if you like.

Of course there's also my humble effort, OVO. All back issues (1987 - present) are online for free, or if you simply must you can buy a couple issues. I confess two articles are not present in the online edition: one removed because the author asked me to, the other because it was an entire chapter reprinted without permission from a book (easy to get away with in the underground, not so much online).

The capitalists I just described (mostly) give it all away. How do the anti-capitalists compare? Adbusters offers select articles from select issues. Anarchy magazine offers select articles from select issues. Fifth Estate offers select articles from select issues. Green Anarchy offers select articles from select issues. Class War offers select articles from select issues.

It isn't hard to find counter-examples of the trend suggested above. Here's one, and here's another. But take a moment to ponder why some capitalists are giving things away and some anti-capitalists are not. Which model is taking best advantage of what the Internet does? Which is walking their talk?
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:38 PM
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Consider these familiar assertions:

1. If Donald Rumsfeld had listened to the generals and invaded with more troops, Iraq would be stable today.

2. If the U.S. had provided security and basic services after the initial invasion, Iraqis would have embraced America's presence and agenda by now.

3. If Paul Bremer had neither de-Ba'athified nor disbanded the Iraqi army after the invasion, the insurgency would have been manageable or non-existent.

If you agree with any of these claims, you are an unwitting participant in American Imperialism.


I'm not a big CP fan, but, here is some healthy analysis by some American doctoral students.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:36 PM
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Friday, May 25, 2007. *


This is yet another ambitious documentary series from Adam Curtis, following on his widely acclaimed films "The Century of the Self" and "The Power of Nightmares."

In this film, Curtis offers a sort of intellectual history of the idea of "freedom" and individual autonomy over the past half century, drawing on many fascinating, divergent sources: from game theorists like John Nash, nuclear strategists at RAND, anthropologists studying the Yanomamo, influential liberal thinkers like Isaiah Berlin, biologists like Richard Dawkins, leaders of the anti-psychiatry movement like R.D. Laing, "New Democrats" like Bill Clinton, all the way to the great "liberators" of Iraq, Bush and Blair.

Curtis ultimately winds up back-dooring himself into an analysis of neoliberalism -- a term he uses nowhere in the film, unfortunately. He does, however, weave together an impressive narrative and engages some very important questions: Why is our conception of "freedom" so limiting today? Why does this "freedom" seem so meaningless? Why has the dogged imposition of this "freedom" made so many people seemingly less free -- typically by subjecting them to the vagaries of invasion or class warfare, while at the same time eroding their capacity to exert meaningful influence via democratic institutions? And are there any other ways in which we might view or practice "freedom"?

The first of the three episode, 180 minute film is posted above. The other two episodes can be found via Google Video.

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posted by Bill at 11:34 PM
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Comparisons of America and Rome are everywhere these days, whether deploring an over-extended military, social decadence, or illegal immigration. A more disturbing—and largely ignored—similarity lies in the wholesale privatization of the U.S. government, which has blurred the line between public good and personal gain. In an excerpt from his new book, Cullen Murphy charts a dynamic that is more dangerous than corruption, unprecedented in scale, and visible everywhere from Hurricane Katrina to the Iraq war, to the justice system.


For example, Kremlinology & the Censored DNI Outsourcing Study
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:03 PM
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Thursday, May 24, 2007. *

May 24

From Tom Moody, who got it from an unknown artist.

I just think there's a real need for a viable third party right now. We certainly needed it locally. (Did the Greens run a candidate for mayor?) And I think we need it nationally. Here's the trick: It probably can't be done by the usual suspects with your crazy ACORN/PIRG types and your wish fulfillment candidacies. You don't have to win every seat. You need to vie for 25 House seats and 5 Senate seats nationally. You need to work with the dems and focus on republicans and whatever dems voted for continued funding. There needs to be a third option, certainly for progressives but really for everybody.

You need 1 million dollars to run a viable house campaign at the federal level and you need 2 million dollars to run a viable race at the senate level. Period. Otherwise you're being silly. That's about 35 million. That's a lot of money, but not an impossible amount of money to raise. What to call it? "The New Party" is taken but they haven't done anything "new" in years. We've seen where the Green's all volunteer efforts have taken us: nowhere fast. (New Rule: Build a new party around the canvass. Pay your workers and occasionally ask them to pay themselves. Use Progressive Discipline in firing and not the crazy cultlike ACORN/PIRG rules.) How about "The Enlightenment Party"? Turn that new science lobby into something bigger...

More on this later. I'm going to codify these rules when I have some more time.

Jim Hightower on Walmart. Well done.

David Sirota has the best wrap up of the carnage.

It is a dark day in our nation’s history. That sounds melodramatic - but it is true. Today America watched a Democratic Party kick them square in the teeth - all in order to continue the most unpopular war in a generation at the request of the most unpopular president in a generation at a time polls show a larger percentage of the public thinks America is going in the wrong direction than ever recorded in polling history.

The numbers are not pretty. First, 216 House Democrats cast the key vote to send a blank check Iraq War funding bill over to the Senate. As I reported at the beginning of the day and as the Associated Press now confirms, the vote on the rule was the vote that made it happen. As the AP said: “In a highly unusual maneuver, House Democratic leaders crafted a procedure that allowed their rank and file to oppose money for the war, then step aside so Republicans could advance it.” Nauseating.

In the Senate, we saw lots of promises and tough talk from senators telling us they were going to do everything they could to stop the blank check. Some of them bragged that they were going to vote against the bill - as if that was the ultimate sign of heroics. Then, not a single senator found the backbone to stand up to filibuster the bill a la Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Apparently, Senate club etiquette comes even before the lives of our troops. The blank check sailed through the upper chamber on a vote of 80-14 with 38 Democrats (the majority of the party) voting yes. In all, at a time when 82 percent of Americans tell pollsters they want Congress to either approve funds for the war with strict conditions or cut off all funding immediately, 90 percent of House and Senate Democrats combined voted to give George W. Bush a blank check.

The worst part of it all was the overt efforts to deceive the public - as if we’re all just a bunch of morons. House Democrats have the nerve to continue to insist the blank check they helped ram through the House was all the Republicans doing, and that a sham vote on a GOP amendment today - which most Democrats opposed for show - was the real vote for the war. But, again, as the AP reported, it was their parliamentary motion - passed so quickly and under the devious pretenses of mundane procedural necessity - that showed their calculated complicity. Now, tonight, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is actually sending out fundraising emails, claiming: the House just passed legislation that will go to the White House that includes critical issues Democrats have been fighting for including canceling the President’s blank check in Iraq.” Beyond nauseating.

I’m not a purist nor am I a “pox on both their houses” kind of guy. I have worked to elect Democratic politicians and I supported Democratic leaders when they pushed an Iraq funding bill that included binding language to end the war. But what happened today was perhaps the most stunning travesty I’ve seen in a decade working in Democratic politics. A Democratic Party that six months ago was elected on a promise to end the war first tried to hide their complicity in continuing the war in the House, and then gave a few token speeches as the blank check sailed through the Senate club. And it all happened, as the New York Times reported today, because these Democrats believed criticism from President Bush - the man who polls show is the most unpopular president in three decades - “seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left.”

Of course, according to Real Journalist Greg Palast, the republicans are already trying to purge 8 million voters for the 2008 election. Palast has to have a hacker under his hire. How does he do it.

Investigative reporter Greg Palast says 4.5 million votes will be shoplifted in 2008, thanks largely to the “Rove-bots” that have been placed in the Justice Department following the U.S. Attorney firings. Being the guy who uncovered the voter “purge lists” of 2000 that disenfranchised black voters, he’s worth listening to, even if the mainstream press chooses not to.

This time around, he claims to have the 500 emails that the House subpoenaed and Karl Rove claims were deleted forever. They prove definitively, says Palast, that the Justice Department is infested with operatives taking orders from Rove to steal upcoming elections for Republicans and permanently alter the Department.

The “clownocracy” of Bush and Rove is criminal and even evil in its attempts to steal past and future elections, according to Palast, and can only be stopped if “Democrats…find their souls and find their balls.”

In an updated new version of his best-selling book, Armed Madhouse, Palast lays out the case for the future theft of the presidency, along with lots of other Executive malfeasance. I chatted with him about the role of the Justice Department in this scheme, and what it means for the viability of our “democracy.

Read the whole thing. No matter how depressing.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:21 PM
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posted by Philip Shropshire at 8:15 PM
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In their groundbreaking 1988 book, Manufacturing Consent, professors Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky not only explained, but documented with extensive case studies, how mass media and public opinion are shaped in a democracy. Twenty years later, can their "propaganda model" still be used to explain modern media distortions? That was one of the main questions discussed last week at a conference in Windsor, Ontario, titled "20 Years of Propaganda?" Organized by Dr. Paul Boin, the conference drew hundreds of scholars and activists including myself, and more than 1,000 people attended a closing speech by Chomsky on May 17.

The "propaganda model" that Herman and Chomsky put forward in Manufacturing Consent has made the book notable (some would say notorious) as the most influential book by serious academics to challenge the common dogma of media objectivity in the United States. When it first appeared, it was almost unheard-of to suggest that U.S. media such as the New York Times, Time and Newsweek magazines and CBS News were propaganda vehicles.

Today things are somewhat different. Across the political spectrum, there is a widespread belief that disinformation, deception and propaganda pervade the media. On the internet, the initials MSM have become a standard term of disparagement for untrustworthy "mainstream media." The right has in fact far surpassed the left at denouncing the myth of media objectivity and has developed an entire industry of think tanks, media watchdogs and pundits such as Michelle Malkin or Anne Coulter who devote themselves to discovering and denouncing purported instances of media bias — while enjoying privileged media access themselves.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:59 AM
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EXODUS

Secret Chiefs 3
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:30 AM
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007. *
Founders of a defunct Provo credit services company defrauded a California man out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by persuading him to take out a home loan, promising a 30 percent profit and lying about their business acumen, according to the Utah Department of Commerce. But Mike Hale's willingness to part with his money also was a test of faith. According to the state, Mascot Financial LLC owner Samuel Duane Aston earned Hale's trust by emphasizing his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that he was a priesthood holder with a temple recommend, a benchmark of worthiness that requires members to assert, among other things, that they are "honest in their dealings with their fellow man."

[Article continues at link. What would it be like if the President of the United States came to power through fraud including a claim to supernatural-inspired integrity?]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 10:29 PM
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A brazen upstate Army chaplain made a British woman his sex toy to "spice" up his boring marriage and threatened to kill her when she wanted to break away, officials said yesterday.

Capt. John Lau, 50, told a military court he took Amanda Tyler into his Fort Drum home, turned her into his "second wife," "married" her in a mock Niagara Falls service, and took her to live with his real wife and family.

But Tyler, 34, described the ordained Southern Baptist minister as a sexual sadist who controlled and terrified her.

[Article continues at link. Emphasis added. Religion is the sole and sure source of moral behavior, right?]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 7:55 PM
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montessori, mass laptops for the world's youth and the U.S. docility and uneducation indoctrination technique
posted by Dr. Menlo at 12:45 PM
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IF YOU thought you could protect your privacy on the web by lying about your personal details, think again. In online communities at least, entering fake details such as a bogus name or age may no longer prevent others from working out exactly who you are.

That is the spectre raised by new research conducted by Microsoft.The computing giant is developing software that could accurately guess your name, age, gender and potentially even your location, by analysing telltale patterns in your web browsing history. But experts say the idea is a clear threat to privacy - and may be illegal in some places.

…analytical software could use a vast range of such profiles to perform a probabilistic analysis of a person’s browsing history.

…experts say the idea is a clear threat to privacy - and may be illegal in someplaces.

…”They are arguably committing offences in a number of countries under a number of different laws if they make available software that defeats the security procedures internet users deploy to protect their privacy - from export control laws to anti-hacking laws.”



Also, Here is an easy-to-read paper describing how standard CGI environment variables are sufficient to identify many users, w/out having to pay attention to IP address. A Passive Attack on the Privacy of Web Users Using Standard Log Information (pdf)


via for more...

Also, of note: Laws are now being implemented to retroactively use your data against you.

Are you now or have you ever been against our Governments 'long war'!?

Asked at the Sedition Trial of 2010?
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:55 AM
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007. *
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.


As if we didn't already know eh?

Take a look at the comments after reading the initial article. It's a hoot!
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:39 PM
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Herein lies the reason one should say as far away from these sites such as, Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, and other personal sites etc.. as possible.

who needs Big Brother when YOU can just freely offer up every detail of your life to TIA?
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:41 PM
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Monday, May 21, 2007. *
Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds. His vegan parents, who fed him mainly soy milk and apple juice, were convicted in Atlanta recently of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty. This particular calamity — at least the third such conviction of vegan parents in four years — may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition. I was once a vegan. But well before I became pregnant, I concluded that a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.

[Article continues at link. As the Vegan Society states: "B12 is the only vitamin that is not recognized as being reliably supplied from a varied whole food, plant-based diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, together with exposure to sun. [...] Some vegans to suggest that B12 was an issue requiring no special attention, or even an elaborate hoax. Others have proposed specific foods, including spirulina, nori, tempeh, and barley grass, as suitable non-animal sources of B12. Such claims have not stood the test of time."]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 2:28 PM
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Sunday, May 20, 2007. *
Not one positive image. Not one.

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posted by Trevor Blake at 10:42 PM
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Gov. Mitt Romney said Monday he's trying to find a way to exempt Catholic social services agencies from a law requiring them to consider gays as adoptive parents. Romney said he doesn't have the power to unilaterally exempt Catholic Charities from the state's anti-discrimination laws. But he said he wants to let Catholic agencies continue placing children with adoptive parents without violating the teachings of their faith.

[Article continues at link. Governor Romney, let me make a suggestion to you. Let any social service agency make its choice to be a secular social service or a religious social service. Secular social services (even ones that call themselves 'Catholic') have to follow federal and state laws regarding discrimination. Religious ones don't. The Salvation Army has often opted to go secular, the Boy Scouts of America have often opted to not go secular, so there's a precident for success either way. Or we could take the route you're favoring and install a theocracy. Makes sense from a fund raising point of view. Estimated donations to just Protestant churches in the USA is $93 billion (that's $93,000,000,000.00) every year. Poor little pornography only makes $8 billion a year.]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 10:23 PM
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Police said [Joshua Maulden] came to Galveston from Arkansas in search of a job as a minister [...] According to police reports, he told investigators God ordered him to go to Galveston.

[Article continues at link. The next time you hear someone say that morality comes from Christianity, I want you to think about two things. Think for a moment about pastor-to-be Joshua Maulden. He put his baby in a microwave oven, giving her burns on her face and hands that have required two skin grafts so far. Then think for a moment about Genesis 22:2,10, Exodus 12:29-30, Exodus 21:15, Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 26:16, Leviticus 26:29, Deuteronomy 21:18:21, Deuteronomy 28:53, Judges 11:29-39, 2 Kings 2:23-24, Jeremiah 19:9, and my personal favorite, Psalms 137:9: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." Maulden wasn't doing anything the Old Testament didn't tell him to do, and that the New Testiment confirmed not once but twice he should do. The Bible is very clear on this subject: to serve God, kill children. Christianity does have a moral base, and it is a base morality indeed.]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 6:31 PM
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Series of animated anti Bush cartoons from Iranian TV. They are quite lame but meaningful.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:04 PM
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these episodes of depravity with soldiers & contractors are only possible because of the more genralised depravity of the empire

in a culture that bases its very power on the domination & the demeaning of others - episodes of the kind of cruelty that is becoming commonplace in the armed forces of the empire constitute standard operating procedure

i think the effect on those who oppose the empire - is at once illuminating yet at the same time - it is in its own instance defiling

common humanity as a concept & sometimes a a reality (as that expressed in the documentary on the coup against chavez & the succesful liquidation of that coup) is something to be celebrated but when that common humanity has been manipulated as the good Germans were & as the Americans are - that common humanity becomes something to be feared in every sense of that word

the good German was capable & in full consent & complicity - to live with the death of many millions named & unnamed - whether they were 'mental deficients' in the 30's, whether they were the 'enemy', or they were parts of civil life that needed to be extinguished - Jews & Gypsies, or they were entire countries - like Russia. the consent & complicity afforded collaboration right up until those same Russian armies marched through what became the Prussian wastelands. the elites who were elites stayed the elite under the german economic miracle of the 50's & 60's - this is well documented in the films & books of thomas harlan. they never ever accepted in any way the specidic nature of their crimes nor the details of their complicity & consent

in the united states - & we could begin with that moment when it expressed its utter negation of humanity in the showbombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki (tho here - there is as i have sd a great deal of detail & specificity in the writers of American fiction of the 19th century & in the early 20th century) - you have a deliberate, consistent & evolving of the aggressive & 'genocidal' aspects of the empire & a contingent manipulation of the motherland. from the 501's to the present wars, mostly illegal & covert have been operated against the people of Latin & central America, against the people of south east Asia, of the African continent & always always against the Arab people. these wars can only be waged when there is a 'common consent' of the people. the people have a moral responsibility. the soldiers moral responsibility is even higher

what is absent in the good German & the good American is the complete absence of a higher moral authority - either in the appareils (the institutions) or in the people themselves. that is why in the German case it wat transformed into a crude volkmystik - where earth & blood provided the only purity. the good American has transformed his somewhat dubious & highly speculative puritanism into a morality that can be governed from the pulpit of men who have shown themselves to be depraved in word & deed - whether it is a Dobson, a Jimmy Swaggart, a Pat Robertson - whose concern for anything outside themselves is limited, very limited. their faith is built on sand but a deliberate quicksand for the devotee. doubly, this false faith is enshrined in the Straussian intellectual elites who regard faith as a sort of plaything to be 'donated' to the 'ordinary people', the 'herd' as a kind of bread & circuses. make no mistake about it the Perles & Wolfowitzes of this world hate with unforgettable venom - the people - they mock, those in civil life who seek a common good. a common good is completely apposite to their intentions

what America has created is an abomination but it is an abomination which has its roots in the decay of western civilization

as i sd earlier American independence (without the slaughter of the Indians) could have been one of the beautiful exercises of the enlightenment - it has been nothing of a kind. what has happened in the last ten years tho is almost beyond belief - in both speed & depth of criminality. criminality in & of itself was with the empire from the very beginning - from the genocide of Indians & annexation of other territories, to the contingent use of criminality to repress all elements of civil defense of its workers, a corruption of the workers unparalleled in any other country - even dictatorships & then in the 20th century a swathe of murder of the people of Latin America, Asia, Africa & the middle east -carried under the banner of 'democracy'. a democracy in itself so perverted that there are general & specific doubts about the two last elections & a general disenfranchisement of large sections of the population that also had its roots at the beginning of the last century


some of the answers to the problems of the empire can only be resolved by the citizens of the empire. the unjust wars of the empire will be defeated where they are fought & at home precisely because they are not only unjust but criminal ~R'giap

What does this little rant have to do with the link above? Nothing, and everything.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:20 PM
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It Hurts Me Too

Karen Dalton

Haha, don't play against me Philip, you wont win...
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:58 PM
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Saturday, May 19, 2007. *
Not to easy to answer Uncle Scam's better than average Gillian Welch selection. At first I thought camera obscura but its not from the folk tradition. Then the Roche sisters but they're too weird. Then it came to me: Neil Young. Take that uncle scam!


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posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:08 PM
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Captain America Rules!



I really dug the Captain America as a kid collecting comics, too bad it was all propaganda;I really wanted to believe in Justice, Freedom, Liberty, doing the right thing, protecting the downtrodden etc..

Oh, and dig that David Holmes back-up track to this, DH does some impressive minimalist freestyle jazz trip hop worthy of movie soundtracks.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:41 AM
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Many adults in the United States would like to have more choices in politics, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 58 per cent of respondents think it would be good for the U.S. if there were a truly competitive third party.


The number would probably have been a lot higher if the poll had asked how many Americans think it would be good for their country if there were a truly competitive second party.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:14 AM
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Friday, May 18, 2007. *
Harvard researcher Sara Roy, a child of Holocaust survivors who has spent much of her professional life studying Gaza. No excerpt can fully do it justice; you need to read the whole thing.

Many of the people, both Jewish and others, who write about Palestinians and Arabs fail to accept the fundamental humanity of the people they are writing about, a failing born of ignorance, fear and racism. Within the organized Jewish community especially, it has always been unacceptable to claim that Arabs, Palestinians especially, are like us, that they, too, possess an essential humanity and must be included within our moral boundaries, ceasing to be "a kind of solution," a useful, hostile "other" to borrow from Edward Said. That any attempt at separation is artificial, an abstraction.

By refusing to seek proximity over distance, we calmly, even gratefully refuse to see what is right before our eyes. We are no longer compelled, if we ever were, to understand our behavior from positions outside our own, to enter, as Jacqueline Rose has written, into each other's predicaments and make what is one of the hardest journeys of the mind. Hence, there is no need to maintain a living connection with the people we are oppressing, to humanize them, taking into account the experience of subordination itself, as Said would say. We are not preoccupied by our cruelty nor are we haunted by it. The task, ultimately, is to tribalize pain, narrowing the scope of human suffering to ourselves alone. Such willful blindness leads to the destruction of principle and the destruction of people, eliminating all possibility of embrace, but it gives us solace.

Why is it so difficult, even impossible to incorporate Palestinians and other Arab peoples into the Jewish understanding of history? Why is there so little perceived need to question our own narrative (for want of a better word) and the one we have given others, preferring instead to cherish beliefs and sentiments that remain impenetrable? Why is it virtually mandatory among Jewish intellectuals to oppose racism, repression and injustice almost anywhere in the world and unacceptable -- indeed, for some, an act of heresy -- to oppose it when Israel is the oppressor, choosing concealment over exposure? For many among us history and memory adhere to preclude reflection and tolerance, where, in the words of Northrop Frye, "the enemy become, not people to be defeated, but embodiments of an idea to be exterminated."

What happens to the other as we, a broken and weary people, continually abuse him, turning him into the enemy we now want and need, secure in a prophecy that is thankfully self-fulfilling?
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:57 AM
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Thursday, May 17, 2007. *
Become the media!


TPM asks for help.

Ask not what TPMtv can do for you, ask what you can do for TPMtv.

In today's episode, TPMtv tells you how you can help it by making your very own videos and sharing them with the rest of our viewers.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:24 PM
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“Anthropology, the Second World War, and Strategies of Professional Denial.” Paper presented to the New York Academy of Sciences, New York City. March 26, 2007. by anthropologist David Price


Also see, his other works and homepage: here.

And tip of the hat to inspector lohmann's most excellent post: Why (State) Terrorism Is Burgeoning . For reminding me of the above.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:46 AM
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All over the blogsphere commenter's are saying "just be patient" the dems are working methodically behind the scenes, in closed hearings and will soon spring the trap!

Yeah, right.

I was and still am more inclined to believe they are not so much cowards as they are complicit. They want these spying executive branch powers for themselves. If they win the big enchilada aka the 08 election. Problem is, well, fuck it, ...keep looking for saviors.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:18 AM
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007. *
"Time (The Revelator)"


Gillian Welch
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:56 PM
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If Daily Kos' banning of Steve Amsel and Eileen Fleming, two peace activists who support the rights of the Palestinian people, a few days ago, and three other peace activists that preceded them, were not enough, today Daily Kos banned two Palestinian peace activists. This action was taken in an apparent attempt to appease a small group of right wing proIsrael supporters who have invaded Daily Kos. If anyone believes that of course they should probably take ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge. The true source of all of these banning is not yet evident, but no one is ready to believe that Daily Kos is getting ready to be sold to an AIPAC subsidiary.


Raises hand, I believe it...

Leadership in civil and human rights is certainly not what any liberal or progressive Democrat will find at Daily Kos.


Raises hand again, I believe that too...

posted by Uncle $cam at 10:14 PM
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to all the lava I've loved before

Who is Xenu?

See also: CBS "48 Hours" Special On The CULT Of Scientology and the BBC Documentary that John Travolta doesn't want you to see.

Everytime I look at Tom Cruise now I think, 'That man thinks he's a piece of lava.' A piece of lava that exploded when the volcano was destroyed that the evil space alien Xenu put you in because you, yourself, were just so much space trash. Some of these actors and actresses who all contend to be pieces of lava can be so damn charismatic - but I look at the cover of their movies in the video store and just think:

BUT YOU THINK YOU'RE A FUCKING PIECE OF LAVA! HOW CAN I EVER TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY AGAIN YOU FRICKIN' DUMBASS!

The Pursuit of Happyness? Starring a piece of lava. How does a piece of lava go from down and out to rich and successful? I don't care. Can't get past the lava. Xenu? For real? Are you fucking kidding me?

[Pictured from left to right: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Beck, Nancy Cartwright, Paul Haggis, more.]

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 9:14 PM
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As the US Attorney scandal rages, another Alberto Gonzales scandal has flared up - this time concerning his pressuring then A.G. John Ashcroft to sign domestic spying orders when Ashcroft was at his sick-bed and disoriented. I.E., In no shape to be making decisions in such a state. Side stepping acting AG James B. Comey who was legally standing in for Ashcroft.

James B. Comey, former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, testifies on May 15th about an incident on the evening of March 10, 2004 (from Wikipedia):

Comey, who was Acting Attorney General during the March 2004 surgical hospitalization of John Ashcroft, refused to "certify" central aspects of the NSA program at that time. The certification was required under existing White House procedures to continue the program. After Comey's refusal, the newspaper reported, Andrew H. Card Jr., White House Chief of Staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then White House counsel and now Attorney General, made an emergency visit to the George Washington University Hospital, to attempt to win approval directly from Ashcroft for the program.


This post courtesy of Uncle $cam - the hardest working man on AmSam.

[Trevor, sorry I will dutifully swap out the email url of the harbingers to the url url post-haste.]

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:38 AM
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"The battleground is YouTube and Scientology's weapon is a clip of me losing it in the 'Mind Control' section of a gruesome exhibition. Scientology has fought many battles to keep its secrets off the web, now they are using it to attack my investigation into them. Scientology has prepared an attack video, and they have shown the Scientology v Sweeney shouting match to anyone who would watch it." — BBC reporter John Sweeney [via walker]
posted by emg at 5:03 AM
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BRASILIA (Reuters) - Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step.

In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were "silently longing" for Christianity, he said.

Millions of tribal Indians are believed to have died as a result of European colonization backed by the Church since Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, through slaughter, disease or enslavement.

Many Indians today struggle for survival, stripped of their traditional ways of life and excluded from society.

"It's arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs," said Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab.

Several Indian groups sent a letter to the Pope last week asking for his support in defending their ancestral lands and culture. They said the Indians had suffered a "process of genocide" since the first European colonizers had arrived.
...
Pope Benedict not only upset many Indians but also Catholic priests who have joined their struggle, said Sandro Tuxa, who heads the movement of northeastern tribes.

"We repudiate the Pope's comments," Tuxa said. "To say the cultural decimation of our people represents a purification is offensive, and frankly, frightening.



Also, This is how it's done. A bit of class, but not obsequiousness, from one of Falwell's bitterest enemies.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State Issues Statement On The Death Of Jerry Falwell

I just can't get with the necro hate-fest I'm seeing around the blog-sphere. Much of it vile and disgraceful. However, nor do I begrudge their catharsis. To his family, I'm sorry for their loss. For society as a whole, he won't be missed. He said and did a lot that I found personally offensive, and he didn't even manage to be all that interesting while he did it. His life's work was to perpetuate bigotry and hate. I refuse to return it.

Some of his legacy, even today:
Bush met with Dobson and conservative Christian leaders to rally support for Iran policy That's rallying support for attacks and war, by the way.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:14 AM
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007. *
This morning, former Department of Justice Assistant Deputy Attorney General James Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Comey may very well have presented the most explosive testimony regarding gross malfeasance by the White House and Alberto Gonzales.


Comey Senate hearing transcript

But of course, While dkos and others are dancing on graves, In their necro-celebration, I'm more concerned that the Comey testimony will be not overshadowed, but non-existent due to America's Saint or if you prefer, devil's passing. e.g., AP Confirms Reports [Jerry] Falwell Dead WHICH WILL ALSO ECLIPSE Powell's former Chief of Staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson CALLING FOR Impeachment.

As a commenter at TPM say's,"So let me get this straight... Card and Gonzales were discussing a top secret, codeword classified program in a DC hospital? Was this hospital room in a SCIF? (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility)."

So these "ambulance chasers" card and abu were pushing asscroft to do illegal shit in a post op grogginess and when he didn't go for it, they did it anyway? No wonder Andrew Card resigned when he did; he saw the Full Spectrum Catastrophe (pun intended) coming, especially after Jr's phone call. But will it save him? I am telling you these guys are traitors, this is felonious, high crimes, if not down right High Treason.

Further, I have said all along, this "warrantless wiretapping" program that Gonzo and the WH were so determined to put into place was not intended to catch "terrorists," but rather to get dirt on their political enemies - mostly Democrats. We have seen the WH exposed more than ever recently about their blatant and ruthless politicization of everything in the government. If the taps were actually against suspected "terrorists," as claimed, there would have been no reason to avoid the scrutiny and accountability of the courts. No, BushCo was after information on people they knew no court would approve of and further, it's not just wiretapping of phones, it's access to all telecommunications which include e-mails and faxes.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:41 AM
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Wolfowitz insists he is the only one to fuck Shaha:

According to Mr Coll's notes: "At the end of the conversation Mr Wolfowitz became increasingly agitated and said that he was 'tired of people ... attacking him' and 'you should get your friends to stop it'. Mr Wolfowitz said, 'If they fuck me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too'," naming several senior bank staff he felt were vulnerable.


"If they fuck me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too..."

And therein lies the horror of the situation. In one mere sentence, --one that rips back the curtain to reveal the hidden truth behind the very bottom line of-- the mentality of these jackals, for all to see.

Unbeknownst to the wolf, in this seemingly 'faux pas', he just exposed the cards for what they are; marked cards. The dice are loaded...



Everybody Knows.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:11 AM
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the paintings America must not see...
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:26 AM
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In remembrance of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, a 14 year-old Iraqi schoolgirl raped, shot --along with her family-- and burned.

According to the federal affidavit, PFC Steven D. Green and four other soldiers with Bravo Company, First Battalion, 502nd Infantry, in the Army's 101st Division, planned the attack after spotting Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, a 14 year-old Iraqi schoolgirl, at a traffic checkpoint they were manning near Mahmoudiya. On the day of the attack, Green and the other soldiers drank alcohol and dressed in black before going to the girl's house. They broke in, and Green took the girl's father, mother, and her 5 year old sister in a room and killed them all. Green, then the others, gang-raped the 14 year-old girl, then Green shot her "two or three times in the head". They set the girl's body on fire, then went about covering up the crime.


more here: Mahmoudiya Amnesia
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:15 AM
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Monday, May 14, 2007. *
The Onrushing Theocracy
Bush met with Dobson and conservative Christian leaders to rally support for Iran policy

Filed by Max Blumenthal

President George W. Bush met privately with Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman James Dobson and approximately a dozen Christian right leaders last week to rally support for his policies on Iraq, Iran and the so-called "war on terror."
Advertisement

“I was invited to go to Washington DC to meet with President Bush in the White House along with 12 or 13 other leaders of the pro-family movement," Dobson disclosed on his radio program Monday. “And the topic of the discussion that day was Iraq, Iran and international terrorism. And we were together for 90 minutes and it was very enlightening and in some ways disturbing too."

Details of the meeting were disclosed by Dobson during Monday's edition of his Focus on the Family radio program.

Dobson described Bush as “upbeat and determined and convinced,”� adding, “I wish the American people could have sat in on that meeting we had.”

Dobson went on to enumerate a series of meetings convened by Christian right leaders in Washington to discuss the supposedly existential threat to the United States from a nuclear Iran.

“I heard about this danger [from Iran] not only at the White House but from other pro-family leaders that I met during that week in Washington," he said. “Many people in a position to know are talking about the possibility of losing a city to nuclear or biological or chemical attack. And if we can lose one we can lose ten.

"If we can lose ten we can lose a hundred," he added, “especially if North Korea and Russia and China pile on.”

Later in his broadcast, during a discussion about Iran with author and self-proclaimed “prophecy expert” Joel Rosenberg, Dobson drew a parallel between current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Adolf Hitler.

“The world looked at Hitler and just didn't believe him and tried to appease him the way we're hearing in Washington today,” Dobson remarked. “You know, the President seems to me does understand this, as I told you from that meeting I had with him the other day, but even there it feels like somebody ought to be standing up and saying, ‘We are being threatened and we are going to meet this with force -- whatever's necessary.’”

Dobson continued, “Some of our listeners might not like that but I tell you, if we didn't stand up to Hitler, we'd be speaking German today.”


via -The Raw Story

I'm convinced that Bushie is hoping to set up an End Times Scenario. Why else would you meet with Evangelicals unless it's a matter of rallying the base to take The War™ to a third front? As if I weren't as uneasy about this administration to begin with, this sinks it to a new low.

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posted by platts42 at 6:51 PM
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Last Saturday, I discovered that falsified history, written to support the claim that America was founded as a "Christian Nation", is embedded in a Department of Defense core curriculum textbook for Unit 6 of the JROTC curriculum, in the form of a falsified interpretation of church-state separation paraphrased from writing by David Barton, who is the leading American Christian historical revisionist.

You won't find the term "Christian Nation" in the textbook in question, but the textbook contains a key historical lie on which much of the "Christian nation" historical myth rests, and that historical lie is neing taught to an entire generation of America's future leaders.



We are living in a science-fiction world where Disney and Disney's science-fiction have won.-Bob Dylan
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:43 AM
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Sunday, May 13, 2007. *
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:08 AM
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· Players' behaviour could be used by advertisers
· Tracking idea disturbs privacy campaigners

David Adam and Bobbie Johnson
Saturday May 12, 2007
The Guardian

Internet giant Google has drawn up plans to compile psychological profiles of millions of web users by covertly monitoring the way they play online games.

The company thinks it can glean information about an individual's preferences and personality type by tracking their online behaviour, which could then be sold to advertisers. Details such as whether a person is more likely to be aggressive, hostile or dishonest could be obtained and stored for future use, it says.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:25 AM
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Saturday, May 12, 2007. *

See also: Katrina losing popularity as baby name.

(Bush is so bad he can put the stink on a baby name.)

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 6:25 PM
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"The "Bullshit Protector" flaps are a great way to protect yourself from GOP or punditry bullshit and spin, when spewed by the likes of George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, or even your local home-grown GOP wingnuts. It was inspired by Bill Moyer, a 73 year old vet, who was seen wearing "Bullshit Protector" flaps over his ears while Bush addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Salt Lake City, Utah." Download and cut out yours here.[Image 'http://www.wiseass.org/images/bsprotect.jpg' cannot be displayed]
posted by emg at 11:34 AM
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A statistical breakdown from Belief.net of the US religious groups
that "factor in American political decision-making":


THE "RELIGIOUS RIGHT"
HEARTLAND CULTURE WARRIORS
MODERATE EVANGELICALS
WHITE BREAD PROTESTANTS
CONVERTIBLE CATHOLICS
THE "RELIGIOUS LEFT"
SPIRITUAL BUT NOT RELIGIOUS
SECULARS
LATINOS
JEWS
MUSLIMS & OTHER FAITHS
BLACK PROTESTANTS


Last year, on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, Beliefnet
introduced the "Twelve Tribes of American Politics" to demonstrate how
the religious groups that factor in American political decision-making
are a great deal more complicated than simply a division between the
Religious Right and the Religious Left.

Using data from the Fourth National Survey on Religion and Politics
(see full study), Beliefnet defined the religious groupings that make
up our political landscape. The data is now updated to include results
from surveys completed after the November 2004 election. It now show
both longterm trends and specific preferences during the 2004 election
season.

This reprise confirms last year's biggest finding: the Religious Right
and the Religious Left are almost exactly the same size. The former
has had a much greater impact for the past 25 years largely because of
superior organization and drive. (Political junkies click here for a
full explanation of methodology.)
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:51 AM
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Friday, May 11, 2007. *
Petraeus' Moral High Ground

The oh so well regarded General Petraeus writes a letter:
The top U.S. commander in Iraq admonished his troops regarding the results of an Army survey that found that many U.S military personnel there are willing to tolerate some torture of suspects and unwilling to report abuse by comrades.

"This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we -- not our enemies -- occupy the moral high ground," Army Gen. David H. Petraeus wrote in an open letter dated May 10 and posted on a military Web site.


Thomas Ricks writing the above says the report was released last week. The casual reader will conclude that the General conquered this high ground pretty fast.

But that isn't so. The Mental Health Advisory Team finished the final version of its report on November 17, 2006. Did it reach Petraeus only last week?

It took nearly six month for the commanding officer in Iraq to stump up to the moral mole hill he now pretends to occupy. Predictably he does so to the opposite effect.

"Seeing a fellow trooper killed by a barbaric enemy can spark frustration, anger, and a desire for immediate revenge," he wrote.


When the General lowers the base line by denigrating the enemy as "barbaric" is that really the moral high ground?

Or is it a further inducement to fight the designated barbarians by all means?
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:17 AM
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007. *
Largely for those with privacy concerns; should this be in the closing-the-barndoor-after-the-horse-is-gone dept.? In any case, ask Google to block searches on your phone number, so that you can call even those with caller ID with impunity.
posted by emg at 6:59 AM
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Tuesday, May 08, 2007. *
We live in a time when blowing children to bits is an increasingly popular form of worship, the most powerful man on earth thinks he's got a hotline to God, and much of the electorate who gave that man his power would never consider replacing him with someone who does not believe the son of a carpenter who died 2,000 years ago sits in heaven advising presidents, fixing football games, and waiting for the day he will return to the Earth to brutally murder all unbelievers and erect a worldwide dictatorship. [...] Don't you know Stalin was an atheist? That's the way it goes. First you read Richard Dawkins. Then you have an abortion. Then you're putting a fresh coat of paint on the Gulag. [...]

It should also be obvious [...] that the supposed link between Dawkinsian atheism and Stalinist butchery is pure nonsense. Yes, Stalin did not believe in God. But he believed in History, Marxism, Leninism and all sorts of Hegelian mumbo-jumbo for which he had not the slightest evidence. He was not a religious man, but he most certainly was a man of faith.

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posted by Trevor Blake at 12:23 PM
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"Can you picture yourself walking into the neighborhood pharmacy with prescriptions for ecstasy (MDMA) and psilocybin?

If MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies) has its way, the days of prescription psychedelics may not be too far away. For those who know the history of psychedelic research, this eventuality has been a long time coming. But others — who may only be familiar with the intense emotions and activities around the “War On Drugs” over the past several decades — may be surprised to learn how much progress MAPS has made." (10 Zen Monkeys)
posted by emg at 10:22 AM
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"For nearly half a century, SETI efforts have Searched for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Instead of searching for alien life outside our planet, the Lifeboat Foundation has decided to take the opposite approach and to search for 'alien' life on this planet. We call our efforts 'Finding Artificial Life Created by Nanobiotechnology'..."
posted by emg at 10:14 AM
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cross-posted at skippy and a veritable cornucopia of other community blogs.

we are tickled pink to blog about this important literary find, because the lucky writer involved is actually a personal friend of the skippy's. la daily news:

writer joel eisenberg was poring over some crumbling manuscripts at 3 a.m. when the bombshell hit.

he realized that the handwritten scrawl swimming before his eyes was none other than the missing draft of sweet thursday by nobel prize-winning author john steinbeck...

the cardboard box, found in the effects of the late “guys and dolls” producer ernest h. martin, contained the 188-page draft of sweet thursday, the lighthearted sequel to cannery row.

on crumbling sepia-toned pages, it also contained the unfinished draft of “the bear flag cafe,” an unperformed musical comedy collaboration with martin and partner cy feuer from which the novel emerged.

as if that weren’t enough, there were carbon copies of 13 steinbeck letters dated from 1953, the manuscript of the log from the sea of cortez, and a never-published short story, “if this be treason,” which described the mccarthy-era firing of a tv star investigated by the notorious house un-american activities committee.

the steinbeck trove, sorted and preserved by eisenberg, will be auctioned may 24 in san francisco. sellers expect the sale, auctioned in two lots, to fetch more than $500,000.

“i would say it might well be the steinbeck sale of the century,” said bruce macmakin, senior vice president of pacific book auction gallery, which is handling the sale on behalf of the producer’s widow, twila martin.


it couldn't happen to a nicer, or more deserving, guy. the skippy's have had many a double date with the eisenbergs, as well as having attended their wedding, and have watched joel struggle (as all show biz hopefuls do) to make a name for himself. he actually has written and produced several low budget features as well as published not one but two how-to show biz books (and is working on a third, for which skippy was interviewed).

we are big fans of literature, and of history, but we are especially big fans of skippy's good buddy joel. we offer him, and all steinbeck scholars and fans, a hearty congratulations!

remember, where ever they's a large metropolitan paper dissing bloggers, we'll be there! where ever they's a gop meme oppressing the truth, we'll be there! we'll be in the way watertiger writes her snark and we'll be in the way dave niewert eviscerates bigotry...and when our folks have freedom for everyone and not just the select rich elite and we all can share in america...why, we'll be there!

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posted by skippy at 12:37 AM
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Monday, May 07, 2007. *
Seismologist Paul Richards teaches a course on Weapons of Mass Destruction at Columbia, during which he shows this amazing interview with a 1980s Richard Perle.

Perle—then Assistant Secretary of Defense and well on his way toward earning the moniker “Prince of Darkness”—is asserting the existence of “significant evidence that the Soviets have violated the 150 kiloton threshold” in the Threshold Test Ban Treaty, despite utter lack of such evidence.


You really may want to read this post in lite of recent events. As team B is now in full control, you know, working "on the darkside" and all.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:32 PM
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posted by Uncle $cam at 9:30 PM
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The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United States are working with other states in the Middle East to sponsor covert action against Iran, according to a report in this month's edition of The Atlantic. The report also suggests that covert attacks may occur against Iran's oil sector.
(snip)


I hate that I was right, Bolton:[had] No "Inhibition" Supporting Some Terrorists like the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK).

I do not take pleasure in I told you so's. Bolton and his crew have and are working hand in hand with the NSA, the CIA and other agencies which has since become Feith’s Office of Special Plans on steroids... Deep Black ops.

Scott Ritter, has already said that we already have US Marines in Iran working w/the MEK terrorist's. And bolton has no problem with it. At the time the State Department continued to resist pressure to remove the MEK from the FTO list. Knowledge found on the Congressional Research Service from a 2004 report entitled: Foreign Terrorist Organizations (pdf):

On August 15, 2003, the State Department added the group’s political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR)296 to the group’s designation. But since then the Soviet style purges and hiring/firing pushing out etc.. replacing seasoned veterans with political operatives throughout Government have become far and wide, as anyone whom has been keeping up with these things knows the DOJ, IS JUST THE TIP OF THE VAST ICEBERG. What is becoming clear is that this restructuring and replacing agents SWORN to the constitution with Rove's ideology cells-- also know as Roves republic titans-- has dire repercussions that work "on the darkside" (ask Cheney) and further, these "sleeper cells" will do their nastiness even when and if Jr. leaves office. Like any good network, it routes around obstacles and perceived damage to continue connecting nodes. And even further even when and if a Democrat gets in office.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:01 PM
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Sunday, May 06, 2007. *
posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:25 AM
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Attn. Herr Doktor Menlo
Please change how posts are credited at American Samizdat. I do not want my e-mail address linked to each post. I do want my URL linked to each post. The list of tags to change to make this happen is at http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=42095 There are any number of nerdlings here who can also help. Thanks!
posted by Trevor Blake at 9:46 AM
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Theocracy in the News
Ryan J. Foley: School to fund religious group. The state has agreed to pay $20,000 in legal fees to lawyers for an evangelical group that the University of Wisconsin-Superior refused to recognize because it requires its leaders to be Christians.

AP: Ohio Judge Frees Man After Bible Quiz. A man arrested on Wednesday for allegedly trying to use a stolen credit card at a drugstore got a break from a judge after passing a sort of Bible quiz.

W. Gardner Selby: Governor supports bill to allow religious expression in school. GOP Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday endorsed a proposal potentially hastening prayer in public schools, though advocates stressed that Texas students simply need legal armor to air their beliefs.

[Articles continues at links. There are a couple great things about theocracy. First, we are all religious and pretty much have the same religion. So if tax dollars are used for religion, that's more or less the same as using tax dollars for highways or even socialized medicine. We're all going to want what we get and benefit from it. It's a necessity public good like water and sanitation! Second, when a person is religious they only do good things. So enfranchising religion into law means that no one will ever force anyone else to do anything other than the right thing. If they do, well, they weren't really religious. All swans are black, and if you see something that looks like a black swan it isn't really black. Or it isn't really a swan. Or SHUT UP!]

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posted by Trevor Blake at 9:32 AM
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Saturday, May 05, 2007. *
"...[B]logging has become a veritable land mine of potential legal issues, and the situation isn’t helped by the fact that the law in this area is constantly in flux. In this article we highlight twelve of the most important US laws when it comes to blogging and provide some simple and straightforward tips for safely navigating them." (Aviva Directory)
posted by emg at 9:32 PM
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Friday, May 04, 2007. *
I showed this to a friend and they're reply was, "well, what do you expect, it's a war." I replied, uh, no, it's not a war, it's a Military action.

When terrorists do terrorist acts on "us", it's called War. When the US attacks another country it's called Military Action.

Addendum:


Ethics eh? or dehumanization?
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:21 PM
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Crouch has published widely on a number of issues, including both domestic and foreign policy. An example of his commentary: In a 1999 letter to the Washington Times, Crouch blamed the Columbine High School massacre on “30 years of liberal social policy that has put our children in day care, taken God out of the schools, taken Mom out of the house, and banished Dad as an authority figure from the family altogether” (Middle East Report, Spring 2005).
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:29 AM
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But in their contempt for politicians and journalists, Americans should not be too quick to let themselves off the hook. Any serious effort to reduce the presidency to its pre-imperial proportions would imply rethinking the premises of US foreign policy, based on self-aggrandizing assumptions about American wisdom, competence and prerogatives and about the capacity of others to manage their own affairs. Given our chronic inability--or is it unwillingness?--to see the world as it is and to see ourselves as we really are, such a reassessment seems exceedingly unlikely. In an age of the citizen as consumer-spectator, Americans care enough to complain, but not nearly enough to act. Long live the emperor.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:58 AM
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Thursday, May 03, 2007. *
The left is the major voice criticizing the war on terror, while the right, much to my dismay, has enlisted in ways I could not have imagined back in the 1990s. The right has led the call for war abroad, and called for speech controls, domestic spying, and more power to the president to arrest, jail, and even convict people in military courts without the slightest concern for human rights and liberties. Countless times I've had to explain to people who otherwise are suspicious of government that it is not a good thing to give the US government the power to overthrow any government in the world or torture people abroad or pass out trillions in reconstruction aid.

When the left makes a case for total government management at home and yet nonintervention abroad, while the right argues for free markets at home and a global war on terror abroad, there is some sort of political schizophrenia alive in the land. People who have doubted the power of government to do much at home seem to take leave of their senses when it comes to war abroad. And it is hardly a surprise that they have been proven wrong.

Four years ago, Bill O'Reilly said: "I will bet you the best dinner in the gas-light district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week." Tony Snow said: "The three week swing through Iraq has utterly shattered skeptic's complaints." Morton Kondrake said: "All the naysayers have been humiliated so far…the final word on this is, hooray." Fred Barnes said: "The war was the hard part…and it gets easier."

Well, it hasn't gotten easier. Bush says that we should stay in Iraq as long as necessary. A poll that came out today says that only 23 percent of soldiers in Iraq agree with him. Seventy-two percent say that the US should leave completely within a year. Nearly a third say that all troops should leave immediately. When the troops themselves are willing to tell pollsters this sort of thing, a war is completely doomed.

[Article continues at link. Recommended for pointing out that no political stance is a 'package deal.' Just because you are X does not mean you will also be Y. Are atheists capitalists or communists? Are vegans anti-choice or pro-choice? Is the left for more government or less government? The answer is 'depends,' and for that we can be thankful. Piecemeal social change does more good than revolution or stasis.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 2:47 PM
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A Superior Court jury in Atlanta convicted a vegan couple of murder and cruelty to children Wednesday in the death of their six-week old, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice. 27-year-old Jade Sanders and 31-year-old and Lamont Thomas will receive automatic life sentences for starving the boy, who weighed just 3.5 pounds when he died.

Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.

[Article continues at link. I think the money spent keeping this young couple in prison forever would be better spent in improving the parenting and nutrition classes in public education. Access to simple facts like 'humans need vitamin B12 and B12 has no plant or mineral source' won't prevent people from starving their children, but at least they won't be able to say they didn't know any better.]
posted by Trevor Blake at 12:37 PM
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In opposition to the probability of subsequent amendments, it has been urged that the persons delegated to the administration of the national government will always be disinclined to yield up any portion of the authority of which they were once possessed . . . - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 85.

Hamilton wrote the final language of Article V of the Constitution, which we'll look at in a moment. After the above statement in the Federalist Papers, he goes on to say that he thought the above statement unmerited. Boy, was he wrong!

[the full story at P!]
posted by Unknown at 7:37 AM
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