American Samizdat

Friday, August 31, 2007. *
Houston television station KHOU broke this story today: Inside the FBI's secret files on Coretta Scott King It shows the extent that certain elements in our society - including our own government - will go to when confronted with an eloquent, plain-spoken argument for social change.


Snip:
Today's news of the FBI conducting surveillance on Coretta Scott King for years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination sent my mind reeling. To think of anonymous, small armies of government bureaucrats, sitting in cubicles lit by dim, flourscent lights searching through Mrs. King's personal letters, reading logs of field agents meticulously recording the schedule of her comings and goings, and even having the audacity to critique her autobiography is like something out of a Terry Gilliam movie.



Same as it ever was...

p.s., why is it the meaningful diaries on dkos never get no play?
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:43 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

An American Airlines flight was delayed Tuesday night because a passenger expressed concern about some Iraqi passengers speaking Arabic. The flight was headed from San Diego to O'Hare. It turns out, the Iraqi men were in California to train Marines preparing for Iraq.

(via Lupa).
posted by Klintron at 12:48 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Happy Labor day weekend! Now get to work!

Modern Industrial Services, Inc. - your resource for all labor problems!

In today’s economy, a company cannot afford to be down because of a labor dispute. Safeguard your business by hiring Modern Industrial Services, Inc. to protect your company. We provide all types of employees ranging from certified welders to RN nurses. We have provided our service in all 50 states, Canada, and South America. We have worked in the harshest environments and made them calm and stress free. That is our specialty.

Our owners have worked in the field of strike re-staffing and strike security for the past two decades. There is no other company that has more experience or knowledge to keep your facility at prime operation than Modern Industrial Services, Inc.

Modern Industrial Services, Inc. has worked the three biggest strikes in the past decade. We provided strike security and replacements for the following industries: Hotels, Hospitals, Aviation, Manufacturing, Universities, Utility Service, and many others. We have references that range from Fortune 500 leaders to small startups.

* Strike Security
* Replacement Workers
* Transportation
* Contingency Planning
* Union Avoidance Campaigns


Click here to see a sample video:
here.

Feds say families of trapped miners can't request union help -- only the miners can
Feds say families of trapped miners can't request union help -- only the miners can
By Mike Gorrell
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 08/29/2007 06:28:16 PM MDT

PRICE - The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has determined the United Mine Workers of America union cannot represent the families of six trapped coal miners in the agency's upcoming investigation of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster.

The union filed papers with MSHA last Friday, saying that all six families had signed documents designating the UMWA as their representatives when the agency launches its probe into the Aug. 6 collapse that trapped the miners deep underground.

The six are still missing and presumed dead. Three more men died Aug. 16 when the mine's walls blew in again as rescuers tried to dig their way back to the trapped miners through the rubble of the first implosion.

Crandall Canyon was a non-union mine. But the UMWA maintains federal law allows union involvement in safety investigations if requested by two or more miners or their families.

In this case, union spokesman Phil Smith said, "MSHA requires that miners sign these papers, but the miners in question were unable because they are trapped inside the mine."

A statement from MSHA spokesman Dirk Fillpot said "we are disappointed that the UMWA is trying to use a law enforcement investigation for its own purposes. MSHA has spent untold hours briefing the families of the missing miners on every detail of the rescue activities and MSHA will keep them apprised of the progress of our investigation. The Mine Safety and Health Act is clear on who can seek representation in these investigations."

He referenced federal regulations that specify procedures for miners to identify their representatives, but that does not include provisions for family members to do so.

FULL story at link.



You take what we give you, AND LIKE IT!
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:45 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Thursday, August 30, 2007. *
The mother of a student who was suspended for violating her school system's dress code says the rules unfairly target religion, WRTV in Indianapolis reported. Tracy Prochnow said Highland High School in Indiana suspended her daughter, Brittany Brown, on Monday because the junior wore a Christian-themed T-shirt. Monday was the fourth time Brittany violated the code, which the city's school board implemented this year and requires students to wear khakis and polo shirts. [...] The school's principal, Mark Finger, said the dress code doesn't target religious beliefs. "The policy states there are to be no logos or slogans on a shirt," Finger said. A city council member, Ollie Dixon, said he would work to change the policy. It wasn't clear what changes he would favor.

[Article continues at link.]

Labels:

posted by Trevor at 6:10 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Rebuilding America's Senses


This is a great, well-researched presentation by activist Daniel Abrahamson.

Do you want to understand your world? This guy has it nailed.

A must watch, in my humble opinion.

via liquified viscera
posted by Bruce at 6:38 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 28, 2007. *
Gay Civil Unions Sanctioned in Medieval Europe
I thought legitimizing gay unions would destroy marriage:

Civil unions between male couples existed around 600 years ago in medieval Europe, a historian now says.

Historical evidence, including legal documents and gravesites, can be interpreted as supporting the prevalence of homosexual relationships hundreds of years ago, said Allan Tulchin of Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

If accurate, the results indicate socially sanctioned same-sex unions are nothing new, nor were they taboo in the past.


Full Story: Live Science.

(via Lupa).
posted by Klintron at 10:31 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Since Uncle Scam has opened up the sexy vid box...This is a gifted director by the way.

Labels: , ,

posted by Philip Shropshire at 10:07 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Wow is what most of you are saying right now. Followed by a 'figures Confused . So what it is that 7 times? 8 times? it has been "postponed?" I don't even remember. Don't hold your breath folks there won't be a trial this year. Please find somethng to hurl across the room. The next trial date is set in 2008.


Master's of running out the clock...

Also see,:

AEI vs. AIPAC - Pass The Popcorn
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:16 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

THE KENNEBUNKPORT WARNING


Diary Entry by sherry clark

::::::::

To the American people, and to peace loving individuals everywhere:

Massive evidence has come to our attention which shows that the backers, controllers, and allies of Vice President Dick Cheney are determined to orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror incident, and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin war provocation over the coming weeks and months. Such events would be used by the Bush administration as a pretext for launching an aggressive war against Iran, quite possibly with nuclear weapons, and for imposing a regime of martial law here in the United States.

We call on the House of Representatives to proceed immediately to the impeachment of Cheney, as an urgent measure for avoiding a wider and more catastrophic war. Once impeachment has begun, it will be easier for loyal and patriotic military officers to refuse illegal orders coming from the Cheney faction.

We solemnly warn the people of the world that any terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction taking place inside the United States or elsewhere in the immediate future must be considered the prima facie responsibility of the Cheney faction.

We urge responsible political leaders everywhere to begin at once to inoculate the public opinion of their countries against such a threatened false flag terror operation.

(Signed) A Group of US Opposition Political Leaders Gathered in Protest at the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, August 24-25, 2007

CYNTHIA MCKINNEY
, FORMER US CONGRESSWOMAN, GEORGIA

CINDY SHEEHAN, CANDIDATE FOR US CONGRESS, CALIFORNIA

CRAIG HILL, CANDIDATE FOR US CONGRESS, VERMONT GREEN PARTY

BRUCE MARSHALL, CONVENOR, PHILADELPHIA PLATFORM

JAMILLA EL-SHAFEI, KENNEBUNK PEACE DEPARTMENT
WEBSTER G. TARPLEY, AUTHOR

ANN WRIGHT, COLONEL US ARMY RESERVE, FORMER US DIPLOMAT

DR. DAHLIA WASFI, WWW.LIBERATETHIS.COM

GEORGE PAZ MARTIN

JOHN KAMINSKI, LAWYER, IMPEACHMENT ACTIVIST


A Trillion here a trillion there, pretty soon your talking about real unimaginable wealth...

“The Defense Department budget last year was three-quarters of a trillion dollars. I guarantee you that when war becomes that profitable, there will be more of it.”

—Chalmers Johnson, 2005
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:56 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

The FCC has released long-awaited rules for the auction and use of 62 MHz of prime 700 MHz band spectrum that will be reclaimed when television broadcasters transition to digital service in 2009. The new rules outline an ambitious public/private partnership to create a nationwide interoperable broadband network for public safety, establish auction procedures and license sizes, and impose limited “open access” requirements on one license block.


pcworld
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International (APCO), meeting in Baltimore this week, that his preference was to have the U.S. government pay for a nationwide, interoperable public safety network. But advocates of such a network have been calling for one for years without it happening.



private corporations are taking over everything. we know where their loyalties lie.

I came upon the first link above (pillsbury) from rereading a post about facility security forces regarding Saudi Arabia and noticed this 03 link about State Law Limits on the Use of Deadly Force by Facility Security Forces Ah, the good ol' days Eh? Those laws are probably off the books now like in Iraq. Will we have private security forces allowed to kill w/impunity?
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:43 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Bush Funds, Fights Taliban
Caren Bohan, August 6, 2007, Bush, Karzai hold strategy talks on Afghanistan : "The struggling, six-year effort to rebuild war-ravaged Afghanistan and defuse the threat from Taliban and alQaeda militants hiding over the border in Pakistan will dominate talks this weekend between U.S. President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. [...] Karzai is grappling with numerous challenges, including suicide bomb attacks by the Taliban, mounting deaths of civilians killed in the cross-fire of fighting between Western forces and militants, and a booming opium trade. Afghanistan supplies around 92 percent of the world's opium, and the crop has become a source of cash for the Taliban and a corrupting influence in the government."

Robert Scheer, May 22, 2001, Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban: "Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously. That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that 'rogue regime' for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention."

[Articles continue at link. Emphasis added. Apologies to regular AmSam readers who have seen the May 22, 2001 post before. I just don't get tired of reminding the world that George W. Bush was the main sponsor of the Taliban a few months before 9/11.]

Labels:

posted by Trevor at 7:00 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Monday, August 27, 2007. *
As Labor Day approaches, what better time to assess the state of working America. It's under assault and weakened by decades of eroding rights in the richest country in the world once regarded as a model democratic state. It's pure nonsense in a nation always dedicated to wealth and power, but don't try finding that discussed in the mainstream. Today, it's truer than ever making the struggle for equity and justice all the harder. That's what ordinary working people now face making beating those odds formidable at the least....


via woods lot
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:26 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Ten Questions for Trevor Blake
Rather than continuing the current cycle of assumption and accusation, I thought I would ask publicly ask Trevor a few questions:

1. Are you now or have you ever been a racist?

2. Do you support voluntary segregation?

3. Are you now or have you ever been a misogynist?

4. Are you a libertarian? If so, how would you define libertarianism?

5. What do you think of civil rights legislation such as affirmative action?

6. What do you think about social programs such welfare and universal health care?

7. What is your definition and opinion of capitalism? (Briefly stated).

8. What is your definition and opinion of socialism? (Briefly stated).

9. If you had to sum up for political thinking in only 2-3 words, what would they be?

10. Why do you post at American Samizdat?
posted by Klintron at 5:13 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

"DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Members of the 1st Battalion 265 Air Defense Artillery have mobilized and are on a plane headed first to Ft. Bliss, then for federal active duty in the capital region."
posted by Mule at 1:55 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment


Wikipedia has an entry for The Road to Serfdom. Economic planning is the doom of socialism, as explained by David Steele at Posing the Problem: The Impossibility of Economic Calculation under Socialism and the Wikipedia entry for Economic Calculation Problem.
posted by Trevor at 8:58 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

posted by the thistle at 6:04 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Sunday, August 26, 2007. *
Er, can't...d-e-c-i-d-e....

Katie Jane Garside


Can't decide who I'm more hot for...

Ms.Apple


or

Polly Jean
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:04 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

"...Gwinnett health officials found themselves in a bind. They had a person with a case of active, contagious tuberculosis, refusing treatment and threatening to carry the disease to a foreign country..."


I just wonder who will be paying the medical bills for the treatment he attempted to refuse...
posted by Mule at 6:20 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment


'Blasphemous' Bills Anger Americans
By Alastair Leithead
BBC News, Greenville, South Carolina

Demonstration over essentials dropped by Canadian troops - Currency imitation angered students of flooded university

A demonstration has been held on the campus of Bob Jones University accusing Canadian troops of insulting America after they distributed toiletry supplies bearing the cherished symbols of American heritage.

The toilet paper showed a repeating pattern of American $100 bills, featuring the declarations, "E Pluribus Shoppum", and "In God We Chi-ching", expressing American's devout faith that God loves shopping too.

The Canadian military said the idea had been to give toiletry essentials for the Christian students to use during severe local flooding, and they did not realise it would cause offence.

The shrink-wrapped bales of $100 toilet paper rolls were dropped from a helicopter in Greenville County.

The words on the imitation currency, which include the name of God, with some Old Latin thrown in, are revered, and Americans are very sensitive about where and how they can be used.

Clerics at Bob Jones University criticised the Canadian forces for their religious insensitivity, and around 100 students held a demonstration and prayer vigil on the campus.

University President Steven Jones said: "To have a version of our cherished American currency on something you wipe your ass with would be an insult in any American around the world. Even more insulting, the all-seeing Eye of God was centered on the 'sweet spot', if you know what I mean!"

A spokeswoman for the Canadian relief forces said they made "significant efforts to work with local leaders, clerics and elders to respect their culture" and distributing the toilet paper was an effort to give relief to the flood-beleagured campus that students would find useful.

"Unfortunately," he added, "there was something on those rolls we didn't immediately understand to be offensive and we regret that as we do not want to offend. Your US currency is in the crapper anyway, and we thought our British form of humor might ease their desparate relief situation."

Local weather forecasters predict another 39 days and nights of heavy rain for the South Carolina region.


Offending God and the Dollar all at once: everything that is holy and sacred to our great nation. I suppose they will start dropping Dixie Chicks CD's next...

This is how I roll...

Labels: ,

posted by Uncle $cam at 11:21 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

More Muslim Cartoon Outrage
The following comic strip won't be seen in many newspapers this Sunday...



... for fear of offending Muslims. It is good not to offend Muslims by way of comic strips. The invisible monster that lives in the sky that they worship is so weak that colored lines on paper or pixels on a computer screen cause Him to suffer. Gods are an endangered species and most of the thousands of Gods that have ever been worshiped are dead now. We need to take care of the few hundred that are left in the world. Oh, and it's also not good to offend Muslims by way of comic strips because they will boycott your country, threaten you with death, cause you to go into hiding, burn down your buildings, and kill you.

Labels:

posted by Trevor at 8:56 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Saturday, August 25, 2007. *
Ex-Reagan Officials Accuse Bush of War Crimes
Ex-Reagan Officials Accuse Bush of War Crimes
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:17 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Friday, August 24, 2007. *
Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns
The survey concluded that "high levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low homicide rates, low poverty rates, low infant mortality rates, and low illiteracy rates, as well as high levels of educational attainment, per capita income, and gender equality. Most nations characterized by high degrees of individual and societal security have the highest rates of organic atheism, and conversely, nations characterized by low degrees of individual and societal security have the lowest rates of organic atheism. In some societies, particularly Europe , atheism is growing. However, throughout much of the world – particularly nations with high birth rates – atheism is barely discernible."


It found the US to be one of the most religious nations.

Full Story.

(Via Sorceress Jade).
posted by Klintron at 7:58 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

At a hearing earlier this month, Chief Judge Raymond Dearie of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn ruled that Mamie Manneh, 39, of Staten Island, has legal standing to argue that her religious beliefs should exempt her from criminal prosecution for smuggling the contraband bushmeat. [...] Manneh, who is also known as Mamie Jefferson, was charged in January 2006 with smuggling 65 pieces of bushmeat into America from the West African nation of Guinea in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Government agents seized "skulls, limbs and torsos" of primates, including green monkeys and hamadryas baboons, according to court papers. The meat had been smoked.

The U.S. Supreme Court may have bolstered Manneh's prospect of winning last year, when it ruled 8 to 0 in favor of exempting a small group in New Mexico from prosecution for using a hallucinogenic plant to make tea. The court in that case, Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao De Vegetal, found that practice by followers of a Brazilian religion was protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 law passed by Congress that protects groups who use illegal substances for religious purposes. But bushmeat brings new issues into play, including conservation of protected species and public health threats that experts say can stem from eating primates. Diseases linked to primates include HIV, SARS, Ebola, Monkeypox, and Lassa Fever, the federal government says in its complaint in the case, signed by a special agent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Philip Alegranti. [...]

Manneh took the stand for the first time this month, where she testified that she was baptized as a Christian, but that she eats the monkey meat at religious ceremonies like Easter "because monkey from the wildlife is a very smart animal," according to a court transcript. Her testimony suggests that she practices a hybridized religion that borrows both from Christian concepts and indigenous African religious beliefs. Seventeen congregants of Manneh's church in Staten Island, the First Christian Church at 54 Thompson St., filed an affidavit in July testifying to the importance of bushmeat for their religious beliefs. "This is something our forefathers did, it is something we learned as children, and it is a part of our treasured relationship with God as African Christians," the congregants wrote. "We eat bushmeat for our souls," they said.

[Article continues at link.]

Labels: ,

posted by Trevor at 5:03 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

WASHINGTON - Former Congressman Mark Foley is unlikely to face criminal charges for sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage boys, sources close to the year-long investigation have told Scripps Howard News Service/ news partner TCPalm.com.


as Blake said, "One law for the Lion and different one for the Ox is Tyranny."
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:48 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment


"Shiploads of [Iraqi] drones on their way to kill us..."


Does it ever occur to anyone, that everything we say someone else does, or has, is exactly what we do or have? "What is the old silly saying? When you point the finger at some one, you have three pointing back at you".

Let's remember: DICK Cheney was at Langley EVERY DAY during this time. EVERY DAY.

Also see, Iraqi Drones Not For WMD

Saddam's regime had experimented with remotely controlled jet aircraft modified for biological and chemical attacks before the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but U.N. inspectors found no evidence that program had been successful.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:38 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Thursday, August 23, 2007. *
Trevor had an interesting question to ask about the definition of a right when I posted this cartoon earlier. I imagine that he didn't know that these trade agreements like the WTO and NAFTA are meant to circumvent, undermine and even eliminate any consumer or labor laws that multinationals don't like. It really isn't about rights but the erosion of self governance. But perhaps everyone doesn't know this. So, if you're curious, check out the Bible on this kind of thinking or: Lori Wallach's work with Public Citizen.

Summaries of key findings:

Here's a graph from "Warning: The WTO Can Be Hazardous to your Health"

Bans or controls on toxic substances. The U.S. has threatened WTO action under the TBT agreement against various countries for domestic bans or limits on phthalates, lead and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). In addition, harmonization negotiations currently underway regarding chemical classification could implicate thousands of state and local right-to-know rules.



I think what the cartoon was getting at--when the Uncle Sam character talks about destroying your environmental rights--is that nation states, usually at the behest of their industries, will use the WTO to invalidate your rules governing your health and welfare. Here's the latest from Public Citizen's blog Eyes on Trade (good choice for blog of the week by the way) about how your kids have the right to lick and ingest (nobody really knows actually...eat up.) lead products from China.

Choking on Barbie and Pixar Toys? - Thank the WTO

Mattel just announced its second August recall - one of history's largest with over 18 million toys globally, about 12 times the size of its previous recall. From Reuters:

The new recall involves 18.2 million magnetic toys globally, including 9.5 million in the United States. All have magnets or magnetic parts that can be dislodged.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it had received hundreds of reports of magnets coming loose. It said it had previously received reports of three children Evilbarbie swallowing more than one magnet and suffering intestinal perforations that required surgery. When more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal.

In the United States, the recall includes 7.3 million Polly Pocket dolls and accessories with magnets, 1 million Doggie Day Care magnetic toys, 683,000 Barbie and Tanner magnetic toys, and 345,000 Batman and One Piece play sets.

About 253,000 Pixar Sarge die-cast toy cars with lead paint were also recalled. Lead has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage.

Earlier this month Mattel's Fisher-Price unit recalled about 1.5 million preschool toys made by China-based contract manufacturer Lida Toy Co. because the paint on the toys might contain excessive amounts of lead. The global recall included products based on popular preschool characters from "Sesame Street" and "Dora the Explorer."

These import safety scares are the direct result of a trade policy that has off-shored more and more food and product production to countries with weaker regulation than our already inadequate domestic regulation. 80% of our seafood now comes from abroad; 80% of toy production is now Made in China.

It’d be easy to blame China, but the problem is much deeper. For decades, both Republican and Democratic administrations have pushed trade agreements which put limits on our ability to inspect imports. Under World Trade Organization rules, negotiated by the first President Bush and pushed through Congress by President Clinton, we can’t treat products differently if they come from outside the U.S., and we can’t demand higher rates of inspection for problem countries. Clinton also pushed China into the WTO – a move that was supported by all the senators now running for president that were in office in 2000 – so that means the bad rules apply to mega-manufacturer China as well. Now, Congress is poised to lock in more-of-the-same through NAFTA expansion agreements to Peru and Panama - countries with severe food safety problems. As Newt Gingrich would say, “Had enough? Call your congressperson!”

What's that you say easily manipulated Trevor Strawman? Well take a look at this article where it says that China won't take their banning of their healthy lead painted toys laying down.

But in a March 12 filing, China was the only one of 48 interested parties to tell the panel that it opposed new restrictions on lead paint in children’s jewelry. Guo LiSheng, the deputy director of a Chinese global trade agency, warned against “unnecessary obstacles to trade” and advocated international rules that allow some lead content. He added that good product labeling was sufficient.


"Obstacles to trade" usually translates to "we'll take you to the WTO". So, that's what I thought the cartoon was about. That article also references the fact that the Bush Administration is working to gut our food and safety laws, which should surprise no one because we live under a fucking evil government. Really we do.

Labels: ,

posted by Philip Shropshire at 6:09 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 22, 2007. *
From the NY Times:
Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows.

While incomes have been on the rise since 2002, the average income in 2005 was $55,238, still nearly 1 percent less than the $55,714 in 2000, after adjusting for inflation, analysis of new tax statistics show.

The combined income of all Americans in 2005 was slightly larger than it was in 2000, but because more people were dividing up the national income pie, the average remained smaller. Total adjusted gross income in 2005 was $7.43 trillion, up 3.1 percent from 2000 and 5.8 percent from 2004.

Total income listed on tax returns grew every year after World War II, with a single one-year exception, until 2001, making the five-year period of lower average incomes and four years of lower total incomes a new experience for the majority of Americans born since 1945.
If you read further, you learn that the only people who made out well in the five years were those at the top of the pyramid:
The growth in total incomes was concentrated among those making more than $1 million. The number of such taxpayers grew by more than 26 percent, to 303,817 in 2005, from 239,685 in 2000.

These individuals, who constitute less than a quarter of 1 percent of all taxpayers, reaped almost 47 percent of the total income gains in 2005, compared with 2000.

People with incomes of more than a million dollars also received 62 percent of the savings from the reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends that President Bush signed into law in 2003, according to a separate analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, a group that points out policies that it says favor the rich.
Try to act surprised.
posted by Bill at 11:39 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

A senior officer, Pietro Troiani, reportedly admitted under questioning that two petrol bombs allegedly found at the school were planted by police to justify the raid.



Interesting, no? Espcially in light of my recent posts. Can you say 'systemic', 'methodical'?
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:08 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:34 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Protesters need not fear, the feds are "shutting down" the TALON database which they used to store "anti-terror" info... like the identities of peaceful protesters.

Of course, by "shutting down", we mean "changing the name" just as Rumsfeld chuckled over having done with the TIA program a few years back.

The Pentagon said Tuesday that it will shut down an anti-terror database that has been criticized for improperly storing information on peace activists and others whose actions posed no threat.

It will be closed on Sept. 17 and information collected subsequently on potential terror or security threats to Defense Department facilities or personnel will be sent by Pentagon officials to an FBI database known as Guardian, according to Army Col. Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman.

Keck said the Pentagon database is being shut down because “the analytical value had declined,” but not because of public criticism of how it was used. Eventually the Pentagon hopes to create a new system — not necessarily a database — to “streamline such threat reporting,” according to a brief statement issued Tuesday.


Not enough déjà vu for you? Try this... a side-by-side comparison of Fox News' drumbeat towards the invasion of Iraq with their coverage of the runup to the invasion of Iran:Fox Attacks Iran. Why do they use the identical propaganda and tactics even after they have been exposed as being damnable lies? Because, apparently, it works.

Also, LETS NOT FORGET this:

Operation in Basra: Agents Provocateurs

SAS soldiers who were ‘liberated’ after being arrested by the Iraqi police on 19 September -- by a phalanx of tanks and helicopter gunships that stormed the police station where the two undercover soldiers were being held after they allegedly failed to stop at an Iraqi police roadblock and subsequently opened fire on the Iraqi police, killing one and wounding another.


I have said repeatedly the same tactics at use abroad are being used at home. This war has two fronts, and the North American people --in Canada and America--are seen just as much as 'the enemy' as so called insurgents abroad to this government both red and blue.

Finally, a broader analysis: Terrorizing Social Protest

Political protesters are not terrorists, as police and prosecutors well know. Yet it seems that the broad authorities granted under recent counterterrorism laws are too tempting to resist. Why would state officials respect normal criminal law rules when they can instead employ laws that offer sweeping powers, few procedural safeguards, and harsh penalties?


More than 50 governments have passed counterterrorism laws in the past six years -- many of them poorly written, filled with open-ended language, and vulnerable to misuse.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:02 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Agents provocateurs active at Montebello?



Peaceful protesters stop police provocateurs from starting a riot at the Stop the SPP protests in Montebello Quebec. CEP President Dave Coles confronts men with rocks and sticks.

Update: RossK has been covering this on his blog, The Gazetteer. The link is to his home page where there are currently 3 articles about this.

He's unearthed this image on Democratic Underground that shows one of the three arrested "protesters" with a yellow logo on the sole of his boot under the ball of the foot, seemingly identical to the boot of a kneeling policeman who is handcuffing him. It probably says "Vibram," a brand of work-shoe and hiking-boot soles. Circumstantial evidence but not compelling on its own. The Vibram logo is actually rectangular with the corners trimmed off, making it a squashed octagon.

RossK also links to more photos and a video.

Incidentally, the federal and provincial police report that four people were arrested in total, all known to the organizers of the protest, but no mention of these three who walked away from the leader of the protest who told them to go protest somewhere else (one guy was carrying a rock) at which time they moved to the police line and were taken into custody and led away.

In photos, one of the three men who attempted to disrupt the peaceful nature of the protest was quite tall, short-haired, and wearing new-looking camouflage pants, boots and wearing a small gray nylon packsack.

To my eye it's hard to distinguish him from the police who are leading him away except for the fact that his hands are secured behind his back.

It certainly seems possible that the three were provocateurs, but who sent them?

Also here.

This is not a trivial matter for reasonable people up here in the country formerly known as Canuckistan.

What I found most distressing was the fact that, regardless of who these fellows actually are and/or who they are affiliated with, this was a deliberate attempt at provocation that would have involved all kinds of innocent, unarmed and unprotected people if it had succeeded.

Furthermore, those unprotected people were actually there doing their best to make sure such a provocation did not occur.

The video itself really is chilling.

Following the developments as they move forward....one of the labour groups says they have 'proof' that the fellows were associated with authorities.
~Rossk
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:28 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to create "rally squads" of volunteers with large hand-held signs, placards or banners with "favorable messages." Squads should be placed in strategic locations and "at least one squad should be 'roaming' throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems," the manual says.

"These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators," it says. "The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:19 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to create "rally squads" of volunteers with large hand-held signs, placards or banners with "favorable messages." Squads should be placed in strategic locations and "at least one squad should be 'roaming' throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems," the manual says.

"These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators," it says. "The rally squad's task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protestors (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site."
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:19 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 21, 2007. *



I'm quite sure many think 'fellatio' to be a obsure italian opera, the Bush Felons' Swan Song


Operetta in d Minor? Hardly.


Coda.

It does no good to ask the weakling's pointless questions, "Is America a fascist state?"

We must ask instead, in a major rather than a minor key, "Can we make America the best damned fascist state the world has ever seen! An authoritarian paradise deserving the admiration of the international capital markets EVERYWHERE..?

I wish to be the first to say, yes, yes we can.

We're Americans; we have the money and the know-how to succeed where Hitler failed, and history has favored us with advantages not given to the early pioneers.

Same players different stanza, decades later...

Thnx Clinton.

We are all wearing the blue dress now. Got your knee pads on yet? You will.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:30 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Barbara Ehrenreich, on the "diabolically clever" new revolution to bring down capitalism.

I wish I could report that the current attack on capitalism represents a deliberate strategy on the part of the poor, that there have been secret meetings in break rooms and parking lots around the country, where cell leaders issued instructions like, “You, Vinny — don’t make any mortgage payment this month. And Caroline, forget that back-to-school shopping, OK?” But all the evidence suggests that the current crisis is something the high-rollers brought down on themselves.

When, for example, the largest private employer in America, which is Wal-Mart, starts experiencing a shortage of customers, it needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror. About a century ago, Henry Ford realized that his company would only prosper if his own workers earned enough to buy Fords. Wal-Mart, on the other hand, never seemed to figure out that its cruelly low wages would eventually curtail its own growth, even at the company’s famously discounted prices.

The sad truth is that people earning Wal-Mart-level wages tend to favor the fashions available at the Salvation Army. Nor do they have much use for Wal-Mart’s other departments, such as Electronics, Lawn and Garden, and Pharmacy.


Also see, Low Income Lower

and

below...then think about, 'The Base':

posted by Uncle $cam at 6:31 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

The American Psychological Association (APA) has voted to overwhelmingly reject a measure that would have banned its members from participating in interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and other US detention centers.

In recent months a string of exposes in Salon.com, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker have revealed psychologists have played a key role in designing the CIA’s torture tactics. Outraged APA members initially introduced a moratorium resolution that called for an outright ban on participation.


Congrats, APA! You've really shown the American people and the world where you stand: Mengele would have been proud!

And about crossing that "big black line" which separates interrogation from torture: it will be crossed by your members, as it has been over and over again. -MR
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:14 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Congresswoman Betty Sutton asks FBI Director Robert Mueller about Sibel Edmonds



Listen to the bullshit answers...
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:54 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

How fucked you are and don't even know it...


While the Uber-rich ship their money off to tax-havens, or overseas to clean up & on the other hand, the Feds pump in phunny money to prop up BIG Wall St. investors, here's the picture on the ground for real Americans:

Two years ago, William Stout lost his home in Allentown, Pa., to foreclosure when he could no longer make the payments on his $106,000 mortgage. Wells Fargo offered the two-bedroom house for sale on the courthouse steps. No bidders came forward. So Wells Fargo bought it for $1, county records show.

Despite the setback, Mr. Stout was relieved that his debt was wiped clean and he could make a new start. He married and moved in with his wife, Denise.

But on July 9, they received a bill from the Internal Revenue Service for $34,603 in back taxes. The letter explained that the debt canceled by Wells Fargo upon foreclosure was subject to income taxes, as well as penalties and late fees. The couple had a month to challenge the charges.

...

Foreclosure is one way that beleaguered homeowners can fall into this tax trap. The other is when homeowners are forced to sell their homes for less than the value of the mortgage. If the lender forgives that difference, they are liable for income taxes on that amount.

The 1099 shortfall, as it is called, stems from an Internal Revenue Service policy that treats forgiven debt of all types as income even if the taxpayer has nothing tangible to show for it, unless the debt is canceled through bankruptcy.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:27 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Sunday, August 19, 2007. *
Dancewater (Susan) has a very good, very comprehensive post on Medical Care in Iraq. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:15 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Uh, meeting times fellas..?




And a statement of purpose:

Labels: ,

posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:57 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment


Labels:

posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:55 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:47 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

It's one of the least-intriguing mysteries in politics: Why, since Democrats won't cut off war funding and speed up the exit from Iraq, isn't the left breaking off of the party? (A majority of Democrats now disappove of Congress's work on Iraq, after all.) It's pretty simple. The hard left of the party remembers what happened in 2000 when a couple million of them ditched Al Gore for Ralph Nader. Like the paleocons who stuck with Bush in 2000 and 2004 (especially 2000 when Pat Buchanan offered them an alternative vote), left-wingers are going to suck it up and vote for whichever wretched candidate the anti-Republican party coughs up.

[Article continues at link.]
posted by Trevor at 8:44 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Saturday, August 18, 2007. *
"Let's Prove the Americans Wrong"
posted by Trevor at 12:54 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Friday, August 17, 2007. *
Sibel Edmonds, NSA Spying, State Secrets and Kafka


Sibel Edmonds discusses the Kafka-esque nature of her treatment in the courts regarding the State Secrets Privilege.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:36 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Clergy Response Team
What should Christian clergy do if the United States government declares martial law? Why, they should follow Romans 13:1, which reads: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." And so the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is training clergy to help their flock accept reductions in civil rights.

Homeland Security Enlists Clergy to Quell Public Unrest if Martial Law Ever Declared
Secret FEMA Plan To Use Pastors as Pacifiers in Preparation For Martial Law
Feds Train Clergy To "Quell Dissent" During Martial Law
Why is FEMA recruiting CLERGY to preach government propaganda? [more links inside]

Labels: ,

posted by Trevor at 9:07 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

This has been making the rounds, and I thought it should also be posted here. While it is an "Editorial" and "The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.", it was still posted as a Must Read before it was yanked.

It would appear that
Family Security Matters is a front organization for theCenter for Security Policy.

Sorry for the Parrot Post, I just thought it should be posted here. Feel free to edit accordingly.

Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy
By Philip Atkinson

President George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2005 after being chosen by the majority of citizens in America to be president.

Yet in 2007 he is generally despised, with many citizens of Western civilization expressing contempt for his person and his policies, sentiments which now abound on the Internet. This rage at President Bush is an inevitable result of the system of government demanded by the people, which is Democracy.

The inadequacy of Democracy, rule by the majority, is undeniable – for it demands adopting ideas because they are popular, rather than because they are wise. This means that any man chosen to act as an agent of the people is placed in an invidious position: if he commits folly because it is popular, then he will be held responsible for the inevitable result. If he refuses to commit folly, then he will be detested by most citizens because he is frustrating their demands.

When faced with the possible threat that the Iraqis might be amassing terrible weapons that could be used to slay millions of citizens of Western Civilization, President Bush took the only action prudence demanded and the electorate allowed: he conquered Iraq with an army.

This dangerous and expensive act did destroy the Iraqi regime, but left an American army without any clear purpose in a hostile country and subject to attack. If the Army merely returns to its home, then the threat it ended would simply return.

The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life.

The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Yet Israel is not popular, and so is denied permission to defend itself. In the same vein, President Bush cannot do what is necessary for the survival of Americans. He cannot use the nation's powerful weapons. All he can do is try and discover a result that will be popular with Americans.

As there appears to be no sensible result of the invasion of Iraq that will be popular with his countrymen other than retreat, President Bush is reviled; he has become another victim of Democracy.

By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.

However, President Bush has a valuable historical example that he could choose to follow.

When the ancient Roman general Julius Caesar was struggling to conquer ancient Gaul, he not only had to defeat the Gauls, but he also had to defeat his political enemies in Rome who would destroy him the moment his tenure as consul (president) ended.

Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome – thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.

If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.

He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.


# #

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Philip Atkinson is the British born founder of ourcivilisation.com and author of A Study of Our Decline. He is a philosopher specializing in issues concerning the preservation of Western civilization. Mr. Atkinson receives mail at rpa@ourcivilisation.com.

Labels: , , ,

posted by platts42 at 5:57 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Concert sauvage dans le métro !



Again, I'm not a huge fan of hip hop or rap, but when it is raw like this it moves me...
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:59 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 15, 2007. *
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:19 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Would have posted sooner but my ever dependable comcast went down again. Looks like someone removed a splitter from the outside. I suppose it could be the NSA or those damn kids or an older kid with a graying beard. I hope it was those damn kids.

They (those damn kids) probably didn't want me to comment about this proposed draft. Multi Medium guy sez this is a tactical mistake by the republicans. But who would stop them? The Democrats simply haven't showed a lot of spine. I can see them now approving the draft and making the argument that "sending the dissenters into detention camps and revoking their citizenship all for the public good don't you know", said Nancy Pelosi and locals Bob Casey and Jason Altmire... A great opportunity for an opposition party though (paging Ms. Sheehan to recruit more candidates...)...

Just for the record: If you're drafted to fight in the Iraq war just say no. Or wait until Mitt's five or six sons get drafted because we know a Bush administration draft would be ever so fair and impartial, where rich and poor would serve in equal numbers, over in Hobbitville, right down from the land of milk and honey, beyond the seventh galaxy etcetera etcetera...

Related: Some people think you shouldn't volunteer either. Of course, you shouldn't volunteer for the American armed forces because you would have to be a fucking idiot to volunteer to kill and be killed for oil industry interests. It matters why you kill people. I think that's the definition of real intelligence. What reason you give to kill people. That reason shouldn't be "Wella some guy told me to kill ya raghead..." Not a good reason.

Here's a book those damn kids won't like:

[Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World By Aimee Allison and David Solnit, Seven Stories Press, August, 2007]

Army of None is a manual for opponents of the Iraq war who want to cut off its supply of cannonfodder. It presents how- to guides, hot tips, and successful examples of counterrecruitment strategies in schools and communities around the U.S. It argues that such actions can be a critical part of ending the war by depriving the military of soldiers to fight it. It presents this strategy as part of a more general "people power" approach to combating war and transforming society based on the withdrawal of popular compliance with authority.

The authors argue that without enough soldiers, it is impossible to sustain a large, long-term occupation in a country like Iraq.[1] Anyone who doubts this argument should read the recent speech by Senator Richard Lugar - the one that heralded the stampede of Republican politicians away from support of Bush's Iraq policy. Along with the intractable political situation in Iraq and the loss of support for the war by the American people, Lugar listed a third factor that makes current policy untenable: "The fatigue of our military." Indeed, the window for employing American troops "without damaging our military strength or our ability to respond to other national security priorities," according to Lugar, "is closing."

Labels: , ,

posted by Philip Shropshire at 2:31 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 14, 2007. *
This Tuesday, Dan Rather Reports presents conclusive evidence of the failure of touch screen voting machines across the country. The episode, "The Trouble with Touch Screens", is an entire hour devoted to new information on this story. From scientists involved in testing the equipment, to manufacturers in third world countries who shipped these defective voting machines to the United States, Dan Rather Reports will present new information showing that these defective machines may have altered the outcome of multiple elections.


and I get booted from a very prominent blog for discussing this very thing...
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:56 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

If you think the U.S. has only 160,000 troops in Iraq, think again.

With almost no congressional oversight and even less public awareness, the Bush administration has more than doubled the size of the U.S. occupation through the use of private war companies.

There are now almost 200,000 private "contractors" deployed in Iraq by Washington. This means that U.S. military forces in Iraq are now outsized by a coalition of billing corporations whose actions go largely unmonitored and whose crimes are virtually unpunished.

In essence, the Bush administration has created a shadow army that can be used to wage wars unpopular with the American public but extremely profitable for a few unaccountable private companies.

Since the launch of the "global war on terror," the administration has systematically funneled billions of dollars in public money to corporations like Blackwater USA , DynCorp, Triple Canopy, Erinys and ArmorGroup. They have in turn used their lucrative government pay-outs to build up the infrastructure and reach of private armies so powerful that they rival or outgun some nation's militaries.


Much more at the link...
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:06 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

When afternoon recess comes at an elementary school on the outskirts of San Diego, some students rush out for a quick game of hopscotch, while others gather in a room for Muslim worship. Like a growing number of school districts around the country, San Diego's is changing its ways to meet the needs of its Islamic students. Here, a controversy with constitutional overtones erupted: In accommodating Muslim students, is the school unfairly promoting religion? The school's policy "presumes that Christians are less religious and less inspired to worship and praise the Lord and come together," says Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. He is asking the school district to set up special rooms where Christians can pray, too. [...]

For now, about 100 students in the Arabic language program at Carver Elementary School are finishing their first year under a daily schedule that gives them a 15-minute recess period in the afternoon, about an hour after lunch. Many of the students are Muslim and transferred from an Arabic-language charter school that folded. Carver Elementary revised its schedule so the students would have the option to pray at the specific times ordained by their religion, says attorney Brent North, who represents the school district. A teacher is present to watch the praying children but cannot lead or take part in the observance.

[Article continues at link. Since the First Amendment insures that no religion will be favored over any other by the State, I look forward to seperate rooms for Muslim boys and Muslim girls to pray in at public schools. Then rooms for Christians, because it wouldn't be right to favor Muslims over Christians. Then a room for Protestants and a room for Catholics. Then a room for each denomination of Protestants and each denomination of Catholic. Then Hindu, then all the Native American religions. Then all the dead religions, just in case those Gods are real and someone wants to worship them. Don't forget the Jews, and all the denominations of Judaism. Shinto, yes, Shinto. Seperate rooms for all, and time out of the school day for all - that's what equal representation is all about. Or maybe what the First Amendment means is that the State should stay out of the superstition business altogether, and that tax dollars should go to secular public schools not religious schools. There are religious schools, and parents are free to send their kids there. There is home schooling, and parents are free to home school their kids. Options exist outside of introducing superstition play time into the public school day.]

Labels: ,

posted by Trevor at 10:42 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Savagery
I'm surprised that no one has bothered to comment on my last post besides Trevor. Likely, the frequent posters to this blog have noticed my draft response.

Trevor, you commented with what was possibly the most racist utterance I've seen aired on AmSam, and in light of the "scientific" articles you've posted arguing for voluntary segregation, I think it worth examining. In response to my having written...
other peoples [...] have maintained traditions and economic practices which have fostered their survival for hundreds of thousands of years.
...you wrote the following...
As long as 'survival' means living into your twenties; having 12+ children because only 2-3 will live; never travelling more than a few miles from where you are born; no literacy; infanticice and geriatricide; overt human slavery... as long as 'survival' means that, then yes, hooray the noble savages.
I am not an indigenous person and cannot argue from the perspective of one. All I can do is express my support for the right of indigenous peoples to continue to exist and to choose how they wish to live. (If you are a libertarian, as you have hinted you are, and if you are consistent with the doctrine, I imagine you can do no less.) In this, I am not so much advocating for a return to a way of life which is largely lost but for a respect for a people who are currently living between two worlds--between a set of practices which are vaguely remembered but largely destroyed and a modern civilized world which demands they assimilate but which is largely hostile toward them. In other words, these are not abstract points of a distant history argued by a white primitivist and his libertarian detractor but indicative of the very real political struggle engaged in by real people to thrive despite the continuing onslaught of powerful forces.

In short, I feel uncomfortable speaking for a group of living people who have for historical reasons specific grievances with the United States government when I am not a member of that group. They should be able to speak for themselves and do, though within the white-dominated news media, there is little attention paid to their ongoing struggle.

As to the individual points you bring up, we must separate out the anthropological data on people who lived from 200,000 years ago to the advent of the Encounter and those people whom I was expressing support for in my post. For while the latter are certainly the strongest and most legitimate advocates for a return to what some white theorists call "primitivism," I suspect that the current conditions of their lives are such that a collapse of "the State" would be in some ways as challenging for them as it would be for the average SUV-driving soccer mom or you or I.

But, wait, you're saying, I'm getting totally ahead of myself with this idea that the state is going to collapse, because, you know, through the power of the imagination, all things are possible, and we can create a newer and better world by the application of some new paradigm of technological goodness which will influx the capacity of the (trans)human zero hour threaded through the just-in-time singularity of FOX IN SOX, SIR!

Well, I'm saying you can still play all those sorts of head games--who am I to say what you can and cannot think--but there are also other factors to consider in the real world which are in dire need of attention. (PKD's definition of reality and all that.) Imagining that there is a solution to our present set of conundrums is not the same as IMAGINING THE SOLUTION. Or "a" solution. You know what I mean.

But maybe you're skeptical that there is a set of conundrums at all. Maybe you're of the mindset that nobody "really" "knows" "anything," "not really," so "quit complaining." To which I can only say that a significant number of people feel oppressed by the current state of affairs, and they're not going to be convinced otherwise simply by an appeal to scientific skepticism. Maybe you think they are therefore stupid, but you'd be thereby denying the empirical method.

As for the anthropological data concerning those peoples whose practices are largely lost to history (or who still more or less exist in small pockets scattered throughout the globe), Jason Godesky of the Anthropik Tribe has compiled a majestic mountain of research. I'm going to simply defer to him on the individual topics. Life expectancy, infant mortality and infanticide can be read about in his Thesis #25: Civilization reduces quality of life. (I've linked to the Google cache because the original is crashing my Firefox.) Geriatricide is addressed here.

As to the term "noble savages": White supremacism in the service of empire has documented historical manifestations. It is not simply a phantom created by leftists who want to abstractly claim that Western civilization is evil. Perhaps it would be interested for you to learn that the term "noble savage" was popularized by a white supremacist in the course of arguing for the manifest destiny of England's dominance over the American continent?

Given your concern with ridiculing religion, I feel it necessary to point out that science has a likewise mixed track record when it comes to public policy. For instance, less than 50 years ago it was the height of scientific fashion to regard homosexuality as a disease. The contemporary Christian theory of the viability of homosexual reeducation camps is based largely on the once-current psychoanalytic theory that gays could be "cured." These contemporary forms of discrimination can be traced back at least as far as the eugenics movement, which held that homosexuality (like race mixing) weakened the robustness of the white race.

It is from just this tradition of scientific bigotry (albeit one bolstered by religious bigotry) that the arguments against acknowledging the rights of the "noble savage" come from--as well as the poisonous characterizations. (Sure, it's bad science, but it's still science.)

What we need to cure our addiction to authoritarian religion is not so much science but democracy.
posted by the thistle at 2:17 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Monday, August 13, 2007. *
Nobody seems to notice nobody seems to care

posted by Uncle $cam at 11:05 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment



The General Strike is a national call to action, from citizens to other citizens. It is not about a single issue. It is not an anti-war protest, a civil rights protest, an election fraud protest. It is not about torture, surveillance, corporate media, the 9/11 coverup, or the environment. This strike is about all these issues and more.

We all have different concerns, but we all have the same concern: we are being lied to and this government does not represent us. Join other Americans in demanding truth, justice, and accountability.

This is our country.
And our world.
We just have to stand up.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:14 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Sunday, August 12, 2007. *


Since the Democrats’ Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi had already ruled arbitrarily that President Bush’s impeachment was “off the table,” Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan announced her intention to run against Pelosi in the 2008 national elections. Once again Mrs. Sheehan’s instincts, principles, judgment, and strategy are directly on target. The American people must oppose, defeat, and replace all members of the United States Congress of any political party who will not impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney in order to terminate their needlessly — inflicted death and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia as soon as possible. The so-called leaderships of both political parties have left the American people with no alternative. Even more urgently, the Neo-Conservative cabal known as the Bush Jr. administration are still threatening, planning, preparing, and conspiring to attack Iran, which could very well set-off World War III. Just recently they added nuclear-armed Pakistan to their publicly proclaimed list of targets.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:56 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Friday, August 10, 2007. *
Inspector Lohmann on Norman the Finkelstein tenure denial and its ominous broader implications...

A sledgehammer is being taken to academia in the U.S. Its critical thinkers and dissenters are in grave danger of being mowed down and silenced. Labels like "sedition," "treason," "collaboration," and "support for terrorists" are bandied about by a man who strategizes with Karl Rove. In the current political climate, these spurious charges are designed to destroy the richness of academic life, to ruin careers, and to incite violence and government persecution against those who have been targeted.

There is far too little critical thinking and dissent in society as a whole. That is the criminal situation. And critical thinking and dissent must not only be defended in the colleges and universities but spread in society. This is what the reactionaries want to prevent. And it is why a major assault on academia is emanating from and connected to the highest office in the land.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:43 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

looks like Kos has some splaing to do...

There are numerous indications Kos' wealthy, right-wing family in El Salvadore were involved in supporting death squads, the era in which Kos himself was working for Ronald Reagan. Holland follows up: (See link above)

I've no doubt Kos is an operative of the CIA. The site has an incredibly authoritarian atomosphere. There are "troll hunters" continuously stalking the site looking for thoughtcrime, the vitriol against Cindy Sheehan being the most recent example. In 2004, saying the election might have been stolen was a banning offense. I know, I was banned.

DailyKos is just the sort of thing COINTELPRO was set up to do. Distract, dilute, divert, and neutralize true progressives, who are too trusting by half. Not to mention tracking and profiling them.




Also, The Indictment of Markos Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA by Justice and History
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:41 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Metaphor for our freedoms?


A battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa's Kruger National Park while on safari.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:49 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Thursday, August 09, 2007. *
According to the band's web site, Pearl Jam's Lollapalooza webcast was censored by sponsor/webcaster AT&T:

AT&T, net neutrality, censorship



From the official website PearlJam says:

Even the ex-head of AT&T, CEO Edward Whitacre, whose company sponsored our troubled webcast, stated just last March that fears his company and other big network providers would block traffic on their networks are overblown..

"Any provider that blocks access to content is inviting customers to find another provider." (Marguerite Reardon, Staff Writer, CNET News.com Published: March 21, 2006, 2:23 PM PST).

But what if there is only one provider from which to choose?

If a company that is controlling a webcast is cutting out bits of our performance, not based on laws, but on their own preferences and interpretations, fans have little choice but to watch the censored version.

What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it's about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band.


AT&T, like other telcos who say you can "just trust them" not to censor content in the absence of mandatory net neutrality

Labels: , , ,

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:02 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Today
Today is the date of the 13th annual United Nations International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. Forums, talks and events are occuring in San Francisco and in New York. Delegates will urge member nations to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Rebecca Sommer has produced an hour-long documentary on the rights of indigenous peoples, which will be screened on both coasts. An early draft of the documentary is available on YouTube. Parts 2-7 are accessible through SommerFilm's YouTube profile. (I would have posted the first video here, but offsite publication is disabled.)

Today is also the final day of a three-day summit in Venezuela bringing together delegates from 40 indigenous populations throughout the Western Hemisphere. Delegates from as far away as the Mohawk Nation of Canada traveled to the land of El Dorado to express solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and the people of Venezuela. The Mohawk Nation's statement to the International Congress of Indigenous People can be read here.

And today is the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. How does this relate to the above? In this time of Peak Oil, the nuclear power industry is attempting to make a resurgence. Yet many of the stores of uranium which the industry needs to produce nuclear power are still on protected Native lands, and many of the proposed waste dumping sites are also on Native lands. Some of the same corporations profitting from the Iraq venture are also heavy movers in the nascent nuclear industry.

Recent efforts to ramp up uranium mining has activated indigenous politics and is slowly bringing native peoples once again into the public eye of the West. Indigenous protests against mining and dumping have occurred in as far-flung places as Ontario, Australia and South Dakota.

Indigenous political struggles have played a significant role in the recent leftward shift in Central and South America. Now those political movements are reaching out to indigenous populations throughout the world.

30 years ago, the Iroquois Confederacy issued "A Basic Call to Consciousness," outlining their perspective of the development of the Western industrial machine and the possibility of an alternate social contract which could bring human beings into a survivable relationship with each other and their environment. The traditional structure of the Iroquois Confederacy is thought to have inspired Western thinkers as diverse as Thomas Jefferson and Karl Marx.

At this time, when America's moneyed elite have come to believe itself absolved of the strictures which bind us all to common purpose; when the structure of society is more unequal and more rigidly enforced that at any other time in history; when widespread distrust of government leads most to doubt the political integrity of the richest nation on Earth; when the most public face of the American left has shown it to be as craven and shortsighted as their supposed opposition; when money itself seems more and more like a ghost chasing a phantom; where a "way of life" is predicated on endless war, torture, forced prostitution and theft of dwindling resources; and when it looks to even some conservative observers that we are reaching the horizon of civilization itself; perhaps then it is time once again to reexamine the structure of this system which thrives on catastrophe. And to remember that while industrial capitalism has brought itself to the brink of collapse within the span of a few short generations, other peoples--peoples who might not be so far from right where you are sitting now (or of course, people you might be)--have maintained traditions and economic practices which have fostered their survival for hundreds of thousands of years.

(Thanks to narcosnews for the post which inspired this cascade of thoughts, and thanks to Backwoods for the heads up about Akwesasne Notes.)
posted by the thistle at 1:05 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 08, 2007. *
posted by Bill at 9:57 PM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

US-led forces in Afghanistan say they have fended off a rare frontal attack on a coalition base, killing at least 20 Taleban rebels. The US military said about 75 militants tried to overrun Camp Anaconda in the southern province of Uruzgan. US and Afghan forces responded with mortars, machinegun fire and an air strike. Two Afghan troops were hurt.

[Article continues at link. George W. Bush gave the Taleban US$43 million. He gave them that money four months before 9/11. Now the Taleban are killing US soldiers, using US weapons. Why does George W. Bush hate America?]

Labels:

posted by Trevor at 8:13 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment

Baldwin became a right-wing, born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks, and now is the star of Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. As an official arm of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a "Military Crusade in Iraq" in the near future.

"We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region," OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. "We'll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq."

The Defense Department's Chaplain's Office, which oversees OSU's activities, has not responded to calls seeking comment.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:08 AM
0 Comments:
Post a Comment





Site Meter



Creative Commons License