American Samizdat

Thursday, July 31, 2008. *
From The Magazine : Radar Online
Is the government compiling a secret list of citizens to detain under martial law?"

In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president's henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.

The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft's second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush's first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration's various domestic surveillance and spying programs. Much of his testimony centered on an operation so clandestine he wasn't allowed to name it or even describe what it did. He did say, however, that he and Ashcroft had discussed the program in March 2004, trying to decide whether it was legal under federal statutes. Shortly before the certification deadline, Ashcroft fell ill with pancreatitis, making Comey acting attorney general, and Comey opted not to certify the program. When he communicated his decision to the White House, Bush's men told him, in so many words, to take his concerns and stuff them in an undisclosed location.

The Continuity of Governance program encompasses national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces. In short, it's a road map for martial lawComey refused to knuckle under, and the dispute came to a head on the cold night of March 10, 2004, hours before the program's authorization was to expire. At the time, Ashcroft was in intensive care at George Washington Hospital following emergency surgery. Apparently, at the behest of President Bush himself, the White House tried, in Comey's words, "to take advantage of a very sick man," sending Chief of Staff Andrew Card and then–White House counsel Alberto Gonzales on a mission to Ashcroft's sickroom to persuade the heavily doped attorney general to override his deputy. Apprised of their mission, Comey, accompanied by a full security detail, jumped in his car, raced through the streets of the capital, lights blazing, and "literally ran" up the hospital stairs to beat them there.

Minutes later, Gonzales and Card arrived with an envelope filled with the requisite forms. Ashcroft, even in his stupor, did not fall for their heavy-handed ploy. "I'm not the attorney general," Ashcroft told Bush's men. "There"—he pointed weakly to Comey—"is the attorney general." Gonzales and Card were furious, departing without even acknowledging Comey's presence in the room. The following day, the classified domestic spying program that Comey found so disturbing went forward at the demand of the White House—"without a signature from the Department of Justice attesting as to its legality," he testified.

What was the mysterious program that had so alarmed Comey? Political blogs buzzed for weeks with speculation. Though Comey testified that the program was subsequently readjusted to satisfy his concerns, one can't help wondering whether the unspecified alteration would satisfy constitutional experts, or even average citizens. Faced with push-back from his bosses at the White House, did he simply relent and accept a token concession? Two months after Comey's testimony to Congress, the New York Times reported a tantalizing detail: The program that prompted him "to threaten resignation involved computer searches through massive electronic databases." The larger mystery remained intact, however. "It is not known precisely why searching the databases, or data mining, raised such a furious legal debate," the article conceded.

Another clue came from a rather unexpected source: President Bush himself. Addressing the nation from the Oval Office in 2005 after the first disclosures of the NSA's warrantless electronic surveillance became public, Bush insisted that the spying program in question was reviewed "every 45 days" as part of planning to assess threats to "the continuity of our government."

Few Americans—professional journalists included—know anything about so-called Continuity of Government (COG) programs, so it's no surprise that the president's passing reference received almost no attention. COG resides in a nebulous legal realm, encompassing national emergency plans that would trigger the takeover of the country by extra-constitutional forces—and effectively suspend the republic. In short, it's a road map for martial law.

While Comey, who left the Department of Justice in 2005, has steadfastly refused to comment further on the matter, a number of former government employees and intelligence sources with independent knowledge of domestic surveillance operations claim the program that caused the flap between Comey and the White House was related to a database of Americans who might be considered potential threats in the event of a national emergency. Sources familiar with the program say that the government's data gathering has been overzealous and probably conducted in violation of federal law and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, "There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived 'enemies of the state' almost instantaneously." He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.

posted by platts42 at 11:16 AM
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008. *
The military-industrial complex has changed radically since World War II or even the height of the Cold War. The private sector is now fully ascendant. The uniformed air, land, and naval forces of the country as well as its intelligence agencies, including the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), the NSA (National Security Agency), the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and even clandestine networks entrusted with the dangerous work of penetrating and spying on terrorist organizations are all dependent on hordes of "private contractors." In the context of governmental national security functions, a better term for these might be "mercenaries" working in private for profit-making companies.

Tim Shorrock, an investigative journalist and the leading authority on this subject, sums up this situation devastatingly in his new book, Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. The following quotes are a précis of some of his key findings: "In 2006… the cost of America's spying and surveillance activities outsourced to contractors reached $42 billion, or about 70 percent of the estimated $60 billion the government spends each year on foreign and domestic intelligence… [The] number of contract employees now exceeds [the CIA's] full-time workforce of 17,500… Contractors make up more than half the workforce of the CIA's National Clandestine Service (formerly the Directorate of Operations), which conducts covert operations and recruits spies abroad…

"To feed the NSA's insatiable demand for data and information technology, the industrial base of contractors seeking to do business with the agency grew from 144 companies in 2001 to more than 5,400 in 2006… At the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency in charge of launching and maintaining the nation's photoreconnaissance and eavesdropping satellites, almost the entire workforce is composed of contract employees working for [private] companies… With an estimated $8 billion annual budget, the largest in the IC [intelligence community], contractors control about $7 billion worth of business at the NRO, giving the spy satellite industry the distinction of being the most privatized part of the intelligence community…

"If there's one generalization to be made about the NSA's outsourced IT [information technology] programs, it is this: they haven't worked very well, and some have been spectacular failures… In 2006, the NSA was unable to analyze much of the information it was collecting… As a result, more than 90 percent of the information it was gathering was being discarded without being translated into a coherent and understandable format; only about 5 percent was translated from its digital form into text and then routed to the right division for analysis.

"The key phrase in the new counterterrorism lexicon is 'public-private partnerships'… In reality, 'partnerships' are a convenient cover for the perpetuation of corporate interests." (pp. 6, 13-14, 16, 214-15, 365)

Several inferences can be drawn from Shorrock's shocking exposé. One is that if a foreign espionage service wanted to penetrate American military and governmental secrets, its easiest path would not be to gain access to any official U.S. agencies, but simply to get its agents jobs at any of the large intelligence-oriented private companies on which the government has become remarkably dependent.

i've mentioned that previously, as well as that of getting subversives hired on as service workers elsewhere, where the vetting is probably even more relaxed for those low-wage positions. ~b real
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:25 PM
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Under extreme pressure to produce results and fill less body bags, General Petraeus cut deals with armies of enemy combatants. These deals, now part of what is referred to as the Concerned Local Citizens program, simply pay insurgents to become temporary allies of the U. S. military. Approximately 70,000 former enemy combatants are now paid to play nice and all it costs us is $700,000 a day

Oh, and fuck obomba too...
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:23 PM
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Synthetic Pot as a Military Weapon? Meet the Man Who Ran the Secret Program

By Martin A. Lee, AlterNet. Posted July 19, 2008.

Dr. James Ketchum tested a potent form of synthetic marijuana on soldiers to develop a secret weapon in the '60s. Now he's telling the tale.

It was billed as a panel discussion on "the global shift in human consciousness." A half-dozen speakers had assembled inside the Heebie Jeebie Healers tent at Burning Man, the annual post-hippie celebration in Black Rock, Nev., where 50,000 stalwarts braved intense dust storms and flash floods last August. Among the notables who spoke at the early evening forum was Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, the Bay Area-based psychochemical genius much beloved among the Burners, who synthesized Ecstasy and 200 other psychoactive drugs and tested each one on himself during his unique, offbeat career.

Sitting on the panel next to Shulgin was an unlikely expositor. Dr. James S. Ketchum, a retired U.S. Army colonel, told the audience, "When Sasha was trying to open minds with chemicals to achieve greater awareness, I was busy trying to subdue people."

Ketchum was referring to his work at Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps(...)

Sometimes, it's the good guys (or well intentioned guys) who scare me more than the bullies.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:20 PM
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The vultures of corporate America are closing in on the carcass of cheap food. With corn selling at $5.86 a bushel (up from just $2.00 in 2005, and $4.28 just six months ago), the food price crisis has been somewhat of a windfall for farmers. But the briefly glimmering hope for rural communities is about to go out.

Last week Monsanto announced it would increase the price of its corn seed by $100 a bag, or about 35%. $100 a bag! So if you are a farmer with 1,000 acres in corn, Monsanto will be demanding an extra forty grand this year.

The timing on Monsanto's unilateral price hike is especially heinous. With the world thrust into a profound food crisis, governments shaken, and children hungry, Monsanto is pushing the envelope on one of the world's most important grains. This in combination with the outrageous inflation in the price of fertilizer, (over 400% in the past two years, due to the increase in the price of natural gas, from which fertilizers are made) means farmers are once again barely braking even.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:54 PM
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Monday, July 28, 2008. *

Left this over at Ralph Nader's new website. I don't support his presidential bid but I offered up my 5/25 plan yet again. Short review: Third parties shouldn't contest every damn seat but focus on 25 house seats and five senate seats and fully fund them at 1 million per house seat and 2 million per senate seat. That's not a minor amount but given what we've seen Ron Paul and Barack Obama do I really think that's possible. If the Netroots really wants to put the fear of god into the Democrats stop giving them money even when they screw you. Even though Regina Thomas lost, run somebody in the general as a death sentence. Pick five pro Fisa, pro Iraq dems and tell them to "Suck on This" as it were. Recruit Hollywood hard. Real hard. Run canvass based, internet based campaigns as cheaply as possible. Stir and then bake.

Here's what I wrote over there:

I'm with Joe on this one. Run for Joe Biden's senate seat. Actually, as a senator, you can do something pretty powerful. You can use the filibuster. In fact, I have something called the 5/25 plan which I wish independent parties would use. You don't need to contest all the seats. You just need 25 house seats and five senate seats and use those numbers as voting blocs. Here's the important thing abut those 5 senate seats, you would need those senators to use the old fashioned filibuster as a group. You would'nt necessarily have to win but with five senators working together you could change things. You could at least use it to counter the GOP filibuster. Who knows. Perhaps they would get rid of the filibuster which would be fine in that its used to defeat mostly progressive measures all the time. I really wish Ralph would go after Joe Biden's seat or, all those seats where you have DLC dems running against the GOP (nothing changes)...You do need to raise at least 1 million to contest a house seat and 2 million dollars to contest a senate seat using a paid field canvass (which I could run if anyone is asking) and internet media until the last few weeks of the election.

I think Ralph could win a decently funded campaign running against the two party system. I really think he could beat Joe Biden. I don't think he has a realistic chance at the presidency.

Philip Shropshire

PS: I did some paid sig work for Ralph in Pennsylvania. Wasn't easy. I'm also a lifelong fan of Ralph and think he's the greatest journalist who ever lived.

Speaking of bad third party runs, looks like strictly symbolic Green Party candidate Titus North is about to make a go of it again.

Of course, there are some local races that just scream out for a third party run. How about a race against our GOP-lite. icon of machine corruption/incompetence, future DLCer Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl?

Nope. Gonna pass huh.

Well, how about Pro Fisa, Pro Iraq war insurance lobbyist jock Jason Altmire, who is one of the few Northern candidates to be targeted by Open Left as a Bush Dog Democrat?

Nyet again you say.

Certainly, it couldn't be US Congressman Mike Doyle, the guy who voted to slash Iraq War funding and just brought the entire FCC to town to fight for Net Neutrality, not him right?


Titus North is running against Mike Doyle. I guess, for a green, when you vote badly on coal issues it doesn't matter if you voted the right way in order to stop killing Iraqis. Thanks Titus. I'm glad that people who think that environmentalists don't have their priorities straight can't gloat too much about your decision to run. See clip below. I am impressed with his Japanese though.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:55 PM
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Girl fight! More on Inara George, yet another COM pletely unapproachable alt pop icon that I can obsess over.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:53 PM
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Friday, July 25, 2008. *
See what happens when you make a joke?
My wife bought some printable tattoo paper, and while joking about the necessity of a Wolverine tat, I saw this:

I found this fitting enough to post here
posted by platts42 at 7:57 AM
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008. *
Willie Nelson, speaking on the Alex Jones show, has just announced that he would be a driving factor in a new Farm Aid-type event that will focus on supporting Dennis Kucinich's efforts to impeach george bush. It will also be an anti-war event. This plan is literally coming together as I type. Willie has just committed to it.

Mr. Nelson also believes that the event could be used as a platform for those who do not believe the government's official story of 9/11 to speak out and let their feelings be known.

The event was conceived by a caller into the Alex Jones radio show just minutes ago who suggested that Willie back or organize the event as a way to take the efforts to impeach bush and advocate for a new 9/11 investigation, which is supported by the majority of victims' families, to the next level.

The venue will be either in New York City or in Austin, Texas. Both Mr. Nelson and Mr. Jones agree that the event should be held soon so that it can be used as a way to enhance Congressman Kucinich's efforts.

This is a developing story and is unfolding on air.

If anyone can pull this off and make the media pay attention, it's Willie Nelson.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:51 AM
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Monday, July 21, 2008. *

Leaked photo of a detainee with face wired, lips sewn and red eyes. According to digital camera metadata the image was taken on Feb 9, 2003 03:49:25. The 6 Aug 2004 is also mentioned in relation to this photo. Readers with information as to the status of this detainee contact Although there is a resemblance to the US Taliban supporter John Walker Lindh, the connection is superficial.

Wiki leaks have probably taken this extra-ordinary step of putting the photo at the top of their front page to ensure all humans visiting get to witness man's inhumanity.
We see the true purpose of torture here to hurt the victims and provide gratification for the perpetrator since the form this torture took discouraged the victim from saying anything.

As my friend writes, "The reason I went to the wikileaks site was to learn more about ACTA a secret agreement being negotiated to enable elite control over what is allowed on the internet" [and ran across the above].

In 2007 a select handful of the wealthiest countries began a treaty-making process to create a new global standard for intellectual property rights enforcement, which was called, in a piece of brilliant marketing, the "Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement" (the agreement does not cover currency fraud).

ACTA is spearheaded by the United States along with the European Commission, Japan, and Switzerland — which have large intellectual property industries. Other countries invited to participate in ACTA’s negotiation process are Canada, Australia, Korea, Mexico and New Zealand. Noticeably absent from ACTA’s negotiations are leaders from developing countries who hold national policy priorities that differ from the international intellectual property industry.

A “Discussion Paper on a Possible Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” was reportedly provided to select lobbyists in the intellectual property industry, but not to public interest organizations concerned with the subject matter of the proposed treaty.[1]

Wikileaks has obtained the document.

The agreement covers the copying of information or ideas in a wide variety of contexts. For example page three, paragraph one is a "Pirate Bay killer" clause designed to criminalize the non-profit facilitation of unauthorized information exchange on the internet. This clause would also negatively affect transparency and primary source journalism sites such as Wikileaks.

The document reveals a proposal for a multi-lateral trade agreement of strict enforcement of intellectual property rights related to Internet activity and trade in information-based goods hiding behind the issue of false trademarks. If adopted, a treaty of this form would impose a strong, top-down enforcement regime, with new cooperation requirements upon internet service providers, including perfunctionary disclosure of customer information. The proposal also bans "anti-circumvention" measures which may affect online anonymity systems and would likely outlaw multi-region CD/DVD players.

The proposal also specifies a plan to encourage developing nations to accept the legal regime.

Trade representatives were hoping to formalize the agreement at the G-8 summit in July 2008.

All discussion of that topic, which isn't much at all has concentrated on authorities being able to seize and search any ipod hard drive or other data storage device.

Everyone brushes the issue away by pointing out that the law is too unwieldy to be successful without ever reading on to discover that anyone or any web site that displays copyright information or even a link to copyright information can be prosecuted immediately, no takedown notice beforehand (that will come immediately to the ISP or web server corporation).

A minute from say the NZ government is copyrighted, a memo or requisition from the US government is copyrighted, just about all written information is pretty much copyrighted including the pic of the wired detainee/hostage. This 'treaty' will be an addendum to all existing trade agreements made under WTO regs. There can be no amendments, no alterations once the treaty has been finalised in secret by the G-8 with limited input from a few others, all signatories to trade agreements will be obliged to adopt ACTA complete no changes. Sure amerikans will do the usual of contesting elements of this through their judicial system but for most nations that won't work and amerikan web servers are already subject to federal govt back doors and other interferences warez as well as much information which may fall under the auspices of the patriot act is generally put up on servers outside amerika.

Once in place ISP's will be made to police all data on all web servers, as it currently stands even search engines are liable if a search throws up links to unauthorised copyrighted data, although google yahoo et al have lobbyists negotiating that issue.

From then on no more 'memory holes' wikileaks' or any other links to or copies of information that wasn't written by the poster or given permission to like to or copy. Sure peeps can rewrite stuff but we all know that doesn't carry any weight as proof when making a case or informing other peeps. Peeps like to know the actual video footage of a waterboarding is there for them to check. That the transcript of a intercepted conversation between two lackeys of the elitesis available, that the minute sent by the corrupt lawyer in Justice is there to support what the rabble rousers are saying.
I only came across this issue on friday when I saw a brief outline largely in support of ACTA in the latest edition of new scientist which I brought to read in the waiting room of my Dr's surgery.
I have tried to publicise it on more relevant forums eg warez discussion boarrds here and there but most reaction what little there has been has been of the shoot the messenger type. or argue the detail - another ploy we develop to avoid unpleasant realisation."

none the less, not that it matters I guess, not when Children are tortured to death at Guantánamo , and American Military Jails are 'Legal Black Holes', and you dear citizen --thanks to our supreme court can now be detained too ( see my post below). Whats to keep them from wiring your jaw shut, and sewing your American lips together?

Back on track case in point, How are they feeding this man? Through the nose? And why exactly does he have a wire piercing his ear? For electrode attachment, or is it just to hold his alpha-numerical status tag? Is this man in undisclosed CIA custody?

This guy has stainless steel wire piercing his mouth and jaw AND his lips are sewn shut? Are the leads going to his ears for inducing electric shocks and/or to provide nonstop aural stimulation, ie. music or noise or brainwash chatter?

The point is -- We don't fucking know.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:30 AM
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Thursday, July 17, 2008. *

Is it just me, the times, or does this increasingly look idyllic?

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 10:30 PM
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BOGOTA, Colombia (CNN) -- Colombian military intelligence used the Red Cross emblem in a rescue operation in which leftist guerrillas were duped into handing over 15 hostages, according to unpublished photographs and video viewed by CNN.

Photographs of the Colombian military intelligence-led team that spearheaded the rescue, shown to CNN by a confidential military source, show one man wearing a bib with the Red Cross symbol. The military source said the three photos were taken moments before the mission took off to persuade the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels to release the hostages to a supposed international aid group for transport to another rebel area.

Such a use of the Red Cross emblem could constitute a "war crime" under the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law and could endanger humanitarian workers in the future, according to international legal expert Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.
Misuse of the Red Cross emblem is governed by articles 37, 38 and 85 of Additional Protocol One to the Geneva Conventions, the international rules of war. The articles prohibit "feigning of protected status by the use of ... emblems" of neutral parties and say that such misuses are considered breaches of international humanitarian law that qualify as a "war crime."

Colombia signed the Geneva Conventions in 1949.
Other photos shown to CNN indicate how little was done to disguise equipment used in the rescue. The two military MI-17 helicopters used in the rescue were repainted white and orange without removing armor-plated panels positioned around the outside of the cockpit. Another shot shows the pilots wearing what appear to be military pilots' helmets that have been repainted white with orange or red V-shaped stripes. The helmets still have prominent mounts on the front used for attaching night vision goggles.

One other video clip shows the two guerrilla commanders, who had boarded the helicopter with their hostages, carried out of the chopper over the shoulders of two men the CNN source identified as plain-clothes military personnel. The rebels were blindfolded and partially stripped. As they were dumped on the ground, they appeared groggy and stunned.

Before the departure of the operation, two soldiers in camouflage uniforms can be seen on the farm where the helicopters were staged, chasing a chicken and stunning it with a stun gun.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:52 AM
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President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.

But a second, overlapping 5-to-4 majority of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruled that Ali al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar now in military custody in Charleston, S.C., must be given an additional opportunity to challenge his detention in federal court there. An earlier court proceeding, in which the government had presented only a sworn statement from a defense intelligence official, was inadequate, the second majority ruled.

The decision was a victory for the Bush administration, which had maintained that a 2001 Congressional authorization to use military force after the Sept. 11 attacks granted the president the power to detain people living in the United States.

The court effectively reversed a divided three-judge panel of its own members, which ruled last year that the government lacked the power to detain civilians legally in the United States as enemy combatants. That panel ordered the government either to charge Mr. Marri or to release him. The case is likely to reach the Supreme Court.

Just in time for...? And you thought he was a lame duck...
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:48 AM
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008. *

Speaking of fascism, Chris Floyd puts together the dots globally (with a focus on the neofascists in Italy) and tells us that there are no center left parties in most of the industrialized nations of the world. They've all been co-opted. When things like that happen across the globe perhaps its inappropriate to call them "accidents".

But Milne makes a further point. The rise of neo-fascism in Italy, and elsewhere, is tied to the collapse -- or rather the surrender -- of center-left parties to the pernicious doctrines of the Right. Everywhere, these parties --- Democrats in America, Labour in the UK, various Social Democrats throughout Europe – have turned themselves into pale copies of conservative parties, adopting policies that have degraded society, destroyed communities, entrenched injustice, rewarded greed, poisoned the earth, embraced militarism and aggression, inflicted vast suffering on developing nations (through the straightjacket of "market reforms," i.e., corporate-crony welfare), subverted democracy, diminished liberty and gutted the very notion of the common good.

[Yet we are being too kind in calling this process a "surrender." As Arthur Silber has pointed out many times, the Democrats – and New Labour and other craven centre-left parties – have embraced the Right's agenda of elitist domination, militarism and scorn for the common good because they agree with it. Any figures with genuinely "progressive" views have been winnowed out or marginalized by the big money machines that run the parties. Such people are always a minority amongst the self-interested factions who vie for domination over a nation's affairs, of course. But there used to be a more substantial minority of such folks in U.S. politics, with enough leverage to sometimes affect national policy and even score some successes. But this strain has been almost completely bred out, as we have seen in the latest Democratic Congress – the most reviled and unpopular Congress in American history.]

And there's this:

In the current U.S. presidential campaign, we can see this dynamic of center-left collaboration with the Right – which has been going on for almost a quarter-century in America – playing itself out once again. Barack Obama's "surge" to the Right – as exemplified by his vote for the tyrannical FISA measure – is just another iteration of this process. Likewise, his embrace of the Terror War; true, he wants to do it more "efficiently," and perhaps add a few more targets – in Pakistan, say – but he still wants to do it. He makes no bones about continuing this militarist project which has already killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, bankrupted the national treasury, and is now – through the Terror War oil price spike – strangling the entire national economy. All of this – especially the Terror War's continuing brutalization and coarsening of the national ethos – is meet food for neo-fascism to feed upon.

And it's already gorging itself in its ancestral homeland. Rounding up Gypsy children, fingerprinting them, driving them from their homes, applauding pogroms -- as Faulkner said, the past is never dead; it's not even past

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:37 PM
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Above: How I feel about the blue dogs. (Eww. Can they make his teeth any yellower?)Also: Don't give to Barry. Give to the ACLU. Don't reward Barry for doing evil and bowing down. Update: Regina got spanked by a 3 to 1 margin.

More from Factesque:

Regina Thomas Loses to DINO Barrow Thanks to Obama Endorsement

Apparently the endorsement worked. The real difference, though, was most likely the extremely low voter turnout, much lighter than any one expected, especially in the city (Savannah). That had to help Barrow and hurt Thomas.

It was a bad night. Thomas lost 3-1, giving Blue Dog Barrow - who has GOP Favorite Dem status - an overwhelming victory that DLC leaders like Rahm Emanuel and Al From will use to increase their power within the party. It's one more small step toward Republican dominance of the Democratic party and minority rule over the majority, and it stinks.

The city of Savannah was close but Barrow won with the white suburban vote.

Barrow ran as a champion of the middle class, veterans and small business. Thomas billed herself as a "voice for the voiceless."

She said she was the true Democrat in the race mostly because, unlike Barrow, she opposed the war in Iraq and President Bush's tax cuts.

She cited a report that Barrow voted against his party last year more often than any other House Democrat.

Barrow wore that as a badge of courage, saying it showed he could rise above party politics when it was in the best interests of his district.

"This election," he said, "was a real victory for those of us who believe that the big things we agree on are more important than the little things that divide us."

(emphasis added)

Sound familiar? That's Obama's pitch. Pay attention to the kind of Democrat who's saying it. That's who Obama is aligned with - the DINOs who define "rising above party politics" as giving the GOP everything it wants. That's what we can look forward to in a BO presidency - betrayal, appeasement, rule by a minority, and yet more disastrous conservative govt.

Welcome to the Funhouse.

Below: How I feel about the war and the mentality of the people who started it. Note to moving to the center Pittsburgh City Paper: Derf and Red Meat aren't as funny as Tom the Dancing Bug. When Ruben is on he's The Funny.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 9:09 PM
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On Probable-President Nobama's campaign website is a slick icon that says "Powered by Hope". I have to admit, that's right on the money (semi-pun intended). For many ersatz and about-to-be-erstwhile Nobama supporters, the power certainly has not been reality. Not without substantial encouragement, progressives slid happily into the glittering swamp of vagueness with nothing to propel them but hope, and conjured up, variously, a Gandhi, a JFK, a Blessed Savior, a Renaissance Black Man, Jack Johnson with a halo.

The past couple of days must have been trying for many of these so-called "progressive" types. It must be difficult to be enraged at a hilariously satiric and irreverent magazine cover at the same time you're enraged at the subject of that cover for betraying you and dashing your hope to smithereens. Go figure. The only thing intelligent I can say is, "D'Oh!"

There was, of course, enough of the hope stuff to spread around on the Clinton side, too. Hope that there'd be a woman president, hope for another Clinton presidency, hope for the fading pantsuit industry. These are, after all, the Clintons from Hope - they just don't live there anymore. When they finally train-wrecked, many of their now-hopeless passengers said they were gonna vote for McShame. Now that's "progressive". Someone aimed for the wrong target on the "whiners" thing.

A couple of quick points here: (1) it has already been more than adequately documented that Nobama has not moved one inch from the positions he's held for years and has betrayed no one; (2) if there really is an election in November (another train-wreck of thought, entirely), it looks like we're gonna get both of them. Shouldn't the latter be the best that both "sides" could have hoped for?
They who do not understand that a man may be brought to hope that which of all things is the most grievous to him, have not observed with sufficient closeness the perversity of the human mind. -- Anthony Trollope
What is hope? In itself, it is but Desire. Fantasy. Delusion. Hope is, in fact, nothing. If you have nothing but hope, you have nothing. Hope is not reality. It is only itself. Try eating it.

In the context of our evolving ecological miasma, hope has now become dangerous. Reality is so horrid that we hide out in a fortress of hope to the extent that hope and denial are indistinguishable. We are, indeed, "hoping beyond hope".

When we hope for the impossible, what are we? Stupid, of course. Pure and simple. Dumb as a bag of cinder blocks.

When we hope again and again that the same road we followed into the smelly swamp in the past will this time open into a glittery glade by a shady brook, what are we? Insane.

When we hope that the truth is not the truth, in spite of overwhelming evidence that it is, what are we? Dead.

A few years ago, the "left" accused neoconservatives of not facing reality. The neoconservatives replied, "we make reality". The "left" replied by calling their chunk of the blogoswamp "reality-based". It was a hoot. Both sides yelling, "You don't get it!" at each other.

This time, the Right was right. Sucks, doesn't it? Reality, as we know, tends to do that.
We should not moor a ship with one anchor, or our life with one hope. -- Epictetus
Since the term "progressive" has progressively smarmy connotations for me, I find myself wondering what "progressives" are hoping for. An FDR resurrection? A JFK resurrection? A Jesus Christ resurrection? Well, maybe. But what I think they really hope is that they can continue to be "self-reliant", selfish, self-righteous, and totally isolated from the real world without suffering the pain of the common human spirit. They hope to have it both ways: stand on the railroad tracks, but not get run down. The more they join in Nobama's "Change!" shoutback, the more they really hope things won't change; the more they deny that the terrible changes that have already occurred are now permanent. They think they have hope. They have none.
Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. -- Mark Twain
What did old Sam mean by that? I think he simply meant that hope, if at all useful, is such only if it is realistic. A snake is a snake. If you're a mouse, please stop hoping that you'll get across the river on its back without getting fanged, no matter how glib or pretty the sucker is. And by all means, please stop hoping that this time it's not a snake.

You can hope all you want, but here's what's likely:
  • there will be a serious, perhaps nuclear attack on Iran in the near future

  • the middle-east/asian situation will dangerously deteriorate

  • the national and global financial and economic system will continue its move into meltdown

  • global ecology will continue to disintegrate exponentially

  • true power will further concentrate into fewer hands

  • technology's developmental pace will lessen the value of the human spirit and be used more to control humans than enhance our lives

  • standard of living and quality of life will noticeably deteriorate

  • the US government will deepen fascism and concentrate further on social control

So, you hope I'm wrong. Fine. Have at it. But the question is, "Is your hope the thing that will make it different?". I think not.

Of necessity, I have abandoned hope that these events will not take place and these currents will weaken or reverse. I prefer sanity to hope. If for you, hope is all that is keeping you sane, you're standing on very shaky ground. I have not "lost" hope, by the way . . . I have voluntarily shunned it. I. Am. Free.

Free? Yes, free. The logic is simple: if (a) "freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" and (b) I have nothing because all I had was hope and now I don't have that, (c) I'm free.

Here's the catch, however: freedom depends on personal responsibility. If I give up hope, all that's left is you and me. My choice is to be responsible for myself. But I am not being responsible for myself if I am being irresponsible where you are concerned. In spite of what Thatcher and Reagan said, we are a society, we humans. I think in the coming months and years, we must reject hope, embrace reality, and simply help each other survive with as much gentility, dignity, and care as we can muster.

Categories: ,

Originally posted at P!
posted by Unknown at 6:07 AM
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008. *

Physicians, Psychologists & the Problem of "The Dark Side"
"Any of us could be the man who encounters his double." -- Friedrich Durrenmat (1)

Jane Mayer's new book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals (not due out in the bookstores until tomorrow), is already creating headlines and generating controversy. This article will examine the issues around U.S. torture practice, in light of new allegations in the book, and review an email conversation between myself and a prominent nationally-known psychologist whom Mayer says assisted in the planning of U.S. government torture.

Scott Shane at The New York Times wrote an article last Friday describing how Mayer reveals that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told the CIA last year in a report that the interrogation of "high-level" detainees, such as Abu Zubaydah, "categorically" constituted torture, were illegal, and amounted to prosecutable war crimes. Zubaydah, famously, was one of three prisoners the government has admitted were waterboarded. A videotape of his interrogation was destroyed by the CIA.

In an July 14 interview with Scott Horton at Harper's, Jane Mayer discussed the reaction to the ICRC charges:

Also see, I-Team: Injection Used To Subdue Prisoners
Medical Expert Says Practice Is Troubling

Think it's just the bad guys they are doing this to? Think again:

Pentagon "Calmatives": Biochemical Substances as Incapacitating Weapons of War and Social Control
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:19 AM
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Guantanamo Bay Interrogation [of a child] Video Released (Omar Khadr)

A videotape of a detainee being questioned at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay has been released for the first time.

It shows 16-year-old Omar Khadr being asked by Canadian officials in 2003 about events leading up to his capture by US forces, Canadian media have said.

The Canadian citizen is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan in 2002.

He is seen in a distressed state and complaining that he has been tortured.

The footage was made public by Mr Khadr's lawyers following a Supreme Court ruling in May that the Canadian authorities had to hand over key evidence against him to allow a full defence of the charges he is facing.

'Help me'

During the 10-minute video - filmed secretly through a ventilation shaft - Mr Khadr can be seen crying, his face buried in his hands, and pulling at his hair. He can be heard repeatedly chanting: "Help me."

At one point he tells the foreign ministry official and agents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) that he was tortured while being held at the US military detention centre at Bagram air base in Afghanistan.

He raises his orange shirt to show wounds and tells them: "You don't care about me."

Later, one of the officials tells Mr Khadr: "You know I'm not a doctor, but I think you're getting good medical care."

Mr Khadr, the only Westerner still held at the jail, was 15 when he was captured by US forces during a gun battle at a suspected al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

One of Mr Khadr's lawyers, Dennis Edney, said they hoped the video would cause an outcry in Canada and pressure Prime Minister Stephen Harper to demand the US not prosecute their client.

"I hope Canadians will be outraged to see the callous and disgraceful treatment of a Canadian youth," Mr Edney told the Toronto Star.

"Canadians should demand to know why they've been lied to."

Mr Harper reiterated last week that he would not interfere in Mr Khadr's military tribunal, due to begin at Guantanamo on 8 October.

Mr Khadr, now 21, faces multiple terrorism-related charges, the most serious of which is murder. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Story and another videolink by Globe and Mail.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:35 AM
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Monday, July 14, 2008. *
The Nietzsche Family Circus

He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted.

I thought about the hopenosis, of our humble hero and a bumper sticker I recently saw entitled, "Gobama!" Well, yes we can! Yes we can keep the corporate capitalist fascism going by the process of Creative Destruction! So, I thought I'd make my own bumper "Gobomba Pakistan!

A divination, try yours above, report
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:48 AM
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Sunday, July 13, 2008. *
GMO crops and their impact
on health, farming and ecology
posted by mr damon at 7:49 AM
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Saturday, July 12, 2008. *

FISA "Compromise" Completes Transformation of US into Full Police State by Larry Chin

Global Research, July 11, 2008

On July 9, 2008, the US Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation permitting government spying, including immunity to telecommunications companies involved in secret domestic surveillance programs. With the stroke of George W. Bush’s pen, the US is now a police state by definition.

The extent of the spying program, and its larger implications, have been revealed by Mark Klein, who blew the whistle on secret domestic spying program of Bush/Cheney’s National Security Agency (NSA) and AT&T:

AT&T whistleblower: spy bill creates infrastructure for police state

The update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, called the "FISA compromise", or more appropriately, the "spy bill", largely completes the triumph of the Bush/Cheney administration and a bipartisan criminal consensus. By convenient design, the FISA revision derails pending law suits filed against the Bush administration’s corporate spying partners (AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon), silences (the largely empty-to-begin-with) congressional investigations into Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying program. Presidential nominee Barack Obama and the Democrats have now moved to silence all discussion about the issue.

Fear itself, a.k.a. spying itself

Between the false flag mass murder of 9/11 and the creation of the "war on terrorism", the USA Patriot Act and this new FISA revision, the Bush-Cheney administration and its enthusiastically complicit congressional partners, have achieved total victory--world war, open criminality, and the end of law itself.

It gives the US government unprecedented new spying powers and sweeping new legal cover for spying that goes well beyond even the original FISA law---which itself was an abomination that already permitted the US president broad surveillance powers.

Given the fact that the US government is a wholly corrupted criminal organization by definition, the political spin over "oversight", warrants, the involvement of the Inspector General, etc. is all the more transparently ridiculous: the operatives of such apparatuses do not investigate or punish their own. Nor do they voluntarily stop the lucrative and intoxicating criminal activity that is their lifeblood.

In fact, the debate over the spy bill is a red herring, clouding the larger central (purposely unaddressed) issue: the "war on terrorism" lie itself.

"In fact, the debate over the spy bill is a red herring, clouding the larger central (purposely unaddressed) issue: the "war on terrorism" lie itself?"

Absolutely. It was really only about appearances - part of the ruling class felt it was still important to nominally respect the Constitution, but a clear majority decided it wasn't. This isn't going to change the actual way surveillance is conducted, it's like a conceptual thing. Also an opportunity for Obama to prove his bona fides when it comes to authoritarianism (he passed the test).

"The question aint who killed JFK, but where are they now?"

Jello Biafra
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:44 AM
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Friday, July 11, 2008. *

(All points bulletin)
Calling all Interpol agentsStop.
please be advised WE HAVE A LATE/MIDDLE AGED WHITE American MALEStop.
(All points bulletin)Stop. Nationality, American. Hangs out in the homosexual culture and quarters, airport rest roomsStop.

Name: Karl Christian Rove
Last seen: Washington D.C. Area.
Last location:Washington's more 'discreet' gay bars (Redacted)
Last seen with: James Dale Guckert/Jeff Gannon Ex-White house stenographer (Redacted)
Red Notice*: Wanted for an International arrest warrant (IAW) questioning,
Green Notice**
: possible Felonies/Misdemeanors, contempt of Congress, Crimes within the (DOJ) Department Of Justice , POLITICAL SABOTAGE other crimes: including but not limited to possible Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity. Stop.
Apprehend immediately if encountered. Stop.
Contact your local International liaison upon arrest.

*Red Notice
To seek the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition.
**Green Notice
To provide warnings and criminal intelligence about persons who have committed criminal offences and are likely to repeat these crimes in other countries.

Criminal activity or missing persons should, in the first instance, be reported to your local police department or your National Central Bureau (NCB).

If you still need to contact Interpol directly then please use the address, fax number or e-mails below.

General Secretariat
200, quai Charles de Gaulle
69006 Lyon

Fax: (33) 4 72 44 71 63

U.S. Department of Justice
United States National Central Bureau
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 616-9000 Phone
(202) 616-8400 Fax

My meme dream...

I'd find it awful funny if, as an act of civil disobedience, their fax and phone lines were jammed with hundreds --hell, take it internationally-- perhaps thousands, of calls with the above or similar (better?)satire, with credit to the author, ummm, me... your

But alas, as Kant was said to have quoted,
"A Master is an awakened person who can wake up the ones who are still sleeping. But it is very dangerous, because to wake up a sleeping person is to annoy him. You are disturbing his sleep. He is enjoying his dreams, he is resting, and you are unnecessarily harassing him."
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:01 PM
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Wednesday, July 09, 2008. *

Raw Story -- Nick Juliano

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is sticking to his drive to impeach President Bush.

Few in the House of Representatives have any intention of doing anything with the last 35 articles of impeachment Kucinich set before them last month, so the former presidential candidate appears to be lightening the load. Kucinich sent a letter to colleagues Tuesday asking them to support a single article of impeachment, to be introduced Thursday, which accuses President Bush of leading the country to war based on lies.

"There can be no greater offense of a Commander in Chief than to misrepresent a cause of war and to send our brave men and women into harm's way based on those misrepresentations," Kucinich wrote in the "Dear Colleague" letter.

"There has been a breach of faith between the Commander in Chief and the troops. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or with Al Qaeda's role in 9/11. Iraq had neither the intention nor the capability of attacking the United States," he continued. "Iraq did not have weapons of Mass of Destruction. Yet George W. Bush took our troops to war under all of these false assumptions. Given the profound and irreversible consequences to our troops, if his decision was the result of a mistake, he must be impeached. Since his decision was based on lies, impeachment as a remedy falls short, but represents at least some effort on our part to demonstrate our concern about the sacrifices our troops have made."

Last month, Kucinich presented 35 articles of impeachment. Those have since been referred to the Judiciary Committee, where they are expected to die. Kucinich threatened to double the number of impeachment articles if the Judiciary Committee did not act...

Full article and Kucinich's letter to his colleagues at the link.

Much food for thought follows...

via: Larval subjects In a breath breath takeningly honest and refreshing post entitled: Love of Truth

All too often, I think, I’ve conflated philosophy with rhetoric. That is, I’ve conflated the necessity of speaking efficaciously with the question of truth. I was horrified, for example, to find that it was Kucinich who brought articles of impeachment against Bush not because his claims were false but because he couldn’t possibly be an effective rhetor due to who he is and the lack of credibility he possesses.

In this reaction, I was willing to sacrifice truth for the sake of effective rhetoric. Someone like Kucinich couldn’t be an effective rhetor because he lacks credibility and would therefore make it more difficult to propagate the truth in the public sphere (his lack of credibility would infect, in viral fashion, the nature of his claims, imbuing these claims themselves with a lack of credibility). What was needed was another rhetor who had the credibility to speak the same claims. In short, my problem wasn’t with what Kucinich was charging, but with who was making these charges. If, as I reasoned, the speaker hadn’t achieved the status of a “Statesman” whose words therefore had power, the speaker couldn’t but undermine the credibility of the charges themselves. Kucinich, in my view, has done much to undermine his credibility as a speaker through his actions and therefore could only do a disservice to the credibility of these charges. Having Kucinich speak these charges couldn’t but be a strategic blunder, regardless of whether he thereby “got them on the record” (a rationalization and convenient consolation no matter how you cut it). I could not see how this particular speaker could use words in a way that was powerful enough to create congressional consensus or public consensus to accomplish anything through the truth of his speech, and felt that his speech could even work to the detriment of the truth of that speech (Incidentally, I think this is a common failing of the left: it trusts in truth and ignores the necessity of creating consensus. This tendency to ignore the rhetorical dimension except in its capacity as critique is logically entailed by the love of truth insofar as the rhetorical dimension often involves a great deal of untruth, irrationalism, and injustice). Those who defended Kucinich ignored how the claims were spoken and who spoke, treating these things as irrelevant and secondary, instead focusing entirely on what was spoken. This denigration of the “how” and the “who” seems to be a constant misstep in leftist politics, as if it believes that these dimensions have no material efficacy. But if truth if what is loved, the speaker and the manner of speech should be irrelevant to the claim. I’m ashamed of this gut reaction on my part.

It seems that it’s no mistake that the Greeks simultaneously discovered political theory, rhetorical theory, and philosophy. The divide between rhetoric and philosophy seems to speak to an originary split at the heart of language between language as reference and language as persuasion or addressed to the other. The rhetor recognizes that dimension of language that must speak to local customs, the credibility of the speaker, the poetic power of language, etc., in order to produce persuasion. The effective rhetor cannot ignore these dimensions of language if they are to be successful in their rhetorical act. The philosopher, by contrast, attends only to relations of entailment, inference, and reference within language, without regard for an addressee.[/quote]

I need not add anything, as much of this --in particular the bolded parts-- says it better than I ever could have. Don't get me wrong, I like the little guy, but that is the problem then isn't it... that and the fact he doesn't go all the way. in other words, does Dennis *once again* move to send his own so-called 'privileged resolution' to the black hole of the Judiciary Committee or will he realize this time "hey, I got this thing on the floor right now! And I can force a vote on it! I can actually demonstrate that 'valor' I wrote about!"

Dennis: "Are we at least willing to defend the Constitution from the comfort and security of our Washington, DC offices?"

The cynic in me: "Only if a half-hearted watered-down single resolution on it's way to Conyers committee qualifies as 'defend the Constitution'.

And of course there is the next question - when this one bites the dust, does Dennis promise/threaten another one in 30 days? I'd love to hear your thoughts...
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:18 AM
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008. *
Russ Kick still kickin ass...
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:19 PM
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Sunday, July 06, 2008. *

DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller teaching about technology, music, video, and his work - a database remix expanding our notions of time and space. Public open lecture with students of the European Graduate School EGS, Media and Communication Studies department program, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe, Paul Miller 2006
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:05 AM
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"Who’s the real ambassador?
It is evident we represent American society
Noted for its etiquette, its manners and sobriety
We have followed protocol with absolute propriety
We’re yankees to the core.

We’re the real ambassdors
Though we may appear as bores
We are diplomats in our proper hats
Our attire becomes habitual, along with all the ritual

The diplomatic corps
Has been analyzed and criticized by NBC and CBS
Senators and congressmen are so concerned they can’t recess
The State Department stands and all your coup d’etat have met success
They caused this great uproar
Who’s the real ambassador, yeah, the real ambassador?

I’m the real ambassador.
It is evident I was sent by government to take your place
All I do is play the blues and meet the people face-to-face
I’ll explain and make it plain, I represent the human race
I don’t pretend no more.

Who’s the real ambassador?
Certain facts we can’t ignore
In my humble way I’m the USA
Though I represent the government
The government don’t represent some policies I’m for.

Oh we learned to be concerned about the constitutionality
In our nation segregation isn’t a legality
Soon our only differences will be in personality
That’s what I stand for!
Who’s the real ambassador, yes, the real ambassador?"

Jazz and the CIA? Say it aint so...
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:34 AM
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Saturday, July 05, 2008. *

Youtube & Viacom
"A judge in New York has ordered that Google, which owns YouTube, must pass on the details of more than 100 million people - many of them in the UK - to Viacom, the US broadcasting company which owns channels including MTV and Nickelodeon.

The data will include unique internet addresses, email accounts and the history of every video watched on the website, giving Viacom's experts the ability to conduct a detailed examination of the viewing habits of millions of people around the world."

"The court's decision also means that Viacom has succeeded in getting hold of exactly the same sort information that the American government has failed to access in the past."

"In a statement yesterday, Google said it would lobby for the data it provides to be scrubbed clean of personal information.

"We are disappointed the court granted Viacom's overreaching demand for viewing history. We will ask Viacom to respect users' privacy and allow us to anonymise the logs before producing them under the court's order," it said."

So here's the thing. Is there any conceivable reason why it should not be acceptable to Viacom that Google mask the IPs / login details of users before the data is handed over? Ostensibly it's statistical information about usage they have claimed to require so it shouldn't at all be an issue. Otherwise I would say it is quite the issue.
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:37 AM
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Friday, July 04, 2008. *

First, from Undernews (And above Sam's vid about his failed generation. Priceless yet sad.):

from an ad in the NY Times

July 4, 1776 - 2008

When in the course of human events the government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the Right of the People to alter it and demand restoration of those Constitutional Principles that have so long assured their Liberty, Safety, and Happiness. Therefore, on the anniversary of our Independence, we offer this new declaration for our times.

The history of this president is one of arbitrary usurpations of power, the effect of which is to establish tyranny through false promises of gerater security.

He has created a multitude of secret programs and sent swarms of petty officers to spy on Americans in a misguided effort to combat foreign terrorism. He has invested these agents with sweeping new powers to monitor our conversations and ransack our personal papers and effects without judicial supervision or any reason to believe -- as the Constitution requires -- that a crime has been committed.

He has further claimed the power to disregard legislation that Congress has passed.

He has suspended the laws and treaties against torture, authorized the kidnapping of mere suspects, and transported hundreds of prisoners beyond seas so that no independent judiciary could question the legality of their mistreatment.

He and his supporters in Congress have granted amnesty to the officials who unleashed torture and humiliation upon helpless prisoners, to the disgrace of our nation.

He has denied these prisoners access to attorneys, family, and friends and has claimed the right to try them before military tribunals specifically designed to disregard the most basic principles of law.

He has imprisoned thousands of lawful immigrants for months without charges, under brutal conditions, until his agents, rather than independent courts, decide that they posed no threat.

He has wrapped his usurpations of power and his deprivations of liberty in thick cloaks of secrecy, thereby showing contempt for the rule of law and the proper functions of Congress, the courts, and the press.

At every stage of these oppressions we have sought redress, but our petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

We, therefore, resolve to resist these usurpations by all lawful means at our disposal. We insist that the powers of our national government be shared by all branches of that government and not concentrated in one alone. And we call upon Congress, the courts, and the press to reassert their constitutional functions and restore the promise that is America.

To these ends, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor

And Steve D over at the Booman Tribune:

What Makes You Proud of America?

by Steven D
Fri Jul 4th, 2008 at 09:39:38 AM EST

There are many things I would list as things which make me proud of my country. I'm proud, for example that the first non-white candidate for the Presidency will be nominated to head the ticket of one of our two major parties. I'm proud that we have the freedom of speech to say what we want, including expressing our opinions on our blogs. However, one of the things of which our Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice claims she is most proud, would not be on my list.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she's "proud'' of the U.S. decision to wage the Iraq war and insisted that the world is not more dangerous than it was when George W. Bush took office.

"We're now beginning to see that perhaps it's not so popular to be a suicide bomber. We're beginning to see that perhaps people are questioning whether Osama Bin Laden ought to really be the face of Islam,'' Rice, 53, said in an interview to be broadcast this weekend on Bloomberg Television's "Conversations with Judy Woodruff."

"And I am proud of the decision of this administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein," said Rice, who was Bush's national security adviser at the time of the March 2003 invasion. As of yesterday, 4,107 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq and more than 30,000 were wounded. She said the Iraq war has been "tougher than any of us really dreamed."

Well, I guess some people have no shame. They don't mind being proud that they lied us into an unnecessary war of aggression in violation of the UN Charter against a foe who was no threat to our security. An illegal war which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, and made millions more refugees. A war in which we have tortured and abused prisoners, burned to death innocent women and children with napalm and white phosphorus weapons, poisoned others with depleted uranium, destroyed the infrastructure of an entire country leaving lakes of sewage visible from space, and committed war crimes on a regular basis. Not what I'd be proud about. But then I'm not a lying sycophant who licks George Bush's boots, and considers him my surrogate husband, either.

One day, if there is any justice in the world Madam Secretary, you will be tried for your crimes against humanity. If not, I can only hope that, if there is a God, he, she or it will provide you with a suitable and eternal punishment for your many terrible sins.

Oh, and Happy Independence Day to you, too.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:33 PM
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Thursday, July 03, 2008. *

I still agree with this. I will vote tactically until a viable third party comes along, if ever. But I won't be a stenographer for the king. I will criticize bad policy no matter who supports it.

What I Said Over at Booman's

One more thing: all that consultation with Jeff and Chris doesn't mean smack without the filibuster. The republicans, evil as they are, will fight tooth and nail for business interests. They use the filibuster so much I've lost count. And they do it because they represent evil and they believe in evil. The least good for the least in number is their mantra. Meanwhile, the dems reflect the old Richard Hofstadter argument in that the GOP appears more authentic because they really openly represent evil, where dems cave and mess around and flippity flop and in true Clintonian style usually end up supporting evil too. The Dems have become a business party that only pretends to give a fuck about the "common" people. It's also why the public sees them as vacillating and weak. Deservedly so I might add.

Here's a great opportunity for the dems to show their spine on one issue. Hard to see other issues they're showing spine on. And you think when we have 61 or 95 dems (in the senate) that would change with the current leadership? 39 Republicans and handful of dems will continue to do the devils work. It will be the mich sens and Mary when real alt fuel and cafe standards are proposed. Insurance companies will put the lock on Chris when the overall Obama plan fails and the plan b Medicaid for everyone option is floated. They'll get our guy bob casey and those awful southern dem senators on the social issues stuff...

One final thing: a very wise man, Nathan Newman, said that the dems should have used the fillibuster when they were in the minority and gladly let the republican majority strip it from them. Now that looks pretty good. But what happened is that DLC/AIPAC duopoly essentially preserved the right of the fillibuster for the republicans to use in case some wacko decided to try and pass a bill that would help the public...I'm not mad at anybody and I intend to vote for Barry but this is the reality. No substantive change in our lives will come from this government. There's other things that can be done or two of them anyway. Hope space exploration makes a singularity like leap and I'm off to Mars. I hear the soil is good for asparagus..

Actually, after reading that, I am mad at somebody. Related: Greenwald retorts. He doesn't buy that "consultation" crap either.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:48 PM
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VS. (I should have used an Interpol vid because I swore that's who I thought this band was...but Interpol's songs aren't as catchy or rhythmically as interesting so...)


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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:40 PM
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His work on FISA has been outstanding as well. Here he takes on the thing that can't be named in most corporate media outlets.

What Greenwald Said Over At Salon

Anti-semitism" accusations have been cynically exploited for so long by right-wing advocates as a bludgeon to silence debates over Middle East policy and for cheap political gain that the accusation has become trivialized to the point of irrelevance. Most ironically of all, the ADL -- whose ostensible central mission is to battle the trivialization of anti-Semitism and Nazism -- has played a leading role in this degradation, constantly exploiting its once-credible imprimatur in highly politicized ways which have nothing to do with real anti-semitism (such as Klein's perfectly legitimate commentary) and everything to do with promoting a hard-line policy in the Middle East and against Iran which is now one of the ADL's top priorities.

Smearing people as anti-Semites for cheap political gain is repellent in its own right and merits a response. But this tactic is particularly dangerous now, as the pressure is obviously being ratcheted up in numerous circles to pursue a far more bellicose policy towards Iran. Responding to the types of disgusting smears that are in Rubin's column and many other places, Obama not only appeared before AIPAC last month and vowed that "the danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat"; that Iran's "Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization"; and "I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," but also, when asked last week by a Fox News host to play a "word association game" whereby he should say the first word that comes into his mind, Obama -- when the word was "Iran" -- responded as follows: "threat."

Whether Iran is really a threat to the U.S. (as opposed to Israel) is an absolutely critical matter to examine. It's just not tolerable to allow polemicists from Commentary and Weekly Standard to run around using the "dual loyalty" argument and "anti-semitism" smear to try to manipulate American Jews into voting for McCain and supporting hard-line policies toward Iran, while simultaneously screaming "anti-Semite" at those who argue that an attack on Iran would serve (and is motivated by) Israeli interests, not America's interests. That is a perfectly legitimate issue -- a central issue -- to be freely discussed.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:36 PM
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008. *
Then again, this is why he's known as the Great Orange Satan. I mean, it could have just been an accident, but you should be allowed to talk about it in, you know, the country that used to be
known as a democracy. Here's the "offensive" Daily Kos piece:

Darcy Burner: Threatened by AIPAC, now her house burns down.

Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 04:12:49 PM PDT

The home of Eighth Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner went up in flames today – cause unknown.

We’ll be watching the subsequent investigation closely. Remember that Burner told Matt Stoller that on June 27, she received a call from people affiliated with AIPAC and they told her to distance herself from J Street, the new pro-peace group that the AIPAC people said are full of radical leftists who support capitulation to Arabs who would destroy Israel.

And the response:

The Zionists at Daily Kos are going apeshit over this story, demanding that the poster be banned and the post deleted.

Which seems to be their modus operandi anytime anyone sheds some light into the dark corners they inhabit.

Darcy Burner: Threatened by AIPAC, now her house burns down.
by Pinebark

Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 04:12:49 PM PDT

The home of Eighth Congressional District candidate Darcy Burner went up in flames today – cause unknown.

We’ll be watching the subsequent investigation closely. Remember that Burner told Matt Stoller that on June 27, she received a call from people affiliated with AIPAC and they told her to distance herself from J Street, the new pro-peace group that the AIPAC people said are full of radical leftists who support capitulation to Arabs who would destroy Israel.

DISGUSTING (15+ / 0-)
This diary is disgusting. The diarist should delete it now!

by StuHunter on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 04:32:20 PM PDT
[ Parent ]
I'd Take It One Step Further.... (10+ / 0-)
Shit-can the diarist, and the two people (as of right now) who rec'ed the flipping diary.

Jesus fucking KRIST... (7+ / 0-)
what a fucking disgusting diary. Anti semitic troll. Go fuck yrself. But I digress.

posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:53 PM
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Yet another good move from the Great Orange Satan. And more bad vibes from the Obama camp: you can't ever mention "Saul Alinsky" because he's a very bad person. Incredible. I see that the same idiotic rich people that have run newspapers into the ground are starting to migrate online. Great.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:48 PM
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