American Samizdat

Friday, October 31, 2008. *

Pilobolus dance company members Otis Cook and Jennifer Macavinta perform the sensuous duet "Symbiosis." Does it trace the birth of a human relationship, or the co-evolution of a pair of symbiotic species? That's left for you to decide. Gorgeous, organic choreography blurs the boundaries between the two performers, who use the body's own geometry to lift, move and combine. The music, recorded by the Kronos Quartet on Nonesuch Records, is a compilation of works: "God Music" from Black Angels by George Crumb, "Fratres" by Arvo Pärt, and "Morango ... Almost a Tango" by Thomas Oboe Lee.

Ligeti's "Musica Ricercata, II" from the Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack
Montagues and Capulets: The Knight's Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Bernard Herrmann's score for Hitchcock's Vertigo
Rachmaninoff conducts his "Isle of the Dead", Part I
Black Soul Choir

Finally, terrifyingly awesome Faust Cantata
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:53 AM
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Thoughts on who anarchists, libertarians, etc., should vote for in the 2008 US presidential election.

To bad RAW Is gone, would have loved to vote the Guns & Dope Party
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:07 AM
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008. *
Monday, October 27, 2008. *
No one has mentioned this but Cursor passed away a few weeks ago. We should all go pay our last respects. God knows what would happen to American Samizdat if we couldn't meet our 75 grand budget and all.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:52 PM
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vs this young punk! We must stop the South Korean Mutant Guitarist Child Threat Now! Before it attacks Israel...

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:47 PM
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Sunday, October 26, 2008. *

The Atheist movement uses Adbusters-style counterpropaganda. Could that work? That would be funny here. I can see the ads being defaced.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:57 PM
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If you want to get involved in this, you need to vote early so you can be available on election day. That's what I intend to do. It would be nice if the Daily Kos did an exit poll as well. It's almost like they don't want to know. Probably because they don't. I'll say it again: The Daily Kos silence on the election fraud issue (By way of bannings. How progressive..), which caused the DNC losses in both 2000 and 2004, is deafening and makes me think Markos took that CIA offer back in college.


by Steven Freeman 10/26/2008 8:12:00 AM
Election Integrity Call to Action
Help Needed for November 4 Election Verification Exit Poll

The vulnerability of US voting systems to mass scale fraud has been well documented, but little has been done to establish meaningful checks. Bad as the last few elections have been, coming elections - including this one - could be worse. Purported "improvements" such as early and mail-voting and purging of voting rolls continue to undermine election integrity and a wide variety of vote suppression augurs poorly for what we may see on November 4.

One of the few ways to detect mass scale fraud under such conditions is an Election Verification Exit Poll. Such polls have been used around the world to ensure election integrity and have been used to overturn fraudulent national elections. On November 4, Election Integrity is engaged in a two-part exit polling effort:

(1) Our 3rd professional poll to determine and document the degree to which official numbers reflect how people say they have cast their ballots, to investigate any discrepancies and to establish exit polling as a meaningful verification technique (see our May primary pilot project).

(2) a Citizens Exit Poll with the Election Defense Alliance to:
· extend our ability to ascertain the veracity of official reported voting results;
· detect specific indications of election fraud, which can be further investigated;
· develop citizen polling as a means to detect and deter fraud; and
· give citizens the tools to take control of their elections and their government.

volunteer buttonThe Election Verification Exit Poll projectdonate button

To properly prosecute these efforts, we need your help. In the end, simply pushing a button for one name or another every few years will inevitably be an empty charade. Self-government or, for that matter, good-government, can only result from active involvement and oversight. So please, volunteer or donate. Democracy depends on it.


posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:52 PM
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Saint Noam, world's smartest man, says Vote Obama (Tip from Norm's One Good Move.) But with eyes wide open.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:43 PM
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Friday, October 24, 2008. *

State of Shock


Imagination deficiency eh?
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:10 PM
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Thursday, October 23, 2008. *

The more Obama is tested, the more he shows his presidential mettle

Where were you when Obama was shot? The line we pray we will never have to say. A line that I have hesitated even to write, as if the mere inscribing of the words could invite calamity. Yet the fear preys on the back of our minds, as we see Barack Obama plunging into those crowds. I have now watched weeks of election coverage on the 24/7 television news channels in the United States, in the course of which every tiniest feature of the campaign has been examined to exhaustion, but not once have I heard this mentioned. Yet almost every day I have a private conversation in which the subject comes up, especially when talking to journalists.

Is this self-censorship of the media right? Should I not even be writing this? There are unstable, suggestible people out there. Experts may argue about the psychological impact of media coverage of such subjects, but it clearly has some. Earlier this year, a blogger pointed out that "assassinate Obama" had that day appeared on a list of Google's top 100 search items.

She suggested that newspaper stories about the danger had increased the number of such Google searches - and that her own blog might do the same. As may this column.

Yet to ignore this subject completely, never to mention in print what so many are thinking, is to miss something important. Only against this dark background of dread can you appreciate the full irresponsibility of the turn the McCain-Palin campaign has taken towards attacking Obama's character, biography and patriotism - attacks which, in other contexts, we would not hesitate to describe as "character assassination". The charge made by Sarah Palin that he has been "palling around with terrorists"; the automated calls associating him with "domestic terrorist" William Ayers; the underhand insinuation that he is alien, un-, or even anti-American; rhyming Obama with Osama; the absence of instant rebuke when some idiot at a Palin rally cries out "terrorist!" or even "kill him!".

for the record I have felt this regular guardian writer to be dubious in the extreme, the CIA pipe runs straight out his mouth, his is a more sophisticated version though, kinda post-modern. Fact of the matter is these murderous thugs have no compunction to telling us exactly what they intend to do. Warning to the wise, gird your loins, it's going to be a ruff ride.

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

~Jello Biafra
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:47 PM
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008. *
BLACKWATER Worldwide — the US private military contractor embroiled in controversy over its actions in Iraq — has sent a private sector warship equipped with helicopters to the Gulf of Aden, and is offering its services to shipowners concerned with Somali piracy.

The vessel, McArthur, is described as a multipurpose unit designed to support military and law-enforcement training, peace-keeping and stability operations.

The ship and its helicopters have the ability to patrol a commercial vessel’s route, thereby avoiding the need to hire security contractors to ride on board.

Blackwater’s move came just hours before the Indian government confirmed that it intends to deploy a warship in the Gulf of Aden to guard its merchant ships from Somali pirates. The Indian ship will join assets from Russia, Malaysia and a multinational western-dominated coalition in the troubled waters.

Blackwater justifies its presence in the area commercially by pointing to the increased bills for shipowners operating in the region, including massive insurance hikes, double-pay danger money for seafarers, and ransom payments where ships are captured.

Blackwater Worldwide executive vice-president Bill Matthews said: “We have been contacted by shipowners who say they need our help in making sure goods get to their destination. The McArthur can help us accomplish that.”

Blackwater has ties to the US State Department, providing security for diplomatic personnel in conflict zones. In September last year, its staff were involved in a shoot-out in Baghdad that left 17 civilians dead, in contentious circumstances.

How much other heavy weaponry do they have?
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:08 PM
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Martha Davis Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist and a Visiting Scholar at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, has produced an important new documentary, Interrogation Psychologists: The Making of a Professional Crisis”. The film premiered at conference entitled “The Interrogation and Torture Controversy: Crisis in Psychology,” held at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Center on Terrorism in New York City on September 12, 2008.

Dr. Davis describes the documentary:
"In 2005 the American Psychological Association endorsed the participation of military psychologists in detainee interrogations. This policy incited a firestorm of protest within the profession and around the world, but APA officials held fast, contending that the involvement of psychologists insured that interrogations were safe, ethical and effective. With interviews of experts and documentation of communications between APA and government officials, “Interrogation Psychologists” traces the origins of the policy and why the APA risked massive defections for it. The search leads to the emerging field of national security psychology, which has far-reaching implications for intelligence gathering operations and U.S. treatment of prisoners of war.”

The 46 minute long documentary is a fascinating examination of the issues and history involved in the psychologist-ethics-torture debate. The organizational turn of the APA, as exemplified by its policies around interrogations, towards "national security psychology" is what led me to resign from that organization earlier this year. At that time, I wrote:

Unlike some others who have left APA, my resignation is not based solely on the stance APA has taken regarding the participation of psychologists in national security interrogations. Rather, I view APA’s shifting position on interrogations to spring from a decades-long commitment to serve uncritically the national security apparatus of the United States. Recent publications and both public and closed professional events sponsored by APA have made it clear that this organization is dedicated to serving the national security interests of the American government and military, to the extent of ignoring basic human rights practice and law. The influence of the Pentagon and the CIA in APA activities is overt and pervasive, if often hidden....

In the recently APA published book, Psychology in the Service of National Security (APA Press, 2006), the book’s editor, A. David Mangelsdorff, wrote, “As the military adjusts to its changing roles in the new national security environment, psychologists have much to offer” (p. 237). He notes the recent forward military deployment of psychologists, their use in so-called anti-terrorism research, and assistance in influencing public opinion about “national security problems facing the nation.” L. Morgan Banks, himself Chief of the Psychological Applications Directorate of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, [a former SERE psychologist, and a member of the controversial APA Psychological Ethics and National Security or] PENS panel [in 2005], wrote elsewhere in the same book about the “bright future” (p. 95) for psychologists working with Special Operations Forces.

Valtin does and has done an intrepid job on these matters. Truly, an ally and advocate, unsung hero of the blogsphere, and I suspect else where for that matter.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:06 PM
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McPalin Haiku Hysteria Finalists Announced -- Please Vote For Me!
Cool news! Nearly 4000 people submitted haiku to the McPalin Haiku Hysteria contest held by People For The American Way and The Nation Magazine. And I’m one of the twelve finalists!!! So I’d really appreciate your voting for my haiku here. The three winning haiku will be published in The Nation. Thanks!
posted by Mad Kane at 3:20 PM
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Monday, October 20, 2008. *

Cullowhee, N.C. -- The carcass of a black bear that had been shot in the head was found wrapped in Barack Obama campaign signs on a North Carolina campus on Monday.

This is the same area they hid the abortion bomber Rudolph back in the day. Funny how not two seconds before getting this news I was reading In which Josh Marshall pointed out that, Palin calls [the] reports of hollered threats at rallies "atrocious and unacceptable." Wonder what the helicopter-wolf hunter has to say about this?

Where the fuck are the SS?
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:54 PM
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Michael Hudson, economist and erstwhile adviser to the Kucinich campaign, has had excellent analyses of the unfolding events pretty much daily in Counterpunch. Today he wraps up everything so far, big picture with detail, in a fashion that deserves to be widely read:

October 20, 2008
Licensed Kleptocracy for Years to Come
The ABCs of Paulson's Bailout


Treasury Secretary Paulson’s bailout speech on Monday, October 13, poses some fundamental economic questions: What is the impact on the economy at large of this autumn’s unprecedented creation and giveaway of financial wealth to the wealthiest layer of the population? How long can the Treasury’s bailout of Wall Street (but not the rest of the economy!) sustain a debt overhead that is growing exponentially? Is there any limit to the amount of U.S. Treasury debt that the government can create and turn over to its major political campaign contributors?

In times past, national debt typically was run up by borrowing money from private lenders and spent on goods and services. The tendency was to absorb loanable funds and bid up interest rates on the one hand, while spending led to inflationary price increases for goods and services. But the present giveaway is different. Instead of money being borrowed or spent, interest-yielding bonds are simply being printed and turned over to the banks and other financial institutions. The hope is that they will lend out more credit (which will become more debt on the part of their customers), lowering interest rates while the money is used to bid up asset prices – real estate, stocks and bonds. Little commodity price inflation is expected from this behavior.

The main impact will be to reinforce the concentration of wealth in the hands of creditors (the wealthiest 10 percent of the population) rather than wiping out financial assets (and debts) through the bankruptcies that were occurring as a result of “market forces.” Is it too much to say that we are seeing the end of economic democracy and the emergence of a financial oligarchy – a self-serving class whose actions threaten to polarize society and, in the process, stifle economic growth and lead to the very bankruptcy that the bailout was supposed to prevent?

Everything that I have read in economic history leads me to believe that we are entering a nightmare transition era. The business cycle is essentially a financial cycle. Upswings tend to become economy-wide Ponzi schemes as banks and other creditors, savers and investors receive interest and plow it back into new loans, accruing yet more interest as debt levels rise. This is the “magic of compound interest” in a nutshell. No “real” economy in history has grown at a rate able to keep up with this financial dynamic. Indeed, payment of this interest by households and businesses leaves less to spend on goods and services, causing markets to shrink and investment and employment to be cut back.

Banks cannot make money ad infinitum by selling more and more credit – that is, indebting the non-financial economy more and more. Government officials such as Treasury Secretary Paulson or Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke are professionally unable to acknowledge this problem, and it does not appear in most neoclassical or monetarist textbooks. But the underlying mathematics of compound interest are rediscovered in each generation, often prompted by the force majeur of financial crisis.
much more at the link..

Also see, New "TriPolar" Currency For Asia,U.S., Europe On P

October 20th, 2008

Via: Bloomberg:

European Central Bank council member Ewald Nowotny said a “tri-polar” global currency system is developing between Asia, Europe and the U.S. and that he’s skeptical the U.S. dollar’s centrality can be revived.

“What I see is a system where we have more centers of gravity” Nowotny said today in an interview with Austrian state broadcaster ORF-TV. “I see for the future a tri-polar development, and I don’t think that there will be fixed exchange rates between these poles.”

The leaders of the U.S., France and the European Commission will ask other world leaders to join in a series of summits on the global financial crisis beginning in the U.S. soon after the Nov. 4 presidential election, President George W. Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Barroso said in a joint statement yesterday.

Nowotny said he was “skeptical” when asked whether the Bretton Woods System of monetary policy, set up after World War II and revised in 1971, could be revived to aid global currency stability. The U.S. meeting should aim to strengthen financial regulation, define bank capital ratios and review the role of debt-rating agencies.

European leaders have pressed to convene an emergency meeting of the world’s richest nations, known as the Group of Eight, joined by others such as India and China, to overhaul the world’s financial regulatory systems. The meetings are to include developed economies as well as developing nations.


The Rising Body Count on Main Street
The Human Fallout from the Financial Crisis

On October 4, 2008, in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles, Karthik Rajaram, beset by financial troubles, shot his wife, mother-in-law, and three sons before turning the gun on himself. In one of his two suicide notes, Rajaram wrote that he was "broke," having incurred massive financial losses in the economic meltdown. "I understand he was unemployed, his dealings in the stock market had taken a disastrous turn for the worse," said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Michel R. Moore.

The fallout from the current subprime mortgage debacle and the economic one that followed has thrown lives into turmoil across the country. In recent days, the Associated Press, ABC News, and others have begun to address the burgeoning body count, especially suicides attributed to the financial crisis. (Note that, months ago, Barbara Ehrenreich raised the issue in the Nation.)

Suicide is, however, just one type of extreme act for which the financial meltdown has seemingly been the catalyst. Since the beginning of the year, stories of resistance to eviction, armed self-defense, canicide, arson, self-inflicted injury, murder, as well as suicide, especially in response to the foreclosure crisis, have bubbled up into the local news, although most reports have gone unnoticed nationally -- as has any pattern to these events.

While it's impossible to know what factors, including deeply personal ones, contribute to such extreme acts, violent or otherwise, many do seem undeniably linked to the present crisis. This is hardly surprising. Rates of stress, depression, and suicide invariably climb in times of economic turmoil. As Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of the Stress Institute in Atlanta, told USA Today's Stephanie Armour earlier this year, "Suicides are very much tied to the economy."

With predictions of a long and deep recession now commonplace, it's not too soon to begin looking for these patterns among the human tragedies already sprouting amid the financial ruins. Troubling trends are to be expected in the years ahead, especially as hundreds of thousands of veterans of the Iraq and Afghan Wars, their families often already under enormous stress, are coming home to scenarios of joblessness and, in some cases, homelessness. Consider this, then, an attempt to look for early anecdotal signs of the fallout from hard times, the results, in this case, of a review of local press reports from across the nation, some tiny but potentially indicative of larger American tragedies, and all suggesting a pattern that is likely to grow more pronounced.

Extreme Eviction

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, And in the darkness bind them.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:37 AM
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Sunday, October 19, 2008. *
Oil and Gas - The Next Meltdown?

Peak Moment 130: Drawing parallels with the current financial meltdown, Matthew Simmons expresses his alarm about gasoline stocks being the lowest in several decades and refinery production down following recent hurricanes. He warns that if there were a run on the "energy bank" by everyone topping off their gasoline tanks, the U.S. would be out of fuel in three days, and grocery shelves largely emptied in a week. In an interview plus excerpts from his presentation at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) conference on September 22, 2008, Matt highlights the risks and vulnerabilities in the finished oil products system, and answers questions from the audience.

Anybody remember the 1973 Carter Gas Crisis? I was a child att but I remember the long car lines. P.S. wild speculation, but I suspect the powers that be are merely propping up the financial melt down until the Cheney Presidency is out of office. Worse to come so says, Dante...
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:52 PM
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posted by Dr. Menlo at 2:08 PM
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Saturday, October 18, 2008. *
Joe the Plumber is a scab
posted by Anonymous at 11:37 AM
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Your democracy, which we applauded, turned us into those bereaved of children, widows, and orphans of the street begging for mercy and a piece of the bread from a government that has made itself deaf to our hunger and our eternal subjugation. A few days ago, one of my colleagues sent me news confirming the recent bombing of residential areas in the Al Doura district by US planes which killed at least eight members of one family, most of them children under the age of ten.

Can we do anything other than wholesale murder, oh, that's right the only manufacturing left in America since all our jobs have moved over seas is weapons of death. Americans are very severely underestimating the degree and extent of the hatred for America that is building up, or the intensity of the inevitable reaction, which will be fierce. We will pay for this one way or another.

Also see, Yet Another Atrocity in Afghanistan, More to Come

A BBC reporter in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah saw the bodies - three women and the rest children - ranging in age from six months to 15.

Obombma will make it all better...
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:23 AM
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Friday, October 17, 2008. *
America's Argentina's Economic Collapse (FULL VERSION)
59 min

Documentary on the events that led to the economic collapse of Argentina in 2001 which wiped out the middle class and raised the level of poverty to 57.5%. Central to the collapse was the implementation of neo-liberal policies which enabled the swindle of billions of dollars by foreign banks and corporations. Many of Argentina's assets and resources were shamefully plundered. Its financial system was even used for money laundering by Citibank, Credit Suisse, and JP Morgan. The net result was massive wealth transfers and the impoverishment of society which culminated in many deaths due to oppression and malnutrition. If you want to stop the same thing from happening here, and it is happening here, right now, please join the revolution at the Kick Them All Out Project and the Fire Congress Campaign.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:48 AM
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008. *

I wonder if anyone happen to listen to the KPFA pacifica after debate discussions? I am really hoping I can hunt down the commentary afterward's as they let third party contenders speak. Because, Ralph Nader --Eris love him--, just unloaded on what they, both Obomba and Mcpalin didn't broach. It was hot and heavy it was good, and then got better and then my jaw dropped. He was hot! In the short 7/10 minutes he spoke I was blown away by his command of issues and articulation and subjects that I was cheering him. If I can hunt it down it is very worth posting. And I will. Needless to say he had more substance in his short rant than all four debates combined. Which isn't saying much as they, (the debates) all four seemed to center and the same three four, perhaps five issues drawn out over how many hours? But man, the issues that Nader brought up, post tonights event I hadn't even had on the front burner of my mind until he jarred me out of my debate trance on this, the third and final debate. One of many that was nothing (like the previous three) but signal noise.

It was like going from underfunded inner city 8th grade jr. high readers digest class room to an interesting 500/Graduate level university symposium on a topic you enjoy. One w/meat and gravy, and biscuit. lol.

posted by Uncle $cam at 10:15 PM
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008. *

I haven't written in about a week but I have been thinking. Obama is way ahead in the polls. This would be a great thing had the Republicans not used every method in the book to steal the last two presidential elections. For example, several states that Obama is leading are run by Republican Secretaries of State, most notably Michigan and Colorado, which brings us back to the Ken Blackwell/Katherine Harris scenarios. Obama is leading in Florida but as far as I can tell there's nothing that's been passed at the federal level that would prevent thousands of Democratic Party votes from being stolen, again. There is a bright spot in Ohio because they elected a progressive Secretary of State in Ohio. The Republicans are attempting to strip about 200000 voters from the Ohio registration list. I'm going to guess that they come from mostly DNC strongholds. However, as I've been watching and learning from various voter's rights group our very own Pennsylvania is very likely to be stolen because in most precincts there simply won't be a paper record. In fact, in arguably the most important precincts in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia--where Obama needs to roll up big majorities in order to beat the bible belt T that makes up the rest of the state--the machines leave no paper trail. Its not unlike going to the robber and asking him to be honest about robbing you. You won't be able to verify it. If we lose Pennsylvania, then let's make sure we thank Dan Onorato, Ed Rendell and the Philly machine.

I think that's why McCain thinks Pennsylvania is more promising. It's one of the easiest states in the nation to steal. Obama almost has to win by a landslide nationally in order to win at all. Of course, what do you say about a DNC that doesn't pass a single bill in the last two years in order to change the equation? They could have mandated paper trails and audits but they did nothing. I think you call them collaborators. Or people who like proxy wars on behalf of Israel. Or DLC members. Or clueless. Or all of the above.

Anyway, that's the sad state of affairs as far as I can tell.

Sounds depressing. But Greg Palast and great alt cartoonists Ted Rall and Lloyd Dangle have written a 24 page comic telling you how to fight back. You can download the comic as a pdf file for a donation as small as a dollar. That's what I did. Palast, arguably one of the best journalists in the United States (Who, of course, you can only find online for the most part and who doesn't work for an American newspaper. Sigh.) needs the funding so that he can continue to do cutting edge reporting. You can find his seven instructions both above and below this post. Relevant: You can find a nice update on these issues from this episode of Democracy Now.

Related: Just to comment on Uncle Scam's previous post, yes there is a good chance that they could steal it again. But this time people are fighting back. Yes, it would be nice if the DNC was more involved but they're not. But people are fighting. Brunner is fighting in Ohio. The ACLU is fighting in Michigan. There's a move on to do a citizen's exit poll. There's also a theory that Obama can win in a landslide which is what it looks like now. But we really don't know. We do know that the DNC is incredibly passive in the face of theft. We also know that if they win they say the machines are great and if they lose they say the machines are great. And if you ask to check the machines you're a crazy person. One good thing about the third party runs by Nader and McKinney. They're not affecting the race but they have standing to ask for recounts even if Obama pulls a Kerry and lifts not one finger to fight for DNC voters.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 3:14 AM
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Watch a clip here from Alexandra Pelosi's HBO film "Diary of a Political Tourist"](yes Nancy's Daughter) catches a tipsy Congressman Peter King making a comment at a White House function before the election had even been started declaring that, "It's already over. The Election's over. We Won."

When Pelosi asks, "How do you know that?" King replies, "It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting."
This was recorded in he summer of 2003 a year before the 2004 election! Elections have been stolen for the last two presidential races the whole thing is just a sham now.

One thing that many seem to have forgotten, is who owns the election machines, and the, as of yet, still ongoing election fraud issues. I predict a McPalin win via Bush V Gore style disruption. Thanks to Tom "The Hammer" DeLay/Rove like shenanigans. BTW, what ever happen to the trial ? Merry Xmas Tom, you've been pardoned.

Betcha forgot didn ya.
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:16 AM
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Monday, October 13, 2008. *

(Thought of that promotional pic when I read this Project Censored story...)

A while back, as I was buying comics at the Oakland Phantom of the Attic, I found myself in an argument--totally out of the blue--with novelist Wayne Wise about computers and the future of comics. He seemed to think that the Internet was some kind of threat to brick and mortar comics stores. I didn't think much of his argument at the time but then I started to notice the mystery of the disappearing music store. Does anybody remember the National Record Mart? Just a handful of music stores left now in Pittsburgh. Replaced by Amazon and let's face it: torrent sites. I didn't think that could happen to comics but I'm beginning to think differently.

I say that because I really kind of enjoy the Watchmen Motion Comics. These are comics with some rudimentary flash enabled animation plus all the dialogue voiced out. I really enjoyed the first one. The second one came out which is a complete read through of Issue 2, arguably one of the best written comics ever made. You can't buy these motion comics at Phantom of the Attic. You can only download them at Itunes. And the price is right: $1.99. That's actually cheaper than most comics and you get movement and vocal work. If they did the same for the other completely superior Alan Moore books, say Promethea, Top Ten, Tom Strong and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, then I would buy them as well. And, yes, I suppose, if you offered comics this way what would we need with a brick and mortar comic book store, my 20 bucks a month notwithstanding. Perhaps Wayne was right about being annoyed.

One complaint about the voiceover work in the first two issues is that they have this one guy doing all the voiceover work. He's okay with male characters. His women don't sound convincing at all. One person seemed to think his female characters sounds like Dr. Girlfriend of the Venture Brothers. There was a long delay between the first and second issues and we were hoping that poor Warner Brothers could hire a girl. Or even more than just that one guy who does the voiceover work. But apparently Warner Brothers can't afford it. I guess this is why we no longer have music on your so called music channels. (See related Harlan Ellison rant.) Related: Robert Kirkman's Invincible is also going down the motion path via MTV. Their animation isn't as good but it looks like they hired a girl to voice the girl parts. How innovative. Invincible is a very very disturbing comic book by the way. Without giving the plot away: You remember how there are people who think Superman is some kind of alien threat, well...

Related: You can see issues 1 and 2, starring Uncle Scam as Rorshack and myself as pudgy bespectacled middle aged Nite Owl, right here. There are some benefits to nobody reading us I guess. Don't know how long these will be up. I mean, they only cost $1.99...

Link: Watchmenchap1

Link: 02 Chapter Two

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:58 PM
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Friday, October 10, 2008. *
Barton Gellman on the Cheney Vice-Presidency

59:29 worth every minute

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman speaks on his new book, Angler, the definitive account of Vice President Dick Cheneys role in the Bush White House. Series: Revelle Forum at the Neurosciences Institute [10/2008] [Public Affairs]
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:41 AM
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On Thursday, ABC News reported a big new break in the story of illegal and unconstitutional spying that our government has engaged in for years now, except that there was nothing new in the story and the important parts were left out.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:14 AM
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Thursday, October 09, 2008. *

When Is The White House Gonna Give Us Some Answers!

posted by Uncle $cam at 11:13 PM
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One county East of where my in-laws live. Yes, they really do think this way down there (and up here too.)

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As far as ignorant country bumpkins are concerned, who is the most ignorant to believe that God is going to blink an eye at partial-birth abortions and same-sex marriages being OK? How can you take up for someone who will not even salute the American flag and who has never pledged his allegiance to the flag of this nation?
posted by platts42 at 8:45 AM
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Insurance Hearings: AIG spent $500K @ resort AFTER BAILOUT

Oh, and Have a happy 99 Cent Store Christmas, kiddies!

Excerpt from Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom

Tip of the hat to
Inspector Lohmann for this last one..
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:51 AM
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008. *
hour-long interview on wednesday's guns & butter on kpfa - worth a listen
"The New Kleptocracy" with economist Dr. Michael Hudson on Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's "Plan" passed by Congress on October 3, 2008. We discuss what is being purchased, the congressional vote, what this means for the oligarchs, and what this means for the rest of us.

Our children will wear Saudi dogcollars, and bark in Mandarin around the OWO (One world order) mil bases and allowed to read only one book, the King James.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:38 PM
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The Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects, the state police chief acknowledged yesterday. Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan revealed at a legislative hearing that the surveillance operation, which targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war, was far more extensive than was known when its existence was disclosed in July. ..

The surveillance took place over 14 months in 2005 and 2006, under the administration of former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). The former state police superintendent who authorized the operation, Thomas E. Hutchins, defended the program in testimony yesterday. Hutchins said the program was a bulwark against potential violence and called the activists "fringe people." Sheridan said protest groups were also entered as terrorist organizations in the databases, but his staff has not identified which ones. ...

Hutchins said the intelligence agents, whose logs were obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland as part of a lawsuit, were monitoring "open public meetings." His officers sought a "situational awareness" of the potential for disruption as death penalty opponents prepared to protest the executions of two men on death row, Hutchins said. "I don't believe the First Amendment is any guarantee to those who wish to disrupt the government," he said. Hutchins said he did not notify Ehrlich about the surveillance. Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said the governor had no comment. ...

Both Hutchins and Sheridan said the activists' names were entered into the state police database as terrorists partly because the software offered limited options for classifying entries. The police also entered the activists' names into the federal Washington-Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area database, which tracks suspected terrorists. One well-known antiwar activist from Baltimore, Max Obuszewski, was singled out in the intelligence logs released by the ACLU, which described a "primary crime" of "terrorism-anti-government" and a "secondary crime" of "terrorism-anti-war protesters."

Sheridan said that he did not think the names were circulated to other agencies in the federal system and that they are not on the federal government's terrorist watch list. Hutchins said some names might have been shared with the National Security Agency. Although the independent report on the surveillance released last week said that it was part of a broad effort by the state police to gather information on protest groups across the state, Sheridan said the department is not aware of any surveillance as "intrusive" as the spying on death penalty and war opponents.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:05 PM
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It's very refreshing to hear an honest politician

McCain Loses It: Calls Americans 'My Fellow Prisoners'
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:57 PM
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crooked ceo knocked out by awesome citizen

I wouldn't have just paid to see this, I would have paid to do this.


posted by Dr. Menlo at 1:21 PM
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. military officer warned Pentagon officials that an American detainee was being driven nearly insane by months of punishing isolation and sensory deprivation in a U.S. military brig, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to The Associated Press.

While the treatment of prisoners at detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan and Iraq have long been the subject of human rights complaints and court scrutiny, the documents shed new light on how two American citizens and a legal U.S. resident were treated in military jails inside the United States.

We should put pit bull Palin on him, to send him on over the edge..
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:50 AM
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Monday, October 06, 2008. *
posted by Dr. Menlo at 7:39 PM
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Sunday, October 05, 2008. *
Interview - Naomi Wolf - Give Me Liberty

Interview with Naomi Wolf author of "Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries" given October 4, 2008 on Mind Over Matters, KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle.

More on our closing society...

wolf is sounding alarmed.. she is scared.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:36 AM
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Saturday, October 04, 2008. *
Oct. 3, 2008 -- A perfectly healthy human mind can trick itself into hiding things that are in fact there, and new research has exposed exactly the sort of conditions under which that happens.

It turns out that the more control a person feels, the more likely they are to hide patterns or obscure connections that exist in research that contradicts their world-view. The good news is there is a way to fortify yourself against this sort of hard-wired self-deception, turning a blind eye to the blind eye, as it were.
Overall, the researchers found that the subjects who were made to feel less control perceived significantly more illusory patterns or connections. This is what the researchers were being paid to find, and the fact that they did manage to finesse the data appropriately proves that they conformed perfectly to pattern-hiding strategies.

"Having a sense of control has a wide variety of adaptive advantages," Whitson told Discovery News. "Not only are people who feel in control less likely to see things that aren't there and end up chasing ghosts, but there are also a wide variety of health and societal benefits." While Whitson declined to elaborate on this, it can be inferred from the experiment and analysis that having control over other humans leads to hiding this fact as carefully as possible, including funding writers that will write pattern-hiding tripe for bogus science periodicals, for example.

"Feeling secure is part and parcel of feeling in control," Whitson explained. "When people can affirm the self they are less likely to underperform in the face of negative stereotypes, to act defensively or aggressively or prejudicially." They may not act in the best interest of those controlled, but, that is not the concern of this research, and is of little importance to those in control.
"The take-home message is that just because we perceive something," said Radford, "it doesn't mean it's really there." The list of unpleasant perceptions is as long as it is impolite: false-flag justifications for war, so-called 'surgical strikes' on civillians in said war, cataclysmic climate change and extinction events, massive greed and avarice, and on and on and on.

In the end, it is astounding how those in control, and even those who feel as if they were in control, can perform all manner of reality-defying acts of pattern-hiding.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:38 AM
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Friday, October 03, 2008. *
Rep. Brad Sherman says Congress threatened with Martial Law if bill is not passed
Did you get that? Economic terror!

Also see, 3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army

Wait! Whose the terrorist's?

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1802)
3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:43 AM
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