American Samizdat

Saturday, January 31, 2009. *

Dear President Obama:

I am a citizen of the United States. I am one of your constituents. Since you have billed yourself as a public servant, one who is honored and even grateful for the chance to be "Leader of the Free World", you owe me. Yes, that's exactly what I said - "You." "Owe." "Me." That might seem a bit, well, cheeky, I guess, but I stand by my demand.

First, I want you to know right up front that I did not vote for you. I did not vote for your opponent(s) either. I proudly withheld my vote because there was no presidential candidate on the ballot in my state whom I believed represented my best interests as a citizen of this country or the best interests of the nation as a whole. My vote is a valuable commodity. I wasn't about to waste it by casting it against someone or for a "lesser of two evils". Evil is evil. I won't vote for it.

I didn't vote for you, sir, because, with all due respect, I didn't buy the hype. I experienced your campaign as a finely-tuned, extremely well-run exercise in creative vagueness and media manipulation. You were too disingenuous for me: "hope" doesn't feed the bulldog; "change" happens, like it or not - try to stop it. In fact, did you not declare finally that the "change" was you? I find that insulting. In a democracy, sir, the change is the people. You represent us, you do not rule us. Governing and ruling are not the same thing.

So, here, Mr President, is what you owe me - owe all of us in America and the world: truth and justice. Simple.

Here is the truth . . .

  • The United States of America and its "democratic" government have been stolen from us. We will not get it back. It will now be melded into a Western Bloc seeking a centralized "new world order";
  • Capitalism as we have known it has entered its final phase and has neither the means nor the intention of benefiting humanity. It will be all you can do to keep order as millions become poor, desperate , and scared out of their wits;
  • Militarism will increase, in spite of your stated intentions, abroad and at home; as unemployment soars, the military and the draft (billed as 'mandatory public service') will become the employer of first, not last, resort. The military-industrial-academic complex will burgeon, developing efficient and horrific weapons of societal control and international imperialism;
  • The national debt will soar, as your administration borrows unconscionable amounts of money to hide the awful economic truth from the people;
  • Techno-fascism will proceed at alarming speed, as science develops capabilities of changing the very essence of what it means to be a human being or even of life itself; subtle and increasingly mandatory "eugenic" technologies and policies will be put in place to limit populations and change humanity;
  • The chasm between the super-rich and -powerful will continue to grow, as human rights and true freedoms decline. The rich and powerful will devise and develop more ingenious and desperate means to control dwindling resources, including the people of the earth;
  • The rule of law, already tattered and torn, will continue to disintegrate into the rules of greed and fear;
  • Global ecological (not just "environmental") balance will tremble and crumble, overwhelmed by the catastrophic weight of human selfishness, blindness, and desperation.
These are fearsome, terrifying, even loathsome truths, Mr President, but they must be told; delineated in such a way that the public cannot hide in consumerist denial and unsupported "hope" and "faith".

And you must stop saying that you and the "leaders" in Washington, the military, the Congress, and business are the answer to the situation. You have agendas and ideologies. You have your own creeks, canoes, and paddles. You're in your own world. You're on one page, the rest of us are on another. You live in the circles of the Feinsteins, Reids, and Pelosis; the Gateses, Geithners, and Clintons; the Brzezinskis and the Kissingers; the AIPACs and the acronyms. Your administration is made up of the problems, not the solutions.

So justice, sir, must start with truth. You must acknowledge the truth, out loud.

Then you must tell us what we did wrong and how we can make amends to ourselves and our country and the world.

Tell us that we let democracy slip out of our hands as we were taken in by Madison Avenue and their fantasy that if we bought enough "stuff" we'd be OK. Tell us that we diverted our attention from what really was going on and watched cartoons on TVs, movie screens, and DVD players in houses that we bought on credit we couldn't afford. Tell us how we screamed about "rights" and "freedoms" and forgot about "responsibilities" to community and country and the world. Show us that we just lost track of the first part of "give and take".

We've been robbed, Mr President, of more than money. It's true, we left a lot of that get into the wrong hands and they mugged us. They're off counting the proceeds, while we're left here with empty wallets, cupboards, and bank accounts. The uproarious part of it, though, is that our government let these thieves make the rules and laws so that what they did often wasn't illegal! Big joke.

As they say, though, "You ain't seen nuthin' yet!" In reality, the nation's high point occurred somewhere in late 1944. Since then we've allowed our greed and ignorance to erode our national character and international relations to a point considerably lower than it was when the Vietnamese drove us out of their country. The acts and policies of the US government and its financier and corporate cronies have painted every American with a brown and sticky mess. No one trusts us. Not even our "allies". We haven't just damaged ourselves, we've hurt the whole world through incalculable neglect at best, abuse at worst.

So I ask you, sir, how you could stand before the American public and the whole world on Inauguration Day and preach hope, and victory, and change, and national strength and character.

Personally, I've lost trust completely in the Presidency, the whole Executive Branch with its secrecy, its unreliability, its deal-making and corruption, its disregard for all but the richest and most powerful. And the same goes for the Senate and the leaders of the House of Representatives. Finally, the Supreme Court has fallen almost totally from enforcing the rule of law and has betrayed the Constitution and the American people.

So start with the truth. Believe it nor not, we can handle it. Most of us know it, because we live it. We're not as numb, dumb, and cowed as you might like to think or hope. The final truth - the bottom line - for you and your presidency is that if you try to protect the lies and liars, crimes and criminals, and cons, neo-cons, and con artists of the recent past, your presidency will have failed right out of the starting gate.

What will you do if the euphoric glow wears off and people realize we're in danger of four more years of the last eight years? Lock us all up in REX84s and shoot all the folks who won't go quietly? And don't give us that stuff about national security and national image. It's. Too. Late. It's gone. We blew it.

Here are a few musts:
  1. Bring the military home, not just from Iraq and Afghanistan, but from everywhere; from all 800 some-odd bases around the globe. Most of the folks in all those countries hate us anyway. And put a total stop to arms sales and other military aid. Make our claims that we are a peaceful nation true through our actions. Oh, and just make sure that when the military gets home, they're fully taken care of and their guns point out against our enemies, not in toward our people. This includes our covert forces, too.
  2. Repeal the USA Patriot Acts and their related mechanisms and start over from scratch. Period.
  3. Work to overturn the laws that legally endow corporations with conceptual humanity. They're the most inhuman, rapacious entities on the planet. Regulate them, tax the hell out of them, or throw them out of the country. Give the means of production back to the producers and let us make a go of what they've ruined and robbed us of.
  4. Reinforce our constitutional rights and freedoms, but remind us constantly of our civic responsibilities.
  5. Make us once again the most well-educated people on earth. And the most artistically gifted. And the healthiest. And the most responsible and of the highest character. Give us the example to follow. Treat all of our children the way you treat your own children. Think about the country and world you want your daughters to grow up in.
  6. Finally, let us know how to be true democrats. Tell us how each of us must act as if s/he is responsible for the whole country and its people. Give us back the power and show us how to use it. Then listen to us. Maybe we will have learned our lesson. Maybe its not too late.
As far as I'm concerned, Mr President, if you're willing to do even half of that, I'll buy you a carton of whatever you smoke.



Be about peace.

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(originally published at P!)
posted by Unknown at 5:22 AM
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Thursday, January 29, 2009. *
A Comparison
The number of homeless, United States, 2007
There are several national estimates of homelessness. Many are dated, or based on dated information. For all of the reasons discussed above, none of these estimates is the definitive representation of "how many people are homeless.” The best approximation is from a study done by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty which states that approximately 3.5 million people, 1.35 million of them children, are likely to experience homelessness in a given year (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 2007).

These numbers, based on findings from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, Urban Institute and specifically the National Survey of Homeless Assistance Providers, draw their estimates from a study of service providers across the country at two different times of the year in 1996. They found that, on a given night in October, 444,000 people (in 346,000 households) experienced homelessness – which translates to 6.3% of the population of people living in poverty. On a given night in February, 842,000 (in 637,000 households) experienced homelessness – which translates to almost 10% of the population of people living in poverty. Converting these estimates into an annual projection, the numbers that emerge are 2.3 million people (based on the October estimate) and 3.5 million people (based on the February estimate). This translates to approximately 1% of the U.S. population experiencing homelessness each year, 38% (October) to 39% (February) of them being children (Urban Institute 2000).

It is also important to note that this study was based on a national survey of service providers. Since not all people experiencing homelessness utilize service providers, the actual numbers of people experiencing homelessness are likely higher than those found in the study, Thus, we are estimating on the high end of the study’s numbers: 3.5 million people, 39% of which are children (Urban Institute 2000).
The number of vacant housing units, United States, 2008
There were an estimated 130.4 million housing units in the United States in the third quarter 2008. Approximately 111.7 million housing units were occupied: 75.9 million by owners and 35.8 million by renters. Both the number of owner-occupied housing units and the number of renter-occupied housing units were higher than their respective estimates a year ago. Of the 2.2 million increase in total housing units, 1.4 million were occupied and 737 thousand were vacant units. Of the 737 thousand additional vacant units from last year, there were 41 percent that were for rent or for sale. The number of total vacant housing units, 18.6 million, was higher than the estimated number in third quarter 2007. Of these vacant housing units, 13.8 million were for year-round use and 4.8 million were for seasonal use. Approximately 4.0 million of the year-round vacant units were for rent, 2.2 million were for sale only, and the remaining 7.6 million units were vacant for a variety of other reasons.
posted by the.thistle at 10:13 PM
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hahahaha... it's not the hysterical laughter that bothers me, it's my inability to stop...h/t to tate...
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:55 AM
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By Larry Pinkney

The so-called democracy of the powerful U.S. elite continues to live up to its legacy of hypocrisy and deceit.

Now that the spectacle of the Barack Obama coronation as the “American” Empire’s first African-American emperor has run its course, and many, many millions of dollars have been spent on self-adulation by the power elite of this nation, the huddled masses will necessarily be compelled to return to a system of no universal, single-payer health care, increasing joblessness, insatiable corporate / military greed, homelessness, de facto racial disparity & discord, police brutality, a burgeoning U.S. prison population, and endless U.S. wars abroad. For yet again, this nation will have done what it all too often does: perverted its promise, including the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., into a hypocritical nightmare of gigantic and historic proportions.

For the majority of Black, Brown, White, Red, and Yellow peoples, the “dream” to which the late Langston Hughes referred [in the poem A Dream Deferred] has not only been “deferred,” it has been obscenely and grotesquely disfigured and distorted into something almost beyond recognition. Barack Obama’s presidency is not a step forward nor is it a step towards the fulfillment of the struggles by Nat Turner, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so very many others. Rather, he is the slick pro-apartheid Zionist antithesis and perversion of the fulfillment of these struggles.

Barack Obama has already begun to repeatedly and shamelessly call upon the people of this nation to make “sacrifice[s],” as if the everyday people of this country have not already made enormous, heart rendering sacrifices. How about having Obama’s elite corporate backers in Lockheed, Goldman Saks, and the insurance and banking industries make some meaningful, ongoing, and painful sacrifices?! How about reversing the government’s criminal financial bail out of the big corporations [which government bail-out Obama enthusiastically supported], and passing those billions upon billions of dollars back directly to the everyday people of this nation - no strings attached?! How about immediately stopping all U.S. wars of aggression, and bringing our men and women in uniform home right NOW - no strings attached?! So many of these men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of so-called U.S. “national security,” which false “security” has meant their being the perpetual working-class cannon fodder for Halliburton and other avaricious corporate components of the U.S. “military / industrial complex.”

Barack Obama, though the first African-American “presidential” figurehead of the U.S. Empire, is actually the last best hope of continuing U.S. international hegemony under the fake cloak of democracy and justice at home and abroad.
read the rest at the link...

This line really stood out for me:

For yet again, this nation will have done what it all too often does: perverted its promise, including the dream of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., into a hypocritical nightmare of gigantic and historic proportions.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:11 AM
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009. *
The United Nations' crime and drug watchdog has indications that money made in illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat in the global financial crisis, its head was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Vienna-based UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said in an interview released by Austrian weekly Profil that drug money often became the only available capital when the crisis spiralled out of control last year.

"In many instances, drug money is currently the only liquid investment capital," Costa was quoted as saying by Profil. "In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had found evidence that "interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities," Costa was quoted as saying. There were "signs that some banks were rescued in that way."

Profil said Costa declined to identify countries or banks which may have received drug money and gave no indication how much cash might be involved. He only said Austria was not on top of his list, Profil said.
(via Dosenation)

Guither at Drug War Rant:
Well maybe we've finally found a bizarre and dysfunctional reason for keeping drugs illegal -- the banks need the unregulated cash flow.
Shouldn't be too surprising that this is the case. Banks have been involved in laundering drug money for as long as there's been a substantial illicit market.

Costa has his own blog. Oddly, he talked up the benefits of subprime lending in December of last year, right after the meltiest part of the meltdown (thus far).

Remember, kids: Get hooked on credit, not drugs!
posted by tate engstrand at 10:55 PM
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Funny is it not, that the number #1 player in Iran/Contra/B.C.C.I. scandal is a hold over employee from Bush's posse, now Obama's Sec of Defense. From Two decades ago... is now
accusing Iran of subversion in Latin America...

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates accused Iran Tuesday of engaging in "subversive activity" in Latin America, saying it concerned him more than Russia's recent naval forays in the region.

"I'm concerned about the level of frankly subversive activity that the Iranians are carrying on in a number of places in Latin America particularly South America and Central America," Gates told lawmakers.

"They're opening a lot of offices and a lot of fronts behind which they interfere in what is going on in some of these countries," he said.

Gates gave no specifics in leveling the accusation against Iran at a Senate hearing in response to a question about Russia's recent naval exercises in the Caribbean with Venezuela.

The secretary said nonchalance was the best response to the Russian ship visits.

"In fact if it hadn't been for the events in Georgia in August, I probably would've tried to persuade the president to invite the Russian ships pay a port call in Miami because I think they would've had a lot better time than they did in Caracas," he said.

"But basically I think at 40-dollar (per barrel) oil, the Russian navy does not bother me very much," Gates added.

"It's important for us to keep perspective about their capabilities," he said.

"When they complained about our escorting their Blackjack bombers to Venezuela, I wanted to say that we just wanted to be along there for search and rescue if they needed it."

And lets not forget, Former President Bush's uncle, Jonathan Bush, and the Riggs Bank $25 million fine for a "willful, systemic" violation of anti-money-laundering laws.

The Riggs Bank info dovetails with Sibel Edmonds'(remember her?)allegations. I think the problem is as you can see, that almost EVERYONE would be implicated. The whole of the Senate and Con-gress.

Sound track for the above...
Same as it ever was...

Same as it ever was..
Same as it ever was..
Same as it ever was..
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:07 PM
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This is much more passionate in watching it than the title suggests...

Tony Benn accuses the BBC ON AIR of capitualating to the Israeli Government by refusing to air an appeal for the Gazan people by the Disaster Emergency Commitee (DEC) he then broadcasts the Address himself much to the consternation of the interviewer!

Disaster Emergency Commitee (DEC)
Gaza Crisis
PO BOX 999

Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza humanitarian appeal:
Launched by UK charities on 22 January to raise money for Gaza aid relief and reconstruction

Participants: Action Aid, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision

Information on 0370 60 60 900 or at DEC website
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:09 PM
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President Barack Obama has signaled he will not go to bat for birth control in the economic stimulus bill — a move likely to set off a firestorm among powerful forces in the Democratic Party.

Obama has asked House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to strip a plan to extend birth control coverage under Medicaid from the stimulus package, the Associated Press reports. The plea comes as Obama courts Republican support for the $825 billion package, for which he wants to see strong bi-partisan backing.

Republicans are up-in-arms over the family planning provision, calling it a wasteful giveaway that will not stimulate the economy. They claim it is an attempt by Democrats to push through their expansion of health care agenda — via an unrelated bill.
That the Republicans can publicly denounce health care as not being relevant to the economy is just one more symptom of the paucity of our national dialogue. What the bleeding hell is an economy if it doesn't include the health care sector?
posted by tate engstrand at 9:18 AM
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Monday, January 26, 2009. *
Irony was now out.

Naiveté, translated into "hope," was now in.

Innocence, even when it looked like ignorance, was now prized.

Partisanship could now be appropriately expressed by consumerism.

I couldn't count the number of snapshots I got e-mailed showing people's babies dressed in Obama gear.

I couldn't count the number of times I heard the words "transformational" or "inspirational," or heard the 1960s evoked by people with no apparent memory that what drove the social revolution of the 1960s was not babies in cute T-shirts but the kind of resistance to that decade's war that in the case of our current wars, unmotivated by a draft, we have yet to see. It became increasingly clear that we were gearing up for another close encounter with militant idealism—by which I mean the convenient but dangerous redefinition of political or pragmatic questions as moral questions—"convenient" because such redefinition makes those questions seem easier to answer, "dangerous" because this was a time when the nation was least prepared to afford easy answers.

Some who were troubled by this redefinition referred to those who remained untroubled by a code phrase. This phrase, which referred back to a previous encounter with militant idealism, the one that ended at the Jonestown encampment in Guyana in 1978, was "drinking the Kool-Aid."

No one ever suggested that the candidate himself was drinking the Kool-Aid—if there had been any doubt about this, his initial appointments laid them to rest.... Yet. The expectations got fueled. The spirit of a cargo cult was loose in the land. I heard it said breathlessly on one channel that the United States, on the basis of having carried off this presidential election, now had "the congratulations of all the nations." "They want to be with us," another commentator said. Imagining in 2008 that all the world's people wanted to be with us did not seem entirely different in kind from imagining in 2003 that we would be greeted with flowers when we invaded Iraq, but in the irony-free zone that the nation had chosen to become, this was not the preferred way of looking at it.

A great Buddhist saying stipulates that Meditation is not what you think. Wishful thinking happens when you refuse to see how painful things are.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:18 PM
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Friday, January 23, 2009. *
The Messiah's hands are already stained with sacrificial blood.

14 Holy Sacrificies in Pakistan

And more to come ... much more.

Obama action figure with Kung fu grip!
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:44 PM
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1024 x 768
posted by tate engstrand at 8:45 PM
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009. *

I mean, it is the first day. I'm sure he'll start sending people to the camps soon. But he's very clever so far in that he appears to be a decent man who wouldn't do something like that. We'll remain vigilant certainly.

Item (takes too long for my finger pointer):

What Skippy said:


Tomorrow George W. Bush will cease to be President of the United States. It seems almost like a miracle that the worst president of my lifetime and possibly of all time will finally be gone. I cannot express what an enormous sense of relief and hope I am feeling right now, but I expect a lot of people are feeling it too, so there is less a need to express it precisely than to share it.

Tomorrow, when my wife gets home from work and before we go to one of our weekly poker games, I'll pull the cork on the '85 porto I brought back from Portugal in 2003 and we'll drink a toast to the end of the horrible nightmare of George Bush and his co-conspirators, thieves, liars, and murderers all. I look forward to an Obama administration. It can't be any worse than the hell we all just went through.

Tomorrow George W. Bush will cease to be President of the United States. Wow. I love that sentence.

Item: Krugman says the bailout should go deeper.

Rescuing The Economy

The last president to face a similar mess was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and you can learn a lot from his example. That doesn't mean, however, that you should do everything FDR did. On the contrary, you have to take care to emulate his successes, but avoid repeating his mistakes.

About those successes: The way FDR dealt with his own era's financial mess offers a very good model. Then, as now, the government had to deploy taxpayer money in order to rescue the financial system. In particular, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation initially played a role similar to that of the Bush administration's Troubled Assets Relief Program (the $700 billion program everyone knows about). Like the TARP, the RFC bulked up the cash position of troubled banks by using public funds to buy up stock in those banks.

There was, however, a big difference between FDR's approach to taxpayer-subsidized financial rescue and that of the Bush administration: Namely, FDR wasn't shy about demanding that the public's money be used to serve the public good. By 1935 the U.S. government owned about a third of the banking system, and the Roosevelt administration used that ownership stake to insist that banks actually help the economy, pressuring them to lend out the money they were getting from Washington. Beyond that, the New Deal went out and lent a lot of money directly to businesses, to home buyers and to people who already owned homes, helping them restructure their mortgages so they could stay in their houses.

Can you do anything like that today? Yes, you can. The Bush administration may have refused to attach any strings to the aid it has provided to financial firms, but you can change all that. If banks need federal funds to survive, provide them — but demand that the banks do their part by lending those funds out to the rest of the economy. Provide more help to homeowners. Use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home-lending agencies, to pass the government's low borrowing costs on to qualified home buyers. (Fannie and Freddie were seized by federal regulators in September, but the Bush administration, bizarrely, has kept their borrowing costs high by refusing to declare that their bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpayer.)

Conservatives will accuse you of nationalizing the financial system, and some will call you a Marxist. (It happens to me all the time.) And the truth is that you will, in a way, be engaging in temporary nationalization. But that's OK: In the long run we don't want the government running financial institutions, but for now we need to do whatever it takes to get credit flowing again.

Breaking: I wrote the above yesterday. Here's a rundown of what Obama has done his first day. Again, it doesn't appear to look much like fascism--as most fascists do not extend FOIA powers-- but what do I know.

So let's feel the fascism:

The Orders and Memoranda state that:

  • ... he will freeze his White House senior staff pay at current levels to the full extent allowed by law ... The President and his staff recognize that in these austere times, everyone must do more with less, and the White House is no exception.
  • In the Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, the President, first, prohibits executive branch employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Second, he closes the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government. Third, he requires that government hiring be based upon qualifications, competence and experience, not political connections.
  • ... the President instructs all members of his administration to operate under principles of openness, transparency and of engaging citizens with their government. To implement these principles and make them concrete, the Memorandum on Transparency instructs three senior officials to produce an Open Government Directive within 120 days directing specific actions to implement the principles in the Memorandum. And the Memorandum on FOIA instructs the Attorney General to in that same time period issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the FOIA context.
  • ... This order ends the practice of having others besides the President assert executive privilege for records after an administration ends. Now, only the President will have that power, limiting its potential for abuse. And the order also requires the Attorney General and the White House Counsel to review claims of executive privilege about covered records to make sure those claims are fully warranted by the Constitution.

Update by SusanG: Tim Dickinson over at Rolling Stone observes:

Obama has just rescinded the rule that would have let Bush’s heirs continue to claim executive privilege over his papers.

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 3:34 PM
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009. *
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:47 PM
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Monday, January 19, 2009. *
"On January 19th, Barack and I will join thousands of people across the country for an extraordinary day of service," begins the e-mail from Michelle Obama. "Whatever service activity you organize or take part in -- cleaning up a park, giving blood, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or mentoring at-risk youth -- you can help start this important journey." We're likely to hear more calls to service under the Obama administration, a New Democratic plan for reviving America.

The Democrats have become just as adept at using message control as their Republican counterparts. This call to service is a warm-up for the call for "universal citizen service," an idea laid out in The Plan, Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed's blueprint for changing America. "Young people will know that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They'll be asked to report for basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear, or conventional attack." Not quite a draft, but the authors admit it will expose more young Americans to the prospect of military service, hopefully boosting enlistment.

More importantly, universal citizen service instills the fear of terrorist attacks into the minds of every young American, particularly those at an age where radicalism and the potential for change burn most strongly in our culture; absent a critical voice, the centrist political parties face little real opposition. The threat of terrorist attacks has been used by both parties to justify illegal spying, the attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other Middle Eastern countries, and the military build-up since the beginning of the Cold War. "The U.S. military is an extraordinary example of differences giving way to national purpose," claim the authors, barely masking the neoconservative foreign affairs agenda underlying the New Democratic agenda.

The call to service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is stark evidence of the New Democrat's cunning manipulation of the American narrative. Towards the end of his all-too-short life, King focused on the economic conditions of the poor and on American foreign affairs. Reflecting on the toll of Vietnam, King was "increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such." Our current wars abroad and economic system attack the same segment of society - those below the Democratically-acceptable middle-class, largely non-white, and particularly those in poverty (including 20% of our nation's children). "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death," King keenly articulated in his "Beyond Vietnam" speech in 1967. Our military budget will breach $1 trillion this year, the largest defense budget on record. Obama has given little indication of reducing the military budget, closing our 700 bases in over 100 countries, or quickly withdrawing American troops occupying foreign countries - all actions that would reduce the motivation of terrorist while freeing up funding for badly-needed social services. In 2009, the federal government will provide more money for nuclear weapons than our primary education system.

We're asked to give our time in honor of an American Civil Rights leader while the incoming administration hands out billions to the corporate elite guiding our broken economic system. We're asked to give blood while allowing for-profit entities to run our healthcare system. We're asked to volunteer at a homeless shelter while Obama breaks his campaign pledge to repeal Bush's obscene tax cuts for the wealthy. We're asked to mentor at-risk youth while seeing no indication of the economic changes needed to address poverty.

The call to service provides a day for the liberal bourgeoisie to feint compassion while reinforcing their dominance. Our nation's foreign affairs follow the same logic, offering help only when it serves our own interest. In typical American fashion, the day of service offers the most meagre assistance while giving the dominant classes the feeling of "giving back." It is far more powerful to make changes that would allow others to stand on their own feet instead of offering a temporary hand.

Also, In December 1999 a jury returned a verdict that the U.S. government was responsible for a conspiracy to murder Martin Luther King Jr.

Transcripts here at the family's King Center website-
How the US gov't assassinated Martin Luther King Jr.

After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only 1½ hours to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.

A participant in the plot, Lloyd Jowers, and many fearful witnesses had finally come forward for a civil trial to piece together the evidence.

FBI, CIA, Pentagon, mob, and Memphis Police Department people all participated in a plot to murder Martin Luther King Jr. and frame up a patsy named James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968, exactly one year after MLK gave a speech condemning the Vietnam War and beginning the process of allying the black Civil Rights movement with the white anti-war movement.

Someone going by the name of "Raul" had for a year been giving the patsy, an escaped convict and petty criminal named James Earl Ray, smuggling jobs over the Mexican and Canadian borders and sent him to be across the street from MLK's hotel with a rifle while others in the conspiracy:
switched MLK to a vulnerable hotel room stripped him of his usual security detail moved black firemen and black police away from him shot him from bushes across the street cut down those bushes early the next morning murdered an eyewitness taxi driver and, once he'd been caught, deceptively convinced James Earl Ray to 'temporarily' plead guilty thereby imprisoning him for life without so much as a trial of evidence such as ballistic testing of the alleged murder weapon.

Here are some of them online-

Articles about the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

James Earl Ray maintained his innocence from nearly the moment after he entered a guilty plea under what he felt was the coercion of his lawyer. Read about the many controversies in this case and decide for yourself where the truth lies. Some of these articles are part of our new book, The Assassinations.

Probe V4N3: Is It Ever Too Late to Do the Right Thing?
Probe V4N4: King's Son says Ray Not Guilty
Probe V4N5: Dexter King Pursues Justice
Probe V4N6: New Trial for Ray or New Judge for County?
Probe V5N2: Is the King Case Dead?
Probe V5N5: He's Baaack! The Return of Gerald Posner
Probe V5N5: Judge Joe Brown Speaks out on Martin Luther King Case
Probe V7N4: The Martin Luther King Assassination Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis

Carthel Weeden, captain of Fire Station 2 in 1968, testified that he was on duty the
morning of April 4 when two U.S. Army officers approached him. The officers said
they wanted a lookout for the Lorraine Motel. Weeden said they carried briefcases and
indicated they had cameras. Weeden showed the officers to the roof of the fire station.
He left them at the edge of its northeast corner behind a parapet wall. From there the
Army officers had a bird’s-eye view of Dr. King’s balcony doorway and could also
look down on the brushy area adjacent to the fire station.

The testimony of writer Douglas Valentine filled in the background of the men Carthel
Weeden had taken up to the roof of Fire Station 2. While Valentine was researching
his book The Phoenix Program (1990), on the CIA’s notorious counterintelligence
program against Vietnamese villagers, he talked with veterans in military intelligence
who had been re-deployed from the Vietnam War to the sixties antiwar movement.
They told him that in 1968 the Army’s 111th Military Intelligence Group kept Martin
Luther King under 24-hour-a-day surveillance. Its agents were in Memphis April 4. As
Valentine wrote in The Phoenix Program, they "reportedly watched and took photos
while King’s assassin moved into position, took aim, fired, and walked away."
Testimony which juror David Morphy later described as "awesome" was that of former
CIA operative Jack Terrell, a whistle-blower in the Iran-Contra scandal. Terrell, who
was dying of liver cancer in Florida, testified by videotape that his close friend J.D.
Hill had confessed to him that he had been a member of an Army sniper team in
Memphis assigned to shoot "an unknown target" on April 4. After training for a
triangular shooting, the snipers were on their way into Memphis to take up positions in
a watertower and two buildings when their mission was suddenly cancelled. Hill said
he realized, when he learned of King’s assassination the next day, that the team must
have been part of a contingency plan to kill King if another shooter failed.
Terrell said J.D. Hill was shot to death. His wife was charged with shooting Hill (in
response to his drinking), but she was not indicted. From the details of Hill’s death,
Terrell thought the story about Hill’s wife shooting him was a cover, and that his friend
had been assassinated. In an interview, Terrell said the CIA’s heavy censorship of his
book Disposable Patriot (1992) included changing the paragraph on J.D. Hill’s death,
so that it read as if Terrell thought Hill’s wife was responsible.

So all anti-government organizations were sabotaged and decapitated by the FBI's COINTELPRO (counterintelligence program) and the CIA's Operation CHAOS, just like the CIA's Operation Phoenix in Vietnam and the CIA-backed Operation Condor in South America.

Best book on the US government's big assassinations of the 1960s is a collection of articles from the online magazine called Probe, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease.

When you study the details of the big assassinations of the 1960s you also learn why and how the US government (Pentagon/CIA/FBI) compartmentalizes investigations and trials and reporting using government assets to hide their crimes against the people.

Oh, and happy Obama inauguration...
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:38 PM
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Friday, January 16, 2009. *
In five days, the deal will be done. The biggest fraud ever perpetuated in this country will be official. Barack Hussein Obama will be the forty-fourth president of the United States of America.

An expert opportunist, the Senator from Illinois passed the interview, convincing the ruling class that he was their man. He would guard its interests faithfully and get the majority of the American people - and probably, for awhile, much of the rest of the world - to go along to get along.

Then he convinced the American people that he was their guy. He can't be both, but he pulled it off. He is a better man than Bush, the main differences being that he is not a fool, speaks in complete sentences, and will not give anyone the finger in public.

What were we thinking when we were comparing the man to Abe Lincoln, Martin King, John Kennedy, and even Jesus Christ? We weren't. We were hypnotized, semi-conscious, glad for the relief from the nightmare in which The Dubbleduh-Chainey Gang was about to anally gang-rape us once and for all.

The question is not so much whether Nobama sold his soul to the devil to become president. That would require his movement from being a man of integrity to a man of expediency. But there is nothing in his political record to indicate that he was ever anything but an ambitious man with a goal.

There is no denying his denial. He is Narcissist-in-Chief. He believes the answer is . . . his own cool se'f. He da change, sucka.

All the characteristics that we thought were disadvantages - some African-American blood, Muslim name (including that scary middle name), inexperience, "radical ties", elite demeanor, experienced, powerful woman opponent - made him the perfect candidate. The cognoscenti had a winner - they knew it, he knew it.

He promised nothing really. He ran on fog. He ran on simple slogans, never really revealing, never really hiding, never really telling what he believed in.

Change. Smart, where Bush looked dumb. Calm, where McCain looked labile and snarly. Steady, where Clinton looked unstable. Confident, where everyone else looked like they were pleading and engineering. Good show, that.

Barack didn't make a bargain with the devil. It had already been made; he was just cashing in the the chit.

The real coup was that his act was so good that he made even many of the most hardened leftists forget who was running the show . . . still running the show: DLC, TLC, M-O-U-S-EEEEEEEEEE. And there they all are, the Zionist Emmanuel, the Warrior Gates, the CFR President Haass, the list is endless. In the eyes of the rulers, the only mistake the Bush Administration really made was in being so bloody, cheekily obvious about what they were doing. They just didn't have any class, that's all. They wanted their payoff as they went along. But Obama's got plenty of class, hasn't he though? He will wait. He knows that the tired New Age mantra, "It's not the destination that counts, it's the journey", is a fallacy.

I'm glad that a strong, intelligent black man is elected president. But there is a nasty, rascist phrase, which I won't repeat, about his role. Suffice it to say that, just like Bush, he works for "the Man". Think about what things will be like after four more years of the same economic and foreign policies that got us to this point.

As Micky Z. points out, in "Obama Nation Upholds US Terror" . . .
Let’s start with two facts:

1. The United States of America is a rogue state built on and maintained by terror
2. Barack Obama will do absolutely nothing to change or challenge the realities behind fact #1 . . .

Rosa Luxemburg sez: "The first revolutionary act is to call things by their true names." Well then, here goes: Whether we—or Lord Obama—choose to admit it or not, the vaunted "American way of life" was built on a nearly exterminated indigenous population, the African slave trade, and all those killed in places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, etc. It was built on stolen land using stolen oil. Our way of life was built on terror and it is maintained by terror: e.g. cops, prisons, military, and the psychological oppression of propaganda.

The exalted Pope of Hope is merely shilling old Kool-Aid in shiny new recyclable bottles. Until we act, we remain accomplices to his global and domestic crimes.
At BAR, michael hureaux perez, in "Eshu’s blues: Obama’s message to the world: Let the U.S. ruling class pound you in the face", is less kind, more direct:
It's been sixty years since the Pan African historian CLR James wrote the thoughts cited above, but most of what we find in the mainstream media even now is nothing more then "puk puk pukaw" in Mp3 format where it isn't outright chicken doo doo. As the moment of the Oba's Ascension to the Oval Office draws near, the Poultry Land Committee for Renewed Capitalist Mayhem is running its rooster tails off. As is the usual with true believers in Obamian politics, the objective reality that clings to the Big Man's cabinet picks is just one more political ploy from the President-Elect. The common mantra is that Obama is creating a "team of rivals," or exercising the old Don Corleone political counsel that one should keep one's friends close and one's enemies closer. And they'll get no argument from me on that score, certainly boojwah politics is gangster philosophy put into practice. Just ask the residents of the Gaza Strip if they think the owners of U.S. society and their allies are above drive-by shootings.

Not that any of this makes a difference to many the leaders of what passes for the "left" in this country. The line from the aging Port Huron "radical" types like Davidson, Hayden and Gitlin has been a refurbishing of the same old "democratic" party hoo ha some of them used to take issue with in more forthright days. To be specific, our eminence gris from the Sixties favor a steady repetition of the "democratic" party fix offered by His Oba-ness, and the Oba Fish has taken the line of silence on Gaza since there's only "one president at a time." Well, okay. But I say that state terrorist is as state terrorist does, whether state terrorist wishes to address the matter or not . . .

So, now we can't expect the Herald of Hope and Change to speak out against Israeli war crimes in Palestine since "there's only one president at a time." What a load of horse manure. And what a cheap cop-out is being put over on us all. The cowardice of this moment is beyond appalling.

There is only one president at a time, you see, but there are several vice-chairmen of the board, and their first concern is how they're going to keep people like you and I under the lash. We're not under the same lash the Palestinians are under yet, but anyone who thinks it's a direct impossibility has short term memory problems. The victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans know what I'm talking about. Be it fire or be it flood, you're just as dead if the nickel counters who run this craphole system decide you're expendable.

The foremost question in the mind of these creeps who've bankrupted and burned the world is how we of the great unwashed can be distracted from administering to the owners of society the beatings they so richly deserve. But, enough pique on my part. I must come to terms with the fact that the financial markets are soothed by the sensible fiscal plans of the incoming administration, as the Wall Street Journal and other robber baron papers informed us all the other day . . .
It wasn't really until the aftermath of the Iraq invasion that people finally woke up to the reality of the Dubbleduh-Chainey Gang's agenda. But they have stayed unwilling to face the reality that the political system is irresponsive and irresponsible for true solutions.

This was just one more beauty contest, in which a majority voted for a personality, sizzle, rather than courageous vision and sustainable principles and policies.

That, my friends, is why I didn't vote. I couldn't vote for hope - there was none.

Be at peace.

(Originally published at P!)
posted by Unknown at 8:38 PM
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Thursday, January 15, 2009. *
Alpha-Political Farewell to the Bush Administration
"Back in 2004 I summed up George Bush’s first term in my Alpha Politics. So it seems only appropriate to do the same for the Bush-Cheney second term:

A is for Jack Abramoff who’s big in pay-to-play.

B’s for greedy bankers who have fleeced the USA.

C is for Rep. Craig who isn’t gay, except in bed.

D is for democracy which Dubya hasn’t spread. ..."

The rest of my Alpha-Political Farewell to Bush and Cheney is here.
posted by Mad Kane at 1:30 PM
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Why not, I mean even the smallest towns now have super militarized swat teams, and most now even, have there own tanks.

Like something out of Bladerunner... are you a dissident meme passing replicate?
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:35 PM
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009. *
10. Increased Funding for Childhood Cancer
9. Boost America's Economy with Legal Online Poker
8. Get the Insurance Companies out the Health Care
7. Revoke the George W. Bush tax cuts for the top 1 %.
6. Increase [miles per gallon] requirements now!
5. Stop using federal resources to undermine states' medicinal marijuana laws
4. The permanent closure of all Torture facilities. (Facilities such as: Guantanamo, and Abu Ghraib)
3. An end to the government sponsored abstinence education to be replaced by an introduction of age appropriate sex education.
2. Ending Marijuana Prohibition
1. Bullet Trains and Light Rail
I'm pretty sure legal online poker will not help the economy; too many funny games with computer numbers is the heart of the problem. But I can't really argue with any of the rest.

Here's my wishlist (not comprehensive):
5. If we're going to insist on an auto bailout, give the money directly to the unions and let them run the factories. On the other hand...
4. Cars? Are you fucking kidding me? Do we really need more cars?
3. "Mortgage crisis"? Give. People. Their. Homes. Do the same for apartment dwellers.
2. Force banks to account for the TARP money or forceably remove executives and nationalize the banks. Bring these fuckers to heel.
1. Extradite Bush, Cheney, & Co. to the Hague. Find guilty of war crimes. Hang until dead.
How about you?
posted by tate engstrand at 1:12 PM
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Terence McKenna wrote, "If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed".

With the disservice of more and more publishing houses closing, both, from the recent worsening economy as well as the ever feeding generational corporate leviathan swallowing any and all public dissent, discourse and outlets of voices not relegated by our rulers, the iconoclastic modern poet is a rare thing.

Bob Wilson wrote, about 'games without end' and how the authoritarian, aka alpha males, were terrified of painters and poets, because they have the uncanny ability to break through the mirage of the system, to help us see which side of the mirror we are really on. They piss us off, show us our dirty laundry, like archeologist's help us excavate our trash, sadden us, make our hearts sing, and give voice, resonance and validation to the voiceless, but ultimately teach us empathy and make us more human, quite inconvenient for the machine.

The above is a local poet, I post this not because he is a dear friend, but in addition, because his work stands apart and alone from that, in that, in his ability to convey the things many often can't verbalize, poets are compassionate language trickster's, unsung hero's often taking us from the mundane to the profane and back again. They truly are the antenna of the human race.

Today I share with you AMERIKAN DETRITUS.

"The ship! The hearse! -- the second hearse!" cried Ahab from the boat. "It's wood could only be American!"
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:50 AM
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009. *
James Bamford explains how Israeli companies spy on US

James Bamford describes the NSA's subcontracting to Israeli firms for mass surveillance of U.S.-based electronic communications. Further information, and how this relates to 9/11 at;

He fails to mention, Amdocs

Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest phone companies in America, and more worldwide. The White House and other secure government phone lines are
protected, but it is virtually impossible to make a call on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it.

My July 20, of 2006 post above, has been removed from youtube, but google vids still has it here:

911 - The Israeli Connection
Since this report was first aired, AIPAC has found itself embroiled in yet another espionage case, this time involving an operative inside the very Pentagon office, from which many of the now discredited claims abut Iraq's WMD emerged. So here it is again for those of you unaware, that on 9-11, the largest foreign spy ring ever uncovered in the US was in the process of being rounded up, and that evidence linking these arrested Israeli spies to 911 has been classified by the US Government! Part I - Evidence linking Israelis to 9/11 is classified. Part II - Israeli phone company in U.S. Part III - Israeli wiretapping potential - back door. Part IV - Conclusion of series and info on some illegal activities of Israelis. All 4 parts are joined in one file.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:20 PM
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(author's note: this essay was first posted in two parts as a guest post at Jeanette Clancy's wonderful blog God Is Not Three Guys, here and here), then at P!

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave. - Sir William Drummond

When Jeanette asked me to continue our on-going conversation about spirituality, religion, and atheism here, the post began to just write itself. What's here, however, is not what I planned to say . . .

I've spent much of the last ten days with a fellow blogger friend setting up and now maintaining an internetwork on Facebook, Twitter, and our blogs of Palestinian/Gazan activists, making sue their news and cries for help reach the world in realtime.

I am no fan of Hamas. Let me be clear about that. Neither do I send any kisses to Fatah, Hizbollah, or the Israeli state and its operatives (IDF, Mossad, etc). But when I get up each morning after a sleep that did not stem my exhaustion, I go back to watch videos I had posted the night before. And everytime, I am shaken to the core . . .

I was in my teens to my early twenties when the US was ravaged by assassinations, race riots, political riots, Nixon, Kent State, the Tet offensive, and the futile shame and carnage of Southeast Asia. Firsthand, I experienced tear gas, riot sticks, anarchy, drug addiction, virulent hate.

The press was still free to document the truth, so I saw death and destruction and deceit and blood every day on TV. Later, for several years, as a therapist, I treated alcoholism in NamVets who had developed that awful illness by drinking in order to kick the heroin addiction they brought back from the war. Nasty. I lost several folks, some clients, some friends, to madness, despair, and suicide. And many others silently succumbed to lives become totally unmanageable and unbearable.

But I have never seen anything close to what I watch on those videos. Videos recorded and conveyed by shaking cell phones through a jerry-rigged network of internet nodes. Videos showing civilian adults and children, bleeding, dead, dying, screaming, maimed. Others, some hurt, some not, running from victim to victim sprawled on the asphalt and concrete in a quick triage and hauling off the still-living to non-existent medical care at rocket-ruined hospitals . . .

We know that this conflict, this current battle in a six-decade war, is not just about religion and culture. Not just about Jew and Arab, Jew and Muslim, Israel and Palestine. It is about land, resources such as oil and water, and "geopolitical alliances" (that sinister phrase that translates into autonomy and empire). It is also about fear, rage, hate, jealously, revenge, tradition, and pride. And money - always money.

So that it what this, and all, war is about. But the thing itself? Organized insanity. I do not use that term metaphorically. Insanity is an illness, a dis-ease, of the brain. An imbalance of natural organic chemicals causes a disruption of sane thinking, producing a lability of emotion, resulting in abherrent behavior - such as mass murder and other crimes perpetrated by humans on other humans. Once begun, it is an addiction cycle - war producing more insanity driving more war. The cycle produces and thrives on the core of denial. The cycle is broken only when the participants realize that upside is not exceeding the downside and one cries "uncle!".

On Wednesday, the United States Senate, and on Friday, the United States House of Representatives passed concurrent resolutions which condemned Hamas and condoned Israel's actions. The vote in the Senate was a unanimous floor vote; the House voted 390 in favor, 5 opposed, with a scattering of others voting "present" or abstaining. A recent poll claimed that over 30% of Democrats oppose Israel's actions, but 95% of Congress gave Israel a pat on the back and kicked Gaza in the gut. What does that tell you?

We are part of the insanity - many would say we have been instrumental in causing it and are inacapable and/or unwilling to help stop it. At the UN Security Council, the US has repeatedly vetoed resolutions to cease the violence. Kill more. Don't stop. If that's not socio- and psychopathic, it'll do until the real thing checks into the hospital.

In the videos I watch, as people lay motionless or whirl around screaming in these scenes, here are some questions that not once were asked: Do you believe in God? Are you Sunni or Shi'ite? Are you Hamas? Are you Fatah? Have you prayed to Allah? Are you a Jew? Who did you vote for? What do you think of Israel? Of America? Are you gay? Are you an infidel? Do you have health insurance? Do you have identification? Under those conditions, only one question counts - am I going to die? . . .

Those of you familiar with my conversation with Jeanette know that I'm an atheist; I do not believe in an anthropomorphic, creative entity called "God". I think that all the universe is natural - there is no "supernatural". But I also think that there is spirit, human spirit being part of that. And to me, spirit is tangible, natural, a function of the universal matter, light. I experience it, I can hear it, see it, feel it. It is a matter of attention and perception. Scientists, even atheist scientists, will someday identify how it works.

Carl Jung, many years ago, spoke of observing “synchronicity”. He also posited the notion of the “collective unconscious”. I happen to think that there also exists a "collective sub-conscience", a universal knowing of yin and yang that connects us all to each other and everything else. It is in those places, I believe, that we find spirituality. I don't think that believing these things are molecular and sub-atomic diminishes wonder one bit.

All disease and disorder involves a separation, an alienation, of a human from this spirit. One is cut off from true self, adrift in delusion and illusion. "Imagination runs wild" is an excellent description. When the body dies, the participation of that body in the "all" disperses and is never embodied exactly the same way again. Is it not insanity, then, to destroy the body which holds spirit? Is it not crazy to embrace hate and all the rest? Hate kills the hater, at least as often as it kills the hated.

In the book that initially drew us together, Comte-Sponville's The Little Book of Atheist Sprituality, the author speaks of the difference between [religious] "faith" and a more temporal, tangible "fidelity". Fidelity has to do with recognizing, honoring, and perpetuating traditions, such as codes of morality. Things like The Golden Rule and the Beatitudes. How can such wisdom as the latter be discounted by the fact that I do not think Jesus was God? How can I discard the wisdom of "Thou shalt not kill", just because I don't believe in Yahweh?

What disturbs me is how Jews, Muslims, and Christians can say they find their way through reliance on the Bible, except . . . whenever. Their God did not say, "Don't kill, except when . . ." Personally, I fail to understand how religious folks go about justifying "situational ethics", especially when it comes to other humans and this vast home we call "Earth".

I begin my conclusion by telling you that I have no hope for humanity. I have not, however, replaced it with despair. I have replaced it with action based in fidelity. Faith and hope are just self-centered wishes that things will turn out the way I want them. A Taoist friend once told me, "he is happiest who lives without expectations". If I practice humility and act in fidelity and love, I have conducted a spiritual motion, whether the outcome is to my liking or not. My role is to serve humanity and all existence on this planet, not serve a god or gods.

As a backlash phenomena, there has arisen a new, militant, virulent strain of atheism. Pay attention to it, because it is poison. It ridicules religion and even professes (at the same time) to "hate God". How one hates something that does not exist baffles me, as I think it should. These people purport to embrace "science" and mouth "rationalism" in a most irrational way. Perhaps if they weren't so rude and arrogant and nihilistic, one could safely ignore them. I suppose it is the price we pay for a decade of religious extremism, but let us hope it is a passing fashion. Suffice it to say that they do not possess either the manners nor the smarts displayed by late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century atheists like Ingersoll, Goldman, Whitman, Garrison, and Stanton.

Finally, I must speak of science. There is a growing movement within the science community, transhumanism. Although it markets itself to the masses by promising technology that will end disease and pain, and even produce immortality, it should seen as incalculably dangerous. Do take it seriously, because the science and technology is sound and developing quickly now.

On the face of it, this stuff is neither good nor evil. But given humanity's propensity for self-destruction and the fact that this movement is funded and controlled by entities aligned with the new atheists, the ultra-rich, eugenicists, and the like suggests there is a much greater chance that this science and technology will not be used altruistically, but in mechanisms of efficient control and even destruction of most of humanity. You may scoff - but you do it at your own risk.

At the top of my blog, P!, I quote Thomas More: "Because the soul has such deep roots in personal and social life and its values run so contrary to modern concerns, caring for the soul may well turn out to be a radical act, a challenge to accepted norms." One may do this - must do this - whether religious, agnostic, atheist, or none of the above.

Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
posted by Unknown at 11:26 AM
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Monday, January 12, 2009. *
Gaza / PNN – Director of the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, Dr. Hussein Ashour, reports that the nature of the wounds sustained by the dead and injured reaching the hospital are unusual.

Al Shifa Hospital has reported similar findings throughout the years of occupation resulting from the use by Israeli forces of internationally banned weapons including carcinogens.

Yesterday's reports on the use of phosphorus bombs have been confirmed.

Children with deep flesh burns have joined those of the severely dismembered and others who arrive at hospitals in unrecognizable condition. The reality is more horrifying than imaginable for most with the United Nations saying that the Gaza Strip was a "living hell."

"The injuries here demonstrate that Israel is using prohibited weapons," Dr. Ashour told Al Sharq Al Awsat. A Norwegian volunteer working in the hospital, who has also worked in the emergency rooms of Iraq during US invasions, reiterated that the nature of the wounds confirms the use of explosive materials containing carcinogenic substances.

Dr. Ashour and the Norwegian doctor certified that people infected by these types of explosives require treatment every six months in order to prevent the development of cancerous tumors.

Palestinian medical sources had confirmed that the nature of the burns, which afflicted the bodies of the dead and wounded Palestinians arriving at Gaza Strip hospitals, demonstrated that the Israeli army used white phosphorus bombs in the shelling of Palestinian civilian gatherings. Medical sources have reported that even the bones of some of the dead and injured were burned.

Residents of the northern Strip towns of Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun, Gaza City’s eastern neighborhoods and Jabaliya Refugee Camp have reported that the smoke emitted after the bombing of Israeli aircraft led to dozens of cases of suffocation and shortness of breath. Once white phosphorus is released into the air it rapidly oxidizes. The interaction creates heat and produces a yellow flame and thick white smoke.

The British Times reported that Israeli forces have been using white phosphorus during bombings, while local organizations are asking for an inquiry into the use by Israeli forces of internationally prohibited weapons.

Human Rights Watch said that Israel should desist from the use of white phosphorus in the military operations in civilian populated areas in Gaza, while its investigators confirmed the use targeting Gaza City and Jabaliya [the two largest population centers in Gaza -- Alice].

In the view of Human Rights Watch the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas in Gaza contravenes international humanitarian law.

Also see,
The United States Promotes Israeli Genocide Against the Palestinians
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:53 AM
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Sunday, January 11, 2009. *
Something with a little better taste, meaningful political statement, support for indigents affected by war, and outstanding resale value:

Afghan War Rugs, Backstory and historical relevance

here and here...

"When ever somebody comes to visit the carpets in our home or our center we explain to them: 'Send your daughters to be educated [for a profession] besides carpet weaving' It's our message to them" ~ Michgan Hozain, Afghan weaver age 17, Kabul 2004

gut wrenching...
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:15 PM
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British MP George Galloway: "Victory To The Palestinian Resistance"

Meeting: Palestine Solidarity Campaign - STOP THE WAR ISRAEL OUT OF GAZA - at Friends Meeting House, 173 Euston Road London NW1 2 BJ

I like Galloway's moxie, there has not been a time that I didn't enjoy his full on disembowelment of the knuckle draggers in politics both here and in IsUsk. He spanks em like nobodies bidniz.
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:27 AM
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Friday, January 09, 2009. *
The clearest video [yet] of the BART shooting execution of Oscar Grant in cold blood.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:46 PM
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Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War

by Prof. Peter Dale Scott
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:46 PM
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Thursday, January 08, 2009. *

Woman faces down armed Israeli soldiers.

Short Vid...

Also,let us not forget Rachel Corrie.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:40 AM
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009. *
Short Film: by Lemonade3d/Kenges

She Who Measures


Are we truly free?
Are our desires our own or just a construct of the society we were born in or there is a chance to escape after all?

“The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.”
-Colin Wilson
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:59 PM
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Effect of subliminal marketing greater than thought
January 5th, 2009 in General Science / Other

( -- Marketing statements influence us subliminally more than was ever assumed. Even when you are not aware of being exposed to advertising material, it can still affect your actions. This emerged from research by Marieke Fransen of the University of Twente, Netherlands, who obtained her doctorate from the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences on 19 December.

Marketing seems almost part of the fabric of our society, with branding, advertising and slogans practically everywhere. If you question people, they say they do not think advertisements influence them. The literature on the subject reveals that this is certainly not the case, indicating that the effect is partly subliminal, i.e. automatic.

However, hardly any fundamental research has been done so far into the subliminal effects of marketing communications. This was the motivation for Fransen to delve into the subject. It emerged that the subliminal component was greater than had ever been assumed.


One of the PhD candidate’s studies supporting the above conclusion involved exposing test subjects to a well-known insurance brand. Possibly because of associations with disasters, illness and accidents, the test subjects were reminded of their mortality. A strategy for reducing death-related anxiety is to spend money. Test subjects exposed to the insurance brand showed the intention of spending more money in the near future than test subjects who had not been exposed to the brand, although the former were not aware of the influence.

Fransen was able to measure the effect of exposure when the subjects were aware of it, as well as that of subliminal exposure. Subliminal exposure is so short that a test subject does not even see it. The PhD candidate also examined the way in which the exposure to marketing occurs (modality), in other words, whether a brand is presented visually or aurally. Her research revealed that marketing is most effective if a brand is presented twice using the same modality.

Provided by University of Twente, NL

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

What is often neglected in discussions of subliminal effects:
The psychological storyline involved.

This can be a very rich level of influence, in any form where a story or rich symbols are present. As simply as portraying some event where some character provides an object for emphatizing with in a scene of action or tension.

Top level, prevalent TV and movie reality tunnels and what the psychological reactions of the fictional characters are - what their permissible or ideal internal and external subjective realities are.

Humans picture many emotional dilemmas and responses thru internal images or stories, or rationalizations, and we dream, and have always been engaging and engagable storytellers. Also, entrainment to the communication, either passive entrainment (even subconsciously) or interactive entrainment (like an interesting conversation that both are emotionally engaged in) also increases the effect of a message.

Best we can do is limit our exposure as best we can and continue building our awareness. I don't expect these assaults to end, and the technical sophistication will only increase.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:34 PM
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Never heard this before. Apparently the Coalition Provisional Authority, for the period it existed, represented Iraq at OPEC's table.
Iraq is a member of the oil cartel Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. By militarily occupying Iraq, the U. S. government has become a de facto member of OPEC. Since March 2003 the U. S. government has supported all the skyrocketing oil price policies of OPEC. The U.S./Iraqi delegate has always voted for the price-raising oil production cutbacks. In Iraq, the U. S. government has cut back oil production from the pre-invasion level of 2.9 million barrels per day to 1.8 million barrels per day currently.
And it's not just some internet guy claiming this but a matter of public record.
posted by the thistle at 9:26 AM
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Tuesday, January 06, 2009. *

Fuck Typepad, wordpress, blogger, google etc...and if blogger adds anymore bullshit in the name of "progress" fuck it I'll be done here at I'm so goddamn sick of these third party motherfuckers profiling, monitoring, documenting and selling my thoughts and comments. I'm just about done with the intertoobs.

It seemed in the lead up to the American prez elections that more and more restrictions - allegedly to prevent spam were being placed on blogs by the proprieters of blogdom's backends (fair dinkum that's what they call that part "the Backend" such as Typepad, Wordpress or google's Blogger). The restrictions seemed, to us anyway, to be aimed more at preventing us from constructing the lengthy articles replete with hyperlinks to justify our point of view, than stopping spammers who usually only carry one link back to their own site or blog.

I have only found one publication devoted to this issue Access Denied The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering

edited by Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and
Jonathan Zittrain. This book (made available for download as a zipped up PDF) expends a deal of energy worrying about the raw deal the peeps in Uzebekistan get but doesn't worry too much about the more nefarious techniques being used on those of us taught to believe that our society is free.
There is a fairly telling piece at the conclusion of the amerikan section:

Although the United States and Canadian Internet are often thought to be relatively free from technical Internet filtering, Internet activity is far from “unregulated.” With respect to online surveillance, the United States may be among the most aggressive states in the world in terms of monitoring online conversations. Lawmakers in both countries have imposed Internet-specific regulation that can limit their citizens’ access and view of the Internet. In addition, they have empowered private individuals and companies to press Internet intermediaries for content removal or to carry out the filtering in the middle of the net-work. Although the laws are subject to legislative and judicial debate, these private actions may be less transparent.

Without boring with reams of technical explanations, I managed to prove that the chief identifier used by the blocking system was the MAC (media access control) address, a unique 48 bit hexadecimal code attached to every network interface card at manufacture. This network interface card (wireless connected, fibre or UTP) and it's unique identifier is essential for communication between computers - be it your room mate's across the hall or NOW ANYWHERE IN the world.
The blocking preventing those declared 'undesirable' or whatever may be a more recent iteration of ECHELON or may just be an arrangement between english media proprietors eager to cop an invite to lunch with england's movers and shakers, who knows or cares?
In the end it doesn't matter who it is that is trying to control the circulation of what is said on the internet, what is important is how it is being done and the best way to defeat it.

Obviously publicity helps although we need to accept that by the time the inertia of politicians is overcome those seeking to limit our expression will have moved onto new methods.

there are blogging systems where the user has more control over comments than typepad? Joomla, drupal, plone, etc? This is a death by slow cuts. Surely there are blogs with longer more involved posts? Typepad, Wordpress, and blogger -- as per the dictates of concentration capitalism -- are behaving like coke, pepsi, and..... -- well, they'll get down to two eventually.

Also see, Open Net Initiative

It's all about control. Both 'Open Net Initiative' and 'Committee to Protect Bloggers' also seems to track global internet filtering, while Global Voices Advocacy is a project of 'Global Voices Online' which seeks to build a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists throughout the developing world it says nothing of tracking the so called, "free and civilized" worlds censorship and their propecia sophisticated filtering technologies.

ECHELON, and Carnivore The Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) indeed.

Finally, lest ye forget, Third under sea Cable Cut

Foot note: Israel was unaffected by the outages because its Internet traffic is connected to Europe through a different undersea cable.

Internet and phone communications between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have been seriously disrupted after submarine cables were severed.
posted by Uncle $cam at 6:49 PM
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