American Samizdat

Tuesday, March 31, 2009. *
Twenty years ago, as a management developer, I taught a form of employment interviewing called "behavioral questioning". In this method, the interviewer does not ask, "What would you do under "X" circumstances?", but would say, "Think of an instance in which "X" happened and tell me how you handled it." The theory supporting that technique is simple: the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Within this framework, however, often the best candidate will respond by describing a situation that s/he handled badly, then will relate what s/he learned and how s/he would handle it differently or did handle it differently in similar circumstances..

Applied to the 2008 campaign circus, as well as to its aftermath, we might be looking at different scenarios entirely . . . [more]
posted by Unknown at 6:16 AM
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Monday, March 30, 2009. *

Ex-Saudi envoy Prince Bandar 'disappears' , father seriously ill

Keys to the kingdom: Inside Saudi Arabia's royal family

The crown prince is seriously ill, and Saudi Arabia's normally secretive royal family is openly clashing over who will take the throne, reports Hugh Miles

The Independent on Sunday

A dispute over Saudi Arabia's royal succession burst into the open yesterday, revealing a power struggle in which one of the most senior princes in the oil-rich kingdom is reported to have disappeared. The prospect of instability in a country that is not only the world's largest oil exporter but also a key Western ally at the heart of the Middle East will cause serious concern in Washington, London and beyond.

Rumours are rife over the position of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, 60, son of the heir to the Saudi throne, who has not been seen in public for weeks. Prince Bandar is better known abroad than almost any other member of the Saudi royal family, not only for his extravagant lifestyle, but because of his daring foreign policy initiatives during 22 years as the Saudi ambassador in Washington, where he played an important role after 9/11 and during two Gulf wars. His absence from public life comes at a sensitive time in Saudi Arabia: his father, Crown Prince Sultan, is gravely ill with cancer, throwing the succession to King Abdullah into question.

One theory in political circles in Riyadh is that Prince Bandar was seeking to oust King Abdullah before Prince Sultan dies, thus placing his father on the throne. Other rumours claim that Prince Bandar is ill, or that he angered King Abdullah by dabbling in Syrian politics without authorisation. The Saudi embassy in London could not be contacted for comment last week, but this weekend political tensions in the kingdom came dramatically to the surface.

On Friday night King Abdullah unexpectedly announced the appointment of one of his half-brothers, Prince Nayef, the 76-year-old interior minister, to the post of second deputy prime minister, which had been left vacant. This was immediately taken as an indication that he would become crown prince when Prince Sultan dies or becomes king. But yesterday Prince Talal, another senior figure, publicly demanded that the king confirm that the appointment did not mean Prince Nayef would automatically become the next crown prince. Such public disagreement among senior Saudi royals is highly unusual.

As, said elsewhere, "If anything could shake up world politics and the existing power structures of the world right now, this would be it."

This oughta shake shit up...

Also see, The Bush-Saudi Connection...
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:20 PM
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in light of recent news that a Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries, I wonder if it's China, or our own control freaks, or both, either way the PTMB (powers that make believe) WILL USE IT TO THEIR ADVANTAGE.
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:12 PM
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Saturday, March 28, 2009. *

ABC special: Does Satan Exist?

Yes, yes Satan does exist. This very "face off" proves it. The fucking pain of it all to watch the whole thing. Can you do it? Watching this shit may be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life! Hell may very well be nothing more than a bunch of right wing retards telling you about their life stories and how they overcame it by the use of 2mg Jesus (TM).

Beware, again. Watching this WILL BE PAINFUL!

haha.. this tells you all you need to know about American, on so many different levels.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:59 AM
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P J Harvey and John Parish Black Hearted Love

PJ Harvey & John Parish A Woman A Man Walked By EPK part 1 (2009)

PJ Harvey & John Parish A Woman A Man Walked By EPK part (2009)

This is a great and blistering album, it has a bifurcation that I don't understand, yet, but like alot.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:58 AM
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Thursday, March 26, 2009. *

In a blow to defense contracting giant, CACI International Inc., U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled on March 18 that a lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of torture victims held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq can proceed.

Denying CACI's motion to dismiss the former prisoners' claims, which allege multiple violations of U.S. law, including torture, war crimes and conspiracy, Judge Lee ruled that "[t]he fact that CACI's business involves conducting interrogations on the government's behalf is incidental; courts can and do entertain civil suits against government contractors for the manner in which they carry out government business. CACI conveniently ignores the long line of cases where private plaintiffs were allowed to bring tort actions for wartime injuries." According to CCR:

The Court also rejected CACI's effort to shield itself from accountability by invoking the political question doctrine. The Court found "the policy is clear: what happened at Abu Ghraib was wrong." The Court reasoned "While it is true that the events at Abu Ghraib pose an embarrassment to this country, it is the misconduct alleged and not the litigation surrounding that misconduct that creates the embarrassment. This Court finds that the only potential for embarrassment would be if the Court declined to hear these claims on political questions grounds. Consequently, the Court holds that Plaintiffs' claims pose no political question and are therefore justiciable." ("Court Rules Abu Ghraib Torture Victims Can Sue Contractor CACI, According to Legal Team for Former Detainees," Center for Constitutional Rights, Press Release, March 19, 2009)

According to CCR, CACI employees "not only participated in physical and mental abuse of the detainees, but also destroyed documents, videos and photographs; prevented the reporting of the torture and abuse to the International Committee of the Red Cross; hid detainees and other prisoners from the International Committee of the Red Cross; and misled non-conspiring military and government officials about the state of affairs at the Iraq prisons."

Filed in January 2008 under the Alien Tort Statute, the suit originally included defense contracting giant L-3 Services (the former Titan Corporation) but were "dismissed without prejudice" last year. This means the plaintiff would be allowed to bring a new suit on the same claim.

While CACI believes "it is improper for the courts to allow lawsuits against either the government or contractors by aliens detained as enemies during wartime," Washington Technology reported, the court shot down their argument.

The insider tech publication averred, "CACI sought immunity against the lawsuits and claimed that the actions of its contract interrogators at Abu Ghraib were beyond judicial review. But court martial and other testimony of the soldiers convicted of abuse linked CACI personnel to the abuse."

The giant defense firm claimed in a 2008 book, "Our Good Name," that after five years of numerous investigations no CACI employee or former employee has been charged with misconduct in connection with CACI's interrogation work.
True enough as far as it goes, the Bush gang sought to cover their tracks by crafting a legal smokescreen meant to conceal state policies that can only be described as torture in Iraq, Afghanistan, indeed on a planetary scale, and engaged in a systematic cover-up meant to shield high administration officials from the consequences.

Despite a pledge to be a "change administration," the Obama national security team has reprised many of the same policies of their predecessors. While the administration has issued orders requiring strict adherence to antitorture statutes, vowed to close the Guantánamo Bay Detention facility, has dropped the term "enemy combatant" from its lexicon and is considering to kick the phrase "global war on terror" to the curb, the substance of their policies retain many features of the previous regime in Washington.
posted by Uncle $cam at 9:29 PM
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No Evidence That Ex-Governor Used Public or Campaign Money for Prostitution

haha... that's because he knows where the bodies are buried... see below
posted by Uncle $cam at 2:36 PM
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009. *
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:55 PM
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Hinterland Travel

Look, I’m all for it. Bring on the tourists, it’ll be fun. But this piece on the BBC is just a bit odd. The footage is filmed in front of Saddam’s old parade ground which is in the middle of the green zone. Normal folk, or should I just say it.. Iraqis, have no way of getting there unescorted. And they talk of visiting the ancient city of Babylon.. the last I heard is that an US army unit uses it as a base........And just in case you were wondering.. yes, I am a little bit jealous. Sour grapes and all that.

the travel agent even offers an the afghan road tour, of khyber pass!

"Tours of Iraq"? Jesus fucking Christ, is there no depravity we wont stoop too? Of course, that response is rhetorical, these craven jackals always go lower, there is no bottom for them. Case in point: Imagine, “There’s culture shock, and then there’s the culture shock of moving to a country that started a war in your home.”
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:17 AM
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Sunday, March 22, 2009. *

Well, while the economy and it's citizens are being raped, there's at least some entertainment, I guess.

via Robot Wisdom

Oh, and 'the Kills'

posted by Uncle $cam at 12:49 PM
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Eliot Spitzer is back and he’s talking. The thought of this, no doubt, brings a small shiver to the boardrooms of some of the perps walking around trying to figure out how to hide the money this week. Today Edward Liddy testified that there have been death threats made to or about executives who received bonuses, so no names will be put on the record[*], but these anonymous players must know that the jig is up in the land of easy-money. Isn’t what to do a no-brainer for these great Americans?

Spitzer may be as “disgraced” as any anonymous sex loving Republican loser, but America is known for its great second acts, and we may be witnessing the curtain rising on Spitzer’s.

Today in Slate Eliot Spitzer has a short op-ed that speaks volumes about what is going on, and indirectly, if you follow the money, what happened to him. Plainly stated, Spitzer brings the AIG Ponzi Scheme one step closer to the revered establishment when he explains how the bailout money was funneled straight into the top players, with Goldman Sachs being the name that comes up again and again. These top players already got bailout money, and Goldman is looking at zero losses at this point, while regular Americans are being asked to make concessions or just plain losing everything. here are the biggest financial entities in the world, making billions on what appears to have been nothing but air traded back and forth, and having gutted the American people they are walking away with 100% return to their stockholders. In return AIG seems to think that its appropriate to pay themselves bonuses with the leftover funds. This leaves AIG still a wobbly shell with no plan of how to go forward, and the threat of the collapse of all of the world’s financial markets still up in the air. So, what was all that bailout money for? Apparently to make sure that no one at Goldman or the other few top firms in the hand-out-line lost anything!

The relationship between AIG and Goldman goes back long enough that one would think that Goldman would know, having bought so much of this “insurance” or whatever it was, whether the “products” were …er…real or feasible at all. Indeed, Goldman and AIG almost merged a few years ago, but Spitzer notes that the unknown black hole of AIG’s business practices were probably what prevented it. Still, that didn’t stop the incestuous dealings; it almost makes one think that this whole thing was a setup.

This is country that Spitzer is familiar with; he has been a terrible liability to entities that, under the Bush administration, were allowed to literally gut the country and its citizens. All of this seems to have been part of the Bush Administration’s own Ponzi Scheme, which figured that the illusion of an ownership society, terrified of the “terraism” and steeped in the me, me, me, culture would look the other way while they finished clearing out the vault. Beyond that, it’s clear that the media hyped housing bubble encouraged the house flip mentality and the idea that anyone could be rich. The idea of the lottery dropping on our own heads made us more protective of the rich, because we might one day be one….or look, we could be one with no money down, if we could just balance that on this, and flip that house!!

As another said, "The railroad goes both directions on the Spitzer Line."

[*]death threats made to or about executives who received bonuses

yeah, that's bullshit... America doesn't even know who 93% of these fucks are..
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:25 AM
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In my case, there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things.

—Russell Tice, Former NSA SIGINT Officer

All of these tidbits… It’s all the same operation. They have an unthinkable surveillance capability that includes all of your email, web, purchasing and telephone activity. And, if I’m right, they’re keeping track of where you are and where you’ve been.

—AT&T Invents Programming Language for Mass Surveillance

The Obama administration says the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures does not apply to cell-site information mobile phone carriers retain on their customers.
posted by Uncle $cam at 12:09 AM
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Saturday, March 21, 2009. *
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stays home and gets a Global Trailblazer award...

I 'm quite sure every aspiring female from grade school to adulthood, will want one of these...

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:07 AM
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Friday, March 20, 2009. *
The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

"It is a long piece with lots of details told well. I recommend to print it out an later give to your children and grandchildren. Then they will at least know why they have to pay up for this."
Liddy made AIG sound like an orphan begging in a soup line, hungry and sick from being left out in someone else's financial weather. He conveniently forgot to mention that AIG had spent more than a decade systematically scheming to evade U.S. and international regulators, or that one of the causes of its "pneumonia" was making colossal, world-sinking $500 billion bets with money it didn't have, in a toxic and completely unregulated derivatives market.

Nor did anyone mention that when AIG finally got up from its seat at the Wall Street casino, broke and busted in the afterdawn light, it owed money all over town — and that a huge chunk of your taxpayer dollars in this particular bailout scam will be going to pay off the other high rollers at its table. Or that this was a casino unique among all casinos, one where middle-class taxpayers cover the bets of billionaires.

People are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.
The mistake most people make in looking at the financial crisis is thinking of it in terms of money, a habit that might lead you to look at the unfolding mess as a huge bonus-killing downer for the Wall Street class. But if you look at it in purely Machiavellian terms, what you see is a colossal power grab that threatens to turn the federal government into a kind of giant Enron — a huge, impenetrable black box filled with self-dealing insiders whose scheme is the securing of individual profits at the expense of an ocean of unwitting involuntary shareholders, previously known as taxpayers.
When one considers the comparatively extensive system of congressional checks and balances that goes into the spending of every dollar in the budget via the normal appropriations process, what's happening in the Fed amounts to something truly revolutionary — a kind of shadow government with a budget many times the size of the normal federal outlay, administered dictatorially by one man, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. "We spend hours and hours and hours arguing over $10 million amendments on the floor of the Senate, but there has been no discussion about who has been receiving this $3 trillion," says Sen. Bernie Sanders. "It is beyond comprehension."

God knows exactly what this does for the taxpayer, but hedge-fund managers sure love the idea. "This is exactly what the financial system needs," said Andrew Feldstein, CEO of Blue Mountain Capital and one of the Morgan Mafia. Strangely, there aren't many people who don't run hedge funds who have expressed anything like that kind of enthusiasm for Geithner's ideas.

As complex as all the finances are, the politics aren't hard to follow. By creating an urgent crisis that can only be solved by those fluent in a language too complex for ordinary people to understand, the Wall Street crowd has turned the vast majority of Americans into non-participants in their own political future. There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power. In the age of the CDS and CDO, most of us are financial illiterates. By making an already too-complex economy even more complex, Wall Street has used the crisis to effect a historic, revolutionary change in our political system — transforming a democracy into a two-tiered state, one with plugged-in financial bureaucrats above and clueless customers below.
These people were never about anything except turning money into money, in order to get more money; valueswise they're on par with crack addicts, or obsessive sexual deviants who burgle homes to steal panties. Yet these are the people in whose hands our entire political future now rests.

Good luck with that, America. And enjoy tax season.
posted by Uncle $cam at 11:46 PM
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posted by Anonymous at 8:07 AM
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009. *
Anyone remember InfraGard?

The FBI Deputizes Business
By Matthew Rothschild, March 2008 Issue

23,000 Businesspeople Get Threat Info from FBI Before Public. In Turn, They Supply Tips to FBI. Two Members of Private Sector Group Say They Have “Shoot to Kill” Permission in Emergency. These are the astonishing findings in Rothschild's cover story of the March issue of The Progressive.Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does—and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law.
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:55 PM
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Meanwhile, and while the looting in the trillions continues unabated...

Secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Secret intellectual property treaty could profoundly change life on the Internet

A government cannot be held accountable if there is a cloak of secrecy around its core deliberations and citizens are excluded from the process. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was supposedly about changing all that. Obama declared that only transparency could restore the citizen trust in government – a trust that the Bush administration had systematically abused.

So what gives with the Obama administration’s refusal to share the most basic documents about a pending intellectual property treaty that are widely available among corporate lobbyists in Europe, Japan and the United States?

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, may sound arcane, and certainly its corporate champions must wish to make it seem boring and obscure. But in fact, the misleadingly named treaty could dramatically alter the Internet by allowing the film, music, publishing and other industries to aggressively enforce their IP rights, as they broadly construe them, at the expense of citizens, consumers and creators. All this would be achieved through secret deliberations — an international version of the smoke-filled room: another brazen disenfranchisement of citizens and trampling of democratic norms.

No official version of the proposed treaty has been released, but it is known that it seeks to set forth standards for enforcing cases of alleged copyright and patent infringement. The treaty also seeks to provide legal authority for the surveillance of Internet file transfers and searches of personal property. Read more about ACTA here and here.

Not only is the Obama administration quietly endorsing some of the Bush principles of executive power (see Glenn Greenwald at, it is endorsing the kind of backchannel policymaking that Cheney and Rumsfeld made standard operating procedure during the Bush years. The ACTA treaty is moving ahead outside of conventional venues for policymaking. It is not occurring at the World Intellectual Property Organization and World Trade Organization, where some modicum of openness would prevail. Rather, it is being negotiated through a kind of private network of, by and for invited corporate insiders. (It is perversely amusing that the new process bypasses WIPO and WTO, which, in their earlier guises, also functioned as stealth “work-arounds” to avoid Congress and other open, democratic forums).

Why all the secrecy about a treaty that seeks to fight “counterfeiting”? It is hard to know for sure because the U.S. Trade Representative’s office has released so little information. Among many public interest critics, it is suspected that ACTA is intended to be a Trojan horse – a way to smuggle in all sorts of new and expansive powers for IP industries that would be quickly rejected if subjected to open, democratic deliberation.

For example, the definition of “counterfeit goods” is vague and amorphous, and seemingly could apply to all sorts of unauthorized uses of a work, even if they are currently legal under U.S. law, such as fair use of a copyrighted work. Similarly, Internet Service providers, who currently have no obligations to police their Internet traffic for copyright-infringing works (thanks to a “safe harbor” clause in U.S. law), might be legally compelled to become copyright police for the film and music industries. Imagine the RIAA campaign against file-sharers on steroids.

ISPs could also be required to disclose personal information about Internet users, with none of the due process or judicial oversight that ought to govern such surveillance and disclosure. It is also suspected that the new treaty text would step up the penalties for violations of IP law. Needless to say, such powers would jeopardize the civic freedoms of the Internet and profoundly change its basic character.

So is the Obama Administration cynical, hypocritical or just inept in its implementation of “transparency” in government? On his first day in office, President Obama issued a memorandum, “Transparency and Open Government,” which directed the heads of all executive departments and agencies to function with maximum transparency and public participation. Obama declared:

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Yet here we have the White House Office of U.S. Trade Representative declaring that the terms of the proposed IP treaty are essentially a state secret and that backchannel policymaking, insulated from any public scrutiny, is fine, just fine. Info-warrior James Love writes in a blog post that his group, Knowledge Ecology International, has requested seven specific documents that contain the proposed text for that ACTA treaty under the Freedom of Information Act. In response to Love’s FOI request, the White House Office of the U.S. Trade Representative refused to release the ACTA documents. It stated that the information about the treaty “is properly classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.” So intellectual property has risen to the status of “national security”!

What makes this determination so galling is that fact that proposed language for the treaty is widely available to corporate lobbyists.

More at the link w/embedded links and well worth finishing.

One final snip:

"But they are a secret from you, the public."

However, there is a list of cleared-advisors , perhaps for a bonus, they would share some of the protocol?

In the words of the late Carlin, "It's a big club, and you ain't in it."
posted by Uncle $cam at 8:11 PM
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meanwhile, HR 45 sits in the wings...waiting to pounce....

When they kick at your front door,
How you gonna come
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun.

When the law break in
How you gonna go
shot down on the pavement
or waiting on death row.

Guns of Brixton --The Clash

It's starting to fit more and more.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:27 PM
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Monday, March 16, 2009. *
The Invisible One Quadrillion Dollar Equation -- Asymmetric Leverage and Systemic Risk

Also see, swollen with fantasy backed by nothing. which Covers:

Naked short selling (#1 scam that Wall St mafia uses to bankrupt small companies), Wikipedia manipulation, SlimVirgin, Jimbo Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Gary Weiss, DTCC, lies, Jewish mafia on Wall Street, destruction of companies, use of anti-semitism label as a weapon, Bear Stearns fall, Lehman Bros etc etc.

Unbelievable presentation! The level of proof will make your head spin.

You will never look at Wikipedia the same way after watching this!

Finally, A.I.G. Lists Firms It Paid With Taxpayer Money

As b over at MOA, mentions, "Yeah - they list recipients of some $70 billion the taxpayer gave them. But the total they got is near $180 billion - where did the rest go? The NYT piece does not even ask the question."
The outrage of DC politicians about these bonuses is staged. Opportunities to restrain or forbid such bonuses were included in each of the several bailout bills Congress debated. They were promptly deleted on the excuse that irreplaceable people would promptly quit without their usual bonuses, costing the financial industry their most skilled people during a major crisis.

Besides, these bonuses amount to 3% or so of the bailout money. That leaves 97% that is NOT being discussed. It just goes out the door.

AIG is an irrigation barrel, feeding money right out of two dozen hoses at the bottom as soon as money is put in at the top. The hoses lead to banks and sovereign funds in China, Japan, Europe, Saudi Arabia and offshore banks in the Cayman Islands (which is where America's corporate giants put their tax-haven monies).

The Obama folks know all this, and have no choice but to go along with trying to fill the AIG barrel.

If America does not make good on the fraud that was perpetrated on these investors by Wall Street's merry pranksters during these eight years just passed, these investors will cease all future investing in America, and America will once again be a nation of small farmers, but quick.

Like all modern corporations, our government answers to its investors first.

That ain't you.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:57 PM
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Obama Outrage: Holder - Prosecute Cheney-Bush for Torture.
posted by Uncle $cam at 7:52 PM
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Saturday, March 14, 2009. *
Apparently doesn't even want it discussed at the health care summit.
posted by Anonymous at 11:37 PM
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Friday, March 13, 2009. *
I was reading this Reuters piece about a mass shooting in Alabama when I noticed these photos:

I’m waiting for a response from the Public Affairs Office at Fort Rucker. I’ll post it below if it ever comes:

Subject: Fort Rucker Soldiers Deployed in Alabama
Date: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 21:30:29 +1300
From: Kevin F

To Whom it May Concern,

My name is Kevin Flaherty. I am the editor of a news and analysis
website called Cryptogon.

I saw Reuters photos of Fort Rucker soldiers deployed on the streets of
Samson, Alabama in the wake of a mass shooting there on 10 March 2009.


U.S. Army soldiers from Ft. Rucker patrol the downtown area of Samson, Alabama after a shooting spree March 10, 2009.

REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser


U.S. Army soldiers from Ft. Ruker guard a home with five bodies inside as investigators search for clues in Samson, Alabama, March 11, 2009.

REUTERS/Mark Wallheiser

I was wondering if you could direct me to the law (or other mechanism)
that authorizes the deployment of regular U.S. Army personnel along side civilian law enforcement on non-federal property? This case does not seem to fit any of the exceptions to the Posse Comitatus Act. Perhaps I am mistaken. Please clarify this issue.

What were the Fort Rucker soldiers ordered to do with regard to this
shooting incident?

The Fort Rucker soldiers appeared to be carrying sidearms. Were they, in fact, carrying sidearms? If so, what were the rules of engagement on this mission on 10 March 2009 in Samson, Alabama?

Thank you,
Kevin Flaherty
posted by Uncle $cam at 5:21 AM
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Thursday, March 12, 2009. *
posted by Anonymous at 1:33 PM
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don't it...

with apologies to the Faces.
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:06 AM
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Monday, March 09, 2009. *
Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world's worst business idea, and there isn't even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai - it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous.

Dubai threatens to become an instant ruin, an emblematic hybrid of the worst of both the West and the Middle-East and a dangerous totem for those who would mistakenly interpret this as the de facto product of a secular driven culture.

The opening shot of this clip [ ] shows 200 skyscrapers that were built in the last 5 years. It looks like Manhattan except that it isn't the place that made Mingus or Van Allen or Kerouac or Wolf or Warhol or Reed or Bernstein or any one of the 1001 other cultural icons from Bob Dylan to Dylan Thomas that form the core spirit of what is needed, in the absence of extreme toleration of vice, to infuse such edifices with purpose and create a self-sustaining culture that will prevent them crumbling into the empty desert that surrounds them.

Awww, I just, I just feel so, so, bad...

What about the gentleman from Wyoming? Quick! Someone piss on the picnic:

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:34 PM
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March 9th, 2009

What this will do is force anyone who produces food of any kind, and then transports it to a different location for sale, to register with a new federal agency called the “Food Safety Administration.” Even growers who only sell only fruit and/or vegetables at farmers markets would not only have to register, but they would be subject inspections by federal agents of their property and all records related to food production. The frequency of these inspections will be determined by the whim of the Food Safety Administration. Mandatory “safety” records would have to be kept. Anyone who fails to register and comply with all of this nonsense could be facing a fine of up to $1,000,000 per violation.

I’ve bought food at several farmers markets for years and I have yet to meet any vendors who are fond of the government. I think it’s pretty safe to say that most vendors at farmers markets won’t go along with this. The problem will be that the people who run the farmers markets will be forced to make sure that vendors are “registered” with the government.

Is this Change we can believe in? Maybe it is for Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture, Tom “I Fly with Monsanto” Vilsack.

For the rest of us, this is a nightmare.

*VIDEO* -- an INN report from Free Speech TV

Criminalize Organic Farming? EXCUSE ME?! BILLS: HR 875 and S 425

HR 875 The food police, criminalizing organic farming and the backyard gardener, and violation of the 10th amendment

So this is the answer to FDA incompetence food safety? So, they've robbed us of all our spare cash, now they want our food...

Wait! I found the terrorist's right Here.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:52 AM
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Sunday, March 08, 2009. *
Six months ago, we taxpayers began bailing out AIG with more than $140 billion, and then it went and lost $61.7 billion in the fourth quarter, more than any other company in history had ever lost in one quarter. So Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke huddled late into the night last weekend and decided to reward AIG for its startling failure with 30 billion more of our dollars. Plus, they sweetened the deal by letting AIG off the hook for interest it had been obligated to pay on the money we previously gave the company.

* Kansas City Fed President advocates for nationalization.

Meanwhile, the petty bourgeois is advocating a generalized lockout ("New Boston Tea Party"). This whole ginned up econ crisis is more or less an attempt at a massive lockout of the majority from the (fake) global economy.
posted by Anonymous at 7:57 AM
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Saturday, March 07, 2009. *
In a 35-minute conversation with The New York Times aboard Air Force One on Friday, Mr. Obama reviewed the challenges to his young administration. The president said he could not assure Americans the economy would begin growing again this year. But he pledged that he would “get all the pillars in place for recovery this year” and urged Americans not to “stuff money in their mattresses.”

The TARP, Madoff, AIG, Stanford, Goldman, Citibank, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Enron, the Pentagon, CDO's, credit default swaps, Trump, Credit Suisse, UBS, Merrill Lynch, Haliburton, Blackwater, Liberty Media, Worldcom, BCCI, S&L, Riggs Bank...

The Living-room is the factory, the product being manufactured is you.
posted by Uncle $cam at 10:41 PM
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Britain briefed my torturers, says ex-Guantanamo detainee
Secret telegrams show the link between US and UK officials in the case of Binyam Mohamed

By Robert Verkaik and David Rose
Sunday, 8 March 2009

Speaking for the first time since his release from Guantanamo Bay, Binyam Mohamed today claims that horrific torture he experienced while being held was directly influenced by the British Government.

Mr Mohamed, 30, a British resident, said secret telegrams sent by MI5 to the CIA show that the men responsible for his torture were being influenced by questions from the British security service in London.

He describes how, after his capture in Pakistan in 2002, he was flown to Rabat in Morocco, where his chest and genitals were repeatedly cut by Moroccan interrogators working to American instructions. The claims will add to pressure on the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, to release all the secret documents which human rights groups say will tell the full story of Britain's alleged collusion in the rendition and torture of Mr Mohamed.

posted by Uncle $cam at 9:57 PM
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The Board of Governors contends that it’s separate from its member banks, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which runs the lending programs. Most documents relevant to the Bloomberg suit are at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which the Fed contends isn’t subject to FOIA law. The Board of Governors has 231 pages of documents, which it is denying access to under an exemption under trade secrets.

Once again, B, over at Moon Of Alabama cuts through the bullshit obfuscating language and gets to the heart of the greatest robbery in History in clear text. It would be wise to read him.

Also see,

Scholes Advises ‘Blow Up’ Over-the-Counter Contracts (Update2)

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Myron Scholes, the Nobel prize- winning economist who helped invent a model for pricing options, said regulators need to “blow up or burn” over-the-counter derivative trading markets to help solve the financial crisis.

The markets have stopped functioning and are failing to provide pricing signals, Scholes, 67, said today at a panel discussion at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Participants need a way to exit transactions and get a “fresh start,” he said.

The “solution is really to blow up or burn the OTC market, the CDSs and swaps and structured products, and let us start over,” he said, referring to credit-default swaps and other complex securities that are traded off exchanges. “One way to do that, through the auspices of regulators or the banking commissioners, is to try to close all contracts at mid-market prices.”

Scholes also recommended moving the trading of credit- default swaps, asset-backed securities and mortgage-backed securities to exchanges to allow for “a correct repricing” of the assets. The securities are currently traded between banks and investors, without any price disclosure on exchanges.


The estimated downside exposure for taxpayers is $531T[*], if no solution is found.


Donald Kohn of the Fed Governors told the Senate Finance Committee the Fed pledge of "full transparency" will "have to be modified" and the Fed now no longer has any intention of revealing the beneficiaries to full-par bailout of hedge speculators.

*That's a T, as in 531 Trillion.

As rapt, a commenter over at MOA says, ...

What that says is govt may have to borrow that much for the Big Bailout. $531T equals 1.8 million dollars for each American if you keep the debt domestic. Spread the pain globally and you get 88.5 thousand dollars for each human on the planet.

So can we assume that the game is essentially over now? I mean you know, the numbers don't work any more.

Further, "The new feature of Manhattan streets should be bankers hanging from lampposts. [The] lot of them."
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:20 PM
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Obama lawyers argue to drop Yoo torture suit

This is my comment...
posted by Uncle $cam at 4:41 AM
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Friday, March 06, 2009. *

Can your say, warren commission? Thought you could...

As above so below, as at home so abroad:

Your Help Needed - Reveal Torture to Stop It

A lot of you know who who Craig Murray is. At the moment he has an appeal on his site - he's asking people to email the UK's Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights to ask that he be heard next Tuesday, on the subject of the UK government's policy on intelligence cooperation with torture abroad. The executive is putting pressure on the committee to exclude him.

In Craig's words:
I need everybody to send an email to: to urge that I should be allowed to give evidence. Just a one-liner would be fine. If you are able to add some comment on the import of my evidence, or indicate that you have heard me speak or read my work, that may help. Please copy your email to

Please also pass on this plea to anyone you can and urge them to act. Help from other bloggers in posting this appeal would be much appreciated.

Briefly, his background is that he was UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan. The government there was (still is) torturing people and giving intelligence thus obtained to the CIA, which sent it to MI6 and the Foreign Office. Craig sent a series of telegrams to the FO objecting to this policy. The policy ended up being approved by Jack Straw and Craig was fired.

Send an email - even if the only effect is to embarrass that fucker Straw, it's at least that.

Finally, see
ACLU: CIA Confirms 12 Destroyed Videotapes Depicted "Enhanced Interrogation Methods"

ACLU: CIA Confirms 12 Destroyed Videotapes Depicted "Enhanced Interrogation Methods"
March 6, 2009

"I was always astonished at the extraordinary good nature and lack of malice with which men who had been flogged spoke of their beatings and of those who had inflicted them..."
-Dostoevsky (Memoirs From the House of the Dead)
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:23 PM
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For you amusement, edification or both...
The Case of the flying penis copter

If only the sheep of this country had the balls. Imagine, that body guard will never live this down...
Dick Swatter...lmao!
posted by Uncle $cam at 3:16 PM
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Tuesday, March 03, 2009. *
"The task of government right now is not to prop up doomed systems at their current scales of failure, but to prepare the public to rebuild our systems at smaller scales." - Jim Kunstler
That's a quote from Kunstler's latest at Clusterfuck Nation, "What's Next?" (click quote to read original). The title is not only a very good question, it's the only question worth considering.

If you can, please suspend ideological and hopeful thinking for a few minutes. Let go of what's "thinkable" and "unthinkable" to ponder this scenario . . .

Unless I misunderstand all things economic, "wealth" is created in two ways. Either "stuff" is stolen and controlled by the few and a price is exacted for its redistribution or it is owned and administered in community for the common good. Capitalism, theoretically, is sort of a balance of those two ways, dependent upon some people in the community being paid by the few to make "stuff" out of the "stuff" that the few control.

For this system to keep working, "stuff" has to have some value. In real life, most "stuff" has value only if someone can actually pay for it, regardless of how much some wants it. For example, presently I am too impoverished to buy a car, no matter how much I want one. So cars have no real value for me. A twenty year old Corolla with 300,000 miles on it, for sale for $200, is as valuable/worthless to me as an '09 Escalade on the lot "worth" $50K. Good old supply and demand.

The only way that demand has been fueled for many years is by the extension of credit. Extension of credit assumes that,eventually, lent money will be paid back, plus interest. This means that lent money is assumed to have value, too. But just like that Corolla or that Escalade, if I can't afford to buy money, it has no value to me.

Also, it's really not a great idea for me to lend money to someone who can't afford its price. If I do so, I'll lose a great deal of my money. I most certainly will never get my interest ("profit") back. As soon as I lend that money to someone who can't pay it back, it ceases to have value, as does whatever that person "bought" with the money. This creates a vacuum and, eventually, the whole shebang goes bang and collapses in on itself.

In "Second American Revolution to Begin in 2009?" at The Smoking Argus Daily, Allison Bricker writes . . .
For those of us who choose to delve past the soundbite constraints of the old media, it is not hard to see that the problems our Republic faces cannot be cured or swept under the rug with the premiere of another season of “American Idol”. This ponzai scheme of fractional reserve banking is tumbling. The talking heads who in the beginning of 2008 were still exuberantly advising investors to buy financial stocks like Bear Sterns, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs have finally been exposed as nothing more than charlatans and shills for the the criminals on Wall Street.2

Fellow readers, the same batch of Keynesian sycophants who kept condescendingly telling us the bailout was far too complex for “average people” to grasp are the same group of hacks who now instruct the masses that President-Elect Obama will offer Americans a miraculous salvation via the hands of even bigger government and continued deficit spending.

Honestly, there is no fix to the card game so long perpetuated against us and our posterity. The collapse is entering free fall status and will only be exacerbated by the impending default of commercial real-estate mortgages. My suggestion; educate your family and friends, buy food and toiletries such as razors and soap. Secure the things your family will need eighteen months from now, not iPods, BlueRay DVD players, plasma televisions, et al. If you have children, heed the advice of Peter Schiff, purchase the shoes and the clothes they will need next year - now, before the Dollar devalues . . .
In short, we've been living on borrowed money, but it has little value. Now we're living on borrowed time. It is not possible to solve a credit crisis by simply borrowing more money, any more than it's possible to solve an alcohol problem by drinking more booze. The problem is not its own solution.

It's even worse than that, however. Consider this - "the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior". Cenk Uygur, writing ("The Flaw in the System: The Bankers Don't Care About the Banks") at HuffPost, points out . . .
Alan Greenspan says he is in a "state of shocked disbelief" that the concept of self-interest did not protect the banks from taking excessive risks and destroying themselves. But he, along with Tim Geithner and Larry Summers and many others, are missing the fundamental flaw in the system. The bankers don't care about the banks; they care about the bankers.

The enlightened self-interest of the bank executives has been separated from the interests of the banks they work for. In the 1970's, the banks were still privately owned. So, the guy up at the top wanted to protect his company, his interest and his money. If his executives took unwarranted risks with the boss's money, they were goners. But these days the people at the top of these companies don't own the companies. It's not their money . . .

So, now we have Tim Geithner and the rest of Treasury working so hard to prop up not just these failed banks - but these failed bank executives - because we don't want government running these large companies. The self-interest of the market will do a better job of managing these companies. But it hasn't - because of this fundamental flaw.

These executives did not actually fail. They succeeded wildly. It's just that they had a different goal - to take home as much money as they possibly could for themselves. Mission accomplished!

I don't blame them. The system is set up wrong. Almost anyone in their position would have done the same - and will continue to do the same as long as we are foolish enough to keep pouring money into these companies. They are going to try to move every nickel they can from our pockets into theirs . . .
So all the Obama largess is just going to reward the past behavior and ensure its continuance. To confirm this for yourselves (in addition to reading in full the three pieces I've already cited), you might want to devote an hour to watching this video at Edge, "Reflections on a Crisis", in which one of the phenomena discussed is how financial managers betrayed both stockholders and customers and killed their companies. In the US, the SEC has been fully complicit in this grand theft and homicidal juggernaut. It is impossible to expect that these "revolutionary" (in the strictest terms) managers will behave differently or be punished.

So. What's next, indeed?! I would venture that we're looking at something like Kübler-Ross's model of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Unfortunately, the great majority of Americans are in the first stage and, as Kunstler points out, Obama just ain't helpin' with his mantra of "hope" and "change". Obamania is actually hindering the change that will be needed to survive this collapse. In other countries, we have seen lately, there has already been a noticeable movement to the anger stage, with mass demonstrations and even strikes and riots. That will takes place here in the forseeable future, I'm afraid.

For several months, high level "officials" in the political, financial, and military sectors have been playing the warning siren in anticipation of "civil unrest" and making preparations for government response. I've come to believe that to some extent this is a self-fulfilling prophecy and may be used as a justification for "pre-emptive" actions, rounding up and detaining the "usual suspects. The raids in St Paul as the DNC was convening was a decided preview.

Know well that any "popular uprising" will surely be dealt with swiftly and harshly. I have cautioned strongly and often against violence and strong protest, but I've taken a whole lot of flack for that. Suffice it to say, you'll not see me joining you in the streets. At best, I just think it's a waste of time . . . and you might just get your ass killed, certainly locked up and/or beaten up. Remember infiltrators and provocateurs. I've also disparaged the "survivalist"/take to the badlands with spam and assault rifle crew. This is will not result in survival, believe me . . .

The movement through Kübler-Ross's stages will have to take place, I suppose, but I sense that some of us already are near or at the acceptance stage. In spite of having been accused of everything from cowardice to treachery, I plan to take the highest road I can: living cheaply and simply, attributing value only to what I need; giving and accepting help when and where I can; and trying to live life, rather than fight it. This government and dead economic system will not help me with any of that with their present course, for those who are not evil are just plain dumb.

Be at and about peace.

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originally published at P!
posted by Unknown at 6:57 PM
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