American Samizdat

Tuesday, June 30, 2009. *
It's A Bing Thing
© Leslie Blanchard

Over the last 10-12 days I've started 3 articles. I get my premise nailed down, and then BAM, all these little parasitic thoughts leech onto the underlying theme, where they twist, contrast, and hijack my article. They spawn creating the need for their own separate voices, their own articles.

Now I can blame some of the noise in my head on Multiple Sclerosis-after all I am in a constant drug-induced state. Also, with M.S. you get sensory overload pretty easily (at least in my case). But I truly believe it is more than that. It's a Bing Thing. First time I saw that commercial, man I felt like I hit the mother-lode. That is how my brain functions.

My partner of 14 years is used to it and she can usually figure out what I mean when my words get twisted i.e. twords get risted. She can understand that when I ask her to turn off the refrigerator- I mean the television. But as of late, she says I'm starting in the middle of the conversation, or that I didn't include her in the first part of the discussion. What happens is we'll be talking - maybe about the garden & how our tomatoes are doing. Then 10-15 minutes later,after the tomato discussion, I'll say something like "Yeah, Daddy used to whip them, the neighbors thought he was nuts, but they always wanted to get hold of ours." She'll think about for a few minutes and then say "Uh, I wasn't around for the start of this conversation, explain." In my head it makes perfect sense so I have to think on it a bit, usually I'll find the missing connection. In this case it was about the way my Dad grew tomatoes, he'd shake the plants, lightly whip them. Neighbors thought he was loony, but we always had the biggest, best tasting tomatoes on the street, and they'd always hope that we'd have too many and give them away.

So I've been kinda studying on this Bing thing a little. How my writing has been affected by it is simple really. I started a piece on The Bilderberg Group. I began to list a few of the many members, like David Rockerfeller, John Foster, Ben Bernanke, Harold Ford Jr., etc. Then I think about the link between Ford Jr. and how Ford Motors didn't need any bailout. Presto-Chango another topic- another story. Between the 3 articles I have started I probably have 17 articles waiting to be birthed. Then I get anxious. Then I go into hibernation. Then I write nothing. So when my good friend ddjango told me yesterday to "write something Dammit!" I figured I might as well write about why I can't write.

We had thunderstorms this morning, so I had time to think on all of this without the TV, radio, or Internet in the background. Now I see that it isn't just search overload. It's media overload. Last week we lost a lot of celebrities. Thursday morning Farrah Fawcett lost her long battle with cancer, by 5 p.m. she's not even mentioned anymore, because Michael Jackson died. But Farrah wasn't the only thing that fell off the radar. Suddenly no news coverage of Iran, or North Korea's missile ship, or the 2 wars we are illegally waging. In fact something happened yesterday that 90% of America should know, but don't, a military coop in Honduras. True there was some, sparse mentions of it on Twitter, a tiny little snippet on TV news, but that's about it. Another thing that happened was when Israeli Occupation Forces attacked and boarded the Free Gaza Movement boat, the SPIRIT OF HUMANITY, abducting 21 human rights workers from 11 countries, including Noble laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Now several of us on Twitter got this out and going strong. But today so far, I've seen little mention of it.

My point, I do have one, is how convenient it is that they have trained us, drugged us with fluoride and aspartame to give us a shorter attention span than your typical 6 week old kitten. Especially at this point in history when decades old plans are about to come to fruition. Those of us who still hung on and investigated the news stories that we only saw once, big stories that just disappeared, well now they (they=them, NWO, politicians, world leaders all working together and at the same time at cross purposes) they have found another way to distract us. The Bing Thing. The increasing links of one thing to another, then another, then even more, easing us into forgetting what we were originally researching, thinking, reporting. Seems 6 degrees of separation is too close for comfort. We now must have 600 degrees of separation or some of us that are fed up with the status quo might just get too close to the truth.

I'm definitely not saying to abandon the Internet- it's really the only place to find truth in reporting, from citizen journalists. But we have to learn who is bankrolling the news we do get on line and add that to the equation before we totally buy one source's version of the truth. People like myself and many others on Twitter, many other bloggers- don't earn a dime. So at least we don't have the corruption of money shaping our slants. But, it's obvious that no one can be totally,truthfully non-biased on anything. We are the sum of our parts. I present items I believe to be true. I read opposite viewpoints. Then try to reach what is true for me. Please folks- do the same. Don't let them Bing thing you. As always, Peace.

posted by Leslie Blanchard at 11:32 AM
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Saturday, June 27, 2009. *
For the first time, I'm actually quite afraid at having Barack Obama occupying the office of President of the United States. I hate to say it, but McCain was right - Obama doesn't have the experience needed for the job under the present circumstances.

At some not too distant point, this man is going to have to stand alone, break away from the chains of all his controllers and sycophants, agonize as he has never done before, and make a decision which will have incalculable consequences.

It really won't matter whether the decision will be about direct intervention in Iran or calling North Korea's bluff or calling out the Army and FEMA mercenaries to squash riots in Los Angeles, Gary, Des Moines, or wherever. If he really wants his job, he'll have to make the decision himself and order that it be carried out.

Watching the President's performance so far, I have no faith that he is ready for that ...

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posted by Unknown at 2:10 PM
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posted by backspace at 8:47 AM
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009. *
Democrats get to appear to be doing something for public health, Fox News libertarians get to complain about the encroachment of big government, and Big Tobacco gets everything it wants. Everybody's happy.

Cough, cough.
posted by Anonymous at 7:20 PM
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Sunday, June 21, 2009. *
Yours truly has been looking for work since November, after having been laid off. Many of you know what that's like.

On July 2, I will receive my final unemployment benefit check and thereafter will have no income. Although I will still have my small apartment and food stamps, I won't be able to pay my utility and web connection costs, nor my telephone costs.

Under those circumstances, P! will go down.

If you enjoy and value P! and it's contribution to quality commentary and news, as well as the resources for knowledge and information available here, I hope you will donate to this fundraiser. Even as little as five or ten dollars will help immensely to keep P! "on the air".

There is a PayPal donate button - with a secure connection - at the very top of the sidebar. If you want to donate by another method, feel free to email me at

Thank you so much and ... be at peace and about peace.


posted by Unknown at 10:38 AM
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Iran Story Bolstered By Bogus Tweeters
A Presidential candidate calling himself the winner before the votes are counted?

A social networking site 'informing the world' using newly minted "tweeters" that are promoted by a right wing newspaper in an antagonistic country within hours of their first posts? The folks being promoted writing in ENGLISH-

Said paper altering their web article after this has been revealed?

Welcome to the Zionists corrupting Iranian democracy and the worlds perspective.

Is the word "Tweeters' or "Twats"? I'm new to this social networking stuff...


Proof: Israeli Effort to Destabilize Iran Via Twitter #IranElection

Right-wing Israeli interests are engaged in an all out Twitter attack with hopes of delegitimizing the Iranian election and causing political instability within Iran.

Anyone using Twitter over the past few days knows that the topic of the Iranian election has been the most popular. Thousands of tweets and retweets alleging that the election was a fraud, calling for protests in Iran, and even urging followers hack various Iranian news websites (which they did successfully). The Twitter popularity caught the eye of various blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and even made its way to mainstream news media sites.

Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -

1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.

Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran’s election.

I narrowed the spammers down to three of the most persistent - @StopAhmadi @IranRiggedElect @Change_For_Iran

I decided to do a google search for 2 of the 3 - @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up was JPost (Jerusalem Post) which is a right wing newspaper pro-Israeli newspaper.

JPost actually ran a story about 3 people “who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers.” Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? JPost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.

JPost, a major news organization, promoted these three Twitterers who went on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment. Why is JPost so concerned about Iranian students all of a sudden (which these spammers claim to be)? I must admit that I had my suspicions. After all, Que Bono? (who benefits).

There’s no question that Israel perceives Iran as an enemy, more so than any other nation. According to a recent poll, more than half of Israel’s population support using military force against Iran if they do not cease from developing nuclear energy (which they have the legal right to do as per the NNP treaty). Oddly enough, this comes out of a country which is not a cosigner to the NNP treaty and has no right to develop nuclear energy, yet posses an arsenal of nuclear BOMBS.

Of course, Mousavi himself plays an important role in causing the social unrest within Iran. How often do you see a candidate declare himself the winner before any votes are counted and then, when faced with defeat, call the entire election process a fraud? As obvious as it was in our own 2000 election, Al Gore would not touch the topic of voter fraud. No major US politician goes near the subject. They know full well that such an accusation would shake the entire foundation of our democracy and threaten the political structures that are in place.

Read it ALL

Here is the proof, multiple graphics and all, that show the JPost both linked to the Tweeters oddly enough right after they got posting. Then removed the paragraph with the links from the web presence of the article after this tie in had been revealed.

The savvy web researcher found this scheme out by googling the screen names of the most prolific tweeters (twats?) using keywords of concerning Iran and the election.

Read the whole article. you'll be amazed- and I doubt FOX CNN or any of the other corporate media outlets will touch it.
posted by m at 6:50 AM
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009. *
My introduction to the power of Twitter was the Israeli rape of Gaza a few months ago. I was asked by a long-time blogger friend (who has risen to lofty heights on most of the Twitter rating charts) to help retweet on-the-ground news coming from the war zone. The adrenaline rush was incredible. Addiction. Yes. Physical, emotional, mental. It took me a couple of days (or in Twitter parlance, "daze") to see and accept it for what it was. But for this, like all addictions, recognition of the sickness is not resolution. I know that total abstinence is the only solution to addiction of any sort, and I'm still not ready for that. The negative consequences do not yet outpace the goodies, if you understand that.

One reason I got immediately hooked was that it seemed like a cut and dried fight between good and evil. Palestinian good; Isreali bad. On the third day of the Gaza genocide, I was lucky that some clear thinking broke through enough that I could see that Hamas was far from squeaky clean in the conflict. Yes, Zionist Israel sucks big time, but Hamas continued to provoke and, I steadfastly maintain, was at least partially responsible for many of the civilian deaths in the Strip. You can delete me from your ideological blogroll for that, but there it is. I just can't support any violence perpetrated for political tactics and strategies.

At any rate, I learned some lessons about flash mobs and disinfo from the experience. Toward the end of the Gaza invasion, I concentrated on verifiable news and the plight of civilians, rather than taking sides. It didn't seem there were a lot of good guys balancing the bad guys. And a lot of the tweets from the ground were, in a word, shit.

Although I wish it wasn't true, I can't really shake the fact that I'm a white American male. I'm subject to schadenfreude just like the next guy, especially if there's blood, and running crowds, and tear gas flying, and riot sticks. Brings back memories of the Boston and Cambridge Commons in the sixties, I guess. At the very base, riots are a spectator sport, whether you're part of the melée or reporting the blow-by-blow from the grandstand. Sad, but true ...

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posted by Unknown at 3:03 PM
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Saturday, June 13, 2009. *
posted by Anonymous at 8:42 PM
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Friday, June 12, 2009. *
© Leslie Blanchard

Before you read this, I should tell you where I'm coming from. I should be, want to be working on my WIKI about Multiple Sclerosis. I can't. The reason I can't is because I am so very very pissed off. That's not a good place for me. It harshes my mellow. It's piss on my bliss. It really stirs up the Multiple Sclerosis so now I'm Tremoring like an earthquake as I type. Since I am a lousy typist this anger doesn't help.

Why am I mad? At whom? Well, if you follow me on Twitter @1txsage1957 you will have noticed over the past couple of days I've been posting primarily about hate groups in the U.S. As if we needed more proof of the discontent, the cowardly malcontent of the waring Ideologies mentioned in my last post Lincoln's Vision? Blindsided-James von Brunn gave it to us. As I was writing that very article listening to Bob Dylan, having turned off the T.V. news, I had no idea of what had happened until I finished my piece and turned the T.V. back on.

So I'm pissed at James von Brunn, and Shelley Shannon who shot Dr. George Tiller in both arms in 1993, and I'm mad at Rev. Jeremiah Wright who said yesterday, "them Jews won't let Obama talk to me", and I'm mad at Scott Roeder who murdered Dr. Tiller in his church. In his CHURCH! So I'm pissed at all the hypocritical Christians that weep & moan over abortions, but whose hate speech stirred an unstable man enough that he would think it RIGHTEOUS to kill a man in a house of worship. I'm extremely angry at these infotaineers like Mr. Limbaugh who constantly spew out vitriolic diatribes that ignite the flame of hate. I consider Mr. Limbaugh and others of his
white-livered, pantywaisted, ilk guilty of conspiracy to incite a riot, guilty of stirring the shit pot of right-wing terrorists with his microphone. His microphone which, in my belief, now has the blood of 2 innocent people dripping from it.

I'm angry at the media, I'm angry at all the closet racists, I'm angry of all the cowards that are so damned afraid of change, one of which happens to my older brother, that they won't even give change a chance. If John Lennon were still with us, I believe he would be chanting "give peace a chance, give change a chance". These cowards hide behind labels of "conservatives" "patriots" "true Americans" "constitutionalists", and yes even the label of "politician".

They people are frightened because of all the propaganda and bullshit that's been feed to them by news outlets like Faux News, by Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and in so many more subtle, nearly invisible signals of division, racism, discrimination. The fact that Disney finally has a black Princess is one of those invisible signals. The stereotype that all Jews care about is money is another. Every Muslim is in Jihad against Christianity, every queer is trying to recruit your children, the good guys wear white hats-the bad dudes wear black hats. There are thousands of these little whispers in the wind, we've seen and heard these supposedly innocuous things all our lives, so much so- they don't even raise a flag in our consciousness. Now, I don't know if G.W. Bush's mindset of cowboy justice and "if you're not with us you're against us" added to the hate of others that are different, but I damned sure know it didn't help. I addressed this issue in a previous post The Others.

Weren't we proud? Weren't many of us so damned proud of ourselves in November 2008 when we elected the first Black President of the United States? I know I cried like a baby. I had so much hope for my country. I thought that perhaps change had finally come to America. But, I'm a realist and a Texan and I have to admit that there was a sliver of fear in there with my pride and hope. Not fear of President Obama, or of change, but fear of the slime that would rise up from the toxic waste dump of White Supremacy. When I was very young, 4-5 ( 1961-62) my daddy and I saw a cross-burning in front of someones home. It scared me to death, I actually threw up in his old Nash Rambler. He told me that things were changing. That I'd never have to see anything like that again. Unfortunately, over the next several years I saw that and much more on television. And over the years I've known in my soul that just because we passed the voting rights act, that the racists weren't automatically changed, their minds and hearts didn't suddenly, magically open up. Just as if the country ever passes a law where I can marry my partner of 14 years-I know homophobia will only ramp up.

So here's a list of the progress we've made.
There are 66 documented hate groups in Texas alone.The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate groups for almost 30 years. In its spring 2009 Intelligence Report, they found that 926 hate groups are currently operating in the U.S., an all-time high. These groups include the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads and Black separatists. All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.

In St. Louis several weeks ago members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) gathered, dressed in combat boots, wearing all black clothing and sporting signs and flags of hate. While you and I condemn these types of groups, they see nothing wrong in their message. They innocently claim to be a "Civil Rights Group for Whites". Now, I'm white and the only time my civil rights have ever been violated were in cases of homophobia, and sexual discrimination. I'm White so shouldn't the NSM defend those civil rights of mine, to be a lesbian, a woman? Hardly. As usual, these groups claim one thing and do another.

They are growing rapidly due to the state of the economy which these groups blame on President Obama. They are also growing because a lot of jobs have been lost and they have nothing better to do with their time. In Texas, Arizona, & California they are growing even faster because of immigration.

We all know that the Dept. of Homeland Security issued a report last month on right-wing Conservative extremists. We heard protests from everyone on the right. Even if they were not extremists they screamed they were being picked on because Obama was black and they oppose him. I do have to give props. to Shep Smith of Faux News for admitting there was validity to these reports. But that in itself, is not going to win the battle. Not when you have insane claims by other members of the press that James von Brunn was a leftist! Even more troubling, there's several million people that believe this preposterous claim.

The right says we do not need a Hate Crimes bill. They say that by the very nature of the crime all crime is done for hateful purposes. Not so. The crack addict that needs a fix doesn't go scout out a homosexual, or a Mexican, or a union member to kill...they just want enough cash to get a fix. Since George Bush and Dick Cheney committed massive hate crimes against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder if the right is just trying to save their asses.

I do not have an answer to this problem. And I'm still angry. Maybe we should start an Anti-Hate Hate Group. Maybe we should stand en masse and start pointing fingers at the Hate Mongers on the air waves. Maybe we should start anti-hate groups websites and write a manifesto to download. Perhaps we should treat hate criminals as we do sex-offenders, with their pictures all over the web, in mailings, making them register with local authorities. Let's have a 1 strike and you're out policy... they should enjoy that since the prisons are overflowing with gang and hate violence, we can just let them go live in that environment, most likely they would feel right at home since they can't tolerate our society.

As always, I wish you peace.

posted by Leslie Blanchard at 1:51 PM
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009. *
Lincoln's vision? Blindsided
©Leslie Blanchard

"...on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." Lincoln

Ladies and Gentlemen we are again in the midst of battle upon this continent. A tense battle of Ideologies which leave many wounded, some dead (Dr. George Tiller MD), many disenfranchised, hopeless, and many more that are starving in the land of opportunity. We may argue that everyone immersed in this battle actually believe that their ideas are what's right for America. Personally I believe that quite a few of the key players in this struggle are mainly concerned with their wallets, and not what is best for the people. And with sadness I must admit that what Lincoln feared most, has already occurred, " that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." But it has...our system of Governance has become "Corporatism". A merger of Big Government and big business, it's become a system in which Monopolistic corporations and bankers are the Government. The government which now builds and warranties cars. There is no distinguishable line between the two, business and government.

We abolished slavery to bring that freedom to every American. Tho women were not yet included, and we know that bigotry and racism were not truthfully addressed until the 1960's, when they became mandated. Still to this very day these subjects divide us. And that's the way the government wants it. They want the class war, the race war, the political war which we fight everyday, they want it to keep building, thereby dividing us. They bombard our airwaves with all sorts of terror alerts, not the standard terror alert, but subtle seemingly harmless commercials. Do you have "public anxiety disorder", what about those thieves that are just sitting in your bushes to break in on your teen-aged daughter as soon as you leave the house- better get an alarm system. Everyday on the news we are warned of trans -fat, mad cows, too little Vit. D, Pig Flu, Bird Flu, SARS, West Nile Virus, deafness due to ipods, the dangers of video games, the carpel tunnel syndrome from Twitter, Dengue fever, epidemics, pandemics, and on and on. Keep us scared, keep us distrustful of our neighbors, isolate and divide us so we can't compare notes.

But those of us who take the blinders from our eyes are seeing it all around us. Many of us have come to acknowledge that there can't be great wealth, without great poverty. We common folk are deep in the trenches of this class war raging throughout Amerika. We stay home more, we buy mostly necessities which are never on sale or fairly priced. We live in fear of all the crap that the media and the advertisers throw at our ears, we also live in fear of losing our homes, our cars, our jobs, our "worth".

This is where Corporatism has delivered us. Free trade has masqueraded as a good policy, while what it has really done has been to control and enslave the the world. Big corporations have holdings in nearly every country on earth. Governments have monetary control over one another. What is Amerika going to do if/when China calls in her debt, when they want payment in full from us? Free-trade has never been free. It is simply a way for monopolizing businesses to move resources and people as they wish, no rules, no regulation, no protection for the workers, all to maximize profit for the leaders. Trickle down economics has left the vast majority of Americans, and other world citizens bankrupt of dreams, and holding on white knuckled to what pittance we have. We have more Americans living a third world life style than ever before. It's the dirty little secret we all keep inside, many afraid to ever give thought to it- let alone to speak it, as if speaking it might just cause us to fall below the poverty level ourselves.

Free-trade reminds me of good ol' George Orwell, I mean it sounds good, stick the word free in front of any other wood- it's going to sound good. Free horse shit- oh good I don't have to buy fertilizer for my recession garden! But in this case "free" equals "no regulation". It's just a way to eliminate pesky rules and restrictions so that corporations can rape us and the Earth more than they already do. Freedom in free trade speak means only freedom for the corporations and a varying degree of slavery for all of us. In eliminating these rules and oversight they have really created one new law- the only law that really matters in today's world- and the world we're on the verge of being totally engulfed in. That law proclaims that business, politicians, corporations, (the real rulers) can do whatever the hell they want, to whoever the hell they want. It doesn't matter who suffers, it doesn't even matter if people die- sometimes death can be very cost effective.

If we don't wake up soon, if we don't cowboy up and shout the truth to one another, if we don't band together very very soon- it will be to late. Take a look at the world around you-it is becoming a global feudalism. We're led around by so many conflicting truths and lies that we're not sure which way is up. Global warming is happening- if you listen to certain scientists. On the other hand those scientist over there say global warming is a hoax. Think about it folks- whose payroll are these scientists on? It doesn't really matter which side you believe as long as you spend your money or ruin your credit. Spend it on solar cells, or spend it on Hummers- but spend. Because all the money goes to the same place, it goes to Corporatism. And unless we start using our own minds, our own inner knowledge, and see through the hazy mist of the monopolistical cloud, we're sunk. All of us. The wing-nuts and the liberals. The common woman in Amerika and the common woman in Nigeria , we all either rise together or sink together.

So, who are some of the big guns on the other side of this war? I'll provide you with the names of some of top echelon, study their history and always remember to follow the money. The FDA yeah-think of all the money big pharma acquires by making prescriptions for diseases that don't exist until they make the drug. i.e. Paxil for social anxiety disorder. Talk to my mother-out-law (since legally my partner & I can't be married she can't be my mother-in-law), but talk to her about how Celabrex killed her father. How much money did the FDA get for fast-tracking that? Then there's the World Bank, Council on Foreign Relations, World Trade Org., the World Health Org., the International Monetary Fund, the EPA (who benefits from both sides of the global warming debate), Center for Disease Control, The Rockefeller Group (a private corporation dedicated to excellence in commercial real estate, real estate services, and telecommunications), the U.N., all the so-called intelligence agencies around the world, NASA, the Club of Rome-(is a global think tank that deals with a variety of international political issues. Here's an example of their mind-set which raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report The Limits to Growth. In 1993, it published a followup called The First Global Revolution. According to this book, "It would seem that humans need a common motivation, namely a common adversary, to organize and act together in the vacuum; such a motivation must be found to bring the divided nations together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one invented for the purpose....The common enemy of humanity is man....Democracy is no longer well suited for the tasks ahead" and "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine etc., would fit the bill." ), many administrations at our large and prestigious universities, Bilderberg which is described as "the high priests of globalisation" "transatlantic power elite who holds secret conferences" with secret guest lists, and whose roots were in Nazi Germany, NATO, the trilateral Commission, Yale's Skull & Bones Society,. The world is shaped by to the wishes of the corporatists who work together through these and many other organizations.

It's hard to go against the grain. To doubt things that "experts" swear are true. It's becoming harder day by day-especially for our children. We all agree that education in this country sucks-unless you have enough money to send your kid to a private school (which are training camps for Corporatism). But public education is a joke. If you need proof of that, think about how little we pay our teachers-some of which are living below the poverty level. It's to the benefit of the world leaders to keep on dumbing us down. Keeping us barefoot, pregnant, and scared- so that we believe they are the only ones that can fix things.

WRONG, you and I are the only ones who can fix things, "we the people". Where to start? We've already started with this document. Now each of us need to delve into these groups, these people, and spread the word. Print out what you find- pass these hand-outs around, form groups, discuss, shout from the rooftops. Grassroots can and does work. I can no longer march, M.S. won't let me protest in warm weather, it also jumbles and disconnects my speech. But I can write and inform. Join me, pass out leaflets, talk to people, let's render therefore to Lincoln the things which are Lincoln's.

posted by Leslie Blanchard at 12:10 PM
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Monday, June 08, 2009. *

I did some canvassing a few weeks ago in the Monroeville/Greensburg area (Tim Murphy's district. Note the poll on the bottom right.) on the Carbon Caps bill that's in congress right now. I was hired indirectly by the Environmental Defense Fund which supports Carbon Caps.

The bill came out of Henry Waxman's very powerful committee but its gotten some heavy criticism from the likes of Greenpeace and other environmental organizations. If I understand their criticisms its entirely possible that this bill could create a lot of jobs, but they wouldn't be clean jobs and there would be no incentive to create clean jobs. In fact, the bill could create a lot of coal jobs which is the worst thing in the world for anybody who calls him or herself an "enviromentalist". In fact, it's quite clear that in a choice between coal and nuclear, some environmentalists would choose nuclear. (Emphasis on "some": I'm with the new guy at Greenpeace. We need to push renewables.) Nuclear energy creates waste but its not carbon waste.

Meanwhile, MoveOn is working to strengthen the bill. I got this press release today. I hope they're successful. They're urging you to sign a petition.

(By the way, this is something that you can actually do in order to try to make the world a better place. Not as satisfying as saying "Obama sux" everyday but probably more beneficial in the long term...)

Dear MoveOn member,

If you haven't been paying attention to the fight in Congress over President Obama's clean energy jobs plan, now's the time to tune in. This is the most important opportunity in generations to jumpstart our economy and fight the climate crisis.

Unfortunately, powerful oil and coal interests have had a stranglehold on our energy policy, demanding loopholes, bailouts, and giveaways from taxpayers. They've won concessions that weaken the bill's ability to deliver on the full promise of clean energy jobs.

But now, progressives are coming together to push back. MoveOn has joined with groups across the progressive movement, from the Sierra Club to ACORN to Oxfam to Rock the Vote, to tell Congress to stand strong against the special interests that seek to weaken the clean energy bill at every turn.

We can strengthen and improve this bill, if clean energy leaders in Congress will join our fight. Can you sign MoveOn's petition to Congress? Clicking here will sign your name:

The petition says: "We need a stronger energy bill to fulfill Obama's vision of a clean energy economy. Congress should strengthen the clean energy standards and restore Obama's authority to crack down on dirty coal plants."

In particular, we need Congress to stand up for three key changes to the latest version of the energy bill:

    • Ensure more clean energy for America: Require power companies to produce more clean energy. Wind and solar create more than twice as many jobs as coal and oil.
    • Hold polluters accountable: Restore President Obama's current authority through the EPA to crack down on global warming pollution from power plants.

    • Create more clean energy jobs for America and build resiliency to climate change: Reduce giveaways to polluting industries in order to bolster green job development and protect vulnerable communities.

The full list of groups that are calling on congressional leaders to strengthen the clean energy jobs bill is impressive: 1Sky, ACORN, Democracia Ahora, Environment America, Green For All, Health Care Without Harm, Oxfam, Rock the Vote, the Sierra Club, and USAction, along with MoveOn. It's a real show of strength.

We need to urge Congress to strengthen and improve this bill. Clicking here will add your name to MoveOn's petition:

Thank you for all you do.

–Anna, Adam, Joan, Noah and the rest of the team

P.S. You can read the full text of the groups' joint letter to Congress at

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posted by Philip Shropshire at 11:55 PM
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Sunday, June 07, 2009. *
Sometimes I want to just hug my Google feed reader and give it a big kiss. With no specific skill, just through trial and error, I've been able to put together a set of blog- and search-based feeds that constantly surprise and delight me.

This morning, my reader faithfully delivered "How I Met the Superman" by John C. Wright. It's a piece about the transhumanist movement, ethics, and morality.

Before I look into Wright's piece with you, let me digress a bit. It's important that I first let you in on my frame of mind as I write this ...

[more at P! ...]
posted by Unknown at 6:56 PM
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Friday, June 05, 2009. *

"Keeping it punk by growing your own"

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posted by Dr. Menlo at 11:30 AM
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Though the American public people were obviously aware of what was going on in Europe during World War II, they had no pressing reason to need, or want, to become involved.

Did Roosevelt therefore conclude that a major event, directly involving the American people, was required in order to sway their opinion and secure their backing for his war plans?

Was Pearl Harbor allowed to happen because there was no other way for America to justifiably enter the war?
posted by Padawan at 4:47 AM
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009. *
Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 | The Tank Man
T-shirt worn by one of the students T-shirt worn by one of the students (Call number: BG P1/366). From Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 at the IISG. "...The Chinese people's movement started as a demonstration by Beijing University students in April 1989, and in seven weeks grew into a massive protest that impressed and shook the world. Fortunately, right from the beginning, many people in China realized the significance of the events. Thanks to those people, who for obvious reasons have to remain anonymous, the prolific production of all kinds of documents by the activists was monitored. As a result, the movement is probably one of the best documented. A sinologist from Leiden University, Frank Pieke, was living in Beijing at the time, on an anthropological research mission. He and his colleagues started collecting documents, taking photographs, and contacting Chinese participants at once. In May, the Russian president Gorbachev paid an official visit to China, and Western journalists flocked to Beijing to cover the event. They were able to present eyewitness reports of the peoples' movement and at the same time act as an unofficial repository for documents. All these documents and pictures gathered by Chinese demonstrators, by Frank Pieke, his colleagues, and journalists now form the "Chinese People's Movement" collection, which is kept at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. Also... The Tank Man on PBS Frontline. "...After all others had been silenced, his lonely act of defiance against the Chinese regime amazed the world. What became of him? And 20 years later, has China succeeded in erasing this event from its history?"
posted by Andrew at 1:19 PM
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©  Leslie Blanchard

Perhaps it's just our insufferable conceit as humans which causes us to believe the myth that we have "free will". Due to this so-called free will we deem our species higher than the other animals we share the planet with. But from where I sit- the feral cats, the coyotes and raccoons that roam my property have  much more free will than I do. Than any of us do. Of course, as humans we can't tolerate that notion, so we have gone to tremendous effort to exert our will over the animals- driving many of them into extinction. But I digress, this isn't going to be a treatise on animal rights-maybe later.

I wonder when man first realized that in order to keep a civilization "in order" they had to create the lie of free will- as they were taking it away.
Think about it- my free will wants me to sit on my porch naked smoking a joint. But I can't do that. It's against the rules, laws and Christian values (although I'm no Christian). Why don't they just tell us the truth- "you have free can do whatever you wish- as long as we approve it"?

From the moment we slide out of the birth canal we unknowingly start our indoctrination process. They Baden-Powell all the boys, and they give all the girls easy-bake ovens. And if at the age of 2-3 the little boy wants to play with his sisters easy-bake, parents and society get hysterical. Some rush the boy to the shrink- chemicals might turn him into the "right" kind of boy-child.  If that fails, then they go to a pediatrician and get him diagnosed with ADD, Autism, social anxiety disorder, restless leg syndrome, whatever chemicals they can get society to OK and HMO's approval for. Yet another method of setting the child on the proper path is the old boot-camp treatment

When I was 6 years old, I started playing softball. I was really good, Mom & Dad were so proud of me. There was a girl on the team that I liked a lot, I can still remember her name- Debbi Reynolds- it's true I swear. Anyhoo I asked my mom after practice one day if it was wrong for me to love another girl? She said "No, honey- friends love each other."  I knew what I meant- my mom had no idea of what I meant. And I had no idea what she was trying to convey to me with her carefully chosen parsed words. Years later when I explained that I was Lesbian and she had told me years before that it was OK- she nearly passed out. My parents were great though as were my older brothers- they accepted me and have always included my partner as part of the family. But since I was 6 years old- I knew I was different- I was somehow breaking/bending a rule of society. I started to question God & religion around the age of 14. My great Aunt had died and my older brother, in pain, shouted that there could be no such thing as God-or a wonderful, charitable woman like Auntie would not have had to suffer the way she did.  So by the time I was 15 I knew that society would see at me differently than it saw my friends. I knew that there were a bunch of unwritten rules out there somewhere that I was breaking. But I couldn't find the list of rules and I was just me, I saw no reason to change. My friends had no idea of the secrets I was keeping. They do now and they are still my friends- but they and my big brothers still see me as a "little off" or  "eccentric". 

There are just so many rules out there in the world. Rules for being an American. Rules to be considered successful. Rules to be a Republican. Rules to be a Neo-Con. Rules to be a Democrat, or Progressive. Rules to be in the Union. Rules against Unions. Rules to be "born-again". Rules to be Catholic, Protestant, Atheist. Rules to be a good citizen. Rules to follow in Prison. Rules to follow to not go to Prison. Rules about what you can write. Rules about trans-fats. Rules about corporate dress code. And the nefarious thoughts we can't ever tell anyone that we have. 

If you really think back through your life and see what decisions you made to get where you are today- did you really make them freely? Did you make them to please others? Did you make them because they were  expected? Are you beginning to see that you may not have as much free will as you thought you did?

Did you know that prior to 1918 we had a large socialist party in the U.S.A.? Did you know that George Washington's main crop was marijuana and that smoking it wasn't illegal until 1935? Somehow those things displeased our rulers so they were outlawed, criminalized, and never put in the history books. The great propaganda machine started cranking out bullshit to make our minds shift, to tell us we weren't really smart enough to know what was best for us. Fluoride in our water, aspartame in everything we eat, developing and pushing medications for diseases that don't even exist until they have a medication for it re: Restless Leg Syndrome, serve the purpose of the rulers, they soften our minds, they dumb us down.  Because if we really had free will in America, we would not allow this country to be where it is today. Other Governments in other countries, like France, are scared of their citizenry. That's why they have free medical, and a damn good system. That's why they have more rights for workers, paid leave for childbirth, and many other benefits that we do not have in America. In America- we live in fear of our Government. This has been carefully, purposefully, honed by telling us we have free will- while we don't. They tell us we have the highest standard of living in the world due to that free will- which we don't. Now I'm not saying that the French have free will either- but they have a bit more than we do. And their government hasn't been led for a couple hundred years by fascists that want to keep them in their place.

What we need now is to reclaim our free will and reclaim the reins of our country. There will be opponents. Mainly the completely brainwashed, musheaded neo-cons that play with tea bags- the proof of their lack of free will is how they parrot every word uttered by a drug crazed nut job like Rush Limbaugh, or a convicted felon like G. Gordon Liddy. Hell, Limbaugh has no free will- he has Oxycontin instead.  

Just try to think back to your childhood, before you were fully brainwashed, try and remember what freedom of thought felt like. Remember your imaginary friend- the one that had to disappear when you reached a certain age? Try and reclaim that feeling of power when you could imagine anything, before you were schooled that fanciful imagining was worthless. Try and pinpoint where and when your free-will was handed over to those who you wished to please. Those who wished to rule you.  Can you?

posted by Leslie Blanchard at 8:16 AM
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Monday, June 01, 2009. *
It seems that in every bend and corner of the nation, spring torrents have left us running on rivers of rage.

One of the few lessons I have actually learned indelibly (in a life just chock full of opportunities for learning), is that my own rage is harmful - certainly to the object of that rage, but more so to myself. Especially if that rage is borne on the leather wings of self-righteousness and self-justification. At the very least, blind anger is corrosive and utterly destabilizing, and I can't tolerate it and survive. If I tell you, however, I can let it go and hopefully be effective.

This post is brief, because I do not wish to further feed the rage, in either myself or you, stimulated by the Tiller assassination. I do, however, need to raise my voice in a cry for justice - justice that will be wholly underserved if only the assassin is tried, convicted, and punished ...

[more at P! ...]
posted by Unknown at 5:31 PM
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© Leslie Blanchard

As hard as it is to picture- even the worst among us were children at some point. Don't make yourself ill trying to picture Rush Limbaugh, or G.Gorden Liddy as kids- but they were. My personal thoughts and beliefs about abortion are not relevant. But my thoughts on the government telling me or any other woman what do to with their bodies, their health, are relevant, and personal. My mother got pregnant with me when she was 40 and my Dad was 45. He told her that she was nuts- that she was going through "the change". Later when he found out she was actually pregnant he tried desperately to get her to have an abortion. Now, I'm 52 years old- so this was way before Roe v. Wade. But my Mom had had 7 miscarriages between my brother and me and she wanted to keep the baby. Am I glad that she decided to keep me? Yes- for 2 very different reasons. One is obvious- I wouldn't be sitting at my computer writing this if she hadn't. But the second reason is that she would have had to break the law, and seriously place her health and safety at risk by going to some back alley hideout to end the pregnancy.


Those on the right, and the extreme right condone the killing of a Doctor at his church this weekend, because he performed abortions they did not agree with. Wouldn't it be less reprehensible if his mother had simply aborted him?  What about Charlie Manson- who's mother was unable to care for him and little Charlie was raised by the state until he aged out of the system. We all know what he became. For 40 years there have been many chanting for his death. But we the people are actually responsible for his birth and his childhood. 


Why is a fetus sacred and a child is not?  Once it's born- it's no longer worth saving? If a poor woman decides to have an abortion because she knows that she can not raise it, because the child would have all the cards stacked against it. Or that it may end up in the state system of warehoused kids that we all support (poorly) with our taxes. So she makes a responsible decision and aborts the kid. Right Wing Christians call her a MURDERER. The baby daddy never gets called a murderer, a blight on society, in fact he's never in the equation at all.

Now let's look at the other side of the coin. She can't stand the thought of abortion. She wants the child, she knows it will be hard, that she may have to work 2 jobs, she has no husband, but she wants her baby.  So she gives birth, remember she's poor- so we pay for the birth. The woman tries, she works hard, she doesn't use drugs, she loves her child. The baby gets sick, Mom has to take the child to the ER because she has no health care insurance. Again, if (and that's a big IF) the child gets treated, we taxpayers foot the bill. Mom keeps working, but food prices, diaper prices, rent, all rise. She's way below poverty level, she turns to the state for help. And what do right wing Christians call her? Welfare Mom. Again, the baby Daddy never gets called a Welfare bum-he's never in the equation at all.
The woman has two choices- to go through life being thought a murderer, or a welfare mom. Ask yourself- who'd be the first people to bash her no matter what choice she made? Ask yourself- what would you do?

Our government over the past 9 years has had a slogan of "No child left behind". But plenty of children were left behind in Hurricane Katrina. In 2006 those under the age of 18 were the most likely to be impoverished. In 2006, the  poverty rate  for minors in the United States was the highest in the industrialized world, with 21.9% of all minors and 30% of African American minors living below the poverty threshold. Moreover, the standard of living for those in the bottom 10% was lower in the U.S. than other developed nations except the United Kingdom, which has the lowest standard of living for impoverished children in the developed world. From State of Working America 2006/07. 

Yet the same people that sit in their churches praying every Sunday, while one of their fellows slaughters a good man, a Doctor in his church, these people refute or refuse to believe the truth of these numbers. They still sing the Capitalist party line that everyone in Amerika has an equal shot, a fair chance to become the next  Bill Gates or Michael Dell. And while some part of all of us knows this isn't true they are able to overcome truth in exchange for propaganda. They have a problem in their thought synapses , they refuse the logical truth that in order for someone to be extremely wealthy- many others have to be extremely poor.

If we deny a woman the right to choose, if the Government can legislate this- then they must also be willing to care for those children until adulthood. And we taxpayers, those of us that pay 99% of the taxes, not the top 1 percent who pay little or no taxes will be paying for a "moral"  Christian belief. Whether we agree or disagree we- pay for the substandard lives they must live.


I must admit I'm Buddhist- I do not understand Christianity- because it is illogical. I'm also a socialist but I think the dream of Socialism is better than  living in the Imperialist  Capitalistic Dictatorship we have become. 

posted by Leslie Blanchard at 4:26 PM
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Man and monkey or, more specifically, chimpanzee had lived in harmony for over a quarter of a million years.

Then, around 100 years ago, a hunter became infected after coming into contact with chimp blood.

The resulting infection became known as HIV which would then lead onto the AIDS epidemic.

Sound plausible?

Nope, I wasn't entirely convinced either.

The thought that AIDS may have been created in a lab seems just slightly more believable...
posted by Padawan at 5:47 AM
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