Sunday, October 01, 2006

Freedom to Fascism

I was going to write about seeing the film, America: Freedom to Fascism, last night. It's playing in Denver at the Regency at Tamarac Square. I recommend it. Time permitting, I'll try to put something together at a later date.

Picks of the Week:

The October surprise by Gary Hart

"Then the president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent this have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies). He will not say: ...and besides, we need the oil."

Bush calls for war "across the world"

"US President George W. Bush called for fighting America's enemies 'across the world' as he stepped up his counteroffensive following charges that his policies were breeding a new generation of Islamic terrorists."

The Devil's dumber brother.

War signals?

"As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the deployment of a major 'strike group' of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1.

Ever pray for an Atlantic tsunami?

Crisis is upon us

"Diplomatic experts point out that the U.S. is isolated in its desire for war with Iran and has no ally except Israel, thus validating Muslim claims that the U.S. is Israel's instrument against Muslims in the Middle East. Experts note that military aggression is a war crime and that American violations of international law isolate the U.S. and destroy the soft power on which U.S. leadership has been based. An attack on Iran could be the last straw for Muslims chafing under the rule of U.S. puppet governments in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia."

Vermont congress candidate calls on Pentagon to arrest Bush, Cheney

"Former Army Lieutenant and candidate for Congress in Vermont, Dennis Morrisseau, today called for the arrest of President Bush and Vice President Cheney by the American military 'if necessary' to prevent an unauthorized attack upon the nation of Iran."

A Seven Days in May scenario has been on my mind lately. With more and more military leaders criticizing BushCo, a military coup might be a way out of this morass. Since we're already a banana republic, why not? The option has its dangers, but they are not as grave as BushCo in office.

Media tall tales for the next war

"The Sept. 25 edition of Time magazine illustrates how the U.S. news media are gearing up for a military attack on Iran. The headline over the cover-story interview with Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is 'A Date With a Dangerous Mind.' The big-type subhead calls him 'the man whose swagger is stirring fears of war with the U.S.,' and the second paragraph concludes: 'Though pictures of the Iranian president often show him flashing a peace sign, his actions could well be leading the world closer to war.'"

President Hologram and the triumph of public relations

"This is nothing new; there’s a long tradition of inflating the virtues of the 'Dear Leader' while exaggerating his manliness and steely resolve. What is new, however, is selecting a character who is entirely excluded from the policy-making apparatus and then using him as a mere vehicle for ideological extremism."

Read it yourself, says Bush as threat report made public

“'We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives,' said the declassified segment of the report, titled Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States. It was completed in April but stands as America’s current intelligence threat assessment."

Military draft needed for war with Iran and Syria?

"Will the U.S. soon need to activate Selective Service System plans for a military draft if open hostilities break out with Iran and Syria?

"There are signs that for many possible reasons, there are people and groups in Washington and elsewhere who desire a wider war – war between the U.S. and Iran and Syria – World War III."
How to avoid World War III

"This alternative strategy would seek to reduce – not escalate – tensions with Muslims. It would address their legitimate grievances. It might include apologies for past Western wrongdoing. It would try to build positive economic, commercial and political bonds. It would seek to reduce Western dependency on Middle Eastern oil.

"Also, given the Bush administration’s strategic intransigence, new international players – such as the European Union or Russia – might have to fill the leadership void in the region. Israel’s Kadima leadership would have to reverse course from its crackdown in Gaza and its bombardment of Lebanon, and start pursuing innovative peace initiatives."

A textbook definition of cowardice by Keith Olbermann

"Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest 'pass' for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!"

Final House vote results for torture

Final Senate vote results for torture

Pinochet also thought he could "legalize" torture and immunize himself

"In the years that followed, 'President' Pinochet ruled through emergency 'anti-terrorism' decrees, before he retired as a Senator for life. Before he left the presidential palace, however, the General assured himself that he would never be brought to trial for his crimes. While the country was still effectively controlled by the military Junta he headed, the runner-stamp legislature passed laws granting amnesty to those officials who had committed torture and murder during the 'state of exception' to constitutional rule. The amnesty laws also granted lifetime 'legislative immunity' to members of Parliament, including, of course, Senator Pincochet."

Rushing off a cliff

"Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws — while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser."

House approves bill on terror detainees

"The House approved legislation Wednesday giving the Bush administration authority to interrogate and prosecute terrorism detainees, moving President Bush to the edge of a pre-election victory with a key piece of his anti-terror plan."

A vote that will live in infamy -- who will betray their country today and who will stand up for America?

"You must read this New York Times editorial on the detainee bill that Senators will be voting on today. They are not the only ones saying this, it is just a simple summary of the one of the worst bills in American history. This piece of legislation guts what this country is founded on. As the New York Times explains, it is our Alien and Sedition Acts."

Web of terror

"As ordinary people without any connection to terrorist organizations are swept up into George Bush’s war, there are three specific cases that should be carefully watched as especially troubling bellwethers. They are emblematic of how much ground has already been ceded to Bush’s attack on our liberties, and as it happens, the latest developments will be unfolding this month even as the fifth anniversary of the 'attack on our freedoms' is commemorated."

Torture tactics refined in US prisons, ACLU says

"'If you look at the iconic pictures from Abu Ghraib,' Elizabeth Alexander told reporters at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, 'you can match up these photos with the same abuses at American prisons, each one of them.'

"Alexander said the infamous torture tactics uncovered at Abu Ghraib were first used in American prisons, but without cameras. 'The photo from Abu Ghraib showing a mock execution matches events in Sacramento, California, in which guards staged mock executions of prisoners,' she said."

And before long, I expect, there will be more of us to practice on.

Something bad is about to happen. Only you can stop it, and the clock is ticking.

"We hate to sound apocalyptic. We loathe the politics of fear (even if it works!). So we're not looking to scare you. But you need to know that the end is near for 'archaic' ideas like . . .

* the right to security in your home and papers
* the right to be free from unreasonable searches
* the safety net of judicial warrant requirements
* the right to a trial by a jury of your peers in a system of due process
* reasonable bail and recourse for false arrest
* protection from cruel and unusual punishment"

In case I disappear

"I have been told a thousand times at least, in the years I have spent reporting on the astonishing and repugnant abuses, lies and failures of the Bush administration, to watch my back. 'Be careful,' people always tell me. 'These people are capable of anything. Stay off small planes, make sure you aren't being followed.' A running joke between my mother and me is that she has a 'safe room' set up for me in her cabin in the woods, in the event I have to flee because of something I wrote or said." . . . .

"It seems, perhaps, that the people who warned me were not so paranoid. It seems, perhaps, that I was not paranoid enough. Legislation passed by the Republican House and Senate, legislation now marching up to the Republican White House for signature, has shattered a number of bedrock legal protections for suspects, prisoners, and pretty much anyone else George W. Bush deems to be an enemy."

I think I've mentioned before that years ago I purchased a poster that said, "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me." As things go from bad to worse in this country, and knowing that BushCo will do whatever it can get away with (9/11, stolen elections, Iraq, torture, pathological lying, corruption of all kinds), I would not be surprised if the intelligentsia (in my case, almost intelligentsia) are rounded up and disappeared. Of course, I hope it doesn't happen and that I have been overwrought. Still, it pays to be mindful, to believe what you see. It is self evident the country is being run into the ground by criminals.

Many rights in the US legal system absent in new bill

"The military trials bill approved by Congress lends legislative support for the first time to broad rules for the detention, interrogation, prosecution and trials of terrorism suspects far different from those in the familiar American criminal justice system."

Torturing democracy

"YOU, TOO, COULD BE AN ENEMY COMBATANT: Congress has handed the Bush administration extraordinary new powers to define who is an 'illegal enemy combatant,' potentially subjecting legal U.S. residents, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. This request -- and Congress's willingness to grant it --has faced severe criticism since, as Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) points out, in 'five years that the President's system of military tribunals has existed, not one terrorist has been tried. Not one has been convicted. Not one has been brought to justice. And in the end, the Supreme Court of the United States found the whole thing unconstitutional, which is why we're here today.' The administration can now declare an illegal enemy combatant any 'person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.' As Yale University law professor Bruce Ackerman notes, this legislation may also authorize 'the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States.' Additionally, Georgetown University law professor Marty Lederman states that these powers won't be limited to wartime, since the 'illegal enemy combatant' status applies to anyone 'who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant.'"

In other words, anyone who opposes BushCo criminality is a terrorist. Heh, heh.

Gonzales cautions judges on interfering

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is defending President Bush's anti-terrorism tactics in multiple court battles, said Friday that federal judges should not substitute their personal views for the president's judgments in wartime. "He said the Constitution makes the president commander in chief and the Supreme Court has long recognized the president's pre-eminent role in foreign affairs. 'The Constitution, by contrast, provides the courts with relatively few tools to superintend military and foreign policy decisions, especially during wartime,' the attorney general told a conference on the judiciary at Georgetown University Law Center."

Torqemada spews fascist venom.

Habeus corpus, R.I.P. (1215 - 2006)

"This bill is not a national security issue—this is about torturing helpless human beings without any proof they are our enemies. Perhaps this could be considered if we knew the administration would use the power with enormous care and thoughtfulness. But of the over 700 prisoners sent to Gitmo, only 10 have ever been formally charged with anything. Among other things, this bill is a CYA for torture of the innocent that has already taken place." . . . .

"The bill simply removes a suspect’s right to challenge his detention in court. This is a rule of law that goes back to the Magna Carta in 1215. That pretty much leaves the barn door open.

"As Vladimir Bukovsky, the Soviet dissident, wrote, an intelligence service free to torture soon 'degenerates into a playground for sadists.' But not unbridled sadism—you will be relieved that the compromise took out the words permitting interrogation involving 'severe pain' and substituted “serious pain,” which is defined as “bodily injury that involves extreme physical pain.”

Works for me, heh, heh.

Bush faces wave of challenges to terrorists' trial law

"The vote, which passed 65 to 34, was cast after more than 10 hours of debate. It is a boon to Republicans, who plan to campaign on their national security credentials in the midterm elections. However, lawyers for the 460 detainnees at Guantanamo say they intend to launch legal challenges to what they described as a broad assault on fundamental human rights.

"'The fact that they are denying the right of habeas corpus is so unlawful and unconstitutional that it throws us back to before King John and the Magna Carta,'' said Michael Ratner, president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which represents many of the Guantanamo detainees."

Detainee memo created divide in White House

"When the paper first circulated in the upper reaches of the administration, two of those officials said, it so angered Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that his aides gathered up copies of the document and had at least some of them shredded.

“'It was not in step with the secretary of defense or the president,' said one Defense Department official who, like many others, would discuss the internal deliberations only on condition of anonymity. 'It was clear that Rumsfeld was very unhappy.'”

"Or the president"? Guilty of war crimes.

Uncomfortably numb to torture

"Indeed, it was that uniform — not the breach of immutable standards of decency held by this nation — that put England in the dock and eventually in prison. It was that uniform and nothing else, because if England and the others charged in the scandal had been civilian interrogators instead of military police, they would be among the privileged torturers whom President Bush and members of both parties in Congress are determined to keep on the job and to shield from future prosecution."

Oh the irony! She was imprisoned for doing her fuehrer's bidding.

Bush throws down the gauntlet

"In effect, Bush is gambling that the Right’s powerful media apparatus, Republican organizational advantages and the residual fear from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks will trump the Democrats’ abilities to convince the American people that Bush’s vision represents a dire threat to the future of their democratic Republic."

Tracking the CIA torture flights

"Typically, the CIA planes will fly out of these rural airfields in North Carolina to Dulles, or they will fly overseas to Guantanamo Bay, Morocco or Afghanistan. Now, one of the tipoffs about these companies is that there’s a document that is like the Rosetta Stone-document for this type of research. The document lists the companies that have global access to land at military bases; the CIA planes are all on that list."

Data transfer broke rules, report says

"The Belgian-based consortium known as Swift, which handles money transfers among banks, violated European privacy regulations when it turned over confidential transaction information to the Central Intelligence Agency and other American agencies, Belgium’s privacy protection commission concluded today."

Bush wiretap program gets extra week

"The federal judge who struck down President Bush's warrantless surveillance program allowed the government on Thursday to continue the program another week while it seeks a further postponement from an appeals court."

House OKs expanded wiretap program

"The House voted late Thursday to rewrite the nation's domestic wiretap laws, giving President Bush new power to monitor the e-mail and phone records of U.S. citizens during terrorism investigations without having to obtain court approval. "But lawmakers were unlikely to deliver final legislation to the White House before leaving this weekend for the election campaign, a setback for the administration, which has made national security a pillar of its strategy to maintain Republican control of Congress."

Iraqi journalists add laws to list of dangers

"He was the fourth journalist killed in Iraq in September alone, out of a total of more than 130 since the 2003 invasion, the vast majority of them Iraqis. But these days, men with guns are not Iraqi reporters’ only threat. Men with gavels are, too.

"Under a broad new set of laws criminalizing speech that ridicules the government or its officials, some resurrected verbatim from Saddam Hussein’s penal code, roughly a dozen Iraqi journalists have been charged with offending public officials in the past year."

I get it. Evil Moron is creating a democracy in Iraq to serve as a model for the newly emerging democracy in 'Merica.

Poll: Iraqis back attacks on US troops

"About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and slightly more than that want their government to ask U.S. troops to leave within a year, according to a poll in that country."

Iraq war was 'terrorism recruiting sergeant'

"The Iraq war has acted as a 'recruiting sergeant' for extremists in the Muslim world, according to a paper prepared for a Ministry of Defence thinktank, which also said the British government sent troops into Afghanistan 'with its eyes closed'."

Quarter million Iraqis flee sectarian violence

"A quarter of a million Iraqis have fled sectarian violence and registered as refugees in the past seven months, data released on Thursday showed, amid an upsurge in attacks that has accompanied the Ramadan holy month."

Army warns Rumsfeld it's billions short

"The Army's top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.

"The decision by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, is believed to be unprecedented and signals a widespread belief within the Army that in the absence of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq, funding assumptions must be completely reworked, say current and former Pentagon officials."

We go to war with the nut jobs that start them.

Cost of Iraq war nearly $2 billion a week

"A new congressional analysis shows the Iraq war is now costing taxpayers almost $2 billion a week -- nearly twice as much as in the first year of the conflict three years ago and 20 percent more than last year -- as the Pentagon spends more on establishing regional bases to support the extended deployment and scrambles to fix or replace equipment damaged in combat."

House OKs $70B for Iraq, Afghanistan

"Despite intense partisan divisions over the course of the Iraq war, the House on Tuesday easily approved $70 billion more for military operations there and in Afghanistan. Lawmakers also adopted a record $448 billion budget for the Pentagon."

'Dummy vendors' reap $362m in Iraq

"US government agencies charged with the reconstruction of Iraq allocated $362m to non-existent 'dummy vendors', according to a report by the watchdog overseeing the reconstruction effort."

Heralded Iraq police academy a 'disaster'

"The Baghdad Police College, hailed as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security, was so poorly constructed that feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks. Floors heaved inches off the ground and cracked apart. Water dripped so profusely in one room that it was dubbed 'the rain forest.'"

The structure should be preserved by the Iraqis as a monument to BushCo incompetence and greed. Another sh***y milestone for the Evil Moron.

Retired officers to criticize Rumsfeld

"'I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq,' retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste said in remarks prepared for a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee."

Lt. Gen. Oddom speaks truth in US capitol basement

"Al Qaeda recruiting declined in 2002, Odom said, but spiked after the U.S. invaded -- rose in Asia as well as in the Middle East. And Iraq is a great training ground for terrorists now. In addition, Odom said, a wedge is being driven between the United States and its European allies. 'Osama understands that; we seem not to.' The invasion of Iraq, Odom said, probably saved al Qaeda from ceasing to exist."

On Saturday morning I watched a rerun of most of the Planning and Conduct of Iraq War hearing of September 25. It was riveting. In the olden days of democracy in this country, all of the major news networks would've been in attendance. It was high drama akin to watching John Dean at the Watergate hearings. The witnesses gave an articulate, damning indictment of BushCo leadership. Haven't been able to find a transrcipt of the hearing.

Revolt of the generals

"This kind of protest among senior military retirees during wartime is unprecedented in American history--and it is also deeply worrisome. The retired officers opposing the war and demanding Rumsfeld's ouster represent a new political force, and therefore a potentially powerful factor in the future of our democracy. The former generals' growing lobby could acquire a unique veto power in the future by publicly opposing reckless civilian warmaking in advance."

White House admits Iraq fuels extremism

"The White House acknowledged that Iraq was among several factors that 'fuel the spread of jihadism,' but said that winning the war would dishearten potential terrorists."

All f****d up and staying the course. I wonder how many times these clowns would touch a hot stove before admitting it wasn't a good idea?

The rise of Jihadistan

"In Ghazni and in six provinces to the south, and in other hot spots to the east, Karzai's government barely exists outside district towns. Hard-core Taliban forces have filled the void by infiltrating from the relatively lawless tribal areas of Pakistan where they had fled at the end of 2001. Once back inside Afghanistan these committed jihadist commanders and fighters, aided by key sympathizers who had remained behind, have raised hundreds, if not thousands, of new, local recruits, many for pay. They feed on the people's disillusion with the lack of economic progress, equity and stability that Karzai's government, NATO, Washington and the international community had promised."

British military in crisis as NATO mission in Afghanistan unravels

"Fierce resistance to the occupation, resulting in heavy losses for both insurgent fighters and foreign troops, has forced commentators close to the British military to dispense with the pretence of a 'peace-keeping' mission and describe the situation as 'all out war.'"

British troops in secret truce with the Taliban

"It has now been agreed the troops will quietly pull out of Musa Qala in return for the Taliban doing the same. The compound is one of four district government offices in the Helmand province that are being guarded by British troops."

Blood & guts: At the front with the poor bloody infantry

"'We headed off to what can only be described as the Wild West.' Those are the words, not of a beleaguered British squaddie, but of a Canadian officer in a unit sent to help rescue our troops in the lawless Afghan province of Helmand. His account, emailed to family and friends back in Canada, is the most detailed to emerge from what commanders have called the most desperate fighting British troops have seen since the Korean War."

Bush hails liberation of Afghanistan a 'great achievement'

"Amid signs that the Taliban insurgency is regaining strength, President Bush on Friday defended his efforts to stabilize war-savaged Afghanistan and blasted critics who charge that his policies there are failing."

Nato unable to find Afghanistan reinforcements

"NATO yesterday failed to find any volunteers to contribute 2,500 reinforcements that are needed for combat duty in Afghanistan.

"After two days of talks in Portoroz, Slovenia, defence ministers from the 26-nation alliance said that nobody had produced the reserve force, first requested by Nato commanders more than three weeks ago."

Now that Congress is in recess, why not send the GOP senators and representatives?

Attacks in Afghanistan grow more frequent and lethal

"Civilians increasingly have been paying the price of the more frequent and devastating attacks. More than 150 civilians have been killed by suicide bombings this year, the head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan, Tom Koenigs, said recently, before the attacks on Tuesday."

The Queen's Death Star: Depleted uranium measured in British atmosphere from battlefields in the Middle East

"The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain, were transported on air currents from the Middle East and Central Asia; of special significance were those from the Tora Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001, and the 'Shock & Awe' bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003."

War crimes without borders.

US pursues closer ties with Kazakhstan

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Monday with Kazakhstan's foreign minister as the U.S. sought closer ties to the oil-rich country despite what critics call its disturbing backslide toward autocracy.

"Before the meeting, Rice did not answer when asked whether human rights or energy would top the agenda for the meeting with her Kazakh counterpart. The session on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly sets up a White House invitation for Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Friday."

Kindasleezy, The Dick, and the Moron have sold their souls to El Negro Diablo (Staying with last week's Devil theme).

Two months before 9/11, an urgent warning to Rice

"Besides, Rice seemed focused on other administration priorities, especially the ballistic missile defense system that Bush had campaigned on. She was in a different place."

What do Kindasleezy and Evil Moron have in common? Pathological lying.

Deep integration behind closed doors: Rumsfeld attends secretive Banff "meeting" to harmonize Canadian and Mexican policies.

"While the media were busy obsessing over rumours of a budding romance between Condoleezza Rice and Peter MacKay in mid-September, a more significant relationship was developing behind closed doors.

"Away from the spotlight, from September 12 to 14, in Banff Springs, Minister of Public Safety, Stockwell Day and Defence Minister, Gordon O'Connor met with US and Mexican government officials and business leaders to discuss North American integration at the second North American Forum."

Anyone who doesn't think there's a vast right wing conspiracy is not paying attention. The US is likely a goner; is it too late for Canada?

North American confab "undermines" democracy"

"'What is sinister about this meeting is that it involved high level government officials and some of the top and most powerful business leaders of the three countries and the North American Forum in organizing the meeting intentionally did not inform the press in any of the three countries,' he said. 'It was clear that the intention was to keep this important meeting about integrating the three countries out of the public eye.'"

One would think Canadians, peering down from the higher latitudes, would be seeking to distance themselves from the long 'Merican slide. Instead, HarperCo is embracing it.

American Blackout

"American Blackout is the kind of documentary that only comes along every few years. It’s the sort of film that changes things — changes how you think. If there was any justice in this world this film would receive the same buzz and box office that anything that Michael Moore releases gets. Greg Palast told me the film “blew him away” — this from a man who is almost always underwhelmed by documentaries, especially ones about his field of expertise. Watch the Trailer

"When delving into the voter issue, the media distracts you with all the things it loves to talk about. But you need to forget the hanging chads and forget the malfunctioning machines. They’re just a sideshow to the real story. The real story is a lot less sexy, dealing with road blocks, purged voters, ‘misplaced’ voting machines, uncounted ballots and long lines. This is the Civil Rights Movement all over again but this time there are no great monsters like Bull Connor. The lynchings today are electronic and political… and the freedom riders nowhere to be found."

Court victory lets preserved Ohio 2004 ballots tell new tales of theft and fraud as indictments and convictions mount

"Ohio election protection activists have won a landmark court battle to preserve the ballots from 2004’s disputed presidential election, and researchers studying those ballots continue to find new evidence that the election was, indeed, stolen. Among other things, large numbers of consecutive votes in different precincts for George W. Bush make it appear ever more likely that the real winner in 2004 should have been John Kerry. Meanwhile, indictments and prison terms are mounting among key players in that tainted contest."

Diebold added secret patch to Georgia e-voting systems in 2002, whistleblowers say

"Top Diebold corporation officials ordered workers to install secret files to Georgia’s electronic voting machines shortly before the 2002 Elections, at least two whistleblowers are now asserting, Atlanta Progressive News has learned."

Campaign cash mirrors a high court's rulings

"In the weeks before the election, Justice O’Donnell’s campaign accepted thousands of dollars from the political action committees of three companies that were defendants in the suits. Two of the cases dealt with defective cars, and one involved a toxic substance. Weeks after winning his race, Justice O’Donnell joined majorities that handed the three companies significant victories."

I suspect that many judges in the US, at all levels, are on the take.

Gingrich urges overriding Supreme Court

"Supreme Court decisions that are 'so clearly at variance with the national will' should be overridden by the other branches of government, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.

"'What I reject, out of hand, is the idea that by five to four, judges can rewrite the Constitution, but it takes two-thirds of the House, two-thirds of the Senate and three-fourths of the states to equal five judges,' Gingrich said during a Georgetown University Law Center conference on the judiciary."

His Contract on 'Merica continues.

Puts forecast October surprise?

"'Do you like October suprises? Is there a big bang coming to hit the markets? If you believe that those in the know use insider information before major events then you might be interested on the HUGE number of October 6th put options for the big indexes. Check out the concentrated puts on the Diamonds DOW Trust (DIA):"

House leadership rips Foley on e-mails

"Rep. Thomas Reynolds, head of the House Republican election effort, said Saturday he told Speaker Dennis Hastert months ago about concerns that a fellow GOP lawmaker had sent inappropriate messages to a teenage boy. Hastert's office said aides referred the matter to the proper authorities last fall but they were only told the messages were 'over-friendly.'"

Water board Hastert! What is it with the perverse nature of the right wingers. Their family values seem to come from the likes of the Manson family.

Abramoff and Rove had 82 contacts, report says

"A bipartisan Congressional report documents hundreds of contacts between White House officials and the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his partners, including at least 10 direct contacts between Mr. Abramoff and Karl Rove, the president’s chief political strategist."

The Architect needed a few building blocks in transitioning the White House into an outhouse.

Reading the gas price numbers (Scroll down)

"Since gasoline prices began their sharp decline in mid-August, many pundits have attempted to account for the drop, but none have offered a completely convincing explanation, lending some plausibility to claims that the Bush administration and its long-term allies in the oil industry are manipulating prices behind the scenes. In my view, however, the most significant factor in the downturn in prices has simply been a sharp easing of the 'fear factor' -- the worry that crude oil prices would rise to $100 or more a barrel due to spreading war in the Middle East, a Bush administration strike at Iranian nuclear facilities, and possible Katrina-scale hurricanes blowing through the Gulf of Mexico, severely damaging offshore oil rigs."

Will we ever know the true reason for the rapid decline . . . in our lifetimes?

Consumers skeptical of dropping gas prices

"Almost half of all Americans believe the November elections have more influence than market forces. For them, the plunge at the pump is about politics, not economics."

US gasoline prices: the "free market" and the November election

Large energy companies certainly feel they have an interest in maintaining Republican control of the government. Not that they have anything serious to fear from the Democrats, but there are divisions within the ruling elite and no administration has been so closely tied, personally and financially, to the interests of the energy giants as the current one.

Insurance horror stories

"Between 2000 and 2005, the number of Americans with private health insurance coverage fell by 1 percent. But over the same period, employment at health insurance companies rose a remarkable 32 percent. What are all those extra employees doing?

"Now we know at least part of the answer: they're working harder than ever at identifying people who really need medical care, and ensuring that they don't get it. In the past, they mainly concentrated on screening out applicants likely to get sick. Now, it seems, they're also devoting a lot of effort to finding pretexts for revoking insurance after they've already granted it. They typically do this by claiming that they weren't notified about some pre-existing condition, even if the insured wasn't aware of that condition when he or she bought the policy."

The good news is there is one US industry that has job growth. The bad news is they're figuring out how to screw the public.

Replacing the Big Three

"But, hey, we have the largest retailer in the world, don't we? Wal-Mart now employs more people than does the entire U.S. auto industry. We also have the world's largest and most expensive health care industry and biggest military. Over the last five years, health care and the military have been responsible for almost all the net new jobs created in America.

"But the real issue isn't the number of jobs. It's their quality, and that's the big problem. Detroit's Big Three paid wages, health and pension benefits that together amounted to about $80 an hour in today's money. The Japanese transplants in America pay half as much. Wal-Mart pays less than a quarter as much. Meanwhile, hospital orderlies and elder-care workers don't come near matching the United Auto Workers at the old Big Three. And military work is just plain dangerous."

Britain: Labour has shifted taxes from rich to poor

"Research by the 'free market' think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), has revealed how the burden of taxation has fallen heaviest on the working class and the poor under Prime Minister Tony Blair."

Thom Hartmann was on Al Franken Monday. He was citing historical figures whose political purpose was to shrink the middle class and increase unemployment. It was very interesting. If I can locate some written material, I'll reference it
Thom Hartmann's frontline dispatches from the war on the middle class
"'Our founders believed that every (man) willing to work for his living should be able to earn enough to own his own house and support himself and his family,' writes Hartmann. 'That's what it means to be middle class and part of why (Thomas) Jefferson put 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' into the Declaration of Independence."It's also why the founders put, in the preamble of the Constitution, that one purpose of government is to 'promote the general welfare.'

"The one president who came closest to those words was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. When the country was down and out during the Great Depression, it was Roosevelt who recognized, in the words of Hartmann 'that government can and must 'promote the general welfare,' because only government can create the conditions that make a middle class possible.'"

Hartmann has a book out, Screwed: The Undeclared War against the Middle Class.

Middle-class families in worse shape than ever, study finds

"The typical double-income family is worse off financially than ever, a study released Thursday said, warning that few Americans have saved enough to brace for financial setbacks.

"Middle-class families are struggling to pay for a home, health insurance, transportation and their children's college with wages that have not kept pace with higher prices, according to the study by a think tank headed by a former top aide to President Bill Clinton."

Mass. home sales plunge, prices drop

Sales of single-family homes plunged in August by a whopping 21.6 percent,to 4,229 homes, compared with figures from the year prior. It was the fifth straight month of sales declines, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors said yesterday.

Analyst says of new data: 'Pop goes housing bubble'

"Annual existing home prices declined in August for the first time in more than a decade as sales fell for a fifth straight month.

"The year-over-year drop in median sales prices represented a dramatic turnaround in fortunes for the once high-flying housing market, which last year was posting double-digit price gains."

For real estate brokers, business 'has dropped dead'

"That's only the beginning. Ms. Esses said she thinks more New York City brokers will be leaving the scene. 'Business here is just not quiet; it has dropped dead over the past few weeks,' she said. 'At the same time, there's a flood of inventory on the market. We run open houses, we run advertisements, but nothing works. There are no buyers, and without buyers, there are no sales.'"

US economy losing its global dominance

"Europe, Japan and emerging economies around the world are weaning themselves from dependence on the American consumer, and economists say it is just in time.

"Demand in the U.S. economy is slowing as the housing market falters, a development that the International Monetary Fund on Sept. 14 called a key risk to global expansion."

Russia sets the pace in energy race

"Su [China] rendered some practical advice to Washington's policymakers in this connection. He questioned the efficacy of past US policies that involved 'seizing resources' through military intervention and expansion aimed at 'safeguarding the oil supply'. He pointed out that gunboat diplomacy was no longer workable either in the Middle East or Latin America as it produced only terrorism and resistance. At the same time, Su acknowledged that growing dependence of energy imports 'weakened the competitiveness and injured the economic security of the US'."

Bush policies are failed policies.

Russia snubs US, redirects gas flow to Europe

"A plan to give Europe access to a substantial amount of natural gas from the giant Shtokman field originally earmarked for the U.S. market is a direct consequence of U.S. policy toward Russia on WTO membership and sanctions on Russian defense exports, Russian newspapers reported on Monday, Sept. 25."

Save us from the incompetence of BushCo.

Agency blocked hurricane report

"The Bush administration has blocked release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes, the journal Nature reported Tuesday."
Bush free trade plan puts Amazon up for grabs

"The Bush administration is quietly pressing for a free trade agreement with Peru that will put the Amazon rainforest – often described as one of the earth’s lungs – on the chopping block.
"Because the Amazon rainforest - one of the most biologically diverse regions on earth - filters out massive amounts of the carbon dioxide that generates global warming, experts say the Bush plan will literally endanger the health of the planet."

Are the neonazis insane in seeking to destroy the planet? Or do their plans include the extermination of millions of people. In other words, they have to live here too. But if their global planning includes the extermination of the non rich, then the planet can withstand the loss of many people and species, leaving enough livable environment for them. Hard to figure. Maybe they are just insane. And stupid.

Quotes from and others:

"These tools (like torture) are necessary to protect us." -- Der Torturer, Link

"The Democrats are using the NIE for their own political purposes." -- Rick Moran, Rightwing Nuthouse, Link

"What possessed Bush to make the NIE report public AND to claim that it was going to be a really happy and peppy assessment? Granted, he may not have read the thing -- it was, after all, a full three pages (and there were no pictures)." -- John Aravosis, Link

"In 1976, the Bush family sent George W. Bush to El Paso's Worthy Creations, a Christian gay conversion center. From that time on, Bush became a tool of the Christian right and a self-hating homosexual. The investigation of Bush's gay activities in the TANG unit would have unraveled Bush's new "straight" persona. The GOP went to battle stations to prevent Bush's past from being resurrected." -- Wayne Masden Report, on why Dan Rather had to be discredited, Link [That would explain Jeff Gannon's (R - gay hooker) frequent overnighters at the White House.]

Republican Foley: Did you spank it this weekend?

Teenage Boy: No, been too tired and busy.

Republican Foley: I'm never too busy ha ha

Republican Foley: I'm hard as a rock - tell me when yours reaches rock

Teenage Boy: Now I'm hard

Republican Foley: Get a ruler and measure it for me

Teenage Boy: Again? Link

"The idea of trying to cast blame for 9-11 on President Clinton is just wrong for many, many reasons, not the least of which is I don't think he deserves it..." -- Rudy Giuliani, more honest than Nora Ephron, Link

"If we weren't in Iraq, they'd find some other excuse, because they have ambitions." -- the stupidest president in history, Link

"When Bush says, 'You're either with us or you're with the terrorists,' most people - particularly most moderate Muslims - look at his record of torture and rape and think, 'Well, I'm not with you.' " --Theologist Reza Aslan,

"The U.N. said there is more torture going on now in Iraq than when Saddam was there. If we could only get torture back to the Saddam levels maybe that would be a victory." --Bill Maher,

"Rumsfeld must be replaced or we will see two more years of extraordinarily bad decision-making." --Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who called Rummy 'incompetent strategically and tactically', Link

"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what Clinton did in the preceding years. The notion somehow for eight months Bush sat there and didn't do that is just flatly false, and I think the 9/11 commission understood that." -- Super Sleazy Rice, clearly on the defensive, Link

"Bill O'Reilly is apparently on al Qaeda's death list. al Qaeda said they don't even think of him as an infidel. They just want to cut off his head, so he'll shut up." -- Bill Maher

"George Bush entered office 'knowing' that Clinton supposedly didn't do enough after the WTC attacks in 1993, eight years berfore, so why didn't Bush do something? Bush 'knew' in January of 2001 that supposedly Bill Clinton didn't do enough following the embassy attacks in 1998, 3 years before, so why didn't Bush do something? Clinton had 3 months in office following the attack on the Cole and he didn't invade Afghanistan. Yet Bush had nearly nine months in office before 9-11 and he didn't invade. Why is that?" -- John Aravosis, Link

"It's absolutely painful for him. He's a genuine person. He wants to reach out to the families and let them know how he feels." --Beth Karlson, who lost a son in Bush's bloody quagmire, Link

"When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma... - Der Monkey Link

"The hegemonic pretensions of the Bush empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat." -- Hugo Chavez, getting it right once again Link

Geneva Convention Violation Again Alleged

The Hague, Netherlands (Associated Free Press) The United States of America is again reacting to an action brought in the World Court alleging that the U.S.A has again violated terms of the Geneva Convention concerning torture. This complaint again focuses on the torture of political prisoners. Most surprising is that the complaint was initially filed by a politician from Canada, which is a neighbor and ally of the U.S. Other politicians from other countries have joined as complainants.

As for the Canadian, it seems that he feels that he was forced to attend to the social needs of the U.S. Secretary of State, Condi Rice, one evening when she made an official visit to Ottawa. He says that he awoke the next morning vaguely aware that he was forced to drink too much and was not sure what had transpired, but believes that he was sexually violated by the Secretary of State. When contacted by the press he issued a statement that if he had to rate her attractiveness at the beginning of the evening it was a one, but at the end of the evening after the consumption of many drinks that she became a ten. “That’s just not right, ehh? Now, I have to live with those memories for the rest of my life. I will never be the same.”

When Professor Vaughn Mellman, an expert in Social Studies and Political Science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia was contacted, he confirmed that men are often tortured by this phenomenon of women becoming more attractive when they drink. “What’s unusual about this situation is that our politician felt that he was forced to drink socially because of the power exerted over him by her position. He is now uncertain about what diplomatic concessions he may have made, such as agreeing to send more troops to Iraq. Such tactics are outrageous and a further bending of rules that control the relations of civilized societies.”

Other politicians from around the world have come forward, saying that the same tactics have been used on them during the Secretary’s visit. A Diplomat from Somalia complained that the same happened to him. “But for that alcohol and her power as Secretary of State for the world’s most powerful country that woman has a serious case of the uglies.”

The National Organization of Women weighed in on the issue. “This complaint is ridiculous. If the Secretary were an unattractive man with a lot of money or power, going out socially, this allegation would not even be brought up. It happens all the time. But, reverse the situation and let a woman exercise her power and buy a few drinks, and somehow it becomes a violation of the Geneva Convention. You think those men are attractive? No wonder women drink to make them look better.”

When President Bush was contacted about this latest furor over the allegation of torture of foreign politicians, he responded. “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, she always looks like a ten to me.”


Blogger Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Jerry and all,

The time has arrived to think outside of the box, or else...

I know that many have chosen to write me off as some sort of a quack over the last three years. Now that this country and world have sunk to new lows and many of the things I've warned about have occurred, perhaps fewer will be so quick to scoff at things they don't understand. Neither religious followers nor secularists have been 100% correct and most have been dead wrong about much. Perhaps now more will seek true wisdom and cooperate for the good of all before the Bush-Cheney-Vatican cabal revives the dark ages and puts you all in theological torture camps. Remember that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Understanding and fixing the failings of politics and democracy for the benefit of everyone, everywhere

Politics is little more than greed, arrogance, falsehood, hero-worship, and injustice taken to extremes and organized into teams (nations, parties, interest groups, etc). It is the struggle for your group, hero, and viewpoint so you can profit at the expense of others. This forces others to do the same in self-defense, causing an endless loop, downward spiral, and no-gain effect. When money, religion, and politics are intermingled, they form a true inescapable trap or bottomless pit. It is the opposite of compassion, cooperation, justice, and wisdom and causes you to expend dramatically more effort, time, and resources than necessary to achieve lesser results than are possible when you simply cooperate and have compassion, empathy, and charity for each other. Harmony and cooperation are on the perfect path, while politics, religion and money are ignorance, strong lies, strong delusion, and utter folly.

The primary, though hidden, purpose of politics is to effectively divide and conquer populations who support and participate in these great delusions. Politics serves to dramatically slow and confound progress towards common and common-sense goals that most people want to achieve. This is one of the reasons why major problems persist for centuries. When people finally cooperate to solve problems for the good of all, problems will finally be solved and stay solved. On the other hand, participating in and supporting politics causes problems to persist and even to reappear later, though they were apparently solved previously. Because of the ability of those who also control money and religion to reverse past progress and prevent true cooperation, politics is a great deception and a trap and the opposite of truth, wisdom, and justice.

There is no true freedom nor freewill in the presence of such pervasive and institutionalized deception and exploitation. People have struggled for millennia trying to form working societies based on these three great follies. Those efforts always eventually fail because the inherent injustice and deception at the root of these concepts always leads to chaos and destruction. How long must it take before verifiable wisdom is finally valued over such long-term and self-evident folly? How much longer will it take for good people to grow tired of such obvious lies and turn away from deceptive leaders and their deceptions?

Remember the saying:
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing."

We are all trapped in a web of deception woven with money, religion, and politics. The great evils that bedevil us all will never cease until humanity finally awakens, shakes off these strong delusions, and forges a path... to the future.


...and here...

Here is Wisdom!!


9:40 PM  

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