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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
Mandy: Great blog!
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Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
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nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Top ten reasons to vote for [insert name here]

the candidate supporters are coming out of the woodwork, and i'm starting to hesitate to even visit sites like kos for fear of running across things like this...

i have absolutely no axe to grind with john edwards... in fact, i think he has taken some remarkably courageous positions, certainly more than i've seen coming from any other candidate... but, as i've repeatedly and politely told the edwards campaign staff along with every the staff of every other candidate who've called to solicit my contribution, when john edwards - or any other candidate, for that matter - decides to summon the huevos to speak out on the critical constitutional crisis that was visited on the united states beginning with the 12 december 2000 scotus decision and continuing right up through today, i will not be throwing my support - or my money - behind ANYONE...

i have screamed my fool head off on this issue for more than two years, and i will continue to do so until my voice gives out or i lapse into senile dementia... the inauguration of a new president on 20 january 2009 will NOT mean the crisis is over... i don't want the mechanisms of unfettered power in the hands of ANY president, not john edwards, not hillary clinton, not barack obama, and if we don't act now to fix that constitition-negating problem, our country will continue to solidify into what is already a burgeoning fascist state...

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21.7M pounds of ground beef products recalled

hmmmm... was it only two weeks ago that i posted on the absurd national animal identification system that proposes to implant or attach rfid chips on all animals that can potentially enter the food production chain, and impose reporting requirements so time-consuming and expensive that it would be sure to drive smaller producers out of the market, while at the same time creating massive loopholes for the vertically-integrated corporate giants, all in the name of insuring food safety...? gee. how time flies...
Topps Meat Company LLC has expanded its recall to include 21.7 million pounds (9,800 tonnes) of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, the Elizabeth, New Jersey-based company said on Saturday.

golly, ain't it comforting to know they're looking out for us...? oops... well, maybe not...
Products affected by this expanded recall were distributed to retail grocery stores and food service institutions throughout the United States. Based on consumption patterns, Topps said it believes that the vast majority of the recalled product has been consumed.

Over 65 years of quality.

Since 1940, Topps Meat Company has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of premium frozen meat products. At the grocery store, in the restaurant or at the picnic, Topps has always been a sign of great taste and high quality.

Topps Meat Company is a privately owned family company. Headquartered in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Topps expanded its range of product offerings by acquiring Moline, Illinois-based J&B Meats in 2005. For generations, Topps Meat Company and J&B Meats have been major suppliers of high quality products with great taste and value for the consumer, retail and food service venues.

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War profiteering must have hit a plateau

yesterday's story from the new york sun...
Attack on Iran Said To Be Imminent

UNITED NATIONS — In a sign that U.N. Security Council-based diplomacy is losing steam, a number of sources are reporting that a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities may be imminent. France and America also are pushing for tighter economic sanctions against Tehran, without U.N. approval.

prompted a few thoughts from moi...

the 2001-2002-2003, staged rollout of the latest cash generation war videogame and its related software, kicked into high gear by the gwot, has started to plateau, so it's time to crank it up a notch, dontcha know... after cutting all those recent arms deals in egypt, the near east, the middle east and south asia, it'd be a damn shame if there wasn't an opportunity to USE 'em... and, yeah, the aftermarket (parts, spares, replacements) is damn near as lucrative as it is for the new models, but if ya don't have SOMETHIN' goin' on SOMEWHERE, nothin's gonna fall to the bottom line... those pesky profit margins and quarterly results just gotta keep trending up, up, up... you know what it's like with those wall street analysts... it's the same old story... "what have you done for me LATELY...?" damn, running a business is just so LOADED with daily challenges...!

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Four TONS of cocaine aboard Gulfstream jet that crashed in the Yucatan

less than 24 hours after i posted on the book, unholy alliance, a book which, among other things, deals with precisely this scenario, lookee what i read about this morning (courtesy of cryptogon) from what has become one of the few news outlets actually ATTEMPTING to give us the truth...

The four TONS of cocaine [emphasis added] found aboard a U.S.-registered business jet that crashed in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Monday belonged to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, this country's most notorious drug trafficker, Mexican authorities said Friday.


The complex sale of the Gulfstream II jet and its end in the Mexican jungle highlight the increasingly complicated illicit drug trade.

Gulfstream II

but wait, it gets better...
U.S. authorities say as much as 90 percent of the cocaine sold in the U.S. is shipped through Mexico.

At least three suspects, including a Mexican pilot, are in Mexican custody. Mexican authorities say two of the men offered them money if they would give back the cocaine and release any crewmembers.

and better...
A bill of sale obtained by McClatchy Newspapers indicates that Florida pilot Clyde O'Connor bought the plane on Sept. 16 — eight days before it went down in the Yucatan jungle. Another Florida pilot, identified by his license number and signature as Greg Smith, also signed the document, but his relationship to O'Connor isn't detailed.


Attempts to reach O'Connor and Smith weren't successful; the listed phone number for one of O'Connor's companies, Execstar Aviation in Fort Lauderdale, was disconnected.


Logs found on a plane-tracking Web site,, show that a flight plan was filed for the Gulfstream two days later for a trip from Fort Lauderdale to Cancun, but who piloted the craft is unknown. FAA records show that neither O'Connor nor Smith was certified to fly a multiengine aircraft like the Gulfstream. The plane crashed near Merida, 200 miles from Cancun.

but, you're REALLY gonna like THIS part...
Adding to the plane's mystery are allegations that it made trips in 2003, 2004 and 2005 between the United States and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the U.S. detention center for suspected terrorists is located.


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Friday, September 28, 2007

What have I done to deserve this?

my experiences of past winters in buenos aires have gone like this...

sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, rainy day, sunny day, all with pleasant, mild temperatures...

when i arrived back there at the end of july, it went like this...

rainy day, rainy day, rainy day, rainy day, rainy day, rainy day, sunny day, rainy day, all with chilly, damp temperatures...

i left buenos aires a week ago this past thursday... since then the weather there has been...

sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, sunny day, with very nearly perfect temperatures...

a week ago today, i arrived in texas, where it went like this...

hot humid day, hot humid day, hot humid day, hot humid day, hot humid day...

yesterday, i arrived back here in the high desert where it was in the high 70s and sunny... a few minutes ago, at 9 p.m., i took a break from playing a game with my grandsons to look out the window... it's snowing...

what have i done to deserve this...?

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as readers of this blog know, i rarely promote movies or books, other than to excerpt from them in support of points i am trying to make... the book, unholy alliance, by david yallop, published in 1999, is an exception... i doubt seriously if i would have ever stumbled across this book had not a friend in texas gently placed it in my hands and insisted i read it... i started it on tuesday and finished it this morning...

yallop isn't faulkner... yallop certainly isn't joyce... he might approach the intensity of dean koontz... however, yallop gives us something considerably more gripping than any of those authors... with no subterfuge or manipulative detail left out, yallop accurately predicts, from a vantage point of over eight years ago, much of what has taken place in front of our very eyes since the scotus decision of 12 december 2000 installed george w. bush in the white house, and initiated the rolling coup that has held the united states in a choke-hold for the past six and one-half years...

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There are two very clear options: Option A) Get everybody out by midnight tonight. Option B) Get everybody out by midnight tomorrow

spiegel interviews seymour hersh...

key points...

  • We have this wonderful capacity in America to Hitlerize people.
  • I have this theory in life that there is no learning. There is no learning curve. Everything is tabula rasa.
  • I always thought Henry Kissinger was a disaster because he lies like most people breathe and you can't have that in public life.
  • This guy [Bush] believes he's doing God's work.
  • There are two very clear options [in Iraq]: Option A) Get everybody out by midnight tonight. Option B) Get everybody out by midnight tomorrow.
  • The fuel that keeps the [Iraq] war going is us.
  • [T]he president has accepted ethnic cleansing [in Iraq].
here's some of the meat...
Hersh: We have this wonderful capacity in America to Hitlerize people. We had Hitler, and since Hitler we've had about 20 of them. Khrushchev and Mao and of course Stalin, and for a little while Gadhafi was our Hitler. And now we have this guy Ahmadinejad. The reality is, he's not nearly as powerful inside the country as we like to think he is. The Revolutionary Guards have direct control over the missile program and if there is a weapons program, they would be the ones running it. Not Ahmadinejad.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where does this feeling of urgency that the US has with Iran come from?

Hersh: Pressure from the White House. That's just their game.

: What interest does the White House have in moving us to the brink with Tehran?

: You have to ask yourself what interest we had 40 years ago for going to war in Vietnam. You'd think that in this country with so many smart people, that we can't possibly do the same dumb thing again. I have this theory in life that there is no learning. There is no learning curve. Everything is tabula rasa. Everybody has to discover things for themselves.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Even after Iraq? Aren't there strategic reasons for getting so deeply involved in the Middle East?

Hersh: Oh no. We're going to build democracy. The real thing in the mind of this president is he wants to reshape the Middle East and make it a model. He absolutely believes it. I always thought Henry Kissinger was a disaster because he lies like most people breathe and you can't have that in public life. But if it were Kissinger this time around, I'd actually be relieved because I'd know that the madness would be tied to some oil deal. But in this case, what you see is what you get. This guy believes he's doing God's work.

: So what are the options in Iraq?

Hersh: There are two very clear options: Option A) Get everybody out by midnight tonight. Option B) Get everybody out by midnight tomorrow. The fuel that keeps the war going is us.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A lot of people have been saying that the US presence there is a big part of the problem. Is anyone in the White House listening?

: No. The president is still talking about the "Surge" (eds. The "Surge" refers to President Bush's commitment of 20,000 additional troops to Iraq in the spring of 2007 in an attempt to improve security in the country.) as if it's going to unite the country. But the Surge was a con game of putting additional troops in there. We've basically Balkanized the place, building walls and walling off Sunnis from Shiites. And in Anbar Province, where there has been success, all of the Shiites are gone. They've simply split.

: Is that why there has been a drop in violence there?

: I think that's a much better reason than the fact that there are a couple more soldiers on the ground.

SPIEGEL ONLINE:So what are the lessons of the Surge ... ?

Hersh: The Surge means basically that, in some way, the president has accepted ethnic cleansing, whether he's talking about it or not.

and check out what hersh has to say about his old employer, the new york times...
The First Amendment failed and the American press failed the Constitution. We were jingoistic. And that was a terrible failing. I'm asked the question all the time: What happened to my old paper, the New York Times? And I now say, they stink. They missed it. They missed the biggest story of the time and they're going to have to live with it.

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The fraudulence of the "War on Terror"

nothing we don't know already...
The fraudulence of the "War on Terror," however, is clearly revealed in the pattern of subsequent facts:

  • In Afghanistan the state was overthrown instead of apprehending the terrorist. Offers by the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden were ignored, and he remains at large to this day.
  • In Iraq, when the United States invaded, there were no al Qaeda terrorists at all.
  • Both states have been supplied with puppet governments, and both are dotted with permanent U.S. military bases in strategic proximity to their hydrocarbon assets.
  • The U.S. embassy nearing completion in Baghdad is comprised of 21 multistory buildings on 104 acres of land. It will house 5,500 diplomats, staff and families. It is ten times larger than any other U.S. embassy in the world, but we have yet to be told why.
  • A 2006 National Intelligence Estimate shows the war in Iraq has exacerbated, not diminished, the threat of terrorism since 9/11. If the "War on Terror" is not a deception, it is a disastrously counterproductive failure.
  • Today two American and two British oil companies are poised to claim immense profits from 81 percent of Iraq's undeveloped crude oil reserves. They cannot proceed, however, until the Iraqi Parliament enacts a statute known as the "hydrocarbon framework law."
  • The features of postwar oil policy so heavily favoring the oil companies were crafted by the Bush administration State Department in 2002, a year before the invasion.
  • Drafting of the law itself was begun during Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority, with the invited participation of a number of major oil companies. The law was written in English and translated into Arabic only when it was due for Iraqi approval.
  • President Bush made passage of the hydrocarbon law a mandatory "benchmark" when he announced the troop surge in January of 2007.
but it never hurts to keep things like this exposed to the full light of day...

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Bush: one of the more monstrous figures in recent world history

juan cole...
Bush-Aznar Transcript: The War Crime of the Century

I made two claims about the transcript published by El Pais of Bush's conversations with Spanish leader Jose Maria Aznar on 22 February, 2003, at Crawford, Texas.

The first is that the transcript shows that Bush intended to disregard a negative outcome in his quest for a UN Security Council resolution authorizing a war against Iraq.


Bush made it very clear that he was willing to trash the charter of the United Nations and to take the world back to the 1930s,to an era of mass politics when powerful states launched wars of choice at will on the basis of fevered rhetoric and fits of pique.

The second claim that I made was that Bush was aware of, and rejected, an offer by Saddam Hussein to flee Iraq, probably for Saudi Arabia, presuming he could take out with him a billion dollars and some documents on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.


By refusing to allow Saddam to flee with guarantees, Bush ensured that a land war would have to be fought. This is one of the greatest crimes any US president ever committed, and it is all the more contemptible for being rooted in mere pride and petulance.

Note that even General Pervez Musharraf allowed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to go to Saudi Arabia with similar guarantees, even though Sharif was alleged to have attempted to cause Musharraf's death. A tinpot Pakistani general had more devotion to the good of his country, and more good sense, than did George W. Bush.

The passage in which Bush agrees with Aznar that it would be better if Baghdad fell without a fight refers to the possibility that the Iraqi officer corps would assassinate Saddam and decline to put up a fight. Bush would very much have liked such a fantasy to come true.

But he did not need to fantasize. He had a real offer in the hand, of Saddam's flight. He rejected it. By rejecting it, he will have killed at least a million persons and became one of the more monstrous figures in recent world history.

you can read the transcript here...

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

At $500M a minute, Gates requests biggest war funding yet

war, war, war, war, and semi-trailer trucks full of money to support it...
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked Congress yesterday to approve an additional $42.3 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing the Bush administration's 2008 war funding request to nearly $190 billion -- the largest single-year total for the wars so far.


The administration's funding request -- which came on the same day that the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of a nonbinding resolution calling for the split of Iraq into three semiautonomous regions -- would boost war spending this year by nearly 15 percent and would bring the total cost of both conflicts to more than $800 billion since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service.

and, to add an unfortunate note to the story, it was accompanied by this photo of troops training for iraq at ft. riley, kansas... note what i assume is a mannequin or dummy in the background, dressed (again, i assume) as an al qaeda terrorist...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The US Police State

I am finally released from my dial-up cage. So much has been happening and much of it goes unreported by the MSM. For instance, this article touches on the growing issue of police thuggery. Have you read about all of the protester arrests in DC for ridiculous reasons?
The situation is getting grim.
Paul Craig Roberts has some excellent links in this article, courtesy of Information Clearing House.

America’s Police Brutality Pandemic

By Paul Craig Roberts

09/26/07 "ICH" -- -- Bush’s “war on terror” quickly became Bush’s war on Iraqi civilians. So far over one million Iraqi civilians have lost their lives because of Bush’s invasion, and four million have been displaced. Iraq’s infrastructure is in ruins. Disease is rampart. Normal life has disappeared.

Self-righteous Americans justify these monstrous crimes as necessary to ensure their own safety from terrorist attack. Yet, Americans are in far greater danger from their own police forces than they are from foreign terrorists. Ironically, Bush’s “war on terror” has made Americans less safe at home by diminishing US civil liberty and turning an epidemic of US police brutality into a pandemic.

The only terrorist most Americans will ever encounter is a policeman with a badge, nightstick, mace and Taser. A Google search for “police brutality videos” turns up 2,210,000 entries. Some entries are foreign and some are probably duplications, but the number is so large that a person could do nothing but watch police brutality videos for the rest of his life. A search on “You Tube” alone turned up 2,280 police brutality videos. PrisonPlanet has a selection of the most outrageous recent cases. []

Police brutality has crossed the line from using excessive force against a resisting Rodney King to unprovoked gratuitous violence against persons offering no resistance, such as the elderly, women, students, and elected officials. Americans are not safe anywhere from police. Police attack Americans in university libraries, in public meetings, and in their own homes [ ].

Last week we had the case of the University of Florida student who was repeatedly Tasered without cause for asking Senator Kerry some good questions in the question and answer period following Kerry’s speech. Two days after the Florida student was gratuitously brutalized, Senate Republicans defeated Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy’s bill to restore habeas corpus protection. [ ]

A UCLA student was Tasered by police without cause for studying in the university library without having having his student ID on his person. Following police orders to leave, the student was walking toward the door when police grabbed him and repeatedly Tasered him.

On September 19, 2007 a young woman was repeatedly Tasered without cause by a large brutal cop in a parking lot outside a night club in Warren Ohio.

On September 14, 2007, Roseland, Indiana, city council member David Snyder was ejected from a council meeting by dictatorial council chairman Charlie Shields. Snyder had protested being limited to one minute to speak. Police goon Jack Tiller escorted Snyder out, and as Synder exited the building, Tiller, following behind, pushed Snyder to the ground and without cause began beating Snyder in the head with a nightstick. Snyder was hospitalized.

Local TV news stations throughout the US offer an endless stream of police brutality videos, which are then posted on the stations’ web sites, often with an opportunity for citizens to express their opinion of the incidents.

There are many disturbing aspects to police brutality cases.

One disturbing aspect is that the police always arrest the people that they have gratuitously brutalized. There was no justification whatsoever to arrest councilman Snyder, or the UCLA student, or the University of Florida student. The cops committed assault against innocent citizens. The cops should have been arrested for their criminal acts. Instead, the cops cover up their own crimes by arresting their victims on false charges that are invented to justify the unprovoked police violence against citizens.
Yet another disturbing aspect is that a minority of citizens will justify each act of police brutality no matter how brutal and how unprovoked. For example,’s poll of its viewers found that 64.2% agreed that Snyder was a victim of police brutality, but 27.8% thought that Snyder got what was coming to him. “Law and order conservatives” and other authoritarian personalities invariably defend acts of police brutality. Perhaps the police brutality pandemic will bring the day when we will be able to say that a civil libertarian is a law and order conservative who has been brutalized by police.

The most disturbing aspect is that the police usually get away with it.
The police are supreme. The militarization of the police, armed now with military weapons and trained to view the general public as the enemy, against whom “pain compliance” must be used, has placed every American at risk of personal injury and false arrest from our “public protectors.”

In “free and democratic America,” citizens are in such great danger from police that there are websites devoted to police brutality with online forms to report the brutality.

Nine years ago Human Rights Watch published a report entitled, “Shielded from Justice: Police Brutality and Accountability in the United States.” The report stated:

“Police abuse remains one of the most serious and divisive human rights violations in the United States. The excessive use of force by police officers, including unjustified shootings, severe beatings, fatal chokings, and rough treatment, persists because overwhelming barriers to accountability make it possible for officers who commit human rights violations to escape due punishment and often to repeat their offenses. Police or public officials greet each new report of brutality with denials or explain that the act was an aberration, while the administrative and criminal systems that should deter these abuses by holding officers accountable instead virtually guarantee them impunity.
“The brutality cases examined, which are set out in detail in chapters on each city, are similar to cases that continue to emerge in headlines and in survivors' complaints. It is important to note, however, that because it is difficult to obtain case information except where there is public scandal and/or prosecution, this report relies heavily on cases that have reached public attention; disciplinary action and criminal prosecution are even less common than the cases set out below would suggest. [...]
Who is a terrorist? If the police and the US government have the mentality of airport security, they cannot tell a terrorist from an 86-year old Marine general on his way to give a speech at West Point. Retired Marine Corps General Joseph J. Foss was delayed and nearly had his Medal of Honor confiscated. Airport security regarded the pin on the metal as a weapon that the 86-year old Marine general and former governor of South Dakota could use to hijack an airliner and commit a terrorist deed.

In America today, every citizen is a potential terrorist in the eyes of the authorities. Airport security makes this clear every minute of every day, as do the FBI and NSA with warrantless spying on our emails, postal mail, telephone calls, and every possible invasion of our privacy. We are all recipients of abuse of our constitutional rights whether or not we suffer beatings, Taserings, and false arrests.

The law makes it impossible for Americans to defend themselves from police brutality. Law and order conservatives have made it a felony with a long prison sentence to “assault a police officer.” Assaulting a police officer means that if a police thug intends to beat your brains out with his nightstick and you disarm your assailant, you have “assaulted a police officer.” If you are not shot on the spot by his backup, you will be convicted by a “law and order” jury and sent to prison.

No matter how gratuitous and violent the police brutality, a “free” American citizen can defend himself only at the expense, if not of his life, of a long stay in prison. Osama bin Laden must wish that he had such power over Americans(emphasis added).

I've been tasered, more than once. The first time was by my roomate in college, playing with his new toy.
He regretted it. So did the next guy.
Maybe that's why I ended up as an electrical engineer.
We need to raise awareness any way possible to these incidents. They speak directly to the loss of our Constitutional freedoms.
It's time to start fighting back.
Thanks to the Prof and the rest of the gang for all their hard work in the past weeks. I have felt very lame for not helping out.
Now I'm back, and I'm mad as hell!

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Daniel Ellsberg GETS IT, BIG-TIME!

this is an absolutely extraordinary speech... extraordinary not because it comes as any surprise to me, but extraordinary because daniel ellsberg actually GETS IT...
Editor’s Note: Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department analyst who leaked the secret Pentagon Papers history of the Vietnam War, offered insights into the looming war with Iran and the loss of liberty in the United States at an American University symposium on Sept. 20.

[The following are excerpts from an] edited transcript of Ellsberg’s remarkable speech:

I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.

If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth.

Will there be anything left for NSA to increase its surveillance of us? … They may be to the limit of their technical capability now, or they may not. But if they’re not now they will be after another 9/11.

And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an American attack on Iran, you will then see an increased attack on Iran – an escalation – which will be also accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this country, including detention camps.

It’s a little hard for me to distinguish the two contingencies; they could come together. Another 9/11 or an Iranian attack in which Iran’s reaction against Israel, against our shipping, against our troops in Iraq above all, possibly in this country, will justify the full panoply of measures that have been prepared now, legitimized, and to some extent written into law. …

This is an unusual gang, even for Republicans. [But] I think that the successors to this regime are not likely to roll back the assault on the Constitution. They will take advantage of it, they will exploit it.

Will Hillary Clinton as president decide to turn off NSA after the last five years of illegal surveillance? Will she deprive her administration her ability to protect United States citizens from possible terrorism by blinding herself and deafening herself to all that NSA can provide? I don’t think so.

Unless this somehow, by a change in our political climate, of a radical change, unless this gets rolled back in the next year or two before a new administration comes in – and there’s no move to do this at this point – unless that happens I don’t see it happening under the next administration, whether Republican or Democratic.


Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, that completes the first.


We are heading towards an insane operation. It is not certain. It is likely. … I want to try to be realistic myself here, to encourage us to do what we must do, what is needed to be done with the full recognition of the reality. Nothing is impossible.

What I’m talking about in the way of a police state, in the way of an attack on Iran is not certain. Nothing is certain, actually. However, I think it is probable, more likely than not, that in the next 15, 16 months of this administration we will see an attack on Iran. Probably. Whatever we do.

And … we will not succeed in moving Congress probably, and Congress probably will not stop the president from doing this. And that’s where we’re heading. That’s a very ugly, ugly prospect.

However, I think it’s up to us to work to increase that small perhaps – anyway not large – possibility and probability to avert this within the next 15 months, aside from the effort that we have to make for the rest of our lives.

i've been screaming my fool head off on exactly these points for what seems like FOREVER... what ellsberg is saying is so damn critical for our very SURVIVAL as a constitutionally-based, democratic republic, his points simply CANNOT be over-emphasized... god help us all, but we've GOT to do this... every single goddam day that passes that we don't is another step closer to potential disaster and ellsberg makes that point with total clarity...
Getting out of Iraq will take a long time. Averting Iran and averting a further coup in the face of a 9/11, another attack, is for right now, it can’t be put off. It will take a kind of political and moral courage of which we have seen very little…

please, please, can we see some courage...? PLEASE...??

(many thanks to robert parry at consortium news for making this important speech more widely available...)

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They're finally getting around to admitting they're vacuuming up ALL communication EVERYWHERE from EVERYONE

they've been doing this for a very long time, well before 9/11, well before george w. bush, and probably well before william jefferson clinton... the reason 9/11 "changed everything" is because it provided an excuse to pull out the rest of the stops and brainwash us into thinking it was all being done "for our own good..."
Powerful supercomputers are vacuuming up so much information that logs of calls to or from innocent Americans could exist in government databases indefinitely, the nation's top intelligence official said Tuesday.

"You may not even realize it's in the database because you do lots of collection," Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell said, referring to the "inadvertent collection" of Americans' communications through a vast surveillance program instituted after 9/11.

An untold number of communication logs on US citizens could exist within a National Security Agency database of information gained through warrantless wiretaps of foreigners abroad, McConnell said, because NSA spies do not examine the full contents on all the information it collects until it has a reason to do so.

they've been "sniffing" everything for years...

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A "misunderstanding" on Waxman's part - of COURSE it is

we're right, you're wrong... is that clear...? if not, let me say it again... we're right, you're wrong... is that better...? you think you've got it now...?
An ongoing battle between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a House committee investigating Iraqi government corruption and the activities of the Blackwater security firm erupted into another skirmish yesterday as Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) accused Rice of interfering with the committee's work and preventing administration and Blackwater officials from providing pertinent information.

In the latest of a series of exchanges, Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wrote Rice to urge that she "reconsider the unusual positions you are taking." Congress has a "constitutional prerogative" to look into the issues, he wrote, and she is "wrong to interfere with the Committee's inquiry."

State Department spokesman Tom Casey cited a "misunderstanding" on Waxman's part. "All information requested by the committee has been or is in the process of being provided," he said.

< sigh >

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"A government gone so wrong that it is using the terrorist's weapon of fear against its own people"

lying to get what you want is deeply entrenched in the very fabric of the bush administration...
Former US Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Fein joined Keith Olbermann to discuss recent charges that the Bush administration employed false intelligence to convince lawmakers they should temporarily expand domestic spying powers under the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

"These charges...are the most overt accusation yet of a government gone so wrong that it is using the terrorist's weapon of fear against its own people--and against other legislators who will not go along with the program," Olbermann said.


"The President continues to insist...that he can spy on Americans without warrants irrespective of what a statute says--that he has constitutional authority to override whatever Congress may do," said Fine.

"There is no disinclination of this administration," he continued "to stoop to misrepresentations and omissions to heighten the sense of danger to get whatever they wish in the legislative package."

it has been abundantly clear for a very, very long time that there is absolutely NOTHING this administation would not stoop to in order to get whatever they want...

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"Bush’s vision of his near-divine right to smite whomever he judges to be a dangerous enemy"

and people are having fits over what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had to say...
Bush to World: Up Is Down

By Robert Parry
September 25, 2007

George W. Bush – who asserts his unlimited personal authority to kill, kidnap, torture and spy on anyone of his choosing anywhere in the world – opened his annual speech to the United Nations by hailing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The U.S. President pushed the envelope of the world’s credulity even further by citing the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of 1948 as justification for his “war on terror” and his draconian policies for eliminating “terrorists” or other threats to world order with little or no due process.

“Achieving the promise of the Declaration requires confronting long-term threats; it also requires answering the immediate needs of today,” including destruction of terrorist networks and “bringing to justice their operatives,” Bush said in his Sept. 25 address to the United Nations.

However, Bush’s vision of his near-divine right to smite whomever he judges to be a dangerous enemy flies in the face of the actual Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Indeed, Bush must assume that no one in the American press will bother to even check what those rights entail.

i deeply resent that this bald-faced liar is speaking for me at the united nations (or anywhere, for that matter)...

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The American war party has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran

juan cole in salon...
The real reason [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's] visit is controversial is that the American right has decided the United States needs to go to war against Iran. Ahmadinejad is therefore being configured as an enemy head of state.


[T]he right has decided it is at war with Iran, so a routine visit by Iran's ceremonial president to the U.N. General Assembly has generated sparks.


[T]he American war party, undeterred by the quagmire in Iraq, convinced that their model of New Empire is working, is eager to go on the offensive again. They may yet find a pretext to plunge the United States into another war. Ahmadinejad's visit to New York this year will not include his visit to Ground Zero, because that is hallowed ground for American patriotism and he is being depicted as not just a critic of the United States but as the leader of an enemy state. His visit may, however, be ground zero for the next big military struggle of the United States in the Middle East, one that really will make Iraq look like a cakewalk.

war, war, war... at the root, that's what my country is all about... war is the engine that drives the whole shebang... without war, the united states would dry up and blow away...

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Barbara Ehrenreich: "In the case of health care, we have identified the enemy, and the time has come to crush it"

barbara ehrenreich has the right idea... let's wage war on the REAL enemy... now, THERE'S a concept...!
The private health insurance industry is not big because it relentlessly seeks out new customers. Unlike any other industry, this one grows by rejecting customers. No matter how shabby you look, Cartier, Lexus, or Nordstrom’s will happily take your money. Not Aetna. If you have a prior conviction -- excuse me, a pre-existing condition -- it doesn’t want your business. Private health insurance is only for people who aren’t likely to ever get sick. In fact, why call it “insurance,” which normally embodies the notion of risk-sharing? This is extortion. [emphasis added]

Think of the damage. An estimated 18,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford or can’t qualify for health insurance. That’s the 9/11 carnage multiplied by three -- every year. Not to mention all the people who are stuck in jobs they hate because they don’t dare lose their current insurance.

Saddam Hussein never killed 18,000 Americans or anything close; nor did the U.S.S.R. Yet we faced down those "enemies" with huge patriotic bluster, vast military expenditures, and, in the case of Saddam, armed intervention. So why does the U.S. soil its pants and cower in fear when confronted with the insurance industry?

And what about the two to three million insurance industry employees whose sole job it is to turn down claims? Well, I have a plan for them: It’s called unemployment. What country in its right mind would pay millions of people to deny other people health care?

I’m not mean, though. If we had the kind of universal, single-payer, health insurance Kucinich is advocating, private health insurance workers would continue to be covered even after they are laid off. As for the health insurance company executives, there should be an adequate job training program for them – perhaps as home health aides.

Fellow citizens, where is the old macho spirit that has sustained us through countless conflicts against enemies both real and imagined? In the case of health care, we have identified the enemy, and the time has come to crush it.

isn't it way past time to start waging war against our REAL oppressors...?

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Alan Greenspan's comedy gold

ya gotta love tom tomorrow...

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday bleah...!

and that's all i have to say today...

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