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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, November 17, 2007

L. Ron Hubbard made sense here

from Build Freedom: What Hubbard of Scientology Said:

THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them. When you find an individual is lying to you, you know that the individual is trying to control you. One way or another this individual is trying to control you. That is the mechanism of control. This individual is lying to you because he is trying to control you -- because if they give you enough misinformation they will pull you down the tone scale so that they can control you. Conversely, if you see an impulse on the part of a human being to control you, you know very well that that human being is lying to you. Not 'is going to', but 'is' lying to you.

Check these facts, you will find they are always true. That person who is trying to control you is lying to you. He's got to tell you lies in order to continue control, because the second you start telling anybody close to the truth, you start releasing him and he gets tougher and tougher to control. So, you can't control somebody without telling them a bunch of lies. You will find that very often Command has this as its greatest weakness. It will try to control instead of leading. The next thing you know, it is lying to the [illegible]. Lie, lie, lie, and it gets worse and worse, and all of a sudden the thing blows up.

Well, religion has done this. Organized religion tries to control, so therefore must be lying. After a while it figures out (even itself) that it is lying, and then it starts down tone scale further and further, and all of a sudden people get down along this spring-like bottom (heresy) and say, 'Are we going into apathy and die, or are we going to revolt?" And they revolt, because you can only lie to people so long.

Unfortunately there is always a new cycle of lying.'"

-- L. Ron Hubbard, 'Technique 88'


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Nietzsche niceties

from Build Freedom: What Nietzsche Said:

"There are still peoples and herds somewhere, but not with us, my brothers: here there are states.

The state? What is that? Well then! Now open your ears, for now I shall speak to you of the death of peoples.

The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth; 'I, the state, am the people.'

It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

It is destroyers who set snares for many and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred desires over them.

Where a people still exists, there the people do not understand the state and hate it as the evil eye and sin against custom and law.

I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language. It invented this language for itself in custom and law.

But the state lies in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it says, it lies -- and whatever it has, it has stolen.

Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth. Even its belly is false.

Confusion of the language of good and evil; I offer you this sign of the state. Truly, this sign indicates the will to death! Truly, it beckons to the preachers of death!

Many too many are born: the state was invented for the superfluous!

Just see how it lures them, the many-too-many! How it devours them, and chews them, and re-chews them!

...It would like to range heroes and honorable men about it, this new idol! It likes to sun itself in the sunshine of good consciences -- this cold monster!

It will give you everything if you worship it, this new idol: thus it buys for itself the luster of your virtues and the glance of your proud eyes.

It wants to use you to lure the many-too-many. Yes, a cunning device of Hell has here been devised, a horse of death jingling with the trappings of divine honors!

Yes, a death for many has here been devised that glorifies itself as life: truly a heart-felt service to all preachers of death!

I call it the state where everyone, good and bad, is a poison-drinker: the state where everyone, good and bad, loses himself: the state where universal slow suicide is called -- life."

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Bill Moyers on the FCC vs. We, The People

this was put up on moyers' pbs site yesterday... make no mistake... what is described here is part and parcel of the constitutional crisis in the united states where, slowly and very, very surely, we the people are subjected to ever more homogenized, corporate and government-approved propaganda...

the fcc public comment period ends december 11... you can make your views known here...

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The "liberal, progressive" blogosphere and the constitutional crisis

doomsy at the liberal doomsayer offered this comment in response to my oft-stated lament about the on-going u.s. constitutional crisis being so poorly covered among the 2008 presidential candidates, the traditional media, and, most dishearteningly of all, the so-called "liberal, progressive" blogosphere...
[C]oncerning our blogging brethren, can someone please explain to me why the WGA strike is more important to them than preserving what's left of our constitution?

interestingly enough, i have been back and forth over the past week with the proprietor of a major "a" list liberal blog, attempting to convince him to take up the baton on the constitutional crisis, sadly, without much success... when i say "back and forth," i'm only referring to a couple of email exchanges, because i simply have no interest in engaging in a long, drawn-out email argument, nor do i want to spend much of my precious energy reserves preaching to a rock... i also don't want to be a nuisance... however, today, i sent him a long piece that was, i thought, a fairly well-documented laundry list of constitutional stretches (if not outright crimes) contained within an equally long list of power abuses by the bush administration [see the piece here]... this is what i got back... (note: i am deliberately leaving this person unidentified...)
The problem I have with sources like that, sources I don't even know

and thus I have no clue if they're credible, is that not only do I

not know if this person is twisting the truth with his "facts," but

his facts are based on other Web sites I've never even heard of.

Sorry, but I'm not going to go on a wild goose chase, checking out

500 sources and then their sources too, to see if this guy has any

credibility. Get me an article from a real publication that has a

track record of truth and accuracy.

after reading that, i thought to myself, ok, so much for that... then i thought, wait, i need to respond, but in such a way that i am honestly and sincerely, without rancor, calling his bluff... here's what i wrote in response...
that's precisely the not at all subtle, dismissive response i anticipated... of course, you MUST satisfy yourself about source credibility... no one, myself included, would have any respect for you if you didn't do that, consistently and exhaustively... i do my own due diligence, to be sure, and don't expect you to rely on my say-so... i will accept your challenge to provide "real" sources, but only if you're willing to not shoot me out of the saddle with dismissive comments like "wild goose chase..." the constitutional crisis, imho, is quite real and sitting there like a ticking time bomb... my key professional skill, among others, is pattern recognition... it's what i do... i see pieces and assemble them in my mind until a picture starts to emerge... i imagine that's what you do as well... i can and will offer you pieces - credible pieces from "real" sources (altho' these days, i'm not entirely sure what qualifies as a "real" source, so i will say "established" sources instead) - but you must be the one to put them together...

i am a very small fish in the blogosphere, [name redacted]... i've never aspired to be more... you are a big fish, one i respect... i have and continue to be frustrated over why the "big fish" of the liberal and progressive blogosphere, the ones i read many times a day, can continue to put things like the wga strike [h/t doomsy] higher on the list than the constitutional crisis, when it is precisely the destruction of the separate-but-equal, balance of powers constitutional structure that has led our country to its present sorry state... if i didn't feel so passionately about that issue, [name redacted], i wouldn't be bothering you or attempting to send you off on a "wild goose chase..." i think you've got enough smarts to see what i and an increasing number of others are seeing... don't prove me wrong...

i'll be backatcha, but probably not tomorrow... otoh, if you'd prefer that i just shut the hell up, say so and i won't clutter up your inbox... i'm not up for either an argument or "dueling sources..." my energy would be better spent elsewhere...

now you, constant reader, can tell me whether i succeeded at all in my honest, sincere, sans rancor response, but i still submit this exchange as exhibit "a" in where the "liberal, progressive" blogosphere is coming from...

his response to my response so far...?

< crickets >

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Whatever are we to do?

it's the question asked by the movie, lions for lambs... what are we willing to stand for...?
The question now is what are the American people willing to do to assure that what is truly in the best interests of the nation will prevail? Will they continue to be manipulated by the fear which has been the basis of the Bush/Cheney mode of governance? Will they continue to act as obedient puppets as it becomes harder and harder to earn a living and raise a family in an economy throttled by debt and a declining standard of living? Will they simply vote for whom they are told to support by the media and the pollsters? Or will some decide that enough is enough and resolve to take America back in 2008?

But even if they do, can they succeed?


Can anything be done? Of course. The underlying problem is that the power and wealth acquired by the U.S. after World War II has eroded - has perhaps been squandered - as the rest of the world has grown up. Certainly, if the right people were in charge the U.S. could accept the inevitable, rebuild its failed domestic economy on democratic principles, and assume its rightful place as one of several major world powers, with the responsibility this would entail. Instead, we have been trying to hold onto what has slipped away by a continued resort to financial aggression combined with force of arms, rather than altruistic action based on enlightened ideals.

It's a failed mission. What has happened to America in the last decade is turning into the greatest tragedy of modern history.

And what can ordinary people do while all this is unfolding? The best advice seems to be not to try to hoard paper assets, which the elite are able easily to manipulate or devalue. It's to get out of debt, hone our manual skills, invest in a small business, grow our own food, stay positive, help others, work hard, eschew the consumption lifestyle, pray and meditate, be sober, and learn to think for ourselves. We might try to work within the political system if we can and want to, but should not count on easy successes, because, as the man said, "It's a hard rain's gonna fall."

the author of the above, richard cook, sees a "hard rain..." i can certainly see how he would think that, but i think it could just as easily go the other way... i may be guilty of totally unfounded optimism, but i just so happen to believe that something major is going to happen that will result in an amazing change for the better... why do i think that...? ya know, i honestly can't say... it's just a feeling i have... and, hey... i'm just as entitled to predict good stuff as someone else is to predict bad stuff...

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persuasion and moral sway

This simple animation of Garrett Lisi's elegant model of his new Unified Field Theory is narrated by a voice that sounds similar to that of the Red Queen in the movie, Resident Evil (2002), (starring the very sexy Milla Jovovich.)

(That voice for the Red Queen in Resident Evil belongs to Michaela Dicker.)

Which got me to thinking: Wouldn't Alex Jones' films be far more effective if a voice such as that of the Red Queen narrated his documentaries, rather than his own gravely and grating, saw-toothed raspy, irritating sound-of-a-voice? Is Jones so locked into his own ego that he would not want his message to be far more effectively delivered, than simply merely coveting attention to himself as the messenger?

Because I really am suspecting that the Bilderbergs, (or whatever incarnation they happen to be disguised as, at any given time), really ARE the force financing billions for their pet projects in ruling the world. Much like Alex Jones has said.

I have not to my satisfaction, even begun to get close to disproving this current notion, even with all of my logic thrown at it.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

George Bush and Dick Cheney are enemies of the state and the Democrats giving them aid and comfort are guilty of treason

let's cut to the chase...
The enemies are President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. Like no other president and vice president in history, these men attacked their country.

It was not our geography George Bush and Richard Cheney invaded. Instead they abandoned and subverted the bedrock institution of our constitutional democracy: the rule of law. By word and deed, Mr. Bush repeatedly and arrogantly sets himself above the law, claiming obedience to be a matter of presidential choice. Mr. Cheney orchestrates, coaches, applauds and iterates.

This cannot stand if the country we know and cherish is to survive. George Bush and Richard Cheney are literally enemies of the state; long before now and by any measure of constitutional justice, they should have been impeached and removed from office.

Abjectly, continuously and stubbornly refusing to hold them accountable, however, the mainstream Democrats adhere to this criminal president and vice president: Nothing they have asked for has been denied, no barriers placed in their way. That is giving them aid and comfort, and that is treason. George Bush and Richard Cheney took the country to war illegally, with a deliberate, carefully designed and executed package of fear-mongering propaganda: lies, distortions and deceptions. No informed citizen entertains the slightest doubt about this.


For the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of the integrity of the Congress, for the sake of the country's future and incidentally for the sake of a potential Democratic victory in 2008, the politics of truth and justice must be showcased. The Judiciary Committtee must hold hearings immediately, to see if impeachment is in fact warranted -- and polls say the greater part of the country thinks it is.

If the mainstream Democrats will not do this, if their treason continues, then decent and thinking citizens everywhere -- concerned patriots all -- can only weep for their country.

this topic should have been front and center at last night's democratic debate in las vegas, but noo-o-o-ooo... i'm weeping...

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George W. Bush, Defender of the United States Constitution

a page right of the karl rove playbook... portray yourself as the unequaled champion of the very thing you have worked so hard to destroy...


It's genuinely hard to believe that the writers of George Bush's speech last night to the Federalist Society weren't knowingly satirizing him. They actually had him say this:

When the Founders drafted the Constitution, they had a clear understanding of tyranny. They also had a clear idea about how to prevent it from ever taking root in America. Their solution was to separate the government's powers into three co-equal branches: the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. Each of these branches plays a vital role in our free society. Each serves as a check on the others. And to preserve our liberty, each must meet its responsibilities -- and resist the temptation to encroach on the powers the Constitution accords to others.
Then they went even further and this came out:
The President's oath of office commits him to do his best to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." I take these words seriously. I believe these words mean what they say.
To top it all off -- by which point they must have been cackling uncontrollably -- they had him say this:
Others take a different view. . . . They forgot that our Constitution lives because we respect it enough to adhere to its words. (Applause.) Ours is the oldest written Constitution in the world. It is the foundation of America's experiment in self-government. And it will continue to live only so long as we continue to recognize its wisdom and division of authority.

and then we have robert parry...
To many Americans who have been aghast at Bush’s six-plus years of trampling the Constitution, such pronouncements might represent a textbook case of “cognitive dissonance,” a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension when one’s stated principles are at odds with one’s actions.

For Bush, however, this divergence of words from behavior may be closer to the fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, when the monarch strutted about in invisible garments while his terrified subjects kept quiet about his nakedness.

In this case, the Washington press corps reported on Bush’s speech as if the President were entirely sincere and left out contradictory facts.

parry, in his usual fine fashion, goes on to define the tactic bush used in his speech, a tactic i will forever associate with karl rove...
In a broader sense, Bush’s Nov. 15 speech reflected what has been a core rhetorical device of the modern American Right, the clever use of cognitive dissonance – the confident assertion of positions that fly in the face of reality.


Bush has proved to be a master of this technique because he shows even fewer scrupples than the average politician in making claims that are at clear variance with the truth.

For instance, in his last two addresses to the United Nations General Assembly, Bush has hailed the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights although its tenets are in contradiction of his claims that he can kill, kidnap, detain, torture and spy on anyone of his choosing anywhere in the world.

Nevertheless, Bush displayed a well-founded confidence that the U.S. press corps wouldn’t challenge him on these obvious hypocrisies – and he was right. [See’s “Bush to World: Up Is Down.”]

Indeed, one of the most successful features of Bush’s presidency may be his ability to exploit cognitive dissonance to avoid accountability for his actions. While Bush doesn’t blush when his actions belie his words, the American political system can’t seem to cope, incapable of either reconciling Bush’s dishonesty or enforcing any accountability upon him.

god, what a loser... i simply don't know how our country is going to survive with this man at the helm and, worse, if the mechanisms of unfettered executive power that he has put in place aren't dismantled and rendered inoperative by the time the next president takes the oath of office on 20 january 2009...

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Krugman on Obama: promising "to transcend partisanship in an age when that’s neither possible nor desirable"

more < duh >...

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"If Congress wants to maintain its Constitutional role, it needs to stand up for itself"

< duh >

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Yeah, it's from Edwards and, yeah, it's from last night's debate

which i didn't watch, nor did i bother to read anything about it until just now... BUT... edwards makes an important statement toward the end... if he had just said something about our constitutional crisis, i would have been deliriously happy... unfortunately, he didn't, but it's still a strong statement...

however, as juan cole points out, some think edwards took a dive...

from david yepsen in the des moines register via juan cole...

Yepsen reserves his severest judgment for John Edwards, who, he says, "should have stayed home," and who got booed for labeling Clinton a "corporate Democrat." He writes:
Edwards also had a poor night because for the first time, the differences between his votes as a U.S. senator and his talk now came into clear focus. He voted for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and using Yucca Mountain as a nuclear-waste disposal site. Those votes are at odds with the populist rhetoric he serves up today, and it will undermine the credibility of his message.

and the beat goes on...

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Senate Judiciary Committee drops telecom immunity provision

unbelievable how these little victories in battles we should never have had to fight in the first goddam place make me feel like breaking out another bottle of argentine malbec...

(thanks to john at americablog...)

Civil liberties groups got a stunningly unexpected win Thursday as the Senate Judiciary panel passed their version of the new government spying bill out of committee without including a provision giving immunity to telecoms being sued for helping the government secretly spy on Americans.

The biggest winner from the development is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose suit against AT&T in federal court would almost certainly have been wiped out by the immunity provision.

The provision - which was part of the version passed by the Senate Intelligence committee in mid-October - was widely expected to make it into the bill, due to the administration's full court press on the issue, the telcos small army of lobbyists and the vocal support of California Democrat Dianne Feintstein. Feinstein's vote was expected to reverse the Dems 10-9 advantage in the committee.

But after a long day of complicated finagling over technical amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and proposed alternatives to total immunity for companies such as AT&T and Verizon, committeee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) decided to send the bill out of committee without an agreement on immunity.

The eavesdropping bill before the House also lacks immunity for telecommunications companies.

oh, and btw, F*** you, difi...

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Vanessa Redgrave reads a letter from Murat Kurnaz, a former Guantánamo detainee

courtesy of the center for constitutional rights...

no regular or intermittent visitor to this blog will remain unexposed for long to the the burning passion that i and my fellow bloggers have for bringing the united states back under the rule of law and the principles of the u.s. constitution... arguably, the constitutional crisis that has most acutely been felt in the nearly seven years of the bush administration is the most critical issue ever faced by our republic... nothing any of us can do on behalf of our country is even a tenth as important as restoring our constitution and the rule of law...

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Two fathers

very sweet and very cool... thanks to john at americablog...

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Big Brother is eavesdropping

Big Brother
from Slate: "State Your Secrets":

"We agree with the administration that state secrets should be protected at all costs."

Huh? Are they nuts? At all costs? Armageddon? Total lockdown? Absolute fealty to all that is anathema, loathsome, repugnant and vile, masquerading as government?

The state secrets are otherwise known as CRIMES!

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the rogue government

In taking original FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's own words, that the FBI's mission includes to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize" specific groups and individuals, we can probably now better substitute the word "out", for the word "expose", given contemporary usage and for a clearer understanding.

In Senator Rockefeller's (now where have we heard that family name before?) apologetics for the telecoms, he paints a picture that companies like AT&T are some kind of witless, hapless and unwitting dupes of the government's overreach.

They are anything but. Evidence abounds that AT&T is an instigator, that they are actually often out front, pitching Big Brother technological possibilities to government, (much like SAIC is known to do, as with their plans for Total Information Awareness, and also with their bleeding-edge work in the field of psyops). It is all about the data mining.

In a truly revealing microcosmic example of what government is doing, consider how regular folks currently utilize Usenet and BitTorrent. All manner of downloads are available to those in the know on these two layers of the Internet: binaries of music, movies, software, child porn, etc, despite copyright or taboos. Unfettered political commentary and analysis often even leads ahead of the blogs there. It is still like the Wild, Wild West, or like pre-copyright conscious China, where the brightest minds were sampling everything and discerning in real time, all that is best.

Now scale that up a gazillion times and you have a picture of how government grabs virtually everything and crunches it to see how it might serve government as a means for political control. And realize why government knows it must stop individuals from doing what it does, on their much contrasting scale. Usenet and BitTorrent are the closest things to genuine equalizers that the People have going, at the moment.

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Three generations of war profiteering, genocide, gangsterism, corruption, and rape of the U.S. Constitution

that about sums it up, eh...?

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CASMII's fact sheet about the Iran-US Standoff

we occasionally see bits and pieces of these scattered about our own media, usually in the blogosphere, but rarely in traditional media outlets...

(note: the 20 items listed below are excerpts... to read the 20 in their entirety, go here... they are also available in a downloadable PDF format...)

1. There is no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme in Iran . The US and its allies pressure Iran to prove that it is not hiding a nuclear weapons programme. This demand is logically impossible to satisfy and serves to make diplomacy fail in order to force regime change.
2. Iran 's need for nuclear power generation is real. Even when Iran 's population was one-third of what it is today, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, negotiating on behalf of President Gerald Ford, persuaded the former Shah that Iran needed over twenty nuclear reactors.
3. The "crisis" over Iran 's nuclear programme lacks the urgency claimed by Washington . Weapons grade uranium must be enriched at least to 85%. A 2005 CIA report determined that it could take Iran 10 years to achieve this level of enrichment. Many independent nuclear experts have stated that Iran would face formidable technical obstacles if it tried to enrich uranium beyond the 3.5% purity required for electricity generation.
4. Iran has met its obligations under the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran voluntarily accepted and enforced safeguards stricter than IAEA's Additional Protocol until February 2006, when Iran 's nuclear file was reported, under the pressure from the US , to the Security Council. (The US , by contrast, has neither signed nor implemented the Additional Protocol, and Israel has refused to sign the NPT.)
5. Iran has given unprecedented concessions on its nuclear programme.
6. Enrichment of uranium for a civilian nuclear programme is Iran 's inalienable right. Every member of the NPT has the right to enrich uranium for a civilian nuclear programme and is entitled to full technical assistance.
7. The Western alliance has not tried true diplomacy and relies instead on threats.
8. The UN resolutions against Iran , in contrast to the treatment of the US allies, South Korea , India , Pakistan , and Israel , smack of double standards. For example, in the year 2000, South Korea enriched 200 milligrams of uranium to near-weapons grade (up to 77%), but was not referred to the UN Security Council.
9. Iran has not threatened Israel or attacked another country. The track records of the US , Israel , the UK and France are very different. These so called “democracies” have a bloody history of invading other countries. Iran 's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has declared repeatedly that Iran will not attack or threaten any country. He has also issued a fatwa against the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons and banned nuclear weapons as sacrilegious.
10. The US “democratization” programme for Iran is a hoax. Although violations of human rights and democratic freedoms do occur too often in Iran , the country has the most pluralistic system in a region dominated by undemocratic client states of the US . It is sheer hypocrisy for the US, which turns a blind eye to the gross human rights abuses by its allies, such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Libya, and Egypt, to misrepresent its agenda in Iran as a “democratization” programme.
11. There are no legal bases for Iran 's referral to the UN Security Council. Since there is no evidence that Iran is even contemplating to weaponize its nuclear programme, no grounds exist for this sidelining of the IAEA.
12. Dr ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, has said that more sanctions are counterproductive. Economic sanctions on Iran will harm the people of Iran , as they were devastating to Iraqis, resulting in the death of at least 500,000 children. Sanctions would not however bring the Islamic Republic to its knees. Instead, any kind of sanctions, including the so-called "targeted" or "smart" sanctions, are viewed by the Iranian people as the West's punishment for Iran 's scientific progress (uranium enrichment for reactor fuel).
13. Sanctions are not better than war; they can be exploited as a diplomatic veneer and a provocative prelude to military attack, as they were in Iraq .
14. A US attack on Iran is imminent. The end of George Bush's presidency in 2009 could be a serious set back for the NeoCons' hegemonic dreams to control the energy resources in the region. He is unlikely to leave office bearing the legacy of failures in Afghanistan and Iraq and particularly leaving Iran a stronger player in the region.
15. Foreign state interference in Iran violates the UN charter. According to Seymour Hersch, the US is running covert operations in Iran to foment unrest and ethnic conflict for the purpose of regime change.
16. Reports of nuclear attack scenarios against Iran can serve to raise the public's tolerance for an act of aggression with conventional military means. People of conscience and sanity must not only condemn even contemplation of a nuclear attack, but also denounce any conventional attack.
17. Bombing cannot end Iran 's nuclear programme. Since Iran already has the expertise to enrich uranium up to the 3.5% grade for a fuel cycle, no degree of bombing will halt Iran 's civilian nuclear programme.
18. An attack on Iran will unite Iranians against the US and its allies. A great majority of the public in Iran support the country's right to enrich uranium for civilian purposes.
19. A nuclear attack on Iran would fuel a new nuclear arms race and ruin the NPT. Any military intervention against Iran will lead to a regional catastrophe and expanded terrorism.
20. The cause of democracy in Iran will suffer gravely if the country is attacked. President Bush's "axis of evil" rhetoric severely undermined the reformist movement in Iran at a time when the country's president promoted Dialogue Among Civilizations.

about casmii...
Mission Statement

CASMII is an independent campaign organisation with the purpose of opposing sanctions, foreign state interference and military intervention in Iran.

Statement of Purpose

The on-going demonization of Iran as part of the "axis of evil" first initiated by George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Speech, together with the more recent, growing threats of sanctions and military action by the US and Israel against Iran, all continue to seriously escalate international tension.

They are likely to lead to a catastrophe even more horrifying than the present disaster in Iraq, threatening international peace and security. The future of Iran, and its political system and leadership, must be determined solely by the collective will of the Iranian people themselves and not through foreign state interference or intervention.

Increasing international tensions and conflict are destructive to the causes of peace, justice and democracy. We appeal to people of all faiths as well as to people with a secular outlook and those of all political and ideological persuasions, to join us in building an effective international campaign for peace and dialogue, and against sanctions, foreign state interference, destabilization and military intervention in Iran.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

typical lawmakers do harm

Here's how Tom Delay ran this like the lawmakers' grandstanding over Terri Schiavo:
H. CON. RES. 107
Expressing the sense of Congress rejecting the conclusions of a recent article published by the American Psychological Association that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children.
May 12, 1999
Mr. SALMON (for himself, Mr. DELAY, Mr. PITTS, and Mr. WELDON of Florida) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce

Expressing the sense of Congress rejecting the conclusions of a recent article published by the American Psychological Association that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children might be positive for children.
Whereas children are a precious gift and responsibility given to parents by God;
Whereas the spiritual, physical, and mental well-being of children is their sacred duty;
Whereas parents have the right to expect government to refrain from interfering with them in fulfilling their sacred duty and to render necessary assistance;
Whereas the United States Supreme Court has held that parents `who have this primary responsibility for children's well-being are entitled to the support of laws designed to aid discharge of that responsibility' (Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629, 639 (1968));
Whereas no segment of our society is more critical to the future of human survival and society than our children;
Whereas it is the obligation of all public policymakers not only to support but also to defend the health and rights of parents, families, and children;
Whereas information endangering children is being made public and, in some instances, may be given unwarranted or unintended credibility through release under professional titles or through professional organizations;
Whereas elected officials have a duty to inform and counter actions they consider damaging to children, parents, families, and society;
Whereas Congress has made sexual molestation and exploitation of children a felony;
Whereas all credible studies in this area, including those published by the American Psychological Association, condemn child sexual abuse as criminal and harmful to children;
Whereas the American Psychological Association has recently published a severely flawed study that suggests that sexual relationships between adults and children are less harmful than believed and might even be positive for `willing' children;
Whereas `Paidika--the Journal of Pedophilia', a publication advocating the legalization of sex with `willing' children, has published an article by one of the authors of the study, Robert Bauserman, Ph.D. (see `Man-Boy Sexual Relationships in a Cross-Cultural Perspective', Issue 5); and
Whereas the United States Supreme Court has recognized that `sexually exploited children are unable to develop healthy, affectionate relationships in later life, have sexual dysfunction, and have a tendency to become sexual abusers as adults' (New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747, 759, n.10 (1982)): Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that--
(1) Congress condemns and denounces all suggestions in the study recently published by the American Psychological Association that indicates sexual relationships between adults and `willing' children are less harmful than believed and might even be positive for `willing' children;
(2) Congress urges the President to likewise reject and condemn, in the strongest terms possible, any suggestion that sexual relations between children and adults--regardless of the child's frame of mind--are anything but abusive, destructive, exploitive, reprehensible, and punishable by law; and
(3) the Congress encourages competent investigations to continue to research the effects of child sexual abuse using the best methodology so that the public and public policymakers may act upon accurate information.

The bottom line is clear to understand: The system is by far, causing the harm, not the sexual activity. The lawmakers have done the bulk of this damage.

Primum non nocere. "First, do no harm." It reminds a physician to consider the possible harm that may result from intervention. Iatrogenics is "Doctor induced illness". These laws are clearly a case of legislators doing heinous harm.

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the findings are clear

Now some peer review:

Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman:
Politically Incorrect - Scientifically Correct

-- Thomas D. Oellerich --


The response to the Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman (1998) study was surprising. But the response of the American Psychological Association (APA) was, to say the least, startling and distressing. Rather than responding to the outcry provoked by this study with a discussion of the right of and importance for scientists to publish unpopular findings, the APA chose to distance itself from the study. This distancing included the assertion that child sexual abuse (CSA) causes serious harm and that "such activity should never be considered harmless ...'(American Psychological Association,' 1999; emphasis in the original). Additionally, the statement ignored the recommendation of Rind et al. to differentiate abusive sexual behavior from the non-abusive.

This paper addresses these two issues. First, it asserts that the idea that adult/nonadult sexual behavior 'should never be considered harmless' is not based on the evidence. Second, it supports the importance of differentiating abusive and nonabusive adult/nonadult sexual behavior both in the research and practice arenas. Additionally, this paper explains why a professional organization, such as the APA, would distance itself from the Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman's report. Lastly, it makes recommendations with respect to responding to the problem of adult/nonadult sexual behavior.

The issues

First, the blanket statement that the sexual abuse of children is harmful to its victims is false. And its falsity has been attested to since the 'discovery of child sexual abuse.' For example, in 1975, David Walters identified as one of the major myths surrounding CSA was that it caused lasting psychological harm. He asserted that what harm may be experienced by the child was due to factors extrinsic to the sexual abuse itself:

Most of the psychological damage, if any, stems not from the abuse but from the interpretation of the abuse and the handling of the situation by parents, medical personnel, law enforcement and school officials, and social workers

Four years later, Finkelhor (1979) proposed an ethical justification for prohibiting adult/child (defined as a prepubertal youngster) sexual behavior. The reason for using an ethical justification was that the justification based on psychological harm lacked cogency. According to Finkelhor, it was empirically weak since 'it is possible that a majority of these children are not harmed'(p.693).

More recently, the Past President of the APA, Martin Seligman (1994), argued that the case for CSA being a 'special destroyer of adult mental health' (p.'232) was far from proven. The existing research indicating harm, according to him,'abandoned methodological niceties'(p.233). These studies were characterized by sampling bias, lack of adequate control groups, and a failure to consider alternative explanations for the findings. He wrote:'Once the ideology is stripped away, we still remain ignorant about whether sexual abuse in childhood wreaks damage in adult life and, if so, how much'(p.234).

Of significance is the fact that the weight of the evidence, when objectively considered, has supported the notion that CSA is neither necessarily nor typically harmful. For example, Constantine (1981) reviewed 30 studies. He found that

20 report at least some subjects without ill effects;'13 of those conclude that, for the majority of subjects, there is essentially no harm; and six even identify some subjects for whom, by self-evaluation or other criteria, the childhood sexual encounter was a positive or possibly beneficial experience (p.'224).

In his review of 25 studies, Conte (1985), taking issue with Constantine's using the research 'to make a case for 'legitimate instances of child-adult sex', concluded that 'a review of the literature describing the effects of sexual abuse on children leads irrefutably to the ambiguous conclusion that sexual abuse appears to affect some victims and not others'(p.'117).

Similarly, Browne and Finkelhor (1986) reviewed 28 studies. They found that among adults who had experienced CSA less than 20 percent evidenced serious psychopathology. They noted with concern the efforts of child advocates to exaggerate the harmful effects for political purposes because of its potential to harm the victims and their families:

Advocates [should] not exaggerate or overstate the intensity or inevitability of [negative] consequences [because] victims and their families [...] may be further victimized by exaggerated claims about the effects of sexual abuse (p.'178).

Kendall-Tackett, Williams, and Finkelhor (1993) reviewed 45 studies. They found that up to 49 percent of the sexually abused children suffered no psychological harm. They concluded that a lack of symptoms could not be used to rule out sexual abuse since 'there are too many sexually abused children who are apparently asymptomatic' (p.'175). Further, among the children who were symptomatic, symptom abatement occurred for most within two years with or without treatment. These authors also found that when sexually abused children in treatment were compared with nonabused children in treatment, the sexually abused were less symptomatic than their nonabused clinical counterparts (p.'165).

In 1997, Rind and Tromovitch conducted a meta-analytic review of seven studies on the effects of child sexual abuse. Unlike prior reviews which were based primarily on clinical samples, this review involved studies that used national probability samples: four were from the United States, and one each, from Great Britain, Canada, and Spain. The findings indicated that child sexual abuse 'is not associated with pervasive harm and that harm, when it occurs, is not typically intense' (p.'237). The findings of Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman, which caused the recent maelstrom, simply confirmed this earlier study.

Moreover, it has not been demonstrated that CSA has any influence upon the adult personality. For example, Beitchman, Zucker, Hood, DaCosta, Akman, and Cassavia (1992) reviewed 32 studies. They concluded that the evidence suggested that CSA has serious long-term effects, but that it was not clear to what extent these effects were due to CSA per se (p.'115). Levitt and Pinnell (1995) concluded, based on their review of the literature, that 'the traditionally accepted link between childhood sexual abuse as an isolated cause and psychopathology in adulthood lacks empirical verification'(p.151). The Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman study(1998) indicated that CSA is non-causative. They reported that CSA-adjustment relations became nonsignificant when family environment was controlled for. Indeed, the evidence tends to confirm Seligman's earlier conclusion that

the case for childhood trauma - in anything but its most brutal form - influencing adult personality is in the minds of the inner-child advocates. It is not to be found in the data (p.'235).

Thus, contrary to the APA's assertion that CSA should never be considered harmless, quite the opposite is the case. That is, the empirical evidence gives no reason to consider CSA as necessarily or even usually harmful.

Second, based on their findings, Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman made the important recommendation that the scientific community use more neutral terms to study the phenomena of adult-child and adult-adolescent sexual behavior. In their view, abusive sexual behavior would be reserved to situations involving an unwanted sexual encounter with negative reactions. Those situations involving a willing encounter with positive reactions would be labeled simply adult-child sex or adult-adolescent sex (p.'46). One might wish to further refine this recommendation (e.g., abuse should be defined when the child/adolescent is unwilling regardless of whether their action was negative or not).

Similarly, Browne and Finkelhor (1986) reviewed 28 studies. They found that among adults who had experienced CSA less than 20 percent evidenced serious psychopathology. They noted with concern the efforts of child advocates to exaggerate the harmful effects for political purposes because of its potential to harm the victims and their families:

advocates [should] not exaggerate or overstate the intensity or inevitability of [negative] consequences [because] victims and their families [...] may be further victimized by exaggerated claims about the effects of sexual abuse (p. 178).


But there is an additional reason - money. As noted by Dineen (1999), the psychology industry (which she defined broadly to include psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, clinical social workers and psychotherapists) needs victims to justify the expansion of its domain and, thus, it "manufactures victims." A similar point was made earlier by Tavris (1993) with respect to the incest-survivor recovery movement. CSA is a problem widely exploited by professionals according to Costin, Karger, and Stoesz (1996):

the rediscovery of child abuse by the middle class has also led to the growth of a child abuse industry composed of opportunistic psychotherapists and aggressive attorneys who have prospered from child sexual abuse, exploiting adults who have evidence of having been abused and encouraging memory recall from those who haven't. ... Clearly, the psychological paradigm of child abuse has been a godsend ... for mental health professionals looking for new diseases. Unfortunately, one of the casualties of this new industry has been adult victims, who risk being victimized yet again, this time by a child abuse industry seeking out new forms of economic growth. ...

... Ironically, a public that is sympathetic to the plight of abused and neglected children fails to understand that it foots much of the bill for an out-of-control and demand-driven legal and psychotherapy industry.... (p. 7)


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OK, here's the wire service reporting that helped fuel the controversy:
Political storm swirls over psychology journal article on child sex 'abuse'
By Erica Goode, NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE, June 24,'1999

Few people took notice last July when Psychological Bulletin, an academic psychology journal, carried a lengthy, jargon-heavy report titled 'A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples.'

Nearly a year later, the study, its authors and the American Psychological Association, which publishes the journal, are at the center of a political storm.

The study concludes that the effects of sexual abuse on children are not always severe. Conservatives such as radio talk-show host Laura Schlessinger and House Majority Whip Tom DeLay have declared that the study trivializes the impact of such abuse and condones pedophilia.

Janet Parshall, a spokeswoman for the Family Research Council, a fund-raising organization for social conservative causes, said the article 'gives pedophiles a green flag.' Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., introduced a resolution in Congress in May condemning the article.

The researchers also questioned the practice, common in many studies, of lumping all types of sexual abuse together. They argued that treating all forms of sexual abuse equally presents problems that, the researchers wrote,''are perhaps most apparent when contrasting cases such as the repeated rape of a 5-year-old girl by her father and the willing sexual involvement of a mature 15-year-old adolescent boy with an unrelated adult.'

In the first case, serious harm may result, Rind and his colleagues maintained, but the second case "may represent only a violation of social norms with no implication for personal harm.'

The authors also suggested that the term 'adult-adolescent sex' or 'adult-child sex' be substituted, in some cases, for 'child sexual abuse.'

Rind, in a statement released by Temple University, said:

'Our article went through rigorous peer review in one of the most difficult journals in psychology to publish in. Even though our study has been criticized by certain persons in the media, many psychologists at academic institutions have praised it as being excellent work.'"

Hey, they've got to sell newspapers.

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this now rogue government

Two salient videos that respond to this now rogue government which has clearly gone astray, include Amy Goodman's interview of Studs Terkel on Democracy Now!

The Huffington Post/Truthout's interview of Jeremy Scahill on the exigent dangers that Blackwater poses to America, is another.

Both videos are well worth your time, by going into explaining the illegitimacy of our government, as it has been unlawfully exercising its authority.

In "DECEPTION 101 - PRIMER ON DECEPTION", it states: "there is no constitutional principle that says that the President of the United States or the Executive Branch must tell the truth." -- Joseph W. Caddell (pdf)

That perhaps explains the cheap shot that George Bush took at teenagers on Tuesday, as if any teenager has ever burned money like him. The off-hand slight appears to have been timed to set the public up for agreement that teenagers are irresponsible, concomitant with government's plans to ram through yet more laws marginalizing kids on the Internet with yet even more child apartheid bills that they are constantly and malevolently springing by the fistfuls.

Next, consider how the deception practiced by government doesn't just trade genocide for oil, or treat people like the Blacks and Native American Indians were treated; they are presumably poised to hand out billions of dollars to private cronies such as Blackwater in order to enforce their frauds. Can you imagine Blackwater with billion dollar computers? Yet additional billions and billions of dollars have gone missing alongside government's myriad deceits, so how does the common man stand against that kind of wicked, crooked and ruthless power? Aside from government's weapons of killing and torture and imprisoning and taxing, deception appears to be their next effective cudgel. Should we believe anything then, that issues from the mouths of government?

By the time people realize that the State has its own sexual appetites and it will not be happy ultimately with its cameras only in the master bedrooms, it should at that point be easier for all to see that government cameras are eventually destined for the children's bedrooms and baths, as well, so that with all this newfangled micro-management, government will know the exact moment that the children step out of line as well.

Incidentally, the record shows that laws against pornography are of historically recent advent and that the initial purpose was to keep children from masturbating at all in the first place. That surely will make former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders scowl.

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cheap shot artists in government

(h/t) DU for pointing us to "Naomi Wolf / Viet Dinh interview, Part 2"

And just when you think things cannot get any more over-the-top Draconian, with religion masquerading as law, now Pravda reports this: "US House of Representatives to fight against sex predators in Internet".

The U.S. House of Representatives will track down people who use the Internet to prey on children, working through bills that would make it easier to monitor and prosecute cyber crimes against juveniles and to educate children about online dangers.

'We need to think of this as a war', said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, sponsor of one of a half-dozen sex predator, child pornography and Internet safety bills heading for passage Wednesday. The bills were put together by the Democratic majority but enjoyed wide bipartisan support.

Her bill would approve spending $1 billion (680 million EUR) over the next eight years to combat online child exploitation. It would create a Justice Department office to coordinate prosecution efforts; increases money for a program that helps state and local law enforcement; and provides more dollars to hire agents and improve forensic lab capabilities dedicated to child exploitation cases. It passed 415-2.

She said law enforcement has identified nearly 500,000 individuals trafficking in child pornography over the Internet, but because of a lack of resources, only about 2 percent are under investigation.

The other bills would:

-Approve $5 million (3.4 million EUR) a year for five years for an initiative that conducts Internet safety programs for children. An additional $5 million a year would go for competitive grants for similar initiatives. The bill passed by voice vote.

-Respond to a court decision last year to throw out a child pornography conviction on the grounds that the material moved on the Internet did not constitute interstate commerce. It would specify that Internet transmissions do fulfill the commerce clause. A vote on the bill sponsored was pending.

-Enhance federal agent and probation officer efforts to monitor the computer use of convicted sex offenders. It would authorize courts to require, as a condition of probation, that convicted sex offenders cooperate in installing Internet filtering and monitoring systems. The bill also would increase prison terms for those who lie about their age in order to engage in criminal sexual conduct with a minor. It passed 417-0.

-Make it easier to prosecute federal child pornography law. The proposal would clarify that knowingly accessing child pornography on the Internet constitutes possession even if the person does not download or save the content. It also would subject those who profit from child pornography to money laundering charges. A vote on the bill was pending.

-Require the Federal Trade Commission to increase public awareness and education about Internet safety. The proposal, passed 398-6."

Do the American people, or heck, the people-of-the-world, (since they're all pretty much herded too by this country's machinations and coercion), have any idea how gullible they are to this kind of manipulation?

I predicted there would be a slew of giga-crap coming out of this government about the time they ram through the Telcom Immunity Bill. So now it seems quite clear that their warrantless domestic spying has been carried out on this pretext all along, at "policing pornography". Now we understand a great deal better, at least some of the nature of their as-of-yet undisclosed breadth and extent of their illegal spying.

This legislation is long the product of lies, worse now that ever before. Government has long since put the commercial studios producing actual child sex videos, out of business. Yet they claim it is now a $30 billion industry. It is nothing near the sort. They then put the nude model sites out of business. Now they are claiming it is the ultimate felony to appreciate child bathing suit and underwear models. These lawmakers are SICK, SICK, SICK. There now remain but a very limited number of baithing suit and underwear models sites at this point in time.

The government no longer even posts decoy sites with nudes, as they claim clothed-sites qualify as pornography, so putting up nude decoy sites seems to them no longer necessary.

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hidden hands and machinations

Here is an interview of Naomi Wolf by Viet Dinh, who is responsible for writing much of the cursed P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act.

The following description can be found posted liberally around the Web, and it builds upon some of the understanding of what we learned from Alex Jones' video posted here previously, that mentioned the House of Rothschild:

Adam Weishaupt, a young professor of canon law at Ingolstadt University in Germany, was a Jesuit priest and an initiate of the Illuminati. Researchers agree that he was financed by the House of Rothschild (mentioned in 'Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars'). Weishaupt advocated 'abolition of all ordered national governments, abolition of inheritance, abolition of private property, abolition of patriotism, abolition of the individual home and family life as the cell from which all civilizations have stemmed, and abolition of all religions established and existing so that the ideology of totalitarianism may be imposed on mankind.' In the same year that he founded the Illuminati he published Wealth of Nations, the book that provided the ideological foundation for capitalism and for the Industrial Revolution. It is no accident that the Declaration of Independence was written in the same year. Every tenet was the same.

Date and beliefs confirm that Weishaupt's Illuminati is the same as the Afghan Illuminated Ones and the other cults which called themselves 'illuminated.' The Alumbrados of Spain were the same as were the 'illuminated' Guerinets of France. In the United States they were known as the Jacobin clubs. Secrets within secrets within secrets--but always at the heart is the Brotherhood. Weishaupt was betrayed and set up for persecution because he ignored the rule that the word 'illuminati' or the existence of the Brotherhood would never be exposed to public knowledge. His exposure and outlawing accomplished several goals of the still - hidden and still very powerful brotherhood. It allowed members to debunk claims of its existence on the grounds that the Illuminati had been exposed and outlawed and thus was no longer a reality. It allowed members to deny allegations of conspiracy of any kind. Weishaupt may have been a fool--or he may have been doing exactly what he was told. Weishaupt said, 'The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment; let it never appear in its own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation.'"

Found at the forbidden knowledge:

[T]here is a power so organized, so subtle, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." -- President Woodrow Wilson


The "real" Illuminati is the name of an organization founded in Bavaria in 1776 by Adam Weishaupt. Weishaupt formed a secret society within another secret society, Freemasonry. Some believe that Weishaupt created the Illuminati with the express purpose of overthrowing governments and bringing about a new social order. Others, as you will read, disagree. Many opinions exist as to the origins, motives, and the ultimate fate of the Illuminati.


Some (e.g. M. William Cooper) believe that the Illuminati were purposely allowed to flourish within the Lodges of Freemasonry, so that they could eventually claim that the had been invaded unknowingly, but the awful conspiracy had been squelched. This, according to Cooper, is a cover to deflect accusations, and to hide the fact that it merely went underground to resurface later under myriad different names.


'The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment; let it never appear in any place in its own name, but always concealed by another name, and another occupation. None is fitter than the lower degrees of Freemasonry; the public is accustomed to it, expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it. Next to this, the form of a learned or literary society is best suited to our purpose, and had Freemasonry not existed, this cover would have been employed; and it may be much more than a cover, it may be a powerful engine in our hands... A Literary Society is the most proper form for the introduction of our Order into any state where we are yet strangers.'

-- John Robinson, quoting Adam Weishaupt, in "Proofs of a Conspiracy" 1798, re-printed by Western Islands, Boston, 1967, p. 112

So does it really matter whether they are concealed as Freemasons, Skull and Bones, or Bilderbergs, at any given particular point in time?

Following the destruction of a regional 50-year-old nudist colony to a government-sanctioned pogrom, I became quite attuned to those religious crusades, all about.

So when I learned, in 2001, that the Freemasons were hosting a multi-national conference to eliminate child pornography and to raise the age-of-consent, uniformly, among the states and the countries of the world, I made it a point to attend. The conference was attended by government officials and members of academia alike, who thereupon, declared a crusade. They cunningly manufactured quite a scare.

Here is from an article posted in the Register that same year:

America fully brainwashed by cybercrime FUD
By: Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 03/04/2001 at 22:15 GMT

Child-protective hysterics who want to eavesdrop on the electronic comings and goings of ordinary citizens in the name of legions of exploited little lambs have successfully won the hearts and washed the brains of nearly all Americans.

The US populace is 'deeply worried' about Internet crime; and on-line kiddie porn looms as the greatest terror in the collective imagination. Fully ninety-two per cent of Americans -- far more than have ever so much as touched a personal computer -- claim to be outraged by Internet KP, and half characterize it as 'the single most heinous crime that takes place on line', according to a new survey by the Pew Charitable Trust Internet Project.


Second on the menu of imagined horrors terrifying Americans is credit card theft. Eighty-seven per cent are 'concerned' and sixty-nine per cent are 'very concerned', in spite of the glaring fact that only a tiny handful have actually had their account numbers stolen and misused due to Internet shopping.

'Only eight per cent of those who say their credit card was swiped reported that the thief might have gotten the information because the consumer had provided it on line', the survey notes.

As with the kiddie porn horror, women are slightly more frightened of on-line fraudsters than men by a margin of seventy-two to sixty-five per cent.

Next comes the widespread anxiety of Internet terrorism, with eighty-two per cent of Americans claiming to be 'concerned' about organized efforts to bring all of civilization to its knees with viruses and packet floods. As one might expect, those who have never used the Internet are considerably more eager to believe in it.

Fear of contracting viruses and Trojans, and being victimized by malicious hackers, rounds out the list of persistent fears keeping America awake all night.

So it was at this point quite clear, that the campaign of the morals crusaders was to provoke a total surveillance of the Internet, on concocted fear-mongering.

In June 2001, the then Surgeon General, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., included the following paragraph in his report on our need for each reclaiming our sexuality, and thus mitigated some of the moral crusader's, laboriously concocted, tempest-in-a-teapot:

[T]his Surgeon General's Call to Action is offered as a framework.

It is, however, only a first step-a call to begin a mature and thoughtful discussion about sexuality. We must understand that sexuality encompasses more than sexual behavior, that the many aspects of sexuality include not only the physical, but the mental and spiritual as well, and that sexuality is a core component of personality. Sexuality is a fundamental part of human life. While the problems usually associated with sexual behavior are real and need to be addressed, human sexuality also has significant meaning and value in each individual's life. This call, and the discussion it is meant to generate, is not just intended for health care professionals or policy makers. It is intended for parents, teachers, clergy, social service professionals - all of us."

When 911 came along, these shadowy powers simply substituted that pretext, instead.

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an interesting development...

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Brian De Palma's "Redacted"

the trailer...

a disturbing clip...
from the website...
REDACTED radically engages viewers in the way images and information are disseminated in a time of war. A profound meditation on the way information is packaged, distributed and received in an era with infinite channels of communication, REDACTED exposes the extreme disconnect between the manipulation of images and information and the truth, especially timely as opposition to the Iraq War continues to mount.

Centered around a small group of American soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in Iraq, REDACTED utilises multiple points of view, balancing the experiences of these young men under duress and the media with those of the local Iraqi people caught in between, illuminating how each have been deeply affected by the Iraq war and the implications of redacting or editing on all of us.

A passionate anti-war film, Brian De Palma's REDACTED is a thrilling return to form for the filmmaker and an urgent call to put an end to the current conflict in Iraq.

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The FISA bill and telecom immunity

click the chart which will take you to chris dodd's site... then, all you have to do is click on the senator you want to call, and they will place the call for you if you provide a callback number...

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Cafferty file: viewer comments on "redefining privacy"

additional thoughts after my post on the 11th and mettle's post of the 12th...

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Benazir Bhutto's niece calls b.s. on Aunt Benazir

i'm not entirely sure why i'm so fascinated with the happenings in pakistan... maybe it's that they are, in a broken mirror kind of way, illustrating many of the same dynamics that go on here in the u.s., to say nothing of the kind of people the u.s. government chooses to support...

once again, pakistan, pervez musharraf and benazir bhutto are in the news... this time, one of musharraf's principal opponents has been arrested, pervez says he'll give up his military role, and bhutto calls for him to resign... but, as bhutto's niece notes, in this la times op-ed, bhutto remains in a comfortable house arrest...

Aunt Benazir's false promises

Bhutto's return bodes poorly for Pakistan -- and for democracy there.
By Fatima Bhutto
November 14, 2007

KARACHI -- We Pakistanis live in uncertain times. Emergency rule has been imposed for the 13th time in our short 60-year history. Thousands of lawyers have been arrested, some charged with sedition and treason; the chief justice has been deposed; and a draconian media law -- shutting down all private news channels -- has been drafted.

Perhaps the most bizarre part of this circus has been the hijacking of the democratic cause by my aunt, the twice-disgraced former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. While she was hashing out a deal to share power with Gen. Pervez Musharraf last month, she repeatedly insisted that without her, democracy in Pakistan would be a lost cause. Now that the situation has changed, she's saying that she wants Musharraf to step down and that she'd like to make a deal with his opponents -- but still, she says, she's the savior of democracy.

The reality, however, is that there is no one better placed to benefit from emergency rule than she is. Along with the leaders of prominent Islamic parties, she has been spared the violent retributions of emergency law. Yes, she now appears to be facing seven days of house arrest, but what does that really mean? While she was supposedly under house arrest at her Islamabad residence last week, 50 or so of her party members were comfortably allowed to join her. She addressed the media twice from her garden, protected by police given to her by the state, and was not reprimanded for holding a news conference. (By contrast, the very suggestion that they might hold a news conference has placed hundreds of other political activists under real arrest, in real jails.)

Ms. Bhutto's political posturing is sheer pantomime. Her negotiations with the military and her unseemly willingness until just a few days ago to take part in Musharraf's regime have signaled once and for all to the growing legions of fundamentalists across South Asia that democracy is just a guise for dictatorship.

It is widely believed that Ms. Bhutto lost both her governments on grounds of massive corruption. She and her husband, a man who came to be known in Pakistan as "Mr. 10%," have been accused of stealing more than $1 billion from Pakistan's treasury. She is appealing a money-laundering conviction by the Swiss courts involving about $11 million. Corruption cases in Britain and Spain are ongoing.

It was particularly unappealing of Ms. Bhutto to ask Musharraf to bypass the courts and drop the many corruption cases that still face her in Pakistan. He agreed, creating the odiously titled National Reconciliation Ordinance in order to do so. Her collaboration with him was so unsubtle that people on the streets are now calling her party, the Pakistan People's Party, the Pervez People's Party. Now she might like to distance herself, but it's too late.

naturally, the wapo gives us NOTHING of benazir's background, and i'm certainly not the only one who notices... this from a commenter on the wapo article...
Bud0 wrote:
Do we have to paint everything in black and white? Musharraf is a dictator, but that doesn't make Bhutto (or Sharif or Imran Khan) a saint.

I think readers deserve to know that these are all millionaire aristocrats who got into politics so they could siphon the national treasury to their family's bank account.

And the dirtiest of the three is Bhutto, whose wealth is estimated at $1.5 billion, since her father and her both took turns looting Pakistan's coffers.

She also faces criminal money-laundering investigations in both Spain and Switzerland.

This woman is no Aung San Suu Kyi. In fact she has a lot more in common with Ahmed Chalabi.

That's why I get antsy when the Post seems to push her. Everyone knows she's Bush's new chosen puppet, that the US govt engineered her return. Is she now to be wafted in to power on a magic carpet of uncritical media coverage?

context-free journalism... gotta love it...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Following up on mettle's post, "Capture that Internet!"

i've been posting on this since back in november 2005, when i reported on the world summit on the information society (wsis) in tunis, where there was a challenge mounted to the u.s. control of icann (internet corporation for assigned names and numbers)... then, in april last year, dhs took it into its head that it wanted the master key to the dns root zone...
from daily kos via raw story...
Slashdot and Cryptome report that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is demanding the master key for the DNS root zone - a demand that has other nations alarmed. With the master key, DHS would have control over the Internet, as Slashdot describes, quoting an "anonymous reader."


When other nations are worried, Americans, too, should be concerned. The Bush administration has demonstrated that it is unable to wield power responsibly. Therefore, its demand for Internet control should be viewed as an opportunity to abuse its authority to control a medium that has played a critical role in holding it accountable.

as i posted back in november 2005, this is undoubtedly part of the reason the u.s. was so adamant at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis about leaving ICANN in u.s. hands...
[T]he Internet status quo has been maintained, allowing the US-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit private entity working under an agreement with the US government, to remain as the main governing body of the global computer network.

be afraid... be very afraid...

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Bush mocks teenagers

In an act of monumental hypocrisy, Bush mocked teenagers, in a speech, Tuesday. (from ABC):
The president said Congress is like "a teenager with a new credit card" for wanting to spend $22 billion more than the White House would allow on nonwar-related funding bills."

Bush took the cheap shot at teenagers perhaps because he regards them as essentially powerless to object, as they are still largely denied suffrage and in most cases, cannot vote.

Bush seems to have overlooked better and much-closer-to-home examples of profligate spending such as that by those members of his own party, so notorious for sheer pork-style spending, such as that of Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska's infamous Gravina Island "Bridge to Nowhere".

Bush did manage to avoid invoking the standard and shopworn cliché of "spending like drunken sailors". Presumably, most sailors can vote.

Bush seemed to ignore his own record deficit spending while showering his wealthy and elite supporters, again and again, with fabulous tax breaks. He didn't mention the billions and billions of dollars which have virtually gone missing in his war and on his watch. He didn't mention his affinity for doling out no-bid contracts so generously to his powerful friends, either.

It remains interesting that many prominent people such as HBO's comedian Bill Maher loudly call for amending Section 5 of Article II of the Constitution to allow for Austrian-born, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for President. The argument advanced, goes the same as by those that insisted that the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed, in order to allow Ronald Reagan to run for a 3rd term: "The People should be allowed to choose anyone they want to be their president."

And yet if these same proponents were intellectually honest, they would include calls for repeal of the age requirement clause in Section 5 of Article II as well. But bigots in general do not often rise above hypocrisy. As evidenced by Bush's speech as recently as Tuesday, Ageism is still as popular as ever as rampant bigotry.

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Capture that Internet!

from Spiegel: "E-Resistance Blooms in Pakistan":
With the media muzzled, citizens are blogging and using sites like Facebook to spread news and organize "flash" protests against Musharraf's emergency rule."

Is it no wonder, with the administration looking to Burma / Myanmar and Pakistan, as proofs-of-concept paradigms, just how important it is to the administration to capture the Internet and to render it into the likeness of the already controlled mainstream media?

Is it also no wonder then that the "US control over Internet dominates discussion at UN conference in Brazil", (from the Sydney Morning Herald):

'The Internet is transnational. It can't be under the authority of one country or even some countries', said Brazil's Culture Minister Gilberto Gil, who is also a major pop star here, setting the conference's tone at the opening ceremony. 'The Internet should be the territory of everyone.'"

Do you really suppose that there's any chance that the government is going to miss a chance to bring about wholesale privatization of the Internet by end-running 'Net Neutrality, by starting with voting for Telcom Immunity?

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Ron Paul: Dennis Kucinich "is an honest person"

very interesting...

thanks to glenn greenwald...

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Glenn Greenwald on Ron Paul and Jonah Goldberg

i'm not going to excerpt either of the two most current posts over at glenn's corner at salon, but i am going to strongly recommend that you read them both, one on ron paul, and the other on the sub-species of human being known as jonah goldberg...

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Chris Dodd at the JJ dinner in Iowa

of all the coverage of the various speeches given at the jefferson-jackson dinner in iowa, none mentioned dodd's speech... perhaps i missed it... anyway, here's the youtube clip, thanks to tim at the dodd campaign...

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The Military Commissions Act: "not designed to be fair; it's designed to produce convictions"

i took myself to a movie yesterday afternoon, lions for lambs, starring tom cruise, robert redford, and meryl streep... its tagline is, "what do you stand for?" a totally relevant question as we watch our country and our precious constitution being systematically lobotomized... following events as closely as i do is not a recipe for lightheartedness anyway, but i felt unusually glum after seeing this film... now, the morning after, i see nothing to mitigate the gloom...
Unique to the tribunal system that is governed by neither U.S. criminal law nor the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the commissions allow liberal use of classified evidence that a defendant doesn't get to see and protective orders that shield the identity of witnesses, interrogators and informants.

Defense lawyers for the terrorism suspects contend that the deck is stacked against them in preparing their cases. They say the administration officials running the tribunals can hide critical information and helpful testimony from the defense.

The extent to which the government can thwart defense preparation became apparent last week just 36 hours before the Thursday arraignment of Canadian war-crimes suspect Omar Khadr. His Navy lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. William C. Kuebler, learned then that the commissions' hierarchy had known for five years of a U.S. government employee who was an eyewitness to the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan in which Khadr is accused of having thrown the grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces medic.

The eyewitness' account contradicts the government version of events and could exonerate Khadr of the war crimes with which he is charged: murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, spying and material support for terrorism.

"They weren't going to tell us who he was or how to get in touch with him or where he was," said Kuebler, who has been lobbying the Canadian government to demand repatriation of his client so he can be tried "in a legitimate system."

"This is a process that's not designed to be fair; it's designed to produce convictions," Kuebler added.

my every waking moment is a prayer for restoring our constitution and the rule of law, and virtually every waking moment i see no real movement toward that end...

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The Benazir Bhutto back-story we aren't being told [UPDATE]

oddly enough, i had completely forgotten about the fact that benazir bhutto fled pakistan a number of years ago under the threat of corruption charges, and it wasn't until today, after reading several articles and posts in, naturally, non-U.S. media, that i remembered... and, of course, i WOULDN'T have remembered at all if i had stuck with our oh-so-context-free media here in the united states...

what our media aren't telling us, this from radio netherlands worldwide...

There are ... many observers in Lahore and Islamabad who don't believe there's a real power struggle going on between Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto. They argue that it's a matter of a well-orchestrated piece of theatre, with former prime minister Bhutto publicly denouncing the president, while supporting him in secret. One observer, speaking close to the barricades, comments: "She wants Musharraf's support, and so she's supporting him."

Bhutto spent more than seven years living in self-imposed exile, in connection with charges of corruption made against her in Pakistan. Following negotiations between her and Musharraf, which began at the end of 2006, she returned to Pakistan in October this year. The charges against her were dropped. The talks were said to have been aimed at bringing democracy back to Pakistan and have now - according to Bhutto - been ended. President Musharraf, however, has always denied being involved in any negotiations with Ms Bhutto.


Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party is the only party which has made its voice heard in the protests. Bhutto has also been the only opposition leader who's been given the opportunity to speak to the press while under house arrest. This is one reason why observers think that her power struggle with Musharraf is perhaps being staged. "She has it in her power to get large numbers of people onto the streets, but she's not doing that," is the comment from one observer at the barricade.


ARY, a local TV station which can now only be received via satellite, reports that police officers have been given orders not to arrest any senior figures from Bhutto's party. Rightly or wrongly, the suspicions remain.

puts a few things in perspective, right...?


here's the context-free, benazir bhutto "back-story" as it appears in the nyt...

Ms. Bhutto was prime minister of Pakistan twice and was twice dismissed before she was able to complete her terms.

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So much for Condi's plan for Pakistan by tempering Musharraf with Bhutto

whatever deal was made is obviously off now...

juan cole...

Opposition politician Benazir Bhutto has called for Gen. Pervez Musharraf to resign as president of Pakistan, and says she will never serve as prime minister under him. He put her back under house arrest on Tuesday.

My guess is that Benazir Bhutto will now be deported by Musharraf. He only let her back into the country under pressure from Secretary of State Condi Rice in the first place because she made a deal to cohabit with him politically.

However annoyed the Bush administration may be with Musharraf for letting the veil of 'democracy' drop and revealing clearly what a dictator he is, I can't imagine Washington backing Ms. Bhutto against the Pakistani military!

condi is a spectacularly ineffective diplomat... hard to believe the right-wing nutcases were actually pushing her for president not all that long ago...
Political associates of Secretary of State Condi Rice are stirring the 2008 presidential pot on her behalf. While she takes the high road, they're pushing her name out there. "She definitely wants to be president," said one. But, the friend added, Rice isn't planning on quitting to run. "She wants to be drafted," he said.

thank god THAT one died a natural death...

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