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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 01/06/2008 - 01/13/2008
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Every election in modern US history has been a criminal manipulation"

larry chin at global research...
Every election in modern US history has been a criminal manipulation, choreographed and rigged by political elites and performed by hand-picked elite puppets, each backed by their teams of corrupt war criminals, intelligence/security “advisors” and think tank assets. The 2008 affair will be no different.

It is time once again to dispel the mass insanity and unfounded hopes as another fresh election hell ensues. There will be no savior, no end to the continuing world crisis, and absolutely no “change."

in all seriousness, review this extensive list and then tell me if you think there is a snowball's chance in hell of seeing ANY change in the status quo WHATSOEVER no matter which one of these yay-hoos gets elected...

more larry chin...

Some of the most nightmarish individuals who walk the earth today can be found behind the candidates, as follows:

Hillary Clinton

Madeleine K. Albright, President Clinton’s secretary of state and now chairperson of the National Democratic Institute, foreign policy adviser
Samuel R. Berger, President Clinton’s national security adviser and now a principal at business consultancy Stonebridge, foreign policy adviser
Lt. Gen. Daniel William Christman, a former West Point superintendent and now senior vice president for international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, foreign policy adviser
Gen. Wesley K. Clark, President Clinton’s Kosovo commander and now a Democratic fundraiser, endorsed Sen. Clinton Sept. 15
John H. Dalton, President Clinton’s Navy secretary and now president of the Financial Services Roundtable’s Housing Policy Council, veterans and military retirees for Hillary
Lee Feinstein, a deputy in President Clinton’s State Department, national security coordinator
Leslie H. Gelb; president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, a former New York Times correspondent and a former State and Defense Department official, informal adviser
Richard C. Holbrooke, President Clinton’s UN ambassador and broker of the Dayton Peace Accords (and now a Washington Post columnist), foreign policy adviser
Martin S. Indyk, President Clinton’s ambassador to Israel and now director of Brookings’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, foreign policy adviser
Gen. John M. ("Jack") Keane, a former Army vice chief of staff who co-crafted the Iraq "surge" and is now a military analyst (sometimes for ABC news), military issues adviser
Lt. Gen. Claudia J. Kennedy, former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, veterans and military retirees for Hillary
Lt. Gen. Donald L. Kerrick, President Clinton’s deputy national security adviser, organizes meetings of retired officers
Col. Andrew F. Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, briefed Hillary Clinton as well as Sen. John McCain and Gov. Bill Richardson
Vali Nasr, Naval Postgraduate School professor, Middle East adviser
Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings senior fellow and former Congressional Budget Office defense and foreign policy analyst, supporter
Rep. (and retired Vice Adm.) Joseph Sestak, veterans and military retirees for Hillary
Andrew Shapiro, Sen. Clinton’s Senate foreign policy staffer
Jeffrey H. Smith, former CIA general counsel and now a partner leading the public policy and government contracts group of law firm Arnold & Porter, national security adviser
Strobe Talbott, Brookings president, informal adviser
Togo D. West, President Clinton’s secretary for veterans affairs and former secretary of the Army, veterans and military retirees for Hillary
Former Amb. Joseph C. Wilson IV, the half of the Plamegate couple who criticized the administration for using questionable evidence to promote the Iraq war, endorsed Sen. Clinton July 16

Barack Obama

Former Amb. Jeffrey Bader, President Clinton’s National Security Council Asia specialist and now head of Brookings’s China center, national security adviser
Mark Brzezinski, President Clinton’s National Security Council Southeast Europe specialist and now a partner at law firm McGuireWoods, national security adviser
Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser and now a Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor and trustee and frequent guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, foreign policy adviser
Richard A. Clarke, President Clinton and President George W. Bush’s counterterrorism czar and now head of Good Harbor Consulting and an ABC News contributor, sometimes Obama adviser
Gregory B. Craig, State Department director of policy planning under President Clinton and now a partner at law firm Williams & Connolly, foreign policy adviser
Roger W. Cressey, former National Security Council counterterrorism staffer and now Good Harbor Consulting president and NBC News consultant, has advised Obama but says not exclusive
Ivo H. Daalder, National Security Council director for European affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser
Richard Danzig, President Clinton’s Navy secretary and now a Center for Strategic and International Analysis fellow, national security adviser
Philip H. Gordon, President Clinton’s National Security Council staffer for Europe and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser
Maj. Gen. J. (Jonathan) Scott Gration, a 32-year Air Force veteran and now CEO of Africa anti-poverty effort Millennium Villages, national security adviser and surrogate
Lawrence J. Korb, assistant secretary of defense from 1981-1985 and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, informal foreign policy adviser
W. Anthony Lake, President Clinton’s national security adviser and now a professor at Georgetown’s school of foreign service, foreign policy adviser
James M. Ludes, former defense and foreign policy adviser to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and now executive director of the American Security Project, national security adviser
Robert Malley, President Clinton’s Middle East envoy and now International Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa program director, national security adviser
Gen. Merrill A. ("Tony") McPeak, former Air Force chief of staff and now a business consultant, national security adviser
Denis McDonough, Center for American Progress senior fellow and former policy adviser to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, foreign policy coordinator
Samantha Power, Harvard-based human rights scholar and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, foreign policy adviser
Susan E. Rice, President Clinton’s Africa specialist at the State Department and National Security Council and now a Brookings senior fellow, foreign policy adviser
Bruce O. Riedel, former CIA officer and National Security Council staffer for Near East and Asian affairs and now a Brookings senior fellow, national security adviser
Dennis B. Ross, President Clinton’s Middle East negotiator and now a Washington Institute for Near East Policy fellow, Middle East adviser
Sarah Sewall, deputy assistant secretary of defense for peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance during President Clinton’s administration and now director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, national security adviser
Daniel B. Shapiro, National Security Council director for legislative affairs during President Clinton’s administration and now a lobbyist with Timmons & Company, Middle East adviser
Mona Sutphen, former aide to President Clinton’s National Security adviser Samuel R. Berger and to United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson and now managing director of business consultancy Stonebridge, national security adviser

John Edwards

Barry M. Blechman, President Carter’s assistant director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and founder and chairman of the Henry L. Stimson Center, military advisory group
Irving N. Blickstein, former assistant deputy chief of Naval operations and a RAND researcher, military advisory group
Derek Chollet, Edwards’s Senate foreign policy aide, chief national security adviser
Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hough, former Marine Corps deputy commandant for aviation, military advisory group
Gen. Paul J. Kern, former Army Materiel Command commander who directed the internal investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib and now a lobbyist with the Cohen Group, military advisory group
Gen. Lester "Les" Lyles, former commander Air Force Materiel Command and now an aerospace consultant, military advisory group
Gen. Gregory S. ("Speedy") Martin, former commander Air Force Materiel Command and now a consultant, military advisory group
Rear Adm. William J. McDaniel, former commanding officer of Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, military advisory group
Rear Adm. David R. Oliver Jr., former principal deputy under secretary for acquisition and technology and now CEO of aerospace and defense company EADS North America, military advisory group
Michael Signer, onetime aide to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, deputy policy director for foreign affairs and national security
Maj. Gen. Allen Youngman, former Kentucky adjutant general and now a defense lobbyist with American Business Development Group, military advisory group


Rudolph Giuliani

Gerard Alexander, University of Virginia politics professor and American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar, European advisory board
Peter Beering, Indiana terrorism preparedness coordinator and principal with consulting firm Indianapolis Terrorism Response Group, homeland security advisory board
Peter Berkowitz; Hoover Institution senior fellow and George Mason Law School professor focusing on laws, ethics and politics; senior statecraft, human rights and freedom adviser
Robert C. Bonner, former U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner and now a partner with law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, chief homeland security adviser
David R. Cameron, Yale political science professor, European advisory board
Robert Conquest; Soviet-era historian and former adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and now a Hoover Institution research fellow; senior foreign policy advisory board
Lisa Curtis, former staffer to Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now a Heritage foundation senior research fellow, senior South Asia adviser
Carlos Eire, Cuban activist and Yale renaissance studies professor, senior foreign policy advisory board
Joshua Filler, former director Department of Homeland Security Office of State and Local Government Coordination director and now a homeland security consultant, homeland security advisory board
Louis J. Freeh, former FBI director, homeland security advisory board chairman
Nile Gardner, Heritage Foundation senior research fellow and onetime foreign policy researcher for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, European advisory board
Stephen Haber, Hoover Institution senior fellow and Stanford history and political science professor, senior western hemisphere adviser
Charles Hill, former aide to Reagan-era secretary of state George P. Shultz and now a Hoover Institution research fellow, chief foreign policy adviser
Kim R. Holmes, President George W. Bush’s former assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs and now the Heritage Foundation vice president of foreign and defense policy studies, senior foreign policy adviser
Daniel Johnson, former Minnesota homeland security director, homeland security advisory board
Former Sen. Robert Kasten, R-Wisc., former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee Foreign Operations Subcommittee, senior foreign policy advisory board
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., homeland security advisory board
Martin Kramer, former director of Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, senior Middle East adviser
Andrew B. Maner, former Department of Homeland Security chief financial officer and now a member of the board of directors at emergency management software provider Previstar, homeland security advisory board
John T. Odermatt, former commissioner of the New York City Office of Emergency Management and Citigroup’s corporate director of business continuity, homeland security advisory board
Norman Podhoretz, Hudson Institute adjunct fellow and former editor of Commentary magazine, senior foreign policy advisory board
David Pryce-Jones, novelist and essayist, senior foreign policy adviser
John Rabin, former program director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Lessons Learned Information Sharing and now a consultant, homeland security advisory board
Stephen Peter Rosen, President Reagan’s National Security Council staffer for political-military affairs and now a Harvard professor of national security and military affairs, senior defense adviser
Howard Safir, former New York City Police commissioner and now a crisis management consultant, homeland security advisory board
Richard J. Sheirer, former New York City emergency management commissioner and now a senior vice president with Giuliani Partners, homeland security advisory board
Seth Stodder, former Customs and Border Protection director of policy and planning and now a senior counsel and lobbyist with law firm Akin Gump, homeland security advisory board
C. Stewart Verdery Jr., former Department of Homeland Security assistant secretary for policy and planning and founder of lobbying firm Monument Policy Group, homeland security advisory board
Thomas Von Essen, former New York City Fire commissioner and now a senior vice president with Giuliani Partners, homeland security advisory board
Kenneth Weinstein, CEO Hudson Institute, foreign policy adviser
Joe Whitley, former Department of Homeland Security general counsel and now partner with law firm Alston & Bird, homeland security advisory board
S. Enders Wimbush, Hudson Institute director of future security strategies and former security consultant, senior public diplomacy adviser
Stephen Yates, former deputy assistant to Vice President Cheney for national security affairs and now a lobbyist and American Foreign Policy Council senior fellow, senior Asia adviser

Mike Huckabee

Huckabee has been secretive about his team. Among the names floated so far:

Ed Rollins, Republican operative
Frank Gaffney, neocon
John Bolton, George W. Bush U.N. ambassador (as of this writing, Bolton’s participation is a strong rumor)

John McCain

Richard Lee Armitage, President George W. Bush’s deputy secretary of state and an international business consultant and lobbyist, informal foreign policy adviser
Bernard Aronson, former assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs and now a managing partner of private equity investment company ACON Investments, informal foreign policy adviser
William L. Ball III, secretary of the Navy during President Reagan’s administration and managing director of lobbying firm the Loeffler Group, informal national security adviser
Stephen E. Biegun, former national security aide to then-Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and now Ford Motors vice president of international government affairs, informal national security adviser
Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations editor and former Wall Street Journal editorial editor, foreign policy adviser
Brig. Gen. Tom Bruner, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Lorne W. Craner, International Republican Institute president, informal foreign policy adviser
Lawrence S. Eagleburger, President George H.W. Bush’s secretary of state and a senior public policy adviser with law firm Baker Donelson, endorsed McCain April 10
Brig. Gen. Russ Eggers, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Maj. Gen. Merrill Evans, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Niall Ferguson, Harvard historian and Hoover Institution senior fellow, informal foreign policy adviser
Michael J. Green, former Asia adviser to President George W. Bush and now Japan chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Asia policy adviser
Gen. Alexander M. Haig, Jr., President Reagan’s secretary of state, endorsed McCain April 10
Maj. Gen. Evan "Curly" Hultman, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Robert Kagan; senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington Post columnist and former speechwriter for then-secretary of state George P. Shultz; informal foreign policy adviser
Brig. Gen. Robert Michael Kimmitt, current deputy Treasury secretary, informal national security adviser
Henry A. Kissinger, President Nixon and President Ford’s secretary of state who met McCain in Vietnam and is now a consultant, informal adviser
Col. Andrew F. Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, briefed McCain as well as Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Bill Richardson
William Kristol, The Weekly Standard editor, informal foreign policy adviser
Adm. Charles Larson, former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy and now chairman of consulting firm ViaGlobal Group, informal national security adviser
Robert "Bud" McFarlane, President Reagan’s national security adviser and now a principal with Energy & Communications Solutions, energy and national security adviser
Brig. Gen. Warren "Bud" Nelson, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Brig. Gen. Eddie Newman, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Maj. Gen. John Peppers, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Maj. Ralph Peters, writer and retired Army officer, informal national security adviser
Brig. Gen. Maurice Phillips, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Gen. Colin L. Powell, President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, informal foreign policy adviser
James R. Schlesinger, President Nixon and President Ford’s secretary of defense, energy and national security adviser
Randy Scheunemann, national security aide to then-Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott and now a lobbyist, defense and foreign policy coordinator (for this cycle and 2000)
Gary Schmitt, former staff director of the Senate Intelligence Committee and now an American Enterprise Institute scholar, foreign policy adviser
Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush and founder of business consultancy the Scowcroft Group, adviser
George P. Shultz, President Reagan’s secretary of state and a Hoover Institution Fellow, endorsed McCain April 10
Brig. Gen. W.L. "Bill" Wallace, Iowa veterans advisory committee
Maj. Gen. Gary Wattnem, Iowa veterans advisory committee
R. James Woolsey, former CIA director and now a vice president at consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton, energy and national security adviser

Mitt Romney

David Aufhauser, former Treasury Department general counsel and now general counsel of USB investment bank, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Jorge L. Arrizurieta, lobbyist and major Republican donor, Latin American policy advisory group
Former Rep. Cass Ballenger, R-N.C., onetime chairman of House International Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Latin American policy advisory group
J. (Joseph) Cofer Black, former CIA and State Department counterterrorism official and now vice chairman Blackwater USA, senior adviser on counterterrorism and national security
Ted Brennan, former aide to then-Reps. Cass Ballenger, R-N.C. and Henry Hyde, R-Ill., Latin American policy advisory group
Lt. Gen. John H. ("Soup") Campbell, former vice director of Pentagon information systems and now a lobbyist for satellite communications, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Alberto R. Cardenas, lobbyist and former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Latin American policy advisory group
Robert Charles, former assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement, Latin American policy advisory group
Samuel Cole, COO of BlueMountain Capital Management, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Mark Falcoff, American Enterprise Institute Latin America scholar emeritus and onetime consultant to President Reagan’s Commission on Central America, Latin American policy advisory group
Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., ranking Republican on House Intelligence Committee, intelligence adviser
Kent Lucken, foreign service veteran now an international private banker with Citigroup, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
John McClurg, formerly of the FBI computer investigations and critical infrastructure threat assessment center and now vice president Honeywell Global Security, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Larry Mefford, former FBI agent and counterterrorism official, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Amb. Tibor Nagy, Jr., career foreign service officer with ambassadorial tours in Ethiopia and Guinea, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Amb. Roger Francisco Noriega, former assistant secretary for Western hemisphere affairs under George W. Bush and now a lobbyist, Latin American policy advisory group
Mitchell B. Reiss, former state department policy planning director, foreign policy adviser
V. Manuel Rocha, career foreign service officer and former ambassador to Bolivia, Latin American policy advisory group
Steven Schrage, former State Department international law specialist, foreign policy and trade director
Dan Senor, former Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman and now a lobbyist and Fox News contributor, sometimes foreign policy adviser
Jose S. Sorzano, Latin America aide to President Reagan and chairman of corporate consultant Austin Group, Latin American policy advisory group
Larry Storrs, former Latin America specialist at the Congressional Research Service, Latin American policy advisory group
Caleb ("Cal") Temple, formerly with the Defense Intelligence Agency and now executive vice president of Total Intelligence Solutions, counter-terrorism policy advisory group
Former Rep. Vin Weber, R-Minn., lobbyist and chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, policy chairman
Ed Worthington, FBI veteran, counter-terrorism policy advisory group

[The above] list holds the key to the central issue: war.

As the names reveal, every major candidate (the favored puppets with any real chance of being selected) fronts for agendas set by current and former neoconservative and neoliberal “security” officers and politicos, members of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, and apparatuses such as the Heritage Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Brookings Institution, AIPAC, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute, and others.


The “war on terrorism” will not only continue but likely intensify and expand under “new management." The only question is whether the bias will be towards a neoliberal brand, , , the “more nuanced” multinational New World Order, a “bipartisan consensus” in Washington, more orderly economic and political declines, etc. . . . .or a continuation of the open brutality and criminality of Bush-Cheney.


As Mike Ruppert wrote in Crossing The Rubicon: “That profits of crime and war, which are destructive of human life, of labor, of happy, healthy neighborhoods (whether in the US or in Afghanistan, Africa and Iraq) are in effect a keystone of the global economy and a determinant of the success in a ruthless competition, is a compass needle for human civilization. One cannot expect to follow the recipe for roadkill stew and produce a crème brulee.”

Criminals do not obey laws. Criminals do not believe in “democracy."

Criminals do not “permit” elections.

They will not permit an election in 2008. They will impose another one.

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We're captive on the carousel of time
We cant return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

- Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game

(thanks to kevin at cryptogon...)

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True or not, verified or not, why would I not doubt it for a single second

like i said, true or not, this exchange faithfully portrays what our elites think of us peasants...
New York, New York - In a conversation with Fox News celebrities, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, that was picked up by an open microphone, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp., repeatedly referred to Fox News viewers as morons and white trash. The incident took place as the three men were sitting together at a benefit dinner for the Ann Coulter defense fund. Apparently, they had been drinking heavily which may account for their lack of restraint and obliviousness to the open microphone that was positioned directly in front of them.

At one point, while addressing O'Reilly and Hannity, Murdoch said, "Can you believe the shit we get away with? Good thing our viewers are dumb as doorknobs or else we would be in trouble." To which, Hannity laughed and then replied, "Yeah, I heard that people who watch Fox News have to wear bibs to catch their drool so their sofas won't be stained by the tobacco juice, and that's just the women." O'Reilly, also laughing, then joined in by saying, "Hey, how many Fox viewers does it take to change a light bulb? None, they all refuse to change the bulb because they prefer living in the dark."

However, the unkindest cut of all that is sure to enrage Fox viewers came at the end of the conversation when Murdoch raised his glass in a toast and said, "God bless trailer park trash and idiots everywhere. Without them Fox News would be nothing and I would not be a billionaire."

After news of the recorded conversation became public, Fox News released the following brief statement, "We encourage our viewers to reject anything they hear or see that does not come directly from Fox News. Fox News is the only source of information you need for Fair and Balanced™ coverage."

interestingly enough, the very few times i have watched fox news, i certainly FELT dumb as a doorknob...

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The new coinage after Bush declares martial law

chuckles and grins from brasscheck tv...

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Friday, January 11, 2008

"EVERYTHING depends on our standing up."

opol's back and he's cranked...
My generation thought Vietnam was an aberration, but it wasn’t, it was the game plan. Lie your way into a nasty little war and let other people’s children do the killing and dying while the fat cats at the top of the capitalist pile rake in the dough. It’s all for the benefit of those so bloated with greed that they just don’t care that their profits come soaked in the blood of innocents and patriots.


Nearly 4,000 American service men and women have died for no good reason in Iraq since our wrongheaded and distinctly criminal invasion in 2003 (not to mention a million Iraqis). How hard must it be to face the fact that your loved one didn’t die to protect the world from anything, that they died for no noble purpose, not to preserve freedom or democracy, not for any righteous cause – but for nothing - nothing worth dying for at any rate? How hard must that be?

They died for the sole purpose of making already wealthy men even wealthier. It is evil. It is pure evil.


Would having a Democrat in office make it better? Not necessarily. I find it painful to point out that the Democrats have surrendered the moral high ground without a fight. Theories as to why abound, but it is clear that they have done just that. We should not be fooled. Our government is against us, and it is no longer fair to make distinctions between Republicans and Democrats except in rare individual cases. The vast majority of all our politicians of both parties are corrupt or otherwise compromised and are now in thrall to the corporatist military-industrial-congressional-media complex. They are no longer on our side - if they ever were.

What we are headed for is a brutal fascistic rule of the super rich enforced on the impoverished masses by heavily armed thugs operating under color of law - though there are those here who will tell you that it can’t happen here. If we believe that, it will be our epitaph.


The Democrats are not going to be our salvation. I wish that weren’t true - but it is. It is strictly up to us. Put your faith in the American people – they, we, are our last and only hope. We must stand up to the monsters who have done this to our country, and we must take it back from them. We are the only true owners of this nation. It’s time to act up America.

Soldiers are taught that when caught in a deadly ambush with nowhere to run or hide, you must charge the ambush. It is a case of the best defense being a good offense. We need to rise up, not stand down. We need to resist the fascism. We need to charge the ambush.

Our choices have come down to two: we can knuckle under, or we can stand up. And EVERYTHING depends on our standing up.

like i said the other day, there is only one answer to our desperate national crisis, and it will only be found by looking in the mirror...

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Amy Goodman on the incident in the Straits of Hormuz

by all means, check out the video... bush is talking like he's suffered a stroke... the guy comes across as barely functional and semi-literate...

(you have to make it through the headlines before you get to the meat, where amy and juan gonzalez interview ips correspondent, gareth porter...)

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Snow in Baghdad in January follows snow last July in Buenos Aires

not having ever visited baghdad, this story doesn't have quite the personal impact as last july's story of snow in buenos aires, but, nonetheless, it's still quite remarkable...
After weathering nearly five years of war, Baghdad residents thought they'd pretty much seen it all. But Friday morning, as muezzins were calling the faithful to prayer, the people here awoke to something certifiably new.

For the first time in memory, snow fell across Baghdad.

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Fair elections: Kucinich fires a shot across the bow [UPDATE]


this is very cool... let's keep the pressure on... whether or not there was vote-tampering in nh isn't even the point... all eyes need to be on our election process... we simply can't tolerate any more bullshit...
Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who won less than 2 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, said Thursday he wants a recount to ensure that all ballots in his party's contest were counted. The Ohio congressman cited "serious and credible reports, allegations and rumors" about the integrity of Tuesday results.

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan said Kucinich is entitled to a statewide recount. But, under New Hampshire law, Kucinich will have to pay for it. Scanlan said he had "every confidence" the results are accurate.

In a letter dated Thursday, Kucinich said he does not expect significant changes in his vote total, but wants assurance that "100 percent of the voters had 100 percent of their votes counted."

note the key wording here, "he does not expect significant changes in HIS vote total..."


courtesy of the brad blog and black box voting, here's a youtube video clip demonstrating how diebold optical scan machines can be easily hacked...

this is from the black box voting site, speculating that kucinich may be falling into a trap by calling for a recount...

"We have no control over the ballot chain of custody and we have learned the pain from the 2004 Nader recount, in which only 11 districts were counted, chosen by a highly questionable person, and then nothing showed up. Now all we hear is how the Nader recount validated the machines."

As Tobi says, "A candidate asking for a recount may well be a tool used to 'prove' everything was okay and then that candidate will be further discredited."

I'll go further than that. The only way a recount makes any sense at all in New Hampshire is AFTER an assessment is made of the chain of custody issues. If the chain of custody isn't intact the recount won't be worth a cup of warm spit.

there are more twists in this story than the highway up pikes peak...

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Amy Goodman on the internet as a weapon and the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act

part 1...

part 2...

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Spinning into nausea: why should BUSH'S tears be any different?

stress...? exhaustion...? weakness...? overwhelming emotions...? calculated political ploy...? you won't see ANY of THOSE questions in ANY media stories on THIS event...
President Bush had tears in his eyes during an hour-long tour of Israel's Holocaust memorial Friday and told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should have bombed Auschwitz to halt the killing, the memorial's chairman said.

also not mentioned is the fact that this is bush's FIRST visit to israel in his 7+ years as president... instead, we get this carefully crafted piece of camouflage...
It was Bush's second visit to the Holocaust memorial, a regular stop on the visits of foreign dignitaries. His first was in 1998, as governor of Texas. The last U.S. president to visit was Bill Clinton in 1994.

Bush, making the most extensive Mideast trip of his presidency, was accompanied on his tour by a small party that included Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

jeebus... the spin is absolutely nauseating...

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Futurama: Welcome to the internet

i miss watching this show...

thanks to openthread at daily kos...

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Jimmy Carter has what America needs, "right here"

former president carter opines on the presidential campaign and the current problems facing our country, from the onion, natch...
You actually seem to think one a' these assholes is gonna prance in and wave a magic wand and make everything all nice again. Look at you, sitting there like a common fucking schnook and eating all their bull about bi-fucking-partisanship, and how they have all the goddamn answers. Let me tell you something: These fags are dogshit compared to Jimmy fucking Carter, all right? I was arbitrating Mideast crises when this bunch was still sucking on their mamas' titties.

But who comes to me, huh? Fucking nobody. Why ask old Jimmy anything? What the fuck could he know about peace in the Middle East? It's not like he fucking won the Nobel Peace Prize for that shit. You myopic pricks. Back in '79, I sat Sadat and Begin right down and made those two dicklicks shake hands. It was beautiful—I had all the pieces lined up and I smiled and waved in my best fucking suit and tie right there on TV. And what do you do, you pieces of shit? You screw the whole goddamn pooch.


Oh, what's that I hear? The weather's all screwy? You got a global warming problem? Boo-fucking-hoo! I was telling you morons to turn off your lights and unplug all your shit at night to conserve energy in 19-fuckin'-75, for chrissake. Gee, I wonder what woulda happened if we'd all switched to solar power like I fucking did back when we had a fucking chance to do something about it. Think we'd still be sucking Saudi Arabia's dick like a five-dollar whore? I sure as fuck didn't get no fancy Oscar for that little spiel, though, did I? No. But Al Gore, that cum-sucking pig, steals the shit from me and now he's the greatest thing since Jesus Christ made a fucking sandwich.

Well, he can lick my asshole right after George W. Bush, that fuck.

You want compassion? Somebody who's looking out for the little guy? Why don't you take a look at Jimmy Carter, 'cause unlike, oh, every motherfucking candidate out there, he spent the last fucking quarter-century building houses for the homeless. And what does he get for it? A fucking hernia. Some fucking gratitude, you selfish twats. You talk to me about compassion? I'll shove a crucifix so far up the Democrats' asses they'll be asking me to buy them dinner and kiss them good night.

Funny thing about me: I actually fucking know shit! Not like these goombas trying to weasel their way into the White House. I practically wrote the book on collapsing bridges, inflation, and the working poor, fuck-o. I even got a degree in nuclear engineering or some shit. You know how easy I could swoop down right now like a guardian angel and solve all your fucking problems? Snap. Bam. Do it in my fucking sleep. Just fucking try me.

So you want me to run for president again? Yeah, sure, absolutely, I'll do it. I'd be honored to do it—with my fucking dick in your mouth, you worthless scumbags.

You had your chance with Jimmy Carter, and you fucking blew it. So get fucked. Fucking country.

a little bit more than fair use, but, oh, so well worth it...

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You KNOW the economy is going to hell when you read a headline and lead paragraph like this

and on the wapo front page to boot...
Fed Chief Talks of 'Decisive' Action

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday signaled that the central bank will cut interest rates aggressively to try to prevent a serious economic downturn, using unusually direct and forceful language.

when a fed chairman uses "unusually direct and forceful language," ya better take shelter cuz the shitstorm's a'comin'...

atrios' take...

Bernanke's ... basically saying that things suck but don't worry 'cause he's warming up the helicopter.

translation for all the above...
"The backdrop here is the Fed is worried that the economy could be sliding into a recession," said Bruce C. Kasman, chief economist at J.P. Morgan Chase.

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It's "Close Gitmo" day - wear orange

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Juan Cole: "The most pitiful thing I have seen since Bush came to power"

juan cole...
The Bush administration's assertion that 5 small Iranian boats confronted big, well-armed US ships in the Straits of Hormuz and threatened to blow up the American vessels is looking more and more like a serious error if not a Republican Party fabrication.

The audio includes a statement that says, "I am coming to you," and adds, "You will explode after a few minutes." The voice was recorded from the internationally recognized channel for ship-to-ship communications, Navy officials have said. Naval and Pentagon officials have said that the video and audio were recorded separately, then combined. On Wednesday, Pentagon officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak officially, said they were still trying to determine if the transmission came from the speedboats or elsewhere.

juan cole...
Wouldn't it have been better to determine if the transmission came from the Iranian speedboats before super-imposing it on the videotape of the Iranian boats and then issuing it in such a way as to possibly foment a war?

A [story in] the [UK Guardian] observed that the frequency used for ship communications in the Gulf is very busy and has lots of extraneous traffic, including the hurling of racial epithets against Filipinos etc. The experienced former naval officer said, "My first thought was that the 'explode' comment might not have come from one of the Iranian craft, but some loser monitoring the events at a shore facility."

This episode is just about the most pitiful thing I have seen since Bush came to power, and believe me I've seen plenty.

and why might this fabrication be taking place now...?

again, juan cole...

The Iranian press is suspicious about the timing of the Pentagon videotape, noting that it was released just as Bush was heading to the Middle East to try to convince the Arab allies of the US to make common cause with Israel against Iran. The Gulf monarchies in particular are very afraid of the Iranian navy, and the Bush administration video would have been useful for pushing the Kuwaitis, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia into agreeing with the Bush grand strategy of surrounding Iran and then cutting it off.

an acquaintance pointed out the other day that we should be tremendously grateful to the bush administration for having the courage to be the ones to so transparently demonstrate just how corrupt our government really is, finally forcing the american people to wake up and do something about it... i hadn't considered that particular point of view, i'll admit, but there IS something compelling about it...

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008: "We don't have an election anymore, we have an auction"

not that we didn't know this, but it's ALL about money... ALL ABOUT MONEY...!

check this dan rather-anchored video clip, interviewing bill hogan of the center for public integrity...

visit the center's site, the buying of the president 2008...

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Here we go, ISP-initiated spying, just like Mettle said would happen

mettle has been scarce around these parts recently, but i simply couldn't read this without hearkening back to one of his posts from last july talking about this very thing... (because i think it's so highly relevant, i'm going to repost it below...)
For the last 15 years, Internet service providers have acted - to use an old cliche - as wide-open information super-highways, letting data flow uninterrupted and unimpeded between users and the Internet.

But I.S.P.’s may be about to embrace a new metaphor: traffic cop.

At a small panel discussion about digital piracy at NBC’s booth on the Consumer Electronics Show floor, representatives from NBC, Microsoft, several digital filtering companies and the telecom giant AT&T said the time was right to start filtering for copyrighted content at the network level.

Such filtering for pirated material already occurs on sites like YouTube and Microsoft’s Soapbox, and on some university networks.

Network-level filtering means your Internet service provider – Comcast, AT&T, EarthLink, or whoever you send that monthly check to – could soon start sniffing your digital packets, looking for material that infringes on someone’s copyright.

“What we are already doing to address piracy hasn’t been working. There’s no secret there,” said James Cicconi, senior vice president, external & legal affairs for AT&T.

from mettle, 31 july 2007...
Some tools for total surveillance are located on-site of telcos and ISPs, in that cozy Government/Corporate marriage. Other tools include OLAPs.

Types of tools coming online at present include "Deep packet inspection", an example of which is discussed here.

Much ballyhoo has been made of making particular digital pictures into crime. Those, as well as mp3 music files or other types of data files have identifiable "signatures", by means of "CRC", (cyclic redundancy check) and/or "checksum".

Much has been written already that the Vista operating system is Orwellian in nature. Now it is being reported that some anti virus companies may abandon scanning files for viruses and use "whitelisting" instead. Whitelisting will certify known files by their CRC or checksum. It is easy to see how that will fit into a police state.

The DoJ has already demanded records from major search engine companies. Apparently, only Google put up a substantial fight.

This article shows preliminary means to join the government grid.

For a peek ahead you can jump right to a look at the Global Justice Justice XML Data Model, or right ahead to see the National Information Exchange Model.

Of course, ultimately "users might need access to the global Centrix network, the Secret IP Router Network and the Non-classified IP Router Network to get all the information they require".

This report, among other topics, contemplates Information Sharing. (.pdf)

The pretexts for government to monitor all financial transactions seem similar to their need to know what library books people read and what Web sites they visit.

Starting with problems of a cashless society: government can cancel credit cards at a mere whim. And Government has been all over the alternate-forms-of-payment industry:

Consider E-gold and some of their tribulations.

The pretexts to monitor all electronic financial transactions are of course, framed in the emotional bugaboos of the day.

From comments on Press Esc:

'The Patriot Act is only temporary. It includes sunset provisions.' We all know what happened with that."

Similar legislation has already been shot down. (.pdf) (COPA was originally the basis for compelling the search engine records sharing compliance.)

So what else will Deep Packet Inspection look for? Consider this. (h/t slashdot)

just keep cranking out the ways the government can come after us...

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The "And, yes, I DO take it personally" radio show

some of you may remember that, a while back, i did a show on internet radio that originated out of buenos aires called "cruisin' the blogs..." i don't know what i was thinking, but i had it scheduled for an hour, monday through friday, and, combined with my work and travel, the schedule was a killer... i did it several times live from bulgaria, macedonia, and the u.s., in addition to broadcasting from argentina, and i also pre-recorded segments as mp3's and emailed them in... the segments were also available as podcasts for download...

well, anywayz...

i decided to give it another try, altho' this time, i'm being considerably more sensible about the time involved, plus i discovered a new venue, blog talk radio, that is perhaps the slickest, people-powered, community internet radio option i've yet run across... i'm doing a fifteen-minute segment every thursday at 8 a.m., pacific time, and the show is archived on the site for later listening and/or downloading...

among the features of the site are live chat and guest call-in... i'd like to invite any of the regular readers and my co-bloggers as well to drop by... assuming that listeners increase, i may consider expanding the time and, in any case, would like to add a guest host... if you've got a few minutes to spare, take a listen and tell me what you think... you can access the site quickly by clicking on the blue blog talk radio box in the right-hand column or through the links above...

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The "APPEARANCE" of favoritism...? Surely, you MUST be joking...

damn... i wish somebody would "favor" ME with an 18-month $28-52M contract that i didn't have to bid for...
When the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey needed to find an outside lawyer to monitor a large corporation willing to settle criminal charges out of court last fall, he turned to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, his onetime boss. With no public notice and no bidding, the company awarded Mr. Ashcroft an 18-month contract worth $28 million to $52 million.

That contract, which Justice Department officials in Washington learned about only several weeks ago, has prompted an internal inquiry into the department’s procedures for selecting outside monitors to police settlements with large companies.


Officials said that while there had been no accusations of wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Christie or Mr. Ashcroft, aides to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey were concerned about the appearance of favoritism.

ain't no "APPEARANCE" about it... it's the real deal...

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Rosa Brooks: "Oh, my gosh, Hillary Clinton is female! Barack Obama is, uh, black!"

finally, a voice of reason...
The media just can't stop gushing and clucking and gasping about it all. Oh, my gosh, Hillary Clinton is female! Barack Obama is, uh, black! Will American voters accept a female candidate? A black candidate? Are voters more sexist or more racist? What's a bigger problem in America today, sexism or racism?


These questions are tedious and inane. Simplistic efforts to evaluate whether racism or sexism is "worse" are inherently meaningless. Racism and sexism operate in complex and different ways. We should reflect on the ways in which racism and sexism have marred our history and cast shadows over our future, but let's not turn it into a parlor game about who's got it worse, women or blacks.

Increasingly, the media obsession with whether Americans will be less likely to vote for a black man or for a woman is also beside the point -- because to an emerging generation of younger voters, the very terms in which the questions have been framed no longer make much sense.

snore indeed...! when my youngest, my daughter, was in high school, i was both surprised and extremely gratified to discover that she and her group of friends included guys, gays, and people of color, and that they thought absolutely nothing about it... they chose each other because they all had many interests in many things - movies, books, issues, music, interesting facts - none of which had anything to do with sexual orientation, gender, or color of skin... while i'm from the high school generation of the early 60s, my high school, a small school (450 in grades 9-12) in a small city (100,000) along the front range of the rockies, featured a noticeable percentage of blacks and hispanics, and we, too, thought nothing of it... (gay...? we hadn't a clue, unfortunately...) anyway, i was delighted to see my daughter and her friends blithely carrying on as if none of those things mattered, which, of course, they don't...

rosa brooks is spot-on... voting for a black man or a woman is a non-issue, and anybody of any generation who has two brain cells to rub together knows and accepts that... to have our national media talking heads go on, and on, AND ON, endlessly, about these non-issues is nothing more or less than all those salacious and suggestive television ads, craftily designed to stimulate our sexual desire, sprinkled liberally between news stories about the societal benefits of abstinence as the only approved form of sex education... in short, it's total crap...

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

For my money, THE definitive word on both Iowa and NH

without question, there is nothing else to be said...


(D) version: Obama is invincible. His campaign is legendary. He sweeps all those before him aside with his aura of manly inevitability. Hillary is doomed.

(R) version: The Godbillies of Iowa have shamefully nominated some know-nothing. This is a great victory for McCain, whose teenish-percent finish is evidence of his tremendous strength among the rest of the country, which is not nearly as populated with dumb-as-rocks Bible chewers as Iowa is known to be.


(D) version: Hillary is invincible. Her campaign is legendary. She sweeps all those before her aside with her aura of competent inevitability. Obama is doomed.

(R) version: I'm sorry, every pundit within a thousand miles of Washington has just reached orgasm. Please check back for wisdom later.

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Richardson's out

so says the nyt via ap...

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"This is the way the world works" - more from Chris Floyd

a nice little summary of what so desperately needs to be changed in our world today...
This is the way the world works. Behind the glitz and gossip of presidential campaigns, behind all the earnest "policy debates" on Capitol Hill, behind all the "position papers" and "vision statements" of think tanks and political parties, behind all the great panoply of state and our august Establishment institutions, thieves and murderers have their way, in league with the great and good.

Anyone who ascends to national power has to make a deal with the devil: either directly to plunge their hands into filth and blood, or else swaddle themselves in "plausible deniability," looking away from the grubby details but knowing full well that their minions, agents and backers are doing "whatever it takes" to keep the machine of power and money rolling on.

This doesn't mean that leaders can't also try to do good things as well, and occasionally accomplish them. After all, Al Capone was famous for his acts of benevolence. Indeed, some leaders pursue idealistic or ameliorative policies in order to "justify" the crimes and lies that sustain the system which has raised them on high. But the devil will have his due, and the price of power must always be paid – and it is ordinary people, especially the most innocent and vulnerable among us, who always end up paying it.

the hard, undeniable truth is that there is only one way this mess can be fixed... for the answer, go look in the mirror...

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The Sibel Edmonds story is picking up some momentum

every time somebody picks up on the sibel edmonds story, it becomes just a little bit more likely that the truth may eventually hit the mainstream... as i've noted repeatedly, luke ryland has been the prime mover of this effort, but it's gratifying to see the likes of brad friedman, the london sunday times, and now chris floyd weighing in...
This week, the Sunday Times lifted the lid on one of the most important stories of the last quarter-century: how American officials sold nuclear arms technology to illegal proliferators -- including ideological allies of al Qaeda -- in return for bribes and other inducements. This widespread corruption has been protected from exposure by the highest levels of the U.S. government, which has gone to enormous lengths to protect the truth from coming out. The entire planet has been put at grave risk by the greed -- and geopolitical gamesmanship -- that lies behind this criminal enterprise, which actually is even more extensive, and goes back further in time, than the newspaper's remarkable revelations.

The Sunday Times story is based on the evidence provided by former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign of state-enforced muzzling by the Bush Administration since she first tried to speak out about the corrupt connections between American officials and foreign agents she discovered when reviewing transcripts associated with the 9/11 investigation. As even the leaders of the whitewashing 9/11 Commission themselves now admit, that investigation was deliberately sabotaged by the Bush Administration – in part to cover up the nuclear proliferation network that has directly or indirectly enriched so many in the American elite over the past decades – including the sitting president of the United States, George W. Bush.

there's a lot more...

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Why should people wonder if the President of Afghanistan is a U.S. puppet? Let's remove all doubt.

sometimes the news is so jaw-droppingly unbelievable, that if i didn't read it myself, i'd think it was an urban legend that snopes would summarily debunk...
[P]ersistent chatter has it that Zalmay Khalilzad, our ambassador to the U.N., is also thinking of running for president . . . of Afghanistan.

The Afghan-born Khalilzad, a former Pentagon official, former ambassador to Afghanistan, then to Iraq and now to the U.N., is said to be in the mix for a run, which would probably be in the fall of 2009.

Honest. This is a real rumor. So real that we hear Afghan President Hamid Karzai asked Khalilzad about it when the two met in London back in October.

george tenet got the medal of freedom for helping george bush lie to the american people about wmd in iraq... paul wolfowitz got the presidency of the world bank - at least for a little while - for helping justify an unprovoked and illegal war... but why waste your time with such small-minded, insignificant baubles and sinecures... go for something REALLY big... your VERY OWN COUNTRY...!

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So, why WERE the polls so WRONG about Clinton and Obama in NH (and why is dKos so stubbornly blind)?

hmmmm...? inquiring minds - and brad friedman - want to know...
[T]he way the ballots are counted in New Hampshire, largely on Diebold optical-scan voting systems, wholly controlled and programmed by a very very bad company named LHS Associates.

Those Diebold op-scan machines are the exact same ones that were hacked in the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy.

i confess, i was very surprised to watch the results coming in last evening, and the same thought immediately crossed my mind...
[W]hat's going on here?

While I have no evidence at this time --- let me repeat, no evidence at this time --- of chicanery, what we do know is that chicanery, with this particular voting system, is not particularly difficult. Particularly when one private company --- and a less-than-respectable one at that, as I detailed in the previous post --- runs the entire process.

I should also note that some 40% of New Hampshire's precincts are hand-counted, which equals about 25% of the votes. All the rest are counted on hackable Diebold op-scan systems, with completely hackable memory cards, all programmed and managed by LHS Associates.

brad then goes on to point out, in no-holds-barred fashion, the same points about daily kos that i and a number of my fellow bloggers have been making for some time...
Over at Daily Kos, diarist "AHiddenSaint" has written a post quoting, and linking over to this one, by way of sharing his/her concerns about the NH results.

The result: an embarrassing thread of comments, smashing up AHiddenSaint for posting something that the dKos commenters feel is little more than "conspiracy theory". Foolishly (for them), they have taken a sentence from the original post, in which I noted that I "have no evidence at this time --- of chicanery," to wonder why I would therefore write such a post at all. Their claim: that I am some how charging that Clinton stole the election.

I have made no such claim. In fact, if there was skullduggery here, there are plenty of reasons to believe it could have been committed by any number of interested parties, who have nothing to do with the Clinton campaign.

Daily Kos, of course, is a Clinton-centric website, which, more disturbingly, purged diaries and diarists after the 2004 Ohio election, if they were judged to be questioning what went on there. I spoke to Markos (the site's founder) about that, when we were at a conference together in Vegas last Summer. He stills stands by his decision to purge those folks. That, despite so much that has come out since '04 to show that what happened was a travesty of democracy. As I told him then, he owes his readers an apology. He did add, however, that he has someone ("Georgia10") who now cover issues of Election Integrity on their front page.

The result of his purge, is the mindset of the commenters now seen over there. It seems to me they are are begging for a world of hurt, someday, when their candidate doesn't win, under questionable circumstances. They will, of course, have cornered themselves such that they won't be able to ask questions themselvses. In the bargain, they are now fostering a culture of fear. Fear of asking questions. Fear of insisting that our democracy be transparent, of the people, by the people and for the people. If it were only themselves they were hurting by fostering that culture, I wouldn't give a damn. But rest assured, their comments, actions and attitudes will be leveraged, as we move forward, to hurt all of us.

For the record, I am neither a Clinton supporter nor an Obama supporter (nor a supporter of anyone else in the race at this time, in any party.) I am a supporter of the VOTERS. Period. It's they --- us --- who could really use some support right about now. I intend to do exactly that. All damned year. No matter how many "tin foil hats" the shortsighted, self-destructive Kossack types, who are behaving like the worst of the Republicans, try to throw at me.

i think it's absolutely shameful that the proprietor of one of the first, biggest, and certainly most visible of the so-called "liberal," "progressive" blogs has chosen to stick his head firmly in the sand, setting both the role model and the expectation for his talented cast of front-pagers, his many thousands of members and diarists, and his millions of monthly visitors to do the same... i've never claimed to have a privileged access to the truth, but i know damn good and well that, to GET the truth, you have to be willing to follow it wherever it may lead... too bad markos does not accept that responsibility on behalf of those who make his site possible...

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The NYT offers up op-ed space to another advocate of on-going U.S. militarization

shit... no sooner had i finished my modo rant (see previous post) and gone back to my nyt headline email, than i saw this, the very next op-ed on the list...
We Still Need the Big Guns

Looking ahead, America needs a military centered not on occupying another country but on denying potential adversaries the ability to attack our interests.

this one got me curious enough to click on to the full piece, only to find that it was as sabre-rattling as the teaser suggests...
Many analysts understandably attribute the success [in Iraq] to our troops’ following the dictums of the Army’s lauded new counterinsurgency manual. While the manual is a vast improvement over its predecessors, it would be a huge mistake to take it as proof — as some in the press, academia and independent policy organizations have — that victory over insurgents is achievable by anything other than traditional military force.

Unfortunately, starry-eyed enthusiasts have misread the manual to say that defeating an insurgency is all about winning hearts and minds with teams of anthropologists, propagandists and civil-affairs officers armed with democracy-in-a-box kits and volleyball nets. They dismiss as passé killing or capturing insurgents.

let's just take a few choice items and look at them for a moment...

  • "our interests" - i always love that one... i hear it all the time, and each time it never fails to strike me as code for "whatever the u.s. corporate, government, and military elites want, wherever in the world it may be, they will get, irrespective of anybody else's 'interests'..."
  • iraq "success" - this neocon, bush administration, david petraeus-spawned talking point not only glosses over the reality of what's happening in iraq, but also serves to distract us from the fact that even administration HINTS that there MIGHT BE in some INDETERMINATE FUTURE the REMOTE POSSIBILITY of TROOP REDUCTION or even, god forbid, TROOP WITHDRAWAL are now OFFICIALLY DEAD...
  • "proof ... that victory over insurgents is achievable by anything other than traditional military force" - zero acknowledgement here that the insurgents just may be fighting to get their country back, and that we are there, fighting to keep that from happening...
  • "starry-eyed enthusiasts ... say that defeating an insurgency is all about winning hearts and minds [and] dismiss as passé killing or capturing insurgents" - need i comment here...? i can only assume that it will be a dark day indeed for the united states when "killing or capturing" is no longer the order of the day...
but, wait...! there's more...
Looking ahead, America needs a military centered not on occupying another country but on denying potential adversaries the ability to attack our interests. This is not a task for counterinsurgents, but rather for an unapologetically high-tech military that substitutes machines for the bodies of young Americans.

revolted yet...? and just so's ya know the source of the revulsion...
Charles J. Dunlap Jr. is an Air Force major general and the author of “Shortchanging the Joint Fight?,” an assessment of the Army’s counterinsurgency manual.

could it be his own "interests" he's advocating for here...? nah... silly me... of COURSE not...

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Dear Maureen Dowd... Please go directly to hell, do not pass "Go," do not collect $200...

this is what greeted me in my nyt headline email this morning...
Can Hillary Cry Her Way
Back to the White House?


There was a poignancy about the moment, seeing Hillary Clinton crack with exhaustion from decades of yearning to be the principal rather than the plus-one.

i will not dignify such crap by even opening the full piece to see what modo has to say... the headline itself is quintessential dowd bitch-speak, and in its abject repugnance, is totally unworthy of the op-ed page of any newspaper, especially the gray lady... tears are part of being human, and while it's impossible for me to know what really provoked hillary to cry, be it stress, exhaustion, overwhelming emotion, or political calculation, that such an event becomes the overarching topic of tongue-wagging pundits across the nation is nothing less than despicable...

and btw, maureen, on your trip to the inferno, take your new son-of-a-bitch nyt colleague with you...

10:42 PM: Bill Kristol: “It’s the tears. She pretended to cry. The women felt sorry for her. And she won.”

i don't hesitate to reveal that i'm no fan of hrc, but, that notwithstanding, NO ONE deserves this kind of bullshit...

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tom Tomorrow: "And the hits just keep on coming!"

for some reason, my daily salon email has stopped coming and so i forget to check it out, and occasionally miss my faves... while i don't post every tom tomorrow, he does enough great work to warrant regular appearances, and this is one of 'em...

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism

one of the definitions of "force" as contained in the bill...

"force" = "intellectual power or vigor especially as conveyed in writing or speech"...

not 'zactly comfortin', now is it...?

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Telecom immunity = Bush immunity

NOW, we're gettin' down to it...
Bush wants to keep Senators clueless because telecom immunity also gives Bush immunity. Telecom immunity includes by definition the approval of two condition precedents: Bush had constitutional authority for the warrantless surveillance and the surveillance was determined to be lawful. Under the doctrine of Congressional ratification, the effect of this approval is to retroactively "legalize" Bush's authority and program. This means that Bush may have immunity from prosecution. Moreover, for years, Bush could not cite any statutory authority for his theory of unitary presidential prerogatives. Bush will now have precedent.

did anybody think for a second that bush wasn't attempting to cover his own sorry ass...?

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Look out...! Larisa's on the Bhutto case...!

and when larisa's on the case, the big boy cover-up quickly starts to fall apart...
While President Musharraf initially declined help from the British in investigating the assassination of Mrs. Bhutto, pressure from a distrusting public and a crumbling explanation caused a turnaround this week. An agreement was reached allowing the British to conduct their own investigation, and police from Scotland Yard arrived over the weekend.

US intelligence officials say, however, that very little evidence will be found, especially if investigators are looking for the suspected shooter. Three former US intelligence officials have told Raw Story that not only is the gunman dead, he was likely the actual target of the suicide bomber.

According to a former high ranking US intelligence official, who wishes to remain anonymous due to the delicate nature of the information, the US intelligence community understands the gunman to have been killed in the blast following Mrs. Bhutto's assassination.

"He was killed, probably not knowing that the suicide bomber was there," said this source. "We don't know for sure if the two men arrived together. We do know that the assassin died in the explosion, and was probably meant to."

Several other US intelligence officials concur that the bomber was likely "inserted" to "clean up" evidence of the shooting, including eliminating the gunman.

there's so many nasty little sidelights to the bhutto story, it ain't even funny, but i really do like the way that larisa's pulled 'em all together...

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Penn and Teller wipe the floor with GOP pollster Frank Luntz

oh, this is rich...!

all together now, "F*** YOU, FRANK...!"

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Bagram in Afghanistan - we can't seem to get rid of these hell holes

un-friggingly-believable... our plan was to close down bagram and send all the detainees over to the new afghani-run facility, so whatever ugliness and torture got meted out from that point forward wouldn't be OUR fault... goodness me, no... guess that ain't workin' out too well...
The American detention center, established at the Bagram military base as a temporary screening site after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is now teeming with some 630 prisoners — more than twice the 275 being held at Guantánamo.

The administration has spent nearly three years and more than $30 million on a plan to transfer Afghan prisoners held by the United States to a refurbished high-security detention center run by the Afghan military outside Kabul.

But almost a year after the Afghan detention center opened, American officials say it can accommodate only about half the prisoners they once planned to put there. As a result, the makeshift American site at Bagram will probably continue to operate with hundreds of detainees for the foreseeable future, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the treatment of some prisoners on the Bagram base has prompted a strong complaint to the Pentagon from the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only outside group allowed in the detention center.

In a confidential memorandum last summer, the Red Cross said dozens of prisoners had been held incommunicado for weeks or even months in a previously undisclosed warren of isolation cells at Bagram, two American officials said. The Red Cross said the prisoners were kept from its inspectors and sometimes subjected to cruel treatment in violation of the Geneva Conventions, one of the officials said.

why are we continuing to flush our reputation as a country down the toilet...? we've made ourselves look so bad to the rest of the world, it's going to take a generation to pull it back even to where it was in 2000...

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Uh-oh, Pakistan... Tsk, tsk... Don't wave the red flag at the bull...

never a good idea with this current gang of criminals occupying the white house...
Pakistan will not allow any country to conduct military operations on its territory, officials said on Monday, rejecting a report that said the United States was considering authorizing its forces to act in Pakistan.

The New York Times said on Sunday the U.S. government was considering expanding the authority of the CIA and the military to conduct far more aggressive covert operations in Pakistan.

The U.S. officials considering the move were concerned over intelligence reports that al Qaeda and the Taliban were more intent on destabilizing Pakistan, the newspaper said.

Pakistani government and military officials dismissed the report and said Pakistan would not permit any such action.

"Pakistan's position in the war on terror has been very clear -- that any action on Pakistani soil will be taken only by Pakistani forces and Pakistani security agencies," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Sadiq.

you can bet who's doing the talking, and it AIN'T mohammad sadiq... you can also bet that there's already plenty of cia operatives running around, and, most likely, lots of our out-of-uniform troops as well... my guess is that musharraf is just making a big noise so he doesn't appear as the u.s. puppet he really is...

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