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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 05/18/2008 - 05/25/2008
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bollywood soaps on Afghan TV


i'm not going to sit here and defend those who get all wrapped up in soap operas, nor am i going to make a case for the values those soap operas promulgate... the bollywood soaps, the latin american telenovelas, and the daily u.s. potboilers are all of a piece - a combination of escapism and voyeurism that, arguably, contributes little to the mental or emotional health of an individual or a community...


we are no longer living in an age where it's possible to shut out the world, nor are we living in an age where one group of people should insist on having the power to decide what's best for another group of people... it's time that everyone woke up to the reality that we must take charge of our own lives and begin making our own decisions, decisions that not only support our own values and our own physical and emotional health, but also ensure that those decisions support the general commonwealth...

people the world over must stop abdicating our personal power to those whose purpose in life is to take and hold that power and then claim that they are using it "in our best interests"...

Five nights a week, millions of Afghans put aside their dinner dishes, shush their children and turn on the TV to gape at Indian soap operas acted out in impossibly lavish settings by stars in sequined gowns and wedding jewelry.

To their defenders among Afghan journalists and social analysts, the dramas are a harmless distraction from the hardships and tensions of life in a poor, war-torn country where dust invades every crevice and suicide bombings are common.

To their critics in the government and among Muslim clergy, the shows represent an invasion of foreign behavior and beliefs -- from glimpses of cleavage and Hindu shrines to story lines touching on such taboo topics as divorce, infidelity and illegitimacy.

This spring, the off-screen plot has taken a contentious turn. The Ministry of Information and Culture banned the evening dramas last month, and government prosecutors have now charged one resisting TV station with offending public morals and endangering national security.

"These are serious charges that carry prison terms," said Saad Mohseni, co-owner of Tolo TV, which still airs the two most popular Indian soaps. "They are trying to go after us from every possible direction. The things they object to in the serials are happening every day in our own society, but we bury our heads in the sand."

The government of President Hamid Karzai, although propped up by Western aid and defended against Islamist insurgents by Western troops, is also highly sensitive to religious emotions in this conservative Muslim society and reluctant to defy Muslim elders.

Members of the senior religious council had complained that the serials were offensive to Muslims and should be banned. They have expressed similar concerns about other TV shows, such as a version of "American Idol," saying they encourage immorality.

it's time to stop giving our power away to the elite, self-anointed, almighty interpreters of right and wrong, be they religious or governmental authorities, and to start the serious business of looking inside for the real connection to truth and light...

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Will the condemnation of the Holocaust by Hamas get any media coverage and, if not, why not?


now, goddamit, THIS is news, or at least it SHOULD be...
[I]t should be made clear that neither Hamas nor the Palestinian government in Gaza denies the Nazi Holocaust. The Holocaust was not only a crime against humanity but one of the most abhorrent crimes in modern history. We condemn it as we condemn every abuse of humanity and all forms of discrimination on the basis of religion, race, gender or nationality.

And at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us - to the point where in February the Israeli deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai threatened the people of Gaza with a "holocaust".

Within 24 hours, 61 Palestinians - more than half of them civilians and a quarter children - were killed in a series of air raids. Meanwhile, a horrible crime against humanity continues to be perpetrated against the people of Gaza: the two-year-old siege imposed after Hamas won the legislative elections in January 2006, which is causing great suffering. Due to severe shortages of medicines and food, scores of Palestinians have lost their lives.

It cannot be right that Europeans in general and the British in particular maintain a virtual silence toward what the Zionists are doing to the Palestinians, let alone supporting or justifying their oppressive policies, under the pretext of showing sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust.

The Palestinian people aspire to freedom, independence and peaceful coexistence with all their neighbours. There are, today, more than six million Palestinian refugees. No less than 700,000 Palestinians have been detained at least once by the Israeli occupation authorities since 1967. Hundreds of thousands have so far been killed or wounded. Little concern seems to be caused by all of this or by the erection of an apartheid wall that swallows more than 20% of the West Bank land or the heavily armed colonies that devour Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.

The plight of our people is not the product of a religious conflict between us and the Jews in Palestine or anywhere else: the aims and positions of today's Hamas have been repeatedly spelled out by its leadership, for example in Hamas's 2006 programme for government. The conflict is of a purely political nature: it is between a people who have come under occupation and an oppressive occupying power.

needless to say, this appeared in the guardian... if anybody sees this in u.s. media, please post the link in the comments...

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Round 'em up, lock 'em up - now we're not sending illegal immigrants back home, we're sending them directly to prison

Get along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Get along little dogies
You know that Wyoming the federal prison
will be your new home

well, 's-CUSE ME...! forget about those halliburton detention centers (see previous post)... now it's straight to federal prison for all you poor bastards just trying to earn a living wage...

In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents.

The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration’s crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid. Until now, unauthorized workers have generally been detained by immigration officials for civil violations and rapidly deported.

empathy...? compassion...? fuhgeddaboudit...
Matt M. Dummermuth, the United States attorney for northern Iowa, who oversaw the prosecutions, called the operation an “astonishing success.”

Claude Arnold, a special agent in charge of investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said it showed that federal officials were “committed to enforcing the nation’s immigration laws in the workplace to maintain the integrity of the immigration system.”

The unusually swift proceedings, in which 297 immigrants pleaded guilty and were sentenced in four days, were criticized by criminal defense lawyers, who warned of violations of due process. Twenty-seven immigrants received probation. The American Immigration Lawyers Association protested that the workers had been denied meetings with immigration lawyers and that their claims under immigration law had been swept aside in unusual and speedy plea agreements.

The illegal immigrants, most from Guatemala, filed into the courtrooms in groups of 10, their hands and feet shackled. One by one, they entered guilty pleas through a Spanish interpreter, admitting they had taken jobs using fraudulent Social Security cards or immigration documents. Moments later, they moved to another courtroom for sentencing.

The pleas were part of a deal worked out with prosecutors to avoid even more serious charges. Most immigrants agreed to immediate deportation after they serve five months in prison.

The hearings took place on the grounds of the National Cattle Congress in Waterloo, in mobile trailers and in a dance hall modified with black curtains, beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing several nights until 10. On Wednesday alone, 94 immigrants pleaded guilty and were sentenced, the most sentences in a single day in this northern Iowa district, according to Robert L. Phelps, the clerk of court.

Mr. Arnold, the immigration agent, said the criticism of the proceedings was “the usual spate of false allegations and baseless rumors.”

The large number of criminal cases was remarkable because immigration violations generally fall under civil statutes. Until now, relatively few immigrants caught in raids have been charged with federal crimes like identity theft or document fraud.

“To my knowledge, the magnitude of these indictments is completely unprecedented,” said Juliet Stumpf, an immigration law professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., who was formerly a senior civil rights lawyer at the Justice Department. “It’s the reliance on criminal process here as part of an immigration enforcement action that takes this out of the ordinary, a startling intensification of the criminalization of immigration law.”

the government line: "an astonishing success"... the government response to the weaselly, unpatriotic, bleeding hearts who have the gall to be concerned about how real, honest-to-god human beings are being treated: "the usual spate of false allegations and baseless rumors"...

and what about the EMPLOYERS who hired these poor stiffs and have been making money hand over fist on their backs...?

< crickets >

what a great time to be alive in the u.s. of a...

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Round 'em up, ship 'em out

Get along little dogies
It’s your misfortune and none of my own
Get along little dogies
You know that Wyoming the immigrant detention center
will be your new home

more exciting news from the ice office of detention and removal operations...

Federal immigration agents have arrested 905 people in California in the past three weeks after a statewide search for those who had violated orders to leave the country. The operation was the latest in a series of national sweeps by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The arrests were the result of collaboration among teams in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco that began on May 5.

“The focal point of this operation were people who had exhausted all of their due process in the courts,” said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego. “They have a final order of removal issued by a U.S. immigration judge, and they’ve failed to depart.”

In the process of seeking each person on the list, Ms. Mack said, agents often encountered friends, family members and others who had violated immigration laws.

“Agents may come to a house looking for a target, and someone answers the door, or there are other people in the house who have also violated immigration laws,” she said.

Brian DeMore, acting director of the federal Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Los Angeles, said agents took into custody any person they encountered during an arrest who had violated immigration laws. Agents set out with a target list of just over 1,500 “fugitive aliens,” Mr. DeMore said, referring to people who have ignored orders to leave the country.

yee-ha...! gotta keep them halliburton-built people warehouses operatin' at full capacity...!

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Keith Olbermann on Hillary's deep dive to the muck-filled bottom

i'm glad keith is speaking out on this as only he can...

WTF, hillary...? you've clearly lost your marbles...

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The WaPo's crusade to destroy Obama continues apace

the headline of the daily wapo opinion email...
Today's Opinions: Obama's Flaws and Gaffes

the two lead items...
Michael Gerson
A Phenom With Flaws
Is Barack Obama a weak candidate or a strong one? Yes.

Charles Krauthammer
Obama's Growing Gaffe
How a campaign misstep became a foreign policy cornerstone.

all of this is merely prelude to hauling out the big guns... we ain't seen nothing like the barrage of heavy character assassination artillery that will be unleashed in the coming months as obama moves into the thick of the full-blown presidential campaign and the weeks draw down to the party conventions...

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No biggie... It's only 15 BILLION dollars...

ya know what...? $15B doesn't just DISAPPEAR... you can be damn sure, it's out there somewhere, spread around among the numbered offshore bank accounts of the elite, super-rich crooks who are fleecing us for every last dollar...
The Pentagon cannot account for nearly 15 billion dollars in payments for goods and services in Iraq, according to an internal audit which members of Congress blasted Friday as a "shocking" accountability failure.

Of 8.2 billion dollars in US taxpayer-funded defense contracts reviewed by the defense department's inspector general, the Pentagon could not properly account for more than 7.7 billion dollars.

The lack of accountability of the funds, intended for purchases of weapons, vehicles, construction equipment and security services, amounted to a 95 percent failure rate in basic accounting standards, according to the report.

"We estimated that the army made 1.4 billion dollars in commercial payments that lacked the minimum documentation for a valid payment, such as properly prepared receiving reports, invoices, and certified vouchers," deputy inspector general Mary Ugone told a Congressional committee Thursday.

"We also estimated that the army made an additional 6.3 billion dollars of commercial payments that met the 27 criteria for payments but did not comply with other statutory and regulatory requirements."

The Pentagon also was found to have given away another 1.8 billion in Iraqi assets "with absolutely no accountability," said Congressman Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"Investigators examined 53 payment vouchers and couldn't find even one that adequately explained where the money went."

categorizing this as a series of accounting and documentation errors is the height of naivete... i may have been born at night, but i wasn't born LAST night...

p.s. remember, this is only IRAQ we're talking about... how about AFGHANISTAN, where i am currently parked, typing this... how about somalia, homeland security, domestic defense contracts, etc., etc., etc... $15B is only the tip of an extraordinarily large iceberg...


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Hillary goes off the deep end: RFK, Florida, Michigan and Zimbabwe

i mean, seriously...


from yahoo and afp...


Clinton told a newspaper board in South Dakota she could not understand calls for her to quit, arguing that history showed that some past nominating contests had gone on into June.


"We all remember, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California, I don't understand it," Clinton said.

On Thursday, Clinton brought up what for Democrats is the nightmare of the 2000 presidential recount debacle to demand the reinstatement of Florida and Michigan delegates.

"People go through the motions of an election only to have it discarded and disregarded," she said.

"We're seeing that right now in Zimbabwe -- tragically an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people. So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote."

i think she's losing it, if she hasn't already...

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Stand Clear of the Fan

Israeli police question Olmert

Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, is being questioned for a second time by the police, as a part of a bribery investigation.

Friday's investigation will probe Olmert's alleged role in accepting money from Morris Talansky, an American Jewish businessman.

Olmert has denied accepting any bribe from
US businessman Morris Talansky [GALLO/GETTY]

Earlier, Israel's chief prosecutor had said that investigators suspected Olmert had taken envelopes of cash from Talansky, a New York based fundraiser.


Meanwhile, Talansky has said that he received nothing from Olmert in exchange for the money. He is due to give evidence in court on Sunday.

Prosecutors want Talansky to give evidence under oath before a court order banning him from leaving Israel expires on Monday.

Jacques Chen, Talansky's lawyer, said: "He is anxious to return to the US immediately thereafter."

Olmert's defence team, however, wants to put off Talansky's testimony, saying it needs more time to prepare for his cross-examination.

Israel announced on Wednesday that it had begun indirect peace talks with Syria in Turkey, a move that many Israelis think is meant only to divert attention from the inquiry into Olmert.

Ya'know....... I wondered why they were having those peace talks. But it still doesn't answer the question of why the U.S. was left out of them.

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See yesterday's post (kinda sorta)

i'm nursing the same outlook today as yesterday, i'm afraid, with one single, major exception...

i was taken to lunch today by three afghan medical doctors... two of them are practicing doctors and the other one is currently working in publishing... the two practicing doctors are both working in world bank-funded medical clinics and struggling mightily to keep up with the steady stream of patients in dire poverty coming in with all kinds of ailments and diseases related to poor hygiene, malnutrition, and the occasional trauma related to stepping on unexploded mines... as grim as that sounds, we nonetheless had a marvelous time, telling stories, jokes, laughing, and generally making the best of our time together...

all three of them are quite delightful people and they have my utmost respect... none of them had the means to escape the country during the civil war and taliban years and all three witnessed the horrendous carnage and destruction of those times... some of the horror continues to this day, of course, but at least now it's possible to live the semblance of a halfway "normal" life, where a lunch with friends can be enjoyed on a day off...

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

This is the only post today

and i got nothin' to say... i'm fed up to my eyeballs with crappy news and i don't see anything but crappy news comin' my way... sorry... bad attitude... maybe tomorrow...

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Like I said the other day, if we can't attack Iran, let's get cranking on Venezuela


i've been following the re-activation of the u.s. fourth fleet in the caribbean... i've also noted that, at the end of april, joint naval exercises were recently conducted with argentina and brazil*... it looks suspiciously like the u.s. is laying the groundwork for more violent conflict...
On Saturday, a U.S. navy plane strayed into Venezuelan airspace. Venezuelan Defense Minister Gustavo Rangel said that the aircraft "practically flew over" the island of La Orchila - where Venezuela has a military base and President Hugo Chávez has a residence - and another island before turning back. U.S. officials claimed the plane had “navigational problems.”

"This is just the latest step in a series of provocations," Rangel said.

Indeed, tensions have been mounting in recent days. The Navy is now reactivating its fourth fleet in the Caribbean. The fleet, which will include a nuclear aircraft carrier, will be based in Mayport, Florida.

The fleet hasn’t seen any action in Caribbean waters since World War II. In February 1942, the Germans sank a number of oil tankers full of Venezuelan crude. The attack caused a nationalist outcry in Venezuela and Caracas began to side more openly with the allies. In response to the attacks the U.S. patrolled the area, hunting down Nazi submarines which were wreaking havoc on allied shipping. After the war, with no more German U-boats prowling Caribbean waters, the Fourth Fleet was dissolved.

So, why resuscitate the fleet now?

The navy claims the move is necessary to protect maritime security. The real reason however may have more to do with Washington’s desire to wage a kind of psychological war against the Chávez government and to foment a climate of political tension.

it's more than "psychological warfare" to re-activate an entire naval fleet and to deliberately fly a military aircraft over a sovereign nation's airspace without permission, it's really an act of veiled aggression... "navigational problems," my ass...
* The aircraft carrier USS George Washington made a port visit in Rio de Janeiro at the end of April, and took part in exercises with the Brazilian and Argentine navies.

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McCain will continue to reward narco-fascist regimes that side with the U.S.

and attempt to interfere with the internal affairs of states that insist on charting their own course independent of the u.s...
"If I am elected president (…) We will work to prevent Venezuela and Bolivia from taking the same road to failure Castro has paved for Cuba, and we will broaden and strengthen ties with key states like Brazil, Peru, and Chile," McCain said.

Likewise, McCain criticized Obama for opposing to a free trade agreement with Colombia.

"Colombia is a beacon of hope in a region where the Castro brothers, [Venezuelan President] Hugo Chávez, and others are actively seeking to thwart economic progress and democracy," McCain added.

what do brazil, chile, colombia, and peru have in common...? that's right... they all have significant energy and mineral resources and are willing to cooperate with the u.s. its own terms... what does colombia have that makes it a "beacon of hope"...? it lets the u.s. military play an unfettered hand within its borders, to say nothing of the billions of dollars the u.s. spends arming the colombian military lining the pockets of its wealthy elites...

what do bolivia, cuba, and venezuela have in common...? bolivia and venezuela have significant energy and mineral resources and are led by populist governments intent on having the final say about how their resources are used... all three insist on charting an independent course, free of controlling u.s. influence...

to the money and power-crazed criminals that preside over my country, governments of, by, and for the people are acceptable only if those governments fully align themselves with u.s. "interests"... if a country is governed by super-rich, narco-fascists AND is fully aligned with u.s. "interests," hey...! that's ok... after all, it's u.s. "interests" that really matter...

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The U.S. prisons, prison ships and proxy prison sites - Guantánamo, Bagram, Diego Garcia, Camp Lemonier, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and, yes, Abu Ghraib

monday, 19 may, democracy now...
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewing Clive Stafford Smith, a British attorney who represents more than fifty of the prisoners at Guantanamo, legal director of the UK charity Reprieve and author of Eight O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice in Guantanamo Bay. He is testifying on Tuesday before the House Committee on Foreign Relations about Guantanamo Bay.

[A]ccording to the most recent official figures, the United States is currently holding 27,000 secret prisoners around the world. So that means that 99 percent of these folk are not in Guantanamo Bay. Now they’re in other prisons elsewhere. And as you mentioned, Bagram has 680. But there’s a huge number of people being held in Iraq, and one of the intriguing aspects of this that doesn’t get much reporting is that the US is bringing people into Iraq from elsewhere to hold them there, simply because that keeps rather annoying people like you, Amy—I mean the media—and also annoying people like me, lawyers, away from the prisoners so they can’t get any sort of legal rights.

And when you look around the world, there’s a huge camp, Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, where a lot of people are being held. Diego Garcia, contrary to the past analysis of the British government, in the Indian Ocean has been used, in my belief, to hold people. And we’ve identified thirty-two prison ships, sort of prison hulks you used to read about in Victorian England, which have been converted to hold prisoners, and we’ve got pictures of them in Lisbon Harbor, for example. And these are holding prisoners around the world, as well. And there’s a bunch of proxy prisons—Morocco, Egypt and Jordan—where this stuff is going on. And this is a huge concern, because the world focus is on Guantanamo Bay, which really is a diversionary tactic in the whole war of terror or war on terror, whatever you’d like to call it. And actually, most of these people who have been severed from their legal rights are in these other secret prisons around the world.

it's becoming increasingly apparent that guantánamo is a diversionary tactic... i speculated the other day that the announcement of the new prison to be built at bagram in afghanistan is a signal that guantánamo will indeed be closed... this will precipitate a victory chant from human rights activists who will fail to note that all of these other sites are still out there, just much less visible and a whole lot easier to shield from prying eyes...
AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, Clive, did you say that you—that the US is taking prisoners to Iraq?

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH: Oh, yes, they are. I mean, the US is taking an estimated forty to sixty, on average, prisoners a day around the world. And it doesn’t take a lot of arithmetic to tell you how many people that is each month. And people are being taken to Iraq to be held in Abu Ghraib, even today, and also in other camps in Iraq.

mark my words... we will see guantánamo closed about the time the new facility at bagram opens...

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Don't bomb Iran

from true majority...
"Don't let this administration lead America into another conflict in the Middle East. One war is already too much.

I urge you to support S. Res. 356, which would require that any military action against Iran be explicitly approved by Congress."

you can also send a message to your senators at the above link...

p.s. i've lost count of the things i've signed in the past few years... i have no idea if signing anything makes the slightest bit of difference, but i do know this... all things considered, i'd rather put my name up against something i feel strongly about than not...

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Hillary warns Barack: "Just because you're way ahead, don't get cocky"

whatrya gonna do, hill...? snip off his huevos...? abridge his chimichangas...? snap his cojones with a rubber band...?
Hillary Clinton had a warning on Monday for rival Barack Obama, who is on the verge of claiming the U.S. Democratic presidential nomination: Not so fast.

"This is nowhere near over," Clinton said at a rally in Maysville, Kentucky, pressing ahead with her long shot bid for the White House even as Obama focuses on November's general election match-up with Republican John McCain.

Despite Obama's almost unassailable lead in delegates who will select the nominee at the August Democratic convention, Clinton repeatedly has shrugged off calls to quit the race before the last of the voting concludes on June 3.

She warned the Illinois senator against premature victory celebrations one day before Kentucky and Oregon cast ballots in the lengthy Democratic White House fight.

"None of us is going to have the number of delegates we're going to need to get to the nomination, although I understand my opponent and his supporters are going to claim that," Clinton, a New York senator, said in Maysville.

Obama expects to claim a majority of pledged delegates won in state-by-state races after Tuesday's returns, but he will still be about 75 short of the 2,026 needed to clinch the nomination without further help from superdelegates -- party officials who are free to back any candidate.

Obama contends the remaining undecided superdelegates, who have been trending his way heavily in recent weeks, should back him since he won the most delegates in state voting.

have i mentioned lately just how deathly sick and tired i am of that woman...?

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Hail, The Fuhrer!

Obama might be a lot of things, but his family tree is free of honest to goodness Nazis.
This is just a teaser. Even the whole article at ICH is just a teaser. Do the research for yourself. The stories are staggering.
Another sad fact, Roosevelt buried this info. to protect himself as well.
There is evil in this world, and WMD's. It walks on two legs and calls itself a "leader".

Courtesy of ICH.
Banking on Fascism

It just doesn’t stop does it, as Prescott Bush, son of George continued in the ‘grand tradition’ of skullduggery by also doing deals with the Nazis,

"On October 20, 1942, the US Alien Property Custodian, under the "Trading With the Enemy Act," seized the shares of the Union Banking Corporation (UBC), of which Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder. The largest shareholder was E. Roland Harriman. (Bush was also the managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman, a leading Wall Street investment firm.)

"The UBC was established to send American capital to Germany to finance the reorganization of its industry under the Nazis. Their leading German partner was the notorious Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, who wrote a book admitting much of this called "I Paid Hitler."

"Among the companies financed was the Silesian-American Corporation, which was also managed by Prescott Bush, and by his father-in-law George Herbert Walker, who supplied Dub-a-Ya with his name. The company was vital in supplying coal to the Nazi war industry. It too was seized as a Nazi-front on November 17, 1942. The largest company Bush's UBC helped finance was the German Steel Trust, responsible for between one-third and one-half of Nazi iron and explosives.

"Prescott Bush was also a director of the Harriman Fifteen Corporation, (this one owned largely by Roland's brother, Averell Harriman), which owned about a third of the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, the rest owned by Friedrich Flick, (a member of Himmler's "Circle of Friends" who donated to the S.S.)."


What is interesting about the history of the Bush family are the connections; Avril Harriman, Allen Dulles, the Rockefellers (the start of the oil connection), James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, Osama bin Laden…on and on it goes.

The verifiable, factual connections go on and on. The Bush Family is a bastion of international criminal fascist ties.
The Nazis are still among us. We have embraced them. We follow them. We even worship their god.
There is some small hope. It only took one real American to stop them from openly taking over the U.S. in the thirties, General Smedley Butler.
Americans today have become too soft. We don't have half the character or courage a man like Butler had in his day.
But maybe a few of us, working together, might at least approach a fraction of General Butler's love of the Constitutional Republic and make the difference.
Spread the word.

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Pelosi sucks up to Israel and badmouths Iran

god, i wish she would just go away... permanently...

sucking up to israel...

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said Sunday that when it comes to backing Israel, she and President George W. Bush are united.

Pelosi is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation marking Israel's 60th anniversary. She said the Jewish state was the one issue where American political rivals saw eye to eye. Pelosi is a Democrat, while Bush is a Republican.

"We're not on the opposite sides as far as Israel is concerned," she said. "There are no divisions between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to support for the state of Israel."

trashing iran...
Washington must assert to the rest of the world that if they want to be friends with America, they need to do more to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, visiting US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Sunday in an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Pelosi said the US needed to be more "proactive" in saying to the countries of the world - including Russia, China and the Muslim countries in Asia - that "one of the pillars of US foreign policy is to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to anyone."

The US needed to make it clear to everyone, including the Europeans, that their polices on this issue would be a term of friendship with the US, and a measuring stick of benefits they could derive from that friendship, she said.

The US cannot stop nuclear proliferation alone, Pelosi said, adding that "if these weapons proliferate, they are a threat to everyone, not just to the US, and not just to Israel."

could she be any more obvious about carrying water for bush...? could she signal any more strongly her support for endless war...?

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Gee...! Iran claims the CIA is trying to destabilize its government...!

i'm shocked, SHOCKED, i tell you...!

from the tehran times...

The Intelligence Ministry on Saturday released details of the detection and dismantling of a terrorist network affiliated to the United States.

In a coordinated operation on May 7, Iranian intelligence agents arrested the terrorist network’s members, who were identified in Fars, Khuzestan, Gilan, West Azerbaijan, and Tehran provinces, the Intelligence Ministry announcement said.

The group’s plans were devised in the U.S., according to the announcement, which added that they had planned to carry out a number of acts such as bombing scientific, educational, and religious centers, shooting people, and making public places in various cities insecure.

One of the terrorists was killed in the operation, but the rest are in detention, the Intelligence Ministry said, adding that the group’s main objective was to create fear among the people.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency comprehensively supported the terrorist group by arming it, training its members, and sponsoring its inhumane activities in Iran, the Intelligence Ministry stated.

The terrorists had maps, films, pictures, and sketches of important and sensitive sites in various cities in their possession when they were arrested.

obviously, iran is just peddling its own propaganda to counter all the accusations the u.s. is making about iran's meddling in iraq and lebanon...

ya think...?

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Note to Ecuador's Correa: Look what happens to you when you flip off the United States


just go ask hugo... they turn loose their attack dogs...
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said Saturday he would step down if there is proof that he had ties with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest rebel group in Colombia.

"If I had the most minimal relation with the FARC as candidate or as president I will resign as president," Correa said in his weekly radio address. "We have never received illegal (campaign) contributions."

The president said he handed over proof of his innocence to the Organization of American States amid accusations that he had received money contributions from FARC rebels during his presidential campaign in 2006.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was leading a smear campaign against him, Correa added.

tsk, tsk... correa should have never decided to send the u.s. military packing and reclaim the manta base...

from al jazeera...

The only US air base in South America is expected to shut down soon. Manta in Ecuador is home to a fleet of A-WACS spyplanes. Washington says they crack down on cocaine smugglers but the president of Ecuador is convinced the US helped Colombia carry out a recent [illegal] cross border [incursion].

and correa should never have decided to make nice with hugo chávez...
In August 2006, Correa told the Ecuadorian press that he is not part of the Venezuelan Bolivarian movement, although he considers Hugo Chávez a personal friend.[15] In response to Chávez's comparison of President Bush with Satan, Correa said it was unfair to the devil.

i'd read that quote a long time ago and forgotten about it... what a hoot... comparing george bush with satan gives satan a bad name... what a classic...!

anywayz, as usual, the context is missing... the original claims of a chávez/correa connection to farc continue to be strongly supported by uribe's pals in the bush administration and their running dogs...

from the sock-puppet heritage foundation...

Nonetheless, it is clear that Colombia launched a joint air-land operation against a FARC encampment that crossed into Ecuador. The distance of the incursion remains in dispute. While Colombian President Alvaro Uribe apparently briefed President Rafael Correa of Ecuador on the operation hours after the attack, Correa now claims he was misled and misinformed by his Colombian counterpart and has denounced Reyes' death as "the worst aggression suffered by Ecuador at the hands of Colombia." The details of the operation will be disputed and investigated in the weeks ahead.

On March 2, the Colombian military reported that it had recovered "revealing" information from computers captured in Reyes' effects, including records of contacts with senior security officials in Ecuador who were reportedly interested in "formalizing a relationship with the FARC." Authorities in Quito denied any links between the FARC and officials in Ecuador.

The situation surrounding Reyes' death demands further objective investigation. Furthermore, governments and citizens must recognize that terrorists and insurgents, be they narco-terrorists in the FARC, al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan, or Kurdish terrorists in Iraq, show no respect for frontiers and national sovereignty.

followed by this more recent broadside directly from the u.s...
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez must explain documents found on Colombian rebel computers that Washington and Bogota charge show deep ties between the leftist leader and the guerrillas, a top U.S. official said.


"President Chavez has a lot of explaining to do," White House drug czar John Walters told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo in a Spanish-language interview published on Sunday.

"They were fluid contacts from both sides. This is a group that wants to violently overthrow a democratic government. This is very serious and requires more than just a simple denial."

and, finally, manta may NOT be the ONLY u.s. air base left in latin america, as i've posted here on this blog repeatedly...

Estigarribia Airbase, Paraguay

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The Real McCain 2

thank god for folks like robert greenwald at brave new films...

the real mccain 2...

our overlords have decreed - only john mccain or hillary clinton can become the next president of the united states...

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Viguerie: "The party leadership should resign immediately"

for some reason, newsmax emails began landing in my spam folder a couple of months ago... since i always check my spam folder for things that may have fallen in there by mistake, i always read - and usually chuckle - at the subject headers of the newsmax emails before deleting them... a surprising number push "miracle medical remedies" and get-rich-quick schemes, but there are also the usual run of headlines such as "Hillary's Antics Could Still Save the GOP" and "Bennett, Lieberman Applaud Hillary’s New Voice"... this one from richard viguerie, however, got me curious enough to open it...
Viguerie: Republican Leaders Must Resign

The Republican Party must replace its leadership or conservatives will continue to withhold support and the GOP will face “disaster” in November, leading conservative activist Richard A. Viguerie declared.

“Republican Party leaders must resign,” said Viguerie, publisher of and the pioneer of political direct mail.


He named a number of prominent Republicans, including President Bush, Karl Rove, party chairman Mike Duncan, House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and House Minority Whip Roy Blunt.


“For things to change, for conservatives to be justified in once again giving our contributions, our volunteer efforts, our energy, and votes to the GOP, the party must clean house. The party leadership should resign immediately.


Viguerie has this message for the current GOP leadership: “For the future of the Republican Party, for America, and the cause of freedom: Go!”

well, i've been calling for mass resignations since the officially-sponsored ethnic cleansing of new orleans following hurricane katrina, not to save the republican party, to be sure, but to save my country, but, hey... i'll take it any way i can get it...

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Citigroup, Citicorp, credit cards and outright customer abuse

having to spend any time whatsoever on this kind of crap is, imho, totally inexcusable...

18 May 2008

Steven Freiberg
Chief Executive Officer
Citigroup Global Consumer Group
399 Park Ave
New York, NY 10043

Cc: Vikram Pandit, CEO, Citigroup Inc.
Cc: Vice President, Citicard Customer Service

Re: [Name and credit card number redacted]

Dear Mr. Freiberg:

I am writing you because I believe you need to know my truly appalling tale of perhaps the very worst customer service it has ever been my misfortune to experience.

Before I begin, you should know that I am currently working on a project in Afghanistan. I live part-time in Argentina and the U.S. As with many travelers, I rely on my ATM and credit cards to provide me with necessary funds in a timely manner rather than traveling with large amounts of cash-on-hand. I travel extensively and have done so for most of the past twenty-five years.

Let me now outline the chain of events which includes the facts of the egregious and totally unacceptable treatment at the hands of your customer service “professionals.”

(Note: All dates are based on Afghanistan time which is 8 ½ hours ahead of U.S. eastern time.)

6 May 2008

I withdrew a $200 cash advance from an ATM machine owned by a local bank here in Afghanistan.

12 May 2008

I attempted to withdraw another $200 from that ATM and was rejected. Subsequently, I phoned the Universal Card customer service center where I informed the representative that I was calling from Afghanistan. When I had gone through the identity verification process, I was told that customer service had attempted to contact me but, as a result of not being able to reach me, my card was scheduled for cancellation. I asked why it was being canceled and was told that “the customer database had been compromised.” I asked for additional information about the “compromise” but that was all the representative could – or would - tell me. I said that I didn’t want the card canceled but was told that if I left the account open, I would be liable for any charges incurred through fraud. At that point, I was only told that the card must be canceled, not that a new account number would be assigned and a new card provided. When I expressed my concern about losing my card and my account, I was then told that I would receive a replacement account number and that a replacement card would be mailed to my billing address. I said that I needed the card now and was told that a new card could be express delivered to me here in Afghanistan. I carefully spelled out the address of the project here (I live and work in the same building). Since there is no street number, I was careful to point out that both DHL and Federal Express make regular deliveries here and that our location is in both of their databases. I also provided my local cell phone number. The representative carefully verified all of the details and assured me that the card would arrive in only a few days. I thanked her for her help and rang off.

14 May 2008

I phoned customer service to find out the name of the express company and the tracking number so that I could make sure that delivery was in progress. After providing my old account number, but before going through the identify verification process and communicating my request, I was asked by the representative if I could provide my new account number. When I said that I couldn’t because I hadn’t received the new card yet, the representative informed me that the new card had been sent to my billing address in the U.S. She also expressed concern that I hadn’t received it yet. Needless to say, I was taken aback. I basically went through the entire drill of the previous call, providing the address and phone information for Afghanistan. The representative placed me on hold during the call for 3-5 minutes at least four times while she conferred with either her supervisor and/or technical assistance people. She told me that the account number and card that had been mailed to the U.S. would have to be canceled and a new one issued. Finally, when we were almost finished with the call, she asked me if I wanted my billing address changed to Afghanistan and my statements mailed here. I said absolutely not (I had already told her I was on a temporary assignment here), that I received my statements by email, that I didn’t want them mailed anywhere, and that I wanted the billing address in the U.S. and the phone number to remain the same. She said that I could call back the next day to find out the name of the express company and the tracking number.

15 May 2008

I phoned customer service last evening prior to going to bed to find out the name of the express company and the tracking number. The representative informed me that a new card had been mailed to the U.S. because policy dictated that it could not be sent to Afghanistan. At this point, I was stunned. I explained the full details of the situation to the representative, emphasizing that I understood the policy, but expressed deep frustration over not having been told that in the first place. I also told her that, while I appreciated her apology and realized that the fault was not hers, I expected and deserved some consideration from the company for what was fast becoming a monumental level of disservice. I stated that, although I had no idea of what that consideration might be, I would like to speak to her supervisor, not to complain about her, but to satisfy myself that someone in higher authority would at least be made aware of my circumstances.

An account manager came on the line. I explained my situation and acknowledged that I both understood and accepted the policy that a card could not be delivered to Afghanistan. That notwithstanding, the account manager must have repeated at least 6-8 times that, “Sir, there is nothing I can do about getting your card to you in Afghanistan.” I became increasingly frustrated as she repeated that statement while I repeated that, yes, I understood and accepted that, but was only interested in what she could offer as consideration for my trouble in acknowledgment of the company’s high level of disservice. Finally, she offered to place my account on an introductory offer status, interest-free on all purchases for six months. Since some small consideration was all I was interested in, I agreed that was satisfactory, thanked her for her help, and prepared to end the call. Prior to that, however, I had one final question. This is where things got truly interesting.

I asked the account manager if she could verify that the second card was being mailed to my billing address in the U.S. Amazingly, she told me that it was being sent to my billing address in Afghanistan, the same address where my statements were to be mailed. I could scarcely believe my ears. I related my previous instructions to the other representative on 14 May and demanded that she immediately correct the mistake. I provided the U.S. billing address and contact information and re-affirmed that I wanted to continue receiving my statements via email. In conclusion, out of curiosity, I asked how, since my billing address had been changed to Afghanistan, my card would have been sent here if the policy was not to deliver to Afghanistan. Her answer was the final straw. She informed me that the card would have been MAILED - not couriered - to the address in Afghanistan. I told her that trusting a credit card to a virtually non-existent Afghanistan postal system would be tantamount to guaranteeing that it would not only never arrive, but that it would also be stolen. As that point, I asked to speak to someone higher up the food chain. She took my number and told me that someone would be getting back to me in twenty-four hours. That was approximately sixty hours ago.

I understand that you are the senior executive of Citigroup’s card business and have many layers of managers working under you who are specifically tasked to attend to seriously dissatisfied customers such as myself. I do, however, have a request for you personally, and it is a simple one. I want nothing less than a written letter from you, under your signature, not that of a subordinate, that re-caps the details of my horrendous experience at the hands of your company, and offers a most sincere apology. I require your personal assurance that you have been apprised of and fully understand this example of abysmal customer service.

I also want to inform you that I will be posting this letter on my personal weblog as well as forwarding it to my extensive list of personal and business contacts.

I will await your response.


[name redacted]

i shared this with a friend... his comments...

That chain of events is simply ridiculous. How on earth can customer
service get so bad... what kind of recruitment policy did they have? 'Hire the rudest most unsympathetic people on the planet'???

my response...
no, "they" don't "hire the rudest most unsympathetic people on the planet"... "they" hire generally well-meaning, ordinary folks like you and me... but, with "their" stilting, uncompromising, totally inflexible rules, regulations, policies and procedures that do not make allowances for any deviation from the norm that "they" have defined, combined with the constant threat of firing for the slightest mistake, "they" seriously limit "problem-solving" to the recitation of scripted boiler-plate... and, if the script doesn't contain precisely "their" senior management approved recipe for your particular unique problem, you are s.o.l. (shit outta luck)...

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