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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 09/26/2010 - 10/03/2010
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, October 02, 2010

You have virtually no rights as a homeowner

alan grayson...

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Remember, the fear must be sustained if the resources are to flow

i signed off the previous post with my own solid advice - "don't give in to the fearmongers"... not more than an hour later, i'm faced with former intelligence director, currently a booz allen defense contractor vp and ace fear-monger mike mcconnell shoveling it out as fast as he can...
Speaking at the Washington Ideas Forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., former Director of National Intelligence and Director of the National Security Agency Mike McConnell said that the U.S. is unprepared for a cyberattack and must overhaul its defenses.

"The warnings are over. It could happen tomorrow," he said of a large-scale cyberattack against the U.S., which could impact the global economy "an order of magnitude surpassing" the attacks of September 11. McConnell, in a panel with Bush administration Homeland Security Adviser Fran Townsend and Washingtonian reporter Shane Harris, called cybersecurity "the wolf at the door."

McConnell and Townsend both argued that the U.S. should overhaul how it defends against cyberattacks. Townsend warned that U.S. intelligence and security agencies lack the organizational ability and authorization to prevent and respond to cybersecurity threats.

never mind that mcconnell and booz have gazillions of dollars at stake based on how much fear they can stoke in the administration, congress and the american public... never mind that the atlantic can't be bothered to identify mcconnell in his current role as a senior vp at booz allen... the message is all about fear...

could a sophisticated cyber weapon like the stuxnet worm be developed, directed at the u.s. internet infrastructure and possibly shut it down...? why, sure... i don't doubt that it's a possibility... but, fercryinoutloud, is it necessary for someone like mcconnell to pop up every six months with his patented chicken little routine, particularly when our esteemed news media aren't even interested in giving us the rest of the story...?

fortunately, a commenter writing in the uk guardian hasn't taken leave of his senses...

There is now an extensive police and industrial lobby in Britain dependent for its resources on maintaining a high level of public fear. The lobby thrives on its own failures. The incidents in America on 9/11 (2001) and in London on 7/7 (2005) saw the greatest ever peacetime growth in spending on security. Unlike most forms of public spending, this one could by its nature demand cash with menaces and with no account of value for money.

The fear must be sustained if the resources are to flow.

as in britain, as in the us - as always, follow the money...

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A terrorist is tried in NYC... Say what...?

marcy - emptywheel - wheeler...
[A]s Bob Schacht pointed out, not that anybody would know it, but there has been a terror trial going on all week in a real live Article III courtroom in the heart of Manhattan. Exactly like all the Republicans with vapors and trembling Democrats said could not be safely done.

from human rights first...
Despite repeated warnings that trying Guantanamo detainees in New York would result in chaos, mayhem, kidnappings, astronomical security costs, a police take-over of Lower Manhattan, snarled traffic, street closures, and “utter, unmitigated disaster,” New Yorkers interviewed by Human Rights First are going about their daily business within blocks of the federal terrorism trial of a former Guantanamo detainee.

In an exclusive video released today, the group reveals that many New Yorkers are not only failing to fear, they do not even realize that accused terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani’s trial is underway. Some, despite the urgent warnings from those trying to “Keep America Safe,” even expressed pride that the prosecution was happening in New York City.

“We have trials like that here all of the time,” one woman observed as Human Rights First correspondent Reagan Kuhn interviewed her near the federal courthouse in Foley Square.

Despite the best efforts of Liz Cheney, Deborah Burlingame, Rudy Guiliani, and Karl Rove to spread panic, many naïve New Yorkers seemed completely uninformed about the chaos that was supposed to reign. Some even observed that “everything seems pretty normal,” “I haven’t noticed anything,” and “I’m sure everybody knows what they are doing.”.

all of the cravenly manipulative exhortations demanding that we live in endless, paralyzing fear are clearly aimed at one thing and one thing only - allowing those in power to exert more control over our minds and our lives... marcy offers a nice closing paragraph...
They have been holding terrorism trials of the highest order for years in New York City. SDNY is where the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman was tried for the first World Trade Center Attack. There is not a better secured and more appropriate place in america to try the 9/11 terrorism suspects. That is what we do in America, and what we do as Americans. Giving in to the fear and bed wetting of the Cheneys, Rudy Guiliani, Lindsey Graham, Lieberman and others of their ilk is giving up on our principles and giving in to the terrorists themselves. Besides, NYC is always a target of terrorists and would be even if Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other four 9/11 suspects were tried in Gitmo.

Put the trials where the crimes happened and deal with it.

don't give in to the fearmongers...

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Friday, October 01, 2010

The MQ9 Reaper, a hunter-killer UAV

MQ-9 Reaper

the reaper is the latest generation of unmanned aerial drones we're using to wreak destruction across vast stretches of afghanistan and pakistan and is undoubtedly one of the reasons pakistan has decided to block the nato supply route over the khyber pass in retaliation for u.s. attacks on pakistani soil...


The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper (originally the Predator B) is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) for use by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, the Royal Air Force, and the Italian Air Force. The MQ-9 and other UAVs are referred to as Remotely Piloted Vehicles/Aircraft (RPV/RPA) by the U.S. Air Force to indicate their human ground controllers.[3][4] The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.[3]

The MQ-9 is a larger and more capable aircraft than the earlier MQ-1 Predator, although it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s. The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine, far more powerful than the Predator's 115 hp (86 kW) piston engine. The increase in power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance and cruise at three times the speed of the MQ-1.[3] Although the MQ-9 can fly pre-programmed routes autonomously, the aircraft is always monitored or controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control Station (GCS) and weapons employment is always commanded by the pilot.

i just received an email from a friend who camped across from me last summer announcing that he is now fully-qualified on the reaper and will begin operational missions tonight... i enjoyed getting to know him and his family despite the vast chasm between his liberal-hating, hard-ass, neo-con mindset and mine... he provides me with occasional updates and a window into a world that i wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to see...

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How to report a human rights violator to the U.S. Department of Justice

glenn helpfully points us to the doj website where such violators can be reported and suggests that there are a number of such violators on u.s. soil that concerned, patriotic u.s. citizens might consider handing over to our esteemed justice system...

gee, i dunno... how about john yoo and jay bybee for starters...?

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Michael Moore offers 5 ways the Dems can pull their heads out of their collective asses

wouldn't you love it if they actually did this...? 'course there's not a snowball's chance in hell they will...

michael moore...

Memo To: President Obama and the Democratic Party Leadership

From: Michael Moore

Subject: 5 Things Dems Can Do to Turn It Around by November 2nd

1. Immediate Wall-to-Wall TV Ads, Internet Videos, and Appearances Hammering Who the Hell Put Us in the Misery We're In.
We Americans have very short attention spans (Quick: Who Won the Oscar for Best Picture last year? The World Series? Exactly.). People need to be reminded over and over that it was the REPUBLICANS who concocted and led the unnecessary invasion of two countries, putting us in our longest war ever, wars that will eventually cost us over $3 trillion. Bush and Co. also caused the biggest collapse of our economy since the Great Depression. I don't know a single person in Hollywood who wouldn't shoot and produce those spots for you for FREE. Dems: Do not pull a single punch on this. Quit being a bunch of wusses and let the bastards have it! The public will be astonished that you've found your courage and your spine. We expect you to be Muhammad Ali, not Ally McBeal.

2. Indict the Criminals.
Announce that the Justice Department will seek indictments against both those who caused the economic collapse and those who became war profiteers. Call it for what it is: organized crime. Use the RICO statutes. Use the basic laws that make fraud of any kind a crime. Get in the face of those who stole the billions, make them pay for it -- and the people will love you. We want Dirty Harry, not Dirty Dancing.

3. Announce a Moratorium on All Family Home Foreclosures.
Last month (August) there were more home foreclosures than in any month in U.S. history. Worse than any month in the worst year ever, 2009. The bleeding hasn't stopped -- it's only gotten worse. And now, this week, two of the largest crime organizations who are throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes (GMAC and JPMorgan Chase) have been forced to momentarily stop doing this. It turns out, they don't really have the paperwork to prove they actually own these houses! It's madness. So if you do one thing for the middle class this week, do this. It will take an hour of your time to draw up the decree and issue it. We'd rather watch "It's a Wonderful Life" than "Poltergeist."

4. Announce a New 21st Century WPA.
"Who's hiring? THE GOVERNMENT IS HIRING!" Put together a simple plan to hire enough people to repair our roads, fix up our aging schools, and rebuild our infrastructure. Fund this by taxing the richest 1% who have more financial wealth than 95% of Americans combined! Unemployment will drop to 5%. Can you pass it? Well, you sure can't unless you try! And as you're trying, announce that you will force the Republican senators (who until now simply have had to say they "intended" to filibuster in order to kill a bill) to have to actually filibuster! Make them stand on the floor of the Senate and read from the phone book 24/7. They won't last a day. And America will see them for who they really are.

5. Declare That No Democrat Will Accept ANY Wall Street Money in the Next Election Cycle.
Pick a day in the coming week. Have all your fellow Democrats in Congress stand in front of the Capitol (with President Obama) and pledge that if America allows you to retain control of Congress, none of you will take a penny from Wall Street for the 2012 election. Instead, promise to accept donations of only $2, $5 and $10. You will also pledge not to take a job as a lobbyist or lawyer for ANY corporation for ten years after you leave Congress. The message will be a powerful one to the average American fed up with corrupt political hacks. Act like Honest Abe, not Fast Freddie -- and see what happens.

mostly because i would rather die than see the asylum inmate on unsupervised leave, sharron angle, become my next u.s. senator, i went to the voter registration office on wednesday to sign up for absentee voting by email... so, yes, i will undoubtedly be voting for harry reid and, god help us, how pathetic is THAT...?

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eleven year-old Birke Baehr - "What's Wrong With Our Food System"


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I'll be damned if I stop voicing my 100% justified criticism of the President

i'm 100% committed to seeing my country live up to the ideals it claims to support, the ideals it was founded on, and i'm deathly sick and tired of subtly - and not so subtly - being accused of being anti-american and somehow subversive because i want my country to walk its talk... and please don't tell me that such criticism somehow tarnishes the democrats and the obama administration... if there's one bipartisan effort currently taking place in the united states that can truly be said to be successful, it's the democrats and republicans joining hands with our super-rich elites to plunder the nation and the world to satisfy their own endless needs for more money and power...


The country is drowning in a severe and worsening unemployment crisis. People are losing their homes by the millions. Income inequality continues to explode while the last vestiges of middle class security continue to erode. The Obama civil liberties record has been nothing short of a disgrace, usually equaling and sometimes surpassing the worst of the Bush/Cheney abuses. We have to stand by and watch the Commander-in-Chief fire one gay service member after the next for their sexual orientation. The major bills touted by Obama supporters were the by-product of the very corporatist/lobbyist dominance which Obama the candidate repeatedly railed against. Rather than take responsibility for any of this, they instead dismiss criticisms and objections as petulant, childish, "irresponsible whining" -- signaling rather clearly that they think they're doing the right thing and that these criticisms are fundamentally unfair.

as much as i hate to say it, i see the escalating criticisms of the left coming from the obama administration as part and parcel of a general move to limit dissent in any form along with the alarming expansion of any and all means to identify it and root it out no matter how unconstitutional the means...

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Our police state

the u.s. is jumping on the bandwagon with india, saudi arabia and the united arab emirates and - no surprise - going further, deeper and much more invasive... ya gotta love that obama...!
[O]fficials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

oh, yeah... swell...

here's what they're going to be asking for...

¶ Communications services that encrypt messages must have a way to unscramble them.

¶ Foreign-based providers that do business inside the United States must install a domestic office capable of performing intercepts.

¶ Developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception.

paul craig roberts posted a piece a few days ago entitled "It Is Official: The US Is A Police State" in which he was lamenting the fbi raid on anti-war activists in minneapolis... it's all of a piece, i'm afraid...

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm sorry but this is just plain disgusting

it's nothing more than flipping the finger to any idea of israeli-palestinian peace...
Jewish settlers released balloons and broke ground on a kindergarten in celebration Sunday as a 10-month construction slowdown expired, while U.S. and Israeli leaders tried to figure out how to keep Palestinians from walking out of peace talks over the end of the restrictions.

i've lost all patience with this bullshit...

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Zero accountability for the President when he decides to kill American citizens

marcy - emptywheel - wheeler adds her thoughts to glenn's (see previous post)...
Obama Doesn’t Know Why the Fuck He’s Entitled to Kill Al-Awlaki, He Just Is, Damnit

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