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Showing posts from February, 2008

Proof that Less is More

In the giant competition we know as ‘the world’, Finland minds it’s own business and does it’s own thing. Come to find out, Finnish teenagers are way smarter than other teenagers of the world. This comes as an astonishing surprise to many people and has made news in the Wall Street Journal , that erstwhile chronicle of all things competitive. High-school students here rarely get more than a half-hour of homework a night. They have no school uniforms, no honor societies, no valedictorians, no tardy bells and no classes for the gifted. There is little standardized testing, few parents agonize over college and kids don’t start school until age 7. Yet by one international measure, Finnish teenagers are among the smartest in the world. They earned some of the top scores by 15-year-old students who were tested in 57 countries. American teens finished among the world’s C students even as U.S. educators piled on more homework, standards and rules. Finnish youth, like their U.S. counterpart

Killing is a Choice

The Israelis continue to escalate their killing spree. They have been bombing Gaza indiscriminately this week, killing 33 people in a 24 hour span , including babies and children. Go here to see a video and read about one of the infants murdered . From The Guardian : Four Palestinian children were killed while playing football yesterday as Israel hit back at the Gaza Strip with more than 10 air strikes , after Hamas militants escalated their rocket fire into southern Israel. The deaths follow that of a six-month-old Palestinian baby, who was killed the previous evening when Israel intensified its attack on Gaza after a 47-year-old Israeli man was killed by a Hamas-fired rocket. The surge in fighting began after Israel killed five Hamas rocket launchers , prompting the group that rules Gaza to more than double its missile attacks into Israel's neighbouring towns. While Wednesday's Israeli fatality was the first in nine months, rockets fall on the southern Israeli town of Sderot

The Silent Coup

My colleague in Truthology, Liza Persson , has written an important piece describing how we have unwittingly allowed Bush and Cheney to fulfill their megalomaniacal dreams of a Unitary Executive. There's just one point I would like to stress, and that is the role played by the corporate media. Without a willing press, none of this could have been accomplished. The press has not exactly played the 'unwitting' role in all of this. On the contrary. They who have been trained to know better have abandoned their responsibilities to US in exchange for fame and fortune. Bob Somerby has been documenting the fall of our pampered press corps for years. As he has said many times, they have made a joke of our democracy. Bush and Cheney can thank the press for demurely looking away while they dismantled the Constitution. Today the crucial watchdog function of our democracy, what's left of it, resides in the alternative media and the blogosphere. The job should not have fallen larg

Completely Disingenuous

The UN released a report this week that stated the obvious : the occupation causes Palestinians to respond with violence, 'terrorism' if you will. A report commissioned by the United Nations suggests that Palestinian terrorism is the "inevitable consequence" of Israeli occupation and laws that resemble South African apartheid — a claim Israel rejected Tuesday as enflaming hatred between Jews and Palestinians. The report by John Dugard, independent investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the U.N. Human Rights Council, will be presented next month, but it has been posted on the body's Web site. In it, Dugard, a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s, says "common sense ... dictates that a distinction must be drawn between acts of mindless terror, such as acts committed by al-Qaida, and acts committed in the course of a war of national liberation against colonialism, apartheid or military occupation." The man spe

The Yoke

I first read Dmitry Orlov a few years back, back in the days when I was still staggering under the weight of The Truth. I had not yet learned to carry the grim future on my shoulders. During the intervening years I have learned to balance the heavy burden with hope, so that now the yoke across my back weighs a great deal, but I can carry it because it’s balanced. And so I plod on. This requires a daily, perhaps obsessive need to follow current events, because at any given moment the situation can spiral out of control and the burden of the grim future can become unbearably heavy such that I can no longer balance it. By keeping my fingers on the pulse of our world, I tell myself that I can adjust my counterweight, hope, accordingly and constantly, and thereby continue to balance the powerfully burdensome weight of the world on my shoulders. I treasure those who labor under the yoke with me. I pray for those whose weight we drag behind us, that they may come to their senses, step forward

I have a better idea

Here's a little news for you that I'm sure they accidentally forgot to report on World News Tonight: Some senior US military commanders are prepared to resign if President Bush orders a military strike against Iran, a new report says. “There are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran,” The Sunday Times quoted Monday a source with close ties to British intelligence . “There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible,” the source added. If proven true a revolt on such a scale would be unprecedented because 'American generals usually stay and fight until they get fired,” said a Pentagon source. Robert Gates, the defense secretary, has repeatedly warned against striking Iran and is believed to represent the view of his senior commanders. Iran has announced that in face of any aggression it will respond like a 'tsunami'. How


Some big news happened this week. The Federal Government conceded a vaccine-autism case. This interests me a great deal because one of my children had an unexplained and major neurological setback around 18 months of age, and I have had an ongoing disagreement with our pediatrician about this ever since. Here's the link to a piece by David Kirby , in which he explains the whole pail of worms pretty succinctly. I don't have too much time to write about it, but I will just share my anecdotal experiences. My daughter was progressing normally, and by age two it became very clear that something was wrong. She received a lot of help (early intervention, preschool, ABA therapy, etc.) for what they diagnosed as a severe receptive language disorder. It was as if she did not understand English, and unless she looked directly at me when I spoke to her and used a lot of hand signals, she was unlikely to comprehend much of what I said. Fortunately she responded very well to the intensive he

Symbolism in the wrong hands

I find this very interesting . We all know how the military loves their dramatic project code names (Operation Desert Storm) and their mysterious, stern acronyms (CENTCOM, NORAD). Oh yah. It's all very clubby, isn't it? I think it's juvenile. Click through to see the secret club patches. I bet they have secret handshakes, too. Maybe it's me, but I look at this stuff and I think it must be appealing to seventh grade boys, and of course, the grown men wearing the secret patches on their secret vests as they use US taxpayer dollars to conduct their super secret black ops. To people who laugh at the crazy conspiracy theorists interpreting the seeing eye and the pyramid, etc. as actually symbolic, please note the devil, stars, tiger, lightning bolts, rainbows, Omega, etc. on this tiny selection of secret patches. Is it too much to ask for some adults in charge?

Truth is Radical

Here's a petition in opposition to HR 1955 and S 1959 , aka the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. This act would take any citizen doing their due diligence by reading alternative news, following current events, understanding that our government is lying and committing horrific crimes in our names and with our tax dollars, getting outraged and talking about it, etc. etc. etc., and magically turn such a concerned citizen patriot into a 'homegrown terrorist'. Viola! You see, the truth is radical, meaning it is really, really fucked up to the extent that most people will feel like their head is going to explode and their chests will cave in as they comprehend the monstrous lies we've been fed and the horrific crimes we committed against innocent people as a result of the lies. In reality our American lives, past present and future, are a horror show. Therefore, if/when you learn the truth, you will become radicalized. Once you get over

But remember, Israel is a "democracy".

That's what we're always told. Israel is a democracy , and not only that, but the only democracy in the whole Middle East. It's a civilized place. Just don't look in that corner over there, where they keep the Palestinians. Because it's dirty, and it smells . But other than that, it's just the greatest democracy you can imagine. You betcha. The new station receives up to 40,000 cubic metres of waste water every day, and it should pump 120 cubic metres an hour through each of six water pumps. However, only three pumps were installed in the station because the Israeli closure and blockade since June 2007 had prevented the essential parts needed to build the remaining three from entering Gaza. Power cuts have also been affecting the efficiency of the station. The emergency generator is not functioning well as it requires maintenance and spare parts are lacking. The limited amount of fuel that is let into Gaza is not enough to run the generator for long hours. ..

Not that old rag again

This morning I heard a republican strategist on the radio. She said that conservatives are using the NYT story about McCain to rally against an enemy. Public Enemy #1: The Liberal Media, which is out to destroy Saint John McCain. Really? Since when?

The Inside of Blogging

For years I read blogs and occasionally commented. Blogging is better. However, there is the issue of getting readers and finding out who they might be. This involves checking stat logs. By spending a little time checking IP addresses, a blogger can find out when 'persons of interest' stop by, you know like Pentagon, CIA, Quantico, psyops, military, etc. To my disgust, I have noticed that whenever I have written about or linked to military technology and certain other sensitive subjects, lo and behold our government seems to have plenty of people on hand to have a look-see. No lowly blogger escapes the eye of Big Brother. Oh no. They have deep pockets for this crap, courtesy of the US taxpayers. We hand them the money they use to despoil us of our civil rights. That's right, the bastards know whenever anyone gets near to their criminal activity. Nine million blogs to sort through? No problem. It's pretty obvious, once you start blogging about anything important, that th

Blackmail, black bags, black hearts

Paul Craig Roberts has an accurate and brutally honest piece up about the abhorrent Protect America Act. President George W. Bush and his director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, are telling the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. Without the Protect America Act, Bush and McConnell claim, the executive branch will not be able to spy on terrorists, and we will all be blown up. Terrorists can only be stopped, Bush says, if Bush has the right to spy on everyone without any oversight by courts. He goes on to handily undo this claptrap, and along the way he offers this explanation for certain confounding events: As the lawmakers who gave us FISA understood, spying on people without warrants lets a political party collect dirt on its adversaries with which to blackmail them. As Bush illegally spied a long time before word of it got out, blackmail might be the reason the Democrats have ignored their congressional election mandat

Total Unreality

Here's a little spin for you . Six major powers are to meet Monday in Washington for fresh talks on how to make Iran give up its contested uranium enrichment activities , a top US diplomat official said Friday. The State Department's number three Nicholas Burns said foreign ministry officials of the six -- the five UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany -- would review a proposed third UN sanctions resolution against Iran . "We will review our strategy (launched at the United Nations) in New York, the pace of the resolution," Burns told reporters. The six powers want Iran to stop enriching uranium, a process which they suspect Tehran aims to use to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists it is only seeking nuclear power for civilian purposes. Britain's and France's ambassadors to the UN on Thursday formally submitted to the Security Council members the text of a resolution for new sanctions, which they hope to see passed

Good News, Bad News

First the bad news... This article describes what any alternative news junkie already knows: the US government has been building camps in preparation for the 'next' catastrophe. We don't know what it is yet, but we know it's coming. "Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans , the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs ." write Lewis Seiler and former Congressman Dan Hamburg of the watchdog group Voice of the Environment, Inc. ... Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-b

Q: What scares the crap out of the evil?

A: People with the nerve to tell the truth . The evil are liars. They fear the truth more than anything, and so they will spare no expense to suppress it. We can resolve many problems simply by exposing the liars and telling the truth. But it has to be done over and over and over again because vast numbers of people have become anesthetized and brainwashed. That is why we must speak the truth, and share the truth, and support those who risk their lives to confront the evil. And we have to keep doing it without fail, as if our lives depend on it, which they do.

Turning up the heat

Reported today, causing grave consternation amongst the warmongering crowd: ElBaradai 'to declare Iran clean' Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei is to release 'a positive report' on Iran's nuclear activities. The IAEA Chief's report on Iran's nuclear program would be positive and it would rule out the possibility that Iran may running a clandestine nuclear arms program , informed sources familiar with the UN nuclear watchdog's issues said on Wednesday. The sources said that the US is exerting pressure on ElBaradei's aides to convince him to change the tone of his upcoming report and that the delay in the release of the report is a result of Washington's efforts. The US and its allies, including Britain and France, are reportedly planning to slam the report at the upcoming meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, should ElBaradei go ahead with its plan and release the positive report. The West accuses Iran of secretly

Having One's Cake and Eating It Too

I would just like to pause here and point out the hypocrisy of Israel's behavior. Israel cannot on the one hand take billions and billions of US dollars to build a huge military capacity, brag about it, consistently behave in ways to inflict horrific abuse on the Palestinians, and in its spare time provoke its Arab neighbors with extra-curricular warmongering activity and political assassinations, while on the other hand whining about being a poor, little picked-upon isolated country who everyone hates and whose citizens are suffering and threatened. Here's a website devoted to innocent Israeli and Palestinian children killed in this conflict since 2000. Statistics through 2/1/08 are as follows: Israeli children killed: 119; Palestinian children killed: 982. The numbers don't lie. Hebrew media reported that Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni told her American counterpart Condoleezza Rice during their last meeting in Washington that Israel is preparing to wage a large-sc

I love goats

moar humorous pics

Africa: The Final Frontier?

Is Africa the last continent full of easy resources to plunder and people to kill? Is that why George Bush pays attention to Africa as his disastrous reign of imperial arrogance winds down? How does Africa play into the grand plans for world domination? First, several countries in North Africa border the Mediterranean, thereby making them strategically important. Over at Global Research you can read the second in a series of articles which lay out the plans for NATO expansion in the Mediterranean. The Franco-German and Anglo-American agenda in the Mediterranean explains several other international developments and realities. Firstly, the objective of forming a bloc in the Mediterranean explain the earlier expansion of NATO in the area through what NATO terms the “Mediterranean Dialogue.” This so-called Mediterranean Dialogue is part of NATO’s “Mediterranean Initiative.” The framework of this relationship creates a de facto extension of NATO, which includes Israel as an informal member

Beyond Sick

Today I watched a video from Brasscheck TV . In the Western world, people get blood tests to confirm whether or not they have AIDS. In Africa, all you need is the following four symptoms: persistent cough, high fever, loose stools for 30 days, and a 10% loss of body weight over a two month period. Those four symptoms together equal an AIDS diagnosis. Is that unbelievable or what? What would you tell your doctor if you had those four symptoms and he or she diagnosed you with AIDS. Would you demand a blood test? You bet your ass you would. But with an AIDS diagnosis in Africa, you go home to die, cut off from your extended family, isolated and hopeless. It's a death sentence based on four common symptoms, symptoms easily caused by any number of ailments, diseases and parasites which run rampant in poverty stricken areas. Sanitation, food, clean water, shelter and basic health care would go a long way toward relieving the common diseases which plague poor people the world over. So do


Putin gave a five hour press conference , his final one as Russian president. Putin will reportedly take over as Prime Minister when his hand-picked successor, Dmitri Medvedev, becomes President next month. Putin’s state of mind seems, how shall I say, angry? Yes. Irritable. Bellicose. Perhaps a little psychopathic even. Putin makes a rival worthy of the insane Bush/Cheney tag-team. Look at this guy. Cheney’s got nothing on him. Putin can bore a hole through a human skull with that stare. Vladimir Putin has delivered perhaps his most menacing tirade against the West yet, repeating threats to train nuclear missiles on Europe and warning of unspecified retaliation if Kosovo declared independence. Addressing his last press conference as Russian president, Mr Putin mounted a defiant display that demonstrated more emphatically than ever the widening gulf between Moscow and its former Cold War rivals. In a vintage performance , the former KGB spy laced almost five hours of invective with

The Building

Either you can see that there is an entire real world outside of and all around the Corporate Media fantasy world, or you can’t. Our democracy has been hollowed out, reminiscent of a Hollywood movie-set facade. It may look like a sturdy brick building with Democracy carved into the lintel, but as soon as you look around the sides, you will see that it’s actually a one-dimensional structure propped up with a wooden scaffolding of two by fours. It’s not even a building, really. It just looks like one if you sit in front of it. And as long as you don’t poke around you can continue to admire the lovely and impressive building from the outside. Should you need to use it, however, you will find out as soon as you walk through the door that it’s useless. It cannot provide shelter. Even a simple lean-to or straw hut would be more useful and safe in a storm than a heavy, brick facade propped up by wooden scaffolding. Many Americans refuse to peek around the sides of our democracy. They insist o

Try this one on for size. What? It's too small?? Too tight? There's a big hole in it?

This article by Kathy and Bill Christison describes their utter frustration trying to get a real discussion going among supposedly bright minds in America. We have shown maps and pictures like these myriad times before, but have never been received with quite such disinterest. Here was a group of mostly retired U.S. government officials, academics, journalists, and business executives, as well as a few still-working professionals — all ranging in political orientation from center right to center left, the cream of informed, educated America, the exemplar of elite mainstream opinion in the United States. Their lack of concern about what Israel and, because of its enabling role, the U.S. are doing to destroy an entire people and their national aspirations could not have been more evident. The first person to comment when our presentation concluded, identifying herself as Jewish, said she had “never heard a more one-sided presentation” and labeled us “beyond anti-Semitic” — which presu

This is not a big deal?

President Ahmadinejad will be going to visit Iraq in March. That would be the same Ahmadinejad that caused a tremendous uproar when he visited the United States. The “madman”. He’s soon traveling to Baghdad, the heart of US occupied territory. No doubt US military personnel will escort him and provide his security. He’s perfectly safe. It’s not a big deal . President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran will make a landmark visit to Iraq on March 2, the first trip ever made by an Iranian leader to Iraq, the government here said Thursday. Ahmadinejad will meet with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani of Iraq during his two-day visit, a government spokesman said. “The two countries will discuss bilateral relations and joint projects ,” said the spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh. The White House expressed its support Thursday for good relations between Iraq and Iran after the announcement was made, but also urged Tehran to stop backing militants in Iraq. Ahmadinejad’s tr

Financial Genii

On the one hand we’re told that Iran continues to secretly conduct a nuclear weapons program, brilliantly hiding it from the IAEA and the rest of the world. Only the super-cunning Israeli Mossad can discern the even greater evil cunning of the Iranians. And they rend their clothes and throw ashes on their heads trying in vain to convince the Stupid World that the Iranians are making nuclear weapons. !!! Yes. Let’s just go with this line of thinking for a minute. Just yesterday Thomas Fingar, who once upon a time had a reputation as a respected intelligence analyst, testified before the House Armed Services Committee that Iran was still developing technological and industrial capabilities that the intelligence community judges could be used to develop nuclear weapons, should the Irans want to, sometime between 2010 and 2015. I mean, it’s all very speculative, especially since the Iranians insist they merely want to pursue nuclear energy, and they are within their rights to do so

Blackmail: You want protection? It's gonna cost you.

It looks like House Democrats will let tomorrow night’s deadline pass without acting on the Senate’s FISA with telecom immunity monstrosity. That means it the broad spying powers approved last August would expire. Bush, of course, cannot resist scaring the folks. At a morning appearance in the Oval Office, President Bush pressed the House to adopt quickly a plan the Senate approved on Tuesday to broaden the government’s spying powers and give legal immunity to telephone companies. The plan is essential, Bush said, because terrorists are planning attacks on American soil “that will make Sept. 11 pale in comparison.” Really? And how, pray tell, does Bush know this? And if he knows this, why isn’t he using the tremendous resources of the federal government to stop the evil terrorists? Or is he just lying again? Or is he predicting another inside job? No matter which way you slice it, the man does not have the interests of the American people in mind. Bush maintained yesterday that let