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Showing posts from May, 2008

There's Still a Difference

Having long been a liberal and a citizen , I certainly have been bitterly disappointed by the Democratic Party's countless capitulations to the Republicans over the last eight long years. The specific reasons for this, I'm sure, would be fascinating to learn and someday I hope to read all about the dossiers and bribes and taps and threats, but the bottom line is they can't be trusted and I'm not voting. Having said that, I reject the argument that they're all (dems and reps) equally complicit in our current dismal state of advanced rotting decay. Complicit? Yes. Equally complicit? No. If they were all equally to blame, then why do things like this keep happening only to people on the left? Carroll, who requested that his real name not be used, showed up early and waited anxiously for Swanson’s arrival. Ten minutes later, he says, a casually dressed Swanson showed up, flanked by a woman whom he introduced as FBI Special Agent Maureen E. Mazzola. For the next 20 minu

The Holy Grail of Crowd Control

That’s what they call Raytheon’s Silent Guardian, Pain Ray, ADS, call it what you will. Transmitted at the speed of light over a 700 yard distance, the Pain Ray is a millimeter-wave beam that penetrates 1/64th of an inch beneath the skin, causing the water molecules there to bubble, producing an intense burning sensation, said to feel like being burnt by molten lava or a hot iron. Its delivery system attached to a Humvee and aimed right, the Pain Ray makes people run away — fast. Tests conducted at Kirtland Air Force Base south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, employ realistic combat scenarios to determine its potential effectiveness in a deployed environment, the first to expose an entire test subject to the ray. The Defense Department want to use it for protecting Defense resources, peacekeeping, humanitarian missions and other situations in which the use of lethal force is undesirable, but already there have been inquiries from other institutes and wealthy individuals about using it t

Bullshit Detector - Activated

We have some exciting news to report from Indiana. Marines are coming to train in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Here you go. =/20080528/LOCAL18/805280444 U.S. Marine helicopters will land at the old Eastgate Consumer Mall, Brookside Park and other Indianapolis locations when the city becomes a mock battlefield next week. About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis. Most of the troops will be deployed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road, said Debbi Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion County Emergency Management Agency. “We don’t want anyone thinking that there’s an invasion happening or that we declared martial law or something like that,” Fletcher said. Oh my gosh, Debbi, don't be silly! Who on earth would think that ? Oh ha ha ha ha. What a card. Th

Deep Weirdness

However, your being uninformed about the shadow side of the US govt. does not make me crazy. Most people in the US have a kind of delusional reality, one given to them by over reliance on Corporate Media for their source of information. That is your responsibility to correct. I am glad to see so many people sincerely seeking the truth on the internet and being willing to investigate. This is the kind of stuff where people's brains just typically shut right down. You would just have to read it for yourself and click through the links and pictures to see if your imagination is big enough to contain what this woman claims. I'll say this, the way she claims to have been tortured strikes me as completely plausible. Also note that the comment shoots her right down as mentally ill. But who is he? Who knows. The vaguest of profiles on Blogger, dating back to May 2007, right around the time that this story first really doesn't tell us much, now does it? Disparaging com

Venn Diagram: Peak Oil or Speculation or ?

Mary, Mary quite contrary, How do your gas prices grow? You figure it out. My head exploded. A: Peak Oil B: Speculation C. Ham Sandwiches

Yet he does not mention it.

I noticed this little story from the weekend in the Washington Times: US terror attack seen apt to follow '08 vote. Here is the url: 20080525/FOREIGN/541243918/1001 The author, Rowan Scarborough, has written some books. Amazon tells me that people who buy his books also buy books from John Bolton, Johan Goldberg, Robert Novak, Laura Ingraham and Norman Podhoretz. OK. Check. He is a neocon. Here's the description of his latest book (from Amazon): Using his first-rate sources in all levels of national security -from field officers to high-ranking analysts to former intelligence heads-bestselling author Rowan Scarborough reveals how CIA bureaucrats are undermining President Bush and the War on Terror through disinformation, incompetence, and outright sabotage . This is what he wrote this past weekend. When the next president takes office in January, he or she will likely receive an intelligence brief warning that Islamic terro

On Memorial Day, let us actually remember

Like many schools across America, one of my children's schools had a Memorial Day concert today. They do this every year, and I've been to the last few. Usually I find these events very jingoistic, and I sort of dread them because my view of this country is, shall we say, nuanced. I love America, but in a very disappointed sort of way. It's like having a once beautiful, intelligent and wonderful mother turn into a sleazy alcoholic or something. Watching little kids sing love songs to her? Well, it's tough. But I have to say, this year was a little different. The kids were the same, but the adults seemed different to me. I swear there was a grim determination underneath all the polite applause. People love this country. They understand. They know we are living tragedy on a national scale. And I think the sword, the terrible swift sword has begun to pierce them, and they feel a pain that cannot be named. But it hurts, and it hurts deeply. I expect things to get much, much

Security is Simple

Security. Everybody wants it, yet it so often eludes us. We want secure relationships. We want financial security. We want our belongings safe from theft and damage. So we buy insurance to protect our stuff. We buy life insurance to protect our families. We continually improve ourselves in the hope of job security. And we do much more than that. Of course, there's only so much one can do. Life does not come with guarantees. Part of being a well-adjusted person involves dealing with the uncertainty that, despite all reasonable precautions, things can still go wrong. This simple observation drives most people toward some kind of faith, to tide them over when things go wrong, which they inevitably do. Also, people need to believe in justice. They need to know that after things go wrong, the scales will be balanced, either in this life or in the next. This hope and trust in justice, in a just God if you will, allows us to cope with the fact that Life Is Unfair. Furthermore, wisdom tell

'Their arrogance is beyond comprehension.'

Winter Patriot has a couple of really good posts up that you should go read, here and here . Regarding the second post about Depleted Uranium, this horror show will be touring the USA. Thanks to our useless and complicit corporate media, Americans will realize much too late the consequences and implications of this crime against humanity known as the War on Terror. As Moret testified, depleted uranium turns into an infinitesimally fine dust after it explodes ; individual particles are smaller than a virus or bacteria. And, “It is estimated that one millionth of a gram accumulating in a person’s body would be fatal . There are no known methods of treatment.” And DU dust is everywhere. A minimum of 500 or 600 tons now litter Afghanistan, and several times that amount are spread across Iraq. In terms of global atmospheric pollution, we’ve already released the equivalent of 400,000

Good times, good times....

Yeah, there used to be a picture here, but the LA Times and/or the AP took it down. Apparently it was just too revealing. Here is the caption: Traders share a laugh in the crude oil options pit of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where the price of oil futures swept toward $130 a barrel. The record-shattering run-up in energy and food prices has prompted Congress to consider taking action against speculative investing. Photo: Henny Ray Abrams/AP So, the husband tells me the other day that he's really getting pissed off about gas prices. Mmm-hmm, I say. Ever since we passed the psychological barrier of $100 a barrel, it's been pretty much a runaway train. The Peak Oil theory doesn't really explain how gas prices can jump ten cents a gallon in one day. The thing about Peak Oil is that it's a long term geological problem, so there must be another gremlin in the works here messing with the day-to-day prices, you know? I think it has something to do with these happy, happy

Then and Now

Here you can see photographs of Palestinians before the state of Israel was 'declared'. I see dignified people. I see peace. This photojournalist brings us a view of Gaza today. I hope you will look around his site. In towns across America, the news of somebody's seriously sick child or the sudden death of a young parent spreads quickly. It's a tragedy, we all agree, and then we do something to help. Imagine living in Gaza, or the West Bank, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or many other places throughout the world. These people had lives once, and futures. They eat tragedy, they breathe it, and they sleep it. Day after day, year after year. But who here says it's a tragedy? Who rushes to help? I think you would if you could see, so please look. I want you to see what I see. It's a terrible mistake and an immeasurable injustice to think that other people's suffering is somehow less than our own. Do you really think people in other lands love their children less than

Planning Ahead

Jim Lobe has some analysis of Bush's remarks to the Knesset. Jim is now more worried than he was before that an attack on Iran might actually happen. As I wrote over at the AA News Page , we are not plumbing the minds of psychologically normal people. You have to always expand the possibilities to include the unthinkable. So yes, I would say it's a mistake to discount the possibility that Bush would strike Iran, incredibly unwise though that may be. From Lobe (links removed, but go through to his original and read the links): Adding to my concern was a report by a reliable source that a prominent neo-conservative close to Cheney’s office who several months ago believed there was virtually no possibility that Bush would order an attack on Iran before he left office has apparently changed his mind. This individual (whose name I can’t divulge at the source’s insistence) recently told my source that such an attack would take place between the November elections and Bush’s departur

You Are Here

At least, I'm pretty sure I am here. I am a Target Head. Because, you see, I do a lot of reading and a lot of thinking and quite a bit of writing, and all that probably makes me Very Dangerous in some people's eyes. I could be a (ahem) 'Thought Criminal'. Now you probably wouldn't find me very dangerous in person. I'm not very big. I'm a mom. I suppose I can wield a frying pan for a weapon...that's about it. Nonetheless... Our government has been collecting names of people, and compiling databases, and spying on us to protect us from us, or them from us, or us from 'them' (meaning the 'terrorists') or something like that. Actually, it's to protect them, the government, from us, the active and engaged citizens. Anyone just zipping along on autopilot watching FOX News and American Idol probably has nothing to worry about. But you never can tell because nobody knows if they're on the list or not, or how to get on the list, or what mi

Close Enough to See the Whites of Their Eyes

I’m not exactly sure who Franklin Lamb is, but he seems to have some great sources. Sadly, they are anonymous, but here’s what they say about the situation in Lebanon . As far as taking the word of anonymous sources, it’s definitely not ideal but that hasn’t stopped the Bush Administration and our corporate journalists from selling us a couple of wars that way, now has it? According to US Senate Intelligence Committee sources , the Bush administration initially green lighted the intended May 11 Israeli ‘demonstration of solidarity’ with the pro-Bush administration militias , some with which Israel has maintained ties since the days of Bashir Gemayal and Ariel Sharon. In the end, ‘the Bush administration got cold feet’, a Congressional source revealed. So did Israel. Israel was not willing to proceed with the original Bush Administration idea which was to have Bush attend the May 15 Israel anniversary celebrations following the Israeli attack meant to hit Hezbollah hard, and give Bu

O say can you see

There is a line. I don't know if it's a line in the sand or crossing the Rubicon or however you want to think about it, but there is a line. When you stand at the line, you know that you will not step over it because if you do, you can't come back. You can't come back to your country, to your lover, to your mother, or to yourself. Maybe you can't even come back to God because part of you, an important part, will be dead. So you'd think it would be amazing that people cross the line, but in fact they do it all the time. Yes, they do. There are really just two basic moral constraints for human beings: no killing and no stealing. If everyone agreed to just those two things, certainly the world would be a more pleasant place. But of course, there's all manner of killing and stealing going on, not to mention all the other stuff. Killing and stealing go hand in hand. I don't think this is really in dispute if you think about it for 30 seconds. The military pla

More of Bush just doing his job: manifesting the Zionist vision

"The role of the president of the United States is to support the decisions that are made by the people of Israel." - Ann Lewis, Hillary Clinton adviser and former White House official , said to applause at the United Jewish Communities debate in March 2008. This week, as we all know, Bush is visiting Israel. If you think you can stand it, go read about his sickening speech to the Israeli Knesset, who interrupted his speech over fourteen times with loud applause. Link to Haaretz: After the speech made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Knesset in March, it was hard to expect a more pro-Zionist speech. But as a former Knesset speaker, MK Reuven Rivlin, put it Thursday, "I wish our leaders would make speeches like this." Rivlin described Bush as "manifesting the Zionist vision." Contrary to the applause Bush received for his address, the speech by Prime Minister Olmert was less popular and stirred considerab

Dick believes that the house always wins

Vice President Cheney has little concern for the likely consequences and the resulting loss of life which would result from the use of both conventional and nuclear weapons. He is fully aware that even a limited air attack on Iran could contribute to unleashing a broader Middle East-Central Asian war, extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to China's Western frontier. The various scenarios of this broader war have already been envisaged. Go read the whole thing.

War Criminals

Pay attention. American Goy has a good long post up about how, back in the fall of 1992 mind you, a neocon named Bernard Lewis wrote an article suggesting that the US should ‘Lebanonize’ the Middle East. Meaning, smashing up into various squabbling bits and pieces the countries hostile to Israel. And by the way, he recommended using American military forces to do the smashing. But as a bonus, this process ‘could even be precipitated by (Islamic) fundamentalism’. How convenient. After that came ‘A Clean Break’ (1996) , PNAC (1997) , 9/11 (2001), Afghanistan War (2001-present), Iraq War (2003-present)… This has all come to pass. Please note the current results in the Middle East: chaos, turmoil, countries smashed up into various squabbling bits and pieces, 1.2 million dead Iraqis, etc. Today’s situation was premeditated, planned out and executed precisely to be the chaotic bloody mess it is. OK? This was not unintentional incompetence. The neocons and the Bush Administration delibera

Wild Kingdom

The Sunlight Foundation has tried to measure the net worth of our congresspeople ( results here ). Admittedly a difficult task, what with the data based on the flawed disclosure system used by congress. It could be an exercise in futility for all we know. And why the hell should we know this stuff anyway, eh? I mean, Does It Matter how our elected representatives made all their money? Oh, pshaw! And please note who is right there at the top of the list! Jane Harman!! THE Jane Harman, sponsor of HR 1955 : the loathesome Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 . Jane Harman like so many Americans could be worth close to a half-billion. Look how happy she seems! The thing that caught my eye was this remark : Bill Allison, the Sunlight Foundation senior fellow who led the research, noted that members of Congress who sink into debt are worth watching because they could be “more open to temptation” and “more likely to deal with special interests.” Interesting perspective. Can one c

Well, we must be even then

You should know that President Bush makes sacrifices for our military families. US President George W. Bush said in an interview out Tuesday that he quit playing golf in 2003 out of respect for the families of US soldiers killed in the conflict in Iraq, now in its sixth year. “I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal,” he said in an interview for Internet hub Yahoo! and Politico magazine. “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander-in-chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them .” Hey. It’s the best he can do. I’m sure we all appreciate what an enormous sacrifice he’s making. All that beautiful green grass…all that nice fresh air….all that yucking it up with his buddies…..

Conditioning the American People

Every weekday morning I scan alternative news and pick some stories to post here . Sometimes patterns emerge. Now this morning, I could not help but notice the various ways Americans are being conditioned to accept a dramatically increased police presence in our lives. First off, here's a picture of a DHS bus, which you can see is full of people. I never knew until today that DHS has their own buses. Did you? And's full of people. These people were taken into custody at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, IA and then transported to the Cattle Congress complex in Waterloo, IA. This story gets very interesting, as the sources who tipped off federal officials complained about both the workers and the management. It's hard to tell who is really the target here, but it appears that the owners and managers of this plant behaved with impunity and disregard for the law. According to search warrants, ICE agents interviewed a former plant supervisor – identified as “S

Why knock when you can just blow the door down?

Who does this? Wafer Shaker al Daghma, 34, a teacher at a local UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) elementary school, was killed last Wednesday as she stood preparing to open the wooden door of her home to the troops. According to UNRWA and relatives who found her body, the military used an explosive device on the door which blew most of her head from her body . They then confined the traumatised children – aged from two to 13 – for five hours while the body lay outside the door of the room where they were held. …Mrs al Daghma’s widower, Majdi, 34, who was out of the house at the time, said his daughter had told him that her mother, knowing that troops were on a search and arrest operation in the vicinity, had put on a headscarf, told the children to go into a bedroom and said that she would open the door when the troops arrived. An Israeli tank had parked by the outer, open, metal door and the inner, wooden front door was then blasted open. Is it too much to ask

A Logical Conclusion

Oh phew . The Bush administration appears set to offer Israel a powerful radar system that could greatly boost Israeli defenses against enemy ballistic missiles while tying it directly into a growing U.S. missile shield. ...The system Bush may offer is known as a forward-based X-band radar. Transportable by air, it uses high-powered pulsed beams for extremely high-resolution tracking of objects in space such as a missile that could be tipped with a chemical, germ or nuclear warhead. Built by Raytheon Co., the system has been described by U.S. officials as capable of tracking an object the size of a baseball from about 4,700 km away. It would let Israel's Arrow missile defenses engage a Shahab-3 ballistic missile about halfway through what would be its 11-minute flight to Israel from Iran, or six times sooner than Israel's "Green Pine"

This thing is a Thneed

One way guilty people stall for time is by talking. They just keep talking . It doesn't have to make any sense. The main point is to keep talking and be sure to say things that 'sound good'. Here's a good example of how Israel does it (and go read the whole thing - it's scathing). "Crying and shooting" is the term used in Israeli political discourse to describe those Israelis who agonize over what they are doing to the Palestinians, but carry on doing it anyway. It's a way for Israelis to feel better about themselves, by reasserting their liberal, progressive and humanitarian values, even as they carry out illiberal, regressive and murderous actions... Bradley Burston wants you to know how bad he feels that his army keeps killing innocent Palestinians, but he doesn't really want to take responsibility for the killings any more than the blame-shifting Israelis he criticizes in his article. He wants you to know he feels terrible about dead children

Americans learn of Iraqi death

(AP Photo/Karim Kadim) This photo ran on page one of The Washington Post, causing some Americans to go into some sort of shock that US military actions cause the death of innocent civilians and children. Allright? This is the problem, people. It's time for everybody to get with the program now. Over one million Iraqi civilians have died since we invaded their country. Have a fucking clue.

Isn't That Special

Most people enjoy feeling special on their special day, their birthday. Personally, I think people over the age of ten should not be expecting birthday parties, but I digress… Then there are the people who act like every day is their special day . Actually, they’re just special. And when birthday time comes around, everyone had better bow low in humble gratitude that we’ve been graced with these special people. JERUSALEM - The Jewish people are marking the 60th anniversary of their national rebirth, the founding of Israel, today with the usual military flyovers, flag buntings, and televised reminiscences of aging pioneers. But another form of celebration is planned, and its sponsors believe it says something about the national character : a three-day conference of some of the best minds from around the world on some of the biggest challenges facing humankind - and especially the Jews - in the coming decades. Special character. Given the guest list, the topics are naturally big an