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 minutes, Mazzola would do most of the talking.

“She told me that I had the perfect ‘look,’” recalls Carroll. “And that I had the perfect personality—they kept saying I was friendly and personable—for what they were looking for.”

What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant—someone to show up at “vegan potlucks” throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort’s primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division’s website, is to “investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines.”

Carroll would be compensated for his efforts, but only if his involvement yielded an arrest. No exact dollar figure was offered.

The story goes on to recall how similar things happened in 2004.

Carroll’s story echoes a familiar theme. During the lead-up the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division infiltrated and spied on protest groups across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. The program’s scope extended to explicitly nonviolent groups, including street theater troupes and church organizations.

There were also two reported instances of police officers, dressed as protestors, purposefully instigating clashes. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, the NYPD orchestrated a fake arrest to incite protestors. When a blond man was “arrested,” nearby protestors began shouting, “Let him go!” The helmeted police proceeded to push back against the crowd with batons and arrested at least two. In a similar instance, during an April 29, 2005, Critical Mass bike ride in New York, video footage captured a “protestor”—in reality an undercover cop—telling his captor, “I’m on the job,” and being subsequently let go.

Then we have the preparations for the DNC in Denver. Apparently, the biggest issue is security and crowd control because....well...just because.
Citing "Denver's unjustified penchant for secrecy," the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a new lawsuit today in Denver District Court demanding disclosure of security-related equipment purchases connected to the Democratic National Convention this summer.

The suit comes hot on the heels of The Colorado Independent's Riot Toyz series that last week detailed the panoply of high-tech security vehicles, non-lethal crowd control devices and just plain weird personal restraint devices available for purchase by the Denver Police Department, which has an $18 million equipment budget in its total $50 million federal earmark for convention-related security expenses.

...Responding to ACLU media inquiries that the Denver Police Department has purchased a "sonic ray gun" to subdue unruly crowds, Silverstein said: “If Denver is buying such a device, or any other new-fangled so-called ‘less lethal’ weapons,” Silverstein continued, “the public is certainly entitled to know. And the public is entitled to ask whether Denver has adequately evaluated the manufacturers’ self-serving claims of safety, has established appropriate policies to regulate how and when officers may use such weapons, and has adequately trained its officers.”
'Non-lethal' and 'less lethal' weapons - these euphemisms apply to the weapons discussed here.

People can say what they want about the weak and mewling democrats, and they may be totally justified, but how convenient for the republicans to have the police power of our nation arrayed in their service to intimidate and entrap their opposition. It indicates that the powerful still want to manage events in a certain direction, does it not?

So as long as things like this keep happening to the left end of the political spectrum and not to the right end, it seems very obvious to me that there is still a difference between democrats and republicans in power. Some people do the wrong things out of coercion and desperation, and others do them out of sheer enjoyment and a lust for power.


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 to protect private property.

Non-lethal force, eh? Protecting defense resources, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions? These guys do have a sense of humor, you have to admit. ‘Hey, we’re only going to make you feel like molten hot lava is on your skin, but you won’t actually die. It’s totally humane.’

And speaking of non-lethal force, it seems to me we were just hearing about that in Indianapolis, where the Marines are going to train at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road.

The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons, according to a statement.

I’m just saying, that puts an arch in my eyebrow. I don’t know about you.

Raytheon congratulates itself on having developed a non-lethal weapon which has been described as “Holy Grail of crowd control,” but their Silent Guardian also has its critics. One, author Richard Hunter asks:

“But what happens if the people faced with such a weapon can’t just run away? What happens if they’re trapped in a crowd, and the crowd can’t move? How much pain must that crowd endure? How long can any member of the crowd be exposed to that weapon before his or her skin — or their eyes — simply cook off? What happens if the devices are used deliberately in a manner designed to cause maximum harm — say, by training the device on prisoners trapped in prison cells until they literally go mad with pain?

What happens if the system operator turns up the power? A little bit works well, why not try a lot?

What happens if the scientists didn’t test the devices thoroughly, and they turn out to render anyone touched by them blind, or impotent, or sterile?”

Precisely. I asked similar questions when 60 Minutes did a story on this technology a few months ago.

I don’t know who was interviewing Martin for this clip, but of course they were both serious as heart attacks discussing this new weapon. When she asks Martin to discuss how this might be used, he brightens right up. It can be used in Iraq! Instead of shooting Iraqis driving their cars near checkpoints, our military can stop them with the heat ray gun. Yeah, yeah that’s it. That’s what it’s good for - stopping people with evil intentions. It will save lives. It’s good. Good. It’s all good. Let us praise military technology, Amen. The clip ends.

Let’s think through some other uses, shall we? The heat ray gun leaves no marks whatsoever on the body, but it causes tremendous pain. The second you step out of the way the pain stops. All the victim has to do is step out of the way and the pain stops.

OK. Well, what if you couldn’t step out of the way? What if you were handcuffed to a wall and some sadistic military psychopath decided to torture you with the heat ray gun? Hmmm? Has anyone thought of that?

OK. Here’s another scenario. Let’s say there’s another terrorist attack on America and the military is called in to keep order. Let’s say the government institutes martial law. Let’s say people protest. Will they use the heat ray guns on Americans? What if a group of people is surrounded by heat ray guns and can’t get out of the way? Hmmm?

Will they be allowed to use it on children? The elderly? Does anybody know? Who enforces the rules? Can we expect the same gleeful use that we see with police officers using tasers? If the heat ray gun leaves no mark, does it come down to the victim’s word against the soldier? Who do you suppose will win that contest?

It’s so typical of our corporate press to not ask questions like this. That would be impolite because it would cast aspersions on our government and on our military, and we don’t do that no matter what they do. But we should. If you think for one second that the US government would hesitate using a weapon like this which tortures without leaving a mark on American civilians, you have not been paying attention. They hit the pay-dirt with your tax dollars. This was likely a black ops technology development. You paid for it, and you will have no recourse when they use it against….You.

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.

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.
The Marines have been cleared by state, federal and local authorities, Fletcher said. The unit’s commander promised to try to keep noise to a minimum and give neighbors plenty of warning.

“Our aim in Indianapolis is to expose our Marines to realistic scenarios and stresses posed by operating in an actual urban community, thereby increasing their proficiency in built-up areas,” Col. Mark J. Desens, commander of the 26th MEU, said in a statement. “While some of the activity will take place around Camp Atterbury, residents in many areas can expect to see helicopters flying overhead, military vehicles on the roads and Marines patrolling on foot,” Desens said.

The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons, according to a statement.
Well, let's get real for a second. The Marines need to be exposed to realistic scenarios? Only if you're trying to get them used to the idea of enforcing martial law in the USA. Don't Marines train for urban operations as a routine matter? And if not, what kind of blubbering incompetence is that? No, this activity is designed to expose AMERICANS to the idea of Marines flying around in helicopters overhead, driving their vehicles on the road and conducting foot patrols.

Look at the explanation offered: 'The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons.' Practice firing weapons? Seriously, don't the Marines practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints and reacting to ambushes all the time at their military training facilities? Isn't that why we give billions of dollars to the DOD each and every year? Isn't that sort of training to be expected at the bare minimum?

Just think about the security around a military base. Can civilians just drive right in and look around? Of course not. Laughable. And why is that? Because the military does not want us pesky civilians poking around and observing all their training drills. No no no. It's secret, technical, military knowledge. But according to this bright little story, we are to believe that they need to practice all this stuff live in a real American city just so the Marines can acclimate to the stresses of urban warfare. Yes, because the Americans in Indianapolis will be waving and blowing kisses and asking for autographs and taking pictures and being awestruck at the tremendous might of the US Marine Corps, and it's all certain to be very stressful. Uh huh. Sure.

Last word: The military only lets you see this stuff when they want you to see it. This display is for your benefit, American Citizen, not theirs.

UPDATE: A good take on it here from some former military people.


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 appeared...it really doesn't tell us much, now does it?

Disparaging comments like this always pop up to bat down every 'kooky' idea. Who do these comments benefit? Well, if your plan is to control people's thoughts, then no, you do not want people wandering down certain lanes. Since most people care about being accepted and not being considered crazy, they will turn right around and abandon the line of inquiry as soon as someone labels it crazy. So it is that people who make these comments work as little gatekeepers.

So just jump the fence. It's really not that high.


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: http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/

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 terrorists will attempt to exploit the transition in power by planning an attack on America, intelligence experts say.

After all, that is what happened to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at a time when their national security teams and their counterterrorism plans were in flux.

Islamic terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in February 1993, in Mr. Clinton's second month as president. Al Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks came in the Bush presidency's first year. The strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon happened as the White House national security director was formulating a comprehensive plan for combating Osama bin Laden's terror network, which had declared war on the United States.

The pattern is clear to some national security experts. Terrorists pay particular attention to a government in transition as the most opportune window to launch an attack.

"If I were asked by the newly elected president, I would strongly encourage him to be extremely vigilant during the transition period and within the first six months of his administration against an attack by al Qaeda on American interests at home or abroad," said Bart Bechtel, a retired CIA operations officer and assistant chief academic officer at Henley-Putnam University.

Mr. Bechtel said he thinks al Qaeda operatives will debate a future course based on who is elected.

Both Sens. Hillary Clinton and John McCain serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot, have had extensive exposure to military security issues.

Both have attacked first-term Sen. Barack Obama's ability to handle national security.

The message here is that terrorists attack during transition periods. Also, Al Qaeda, Islamic terrorists, Al Qaeda, terror, terror, 9/11, terror, terror, Osama Obama, terror terror terror.

Considering Mr. Scarborough's top-level access to national security sources and his affinity for the Bush Administration and neocons, let's note a few other points.

For example, the CIA has admitted that they made up Al Qaeda.

BBC’s killer documentary called “The Power of Nightmares“. Top CIA officials openly admit, Al-qaeda is a total and complete fabrication, never having existed at any time. The Bush administration needed a reason that complied with the Laws so they could go after “the bad guy of their choice” namely laws that had been set in place to protect us from mobs and “criminal organizations” such as the Mafia. They paid Jamal al Fadl, hundreds of thousands of dollars to back the U.S. Government’s story of Al-qaeda, a “group” or criminal organization they could “legally” go after. This video documentary is off the hook…

See Parts I and II here

Presumably Mr. Scarborough also knows this, since he has top-level access to national security sources and I am simply reading public source information on the internet. Yet he does not mention it.

In addition, an enormous body of scholarly work has built up around the unanswered questions of 9/11. Many theories have been advanced to answer all these officially unanswered questions, and these theories generally conclude (specifics vary) that 9/11 was an elaborate false flag operation blamed on Al Qaeda for the express purpose of starting wars to benefit Israel. It goes without saying that such an elaborate false flag operation cannot be conducted without the cooperation of elements in the intelligence community (the intelligence people Scarborough does not complain about in his book), in particular the CIA and Mossad.

Presumably Mr. Scarborough also knows this, since he has top-level access to national security sources and I am simply reading public source information on the internet. Yet he does not mention it.

Finally, on his last visit to Israel (this month), Israel's Army Radio reported that Bush said he would attack Iran before the end of his term. This news was broadcast throughout Israel and was then vigorously denied by the White House. Of course, the blogosphere buzzed about this all last week, weighing the possibilities that this could happen and reading the mysterious tea leaves. Jim Lobe, a highly respected foreign policy analyst, had sources tell him that the attack would take place between the November elections and the time Bush leaves office in January. This amazing prediction has direct bearing on Mr. Scarborough's story.
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 departure and that it would be “massive.” I subsequently heard from a knowledgeable Israeli source that he had recently heard the same scenario from two of his sources in Israel.
Presumably Mr. Scarborough also knows this, since he has top-level access to national security sources and I am simply reading public source information on the internet. Yet he does not mention it.

Why do we need people like Mr. Scarborough reporting to us that our intelligence community believes the Islamic terrorists will attack the United States at presidential transition time? We already know who the terrorists are, and we already know what they're capable of, and they've already told us approximately when to expect the next attack. If his sources in the intelligence community are so smart to predict this pattern, then why don't they just use all those billions we give them to stop the evil terrorists. Hmm? They don't do that because they are the terrorists, and Mr. Scarborough is one of their corporate media tools.


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 worse before they get better; but today, for the first time in a very long time, I swear I felt an undercurrent of resolve in my fellow Americans. I have to tell you, it was a beautiful thing. Maybe I imagined the whole thing, but I hope not.

I hope this Memorial Day we will remember what all the fine words we hear and read actually mean. Not the Orwellian meanings, but the true meanings.

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 tells us to expect some injustice, pain, suffering and loss during our time on earth, but we may also expect to be made whole in the end. That is God's job. He is the ultimate arbiter of justice, and so we try very hard to put our trust in Him. We do this even when it seems like He is really not paying attention. He confounds us with the amazing complexity of balancing out the scales of justice over time. We cannot comprehend how He can possibly do this, but faith tells us to trust that He can.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9

This entire process of trusting God and the difficulty of apprehending His feedback is precisely what makes faith so difficult for people to hold onto. Trusting God absolutely requires humility because you must be able to tolerate not knowing when and how it all gets worked out. You must bear injustice and sorrow with patience. If you can't do this, if you can't trust that you will be treated fairly by God, it can be very tempting to take matters into one's own hands.

Just to be sure one is not getting screwed. Just in case God really doesn't exist.

But the minute we do that, we cut ourselves off from feedback. We must be facing God to have any hope of catching a sign whether or not we're on the right track. If we turn away, we lose sight of Him. And if God is good and just, does it not follow that the minute we turn away from goodness and justice, we shall lose sight of Him? Just look around.

This is the nut of the matter: Do you follow your own will or do you try to follow God's will? The entire content of a relationship with God revolves around this mystery of understanding what His will might be and then willing ourselves to like it, whether we actually like it or not, because we have cultivated enough trust in Him to believe that He knows what He is doing, and at the same time we have enough humility to realize that we do not know what He is doing. We barely know what we're doing. And we're good with all of that, or as good as we can muster in our weakness, misery and confusion, and therein lies grace.

So, yes, I'm getting a little into contemplative theology here, but I do have a point to make. The main point is that people who don't really trust God will be the most willful people on earth. They substitute their own will for His because they either don't believe He's there or they don't believe He's good and just, which is the same as not believing in Him at all.

In a word, the very willful are insecure. Their deep and profound insecurity drives them to constantly pursue their own will. They can never be comfortable enough, no matter what others do or say to assure them. There's no faith inside to sustain them through the uncertainty. They want guarantees, rock-solid foolproof guarantees from other human beings, but there's no such thing. So they do whatever they can to make the world guarantee them....dammit...that They Will Be Secure. No Matter What.

And it will never work. It will never be enough to make them feel secure because security doesn't come from the outside, it comes from the inside. Nobody can give it to you. You have to get it from God. Directly. All by yourself. This is the truth.

But then you have to believe in Him, and you have to trust Him, and you have to turn toward goodness and justice, and it all gets very complicated very quickly.

Except it really isn't.

We struggle with God and with security to the same extent that our will is at cross-purposes to His. When we align our will with His will, the struggle ceases. Note that God doesn't make the adjustment, we do. We decide to want the same thing He wants, whatever that may be. He doesn't come around to seeing our point of view, and we don't expect that because we have humility. We are not God, and we don't claim to understand His plans. We simply turn our actions toward goodness and justice and trust that He will make it all work out in the end.

Then we feel secure. It's simple. Not necessarily easy, but definitely simple.


'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 Nagasaki bombs, Moret said.

The numbers are overwhelming, but the potential horrors only get worse. DU dust does more than wreak havoc on the immune systems of those who breathe or touch it; the substance also alters one’s genetic code.
This is from a Global Research article written in May 2006:

PFC Stuart Grainger of 23 Army Division, 34th Platoon. (Names and numbers have been changed) was diagnosed with cancer several after returning from Iraq. Seven other men in the Platoon also have malignancies.

Doug Rokke, U.S. Army contractor who headed a clean-up of depleted uranium after the first Gulf War states:,

"Depleted uranium is a crime against God and humanity."

Rokke's own crew, a hundred employees, was devastated by exposure to the fine dust. He stated:

"When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy,"

After performing clean-up operations in the desert (mistakenly without protective gear), 30 members of his staff died, and most others"including Rokke himself"developed serious health problems. Rokke now has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts, and kidney problems.

"We warned the Department of Defense in 1991 after the Gulf War. Their arrogance is beyond comprehension.

Yet the D.O.D still insists such ingestion is "not sufficient to make troops seriously ill in most cases."

Then why did it make the clean up crew seriously or terminally ill in nearly all cases?

Marion Falk, a retired chemical physicist who built nuclear bombs for more than 20 years at Lawrence Livermore Lab, was asked if he thought that DU weapons operate in a similar manner as a dirty bomb.

"That's exactly what they are. They fit the description of a dirty bomb in every way."

According to Falk, more than 30 percent of the DU fired from the cannons of U.S. tanks is reduced to particles one-tenth of a micron (one millionth of a meter) in size or smaller on impact. "The larger the bang" the greater the amount of DU that is dispersed into the atmosphere, Falk said. With the larger missiles and bombs, nearly 100 percent of the DU is reduced to radioactive dust particles of the "micron size" or smaller, he said.

When asked if the main purpose for using it was for destroying things and killing people, Falk was more specific:

"I would say that it is the perfect weapon for killing lots of people."
You can find photographs of the hideously deformed babies born in Afghanistan and Iraq on the web. I realize people don't like to look at things like this, but they had better get over their delicate sensibilities. This is your tax dollars at work. Here's just one picture in an article posted at Uruknet, and there are many more. Many of the infants die at birth, and this has been going on for years.

I repeat, our government knows about this and has known about it for years.

Question: Why does the US military use these weapons, which are polluting the earth and killing indiscriminately? Are these the actions of a just and moral nation, or does this reflect a purely psychopathic mentality, a mentality firmly arrayed against life itself - whether foreign or domestic, young or old, human or plant or animal? In truth, a cult of death.

Answer: 'Their arrogance is beyond comprehension.'

It's time for human beings to comprehend this arrogance because nothing will get better until normal people can wrap their minds around the reality of psychopaths. The psychopaths will continue to terrorize all the inhabitants of the earth as long as we remain dazed and confused. Understanding this reality is the most important knowledge any human being can possess right now.

Question: Are we a nation of psychopaths, or are we merely controlled by psychopaths, and what, if anything, are we planning to do about this problem? And when, pray tell, might we begin? I'm just asking.

Answer: You tell me.

Extra Credit: You might note the comment to the Uruknet story.
Please search for "CAMP FALCON What really happened"

A MAJOR DU fire just covered up and lost in the pile of lies.

But not for me. No i can fathom the event and it's importance.

Have a look for your own self.

I saw this fire on CNN live that night and i can tell you they instantly EDITED the footage after the first 1:30 second clip of this event (That was never seen by me again without color temperature editing) And the whole event is long since down the memory hole.
I did the search. Here's one link. Nine huge transport planes of American casualties. You'd think Camp Falcon, Baghdad, October 10, 2006 would be an infamous day in Official Iraq War History. But no. I never heard of it before yesterday.

Please, people. We can't flunk this test.

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 guys. I mean, they are having a damn good laugh.
"The American people are about to take out pitchforks" because of the cost of groceries and gasoline, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said during a Senate hearing on whether commodities are being pushed higher by investors' high-stakes bets that prices will keep going up. Given the uproar from consumers, McCaskill warned an official from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, "if you don't do something, Congress will."

...Economists, traders and regulators routinely dismiss the notion that excessive trading is the culprit instead of traditional market forces such as supply and demand. And they warn that increased regulation could interfere with trading programs used by airlines and others to blunt the negative effects of rising commodity prices.

Jeffrey Harris, chief economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, told lawmakers Tuesday that the high prices reflected increased demand from emerging markets and decreased supply because of bad weather or geopolitical events.

Harris and others also pointed to broader economic factors such as the sinking value of the dollar, which has made commodities traded in the United States a relative bargain for foreign investors. Commodities also have recently offered more certain returns than the stock market.
The happy guys tell us that it's so much demand, so little supply, the weak dollar, bad weather, wars, etc. They're doing the best they can to regulate the prices and protect consumers. Seriously. They really are. They have a lot of data to crunch every day, and whenever there are incidents of potential abuse, they take those very seriously on a case-by-case basis. (blink blink blink)

They do!

This happened on Tuesday, May 20, 2008. Senator McCaskill said, "If you don't do something, Congress will." If you click through the link in that story to this site, you will see that the House passed legislation to close the Enron loophole on May 14, 2008. Excellent!

The legislation closing the loophole is meaningless unless the federal Commodities and Futures Trading Commission, the agency charged with regulating energy trades, enforces the law. To do that, they need to the tools and the resources and, perhaps more importantly, the political will to put the cop back on the beat.

Moreover, speculators still have a free hand to continue gaming the market using the “Foreign Exchange” loophole. Similar to the Enron Loophole, this aspect of commodities law allows commodities markets that are owned by foreign entities to operate beyond the reach of federal oversight – despite the fact that their offices are open for business right here in the United States.

There's another loophole???? For foreign entities????

You know what? I'm getting suspicious.

This problem has been on the table for some time. Back in July 2007 Congress held hearings on the very same thing.
IN A SERIES of hearings last week on Capitol Hill, members of Congress shed light on the most significant source of volatile energy prices -- excessive speculation and manipulation on the unregulated energy commodity futures markets.

Seven years ago,
Enron lobbyists sought to free their new experiment in electronic trading, "Enron Online," from oversight by the principle regulator of energy futures and derivatives, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. They managed to drop a loophole into an appropriations bill that has effectively exempted all electronic over-the-counter energy commodity markets from US regulation. Before this bill was passed, crude oil was under $25 per barrel and motorists enjoyed affordable gasoline.

Since then, energy commodity traders and hedge funds have poured billions of dollars into these "dark markets." According to a bipartisan report published by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, excessive speculation may be responsible for as much as $20-$25 of a barrel of crude oil. Between 50 cents to $1 per gallon of gasoline may be a direct result of irrational and unethical behavior in the commodity markets. Enron may be long gone, but its legacy remains.

Few Americans realize the extent to which futures trading on dark markets determines the price they pay for energy. [And why is that, pray telll?? - Ed.] Daily trading has an immediate impact on the price of gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels. A large majority of futures trading -- as much as 75 percent, according to experts -- is conducted on unregulated dark markets, as opposed to trading on regulated markets, including the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Federal Trade Commission concluded last year that retail price gouging is not only hard to define but is virtually nonexistent, whereas "price gouging" on the commodity markets is very real. Insufficient or nonexistent US oversight has given profiteering traders and hedge funds the wiggle room they need to distort prices for personal profit -- at the expense of the American consumer.

...A bill called the "Oil and Gas Traders Oversight Act" would close this loophole and bring accountability to the dark markets. Congress should pass this bill, put an end to the real "price gouging," and tell commodity market profiteers to stop playing with their constituents' wallets.

Let's recap. Speculators have been gouging American consumers for eight years now. Congress has known about it. Now the behavior has become so insanely greedy under cover of supply and demand, the weak dollar, geopolitics, bad weather, wars, and every other possible excuse that is out of the CFTC's control that finally, at long last, somebody has to do something or else the American people will rise up with their pitchforks and skewer the nearest Mobil Gas Station owner, who the FTC has determined really doesn't participate in any price gouging, but is a handy target and possibly an Arab.

So, ahh, is somebody on this, guys, before it gets really ugly?

Why yes! Not to worry. Our congresspeople are right on top of it. Just be patient for a little while longer and it will all be straightened out, 'kay?

Status of this bill: in committee.

The bill's sponsor: Dianne Feinstein.

The bill's co-sponsors:
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 2/13/2007
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 2/13/2007
Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] - 2/13/2007
Sen Feingold, Russell D. [WI] - 2/13/2007
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 2/26/2007
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 2/13/2007
Sen Levin, Carl [MI] - 2/13/2007
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] - 2/13/2007
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] - 2/13/2007
Sen Sanders, Bernard [VT] - 2/26/2007
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 2/13/2007

Maybe I'm just very cynical, but this looks like an elaborate kabuki display that will, in the end, fail. People will be able to express 'regret', however, because they 'tried'. And that will make up for everything.

Who's in for drinks at the Hamptons?


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 you love yours? Do you really think that little children far away love their parents less than your children love you? On what basis can anyone believe that? Where is the proof?

There is no proof. It's just a delusion we tell ourselves to justify sacrificing their futures for ours. But there is no future for people who can justify such sacrifice. If you want a future, you must want a future for everybody and live your life accordingly.

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 departure and that it would be “massive.” I subsequently heard from a knowledgeable Israeli source that he had recently heard the same scenario from two of his sources in Israel. In that connection, Todd Gitlin’s reflections on TPM Cafe about what he was hearing in Jerusalem this week seem clearly relevant. (Gitlin attended Shimon Peres’ Presidents Conference where, according to Laura Rozen’s excellent warandpiece.com, the Israeli host was seated in the front row between Bush and Freedom’s Watch funder and Netanyahu backer, casino multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Her rendition of Nahum Barnea’s column for Yediot Aharanot on Adelson is another must read this week.)
Today the Jerusalem Post has another unnamed source saying that Bush and Cheney want to strike Iran before the end of their term. This news was broadcast over Israel's Army Radio report and presumably has fanned out across Israel. The White House denies this report, so it must be true. Why, again, do the Israelis hear what Bush plans while Americans are kept in the dark? Oh yeah, we are the stepchildren.

Here's the url for that:

It may just come down to whether our economic collapse happens before these guys pull the trigger or after.

Hey, happy Tuesday. Have a great day.


I am sure that is just a coincidence

Hmmm. This looks awfully familiar. I feel like I’ve seen this pattern before.

Oh yeah! Remember this?

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 might happen to the people on the list if something happens to us as a nation. It's all very secret.

So if you're already thinking to yourself, "What the hell is she talking about?", then it's time to go read this and find out.

I saw this via Cryptogon, who has additional links for your reading enjoyment.

And so far it looks like 8 million names are on this secret list, or roughly three Americans in one hundred. So if you live in a town of 15,000 people, roughly 450 people in your town may be at risk for anything from heightened surveillance to detention should some sort of terrorist attack happen again.

That's quite a lot of people. I would be really happy if that many people in my town knew what was going on, but personally, I find that number impossibly optimistic. Just in terms of having good information about what is currently happening, I would estimate maybe three people in 1000 have begun to limn out the reality. That's just a totally wild-assed guess based on my own observations. So basically what I'm trying to say here is that I think this list is total bullshit. It's very seriously doubtful whether anyone on this list poses any threat whatsoever to national security, unless of course you define national security as 'whatever George W Bush prefers'. Now if you do that, sure, it would be pretty easy to rustle up 8 million people who think that ass-clown should go. But that still doesn't make them dangerous. Seriously.

Do you see what we're dealing with here? Do you see why it's so important to prevent some new bogus war? Do you see where this is all going? This country can change overnight. All they have to do is flip the switch, and we'll be living in a police state.

Now I just want to say that if I ever get detained for thinking and writing about the psychopaths who have taken over our country and are itching to create a police state, let it be known that some of us saw them walking over to that switch. We see them raising their hands, and we are screaming at you people to LOOK. For the love of God and country, look at what they are doing. They are going to plunge us into darkness.

That's what makes us 'dangerous'. And that's it. So remember that someday.


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 Bush the credit for coming to the dangerous region. The message was to be that Bush comes to the rescue ‘on horseback and leads the US Calvary charge straight out of a B western movie where the bugle would sound and flag would be unfurled and the white hat good guys would show their stuff before riding into the sunset and back to Texas, leaving the results to the likely Obama administration to sort out.

The plan involved Israeli air strikes on South and West Beirut in support of forces it was assured would be able to surprise and resist Hezbollah and sustain a powerful offensive for 48 hours.

Highly orchestrated, dramatic fantasy hero narrative, miscellaneous collateral damage to Arabs via air strikes, etc. Yup. That sounds about right. If it weren’t for the big party the Israelis were having later that week, I’m sure they would have gone through with it. But they already paid the caterers. You know how it is. It’s true that if it went well the party would have been even more awesome, but what if something went wrong?

So at the last minute, they blinked.

This week Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief, Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon… stronger than the Lebanese and it had wanted to take the government it could have done it,’ He said Hezbollah, continued to pose a ’significant’ threat to Israel as its rockets could reach a large part of Israeli territory.’

Yadlin was putting it mildly.

But what Intelligence Chief Yadlin did not reveal to the Israeli public was just how ’significant’ but also ‘immediate’ the Hezbollah threat was on May 11. Nor was he willing to divulge the fact that he received information via US and French channels that if the planned attack on Lebanon’s capitol went forward that Tel Aviv was subject, in the view of the US intelligence community to ‘approximately 600 Hezbollah rockets in the first 24 hours in retaliation and at least that number on the following day’.

The Israeli Intel Chief also declined to reveal that despite Israel’s recent psyche-war camping about various claimed missile shields ‘the State of Israel is perfecting’, that this claim is being ridiculed at the Pentagon. Israel will not achieve an effective shield against the current generation of rockets, even assuming no technological improvements in the current rockets aimed at it, for another 20 years. And that assumes the US will continue to fund their research and development for the hoped for shields’ according to Pentagon, US Senate Intelligence Committee, and very well informed Lebanese sources.

Maybe that’s why this Raytheon technology was on the Bush agenda with the Israelis.

They’re worried about spilling their own precious blood. Good to know.


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 plays a special role in state-sanctioned killing and stealing. I realize that many Americans have joined the military to serve with honor, but instead they've found themselves sent off to kill and steal in places like Iraq. Why? Because we civilians stupidly let our country be taken over by totally corrupt monsters who have no qualms about killing and stealing. And to the extent that military people have long made their bed with the Republican party and have gone along with the inane meme that only Republicans can protect the nation, they have literally slit their own throats for these monsters.

This is really nothing new, but it still takes many people by surprise. That's the tragedy of it. Americans love our military and seem to think we have special dispensation to kill and steal as we see fit in the name of 'national security'. That's what they keep telling us, and that's why the Winter Soldier hearings had to be buried -- to preserve the narrative.

Crossing the line has become so common as to be institutionalized, particularly in the military, but also in many other areas of American 'culture'. The psychopaths have indeed remade the world in their image. But there are pockets of resistance and true courage. Because let's get one thing straight: it takes no courage to cross the line and murder and steal. This is just another lie that people believe because they have no faith. They have no courage to live an honest life. They really don't believe it can be done. They really don't believe that God exists and that he will take care of them, and therefore being honest is just too risky. They know they'll fail or be run over by murderers and thieves, so they give up and join them before it gets to that point. It's a total capitulation to the morally depraved.

Where we're at today, we see courage when someone simply tells the truth. We see courage when someone refuses to cross the line. We see courage when someone refuses to kill and steal. We see courage when someone has no weapon save their integrity. We see courage when someone stands up to the murderers and thieves, and calls them what they are knowing full well that he will be savagely attacked.

There's courage in holding the line.

People should get on their knees and thank God that people like this still live and breathe in America.

Because this is what happens when a people loses real courage but clings to the illusion that they are still brave.

O say can you see?

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: http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/984045.html
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 considerable controversy.

Olmert promised that when there is a peace agreement it "will be approved by a large majority in the Knesset and it will be supported by the vast majority of the Israeli public."

Two MKs from the National Union, Zvi Hendel and Uri Ariel, left the plenum in protest, complaining that the event was "used to promote a political agenda that is opposed by most of the Israeli public."

Hendel issued a statement calling on Olmert "to learn from the president of the United States what Zionism is."

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) called out during Olmert's speech, "in your dreams."

He later proposed that Bush should replace Olmert.
Olmert, that pussy, is now facing serious corruption charges and will resign if indicted. The Israelis will have to find another suitable candidate to be their Zionist leader. They like Bush, but sadly, he's spoken for.

The Israelis are going to have to get their own damn crazy psychopathic murdering bastard for president. There is a limit to American generosity toward Israel, after all.


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 deliberately fucked up the Middle East and sent Americans off to kill and die there. It’s all in writing — their writings, their speeches, their documents, and their statements. These are Conspiracy Facts.

Over at Chris Floyd you can read how this process continues in Lebanon.

And so in Lebanon — as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somaliathe policies of the Bush Administration have only produced more extremism, more terrorists, more violence.

Can we not discern a pattern here, a clear intention? The “War on Terror” produces terror; it’s part of the “creative destruction” that the militarists used to boast about, when they dreamed that their crimes of aggression, torture and murder would lead future generations to “sing songs about us,” in the immortal words of Michael Ledeen. This quote is often attributed to Richard Perle, but it comes from Ledeen’s call for “total war” in a speech at American Enterprise Institute on October 29, 2001. Ledeen followed this up with a piece on National Review Online in August 2002, when he mocked Brent Scowcroft’s concern that an invasion of Iraq could turn the Middle East into a cauldron. Ledeen’s response:

One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today.

These are the sick minds running foreign policy in the United States. These very same people, the architects of the Iraq War, want to bring more wars and more death and more destruction to the Middle East, using more American lives to whip up the pain and suffering that they obviously feed on. Far too many people in the United States still cling to the LIE that all this bloodshed is somehow helpful to Americans. It’s not. It will just lead - at a bare minimum - to our certain economic demise, and in all probability things will be much worse than that. So leaving aside the profound moral implications of all this killing, which so unfortunately has not been enough to snap people out of their torpor, just imagine letting these monsters slit your economic throat, because they certainly will, and with pleasure.

Or, we can try to stop them.

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 conclude that the congresspeople who are not sunk into debt (and therefore not reflecting the reality of most Americans) are also not worth watching? Have they already succumbed to temptation and made their shady nests with special interests (how boring and utterly predictable)? Is the action truly with these financially wounded congresspeople, desperately clawing their way across the barren political landscape with the burning hot sun beating their backs, as special interest vultures circle overhead, ready to swoop down at any moment and pluck out their still-beating hearts?

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…..


Blink-rate approaching warp speed

I’m not sure how much scientific proof exists that people blink more when they lie, but Joe Lieberman blinks like crazy.

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 look...it'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 “Source 1” – in November 2007, who told them that the plant employed foreign nationals from Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe. Roughly 80 percent of those workers were living illegally in the U.S., the supervisor said.

“Source 1” told federal agents that some employees were running a methamphetamine lab in the plant, and were bringing weapons to work. The supervisor confronted a higher-level manager about the drugs, and shortly after was fired.

The supervisors also described an encounter with the plant’s human resources manager about three separate Social Security cards from different employees with the same number. The human resources manager "laughed when this matter was brought to her attention," the supervisor told federal agents.

In February 2008, a confidential informant identified as "Source 7," who has worked with federal agents in past immigration cases, detailed several incidents of alleged worker abuse at the plant.
The workers were bussed to Waterloo, IA, where DHS had already taken over a portion of a large park, the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds. The federal government leased the grounds from approximately May 6th through May 25th. Ventilation systems and generators have been installed, windows have been covered up, and no information was made available -- allegedly not even to US congresspeople.

Think about that. DHS leases and takes over a fairgrounds, starts conducting a bunch of mysterious preparations that frighten people, and does not even have to inform the people's elected representatives to Congress. How can that be right? Oh, get used to it.

Setting all this aside for a moment, as the purpose of this post is to show you how we are being conditioned to accept a police state, let's just move on to some other examples.

In El Paso, TX, KFOX TV reports (breathlessly) that citizens were invited to watch elite FBI teams train.
They deal with drug dealers, hostage takers and crazed gunman -- all to keep people safe. And KFOX got a firsthand look at how the El Paso FBI trains. As part of the El Paso FBI's Citizens Academy, average citizens got to stand and watch just feet away as the elite, FBI Swat Team practiced how they would handle a sniper situation. "We invite citizens to take an inside look at the FBI. We explain the investigations we conduct, some of the methods we use, and really the why of what we do," Special Agent In Charge David Cuthbert said. Topics in the six-week-long academy range from white-collar crime to terrorism. Citizens come from all backgrounds, eager to learn firsthand how the FBI handles a number of different crimes. "I've always wanted to do something like this; it just looked exciting," GECU employee Becky McDorman said. Many who participated said they gained newfound respect for what the FBI goes through to help keep everyone safe.
Men in uniforms, with guns, training, and all just to keep Becky safe. She believes!! She believes!! She will worship at the temple of military and police power, gaining 'newfound respect'. She is just a lowly 'average citizen', but she will be allowed to 'stand and watch just feet away' from the 'elite FBI Swat Team'.

Bow your heads, people. You are but lowly worms. Pay your taxes and be grateful if any public servant shall deign to protect you. Who do you think you are?

Here's the answer to that question. Look at this illustration accompanying an apologia for Greenspan and Bernanke's policies, the very policies that have destroyed the dollar and the middle class.

Yes. This is a picture of gun-toting military or police men traipsing across the detritus of a ruined Wall St.

I guess the message is that Wall Street failure shall lead to martial law.

In other words, if We the People want these greedy bastards held accountable for wrecking the American economy, then We the People shall have 'unthinkable consequences'. That's what the man says. Go ahead. Read it yourself. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

Oh by the way, this was in the New York Times. Subtle? Not so much.


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 that the IDF knock on a family’s door before blowing it in? How could that possibly be too much to ask?

I wonder what sort of lame excuse will be offered to explain this atrocity. Or maybe they just won’t bother. The IDF displays utter disregard for Palestinian lives. Whatever non-apology apologies were offered two weeks ago after the IDF murdered a family of five sitting down to breakfast meant nothing. And where is the response from Israeli society to this tragedy? Where are the outraged editorials that the IDF killed this woman standing inside her own door, in her own house, preparing to open her door for the Israeli soldiers?

Did I miss them, or was there just…silence?

We are witnessing here the actions of the most miserable people on earth; a people profoundly lost, estranged from the human race and seemingly unable to find their way back. A people who claim to be anointed by God and who use that claim to justify their whims before other human beings. And I look at them and think, No.

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

Am I too harsh? Then show me the unflinching condemnation of this atrocity in the Israeli papers, an atrocity carried out not two weeks since the last Palestinian family was ‘accidentally’ destroyed. These events happened last Wednesday. It is now Monday. Surely there has been time enough for Israelis to denounce this brutal and gratuitous murder. Surely.

I looked. Maybe I missed it, or maybe it just never happened.

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" radar is currently capable of doing, Kirk said in a telephone interview.

So this must mean we don't have to strike Iran because Israel will now be able to protect itself using the amazing Raytheon technology that the US taxpayers will generously supply. Right?


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 - even the dead children of his enemy, see how liberal he is! - but he also wants you to believe that their deaths are essentially inadvertent, because the Israeli army never intentionally targets non-combatants.
Basically, the IDF has gotten away with murdering thousands of Palestinians since 2001 just by saying some variation of 'We didn't mean it. Gee, we really feel bad. It's too bad the terrorists insist on hiding themselves among the civilian population and using people as human shields. You people really should do something about that before someone gets hur---oops! Too late. When are you people going to learn? (shaking head in exasperation)'

Now another approach, popular in the US, is to just stick a bunch of fancy-sounding words together in various swirly patterns that dazzle and hypnotize Americans, especially when delivered by serious men in crisp uniforms adorned with lots of colorful pins and patches. It goes down like candy. For example:
Petraeus ‘rule book’ prioritizes “security and task sharing as a means of empowering civilians and prompting national reconciliation.”
A thing of beauty, no? Who could be against that? But watch how this morphs under examination:
‘Security’ is elusive because what the US Commander considers ‘security’ is the free movement of US troops and collaborators based on the insecurity of the colonized Iraqi majority. They continue to subject the civilian Iraqis to arbitrary house-to-house searches, break-ins and humiliating searches and arrests.

While the death toll of civilians declined from ‘hundreds a day’ to ‘hundreds a week’, it demonstrated Petraeus’ failure to achieve his most elementary goal. ‘Task Sharing’ as defined by Petraeus and his officers is a euphemism for Iraqi collaboration in ‘administrating’ his orders. ‘Sharing’ involves a highly asymmetrical relation of power: the US orders and the Iraqis comply. Petraeus defines the ‘task’ as informing on insurgents. The Iraqi population is supposed to provide ‘information’ on their families, friends and compatriots, in other words betray their own people. The concept sounded more feasible in his manual than in practice. US troops still are ambushed on a daily basis and insurgents, operating among the population, bomb their armored carriers.

'Empowering civilians’, another prominent concept in Petraeus’ manual, assumed that those who ‘empower’ give up power to the ‘others’. In other words, that the US military cedes territory, security, financial resource management and allocation to a colonized people or to the local armed forces. During his 18 months in command, it is the ‘empowered’ people who protect and support insurgents and oppose the US occupation and its puppet regime. In fact what Commander Petraeus really meant was ‘empowering’ a small minority of civilians who were willing collaborators of an occupying army. They were frequently the deadly target of the insurgents. The civilian minority ‘empowered’ by the Petraeus formula requires heavy US military protection to withstand retaliation. In practice no neighborhood civilian collaborators have been delegated real power and those who were delegated authority, are dead, hiding or secretly allied with the resistance.

Petraeus’ goal of ‘national reconciliation’ has been a total failure. The Iraqi regime is paralyzed into squabbling sects and warlords. Reconciliation between warring parties is not on the horizon. What Petraeus fails to recognize, but even his puppet allies publicly state, is that US colonization of Iraq is a blatant denial of the conditions for reconciliation. Commander Petraeus and his army and the dictates of the Zionist White House play off the warring parties undermining any negotiation toward ‘conciliation’. Like all preceding colonial commanders, Petraeus fails to recognize that Iraqi popular sovereignty is the essential precondition for national reconciliation and stability. Military imposed ‘reconciliation’ among warring collaborator groups with no legitimacy among the Iraqi electorate has been a disaster.
For more on how this works in real time, for example what's happening in Sadr City, read this.

You see, it's all about how we use language. Do you remember The Lorax? When the Once-ler chopped down the first Truffula tree and knitted his first Thneed, he defended it thus to the Lorax:
I'm being quite useful. This thing is a Thneed. A Thneed's a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need! It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat. But it has other uses. Yes, far beyond that. You can use it for carpets. For pillows! For sheets! Or curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!"

The Lorax said, "Sir! You are crazy with greed. There is no one on earth who would buy that fool Thneed!"

But the very next minute I proved he was wrong. For, just at that minute, a chap came along, and he thought that the Thneed I had knitted was great. He happily bought it for three ninety-eight.

I laughed at the Lorax, "You poor stupid guy! You never can tell what some people will buy."
Yeah you poor stupid goy, I mean guy.


An important new site on the web

Palestine Think Tank

Check it out.

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.


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 and ambitious, including the shift in global power from West to East (and south), nuclear proliferation, and climate change. But much of the focus will also be on topics closer to home such as Islamic extremism, the rise of Iran, and sovereignty in Jerusalem.
In fact, what are billed as global challenges - terrorism, Iran - seem to be somehow especially Jewish and Israeli ones. The organizers say this is not coincidental or unusual and point as an example to Hitler, who posed an enormous threat to the world but focused particularly on the Jews.
Special challenges.
“Cataclysms always seem to affect Jews first,” remarked Stuart E. Eizenstat, a senior official in the Clinton and Carter administrations who wrote an essay that forms a basis for the conference. “Go back to the Black Plague. It was not a Jewish issue, but it had particular impact on Jews because they were blamed for it.”
Special victims.
Missing from the conference will be any serious Arab representation. Political and intellectual leaders from Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian areas have been invited, but none has confirmed partly because simultaneously the Arab world will be marking Israel’s 60th anniversary as a catastrophe known as “Nakba Day,” which will involve their own conferences and demonstrations. The organizers in Jerusalem are still hoping a few will come.
Arabs: Not Special. Plus, they’re busy talking about that (air quotes) Nakba thing.
Peres said the idea for him was to bring thoughtful Jews and non-Jews together in the perhaps idle hope of “making the Jews more worldly and making the world more Jewish.”
Special. Making others special is admittedly an idle pursuit, but at least they can better recognize and appreciate those who are special.
One significant development of recent years that will be discussed is the shift in the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jewry. For decades, Israel was the needy child depending on contributions and support from abroad as it struggled to survive.
Special needs.
Today, Israel’s Jewish population of 5.5 million is the world’s largest, just ahead of that of the United States, which is slowly declining through low birth rate and intermarriage. Israel has become the center of Jewish life and is increasingly being asked to act like the older brother to Jewish communities elsewhere.
Special responsibilities.
Must we all acknowledge that Israel and the Jewish people are more special than any other country or people? What if we don’t? Does the refusal to believe this make somebody (air quotes) anti-semitic?
Whatever. I do not believe that Israel or the Jewish people are any more special than anybody else. I take people as I find them, and I resent the expectation that I believe elitist nonsense. And by the way, I resent it from wherever and whenever it comes: from people with money, from people with power, from people with influence, from fashionistas to celebrities…whatever. Israel and Jewish people are hardly the only group that takes group pride a little too far. It’s a hyped-up world we’re living in. Far too many people believe their own hype.
It doesn’t matter how nice your house is, what your religion, what car you drive, how much money you make, what your job title is, how plush your office, how great your wardrobe, how tragic your back-story. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how you treat people. That’s all that matters.
I leave you with a story from Jesus, whom I adore.
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Matthew 19:16-30

legal mumbo jumbo

Disclaimer: The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.

Fair Use: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.