November 30, 2005

News -- November 30, 2005

Pentagon, intel pros tell Bush war cannot be won - "“The American people have turned against the war, and they're not turning back,” said political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. “The public is no longer with the President on this issue.” But opposition to the President’s policies also grows in the private corridors of the Pentagon and in the intelligence community where professionals in the art of waging war say the battle for Iraq is lost."

O'Reilly on Fire on Today on Iraq: "It's World War III" - ""See, this is a war, this is WWIII. Everyone watching today: this is WWIII! If these people get an atomic device, which Iran is making right now, they're going to set it off in America if they can. Wise up, let's knock this off, everybody should come together and do what we have to do to stabilize that country."" -- Shut up, Bill.

What 'staying the course' really means - "Nearly three years into the war in Iraq, the Bush administration tells us that it wasn't about weapons of mass destruction or Iraqi ties to al-Qaeda, but about America's holy mission to spread democracy to the benighted regions of the Middle East. However, postwar Iraq is anything but a democracy. In fact, if Iraq manages to avoid all-out civil war, it is likely to end up with a government that is fiercely undemocratic - a Shi'ite theocratic dictatorship that rules by terror, torture, and armed might."

How our governments use terrorism to control us - "The sponsorship of terrorism by western governments, targeting their own populations, has been a taboo subject. Although major scandals have received cursory coverage in the media, the subject has been allowed to immediately disappear without discussion or investigation. Therefore the appearance this year of two major studies of this subject is a welcome breakthrough, and provides essential reading for anyone struggling to understand the events of September 11, 2001 and the post September 11 world. The studies are complementary. NATO's Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe by Daniele Ganser concerns terrorism sponsored by American and British intelligence in Western Europe and Turkey between the end of World War II and 1985. The War on Truth, 9/11, Disinformation, and the Anatomy of Terrorism by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed chronicles the cultivation and sponsorship of militant Islamic terrorism by the intelligence services of the United States, Britain and Russia from 1979 to the present. Both studies are models of scholarship -- meticulously documented and carefully reasoned -- but the world they reveal will boggle the mind of the most wild-eyed conspiracy theorist."

Cheney 'may be guilty of war crime' - "Vice-president Dick Cheney's burden on the Bush administration grew heavier yesterday after a former senior US state department official said he could be guilty of a war crime over the abuse of prisoners.",12271,1653936,00.html

None Dare Call It Censorship - "All serious and intelligent journalists today know that the U.S. government has massive media management brigades to carefully control what Americans see in the media and, thus, what they are very likely to believe about things of which they have no direct experience, such as high-level politics, finance and foreign affairs. They also know that the government is extremely effective in secretly censoring the news by using devices such as "embedded reporting" in nations like Afghanistan and Iraq which the U.S. government invades, occupies, and governs."

Fascism then. Fascism now? - "When people think of fascism, they imagine Rows of goose-stepping storm troopers and puffy-chested dictators. What they don't see is the economic and political process that leads to the nightmare."

Alito Pushed Abortion Fight Under Reagan - "As a young government lawyer opposed to abortion rights, Samuel Alito argued for a legal strategy of chipping away at the landmark Supreme Court ruling rather than mounting an all-out assault likely to inflict a defeat on the Reagan administration, according to documents released Wednesday."

US Military Stages Media Offensive in Iraq - "As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the US military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the US mission in Iraq."

Are Jews born smart? - "Ashkenazi Jews are genetically intellectually superior to everyone else. This is the conclusion of a recent "scientific" study entitled "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence"."

U.S. Customs now reads your blog entries? -- You are not free to travel.

IE Flaw 'extremely critical' - "AN UNPATCHED vulnerability on Internet Explorer is so bad that security expert Secunia has had to add a new category of danger to its rating system."

French woman has first partial face transplant - "French surgeons have performed what they said on Wednesday was the world's first partial face transplant -- giving a new nose, chin and lips to a woman savaged by a dog. Specialists from two French hospitals carried out the operation on a 38-year-old woman on Sunday in the northern city of Amiens by grafting on tissues, muscles, arteries and veins from a brain-dead woman."

Kids' 'choking game' can be fatal - "The goal is a fleeting "high" that follows a lack of oxygen to the brain and has teens across the nation throttling themselves with belts and ropes, choking each other with bare hands or pulling plastic bags over their heads until they nearly pass out."

15 wives, 100 children - "A tribal Christian cult leader in this northeast state could well claim a slot in the Guinness Book of World Records - 15 wives and more than 100 children staying together."

Kiss steals the life of a girl with an allergy - "Christina Desforges, a Canadian teenager allergic to peanuts actually lost her life after she stole a kiss with her boyfriend who had just consumed a peanut-based snack. The allergy that affects just over a percent of the population caused the 15-year old to go into anaphylactic shock despite an immediately administered adrenalin shot. The girl eventually died four days after the lethal kiss of respiratory failure."

Quote of the Day
"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands . . . [Propaganda] must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect . . . The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses . . . [Propaganda] does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way . . . But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. . . . The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blasé young gentlemen, but to convince . . . the masses. But the masses are slow moving, and they always require a certain time before they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are repeated thousands of times will the masses finally remember them."
~ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

November 29, 2005

News -- November 29, 2005

The Torture Scandal - "What was happening, for example? Well hypothermia was a widespread technique. I haven't heard a lot of people talking about that, and I never saw anything in writing prohibiting it or making it illegal. But almost everyone was using it when they had a chance, when the weather permitted. Or some people, the Navy SEALs, for instance, were using just ice water to lower the body temperature of the prisoner. They would take his rectal temperature to make sure he didn't die; they would keep him hovering on hypothermia. That was a pretty common technique. A lot of other, you know, not as common techniques, and certainly not sanctioned, was just beating people or burning them. Not within the prisons, usually. But when the units would go out into people's homes and do these raids, they would just stay in the house and torture them. Because after the scandal, they couldn't trust that, you know, the interrogators were going to do "as good a job," in their words, as they wanted to. ... Why would they do that? Part of it is, they were trying to get information, but part of it is also just pure sadism. You just kept wanting to push and push and push, and see how far you could go. And it seems like that's just part of human nature. I mean, I'm sure you've read studies conducted in American prisons where you put a group of people in charge of another group of people, and give them control over them, and pretty soon it turns into cruelty and torture, you know? So it's pretty common. And I saw it, every detention facility I went to. If there wasn't really strong, strong leadership that said, "We're not going to tolerate abuse," … in every facility there would have been abuse. And even among people like the MPs who aren't trying to get intel -- they just do it because it's something people do there, if they're not controlled either inwardly or from above. … ... How much harsher? Well, it depends on what you're going to say the rules are. Because as I said, Geneva Conventions for prisoners of war don't allow us to really do anything to these prisoners other than talk to them. So all this other stuff we did with freezing them, starving them, sleep manipulation, isolation -- we're not allowed to do those things. … ... Has it worked? Not that I saw. And that certainly wasn't an approach I would run. And you know, it might have worked on somebody who was guilty, but I so rarely saw guilty people; they were just picking up bummers. …" -- Everyone should read this interview.

Cheney accused on prisoner abuse - "Col Lawrence Wilkerson accused Mr Cheney of ignoring a decision by President Bush on the treatment of prisoners in the war on terror. Asked by the BBC's Today if Mr Cheney could be accused of war crimes, he said: "It's an interesting question." "Certainly it is a domestic crime to advocate terror," he added. "And I would suspect, for whatever it's worth, it's an international crime as well." This is an extraordinary attack by a man who until earlier in the year was Mr Cheney's colleague in the senior reaches of the Bush team, the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington says. Col Wilkerson has in the past accused the vice-president of responsibility for the conditions which led to the abuse of prisoners. But this time he has gone much further, appearing to suggest Mr Cheney should face war crimes charges, our correspondent adds.

Miami Police Take New Tack Against Terror - "Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant. Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats." -- This doesn't sound like America. In addition, is this tactice being used just to keep the public terrified? Because, as we all know, a scared populace is much easier to control than one that is not.

Fat heinies causing problems for doctors - "That traditional shot in the heinie may be doing less and less good as people become plumper, according to a new study presented Monday. "Our study has demonstrated that a majority of people, especially women, are not getting the proper dosage from injections to the buttocks. There is no question that obesity is the underlying cause," said Dr. Victoria Chan, a researcher at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Her study found that as few as one in 10 women and six in 10 men may be getting proper doses from injections because the needle can't reach the target zone."

Storm Clouds Gathering - "Last week's guilty plea by Abramoff's onetime partner, a former top aide to the beleaguered Rep. Tom DeLay, darkened the skies further. Michael Scanlon's admission he had conspired to bribe public officials and defrauded four Indian gaming casinos of millions in fees effectively makes him the government's star witness in a probe that threatens to ensnare officials throughout the nation's capital."

6 EASY STEPS to Burying America's Students In Debt - "STEP 4: make education SO EXPENSIVE that in order to LEARN students must BURY themselves in DEBT (Repeat STEP 2)"

TV viewers tune out govt control -- study - "Americans overwhelmingly want Big Brother to butt out of their TV watching, according to a new study of U.S. viewing habits set for release Tuesday."

Blu-ray/HD DVD Could Become Irrelevant as HVD Nears - "When it comes to the format war, all the talk has been about Blu-ray and HD DVD, but another more advanced technology could actually replace both before they even really have a chance to make their respective marks. Holographic disks can store a ton of data and can read and write data faster as well..."

Quote of the Day
"An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide."
~ Arnold Toynbee

November 28, 2005

News -- November 28, 2005

Dishonest, Reprehensible, Corrupt ... - "There is more going on here than politics. Much more: each day brings slam-dunk evidence that the doomsday threats marshaled by the administration to sell the war weren't, in Cheney-speak, just dishonest and reprehensible but also corrupt and shameless. The more the president and vice president tell us that their mistakes were merely innocent byproducts of the same bad intelligence seen by everyone else in the world, the more we learn that this was not so. The web of half-truths and falsehoods used to sell the war did not happen by accident; it was woven by design and then foisted on the public by a P.R. operation built expressly for that purpose in the White House. The real point of the Bush-Cheney verbal fisticuffs this month, like the earlier campaign to take down Joseph Wilson, is less to smite Democrats than to cover up wrongdoing in the executive branch between 9/11 and shock and awe."

The leak that revealed Bush's deep obsession with al-Jazeera - "The US president planned to bomb the Qatar-based channel - that was the remarkable claim made in a top-secret memo. Why is the world's most powerful man so worried about a TV station?",6903,1651765,00.html

He Dared to Challenge Power and the Official Consensus - "“I have learned from first hand experience that war is the destroyer of all that is good in the world. It turns our young into soulless killers and we tell them they are “heroes” when they master the art of killing.”--Conscientious Objector and Prisoner of Conscience, Sgt Kevin Benderman. It has been said of Sgt. Kevin Benderman by those in command and control at Ft. Stewart, GA., after Kevin publicly announced his refusal to deploy to Iraq a second time, that his action was “endangering” those from FT. Stewart who would be deploying to Iraq. ... Kevin is now in a military prison for the next 15 months. ... Captain Schenk, S-2 at FT. Stewart, GA. (S-2 is Army military intelligence), was busted for stealing. He was stealing the armored plates for the body armor vests the troops from FT Stewart would be wearing in Iraq. Capt Schenk was then selling those plates on E-Bay for between $3,000 and $4,000 a piece. Capt. Schenk was sent to jail for 45 days behind his theft of and sale of the protective gear the troops from FT. Stewart would need in Iraq.Now I ask you, between the two men, who in fact was it that endangered the troops:" -- Can you believe this shit?

Abuse worse than under Saddam, says Iraqi leader - "Human rights abuses in Iraq are now as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein and are even in danger of eclipsing his record, according to the country's first Prime Minister after the fall of Saddam's regime.",6903,1651789,00.html

US to reach out to Iran in bid to quell Iraq unrest - "President George W. Bush has asked US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to reach out to Iran for assistance in subduing the unrest in Iraq — the first high-level US contact with Tehran in decades, Newsweek magazine reported yesterday." -- Huh?

China says bird flu virus in humans mutating - "Chinese labs have found that the genetic order of the H5N1 virus seen in humans infected in China is different from that found in humans in Vietnam, Xinhua news agency reported Monday."

U.S. Still Silencing Scientists - "More than 200 biologists and other researchers in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirm that they have been directed to alter their official scientific findings, says a survey released last week. The scientists say business interests apply political pressure to reverse scientific conclusions that might interfere with profits, including timber, grazing, development and energy companies."

Hannity igniting revolt against left-wing profs - ""Get your little tape recorders if legal, and I want you to start recording these left-wingers. Bring it to this program and we'll start airing it every single time on this program. I'm sick of this indoctrination. I'm sick of this left-wing propaganda." ... "Fear is a great motivator, and the fear that these left-wingers are going to get fired or be held accountable for their mean-spirited comments against people or their indoctrination is going to be the single-biggest motivation we ever see to get them to stop doing what they're doing to college kids around the country." Beach agreed, telling Hannity, "It is intimidating, and [professors] will tell you things to make you not want to stand out and expose them. The American people need to know what they're paying for, what they're paying for their children to receive at these schools. It's not an education, it's indoctrination, and they're intimidated from speaking out the truth that they know."" -- Does anyone else the hypocrisy?

Math + science = innovation, but US lags in the equation - "Captains of commerce have groused in recent years about everything from estate taxes to the expensing of stock options. But the issue that has risen to the top of the corporate complaint agenda this fall is the wilting of American education in math and science. The problem was spelled out last month in a National Academy of Sciences study that reported, among other things, that 12th-graders in the United States performed below the international average for 21 countries on a general test of science and mathematics knowledge."

Hollywood, Iraq and 9/11: Reinforcing the Party Line - "Moviegoers in the upcoming months will be bombarded by films about the Iraq war and 9/11. These movies will uniformly reinforce the official party line that 9/11 was carried out by 19 Arabs with box cutters and that the invasion of Iraq was a heroic act of liberation in the defense of America. ... "They want a certain kind of movie made," Stone said. "They don't want to deal with the down-side of war. They assist movies that don't tell the truth about combat, and they don't assist movies that seek to tell the truth about combat. Most films (about the military) are recruiting posters. They are such lies." The state cringes when movies that actually make people think hit the big screen, and there is a growing movement within Hollywood to push the genre firmly in that direction, but they salivate when an audience can be hoodwinked into buying their crap through the medium of entertainment."

Web Sites Offer Private Cell Phone Information - "A Problem Solvers investigation has discovered that several Web sites will sell the last 100 phone numbers you have dialed to anyone who knows your phone number. The report found that sites like Locate Cell will sell the private phone numbers for about $100."

Quote of the Day
"I'm tired of the insane running things, and I won't stop trying for change."
~ Queensrÿche

November 27, 2005

News -- November 27, 2005

The Phony War Against the Critics - "Interestingly, the administration no longer claims that Hussein actually had such weapons at the time Bush led the country into war in order to eliminate them. "The flaws in the intelligence are plain enough in hindsight," Cheney said on Monday. So-called WMD (weapons of mass destruction) were not the only argument for the war, but the administration thought they were a crucial argument at the time. So the administration now concedes that the country went to war on a false premise. Doesn't that mean that the war was a mistake no matter where the false premise came from? ... Until last week, the antiwar position in the debate over Iraq closely resembled the pro-war position in the ancient debate over Vietnam. That is: It was a mistake to get in, but now that we're in we can't just cut and run. That was the logic on which Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger took over the Vietnam War four years after major American involvement began and kept it going for another four. American "credibility" depended on our keeping our word, however foolish that word might have been."

Is Bush lying about his lies? - "Not only did the Bush administration deceive the American people about the reasons for invading Iraq, it is now deceiving them about the deceptions. In a burst of political tantrums, the president and the vice president have shouted that it was "irresponsible" to assert that there had been deception and it was unfair to the troops fighting in Iraq. Is the administration lying about its lies? That many of the arguments in favor of the war were false is beyond question. Nor can there be any serious doubt that the new argument that it is irresponsible to question the old arguments is also false. But if a lie is a conscious effort to deceive, then the charge that the president and the men around him deliberately lied and are now lying again, then that issue must be left to heaven. It is enough to say they spread falsehoods three years because they had made up their minds that there had to be a war and are now spreading falsehoods about the original falsehoods. The president is not a man who likes to admit he was wrong. Therefore, one must cover up the mistakes."

Replant the American Dream - "I don't think Americans realize how much we have tarnished those ideals in the eyes of the rest of the world these past few years. The public opinion polls tell us that America isn't just disliked or feared overseas -- it is reviled. We are seen as hypocrites who boast of our democratic values but who behave lawlessly and with contempt for others. I hate this America-bashing, but when I try to defend the United States and its values in my travels abroad, I find foreigners increasingly are dismissive. How do you deny the reality of Abu Ghraib, they ask, when the vice president of the United States is actively lobbying against rules that would ban torture? Of all the reversals the United States has suffered in recent years, this may be the worst. We are slowly shredding the fabric that defines what it means to be an American."

DANGEROUS DENIAL - "It should not come as a surprise to Karen Hughes that, thanks largely to the Internet, an awful lot of people in the Middle East and elsewhere know that the Justice Department lawyer, Jay Bybee, who wrote the now-famous memo justifying torture, got promoted to a lifetime appointment as a Federal judge. Or that then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, who sold that memo to President Bush, was elevated to Attorney General of the United States. Or that some of the more egregious prisoner interrogation practices were approved by none other than our Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Or that others were okayed by General Ricardo Sanchez, our top Army field commander in Iraq, who is now awaiting his fourth star. Or that General Geoffrey Miller, our commandant at Guantanamo, was sent to Iraq to “migrate” GITMO’s interrogation methods to Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan – and that a top Army general overruled a military investigator’s recommendation that he be reprimanded. Or that Vice President Dick Cheney has been lobbying Congress to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from Senator John McCain’s anti-torture proposal. Or that the Bush Administration will neither confirm nor deny press reports that the United States runs a network of ‘black site’ prisons in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.When people have access to that kind of information, it gets harder and harder to con them."

Americans’ anger at an all-time high - "The Americans need to step back and think, is their president taking their nation to prosperity or to hell?"

'Trophy' video exposes private security contractors shooting up Iraqi drivers - "A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis."

Behind the phosphorus clouds are war crimes within war crimes - "We now know the US also used thermobaric weapons in its assault on Falluja, where up to 50,000 civilians remained.",,1647998,00.html

Dutch Remind Washington: 'Torture is a Criminal Offense' - "The American Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an absolute disgrace for President George W. Bush. The heinous treatment of al-Qaeda suspects held at Guantanamo is well documented. The American torture practices - no secret but still shocking and disgusting all the same - are well documented. Human rights organizations, the Red Cross and - yes - even the FBI, have all reported on torture by American troops at Guantanamo and Iraq. Internationally, the Americans are being pressured to immediately halt the illegal treatment of prisoners. It is the subject of ongoing debate in politics and society as a whole. However in the end, nothing is being done about it. Guatanamo Bay is a place where the Americans demonstratively ignore international human rights."

RITUAL ABUSE OF OUR MARINES - " This attack was hushed up. But there are many other ordeals awaiting new recruits, said our marine." -- Oh, this is just terrific.

Pentagon Expanding Its Domestic Surveillance Activity - "The proposal, made by a presidential commission, would transform CIFA from an office that coordinates Pentagon security efforts -- including protecting military facilities from attack -- to one that also has authority to investigate crimes within the United States such as treason, foreign or terrorist sabotage or even economic espionage. The Pentagon has pushed legislation on Capitol Hill that would create an intelligence exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information gathered about U.S. citizens with the Pentagon, CIA and other intelligence agencies, as long as the data is deemed to be related to foreign intelligence. Backers say the measure is needed to strengthen investigations into terrorism or weapons of mass destruction. The proposals, and other Pentagon steps aimed at improving its ability to analyze counterterrorism intelligence collected inside the United States, have drawn complaints from civil liberties advocates and a few members of Congress, who say the Defense Department's push into domestic collection is proceeding with little scrutiny by the Congress or the public. "We are deputizing the military to spy on law-abiding Americans in America. This is a huge leap without even a [congressional] hearing," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a recent interview."

FAA records for four years listed both 9/11 United jetliners as still on the 'active' list. Now planes only 'deregistered' in September after snoopy researchers questioned FAA officials a month earlier. - "According to BTS statistics, both 11 and 77 officially never took-off on 9/11. The meticulous data kept on every airliner taking-off at every airport in the country also showed no elapsed run-way time, wheels-off time and taxi-out time, not to mention several other categories left blank on 9/11 concerning the two flights. Although Flights 11 and 77 have the above data meticulously logged on 9/10, it was suspiciously absent on 9/11, even when every other plane that took of that day had been recorded and logged by the BTS."

Wanted Posters Make a 'Huge' Comeback in the U.S. - "Once upon a time, saloons in the American West had the inevitable "wanted" poster up near the doorway. Now, so long after abandoning the practice, some parts of the U.S. have decided revive it, but in grand style. No longer are the fugitive photo and details displayed on small billboards: Now they are huge-sized billboards along roadways."

U.S. Religious Right Crusades Against 'American Girl' Dolls - "A retail chain that encourages young girls to be "strong, smart and bold," was targeted by a group of protesters that consider dolls like Molly, Kit and Felicity to be a cover-up for radical-feminists. ... "The more you read about it, the more you discover that it is nothing but a radical-feminist group," says Ann Scheidler, director of the Pro-Life Action League of Chicago. Until recently, American Girl Dolls were extremely popular in religious conservative circles. But now the tides have turned. Scheidler is the self-appointed spokesperson. "American Girl always pretended to defend American values," she says. "Those are Christian values. But now we discover that they support an organization that speaks out for abortion and a lesbian way of life. It is horrifying.""

Quote of the Day
"I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things."
~ George W. Bush, aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

November 25, 2005

News -- November 25, 2005

Calling for the troops to go - "GEORGE BUSH has always said he will pull American troops out of Iraq as soon as he can, and no sooner. He has steadfastly rejected the idea of a timetable for withdrawal, which, he argues, would amount to a retreat before the job is done. But on Monday November 21st a broad range of Iraqi factional leaders, meeting in Cairo, called for just that. Though they did not suggest a specific date by which the troops should go, the agreement will focus minds, in both Baghdad and Washington, on the endgame for foreign forces in Iraq."

First Light - "None of this means the Bush nightmare is over, of course; not by the longest shot. This gang will grow ever more vicious as their support crumbles; in fact, it's a good bet that the worst is yet to come. The Bushists know that they have prison sentences hanging over their heads if they ever lose their grip on power. They will either do "whatever it takes" to keep holding the whip hand -- in which case we are in for political and social strife the likes of which America has not seen since the Civil War -- or, at the very least, they will make things bad enough that the nation's power elite will negotiate a settlement, as in Richard Nixon's day: We won't prosecute you if you'll just go away. In any case, it won't be pleasant. So no false hopes of a new day dawning. Let's not forget what happened after the "new dawn" after Nixon's departure: Six years later, Ronald Reagan was in office with an even worse crew -- a lunatic fringe of aggressive militarists, hard-right ideologues and religious extremists allied with rapacious corporate elitists, all bent on destroying the idea of a common good beyond the bottom line. This poison has gone deep into the American bloodstream, and its virulence has been increased a thousandfold by the current regime. Bush's exit won't cure the body politic of this wasting disease. Nor will it halt the voracious system of dominance and empire that has driven U.S. foreign policy -- under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives -- for the past 60 years, covering the earth with more than 700 military bases while waging ceaseless war, directly and by proxy. Indeed, war profiteering has become essential to the wealth and power of the elite, and is now deeply embedded in the U.S. economy as a whole. Bush accelerated this all-devouring engine into overdrive; but he didn't create it, and his departure won't derail it."

THE ROAD TO HELL - "It really shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, so much that George W. Bush has touched during his tenure in the White House has deteriorated into disaster. From the environment to the economy, from health care to education – nothing has panned out as promised. In every area and on every issue, life for Americans today, and for their progeny of tomorrow, is filled with doubt and disillusion. And that will only gather momentum as Bushco continues on its inevitable road to rock bottom. ... George W. Bush is still the President of the United States. He has full war powers at his disposal for another three years. No matter what anyone else says or thinks, no matter what the people believe, no matter what happens here or abroad, George W. Bush and his neocon handlers are still in charge of the nation and its policies. No matter what the mood of the nation, they have three full years to do an enormous amount of damage between here and rock bottom. If they are not stopped now, how many more people will die?"

Congressman Ron Paul Reiterates Danger Of Foreign Troops Being Used For Martial Law - "Republican Congressman Ron Paul recently appeared on nationally syndicated radio and again reiterated his deep concern that foreign troops are mobilizing outside and inside America to be used as assets in a martial law takeover by the Bush administration. "It's a horrible precedent and it's all part of the NAFTA scheme and globalization and world government," Paul told the Alex Jones Show."

Ain't no free speech allowed in Dubya's America - "In George W. Bush’s America, protest and free speech are illegal acts. Just ask those arrested Wednesday for staging a peaceful protest against the Iraq war near the President’s ranch in Crawford, Texas."

Former Canadian Minister Of Defence Asks Canadian Parliament Asked To Hold Hearings On Relations With Alien "Et" Civilizations - "On September 25, 2005, in a startling speech at the University of Toronto that caught the attention of mainstream newspapers and magazines, Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head." Mr. Hellyer went on to say, "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something.""

Islam and the Western Media - "Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West. Nevertheless, the West has many stereotypes and misconceptions about Islam that are due to the media, prejudice, and ignorance. Islam is often looked upon as a "extremist", "terrorist", or "fundamental" religion. Many people hate Islam and do not want to acknowledge its true teachings. In many cases, the media’s reports about Islam are incorrect due to ignorance. This is one of the reasons why the West often hates Islam. In contrast to what many Westerners think of Islam, Islam is a peaceful religion, which does not promote any forms of uncalled for fighting or "terrorist" actions."

Ishihara says U.S. can't win war with China, calls U.S. forces incompetent - "Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara used a speech in the U.S. capital Thursday to convey his views on China, arguing that economic containment is the best strategy because the United States would "certainly" lose a war with China, which he said would not hesitate to sacrifice its people on a massive scale when fighting against an enemy. "In any case, if tension between the United States and China heightens, if each side pulls the trigger, though it may not be stretched to nuclear weapons, and the wider hostilities expand, I believe America cannot win as it has a civic society that must adhere to the value of respecting lives," Ishihara said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that was primarily focused on China."

Report Suggests Taxing Hybrids, Billing Drivers by Mile - "Proposals for the longer term could be more controversial. One is that owners of hybrids and other alternative fuel vehicles pay a vehicle fee, the argument being that drivers should bear their fair share to fill the potholes and fix the bridges, regardless of how much or what kind of fuel they use. In the same vein, the report said federal and state governments should begin moving from the fuel tax to a mileage-based system. The current tax, in place since 1956, could have diminishing returns as cars become more fuel efficient and if Americans, turned off by rising gas prices, buy smaller cars." -- They're going to get your money any way they can.

U.S. Troops Find Abused Cheetah Cubs - "U.S. troops found two cheetah cubs _ one of them blinded _ being forced to fight each other for the amusement of jeering children in this dusty, forgotten village. The soldiers of the U.S. counterterrorism task force for the Horn of Africa were in the region carrying out humanitarian work when they came across the three-month-old cheetahs "performing" at a restaurant run by Mohamed Hudle." -- Disgusting.

Holographic-memory discs may put DVDs to shame - "The discs, developed by InPhase Technologies, based in Colorado, US, hold 300 gigabytes of data and can be used to read and write data 10 times faster than a normal DVD. The company, along with Japanese partner Hitachi Maxell announced earlier in November that they would start selling the discs and compatible drives from the end of 2006."

Quote of the Day
"When worse comes to worst, we're screwed."
~ Steven Wright

November 24, 2005

News -- November 24, 2005

US never had burden of proof: Cheney - ""We never had the burden of proof," he said, adding that it had been up to Iraqi president Saddam Hussein to prove to the world that he didn't have such weapons." -- So, apparently one has to prove their innocence rather than the accusing party having to supply the proof of guilt. Now does that make sense? If you are innocent, how can you prove you are inncocent if the accusing party believes you are guilty? The answer: you can't.

Piecing together the story of the weapons that weren't - "Note: This reconstruction of what happened on the road to war in Iraq is based on government inquiries, official documents, fresh interviews and other sources." -- Worth the read.

Newspaper gagged over Bush memo - "English daily newspaper The Daily Mirror has been threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act if they reveal any further details of a document revealing US President George W. Bush’s plans to bomb Al Jazeera news agency." -- Freedom of the press my ass.

I'll go to jail to print the truth about Bush and al-Jazeera - "If someone passes me the document within the next few days I will be very happy to publish it in The Spectator, and risk a jail sentence. The public need to judge for themselves. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. If we suppress the truth, we forget what we are fighting for, and in an important respect we become as sick and as bad as our enemies."

The Things That Iraqis 'Cannot Understand' - "Some Iraqis may understand that it is beyond the power of the government or the mighty U.S. Army to put an end to the insurgency. But they cannot understand why atrocities like those of Abu Ghraib and most recently of the secret jail run by the Interior Ministry can happen. They cannot understand why Iraqi and U.S. forces cannot put an end to the abduction of innocent people and the assassination of university professors, medical doctors and other professionals. Every now and then the government sets up an investigation committee to look into incidents like these, but to no avail. We know that these committees are formed, but we are never told about the outcome. So the killers, the torturers, the kidnappers, the corrupt officials, the liars and the cheats are free. We, the innocent people, have become their prisoners. This is the reality of the current situation in our country, an ominous harbinger of even worse to come."

A New Map! - "“Survey USA has just released the latest 50-state poll on George Bush and it spells more bad news. Bush's approval, in line with most other polls, pegs him at 37% while he loses more ground in individual states." -- I'm not quite sure what's wrong with Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.

Public ignores Iraq war naysayers - "Negative press coverage of the war in Iraq in recent weeks has emphasized rising pessimism among the American public about the conflict. But a new survey found that 56 percent of the public thinks that efforts to establish a stable democracy in the country will succeed." -- Do these people live under a rock?

Bush critics get goon treatment - "Is the Internal Revenue Service starting to police free speech in America? Has it, in this administration of cronies and corruption, become an arm of the White House, using tax law to squelch those who would question the president? The IRS pursuit of All Saints Church in Pasadena makes you wonder if our tax agency is turning itself into Big Brother."

Corporations Scared To Sponsor Natural History Museum's Evolution, Darwin Exhibition... - "An exhibition celebrating the life of Charles Darwin has failed to find a corporate sponsor because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution." -- Jesus.

Why the Sudden Clampdown on Revisionists? - "Virtually unreported by the mainstream media and given little prominence even by those outlets that have reported it – probably so as not to alert too many – recent weeks have seen a major clampdown across the planet. On both sides of the Atlantic, historians, researchers and investigators have been arrested, detained and deported to Germany to face charges of “Holocaust denial.”"

Univ. of Kansas Takes Up Creation Debate - "A course being offered next semester by the university religious studies department is titled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies."" -- God damn that's funny.

NYCLU Files Complaint Against Catholic School For Firing Unmarried Pregnant Teacher - "The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed an official complaint to the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a Queens teacher who says she was fired because she got pregnant out of wedlock."

The exit exam end-around - "Call me a cynic, but I think the educrats plan it this way. They wait for challenges to pass from the scene, like Prop.s 74 and 75, and then, once they have won, they literally spit in voters’ faces. The latest outrage: a plan hatched for some community college districts to issue diplomas to high school students without regard to the state requirement that students receive a high school diploma only after they have passed the official state high school exit exam. This end-around maneuver is intended to bail out our failing K-12 system, another effort by state educrats to avoid accountability for doing their jobs."

Fox News Won't Show Ad Opposing Alito - "Fox News is refusing to air an ad critical of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, citing its lawyers' contention that the spot is factually incorrect."

Terrorism threat to Net overblown - "The U.S. government gives a lot of money to fight terrorism, so cyberterrorism is hyped. I hear people talk about the risks to critical infrastructure from cyberterrorism, but the risks come primarily from criminals. But at the moment, criminals aren't as "sexy" as terrorists. We should not ignore criminals, and I think we're underspending on crime. If you look at ID theft and extortion, it still goes on. Criminals are after money."

Who's Afraid of Google? Everyone. - "Is the sky falling? That's how it looks to panicked tech companies across the Valley as they contend with Google's ever-expanding power and ambition."

The Enemy in Our Living Room - "But all is not well in Bhutan. They finally became the last country on Earth to allow television in 1999, and within a couple of years, they were experiencing their very first crime wave, with reports from many villages and towns of fraud, violence, and even murder. An editorial in the national newspaper, Kuensel, put it this way: "We are seeing for the first time broken families, school dropouts and other negative youth crimes. We are beginning to see crime associated with drug users all over the world - shoplifting, burglary and violence." And here is a letter from a reader of the Kuensel: "Dear Editor, TV is very bad for our country... it controls our minds... and makes [us] crazy. The enemy is right here with us in our own living room. People behave like the actors, and are now anxious, greedy and discontent.""

Quote of the Day
"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... for my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it."
~ Patrick Henry

November 23, 2005

News -- November 23, 2005

A gutless, draft-dodging coward named Dick Cheney - "Sorry Dickie boy, but it is you and your cronies at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue who have “no place anywhere in American politics.” It is hypocrites like you, you shameless, cowardly son-of-a-bitch, who should be led from the White House in chains and locked away in some hellhole to rot for eternity."

Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel; Bush Knew 9/21/01: No 9/11 - Iraq Connection - "The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the White House for the CIA assessment, the PDB of September 21, 2001, and dozens of other PDBs as part of the committee's ongoing investigation into whether the Bush administration misrepresented intelligence information in the run-up to war with Iraq. The Bush administration has refused to turn over these documents." -- Actions speak much louder than words, George.

What I Knew Before the Invasion - "The president's attacks are outrageous. Yes, more than 100 Democrats voted to authorize him to take the nation to war. Most of them, though, like their Republican colleagues, did so in the legitimate belief that the president and his administration were truthful in their statements that Saddam Hussein was a gathering menace -- that if Hussein was not disarmed, the smoking gun would become a mushroom cloud."

American Christian Fundamentalist Leader Calls For Global War - "While the Western press is awash with stories, real and exaggerated, about 'Islamic fundamentalists', rarely is mention made about Christian fundamentalists, who, with their vast resources and close links with the current American administration, are a potentially more menacing threat than their Muslim counterparts."

How U.S. Fell Under the Spell of 'Curveball' - "The German intelligence officials responsible for one of the most important informants on Saddam Hussein's suspected weapons of mass destruction say that the Bush administration and the CIA repeatedly exaggerated his claims during the run-up to the war in Iraq. Five senior officials from Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, said in interviews with The Times that they warned U.S. intelligence authorities that the source, an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so. ",0,1753730.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Powell aide: Torture 'guidance' from VP - "A former top State Department official said Sunday that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the "philosophical guidance" and "flexibility" that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities."

A New 'Malicious Marketplace' for Internet Attacks - "Internet criminals are increasingly targeting popular applications like backup software and Web browsers instead of the operating systems that run them, according to a new report from government and industry security experts."

Dubya doll flies off shelves - "That's right. Dubya has a doll, or rather an "action figure" featuring some 17 Bushisms, from patriotic to painful."

How to tame an inflated entertainment budget - "The average American spends more on entertainment than on gasoline, household furnishings and clothing and nearly the same amount as spent on dining out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

Quote of the Day
"Comin' at you like a nightmare."
~ 311

November 19, 2005

News -- November 19, 2005

What are you going to do now, Mr. Bush? - "The Bush regime's policy in Iraq is an abject failure. Two years after the lies which gave a false pretext for the illegal invasion of Iraq, after 30,000 civilians have been murdered by US armed forces, after a hundred thousand people have lost their lives directly or indirectly because of this invasion, after Iraq's civilian infra-structures were selected as military targets, after the war crimes, the use of chemical weapons, the cases of torture, who can say that the policy was a success?"

Americans Are Running Out of Patience With Their 'War President' - "Even more shockingly, Republican elder statesman, Gen Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to Bush’s father, accused Bush Jr. of being "wrapped around the little finger" of Israel’s PM Ariel Sharon. Scowcroft has finally said aloud what no one in official Washington or the media dared to utter. His accusation helps explain much about the Bush Administration’s foreign policies and why they seem so often to damage rather than promote US interests."

CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described - "6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt." -- Who wouldn't tell them what they wanted to hear after that? Barbarians.

US: Nearly 50% OK with torture - "Nearly half of Americans believe that the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain information is justified, according to a survey published on Thursday by the Pew Research Centre in Washington." -- And humanity falls further.,,2-10-1462_1836289,00.html

Al Qaeda – The Database - "Shortly before his untimely death, former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told the House of Commons that "Al Qaeda" is not really a terrorist group but a database of international mujaheddin and arms smugglers used by the CIA and Saudis to funnel guerrillas, arms, and money into Soviet-occupied Afghanistan. ... "The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaida. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the 'devil' only in order to drive the 'TV watcher' to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US and the lobbyists for the US war on terrorism are only interested in making money.""

Admit It: The US Has Been Defeated in Iraq - "The war begun by President Bush with such bravado and so little braino, which was designed to convert him from a dismal president to a crisp and awe-inspiring commander-in-chief, has been lost.The nearly 2100 Americans who have died so far to help the president get re-elected, to make him look like a leader, and to provide cover for his criminal executive power grab, have died for nothing.An unorganized bunch of insurgents armed with nothing but raw guts, aging Soviet-era rifles, and home-made explosives, have routed the most powerful military machine the world has ever known.There will be efforts to cover up this astonishing defeat, just as there were efforts made by the Nixon and Ford administrations to hide the fact that the U.S. was defeated in Indochina, too, but the truth is clear.American military might can destroy a country. It can kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. It can sow terror through the use of indiscriminate use of such WMDs as DU explosives, phosphorus bombs, helicopter and fixed-wing gunships and computerized drones and missiles. But it cannot defeat a concerted popular resistance."

'Hey Pot, It's Kettle' - "But the man known only as "little Bush" in China has a problem. He has very little credibility in Asia on issues such as human rights. Torture scandals in Iraq and elsewhere involving the US military, coupled with what is seen as blatant disregard by the Bush administration for the Geneva Conventions , are making it very difficult for Washington to lecture Beijing or backward countries like Myanmar.",1518,385669,00.html

Lawmakers Reject Immediate Iraq Withdrawal - "The House voted 403-3 to reject a nonbinding resolution calling for an immediate troop withdrawal." -- The killing must continue!

Congress Helps Self to $3,100 Pay Raise - "The Republican-controlled Congress helped itself to a $3,100 pay raise on Friday, then postponed work on bills to curb spending on social programs and cut taxes in favor of a two-week vacation." -- God damn, what a cushy fucking job.

Checkmate - "The feds may have finally stepped in their lies so deep, they cannot escape without the truth being exposed. As Benson's brilliant legal counsel, Jeffrey Dickstein, points out: As previously discussed, the United States can not prevail as a matter of law unless it can prove Benson "made or caused to be made false or fraudulent statements concerning the tax benefits to be derived from the entity, plan or arrangement" and that "he knew or had reason to know the statements were false or fraudulent." This requires the United States to prove the Sixteenth Amendment was properly ratified, because if it were not properly ratified, Benson's statements would not be false or fraudulent, they would be true, and the United States' action would fail. Checkmate."

Scientists Work on New Nuclear Weapons - "For the first time in nearly 20 years, U.S. nuclear weapons labs are drawing up plans for new atomic bombs. They would replace the ageing warheads in today's missiles with more robust ones that would be easier to maintain. The work would completely transform the country's nuclear arsenal."

Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design - ""Intelligent design isn't science even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."";_ylt=A9FJqYvVuH5DuzIBZAWs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ

God's Pat Problem - "It cannot be easy being God these days, what with so many of His self-proclaimed followers launching wars in His name. So the last thing that the Almighty needs is a whackjob calling down the wrath of, er, well, God on communities that fail to follow the instructions in the "Christian Coalition Voter Guide." But that's what God's got in the person of Pat Robertson, the religious broadcaster who frequently uses his 700 Club television program to pray about weather patterns or to encourage the assassination of foreign leaders. Last week, Robertson went the next step and began deciding who can and cannot talk to God."

Diebold Attempts to Evade Election Transparency Laws - "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is going to court in North Carolina to prevent Diebold Election Systems, Inc. from evading North Carolina law. In a last-minute filing, e-voting equipment maker Diebold asked a North Carolina court to exempt it from tough new election requirements designed to ensure transparency in the state's elections. Diebold obtained an extraordinarily broad order, allowing it to avoid placing its source code in escrow with the state and identifying programmers who contributed to the code."

FEC: Blogs Are Just As Much "Press" As Everyone Else - "What This Means: Under the Commission's rules, "any person involved in a specific activity 'indistinguishable in all its material aspects'" from Fired Up! can rely upon this ruling unless Congress acts otherwise, and you can imagine what sites might feel better-protected today. Any such site engaged in news, commentary and editorial can continue in such activities without fear of falling into FEC filing requirements turning groups into political committees or incorporated sites into outlaws. This is a tremendous victory for online free speech and will impact on the current debate in Congress. Kudos to Marc Elias and Brian Svoboda of the Perkins Coie law firm who are responsible, as well as the five FEC Commissioners who understood that neither the First Amendment, the statutes nor common sense could tolerate a different result."

"Deferred Success" is new term for failure? - "In 2005, some people wanted the word "brainstorming" replaced by "thought shower" so as not to offend people with brain disorders, and they also wanted "deferred success" to replace "failure" so as not to embarrass those who don't succeed.";_ylt=A9FJqYvVuH5DuzIBBQes0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3NW1oMDRpBHNlYwM3NTc

Quote of the Day
"And all the demons are saints, and the saints I'll never trust."
~ Blue Rodeo

November 18, 2005

News -- November 18, 2005

Who Told the Senate that Sadam had WMDs Capable of Attacking the East Coast? - "“Someone”took the Senators into a closed door session and told them Saddam had UAVs capable of hitting the East Coast… shortly after they voted on the Resolution. Senator Bill Nelson (FL): "I, along with nearly every Senator in this Chamber, in that secure room of this Capitol complex, was not only told there were weapons of mass destruction–specifically chemical and biological–but I was looked at straight in the face and told that Saddam Hussein had the means of delivering those biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction by unmanned drones, called UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles. Further, I was looked at straight in the face and told that UAVs could be launched from ships off the Atlantic coast to attack eastern seaboard cities of the United States. Is it any wonder that I concluded there was an imminent peril to the United States?" As far as I know, it has never been revealed who that “Someone” was that told the Senators about this threat… was it Cheney?" -- Interesting.

'Cheney is vice president for torture' - "A former CIA director has exclusively told ITV News that torture is condoned and even approved by the Bush government."

Evidence Mounts That Bush Wants New Wars - "In this his time of troubles, Bush seems to be moving deliberately and rapidly toward new wars of aggression in an unforgivable gamble to overcome his troubles. His speech on Veterans' Day, November 11, 2005 at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Pennsylvania leads to this conclusion more clearly than any of his previous speeches and activities. The new wars would be the start of a world war initiated by Bush and radical Christianity against what he calls radical Islam, but in truth the wars would be waged against all Islam."

Bush 'an assassin, crazy man' - "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, extending his war of words with Washington, on Thursday called US President George W Bush "an assassin" and accused the United States of meddling in his country's affairs. Chavez said: "The people of the US are governed by an assassin ... a crazy man! "I think the people of the US are more aware of this situation every day."",,2-10-1462_1836589,00.html

Desperation on the Precipice of Disaster - "Thirty-four percent is the current approval rating for the President of the United States. To be more accurate, his disapproval rating is at 66%. There is no point in measuring negatives and pretending there is anything positive about it. To those of us who have been on this side for years we are still left wondering who these 34% are. The lies are all becoming unraveled and all that is left for the most corrupt administration in modern history is trot out tired old lines and scare tactics while using the troops they have put into harms way to support their lies in the most disgusting of fashions. This past week has seen the President insisting that it is “irresponsible” to question the use of intelligence that has led to the deaths of over 100,000 people, at least 2,000 of them American children. As if that was not enough the Vice President emerged from his darkened lair long enough to say that critics of the war were dishonest and reprehensible. This is all they have left. To try and accuse those in search of the truth with the same foibles they represent. Irresponsible, dishonest and reprehensible. That just about summarizes this administration left with nothing to sell the American people except the same worn-out lies that they have been pimping for years now. The difference now though is 66% of America has awoken from the fear slumber and realizes that this kind of talk is nothing more than desperation on the precipice of disaster."

Lie detectors may be next step in airline security - "A new walk-through airport lie detector made in Israel may prove to be the toughest challenge yet for potential hijackers or drug smugglers. Tested in Russia, the two-stage GK-1 voice analyzer requires that passengers don headphones at a console and answer "yes" or "no" into a microphone to questions about whether they are planning something illicit. The software will almost always pick up uncontrollable tremors in the voice that give away liars or those with something to hide, say its designers at Israeli firm Nemesysco."

Cheney Sidesteps Travel Disclosure Rules - "Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff have been declaring themselves exempt from the travel disclosure laws followed by the rest of the White House, a Center for Public Integrity investigation released today found. The vice president's office appears to have stuck taxpayers with millions of dollars in travel costs and has avoided disclosing its expenses and destinations."

Ten trouble spots you aren't already worried about - "The federal response to Katrina sent a clear message: You're on your own. Hurricanes are just the beginning, though. There are plenty of other disasters - natural and technological - you can look forward to dealing with. And that doesn't even include terrorist attacks. Ready?"

Americans less enchanted as sole superpower - "Americans’ appetite for world leadership has waned significantly since before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, with more than two-fifths saying the United States should mind its own business, according to a major new survey released Thursday." -- At the very least, the US should stop screwing around with other countries.

Papers: DuPont Hid Chemical Risk Studies - "DuPont Co. hid studies showing the risks of a Teflon-related chemical used to line candy wrappers, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and hundreds of other food containers, according to internal company documents and a former employee. The chemical Zonyl can rub off the liner and get into food. Once in a person's body, it can break down into perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, known as PFOA, a related chemical used in the making of Teflon-coated cookware."

Scientists find fear gene - "Scientists may have found a gene for fear -- a gene that controls production of a protein in the region of the brain linked with fearful responses." -- So, how long before we see a human, genetically modified to fear nothing?

Outsourcing outrage Indian call-center workers suffer abuse - "While irate calls are a mainstay of customer service work in any country, many Indian call-center workers say they regularly face particular abuse from Americans, whose tantrums are sometimes racist and often inspired by anger over outsourcing. ... Such telephone tirades are fueled by outrage over outsourcing, which is expected to move 3.4 million U.S. service-sector jobs overseas by 2015, according to the consultancy Forrester. Most of the work comes to India, where young, low-cost employees now handle a range of American tasks -- they draw cartoons, interpret heart scans, adjudicate insurance claims, reserve flights and chase debtors."

Automated Answering Cheat Sheets to Find a Human - "Here are the secret numbers and tips to bypass IVR phone menus to get to a human."

LA Times New Porn Column another Symptom of Normalization of Pornography in Society - " The Los Angeles Times has added a regular pornography feature to its Entertainment section, prompting a family advocacy group to charge that the paper is adding to the growing problem of the normalization of pornography in society."

Quote of the Day
"The human race has improved everything except the human race."
~ Adlai Stevenson

November 17, 2005

News -- November 17, 2005

What Are They Cooking Up in the White House? - ""We all keep referring to the 'Bush administration,'" he added, "yet administering seems to be the last thing on its mind. … If the Bush outfit is not governing, what is it doing? The answer comes readily: It wishes to acquire, increase and consolidate the power of the Republican Party." ... It bears repeating that this administration – more than any other in recent times – has employed deception and innuendo to mold public opinion and advance its political agenda."

Questioning what happened on 9/11 - "Professor believes planes didn't cause all the damage around the WTC." -- Read how Tucker Carleson treats the professor.

Tucker Carlson Says 9/11 Skeptics Should 'Leave the Country', Commits Slander - "...if you really believe the U.S. government killed 3000 of its own citizens for no reason and lied about it and invaded Afghanistan as a result of something it did, you ought to leave the country.. because that's so terrible.. so evil, that your tax dollars go in to support it make you complicit in it. if you really believe that, you ought to leave.. " -- Correct, Tucker. If it is true that the US government committed this crime, then every American is complicit if they remain quiet and don't try to get at the truth. Now shut up and go back to your over-salaried job.

Bush 'Unsigns' War Crimes Treaty - "The Bush administration Monday formally renounced its obligations as a signatory to the 1998 Rome Statute to establish an International Criminal Court (ICC). Critics say the decision to "unsign" the treaty will further damage the United States' reputation and isolate it from its allies." -- And this administration continues to drive this country's reputation into the ground. Idiots.

Bush backs Cheney: says Democratic questioning not patriotic but "irresponsible" - "President Bush says it's not patriotic for Democrats to question his use of pre-Iraq-war intelligence, it's "irresponsible.""

News Too Good To Lead - "“Violent conflict on wane since Cold War era.” That headline appeared recently on page 12 of the New Jersey newspaper where I work. The Washington Post ran this historic account on page 21. ... The BBC cut right to the bottom line: “It found the number of armed conflicts had fallen by more than 40 percent in the past 13 years, while the number of very deadly wars had fallen by 80 percent.” The Associated Press neatly captured the human drama: “The first Human Security Report paints a surprising picture of war and peace in the 21st century: a dramatic decline in battlefield deaths, plummeting instances of genocide, and a drop in human rights abuses.”Do we live on the same planet as CNN and Fox News, where it’s death and destruction 24/7? As former Senator Bill Bradley once caustically said of American television news priorities: “If it bleeds, it leads.”"

Protection for vaccine makers debated - "People injured by a vaccine against bird flu or anthrax would have to prove willful misconduct to bring a claim for damages against drug manufacturers or distributors, according to legislation being drafted behind the scenes by Republicans."

Holocaust denier deported from US - "A man who published a study that he said proved the Nazis did not gas Jews at Auschwitz has been deported from the US to his native Germany to serve a prison term for Holocaust denial." -- Because, as you all now know, questioning anything is a crime.

'Posing a threat to civil aviation' - "She does wear a couple of political buttons, though. When I met with Dawn last weekend she told me she was wearing exactly what she'd been wearing as she entered the security checkpoint at Oakland International Airport Aug. 27 -- a navy blue jacket with two small American flag pins and two political buttons with writing on them. The larger one reads "Dissent is Patriotic." The smaller, red one bears a smiling portrait of President Bush, labeled "Daddy's Little War Criminal." She's convinced that's what started the trouble. ... "TSA told me I would be under that kind of security every time I fly. TSA said I could fill out this big form that you can download from their Web site, it asks for your Social Security number and three separate forms of ID and all this information. ... I said, "You can forget that. You're just data mining. You have no right to all that information.' And they said, 'Well then you're going to have to go through it every time.' ""

Bush's Approval Rating Falls Again, Poll Shows - "President Bush's positive job rating continues to fall, touching another new low for his presidency, the latest Harris Interactive poll finds. Bush's current job approval rating stands at 34%, compared with a positive rating of 88% soon after 9/11, 50% at this time last year, and 40% in August. And he's not alone. Cabinet members, Congressional leaders and both parties in Congress have also seen their ratings slip, with Democrats seeing one of the biggest dips in approval, the telephone poll of 1,011 U.S. adults shows." -- Another "attack" on the horizon?

Jumpstarting Armageddon - "“If Christian fundamentalists are to be believed, America's invasion of Iraq and the consequent brutal slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in that country are all part of a grand divine plan that will finally culminate in the 'second coming' of Jesus Christ. Establishing an empire that will extend all over the globe, Christ will rule like a powerful monarch, saving those who believe in him and dispatching non-believers, all non-Christians and non-conformist Christians, to everlasting perdition in hell. This is no childish nonsense for millions of Christian fundamentalists, who sincerely believe this to be predicted in the Bible. Not surprisingly, American Christian fundamentalists are today among the most fanatic supporters of Bush's global imperialist wars, in Iraq and elsewhere, which they see as in keeping with the divine mandate."

Mom Makes Daughter Stand on Street Corner - "Tasha Henderson got tired of her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson. She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food." ... Coretha, a soft-spoken girl, acknowledged the punishment was humiliating but said it got her attention. "I won't talk back," she said quietly, hanging her head. She already has been forced by her parents to give up basketball and track because of slipping grades, and said she hopes to improve in school so she can play next year. Donald Wertlieb, a professor of child development at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, warned that such punishment could do extreme emotional damage. He said rewarding positive behavior is more effective." -- And what if there is no positive behavior to reward, you idiot? People need to learn there are consequences to their actions.

Machines and objects to overtake humans on the Internet - "Machines will take over from humans as the biggest users of the Internet in a brave new world of electronic sensors, smart homes, and tags that track users' movements and habits, the UN's telecommunications agency predicted."

'Massive empire of surveillance' - "Police would be able to demand all cellphone, Blackberry and Internet subscriber information without a warrant, under a sweeping surveillance bill introduced in Parliament yesterday." -- Seems Canada is just as "free" as the US.

Quote of the Day
"It's intelligence that makes you unhappy."
~ Hive Queen, Xenocide by Orson Scott Card