New Civilization News: Re: happy veteran's day & Pakistan?    
 Re: happy veteran's day & Pakistan?15 comments
picture12 Nov 2007 @ 11:23, by Richard Carlson

Does one really have to fret about enlightenment? No matter what road I travel, I'm going home.


To find the universal elements enough; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring---these are some of the rewards of the simple life.

---John Burroughs

I know there is no good in my trying to explain to you why I am away from home—war doesn’t make sense even when you are grown up.

---(Lt.) Henry Fonda to his children during World War II

In the photo, former President George H.W. Bush makes his entrance to his presidential museum during a rededication ceremony with Army Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott with the Golden Knights parachute team in College Station, Texas, on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007. (AP Photo/College Station Eagle, Gabriel Chmielewski)

From: "Annie Warmke"
To: "Richard Carlson"
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 10:05 AM
Subject: happy veteran's day

> Happy Veteran's Day!
> This morning the local NPR station played their favorite tunes for "Happy
> Veteran's Day" and each year after about 15 minutes I have to turn the radio
> off.
> The songs are full of one message - pain. Some sing about the pain of going
> to war. Others tell the story of losing a limb, or losing children. They
> all tell a story that leads me to the same conclusion each year. War is
> hell and it is not the solution.
> So today I've turned off the radio earlier than usual and begun to wonder if
> that's not what America is doing each morning when the radio offers the
> morning "war report" as I call it. I'm wondering how much longer we'll turn
> off or tune out the news of death and destruction that is happening in our
> names.
> The elections this last week remind me that nothing so far has changed. We're
> still up to our eyeballs in corruption in the government. The Democrats
> refuse to take a stand that actually changes anything on any issue - you
> pick one and you'll see what I mean.
> As I look out the window at the colorful leaves on the trees - the trees
> that ought to be naked - I am reminded that we're at war in many places on
> this earth, and it seems we're losing them all.
> Annie Warmke is an activist, writer and farmer who lives at Blue Rock
> Station with her family of humans, llamas, chickens, goats, cats and her
> French-speaking dog, Rosie.

Dear Annie,

I haven't been to a Veterans Day parade in Athens in a couple years. I guess they've been on weekends, but when kids are in class a bunch of schools march and show up or something. Usually people on the staff put the pressure on or the principal is gung ho, and whole elementary schools turn out. The last couple have been particularly patriotic in the cloying way that makes me uncomfortable. That was before there was more of a general mood of We Support The Soldiers But Not This War. Of course in the military-trained mind---and for the kind of people who run parades like this---there's no such thing as not supporting a war, because your commander has issued an order.

As a kid, it still was Armistice Day. I knew it was about the end of World War I, at 11:00 on 11/11 in some long ago year (1918) but I didn't know what any of that was about. Few others did either, and there certainly weren't a lot of festivities. I wonder if anybody today knows what World War I was about. We sent 2 million soldiers to France, and 100,000 didn't come back. I read in the New York Times this morning, only one veteran from that war remains alive in the States. Garrison Keillor said Saturday World War II was just World War I continued...and I do remember some history classes in college supported that notion. I have a friend who claims the continuous war of the Twentieth Century was about only one thing: oil.

Armistice Day became Veterans Day as Decoration Day became Memorial Day and we added "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance all in the mid-1950s. A general for our president, the McCarthy Era, and the Cold War geared us up to be tough guys. Now we rattle our sabers anytime we feel like it, no one tells us what to do, and we say anything we want to the other nations. The other day Bush told the Pakistani prime minister to take off his uniform because you can't be a military commander and the president at the same time. Huh?

I hear in Baghdad they're claiming the suicide bombings have lessened considerably. That's a good thing...and I suppose we should credit the "surge." But are the inSURGEnts all dead now...or running away into the desert? Or have they been redirected? Are they massing somewhere else? If so, I wonder where that could be? Let's see, what staunch ally of the United States has nuclear weapons but is teetering into instability? Where is there Emergency Control for the next 2 months until more great democratic elections will be held to celebrate freedom? Where are suicide bombings increasing? And where is Osama Bin Laden, dead or alive? The answers to these and other questions will be revealed in forthcoming exciting episodes---or maybe later today.

The Washington Post published an amazing article yesterday about Pakistan's nuclear arsenal...and just how secure it is.

Pakistan Nuclear Security Questioned
Lack of Knowledge About Arsenal May Limit U.S. Options
By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 11, 2007; A01

When the United States learned in 2001 that Pakistani scientists had shared nuclear secrets with members of al-Qaeda, an alarmed Bush administration responded with tens of millions of dollars worth of equipment such as intrusion detectors and ID systems to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

But Pakistan remained suspicious of U.S. aims and declined to give U.S. experts direct access to the half-dozen or so bunkers where the components of its arsenal of about 50 nuclear weapons are stored. For the officials in Washington now monitoring Pakistan's deepening political crisis, the experience offered both reassurance and grounds for concern.

Protection for Pakistan's nuclear weapons is considered equal to that of most Western nuclear powers. But U.S. officials worry that their limited knowledge about the locations and conditions in which the weapons are stored gives them few good options for a direct intervention to prevent the weapons from falling into unauthorized hands.

"We can't say with absolute certainty that we know where they all are," said a former U.S. official who closely tracked the security upgrades. If an attempt were made by the United States to seize the weapons to prevent their loss, "it could be very messy," the official said.

Of the world's nine declared and undeclared nuclear arsenals, none provokes as much worry in Washington as Pakistan's, numerous U.S. officials said. The government in Islamabad is arguably the least stable. Some Pakistani territory is partly controlled by insurgents bent on committing hostile acts of terrorism in the West. And officials close to the seat of power -- such as nuclear engineer A.Q. Khan and his past collaborators in the Pakistani military -- have a worrisome track record of transferring sensitive nuclear designs or technology to others.

That record, and the counterterror prism of U.S. policymaking since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have led the Bush administration to worry less that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal might be used in a horrific war with India than that it could become a security threat to the U.S. homeland in the event of any theft or diversion to terrorist groups.

Because the risks are so grave, U.S. intelligence officials have long had contingency plans for intervening to obstruct such a theft in Pakistan, two knowledgeable officials confirmed. The officials would not discuss details of the plans, which are classified, but several former officials said the plans envision efforts to remove a nuclear weapon at imminent risk of falling into terrorists' hands.

The plans imagine, in the best case, that Pakistani military officials will help the Americans eliminate that threat. But in other scenarios there may be no such help, said Matt Bunn, a nuclear weapons expert and former White House science official in the Clinton administration. "We're a long way from any scenario of that kind. But the current turmoil highlights the need for doing whatever we can right now to improve cooperation and think hard about what might happen down the road."

Former and current administration officials say they believe that Pakistan's stockpile is safe. But they worry that its security could be weakened if the current turmoil persists or worsens. They are particularly concerned by early signs of fragmented loyalties among Pakistan's military and intelligence leaders, who share responsibility for protecting the arsenal.

"The military will be stretched thin if the level of protest rises," said John E. McLaughlin, the No. 2 official at the CIA from 2000 to 2004. "If the situation becomes more volatile, the conventional wisdom [about nuclear security] could come into question." He noted that Pakistan's army has become increasingly diverse, reflecting the country's ethnic and religious differences, "and that is different from the way it was years ago."

Former and current intelligence officials said the focus of U.S. concerns is the stability of Pakistan's army, which was already showing strain from Western pressures to upgrade its counterinsurgency work when President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency last week, unleashing riots and a police crackdown on political opposition groups. The officials said the military might not remain a loyal, cohesive force if violence becomes sustained or widespread.

Anytime a nation with nuclear weapons experiences "a situation such as Pakistan is at present, that is a primary concern," said Lt. Gen. Carter Ham, director of operations for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a Pentagon news conference last week. "We'll watch that quite closely, and I think that's probably all I can say about that at this point."

Concerns about possible thefts if the government's authority erodes or disintegrates extend to nuclear components, design plans and special materials such as enriched uranium. Twice in the past six years, Pakistan has acknowledged that its nuclear scientists passed sensitive nuclear information or equipment to outsiders -- including, in one case, members of al-Qaeda.

Two retired Pakistani nuclear scientists traveled to Afghanistan in August 2001 at the request of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. He pressed the scientists for details on how to make nuclear weapons, and the scientists replied with advice and crude diagrams, according to U.S. officials at the time.

Officials at the Pakistani Embassy declined to comment for this story.

Pakistan, which tested its first warhead in 1998, began developing nuclear weapons in the 1970s with help from Khan, the Pakistani engineer who years later became the leader of an international nuclear smuggling ring. Khan covertly acquired sensitive nuclear information and equipment from several European countries, helped build the stockpile and later profited personally by providing materials to Libya, North Korea and Iran.

Pakistan has repeatedly asserted that its government and army were unaware of Khan's proliferation activities until 2003. However, numerous published accounts have described extensive logistical support that military officials provided to Khan, including the use of military aircraft.

In the weeks after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration dispatched Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage and other senior officials to Islamabad to raise the issue of safeguarding the country's nuclear arsenal. Musharraf agreed to policy changes and security upgrades, starting with the dismissal of some Pakistani intelligence officials suspected of ties to the Taliban, bin Laden's ally.

Musharraf also agreed to move some nuclear weapons to more secure locations and accepted a U.S. offer to help design a system of controls, barriers, locks and sensors to guard against theft.

Unlike U.S. nuclear arms, which are protected by integrated electronic packages known as "permissive action links," or PALs, that require a special access code, Pakistan chose to rely on physical separation of bomb components, such as isolating the fissile "core" or trigger from the weapon and storing it elsewhere. All the components are stored at military bases.

That means would-be thieves would have to "knock over two buildings to get a complete bomb," said Bunn, now a researcher at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. "Theft would be more difficult to pull off, though presumably in a crisis that might change."

Instead of allowing U.S. officials access to its weapons facilities, the Musharraf government insisted that Pakistani technicians travel to the United States for training on how to use the new systems, said Mark Fitzpatrick, a weapons expert who recently completed a study of the Pakistani program for the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Washington is confident that Pakistan's nuclear safeguards are designed to be robust enough to withstand a "fair amount of political commotion," said John Brennan, a retired CIA official and former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. The problem, he said, is that no one can reliably predict what will happen if the country slides toward civil war or anarchy.

"There are some scenarios in which the country slides into a situation of anarchy in which some of the more radical elements may be ascendant," said Brennan, now president of Analysis Corp., a private consulting firm based in Fairfax. "If there is a collapse in the command-and-control structure -- or if the armed forces fragment -- that's a nightmare scenario. If there are different power centers within the army, they will each see the strategic arsenal as a real prize."

Other nuclear "prizes" could leak more easily if the military holds together and the bombs remain in their bunkers, according to David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector and president of the nonprofit Institute for Science and International Security. He said individuals working inside nuclear facilities could make a quick fortune by selling bomb components or "fissile" material -- the plutonium or enriched uranium needed for building bombs.

"If stability doesn't return, you do have to worry about the thinking of the people with access to these things," said Albright, whose Washington-based institute tracks global nuclear stockpiles. "As loyalties break down, they may look for an opportunity to make a quick buck. You may not be able to get the whole weapon, but maybe you can get the core."

© 2007 The Washington Post Company

And don't miss Frank Rich's column yesterday that includes concerns about Pakistan. [link] And love him or leave him, coincidentally a real old warrior died for Veterans Day: I like this obit on Norman Mailer out of Chicago. [link]

Love, as always, to you and the Blue Rock family,

[< Back] [New Civilization News]



12 Nov 2007 @ 16:53 by quinty : yes,
Bush has a way of lecturing his guests as they stand together on the White House lawn meeting the press. Even if that guest is the Prime Minister or President of another country. And as for lecturing Musharoff about his uniform how often does Bush appear before a crowd which isn't in uniform? By invitation only? One which will unanimously salute the Commander in Chief?

Mailer deserved a Nobel Prize. All artists are oracles, to a certain degree, and in later life Mailer even became an oracle speaking before audiences. A conduit for the Gods. He was a real artist, the genuine thing, faults, pot boilers and all. And he was one of the last writers who represented writing as a significant artistic endeavor. That great tradition which once existed in American culture. As Mailer said not too long ago serious novelists will soon be like those poets who write five act plays in iambic pentameter. Extinct as the dodo. We have come one step closer.  

12 Nov 2007 @ 21:11 by vaxen : Veterans?
Veterans of 'status quo' wars? Dupes! Cannon fodder for 'the fiat "money" power!'

Several anti-war veterans were arrested when they protested their exclusion from a Veterans

Day event by refusing to move away from a podium. The Boston chapter of Veterans for Peace

estimated 15 of its members and supporters were arrested at the event sponsored by the

American Legion.


Crowley: "Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action."

Hubbard: "MAGIC is a very precise study. Most people think of magic in terms of stage magicians or something of the sort. It's not. Magic is not. It is a method of producing effects by using for cause the supernatural.

Hubbard: "If you want to get real tragic, forget it was just magic."  

13 Nov 2007 @ 20:05 by vaxen : China Jammer...
"When even one "American" -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril." -- Harry S. Truman - (1884-1972), 33rd US President August 14, 1951 Source: Address at the Dedication of the New Washington Headquarters of the American Legion

"Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing Freedom of Speech... Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech..." - Cato - John Trenchard (1662-1723) & Thomas Gordon (169?-1750) Source: Letters, 1720


"When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory - must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

'O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle - be Thou near them! With them - in spirit - we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it - for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.'

[After a pause.] Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits." -- Mark Twain - Source: from The War Prayer, 1904. Having directed it to be published after his death, Twain said, "I have told the truth in that... and only dead men can tell the truth in this world."  

14 Nov 2007 @ 10:57 by jazzolog : We Don't Want To Know The News
and that's just how Nazi masters always want it! Zepp posted this essay Sunday, but I just caught up with it. Strong language in here~~~

The Tip - Esterday’s News
Along with mention of Vladimir Putin and Jon Moulton
© Bryan Zepp Jamieson 11/11/07

For years, my principal source of news has been the London Guardian. Recently, that has been augmented by the brilliant “BBC News America” show, on BBC America weeknights at 7pm. It’s a full hour of comprehensive, detailed, knowledgeable coverage. If there is a firefight between troops and insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan, BBC reporters are in the middle of it with their cameramen, talking to one side or the other as the bullets fly, instead of talking about the Pentagon news release about the incident hours later from a hotel room miles away and hours later, as American television reporters are wont to do. BBC sends reporters to trouble spots who speak the local language and understand the customs, instead of depending on a helpful government translator.

In recent weeks, the BBC has had comprehensive and detailed stories about the effects of the Chinese “economic miracle” on a rural village in China, and a look at how families are changing, not just in the west but throughout the world. It’s not unusual for a reporter to confront an interviewee, as happened last night when Katty Kay (silly name, superb journalist) accosted the ambassador of Pakistan to the United States and asked him how, as a lawyer, he could rationalize his personal support for a regime that was rounding up all the lawyers. She asked him three times, unlike most American journalists, few of whom would even ask the question once. Matt Frei, chief presenter of the show, is no empty suit.

Picture Ted Koppel, with just a small dash of Jon Stewart. He has notably incisive and probing interviews with people ranging from the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman to Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the pro-Democracy movement in Burma. I watched the Friedman interview prepared to dislike the man, and came away with a much-elevated opinion of him. BBC News America has the power to change your mind.

The Guardian, of course, remains the finest paper in the world. Lots of deep coverage, and commentary from people like Georges Monbiot, Martin Kettle, Noam Chomsky, and Greg Palast make for news coverage unparalleled anywhere in the world. The American media mentions people like Aung San Suu Kyi, Than Shwe, Benazir Bhutto, or Pervez Musharraf, and then have some blow-dried cretin give a 30 second overview of the days events, and explaining that the implications “remain to be seen.” The Guardian studies these people, finds out what makes them tick. And they tackle stories deemed too ethereal for American audiences. For example, they covered what should have been a major pronouncement by Jon Moulton, head of Alchemy Partners and one of the biggest players in the entire field of equity, that “Several of the largest private equity deals sealed in the months before the credit crunch brought the buyout market to a shuddering halt this summer are facing collapse under a mountain of debt.” The man just gave us clear warning that the mushrooming credit crisis is about to double in size, and the American press didn’t bother to cover it. When the Dow suffers a major crash, possibly in the next few weeks, none of the American papers will be able to explain how a collapse in diligence led to the crash.

BBC and the Guardian are what journalism should be like.

Yesterday morning I turned my car radio on to Jefferson Public Radio, the local NPR station. “Morning Edition” was on. This was on a morning when Bhutto was under house arrest and nuclear power Pakistan was facing chaos and possible anarchy. The idiot American president was babbling happily about how Musharraf was protecting Pakistan from terror by rounding up all the lawyers. (I just learned – from British news sources, of course – that Pakistan has just expelled all foreign journalists). Condoleezza Rice was once again showing her utter ineffectuality in the Middle East and making America look like a Macy’s Day Parade clown balloon. East Britain was facing severe flooding from a tidal surge–a shape of things to come in a world of global warming. Mexico was recovering from massive flooding. The chief henchman and police chief for the leading Republican candidate had just been indicted on 14 felony counts of racketeering, fraud, and corruption. Many news stations didn’t even mention Guiliani’s involvement in the Bernard Kerik case. The Mukasey nomination for Attorney-General was coming up for a vote in the Senate, and not one Senator had the guts to ask why that sorry son of a bitch didn’t spend an hour being waterboarded and THEN come back and tell us whether or not it was torture.

So which of these important news stories was NPR covering?


They spent the entire 16 minutes it takes me to drive to work discussing whether Hillary Clinton neglected to tip a waitress at a restaurant a month ago.

Oh. My. Fucking. Gawd. It’s the sort of mindless, stupid crap you expect from the hacks at Faux News. Or NewsMax. Or the patch of poison dingleberries over at Free Republic. It’s the sort of thing trash pseudo-journalists at Townhall will obsess over. For years. Decades. They still haven’t gotten over Whitewater.

Did Hillary neglect to tip a waitress! Film at eleven! If this is true, the Republic is doomed!

Talking heads on right wing shows who otherwise don’t give a shit about working Americans will whine for hours about how Hillary was cruel not to tip. It’s the sort of thing that made Tucker Carlson the man or whatever the fuck he is today. It’s why people who don’t know who Vladimir Putin is know about John Edwards’ haircut, or Obama not wearing a flag pin. That just means the man isn’t a pretentious pseudo-patriotic asshole, is all. He may have flaws, but at least he doesn’t wear one of those stupid flag pins. But Faux News considers it proof he supports terrorism. Faux News this week resurrected Kathleen Willey’s lunatic claim that Hillary Clinton murdered Willey’s cats. For what it’s worth.

NPR. National Public Radio. What’s worse is that they didn’t pick this story up from Dick Morris or Michelle Malkin or one of the other GOP noise machine pseudo-journalists. They came up with it themselves. NPR.

I logged on to the NPR site and emailed them, suggesting they fire the reporter, David Greene, and the news editor who thought this was a newsworthy item and hire some journalists. That was yesterday morning. I haven’t heard back.

Do you CARE if Hillary forgot to tip a waitress or not? If you do, put this piece down, or turn off the monitor or whatever, go out in your back yard, and shoot yourself. Do it now, and minimize the chance that you might have children.

Even the waitress, Anita Esterday, didn’t really care if she got tipped or not, and told the NY Times, the once-and-past newspaper that shows it is possible to be dignified and worthless, “You people are really nuts. ... There's kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now -- there's better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn't get a tip.” It turns out that the campaign did leave a large tip to be divvied among the staff who served the eight tables, and someone at the restaurant stiffed Esterday, not the campaign.

So not only was the story stupid, but it wasn’t even true, leaving NPR to sing, “Esterday, all my troubles seemed so far away...” They would have trouble resurrecting their journalistic credentials, assuming any outfits in America even bother with such any more.

In the meantime, you, my readers (the ones who didn’t shoot themselves on page two) are in an elite group: You know who Anita Esterday is, just like every right wing moron in the US who watches Faux, but you also know who Jon Moulton is, and why his opinions are more likely to affect you in the coming months than any of NPR’s.
Zepp was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and spent his formative years living in various parts of Canada from Halifax to Victoria, and then the UK, South Africa, and Australia before moving to the United States, where he has lived for 40 years. Aside from writing, his interests include hiking, raising dogs and cats, and making computers jump through hoops. His wife of 25 years edits his copy, and bravely attempts to make him sound coherent. Zepp lives on Mount Shasta.  

14 Nov 2007 @ 17:00 by vaxen : Yah...
Kwiatkowski says the Republic is dead. It is...we now live in a Democracy. Oh, don't want to haggle over the differences? The differences? Yes, between a Republic and a Democracy and just exactly when this 'Republic if you can keep it' became a Democracy. DO any of the nations school children, colleges included, even know that we are supposed to be living within the 'frameworks (bullwark)' of a Constitutional Republic or even understand that a Constitution is a contract? Or that Republic is a compound word coming from Res (Thing) Publica (Public)?

Imperialism wasn't born with Rome and it won't die with the United States yet...

People really read their news on paper? Amazing. I haven't seen a news 'paper' for quite a few years, now, and probably wouldn't even read it if one mysteriously showed up at my doorstep.

"BBC sends reporters to trouble spots who speak the local language and understand the customs, instead of depending on a helpful government translator."

Of course Britania was the Empire upon which the Sun never sets so it is only moot that they should be able to do this. They had their fingers in everybodies pie...and still do!

The Crown doesn't refer to the thing on Lizzies' head you know. Bond Street anyone? Shaken or stirred?  

14 Nov 2007 @ 21:52 by quinty : The Guardian indeed
is a good paper. It's also considered a "left" paper. And Zepp left out Robert Fisk when listing its allstars. Fisk is an excellent reporter on the Middle East and totally unafraid of the “anti semite” smear.

Well, how does the American media sin? Let me count the ways. Not only are the questions frequently lamebrained but when the interviewee lies, skews, distorts, or otherwise deflects the interviewer allows him to pass like a fish through the hole of a broken net. They almost always take the answer as settled fact with no follow up. History simply does not exist in America's mass news media: no past, no groundwork, no basis for any reality. And when one guy lies to cover up and another accuses him of stealing the cookie jar “fair and balanced” means treating each equally. But most of the time the reporter wouldn’t know what the truth was anyway.

Even Keith Olbermann dances with Paris Hilton every night. He has - so I've been told - been ordered to. That's what the bosses want and that's what the bosses get. Beware Chris Matthews. He's coming on nowadays as a brave and fearless reporter who always saw through Bush's lies, and criticized the war way back then. Baloney! Matthews is a nice guy, or seems to be, but he has been acting stupid so many years now to placate one person or another he has actually turned himself inside out and become quite stupid. Even though it's doubtful he was born that way.

Before becoming excessively nostalgic, though, we should remember that Joseph Pulitzer invented yellow journalism. And let's not forget William Randolph Hearst. Most of the “legendary” journalists who came out of World War Two were ignored before the war. Since they turned out to be right about Hitler they enjoyed some prestige during the fifties and sixties. And since then the electronic media has way surpassed print.

I think Zepp is a bit too hard on NPR. They’re under enormous political pressure and are routinely accused of “bias” by the Republican right, which would like to cut off all their funding. In spite of all this they still often do some good coverage. Far better than nearly anything on the commercial profit driven stations. And to escape the unending chorus of the hard right on radio I’ll sometimes turn them on: just as a reminder that there's still some sanity out there.  

15 Nov 2007 @ 22:00 by vaxen : Oh...
I was just wondering if you knew the fact that 70% of the supplies to our Military units in Afghanistan go through Pakistan, first, and that they are not getting there - thanks to our good buddy Musharraf (Hufal tense of the word Sharaf from whence our word Sheriff)! ;) Do you see the shadows of doom riding herd?

Stanford Prison Experiment

The Lucifer Effect

LE Blog

"Combating wrong dissonant commitments requires different tactics than opposing compliance-gaining strategies used on us. Confronting persuasive speeches and powerful communicators forces us to use different principles than we need for dealing with those who would dehumanize us or deindividuate us. Ways to undercut groupthink are also different than ways to modify the impact of intense recruiters." - Resisting Influence

Isn't Fascism sweet? ;)

And the Polish man who died in Canada, tasered to death by the Mounties? Remember Renfru of the Royal Mounted? "They'll be calling you...ou...ou...ou...ou...ou...ou." Canadian Sunset?

PS: Richard: The forward I sent you from the CFR (Educators Edition) was prejudiced with my quest-ion which contained the word 'syllibi.' Should have been 'syllabi.' Just so you know that I know that you know that...'s in the rim.

"In This Age of Plenty": “The basic flaw of the present financial system is that the banks create money as a debt, charging interest on the money that they create. The obligation for the debtor countries to repay the banks money that the banks did not create, money that does not exist eventually brings about unpayable debts. The Financiers know quite well that it is impossible for these countries to repay their debts, that the present financial system is defective at its base, and that it can only bring about crises and revolutions. But this is exactly what they want! As Clifford Hugh Douglas, the founder of the Social Credit school, said: "The Money Power does not, and never did, want to improve the money system - its consequences in war, sabotage and social friction are exactly what is desired. Why? It is because the Financiers believe that they are the only ones capable of governing mankind properly, and in order to be able to impose their will upon every individual and control the whole world, they invented the present debt-money system. They want to bring every nation in the world to such a state of crisis that these countries will think they have no alternative but to accept the miracle solution of the Financiers to save them from disaster: complete centralisation, a single world currency, and a one-world government, in which all nations will be abolished, or forced to give up their sovereignty.“

"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." David Rockefeller  

17 Nov 2007 @ 19:29 by quinty : More on the media

Today's Truthout/Times is reporting CNN rigged the questions at the recent so-called presidential debate at the U of Nevada.

And if anyone has the stomach to read Wolf Blitzer's questions, who didn't sit through them (watching the debate on CNN I did) you can fully taste the full superficiality and triviality of that event. How the candidates could think clearly in that environment - standing within some sort of gaudy corporate lightshow - is beyond me. Nor was the staging out of keeping with Blitzer's approach.

Some of the candidates, notably Richardson and Kucinich, appeared visibly irked by their inability to actually say anything. For whenever they came close to answering a question Blitzer had a tendency to cut them off precisely when they began to say something. Since by taking a full minute or two they were presumably going over time. And when Blitzer began to play a game of "caughtcha" with "yes" or "no" questions all the candidates were forced into unseemly verbal twists since only allowing that option didn’t permit any subtlety or thought. The idea being that simple “yes” or “no” answers would separate the wafflers from those who were honest. A further blurring between true waffling (Hillary) and true thoughtful consideration (Obama) which apparently stuck. Since Obama came out of this light show appearing like a waffler.

In Blitzter’s mind, apparently, “yes” or “no” answers to absurd trick questions constitutes “tough” questioning. While watching this performance I thought ot taking some of the questions down. Now that it’s coming out that the audience questioning was actually rigged (the diamond pearls question was blatantly idiotic) I wish I had.  

17 Nov 2007 @ 20:40 by vaxen : Well...
what do you expect? What we need to do is get them all out of government! Every stinking one. Maybe a better afternoon could be spent watching "They Live." Ostensibly a spoof yet with dark truthful undertones.

The Germans had their underground, as did the French as do, I suppose, all peoples of this world when faced with abject tyranny and total fascism.

To think that the Democrats are any different than the Republicans is to be sadly deluded. I mean who put Musharraf into the power seat anyway? Clinton. They are hand in hand, all of them, and to think differently is to go down in flames.

Get rid of the stinking Federal Reserve! Topple the IMF and Worldbank, stop looking to debt based currencies for more of the same bullsh*t! I suggest you learn how to survive after the house of cards falls, when Blackwaterish thuggee are all over the place running herd on the mass riots that the latest fasion in mind control, soft weaponry, will not stop!

The writing is on the wall and your 'news' outlets have been co-opted by the enemy of human kind everywhere. Don't delude yourself into thinking that Ron Paul can stop it either or that the end isn't near. You'll know that soon enough.

On a lighter note have you read what the Mayor of Salt Lake City had to say about it all?  

17 Nov 2007 @ 20:46 by vaxen : And...
an interesting 'comment' at the above link:

Every morning I live in horror that I am going to wake up and hear that during the night, that maniac and his thugs have invaded Iran. Thanks to Congress with their no holds bar military appropriations bill, he has the money to do whatever he wants without supplemental funding until February. By then we could find ourselves so enmeshed in Iran that the funding will be necessary to actually defend ourselves in a world war.

When that happens, I know that martial law is not far behind; that people like those who post here (and myself) will be running for our freedom into hiding; and the American people will become the enemies of every nation on this planet. It will not be just the beginning of WWIII, it will be the end of this nation as we knew it. Our only hope will be a swift, violent overthrow of our own government and a very public trial of BushCo and all its supporters in Congress for the world to see.

I live with that fear every morning as I watch the sun rise. It is what makes me keep writing and thinking and trying to find solutions that can help to rebuild this nation in the future. I also wonder if our children will have the will to take back their country from this insanity when the time comes, and I hope that their parents will lead the way for them.

That is the only fear I have after 9/11. And it is a fear of our own elected government. That is why Bin Laden won on 9/11 - we let BushCo intimidate us into being afraid, but for me at least, it is not Al Qaida I fear, it is George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Condelezza Rice, Robert Gates, and the Congress. I pray that our military will stop following orders from this madman, and find the courage not to face a non-existent enemy, but the real enemy here in DC.

When the military becomes the last line of defense in a country against those elected to govern, we no longer have a democracy. De Tocqueville once wrote that if he had to choose between liberty and equity, he would choose liberty because without it equity was not possible. It is time for us, with the assistance of honorable service men and women, to take back our government and restore our liberty. We no longer have the option of time.  

18 Nov 2007 @ 11:20 by jazzolog : Ready For A Year Of Propaganda?
You've probably heard that Barack Obama has accused Hillary Clinton of a potential swift boat attack on him---and warned her to cut it out. His 6-paragraph statement is based on a Robert Novak (REALLY?) column that hasn't even appeared yet (later today) which alleges there's a rumor going around but nobody's going to say what it is. Are we in junior high school yet?

Zepp wrote an essay about all this yesterday, which he hasn't gotten around to post at MyTown yet---but as long as everyone's racing around to get the jump on everybody else, why shouldn't jazzoLOG too? Here is the essay, which has yet to appear, and the column, which has yet to appear, and the reaction to these phantoms which has appeared---and, wait! there's even more~~~

Pernicious and Pervasive
©Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Back around 1995, I got to see an animated short about abortion. This was in the days before Flash® and DSL and all that, which means someone went to a lot of time and trouble to reach a pretty limited audience. I got to see it on a VCR.
The woman is lying on the table, her lower half fig leafed by thuggish-looking guys in scrubs. Apparently in 1995 six surgeons were required to perform an abortion on one woman. But then, foetuses were a lot tougher back then, too, as this movie demonstrates.
Unseen, the foetus begins to scream. “Why are you doing this to me! Stop! Oh, please, stop, it hurts! It hurts! Mommy! Mommy!”
Then a despairing wail. “Mommy! Don’t kill me! Don’t you LOVE me, mommy?”
And then, finally, in a preternaturally calm voice: “Jesus loves me, Mommy. Why didn’t you?”
By then, I’m falling out of my chair laughing. The sheer absurdity of the piece has overwhelmed me.
I doubt this was the response the makers of the short had in mind.
I’m sure there were a few people blinded by tears, vowing to kill the next abortion doctor and/or liberal they saw. If one in a thousand people responded that way to the short, then the film maker was happy. If only half a dozen people converted, that was a half dozen more than they started the day with.
That’s the pernicious thing about propaganda. Even when a vast majority of the viewers recognize it as such, some people will be persuaded. And the propagandists will have taken another small chip out of a society that they disagree with, be it abortion or free marketing or dominionism or whatever otherwise unpopular view they espouse. The oil companies spend millions in propaganda trying to denigrate fears of global warming, knowing up front that they’ll only gain a dozen or so converts a day.
A good example of how it works came the other day, when a friend passed along a piece in email entitled “Red for the Soldiers.” It’s reprinted at the bottom of this essay.
My friend isn’t easily conned. She’s a social activist, known in the lawyer trade as “a tough cookie,” willing and able to fight for what she believes. She is normally alert to people trying to pull a scam on her. But she (somewhat sheepishly) admitted a little later that she read the piece, not as a political piece, but as a human piece, and so she didn’t have her editorial filters in place.
Quite aside for the completely over-the-top tugging of the heartstrings, what gives the piece away as pure propaganda is the fact that it finishes up with a completely gratuitous swipe at “the liberal media.” THEY are hiding the TRUTH from decent people, that Americans secretly support the glorious war of liberation in Iraq!
In these days of Rupert Murdoch, Viacom, Disney, Westinghouse, and Reverend Sun Myung Moon, only a moron believes America has a mainstream “liberal media” to begin with, let alone that they are capable of hiding conservative values from the American people (who, magically, remain deeply conservative anyway, making it a mystery as to why the writers of such pieces are so worried about liberals in the first place).
This piece was far more believable than the “Mommy! Why are you killing me?” one, or even the sad laments by Bill O’Reilly that big, sinister forces are afoot in America to kill Christmas. But it’s easy, when you are exposed to such on a constant basis, to fall for some of them, and to at least get an impression that lots of people must believe them, or why would you see them so often.
Persistence and repetition are key to propaganda. The propagandists believe – with a certain amount of cause – that if they only repeat a lie frequently enough, it will become truth. Certainly, it stands a chance of being perceived as truth. Right wingers managed to convince the nation, for example, that Jimmy Carter caused stagflation, and even people who were around for Nixon’s wage and price controls and Ford’s idiotic “WIN” buttons have come to believe that. It’s a bit like believing that Cleveland had a great basketball team before LeBron James signed on. More recently, a lot of people think that Clinton’s administration was the most corrupt in history, despite the actual record which shows it was one of the cleanest, possibly THE cleanest, in American history.
Lies have the power to alter truth.
But truth has the power to destroy lies.
I’m glad to see Democrats taking stands against the sleaziest, most despicable, and most cowardly liars the GOP could come up with – the Swift Boaters. John Kerry, the first victim of this disgraceful group, has taken T. Boone Pickens, the loon billionaire who financed the Swift Boaters, up on his offer of a million dollars for showing that any of the smears Pickens’ paid liars made against Kerry are false. Kerry wrote to Pickens, “While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation afterallegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.” Pickens, with the character and honesty characteristic of his group, promptly tried to move the goal posts, saying he would accept nothing less than release of all of Kerry’s medical records. Quite a step from “demonstrate that anything we claimed was untrue.”
And today, Barack Obama warned that lizard of the right wing “press,” Robert D. Novak, to not attempt to swift boat him. Novak has been running around claiming that he has evidence that the Hillary Clinton campaign is sitting on “scandalous” information about Obama. Characteristically, Novak just sneers that there IS a scandal without actually saying what it might be.
This is what the American right has fallen to.
You’ll be in for a tidal wave of misinformation, disinformation, and outright smear, and most of it will be coming from the trash right. Some will try to manipulate your senses of decency and patriotism. Some will have a little truth to them. All will be designed to use you to their ends – and as we’ve seen over the past seven years, your interest do not lie near theirs.
Keep your guard up.
The trash right have already begun a flood of innuendo and propaganda.
And here's the heartthrobbing email making the rounds~~~

/Red for the Soldiers/
/Will you give this to my Daddy?
As a Company, Southwest Airlines is going to support "Red Fridays."
Last week I was in Atlanta, Georgia attending a conference. While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around andwitnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.
Moving thru the terminal was a group of soldiers in their camos. As they began heading to their gate, everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.
When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I'm not alone. I'm not the only red-blooded American who still loves this country and supports our troops andtheir families.
Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work and home without fear or reprisal.
Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women, a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old ran up to one of the male soldiers. He kneeled down and said "hi."
The little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her.
The young soldier, who didn't look any older than maybe 22 himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Then suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave himthe biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek.
The mother of the little girl, who said her daughter's name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Marine and had been in Iraq for 11 months now. As the mom was explaining howmuch her daughter Courtney missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up.
When this temporarily single mom was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military-looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.
After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, "I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you." He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying "your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon."
The mom at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet, he saluted Courtney and her mom. I was standing no more than 6 feet away from this entire event.
As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That youngsoldier in one last act of selflessness, turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.
We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it's good to be an American.
RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.
We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing.. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops.
Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening messagethat.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.
By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers.
If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know theonce "silent" majority is on their side more than ever; certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers.
Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.


It turns out Zepp posted this particular essay at his own site. Here's the


18 Nov 2007 @ 15:58 by quinty : I'm always glad
to react to a column which hasn’t appeared about an event which hasn't happened yet.

When it comes to top sleaze it's hard to decide where to lay the hat. There apparently still are millions of Americans who believe Saddam was somehow involved in 9/11. And there are those who believe the WMD is buried in Syria. (New York's Central Park seems like a more logical place to me.)

Whenever I tune onto and listen to the creatures of the night on talk radio they appear to be primarily preoccupied by two things. Illegal immigration and supporting the troops.

Now that Christmas is approaching I suppose we will be treated, once again, to how PC liberal secularism has taken the Ha Ha Ha out of the Ho Ho Ho. For a rightist of my acquaintance has already struck attacking those of us on the looney left for having allegedly shut up a Santa who was chanting Ho Ho Ho which means, don’t cha' know, something you don’t ever want your mama or girlfriend to be. Since a “ho’” is a.........  

19 Nov 2007 @ 00:26 by quinty : I can't say, Vax (re 11/17 - 20:40)
that I expected much different, since we have been subjected to this kind of "fair and balanced" journalism for many years. And, yes, it has only gotten worse. Would Murdoch (Moloch?) like to be able to claim he started a war? William Randolph Hearst style? (Did he?)

My guess is that he would. And would expect those under him to love him for it. And that many would applaud. For, unlike you Vax, many love authority. Why? It must be imbedded in our brains and nervous systems somewhere: a primitive jerk reaction. An irrational sense of security by staying close to the tribe. Following the largest ape into battle sure we will prevail. Fighting like wild men for our cause.

I'm afraid I've never heard of "They live." Is it any good?

As for the German underground, have we reached that point yet? Can't we protest above ground? Out in the open? Write, think, shout, cry out, and protest with some impunity? It would seem to me that more openness is required now. Who, after all, would we be fooling with our furtiveness? For they - they being our enemies among that extreme right which has become so powerful - thrive on secrecy.

When the Storm Troopers are actually parading down our streets with their guns cocked, sniffing the air for blood, then perhaps we should hide. But until then that kind of talk reminds me, frankly, of Timothy McVeigh and his like. Of the militia movement. Of crazies who will inflict violence on the rest of us. “All for a good cause,” of course.

And there are assuredly crazies among the left. I have marched with them. They are the ones who break away and smash windows and set trash bins on fire. The ones who create violence and provoke the cops. You may say they are agents provocateurs, and you may be right. The history of protest movements is rife with all that. But there is no shortage of leftist true believers who have behaved in that same manner. Those who go underground and believe violence is an answer. Does this sound merely bourgeois on my part? Did the Weathermen blowing up a building in Greenwich Village prove or accomplish anything? More than tar the movement they upheld? Creating enemies of their own cause? Did Kathy Boudiin learn nothing in jail?  

19 Nov 2007 @ 21:18 by vaxen : Timothy...
McVeigh? That's rather stretching it - isn't it - quinty san? As for the Gestapo marching lock step down the streets, maybe you're not in the right places to see that but it is happening. Oh, and maybe you didn't know that G.Washinghtons Militias were used primarily for collecting "taxes!" What's changed?

People being murdered in airports, I suppose, is just de riguerre and quite ok and constitutes nothing more than - business as usual - in Amerikan Kanada, and elsewhere. The School of the Americas teaches this worlds dictators well. Waterboarding, you'll remember, was invented by Torquemadas' finest...

In any case:

"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin." - James Monroe 1758-1831), 5th US President Source: First Inaugural Address, 1817

"Who ordained that the few should have the land (of Britain) as a prerequisite; who made 10,000 people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth?" -- David Lloyd George (1863-1945) British statesman, and Prime Minister

"All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it." -- Benjamin Franklin - (1706-1790) US founding Father Source: letter to Robert Morris, 25 December 1783, Ref: Franklin Collected Works, Lemay, ed., 1082

Financial Aid for the Rich:

A little-noticed loophole written into federal college financial aid rules allows the children of wealthy entrepreneurs to collect aid intended for the needy.

Kucinich protests Army training school: -

Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich said Sunday the thinking that went into producing an Army school blamed for human rights abuses in Latin America was the same that led the U.S. to war in Iraq and could cause it to raid Iran.

Pentagon Cover Up:

15,000 or more US casualties in Iraq War

By Mike Whitney

The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

The Palestinian Path to Peace Does Not go Via Annapolis

By Jonathan Steele

As the United States-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, approaches, the key question is what follows when it fails. Fiasco is looming, so what do the Palestinians do next? In their decades-long bid for justice, they have already tried everything.


Cut Israel Off

By Charley Reese

Thanks to the unconstitutional largess of the cowardly Congress, Israel is a rich country and one of the world's leading military powers. It doesn't need American aid. It is time to quit dancing to the tune of a lobby with dual loyalties and to pursue America's interests.


The U.S. Congress Legislates Genocide Of The Mind

By Jeff Knaebel

There are two mutually exclusive means of livelihood. One is to work and earn from production and exchange. This has been called the "economic means." The second is to seize the labor product of others through force and violence. This has been called the "political means." Sociologist Franz Oppenheimer defined the State as the Organization of the Political Means. It is the systemization of the predatory process within a given territory.


It's Treason:

Dems Stay Silent on Bush White House Crimes

Let Us Work Towards Peace & Joy

Right. ;)  

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