Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are You A Terrorist?



This is old but worth a read
Are You A Terrorist?
The Phoenix Federal Bureau of Investigation created a flyer some time back during Clinton's Presidency, asking the recipients to help them fight domestic terrorism. I received one of these flyers this past weekend at the Arizona "Freedom in the 21st Century" gathering.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (Greater Phoenix, Arizona) and the Maricopa County Attorney were placed on the flyer, as well -- before they saw the actual wording of the flyer -- in an effort by the FBI to "work jointly with local law enforcement."

Called the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the program was created, presumably, to help preserve the American way of life. This flyer was created -- by the feds -- to disseminate information about who the bad guys might be. However, its wording made it look like a disinformation campaign to paint at least a few groups of Real Americans as domestic terrorists. Among other things, the FBI was asking people:

"If you encounter any of the following, Call the Joint Terrorism Task Force":
"defenders of the US Constitution against federal government and the UN"
[That describes many civil liberties groups and most gun rights and American Sovereignty groups in existence -- and, by extension, their members.]
"Groups of individuals engaging in para-military training"
[Such as, perhaps, shooting your semi-automatic "assault weapon" with some friends out in the desert?"]
Also being sought are "Common Law Movement Proponents" who
"Request authority for a stop"
[That's illegal now?]
"Make numerous references to the US Constitution"
[That's illegal now?]
"Attempt to 'police the police'"
[That's illegal now?]
And let's not forget the other potential "domestic terrorists" being sought. We really need to watch out for these people:

"Lone Individuals"
[Do you meet that description?]
"Rebels"
[Know any gun rights activist who doesn't have at least a touch of rebel pumping through the old bloodstream?]

Be sure and notice the following two things on the flyer, as well:

1) There is NOT ONE MENTION of "Islamic Fundamentalists" anywhere.
2) Defenders of the US Constitution and the common law from which it grew are being classified on the same level as the bottom-feeding Skinheads, Nazis and the KKK.

READ THE FLYER FOR YOURSELF

The flyer is a tri-fold, so you'll have to turn your head sideways to read one of the sections.
Front Page Back Page

NOTE: The far right side of the above "Front Page" is the actual front of the tri-fold flyer. The far left side of the above "Back Page" -- the part that mentions the 'defenders of the US Constitution' -- is the inside flap... the first thing you see when you open the flyer.

HISTORY OF THE FLYER

According to Terry Chapman of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office -- whose name is on the flyer as the MCSO contact -- the FBI created the flyer and printed the MCSO and Attorney's Office before the text was approved. He said it was created as a full color brochure to hand out to officers, not for the general public -- and that as soon as he saw it, he urged them not to use it, knowing it had some problems.

"The flyer never got off the ground," said Officer Chapman, "but it did manage to make it's way out -- and maybe it's right that it did." He genuinely didn't like this piece of junk, and he showed true concern about my issues with the flyer, too. "We were not happy with it. It was formulated, I think, for legitimate purposes, but it fell on stony ground because of the way it was worded -- the unfortunate profiles that were put in there outraged a number of people who received it."
"It's dead in the water as far as I know," said Chapman. "I just can't imagine the FBI putting it out there again. It wasn't for the public. The fact that it's circulating again has gotta be by unofficial sources."

Mr. Chapman couldn't name the FBI agent who created the flyer, saying the individual who created it was no longer with the FBI's Phoenix branch, which he described as having "revolving doors." Sheriff's officers didn't like the flyer, either. Said Chapman, "I had a Lieutenant from our own office call me and ask 'Am I on your list?' Am I a threat?' for supporting the constitution?'" Chapman was embarrassed by the seeming targeting of "decent, honorable segments of the community" by the flyer -- he hoped it would never be handed out or go anywhere at all.
According to Chapman, the FBI approached the Sheriff's Office saying they wanted to put a flyer together to help local law enforcement raise officer awareness about who to watch out for. They asked for a local contact name and number for use of a flyer they wanted to produce, and because Terry Chapman heads up MCSO Intelligence, he was the likely candidate. Possible lesson for Chapman: don't let yourself get used by misguided federal agents again.
The big question: Why the hell does the FBI have someone running around promoting that Defenders of the Constitution (and the common law from which the Constitution was born) are domestic terrorists?

The FBI has not returned phone calls on this matter. But suffice it to say that there has been at least one unAmerican weasel running around their camp urging people to turn against We The Real American People. We'd sure like to know this fool's name and location within the Bureau. If you track that information down, please contact me personally; we've got a bone to pick with him and his boss, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Wonder Land

I couldn't open my door this morning because the snow was so deep!

My "Shed Of Shame" is snowed in.

My backyard has turned into a Winter Wonder Land over night!!!
We got over 15 inches of snow during the night!!! There wasn't any snow on the ground until about 9:00pm & to top it all off it's damn cold out & the wind is blowing at 25 -35mph!!!
And their calling for another 8 inches today!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Big Brother In The Sky

Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates.

Neighbors in rural Waller County said they thought a top-secret military venture was under way among the farmland and ranches, some 70 miles northwest of Houston. KPRC Local 2 Investigates had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks. Satellite dishes and a swirling radar added to the neighbors' suspense.

Then, cameras were rolling as an unmanned aircraft was launched into the sky and operated by remote control.
Check out the video


Friday, November 23, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

One Year & Counting

Imagine my surprise when I realized that it's been over 1 year since I started freeway blogging & this blog. This must explain why I've felt the need to post some signs lately.

I've be seeing a lot of new signs around town. Some folks were posting signs on bridges for what we like to call "football Saturdays" but I never seem to have my camera with me.
Here's the 1st signs Liz & I posted
Thanx Scarlet for starting this whole movement.

Friday, November 16, 2007

UofM vs OSU

Tomorrow is "The Big Game" & I thought it would be nice to remind all 100,000+ ppl that there's a few wars going on.

These 2 can be seen by everyone coming off the highway


Both of these are really close to Michigan stadium so ppl walking to the game will see them!

This 1 is at Exit 172 to Michigan stadium & it's really BIG




















Saturday, November 10, 2007

GUILTY!!!

Guilty of War Crimes
Guilty of Being a War Profiteer


Guilty of Lying to the American people & the WORLD
IMPEACH INDICT INCARCERATE

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism

I 1st seen Naomi Klein talking about her new book was on Democracy Now she talked abour her new book "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." but what I found interesting was what she had to say about "Rapture Rescue 911: Disaster Response for the Chosen." That’s the title of Naomi Klein’s latest article in The Nation. It’s about the wildfires that just ravaged Southern California and the spate of new companies that offer privatized solutions to emergency management -- only for those rich enough to afford it.

http://www.triplecanopy.com/triplecanopy/en/home/ <- Protective Services For The Rich
http://www.sovereigndeed.com/index.html







Time For A Change

This sign has been up since April 10th 2007 It was put up using 2 big rocks and it has been through rain snow wind and sun. It finely gave out on November 09th 2007 So I replaced it with this new sign.

I hope this sign stays up as long as the old sign.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Grim Reaper & The Marine Recruiter

Semper Fi: Walking past the buildings of GCSU on an overcast, cool morning on a Thursday in September, a Marine Recruitment booth was spotted near "the Fountain," a common meeting area and major campus thoroughfare located between Arts & Sciences, Russell Library, and the International Education Center of Georgia College & State University.

Within two hours a cloak was donated, a scythe fabricated and the Grim Reaper began a conversation with the young recruiter.

Grim Reaper: "Good morning."
Marine Recruiter: "I wish my buddies were here."
GR: "I do not question your heroism. You have made a great sacrifice for our nation, you have given yourself for a purpose greater than yourself. You are an American Hero."
MR: "Mm hm."
GR: "The architects of this illegal and immoral war in Iraq are responsible for the rapes, mutilations, dehumanization and deaths of tens of thousands of men, women and children...Iraqis, coalition forces, and American servicemen and servicewomen. The Administration in Washington has summoned me. That is why I am here today. That is who I am here for."
MR: "O.K."
GR: "Thank you." (Hand shake)
Please go here to see these pictures better. This is GREAT work!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Southwest Airlines Is Going To Need A New Slogan

No More Freedom to Move Around the Country?


The Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are quietly pushing for a set of crazy new rules. All travellers in the U.S. will be required to get government-issued credentials and official clearance before every flight, both within the United States as well as internationally. And Monday we received a new political action alert from Edward Hasbrouk, The Practical Nomad blogger who's been fighting the plan (and who testified about it at a TSA hearing). "The international Advance Passenger Information System rules were published, as 'final' effective February 19,2008, with no further opportunity for public comment even on the changes from the original proposal."

Hasbrouck sees this as a very ominous development. "The Department of Homeland Security can now evade debate on the similar elements of their Secure Flight proposal by claiming that it's needed to 'harmonize' the domestic and international travel restrictions — as though travel within America was tantamount to and subject to the same government restrictions and controls as crossing international borders."The stakes are high — and air travel may never be the same.


"The Secure Flight proposal also includes new and odious requirements that travelers display their government-issued credentials — not to government agents, but to airline personnel (staff or contractors), whenever the Department of Homeland Security orders the airline to demand them… " That alone will create a huge potential for abuse. "The proposed Secure Flight rules would leave travelers hopelessly at the mercy of any identity thief who claims to be an airline contractor (subcontractor, sub-subcontractor, etc.) demanding 'Your papers, please!' anywhere in an airport." But your personal information faces an even bigger risk. "In addition, the proposed rules would leave the airlines free to keep all the information obtained from travelers under government coercion, even after they've passed it on to the government. Your personal data would continue to be considered, at least in America, solely their property.

Not yours..."According to Hasbrouk, the Identity Project — an organization defending our right to travel freely in our own country — has made requests under the Privacy Act and they "have uncovered many more details (and many more problems) with the U.S. government's dossiers of travel records, which include everything from what books travelers were carrying to phone numbers of friends and associates to whether they asked for one bed or two in their hotel room."

Unfortunately, Monday, October 22 was the deadline for posting public comments on the proposed rules. But it's never too late to express your outrage... against another act in the continuing project to turn the United States into North Korea.

Crossing The Border Will Get Tougher

In three months, getting across the border is expected to become more difficult and time-consuming, when stricter federal rules requiring proper identification for land crossings are scheduled to take effect.

Long lines already are forming along the Mexican border as U.S. border agents start limited enforcement of these rules imposed by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the government's post-9/11 attempt to gain control of national borders.
Until recently, oral declarations have been sufficient proof of U.S. residency to cross the Canadian and Mexican borders by car or on foot.

Unless the date is changed, beginning Feb. 1, everyone, including children, will be required to have either a passport or WHTI compliant documentation. That includes both a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license) as well as proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, naturalization certificate, visa or green card.

The first phase of the WHTI crackdown began in January, when all travelers arriving by air from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and most Caribbean countries were required to provide a passport at U.S. immigration, exactly as if they were coming from anywhere else.
The tsunami of passport applications resulting from this edict flooded State Department offices, creating long delays and headlines and complicating the lives of thousands of travelers. The rule was temporarily relaxed, but that period has elapsed.

But these airport border disruptions are nothing compared to the chaos many experts expect at every U.S. land crossing with Mexico or Canada, from San Diego, Calif., to West Quoddy Head, Maine, when the other WHTI shoe drops.

Eventually, perhaps as soon as 2009, passports will be required of all travelers



Is it me or does this have the feeling of what happened to the jews in Gremany !!!



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blackwater Training US Police


Blackwater Training US Police

Wayne Madsen Report

10-15-7

The mercenary firm Blackwater USA is well known for the controversy involving its "shoot first, ask no questions" policy in Iraq. It is also known that Louisiana's Department of Homeland Security contracted with Blackwater to provide public law enforcement services in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. Blackwater is also planning to establish regional training centers in Potrero, California and Mount Carroll, Illinois, billed as Blackwater West and Blackwater North, respectively.

These training centers, in addition to Blackwater's Lodge and Training Center in Moyock, North Carolina -- Blackwater East -- and a possible fourth rumored to be slated for the Pacific Northwest -- Blackwater Northwest -- may result in the establishment of a network of Blackwater-trained police, sheriffs, and other police units around the country. Given Blackwater's dismal record on human rights and brutality, this spells trouble for civilian control of police and paramilitary forces in the United States, from major metropolitan areas to small rural towns.
On October 14, the Washington Post ran a story, which included photographs from Blackwater's Moyock training center. However, what was most intriguing was a photograph of a police and military patch board at Blackwater's headquarters that indicated the police agencies that have sent their officers to Moyock for training.
Blackwater is secretive about its non-federal, as well as its foreign clients, which the Post pointed out includes Jordan, Azerbaijan, and Burkina Faso, but a WMR inspection of the photograph of the police agencies has yielded the following list of agencies that have used Blackwater for training:

1. Iowa Department of Natural Resources
2. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department
3. Matthews, North Carolina Police
4. Atlanta Police
5. Chillicothe, Ohio Police
6. Charleston, South Carolina Police
7. Port Chester, NY Police
8. Highland, Indiana Police
9. Unalaska, Alaska Police
10. Metropolitan Washington, DC Police
11. Charlottesville, Virginia Police
12. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Dulles and Reagan National Airports)
13. St. Louis County Police (Missouri)
14. Queen Anne's County, Maryland Police
15. Prince George's County, Maryland Police
16. FBI SWAT Team
17. Gloucester Township, New Jersey Police
18. Tempe, Arizona Police
19. New York Police Department
20. Yonkers, New York Police
21. Fairfax County, Virginia Police
22. Maplewood, New Jersey Police
23. Gastonia, North Carolina Police
24. Tampa Police
25. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
26. DeKalb County, Georgia Police
27. Arlington County, Virginia Police
28. Baltimore Police
29. U.S. Coast Guard
30. Suffolk, Virginia Police
31. Franklin City, Virginia Police
32. Milford, Delaware Police
33. University of Texas Police
34. Norfolk, Virginia Police
35. Ottawa-Carleton, Canada Police
36. San Bernardino County, California Sheriff
37. Plattsburgh, New York Police
38. Chicago Police Department
39. Oregon State Police
40. Los Angeles Police Department
41. Tonawanda, New York Police
42. Special Forces of Colombia
43. Jacksonville, North Carolina Police
44. Harvey Cedars, New Jersey Police
45. Elmira, New York Police
46. Department of Corrections, New Jersey
47. Lexington, Kentucky Police
48. Willimantic, Connecticut Police
49. Georgia Department of Law Enforcement
50. City of Fairfax, Virginia Police
51. Alexandria, Virginia Police Special Operations
52. Illinois State Police
53. Dallas, Texas Police
54. Hamilton, Ohio Police
55. Morganton, North Carolina Police

A number of the police departments that have been trained by Blackwater have abysmal civil rights and police brutality records, most notably the Chicago Police and Illinois State Police, both cited by former Illinois Governor George Ryan as being guilty of police misconduct in his decision to commute the death sentences of Illinois' death row inmates. It was a decision that likely had much to do with his indictment by the Bush administration on corruption charges -- political misuse of the Department of Justice that has been seen in the indictments and investigations of Alabama former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth former CEO Richard Scrushy, Qwest's former CEO Joseph Nacchio, Democratic campaign contributor Martha Stewart, Coastal Corporation's former Chairman and Democratic contributor Oscar Wyatt, and Democratic-leaning trial attorneys around the United States, as well as the firings of several U.S. Attorneys who refused to engage in political prosecutions, and a Justice Department workup on North Carolina presidential candidate John Edwards in 2004.

The training and potential political indoctrination of police officers by the extreme right-wing and proto-fascist Blackwater, coupled with the politicization of the Justice Department and U.S. courts, has the potential for the streets of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, and Washington, DC, as well as Chillicothe, Harvey Cedars, and Elmira to turn as bloody as the streets of Baghdad and Fallujah.

Citizens have a distinct opportunity of confronting their local elected city, county, and town officials over Blackwater training of their police officers. Local officials should be pressured to reveal the numbers and identities of officers trained by Blackwater, the subjects covered by the training, the revenues spent, and a public demand should be made to cease and desist in such training.

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Why Not Impeachment?



Why Not Impeachment?

By Robert Parry
October 5, 2007


The disclosure that the Bush administration secretly reestablished a policy of abusing “war on terror” detainees even as it assured Congress and the public that it had mended its ways again raises the question: Why are the Democrats keeping impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney “off the table”?

After the Democratic congressional victory last Nov. 7, Washington Democrats rejected calls for impeachment from rank-and-file Democrats and many other Americans, considering it an extreme step that would derail a bipartisan strategy of winning over Republicans to help bring the Iraq War to an end.

That thinking got a boost on Nov. 8, the day after the election, when President Bush announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the appointment of former CIA Director Robert Gates, who had been a member of the Iraq Study Group and was believed to represent the “realist” wing of the Republican Party.

One Democratic strategist called me that day with a celebratory assertion that “the neocons are dead” and rebuffed my warning that Gates had a troubling history of putting his career ahead of principle, that he was a classic apple-polisher to the powerful. [See the Consortiumnews.com’s Archive, “Who Is Bob Gates?”]

The Democrats also missed the fact that Rumsfeld submitted his resignation the day before the election – not the day after – along with a memo urging an “accelerated draw-down of U.S. bases” in Iraq from a high of 110, to 10 to 15 by April 2007, and to five by July 2007.

In other words, Rumsfeld’s ouster didn’t signal Bush’s new flexibility on ending the war, as the Democrats hoped, but a repudiation of Rumsfeld for going wobbly on Iraq.

Even when the Rumsfeld memo surfaced in early December, the Democrats ignored it, sticking to their wishful script that the Rumsfeld-Gates switch marked a recognition by Bush that it was time to begin extricating U.S. forces from Iraq.

Those rose-colored glasses got smudged badly when Bush instead announced in January that he was ordering an escalation, sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq.

But instead of responding with their own escalation – and putting impeachment back “on the table” – the Democrats opted for a strategy of wooing moderate Republicans to mild-mannered legislative protests.

As an opening shot in this Nerf-ball battle, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fired off a symbolic resolution to express disapproval of Bush’s “surge,” a meaningless gesture that Republicans kept bottled up for weeks making the Democrats look both feckless and inept.

Dangling Moderates

The failed “anti-surge” resolution should have clued in the Democrats to what was in store. The congressional Republicans would keep dangling the prospect that a handful of moderate Republicans finally might abandon Bush’s war policy.

But, like the end of a rainbow that keeps receding as one pursues it, the promise of moderate Republicans switching sides could never be reached.

The final act of legislative disillusionment came on Sept. 19 when Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia, reneged on a commitment to support a bill by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, to guarantee longer home leave for combat troops.

Warner said he reversed himself after he was lobbied by Defense Secretary Gates. “I endorsed it,” Warner said. “I intend now to cast a vote against it.”

With Warner’s help, Republicans blocked Webb’s amendment on a procedural vote that fell four votes short of the 60 needed.

Neoconservative pro-war Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, hailed the defeat of Webb’s proposal as proof “Congress will not intervene in the foreseeable future, … that Congress doesn’t have the votes to stop this [Bush] strategy of success from going forward.”

Soon, the Republicans were stampeding the Democrats into supporting condemnations of MoveOn.org for its “General Betray Us” ad and into urging Bush to adopt an even more belligerent posture against Iran by labeling its Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Hillary Prods Bush to Go After Iran.”]

Still, despite nearly a full year of futility in challenging Bush’s war – as public approval of the Democratic Congress sank to near record lows – the leadership kept the issue of impeachment off the table. It was as if national Democrats had concluded that the American people admired timidity and incompetence.

New Slap

Now, President Bush has slapped the Democrats in the face again by misleading them on his continuing policy of allowing harsh interrogations (that many would call torture) of terror suspects. Bush apparently is confident that the Democrats will swallow whatever humiliation he serves up.

The New York Times revealed on Oct. 4 that the Bush administration only pretended to repudiate earlier legal opinions that Bush had the right to abuse and torture detainees. Secret memos from 2005, which reaffirmed that right, were kept from Congress.

“When the Justice Department publicly declared torture ‘abhorrent’ in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations,” the Times reported.

“But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

“The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.” [NYT, Oct. 4, 2007]

The Bush administration achieved its sleight of hand on torture policy by purging traditional conservative lawyers, such as former Assistant Attorney General Jack Goldsmith and former Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who had resisted White House assertions of virtually unlimited powers for Bush as Commander in Chief.

In 2004, those lawyers – under Attorney General John Ashcroft – mounted a remarkable rebellion against the White House theories of an imperial presidency. Goldsmith and Comey objected to the legality of several anti-terror operations approved by Bush, including the memos permitting torture and warrantless wiretaps.

Their opposition to Bush’s program for warrantless spying on Americans led to a dramatic showdown when then-White House counsel Gonzales and White House chief of staff Andrew Card went to Ashcroft’s hospital room where he was recovering from surgery. They urged him to overrule Comey who had balked at reauthorizing the spying, but Ashcroft refused.

Soon, the dissident Justice Department lawyers were headed out the door. Ashcroft, Comey and Goldsmith all resigned and were replaced by more compliant lawyers, led by Bush’s longtime legal adviser Gonzales.

The Times reported that the memo reaffirming Bush’s broad authority over treatment of detainees was signed by Steven Bradbury, who followed Goldsmith as head of the elite Office of Legal Counsel, the Justice Department office responsible for opinions relating to issues of presidential authority.

Unlike other lawyers in that sensitive job, Bradbury also has emerged as a vocal defender of Bush’s detention policies and wiretapping operations. In an interview with the Times, Bradbury said, “In my experience, the White House has not told me how an opinion should come out.”

However, the Times also reported that the White House kept Bradbury on a tight leash by delaying his formal appointment in hopes of avoiding another situation like the one with the independent-thinking Goldsmith.

Harriet Miers, who replaced Gonzales as White House counsel, “decided to watch Bradbury for a month or two. He was sort of on trial,” one Justice Department official told the Times.

After the Times’ article appeared, congressional Democrats – feeling misled again by the White House – demanded to see the confidential memos on interrogations. But Sen. Christopher Bond of Missouri, ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the White House would resist turning over the memos.

At some point, the congressional Democrats may have to face up to the hard choice before them: either put impeachment of Bush and Cheney back “on the table” or accept that the United States has ceased being a constitutional Republic governed by the principle that no man is above the law.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq

http://consortiumnews.com/2007/100507.html

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

When Cheney Comes To Town








Big Dick Cheney came to town to let us all know he like war, but LOVES endless war even more!

Monday, October 1, 2007

A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad


A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad:
Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy

by David Phinney, Special to CorpWatch
October 17th, 2006

John Owens didn’t realize how different his job would be from his last 27 years in construction until he signed on with First Kuwaiti Trading & Contracting in November 2005. Working as general foreman, he would be overseeing an army of workers building the largest, most expensive and heavily fortified US embassy in the world. Scheduled to open in 2007, the sprawling complex near the Tigris River will equal Vatican City in size.

Then seven months into the job, he quit.

Not one of the five different US embassy sites he had worked on around the world compared to the mess he describes. Armenia, Bulgaria, Angola, Cameroon and Cambodia all had their share of dictators, violence and economic disruption, but the companies building the embassies were always fair and professional, he says. The Kuwait-based company building the $592-million Baghdad project is the exception. Brutal and inhumane, he says “I’ve never seen a project more fucked up. Every US labor law was broken.”

In the resignation letter last June, Owens told First Kuwaiti and US State Department officials that his managers beat their construction workers, demonstrated little regard for worker safety, and routinely breached security.

And it was all happening smack in the middle of the US-controlled Green Zone -- right under the nose of the State Department that had quietly awarded the controversial embassy contract in July 2005.

He also complained of poor sanitation, squalid living conditions and medical malpractice in the labor camps where several thousand low-paid migrant workers lived. Those workers, recruited on the global labor market from the Philippines, India, Pakistan and other poor south Asian countries, earned as little as $10 to $30 a day.

As with many US-funded contractors, First Kuwaiti prefers importing labor because it views Iraqi workers as a security headache not worth the trouble.

No Questions Asked

By March 2006, First Kuwaiti’s operation began looking even sketchier to Owens as he boarded a nondescript white jet on his way back to Baghdad following some R&R in Kuwait city. He remembers being surrounded by about 50 First Kuwaiti laborers freshly hired from the Philippines and India. Everyone was holding boarding passes to Dubai – not to Baghdad.

“I thought there was some sort of mix up and I was getting on the wrong plane,” says the 48-year-old Floridian who once worked as a fisherman with his father before moving into the construction business.

He buttonholed a First Kuwaiti manager standing near by and asked what was going on. The manager waved his hand, looked around the terminal and whispered to keep quiet.

“‘If anyone hears we are going to Baghdad, they won’t let us on the plane,’” Owens recalls the manager saying.

The secrecy struck Owens as a little odd, but he grabbed his luggage and moved on. Everyone filed out to the private jet and flew directly to Baghdad. “I figured that they had visas for Kuwait and not Iraq,” Owens offers.

The deception had the appearance of smuggling workers into Iraq, but Owens didn’t know at the time that the Philippines, India, and other countries had banned or restricted their citizens from working in Iraq because of safety concerns and fading support for the war. After 2004, many passports were stamped “Not valid for Iraq.”

Nor did Owens know that both the US State Department and the Pentagon were quietly investigating contractors such as First Kuwaiti for labor trafficking and worker abuse. In fact, the international news media had accused First Kuwaiti repeatedly of coercing workers to take jobs in battle-torn Iraq once they had been lured with safer offers to Kuwait. The company has billed several billion dollars on US contracts since the war began in March 2003 and now has an estimated 7,500 laborers in the theater of war.

Despite numerous emails and phone calls about such allegations, neither First Kuwaiti general manager Wadih Al Absi nor his lawyer Angela Styles, the former top White House contract policy advisor, have responded. After a year of requests, State Department officials involved with the project also have ignored or rejected opportunities for comment.

Your Passports Please

That same March Owens returned to work in Baghdad, Rory Mayberry would witness similar events after he flew to Kuwait from his home in Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

The gravely voiced, easy-going Army veteran had previously worked in Iraq for Halliburton and the private security company, Danubia. Missing the action and the big paychecks US contractors draw Iraq, he snagged a $10,000 a month job with MSDS consulting Company.

MSDS is a two-person minority-owned consulting company that assists US State Department managers in Washington with procurement programming. Never before had the firm offered medical services or worked in Iraq, but First Kuwaiti hired MSDS on the recommendation of Jim Golden, the State Department contract official overseeing the embassy project. Within days, an agreement worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical care was signed.

The 45-year-old Mayberry, a former emergency medical technician in the Army who worked as a funeral director in Oregon, responded to a help wanted ad placed by MSDS. The plan was that he would work as a medic attending to the construction crews on the work site in Baghdad.

Mayberry sensed things weren’t right when he boarded a First Kuwaiti flight on March 15 to Baghdad – a different flight from Owens.

At the airport in Kuwait City, Mayberry said, he saw a person behind a counter hand First Kuwaiti managers a passenger manifest, an envelope of money and a stack of boarding passes to Dubai. The managers then handed out the boarding passes to Mayberry and 50 or so new First Kuwaiti laborers, mostly Filipinos.

"Everyone was told to tell customs and security that they were flying to Dubai," Mayberry explains. Once the group passed the guards, they went upstairs and waited by the McDonald's for First Kuwaiti staff to unlock a door -- Gate 26 -- that led to an unmarked, white 52-seat jet. It was "an antique piece of shit" Mayberry offers in a casual, blunt manner.

“All the workers had their passports taken away by First Kuwaiti,” Mayberry claims, and while he knew the plane was bound for Baghdad, he’s not so sure the others were aware of their destination. The Asian laborers began asking questions about why they were flying north and the jet wasn't flying east over the ocean, he says. "I think they thought they were going to work in Dubai."

One former First Kuwaiti supervisor acknowledges that the company holds passports of many workers in Iraq – a violation of US contracting.

“All of the passports are kept in the offices,” said one company insider who requested anonymity in fear of financial and personal retribution. As for distributing Dubai boarding passes for Baghdad flights, “It’s because of the travel bans,” he explained.

Mayberry believes that migrant workers from the Philippines, India and Nepal are especially vulnerable to employers like First Kuwaiti because their countries have little or no diplomatic presence in Iraq.

“If you don’t have your passport or an embassy to go to, what you do to get out of a bad situation?” he asks. “How can they go to the US State Department for help if First Kuwaiti is building their embassy?”

Deadly ‘Candy Store’ Medicine

Owens had already been working at the embassy site since late November when Mayberry arrived. The two never crossed paths, but both share similar complaints about management of the project and brutal treatment of the laborers that, at times, numbered as many as 2,500. Most are from the Philippines, India, and Pakistan. Others are from Egypt and Turkey.

The number of workers with injuries and ailments stunned Mayberry. He went to work immediately after and stayed busy around the clock for days.

Four days later, First Kuwaiti pulled him off the job after he requested an investigation of two patients who had died before he arrived from what he suspected was medical malpractice. Mayberry also recommended that the health clinics be shut down because of unsanitary conditions and mismanagement.

“There hadn’t been any follow up on medical care. People were walking around intoxicated on pain relievers with unwrapped wounds and there were a lot of infections,” he recalls. “The idea that there was any hygiene seemed ridiculous. I’m not sure they were even bathing.”

In reports made available to the US State Department, the US Army and First Kuwaiti, Mayberry listed dozens of concerns about the clinics, which he found lacking in hot water, disinfectant, hand washing stations, properly supplied ambulances, and communication equipment. Mayberry also complained that workers’ medical records were in total disarray or nonexistent, the beds were dirty, and the support staff hired by First Kuwaiti was poorly trained.

The handling of prescription drugs especially bothered him. Many of the drugs that originated from Iraq and Kuwait were unsecured, disorganized and unintelligibly labeled, he said in one memo. He found that the medical staff frequently misdiagnosed patients. Prescription pain killers were being handed out "like a candy store ... and then people were sent back to work.”

Mayberry warned that the practice could cause addiction and safety hazards. “Some were on the construction site climbing scaffolding 30 feet off the ground. I told First Kuwaiti that you don’t give painkillers to people who are running machinery and working on heavy construction and they said 'that's how we do it.’”

The sloppy handling of drugs may have led to the two deaths, Mayberry speculates. One worker, age 25, died in his room. The second, in his mid-30s, died at the clinic because of heart failure. Both deaths may be “medical homicide,” Mayberry says -- because the patients may have been negligently prescribed improper drug treatment.

If the State Department investigated, Mayberry knows nothing of the outcome. Two State Department officials with project oversight responsibilities did not return phone calls or emails inquiring about Mayberry's allegations. The reports may have been ignored, not because of his complaints, but because Mayberry is a terrible speller, a problem compounded by an Arabic translation program loaded on his computer, he says.

Accidents Happen

Owens' account of his seven months on the job paints a similar picture to Mayberry’s. Health and safety measures were essentially non-existent, he says. Not once did he witness a safety meeting. Once an Egyptian worker fell and broke his back and was sent home. No one ever heard from him again. “The accident might not have happened if there was a safety program and he had known how to use a safety harness.”

Owens also says that managers regularly beat workers and that laborers were issued only one work uniform, making it difficult to go to the laundry. “You could never have it washed. Clothing got really bad – full of sweat and dirt.”

And while he often smuggled water to the work crews, medical care was a different issue. When he urged laborers to get medical treatment for rashes and sores, First Kuwaiti managers accused him of spoiling the laborers and allowing them simply to avoid work, he says.

State Department officials supervising the project are aware of many such events, but apparently do nothing, he said. Once when 17 workers climbed the wall of the construction site to escape, a State Department official helped round them up and put them in “virtual lockdown,” Owens said.

Just before he resigned, hundreds of Pakistani workers went on strike in June and beat up a Lebanese manager who they accused of harassing them. Owens estimates that 375 were then sent home.

‘Treated Like Animals’

Recent First Kuwaiti employees agree that the accounts shared by Owens and Mayberry are accurate. One longtime supervisor claims that 50 to 60 percent of the laborers regularly complain that First Kuwaiti “treats them like animals,” and routinely reduces their promised pay with confusing and unexplained deductions.

Another former First Kuwaiti manager, who declines to be named because of possible adverse consequences, says that Owens' and Mayberry’s complaints only begin “to scratch the surface.”

But scratching the surface is the only view yet available of what may be the most lasting monument to the US liberation and occupation of Iraq. As of now only a handful of authorized State Department managers and contractors, along with First Kuwaiti workers and contractors, are officially allowed inside the project’s walls. No journalist has ever been allowed access to the sprawling 104-acre site with towering construction cranes raising their necks along the skyline.

Even this tight security is a charade, says on former high-level First Kuwaiti manager. First Kuwaiti managers living at the construction site regularly smuggle prostitutes in from the streets of Baghdad outside the Green Zone, he says.

Prostitutes, he explains are viewed as possible spies. “They are a big security risk.”

But the exposure that the US occupation forces and First Kuwaiti may fear most could begin with the contractor itself and the conditions workers are forced to endure at this most obvious symbol of the American democracy project in Iraq.

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14173

Friday, September 28, 2007

In Lies We Trust Part 4 of 16

This is my 3rd try to post this to my blog!!!
This is well worth the time to watch all 16 parts

Monday, September 24, 2007

NASCAR & Dead Soldiers

Despite recent gasoline shortages throughout pockets of the South and record-high prices at the pumps, it will be business as usual for NASCAR and its gas-guzzling, 850-horsepower stock cars during Sunday Nextel Cup race.


One month after the controversial decision to close Georgia's public schools for two days to conserve fuel, an estimated 125,000 spectators will be on hand at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where nearly 5,000 gallons of racing gasoline will be consumed during a four-hour span.

Add in practice sessions and two other races -- today's NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series and the International Race of Championships -- and the total weekend fuel consumption will amount to more than 8,000 gallons.

This doesn't even include all the local race tracks, tractor pulls, Monsters Trucks, lawn mower races & many many more gas wasting events. If we are running out of oil (peak oil)like some ppl have said. Why waste so much gas? Also if we are in 2 war don't you think we should be trying to conserve as much oil as possible? How about making NASCAR for electric cars only! If Americans think that changing a light blub is all they have to do to save the world...we are doomed!

How many soldiers died, so ppl can watch cars go around & around

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

9-11 Flyer



This was found on Liz's car as she left a store here in A2

Friday, September 7, 2007

Judge Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act


Judge Strikes Down Part of Patriot Act

Friday September 7, 2007 7:16 AM
By LARRY NEUMEISTER

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge struck down a key part of the USA Patriot Act on Thursday in a ruling that defended the need for judicial oversight of laws and bashed Congress for passing a law that makes possible ``far-reaching invasions of liberty.''

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero immediately stayed the effect of his ruling, allowing the government time to appeal. Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said: ``We are reviewing the decision and considering our options at this time.''

The ruling handed the American Civil Liberties Union a major victory in its challenge of the post-Sept. 11 law that gave broader investigative powers to law enforcement.

The ACLU had challenged the law on behalf of an Internet service provider, complaining that the law allowed the FBI to demand records without the kind of court supervision required for other government searches. Under the law, investigators can issue so-called national security letters to entities like Internet service providers and phone companies and demand customers' phone and Internet records.

In his ruling, Marrero said much more was at stake than questions about the national security letters.

He said Congress, in the original USA Patriot Act and less so in a 2005 revision, had essentially tried to legislate how the judiciary must review challenges to the law. If done to other bills, they ultimately could all ``be styled to make the validation of the law foolproof.''

Noting that the courthouse where he resides is several blocks from the fallen World Trade Center, the judge said the Constitution was designed so that the dangers of any given moment could never justify discarding fundamental individual liberties.

He said when ``the judiciary lowers its guard on the Constitution, it opens the door to far-reaching invasions of liberty.''

Regarding the national security letters, he said, Congress crossed its boundaries so dramatically that to let the law stand might turn an innocent legislative step into ``the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering, with an ominous free pass to the hijacking of constitutional values.''

He said the ruling does not mean the FBI must obtain the approval of a court prior to ordering records be turned over, but rather must justify to a court the need for secrecy if the orders will last longer than a reasonable and brief period of time.

A March government report showed that the FBI issued about 8,500 national security letter, or NSL, requests in 2000, the year prior to passage of the USA Patriot Act. By 2003, the number of requests had risen to 39,000 and to 56,000 in 2004 before falling to 47,000 in 2005. The overwhelming majority of the requests sought telephone billing records information, telephone or e-mail subscriber information or electronic communication transactional records.

The judge said that through the NSLs, the government can unmask the identity of Internet users engaged in anonymous speech in online discussions, can obtain an itemized list of all e-mails sent and received by someone and can then seek information on those communicating with the individual.

``It may even be able to discover the web sites an individual has visited and queries submitted to search engines,'' the judge said.

Marrero's lengthy judicial opinion, akin to an eighth-grade civics lesson, described why the framers of the Constitution created three separate but equal branches of government and delegated to the judiciary to say what the law is and to protect the Constitution and the rights it gives citizens.

Marrero said the constitutional barriers against governmental abuse ``may eventually collapse, with consequential diminution of the judiciary's function, and hence potential dire effects to individual freedoms.''

In that event, he said, the judiciary could become ``a mere mouthpiece of the legislature.''

Marrero had ruled in 2004, on the initial version of the Patriot Act, that the letters violate the Constitution because they amounted to unreasonable search and seizure. He found free-speech violations in the nondisclosure requirement, which for example, disallowed an Internet service provider from telling customers their records were being turned over to the government.

After he ruled, Congress revised the Patriot Act in 2005, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals directed that Marrero review the law's constitutionality a second time.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy

Published on Friday, August 31, 2007 by CommonDreams.org

The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy
by Robert Shetterly

Several years ago I gave a talk on Martha’s Vineyard about many of the people whose portraits I’ve painted in the Americans Who Tell the Truth series. I spent some time talking about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. When I talk about King, I like to focus on his last year — the period when, defying the advice of many of his advisors in the civil rights movement, he spoke against the Vietnam War, equating racism with imperialism. King felt bound to make the point that the forces of capitalism, materialism, and militarism that were driving segregation were also driving the war, and until we confronted the source of the problem, the abuses would continue. It was April 4, 1967, in Riverside Church in New York, that he made that declaration. A year to the day before his assassination.

It has always confounded me every year when we celebrate Dr. King’s life that no mention is made of that Riverside Church speech in the major media. We are always treated to sound bites of the 1963 I Have a Dream speech. That speech’s oratory is as powerful as it is non-confrontational. Which is why it is re-played for modern audiences. Dr. King was about confrontation. Non-violence and confrontation, each ennobling and making the other effective. In 1967 he said, “… my country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” And he explained how our economic system thrived on exploitation and violence, or, as Emma Goldman put it, “The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism.” This was probably the most important speech King ever gave and not playing it when we ostensibly honor him, is tantamount to castrating him morally and intellectually. Just as there is a long history of White America castrating black men, there is an equal legacy of Elite America cutting the most important truths of our social prophets out of the history books. We pay homage to King’s icon, the cardboard cutout, but not to his strongest beliefs and his most cogent analysis of our problems — to what vision called forth his courage. And, if we think that he spoke the truth, to censor that truth is to promote a curious kind of segregation. He is segregated, not for the color of his skin, but for the accuracy of his perception, how close to the bone his words cut. We can’t bear to hear the sound of truth’s knife scraping on hypocrisy’s bone. Only people who actually want to change the system dance to that music or want it to be heard.

Equally important, and part of the same neglect, is the intentional ignoring of the facts of his death. In my talk on Martha’s Vineyard I spoke about William Pepper’s book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pepper had been James Earl Ray’s lawyer. Ray was the man convicted of killing King. But both Pepper and the King family were convinced that Ray was innocent. The King family hired Pepper to represent them in a suit; they asked only $100.00 in damages to clear Ray’s name. Before the trial came to court in 1999, Ray had died in prison. The jury determined that King had been assassinated by a conspiracy involving the Memphis police, the Mafia, the FBI, and the Special Forces of the U.S. Army. Ray, the patsy, had left town before the shot was fired. Pepper had confessions from people involved from each of the organizations named. The verdict was barely mentioned in the U.S. media then and is not mentioned every year on the anniversary of his death. Why?

After my talk on Martha’s Vineyard a man came up to me and said, “I enjoyed your speech and was with you until you started that conspiracy stuff about MLK, Jr.” I said, “That’s not conspiracy. What I told you are facts.” End of conversation.

I think we’re confronted with two conspiracies here: one to commit the crime, the other to ignore it even when the facts are known. ( Two sides of the same coin.) The man who accused me of slipping into the neurotic, aliens-are-among-us land of conspiracy nuts was unable to hear the evidence, perhaps because he was so utterly convinced by our government and media that conspiracies don’t exist, people who espouse them are dangerous fruitcakes, and if you begin to think like that, your whole house of cards wobbles then topples. Who wants that? Better a standing tower of marked cards, than having to admit the game is rigged and the ground is shaking.

America is steeped in conspiracy, and even more steeped in propaganda that discredits those who try to expose the conspiracies. Whether we’re talking about MLK, Jr., JFK, RFK, Iran-Contra, 9/11, or, most importantly, the status quo, anyone who works to uncover the truth is branded a “conspiracy nut” and discredited before any evidence has a fair hearing. The government/corporate/media version is THE VERSION. Anything else is illusory.

In fact, the cultural success of labeling investigative reporters and forensic historians, and, simply, anyone who tries to name reality, “conspiracy nuts” is perhaps the most successful conspiracy of our time. Well, not the most successful. That prize goes to the conspiracy to give corporations all the rights of individual persons under our Constitution. That conspiracy has codified and consolidated corporate power so that it controls our lives in almost every meaningful way. It controls the election funds of our candidates, and them once they are in office. It controls our major media including public broadcasting. It controls the content of our television programming. It controls how are tax dollars are spent making sure that the richest get the most welfare. It controls the laws, the courts, the prison system and the mind numbing propaganda that we are the greatest democracy on earth. It controls the values with which we raise our children. It controls our ability to dispense justice. It controls how we treat nature, how we deface our land with strip malls, and blow the tops off our mountains — a form of corporate free speech. It dictates our modes of transportation. It controls our inability to respond to true crises like climate change. It attempts to create a spiritual deficiency in every person that can be filled and healed only with stuff — and no stuff is ever enough.

As Richard Grossman puts it, “Isn’t it an old story? People create what looks to be a nifty machine, a robot, called the corporation. Over time, the robots get together and overpower the people. … For a century, the robots propagandize and indoctrinate each generation of people so they grow up believing that robots are people too, gifts from God and Mother Nature; that they are inevitable and the source of all that is good. How odd that we have been so gullible, so docile, obedient.”

It is obvious to say that we have been engineered into a culture that values competitive consumption and consumers instead of community cooperation and citizenship. Capitalism with its obsessive and necessary appetite for consumption, expanding markets, resource depletion, and increasing profits has consumed democracy. Have you ever watched a small snake swallow a large frog? The snake’s hinged jaw stretches wider and wider, squeezing the frog millimeter by millimeter into its gullet until finally the snake looks like the Holland Tunnel might if it had devoured the Titanic. Then the acids and enzymes do their corrosive work. The frog becomes the snake. And the snake claims it is the frog. Capitalism has gulped down democracy and claimed it is democracy. When, immediately after 9/11, President Bush advised Americans to demonstrate their love of freedom and their resistance to terrorism by courageously, selflessly, hurrying to the mall to buy something, he was speaking as the snake that identifies itself as a frog. He was asking us to play a little game with our brains’ synapses, replace the snake icon with the frog’s. Sadly, he may also have been speaking about democracy in the only way that he can understand or recognize it. And, for him, Christianity has been another tidy meal for the snake.

Perhaps this switcheroo is nowhere more obvious than in the military /industrial complex. We are told that the vulnerable frog needs protecting. The threats are grave. So we fork over our money and children’s lives for war and weapons. We are told that we are building security and peace. More lives. More weapons. What we aren’t told is that the largest US export to the world is weapons. What we aren’t told is that enormous fortunes are being made from the arms trade. What we aren’t told is that the more precarious and unstable the world is, the better the business for the arms dealers — that the real promotion is not for security and peace but insecurity and war, that the lives of our children are the necessary collateral damage for this monster. What we aren’t told is that the only real security is in cooperation, conservation, and fairness, not imperialism. The frog, who is a snake, wrapped in a flag, pleads for patriotism and counts the cash. The snake’s forked tongue is a barbeque fork on which we’ve all been roasted.

I’d call that conspiracy.

The neocons have claimed, with some accuracy, that they can create reality faster than we can react: the deed is done, now deal with it. The troops have invaded, Halliburton, Blackwater, and Lockheed signed their contracts, the prisoners are tortured, your email is bugged, the resources for social programs are gone, the laws are changed, the Wal-Mart is built, the sludge dump has already polluted the aquifer, truth is hollowed out —- catch me if you can!

How is that not conspiracy?

The cooks & the crooks create a new status quo, legalize it, propagandize it, mythologize it, fundamentalize it, slather it with fear and patriotism, and force feed it to the complacent, sedated cow we call America.

How is that not conspiracy?

Of course, ever since the Constitution was signed and didn’t free the slaves or give the vote to women, poor folks, Native Americans and freed blacks so that people with power and money could continue to profit, America has been a conspiracy against itself. It’s been cowboy grilling his own heart over a smoke & mirrors campfire, a CEO with inherited wealth and three hundred years of patrician, affirmative action crooning “Only in America.”

The reason we can’t talk about conspiracy is because it is the modus operandi. It isn’t the elephant in the room, it is the room itself. We all live there. We can impeach a few elephants, and we should, but the architecture is in place. And they control it.

When I was in school, I was reminded - repeatedly — to avoid using an indefinite pronoun without identifying whom it refers to, as in, “They are coming to get us,” … or, “They control everything.” Who are They? It’s bad practice to think and write like that. Without reference it just sounds like paranoia. But the hell of it is that it’s damned hard to say who the They are that are in conspiracy to destroy democracy and, by exploitation, nature. Did They do it on purpose or merely discover by serendipity, like cavemen seeing copper ooze out of a rock by a fire, the wondrous possibility and power of what they had found. For instance, the invention of the TV was not a conspiracy. But once the realization of how TV could be used to submerge the public in a lobotomizing swamp of advertising, sound bites, inactivity, community destruction, titillation, false history, empty myth, consumption, and complicity in making fortunes for the sponsors, the program was clear. Conspiracy was the silent partner in the euphemism good business practice. And, once they saw the implications of giving corporations First Amendment rights, they were home free.

Time to re-think conspiracy.

We need to embrace conspiracy in two ways. One, admit that it’s real, its quotidian, it’s the fabric of our lives, the mercury in the air, the dioxin in the water, it’s filling the airwaves and the marketplace and the courts and the halls of Congress before we even get out of bed every morning. Two, counter it with a conspiracy of our own. On our side we have the fundamental fact that although the corporate They can alter many of our realities, they can’t alter Reality. They can’t change the behavior of Nature. They can sell off the rain forest, but they can’t leverage the effect of cutting it. They can keep the mileage of cars poor so we’ll buy more gas, but they can’t alter the amount of oil in the ground or the damage to the atmosphere. They can privatize every human interaction and every natural resource, but they can’t privatize the laws of nature. They have conspired to change reality. We must conspire to live in harmony with Reality.

In the same way, they can conspire to kill Martin Luther King, Jr., but they can’t totally eradicate the truth of who did it and why.

Con + spirare, from the Latin. To breathe together. Those are the roots of conspiracy. Breathing together doesn’t sound like an activity of the ideologically deracinated whispering seditiously in a dank cellar or a board room, foul breaths denting a weak flame flickering over a candle nub, gunpowder or greed blackened fingers setting a timer, the whites of creased eyes glinting like knives with treason, murder, power, and deceit.

Con + spirare sounds like healthy men and women standing in the sun figuring out how in the hell they are going to take care of each other and their aging mother Earth and love life while doing it. Breathing together, sharing the same air, plotting to make sure that what’s mine is yours, conspiring to save their self-respect, their ideals, the future for their children.

I want to be part of a conspiracy. Pervasive, populist, revolutionary, and totally transparent. Grassroots. Idealistic. Simplistic. Life-affirming. Community building

A conspiracy to make the common good and the love of nature the common denominator of every economic transaction.

And the simple truth is either we start breathing together, conspiring big time, right out in the open, nakedly, unashamedly, or we will have conspired in secret, by default, in our own demise.

We have let them breathe for us, and they have stolen our breath, our air, our spirit.

Secret con + spirare is death. Open con + spirare is life.

Conspiracy is dead. Long live conspiracy!

Robert Shetterly lives in Brooksville, Maine www.americanswhotellthetruth.org

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rammstein-Amerika

We're all living in America
America is wonderful
We're all living in America
America, America
When there's dancing I want to lead
even if you're whirling around alone
Let yourselves be controlled a little
I'll show you how it really goes
We're making a nice round dance
Freedom is playing on all violins
Music is coming out of the White House
and Mickey Mouse is standing in front of Paris
We're all living in America
America is wonderful
We're all living in America
America, America
I know moves that are very useful
and I will protect you from missteps
And whoever doesn't want to dance at the end
doesn't know yet that they must
We're making a nice round dance
I will show you the way
Santa Claus is coming to Africa
and Mickey Mouse is standing in front of Paris
We're all living in America
America is wonderful
We're all living in America
America, America
We're all living in America
Coca-Cola, Wonderbra
We're all living in America
America, America
This is not a love song
This is not a love song
I don't sing my mother tongue
No, This is not a love song
We're all living in America
America is wonderful
We're all living in America
America, America
We're all living in America
Coca-Cola, sometimes war
We're all living in America
America, America

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why Cheney Really Is That Bad

By Scott Ritter

Karl Rove, interchangeably known as “Boy Genius” or “Turd Blossom,” has left the White House. The press conference announcing his decision to resign has been given front-page treatment by most major media outlets, but the fact of the matter is the buzz surrounding Rove’s departure is much ado about nothing, especially in terms of coming to grips with the remaining 16 months of the worst presidency in the history of the United States.

Rove is a domestic political marauder, the personification of a conservative movement which lacks a moral compass and has a complete disregard for facts. The master of exploiting mainstream America’s predilection for news-as-entertainment, under which the likes of Rupert Murdoch can manufacture headlines out of thin air, Rove helped turn “fair and balanced” into a national joke which everyone laughs at but few actually comprehend. Rove served as the maestro of a political-smear orchestra composed of such intellectually challenged muckrakers as Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, manipulating the NASCAR/professional wrestling crowd’s addiction to seedy gossip in an effort to maintain the all-important 51 percent majority needed to win elections.

Perhaps if the Democratic Party had possessed a semblance of organization and cohesion (not to mention a post-Clinton message that could be sold to a majority of America), then Rove would be but a footnote in history, known simply as the man who helped the worst governor in the history of Texas get elected. Even the self-destructive campaign run by Al Gore in 2000, in which he distanced himself from a sitting president who, despite all of his faults, would have defeated Bush in a landslide if the Constitution permitted a third term, was enough to deny Rove his beloved 51 percent—it was Gore, not Bush, who in which he won the majority of votes in that contest. It took a Republican governor of Florida, backed by a compliant Supreme Court, to put George W. Bush into the White House, not any genius on the part of Rove.

“Bush’s Brain” may claim that it was his careful manipulation of fiction over fact that carried the 2004 election, in which the term became synonymous with political character assassination, but it was the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and the war in Iraq which sank the Democratic Party and its candidate for president, John Kerry. It is very difficult to unseat a president in a time of war, especially when so many Democrats voted in favor of the concept, first by buying into every post-9/11 policy put forward by the Bush administration (find me one Democrat who actually read the Patriot Act in its entirety before it was voted into law) and second by rubber-stamping the lies that led to Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in March 2003. Remember, it was Kerry’s inarticulate defense of his decision to vote in favor of granting war powers to the president that sank his election hopes, not his Vietnam War record.

Certainly, Karl Rove played a significant behind-the-scenes role in supporting Bush’s war policies. The perjury trial of “Scooter” Libby forced the collective of deaf, dumb and blind pseudo-journalists who populate what is known as the mainstream media in America to recognize how pathetically duplicitous and petty the Bush administration could get when it came to defending the policies propping up the so-called Global War on Terror and the awful tragedy of Iraq. Rove’s fingerprints were all over the decision by Vice President Dick Cheney to leak CIA officer Valerie Plame’s name to the media in an effort to thwart the truth-telling of her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson.

But that is about as deep as Rove’s involvement in the two issues that will define the presidency of George W. Bush gets. While Rove might be the “genius” behind the kind of winner-takes-all dirty politics that won the Republicans a majority in Texas.


The vice president is the single greatest threat to American and international security in the world today. Not Osama Bin Laden. Not the ghost of Saddam Hussein. Not Ahmadinejad or Kim Jung Il. Not al-Qaida, the Taliban, or Jose Padilla himself. Not even George W. Bush can lay claim to this title. It is Dick Cheney’s alone. Operating in a never-never land of constitutional ambiguity which exists between the office of the president and the Congress of the United States, Cheney’s office has made its impact felt on the policies of the United States of America as had no vice president’s office before him. Granted unprecedented oversight over national security and foreign policy by executive order in early 2001, many months prior to the terror attacks of 9/11, Cheney has single-handedly steered America away from being a nation among nations (albeit superior), operating (roughly) in accordance with the rule of law, and toward its present manifestation as the new Rome, a decadent imperial power bent on global domination whatever the cost.



The absolute worst of the rot that has infected America because of the policies and actions of the Bush administration has originated from the office of the vice president. The nonsensical response to the terror attacks of 9/11, seeking a “global war” versus defending the rule of law at home and abroad, taking the lead in spreading the lies that got us involved in Iraq, legitimizing torture as a tool of American jurisprudence, advocating for warrantless wiretappings of U.S.-based communications (regardless of what the Fourth Amendment says against illegal search and seizure), and pushing for an expansion of America’s global conflict into Iran—all can be traced back to the person of Cheney as the point of origin.

America today is very much engaged in a life-or-death struggle against the forces of evil. The enemy resides not abroad, however, but at home, vested in the highest offices of the land. Neither Osama Bin Laden nor Saddam Hussein threatened the life blood of the United States—the Constitution—to the extent that Cheney has. Not Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Ho Chi Minh. Not since the American Civil War has there been a constitutional crisis of the magnitude that exists today, threatening to rip the very fabric of American society apart at the seams, courtesy of Dick Cheney.

That Congress today remains relatively mute on this crisis is one of the great mysteries of our time. Perhaps the vagaries of national politics can be blamed. The Democratic majority in Congress appears to have ceded its leadership role to unelected presidential candidates who seem solely empowered to comment on current events, domestic or foreign, and who, out of fear of any misstep which could hurt their chances to seize the White House as their own, refuse to actually take a substantive stand against the policies of the Bush administration. In an effort that is curiously Rovian in the quest for electoral victory, the Democratic candidates (with a few notable exceptions) have been less than bold in their opposition to the heinous policies that are currently in place concerning Iraq, Iran, the war on terror, torture and constitutional violations—unless you count empty rhetoric.

In many ways, the leading Democrats, both those running for office and those currently holding office, are a far greater insult to American values than the conservative standard-bearers for the policies of Cheney. No one of substance takes seriously the manic ranting of the Hannity/Limbaugh/Coulter triad. These Democrats, on the other hand, have mastered the art of compromise to the point that they stand for nothing at all—this at a time in American history when the policies of the administration, derived from the dark abyss of Bush’s soul, Cheney, provide the most concrete example of what we as Americans should be standing against.

The Democrats need to stand for something. Cheney has provided the sort of political ammunition that would enable them to fight, and win, a constitutional battle over the heart of America, the kind of defining struggle which I believe the vast majority of Americans would rally around. Unless the Democrats start separating themselves from the policies of the Bush administration, and take an active role in outing and suppressing the true evil that is Dick Cheney, all they will achieve in the coming years is a change in the titular political orientation of America, without the kind of deep-seated break from the failures and crimes of the past six-plus years that have taken our nation, and the world, right up to the edge of chaos.

“Bush’s Brain” may be gone, but his “Soul” lives on. It is high time all of America put Dick Cheney fully in the spotlight of collective accountability, purging our nation of this scourge which has harmed us in so many ways. If there is any case for impeachment to be made against any member of the Bush administration today, it can be made against a vice president who has shamed our nation, destroyed our moral standing and broken our laws.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

President For Life Or Ruler Of The World

I still haven't picked my jaw off the floor after reading this!!!
Brought to you by the good people at Family Security Matters (FSM)

Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy
By Philip Atkinson

While democratic government is better than dictatorships and theocracies, it has its pitfalls. FSM Contributing Editor Philip Atkinson describes some of the difficulties facing President Bush today.

President George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States. He was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2005 after being chosen by the majority of citizens in America to be president.

Yet in 2007 he is generally despised, with many citizens of Western civilization expressing contempt for his person and his policies, sentiments which now abound on the Internet. This rage at President Bush is an inevitable result of the system of government demanded by the people, which is Democracy.

The inadequacy of Democracy, rule by the majority, is undeniable – for it demands adopting ideas because they are popular, rather than because they are wise. This means that any man chosen to act as an agent of the people is placed in an invidious position: if he commits folly because it is popular, then he will be held responsible for the inevitable result. If he refuses to commit folly, then he will be detested by most citizens because he is frustrating their demands.

When faced with the possible threat that the Iraqis might be amassing terrible weapons that could be used to slay millions of citizens of Western Civilization, President Bush took the only action prudence demanded and the electorate allowed: he conquered Iraq with an army.

This dangerous and expensive act did destroy the Iraqi regime, but left an American army without any clear purpose in a hostile country and subject to attack. If the Army merely returns to its home, then the threat it ended would simply return.

The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead. Then there would be little risk or expense and no American army would be left exposed. But if he did this, his cowardly electorate would have instantly ended his term of office, if not his freedom or his life.

The simple truth that modern weapons now mean a nation must practice genocide or commit suicide. Israel provides the perfect example. If the Israelis do not raze Iran, the Iranians will fulfill their boast and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Yet Israel is not popular, and so is denied permission to defend itself. In the same vein, President Bush cannot do what is necessary for the survival of Americans. He cannot use the nation's powerful weapons. All he can do is try and discover a result that will be popular with Americans.

As there appears to be no sensible result of the invasion of Iraq that will be popular with his countrymen other than retreat, President Bush is reviled; he has become another victim of Democracy.

By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.

However, President Bush has a valuable historical example that he could choose to follow.

When the ancient Roman general Julius Caesar was struggling to conquer ancient Gaul, he not only had to defeat the Gauls, but he also had to defeat his political enemies in Rome who would destroy him the moment his tenure as consul (president) ended.

Caesar pacified Gaul by mass slaughter; he then used his successful army to crush all political opposition at home and establish himself as permanent ruler of ancient Rome. This brilliant action not only ended the personal threat to Caesar, but ended the civil chaos that was threatening anarchy in ancient Rome – thus marking the start of the ancient Roman Empire that gave peace and prosperity to the known world.

If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq (therefore turning it from a liability to an asset); and boost American prestiege while terrifying American enemies.

He could then follow Caesar's example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.

President Bush can fail in his duty to himself, his country, and his God, by becoming “ex-president” Bush or he can become “President-for-Life” Bush: the conqueror of Iraq, who brings sense to the Congress and sanity to the Supreme Court. Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.

http://www.infowars.com/articles/ps/dictatorship_neocons_make_bush_dictator_of_the_world.htm