Saturday, December 29, 2007

Muslim Woman Convicted of a Thought-Crime in the UK

At Mother's, they put out this newspaper at the restaurant called "Epoch Times," I think they're based in the UK, though I'm not certain. This article was in the edition I read today.



By Stephen Jones
Epoch Times UK Staff
Civil Rights groups have welcomed a court's decision to free a Muslim woman convicted of what they say amounts to a 'thought crime'.

Samina Malik, who called herself the "lyrical terrorist" after writing poetry praising suicide bombers, walked free of the Old Bailey last Thursday after gaining a nine month suspended sentence for possessing extremist literature.

While working as a shop assistant in stationer WHSmith, the 23-year-old of Southall, London, scribbled on the back of till rolls poems such as "Kafirs your time will come soon, and no one will save you from your doom".

Malik was the first woman to be convicted under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act, which states that: "A person commits an offence if he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism."

Although she was found guilty of the offence last Wednesday, she was said to be not guilty of the more serious offence of possessing articles for terrorist purposes.

In her defence, Malik said: "This does not mean I wanted to convert my words into actions. This is a meaningless poem and that is all it ever was. To partake in something and to write about something are two different things."

Deputy President of writers' group, English PEN, Lisa Appignanesi, said: "A prison sentence for Samina Malik would have a chilling effect on every British citizen's right to express themselves fully and freely.

"This in turn would have a knock-on effect for citizens of other countries, whose governments look to the UK for leadership on such issues.

"To make a felon of a girl dreaming and writing behind a bookshop counter would have Byron and Shelley turning in their graves."

Director of the libertarian group, Jonathan Heawood, added: "Her worst crimes are against prosody and a fitting response would be to send her on a creative writing workshop."

As well as the extremist poems, police also found in Malik's house documents on a computer relating to terrorism, including: the al-Qaeda Manual, the Terrorists Handbook, the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook, a manual for a Dragunov Sniper Rifle, the Firearms and RPG handbook, and a document called "How to win hand to hand fighting".

Defending her in court, John Burton said Malik's offences showed "a significant degree of immaturity" and she had behaved more like a rebellious teenager than a young woman in her 20s.

Although she faced up to 10 years in jail, she was given a suspended sentence, meaning she does not need to serve time in prison unless found guilty of another offence.

Assistant Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, welcomed the judge's decision.

He said: "If the police believed that Samina may have constituted a threat to society then they could surely have placed her under surveillance and waited until they had uncovered some actual terror-related activity as opposed to just downloading stuff from the internet.

"Instead, given the wide-ranging powers they now enjoy under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 they were able to prosecute Samina for a thought crime." Read more!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Friendly Reminder

The United States' embargo against Cuba has been in place for 46 years. After the Soviet Union's fall in '89-'92, The United Nations has ANNUALLY condemned the embargo. It stands only now as the means by which Cuba is made an example of economic collapse for any vulnerable nation that actively stands against U.S. foreign policy and oligarchical capitalism.

In the U.N.'s World Food Program, it costs 19 cents to feed a child for a day.

Nineteen cents.

20,000 children die of hunger every day. 20 will have died by the time you're done reading this.

One minute of war in Iraq would feed 2,000,000 children for a day.
One day of war in Iraq would feed 8,000,000 children for a year.

There are an estimated 800 million hungry human beings in the world. Three to four months of war in Iraq would feed them all.



(The following are the views and opinions of this author and not necessarily those of others associated with this blog...though I do hope so)

Let's count the number of wars that the United States has engaged itself in in the last half-century. How many people--LIVES! THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS. THEY SMILE AND CRY LIKE YOU. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LIVES. THEIR OWN LIVES!--how many of them could the wealthiest and most prosperous nation in history have fed, clothed, sheltered, and educated? And why in God's name would that nation want to do that in the first place?...

...MAYBE BECAUSE A LIFE IS ETERNALLY HOLY, BEAUTIFUL, PRECIOUS, AND FRAGILE...
...AND MAYBE BECAUSE WE ALL SHARE THE SAME RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE ANOTHER,
we are, after all, our brothers' keepers, are we not? The oligarchy that controls this nation politically, economically, and militarily claim it to be so through their professed beliefs in Judeo-Christian theology. Wolves in sheep's clothing. This nation claims vague ideals of 'democracy,' 'freedom,' and 'JUSTICE' only for the benefit of wealthy families and multinational corporations who have been protected by a military-industrial complex since the end of World War II; and that military-industrial complex is protected and ensured by a voting population of apathetic and feebleminded consumers, forced into fear by their government, with attention-spans long enough to hate this or that candidate or this or that policy based soley on unfounded and ethically and socially illogical premises propagated by this same oligarchical elite. It's not about dominating one group of people or another, it's about a few groups of people grabbing as much money as they can from the dead bodies of their own brothers and sisters. And granted, there are people who do their part to help through complex and simple means alike, but it sickens me to think that all the people, myself included, who recognize this and have yet to leave or take themselves off of the grid are tacitly complying with this hatred and greed. But how in the name of Peace is anyone going to solve anything by leaving??? Look at us, Ulysses between a rock and a hard place.


Jesus must be gouging his eyes out on his crown of thorns.

End Post. Read more!

Something Shiny Amidst The Muck and Mire?

I've heard more good than bad about Edwards.
But that is just me...


Behind the Edwards Surge: Right Message at the Right Time
By John Nichols
The Nation

Wednesday 26 December 2007

Much was made of Illinois Senator Barack Obama's superb speech to a huge crowd of Iowa Democrats at the mid-November Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Des Moines. Without a doubt, it helped to propel Obama ahead of New York Senator Hillary Clinton in polls conducted in the weeks after the event.

But Obama's speech in November may not turn out to be the definitional statement of the fight for Iowa.

What could turn out to be the most critical comment of the campaign came from John Edwards in the last debate between the Democratic contenders - and the former senator from North Carolina may well claim the caucus-night victory that is the reward for delivering the right message at the right time.

It wasn't a great rhetorical flourish. It wasn't even a new statement. Rather, it was a particularly pointed and effective restatement of the core anti-corporate message of his campaign.
But it came precisely when Iowa Democrats were getting serious about the caucuses. And it gave Edwards the boost he needed to get back in the competition - and, he is, very much in the competition now.

Please!


No serious observer of the December 13 debate in Des Moines doubted that the standout performance, and the standout message, was that of Edwards.

Indeed, undecided voters assembled in focus groups that watched the debate for the major television networks rated Edwards off the charts. That's going to help the 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president as the Iowa caucuses approach. Despite the intense focus on the campaigns of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, most polls suggest that Edwards is very much in the running in Iowa. And rightly so.

To a far greater extent than Obama or Clinton, Edwards has struck at the heart of issues that should matter most in the race to replace not just George W. Bush, but the Bush agenda of corporate giveaways, job-crushing free trade deals, war profiteering in Iraq, and subprime mortgage profiteering in Indiana, Idaho, Illinois and, yes, Iowa.

Edwards summed up his increasingly aggressive and powerful anti-corporate themes with a declaration: "What makes America America is at stake: jobs, the middle class, health care, preserving the environment in the world for future generations.

"But all those things are at risk. And why are they at risk? Because of corporate power and corporate greed in Washington, D.C. And we have to take them on. You can't make a deal with them. You can't hope that they're going to go away. You have to actually be willing to fight. And I want every caucus-goer to know I've been fighting these people and winning my entire life. And if we do this together, rise up together, we can actually make absolutely certain, starting here in Iowa, that we make this country better than we left it."

But the former senator's most effective statement at the Des Moines Register debate on Thursday was one that reflected his deep level of engagement with working people in the upper Midwest, an engagement born of long months spent in Iowa and neighboring states - at a time when Clinton and Obama were spending considerably more time fighting over who had better relations with the media moguls on Hollywood's A-list and in the suites of Manhattan's mortgage manipulators.

Edwards got to know workers in Iowa. He stood with them in their struggles.

Turning a broad question about human rights toward the specific issue of trade policy, the former senator said that human rights, human needs and human values "should be central to our trade policy."

"But," he added, "if you look at what's happened with American trade policy, look at what America got: Big corporations made a lot of money, are continuing to make a lot of money in China. But what did America get in return? We got millions of dangerous Chinese toys. We lost millions of jobs.

"And right here in Iowa, the Maytag plant in Newton closed. A guy named Doug Bishop, who I got to know very well, had worked in that plant, and his family had worked in that plant literally for generations. And his job is now gone. The same thing, by the way, happened in the plant that my father worked in when I was growing up. It is so important that we stop allowing these corporate powers and corporate profits to run America's policy, whether it's trade policy, how we engage with China. This is not good for America. It's not good for American jobs. And it's not good for working people in this country."

That's an issue Edwards has taken far, far more seriously than his opponents in what is now a three-way race in Iowa. And that seriousness has benefitted the former senator.

Remembering the workers who have been battered by the failed trade policies of the Clinton and Bush administrations matters. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both supporters of recent trade agreements, have never connected on the same level. Edwards, who once had a shaky record on these issues but has come to be a passionate proponent of fair trade, comes across as the candidate who gets it. That's why he won the debate in Des Moines. That's why every serious survey that has been conducted in recent days shows him within striking distance of the Iowa win that once was assumed to be Clinton's for the taking and that was then supposed to be Obama's.

No one who is watching the rapid evolution of this race is any longer counting Edwards out in Iowa - or in the rest of a yet-to-be-defined race for the Democratic nomination.
Read more!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blood Pressure Elevation

All I really wanted for Christmas was for O'Reilly to be banished from planet Earth. But a new camera will do.

Read more!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

200th Post!

"Something of the sort has already been described for the self-actualizing person. Everything now comes of its own accord, pouring out, without will, effortlessly, purposelessly. He acts now totally and without deficiency, not homeostatically or need-reductively, not to avoid pain or displeasure or death, not for the sake of a goal further on in the future, not for any end other than itself. His behavior and experience becomes per se, and self-validating, end-behavior and end-experience, rather than means-behavior or means-experience. At this level, I have called the person godlike because most gods have been considered to have no needs or wants, no deficiencies, nothing lacking, to be gratified in all things. The characteristics and especially actions of the “highest,” “best” gods have then been deduced as based upon not-wanting."
--Abraham H. Maslow
"Toward a Psychology of Being", 3rd Edition, Page 121 Read more!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chomsky's Pill

Read more!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's Always E=mc^2/sqrt(1 - v2/c2) In Philadelphia

The liberty bell crack, self-titled cheese steaks, the statue of Rocky Balboa, now this....

The Philadelphia Experiment



We should have known Philadelphia was hiding something.
Read more!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Power of Nightmares



Watch the rest of this series at http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares Read more!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bush Says Iran Still a Danger Despite Report on Weapons


By STEVEN LEE MYERS and HELENE COOPER
New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 — President Bush warned today that Iran remained a threat despite an intelligence assessment that it had halted a covert program to develop nuclear weapons four years ago, as the administration struggled to salvage a diplomatic process now in disarray.

Once again facing criticism over the handling — and meaning — of intelligence reports, Mr. Bush said the new assessment underscored the need to intensify international efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

He said Iran could not be entrusted with acquiring even the scientific knowledge to enrich uranium for peaceful civilian use, explicitly declaring for the first time what has been an underlying premise of the Bush administration’s policy. He also appeared to rule out any new diplomatic initiative with the current president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous, if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon,” Mr. Bush said, sounding defensive at times, during a news conference dominated by questions about the assessment, known as a National Intelligence Estimate. “What’s to say they couldn’t start another covert nuclear weapons program?”

The assessment reversed one in 2005 that asserted that Iran was “determined to develop nuclear weapons,” with American intelligence agencies now saying that they do not know whether Iran intends to take that step.

Mr. Bush said that the reversal was based on “a great discovery” by American intelligence agencies, but neither he nor other officials would elaborate. Current and former American and foreign officials said the new findings were based on intercepted communications and accounts provided by individuals with access to information about Iran’s nuclear program.

Representative Jane Harman, a Democrat of California, said that she read the classified version of the report today and described the intelligence agencies’ work “a sea change” from the 2005 assessment in the quality of its analysis and presentation of facts. Asked about the basis for the new findings, she said: “I think we have some better sourcing. That’s all I can say.”

Mr. Bush’s remarks did little to silence critics, who have accused him of hyping the case for confronting Iran. Nor did it ease they concerns of some allies. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican, said he was perplexed by the new assessment and suspicious of the new evidence. “We should all look under the hood of these intelligence reports,” he said.

Mr. Bush and his senior aides spent the day trying to hold together the already-fragile coalition of world powers seeking to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Mr. Bush telephoned President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who has voiced skepticism about an aggressive American effort to punish and isolate Iran.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also telephoned her counterparts from the five other countries that have been pursuing United Nations sanctions against Iran to urge that they continue work on a new round of increasingly tighter sanctions.

“This report is not an ‘O.K., everybody needs to relax and quit’ report,” Mr. Bush said. “This is a report that says what has happened in the past could be repeated and that the policies used to cause the regime to halt are effective policies. And let’s keep them up. Let’s continue to work together.”

There were already signs that this effort had been complicated by the new report. R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, held a conference call this morning with his counterparts from the five countries — France, Germany, China, Britain and Russia.

One European diplomat described the conference call as “listless.”

“We’re all flabbergasted,” the diplomat said of the report generally. “You get such a surprise, and then you sit together and consider how to move forward. To be on safe ground, we decided to keep moving forward” with the effort to press for further sanctions.

A senior Bush administration official said the intelligence assessment on Iran was a setback in the effort to persuade China to endorse a new round of sanctions at the United Nations Security Council. While there had been indications over the weekend that the Chinese might drop their opposition to such a move, it appeared today that they were reconsidering again, the official said.

The new intelligence assessment, the official said, “gives the Chinese an opportunity to get off the hook.”

Mr. Bush opened himself to new criticism over his credibility when he said that the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, alerted him about new intelligence about Iran’s weapons program in August but did not explain what it was in detail.

As recently as October, Mr. Bush continued to warn darkly of Iran’s nuclear weapons threat, invoking World War III, despite the new information. He responded to a question about that today by saying he had received the final assessment, with its drastically altered findings, only last week.

“That’s not believable,” said Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a candidate for president. “I refuse to believe that. If that’s true, he has the most incompetent staff in American, modern American history and he’s one of the most incompetent presidents in modern American history.”

While many officials, lawmakers and diplomats focused on the halting of Iran’s weapons program, Mr. Bush emphasized the report’s finding that “a growing amount of intelligence indicates Iran was engaged in covert uranium conversion and uranium enrichment activity” from the late 1980’s until the freezing of that effort in 2003. Mr. Bush’s senior aides describe that as the first evidence of what many officials had only suspected.

“And so I view this report as a warning signal that they had the program,” Mr. Bush said. “They halted the program. And the reason why it’s a warning signal is that they could restart it.”

Critics, though, blamed the Bush administration’s hard line and harsh language for compounding Iran’s determination and undermining diplomatic efforts. They called on the administration to make a more concerted diplomatic effort to persuade Iran’s government to abide by its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Their actions have been totally self-defeating,” Mr. Biden said of the Bush administration. “Every time they rattle the saber, what happens is the security premium for oil goes up. It raises the price of oil. It puts more money in the pocket of Ahmadinejad and the very people we think are the bad guys.”

Mr. Bush maintained that the administration had made offers to Iran as part of the European Union’s diplomatic efforts as long ago as 2003, including promising American support for membership in the World Trade Organization and an easing of sanctions to allow the sale of spare airplane parts.

“What changed was the change of leadership in Iran,” he said, referring to the elections in Iran in 2005. “We had a diplomatic track going, and Ahmadinejad came along and took a different tone. And the Iranian people must understand that the tone and actions of their government are that which is isolating them.

Flynt Leverett, a Middle East expert at the New America Foundation who once served on the National Security Council under Mr. Bush, said the president had consistently ruled out any real entreaty to Iran that could resolve the international deadlock over its nuclear ambitions.

“The really uncomfortable part for the administration, aside from the embarrassment, is the policy implication,” Mr. Leverett said of the new intelligence assessment. “The dirty secret is the administration has never put on the table an offer to negotiate with Iran the issues that would really matter: their own security, the legitimacy of the Islamic republic and Iran’s place in the regional order.” Read more!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Promises

Promises- The Film

PROMISES follows the journey of one of the filmmakers, Israeli-American B.Z. Goldberg. B.Z. travels to a Palestinian refugee camp and to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and to the more familiar neighborhoods of Jerusalem where he meets seven Palestinian and Israeli children.

Though the children live only 20 minutes apart, they exist in completely separate worlds; the physical, historical and emotional obstacles between them run deep.

PROMISES explores the nature of these boundaries and tells the story of a few children who dared to cross the lines to meet their neighbors. Rather than focusing on political events, the seven children featured in PROMISES offer a refreshing, human and sometimes humorous portrait of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Check it out!
http://www.promisesproject.org/# Read more!

Revolutionary Showdown in Bolivia

Yesterday -- Nov. 24, 2007-- the representatives
of Evo Morales' MAS party in the Constituent
Assembly finally broke with the oligarchy and
approved, with a simple majority vote, a new
draft Constitution for Bolivia.
See article: http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKN2434404320071125

Revolutionary Mobilizations Shake Bolivia Yet Again

By Eric Blanc

In response to a deepening right-wing offensive against the unity of Bolivia and the government of Evo Morales, new mass revolutionary mobilizations are shaking the entire country.

In the second week of January 2007, workers and peasants from the Cochabamba department of central Bolivia poured into the streets to demand the resignation of the governor, Manfred Reyes Villa, for supporting the reactionary "autonomies" promoted by the U.S. Embassy and the oligarchy of the oil-rich Santa Cruz region.

Despite the fact that 64% of Cochabamba voted against the reactionary "autonomies" in the national referendum in July 2006, the governor declared his support for "the independence of Santa Cruz" and a new autonomic referendum.

Tensions on this question have been escalating for months. Beginning on January 8, tens of thousands of coca growers, indigenous peasants, students, and workers from the countryside and city occupied the department's capital, in response to the call of the Departmental Workers Federation (COD). On January 11, a right-wing fascist youth group - made up of racist upper-class white students linked to the oligarchy and Governor Reyes Villa - broke through the police lines and brutally attacked the peaceful demonstrators with baseball bats and lead pipes.

Street fighting ensued, leaving hundreds of protestors wounded and two dead. The repression only radicalized the demonstrators. On Jan. 16, a popular assembly (cabildo) of over 30,000 peasants, workers, and youth denounced Reyes Villa for attacking the unity of the nation. The assembly refused to recognize the authority of the departmental government and proceeded to set up a "Departmental Revolutionary Committee," made up of 21 popular and labor organizations to act as the sole legitimate government in the region. Reyes Villa fled to Santa Cruz.

With Cochabamba as an example, the workers' and their organizations (particularly, the COR and the FEJUVE) in the cities of El Alto and La Paz in Western Bolivia took to the streets to demand the resignation of their right-wing governor who supports the autonomies, Pepelucho Paredes. Declaring a "war to death" in defense of the unity of the country, the demonstrators gave Paredes 48 hours to resign - or be forced out.

It was at this point that the national government of Evo Morales stepped in to put water on the fire by proposing a future referendum to decide whether Villa Reyes should stay or go. Vice President Alvaro Garcia declared: "Legitimate protests must be legally channeled. The government respects the legally existing authorities. ... We will give the governor police and military protection to return to Cochabamba."

For the time being the government's intervention has demobilized the protestors - but none of the underlying conflicts have been resolved.

In the year since Evo Morales took power, he has taken various important anti-imperialist steps forward, most important nationalization of oil decree, the call for a vote against autonomies in the national referendum, the refounding of the state mining company, and steps toward land reform. These actions, taken under pressure from the organized and mobilized workers and peasants, have been an inspiration for the whole continent.

Unfortunately, the Evo government has also ceded on various occasions to the intense pressure of the right wing and imperialism. For example, recently Evo declared that he supported regional autonomies and the members of Congress of his party, the MAS, caved in on Jan. 24 to the right wing by approving the proposal for making the (still paralyzed) Constituent Assembly based on a 2/3 majority principle.

In today's explosive context, the key is the independent mobilization of the masses and their organizations. For its part, La Chispa (The Spark) has directly participated in all these struggles, around the following political axis:

"The Bolivian people do not want autonomies. They want bread, land, and jobs. To win this, the labor, indigenous, and popular sectors must build an anti-imperialist united front with the government of Evo Morales! Nothing is more urgent in the current situation! The struggle against the pillage and division promoted by imperialism through the oligarchies unites us all. To defeat the right-wing, it is necessary to continue and deepen the structural changes. It is time to mobilize!" Read more!

N O W = forever

"The outer purpose belongs to the horizontal dimension of space and time; the inner purpose concerns a deepening of your Being in the vertical dimension of the timeless Now." --Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now : A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Page: 88 Read more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"...a circle whose center is everywhere and its circumference nowhere..."

"Circles"
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world. St. Augustine described the nature of God as a circle whose center was everywhere and its circumference nowhere. We are all our lifetime reading the copious sense of this first of forms... There are no fixtures in nature. The universe is fluid and volatile. Permanence is but a word of degrees. Our globe seen by God is a transparent law, not a mass of facts. The law dissolves the fact and holds it fluid... Our moods do not believe in each other. To-day I am full of thoughts and can write what I please. I see no reason why I should not have the same thought, the same power of expression, to-morrow. What I write, whilst I write it, seems the most natural thing in the world; but yesterday I saw a dreary vacuity in this direction in which now I see so much; and a month hence, I doubt not, I shall wonder who he was that wrote so many continuous pages. Alas for this infirm faith, this will not strenuous, this vast ebb of a vast flow! I am God in nature; I am a weed by the wall. Read more!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We the People of the United States

in order to form a more perfect union, demand: Read more!

Improve Your Vocab and Feed Someone

Read more!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cheney is Sadistic... surprise surprise

Dick Cheney's Sadistic Passion for Shooting Tame Animals
By Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet. Posted November 14, 2007.
Dick Cheney just spent a day shooting up pen-raised birds. Some hunters liken the sport -- killing tame animals that offer no resistance -- to having sex with a blow-up doll.

While most people are lamenting the violence in Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan and Iraq, apparently it's not enough bloodshed for Vice President Dick Cheney.

Last month in a caravan of 15 sport utility vehicles and an ambulance -- no jokes, please -- Cheney made his way to Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club, about 70 miles north of New York City, near Poughkeepsie, for a day of controlled bloodletting.


Cheney landed at Stewart Air Force Base and took off the following day for the upscale gun club at a cost of $32,000 for local law enforcement officials who guarded his hotel, protected his motorcade and diverted school buses.

Unlike Cheney's 2003 trip to Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, Pa., in which he killed 70 pheasants and an undisclosed number of ducks (his hunting party killed 417 pheasants), staff at the Clove Valley Rod & Gun Club remained tight-lipped about the take.

An employee who answered the phone would not disclose which species was being shot -- ads say pheasants, ducks and Hungarian partridges -- and kept repeating "I don't know anything about it" before hanging up. Like Cheney's last visit to Clove Valley in 2001, the 4,000-acre club, which costs $150,000 a year to join, was a fortress with Blackwater-style snipers "protecting" the vice president's right to shoot tame birds.

But a New York Daily News photographer did snap a picture of a small Confederate flag hanging inside a garage on the hunt club property, which prompted civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton to demand that Cheney "leave immediately, denounce the club and apologize for going to a club that represents lynching, hate and murder to black people."

Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell said neither Cheney nor anyone on his staff saw such a flag at the hunt club. (Maybe the flag was on the women's side of Clove Valley; only men are allowed in the clubhouse.)

Of course the nation is still amused about Cheney's 2006 hunting mishap in which he shot 78-year-old attorney Harry Whittington in the face in Texas instead of a quail -- and everyone from Letterman to President Bush jokes about it.

But canned hunting isn't funny.

Birds raised for canned hunts at gun clubs and in state "recreational" areas are grown in packed pens -- think factory farmed chickens -- and fitted with goggles so they won't peck each other to death from the crowding.

When released for put and take hunters like Cheney, pen raised birds can barely walk or fly -- or see, thanks to the goggles. They don't know how to forage or hide in the wild and sometimes have to be kicked to "fly" enough to be shot.

Some hunters say shooting the pellet-ready tame animals, which offer no resistance, is like having sex with a blow-up doll.

But others say hunting itself is like sex with a blow up doll and that the 10 percent decline in hunters seen in the United States since the late '90s -- from 14 million to about 12.5 million -- coincides exactly with the debut of impotence drugs like Viagra.

Still for the veep to pursue his addiction to the "programmed massacre of scores of tame, pen-raised birds" despite all the "negative publicity it has generated for him" suggests a deep psychological disorder, writes Gerald Schiller in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Especially since criminologists have long recognized that premeditated, sadistic treatment of animals is a strong predictor of criminal and homicidal violence.

Sociopaths Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Speck were both big on animal cruelty. And they weren't running foreign policy..


Ree Mo! Read more!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Tip of the Duesberg

So I started my research into alternatives to the HIV/AIDS theory and am finding some alarming articles...

This one explains the primary methods used to diagnose AIDS in Africa are dysfunctional because they follow a system of symptom recognition rather than legitimate testing (too expensive). By doing so, thousands of people are diagnosed with AIDS when in fact they don't have HIV but merely have Tuberculosis or some other curable ailment. This 'false death sentence' plagues morality, ruins energy for the future, and instills a fear of seeing doctors. Not to mention the possibility of 'psychological death', where simply thinking you are going to die will kill you.

The focus on AIDS diverts much needed assistance for malaria medicines, tuberculosis medicines and the like. It also diverts attention from the fact that a majority of the 'AIDS' patients live impoverished in war torn countries and are often starving.
In 1992 Uganda's total budget for malaria treatment and control was less than $57,000 yet foreign funding for AIDS was over $6 million dollars.
People need healthy food, clean water, and basic medicine.
You can't cover this problem up with condoms and toxic treatment.

The conspiracy theorist within wishes to note that this problem conveniently coincides with the US gov's declared intention of population control in these regions (as cited in the article)

This article details four patients who became very ill, were diagnosed with AIDS/HIV, and then healed themselves holistically after refusing to take AZT and the likes (one guy underwent a treatment where doctors withdrew his blood, heated it to over 100 degrees F, and put it back inside him to effectively kill the viruses)
I understand it's only four cases, but if anything it is remarkable testament to the power of nutrition and positive attitude.

These articles are only leaves on the tree

Put it on Pause Read more!

Dave Chappelle in London

recently at The Corks Wine Bar...

Read more!

Friday, November 2, 2007

In a nutshell

Exerpt taken from Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Frederick Engels.

III. Proletarian Revolution

Solution of the contradictions. The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialised character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialised production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the state dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organisation, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master - free.

To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the new oppressed proletarian class full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism.
Read more!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In The Event That Everything Should Go Wrong...

...take a weekend getaway with your favorite survivor to Svalbard's doomsday vault.



The end of the world could be the beginning for you.



Read more!

Any Government, Other Than Self, Bleeds Oppression

"Tear gas used at Venezuela rally"

Venezuelan troops have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of students in the capital, Caracas.

The students are demonstrating against constitutional reforms proposed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

One of the reforms would abolish term limits for the presidency, thus allowing President Chavez to stand for re-election indefinitely.

The students want a December referendum on the reforms to be postponed, to give voters more time to study the plans.

Leaders of the protest have been granted a meeting with Tibisay Lucena, the president of the National Electoral Council to discuss their demands.

The protest follows a similar demonstration on 24 October, in which at least five demonstrators suffered minor injuries after riot police acted to disperse the crowds.

Bypassing legal controls

In addition to abolishing presidential term limits, President Chavez is also proposing to bypass legal controls on the executive during a state of emergency, bring in a maximum six-hour working day, cut the voting age from 18 to 16, and increase presidential control over the central bank.

The Venezuelan congress - dominated by Chavez supporters - recently voted through the reform package.

If the reforms are approved in the December referendum, then they will become law.





Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/7074204.stm

Published: 2007/11/01 22:20:58 GMT

© BBC MMVII Read more!

Picture of the Day


`Bloodied' anti-war protester gets in face of `criminal' Rice

Oct 25, 2007 04:30 AM

WASHINGTON–An anti-war protester waved blood-coloured hands in U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's face at a congressional hearing yesterday and shouted "war criminal!" before being pushed away and detained by police.

"The blood of millions of Iraqis is on your hands!" yelled protester Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz of the Code Pink organization.

Rice, an architect of U.S. President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, appeared unfazed by the incident, which occurred when she entered a House of Representatives meeting room to testify at a hearing on U.S. Middle East policy.

"Out!" shouted the chairman of the foreign relations committee, Representative Tom Lantos, as security men and police hustled the woman away. The California Democrat also ordered the removal of several other Code Pink activists.

Capitol police said later five people were arrested, including Ali-Fairooz, who was charged with disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer.

Meanwhile, two Code Pink activists who were denied entry into Canada because their arrests for protesting the Iraq war landed them on an FBI-run database say they will try again to enter the country today.

The activists and their supporters presented petitions Tuesday at Canadian consulates in several U.S. cities, demanding Canada reverse what they say is a policy that keeps foes of the Iraq war from visiting.

Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army colonel and diplomat, was turned back at the border along with fellow Code Pink member Medea Benjamin on Oct. 3. She said they plan to fly to Ottawa today in the hopes of attending a public forum organized by NDP MP Alexa McDonough. Read more!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Real ID in NY

Real ID That Spitzer Now Embraces Has Been Widely Criticized

By FERNANDA SANTOS
Published: October 29, 2007

Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s plan to provide three kinds of driver’s licenses, two that would meet new federal security regulations and a third that would be available to illegal immigrants, has put New York on pace to be among the first states to adopt the federal identification program known as Real ID.

Mr. Spitzer seemed to be ignoring the federal mandate several weeks ago when he announced that illegal immigrants would be allowed to get the same type of license as other state residents.

The proposal set off intense criticism — a Siena College poll of 620 registered voters found that 72 percent opposed it — even as Mr. Spitzer made clear that he would consider creating a class of driver’s licenses in the future to abide by federal regulations.



Mr. Spitzer’s new position, announced on Saturday in Washington, places New York among a handful of states agreeing to implement a federal identification system that has faced intense opposition from civil libertarians, immigration advocates and many lawmakers. Concerns focus on privacy protection and the costs to states that implement the Real ID program.

The program is supposed to be phased in nationally by 2013, but Mr. Spitzer wants to put his plan in place next year.

“The costs involved in this program are by no means insignificant,” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian policy group in Washington.

The Department of Homeland Security puts the price of the program nationally at $23 billion over 10 years, while the National Governors Association estimates that the cost to states will exceed $11 billion in the first five years alone. Still, Congress appropriated just $40 million for start-up costs in 2006, leaving the burden of paying for most of the costs largely to the states.

“There’s going to be an irreducible expense that falls on you, and that’s part of the shared responsibility,” the secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, said in August at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Real ID law, which Congress passed two years ago, sets national standards for state-issued documents like driver’s licenses and other identification cards, requiring applicants to prove citizenship or legal residency to obtain them. One of the goals of the legislation was to make identification documents harder to forge.

Under the program, an estimated 245 million drivers will have to renew their licenses in person and present a form of photo identification and documents proving date of birth, Social Security number and address.

Proponents of the act say that it responds to recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and that its stricter and standardized rules could keep terrorists and illegal immigrants from obtaining legitimate identification.

But 17 states have passed laws defying the mandate, while others are considering similar measures.

One criticism that has been raised is that the personal information will be entered in databases that will be shared by every state, raising questions about how the data will be secured and how safe its storage will be.

“That’s an identity thief’s dream,” said Christopher Calabrese, counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s technology and liberty program.

Mr. Calabrese said that Mr. Spitzer’s proposal to create a driver’s license that would appeal largely to undocumented immigrants presents “a much more dangerous condition” for them.

“What we’re going to have,” he said, “is a list of undocumented aliens, and there’s no way New York will be able to keep the federal government’s hands off this list and protect the people whose names are on the list.

“Spitzer may have had the best of intentions at first,” Mr. Calabrese continued, “but he buckled to political pressure and it seems now that his good intentions have backfired.”

Mr. Spitzer’s new plan would also create an even more secure type of license, which would be particularly useful for New Yorkers who frequently cross into Canada.


For more information on why Real ID is BAD BAD BAD! click aqui and aqui. Read more!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Appropriate

"So if loss of what gives happiness causes you distress when it fades, you can now understand that such happiness is worthless. It is said, those who lose themselves in their desire for things also lose their innate nature by being vulgar."
Chuang Chou, a.k.a. Chuang Tzu, Chuang Tse Chuang : Chinese philosopher, major thinker in Taoism Chuang Tzu (c.360 BC - c. 275 BC)


The fires hurt. But people still have their minds and lives. Which means they have no less potential than they did before. Read more!

What is Compassion?

This morning while getting ready for work my mom was watching the spanish news. Not unlike any other news channels they are mostly covering the fire crisis in California. They go into a story about a family of 6 illegal immigrants, previously living in San Diego, whose home burnt down and then they were deported. I'm rummaging trying to find a non-bias story to show you all what I'm talking about but I could only find this one. Not unbiased but at least it's a source to confirm that I'm not making shit up. Also, know that some of these deportees are children. Of course no one else but the spanish channel will tell you that and show you their faces and earnestness.

Read the comments. I am not mad at these people. I'm just disappointed.

I just left the following input:

"The lower I go in these comments the more depressed I get for a vast majority of you people. Obviously there is no value in human life or the fact that people are people just like you. What would you care about more, a family of natural Americans being found burnt alive or a family of illegal immigrants being burnt alive? The question alone is stupid because the answer is an obvious one. Not to me. Question why they're illegal and go into the history of this nation. Mexico was stolen. Actually this entire country was stolen if you want to talk about people not belonging. Of course it's not about these people being burnt alive. It's about you all believing that they were looting. Check your sources and the motives of those sources. Check what happened during Katrina. How quickly we forget. How convenient that you never knew or cared to find out. The way this society works has infiltrated your minds with ethnocentrism. "Get out of America!". One world, people. ONE. WORLD. America's sovereignty is going to cease after NAFTA and the North American Union come into play. Hopefully then you will realize that just because you were born on this side of that man-made fence, doesn't make you more of a human being than any other person with air in their lungs and a goal to survive. You'd think and I'd hope disasters like this would put things in perspective for the population (the way 9/11 did) and reaffirm the truth of the common goal of humankind. News like this reminds people like me not to lose sight of that, but people like you dig right into terms like "illegal" and start getting rushes from knowing your brother or sister is losing an entire livelihood, regardless of where they had no choice but to be born. Don't believe that they were looting unless you know the situation personally and have heard or seen them yourself, after all, these people are more afraid of you than you are of them. Illegals looting American items actually means human beings doing what they can to survive. Goodbye ethnocentric majority. Good luck."


Sigh. Read more!

Tolstoy

"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source....
In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you."

Leo Tolstoy Read more!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Poverty of the Working Populations

An excerpt from the Inaugural Address of the Working Men's International Association given by Karl Marx in 1864.

In all countries of Europe it has now become a truth demonstrable to every unprejudiced mind, and only decided by those, whose interest it is to hedge other people in a fool's paradise, that no improvement of machinery, no appliance of science to production, no contrivances of communication, no new colonies, no emigration, no opening of markets, no free trade, nor all these things put together, will do away with the miseries of the industrious masses; but that, on the present false base, every fresh development of the productive powers of labour must tend to deepen social contrasts and point social antagonisms.


I found this to be one of the most beautiful sentences written by Marx.

End. Read more!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Lady Outside of Bengladesh



There’s an old lady living in a village right outside of Bangladesh
I was told her gentle hands were the ones that made my purse
(For which the five dollars I was paying had been part of a fair trade.)

If I could one day share a meal with her and over food exchange our stories
I would ask her countless questions of her life within such world.

How do you spend your waking hours?
What are your thoughts during the day?
What do you think of those outside your village or of the one who sold your purse?

What makes you suffer?
What makes you happy?
Who do you love?
Who do you dismay?
I have so many questions for the one who made my purse

I come from a faraway village where we have traded labor for machines
Where the craft has been replaced by assembly lines to satisfy the market needs

I wish I could meet the lady who must compete with factories
Do you struggle day to day?
Do you live your life in peace?
Do you care that everyday I flaunt your labor on my shoulder?

I want to know her feelings
Her thoughts and her concerns
Ask her what she dreams of
And if her reality is far from them

There’s an old lady living in a village right outside of Bangladesh
I was told her gentle hands were the ones that made my purse
(But are the pieces of paper she received part of a just and fair exchange?)
Read more!

Fox News Gets Reefer Madness Over So-Called Killer Marijuana

From LiberViewer:
In the tradition of the 1936 anti-drug film "Reefer Madness," the Fox News story I caught airing on July 13 contained misinformation, a lot of scare words, and no independent fact checking of the claims of government agents.

Read more!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Modal Ontological Argument for the Existence of God

Some definitions:

A necessary being is a being which must exist, a being which cannot not-exist. It would exist and be exactly the same as it is in any possible world. It woulld exist and would be exactly as it is, in this world, no matter how history had happened to work out.

An absolute God (the traditional G-d of Christianity, Judaism and Islam) is by definition a perfect being: omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, eternal, immutable, and necessary.

A contingent being is a non-necessary being, a being which can not-exist. It is a being which may happen to exist, and to have certain characeristics, but which might not have existed, or which might have been different that it is, if history had worked out a little differently.

The Argument.

1. An absolute god by definition is a necessary being.

2. By definition, if a necessary being is possible, then it must exist.

3. A necessary being is possible (i.e., the concept of a necessary being involves no contradiction or category mistake).

4. But if a necessary being were merely possible and did not in fact exist, then the necessary being would not be necessary; and this is a contraditction, and therefore impossible.

5. Since the non-existence of a necessary being is logically impossible, a necessary being must exist.

6. Therefore, an absolute G-d must exist.

This idea also holds firm the notion that an objective morality exists.

End. Read more!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dalai Lama Receives Congressional Gold Medal




WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 — Over furious objections from China, Congress bestowed its highest civilian honor today on the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader whom Beijing considers a troublesome voice of separatism.


Dressed in flowing robes of burgundy and orange, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, beamed and bowed as President Bush and members of Congress gave him a standing ovation upon his arrival at the Capitol where he came to receive the Congressional Gold Medal. Lawmakers praised him as a hero of the Tibetan struggle. Mr. Bush called him “a man of sincerity and peace.”

But the Dalai Lama also said that he felt “a sense of regret” over the sharp tensions with China unleashed by his visit and the honors conferred upon him.

In gentle language and conciliatory tones, he congratulated China on its dynamic economic growth, recognized its rising role on the world stage, but he also gently urged it to embrace “transparency, the rule of law and freedom of information.”

The 72-year-old spiritual leader, reading at times with difficulty from the English translation of a speech written in Tibetan, made clear that “I’m not seeking independence” from China, a division that Beijing ardently opposes.

Nor, he said, would he use any future agreement with China “as a steppingstone for Tibet’s independence.”

What he wanted, the Dalai Lama said, was “meaningful autonomy for Tibet.”

After speeches by the president and the top leaders of each party as well as by the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, another Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Congressional Gold Medal winner, the Dalai Lama accepted the medal, drawing a standing ovation from a crowd that included such Tibet sympathizers as the film director Martin Scorsese and the actor Richard Gere.

But earlier in Beijing, Chinese officials had offered sharp new criticism. The top Chinese religious affairs official condemned as a “farce” the American plans to honor the Dalai Lama.

“The protagonist of this farce is the Dalai Lama,” said Ye Xiaowen, director general of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, Reuters reported. Other officials have warned that the award ceremony could have a “serious impact” on American-Chinese relations.

But Mr. Bush, when asked about the political fallout from Beijing during a news conference earlier today, appeared unconcerned.

“I don’t think it ever damages relations when an American president talks about, you know — religious tolerance and religious freedom is good for a nation. I do this every time I meet with him,” he said.

The two men have met three times before. But in the face of the Chinese broadsides, their encounter on Tuesday was as low-key as possible in the circumstances, with the meeting in the White House residence, not the Oval Office, and with no cameras present. White House officials insisted that the meeting was that of a president and a spiritual, not a political, leader.

Mr. Bush reminded reporters that he had informed President Hu Jintao of China, when they met recently in Sydney, that he would be meeting with the Dalai Lama. Later, in his remarks under the Capitol Rotunda, the president urged the Chinese to do the same.

“They will find this good man to be a man of peace and reconciliation,” he said.

In apparent protest over the award for the Dalai Lama, China pulled out of a meeting this month at which world powers were to discuss Iran. It also canceled an annual human rights dialogue with Germany, displeased by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting last month with the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Among the several lawmakers who spoke today, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, took sharp aim at the Chinese Communist government. She spoke of Tibetans who “continue to suffer under the iron grip of Beijing’s rulers,” and said the Tibetans know “that truth and justice will prevail over evil and repression.”

Representative Tom Lantos, the California Democrat is who chairman of the committee, denied Chinese charges that the Dalai Lama is a separatist. And he issued a challenge to China: “Let this man of peace visit Beijing.”

The president’s 30-minute meeting with the Dalai Lama on Tuesday had been cloaked in secrecy.

“We in no way want to stir the pot and make China feel that we are poking a stick in their eye,” Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, told reporters. “We understand the Chinese have very strong feelings about this.”

White House spokesmen said the two men discussed the situations in Tibet and in Myanmar, formerly Burma, where that nation’s government, which has close economic ties with China, has cracked down recently on pro-democracy protesters. The United States has urged China to press the Burmese military government to ease off.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since the Chinese Army crushed an uprising in his homeland in 1959. Tibetan Buddhists revere him as their spiritual leader.

He has been pressing, without success, to go to China to advocate for greater cultural and religious freedoms for his followers. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Read more!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Free Palestine

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land

[Please watch all 73 minutes. It is very much worth your time. These are things you need to know. Be forewarned that some, many, scenes in this movie may shred your insides.]





Also, I will be going to a screening of Occupation 101 on this topic tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th in Irvine. I do hope to see a good turnout and that some of you can make it. For details on the screening click HERE, for details on the movie itself click HERE. Read more!

Big Brother is R E A L

Orwell in 2007
By Robert Weiner and John Larmett
The Oregonian
Sunday 07 October 2007

In "1984," the novel that most baby boomers read in high school, George Orwell creates a theoretical modern-day government with absolute power - a state in which government, called the Party, monitors and controls every aspect of human life to the extent that even having a disloyal thought is against the law.

On Sept. 26, a federal judge in Eugene ruled that crucial parts of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional because they allow federal surveillance and searches of American citizens without demonstrating probable cause. U.S. District Judge Ann L. Aiken said the federal government would "amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning."


Ruling in favor of an Oregon lawyer who challenged the act after he was mistakenly linked to the 2004 train bombings in Madrid, Spain, Aiken stated: "A shift to a nation based on extra-constitutional authority is prohibited, as well as ill advised."

Earlier in September, another federal judge, this one in New York, ordered the FBI to stop obtaining e-mail and telephone data without first securing a warrant. The secrecy provisions are "the legislative equivalent of breaking and entering, with an ominous free pass to the hijacking of constitutional values," U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero wrote.

In "1984," the Party barrages citizens with psychological stimuli designed to overwhelm the mind. The giant telescreen in every room monitors behavior. People are continuously reminded of government's surveillance, especially by omnipresent signs reading, "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU." Individuals are encouraged to spy on each other, even children on their parents, and report any instance of disloyalty to the Party - i.e., government.

"1984" is happening in 2007.

Signs along interstate highways urge citizens, "Report Suspicious Behavior." Cameras mounted at strategic locations monitor our everyday movement (just as in the novel). Red, orange and yellow are no longer just bright, pretty colors: They now represent levels of national security alerts. Intelligence agencies now define "chatter" as "terrorist speak."

The Party in "1984" uses psychological manipulation to make citizens "doublethink" - hold two contradictory ideas contrary to common sense.

Back to 2007: The Patriot Act by its very name defies individuals to disagree with it, for to do so would be "unpatriotic."

The Patriot Act was passed hastily in October 2001, under a cloak of fear in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Some of the fundamental changes to American's traditional legal rights include:

Establishing a huge surveillance system on millions with no court approval, without probable cause.

Holding citizens indefinitely without access to the courts or counsel.

Monitoring library withdrawals and Internet communications.

Taping attorney-client communications.

Creating a national system for citizens to monitor and report on each other, regardless of reason, including paranoia or ethnic bias.

Developing a massive computer system to monitor every purchase.

Creating a national identification card.

The new federal court rulings are a step forward against threats to our freedom - as were other recent court rulings against the Bush administration's contention that the Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture were "obsolete" and "trite" and against our secret holding of prisoners abroad without due process.

9-11 was real, as the recent videos by Osama bin Laden confirm now more than six years after he attacked us. However, that fact does not allow playing on our fears and increasing our paranoia about our personal safety. Sen. Joseph McCarthy tried that with Communism in the 1950s. The administration has tried to condition the American people, just as Pavlov did with his dogs.

Congress is now revisiting the legality of the Patriot Act, warrantless surveillance programs, torture of prisoners in secret prisons and barring detainees from counsel and knowing the charges against them. By law, in the next few months, Congress must renew, change or end the Patriot Act and surveillance programs.

This week, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) introduced legislation, passed by his committee and sent to the full House, guaranteeing that the courts oversee wiretaps and that the phone companies cannot just do what some federal investigator tells them and are held accountable for violations of civil liberties. The bill also requires independent audits by the DOJ Inspector General. These provisions continue effective monitoring of potential terrorists. As Conyers, a lifetime champion of individual rights, stated in introducing the bill, "It is possible to protect civil liberties and fight terrorism at the same time."

Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has similar concerns, but both Conyers and Leahy must confront the different priorities of both bodies' Intelligence Committees. In addition, the Senate legislation does not penalize the phone companies for past abuses. The issues will be decided on the floor of both the House and Senate and in conference.

Congress must act quickly or the courts should permanently strike down presidential fear-based abuses. Americans' trust of the federal government is now lower than during Watergate, according to a Gallup poll released Sept. 26.

Al-Qaeda hates Americans of all creeds and races and will do whatever it can to destroy us and our way of life. James Madison warned, "If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." With the mightiest military and strongest technology on Earth, democracy can stand up to terrorism without becoming the mirror of our enemies.
Read more!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Saturday, October 13, 2007

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

October 13, 2007
Gore Shares Peace Prize for Climate Change Work
By WALTER GIBBS and SARAH LYALL
New York Times

OSLO, Oct. 12 — Former Vice President Al Gore, who emerged from his loss in the muddled 2000 presidential election to devote himself to his passion as an environmental crusader, was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of scientists.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Good Ol' Hank

"If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs. And maybe your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance. Of how much you really want to do it. And you'll do it, despite rejection in the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods. And the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is . . ." —Henry Chinaski


This quote is from the last book I read in full called Women by Charles Bukowski. (Highly recommended.)It's been a very Bukowski day for me minus the whiskey and beer and chauvinism. Cheers to you, Hank.

I also recommend the nearly 3-hour documentary I watched on him today called "Born Into This". The following is a clip from said documentary.

Read more!

South Park Meets Alan Watts

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses.
Not to mention Alan Watts always suggests a simpler and more sensible kind of world view. Ahh.. Enjoy.

"Music and Life"


"Prickles and Goo"


Gooey Prickles & Prickly Goos...
makes me happy.


no mas! Read more!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Que?!?

I don't if this is true. I don't have time to verify this.

Here's the site I found it on.

“There over 800 prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are all empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) should Martial Law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached. Ask yourself if you really want to be on Ashcroft’s list. The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. Rex 84 allowed many military bases to be closed down and to be turned into prisons.

“Don’t think it can’t happen here!" – FEMA Concentration Camps: Locations and Executive Orders – Friends of Liberty (undated) 3sep04

“Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations.

The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation.

“The camps all have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities. Many also have an airport nearby.The majority of the camps can house a population of 20,000 prisoners.

Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive mental health facility and can hold approximately 2 million people.

End Post. Read more!

First Step in Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

Armenia's president has welcomed a vote by US lawmakers backing the description of the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks after 1915 as genocide.

Robert Kocharian told reporters he hoped the vote would lead to "full [US] recognition... of the genocide".

Earlier Turkish President Abdullah Gul denounced the vote. Turkey has always denied any genocide took place.

The White House has also been critical, expressing fears Turkey could stop co-operating in the "war on terror".


The non-binding vote, passed by 27 to 21 votes by members of the congressional House Foreign Affairs Committee, is the first step towards holding a vote in the House of Representatives.



Divisions within the committee crossed party lines with eight Democrats voting against the measure and eight Republicans voting for it.

President Bush had argued against a vote in favour of the bill, saying "its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in Nato and in the global war on terror".

Turkey is a regional operational hub for the US military, and some suggest access to Incirlik airbase, or other supply lines crucial to US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, could be cut in response.

The row has also erupted as US fears grow of a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq to neutralise Kurdish separatist guerrillas there, who continue to cross the border to ambush Turkish troops, reports the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus.

Talks appeal

Speaking after talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, Mr Kocharian praised the committee vote.



"We hope that this process will lead to the full recognition by the United States of America of the fact of the Armenian genocide," he said.

Mr Kocharian also appealed to Turkey to join Armenia in talks to restore bilateral relations, reported the news agency Associated Press.

Wednesday's vote was received angrily by President Gul, who made a statement late in the evening accusing US politicians of "sacrific[ing] big problems for small domestic political games".

"This unacceptable decision of the committee, like similar ones in the past, is not regarded by the Turkish people as valid or of any value," Mr Gul said, according to the Anatolia news agency.

'Sobering'

Correspondents say the committee's vote means that only a change of heart by the opposition Democrats, who control Congress, can now stop a full vote on the bill.

Tom Lantos, the committee's chairman, had opened the debate by admitting the resolution posed a "sobering" choice.

"We have to weigh the desire to express our solidarity with the Armenian people... against the risk that it could cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently paying," he said.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to take up its version of the resolution in the future.

Iraq vote

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has meanwhile confirmed that the Turkish parliament could discuss a motion as soon as Thursday that would authorise incursions into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish PKK separatists.

The move comes after an escalation in attacks by the PKK killed almost 30 soldiers and civilians in just over a week.

The government is under immense pressure though to act, but Washington has warned Ankara against any unilateral moves that would destabilise Iraq even further.

After the Armenian vote in Congress, correspondents say, Turkey will be far less inclined to heed instructions from the US on anything.
Read more!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Doctor's Save Man With Vodka Drip

Australian doctors have kept an Italian tourist alive by feeding him vodka through a drip for three days, medical staff in Queensland say.

The 24-year-old man, who had swallowed a poison in an apparent suicide attempt, was treated while in a coma.

Doctors set up the drip after running out of medicinal alcohol, used as an antidote to the poison.

Medical staff said the patient had made a full recovery, and the hangover had worn off by the time he woke up.

He had been taken to hospital in the northern Queensland town of Mackay after swallowing ethylene glycol - a poison contained in anti-freeze.

"The patient was drip-fed about three standard drinks an hour for three days in the intensive care unit," Dr Todd Fraser said in a statement.

"Fortunately for him he was in a medically induced coma for a good portion of that. By the time he woke up I think his hangover would have well and truly gone."

He spent 20 days in hospital before being discharged.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7037443.stm

Published: 2007/10/10 11:24:06 GMT

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Taking Out the Pawns

The House Passes The War Profiteering Prevention Act !!!!!!!

This bill makes war profiteering a federal felony. This bill strengthens the tools available to federal law enforcement to combat contracting fraud during wartime. Specifically, the bill makes war profiteering - overcharging in order to defraud or profit excessively from war, military action, or reconstruction efforts - a felony, subject to up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million or twice the illegal profits of the crime. The bill also confers jurisdiction to U.S. federal courts to hear such cases.

War profiteering and reconstruction fraud by U.S. companies has become a significant problem in the Iraq War - with billions unaccounted for. The United States has devoted more than $50 billion to U.S . contractors for relief and reconstruction activities in Iraq alone, with billions of these dollars unaccounted for. For example, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction outlined in a report that the former Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq could not account for nearly $8.8 billion.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction has more than 70 investigations open. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction currently has more than 70 open and active investigations regarding contracting fraud and abuse related to the Iraq war. These investigations include, among other things, investigations of illegal kickbacks, bid-rigging, embezzlement, and fraudulent over-billing. However, given the large number of investigations, there have been relatively few prosecutions for reconstruction fraud. This highlights the need for this legislation - giving federal law enforcement additional tools for prosecuting wartime contracting fraud.

Despite the number of investigations, there have been few prosecutions - highlighting the need for this bill. The lack of prosecutions underscores the inadequacies of current law. There is currently no federal statute specifically targeted at prohibiting contracting fraud during times of war, military action, or relief or reconstruction activities. Moreover, no federal law provides enhanced criminal punishment for fraudulent acts during times of war, or relief or reconstruction activities. In addition, none of the current fraud statutes explicitly extend extraterritorial jurisdiction.

According to the Defense Contract Audit Agency, there have been more than $10 billion in suspect billings in Iraqi contracts. In February, the head of the Defense Contract Audit Agency testified before Congress that the agency estimated that there have been more than $10 billion in questioned and unsupported costs relating to Iraq reconstruction and troop support contracts since the war began in 2003.

Of the $10 billion in suspect billings, the Defense Contract Audit Agency has identified $2.7 billion from one contractor alone - Halliburton. The largest private contractor operating in Iraq is Halliburton. Through its KBR subsidiary, Halliburton has held three large contracts in Iraq. The Defense Contract Audit Agency has identified $2.7 billion in suspect billings in these three contracts. Specifically, under Halliburton's largest Iraq contract, providing support services for the troops, Pentagon auditors have found $2.4 billion in questioned and unsupported costs - including $1.9 billion in questioned costs and $450 million in unsupported costs. Former Halliburton employees testified that the company charged $45 for cases of soda, billed $100 to clean 15-pound bags of laundry, and insisted on housing its staff at a five-star hotel in Kuwait. Halliburton procurement officials described the company's informal motto in Iraq as "Don't worry about price. It's cost-plus." Furthermore, a Halliburton manager was indicted for "major fraud against the United States" for allegedly billing more than $5.5 million for work that should have cost only $685,000 in exchange for a $1 million kickback from a Kuwaiti subcontractor.

The Custer Battles case in 2006, in which a verdict against a U.S. contractor for contract fraud in Iraq was overturned, also highlights the need for this bill. In the famous Custer Battles case, one contractor in Iraq was found guilty of 37 counts of fraud, including false billing, and was ordered to pay more than $10 million in damages. A federal judge subsequently overturned the decision on a technicality that the contracts were let through the Coalition Provisional Authority, which the court held not to be part of the United States government. This legislation addresses such gaps in existing law - including clarifying that the Coalition Provisional Authority is part of the U.S. government.

So we should all be happy with what has been accomplished. But this is no time to rest on our laurels. The fight to take our government back from the toe-tappers, Abramoff's tee-time partners and various "Dukesters" is ongoing.


Hmm.. I wonder how Dick Cheney's buddies at KBR must feel now that their greedy gods have decided to pull back one of the teets they've been so advertently nursing on..

This is really great news. Hallelujah for hope!


PLEASE DO READ MORE! Ah Said-- Read more!

Emerson on Success

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one's self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - This is to have succeeded."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have an exceptionally blessed and conscious day, readers.

Do Not! Read more!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Brits Like to Use Allitteration

"Fasting fakir flummoxes physicians"
By Rajeev Khanna
BBC correspondent in Ahmedabad





Doctors and experts are baffled by an Indian hermit who claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for several decades - but is still in perfect health.

Prahlad Jani, a holy man, or fakir, who is over 70 years old, has just spent 10 days under constant observation in Sterling Hospital, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.

During that time, he did not consume anything and "neither did he pass urine or stool", according to the hospital's deputy superintendent, Dr Dinesh Desai.

Yet he is in fine mental and physical fettle, say doctors.

Most people can live without food for several weeks, with the body drawing on its fat and protein stores. But the average human can survive for only three to four days without water.

Followers of Indian holy men and ascetics have often ascribed extraordinary powers to them, but such powers are seldom subject to scientific inspection.

Mouthwash

"A series of tests conducted on him show his body mechanism is that of a normal person," said Dr Desai.

Mr Jani spends most of his time in a cave near the Ambaji temple in Gujarat state.

"He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this"
-- Bhiku Prajapati, Mr Jani's devotee

He spent his 10 days in hospital in a specially prepared room, with a sealed-off toilet and constant video surveillance.

To help the doctors verify his claims, Mr Jani agreed to avoid bathing for his time in hospital.

The only fluid he was allowed was a small amount of water, to use as mouthwash.

One hundred millilitres of water were given to him, and then collected and measured in a beaker when he spat it out, to make sure none had been drunk.

Thank goddess

A statement from Ahmedabad's Association of Physicians says that despite no water entering his body, urine nonetheless appeared to form in his bladder - only to be re-absorbed by the bladder walls.

At the end of his confinement, doctors noted no deterioration in his condition, other than a slight drop in his weight.

"I feel no need for food and water," says Mr Jani, who claims he was blessed by a goddess at the age of eight and has lived in caves ever since.

He grew up in Charod village in Mehsana district and wears the dress of a devotee of the goddess Ambaji - a red sari-like garment, nose ring, bangles and crimson flowers in the hair.

He also wears the vermilion "tika" mark on his forehead, more often seen on married Hindu women.

His followers call him "mataji" or goddess.

More tests

He says he has survived several decades without food or water because of a hole in his palate.

Drops of water filter through this hole, he says, sustaining him.

"He has never fallen ill and can continue to live like this," said Bhiku Prajapati, one of Mr Jani's many followers.

"A hole in the palate is an abnormal phenomenon," says Dr Desai.

His colleague, Dr Urman Dhruv, told the BBC a full medical report is being prepared on Mr Jani's 10 days under observation.

Doctors say they cannot verify his claim to have not eaten or drunk for decades - but by observing his feat under laboratory conditions, they hope to learn more about the human body.

It is likely that doctors will want to examine Mr Jani again in order to solve the medical mystery he has presented them with.

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