Saturday, February 02, 2002
Bush's Pre-War Record
Guerrilla News Net
"If you get your news from mainstream outlets, it's easy to come to the conclusion that our current Administration has done little other than fight a so-called War on Terror. In fact, before the attacks, Georgie and his boys were busy passing laws, cutting funds, pulling out of treaties and placing old cronies in key posts throughout the government. The following list looks back at the Administration's accomplishments prior to 9-11. Whether you agree with them or not, you need to know what your government is doing in your name...
World Class Rant from b!X
Asses Of Evil
i do this just to keep from cryin'...
the brain that currently resides in la casa blanca
we are in some deep shit with these characters, aren't we?
Also in the Guardian: Frustrated EU governments are starting to speak out more bluntly about the violence in the Middle East - and America's failure to intervene
Guardian analysis of why Bush included Iran in his "axis of evil"
...there will be factional conflicts among this elite, and a degree of free debate will be permitted; but no one outside the privileged circle will be allowed to govern or influence state policy. Dissidents will be marginalized -- usually by "the people" themselves. Deprived of historical knowledge by an impoverished educational system designed to produce complacent consumers, not thoughtful citizens, and left ignorant of current events by a media devoted solely to profit, many will internalize the force-fed values of the ruling elite, and act accordingly. There will be little need for overt methods of control.
The rulers will often act in secret; for reasons of "national security," the people will not be permitted to know what goes on in their name. Actions once unthinkable will be accepted as routine: government by executive fiat, the murder of "enemies" selected by the leader, undeclared war, torture, mass detentions without charge, the looting of the national treasury, the creation of huge new "security structures" targeted at the populace. In time, this will seem "normal," as the chill of autumn feels
[ more] via Moscow Times.
There have been a lot of misplaced tears in the Affair Enron. The employees were shafted, no doubt about it. But the shareholders?
I didn't hear any of them moan when Enron stock shot up through the roof when the company, joined by a half dozen other power pirates, manipulated, monopolised and muscled the California electricity market a year ago.
All together, Enron and half a dozen others skinned purchasers for more than $12bn in excess charges. That's the calculation of Calfornia's utility watchdog as presented to federal regulators in a damning petition for refunds.
Enron: Not the Only Bad Apple
Friday, February 01, 2002
that cheeky limey Hitchens...
weighs in on the shenanigans surrounding a certain energy company
and we know that many of the other harbingers here are quite aware of this already so the following is for those of you visitors here who are not,
presenting the Texas Tornado, S. Baum, the wizard behind Ethel the Blog
he's back in the saddle again
and one other thing, before this ol'silverback forgets...
Tony P reminds us of a few things
Enron and the American Indian: "It is about values – about positive, community-building values. It is about whether major corporations and institutions in today's society will develop and sustain covenants that safeguard their peoples.
A good question: would Indians do it differently? Better yet: Are we doing it differently?" [more ]
ANGERED BY SNUBBING, LIBYA, CHINA,
SYRIA FORM AXIS OF JUST AS EVIL
Axis of Evil members, however, immediately dismissed the new axis as having, for starters, a really dumb name. "Right. They are Just as Evil... in their dreams!" declared North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. "Everybody knows we're the best evils... best at being evil... we're the best."
With the criteria suddenly expanded and all the desirable clubs filling up, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and Rwanda applied to be called the Axis of Countries That Aren't the Worst But Certainly Won't Be Asked to Host the Olympics; Canada, Mexico, and Australia formed the Axis of Nations That Are Actually Quite Nice But Secretly Have Nasty Thoughts About America, while Spain, Scotland, and New Zealand established the Axis of Countries That Be Allowed to Ask Sheep to Wear Lipstick.
Among the many defects of President Bush's order for military commissions to try suspected al-Qaeda members or supporters is that it lumps together at least four categories of persons who have distinct sets of rights under either domestic or international law. The four categories of persons subject to trial by military commissions under the President's order are: (1) prisoners of war captured in Afghanistan; (2) unlawful combatants arrested in Afghanistan or elsewhere in the world outside the United States; (3) illegal aliens in the United States or aliens who came to the United States legally —as with student or visitor visas—but with the alleged purpose of engaging in terrorism; and (4) legal aliens with permanent resident status who are accused of engaging in terrorist acts.
As written, the order violates, in different ways, the rights of all four categories; it recalls Clemenceau's famous comment about the Dreyfus case that "military justice is to justice as military music is to music."
Military Tribunals On Trial A carefull reasoned piece which concludes that the U.S. under the Bush administration is not likely to do away with the military tribunals but offers some suggestions that would make them less onerous to the world.
Thursday, January 31, 2002
Main Entry: sa.miz.dat
Etymology: Russian, from sam- self- + izdatel'stvo publishing house
: a system in the U.S.S.R. and countries within its orbit by which government-suppressed literature was clandestinely printed and distributed; also : such literature
Definition courtesy Merriam-Webster
When Your Zine is Against the Law,
That's Underground Media
"After Stalin's demise, with the rise of the relatively more liberal Kruschev regime, writers became bolder, producing several typewritten magazines which were copied by hand and passed among groups of trusted friends. It was during this period that an unknown Moscow poet coined samizdat to describe his collections of bound, typewritten poems. Short for "Samsebyaizdat", which means "a publishing house for oneself," samizdat quickly caught on."
Higgy gives the downlow on samizdat.
Stop Bush before he makes Nixon look good:
"At least our 37th president specialized in committing outright political crimes, which by their very clandestine nature were necessarily limited in scope. George W., on the other hand, traffics in legal political vice, which, given the rightward turn in this country since the late 1970s, can be practiced on a widespread scale openly and even boastfully. And legal or not, "vice" is the only way to describe the wholesale political indecency pushed by this White House. Behind virtually every move--whether on the budget, an economic stimulus package, the environment, defense spending, you name it--lies the fundamental motive of padding the pockets of its own socioeconomic class. To hell with others and to hell with the future. There either ain't no tomorrow, or if it does come, at least those at the top won't be burdened by today's consequences.
"It's the militarization of Mayberry"America's War On You
An excerpt from the forthcoming book Snitch Culture by Jim Redden.
First, excessive militarism. Second, defined internal and external enemies. Third, a "special" mission. Fourth, engagement in permanent warfare. And fifth, an ideology which places the welfare of the State ahead of the welfare of the individual. In addition, many Fascists governments have been closely aligned with conservative religions.
Good William Greider analysis of the Enron scandal. Greider argues that the real lesson here should be "the failure of market orthodoxy itself":
The various cops-and-robbers investigations now under way will provide the story line for coming months, but the heart of the matter lies deeper than individual venality. In this era of deregulation and laissez-faire ideology, the essential premise has been that market forces discipline and punish the errant players more effectively than government does. To produce greater efficiency and innovation, government was told to back off, and it largely has. "Transparency" became the exalted buzzword. The market discipline would be exercised by investors acting on honest information supplied by the banks and brokerages holding their money, "independent" corporate directors and outside auditors, and regular disclosure reports required by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies. The Enron story makes a sick joke of all these safeguards.
Detroit Metro Times editor explains why his paper is suing the Justice Department to demand that Rabih Haddad's deportation hearings be open to the public, press and family members.
Steve Bell cartoon on Bush's State of the Union address
Wed 29th I had posted the piece discussing the FBI raid at the home site for Raise The Fist, a radical site. Since then, Metafilter, 1/31, has posted the same URL and the following discussion offers this explanation as to the raid:Raid by FBI at Raise the Fist
From WillPitt.com, The Ashcroft Opposition List
Good to see that Steve Baum is back to his inimitable yarn-spinning at Ethel the Blog again. His Jan. 25 short piece about some new options in peer-to-peer music distribution is intriguing, especially because I've (finally) arranged for a broadband 'net connection instead of the 56K dialup that's sustained me for so many years (I was an early adopter of the US Robotics Dual Standard modem, back when there were dual standards, and one of the first to upgrade to .v90). By the way, Baum is one of the luminaries who should have been invited to contribute to American Samizdat, IMHO. Dr Menlo??
One in Ten: Adrian Scott and the Hollywood Ten. "...Two days before Halloween in 1947, Adrian Scott was summoned to appear in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities to answer questions about Communist influence on the motion picture industry. His testimony - or rather, lack thereof - resulted in contempt of court, a year-long prison term, and over sixteen years of blacklisting."
Choking on the Enron Pretzel. a/k/a Clueless in Guantanamo: Wideranging rant from Al Martin takes on all the usual suspects -- Enron ("what's the difference between Enron and an offshore Republican slush fund?"), the pretzel-choking incident, the Cuba detainees, the 'war'. This particularly caught my eye because I've been marvelling at the lack of commentary about the number of fatal equipment failures in Afghanistan:
Another US helicopter has crashed in Afghanistan, a CH-53E Super Stallion, the biggest single-rotor helicopter. Two servicemen were killed and five were wounded. It's interesting to note our material losses in this Afghani campaign now equal the losses of the campaign in Iraq, which were actual combat losses. This latest loss is again being blamed on "mechanical failure due to faulty spares parts and poor maintenance." It's the same reason for all previous crashes of both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft in Afghanistan. It's a pretty sad commentary on the preparedness of US armed forces.The answer, by the way, of course is that there is no difference between Enron and an offshore Republican slush fund...
While the well-known radical voices of the Znet group--Zinn, Chomsky, Said--continue to berate the Israelis and Americans about the horrors of Israelis in the West Bank occupation, seldom or never do these same articulate spokesmen for freedom mention the Syrian 35 thousand military force that has been occupying Lebanon for yearsSyrian occupation of Lebanon This occupation seldom is mentioned in America political circles either :Syrian occupation of Lebanon issue raised in Congress and America's present policy toward occupation of LebanonIn fact, an important Arab lobby group supports this occupying force: American Arab Group Supports Occupation of Lebanon by Syria even though many Lebanese themselves, individually, attempt to be heard: Lebanese complaint about Syrian occupation andan appeal for help against the occupying force
Of course one could dismiss the occupation by suggesting that since there is no revolt or not much is heard of this situation then it must not be of any significance. How much complaint was heard about the takeover of Germany by the Nazis once they were in control? Or, now, and more locally, look what is beginning to happen to dissent in America.
Enron scandal knows no bounds?
Dr. Cube discloses stake in oil company.
Wednesday, January 30, 2002
Internal Memo (top secret)
re: this site
Hey not sure of the best way to reach you all so I thought I'd post here... we have potential for a good thing here, a lot of interesting people whose sites I enjoy with a new, second place to post and perhaps elaborate on what they already do, or do something completely different. Whatever works, I guess. Very Dr. Menlo. Thanks for doing it Doc! Great idea! My only suggestion would be to make the site's design a rotating thing (every month, maybe?). It would be fun to see what the other people could come up with, and keep things fresh. Not sure if we should post memos like this here in the future, or if those levels of metas are best left unsolved, really. Maybe an email list? Anyway good to see you and keep up the great work, and again big shout out to Doc Menlo. Peace.
a bunch of linky goodness
inspired by this item re Sabastiao Salgado:
info link from BAM+PFA
from NYT Specials, Terra: Brazil's Landless Movement
from PDN/KodakPro, Legends On-line: Sebastiao Salgado
Time Magazine: Outcast: Displaced People of the World
Masters of Photography: Sebastiao Salgado
and no doubt much more only a google search away...
and now for something completely different...
What does republican toady Ashcroft have in common with the evil S- buck empire?
stumpy delko knows!
he be talkin' bout some other jp
Though it is by now clear that Enron has given significantly more money to help the GOP than it has the Democrats, nonetheless there are many people of both parties and many members of the pundidtry and media who have been perhaps softened up by the financial handouts, and to focus upon the Bush Mafiosa is to move the spotlight away from the true culprit: Campaign finance reform and putting back those regulation taken away and adding even tougher ones to make the system work. Enron and Our Putrid Campaign Finance System
This piece addresses campaign finance reform. Clearly tougher controls need to be in place and those in power not allowed to soften or to remove them, as has been done.
And Kenneth wept
President Bush in the Garden of Gethsemane
It's kind of sad when you think about it. Here you were -- the most popular president ever! -- the recipient of so much good will from your fellow Americans after September 11, and then you had to go and blow it. You just couldn't stay away from your old cowpoke friend from Texas, Kenneth Lay. (...)
whoops, almos' forgot...
we get used to this blogger thing eventually...
Mark Woods is no slouch either, when it comes to
providing plenty of yummy linky goodness...
current events troublin' ya binky?
they ought to.
C. Jensen provides us with plenty of food for thought
Sublime Stitching. Outsider embroidery by Jenny Hart of Austin, Texas.
FBI raids home in L.A. and closes down website of politically activist RAISE THE FIST with no statements issued to press and no arrests made. Records, computers, servers seized.
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
"The music of a well-ordered age is calm and cheerful, and so is its government. The music of a restive age is excited and fierce, and its government is perverted."
The End of Self-Righteous Conservatives
"EVEN WORSE FOR the ideologues, the Enron scandal makes it clear that the unfettered free market does not work, because human beings are flawed and will act according to their basest instincts if they think they won't get caught.
If regulation were really unnecessary, then laws against, say, speeding would also be unnecessary, because people would realize that the accident rate and the fatality rate increase with speed, and they would behave in their own self-interest and drive a steady 55 or slower when conditions so dictate.
Also, Enron makes that whole Ayn Rand "Fountainhead" thing look a little silly, too. Who is John Galt? Ken Lay."
I love Jon Carroll.
Arguing the pacifist line in an age of war.
"W.H. Auden wrote that you can't tell people what to do; you can only tell them stories. This doesn't stop people from trying, nor does it stop people from asking—particularly in ethics classes, particularly in times of crisis...."
"Where pacifism is a minority position suspected of aiding and abetting the 'enemy,' 'pacifism' is often read as 'passivism.' But pacifism is not passive. Pacifists are often cantankerous, sometimes confrontational, and frequently argumentative—particularly in times of war. Pacifists may be off radar in times of relative peace, but war fever makes us visible. This is a reminder (conveyed most powerfully in life stories of people like Dorothy Day or Mahatma Gandhi) that not all struggle is violent. Violence is never the right choice, but struggle often is."
A worthwhile read, indeed.
Please Let Me Go Home!
Detainee Tony Oulai, a Christian from the Ivory Coast, was arrested on Sept. 14th after police found flying manuals (he is a pilot) and a stun-gun in his bag. He has been detained for more than four months now, and just recently was interviewed by the FBI. Besides being inhumane, isn't it just bad police-work to not question these men immediately? Furthermore, for all the untold number of people locked up, there has been only one charge laid --and that man was already in prison. According to the latest Harper's Index, the Justice Department last gave a number as to how many people are being detained on November 2. The conventional media is seemingly not interested in the potentially thousands of innocent people being held without charge in our nation's many detention centers...
More than 60 Israeli army reservists, half of them officers and all of them combat veterans, have publicly refused to continue serving in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on the grounds that Israel's occupation forces there are abusing and humiliating Palestinians. "We will no longer fight beyond the Green Line for the purpose of occupying, deporting, destroying, blockading, killing, starving and humiliating an entire people," declared a petition signed by the reservists and published in Israel's best-selling daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. The Green Line refers to the border between Israel and the West Bank.
Account of the Nigerian munitions dump explosion that killed 600 people, from Nigerian paper This Day.
For God's sake, do not kill us! We surrender!Before dawn in Afghanistan last Thursday, US Green Berets launched a surprise attack on their unarmed allies, storming a disarmament depot with indiscriminate fire, then rounding up survivors only to tie their hands behind their backs with plastic bands and execute them. This according to that America-hating, propaganda-strewn leftist rag, The New York Times. God bless America.
Fear of a Latin Planet: 'An African American's advice to our soon-to-be largest minority group.' AlterNet
Is it a coincidence that the three most essential tools we have in restoring democracy and ending the corruption--a Congress that is REPRESENTATIVE OF ALL PEOPLE, an ELECTED president, and a FREE press--have been stolen from U.S. citizens, one by one, in this last decade? Oil, "free trade," Enron, The Bushes, Carlyle Group, the right-wing--all discussed in this series from Baltimore Chronicle, via Democrats.Com
Monday, January 28, 2002
My first Bush link here at American Samizdat... George W. Bush and His Family Paper Dolls.
In other words, the usual pap- Washington Post's William Arkin provides a Year in Review on D. Rumsfeld
Globalisation: the argument of our time
David Held and Paul Hirst
In the run-up to the rival summits of Davos & Porto Alegre, openDemocracy publishes daily instalments of their compelling exchange.
Dalai Lama Admitted to Hospital (To be treated for a lump in his stomach)
I feel the Dalai Lama's days are wearing thin. Partly because, when my boyfriend saw him a year or two ago, he said he didn't feel he had much time left. note: I want to look into the status of the Panchen Lama.
Sunday, January 27, 2002
The Coup: "Let's make health-care centers on every block/Let's give everybody homes and a garden plot/Let's give all the schools books/Ten kids a class/And give 'em truth for their pencils and pads."
World Economic Forum Comes to NYC
The World Economic Forum, usually held in Davos, Switzerland, is moving to NYC this year in order to show solidarity with the city after Septemeber 11th. With them will be anti-Capitalist and anti-Globalization protestors, who some are subtlely (or not-so-subtlely) linking to the terrorists who slaughtered thousands. The New York TImes reports that Anarchy has an image problem, while the Post reports that the NYPD Will be In High Gear.
No POW Status for Guantanamo Bay Detainees
More word games by the administration to avoid following any rules that would require it to treat human beings by even the most basic international standards of treatment. First, the military tribunal idea, now refusing to call the Taliban fighters and accused al-Qaeda members POWs so we don't have to follow the Geneva Convention (which provides for such things as respecting basic human dignity). Now, as Molly Ivins says, either this is a war (which we are repeatedly told it is), or it isn't. If the administration insists on using the very legal term "war," it has to follow the rules associated with it. If we're having a war, and we've taken these people prisoners, they should be considered prisoners of war.
And this is the party which slammed Clinton for splitting legal and syntactical hairs by questioning the definition of "is"? At least there was no human life at stake.
Critical look back at the Symbionese Liberation Army in LA Weekly: "In its arrogance and egotism, the SLA mistook itself for its own, inflated rhetoric. Their very look was cadged from the mainstream media’s disfigured portrait of a young revolutionary — beret, bandolier, beard."
Life on Ashcroft's Enemies List: Good alt-weekly article about several Arab and/or Muslim immigrants imprisoned after September 11 on little or no evidence. In contrast to the mostly abstract debates about terrorism and civil rights, this piece offers detailed accounts of what these mass arrests, interrogations and detainments have entailed. (This article is a month old, but I don't recall seeing it circulate in blogland, and of course it's still topical.)
Machine-Mind's Eye? WordsEye -- "a Natural Language Understanding system that converts English text into three-dimensional scenes that represent that text. WordsEye works by performing syntactic and semantic analysis on the input text, producing a description of the arrangement of objects in a scene." [via synthetic zero]
Here you will find a version of events that took place on Sept. 1 that may at first seem just another conspiracy story. Recall this: When a lady Congresswoman (Dem) asked the govt to release the plane's black box recording, she was told that the recording would be too emotionally disturbing and therefore the govt would not release it. More disturbing than what many had heard from the cell phone calls made public by families of the victims? This is, I believe, the first time that a black box recording has not been made public. And further, I heard the vice president's wife remark during a TV interview dealing with the stress her husband and all Americans were under that "we can not afford to have another plane shot down." Not her exact words though in quotes but a fair representation of what I heard her say. Soon after Sept 11 it became standard operating procedure, announced to the public, to shoot down any plane hijacked if they could not get it to land. Was flight 93 shot down by an American jet?
See, too:Accuracy in Media and Federal investigators said on Thursday that they have not ruled out the possibility that United Airlines Flight 93 was shot down over Pennsylvania, after three other hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
See also: Buzzflash: three-mile Island terrorists's target? and Evidence indicates Flight 93 shot down by U.S. fighter (via Idaho Observer), and UPDATE UPI report excerpt: "The employee also told the newspaper that FAA air traffic controllers in Nashua learned through discussions with other controllers that an F-16 fighter stayed in hot pursuit of another hijacked commercial airliner until it crashed in Pennsylvania."
MUST READ: Wall Street, the CIA and 9-11
Michael Ruppert, October 17, 2001
Although uniformly ignored by the mainstream U.S. media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the case of at least one of these trades -- which has left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed -- the firm used to place the “put options” on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency. Until 1997 A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown. A.B. Brown was acquired by Banker’s Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker’s Trust-AB Brown, one of 20 major U.S. banks named by Senator Carl Levin this year as being connected to money laundering. Krongard’s last position at Banker’s Trust (BT) was to oversee “private client relations.” In this capacity he had direct hands-on relations with some of the wealthiest people in the world in a kind of specialized banking operation that has been identified by the U.S. Senate and other investigators as being closely connected to the laundering of drug money.
Register as a Patriot Now!
"As part of the Bush Administration's ongoing efforts to obliterate all traces of terrorism in the United States, the Department of Justice has commenced registration* of each and every American Patriot. By registering all non-terrorists within our borders, it is our intention to make use of the process of elimination to identify the evil ones who walk among us. If you are a non-terrorist (American Patriot), your participation is required. Please register below.
Fairvue Central >> Features >> Second Annual Weblog Awards: time to vote... The Samizdat, alas, isn't on the ballot yet...
Art to the People. Prints, cartoons, and posters by Walter Crane, Albert Hahn, Frans Masereel, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, and Gerd Arntz. "...They depicted daily life, social problems and the struggle for a better society. Their best work is as valid today as when it was created, from the 1880s to the 1930s. For some artists, political involvement, aiming at comprehensibility and the use of cheap printing techniques are no restraints but stimuli."
"Don't we run drug tests on interns?" -- Bill Gates
Virus Responsible for Gates Security
Memo: 'An embarrassed Bill Gates admitted today that a memo outlining Microsoft's new focus
on security called Trustworthy Computing was sent out in error when an idealistic intern sent him
the fanciful, pie in the sky report in a virus infected e-mail."I forgot to patch my Outlook Express
and it went out to my entire address book," said Gates. "You would think that if anything were to
get us to focus on security in our software that it would be a gaffe like this. To ensure security in
all our software, however, would mean dropping half of our product lines and I have a fiscal
responsibility to shareholders." ' BBSpot [thanks, David]