Friday, June 30, 2006

The American/Israeli War Against Islam

I got this in my e-mail from "Chuck" with no other comments.

The full article is the great, but the last paragraph packs the truthful punch:


Is a strategy of terrorist attacks on civilians acceptable or effective? No. Absolutely not. Is it practical to hope that any culture can thrive these days without assimilation to the West, and in particular to America? Probably not. But perhaps to someone like bin Laden, a massive and tragic extermination in a great war might be preferable to a future where Arabs are confined to a small, reserved, corner of the desert accompanied only by destitution, alcoholism and casinos —and studied by third-graders as “Native Palestinians.

This, and the news of the world in general has me asking myself all sorts of odd questions.

Will it always be this way?

Will it always be that even the peaceful and the innocent will become twisted by the violence they are forced to commit to simply keep their homes and keep their families alive?

Why is it that mankind's history is one of conquest?

Yeah, these are all freshman-year-sitting-around-the-bong sorts of questions, but they are on my mind these days. It's hard to be optimistic when everything on the international scene seems to be going to shit.

Yet, in a couple of days we here in America will celebrate another Independence Day. I wonder how many more days of peaceful picnics America has left.

How does this violence in Iraq and Palestine affect us here? People keep looking at me like I have three eyes because these things concern me. Do they think the violence done in their names will go unpunished?

You see, sooner or later the "terrorists" are going to win. Make no mistake, no matter how powerful our military, no matter how hard we bring down the boot of oppression, the people of the Middle East are going to destroy Israel and the United States. There are too many of them that are too willing to die and we are simply creating thousands of martyrs every day. Eventually one of these groups is going to get it's hands on nuclear or biological weapons. It's inevitable. You are talking about millions of potential soldiers with a warrior religion and nothing to lose. Compare that with the average American in the average suburb and do the math. And yes, I said warrior religion. Whatever peace Islam may have once held has been twisted by circumstances and hatred and has given birth to the most dangerous fundamentalism in history. I've followed the struggle independenceance in Chechnya. I've read the reports. I've seen the videos of the ambushes and the recordings of what the Mujahideen do to captured Russian soldiers. And after what the Russians have done to Muslim soldiers and civilians alike, I don't blame them.

America is at war with Islam, and you haven't seen savagery yet.


Sooner or later we will give up so many of our rights, spend so much money trying to control foreign countries, or just piss off so many with investments here, that America will collapse under it's own imperial weight. And I think there may be a few oil-rich countries, aching for payback, that will find the smoking ruins of the USA easy pickings. We have unleashed this particular jihad and it will destroy America one day.


But not tomorrow. Or the next day.

And when the fireworks of the Fourth of July light up the night sky, I will smell the smoke and listen to the explosions and I will know that one day, it will be for real. One day the smoke will roll over our nation and all of the things we took for granted will be so much kindling.

No, I'm not happy about it. No person with anything to lose should be happy. I would dearly love for our nation to turn itself around, and for the first time in history become that beacon that it claims to be. But I'm a realist. I think the time for learning is past us. Now is the time of the gun and the blade and there's little you or I can do about it but watch. I can look at the stark numbers and I can make a very close study of these people fighting for their freedom and understand just what it means to have absolutely nothing to lose.

It doesn't depress me anymore. The transparent lies still enrage me because so many of my fellow citizens believe them. But the actual facts, understanding that this is all going to end very, very badly.....it's only the cold, inescapable truth. I did not make this situation and I've done everything I can possibly do about it and remain civilized and able to look at myself in the mirror. The only thing any of us can do now is be strong for our loved ones, never believe the lies, and hope that one day, after the rivers of blood have passed us by, we will be able to rebuild a better world.

In the coming months and years, the Internet will be the only source for what is truly going on in the world. These days, I only watch television news or read the papers when I want a bitter laugh. Most of you reading this have your own blogs, websites or other ways of spreading your words. You will write the true history of the American/Israeli war against Islam. These small blogs and places to chat will one day be the only places for the truth to be told. For as long as it is allowed.

V

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Nemo's World: One Small Victory for Justice

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It seems it's finally "payback time" for our legitimate American system of jurisprudence. And oh! how the Supreme Court's imbedded Nazis did scowl : Clarence Thomas virtually "leaping to his feet" -- for the first time in history -- to spew utterly nonsensical, frothing blather; "Fat Tony" Scalia vehemently denouncing his fellow Justices' "audacity" -- for performing their Constitutional duty to interpret the law rather than meekly deferring to the "Leader" under the contrived NeoConNazi notion of "Unilateral Executive" Power (Amerika's own version of the Fuehrer-Prinzip).

Supreme Court Blocks Guantanamo Tribunals
The New York Times

The Supreme Court today delivered a sweeping rebuke to the Bush administration, ruling that it exceeded its authority by creating tribunals for terror suspects that fell short of the legal protections that Congress has traditionally required in military courts.

As a result, the court said in a 5-to-3 ruling, the tribunals violated both American military law and the military's obligations under the Geneva Conventions. ...

Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel J. Alito Jr. dissented. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. did not take part in the case, since he had ruled in favor of the government as an appeals court justice last year.

[No big surprises THERE, eh? Except perhaps that Roberts actually *did* recuse himself appropriately, for once.]

Justice Thomas took the unusual step of reading his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in his 15 years on the court. He said that the ruling would "sorely hamper the president's ability to confront and defeat a new and deadly enemy."

Justice Stevens declared flatly that "the military commission at issue lacks the power to proceed because its structure and procedure violate" both the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs the American military's legal system, and the Third Geneva Convention. The majority opinion rejected the administration's claims that the tribunals were justified both by President Bush's inherent powers as commander in chief and by the resolution passed by Congress authorizing the use of force after Sept. 11. There is nothing in the resolution's legislative history "even hinting" that such an expansion of the president's powers was considered, he wrote. ...

"Nothing in the record before us demonstrates that it would be impracticable to apply court-martial rules in this case," he wrote. ...

Justice Scalia responded in scathing language to the majority's reasoning on this point. He quoted President Bush's order creating the tribunals, which declared them to be necessary "for the effective conduct of military operations and to prevent terrorist attacks."

"It is not clear where the Court derives the authority - or the audacity - to contradict this determination," Justice Scalia wrote.

[My own guess would be, of course, that the Court derives *its* authority from the Constitution of the United States and established judicial precedents. On the other hand, I SURELY don't know where the *president* supposedly "derives the authority - or the audacity - to" simply make it up as he goes along, effectively appropriating unto himself both the LEGISLATIVE function of the Congress AND the interpretive role of the Judicial Branch. Of course, I'm no distinguished Supreme Court Justice or Constitutional scholar. But then neither, obviously, is ardent dictatorship advocate Antonin "Vaffanculo!" Scalia, for whom whatever Bush says, goes. (I can only wonder whether numerous "Sicilian gestures" may have accompanied that "dissenting opinion".)]

In his dissent, Justice Thomas cited a recent ruling in an environmental case to argue that the majority was being inconsistent in order to denigrate the president's powers.

[Well, it's about time SOMEBODY knocked this Tinhorn Dictator off his exceedingly high horse!! Of course, Thomas's supposed "argument" comes across as an unabashedly biased and irrelevant bit of partisan grandstanding, rather than any "compelling" reasoning based on "points of law".]

"Those Justices who today disregard the commander-in-chief's wartime decisions, only 10 days ago deferred to the judgment of the Corps of Engineers with regard to a matter much more within the competence of lawyers, upholding that agency's wildly implausible conclusion that a storm drain is a tributary of the United States," Justice Thomas wrote. "It goes without saying that there is much more at stake here than storm drains." ...

[HUH??? Either Clarence Thomas has never been a lawyer or he's conspicuously CLUELESS regarding matters of hydrology HE "believes" his legal colleagues are intimately knowledgeable about, according to his ludicrous insinuation that lawyers are eminently qualified to address such *scientific* questions. They are not! By making this preposterously false claim that environmental determinations are "much more within the competence of lawyers" than of *engineers*, he's decidely blowing copious quantities of smoke out an unmentionable body cavity. Small wonder he so rarely speaks out -- 'Better to remain silent and conceal your ignorance than open your mouth and manifest it for all to see.']
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Yes, the Fascist faction of the SCOTUS has definitely suffered a humiliating defeat this round. But the "Totalitarian Task Force" has clearly been emboldened by its newfound prominence under the Bush Reich. They're "hopping mad" -- literally. And they'll be back.

But for now, let's just GLOAT over this one small victory for justice and the ridiculous shenanigans of that frustrated judicial cabal. It's so seldom we get such a delightful opportunity! :-)

~ Nemo

Hate

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I hate fundamentalist Christians.

I don't mean as in I hate raisins or "I hate that movie".

I hate them with a burning, dangerous hatred. I wish they would shut the fuck up and let the adults run the world, or be snatched away in their Rapture they so desperately pray for. Many of you know that I try to confine my hatred to the philosophies and beliefs of evangelicals or fundamentalists or whatever the fuck they're calling themselves this week.

But days like today, it's hard to draw that line.

Earlier this week Warren Buffet pledged billions of dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This donation made it the largest philanthropic organization in the entire world.
With this money the Gates Foundation hopes to eradicate many diseases that are ravaging the third-world. Pesky, historically devastating bugs like malaria and the more recent, and deadlier, AIDS virus.

I watched the announcement of this merger and I felt something I had not felt in a long time while viewing the news.

Hope.

Oh, now I just know there are people out there who can point me to some evil that Gates and Buffet are responsible for and to you I say: shut the fuck up and let me have my moment of hope. I know they are billionaires and you don't get to that point without metaphorically (and sometimes literally) cutting a few throats. Just let me have my moment.

Or at least that's what I would have said, because less than week after this historic and amazing announcement, the true reality of humanity rears it's disgusting head.

NEW YORK - Warren Buffett's new philanthropic alliance with fellow billionaire Bill Gates won widespread praise this week, but anti-abortion activists did not join in, instead assailing the two donors for their longtime support of Planned Parenthood and international birth-control programs.

"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world," said the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, a Roman Catholic priest who is president of Human Life International.

Referring to Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi death camp doctor, Euteneuer said Buffett "will be known as the Dr. Mengele of philanthropy unless he repents."

------------------------------------------

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, wrote a commentary this week holding the Buffetts partially responsible for the approval of RU-486 in 2000.

"Since then, approximately 500,000 American babies have been killed with RU-486," Perkins wrote. "Buffett's billions have the potential to do damage like this on a global scale."


-----------------------------------------------

"Some of the wealthiest men in the world descend like avenging angels on the populations of the developing world," wrote Population Research Institute president Steven Mosher, a frequent critic of Gates and Buffett. "They seek to decimate their numbers, to foist upon vulnerable people abortion, sterilization and contraception."


These people would, rather than save millions of innocent men, women, and children from lingering, painful deaths, use this as an excuse to trumpet their ignorant Biblical worldview.

What Would Jesus Do?

Jesus would punch you in your goddammed self-righteous face.


I hate them.

I hate them so much.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Nemo's World: GOPogrom of the Press

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Attention, citizens: In accordance with new Republikan guidelines, any exercise of free speech or freedom of the press which may serve to frustrate this government's ability to indulge its dictatorial whims in absolute secrecy will be considered Thought Crimes and severely prosecuted.

GOP bill targets NY Times
The Hill

House Republican leaders are expected to introduce a resolution today condemning The New York Times for publishing a story last week that exposed government monitoring of banking records.

The resolution is expected to condemn the leak and publication of classified documents, said one Republican aide with knowledge of the impending legislation.

The resolution comes as Republicans from the president on down condemn media organizations for reporting on the secret government program that tracked financial records overseas through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), an international banking cooperative.

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), working independently from his leadership, began circulating a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) during a late series of votes yesterday asking his leaders to revoke the Times' congressional press credentials. ...
____________

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the Truth is a revolutionary act." ~ George Orwell

For additional insights on the state of the NeoConNazi State, see full version of:

A Disgraceful Attack on the New York Times
by Robert Scheer

The Bush administration's jihad against newspapers that reported on a secret program to monitor the personal-banking records of unsuspecting citizens is more important than the original story. For what the president and his spokesmen are once again asserting is that the prosecution of this ill-defined, open-ended "war on terror" inevitably trumps basic democratic rights in general and the constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press in particular. ...
____________

Lastly, the following is proposed as a sensible Constitutional Amendment, fully in keeping with the glorious ideology of this Republikan Revolution:

Amendment

An informed citizenry being the bane of sound authoritarian government, Congress hereby abolishes the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, reserving unto itself the right to abridge the freedom of the press whenever and however it damn well pleases!

"Freedom is slavery!"

"Ignorance is bliss!"
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Update: June 30, 2006

Freedom of the Press Loses 220-195
by John Nichols [The Nation]

There is one -- count him, one -- Republican member of the House of Representatives who supports Freedom of the Press.

Connecticut Congressman Chris Shays was the only member of the Republican caucus to join Democrats in opposing a House resolution that condemns news organizations for providing the American people with information about what their government is doing in their name but without their informed consent.

The non-binding resolution, rushed onto the House floor after President Bush and Vice President Cheney launched a public relations war against the New York Times for published leaked details of a Treasury Department effort to monitor bank transfers, was endorsed by a vote of 220-195 Thursday.

Voting to take a swipe at the Constitution were 219 Republicans and Louisiana Democrat Charlie Melancon.

Voting to protect and preserve the First Amendment were 194 Democrats and Shays. ...
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Perhaps it's time the House "Republicans" just drop their pretenses and openly dub themselves Facsists. The GOP has clearly become the party of Totalitarian rule.

~ Nemo

Waiting to see.....

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From Reuters:

GAZA (Reuters) - A spokesman for gunmen in the Gaza Strip said they had fired a rocket tipped with a chemical warhead at Israel early on Thursday.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the claim by the spokesman from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.

The group had recently claimed to possess about 20 biological warheads for the makeshift rockets commonly fired from Gaza at Israeli towns. This was the first time the group had claimed firing such a rocket.

"The al-Aqsa Brigades have fired one rocket with a chemical warhead" at southern Israel, Abu Qusai, a spokesman for the group, said in Gaza.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army had not detected that any such rocket was fired, nor was there any report of such a weapon hitting Israel.

Refugees





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The more I write, the more aware of language I become. Language can be beautiful and highly descriptive, as in poetry or song. Or it can be ugly and filled with lies, as in a Presidential press briefing.

This is about a particular phrase I keep hearing and every time I do I cringe because of just what exactly the phrase implies.

Here it is from BBC news. This is the latest I've heard it said, but I've heard it dozens of times before and it never fails to horrify:

At least 11 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli helicopter strikes on a refugee camp in southern Gaza.

Strikes. On a refugee camp.

The people being bombed by sophisticated, American-made weapons are refugees.

Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines refugees as:

"A person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution."

Refugees are people who have been chased or removed forcibly from their homes.

Refugees live in fear.

And yet, Israel sees fit to bomb them. What sort of people do this?

From the same BBC report

Witnesses said that some missiles hit a crowd of people in the Rafah camp, but the Israeli army said it had targeted gunmen who were firing at its troops.

Refugees.

UPDATE: Dammit!

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli forces rounded up Palestinian Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from the Islamic Hamas, increasing pressure on the Islamic militants to release a captured Israeli soldier, and witnesses said tanks moved into northern Gaza, widening Israel's largest military operation in the year since Israel pulled out of the seaside territory

Who ever heard of one nation kidnapping the lawmakers and Cabinet members of another nation to use as leverage for one hostage?




Poking out my mind's eye....

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Here's a meme I weant to help spread from Femeniste

Just what was Rush Limbaugh doing in the Dominican Republic, notorious for it's underage sex trade, with a buch of boner pills?

Please feel free to spread that question as far and wide as possible.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Thus Ate Zarathustra

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Woody Allen went looking for classics and found an unknown work of Nietzsche's.

Dead on, Woody.

Template Terror

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Know what you should always do before you start monkeying with the HTML on you blog's template?

Make a backup.

(sigh)

Lesson learned.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Final Solution To the Palestinian Question

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I've always wondered when the endgame for Palestine would come. I didn't think it would be this soon, but this has the distinct possibility of being the end of an entire culture.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has allegedly claimed that it has, and is willing to use, chemical weapons against targets in Israel.

This means one of two things is true:

They actually have the weapons. I don't believe this for one second.

Or this is really it. What we all knew has been coming for over 50 years. The extermination of the Palestinian people.

I don't have the room, the time, or the heart to link or write about the Israeli habit of setting up Palestinians as the paper tiger only to set them aflame. If this gets as bad as it has the potential to be, it's really not going to matter anyway.

The right blogs are already trumpeting the cover story for the coming conflagration:

The Palestinians have just tipped us off to where the WMD went, and now we know where at least some it may have ended up. The Israelis may not be alone in marching through Gaza and the West Bank.



The lamppost stands with folded arms
Its iron claws attached
To curbs 'neath holes where babies wail
Though it shadows metal badge
All and all can only fall
With a crashing but meaningless blow
No sound ever comes from the Gates of Eden.


-Bob Dylan


UPDATE: Well, this seems to be the wierdest thing in a very long line of weirdness regarding the media. Nonbody, that I can find, is covering this story, save for the few right-wing blogs that believe this to be a gift from Gawd.

I would think that the story of a "terrorist" group threatening to fire chemical and biological weapons into Israel would be front page kind of stuff.

The silence is disturbing.

The news now is that Hamas is holding an IDF soldier captured on Sunday in an attack on an outpost near Gaza. Hamas is demanding that women and children in Israeli jails be released in exchange for news on the captured soldier who was reportedly wounded in the attack.

Oh those bloodthirsty Hamas Islamoterrorsuperfascists! How dare they demand the release of women and children? Have they no shame?

Dick-Tater
















Again runs it all down for us.

Bye Bye Ecuador

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No, we haven't decided to bring American democracy to Ecuador.

Soccer...er...football...whatever.

I'm new to the sport. This year is the first time I've actually sat down and watched an entire match.

Still learning the rules....

I've just been amazed at the stamina, artistry, and competitiveness of the players. And man do I love those fans! During the one of the matches with Korea the commentators kept having to have the volume on their microphones adjusted just to be heard.

Just watched Beckham whip in a curveball better than any MLB pitcher I've ever seen.

I took my temperature. I'm afraid it's World Cup Fever.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It just keeps getting better!

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Ohhh tremble before the mighty Miami 7!

Tremble I say!

Turns out the Muslim Islamosuperfascist terrorists weren't Muslims.


.... as more details emerge of a supposed terror plot interrupted by US authorities, the plotters and their half-baked plan seem less than deadly and more than a little ridiculous.
The seven alleged plotters were mostly unemployed men from a poor suburb of Miami who had no weapons, explosives or money, and were so disorganised they asked their "al-Qaida" contact for uniforms and boots for their "Islamic army", and a camera to take pictures of their target.


Meanwhile Florida Islamic leaders said the men were not Muslims, not linked to the local Islamic community and were members of a cult.

The camera the used to take their EVIL! TERRORIST! PICTURES! was given to...them...by the.... FBI.





Tremble!!!!



UPDATE: Jim Henley at Unqualified Offerings has a really interesting take on the Dreaded Miami Seven.

A group that the perky CNN newsreader Carol Lin says was planning a "chilling attack, just like 9/11".

And it turns out that the Islamosuperduperfascisterroists may (and Jesus, if it's true you don't have to bring me anything for Christmas this year) have been involved in a partly Christian cult.

As usual Rocco "My shadow may be a terrorist" DiPippo and his gang of children are wetting their pants in fear.

Note how the brave foks at the FBI "dismantled a domestic terror cell".

Dismantled.

In a sting-type operation, the FBI planted an informant within the group of would-be terrorists. His work revealed that the seven men were intent on creating an 'Islamic Army' to terrorize and kill Americans.

Oooohhh just smell the fear. An "Islamic Army". With a video camera and a few pairs of boots.

The fear of the Dreaded Miami Seven.

I can't even write it with a straight face anymore.

Please protect us from the....New York Times?

_________________________

The newest national threat to make us all run screaming to our Republican overlords for protection is not another bunch of unarmed men with dark clothes and loud mouths.

No, the clear and present danger is none other than the New York Times.

In what has to be one of the stupidest examples of right-wing propaganda I've seen since, well, yesterday, Heather MacDonald who writes for the Weekly Standard, minces no words:

BY NOW IT'S UNDENIABLE: The New York Times is a national security threat. So drunk is it on its own power and so antagonistic to the Bush administration that it will expose every classified antiterror program it finds out about, no matter how legal the program, how carefully crafted to safeguard civil liberties, or how vital to protecting American lives.

How do you really feel Heather? Don't spare our feelings.

The procedure for obtaining that information could not be more solicitous of privacy and the rule of law: Agents are only allowed to seek information based on intelligence tying specific individuals to al Qaeda; they must document the intelligence behind every search request and maintain an electronic record of every search; and, in an inspired civil liberties innovation that would undoubtedly garner kudos from the Times had a Democratic administration devised it, a board of independent auditors from banks reviews the subpoena requests to make sure that only terror suspects' transactions are traced. Any use of the data for criminal investigations into drug trafficking, say, or tax fraud is banned. The administration briefed congressional leaders and the 9/11 Commission about the system.

There is nothing about this program that exudes even a whiff of illegality. The Supreme Court has squarely held that bank records are not constitutionally protected private information.

What dear Heather fails to understand is that after five years of screw-ups, murderous patriotism, and constant lies that make Nixon look saintly, no one with even one ounce of common sense trusts the Supreme Court, the 9/11 Commission and sweet Jesus in a candy store, our congressional leaders!

There is nothing about this program that exudes even a whiff of illegality.

Except that it comes from this administration.

See Heather, oddly enough, is right about one thing: the New York Times has it in for this president. And for very good reasons.

The Times doesn't like religiously insane would-be dictators having access to more information about anyone or anything than is absolutely necessary.

They're funny that way. And of course, in wingnut world, to argue with The Leader makes you a national security threat.

But we couldn't end it this way. No, Heather has to pick up her Louisville Slugger and approach the corpse of the dead horse:

The Times offers a third justification for its reckless breach of national security: "The program . . . is a significant departure from typical practice in how the government acquires Americans' financial records." Indeed. And 9/11 marked a significant departure from most Americans' experience of jet travel.

Oh! Snap! You got 'em with that one Heather.

You've done your duty as a good member of The Leader's Propaganda Arm. I'm sure someday you will have a nice shiny medal on your uniform. It will look great with your obligatory American flag armband, and reflect well in your shiny jack boots.

Sure, it's considered childish to compare the Neo-Cons to Nazis these days.

But hell, what would you compare them to?




Sometimes.....

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Patsy Ramsey is dead.

Sometimes I wish there really was a hell.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Carrot and Stick of Freedom

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We are spending billions of dollars and untold thousands of lives to "spread democracy" in the Middle East.

Right? I mean, that's what they said on TV, so it must be true.

In January the Palestinian people voted , in free and fair elections, to give Hamas a majority in Parliament. The voting was monitored by impartial international organizations and unlike here in America, it was an honest and democratic election.

So here is our answer to the people of Palestine:

The Senate voted Friday to block U.S. aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government and ban contacts with Hamas until the organization renounces violence and recognizes Israel's right to exist.

The legislation, approved by voice vote, is similar to a bill the House passed last month but would give the president greater authority over the use of sanctions and is not as restrictive in cutting off assistance to non-governmental groups working in the West Bank and Gaza. The differences between the bills would have to be reconciled by House and Senate conferees before the legislation could be sent to the president.

The State Department had voiced concerns about the House bill, saying it was unneeded and constrains the president's flexibility in using sanctions. The administration classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization and has already cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, under Hamas control since January elections.

------------------------------------------
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobbying group, gave its strong support to the Senate bill, just as it had to the House version. The Israel Policy Forum, which opposes the House bill, said it backed the Senate measure. "It allows the president more flexibility," said M.J. Rosenberg, the organization's director of policy. "If he has reason to use carrots rather than just a stick, under this bill he can do it.

Oh really?

Well, fuck you M.J. Rosenberg. Take your "carrot" and your "stick" and shove them up your ass.

These are free human beings who freely chose their leadership and it's beyond insulting for you to use that kind of analogy when speaking about democracy.

Democracy isn't about bribery or coercion. It isn't about sulking and pouting because the election didn't go your way.

And here's a news flash for you idiots in Washington: It's none of your fucking business who the Palestinians chose as their leaders. As a matter of fact, the entire Middle East is none of your fucking business. The oil will flow no matter what, there's too much money to be made for it not to. This, as usual, is about the thousand-pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about.

Israel.

And their theft of Palestinian land, and their oppression of the Palestinian people.

And until you learn that and get your noses out of it, there will always be blood in the streets. Here and there.

It's about the voice and the will of the people.

And we wonder why they hate us.

Stop them before they discuss again!

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This is the second time I'm writing this because, let's all say it together: Blogger sucks donkey balls. The first version went poof when I tried to save it to draft. It actually made that sound! Poof! And I swear I heard laughter.

Seriously, if I hadn't already gone to all the trouble of tweaking this thing and linking all over creation I would look for greener pastures. This is getting ridiculous.

Thanks to Barnita for the link that inspired this, it's all her fault.

WE HAVE FOILED THE EVIL DOERS is what the media is trumpeting today.

US authorities have arrested at least seven men over an alleged plot to blow up the Sears Tower skyscraper in Chicago and officials said more arrests were likely.
The seven were detained in Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raids in Miami and were to make their first court appearance, officials said.

Media reports citing unnamed officials said five US citizens and two foreigners, including a Haitian, had organized a plot to attack the 110-story, 442-meter (1,450-foot) Sears Tower, the world's third tallest building, and other buildings in Miami.


Wow! A great day for our freedoms! I feel safer already!

Here comes the money shot:

"The individuals arrested posed no immediate threat to our community," the US attorney's office in Miami said in statement.

Oh.

These guys had no money, no weapons, no explosives. They were infiltrated by an FBI informant who says they were planning to go on a rampage of naughtiness. And as we all know, the FBI's reputation for honesty is second to none.

I know, I know. You can't wait for these guys to make something go boom before you arrest them. But how about we catch them with firecrackers or at least smoke bombs. Alledgedly they had been taking pictures of local buildings.

EVIL PICTURES!

TERRORIST PICTURES!

But the media, oh dear god the media.....

The media is making this out as a major blow to Al Qaeda, when it's more like the FBI put a stop to a role playing game that got out of hand.

Which is why ABC News' Pierre Thomas had to go out of his way on this evening's news broadcast to point out that "After 9/11 even being a terrorist wanna-be can get you thrown in jail".

I swear he actually said that.

With a straight face.

Then Brian Ross in ABC's studio repeated it for some reason.

ARE YOU GETTING THE MESSAGE? WELL, ARE YOU?!!!!

Don't even think about being a supposed, maybe...sort of.... terrorist.

Debbie"I'm an evil blonde too" Schlussel already has evidence that these guys were hard-core Al Qaeda operatives. And evidence that they watched TV.

EVIL TV!

As with the highly-praised death of al-Zarqawi, I'm underwhelmed.

I expect we'll see many more of these busts as we edge closer to the elections in November.

THE EVIL ELEC.... oh never mind.

Nemo's World: Workers of the World, Unite!

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As the following reports clearly illustrate, insofar as the majority of Republicans in Congress are concerned, the 'Proletarians' of this country should "know their place and not get uppity". Raises, it seems, are for the Congress (and other obscenely wealthy folk), NOT for the average "working stiff"! Apparently, we should by now have learned to appreciate whatever scraps happen to fall our way -- none so far, EVER! -- from the great, hypothetical "trickle-down" table.

Oh. And though it isn't clearly elaborated on in ANY of the coverage I've seen of this astounding Congressional affront, it's quite obvious from the numbers cited that the Republican leadership, which was so "outraged" at the notion of a filibuster being employed to block its preferred, Fascist-friendly judges from installation, harbored NO such qualms about using the identical procedural tactic to deny the average American any hope of obtaining something resembling a "living wage".

A "straight up or down floor vote"?? Not when the dire needs of the working class are at stake.

"Let them eat cake", INDEED!

Senate Defeats Democrats Minimum Wage Increase
Reuters

Class Warfare: The Minimum Wage Goes Down
by Katrina vanden Heuvel

The GOP just shafted the working people of America. By rejecting an attempt to raise the minimum wage, the Republican-controlled Senate showed that it is far more interested in lining the pockets of its campaign contributors than -- as Paul Krugman wrote in a New York Times op-ed on Monday -- arriving at a "new New Deal" and working to "rebuild our middle class." The 52-46 vote was eight short of the 60 needed for approval. (The measure drew the support of eight Republicans --four of these are up for reelection in the fall.)

Sen. Edward Kennedy's amendment would have raised the wage from the current $5.15 an hour to $7.25 -- the first raise in a decade. "The minimum wage," as economist Gwendolyn Mink, makes clear, is supposed to guarantee an income floor to keep full-time wage-earners out of poverty. But today, the federal minimum wage guarantees abject poverty for workers... nearly $6,000 per year below the federal poverty line for a family of three."

But the vast majority of Republican Senators, several of them millionaires several times over, don't care about poverty or the well-being of their working class constituents. What they really care about is that they're sitting pretty, having voted themselves another raise --to $168,500 --on January 1.

Even the not-exactly-populist Wall Street Journal points out, "While the minimum wage has remained frozen, lawmakers' salaries have risen with annual cost-of-living increases keyed to what is given federal employees. And last week's vote in the House Appropriations Committee followed a floor vote days before in which the House cleared the way for members to get another increase valued at thousands of dollars annually." So, while Congress will soon make close to $170,000 a year, hardworking full-time minimum wage workers make just $10,700 annually. ...
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Disgusting. And there's only one word that truly describes this: FASCISM.

~ Nemo

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Dangerous Man

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It's fun to watch the Neo-Fascists go after John Murtha.

He, like any other high profile veteran against the war, puts absolute lie to their glorious vision of the global "spreading of freedom".

So, of course, John Murtha should be killed. The Whore of Babble On has said so. Oh yes, I have thus far refused to comment on that "woman's" "writing" and I'm also not mentioning her by name. She gets no platform from me.

Then there's this wonderful blog.

See, it's not that they disagree with Murtha's opinions or position on the war.

No, he is trying to stop all their fun bloodshed so HE MUST GO.

He actually seems to care what happens to the troops in the new killing fields of Iraq, so HE SHOULD BE KILLED.

I'm no fan of Murtha myself. He's always been a hawk and never met a defense bill he didn't like. Also his opposition to the war is about three years too late. Where was his bold stance when it might have made a difference?

But the enemy of my enemy is still a worthwhile ally. And the fact that he's being met with such childish and disgusting rage is a clear indication they are afraid of him.

And I like that just fine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dear Veteran....ooops!

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I just received a love letter from Uncle Sam.

Dear Veteran,

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has recently learned that an employee took home electronic data from the VA, which he was not authorized to do and was in violation of established policies. The employee's home was burglarized and this data was stolen. The data contained identifying information including names, social security numbers, and dates of birth for up to 26.5 million veterans and some spouses, as well as some disability ratings. As a result of this incident, information identifiable with you was potentially exposed to others.....

Emphasis mine.

So, someone's laptop that just happened to have the data for twenty six million veterans got ripped off?

That's a hell of a lot of memory you've got there on those government-issue notebooks.

I just found this more funny than anything else. For a couple of reasons:

1. I don't have one damn thing to do with the VA if at all possible. I would die a painful death before I let one of their quacks touch me again.

2. The letter goes on to warn that the information could be used in several different types of financial scams, such as credit card fraud. I'm in the position now that if any criminal could fuck up my finances or credit anymore than the divorce has, I applaud him.

But this could be some serious shit to anybody with a good credit rating or savings that could disappear overnight. If someone has your social security number, in our electronic age, they can own you. Hell, they can be you as far as that goes.

Just another reminder of how much the government really supports it's veterans.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Nemo's World: "Vaffanculo, America!"

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Having already demonstrated its utter contempt for the Bill of Rights and civil liberties in general, Bush's "New, Improved" (NeoConNazi-packed) Supreme Court now appears poised to scuttle all manner of long-established *environmental* regulations -- what's left of them, anyway, after the Fuehrer's own malicious "tinkering".

It seems that, roughly THIRTY YEARS after the fact, the High Court's Cabal has suddenly determined that the Clean Water Act was being "misinterpreted" all that time by environmental scientists, legislators, government regulators, academics, and other knowledgeable persons who just happen to know what they're talking about (unlike these astoundingly bent Fascist shills).

Even the AP's coverage of this farce makes it exceedingly clear that partisan racketeers like Antonin "Vaffanculo" Scalia and his Right-wing cronies lack even the most rudimentary scientific knowledge needed to assess what properly constitutes a wetland. But that ignorance certainly didn't deter the Court's NeoConNazi Contingent from its quest to bend over backwards in support of Business by seeking to effectively ABOLISH an essential environmental law passed *decades* ago.

Gee, I'm ~SO~ glad Bush didn't appoint any of those overzealous "activist" judges about whom we used to hear such vociferous condemnation from outraged "Conservatives". (Aren't you?) Instead, the American people have been graced with the installation of an outright Republican WRECKING CREW in our Highest Court!

"God bless America!" Because we SURELY need something resembling "Divine intervention" now.

(YES, Supreme Court Justices *can* be impeached. NO, it's never actually been done.)

Top Court Split Over Wetlands Protections

The Supreme Court clashed Monday on whether the government can extend protections for wetlands miles away from waterways, in its first significant environmental ruling under Chief Justice John Roberts.

Justices decided on a 5-4 vote, split along ideological lines, that regulators may have misinterpreted the federal Clean Water Act when they refused to allow two Michigan property owners to build a shopping mall and condos on wetlands they own.

But on a separate 5-4 vote, they refused to block the government from restricting access on distant wetlands. ...

The court's four most conservative members wanted a more sweeping ruling, clearing the way for development of land unless it was directly connected to waterways.

The court's four most liberal members said that such a ruling would reject three decades of practice by the Army Corps of Engineers and threaten the environment. ...

Kennedy wrote his own opinion to explain why he was not joining the main opinion. "Important public interests are served by the Clean Water Act in general and by the protection of wetlands in particular," he said. Scalia's opinion, Kennedy said, "seems unduly dismissive of the interests asserted by the United States in these cases."

Scalia had said the Corps of Engineers misinterpreted the term "waters of the United States."

"In applying the definition to 'ephemeral streams,' 'wet meadows,' storm sewers and culverts, ... man-made drainage ditches, and dry arroyos in the middle of the desert, the Corps has stretched the term 'waters of the United States' beyond parody," he wrote. ...
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[Obviously, "Fat Tony" is not at all above deliberately muddying the waters and wielding wild hyperbole to advance his own dubious agenda.]

Hey, Antonin: "Vaffanculo", right back at ya!

~ Nemo

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Protecting Us From the "Terrorist Adversary"

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If anyone out there still doesn't believe we are in an Orwellian Ultra-Fatherland War-Without-End nightmare check out the title of House Resolution 861 that passed smoothly yesterday:

Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary

Oh, what bold leadership! No national healthcare for the most prosperous nation in history.

The Gulf Coast still, in many places, resembles something Godzilla stomped through, while many insurance companies are refusing to pay what they owe.

The minimum wage is stagnant at $5.15 an hour and this, this shit is the best our government can do with their time.

But we will prevail in our war against the "terrorist adversary".

Whoever the hell that may be at any given time.

To Be Or Not To Be

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My favorite play by Shakespeare is Hamlet. It was the first of his work I was ever exposed to and the first time I understood that language could be used beautifully outside of poetry. My first love of a brilliant turn of phrase.

I never thought I would be quoting him in this particular context.

No, no. I'm not deciding on whether or not to continue with the miseries of life or whether I will sleep, perchance to dream.

For now my sanity has come to rest in a place that would rather suffer the slings and arrows.

Slowly, very slowly I'm starting to get a handle on my life. Oh, I'm in financial ruin, and some days (many less than there were before) I feel so lonely I don't want to know or feel anything. But these days are aberrations in what is slowly shaping to be a life.

I believe I'm going to be OK.

This famous quote by the Bard I use to discuss the nature of resistance to tyranny. Many of you have no doubt noticed I'm not what you might term consistent when it comes to my ideas on resistance. Which is it that I believe in? Violent or peaceful resistance?

Well, both.

Each situation is different. To say "I don't believe in violence" is to, I believe, renounce all claims to humanity and reality and consign yourself to the realm of pure theory.

Put more pointedly, if you claim to be completely non-violent, I think you're full of shit.

Everyone, every human being has a breaking point. A point where you snap and are capable of flashbacks to the earlier ages of man where teeth and sinew were the tools of negotiation.

If you claim complete non-violence it's because the right buttons haven't been pushed.

Michael Berg stunned the poor twits in the media when he refused to be baited into saying he was glad that al-Zarqawi was dead. It's a bold thing for him to want mercy for the men who killed his child and I was very impressed with him.

But you have to know that deep in his heart he wishes he could have been in that chamber when those men were about to kill Nick. Imagine the violence he would be willing to unleash there.
I'm not making light of Mr. Berg's convictions, nor am I attacking him. He's suffered a loss I could not survive and is turning it to something very positive. I believe he's very sincere and brave.

I also believe that even the most devoutly non-violent people must understand that sometimes, depending on the situation, violence is the answer.

I've caught hell before for defending the Palestinian right to self defense, by whatsoever means is at their disposal. Over fifty years of occupation and the non-action by the international community makes me wonder why there aren't a hell of a lot more things going boom in Israeli restaurants and shopping malls. If you ask me, the Palestinians are showing incredible restraint. No, I don't agree with targeting of civilians. Absolutely not. I believe they should limit their targets to the occupation forces themselves. But that's very easy for me to say. I've never gone up against a tank with a handful of stones.

Do the people of Palestine want to learn the ways of non-violent resistance? Well, efforts by brave individuals to spark such ideas have met with little enthusiasm. It seems generations of watching your family members being beaten, humiliated, and murdered does not lend itself to thoughts of peaceful co-existence.

But all of that is dancing around my real point:

Sooner or later, if the march of the One Party system has it's way, Americans, to remain free, will have to resist. The question is whether it will be violent or non-violent.

Oh, you know it's true. Even the so-called doves that are paying attention and writing on the web are starting to get the picture. They would deny it if asked straight out but they know it's coming. I can say it because I don't have a reputation as a "serious" writer to protect.

The corporate media, hell, they won't even see the tanks or the camps when they're right there in front of them. They're paid not to see such things.

So I'm wondering to myself. Is there a way of proving that violent resistance solves more problems than non-violent resistance?


You could point to Iraq as an example of violent resistance and the toll it takes on the population, but I don't consider Iraq to be an example of pure resistance. The Shia and Sunni are putting as much effort, or more, in fighting one another as the are trying to kick out the American occupiers. The Bush administration knows this and has a great interest in keeping the two factions at each others' throats. If the Sunni and Shia ever decided to put their grievances on hold long enough to mount a real insurgency, the twenty five hundred American casualties would become twenty five thousand very quickly and America would withdraw.

So I was thinking about how to illustrate how sometimes insurmountable political and social problems can be solved or at least helped greatly by armed resistance, providing the right people have the arms.

Then my question was answered by, of all people, Amnesty International.

These are excerpts from Amnesty International's news page:

Amnesty International, the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Committee for Human Rights expressed concern today that the activities of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) State Commission for the Revision of Decisions on Naturalization of Foreign Citizens), which began its work in March 2006, may result in the transfer of persons to countries where they would be at risk of grave human rights violations.

Amnesty International condemns the Iranian security forces' violent disruption of a peaceful demonstration on 12 June by women and men advocating an end to legal discrimination against women in Iran.

Amnesty International today condemned the killing of at least 58 civilians and the wounding of at least 45 others in a Claymore mine attack in Anuradhapura district, in northern Sri Lanka.

Amnesty International is calling on the United Nations (UN) Security Council and the Iraqi government to ensure that those who commit crimes under international law in Iraq, including members of the US-led Multinational Force (MNF), are held to account.

Amnesty International today called for a civilian-led fully independent investigation into the deaths of three Guantanamo detainees after apparent suicides.

Amnesty International is calling on Israel to end immediately its reckless shelling and air strikes against the Gaza Strip, which have killed and injured scores of unarmed Palestinians, including several women and children, in recent months.

Israel's persistent violations of human rights should be a priority issue at tomorrow's EU-Israel Association Council, says Amnesty International.

Amnesty International is concerned that a pattern of arson attacks is taking place against persons and organizations which have spoken out against.

Amnesty International is very concerned about a great many things. Amnesty International is calling on various governments, including Israel and the United States, to do a great many things.

None of these things are going to be done. Don't get me wrong, God bless the well-meaning folks at Amnesty International.

They've been howling about the American torture camp at Guantanamo Bay for years now.

And accomplished nothing.

Now let's say that Amnesty International was run by folks with a different sort of world-view.

Let's say this group was very well-armed and willing to use those arms.

Just like Amnesty International it had groups operating all over the globe.

Let's say this new group didn't condemn. It demanded. It wasn't concerned. It was outraged.
It didn't say something should be done, it said it will be done.

Or else.

Insane, you say? Outrageous, you say?

Well, if you were sitting in a cell where you had been tortured for years, or you were burying your husband or wife gunned down by an occupying army, or you had no home, no food and no hope, which Amnesty International would you want on your side?

That's what I thought.

Is Haditha the Perfect Psy-Op?

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From Reuters:

Haditha Defense Questions Key Videotape

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Attorneys for the U.S. Marines accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha will question the authenticity of a videotape at the heart of the case and the credibility of the group that provided it, sources close to the Marines say.

The videotape, given to Time Magazine in January by the Hammurabi Human Rights Group, purports to show the aftermath of a massacre in Haditha and has prompted a U.S. military probe into the November 19 incident.
---------------------------------------------

Time initially reported that the tape was shot by a "journalism student" the day after the incident and described Hammurabi as working with "the internationally respected Human Rights Watch."

The magazine subsequently issued a correction on its Web site, writing that Human Rights Watch "has no ties or association with Hammurabi."

Defense lawyers say the man described by Time as a journalism student, 43-year-old Thaer Thabit al-Hadithi, was in fact the founder of Hammurabi and one of only two employees.

"Not that a 43-year-old can't be a student or that an organization can't be two people, but these are the kinds of things that you would bring up" in court, the source said.

A lawyer for one of the Marines under investigation, who also declined to be identified, said that Hammurabi was not a known or registered human rights organization and had no track record of reporting any other abuses.

"And it turns out these two employees have family members spending time in local prisons for insurgent activity," the attorney said. "I think the origins of the tape would have been better suited if it came from somebody who really did have altruistic motives in their heart."

Abdul Rahman al-Mashhadani, director of Hammurabi Human Rights and Democracy Monitoring, declined to answer questions from Reuters about the organization.

I'm really starting to get paranoid.

Were the people at Time taken in by insurgent propaganda?

Is this part of a political assassination of John Murtha who has announced his intention to run for House Majority Leader if Democrats win (ha!) in November?

He has been trumpeting the news about the massacre far and wide.

Were the people at Time in on the whole thing?

Was there a massacre at Haditha?

It's not that I don't believe that anyone with family involved in the battle against the occupation can't tell the truth. It's that the sudden unraveling of the chain of evidence, as far as the video tape goes, is a little disturbing.

I've already heard the right-wing sites warming up their instruments to play this tune: There was no massacre. It was all insurgent propaganda.

Think that's crazy? These are the same people that managed to discredit a decorated combat veteran, John Kerry, and got a deserter, George Bush, re-elected (allegedly) during a time of war.

The same folks that ruined, absolutely freaking destroyed, Dan Rather over Bush's "fake" military records.

Either way it goes, to me it's just details. Either these Marines at Haditha executed the people there in cold blood, or they opened up with all they had on civilian dwellings after one of their own was killed by an IED.

Either way it was murder.

But as Captain Willard said in Apocalypse Now, "Charging someone with murder here is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500".

This could, if enough reasonable doubt is planted in the minds of the gullible public, serve to innoculate against future massacres or reports of past ones and serve to torpedo the chance of Murtha being Majority Leader.

Two large birds with one stone. The perfect psy-op.

America At a Glance













Thanks to Fran for the pic.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nemo's World: Goodbye, Liberty and Justice; Hello, Fascist Police State

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The following news items were located among today's headlines alone.

ACLU Sues Pentagon Over Anti-War Group Monitoring

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the US Defense Department on Wednesday to demand information it says the government has collected on groups opposed to the war in Iraq. ==== The group says the Pentagon has been monitoring anti-war groups and individuals and has compiled lists on people it sees as potential threats but who the ACLU says are exercising their free-speech rights. ...

Officials Sued Over Phone Records Access

The federal government sued the New Jersey attorney general and other state officials Wednesday to stop them from seeking information about telephone companies' cooperation with the National Security Agency. ==== The unusual filing in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., is the latest effort by federal authorities to halt legal proceedings aimed at revealing whether and how often AT&T, Verizon and other phone companies have provided customer records to the NSA without a court order. ...

Judge Rules That US Has Broad Powers to Detain Noncitizens Indefinitely

A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled yesterday that the government has wide latitude under immigration law to detain noncitizens on the basis of religion, race or national origin, and to hold them indefinitely without explanation. ...

High Court Backs Police No-Knock Searches

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police armed with a warrant can barge into homes and seize evidence even if they don't knock, a huge government victory that was decided by President Bush's new justices. ...
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If you value your "freedom", I'm afraid you'll have to seek it elsewhere. What was once America has finally been totally perverted, reduced to the status of "DINO" -- a "DEMOCRACY In Name Only", that is. Our actual form of government is clearly an installed one-party dictatorship, thoroughly dominated by vile authoritarian extremists who are themselves flagrantly lawless.

"Step out of line,
The Man comes and takes you away."

~ Buffalo Springfield

And now they won't even bother to knock.

~ Nemo

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Courtesy of the Israeli Defense Force







Psalm 94:3


Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?













I was going to let this image stand as is, but after linking several different places I thought I should give it some context. This little girl was wounded in an airstrike targeting "militants" in northern Gaza on June 13, 2006 The attack killed two "militants".....and eight other people, two of them children.

The attack that killed al-Zarqawi this week that the media has trumpeted so much, also killed a little girl and at least one other woman.

The airstrike in Gaza was carried out by either Apache gunships or F-16's made here in America and sold at a discount to the Israeli Defense Force. It's part of billions of dollars of support the U.S. sends to Israel every year. My money, and if you are an American, your money.

We give weapons to murderers to kill children. We kill children ourselves every day and call it "collateral damage".

In Palestine there are no terrorists. There are freedom fighters who have been fighting for fifty years to regain their homeland.

They are no more terrorists than the Native Americans who died fighting for their lands or the American colonists fighting against the tyranny of the British.

Palestinian fighters have used suicide attacks against civilian targets. But when you are living on a person's land, enjoying all the comforts that land brings you, do not judge the tactics displaced people who live in ghettos use to fight back.

The people of Israel are doing to the Palestinians exactly what the Nazis did to them. They're just doing it a lot more slowly so as to appear "peaceful" and trying to "co-exist".

The United Nations has issued condemnation after condemnation against the government of Israel, but as long as the United States unconditionally supports Israel, nothing will be done.

If you support Israel and the American occupation of Iraq, you support the murder of innocent men, women, and children. Your silence is no better than the silence of Germans who did not see the cattle cars full of Jews. Who looked on while entire neighborhoods disappeared.

Just because it's not happening right outside your door, doesn't mean it's not happening.

All over again.

What will you tell you children when they ask you why you didn't stop the horror?

What do you say to yourself today?

Look at that picture again and ask yourself that question.

UPDATE : Thanks to Left I on the News, she is not just another anonymous victim. She has a name: Mariyah Amin.

The small figure of Mariyah Amin lies in intensive care in a Gaza City hospital. A fragment of shrapnel from an Israeli rocket has severed her spinal cord, and she will never move her arms or legs again.

In fact Mariyah will never even breathe again - at least not on her own. Tubes link her to an artificial respirator, and every few seconds it fills her lungs. This is how it will have to be for the rest of her life - and she is only three years old.







Black Gold

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An exerpt from Greg Palast's new book, Armed Madhouse reprinted at the Chimp.

There is a lot of information there that I'm assuming is true. I've read Palast's Censored 2005, and I like the way he writes and his facts seem spot on. It's kind of hard to tell these days who is dealing in reality and who is not.

I would be very interested to hear everyone's take on this.

Go Back To Sleep

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Everybody relax.

All that bad news you've been hearing, it's not true.

UPDATE: Cowardly, lying bastards

Monday, June 12, 2006

14

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Zachary Katznelson wrote an article for the Gaurdian and it's re-printed at Common Dreams

Good, well-written. About the same as all of the other pieces I've seen all over the Internet about Guantanamo Bay since the suicides.

Until I reached the final paragraph and it felt like I had been punched, hard.

Mohammed El Gharani, our client at Reprieve, was only 14 when he was seized in a mosque in Pakistan. He was only 15 when he arrived in Guantánamo Bay. Already twice this year he has tried to kill himself, once by hanging, once by slitting his wrists. Let us pray there is movement by the US to finally do justice, before Mohammed, truly only a child, or anyone else in Guantánamo Bay commits suicide.

I had heard rumors that there were children being held at GITMO, but this is the first confirmation I've known of.

Perhaps I've not been paying this enough attention....

14.....

Here's a link to Reprieve, the group Katznelson works for.


I'm still trying to get my head around this.

Yeah, but can you beat up hookers?

_________________________________

Here is the official site for Left Behind: Eternal Forces.

The game description really says it all:


Wage a war of apocalyptic proportions in LEFT BEHIND: Eternal Forces - a real-time strategy game based upon the best-selling LEFT BEHIND book series created by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Join the ultimate fight of Good against Evil, commanding Tribulation Forces or the Global Community Peacekeepers, and uncover the truth about the worldwide disappearances!

· Lead the Tribulation Force from the book series , including Rayford, Chloe, Buck and Bruce against Nicolae Carpathia – the AntiChrist.

· Conduct physical & spiritual warfare : using the power of prayer to strengthen your troops in combat and wield modern military weaponry throughout the game world.

· Recover ancient scriptures and witness spectacular Angelic and Demonic activity as a direct consequence of your choices.

· Command your forces through intense battles across a breathtaking, authentic depiction of New York City .

· Control more than 30 units types - from Prayer Warrior and Hellraiser to Spies, Special Forces and Battle Tanks!

· Enjoy a robust single player experience across dozens of New York City maps in Story Mode – fighting in China Town , SoHo , Uptown and more!

· Play multiplayer games as Tribulation Force or the AntiChrist's Global Community Peacekeepers with up to eight players via LAN or over the internet!

I'm so glad I'm going to hell.

In Other Wars, They Were Called Mercenaries

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BAGHDAD, June 10 -- The U.S. military has concluded its investigation into a video that appeared to show private security contractors shooting at civilian vehicles driving on highways in Iraq and determined that no one involved will be charged with a crime, a military spokesman in Baghdad said.

Agents with the Army's Criminal Investigation Division "reviewed the facts available concerning the incident to determine if there was any potential criminality that falls within CID's investigative purview," Maj. Timothy Keefe said in a written statement. "The review determined that no further investigative effort on the part of Army CID was warranted."
-------------------------


The initial online version of the video, posted in late 2005 on the site (I'm not linking to the fuckers) appeared to have been taken from a camera mounted in the rear window of a sport-utility vehicle. It contained several brief clips of cars being strafed by machine-gun fire, set to the music of the Elvis Presley song "Mystery Train." A version posted months later contained laughter and the voices of men joking with one another during the shootings.

Great.

I have extremely mixed feelings about the U.S. military, but not so much with the "contractors".

Overpaid, trigger-happy motherfuckers that deserve whatever befalls them.

And if someday sanity rears it's head in our world, perhaps there will be many many of them standing in front of the World Court charged with murder.

Maj. Timothy Keefe said in a written statement.

Hmmm... A distant kinsman working for the Dark Side.

Alas...




Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Patriot To Humanity

_______________________

I have always hoped to have the courage of people like Daniel Ellsberg. He speaks out about life, liberty, and fighting back.

Nemo's World: "Support our Death Squads"

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Ramadi Becomes Another Fallujah
Inter Press Service

These days, Ramadi is nearly impossible to enter. Against the backdrop of the Haditha massacre, IPS has received reports of civilians killed by snipers, and homes occupied with American snipers on their roof, while families were detained downstairs.

One man, who wishes to be known simply as 'an Iraqi friend,' met with IPS in Amman to describe the situation in Ramadi and detail recent events there as he saw them. ...

"On the side of the main street you will find destroyed buildings, and military tents on the buildings for snipers. Be careful, if you hear any sound of fighting, hide in the side roads, park your car there and get in any house and hide, because snipers will kill anyone who moves, even if the fighting is in another area."

Sheikh Majeed al-Ga'oud is from Wahaj al-Iraq village just outside Ramadi, and visits the city regularly. He also described snipers killing without discretion.

"The American snipers don't make any distinction between civilians or fighters, anything that moves, he shoots immediately. This is a very dirty thing, they are killing lots of civilians who are not fighters."

According to the Iraqi friend, many people have been killed in Ramadi because they simply do not know which parts of the city are now no-go zones.

One such area is the main street through Ramadi. After the first traffic light you are not allowed to proceed forward, only to the right or left.

"The way is blocked, not by concrete, but by snipers. Anyone who goes ahead in the street will be killed. There's no sign that it's not allowed, but it's known to the local people. Many people came to visit us from Baghdad. They didn't know this and they went ahead a few metres and were killed." ...

The Iraqi friend witnessed the killing of a young boy. "He was going to his school at about eight in the morning, carrying his books and crossing the street. Suddenly he fell down. I thought he just had a problem in his leg and fell, but he stayed for a long time like this. I knew or I felt there was a sniper who shot him."

Stories such as this one are common amongst Ramadi's residents.

"Haithem, one of the brothers of this kid, tried to find a way and took two steps to take the boy away. Snipers shot and missed him. So he didn't try again. The boy remained there four hours, bleeding. He had been shot in the head." ...
_____________

There is NOTHING I could add that would augment or alleviate the sheer horror of this.

~ Nemo

Theme

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Today's theme seems to be religion and the stupidity thereof.

I just keep finding this stuff today.

I want you to see if you can follow this logic on a site I ran across:

Colossians 1:16 - All Things Were Created By Him & For Him

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him (Colossians 1:16)

Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Khan were created by God for God’s purposes? Men of great evil who ravished humanity for the sake of their lusts for power and by their depraved minds unleashed violence and death upon millions and millions did so for the glory of Christ? Yes, and God was pleased to use their evil for his great good. For evil only harms evil and the greatest evil of all, Jesus Christ put upon a cross for the shame of all, lead to its own destruction so that all who embrace Jesus may find everlasting life. And the cross was the destruction of evil and broke the power of sin for the greatest act of glory the world will ever know.

But God did not inject evil into the world, it came by the will of man whom God allowed to exert against his law. But God used and uses evil through his plan and for his plan; the Father in perfect partnership with Christ, had laid the plan of redemption out before the foundation of the world had even been laid (Eph. 1:5) all to magnify his great glory and thereby demonstrate his great love.

Uhhhhhh....

Yes, and God was pleased to use their evil for his great good.

And that's the kind of sterling knowledge and critical thinking that makes everything all right.
"The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: Those with brains, but no religion, And those with religion, but no brains."

- Abu' l Ala' al-Ma' arri

Nemo's World: 'Regard for Human Life'

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Iraqi Raises Questions on al-Zarqawi Death
[Associated Press]

US officials have altered their account of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, saying he was alive and partly conscious after bombs destroyed his hideout, and an Iraqi man raised fresh questions about the events surrounding the end of Iraq's most-wanted militant.

The man, who lived near the scene of the bombing, told AP Television News on Friday that he saw US soldiers beating an injured man resembling al-Zarqawi until blood flowed from the victim's nose. ...

The Iraqi, identified only as Mohammed, said residents put a bearded man in an ambulance before US forces arrived. He said the man was found lying next to an irrigation canal.

"He was still alive. We put him in the ambulance, but when the Americans arrived they took him out of the ambulance, they beat him on his stomach and wrapped his head with his dishdasha, then they stomped on his stomach and his chest until he died and blood came out of his nose," Mohammed said ...

So much blood covered al-Zarqawi's body that US forces cleaned him up before taking photographs.

"Despite the fact that this person actually had no regard for human life, we were not going to treat him in the same manner," [military spokesman Maj. Gen. William] Caldwell said.

AP footage of the date palm grove showed debris - concrete blocks, shoes and sandals - scattered over a wide area around a large crater. Trees around the blast site were ripped from their roots.

The airstrike killed two other men, two women and a girl between the ages of 5 and 7 who were in the house, but only al-Zarqawi and his spiritual adviser have been positively identified, he said. ...
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Yeah, that definitely sounds like ENORMOUS "regard for human life" to me. Uh-huh.

Aside from the ridiculously absurd non sequitur of suggesting that cleaning up the *corpse* of a man (who MAY actually have been brutally murdered *after* the bombing by US ground troops) before taking photographs somehow insinuates "regard for human life", there's also the inherently questionable "collateral damage" incurred, for no discernible reason. Two men, two women and a little girl -- NONE of them suspected of any "wrongdoing" -- were also callously slaughtered in that barbaric act of overkill.

"Home of the Brave"?? This nation's military now habitually orders outright AIR STRIKES against civilian dwellings -- potentially containing any number of innocent men, women and children -- without so much as a second thought! And it does so seemingly for the *sole* purpose of minimizing US troop casualties (and the inevitably accompanying "negative press") that might result from applying the required standard of "proportionality" in any such military operation that is surficially justifiable ONLY as a manhunt.

But this savage, utterly indiscriminate, blatantly cowardly assault on a household -- in defiance of international law AND with no regard for human life -- is beyond contemptible.

"All hail the conquering war criminals!"

[Addendum: Considering the excerpts found in Robert's post on the Guantanamo detainee suicides, it appears this remarkably off the wall rhetoric about "regard for human life" may well be the product of yet another organized propaganda campaign from Washington. It seems highly unlikely that this peculiar "spin" would be injected so inappropriately -- twice in as many days, by two different military spokesmen -- as any spontaneous characterization of those wildly divergent events. To the contrary, it looks as if the American people are once again being force-fed illusions of their country's "inherent virtuousness" in order to obscure the appallingly ugly crimes consistently perpetrated by this NeoConNazi Reich.]

~ Nemo

Pope Palpatine Speaks

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A manly salute to The General for pointing this out.

The Pope took time off from overseeing the Clone Army to say lots of really stupid things at Auschwitz.

Of course, everyone knows the Holocaust was caused by Neo-Pagans.

Dumbass.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Asymmetric Warfare

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Three Guantanamo Bay detainees hanged themselves with nooses made of sheets and clothes, the commander of the detention center said Saturday. They were the first reported deaths among the hundreds of men held at the base for years without charge.
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They hung themselves with fabricated nooses made out of clothes and bed sheets," Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris told reporters in a conference call from the U.S. base in southeastern Cuba.

"They have no regard for human life," he said. "Neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."


Taken from their homes. Never charged with a crime. Drugged. Tortured. Degraded.

Now their only epitath is the callous words of this "man" Admiral Harry Harris.

For now, we can only be the voice for the voiceless and pay attention while the rest of the country hides it's face.

For now.

But, Admiral Harris, the man who has been the overseer to this torture chamber, I will remember your name.

So Say We All


I hate television. I hate the vapid, lowest common denominator-seeking, childish, superficial cesspool that is most American television.

So when I tell you that I have found something in that "vast cultural wasteland" that rises to the level of the most sublime art, something that could literally change the way that you view the universe, which is what art does, you should know where I'm coming from.

I was, as a child, an incredible fan of the original Battlestar Galactica. As a sci-fi fanatic who had just seen Star Wars for the first time a couple of years before, television's big budget, explosive, and action packed answer to it was designed to impress kids like me. To this day, the pilot film of Battlestar Galactica, which aired on ABC television in 1978, is one of my favorite sci-fi memories.

Years later, I was able to catch re-runs of my old obsession on the Sci-Fi Channel. It didn't age well. The obvious 70's hairstyles, the dated special effects that they managed to recycle over and over and the acting that could peel paint were sometimes hard to watch. But for nostalgia, you couldn't beat it.

So in 2002 when the Sci-Fi Channel started to air promos for the "re-imagined" Galactica, I was, as a purist, not so happy.

"I will have nothing to do wth such blasphemous filth", I said smugly. I had seen what "re-imagining" did to Planet of the Apes (shudder) .

So three years go by. The "re-imagined" mini-series brought in Sci-Fi's biggest numbers ever, so, of course, a full-blown series followed. I ignored it. Through the ubergeek grapevine I heard rumors of what they had done to my beloved show.

For God's sake! Starbuck was a girl, there were no lasers, and the Cylons looked like humans!

You bastards.

So it's 2006. I'm having a ball trying to find reasons to keep living in the midst of my divorce and the terrible separation from my Marcus. Oddly enough, my soon-to-be-ex father-in-law, a finer human being you will never meet (not sure what happened to his daughter) , loaned me his copy of the first season of the new Battlestar Galactica.

Oh well. It can't get any worse. I'll check it out.

On the DVD box, a blurb from Newsweek said "Best television show ever".

Oh please.

I had read another critic say that it was the best show, not just best sci-fi show ever, but best television show ever.

They were right.

Without exaggerating, and as an experienced drama and sci-fi television watcher for years, I believe Battlestar Galactica is the finest television show in the history of the medium.

It's just that good.

The premise: Colonies of humans exist in another galaxy. They are technologically advanced. Faster than light space travel, robot servants, all those good things we hope for someday.

But when the robots, the Cylons, decide they've had enough, they fight back by launching a surprise attack against the colonies. The nuke the home planets and destroy most of the human space fleet. The military is wiped out except for the last warship, the battlestar Galactica.

The remaining ships carrying the refugees from the Cylon genocide rendezvous with the last battlestar and set a course for a mythical planet that may offer them refuge. Their holy scriptures tell the tale of a lost colony, across the galaxy, where their human brothers and sisters settled. A planet called Earth.

To make things a bit more interesting, the Cylons, who have infiltrated the fleet, can pass for human, fooling even the closest medical scrutiny. Spies and operatives are evreywhere.

Out of hundreds of millions, 50,000 humans survive. The government is destroyed and the only member of the president's cabinet to survive is the Secretary of Education, Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) who then, in intentional and eerie re-staging of LBJ's swearing in on Air Force One, becomes President Roslin.

The commander of the Galactica is William Adama, played with menace and overwhelming heart by Edward James Olmos, and if you think you've seen no-nonsense military before, just wait. Olmos and McDonnell's characters are the yin and yang of the last vestiges of humanity.
The interplay between the two of them is powerful and topical. Neither is what their book cover suggests. She, a liberal former schoolteacher, has the ability to make tough decisions when she must, and he, the career military officer, is a thoughtful intellectual.

These are just the anchors that an incredible cast revolves around. I seriously have to keep reminding myself that these are actors in a show. Each one is that good. From James Callis' brilliant and somewhat insane (or is he?) Baltar, to Grace Park's alternately tender and deadly Sharon Valerii, each character is nuanced and so human it hurts to watch sometimes.

The shoot 'em up is few and far between and is always told from a different perspective than a normal show would follow. Often the clashes between the last of the Colonial fleet's interceptors and their Cylon pursuers is told simply from there point of view of those in left behind waiting to see if their friends, their family, will come home this time. One such battle had the flight deck crew, who figure just as prominently in the show, if not more so, than the pilots themselves, listening to the radio chatter of the battle over the ship's loudspeaker. The story of the battle was told, and the almost unbearable tension maintained, just by the expression on the faces of the crew waiting on the flight deck. Absolutely brilliant.

People hurt in war. It takes it's toll on humanity. What happens when you have to torture the location of a ticking bomb out of a religious fanatic who believes he's doing the right thing for God and his people? What does that do to your soul? One episode hits that head on and pulls no punches.

This show has no easy answers and it doesn't take shortcuts. How many times have you watched a show where a character is injured, sometimes badly, only to be fully recovered and healthy the following week? I knew this series was different early on in the first season when Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) injured her leg after a crash-landing on a hostile planet. The following week she was still in traction in the hospital. The next week crutches. Also a couple of scenes of physical therapy. When is the last time one of the main heroes on a sci-fi show needed re-hab for an injury? It was small thing, but it spoke volumes about the fragility of humans, and how these people aren't bulletproof.

Post traumatic stress, addiction, religion, love, terrorism, and loyalty are all handled in a way that will make you proud to be human. The good guys don't always win, and the bad guys aren't always bad.

And while my emotions are often right up there on the surface these days, the second part of the two-hour episode, Home, had me all choked up.

And that, my friends, is why I call it art. To be moved to tears. To forget your circumstance and be lost in another world you care about. To be a better person for what you have seen or heard.

I've only seen the first season and half of the second because those are the ones that have been released on DVD. Currently, the Sci-Fi Channel is airing the second half of season two, but I don't have Sci-Fi, so I await more DVD releases. A third season is currently filming.

One and a half seasons is enough for me to be sold for life on this show. Enough for me to want to prattle on this long about it.

Do yourself a favor and don't jump in the middle and start watching. Start from the beginning, the original mini-series, and go from there.

I wanted to share this little gem with the intelligent and sensitive people here because I know you will appreciate it if you watch. I know it will move and inspire you.