Flying Snail - News & Views for Remnants of Paradise
Tell-A-Vision = Why Not Try Love Again?

A Nation Remembers by Mark Fiore

eFF'n War Criminal

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

United State Cafe
United State Cafe signUnited State Cafe, Entry/Exit Stained Glass WIndow above front door by C. Spangler United State Cafe
Remembering the: United State Cafe

This is a news website article about a scientific paper

In the standfirst I will make a fairly obvious pun about the subject matter before posing an inane question I have no intention of really answering: is this an important scientific finding?

by Martin Robbins

In this paragraph I will state the main claim that the research makes, making appropriate use of "scare quotes" to ensure that it's clear that I have no opinion about this research whatsoever.

In this paragraph I will briefly (because no paragraph should be more than one line) state which existing scientific ideas this new research "challenges".

If the research is about a potential cure, or a solution to a problem, this paragraph will describe how it will raise hopes for a group of sufferers or victims.

This paragraph elaborates on the claim, adding weasel-words like "the scientists say" to shift responsibility for establishing the likely truth or accuracy of the research findings on to absolutely anybody else but me, the journalist.

In this paragraph I will state in which journal the research will be published. I won't provide a link because either a) the concept of adding links to web pages is alien to the editors, b) I can't be bothered, or c) the journal inexplicably set the embargo on the press release to expire before the paper was actually published.

"Basically, this is a brief soundbite," the scientist will say, from a department and university that I will give brief credit to. "The existing science is a bit dodgy, whereas my conclusion seems bang on," she or he will continue.

I will then briefly state how many years the scientist spent leading the study, to reinforce the fact that this is a serious study and worthy of being published by the BBC the website.

This is a sub-heading that gives the impression I am about to add useful context.

Here I will state that whatever was being researched was first discovered in some year, presenting a vague timeline in a token gesture toward establishing context for the reader.

To pad out this section I will include a variety of inane facts about the subject of the research that I gathered by Googling the topic and reading the Wikipedia article that appeared as the first link.

I will preface them with "it is believed" or "scientists think" to avoid giving the impression of passing any sort of personal judgement on even the most inane facts.

This fragment will be put on its own line for no obvious reason.

In this paragraph I will reference or quote some minor celebrity, historical figure, eccentric, or a group of sufferers; because my editors are ideologically committed to the idea that all news stories need a "human interest", and I'm not convinced that the scientists are interesting enough.

At this point I will include a picture, because our search engine optimisation experts have determined that humans are incapable of reading more than 400 words without one.

This picture has been optimised by SEO experts to appeal to our key target demographics

This subheading hints at controversy with a curt phrase and a question mark?

This paragraph will explain that while some scientists believe one thing to be true, other people believe another, different thing to be true.

In this paragraph I will provide balance with a quote from another scientist in the field. Since I picked their name at random from a Google search, and since the research probably hasn't even been published yet for them to see it, their response to my e-mail will be bland and non-committal.

"The research is useful", they will say, "and gives us new information. However, we need more research before we can say if the conclusions are correct, so I would advise caution for now."

If the subject is politically sensitive this paragraph will contain quotes from some fringe special interest group of people who, though having no apparent understanding of the subject, help to give the impression that genuine public "controversy" exists.

This paragraph will provide more comments from the author restating their beliefs about the research by basically repeating the same stuff they said in the earlier quotes but with slightly different words. They won't address any of the criticisms above because I only had time to send out one round of e-mails.

This paragraph contained useful information or context, but was removed by the sub-editor to keep the article within an arbitrary word limit in case the internet runs out of space.

The final paragraph will state that some part of the result is still ambiguous, and that research will continue.

Related Links:

The Journal (not the actual paper, we don't link to papers).

The University Home Page (finding the researcher's page would be too much effort).

Unrelated story from 2007 matched by keyword analysis.

Special interest group linked to for balance.

Article Source:

A Small Degree of Separation While Remembering Paul Apel

by Steven Leech, Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When I was a youngster growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Richardson Park just outside of Wilmington, Delaware, I used to hang out on the corner with many of the other boys in the neighborhood, hair greased up in a pompadour wearing a leather motorcycle jacket with a switchblade tucked away under the zipper that tightened the cuff of its left sleeve, wearing khaki pants and Keds red ball sneakers playing the part in that otherwise apathetic stultifying America where "Door Gunner" Joe McCarthy and HUAC goons made sure I had no thoughts that might be construed as truly threatening or subversive. We thought we were rebels without a cause, and that was okay because no cause was better than having a cause. Having a cause meant you had to have knowledge as a basis upon which to think seriously about things.

Even with the role I played in order to fit in, I had a sinking feeling there was more to American culture than hanging out on the corner. My evidence could only be found in two places. One place was from the books my father kept, but this merely indicated the raw landscape. Mostly they were books about art and the pictures in them were like little windows into a world that I didn't see while standing on the corner. The other place took the form of a second floor apartment above Starr's Drug Store at the corner of which we hung out. In that apartment lived a man who was about ten or twelve years older than me. In some ways he was like the neighborhood beatnik, though he would have bristled at the comparison. He did have that bohemian aura however. In the late 1960s he was angry that he could no longer be trusted by those in the counter-culture because he was over 30 years old. He knew a lot about art, literature and modern music. He was comfortable and proficient discussing religion, psychology and –– for the times –– subjects as esoteric as cybernetics and media, like radio and television. For example, he first introduced me to Marshall McLuhan's ideas. He became a long time friend throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s when he move with his new wife to Cincinnati, Ohio. His name was Paul Apel. [Continue Reading At]:

MP3 Hear The People MP3
Loose Gravel (Wilhelm/Kunstler)

Mike Wilhelm soloing on '54 Gretsch in GG Park 2005 (Chet Memorial Tribal Stomp)
Mike Wilhelm soloing on '54 Gretsch in GG Park 2005 (Chet Memorial Tribal Stomp)
Mike Wilhelm at Tuscan village
October 8, 2010, 6:30 - 8:30 PM. Solo acoustic.

Ton Nixon and Doug Kauffman
Tom Nixon and Doug Kauffman at Moore Family Winery

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – Light rock and blues guitar by local musicians Tom Nixon and Doug Kauffman will entertain during social hour, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Lake County Land Trust annual dinner, Saturday, Oct. 9, at Moore Family Winery, 11990 Bottle Rock Road, Kelseyville. [Continue At]:

The October 2010 ASIFA-SF newsletter includes my serious article "Animation's Dark Side and Attempt to make Amends." Our big event celebrating International Animation Day is the annual screening of the new 12th edition of The Animation Show of Shows featuring new works by the Brothers Quay, Pill Plympton and other artists, plus a new Road Runner cartoon in 3-D. A clip on YouTube looks great and is funny.

Zuckers, You Have Been Zucked!

Facebook at 517 million users suppresses ET/UFO disclosure
with cointelpro spying, censorship

by Alfred Lambremont Webre, Seattle Exopolitics Examiner, October 1, 2010

With the premiere of a blockbuster movie The Social Network (Tagline: “You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”), social network website - whose approximately 517,760,460 current members now total 7.6 % of the human race - has become the online emblem of virtual society in first decade of the 21st century. has, by publicly reported evidence, become a covert data mine of Facebook users personal data and habits, at a time when Facebook’s 517 million members now number nearly 30% of all 1.9 billion Internet users on the planet. is more than a covert data mine. is, by the evidence, an instrument of information warfare and attack against Facebook users whose actions fall within specific clandestine surveillance guidelines established by DARPA and the U.S. Department of Defense Information Awareness Office. has, by the evidence, also been used in furtherance of black budget operations such as the April 20, 2010 BP Gulf oil spill.

Investigation has revealed that has denied its users access to critical extraterrestrial disclosure information, and has sabotaged Facebook groups intended for organizing a boycott against BP, the oil giant responsible for the April 20, 2010 BP Gulf oil spill false flag operation, through the use of sophisticated spying and cointelpro software attack techniques.

One of the cointelpro-type attacks carried out by and documented by mainstream media newspaper Politico was against Facebook members who attempted to organize a boycott on against BP, one of the corporate perpetrators of the April 20, 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill that has devastated the ecology, economy, and population of the Gulf area.

These sophisticated spying and cointelpro software attack techniques could only be employed with the explicit approval of an upper management executive and venture capital level at This upper level advertises its easy, open access to U.S. President Barack Obama, one of the largest recipients of campaign contributions from BP, and whose Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, received a $500 million grant from BP prior to joining the Obama cabinet.

Researchers such as Vishar Agarwal have demonstrated the deep interconnection between venture capitalists behind and the Central Intelligence Agency investment front company InQTel, whose Board member Dr. Anita Jones was a former high-ranking official of DARPA and of the U.S. Department of Defense Information Awareness Office. is the de-facto controlled Internet asset of the CIA and Department of Defense Information Awareness Office (IAO), "The IAO was established after Admiral John Poindexter, former United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan and SAIC executive Brian Hicks approached the US Department of Defense with the idea for an information awareness program after the [false flag operation] of September 11, 2001.", the clandestine manifestation of SAIC and Admiral John Poindexter’s brainchild Information Awareness Office (IAO) that has now infiltrated 77.4% of all 266 million Internet users in North America (all of whom are now members), and has transformed the Internet into a velvet-gloved virtual form of Friendly Fascism, and conditional virtual citizenship., CIA, DARPA, and the Information Awareness Office (IAO)

Facebook's mission, as conceived by InQTel and Dr. Anita Jones, on behalf of CIA, DARPA and IAO, is functionally identical to the original mission of the IAO itself:

The Information Awareness Office (IAO)'s [and's] mission "would be achieved by creating enormous computer databases to gather and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal e-mails, social network analysis, credit card records, phone calls, medical records, and numerous other sources, without any requirement for a search warrant. This information would then be analyzed to look for suspicious activities, connections between individuals, and "threats". Additionally, the program included funding for biometric surveillance technologies that could identify and track individuals using surveillance cameras, and other methods."

This is a functional description of the surveillance and cointelpro mission of on behalf of its controllers, DARPA, CIA through InQTel and Dr. Anita Jones. is, by the evidence, both a covert data-mine for U.S. military intelligence, and a cointelpro arm of U.S. military intelligence. Every single one of Facebook’s approximately 517,760,460 current users is at risk, not only because of Facebook’s ‘public’ privacy policy (devised by guidelines from DARPA’s IAO).

Facebook users are also at risk because of a covert spying and cointelpro network inside’s command and control structure that will implement a cointelpro-like attack upon any user whose actions are deemed to contravene policies of the Central Intelligence Agency and of U.S. Defense Department, who control InQTel, its key venture capital partner.

Facebookcom’s public relations façade

Popular journalism on has been limited to psychological profiles of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a borderline sociopath, as set out in Rolling Stone’s story The Truth about Facebook, published June 26, 2008.

Facebook-allied venture capitalists like to sport the yuppie whiz-kid look by accompanying Obama to the site of their space rocket launches. Founders Fund principal Peter Thiel, co-founder with Elon Musk of Paypal (pictured with Obama), provided the initial $500,000.00 in development funding for the prototype rollout.

Facebook, InQTel, and Dr. Anita Jones

The reality of most of’s capitalization, and its integration with the mission of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Information Awareness Office (IAO) can be seen in a video by researcher Vishar Agarwal whose viewership, while high for an Internet video, is less that 1/100th of’s membership:

Key capitalization was supplied through the Central Intelligence Agency investment front company InQTel, whose Board member Dr. Anita Jones was a former high-ranking official of DARPA and of the U.S. Department of Defense Information Awareness Office.

The application of covert Internet spying and cointelpro software attack techniques on users by is in many cases a violation of U.S., European Union, and other laws against racketeering, invasion of privacy, illegal surveillance, private espionage, criminal assault, and interference with freedom of speech and assembly.

It is only because carries out these attacks covertly against isolated users who can easily have their accounts discontinued that this mass illegality can flourish.

Although the privacy commissioners of various jurisdictions have spoken out against’s privacy practices, no public authority, such as the Attorneys General of the U.S., New York State, Ontario, etc., or public prosecutors in the European Union, have taken direct action against or its executives for these racketeering and criminal assaults against the rights of individual members. and the BP Gulf oil spill false flag operation

A recent article in the mainstream investigative reporting newspaper Politico by Josh Gerstein states, “Grass-roots activists organizing boycotts against large corporations like Target stores and BP now find themselves directing some of their ire at another corporate monolith: Facebook.

“The boycotters turned to the popular social media site to spread word about their pressure campaigns and keep participants up to date on the latest developments, but those efforts became much more difficult last week when Facebook disabled key features on the boycott pages.”

So, why would, a so-called social network that is designed to allow its users to create online groups, “disable key features of a grass-roots boycott” against BP?

BP along with Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, et alios, by the evidence, are criminal perpetrators of the April 20, 2010 BP Gulf oil false flag operation that so far has by the evidence done incalculable ecological, economic, and health damage to the sea-life, plant life, and human populations in and around the Gulf of Mexico, as well as to the loop current, the Gulf stream and the North Atlantic conveyer belt currents.

This reporter Alfred Lambremont Webre has demonstrated the above in a series of 5 evidence-based articles on the BP Gulf oil spill false flag operation at

These articles have led to an exclusive TV interview of Alfred Lambremont Webre by former Gov. Jesse Ventura on the corporate, individual, governmental, financial and other interests that are responsible for the BP Gulf oil spill, scheduled to be broadcast on in the Fall of 2010.

Politico's Josh Gerstein’s research on establishes prima facie evidence that is implementing illegal cointelpro-type software measures at its website, in aid and abeyance of the BP oil spill false flag operation, and the international war crimes racketeering organization behind that false flag operation.’s cointelpro to conceal the 71 minute video of the nuclear missile UFO whistleblowers' Sept 17, 2010 press conference

On September 27, 2010, according to one researcher, “September 27, 2010 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., six former military officers testified that UFOs were responsible for the shut down of nuclear weapons at various times and places. One instance occurred at Malmstrom AFB in Montana. Those offering testimony: Dwynne Arneson, retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel, Bruce Fenstermacher, retired USAF Captain, Charles Halt, retired USAF Colonel, Robert Jamison, former USAF Captain, Patrick McDonough, retired U.S. Navy Intelligence Command Master Chief, Jerry Nelson, former USAF 1st Lieutenant, and Robert Salas, former USAF Captain. All these men offered impeccable credentials verifying their service records, and duty stations at the times, dates and places in discussion.”

This press conference was broadcast live by CNN, and was reported on by at least 30 mainstream media worldwide.

Yet, maliciously deemed a 71-minute video posted on the Internet by Exopolitics Germany of the CNN broadcast to be ‘abusive’, functionally prevented Facebook users from accessing this historic press conference for 24 hours, and took cointelpro-type attack measures against Facebook users who had attempted quite innocently to post the Exopolitics Germany video online at the website because it was a legitimate worldwide mainstream media event.

Clearly, Facebook - in IAO fashion - enforced a CIA and U.S. Defense Department policy in blocking its 517 million users from access to eyewitness evidence that an extraterrestrial or interdimensional intelligent source was shutting down U.S. and U.K. nuclear missile sites and sending a signal to the U.S. and U.K. governments to abandon nuclear weapons.

This September 27, 2010 cointelpro-like action took place by virtue of’s functional identity as the controlled asset of DARPA and IAO in cyberspace

Where is Facebook going with 30% (or more) the world’s Internet population? is the embodiment of ‘friendly fascism,’ the covert partnership of venture capital, surveillance technology, and military-intelligence objectives for data-mining and cointelpro spying/assaults manipulating the understandable public desire to connect in social networking.

Pop culture and feature motion pictures may expose the complex character of Mark Zuckerberg (who has donated $200 million for New Jersey schools).

In a fundamental sense, Mark Zuckerberg is irrelevant to the data-mining and illegal surveillance and cointelpro functions of, which is an embedded asset of DARPA and the U.S. Department of Defense. Covert command and control intelligence networks, algorithms and software within manipulate and mine the personal data and condition the behavior of 77.4% of North American Internet users on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA and IAO.

The U.S. national security state will resist an expose and dismantling of the CIA, DARPA, IAO, and U.S. military-intelligence's penetration and integration with the ownership structure and the very design and ethic of as a DOD-controlled ‘data mine’ and cointelpro spying and attack virtual reality in cyber space.

According to one source, “The Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in January 2002 to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying surveillance and information technology to track and monitor terrorists and other asymmetric threats to national security, by achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA). This would be achieved by creating enormous computer databases to gather and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal e-mails, social network analysis, credit card records, phone calls, medical records, and numerous other sources, without any requirement for a search warrant. This information would then be analyzed to look for suspicious activities, connections between individuals, and "threats". Additionally, the program included funding for biometric surveillance technologies that could identify and track individuals using surveillance cameras, and other methods.

“Following public criticism that the development and deployment of these technologies could potentially lead to a mass surveillance system, the IAO was defunded by Congress in 2003. However, several IAO projects continued to be funded, and merely run under different names.”

Arpanet, DARPANET, Internet all morph into Facebook

The Internet was developed first as Arpanet through the U.S. Department of Defense’s ARPA (Advanced Research Project’s Agency), and then in the early 1980s morphed into DARPANET. This reporter Alfred Lambremont Webre still remembers Jim Channon of the U.S. Army’s First Earth Battalion and 'Men Who Stare At Goats’ fame coming over in 1982 to a spiritual center in Rock Creek Park in Washington DC, carrying reams of DARPANET printouts for all to see.

Out of DARPANET, the U.S. Department of Defense morphed the Internet in the 1990s.

Out of the Internet, in the middle of the last decade, the Department of Defense morphed the Internet into, and now 77.4% of North American Internet users are becoming Facebook users (and addicts), and data mining slaves of the U.S. Department of Defense, as DARPA foresaw in the 1980s.

There are many users who have reported cointelpro attacks done on them by to this reporter Alfred Lambremont Webre. For reasons of protection of their privacy from retaliation by these users are not named in this investigation. places limits of 5000 friends, and 5000 persons as the maximum number of that a Facebook group that can be communicated to at once. These are upper-limits set by the U.S. Department of Defense to limit the right of assembly, to restrict social self-empowerment and social self-governance, as imposed through These limits are part of the design and control functions for controlled asset social networks like developed by DARPA and the Information Awareness Office, through InQTel and Dr. Rita Jones. entrepreneurs and investors like Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel

What will entrepreneurs and investors like Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel do when it is no longer publicly feasible to deny that Defense Department-level data mining, spying, and cointelpro is at the core of

My guess is they will continue to reap profits and look the other way. A quick look at the Founders Fund convinced this reporter that none of these individuals has any abiding commitment to the growth of individual privacy, empowerment, and the end of the national security state.

What can be done to limit the power of this military-intelligence Trojan Horse Monster ( that has taken over 77.4% of the North American Internet?

1. Public exposure – Public exposure of the penetration of the Internet by DARPA and U.S. military-intelligence using venture capital covers like InQTel and cut-outs like Dr, Anita Jones, former director of DARPA.

The media – misdirected by intelligence psyops - has fixated on the personal foibles of Mark Zuckerberg and the routine investment bankers like Peter Thiel. The role of DARPA, IAO, Admiral John Poindexter, SAIC, CIA venture capital covers like InQTel and cutouts like Dr. Anita Jones, former director of DARPA must be publicly exposed.

2. Regulation & litigation – Public prosecutors in the European Union, Canada, and the states of the United States must begin to investigate the illegal espionage and cointelpro networks within and the outrages they commit daily against Facebook users who are too intimidated by the fear of losing their accounts to complain, and who are not equipped to complain against a CIA-capitalized corporate giant like Laws and regulations must be enacted to eliminate’s power to act as the U.S. Department of Defense’s covert Information Awareness Office in cyberspace.

3. Public funding for independent, public interest virtual social networks – There must be international, national and local public funding made available for independent, public interest virtual social networks, as a component of the United Nation Charter of Human Rights, and the constitutional rights citizens of all nations.

Article Source:

CAUTION: Vehicle may be Transporting Political Promises - California License plate: POO PMPR (showing septic tank cleaning truck; i.e., something usually full of sh*t !!!)

Jimi Hendrix @ ShaKe
Giovedì 7 ottobre dalle ore 21.30 - ShaKe - Interno 4 viale Bligny 42 - MM2, tram 9, 29/30, Milano

Con Enzo Gentile, giornalista, e Marcello Lorrai (Radio Popolare), uno dei più grandi critici italiani di jazz, si parlerà dell’uomo, del musicista e dell’icona, ascoltando la sua musica e proiettando video introvabili per attraversare con Hendrix l’arte e il costume...

... ascoltando la sua musica e proiettando video introvabili per attraversare con Hendrix l’arte e il costume, il suono e le mode dalla metà degli anni sessanta fino a oggi. Con uno sguardo ai motivi che hanno alimentato la leggenda, con una continuità sbalorditiva se si pensa ai tempi con cui si consumano gli eroi grandi e piccoli dei nostri giorni.

Jimi Hendrix non ha bisogno di presentazioni. Morto quarant’anni fa a Londra in circostanze non proprio limpide, in questo lasso di tempo è diventato oggetto di un vero e proprio culto che lo ha eletto il “più grande chitarrista di tutti i tempi”. Ritornare sulla sua figura appare pertanto un atto doveroso, tanto più se fatto dal suo più grande esperto italiano, Enzo Gentile, giornalista di lunga esperienza e passione, critico m...usicale e storico del rock.

Con l’aiuto di una serie di autorevoli collaborazioni, Gentile compone un libro intorno alla figura di Hendrix come luminosa icona contemporanea, riportando alla luce immagini rare, locandine e articoli apparsi in questi decenni, traducendo e commentando i testi delle sue canzoni più importanti. -- Google Translate

David Normal's Illuminations on display at the Center Camp Cafe at Burning Man 2010
“Illuminations” on display at the Center Camp Cafe' at Burning Man 2010

Greetings, ... One month ago I made a colossal display of my work at this year's Burning Man Festival. The show took place at the Central Camp Cafe in Black Rock City. It was one of the most prominent art installations at the festival, and I presume that nearly everyone in attendance (over 50,000) saw my work.

Documentation can be seen here:

My current exhibit at SLC Ink Tattoo Parlor and Art Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah received what I would call a "glowing" review in the Salt Lake City Weekly:

Here is current work in progress:

As always, I am seeking exhibition opportunities for my work worldwide. I am starting to plan next year’s exhibition schedule. Please contact me if you would like to show my work. Best wishes, ... David Normal

From: Disclosure Endgame

Written by David Wilcock, Saturday, 12 December 2009 21:33


You can laugh if you want to, and attack everyone who doesn't think the same way you do as being a loser and a crank, but you may be in for quite a surprise when such a Disclosure is actually made. In fact, the insiders who have kept this secret for the last 60 years are counting on the skeptics, debunkers and religious fundamentalists to freak out and destabilize society once they are finally told the truth -- though I highly doubt that will actually happen.

Instead of absolutely believing you will never hear any "genuine proof" that UFOs exist, or ever see a 'real one' with your own eyes, I invite you to try the intellectual exercise of at least allowing yourself to ask the "What If." Just try. As a Highly Intelligent Skeptic you have to be willing to consider all possibilities, rather than automatically assuming your opinion must be correct.

What if the government actually did tell you UFOs were real? What if we are surrounded by intelligent life throughout the Universe? What if humans like us have evolved on other planets besides the Earth? What if there are technologies out there that are vastly superior to our own -- and our cherished 'laws' of physics need to be completely rewritten?

What if our own technology was dramatically assisted by this "celestial endowment?" What if the extraterrestrial presence was considered the highest secret of all, due to its potential to eliminate the oil-based economy, and has been carefully kept under wraps -- with deadly force -- for six decades now, but is finally falling apart?

I mean, think about it -- after all this talk of UFOs for so many years; after all the movies, documentaries, books, TV shows and the like; after all the evidence you have been exposed to throughout your life, do you honestly believe the whole, entire thing is completely and totally BS?

Can you sincerely be confident that every single sighting ever reported in human history must be a lie or a hoax, and every single whistleblower is similarly concocting fairytales -- despite the career destruction, poverty and ridicule they endure, notwithstanding the tired old lies you may have heard about them "selling their stories" and becoming 'rich' from them?

(I know many of these UFO whistleblowers personally. Very few, if any, are lucky enough to function above a subsistence level.)

I'm serious. This is your life. You do with it what you want. But can you absolutely be sure you are right? What happens if you're not? Who will you owe your sincerest apologies to then?

In light of the tremendous, irrefutable body of evidence that is available, who really is the naive one? You, the Highly Intelligent Skeptic, or all the people you so cavalierly insult as being stupid, ignorant savages for looking at this vast body of compelling data... and concluding that it might actually be true?

You may not have to wait much longer to find the answers to these questions. We are on the threshold of what may well be the most exciting moment in human history. Or, shall we say, Earth-born human history.

[Continue Reading At]:

(fwiw) Today is: 10/10/10

by Paul Krassner

Dear President Obama,

It seems that the theme emanating from the White House is “Eat, Pray, Be Disappointed.” And yet, whenever I do feel disappointed, I always realize that the alternative was John McCain, with Sarah Palin just one Halloween “Boo!” away from the presidency, and then I always feel a sense of relief.

Actually, you’ve kept one big campaign promise – to send more troops to Afghanistan – so I guess we can’t fault you for that. In fact, according to Bob Woodward in his book, Obama’s Wars, all you want to do now is get out of Afghanistan. Well, why don’t you just do what Osama bin Laden did; cross over to Pakistan. Since we bribe Pakistan to be our ally, you’d think they would never consider harboring bin Laden, though they reek with empathy when our outsourced drones drop those bombs.

Also, during the campaign you said you believe that the legality of same-sex marriage should be decided by the states, but that you personally think marriage should be between a man and a woman. Which is exactly the position that caused Miss USA, Carrie Prejean, to have her crown revoked.

And another thing. You promised to end the raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, but they haven’t stopped.

Here’s how I understand Washington. America’s puritanical political process serves as a buffer between the status quo and the force of evolution. For instance, in order to get Republican votes for the children’s healthcare bill, Democrats agreed to fund $28 million to their abstinence-only program.

And, during your campaign, you admitted, in the context of health care reform, that the multinational insurance conglomeration is so firmly entrenched that you would be unable to dispense with it. So there would have to be compromises.

Now, amnesty is the single-payer system of marijuana reform, and growing your own pot is the public option. Meanwhile, as long as any government can arbitrarily decide which drugs are legal and which drugs are illegal, then anyone serving time for a nonviolent drug offense is a political prisoner.

In his new book, Bob Woodward writes about Colin Powell’s status as an adviser to you. Referring to his previous book, Plan of Attack, the New York Times reported at the time that “Secretary of State Colin Powell disputed Woodward’s account….He said that he had an excellent relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney, and that he did not recall referring to officials at the Pentagon loyal to Cheney as the ‘Gestapo office.’”

Who among us would be unable to recall uttering such an epithet? Powell later apologized for it. He has also changed his mind about gays in the military. In my capacity as a stand-up satirist, I used to conduct an imaginary dialogue with Powell.

“General Powell, you’re the first African-American to be head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and you come from the tradition of a military family. So you know that blacks were once segregated in the Army because the other soldiers might feel uncomfortable if blacks slept in the same barracks. And now that’s what they say about gays, that other soldiers might feel uncomfortable about gays sleeping in the same barracks.”

“Well, but we never told anybody we were black.”

And, Mr. President, that was the forerunner of the same “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that you promised to rescind, only you haven’t been acting like a Commander-in-Chief. All you have to do is sign such a directive. Those who serve in the military are trained to follow orders. If they can follow orders to kill fellow humans, they can certainly follow orders to treat openly gay service people with total equality.

Not only is the current guideline counterproductive, but also this display of trickle-down immorality must, on some level of consciousness, serve as a contributing factor to enabling the anti-gay bullying and torturing of innocent victims. I know, you don’t want to take a chance that retracting the policy would interfere with your re-election. You’ve made the point that you don’t want Mitt Romney to win in 2012 and turn around all the good things you’ve accomplished.

Incidentally, Romney had wanted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, yet, in 1994, when he was running for the Senate, he came out in favor of choice for women. However, free-lance journalist Suzan Mazur revealed that he admitted to Mormon feminist Judith Dushku that “the Brethren” in Salt Lake City told him he could take a pro-choice position, and that in fact he probably had to in order to win in a liberal state like Massachusetts. Pandering trumps religious belief.

If gays and lesbians have waited this long for basic fairness, they might as well just wait for the next election. If you win, then would you kindly do immediately what you believe is right, constitutionally and in your heart, and end this injustice? The ultimate irony is that gays in the military are fighting and being maimed and dying unnecessarily, all supposedly to protect the freedom that their own country is denying them.


Paul Krassner
In December the writers organization PEN-West will honor Paul Krassner with their lifetime achievement award. (He beat out Levi Johnston.)

Be Aware: The Nexus Approaches!

Posted on October 10, 2010 by mayasoma

10-10-10 Star Gate Portal

The human race is headed towards a great change, many spirits will return to the stars and something magnificent is going to happen!” Astral Walker

Can you feel it? The race is on, the diaspora has begun and souls are scrambling to make sense of the intensifying energies on Planet Earth. If only our history books had documented the truth of the astrological cycles as the Maya, and many other indigenous tribes, have long done for their own people, then there would not be so much uncertainty and fear. Unfortunately, that is not how this part of our homo-sapien history is to be played out. At present, the 3D world is going crazy and the only way to manuever these times is to understand the facts. And so, without further ado, here is some of our history…

26,000 years ago, the galactic center of the Milky Way emitted an enormous energetic wave better known as the Nexus. It does this every 26,000 years, as they say, there is nothing new under the sun. This emissions are what have caused the tumultuous transitions from each of our previous world eras. If you are not familiar with these facts, simply research indigenous tribes and their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and soon to be 5th worlds.

What was released all that time ago will soon reach our earth in full strength. The Nexus has its own personal rhythm and does take some time to cross the galaxies and skies. I believe its arrival correlates to the Mayan Long Count End Date of December 2012. Afterall, the center of the Milky Way is where the Maya believe their Creator Hunab Ku resides. Our Creator has sent out an energy impulse, this Supreme Being is blowing us/creation a kiss. Unfortunately, our consciousness resides too far away from our original empowered selves to simply receive that kiss in bliss.

That incoming energy is meant to completely change our world, in other words, to wake us all up to who we are: infinite Gods and Goddesses with incredible abilities and powers. This incoming beam of bluish-white light will alter and restore our DNA from its current state which only uses 3% of its capacities to a renewed state of 100% remembrance. Translated: 97% of what scientist call junk DNA will be reactivated. WoW…a jolt of electricity that courses through our veins, awakening our souls and minds. No one is going to escape this phenomena. Thank you Hunab Ku!

Our main problem lies then with the Dark Lords who currently control the 3D world. They are also fully aware of the approaching Nexus and have set out a program to depopulate the Earth as much as possible. Why would they do that? Who are these Dark Lords? It’s an old story, again, much of our missing history, but the short and long version of it is there is an inter-galalctic battle on right now, a war that is being waged for souls. If the Dark Lords, negative Et’s, have their way, the coming earth catastrophes will take people into fear and fear is a place where they can trap one’s soul, one’s consciousness, forevermore. On a distant planet, in a distant place, maybe somewhere that looks exactly like our Earth, a new slave race can be created with the trapped souls. The Dark Lords know, full well, that their “time” on Planet Earth is over. A new era has cometh… the age of peace and enlightenment…and they must flee. They intend to flee with as many captives as possible. Sound like a bad sci-fi movie? I wish it were, but these are our current events and the facts are unknown to almost everyone. How frightening! Wake up, please, before you are whisked away to another dimension without personal agreement to do so.

“Right now the realm of darkness is not interested in this (peace). They are organized to block it. They seek to unbalance the Earth and its environment so we will be unready for the alignment in 2012.” Carlos Barrios, Mayan Datekeeper

Take a look around…. ecological disasters leading to worldwide famines and extinction, environmental catastrophes that destroy the lives of millions, economical collapses that create a fearful, dependent race and threats of terrorism and world wars loom over our existence. Is this the four horsemen spoken of in the Book of Revelations? It clearly is the workings of the Dark Lords and its about to get more intense, after all, these are their death throes.

“From that 1987 date until now, Mr. Barrios says, we have been in a time when the right arm of the materialistic world is disappearing, slowly but inexorably. We are at the cusp of the era when peace begins, and people live in harmony with Mother Earth. We are no longer in the World of the Fourth Sun, but we are not yet in the World of the Fifth Sun. This is the time in-between, the time of transition.

As we pass through transition there is a colossal, global convergence of environmental destruction, social chaos, war, and ongoing Earth changes. All this, Mr. Barrios says, was foreseen via the simple, spiral mathematics of the Mayan calendars. It will change, Mr. Barrios observes. Everything will change. He said Mayan Daykeepers view the Dec. 21, 2012 date as a rebirth, the start of the World of the Fifth Sun. It will be the start of a new era resulting from — and signified by — the solar meridian crossing the galactic equator, and the earth aligning itself with the center of the galaxy.” Carlos Barrios, Mayan Datekeeper

Meanwhile, the Family of Light is exerting every effort for a mass awakening, for gathering, for consciously uniting as we know on some level that everything is dependent on us to do so. We are supposed to be creating an astral force field around the planet and ourselves in the shape of the Flower of Life (see Drunvalo Melchizedek’s work on this matter for more information). This symbol can and will prepare us for the enormity of the approaching Nexus. We are supposed to be clearing our fields as much as possible of debris, creating no new karma, so that we are a crystal clear channel for receiving the Nexus energy. We must give praise and thanks as we have received, and will continue to receive, so much help from the Galactic Federation of positive Et’s.

I ask myself though, have enough souls awoken to make this transition happen with ease? Can geological earth disasters be diminished? The Dark Lords are earnestly working hard to create as many earth catastrophes as possible in these last days in order to capture their slave race of unaware humans. Many will succumb to this fate due to fear, many will go to the stars as their earth contracts are complete, and a handful of ascended beings will remain on the New Earth.

If you happened to be a person who was to die in shock and fear, your consciousness would be lost and confused on the astral plane for a moment. It is in those crucial moments that the negative Et’s can and will capture your essence in a containment vehicle if you are not aware. As quickly as you come into consciousness, get to the benevolent blue light. I have been warned not to be drawn down any tunnels or caves, nor gravitate to any bright yellow-red lights and by no means go with any beckoning ET’s.

The benevolent ET’s, the light ones, are calling us home and their bioluminescent blue-white light is the signal. You can feel this with your heart. They have said Operation Victory is at hand. They have stated that the Dark Lords cannot succeed and all disasters will be minimized (let’s hope so as some seriously dangerous threats are presenting themselves on the earth right now). They have also said the Dark Lords are at their most dangerous as they face defeat, so it is crucial to be fully present! Be aware! Vaccines? Genetically modified foods? Chemical spraying? Understand, these are some of their tools for mind control and keeping the masses asleep. Whatever cometh, wherever you find yourself in these last days where we count days, simply remember, you have only one thing to do: get to the bluish-white light, reach out for the Nexus. If you do, your full consciousness will be re-instated and you will be safe and empowered.

Let us recall the last sign in the Hopi prophecy which states that a blue planet from the Heavens will crash into Earth causing earth destruction, this last sign is what all elders are awaiting as our entry into the 5th world. Possibly, it is not a planet, but an energy wave: the Nexus?

Lightwalkers, we are going home now. We have felt the Nexus approaching for years, even if we could or could not put words to it. Our Creator desires our remembrance and this collective shift to magnificence is welcome. Stay in your heart and the Dark Lords will lose power. It is promised and all is well!

Navajo, awaiting portal 11-11-11 and 12-12-12 to the Nexus!

Selected Observation of Seismic Interest

MAP 3.4 2010/10/11 16:43:59 62.884 -150.108 73.9 CENTRAL ALASKA

MAP 3.6 2010/10/11 16:06:05 35.315 -92.335 5.9 ARKANSAS

MAP 2.6 2010/10/11 13:57:27 37.156 -117.381 10.8 NEVADA

MAP 2.5 2010/10/11 13:43:31 35.292 -92.341 6.7 ARKANSAS

MAP 4.0 2010/10/11 13:33:40 35.304 -92.317 5.0 ARKANSAS

MAP 3.3 2010/10/11 13:26:39 52.552 -169.044 12.5 FOX ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA

MAP 2.6 2010/10/11 10:33:20 19.156 -66.690 29.0 PUERTO RICO REGION

MAP 3.2 2010/10/11 09:06:45 19.041 -64.528 52.2 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.3 2010/10/11 07:33:45 18.901 -64.400 65.3 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.1 2010/10/11 07:13:20 19.281 -64.585 24.7 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.1 2010/10/11 06:04:01 63.711 -147.592 69.4 CENTRAL ALASKA

MAP 2.9 2010/10/11 05:55:34 19.160 -64.459 24.5 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.1 2010/10/11 05:11:26 19.110 -64.549 42.2 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.3 2010/10/11 01:48:17 19.334 -64.434 49.0 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.0 2010/10/11 01:15:46 19.104 -64.198 24.2 VIRGIN ISLANDS REGION

MAP 3.0 2010/10/10 12:48:23 35.322 -92.332 4.7 ARKANSAS

MAP 2.6 2010/10/09 13:45:34 35.297 -92.311 7.2 ARKANSAS

MAP 3.0 2010/10/09 04:13:40 35.307 -92.328 5.2 ARKANSAS

MAP 2.5 2010/10/08 20:44:53 37.159 -117.371 12.9 NEVADA

MAP 6.1 2010/10/08 03:49:12 51.499 -175.261 35.0 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA

MAP 6.4 2010/10/08 03:26:14 51.421 -175.434 20.6 ANDREANOF ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN IS., ALASKA

MAP 2.5 2010/10/07 23:20:34 35.309 -92.320 4.4 ARKANSAS

MAP 4.1 2010/10/05 21:22:47 37.153 -117.376 9.2 NEVADA

MAP 2.8 2010/10/04 21:57:49 37.157 -117.374 10.9 NEVADA - Dated Source

China dominates list of globe's richest self-made women

Agence France-Presse, Beijing, October 12, 2010

More than half of the 20 richest self-made women in the world are Chinese, with their average fortune beating that of US talk show host Oprah Winfrey and author JK Rowling, a list showed on Tuesday. The three richest women on the planet are Chinese, led by paper-recycling queen Zhang Yin, who has a personal fortune of 5.6 billion dollars, according to the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, which compiles data on wealthy individuals.

Of the 20 richest self-made female billionaires, 11 are Chinese, with wealth averaging 2.6 billion dollars -- compared with ninth-placed Winfrey's 2.3 billion dollars, the report said.

JK Rowling, author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books, came bottom of the list, with one billion dollars.

"There is no other country that comes even close to touching the number of self-made women in China. They are now head and shoulders above any other country," said Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and compiler of the Hurun rich list.

The list includes three billionaires from the United States, three from Britain and one each from Italy, Russia and Spain.

The richest non-Chinese person on the list was Rosalia Mera of Spanish clothing store Zara with 3.5 billion dollars.

Hoogewerf partly attributed the Chinese women's business success to the government's one-child policy and free childcare provided by many grandparents, which has enabled them to spend time building their empires.

"That makes a huge difference," he told AFP, adding that China's long acceptance of women working outside the home has been another significant factor.

The richest person in China -- a man -- was Zong Qinghou, the founder of China's largest soft drinks maker Wahaha with a personal fortune of 12 billion dollars, the report said.

Zong, 65, leapt 11 places to top the annual list of Chinese who have personal wealth of at least 150 million dollars. The list has expanded to 1,363 people from 1,000 in 2009.

Zong's climb up the rankings comes a year after French food giant Danone ended its long-standing feud with Wahaha by agreeing to sell its 51 per cent stake in their joint ventures.

Danone had accused Zong of breaching an agreement after he set up an entire production and distribution network in parallel to the French firm's joint ventures with Wahaha.

Hoogewerf said 95 per cent of the people on this year's rich list had made their fortunes from China's growing domestic demand and only five per cent relied on exports -- suggesting Beijing's efforts to retool the economy could be working.

The average fortune has leapt 64 per cent over the past two years to 577 million dollars, with property the biggest source of wealth.

Less than one per cent of people on the rich list -- whose average age is 51 compared with around 65 in the West -- inherited their wealth, while 12 per cent have been appointed to "significant government advisory posts".

Hoogewerf said he found 189 dollar billionaires but estimated there could be as many as 400-500 in China, which would make it the largest number in the world.

Bears With Arms

A Mamma Grizzly walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand and pulling a Bull with the other hand. She says to the waiter, "I want coffee."

The waiter says, "Sure, Mamma Grizzly. Coming right up."

He gets Mamma Grizzly a tall mug of coffee..... Mamma Grizzly drinks the coffee down in one gulp, turns and blasts the Bull with the shotgun, causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere, and walks out.

The next morning Mamma Grizzly returns. She has her shotgun in one hand, pulling another Bull with the other hand. She walks up to the counter and says to the waiter, "I want coffee."

The waiter says, "Whoa, Mamma Grizzly! We're still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What was all that about, anyway?"

Mamma Grizzly smiles and proudly says,

"I am training for a position in United States Congress where I: Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave a mess for others to clean up, and disappear for the rest of the day."

Republicans, with Democrat Help, Destroyed U.S.

Boy George: 'Jail's like school but you can't leave'

He's been jailed and addicted to drugs – twice. Now Boy George has cleaned up, worked with Mark Ronson and even curbed his acid tongue

by Nick McGrath,, Tuesday 12 October 2010 21.45 BST, Article History

In a 2002 BBC poll, Boy George was voted the nation's 46th favourite Briton of all time, finishing a respectable six places above Florence Nightingale, and just five places below Charles Dickens. Sixteen years after conquering the heroin addiction that derailed his stratospheric early success with Culture Club, everyone's favourite sharp-tongued pop star was well on his way to becoming a national treasure.

But the cracks began to appear in the summer of 2006, when he was convicted of falsely reporting a burglary after cocaine was found in his New York apartment, and ordered to do five days' community service with the Manhattan sanitation department. Then, on 28 April 2007, came the aberration that would ultimately lead to the release next week of his new single, Pentonville Blues – a candidly euphoric reggae anthem recorded with the dance-music duo Glide & Swerve, and inspired by his time inside.

In January last year, the man born George Alan O'Dowd in June 1961 was sentenced to 15 months in jail for falsely imprisoning male escort Auden Carlsen by handcuffing him to the wall of his east London flat, then assaulting him with a metal chain. George's barrister blamed his client's offence on a "descent into self-destructive behaviour at the hands of drugs". George himself offered no defence.

Now, 18 months after his release from jail, I'm sitting with George in his gothic north London mansion. Books are stacked on the floor, the rooms are filled with mannequins, and George himself, in a rhinestone-studded T-shirt, appears to have lost little of his characteristic style – though his trademark fedora is conspicuous by its absence. So what really happened that April night, I ask him. And, more importantly, why? "If you want to find out, Google it," he says with uncharacteristic restraint. "I'm through with confessionals."

The incident occurred towards the end of a period of protracted hedonism, during which he had been taking drugs pretty much every day. His epiphany came when a fellow addict dragged him along to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. "I got sober on 2 March 2008," he says, "and if I hadn't been sober for most of the year before I went inside, I think [prison] would have been a very different experience."

George's life inside began with a rousing rendition of Karma Chameleon from fellow inmates. "I get that everywhere," he says, unmoved. "At carpet markets in Morocco, by the pyramids in Egypt. I was expecting it, much like the environment, which is like the classic Victorian prisons you see in the movies: safety nets, balconies and everything painted drab green and yellow."

Buoyed by "thousands" of supportive letters, George acclimatised remarkably quickly. "I spent a lot of time reading; everything from Wuthering Heights to Catch-22 to A Confederacy of Dunces, and listening to Bowie records. And I also took a job in the kitchens. I don't want to blow my own trumpet" – he cackles like a camp Sid James – "but the first time I made a quiche this black guy went, 'Tasty. Batty man made the quiche.'"

Far from being petrified, he embraced the prison community: he's planning to return to perform Pentonville Blues shortly. "You just get on with it," he says. "You make friends. You go for coffee. You swap CDs. It's like being at school. Except you can't leave."

George's new-found sobriety and prevailing sprituality – he is devoted to Eckhart Tolle's self-help bible The Power of Now, which he claims to have read five times – appear to have curbed his notoriously toxic diatribes about fellow celebrities ("All that money," he said of Elton John in 2005, "and he's still got hair like a dinner lady"). "I used to slag people off left, right and centre," he says, "but if I'm going to say something about someone else now I try to think, 'Is it useful? Will it help them?' It's been liberating to stop the viper-in-the-basket act." A vase of lillies on the coffee table seems to reinforce this shift. "Elton John sent them yesterday. We made up a long time ago." He also wrote to George Michael – his 80s peer and former sparring partner – when the former Wham! star was sent to Pentonville.

George's return to music is heralded not just by his own new single, but by his collaboration with pop's nom du jour, Mark Ronson. The crowd-pleasing Somebody to Love Me, for which George provides a heartbreaking, rasping vocal, has rightly been trumpeted as the stand-out track on Ronson's new album, Record Collection. "I've been performing with him whenever I can," says George, "and it's great. I get to come on at the end for one song and take all the glory with none of the stress."

Next up for George is a tour of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany with none other than Cliff Richard and his old friend Grace Jones. Then there's his solo album, Ordinary Alien, due out in the next few months, and a possible Culture Club reunion in 2012 to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary.

But his primary ambition, post-Pentonville, is simple: to enjoy the moment. "I've spent a lot of my life not really being present," he says. "I don't want to be a figure of disappointment. I don't want people to think, 'Oh, poor fucking tragic George' – because I'm not."

Pentonville Blues is out on BobCat Music on Monday. The single Somebody to Love Me with Mark Ronson and the Business Intl is out on Columbia on 6 December; the album Record Collection is out now.

Television Shows Every Political Candidate Is Crooked &
None of the Above Should Be On Voter Ballots

America's nastiest political ad:
This Republican wants to kill your dog

A new low for US political ads as Illinois Democrat accuses his Republican rival of wanting mass dog killings in gas chambers

The history of US political attack ads has some breathtaking examples of the genre: George Bush senior's "revolving door prison" and Willie Horton ads, Lyndon Johnson's "Daisy" nuclear cloud and the Swift Boat assault on John Kerry. But never has a candidate stooped so low as accuse his rival of wanting to kill dogs.

That changed this week when Pat Quinn, the Democratic governor of Illinois, ran an ad attacking his Republican opponent Bill Brady in a manner designed to chill the blood of America's dog lovers.

There's a standing joke in politics about running an ad saying "Vote for me or the kitten gets it," but this is perhaps the first time anyone has actually done it.

Using foreboding music, the ad says that Brady sponsored a bill in the Illinois state senate to "mass euthanize sheltered cats and dogs in gas chambers" - with the words "euthanize" and "gas chambers" spelled out in bold red capital letters over grainy black and white footage of puppies being dumped into a large metal bin.

The ad continues with clips of pet owners, clutching their dogs, reacting to the claim. "I'm a pretty staunch Republican. I will not be voting for Bill Brady. That's sick and wrong," says one woman.

Quinn, who replaced disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich after he was impeached in 2009, is trailing behind Brady in the latest polls. But the outcome remains uncertain and Quinn's ad follows a tradition of often bare-knuckle campaigning in Illinois.

But is it true? Up to a point, according to the PolitiFact website, which gives the claims a "half true" rating on its Fact-o-meter. "Our research suggests that the ad's summary of the issue is pretty accurate. But there are a couple of significant caveats that we think are worth noting," Politifact says.

In any case, the bill was quickly dropped by Brady after opposition from the US Humane Society and its allies.

The real question is whether the ad will work. While the British pride themselves on being a nation of dog lovers, in reality Americans far surpass Brits in venerating man's best friend – and Quinn is counting on them being horrified by Brady's bill. View source article at Richard Adams's Blog:

If We Are To Believe What Is Seen On Television,
Nobody Should Be Elected November 2nd !!!

All (TV Commercial Paying) Politicians Get Into A Boat.
The Boat Sinks.

The Country !!!

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Hi Curtis, I just watched a DVD about the band Fishbone and was blown away by this wild, crazy group of musical anarchists from LA that puts on an extreme, amazing, high-energy show. Feature is at times political (growing up Black in segregated LA with school bussing, Watt's Riots, Rodney King riots). It includes some OK animation that gives life to several segments, but it is mostly an exciting documentary about a group trying to stay together and trying to make it their way over a 30 year period. I wasn't aware of the band prior to seeing the doc and it isn't music I would normally listen too, so what got me into this film was the story, interviews, and I was blown away with the ability of the filmmakers to share with us the excitement of this wild band that doesn't play according to the rules or play one kind of music - they just do their thing and each guy has a different thing to contribute! . It isn't pop, funk, punk, rock, rap or... it can be all those things in one song. See it at the Roxie this Thurs night (Oct. 14) as part of the Doc Film Festival.

One segment of the story includes the band members trying to rescue one of their members who apparently got brainwashed by his father and he joined a religious cult. The band was tried on kidnapping charges, but when the guy who pressed charges took the stand the jury saw... so the band was acquitted! Don't go for the animation by Click3X which is just right for this film, go because it is an amazing fresh film experience and it is nice that it includes a little motion graphics, animatics and limited animation (decent TV quality).

In the final credits I noticed the sound mix was done at Pixar, Video Arts/Gary Coates in SF were listed in the credits, and some of the sequences were filmed locally (Opening was shot at the Warfield) and the distributor is Pale Griot Film on Hayes St. in SF. Karl Cohen

High Curtis, Just found some stuff on YouTube of the guy I played with in Japan back in '95 & '97. kyOn is a great keyboard, accordian, guitar & mandolin player. This stuff is from the band he formed in the late '90s called the Hobo King.

He's the tall guy on the left, purple suit, plexiglass guitar and or mandolin. Yours truly, Mike Wilhelm

バニティーファクトリー 佐野元春 and The Hobo King Band (Live) -

Hal (Rainbow Puddle) writes: AWESOME Burning Man Gallery!
[This] stunning photography deserves several frosty's!

Ozzy Osbourne sings John Lennon's How

Ozzy Osbourne sings John Lennon's "How?"

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
Reflections on the Spirit and Legacy of the Sixties

by Fritjof Capra
December 1, 2002 - permalink

The 1960s were the period of my life during which I experienced the most profound and most radical personal transformation. For those of us who identify with the cultural and political movements of the sixties, that period represents not so much a decade as a state of consciousness, characterized by "transpersonal" expansion, the questioning of authority, a sense of empowerment, and the experience of sensuous beauty and community.

This state of consciousness reached well into the seventies. In fact, one could say that the sixties came to an end only in December 1980, with the shot that killed John Lennon. The immense sense of loss felt by so many of us was, to a great extent, about the loss of an era. For a few days after the fatal shooting we relived the magic of the sixties. We did so in sadness and with tears, but the same feeling of enchantment and of community was once again alive. Wherever you went during those few days - in every neighborhood, every city, every country around the world - you heard John Lennon's music, and the intense idealism that had carried us through the sixties manifested itself once again:

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us and the world will live as one.

In this essay, I shall try to evoke the spirit of that remarkable period, identify its defining characteristics, and provide an answer to some questions that are often asked nowadays: What happened to the cultural movements of the sixties? What did they achieve, and what, if any, is their legacy?

expansion of consciousness

The era of the sixties was dominated by an expansion of consciousness in two directions. One movement, in reaction to the increasing materialism and secularism of Western society, embraced a new kind of spirituality akin to the mystical traditions of the East. This involved an expansion of consciousness toward experiences involving nonordinary modes of awareness, which are traditionally achieved through meditation but may also occur in various other contexts, and which psychologists at the time began to call "transpersonal." Psychedelic drugs played a significant role in that movement, as did the human potential movement's promotion of expanded sensory awareness, expressed in its exhortation, "Get out of your head and into your senses!"

The first expansion of consciousness, then, was a movement beyond materialism and toward a new spirituality, beyond ordinary reality via meditative and psychedelic experiences, and beyond rationality through expanded sensory awareness. The combined effect was a continual sense of magic, awe, and wonder that for many of us will forever be associated with the sixties.

questioning of authority

The other movement was an expansion of social consciousness, triggered by a radical questioning of authority. This happened independently in several areas. While the American civil rights movement demanded that Black citizens be included in the political process, the free speech movement at Berkeley and student movements at other universities throughout the United States and Europe demanded the same for students.

In Europe, these movements culminated in the memorable revolt of French university students that is still known simply as "May '68." During that time, all research and teaching activities came to a complete halt at most French universities when the students, led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, extended their critique to society as a whole and sought the solidarity of the French labor movement to change the entire social order. For three weeks, the administrations of Paris and other French cities, public transport, and businesses of every kind were paralyzed by a general strike. In Paris, people spent most of their time discussing politics in the streets, while the students held strategic discussions at the Sorbonne and other universities. In addition, they occupied the Odéon, the spacious theater of the Comédie Française, and transformed it into a twenty-four-hour "people's parliament," where they discussed their stimulating, albeit highly idealistic, visions of a future social order.

1968 was also the year of the celebrated "Prague Spring," during which Czech citizens, led by Alexander Dubcek, questioned the authority of the Soviet regime, which alarmed the Soviet Communist party to such an extent that, a few months later, it crushed the democratization processes initiated in Prague in its brutal invasion of Czechoslovakia.

In the United States, opposition to the Vietnam war became a political rallying point for the student movement and the counterculture. It sparked a huge anti-war movement, which exerted a major influence on the American political scene and led to many memorable events, including the decision by President Johnson not to seek reelection, the turbulent 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the Watergate scandal, and the resignation of President Nixon.

a new sense of community

While the civil rights movement questioned the authority of white society and the student movements questioned the authority of their universities on political issues, the women's movement began to question patriarchal authority; humanistic psychologists undermined the authority of doctors and therapists; and the sexual revolution, triggered by the availability of birth control pills, broke down the puritan attitudes toward sexuality that were typical of American culture.

The radical questioning of authority and the expansion of social and transpersonal consciousness gave rise to a whole new culture - a "counterculture" - that defined itself in opposition to the dominant "straight" culture by embracing a different set of values. The members of this alternative culture, who were called "hippies" by outsiders but rarely used that term themselves, were held together by a strong sense of community. To distinguish ourselves from the crew cuts and polyester suits of that era's business executives, we wore long hair, colorful and individualistic clothes, flowers, beads, and other jewelry. Many of us were vegetarians who often baked our own bread, practiced yoga or some other form of meditation, and learned to work with our hands in various crafts.

Our subculture was immediately identifiable and tightly bound together. It had its own rituals, music, poetry, and literature; a common fascination with spirituality and the occult; and the shared vision of a peaceful and beautiful society. Rock music and psychedelic drugs were powerful bonds that strongly influenced the art and lifestyle of the hippie culture. In addition, the closeness, peacefulness, and trust of the hippie communities were expressed in casual communal nudity and freely shared sexuality. In our homes we would frequently burn incense and keep little altars with eclectic collections of statues of Indian gods and goddesses, meditating Buddhas, yarrow stalks or coins for consulting the I Ching, and various personal "sacred" objects.

Although different branches of the sixties movement arose independently and often remained distinct movements with little overlap for several years, they eventually became aware of one another, expressed mutual solidarity, and, during the 1970s, merged more or less into a single subculture. By that time, psychedelic drugs, rock music, and the hippie fashion had transcended national boundaries and had forged strong ties among the international counterculture. Multinational hippie tribes gathered in several countercultural centers - London, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Greenwich Village - as well as in more remote and exotic cities like Marrakech and Katmandu. These frequent cross-cultural exchanges gave rise to an "alternative global awareness" long before the onset of economic globalization.

the sixties' music

The zeitgeist of the sixties found expression in many art forms that often involved radical innovations, absorbed various facets of the counterculture, and strengthened the multiple relationships among the international alternative community.

Rock music was the strongest among these artistic bonds. The Beatles broke down the authority of studios and songwriters by writing their own music and lyrics, creating new musical genres, and setting up their own production company. While doing so, they incorporated many facets of the period's characteristic expansion of consciousness into their songs and lifestyles.

Bob Dylan expressed the spirit of the political protests in powerful poetry and music that became anthems of the sixties. The Rolling Stones represented the counterculture's irreverence, exuberance, and sexual energy, while San Francisco's "acid rock" scene gave expression to its psychedelic experiences.

At the same time, the "free jazz" of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, and others shattered conventional forms of jazz improvisation and gave expression to spirituality, radical political poetry, street theater, and other elements of the counterculture. Like the jazz musicians, classical composers, such as Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany and John Cage in the United States, broke down conventional musical forms and incorporated much of the sixties' spontaneity and expanded awareness into their music.

The fascination of the hippies with Indian religious philosophies, art, and culture led to a great popularity of Indian music. Most record collections in those days contained albums of Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, and other masters of classical Indian music along with rock and folk music, jazz and blues.

The rock and drug culture of the sixties found its visual expressions in the psychedelic posters of the era's legendary rock concerts, especially in San Francisco, and in album covers of ever increasing sophistication, which became lasting icons of the sixties' subculture. Many rock concerts also featured "light shows" - a novel form of psychedelic art in which images of multicolored, pulsating, and ever changing shapes were projected onto walls and ceilings. Together with the loud rock music, these visual images created highly effective simulations of psychedelic experiences.

new literary forms

The main expressions of sixties' poetry were in the lyrics of rock and folk music. In addition, the "beat poetry" of Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, and others, which had originated a decade earlier and shared many characteristics with the sixties' art forms, remained popular in the counterculture.

One of the major new literary forms was the "magical realism" of Latin American literature. In their short stories and novels, writers like Jorges Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez blended descriptions of realistic scenes with fantastic and dreamlike elements, metaphysical allegories, and mythical images. This was a perfect genre for the counterculture's fascination with altered states of consciousness and pervasive sense of magic.

In addition to the Latin American magical realism, science fiction, especially the complex series of Dune novels by Frank Herbert, exerted great fascination on the sixties' youth, as did the fantasy writings of J. R. R. Tolkien and Kurt Vonnegut. Many of us also turned to literary works of the past, such as the romantic novels of Hermann Hesse, in which we saw reflections of our own experiences.

Of equal, if not greater, popularity were the semi-fictional shamanistic writings of Carlos Castaneda, which satisfied the hippies' yearning for spirituality and "separate realities" mediated by psychedelic drugs. In addition, the dramatic encounters between Carlos and the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan symbolized in a powerful way the clashes between the rational approach of modern industrial societies and the wisdom of traditional cultures.

film and the performing arts

In the sixties, the performing arts experienced radical innovations that broke every imaginable tradition of theater and dance. In fact, in companies like the Living Theater, the Judson Dance Theater, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, theater and dance were often fused and combined with other forms of art. The performances involved trained actors and dancers as well as visual artists, musicians, poets, filmmakers, and even members of the audience.

Men and women often enjoyed equal status; nudity was frequent. Performances, often with strong political content, took place not only in theaters but also in museums, churches, parks, and in the streets. All these elements combined to create the dramatic expansion of experience and strong sense of community that was typical of the counterculture.

Film, too, was an important medium for expressing the zeitgeist of the sixties. Like the performing artists, the sixties' filmmakers, beginning with the pioneers of the French New Wave cinema, broke with the traditional techniques of their art, introducing multi-media approaches, often abandoning narratives altogether, and using their films to give a powerful voice to social critique.

With their innovative styles, these filmmakers expressed many key characteristics of the counterculture. For example, we can find the sixties' irreverence and political protest in the films of Godard; the questioning of materialism and a pervasive sense of alienation in Antonioni; questioning of the social order and transcendence of ordinary reality in Fellini; the exposure of class hypocrisy in Buñuel; social critique and utopian visions in Kubrik; the breaking down of sexual and gender stereotypes in Warhol; and the portrayal of altered states of consciousness in the works of experimental filmmakers like Kenneth Anger and John Whitney. In addition, the films of these directors are characterized by a strong sense of magical realism.

the legacy of the sixties

Many of the cultural expressions that were radical and subversive in the sixties have been accepted by broad segments of mainstream culture during the subsequent three decades. Examples would be the long hair and sixties fashion, the practice of Eastern forms of meditation and spirituality, recreational use of marijuana, increased sexual freedom, rejection of sexual and gender stereotypes, and the use of rock (and more recently rap) music to express alternative cultural values. All of these were once expressions of the counterculture that were ridiculed, suppressed, and even persecuted by the dominant mainstream society.

Beyond these contemporary expressions of values and esthetics that were shared by the sixties' counterculture, the most important and enduring legacy of that era has been the creation and subsequent flourishing of a global alternative culture that shares a set of core values. Although many of these values - e.g. environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, global justice - were shaped by cultural movements in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, their essential core was first expressed by the sixties' counterculture. In addition, many of today's senior progressive political activists, writers, and community leaders trace the roots of their original inspiration back to the sixties.

Green politics

In the sixties we questioned the dominant society and lived according to different values, but we did not formulate our critique in a coherent, systematic way. We did have concrete criticisms on single issues, such as the Vietnam war, but we did not develop any comprehensive alternative system of values and ideas. Our critique was based on intuitive feeling; we lived and embodied our protest rather than verbalizing and systematizing it.

The seventies brought consolidation of our views. As the magic of the sixties gradually faded, the initial excitement gave way to a period of focusing, digesting, and integrating. Two new cultural movements, the ecology movement and the feminist movement, emerged during the seventies and together provided the much-needed broad framework for our critique and alternative ideas.

The European student movement, which was largely Marxist oriented, was not able to turn its idealistic visions into realities during the sixties. But it kept its social concerns alive during the subsequent decade, while many of its members went through profound personal transformations. Influenced by the two major political themes of the seventies, feminism and ecology, these members of the "new left" broadened their horizons without losing their social consciousness. At the end of the decade, many of them became the leaders of transformed socialist parties. In Germany, these "young socialists" formed coalitions with ecologists, feminists, and peace activists, out of which emerged the Green Party - a new political party whose members confidently declared: "We are neither left nor right; we are in front."

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Green movement became a permanent feature of the European political landscape, and Greens now hold seats in numerous national and regional parliaments around the world. They are the political embodiment of the core values of the sixties.

the end of the Cold War

During the 1970s and 1980s, the American anti-war movement expanded into the anti-nuclear and peace movements, in solidarity with corresponding movements in Europe, especially those in the UK and West Germany. This, in turn, sparked a powerful peace movement in East Germany, led by the Protestant churches, which maintained regular contacts with the West German peace movement, and in particular with Petra Kelly, the charismatic leader of the German Greens.

When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985, he was well aware of the strength of the Western peace movement and accepted our argument that a nuclear war cannot be won and should never be fought. This realization played an important part in Gorbachev's "new thinking" and his restructuring (perestroika) of the Soviet regime, which would lead, eventually, to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, and the end of Soviet Communism.

All social and political systems are highly nonlinear and do not lend themselves to being analyzed in terms of linear chains of cause and effect. Nevertheless, careful study of our recent history shows that the key ingredient in creating the climate that led to the end of the Cold War was not the hard-line strategy of the Reagan administration, as the conservative mythology would have it, but the international peace movement. This movement clearly had its political and cultural roots in the student movements and counterculture of the sixties.

the information technology revolution

The last decade of the twentieth century brought a global phenomenon that took most cultural observers by surprise. A new world emerged, shaped by new technologies, new social structures, a new economy, and a new culture. "Globalization" became the term used to summarize the extraordinary changes and the seemingly irresistible momentum that were now felt by millions of people.

A common characteristic of the multiple aspects of globalization is a global information and communications network based on revolutionary new technologies. The information technology revolution is the result of a complex dynamic of technological and human interactions, which produced synergistic effects in three major areas of electronics - computers, microelectronics, and telecommunications. The key innovations that created the radically new electronic environment of the 1990s all took place 20 years earlier, during the 1970s.

It may be surprising to many that, like so many other recent cultural movements, the information technology revolution has important roots in the sixties' counterculture. It was triggered by a dramatic technological development - a shift from data storage and processing in large, isolated machines to the interactive use of microcomputers and the sharing of computer power in electronic networks. This shift was spearheaded by young technology enthusiasts who embraced many aspects of the counterculture, which was still very much alive at that time.

The first commercially successful microcomputer was built in 1976 by two college dropouts, Steve Wosniak and Steve Jobs, in their now legendary garage in Silicon Valley. These young innovators and others like them brought the irreverent attitudes, freewheeling lifestyles, and strong sense of community they had adopted in the counterculture to their working environments. In doing so, they created the relatively informal, open, decentralized, and cooperative working styles that became characteristic of the new information technologies.

global capitalism

However, the ideals of the young technology pioneers of the seventies were not reflected in the new global economy that emerged from the information technology revolution 20 years later. On the contrary, what emerged was a new materialism, excessive corporate greed, and a dramatic rise of unethical behavior among our corporate and political leaders. These harmful and destructive attitudes are direct consequences of a new form of global capitalism, structured largely around electronic networks of financial and informational flows. The so-called "global market" is a network of machines programmed according to the fundamental principle that money-making should take precedence over human rights, democracy, environmental protection, or any other value.

Since the new economy is organized according to this quintessential capitalist principle, it is not surprising that it has produced a multitude of interconnected harmful consequences that are in sharp contradiction to the ideals of the global Green movement: rising social inequality and social exclusion, a breakdown of democracy, more rapid and extensive deterioration of the natural environment, and increasing poverty and alienation. The new global capitalism has threatened and destroyed local communities around the world; and with the pursuit of an ill-conceived biotechnology, it has invaded the sanctity of life by attempting to turn diversity into monoculture, ecology into engineering, and life itself into a commodity.

It has become increasingly clear that global capitalism in its present form is unsustainable and needs to be fundamentally redesigned. Indeed, scholars, community leaders, and grassroots activists around the world are now raising their voices, demanding that we must "change the game" and suggesting concrete ways of doing so.

the global civil society

At the turn of this century, an impressive global coalition of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), many of them led by men and women with deep personal roots in the sixties, formed around the core values of human dignity and ecological sustainability. In 1999, hundreds of these grassroots organizations interlinked electronically for several months to prepare for joint protest actions at the meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle. The "Seattle Coalition," as it is now called, was extremely successful in derailing the WTO meeting and in making its views known to the world. Its concerted actions have permanently changed the political climate around the issue of economic globalization.

Since that time, the Seattle Coalition, or "global justice movement," has not only organized further protests but has also held several World Social Forum meetings in Porto Alegre, Brazil. At the second of these meetings, the NGOs proposed a whole set of alternative trade policies, including concrete and radical proposals for restructuring global financial institutions, which would profoundly change the nature of globalization.

The global justice movement exemplifies a new kind of political movement that is typical of our Information Age. Because of their skillful use of the Internet, the NGOs in the coalition are able to network with each other, share information, and mobilize their members with unprecedented speed. As a result, the new global NGOs have emerged as effective political actors who are independent of traditional national or international institutions. They constitute a new kind of global civil society.

This new form of alternative global community, sharing core values and making extensive use of electronic networks in addition to frequent human contacts, is one of the most important legacies of the sixties. If it succeeds in reshaping economic globalization so as to make it compatible with the values of human dignity and ecological sustainability, the dreams of the "sixties revolution" will have been realized:

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people sharing all the world...You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us and the world will live as one.

Why do people hate hipsters? Hipster-hate blogs are multiplying online. But who are these much-maligned trendies - and why do people find them so irritating? Perhaps we should learn to love our skinny-jeaned friends instead by Alex Rayner

Kings of Leon: Come Around Sundown Kings of Leon are clearly uneasy with the success their stadium-sized hits have brought them - so why stick with that formula by Alexis Petridis

America's dish detergent wars The fuss over phosphate bans provides an object lesson in the paranoid politics of the Tea Party's anti-liberal backlash by Amanda Marcotte

Do we still care about sweatshops? Apple's relaxed approach to conditions at Asian Foxconn plants hints that outsourced mass production no longer shocks us by Douglas Haddow

Time for a Corporate Death Penalty
Report: No fines on PG&E over six-year period

SAN FRANCISCO — A review of public records shows the watchdog agency responsible for regulating public utilities has taken a mostly hands-off approach to violations by Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Even though PG&E had more pipeline infractions than the rest of the state's major pipelines combined over a six-year period, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the California Public Utilities Commission did not levy a single fine on the utility during that period.

The newspaper reports in an article in its Sunday edition that its review of CPUC records between 2004 and 2009, PG&E accounted for 410 of the probable violations of federal safety laws found by regulators.

By comparison, all other utilities accounted for 287 of the probable violations.

PG&E operates 42 percent of the gas pipelines in the state.

The report comes after word that the CPUC is forming a panel to conduct a review of the PG&E pipeline blast in San Bruno last month that killed eight people.

Richard Clark, head of the Consumer Projection and Safety Division of the CPUC, told the newspaper that the industry has a history of fixing problems voluntarily.

"We operate under the assumption they are interested in having a safely operated system," Clark told the Chronicle. "If we saw a trend that gave us concerns in terms of what we are finding out there, we would take enforcement action," he said.

It's been least seven years since the CPUC fined PG&E or any other utility operating a gas pipeline in the state, according to Clark.

According to the Chronicle, self-policing is almost a necessity because the commission has just nine inspectors to monitor 100,000 miles of gas pipelines running through California.

Kirk Johnson, vice president of gas transmission and distribution for PG&E, said the utility often reports safety problems to the commission on its own.

"We don't see problems that warrant the level of enforcement actions," Clark said. "We don't see it. This is an anomalous event that took place in San Bruno," he added.

Instead of fining pipeline operators over violations, the CPUC sends them a letter asking the companies to comply with federal safety regulations.

"We find a violation, we tell them to fix it," Clark said. "Unless its a real egregious violation," he added.

Clark could not recall any such violation.

In a response to the article, PG&E spokesman Andrew Souvall told the Associated Press the "safety of the our natural gas system is our top priority."

"We are very conservative deciding what are reportable incidents," Souvall said. "In fact we often self- report things we have already fixed," he told the AP.

Souvall added that it would be a "mistake" to suggest that a lack of fines levied on the utility comes as a result of a lack of oversight, noting the natural gas industry is closely regulated by state and federal agencies.

A call left for the CPUC seeking comment on Sunday was not immediately returned.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

BOO !!! - Flying Snail - News & Views for Remnants of Paradise


Do You Really Believe, "What You Don't Know, Won't Hurt You?"

Who Is the Real Criminal?

Congress Promoted An Illegal Iraq War to Become Rich
[These are the same people who bailed out Criminal Corporations with YOUR TAX MONEY.]

Congress Invested in Defense Contracts

Project Censored - Sonoma State University [Ed. Note: The Home of Real Journalism]
Source: Opensecrets, April 3, 2008
Title: “Strategic Assets”
Author: Lindsay Renick Mayer

Student Researchers: Leora Johnson and Michael Seramin
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips PhD
Sonoma State University

The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated that more than 151 members of Congress have up to $195 million invested in major defense contractors that are earning profits from the US military occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When General David Petraeus, the top US military officer in Iraq, went to Capitol Hill to brief Congress in April of 2008, he was addressing lawmakers who had a lot more than just a political stake in the Iraq occupation. Along with their colleagues in the House and Senate, the politicians who got a status report from the general and the US ambassador to Iraq had millions of dollars of their own money invested in companies doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD).

In 2006, the investment portfolios of 151 current members—more than a quarter of Congress—had between $78.7 million and $195.5 million invested in companies that received major defense contracts (over $5 million). The portfolios include holdings in companies paid billions of dollars each month to support America’s military. These companies provided almost everything the military uses, from aircraft and weapons to medical supplies and soft drinks.

Lawmakers with the most money invested in companies with DoD contracts include Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), with up to $38,209,020; Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), with $49,140,000; Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), with $37,105,000; Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis), with $7,612,653; Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif), with $6,260,000; Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich), with $8,360,000; Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa), with $2,000,002; Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis), with $5,800,000; Rep. Kenny Ewell Marchant (R-Texas), with $1,163,231; and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), with up to $5,000,000.

Forty-seven members of Congress (or 9 percent of all members of the House and Senate) in 2006 were invested in companies that are primarily in the defense sector. The average share price of these corporations today is nearly twice what it was in 2004. Lawmakers’ investments in these contracting firms yielded them between $15.8 million and $62 million in income between 2004 and 2006, through dividends, capital gains, royalties and interest, the Center found.

Companies with congressional investors received more than $275.6 billion from the government in 2006. The minimum value of Congress members’ personal investments in defense contracting firms increased 5 percent from 2004 to 2006, but because lawmakers are only required to report their assets in broad ranges, the value of these investments could have risen as much as 160 percent—or even dropped 51 percent.

Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) and House Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), two of Congress’s wealthiest members, were among the lawmakers who earned the most from their investments in defense contractors between 2004 and 2006, with Sensenbrenner making at least $3.2 million and Kerry reaping at least $2.6 million. The Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees both have members who are major investors in Defense companies. Chairs of other defense-related committees are similarly invested. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, had at least $51,000 invested in defense companies in 2006. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had at least $30,000 invested in defense companies.

As the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have expanded and transformed, so too has the need for goods and services that extend beyond helicopters, armored vehicles and guns. Giant corporations outside of the defense sector, such as Pepsico, IBM, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson, have received defense contracts and are all popular investments for both members of Congress and the general public.

A spokesman for Sensenbrenner, who has supported the administration’s policy in Iraq, said the congressman’s stocks were left to him by his grandparents and are managed almost entirely by his investment advisors. Kerry, who has been particularly outspoken against the Bush administration’s strategy and policies in Iraq, is a beneficiary of family trusts, which he doesn’t control, the senator’s spokesman said.

Update by Lindsay Renick Mayer

When we sat down to write this story, we had in mind a few of the obvious war contractors: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and so on. But when we finished, we had a story about the fact that nearly every lawmaker was invested in war contractors because the scope of the war had grown to the point that otherwise unlikely suspects, such as Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson, were involved. This meant that not only was it difficult for lawmakers to avoid having such investments, it was equally hard for any member of the public with a diverse blue-chip portfolio to steer clear of them.

Members of the public, however, weren’t making decisions about defense legislation that could affect the value of those investments. Lawmakers continue to do so, of course, and continue to hold on to these investments. In 2007, their defense-related assets were worth between $5.3 million and $11.1 million. (Because lawmakers report the value of their investments in ranges, it’s impossible to calculate their exact worth.) The 2008 personal financial disclosure reports are also now available on at

Lawmakers aren’t just benefiting from the defense sector personally, but also politically. In the first three months of 2009, the defense sector gave nearly $2 million to candidates, party committees and political action committees, with 57 percent of that going to Democrats. In the 2008 election cycle, the sector gave $23.5 million. Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.), House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chairman, has collected more money from the sector than any other lawmaker since 1989 at $2.6 million. Murtha has gotten some heat—and a lot of attention—this year for his connections to now-defunct lobbying firm PMA Group, which the FBI is investigating for allegedly violating campaign finance laws. The firm’s clients were primarily defense companies that sought earmarks from Murtha’s subcommittee.

Should President Obama stick to his timeline to start bringing troops home from Iraq, it will be interesting to watch as lawmakers decide whether to continue investing in war contractors, especially if their need (and, therefore, lucrative DoD contracts,) diminishes over the coming years.

We’ve been pleased that the mainstream press has been interested in covering lawmakers’ personal finances, in addition to their various financial connections to the defense industry. The press—including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, prominent bloggers, and other watchdogs—frequently pulls data from and cites our reports, including this one. It’s important that the public understands the full relationship between lawmakers and the companies affected by their legislative votes. Only then can members of the public determine whether decisions are being made based on the merits or the money.

To read more about how lobbying, personal finances, and influence peddling are shaping legislation, keep up with CRP’s blog at

And to do some investigating yourself, dive into our personal financial disclosure database:


Lobbyists Buy Congress

Project Censored - Sonoma State University
Source: Open
Title: “Washington Lobbying Grew to $3.2 Billion Last Year, Despite Economy”
Authors: Center for Responsive Politics

Student Researchers: Alan Grady and Leora Johnson
Faculty Evaluator: John Kramer, PhD
Sonoma State University

According to a study by The Center for Responsive Politics, special interests paid Washington lobbyists $3.2 billion in 2008—more than any other year on record. This was a 13.7 percent increase from 2007 (which broke the record by 7.7 percent over 2006).

The Center calculates that interest groups spent $17.4 million on lobbying for every day Congress was in session in 2008, or $32,523 per legislator per day. Center director Sheila Krumholz says, “The federal government is handing out billions of dollars by the day, and that translates into job security for lobbyists who can help companies and industries get a piece of the payout.”

Health interests spent more on Federal lobbying than any other economic sector. Their $478.5 million guaranteed the crown for the third year, with the finance, insurance, real estate sector a runner up, spending $453.5 million. The pharmaceutical/health products industry contributed $230.9 million, raising their last eleven-year total to over $1.6 billion. The second-biggest spender among industries in 2008 was electric utilities, which spent $156.7 million on lobbying, followed by insurance, which spent $153.2 million, and oil and gas, which paid lobbyists $133.2 million. Pro-Israel groups, food processing companies, and the oil and gas industry increased their lobbying expenditures the most (as a percentage) between 2007 and 2008.

Finance, insurance and real estate companies have been competing to get a piece of the $700 billion bailout package Congress approved late last year. The companies that reduced lobbying the most are those that declared bankruptcy or were taken over by the federal government and stopped their lobbying operations all together. “Even though some financial, insurance and real estate interests pulled back last year, they still managed to spend more than $450 million as a sector to lobby policymakers. That can buy a lot of influence, and it’s a fraction of what the financial sector is reaping in return through the government’s bailout program,” Krumholz said.

Business and real estate associations and coalitions were among the organizations that ramped up their lobbying expenditures the most last year. The National Association of Realtors increased spending by 25 percent, from $13.9 million to $17.3 million. The American Bankers Association spent $9.1 million in 2008, a 47 percent increase from 2007. Other industry groups that spent more in 2008 include the Private Equity Council, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and the Financial Services Roundtable.

The US Chamber of Commerce remained the number one spender on lobbying in 2008, spending nearly $92 million—more than $350,000 every weekday, and a 73 percent increase over 2007—to advocate for its members’ interests. Pro-business associations as a whole increased their lobbying 47 percent between 2007 and 2008.

With record spending on lobbying, some industries face serious cut backs and have put the brakes on spending, but have not discontinued the practice. Automotive companies decreased the amount they paid lobbyists by 7.6 percent, from $70.9 million to $65.5 million. This is a big change from prior years; auto manufacturers and dealers increased lobbying spending by 21 percent between 2006 and 2007. Between 2007 and 2008 the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which testified before Congress with Detroit’s Big Three last year, decreased its reported lobbying by 43 percent, from $12.8 million to $7.3 million. Of the Big Three, only one company, Ford, increased its efforts, though not by much: it went from $7.1 million to $7.7 million, an 8 percent increase.

Among Washington lobbing firms, Patton Boggs reported the highest revenues from registered lobbying for the fifth year in a row: 41.9 million dollars, an increase over 2006 of more than 20 percent. The firm’s most lucrative clients included private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, confection and pet food maker Mars, communication provider Verizon, pharmaceutical manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche, and the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America).

Update by Lindsay Renick Mayer

It seems like this should be a classified ad: “Laid off and looking for work? The lobbying industry wants you!” Since we posted this story on in January, the lobbying industry has only continued to grow, even as industries across the board have continued to shrink, forcing hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. This growth could be attributed in part to the economy itself—many executives are looking for some help from the government to keep their businesses afloat. Others are simply taking advantage of the opportunities that a spate of government handouts has presented. But as long as there’s a federal government calling the shots, lobbyists will be paid more and more each year to hold their clients’ fire to lawmakers’ feet.

Year after year we see increases in lobbying expenditures—in fact, 100 percent over the last decade—and the flurry of activity during the first three months of 2009 indicates that the trend won’t come to an end any time soon. Based on records from the Senate Office of Public Records, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics found that from January through March, lobbying increased slightly compared to the same period of time last year, by at least $2.4 million. Unions, organizations and companies spent at least $799.7 million so far this year on sending influence peddlers to Capitol Hill, compared to $797.2 million during the same time in 2008. That might seem like a small increase compared to the billions spent each year on this activity, but in a time of economic turmoil, that’s a hefty revenue stream for a single industry.

That said, the industries that have made the most headlines for the help they’ve asked for or received from the federal government actually decreased the amount they spent on lobbying in the first three months of 2009 compared to 2008. Recipients of cash from the federal government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) handed out less money to lobbyists than they had in any quarter of 2008, in part, perhaps, because they faced new rules restricting their lobbying contact with officials in connection with the bailout program. CRP found that TARP recipients have spent $13.9 million on lobbying so far this year, compared to $20.2 million in January through March of last year and $17.8 million in the last three months of 2008. With the government doling out billions of dollars, these sums pale in comparison to the benefit the companies are reaping.

To read more about how lobbying and influence peddling are shaping legislation, keep up with CRP’s blog at


US Congress Sells Out to Wall Street

Title: “Lax Oversight? Maybe $64 Million to DC Pols Explains It”
Author: Greg Gordon

Capitol Eye, February 10, 2009
Title: “Congressmen Hear from TARP Recipients Who Funded Their Campaigns”
Author: Lindsay Renick Mayer

Rolling Stone, March 19, 2009
Title: “The Big Takeover”
Author: Matt Taibbi

Student Researchers: Jocelyn Rapp and Caitlin Ruxton (SSU)
Faculty Evaluator: Samual Mikhail PhD Economics, Chip McAuley, PhD
Indian River State College and Sonoma State University

Federal lawmakers responsible for overseeing the US economy have received millions of dollars from Wall Street firms. Since 2001, eight of the most troubled firms have donated $64.2 million to congressional candidates, presidential candidates and the Republican and Democratic parties. As senators, Barack Obama and John McCain received a combined total of $3.1 million. The donors include investment bankers Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, insurer American International Group, and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Some of the top recipients of contributions from companies receiving Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) money are the same members of Congress who chair committees charged with regulating the financial sector and overseeing the effectiveness of this unprecedented government program. In total, members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Senate Finance Committee and House Financial Services Committee received $5.2 million from TARP recipients in the 2007-2008 election cycle. President Obama collected at least $4.3 million from employees at these companies for his presidential campaign.

Nearly every member of the House Financial Services Committee, who in February 2009 oversaw hearings on how the $700 billion of TARP bailout was being spent, received contributions associated with these financial institutions during the 2008 election cycle. “You could say that the finance industry got their money’s worth by supporting members of Congress who were inclined to look the other way,” said Lawrence Jacobs, the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.

For instance, in 2004 when the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a major rule change that freed investment banks to plunge tens of billions of dollars in borrowed money into subprime mortgages and other risky plays, congressional banking committees held no oversight hearings. Congressional inaction also allowed mortgage agents to earn high fees for peddling loans to unqualified homebuyers and prevented states from toughening regulations on predatory lending practices.

Author Matt Taibbi writes that some of the most egregious selling of the US government to Wall Street happened in the late nineties, when “Democrats, tired of getting slaughtered in the fundraising arena by Republicans, decided to throw off their old reliance on unions and interest groups and become more ‘business-friendly.’ Wall Street responded by flooding Washington with money, buying allies in both parties.” In the ten-year period beginning in 1998, financial companies spent $1.7 billion on federal campaign contributions and another $3.4 billion on lobbyists. Wise political investments enabled the nation’s top bankers to effectively scrap any meaningful oversight of the financial industry.

In 1999, Texas Senator Phil Gramm co-sponsored the bill that repealed key aspects of the Glass-Steagall Act, which, since the Great Depression, prevented banks from getting into the insurance business. The very next year Gramm wrote sweeping new legislation called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which made it impossible to regulate credit swaps as either gambling or securities. Trading in risky credit was thus deregulated.

In 1997 and 1998—the years leading up to Phil Gramm’s act that gutted Glass-Steagall—the banking, brokerage, and insurance industries spent $350 million on political contributions and lobbying. Gramm, then the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, collected $2.6 million in only five years. The law passed 90-8 in the Senate, with the support of thirty-eight Democrats, including Joe Biden, John Kerry, Tom Daschle, Dick Durbin and John Edwards. The act helped create the too-big-to-fail financial behemoths like Citigroup, AIG and Bank of America—and in turn helped those companies slowly crush their smaller competitors, leaving the major Wall Street firms with even more money and power to lobby for further deregulation.

By early 2009, a whole series of new government operations have been invented to inject cash into the economy, most all of them under the completely secretive control of the financial sector. Taibbi points out that “While the rest of America, and most of Congress, have been bugging out about the $700 billion bailout program called TARP, newly created organisms in the Federal Reserve zoo have quietly been pumping not billions, but trillions of dollars into the hands of private companies (at least $3 trillion so far in loans, with as much as $5.7 trillion more in guarantees of private investments).” Taibbi continues, “This new, secretive activity by the Fed completely eclipses the TARP program in terms of its influence on the economy. . . . No one knows who’s getting that money or exactly how much of it is disappearing through these new holes in the hull of America’s credit rating. Moreover, no one can be sure that these new institutions are really temporary, or whether they are being set up as permanent, state-aided crutches to Wall Street, designed to systematically suck bad investments off the ledgers of irresponsible lenders.”

Taibbi concludes, “The reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d’état. They cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations.”

Fraud and crisis continue to deepen and expand with significant conflicts of interest in Congress and the executive branch of US government. Simon Johnson, former IMF chief economist, says, “The finance industry has effectively captured our government.”

Update by Lindsay Renick Mayer

Even as the federal government has continued to figure out ways to help the struggling finance sector and give the economy a boost, they’ve been collecting input from the very companies that have accepted taxpayer dollars and are, in part, being held responsible for the current crisis. But that’s not all they’ve collected—Congress has been busy fundraising from the finance sector, including those companies that received billions of dollars from TARP.

Since this story was written in February, the finance sector has, of course, continued to give money to candidates, party committees and political action committees. Since the start of 2009, Wall Street has donated $12.6 million—more than any other sector this year. And 58 percent of that has gone to Democrats, marking a change, perhaps, in political strategy. Not since the 1990 election cycle have finance, insurance and real estate companies given more than 52 percent of its overall donations to Democrats, and from 1991 to 2006 finance gave the majority of its money to Republicans.

Many of the companies that we wrote about in this story that sent their CEOs to testify before the House Financial Services Committee have actually scaled back their overall giving in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarters of 2007 and 2005. This includes JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs (which ranks No. 1 for a decline in contributions this year compared to the start of 2008), Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. However, it is still very early in the cycle, and campaign contributions generally don’t start flowing in until closer to an election. For the most part these companies, like the rest of the industry, targeted Democrats with a majority of their political giving.

Of course, a big story this year will be whether lawmakers took a hit to their personal finances like much of the rest of the country, or whether they personally benefited by infusing the Wall Street companies with taxpayer cash, especially members of the banking and finance committees. The 2008 personal financial disclosure reports with those answers are now available on at:

To read more about how lobbying and influence peddling are shaping legislation, keep up with CRP’s blog


And to do some investigating yourself, dive into our industry profiles:


Congress Wants to Take the Money and Run

Source: COMMON CAUSE MAGAZINE Date: Summer 1995, “Take the Money and Run” Author: Vicki Kemper

SYNOPSIS: At a time when voters are more disgusted than ever by the big-money business of political campaigns, it’s nice to know that there is a “cop” on the beat. The “cop” is the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Its job is to ensure that all money that goes into and comes out of campaign war chests is legal and accounted for, and ultimately that the nation will never again be rocked by a Watergate-scale political scandal financed by secret slush funds.

And voters need such a cop to watch Congress. Just last year, the overworked and much maligned FEC watchdog agency collected a record $1.7 million in civil penalties for illegal campaign financing activities.

However, the FEC’s hard work isn’t appreciated by everyone. It has had an on-going battle, as far back as 1986, with budget cuts. Most recently, the 1994 election results threaten to weaken the agency for years to come. The Republicans, who won control of the House, took just over a month to quietly approve a series of actions that could cripple the FEC.

First, the House Appropriations Committee voted to strip the FEC of almost $2.8 million, roughly 20 percent of what’s left of its budget for the current fiscal year. Then, the House Oversight Committee rejected the FEC’s budget request for the 1996 fiscal year, authorizing almost $4.2 million less than the agency said it needed.

Few believe the budget cuts are unrelated to recent FEC enforcement actions, although it probably was just a coincidence that the Oversight Committee acted precisely one day before the most hated of regulations ever declared by the FEC—rules that bar candidates from using campaign funds for vacations, cars, meals, and other personal expenses—took effect on April 5, 1995.

“We don’t think that the FEC should be micro-managing our campaigns,” said House Appropriations Chair Bob Livingston (R-La.), an agency opponent who now controls its purse strings. Livingston, who adamantly opposes the personal use rules, tried to slash the FEC’s budget last year-precisely so it wouldn’t have the funds to regulate and enforce campaign spending.

While the House Republicans have been attacking the FEC’s budget, there’s been an explosion in the number of campaigns for Congress and the presidency which ultimately create an increased work load for the FEC.

Since 1990, the number of federal candidates has increased 34 percent; the amount of money raised and spent is up 54 percent; the number of campaign-related complaints filed with the FEC has increased 45 percent; and the number of information requests is up 17 percent.

It’s ironic that the same Congress that loudly calls for tougher anticrime measures is working to disempower the agency charged with policing its own campaign activities.

SSU Censored Researcher: Tami Ward

COMMENTS: Vicki Kemper, investigative writer for Common Cause Magazine, said that except for a piece by syndicated columnist David Broder, who contacted her for background information, the subject received virtually no attention in the mass media as far as she knew.

Kemper feels strongly about the public’s need to be aware of how elected officials are abusing their power to stay in office and spending their campaign money as they please. “Of course,” Kemper continued, “part of what was behind the House’s actions against the FEC is an attempt to make sure the public does not know how candidates use their campaign funds. As serious students of campaign spending reports know, for years many candidates have used their campaign accounts as personal slush funds, financing meals, travel, clothing, country club dues and more. The key instigators of the investigation of the FEC and the budget cuts were acting in part out of pique over recent regulations designed to restrict the personal use of campaign funds. Voters need to know the extent to which their elected officials are abusing their offices, the extent to which they feel entitled to do so, and the lengths to which they’re willing to go to maintain those privileges.”

Kemper had a warning for voters in 1996: “Voters also need to be aware that candidates running for office in 1996 will likely be able to get away with more monkey business than ever because of the constraints placed on the FEC by the very people it’s supposed to monitor.”

Kemper noted that limited coverage of this subject benefits “everyone who runs for federal office and wants to get away with something. Most of all, it benefits incumbents who are running for reelection.”

“I submitted op-eds on the subject to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Post’s Sunday opinion sections (where I’ve had pieces published before) with no results,” Kemper said. An editor of the Post’s ‘Outlook’ section explained their rejection of the piece this way: They’d been running too many articles on budget cuts to federal programs. Clearly they’d missed the point.”

The Fall 1995 issue of Common Cause Magazine published a follow-up report which revealed that the investigation of the FEC by its congressional opponents “turned up no smoking guns.” In fact, the House Appropriations Committee’s staff report concluded that “the disclosure and audit side of the FEC, including personnel, appears to be well-managed.”


Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From No Child Left Behind

Diatribune and Daily Kos, March, 30, 2007
Title: “Bush Profiteers Collect Billions From NCLB”
Author: Mandevilla

Researchers: Alan Scher and Sam Burchard

Faculty Evaluator: Karen Grady, PhD

The architect of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), President Bush’s first senior education advisor, Sandy Kress, has turned the program, which has consistently proven disastrous in the realm of education, into a huge success in the realm of corporate profiteering. After ushering NCLB through the US House of Representatives in 2001 with no public hearings, Kress went from lawmaker—turning on spigots of federal funds—to lobbyist, tapping into those billions of dollars in federal funds for private investors well connected to the Bush administration.

A statute that once promised equal access to public education to millions of American children now instead promises billions of dollars in profits to corporate clients through dubious processes of testing and assessment and “supplemental educational services.” NCLB—the Business Roundtable’s revision of Lyndon Johnson’s Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—created a “high stakes testing” system through which the private sector could siphon federal education funds. The result has been windfall corporate profit. What was once a cottage industry has become a corporate giant. “Millions of dollars are being spent,” says Jack Jennings, director of the Center on Education Policy, “and nobody knows what’s happening.”

The wedding of big business and education benefits not only the interests of the Business Roundtable, a consortium of over 300 CEOs, but countless Bush family loyalists. Sandy Kress, chief architect of NCLB; Harold McGraw III, textbook publisher; Bill Bennett, former Reagan education secretary; and Neil Bush, the president’s youngest brother, have all cashed in on the Roundtable’s successful national implementation of “outcome-based education.” NCLB’s mandated system of state standards, state tests, and school sanctions has together transformed our public school system into a for-profit frenzy.

Kress, former president of the Dallas School Board, began “A Draft Position for George W. Bush on K-12 Education” as early as 1999. Working successfully with then-Governor Bush in Texas for years, the Democrat bolstered bipartisan support behind the compassionate marketing promise to “leave no child behind” through the adoption of high state standards measuring school performance. Signed into law in early 2002, NCLB dramatically extended the federal role in public education, mandating annual testing of children in Grades 3 to 8, providing tutoring for children in persistently failing schools, and setting a twelve-year timetable for closing chronic gaps in student achievement. Having then crafted the legislation, Kress transitioned from public servant to corporate lobbyist, guiding clients to the troth of federal funds. By 2005 he had made upwards of $4 million from lobbying contracts.

While the Business Roundtable maintains that the high-stakes tests administered nationwide hold schools accountable to “Adequate Yearly Progress,” NCLB has instead benefited the testing industry in the amount of between $1.9 and $5.3 billion a year. NCLB requires states to produce “interpretive, descriptive, and diagnostic reports,” all of which are provided at a price by members of the industry. Among these are the top four or five players in the textbook market, including the Big Three—McGraw-Hill, Houghton-Mifflin, and Harcourt General—who have, since the passage of NCLB, come to dominate the testing market. Identified by Wall Street analysts in the wake of the 2000 election as “Bush stocks,” all three represent owners like Harold McGraw III, who has longstanding ties to the Bush administration and the lobbying efforts of Sandy Kress.

Other Kress clients, including Ignite! Learning, a company headed by Neil Bush, and K12 Inc., a for-profit enterprise owned by Bill Bennett, tailored themselves to vie for NCLB dollars.

Under NCLB, as school districts receive federal funding they are required by law to hold 20 percent of those funds aside, anticipating that its schools will fail to meet its Annual Yearly Progress formula. When that “failure” is certified by test scores, the district is required to use those set-aside federal funds to pay supplemental education service (SES) providers. Ignite! has placed products in forty US school districts, and K12 offers a menu of services “as an option to traditional brick-and-mortar schools,” including computer-based “virtual academies,” that have qualified for over $4 million in federal grants. Under NCLB, supplemental educational services, whose results are being increasingly challenged, reap $2 billion annually.

Nationally, there are over 1,800 approved providers of supplemental educational services, but little in the way of regulation. To the contrary, Michael Petrilli, former member of the Department of Education, purports, “We want as little regulation as possible so the market can be as vibrant as possible.” To that end, Kress is currently lobbying on behalf of another bipartisan coalition to win reauthorization of NCLB for another six years.


Tracking Billions of Dollars Lost in Iraq

Vanity Fair, October 2007
Title: “Billions over Baghdad”
Authors: Donald Barlett and James Steele

Rolling Stone, August 23, 2007
Title: “The Great American Swindle”
Author: Matt Taibbi

Student Researchers: Brian Gellman, Dan Bluthardt, and Bill Gibbons

Faculty Evaluator: John Kramer, PhD

Beginning in April 2003, one month after the invasion of Iraq, and continuing for little more than a year, the United States Federal Reserve shipped $12 billion in US currency to Iraq. The US military delivered the bank notes to the Coalition Provisional Authority, to be dispensed for Iraqi reconstruction. At least $9 billion is unaccounted for due to a complete lack of oversight.

The initial $20 million came exclusively from Iraqi assets that had been frozen in US banks since the first Gulf War in 1990. Subsequent airlifts of cash included billions from Iraqi oil revenues formerly controlled by the United Nations. After the creation of the Development Fund for Iraq—a kind of holding pit of money to be spent for “purposes benefiting the people of Iraq”—the UN turned over control of Iraq’s billions of dollars from oil revenue to the United States.

When the US military delivered the cash to Baghdad, the money passed into the hands of an entirely new set of players—the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). The CPA had been hastily created by the Pentagon to serve as the interim government in Iraq. On May 9, 2003, President Bush appointed L. Paul Bremer III as CPA administrator. Over the next year, a compliant Congress gave $1.6 billion to Bremer to administer the CPA. This was over and above the $12 billion in cash that the CPA had been given to disburse from Iraqi oil revenues and unfrozen Iraqi assets.

Few in Congress had any idea about the true nature of the CPA as an institution. Lawmakers had never discussed the establishment of the CPA, much less authorized it—odd, given that the agency would be receiving taxpayer dollars. Confused members of Congress believed that the CPA was a US government agency, which it was not, or that at the very least it had been authorized by the United Nations, which it had not.

The Authority was in effect established by edict outside the traditional framework of American government. Because it was a rogue operation, no one was responsible for what happened to that money. Accountable to no one, its finances “off the books” for US government purposes, the CPA provided an unprecedented opportunity for fraud, waste, and corruption involving American government officials, American contractors, renegade Iraqis, and many others. In its short life more than $23 billion would pass through its hands. And that didn’t include potentially billions of dollars more in oil shipments the CPA neglected to meter.

Incidents of flagrant abuse were rampant. Of 8,206 “guards” drawing CPA paychecks, only 602 actually existed; the other 7,604 were ghost employees. Halliburton charged the CPA for 42,000 meals for soldiers while in fact serving only 14,000. Contractors played football with bricks of $100,000 shrink-wrapped $100 bills.

Yet the precedent for legal impunity was established when whistle-blowers brought to light the case of Custer Battles, considered to be one of the worst cases of fraud in US history. The Bush administration not only refused to prosecute, it actually tried to stop a lawsuit filed against the contractors by whistle-blowers hoping to recover stolen CPA money. The administration argued that Custer Battles could not be found guilty of defrauding the US government because the CPA was not part of the US government. When the lawsuit went forward despite the administration’s objections, Custer Battles mounted a defense arguing that they could not be guilty of theft since it was done with the government’s approval.

At the core of this government-sanctioned free-for-all was the award of a CPA contract to NorthStar for services of accounting and auditing. The odd thing about this accounting service was that there was no certified public accountant on staff. A businessman, Thomas Howell, ran NorthStar out of his home in La Jolla, California, along with three other unrelated businesses, including home remodeling and furnishing. The company did have the advantage of a post office box in the Bahamas as its legal address of record.

NorthStar is incorporated in the Bahamas as an international business company (IBC). Despite their impressive name, IBCs are little more than paper operations. As a rule, they don’t perform any business; they are empty vessels that can be used for anything. They have no chief executive officer or board of directors, and they don’t publish financial statements. And IBC’s books, if there are any, can be kept anywhere in the world, but no one can inspect them. IBCs aren’t required to file annual reports or disclose the identity of their owners. They are shells, operating in total secrecy.

The Pentagon put this company in charge of monitoring billions of dollars of Iraqi and US citizens’ money and of making sure it was spent honestly.

In one of his last official acts before leaving Baghdad, Bremer issued an order prepared by the Pentagon, declaring that all coalition-force members “shall be immune from any form of arrest or detention other than by persons acting on behalf of their Sending States.” Contractors also got the same get-out-of-jail-free card. According to Bremer’s order, “contractors shall be immune from Iraqi legal process with respect to acts performed by them pursuant to the terms and conditions of a contract or any sub-contract thereto.” The Iraqi people would have no say over illegal conduct by Americans in their new democracy.

Matt Taibbi says, “What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureaucracy.”

He concludes, “What happened in Iraq went beyond inefficiency, beyond fraud even. This was about the business of government being corrupted by the profit motive to such an extraordinary degree that now we all have to wonder how we will ever be able to depend on the state to do its job in the future. If catastrophic failure is worth billions, where’s the incentive to deliver success?”


It’s possible to sum up in two words what has happened since Vanity Fair published “Billions over Baghdad” in October 2007: Not much. Despite the ongoing theft, misappropriation, bribery, gratuities, profiteering, and waste of billions of taxpayer dollars, only a few low-level military people and civilians have been prosecuted. To be sure, the Defense Department has announced with great fanfare that it has launched scores of criminal investigations. But the end results are meager.

What’s more, many in Washington believe that such investigations are unwarranted. In the heat of war, they say, it isn’t possible to abide by the niceties of generally accepted accounting principles. But that doesn’t explain why the Pentagon cuts checks for millions of dollars and mails them to anonymous post office boxes in tax havens. Nor does it explain the secrecy accorded its contractors. But it does help explain why the Pentagon is unable to reconcile more than $1 trillion in spending—that’s trillion, not billion.

The Bush Justice Department has made clear by its actions that it has no intention of vigorously looking for or prosecuting those who rip off taxpayers. Similarly, Congress has failed to wage the kind of relentless probe that helped catapult a young senator from Missouri into the vice presidency and eventually the White House during World War II. In the heat of that war, the Truman committee conducted hundreds of hearings and issued scores of reports. The number of comparable hearings and reports coming out of Congress today can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Maybe.

One possible explanation is that running for election today has become so expensive that companies that help finance campaigns receive an informal immunity for their contracting fraud. Another is that Congress and the White House, whether occupied by Republicans or Democrats, have long taken the position that some corporations and financial institutions are too big to allow them to fail. Think Bear Stearns, most recently.

Now Congress and the federal government in general have seemingly applied that same principle to government contractors, who are deemed too important to indict, their top officers too essential to send to jail.

Finally, don’t expect any extended probes by the news media. Newspapers and magazines are in such turmoil as a result of their changing economic fortunes that they are incapable of mounting any meaningful or sustained examination of government operations. They are much too busy worrying about falling profit margins. As a result, their journalistic commitments go no further than the next weekly poll.


Ashcroft vs. the Human Rights Law that Holds Corporations Accountable

Title: “Ashcroft goes after 200-year-old human rights law”
Author: Jim Lobe

Faculty Evaluator: Meri Storino, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Brian Ferguson, Lawren Lutrin

Attorney General John Ashcroft is seeking to strike down one of the world’s oldest human rights laws, the Alien Torts Claim Act (ATCA) which holds government leaders, corporations, and senior military officials liable for human rights abuses taking place in foreign countries. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) vehemently oppose the removal of this law, as it is one of the few legal defenses victims of human rights violations can claim against powerful organizations such as governments or multinational corporations. The attempt to dismiss the law comes less than a year after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Unocal Corporation could be held liable for human rights abuses committed against Burmese peasants near a pipeline the company was building. By attempting to throw out this law, the Bush Administration is effectively opening the door for human rights abuses to continue under the veil of foreign relations.

The ATCA dates back to 1789 when George Washington signed legislation for an anti-piracy bill. An obscure segment of the bill gave foreign citizens the right to sue in United States courts over violations of international law. After being used only twice in its first two hundred years of existence, the law has been the basis of some 100 lawsuits since 1980. A landmark ruling in that same year awarded a Paraguayan woman $10 million dollars for the torture and murder of her brother committed by a Paraguayan police official, who was living illegally in the U.S. That ruling effectively opened the door for foreign citizens to seek justice through litigation in U.S. courts.

Business groups argue that human rights lawyers and courts that interpret the ATCA too broadly have wrongly exploited the law. The Bush Administration agrees stating the law interferes with foreign policy. Non-citizens would be allowed to file lawsuits that could potentially embarrass foreign governments the U.S. needs cooperation from in the war on terrorism. Critics of recent ATCA suits also argue that the original statute provides no actual authority to file suit and only paves the way for Congress to do so - should it adopt a separate act defining which violations can be addressed in court.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, upholding the law could jeopardize aspects of the war on terrorism. “A U.S. government employee or contractor working in a high-risk law enforcement, intelligence of military operation could be sued for their participation,” says Mark Rosen, a retired U.S. Navy captain and specialist in defense and homeland-security issues.


The Foreign Tort Claims Act has been used as an important tool for human rights activists to keep raising the issue of impunity for severe abuses committed abroad, ordinarily by repressive governments, but increasingly by the U.S. and other corporations that are at the least, condoning abusive practices by local governments and their security forces. At the end of March, for example, a federal judge in San Francisco refused to throw out claims that the Chevron-Texaco Corporation might be liable for abuses at a Nigerian oil platform operated by a subsidiary of the company. Of course, Unocal and Exxon Mobil face similar suits.

ATCA - or more accurately the campaign against ATCA - has drawn increasing attention over the past two years. In fact, I’ve seen some recent ads on the New York Times op-ed page attacking ATCA on behalf of a coalition of multinational corporations.

A number of lawsuits are continuing to make it through the federal judicial system, but only one has reached the Supreme Court. It involves a lawsuit brought under ATCA by a Mexican national who was kidnapped by bounty hunters and taken to the U.S. where he was held - wrongly - in connection with the murder of a DEA agent in Mexico. He sued the US government and the bounty hunter under ATCA. A jury awarded him $25,000 in damages. For more on this case, which could be very important to ATCA’s fate, I refer you to a New York Times piece written on March 31, 2004, by Linda Greenhouse, which summarizes the oral argument and background. At the same time, Dolly Filartiga, the plaintiff in the first ATCA case from 1980, had an op-ed in the New York Times on March 30, 2004, entitled ‘American Courts, Global Justice.’

Some background is also included in an editorial in the Washington Post published a week later (4/6/04) called ‘Human Rights in Court.’

Unocal’s case was re-argued to appeals judges sitting en banc just about one year ago, but a decision has not yet been rendered. It usually takes about a year, but there is speculation. The appeals court also wants to wait until the Supreme Court decides the Mexico case.

There has been some coverage of the Unocal case in the mainstream media but mainly about the state court case, which doesn’t rely on ATCA. There has been much more attention paid to what ATCA is and why it is being attacked.

Earth Justice and the Center for Constitutional Rights are extremely involved in the campaign against ATCA. For more information, these organizations, as well as the Human Rights Watch, are good sources.


Impunity for US War Criminals

Source: Congressional Quarterly, November 22, 2006
Title: “A Senate Mystery Keeps Torture Alive—and Its Practitioners Free”
Author: Jeff Stein

Student Researcher: Marley Miller
Faculty Evaluator: James Dean, Ph.D.

A provision mysteriously tucked into the Military Commission Act (MCA) just before it passed through Congress and was signed by President Bush on October 17, 2006 (see story #1), redefines torture, removing the harshest, most controversial techniques from the definition of war crimes, and exempts the perpetrators—both interrogators and their bosses—from prosecution for such offences dating back to November 1997.

Author Jeff Stein asks, “Who slipped language into the MCA that would further exempt torturers from prosecution?”

The White House denies any involvement or knowledge regarding the insertion of such language, leaving the origin of adjustments to this significant part of the MCA a mystery.

Motivation for this provision, however, leads clearly to leadership in the Bush administration, as the passage effectively rewrote the US enforcement mechanism for the Geneva War Crimes Act, which would have, upon sworn testimonies of Lieutenant General Randall M. Schmidt, Major General Mike Dunlavey, and US Brigadier General Commander, Janis Karpinski, held former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and President George Bush guilty of active roles in directing acts of torture upon detainees held at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib (see Censored 2007, Story #7) .

A spokesperson for the Center for Constitutional Rights comments, “The MCA’s restricted definitions arguably would exempt certain US officials who have implemented or had command responsibility for coercive interrogation techniques from war crimes prosecutions. This amendment is designed to protect US government perpetrators of abuses during the ‘war on terror’ from prosecution.”

Joanne Mariner of Human Rights Watch adds that the effect of this provision of the MCA is “that perpetrators of several categories of what were war crimes at the time they were committed, can no longer be punished under US law.”

As a whole, the MCA evolved out of the need to override the June 2006 Supreme Court declaration that the administration’s hastily assembled military commissions were unconstitutional. That momentous Supreme Court decision confirmed that all prisoners in US custody had to be held in accordance with the Geneva Convention’s Article 3, which prohibits “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.” Through passage of the MCA, Congress and the President negated the corrective role of the courts in checking and balancing executive power.

A Senate aide involved in the drafting of the Senate version of the bill that was agreed upon by John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and John Warner, said, “We have no idea who [the extended impunity provision] came from or how it came to be.” White House spokesperson Dana Perrino said the stealth changes didn’t come from the counsel’s office, “It could have come from elsewhere in the White House or Justice Department,” she said, “but it didn’t come from us.”

Whatever the source, the amended provision was passed and is now a part of US law.


U.S. Government Repressed
Marijuana-Tumor Research

Alternet, May 31, 2000
Title: Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in ‘74
Author: Raymond Cushing

Faculty Evaluator: Mary King M.D.
Student researchers: Jennifer Swift, Licia Marshall,

Corporate media coverage: AP and UPI news wires 2/29/00

A Spanish medical team’s study released in Madrid in February 2000 has shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in marijuana, destroys tumors in lab rats. These findings, however, are not news to the U.S. government. A study in Virginia in 1974 yielded similar results but was suppressed by the DEA, and in 1983 the Reagan/Bush administration tried to persuade U.S. universities and researchers to destroy all cannabis research work done between 1966 and 1976, including compendiums in libraries.

The research was conducted by a medical team led by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutence University in Madrid. In the study, brains of 45 lab rats were injected with a cancer cell, which produced tumors. On the twelfth day of the experiment, 15 of the rats were injected with THC and 15 with Win-55, 212-2, a synthetic compound similar to THC. The untreated rats died 12-18 days after the development of the tumors. THC treated rats lived significantly longer than the control group. Although three were unaffected by the THC, nine lived 19-35 days, while tumors were completely eradicated in three others. The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.

In an e-mail interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. “I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by theses people, but it has proven impossible,” Guzman said. His response wasn’t surprising, considering that in 1983 the Reagan/Bush administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966/76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer. “We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared,” he says.

Guzman provided the title of the work-”Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids,” an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute-and author Raymond Cushing obtained a copy at the UC Medical School Library in Davis, California, and faxed it to Madrid. The 1975 article does not mention breast cancer tumors, which were featured in the only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study in the local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974. The headline read, “Cancer Curb Is Studied,” and was followed in part by, “The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered. The researchers found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers, and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”

Drug Enforcement Agency officials shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on these events in his book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. In 1976, President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies. These companies set out-unsuccessfully-to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.”

Update by Raymond Cushing

When I was a cub reporter twenty-eight years ago at the daily Advocate in Stamford, Connecticut, my first city editor-a white-haired veteran of the International Herald Tribune named Marian Campbell-told me that the cure for cancer was the holy grail of all news stories.

“Unless they discover the cure for cancer,” she would say over the clackety-clack of the manual typewriters, “this paper goes to press on time.”

What I found out a quarter-century later is that not even the cure for cancer is a big enough story to crack the Berlin Wall of media censorship in this country. Toss in the facts that the cure appears to be a benign substance that has been illegal for 63 years, and that the government knowingly suppressed evidence of its curative powers 25 years, and you get twice the storyæand twice the censorship.

I won’t name the “investigative journalists” who didn’t respond when I sent them this story. I won’t list the numerous “progressive” publications that ignored it. I won’t describe the forbidding sense of professional isolation I endured in the months I tried to place the story.

Suffice it to say that it’s what one would expect in a society that has criminalized its own young for two generations around the cannabis issue simply because we were told to do so.

Thousands of innocent people who are in U.S. prisons for possessing or selling “the cure for cancer” await liberation and reparations. Someday our grandchildren will look back and ask, “What did you do to set the cannabis prisoners free?”

Here’s what any responsible journalist should be doing:

Go to primary sources when evaluating cannabis research. The AP and other news organizations love to elevate “bad science” and suppress “good science” when it comes to cannabis. You have to read the original research articles yourself and make your own judgments.

Investigate and report on the war on children that is a major component of the war on drugs. The marijuana laws are the main tool the police use to persecute minors. No other policy affects more families in more insidious and devastating ways than cannabis prohibition.

Learn about the history of cannabis prohibition and about the pharmaceutical, liquor, and tobacco giants that are behind it. If you don’t know the history of cannabis and hemp prohibition, you’re too ignorant to justifiably call yourself a journalist.

If it turns out-as my story would seem to indicate-that cannabis is the cure for cancer and the government suppressed this information for 25 years (and continues to suppress it), then the body count alone will make this the biggest holocaust in recorded history. Virtually all federal drug policy makers of both parties since 1975-including legislators, presidents and the DEA-will be complicit and criminally liable.

That’s why they don’t want this story covered.

To learn the history of cannabis prohibition, read To read my story, type in the address at the beginning of this segment.

Raymond Cushing:


Marijuana Arrests Set New Record

Sources: Marijuana Policy Project, September 27, 2007
Title: “Marijuana Arrests Set New Record for Fourth Year in a Row”
Author: Bruce Mirken

National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, September 24, 2007
Title: “Marijuana Arrests for Year 2006—829,625 Tops Record High”
Author: Paul Armentano

Student Researchers: Ben Herzfeldt and Caitlyn Ioli

Faculty Advisor: Pat Jackson, PhD

For the fourth year in a row, US marijuana arrests set an all-time record, according to 2006 FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Marijuana arrests in 2006 totaled 829,627, an increase from 786,545 in 2005. At current rates, a marijuana smoker is arrested every thirty-eight seconds, with marijuana arrests comprising nearly 44 percent of all drug arrests in the United States. According to Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), over 8 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges during the past decade, while arrests for cocaine and heroine have declined sharply.

The number of arrests in 2006 increased more than 5.5 percent from 2005. Of the 829,627 arrests, 89 percent were for possession, not sale or manufacture. Possession arrests exceeded arrests for all violent crimes combined, as they have for years. The remaining offenders, including those growing for personal or medical use, were charged with sale and/or manufacturing.

A study of New York City marijuana arrests conducted by Queens College, released in April 2008, reports that between 1998 and 2007 the New York police arrested 374,900 people whose most serious crime was the lowest-level misdemeanor marijuana offense. That number is eight times higher than the number of arrests (45,300) from 1988 to 1997. Nearly 90 percent arrested between 1998 and 2007 were male, despite the fact that national studies show marijuana use roughly equal between men and women. And while national surveys show Whites are more likely to use marijuana than Blacks and Latinos, the New York study reported that 83 percent of those arrested were Black or Latino. Blacks accounted for 52 percent of the arrests, Latinos and other people of color accounted for 33 percent, while Whites accounted for only 15 percent.1

Over the years, roughly 30 percent of those arrested nationally have been under the age of twenty. The Midwest accounts for 57 percent of all marijuana-related arrests, while the region with the fewest arrests is the West, with 30 percent. This is possibly a result of the decriminalization of marijuana in western states, such as California, on the state and local level over the past several years.

“Enforcing marijuana prohibition . . . has led to the arrests of nearly 20 million Americans, regardless of the fact that some 94 million Americans acknowledge having used marijuana during their lives,” says St. Pierre.

In the last fifteen years, marijuana arrests have increased 188 percent, while public opinion is increasingly one of tolerance, and self-reported usage is basically unchanged. “The steady escalation of marijuana arrests is happening in direct defiance of public opinion,” according to Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, DC, “Voters in communities all over the country—from Denver to Seattle, from Eureka Springs, Arkansas to Missoula County, Montana—have passed measures saying they don’t want marijuana arrests to be priority. Yet marijuana arrests have set an all-time record for four years running . . .”

Meanwhile, enforcing marijuana laws costs between $10 and $12 billion a year.


1. Jim Dwyer, “On Arrests, Demographics, and Marijuana,” New York Times, April 30, 2008.


This story was essentially a subset of a larger annual story, the FBI’s yearly Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), and the 2006 report, released in September 2007, marked the fourth year in a row that marijuana arrests set a new record. While the UCR, as usual, got wide mainstream coverage, the only major mainstream outlet to note the marijuana arrest record was the Reuters wire service. Marijuana Policy Project staffers also did two or three local radio interviews, and the story was picked up in one form or another by a handful of other outlets—most notably Bill Steigerwald’s column in the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, an article on AlterNet, and Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish.

This is typical of the mass media tendency to view marijuana policy through the lens of Cheech-and-Chong stereotypes—as a trivial story of minor importance, more a curiosity than serious news. But the sheer numbers suggest it deserves more attention. Nearly 830,000 marijuana arrests are made annually, about 89 percent of them for simple possession, not sales or trafficking. That’s one marijuana arrest every thirty-eight seconds, and more arrests for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined. Put another way, it’s the equivalent of arresting every man, woman, and child in the state of North Dakota plus every man, woman, and child in Des Moines, Iowa, in one year—and doing the same thing every year, year after year. All of this comes at a total cost to taxpayers estimated at anywhere from $14 billion to $42 billion per year.

New national arrest statistics won’t be out until about the time this book is published, but scientific data continue to emerge that demolish the intellectual underpinnings of marijuana prohibition. Studies continue to find marijuana far less toxic or addictive than such legal drugs as alcohol and tobacco, while in Britain, where most marijuana possession arrests were discontinued in January 2004, marijuana use has steadily declined since arrests stopped, according to official government surveys. Sadly, even though the British government’s scientific advisors urge continuation of the no-arrest policy, as of this writing in May 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown appears determined to launch a new crackdown.

In the US, the clearest signs of progress have come from efforts to permit medical use of marijuana. Twelve states now have medical marijuana laws, and a medical marijuana initiative on Michigan’s November 2008 ballot was ahead by nearly two to one in the only public poll released so far. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has indicated he would end the federal war on these state medical marijuana laws, and fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton has also indicated some willingness to rethink federal policy. Republican John McCain has expressed support for current federal law.

Extensive information about marijuana policy and efforts to change our current laws is available from the Marijuana Policy Project, or (202) 462-5747. A more wide-ranging newsletter on drug policy issues is the Drug War Chronicle, at


Since beginning my tenure at NORML in the mid-1990s, I’ve observed the growth of the annual number of Americans arrested for minor marijuana violations from a low of 288,000 in 1991 to a record 830,000 in 2006. Yet despite this nearly 300 percent increase in minor pot busts (nearly 90 percent of all marijuana arrests are for possession offenses), mainstream media coverage of these skyrocketing arrest rates remains nominal.

The media’s disinterest in this subject is uniquely troubling, given that the arrest data is derived from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, and that other aspects of this report (for example: has the violent crime rate risen or fallen?) traditionally generate hundreds of major news stories each year. Equally troubling is the media’s habit of improperly attributing these marijuana arrest figures to NORML rather than to the FBI, the law enforcement organization that actually tracks and reports said data.

Arguably, the most disturbing result of these rising arrests is that record numbers of Americans are now being ordered by the courts to attend ‘drug treatment’ programs for marijuana—regardless of whether they require treatment (most don’t) or not.

According to the most recent state and national statistics, up to 70 percent of all individuals in drug treatment for pot are now placed there by the criminal justice system. Of those enrolled in treatment, more than one in three hadn’t even used marijuana in the thirty days prior to their admission. Yet, disingenuously, the White House argues that these rising admission rates justify the need to continue arresting cannabis users—despite the fact that it is the policy, not the drug itself—that is actually fueling the spike in drug treatment.

Finally, it must be emphasized that criminal marijuana enforcement disproportionately impacts citizens by age—an all too often overlooked fact that has serious implications for those of us who work in drug policy reform. According to a 2005 study commissioned by the NORML Foundation, 74 percent of all Americans busted for pot are under age thirty, and one out of four are age eighteen or younger. Though these young people suffer the most under our current laws, they lack the financial means and political capital to effectively influence politicians to challenge them. Young people also lack the money to adequately fund the drug law reform movement at a level necessary to adequately represent and protect their interests. As a result, marijuana arrests continue to climb unabated, and few in the press—and even fewer lawmakers—feel any need or sufficient political pressure to address it.

(Paul Armentano is the deputy director of NORML and the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC.)


In conclusion, it is suggested Congress has an approval rating lower than the acceptable percentage of rat feces tolerated in the human food supply and Nobody knows NONE of the ABOVE should be on voter ballots.

Clarence "Pubes" Thomas's wife asks Anita Hill
for an apology over voicemail
Pubic Hair Porn Coke Brigade?

Supreme Court Owes U.S. Apology for
Appointing George W. Bush pResident

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, wants an apology from Anita Hill for her 1991 accusations

In a bizarre postscript to the bruising 1991 Senate hearings in which Anita Hill recounted sexual harassment by US Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Thomas's wife Ginni has telephoned Hill and asked that she apologise for "what you did with my husband".

According to ABC News, Ginni Thomas confirmed that she had called Hill earlier this month and left a voicemail message asking her to apologise and to "pray about this" – but said she was offering an olive branch.

Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, said she had received the voicemail message, which she initially reported to university authorities. The message said:

"Anita Hill, this is Ginni Thomas, and I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day."

In a statement last night, Ginni Thomas said:

"I did place a call to Ms Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended."

For her part, Hill said: "I have no intention of apologising and I stand by my testimony in 1991."

Hill told ABC News: "Even if it wasn't a prank, it was in no way conciliatory for her to begin with the presumption that I did something wrong in 1991. I simply testified to the truth of my experience. For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it's accusatory."

Hill's testimony in 1991 came close to derailing Thomas's nomination for the Supreme Court post after she detailed her experiences working for Thomas, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that Thomas had made repeated detailed sexual remarks and suggestions, which Thomas later denied. Hill herself was the victim of repeated smears.

In recent months Ginni Thomas has been taking an active political role with the Tea Party movement and its Republican supporters, and last week spearheaded a fundraising drive for conservative Republican candidates ahead of the US midterm elections in November.

In this online video for supporters, Ginni Thomas reels off a list of her favourite Republican candidates, exhorting people to donate money to them.

Earlier this month the New York Times reported that Thomas is the founder and head of a new right-wing group called Liberty Central, dedicated to opposing what she describes as the "tyranny" of President Obama and the Democratic party. Liberty Central is funded by undisclosed donations.

As the wife of an associate justice of the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body tasked with interpreting and upholding the US Constitution, the anonymous funding of Ginni Thomas's group presents an ethical challenge.

[Ed. Note: On June 29, 1989, The Washington Times reported: Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with [President] Reagan, [Vice President] Bush: ‘Call boys’ took midnight tour of White House by Paul M. Rodriguez & George Archibald ... and ... On July 1, 1991 President Bush nominated Clarence Thomas.]

Ginni Thomas's call to Hill's voicemail appears to have taken place on the same day as the New York Times printed its investigation into her fundraising and political activities.

Source: Richard Adams,

Angela Wright, "The Other Woman"
of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas Hearings (Flashback)

By Florence George Graves

Before Virginia Thomas, there was Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas -- and Angela Wright (who?)

Angela Wright heard Anita Hill and thought, "I believe her because he did it to me." Her testimony might have changed history. She was subpoenaed. Why wasn't she called?


When Virginia Thomas left a message on Anita Hill's voice mail on Columbus Day weekend October 9, 2010, she reopened what many remember as a "he said/she said" debate about sexual harassment. But it could have been "he said/they said." On Columbus Day weekend in October 1991 -- 19 years ago -- another witness was waiting to testify. She could help corroborate Hill's testimony in Clarence Thomas's Senate Judiciary Committee's Supreme Court nomination confirmation hearings. But Angela Wright was never called to testify.

What would she have said -- and why wasn't she called to testify?

In 1994, Florence Graves cleared up those mysteries in The Washington Post, revealing the intricate -- and bipartisan -- behind-the-scenes maneuvering by several Senate Judiciary Committee members to discourage the testimony of Angela Wright, a woman whose information could have helped corroborate Anita Hill's allegations against Clarence Thomas. The article uncovered a surprising unwritten agreement among top Republicans and Democrats not to call Wright, apparently because they feared either that her testimony would create even greater political chaos or that it would doom Thomas' nomination. It also uncovered evidence suggesting that Thomas lied to the Committee. Several senators -- including then-Republican Senator Arlen Specter (Pa.), then-Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.), and other key players -- told Graves they believed that if Wright had testified, Thomas would not have been confirmed.

"The Other Woman," Florence George Graves, The Washington Post Sunday Style, October 9, 1994.

The article received the Texas Institute of Letters Award for best newspaper article published in 1994.

And almost a decade later...

"Anita Hill--The Complete Story," Florence George Graves, The Boston Globe Magazine, January 19, 2003.

While Anita Hill was letting her life "speak for itself," the facts -- many of them suppressed at the time -- were unfolding in her favor. The newly disclosed information also was illuminating a deeply flawed system for approving one of the most powerful officials in the United States.

This article won a first place EMMA award for newspaper reporting.

Florence George Graves is the founding director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. As an award-winning investigative reporter and magazine editor, she has focused largely on investigating and exposing political, government, and corporate abuses of power, particularly in Washington. Her work has led to a number of congressional hearings and government probes and to several reforms in public policies.

When a Poophead named Virginia Calls - Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry.
Virginia Thomas, Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill
When a Poophead named Virginia Calls - Telling the Truth Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry.

Lillian McEwen breaks her 19-year silence about Justice Clarence Thomas

By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, October 22, 2010

For nearly two decades, Lillian McEwen has been silent -- a part of history, yet absent from it.

When Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his explosive 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Thomas vehemently denied the allegations and his handlers cited his steady relationship with another woman in an effort to deflect Hill's allegations.

Lillian McEwen was that woman.

At the time, she was on good terms with Thomas. The former assistant U.S. attorney and Senate Judiciary Committee counsel had dated him for years, even attending a March 1985 White House state dinner as his guest. She had worked on the Hill and was wary of entering the political cauldron of the hearings. She was never asked to testify, as then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), who headed the committee, limited witnesses to women who had a "professional relationship" with Thomas.

Now, she says that Thomas often said inappropriate things about women he met at work -- and that she could have added her voice to the others, but didn't.

Over the years, reporters and biographers approached her eager to know more about Thomas from women who knew him well. But McEwen remained mum. She said she saw "nothing good" coming out of talking to reporters about Thomas, whom she said she still occasionally met. She did not want to do anything to harm her career, she added. Plus, she realized, "I don't look good in this."

Today, McEwen is 65 and retired from a successful career as a prosecutor, law professor and administrative law judge for federal agencies. She has been twice married and twice divorced, and has a 32-year-old daughter. She lives in a comfortable townhouse in Southwest Washington.

And she is silent no more.

She has written a memoir, which she is now shopping to publishers. News broke that the justice's wife, Virginia Thomas, left a voice mail on Hill's office phone at Brandeis University, seeking an apology -- a request that Hill declined in a statement. After that, McEwen changed her mind and decided to talk about her relationship with Thomas.

"I have nothing to be afraid of," she said, adding that she hopes the attention stokes interest in her manuscript.

To McEwen, Hill's allegations that Thomas had pressed her for dates and made lurid sexual references rang familiar.

"He was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners," McEwen said matter-of-factly. "It was a hobby of his."

McEwen's connection to Thomas was strictly personal. She had even disclosed that relationship to Biden, who had been her boss years earlier.

In her Senate testimony, Hill, who worked with Thomas at two federal agencies, said that Thomas would make sexual comments to her at work, including references to scenes in hard-core pornographic films.

"If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it," Thomas responded to the committee.

McEwen scoffs softly when asked about Thomas's indignation, which has barely cooled in the 19 years since the hearings. In his vivid 2007 memoir, the justice calls Hill a tool of liberal activists outraged because he did not fit their idea of what an African American should believe.

McEwen's memoir describes her own "dysfunctional" family in the District and, ultimately, a long legal career. She charts how she developed an "inner self" to escape the chaos of her childhood. Her story also includes explicit details of her relationship with Thomas, which she said included a freewheeling sex life.

Given that history, she said Hill's long-ago description of Thomas's behavior resonated with her.

"He was obsessed with porn," she said of Thomas, who is now 63. "He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting."

McEwen added that she had no problem with Thomas's interests, although she found pornography to be "boring."

According to McEwen, Thomas would also tell her about women he encountered at work. He was partial to women with large breasts, she said. In an instance at work, Thomas was so impressed that he asked one woman her bra size, McEwen recalled him telling her.

Presented with some of McEwen's assertions, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said Thomas was unavailable for comment.

However bizarre they may seem, McEwen's recollections resemble accounts shared by other women that swirled around the Thomas confirmation.

Angela Wright, who in 1984 worked as public affairs director at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission -- which polices sexual harassment claims -- during Thomas's long tenure as chairman, shared similar accounts with Senate investigators.

Once, when walking into an EEOC seminar with Thomas, he asked her, "What size are your breasts?" according to the transcript of her Senate interview.

Her story was corroborated by a former EEOC speechwriter, who told investigators that Wright had become increasingly uneasy around Thomas because of his comments about her appearance.

But Wright also had problems that made committee Democrats nervous. She had been fired by Thomas, and previously by a member of Congress. She also had quit a third job in government, accusing her boss of incompetence and racism.

Concerned about Wright's credibility, Biden lifted a subpoena for her to testify at the hearing. Instead, transcripts of the interviews with Wright and her corroborator were simply entered into the record, drawing only modest press attention.

Another woman, Sukari Hardnett, who worked as a special assistant to Thomas in 1985 and 1986, wrote in a letter to the Judiciary Committee that "If you were young, black, female and reasonably attractive, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female" by Thomas.

For his part, a parade of women who worked with Thomas defended him before the Judiciary Committee, calling it impossible that he would engage in the type of inappropriate behavior described by his accusers.

McEwen recalls writing Thomas a short note before the confirmation hearings, curious about what she should say if she were quizzed about their relationship. She said Thomas preferred that she would take "the same attitude of his first wife," who never talked publicly about their relationship.

In 2007, the Howard University Law School graduate retired and grew reflective on her life. Her career had included stints as an administrative law judge for both the Social Security Administration and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She also had turns as a law professor and a private attorney -- all after her work as a federal prosecutor and Senate Judiciary Committee lawyer.

She spends her days in her Southwest townhouse. She frequently meets up with friends for movies, golf and other outings. Regularly, she stops by the National Museum of the American Indian for lunch.

In her short leather jacket, ankle-high boots and leather cap, she looks younger than her age. And when she talks about Thomas, her tone is devoid of rancor. She sees him mainly as someone who occupied a chapter of her life.

Still, McEwen, a Democrat, acknowledges growing increasingly irritated with Thomas's conservative jurisprudence and his penchant for casting himself as a victim in the Hill controversy.

Thomas himself has obliquely referred to the McEwen both in his 2007 memoir and during his confirmation hearing.

In an exchange with Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), who was then a Republican, he said there appeared to be tension between Hill and him "as a result of the complexion of the woman I dated and the woman I chose as my chief of staff." Both are light-skinned.

McEwen met Thomas in 1979, when both were among a tiny handful of young, black Capitol Hill staffers. A group of them would hold monthly meetings at neighborhood watering holes, and soon enough McEwen and Thomas had struck up a close friendship.

At the time, Thomas was married to his first wife and working for then-Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.). McEwen, meanwhile, had recently separated from her first husband.

Over time, she said, Thomas would come by her place for drinks. She said the relationship grew intimate after Thomas left his wife in 1981. She said they broke off their relationship in about 1986.

Through the years, McEwen said, she has remained reasonably friendly with Thomas. On two or three occasions, she said, she brought friends to his Supreme Court chambers where they sat for long conversations.

But now, she says, "I know Clarence would not be happy with me."

"I have no hostility toward him," McEwen said. "It is just that he has manufactured a different reality over time. That's the problem that he has."

Pablito el drito, Tonylight e Peppo Lasagn
Giovedì 21 ottobre ore 21:30 doppia presentazione in Libreria SHAKE Interno 4, viale Bligny, 42 Milano.

Pablito el drito presenta il cd a 8 bit Smogville, realizzato col gameboy. Tonylight e Peppo Lasagna presentano Leploop, synth analogico d.i.y.

Pablito el drito nasce a Milano nel 1974.

E' agitatore culturale, storico delle controculture, copywriter, disk jockey, musicista elettronico e producer musicale di Rxstnz, etichetta dedicata al dancefloor mutante (

Da anni organizza festival, mostre, concerti e happening.

Ha lavorato come freelance nell'editoria, nella moda e per la tv.

Smogville" , il suo terzo cd, è realizzato con gameboy modificati e i software hacker Nanoloop 1.3 e 1.5, scritti da Oliver Wittchow.

Ha già pubblicato due cd realizzati con videogames: "Bit Bubbles" e "Backroom industry", entrambi coproduzioni Rxstnz / Idroscalo records.

Dopo la presentazione in Shake, alle 00.45 presenterà "Smogville" a Guida nella giungla, storica trasmissione di Radiopopolare Milano.

Ecco un assaggio audio del suo cd...

...e un video di un suo recente live

LEP (Laboratorio Elettronica Popolare) è un laboratorio di elettronica d.i.y. fondato da Peppo Lasagna, hacker vecchia scuola, e da Tonylight, designer, sperimentatore e musicista elettronico, per progettare e costruire strumenti audio e video.

LEP ha sede a Milano e collabora assiduamente con il collettivo audio/video Otolab, per il quale ha realizzato attrezzature usate in molte performance.

Tonylight e Peppo presentano il loro ultimo hack: Leploop, un piccolo sintetizzatore analogico, frutto di una lunga e fortunata sperimentazione sul duro metallo e ora finalmente disponibile in produzione limitata.

Leploop ha ricevuto molte recensioni entusuantiche.

Tra gli altri è usato anche dal grande Chris Carter, pioniere dell'indutrial music e fondatore dei mitici Throbblig Gristle, che lo commenta così:

"I've used a lot of synths over the years but this one is something different... it's a strange instrument. It's small, much smaller than it appears in photos: it is part synth, part drum machine, part multi-track sequencer. I'm still figuring it all out but initial impressions are that it's very unpredictable and slightly unstable... but in a good way..."

Ecco il link a cui trovare un esperimento musicale di Chris Carter con questa macchina esoterica e affascinante:

Qua sotto un video girato ad Hackit 2009, raduno annuale dell'undergorund digitale italiano, in cui Peppo Lasagna illustra le funzione del synth.

Smanettoni di tutto il mondo non mancate! - Google English Translation Source:

... and Bush created Democracy ... A cartoon by Steve Bell
... and Bush created Democracy by Steve Bell

& We're currently asking,
"Does Dr. Michael Berkland Drink Coffee?"

Visit the Podcast page for information about the below Tunes
mp3 Hear the People mp3
mp3 Waltzing on the Stars mp3
mp3 Why Not Try Love Again? mp3

UPDATE - 201010.22:
A fix has been provided for the following flaw
& new kernels are now available:

Linux Kernel Flaw Coughs Up Root Rights

by Ryan Naraine

The open-source Linux operating system contains a serious security flaw that can be exploited to gain superuser rights on a target system.

The vulnerability, in the Linux implementation of the Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) protocol, affects unpatched versions of the Linux kernel, starting from 2.6.30, where the RDS protocol was first included.

According to VSR Security, the research outfit that discovered the security hole, Linux installations are only vulnerable if the CONFIG_RDS kernel configuration option is set, and if there are no restrictions on unprivileged users loading packet family modules, as is the case on most stock distributions.

Because kernel functions responsible for copying data between kernel and user space failed to verify that a user-provided address actually resided in the user segment, a local attacker could issue specially crafted socket function calls to write arbritrary values into kernel memory. By leveraging this capability, it is possible for unprivileged users to escalate privileges to root.

The company has released a proof-of-concept exploit to demonstrate the severity of the vulnerability. The folks at The H Security tested the exploit on Ubuntu 10.04 (64-bit) and successfully opened a root shell.

A fix for this issue has been committed by Linus Torvalds. VSR Security recommends that users install updates provided by downstream distributions or apply the committed patch and recompile their kernel.


Mindflex Hack Turns Brain Waves Into Music
By Scott Thill, Wired, October 21, 2010



War Criminals
Become A Politician: Get Away With Legal Murder & Torture
Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture

Massive leak reveals serial detainee abuse
15,000 unknown civilian deaths in war
Full coverage of the Iraq war logs

by Nick Davies, Jonathan Steele and David Leigh,, Friday 22 October 2010 21.26 BS, Article history

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.

Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.

The new logs detail how:

• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.

• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death.

As recently as December the Americans were passed a video apparently showing Iraqi army officers executing a prisoner in Tal Afar, northern Iraq. The log states: "The footage shows approximately 12 Iraqi army soldiers. Ten IA soldiers were talking to one another while two soldiers held the detainee. The detainee had his hands bound … The footage shows the IA soldiers moving the detainee into the street, pushing him to the ground, punching him and shooting him."

The report named at least one perpetrator and was passed to coalition forces. But the logs reveal that the coalition has a formal policy of ignoring such allegations. They record "no investigation is necessary" and simply pass reports to the same Iraqi units implicated in the violence. By contrast all allegations involving coalition forces are subject to formal inquiries. Some cases of alleged abuse by UK and US troops are also detailed in the logs.

In two Iraqi cases postmortems revealed evidence of death by torture. On 27 August 2009 a US medical officer found "bruises and burns as well as visible injuries to the head, arm, torso, legs and neck" on the body of one man claimed by police to have killed himself. On 3 December 2008 another detainee, said by police to have died of "bad kidneys", was found to have "evidence of some type of unknown surgical procedure on [his] abdomen".

A Pentagon spokesman told the New York Times this week that under its procedure, when reports of Iraqi abuse were received the US military "notifies the responsible government of Iraq agency or ministry for investigation and follow-up".

The logs also illustrate the readiness of US forces to unleash lethal force. In one chilling incident they detail how an Apache helicopter gunship gunned down two men in February 2007.

The suspected insurgents had been trying to surrender but a lawyer back at base told the pilots: "You cannot surrender to an aircraft." The Apache, callsign Crazyhorse 18, was the same unit and helicopter based at Camp Taji outside Baghdad that later that year, in July, mistakenly killed two Reuters employees and wounded two children in the streets of Baghdad.

Iraq Body Count, the London-based group that monitors civilian casualties, says it has identified around 15,000 previously unknown civilian deaths from the data contained in the leaked war logs.

Although US generals have claimed their army does not carry out body counts and British ministers still say no official statistics exist, the war logs show these claims are untrue. The field reports purport to identify all civilian and insurgent casualties, as well as numbers of coalition forces wounded and killed in action. They give a total of more than 109,000 violent deaths from all causes between 2004 and the end of 2009.

This includes 66,081 civilians, 23,984 people classed as "enemy" and 15,196 members of the Iraqi security forces. Another 3,771 dead US and allied soldiers complete the body count.

No fewer than 31,780 of these deaths are attributed to improvised roadside bombs (IEDs) planted by insurgents. The other major recorded tally is of 34,814 victims of sectarian killings, recorded as murders in the logs.

However, the US figures appear to be unreliable in respect of civilian deaths caused by their own military activities. For example, in Falluja, the site of two major urban battles in 2004, no civilian deaths are recorded. Yet Iraq Body Count monitors identified more than 1,200 civilians who died during the fighting.

Phil Shiner, human rights specialist at Public Interest Lawyers, plans to use material from the logs in court to try to force the UK to hold a public inquiry into the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians.

He also plans to sue the British government over its failure to stop the abuse and torture of detainees by Iraqi forces. The coalition's formal policy of not investigating such allegations is "simply not permissible", he says.

Shiner is already pursuing a series of legal actions for former detainees allegedly killed or tortured by British forces in Iraq.

WikiLeaks says it is posting online the entire set of 400,000 Iraq field reports – in defiance of the Pentagon.

The whistleblowing activists say they have deleted all names from the documents that might result in reprisals. They were accused by the US military of possibly having "blood on their hands" over the previous Afghan release by redacting too few names. But the military recently conceded that no harm had been identified.

Condemning this fresh leak, however, the Pentagon said: "This security breach could very well get our troops and those they are fighting with killed. Our enemies will mine this information looking for insights into how we operate, cultivate sources and react in combat situations, even the capability of our equipment."

U.S. Congress & Bush Administration Are Murdering Thieves Who Belong In Jail?
Arrest War Criminals

Every Criminal Who Voted for the Illegal Iraq War

Congress FUNDS Israel to Murder & Maim U.S. Military

Confused Tea Baggers?

by Dahbud Mensch

On October 3, 2000 George W. Bush, before he was appointed to office by the Supreme Court, said, If we don't have a clear vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world and nation building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road, and I'm going to prevent that.

For the record Bush also said, 'Anyone who harms children is a terrorist.'
Liberated Iraqi Boy
This is a Child U.S. Congress and the Bush Republican Administration Harmed

This is the same person who, on 9/11, read a children's book for 18 minutes while the United States was under attack, pulled troops out of Afghanistan before getting Osama; but then again the Bush and bin Laden families are friends that worked together. They started, what most people consider, an illegal Iraq War that destroyed United States economy. They did not supply troops with simple basics, which got our military unnecessarily maimed and murdered; a crime in itself. He played guitar while U.S. citizens were abused and killed during Katrina, and for his personal reward gets to publish a book, probably filled with lies, and promoted by a Corporate Media, that sold out American citizens and U.S. Military to encourage an illegal war. Shame on them!

We are left to assume his words include Everybody and on March 19, 2003 the U.S. Supreme Court & Congress were responsible for the Murder & Maiming of Innocent Children, Women, and civilians.... Plus, It Will Probably Be A 100 Years Before Anybody Finds Out What THEY Did to U.S. Military During Either Illegal, Iraq War, Vietnam, etc.!


George W. Bush is a Chickenhawk, Coward, War Criminal

Dear Mr. Bush,

In the name of justice, I arrest you. There is no Department of Justice anymore, thanks to you. In its place, I arrest you.

In the name of more than 3,000 dead U.S. soldiers, who died in a war that only you wanted, pursuing a cause only you understood even to this day, I arrest you.

These soldiers died in a war fraudulently justified by your misrepresentations to Congress to obtain a Congressional War Powers Resolution, a war of aggression prohibited under international law and by our Constitution.

Tell us what this war is about. Don't say freedom, you've destroyed that. Don't say Democracy, you've ruined that, too. Don't say peace, you've smashed that to smithereens. And don't say for oil, we don't need to bleed for oil. In the name of truth, I arrest you.

In the name of the victims of thousands of tons of Depleted Uranium weaponry, many of these victims not yet born, I arrest you.

In the name of honesty about Global Warming and Nuclear Power, I arrest you, and Al Gore, too, who claims to be "from Tennessee and immune to radiation." The rest of us are NOT immune to it (nor is he, he just professes not to know it).

Iran's PEOPLE (and her leaders) desperately want nuclear weapons because of you. North Korea's leadership does, too -- who knows what their people want (perhaps they are aware of the dangers of nuclear proliferation, but I doubt it). The double-standard for nuclear haves and have-nots isn't working; the only standard that WILL ever work is abolition.

You deny the deaths you cause -- perhaps A MILLION IRAQI PEOPLE ALREADY. And don't say it's much less than that, and don't say you just don't know, but at least they have freedom. They don't have freedom, and nobody's free in a coffin. You can't apologize to a dead person.


Just type the number "655,000" into "the Google" (as you call it) and see what comes up, Mr. President -- a peer-reviewed epidemiological study conducted by Johns Hopkins University public health scientists, published in the United Kingdom's leading medical journal, Lancet, and sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies. And, the death RATE has probably increased DRAMATICALLY since that study was published last year (if only due to the "sectarian violence" you caused to flare up). So, Mr. President, you've probably caused close to a million deaths in Iraq, maybe more, not counting soldiers. And the dying is getting more frequent, not less. Over 500 bodies were recovered in Baghdad this month (May 2007) alone, many with clear signs of torture or mutilation. Our soldiers saved 42 today, but that's a drop in the bucket. But give those soldiers some medals anyway -- they deserve them.

I arrest you for starting a bloodbath. I arrest you for destabilizing Iraq despite being carefully and accurately warned what sorts of things would happen, and THEN, to make matters worse, you let our soldiers -- bad seeds under worse command -- violate rules against torture, be callous about civilian deaths, and use overkill as a tool of war, conveniently renamed "shock and awe," to destroy the minds and hearts of a people. You even let some forms of torture be institutionalized unilaterally by our forces. Under whose authority did you do this? Alberto Gonzales's? He's no authority! He's the one that should be arresting you RIGHT NOW! But he's your friend, so he won't do his sworn duty. Perhaps he thinks he serves a higher authority than his own word of honor. God only knows what that might be, but it seems to be you.

Before your father's war, the Iraqi people had no quarrel with, and many even loved, the American people. Somehow, even through the sanction years, we kept many friends there. But good luck finding Iraqis who love us now, and would dare to admit it. I arrest you for making "loving America" an object of ridicule around the world. The shining star on the hill turned out to be the scattered light of gamma rays, x-rays, alpha-particles, and beta particles.

Let's talk about the future. I can't arrest you for what you will do in the future, but I can arrest you for those who MUST die in the future because of what you've ALREADY DONE.

Let's see the notes from Dick Cheney's vile energy plan. It's vile because it's a secretly-arranged bailout for the nuclear industry. It's the source of the nuclear industry's self-proclaimed "Nuclear Renaissance" and sets the stage for future MELTDOWNS which will kill thousands, perhaps even MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, and continue a grave mistake.

Many of the dead will be children -- perhaps your own, Mr. President, and those of the reporters who fawn over you. I arrest you for killing the media in America. Corporate conglomerates ate them for lunch.

I arrest you for not educating yourself about the evil you create. I arrest you for not understanding that science trumps not only politics, but economics, too. The dying and the sick will drown the heathy in sorrow, in hard work caring for the ill and suffering, and in debts unpayable, for the cost of medical care IS prohibitive. I arrest you for that, too, for you have made even basic health care a service for the elite.

The poor are relegated to clinics operating with pennies on the dollar compared to what they need, as you declare "faith-based" community service sufficient. As our nation's President, YOU have to help the poorest of the poor, and the most abused prisoner (whether a political prisoner of conscience, or a convicted criminal). Sir, YOUR job is NOT to tell the churches to do YOUR JOB! That's abdicating responsibility in the first degree. Blatant and immoral. I arrest you for that.

The buck, and the blame, stops with you. I arrest you, Mr. Bush, for failure to do your duty, for damaging this nation's pride and reputation, for lying, cheating, and stealing. For Haditha and for the rest of the wanton destruction of the cradle of civilization.

And for singing and dancing and having a good time while you should have been Googling the Internet and learning the truth about yourself, for yourself. I call you Nero and arrest you for that, too. I also call you a Luddite and hereby serve you papers (electronically) on that, as well.

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

White House Reply:

Note that the author received the following email from the White House after sending it in with another arrest warrant from Jack Dresser ( below).
On behalf of President Bush, thank you for your correspondence.
We appreciate hearing your views and welcome your suggestions.
Due to the large volume of e-mail received, the White House cannot respond to every message.
Thank you again for taking the time to write.

Source: [Broken Link]

Martin Rowson cartoon showing Condi saying, "as I was saying Isn't Democracy Wonderful with Iraq and Iran in the background
Martin Rowson

Sweet Condi & the Asspirate Neocon Band

According to a Senate Intelligence Committee Memo, George Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was the first person to verbally approve torture during July 2002.

If the Bush Administration were arrested for their War Crimes and their family fortunes confiscated; along with Halliburton & Blackwater War Profits, it might be a step in the proper direction to help restore the U.S. failing economy Republicans PUT US IN; in fact, everybody could have had free health care with the money squandered during eight years of Republicans in office.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

PUC releases data on fines in wake of criticism

A Chronicle examination found that between 2004 and 2009, the commission did not impose a single fine against PG&E for violating natural gas safety laws, even though the company committed more such infractions than California's other major pipeline operators combined.

by David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer, Sunday, October 24, 2010

Responding to accusations that it isn't a tough regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission on Saturday released a database of all the fines it has levied in the last 11 years, totaling $170.9 million.

The commission also has ordered the companies it oversees to spend $330.1 million on other forms of restitution, such as reimbursing customers.

"This is to raise awareness of the process we go through and the results we get," said Terrie Prosper, a commission spokeswoman.

The commission's willingness to impose penalties has come into question since a natural gas pipeline owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. ruptured on Sept. 9 in San Bruno, setting off an explosion and fire that killed eight people.

A Chronicle examination found that between 2004 and 2009, the commission did not impose a single fine against PG&E for violating natural gas safety laws, even though the company committed more such infractions than California's other major pipeline operators combined.

The database released Saturday, stretching back to the beginning of 1999, does not show any penalties related to PG&E's natural gas system.

It does, however, show the commission levied $6.5 million in fines on PG&E and ordered the company to pay $63.7 million in restitution, with all the money coming from the company's profits. The penalties came in response to three issues: a 2003 substation fire that blacked out nearly a third of San Francisco, an inadequate tree-trimming program that had been blamed for causing rural wildfires and the company's overuse of estimated or delayed bills.

"It's certainly good that they have taken the enforcement actions on this list," said Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman for The Utility Reform Network consumer group. "But what they've done doesn't change what they haven't done. It doesn't change the apparent lack of fines on the pipeline issues."

The commission imposed fewer penalties on San Francisco's PG&E than on the state's other large, investor-owned utilities, according to the database. Since the start of 1999, Southern California Edison has been fined $30.7 million and ordered to pay $121.7 million in restitution. San Diego Gas and Electric Co., together with its parent company Sempra Energy, has been fined $16.9 million and ordered to pay $112.9 million in restitution.

The commission often does not levy fines if the companies are able to resolve their problems, Prosper said. PG&E's past pipeline infractions fall into that category, she said.

The utility was fined $6 million in 1999 over its program for pruning trees near power lines - a key step in preventing wildfires. A year earlier, a commission report found that PG&E had diverted $77.6 million from tree-trimming and used the money to boost corporate profits. In addition to the fine, paid to the state's general fund, PG&E was ordered to take $22.7 million from its profits over the following five years and spend the money on trimming trees.

In 2006, the commission fined PG&E $500,000 and ordered $6 million in restitution for a fire at an electrical substation in San Francisco's Mission District that triggered a widespread blackout, with some customers waiting more than 24 hours for electricity to return. Again, money from the fine went to California's general fund, while the $6 million was to be spent upgrading PG&E's electrical system in San Francisco.

Finally, in 2007 the commission ordered PG&E to refund $35 million to customers to resolve long-standing complaints about the company's billing practices.


San Bruno Breaking News: PG&E worker reveals serious safety problems

In the aftermath of last Thursday’s devastating explosion in San Bruno, PG&E maintenance and safety records are now under the spotlight. A PG&E employee with insider knowledge regarding the utility company’s safety practices has come forward to shed light on exactly what the illusive company has been doing to keep dangerous pipelines safe. The employee will be telling his story in court, after recently filing a lawsuit against the utility giant, presenting hard evidence demonstrating safety negligence on the part of PG&E.

According to the veteran PG&E worker, safety rules are not followed and violations are often ignored. According to long time PG&E employee, Mike Wiseman, it gets worse. "One of the jokes of my department is, PG&E management puts the safety cap on during safety meetings and takes it off when we all hit the field.” If this is any indication of how seriously PG&E takes public safety, the utility company may come under even further intense fire from critics who also feel the company doesn’t make safety a priority. To the people of San Bruno, there is nothing remotely funny about PG&E’s disregard for public safety.

Wiseman’s statements stand out because of his credentials. He has been with the company for the last ten years, working on gas transmission pipelines, like the one the ruptured in San Bruno. Wiseman filed a lawsuit against PG&E after being harassed for blowing the whistle on the company’s lax policies three weeks ago.

One of Wiseman’s many complaints was that a group of untrained workers were sent into a six foot ditch to do repair work, without training or even a procedural manual. When he complained, his superiors applied pressure. "I had the foreman take the picture of me in front of the ditch, and at the end of the week, we had to submit this to my supervisor. He actually called me in his office and threatened to disciple me over this picture," said Wiseman. The harassment grew stronger as Wiseman refused to give in. He believed that people deserved to know the truth, regardless of mounting pressure from the company trying to silence him.

His attorney in the lawsuit against PG&E, Tony Bothwell, said things went from bad to worse. According to Bothwell, "This is the most extreme, bizarre case of retaliatory harassment that I have ever heard of. Confining him in a hotel in Stockton overnight, demanding that he turn over his car keys or they're going to fire him and then moving his car without his permission, just unbelievable!” The incident describes some of the harassment tactics against Wiseman when he was working with crews up and down the state.

While Wiseman had worked on gas pipelines throughout his career at PG&E, he never worked on the pipeline that exploded in San Bruno. However, Wiseman is leveling charges against the utility giant, saying that the company’s commitment to safety is shoddy at best. Having worked on gas pipelines for a decade, Wiseman is a knowledgeable witness whose expert testimony may create major problems for PG&E even before his case goes to trial.

Wiseman’s public attack of the company has prompted other workers to contact him, described further safety violations the utility company has swept under the rug. Many of these employees are afraid to speak up for fear of job loss and, in some cases, personal safety.

PG&E had this to say regarding Wiseman’s statements. PG&E has "...absolutely no tolerance... for retaliation. Every employee... is expected to stop the work in process and raise his or her concerns if there is an unsafe situation." However, PG&E has gone after those who objected to the company’s safety procedures in the past.

In April of 2000, the labor department declared that PG&E used psychiatrists to unfairly find a veteran manager unfit to do his job, citing “paranoid delusions” as the cause. The manager came under fire when he went public with knowledge about the safety problems at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. The Labor Department sided with the former employee.

Wiseman plans on providing a long and detailed list of safety infractions on the part of PG&E in court. In light of the current demand for expensive pipeline inspections and the cost of dealing with San Bruno, the utility company will be hard pressed to financially recover over the next year.


Everyone hates PG&E

by Tim Redmond

Well, maybe not everyone, but the results from last night's election are fascinating. A $50 million campaign, with the opposition struggling to come up with $100,000 -- and PG&E still lost. Calitics has a fun comparison that makes one of the key points: The company lost most heavily in its own service areas. People who have to deal with PG&E -- and its high rates, poor service, blackouts, botched smart-meter program and financial greed -- voted strongly against allowing the company to further entrench its monopoly power. In essence, PG&E lost at home.

A couple of other interesting factors: The results show, I think, that whatever you say about the decline of newspapers, their endorsements still matter. Every major newspaper in the state opposed Prop. 16, and that clearly had an impact. The No on 16 campaign didn't have the money for any media buys; the press coverage and strong anti-PG&E endorsements had to carry the message.

TURN, Ross Mirkarmi, Mark Leno, Tom Ammiano and consultant Gail Kaufman deserve credit for raising what little money they could and leveraging it into a stunning statewide victory. Considering that the turnout skewed heavily Republican, the defeat of Prop. 16 will go down as one of the great progressive victories in California history.

The local numbers were astounding: In San Francisco, Prop. 16 went down 2-1, with 67 percent of the voters rejecting PG&E's ploy. That's the strongest mandate for public power I've ever seen. Same for the rest of the Bay Area: Alameda County, 64 percent No. San Mateo County, 60 percent No. Marin County, 61 percent No. Mayor Gavin Newsom ought to take a look at the map on the Secretary of State's website; it shows that the voters he needs to get elected lieutenant governor have rejected PG&E and want a public-power option.

The collapse of PG&E's attempt to buy democracy in California gives San Francisco some breathing room on its community choice aggregation contract, which is excellent news. The supervisors can now take some time to go over the details -- and prepare for the next major battle, the marketing campaign to education local residents about the value of community-controlled green energy.

PG&E is clearly on the run -- CEO Peter Darbee has driven the company to a point where it has no friends left. Could be a great era for public power efforts.


Steve Bell cartoon
Hi! I'm George! Hear God Talk Through Me! - A Steve Bell Cartoon
Iraq war logs: US turned over captives to Iraqi torture squads

Nick Clegg calls for answers to 'extremely serious' abuse reports, but says it is up to US to answer for its own forces

by David Leigh and Maggie O'Kane,, Sunday 24 October 2010 20.46 BST, Article history

Fresh evidence that US soldiers handed over detainees to a notorious Iraqi torture squad has emerged in army logs published by WikiLeaks.

Iraq war logs: Frago 242 – a licence to torture -How the newly released US military files reveal an instruction to ignore detainee abuse by Iraqi authorities; what that meant on the ground; and just how far up the chain of command the order went Link to this video

The 400,000 field reports published by the whistleblowing website at the weekend contain an official account of deliberate threats by a military interrogator to turn his captive over to the Iraqi "Wolf Brigade".

The interrogator told the prisoner in explicit terms that: "He would be subject to all the pain and agony that the Wolf battalion is known to exact upon its detainees."

The evidence emerged as the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, said the allegations of killings, torture and abuse in Iraq were "extremely serious" and "needed to be looked at".

Clegg, speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, did not rule out an inquiry into the actions of British forces in Iraq, but said it was up to the US administration to answer for the actions of its forces. His comments contrasted with a statement from the Ministry of Defence today, which warned that the posting of classified US military logs on the WikiLeaks website could endanger the lives of British forces.

Clegg said: "We can bemoan how these leaks occurred, but I think the nature of the allegations made are extraordinarily serious. They are distressing to read about and they are very serious. I am assuming the US administration will want to provide its own answer. It's not for us to tell them how to do that."

Asked if there should be an inquiry into the role of British troops, he said: "I think anything that suggests that basic rules of war, conflict and engagement have been broken or that torture has been in any way condoned are extremely serious and need to be looked at.

"People will want to hear what the answer is to what are very, very serious allegations of a nature which I think everybody will find quite shocking."

A Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Monday night is expected to add further details based on the logs of alleged abuse directly by coalition forces. Only two cases of alleged involvement of British troops have so far been mentioned.

Within the huge leaked archive is contained a batch of secret field reports from the town of Samarra. They corroborate previous allegations that the US military turned over many prisoners to the Wolf Brigade, the feared 2nd battalion of the interior ministry's special commandos.

In Samarra, the series of log entries in 2004 and 2005 describe repeated raids by US infantry, who then handed their captives over to the Wolf Brigade for "further questioning". Typical entries read: "All 5 detainees were turned over to Ministry of Interior for further questioning" (from 29 November 2004) and "The detainee was then turned over to the 2nd Ministry of Interior Commando Battalion for further questioning" (30 November 2004).

The field reports chime with allegations made by New York Times writer Peter Maass, who was in Samarra at the time. He told Guardian Films : "US soldiers, US advisers, were standing aside and doing nothing," while members of the Wolf Brigade beat and tortured prisoners. The interior ministry commandos took over the public library in Samarra, and turned it into a detention centre, he said.

An interview conducted by Maass in 2005 at the improvised prison, accompanied by the Wolf Brigade's US military adviser, Col James Steele, had been interrupted by the terrified screams of a prisoner outside, he said. Steele was reportedly previously employed as an adviser to help crush an insurgency in El Salvador.

The Wolf Brigade was created and supported by the US in an attempt to re-employ elements of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard, this time to terrorise insurgents. Members typically wore red berets, sunglasses and balaclavas, and drove out on raids in convoys of Toyota Landcruisers. They were accused by Iraqis of beating prisoners, torturing them with electric drills and sometimes executing suspects. The then interior minister in charge of them was alleged to have been a former member of the Shia Badr militia.

It is unclear which US unit filed the report of complaint that detainees were being specifically threatened with being turned over to the Wolf Brigade. The entry describes the capture of prisoners near the town of Falluja, west of Baghdad.

It is headed "Alleged detainee abuse by interrogators", and reads: "On 14 December 2005, a raid was conducted whereby five individuals were detained for suspicion of emplacement of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] as a result of a pid [positive identification]. "During the interrogation process the RO [ranking officer] threatened the subject detainee that he would never see his family again and would be sent to the 'Wolf Battalion' where he would be subject to all the pain and agony that the 'Wolf Battalion' is known to exact upon its detainees."

The war logs also disclose that Wolf Brigade members were themselves at risk of reprisals. In January 2007, US soldiers reported a gruesome discovery in a street near Baghdad: "Only the severed head was found. A wire was run through the ear with the corpse's ID attached to the wire. 3rd bn [battalion] commander identified the remains as Ahdel Abu Hussain, he was an officer in the NP [national police] Wolf Brigade."

Lawyers said the reports may embroil British as well as US forces in an alleged culture of abuse and extrajudicial killings. Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, appearing alongside the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, at a press conference in London, said some of the deaths may have involved British forces and could now go through the UK courts.


Matt Wuerker cartoon
It's the end of the world as we know it...again by Matt Wuerker
A Brief History of Socialist Plots to End the American Way of Life

Tea Party climate change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters

Midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites DeMint and Inhofe have received over $240,000

Pdf: Read the full Climate Action Network report

by Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent,, Sunday 24 October 2010 22.57 BST, Article history

Tea Party Express Begins Final Bus Tour Before Mid-Term Elections

US Senate climate change deniers and Tea Party favourites including Jim DeMint and James Inhofe are being funded by BP and other polluters. Photograph: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.

An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.

The report, released tomorrow, used information on the Open database to track what it called a co-ordinated attempt by some of Europe's biggest polluters to influence the US midterms. It said: "The European companies are funding almost exclusively Senate candidates who have been outspoken in their opposition to comprehensive climate policy in the US and candidates who actively deny the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is caused by people."

Obama and Democrats have accused corporate interests and anonymous donors of trying to hijack the midterms by funnelling money to the Chamber of Commerce and to conservative Tea Party groups. The Chamber of Commerce reportedly has raised $75m (£47m) for pro-business, mainly Republican candidates.

"Oil companies and the other special interests are spending millions on a campaign to gut clean-air standards and clean-energy standards, jeopardising the health and prosperity of this state," Obama told a rally in California on Friday night.

Much of the speculation has focused on Karl Rove, the mastermind of George Bush's victories, who has raised $15m for Republican candidates since September through a new organisation, American Crossroads. An NBC report warned that Rove was spearheading an effort to inject some $250m in television advertising for Republican candidates in the final days before the 2 November elections.

But Rove, appearing today on CBS television's Face the Nation, accused Democrats of deploying the same tactics in 2008. "The president of the US had no problem at all when the Democrats did this," he said. "It was not a threat to democracy when it helped him get elected."

The Cane report said the companies, including BP, BASF, Bayer and Solvay, which are some of Europe's biggest emitters, had collectively donated $240,200 to senators who blocked action on global warming – more even than the $217,000 the oil billionaires and Tea Party bankrollers, David and Charles Koch, have donated to Senate campaigns.

The biggest single donor was the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, which gave $108,100 to senators. BP made $25,000 in campaign donations, of which $18,000 went to senators who opposed action on climate change. Recipients of the European campaign donations included some of the biggest climate deniers in the Senate, such as Inhofe of Oklahoma, who has called global warming a hoax.

The foreign corporate interest in America's midterms is not restricted to Europe. A report by ThinkProgress, operated by the Centre for American Progress, tracked donations to the Chamber of Commerce from a number of Indian and Middle Eastern oil coal and electricity companies.

Foreign interest does not stop with the elections. The Guardian reported earlier this year that a Belgian-based chemical company, Solvay, was behind a front group that is suing to strip the Obama administration of its powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.


Bobby, Billy, Mickey, and Jerry at the ICC - Berlin, Germany - 20 October 1990 - Photograph by Chris Nelson

Bobby, Billy, Mickey, and Jerry at the ICC - Berlin, Germany - 20 October 1990
Photograph: Chris Nelson
+++ Backstage Pass (on top of pile)

Created by Republicans & Democrats

On Friday 14 December 2001 a videotape of Osama bin Laden "confessing" to the 9/11 attacks was released. The tape was supposedly found in a house in Qandahar, Afghanistan. The recording was of very poor audio and visual quality and the authenticity of the tape was questioned. This annoyed President Bush who said: "[It is] preposterous to think this tape was doctored." Okay, let's have a look:

Picture of 5 Osama's with one that does not look like the others
Here's 5 Osama's - which is the odd one out? -+- Rethinking 9/11

The Tea Party movement: deluded and inspired by billionaires

By funding numerous rightwing organisations, the mega-rich Koch brothers have duped millions into supporting big business

by George Monbiot,, Monday 25 October 2010 20.15 BST, Article History

The Tea Party movement is remarkable in two respects. It is one of the biggest exercises in false consciousness the world has seen – and the biggest Astroturf operation in history. These accomplishments are closely related.

An Astroturf campaign is a fake grassroots movement: it purports to be a spontaneous uprising of concerned citizens, but in reality it is founded and funded by elite interests. Some Astroturf campaigns have no grassroots component at all. Others catalyse and direct real mobilisations. The Tea Party belongs in the second category. It is mostly composed of passionate, well-meaning people who think they are fighting elite power, unaware that they have been organised by the very interests they believe they are confronting. We now have powerful evidence that the movement was established and has been guided with the help of money from billionaires and big business. Much of this money, as well as much of the strategy and staffing, were provided by two brothers who run what they call "the biggest company you've never heard of".

Charles and David Koch own 84% of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the United States. It runs oil refineries, coal suppliers, chemical plants and logging firms, and turns over roughly $100bn a year; the brothers are each worth $21bn. The company has had to pay tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements for oil and chemical spills and other industrial accidents. The Kochs want to pay less tax, keep more profits and be restrained by less regulation. Their challenge has been to persuade the people harmed by this agenda that it's good for them.

In July 2010, David Koch told New York magazine: "I've never been to a Tea Party event. No one representing the Tea Party has ever even approached me." But a fascinating new film – (Astro) Turf Wars, by Taki Oldham – tells a fuller story. Oldham infiltrated some of the movement's key organising events, including the 2009 Defending the American Dream summit, convened by a group called Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The film shows David Koch addressing the summit. "Five years ago," he explains, "my brother Charles and I provided the funds to start Americans for Prosperity. It's beyond my wildest dreams how AFP has grown into this enormous organisation."

A convener tells the crowd how AFP mobilised opposition to Barack Obama's healthcare reforms. "We hit the button and we started doing the Twittering and Facebook and the phonecalls and the emails, and you turned up!" Then a series of AFP organisers tell Mr Koch how they have set up dozens of Tea Party events in their home states. He nods and beams from the podium like a chief executive receiving rosy reports from his regional sales directors. Afterwards, the delegates crowd into AFP workshops, where they are told how to run further Tea Party events.

Americans for Prosperity is one of several groups set up by the Kochs to promote their politics. We know their foundations have given it at least $5m, but few such records are in the public domain and the total could be much higher. It has toured the country organising rallies against healthcare reform and the Democrats' attempts to tackle climate change. It provided the key organising tools that set the Tea Party running.

The movement began when CNBC's Rick Santelli called from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for a bankers' revolt against the undeserving poor. (He proposed that the traders should hold a tea party to dump derivative securities in Lake Michigan to prevent Obama's plan to "subsidise the losers": by which he meant people whose mortgages had fallen into arrears.) On the same day, Americans for Prosperity set up a Tea Party Facebook page and started organising Tea Party events.

Oldham's film shows how AFP crafted the movement's messages and drafted its talking points. The New Yorker magazine, in the course of a remarkable exposure of the Koch brothers' funding networks, interviewed some of their former consultants. "The Koch brothers gave the money that founded [the Tea Party]," one of them explained. "It's like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud – and they're our candidates!" Another observed that the Kochs are smart. "This rightwing, redneck stuff works for them. They see this as a way to get things done without getting dirty themselves."

AFP is one of several groups established by the Koch brothers. They set up the Cato Institute, the first free-market thinktank in the United States. They also founded the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University, which now fills the role once played by the economics department at Chicago University as the originator of extreme neoliberal ideas. Fourteen of the 23 regulations that George W Bush put on his hitlist were, according to the Wall Street Journal, first suggested by academics working at the Mercatus Centre.

The Kochs have lavished money on more than 30 other advocacy groups, including the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the George C Marshall Institute, the Reason Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. These bodies have been instrumental in turning politicians away from environmental laws, social spending, taxing the rich and distributing wealth. They have shaped the widespread demand for small government. The Kochs ensure that their money works for them. "If we're going to give a lot of money," David Koch explained to a libertarian journalist, "we'll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent. And if they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don't agree with, we withdraw funding."

Most of these bodies call themselves "free-market thinktanks", but their trick – as (Astro)Turf Wars points out – is to conflate crony capitalism with free enterprise, and free enterprise with personal liberty. Between them they have constructed the philosophy that informs the Tea Party movement: its members mobilise for freedom, unaware that the freedom they demand is freedom for corporations to trample them into the dirt. The thinktanks that the Kochs have funded devise the game and the rules by which it is played; Americans for Prosperity coaches and motivates the team.

Astroturfing is now taking off in the United Kingdom. Earlier this month Spinwatch showed how a fake grassroots group set up by health insurers helped shape the Tories' NHS reforms. Billionaires and corporations are capturing the political process everywhere; anyone with an interest in democracy should be thinking about how to resist them. Nothing is real any more. Nothing is as it seems.

• A fully referenced version of this story can be found at


TV Ad - Police Chief McNamara: Vote YES On Proposition 19
Let's Be Honest: The War Against Marijuana Has Failed
Joseph McNamara, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; Fmr. Chief of Police, San Jose, California - More ?

Is Marijuana Hiding A Cure for Cancer?

Iraq War Logs - Steve Bell cartoon
Iraq War Logs - Steve Bell cartoon

2nd Coming on Verge of Being Canceled?

by Herb

The bible warns Satan's demons take on the image of God, similar to that done in Eden, (How else do they gain control of earth?) Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. His ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. - II Corinthians, 11:14

US veteran who killed unarmed Iraqis wins Tea Party support

Murder charges were dropped against Ilario Pantano, who now verges on election victory buoyed by right-wing backing by Ed Pilkington in Wilmington, North Carolina - Click to Read Article

Is Rupert Murdoch's Fox, Tea Party, Broadcasting Company
Just Another Antichrist?

The Antichrist is variously understood as being a consummately evil system of government or leader.

The Antichrist will be a leader who deceives many people.

The Antichrist will divide the world and create war without end.

The Antichrist will declare that things which are evil to be good.

The Antichrist will refer to war as peace, death as a solution for justice, and serving the wealthy as a means of helping the poor.

Cancellation Reminder

Christians are to no longer execute sinners, so they should not wage carnal war, but spiritual warfare (John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 10:1-6; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; 6:11-14; 2 Timothy 2:3-5; 4:6-8)

Christians must be peacemakers forgiving those who do them harm treating their enemies with love and not seeking revenge (Matthew 5:9, Romans 14:19), (Ephesians 4:29-32; Colossians 3:12-14; Matthew 6:9-15; Mark 11:25-26), (Luke 6:27-36) (Romans 12:17-21; 1 Peter 3:8-12).

Hatred which is the same as murder is unforgiving, vengeful and hostile towards one's enemies (1 John 3:15)

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." Matt 6:24

Be the change you want to see in the world.
Mahatma Ghandi

Reminder: Lesser of Evil Voting Sucks,
Nobody for President 2012
None of the Above
Should Be On Voter Ballots

Death to Nobody
says Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert

What Kind of Return to Sanity Gathering Would Call For Murdering A Political Candidate Who Keeps All Campaign Promises? - Nobody knows where you live!

;-) Great Rally Guys & Thanks to All the Folks Behind the Curtain (-;

Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten. - Cree Prophecy

Artist, John Flores

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear. So the man yelled "God, speak to me" and the thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you" and a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice. And the man shouted, "God show me a miracle" and a life was born. But the man did not know. So the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are there" Whereupon God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Somebody is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way you expect.