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Now they call it Euroland...
Be afraid be very afraid...
Fresh from Notorious
Subject: - twenty months after September 11 -
http://www.newscientist.com/news/ plasmonics the cover story for this week's new scientist
"First thought best thought" May 1, 2003
Where is Alan Ginsburg when you need him?
This would be treason not to report this to someone ASAP.
Like now!! Or at least call a lawyer Now ~!!!
My guess is "This would be treason not to report this to someone !" NOW!"
Are you sure its not idle boasting ? Or like the Elvis sightings?
#1 Did you think more on this ?
"In my opinion It will beTreason
not to report the facts such as they may be to the proper authorities. "
Perhaps an open letter to the NY Times Or a CIA correspondent (some Village Voice reporter.)
Free speech issues aside there are many major legal and moral issues.
As to my pontificating on them, I will respectfully decline.
Bust the guy and take the reward, or suffer perhaps a US military Court Trail (Kangaroo to be sure)
and run the risk of being summarily executed for withholding (What one must assume is ) crucial
evidence ( you claimed you have ) that may lead to the capture or whatever fate OBL has waiting
The law is clear and the concept that some one/s have the same information does not remove it from the realm of legal evidence and therefore obstruction, during a time of war requires the highest penalty
(death) they don't talk about it much and its not good to equivocate thinking YOU know more than some one else is one thing but smug
self interest in this case may get you an untimely end.
I don't wish to know that you though you knew better what to do with this factoid that you e-mail me I must categorize it as Idle prattle.
If it is a fact that YOU Know the whereabouts of any one that is wanted for any crime ( any fudigitive or fellon) don't ever tell me!!
Because that would be stupid treason to sit on it !!
Because You think "they already know" and you are so cool about having the information about such and such the web is crawling with such pompous inflated & self important tips and rumors.
Is your sense of citizenship such that the safety of others comes
after your own notion of Your superior intelligence If in
KNOW something and say nothing you are an Accessory after the fact.
I had better plans for my summer.
The art of dispatching a person such as he exist, although I have only the press reports of war
in his name and that not in any detail required for an in person final debriefing but I can imagine.
I had better plans for my summer.
As you may have seen on my web site the notion that the entirety of the OBL family should be held
under house arrest at a Holiday Inn some where near Ohio Or NJ Turnpike with no room service no
phones No TV etc. until he gets the picture and gives himself up to save All of his otherwise Nobel
family members such an ignoble fate...
I believe as they say it's Doable under the existing Recco Statutes.
As to aiding and abetting,
DON’T DELAY !
I fear dire consequences await any one who may procrastinate or vacillate as to weather this
miscreant should be appended .
I say as RR and John Wain might were they with us . Hang um Hang um high or at least deal with
them. It looks like there is room in our hearts for Sammy The Bull Gerivanno to go for it. Perhaps
he can cut a deal with the Opium trading assholes.
PS: This would be treason not to report this to someone NOW!!!
but that’s your choice !! I will likely post it as an urban legend HOAX!
THE CLOCK IS TICKING!
Subject: - query -
Date: Thu, 01 May 2003 00:04:42 -0400
From: Mickey1 <?.com>
Late last night, this came in from a reliable fellow I've known for a decade.
He's been trekking and working around Afghanistan for about thirty years.
After two weeks of always on the move in Pakistan/Afghanistan, having some
bad food and then returning with 60 hours of airplanes and airports my
system is in another time zone. Anyway, an Afghan General, one Commander,
one secret police detective and an Afghan police commander all said OBL is
in a wooded area near Chitral. When I asked a member of the Pakistan
Higher Court why Pakistan was doing nothing to capture OBL, I was told that
ISI had the power and the president of Pakistan was helpless in this matter.
There are still OBL tee shirt "The Great Mujahid" selling in Peshawar.
Personally and disgustedly I think there has been some deal cut. OBL makes
no more problems and he is left alone! Just my guesstimate!
Politics be Dammed!
.. ... .. ... .. ... .. ... .. ... .. ...
His report corresponds with a lot of what we hear, of course.
What I see as possible reasons for Washington's just leaving him alone
(sort of) are:
1. If he dies a natural death, he's not a martyr.
2. US is using him to track his minions.
3. If Bush felt very threatened (for example, by the rather intimate relations of the
Bush family with the Bin Ladin family over years), Bush would have him shot.
Any other thoughts?
The Lawful Path http://lawfulpath.com
Narrow is the Path to the Truth
TREASON AND SEDITION
Operation Vampire Killer 2000 - The Lawful Path
In defining "treason" and "sedition" we look to the Fifth edition of Black's Law Dictionary. pg.
1345, and pg. 1218
TREASON: The offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to
which the offender owes allegiance; or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power.
SEDITION: ...knowingly becoming a member of any organization which advocates the overthrow
or reformation of the existing form of government of this state by violence or unlawful means.
The facts and information about some of the persons and their actions listed in this special report is
prima facie evidence of their long involvement in activities directly designed to overtly overthrow
the lawful, constitutional government of the United States of America. These individuals thus hope
to deliver the People of the U.S. into the hands of a foreign power known as the United Nations,
which is actually an oligarchy of the world's super-rich, who have no allegiance to any one nation
and who control the U.N. from behind the scenes.
The Lawful Path http://lawfulpath.com
Narrow is the Path to the Truth
I have no clue, what if any connection there of one file to another.
#3 ©2001 chadsux
In This Edition
Scott Morschhauser gives us a view of the end of liberty
in, "Protests Are Out And We Will Decide What You Can
Greg Palast goes on the BBC to explain the, "Theft Of The
Patty Goldman explains, "Fast Track A Way To Dump
Joe Conason reports on the NYC mayors race in,
"Hevesi’s Lame Defense Offends Common Sense."
Gene Lyons takes a break in, "Best Part Of A Summer
Vacation: No News."
The Associated Press reports on, "Von Rumsfeld Defends
Missile Defense Funds."
Carol Schiffler tells tales of conspiracy in, "Only The
Robert Scheer says Smirky gets rather kinky in, "Bush
Binds Us Into A Fiscal Straitjacket."
Bill O'Reilly wins the Vidkun Quisling Award
Molly Ivins says, "Laissez Ain't So Fair After All"
Tally Briggs tells smirky that, "The World Has Moved
And finally in "Parting Shots" Bryan Zepp Jamieson
explains Republi-con double-speak in, "A River Runs
Through It" but first Uncle Ernie reviews, "The Godfather
Part IV Fredo Meets Johnny Ola."
This week we spotlight the cartoons of Bill Deore with
additional cartoons from Kwawin, Carlson, Tom
Tomorrow, BushBeer.net, Rayberry, Trucards, Destonio,
Chris Whitehouse, GWBush Art, Political Strikes and
Plus we have all of your favorite departments! Welcome
one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis." We hope
you enjoy your stay!
The Godfather Part IV
Fredo Meets Johnny Ola
By Ernest Stewart
I guess if you live long enough you will eventually see
everything. I'm still having trouble believing my eyes after
this Labor Day meeting between Smirky the Chimp and
It was only a matter of time until the Crime Family Bush
got together with the Crime Family Hoffa. The sons of two
famous crooks should have a lot in common after all. As
the smirkster's corporate shills and media whores try and
prevent any truth about last Decembers Coup De' Etat
getting into the minds of main stream America just as
Jimmy is trying to get the governments watchdogs to turn a
blind eye to the Teamster shenanigans. It was certainly a
match made in heaven, unless of course you're a
Teamsters member or an American citizen.
While this joke was going on tens of thousands of union
members were marching along with Democratic
candidates for the coming fall elections. The several
hundred who showed up for the "Teamster Picnic" looked
to be the typical secret service group who brought the
wives and kiddies along with them to give the state
controled media some bodies to photograph to show that
we're all behind the traitors. Of course there were no
protestors allowed as we all know that protesting must be
done far away from the cameras lest they mistakenly
photograph the people. The Detroit media which is owned
and operated by that group of Nazi's (Knight/Ridder) from
Florida failed to get a single picture of the tens of thousand
that lined the unions parade route or the tens of thousand
of union workers who marched in the parade.
In case you haven't noticed only certain news events are
reported on since the Coup De' Etat went down.
I'll grant you that symbols are for the symbol minded but
even still symbolism of these two criminals and their
respective crime families was even too much for this old
reporter to bare. The reason I left politics in the early 70's
i.e. the lack of concern by the American public, the far
right shift in all American politics that cost the democrats
an easy election victory last November and made it
possible for the RNC to destroy the last remnants of the
old Republic. I hear way too much about how we're going
to get rid of them in the next election and everything will
be ok. BULLSHIT oops thats BUSHIT!
Care to take a bet on the Florida Governor’s election?
Instead of having a seat in ‘Ole Sparky’ I'm willing to bet
Jebbie is reelected in Florida. And to make it even worse
he will probably be legally elected. Janet Reno has tossed
her hat into the ring and I actually have a better chance of
being elected in Florida than she does. Janet doesn't need
any Clinton baggage to keep her from being elected as she
has more than enough of her own. She spent 8 years acting
like a Nazi from her murder of the Waco children to her
"Jack-Booted Thugs" 'rescue' of the Cuban kid. Florida is
wall to wall with Nazis and Anti-Castro Cubans to begin
with. So Jeb is going to get away with Treason and
Sedition but I think we all knew that to begin with didn't
A lot of liberal sites have closed down recently and with
good reason. They waited for the Democrats to begin
raising hell but so far all they have done is helped their
Nazi pals across the aisle. All I hear from people who
should know better is that they can't raise hell or else
they'll seem like poor losers. Say what? Where in the hell
are the 50 million people who got ripped off in Debacle
2000? You’d think that they would be mad as hell and out
causing riots in the street.
A lot of people have had nasty things to say about Darth
Nader, I know I certainly have but that was because we
bought the Nader myth. I didn't buy Gore's nonsense so I
wasn't disappointed or surprised when he bent over for the
Nazis and gave away an election that he had won and left
us all to the mercies of the Rethuglicans.
Is America worth fighting for? I'm beginning to have my
doubts about that. The only ones I see and hear raising hell
are a few liberals (mostly fighting amongst ourselves)
while the vast herd of American sheep keep lining up to be
sheared and slaughtered. Before you join them ask the
Jews about what happens when you start getting into lines.
© 2001 Ernest Stewart
Protests Are Out And We Will Decide What
You Can Investigate
By Scott Morschhauser
The Bush administration has brought two concepts to the
forefront of the nation's consciousness. One, you are no
longer allowed to protest, and two, they will tell you what
you can and cannot investigate. The examples of these two
themes are currently being exposed in the sub-news stories
(the news stories that do not make the sound-bites, but
with a little digging are readily available in larger
newspapers or on the Internet).
Let's start with protesting. It has become apparent that you
are no longer allowed to partake in this constitutionally
protected form of free speech. A few months ago,
protesters in Florida were arrested for holding 8 * by
11-inch signs with anti-Bush messages while those holding
the same size pro-Bush signs were perfectly within their
I will be attending a protest rally in Washington DC on
September 29 and have already received word that nine
foot walls will be constructed for the event.
Protesting, although always an annoyance and hassle for
law enforcement agencies, is a right guaranteed Americans
by the Constitution. A generally complacent public may
not see the danger in giving up this right. Some may argue
that this form of government strong-arming is for
"protection." I'd have to agree. There is nothing more
dangerous to a non-elected government posing as a
democracy than good old American muckraking and
outward protest. If you are a history buff, you can't help
but notice the similarities to the rise of other fascist
regimes. Stifle the protesters, control the media, then
control the military. The protesters and media take on as
important a role, if not more so, than the military. The
message is clear. You are no longer allowed to protest.
Well, if we can't protest, at least we can follow the news
and learn about corrupt actions taken by the Bush
administration and the rest of their political party. Then we
can vote them out in four years, right? Wrong. Without
even going into the problems that have surfaced with
voting in the world's "greatest democracy," this scenario
hinges on a media that will investigate and report on the
actions of our government. But it has become apparent
that certain stories will be investigated and certain stories
The example that I will use to prove my point will be the
massively-dead-horse-beaten story of Chandra Levy and
the possible relationship to Congressman Gary Condit.
Currently, the nation just can't get enough of this story.
The story is pursued relentlessly, even though there are no
suspects, not even Congressman Condit, because the
police have no evidence of foul play. I understand that the
public likes a sensational crime. I don't condone it, but I
understand. Yet, in this case there is theoretically no
crime. There is no corpus delicti as it were.
But what if there had been a known crime? Can you
imagine if Gary Condit was an actual suspect? Obviously
the American public would be ten times more interested
than they already are, right? Wrong again, because there
was a body of a young female aide found dead of
unknown causes in a congressman's office. But the
congressman was not Gary Condit or any other Democrat.
The congressman is Florida Republican Joe Scarborough,
and the unfortunate woman was 28-year-old Lori
Mrs. Klausutis was found dead on July 20 in Scarborough's
Fort Walton Beach office. On August, Associate Medical
Examiner Michael Berkland announced that Mrs.
Klausutis had a previously undetected heart condition that
caused her to collapse. Berkland said that Klausutis
collapsed, hit her head on the desk on the way down,
suffered a blood clot and died.
According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, official
statements originally said that there was no sign of trauma,
yet Berkland is now citing an "obvious injury to Mrs.
Klausutis' head." The police will not release the autopsy
because Berkland has not yet completed and filed the final
copy. He claims that he has been too busy.
Now where's the real story? Gary Condit? I don't think so.
This is a terrifying case of hypocrisy. Both stories involve
a male U.S. congressman, two females—one an intern for
the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the other a constituent
services aide. Only one has a body and the medical
examiner's statement that the death was accidental.
The grip on what will and what will not be reported will
grow tighter very soon. On September 5, the Senate
Intelligence Committee will hold a one-day hearing on an
official secrets act, which will then be poised to pass
Congress this fall. President Clinton vetoed this bill, but, if
it passes again, George W. Bush will most definitely sign
With an official secrets act, any government employee
who discloses unauthorized information will be subject to
criminal prosecution, even if the material does not
endanger national security—and, if it is anything like
Britain's Official Secrets Act, journalists and anyone else
who gains access to information that falls under the act
will also be subject to prosecution and imprisonment. The
Pentagon Papers, Watergate, Iran-Contra? Forget about it.
This pretty much would put the lid on investigating the
federal government, since most journalists rely on inside
information to expose corruption. I'd advise calling your
senators and voicing your concerns.
Add to this the recent trend to jail journalists and/or
confiscate their materials and the message from our
current government is quite clear, "We will tell you what
you can and cannot investigate."
There you have it. These are, in my humble opinion, the
two key ingredients to forming a fascist government.
Disallow protest and control what the media can and
cannot report. I find it incredibly sad how easy we're
making it for them.
© 2001 Scott Morschhauser
"Theft Of The Presidency"
GREG PALAST: Washington, the marine band plays 'Hail
to the Chief' for George W Bush, 43rd President of the
United States. But in Florida, some are singing 'Hail to the
COUNTRY SONG: After hundreds of lies Fake alibis
PALAST: We are coming into Tallahassee. We want to
know whether George W Bush won the election or did
brother Jeb steal it for him? Our investigation suggest the
answer lies in this shuttered building and in a very
expensive contract between Governor Jeb's division of
elections and a private company named DBT, which
accidentally wiped off the voter rolls thousands of
Democratic voters. 18th floor division of elections, we
have come to ask Mr Clayton Roberts, the director, a few
questions. Roberts agreed to talk, but became a bit
uncomfortable when he learned that we had obtained the
secret DBT contract, and asked him if he knew what DBT
were up to.
CLAYTON ROBERTS: Florida Director of Elections No,
I didn't ask DBT. They do what we contract them to do.
We have a statute that says we have to have a private
company to do this. We put it out for bid, we put it out for
bid, and I think I'm done with this interview.
PALAST: Let me just show you the contract if I could Mr
Roberts. It says here in the contract that the verification is
supposed to be done by DBT. That you paid them $4
million. It could look to others don't you think that you
paid $4 million to purchase this election for the
Republican party. 95% wrong on the felon list. Mr.
Roberts, could you answer the question regarding the
contract... Instead, Mr Roberts called out State troopers.
It's interesting here?
STATE TROOPER: Oh, man! Never a dull moment.
PALAST: I don't know why he had to call the police. We
hadn't gotten to our difficult questions yet! The difficult
questions are: Did Governor Jeb Bush, his Secretary of
State Katherine Harris, and her Director of Elections,
Clayton Roberts, know they had wrongly barred 22,000
black, Democrat voters before the elections? After the
elections did they use their powers to prevent the count of
20,000 votes for the Democrats? The Democrats say the
answers to both questions are yes.
COMMISSIONER: In any other country in the world, if
this had occurred, there probably would have been riots or
military troops throughout the streets.
PARTY CHAIRMAN: Al Gore won the election. He won
the popular vote and he won the vote in Florida. I think
that that's pretty clear.
VOTER: It wasn't done fairly. They shouldn't allow you to
contest an election then give you no way to contest it.
LEGISLATOR: Jeb Bush promised his brother he was
going to deliver Florida. I believe the Republicans strategy
was at all costs we deliver Florida.
CAMPAIGNER: Were people taken out of polls and
stopped from voting? Yes, I think that was not right. I
smell a rat!
PALAST: This is Database Technologies. This is the
company that the state of Florida hired to remove the
names of people who committed serious crimes from the
voter lists. I have obtained a document marked
"confidential and trade secret". It says the company was
paid millions of dollars to make telephone calls to verify
they got the right names - but they didn't. There is nothing
in the state of Florida files that says they made these
telephone calls. So the question remains, why did the
Republican leaders of this state pay millions for a list that
stopped thousands of innocent Democrats from voting?
The first list from DBT included 8,000 names from Texas
supplied by George Bush's state officials. They said they
were all felons, serious criminals barred from voting. As it
turns out, almost none were. Local officials raised a ruckus
and DBT issued a new list naming 58,000 felons. But the
one county which went through the whole expensive
process of checking the new list name by name found it
was still 95% wrong. Reverend Willie Whiting was one of
those removed from voter roles after DBT wrongly
labelled him a serious criminal.
REVEREND WILLIE WHITING: I have never spent a
night in jail.
PALAST: Were you ever busted?
WHITING: No. I had a speeding ticket probably 25-30
years ago, I guess, but that's about it.
PALAST: Do you think you should be allowed to vote if
you had a speeding ticket?
PALAST: The Florida legislature likes to see young
prisoners paraded in front of the capital in old cavalry
PRISON GUARD: Me and superman had a fight
PRISONERS: Me and superman had a fight
PRISON GUARD: I hit him in the head with some
PRISONERS: I hit him in the head with some Kryptonite
PALAST: More often than not in America, the prisoner's
colour is black. Because of the way DBT generated the
list, every genuine black felon in the United States could
knock out every black voter in Florida with the same
surname and similar date of birth. That's why the NAACP
is suing Florida for violating voters' civil rights.
LARRY OTTINGER: Lawyer for NAACP Governor
Bush, the Secretary of State Katherine Harris, Clayton
Roberts, the head of elections, all knew or should have
known in advance that certain election policies and
practices would disproportionately impact low-income
areas, and in particular black citizens and other minority
citizens, and that this would disproportionately impact
Democratic voters, based on historical voting trends.
AL GORE: Thank you, Florida!
PALAST: Altogether, it looks like this cost the Democrats
about 22,000 votes in Florida, which George Bush won by
only 537 votes. The US civil rights commission is also on
the trail. They called in Bush, Harris and Roberts. Bush
did not convince his critics.
UNNAMED MAN: You screwed up this state. You sealed
PALAST: Commissioner Edley and his colleagues will be
in Miami tomorrow to hear from voters wrongly
DR CHRISTOPHER EDLEY: US Civil Rights
Commissioner If you are going to do it, by all means as a
matter of due process and fairness, it's got to be done with
excruciating care. It's a democracy, the vote counts. There
is a lot of public concern that the contractor selected is a
firm that seems to have ties to the Republican party.
PALAST: They will be putting our evidence to Database
Technologies. Their vice-president told us that "manual
verification by telephone calls" does not mean ringing
people up to check they have got the right person. So were
they paid to produce a list which they knew would name
thousands of innocent black people? In fact DBT told
Newsnight that Clayton Roberts and the State of Florida:
"... wanted there to be more names than were actually
verified as being a convicted felon." So did they use their
powers to prevent the count of 20,000 votes for the
Democrats? You don't have to be black. In Palm Beach,
America's privileged nurse their tans and their anger.
UNNAMED WOMAN: I thought I voted for Al Gore but
unfortunately I voted for Pat Buchanan, and I wasn't
happy about that, because I am a Jewish voter and he
would have been the last person in the world I would have
PALAST: Whacky butterfly ballots caused thousands in
this Democrat town to accidentally mess up and they were
refused replacement ballots promised them by state law.
JOANNE CARBONE: From the time the elections started
until that awful decision that the Supreme Court made, I
came across hundreds of people who made a mistake and I
saw over 13,000 complaints filed by people who live in
Palm Beach county.
PALAST: In all, Palm Beach voting machines misread
27,000 ballots. Jeb Bush's Secretary of State, Katharine
Harris, stopped them counting these votes by hand. She
did the same to Gadstone, one of Florida's blackest,
poorest and most Democrat counties, where machines
failed to count one in eight ballots. Again Harris stopped
the hand count. This alone cost Gore another 700 votes, in
an election in which Harris declared George Bush winner
by only 537 votes.
KATHARINE HARRIS: In accordance with the laws of
the State of Florida, I hereby declare Governor George W
Bush the winner of Florida's 25 electoral votes for the
President of the United States.
PALAST: Harris was a busy woman. In charge of Florida's
vote count and co-chair of Bush's presidential campaign.
LOIS FRANKEL: Had she really been unbiased? Wouldn't
the appropriate actions for her to be to say - let's really get
to the bottom of this election and let's make sure every
vote is counted.
PALAST: Lois Frankel represents Palm Beach, in the
State legislature where she leads the Democratic
FRANKEL: She wanted George Bush to win. She
interpreted every rule, every law in a way to help George
PALAST: We are driving down to Miami to witness an
American ritual. In Britain, you count the votes, then
announce the winner. In Florida they declare the winner
first and here we are, still counting the votes.
WOMAN'S VOICE: She is showing the ballot in front of
the light. They can see the light through where the chads
have been punched through. Then she holds it in front
because sometimes you can see things in different light.
They have a whole column.
PALAST: Normally these are machine-read, right?
UNNAMED WOMAN: Right.
PALAST: They are carefully going through the 179,855
uncounted ballots that Harris did not want tallied. They'll
know the winner next month. Sources tell Newsnight that
Gore's ahead by 20,000 votes. The Biltmore, grandest
hotel in Miami. Democrats are upstairs eating with their
richest friends charging $5,000 a plate. Let's see if we can
get in. Not far away from the millionaires on the balcony a
voter had taken hostages at gun point protesting against
the election fraud. But here it is back to champagne
politics as usual. One Democrat whispered they would
have done the same as Katharine Harris if they had the
chance. But another, party chairman, Bob Poe remains
bitter about this.
BOB POE: Chairman, Florida Democrats Jeb Bush,
Katharine Harris, Clay Roberts did everything they could
to stop every legitimate count of the vote. And that's what
did us in.
PALAST: All fingers point to the Jeb Bush crew in
Tallahassee. Investigators want to breakthrough the iron
EDLEY: I have to say that thus far we have been
disappointed by the explanations, or perhaps I should say
the lack of explanation provided by the state officials.
When we spoke with the Governor and the Secretary of
State and even with the Director of the Bureau of
Elections underneath the Secretary of State, they were
pointing fingers at everybody else, saying "look it wasn't
our responsibility", they were in charge, which is a
disheartening disquieting thing for us to hear - who should
be held accountable for what clearly was a system that
PALAST: State officials point the finger at the counties
and say it is their responsibility to check if the names on
the list are real felons before disqualifying them. Clayton
Roberts says his job is just to pass on the list. Roberts now
admits he didn't bother to check with DBT, if innocent
people were on it.
ROBERTS: Please turn off that camera.
PALAST: Off camera he said: We did not call and say did
you check the list again... the whole tenor of this is like
OK you screwed up you didn't check with DBT and if you
want to hang this on me that's fine. It is certainly fine for
George W Bush. Even if investigators conclude that Jeb
Bush and the Republicans conspired to steal this election,
the man in that house for the next four years will be
George W Bush.
© 2001 Award-winning investigative reporter Greg Palast
writes, Inside Corporate America, fortnightly in the
Observer (London), Sunday paper of Britain's Guardian.
At http://www.GregPalast.com you can read and subscribe
to Greg Palast's columns.
Fast Track A Way To Dump Democracy
By Patti Goldman
A little more than a year and a half ago, thousands
marched in Seattle to demand that trade institutions, such
as the World Trade Organization, respect the world
environment and the creatures that inhabit it.
Environmentalists joined unions, family farmers and
religious leaders to complain that the WTO has put our
laws to protect endangered species, forests, air quality and
food safety at risk.
Now Congress is threatening to bargain away our
democracy in order to accelerate passage of new trade
When Congress returns from its August recess, it may
consider giving the president what is known as "fast-track"
authority to negotiate trade agreements without ordinary
congressional and public oversight. Fast-track authority
allows the president to negotiate trade agreements in
The final agreements are submitted to Congress only when
they are a done deal. Congressional hearings and debate
are sharply limited and the entire package must be voted
up or down within an inflexible and extremely short period
Fast-track authority is anti-democratic. It gives the
president unaccountable power to decide the terms of
As the WTO meeting made clear, trade agreements are not
simply about tariffs any more. They establish rules that
determine the viability of health and environmental
protections. The WTO and the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) give other countries the right to
challenge our environmental laws as unfair trade barriers.
Mexico and Malaysia have done so with our dolphin and
sea turtle protections and Venezuela with our air pollution
laws, to name a few examples. These challenges are
resolved by trade officials who hear arguments and make
decisions behind closed doors.
In the face of threatened trade challenges, the United
States has allowed pesticide residues on food that do not
meet U.S. standards. Minnesota has waived its purchasing
preference for recycled paper in the face of Canadian
claims that it would disadvantage paper produced from
logging native forests.
NAFTA goes further and gives corporations the right to
sue for monetary damages when laws harm their foreign
investments. The first such challenge to a chemical ban
resulted in repeal of the ban and payment of millions of
dollars. More recently, Methanex Corp., a Canadian-based
corporation, filed a NAFTA claim for $970 million for
losses, including a decline in stock value, from California's
phase-out of a toxic gasoline additive that has
contaminated drinking water. These investor lawsuits can
be tantamount to blackmail. A foreign corporation can
insist on being paid a hefty sum to stop marketing a
product that causes harm.
Trade agreements make fundamental policy choices that
create winners and losers.
How much definitive scientific proof is required before a
country can ban harmful chemicals, like asbestos? Can a
country limit trade based on the harmful effects of logging,
fishing or factory production? Can a local government
sponsor eco-labeling or limit its own purchases to
sustainably produced wood? Can the United States restrict
imports of cheap Canadian timber produced with heavy
government subsidies and by clear-cutting virgin forests
right to the banks of salmon streams?
In the United States, people have a voice when laws
addressing these fundamental questions are debated and
enacted. The people also should have a voice before these
rights are traded away.
Our democratic system thrives on checks and balances, as
well as on public accountability. Fast-track authority
It truncates the congressional oversight provided through
hearings and debate and eliminates the congressional
power to amend. Trade agreements are a fait accompli by
the time they are submitted to Congress. The public is kept
in the dark about the terms of the agreement and cannot
work through elected members of Congress to alter terms
harmful to the public interest.
While the WTO has earned a reputation as an institution
unresponsive to public demands and input, we live in a
democracy. Congress can control and shape the laws that
govern U.S. consideration and approval of trade
Congress should not jettison democratic lawmaking for the
sake of rushing into new trade agreements. We are not
against trade; in fact, trade is important to the region's
economy. However, recent trade deals have been stacked
against the environment, putting profits above people and
the environment. Congress has a responsibility to insist
that trade agreements safeguard our environmental laws.
This power should not be traded away. © 2001 Patti
Hevesi’s Lame Defense Offends Common
Even the dullest campaign can provide a peek into the
political underworld. In New York’s Mayoral race, that
moment of tabloid truth arrived when Alan Hevesi
suddenly had to explain an unusual favor he once
performed for a major contributor—and all of his
opponents except one rushed to his defense.
The most sensational aspect of the story has become
well-known, and Mr. Hevesi hotly disputes it. From the
files of an obscure lawsuit between members of the
wealthy Lowinger family, a document emerged in which a
former Lowinger employee claimed to have witnessed Mr.
Hevesi accept cash in 1997 from family patriarch Maurice
Lowinger, since deceased. The former employee recently
confirmed to The Observer that she was certain the
Comptroller had pocketed an envelope filled with cash,
which had been withdrawn from a bank earlier that same
day on Lowinger’s orders.
While it is hard to imagine why this former employee
would have invented such a peculiar and damning
incident, it is also hard to believe that the Comptroller
would take a cash payment, especially in front of
witnesses. In fact, there is really no reason to think of him
as corruptible at all.
No reason, that is, except for certain things Mr. Hevesi
said in his own defense.
While Mr. Hevesi denied the bribe allegation, the
Comptroller and his aides corroborated other significant
aspects of the woman’s account. They confirmed that the
meeting with Lowinger had taken place. They admitted
that Mr. Hevesi discussed a favor that Lowinger wanted.
And they further admitted that Mr. Hevesi agreed to set up
a business meeting between a Lowinger firm and Bell
Atlantic. He instructed one of his top aides to make the
call, and the favor was done. (Lowinger hoped to sell
telephone equipment to the phone company; they weren’t
Why did Mr. Hevesi use his office to arrange a business
meeting between two private firms? Being a wealthy
businessman’s gofer has nothing whatsoever to do with the
responsibilities of the Comptroller’s office. But by his own
account, he immediately jumped to fulfill the Lowinger
Mr. Hevesi may have acted in part because of the
friendship between his family and the Lowingers that
dated back to prewar Budapest, as he suggested. That
would have been an improper motive for official action,
although sentimentally excusable. But he also surely
remembered that members of the Lowinger family had
donated more than $60,000 to his campaign treasury, a
motive that seems considerably less sentimental and more
And why would Bell Atlantic executives agree to the
Comptroller’s request that they meet with a vendor whose
previous overtures they had already rejected? They
consented for the same reason that Lowinger approached
Mr. Hevesi: He was and is a powerful public official
wielding authority that might directly affect the telecom
company’s interests. He can ensure that the company’s
bills for services to the City of New York are paid on time,
and that any disputes over those bills are resolved swiftly
Of still greater interest to any big firm is Mr. Hevesi’s role
as chief overseer of the city’s public-employee pension
funds. He embodies a major institutional investor whose
funds have typically held hundreds of millions of dollars’
worth of Bell Atlantic stock in recent years. When a big
investor calls—even with a transparently ridiculous or
obnoxious request—the wise corporate manager
endeavors to cooperate.
Mr. Hevesi’s conduct in this episode would appear to
violate the city’s ethics code, which prohibits him and
other officials from using their office and staff for
extraneous, self-serving purposes. Both he and his
spokeswoman claimed that what the Comptroller did for
Lowinger was not only ethically acceptable, but mundane
and even laudable. He said he does the same kind of thing
for others "all the time." His spokeswoman said, "It is
something public officials do. Helping New York
companies is what public officials do."
Actually, what public officials do—or are supposed to
do—is serve the public, not their campaign contributors.
Mr. Hevesi’s claim that this favor for Lowinger somehow
served the public interest is preposterous. If he regularly
performs such peculiar services for his contributors, he
doesn’t belong in any position of public trust.
Equally disturbing was the demeaning defense offered by
Peter Vallone and Fernando Ferrer, candidates for Mayor
and veterans of old clubhouse machines where the motto
is "Quid pro quo." They sounded as if they agreed that
public officials should do the bidding of campaign
contributors. Campaign-finance reform has yet to improve
the mentality of some politicians.
Only Mark Green understood the basic ethical issues in the
Lowinger matter. He was able to say that he would do no
such thing and never had. For a city government
confronting corruption every day, his dissent suggests a
stark distinction between him and his rivals, and one of his
most compelling qualifications to become New York’s
© 2001 Joe Conason email Joe at:
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes
a revolutionary act." ... George Orwell
Best Part Of A Summer Vacation: No News
By Gene Lyons
Some people proudly call themselves news junkies, as if an
encyclopedic knowledge of, say, Sen. Tim Hutchinson's
love life or the Chandra Levy case indicated
Not me. Keeping up with the daily catalogue of atrocity,
outrage, folly, sheer nonsense and electronically amplified
gossip we call news has become an occupational necessity.
But the habit of filling your mind with junk information
can also become an addiction as difficult to shake as booze
or cigarettes. Any journalist who doesn't keep that in mind
can become dangerously obsessed. That's what I learned
on my first vacation in years, two weeks of media
deprivation therapy at an old friend's ranch along the
Shields River roughly 45 miles north of Livingston, Mont.
Avoiding the news wasn't my motive for heading to
Montana. Mostly, I wanted to beat the August heat and
visit a close friend I hadn't seen in years. Like me, Ansel
started out to be a literary academic. We met in graduate
school at the University of Virginia. My first memory of
Ansel was delivering a paper on Faulkner, in the course of
which he paused, scratched his head and pulled a large,
gray object from his thick hair.
"Tick," he said calmly, depositing the swollen arachnid in
the wastebasket before resuming his analysis of "Absalom,
Absalom!" He'd been squirrel hunting, he explained
privately, hardly an everyday pastime for University of
Virginia Ph.D. candidates. Married the same year, our
wives also became confidants.
Ansel ended up writing his dissertation on Henry James, an
author I find paralyzingly abstruse. Otherwise, we always
found plenty to talk about. Friendships established in
youth, I've found, are increasingly hard to duplicate in
For reasons too tedious to recount, neither of us flourished
as academics. But where I drifted into writing, Ansel did
something more adventurous: He bought a small, remote
Virginia farm and put his formidable energy, intelligence
and willpower to work learning livestock breeding and
genetics. No hippie dropout, he soon become one of the
half-dozen most successful breeders of Suffolk sheep in
the world. His rams and ewes are in great demand all over
the U.S. and Canada.
Ansel has always liked living at the end of the road, but
he's outdone himself this time. His new spread, modest by
Montana standards, sits near the headwaters of a tributary
of the Yellowstone River on a gravel road 17 miles from a
town of 500. His log home commands a panoramic view of
the Crazy Mountains. The first thing you notice is the
silence. On a warm August afternoon when the cows are
bedded down in aspen thickets and the sheep doze in the
sagebrush, the only audible sounds are crows calling and
the occasional scream of a hawk. At night, the coyotes
sing, and Ansel's two Great Pyrenees sheep dogs woof
back, warning them to stay away. The basset hounds snore
on the couch.
Ansel couldn't get a daily newspaper if he wanted one,
which he doesn't. He subscribes to no news mags apart
from The Washington Post weekly edition. He can't pick
up NPR on the radio and doesn't own a computer. No
Luddite, he uses his satellite TV almost entirely to indulge
his (and my) passion for baseball. He avoids TV news
altogether. He'd no more think of watching "Meet the
Press" than of shaving his head.
So what did I do on my summer vacation? Bucked hay,
helped dig a ditch, kept cows at bay while Ansel gelded
calves, held sheep down while he administered
medication, drove to town for tractor parts, kibitzed while
he fixed the bush hog, read novels, spent hours ridge riding
on an Appaloosa gelding named "Traveler," watched a
bunch of Cubs and Rockies games, and sat on the porch
sipping adult beverages and watching the clouds drift over
the Crazies. Perfect.
North of Kansas City on the way home, two Missouri state
troopers pulled me over for reasons they never made clear.
After demanding I.D., ordering me out of my truck and
patting me down, they sat me in their patrol car and asked
a bunch of questions seemingly intended to figure out if I
were the harmless individual my driver's license said I was.
After learning where I'd come from and what I did for a
living, the trooper behind me in the back seat informed me
that he was a big Fox News fan and that Chandra Levy
was still missing. Otherwise, he assured me, nothing worth
knowing had happened while I was gone. I said that
sounded right to me, and they turned me loose and sent me
on my way.
©2001 Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and recipient
of the National Magazine Award.
Rumsfeld Defends Missile Defense Funds
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cutting the Pentagon's $8.3
billion request for missile defense spending in 2002 would
undermine and delay important research and testing,
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday.
Some Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a $1.3 billion
reduction in the Pentagon's request for the fiscal year that
begins Oct. 1.
The $8.3 billion for missile defense is $3 billion more than
this year. It is, by far, the largest increase in the Bush
administration's defense program from the Clinton
``If you take $1.3 billion out of some portion of it, it's big,''
Rumsfeld said. ``As a percentage, it's enormous, it's very
harmful. It moves everything to the right, it delays things.
It causes a change in the program that has been put
together'' to test a wide variety of missile defense
Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, the top Republican on the
Senate Appropriations Committee, criticized the idea of
cutting money from missile defense, saying it was for
research and development only.
``I think they're making a great mistake,'' Stevens said in
an interview Thursday. ``It doesn't have anything to do
with deployment. They're cutting money that was
requested by President Clinton.''
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said about half of President
Bush's requested $3.3 billion increase for missile defense
was for theater missile systems. ``So we really only have a
modest increase over Clinton's budget for national missile
defense.'' Sessions is on the Armed Services strategic
subcommittee that was voting in secret Thursday on the
proposed $1.3 billion cut in missile defense spending.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed
Services Committee, declined immediate comment on the
proposed amount of the cut or where that money would be
spent. At a Pentagon news conference Thursday,
Rumsfeld expressed confidence that once both the Senate
and House complete work on the 2002 defense budget,
they will give the administration the full $329 billion it has
requested, including the $8.3 billion for missile defense.
The total is $18.4 billion more than Bush proposed in
February and $33 billion more than the 2001 budget.
``I have every confidence that we'll end up with our
budget,'' Rumsfeld said. ``The truth is, we do need every
Although defense gets the largest single amount of
discretionary spending in the entire federal budget, about
one-third of a trillion dollars, the Armed Services
Committee has done all of its work on it behind closed
doors. Levin also required the members to remain silent
about the work until the bill is done.
By contrast, the House Armed Services Committee -- and
its subcommittees -- held open meetings where members
offered and voted on amendments, and House members
and staffers were free to discuss the issues and decisions.
Levin has argued that the Bush administration is keeping
Congress in the dark about whether and when it would
conduct missile defense research and testing that would
conflict with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Levin
wants the administration to clarify its intentions before his
committee acts on the spending request.
Bush has said he intends to withdraw from the treaty.
Rumsfeld said it is too soon to know when that might
In Senate testimony Wednesday, Rumsfeld said efforts in
the Senate to delay the Pentagon's missile defense work
would make it harder to strike a deal with the Russians on
replacing the ABM treaty with an arrangement that
allowed for national missile defenses.
``To the extent the Russians develop a perception that the
United States is not interested in going forward in
providing defense against ballistic missiles or that we're
split on that issue, obviously it's in their interest to not
come to any agreements with us,'' he told a Senate
© 2001 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Only The Wind
By Carol Schiffler
1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful,
or subversive act.
2. A group of conspirators.
3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to
commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through
4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a
conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.
Horror film fans will recognize the following dramatic
A well-scrubbed American family moves into a rambling
farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. For about a week ?
twenty minutes in movie years ? the family is happier than
they have ever been. Mom plants a garden, Dad throws
sticks for the dog, the children do a lot of giggling and
running through fields of wildflowers.
One day, Dad is in the bathroom washing up after another
jolly good romp with Rover, when all of a sudden he
notices that the tap water has turned a suspicious shade of
red, the walls seem to be breathing, and there is a
disembodied head hovering above the laundry hamper. It
is speaking in Latin. Dad squeezes his eyes shut and begins
to hyperventilate. The audience knows this is the wrong
response. A much better approach would be to run down
the stairs screeching like a scalded dog, pack up the
family, and move into the Motel Six, at least until a
suitable exorcist can be located. But no.
Dad’s no sissy. So this bastion of American manliness
wipes his face, tells himself he must be coming down with
something, and adjusting the pleats in his Dockers, strolls
nonchalantly out of the bathroom to join his family for the
evening meal. Later, when his wife starts levitating in the
middle of the night and the children are sucked into the
television set, it will be a little harder for Dad to ignore the
fact that his new house is trying to kill him. But for now,
Dad tells himself, "Relax. It is only the wind."
Why does this hackneyed scene work so well although it is
drawn time and again from the horror filmmaker’s
toolbox? Perhaps it is because every American raised with
the proper amount of cognitive repression understands that
if an otherwise rational person seriously broaches the
subject of "spooky stuff" around the water cooler, it is the
cultural equivalent of farting in church.
Just ask a conspiracy theorist. (By the way, how did you
feel when you read the words, "conspiracy theory"? Did
you recoil just a little? Do you now feel like you will have
to struggle to keep an open mind about the words that
follow? If so, the government has done its job. Read on.)
This month’s Nexus Magazine contains an interesting
article by Donald W. Scott called, "Mycoplasmas and
Although considered a fringe publication by some, there is
nothing in Mr. Scott’s article that suggests the presence of
a tinfoil hat. The first portion of the piece deals with the
mechanisms by which pathogenic mycoplasm infects a
host cell. Scott then takes us on a trip down memory lane
to the idyllic days of the 1950’s when Mom was planting a
garden, Dad was throwing a stick for the dog, and the
Pentagon, in conjunction with the Canadian government,
decided it might be a nice idea to test their new biological
weapons on the city of Winnipeg.
The chemical deployed was a watered down version of the
real deal, but it was still enough to sicken one third of the
Winnipeg population. Symptoms ranged from a sore throat
to ringing in the ears. In order to obtain official
cooperation, the Pentagon told the mayor of Winnipeg that
they were testing a "chemical fog…that would protect
Winnipeg in the event of a nuclear attack."
Now if Mr. Scott had trotted this information our prior to
May 14, 1997, he would have almost certainly be labeled a
"conspiracy theorist." But on that day, the Pentagon called
a press conference where they admitted the whole sordid
affair. How nice of them to come clean forty years after
the fact. As it turns out, the same biological agent tested
on the unsuspecting citizens of Winnipeg may be capable
of producing a number of strategically useful illnesses such
as AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Whether or not you believe that the Cold War Era
scientific community possessed the technological
sophistication to whip up a batch of jiffy germs, it is clear
that the army though it could. Scott reports that upon
discharge from the service, one bacteriological warfare
specialist who routinely handled the mycoplasmic goop
received papers informing him that if he were to develop
multiple sclerosis within two years of leaving the service,
he was entitled to disability compensation which is
"payable to eligible veterans whose disabilities are due to
Now I cannot remember when I first heard gay activists
propose that AIDS was a government gig, but I believe it
was sometime in the late eighties. The earliest information
I could find on the internet was dated 1990, although
another article made reference to the work of Dr. Robert
B. Strecker who stumbled upon evidence of this in 1983.
Whatever the original source, by the early nineties, this
was a pretty hot topic of conversation, and proponents of
the idea that AIDS was a made to order Pentagon disease
were promptly labeled "conspiracy theorists." As with the
government’s role in weaponizing biological agents in
order to enhance the likelihood of multiple sclerosis,
whether or not you believe they were successful, there is
ample proof that the military intended to develop an
AIDS-like illness. At a House Appropriations hearing in
1969, the Defense Department's Biological Warfare (BW)
division requested funds to develop a new disease that
would both resist and break down a victim's immune
system, ("A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of
Chemical and Biological Warfare," by R. Harris and J.
Paxman). It should be noted that the Appropriations
Committee approved the funds.
We have proof of intent and proof of motive. In many
cases we have the government equivalent of receipts for
funds to implement covert operations. We have enough
evidence to withstand cross-examination by Judge
Wapner, for Heaven’s sake, yet somehow, when it comes
down to the nuts and bolts of assembling the pieces, the
American public tells itself, "Relax. It is only the wind."
Well there are winds, and there are typhoons, and the
same decade that saw the Pentagon emerge as the Betty
Crocker of germ warfare, begat a biological threat of a
different sort. On April 13, 1953, the CIA birthed a
hideous child known as MKULTRA. Operating on the
principle that it might be more fun to drive people insane
rather than just kill them outright, an early project draft
asks, "Can we get control of an individual to the point
where he will do our bidding against his will and even
against the fundamental laws of nature such as
self-preservation?" How would it be possible to get a
person in such a useful state? The R & D boys came up
with a two-pronged attack plan. One approach was strictly
pharmaceutical, with LSD as the drug of choice. The
second approach was to use the drugs in combination with
physical stressors such as sleep deprivation, verbal
degradation, sensory deprivation, starvation, and
electro-shock. Some of the human subjects used in these
bizarre experiments were volunteers, but some were not.
Some of the subjects lived to tell a Congressional
investigating committee their story; others did not.
One who did not was Dr. Frank Olson who hurled himself
out of a tenth floor window after a meeting with Sidney
Gottlieb who headed the CIA’s Technical Services Staff.
Olson was a scientist for the U.S. Army’s Chemical Corps
Special Operations Division. Gottlieb was, at the time,
experimenting with the effects of tossing hallucinogens in
the punch bowls of unsuspecting citizens. Suicide, of
course, was not the desired outcome of the MKULTRA
experiments. In order for a subject to be useful, he or she
had to be alive and programmable. Popular media refers to
this state as being "brain-washed," a word that conjures
mental pictures of Grade B spy flicks where evil
Communists with bad accents stick bamboo shoots under
the fingernails of a relentlessly square-jawed American
agent. The technical mechanisms employed by the CIA,
however, were far more sophisticated than bamboo shoots,
and the ultimate effect was to create an individual who
could dissociate their personality on cue. The beauty of
this plan was that test subjects manipulated in this manner
would present themselves as a bunch of loonies should
they ever attempt to expose the agency.
To that end, the CIA partnered with at least 80 different
institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, 15
research foundations or chemical and pharmaceutical
companies, 12 hospitals and clinics, and 3 penal
institutions. This is all a matter of public record,
by the Congressional Church committee. Everything from
hypnosis to psycho-surgery was employed, in combination
with drugs and what amounted to ritual abuse, in order to
find the recipe for the perfect programmable spy.
Many of those responsible for these grotesque experiments
are still alive and gainfully employed by the U.S.
government or associated research facilities. And the
survivors of these atrocities are still out there as well,
American citizens who are living testimonies to some of
the most horrendous human rights violations we have
witnessed in our lifetime.
But how many of us have even heard of MKULTRA?
Discredited as "conspiracy theorists," the MKULTRA
survivors continue to wage a desperate campaign to keep
this important piece of our history alive, and many insist
that the CIA is still engaged in the unsavory practice of
testing their latest widgets on the unwitting and unwary
public. They insist that the project has not, in fact, ceased,
but has merely changed shift supervisors, with privately
funded contractors tied to the government taking up where
the CIA left off. Anyone familiar with the wheeling and
dealings of the Iran-Contra years and the bogus drug wars
in Columbia would recognize these tactics. Yet these
people who have first-hand experience with just how low
our government can go, are consistently marginalized and
dismissed, the "conspiracy theorist" label effectively doing
Award-winning journalist Robert Parry gave an excellent
speech in Santa Monica on March 28, 1993. The subject of
the speech was Iran-Contra, and he tells a compelling tale
of government conspiracy and media duplicity. The full
text of this speech can be found at
There is a part of the speech where Parry talks of how he
was asked to investigate a project known as "October
Surprise." Many readers will recognize this as the ploy of
the Reagan-Bush machine seeking to sabotage the Carter
campaign by delaying the release of the hostages in Iran
until after his re-election bid. States Parry, "…obviously
for a long time the North network was just a 'crazy
conspiracy theory', and then the idea that Bush was
involved was a 'crazy conspiracy theory', and the idea that
there was a cover-up was a 'crazy conspiracy theory', and
I'd seen all these conspiracy theories actually turn out to
be true, so I really didn't want to discount anything without
having looked at it carefully." This is not, by the way, just
a good tip for investigative journalists. It is wise advice for
all responsible citizens, regardless of career aspirations.
But how to discover the truth? Parry states, "What I think
is the bottom line…is that we are in great danger of losing
our grasp of reality. Our history has been taken away from
us in key ways. We’ve been lied to often. And important
things have been blocked from us." In other words, the
water from the spigot has turned to blood before, and the
walls were breathing in a not-so-distant place and at a
not-so-distant time. Yet still we manage to compose
ourselves, go to work, go to the Mall, go over the river and
through the woods to Grandmother’s house, rushing here
and there with no sense of history and no sense of reality
attached to our past. We are in a perpetual state of the
In the 1970’s, we discovered that the "conspiracy
theories" of the ‘50’s and ‘60’s were reality. People were,
in fact, being "brain-washed" in experiments conducted by
our own government against innocent, unwilling American
citizens. People suffered as a result of these experiments,
and in some cases, people died. Some of the "test subjects"
are still suffering today.
In the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, we discovered that the
conspiracy theories of a previous decade were reality. Yes
indeed, our government did trade arms for hostages, they
did train mercenaries, and they did conspire to overthrow
a peaceful and orderly Latin American country. Children
were massacred, women were raped, men were tortured.
What will we discover in the year 2010? Will we find that
ugly and unspeakable things happened during Election
2000? Will we learn the truth about Dick Cheney’s
closed-door meetings on energy and social security? Will
we like what we discover? Will we finally glimpse the
master plan behind Star Wars and FCC deregulatory
rulings? Or have we all simply become so used to the
Latin-speaking, disembodied head that we invite it to go
bowling instead of demanding that it return to the dark
place from whence it came? George Santayana once said
those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed
to repeat them. The house of democracy has been haunted
by evil spirits in the past. We have discovered that there
really is a hand living under the bed and a Boogey man
dwelling in our closet. Yet time and again, those who point
these things out to us are labeled conspiracy theorists,
while we pat ourselves on the backs and congratulate
ourselves for being pillars of rational thought.
It would seem that the true gatekeepers at the Citadel of
Sanity are those who are cooling their heels at the Motel
Six and biding their time until the exorcist arrives. The rest
of us shift uncomfortably in our La-Z-boy recliners, a
gnawing feeling of familiarity in the pits of our stomachs,
and as the eleven o’clock news spews out a torrent of
clever sound bites and glitzy photo-ops, we turn to each
other and say, "Relax. It is only the wind."
© 2001 Carol Schiffler
Bush Binds Us Into A Fiscal Straitjacket
By Robert Scheer
Are we all dimwits? We just sit there with goofy looks on
our faces while the economy sputters and the president
blows what remains of the budget surplus on a tax
giveaway to the rich. With nary a peep as the "what me
worry?" kid has the gall to make stealing funds from Social
Security and Medicare--to pay for a military buildup to
fight an enemy that doesn't exist--sound like fiscal
There is method to the president's madness, as he spelled
out in his press conference Friday, proclaiming that the
prospect of government red ink is "incredibly positive
news" because it will produce "a fiscal straitjacket for
Get it? The plan is to bankrupt the national government so
we can be reduced to life as it's lived in Texas, where the
rich make out like bandits playing with public funds, as
George W. did on that stadium deal, while the rest of the
folks scramble. Texas politicians, including three
presidents in the past 40 years, always make sure their
companies are fed well at the Washington trough, even if
it means going to war. Whatever the state of the federal
budget, Bush is not going to be tight with the dollar when
it comes to a bloated military, because big oil still needs
that stick of U.S. military intervention to protect its
Why else do we need a military big enough to fight two
wars at once except to protect U.S. investments that
stretch from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf? Think of
it as a Social Security program--or more accurately,
welfare--for military contractors and energy companies,
led by Halliburton, where Dick Cheney hustled his quick
Bush never believed in a progressive federal government,
including its programs for seniors, but he had to pretend
otherwise to win over moderate voters. Now he blithely
offers a recession he helped create and a war that he's not
yet managed to find as a rationale for stealing from
seniors: "I've said that the only reason we should use
Social Security funds is in the case of an economic
recession or war." That was Friday, but Monday the
nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that this
year $9 billion must be taken out of Social Security, thanks
to Bush's tax cut and the recession. What idiocy, to
jeopardize the one domestic government program that
really works. Seniors were once the poorest people
around, and now they're the most secure, thanks to the
guarantee of at least a minimum income and health care. If
you buy the lie that those programs just benefit seniors,
consider the crushing burden on young families back in the
good old days, when they struggled to provide for aging
parents. Try to launch a career, raise a family and still pay
the health costs of Mom and Dad, and you'll get the
Unless your family happens to be super rich like the
president's. For most Americans, Social Security and
Medicare are the best family values programs, and it's
mind-boggling that we sit by while a born-rich president
who has never known a second of family financial
insecurity threatens to pull the safety net out from under
the rest of us.
Go figure. Maybe we just find it too hard to follow the
money--our money--particularly when all those zeros are
tacked on. The federal budget is $1.9 trillion, and the $328
billion that Bush wants to give to the military must just
sound like chump change. The big news, much easier to
understand, is the sex life of a hick congressman whose
name the baby boomers will have forgotten 10 years from
now when they are informed that there is no money to
cover the health and retirement payments owed them.
By then, the president who conned them will be back at
his ranch in Crawford, chuckling about how he really put
one over. As an ex-president, he will even get cut ribbons
at the umpteenth test of a missile defense program that will
still be as far as ever from working.
Of course, wasting money on the military is a
time-honored tradition, but with Bush, it's truly getting out
of hand. Even Rep. Jim Nussle, the Iowa Republican who
heads the House Budget Committee, was perplexed by the
administration's asking for a defense hike before Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had even completed his
review of what the military requires: "That's unacceptable
if they are planning on getting more. We're not just going
to throw money at defense again."
Sure, he will, and so will most of his colleagues, and Bush
knows it. That's why the president so smugly welcomes the
shriveling of the budget surplus as good news, because it
means that those nonmilitary things the government is
supposed to do but which he never approved of, such as
health care for the working poor, won't get done.
© 2001 Robert Scheer
Dead Letter Office
Dear Propaganda Ansager O'Reilly,
Congratulations you have just been awarded the Vidkun
Quisling Award for 2001. Your name will now live
throughout history with such past award winners as
Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold,
Vidkun Quisling and last year's winner Volksjudge Antoni
Without your help shilling for us, spinning the truth, telling
out right lies and ignoring the real news, holding onto
power after our Coup D' Etat would have been impossible.
With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Media
Whores," you have made it possible for all of us to
goose-step off to a brave new bank account.
Along with this award there will be an Iron Cross 2nd class
presented by our glorious Fuhrer Herr Bush at a gala
celebration in der Fuhrer Bunker (formally the White
House) on 12-15-2001. We salute you Herr O'Reilly! Sieg
Deputy Fuhrer Cheney
Laissez Ain't So Fair After All
By Molly Ivins
AUSTIN - Most of us assume that the fatal weakness of
libertarian thinking, which is so dominant in this
administration of recycled Reaganism, is its eternal
tendency to apply simple solutions to complex problems -
which is, of course, also the reason for its appeal. All is
reduced to the market, the market rules, the market is
James Arnt Aune, formerly with the Bush School at Texas
A&M, however, provides a more comprehensive
indictment of libertarian thinking and finds its most
striking feature is the avoidance of empirical investigation.
Or, as a Texas pol observed recently, "Bush is doing the
same thing to the nation he did to Texas, and in even less
time." The same thing is, obviously, the endless Bush Jr.
mantra: "Tax cuts good, regulation bad; tax cuts good,
Do they never stop to look at what tax cuts and
deregulation achieve? There are always winners and losers
under deregulation, but even the briefest summary shows
the unmistakable pattern.
Savings-and-loan dereg - $500 billion charged to the
taxpayers. Enough said.
Utilities deregulation - So far, no good.
Telecommunications deregulation - As per usual, we were
promised lower rates, greater choice, the magic of the
marketplace, and milk and honey for all. What we got was
more telephone marketers calling during dinner. Cable
rates have risen 33 percent, three times the inflation rate,
since the 1996 telecom dereg debacle.
Scholars will recall that the bill was heavily influenced and
indeed partly written by the industry's lobbyists, part of the
pattern with dereg. Cable customers continue to be gouged
by local monopolies; there is almost no head-to-head
Ditto local phone competition. Prices are up 12 percent,
not down at all; the companies that were supposed to
compete against the regional Bells are in bad shape, as is
competition in the long-distance field. Calls for
re-regulation already abound.
Airline dereg - A mess. Most experts blame two factors:
deregulation and the Federal Aviation Administration's
disastrous attempt to develop a new air traffic control
The 1978 deregulation did indeed make flying a form of
mass transit. There are three times as many fliers today as
there were 20 years ago, according to a New York Times
Magazine article of last year, and fares, on average, are 40
percent lower, adjusted for inflation.
The gradual development of near-monopolies - only the
biggest survive - is also a familiar pattern in these cases.
Airlines have dropped service at small communities and
routinely over-schedule at major airports. The system
drifts into worse shape annually, with no end in sight, and
Congress has done nothing because God forbid that
anyone should interfere with the free market.
Trucking dereg - Since dereg in the late '70s, competition
has indeed driven prices down. It has also created
"sweatshops on wheels," with drivers making 25 cents a
mile, working 90-hour weeks. According to a series in
June in The Ottawa Citizen, truckers average less than five
hours' sleep a night.
The industry has also the seen the growth of scam schools
that turn out poorly trained or completely untrained
drivers. The trucking industry has a 150 percent annual
driver turnover rate and is short 80,000 drivers.
We could go on and on, and each of these situations
should be studied in more depth, especially by those who
casually make lofty pronouncements about the need to
deregulate and privatize absolutely everything. Perhaps
the main point to keep in mind is that there were reasons
for regulation in the first place.
Libertarians, even those who actually cover government,
seem to believe that government is bent on a mindless
quest for ever-greater power. In my experience, there are
only two ways something gets regulated: a public disaster
of such epic proportions that people demand regulation, or
the industry itself asks for regulation.
That may strike you as unlikely, but it is to be seen every
session in every legislature as the watch-repairers or the
lawn-sprinkler installers or some other group arrives to
demand that their high calling be regulated and
In the case of natural monopolies, such as utilities and
phone companies, regulation is needed for the very
reasons of which we are now so unpleasantly being
reminded: A monopoly will just gouge the hell out of
I am a great believer in perpetual reform and just as
annoyed by bureaucratic paperwork as anyone else, but
willful stupidity in the face of evidence is also annoying.
Capitalism works well only in a carefully constructed
cradle of law and regulation (Russia being one case in
point). Greed is not good. Where there is greed, there is no
vision, and (not to coin a phrase) those who forget history
are condemned to repeat it.
©2001 Molly Ivins of Creators Syndicate
The World Has Moved On
By Tally Briggs
The world has moved on…… Roland of Gilead ~ The
Dark Tower Series ~ Stephen King
It is has become such a different world in the last eight
years, largely due to Clinton being a President that worked
with all of the other countries we share this ball of dust
with instead of against them. The problem is that the
Repubs are too blinded by their own rabid hate to clearly
see the world they now inhabit. They’re living in some
kind of insular Baccarat Bubble that has somehow slipped
into a time warp where all things are as they were in 1990.
But the real world, where the majority of the inhabitants of
this planet live and work, has moved on.
Terrorism and physical force are no way to help a country
faced with civil rights abuses end oppression. Truly
damaging wars are no longer fought with bombs and guns;
they're fought with various investments, economic
sanctions, and boycotts. Case in point - Russia.... We gave
them McDonalds & Estee Lauder, they got an opportunity
to see 'democratic capitalism' in action and what
happened? No more CCCP. It is going to take some time
for them to get it right, but they are on the way
nonetheless. The same is on the verge of happening in
China, you don't need to bully someone into a better way
of living - just show them how it works. Oh yeah, pissing
off China is a REALLY great idea. That’s right, I forgot, if
we actually opened them up as the biggest trade potential
that we have, that might actually HELP the economy and
CREATE jobs – we can’t have that! That was a
CLINTONIAN thing, and we know that Clintonian things
are baaaaad. Yeah, like LESS arsenic in water, and limits
on CO2. Help me. Instead Twig has to create some
imaginary enemy so he can pour obscene amounts of cash
into defense and arms sales, starting with his deal to
Taiwan. Too bad the hot dog Chinese pilot sent to ‘escort’
our spy plane gift decided to play Air Show. Oops. It was
clearly a setup. If they weren’t already en route to China
they would have flown to Vietnam. The media should be
screaming foul in all of this, but instead they praise Smirk's
false diplomacy, when it was Powell who issued the
Unfortunately, all we are showing the world now is how to
pull off a blood-free coup, repay all the big money
campaign contributors, and give the impression that
Americans are an ugly, selfish, greedy people whose
collective bottom line is to put more cash in the hands of
the super rich, while blindly believing their government
controlled media. "As long as I can live in my comfy little
universe…" So what if we trash the world making our 1%
richer? Add to that the bad light it puts on Democracy
itself because the spotlight has been so highly focused on
Silly Republicans - they ditched the most important
economics class of the last century and somehow believe
if 1% of the citizenry get 46% of the money, the economy
will ‘recover’. Recover? It was in great shape until Weak
& Stupid started talking it down, the population doubted
his mandate and lost confidence in the Market. The
Dot.Com downturn (readjustment - the internet isn't going
away) is only a tiny part of the big picture.
The problem is that Trickle Down is a myth and doesn’t
work. The Super Rich don’t spend money like the Middle
Class. The median income families of this country have
always been the largest consumers, pouring a higher
percentage of their money into the economy trying to
make a better life for themselves and their families, while
the Super Rich put the majority of their cash into offshore
tax shelters and bank accounts. However, over the last
several years corporate greed has taken over the economy.
CEOs are making record incomes while their employees
who make them their huge profits in the first place, are not
seeing wage increases that match the cost of living. And in
many cases have taken pay and benefit cuts– or have
taken on larger workloads without an increase in salary to
match so they won’t lose their jobs. The Middle Class no
longer have the expendable income to put back into the
economy. They have slowed down their consuming to
make ends meet, and with the looming tax gift to the rich
on the horizon, may even stop altogether.
The long range result? Let’s see….. Large companies with
huge inventories of product with no one to buy them…..
Some of the Super Rich CEOs cut bait altogether and close
up shop, so they can keep their obscene nest eggs they’ve
accumulated and go live on the 9th hole at Pebble Beach,
while their laid off employees apply for unemployment
and spend their retirement accounts trying to remain off
the street. While other CEOs cut back on personnel and
invest their own money to keep the business afloat. Either
scenario doesn’t put the money back into the hands of the
What happened to getting honest pay for an honest day’s
work? Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Michael
Eisner is one of the obscene earners while his employees
are some of the lowest paid in the industry. Top that off
with having trouble at first staffing the opening of the new
theme park California Adventure, but still laying off over
4000 employees. Disney was the last studio to offer their
employees Domestic Partner insurance and only then
because they were forced by staff turnover. Why stay
when you can get a better salary and benefits at
Dreamworks? Oh, yeah….. it’s the Glory of working for
Disney! Sorry, but glory won’t pay my rent.
How much money does Michael Eisner, Bill Gates, and for
that matter Smirk’s entire cabinet need? How did so many
members of our society become sociopaths without any
feelings regarding the welfare of their fellow man?
Especially with a pResident who claims Jesus Christ is his
favorite philosopher? Has he ever even read the Bible?
What a joke Smirk’ Easter Message was, "that, in the end,
even death itself will be defeated.'' Whaaaaat????? Er,
uhm, as I recall, Christ died for man’s sins, and was
resurrected because he was THE LORD. Whatshu talkin’
bout W? Do you think YOU can defeat death? Who do
you really think you are…?
Even Robin Hood’s economic plan had its heart in the
right place. But then, I am sure Smirk has never read
Robin Hood. It’s a book.
© 2001 Tally Briggs email Tally at: firstname.lastname@example.org
While Tally prepares for a role on TV we'll run her
greatest hits until she returns!
The Cartoon Corner This edition we're proud to
showcase the cartoons of Bill Deore
To End On A Happy Note ... Of Course, He's To Blame
Sung to the tune of "A Horse With No Name"
With apologies to America
It's the first part of the century,
And we're trying to get through life.
Right wing rants we heard were shocking things.
In our land, their shills now reign.
With Bush king, we bet he can't fly, just because
He will hide from the crowds.
This cheater's not very sound, that's why
His regime will run aground.
Bush stole the election, and of course, he's to blame.
He's no good, and this lout has no brain.
The election, from last November's the game
That was tainted, 'cause the Supreme Court
Dumb king Dubya Shrub was the winner now...
Dumb king Dubya Shrub was the winner now...
It was too late; the Selected One
Was spinning plans in his head.
Let me rephrase: donors had their fun
On a sub that left nine people dead.
But this story went cold,
'Cause the donors Bush owed
Were all mad that people had read...
Bush stole the election, and of course, he's to blame.
He's no good, and this lout has no brain.
The election, from last November's the game
That was tainted, 'cause the Supreme Court
Dumb king Dubya Shrub was the winner now...
Dumb king Dubya Shrub was the winner now...
We will find ways to set this country free
From the Bush Junta tyranny.
Right wing rants we heard were shocking things.
In our land, their shills still reign.
Ted Olsen is Solicitor; his wife's still around
To help Dubya disguise his flubs.
But ol' Dick Cheney has a heart that's unsound.
An eviction we'll give to the Shrub.
Bush stole the election, and of course, he's to blame.
He's no good, and this lout has no brain.
The election, from last November's the game
That was tainted, 'cause the Supreme Court
Dumb king Dubya Shrub was the winner now...
Dumb king Dubya Shrub was the winner now...
(repeat last line and fade) >
New lyrics by W.K.TONG
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for
good people to do nothing." ... Edmund Burke
LAUGH OF THE CENTURY .....
The Republican Leadership Conference has scheduled
Katherine Harris, secretary of State, FL as a guest speaker
on Friday October 5th.
The "subjest" is VOTER FRAUD!! There is a registration
form at the link above if anyone wants to attend & I
assume, learn how to commit voter fraud! Did you Florida
voters know that there is a special provision in the new
Florida "Reform" to allow military to vote by FAX and
WITHOUT BEING REGISTERED TO VOTE?!!
FOR FLORIDA VOTERS WHO ARE TIRED OF
PAYING FOR KATHERINE HARRIS'S LUXURY
TRIPS.....this is the info given on the hotel. There are 160
luxury guest rooms at The Resort at the Mountain. Several
other lodging places are mentioned but:
Do you have any doubts as to where Katherine Harris will
be staying? I would think that this is the time to write to
the unhonorable Sec. of State and tell her to pay her own
damn bills. She was born with more money than God and
we should not have to pay for the flozzie to take luxury
trips with Jebbie, Dubya, etc.
Something's rotten in Florida? Are we going to just sit idly
by and do nothing?
Pensacola, FL - My vote did not count
© 2001 G.A.G.
New Protests From Voter March
August 22, Wed., Voter March NY General Meeting
Voter March New York will have a general meeting at
Chris Acosta's loft in Union Square at 239 Park Avenue
South, Loft # 3C, (betw 19th and 20th Streets) on
Wednesday, August 22nd from 7 pm to 9 pm. Key on the
agenda are the upcoming actions: Scalia Protest at Hofstra
law School on Sunday, September 9th and the Bush
Protest at the United Nations on Monday, September 24th.
There is no admission fee, but feel free to bring snacks or
non-alcoholic beverages. Please RSVP to
September 9, Hempstead, Long Island, NY, Scalia Protest
A protest is planned at the Hofstra University School of
Law on Sunday, September 9, where Antonin Scalia, one
of the 5 Supreme Court Justices who stopped the hand
counting of votes in Bush v. Gore, will give a keynote
address at the Legal Ethics 2002 Conference. Scalia is
scheduled to be a speaker from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm and at
6:00 pm there will be a banquet in honor of Justice
Antonin Scalia. The banquet will be at Carlton on the Park
at Eisenhower Park, near Hofstra University School of
Law. Hofstra University is located in Hempstead, Long
island, about 25 miles east of Manhattan, less than an hour
away by train or automobile.
September 24, Monday, United Nations, New York City
Protest Bush at U.N. General Assembly
To protest Bush at his appearance and speech at the
General Assembly of the United Nations. We will gather
before noon at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park at 47th
Street and First Avenue in Manhattan. Voter March has a
permit pending and is inviting all pro-democracy groups to
join in with this protest action. We will have a stage and
sound system. For additional information, contact
For updates and additional information on all these events,
see Voters March
SUPPORT THE OREGON DEMOCRATS'
PROPOSAL TO IMPEACH THE
Here's what you can do to help:
1. Write your members of Congress and urge them to
support the Democratic Party of Oregon's resolution.
2. Contact your local and/or state Democratic Party office
urging them to also support the resolution.
3. Contribute to the Democratic Party of Oregon. We plan
to continue to promote this resolution and your
contribution, no matter how small, will help us in this fight
for democracy. Click on Democratic Party of Oregon to
send your support today!
by STEVE COBBLE
Lest we forget--just over six months ago, the Rehnquist
Court stole an election in broad daylight. In fear of the
truth, the Scalia Five intervened to block all votes from
being counted, an action "unprecedented" (both
historically and judicially) in US history. Though the June
12 "anniversary" went unnoticed by the media, we must
Was it the worst Supreme Court decision in US history, as
American University Constitutional scholar Jamin Raskin
has suggested? Considering that Raskin is a staunch civil
rights advocate, the very thought that he would rank Bush
v. Gore lower than both the Dred Scott and Plessy rulings
is instructive. Nor does Raskin stand alone in his opinion
of this judicial coup.
Justice John Paul Stevens: "One thing, however, is certain.
Although we may never know with complete certainty the
identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election,
the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's
confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule
of law. I respectfully dissent."
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: "In sum, the Court's
conclusion that a constitutionally adequate recount is
impractical is a prophecy the Court's own judgment will
not allow to be tested. Such an untested prophecy should
not decide the Presidency of the United States. I dissent."
And related is the unsigned per curiam decision of the
Scalia 5, a transparent attempt to try to avoid history's
Hendrik Hertzberg, former presidential speechwriter: "The
election of 2000 was not stolen. It was expropriated."
David Kairys, Temple University: "We had a constitutional
crisis, and it was Bush v. Gore. History will not be kind."
Suzanna Sherry, Vanderbilt University: "There is really
very little way to reconcile this opinion other than that
they wanted Bush to win."
Jeffrey Rosen, legal scholar: "They have...made it
impossible for citizens of the United States to sustain any
kind of faith in the rule of law as something larger than the
self-interested political preferences of William Rehnquist,
Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy, and
Sandra Day O'Connor."
Randall Kennedy, Harvard University: "But we should
also insist that there be no confirmation for Scalia-like
champions of the right-wing agenda. The Supreme Court
has hurt its own reputation by wrongly intervening to
ensure the victory of George W. Bush. Those who abhor
what the Court did should say so and say so loudly and
Jesse Jackson and John Sweeney: "But if it comes down
for justices to the 14th amendment and the promise of
equal protection, one can only hope for the sake of the
country that they consider how not counting all the votes
mirrors too closely the habits of heart and mind that
brought us slavery and segregation--the original sins of our
nation that the equal protection clause sought to repair."
And, of course, Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of Charles
Manson and author of several bestselling true-crime
books, in The Betrayal of America: ". . . the Court
committed the unpardonable sin of being a knowing
surrogate for the Republican Party instead of being an
impartial arbiter of the law.... [The Court searched]
mightily for a way, any way at all, to aid their choice for
president, Bush, in the suppression of the truth, finally
settling, in their judicial coup d'État, on the untenable
argument that there was a violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment's equal protection clause..."
Recent polls indicate the public's growing dissatisfaction
with the results of the Scalia Five's decision. A survey
conducted by the Pew Research Center and Princeton
Survey Research Associates (June 13-17) showed George
W. Bush's job approval rating at just 50 percent, down six
points from March; the New York Times survey with CBS
News (June 14-18) put the rating at 53 percent, down
seven points from March. And Democracy Corps's
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll (June 11-13) found that 48
percent of likely voters think the nation is currently on the
"wrong track." Perhaps most tellingly, 25 percent of voters
in the Democracy Corps poll said that the phrase "not
really elected President" describes Bush "very well," with
another 15 percent saying that it describes him "well"--in
other words, six months after the Scalia Five coup, 40
percent of likely voters still believe Bush was not really
What then, is to be done?
The least we can do is know our own history, and to
understand that what the Injustices did was an insult to the
dreams and ideals of Lexington and Concord, Valley Forge
and Jefferson and Paine, Gettsyburg and Lincoln and
Douglass, Selma and King, Seneca Falls and Anthony,
Delano and Chavez, Flint and Debs and Lewis. We can
bear witness to injustice, in the nonviolent protest tradition
of Thoreau, Gandhi, King, Havel, Robinson, Chavez.
The Scalia Five's judicial coup came down on the second
Tuesday last December. So, on the second Tuesday of
July, July 10, 2001, the Tuesday after the Pro-Democracy
Convention in Philadelphia, the Tuesday between
Independence Day and Bastille Day, the Institute for
Policy Studies and friends are calling for a peaceful,
nonviolent vigil at the Supreme Court building, at noon.
On July 10--and each Tuesday at noon from then on--let's
gather at the scene of the crime, and bear witness to the
truth. The Scalia Five won't be there; but we should be.
Bring a candle or a bell, like the Czechs a decade ago.
Bring a copy of the Voters' Bill of Rights, or the US
Constitution. Send an e-mail to all your friends, with your
favorite quote from this list. Bring Pablo Neruda's and
Marge Piercy's poems. Bring the next generation, so they
will never forget. Bring your commitment to restore,
rebuild, and expand American democracy. The Supreme
Court cheated. Democracy lost. For now.
©2001 STEVE COBBLE
Send $100 or $1000 to The Heritage
Foundation or Other Right-Wing Groups
This ultra-conservative group needs donations! Lend them
a helping hand by sending them a few $100 or $1000 bills
... Confederate ones! Click here to print or download the
bills. Send them to other right-wing groups as well!
And if you still want to annoy the Heritage Foundation,
you can always go to their online donation form as soon as
you try to leave the page, a pop-up window appears asking
why you decided not to donate. Give them an explanation,
but remember to be polite!
TO OUR REPRESENTATIVES AND
SENATORS IN THE UNITED STATES
We, the undersigned voters, know that our cherished
democracy is endangered from within by the grave and
potentially fatal flaws in our voting systems exposed by
the Presidential Election of 2000.
As our elected representatives, you have the duty, the
opportunity, and the privilege to correct these flaws and to
restore fair and honest elections throughout our nation. To
this end, we charge you to construct and pass a VOTERS
BILL OF RIGHTS, which shall include:
Strict enforcement and extension of the Voting Rights Act
to prevent the disenfranchisement of voters and require
full investigation and criminal prosecution of any
Standardized, easily understandable federal election
Funding to replace old and unreliable voting machines to
ensure that every vote is counted fairly and accurately
Genuine campaign finance reform that bans campaign
contributions from special interests
Replacement of the Electoral College with a majority-rule
election, or substantial reform of the Electoral College to
allow for proportional representation
Measures to increase voter participation by eliminating
bureaucratic hurdles to voter registration and turnout,
including language barriers, physical barriers, archaic
equipment, and lack of resources
Enactment and enforcement of a VOTERS BILL OF
RIGHTS will restore trust in our government and
encourage participation in our democratic processes. The
linchpin of a democracy is the process by which we select
our representatives and leaders. The right to vote is our
defining right as citizens of this nation. We call upon our
elected representatives to protect our Constitution from
abusive exercise of government power by enacting a
VOTERS BILL OF RIGHTS.
We pledge our full and constant support for enactment of
a VOTERS BILL OF RIGHTS.
A Note of Protest:
It is likely that 50% of the U.S. population is strongly
dissatisfied with the ascendancy of George W. Bush to the
office of President. There are three likely reasons:
1. Bush won the election under questionable
2. Bush has espoused a reactionary platform that places
him far to the right of mainstream America;
3. Bush has demonstrated none of the intellectual
attributes expected of a president.
In the interest of democracy, one could discredit election
gripes (point number one) as being unfair to our
longstanding electoral college process.. Also, one might
disregard Bush’s agenda (point number two) because the
hallmark of the United States Constitution is tolerance for
divergent political and moral beliefs.
However, point number three leads to a more egregious
problem, namely that a rather anonymous man, with no
distinguishing ambition or vision has, by virtue of family
wealth and connection, been installed as President of the
United States. Even the most cursory glance at George W.
Bush’s history and character builds a strong case for
charges of nepotism and cronyism. Such a glaring display
of favoritism, to benefit an individual with no considerable
talent, runs counter to the spirit of competition and fair
play that has driven the engine of American capitalism for
more than two hundred years.
There is a way to tangibly and immediately raise a voice in
protest of George W. Bush as President. For the remainder
of his term, conscientious Americans should simply write
"George W. Bush is an Idiot" on all U.S. currency that
passes through their hands.
This protest has already begun. The first bills were marked
and spent in San Francisco as of January 26, 2001. What is
important, though, is to not only begin marking all
currency (and to continue the effort throughout the Bush
presidency), but to forward this memo as much as possible
so as to replicate the message throughout our money
In an effort to mark money more industriously, many of us
have ordered a BUSH IS A FRAUD rubber stamp; these
self-inking rubber stamps are useful for marking the
"Fraud" message in red ink.
Make your voice heard,
San Francisco, California
Top twenty Republican donors with global
1 Philip Morris - $4,554,732
2 BP (ARCO) - $1,865,458
3 Am way - $1,729,500
4 News Corp - $1,204,950
5 Enron - $1,146,615
6 Citigroup – $1,079,225
7 MCI Worldcom - $1,074,608
8 Federal Express (FDX Corp) - $1,057,550
9 Pfizer - $1,051,225
10 Chevron Texaco - $862,056
11 Bristol-Myers Squibb - $848,556
12 Revlon Group/ MacAndrews & Forbes - $761,000
13 Limited Inc - $750,000
14 Glaxo-Wellcome - $702,795
15 Walt Disney - $663,625
16 Anheuser-Busch - $663,025
17 Archer Daniels Midland - $660,000
18 Microsoft - $644,816
19 Coca Cola - $610,875
20 Schering-Plough - $600,685
"Lie" isn't an adequate word for what Republicans say.
We need a new term; I propose anti-truth, as in, "There
are lies, damned lies, and Republican anti-truths." Like
matter and anti-matter, Republicans and the truth just can't
occupy the same space. What they say goes all the way
through and past "untrue" into the realm of turning reality
inside out, tying a knot in it, and yanking hard.
Find back editions of "Issues & Alibis" at Uncle Ernie's Archives
FRIENDS OF THE REVOLUTION
Our Friends And Some Of Our Favorite Liberal Links
A River Runs Through It
Meanwhile, Fresno is down in the dumps
By Bryan Zepp Jamieson
Charlie examined the trash can next to the mayor’s desk,
which had one section of newspaper in it. Hizzoner was
supposed to be out of town, but had either gotten back
early, or stopped off on the way out to plant little tests to
see if Charlie was doing his job. Making a Gallic moue, he
shrugged and lifted the can to dump it into his cart, and
then paused. It was yesterday’s state capital newpaper
front section, and Charlie had missed reading it. Charlie
sat down in the mayor’s chair and read in comfort.
Charlie finished his read and got up. He moved from door
to door in the large carpeted office, pulled the opened door
back from the wall stop and plucked the quarters up from
where they had been laying on the carpet, obscured by the
door itself. Charlie rarely vacuumed behind the doors, but
as long as the quarters were gone in the morning, Hizzoner
was happy. The quarters went to feed Charlie’s newspaper
habit, and about four times a year, he would repay them
by actually running the vacuum attachment over the
As he moved behind the mayor’s chair, dusting the front
of the glass-enclosed book shelves that lawyers and
politicians just couldn’t live without, movement out the
window caught his eye, and he looked up and out into the
parking lot. There, he saw Hizzoner’s car pulling up into
the electorally privileged parking space, next to Charlie’s
No point in hiding the in basement. Hizzoner would know
Charlie was there. Pete wasn’t such a bad guy, but his
presence meant no booking out early for Charlie.
Custodial perks were suspended this night.
Glancing around the office to see what might require his
professional attention to justify him being there long
enough to find out what brought the Mayor in at midnight,
Charlie grabbed an oily cloth and a bottle of wood oil and
started massaging a door panel.
Moments later, the door to the receptionist’s office swung
open, and Pete strode in, fat manilla folder under one arm,
Charlie knew better than to act surprised by Pete’s
"sudden" appearance. "Evening, Mr. Mayor. Burnin’ some
"Hi, Charlie. How’s the wife?"
Ah. This conversation was informal, first-name. "Doing
fine, Pete, thanks for asking. Yours?"
Pete smiled a just-us-guys smile and rolled his eyes. "Not
thrilled that I had to come in to work."
Charlie shook his head in the commiseration of night
workers. Then a gleam appeared in his eye. "Well, Pete,
it’s the old story with city officials. You thought this job
was going to be a dream, but instead, you find it’s a
night-mayor. Heh, heh, heh."
"Charlie, whatever we’re paying you, I’m sure it’s too
Charlie considered. It was important enough that Pete had
to come in at midnight on the eve of the Labor Day
weekend, but not something bad enough to make Pete
remote or pissy.
"Still working on the sewer hookup project, Pete?"
Pete nodded. "We just got back from the state capital. I’m
hoping we can get funding there, since it doesn’t look like
the feds want to do the last forty feet."
Charlie nodded. Like everyone else in town, he was
familiar with the situation. The town’s antique, leaky
sewer system had been condemned by the EPA for
improper waste disposal, and had to be replaced.
Fortunately for the town, which was small and not
thriving, federal funding had been found that covered the
costs – some $300 million – of replacing the sewers. But
the funding didn’t cover the hookups from the lines
running down the streets to the homes and businesses, and
Pete and the city council faced the unappealing prospect
of telling every property owner in the city that they were
about to get hit with an unexpected $2,500 hookup fee.
Even without considering that such an event would be
electoral suicide for Pete and the council, there was the
fact that the large majority of homeowners in town simply
couldn’t afford it. So the search was on for funding for
what, around the office, was called "the last forty
feet"–the average distance from the street easement to the
home sewer line.
Charlie, at a loss for a comeback, glanced to the side,
where his cart was.
He thought about federal help programs, and how to get
the feds to support local good causes...
He smiled and got up and retrieved the newspaper from his
"Pete, does a designation of being a National Historic
Landmark status bring in any funds?"
"Huh? No. It’s a pain in the ass, mostly. You can’t change
anything in a building that has been so designated, only
refurbish, and even minor projects involve tons of
paperwork and take years to approve–even changing a
light switch." Pete eyed Charlie. "Charlie, you haven’t
been talking to those people who want to get that status
for city hall, have you? It would probably cost you your
job if they succeed."
"Nah, nothing like that, Pete. I’m just playing with ideas. I
read something interesting in the paper a while ago." With
that, Pete shook out the section, and said, "This is from the
Washington Post, yesterday, August 30th, 2001".
Pete waved a hand. "I know what yesterday’s date was."
Charlie coughed. "By Ben White.
"It’s not every day a former garbage dump receives
National Historic Landmark status.
"In fact, it hadn’t been any day, until Monday, when
Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton announced that the
145-acre Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfill in Fresno
County, California, would be among 15 sites in 11 states
and the District to be recognized ‘for their national
significance in American history and culture.’"
"The Fresno dump? Charlie, let me see that!"
Pete grabbed the paper and read the article through. "It
says here that they have just about finished converting it
into a park, using superfund sites. Still, that’s insane. Sure,
they were the first to try trench dumping, but it didn’t
work out. That’s why it qualified for the toxic clean up
fund." Pete grinned and shook his head. "Of course,
compared to some parts of Fresno, it probably does look
pretty good, even before they started cleaning it up."
"I’ve never been to Fresno."
Pete shrugged. "Like most places, it’s got some nice areas.
But it’s flat, it’s hot, it’s smoggy, and it’s mostly just an
ugly agricultural town. It’s about the last place on earth
where you would expect to find anything significant in
American history and culture, let alone the goddammed
town dump!" He glared at Charlie, and then his expression
slipped into perplexity.
"What’s that got to do with my sewer situation, anyway?"
"Well, what would happen if we got the town listed as a
toxic waste site? That sewer’s been leaking for a long
Pete barked a laugh. "First, Charlie, they would compel
the evacuation of the whole town while they analyzed the
soil. You can imagine how that would go over, telling
people they get to spend an indefinite amount of time in a
motel forty miles from here, starting right now. Then one
of two things would happen. Either they would take their
own sweet time and finally determine the ground wasn’t
bad enough, at which point we would have to cover the
six-month motel bills of some 25,000 seriously pissed
returning residents, or it would be declared eligible, at
which point the first thing they would do is send in the
bulldozers and level the whole town."
Charlie gave a one-shoulder shrug. "I guess that means
you don’t think it would be such a good idea." Charlie
grinned. "OK, how about this: get our sewer system
declared a wild and scenic waterway."
"Wh-a-a-a-a-a-t? Charlie, I’ve got work to do. So do you."
"Wait! I’ve been reading about this. The feds will fund
efforts to augment water flow in waterways. Isn’t that
exactly what you are trying to do? They’ll pay for efforts
to keep a sustainable and reliable supply of water to help
sustain the indigenous life forms."
"Charlie, a sewer isn’t a river. And I don’t even want to
think about the indigenous life forms." "But it is a
waterway. And the act, despite the nickname, doesn’t
specify just rivers. It says "waterways".
"What about ‘Wild and Scenic’?"
"Define ‘wild and scenic’. Look, Pete, this administration
loves to hang ridiculously inappropriate names on their
various schemes. They come up with a tax cut that kills
the surplus and causes the economy to tank, and they call
it something like ‘The Economic Recovery Act’. A law
that allows some bible bangers to get federal funding for
their particular nuttery at the expense of the taxpayer is
called ‘The Freedom of Religion Act’. If they come up
with a law legalizing prostitution, they’ll probably call it
‘The Preservation of Virginity Act.’"
"I’m having second thoughts about having voted
"A pity you didn’t have first thoughts. But what I’m saying
is that the title of a law often doesn’t have anything to do
with its applications, and as often as not, it’s the exact
opposite of what the title says it is. It’s Congressional
nomenclature, Newspeak for Ninnies."
"Charlie, it couldn’t possibly work. Could it?"
Charlie shook his head. "I don’t know either. You’ll have
to talk to a lawyer about it. But let’s face it: any
administration that says oil drilling in a two million acre
area is limited to two thousand acres, but then turns
around and says that ground area only counts areas where
support pylons actually touch the ground, isn’t going to
blink at the idea of calling a municipal sewer system a wild
and scenic river."
Pete started at Charlie for a full minute. Then he picked up
the Fresno dump article and read it, beginning to end. He
put the paper down and looked at Charlie.
"What the hell? Maybe we could call it the Gale Norton
"And it would be appropriate, naming a sewer Norton"
"It would." Pete used his forearm to sweep various debris
from the desk on to the floor Charlie had just vacuumed.
"We’ve got work to do! Charlie?"
"How are your grant-writing skills?"
© 2001 Bryan Zepp Jamieson Email: email@example.com
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