Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Monday, 30 January 2006 at 19h 49m 21s|
The essential point about the FISA law circumvention
From Larry Johnson:
I suppose the average American, one who has never held a security clearance or
handled NSA intelligence, is inclined to cut George W. Bush some slack. Only a
crazy person would argue that Al Qaeda terrorists have a right of privacy in
the United States. But that, my friends, is a canard. The issue is not about
giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Instead, does this President, hell, any
President, have the right to unilaterally decide what does and does not
constitute a threat to national security? We are a Republic founded on the
principle that the power of the Federal Government is limited. It does not
matter if George W. Bush is sincere or his intentions benign. What matters is
whether he has chosen to ignore the Fourth Amendment because he, and he alone,
has decided that the end justifies the means.
There's more here.
|Friday, 27 January 2006 at 20h 25m 25s|
Defeat the spin machine
It's a Republican scandal stupid. Here's
Not more than one dime of Abrahmof money went to a Democrat. True there were
tribes which contributed to Democrats, but that was both before and after
Abrahmof became a player and redirected those contributions. In other words,
not relevant nor even related to the purposes by which Abrahmof and the K-
street project were a strategy to turn Washington into a one-party regime.
But the media whores lie. That's why they get paid the big bucks.
|Thursday, 26 January 2006 at 20h 37m 29s|
Our legal scholar in chief
"FISA's still an important tool. It's an important tool, and we still use that
tool. But, also -- and I looked. I said, 'Look, is it possible to conduct this
program under the old law?' And people said, 'It doesn't work in order to be
able do the job we expect us to do.' And so, that's why I made the decision I
made. And, you know, 'circumventing' is a loaded word. And I refuse to accept
it, because I believe what I'm doing is legally right."
That is George W. Bush, on January 26, 2006 confusing the law
with being "an important tool" and reassuring us that by breaking the law he
still believes what he's doing is "legally right."
Don't worry. They still use the FISA "tool", but since people have said
that the "tool" keeps them from doing what they want to do, that's why he made
the decision to break the law.
And by the way, I refuse to accept that the word "circumventing" is loaded. So
is "tool" but since I believe what I'm doing is legally right, I'll break any
damn law I want to.
Amazing. Simply. Amazing.
|Tuesday, 24 January 2006 at 19h 27m 57s|
Why they are hypocrites
You should go read the source for this paraphrased and quoted
here from Glenn Greenwald.
Basically, the Bush administration and the Congress both agreed in
2002 that the circumvention of the FISA laws was unconstitutional. A
Congressmen named DeWine submitted an amendment
. . . .to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the
standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons
from probable cause to reasonable suspicion. . . .
"During that time, the Administration was asked to advise Congress as to its
position on this proposed amendment to loosen the standard for obtaining FISA
warrants, and in response, they submitted a Statement from James A. Baker, the
Justice Department lawyer who oversees that DoJ's Office of Intelligence Policy
and Review" which thanked the Congress for the Patriot Act lee-way of 72 hours
before a FISA court had to be notified. Furthermore, Baker said in the
This modification has allowed us to make full and effective use of FISA's pre-
existing emergency provisions to ensure that the government acts swiftly to
respond to terrorist threats. Again, we are grateful for the tools Congress
provided us last fall for the fight against terrorism. Thank you.
Mind you they were already breaking the law at the time of the above Statement.
So why are they lying? Why did they need to monitor 18,000 persons inside the
United States without bothering to inform the FISA court, when they were
gleefully touting the 72 hour leeway provision?
Because they are spying on "political" opponents, trying to blacklist them like
J. Edgar Hoover did when he ran the FBI like his own personal fiefdom. The FBI
(pushed on by the Nixon administrations operators) were infiltrating peace
groups and Democratic Party functions in the early 1970's. There is a history
here folks. We already know that John Bolton used wire-taps from the NSA on two
occasions: to try and derail Joe Wilson's excursion to Africa, and on a
diplomatic excursion to North Korea. We already know that Karl Rove has used
bugs and a plethora of dirty tricks throughout his career.
Here is the 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,
and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.
Is that absolutely clear people? Don't let the corporate media jackals dumb it
down, or try to use weasel words. If the Bush administration can't notify the
FISA court 72 hours after they wire tapped someone -- or whatever -- they are
violating the Constitution and breaking the law. They want to make this
a "fighting terrorism" issue, but they are completely full of shit. They were
spying on political groups not at all related to "terrorism" and this is why
they keep feebly changing the story and why they ignored the laws for 3 years.
They quite obviously understood the law in 2002, and in a signed statement to
But this is their modus operandi. They want to center all authority in the
executive department and the judicial branch that they think they can control.
This is the central idea behind Samuel Alito's "unitary executive" theory.
What the biscuit! We got a constitution for a reason, and this is not a god-
damn scientific inquiry. Were we to allow "theories" about the constitution,
than what theory do we pick? I got a few theories myself.
And as far as the executive goes, we aught to heed the first inaugural
executive our nation ever had ... George Washington, who himself respected the
right of Congress to deliberate, who obeyed the Constitution in its infant
stages, and who understood the true role of the executive as meant by the fore-
fathers. Washington always worked through Congress during a time when the
Colonies were being freaking invaded by the British Army, but
this "unitary executive" theory proposes just the opposite in this new
dangerous world that is supposedly different from the old dangerous world.
Again, this is how the Aristocracy builds and creates an Aristocratic state.
You make narrow and whittle-down the interpretation of the laws until the vast
numberless people who aren't super-rich find that they are surrounded by
bureaucratic intermediaries between themselves and their rights.
|Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 10h 7m 55s|
Like get-over it will ya
As to the tripe of "Oceans do not protect us" and "we live in a dangerous
world" I have two responses.
When has the world not been dangerous? When? Give me a decade, or any year in
a decade. There has always been something that was dangerous that could quite
possibly harm us. That is why we need representative democracy and the rule of
law more than ever. What we have "now" is not something so
completely new that we must dismantle the constitution and obviate the rule of
law. That is the stuff Adolph Hitler said back in the 1930's.
Uh, Oceans have never protected us morons. Washington was burned by the
British during the War of 1812. Immigrants flooded the country between 1880
and 1910. Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941.
The Oil shortages occurred in 1973.
The Bush administration deliberately ignored the evidence that was abundantly
available during the first 8 months of 2001. Cheney could have multiple
meetings with Energy conglomerates where oil maps of Iraq were looked at, but
could not hold one single meeting on Terrorism, despite the heated debate from
ex-Clinton officials and Richard Clarke.
|Sunday, 22 January 2006 at 9h 51m 47s|
Why I love Atrios
... Because he sees through all of the Bulls**t. [SOURCE
I imagine that there are some out there who wonder why a factual error in an
ombudsman's column combined with the dismissive attitude about complaints
pisses people off so much. It's very simple. Time and time again those of us
who pay attention see how right wing narratives grow to dominate ongoing news
stories. Factual errors, distortions, and general misinformation on which those
right wing narratives are hung are repeated over and over again both by right
wing hacks and mainstream journalists.
Since the Abramoff story broke there has been a concerted effort by right wing
hacks, journalists, and their editors to paint this as a bipartisan scandal
when it simply isn't one. Doing so requires a degree of ignorance about who
Abramoff is and what his role was which, no matter what one's opinion of the
general intelligence of the Washington press, simply has to be deliberate.
Reporters understand how lobbying works in DC. They also understand who
Abramoff was, what his history was, what his role was, what his entire
existence in Republican politics was about.
Small factual errors aren't in themselves the biggest deal in the world, but
nor are they in the words of the increasingly wankerific Michael
Crowley "foolish semantics." The propogation and repetition of these errors
provides the structure onto which the false narrative can be hung.
Are their corrupt Democrats in congress? Quite possibly. I have no illusions
that having a 'D' after your name guarantees your purity. Will their be
lobbying scandals which bring down Democrats at some point in the future? Quite
possibly. But this isn't a general "lobbying scandal," this is a Jack Abramoff
scandal. It is a Republican scandal. That is what this story is about, and any
seasoned media observer who hasn't yet figured out how bullshit right wing
narratives are constantly wrapped around "foolish semantics" just hasn't
figured out how this game is played.
Thank you Atrios, a true patriot.
|Friday, 20 January 2006 at 18h 23m 54s|
The people speak out
Recently Monsieur Chris Matthews compared Michael Moore to Bin Laden, calling
what Bin Laden said in the latest terrifyingly scary audio similar to "Michael
Then Scarbourgh on Scarbourgh Country brings on Clinton smear-artist Kellyanne
Conway to say
Conway: If you held a piece of tissue paper between some of the comments
that Bin Laden today and some of the comments that the president's detractor's
say-it would be very difficult to stick more than a piece of tissue paper
between--there's not much of a difference.
Scarborough: When you look at what Osama Bin Laden said it sounds an
awful lot like what we hear the President's political enemies domestically---
not only like what a lot of democratic senators have been saying, but also what
one or two movie makers have been saying over the past several years...
There is a video here.
I mean just look at this B***h !
Look at that smug smirk she has on her face, posing as the "expert" who somehow
knows soooooooo much that she deserves the make baseless speculative assertions
akin to taking a crap outside in an open pit.
This is absolutely disgusting.
The time to act is now folks. We need to stand on the streets on January 31st
when Herr Bush attempts to lie once again to the American public in what is
called the State of the Union. You know this is true. All we have to do is
stand outside where we live, together. That's all we have to do.
The rest will follow, right after we all go back into our houses and quickly
turn the televisions on to tell us what just happened.
|Friday, 13 January 2006 at 21h 20m 29s|
The brainwashing begins
"A feeling of weariness had overwhelmed him. The faint, mad gleam of enthusiasm
had come back into O'Brien's face. He knew in advance what O'Brien would say.
That the Party did not seek power for its own ends, but only for the good of
the majority. That it sought power because men in the mass were frail cowardly
creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled
over and systematically deceived by others who were stronger than themselves.
That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for
the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better. That the party was the eternal
guardian of the weak, a dedicated sect doing evil that good might come,
sacrificing its own happiness to that of others. The terrible thing, thought
Winston, the terrible thing was that when O'Brien said this he would believe
it. You could see it in his face. O'Brien knew everything. A thousand times
better than Winston he knew what the world was really like, in what degradation
the mass of human beings lived and by what lies and barbarities the Party kept
them there. He had understood it all, weighed it all, and it made no
difference: all was justified by the ultimate purpose. What can you do, thought
Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives
your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?"
-- Winston Smith , 1984 , by George Orwell
|Friday, 13 January 2006 at 12h 1m 0s|
The Chronicle sucks, don't bother reading it
Dear Chronicle headquarters,
-- or should I say Hearst Corporation headquarters?
I must say, your paper not only sucks, it sucks real bad. But let me not just
utter pejorative iconography. Allow a few recent examples.
You publish a story about the horrible mining accident, but never mention once
that the company had violated 105 federal regulations -- 54 alone during the
prior 30 days to the accident. You didn't detail that Bush administration
appointee Jack Spiderro's interpretation of coal dust might be related to the
high levels of coal dust that was 40% of the above mine violations. Methane
gas and coal dust are the 2
reasons mine explosions occur, which your pathetic paper also neglected to
discuss. You didn't also outline that the same mining corporation has other
also have a history of problems.
Instead, the story you put on the front page was how you made a mistake, and
that actually 11 of the 12 miners died. Yep, that was THE story. Then the
story became what this
political hack said, and how it was a sad event, and how the surviving family
members would have a hard time adjusting. Oh but at least the paper did say
that mining is a dangerous occupation. Wow, that's really chomping at the bit
folks, telling everyone the obvious.
No kidding. But how did that particular mine get to become dangerous? How
come that story was not on the front page?
And today's earth-shattering events on the frontpage ... ( January 13, 2006 .)
3 killed at store in 1980
- Stacy Finz
Big changes sought in how UC raises pay
Regents asked to give president more power to set salary levels
- Todd Wallack, Tanya Schevitz
Bleak audit of S.F. public golf courses
- Becky Bowman
Parents, teachers fight for schools
S.F. education board postpones vote to close or merge 26 of them
- Heather Knight
SOMBER PROCESSION FOR SLAIN EAST PALO ALTO OFFICER
State steps in to help seniors get medicines
Golf courses? Seriously, on the front page?
Way back in ... 1980? Wow.
Sad people at a police funeral. Like Duh.
Stay on that pay raise story. The public really, really needs to know about
how the public university system is not causing pay raises to get outta hand.
We can't let that happen, right?
Hmm, how'bout a story about how nominee Alito promised the Senate that he would
recuse himself from any cases involving the financial company that manages his
stock portfolio, which he breaks the very first time a case comes up, makes odd
legal decisions, and then writes an adamant letter complaining when another
judge asks him to recuse himself from the very case. Or a judge who rules that
it was acceptable to strip search a teenage girl when she didn't have her id?
Or ... ?
Oh but how nice of the state to help Seniors? Don't you think an in depth
the pork of the Medicare Act of 2004 would be a great idea? Or actions by
Schwastikanigger on California medical regulations?
Seems to me like you don't want to leave the shoe box to get to the bigger
picture, and in that box are only three things : 1) opinions of political
hacks, 2) over-flowing grandeur about the personality or hard-ships involved
without the details or even an outline on the connections between the people
historical context, and last but not least: 3) loaded adjectives with subtle
supported by facts.
Look at the way you numb-skulls stretch to avoid to put a story about Alito's
judicial history, or anything relevant on the NSA circumvention of the FISA
laws, or anything about the details concerning the pathetic "reconstruction"
process going on during Katrina, or how the Diebold and ES systems corporations
are having their voting machines recinded in counties of North Carolina,
Florida, New York, Texas, and Minnesota when Governor Schwastikanigger's
appointed Secretary of State is currently reinstalling the Diebold machines
that Kevin Shelley himself recinded after the Schwastikanigger recall hoax
Oh but Shelley did what over a $10,000 check? Did y'all bother to even print
the fact that he was NEVER indicted after he resigned because "the
were not sufficient to warrant a full investigation." How come you could'nt
that fact the same everyday frontpage treatment that the hoax scandal got?
And was Schwastikanigger paid $1 million by Chevron? And what was the 9 billion
Energy Market Rigging lawsuit that Schwastikanigger cancelled his very first
day in office? And how much digging did your paper due into this man our
Governor when he meet with various Enron and Reliant energy officials during
summer of 2001 at a Los Angeles hotel? But that $10,000 check was front page
for close to 2 weeks.
How come the attack dogs have highly selective noses?
Oh, and nice job printing 5 pages of high-quality photography trying to prove
that only 65,000 people attended the 2003 protest. Now that was quality
journalism morons. You'd think you would also print the White House's
involvement with the tainted justifications used to drag the country down their
megalomaniacal path to war and dictatorship. Scotter Libby, Karl Rove, Stephen
Hadley, Bolton, Wolfowitz, etc could have used at least 20 percent of the space
you filled up with trying to prove that an exact number of people filled Market
street completely for 8 hours.
Christ, don't you idiots recognize historical moments at all. When was the last
time that many people marched down Market Street?
And what the blarney-stone is Laura Slanders doing on any paper news staff? A
Conservative philosophy is not equivalent to a lying, deliberately misleading
stale ruthlessly opinated hack.
And I won't forget how you served as the springboard for mendacious
propagandista Kenneth Garcia's entrance into the world of columnists with
opinions so biased that they manage to obviate the relevant issues rather than
enlighten the public with ideas and thoughtful perspectives. Kenny-boy has
since moved over to the less sophisticated but still slanted pages of the
but it was you who gave him some years as a farce of reason.
And how can the Sunday paper be ready for sale on Saturday morning? Ugh, I
want to throw up.
You disgrace this city. It disgusts me that you actually publish and yet can't
even be even 20 percent close to the quality of the Sacramento Bee or the San
Jose Mercury News. How much of the staff was fired when the Hearst corporation
decided to double the profit margin at the expense of the paper's content?
Ever wonder maybe that is why subscriptions are down and a lot of folks are
having the New York Times delivered?
So when will you guys just admit the Chronicle is just a haven for corporate
|Friday, 6 January 2006 at 19h 3m 59s|
"When they came for the trade unionists and socialists, I said nothing because
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the homosexuals and the gypsies, I said nothing because I
When they came for the Jews, I said nothing because I was not a Jew.
When they came for the Catholics, I said nothing because I was not a Catholic.
And when they came for me, there was nobody left to say anything."
-- Rev. Martin Niemoller, A German who lived through the 1930's in
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