Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hayden sworn in at CIA; Plans huge spying effort -- on Americans

This is not getting out of hand. It's way beyond that now. We are watching our rights, our privacy, our Constitution, our nation -- crumble before our very eyes. So this is what the death of democracy feels like. For me it feels like numb, helpless outrage. Are you ready for the latest outrage?

Here it is, from Capitol Hill Blue:
Now that he is officially sworn in as the new head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Gen. Michael Hayden plans to build a vast domestic spying network that will pry into the lives of most Americans around the clock.

President George W. Bush told Hayden to "take whatever steps necessary" to monitor Americans 24/7 by listening in on their phone calls, bugging their homes and offices, probing their private lives, snooping into their financial records and watching their travel habits.

Can I prove this in a court of law? No. Do I know it is happening? Yes, without a doubt. Enough sources within the CIA, FBI, NSA and Pentagon have come forward in recent days to warn about Hayden's plans for an expanded, consolidated spy network aimed at Americans, not terrorists, and violating numerous laws that prohibit such activities against citizens of this country.

"What Hayden plans to do is not only illegal, it is immoral," says a longtime CIA operative who may retire early rather than participate in what he sees as an illegal extension of the spy agency's activities.
The article goes on to mention that resignations are at an all-time high at The Agency. The reporter, Doug Thompson, wishes he could prove this to us. I guess we have to take his word for it for now. But would I be surpised if every word were true? Not one bit.
I wish I could prove this. I wish one, just one, source on the inside was willing to come forward and allow his or her name to be used but those who might be tempted see what happened to Mary McCarthy, the CIA employee fired and under threat of prosecution for leaking information about CIA torture camps in Europe.

But I know it is happening. People I've known for years and trust tell me it is happening and the past record of spying, lies and deceit by the Bush administration point to just such an operation.

This nation is under attack. We, the people, are under attack. And the enemy in this case is not an Islamic radical hiding in a cave in Afghanistan but a cabal of truly evil men and women at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and on Capitol Hill aided by carefully-picked, law-ignoring appointees at the Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, a black glass-walled building at Fort Meade, MD, and a complex in Langley, Virginia.
Not the normally sedate language we're used to reading in the press. But he's right. We are under attack. Let me say it again:

We Are Under Attack. By Our Own Government.

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Don't try this at home kids

Oh man, that guy thought he was sooooo cool for about 5 seconds. Then, notice at the end how he has to roll off the truck and onto the concrete. Smooth, right? Well, not quite. Look how he almost gets crushed by the rear tire of his truck after the truck plows into the telephone pole.

Pretty fuckin' funny, though. I enjoyed the part where he almost died. Seriously -- this is just so fucking stupid. What if some little girl decided to ride her bike into the street right as this numbskull was getting onto his windshield? She could've been flattened, and this his little joke wouldn't be so funny, would it? Ah well, not that I'm totally against "riding the whip" -- I just don't think you should do it in urban or suburban areas. Go out in the sticks, man!

...After you fix your truck, that is.


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So, we catch any terrorists yet?

...Or have we only managed to infringe on the rights of 300 million Americans?

The NSA surveillance program is not about catching terrorists. Don't ever let anybody tell you otherwise. It's not going to work if they don't listen to the calls themselves (they do). Their data mining is worthless unless they attach to it other information such as your social security number, medical records, financial records and criminal history.

No, the reason why they're monitoring all of us is because the paranoid, fascist, psychopaths in charge of the country think that there are 300 million potential terrorists out there. Of course, when they say "terrorist" they mean anybody who doesn't agree with the Bush clan. That means, Democrats, libertarians, academics, certain members of the media, teachers, those crazy Hollywood liberals, anybody who uses the internet, and of course, grandmothers. Ooohhh!! What a scary bunch!

Of course, with Bush's polls in the lower 30s, you can add a good chunk of his Republican base to the list. As his numbers continue to spiral downwards Bush will get more and more paranoid and he will actually turn on his base and attack former friends. It should be amusing to watch.

The whole immigration debate is a good example of how Bush will be forced to choose one side of his base over the other. Corporations love illegal immigration because it provides cheap labor. Social conservatives hate illegal immigration because they don't like brown people and they think those brown people might be stealing their jobs (and they're probably right, since the corporations love cheap labor, like I said). So, who will Bush side with? He's gonna piss off somebody; that's a given. But in the end, I think Bush will side with the corporations since they are his bread and butter. The social conservatives thought he was one of them; they thought wrong. Again.

Personally, I could give a fuck as long as they don't build a Great Wall of Terror between the US and Mexico. That would just be stupid. Yes, illegal immigration is a problem, but let's not overreact here. What we need are more workers visas for Mexico. Most illegal immigrants actually return home after sending a bunch of cash back to Mexico. This creates economic problems in Mexico, of course. I really don't know what the ideal solution is; I just hope GW doesn't annex Mexico.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Trying to get your records from the NSA... not easy. However, I wish this guy a lot of luck in his endeavour. I hope he appeals and wins. I think the justification he needs to use is pretty obvious: It's his data.

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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Holy shit, it's hot today says it's 97 degrees Fahrenheit right now in my neck of the woods. It's hot! Sweaty-ass hot. Real hot; damn hot!

But, personally, I like the heat. Even when it's that sticky heat where your clothes are stuck to your skin by virtue of the fact that your skin is completely covered in a fine layer of sweat. Yeah, it's awful, but I like to think of it as my own personal, portable suana.

It's supposed to hit 100°F soon. I can't wait! :-)

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Desperate, Grasping, Insanity of the Bush Administration

Okay, check this gallant argument out:
The Bush administration has asked federal judges in New York and Michigan to dismiss a pair of lawsuits filed over the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, saying litigating them would jeopardize state secrets.

In papers filed late Friday, Justice Department lawyers said it would be impossible to defend the legality of the spying program without disclosing classified information that could be of value to suspected terrorists.

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte invoked the state secrets privilege on behalf of the administration, writing that disclosure of such information would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security.

The administration laid out some of its supporting arguments in classified memos that were filed under seal.

So lemme get this straight. Not only is Bush saying that the spying program is so secret that they can't tell us what it's for, their legal justifications are themselves secret. WTF?!

That says to me that this adminstration is so desperate that they would sink to nothing more than a lowly tug-of-war over power. And that is not a good sign.

The possibility of a Bush coup has occurred to me on more than one occasion. They're such a slimy bunch I consider it a disturbingly likely scenario. I hope it won't come to that. But their line of argument (which is that their argument is classified!) is patently ridiculous. I smell a rat. What are they hiding from us?

What if the truth of why they're spying on us is too horrible for them to ever reveal? Just like the true reason we went to war in Iraq. Or the truth of the 2001 anthrax attacks? Who knows? Not me. But I have my suspicions. I mean, the Bush gang hasn't exactly been the most trustworthy; ever, really. They pulled some dirty tricks to get into power in the first place, like what they did to John McCain in 2000.

I hope it's hot in DC this summer. Sweltering hot. I hope the full power of the awful stink in Washington is revealed to everyone there, because the only people who seem to be in the dark about Washington corruption are the Washington insiders who are so often turning out the lights. In this case the Bush Administration is not only turning off every light it can find, it's also smashing them so we can't turn them back on. The shards of the lights of truth will surely cut the Constitution to shreds if we let that beast continue to attack the light. You know what I'm sayin'?

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Just a cheerful reminder

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

George W. Bush

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Hastert lashes out at FBI, ABC News and anybody who looks at him funny

Wow, can you say "desperation"? He's like a cornered rat, showing his teeth and trying to gouge anybody who comes anywhere near him.

Dennis Hastert is accusing the FBI of deliberately leaking the story that ABC news ran with earlier today. He's also threatening to sue ABC News for defamation. Lucky for him, he's got a friend in Bush, who sealed the records the FBI seized from William Jefferson's office for 45 days:
President George W. Bush on Thursday ordered records seized from Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson's office to be sealed for 45 days in order to work out a dispute over the documents with the U.S. Congress.

Leaders of the House of Representatives are outraged that the FBI seized a computer hard drive and two boxes of papers from Jefferson's office. They contend the search violated the constitutional separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.

In a statement, Bush said he was taking the unusual step of directing the Justice Department to seal all the materials recovered from Jefferson's office last weekend for the next 45 days.

That is unusual. That gives Hastert and Jefferson 45 days to get ready for the shit that is about to go down. You know, this morning I wasn't sure how deep Hastert was in this mess, but from his reaction it's starting to look like he's neck deep in this shit. That shouldn't come as a surprise, however, since he was probably chosen by Tom DeLay for his post as Speaker of the House.

Keep an eye on Hastert as this story progresses. Who knows where it will lead.


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Man, this is why we have electric chairs, right? Okay, that might be a little much, but it's still good to know that these two crooks are going to jail:
Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in a case born from one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.

The verdict put the blame for the demise of what was once the nation's seventh-largest company squarely on its top two executives. It came in the sixth day of deliberations following a trial that lasted nearly four months.

Burn, fuckers, burn. Their shenanigans have ruined the lives of many employees and investors. Now it's time to pay.

Actually, my earlier comment about electric chairs is actually quite apt since was largely responsible for the rolling blacks out in California a few years ago.

The system seems to be working today. What a pleasant change. Now we just get 10 years of appeals and blah blah blah. Oh well. The important thing is the message that corporate crooks are not above the law. We still have to await sentencing, though, so it remains to be seen how much time they will serve.

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Hastert Under Investigation for Corruption?

ABC News' The Blotter is reporting that Hastert might be under investigation for his role in the Abramoff scandals:
Federal officials say the Congressional bribery investigation now includes Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, based on information from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.

Part of the investigation involves a letter Hastert wrote three years ago, urging the Secretary of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with other tribes.

The other tribes were represented by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff who reportedly has provided details of his dealings with Hastert as part of his plea agreement with the government.
Oh keep singing, Jackie-boy! Keep on singing. Let's nail all of these bastards. If you are corrupt, as I believe the majority of Congress is, then you should pay for it. We can't just let these weasels run amok in our government; there has to be some accountability.

So, did anybody wonder why Hastert was sticking up for a corrupt Democrat the other day? Well now you know the answer. He's worried about his own office getting raided by the FBI. Unfortunately, the Jefferson raid has tipped him off, so he'll no doubt be hiding any incriminating evidence in the weeks ahead.

The Blotter also has an update on the Hastert connection:

Despite a flat denial from the Department of Justice, federal law enforcement sources tonight said ABC News accurately reported that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is "in the mix" in the FBI investigation of corruption in Congress.

Speaker Hastert said tonight the story was "absolutely untrue" and has demanded ABC News retract its story.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff has provided information to the FBI about Hastert and a number of other members of Congress that have broadened the scope of the investigation. Sources would not divulge details of the Abramoff’s information.

Oh I love it: "a number of other members of Congress..." Get them all! There's obviously tons of corruption in our government, but only now do they seem to be actively investigating it. Getting Abramoff to rollover and start singing was a major score. He was right in the middle of things and he knows all the major players at the congressional level. As a lobbyist, that's his job.

Speaking of lobbyists, the problems with our government and its endemic corruption can be traced to these professional lobbyists, whose job seems to consist of bribing congresspeople in the way closest to "legal" as possible. Obviously, they have to step over the boundary quite a bit. The system seems to encourage this corruption -- at least, it seems systemic to me.

Personally, I think lobbying should be illegal. Just flat out, ILLEGAL. I think it's just wrong. It's quasi-legal bribery. It corrupts our government at every level by giving a huge advantage to the rich and powerful who can afford these lobbyists -- you just know that Abramoff and his firm charges over a hundred bucks an hour. Shit, I bill at $115 an hour (for my firm) and I'm just a web designer. Abramoff probably charged over $200/hour... okay, I just googled it. It's worse than I thought: He was billing up to $750 per hour!).

The rest of us are effectively locked out of the Washington-game if we can't pony-up the obscene amount of money it costs to bribe -er, I mean "lobby" a congressman. Is that fair? Is that democracy?

If we don't clean up the system now, we're gonna have to deal with it again later. It won't be long before the snakes are back, and shit, the Bush cabal is still in charge and they're more corrupt than anybody. We need massive systemic change in Washington or our democracy is effectively over.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cheney Might have to Testify in Libby's Trial

Reuters is running a story on the wire that quotes Fitzgerald as saying that Cheney's feelings on the matter are directly relevant to the case.

Could this be a prelude to a Cheney indictment? A guy can hope.

"At the time, the vice president, rather than other potential witnesses, was upset that his personal credibility had been attacked unfairly in his view," Fitzgerald said.


In the court filing, Fitzgerald said Libby has acknowledged that the vice president directed him "to get out to the public all the facts" in response to the article.

"Therefore, the state of mind of the vice president as communicated to defendant is directly relevant to the issue of whether defendant knowingly made false statements to federal agents and the grand jury regarding when and how he learnt about Ms. Wilson's employment and what he said to reporters regarding this issue," Fitzgerald said in the court filing.

Oh man. He is so guilty. Cheney that is. Of course Libby is guilty; he was just following Cheney's orders, like any good right-hand-man should do. In this case, though, they overplayed their hand and got caught. Well, maybe they just got sloppy. They fight so dirty with detractors, you have to wonder why Cheney and Co. are filled with so much hate.


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A Superfund Site in the Sky -- 9/11 Still Kills

Boy, this is creepy. From the article:

The vacant 41-story former Deutsche Bank AG building looms above ground zero, contaminated with toxic waste and still holding tiny body parts more than four years after the trade center collapsed onto it on Sept. 11, 2001. Removing it from the landscape has become a more challenging task than cleaning up the twin towers.

"That's more or less a vertical Superfund site, and we're living right next to it," said neighborhood resident Esther Regelson, referring to a federal program for cleaning up the nation's most polluted industrial sites. She is concerned that taking down the building improperly will contaminate the area even more.

I think I feel another rant coming on, but I will try to bite my tongue. The short version is this: After 9/11 the Bush administration pushed the EPA to say everything was A-OK in New York, probably because they didn't want to evacuate the whole city for years while they cleaned it up (is New Orleans, post-Katrina, a karmic punishment for this move?). Well, guess what -- the air wasn't safe, the dust was certainly not safe and people are starting to die from Sept. 11-related ailments, such as lung cancer. The Twin Towers were huge liabilities even before they fell because they were filled with asbestos (and other toxins like mercury, lead and fiberglass). Now it seems that the 9/11 death toll might start slowly creeping up if you count people who were exposed to toxic air/materials in the days right afterward.

Almost 5 years later 9/11 is still a forceful event, and the punch it packs can bring death to those who were there that fateful day. There are still many questions about that day that have yet to be fully answered...

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Congressional Criminals Stick Together

There has rarely been any bipartisanship in Congress for the last several years, but when it comes to defending a scumbag, bribe-accepting piece of shit like William Jefferson, congressional criminals of both parties came together to defend his right to piss on the Constitution while enriching himself illegally.
In a rare display of concern for a member of the opposition party, Republican congressional leaders on Tuesday rose to the defense of a Democratic congressman under investigation on bribery allegations, accusing the Justice Department of improperly searching his Capitol Hill office.

"In getting a search warrant to raid an office in a separate branch of the government--it has never happened in the history of our country," Boehner told reporters. He predicted the matter would end up across the street at the Supreme Court.
They've never searched a Congresscritter's office before. And they think the American people are gonna give a shit about this? Tell ya what, Boehner: You want my support? Here's what I support: I think the FBI should raid every single congressperson's office without a warrant or any just cause. Why? Well, why don't we ask you and the Bush administration why you decided the NSA should spy on every single American's private phone calls without a warrant or any just cause.

You want my support for your privacy, Boehner/Hastert/Jefferson? Fuck You. Fuck you for stealing my privacy. Fuck you for destroying the Constitution for short-term political gain. How 'bout you guarantee Americans their privacy and then we can talk. Until then, I hope the FBI raids every single fucking one of you.

Do I sound bitter? Well, then maybe you should look out for the rights of all Americans next time (not just the right of the Bush cabal to do whatever the fuck it wants!) like you swore to do, and you won't be in this situation. After all, when you attack my rights, you are simultaneously attacking your rights. Or were you too stupid and greedy to figure that out?

The "culture of corruption" seems to have enveloped both parties. There's probably no hope for America, folks. The system is rigged. Because of redistricting, the major parties have strangled the support any minor parties might've had, and pretty much guaranteed that the incumbents of both parties will be reelected. Did you know that House incumbents successfully retain their seat 98% of the time? Whether or not our elections are rigged is not up for debate. Gerrymandering is now seen "just the way things are."

With gerrymandering rampant, corruption at all levels, big money dominance, and possible election fraud, the concerned citizen is left to conclude: WE ARE FUCKED.

It's time for another revolution.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Softball Team Won!

Which is a bit of a shock, really. We're pretty awful, but every now and then we rock. Okay, we're not that bad, but we were just on a 4 game losing streak and we needed that win so bad. We beat a team of cops, calling themselves The Blues. We are much more interestingly titled: the Strokes.

It was a decisive and inspiring victory. Let's hope there's more where that came from.

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FCC Refuses to Investigate NSA Spying Claims

Is it any wonder why I hate and distrust our government? Raw Story has details about yet another nail in the coffin of democracy. At least they're being honest and saying, "nope, we're not gonna even try to investigate." I suppose that's slightly better than the sham investigation of intelligence failures leading to the Iraq War, led by Mr. Coverup, Pat Roberts.

Roberts is nothing more than a tool of Bush cabal, helpfully blocking serious investigations into matters of the utmost importance. His toadying has helped Bush stay above the fray and continue to make policy when he should be fending off impeachment charges. Without Roberts standing in the way we would have much clearer picture of why we went to war in 2003. Of course, we already know the general outline. Bush is building an American Empire. Iran is next.

The fact that the FCC will vigorously investigate the Janet Jackson SuperBowl nipplegate fiasco, but refuses to even try and investigate the worldwide NSA-spying ring, shows just how depraved they really are. The FCC has clearly been packed with hardcore Bush loyalists (as has nearly every part of the government), who care nothing for our constitutional principles. Covering Bush's ass is their only role.

It seems nothing has changed since Michael Powell left. Not that we can say that Clinton was at all innocent in this deadly game. His recent schmoozing with Bush Sr. shows that he is very much a party to this criminal enterprise and I'm sure he helped lay the groundwork for the present travesty when he was in office. The only difference is that Clinton operated with some subtlety, whereas the Bush clan seems to have taken off the gloves. A question to ponder: Why is the Bush cabal so desperate? They don't even do a half-assed job of covering up their crimes. Of course, they rarely get nailed for it, so I guess there's your answer right there. They own the government, top to bottom. 9/11 bought it for them, and they intend to keep it. But why are they so determined to cause trouble? How did such a driven group of fascists manage to attain power in America, anyway?

Well, it certainly has nothing to do with the fact that Americans are overworked, stressed out, or vegged out in front of the TV, does it? A recurring theme in my posts, for sure. But an important point if you wish to understand why we're in the middle of a constitutional crisis.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

A Nation of Criminals. A Government of Kings.

Wired has pried open Door 641A and taken a good long look. Here is a document from whistle-blower Mark Klein (pdf) who previously worked for AT&T as a technician. He fears the secret room was splitting the fiber optic cables carrying our internet data and sending the other half to the NSA for monitoring. He figured the project started with the Total Information Awareness program, which was supposedly defunded. Well, now the NSA is holding our electronic leash. Boy, they sure do wish to control us, don't they? What's with the desperation on their part? The whole government spying deal was supposed to be a conspiracy theory.... one that just about everyone believed. Well, now it's true and it has been revealed as such and it's staring us right in the face.

What are we gonna do about it?

What could they possibly want such an enormous information-burden for? There's no need to spy on ALL of us! The government already knows what risk factors to look for when it comes to identifying terrorists, criminals, revolutionaries, you name it. Why would they decide to cast the net so far and wide unless their goal was to criminalize all of us?

Do you know the best way to get a person to act like a criminal?

Treat them like one.

... That's my suspicion anyway. You know, a firefighter only has a job when fires are burning. In the same way, a cop only has a job if there's crime and a warrior only has a job if there's a war on. Are you pickin' up what I'm layin' down?

It wouldn't be the first time; politicians are known to create problems so they have something to solve... after the election... assuming they are elected. And if they aren't, why solve it? Why not create problems for your opponent? Then he does the same thing for you. Pretty soon, while you're squabbling like dogs, the public is drowning in a sea of problems that you were supposed to solve, not create!

That's how we get the super-bad problems like the War on Drugs problem. The problem of the fact that demagogues and idiots made a war on drug-users, is far worse than the problem of simple drug use and abuse. The War on Terror is similar in that it will never end, it is not intended to end, and even though war has been declared on an object (drugs) or tactic (terrorism), the things that suffer most in the war are people -- mostly innocent bystanders in a war between shadowy groups who both fight and support each other. The collateral damage is mostly the result of people getting caught in the middle of those two groups (the government and the criminals) and paying the ultimate price in a war that did not need to be fought.

We are ruled by a political class that rule us as if they were kings, walking amongst the mere mortal peasants. They are sheltered from the world's injustices and deprivations. They are inducted into a society of the well-to-do because there is no other social class for which they are fit. They have never really grown up, and so we peasants must suffer through the elite's tiresome games, such as the war on drugs and the supposed war on terror, which seem to be much more of a war on the people. Another thing both of these demagogic wars have in common is that they are designed to erode our freedoms and our privacy by justifying it with the old saw, "need the tools to catch the bad guys." Cops and Robbers for adults. Innocents are arrested so that the cops can have their fun. Meanwhile the criminals get away with it. The justice system spits them back out on the streets. After all, we'd have to lay off cops if there was no crime. The cycle goes on endlessly. Meanwhile, the rest of us are caught in the middle of this evil maelstrom, rocked about on waves of uncertainty and strife.

They're building a system of control, people! Wake up before it's too late!! They want to include all of us in their little game! Run and hide if you want, but they can still catch you; they have the technology. Fiber optic splitters to steal our communications, and televisions to assure us that it's alright, no need to worry....


bszzzzzzshshh! |/<>\| [crackle]

[wavy lines].... you are feeling.... sleepy. Content. Open. Let us in.....

Things are fine. We're here to protect you... from the terrorists. The terrorists hate your freedom. They're coming for you; only we can protect you from an enemy that exists all around you. Any one of your neighbors could be a spy or a terrorist or a commie, or even Irish. Be sure to turn them in at your local FBI office.

We're listening anyway, so you might as well.

Coming up next, a pitbull dances with a lobster and a hyena! Wait 'til you see this!. ., After these messages.--

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Did I just sleep for 12 hours?

Yes. Yes, I did.

I told you I was exhausted! Damn! I had a busy week and now I can finally catch up on some sleep. Of course, it's back to work tomorrow. Personally, I think we should have 4 day work weeks, with a 3 day weekend - every week. That's how life was meant to be lived! And fuck this 40 hour week shit. 30 hours is plenty.

Don't you wish I was in charge of this planet?

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Whoa. Just got back from band practice. We did some serious jamming and I'm fuckin' exhausted. Thought I'd say goodnight before I head off to bed.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ward Sutton rocks

He's just too good. It almost hurts me! Any residual dreams of being a cartoonist die when I look at his stuff. I'll stick to music. But I don't mind, since I get to read such good work. The whole Scooby-Doo setting is brilliant.

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Snuggly the Security Bear

We're spying on you because we love you!

It's not scary; it's security!

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Bonds hits number 714

Ties Babe Ruth.

Does anybody really care? Babe Ruth did it without steroids. All he had were steaks and beer. Barry Bonds is a 'roid-ragin' cheater.

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Truthout Apologizes on Rove Indictment Story

But does not retract the story.

According to an earlier post, they have received additional confirmation:
...Further, both Corallo and Luskin denied Leopold's account of events at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm that represents Karl Rove. They specifically stated again that no such meeting ever occurred, that Fitzgerald was not there, that Rove was not there, and that a major meeting did not take place. Both men were unequivocal on that point.

We can now report, however, that we have additional, independent sources that refute those denials by Corallo and Luskin. While we had only our own sources to work with in the beginning, additional sources have now come forward and offered corroboration to us.

We have been contacted by at least three reporters from mainstream media - network level organizations - who shared with us off-the-record confirmation and moral support. When we asked why they were not going public with this information, in each case they expressed frustration with superiors who would not allow it.

The last paragraph is what's most interesting to me. Why wouldn't they run with it? Include Luskin's denials as part of the story and put that fucker on the wire. Oh well, it might've been wrong anyway. But it is interesting that they've received more corroboration, including from mainstream media. It's not possible that the indictment is under a gag order, is it?

Further on they state:

We reported that Patrick Fitzgerald had, "instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 business hours to get his affairs in order...." That does not mean that at the end of that 24-hour period, Fitzgerald is obliged to hold a press conference and make an announcement. It just means that he has given Rove a 24-hour formal notification. Fitzgerald is not obliged to make an announcement at any point; he does so at his own discretion, and not if it compromises his case. So we're all stuck waiting here. Grab some coffee.

So basically, it could be another year before Fitzgerald formally indicts Rove, or before he formally announces it. The last grand jury lasted 18 months if I remember correctly. It could be awhile, folks.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Will Oil Hit $100 a Barrel?

BusinessWeeks says it could happen even without a break in the supply.

They don't explicitly mention Peak Oil, but it's a subtext.

Given no shortage of crude oil in storage, the only explanation for the current spike is that the physical market's leverage on price has been temporarily suspended, or is being overridden by a futures market driven by a huge influx of capital. These investors are keying on future levels of risk to supply, rather than the immediate supply-demand balance.

It would probably be very smart to invest in oil futures at this point. It will go up, it's just a matter of time. With GW in the White House, it's gonna be bumpy ride, so strap in and be careful. Let's hope we can stop him from invading Iran and destroying our economy and liberty in the process.

But I doubt it. People would rather watch American Idol.

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Schneier on Privacy

Wired has an article by Bruce Schneier on the topic of surveillance and privacy. He makes the argument that NSA spying is tyranny and that privacy is such a basic human need that the framers of the Constitution & Bill of Rights didn't think there would be a need to spell it out beyond the language of the 4th amendment.

Cardinal Richelieu understood the value of surveillance when he famously said, "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." Watch someone long enough, and you'll find something to arrest -- or just blackmail -- with. Privacy is important because without it, surveillance information will be abused: to peep, to sell to marketers and to spy on political enemies -- whoever they happen to be at the time.

Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance.

We do nothing wrong when we make love or go to the bathroom. We are not deliberately hiding anything when we seek out private places for reflection or conversation. We keep private journals, sing in the privacy of the shower, and write letters to secret lovers and then burn them. Privacy is a basic human need.

A future in which privacy would face constant assault was so alien to the framers of the Constitution that it never occurred to them to call out privacy as an explicit right. Privacy was inherent to the nobility of their being and their cause. Of course being watched in your own home was unreasonable. Watching at all was an act so unseemly as to be inconceivable among gentlemen in their day. You watched convicted criminals, not free citizens. You ruled your own home. It's intrinsic to the concept of liberty.

I want to be the master of my domain, but it appears that George Bush would prefer to be master of my domain (and his). Isn't it ironic that a guy who is supposedly so concerned with the plight of those poor, downtrodden Iraqis, is quickly - nay, desperately - building a fascist state far more frightening and controlling than anything Saddam ever had? How strange. It's almost as if every justification for invading Iraq was a lie. But that couldn't be true? The mainstream media still treats him like a president, worshipfully talking about his every decision as if it was delivered from on high. Certainly they would treat him like that if it turned out he was a tyrannical psychopath bent on world domination through control of oil supply (and oil routes). Unless the media is in on the plan....

This is the loss of freedom we face when our privacy is taken from us. This is life in former East Germany, or life in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. And it's our future as we allow an ever-intrusive eye into our personal, private lives.

Too many wrongly characterize the debate as "security versus privacy." The real choice is liberty versus control. Tyranny, whether it arises under threat of foreign physical attack or under constant domestic authoritative scrutiny, is still tyranny. Liberty requires security without intrusion, security plus privacy. Widespread police surveillance is the very definition of a police state. And that's why we should champion privacy even when we have nothing to hide.

Yes, he basically called Bush as bad as Saddam. While that may not be the case (yet), it's not for lack of trying. Don't fool yourself into thinking Bush shares the democratic ideals that he so often claims to defend. No, Bush is a fascist to his core, just like Saddam. There's no rule that says that just because you were born in America that you automatically believe in freedom and democracy. Everyone believes in freedom...for themselves. Whether they believe in freedom for everyone else is a completely different question. Bush's NSA spying plan is a slap in the face of 300 million Americans and the ideals of Libery, Freedom and Democracy for which thousands of men and women have died throughout American history. He has made a mockery of our democratic traditions while relentlessly expanding the power of the presidency by making Congress nothing more than a rubber stamp parliament. He's let his corporate buddies run wild, with lobbyists writing laws and lawmakers not even reading them before voting in favor of them. He's launched wars of conquest and invasion. He's started spying programs that violate the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. This man is a menace. He should be impeached immediately, and imprisoned thereafter.

Such a man deserves death for his crimes. There are others, you know. We've only scratched the surface of this administration's malfeasance.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Good for Russ

Don't let the hate machine roll you over. They will do anything for votes, and unfortunately, most people are easily tricked into discriminating against one group or another, whether it's based on skin color, sexual orientation or nationalism. It's all stupid and it's all pandering by politicians who generally know better. Why do we, in 2006, still hate and discriminate against each other? Haven't we figured out the trick by now?

I guess it's always easier to blame somebody else.

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Truthout: Hero or Goat?

Tomorrow will tell.

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Marines Go on Rampage, Kill 15 Iraqi Civilians

This is totally fucked up.

The people responsible need to be punished. I understand their anger that their buddy was killed, but the innocent townspeople shouldn't bear the brunt of their anger. Save it for the terrorists. The marines responsible should be kicked out of the service, tried, and imprisoned if guilty.


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Patent Wars!

After just filing suit against Apple Computer a few days ago, Creative Technology has found itself sued for patent infringement by none-other-than Apple. Apple's retaliation has set off a round of Patent Wars! Turnabout is fair play, I suppose. Creative really brought this on themselves, but the really have no choice since they're getting beat in the MP3 market so badly. I'm so thrilled that our legal system will be clogged up with this snipehunt for years.

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Republican campaign official sentenced to prison

James Tobin got 10 years for participating in an illegal phone-jamming scheme designed to suppress votes in the 2002 election.

Eat that, sucka.


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NSA Spying - The big picture

Reporter Greg Palast has an insightful post on his website that takes a wider view of the NSA spying scandal. Here's a taste:
Worried about Dick Cheney listening in Sunday on your call to Mom? That ain't nothing. You should be more concerned that they are linking this info to your medical records, your bill purchases and your entire personal profile including, not incidentally, your voting registration. Five years ago, I discovered that ChoicePoint had already gathered 16 billion data files on Americans -- and I know they've expanded their ops at an explosive rate.

They are paid to keep an eye on you -- because the FBI can't. For the government to collect this stuff is against the law unless you're suspected of a crime. (The law in question is the Constitution.) But ChoicePoint can collect it for "commercial" purchases -- and under the Bush Administration's suspect reading of the Patriot Act -- our domestic spying apparatchiks can then BUY the info from ChoicePoint.

He's right. The government simply outsources or contracts out work that it doesn't want to or (in this case) can't do. I'm extremely concerned about the privacy of my medical and financial records, as I know most Americans are. But it's worse than that. Much worse:

And now ChoicePoint and George Bush want your blood. Forget your phone bill. ChoicePoint, a sickened executive of the company told us in confidence, "hope[s] to build a database of DNA samples from every person in the United States ...linked to all the other information held by CP [ChoicePoint]" from medical to voting records.

And ChoicePoint lied about that too. The company publicly denied they gave DNA to the Feds -- but then told our investigator, pretending to seek work, that ChoicePoint was "the number one" provider of DNA info to the FBI.
This is just fucking evil. There's no excuse for this. There's no, "Oh we need it to fight the terrorists!" bullshit. Those excuses simply do not fly. This is evil. This is Orwellian. This is downright SATANIC!

It's bad enough to try and get our , but the fact that they want their databases to talk to each other is extremely frightening. If they succeed at this, the government will know everything about you from the day you're born to the day you die. There won't be any discussion of 4th amendment rights, because there won't be a 4th amendment. What if there's no more privacy left to defend?

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Repost from Slashdot

Before my earlier posts on the spying scandal slip behind the wall of the 24 post limit on Slashdot, I wanted to repost a couple here.

Here's one from when AT&T was accused of forwarding all traffic to the NSA:
Now, are they talking about forwarding ALL AT&T traffic to NSA? I find that really really hard to believe. How much data is that? Can someone point to some known tech that can handle that....ALL that data? I'm not asking for "secret-I-bet-they-have-cold-fusion-computers" BS tech that someone *thinks* the NSA has.

You had it right in your first sentence. AT&T is forwarding all of their call data to the NSA. The NSA doesn't need any super-cool tech in order to intercept this data since AT&T (and the other telecom companies) simply send this data directly to them. Don't get me wrong, though - the NSA has some amazing technology. All of this data is processed, filtered, tagged and entered into a massive database.

I'm currently reading Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency [] by James Bamford. It's not light reading, but it's fascinating....and extremely disturbing. The fascinating part is that we've been here before. This exact scenario already happened in the 60's and 70's, until information about it was leaked (by the NY Times, no less) and it was investigated by the Church Committee [] circa 1975. It was called Project SHAMROCK [] then, and it involved the phone companies and Western Union delivering huge magnetic tape reels to the NSA on a regular basis. The project was so secret that only a few people within the NSA where even aware of it.

Until the Congressional investigation, hardly anybody within the White House or Justice Department had even heard whispers of it. Congress, of course, was completely out of the loop. This obsession with secrecy goes back to the very founding of the NSA. The NSA operated with no Congressional oversight for decades (it was called "No Such Agency"), and its existance probably wasn't even constitutionally legal/valid, but the information that it provided to other agencies (mostly the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff) was so good that by the time Congress found out about it, it was indispensible. Today the NSA is the largest of the intelligence agencies (yes you read that right - larger than the CIA), although its exact budget is classified.

Second, this is just an accusation. There's one guy that has some documents that say that's what AT&T is doing. For all we know, this guy could be wearing tin-foil hats and singing to his dog about the aliens.

The only loonies around here are the people who think that the government isn't spying on Americans every single day. Now, that doesn't mean that they are listening to you in real time, and hanging on your every word. But all/most of your calls are recorded, digitized and handed to the NSA. From there, it is probably entered into a massive database. From there they can filter out unimportant calls and use data mining techniques to pull up relevant information. They use the ECHELON [] computer software to sift through information, which probably works similar to Google, with keyword searches and a list of search results.

If you still don't believe me, why don't you have a conversation with a friend, where you discuss planting bombs around town. See how long it takes the feds to show up.

The stuff in italics is another poster who I am quoting. Here's another from later on in the thread:

That would only require AT&T to spend millions of dollars on additional infrastructure. AT&T being a business, they would fight the order tooth and nail. Has that happened?

Doubt it. The companies involved the first time around (during the Cold War) apparently did it for free. The government simply appealed to their patriotism (the military was the group that actually asked them - would you say no to the military?) and apparently never compensated them, though that may not really be the case. There was probably some tit-for-tat going on. Besides, any company wants to be on the government's good side, right? They probably see it as a cost of doing business. See the recent Google Goes to China fiasco for more insight into that mindset. As long as it's not prohibitively expensive (read: difficult to make a profit) most companies probably wouldn't have a problem with it. It's all to save us from Teh Terr'rists after all.

I don't doubt that the NSA has massive surveillance resources, but they're not the fuckin' Illuminati for christ's sake. They're a government organization staffed by human beings, and as such they probably don't have their shit together enough to do all the shadowy things you think they're doing.

You're right, they're not omnipotent, but they're not idiots either. They own and operate what is probably the largest supercomputer on the planet. They operate in the shadows, with virtually no oversight from Congress, and the current administration is obsessed with secrecy and spying. Whether they can spy successfully is an open question, but there's no question that they are trying. I think it's actually much more likely that you are the deluded one. They are probably doing way more stuff than I have mentioned so far, and probably doing it well. Their foreign surveillance work is top-notch; we didn't become the sole superpower by sucking at signals intelligence, that's for sure. I would encourage you to do some research on the matter before falling back into that "teh guvmint is incompetent and they sux"-style of "logic." I've provided facts, links and insight. Now it's your turn to follow up.

Sorry for the indulgence, but I thought I made some good points. :-)

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More spying news

The Baltimore Sun has a story about a pre-9/11 NSA program to spy on Americans. According to the paper, the earlier program was more protective of our privacy, but it was ultimately rejected because of bureaucratic squabbling. The is notorious for their turf wars, probably because it's easier for a secretive agency to disguise the fact that they're crawling with little dictators who are more interested in protecting their personal status and budget than they are about protecting Americans. And our liberties must trail a distant third in this sad little game.

You can find more at slashdot. Meanwhile, the lawsuits are already flying. Forbes has a story on the EFF's early victory in a lawsuit against AT&T. They also comment on the weasel words used by Bell South & Verizon in their denials concerning the illegal spying program, "...But the telephone companies' denials give them plenty of wiggle room." Damn right. I hope you like being lied to, folks, because your government is lying to you, your phone company is lying to you, and your media is lying to you. Luckily, there are bloggers like me to save the world. ;-) My audience of 2 will be very grateful, I'm sure.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

No Such Agency

There's a new article over at Salon (an interview with historian Matthew Aid), concerning the recent revelations of NSA wiretapping. I've been following the controversy pretty closely. In fact, I just finished reading James Bamford's opus, Body of Secrets, which is basically a history of the from it's humble beginnings to it massive pre-9/11 decline. A new chapter is being written as we speak. After 9/11 the agency was given a new lease on life and huge influxes of cash and technology. The agency now has the capability to monitor, record and (well, this is the tricky part) analyze the phone calls of every single American citizen. Landlines and cellphones. Oh, and don't forget your internet usage. If this blog isn't in their database somewhere, I'd be a bit surprised.

So, that's it; we're fucked, right?

Not quite. You see, even though the NSA is the size of medium-sized city (around 60,000 people last I heard), and they measure their computing power in acres, not in flops, the NSA is not omniscient. The problem is that they're drowning in data. Their intelligence gathering capabilities far outstrip their ability to actually analyze all that data and decide its usefulness.

That's not to say I'm okay with the NSA spying on Americans. I'm not. It's illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, repugnant and downright fascist. We need to end the spying programs immediately, and make sure they're not simply transferred to another agency like the program was.

But we also shouldn't lose our heads and assume that the government is hanging on our every word. In fact, they probably don't have a human listen to your calls unless it's been flagged for some reason or another.

Oh, and the whole bit about the NSA only logging the phone numbers you've called? Bullshit. They're getting the whole enchilada. I'm betting that the calls themselves are captured, digitized, organized in a gigantic database, and voice-analyzed into searchable text. Then the agency's "consumers" (the White House, FBI, CIA, DOD, etc.) can use the to search for specific keywords. If they want to hear more, they can probably pull up the entire audio clip of the call. I don't know if they can do this from their PC, or if they need approval from agency guard higher-ups. Knowing the Bush administration, I'd bet Cheney has access to everything under the sun, available at his fingertips. I hope he liked my previous post.

This whole fiasco is not even a new occurrence. Read up on if you want to know more. The Church Committee shut Shamrock down 30 years ago, but it's back and worse than before. Now the NSA has much more powerful computers to contend with an even greater influx of data. Their methodology for gathering data remains the same. They leaned heavily on telecom companies to voluntarily hand over the data. The abuses of power during Nixon's time, as well as the revelations concerning Shamrock and led to the creation of the FISA Court and accompanying laws, which is now ignoring. History does indeed repeat itself.

Anyway, back to that Salon article I mentioned above. It seems that Matthew Aid disagrees with Bamford about what Echelon is. He claims it's just a VAX microcomputer from the 70's, made by DEC, that was used at various satellite intercept stations. This could be the case, but Bamford was quite clear that Echelon was a software program used by the UKUSA alliance to share and analyze intercept data. I think the confusion could be caused by the fact there are two different Echelons. It's unclear to me if this is the case, however.

Aid goes on to explain how the Justice Department was systematically kept out of the loop and in the dark:
It's all coming out now in dribs and drabs, but when it all becomes clear, we'll find out that the key oversight functions -- those functions that were put in place to protect the rights of Americans -- were deliberately circumvented. Key components of the Justice Department that would have rightly objected to this were never consulted or told about the program. Alberto Gonzales when he was the White House counsel knew about it, as did Attorney General Ashcroft and his deputy, but outside of that I don't think there were many others who knew all the details.
Perhaps somebody within Justice still has a conscience. That seems unlikely, but it's our best hope if we want accountability. We need to investigate this program thoroughly. We can't just believe Bush when he says, "trust me." Trust is the last thing on my mind when I hear Bush speak.

Aid then discusses how Congress was also kept in the dark and hamstrung:

They can claim that they briefed individual members of Congress but there's a difference between briefing a few members of Congress and briefing a full committee. Only a few members of the intelligence committee were told and they were told in a way in which they couldn't do anything about it. And the briefings were very general and lacking in specifics, as I understand.

What happens is that you're [privately] briefed about the program, and then even if you object to the program, you can't do anything about it because you can't tell the whole committee. Our system only works when information is given to the full committee. But the way they did it effectively handcuffed any opposition because you can't go to the full committee and say I object to this program and we ought to call some hearings and examine the legalistic background and justification for the program. Even if Senator Rockefeller or Congresswoman Pelosi had some issues with it, they couldn't even tell their own staff, much less other members of the committee. They deliberately did it this way so the intelligence committees couldn’t do anything about it.

Sounds pretty nasty, right? This way they can claim the Congress consented, when 99% of Congress was not even briefed and the 1% that was briefed has no chance to exercise any oversight. It's a pretty good political trick. And I wonder how detailed those briefings were. Somehow I doubt they said, "We're spying on Americans." I bet it was more like, "In the interests of protecting the homeland from terrorists, we are enlarging the scope of our clandestine sigint monitoring programs in such a way to gather more accurate and up-to-the-minute intel on potential terrorist activities. Terror. Terrorist. Terrorism. Boo!!"

Of course, how would we ever know? The congresspeople in question are sworn to secrecy. Isn't it great how secrecy eats away at democracy? We need secrets, yet by embracing secrecy we stray further and further from democracy because an uninformed population is unable to exercise sound judgment in electing its leaders. We have to remember that we are the true leaders of this country, not Bush and his ilk. Democracy is for us, not the leaders. Here we are surrenduring our liberty and privacy (without even knowing it) and this is what Aid says about the effectiveness of the wiretapping program:
To the best of my knowledge, in the five years in which the program has been running, it has not caught a single person.
Pretty much says it all.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Fuck You, Dick Cheney

One more reason to hate Dick Cheney (as if I needed more). I was driving back to work after my eye appointment this afternoon when traffic came to a complete stop on 494. I could see up ahead the rode was bare after a certain point. As it became clear that we were stuck on the bridge (over the river), heading west, just before the airport, people started getting out of their cars and chatting. I looked around a bit and I could see police cars' lights up ahead. It seemed they had cordoned off the whole lane (the other lane was unencumbered).

I started chatting with a middle-aged guy with a cellphone. He told me his buddy said it was Air Force One (or Two or whatever) and that Dick Cheney was in town. This idea was corroborated by other fellow travelers. So basically, Dick Cheney shut down one of the largest freeways in the state for 20 or 30 minutes so that his motorcade could travel unmolested by traffic. Allow me to recap:

Fuck you, Dick Cheney. Fuck You.

How about traveling on the same roads as the rest of us? Here's an idea: maybe you shouldn't take a huge motorcade with a limo everywhere! Maybe nobody would notice if you drove around in an old Pinto. But no. Dick Cheney has to emerge from his secure location to lord over the rest of us and show off just how powerful he is. He can shut down a highway, with cars backed up for miles, while he gets his ass chauffeured whereever he wants to go. I'm sure he's not even driving, so what's the big deal if there's traffic? I can't understand it as anything other than a powerplay on his part. It's so typical of him to inconvenience thousands of people for nothing.

Granted, this is far from the worst thing he's done, but it affected me, so it's on my mind. And it just happened like 30 minutes ago. This is some seriously up-to-the-minute blogging here.

My only regret is that I couldn't catch up to his motorcade to flip him off as I drove past him at 90 miles an hour, late for work. Fuck you, Cheney.

Update: Here's a link to the Trib story about Cheney's arrival.


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Government Spying on ABC News's Phone Calls

A government source has informed ABC News that the government is spying on the phone records of journalists at ABC News, along with the NY Times and Washington Post.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.

One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.

Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials.

So, what kind of government spies on journalists in an effort to conceal their own abuses of power? That's right kids: A neo-fascist government. The CIA leak investigation mentioned above is not Plamegate, but the leak concerning the secret (illegal) CIA prisons abroad. Instead of cleaning house and getting within the law the CIA has decided to harrass the people who exposed their law-breaking. You know you've got problems when you have unrepentant criminals at every level within the ruling administration. These people don't give a fuck about the law. They consider themselves above the law. The law is for peasants, like you and me.

We've got some serious problems in this country, and this story is just a taste. We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis and the only acceptable solution is the impeachment of Bush, Cheney and all of their collaborators. There are so many widening scandals it's hard to know which way investigators will go. One thing is for sure; this administration must be held accountable for its crimes.

Stop harrassing journalists! Stop spying on Americans! Stop waging war in Iraq!

Will they listen? Of course not. That's why we the people have to take the power back. A government that doesn't listen to its citizens does not qualify as a democracy. Bush seems to think that after his supposed re-election in '04 that he doesn't have to take any shit from anybody. I got news for ya, Bushie: The people are the rulers here. This is America, dammit. We are in charge, not you. We are the government, not you. You are just a custodian, and we don't appreciate your arrogance or your contempt for the law and the will of the people. Your time in office is nearing an end, far more quickly than you imagine.

To all the real (i.e. "not on the government payroll") journalists out there: keep up the good work. Don't let them silence you. Don't let your own news organizations silence you either. The truth is more frightening than most Americans could possibly imagine at this point, but that very fact is the reason why you must not stop digging and reporting until the truth is revealed. If you're running into problems getting the story out, make sure you harness the power of blogs. I'll publish anything you got.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006


Da Vinci, that is. Pretty cool guy.

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Shout out

This is a shout-out to all the moms out there. Be real! Yeah.

What can I say about moms that hasn't been said? I just gotta appreciate mine. Hope everybody out there got to see or talk to yer moms today.


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Happy Mother's Day

Time to buy some flowers and head out to eat with the family. Hope everyone has a good one.

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Karl Rove Facing Indictment Next Week?

It sure looks like it.
Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

If this is true, it is huge news. I haven't found anything in the mainstream media news sources yet. I'm not sure if this FatCats site is reputable or not; we'll have to wait for confirmation. Here it is from the source, t r u t h o u t. Didn't expect this to come on a Saturday night...

Looks like they're not sure what Rove will be charged with, however:
It was still unknown Saturday whether Fitzgerald charged Rove with a more serious obstruction of justice charge. Sources close to the case said Friday that it appeared very likely that an obstruction charge against Rove would be included with charges of perjury and lying to investigators.
Throw the book at him.


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Oh yeah, did I forget to mention: You can post comments now!!

Holy shit! That's cool, and yet another advantage to going this route. So post away people and let me know what you think of the new format.

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Cheney involved with Plamegate?

Ha! I'm posting again! Just minutes after my last post. So cool...

Anyway, it looks like Cheney may have been the man with the plan when it comes to outing Valerie Plame Wilson as a CIA agent. From the Washington Post:

A court filing last month by Fitzgerald -- who has been gradually spelling out what he plans to say during Libby's trial next year -- stated that Cheney had expressed concern about whether Wilson's trip was a junket set up by his wife. The new filing includes the precise annotations that Cheney wrote on a copy of Wilson's July 2003 article in the New York Times, titled "What I Didn't Find in Africa."

"Have they done this sort of thing before?" Cheney wrote. "Send an amb[assador] to answer a question? Do we ordinarily send people out pro bono to work for us? Or did his wife send him on a junket?"

Fitzgerald's filing states that Libby learned of Plame's name from Cheney, in the course of discussions by the vice president's office about how to respond to a June 2003 inquiry from Washington Post reporter Walter Pincus about Wilson's trip to Niger. Fitzgerald asserts that those conversations -- and earlier ones sparked by a May 2003 column about the trip in the Times -- help demonstrate that Libby's "disclosures to the press concerning Mr. Wilson's wife were not casual disclosures."

This doesn't look good for Dick, who could be in hot water if Libby squeals on him and claims that Cheney was the impetus behind the leak. It certainly seems logical to me that Libby (Cheney's good friend and ex-chief of staff) would follow up on ideas Cheney had for responding to their detractors.

There's so many things to impeach Bush and Cheney for, it's hard to pick a favorite. I'd have to say that Plamegate and the NSA Wiretapping Scandal are definitely contenders, but the whole War in Iraq is a excellent argument for impeachment in my opinion. There seems to be Americans and Iraqis dying at a steady rate, with the Iraqis dying in far greater numbers. I hope that oil is worth it. Peak Oil or not, it's time to get Bush and Co. out of the White House before they do any more damage.

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Well, I did it! Check out the new blog

Yep, this is an all-new design and now it's finally live. I've even migrated all my old posts over to the new system. Obsessive? Yes, but it was pretty easy. They go all the way back to 2002, but I've only been posting on for the last month or so. And as you can see, some of those posts were test posts.

I hope to update this blog a lot more often than I did before. After all, I now use a system that is infinitely easier to update. Before, posting was a nightmare. Dreamweaver didn't like my design and was constantly freezing up when I was typing. This is so much better. Who knew there was actually a point to "blog software." I think I thought I was a tough-guy, a real hard-core web designer, who does things my way or not at all. Well, it turns out that my way is kinda hard. So, even though I have a little less control over the design of this blog, I hope my increased post-frequency makes up for it. We shall see.

Hell, I can do another post, right after this one! Muhahahaaa! It's easy! I can organize my thoughts into coherant posts without screwing around with the HTML! This is sweet.

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