Archive for August, 2006

Check out this YouTube video (crank the sound, especially when the police captain (John Brooks) is speaking to his “troops”):

This is some really sick shit. You call this America? George Orwell’s America, maybe. George Bush’s Amerika, definitely.

You know, the lady who was shot was carrying a sign saying “FEAR Totalitarianism.” The cops proved her point when they shot her while her back was turned. Then they shot her again while she was cowering behind the sign.

Thanks for making it clear, Miami PD: We do live in a totalitarian state. In fact, we live in a terrorist state. Just think if the protestors started shooting rubber bullets back at the cops. The cops would call the protestors terrorists, right? So, if the protestors tactics are terrorism, then it follows logically that the cops are terrorists as well, using their own definition.

Based on the captain’s pep speech, the cops considered it a battle, even though “the other side” never fought back or used weapons. This is nothing more or less than fascism in action. It’s shameful. Cops are supposed to protect us, not oppress us! The cops are the ones subscribing to an “us versus them” ideology. Certainly their actions will inspire that same ideology in the protestors who witnessed the cops indiscretions. Terrorism begets terrorism.

Yes! Best news I’ve heard all day! Think Progress has the scoop:

Fox News reports a federal district court in Detroit has ruled that the Bush administration’s NSA warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

Hell yeah!! I wonder what the neocons’ next move will be. The judge has issued an injunction (pdf) (I’m glad to see James Bamford is one of the plaintiffs).

Only problem is: How will we ever know for sure that they’ve stopped the program? We didn’t know when they started it — it was revealed only recently. What mechanism do we have for ensuring that the NSA doesn’t simply change the name of the program and ignore the judge’s order?

The NSA is a rogue agency. We need Congress to crack it wide open and see what it’s been hiding all these years.

I shouldn’t even defoul this blog with such news, but here ya go:

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, John Mark Karr said that he contacted JonBenet’s mother, Patsy, before she died of cancer in June to express his remorse for the killing.

“I conveyed to her many things, among them that I am so very sorry for what happened to JonBenet,” Karr said as U.S. and Thai authorities escorted him from his Bangkok hotel, where he spent over an hour packing his belongings.

Karr said it was his understanding that Patsy Ramsey read letters that he sent to her. He said JonBenet’s death was “an accident.”

“It’s very important for me that everyone knows that I love her very much and that her death was unintentional,” said Karr, who sweated and stuttered occasionally as he spoke in a quiet voice.

Karr, 41, was arrested Wednesday, halfway around the world from Boulder, Colo., where JonBenet’s body was found beaten and strangled in her parent’s basement on Dec. 26, 1996.

This guy sounds like a sick fucker. He says he loved her — is that why he drugged, raped and murdered her?

Well, at least this fucking psychopath was finally caught. I can only imagine what the pedophile was doing in Bangkok. Let’s hope he didn’t “love” any children over there, but that seems a little unlikely.

Does this mean the parents are not guilty?

Well, no. They turned their daughter into a prepubescent pinup, which is what attracted this psycho in the first place. While I don’t think they should be jailed, I think they have to look at their own motivations for the whole beauty pageant illusion they draped her in. How much of it was a selfish desire to have the cutest daughter in the world? I’m sure JonBenet loved the attention, but parents are supposed to look out for their kids, not parade them around like a hunk of meat before the lecherous eyes of a million perverts.

Oh, and they should be chained upside-down in a hideous dungeon for naming their daughter “JonBenet.” I mean c’mon! Could you be any more pretentious?! Ack!!

Ultimately, though, the crime rests on the shoulders of John Mark Karr. What a fucking tragedy.

UPDATE: Karr was probably a patsy. RigInt has blown this wide open.

What’s going on in your world? There’s a lot of news out there, but I don’t feel like aggregating it today. I could link to stuff like Sen. George Allen’s little “macaca” faux paux, but I think you can find it. What a dumbass. And he’s pretty clearly a racist; this isn’t the first time he’s been accused of this sort of thing.

Oh man. So tired. Got up at 5 am today for a client thing. Didn’t go well.

The good news is that my softball team won last night. Although I sucked at the bat I managed to get the final out (barely) to allow us to hold onto a narrow victory: 13 to 12. I was fucking stoked. I thought we played really well — a great way to start the fall season.

Visit to check your bandwidth in style!

It has some very sweet graphics and animation and it allows you to test your connection to various servers all over the world (mostly in US, UK and Australia).

At least that’s the gist I took away from this story in the Miami Herald:

Also on Sunday, a statement released in Castro’s name strongly hinted that his condition remained serious and his prognosis could be grim.

The statement urged Cubans to ”be optimistic,” but it also make clear that any recovery would take quite some time and Cubans should prepare themselves “to confront any adverse news.”

Among older generations of Cubans, the term ”adverse news” often is used as short-hand for “a death in the family.”

So, basically they’re saying: he could kick off at any time.

I don’t know how to take that news. He might have less than a week in him. What does that mean for Cuba? What does that mean for the United States? A lot is yet to be seen. Castro ruled Cuba absolutely and for over 45 years.

He was brutal, and a dictator, but I can understand his reasons. The U.S. was acting as an imperial power, setting up puppet governments like that of Batista, and generally raping the land and the people. Castro stood up to the U.S., and for that he is a hero to his people and many others, like Hugo Chavez. But like Chavez, Castro is too autocratic. Bost leaders strangle democracy as they spread their power — and that cannot be forgiven too easily.

It remains to be seen what happens to the Cuban people, but I wish for them the best of both worlds: a government strong enough to repel of U.S. imperialism and tolerant enough to allow democratic freedoms such as fair elections and free speech.

I’m sure the Cubans would appreciate it if the peaceful folk here in the U.S. took back our government from the imperialist, neo-fascist, liars and mass-murderers who currently run the place.

His name is Peter. Somehow, his videos have caught on and his popularity has shot up to the level that Reuters is now covering his ascent to internet fame.

I’ll post one of his videos below. He shows off his video editing skills, along with his love of motorcycles and the blues. He begins a series of videos that tell the story of his life: Telling it all, part 1.

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with prime-time television, the Bush administration and the T-virus. But it could.

Instead, it’s a medical odyssey involving a poison called Tetrodotoxin, a secret society using the poison on unsuspecting peasants and some hard science:

When Clairvius Narcisse entered the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he appeared to be suffering from malnutrition, high fever, and aches throughout his body. His condition deteriorated rapidly as he developed respiratory problems, became unresponsive, and then slipped into a coma. Two days later, on May 2, 1962, he was declared dead by two attending physicians. His sister, Angelina, identified the body, and another sister, Marie Claire, authenticated the death certificate by placing her fingerprint on it. The next day Angelina, Marie Claire, and the rest of the family buried Clairvius in a small cemetery near their village of l’Estere. Here the saga of Clairvius Narcisse should have ended, but 18 years later, in 1980, a shuffling, vacant-eyed man approached Angelina in the village marketplace and identified himself as her brother, Clairvius. His family and many villagers recognized him immediately, and he told them a fantastic tale of being dug up from his grave, beaten to his senses, and led away to work as a slave on a remote sugar plantation. Though surprised, the villagers accepted his story because they believed that the power of voodoo magic made such things possible. It was clear to then that Clairvius Narcisse had been a member of the living dead—a zombie.

Okay, you’re probably thinking that this is total bullshit by now. But keep reading (and read the whole article) to find out what’s really going on here.

Somehow, Narcisse received a dose of the zombie powder. He became ill, went to the hospital, became paralyzed, and “died.” He later said that he was conscious throughout and heard himself pronounced dead. After burial, he was dug up, beaten “to prevent his spirit from reentering his body,” and led away to a distant plantation. According to some accounts, zombies are fed a paste made from datura stramonium—the zombie’s cucumber—that contains tropane alkaloids capable of inducing a psychotic state. Continued doses could keep a zombie confused and docile during his new life as a slave.

In the case of Narcisse, the slave owner died after 18 years, and Narcisse regained his freedom by simply wandering away from the plantation.

Narcisse was smeared with “zombie powder” that appears to come from the puffer fish, or some other source of the tetrodotoxin:

The liver and reproductive organs of the puffer fish contain tetrodotoxin, an extremely powerful nerve poison. Only 0.00000065 g of tetrodotoxin is required to kill an adult, making it about 1000 times more toxic than cyanide.

The effects of tetrodotoxin are well documented in Japan, where the highly prized dish fugu is prepared from the raw flesh of the puffer fish. Chefs must be specially trained and licensed to prepare fugu. Even so, during the 1980s, nearly 200 Japanese diners have paid the ultimate price to satisfy their craving for fugu.

“It is a terrible death,” reports on fugu devotee. “Even though you can think very clearly, your arms and legs become numb and you cannot sit up. You cannot speak, cannot move, and soon cannot breathe.”

Sounds like fun! We’d better make sure the Bush administration doesn’t find out about this stuff or we’ll start receiving this in the mail with our anthrax letters.

Over at Greg Palast’s crib:

Here’s the conundrum: The nation’s tens of thousands of polling stations report to the capital in random order after the polls close. Therefore, statistically, you’d expect the results to remain roughly unchanged as vote totals come in. As expected, AMLO was ahead of the right-wing candidate Calderon all night by an unchanging margin — until after midnight. Suddenly, precincts began reporting wins for Calderon of five to one, the ten to one, then as polling nearly ended, of one-hundred to one.

How odd. I checked my concerns with Professor Victor Romero of Mexico’s National University who concluded that the reported results must have been a “miracle.” As he put it, a “religious event,” but a statistical impossibility. There were two explanations, said the professor: either the Lord was fixing the outcome or operatives of the ruling party were cranking in a massive number of ballots when they realized their man was about to lose.

It’s worth checking out this story for the graph alone.

It doesn’t look good for Mexico. The TRIFE has only agreed to examine 9% of the ballots cast in the election. This election was stolen right out from under Mexico’s nose, and the people know it. But what can they do when the entrenched power structure refuses to relinquish their grip on the government?

Things are not so different here in the U.S. The only problem, as Palast makes clear, is that we don’t even have a complete paper ballot record because of electronic voting:

Does this mean US activists should give up on the fight for paper ballots and give in to robo-voting, computerized democracy in a box. [sic] Hell, no! Lopez Obrador has put hundreds of thousands in the street week after week demanding, “voto por voto” — recount every vote. But AMLO’s supporters can only demand a re-count because the paper ballot makes a recount possible. Were Mexico’s elections held on a Diebold special, there would be no way to recount the electrons floating in cyberspace.

When are people going to wake up to the fact that electronic voting cannot be trusted?

Oh well. The elites find a way to win no matter what. They hold all the cards except popular support. I guess there’s not much we can do but make it hard for them by bringing out the vote.

As for Mexico, it seems clear to me that this election should be declared “null and void” and a revote scheduled immediately. Will the TRIFE lay it on the line for democracy? We’ll have to wait and see.

This sounds absolutely awful. A curse to live with until he dies — but every day he lives he must wish for death.

It takes at least 10 minutes and a large glass of orange juice to wash down all the pills – morphine, methadone, a muscle relaxant, an antidepressant, a stool softener. Viagra for sexual dysfunction. Valium for his nerves.

Four hours later, Herbert Reed will swallow another 15 mg of morphine to cut the pain clenching every part of his body. He will do it twice more before the day is done.

Since he left a bombed-out train depot in Iraq, his gums bleed. There is more blood in his urine, and still more in his stool. Bright light hurts his eyes. A tumor has been removed from his thyroid. Rashes erupt everywhere, itching so badly they seem to live inside his skin. Migraines cleave his skull. His joints ache, grating like door hinges in need of oil.

There is something massively wrong with Herbert Reed, though no one is sure what it is. He believes he knows the cause, but he cannot convince anyone caring for him that the military’s new favorite weapon has made him terrifyingly sick.

Can somebody tell me why we use depleted uranium? Yes, it’s extremely dense material, but there are some major drawbacks. Foremost among them is the radioactivity part, coupled with a half-life of 4.5 billion years (which is approximately the current age of our planet).

Reed believes depleted uranium has contaminated him and his life. He now walks point in a vitriolic war over the Pentagon’s arsenal of it – thousands of shells and hundreds of tanks coated with the metal that is radioactive, chemically toxic, and nearly twice as dense as lead.

A shell coated with depleted uranium pierces a tank like a hot knife through butter, exploding on impact into a charring inferno. As tank armor, it repels artillery assaults. It also leaves behind a fine radioactive dust with a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

Depleted uranium is the garbage left from producing enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and energy plants. It is 60 percent as radioactive as natural uranium. The U.S. has an estimated 1.5 billion pounds of it, sitting in hazardous waste storage sites across the country. Meaning it is plentiful and cheap as well as highly effective.

Reed says he unknowingly breathed DU dust while living with his unit in Samawah, Iraq. He was med-evaced out in July 2003, nearly unable to walk because of lightning-strike pains from herniated discs in his spine. Then began a strange series of symptoms he’d never experienced in his previously healthy life.

The article goes on to reveal how he found out about the DU poisoning. He started meeting other people from his unit with the exact same symptoms. Then the Dutch took over their old camp:

Dutch marines had taken over the abandoned train depot dubbed Camp Smitty, which was surrounded by tank skeletons, unexploded ordnance and shell casings. They’d brought radiation-detection devices. The readings were so hot, the Dutch set up camp in the middle of the desert rather than live in the station ruins.

The Dutch were smart. Their lives would be a hellish nightmare like Reed’s if they had used Camp Smitty.

The veterans, using their positive results as evidence, have sued the U.S. Army, claiming officials knew the hazards of depleted uranium, but concealed the risks.

The Department of Defense says depleted uranium is powerful and safe, and not that worrisome.

Oh, the DoD says the depleted uranium is safe, eh? Okay, then they won’t mind if we store a couple thousand tons of it throughout the Pentagon. Hey, it’s safe, right? So why don’t we put a few hundred pounds of it the offices of everybody in the Pentagon — including the generals and Rumsfeld. I wonder how that would go over. Suddenly, they might just change their tune.

It’s pretty sick, but the DoD under Rumsfeld simply does not care. He’s willing to condemn these soldiers to a shitty lifetime of hell and suffering to achieve his war aims. That’s the only thing that matters to the neocons. Soldiers are merely pawns to them.

The term depleted uranium is linguistically radioactive. Simply uttering the words can prompt a reaction akin to preaching atheism at tent revival. Heads shake, eyes roll, opinions are yelled from all sides.

“The Department of Defense takes the position that you can eat it for breakfast and it poses no threat at all,” said Steve Robinson of the National Gulf War Resource Center, which helps veterans with various problems, including navigating the labyrinth of VA health care. “Then you have far-left groups that … declare it a crime against humanity.”

I’d like to see Rumsfeld eat a big chunk of DU for breakfast. That would be fucking funny. He already looks like some sort of undead skeleton creature… hmmm…. now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn’t encourage him — he might gain more unholy powers and start shooting lightning bolts out of his empty eye sockets, throwing cars at people and generally scaring the living shit out of all of us.

I think the people who deny the danger of DU must be part of Rumsfeld’s Undead Zombie Army — they know it’s dangerous, but they don’t give a fuck. It’s not like they could honestly believe it’s safe and friendly — we use it in war after all. And what part of “depleted uranium” don’t they understand? They know what uranium is, don’t they? The depleted part only makes it slightly less radioactive. There are many well-known dangers associated with DU:

There are several studies on how it affects animals, though their results are not, of course, directly applicable to humans. Military research on mice shows that depleted uranium can enter the bloodstream and come to rest in bones, the brain, kidneys and lymph nodes. Other research in rats shows that DU can result in cancerous tumors and genetic mutations, and pass from mother to unborn child, resulting in birth defects.

Iraqi doctors reported significant increases in birth defects and childhood cancers after the 1991 invasion.

Iraqi authorities “found that uranium, which affected the blood cells, had a serious impact on health: The number of cases of leukemia had increased considerably, as had the incidence of fetal deformities,” the U.N. reported.

Depleted uranium can also contaminate soil and water, and coat buildings with radioactive dust, which can by carried by wind and sandstorms.

Oh, well good thing there are no sandstorms in Iraq–…. uh, wait a minute. There are! In fact it’s a fucking desert!

Man, don’t you ever get tired of them lying to us? The neocons pretend to love the soldiers soooo much, but when you turn around and look at how they treat them you see that that can hardly be the case. They love having soldiers at their command. They love using soldiers to conquer their enemies. But do they just love soldiers? Clearly, the answer is “no.”

About 30 percent of the 700,000 men and women who served in the first Gulf War still suffer a baffling array of symptoms very similar to those reported by Reed’s unit.

Depleted uranium has long been suspected as a possible contributor to Gulf War Syndrome, and in the mid-90s, veterans helped push the military into tracking soldiers exposed to it.

But for all their efforts, what they got in the end was a questionnaire dispensed to homeward-bound soldiers asking about mental health, nightmares, losing control, exposure to dangerous and radioactive chemicals.

But, the veterans persisted, how would soldiers know they’d been exposed? Radiation is invisible, tasteless, and has no smell. And what exhausted, homesick, war-addled soldier would check a box that would only send him or her to a military medical center to be poked and prodded and questioned and tested?

It will take years to determine how depleted uranium affected soldiers from this war. After Vietnam, veterans, in numbers that grew with the passage of time, complained of joint aches, night sweats, bloody feces, migraine headaches, unexplained rashes and violent behavior; some developed cancers.

It took more than 25 years for the Pentagon to acknowledge that Agent Orange – a corrosive defoliant used to melt the jungles of Vietnam and flush out the enemy – was linked to those sufferings.

When the Pentagon’s track record is this great, how could I possibly question their motives or their truthfulness?! [/sarcasm]

It almost seems as if the Pentagon wants to have an Agent Orange-type chemical/munition in order to increase the suffering of their own. Hopefully they’re not that sick in the head, but I think there is a case to be made for not using a munition on your enemy if there’s a good chance that your own forces will be contaminated simply by being in the neighborhood. The military puts a lot of money into training and outfitting these soldiers; it seems reckless and stupid to treat them so poorly.

The Pentagon is like the kid who treats his toys like shit and then complains to Congress/mommy that he needs more money to buy more so he can treat those like shit, too. Let’s hope, for the sake of all those soldiers suffering from DU-related ailments, that Congress doesn’t bend over backwards for the little brat. But it always does.

Truce in the Mideast!

About time. You see what you can do when you actually try to accomplish something? I feel awful for all those poor civilians and soldiers who died with Bush and the neocons dithered.

Now that the fighting is (hopefully) winding down, we can start looking at the systemic causes.

This is a major victory for peace-loving people, and a major defeat for the war machine. Somehow, I doubt the war machine will take this lying down. They will make sure tempers flare again — soon. We’re still gearing up for Iran, after all.

It’s only a matter of time.

And that’s about the best thing I can say about him.

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the alleged plans to bring down 11 or 12 airplanes flying from Britain to the U.S., using liquid explosives. Well, I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it. I’m a cynical bastard, perhaps, but I think this whole story is full of shit. It stinks to high heaven.

Cheney, meanwhile, is standing up for his buddy, Joe “Loser” Lieberman. This is what he had to say, shortly after learning of the supposed terror attack plans:

Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday that one thing he found disturbing about the defeat of Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary on Tuesday was that “our adversaries in this conflict, the al Qaeda types, clearly are betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people.” (Cheney made the comments after he was briefed on the suspected terror plot, according to a senior administration official.)

What the fuck is he talking about? Did he just basically call the voters who chose Ned Lamont “al Qaeda types”? Or is he saying that “Lamont is the al Qeada candidate“? Either way, that’s basically slander. Not to mention stupid.

I don’t know if Cheney is aware that 60% of Americans polled recently said that we should begin troop withdrawals by the end of the year, but that the type of thing he should be aware of. So are 60% of Americans traitors? According to Cheney, yes.

You know, the neocons are always very quick to accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being a traitor. But we have a saying where I come from that goes, “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.” Referring to farting, of course (this isn’t the fucking NY Times). And I think that, crude as it is, it’s often very correct. It is the neocons who are the traitors.

We are engaged in a war for the very soul of our great nation. These are dangerous times, and if we don’t choose our fate wisely we will end up being ruled by a small cadre of psychotic fascists who use terror to achieve their political and financial goals. The neocons are evil, and somehow they’ve taken over our country. We have to get it back.

This story is but one small example of the lengths that the neocons will go to in order to hold onto their ill-gotten power. They will slander over half the nation, imply that anyone who disagrees with them is a “far-left extremist traitor” and cynically exploit terror threats to usurp more federal power.

We would not be in this situation if the media was doing it’s job. This blog probably would not exist if the media was reliable and aggressive in its pursuit of truth. But it’s not. The mainstream media has failed us again and again. They are failing us again today by not questioning the government’s claims more aggressively.

Don’t believe everything the government says. The government is utterly controlled by the evil neocons. It’s time people wake up to that fact and vote accordingly.