Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday (12/20): Reports from Greece

By dim
20 Dec, 2008

Today it's two weeks since the murder of Alexis and the beginning of the revolt. It is also day of international solidarity and global day against the police and state terrorism. Here are the major protests and events of the day in Greece.
In Athens there was a big number of protests, gathering and demonstrations taking place in neighborhoods: Gizi, Halandri, Nea Smirni, Petralona, Peristeri, Virona, Haidari. Mprahami.
Photos from Gizi: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=951604#951731
Photos from Petralona: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=951679
Protests also happened at the Sintagma square: In the afternoon there was a freeze flash mob, where 150 people “froze” for about 10minutes and left thousand of passersby starring! The event stopped when the riot cops started pushing people around to make them stop (or should I stay start)! Afterwards, 100 or so people moved to the big christmas tree in the square and started “decorating” in with garbage, the riot squads moved in again and deployed around the tree to protect it (as they have been doing for the past days, since the new tree was put there) and sprayed tear gas to the protesters. That didn't stop the people, which started throwing bags full of garbage at the tree and the cops. The cops started shoving people away and detained some protesters. After some time and while the riot cops didn't move away from the tree, the people there started... dancing around the tree, mocking the cops which were standing there in full riot gear, surrounded by garbage, protecting the fake tree!
Photos: http://troktiko.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_4464.html
http://troktiko.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_6204.html
Video: http://troktiko.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_7509.html (ignore the comments)
another video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8K0geihkQ8
There was also an anti-racist demonstration against the European Union's laws on immigration and deportation of immigrants.
In the afternoon a group of anarchists attacked with petrol bombs the offices of a banking system company. Along with the offices, two cars were burned.
At 9pm, there was a gathering at the exact place that Alexis was shot, 2 weeks ago. Thousands of people attended. A group of some hundreds of protesters decided to demonstrate and moved towards the occupied Polytechnic University. The presence of the riot cops was provocative and soon some squads were attacked and extended fights broke around the University and the Exarchia square. The protesters made barricades and set them on fire, burned a car and threw molotov coctails and rocks to the cops. The cops fired chemicals and tear gas, threw rocks back and attacked the protesters, making arrests. The fights lasted until well after midnight.
Three radio stations were occupied during the day and communiques were read.

In Thessaloniki, a big cultural space was occupied in the center of the city. When the city's mayor was spotted nearby at a municipal Christmas celebration party, he was attacked by protesters who threw a box of pastries and plastic bottles of water against him while shouting slogans. A radio station in the city was occupied. There was also a gathering called by anarchists.
Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=951440
Video: http://antiblogthess.blogspot.com/2008/12/blog-post_20.html

In the rest of the country, gatherings, demonstrations or acts of solidarity took place in Agrinio, Larisa, Naxos and Edessa.
In Ioannina the municipal radio station was occupied for 30 minutes and afterwards there was a gathering in the city center. A different christmas tree was put up by the protesters, decorated with photos of the protests.
Photos: http://athens.indymedia.org/front.php3?lang=el&article_id=951866

In the small hours of Saturday, police cars were attacked and burned in Athens and Kavala.

A new video was released today, clearly showing cops dressed up like protesters and wearing motorcycle helmets, holding sticks and rocks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvyvUrKRDRQ


~ San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center ~

From Athens to Avenue A

Wild Night in NYC: Solidarity with Greece and Student Occupiers

From Athens to Avenue A: A group of 40-50 individuals assembled shortly after 9pm in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan's Lower East Side last night. Carrying banners they took to the streets marching north on Avenue A., the site of the well known tompkins square park riots of 1989. The group began chanting anti police slogans, as well as anti-capitalist chants. Fliers were handed out talking about the Greek revolt as well as problems here like police brutality, the economic crisis and gentrification.


As the crowd made its way west construction materials and newspaper boxes were dragged into the streets making blockades. At this point Anarchist grafitti was painted on the walls and a yuppie condo was defaced. Allegedly a couple of luxury cars had their windows broken. Marchers chanted "From New York to Greece, Fuck the Police"

As the march took over the 4 lanes of 3rd Ave, police moved in attacking the march. The crowd scattered and 1 person was arrested.
The others fled into the night regrouping at the New School occupation shortly after....

From Athens to Avenue A:

A group of 40-50 individuals assembled shortly after 9pm in Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan's Lower East Side last night. Carrying banners they took to the streets marching north on Avenue A., the site of the well known tompkins square park riots of 1989. The group began chanting anti police slogans, as well as anti-capitalist chants. Fliers were handed out talking about the Greek revolt as well as problems here like police brutality, the economic crisis and gentrification.

As the crowd made its way west construction materials and newspaper boxes were dragged into the streets making blockades. At this point Anarchist grafitti was painted on the walls and a yuppie condo was defaced. Allegedly a couple of luxury cars had their windows broken. Marchers chanted "From New York to Greece, Fuck the Police"

As the march took over the 4 lanes of 3rd Ave, police moved in attacking the march. The crowd scattered and 1 person was arrested. The others fled into the night regrouping at the New School occupation shortly after....

"New School for Social Revolution"

The New School building at 65 5th ave had been occupied by students on Wednesday night. On thursday morning they expanded their occupation after repelling an attack by the NYPD. One member of APOC NYC was arrested in these scuffles, but was released later that night.

At night hundreds of supporters lined the streets in front of the building, chanting in support. The crowed swelled and spilling out onto 5th avenue. As the NYPD brought in metal protest pens in an attempt to control the growing crowds, a shoving match broke out and people poured onto 5th avenue blocking the street completely. Trash and newspaper boxes were thrown into the street with the crowd chanting "From New York to Greece, Fuck the Police!"

The crowd then surged around the corner to an emergency exit which was held open as dozens of supporters and students ran inside to join the occupation.

An hour later Bob Kerrey, the much hated president of the New School, was booed as he left the building after trying to negotiate demands, he was chased down fifth avenue surrounded by security as people chanted "Kerrey Scum Your Time Has Come" and tomatoes were thrown at him. He was followed as he ran to his posh townhouse around the corner at 21 West 11th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue where police were forced to come to his aid. There was a feeling of victory as crowds continued into the night.

Unfortunately late in the night the more liberal, and bureaucratic elements among the occupiers prevailed to end the occupation after winning a few paltry demands (including compensation for school security guards guarding the occupation!). Kerrey is still president even though for a few moments he had to run for his life from enraged students.

More happened in NYC last night than has gone on for a while in this city. The march from Tompkins Square Park was called explicitly in solidarity with greece and the occupations and rioting in Greece was cited as a motivation for many of the more 'radical' students to occupy the New School. It feels like things are changing here in NYC, our collective fear is being shed like dead skin as we realize that our lives depend on using every chance we get to fight for our liberation. More is sure to come in the months that follow.

As the New School occupiers stated: "Be assured, this is only the beginning, "

To the coming insurrection, from Athens to New York City!

~ Infoshop News ~

'Greek Syndrome' is catching as youth take to streets

Europe exists, it appears. If Greek students sneeze, or catch a whiff of tear-gas, young people take to the streets in France and now Sweden. Yesterday, masked youths threw two firebombs at the French Institute in Athens. Windows were smashed but the building was not seriously damaged. Then youths spray-painted two slogans on the building. One said, "Spark in Athens. Fire in Paris. Insurrection is coming". The other read, "France, Greece, uprising everywhere".

It was a calculated and violent attempt to link disparate youth protest movements. Links between protests in Greece and France – and, to a lesser degree, unrest in Sweden – may seem tenuous, even non-existent. But social and political ailments and their symptoms transmit as rapidly as influenza in the television, internet and text-message age.

With Europe, and the world, pitching headlong into a deep recession, the "Greek Syndrome", as one French official calls it, was already being monitored with great care across the European Union. The attempt to politicise and link the disputes across EU frontiers may prove to be a random act of self-dramatisation by an isolated group on the Greek far left. But it does draw attention to the similarities – and many differences – between the simultaneous outbreaks of unrest in three EU countries.

Thousands of young Greeks have been rioting on and off for almost two weeks. They are protesting against the chaotic, and often corrupt, social and political system of a country still torn between European "modernity" and a muddled Balkan past. They can be said, in that sense, to be truly revolting.

~ more... ~

Modesto: Solidarity Statement for Dec 20th Solidarity Demonstration

Contributed by: Anonymous
20 Dec, 2008

The actions of the Greek youth and working class inspire us. Since the police shooting of a young anarchist, people have fought the police in the streets for over two weeks now. They have occupied their schools and workplaces setting up general assemblies, made transportation and various goods free in some areas, and workers have even taken over their union halls in opposition to bureaucratic Leftist control over their struggles. The revolt is also spreading. People across Europe are taking to the streets in opposition to a failing capitalist system based on debt, exploitation, racism, foreclosure, and environmental degradation. In New York, students have occupied their local university in solidarity with the Greek revolt. Actions and attacks on Greek embassies have also been carried out across the world, as well as solidarity demonstrations, flyering, and banner drops.

This text was prepared in flyer form for a solidarity demonstration with our Greek comrades in Modesto California.

---

From Greece to Modesto

Fight Poverty and Repression for Working Class Power

Today we stand in solidarity with the ongoing revolutionary movement in Greece.

The actions of the Greek youth and working class inspire us. Since the police shooting of a young anarchist, people have fought the police in the streets for over two weeks now. They have occupied their schools and workplaces setting up general assemblies, made transportation and various goods free in some areas, and workers have even taken over their union halls in opposition to bureaucratic Leftist control over their struggles. The revolt is also spreading. People across Europe are taking to the streets in opposition to a failing capitalist system based on debt, exploitation, racism, foreclosure, and environmental degradation. In New York, students have occupied their local university in solidarity with the Greek revolt. Actions and attacks on Greek embassies have also been carried out across the world, as well as solidarity demonstrations, flyering, and banner drops.

In the Central Valley, we are facing the brunt of lay offs, recession, home evictions by banks and capitalists, ICE raids and attacks on immigrants, and unemployment. We are also facing an ongoing onslaught of police brutality by local police departments as cops kill, taze, and beat us without mercy.

Our comrades in Greece have made the choice between unending exploitation and revolution. It is time we do the same!

Solidarity with the Greek Insurrection!

All Power to the Working Class!

Solidarity among all rebels!

Produced by Modesto Anarcho Crew
www.myspace.com/modanarcho - anarcho209@yahoo.com
More info: news.infoshop.org

~ Infoshop News ~

Could the Greek revolt ignite all of Europe?

The Greeks are not calming down. On the contrary - the leftist radicals unfurled a banner across the Acropolis calling for European-wide action on Wednesday. Is a new '68 on its way?

The message was written in four languages: Greek, English, Italian and German. "Resistance" on one banner, and "18/12, demonstration in all Europe" on another. Judged "inexcusable" by the government, it took the Greek police two hours to remove the banners. But will the call for action succeed? Supporters from around Europe tell us what they think.

~ more... ~

Thoughts on Greek Revolt

By Comm.Alexis
21 Dec, 2008

A few days ago the well known for his obscurantist-dark age-political ideas high priest Anthimos, from the politically conservative north Greece, stated that the riots in Greek cities are instructed from some sites on internet as well as foreign agents and encouraged the politicians to receive communion in church. It's obvious that the priest is adopting the Communist's Party (KKE) general point of view about agents provocateuts that use their hoods in the riots to cover their identity cause they are basically undercover policemen. KKE is also calling people to receive communion of their stalinist point of view of revolutionarism, in their army-like demonstartions, pent into their well guarded blocks. What is not obvious is that a word of the priest (''site'') was like the ricochet of the bullet that killed Alexis (police said), and hitted right on the target of the problem of contemporary information.

For some years now the Internet gains more and more influence as a means of information and this makes the statement of Liana Kanelli, (KKE member of parliament) paleolithic and naive when she said that the fact that the short amount of time that was needed, after the murder of Alexis, for people all over the country to gather and start rioting, is a proof that the agents have a network that brings them to contact and makes them dangerous. Concerning this aphorism, this specific collective paranoia of the Communist Party members is well known for decades. The word paranoia is important cause it is a construction that has a functional role for the preservation of the Party. As for the nework of the so called ''provocators'' it's well known also and it is called Internet and Mobile Telephones Network.

So, the use of the internet for the outspread of information, in the beginning used as a way of counter-information, gradually becomes more influential especially between young people. A source of more genuine and uncensored source of updating on crucial matters. This, by definition puts the people on a more active position towards the medium, in relation to the passive and boulimic relation with television. These days in Greece you could understand the panic of most of tv star-journalists. One of them, tearing his clothes against violence on the news windows, was throwing bottles to the referees in a basketball court few time ago, without receiving bullets back from police (one of the friends of the murdered boy threw a plastic bottle of water to the cops). They feel that if the system collapses, the domino effect will carry them down and they ll be the first on the line since their job is to perpetuate the dominant ideology.

On the present moment, during the days of the biggest riots in Greece in peaceful times, pacifists are shocked and the conditions cry out for a big opportunity for a change. The rioters having inherited nothing but a half dead planet and a big bet to save it from destruction, turn their heads away and choose not to hit it on the same wall that their fathers have hitted. They choose to express their anger hitting the walls, the glasses and the steel that their ancestors have raised above the value of human life. These days the riot is transformed to a lively situation of people in neighborhoods squatting governments buildings in the outskirts doing local people's political assemblies with hundrends of people expressing themselves away from the media and organizing big demonstrations and imaginative political activist events all over the country.

Agitation and social disorder are not uncommon fot this country. Greek history is full of divisions and splitting is one of its main characteristics..Athenians and Spartans, Communists and Nationalists, Karamanlis and Papandreou politicl dynasties for more than five decades now..In between the 1821 Greek revolution against Ottomans, there was a civil war for the lead of the struggle, leading important revolutionaries in prison. Moreover, the 1944-'49 civil war between Communists and Nationalists with so many dead people from both sides leading to 40 years of fascist right wing and dictatorial governing of the country. And of course the endless discissions of the Lefts that seem like they had been the source of inspiration for the Monty Python film 'Life of Bryan'..

Greeks, having lived difficult moments of political barbarism, being the only european country to which there was inflicted a Latin-American type of Junta (the 1967-1974 military dictatorship) usually assert a distinctiveness on their reactions against people or politics that they feel are oppressive. However, the so called progreesive political forces of the country are charaterised by a broad defeatism. The massive character of this rioting hasn't been met during the Junta. The gentlefolks were watching football at home, fearful but safe, and the communists chose to fill up the ships leading to exile islands and rocks of the Aegean sea. It hasn't been met even on the days of the students' revolt and the occupation of the Polytechnic and the Law School. Again then, there were widespread rumours about agents provocateurs in the occupied universities. Something similar to this unenthusiastic left reaction was met in 1944, when the pulled back nazis where succeeded by the English, but during the in-between time, the communists of the great guerilla fight, having the consent of the people, denied to grab the power that was falling into their hands. The civil war that followed was destructive and it kept greeks divided for decades.

So it seems like greeks have a communal gene that leads them to be disobedient because of these social experience of centuries, and also to have strong social reflexes. And maybe the ''apolitical'' students show the way and react to the things that the rest bend their heads and give theit votes to. This time it seems things have gone too far. Another murder from the state. This time cold blooded, in an unrepeatable way. After everyday murders of refugees that are assaulted systematically from the police, the Pakistans that were kidnapped from intelligence, the brutal beating of a student in front of a camera last year by under cover policemen, that blamed the iron jardiniere for the wounds of the student, the violence and shootings of police in the streets against citizens, the violence of poverty and unemployment that many are living, etc..

This violent reaction of people is rather a slap that warns for more massive reactions, with the economic crisis at hand, as they say. The crocodile tears of hypocrite journalists for the poor shop glasses that broke and the banks that burned are only deceitful. Especially when the president of the syndicalist union of merchands clearly stated that during the times after a boy's murder and a riot that outbroke, we cant speak about shops and glasses..It is clear that the critisicm on the destructions carries away the focus from the reasons of the riot to the sensitive reflexes of the Homo Consumer. Noted that all the shops were compensated for the loses, when for example someone that stays in prison for months or years for an unfair reason is compensated with sympathy and apologies. (by the way thousands of prisoners few days before the events were on hunger strike for days). But we cant hear with sympathy the young girl that lost her cabrio lux car in flames and the journalist tearing his clothes for the girl that works in three jobs so she buys this car, instead of saying her that her choice smells a bit of vanity.

And when all this happens that night of the 6th of December, the Minister of Education was in a night club of the worse kind (doghouses are called in greek). And the problem was the special character of that night and noone said that it should have been out of the question for the Minister of Education to go to a doghouse and showing by this way the lead to the road of garbage aesthetic of their dominant subculture. As for the rest, they are shocked with the attempt of setting fire to the library of law school and the museum. As if they have ever done anything else but using them in the only heavy industry of Greece, tourism, instead of raising them to a high position of social cultural values. The libraries are cobwebbed as our minds are from television and the museums are cold and uninspired for most. There goes the attributive adjective “museum-like” (μουσειακός) in greek, meaning conservative and old fashioned. So enough with the hypocricy.

As for the violence of these days, it is certain that the asylum regime of universities that has its roots in the dictatorship (a tank smashed the door of the Polytechnic in 17 November 1973 killing 23 students) is a regime that helps the riots diachronically. Near the street where Alexis Grigoropoulos was shot (in the heart of the autonomous district of Exarchia, where police cant go but only move on the borders of it, and actually a very safe area despite the absence of police) is the Polytechnic and the Law School and 200 meters away is the Economics University. Last year the government started a debate about the abolition of the asylum status, aiming to deprive the libertarian youth from their hiding place. On this moment the people fighting have put a political stamp on their fight. The labels 'hoodies' and 'known-unknown' (implying the agents scenario) seem rediculous now in front of the massive character of the events. Let s not forget the effort of the State to deprive the arrested members of the political terrorist organization 17 November from all ideological political background and make them appear like common criminals of the penal law. And i m not the only one that has heared people around saying chaffingly “17 November is what they need..”. This shows clearly that in the imaginative sphere of people's minds there is a strong counter violence common phantasy. The difference is that now, for some hypocrite journalists the reaction is justified..As if there hadnt been reasons for revolt in the past.

The core of the change that people ask is above all political, but it is also aesthetical and ethical. It is about the awakening of the people that will send to their homes or to prison the decadent repsesentatives of the post-dictatorial political hegemony that is drawning into a sea of scandals. The short period of the Stock Market felicity, when half greeks gave their money for buying luxury cars, was suceeded by the lowering of the greeks' purchase power, especially after the imposition of Euro, when prices were double in a night. In a country where financial speculation is the national sport and half population tries to take advantage of the other half, a country where hundrends of thousands of people are trapped in Bank Loan contracts, without having a way out. (There are banks that confiscated houses for 3000euro debts) In this situation youngsters come to symbolize with their counter-violence the so-desirable end of the society of provocative richness of the few and the false felicity and to offer to all with open hands a great chance for a consciousness awakening.

An ancient greek historian Herodotos said that violence is the midwife of history and people with their fight impregnate the change that must be backed, so the political system is moved ethically and politically or be destroyed and built from the beginning. In Europe two times the word revolution was heared after 1917. The one was velvet, the other was orange. It s early to speak about something like this, and maybe nothing will change, but maybe a seed is planted and hope comes through the smoking streets of Athens and other cities. One year ago the first Biennale of Athens was titled “Destroy Athens”. The rioters identified with the symbolism of the exhibition and took this symbolism further. As for the conservative dark age part of the country that will always be there, they should think these days that Jesus is born again that when Jesus grew up and saw the mess outside the temple, he took a stick and broke down the place claiming that he can smash the temple down and built it in 3 days. How Jesuits were shocked from the blasphemy..The symbolism of counter-violence act is more powerful than ever and as long as we dont have our own May 1968 to remember in a melancholic romantism after some years, someone must dare to break down the modern Babel tower and its constructions (Corrupted Governments, International Monetary Fund, World Trade System, World system of Distribution of Food, etc) in order to built from the beginning a new costruction having as basic materials Social Solidarity, Social Justice and a fair distribution of the planet's sources and commodities.

FREEDOM TO THE IMPRISONED RIOTERS OF DECEMBER

~ UK Indymedia ~

Taleban blow up British Christmas turkeys

The Taleban have scored a festive blow against British troops in Afghanistan by blowing up a supply lorry packed with Christmas turkeys.

In the latest in a string of attacks on convoys heading for troops through Pakistani tribal areas, a consignment of frozen birds weighing 325kg was destroyed by a roadside explosion.

The turkey breasts were intended for troops stationed at Camp Bastion, Britain's main base in Helmand, where up to 3,000 soldiers will spend the festive season.

However, the Christmas dinner will still be going ahead after the Ministry of Defence flew out replacement birds.

~ more... ~

Secret nuclear sell-off storm

Aldermaston bomb factory is sold to American company in bid to boost Treasury coffers provoking fury as Parliament is bypassed

Britain no longer has any stake in the production of its nuclear warheads after the Government secretly sold off its shares in the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston.

Ministers agreed to sell the remaining one-third ownership to a Californian engineering company. The announcement, which means that Americans will now produce and maintain Britain's independent nuclear deterrent, was slipped out on the eve of the parliamentary Christmas holiday. Officials refused to say how much the deal raised.

Opposition MPs last night expressed concern that the stake may have been sold off below market value to raise much-needed money for the Treasury. They accused the Government of trying to conceal the sale of the stake in AWE Management Limited by failing to make an announcement in Parliament.

There was also anger that Britain would no longer directly control the site where Britain's nuclear warheads are produced and maintained.

A terse one-paragraph statement posted on the website of the state-owned nuclear firm BNFL confirmed that its one-third stake in the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) had been sold to the California-based Jacobs Engineering Group, a global engineering firm which already carries out work for the nuclear weapons and research establishment in Berkshire.

Yesterday, the MoD insisted that it had retained a "special share" in the establishment which allows it to intervene in the site or sack the operators if necessary. A spokesman said the deal would protect the independence of the nuclear deterrent and ensure Britain's strategic interests were maintained.

~ more... ~

The Pentagon is muscling in everywhere. It's time to stop the mission creep.

We no longer have a civilian-led government. It is hard for a lifelong Republican and son of a retired Air Force colonel to say this, but the most unnerving legacy of the Bush administration is the encroachment of the Department of Defense into a striking number of aspects of civilian government. Our Constitution is at risk.

President-elect Barack Obama's selections of James L. Jones, a retired four-star Marine general, to be his national security adviser and, it appears, retired Navy Adm. Dennis C. Blair to be his director of national intelligence present the incoming administration with an important opportunity -- and a major risk. These appointments could pave the way for these respected military officers to reverse the current trend of Pentagon encroachment upon civilian government functions, or they could complete the silent military coup d'etat that has been steadily gaining ground below the radar screen of most Americans and the media.

While serving the State Department in several senior capacities over the past four years, I witnessed firsthand the quiet, de facto military takeover of much of the U.S. government. The first assault on civilian government occurred in faraway places -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- and was, in theory, justified by the exigencies of war.

The White House, which basically let the Defense Department call the budgetary shots, vastly underfunded efforts by the State Department, the Justice Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to train civilian police forces, build functioning judicial systems and provide basic development services to those war-torn countries. For example, after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Justice Department and the State Department said that they needed at least 6,000 police trainers in the country. Pentagon officials told some of my former staffers that they doubted so many would be needed. The civilians' recommendation "was quickly reduced to 1,500 [trainers] by powers-that-be above our pay grade," Gerald F. Burke, a retired major in the Massachusetts State Police who trained Iraqi cops from 2003 to 2006, told Congress last April. Just a few hundred trainers ultimately wound up being fielded, according to Burke's testimony.

Until this year, the State Department received an average of about $40 million a year for rule-of-law programs in Afghanistan, according to the department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs -- in stark contrast to the billions that the Pentagon got to train the Afghan army. Under then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the Defense Department failed to provide even basic security for the meager force of civilian police mentors, rule-of-law advisers and aid workers from other U.S. agencies operating in Afghanistan and Iraq, driving policymakers to turn to such contracting firms as Blackwater Worldwide. After having set the rest of the U.S. government up for failure, military authorities then declared that the other agencies' unsuccessful police-training efforts required military leadership and took them over -- after brutal interagency battles at the White House.

The result of letting the Pentagon take such thorough charge of the programs to create local police forces is that these units, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, have been unnecessarily militarized -- producing police officers who look more like militia members than ordinary beat cops. These forces now risk becoming paramilitary groups, well armed with U.S. equipment, that could run roughshod over Iraq and Afghanistan's nascent democracies once we leave.

~ more... ~

War College warns military must prep for unrest

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.

State and local police in Arizona say they have broad plans to deal with social unrest, including trouble resulting from economic distress. The security and police agencies declined to give specifics, but said they would employ existing and generalized emergency responses to civil unrest that arises for any reason.

~ more... ~

War Made Easy



War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.


Official site: warmadeeasythemovie.org

Oil interests behind anti-piracy campaign in Africa

Piracy off the coast of Somalia has become an international problem. The UN Security Council, the EU, NATO, US and other countries are looking for a proper solution.

Analysts and experts are trying to find out what caused a new outbreak of piracy at sea, a phenomenon more typical for the 16-18th centuries rather than present days. Mr. Alexander Tkachenko, the Chairman of the Centre for North African and African Horn Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, sees the roots of the problem in Somalia`s political and economical situation:

The people of Somalia have been living in chaos for 20 years already. Nothing there could remind of a centralized state. The people suffer from poor living conditions and earn money for life as they can. Piracy is one of the “exotic” businesses.

The problem can also be viewed from another angle, although this aspect is being hushed up deliberately. The first signs of chaos were seen in Somalia in 1990s after some oil deposits were discovered there. Big oil was also found in Sudan and Ethiopia. Experts say the African Horn is one of the most promising regions in terms of oil production. After the failure of the US Iraqi campaign, the West has been displaying a growing interest in Africa. It is not a secret any longer that the invasion of Iraq was driven by the US oil interests there.

Some western companies have already launched the development of energy resources in Ethiopia, with Sudan, Somalia and other regions standing next in the line. Oil in Eastern Africa is of high quality, and its production and transportation do not requite huge investments. The US and Europe are discussing already the construction of the pipelines towards the Atlantics and the Indian Ocean. The West hopes that the development of the region`s energy resources will cause further drop in world oil prices and will undermine the economies of the exporting countries.

To succeed, the West has to seize control over the African Horn, and the easiest way is to use the growing instability and outbreak of piracy as a pretext to increase its presence in the region. NATO ships and the contingents form US and EU are arriving in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean allegedly to protect trade and passenger vessels from piracy attacks, but their presence has not changed anything though. Their ships are too big to hunt small pirate boats. Actually, their aim is to increase presence in this strategically important region, while the Somali pirates are just pawns in the game invented overseas.

~ Voice of Russia ~

Army mobilizing huge force to protect inaugural

The US military plans to mobilize thousands of troops to protect Washington against potential terrorist attack during the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama, a senior US military commander said Wednesday.

They will fly combat air patrols and man air defenses, organize large scale medical support, and help local law enforcement provide security in the capital, said General Gene Renuart, head of the US Northern Command.

"(It's) not because we see a specific threat, but because for an event this visible, this important and this historic, we ought to be prepared to respond if something does happen," he told reporters.

Renuart said some 7,500 active duty troops and 4,000 national guard troops will take part in the operations in support of the inauguration of the 44th US president on January 20.

Overall responsibility for security during the inauguration falls to the Secret Service.

But Renuart's command, which is co-located with NORAD, is responsible for preparing for any contingency.

Some troops will march in parades, serve in honor guards or perform other ceremonial duties, he said.

But most of the national guard troops will back up local law enforcement, while active duty forces will provide specialized capabilities, according to the general.

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Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix interview on Al-Jazeera

"It was a forgery." -- Hans Blix

Weapons of mass destruction or WMD - three words that took on such importance and became one of the ostensible reasons for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by US and allied troops.

Despite Saddam Hussein's eventual agreement to allow UN weapons inspectors into the country, the US and Britain accused Iraq of deceiving the world about its WMD plans.

Many observers claim that the decision to go to war had already been made and that intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was skewed to justify the war. Others felt Saddam was to blame for the invasion, deliberately being vague and elusive on any WMD programmes in order to keep the world guessing about his true strength.

One of the key figures at the heart of the WMD issue in the run-up to the war was Hans Blix who, as chief of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, was responsible for judging Iraq's true level of threat.

Inside Iraq confronts him on some critical issues such as the legality of the war, the haste in launching it, verification of intelligence and the lessons learned to avert a similar war in the future.

And, in light of the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear power programme, we look at whether the issue of WMD might again form the basis for further military adventurism in the region.

Part 1


Watch Part 2

'So this really looks to be to be furthermore an inside job'

From: Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School on Risk Management

Question: My name's Zack. I'm a senior. I'm wondering, could you comment on the U.S.A. Patriot Act and how you understand that within the risk management framework.

Secretary Chertoff: That -- that's one of the great misunderstood Acts of all time. The Patriot Act, notwithstanding its name, is pretty modest and it's actually in this way a very good risk management tool.

The insight didn't take a long time to come to it after 9/11 as the best way to drive down risk with respect to terrorism was more information about people. If I had to guess on the population, you know, of millions of people coming to the U.S. who's dangerous, I could either search everybody, which would be astronomically expensive and inconvenient, I could do it randomly which would give me no better than a random chance of identifying somebody, or I could let everybody come in without looking at them in which case I would face really the question of do I fill up because I have no way to stop a bad person from coming in, but if I get more information about each of these people, you know, something about their travel pattern, something about their passport, something about where they have, for example, communicated, if I can take intelligence data from a lot of different agencies and combine it to get a better picture of what are potentially dangerous people, now I can look at that pool of people and I can say, well, I have information that here are people where there's reason to believe they may be a higher than average risk and I can focus on that.

What the Patriot Act mainly did was say we have a whole series of legally separated databases and intelligence agencies who are forbidden to talk to each other. They can't connect the dots. If we tear down walls and we let them connect the dots, we're going to have a better idea of the total amount of information available about people who are dangerous and that's going to enable us to focus more specifically on people who are dangerous. And that's going to be a way to reduce the risk and it's actually a fairly low-cost way to reduce risk because it frees a lot of people from any scrutiny and focuses certainly on people who are, because of some connection that they have, likely to be in a higher-risk group.

Question: Nick, sociology major. On the issue of internal security, in the wake of the 2001 anthrax attacks which were initially pinned on al-Qaeda, until a few months afterwards it became evident that it was not an al-Qaeda attack but rather some sort of internal security breach because the particular strain of anthrax that was used was one of 118 strains, one of which that came out of Fort Detrick, Maryland, the Department of Defense program in the 1980s, Project Jefferson had developed, it was essentially a derivation of a military grade weapon, and then they tried to put it on to Steven Hatfield, one of the engineers or the technicians out at the department but he was later exonerated and he won a $5 million settlement. Then more recently we had Bruce Ivins, who was pinned as the perpetrator and he conveniently committed suicide, the real issue here -- the real issue is he wouldn't have been able to create this weaponized grade of an anthrax because he needed a static charge and a machine with infrared capabilities that was well outside of his purview.

So this really looks to be to be furthermore an inside job, but the question is who particularly is involved, and we know from 1962 and Operation Northwoods that criminal elements in the U.S. Government have planned and staged terrorist attacks as a way of justifying political agendas and furthering whatever aims they have.

So the question is -- the question is what -- what has the Department of Homeland Security done to further investigate this issue?

Secretary Chertoff: Well, first let me say that it is incorrect to say that -- I don't know that anybody seriously thought that al-Qaeda might have been responsible. I don't think anybody officially ever asserted that.

The FBI has done a very comprehensive review of this. Now that's -- you know, the risk that the government, based on a 1962 program, launched an anthrax attack, it was put in the basic non-existent risk category and that's actually a great example -- if that's the kind of risk we worry about, then we're moving away from the real risks into the realm of imaginary risks because that's not the risks.

Say whatever you want, but no throwing shoes

A transit rider protesting moves to slash service and raise fares was dragged out of a public meeting by police officers who feared he was about to imitate the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush.

The rider, Stephen A. Millies, was one of about two dozen people who addressed the authority's board at the start of a meeting called to approve an austerity budget on Wednesday.

“We don't need any fare increases and we don't need our transit system ravaged either,” said Mr. Millies, who said he was an Amtrak signal-tower operator and a member of the Bail Out the People Campaign, a group that has stood up for victims of the economic crisis. He called for the subway and bus fare to be reduced to $1, to help unemployed New Yorkers.

Then, referring to the authority's chief executive, who was sitting about 15 feet away, he said: “Where is Elliot Sander?” He stooped, slipped off one of his shoes and shouted, “You made $300,000 last year.”

Immediately, authority police officers swarmed him and pushed him out of the room. He was clutching his shoe, a black, thick-soled oxford, in his hand.

“This shoe is for you,” he shouted as he was hustled out.

He was rushed onto an elevator and moments later was seen being led out of the building in handcuffs — his shoe back on his foot.

The authority said that Mr. Millies, 54, of Jackson Heights, Queens, was given a summons for disorderly conduct and released.

A spokesman for the authority, Jeremy Soffin, said that Mr. Millies was wearing a size 10 ½ shoe made by Red Wing.

~ more... ~

Cheney throws down gauntlet, defies prosecution for war crimes

Dick Cheney has publicly confessed to ordering war crimes. Asked about waterboarding in an ABC News interview, Cheney replied, "I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared." He also said he still believes waterboarding was an appropriate method to use on terrorism suspects. CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed that the agency waterboarded three Al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003.

U.S. courts have long held that waterboarding, where water is poured into someone's nose and mouth until he nearly drowns, constitutes torture. Our federal War Crimes Act defines torture as a war crime punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty if the victim dies.

Under the doctrine of command responsibility, enshrined in U.S. law, commanders all the way up the chain of command to the commander-in-chief can be held liable for war crimes if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them and they did nothing to stop or prevent it.

Why is Cheney so sanguine about admitting he is a war criminal? Because he's confident that either President Bush will preemptively pardon him or President-elect Obama won't prosecute him.

Both of those courses of action would be illegal.

~ more... ~

America The Politics and Culture of Emptiness

by Robert Morpheal

COMMUNITY of emptiness..The concept of community has been radically
diminished across the decades. This is largely the result of American
style religion. Deprival of community tends to be part of the goad
towards kingdom of god spirituality, where secular community is more
forcefully replaced by the church gathering, with its own belief that
real community only becomes possible in a messianic context, and is
not of this world. This is a radical reduction in pressure upon
congregations to create and maintain real and truly functional
communities beyond their being a shadow of a future not yet. In this
world disconnection, loss, and depersonalization, with token charity,
being the rules not so much the exceptions. Congregational community,
as a taste of a future not yet attainable,  is less attractive when
there is a real, functional, secular community that truly meets any of
its members needs and wants. New forms of geographic dislocation, of
nomadism, that skips like a stone across the social and cultural
waters, touching down hardly anywhere and hardly at all, before its
sojourn ends in sinking down. Every such strike against the water is
the same. This brings us to the issue of personal emptiness.

PERSONAL emptiness. The formal, depersonalized, relation takes
increasing precedence over the personal and more intimate. Whether in
congregation or in professionalism, extending to a quasi
professionalism that invades and pervades every other form of human
activity whether money is directly involved or not, personal emptiness
gains ground against personalization. Really knowing anyone becomes
increasingly questionable, redefined in terms of an increasing
superficiality. This decreases the distance between knowing other
persons, as persons, and what any individual can claim to know about
God, as God is defined as being within the system. This trend becomes
progressively worse, increasing the levels of alienation and
depersonalization until there is ultimately no difference between
knowing any individual person, and the idea of knowing God. The main
exception to that becomes the sexual act traditionally defined as
knowing of one's marriage partner, but that knowing also is redefined
in shallower personal terms, ultimately devalued to no more than
sexual intercourse. This is consistent with a concerted attack on the
concept of individual identity. Personal knowing, outside of sexual
intercourse, and particularly between genders in a heterosexual
context, is increasingly put into question as a superficial illusion,
empty of further real meaning. This is tacitly encouraged by the
official encouraging and tolerance for various forms of identity
fraud, made increasingly popular without adequate challenge from
psychology, sociology and psychiatry who are co-opted into the same
game plan to further an ideology of personal emptiness.

ENVIRONMENTAL emptiness comes from the fact that the world's religions
largely stand opposed to any adequate progress on environment and
natural conservation issues. America is a leader in this emptiness,
not simply a pragmatic follower of it. The world's largest religions
see the world in antinomian terms, at best, as only material to be
used, of little or no intrinsic value, and to be discarded in favor of
an other worldliness that stands directly antithetical to belief in
facilitating legitimate enjoyment of this world and nurturing true
caring for it. To the contrary destruction of the environment is a
major catalyst for antinomianist spirituality, right wing religion as
it is often called, and thus a cherished mechanism. That causes most
environmental leadership to be merely a lie, in distinction to what is
seen as the higher religious truth. The science of environmentalism
and conservation being deprecated by that hierarchical ordering
defining what is to be understood as truth and ultimately as
environmental morality and wisdom.
This need to destroy the environment, inclusive of social and natural
environment, as well as both leisure and working environments, in as
many ways as possible, is closely tied to strategic emptiness and the
need for apocalypticism.

STRATEGIC emptiness. It is largely too late to cure many of the
lasting effects of the American led strategy of using its own
religious beliefs in conjunction with technical weaponry of war, as
both justification and means in conflict. Religion was a major
contention in Cold War motivation against the USSR, feeding
potentially world destroying apocalypticism. Apocalytpicism is
religious belief in a to be most desired end of worldly existence by
means of violence.  It claims to be among the highest values. The same
strategy  became a catalyst for pushed against the wall violent
conflict with Islamists who have hardened their own lines in
consequence into a new and equally unreconcilable dialetical
opposition. Both sides now being lockd in deadly irrational struggle.
American spirituality has shown that it requires that type of
dialectic opposition for its own survival, and that without that
strategy, having a fully and completely opposed enemy, in a game of
good and evil it itself becomes spiritually empty of one of its most
fundamental and cherished meanings. Other ideals tend to be
notwithstanding this ultimate value of two ideological extremes in
absolute dialectical, god and satan, pardigmatic opposition.

PSYCHOLOGICAL emptiness. Following environmental and strategic
emptiness, we find that human potential is redefined in terms of a
retrogressive conservative determinism whose will is the destruction
of individual attainment as being purely vanity, and of no real value.
This takes the form of denial of acknowledgment and rewards, of
personal interest in a culture of widely enforced disinterest, even in
the majority of exceptional instances of exceptional strivings and
achievements. The deprecation of the majority of strivings as false
valued vanity, at the same time confers privilege of relatively eased
attainment to a few, tokenizing with the illusion that similar
opportunity is available to anyone. The latter merely the illusion of
potential, obstacled by the belief as to what is seen as a higher
truth.

CULTURAL emptiness. Included in this is the promotion of the trend
that sinks lasting quality of cultural products, in terms of any
universalizable and absolute standards of quality down to a culture of
the lowest common denominators. The desire to make culture emptier,
less attractive, but to retain its mass appeal in terms of statistics
of production and marketing, as a flood of commonness, creates an
emptiness that is far less competitive with the integral rational
emptiness of otherworldy concepts. It is always easier to promote a
materially empty concept, and irrational belief in that concept, when
material culture is itself made increasingly empty and lacking in more
meaningful content, true art, and craftsmanship. We also see the trend
to increasing cultural emptiness in the arts where completely abstract
and hyper realist tendencies are often all that remain, because they
offer no content or context for further interpretation beyond a
superficial, and largely uncommunicative aesthetic. Aesthetic objects
increasingly lose their opportunity, placed in conflict with religion,
and its denial of art having a role in what it sees as a more true and
real system of revelation. Art as illigitimate usurper takes a
beating, relegated to mere kitsch and costly ornamentation at best,
stripped of any deeper and wider signification.

POLITICAL emptiness. This is a peculiar factor, often unthought about.
It has deep roots in the beginnings of American independence.
Overthrow of the British colonial governance parallels the Biblical
paradigm of revolt against the kingdom of God in Heaven. We must
recall that there is a long tradition of divine right of kings in
England and Europe. A tradition making the king second only to God in
command over all the people. Democracy, as governance, is therefore
seen as flawed from the start and guilty of the Satanic crime.
Democracy fallen from grace, and only intermediary to a future kingdom
of God, under number one, God himself, rather than number two, the
mortal king, becomes the assuaging of the original guilt of overthrow
against the king's legitimacy of rule. Democracy, though given a
value, is seen ultimately as evil, not as good, and to be replaced by
messianic rule in a kingdom of God. This places governance in a
peculiarly empty situation, as a temporary condition, that need not
strive for excellence. Excellence comes after that democratic
governance is replaced by the more absolute. This tension tends to
empty governance of a significant part of its efficacy, and to put it
into contention with the specific brand of theism that is constantly
put into struggle against governance's secularism.

Added to this is the idea of “in god we trust” appearing conspicuous
reminder, even on the monetary currency, creating both the delusion
that monetary relations are not given the primacy tht they in fact are
given, and further destroying trust in governance. It puts into
question trust in any other person or persons. It legitimizes distrust
and thus promotes and excuses untrustworthy behavior as the normative
worldly condition. Again stimulating social antinomianism.

COMMUNICATIVE emptiness. The trend is one of increasingly passing over
in silence, most matters of contention. Dissent and disagreement, no
matter how rational and reasoning, scientific or otherwise right, is
discouraged by that fact. So too are many forms of relation between
persons. It leads to the murder of genuine dialogue and to the
slaughter of many forms of progress. One of the ways in which this is
encouraged is to attack communication with its most negative
opposition, destroying its more positive valuation. Silence is golden
tends to become the catch phrase mimicking the right wing
fundamentalist religious position. The failures to teach and explain
positively, arising from this trend to increasing emptiness, are
consistent with a society that is moving away from reason towards an
increasing reliance on what it believes is divine revelation. It is
also a radical deprecating of the role of many forms of positive human
activity and potential cooperation, in favor of an increasingly world
denying antinomianism.

MEDICAL emptiness. Increasingly we see the religious concept that
claims that whomever loves his own life shall lose it, working against
any concepts of universal accessibility, equality, and real true
quality of medical care. For many medicine is increasingly negligent
and palliative rather than life enhancing, but the prevalent religious
belief system offers justification for the failings that then
increasingly pervade much of the provision provided by the system.
Governance again tends to show little interest or intent as to
rectifying an ideology that takes away much of the responsibility and
accountability for provision from both practitioners and from
government. Private enterprise and for profit medicine would have a
difficult justification, as they exist today and as they are tending
to evolve in America, without religion to support their tendencies
towards a medicine of emptiness. Rising costs, and declining options
as to private insurance, add greatly to the trend. Life utterly
impoverished as the cure to illness, is certainly not life deemed
worth cherishing. Instead it is made more empty.

MATERIAL emptiness. While capitalism and concepts of the right of
private ownership conflicted with communism and its distrust and
distaste for private ownership, the religious mentality tends to
attack private ownership while denying the possibility of cooperative
collectivization at the same time. Attacks on owning the means of
production, are becoming as frequent, due to religious argument, as
are attacks against collectivism as being fundamentally anti-
capitalist and therefore an evil undermining of the system. This
extremely complex scenario, with its tendencies to reliance on
emotional irrationalism, is among the most difficult to grapple with.
Ownership of things, and particularly means of production and means
for development of talents and necessary for achievements, in an
essentially positively non cooperative, highly individually
competitive and often extremely divisive social environment, tends to
be surprisingly poorly protected, in spite of the increased necessity
to pursue such means within the entirety of the socio-political and
economic context of the prevalent ideology. However the attacks
against ownership and having the means, particularly against those who
are not particularly well advantaged, tend to be largely religious in
their content and method.

In particular the social welfare systems, long kept utterly inadequate
to truly support any sustaining and real betterment of any others
other than the criminal element, tends to tie itself closely with
religion, ignoring its own extremes of practical failure and is
diminishing and thwarting of human potential. After all, material
emptiness is given positive value, inclusive of welfare's
inadequacies, and the failure of the system as a whole to protect and
safeguard material means for social and practical advancement. Instead
it chooses to put that very same under a multitude of forms of nearly
constant covert manipulative threat and overt attack, usually
providing religious excuses as the sole justification, believing that
is justification for allowing that violence. The inadequacy of the
social welfare system and its persistent tacit forcing of dependency
on itself, by failure to provide more positive means and knowledge,
have a religious basis, not a socially scientific basis.

Religion also encourages failure, in terms of material bankruptcy, in
other ways. Its antinomian, thus anti materialist, strains of belief,
tend to support the loss of means more than they support the
successful application of means and the preservation of material
progress. Many of the traditional practices, unscientific and
irrational as they are, are supported in that direction, without much
real challenge from authority. The lack of questioning of the
religious basis for the use of bankruptcy, and other losses of means,
tends to persist, and even the lowest forms of frauds, confidence
tricksters, and all manner of similarly evil practices, are thus given
a surprising amount of respect and opportunity, due to their being
seen as a natural religious tool, furthering belief in religious
concepts concerning material loss as a legitimate means meant to lead
to a gain in “spirituality”.

SEXUAL emptiness. This tends to prevail in terms of the traditional
concept of the man being the head of the woman, meant to guide her
(due to belief in her essentially evil nature) to the good that only
man truly knows. Oddly this very same belief in total subordination of
the female psyche, under a religious dictate as part of what are seen
as the highest values, leads to many forms of deviation becoming
essentially a homosexual preserve. What is ok for same sex, is
essentially made unavailable to heterosexual relations. Peculiarly
this form of increasing prejudice and manipulation, contrary to
individuality and diversity of expression in heterosexuality, has
stimulated those of bisexual nature to choose homosexual options as
the only pathway open to them for achieving any real sexual freedom
from what amounts to a constraint to sexual emptiness. Added to this
is the peculiar concept that if religion condemns the gay already, for
being gay, their further condemnation, for other deviations, is no
longer a matter for worthwhile contention. Thus, heterosexuality tends
to be the most prejudiced against and the most constrained to
increased emptiness as to variant possibilities of individual
creativity and expression, affecting both cultural, particularly
artistic, and social spheres of activity.

In conjunction with that twist of the human condition is the fact that
the system of emptiness constantly strives to diminish the natural
role of sexual relations in terms of other forms of positive
partnership, meant to achieve other pragmatic, social and economic
purposes. Another form of divide and conquer, diminish and destroy in
terms of enhancement of opportunity and achievement, it relies on a
religious justification, denying science its truth and validity. Even
in terms of furthering human well being, the sexual relation is denied
its scientific importance, by placing irrational religion above those
rationally measurable and provable facts.

THEOLOGICAL emptiness. This is too complex to delve deeply into here.
What it entails is a rejection of most forms of philosophy and deeper,
more reasoning, consideration, inclusive of a rejection of science
(which is derivative from philosophy as its foundation), in favor of
naive, unthinking, unquestioning, acceptance of a irrational system of
rigid, unyielding, belief. It is essentially unevolutionary, and non
progressive. It remains a frozen system insulated from any
intelligence and isolated from from any increase in scientific
knowledge.

AMERICA as a culture of emptiness, increasingly reliant on that
concept of emptiness, is rooted in its origins in Puritanism. The
Puritans left England, because they were unable to accept progressive
changes, and chose instead  to hold to retrogressive conservatism,
against progressive social evolution and the growing primacy of
rationality and reason. A closed, non progressive, system of extreme
religious conservatism Puritanism harkened back to the time of the
Spanish Inquisition and the persecutions of religious heresy and
differing, that prevailed in Europe, before America was founded. The
result of those origins is a system that fails in its own struggle
with emptiness, itself becoming a culture of emptiness where that
emptiness is revalued and redefined as in closest relation to what is
defined, within the religious system, as ultimate good, and
absolutized as the door of imposed choice, to what is determined
within that system as being ultimate truth.

One of my sources died in a plane crash last night...

I don't usually reveal sources, but I think this is incredibly important. Michael Connell died in a plane crash last night. He was a key witness in the Ohio election fraud case that I have been reporting on. More importantly, however, he had information that he was ready to share.

You see, Mike Connell set-up the alternate email and communications system for the White House. He was responsible for creating the system that hosted the infamous GWB43.com accounts that Karl Rove and others used. When asked by Congress to provide these emails, the White House said that they were destroyed. But in reality, what Connell is alleged to have done is move these files to other servers after having allegedly scrubbed the files from all "known" Karl Rove accounts.

In addition, I have reason to believe that the alternate accounts were used to communicate with US Attorneys involved in political prosecutions, like that of Don Siegelman. This is what I have been working on to prove for over a year. In fact, it was through following the Siegelman-Rove trail that I found evidence leading to Connell. That is how I became aware of him. Mike was getting ready to talk. He was frightened.

He has flown his private plane for years without incident. I know he was going to DC last night, but I don't know why. He apparently ran out of gas, something I find hard to believe. (See Update 3 below). I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully. If you want to understand the context more broadly, I suggest you read this article I did a while back about the break-ins and arson cases that Siegelman and others have experienced.

Just to be very clear and state again, I am not claiming conspiracy theory or direct relation to Karl Rove or the White House in any of these events. What I am saying, however, is that these possible relationships cannot and should not be overlooked by investigators. There are far too many serious and reasonable questions that must be answered for the public.

I have been to Mr. Connell's home. Mr. Connell has confided that he was being threatened, something that his attorneys also told the judge in the Ohio election fraud case. When I met with Heather, his wife, I did so carefully because of the threats he was getting.

~ more... ~

A public hanging (of sorts) for the Bush family

You've seen him assaulted with a shoe, but care to see President Bush "hung?" That's a scenario Mr. Bush decided was worthy of a joke this morning in Washington.

"I suspected there would be a good-size crowd once the word got out about my hanging," the president said at the unveiling of his portrait at the National Portrait Gallery. The portrait by Robert Anderson – a classmate of Mr. Bush at Yale – will be hung in the exhibition "America's Presidents," and is available for viewing starting tomorrow.

CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller writes: "Since the gallery now has portraits dating back to George Washington, he noted the symmetry - from George W. to George W."

Mr. Bush also noted that the artist said he had a lot of trouble with the president's mouth. "And I told him that makes two of us," Mr. Bush said.

~ more... ~

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