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October 2006

October 31, 2006

It seemed an appropriate time to call attention to a link over on the right sidebar - The Black Ribbon Campaign Against Voting from the League of Non-Voters. Checking the link I find that the site is down and a placeholder page is up instead advertising that the domain may be 'for sale'.

Here is the archived site from March 2005 - The Black Ribbon Campaign Against Voting - and here is a link to Strike the Root's Non-Voting Compendium.

Remember... Other people are NOT your property!

Bush's Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq's Oil by Joshua Holland
"Understanding how Big Oil came to this point, poised to take effective control of the bulk of the country's reserves while they remain, technically, in the hands of the Iraqi government - a government with all the trappings of sovereignty - is to grasp the sometimes intricate dance that is modern neocolonialism. The Iraq oil grab is a classic case study."
Part One of a two-part article - Part Two here. Even if one isn't inclined to view this engagement in Iraq from a grand conspiratorial view - consider how readily disposed the people mentioned in the articles are to the idea of apportioning and appropriating resources and markets to which they have no conceivable legitimate claim. Pay attention, Prole...

Blood and Gravy II: The Jackal's Feast Goes On by Chris Floyd

Reflecting on Rumsfeld by Stan Goff
"The United States is not suffering from some collective personality disorder called compassion fatigue. We are suffering from the most well-funded thought-control experiment in history, more sophisticated and deadly by many orders of magnitude than anything contrived by Kim Jong Il - the latest bete noir of American public discourse, and we are suffering from the complicity of journalistic hacks like Judith Miller and the anodyne intellectual narcotics of policy think tanks.

It is our empathy that is under attack, because if it is aroused to a point where Iraqis or Afghans or even our own imperial soldiers become real people (and not a yellow-ribbon magnet), the jig is up."

The Washington Post Makes Dictatorial Powers Mundane by James Bovard
"The Military Commissions Act is a stark power grab - but one would never know it from the Postís account.

At some point, it is conceivable that the U.S. governmentís repression could become more overt. And how would the Washington Post likely cover that?"

Terrorist Profiling, Version 2.0 by Shane Harris
"The government's top intelligence agency is building a computerized system to search very large stores of information for patterns of activity that look like terrorist planning. The system, which is run by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is in the early research phases and is being tested, in part, with government intelligence that may contain information on U.S. citizens and other people inside the country.

It encompasses existing profiling and detection systems, including those that create 'suspicion scores' for suspected terrorists by analyzing very large databases of government intelligence, as well as records of individuals' private communications, financial transactions, and other everyday activities."

I Hereby Declare Myself an Enemy Combatant by Bill Losapio
"Come and get me, you sons of bitches! I will not suffer this farcical disgrace. I will not silence myself in the hope that maybe this evil machine of injustice, oppression, and horror overlooks me, though I, of all that is good and decent, expose my family to God knows what."

How Government Destroys Moral Character by Robert Higgs
"In some cases, especially in societies with governments that attempt to justify their existence and their actions on 'democratic' grounds, many people may be taken in by this ideological sleight of hand. They may actually believe that 'we tax ourselves' so that the rulers 'we choose' can dispose of the loot in ways that 'we voted for,' failing to appreciate the gulf that separates this pristine ideological vision from the sordid facts on the ground.

Once this sort of thinking becomes pervasive, however, it serves to sanctify specific forms of predation without any clear limit. People come to believe, or at least they work hard at convincing themselves, that anything the government might stand ready to give them, they thereby have a perfect right to receive. At this point, all contact with genuine morality has been lost, and because a society of sociopaths cannot remain viable in the long haul, the nation that embarks on this course has set sail toward its own ruin."

The Second Amendment, North Korea and Iran by Michael Gaddy
"Since the 'Axis' speech, Iraq has been invaded and Iran and North Korea threatened, along with Syria, Jordan and others. If a criminal had threatened your family along with several other families in your neighborhood, and had then followed through with the threat; invading one of the homes and killing several in the family and then threatening others; would you not seek a deterrent to the possibility of a similar invasion and killing?"

Your Papers Please! - Fighting the Total Surveillance Society by Ronald Bailey
"On Monday afternoon, the ACLU member's conference offered a number of panels on various assaults on civil liberties. I decided to listen in on a panel entitled 'Your Papers Please - National I.D. Cards for America.' The panel was moderated by Barry Steinhardt, the head of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program. Another participant was Tim Sparapani who is spearheading the ACLU's opposition to the REAL ID program that would require every state to adopt uniform driver's licenses which would be tied into a national database. And David Fahti who works on the ACLU's national prison project spoke about his travails as someone who somehow got on the government's 'no fly' list of possible terrorists."

The Original October Surprise by Robert Parry
Part One above - Part Two and Three

The NAFTA Superhighway by Ron Paul
"The proposed highway is part of a broader plan advanced by a quasi-government organization called the 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,' or SPP.

The SPP was first launched in 2005 by the heads of state of Canada, Mexico, and the United States at a summit in Waco.

The SPP was not created by a treaty between the nations involved, nor was Congress involved in any way. Instead, the SPP is an unholy alliance of foreign consortiums and officials from several governments. One principal player is a Spanish construction company, which plans to build the highway and operate it as a toll road. But donít be fooled: the superhighway proposal is not the result of free market demand, but rather an extension of government-managed trade schemes like NAFTA that benefit politically-connected interests."

Sunni's Salon for September/October is now available.

Ain't no lesser of two evils by Garry Reed
"Libertarians, especially the anarcho variety, wonder why anyone who truly has values would bother to vote at all. Between the Donkeycrats and the Grand Old Partyarchs there ain't no lesser of two evils. Below are excerpts from one such mass-circulated dreadmail stating the horrors of a Democrat win (each one is reprinted verbatim), followed by what, based on their track record, Republicans would do instead, followed thereafter by the libertarian response to both."

October 15, 2006

Quote of the day
"We don't buy gold to make money; we buy it not to lose any."
Bill Bonner

For Other Purposes by Michael Ventura
"In matters of detention, interrogation, and investigation, the administration of George W. Bush has flagrantly violated the law since 9/11. Congress has exercised virtually no oversight. Outlawed procedures have been tacitly allowed until they've become, as they say, 'the new normal.' So normal, in fact, that this outrageous bill passed with no filibuster, no real fight, no more protest than a few irritated editorials. With almost no fuss at all, America has defiled - and abandoned - its Constitution. And it happened in the bright light of day.

You won't notice it at first, but now it's as though we live in Mexico, Russia, Iran, Thailand, China, Indonesia, or any land that more or less has the rule of law until someone powerful targets you and: Tag, you're it. Yes, that's been true here, too, but then it was a crime, and it was possible to struggle back to the letter of the law. Now the law itself is the enemy."

Decimating the Constitution with Military Tribunals by Jacob G. Hornberger
"Given all the glorification being bestowed on three U.S. senators for displaying 'principle' in standing against President Bushís plan to amend the Geneva Convention to permit torture of detainees, followed by their quick compromise abandoning any semblance of principle, it is easy to lose sight of something much bigger: The military tribunals that the president and the Congress are set to approve will constitute the most radical, dangerous, and disgraceful transformation in the U.S. criminal-justice system since our nationís inception."

Operation Founding Fathers by James Bovard
"Few subjects generate more official lies than the U.S. governmentís devotion to spreading democracy abroad. Iraq has been the largest most recent geyser of such deceits. In order to understand future U.S. government messianic democracy efforts, it is worthwhile to review the opportunism with respect to representative government in Iraq."

The Truth behind 9/11: Who Is Osama Bin Laden? by Michel Chossudovsky
"The myth of the 'outside enemy' and the threat of 'Islamic terrorists' was the cornerstone of the Bush adminstrationís military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.

Without an 'outside enemy', there could be no 'war on terrorism'. The entire national security agenda would collapse 'like a deck of cards'. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.

It was consequently crucial for the development of a coherent antiwar and civil rights movement, to reveal the nature of Al Qaeda and its evolving relationship to successive US adminstrations. Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda was a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: 'he turned against us'."

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill by Chris Floyd
"In reality, the darkness is deeper, and more foul, than most people imagine. For in addition to the dictatorial powers of seizure and torment given by Congress on Thursday to George W. Bush - powers he had already seized and exercised for five years anyway, even without this fig leaf of sham legality - there is a far more sinister imperial right that Bush has claimed - and used - openly, without any demur or debate from Congress at all: ordering the 'extrajudicial killing' of anyone on earth that he and his deputies decide - arbitrarily, without charges, court hearing, formal evidence, or appeal - is an 'enemy combatant.'

That's right; from the earliest days of the Terror War - September 17, 2001, to be exact - Bush has claimed the peremptory power of life and death over the entire world. If he says you're an enemy of America, you are. If he wants to imprison you and torture you, he can. And if he decides you should die, he'll kill you. This is not hyperbole, liberal paranoia, or 'conspiracy theory': it's simply a fact, reported by the mainstream media, attested by senior administration figures, recorded in official government documents - and boasted about by the president himself, in front of Congress and a national television audience."

Mini-gulags, hired guns and lobbyists by Tom Engelhardt

Military Commissions Act of 2006 - Turning bad policy into bad law from Amnesty International
"In recent days, human rights violations perpetrated by the USA throughout the 'war on terror' have in effect been given the congressional stamp of approval. With the passing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 by the US House of Representatives on 27 September and the Senate on 28 September, Congress has turned bad executive policy into bad law. This document looks back on the evolution of the executiveís 'war on terror' detention policies, in order to illustrate the sort of violations in which Congress, through inaction and now legislation, has become complicit."

Will and Intent by NonEntity
"What separates civilized people from psychopaths is the will and intent to use any force 'required' to enforce their view of the world on others."

Why Integrity Matters by Butler Shaffer
"The state survives on our individualized lack of integrity. For most of us, our thinking and emotions are in conflict; our principles are muddled. It is our weaknesses that keep it strong. Not wanting to confront the contradictions that lie within our unconscious minds, many of us eagerly project our self-directed fears onto others, and demand their punishment, a debilitating practice upon which the state depends for its existence."

The Wit And Wisdom of Rightwing Rant Radio by Garry Reed
Eight things libertarians can learn from conservative talk show caterwaulers

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