Get your Rapture hats ready, kiddies! The sky is falling, and our wise gift of nuclear winter will propel us all into the loving arms of the all-knowing and all-everywhere G-d.


[blather-fest] The uncomfortable politics of identity 19Oct2006 The Economist

In another sign of the times, an education department document, leaked to the Guardian newspaper, warned that universities had become fertile recruiting grounds for extreme Islamic groups and proposed that academic staff should keep a close eye on their Muslim students (see article).

The trigger for much of this is not the London bombings [blamed-upon w/scant proof] carried out by British-born Muslims on July 7th last year, shocking though they were, but an allegedly much more extensive plot to blow up airliners flying to America that was [an asinine and impossible concept, an absoulte crock, far beyond credulity and horrifying to moohead that this damned journal fails to explicitly or feebly state such/js] foiled in August. Since then, the security services have reached alarming conclusions [how could they FAIL to, when such 'Trith OR Fiction'  is vital to budget expansions....grr] about the number of young British Muslims who have been radicalised and their potential to become terrorists. Increasingly, ministers believe that the willingness of successive governments to tolerate and, in some ways, encourage the separateness of Muslim communities in the name of multiculturalism has been a colossal error.

The result is that the government has started to ask itself some profound questions. How far is a liberal society obliged to go in defending attitudes and behaviour that are hostile to it? Is it reasonable to demand that members of all minority communities integrate, at least to some degree, with the majority? [like Latinos learning English perhaps/js]

This has traditionally been difficult territory for many on the left. Partly it is lingering colonial guilt [speculation? or fact? or smarmy hoaxed piety?] , but mainly it is because the left is uneasy with notions that appear to claim superiority for majority cultural norms or which confuse the duties of citizenship with loyalty to the symbols of nationalism. In the search for a fairer society, the concept of national identity seemed either irrelevant or unhelpful. [yes: we are all clones, sheeple and automatons of hijacked obsequiance already]

...  as the author Salman Rushdie observed: “No society, no matter how tolerant, can expect to thrive if its citizens don't prize what their citizenship means.”  [well, let's FIRST articulate what IS the prize of being a 'citizen' versus a taxpaying 'resident' of xyz nation-states... hmm /js]


Rendition Express! WHEE!

by Jane Mayer
Issue of 2006-10-30
Posted 2006-10-23

On the official Web site of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, there is a section devoted to a subsidiary called Jeppesen International Trip Planning, based in San Jose, California. The write-up mentions that the division “offers everything needed for efficient, hassle-free, international flight operations,” spanning the globe “from Aachen to Zhengzhou.” The paragraph concludes, “Jeppesen has done it all.”

Boeing does not mention, either on its Web site or in its annual report, that Jeppesen’s clients include the C.I.A., and that among the international trips that the company plans for the agency are secret “extraordinary rendition” flights for terrorism suspects. Most of the planes used in rendition flights are owned and operated by tiny charter airlines that function as C.I.A. front companies, but it is not widely known that the agency has turned to a division of Boeing, the publicly traded blue-chip behemoth, to handle many of the logistical and navigational details for these trips, including flight plans, clearance to fly over other countries, hotel reservations, and ground-crew arrangements.

The Bush Administration has defended the clandestine rendition program, which began during the Clinton years, as an effective method of transporting terrorists to countries where they can be questioned or held. Human-rights activists and others have said the program’s primary intent is to send suspects to detention centers where they can be interrogated harshly, and have criticized it as an illegal means of “outsourcing torture.”

A former Jeppesen employee, who asked not to be identified, said recently that he had been startled to learn, during an internal corporate meeting, about the company’s involvement with the rendition flights. At the meeting, he recalled, Bob Overby, the managing director of Jeppesen International Trip Planning, said, “We do all of the extraordinary rendition flights—you know, the torture flights. Let’s face it, some of these flights end up that way.” The former employee said that another executive told him, “We do the spook flights.” He was told that two of the company’s trip planners were specially designated to handle renditions. He was deeply troubled by the rendition program, he said, and eventually quit his job. He recalled Overby saying, “It certainly pays well. They”—the C.I.A.—“spare no expense. They have absolutely no worry about costs. What they have to get done, they get done.”

Overby, who was travelling last week, did not return several phone calls. Mike Pound, the head of corporate communications for Jeppesen, said that he would have no comment, and he added, “Bob Overby will have no comment as well.” Tim Neale, the director of media relations for Boeing’s corporate office in Chicago, said, “The flight-planning services we provide our customers are confidential, and we do not comment publicly on any work done for any customer without their consent.” The C.I.A. had no comment.

The British journalist Stephen Grey, in a new book, “Ghost Plane,” refers to documents obtained by Spanish law-enforcement officials, along with flight logs, which indicate that international flight planners provided essential logistical support for many of the C.I.A.’s renditions, including that of Khaled el-Masri, a German car salesman who was apparently mistaken for an Al Qaeda suspect with a similar name, in January of 2004. (Although documents show that Jeppesen provided this support, Grey’s book does not mention the company.) Masri, who is a Muslim, was arrested at the border while crossing from Serbia into Macedonia by bus. He has alleged in court papers that Macedonian authorities turned him over to a C.I.A. rendition team. Then, he said, masked figures stripped him naked, shackled him, and led him onto a Boeing 737 business jet. Flight plans prepared by Jeppesen show that from Skopje, Macedonia, the 737 flew to Baghdad, where it had military clearance to land, and then on to Kabul. On board, Masri has said, he was chained to the floor and injected with sedatives. After landing, he was put in the trunk of a car and driven to a building where he was placed in a dank cell. He spent the next four months there, under interrogation. Masri was released in May, 2004, on the orders of Condoleezza Rice, then the national-security adviser, after she learned that he had mistakenly been identified as a terrorism suspect.

Ben Wizner, an A.C.L.U. attorney who is representing Masri in his lawsuit against the former C.I.A. director George Tenet and private aviation companies, says that if Boeing can be proved to have played a role in Masri’s rendition the A.C.L.U. may amend the lawsuit to name the company as a defendant.

The American flight crew fared better than their passenger. Documents show that after the 737 delivered Masri to the Afghan prison it flew to the resort island of Majorca, where, for two nights, crew members stayed at a luxury hotel, at taxpayers’ expense.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Ignorance On Fire

From December 2004.

I have had it. No more bullshit from the right wing neo-conservative Christians of this country. No more smirking, pretentious superiority from Republicans. No more hand-wringing, lets-re-evaluate crap from Democrats either. No more excuses. No more banalities about moral values. No more fear-mongering speeches designed to induce anxiety in the heartland. No more propaganda television, seeing dress-up Bush in his disgraceful, fake military uniform, banners of red, white and blue on MSM news stations attempting to sanitize the blood on our hands, Jerry Falwell on CNN saying "Blow them all away in the name of the Lord," the Humvees pavement-parked in suburban America owned by wanna-play-soldier, fat, impotent, soft, rich, white guys. They know who they are. They would be the ones who are angry that someone said that out loud. And I have had it with the stupid, arrogant God Bless America magnets, as though He is nationalistic. I have had it with the sanctimonious lectures about God and Jesus being on "our" side. And I am angry at the mentally lazy citizens of this country who swallow it whole. No more lies now.

Did you ever hear about the two campers whose tent was attacked by a bear? One started putting on his boots. The other said, "You can't out-run a bear!" The other said, "I don't have to out-run the bear, I just have to out run you..."

That joke is a perfect example of the currently fashionable mentality in White America. There are lots and lots of folks in America who think that all they need to do is outsmart the next guy to "get ahead." I am sick of hearing from them. They complain about taxes being too high. They complain about welfare "queens." They complain about public schools - not about being under-funded, but about teachers not being "good enough." They complain about affirmative action. They feel put-upon and think they can't get a break. They think they are poor. They think that somewhere, someone is getting something they themselves deserve more. They watch Fox News. They vote Republican. They buy lottery tickets, a lot. And they always identify themselves as Christian.

But what they never trouble themselves with, is facts. I want to know how they sleep at night, claiming Jesus while succumbing to this "survival of the fittest" attitude. What encourages them to believe that their good fortune is proof of Godliness, that prosperity is evidence of virtue? There is a giddy atmosphere in this country right now, promoted by neo-conservatives and their media, of downright glee when sermonizing about their Mission to bring Democracy (and Christianity) to the Muslim world. And folks like this love it, because feeling righteous actually makes them righteous, right? As though no one were being killed and maimed for it. As if it were a Sunday school story. As if war was a video game.

Some company made one of the assault on Falluja. Yes, a video GAME of what the rest of the world is calling a war crime on a massive scale. They are actually producing and selling this repulsive evil, and Americans are actually buying it. The level of hypocrisy, and the depth of fear and hate in this country is astounding. If this is not the work of evil, then what is? Have we no shame?

War is Hell? Yes, we know. Our soldiers over in Iraq were systematically indoctrinated and lied to, in order to get them there. And now that they are stuck there, stuck in that nightmare reality of battling "insurgents," now there is no way out for them except to kill, and to kill a lot. They are mostly kids, captive themselves, in a country that hates them, with inadequate equipment thank you Donald Rumsfeld, and they are in a battle of life and death, locked in self-preservation. They were set up.

Cluster-bombs are being dropped on cities full of human beings, unarmed captives are being executed by our soldiers, whole families machine-gunned in their cars at checkpoints, prisoners are being systematically abused, and these folks so unconcerned with facts, safe at home on their Barca Loungers, smug in their conservative Christian virtue, are cheering it on. Some are even quoting all the Old Testament crap about God visiting his wrath and war upon cities, and somehow this means those women and children being napalmed in Falluja, oh they probably deserved it. Then they point to al-Qaeda and say "those barbarians."

I want to vomit. That these same people call themselves right, call themselves patriotic, call themselves incredibly, "Real Americans," call themselves Christians at all, is soul-sickening.

I have had it with being asked to give them the benefit of the doubt. There are no excuses for being ignorant and hateful. If anyone Christian is reading this, you have a profound obligation to speak out against this war, and against the people who have lied about it, waged it, profited from it, celebrated it. To do anything less is to dishonor yourself, to damn yourself as an embarrassment to decent humanity everywhere. Let's just be really clear what you are sanctioning with your silence: The dehumanization, humiliation, torture, rape, maiming, bombing, burning, napalming, running over with tanks, and shooting like dogs, the human inhabitants of a country that did nothing to us. Nothing.

The soldiers are carrying out your orders. Our orders. We created it, we supported it, we are allowing it to continue. This obscene blood is on our hands.

Americans who think this war is necessary, or think it's a good idea, deserve everything they are going to get. We have incurred the anger of the entire Muslim world - over a billion people - and painted them all with a "Terrorist" brush. We are murdering their citizens, and this is the truth: What goes around does come around. Everything you do does come back to you. You reap what you sow.

Like Rome, we are witnessing an America in decline. And the willfully-ignorant-and-proud-of-it are busy congratulating themselves. Some even think it's a sign of the Second Coming. I say, good luck selling that to the 1.4 billion Buddhist Chinese. And if Christians can't get a forum in this right-wing media machine, then who else do they think will? You "born-agains" are in power. It is your Christian duty to stop this horror from being perpetrated in the name of your Lord Jesus you proselytize so damned often. Are you so busy finding End Time clues that you can't see your complicity in these crimes? So step up, Pro-lifers. Now is your chance. This is YOUR opportunity to speak up and prove you are not hypocrites. Where is your sanctimonious outcry? Where are your signs and demonstrations? Where are your judges' laws against this genocide?

How much evil are you willing to swallow before you can no longer look at yourselves in the mirror? When do you plan on walking your Jesus talk?

That's what I thought. Dead silence.

And genocide is the correct word for it, for dogs are now eating the corpses in Falluja. Only 9 more killing days until Christmas.

Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices -- Voltaire, 1767


Doctor Marco said...

I have also Voltaire's quote stored in my computer. It is very appropriate.

When I read your post you mentally sent me back to 2000, to my own country. Then, I participated in demonstrations against the goverment and I showed the energy and strength you showed in your post. I remember the smell (??) of tear gas when I was protesting for fair elections. Now I am in a new country and I feel much more cautious about these things. However, I do share most of your points of view. (Remember Galileo? "But it does move"...
I see the shadows of fascism extending over America,and it makes me very sad. The paradox is that America fought a war against fascism between 1941 and 1945 and won it.

7:42 PM
Doctor Marco said...

I read also about the fourteen characteristics of fascism and I am also thinking about writing about it. Not in a day by day basis though, just a brief summary. I believe that if we do not stop our own genes (see my post called "Prisoners"), fascism is the natural destiny of humanity.

Believe me, the medical world is dead. I need to be in touch with more people like you!!

7:08 PM

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href="">American Blackout- A Review

Featuring Cynthia McKinney, Greg Palast, Bernie Sanders, Bob Fitrakis and many others...

By Zach Roberts

I'm going to start this with a sales pitch: you need to buy this film. No, really. Not because Greg Palast receives second billing but because you must see this film. American Blackout is the kind of documentary that only comes along every few years. It's the sort of film that changes things - changes how you think. If there was any justice in this world this film would receive the same buzz and box office that anything that Michael Moore releases gets. Greg Palast told me the film "blew him away" - this from a man who is almost always underwhelmed by documentaries, especially ones about his field of expertise.

When delving into the voter issue, the media distracts you with all the things it loves to talk about. But you need to forget the hanging chads and forget the malfunctioning machines. They're just a sideshow to the real story. The real story is a lot less sexy, dealing with road blocks, purged voters, 'misplaced' voting machines, uncounted ballots and long lines. This is the Civil Rights Movement all over again but this time there are no great monsters like Bull Connor. The lynchings today are electronic and political... and the freedom riders nowhere to be found.

American Blackout, directed by Guerrilla News Network's Ian Inaba uses a stunning mix of never before seen archive and firsthand interviews. Inaba knows how to make otherwise dull C-Span clips look like something completely new and interesting. He does this by split-screen and zooming so you know who you're supposed to be looking at - Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, ChoicePoint representatives. You see them lying to a Civil Rights panel, you see them sweat when questioned by Congresswoman McKinney. All I can say is that I am stunned that I've never seen this technique used before - it keeps you interested, on your toes and wanting for more. Yes, you will be wanting to see more of this documentary, these 90 minutes fly past quickly. So do take notes - there will be a test afterwards - the 2006 election.

Among the great footage in this documentary is a pan shot of lines of people waiting to vote - I saw this once before, when I was 13 and apartheid came to an end. South Africa held its first free election and Black voters could be seen in lines that went on for miles. But this is America, we are not a developing democracy and should long have emerged from the dark ages of electoral segregation.

The story of Cynthia McKinney that sews the running thread through the film, is uglier than even I knew. Many only familiar with the Congresswoman's press coverage will be aghast at just how distorted a picture the media has fed us.
It literally defies belief.

Here we see her cross-examining Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with such surgical precision and grasp of her brief that Rumsfeld is left stammering and ashen-faced. It makes us wonder what kind of country we might have right now if more had put this administration under such factual scrutiny. American Blackout lays out exactly why she has been so relentlessly hounded. Every one of her speeches brings to mind the hoarse pleas of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a force to be reckoned with. (In the DVD extras you can watch "Capitol Policeman Speaks Out" and see why she "lost it" back in March 2006.)

Inaba's film is intense yet easy to grasp for even the most non-political among us.

And for those who can't sit in one place for too long, the DVD comes with a shortened version which still gets the point across in under 20 minutes.

Since I started with a sales pitch it only seems right to end with one: Remember when in the days after 9/11 our president told us to go out and shop? Do the patriotic thing and buy this DVD. In fact I would buy several: you are going to want to pass this one around your friends and chances are you're not going to get it back.

Buy it directly at the American Blackout website. We get nothing from these sales except the knowledge that we are supporting one kick-ass filmmaker with a gotta-see-it call to arms against the racial poisoning of our democracy.

Or donate a tax-deductible $50 or more to our educational foundation and Palast will send you a signed copy of American Blackout. All proceeds support the investigative work of the Palast team.

"A muckraking indictment" (LA TIMES) and "engrossing, fast-paced, stylish... a powerful examination of voting rights in America." (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER)


Leni von Eckardt contributed to this article.

Greg Palast is the author of the just-released New York Times Bestseller, Armed Madhouse: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.
Read his articles and watch his reports at:

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