Saturday, May 26, 2007

The angry American on Memorial Day weekend

Looking at my recent postings to the blog I’ve noticed that my tone has been decidedly pessimistic, cynical and angry. By nature I am none of those things. Am I wary of those with big white smiles, fake folksiness and promises that they hold the answer to our ills as a nation? Most decidedly, I am wary. But I’m not pessimistic, cynical or angry as a man. I do have faith in my fellow man, maybe not all of them but I believe that by and large most people are good people, who try to do the right thing and be their brother’s keeper.

What makes good people make bad decisions? For this century to date, fear mongering has clouded our judgement. We are hammered with propaganda and the hard sell on a daily, hourly and by the second basis. Watch TV and you’ll be confronted with angry people yelling that death and depravity lurk ahead on the dark path. In between angry fake rants we are told to buy, buy, buy and the medium’s masters know how to use psychology to make us feel unloved, unwanted and unsuccessful if we don’t plunk down the plastic for this or that.

It’s no wonder we make stupid choices and can’t understand why we made them to begin with. Critical thinking is an obscenity in the current environment and thinking critically will get you ostracized. We are a nation that was founded by radicals and free thinkers of who’s descendants we have become pliable clay, afraid of our own shadow and the common sense of a child in the throes of the “Terrible Twos”.

I detest the hypocrisy and lies of the powerful leaders of the evangelical movement in this country, but I have known more good Christian men and women who do not deserve such God forsaken leaders, than you can imagine. Growing up and living in the south puts you in very close quarters with the most decent, devout and faithful you can imagine, those for whom Wise Blood is an apt description, if I may shamelessly steal from the great Flannery O’Connor.

If James Dobson had to live like and with the common mill worker, who is trying to stay afloat and survive, he would never make it because he doesn’t have the real faith in God that it would require. And chartalins like him manipulate the most vulnerable among us. Dobson is a truly evil little demon who has and will continue to poison our waters. He and his ilk plant the seeds of hate, cruelty and apathy for God's children.

But I still have faith in the men and women who live in small communities in the hills and valleys of Appalachia, who struggle with faith, temptation and doing the right thing every single day. I have no faith in the creatures that would take advantage of those good folks. Faith and empathy for your fellow man are traits that the sociopathic leaders of the evangelical movement only understand as tools to enslave their flock.

I still have faith in some people running for public office because they feel that they can actually change things and make the system fair, and expose those who control that system for the evil crooks they are. Those people are so hard to find today, but they are out there.

How can a political leader maintain their office when raising funds for elections is more important to them than voting and discussing a war in the middle east, as John McCain has recently shown with his absence from the hill? I feel that if the John McCain of 1967, the one who survived the Forrestal flight deck fire, only to be shot down and tortured as a POW, would be sorely disappointed in the John McCain of 2007. 40 years have shown the John McCain of 2007 that the sweet teet of public office bears power and money for those who can maintain their false image.

With the way our society and the world itself has evolved, we have no more use or need for the way things have been, just because that’s the way they always have been. We, the people of this nation, have evolved and changed, our leaders have devolved. And only a few have the bravery and intelligence to admit that basic truth of the matter.

To steal once again from another great southerner, who understood the human nature and faith better than our political, religious, business and economics leaders, till things get better, my posts will be in black.

Rock is dead they say.

In a post a few weeks back, I asked where the danger has gone in rock music. I’m sure that quite a bit of the danger that surround rock and its fans and its musicians, transferred to the hip hop scene some years ago and has transformed into an implied violence of an entirely different nature. There was a time, and a certain number and type of bands, that once elicited the possibility of a fan riot, especially if the police got too hostile or made a show of force. This happened many times at punk shows in LA during the early 80’s.

I don’t believe that the possibility of physical violence was an essential component to the spirit of what was rock and roll, but the danger subtext was always a central and essential component to the music. When I say danger I mean the word in more ways than a simple description of the possibility that people will be harmed. Danger, depending on the era and tone of the community, could mean many things.

The great Wayne Cochran built a reputation of putting on energetic, emotional and wild shows in certain clubs and during a certain time where he pushed boundries that weren't supposed to be pushed. Cochran, the man for whom the term “Blue Eyed Soul” was created to describe, often crossed over to the chitlin’ circuit clubs in the south at a time when not only was segregation was the norm, but also at a time when dogs, black jacks and bullets were used on the black community with little care or concern. This was dangerous. Add in a massive, platinum blonde pompadour haircut and it’s a wonder the man was never beaten half to death by the rednecks with badges.

The act of pure physical expression by young people at shows and their styles of dancing were dangerous to the status quo. Pete Townshend recently posted a quick description of something to his biography blog, which makes this point even more tangible in this regard. Townshend described a woman dancing at an early Who show and this was what he had to say,
“At an all nighter at the Club Noreik I noticed a very sexy blonde girl dancing in front of the stage. She wasn’t a Mod. She looked more like an art student, and was dancing like a lunatic, all arms and boobs.”

If you’ve been to enough shows in your life, you know exactly what Pete is talking about. You’ve seen it, you’ve done it yourself, you’ve probably dated a girl who danced exactly like he’s describing. Maybe you married her. Maybe you were that girl. Whenever I have imagined in my head exactly what describes the essence of rock music, in all it’s flavors, what Pete describes is an image I’ve always drawn upon among others. I even have my own stories where what he described was something I personally experienced. The girl who was a few rows down from me at a James Brown show in 1986, who wore a tight black sweater, and whom I wished was my girl when I saw her letting it go. The girl I dated briefly in Virginia, who danced like that at a Smithereens show we went to in Virginia Beach in 1988 or 89. This girl made other guys give me the eye of envy and anger. It’s an iconic image and so very powerful on levels beyond what you first imagine.

I’ve been feeling very sentimental of late regarding music. Not the syrupy sweet form of sentimentality. I’m talking about the sentimentality that comes from looking back while asking questions about today and tomorrow. The curse of getting older and coping with middle age is looking back with eyes that still see the past as though it happened only yesterday.

I don’t want to go back and live it all over again. I don’t want to be young again today. I simply wish there was a touchstone that I could see which reflected what it is to be a person in middle age today, that spoke to me in the same way that The Minutemen’s “This ain’t no picnic” or Alice in Chains’ “Got me wrong” spoke to me back then. Sometimes the real danger that embodied rock wasn’t violence or girls shaking for all they were worth or young men with pumped fists in the air. Sometimes the real danger of rock was when it spoke of the realities of life and the fans responded with, “Thank God someone said what I’ve been feeling and thinking!”

Friday, May 25, 2007

The dirty bird has been caught

It's official. The bird who did a #2 on the President at his news conference yesterday has been caught. The Department of Homeland Security has released the mugshot of a lovebird known as Tweety. Officials state he is on his way to Gitmo as of this afternoon.

High Weirdness Drifter

Let's take a look around and see what has been posted and linked of late to the sites and blogs I visit regularly.

Kent Steadman appears pretty steamed about the current political belly flop that has all of the progressive bloggers in an uproar, myself included in the uproar demographic. Give 'em hell, Kent! He also has a nice round up of Ron Paul links on the front page today.

Mack White has posted some poignant and heart felt messages to his blog this week about the passing of his Father. I lost my beloved Grandmother last spring to cancer and Mack's postings about his Father's hospitalization was quite heartbreaking to me. It brought back memories of my Grandmother's hospitalization and the hell loved ones must go through in times like that. Much respect to Mack and all his work.

The reviews for Michael Moore's latest film, SiCKO, have been glowing. Regardless of your thoughts about his documentary filmmaking skills or approach, you cannot argue for the current health care system in this country unless you are milking the insurance and health care cow, or are a complete imbecile.

Mad Cow Morning News has run some outstanding investigative reports of late. Their most recent article about the late Jerry Falwell's connection to the Florida flight school at the center of the 9/11 hijackings is amazing. Make sure you check out their "Dusty and the boys" series for an eye opener.

Speaking of Jerry Falwell, the LA Times posted a very good op-ed piece by Larry Flynt about his relationship with Falwell and the Supreme Court ruling that he won and which was famously referenced in "The People vs Larry Flynt".

John Amato's Crooks and Liars blog has really upped the anger quotient over the recent Iraq Supplemental bill passage. The anger that is bubbling out over this unbelievable nose thumbing is maintaining speed and direction.

The excitable and always fun until someone get's poked in the eye message boards are rolling along at their usual pace. Elaine over at Alien-Earth has recently updated her FAQ which made me smile. Elaine is the embodiment of the "doesn't suffer fools gladly" philosophy and I've been a fan of hers since the early days when she took over the message board from Kent's website. For entertainment purposes, and words to live by, here is Elaine's updated FAQ:

Official Censorship Policy for Alien-Earth

I delete cut & paste from rense.
I delete cut & paste from worldnetdaily.
I am tempted to delete posts from FOX, because they are starting to sound like weekly world news.
I delete posts with incoherent ranting about ethnic groups.
I delete posts with personal info on them.
I delete posts that are boring.
I delete posts that piss me off.
I delete posts that I consider a "waste of space".
I delete posts when I'm in a mood, on the rag, or didin't get laid lately.
I delete posts sometimes just to fuck with you.
I delete posts at any time for any reason or no reason at all.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the High Weirdness roundup for today.

What will the Friday news dump bring?

Considering the week that the White House has had, this would be a good day to slip as many stories they want to downplay as possible to the press. Between the Democrats turning into overcooked spaghetti and a long 3 day Memorial Day weekend they have a lot of room to work within.

The fired US Attorneys scandal deepened, even if the press doesn't want to connect dots and fill in between the lines for the average American. Goodling admitted that she did in fact break the law and based on her flimsy and amateurish argument on semantics, she admitted so before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The press seems to not want to make the big summation on the list of attorneys to fire. No one who has testified has admitted that they wrote the list or who they know wrote it. The lists didn't just appear out of thin air and they have all dodged the question of where it came from.

The tainted food and health products from China seems to have fallen off the face of the earth in the media's eyes. The FDA did admit yesterday that they are looking closely at toothpaste that was imported from China to see if any can be found which is contaminated with diethylene glycol (a highly poisonous substance found in antifreeze and brake fluid). All imports of toothpaste from China have been halted until the investigation is completed.

Good old-fashioned sex scandals just don't get the response they once did in the press. Palfrey who? Even after two extremely high ranking Administration officials were caught in the web of the scandal, an instructor at the Naval Academy was named as being an escort, many DC power brokers were among those clients on the list of patrons and rumors about VP Cheney's use of the service came to light a big yawn came from the Fourth Estate. The old adage of being caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl must really apply, I suppose.

At a press conference with the President yesterday, our fearless leader warned us to expect a long brutal summer in Iraq. The "surge" will involve over 200,000 troops on overlapping rotations and he said August is a time we should be prepared for high casualty rates. The bird that evacuated it's intestines on him seemed to draw more response than these comments.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It happens to all of us

The New York Post is reporting that the girlfriend of disgraced World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, has left him. We all know that part of the firestorm which forced him to resign was his cronyism in getting her a job and massive pay increases. So, Wolfowitz is now stuck without a job, without a girlfriend and the still stinking corpse of that Iraq albatross around his neck. It couldn't happen to a more deserving dickweed.

Maybe this will give him some motivation to work on those personal grooming issues?

Profile of the sociopath

I got an email in the overnight hours last night, from someone who thinks I'm going to an extreme by describing certain politicians, namely our President and the Governor of Georgia, as sociopaths. The email's author said they believe I do more harm than good to my arguments by taking such an extremist and insulting position, and anyhow, if I'm not a psychologist I'm making nothing more than armchair calls.

This was an easy email to answer but I think the author of the email has hit upon something I probably should address here on the blog because it helps to further my description of those people as sociopaths. I found a web page not too long ago that put up by someone at CalTech that lists the most common descriptions and behavior of sociopaths. Here is the link to the list, I'll paste the points made by the author below but take a good close look at these behavioral traits and honestly answer this question to yourself. How many of these traits do our leaders not display? Very, very few. In fact it's easier to list how many of these traits that they do not have.

Here goes:

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning - They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self - Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying - Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt - A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions - When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation - Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy - Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature - Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency - Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Irresponsibility/Unreliability - Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity - Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle - Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility - Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution.
Changes life story readily.

Other Related Qualities:

Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
Conventional appearance
Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
Incapable of real human attachment to another
Unable to feel remorse or guilt
Extreme narcissism and grandiose
May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

It's enough to scare the hell out of you, isn't it?

The death of the 100th Georgian in Iraq

A grim milestone has been passed, the 100th Georgia service member has died in Iraq. The most recent fatality was a Sgt. Brian Ardon from Acworth, who died this past Monday in Baghdad. Another of our fellow citizens, neighbors, family members and friends; who is gone forever. How many more are we going to lose in a war that was justified through intentional and blatant lies? The forged yellow cake documents that scream of being faked by someone who is or was from the Intelligence Community. The pack of bald faced lies that were created by the people in the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon. All of those OSP members were placed in their position with the expressed reason of circumventing traditional methods of Intelligence Analysis.

In the Vietnam War we lost 1,584 Georgia citizens, another war precipitated on lies, fear mongering and corporate greed. A generation later and we are once again in a war that has the same foundational legacy. Lies, fear mongering and corporate greed. How stupid can we be to allow things like this to happen all over again, in almost the same way?

The Democrats that were elected 6 months ago with a true "mandate" in their hands, end this war now, have turned their backs on the will of the American public and the men and women who have died in Iraq. The numbers of the dead keep rising, American and Iraqi. The politicians hand wring and keep on raking in the dough for their campaigns, hand over fist. I guess there is no time for crying when there is money to be made.

I wonder how many of that 100 from Georgia who have died ever got the chance to stand in downtown Atlanta in front of the Capital building, look up through those trees at the beautiful gold dome and at the numerous statues that surround our state house, and feel a certain twinge of excitement and pride at what our system of government represents? Reality is brutal and the fake smile of the "way things are" is cruel. If only we could live up to our potential and see through the smoke and mirrors and bullshit.

Another day, another 100 men and women gone forever. We are the poorer for their passing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Harbin speaks out - Expresses regret to the family of the utility pole he destroyed.

(photo of Rep. Harbin courtesy of the House website, I have no idea if he has a tall boy Budweiser in his hands out of frame. Anyone know what Harbin's favorite drink happens to be?)

Rep. Ben Harbin, the chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the Georgia State House, has finally issued a statement about his DUI arrest following a 1 AM car crash on Memorial Drive last Sunday morning. Excerpts from his statement with my comments accompanying them:

"Obviously, I would like to express regret over my accident on Sunday,"

Translation – Damn, I hated wrecking that car.

"I would also like to express my gratitude for the overwhelming support and
concern I've received from my family and friends."

Translation – My family and friends are now worried about my political viability and have talked with me about what in the hell I’m going to do now.

"I am thankful to God that I was not injured,"

Translation – Whew! That was a close call. What? Shouldn’t I be glad that I didn’t kill an innocent person when I wrecked? Hell no. Anyone who’s out on Memorial Drive at 1 AM on a Sunday can’t be up to something good. If I had hit ‘em, well, let’s just say my legal bills would be a bit more pricey.

"I pledge to continue my public service to my District and the people of

Translation – Resign from office? Are you nuts! This is one cushy job and I ‘aint givin' it up until ya’ll run me off.

News - The depressing round-up of today's news stories

A daily dose of doom and gloom to get us in the mood for the Memorial Day weekend. So much is happening right now it’s tough to keep track of who’s batting, let alone who is on deck:

As I type this posting, former DoJ official Monica Goodling is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The AP has reported this morning that Goodling broke down into tears in the office of a colleague shortly after the brouhaha over the fired US Attorneys broke, saying, "All I ever wanted to do was serve this president and this administration and this department," My only thoughts over this revelation are that it’s a sweet sentiment to have, hon, but the DoJ is a traditionally non-political and independent department from the White House. Goodling can squirt tears over her unrequited adoration of the President but I wonder how she would feel knowing that her slavish devotion to a man and not her nation or her sworn oath has damaged this country. I think Monica needs to spend more time at than trying to please a sociopathic President.

The Democrats not only failed in their attempt to end the war in Iraq, they also rolled over and allowed the President to see their soft underbelly too. No word on whether or not he scratched their bellies. The President has infamously stated that being the President is hard work, now the Democratic leadership has proven to me once again that doing the only moral thing they can do as representatives of our nation, end the war in Iraq, is hard work if you aren’t willing to take responsibility. Don't go on Meet the Press and tell us we need a bipartisan plan, damnit we need to end that miserable lie and failure that is Iraq and try to pump the water out of this sinking ship called America. If you folks in DC don't have a pair give me a call. I'll loan my cajones out to you for a few weeks as long as they don't come back shaven or pierced.

In what can only be described as an overt threat, nine warships, including two aircraft carriers, entered the Persian Gulf yesterday for “training” in the full light of day. We now have three aircraft carriers in that sandy bottom bathtub known as the Persian Gulf. Transiting the Straits of Hormuz is tricky and dangerous to begin with. Masking operational intentions and maintaining OpSec has always looked at a nighttime transit of the Strait as a necessity. Doing so in broad daylight, in formation and with such sensitive ships as carriers is a pure double-dog dare you move by this administration and a terrifying scenario waiting to happen. The stakes are far too high and tensions too strained for this sort of bullshit bravado by the sociopaths of Washington. This story actually gives me chills and it worries me a great deal.

Gas is..well..gas is like a Mylar “Happy Birthday” balloon that has broken loose and is soaring higher and higher.

The melamine and cyanuric acid story is off the radar. Apparently Americans think it’s okay and safe, otherwise, why would we be able to eat off Melamine plates if it wasn’t safe?

Barry Bonds is 10 dingers away from tying the Home Run record set by the great and beloved Henry Aaron. Aaron, I believe can be argued, was the greatest all-around pure hitter the sport has ever seen. This paper argues that it’s ok to root for Bonds, after all, he is innocent until proven guilty. I say bullshit because we the fans aren’t a sequestered jury and that defense just doesn't cut the mustard unless you are a lawyer or on trial. Bonds did the juice and we all know it so let's stop making excuses for him and call the damn strikes and balls like we see them. This pussy-footing around the issue insults the intelligence of even the casual fan and is a slap in the face for lifelong fans who have followed the sport for decades. Henry Aaron is still a great leader and has been a true gem as a pillar of the community in Atlanta since retiring from the sport. I’d wash Mr. Aaron’s car and not ask for a tip or recognbition. I wouldn’t let Bonds pump my gas.

Michael Vick has morphed from miracle working hero of Atlanta football into the worst kind of trash imaginable. If only Steve Bartkowski were 25 again.

On a positive note, Memorial Day weekend is upon us and the two greatest race spectacles known to man will be run, the Grand Prix of Monaco and the Indianapolis 500. My weekend will be spent at home this year, saving gas, watching the two races, doing damage to my “to be read” stack of books and posting to the blog. Hurry up and get here Friday!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Commentary - The political conspiracy of the Evangelical movement in America

Under the radar and away from the collective consciousness of Americans, there has been an open plot by the extreme evangelical movement to undermine and take control of American government. With Presidential elections a year away, the political commentators and pundits on both sides of the aisle talk about the Republican candidates and whether or not they can appeal to the Republican “base”. The “base” they are describing is not the traditional group of fiscal conservatives, the Republican party has morphed and the Goldwater conservatives are long gone as the demographic being catered to. Even the Reaganites who were created a generation ago have lost their luster and place within that party. The course of the Republican party is steering from a chart plotted by the evangelical movement.

This movement has not shirked away from their stated goals, to assume control of the American government, overthrow judicial rulings that do not conform to their theocratic ideals and to force all Americans to live under their vision of America and God. The conspiracy of this movement has never kept its goals a secret and the conspirators willfully and openly admit what they want to achieve. With the recent death of Jerry Falwell, the subjects being discussed among the Republican Presidential hopefuls and the scandal of the fired US Attorneys this is a good opportunity to look at a few aspects of this movement.

I have to admit to a certain amount of underestimating on my part about this movement. In the 1980’s when Pat Robertson’s cache grew within the political right and ministers such as he, Falwell and others openly discussed a future where evangelicals ruled the courts, I dismissed and scoffed at the claims. My sentiment at the time was that the evangelicals attempting to gain political control of the nation were sadly gullible. Time and time again they had attempted to make in-roads of gaining political clout, only to be disappointed by the actions of the leaders they had backed, Reagan included, when they were cast aside. I misjudged how sly these leaders could be.

Instead of putting all their eggs into the overt basket of one political leader, the leadership of the evangelical right-wing bet the farm on a covert, yet fully in the open plan of education and changing policy from within the structure of government. Universities such as Regent began churning out lawyers and a grass roots movement of evangelical lawyers began to grow. Their goals were clear and concise – turn the nation into a theocracy through an aggressive legal campaign. With a changing political landscape in the mid-90’s, one which they had a major hand in shaping and one in which fear and loathing became the modus operendi, the evangelical movement created and nurtured the political alliances that would allow them to inject their legal commandos for God into the upper tiers of the American judicial and legislative branches. With the election of George W. Bush to President, the third branch of power was the missing piece and full sympathy to their goals was found.

The most worrisome aspect of this conspiracy is that the stated goals of this movement are to literally turn America into a theocracy and they have been active in actually making this happen. They do not want to simply have freedom of religion, where all people are allowed to worship as they desire with no fear of retribution, they wish to change the fundamental way in which Americans are allowed to live.

Civil rights would vanish as even the most centrist of these leaders are violently opposed to gay rights, abortion and free speech. Abortion would not only be outlawed under their vision for America, sexuality would be criminalized outside the marriage between man and woman. Free speech would suffer as criticism of religion and religious leaders would be tantamount to blasphemy and the overall tone of adult discourse would be watered down as literature, film and music would be affected by classifying words and ideas that they consider obscene.

The hidden agenda of these leaders is far more dark and frightening than what they extol on the surface. Time and time again we can see that what most Americans would consider to be extremist beliefs are widely shared by these evangelical leaders and their followers. When confronted with their statements after they have been made, insincere apologies are made, but the cat has been let out of the bag. The comments made by Falwell after the 9/11 attacks are an example, but there are far more examples of this type of belief.

If the mainstream media ever decide to fully report this movement and report their beliefs, goals and actions in a serious, compelling tone then perhaps the public at large will recognize the danger that these sociopaths present to the nation as a whole. I fully support and wish that every person can worship and live their lives the way they feel is best. I do not condone silencing the extremists of the evangelical movement. I do however believe that when dangerous fools show their true nature, it is the responsibility of others to expose these frauds and hypocrites. The cultish quality of the modern evangelical movement and the hatred they display are dangerous, labeling their actions as religious freedom is an affront to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics and Atheists -- in other words, all people, all children of God.

Litvinenko assassin officially accused

Prosecutors in London are today making formal accusations in the Litvinenko assassination. This case has interested me on two levels since Litvinenko’s poisoning with polonium-210 was first announced. Most obviously, it deals with an aspect of how intelligence agencies work. Secondly, Litvinenko was one of the most prominent accusers that the Russian FSB was behind the Russian Apartment Bombings of 1999. The first time I can recall hearing the phrase “false flag operation” was in relation to his descriptions of this event.

While the prosecutors accusations will now enter a phase where the diplomats discuss the case and there will be the usual posturing between England and Russia over justice, it will still be a curious event to follow. My hope is that someone, anyone from the mainstream American press would discuss at length Litvinenko’s false flag claims. When his poisoning first made headlines here in the states, the press really only mentioned his accusations of the Russian government assassinating their critics but they failed to bring the apartment bombings the bright light of investigation.

Monday, May 21, 2007

When the mainstream catches on to a conspiracy theory.

First it was Kent Steadman who linked to this article, now Crook and Liars is also linking:

Bush Anoints Himself as the Insurer of Constitutional Government in Emergency

It's interesting to me that ideas which were once the domain of conspiracy theorists are now being addressed by more mainstream voices. Some highlights from the posting at

It defines a “catastrophic emergency” as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function.”

This could mean another 9/11, or another Katrina, or a major earthquake in California, I imagine, since it says it would include “localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.”

For those of us who have spent any length of time studying Rex 84, this new Presidential directive comes as no shock and the sweeping powers are something we foresaw many years ago. What was once a subject of "conspiracy nuts" is now being seen as a sinister and all too real possibility.

Far too often the critics of President Bush make light of his seeming lack of intelligence to give him credit for being a dangerous socio-path. Never underestimate those in seats of power, least of all, never underestimate their capabilities or their limitations. Occasionally I too wrestle with the question of what appears to be sheer incompetence and stupidity of the current administration, especially in light of failures as blatant as the Katrina debacle. Always remember that it isn't a case of incompetence or negligence, in all cases of crisis created by or exasperated by our government the crisis isn't accidental. The actions, or inaction is planned, condoned and intentional.

Silence of conspirators, how it is achieved

Over the weekend I thought a bit about a central argument that arises in the discussion and debate regarding the validity of Conspiracy Theories. The argument involves the necessity of co-conspirators who are able to maintain silence. Time and time again we hear how a massive conspiracy could not be pulled off because it would be impossible to maintain secrecy, that someone would sooner or later spill the beans and the secret would be out. I believe a major conspiracy can indeed be pulled off where a large number of people are able to maintain silence and we actually have real world examples of big secrets being kept for quite a while.

The Manhattan Project is one such example. Before a single person in Congress knew of the existence of the project, two years of funding and research had gone into the work of creating the first atomic bomb. Before the American public knew of its existence almost than $2 billion dollars had been spent over 5 years. Adjusted for inflation this would equal $23 billion dollars in 2007. More than 130,000 people were employed by and involved in this project and yet John Q. Public was completely in the dark with regards to its existence.

The creation of, and work performed at, Oak Ridge alone is worthy of mention. Anyone who has seen this massive set of facilities can attest to the incredible level of security that was maintained to keep this location and it's role, a secret. Some civic leaders as close as Chattanooga and Knoxville may have known small and general details of what was going on at Oak Ridge but very few who did not need to know actually knew what was going on there.

I believe it’s easier to gain and maintain silence from co-conspirators than credit is being given on this subject. The use of threats and the stroking of patriotic emotions can of course go a long way in gaining silence but there is one other aspect of how these secrets are kept that I believe have been downplayed by many debunkers and CT enthusiasts.

One way of maintaining silence is blackmail. With the recent sex scandals erupting from Washington since last year’s outing of Florida Representative Mark Foley, the possible use of blackmail from sexual adventures is very much in my mind these days. The recent DC Madame case has exposed several high value DC politicos and there are hints that VP Cheney is among the clients. Ultra-conservative minister Ted Haggard was also exposed in his own sex and drugs scandal. This is an old trick, one that the CIA also perfected and expanded on with Operation MIDNIGHT CLIMAX and I believe the descendants of that program are being used this very day.

What type of sexual blackmail would be sufficient to earn the silence of a co-conspirator? The Franklin sex scandal is a good indicator of what could be used in a most extreme fashion. In the Franklin case we have seen much evidence that an underground pedophilia ring once (still?) existed in which a number of politicians and power brokers were involved in a child sex ring that found its victims via kidnapping. The old saying in politics was that the only way a sex scandal could harm a politician would be if he were found in bed with a dead girl or a live boy comes to mind. I can’t help but think that there is a bit of background truth, and a cautionary tale, to this old joke.

The exact nature of how sexual blackmail is used would be a case-by-case scenario. For some people, the simple use of a prostitute and a heterosexual relationship would be sufficient. In the case of Ted Haggard we had an anti-gay minister caught in a homosexual scandal, illicit drugs were also involved. To the Intelligence Community a person’s weakness is their greatest point of blackmail.

Of course, sexual blackmail is just one form of behavior modification that can be used to gain the silence of a number of people. Bribery with money and promises of advancement to more powerful positions in government and business is another. Possibly even the promise to turn a blind eye, or an open invitation to join in even more exotic sexual behavior is yet another bribery angle that could be used. Stanley Kubrick’s film Eyes Wide Shut directly referred to this notion in regard to the participants of the orgies depicted in the film.

There are a number of methods at the disposal of conspirators to ensure the silence of its participants, all of them valid, all of them easily attained. Dismissing conspiracy theories out of hand based on the argument that people just can’t keep their mouths shut does not hold water when you consider the varieties of methods that can be used to ensure silence.

Ben Harbin is an excellent driver

(For more commentary on the Harbin DUI story, click here to read my other posts about Georgia Politics - The Conspiracy Theory Blogger)

If the folks in Augusta aren’t already wondering what in the world their state representative was doing on Memorial Drive at 1 AM on a Sunday morning, with a buzz on and a wrecked car, I’ll wonder about it for them. For a state representative spending what appears to have been a weekend in Atlanta, Memorial Drive isn’t the first place I would think of him hanging out, in fact it's probably on the list of the last 5 places on earth that I would expect him to be. But, apparently that’s where he really wanted to be and that’s where he wrecked his car, leading to a DUI arrest. I’ll at least give the man some credit, a witness who was quoted in the AJC about the accident said this of Rep. Harbin,

“Shortly after the crash, Robby Russ, a waiter at the Standard Food & Spirits, heard what he said sounded like a boom and looked out through the large window of the bar to see a utility pole "crooked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa."

Russ, 41, said he ran out to help. He said Harbin was coherent and without any visible signs of injuries. He wasn't in "bad shape on the intoxication level," said Russ, who has been tending bars for 18 years.

"I know he's been charged with DUI, and I know he's an important guy. But he wasn't wasted," he said. "He wasn't slurring his speech or falling over his face. He composed himself very well."

There you have it. A professional expert on drunken behavior gave the man two thumbs up for not acting wasted and that should account for something. Right? So, for all you folks down in Augusta who are worried and maybe upset at this little incident, be proud that Rep. Ben Harbin at least looks like he can hold his liquor. He may not be able to drive while he's loaded but he at least looks good with a snoot full. That should be worth some credit. It carries a lot of weight in my book.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

News tidbits from the edge of the VaTech massacre

While the mainstream media waits for it's next four wall coverage event, more tidbits of information about McNeil Technologies dribble out. McNeil Technologies is the Virginia based company that employs the sister of the VaTech shooter. McNeil has deep and longstanding connections to the US Intelligence Community. is reporting that McNeil and DynCorp (both owned by Veritas Capital) have won a $4.6 billion dollar contract with the US Army to provide translation and intrpretation services in the Iraq War.

In an interesting addition to the services that McNeil Technologies provides, the Rochester Business Journal reported in April that McNeil now has a partner in providing private screening services to the Rochester Airport. McNeil's new partner in the Rochester contract is Raytheon, the multi-billion dollar US defense firm. Rochester International Airport was also one of the test platform locations for the Ingersoll Rand Schlage Recognition Systems biometric recognition program that went into effect in 2004. McNeil has been under contract to provide security and screening services to the Rochester Airport since 2002.

And in business news for Veritas Capital Management, within the past month their collection of companies has grown with the acquisition of:

Cornell Companies Inc. of Houston Texas. A multi-million dollar provider of correctional facilities services.

Vangent, Inc. Formerly known as Pearson Government Solutions, an international business services company who's clients include the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

How the press is complicit in the tainted food scandal and how this promotes the goals of Big Business.

The recently unearthed scandal of tainted food imported into the US from China brings a host of problems to light. How government trade policies with China are flawed, how our food safety system is ineffective and how the investigative journalism of America’s once-great fourth estate is no longer capable of performing the basic “Five Ws” of reporting.

The question of why Chinese exporters are intentionally using toxic substances in the food items being exported is not being fully investigated. We are being told that melamine was placed into the faux wheat gluten to boost nitrogen content in the product, which would then indicate a high protein level. The mass media in America has left that answer as being the final word on why the melamine was present in the food items with little follow-up to the story.

The foreign press has performed a much better service than their American counterparts. What they have unearthed is a global effort by Chinese exporters of food, medicine and hygiene products to add toxic substances to the products they manufacture. Over 100 Panamanians have been killed in recent months after taking Chinese manufactured cold medicines that contained di-ethylene glycol. Di-ethylene glycol is an ingredient found in anti-freeze. This isn’t a one-off case as the same chemical has also been found in toothpaste made in China that has also killed numerous Panamanians and an unknown number of other Latin Americans.

This problem cannot be simply brushed aside as a case of human error. Too many of these cases show forethought and the intention to deceive regardless of the consequences. This cannot be brushed aside as a case of greed. Sooner or later the mounting deaths and fallout over safety will flare up and someone will have to pay the price.

There is a much darker reason behind the organized and systematic poisoning of our food and health items. When our own government admits that they cannot inspect all food that enters out country, which they have done, only two things can be done. One; is to increase the funding for food inspections to a level far beyond what it is at this moment. The effect of this is to anger Americans over the cost and condition us into accepting that this is something far to big for us to control. The other thing that can be done is to simply accept this as a new fact of life and we will have to learn how to live with the threat posed by imported food items.

Our government will not address the root cause of this problem because this would alter the power of the new global economy. In the end it would adversely affect the bottom line for existing and emerging big businesses. In the end it promotes a greater agenda where the lives, money and future of all people are controlled by big business. Fear and feelings of powerlessness are two methods of conditioning that are used by these people to control our lives and as this story evolves watch for the media to promote fear and portray the process of inspecting all food products to be an impossible task.