Friday, June 20, 2008

'IAF apparently held Iran strike drill'

Israel carried out a major military drill during the first week of June that US sources say was apparently a rehearsal for a potential attack on Iran's nuclear sites, the News York Times reported Friday.
 
Several US officials were quoted by the newspaper as saying that it seemed the drill was an effort to develop Israel's capacity to carry out long-range strikes and to show the gravity with which Israel views the Iranian nuclear issue.

More than 100 IAF F-16 and F-15 fighter jets took part in the exercise, which was carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and over Greece, the officials said.

The drill also included IAF rescues helicopters, said the officials, adding that the helicopters and refueling tankers flew more than 900 miles, which is approximately the distance between Israel and Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

~ The Jerusalem Post ~

 

“In the end,” Mr. Smith said, “KBR got what it wanted.”

Army Overseer Tells of Ouster Over KBR Stir

by James Risen

WASHINGTON - The Army official who managed the Pentagon's largest contract in Iraq says he was ousted from his job when he refused to approve paying more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR, the Houston-based company that has provided food, housing and other services to American troops.

The official, Charles M. Smith, was the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war. Speaking out for the first time, Mr. Smith said that he was forced from his job in 2004 after informing KBR officials that the Army would impose escalating financial penalties if they failed to improve their chaotic Iraqi operations.

Army auditors had determined that KBR lacked credible data or records for more than $1 billion in spending, so Mr. Smith refused to sign off on the payments to the company. "They had a gigantic amount of costs they couldn't justify," he said in an interview. "Ultimately, the money that was going to KBR was money being taken away from the troops, and I wasn't going to do that."

But he was suddenly replaced, he said, and his successors - after taking the unusual step of hiring an outside contractor to consider KBR's claims - approved most of the payments he had tried to block.

Army officials denied that Mr. Smith had been removed because of the dispute, but confirmed that they had reversed his decision, arguing that blocking the payments to KBR would have eroded basic services to troops. They said that KBR had warned that if it was not paid, it would reduce payments to subcontractors, which in turn would cut back on services.

"You have to understand the circumstances at the time," said Jeffrey P. Parsons, executive director of the Army Contracting Command. "We could not let operational support suffer because of some other things."

Mr. Smith's account fills in important gaps about the Pentagon's handling of the KBR contract, which has cost more than $20 billion so far and has come under fierce criticism from lawmakers.

~ more... ~

 

How Congress and the media duck impeachment

The Elephant in the Room

By DAVE LINDORFF

On Monday last week, something important happened in Washington. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic representative from Cleveland, OH, who early in the primary season won some of the biggest applause lines in the Democratic presidential candidate debates, introduced 35 articles calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors.

You'd be excused if you didn't know this happened. There was almost no reporting on the event that day or the next, which took several hours to accomplish, along with several hours Tuesday for to be read into the Congressional Record. Kucinich's address to the House was broadcast live on C-Span. But it was not announced in advance or highlighted on the C-Span website, and there were not many news reports on the historically significant fact that articles of impeachment had been filed against the president during subsequent days.

A week later, it has still not been reported in the New York Times, the nation's self-described "newspaper of record," even though the Times had just days before Rep. Kucinich's action, editorialized about the enormity of the president's lies in tricking the country into invading Iraq—one of the crimes leading Rep. Kucinich's long list.

A number of papers did editorialize against impeachment, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Florida Sun Sentinel—but it says something that these publications thought it more important to attack Rep. Kucinich's action than to actually report on it as a news item.

Even the Washington Post's news report was an example more of the sclerotic state of American journalism than of genuine reporting. It began:

"Having failed in efforts to impeach Vice President Cheney, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) escalated his battle against the administration this week by introducing 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush, using a parliamentary maneuver that will probably force a vote today."

Any journalism student who wrote a lede like Post staff writer Ben Pershing's in a classroom exercise would have gotten a "D" or an "F" for it. Talk about backing into a story! First of all, Kucinich hasn't "failed" in his effort to impeach Cheney. Congress has failed to impeach our criminal vice president and regent. Technically, Kucinich's Cheney impeachment bill is still lodged in the House Judiciary Committee, where it is now joined in political limbo by the Ohio congressman's new Bush impeachment measure.

The unwillingness of the nation's news media to seriously consider the need for Congress to respond to and challenge the president's clear abuses of power—even as they themselves condemn of those abuses of power—is a blot on the journalistic profession perhaps worse, and of more lasting consequence, than their failure to act as watchdogs and critics during the run-up to the Iraq War, when they acted more as patriotic cheerleaders than as news organizations.

As impeachment advocates, including Rep. Kucinich, have pointed out, unless this president and vice president are impeached by the current Congress, any—and probably every—future president will feel empowered by unchallenged precedent to ignore laws passed by the Congress, to go to war without Congressional approval, to spy on Americans in violation of the law, to ignore court orders, to abrogate international treaties, and to lie to Congress and the American people. Unless Congress asserts its rights under Article I, it will no longer even be a co-equal branch of government, but instead will have been reduced to nothing more than a debating society.

Editorialists, while refusing to honestly report on this Constitutional crisis, have been parroting the claim of gutless and calculating Democratic Party leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in saying that with the nation at war and with a critical election approaching, there are "more pressing" matters to consider than impeachment, and that impeachment would be a "diversion."

This is nonsense. As hundreds of American troops continue to die each quarter in a war that never should have happened, and that was launched five years ago and continued for half a decade thanks to administration lies and deception, there is nothing more important facing this nation than restoring Constitutional government and Constitutional checks and balances—something that can only be done through the Constitutional process of impeachment.

The American people instinctively know this. In polls, fully half or more of the public consistently continue to say, even at this late date, that they want the president impeached. Considering the media blackout on the issue, this is truly astonishing and even heartening. But it will take more than polls to get impeachment rolling. The public needs to start demanding that its representatives take action, on pain of being voted out of office.

I was at an anti-war forum in New Jersey last Friday evening sponsored by a group of peace activists calling themselves the Iraq Forum Organizing Team. When forum panelist Rep. Rob Andrews was asked by an audience member whether he favored impeachment and supported Rep. Kucinich's articles of impeachment, Andrews fudged. He claimed, ingenuously, that the articles had been sent to the House Judiciary Committee for hearings, and said that he personally thought that Bush had committed an impeachable "high crime" by outing the identity of a covert agent of the CIA, Valerie Plame, and added that if the Judiciary Committee "develops a bunch of evidence" to support that charge, he would vote to impeach.

As I pointed out to the congressman, he certainly knows that that is a cheap dodge. I said that he was well aware that the way legislation moves forward in Congress is that members like himself sign on as co-sponsors of legislation they favor, and that then, and only then, those measures get hearings. Without co-sponsors, bills go to committee to be killed by inaction, which is the intention of sending Kucinich's articles of impeachment to the committee. I said if Rep. Andrews were honestly to believe that the president might have committed any high crimes, he should either file articles of impeachment himself, or co-sign the excellent set of articles already filed by Rep. Kucinich. Instead, Andrews, like the rest of the Democrats and Republicans in the House, with the notable exception of Rep. Wexler and California Reps. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, have avoided Kucinich's articles like the plague.

The audience loudly applauded this condemnation of Rep. Andrews.

We are at a critical point on impeachment. The elected leadership is afraid to challenge even this unprecedentedly unpopular president, who continues to defy Senate and House subpoenas, continues to promote war and to violate laws and treaties, and who is now conspiring with his vice president to launch yet another, bigger, war against the nation of Iran.

At the end of the day, if we get to January 19 without any impeachment hearings, we may see Bush and Cheney depart Washington, we may even see a Democratic president and a Congress with a significant Democratic majority in both houses, but it will be a hollow victory.

The nation's democracy will at that point have been left a smoking ruin.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

~ Source: Counterpunch ~

 

ACLU condemns FISA deal, declares surveillance bill unconstitutional

With news that a surveillance bill may be voted on in the House of Representatives as early as tomorrow, the American Civil Liberties Union sternly warned members against voting for the legislation. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has worked closely with the White House and has led the effort to gut the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and give the telephone companies what amounts to a pardon for breaking the law.

The following may be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office:

"Congress is poised to once again pass disastrous surveillance legislation, now upping the ante with a thinly-veiled giveaway to some major campaign donors.

"This bill allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans' communications. The court review is mere window-dressing – all the court would look at is the procedures for the year-long dragnet and not at the who, what and why of the spying. Even this superficial court review has a gaping loophole – 'exigent' circumstances can short cut even this perfunctory oversight since any delay in the onset of spying meets the test and by definition going to the court would cause at least a minimal pause. Worse yet, if the court denies an order for any reason, the government is allowed to continue surveillance throughout the appeals process, thereby rendering the role of the judiciary meaningless. In the end, there is no one to answer to; a court review without power is no court review at all."

"The Hoyer/Bush surveillance deal was clearly written with the telephone companies and internet providers at the table and for their benefit. They wanted immunity, and this bill gives it to them.

"The telecom companies simply have to produce a piece of paper we already know exists, resulting in immediate dismissal. That's not accountability. Loopholes and judicial theater don't do our Fourth Amendment rights justice. In the end, this is politics. This bill does nothing to keep Americans safe and is a constitutional farce.

"The process by which this deal has come about has been as secretive as the warrantless wiretapping program it is seeking to legitimize. While members and organizations who would seek to fiercely protect the civil liberties of Americans have been denied a seat at the table, one wonders how present the powerful telecom lobby has been.

"Leadership should be leading to protect the Constitution, not bowing to pressure from Republicans, the White House, and the telecommunications companies.

"The ACLU is asking Congress, as the final minutes tick by, to stand up and do the right thing."

For more information visit:
www.aclu.org/fisa

 

Musical Innerlube: Brand-X (Live in Tokyo, 1997)

Fretless Bass from Space - Percy

Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global

In a September 2003 article for The Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, who served as Tony Blair's environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, shocked the establishment by calling the global war on terrorism "bogus." Even more controversially, he implied that the U.S. government either allowed 9/11 to happen, or played some role in the destruction wrought that day. Besides Meacher, few politicians have publicly questioned America's official 9/11 narrative — until Diet member Yukihisa Fujita.

In January 2008 Fujita, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, asked the Japanese Parliament and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to explain gaping holes in the official 9/11 story that various groups — including those who call themselves the "911 Truth Movement" — claim to have exposed.

Fujita, along with a growing number of individuals — including European and American politicians — are leading a charge to conduct a thorough, independent investigation of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Three or four years ago I saw some Internet videos like 'Loose Change' and '911 In Plane Site' and I began to ask questions," Fujita said in an interview, "but I still couldn't believe this was done by anyone but al-Qaida.

"Last year I watched more videos and read books written by professor David Ray Griffin (a professor emeritus of philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate University who wrote the most famous Truth Movement book, 'The New Pearl Harbor') about things such as the collapse of World Trade Center No. 7. This building, which was never hit by an airplane, collapsed straight down. Between the videos showing the way it fell, and the numerous reports of explosions, many are convinced that this building was demolished."

Fujita's presentation to the Diet and Fukuda focused a great deal on yet another aspect of 9/11 that now quite a few around the world find extremely suspicious: the Pentagon crash.

"I don't think (a) 767 could have hit the Pentagon," Fujita reckons. "There is no evidence of the plane itself. Almost nothing identifiable was left on the lawn or inside. The official story says the entire plane disintegrated, but the jet engines in particular were very strong (two 6-ton titanium steel turbine engines). And the damage to the building is much smaller than the size of the supposed airplane. The official claims just don't fit the facts."

While some label that claim "wacky" and label critics of the official 9/11 story "conspiracy theorists," Fujita has impressive company. For one, former Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, who was commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security until 1984, is quoted on the "Patriots Question 911" Web site as saying, "I look at the hole in the Pentagon and I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. And I said, 'The plane does not fit in that hole.'

"So what did hit the Pentagon? What hit it? Where is it? What's going on?"

~ more... ~

 

'It's enough to make you believe in the gods'

That vague understanding can be dangerous. I told people I had read the Odyssey. I deeply believed I had read the Odyssey. I have specific memories, in post-college years, of pontificating about the admiration I had developed for Odysseus; about Athena, the goddess of wisdom who is his special protector, and how one might please her; about traveling, about home, about challenge.

Some of what I said actually made sense. For example, I compared Odysseus to other protagonists in Greek myths and plays. At least one terrible thing happens to almost all of them: Agamemnon kills his own daughter and is killed by his faithless wife; Oedipus kills his father, sleeps with his mother, pokes his eyes out; Hercules goes mad and kills his own wife and children. Theseus causes his father's suicide when he forgets to signal his own safety; Perseus kills his grandfather with a discus; Atreus invites his brother Thyestes to dinner - and feeds Thyestes his own children. That's hardly the worst of it - consider Medea: To help her lover Jason, Medea kills and dismembers her own brother and boils Jason's uncle alive; when Jason then decides - can you blame him? - to marry someone else, Medea kills Jason's bride, Jason's father, and her and Jason's own two children.

Odysseus on the other hand manages to win the decade-long Trojan War (the famous Trojan Horse is his idea). Then, overcoming unimaginable difficulties on his way home, he eventually returns to find his only son healthy and grown, his wife faithful and safe, his father overjoyed. According to at least one version of events, Odysseus lives happily ever after.

That Cyclops episode, probably his most well-known adventure, represents my conception of him perfectly. He can't match the giant bad guy physically, so he outwits him - he calls himself "No-man," so when the fighting starts and the Cyclops shouts that "No-man is killing me," his neighbors figure he doesn't need their help. The Cyclops, like most of Odysseus's enemies, ends up claiming he was cheated. Odysseus wins, but not because he's biggest; he's just the sneakiest.

Baseball fans might compare Achilles, the vain, arrogant hero of the Iliad, with someone like Ted Williams: undeniably great, but not necessarily good for the team or pleasant to be around; Agamemnon might be Ty Cobb, vicious and dangerous but hard to beat; and Menelaus something like Mickey Mantle: great and useful but something of a blowhard. Odysseus would be Pete Rose: the sneaky little bastard who pulls off some kind of trick that you think is beneath contempt, but carries the day. The guy you call a liar and a cheat - unless he's on your team. Then he's just a guy who does what it takes to win. I began to think - and more than once said out loud - that a good way to live your life was to live it as much like Odysseus as possible. I said it often enough that I began to consider it one of my life's principles.

[ ... ]

This book got my interest. This was a book worth more than a simple reading. This was a book, at long last, worth the return. I read it again, then again. I came to see the passage of Odysseus from Troy to Ithaca as a metaphor, a series of adventures in which Odysseus demonstrates what he needs to learn - or unlearn - to live his life. The Odyssey became the book I carried around, dipping into in spare moments - while the car got an oil change; in the waiting room for the eye doctor; for a few minutes before sleep. I had a handbook: The oldest lessons in the world were still the lessons I needed to learn - and they were still waiting for me in the Odyssey. During those post-college years when I claimed Odysseus as my role model, I had been right. I hadn't known what I was talking about, but I had been right.

So Joyce's impossible Ulysses had done me a favor: Homer wrote down the Odyssey nearly 3000 years ago, and we've been constantly retelling it ever since, but I had still managed to miss it. Only by squaring off opposite Ulysses did I stumble my way back to the original, central story. It was the Odyssey, not Ulysses, that had something for me.

STILL, I DID PILFER ONE IMPORTANT IDEA from the Ulysses community: pilgrimage. Like opera buffs or "Star Wars" fans at a premiere, members of an entire subculture find in Ulyssesa binding element for their lives. Its stories become central to them, known by heart and repeated, studied, appreciated. Ulysses serves as a lodestone text to which they return time and again for understanding.

And Ulysses fans return to more than just their book. Driven by obsession, they return, year after year, to Dublin itself, approaching Dublin as pilgrims, visiting its sites as shrines - going where Bloom went to see what Bloom saw, to learn what Bloom learned. Visiting the sites of the stories in Ulysses brings those stories home, gives them life and substance beyond the book. Through their travel these pilgrims thus go beyond merely reading Ulysses - in this small way they live it, and by connecting it physically to their world make it somehow even more their own.

~ From: How 'Leopold Bloom' Shaped One Author's Odyssey ~

 

“given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”

Laws of quality

Two ideas are often invoked, either directly or indirectly, to defend the quality of peer production. The first is "Linus's Law" (Raymond, 1998). This holds that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." (The name is a tribute to Linus Torvalds, who initiated the Linux project). The idea that any problem is ultimately trivial comes from software development where, according to this law, the number of people contributing to a project provides a useful indication of its quality. Hence Linus's Law neatly bridges the gap between the quantitative assessments the Internet facilitates and the qualitative judgments people tend to make.

Raymond (1998) formalizes his aphorism to argue that "given a large enough beta–tester and co–developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone." This justification introduces some important limits to the law. First, it suggests a qualitative threshold for participation. The eyeballs of software beta–testers and co–developers are pre–selected for competence and often separated one from the other by the complexity of the systems they are working on [14]. Development is not a task for ordinary users. The law is further protected by another aspect of software coding: solutions must compile and run. Hence, while Open Source software has relied heavily on peer production and to a lesser extent on peer review, for quality, it relies as heavily though perhaps less obviously, on the chip and the compiler as ultimate arbiters. These two both identify problems with the code and reject inadequate solutions [15]. In the absence of such a stern gatekeeper, we have to ask what in other forms of peer production enforce Linus's Law. What might it mean to "compile" a Project Gutenberg submission? How might a Wikipedia entry be said to run? Or to crash? Finally, we should note that Linus's Law is primarily about debugging. It says little about building [16].

The second implied law of quality comes from Paul Graham who claims that "The method of ensuring quality" in peer production is "Darwinian ... People just produce whatever they want; the good stuff spreads, and the bad gets ignored" (Graham, 2005). A surprising inversion of Gresham's Law (that bad money drives out good), this claim deserves to be known as Graham's Law. Like all laws, it is an assertion, not an argument. And like all such laws, it needs to be bounded. Gresham limited his law to money; Moore limited his to microprocessors. Does Graham's Law apply to all peer production? Wikipedia implicitly invokes Graham's Law when it urges readers to trust articles because they are subject to "potentially constant improvement over a period of months or years, by vast numbers of experts and enthusiasts, possibly updated mere minutes before you read it." [17] The Wikipedia entry on Project Gutenberg makes a related argument, "A marked improvement in preserving such text can be seen by comparing earlier texts with newer ones." [18]

Such assertions reflects an optimistic faith that the "truth will conquer." While this optimism has roots in Milton's Areopagitica, it is perhaps a particularly American, democratic belief, enshrined in the First Amendment. Such optimism no doubt makes good political principle, but it does not dictate political process. Freedom of speech is not the same as the freedom to replace other's versions of the truth with your own. The authors of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights may have believed that open debate leads to political truth, they did not believe that the Constitution would improve were it changed at the whim of each citizen's changing view of truth. Consequently, the U.S. Constitution has significant built–in inertia. Committing bug fixes is intentionally a complex process. As this example may suggest, Graham's implication that continuous tinkering only makes things better is highly suspect. It is hard to see why entropy would be indefinitely suspended by peer production. In areas of "cultural production," in particular, progress is not necessarily linear, and neither the latest (nor the earliest version) of a work always the best. As Miles Davis had occasionally to persuade John Coltrane, a good deal of art is the outcome not of ceaseless work, but of knowing when to stop and recognizing when, as Shakespeare put it (anticipating the notion of the "tipping point") "a little more than a little is by much too much."

~ From: Limits of self-organization: Peer production and "laws of quality" by Paul Duguid ~

 

Marshall Thurber’s checkerboard game

Marshall Thurber, who was a close friend of Buckminster Fuller, recently unveiled his new Checkerboard Game at the Positive Deviant Network (the PDN www.posdev.net). A gamesmeister whose Blocks Game (which literally "melts" the right/left brain into a unified state) is the foundation of his long-running Money & You seminar (now taught internationally including China), Thurber's new Checkerboard Game reveals the dynamics behind the formation of financial and power elites. 

The setting itself was rather extraordinary. The Positive Deviant Network was in Dunkirk, NY, to view one of four prisons where PDN member Dr. Cherie Clark (who received her Ph.D based on her study of Buckminster Fuller's principles of Synergistics) co-heads Shock Incarceration (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/shockny.pdf), a course based on Buckminster Fuller's principles, the 12-step addiction program and superlearning techniques. (80% of Shock Incarceration graduates starting with an average of 5th grade education receive their GEDs - high-school equivalency - in 6 months with 12 hours of classroom time per week.) 

Where the average prison program lasts only two-to-three years, Shock Incarceration is now in its 21st year after having successfully graduated 37,000 inmates, significantly lowered New York State's recidivism rates, saved the state of New York over $1 billion dollars and transformed countless lives in the process (Dr. Clark is also the president of Doing Life International, http://www.doinglife.com/company.html). 

The connection between The Checkerboard Game and Shock Incarceration is obvious. The creation of financial elites such as the Bilderbergers creates a world where elites continue to coalesce financial and political power at the expense of others. The rich get richer and the poor now go to prison. The Checkerboard Game and Shock Incarceration reflect that simple but increasingly ubiquitous truth. 

If you have the chance to play The Checkerboard Game you should do so. And if you're ever incarcerated by the state of New York and have a chance to take Shock Incarceration (the U.S. is now the world's #1 jailor so your odds are increasing) the same advice holds. Buckminster Fuller's influence in both is obvious.

~ From: Paper money and paper tigers ~

 

The Blue Pill People

by Hari Heath

Dec - 2002 "Idaho Observer" -- There are none so blind as those who will not look. If you are one of those who will look, take a look around. You are surrounded -- surrounded by millions who will not look. These are the blue pill people. Who are these blue pill people and why won't they look?

"The Matrix" may be only a movie, but it presents some scenarios with much relevance to our current situation. In the movie, Neo meets Morpheus and is offered an opportunity and a choice. Neo can take the red pill and see the truth for himself, or he can take the blue pill and return, comfortably unaware, to the illusion of the Matrix. There he can live out his life undisturbed by the truth. The truth depicted in The Matrix is an extreme version of modern socialism.

In the futuristic scenario of the movie, a massive array of human beings are kept in self-contained pods that resemble artificial wombs. These "row-cropped" human entities are maintained in their pods, from their in vitro conception until they are no longer useful to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) entity. The AI entity needs certain things from these "humans" for its own sustenance, so it continuously breeds new human crops and extracts from them what it needs. In return, the AI entity supplies the humans' needs with several permanent intravenous connections and a neural link. The neural link provides the pod-bound humans with a complete illusion -- the Matrix. In the AI-created illusion the humans have a normal life in a real world. In reality, however, the civilized world was destroyed some time ago and humans have been harvested as crops for the benefit of the Al entity ever since. The Matrix is a complete digital holographic type "world" created by the AI entity to mentally contain its human crops while it extracts what it needs from their pod-bound bodies.

In the movie, when Morpheus is about to offer Neo the choice between either the red pill or the blue pill, he explains:

"You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain -- but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life; that there's something wrong with the world; you don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?"

"The Matrix," Neo asks?

"Do you want to know what it is? The Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. Even in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes; it is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."

And Neo asks, "What truth?"

"That you are a slave Neo, like everyone else, you were born into bondage; born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch; a prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to experience it for yourself."

Those few humans who were either born into reality, or have successfully taken the red pill, become the focus of the movie's story -- their attempts to destroy the Matrix and liberate the mass of humanity that lives completely encapsulated in their pods and the illusions fed to them by the powers that be -- powers that will go to any length to maintain the illusion.

Extreme, but not much different than our modern system of corporate government and capitalistic socialism. The governing powers need things from us, not the least of which is our consent. To obtain our consent we are fed all manner of benefits. We are programmed from an early age to believe that such benefits are necessary. To obtain these benefits, a number of conduits are attached to each of us. Adhesion contracts like Social Security, a driver's license; voter registration for a pretended choice of social masters, bank accounts where credit is manufactured for our use and other memberships, registrations, licenses, deeds and permits to insure the conduct of our affairs will be confined within the "matrix" of corporate governance.

We are given our own numbered "pod," a social net provided by the government. Educated according to mandates of the state, our belief system is further cultured by corporate media.

There are various forms of "welfare" should we succumb to poverty or disease. If we are threatened or in danger we can call 911. Government's job of "securing" us is made easier by the massive database tracking our movements, our finances, the location of our homes and businesses and our tax records. When old age creeps up, we can rely on government to take care of us.

The corporate/government/financial interface combines to create a massive illusion of benefits -- the American dream. For the price of a promise to indebt our future labors, pay our taxes and play within the system, there are seemingly limitless toys, castles, comforts and consumables for those who believe in this Matrix. For half our productivity taken in taxes (the other half in payments) and the deeds and title to whatever we think we own, government and its private affiliates will take care of us.

To live in this Matrix, all we have to surrender is any genuine sense of independence, personal responsibility and our right to live freely and actually own the fruits of our labors.

And, like in the movie, a contingent of agents are deployed to combat any renegade humans who have a will for freedom from the Matrix which surrounds us.

As Morpheus expiained, "The Matrix is a system Neo, and that system is our enemy. When you are inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters, the very minds we are trying to save. Until we do, these people are part of that system and that makes them our enemies. You have to understand that most of these people are not ready to be unplugged and many are so hopelessly dependent on the system, they'll fight to protect it."

Why will blue pill people fight to protect a Matrix that enslaves them? It's all they know. And all their toys, castles, comforts and consumables will be gone without the Matrix. Their whole illusionary existence will evaporate, leaving them naked and alone.

What won't the blue pill people in our current "real" world look at? They refuse to acknowledge they are they are funding their enslavement to a socialist homeland police state. Last month, a few "red pill" people traveled to D.C. for an eloquent conclusion to Freedom Drive 2002, exposing the fraud of the l6th Amendment, the IRS, and the federal income tax. But the blue pill people remained comfortably in their coma, ever willing to pay a tax they do not owe. They fund Congress and the Nazi/moron president's implementation of America's new Third Reich, so they can feel "secure."

And, so the blue pill people can finally understand what really happened the morning of September 11, 2001, Henry Kissinger, the angel of death and global tyranny, will investigate the facts and tell us the blue-pill truth. Will Americans really believe the Doctor of genocide?

Hidden away on the 6th floor of the Department of Justice building is the secret FISA Court. U. S. attorneys have been going there for years to get secret search warrants from in-house, rubberstamp judges under the guise of "national security." This parallel "legal" system can order clandestine searches of citizens' and non-citizens' homes. From the "evidence" gathered, we can be secretly declared "enemy combatants" and held indefinitely at U. S. military bases.

Remember the detainment camps those paranoid conspiracy theorists told you about years ago?

U.S. officials claim they can detain and interrogate enemy combatants until the executive branch declares an end to the war on terrorism. This includes no access to lawyers or family members; investigations, interrogations, trials and punishments can be held without the protections secured by the Constitution. The Nazi/moron president's administration says there is ample precedent for what it is doing. Are we following the "ample precedent" of a man named Hitler?

Meanwile, the Congress has passed the American Gestapo Authorization (Homeland Security) Act which defines a terrorist as:

"The term "terrorism' means any activity that -- involves an act that is dangerous to human life or potentially destructive of critical infrastructure or key resources; and is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or other subdivision of the United States; and appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping."

As a test for social compliance, 838 blue pillers recently passed blissfully through an unconstitutional random roadblock in Pittsburgh without "seeing" the real "terrorists" in Homeland Security's new America -- the police state (See page 22). Is our present police state "dangerous to human life" and "destructive of critical infrastructure" like the Bill of Rights? Is it "against the laws" (18 USC 241; 242) to deprive a citizen of their right to travel and be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects? Do random roadblocks, by design, "intimidate or coerce a civilian population?" What happens if you don't comply with the roadblock?

The next test for blue pill compliance will be mass inoculations for smallpox. Will the blue pill population literally trample all over each other to get their shots as some officials predict? Has the vaccination "matrix" been so well entrenched in the blue pillers' minds that they will actually let mercury, monkey puss and aborted fetal tissue be injected under their skin based on an unproven theory that such things promote health and prevent disease?

And what greater "matrix" is there, than our current "fiat;' financial system? We "believe" that a piece of paper with the picture of a dead president has the value of the number printed on it and that one dead president is more valuable than another. We don't even consider that the use of this dead president paper is the direct cause of our own enslavement.

Have you ever seen your bank account? It's not there. Only the slight-of-hand practiced by the teller and the accountant behind the scenes makes this illusion look real to the blue pill people.

How deep does the rabbit hole go? Near the end of the movie, the Matrix's agent Smith acclaims the virtues of the Matrix to the captive red pill people's leader Morpheus: "Have you ever stood and stared at it? Marveled at is beauty; its genius? Billions of people, just living out their lives -- oblivious."

~ From: Information Clearing House ~

Germans give former SS doctor accused of killing 900 children a medal

By Allan Hall
26 May 2008
 
Hans Joachim Sewering

Hans-Joachim Sewering: Accused of mass-murder

A former SS doctor accused of sending 900 sick children to their deaths under the Nazi euthanasia programme has been awarded a German medical association's highest honour.

The decision comes as Jewish organisations continue to press Germany to put 92-year-old Hans-Joachim Sewering on trial for mass murder.

He was given the Guenther-Budelmann medal by the German Federation of Internal Medicine for "unequalled services in the cause of freedom of the practice and the independence of the medical profession and to the nation's health system".

Sewering was a doctor at a tuberculosis clinic near Munich before World War II.

He allegedly signed orders sending 900 German Catholic children from the clinic to a "healing centre".

In fact, it was a killing centre carrying out a secret Nazi policy of murdering the handicapped who were declared "useless eaters" by the Nazis before the war.

Many of the Nazi participants in the programme went on to become death camp commandants and high-ranking officials of the Holocaust.

Four nuns who broke their vow of silence on the recommendation of the Archbishop of Munich in 1993 claim to have witnessed Sewering ordering the transfer of the children and signing documents to that effect.

The U.S. Anti-Defamation League, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and an independent committee seeking Sewering's prosecution claim he was an enthusiastic supporter of the euthanasia programme.

He has admitted to membership of the SS, an elite Nazi group, claiming he joined for "social reasons", but has always denied being responsible for euthanasia.

Sewering, former head of the German doctors' association, was designated in 1992 as chairman of the World Medical Association but had to withdraw the following year under international pressure because of the accusations against him.

Wolfgang Wesiack, president of the German Federation of Internal Medicine, said Sewering was honoured because "he deserved it".

He refused to talk about the Nazi allegations.

The case illustrates Germany's reluctance to pursue alleged Nazi war criminals.

Despite a flurry of trials after the war and a few in the early 1950s, Germany largely forgot about former Nazis, many of whom thrived in politics, the judiciary and the police.

A spokesman for the Committee to Bring Dr Hans-Joachim Sewering to Justice said he "symbolises the lingering legacy of Nazi medicine and the failure of a large part of the German medical community to take responsibility for their acts in the Third Reich".

~ Source ~

 

'What has happened to Bush’s secret prisoners?'

Even if historians were somehow to forget the illegal war, the mangling of international law, the trashing of the environment and social welfare, the banking crisis, the transfer of wealth from poor to rich, one image is stamped indelibly on this presidency: the trussed automata in orange jumpsuits. It portrays a superpower prepared to dehumanise its prisoners, to wrap, blind and deafen them, to reduce them to mannequins in a place as stark and industrial as a chicken-packing plant. Worse, the government was proud of what it had done. It was parading its impunity. It wanted us to know that nothing would stand in its way: its power was both sovereign and unaccountable.

Three days before Bush arrived in Britain, the US Supreme Court ruled that the inmates at Guantanamo Bay were entitled to contest their detention in the civilian courts. This is the third time the supreme court has ruled against the prison camp, but on this occasion Bush cannot change the law: the court has ruled that the prisoners' rights are constitutional.

Symbolically the decision could scarcely be more important. Practically it could scarcely be less. The Department of Defense can transfer its prisoners to an oubliette in another country, where the Constitution's writ does not run. The public atrocity of Guantanamo Bay has provided a useful distraction from something even worse: the sprawling system of secret detention camps the US runs around the world.

~ read on... ~

 

The case for native language as the source of prejudice

What leads humans to divide the social world into groups, preferring their own group and disfavoring others? Experiments with infants and young children suggest these tendencies are based on predispositions that emerge early in life and depend, in part, on natural language. Young infants prefer to look at a person who previously spoke their native language. Older infants preferentially accept toys from native-language speakers, and preschool children preferentially select native-language speakers as friends. Variations in accent are sufficient to evoke these social preferences, which are observed in infants before they produce or comprehend speech and are exhibited by children even when they comprehend the foreign-accented speech. Early-developing preferences for native-language speakers may serve as a foundation for later-developing preferences and conflicts among social groups.
The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever a survivour of Ephraim said, "Let me go over," the men of Gilead asked him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he replied, "No," they said, "All right, say 'Shibboleth'." If he said, "Sibboleth," because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites were killed at that time.

Judges 12:5–6.

The biblical story of Shibboleth speaks of the ancient massacre of those who could not correctly pronounce a phrase, thereby revealing their out-group status. Modern-day Shibboleth is ubiquitous: United States history alone abounds with examples of linguistic discrimination, from the severing of the tongues of slaves who spoke no English, to the forbidding of the public speaking of German during World War II and the execution of Russian speakers after the Alaskan purchase (1). Recent world history provides examples of linguicide paired with genocide of the Kurds in Turkey (2) and of imposed language policies initiating anti-Apartheid riots in South Africa (3). Favor for one's native language group pervades contemporary politics in more subtle ways as well, for example, in recent debates concerning bilingual education, the politics of sign languages in deaf education, or proposals to make English the national language of the United States. We present evidence that the connection between language and human social groups has roots in human infancy, where it guides early-developing social preferences and predisposes humans to interact with members of their own linguistic group.

Newborn infants are sensitive to human speech and prefer the sound of their mother's voice and their native language (48). Throughout the first year of life, an ability to distinguish contrasts between nonnative speech sounds diminishes, whereas sensitivity to native speech is maintained (911). Although infants' looking time preferences to familiar vs. novel displays may vary based on factors such as complexity and duration of exposure (1215), often young infants demonstrate a preference for the visually familiar, such as for their mother's face, a familiar-race face, or a face of the primary caregiver's gender (1618). Building on these findings, we asked whether infants and young children show visual and social preferences for speakers of their native language.

~ From: The native language of social cognition ~

[ Via Mixing Memory ]

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