Year of the Rooster

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Peaceful Tomorrows
Billionaires for Bush
Responsible Wealth
Wealth Gap News
Green Cross Int'l
Apollo Alliance
Great Rethinking

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Week in Review
Harper's WIR
Guardian Weblog

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What the Body Count counts...
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abu graib
PBS Now interviews Haj Ali, the man under the hood in the infamous image above, a local mayor picked up in a sweep and tortured. "99% of the people brought in are innocent, but with all the insults and torture, it makes them ready to do just about anything." (story)
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King Gyanendra
King Gyanendra's coup has precipitated a humanitarian crisis in Nepal, according to the UN.
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Macro-scale News
Max Tegmark in SciAm: A 4-level Multiverse, composed of an infinite number of parallel universes... (article)

NYT Multimedia:
Self-Reproducing Cosmos
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News Various
Wired News
The Anomalist
F*d Company
Wealth Gap
Science News
Physics Web

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"I hope we shall ...crush in it's birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson (ref...)
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A Clear Channel to Bush
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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
- Theodore Roosevelt
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Richard Nixon, referring to the report by the Warren Commission: "it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated". (...ref)

Oh, and Oswald was CIA
(view document)
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"I even take the position that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged... But it is blindingly clear that judges have no greater capacity than the rest of us to decide what is moral." -Supreme Court Justice Scalia at a Harvard gathering.(...ref)
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"The next generation will be the most infertile and the most obese in the history of mankind and it might also have the worst mental health," said Russell Viner, University College, UK. (...source)
Americans are the most obese, at 30%... Americans are getting shorter , and the Dutch, already on average 4 inches taller than Americans, are the tallest in the world.
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USA: Most Nuts, Depressed, Anxious of All
A survey conducted by a Harvard Medical school researcher of 60,000 people in 14 countries found the rates of mental illness highest in the United States (26%); Italy came in at 8%. (article)
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U.S. World's Leading Incarcerator
1 of 138 US residents is resident in jail or prison, as of June 2004. More than 12% of black males in their late twenties are in jail (as opposed to 1.7% for same-age whites). The US has once again the world's highest incarceration rate, at 726 per hundred thousand; England is 142, and China 118. France is 91, and Japan is 58 per hundred thousand. (article)
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"Every gun that is made, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed." -Eisenhower, 1953
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PDF Downloads
Iraq WMD Intell Report
Helmly Memo
Conyers Report
Pentagon Iraq Report
Amnesty: US Torture
PIPA Report
Iraq Survey Group
AbuG: Fay Report
Schlesinger Report
911 Commission Report
Cheney Iraq Oil Maps
ICRC Report Abu Ghraib
Torture Memo
Gonzales Torture Memo
DOJ Torture Memo
Origins Military Coup 2012
M.A.T.R.I.X. Report
HRW Afghan Abuses
FBI Counterterror Report
JITA 911 Report
JITA 911 errata
PNAC 2000
War College Report
Carnegie Inst Report
Drums of War
Defense CEO Pay
Bill of Rights Defense
Multiverse by Tegmark
Space War Plan
Nanotech Military (1)(2)

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Dorm: Clothing Optional
"There's an exhibitionist part of me. If I feel the need to take off my pants, I take my pants off. It's kind of cool that there is a place you can do that." (NYT ... and here)
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Darwin Student Survey
A majority of US students do not believe evolution is a scientific theory...
(see full size survey chart)
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Previous issues:

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Editor: S. Miller

May 2005

"They want to be the agents, not the victims, of history. They identify with God's power and believe they are godlike. That is their basic madness. They are overcome by some archetype; their egos have expanded psychotically so that they cannot tell where they begin and the godhead leaves off. It is not hubris, not pride; it is inflation of the ego to its ultimate - confusion between him who worships and that which is worshipped."
"The Man in the High Castle."
Philip K. Dick

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Iraq Update: With the long delayed naming of a president and 2 prime ministers, calls have begun for the withdrawal of American forces. Both the Badr and Sadr militias, along with the Kurds, have announced they can deal with the insurgency, that there is no further need for the occupiers to remain.
In April, an Iraqi member of parliament on his way to a session was detained by American troops. thrown to the ground, and got a boot on his neck. When Fattah al-Shaikh, a member of the al Sadr bloc, described what happened to him, in tears, before the parliament, an uproar ensued, an apology was demanded of the US, and Parliament adjourned; violence is on the rise again.
"When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy." -Larry Johnson, former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department. (story)

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More Checkpoint Madness
The near killing of Guliana Sgrena , the freed Italian hostage, and the killing of her savior Nicolai Calipari, by a mobile patrol working for US Ambassador Negroponte, just at the moment of national jubilation over her release, shocked and angered the Italian nation. It marked the effective end of a "coalition' beyond the US and the UK. Berlusconi's government lost the following local elections, and he has resigned to form a new government. A US 'investigation' cleared the US troops of any wrong-doing; the Italians refused to sign on; they have released their own report. The car is now being examined in Italy; Italian courts may bring homicide charges against the US troops involved.
May 2: "A Serious Diplomatic Incident"
The Creature Walks Among Us... La Mia Verita, by Giuliana Sgrena
The same day, US troops killed a Bulgarian coalition soldier; Bulgaria will likely withdraw it's forces. Last month, it was a brigadier general and deputy commander of the Iraqi army, western Al Anbar province, who was shot dead by US troops at a checkpoint, because he was out after the curfew. and so it goes...

Meanwhile, returning marines are speaking out about the lack of equipment and manpower provided them and the deadly consequences. (story, NYT)

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bolton Hold the Bolton
The most Dubious nomination yet, John Bolton to the UN, has mercifully been put on hold after an upwelling of reports of unsavory and destructively egotistical behavior. One description stuck well, a bit of bureaucratise now widely familiar : Bolton is a "kiss-up, kick-down kind of guy". But it's more than that. In November 2000 he stormed the pollworkers in Florida: "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team and I'm here to stop the count". And as we know, he did. Cheney later told the American Enterprise Institute that Bolton deserved "anything he wants" in the Bush-Cheney administration. In his next role as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, his second in command reported, "He was absolutely clear that he didn't want any more arms control agreements, He didn't want any negotiating bodies. He just cut it off." Bolton nearly sabotaged the Libya deal, until he was kept out of it by Powell and Straw. He did sabotage the North Korea talks and the Iran talks for a while, until once again being excluded from those too. He bullied and threatened intelligence analysts who disagreed with his extravagant WMD claims- as in Iraq. He scuttled a protocol to the international ban on biological weapons. One would have thought he considered his job to be the control of proliferating arms-control agreements.
Bolton is one of the hard-core armchair warriors of this administration; he joined the reserves - "I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy"). Bolton is Cheney's Bullyman, and now the point man for the Secret Manipulator's not-so-secret intention to either domesticate the UN as an American Tool, or neuter it altogether. The code word for this plan is "UN reform". Bolton: "There is no United Nations. ... When the United States leads, the United Nations will follow. When it suits our interests to do so, we will do so. When it does not suit our interests, we will not."
Hopefully his nomination will be withdrawn in favor of someone who thinks the UN is a good idea, who would prefer accurate intelligence, and is capable of consistently diplomatic behavior.
(references, story, NYT)
Here's the Bolton quote video clip.
Latest: May Newsweek reports more trouble for The Bullyman

The Washington Post reports: "...Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told her senior staff she was disappointed about the stream of allegations and said she did not want any information coming out of the department that could adversely affect the nomination, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity." (story)
Gosh, isn't that, uh, illegal?

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Rumsfeld and Dolly Parton No sooner had a US Army investigation cleared pentagon brass of any wrongdoing in the widespread torture and sexual-sadism scandals than Rumsfeld shows up with Dolly Parton at the Grand Ole Opry to celebrate. Human Rights Watch is calling for a special prosecutor.
Dolly, meanwhile, is "reassuring fans she and Sandra Bullock did not lock lips in the movie 'Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,' after sparking outrage among Christian groups." (story, WCOL Columbus)

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Exit Memo
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Laurie Garrett quit Newsday, and denounced the "sad arc of greed" in the corporate news ownership. "I have been in 47 states of the USA since 9/11, and I can attest to the horrible impact the deterioration of journalism has had on the national psyche. I have found America a place of great and confused fearfulness." (story)
Interview with Ms. Garrett on Democracy Now
see also FAIR's How Power Shapes the News

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"A venal and self-important Washington establishment combined with a globalized corporate mentality have brought an end to America's rising living standards. America's days as a superpower are rapidly coming to an end. Isolated by the nationalistic unilateralism of the neoconservatives who control the Bush administration, the US can expect no sympathy or help from former allies and rising new powers."- The Coming End of the American Superpower by Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, once Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.

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In cased you missed it on cable here are those clips of Bill Maher et al on Gannongate: (click down here and download 16 mb quicktime file to disk).

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The Washington Post covers the first hearing of the Commission on Federal Election Reform: "...the academics, advocacy group leaders and politicians invited to testify yesterday provided a dizzying list of electoral problems that might make some wonder how any ballots were counted in November." (story)

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"Europe has become a giant laboratory for rethinking humanity's future. In many respects, the European Dream is the mirror opposite of the American Dream. While the American Dream emphasizes unrestrained economic growth, personal wealth, and the pursuit of individual self-interest, the European Dream focuses more on sustainable development, quality of life, and the nurturing of community." -Jeremy Rifkin: The European Dream (website) (at Amazon)

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Our wonderful expanding economy...
Said expansion occurring as the wealthiest fly higher and higher, while the rest are stuck at the floor... the economy being what occurs in the gap.The wealth gap. The fairness gap. The justice gap. The gap of shame.

Here's a great MoveOn video that says it all about the GDP.

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Critical Choices
Another 80 billion dollar request for Iraq this week. That brings us to, ah, let's see.. 300 Billiion, in two years? That's over 12 billion per month. Wow.
When FDR created the Tennessess Valley Authority, and ultimately some 200,000 jobs, this was seen as utterly radical, a socialist make-work program and was hotly contested by conservatives. Of course the result was that America led the world in engineering infrastructure and industry for the next 50 years. The same for the arts- when the WPA was created, America was an arts backwater. By the fifties New York was the world's art capital; American artists and collectors would lead and dominate the world's art scene well into the 90's. I don't know what those 200,000 jobs cost the Federal Government in the thirties, but I did a little math here and I think it's pretty illuminating.
Imaginine that instead of making war on Iraq, we had decided to better use the money to stimulate our own country's health and development, Let's say I'm in charge of the budget. The budget is 12 billion a month. Let's say we are going to create jobs; not just jobs, but good jobs; I mean not burger flipping no-future jobs, but jobs which themselves are training for further endeavor, and which reward not only the individual in their doing, but the society in they're being done.
Lets say we'll fund job grants for a year for about 30,000 dollars. We've got 12 billion for 400,000 job grants to give per month, so here we go:

First month:
100,000 fully funded yearlong sabbaticals for selected high school teachers, to travel and study.
100,000 one year grant to fund new high school teachers from promising members of graduating classes
100,000 grants to promising students of islamic culture and language, to study and travel abroad
100,000 grants to selected foreign students, to study and travel in the US

2nd month:
100,000 grants to fund promising individuals in science and engineering research
100,000 grants to fund promising students for one-year work study program in the sciences or engineering
100,000 artists and performers grants to travel and study one year abroad
100,000 grants international to help fund the building of democratic institutions where needed

3rd month:
OK, I'm just reeling this off... now I'd like to give 400,000 families a grant to cover a downpayment on a first home- an interest free loan with a 3 year repayment delay. (With 21 months of this still to go, I'd like to do this one pretty frequently.)

You get the idea... do this for 24 consecutive months, and you have an enormous revitalization of our society and culture and economy, and real progress toward peace and understanding in the world... all for the price of the Iraq War, without the thousands of casualties and destroyed families and homes.
Think about it. The future is up to us.

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Back to Reality... U.S. is World's Leading Incarcerator
Yet another feather in our national hat
1 of 138 US residents is resident in jail or prison, as of June 2004. More than 12% of black males in their late twenties are in jail (as opposed to 1.7% for same-age whites). The new figures "push the US's rate of incarceration to a startling 726 per 100,000- maintaining the US status as the world's leading incarcerator (England -142, China -118, France -91, Japan -58, Nigeria -31)." - (story, Justice Policy Institute)

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Aux Armes, Citoyens...
Following a rash of gun massacres in the US, a ban on guns? No, a drive to legalize carrying concealed weapons! (story)

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One Shot, One Kill, No Remorse, I Decide
The jesuit Marquette University, after canceling an 'Adopt a Sniper' fund-raiser, is denounced as "ultra-liberal" by the College Republicans... (story)

Meanwhile, a senior Marine General who commanded forces in Iraq told a San Diego forum recently, "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling... You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil... You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."(story, NYT)

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Maximum Pain is the Aim
The US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometers away. Pulsed Energy Projectiles (PEPs), fire a laser pulse that generates a burst of expanding plasma when it hits something solid, like a person, knocking them off their feet and causing extreme pain and temporary paralysis. (story)

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Bottom Dollar
"The greenback's fall is stoking fears of a global crisis. Behind the slide: a world economy wildly out of balance.."-Robert Samuelson, Newsweek

105$ a Barrel?
Goldman Sachs sees oil price 'super spike'...(story)

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Web-steaming Information Sources
Jerry Springer, it turns out, is a democrat, and a motivated one. He's just joined AirAmerica Radio as a talkshow host. Here is the site.

Thom Hartmann does a terrific talk show from 9 am Pacific time, web-streamed on Hartmann is author of numerous books, including The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight on the petroleum ecomomy, and Unequal Protection - The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights. He's a very thoughtful and fast thinking commentator, on both deeper issues affecting our society and the news of the day. Note especially that on Friday mornings Thom is joined by Congessman Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of the most honest and tough spoken "liberal" voices in congress. (More at
RadioPower,org also streams the worthy Peter Werbe Show and The Young Turks, a very good casual discusssion format with three hosts, Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz and Jill Pike. Often funny, sometimes goofy, always on the mark. Young Turks is also on Sirius Left. See their website and blog

Frontline does the best current events documentaries, way ahead of any competition. Their shows can be seen online; here are a few of recent note: Israel's Next War, Nuclear Underground: The Middlemen

Warren Olney's show, To The Point, is the best multi-interview news program I've heard, and it is available online, via webstream from, and from his program's site, To listen via mp3 player using iTunes, look under radio/talk-spoken word/ and choose KCRW. Or go to and choose the play stream option; you can also select from archived shows at the More to the Point site.
KCRW is a good daylong source of news and commentary from NPR, PRI, and the BBC.

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Republicans spent 47 milion investigating Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinski. The 911 Commission budget was capped at 3 million.

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"There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God." -George W. Bush (...story)
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"I'm the commander - see, I don't need to explain - I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation." - George W. Bush, quoted in "Bush at War"

"I'm a war president." - G. W. Bush. Meet the Press 2/13/04

"Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president." -G.W. Bush, campaign speech, 7/20/04
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"When I am talking about war I am really talking about peace" -G.W. Bush (Link)
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"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." - G.W. Bush at a Washington dinner, March 2001

"It's hard work!"
-G.W.Bush (mp3)
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"Am I a malignant genius in the background whom nobody sees come out of his cave? That's a good way to work, in fact." -Dick Cheney to USA Today, 2004
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Wondering where all the money went? Well, there were 587 billionaires on the Forbes list in 2004. In 2003 there were 111. Good year, eh? Warren Buffett made 12.4 billion during the year. That's roughly a half million annual teacher's salaries! (...story)
In fact, the net worth of these 500 people accounts for a total of 1.9 trillion dollars! (...NYTimes) 1.9 trillion dollars is 76 million annual teachers salaries!

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hobbitt - ebu gogo
"Hobbitt" discoverer says local tales suggest Ebu Gogo still around...

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"Holding hands is the warmest expression of affection between men, It's a sign of solidarity and kinship." - Samir Khalaf, professor of sociology, American University of Beirut. (... story)
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kristen breitweiser

"Where are we today? Are the democratic principles that Osama Bin Laden tried to destroy on 9/11 still safely intact? Do nations around the world still respect and admire Americans? Are we still 'all Americans' like we were in the immediate wake of September 11th when almost every country in the world declared their solidarity with us? Or have we squandered that worldwide good will, faith and common purpose to fight terrorism? Have we learned any lessons since 9/11? And, most importantly, have our country's choices made us any safer than we were pre-9/11?" -Karen Breitweiser, one of the 'Jersey Girls' 911 widows, in her speech on reception of the Ron Ridenhour Award. (Transcript and story)
(more on Kristen Breitweiser)

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"In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together." President Eisenhower, Farewell Address, Jan 1961 (...story)

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