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Driven to Distraction
Author: BobR    Date: 03/12/2008 12:11:56

I was reminded last night about the art of distraction by a boorish drunk at the bar. He performed a simple trick that confounded my companion. It was simple enough - he merely had to distract from what his right hand was doing for a brief second while he focused our attention on something less important. Since I was an observer and not the participant, I noticed it right away. In the world of magic, it's a vital skill.

If there's one thing we've learned about this administration, it's that they seem to use this trick all of the time. Whenever there's a terror alert, whenever there's a scandal, it seems certain that there's something else going on that they want kept out of the news cycle. Could this be the motivation for the timing this time? Lori Price over at CLG thinks so. Some of the items she mentions we've seen here at this blog.
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209 comments (Latest Comment: 03/13/2008 04:11:59 by Raine)

Author: TriSec    Date: 03/11/2008 10:46:47

Good Morning.

Over the past week, we've finally crossed a devastating financial milestone.

We find today's cost of war passing through $501,570,000,000.00

Such a number is difficult to grasp. That's 500 billion that's been squandered on Bush's folly.

With the current US population at a hair over 300 million, let's do some math.

That's $1,670 for every man, woman and child currently alive in the US, from 100 years to 100 seconds old. Just think of it. The baby emerging from its mother at the very moment you read this is already saddled with almost $1700 of debt. Your elderly grandmother on a fixed income, too.

33 cities in the United States could have a public works project on the scale of Boston's Big Dig.

We could send 2 million students to Harvard University on a full, four-year scholarship.

Or, you could buy about 5 billion barrels of oil, at the current market rates...

Continue reading...

186 comments (Latest Comment: 03/12/2008 04:31:11 by livingonli)

I need a drink
Author: Raine    Date: 03/10/2008 12:38:56

Water. Our most treasured resource. The thing none of us can live without, and we are forcing our troops to bath in tainted, filthy dirty water.
Water Makes US Troops in Iraq Sick
Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says.

A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

The Defense Department's inspector general's report, which could be released as early as Monday, found water quality problems between March 2004 and February 2006 at three sites run by contractor KBR Inc., and between January 2004 and December 2006 at two military-operated locations.

"Therefore, water suppliers exposed U.S. forces to unmonitored and potentially unsafe water," at the military sites by late 2006, the report said.

The problems did not extend to troops' drinking water, but rather to water used for washing, bathing, shaving and cleaning. Water used for hygiene and laundry must meet minimum safety standards under military regulations because of the potential for harmful exposure through the eyes, nose, mouth, cuts and wounds.
but wait! there is more!
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232 comments (Latest Comment: 03/11/2008 04:31:10 by livingonli)

NWO: Mans End Times, Comin' Soon
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 03/09/2008 12:30:32

Velveeta has been asked to blog today about the end of civilization and is quite happy to oblige. In fact, Velveeta is going to let ya’ll in on a little bitty secret. Well you men anyway. Admittedly, its been really tough to keep the plot going for so long, men were bound to figure it out - some of the brighter ones must have sensed that something was going on.

But this won’t be the end of civilization as much as the end of boorish civilization. The end of NASCAR and beer, the beginning of Gardening parties and tea. The end of jet plane travel, where one gets to their destination by speed, and the beginning of luxurious full-service train travel, where one arrives by class and style. The end of Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions and Victoria’s Secret fashion show, the beginning of pool-boys and servants who can give massages at a moments notice.

Frankly our plans were starting to reveal themselves of late. It was George W. Bush - male robot # 46355-88-01-OIL/CHIMP that gave away our plan. But at some point we began to loose control of him. His code went awry and he began spewing nonsense like: "Listen, I want to thank leaders of the - in the faith - faith-based and community-based community for being here." or "At any rate, we look forward to working with you. Let me put it another way: We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job. That's what I'm telling you."

46355-88-01-OIL/CHIMP aka (Male George W Bush) was definitely screwing up the works and making us put our diabolical plan into order much faster. Despite our spy (agent "Karl Rove") trying her best to control things - the situation continues to collapse.
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14 comments (Latest Comment: 03/10/2008 02:38:33 by livingonli)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/08/2008 13:19:13

Good Morning!

We've had some new members join us this week...so why don't you come and join us on the weekends, too? We're like Dave's Lounge; We're always open!

We've got a new Liberator Online this week, so let's see if there's anything interesting going on...

Since a fair number of our members are heading to Washington, DC in a few weeks, maybe you should all have a make-over before you get there. After all, Big Brother is Watching You.
According to the Washington Post: "D.C. police are now watching live images from dozens of surveillance cameras posted in high-crime parts of the city, hoping to respond faster to shootings, robberies and other offenses and catch suspects before they get away.

"Since August 2006, the city has installed 73 cameras across the city, mostly on utility poles, at a cost of about $4 million. But until recently, officers were using them mainly as an investigative tool -- checking the recordings after crimes were committed in hopes of turning up leads and evidence."

Now, however, under a new policy, police watch live feeds from a dozen or so cameras. And they want to greatly expand that.

Live police surveillance of citizens via camera is already standard policy in U.S. cities including Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.

U.S. cities are following the model of London, where 500,000 surveillance cameras allow government agents of Big Brother to peer at citizens around the clock. The average Londoner is caught on camera several hundred times a day.

Many U.S. politicians and enforcers are eager to follow London's example. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg toured London last year and virtually salivated at the widespread surveillance there. He dismissed critics of government surveillance as "ridiculous," and, observing that London has a camera in every bus and subway car, declared, "We are way behind and we really do have to catch up."

Similarly, D.C Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told the Washington Post: "I'd love to have the whole city wired like London."

According to the Washington Post: "The District's cameras have quite a range ... Officers can rotate angles for different views. They can zoom in on faces of potential suspects and pick up license plate numbers from cars several blocks away."

Around-the-clock government surveillance of streets and public spaces fits in nicely with other developing government trends, like the REAL ID national ID scheme (discussed last issue), the continuing erosion of Fourth Amendment protections, plans for the creation of massive government databases on U.S. citizens, and reports of new levels of federal electronic eavesdropping.

Does anybody see a trend here?

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21 comments (Latest Comment: 03/09/2008 02:18:01 by Mondobubba)

Things That Piss Me Off
Author: BobR    Date: 03/07/2008 13:31:00

It's Friday and I should be happy it's almost the weekend. Yet after perusing the headlines, I'm pissed off. There are so many things, I can't tie them all together with quotes and commentary, so in a rare departure from my usual eloquence , I'll just give you the links and let you see for yourselves:
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393 comments (Latest Comment: 03/08/2008 05:53:04 by livingonli)

Steph on Fox
Author: Shane-O    Date: 03/06/2008 21:54:16

Here's Steph on Neil Cavuto's show. The whole three minutes... Fox News = junk for people with ADD and a proclivity to switch to their favorite episode of "Cops."

But, whatcha think all?
13 comments (Latest Comment: 03/07/2008 04:00:04 by Mondobubba)

FISA Violations and You
Author: Raine    Date: 03/06/2008 13:42:04

Your privacy is being bought and sold.
AT&T Could Owe You $146,000
FISA violation means $36,500 per claimant, per four years of wiretapping

The Legality Blog has an interesting read on just how much telecom providers like AT&T could owe their customers should the lawsuit against them for illegal wiretapping be allowed to proceed. While there are more than forty potential suits currently open against Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, the EFF's case against AT&T is the most highly visible, given it involved a 22-year former employee turned whistleblower. If the EFF case proceeds and it shows widespread violation of FISA laws, AT&T would be in some serious financial trouble:
Code provision 50 U.S.C. § 1810 imposes civil liability on any person (or entity) for each violation of FISA. Victims of illegal surveillance are entitled to recover $100 for each day they were wiretapped, or actual damages over $1000, whichever is greater. Additionally, FISA provides compensation for attorney’s fees and other costs of litigation. . . As you may imagine, one hundred dollars per day, per person adds up over four years. If the Hepting lawsuit is successful, AT&T could face damages of over $36,500 per claimant per year. Nearly every person with a computer or phone in the United States could be impacted.

AT&T serves 14.2 million broadband customers and roughly 70 million landline users. If they were forced to pay $146,000 to each landline customer, AT&T could be facing a total legal liability cost of $10,220,000,000,000.
This is what the Telco immunity is all about. NOT our Security. There is the dirty little secret.

Guess what Else? FISA and Telco Immunity isn't dead. The Vote could very well happen today, SO I urge everyone to go out there and make those phone calls. Tell your Representatives that you know the real deal. Tell them to say NO TO IMMUNITY.
Every one of these Telecom companies will end up singing like a Canary because they certainly won't want to be the ones that actually have to face these fines. The Federal Government under the Bush Administration MADE THEM DO IT.
(And please, do not forget the fact that this all started before 911™... )

It's Thursday. I am sure it will be another wild and wooly day of Kitchen Sinks Flying around, So watch out and don't be afraid to duck and cover.

:peace: and
294 comments (Latest Comment: 03/06/2008 22:38:44 by BobR)

David & Goliath
Author: BobR    Date: 03/05/2008 13:16:24

As we continue our march towards the Bush Administration's total usurpation of power, we get yet another bit of bad news. This may not be getting much play in the MSM, but Bush has gutted the Intelligence Oversight Board:
On Friday, the White House issued a new executive order effectively gutting the Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB ), “created in 1976 in the wake of widespread abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies.” Under the order, many of the IOB’s investigative powers will now be transfered to DNI Mike McConnell. “Rather than intelligence agencies reporting their activities to the board for review, they will now report them to McConnell,” the AP notes...

Continue reading...

183 comments (Latest Comment: 03/06/2008 16:44:33 by Raine)

F The President
Author: TriSec    Date: 03/05/2008 00:40:01

Fuck the President.

There, I said it. After 8 long years, I said it.

Fuck the president, and everything he believes in and represents. Fuck his family, his wife, his children, his forebears and all his descendants for all eternity.

Fuck the republican party and everything they stand for. Fuck everyone that ever claimed to be a Republican, supported them, voted for them, or even believes one iota of the bullshit that they spout and pass off as policy.

Fuck you if you even have the slightest illusion that the Republican party, or its financiers, or its policymakers think about you and your concerns for so much as one second. You're such a fucking idiot, I can't help you anymore.

Why this rant, why now, why today?

Because this evening, I was talking to my wife about uprooting us from this fair Commonwealth and the only life we've ever known for the perceived greener pastures of Belfast, Maine and the opportunity that my company opening a branch office there represents.

When I was seven years old, my parents owned our home, I had a yard to play in, a dog, a swingset, and a safe neighborhood full of friends and trees and grassy places to play.

I can give Javier none of these things.

Whatever you call us, Generation X, children of the 80s, any label you wish...we're the first generation that is less well off than the one before it in these United States. All the things I had, did, or wanted to do...we can't do for our own children.

We live paycheck to paycheck, one unanticipated expense away from total disaster. We have no savings, little retirement money, and no college fund for our son. We can't even dream about owning a piece of the "American Dream"...that doesn't exist for us anymore. My "American Dream" consists of paying all our bills on time and finishing with a positive balance in our account for one month.

Eleven years from now, Javier will be finishing his senior year in High School, looking at his 18th birthday and perhaps a bleak future. A President McCain will have us in Iraq for the next century, and under any republican administration, nothing will change...expenses and inflation will keep choking the lifeblood out of the middle class, and Javi will be faced with either a lifelong mountain of debt or the prospect of entering the army and going to a shooting war just to have a pittance for a minimal college education.

These aren't the United States anymore. At least not the ones that we read about in the history books and our parents and grandparents helped to build so that ours and the next generation can live better, safer, and healthier.

All of this because of a failed philosophy, because of a misguided leadership, and because of one man, one party, and everything they have said, done, changed, manipulated, and supported over these past 8 years.

George W. Bush, YOU RUINED MY LIFE!!!

May you burn in hell, now and forever, Amen.

57 comments (Latest Comment: 03/05/2008 04:31:46 by livingonli)

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