Tuesday, October 30
9/11 for Amerikan Dumb-Down
make themselves wealthier and in control?
Answer: They rig the cops' schooling to give them with only dark, fearful minds.
Author and awarding-winning New York city educator John Taylor Gatto's book The Underground History of American Education someday may be properly recognized for clearing away the pedantic fog over the covert class war embedded in American public education
Compiling private correspondence since the 1880s among a wealthy clique of U.S. Big Business powerbrokers--chief among them John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and Andrew Carnegie--Gattos demonstrates that the codification of American public education ensured that children from nonwealthy households are dumbed down, i.e., "structurally grounded" in "attitudes and behavior useful to management." In other words, schools program the future American worker to be "a pushover" for the owner-managerial class, which includes programing dutiful consumers of their products.
... [O]ur endless consumption completes the charmed circle, consumption driven by non- stop addiction to novelty, a habit which provides American business with the only reliable domestic market in the world. Elsewhere, in hard times business dries up, but not here; here we shop till we drop, mortgaging the future in bad times as well as good.According to Harvard-educated Dr. Leonard Horowitz, robber (and oil) baron John Rockefeller felt particularly conflicted with the notion of democracy freely bestowed on the badly-born poor and former African slaves. At least one of Rockefeller's letters in part championed a race-based plan for controlling the darker heathen masses factored into their dumbed-down public schooling.
...I have little doubt the fantastic wealth of American big business is psychologically and procedurally grounded in our form of schooling. The training field for these grotesque human qualities is the classroom. Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele.
In 1902, Rockefeller's General Education Board was founded with a mission to annihilate the causes of racial discords. This agenda was clarified two years later with the publication of John D. Rockefeller's Occasional Letter No. 1 in which he detailed his plans to mold Americans to his concept of "perfect human nature." This, he claimed, might best be accomplished by destroying parental influence, traditions and customs, while reducing national intelligence levels. [emphasis added]Rockefeller's Final Mental Solution for an Amerika more to his likely certainly seems to have worked.
The embarrassing ignorance energetically displayed in public by Americans has spawned a cottage industry of TV comedy in the UK, Australia and Canada. For one, the British show "The Chasers War on Everything" recently tapped a program in which the TV correspondent approached random New Yorkers on the street to ask them questions about the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America.
"Apparently," according to the brief preamble accompanying the short clip below hosted at Shoutfile.com, "it occurred in October, by Hindu's.. and millions died."
I don't think Gatto would disagree with the conclusion that the shameful ignorance--granted, it's edited with dim-bulbed British TV watchers in mind--randomly evident in New York--the epicenter for U.S. 21st-century nazification--is a good case study demonstrating public education's success in undermining historical awareness and critical thinking skills.
What do elite criminals--and their proxy servants now headquartered in Washington, D.C.--have to worry about when idiot drones featured in the clip decide to express their displeasure to a radio talk show, enter a voting booth or ponder the merits of exporting U.S. "democracy" to Iraq and Afghanistan?
Indeed, for wealthy criminals, Amerika is a pirate's paradise. Perfect crimes by the rich and famous now are the norm here, not the exception.
Related: Last week (24 October), San Francisco Gate columnist Mark Moford offered additional commentary on this theme of "public-education-as-dumbing-down," but without Gatto's linkages to covert class warfare. In "American kids, dumber than dirt," Moford warns "The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history." We can only hope he hadn't yet watched the Shoutfile.com clip above when he wrote that sentence.
Moford is aghast at what a friend who is a school teacher regularly tells him about the declining state of education, at least in San Francisco:
Last April in a longer post, Milkhouse Mouse cited additional illuminating quotes from Gatto's book to document "Stupidity Schooling" in the US, a topic addressed January 2006 by ABC's John Stossel (see clip of ABC's coverage at bottom of page.)
[H]e often writes to me in response to something I might've written about the youth of today, anything where I comment on the various nefarious factors shaping their minds and their perspectives and whether or not, say, EMFs and junk food and cell phones are melting their brains and what can be done and just how bad it might all be.
His response: It is not bad at all. It's absolutely horrifying.
My friend often summarizes for me what he sees, firsthand, every day and every month, year in and year out, in his classroom. He speaks not merely of the sad decline in overall intellectual acumen among students over the years, not merely of the astonishing spread of lazy slackerhood, or the fact that cell phones and iPods and excess TV exposure are, absolutely and without reservation, short-circuiting the minds of the upcoming generations. Of this, he says, there is zero doubt....read more
Revi'd 31 October 2007--editor
Saturday, October 27
Wallet Size, Skin Color Mediate Amerikans' Post-9/11 Catastrophic Experience
The ‘Boo ain’t no N.O.
Plus: George Bush, Flame Retard
By Greg Palast
Population of San Diego fire evacuation zone: 500,000
Population of the New Orleans flood evacuation zone: 500,000
White folk as a % of evacuees, San Diego: 66%
Black folk as % of evacuees, New Orleans: 67%
Size counts, too. Size of your wallet, that is:
Evacuees in San Diego, in poverty: 9%
Evacuees in New Orleans, in poverty: 27%
The numbers would be even uglier, though more revealing, if I included evacuees of the celebrity fire in Malibu.
The President didn’t do a photo-strafing of the scene from 1700 feet this time. Instead, we have the photo op of George, feet on the ground, hanging with Arnold the Action Man. (However, I’m informed that the President was a bit disappointed that he didn’t get to wear one of those neat fireman hats like Rudi G got at Ground Zero.)
In 2005, while the bodies were still being fished out of flooded homes in New Orleans, Republican Congressman Richard Baker praised The Lord for his mercy. “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did,” he said about the removal of the poor from the project near the French Quarter much coveted by speculators.
But as this week’s flames spread, no Republican Congressman cried, “Burn baby burn!” to praise the Lord for cleaning up them ‘Boo, the sin-and-surf playground of Hollywood luvvies.
In New Orleans, God’s covenant with real estate developers has been very profitable. Over 70,000 families remain, two years after the waters receded, in mobile home concentration centers far away from the N.O. re-building boom. Let’s see how long it takes to get Tom Hanks back on his beach towel....read more
*Proxy Class and Race Wars Via Partisan Politics?
Could voting differences in the 2004 presidential race and bare knuckled partisan politics also have influenced how George Bush's federal emergency apparatus responded to San Diego and New Orleans' respective natural disasters? Before you answer that one, consider the following:
In California, the first U.S. state with more ethnics (Hispanics and Asians) than white gringos, Democrat challenger John Kerry garnered over 1,200,000 more votes (53% to 44%) than GOP incumbent George Bush. But San Diego County's comparatively better-off, mostly white residents--represented for years in the U.S. House by recently-convicted defense industry champion grafter and political joke Randy "Duke-stir" Cunningham linked to dubious White House contracts--went for Bush over Kerry by 70,000 votes (Let county totals completely load).
The 2004 voting results in Louisiana and the New Orleans are a mirror image. While 15% more Louisianans preferred Bush to Kerry, Orleans Parrish (let completely load) went overwhelming "blue" for "Quick Concede" artist Kerry and embarrassed Bush: Kerry: 152,610, or 78%; Bush: 42,847, or 22%. Though I haven't verified the numbers, I wager Orleans Parrish gave Kerry its largest margin of victory in any state Bush carried in 2004.
Let's also not forget that on Capitol Hill, also know among more informed Americans as U.S. Fraud Central, where too few ever fall under a U.S. Justice Department investigation unless they aren't convinced to "play ball" with the GOP and Democrat leaderships. In August 2005--weeks after later-White House fired U.S. Prosecutor Carol Lam's office in San Diego opened an investigation into Cunningham's Del Mar real estate wheeling-dealing--federal agents raided the New Orleans home of Harvard-educated but egregiously corrupt Democrat congressman William Jefferson.
Could the famously petty, vindictive born-again Christian George W. Bush have fired a retaliatory shot across the bow of the Democrat Party for targeting GOP kingpin Cunningham with the well-timed raid on Jefferson's New Orleans home? Could the White House's stubborn obstruction of post-Hurricane Katrina aid to New Orleans be merely payback to voters who a year embarrassed Bush by giving the Democrat Party its "bluest" victory in a Red State?
Ah, never mind; it's all probably a coincidence anyway, since nothing of the sort appeared in any mainstream news outlet.
Wednesday, October 24
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He f**ked alot people,
but the bad, they live long.
I looked around for where Rove roamed.
(My apologies for bastardizing lyricist Richard Holler and singer Dion's 1968 memorial ballard "Abraham, Martin and John")
You can run but you can't hide, Karl. May you forever remain the favorite target of angry Americans everywhere.
Former Middle East Policy Wonks Say Impending Iranian War in Works "For Years"; "It'll be Iraq All Over Again"
But in the main, this bit on fascism is old news....
The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know
Two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush Administration say the U.S. has been gearing up for a war with Iran for years, despite claiming otherwise. It'll be Iraq all over again.
In the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm -- not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn't realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn't wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say.
"The hard-liners are upping the pressure on the State Department," says Leverett. "They're basically saying, 'You've been trying to engage Iran for more than a year now and what do you have to show for it? They keep building more centrifuges, they're sending this IED stuff over into Iraq that's killing American soldiers, the human-rights internal political situation has gotten more repressive -- what the hell do you have to show for this engagement strategy?' "
But the engagement strategy was never serious and was designed to fail, they say. Over the last year, Rice has begun saying she would talk to "anybody, anywhere, anytime," but not to the Iranians unless they stopped enriching uranium first. That's not a serious approach to diplomacy, Mann says. Diplomacy is about talking to your enemies. That's how wars are averted. You work up to the big things. And when U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had his much-publicized meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad this spring, he didn't even have permission from the White House to schedule a second meeting.
The most ominous new development is the Bush administration's push to name the Iranian Revolutionary Guards a terrorist organization.
"The U.S. has designated any number of states over the years as state sponsors of terrorism," says Leverett. "But here for the first time the U.S. is saying that part of a government is itself a terrorist organization."
This is what Leverett and Mann fear will happen: The diplomatic effort in the United Nations will fail when it becomes clear that Russia's and China's geopolitical ambitions will not accommodate the inconvenience of energy sanctions against Iran. Without any meaningful incentive from the U.S. to be friendly, Iran will keep meddling in Iraq and installing nuclear centrifuges. This will trigger a response from the hard-liners in the White House, who feel that it is their moral duty to deal with Iran before the Democrats take over American foreign policy. "If you get all those elements coming together, say in the first half of '08," says Leverett, "what is this president going to do? I think there is a serious risk he would decide to order an attack on the Iranian nuclear installations and probably a wider target zone."
This would result in a dramatic increase in attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, attacks by proxy forces like Hezbollah, and an unknown reaction from the wobbly states of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where millions admire Iran's resistance to the Great Satan. "As disastrous as Iraq has been," says Mann, "an attack on Iran could engulf America in a war with the entire Muslim world."
Mann and Leverett believe that none of this had to be....read more
Sunday, October 21
Dem Senate Leader Reid Works to Exempt Telecoms in NSA's Illegal Wiretapping
Now tell me again why anyone still thinks the Democrats of the 110th Congress are an alternative to the "Do-Nothing" Republicans of the 109th Congress?--editor
Harry Reid works to ensure telecom amnesty, warrantless surveillance
I wrote about many of yesterday's developments concerning telecom amnesty and warrantless surveillance in this morning's post, but I want separately to highlight one critical fact. Citing various media reports, Jane Hamsher last night noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- in violation of all Senate customs and rules -- apparently intends, in essence, simply to ignore the "hold" placed on the FISA bill by Chris Dodd and bring the bill to the floor for a vote (and certain passage).
I was somewhat skeptical of that interpretation. The one "principle" which all Senators share is the sacred holiness of their customs and institutional prerogatives. As Jane notes, Reid has never dishonored a "hold" before from his own caucus, and virtually never dishonors "holds" even when placed by the most far-right Republicans Senators. It seemed inconceivable that he would simply refuse to recognize a "hold" by one of the Senate's most senior members on a bill of this importance, and the media accounts seemed vague on that score.
As a result, I emailed Reid's office to ask if they actually intended to override and ignore Dodd's "hold" and this is the patronizing (though crystal clear) dismissal I received back as a "response" from Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley:
Reid will work with Dodd and other Senators to correct the deep flaws in the Protect America Act.Read more at
Tuesday, October 16
Bushitas Target Army Colonel
The clue that Steele, like former Qwest CEO Joseph P. Nacchico, (NY Times; free registration req'd) is being targeted for not cooperating with the Bushco's illegal, bogus and lost Iraqi War is that one of his nine charges is "possessing pornographic videos."
Here's the AP story on Steele's charges:
BAGHDAD: A senior U.S. officer has been charged with nine offenses, including aiding the enemy and fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee while he commanded a military police detachment at an American detention facility near Baghdad, the military said Thursday.
Lieutenant Colonel William Steele of the U.S. Army was accused of giving "aid to the enemy" by providing an unmonitored cell phone to detainees.
Steele was the commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment at Camp Cropper, a U.S. detention center on the western outskirts of Baghdad, when the offenses allegedly occurred between October 2005 and February, said a military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel James Hutton.
Steele was being held in Kuwait pending a grand jury investigation, Hutton said.
The other charges included unauthorized possession of classified information, fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee, maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, storing classified information in his quarters and possessing pornographic videos, the military said....read more.
Monday, October 15
WelKommen, Komcast Kustomers...
As of September (see below), all your voice and written communications are discretely and courteously databased by the National Security Agency, the agency of caring citizen surveillance.
But rest assured; warrantless electronic snooping began much earlier than that. That scoop broke this weekend. We also now know that the Justice Department targeted the Denver-based teleco Qwest, giving its CEO Joseph Nacchio a six-year prison term for refusing to participate in the illegal surveillance program.
USA Today reported in May 2006 that Qwest, unlike AT&T and Verizon, balked at helping the NSA track phone calling patterns that may have indicated terrorist organizational activities. Nacchio's attorney, Herbert Stern, confirmed that Nacchio refused to turn over customer telephone records because he didn't think the NSA program had legal standing.Today Steven Aftergood at Secrecy News, the blog of the Federation for American Scientist Project on Government Secrecy, updated this story breaking last Friday, featured in a 13 October Milkhouse Mouse entry. Hint: It's "even worse than we imagined."
Watch how studiously congressional Democrats bury their collective head on this one, as they did on the Iraq War.
Aftergood's original story is here.--editor
IMPLEMENTING DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE
Upon lawful request and for a thousand dollars, Comcast, one of the nation's leading telecommunications companies, will intercept its customers' communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The cost for performing any FISA surveillance "requiring deployment of an intercept device" is $1,000.00 for the "initial start-up fee (including the first month of intercept service)," according to a newly disclosed Comcast Handbook for Law Enforcement.
Thereafter, the surveillance fee goes down to "$750.00 per month for each subsequent month in which the original [FISA] order or any extensions of the original order are active."
With respect to surveillance policy, the Comcast manual hews closely to the letter of the law, as one would hope and expect.
"If your [FISA intercept] request pertains to individuals outside the U.S., please be sure you have complied with all the requirements in 50 U.S.C. sections 105A and/or 105B," the manual says, referring to provisions of the Protect America Act that was enacted last month.
"Requests such as these can not be honored after one year and must be dated prior to February 5, 2008, unless extended by Congress."
Comcast will also comply with disclosure demands presented in the form of National Security Letters. However, the manual says, "Attention must be paid to the various court proceedings in which the legal status of such requests is at issue."
In short, "Comcast will assist law enforcement agencies in their investigations while protecting subscriber privacy as required by law and applicable privacy policies."
At the same time, "Comcast reserves the right to respond or object to, or seek clarification of, any legal requests and treat legal requests for subscriber information in any manner consistent with applicable law."
A copy of the manual was obtained by Secrecy News. See "Comcast Cable Law Enforcement Handbook," September 2007: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/docs/handbook.pdf
The role of telecommunications companies in intelligence surveillance is under increased scrutiny as the Bush Administration seeks to shield the companies from any liability associated with their cooperation in what may be illegal warrantless surveillance.
Also, there are new indications that the unauthorized warrantless surveillance program pre-dated 9/11. The Rocky Mountain News, the Washington Post, and others reported allegations that the government may have penalized Qwest Communications for refusing to participate in a pre-9/11 National Security Agency surveillance program that the
company believed might be illegal.
The Washington Post editorialized yesterday that the telecommunications companies should indeed be immunized against liability, as the Bush Administration desires. Even though it is not known exactly what the companies did, the Post said, they "seem to us to have been acting as
patriotic corporate citizens in a difficult and uncharted environment."
Writing in Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald disputed that view, arguing that patriotism lies in compliance with the law, not in mere obedience to executive authority.
Saturday, October 13
"Before 9/11": Planning Democracy's Demise
One urgent question possibly confronting Americans in 2050 when they studiously engage the sobering details below : "Why didn't America adequately probe the evidence and those treasonous White House slugs and hold them accountable for their complicity in 9/11?"
Answer: Following a period of more protracted public silence and head-scratching, academics will make their careers publishing--and their fortunes giving public seminars---on "The Startling Correlations Between Post-9/11/2001 Americans and Post-Reichstag Germans."
So let's continue to slurp up the Guyanan pink lemonade generously peddled to us by The United Corporations of America in the name of Amerikan democracy. Sieg Heil....
The Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11.
The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11.
The decision to launch a war against Iran was made before 9/11.
The Patriot Act was written before 9/11.
The government's spying on Americans began before 9/11.
[See the 15 October update on the NSA's warrantless snooping program by the Center for America Progress, under "Daily Grill":"After September the 11th...I authorized the National Security Agency to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations." --President Bush, 5/11/06The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons -- and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes -- all before 9/11.
"Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio...said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks [about surveillance contracts]."--Washington Post, 10/13/07
We also now know Bush's pre-9/11 NSA dragnet was not limited to international communications; it includes all domestic written and voice internet communications. See Corrente's 12 October full-tilt assessment of the NSA domestic snooping program titled "Even Worse Than We Imagined".
So...just what was the Bush administration really interested in tracking, if it wasn't post-9/11 terrorist communications? It was unquestionably pre-9/11 domestic communications. Just what was the Bush White House afraid of from U.S. citizens?--editor]
The government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers' own mouths before 9/11.
No steel-framed high-rise building had ever collapsed due to fire before 9/11.
The neocons who now run the U.S. government lamented, before 9/11, that they could not institute their plans for global domination without a "new Pearl Harbor".
Did 9/11 really "change everything"? Or was everything we're seeing now planned before 9/11?
Bottoms up, you neo-brown-shirts.
Thursday, October 11
Nutritional Fascism: An "FDA-Created Health Crisis"
While the Bush White House certainly didn't create the executive practice of opening up the hen house of government regulation to corporate foxes to be regulated, its arrogant glee in ravaging the commonweal is unprecedented.
The best clue of Bush-Cheney's intention of dramatically scaling back government regulation to pre-FDR New Deal days , i.e., to pre-Depression America circa 1928--was what the Denver Post learned by May 2004 was a plethora of appointments of former corporate lobbyists and officers to oversee the safety of the nation's food supply and health.
In a New York City ballroom days before Christmas , a powerful Bush administration lawyer made an unprecedented offer to drug companies, one likely to protect their profits and potentially hurt consumers.While undermining substantive government regulation is proving to be an economic wet dream for Corporate America, the covert class warfare literally is killing American consumers.
Daniel E. Troy, lead counsel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, extended the government's help in torpedoing certain lawsuits. Among Troy's targets: claims that medications caused devastating and unexpected side effects.
Pitch us lawsuits that we might get involved in, Troy told several hundred pharmaceutical attorneys, some of them old friends and acquaintances from his previous role representing major U.S. pharmaceutical firms.
The offer by the FDA's top attorney, made Dec. 15 at the Plaza Hotel, took the agency responsible for food and drug safety into new territory.
"The FDA is now in the business of helping lawsuit defendants, specifically the pharmaceutical companies," said James O'Reilly, University of Cincinnati law professor and author of a book on the history of the FDA. "It's a dramatic change in what the FDA has done in the past."
Troy's switch from industry advocate to industry regulator overseeing his former clients is a hallmark of President Bush's administration. [emphasis added]
Troy is one of more than 100 high-level officials under Bush who helped govern industries they once represented as lobbyists, lawyers or company advocates, a Denver Post analysis shows.
In at least 20 cases, those former industry advocates have helped their agencies write, shape or push for policy shifts that benefit their former industries. They knew which changes to make because they had pushed for them as industry advocates.
For example: Citing an FCC technicality, a Florida Appeals court in February 2003 invalidated a lawsuit by two Fox TV news reporters, effectively ruling that news networks were exempt from telling viewers the truth about cancer-causing additives in the food chain. That decision ended a five-year judicial process by overturning findings of three previous courts that awarded Jane Aker and Steve Wislon compensatory damages in a whistle blowing suit against the network's Tampa affiliate for suppressing research showing the state's dairy cattle injected with the artificial hormone bovine growth hormone (BGH) produced cancer-causing milk.
So, my fellow Americans, my question for you is "Got Milk?" Bottoms up. Now let me see that white mustache.
Appearing yesterday in my email inbox was the October issue of the e-newsletter "Spilling the Beans" from the UK's Jeffery Smith. The author and researcher's international bestselling book Seeds of Deception gravely informs us Americans--GM foods remain prohibited in Britain and Canada--we have much more in our food supply than milk to worry over--in large part because of George II's corporate-friendly FDA.
Here's are a few of the opening paragraphs from Smith e-newsletter this month:
An FDA-Created Health Crisis Circles the Globe
How corporations engineered the non-regulation of
dangerous genetically modified foods
Government officials around the globe have been coerced, infiltrated, and paid off by the agricultural biotech giants. In Indonesia, Monsanto gave bribes and questionable payments to at least 140 officials, attempting to get their genetically modified (GM) cotton approved. In India, one official tampered with the report on Bt cotton to increase the yield figures to favor Monsanto. In Mexico, a senior government official allegedly threatened a University of California professor, implying “We know where your children go to school,” trying to get him not to publish incriminating evidence that would delay GM approvals. While most industry manipulation and political collusion is more subtle, none was more significant than that found at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Genetically modified crops are the result of a technology developed in the 1970s that allow genes from one species to be forced into the DNA of unrelated species. The inserted genes produce proteins that confer traits in the new plant, such as herbicide tolerance or pesticide production. The process of creating the GM crop can produce all sorts of side effects, and the plants contain proteins that have never before been in the food supply. In the US, new types of food substances are normally classified as food additives, which must undergo extensive testing, including long-term animal feeding studies. If approved, the label of food products containing the additive must list it as an ingredient.
There is an exception, however, for substances that are deemed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). GRAS status allows a product to be commercialized without any additional testing. According to US law, to be considered GRAS the substance must be the subject of a substantial amount of peer-reviewed published studies (or equivalent) and there must be overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that the product is safe. GM foods had neither. Nonetheless, in a precedent-setting move that some experts contend was illegal, in 1992 the FDA declared that GM crops are GRAS as long as their producers say they are. Thus, the FDA does not require any safety evaluations or labels whatsoever. A company can even introduce a GM food to the market without telling the agency.
Such a lenient approach to GM crops was largely the result of Monsanto’s legendary influence over the US government. According to the New York Times, “What Monsanto wished for from Washington, Monsanto and, by extension, the biotechnology industry got. . . . When the company abruptly decided that it needed to throw off the regulations and speed its foods to market, the White House quickly ushered through an unusually generous policy of self-policing.” According to Dr. Henry Miller, who had a leading role in biotechnology issues at the FDA from 1979 to 1994, “In this area, the U.S. government agencies have done exactly what big agribusiness has asked them to do and told them to do.”...read more
Wednesday, October 10
Americans Abroad: Recyling William Blum's Murdered Hope
Lest we forget, Webster Tarpley's 2004 bestselling book 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism convincingly argues that long-practiced American-grown terrorism of the kind Blum chronicles essentially was a dress rehearsal abroad by the American Shadow Government brought back home on 11 September 2001 for an extended engagement.
For those who find Tarpley's thesis absurd, who still believe in the US "war" on Iraq and who remain unmoved after reviewing Blum's assessment of U.S. imperialism, know that you have passed 95% of your background check for employment here.
Blum's homepage is excerpted below.--editor
and other essays by Blum | order Killing Hope | other books by Blum | Blum speaking engagements
If you flip over the rock of American foreign
policy of the past century, this is what crawls out ...
invasions ... bombings ... overthrowing
governments ... suppressing movements
for social change ... assassinating
political leaders ... perverting
elections ... manipulating labor unions ...
manufacturing "news" ... death squads ...
torture ... biological warfare ...
depleted uranium ... drug trafficking ...
It's not a pretty picture.
It is enough to give imperialism a bad name.
Read the full details in:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA
Interventions Since World War II.
by William Blum
"Far and away the best book on the topic."
"I enjoyed it immensely."
"I bought several more copies to circulate to
friends with the hope of shedding new light
and understanding on their political outlooks."
"A very valuable book. The research and organization
are extremely impressive."
A. J. Langguth, author, former New York Times Bureau Chief
"A very useful piece of work, daunting in scope,
Thomas Powers, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
"Each chapter I read made me more and more angry."
Dr. Helen Caldicott, international leader of
the anti-nuclear and environmental movements
Table of Contents
1. China - 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Tse-tung just paranoid?
2. Italy - 1947-1948: Free elections, Hollywood style
3. Greece - 1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state
4. The Philippines - 1940s and 1950s: America's oldest colony
5. Korea - 1945-1953: Was it all that it appeared to be?
6. Albania - 1949-1953: The proper English spy
7. Eastern Europe - 1948-1956: Operation Splinter Factor
8. Germany - 1950s: Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism
9. Iran - 1953: Making it safe for the King of Kings
10. Guatemala - 1953-1954: While the world watched
11. Costa Rica - Mid-1950s: Trying to topple an ally - Part 1
12. Syria - 1956-1957: Purchasing a new government
13. Middle East - 1957-1958: The Eisenhower Doctrine claims
another backyard for America
14. Indonesia - 1957-1958: War and pornography
15. Western Europe - 1950s and 1960s: Fronts within fronts within fronts
16. British Guiana - 1953-1964: The CIA's international labor mafia
17. Soviet Union - Late 1940s to 1960s: From spy
planes to book publishing
18. Italy - 1950s to 1970s: Supporting the Cardinal's
orphans and techno-fascism
19. Vietnam - 1950-1973: The Hearts and Minds Circus
20. Cambodia - 1955-1973: Prince Sihanouk walks the
high-wire of neutralism
21. Laos - 1957-1973: L'Armée Clandestine
22. Haiti - 1959-1963: The Marines land, again
23. Guatemala - 1960: One good coup deserves another
24. France/Algeria - 1960s: L'état, c'est la CIA
25. Ecuador - 1960-1963: A text book of dirty tricks
26. The Congo - 1960-1964: The assassination of Patrice Lumumba
27. Brazil - 1961-1964: Introducing the marvelous
new world of death squads
28. Peru - 1960-1965: Fort Bragg moves to the jungle
29. Dominican Republic - 1960-1966: Saving democracy
from communism by getting rid of democracy
30. Cuba - 1959 to 1980s: The unforgivable revolution
31. Indonesia - 1965: Liquidating President Sukarno ...
and 500,000 others ...... East Timor - 1975: And 200,000 more
32. Ghana - 1966: Kwame Nkrumah steps out of line
33. Uruguay - 1964-1970: Torture -- as American as apple pie
34. Chile - 1964-1973: A hammer and sickle stamped
on your child's forehead
35. Greece - 1964-1974: "Fuck your Parliament and your
Constitution," said the President of the United States
36. Bolivia - 1964-1975: Tracking down Che Guevara
in the land of coup d'etat
37. Guatemala - 1962 to 1980s: A less publicized "final solution"
38. Costa Rica - 1970-1971: Trying to topple an ally -- Part 2
39. Iraq - 1972-1975: Covert action should not
be confused with missionary work
40. Australia - 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust
41. Angola - 1975 to 1980s: The Great Powers Poker Game
42. Zaire - 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven
43. Jamaica - 1976-1980: Kissinger's ultimatum
44. Seychelles - 1979-1981: Yet another area of
great strategic importance
45. Grenada - 1979-1984: Lying -- one of the few growth
industries in Washington
46. Morocco - 1983: A video nasty
47. Suriname - 1982-1984: Once again, the Cuban bogeyman
48. Libya - 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan meets his match
49. Nicaragua - 1981-1990: Destabilization in slow motion
50. Panama - 1969-1991: Double-crossing our drug supplier
51. Bulgaria 1990/Albania 1991: Teaching communists
what democracy is all about
52. Iraq - 1990-1991: Desert holocaust
53. Afghanistan - 1979-1992: America's Jihad
54. El Salvador - 1980-1994: Human rights, Washington style
55. Haiti - 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this
56. The American Empire - 1992 to present
Appendix I: This is How the Money Goes Round
Appendix II: Instances of Use of United States Armed
Forces Abroad, 1798-1945
Appendix III: U. S. Government Assassination Plots
Essays by William Blum
Other essays can be found in Blum's new book, Freeing the
World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (see below)
Feel free to disseminate any essay without permission,
but please mention www.killinghope.org
To subscribe to the Anti-Empire Report, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
with subject line "add". It's optional, but I'd also like your name and
city; the latter only in case I'll be speaking in that area.
*Anti-Empire Report, March 2004 *Anti-Empire Report, February 2004
*Anti-Empire Report, January 2004 *Anti-Empire Report, December 23, 2003
*Anti-Empire Report, December 1, 2003 *Anti-Empire Report, November 2003
*What Do the Imperial Mafia Really Want? (Feb. 2003)
*The September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks and the
U.S. bombing of Afghanistan -- Some observations (Jan. 2002)
*How the US provoked the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan
and starting the whole mess: Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski
*Cuban political prisoners ... in the United States (June 2001)
*Hiroshima: Needless Slaughter, Useful Terror (1995)
*Madeleine Albright, ethically challenged
*The United States, Cuba, and this thing called Democracy
*The U.S. vs Iraq -- A Study in Hypocrisy (1998)
*The Bombing of PanAm Flight 103 -- Case Not Closed (2001)
*Treason: None dare call it nothing. (1999)
*The myth of America's booming economy (2000)
*Die Berliner Post-Times, 1943
*A New Yorker trapped in Los Angeles (1996)
*Michael Parenti: a concise history of American imperialism
To order Killing Hope
Killing Hope is published by Common
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First published in 1995, with many
changes made to it since and a new chapter
on "The American Empire" added in 2003
For a copy signed to you personally, and
shipped immediately, send check to:
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To read about William Blum's other books on US foreign policy:
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
published May 2000, with a new 2002 foreword
Freeing the world to death: Essays on the American Empire
published September 2004
To read about Blum's political memoir:
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Readers are invited to try to arrange a speaking
engagement for William Blum at their school or
Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu Banned by Minnesota College
On the other hand, here's a sample of what Amerika's Heartland care most to hear: "Martha, change the channel and let's see who's on American Idol tonight?"
The excerpted commentary below by Cecilie Surasky of Jewish Voice for Peace appeared last week in Alternet's alternative news offerings. --editor
Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu Banned From Campus Over Israel CriticismRumors have been circulating for some time that Archbishop Desmond Tutu was banned by the University of St Thomas in Minnesota because of statements he made that some consider anti-Semitic. Now it's official: winning the Nobel Peace Prize doesn't protect you from charges of anti-Semitism if you criticize Israeli human rights practices. Neither, apparently, does being one of the most compelling voices for social justice in the world today, or even getting an honorary degree from and giving the commencement address at Brandeis.
Minneapolis/St.Paul's City Pages just reported that members of the St Thomas Justice and Peace Studies program were thrilled when Bishop Tutu agreed to speak at the University" but administrators did a scientific survey of the Jews of Minneapolis, which included querying exactly one spokesperson for Minnesota's Jewish Community Relations Council and several rabbis who taught in a University program" and concluded that Tutu is bad for the Jews and should therefore be barred from campus.
In a move that still has faculty members shaking their heads in disbelief, St. Thomas administrators--concerned that Tutu's appearance might offend local Jews--told organizers that a visit from the archbishop was out of the question..... Read more
Saturday, October 6
Calling Out a Faux-Journalist: Jon Stewart "Dismantles" MSNBC's Chris Mathews
On Wednesday (3 October), Editor and Publisher's Greg Mitchell assessed Jon Stewart's on-air massacre the previous evening of infomerical news host Chris Mathews when the faux-journalist (Mathews, not Stewart) appeared to promote his latest book about how--are you ready for this?-- ordinary Americans can glean lessons from political campaigns to become winners in our own life.
I kid you not.
As would any person with a brain with yet completely compromised integrity, Stewart was offended by the callow shit Mathews was peddling; he rightly shows the rube no mercy for going soft on Amerikan fascism.
Comedy Central's 6:35 minute video of Mathews' undoing is below Micthell's commentary. --Moose
Jon Stewart Dismantles Chris Matthews
If you have ever bemoaned the turn Matthews -- a former newspaperman -- has taken in recent years, you have to check out what happened on "The Daily Show" on Tuesday night. Matthews called it "the worst interview ever."
By Greg Mitchell
(October 03, 2007) -- You may find this hard to believe, but there was a time when TV gasbag Chris Matthews was a respectable hard news reporter. He worked in Washington, D.C. for the San Francisco Examiner from 1987 to around 2000, and also wrote columns for the San Francisco Chronicle and others. But if you have ever bemoaned the turn his career took as an interviewer/talk show host – or if you just hate the inside-the-beltway mentality of many of our leading press and TV pundits – then you would have loved Jon Stewart’s dismantling of Matthews on “The Daily Show” last night.
I have no idea if there is a back story to this epic confrontation beyond Stewart’s known hatred of loudmouth TV bullying (remember his famous attack on “Crossfire” a few years back?). But what was on the screen right in front of our noses was shocking enough, not to mention long overdue. Matthews, growing angry, called it “the book interview from hell” and his "worst interview ever," adding, "You are the worst."
Matthews accused him of "trashing my book." Stewart said he was actually "trashing your philosophy."
The "Hardball" host was there, like so many others before him, simply to hype his new book, “Life’s a Campaign.” Stewart was after him right from the start. He described the book as claiming that “people can use what politicians do in political campaigns to help their lives. ... That strikes me as fundamentally wrong.” Rather than a self-help book it is really a “self-hurt book, if you will," he added. "Aren't campaigns fundamentally contrivances?"
Matthews agreed, but said you could still learn from successful politicians – like them, you sometimes have to “sell yourself” to get a job or manipulate people to get ahead.
"But there has to be some core of soul in there," Stewart replied. "There's nothing in this book about, 'Be good, be competent.'"
Matthews said THAT book had been written before – and it was the Bible. But Stewart, when he is on his game, can be quick and erudite, and now he pointed out that Matthews’ new book had also been written before – and it was Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” Matthews claimed his book was better than "The Prince."
Stewart then twice called Matthews’ book "a recipe for sadness. ... If you live this book, your life will be strategy, and ... you'll be unhappy."
Matthews, finding himself on the receiving end for a change, invited Stewart to “Hardball,” and "we can play this both ways." Stewart replied, “I don't troll," drawing gasps from the audience.
"You are unbelievable," Matthews said. "This is a book interview from hell. This is the worst interview I've ever had in my life. This is the worst. You are the worst." Matthews accused him of being another Zell Miller but Stewart said that, unlike the former senator, he would not challenge Matthew to a duel.
Sputtering for an explanation, Matthews charged that "you are afraid of me" and there must be something in his book “that you fear."
"Like fascism, I fear fascism," Stewart responded.
This was worth waiting a decade for. You can watch the interview here.
Perhaps we should close with a quote from Machiavelli: "Because how one ought to live is so far removed from how one lives....it is necessary for a prince, wanting to maintain himself, to learn how to be able to be not good and to use this and not use it according to necessity." Now, that's playing hardball.
Friday, October 5
Palast Says Rather's $70 Million CBS Damage Suit Masks Professional Shame
Last month (19 September), CNN reported that former CBS News desk anchor Dan Rather had filed a $70 damage suit against his former employer, "alleging the network made him a 'scapegoat' for a discredited story about President Bush's National Guard service."
According to CNN:
Rather narrated the September 2004 report that claimed President Bush skirted some of his duties during his National Guard service and that a commander felt pressured to sugarcoat Bush's record. Rather maintains the story was true....On 17 September--two days before Rather filed his suit--Milkhouse Mouse confirmed Thornburgh was a practiced hand in covering up Bush family secrets. In 1989, he refused to turn over to a House committee subpoenaed documents about then-President Bush Sr.s' involvement in the Iran-Contra arms-for-drugs affair-- a scandal that, according to former CIA deep cover assassin Chip Tatum, the President's fellow Yalie and Skull and Boner mate John Kerry failed to adequately investigate in the U.S. Senate.
CBS rushed the story on the air and then blindly defended it when holes became apparent, said [the Independent Review Panel of former Bush Sr. U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and retired Associated press chief Louis D. Boccardi, who were] unable to say conclusively whether memos allegedly disparaging Bush's service were real or fake. [emphasis added]
Indeed, in the New York Times Book Review (7 April 2005), John Goodale, that paper's former vice chairman and general counsel, contextualized his critical assessment of Thornburgh and Boccardi's 224-page final report, concluding it was "flawed" and "should not be uncritically accepted, as it has been by the press and by television commentators."
"Lost in the commotion over the authenticity of the documents [on Bush Jr.'s military service] is that the underlying facts of Rather’s 60 Minutes report are substantially true," Goodale noted.
CBS Caves on Palast's 2000 Florida Election Scoop
Since December 2000, BBC investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author Greg Palast (The Best Democracy Money Can Buy and innumerable incarnations of Armed Madhouse) has been carrying a burning stone in his liberal heart for CBS News and Dan Rather.
It was Palast who reported--days before the U.S. Supreme Court halted Florida's court-mandated manual ballot recount for the presidency with Bush leading Gore by 537 votes to give the White House to George Jr.--from the UK about a vote-stealing scheme run out of the office of Florida Governor (and subsequent First Brother) Jeb Bush's office that scrubbed no fewer than 64,000 African-Americans from the state's voter registry. (Ninety percent of blacks voting casting ballots for president in 2000 voted for Gore.)
After initial interest in Palast's scoop, CBS refused to run it:
Shortly after the UK and Salon stories hit the worldwide web, I was contacted by a CBS network news producer ready to run their own version of the story. The CBS hotshot was happy to pump me for information: names, phone numbers, all the items one needs for a quickie TV story.So CBS caved. But based on Palast's astute reportage, the National American Association of Colored People immediately filed a class-action suit on behalf of Florida's African-American voters disenfranchised by Katherine Harris, the state's chief election official (NAACP v. Harris). But rather than face protracted court proceedings during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Jeb Bush effectively admitted his guilt when state attorneys in Miami quietly settled with the plaintiffs' attorney in September 2002.
I also freely offered up to CBS this information: The office of the governor of Florida, brother of the Republican presidential candidate, had illegally ordered the removal of the names of felons from voter rolls — real felons, but with the right to vote under Florida law. As a result, thousands of these legal voters, almost all Democrats, would not be allowed to vote.
One problem: I had not quite completed my own investigation on this matter. Therefore CBS would have to do some actual work, reviewing documents and law, and obtaining statements. The next day I received a call from the producer, who said, "I'm sorry, but your story didn't hold up." Well, how did the multibillion-dollar CBS network determine this? Why, "we called Jeb Bush's office." Oh. And that was it.
As they say in those parts of American where people can read, "The rest is bad history."
I Rather Remain "Tased and Confused"
Palast claims there is much more to Dan Rather's 2004 story on Bush's military service embedded in Daper Dan's court papers filed against CBS. According to Palast's 24 September blog entry, Rather and his former news division caved on a wrinkle of Bush's military service record that he and the BBC unearthed during the 2004 presidential campaign--and never retracted.
Just three months before the election, Rather had a story that might have changed the outcome of that razor-close race. We now know that Dan cut a back-room deal to shut his mouth, grab his ankles, and let his network retract a story he knew to be absolutely true.Palast goes on the say "BBC never backed down from the story of the fix that got Little George out of ‘Nam. We had a smoking hot document [view it here]Read more »
In September 2004 when Rather cowered, Bush was riding high in the polls. Now, with Bush’s approval ratings are below smallpox, Rather has come out of hiding to shoot at the lame duck. Thanks, Dan.
It began on September 8, 2004, when Rather, on CBS, ran a story that Daddy Bush Senior had, in 1968, put in the fix to get his baby George out of the Vietnam War and into the Texas Air National Guard. Little George then rode out the war defending Houston from Viet Cong attack.
The story is stone-cold solid. I know, because we ran it on BBC Television a year before CBS (see that broadcast here). BBC has never retracted a word of it.
But CBS caved. So did Dan.
That’s according to Rather’s written confession, his law suit, which is as much a shameful set of admissions as it is a legal complaint. [emphasis added] In the suit filed Thursday [sic; CNN reported the suit was filed Wednesday, 18 September.--ed], Rather tells us that Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom, owner of CBS, was “enraged that the [Air Guard] Broadcast had hurt CBS in the eyes of the Bush administration.” Viacom then set out to, “divert public attention from the accurate facts reported in the Broadcast concerning President Bush’s service (and lack thereof) in the TexANG during the Vietnam War; and enable CBS and Viacom to curry favor with the White House….”
Redstone roared and Dan, hearing his Dark Lord’s voice, admits he then “refrained from defending” the truths in the Broadcast. Dan shut his mouth, he confesses, in return for 30 pieces of Viacom silver: a promise that “his contract would be extended.”
Had Rather stood up to the Viacommunist thugs and defended his story, President Kerry and our nation could today express gratitude for his public service. Instead, Dan traded the public interest for airtime on 60 Minutes.
Greg Palast: "Censored again - and proud of it"
# 10 Vulture Funds Threaten Poor Nations’ Debt Relief
Source: BBC Newsnight, February 14, 2007
Title: “Vulture Fund Threat to Third World”
Author: Greg Palast with Meirion Jones
Why is it that some of North America's best investigative journalism goes begging, i.e., is not supported by Americans? Inquiring minds want to know.
Censored again - and proud of it
The bad news is, the Palast team has won its tenth-in-a-row "Project Censored" prize. For another story that Big Media won't dare touch.
The good news is: we're broke.
Last month, for the first time in two years, we came to you begging for cash so we could keep reporting the uncomfortable truth. Your response was astonishing. We're out of debt - back to zero.
(Our crawl out of the red was also helped by The Nation Magazine's Institute - which awarded our team the $25,000 Puffin Fellowship for investigative reporting.)
I'm back with one last (I promise) desperate plea for help. Now that we've made it out of debt, the Palast Investigative Fund needs your help to pay THIS month's bills.
Please, right now, make a tax-deductible donation to the Investigative Fund and I'll send you a personalized, signed copy of the book, 'Project Censored 2008' with my exposé on Mr. Giuliani's friend - the hedge fund vulture who is swiping the debt relief meant for Africa.
Make your donation at least $125 and we'll throw in Censored 2007 which includes our exposés on Iraq and Oil, "Bush Didn't Bungle Iraq, You Fools!" and, the skinny on elections theft - co-written with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
We have had to say good-bye to our two top investigators, Leni and Matt. Damn, we miss them! Our struggle now is to pay their successor, Kat, who is demanding to eat at least once a day.
And for those who really believe we've just GOT to get the word out: we are LOOKING FOR A COUPLE OF FILM PRODUCERS (twelve to be exact), so we can quickly release the broadcasts, "Greg Palast Investigates" Vol. 1 ("Election Theft for Dummies") and Vol. 2 ("The Chavez Tapes") based on our award-winning reports for BBC Television.
Become a mini-mogul by donating at least $1,000 to our fund (tax-deductible), and you'll get on-screen executive producer credit and DVD copies of the films to impress (and depress) your friends and enemies.
No joke. We're broke. But the work continues even if our pockets are bare. Want to support Raw Journalism, the real stuff? Here it is: just a $100 donation and I'll send you Project Censored 2008, or Bush Family Fortunes (the BBC film on DVD), or Live From the Armed Madhouse, or the book that took 50,000 volts from a taser and keeps on ticking: Armed Madhouse - Sordid Secrets and Strange Tales of a White House Gone Wild.
And true, deep appreciation from myself and the investigative team for your generosity which has kept us alive and proudly censored for nearly a decade.