Friday, October 10, 2008

The Great Deception

There is little sense in recounting the attempts made by foreign and domestic governments and financial institutions over the past week to forestall a deep and protracted global recession. It's not what's being discussed that concerns me. It's what isn't.

Over the last 2½ years, I've submitted a number of "Comments" to article in the Washington Post and a few other papers, all pretty much on the same theme; The US is in dire financial straights. What little attention these submissions got can be summarized by: "It can't happen here. The US has regulations in place that will prevent any serious damage to the overall economy. The American Economy is basically sound and growing. You obviously don't understand the situation."

It isn't that I thought I knew more than the publishers and writers, or as much as the media pundits, or anything approximating the keen savvy of government advisors and the men and women we glibly call the "Financial Wizards of Wall Street". But what I had done was read the entire GOA Report for fiscal 2005, as presented to President Bush in October, 2006.

In it, the Controller General of the United States, David M. Walker, laid out a stunning picture of the straights into which the US had plunged. He stated clearly that the accounting system used by the Federal Government did not conform to any standard accounting model (specifically FASAB: Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board) and that the figures in the public domain did not reflect the fiscal reality, the "Consolidated Financial Position", of the US.

At time of writing, Walker reported a fiscal discrepancy based on the difference between $8.5 trillion that was published as the "Official" National Debt, and the actual debt that was about $43 trillion. I did the math. The country was insolvent and probably had crossed that threshold several years before.

Same time, Washington, Wall Street and all the luminaries and pundits ACME could fetch were all saying that the economy was flourishing, jobs were being created, profits were soaring ... Americans were buying houses faster than they could get built...

I am convinced they all knew better, and they deliberately lied in hopes of grabbing as much as possible for themselves before the public caught on and the bottom fell out.

The reason I'm taking the trouble to insert this blog is that this "Great Deception" is still going on, despite the upheaval and confusion that seems to defy rational understanding. Bear in mind ACME is, by definition, Corporate. It has a vested interest in promoting the impression the economy is thriving. What might hurt the economy, would also hurt them; their profits that is. If anyone doubts the collusion between Washington and ACME's Media Magnates, they should check with Dan Rather and Phil Donahue.

I see some terrible and desperate times in the near future; all because the Main Stream Media failed to fulfill its public trust when it knew full well its demurring was tantamount to defrauding the public of its right to be informed. The Media, and the folks we call Main Street, are in a state of denial that resembles the intractable affliction of the inveterate gambling addict. There really is no secret to the current distress.

Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are
kept secret by public incredulity.
Marshall McLuhan

I posted the following this morning. I'm sticking in here in the unlikely chance someone might pester their favorite newsies into
taking up the matter seriously.

Your Comments On...
Main Street's Rescue
By Sebastian Mallaby

Market panic and apparent government panic have fed on each other.


roderickwstillwell wrote:

Orders from the bridge "Don't panic; Keep bailing", don't do any good when the ship has already sunk.

The American Media (aka. ACME: American Corporate Media Establishment) has consistently reported the US National Debt as per the "Official Debt Clock" (which figure is calculated on a deprecated accounting model, "The Cash Basis") that isn't recognized by the SEC for any public company. The Cash Basis in only used by small businesses and those that do not use or extend credit.

According to this method, the National Debt is $10 trillion; and rising fast.

This brings us to what shall, in all likelihood, go down as the most underreported story of the 21st Century: "The Great Deception". Perpetuating this deception is at the root of why Washington, ACME and Wall Street seem to be stumbling all over the place and conjuring arcane economic theory like so many "Medicine Men", delirious on some native hallucinogen, dancing around, shaking rattles, and making a show of trying to raise the dead.

The sum of the US household, corporate and public (all levels of gov.) debt is projected to be slightly over $57 trillion at the end of 2008; not $10 trillion. ...that's more than half the NDs of all the countries in the entire world; approx $103 trillion.

The *difference* between the Official ND and the Actual Debt is about $47 trillion, which equates to about $340,000 of additional, undisclosed debt per American Taxpayer (including those who don't pay taxes). At present rates (3.77%) this equates to $12,800 interest per year, per taxpayer.

By any accounting standard (GAAP, FASB, FASAB), these figures fit the definition of "Insolvent". Adding even more debt by selling TB's abroad to "inject liquidity into the market" is like giving a drowning man a glass of water.

These purported "bailings" are no more than 'busywork'; like bailing water from one compartment of a sinking ship into another. The only guys with their heads still above water are the ones who have commandeered all the lifeboats, bellowing advice to the drowning passengers and crew to "Keep Bailing".

Until ACME gets some 'grit & gristle' and begins to engage the people in the Real Issue, "The USA is Bankrupt", no one can begin to make realistic plans for the future. Tweaking the system, moving failed equity accounts around on the premise that they will increase in value, when the country's GDP of $13.7 trillion can't hope to catch up to the spiraling debt it already has, is idiotic.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Shut Up and Keep Bailing!

Friday, October 3, 2008

This is a week that shall go down in history. It might well mark the beginning of the end of Western Civilization. The months and years that follow portend calamities and human suffering not seen since our emergence from The Dark Ages.

To begin:

The truth of the matter is: The USA is bankrupt and has been since 2003-2004.

The American Corporate Media Establishment (ACME) is largely to blame, ... shamefully co-opted by The Bush Administration and the cartel of rapacious Wall Street financiers. This purported $7-8 billion “Bail Out” is another “Fake Out”, even more egregious than the one that “gas-lighted” Americans into believing invading Iraq was in the best interests of America; a mistake that has cost more than 4000 American lives. This Fake Out fits the classical definition of “The Big Lie”.

Simply stated, the “Big Lie” is that the National Debt of the USA is $10 trillion. This figure has been inculcated into the American consciousness by incessant repetition and made to appear “Official” in just about every source conveniently available to public inquiry. It is cited as:


The Outstanding Public Debt as of 28 Sep 2008 at 12:41

The estimated population of the United States is 304,806,978

so each citizen's share of this debt is $32,329.14.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$2.32 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

The $10 trillion figure is bruited with rare exception in everyday economic and financial news sources just as it appears below.

YORK(RUSHPRNEWS)10/02/2008-According to Treasury Direct (a United States Government website, link below), the total public debt outstanding for the United States of America topped ten trillion dollars for the first time as of September 30th, 2008. The total public debt outstanding? $10,024,724,896,912.49 and counting.
The united states is under a big pile of debt - illustration According to Treasury Direct, the total public debt outstanding for the United States of America topped ten trillion dollars for the first time as of September 30th, 2008. The total public debt outstanding? $10,024,724,896,912.49 and counting.

That is a lie. The household, corporate and public debt, the real Federal Debt of the USA is projected to be more than $53 trillion by year end, 2008; more than 5 times what Washington and ACME are telling the American People. The Debt load according to this Official, but bogus, rendering is about $32,300 per citizen living 'legally' in the US.

The actual debt load, per taxpayer, comes in at 10 times that, in excess of $385,000 based on GAAP, FASB and/or FASAB; take your pick. A 2 income family comes up owning $770,000; three quarters of a million dollars.

This really is not news in the strict sense. In October, 2006, President Bush was made aware of the unsustainable debt load already incurred during his administration.

"Second, the U.S. government’s total reported liabilities, net social insurance commitments [9] and other fiscal exposures continue to grow and now total more than $46 trillion, representing close to four times current GDP and up from about $20 trillion or two times GDP in 2000. Finally, while the nation’s long-term fiscal imbalance continues to grow, the retirement of the “baby boom” generation is closer to becoming a reality with the first wave of boomers eligible for early retirement under Social Security in 2008. Given these and other factors, it seems clear that the nation’s current fiscal path is unsustainable and that tough choices by the President and the
Congress are necessary in order to address the nation’s large and growing long-term fiscal imbalance."

Signed: David M. Walker; Controller General of the United States

That this ineluctable truth has been virtually ignored/suppressed/discounted in the Main Stream Media should give insight into what is behind this Administration's, behind Wall Street's and behind ACME's using the prospect of impending catastrophe to coerce Congress into adding even more debt. It is pure subterfuge; an attempt to buy a little more time with a lot of taxpayers' money for the sole and selfish purpose of escaping exposure and accountability for the disaster they have perpetrated on the US and indeed, the World.

To see things in a broader perspective consider:
The sum of the US household, corporate and public (all levels of gov.) debt is projected to be slightly over $53 trillion at the end of this year; not $10 trillion.

The combined GNPs of all the nations in the world for this year is projected to be around $55 trillion!!! ... and the total Consolidated ND for the planet is going to come in at around $100 trillion.

The projected US GDP for 2008 is $13.8 trillion (current dollars). The average interest rate that applies to the Debt is 3.77% or $2 trillion, ...$14,493 for each of the 138 million American taxpayers. This means that 14.5 cents of every dollar that turns over in the US this year is already committed to interest expense; an expense that must be be deferred (accrued) because the US can't pay it and this Administration knows it; ...not without borrowing abroad or, as it has been doing, capitalizing upon the peoples' retirement funds, home equities, and the future earnings of generations to come, ...converting these assets into the wherewithal to meet the carrying cost on more than $50 trillion.

The alternative is for the Administration to admit that is has driven the country into bankruptcy.

Authorizing an additional $7-$8 billion makes no more sense than bailing water from the Engine Compartment (Debt) to Steerage (Taxpayers' Equity) in a ship whose hull is full of holes.

By refusing to authorize this “Fake Out”, Congress has the opportunity today to distinguish itself by finally confronting the Bush Administration by exposing their fraudulent exploitation of the Public Trust. If Congress authorizes the Bail Out, history will undoubtedly indict them as co-conspirators. and so it should.

It's now 6:30 a.m. my time. I'm not optimistic that Congress will
either see or do its duty today.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Love Americans, Hate America?

Love Americans, Hate America?

"Love Americans, Hate America" is the title of an excellent blog by Amar C. Bakshi at the Washington Post. There is a limit on the length of “Comments”, which is perfectly understandable and reasonable. Fortunately for me, my blog is, well ... mine; -- so I can prattle away until I'm done. The following is a comment I submitted that exceeded what the WP deemed reasonable by a few hundred words; at least.

I agree with them, by the way.

[Originally submitted Oct 27,2007]

by: 00 Buck

Love (Ourselves), American Style
One of the reasons US History as presented to American high-school and post-secondary undergrads has become so “revised” is the “publish or perish” imperative imposed on university professors, PhD candidates, and 'distinguished' scholars.

Follow the Money
Book publishers put considerable pressure on academia. “New Editions” and “Revised Editions” generate considerable profits; -- causing earlier editions to be replaced by the millions. At the university level, this specious 'depreciation' rate severely limits “after-market” opportunities for students to economise by selling and purchasing their texts second hand.

The pressure to produce “new and improved” texts begs the question since they must, by inference, be substantively different from those they would succeed. What a school board or university faculty might be disposed to approve is influenced by marketing strategies. But, to an even greater extent, it is often driven by whether or not the author happens to BE a faculty member or, as is often the case, associated with the State or Municipal School bureaucracy.

I invite testimony to the contrary, but the history curricula of secondary and post-secondary institutions and the inventory of campus book stores is evidence of a “closed shop” WRT American authors and publishers. It would be no small novelty to the average student or history buff anywhere in the USA to discover an account of the War of 1812 penned and published in Britain or Canada. That is why, even among 'educated' Americans, few are aware that the massed forces who sallied forth from thence to invade Canada were rather ingloriously repulsed; which defeat proved to be an “education” in discouragement sufficient to allay notions of trying it again. The Yankee mantra of “We never lost a war.” should be qualified with “... that we admit to in print.”

To the Victor go the Spoils
Of all the perks of war, perhaps the one most unequally apportioned among the combatants is the right to draft the official brief of the hostilities with an appendix of condignly agreeable interpretations and authoritative sounding endorsements.

To Americans, they won the Second World War. To the Allies in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, America's involvement in WW II resembled a conscriptee forced into the ring in the tenth round of a fifteen round 'knock-down', 'drag-out'. The outcome was predictable. But for the Johnny-come-lately “ringer” to assume all the credit for the victory is preposterous; -- even though the bookies (American Financiers and Capitalists) did make a killing on a rigged fight.

Human Nature
The personal history of a nation in many respects is like unto a personal resumé. Anyone who has operated on their own cv a few dozen times over several decades (by way of 'perfecting' it) knows that the latest edition is better; 'improved' as it were by the twin virtues of maturity, --and hindsight. Also, those “References:” who might have been eligible for consultation on findings of fact have almost certainly faded from the picture; 'long-time'.

I'm not so much persuaded that Americans' understanding of history, especially their history, is the result of intentional “whitewashing” or propagandizing so much as it is merely a phenomenon characteristic of mundane human behavior; --folks just struggling to get by, get grades, and get tenure in capitalist economy.

Nevertheless, the result is a populace whose self-image and sense of importance is hugely distorted and whose image of other people and the histories of other nations is depreciated and ignored.

Perhaps nowhere has this ignorance been made more starkly apparent than what happened during the invasion of Baghdad.

Artifacts of Human Civilization, some dating back 5000 years, were treated like so much pawn shop inventory and either destroyed or left for looters. Much of it will never be recovered; lost to history and mankind, --considered 'justifiable' collateral damage in America's quest for oil. The cultural value of the contents of the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum of Natural History and the Library of Congress together pale to insignificance in comparison. But the architects of the Iraq War lacked the intellectual collateral to know, much less care, about what they were doing. Perhaps they were also unaware that Iraqis actually do have a word for 'philistine'.

Current Events
In the real world, most Americans do not have the luxury to invest much 'quality time' in continuing education. To keep abreast of what is going on requires a certain amount of prioritizing and sacrifice. Making informed decisions about what the country is doing is not as straightforward as it could be, -- a circumstance greatly exacerbated by the failure of ACME (American Corporate Media Establishment) to meet its responsibility to prioritize issues and to persistently educate the public on their significance.

One virtue that is at a premium in the vetting of current events history in America is “Independence”.

MSM outlets have all agglomerated into corporate entities with boards of directors, fund management investors and 'big stake' shareholders who expect big bonuses and maximum returns on invested capital. Editorial policy that might adversely affect confidence in “Corporate America” in general, and circulation 'cum' advertising revenues in particular, is tantamount to (in current vernacular) “cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.” or “counter productive” WRT superordinate corporate goals and objectives.

Corporate goals and objectives are also hitched to those of the reigning political party. Without massive corporate financial support, neither Party has a chance of fielding candidates with sufficient backing to have any chance of winning. And candidates with empathy for, and commitment to, the interests of Corporate America are the ones who will cultivate relationships beholden to, not independent of, the geese who deposit the golden eggs in their war chests.

This 'hitching' is a dynamic relationship. To get elected, a candidate needs support. Once elected, the health (profits) of those who invested in their candidate depends on good will, and favourable policy. The summary dismissal of Phil Donahue, Dan Rather, Mary Mapes etc., is a fair indication of what consequences might befall even the most influential and established journalists who run afoul of this Administration's Policy.

This 'hitching' is not lost on Putin.

During his 'téte à téte' with Bush Feb 24, 2005 it was reported in the WP that: “It's not clear how well Putin understands the controversy that led to the dismissal of four CBS journalists over the discredited report on Bush's National Guard service. Yet it's all too clear how Putin sees the relationship between Bush and the American media – just like his own.” Vlad had a very good understanding. The message these dismissals sent to corporate publishers and editors in the US was unmistakable: “No matter how far up the masthead or how senior, any [of your] journalists might be, if they incur our displeasure they can look forward to unemployment or a career as a free-lance stringer; and PDQ too.”

The surreptitious, strategic leaking of items to the WP, the NYT and various TV 'pundits' has also brought ACME into disrepute. The White House has been finessing them to play 'à la' that differentially gifted in-bred savant in “Deliverance”; earning some newspapers the unfortunate nick of “The Banjo Press” because they 'idiotically' just 'played along', --didn't take the steps necessary to discover just who actually started the dyadic polyphony.

Beyond the Fishbowl
Those of us living abroad have a different view of what the Bush/Cheney era has wrought in the USA. Most Americans still see the spectacle of 911 as the genesis of a Global War on Terrorism; -- a Holy War against any ideology, nation, or loosely held affiliation whose interests conflict with America's. This is the pervading dialectic, literally engraved in American neurologics.


The 1997 Manifesto titled “Project for the New American Century” was an official declaration of American foreign policy for the next 100 years. It represents the culmination of geopolitical and economic ideology fomented in the fore brain of DicK Cheney back in 1992, and underwritten by Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and a political science sycophant-hack pretending to at least 2 orders of magnitude beyond his skill set who goes by William Kristol, --just to name a few contributors.

June 3, 1997

"American foreign and defense policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategic vision of America's role in the world. They have not set forth guiding principles for American foreign policy. They have allowed differences over tactics to obscure potential agreement on strategic objectives. And they have not fought for a defense budget that would maintain American security and advance American interests in the new century.

  • We aim to change this. We aim to make the case and rally support for American global leadership.

As the 20 th century draws to a close, the United States stands as the
world’s most preeminent power. Having led the West to victory in
the Cold War, America faces an opportunity and a challenge: Does
the United States have the vision to build upon the achievement of
past decades? Does the United States have the resolve to shape a
new century favorable to American principles and interests?”

The US didn't so much win the Cold War; the Soviet Union just lost first. The economic, political and social upheaval that befell the Former SU is just around the corner for America. There was little or no warning about the collapse in Russia. There has been ample warning about the prospects for the USA, but it is not in the interest of Corporate America, the MSM, the Military Industrial Complex, and the current Administration to allow this spectre to resolve in American consciousness.

“Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

  • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;

  • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;

  • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;

  • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.”

The key words in this “Statement of Principles” are: Global, Political, Prosperity and Interests. The 77 page, 45,000 word Document they preface is a working paper advocating the build-up of American military forces and capabilities in anticipation that President Clinton would soon be out of the way.

One writer described the evolution of this working paper thusly:

"The blueprint for our current foreign policy was being written back in 1992 by then-Defense Secretary, Dick Cheney. His writings set out a new doctrine that called for U.S. power in the twentieth century, to be that of an aggressive and unilateral approach that would secure American dominance of world affairs by force if necessary.”
by: Mary Louise

What has become known as “The War on Terrorism” began with the dissemination of a series of manifestos among nations and peoples around the world. The attack on the Twin Towers was a predictable response, a consequence to to a 'de facto' unilateral declaration of war against any nation, any people, any affiliation that might be deemed an impediment to America's glomming on to anything of value to its economic interests.

These and various supporting corollary texts repeatedly stipulate in that the US reserves the right to intervene militarily (i.e. wage war) “preemptively” if it feels it is in its interest to do so. The invasion of Iraq on what is clearly understood to be 'trumped up charges' and unabashed duplicity makes apparent this policy is in effect. The reluctance of the American public to do anything about it, the absence of a 'vox populi' demanding such articles be rescinded, and for censure, impeachment etc., is perceived as tacit approval, making Americans liable, by default, to bear the consequences.

The US hadn't defeated communism in 1987; it simply became what it hated, --usurping its implicit objective of world domination and boasting that, as the self-proclaimed victor, it might now accomplish global suzerainty by any and all means at its disposal.

As the US once felt justified in thwarting the spread of Communism, so must O. B. Laden have felt justified in engineering his heinous act of September 11, 2001. Nevertheless, the US had specified the “Articles of War”, laid out the rules, “served notice” as it were. Bin Laden & Co. took note and responded in kind.

Instead of learning from the disaster, --learning what it's like to feel threatened by a violent, arbitrary, and ideologically driven cabal, the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld Administration persisted in incorporating and codifying the rhetoric and policy that Americans hated most about Communist ends/means rationalization; lies, secrecy, invasion of privacy, rescinding of human rights, torture, duplicity, unabashed violations of domestic and international laws and treaties, and intimidation, -- the basic ingredients of state sanctioned terrorism. The President's [Bush's] National Security Strategy of September 14, 2001
is a mocking testimony to just how far America(ns) had come to sanction the very evils they were born and bred to hate.

In the 1990s we witnessed the emergence of a small number of rogue states that, while different in important ways, share a number of attributes. These states:

  • brutalize their own people and squander their national resources for the personal gain of the rulers;
  • display no regard for international law, threaten their neighbors, and callously violate international treaties to which they are party;
  • are determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction, along with other advanced military technology, to be used as threats or offensively to achieve the aggressive designs of these regimes;
  • sponsor terrorism around the globe; and
  • reject basic human values and hate the United States and everything for which it stands.”

The ideologies of “Divine Right of Kings” (“L'Etat, c'est moi”) and “Manifest Destiny” resulted in disastrous consequences for France, The Third Reich and The Former Soviet Union. Yet this Administration would have America proceed headlong down the same rat hole. “Mien Kampf”, “Das Boot”, “The Prince” and the “Communist Manifesto” could have been the inspiration for Cheney's schemes and treachery. The American Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights --the "Charters of Freedom" most assuredly could not.

For my part, I would happily shoot a 'Cruise' or two up Osama's wazoo. Not because he violated what America had come to stand for; before 2001; but because he, and his “coalition of the willing, (aka al quada), are analogs, 'dopplegangers', ghostly incarnations of prevailing American egoism and zietgeist.

Bush and Cheney just didn't get it. Bin Laden was mocking them by imitating them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

“THE PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY” "Perfect Disaster” “Build you Own Tornado"

The Boundary Bay Morning Steamer
Boundary Bay, B.C. (
Originally Posted:
Thursday, March 16, 2006 as:
"Perfect Disaster” “Build you Own Tornado"

by; 00Buck

You have to see it. In an inspired example of the layout artist’s craft, The Washington Post today [Mar. 16, 2006] counter-posed the outline of Bush’s, “National Security Strategy”, with a promotion for the Discovery Channel’s Six Part Series, “Perfect Disaster”… “Build you Own Tornado". This stroke of journalistic genius qualifies as sublime,... or Freudian; or both; --a masterpiece.

The Post’s text & picture ‘coup de l’oeil’ shreds the flimsy, contrived veil that the Bush Administration had hung outside it’s domed temple to obscure Bush's real ambition and the rationale for the invasion of Iraq.
The text betrays his determination to destroy any person, any people, any nation, any principal, any convention, any law, that inconveniences (poses a potential threat to) American interests …even if it means laying waste as it has done, in the Cradle of Civilization, despoiling it’s cities, depreciating its artifacts as nothing more than trinkets to amuse the local looters, all the while ignorant of its 5000 year history, languages and cultures, and exultant about, “smart-bombing”, its homes, buildings and infrastructure to rubble, destroying Iraq’s economy, its domestic security and doing untolled damage to regional stability…all on bogus, hearsay charges that there was an outside chance the leader might be a potential threat; despite assurances to the contrary from competent UN observers actually on the ground.

None of the 911 crew came from Iraq; either.

In the US, no agency of any government can lob ordinance at a person’s residence, smash in, ransack and set fire to it, allow the contents to be looted, and shoot and/or imprison the occupants without a warrant. Come to think of it, they can’t even do that with a warrant; --as of this writing anyway! But when it comes to someone in a different country, with something potentially worth having on the property, American style justice degrades to unabashed, barbaric tyranny. I wonder if there is a phrase in Farsi that says, “The Philistines are back; and this time, it's personal”.

Where was Bush’s righteous rhetoric and national call to arms for Rawanda, Sudan, or any of a number of other oppressed and impoverished (no oil) nations he had to pick from? The tears of these peoples sank like drops of water to the bottom of a barrel of oil. Perishing millions were just statistics.
These and corollary utterances over the last 5 years, remove any doubt that the US has fashioned itself into a Terrorist Nation,…the ‘non plus ultra’ of the ilk; -- on the cutting edge of terrorist ideology.

This Bush, “Doctrine of Prevenge”, betrays a mindset that justifies destruction of friend and foe alike. It is a pernicious manifesto that makes the hate-mongering of Hezbollah and the Palestinians seem to skitter away like so many ‘dust devils’ by comparison.

Bush’s credo is precisely captured in this 'strategy' for global intimidation. It is a brazen threat to any defenseless country with opinions of its own; especially opinions about Yankee economic influences and interference in its affairs, … a credo backed up by its existing commitment to convert thousands of its own citizens into de facto suicide missionaries, its willingness to expend trillions of dollars of its citizens’ capital, and smarmily forsake the spirit and letter of its own constitution (a genuinely decent thing about America) in order to deprive any individual and any nation of its rights, freedoms, security, dignity and sovereignty. The US violated the UN’s charters of rights, ignored its proscriptions about what constitutes justification for war, just as Germany flaunted its power when it violated the Treaty of Versailles, prohibiting it from building up arms.

Like the Gestapo (Feb. 10, 1936), this Administration has positioned itself above the law, and may Heaven help anyone willing to risk being labeled a threat to national security, and branded as a traitor or a terrorist if they object. The backlash that is destined to follow this proclamation will not easily be dismissed as just more, “America Bashing”, or squealing from alarmist malcontents or political adversaries. The, “Doctrine of Prevenge”, is official policy;… the, “Reichstag”, speech of 1939; edited for Americans, and aimed at Arabs and anyone else who gets in the way.

Undoubtedly, spin doctors on Capitol Hill are already weaving patches into the fabric of the veil; contriving ways to depreciate those who would take this Strategic Policy Statement as further justification to attack the United States… and undoubtedly many Americans will get sucked into the spin cycle just as they have done for the last 70 years.

But comparable, “Fact Sheets”, being prepared in every OTHER country on the planet will not likely bend to these suasions; or render assessments in ambiguous rhetoric;… the Bush message can’t be ‘misinterpreted’ to seem to justify violence, by virtue of its own reasoning, IT IS JUSTIFICATION FOR AN IMMEDIATE CALL TO WAR AGAINST THE US by any nation or affiliation that perceives the US as a threat.

To those for whom Bush’s premises seem reasonable, whether Christian, Jew, Muslim or Atheist, if the US is perceived as posing a threat to any nation’s style of government, its preferred religions, its economic interests or its sovereignty, even it’s cherished privileges, the office and the mouth of the President has published good and righteous reasons for that nation to lay a thermonuclear egg in a Manhattan High Rise Coop and blow the living crap out of NY and the American economy. This would render it’s world power status, its potential threat to all nations, on a par with Paraguay for the next 50 odd years. What’s sauce for the goose …! Sanctioned by the official government seal, the US is now demanding the world play by its rules, “Bush’s Law”… may God help us!

The will and purpose of the Presidents Strategy is clearly to bruit a statement of intent; America’s intent to purge the world of irritants (defenseless ones that is), purify the globe to make it suitable for further economic hegemony …invade when desirable (remember Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1939?)…confiscate (occupy) property…create concentration camps (Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and assorted locations in Europe and elsewhere) ...gas, cremate (Shock & Awe, the Bomb!) …dehumanize foreign citizens … all the while arrogating unto itself the absolute and unassailable right to do so on any trumped up charge it can conveniently suborn.

“The Beer Hall Putch”, “Mein Kamf”, the “Reichstag” speech, all put forth vile contemptuous doctrine. Civilized Humanity dismissed it all,-- just couldn’t swallow it. It was seen as sheer madness, the ravings of a lunatic, destined for political and literary oblivion. That was a big mistake.
The invasion of Iraq was executed with even less justification than the invasion of Czechoslovakia and Poland. Like Adolf, George has emboldened himself by proclaiming victories (Pyrrhic though they be) and now he feels free to disclose his rationale (?). His “National Security Strategy”, is codified doctrine, anointed by proclamation to be righteous, and fit for the masses to embrace and take comfort in.

As was Hitler, Bush is also supported by arms manufacturers, oil companies, the industrial war machine (Halliburton, Carlisle Gp., KBR et. al) and corporations enticed by the prospect of seizing immense wealth. Bush’s Presidency is become a carbon copy of the career of the most vilified human being of the Twentieth Century. If history is correct, G. W. is just about as intellectually gifted; too.

Hollywood, and the publishing industry’s reluctance to provide fact-based educational material to American students (if it makes the US look bad)… has led the Nation to a sorry pass. Americans have an astoundingly warped view of their own history and of themselves as a people; a people now as ‘ripe for the pickins’ for the likes of George W. as Weimar Germany was for Heir Adolf. Bush & Co. is as out of touch with reality as a, “dry drunk”, 'jonesing' like crazy for want of a swig.

Prove me wrong; the majority of Americans still think The US won the War in Europe and liberated the continent from fascist tyranny. Yanks can’t understand why everyone else on the planet is pretty much disgusted with this exagerated claim, considers them boorish and moronic, and isn’t in the slightest bit impressed by incessant Yankee haranguing about what a magnanimous and glorious performance it gave in that theatre. No one would diminish the sacrifices in blood and life made by American Service men and women. It's just that 'Americanology' ignores the heroic sacrifices of everyone else.

Here’s the problem, or part of it: for those who are less imperfectly informed than Americans born after WW II, these much vaunted assertions about American virtue and sacrifices as portrayed by the media (comic books included), by Hollywood celluloid heroes, by blatant propaganda, and especially as articulated in what passes as History in American school books, leaves everyone else clinically queasy, pawing our pockets for Gravol.

Here is one reason why:
Jan 30, 1939 - Hitler threatens Jews during “Reichstag” speech.
Sept 1, 1939 - Nazis invade Poland.
Sept 3, 1939 - Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
Sept 5, 1939 - United States proclaims neutrality; German troops cross the Vistula River in Poland.
Sept 10, 1939 - Canada declares war on Germany; Battle of the Atlantic begins.
Dec 7, 1941 - Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor; Hitler issues the Night and Fog decree.
Dec 8, 1941 - United States and Britain declare war on Japan.
Dec 11, 1941 - Germany declares war on the United States.

During the 27 months after Britain and Canada, (or, “Canukistan”, as former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan would prefer Americans call it!) declared war on Germany, the US assumed the position of “armed neutrality”. What buds!
Europeans and the Allies could go straight to the Devil as far as The US was concerned and President Roosevelt made no bones about it. American industry did, however enjoy lucrative business exploits, indenturing Britain, Germany and Italy for arms, oil, electronics, appliances, nylons (and other explosive materials) etc., for more than 2 years. US multinationals such as Phillips, Dupont and Shell were making a killing (after their own fashion) and were proud of it. When other Allied Nations annually recite the phrase “Lest we forget” at cenotaphs, be assured, they haven’t forgotten. Only in America is American venality forgotten, world history rendered a palimpsest by collective denial, -- literally overwritten in American cultural history.

Contrast this ‘sorry-ass tale’ of selfish preoccupation with what happened when Japan attacked Pear Harbor; -- a remote American ‘get-away’ in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 99.9% of the world’s population couldn’t have found it in Rand McNally with a magnifying glass. Nevertheless, in less than 24 hours, Britain and Canada declared war on Japan!! They (we) didn’t wait 27 months to see how we might ghoulishly work our American friends’ calamity to our economic advantage.
When Hitler trampled Czechoslovakia and Poland, two vital nations with centuries of history and importance to the Western World, there was no galactic proclamation from The Hill about, “A day… that shall live… in infamy.” But damage to a tiny, quasi-American port on a nearly invisible island was instantly magnified to blasphemy; as if the very foundation of Divine Creation had been shaken.

Three days after Pearl Harbor, even Hitler could stomach American hypocrisy, venality, and greed no longer. GERMANY DECLARED WAR ON THE UNITED STATES; a fact so outrageous it is believed to be heresy by many Americans. It does not sit well when they are first acquainted with it. The US did not initiate hostilities against, “The Third Reich”, and strong evidence exists that it wouldn’t have ventured into the fracas as long as there was still money to be got by staying out of it. Vainglorious striding about the Earth as under appreciated saviors of Western Civilization, makes Americans look foolish and rather dim of wit.

When the US was finally dragged into the war kicking at the goads, a war Germany was already well on the way to losing all by itself; it did so just in time to pretend to the lion’s share of the credit, --- and the spoils.

The only way out of Germany’s crippling debt in the 1920’s was for Hitler/Germany to declare war; “World War”;… yet the Reich’s debt pales to insignificance when compared to the current 8 trillion dollars the US is “officially” [1] in arrears … $26,000 for every man, woman and child legally in the country based upon the last census. The Government's own tally puts the lie to this. The actual Federal Fiscal Exposure is over $46 trillion. [2]

The illusion of current prosperity is simply the effect of mortgaging the future at a rate of $2 billion a day. The collapse of the American Automotive industry is imminent, and with it the collapse of confidence in the US Dollar and the Stock Market. What is on the horizon might well make events following Oct. 29, 1929 look like a high-dive played in ‘slow-mo’. One might think this is not the time to go looking for trouble. But one is not Bush & Co, is one?

Bush’s, “Security Strategy”, makes the United States ideologically and militarily indistinguishable from Germany in the months leading up to WW II.
The arrogation of counter-constitutional executive privilege, and now this, “Doctrine of Prevenge”, are calculated to generate increasing paranoia within, and to inspire unprecedented enmity, fear and hatred among foreign peoples already retching over American foreign policy. In the minds of the Bush Administration, by inciting attacks on US soil they might well provoke the justification they need to demand even more power, to insult the spirit of Constitution even more egregiously, and to justify hegemony on an even greater scale.

George, Dick, Donald and their tribe are positioned to exploit this ‘last ditch effort’ for its potential to incite hostilities before the economy collapses, a collapse that threatens their security by taking with it the billions and billions they and their lot have extorted, embezzled and exploited while presiding over the destruction of what was the most powerful nation on earth.
This is the stuff and substance of Bush’s, “Security Strategy”, a Tornado (Blitzkrieg); “A Perfect Disaster”. The WP’s layout is not only ingenious and sublime, it is prophetic.

United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
December 14, 2005
p. 28

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Robert Alan Soloway – Revenge of a Spamjammer

Robert Alan Soloway – Revenge of a Spamjammer
June 16, 2007
by: 00 Buck

Maybe its just me; maybe someone should tell me to “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ...
(it wouldn't be the first time)..., but; now that Master Soloway is securely hosteled at
“Club Fed” for the next couple of months at least, this might be an opportunity to
convey to him, and the legal (sentencing) community, an indication of just how intense and
widespread the opprobrium among the private, commercial and public communities towards
him and his ilk.

Mr. Soloway has ere boasted publicly that his assets are “Judgment proof”. Maybe; but his
“ass” isn't. The June 13 ruling by US Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue denying him bail
in setting a trial date of August 6, finally established this. The prosecution's description of
Soloway's recent history of cavalier disregard for financial judgments against him, which
judgments incorporated orders for him to cease and desist from spamming, might be
characterized as a “curriculum vitae' of a bail jumper.

The defense countered with argument to the absence of criminal convictions in Soloway's record,
the absence of a history of violence, and it thereupon submitted he should not be deemed a threat
to society and hence ineligible for remand.

In addition, the defense argued that he has no significant assets. The judge expressed about the
same level of disdain for these arguments as Soloway had shown towards his civil responsibilities
in the past. His Honor eschewed the defense’s “buts” by installing the braggart's butt where he can
be sure of collecting it come August 6.

The disclosure that the rent and utilities for Soloway's seafront apartment were prepaid for the next
6 months before (in anticipation of?) these proceedings, and that he had managed to retain
counsel, did not convince the court that the argument from poverty had merit.

If, each and severally, 'Spamjammers' around the world who really do 'give a lick', were to
send Soloway a postcard or letter during the time leading up to his Aug. 6 trial, and if these
should aggregate to numbers in any wise representative of the masses upon whom he has
vaingloriously performed such yeoman disservice, chances are it would attract media attention
... might even become a running story.

Post Cards are readily available at many supermarkets and drug stores; some already stamped.
A few seconds of applied penmanship and insertion in a drop-box, and 'whoosh'. One way or
another, someone will have to deal with it (them); not like email complaints that usually
end up as nothing more potent than a pother of electrons.

Selecting from images of far-away places, smiling beauties and bountiful feasts would be
especially apt; poignant even. Those fortunate enough to live in, or take trips to, exotic
locations and sumpt on rare and toothsome cuisine could take a moment to think of RAS
and dash off a post card saying:
“The weather is here; wish you were beautiful.
How's the grub you SOB?”

Fair is fair; however. Any such communiqués should append a statement affording
Mr. Soloway the chance to “opt-out” of future mailings by snail-mailing a reply to
that effect.

As a possible mollifier, the offer of forgiveness might also be considered; albeit in a
qualified sort of way. The sentencing judge might lend ear to an appeal to reduce
Mr. Solway's term by one day for every day he is willing to subsist on nothing more
than Hormel sample platters.

For those who do 'give a lick', R.A,S. can be reached at the following address. I'm sure
the prison Post Office persons will take a real shine to him; seeing as he is so popular
and seeing how his presence makes their chores just that much lighter.

Robert Alan Soloway
c/o Federal Detention Center
2425 South 200 Street
Seatac, WA


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Penguins, Polls and Personal Privacy


Please Don’t Call Me Here

“Penguins on the Equator” blogmaster AK alerted to a poll taken by ABC/Washington Post on Friday [May 12.06]. By virtue of it’s significance, the topic of Domestic Telecommunications Spying in the US probably deserves a blog all it’s own but I don’t have the time or patience to start one. So we took a poll and decided just to re-post from “Penguins” and pretend we invented it.
Saturday, May 13, 2006

Could the latest NSA revelations help Bush?

I don't know if "surprised" is the right word, but I was definitely intrigued by the findings of an ABC/Washington Post poll released yesterday on the news that Bush has been creating a massive database of phone calls made by people in the US:

The new survey found that 63 percent of Americans said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism, including 44 percent who strongly endorsed the effort. Another 35 percent said the program was unacceptable, which included 24 percent who strongly objected to it.

This poll was hastily done (overnight), and, as Mark Blumenthal points out, had a relatively small sample size (504 people) and correspondingly large margin of error (plus or minus 4.5%). Even so, the results are informative. So should Democrats just stop talking about it in the near future? Bush's numbers on terrorism have certainly gone down since January, when the last NSA surveillance scandal occurred, and the Democrats, since the Dubai Ports World dustup, have seen a significant rise in their numbers that has tended to place them on pretty much even footing with Bush and the GOP.

But terrorism still remains Bush's strongest area as far as polling, and as Blumenthal argues, "Bush can only stand to gain if the public's attention shifts from his handling of gas prices, the economy, immigration and Iraq to his administration's efforts to 'investigate terrorism.'" Much as it pains me to have to admit, I think I'm in agreement with that.

UPDATE: A Newsweek poll, asking a different question, gets different results:

Has the Bush administration gone too far in expanding the powers of the President to fight terrorism? Yes, say a majority of Americans, following this week’s revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone records of U.S. citizens since the September 11 terrorist attacks. According to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, 53 percent of Americans think the NSA’s surveillance program “goes too far in invading people’s privacy,” while 41 percent see it as a necessary tool to combat terrorism.

UPDATE 2: "Sibling Rivalry: 'Wash Post' and 'Newsweek' Polls Clash on NSA":

They may be owned by the same company, but two polls commissioned by The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine on the important issue of public approval of the National Security Agency's gathering of phone records produced quite different results.
So what happened? Most likely views changed that much in one day after more negative media reports (including many from conservative commentators such as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough) surfaced. The Washington Post survey took place before many Americans had heard about, or thought about, the implications. The Newsweek Poll also reached twice as many Americans.

BBMS Comment

Sunday, May 14, 2006


I'm sure most of your readers have 'cottoned on' to the tendency of the WP, Newsweek and the American Mainstream Corporate Media generally to understate the importance of many of the issues attached to the Bush Administration. Many of us up here north of the 49th are completely baffled by what we see and hear.

Its not that we necessarily feel we are owed an explanation, [if we did, I’m sure most Americans would agree we are likely to be disappointed] but the truth of the matter is, we suffer for want of one. The poll results you cite are a case in point.

A poll conducted by CBS & NYT ‘long about last February asked a similar question. My recollection of the question is: ‘Would you, or would you not, be willing to let the government monitor your phone calls and emails as part of it's campaign against the threat of terrorism against the US?’ The results of that poll indicated that 70% of Americans were opposed to this practice.

Since then, support for, and confidence in, the Presidency has dropped 10 percentage points, AND, trust in the MSM in the US is even lower than trust in the government, according to a London Times Poll taken recently.

So, you see at least part of the reason for our bafflement. Trying to form a coherent picture of Life in America affords about the same kind of challenge you would face if someone took a handful of tiles from 3 or 4 different jigsaw puzzles, tossed them into one box with a picture of a fourth puzzle on the top, and tasked you to put it together. The project sure keeps a body busy; but the results are not satisfying.

The picture that has emerged thus far rather looks like a country with an executive presenting ALL the clinical diagnostic criteria of a "Dry Drunk", a Congress that behaves like an "Enabler", a Senate “Pushing” Lobbyists’ Dope, an Economy that is in the “Tank”, and a media that is in "Denial". The American People come out looking completely narcotized; which, under these circumstances is not surprising.

One take on these results could well be that those polled by WP/Newsweek are just too exasperated to care much any more what the government is doing to them; it almost looks like a ‘white flag’ gesture.


AK said...

I agree that the poll results are somewhat confounding. It's important to remember, though, that the Washington Post poll was conducted very soon after the revelations (the same evening the USA Today story was published), and many people may not have had a chance to learn details about the program.

As to the CBS/NYT poll you cite, the only explanation I can think of is that Americans see a distinction between the NSA's data mining and what they would consider "monitor[ing]" their phone calls. Most Americans, I think, would have a very serious problem if the government were actually listening in on, or reading, their communications. At least as USA Today describes the program, that doesn't appear to be occurring (yet).

I also agree it's somewhat perplexing that there remains such a disconnect between Bush's public approval rating and the public's tolerance for counterterrorism measures implemented by his administration. Since 9/11, however, Americans have revealed themselves to be quite risk-averse -- willing to tolerate all sorts of practices that previously they would have vehemently resisted. Quite simply, they're willing to put up with counterterrorism policies that they believe will make them safer -- even if those policies come from a White House that has revealed itself to be unprecedentedly inept.

New poll on NSA domestic data mining

Posted By AK Mon. May 15

USA Today:

A majority of Americans disapprove of a massive Pentagon database containing the records of billions of phone calls made by ordinary citizens, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. About two-thirds are concerned that the program may signal other, not-yet-disclosed efforts to gather information on the general public.
By 51%-43%, those polled disapprove of the program, disclosed Thursday in USA TODAY.

BBMS Comment: Later that same day.


As you have aptly noted today [May 15]; the USA Today/Gallup poll indicates a shift in opinion (again, a sub-standard sample. It should be at least 1000 +) from Fridays ABC/Washington Post poll. But it still indicates the polled public is pretty much equally divided on the issue. The reason this troubles me can be cited with reference [back] to Friday’s poll.

My 'BS-o-meter' started making a racket as soon as I saw/heard the results. I’m sure your sources will confirm the widespread citing of these results over the weekend, and how this tended to dampen criticism of NSA’s monitoring program. I’ve seen this pattern repeated in the US MSM over and over since the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. What those poll results ‘seemed’ to indicate is what will stick to the wall for a long time; and it takes a lot more time and effort to clean a spot than it does to make one.

What I haven’t heard are serious challenges to the legitimacy of publishing a poll based on only 500 contacts. That figure doesn’t meet the threshold for ensuring a random sampling with respect to US population demographics. Neither does the brief window of time in which the poll was taken. Taken together, these factors bring into question the purported margin of error of 4.5%.

If the poll had been taken by/published in a small, family-owned newspaper using the same methodology, and had the results been damning of the NSA program, I think the MSM would have treated it very differently, assuming they would have bothered to pick it up at all. It is doubtful it would have been deemed worthy to make the front pages, and, in my opinion, the essay would have been to undermine the credibility of the publication for attributing statistical significance to the results. Based on the WP’s track record of late, I’m pretty sure there would have been accusations of political bias and journalistic irresponsibility.

In short; I am confident the “story” would have been a case for shooting the messenger.

Data Mining versus Monitoring
Why this troubles and baffles me is the apparent disconnect between extant information about the current administration and the logical conclusions a reasonable person would make based on that information.

In the interest of brevity, a partial list of ordinates that inform my understanding include:

1. The dissembling/prevarication of intelligence information vis. Iraq in 2001
2. The dissembling/withholding of information vis. NSA and DoD [domestic] activities
3. The dissembling of Administrations role vis. Katrina
4. The Administration’s disregard for the UN
5. The Administration’s questionable respect for Human Rights vis. POW’s
6. PNAC Initial Report (1997), The Signatories and the Follow up(s)
8. The subjugation of the Elected Legislature to the disposition of the Administration (“The Decider”) viz. “SIGNING STATEMENTS”
10. John Snow’s Budget Forecasts for 2005 and 2006

Having followed your blog for a couple of months, I am confident you are hip to all these points of reference; I just want to economize on bandwidth by letting you know, so am I. I include #9 and #10 by way of underscoring the manner in which the Administration has dissembled/minimized the significance of these reports; … a practice that appears to be abetted wholesale by the US MSM, and is arguably insidious.

The elemental question that connects these 10 items is; what has this Administration done with information it has gathered? It can be convincingly argued that in each case, the Executive has collectively and severally abused their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution and to faithfully execute their duties and responsibilities.

Especially egregious from the POV of other Sovereign Nations [like Canada] is the conjunction of #6 and #7. Taken together, these articulate a manifesto that canonizes American hegemony as divine right and equates all matters that pertain to US Global influence and economic interests with legitimate National Security Interests. In other words, any interference with American perceived needs, wants or desires is a de facto threat to American National Security. This policy framework is tantamount to dismissing the sovereign rights of all other nations in determining foreign, domestic and economic policies, and it subjugates these rights to the approval of the United States under threat of unilateral pre-emption or interdiction by force.

Had congress been fully informed as to the frailty of the intelligence cited as justification for the Invasion of Iraq, had it been cognizant of the trillions of dollars that shall ultimately attach to the War, if it was aware of the damage to US credibility that was to ensue, it would not have acceded to the War, nor would it have failed to challenge Budget(s) carefully contrived to conceal the real costs through discretionary post hoc diversions.

Similarly, the cloaking of domestic intelligence gathering in National Security language has prejudiced Legislative oversight and effectively sequestered Congressional committees from peer, Judicial, and voter view. NSA, DoD, DHS, DEA, CIA and FBI now all have access to personal and heretofore private information on citizens of the US, which information is now being legally “classified” and therefore not subject to challenge or appeal; rendered inaccessible even through the Freedom of Information Act.

The abstraction of the Executive from Constitutional (Judicial) purview on the basis of Privilege deriving from National Security and rendering new legislation into palimpsests upon which to ‘forge’ Presidential “Signing Statements”, substantively alters the contract that has existed since 1876 between the American public and it’s elected representatives. Critics are caught in the logical loop of “begging the question” To assert that the executive might be violating the Constitution, ignoring Congress or just plain breaking a variety of civil and criminal laws and codes is moot if the executive can override/overwrite/interpret or void any law on the books as it pertains to them.

Obscuring domestic spying by presuming to scatter a variety of technical definitions in the way doesn’t change the nature of the beast. Terms such as “Monitoring”, “Data Mining”, “Call-Tracking”,"terrorist surveillance program",
etc. seem to indicate some nice distinctions only ‘cognoscenti’ with peculiar savvy sets could be expected to understand. What seems to be ignored is that no matter what the data bases contain, something is intended to be done with it, and someone is going to be in the position to evaluate and render an interpretation of the information and assign levels of risk, now and for years to come.

Anyone accidentally tripping a telephone “monitoring” algorithm in the course of high school or university study, or someone using the internet as a tool of satisfying intellectual curiosity will produce a ‘daemon alert’, or a red flag, or a blip of some sort. And a file will be automatically created. From then on, every accidental blip will accumulate in that file and personal names, addresses, SINs, DL #s, “Known Associates”, etc., will be attached to it.

By’n bye, that student, or even an old girlfriend (known associate) from his email address book long ago, might apply for a position requiring a basic security check or even a security clearance for university grant money, defense contract or government job. Since everything about the ‘intelligence’ is “Classified”, the applicant would have no way of redressing a rejection of a security clearance. All anyone would know was that at one point a file was started and maintained; indicating suspicion of something relating to “National Security”. The ease with which this protocol could be used to impair the careers of individuals politically unsympathetic to a Party or to government in general is patently Orwellian.

The swiftness with which this Administration was able to contractually compromise AT&T, Bell South and Verizon by entrapment into abdicating their responsibility to protect their customers under Section 222 of the Communications Act is a good indication of just how Orwellian this issue is. I use the word, “entrapment” advisedly. First; the government contracted to pay them for the information; then, leveraged the offer with threats they would be liable to reprisal by violating “National Security” if they demurred. FISA was not invited to opine upon the matter, presumably ‘trumped’ by the USA Patriot Act. FISA wasn't fast enough to be patriotic, evidently.

An assessment of the legitimacy of domestic intelligence gathering as a counter-terrorist tool must be predicated on the assumption that a threat to American vested interests has been identified and that people living within it’s borders are implicated. Reflecting upon this Administration’s performance; it’s reliability in gathering, interpreting and deploying intelligence, the poll results suggest the ‘civvies’ abide in a somewhat serendipitous state of mind as to what, and who is assumed to present the greatest threat.

The ABC/WP poll, by virtue of timing and content, seemed like an attempt to predispose America to feel there was nothing alarming about the announcement of the extent of domestic spying by muting the bell before ringing it.

Putin has been up to similar shenanigans and Cheney unabashedly called him on it last week. If another democracy, say France, had been perpetrating the same Constitutional infringements and misdemeanors as [this Admin has practiced in] the US, I am confident the American Press and The White House would be all over it like pink on a pig, and opinions would not reflect ambivalence.

What’s it going to take; d’ya think?

Roderick Whitney Stillwell
The Boundary Bay Morning Steamer

Monday, May 01, 2006

“Oh Say Can You See…”

“Oh Say Can You See…”
“The US Wants to Give Canada BO

The Boundary Bay Morning Steamer®
Boundary Bay, B.C. ( Sunday April 30, 2006

Editor: Roderick Whitney Stillwell
Senior Staff Writer: 00Buck

You never know what will get you going; eh? Most of the people I admit to knowing only know of Bill O’reilly by hearsay. To those of us with basic cable (we don't get him... no pun intended) , he’s a bit like the invisible man of lore:

“The other day upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
Oh dear; I wish he’d go away.”

One web site I frequent,, enjoys making sport of this imperfectly formed quackfish. I credit them for their pains; the same way I give credit to vice cops who have to watch child-porn videos when following the trail left by the 'slithies' that produce them. I am also grateful for MM’s dogged coverage; otherwise I might squander my equanimity when I could be discovering things going on out there that I want to be offended at.

Hosts of the MM site describe their mission thusly:
“Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”

I infer from the way the US Media slings their lingo, that Americans employ a modified form of the word “conservative” from the one ‘brere’ Noah [Webster] bequeathed to them. Either that or they have surrendered the theatre of the “preposterous misinformation in the U.S. media” to a bigger army.

I really didn’t give a hoot about what BO was reported to have said about us [Canada], he doesn’t know enough about Canada or Canadians to have an opinion, and his apparent burden of information about his own country appears to be a poorly executed illusion created by being orally ‘sumpted’ by station interns; who can read. Such a waste of potential; if only he had applied himself as a youth, he could have been an accomplished punk, instead of just a mediocre one.

What was interesting were comments about the piece provided by other Media Matters 'aficionados'. Unfortunately, the thread had already been archived, and I blithely proceeded to bash out a comment of my own by way of improving upon one that I liked. What follows are the original lump of hurl offered up on BO’s radio vomitory last Thursday, the comment that got me started, and lastly my languishing repost.

Media Matters headed the thread:

“O'Reilly failed his own "civics test"; will he deport himself to Canada?”

“Summary: On the same edition of his radio show in which he misidentified the energy secretary, Bill O'Reilly proposed a "bill" to deport to Canada "high school kids in this country [who] couldn't pass a civics test," because they "don't know what the House of Representatives is; they don't know what the judicial branch is."
“So, I have a bill that would throw all those kids out. All right? Let's do that. Let's get rid of all these dopey kids. OK? Y'all with me on that one? Can't pass the civics test, Seymour? Say hello to Canada.” J.M

pleindepoisson commented:

“People joke, but...

People say they're going to move to Canada, but usually it's humorous. “As soon as I finish college, I'm moving to Canada”. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm going to go live somewhere in the US for a year and hold a job, then move to Canada. It's easier to get in that way, if I have a year under my belt.”
Posted by - pleinedepoisson Thursday April 27, 2006 06:00:05 PM EST

Bonjour pleinedepoisson;

True American Patriots ARE moving to Canada; more than many realize. Most do it quietly; keeping a low profile so's not to startle our bureaucrats and complicate the formalities. They aren’t doing it as protest; they’re doing it because they’re ashamed, afraid, and demoralized. Mention the likes of Bill O’reilly, Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan or Tucker Carlson to them and they get this baleful look of despair; as if you’d inadvertently reminded them that their children have turned out to be crack whores and pimps: and have syphilis.

One exception to those flying in under NORAD radars is the great x? grandson of Francis Scott Key, Christopher Key [1]; Viet Nam vet and unabashed lover of the America that was. In a TV interview with Vicki Gabereau in March, he cited 3 reasons for his decision to immigrate:

Ø the level of intolerance,
Ø widespread pathological ignorance, and
Ø omnipresent violence

According to Chris, all of these have become accepted norms all across the US.

Mr. Key’s laments and observations came as no surprise. I live ON the 49th and schmooze with friends and acquaintances in Point Roberts, WA daily. Our (grand)kids play together on the beach in Summer and we routinely chat thru the "fence" while our pooches swap salutary ‘notes’;… all of us regarding the border with a kind of abstract bemusement like students on adjacent university campuses.

At least it was that way before Bush.

Now, instead of chats about the tides, the kids, and the cheapest side to get gas on today, our encounters usually invoke at least one sheepish ,’quasi-casual’, query about getting a job in BC and how that might help in settling here permanently. Although the rush is over, the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) web site in November 2005 cited 115,000 inquiries a day from the States. The last figure I saw cited 21,000 a day.

Six years ago, summer homes I see from my dining room over on the US side, sold for 1.3 times what my house was listing. Now, abodes in that same neighborhood might languish on the listings at a quarter to one third that of mine; some haven't even been occupied in 1-2 years. Although such discrepancies are not the rule, 2-3 years ago, they were unheard of.

There are other economic incentives for those contemplating “Movin’ On Up”. US financial papers are understandably mum on the subject, but; even though Canada is still way behind the US in terms of productivity, and even though our transportation, heating and material goods costs are considerably higher, the US dollar has dropped by 40% against the Canadian dollar in just 5 years. Media ebullience about US financial health is baffling; like the pet shop owner in the Monty Python skit, blithely assuring John Cleese that the parrot he fobbed off on him wasn’t really all that dead.

Invoking a different metaphore: the Bush Administration acts like a football team’s Front Office, bruiting the wondrous health and vitality of the squad, while the coroner is arguing with the team doctor about taking it’s liver temperature to estimate the time of death.

The American Corporate Media Ensemble (ACME) financial journalists seem mesmerized by the Front Office PR. Their hype would make anyone think they were having an ‘apple pie’ flashback; verily transporting readers into Norman Rockwell’s “Thanksgiving” on the front page of the Saturday Evening Post. Other sources [2], arguably more objective ones, show that the US has fallen to 37th in the world in terms of ability to deliver quality health care, one in five Americans is functionally illiterate and lacks basic math skills (four times the Canadian illiteracy rate), the standard of education provided by US public schools dropped to 18th among English speaking countries in 2004, and the Real National Debt is not the $8.3 trillion cited most often in the Press; its $46 trillion [3] (GAO Treasury Report, Dec. 2005).
The Trade Surplus forecast by Treasury Secretary John Snow in 2004 for 2005 turned into a Trade Deficit of $756 billion according to the same GAO report.

Every baby born in the United States today comes with an FOB bill of lading for $156,000, and the nation’s debt is mushrooming by $2 billion every 24 hours. The wee thing hardly needs a slap on the bum to start crying. Yet the front pages of the financial papers would have Americans wax rapt over a growing GDP and (artificially) low interest rates! ‘Hell’s Bells’; what 'company' couldn’t increase production if it was borrowing $2 billion a day to do it?

This isn’t a Norman Rockwell print; it’s a chalk outline.

If Christopher Key’s granddad was writing the “Star Spangled Banner” today, he might well leave off after the first line; “Oh say can you see…..” pour out the jar of Kentucky mash and reach for the “Canadian Club”.

A word of caution to anyone thinking of moving North; the lot we’ve got on Capitol Hill isn’t anything you’ll want to write back home about; either. If you could persuade Colin Powell to come along with you, there is a good chance we would waive the usual residency and citizenship folderol and proclaim him king. Its not that we lack excellent and worthy minds among our available representatives; its just that we could really use a competent leader.

roderick whitney stillwell

The Boundary Bay Morning Steamer



[3] “Including these items, the federal government’s fiscal exposures now total more
than $46 trillion, up from about $20 trillion in 2000. This translates into a burden of about
$156,000 per American or approximately $375,000 per full-time worker, up from
$72,000 and $165,000 respectively, in 2000. These amounts do not include future costs
resulting from Hurricane Katrina or the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Continuing on
this unsustainable path will gradually erode, if not suddenly damage, our economy, our standard of living, and ultimately our national security"
David M. Walker
Comptroller General
of the United States