liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Looking for a Meeting?

The Office of the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection will hold an information meeting to discuss the process by which it is working with Intelligence Community agencies to develop an Integrated Collection Architecture and a budgetary roadmap. The meeting will consist of a briefing by the Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Technical Means followed by a question and answer session. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide transparency into the method by which the Office of the Director of National intelligence will make future investment decisions for the Intelligence Community. No procurement-related information will be discussed at this session. Attendees are asked to RSVP by passing their clearances as described below.

The meeting will be held on Monday, June 5, 2006 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The meeting will be held at the Heritage Conference Center at TASC Northrop Grumman, 4803 Stonecroft Boulevard in Chantilly, Virginia.

Security: The meeting will be classified at the SECRET level.
Clearances: Attendees are asked to pass their clearances at the SECRET level by fax to TASC at 703-633-2222 and to mark clearly on the fax that the clearance is for the ``Collection Meeting.'' Clearances should be passed no later than 12 p.m. on Friday, June 2. Passing clearances will constitute the requested RSVP. Attendees must have valid photo identification to gain entrance.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Heritage Conference Center, 703-633-2200.

Dated: April 19, 2006.
Sandra L. Webster, Acting Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Technical Means. [FR Doc. 06-4182 Filed 5-3-06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3910-A7-P

sojourners: don't gut the estate tax

Before we talk about cutting the estate tax, let's talk about wasting tax revenues.
Pentagon pressing for new rapid-strike weapon

Trident Fleet Ballistic Missile

General Characteristics, Trident II (D5)
Primary Function: Strategic Nuclear Deterrence.
Contractor: Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc., Sunnyvale, CA.
Date Deployed: 1990.
Unit Cost: $30.9 million.

Dear Senator:

I am writing to express my strong opposition to proposals to repeal the estate tax or “reform” it in ways that would render it less effective. I understand the Senate will take up estate tax repeal and possibly vote on Senator Kyl’s proposal soon.

Repealing the estate tax would slash federal revenues that are needed to meet critical challenges. Full repeal would cost nearly $1 trillion during the first full ten years (2012 to 2021), adding to the nation’s high deficits. Essential services for vulnerable populations are already being cut, including Medicaid, child support, and student loans; the nation also faces fiscal challenges posed by an aging population, rising health care costs, unmet education needs, Social Security insolvency, and homeland security.

Meeting these and any new challenges we face collectively will be much more difficult if the estate tax is repealed or “reformed” in a way that loses nearly as much revenue as repeal.

Indeed, I am concerned that some estate tax “reform” proposals are simply a back-door means by which to repeal the tax. For example, Sen. Kyl's plan to exempt the first $10 million of a married couple’s estate from the tax ($5 million for an individual) and to tax the remainder at 15 percent, the current capital gains rate, is unacceptable. Such a proposal would cost 84 percent as much as repealing the estate tax entirely, and thus is irresponsible just like permanent repeal in both its fiscal impact and its policy direction.

At a time when our country is struggling to curb the growth of deficits and is debating deep cuts in assistance for the most vulnerable populations, we do not need an irresponsible tax cut for the very wealthiest Americans. In fact, neither do the vast majority of the American people as a recent national survey found fewer than one in four (23 percent) favored repealing the estate tax. I urge you to support fiscal discipline and fairness by voting against both permanent repeal of the estate tax and irresponsible “reform” proposals that would be nearly as costly and would weaken our nation’s charities.

Capital gains, estate, and social security are all weighted to place the greater tax burden on labor and those who have to work for a living, while the lighter burden falls on those who earn inflated saolaries, or earn funds on investments or property holdings. These taxes need to be reformed to increase the share that the wealthiest pay for social security, capital gains, and for estate taxes.

This is not the time, nor will it ever be justifiable, for those who most enjoy the benefits of our society and who utilize the greatest bulk of services and resources, to pay a discuount for their quality of life.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Begging to get Whupt

This is the most unbelievable story yet.

Bill Frist talks about National priorities on Fox News Sunday.

Monday, May 29, 2006

"Really? I hadn't heard."

Asia Times ran an interesting article in the May 9, 2006 online edition, entitled, "The US's Geopolitical Nightmare," by William F. Engdahl. After a lot of background discussion, the author puts a lot of recent diplomacy into perspective when he says:
At the next SCO meeting on June 15, Iran will be invited to become a full SCO member.

And last month in Tehran, Chinese Ambassador Lio G Tan announced that a pending oil and gas deal between China and Iran was ready to be signed.

The deal is said to be worth at least $100 billion, and includes development of the huge Yadavaran onshore oilfield. China's Sinopec would agree to buy 250 million tons of liquefied natural gas over 25 years. No wonder China is not jumping to back Washington against Iran in the United Nations Security Council. The US had been trying to put massive pressure on Beijing to halt the deal, for obvious geopolitical reasons, to no avail. Another major defeat for Washington.

The context is very broad and reasonable.

We knew our mainstream media were censored, slanted, biased, but we didn't realize how much so. Given the extent of the omissions here, it is tempting to say the media have been nothing less than conspiratorial, if not just plain stupid.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Toilet USA

Business Week has the article stating that
A trip to the statute books showed that the amended version of the 1934 act states that "with respect to matters concerning the national security of the United States," the President or the head of an Executive Branch agency may exempt companies from certain critical legal obligations. These obligations include keeping accurate "books, records, and accounts" and maintaining "a system of internal accounting controls sufficient" to ensure the propriety of financial transactions and the preparation of financial statements in compliance with "generally accepted accounting principles."

This is in reference to a rule giving Negroponte power to to let companies waive accounting regulations.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


This site is really doing it.

The ACLU to the FCC

It's a letter writing campaign. Spread the word.

I am writing to tell you that I've signed the ACLU's letter demanding a full investigation and penalties for any telephone provider cooperating with the government in illegal spying on Americans.

I am troubled by your decision to abandon the FCC's important investigative role before it even begins. I urge you to reconsider and to join with Commissioner Michael J. Copps in his call for an investigation into allegations that at least three telecommunications companies, AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon, cooperated with the National Security Agency in an effort to collect calling information and call patterns on every American.

Unlike the FCC's recent letter to Congressman Edward J. Markey suggests, there are substantial investigative powers that clearly fall within the power of the FCC.

It is wrong when US government officials try to shield illegal actions committed outside the legal process with claims of "state secrets." Every country has laws protecting private property and information. Only democracies have transparent monitoring, application and enforcement of those laws.

What is the point in spying on Americans in order to "protect" us from so-called enemies?

What we lose in terms of privacy rights and personal liberty and security is infinitely more valuable than anything these "enemies" are able to take from us.

Think about it. Do you really expect the American people to accept "security" as a justification for allowing government agencies and telecom providers to collect our phone records? These records are being collected and stored for a purpose, and that purpose can have nothing to do with protecting our security.

If my freedom from illegal snooping by the government and their corporate conspirators isn't protected, then I have no security.

Security begins and ends with my rights and liberties as guaranteed under the Constitution and laws. Protect that.

The people can protect ourselves from "enemies."

When corporate officials break the law and the privacy of my personal records is at stake, I expect the FCC to use every means at its disposal to investigate wrongdoing and protect consumers.

If the FCC abandons any and all attempts to investigate what appears to be a massive and unprecedented violation of American's privacy rights, without first demanding and examining as much public and unclassified information as possible, then the FCC will join the NSA, Verizon, AT&T, and BellSouth. Please don't relegate yourselves into the category of those using fear to deprive Americans of their liberty. Isn't that what you're supposed to be protecting us from?

I look forward to hearing back from the FCC regarding this matter.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yesterday at the DOJ. Dissing Amnesty International?

Sean McCorcmack seems to have a bit more pugilism in his spleen than Scotty McClellan had. But his problem is, he doesn't have anything better to say. Based only on what I see here in the official transcript, I'd like to encourage everyone to write the State Department Press Secretary and complain.

Contact Information

Main address:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Main Switchboard:
1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)

Hotline for American Travelers:

Public Communication Division:
PA/PL, Rm. 2206
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

There really isn't any excuse for criticizing Amnesty International. Give me a break! Instead of looking to correct their own shortcomings, the State Department is just denying all wrongdoing and trying to fling dirt back at Amnesty!

Shame on them.
Here's the relevant portion of the transcript:

Daily Press Briefing
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 23, 2006

Yes. Sylvie.
QUESTION: Amnesty International --
QUESTION: Can we stay on this for a second?
QUESTION: Yeah. Do we have any information -- more about the mission by David and Elliot out there?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, you know, yeah, I checked on this. I saw there was a report in an Israeli newspaper that they might be going to region. At this point neither of them has any plane tickets. On any given day, you could say that they're going to region. On this particular day, I can't say that. So we'll keep you up to date if there's any travel.
Sir, did you have one on this?
QUESTION: No. Different subject.
MR. MCCORMACK: Okay. All right. Sylvie.
QUESTION: So I was asking about the report of Amnesty International published today which is very critical of U.S. and says that, among other things, that torture is practiced in Guantanamo. Is it true?
MR. MCCORMACK: No. And certainly Amnesty International is entitled to their opinion. We see they're pretty good at press releases, I've noticed. Look, you know, we've gone over this time after time again. There's a group of European MPs that just went down to Guantanamo. There have been many, many outside organizations that have gone down to Guantanamo to look at exactly what is happening down at Guantanamo Bay and how exactly these individuals are treated. So no, nobody is being tortured at Guantanamo Bay.
But let me make one other point with respect to Amnesty International because I think it's -- I think it's relevant. In the years -- in the years of Saddam Hussein's rule, Amnesty International was at the forefront of bringing to light human rights abuses that were perpetrated by that regime -- terrible, terrible things. They do great work in that regard.
But when it came time to put Saddam Hussein on trial, which is happening right now, they're absent. They've done zero, zip, nothing to assist in those efforts. So, in terms of where they might focus some of their efforts, I would just offer the humble suggestion that they might follow through in actually assisting with or providing some support to this trial for what they acknowledge is one of the great human rights abusers of recent times.
QUESTION: Yeah, if I can follow up.
QUESTION: It's the second report this week which is very critical on the U.S. handling human rights and torture. In terms of public diplomacy, do you think it's -- you are projecting the right image?
MR. MCCORMACK: What we're doing, and we talked about this a little bit last week -- look, President Bush has pointed out that the United States doesn't want to be the world's jailer, that we have no desire to be the world's jailer, and that at some point in the future would we all like to see Guantanamo Bay closed down? Absolutely. But at the moment, there's dangerous people being held at -- in Guantanamo Bay. These are people that were picked up on battlefields, planning for, engaged in various acts of terrorism around the world. These are individuals who pose a threat potentially not only to American citizens but citizens from Europe as well as around the world.
So we are working with other countries around the globe to try to return these people, repatriate these people to their home countries, but in a way so that we can assure ourselves, have a reasonable expectation that they won't being maltreated or tortured and that they won't be allowed to engage in acts of terrorism or planning for acts of terrorism. So the United States is working to try to return these people. The United States is bearing this burden in keeping these people off the street. So I think we have to reframe the debate here a little bit. Look, nobody wants Guantanamo Bay opened -- to remain open in perpetuity. Nobody is saying that. But it is serving a purpose now. It is serving the purpose of keeping these individuals who pose a threat to Americans, as well as others, off the street.
QUESTION: Amnesty International gives the example of Libya and says that you sent back detainees in Libya. Do you have the assurance that in Libya they are not tortured? How can you say they are not tortured in Libya?
MR. MCCORMACK: I don't have the particulars of that case, Sylvie. But when we do return people to their home countries, we always go through a very, very careful and detailed process. And they have to be able to assure American officials and policy makers that they believe that these individuals will not be maltreated, will not be tortured. So we go through and do that in every single case.
Oftentimes, that takes a long -- it takes a long time for them to get those assurances. The negotiations with Saudi Arabia lasted quite some time. There are some states who have refused to take back individuals. And there are states with which we had to do very in-depth negotiations to make sure that these individuals wouldn't be set free or wouldn't be allowed to engage in acts of terrorism or planning for acts of terrorism. So this is a very -- this is not a process that is done on the fly. This is a very careful process that our lawyers go through.
QUESTION: One of the charges of Amnesty is that you have been kind of contracting out a lot of the interrogations and work dealing with detainees to contractors which don't seem to be subject to the same rules and regulations in terms of torture and cruel and inhumane punishment. Can you say that all U.S. contractors are subject to the same rules and regulations and that this is not a way of getting around some of those laws against cruel and inhumane punishment?
MR. MCCORMACK: I'll let -- I'll go find an answer from the lawyers to give you a legal answer on that. But I will point out that there had been contractors that have actually stood trial and I believe that there's an individual that's actually been jailed as a result of some of the allegations that have been -- allegations that have been proven in the eyes of the court against him, in terms of maltreating individuals.
Yes, sir.
QUESTION: Just on this?
QUESTION: Quickly on --
MR. MCCORMACK: I don't know. Do you -- on this topic or --
QUESTION: No, on a different subject.
QUESTION: Could you be a bit more specific about the support you think that the Amnesty can provide for the trial of Saddam Hussein?
MR. MCCORMACK: Well, they have a vast database -- I guess for lack of a better term -- cataloging these human rights abuses during --
QUESTION: Evidence or something that --
MR. MCCORMACK: During the -- yeah, I mean, you know, part of this process is getting the information. And, you know, I would submit to you that Iraqi authorities are taking on a pretty big task here. And they're trying to not only put on a trial for Saddam Hussein and the key members of that regime, but in a larger sense, they're trying to come to closure with their past. And we would think that an NGO like Amnesty International would have an interest in assisting the Iraqi people, the now free Iraqi people, in that regard. So it was just a suggestion. We'll see if they follow through on it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

How a Military Dictatorship Helps the Poor

In the AP article, Up To 80 Taliban Dead in US-led Strike, author Noor Kahn mentions that
At Mirwaise Hospital in Kandahar city, a man with blood on his clothes and turban said insurgents had been hiding in an Islamic religious school, or madrassa, in the village since the recent fighting.

"Helicopters bombed the madrassa and some of the Taliban ran from there and into people's homes. Then those homes were bombed," said Haji Ikhlaf, 40. "I saw 35 to 40 dead Taliban and around 50 dead or wounded civilians."

Another villager, Zurmina Bibi, cradled her wounded 8-month-old baby. She said about 10 people were killed in her home, including three or four children.

"There were dead people everywhere," she said, crying.

Of course, if you ask Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush, this kind of thing is so unimportant as to be unworthy of mention in the western media. In fact, they insist that these problems are so emphasized to the point of exaggeration by our media that we distort the whole mission, role, and success of the American forces.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Get out of our way

Freedom is priceless and cannot be compromised for what an individual or a group of wealthy and/or powerful special interests consider their, "safety."

We should be fighting against tyranny everywhere in the world, not tyrannizing our own population here in America.

The war on terror is not a military war. It is a war to establish and preserve human rights. Our enemies are the wealthy and powerful special interests--Asian, African, mid-Eastern, Western--who want to use terror for political purposes. These people use fear to rob The People of our right to govern ourselves.

We know the value of freedom for our selves, our children and all the world's posterity. That is why we cannot be defeated by terror, whether it's in the form of hijacked planes, hijacked courts, hijacked voting equipment, or hijacked Federal agencies.

Bring 'em on!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Pentagon Plane

Here's what the 911Truth people said to me about the new video.

For all in NYC, we hope you'll tune in to this radio show. For all who are elsewhere, check out the downloads at

On Mon, May 15, 2006 at 12:12:24PM -0700, Ralph Schoenman wrote: Mya Shone and Ralph Schoenman of Taking Aim will present a Special Fund Raiser Program on Tuesday, May 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. New York time on WBAI.

The Special is entitled "From 9/11 to Creating the Next Pandemic: A System
in Terminal Decay".

The Special will offer as a Premium for a contribution of $100 a 3 1/2 hour
DVD of Ralph's standing room only talk at St. Mark's Church in New York on
April 23, 2006.

Please alert your friends and associates.


Today the Pentagon released what was touted as new video footage of what is supposed to be Flight 77 striking the building on 9/11 to Fox News. Leading up to the release commentators were saying this would conclusively disprove "conspiracy theorists" claims that no plane hit the Pentagon and it would be over, once and for all. I'm sure you'll see this on the news tonight and in coming days, as well as on sites like 9/ and After all the buildup, it turned out to be a huge anti-climax because there is no clear indication of a Boeing 767, there is a false claim that the plane hit the lawn and kicked up dirt, and much more.

Below is a letter to the Dayside program ( from Tim Paulson, and another one from myself. I urge everyone to take some of these points and blast your email lists, media, call-in shows, etc.
Dear Dayside hosts,

Having witnessed your presentation of the Department of Defense video of a "757 striking the Pentagon" I can only say I am beyond "underwhelmed," as you commentators admitted to feeling. I am outraged. There is no plane in that shot. Neither did your commentators say they saw one. Even the expert had to admit that if there was a "nosecone" visible, it wasn't apparent in the video we were all looking at. Futhermore, that expert went on to say he could see "dirt flying up" as if knocked into the air by the plane.

Why then don't we see the plane that "knocked the dirt" up? If we see the dirt, then the camera should also capture the plane that knocks the dirt up. Furthermore, the lawn in front of the Pentagon was left famously pristine--even though a 757 has its engines slung on the underside of the wing, where they would almost certainly strike the ground. More damning still, we see a contrail in the shot--the wisp of smoke that streaks along the ground at missile speed. Jet planes only leave contrails at high altitude, and even then, its the condensation of water particles that produces the contrail, not the engines, which burn clean at any altitude--kerosene fumes are invisible.

I say this as the author of How to Fly a 747 (John Muir Press, 1991) which I did in cooperation with Boeing. I witnessed a 747 close up, fully revved, no visible contrail at all. Nothing.

All of these things--the fact that we see no 70 foot high tail, no 40 foot in diameter fuselage but we do see a contrail--add up to proof that a plane DID NOT STRIKE THE PENTAGON.

The shoe is now on the other foot. Only a conspiracy theory nut job could insist that this video is evidence of a plane striking the Pentagon. I would ask such an individual--where is the plane? Why is there that white streak? And wait for the answer.

Which would not come. Because there is no reasonable explanation other than to say it was a missile--which does leave a contrail. Because like the Space Shuttle or any other rocket motor propelled device, missiles DO leave contrails.

And please. Tell me why you did not have a Pentagon spokesman to explain where the plane is in the tape. That's the reason they're showing it, putatively, to show the plane hitting the Pentagon. Where is Colin Powell with his pointer? Where's the Pentagon expert to circle the "nose cone" or whatever piece of the plane they claim to have captured on film?

Please address these questions. The public has a right to answers.

Timothy Paulson
Dear Dayside hosts,

After more than 4 1/2 years of secrecy, a transparently fraudulent investigation, photos of an untouched lawn near the impact zone, testimony about Hani Janjour's terrible pilot skills by his flight instructor, a near impossible 270 degree turn while descending 7,000 feet within 2 minutes, there's no way the government can all of a sudden provide credible proof a plane hit the Pentagon. Furthermore, with no NTSB investigation, contrary to legal requirements, the whole case for a plane hitting the Pentagon is unsupportable. Let's remember, the government has lied about every reason for invading Iraq, issues of torture and rendition, Saddam's connection to 9/11, getting court orders for wiretaps, not knowing the levees in New Orleans would break, just to name a few. There is no reason to believe we've been told the truth about what really happened on 9/11. Just asked the 9/11 families who compiled 400 questions, most of which were ignored by the 9/11 Commission. Then try to explain how WTC7 collapsed at 5:20 PM in a freefall although it wasn't hit by any plane and why the media has been silent about it.

Les Jamieson
Brooklyn, NY

Folks, this is a huge setback for the official deception. Let's do all we can to capitalize on it and end the tyranny of criminal, treasonous actions at the highest level of our government, military, media, and intelligence complex.

Truth will prevail,


My favorite part is, "The shoe is now on the other foot. Only a conspiracy theory nut job could insist that this video is evidence of a plane striking the Pentagon."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

new detention centers

I almost forgot about this. Halliburton's KBR division gets a Homeland Security contract for "support."
The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.

It's in a Halliburton News, January 2006 press release. The part that intrigues me is, "or to support the rapid development of new programs."

Would that be new detention programs?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Big Money Counterattack

"Hands Off The Internet" is a corporate funded anti-regulation, anti-net neurtrality astroturf group.

Hands off the Internet
Post Office Box 3840
Arlington, VA 22203-0840
(800) 619-5268

Can you believe these people? They're posing as civil rights advocates but they're lying. They're really anti-civil rights, equal protection, equal access, and anti-net neutrality.

They want big telecoms to control everything, a la deregulation.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Boo Man & the NSA

Over on Boo Man Tribune, Omir the Storyteller writes:
Once the Democrats get their hands back the reins of power they will have subpoena power and call investigations that actually investigate something. They know that as soon as that happens, the jig is up.
Let's see if the Democrats win control of a chamber. I'll bet they don't. Not either chamber. Why? Because the cons have too much to lose and will do whatever is necessary to save their collective ass.

This is the party of Negroponte. This is the party of Rumsfeld, Cheney & Rice. This is the party of Tom DeLay, Orren Hatch and that old maid, Charles Grassley.

If Pat Roberts and Alberto Gonzales are willing to publicly go to these lengths to prevent an investigation into the NSA programs, do you really think they are going to allow an investigation in 2007? No. They're going to stop at nothing, including nuclear war, if necessary, and including martial law--apparently--to maintain their grip of fear, lawlessness, threats, and secrecy over the media, the military and the American people.

Now that the fascist leaders themselves are threatened with legal reprisals, they are going be forced to up the ante with a newer bigger crisis.

But they are in a position to turn against and silence their political enemies as long as they have the threat of terrorism backing up their domestic surveillance and Patriot Act imprisonments.

When will the first journalists go to jail for reporting leaked classified information? That will go a long way toward silencing the already-muted press corps.

The NSA is way out of control--and so is every other agency in the government, now. The civil servants know that if they don't play ball with the team they are going to the showers, too. So let's see what happens. Let's see what happens in the fall, in November, with the mid-term elections.

I predict that no matter how badly the Republicans fall out of favor with the public, and no matter how certain a Democratic victory in both houses seems, it won't happen. The Republicans will retain their majority, and the curtain will finally rise on the era of American fascism.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

net neutrality

I'm working my way down the list of phone numbers for my Congressman and Senators. I'm pitching net neutrality. What amazes me is how little they know about it.

This is the First Amendment of the Internet, and the big telecom providers are going to take it away for good this session of Congress if we don't stop them.

The good news is that the financial services sector is going to weigh in on the side of net neutrality, sort of. According to Kristen Roberts at Reuters,

For the financial services sector, which is expected to spend $117 billion on information technology this year, tiered pricing could add billions more in expenses to maintain online banking services and other Web offerings -- costs that could hit the bottom line or be passed on to customers.

This issue has been huge in the blogosphere since last year, but it looks like the corporations are just catching on.

The question is, will the financial services companies do anything to help the cause of the average person? Let's see how this unfolds over the next year or so.