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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for April, 2008

Just a quick question, Hillary…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Why?

First reported exclusively by the Drudge Report, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., will appear in a pre-taped interview on Wednesday’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor” on FOX News.

First Obama, now you?

Really? You really think this is what is required to get elected president? Giving lap dances to the propaganda arm of the GOP?

Really?

You both need to watch this again.

Dr. Hoffman, prepare to meet Mr. Hicks

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

How about a positive LSD story, that would be newsworthy. Don’t you think? Anybody think that? Just once, to hear a positive LSD story. “Today, a young man on acid, realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves… here’s Tom with the weather.”

Albert Hofmann, father of drug LSD, dies in Switzerland

Goodbye Dr. Hoffman, and thanks for the squeegee.

Your tax dollars at work: Armored cars for hookers

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

U.S. Military Contractor ‘Used Armored Cars To Transport Prostitutes’

Over at Muckraked, we get news that “a panel of whistleblowers” testifying before a Senate committee yesterday dropped a dime on their employer, military contractor DynCorp (among others). The most explosive part of the testimony involved a contract manager, a misappropriated armored car, and prostitutes:

A contractor died when a DynCorp manager used an employee’s armored car to transport prostitutes, according to Barry Halley, a Worldwide Network Services employee working under a DynCorp subcontract.

DynCorp’s site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was traveling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor’s manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.”

Look at it this way. Sending hookers around in armored transport cars is probably just as much an “economic stimulus” as the BS “Are these cashed in dollars, or yuan?” rebate checks soon to appear in your mailbox, right?

Are the Syrian reactor pictures doctored?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Who, us? Fabricate evidence in a rush to war?

SYRIA: More questions about alleged nuclear site

Professor William Beeman at the University of Minnesota passed along a note today from “a colleague with a U.S. security clearance” about the mysterious Syrian site targeted in a Sept. 6 Israeli airstrike.

The note raises more questions about the evidence shown last week by U.S. intelligence officials to lawmakers in the House and Senate.

The author of the note pinpoints irregularities about the photographs. Beeman’s source alleges that the CIA “enhanced” some of the images.

Twitter your way to freedom

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Held by Egyptian Authorities? Time to ‘Tweet’


James Karl Buck says he has Twitter to thank for his freedom.

Buck, a journalism grad student, was arrested in Egypt last week, and his only communication to the outside world was through his cellphone, which he used to post a message on the micro-blogging site.

“Arrested,” he typed into his phone, a message that broadcast via the Web to his friends in the United States and bloggers in Egypt.

Buck was detained after photographing a labor rally near a textile mill in Mahalla, a few hours from Cairo, the capital. The grounds for his arrest were not made clear to him, he said, though the men who detained him said he may have been inciting a riot.

After Buck, who was in Egypt for a school research project, sent a tweet that he had been detained, his friends contacted the U.S. Embassy and his school, the University of California at Berkeley, which sent a lawyer to get him out of jail.

A spokeswoman for the State Department said yesterday that the agency helped secure Buck’s release.

Huh, who knew?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The lawyer for US vice-president Dick Cheney claimed today that the Congress lacks any authority to examine his behaviour on the job.

“Congress lacks the constitutional power to regulate by law what a vice-president communicates in the performance of the vice president’s official duties, or what a vice president recommends that a president communicate,” Wheelbarger wrote to senior aides on Capitol Hill.

Hey, thanks for clearing that up. Because, you know, we’ve been thinking something different all these years.

Is War With Iran Imminent?

Monday, April 28th, 2008

The shooting has already started in the Persian Gulf – and chances are we’ll be at war with Iran before President Bush’s term is up. An American ship under contract with the U.S. Navy – the Western Venture – claims it was in international waters when Iranian speedboats approached and failed to answer radio calls. Shots were fired on the American side. Iran denies the whole thing. Yet you’ll recall that in the last incident, involving the capture of British sailors, the story about being in international waters was the same – except, it turns out, they weren’t in international waters, but in disputed waters, just as we speculated in this space. There’s no reason to expect anything different this time. Clearly, the U.S. and Britain are trying to trigger a new conflict with the most brazen provocations, and they don’t really care how it happens – only that it does.

Guess what they filled the levees with?

Monday, April 28th, 2008

4 Investigates: Floodwalls stuffed with newspaper?

“It blows my mind.”

Those are the words St. Bernard parish president Craig Taffaro used to watch videotape Eyewitness News showed him, of floodwalls built to protect his parish.

“That should be criminal,” Taffaro continues.

What he’s talking about was witnessed by a St. Bernard Parish resident who didn’t want to be identified, but did have sharp criticism of the work done by a contractor hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“It’s like putting a Band-Aid on the hole of a gas tank of an airplane,” the resident said.

Instead of an airplane, it’s a floodwall, and instead of a Band-Aid, the witness says two years ago, he saw the contractor filling the expansion joint or opening between the floodwalls with newspaper.

“The whole length of the wall was stuffed with newspaper.”

Now, TTP ain’t no engineer, but that don’t sound right.

The danger of Expelled

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Who knows how much money Expelled will make, or how many minds it will influence. I suspect its strong opening will create additional buzz and attention, but even if not, this horrible but also damaging film ought to serve as a massive wake-up call to all who care about science in this media age. From Michael Crichton’s State of Fear to Stein’s Expelled, there is nothing to prevent the most awful, misleading drivel from reaching and influencing mass audiences. There are no standards. There is no filter. And the truth is not just automatically going to win in the competition of ideas when the playing field tilts against it.

Now, only the jesters are telling the news

Friday, April 25th, 2008

This topic is worthy of more of a look, but since its Friday, and we’re all workin’ for the weekend as they say, we’ll make it brief.

Two huge stories have surfaced recently, but other than stray mentions here and there, our national media has chosen to largely ignore them. Media Matters shows us:

Multiple choice: Of the following, which outlet covered two recent major national security stories — NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, or … Comedy Central?

Summary: On April 22, The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart highlighted two recent reports concerning national security that have been largely ignored by most television news outlets and NPR: a New York Times article reporting that “the Bush administration has used” media military analysts, many of whom have clients with or seeking Pentagon contracts, “into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks”; and a Government Accountability Office report that found that the “United States has not met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close the safe haven in Pakistan’s FATA.”

So two huge stories- how the Pentagon systematically used sock puppets to pimp a war- a war, the GAO shows, that has done NOTHING to reduce the threats we face from wild-eyed freaks around the globe- and the only place you see them mentioned side by side is on Comedy Central. Which, when you think about it, is apt.

As TDS “Senior Military Analyst” Rob Riggle rightly pointed out:

Well, let me just give you the Cliff Notes, OK? In 2001, there was a memo: Bin Laden determined to attack the United States from a safe haven in Afghanistan. Now, seven years and $700 billion later, we get a new memo saying, bin Laden determined to attack United States from a safe haven somewhere around Afghanistan. We’re right back where we started. We could have gotten here by doing nothing.

When does comedy tumble into tragedy?