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Truth To Power

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

Archive for January, 2009

Now this is fascinating…

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Will we ever see these documents?

The Missing Memos

The Bush administration’s “war on terror”—including its controversial policies on detentions, interrogations and warrantless wiretapping—was all underpinned by legal memoranda. While some of those memos have been released (primarily as a result of ACLU lawsuits), the former administration chose to keep many others secret, citing security and confidentiality concerns.

The decision to release them now lies with President Obama. To help inform the debate—and inject an extra dose of accountability—we’re posting a list of the relevant memos, both public and secret. (The ACLU first compiled a list of still-secret memoranda, which ProPublica verified.)

Go visit the site. It’s an eye-opening depiction of how little we actually know about the forces that governed us for the last eight years. But even without seeing the flimsy “legal” approval and rationale for their actions presumably hidden in these documents, everyone knows that they are nothing more than the CYA whimperings of torturers and murdering sociopaths.

Click! You’re a nanny state.

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Is Your Cell-Phone a Predator?

In another fine example of Republicans having completely lost their way back to the party of smaller government and less regulation, New York Republican Congressmen Peter King tells us that we need the federal government to protect us and our children from the evil cellular telephones. He has proposed an act called (no kidding) the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act.

This resolution, if passed into law, will require all cellular telephones to make some sort of noise when a picture is snapped. As supporting argument for this act the reader is told that other countries (Japan) already have similar laws, and that it is for the protection of children in locker-rooms.

A law such as this, although well intentioned (hopefully), would be overcome by any tech-savvy criminal in about 4 seconds. Let all readers give Congressman King his kudos for tackling this vital issue at a time when America’s economic stability and strategic defense are in the balance. A friendly word of advice to Mr. King from a lowly layman; less regulation and more Liberty will return America to her former prosperity. After all, is not Live, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness our goal?

RIP John Martyn

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Songwriter Martyn dies, aged 60

Singer-songwriter John Martyn has died at the age of 60.

The folk, blues and funk artist was widely regarded as one of the most soulful and innovative singer-songwriters of his generation.

He was born in Surrey but grew up in Glasgow. He was appointed an OBE in the New Year Honours.

The musican, who passed away in hospital in Ireland, has been cited as an influence by artists as varied as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton.

First Davy Graham passes in December, now Martyn. Sad days for British guitarists.

8th largest economy in the world to start paying with IOUs

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

California prepares to stop paying bills
Come Feb. 1, tax refunds, welfare checks replaced with IOUs

The state of California has run out of money.

Facing a $42 billion budget deficit, State Controller John Chiang told the Sacramento Bee he has already borrowed $21.5 billion to try to cover the state’s checks, but by Feb. 1, there will be no more options left but to simply stop paying some of the bills – including tax refunds, welfare checks, student grants and other payments owned to California citizens.

“It pains me to pull this trigger,” Chiang said at a news conference held in his office. “But it is an action that is critically necessary.”

Federal law requires that many school and healthcare programs – a total of about $6.6 billion in California – must be paid, the Los Angeles Times reports, so Chiang has announced an expected payment freeze on $3.7 billion worth of the state’s bills, most of it refunds owed to taxpayers.

But even with the freeze beginning next week, the Times reports, California will still fall $346 million short for the month of February, forcing Chiang to consider something only done once since the Great Depression: issuing IOUs.

To any readers from California, a tip. Stock up on ammo. You’re gonna need it.

Court: Ok for Christian school to keep on a hatin’ them queers

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Schools can expel students that seem gay, appeals court rules

A California appeals court ruled Monday that a Christian high school can expel students perceived to be lesbians, upholding a 2008 lower court ruling that there were “no triable” elements to the case.

The 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside on Monday upheld California Lutheran High School’s right as a private, religious organization to exclude students based on sexual orientation. The ruling was released late Tuesday.

The two 16-year-old girls sued the school for expelling them on the basis of a “bond of intimacy” “characteristic of a lesbian relationship,” under a California discrimination law.

Really? Think it would be legal if they kicked out blacks? Or Jews? Or how about we start a school and exclude all deity on a stick-based idiots? Would that be legal? Let us once again remember the words of Denis Diderot:

“man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”.

Screw the California Lutheran High School, the appeals court, and any other organized force that relegates human beings to second class status simply because two girls kissing makes your pants feel funny, and you’re ashamed and envious. Grow up or shut the fuck up, doesn’t matter which, but you’re ultimately gonna lose. Bigots always have, even though it seems to take forever to bury some of you.

Bill Hicks on Letterman Friday

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

No, you ghouls, they didn’t dig him up…geez:

hicks

I’ve read a transcript, but never seen the footage. DVR time!

They can tap all our phones, but can’t figure out email?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Obama Administration Can’t Get White House Emails Working

The Bush administration came under fire for losing its emails. Almost a week into his presidency, Barack Obama’s administration can’t get its email addresses to work at all. Emails to Obama’s top press officials bounced back Monday, and Nick Shapiro, a White House spokesman, told Mother Jones that he could give reporters his email address, but “it wouldn’t do any good,” since the White House email system isn’t working. What about those Gmail addresses the Obama press team set up last week to handle press requests while the system was being set up? Those won’t work, either, says Shapiro, because you can’t access Gmail from White House computers. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs promised during Monday’s press briefing that he would “endeavor to fix the email system,” but gave no time frame for that to happen.

The fact that it took “heroic” efforts on the part of the OA’s web and IT team to even get the new WhiteHouse.gov off the ground is worrying, although scarcely surprising for people who followed the Bush administration’s tech problems. A story by the Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut last Tuesday indicated that the Obama team arrived to find the White House in the “technological dark ages.” For people who worked on the most tech-savvy presidential campaign in history, moving into the White House was undoubtedly a huge adjustment: no Macs, no Facebook, no Gmail, few laptops, and, apparently, no email (yet).

As someone with first hand knowledge of government IT, this doesn’t surprise me a bit. In fact, I’m stunned they aren’t using quill pens and parchment.

Rah rah…kill

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Nothing like killing a bunch of kids to make a nation feel good about itself…

Fueling the Cycle of Hate

Israeli soccer matches were suspended during the assault on Gaza. When the games resumed last week, the fans had come up with a new chant: “Why have the schools in Gaza been shut down?” sang the crowd. “Because all the children were gunned down!” came the answer.

Aside from its sheer barbarism, this chant reflects the widespread belief among Israeli Jews that Israel scored an impressive victory in Gaza – a victory measured, not least, by the death toll.

Israeli pilots and tank commanders could not really discriminate between the adults and the children who hid in their homes or huddled in the UNRWA shelters, and yet they chose to press the trigger. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that the lethal onslaught left 1,314 Palestinians dead, of which 412 – or nearly one third of all of the casualties – were children.

Seems the Israelis are worried about war crimes charges. They damn sure should be, if this was a sane world. But as long as we arm the Israeli terrorist state, nothing will ever change.

Suicides prompt recruiting standdown

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Recruiting stand-down ordered

Army Secretary Pete Geren has ordered a stand-down of the Army’s entire recruiting force and a review of almost every aspect of the job is underway in the wake of a wide-ranging investigation of four suicides in the Houston Recruiting Battalion.

Poor command climate, failing personal relationships and long, stressful work days were factors in the suicides, the investigation found. The investigating officer noted a “threatening” environment in the battalion and that leaders may have tried to influence statements from witnesses.

Was it the RAF vs. UFOs?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Top Guns ordered to shoot UFOs

AIR Force Top Guns have already battled UFOs in the skies over Britain under a top-secret Government directive, a former senior insider has sensationally claimed.

Nick Pope – whose 21-year stint at the Ministry of Defence included three years on the UFO desk – told The Sun of the rules of engagement for the first time.

He claimed RAF pilots had fired at UFOs several times – but couldn’t take them out.

And he added: “We know of cases where the order has been given to shoot down – with little effect to the UFO.”

Mr Pope said the rules of engagement were drawn up after dozens of close encounters with suspect craft in British airspace.

RAF attacks on UFOs were “not automatic but happen when something in our airspace is deemed to be a threat”.

Mr Pope said the orders had been issued under the highly classified directive since the early 1980s.

He also claimed credible UFO witness statements had come from dozens of near misses with planes, police helicopters and RAF jets in recent years.

The MoD did not comment.

We’re just a joke they sometimes crack, they’ll get away with anything
The government is holding back, they won’t say a word
Now is that a light in sky or just a spark in my heart?
Can I accept this as evidence or will that tear the whole act apart?

Waiting for the ufos waiting for the ufos
We are waiting for the ufos waiting waiting