Wednesday, December 27, 2006

To Know, Allows Correction. . .

But “To Know,” Requires More Than The American Soundbite Mentality
by The Old Hippie, Because That 60% Of America That Didn't Vote, Must Also Be Awakened.


I sincerely hope this reaches at least some of that 60% of my fellow Americans that, for whatever insane, delusional, or apathetic reason couldn't be bothered to vote... for they (you?) are the “enablers” of almost all of the opportunistic, parasitic, and/or criminal gains of those that have shown, (blatantly in fact,) that they could care less about our common good, our environment, our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, or any of the needs of the “lower 98% of us” in America, and those sharing the rest of the planet with the “profits/ideology-over-life” them.

You 60% - worry, scare, even terrorize me - far more than the opportunistic and/or insane criminals and/or ideologists, (that are taking advantage of your absence, apathy, fear, or simple ignorance,) far more than the desperate terrorists, (who are desperately trying, for right or wrong, to wake you up,) and also more than that 20% of the 40% that voted for this administration.  We 20% of the American electorate have done, and will continue to do, our part.  It is long past the time for you, the 60% that didn't vote, to participate, if for no other reason than to secure your own freedoms.  Here's how. . .

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First, get knowledge - This I understand is the most difficult part for most of you 60%, as it requires something you haven't done in a long time - Study, research, read, etc., and then to critically think about what you learn from your efforts.

Second, know that it does take a mature courage to face the realities of your world, the realities that you have been ignorant of because of absence, or fear, or apathy.

Third, it is only “doom & gloom,” if, and only if, you don't do anything about it.  We in the 40%, have been, and are trying to do something/anything about it, and we openly admit that we truly need your help, and participation.  without your help and participation, “doom & gloom” has a good chance of being all of our, (the lower 98% of us at least,) final reality.

Fourth, understand - you are not alone - Think about this...  The current approval rating for this administration is now dropping below 30%, for all Americans, and since only 40% of our electorate voted, (about half against, and about half for this administration.)  That means that no less than 70% of you 60% are also against, do not approve of this administration.

With you - It can be the government of, by, and for the people.

Without you - It is becoming, and most probably will become, an oligarchy of, by, and for the uber-rich corporate officers, their families, their friends, and their friend's families.  (The infamous 2%, the richest, of the planet, the 2% that do not care about you, your family, nor even think about the fact that you care that they do not care.)

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This Is. . .

Our Nation Today - It's What We All “Allowed” Our Nation To Become.
by George Monbiot, The Guardian, December 18, 2006

Torture Is Now Part of the American Soul
  [ Link To Original Article Here ]

In the fight against cruelty, barbarism and extremism, America has embraced the very evils it claims to confront.

After thousands of years of practice, you might have imagined that every possible means of inflicting pain had already been devised.  But you should never underestimate the human capacity for invention.  United States interrogators, we now discover, have found a new way of destroying a human being.

In early December, defense lawyers acting for Jose Padilla, a US citizen detained as an “enemy combatant,” released a video showing a mission fraught with deadly risk -- taking him to the prison dentist.  A group of masked guards in riot gear shackled his legs and hands, blindfolded him with black-out goggles and shut off his hearing with headphones, then marched him down the prison corridor.

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Is Padilla really that dangerous?  Far from it: his warders describe him as so docile and inactive that he could be mistaken for “a piece of furniture.”  The purpose of these measures appeared to be to sustain the regime under which he had lived for over three years: total sensory deprivation.  He had been kept in a blacked-out cell, unable to see or hear anything beyond it.  Most importantly, he had no human contact, except for being bounced off the walls from time to time by his interrogators.  As a result, he appears to have lost his mind.  I don't mean this metaphorically.  I mean that his mind is no longer there.

The forensic psychiatrist who examined him says that he “does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation.”  Jose Padilla appears to have been lobotomised: not medically, but socially.

If this was an attempt to extract information, it was ineffective: the authorities held him without charge for three and half years.  Then, threatened by a supreme court ruling, they suddenly dropped their claims that he was trying to detonate a dirty bomb.  They have now charged him with some vague and lesser offences to do with support for terrorism.

He is unlikely to be the only person subjected to this regime.  Another “enemy combatant,” Ali al-Marri, claims to have been subject to the same total isolation and sensory deprivation, in the same naval prison in South Carolina.  God knows what is being done to people who have disappeared into the CIA's foreign oubliettes.

That the US tortures, routinely and systematically, while prosecuting its “war on terror” can no longer be seriously disputed.  The Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project (DAA), a coalition of academics and human rights groups, has documented the abuse or killing of 460 inmates of US military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay.  This, it says, is necessarily a conservative figure: many cases will remain unrecorded.  The prisoners were beaten, raped, forced to abuse themselves, forced to maintain “stress positions,” and subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation and mock executions.

The New York Times reports that prisoners held by the US military at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan were made to stand for up to 13 days with their hands chained to the ceiling, naked, hooded and unable to sleep.  The Washington Post alleges that prisoners at the same airbase were “commonly blindfolded and thrown into walls, bound in painful positions, subjected to loud noises and deprived of sleep” while kept, like Jose Padilla and the arrivals at Guantanamo Bay, “in black hoods or spray-painted goggles.”

Alfred McCoy, professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, argues that the photographs released from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reflect standard CIA torture techniques: “stress positions, sensory deprivation, and sexual humiliation.”  The famous picture of the hooded man standing on a box, with wires attached to his fingers, shows two of these techniques being used at once.  Unable to see, he has no idea how much time has passed or what might be coming next.  He stands in a classic stress position -- maintained for several hours, it causes excruciating pain.  He appears to have been told that if he drops his arms he will be electrocuted.  What went wrong at Abu Ghraib is that someone took photos.  Everything else was done by the book.

Neither the military nor the civilian authorities have broken much sweat in investigating these crimes.  A few very small fish have been imprisoned; a few others have been fined or reduced in rank; in most cases the authorities have either failed to investigate or failed to prosecute.  The DAA points out that no officer has yet been held to account for torture practised by his subordinates.  US torturers appear to enjoy impunity, until they are stupid enough to take pictures of each other.

But Padilla's treatment also reflects another glorious American tradition: solitary confinement.  Some 25,000 US prisoners are currently held in isolation -- a punishment only rarely used in other democracies.  In some places, like the federal prison in Florence, Colorado, they are kept in sound-proofed cells and might scarcely see another human being for years on end.  They may touch or be touched by no one.  Some people have been kept in solitary confinement in the United States for more than 20 years.

At Pelican Bay in California, where 1,200 people are held in the isolation wing, inmates are confined to tiny cells for 22-and-a half hours a day, then released into an “exercise yard” for “recreation.”  The yard consists of a concrete well about 12 feet in length with walls 20 feet high and a metal grill across the sky.  The recreation consists of pacing back and forth, alone.

The results are much as you would expect.  As National Public Radio reveals, 10% of the isolation prisoners at Pelican Bay are now in the psychiatric wing, and there's a waiting list.  Prisoners in solitary confinement, according to Dr Henry Weinstein, a psychiatrist who studies them, suffer from “memory loss to severe anxiety to hallucinations to delusions ... under the severest cases of sensory deprivation, people go crazy.”  People who went in bad and dangerous come out mad as well.  The only two studies conducted so far -- in Texas and Washington state -- both show that the recidivism rates for prisoners held in solitary confinement are worse than for those who were allowed to mix with other prisoners.  If we were to judge the United States by its penal policies, we would perceive a strange beast: a Christian society that believes in neither forgiveness nor redemption.

From this delightful experiment, US interrogators appear to have extracted a useful lesson: if you want to erase a man's mind, deprive him of contact with the rest of the world.  This has nothing to do with obtaining information: torture of all kinds -- physical or mental -- produces the result that people will say anything to make it end.  It is about power, and the thrilling discovery that in the right conditions one man's power over another is unlimited.  It is an indulgence which turns its perpetrators into everything they claim to be confronting.

President Bush maintains that he is fighting a war against threats to the “values of civilized nations”: terror, cruelty, barbarism and extremism.  He asked his nation's interrogators to discover where these evils are hidden.  They should congratulate themselves.  They appear to have succeeded.

Read more of George Monbiot's writings at

Churchill Quote

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reality Observed. . .

Some Have The Ability To “Put It All Together” - Here Are Just A Few
by The Old Hippie Because “They” Are In Power Until 1/07, And “He” Is In Power Until 1/09.

[-All links updated September 19, 2008-]

  -  “The Great Wealth Transfer” - What IT was about all along.

  -  “75% of All, and 55% of Republicans” - View IT with alarm.

  -  Using IT Against Them? - A fraudulently financed war.

  -  “Government Of, By and For the Corrupt” - Our IT today.

  -  Bush Admin Clamps Down on Scientists - Protecting IT, not us.

  -  “Live At Your Own Risk” - Are you a “yoyo,” or a “witt?”
 Your Right

  -  “U.S. Chamber of Commerce: The Right Wing's Right Hand in D.C.” - IT's friend.

  -  Where Is The Money? - The reality of, and the results of, the IT.  (Follows the IT monies.)

  -  How IT Effects Our Health Care - How the IT is protecting them, not us.

[ Do you get IT now?  Either way, you may want to see the following video. . . ]

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“The Best War Ever”
(The major profiteering factor of the IT, and a great fogger of the ITs reality.)

[ A Typical YouTube Video - You Know What To Do - ]
[ via by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. ]

“...and the people who sold us this war are still in power, and trying to sell us an expansion into Iran, and into Syria.”

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

As We Wait. . .

Watch This Video Evidence Of Our Nation Gone Long Past Insane. . .
by The Christian Embassy Itself, via the Crooks and Liars website.

Originally found at the Crooks and Liars website.

Here is the direct link to the video, for both Windows and Mac users

Understand - This is not a joke, this is not satire - The threat to our nation by this is very real.  This is how bad we all have “allowed” it to get.  This scares me far more than any possible threat from the desperate terrorists.

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Nothing else - Just go watch the video -

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

With Bated Breath. . .

We All Await January, Witnessing Insanity Upon Delusional Insanity. . .
by The Old Hippie, Because The Delusional, And The Criminal, See The Coming Awakened Anger.


I really thought they had won, as I'm sure they also thought so too.  I had begun to believe they had been allowed to accomplished enough damage to successfully convert America into - “something” - other than the America we learned about in our civics classes.  That “something” has many realities, all of which are terrifying; an out of control Corporatist carnivore, an oppressive Theocratic-Corporatist opportunist, the neocon's Pax Americana Empire wetdream, a combination of all of the above...  But what it all boils down to is, even though they lost this past election, (and therefore control of the government,) they did successfully complete the largest theft in all of written history.

We're not talking millions, or even billions...  We're talking about the reality of trillions of dollars.  So, in that sense, they did win, (actually, we in our collective stupidity, allowed it.)  Even though we may have got our government back - We'll never get even a fraction of the money back.

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Much of the damaged they caused in their successful pursuit of the money, and their failed pursuit of the purposeful destruction of the Constitutional Democracy that stood, (still stands?,) in their way of even more profits, plus much of the damage from their failed pursuit of a permanent control of the American government, is now known to be irreversible, but not all of it.

Only a few questions remain;
- Will there be any rational, non-revenge-driven, and sane punishment of the guilty?
- Will the radical theocratic insane fundamentalist elements be expunged from power?
- How long will it be before our illegal occupation of Iraq ends, and our troops come home?
- Will there be any real correction of the corporate take over of our regulatory agencies?
- Will the e-voting's criminal corruptions, and reality-based problems, be fixed?
- Will the decline of our “free-press” be corrected, its consolidations reversed?

- Will “America” survive the failure of any, some, or all, of the above?

I think, we all, at least within the reality-based America, await January with bated breath.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Olbermann Nails It Again. . .

Keith Olbermann Speaks With Sincere Passion, Not Blind Sycophancy

Keith Olbermann, Who Only Speaks a “Special Comment” When His Anger is Sincerely Undeniable.  Unlike the Opportunistically Manufactured Comments by Sycophants, Every Night, Regurgitating on Their Shows the Ruling Party's Talking Points, Without Any Real Sincerity, With Proven Sociopathic Disregard of Our Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

I too was offended by Newt Gingrich's remarks, and had planned to write my outrage here, but Keith Olbermann's passionate “Special Comment” Thursday night was a much more rational, and definitely a more eloquent, expression of my, and I assume many others, deep-gut reaction to the [paraphrased] “take away as much freedom and liberty as possible, with as many technological methods as possible, to save American values?!?”

The videos, (Windows Media & Quicktime,) are at Crooks and Liars, along with the transcript -

- Click Here for the Direct Link to the Video and Transcript -

Do yourself a favor, click on the link, and watch/listen to Mr. Olbermann's “Special Comment,” then maybe share it with others that might have missed it.

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Just go watch/listen to the video of Mr. Olbermann's “Special Comment.”  It is definitely worth the few minutes needed to watch the full segment.

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