Tuesday, July 31, 2007

JFK and The Press

23 minutes

Time to Divide the Spoils

In this article titled U.S. checking possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa, via Jordan
we find that...
The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.
A bonus! Wow, what a concept! Nearly 1,000,000 dead and they get a bonus.

They're not talking about a couple of wells here...
The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel.
This new pipeline will carry nearly 28 times the oil as the old abandoned one, assuming the same fluid velocity.
The National Infrastructure Ministry has recently conducted research indicating that construction of a 42-inch diameter pipeline between Kirkuk and Haifa would cost about $400,000 per kilometer. The old Mosul-Haifa pipeline was only 8 inches in diameter.
Even Jordan can get a cut in the deal - This from National Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky...
the plan depends on Jordan's consent and that Jordan would receive a transit fee for allowing the oil to piped through its territory. The minister noted, however, that "due to pan-Arab concerns, it will be hard for the Jordanians to agree to the flow of Iraqi oil via Jordan and Israel."
And to top it all off it is being used to leverage Turkey to do our biding...
in response to rumors about the possible Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline, Turkey has warned Israel that it would regard this development as a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations.

Sources in Jerusalem suggest that the American hints about the alternative pipeline are part of an attempt to apply pressure on Turkey.

As an indication of Bush's success we find that, prior to the war, Iraq was allowed limited production to serve the needs of the people. Today, with the capacity to produce 2.5 million barrels per day, the flow is only a fraction of the 1.5 allowed under the Saddam regime.
Oil exports were halted after the Gulf War in 1991 and then were allowed again on a limited basis (1.5 million barrels per day) to finance the import of food and medicines. Iraq is currently exporting several hundred thousand barrels of oil per day.
Haven't Haliburton, Exxon, BP and Shell had enough bonuses already?

Who says it is about Democracy? It is and always was about one thing - Who gets the oil!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Roasting Marshmallows on the American Reichstag Fire to Come

Tales of Angst, Alienation and Martial Law: Roasting Marshmallows on the American Reichstag Fire to Come

by Phil Rockstroh

(Reprinted from
In this summer of angst and grim foreboding about what further assaults against common sense and common decency the Bush administration might inflict upon the people of the world, how many times during the day do those of us — still possessed of mind, heart and conscience — take pause, hoping we’ve seen the worst of it, then, fearing we haven’t yet, attempt to push down the dread rising within us, so that we might simply make it through the day and be able to rest at night?

Accordingly, those who have been paying attention are aware that the outward mechanisms of martial law are in place. We shudder knowing that Bush has issued an executive decree that grants him dictatorial power in the event of some nebulously defined national emergency. In addition, the knowledge nettles us that a vast network of internment camps bristle across the length of the U.S., standing at wait for those who might raise objections to the fascistic fury unloosed by the American empire’s version of the Reichstag fire.

Moreover, a closer look would reveal that the inner processes by which an individual begins the act of acceptance of authoritarian excess — the mixture of chronic passivity, boredom, low grade anxiety and unfocused rage inherent in the citizens/consumers of the corporate state that primes an individual for fascism — have been in place for quite some time within the psyches of the American populace, both elites and hoi polloi alike. Although, don’t look for torch-lit processions thronging the nation’s streets and boulevards; rather, look for a Nuremberg Rally of couch-bound brownshirts. Instead of ogling the serried ranks of jut-jawed, SS soldiers, a contemporary Leni Riefenstahl would be forced to film chubby clusters of double-chinned consumers, saluting the new order with their TV remotes. In the contemporary United States, the elation induced by the immersion of one’s individual will to the mindless intoxication of the mob might only be possible, if Bush seized dictatorial control of the state while simultaneously sending out to all citizens gift certificates to Ikea.
After the catastrophes spawned by the rise of European fascism in the 1930s, a number of brilliant, original thinkers (including Hannah Arendt, Roberto Freire, Wilhelm Reich, and R. D. Laing) set out to study the phenomenon in order to learn how future calamities might be prevented. Although the methodologies and conclusions of these thinkers varied, each noted that alienation and dehumanization festered at the core of the death urge of fascism.

Nowadays, in contrast, the elites of the corporate media have proven themselves useless in this regard, believing, as they do, they constitute the thin line between the rabble at large (me and you) and the chaos begot by freedom. At present, mega-churches attract alienated suburbanites. Right-wing talk show hosts misdirect their listeners alienation towards so-called illegal “aliens” and exploit their audience’s sense of powerlessness (created by the rigged system of corporate capitalism) against elitist liberals (who themselves, ironically, benefit from the present system and who only want to change it to the degree that their own privilege will not be affected — in other words, not at all).

Combine the above with the American character trait of being hostile towards introspection and it becomes evident that the present disaster has been building for quite a while now. And it can (and most likely will) get worse — far worse.

Most Americans alive today have been trained since birth to adapt to and serve the corrupt corporate structure by means of the shunning of critical thinking and have been conditioned to be in constant (empty) motion or in the thrall of mass media distraction. We have been taught that passivity is for losers, yet we find ourselves nearly powerless before the corporate/consumer/military/police/entertainment state. In this way, we serve our corporate masters; it serves the corpocracy that the lower orders refuse meaningful self-awareness. If one were to glimpse one’s own illusions, then it follows one might begin to question collective delusions, and this would upset the social order.

Those who have studied the dangers of authoritarian rule have advised us to be wary of people who carry an inner emptiness. Of course, these unfortunates yearn for the void to be filled. But with their hearts and minds mortared closed, what makes it through the self-constructed prison is loud, stupid, and fascistic. At present, what penetrates is: Fundamentalist Sermons on Armageddon, violent video games, the empty spectacle of steroid-induced professional sports hype, the lethal fantasies of American exceptionalism, the exercise in Rock and Roll imperialism that U.S. foreign policy has become. In short, all the banal Sturm and Drang necessary to pierce those protective walls and penetrate the pervasive inner emptiness.

When the people of a culture have been conditioned to worship power — but feel powerless — there’s trouble ahead. The elites must displace the public’s rage by a demagogic sleight-of-hand such as the demonization of marginalized groups. In the US, we’ve been inundated by years of state and commercial propaganda that has degraded and demonized the country’s permanent underclass by the labeling of them as welfare parasites and career criminals.

It has been noted that the mindset, methods, and procedures of America’s punitive, profit-driven prison-industrial complex was a prototype for the systemic cruelty of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib; furthermore, it is a given that those institutional affronts to human decency will have served as prototypes for the methods and procedures that will be practiced upon those who are swept-up in the purges and detainment mania following the declaration of martial law in the United States.

We push this knowledge away from us, fearing we will be paralyzed by its crushing implications. Worse, what is nearly impossible to admit is, most likely, the system crushed us long ago. Apropos, R. D. Laing averred that being able to adapt and function within an insane, authoritarian system renders one for all practical purposes insane — only insane in a manner acceptable to a power mad ruling elite.

This is the knowledge we push down, every hour of everyday. Otherwise, we would be driven to admit outright that the system has crushed our individual hopes, aspirations and yearnings. We must, at all costs, keep these feelings concealed; otherwise, we might be compelled to contemplate what we have forsaken, what passions and truths we have traded away for the false sense of security that the corporate order offered us when we tacitly agreed to surrender what was most sacred, vital and alive within us. One psychological manifestation of this phenomenon is the incessant chanting of that mantra of the American corporate workforce: “I’m not my job. I’m not what I do all day long.”

For a moment, meditate on the calamity implicit in such a sentiment. Because If we cannot locate and engage our true selves during our waking hours, then who the hell are we anyway? This is a profoundly troubling circumstance. Moreover, if we’ve condemned our daylight selves to a void of non-being, what then remains of us?

We experience this dislocation of the life force as a sense of nebulous dread. Everything, these days, the architecture and accouterments of our lives seems so fragile and unreal; it feels as if everything could just fly apart at any given moment. The world and our place in it seems so flimsy: an empire built of eggshells; it could all shatter in an instant.

Living on credit, the house of cards of the real estate market, jobs evaporating, most of us languishing only a couple of paychecks away from ruin: The empire is coming undone. As it is, it seems the nation is only being held together with hydrogenated fat, wheat gluten, over-extended credit and particleboard. Ergo, there is one law the lawless Bush administration and their keepers from the plundering class cannot flout: the second law of thermodynamics. They won’t be able to claim executive privilege to avoid the consequences of negative entropy.

In a similar vein, we, the underlings of empire, stand helpless before the prevailing madness. Individual reason rarely acts as a countervailing force to stem a drowning tide of cultural cognitive dissonance. Because the more epic and all-compassing the mistake, the more epic and all-encompassing come the rationalizations, the scapegoating and the compulsion for do-overs. If the surge isn’t working as fantasized, then we’ll double-dog surge you and then bomb Iran. If police state tactics fail to alleviate a sense of anxiety, then we must construct more detainment camps, more maximum security prisons, enact more federal death penalty statutes. “Bring back the electric chair; being put to sleep, like stray pets, is too good for the traitors,” the mob will rage. That’s the solution, but (cognitive dissonance being what it is) we need to go bigger — we need an electric sofa — yet, bigger still — an electric dining room set! “Aahh . . . the smell of deep-fried dissidents in the morning.”

And over the smoking corpses, let us pray. We need to pray for . . . what? . . . more prayer. These prayers would work, the homicidally faithful will insist, if every single doubter was induced to drop to their knees and pray. Hence, we need prayer in the public schools. We need prayer on public transportation. We need prayer in public restrooms!

Animus, ignorance, and magical thinking are a tragic mix and, I’m afraid, that vintage of mind is the hideous wine of our times. The social criteria that gives rise to fascism is in place in the U.S. and those in positions of power have a strong interest in seeing things remain that way. All we can do is what folks (a minority) have always done . . . exile or resistance.

In my opinion, both are honorable. The other options are varying degrees of “little Eichmann[ism]” — Ward Churchill’s much scorned, career purge-inducing — but nevertheless accurate phrase. If one does the “soul work,” to appropriate archetypal psychologist James Hillman’s term, it is still possible to resist complicity. Training yourself to avoid lying for provisional gain is a time honored means of preventing alliances with exploitive assholes. They will avoid you, fire you, curse your name from the darkness of their inner abyss, but this will solve the problem of dependence on them and you’ll be forced to live by other means. Generally, one is more adaptable than one believes.

Keep yourself as healthy and as sane as possible: we’re going to need you around after the inevitable collapse of the present system. Also, beware of those reductionist demons of the mind who diminish the soul-making possibilities of “mere” words. The acts of writing and reading are seen as passive; to crackpot realists, these activities seem useless, unproductive — the feckless indulgences of a class of the thin-wristed effete.

Accordingly, Americans have all but ceased reading. Worse, they displace their feelings of self-loathing borne of their own corporately induced passivity upon writers and thinkers. If the tenets of democratic discourse are to survive, it is imperative that writers and thinkers begin to engage in a passionate defense of themselves against the kvetching armies of crackpot realists that have encircled and laid siege to our collective hearts and minds.

But don’t expect to be lauded with praise for the effort. It’s doubtful our adversaries will be moved by our entreaties: There cannot be a rapprochement with reality for those who have never had a relationship with it in the first place. Yet verbal imagery and depth-inducing insights are the DNA of compassionate engagement. It is not a coincidence that George W. Bush is an inarticulate oaf. Conversely, there are many things in this world that require being touched by words, for there are occasions when words alone can suffice to take us deep and lift us up and serve to ameliorate our alienation.

It is in this spirit that I offer the above words to you. I’m traveling light; they’re all I’m carrying with me, at this late hour, in these dark and dangerous times.



Music: Exposure by Robert Fripp, Vocals Terre Roche

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday Night Videos at the Lair

Come on in to my lounge and I'll open the Vault.
Tonight I will feature music from 1965 - 1975.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Private Investigation

Sweet with a biting finish.

A Modest Proposal

Should Bush decide to nuke Iran, it is proposed that he follow the heroic measures of Major Kong:

Obviously We Need To Be Connected To Israel

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Monday, July 23, 2007

Damn it Nancy!

Now you've got me wearing orange!
Since you didn't put Impeachment back on the table,

it's time for a change of course!

I now give my support to Cindy Sheehan!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Toxic FEMA Trailers - Congressional Hearings

Henry Waxman's oversight committee has just opened an investigation into FEMA's response to reports of toxic trailers. As previously discussed in an earlier article at the Lair, the Katrina refugees who have lived or are still living in the FEMA trailers are suffering from the effects of formaldehyde poisoning.

Following are videos of the hearings and the testimony of inhabitants of these trailers as well as a quizing of FEMA administrator David Paulison who just keeps regurgitating the same lame excuses and empty promises. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi for posting these videos for all to see. (Now if she would only put impeachment back on the table! Make the call 202/225-0100)

Chairman Henry Waxman's opening

James Harris, Jr., a travel trailer occupant from April 2006 to the present, gives opening testimony.

Paul Stewart, a travel trailer occupant from December 2005 to March 2006, gives opening testimony

Mary DeVany, an industrial hygienist, explains the danger of formaldehyde and the need for action

Rep. Elijah Cummings questions the witnesses.

Rep. John Yarmuth questions the witnesses

Chairman Henry Waxman questions David Paulison, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Impeachment - Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers with Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein and The Nation's John Nichols on the issue of impeachment.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

it has to be orange

99's fomenting again!

If impeachment is not on the table by the 23rd, everybody goes to Orange Revolution mode.

Tuesday Topic Week 18


There have been a few occasion where I forgot to post the Tuesday Topic until I was gently reminded by Agent 99 in her
interminable quest to right the wrongs foisted upon us.

In fact she reminded me today before I was even awake this morning.

But alas - I too am waiting for today's Tuesday Topic to be posted at One Million Blogs for Peace!

A Slight Reprieve for Internet Radio

In this report from Wired we find that there was an agreement made last Friday to modify the proposed fees scheduled to be enforced against internet broadcasters. While this is not the desired resolution, it does buy some time to keep the pressure on our representatives to preserve the internet as we know it.

SoundExchange, a group responsible for collecting music broadcasting royalties, on Friday confirmed it has proposed new terms for internet radio that could lower fees for some webcasters.

While limited in scope, Thursday's proposal offers a partial reprieve for smaller sites facing the axe Sunday when a payment scheme approved by the Copyright Royalty Board, or CRB, is set to take effect. Webcasters have said the fees would effectively force many services that personalize individual channels for listeners to close shop by the end of the weekend.

Under the new proposal, which must be implemented by the CRB, SoundExchange would cap the $500 annual per-channel minimum fee at $50,000 per year for webcasters. In exchange, webcasters could be required to provide more detailed data on the music that they play and make an effort to stop unauthorized copying from streamrippers -- software that can turn ephemeral net radio streams into permanent recordings.

The SaveNetRadio Coalition has this statement on the issue:

Congress and SoundExchange have heard loud and clear the amazing outpouring of support for Internet radio from webcasters, listeners and the thousands of artists they support. A commitment has been made to negotiate reasonable royalties, recognizing the industry’s long-term value and its still-developing revenue potential.

During negotiations SoundExchange committed temporarily not to enforce the new royalty rates so webcasters can stay online as new rates are agreed upon.

This development is due in great part to the millions of people who have let their Congressional representatives know about their support of Internet radio. Over 125 representatives have cosponsored the bill to this point.

We urge listeners to continue calling their Senators and Representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. Thank you.

Pleas to our representatives seem to be working so let's keep it up.

Here is a link to help you find your representative - keep the pressure on!

See also The End of the Internet as We Know It

and The End Of The Internet - Revisited

Visit savetheinternet.com

Sign a petition or two.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Make The Call

Just say, "Hello, my name is Davis Fleetwood, and you have until July 23rd to put impeachment back on the table." Really.

Science According to Bush

Last September, shortly after moving into the Lair and out of that drafty yurt, we discussed how Bush has, for all intents and purposes, declared himself king.

At the end of that month we discussed how the Bush administration has been bending and censoring science to suit his political wills.

Now we have even more people coming out with tales of how our government is being run. Not for the health and safety of our people, but for their political and financial gain.

In this report yesterday in the New York Times we learn that former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona has testified to Congress regarding the politicizing of the health and human services and the department of health:
WASHINGTON, July 10 — Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to “water down” a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.
And to show Bush's unabashed arrogance:
Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.
But what really exemplifies the True Christian Compassion - that Compassionate Conservatism - is the following:
And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to a “prominent family” that he refused to name.

“I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

The Special Olympics is one of the nation’s premier charitable organizations to benefit disabled people, and the Kennedy's have long been deeply involved in it.

Former Surgeon General under the Reagan administration C. Everett Koop, and David Satcher from the Carter administration also testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee which is looking to strengthen the Surgeon General position under the auspices of Representative Henry A. Waxman .

Both Dr. Koop and Dr. Satcher talked of politicization of the position during their tenures but agreed that Dr. Carmona had seen much worse.

The website ClimateScienceWatch gives us an example of how Bush is placing his pals throughout the system to corrupt and otherwise alter the output of our scientific organizations:
Jeffrey Salmon is the Associate Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to moving to DOE, from 1991-2001 he was Executive Director of the George C. Marshall Institute, a key actor in the global warming disinformation campaign. In 1998 he participated in the development of a now-notorious oil industry-sponsored plan to wage a campaign against the mainstream science community on global warming. Before that, he was senior speechwriter for Dick Cheney, when Cheney was Secretary of Defense. The Office of Science oversees roughly $4 billion a year in DOE-supported research, including a roughly $140 million climate change research budget. What does Salmon do in this position—for example, on matters of climate change research, assessment, and communication?
(Much more on the Jeffrey Salmon matter at the above link)

It's time for this to end. It's time to rid our country of these lying, cheating, thieving traitors.
CALL 202/225-0100 and ask to leave a message for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Join the movement - just call and say, "Hello, my name is Davis Fleetwood, and you have until July 23rd to put impeachment back on the table." and hang up!

Then hopefully we can see this on our morning paper.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday Topic Week 17

In this 17th week of the One Million Blogs for Peace campaign we have seen renewed calls for impeachment of both Bush and Cheney, defection of some Republicans from the Bush "Bring it on" foreign policies, more evidence of Gonzales lying to Congress, and continued evasion of congressional oversight by Bush and Cheney.

But in a classic Bushco prestidigitatorial move - POOF - that all disappears. "Look over here! There's TERROR. KKKarl, Dick and I will protect you!"

This week the Tuesday Topic is a challenge to be creative in quest of an end to hostilities in Iraq culminating in a contest next month.

Here then, with no further ado, is this weeks Tuesday Topic:

Seventeenth Tuesday Topic

Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Are you planning on participating in the upcoming August Challenge at One Million Blogs for Peace?
It will entail making a YouTube video promoting peace in Iraq and One Million Blogs for Peace.
Why will you or will you not be participating?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

OK - Here's What It Is All About

ROBERT KENNEDY Jr. (Audio Version) (Video version HERE)


(PART 2)

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"















Friday, July 06, 2007


It's happening!

In a move, counter to the message of the day, MSN has decided to turn the event into a corporate money feed fest and forced the take-down of the videos.
I have chosen to leave the video links up in case they should ever reconsider.

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"

Al Gore opens the U.S. shows

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"


"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"


China in the Pouring Rain


"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"


"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"

New York

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"

South Africa

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"

United Kingdom

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"

Washington D.C.

"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Microsoft Network"

Help Save This Place

A Tribute to Two in a Class of Their Own

Friday Night Music Videos at the Lair.
Just a warm up for Live Earth.
Don't forget to tune in - 6:10 pm Pacific Daylight time. (58 Minutes from now!)

Two of the best of the best.

With a Little Help From My Friends

Thanks John - We miss you!

With a Little Help From My Friends

Thanks Joe.

Live Earth Starts Tonight, 6:10pm Pacific


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hope... Pass It On

Commenting Gone Wiggy

HALOSCAN, the commenting utility here at the Lair, has been having fits lately.

Perhaps it's due to an overwhelming number of people commenting across the internet on the happenings of this last week. Flooding HaloScan servers until they can't keep up.

Anyway, if the comment button is gone, if you get a white page after you comment, or get that dreaded "You've already said that" error message, just remember "You're posting too fast. Please allow fifteen (15) more seconds."