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December 12, 2007

OT 07-83

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News & views ... open thread ...

Posted by b on December 12, 2007 at 03:44 AM | Permalink

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From Wayne Madsen's site: Conrad Black sentenced to 78 months.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 12, 2007 4:13:49 AM | 1

From Wayne Madsen's site: Conrad Black sentenced to 78 months.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 12, 2007 4:14:39 AM | 2

From Wayne Madsen's site: Conrad Black sentenced to 78 months.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 12, 2007 4:15:50 AM | 3

Yesterday, just a day before negotiations are scheduled to resume, Israel stages a military operation in Gaza, killing 8 and wounding at least 12.

Short video of events in Gaza from Haaretz

IHT

Posted by: Bea | Dec 12, 2007 7:44:56 AM | 4

The "great coalition" Paulson got together to freeze some ARM rates has a fraudulent background:


MORTGAGE MELTDOWN - Interest rate 'freeze' - the real story is fraud Bankers pay lip service to families while scurrying to avert suits, prison

New proposals to ease our great mortgage meltdown keep rolling in. First the Treasury Department urged the creation of a new fund that would buy risky mortgage bonds as a tactic to hide what those bonds were really worth. (Not much.) Then the idea was to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy the risky loans, even if it was clear that U.S. taxpayers would eventually be stuck with the bill. But that plan went south after Fannie suffered a new accounting scandal, and Freddie's existing loan losses shot up more than expected.

Now, just unveiled Thursday, comes the "freeze," the brainchild of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. It sounds good: For five years, mortgage lenders will freeze interest rates on a limited number of "teaser" subprime loans. Other homeowners facing foreclosure will be offered assistance from the Federal Housing Administration.

But unfortunately, the "freeze" is just another fraud - and like the other bailout proposals, it has nothing to do with U.S. house prices, with "working families," keeping people in their homes or any of that nonsense.

The sole goal of the freeze is to prevent owners of mortgage-backed securities, many of them foreigners, from suing U.S. banks and forcing them to buy back worthless mortgage securities at face value - right now almost 10 times their market worth.

The ticking time bomb in the U.S. banking system is not resetting subprime mortgage rates. The real problem is the contractual ability of investors in mortgage bonds to require banks to buy back the loans at face value if there was fraud in the origination process.
...
The catastrophic consequences of bond investors forcing originators to buy back loans at face value are beyond the current media discussion. The loans at issue dwarf the capital available at the largest U.S. banks combined, and investor lawsuits would raise stunning liability sufficient to cause even the largest U.S. banks to fail, resulting in massive taxpayer-funded bailouts of Fannie and Freddie, and even FDIC.
...If a mortgage bond investor sues Goldman Sachs to force the institution to buy back loans, could Paulson be forced to testify as to whether Goldman Sachs knew or had reason to know about fraud in the origination process of the loans it was bundling?

It is truly amazing that right now everyone in the country is deferring to Paulson and the heads of Countrywide, JPMorgan, Bank of America and others as the best group to work out a solution to this problem. No one is talking about the fact that these people created the problem and profited to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars from it.


...

Posted by: b | Dec 12, 2007 9:04:21 AM | 5

Another bombing in Lebanon: Top military general, who was in line to head the army should its current head (Suleiman) become President (as seemed to be the current arrangement worked out around Annapolis), has been assassinated by a large bomb.

BBC photo essay

AFP Report

TIME

Posted by: Bea | Dec 12, 2007 9:41:22 AM | 6

Oops, somehow the link to the Lebanese press that I meant to list first in #4 did not show up. Here it is:

Naharnet

Posted by: Bea | Dec 12, 2007 9:47:22 AM | 7

Rocket Barrage on Sderot

15 Qassams hit the oft-targeted Israeli town; mayor resigns.

Drum beats are beating loud for an invasion of Gaza... I expect it to come very soon.

Posted by: Bea | Dec 12, 2007 10:08:38 AM | 8

Triple car bombs hit south Iraq

at least 39 dead.

Posted by: annie | Dec 12, 2007 10:38:46 AM | 9

For the record, another yesterday (not sure if someone already posted about this):

Truck bombings target UN offices in Algeria, killing 31

Posted by: Bea | Dec 12, 2007 10:46:45 AM | 10

China to US re new Iran oil deal: it's none of your goddamn business

More like this please.

Posted by: ran | Dec 12, 2007 12:06:54 PM | 11

Morgan Stanley issues full US recession alert

Morgan Stanley has issued a full recession alert for the US economy, warning of a sharp slowdown in business investment and a "perfect storm" for consumers as the housing slump spreads.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 12, 2007 1:58:47 PM | 12

The following post is rated: CD (Critical Discernment)

Iran invasion cancelled by Bilderberger?

A wonderful interview on KPFA with Daniel Estulin in which he reveals that the Iran invasion was cancelled at the recent Bilderberger meeting in Ottawa, much to the displeasure of the American attendees. Daniel's 'reliability credentials' are quite in order for this kind of reporting. He even explains in the interview how he goes about gathering his intelligence on Bilderberger meetings.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 12, 2007 2:25:49 PM | 13

The following post is rated: CD (Critical Discernment)

Iran invasion cancelled by Bilderberger?

A wonderful interview on KPFA with Daniel Estulin in which he reveals that the Iran invasion was cancelled at the recent Bilderberger meeting in Ottawa, much to the displeasure of the American attendees. Daniel's 'reliability credentials' are quite in order for this kind of reporting. He even explains in the interview how he goes about gathering his intelligence on Bilderberger meetings.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 12, 2007 2:26:47 PM | 14

The Americans Have Landed

[Africa]

By 2012, the Pentagon will have two dozen forts in Africa. The story of Africa Command, the American military's new frontier outpost.
by Thomas P.M. Barnett


The word came down suddenly in early January to the fifty or so U.S. troops stationed inside Camp Simba, a Kenyan naval base located on that country's sandy coast: Drop everything and pull everyone back inside the compound wire. Then they were instructed to immediately clear a couple acres of dense forest. Task Force 88, a very secret American special-operations unit, needed to land three CH-53 helicopters.

"We had everybody working nonstop," says Navy Lieutenant Commander Steve Eron, commander of Contingency Operating Location Manda Bay, a new American base in Kenya, including a dozen or so on-site KBR contractors. By the next day, every tree had been hauled off and the field graded and packed down using heavy machinery. The pad was completed in thirty-six hours.

Soon after, U.S. special operators flying out of Manda Bay were landing in southernmost Somalia, searching for survivors among the foreign fighters and Al Qaeda operatives just targeted in a furious bombardment by a U.S. gunship launched from a secret airstrip in eastern Ethiopia.

The 88's job was simple: Kill anyone still alive and leave no unidentified bodies behind.

A few weeks later, the president would announce the creation of a new regional command -- Africa Command -- that would commit U.S. military personnel to the continent on a permanent basis. The January operation would be, in effect, the first combat mission of Africa Command, and it would not go as planned.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 12, 2007 3:23:10 PM | 15

'Newfie' Gwynne Dyer has just written an interesting piece on the unraveling Kosovo conundrum. I have included a link from my local fishwrap, the article will be syndicated through "liberal in name" rags around the planet.

In this article Dyer discusses the the cleft stick the EU nations find themselves in over Kosovo and Russian opposition to independence.

The problem is that while no one likes Russia or their new hydrocarbon pricing structure, and they certainly support some airy fairy wish like "all Kosovars should be free" they like the notion of forcing a sovereign state to fragment against it's will, even less.

Who? What? Why? could people possibly think that a culturally distinct minority shouldn't be allowed to up sticks and create their own state?

Well how about Spain (the Basques), Cyprus (the Turks), and Romania (Magyars and Roma). That's just for a start the english wouldn't be happy if the welsh or scots rediscovered their balls and flicked away hundreds of years of oppression, neither would France (Basque and Catalan) or probably even Germany - Bernhard; I imagine there are still some minorities in the East who didn't get free when Germany was carved up after the nazi defeat, aren't there?

We forget - those of us that live in the 'New World', exactly how tribal and bloody ethnic conflicts were throughout Europe. In fact delve too far and you'll probably find that if your ancestors jumped ship into the New World back before life in the New World was imagined to be materially superior to that of Europe, and you'll probably find your forebears were fleeing some such conflict. (Mine was Catholic/Protestant, Scots fleeing from english oppression post Culloden, and anti-semitism, a good healthy cross section of what was going around Europe in the 17 and 18 hundreds - yet it's all forgotten, just one example - probably the most popular stop for my nieces and nephews gathering their post graduation O.E. (Overseas Experience as it is known here) is with the proddy relatives of my great grandmother in Armagh. No one ever mentions why the long lost errant son (her father) had to leave, that he took a catholic wife)

It is worth noting that the most vociferous objection to the succession of Kosovo comes from EU newbies Romania and Cyprus who just don't understand.

Consistency and precedent have never been an integral part of Western European politics, the imaginative chap who devises the rationale for a Kosavar state is more than capable of finding reasons why it wouldn't count in Cyprus, or to the Magyars of Romania, as for the gypsies, well no one need worry about that. When is the last time anyone got called a Nazi for telling a good gypsy joke?

Never the less as Dyer points out this is quite a conundrum. There is no way that any support for a Kosovo free from Serbian influence is legal. That and the opposition of the newbies, does raise a much bigger question.

How much longer are we (ordinary shit kickers) going to pledge support for such a manifestly unfair system. A system of laws about sovereignty which has changed little from the days of the divine right of kings to rule?

The only real hope for the future of the human being as an individual is if we can organise ourselves into small (no bigger than a couple of million people) state-lets which are largely self governing apart from the guarantee of basic human rights to all citizens.

Yet it is illegal for even ethnically distinct groups of humans to get together and democratically decide to secede.

Obviously rules about such succession need to quite sophisticated, be developed to prevent situations like Israel from occurring, where culturally distinct geographical groupings have been created by force, but how do we do that?

Until some peak multilateral forum such as the UN general assembly does force a change to international law to legitimise 'liberation movements' violence and injustice will prevail. Yet even those African and Asian states created over brandy and cigars at some European town cum holiday resort are unable to lawfully reorganize into more just and administratively sensible sovereign entities, so how the hell are the Kosovars, Roma or Turkomen ever going to be free?

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 12, 2007 5:43:56 PM | 16

r.i.p. ike turner

Posted by: b real | Dec 12, 2007 11:13:41 PM | 17

rip ike turner

Posted by: b real | Dec 12, 2007 11:14:30 PM | 18

aw fscking spam filter... can't even post a youtube link to ike turner's rocket 88. rest in peace anyway ike.

Posted by: b real | Dec 12, 2007 11:16:04 PM | 19

human rights watch: Letter to US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates on Somalia

Dear Secretary Gates,

During your recent visit to Djibouti, a senior Pentagon official accompanying you was quoted by the Washington Post on December 4 as saying "I am unaware of specific allegations regarding the conduct of the Ethiopian troops" in Somalia. We were surprised by this comment, given the extensive public reporting on the Ethiopian military’s abusive conduct. Nevertheless, we write to bring to your attention specific information about serious human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war by Ethiopian troops operating in Somalia. Given the close relationship between the United States and the Ethiopian government, we believe that the United States can do more to curb the abusive behavior of the Ethiopian military and to assist Somalia’s beleaguered population.
...
We ask that the US government, and the Department of Defense in particular, send a very clear message to Addis Ababa to put an end to abuses by its forces and ensure accountability when abuses occur. The US should press the government to provide access to the United Nations, human rights groups and journalists to investigate abuses by all sides both in Somalia and in Ethiopia’s Somali region. It should demand that Ethiopia and the TFG end deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to displaced people and other populations at risk. Consistent with the Leahy Law, the US should deny assistance to any unit of the Ethiopian armed forces that has engaged in human rights abuses. In sum, the US government, and all its agencies and representatives, must send the message – privately, publicly and consistently – that Ethiopia and other parties to the region’s conflicts, will never achieve sustainable peace and security by flouting international human rights and humanitarian law.

don't expect much in way of a response. the invasion and occupation of somalia is in itself in violation of a long-standing un arms embargo. and before that, the cia was helping out the anti-islamist warlords. anyway, stability & loyalty to u.s. interests historically trump attention to matters of human rights & int'l law. both kenya & ethiopia have been getting away w/ murder thanks to their powerful patron, the largest rogue nation of 'em all.

Posted by: b real | Dec 12, 2007 11:46:18 PM | 20

Just an update. Draw your own conclusions.

Snip...

President Bush vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have expanded government-provided health insurance for children, his second slap-down of a bipartisan effort in Congress to dramatically increase funding for the popular program.

It was Bush's seventh veto in seven years - all but one coming since Democrats took control of Congress in January. Wednesday was the deadline for Bush to act or let the bill become law. The president also vetoed an earlier, similar bill expanding the health insurance program.

Bush vetoed the bill in private.

Gasp.

Snip...

But such votes are uncomfortable for GOP lawmakers. It is a popular program with the public, making some Republicans wary of sticking with Bush on such an issue with the 2008 elections looming. Of the 43 million people nationwide who lack health insurance, more than 6 million are under 18 years old. That's more than 9 percent of all children.

Gasp again. One well-timed breaking scandal will wipe the memory of this and all other legislation hostile to the American public out of the minds of the milling herds of civically responsible on their way to their touch-screen ballot boxes. Nobody, GOP or otherwise, is genuinely worried about this.

Snip...

In his veto statement, Bush said: "The leadership in the Congress has refused to meet with my administration's representatives." White House press secretary Dana Perino said that "even on a staff level, we weren't invited to negotiate."

"They've instead been intransigent and sent us two bills that they knew he wouldn't sign," she scoffed.

Not so, said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

For instance, Reid approached Bush to ask for negotiations during a ceremony for the Dalai Lama in the Capitol Rotunda in mid-October, a couple of weeks after Bush's first SCHIP veto, he said. The president told Reid, "No, I'm not moving, meet with my staff," Reid said at the time.

"The fact is that Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi asked to meet with the president to discuss giving children the health care they need, and he blew them off by telling them to talk to his staff," Manley said before the veto. "Now he's going to veto it for a second time without negotiating once."

Great. Nancy "The Enabler" Pelosi gets to look like the good guy fighting the evil lame duck she has done so much to protect.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 13, 2007 12:08:42 AM | 21

Speaking of project ARTICHOKE...

Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad


An A&E Billboard 'Whispers' a Spooky Message Audible Only in Your Head in Push to Promote Its New 'Paranormal' Program

By Andrew Hampp

Published: December 10, 2007

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- New Yorker Alison Wilson was walking down Prince Street in SoHo last week when she heard a woman's voice right in her ear asking, "Who's there? Who's there?" She looked around to find no one in her immediate surroundings. Then the voice said, "It's not your imagination."

Indeed it isn't. It's an ad for "Paranormal State," a ghost-themed series premiering on A&E this week. The billboard uses technology manufactured by Holosonic that transmits an "audio spotlight" from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium. The technology, ideal for museums and libraries or environments that require a quiet atmosphere for isolated audio slideshows, has rarely been used on such a scale before. For random passersby and residents who have to walk unwittingly through the area where the voice will penetrate their inner peace, it's another story.

Ms. Wilson, a New York-based stylist, said she expected the voice inside her head to be some type of creative project but could see how others might perceive it differently, particularly on a late-night stroll home. "I might be a little freaked out, and I wouldn't necessarily think it's coming from that billboard," she said.

Less-intrusive approach?
Joe Pompei, president and founder of Holosonics, said the creepy approach is key to drawing attention to A&E's show.

This one definitely crosses the line.

And arguably gives credence to alleged victims of harassment. Anyone remember 'Son of Sam' and his orders from a dog?

As we know, the military is always 30 or 40 years ahead of what the public is aware of.

The Army's thesaurus lists airport scarecrow as one use for voice to skull technology.

I ran across news of this technology several months ago but didn't post about it.

In the other ad campaign, in a bookstore, the voice whispered "Have you ever though about killing someone?"

It was an ad for a murder mystery.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 13, 2007 12:17:43 AM | 22

It was probably unwise to wait 5 years before doing this (unless "due process" took that long). In any case we can expect to receive politically correct interpretations forthwith. While awaiting the latter, and in a completely different vein, here's the latest hype on how to attain achieving enduring sexual bliss . Much as I enjoy technical progress, I confess to being too old-fashioned and just plain old to be enticed by such novelties.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 13, 2007 3:51:01 AM | 23

Robert Fisk is lying when it comes to Lebanon. Maybe he too often had dinner with Hariri? Today he writes: Syria denies killing General in car-bomb attack

He implies that Syria did assassinate the General. But does that make sense? No. As the Friday Lunch Club remarks

On the wake of the January 23, 07' demonstrations, the World Council of the Cedar Revolution issued a plea asking that Gen. El Hajj and his officers be brought before a world tribunal and listed as "terror supporters." El Hajj, fought the Lebanese Forces under the command of Michel Aoun, and was among the critics of Gea'gea's visit to Michel Sleiman in Yarzeh. He is the same General El Hajj who answered M14's allegations of borders porosity, that the " the Lebanese Army is properly controlling its borders with Syria", obviously, not a man after M14ers' hearts!
The Hariri March 14 Cedar revolution movement certainly didn't like the man. He was more on Syrias side as anywhere else. SO why is Fisk trying to put the deed on Syria?

Posted by: b | Dec 13, 2007 4:37:08 AM | 24

OK, sorry if this has been discussed previously, I usually don't read OT from beginning till end, alas.
Of course it won't surprise much here around, but it's always fun to be vindicated by facts.
Like: CIA jet crashes with tons of coke in Mexico

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Dec 13, 2007 3:44:35 PM | 25

@CluelessJoe - 25 - yep - now how much does the CIA skim off the Afganistan heroin trade and where does it put that money?

Posted by: b | Dec 13, 2007 4:04:42 PM | 26

jury deadlocks in "terror" trial of Miami clowns who were simply trying to con their entrapper out of $50k. this is the domestic component of the "WOT" in a nutshell - a fucking farce. apparently they'll retry this bullshit "case" again next year.

Posted by: ran | Dec 13, 2007 4:47:22 PM | 27

Wikileaks:Guantanamo facility caught editing Wiki

JULIAN ASSANGE (investigative editor, julian@wikileaks.org)
2007-12-12 (Wednesday)

"Guantanamo Bay deletes detainee ID numbers, labels Fidel Castro "an admitted transexual" and more.

WASHINGTON--The US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has been caught conducting covert propaganda attacks on the internet. The attacks, exposed this week in a report by the government transparency group Wikileaks, include deleting detainee ID numbers from Wikipedia last month, the systematic posting of unattributed "self praise" comments on news organization web sites in response to negative press, boosting pro-Guantanamo stories on the internet news site Digg and even modifying Fidel Castro's encyclopedia article to describe the Cuban president as "an admitted transexual" [sic]. Shayana Kadidal, Managing Attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative, said in response to the report:

"The military's efforts to alter the record by vandalizing Wikipedia are of a piece with the amateurism of their other public relations efforts: their ridiculous claims that released detainees who criticize the United States in the media have 'returned to the battlefield,'.

Also see, Neocons Revise WMD Entry on Wikipedia Propaganda Portal

TruthNews
Thursday December 13, 2007

It would be easy to shrug off the Wikipedia propaganda portal if not for the fact the online “encyclopedia” gets preferential treatment for the mega-search engine, Google.

“Hitwise put together some data which shows the increase of Google traffic to Wikipedia over the past year and reveals that Google downstream traffic to Wikipedia is up 166% year over year,” explains Loren Baker, editor of the Search Engine Journal. “Hitwise data showed that for the week ending Feb 10, 2007, 70% of Wikipedia’s upstream visits came from search engines, with 50% from Google alone.” In short, chances are high you will be directed to Wikipedia for any number of searches, for instance information on the weapons of mass destruction scam unleashed by the neocons and serving as a pretext to invade Iraq and slaughter well over a million people.

In fact, this is precisely what happened back in 2005, according to Nick Farrell of the Inquirer. Wikipedia “has been edited by a Bush friendly member of the US House of Representatives,” in other words a neocon, reports Farrell. “Apparently the person was so concerned that people no longer bought the story about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that he or she took to tampering with the Whackypedia entry.” Of course, since just about any miscreant can “edit” a “Whackypedia entry,” it may not considered “tampering,” not exactly.

The entry was edited by someone with a House of Representatives IP address to make the bizarre claim that there was a link between the terrorist organization al Qaeda and the Iraq government.

The fact that no link has ever been found, other on Whackypedia, has been a source of embarrassment for the Bush administration. Parts of the article which show proof that there were no links have been watered down by the use of the words “it is claimed”. Thus a statement like “the sky is blue”, has become the “sky is blue it is claimed”.

There are also comments justifying Mr. Bush’s actions which at the time were made on the fiction that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The revision was made in 2005 but has only come to light now that software can tell who has been attempting to mess with your mind on Wackypedia.

One has to wonder how reliable an encyclopedia is when it peddles government propaganda in an almost Orwellian manner and forces people who disagree with it to ‘disappear’ from history.

See the neocon “revision” here.

Incidentally, this fallacious claim, easily debunked, was disseminated repeatedly by the corporate media, so it is not exactly correct to that it was exclusive to the Wikipedia propaganda portal, a favorite watering hole for the likes of the CIA, Republican Party, the Church of Scientology, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Diebold, Boeing, the Israeli government and others.


Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 13, 2007 5:07:25 PM | 28

Gonzales Named Lawyer Of The Year This is not a joke.

Of course, you know that this is an example of their strategy, to keep people so emotionally revved up that they can't think rationally. It's part of the rule by chaos strategy.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 13, 2007 5:23:41 PM | 29

More on the missing nukes ties in the responsibilities of six key Air Force personnel that died coincidentally just before and after the incident.

Missing Nukes: Treason of the Highest Order

But then I’m probably a conspiracy nut of the Highest Order.

Posted by: Juannie | Dec 13, 2007 6:26:11 PM | 30

the great white father summoned nigeria's president yar'adua to the great white house today & apparently got what he wanted.

disgustingly, the official white house transcript of the two's remarks to the press (via allafrica.com feigns a bit of ignorance while transcribing yar'adua's stmt, as in

We have discussed security issues and the security within Nigeria, itself, within the Niger Delta region and within the Gulf of Guinea. And we have also discussed security issues -- peace and security on the African continent. And we shall partner with (inaudible) to assist not only Nigeria, but also the African continent to actualize its peace and security (inaudible) initiative, which is an initiative to help standby forces of brigade-size in each of the regional economic groupings within the African continent.

the nigerian press didn't have any problem understanding it

thisday online: Yar’Adua in White House, Ready to Partner US on AFRICOM

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua yesterday at the White House in Washington, D.C., United States (US) stated that Nigeria would partner the US/AFRI-CA Command (AFRICOM) on security on the continent.

The Council of States of which the President is Chairman, recently voiced opposition to the command.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, who is part of the President’s delegation to the US had himself stated that Nigeria would not support the presence of US troops on African soil under the auspices of AFRICOM.

But at a press briefing at the Oval Office, with President George W. Bush in attendance, Yar’Adua made known his new position.

“We have discussed on security issues, security within Nigeria, the Niger Delta, the Gulf of Guinea and peace and security on the African continent. We shall partner AFRICOM to assist not only Nigeria but also the African continent to actualise its peace and security initiatives. It is an initiative to have standby forces in each of the regional economic groupings in Africa,” said the President.

The President did not give details of the discussion on AFRICOM, such as whether Nigeria will be used as the Command’s base, an issue that has emerged contentious in recent times.

But his support at the White House was a clear departure from the leaning of his administration on the issue.

yar'adua, whose position as president is becoming increasingly tenuous, is now bouncing from godfather (obasanjo) to godfather (uncle sam) & this new move can probably be viewed as much as one of yar'adua's own efforts at self-preservation as team bush making him an offer he couldn't refuse.

there is still a lot of contention in nigeria over the egregiously corrupt elections which put yar'adua into power and recently former VP atiku abubakar & presidential-contender muhammadu bBuhari have been gaining in legal efforts to challenge those elections & yar'adua's legitimacy.

yar'adua has said that he would abide by whatever decision the ruling on his election turned out to be. but then he also just recently told the world that he did not want AFRICOM in nigeria or on the continent.

what he's done now is to take advantage of the u.s. offer to protect his presidency, which they're more than willing to do as i've pointed out previously in official testimony & stmts. bush even referred to him today as "a strong leader". he's not. yar'adua has come under fire recently for being exactly the opposite -- weak & ineffective. the earlier optimism for some of his announced programs (like establishing open dialogue w/ the niger delta youths) has dissipated as it turned out to be largely vapourous rhetoric.

so yar'adua appears to have just sold out africa & africans largely to secure his own rule. all we have right now are the remarks at the white house, but this is big.

the majority of nigerian newspapers have come out w/ strong editorials against AFRICOM over the last months & were very supportive of yar'adua's earlier firm rejection of u.s. pressures. this will not go over well w/ popular opinion

nigeria has roughly a 50% sunni (maliki) population & this will not be welcomed by them either, as the GWOT is widely understood throughout the islamic world by what it does & to whom, no matter what the official propaganda states.

Posted by: b real | Dec 13, 2007 11:46:44 PM | 31

propaganda from the associated press

At Least 17 Dead in Somali Unrest

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A radical Islamic group that was driven from power a year ago by a Western-supported offensive is making a significant comeback in Somalia, and the government can do little to stop it, officials said Thursday, as shelling and gunbattles in the capital killed at least 17 people.

Sheik Qasim Ibrahim Nur, director of security at Somalia's National Security Ministry, said the government has no power to resist the Council of Islamic Courts, which the United States has accused of having ties to al-Qaida.

He said the fighters had regrouped and were poised to launch a massive attack, adding that the government has "no power to resist the Islamists."

stop

first, that govt is a joke & has never so much as controlled the capital city of mogadishu. second, that govt has never had any authentic power & is only still around today b/c of the ethiopian forces that have occupied somalia for nearly a year now. third, it's sounding like even the u.s. is giving up on that govt now. and fourth, the "radical islamic group" is only one faction of the resistance in somalia. granted, it is leading the insurgency, but what is going on in somalia is by no means simply a battle between the TFG and "islamic radicals".

The Council of Islamic Courts has been waging an Iraq-style insurgency that has killed thousands of people this year.

stop

what? no mention of the illegal invasion of somalia by their long-time enemy ethiopia? no mention of the proportionate amount of deaths due to ethiopian & govt campaigns to clean neighborhoods of any resistance? shame on you, ap.

"About 80 percent of Somalia is not safe and is not under control of the government," Nur told the AP. "Islamists are planning to launch a massive attack against the (government) and its allied troops."

Nur appealed for international support, saying Islamic fighters "are everywhere."

Presidential spokesman Hussein Mohamed Mohamud also said that the Muslim fighters were regrouping, and said they have "a lot of weapons and foreign fighters."

probably not as many "foreign fighters" as the ones wearing ethiopian uniforms.

the article does actually go on to briefly quote ted dagne from the congressional research service who suggests that many people look back on the group's six months in power and conclude the country then "was relatively peaceful and gave hope to the people of Somalia that after over a decade of violence, they can live in peace."

but then the very next paragraph states

After the council was ousted, remnants launched an Iraq-style insurgency, causing more bloodshed and throwing this already beleaguered nation into chaos.

funny how somalia could be "relatively peaceful" until the popular govt was routed by invading enemy forces, yet the blame for chaos and bloodshed gets pinned on the "iraq-style insurgency."

the media is insane. we live in an insane society. this is madness.

Posted by: b real | Dec 14, 2007 12:43:48 AM | 32

@32

the media is insane. we live in an insane society. this is madness.

you can say that again.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 14, 2007 3:07:05 AM | 33

b real@31,

your right, this is big. Not just so, its stunning.

but its a mistake on GWB's part. From all accounts, Yar'Adua is in very poor health. And he is still struggling to gain the legitimacy he needs. And theres other major looming problems for him at home. Plus Yar'Adua is not the brutal "strongman" type. So he's not exactly the guy to pin ones hopes on for whatever it is GWB wants on the mid to longer term.

next, this turnaround by him is sure to be highly debated and resisted in Nigeria and all over Africa. There is almost no end to the speculations to come. It will certainly be viewed as a defining moment
by a lot of people. And I'm not too surprised it happened this way. Very dramatic. Surely, a big part of it is to send a message to other African leaders. But its a mistake to do so in such a public manner as its likely to be seen as an insulting show of power and hence breed major resentment.

it should also be added that its very difficult for Yar'Adua to act unilaterally on such matters, especially such a public issue. And he will not be able to sell this one at home. Especally since he already rejected it.

in sum. it was a poor move by GWB. But very very revealing for everyone. Again, this can be chalked-up as predictably characteristic of how this admin would respond to resistance from Africans. stay tuned.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 14, 2007 3:44:54 AM | 34

.. on a lighter note, ever been had?


"Carbon will be the world’s biggest commodity market, and it could become the world’s biggest market overall,” said Louis Redshaw, head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital and an early pioneer in carbon trading. He is not alone in that opinion.

Chris Leeds, head of emissions trading at Merrill Lynch & Co. said he believes that carbon could become “one of the fastest-growing markets ever, with volumes comparable to credit derivatives inside a decade."

Posted by: DM | Dec 14, 2007 6:17:30 AM | 35

first off - fsck typepad & their antispam nonsense

now

saturday's this day online outta nigeria is running an article in which yar'adua is attempting to say that he didn't say what we heard him say standing next to the great white godfather on thursday

The president’s ... clarificaton that the partnership with the US/African Command (AFRICON) does not translate to an acceptance of the command.

Yar’Adua’s sudden volte face is coming on the heels of his meeting with President George Bush of the US at the White House, Thursday, during which he affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to partner with the US on AFRICON for the provision of security in the continent.

But in an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA) in Washington DC , monitored by THISDAY, he said Nigeria plans to establish military bases in Africa to be managed by Africans for the protection of oil reserves.
He stated: "I did not accept AFRICOM in my discussions with Bush. I asked for assistance and told Bush that we have our plans to establish bases for African countries. We asked for training on weapons and training to establish our bases to be managed by our people.”

“Seven countries in the Gulf of Guinea will be involved,” he stated. The president said he asked for training from the US government. The US insisted it can only render help through its AFRICOM base in Stuttgart, Germany, said Yar’Adua.

The President claimed there was a misunderstanding of his comments at the White House on Thursday. It is a partnership, not an acceptance, he stressed.

it's not as if yar'adua isn't fluent in the english language, so it's also not likely many will buy into the notion that a national leader could agree to partner w/ an institution that he doesn't accept.

the u.s. has a solid history from its very origins of tricking/coercing/bribing/you-name-it representatives of other nations into signing treaties they never got a chance to comprehend, assuming they could even read it or were allowed to see a copy of the real & binding document. there's probably not a tactic around that's not at their disposal. so it's not a stretch to imagine that yar'adua got the full treatment on his visit & sold him a bill of goods while puffing up his ego.

"Nigeria plans to establish military bases in Africa to be managed by Africans" he says. is he for real?

whatever the story behind the scenes in d.c., yar'adua's stmts yesterday were a blow to africa & a boost to AFRICOM's imperial overlords.

stratfor mirrors my take on what's behind yar'adua's volte face

Nigeria: Opposition to AFRICOM Ends

Nigerian President Umaru Yaradua yielded on his government's opposition to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Nigerian media reported Dec. 14. The move paves the way for greater U.S.-Nigerian security cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea region and other areas of Africa, and will likely also reduce opposition to AFRICOM in other parts of the continent.
...
Yaradua lifted his government's opposition to AFRICOM in return for U.S. political support that is expected to be used against his domestic political detractors. At home, opposition political parties are petitioning a constitutionally mandated elections tribunal for fresh elections to replace the April 29 polls which Nigerian opposition parties and international observers criticized as severely flawed.
...
Nigeria's yielding on AFRICOM will not go unnoticed by other African countries that have opposed locating the Pentagon command in Africa. As an anchor state -- Africa's most populous country and one of the continent's leading economies -- Nigeria possesses a foreign policy that permits it to intervene in regional affairs, and as a result its influence stretches from West and Central African affairs to continental issues at the African Union (AU) level. The United States expects to find this influence useful in encouraging other countries -- notably, South Africa -- to reconsider their opposition to AFRICOM.
...
Yaradua's Dec. 13 yielding in support of AFRICOM will clear the path for greater U.S. security cooperation in West Africa and other regions of the continent, and gives a clear boost to AFRICOM as it plans to relocate to Africa in 2008.

still haven't seen any chatter in nigerian media on this yet. all quiet on the west african front, unfortunately.

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 12:06:39 AM | 36

first off - typepad & their antispam nonsense can go to hell

now

saturday's this day online outta nigeria is running an article in which yar'adua is attempting to say that he didn't say what we heard him say standing next to the great white godfather on thursday

The president’s ... clarificaton that the partnership with the US/African Command (AFRICON) does not translate to an acceptance of the command.

Yar’Adua’s sudden volte face is coming on the heels of his meeting with President George Bush of the US at the White House, Thursday, during which he affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to partner with the US on AFRICON for the provision of security in the continent.

But in an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA) in Washington DC , monitored by THISDAY, he said Nigeria plans to establish military bases in Africa to be managed by Africans for the protection of oil reserves.
He stated: "I did not accept AFRICOM in my discussions with Bush. I asked for assistance and told Bush that we have our plans to establish bases for African countries. We asked for training on weapons and training to establish our bases to be managed by our people.”

“Seven countries in the Gulf of Guinea will be involved,” he stated. The president said he asked for training from the US government. The US insisted it can only render help through its AFRICOM base in Stuttgart, Germany, said Yar’Adua.

The President claimed there was a misunderstanding of his comments at the White House on Thursday. It is a partnership, not an acceptance, he stressed.

it's not as if yar'adua isn't fluent in the english language, so it's also not likely many will buy into the notion that a national leader could agree to partner w/ an institution that he doesn't accept.

the u.s. has a solid history from its very origins of tricking/coercing/bribing/you-name-it representatives of other nations into signing treaties they never got a chance to comprehend, assuming they could even read it or were allowed to see a copy of the real & binding document. there's probably not a tactic around that's not at their disposal. so it's not a stretch to imagine that yar'adua got the full treatment on his visit & sold him a bill of goods while puffing up his ego.

"Nigeria plans to establish military bases in Africa to be managed by Africans" he says. is he for real?

whatever the story behind the scenes in d.c., yar'adua's stmts yesterday were a blow to africa & a boost to AFRICOM's imperial overlords.

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 12:08:42 AM | 37

stratfor mirrors my take on what's behind yar'adua's volte face

Nigeria: Opposition to AFRICOM Ends

Nigerian President Umaru Yaradua yielded on his government's opposition to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Nigerian media reported Dec. 14. The move paves the way for greater U.S.-Nigerian security cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea region and other areas of Africa, and will likely also reduce opposition to AFRICOM in other parts of the continent.
...
Yaradua lifted his government's opposition to AFRICOM in return for U.S. political support that is expected to be used against his domestic political detractors. At home, opposition political parties are petitioning a constitutionally mandated elections tribunal for fresh elections to replace the April 29 polls which Nigerian opposition parties and international observers criticized as severely flawed.
...
Nigeria's yielding on AFRICOM will not go unnoticed by other African countries that have opposed locating the Pentagon command in Africa. As an anchor state -- Africa's most populous country and one of the continent's leading economies -- Nigeria possesses a foreign policy that permits it to intervene in regional affairs, and as a result its influence stretches from West and Central African affairs to continental issues at the African Union (AU) level. The United States expects to find this influence useful in encouraging other countries -- notably, South Africa -- to reconsider their opposition to AFRICOM.
...
Yaradua's Dec. 13 yielding in support of AFRICOM will clear the path for greater U.S. security cooperation in West Africa and other regions of the continent, and gives a clear boost to AFRICOM as it plans to relocate to Africa in 2008.

still haven't seen any chatter in nigerian media on this yet. all quiet on the west african front, unfortunately.

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 12:09:35 AM | 38

Thank you b real.

Ethiopians Said to Push Civilians Into War Against Rebels

The Ethiopian government, one of America’s top allies in Africa, is forcing untrained civilians — including doctors, teachers, office clerks and employees of development programs financed by the World Bank and United Nations — to fight rebels in the desolate Ogaden region, according to Western officials, refugees and Ethiopian administrators who recently defected to avoid being conscripted.

Ethiopia has been struggling with the rebels for years. But with tens of thousands of its troops now enmeshed in a bloody insurgency in Somalia and many thousands more massing on the border for a possible war with Eritrea, the government seems to be relying on civilians to do more of its fighting in the Ogaden, a bone-dry chunk of territory where Ethiopian troops have been accused by human rights groups of widespread abuses.

In a recent report, government officials in the region called upon elders, traders, women and civil servants to form local “security committees” and mobilize their clans to destroy the rebels and their bases of support. The government says that the rebels are terrorists who have carried out assassinations and bombings, and that civilians have volunteered to fight them.
...

Posted by: b | Dec 15, 2007 1:46:20 AM | 39

gettleman @ the nyt has another article up friday on ethiopia's crackdown on the ogaden region. the first part covers ground that has already been pointed out in other links here over the past months.

In Rebel Region, Ethiopia Turns to Civilian Patrols

NAIROBI, Kenya — The Ethiopian government, one of America’s top allies in Africa, is forcing untrained civilians — including doctors, teachers, office clerks and employees of development programs financed by the World Bank and United Nations — to fight rebels in the desolate Ogaden region, according to Western officials, refugees and Ethiopian administrators who recently defected to avoid being conscripted.

Ethiopia has been struggling with the rebels for years. But with tens of thousands of its troops now enmeshed in a bloody insurgency in Somalia and many thousands more massing on the border for a possible war with Eritrea, the government seems to be relying on civilians to do more of its fighting in the Ogaden, a bone-dry chunk of territory where Ethiopian troops have been accused by human rights groups of widespread abuses.

In a recent report, government officials in the region called upon elders, traders, women and civil servants to form local “security committees” and mobilize their clans to destroy the rebels and their bases of support. The government says that the rebels are terrorists who have carried out assassinations and bombings, and that civilians have volunteered to fight them.

But by many accounts, the militias are hardly voluntary. One Western aid official said soldiers had barged into hospitals to draft recruits and threatened to jail health workers if they did not comply. In other cases, lists of names were posted on public bulletin boards, ordering government employees to report for duty, according to a current member of the regional parliament and two Ethiopian administrators who have fled the country. Many of those who refused were fired, jailed and in some cases tortured, the administrators and parliament member said.

The civilians are serving as guides, porters, translators and foot soldiers, and they are sent into the bush with little or no training to confront hardened guerrilla fighters. In the ensuing battles, many civil servants have recently been killed, according to accounts corroborated by Western officials and aid workers.

but he ends the report w/ something else that i've not seen mentioned anywhere

Habsa Ghaffir, who arrived at a camp in Kenya four weeks ago, said that after Ethiopian troops burned her fields and shot her husband, her 4-year-old son starved to death.

“I remember him saying to me, ‘Mom, bring me food, Mom, bring me tea, Mom bring me water,’” Ms. Habsa said.

But she had none.

“It is like they are trying to wipe us out,” she said, nervously snapping twigs between her fingers as she spoke outside her hut. “Even here, we’re not safe.”

United Nations officials said Ethiopian intelligence agents had infiltrated Kenya, and on Nov. 2, there was a mysterious attack that only added to these fears.

According to Kenyan police, masked men burst into an apartment building in a Nairobi slum and shot five Ethiopian refugees. Two died, along with a guard outside who was shot in the head.

Nothing was taken. Witnesses said the killers went straight to the Ethiopians’ room. The Ethiopian victims had been student leaders in their country, and the Kenyan police said some of them had previously asked for protection.

Kenyan police commander Joseph Maina Migwi said he could not say whether Ethiopian security agents were involved.

“But whoever did it,” he said, “were definitely paid professionals.”

is meles zenawi pulling an operation condor in the HOA now? how many human rights atrocities and violations of international law is this guy/govt going to be allowed to get away with? and meanwhile, the u.s. propaganda organs are grinding out story after story about zimbabwe.

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 1:48:43 AM | 40

heh. beat me by two minutes :)

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 1:53:16 AM | 41

Bush Secret Document Shredding Soars 600%

Federal spending on paper shredding has increased more than 600 percent since George W. Bush took office.In 2000, the feds spent $452,807 to make unpleasant truths go away; by 2006, the "Cheney Effect" had bumped that number up to $2.9 million. And by halfway through 2007, the feds almost matched that number, with $2.7 million and counting.

Shredded documents up 600%, CIA tapes destroyed, 10 million plus e-mails gone missing, 2.6 Trillion missing, --not counting the missing money since 911--Destruction of Evidence from Ground Zero at the World Trade Center, missing vote ballots, over two hundred scandals, and 750 Laws, those are the ones we know about...and it ain't over yet.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 15, 2007 2:14:15 AM | 42

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 3:26:58 AM | 43

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 3:28:01 AM | 44

wsj (via rigzone): Nigeria Seeks Bigger Slice of Oil Profits

Nigeria is beginning the deepest overhaul of its petroleum industry in decades, a move expected to make it tougher for big operators such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC to profit from tapping Africa's biggest oil-producing country.
...
The government is in the early stages of renegotiating billions of dollars worth of offshore exploration deals signed in the 1990s with companies such as Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Shell and Total SA. The contracts, up for renewal, were signed when oil traded at about $20 a barrel. Crude-oil futures in New York finished yesterday at $94.39 a barrel.

Shell declined to comment on the potential changes. Exxon and Total, also heavily involved in Nigeria, said they wouldn't speculate on how they might be affected. Chevron spokesman Michael Barrett said it would be "premature" to comment.

While many details of the overhauls remain to be worked out, Western oil companies are likely to face increasing head winds operating in a country where oil supplies are already crimped by violence and political instability. It also comes as other oil-rich countries move to have a greater say over their resources.

For the industry, increasing earnings is becoming harder as financial terms get tougher globally, access to prime oil sites shrinks and companies from China and India carve out their own deals.

Western oil companies "just have to play ball. There is nowhere else to go in today's opportunity- constrained playing field," said Oswald Clint of Sanford C. Bernstein in London.
...
Analysts estimate that energy companies in recent years have sunk more than $15 billion in Nigeria's offshore waters, where much of the growth in Nigeria's oil and gas output is expected to be.

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 3:29:56 AM | 45

James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality says

We will lead. The U.S. will lead, but leadership also requires others to fall in line and follow.

Posted by: b | Dec 15, 2007 4:29:43 AM | 46

on stratfors comment, USA political support is hardly sufficient to turn Yar'Adua's on this. And if there are "influence" factors involved (i.e hot-buttons), its misleading to label such as political support. By the way, Yar'Adua himself has often looked like a reluctant president. Not just his health. And its quite possible he will decline to re-run if the courts throw out his election, and it looks likely they will.

on the statements at the White House, its very murky. Yar'Adua (and his Foreign Minister) are essentially saying his (Yar'Adua's) comments were misunderstood. And they seem quite adamant. They claim theres no change in policy, besides agreeing for Africom to provide "training". One way to clear this up would be a clear statement (in writing). USA military advisers are already in many african countries providing training,

this is a fiasco. However, in the next few days & weeks, it will become clear whether Yar'Adua should get the benefit of doubt that his statement was misunderstood or that he misspoke. Whatever. Again, this is 2007 and its impossible for Yar'Adua to act unilaterally on such a visible highly-watched matter.

for GWB, it looks like it was a wasted afternoon. He could have gone jogging instead or "reviewed" "interrogation" tapes from Gitmo. Or he could have done some Xmas shopping. If the intention was to have Yar'Adua make an appeasement on the White House lawn providing cover for other African states on-the-fence regarding Africom, Yar'Adua's clarification (or retraction) has made it an embarassing failure. Or if the intention was to assert & re-affirm USA authority/influence, its achieved the opposite. But if its any comfort, they might now decide to place Yar'Adua under the columnn for "unreliable partners". And the next time someone at the White House comes up with such a famous idea, they might want to think about getting something in writing.

Still, its not entirely inconceivable that theres something fishy in there somewhere.

another angle. The nature of how politics & socials are practiced in Nigeria seems to be that a favored/honored guest/host always gets something to take (or keep) with them. They'll bend over backwards to make sure you do not leave (or you are not left) empty-handed. Sometimes, its no more than cab fare or a favorable promise, but you'll almost always get something for being a valued host or guest. However, in GWB's "with us or against us world", he's not going to pick up on what may have been Yar'Adua's inclination to leave GWB something, i.e some manner of concession/compromise. You wo'nt find this in the Harvard certified-diplomats manual, though.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 15, 2007 9:31:15 AM | 47

I think this is the UK equivalent of the the NIE kickback against the Neocons

Bravo BBC

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 15, 2007 9:42:34 AM | 48

The BBC kerning report is classic vis a vis Bush the Draft Dodger.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 15, 2007 9:45:50 AM | 49

Justice tells Congress to halt its CIA investigation

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha...ur, uh, Chuck Schumer? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha... thanks buddy.

For those that don't know...


Mukasey: 1993 WTC...Jose Padilla.....

Michael Mukasey was the presiding judge, Southern District New York for the 1993 WTC bombing and the Jose Padilla trial, where he ruled that US citizen Padilla could be tried as an "enemy combatant".

In the 1993 trial Mukasey made rulings which shielded the CIA and FBI from exposure of incompetency or perhaps even worse activities. [e.g. the Oklahoma city bombings]

He also was the presiding judge in the case of lease holder on 9/11 of the the WTC, Larry Silversteinanf his case with insurance companies.

Silverstein was awarded a $4,000,000,000 (4 billion) for the destruction of the WTC. Silverstein had invested just 15 millon of his own money, probably one of the best returns on an investment in history.

Mukasey is a fixer, someone who will cover the tracks of the powerful no matter what the crimes. That is quite obvious.

Also see, Olbermann/Turley

On should there be special prosecutor ...

TURLEY:...I can‘t imagine a better case. I mean, first of all, the suggestion that the president‘s not involved is ridiculous. I mean, the underlying crime, the original one, was the torturing of suspects. That‘s a crime under U.S. law. That‘s a war crime, according to past U.S. courts. But more importantly, you have the CIA—there‘s people there involved from the general counsel to the highest echelons. You have at least one White House counsel who was notified. I can‘t imagine anyone would suggest that this isn‘t a need for an independent review.

At least Gonzo pretended congress still had power. Mukasey tells congress to get out of the way as if there is some kind of pecking order to the three co-equal branches of government.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 15, 2007 11:58:12 AM | 50

Speaking of Murkysezso, I heard Schumer recommended him for AG 'cuz unlike Gonzo, he was willing to put the kibosh on AIPAC spy case - supposedly he's a right-wing Zionist - uh, radical right-wing, obviously. While we're passing around praise for his appointment, he wouldn't have made it w/out DiFi's support.

Yo, Kossacks, how's the JackAss Party serving y'all these days? Vote Baby Vote & representative govt. will be restored...what about the dollar?? You guys love dem Soros Econ. Policies? Any of you fools lost yr. houses yet - or jobs?

Posted by: jj | Dec 15, 2007 2:14:17 PM | 51

Nir Rosen Scapegoats in an Unwelcoming Land

Palestinians had once again become Lebanon's scapegoats, victims of a land in which they have long faced slaughter and discrimination. Attacking them may be personally risky, but it's also often good politics; the assassinated general's boss, army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman, is poised to become Lebanon's next president. Suleiman isn't the first army commander to punish the Palestinians, and he won't be the first president to do so, either. Between 1958 and 1964, President Fuad Shehab created an elaborate, ruthless secret-service network to monitor the Palestinian camps. During his 1970-76 reign, President Suleiman Franjieh clashed militarily with Palestinian factions, even using the air force to bomb a neighborhood thought to be pro-Palestinian. I've heard followers of assassinated president-elect Bashir Gemayel, whose Maronite Christian militia massacred Palestinians in 1976, brag that he was stopped at a checkpoint in the early years of the country's 1975-90 civil war with a trunk full of the skulls of dead Palestinians. Even today, the Lebanese opposition's preferred candidate for president is Michel Aoun, a Christian retired general who also participated in the 1976 killings.
...

Posted by: b | Dec 15, 2007 4:08:19 PM | 52

don't know what time it is where ya'll are at, but it's saturday night here - so let's get the joint rockin' w/ some good latvian bagpipe music - aulos by auli.

depo is also recommended

Posted by: b real | Dec 15, 2007 6:00:08 PM | 53

b real,

It's after midnight where we are. Just listened to this great music. Wow. Thanks for those links. Great stuff. After reading B's latest post and the comments, it restores some hope for the likes of humans.

Posted by: Hamburger | Dec 15, 2007 6:24:49 PM | 54

Naomi Wolf: What Is Probably in the Missing Tapes

To judge from firsthand documents obtained by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes — as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. According to the little-noticed but extraordinarily important book Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Columbia University Press, New York 2007), which presents dozens of original formerly secret documents - FBI emails and memos, letters and interrogator “wish lists,” raw proof of the systemic illegal torture of detainees in various US-held prisons — the typical “harsh interrogation” of a suspect in US custody reads like an account of abuses in archives at Yad Vashem.

More is still being hidden as of this writing — as those in Congress now considering whether a special prosecutor is needed in this case should be urgently aware: “Through the FOIA lawsuit,” write the authors, “we learned of the existence of multiple records relating to prisoner abuse that still have not been released by the administration; credible media reports identify others. As this book goes to print, the Bush administration is still withholding, among many other records, a September 2001 presidential directive authorizing the CIA to set up secret detention centers overseas; an August 2002 Justice Department memorandum advising the CIA about the lawfulness of waterboarding [Italics mine; nota bene, Mr. Mukasey] and other aggressive interrogation methods; documents describing interrogation methods used by special operations forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; investigative files concerning the deaths of prisoners in U.S. custody; and numerous photographs depicting the abuse of prisoners at detention facilities other than Abu Ghraib.’

What we are likely to see if the tapes documenting the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri are ever recovered is that the “confessions” of the prisoners upon which the White House has built its entire case for subverting the Constitution and suspending civil liberties in this country was obtained through methods such as electrocution, beating to the point of organ failure, hanging prisoners from the wrists from a ceiling, suffocation, and threats against family members (”I am going to find your mother and I am going to **** her” is one direct quote from a US interrogator). On the missing tapes, we would likely see responses from the prisoners that would be obvious to us as confessions to anything at all in order to end the violence. In other words, if we could witness the drama of manufacturing by torture the many violently coerced “confessions” upon which the whole house of cards of this White House and its hyped “war on terror” rests, it would likely cause us to reopen every investigation, including the most serious ones (remember, even the 9/11 committee did not receive copies of the tapes); shut down the corrupt, Stalinesque Military Commissions System; turn over prisoners, the guilty and the innocent, into a working, accountable justice system operating in accordance with American values; and direct our legal scrutiny to the torturers themselves — right up to the office of the Vice President and the President if that is where the investigations would lead.

By the way: “The prohibition against torture [in the law] is considered to be a jus cogens norm, meaning that no derogation is permitted from it under any circumstances.”

More at the link...

Meanwhile, Bush is saying the inquiry doesn't matter anyways because Abu Zubaydah wasn't at Guantanamo at the time of the order..

Here's another, Naomi Wolf: This is the Time For Lawyers to Speak now that's two scathingly brilliant pieces from Naomi in a month. She must be really pissed. Love it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 16, 2007 1:54:13 AM | 55

Wider Spying Fuels Aid Plan for Telecom Industry

The N.S.A.’s reliance on telecommunications companies is broader and deeper than ever before, according to government and industry officials, yet that alliance is strained by legal worries and the fear of public exposure.

To detect narcotics trafficking, for example, the government has been collecting the phone records of thousands of Americans and others inside the United States who call people in Latin America, according to several government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the program remains classified. But in 2004, one major phone carrier balked at turning over its customers’ records. Worried about possible privacy violations or public relations problems, company executives declined to help the operation, which has not been previously disclosed.

In a separate N.S.A. project, executives at a Denver phone carrier, Qwest, refused in early 2001 to give the agency access to their most localized communications switches, which primarily carry domestic calls, according to people aware of the request, which has not been previously reported. They say the arrangement could have permitted neighborhood-by-neighborhood surveillance of phone traffic without a court order, which alarmed them.
...
The government’s dependence on the phone industry, driven by the changes in technology and the Bush administration’s desire to expand surveillance capabilities inside the United States, has grown significantly since the Sept. 11 attacks. The N.S.A., though, wanted to extend its reach even earlier. In December 2000, agency officials wrote a transition report to the incoming Bush administration, saying the agency must become a “powerful, permanent presence” on the commercial communications network, a goal that they acknowledged would raise legal and privacy issues.
...
In the drug-trafficking operation, the N.S.A. has been helping the Drug Enforcement Administration in collecting the phone records showing patterns of calls between the United States, Latin America and other drug-producing regions. The program dates to the 1990s, according to several government officials, but it appears to have expanded in recent years.
...


Posted by: b | Dec 16, 2007 2:29:26 AM | 56

Ever since I saw the (male) lawyers demonstrating in Pakistan, I cringed in embarrassment for my own country, wondering if they'd ever have as much courage here. It's a huge relief to see that in this time of Let Them Eat Home Runs, Naomi Wolf is mobilizing such a protest - or at least chronicaling it?

(Do these people know that when their country merges w/Mexico & Canada the Constitution will no longer be of any relevance to its governance?)

Posted by: jj | Dec 16, 2007 3:54:11 AM | 57

What the surge in Baghdad has really accomplished, discounting the big payoffs - is the http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1210/p01s04-wome.html?page=1>ghettoization of Baghdad. The walls are now almost everywhere. This is an attempt to "ghettoize" Baghdad on the Fallujah model, where military age males (13-60) are driven underground or arrested, commercial access radically limited, transportation outlawed, communications monitored, or in other words neighborhoods totally locked down and economically and socially disfunctional, and left to the whims of occupation. Why would anyone look forward to returning to that? And how long before the pressure blows the lid in yet another unanticipated direction?

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 16, 2007 4:14:23 AM | 58

anna missed, I believe what you have described above, (#55) is the template or master pattern that will also be used here at home as well. Perhaps soon. One would do well to study this.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 16, 2007 4:48:33 AM | 59

Turkey Reports Airstrike on Iraq

Private NTV television said some 50 warplanes were involved in the airstrikes, taking off from bases in eastern and western Turkey.
...
An Iraqi army officer with the border guard said the attack began about 2:30 a.m. on three villages in Iraq's Qandil mountain chain, where Turkish and Iranian Kurdish rebels are based. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

The villages are scattered in the Qandil mountains, some as far as an hour's drive apart over steep roads and paths. The region that was attacked was about 105 miles from the Turkish border.

Posted by: b | Dec 16, 2007 5:22:02 AM | 60

(Do these people know that when their country merges w/Mexico & Canada the Constitution will no longer be of any relevance to its governance?)

after watching Shrubco wipe their asses with the Constitution for years now, we're already there as far as I'm concerned - free speech zones, warrantless wiretapping, habeas corpus rendered "quaint" and on and on.

Posted by: ran | Dec 16, 2007 7:38:47 AM | 61

Inside the CIA's notorious "black sites"
A Yemeni man never charged by the U.S. details 19 months of brutality and psychological torture -- the first in-depth, first-person account from inside the secret U.S. prisons. A Salon exclusive.

He was sometimes naked, and sometimes handcuffed for weeks at a time. In one cell his ankle was chained to a bolt in the floor. There was a small toilet. In another cell there was just a bucket. Video cameras recorded his every move. The lights always stayed on -- there was no day or night. A speaker blasted him with continuous white noise, or rap music, 24 hours a day.

The guards wore black masks and black clothes. They would not utter a word as they extracted Bashmilah from his cell for interrogation -- one of his few interactions with other human beings during his entire 19 months of imprisonment. Nobody told him where he was, or if he would ever be freed.

It was enough to drive anyone crazy. Bashmilah finally tried to slash his wrists with a small piece of metal, smearing the words "I am innocent" in blood on the walls of his cell. But the CIA patched him up.

So Bashmilah stopped eating. But after his weight dropped to 90 pounds, he was dragged into an interrogation room, where they rammed a tube down his nose and into his stomach. Liquid was pumped in. The CIA would not let him die.
...

Posted by: b | Dec 16, 2007 12:38:33 PM | 62

Damn... ;-(
This really saddens me. Loved his Nether Lands album is was and is beautiful.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 16, 2007 9:02:29 PM | 63

Hurry hurry, sign right up, lets make the camps that much more efficient.

56,000 Sign Onto Wexler Call For Impeachment Hearings


I signed. But there's no way that 56,000 people will be needed to work the radioactive waste facilities of Yucca Flats. So the question before us now is: what will happen to the overflow dissidents?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 17, 2007 12:28:23 AM | 64

This site seems to have material worthy of attention, although it seems to be too late to do much about the latest move to favor media concentration. In a way, this link seems like a dystopian counterpoint to the NSA wiretapping thread. Our "betters" wish not only to make sure that the "official truth" has the biggest megaphone but also that "alternate realities" are well "monitored", and all this, of course, "for our own good".

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 17, 2007 4:13:01 AM | 65

Pretty good piece by Sarah at http://www.groupnewsblog.net/>News Blog on the fundamental red/blue structural differences in American culture, and how they play out in politics. A good one.

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 17, 2007 4:30:02 AM | 66

Russia Makes 1st Nuke Shipment to Iran

Russia has made its first shipment of nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr plant, which is at the center of the international tensions over Tehran's nuclear program, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The Israeli "option" of bombing Bushehr is gone. They will not dare to risk the spread of radiation.

Posted by: b | Dec 17, 2007 4:51:58 AM | 67

The data bases xUSgov putting together are TERRIFYING - not to mention what they're doing w/the info:

REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Iceland's government has asked the U.S. ambassador to explain the treatment of an Icelandic tourist who says she was held in shackles before being deported from the United States.

The woman, Erla Osk Arnardottir Lillendahl, 33, was arrested Sunday when she arrived at JFK airport in New York because she had overstayed a U.S. visa more than 10 years earlier.

Lillendahl, 33, had planned to shop and sightsee with friends, but endured instead what she has claimed was the most humiliating experience of her life.

She contended she was interrogated at JFK airport for two days, during which she was not allowed to call relatives. She said she was denied food and drink for part of the time, and was photographed and fingerprinted.

On Monday, Lillendahl claimed, her hands and feet were chained and she was moved to a prison in New Jersey, where she was kept in a cell, interrogated further and denied access to a phone.

She was deported Tuesday, she told reporters and wrote on her Internet blog.

Jesus, why would any foreigner dare set food in this degenerate hellhole? Anyone think xDems. would change this if they came to power, or is process now largely autonomous police power?

Posted by: jj | Dec 17, 2007 5:12:41 AM | 68

This link makes it seem that Scott Ritter will either be Secretary of Defense in the incoming Paul-Kucinich administration, or, more likely, become a non-person. Certainly, the
Mearsheimer-Walt effect seems to be becoming deeper and wider: what was previously unmentionable in civil company is now openly propounded. It seems to me to be particularly noteworthy that Ritter's proposal is based on his reading of readily available documentation: if "black" anti-U.S. operations by America's indispensable ally were to surface and be taken into account, his argument would almost certainly be much stronger.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 17, 2007 9:17:13 AM | 69

@Hannah - 69 - a very well written piece by Ritter.

But the Mearsheimer-Walt effect has not yet made it into the mainstream. Maybe it will, but Washington establishment is no longer free to do so.

The insidious manner in which the current Israeli government has manipulated the domestic political machinery of the United States to produce support for its policies constitutes nothing less than direct interference in the governance of a sovereign state. The degree to which the current Israeli government has succeeded in this regard can be tracked not only by the words and actions of the administration of President George W. Bush and the American Congress, but also by the extent to which a pro-Israel lexicon has taken hold within the mainstream media of the United States.
It's the same here in Germany, especially with the media. That might have some historic reason, but a lot of it is manipulation and also fall out from U.S. media.

It will require some big spying scandal or something similar for things to change.

Posted by: b | Dec 17, 2007 10:00:52 AM | 70

color me suspicious on the intentions behind this 'gift', esp given all the recent revelations on expanded surveillance capabilities

US donates vertical satellite communications system to AMISOM

Ambassador Cindy Courville Friday presented a vertical communication satellite (VSAT) to African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to improve communication and coordination between AMISOM forces in Somalia and its headquarters in Addis Ababa, the US Mission to the African Union (USAU) public affairs office disclosed.

The VSAT was received by Ambassador Said Djinnit, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security on behalf of the African Union. In accepting the donation, Commissioner Djinnit thanked the government and people of the United States for their continued support to AU’s peace efforts.

The office said VSAT creates a direct, reliable and secure connection between personnel in the field and the AU’s 24-hour situation room. It will link field officers to AU staff both by email and voice over IP, expanding and increasing the speed of real-time communication, coordination and reporting. Fast and reliable communications between field and headquarters has been a major challenge in supporting the AU mission in Somalia. The system will be installed in the field in early 2008.

and two more articles from ethiopia

US company to aquire oil exploration area

A US-based company called Inter Global is to acquire oil exploration areas in Ethiopia. The exploration areas are found in the Afar Regional State, Tigrai and eastern part of the Amhara Regional State.

Last June, the company asked the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) to be given the exploration areas. Most of the exploration area is found in the Afar Rift where there is an active volcano and earthquakes are frequent.
...
Inter Global is engaged in petroleum exploration project in Jordan. It would be the second US company to engaged in oil exploration activity in Ethiopia. Another US company, Afar Exploration, which signed an agreement with MME two years ago, is conducting geological surveys in the Afar Regional State.

Presently, five foreign companies are engaged in oil exploration activities in Ethiopia.

(sweden recently announced that they were undertaking explorations in the volatile ogaden region.)

Exxon Mobil clinches country's fuel supply bid

The world's biggest oil company - the US-based Exxon Mobil - has won the latest bid issued for the country's fuel supply.

Exxon Mobil, the most frequent supplier of fuel to the country, re-enters Ethiopia's market after being successively beaten by other suppliers for the last two years.

The US giant oil company clinched the latest fuel supply deal from the Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise (EPE) last week, outbidding five oil companies which contested for the supply.

Posted by: b real | Dec 17, 2007 11:34:21 AM | 71

Interesting Online article here: Israel’s Satan is dead – for now

At the start of this winter I interviewed a number of Israeli teenagers - boys and girls - for an investigative report for my newspaper. One of them, my son, is due to be conscripted into the army in seven months' time.

Currently he is working at a pizzeria called Tomato because there has been a secondary school teachers' strike for a month and a half now. He is also playing bass guitar in a rock group called Trademark and he is reading the latest Harry Potter with an eagerness that he shows for no other book.

"I'd like," he said to me, "to keep on living this way. To work with dough, to play music, to launch a record and to go to Berlin with my friends in the spring." What he does not want is to go back to school for the matriculation exams, nor be conscripted.

He is not the only one. Many of those with whom I spoke, young Israelis awaiting their compulsory military service, saw the army as a barrier in their path to fulfilling their personal aspirations and realising their fantasies.

The military ethos is waning and the army is constantly warning of increasing draft evasion. The military challenge is being replaced by the internet with the wealth of possibilities it embodies, lead by high-tech, which for a generation now has captured the hearts of young Israelis. As a result, the country has become one of the most advanced technological research laboratories in the world.

The army remains as the challenge of new immigrants, young people from the weaker social strata and religious youth, whose aim is that when the day comes for the decree that their families' settlements in the West Bank must withdraw to the territories of the Israel of 1967, prior to the Six Day War, they will have a strong enough foothold in the army to prevent this move.

The Israeli army has lost much of its charm and now, it seems, it has also lost its Satan. The American National Intelligence Estimate has dealt a temporarily fatal blow - temporary, because the legions of fear always find substitutes - to the perception of Iran as the Israelis' great enemy.

The defence and security establishment, the Israel Defence Forces, the Shin Bet and the Mossad, like every military organisation in the world, has never existed without a designated Satan: Egypt, Libya, Syria, Palestinians, Al-Qaeda, Iran. Each of these enemies has enabled the Israeli military establishment to recruit tremendous economic resources, to create panic and to make it easy for the public to forget blunders and failures. Now it is hard times for the corporation of fear and anxiety, because its glory has also passed.

The 2006 Lebanon War is still under investigation by the Winograd commission even though the interest in its report has already faded. In the south of Israel, the drizzle of primitive Qassam rockets fired by Hamas in the Gaza Strip continues. But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (right), a skilled lawyer and survivor, neither a gentleman nor an officer, is not eager for a large military action. He no longer has faith in the army, nor in his Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who is also his political rival.

Olmert was severely burned by the Lebanon War at the start of his term in office and anyone who has been scalded, as they say here, blows even on a watermelon to cool it off. He prefers the spectacle of chattering peace conferences that prolong his political life expectancy to any military operation.

For a while, it might seem as though dialogue has returned to the stage. But knowing the Middle East and its cyclical rituals as I do, it is clear to me that not much time remains before we discover a new Satan.

In the blink of an eye the military option will be back on the agenda and my son, like his father and grandfather before him, will have to be a soldier for three years, and not a rock musician.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 17, 2007 11:35:25 AM | 72

OK I have just had any post I make to any other thread refused by the misnamed anti-spam filter.
The posts had no links in them and I am am nonplussed as to the 'rule' I can be breaking.

I plan on trying to discover the rules by a process of elimination. Others having similar problems posting here may choose to try and suss the rules too.

Has anyone experienced this difficulty on other blogs, specifically Typepad system blogs?

Thus far I have removed the dodgy email addy along with remember me, the cookie and used a different browser. I tried an email address which would have received 'a tester' a post some bulletin sites that require a login use to check that the address is functioning, but that was to a address specifically designed to subvert that check and may have become known. This time I'll try no email address.

I have changed my dynamic IP but not my puta or OS.

ps sorry bout the spelling this browser has no spellcheck

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 17, 2007 6:00:28 PM | 73

That worked so I will try a proper post if this goes through

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 17, 2007 6:02:31 PM | 74

well my post was finally accepted into the edwards economist thread. A pretty uninspiring post no revelations likely to upset the machine or even reduce boredom with that process, which is proof we are being stymied by a set of data filtering rules. There is no subjective filtering based upon a post's viewpoint.

It was declined at first but by deleting all browsing history in internet explorer including cookies and add on history plus rebooting modem to get a different dynamic IP worked to allow the post, therefore more evidence of a rules based filtering ie there s no heavier censorship of overtly 'political' threads.

i realise how paranoic and looney I sound insinuating that there is an effort to 'get' oppositionist posts, but given that my posts carried no http link, and no return email address is is difficult to understand how this new system is primarily about stopping spam and spambots.

If I can get by this way for a while it will be OK I don't use MSIE for anything else so deleting cookies and browsing history is a non issue. That won't be the case for all though so if you do experience these problems I strongly suggest installing an alternative browser opera or firefox.

Posted by: Did again | Dec 17, 2007 6:26:22 PM | 75

I use firefox and I have never ever had a problem posting here.

Posted by: Bea | Dec 17, 2007 9:51:24 PM | 76

I use firefox and I have never ever had a problem posting here.

Posted by: Bea | Dec 17, 2007 9:51:54 PM | 77

Scenes from today's "Paris Donors Conference" for the Palestinians, where $7.4 billion was pledged to the Palestinian Authority--an amount, according to this broadcast, which is equivalent to all funds that have been given the PA since its establishment in 1993 put together. Of course all those funds have strings that are equal to their weight, no doubt... heavy heavy strings...

Posted by: Bea | Dec 17, 2007 10:04:35 PM | 78

@Bea #75-76

Once more for emphasis. *insert smiley face here*

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 17, 2007 11:27:51 PM | 79

Has anyone experienced this difficulty on other blogs, specifically Typepad system blogs?

I have the same probblem at The Big Picture and The Econnomist View, both too typepad blogs.

Sorry Debs and all others ...

Posted by: b | Dec 18, 2007 1:23:36 AM | 80

Seriously, look at that! I was waiting a day to cover this story because the real story is how this story is being deliberately smothered by the media. Ron Paul may want things we don't want but he doesn't have any skeletons in his closet nor does he belong to a mad cap satanic ritual coven at Yale like the Skull and Bones nor does he practice black magic. He also doesn't hold hands and kiss Arab kings and sheiks. Nor does he fall down drunk, use drugs or...he is against not just the wars but our empire. This precious empire must trundle down to hell in a handbasket and the last thing they want is some doctor telling them to stop.


The fact that Ron Paul's Tea Party not only happened despite a terrible, nasty winter storm, it broke all records! I recall the media huffily telling us, if a candidate can't raise money, they aren't serious. Well, Ron Paul has done this, stunningly!


Not only that, many years ago, the former Texan Speaker of the House under Reagan told me [in his office] that we can't have campaign finance reforms requiring candidates to raise money from 'little people' rather than corporations because IT WAS TOO MUCH WORK. Gads. Labor stinks, doesn't it? Getting small people to cough up their money is hard. Better to go to AIPAC for the loot.

Elaine Supkis


Posted by: DM | Dec 18, 2007 6:24:29 AM | 81

No one seems to make the connection between Rupert Murdoch and Ron Paul. Ron Paul doesn’t exist for Rupert Murdoch’s publications except when he’s disseminating hit pieces on him such as the accusation that he’s running a false internet campaign and the usual nasty shit that Rupert Murdoch gets up to.

I think I can state unequivocally that Rupert Murdoch is as evil as anyone alive. He spreads more lies across the planet on a daily basis than any other person here. He routinely assaults human dignity and panders to the lowest common denominator in everything he does. He prints every new lie about the conditions that cause war, bloodshed and suffering around the world. He originates lies. There are very few people anywhere who do as much harm to harmony and humanity as Rupert Murdoch.

That Rupert Murdoch is a psychopath and definitively evil is beyond debate. That he dislikes Ron Paul does not make Ron Paul good. But what are we to do when confronted with the need to make decisions? Are we to assume that everyone is evil now and there really is no exit? That way lies madness and despair.

I do not believe that Ron Paul lies. He appears to be someone sent by providence for the greater benefit of us all. …. You can surely imagine that they will try to kill him if they feel they have to.
..

Ron Paul’s support is enormous. It is far greater than it appears and it covers every spectrum of society in America. All of this has come about while he has been ignored and slandered by the media. Rupert Murdoch’s influence is enormous and yet he can’t change people’s minds about Ron Paul no matter what he does or does not do.

Smoking Mirrors

Posted by: DM | Dec 18, 2007 7:39:01 AM | 82

I have changed my dynamic IP - are you sure it changed?

I've had the same "dynamic" IP for quite some time. Rebooting your modem/router combo will not force a change.

Dynamic IPs are doled out via a user definable, time-limited lease - say six days. Half way through this lease, the DHCP server will ask your modem about the lease and the modem will answer in the affirmative, thus re-establishing the lease with the same IP as before.

Usually, the only way to get a new IP is because your modem was offline when queried by the DHCP server and unable to answer. In this case, the DHCP server will get all huffy about the silent treatment and take "your" IP and put it back into the pool of available addresses.

When your modem is next turned on and attempts to access the network, it will be informed it hasn't a valid IP. It will request one from the DHCP server which will hand it one from the pool. Despite all this, you could still wind up with the same IP as originally, if it is still available.

Why use MSie at all? Firefox is much better, faster, stronger... and compatible. I used Opera waaay back, but then it was quite flaky and caused many a web site to ask WTF?

Posted by: jcairo | Dec 18, 2007 9:46:32 AM | 84

I check my external IP several times a day. You just can't be too sure.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 18, 2007 10:11:11 AM | 85

McCain/Lieberman BFF? Nah, try Clinton/Bush BFF.

Source: CNN

Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush.

"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

A spokesman for the George H.W. Bush was not immediately available to comment on whether the former president would chip in some diplomatic help after his son leaves office next year.

Clinton and the elder Bush, rivals in the 1992 presidential election, have grown chummy in recent years, often traveling and appearing at public events together. In 2005, they started a charity to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Coke, Pepsi, right here, get your Coke, Pepsi...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 18, 2007 10:35:03 AM | 86

You just can't be too sure. - so does your IP change several times a day? Does it change within 1 week? Just curious. I have had the same IP for months at a time - if and when I bother to check it as it really is of no import.

Having setup a few domains in my day, I know of whence I speak regarding the DHCP process with and without NAT (this is a process where internal non-routable addresses are converted into an IP that would be routed. This may mean that everyone using a provider will appear as a single IP address to the interwebs.)

Nice link. I never ever thought IP addresses could sound like an orgasm.

Posted by: jcairo | Dec 18, 2007 2:08:46 PM | 87

@jcairo #87

It was a joke... of course I don't check my IP several times a day. I just ran across that application while I was researching web privacy once and thought it was hilarious. It's actually a service to promote privacy awareness, but it is kind of a useful thing for us nay-so-savvy sorts in a quirky way. Glad you enjoyed it.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 18, 2007 2:51:58 PM | 88

i'm about as dumb as you can get on these things, protocoles, whatever - have been hoping rick would give me a tutorial on these & other matters

it's always been that way with me & if it had not been for a lost weekend in 1990 on someone else's mac i don't think i would have ever touched a computer

up until that point i had an old ibm golfball selectri (i think) with two ashtrays superglued to the frame. i remember it as the harley davidson of typewriters

once had a bif black beautiful olivetti that was clearly modelled on a stealth bomber - but it never worked - or permitted just hurried haikus

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 18, 2007 3:04:10 PM | 89

jacob zuma & the left within the african national congress - the unions, the communist party, youth groups have won the entirety of positions within the anc

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 18, 2007 3:05:32 PM | 90

Monolycus, sorry I didn't get your joke. You never can be too sure and, trust me, humour doesn't always translate out here...

That site is hilarious and disturbing all at once - highly recommended.

r'giap - maybe you had to be in the Interzone for the Olivetti to work properly

Posted by: jcairo | Dec 18, 2007 3:25:34 PM | 91

I only know the primitive dsl1 system the privatised telecom monopoly use here in NZ. When I reboot my router the the dynamic IP changes most times, not every time, I do have to check. I hate MSIE but I also hate having to re enter all the logins for bulletin boards, newservers etc so I will use MSIE here if it means deleting cookies to get something posted only effects MoA and my other Firefox cookies remain.

Typepad appears to be trying to restrict spam by counting the number of posts coming from a particular location, as well as the number of HTTP links in a post. I had hoped it was more sophisticated ie making sure an email addy was genuine would restrict spam bots which generally use false email addys.

If I seem like I am a different location after getting the spamtrap message I can make maybe 2 posts in 24 hours. But merely deleting the cookie is insufficient. If I just do that the damned thing recognises the same IP address, hence the need to change my dynamic IP. Similarly if I change my dynamic IP but don't delete the cookie it doesn't work either, so as far as I can tell the rules use a combination of identifiers. If we can work out exactly what they are then we can work around this stupidity.

Now I'm sure that the idiots posting shit to blogs usually just to get a link back on the URL and go up in google counts etc, are a problem but Typepad has instituted a set of rules which have in effect thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Public blogs and comment pages' primary purpose is to get posts from a diverse range of netizens, they don't exist with a primary purpose of stopping spam, yet the 'rules' have created a moronic situation where the ability to post has been prevented allegedly to prevent spamming.

In other words the raison d'etre for blogs has been subsumed by some idiotic anally regressive rulemaker determined to cut back on spam bots at all costs. Kind of like the most efficient hospital in england, which had no patients.

Or like flying into amerika, remember the primary purpose of airports is to facilitate travel, preventing terrarism should be secondary to that. Obviously bombers should be discouraged and all reasonable precautions to deter bombers put in place. but now it has got to the stage where people won't travel to amerika because of the excessive security, any advantage for airlines concerned that passengers wouldn't fly because of fear of terra-ist attacks is outweighed by the much larger group who won't travel because they don't want to be herded like cattle, strip searched by bullies and generally made to feel unwelcome.

I still find it difficult to accept that the agenda behind the typepad clampdown is purely anti-spam. people have complained to typepad saying they don't want their site to be regulated in this way but typepad have remained immoveable.

It doesn't hurt the elites at all if the number of viewpoints alternative to that in the mainstream media is restricted, and I am sure that is part of this bullshit, not all, but part of it.

As well if a pecking order for blog system providers and blog owners which places the system providers in the driving seat at all times, can be established, so much the better.

When we are oppressed successfully it is usually achieved by incrementally moving the goal posts. This is one of those larger increments we should try and resist.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 18, 2007 3:57:36 PM | 92

I only know the primitive dsl1 system the privatised telecom monopoly use here in NZ. When I reboot my router just by flicking the switch the IP often stays the same, if I pull out the power lead, count to 10 then re-insert it the IP changes. with this post I tried to just reboot and it wouldn't take even after a cookie delete because I had been knocked back in Firefox first which I had opened out of habit. So I did the count to 10 thing checked saw the IP was different and as you can see the post was accepted.

I loathe MSIE but I also loathe having to re enter all the logins for bulletin boards, newservers etc so I will use MSIE here if it means deleting cookies to get something posted only effects MoA and my other Firefox cookies remain.

Typepad appears to be trying to restrict spam by counting the number of posts coming from a particular location, as well as the number of HTTP links in a post. I had hoped it was more sophisticated ie making sure an email addy was genuine would restrict spam bots which generally use false email addys.

If I seem like I am a different location after getting the spamtrap message I can make maybe 2 posts in 24 hours. But merely deleting the cookie is insufficient. If I just do that the damned thing recognises the same IP address, hence the need to change my dynamic IP. Similarly if I change my dynamic IP but don't delete the cookie it doesn't work either, so as far as I can tell the rules use a combination of identifiers. If we can work out exactly what they are then we can work around this stupidity.

Now I'm sure that the idiots posting shit to blogs usually just to get a link back on the URL and go up in google counts etc, are a problem but Typepad has instituted a set of rules which have in effect thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Public blogs and comment pages' primary purpose is to get posts from a diverse range of netizens, they don't exist with a primary purpose of stopping spam, yet the 'rules' have created a moronic situation where the ability to post has been prevented allegedly to prevent spamming.

In other words the raison d'etre for blogs has been subsumed by some idiotic anally regressive rulemaker determined to cut back on spam bots at all costs. Kind of like the most efficient hospital in england, which had no patients.

Or like flying into amerika, remember the primary purpose of airports is to facilitate travel, preventing terrarism should be secondary to that. Obviously bombers should be discouraged and all reasonable precautions to deter bombers put in place. but now it has got to the stage where people won't travel to amerika because of the excessive security, any advantage for airlines concerned that passengers wouldn't fly because of fear of terra-ist attacks is outweighed by the much larger group who won't travel because they don't want to be herded like cattle, strip searched by bullies and generally made to feel unwelcome.

I still find it difficult to accept that the agenda behind the typepad clampdown is purely anti-spam. people have complained to typepad saying they don't want their site to be regulated in this way but typepad have remained immoveable.

It doesn't hurt the elites at all if the number of viewpoints alternative to that in the mainstream media is restricted, and I am sure that is part of this bullshit, not all, but part of it.

As well if a pecking order for blog system providers and blog owners which places the system providers in the driving seat at all times, can be established, so much the better.

When we are oppressed successfully it is usually achieved by incrementally moving the goal posts. This is one of those larger increments we should try and resist.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 18, 2007 4:18:17 PM | 93

Olivetti... must be one of those Italian crotch rockets.

Did the selectric leak oil?

Posted by: beq | Dec 18, 2007 4:29:16 PM | 94

beq

it blew up, vraiment, really - frire coming from it - i was using it too industrially - they sd. they were so heavy & i was so nomadic & the selectric was not something you could hang from yr shoulders - it was more like a russian army truck

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 18, 2007 5:00:56 PM | 95

A very short lease would make sense for a provider, after sober second thought. Never had to give the lease much consideration in the domains I've made.

I have only rarely had problems posting at the time when others were voicing concerns, such as now.

Interesting conundrum.

Typepad appears to be trying to restrict spam by counting the number of posts coming from a particular location, as well as the number of HTTP links in a post.

You do post quite often, and though not nearly as fast as a programmed spambot, it could still a factor. I have deliberately posted with lots of links on at least one prior occaision, so I'm unsure of a link.

making sure an email addy was genuine would restrict spam bots

if it were that simple, why the challenge to enter the figures displayed as a graphic?

The challenge is what is supposed to weed out the spam. spam lovely spam. It is desgined in such a way as to be only deciphered by eyeballing it and entering it manually for confirmation. This is something no program can do, but a determined person or group could.

Somehow, you've been pegged as one of those types through some mechanism.

Are you challenged with the graphic on every post? I'm not, nor am I always challenged when including any number of links.

If I seem like I am a different location...

Have you tried posting from a physically different location? If you don't have a laptop, visit a hopefully local net cafe for a few days.

The new IP you are forcing will still belong to a range of addresses such that in xxx.xxx.xxx.nnn only the last group changes.

It could be that the subnet of which you are a part is disliked by Typepad.

Or you are part of a covert beta test to achieve the control which you rightfully lament.

Unless, of course, you deserve such scrutiny... ;)

Posted by: jcairo | Dec 18, 2007 5:57:17 PM | 96

adding my data & experiences, if it contributes to the discussion -

i have to enter the code virtually every post, even those w/o any urls or tag markup.

i use firefox exclusively & have noticed that when i get rejected by the spamfilter i can usually get through it now by breaking it into smaller chunks w/o having to edit any content. earlier, no matter how much i stripped it down, i was still told i was spamming until i closed down firefox and started a new session. lately that hasn't seemed to make any difference.

i post from up to four different computers on two different isp's. it makes no difference which one i post from; i have to enter a code each time & have tripped the spamfilter from each.

several months ago when we last had our experience w/ the spam filter, the algorithm flagged any comment w/ more than 5 (i'm thinking that was the magic #) urls as spam & would not let you post. this new algorithm let's you post more than five, but i have not posted any comments w/ enough urls to where i've noticed any cutoff.

i'm sure debs is correct on the IP flag, though i'm thinking that i've triggered the spam filter initially in comments w/o an url. i could be wrong on that. b may be able to tell if the initial flag only occurs for comments including at least one url if he has the ability to view what gets trapped in the filter.

saw recently that movable type went OS, though not sure it's a viable alternative to what we've grown accustomed to here.

Posted by: b real | Dec 18, 2007 6:18:00 PM | 97

previewed OK

won't take 13 links

"We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam."

Posted by: jcairo | Dec 18, 2007 6:47:48 PM | 98

Well after unsuccessfully trying to post about something other than my inability to post and getting knocked back no matter what IP I had or how clean of cookies I was because I had one (1) link in the post, I feel back to square one again.

Out of interest I counted the number of posts I had made in the december archive 17 not a large number although @jcairo it is larger than your 10 I'm sure many others will have made more than my 17 (less than 1 per day) this month.

A few years ago when kiddies were scanning across groups of IP addresses looking for potential fxp sites I discovered NZ IP's had access blocked from many ftp outlets. We had achieved a bad rep since NZ IP addresses were in the same sub group as South Korea which had really fat pipes at a time when most everywhere else (especially NZ) was still on dial-up, this wide bandwidth going into Korean residential connections had the Korean kids taking advantage parking movies in unsuspecting and unprotected ftp sites around the globe. I had thought that had ended as the interweb matured and the kids of the world found better uses for their bandwidth but maybe that sub-group is still on the typepad blacklist.

If this appears it means that NZ IP's must be blocked from posting even one html link by Typepad and unless I can find an effective way to proxy out of an 'acceptable' IP range it won't be worth posting. Without the ability to refer to primary sources of information this is just babble.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 18, 2007 7:23:23 PM | 99

Yar’Adua’s Washington diplomatic gaffe

b real, heres an article thats somewhat in line with your perception.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 18, 2007 9:32:59 PM | 100

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