Saturday, November 06, 2004
posted by alex_tea , 1:34 PM Þ 

Straight male seeks Bush supporter for fair, physical fight - m4m

Reply to:
Date: Wed Nov 03 19:11:50 2004

I would like to fight a Bush supporter to vent my anger. If you are one, have a fiery streek, please contact me so we can meet and physically fight. I would like to beat the shit out of you.
posted by alex_tea , 1:32 PM Þ 

US vote boosts interest in Canada

Will President Bush be waving goodbye to despondent Democrats?
Canadian immigration officials said the number of US citizens visiting their website went up six-fold the day after the US election.

Their website, which on an average day has some 20,000 hits, was visited by 115,016 on Wednesday, Reuters news agency reported.

The figure dropped on Thursday but was still higher than normal, at 65,803.

There was speculation that Democrats fed up with George W Bush's win were thinking of moving over the border.

The idea of disgruntled Americans wishing to emigrate north across the border has amused Canadians.

One commentator, Thane Burnett, wrote a tongue-in-cheek guide to possible new citizens.

"As Canadians, you'll have to learn to embrace and use all the products and cultures of Americans, while bad-mouthing their way of life," he wrote in the Ottawa Sun newspaper.

Hundreds of Canadians have also signed up to a satirical website urging them to do their bit and marry an American.

"Open your heart, and your home. Marry an American," AFP news agency quotes as saying.

"Legions of Canadians have already pledged to sacrifice their singlehood to save their southern neighbours from four more years of cowboy conservatism." [...]

posted by Irdial , 5:01 AM Þ 

Bush victory infuriates world press

By Gareth Harding

BRUSSELS — A mixture of dismay, despair — and in one case an unflattering assessment of the IQ of Americans who voted for President Bush — dominated European newspapers yesterday.
"How can 59,054,087 people be so dumb?" asked British Daily Mirror in a front-page banner headline that described the election result as a "disaster" and lamented "war more years."
"March of the Moral Majority," bellowed the headline on the Daily Mail.
The Independent let its pictures do the talking, with the top of Page One featuring images of Iraqis being tortured at the Abu Ghraib prison, hooded suspects on their knees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and a Republican supporter with a sign saying, "Finally a Christian fighting evil, thank you George Bush."
The Guardian, a left-leaning British daily that encouraged readers to send letters to U.S. voters urging them to back Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry, commented:
"We may not like it. In fact, to tell the truth, we don't like it one bit. But if it isn't a mandate, then the word has no meaning. Mr. Bush has won fair (so far as we can see) and square. He and his country — and the rest of the world — now have to deal with it."
Not all British papers were depressed at the prospect of four more years of conservative rule.
"The world is a safer place today with George W. Bush back in the Oval Office," said the Sun, Britain's best-selling daily.
"His re-election is bad news for terrorists everywhere. They know President Bush means it when he vows to root out terrorism wherever it exists. John Kerry was weak on terrorism and weak on Iraq. His one moment of strength came when he conceded defeat with dignity instead of demanding recounts."
The conservative Daily Telegraph similarly said U.S. voters "have demonstrated once and for all that no power on earth can intimidate a free nation."
But the Telegraph — like papers from Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and in Eastern Europe — also struck a note of concern about the trans-Atlantic chasm.
It urged Europe to come to terms with an America that "is diverging from Europe: It is younger, more self-confident, more prosperous, more devout, more diligent, more democratic and, in short, more conservative."
French newspapers, which had covered the election campaign in all its gory detail, could not hide their disappointment at Mr. Bush's victory.
Describing the result as a "revolution," an editorial in leftist daily Liberation declared: "A new reactionary majority has consolidated its hold on American democracy. The rest of the world may deplore it, but it will have to adapt to this reality."
Grudging respect for the free choice of American voters was a recurrent theme in many European newspapers .
Spain's leading daily, El Pais, commented: "George W. Bush is probably not the president the rest of the world would have wanted, but it is he who American voters have democratically elected."
Winning more votes than his opponent — unlike four years ago — and not having to rely on a Supreme Court ruling for victory mattered a lot to European newspapers, many of which never regarded Mr. Bush as the legitimate leader of the United States for the past four years.
"The American people have made their choice," said a front-page editorial in Belgian daily Le Soir. "It is now up to us to manage our relations with this key nation."
Many papers said Europe's response should be to get its act together, rather than grumble endlessly about American unilateralism.
"With or without us, America will continue its foreign policy of the past four years," said Hungary's Nepszabadsag. "Europe must close ranks and build a military force in keeping with its economic weight."
Germany's Der Tagesspiegel argued, "Europe should reconsider its ambitions, which seem naive, to act as a political counterweight to the USA."
Most German papers viewed Mr. Bush's re-election with dread.
In an editorial titled "The Fundamentalist Majority," the center-left Berliner Zeitung commented: "The re-elected Bush claims he wants to reunite an extremely divided country.
"That's exactly what he promised four years ago, but he has done the opposite."
An editorial in Austria's Der Standard said of the Republican win: "The 11th of September prepared the U.S. for a man like Bush. He is the man of the dark hour."
For most European newspapers, this was not a contest between Mr. Kerry and the sitting president — it was a referendum on Mr. Bush's muscular foreign policy and conservative social values.
"Bush!" is the one-word headline on the front-page of Belgium's Le Soir, while the paper's rival La Libre Belgique was even pithier in its banner, opting for "W."
The only man more delighted with the result than Mr. Bush is "a skinny, bearded man hiding somewhere on the Afghan-Pakistani border," wrote Czech business daily Hospodarske Noviny.
The paper argued that Osama bin Laden "needs not only his faith in God Almighty but also a clearly defined enemy."
In Mr. Bush, the Saudi terrorist has one for the next four years. So do tens of millions of Europeans, the newspaper said. [...]
posted by Irdial , 4:33 AM Þ 
Friday, November 05, 2004

No American left behind

Which could mean that trade with European countries will be the major determining factor in the value of the dollar in the next few years, so if we don't feel like buying US products ...

What happened with 20AC? Maybe now is the time to organise and publish information as to which products/companies to boycott, possible specific days of action and advocate all financial dealings to be in €.

The story of Oliver Sipple, who saved Gerald Ford's life, from the link about presidential assainations you posted Alun, was just sad.
posted by chriszanf , 5:08 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 4:41 PM Þ 

Gooshing says it gives ethical reviews of products/companies I think a bit of tuning needs to be put in place - everything seems to be 2.5-3.5 of 5 which isn't particularly helpful. But there is more in depth stuff if you click around.
posted by meau meau , 1:38 PM Þ 

I suppose one reason why the devaluation of the dollar has been able to be swept under the carpet is that most of the places where the US has outsourced its manufacturing (and services) are countries that have aligned their currencies to the dollar anyway so there is no economic advantage in dollar devaluation wrt to trade with these countries. Which could mean that trade with European countries will be the major determining factor in the value of the dollar in the next few years, so if we don't feel like buying US products ...

& how long will Middle Eastern countries wish to see their oil revenue decline due to dollar devaluation? After all the US can't invade them all, can it?
posted by meau meau , 11:59 AM Þ 

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
posted by Irdial , 11:51 AM Þ 

posted by Alun , 11:01 AM Þ 

"I've earned capital in this election and I'm going to spend it," Mr Bush said.

So watch out if you're:

Gay ('re-education' for you sinners!)
Female (your body is federal property)
Muslim (oh dear, bad 'choice')
Non-religious (oh dear,
're-education' for you satanists!)
Poor (the rich get your money)
Sick (ditto)
Old (the rich already got your money)
A Natural Wilderness (your ass is gas)
Foreign (your gas means your ass)
Peaceful (pick up the gun, sheepherder)
Not With US (that applies to every one of you 54 million sad s.o.b's that voted Kerry)
Academic (freedom of though, nah; freedom of science, nah)
Alive (enjoy it while you can)

Some possibilities for this presidency:

Death penalties for abortionists (there's a good pro-life stance for you - supported by the senator for Oklahoma)
Palestinian State declared (at Guantanamo Bay)
Homosexuality declared illegal
Creationism added to school curriculum, heresy reinstated as criminal offence
Canada annexed as a security measure
FoxNews appointed official state TV channel
Literacy attacked as modern tower of Babel

The Bush presidency has been a global example of Divide And Rule.
Four More Years!
posted by Alun , 10:01 AM Þ 

posted by meau meau , 9:46 AM Þ 

Dunno ********. I agree that a "war on terror" or a "war on drugs" is just political doublespeak, but how was Iraq not a war at the height of operations? UN estimates put it at 100,000 Iraqis dead, and we know over 1,100 US soldiers are dead. What are your criteria? I suppose Congress didn't pass a declaration of war, but I think you're defining your criteria too narrowly if that's what you're using.

War is being too looseley defined by americans. When a country is at war, the nations patriotism, survival instinct, collective morality and support for the president are all invoked so that victory against an enemy can be acieheved. When a country, any country, is at war, all bets are off because the very existence of the country itself is on the line.

To say that you are at war, to use the word war, means that you can rightfully expect your countrymen to die for the cause, you can justify killing the soldiers of other countries and when it is over, you can determine the destiny of the looser.

When america illegaly invaded Iraq, it was not the start of a war, but just what I said; an illegal invasion. It was not the commencing of a war, though it certainly was "an act of war". It was just what you said "operations". No one, certainly no american, should rally behind this illegal invasion, the country should not rally behind its leader, because the very existance of the usa is and never was at stake.

You mention the 100,000 Iraqis that are dead. They have been murdered, pure and simple. That number leaves out the maimed and traumatized. The 1,100 american soldiers that have been killed have died without proper justification; their lives have been wasted. And by the way, I dont make a distinction between an american life and a non american life, like the american media does; 101,100 people have been needlessly killed, 100,000 of them murdered.

Using the word war repeatedly when we speak about the recent invasion of Iraq dilutes the idea of what a war really is, and makes it more possible to stage fake wars against non enemies, and sucessfully sell them to a demonstrably gullible, dim witted and uneducated american electorate just like this administration has done and wants to do again.

I invoked the phrase "war on drugs" deliberately. During that fake war, troops were deployed to other peoples countries to fight "battles" and all manner of shenanigans took place (while the CIA was making money off of cocaine sales to siphon money to oliver north...bit I digress). This war on terror is exactly the same as the war on drugs. It is a lie, a paper thin pretext so that someone can get something done. Every time I hear someone use the word, I pull them up on it. Anyone who believes that america is at war, and that there is a real "war on terror" can count themeselves as one of the deluded.
posted by Irdial , 9:20 AM Þ 

Now, IQ numbers are not worth much but there are a good general measure.
Especially when you look at this list.
posted by Barrie , 7:00 AM Þ 

The European Parliament threatened to veto the line-up notably over the inclusion of controversial Italian nominee Rocco Buttiglione because of his views on homosexuality and women.
Channel News

Buttiglione, a Roman Catholic and close friend of Pope John Paul, fell foul of the parliament after saying at his confirmation hearings that homosexuality was a sin and marriage was for women to have children and be protected by a male.

Interesting how this touch of discriminatory thinking sends the EC up in arms - yet the same type of thinking in the US would get one appointed to the supreme court.
Further proof of the widening divide between Europe and the US.
posted by Barrie , 6:49 AM Þ 
Thursday, November 04, 2004

posted by Ken , 4:26 PM Þ 

MSNBC - U.S. in new warming battle — over Arctic: "U.S. in new warming battle — over Arctic
Bush administration seeks to avoid mandatory action
Subhankar Banerjee
A polar bear makes its way across a frozen stretch of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. An upcoming report warns warmer Arctic temperatures mean less ice in winter, among other changes.
MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 9:26 a.m. ET Nov. 4, 2004

Deepening a rift over global warming policy, some European partners are accusing the Bush administration of trying to weaken a report that warns the Arctic is warming almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

President Bush has made clear he opposes mandatory curbs on gases like carbon dioxide, which create a greenhouse effect on Earth. Many scientists fear fossil fuel sources of CO2 and other gases are warming the Earth beyond the natural greenhouse effect.

Bush also pulled out of the U.N.’s 1997 protocol on global warming, arguing it was too expensive and exempted China, India and other rapidly developing nations.

Most other industrial nations, most recently Russia, have agreed to Kyoto’s target of cutting developed nations’ CO2 emissions by five percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12."
posted by Ken , 4:18 PM Þ 

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
posted by Alun , 3:19 PM Þ 

This just in from the Mute website:

Sad news from Side-Line:

From Germany reaches us the bad news that Chrislo Haas, founding member of DAF and Liaisons Dangereuses, died in Berlin on October 24th. Haas is said to have had a long history with alcohol abuse. Haas was part of a generation that created the start for a whole electronic movement initiating what would later become house and techno. At the end of the '70 he was responsible for what was described as the 'Stakkato-Maschinen-Punk-Programm' Sound of the German electro cult act DAF (Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft). It made the band to become the very first german act to be signed outside Germany, namely on Mute records where they released their second album 'Die Kleinen und die Bösen.' After splitting up with the other two DAF members Haas started up a new project together with Beate Bartel and french singer Krishna Goinau: Liasons Dangereuses. With their hit 'Los Ninos del Parque' he proved where DAF had found its sound. After that he also joined Crime and the City Solution, Phew and Armed Response and also worked on a solo project (simply named Chrislo) for Tresor Records. While Liaisons Dangereuses' debut album recently saw a re-release through Hit-Thing, also the CHBB material is expected to be released soon on CD. CHBB was Chrislo Haas and Beate Bartel (founding member of Einstürzende Neubauten and of Mania D.), which later turned to be Liaisons Dangereuses. In 1981 they released a series of 4 C-10-tapes, in an edition of 50 pieces only, which are highly sought after nowadays. For more info on these re-releases, check the website. You can order the Liaisons Dangereuses re-release of the debut album on CD and vinyl below. Also available below is the 12' of 'Los Ninos del Parque.'
posted by Ken , 3:12 PM Þ

Look at the other measures that were decided upon amongst others:

Oregon Measure 33: Medical Marijuana
Amends and expands Oregon's medical marijuana laws; registered persons may possess up to 10 marijuana plants and one pound of usable marijuana (unless the person registers that he is growing one crop per year, in which case possession of up to six pounds per patient is allowed); marijuana dispensaries will be regulated and authorized by the state and must be non-profits; allows naturopaths and nurse practioners to sign a medical marijuana card application.

Oregon Measure 33:
Medical Marijuana
Updated: 7:51 p.m. ET
Yes715,673 42%96% of precincts reporting votes by countyvoter survey results
No971,226 58%

Spectacularly retarded.
posted by Irdial , 1:29 PM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 1:27 PM Þ 

NO2ID Launch e-Petition

NO2ID has today launched an e-Petition under Cabinet Office rules at to ask for the withdrawal of the forthcoming ID

Members of civil liberties and privacy groups, and opponents of The Home
Secretary's proposals across the UK, are encouraged to add their
signature to the petition - and to spread its URL far and wide. The
e-Petition will be submitted in time for the Queen's Speech, and will
once and for all put a lie to Mssrs. Blunket and Blair's public
assertions that there are 'no longer any significant civil liberties
concerns' with the scheme.

Mark Littlewood, national co-ordinator of the NO2ID coalition against
identity cards said:

"With opinion polls showing that up to 4m British citizens are
absolutely opposed to identity cards, the government risks further
alienating a substantial part of the electorate. A backlash on the scale
of the anti-war or pro-hunting lobbies is becoming more likely with
every step the Home Office take forward. One can only hope that common
sense prevails and that David Blunkett's opponents in the Cabinet and in
Parliament block this ludicrous scheme. If they do not, a major campaign
against identity cards will be fought in every corner of the United

Notes to editors

NO2ID is the cross-party, umbrella campaign against the introduction of
identity cards in Britain. For more information see

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact

*** ENDS ***
posted by Irdial , 1:21 PM Þ 

Don't believe the hype

I know
I'm clutching at Straw's...
(ever more tightly)
posted by meau meau , 11:37 AM Þ 

16 October 1665

"But Lord, how empty the streets are, and melancholy, so many poor sick people in the streets, full of sores, and so many sad stories overheard as I walk, everybody talking of this dead, and that man sick, and so many in this place, and so many in that. And they tell me that in Westminster there is never a physitian, and but one apothecary left, all being dead - but that there are great hopes of a great decrease this week. God send it."
posted by meau meau , 11:19 AM Þ 

Liar still has a noose around his neck until the UK elections and we aren't so dumb.

Don't believe the hype
Don't, don't
Don't believe the hype
posted by Alun , 10:58 AM Þ 


A double post and a single edit point.

The truth keels blogger!


A bare pittance of silver on the thundercloud:
Liar still has a noose around his neck until the UK elections and we aren't so dumb.


This morning's BBQs Today programme asked when will the US offensive in Falluja start - as if it already hadn't - or is this simply Israeli style policing?
posted by meau meau , 10:41 AM Þ 

"Good, Go Ahead, America, Choke on Your Own Vomit, You Deserve to Die."
posted by Irdial , 10:31 AM Þ 

First read how the cost of the proposed NIR grab is already increasing

When is an ID card not an ID card?

So it is clear now that the so-called ID card is proposed to to be automatically issued with a new passport, which will not be called an ID card, but:

1. You would need to submit NIR information prior to getting a new passport - QED you would have an NIR entry and contribute to the '80% uptake' lie even if you never 'accept' the piece of plastic labelled 'ID card'
2. Your passport would be linked to your NIR reference - so use of your passport could be directly recorded against your NIR entry (remember the USA has an agreement with the EU commission to 'share' such information on any flight to or from EU countries, to use at their discretion outside of any realistic legal jursidiction by citizens of EU countries)
3. The passport would likely contain all the machine readable information contained on the other piece of plastic designated 'ID crad' (crad is like crud but slightly more nonsensical) - use of your passport would be indistinguishable from use of your designated 'ID card'.

Obviously the plan is that 'protestors' and petition writers (hwga) will be so confused that they will happily apply for a passport and thereby get an NIR entry then they will burn/return their 'ID card' none the wiser that they have already done all the work the government/accenture wanted them to do in the first place.

So when is an ID card not an ID card? When it's a passport.

posted by meau meau , 9:44 AM Þ 

Couldn't connect to blogger this morning to express my dismay, so I'll do that now.

I find myself filled with worry, hatred, and sadness today.
Not because of Kerry's loss per se - though that helped - but over the clear evidence the vote has given about how fractured and confused America has become. America seems to be, from the outside, composed half of decent people, and half of blind, stupid fools. We all know what the fools have done, have not done, and are willing to let a government out of control do. There is little other way to see America - it seems as though it has let itself get as bad as it has become. The democracy in America is broken almost beyond repair. Equality never existed there in the first place anyway. Breach is imminent. Bush and Cheney's smug shit-eating grins fill me with bitterness. Theirs are the faces of plutocracy - the faces of the enemy. I find myself torn - would I consider America an enemy or not? I am leaning towards the former - who but enemies would elect fascists?
Truly dark times!
Truly times for more action, and less tears!
We must work harder, harder harder!
posted by Barrie , 1:53 AM Þ 

If you can't have dream, how you gonna make a dream come true.
posted by alex_tea , 12:53 AM Þ 

I, as much as the rest of you, understand how much this will affect our lives, how much this affects the day-to-day for the whole of the 'western' world and beyond, and yet, we still have our day-to-day, our freedom, our thoughts, ourselves and our friends and we shouldn't forget about that.

Politics is a fallacy. Politics, government and religion are imposed upon society as implied rule without any question or challenge. Forget about the political outcome of today and embrace those that mean most to you; physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is our true strength. Beyond ballet-boxes, ticker tape and party politics. We the people.We. Such a ridiculous Americanism, and yet it rings true; politics has no meaning where real emotional commitment is concerned. And so we must go forth and realise our own destinies. You and you alone can carve your path, I know because you're already doing it.

I'm not a hippy; I'm just drunk. But, I believe, with our own convictions we can overcome this reliance on a higher being.
posted by alex_tea , 12:42 AM Þ 
Wednesday, November 03, 2004

US President George W Bush delivers his victory speech as Vice-President Dick Cheney looks on
George W Bush declares victory in the US presidential election after Democratic challenger John Kerry admits defeat.

Cheney's not clapping, he's rubbing his hands in glee.

And the look on Bush's face as he stands behind the podium reminds me of Police Academy.
posted by Alun , 9:56 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 9:42 PM Þ 

"katie, bar the door"

I wish I could, Alun. My knee-jerk reaction, give me a crowbar to pry them off this continent. Far too close for comfort.

It is worrying that the US has become so polarized, as I read in one paper today, Osama bin Laden has succeeded in splitting the world's greatest democracy right down the middle. The US would be wise to upgrade to a multi-party platform, but perhaps that would defeat their competative nature, not to have a clear winner and loser. They like the power struggle too much to allow things to be less than polarized. I don't think they have any idea of what a real, plural democratic process looks like. I feel for those who did not want to vote for either side, and are left even more invisible. I can only hope that the future success of Canada's minority government will provide a worhty example for our neighbours to the South.
posted by mary13 , 8:36 PM Þ 

Apparently, four American presidents have been assasinated.

As someone wise once said, 'Just plantin' seeds... just planting seeds.'

[Just jokin', bogey-man!]

posted by Alun , 8:23 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 8:08 PM Þ 

Portrait of a Red State Voter
posted by telle goode , 7:48 PM Þ 

In being deluged by American politics, recently more than ever, the two candidates both put forward plans as to how best wage the 'war on terror'. What I am looking for, as a starting point, is someone with an understanding of why America is now having to wage this "war".

Only by understanding the past and admitting it's lessons will war become peace. Without understanding, there will be only more future wars.

Until US politicians can stand up and say 'we were wrong in vietnam, wrong to support Iraq, wrong to help the taliban, wrong for [insert interventionist policy here]... and it's for these mistakes we are hated'. Until they can say these things without being labelled pinko/commie/girlie-man/unpatriotic/French...

Not just 'where are we going', but 'how did we get here' and 'should we change direction?'...

Until they can promote greater collaboration with other nations without being labelled as traitors/weaklings/French...

Until they can persude the American electorate (and both Houses) that American influence is often Global influence, and that this brings with it some great responsibility to other nations than America...

And that such concessions would make America great again in ways that military power never can...

I know this [above] is clumsily put, but I just heard Kerry's concession speach and got depressed. Because if he's the best hope, he's nowhere near what's necessary. And if he's saying what he thinks, he's not thinking enough.
posted by Alun , 7:30 PM Þ 

Al-Qaida is "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy", Osama bin Laden claims, in a section of his latest videotape which has just come to light.

Delivering a financial report on the "war on terror", he says that every dollar spent by al-Qaida in attacking the US has cost Washington $1m (£545,000) in economic fallout and military spending.

The remarks appear in a full transcript of the 18-minute tape posted on the website of al-Jazeera. They were omitted last Friday when the TV station broadcast extracts [...]

posted by meau meau , 10:43 AM Þ 

Hmmmm, so you want to learn the hard way?

We can't choose your president but we can alter your economy:

What Does the USA Dollar Devaluation Mean to You?

Yahweh said to Israel that they perished for a lack of knowledge (Hos. 4:6). Most Americans, no matter their vocation, are totally ignorant of the current plight of the US dollar, especially in relation to the Euro. In short there is dollar crisis in the world economy due to the level of debt of America, who is the largest debtor in history, owing between $70-$100 trillion.

Americans have no knowledge that the US private control central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank, creates money out of this air and it is the chief cause of inflation in America and the creator of various financial bubbles in stock market and real estate.

The reason that Americans are ignorant of the current dollar and economic crisis is that the US controlled media has not reported on it. The US media is controlled by five or six major corporations; Disney owns ABC, CBS is owned by Viacom, GE owns NBC. In short, the truth is suppressed and kept from the American masses. This is the chief cause of the mind control of 99.0% of Americans[...]
posted by meau meau , 9:32 AM Þ 

my heart has sunk

a titanic wreck at the bottom of an icy, cruel, blind ocean
hopes scattered, once treasured belongings now nothing but worthless flotsam
no survivors

"katie, bar the door"
posted by Alun , 9:13 AM Þ 
Tuesday, November 02, 2004


This book was first thought of, so far as the central idea goes, in 1937, but was not written down until about the end of 1943. By the time when it came to be written it was obvious that there would be great difficulty in getting it published (in spite of the present book shortage which ensures that anything describable as a book will 'sell'), and in the event it was refused by four publishers. Only one of these had any ideological motive. Two had been publishing anti-Russian books for years, and the other had no noticeable political colour. One publisher actually started by accepting the book, but after making the preliminary arrangements he decided to consult the Ministry of Information, who appear to have warned him, or at any rate strongly advised him, against publishing it. Here is an extract from his letter:

I mentioned the reaction I had had from an important official in the Ministry of Information with regard to Animal Farm. I must confess that this expression of opinion has given me seriously to think ... I can see now that it might be regarded as something which it was highly ill-advised to publish at the present time. If the fable were addressed generally to dictators and dictatorships at large then publication would be all right, but the fable does follow, as I see now, so completely the progress of the Russian Soviets and their two dictators, that it can apply only to Russia, to the exclusion of the other dictatorships. Another thing: it would be less offensive if the predominant caste in the fable were not pigs. [It is not quite clear whether this suggested modification is Mr ... 's own idea, or originated with the Ministry of Information; but it seems to have the official ring about it - Orwell's Note] I think the choice of pigs as the ruling caste will no doubt give offence to many people, and particularly to anyone who is a bit touchy, as undoubtedly the Russians are.
This kind of thing is not a good symptom. Obviously it is not desirable that a government department should have any power of censorship (except security censorship, which no one objects to in war time) over books which are not officially sponsored. But the chief danger to freedom of thought and speech at this moment is not the direct interference of the MOI or any official body. If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.

Any fairminded person with journalistic experience will admit that during this war official censorship has not been particularly irksome. We have not been subjected to the kind of totalitarian 'co-ordination' that it might have been reasonable to expect. The press has some justified grievances, but on the whole the Government has behaved well and has been surprisingly tolerant of minority opinions. The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news - things which on their own merits would get the big headlines - being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that 'it wouldn't do' to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralized, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is 'not done' to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was 'not done' to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

At this moment what is demanded by the prevailing orthodoxy is an uncritical hatred of "Radical Islam". Every-one knows this, nearly everyone acts on it. Any serious evaluation of Radical Islam, any disclosure of facts which the American and British governments would prefer to keep hidden, is next door to unprintable.[...]

posted by Irdial , 8:57 PM Þ 

What is that a picture of?
Where does it come from?
What does it mean?
What is its context?
posted by Irdial , 7:27 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 6:43 PM Þ 

The machine is a large LCD touch screen and you simply press the box next to your choice. Once you finished voting on all of the issues, judges, mayors, congressmen, senators, gambling [one was parental notification; should physicians be required to notify parents if a minor child comes in for an abortion - I voted => niet] a large red button at the top flashes *vote*, press it and you are done! [...]

And this is the "Voter ID card" for a first time voter in Florida.
posted by Irdial , 6:09 PM Þ 
posted by Ken , 3:47 PM Þ 

Osama Bin Laden? Media Ignores Absence of Proof

Christopher Bollyn| November 2 2004

The mainstream media has presented the latest video of what is said to be Osama bin Laden as if there were no doubt or suspicions about WHO it is in the video.

The only agency that claims to have checked the tape is the CIA, who is an active combatant in the "war on terror." That's like asking a boxer in the ring to referee the match he is in.

I asked the CIA about the latest video of some bearded guy who they say is Osama bin Laden: An "intelligence official" at the CIA named Anja told me that the agency had done a "technical assessment" of the tape. What this "assessment" included, Anja wouldn't say.

Asked if the assessment included voice verification technology, Anja would only say that the CIA "declined to be more specific."

The CIA has "a high degree of confidence" that it is OBL, and the President has "full confidence" in the CIA's assessment, according to a deputy spokesman working at the National Security Advisor's (Condoleezza Rice) office at the White House.

If the CIA actually used voice verification technology on the tape to determine that it was Osama bin Laden then why don't they tell us? Don't we deserve to know that the authenticity of the tape has been checked before it is presented to the American people as fact?

Why does the Associated Press (see Sun-Times article below), report that "The Bush administration said it believes the videotape is authentic..?"

I mean, don't these people know about voice verification technology? Or didn't they use it because they KNOW the tape is a hoax, because they made it?

And why has the media parroted these claims without even mentioning that there is a reasonable doubt that the image and voice in the tape belong to Osama bin Laden?

When I raised these questions with Michael Cooke, the British-born Editor-in-Chief of the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the 10 largest papers in the United States, he sounded like a typical Establishment gate-keeper/opinion-shaper: "I don't care," he said. "If it's a hoax then we've been hoaxed."

Here is my follow-up note to Michael Cooke of the Sun-Times:

TO: Michael Cooke, E-mail: Editor-in-Chief, Chicago Sun-Times

RE: Sun-Times Coverage of Purported Osama bin Laden Video

DATE: November 1, 2004

Dear Mr. Cooke,

After speaking with you on the phone today, I am sending this note as a follow-up.

I am a correspondent with American Free Press, based on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The website for American Free Press is:

I called you this afternoon to discuss how the Chicago Sun-Times presented the news about the latest videotape of what is said to be Osama bin Laden. Your headline on October 30, 2004 read: OSAMA MESSES WITH THE ELECTION

In the Sun-Times coverage of this video there was no mention of any doubt that the image and voice were truly those of Osama bin Laden. You seemed unaware of voice verification technology, which is at least 10 years old and widely used in the United States.

Halfway through the article by Maggie Michael [AP] in Cairo, Egypt, there is only one sentence that even addresses the authenticity of the video: "The Bush administration said it believes the videotape is authentic and that it was made recently, noting that bin Laden referred to 1,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq which happened in early September."

I asked you, in light of the admissions by the New York Times and the Washington Post that they had "failed the American public" by not adequately questioning the flawed case for war made by the U.S. and British governments, and the faulty intelligence of those governments, if the Chicago Sun-Times didn't owe it to its readers to raise the question and mentionthat there is absolutely no proof that the voice and image in the video actually belong to Osama bin Laden?

"I don't care," you replied, adding, "If it's a hoax, we've been hoaxed. It has all the hallmarks of being Osama bin Laden."

When I asked you about your statement, "I don't care," you said that you were referring to my questions. Does that mean that you don't care if the mainstream media and intelligence have been terribly wrong about the "war on terror" in the past?

Are you saying it doesn't matter to you if your readers know that there is reasonable doubt that this is Osama bin Laden?

You said that it looked like Osama bin Laden to you and the paper because it had the "hallmarks" of Osama bin Laden. When I asked you what those hallmarks were, the only hallmark you mentioned was that it had been on television.

Lastly, you said that if I reported that you said, "I don't care," you'd come to Washington and "bite you on your ass."

I hope you don't really mean that. I'm based in Chicago.


Christopher Bollyn

Michael Cooke, the British Editor in Chief of the Chicago Sun-Times said that he thought the man in this video is Osama bin Laden, because it had "all the hallmarks of being Osama bin Laden."

Asked what those "hallmarks" were, Cooke mentioned one: "It was on TV."

Then Cooke ran the headline: OSAMA MESSES WITH THE ELECTION, because he saw the video on TV.

How's that for controlled journalism in America?
posted by Irdial , 11:50 AM Þ 
posted by meau meau , 9:44 AM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 2:15 AM Þ 
Monday, November 01, 2004

snow, snow, snow Posted by Hello
posted by captain davros , 10:04 PM Þ 

German radios. How funky they are. Posted by Hello
posted by captain davros , 9:59 PM Þ 

In the absence of a Steve Bell view...

01.11.04: Martin Rowson on the US election

The question of who will be the next US president and which one of the two parties in the US will be the winner of the election is not important at all... The Democrats and the Republicans are all tarred with the same brush.

Iran's Jomhuri-Ye Eslami

A Bush victory may lead to more of the same movement towards unilateral exercise of US power. But would a Kerry presidency be any different?

Malaysia's The Star

At the end of the day, the US president, whether Democrat or Republican, will be elected primarily on their agenda for the US. And in US politics, Africa is barely a tiny blip on the radar.

Kenya's Nation

No drastic change in policy is expected, but the result will signal whether the aggressive, unilateralist role America has adopted in the past four years is going to continue or be scaled down. The difference in the end may be reflected only in nuances.

Pakistan's Dawn

Regardless of who claims victory in these elections, the al-Qaeda leader will emerge the biggest winner.

London-based Arabic paper Al-Quds al-Arabi

The Iraqi street is still wondering whether America's position in Iraq will change if Kerry wins, whether America will stay the course in Iraq or run for its life.

Iraq's Al-Shira

No matter who wins in Tuesday's presidential vote, the outcome seems destined for rejection by almost half the country.

Canada's The Toronto Star

This election is a test for the American people on how far they are willing to show empathy with people of other nations and how far they want to expand their horizons.

Indonesia's Pikiran Rakyat

The USA is celebrating its great festival of democracy enveloped in all kinds of suspicions, doubts and mistrust about the fairness of the process and the guarantees of the final count.

Spain's El Razon

The best thing for both candidates and for the prestige of US democracy itself is for there not to a repetition of the foul-ups of 2000.

Spain's El Pais

On Tuesday the US will be under the spotlight, the rest of the world expects to see the self-proclaimed champion of democracy leading by example.

Zimbabwe's Sunday Mirror

The surfacing of al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, in a video tape has made the US voter doubt whether the Bush administration has really achieved anything in the last four years.

Saudi Arabia's Al-Watan

To get rid of an atmosphere where violence is seen as the only solution, the last hope is the victory of Kerry.

Turkey's Sabah

Only one candidate came to public office as a warrior scarred and cautioned by war. The other came to office as a moral tourist.

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald

For the sake of world progress John Kerry's victory would be preferable so that Europe and the USA may have a chance to start afresh together.

France's Le Monde

The Bush revolution, like many of its kind, has exhausted itself. America now needs a president who does not turn his back on the need to eradicate and eliminate Islamic terrorism, but seeks to do this efficiently, wisely and with international support.

Israel's Yediot Aharonot

If Kerry wins the elections, it can be expected that a very different atmosphere may be formed both in America and the world.

Turkey's Milliyet

The importance of these elections is unquestionable, because at stake is living for four more years with the unilateralism that has imbued the policies of the Bush administration or being able to take the path of international co-operation.

Spain's El Mundo

posted by Alun , 8:29 PM Þ 

American, three other foreigners kidnapped in Baghdad; Baghdad ...
Boston Globe - 1 hour ago
Militants kidnapped an American and three other foreigners in a bloody assault on their office in the capital Monday, and gunmen assassinated ...
Clashes in Ramadi as US Troop Reinforcements Arrive in Iraq Muslim American Society
Allawi Threatens New Offensive To Take Over Al-Fallujah Radio Free Europe
Khaleej Times - Boston Herald - The Times - The Australian - all 1,045 related »


You see?
posted by Irdial , 7:24 PM Þ 

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
posted by Irdial , 7:01 PM Þ 

posted by Ken , 4:13 PM Þ 

posted by Josh Carr , 2:35 AM Þ 

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