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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cointelpro II

What did Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (and his Christian Leadership Conference), the anti-Vietnam war group Students for a Democratic Society and the American nazi Party have in common? Not much, unless you include the dubious Cointelpro operation undertook by the FBI under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover.

Cointelpro was short for the FBI's Counter Intelligence Program which kept files on "subversives" like Dr. King as well as performing other actions, such as: Planting evidence; Making false accusations; "interrogating individuals at their place of work, in front of their bosses. They performed these acts on protesters, actors and newspaper reporters alike. They performed them on the American Civil Liberties Union as well as the American Communist Party. You might call them an Equal Opportunity Tormentor.

During this operation, J. Edgar Hoover even sent a letter to Dr. King, even suggested that the Civil Rights Leader "Kill himself" rather than have his out of wedlock escapades released.

Nice, huh?

According to Brian Glick's book, War at Home, methods included:
1. "Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents." (Bill Richardson, the head of the Ku Klux Klan was an FBI informant)
2. "Psychological Warfare From the Outside: The FBI and police used myriad other "dirty tricks" to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists." (Hoover had "signed off" on a series of articles, one of which, in the San Francisco Chronicle led to a label suit)
3. "Harassment Through the Legal System: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, 'investigative' interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters."
4. "Extralegal Force and Violence: The FBI and police threatened, instigated, and themselves conducted break-ins, vandalism, assaults, and beatings. The object was to frighten dissidents and disrupt their movements. In the case of radical Black and Puerto Rican activists (and later Native Americans), these attacks—including political assassinations—were so extensive, vicious, and calculated that they can accurately be termed a form of official 'terrorism.'".

(thanks to Wikipedia)

My question is: Does any of this sound familiar?

Since the election of George W. Bush we have seen a whole slate of dirty tricks, misinformation and planted news stories. We have seen this administration release press memos that lazy, if not complicit members of the press print as if they actually did some leg work (Judith Miller and The New York Times regarding WMD's and Iraq). There have been campaigns against real American combat heroes that have portrayed them as glory hounds (the "Swift-Boating" of Senator John Kerry); combat klutzes (former Senator Max Cleland - D-GA, who lost three limbs in Vietnam); and Manchurian Candidates with illicit, out of wedlock and mixed race children (Senator John McCain - R-AZ - they do eat their young).

The saying goes that "Those who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it." The administration of George W. Bush uses this as their motto.

The illegal wiretapping of American Citizens reeks of Cointelpro. In fact, I think it's fair to say that it should be called Cointelpro II, or Cointelpro 43, in honor of its main supporter, President George W. Bush (43). Maybe we should simply call it Cointelpro, Jr.

We have been inundated by Karl "The Traitor" Rove's Weapons of Mass Distraction since even before the election of 2000. His mission was simple: Get George W. Bush elected any way possible. The thought process behind it being that a president like "Junior" will be easy to control. His lack of real world experience, lack of contact with real, working class people and lack of anything but an artificially created character makes him the perfect person to put in charge of the henhouse (The US Government) while this band of wolves are guarding it.

The "G"reed "O"ver "People led congress are the perfect accomplices for the new Cointelpro II. They lack the backbone to fight for their constituents and have been the least productive legislature in history. The Bushites have the perfect mouthpieces in the forms of Fox News (all of them), MSNBC (most of them), the Washington Times and the New York Post. They are to Rove and Bush what Jack O'Brian was to Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Sub-committee on Un-American Affairs.

Think back to the CBS-Dan Rather- Bush Draft-dodging affair, which led to the eventual "retirement" of Rather. (There seems to be a lot of that "retirement bug" going around, doesn't there?) Rather's producer was given a myriad of documents. Mixed in with those documents were a handful of forgeries, designed to embarrass Rather, CBS and the "Liberal media". The fact that all of the other documents were true was of no concern to the more boisterous Right Wing media, and Republican politicians who succeeded in making Rather the story. It was a stroke of evil genius, the kind Rove is known for.

The Valerie Plame affair is another example. As we all know by mow, Plame was "outed" as a CIA undercover operative as punishment to her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson. In the aftermath, the GOP/neo-con/Right Wing media inundated the airwaves with false reports that she was semi-retired, had not been undercover for more than five years or was a glorified secretary (insulting all women, in my estimation). When other CIA operatives came to Ms. Plame's defense (like Larry Johnson who went to "spy school" with her), they were said to have an ax to grind, or have been out of the loop, or simply too low on the CIA totem pole to take seriously.

Then there were the Iraqi Weapons Inspectors like Hans Blix and Scott Ritter who were ridiculed by those same right wingers in their own, special Cointelpro hell. Blix was pictured as one of those Europeans who hate America and Ritter as a liberal with his own, personal ax to grind.

There is only one thing to do and that is to keep up the pressure on this administration. If we don't then we'll lose much of what our nation's real patriots have fought for over 200 years.

Cointelpro II must be stopped.

-Noah Greenberg

Thinking About Oil

I want you all to think back to last week (those of you with poor short-term memories are excused). Last week oil prices rose to $78 a barrel. They were predicting a rise in gasoline prices, which were, at that time, hovering at around $3 per gallon. As a nation we were all holding our collective breath thinking about Toyota Prius' and Honda Insights. Everyone predicted that gas prices would skyrocket in this heavily-traveled vacation season, But a funny thing happened on the way to these record gas prices: Nothing.

No one is taking credit for the lack of a gas price increase. No one is stepping forward to say "It was I who kept your prices as they are!" In fact, it's quite eerie.

Then I thought about it: The gas companies and their Boy in the White House (GW) probably perceived that another huge increase in gas prices to the American people would put us over the edge, creating a mass exodus of Republican legislators from DC this coming November.

Last year at nearly the same time, the oil companies used Hurricane Katrina to drive prices up sixty to eighty cents in just one day in New Jersey alone. It was a windfall period for them.

If you think I'm wrong, then you explain it.

-Noah Greenberg

Economic Indicators

I heard reported today that the new unemployment benefits applications had risen from
19,000 last month, to over 300,000 this month.

Had to double check that with a couple of sources but all indications are the report is true.

This is unprecedented and would indicate massive layoffs but I never heard which
company(ies). Do you know?

The Poole report indicates the US dollar will fall to 45 against the Euro also before the year is over.

With these indicaters, plus housing costs, (half of incomes) and mortgage ratios 80-20 or worse (meaning very little equity in the net worth side of financials for homeowners) nationwide, and fuel prices up and going further up due to middle east instability, an extremely serious depression in 07-08 is almost unavoidable.

Hey people, what think ye???? I'm thinking, bicycles. They are good for transportaton and will even generate power. Won't we all be very physically fit? All that exercise and very little money for food.



"I just want you to know, when we are talking about, we're really talking about peace,"
"If this was a dictatorship, it would be a heck alot easier, as long as I am the dictator,"
"People don't to worry about security. The deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security of the United States,"
-The Various and Sundry ravings of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush

The bottom line is:
Bush is a warmonger.
Bush is a dictator.
Security has nothing to do with either of the above.

-Robert Scardapane

Bush and Putin

BUSH: I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world, like Iraq, where there’s a free press and free religion. And I told (Putin) that a lot of people in our country would hope that Russia will do the same thing. I fully understand, however, that there will be a Russian-style democracy.
PUTIN: We certainly would not want to have same kind of democracy as they have in Iraq, quite honestly.
BUSH: Just wait.

Just what are we waiting for? Is Bush actually touting Iraq as a success to Putin? Unlike GW, Putin actually reads the newspapers once in awhile.

-Noah Greenberg from a forward by David W.

What to Pledge For

Next week, the House will be voting on the “Pledge Protection Act” (H.R. 2389), extremist legislation that would strip all federal courts—including the Supreme Court—from hearing Constitutionally-based challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance. The result would be to deny the Constitutional rights of persons belonging to minority religions in federal court.

What are we supposed to pledge our allegiance to if not our Constitution? Surely we owe allegiance to our laws, not to a piece of cloth that is only a symbol. The Pledge of Allegiance was not intended as a loyalty oath, only as a reminder of civic responsibility. All good American citizens should be opposed to loyalty oaths for citizens of a free country, and the addition of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance was a huge mistake.

Adding these words occurred during the hysteria of the Cold War while I was in high school. My parents, good Christians, considered the change unnecessary and dangerous. I, too, am a faithful church attender and I believe in God, but I’ve never spoken the words "under God" while reciting the Pledge—not when I was a student, nor during my years as a military officer, nor while I taught school. “Under God” makes me envision a fat, bloated idol squashing the life out of America and Americans. The words give me nightmares, not patriotic feelings. Others can speak them if they choose, but I dissent and refuse.

In so many ways H.R. 2389 is wrong—so pernicious that I am convinced that it is another vicious deliberate attack on our Constitution and Bill of Rights. I’ve come to the conclusion that those who are trying to undermine the Constitutional basis of US law and who treat the Constitution as a scrap of paper are traitors. Indeed, they are the domestic enemies those of us who took a federal military or office-holder’s oath should be protecting our country from.

-Jenny Hanniver

Grinchy Gingrich

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says America is in World War III and President Bush should say so. In an interview in Bellevue this morning Gingrich said Bush should call a joint session of Congress the first week of September and talk about global military conflicts in much starker terms than have been heard from the president.

"We need to have the militancy that says 'We're not going to lose a city,' " Gingrich said. He talks about the need to recognize World War III as important for military strategy and political strategy.

What crap! There is no World War III and there is no "Global War On Terror" - we even gave up on finding Bin Laden. What we are seeing are groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah becoming political forces. That is not a good thing but it's not the equivalent of an organized war against the United States. We need to recognize that extremist policy in the United States and the failure to negotiate an independent Palestian state has increased the influence of these groups with the populace. Warmongers such as Newt Gingrich just make matters worst.

-Robert Scardapane

In response to, "Lebanon has a Democratically led government and Hezbollah is a part if it. Don't let the Bushites tell you that there are a few 'extremists' who are opposing democracy, as Condi Rice has suggested today on the Sunday Talking Head Shows. This isn't a product of Democracy," David W. writes:

There really are "a few "extremists" who are opposing democracy". They all happen to be part of the Bush mis-administration.

These "faith based" flatscans have been drinking their "End Times" Koolaid to the point where they actually believe that bringing about a Final Conflict (Wherein the MAJORITY of the people on this planet will die horribly) is going to cause "God" to look favorably on them and lift them up into heaven so that they get to escape the (expletive deleted) storm they've brewed for the rest of us.

In the past, "End Times" idiots have sold all their property and gathered on mountain tops to witness the end of the world, and then had to come down the next day when finally dawned on them that "No. the world didn't end (today - ed.)" and they weren't getting a free ride out.

This time though, the ingredients are all there for a truly nasty turn of events. In the past it was just these deluded dimwits screrwing themselves and their families. But with the rise of the Religious Reich, (which coincided with the fall of IQs in every Red State in America) we have a scenario where self righteous (expletive deleted, again) have convinced themselves that working to provoke WW3 is going to have salutary effects for THEM.

In response to "On Framing Conservatism...", Michael Brandes writes:

Bush is THAT leader. Conservatives are hypocrites. They're the ones who are weak, and their so-called leader-George Dubya is nothing more than a joke who simply doesn't care about ordinary American citizens nor their constitutional rights. He cares only about himself and his ultra-rich conservative friends, like Ken Lay, may he suffer in death for all the pain he caused.

And in response to "...AND CONSERVATIVES" Michael Brandes adds:

I agree that conservatives always think that lowering taxes is good. In the paper the other day, Dumbya was praising his recent tax cut because our national deficit improved by the smallest of margins. Dumbya thinks we're headed in the right direction, but the year is only half over and with Dumbya as president, there is no way the deficit will be drastically reduced by the time his term ends. His tax-cuts that only benefit the very wealthy, "elite" people. The only way the deficit will be greatly reduced is when a new President, one who knows how to manage the economy and give targeted tax breaks to those who will spend thier money and add to the economy, is in office. We can't afford another ultra-conservative, pro-wealthy and anti-middle class (and poor) president like the one who now shames us, like Global Warming "Dumbya" Bush.

In response to, "I see another recession on the horizon. When it occurs, will the Rethuglicans blame it on Bill Clinton?" Rhian writes:

I think it's a good time to buy horses. They are cheap now, and make excellent buddies, as well as transportation, if one is not in too much rush. Cars will maybe be great weather proof places to put tack.

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-Noah Greenberg