January 7, 2010 archive

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 In blow to Obama, top Senate ally announces retirement

by Olivier Knox, AFP

Wed Jan 6, 4:16 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies were off to a rocky election-year start Wednesday, with high-profile retirements endangering their fragile Senate majority — and his agenda.

Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, chairman of the powerful Senate Banking Committee, announced he would not seek re-election in November, depriving Obama of a steadfast, powerful ally and 35-year veteran of Washington.

“This is my moment to step aside,” Dodd told reporters outside his Connecticut home, acknowledging a series of troubles had left him in “the toughest political shape of my career.”

Yawn.  So two days ago.  But it is my home state so I hope you’ll indulge me.

And if not, fuck you anyway.

Remember “Swine Flu”? Looks like it was a scam indeed

I guess now that it’s the dead of winter, the time when people can really get sick, the “Swine Flu” panic is a thing of the past.

We have many more things to panic about now, right?   I mean, we’ve got the official CNN 24/7 “terrorgasm”, we’ve got coffers to bill at Big Corporations who can Supply Things To Us That Will Keep Us Safe.

And considering that there was a case of a suicide bomber somewhere (Afghanistan?) hiding the bomb up his rectum, Colbert’s suggestion that all Muslim men have a colonoscopy before boarding an aircraft doesn’t seem like something that would be far-fetched in today’s world.

But that’s not what this is about.  This is about — gosh, I almost forgot it myself, how distracting today’s panics are! — “Swine Flu”, you know that thing that was supposed to kill all of us, that thing we were all geared up to be SCARED SCARED SCARED about — and more importantly that thing that was designed to open all our wallets.

You’ll never see this on our 24-hour news terror programs, but for some reason the European Parliament has decided to investigate this scam:


The Council of Europe member states will launch an inquiry in January 2010 on the influence of the pharmaceutical companies on the global swine flu campaign, focusing especially on extent of the pharma’s industry’s influence on WHO. The Health Committee of the EU Parliament has unanimously passed a resolution calling for the inquiry. The step is a long-overdue move to public transparency of a “Golden Triangle” of drug corruption between WHO, the pharma industry and academic scientists that has permanently damaged the lives of millions and even caused death.

The parliament motion was introduced by Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, former SPD Member of the German Bundestag and now chairman of the Health Committee of PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council  of Europe). Wodarg is a medical doctor and epidemiologist, a specialist in lung disease and environmental medicine, who considers the current “pandemic” Swine Flu campaign of the WHO to be “one of the greatest medicine scandals of the Century.”[1]

The text of the resolution just passed by a sufficient number in the Council of Europe Parliament says among other things, “In order to promote their patented drugs and vaccines against flu, pharmaceutical companies influenced scientists and official agencies, responsible for public health standards to alarm governments worldwide and make them squander tight health resources for inefficient vaccine strategies and needlessly expose millions of healthy people to the risk of an unknown amount of side-effects of insufficiently tested vaccines. The “bird-flu”-campaign (2005/06) combined with the “swine-flu”-campaign seem to have caused a great deal of damage not only to some vaccinated patients and to public health-budgets, but to the credibility and accountability of important international health-agencies.”[2]

The Parliamentary inquiry will look into the issue of ā€˛falsified pandemic” that was declared by WHO in June 2009 on the advice of its group of academic experts, SAGE, many of whose members have been documented to have intense financial ties to the same pharmaceutical giants such as GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Novartis, who benefit from the production of drugs and untested H1N1 vaccines. They will investigate the influence of the pharma industry in creation of a worldwide campaign against the so-called H5N1 “Avian Flu”  and H1N1 Swine Flu. The inquiry will be given “urgent” priority in the general assembly of the parliament.

In his official statement to the Committee, Wodarg criticized the influence of the pharma industry on scientists and officials of WHO, stating that it has led to the situation where “unnecessarily millions of healthy people are exposed to the risk of poorly tested vaccines,” and that, for a flu strain that is “vastly less harmful” than all previous flu epidemics.

There you have it, in plain English.    

What everybody knew, who was paying attention.  Of course NOW they decide to do this, NOW, after the pharmaceutical companies have sold all the vaccines they could, I mean, if you haven’t gotten a vaccine by now, you’re probably not gonna get one, right?

This reeks of the “I am shocked, shocked, that gambling is going on here” line from Casablanca (and forgive me if i’m not quoting it correctly).

I mean, the EU sure wouldn’t want to actually infringe on a corporation’s god-given natural rights to scam the public into making money?    But to keep a little legitimacy in the public eye, they’ll sure pretend to investigate it afterwards, probably to slap a few fines on the perps so they can share the wealth, you know?

I was saying it back when they fear was being ramped up to fever pitch (excuse the pun) over this bogus flu.   That the WHO must have been corrupted.   Because it was, well, just obvious as fuck (pardon the language)..  

The world is completely corrupt.  You can’t believe anything any more.

But the public keeps getting punked.    It seems every year the public is ever-more-easy to punk.

Why is that?

The Coalition of The Comfortable

You can’t blame people for wanting to be comfortable.

But you can question their comfortable resistance to change when the net result is that it continues or increases a lack of comfort for those less fortunate…and privileged…. than themselves.

The hallmark of the Right is an almost complete lack of empathy for anyone, the hallmark of the Left is empathy for absolute empathy for all beings…even snail darters and spotted owls.

The Center is of course, halfway between those two poles.

They feel empathy, they want to to help, but they are so risk averse, so afraid of losing their comfort, and thus are ….uncomfortable…. when any major change to The System that has provided their comfort is challenged that they are willing to allow others to suffer if it might cause them discomfort.

It is FAR too easy for them, for you, ensconced in their comfort, to ignore starving children, ignore the fact that their soldiers are killing innocents in the name of their comfort and safety, ignore even their neighbors being thrown out of their homes and losing their jobs. In fact the latter only makes them more ‘reactionary’ in their way, Instead of becoming Loud and active to make things better, they tend to pull their heads in in hopes that the misfortune of others will pass them by if they can go unnoticed by the realities affecting others.

Yes, you care. But do you care enough to take even the slightest risk to your comfort? Or will you actively resist change if there is even a small chance that it will make you….uncomfortable?

The Left is, has, and will be always fighting to change The System. Get used to it. And we will make you uncomfortable in the process, because it is that System that has made you comfortable.

We KNOW you don’t want anyone else to ‘rock the boat’ either, as the water that might come in could possibly get you wet and….make you uncomfortable.

Even if it means that others have to be uncomfortable to preserve your comfort.

This drives the empathetic Left nuts.

If you want to be comfortable, fine. That is perfectly understandable.

What is not understandable…to us…is that you wish to prevent us from even trying to help others. Even though you do not realize that that is what you are doing. You don’t understand how your resistance to change, resistance to activism, resistance to anything or anyone Loud…..prevents us from helping others.

BBC reading Docudharma? UPDATED

Back on October 2nd, I wrote a piece here titled “Lockerbie Bomber” case getting fishier and fishier”.

And not long prior to that I wrote a piece titled “Angry about the “Lockerbie bomber” getting released?”.

In both these essays were quite a few links to other information regarding the wholly bogus nature of the “official” Lockerbie story.

Well, 20 years after the fact, and many years after all of this information was publicly known, the BBC decides to finally report the following:

BBC probe casts doubt on Lockerbie evidence

LONDON – A BBC investigation has cast doubt on key evidence in the case against the Libyan convicted of blowing up a US jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, the broadcaster said Wednesday.

A tiny fragment of the timer allegedly used to blow up Pan Am flight 103 — crucial in linking Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi to the bomb — was not properly tested and was also unlikely to have survived the explosion, it said.

Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for the attack which left 270 people dead, but was controversially released from his Scottish prison in August 2009 because he was suffering from terminal cancer and only had months to live.

Investigators believe the plane bomb was contained in a Toshiba radio cassette player inside a brown suitcase with various items of clothing, and was triggered by a digital timer that was later linked to Libya.

But according to the BBC’s Newsnight programme, the fragment of the timer — found embedded in a charred piece of clothing three weeks after the bombing — was never tested to confirm if it had actually been in a blast.

Even now, they pull back, far back, from the truth of this story.  It’s not just that this was “never tested”.  

This key piece of evidence was reportedly planted by the CIA.  

A fragment of circuit board alleged to have been part of the bomb’s timing mechanism is the sole item of physical evidence linking the two Libyans to the December 1988 bombing. But Tam Dalyell, Labour MP for Linlithgow, declared: “I have come to suspect that the timing device in question was not that of Pan Am 103 but a different timing device that the CIA had picked up from the Libyans … I have been driven to the conclusion that the device was a CIA plant.”

Mr Dalyell, a long-standing critic of US and British government insistence that Libya was behind the attack, said an analysis of the fragment had shown it had been exposed to a temperature of 4,000deg C. But a Swiss police specialist had cast doubt on this, saying the explosion would have lasted only a fraction of a second in outside air temperatures of about minus 40C.

Accusing the Crown Office, the Scottish prosecuting authority, of failing to follow up the right leads, Mr Dalyell said – to strident denials from Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, the Scottish Office minister – that it had allowed itself for six years “to be suborned by political pressure into failing to carry out its duty”.

He said this was a “wicked” dereliction of duty that brought shame on Britain.

That’s from 1995.   Thanks, BBC, for being on the ball here!

There’s also this:

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter in the tragedy, describes the ruling of Megrahi as the most disgraceful miscarriages of justice in history, blaming both the Scottish legal system and US intelligence.

“The Americans played their role in the investigation and influenced the prosecution,” Swire told the Scotsman Newspaper.

Top level UK diplomats tend to agree with him, such Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya.

“No court is likely get to the truth, now that various intelligence agencies have had the opportunity to corrupt the evidence,” Miles told the BBC.

The spectacular decision of the SCCRC is certain to give a second life to the dozen of alternative theories of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Nearly two decades later, the case is back to square one.

Back to square one

Let us give Lord Sutherland, Lord Coulsfield and Lord Maclean some credit. After hearing 230 witnesses and studying 621 exhibits during 84 days of evidence, spread over eight months, the three judges of the Lockerbie trial almost got correctly the date of the worst act of terror in the UK.

In the first line of the first paragraph of the most expensive verdict in history they wrote: “At 1903 hours on 22 December 1988 Pan Am flight 103 fell out of the sky.” As a matter of fact, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded on December 21st 1988.

Michael Scharf is an international law expert at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Scharf joined the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence in April 1989. He was also responsible for drawing up the UN Security Council resolutions that imposed sanctions on Libya in 1992.

“It was a trial where everybody agreed ahead of time that they were just going to focus on these two guys, and they were the fall guys,” Sharf wrote.

“The CIA and the FBI kept the State Department in the dark. It worked for them for us to be fully committed to the theory that Libya was responsible. I helped the counter-terrorism bureau draft documents that described why we thought Libya was responsible, but these were not based on seeing a lot of evidence, but rather on representations from the CIA and FBI and the Department of Justice about what the case would prove and did prove.”




Off the Wall 010710

Series 2010 …

May 13: “This Could Ruin Our Summer”

May 6: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

April 29: The Island Who Decides

April 22 (Earth Day): Mother Honor

April 14: Meta Nina

OFF THE WALL: Im willing to make a commitment to a weekly Essay every Thursday, however I can’t promise I’ll stay “on topic”, so it’ll be open-ended. I have a definite tendency to wander off and go on tangents (in case you haven’t noticed!). Sometimes, my thinking, and subsequent remarks, leapfrog and may seem like they are just Off The Wall. I’ll try to leave a trail in here. If I can stay on track for a while, my hope is to broaden, enlighten, and embrace my own, and yours, world view through review of world cultures and crises. (and maybe Ill learn to text wrap too. lol)

So. Here we go. heh.


My spark this week was from a great phone conversation with Diane G and we somehow got onto a topic of diversity, multi-cultural, etc. I forget how we even got started on that. But it made me realize that my life experiences have been anything but homogenious or culturally boring.

This subject, world cultures, is something that you could write about every week for a year and still not cover it. It’s …. complicated.  Even just with a normal-ish approach. However, you will not get a normal-ish approach to it from me!

For some inexplicable reason, I’ve always had a fascination with world cultures and variations of the human theme. It hits me from several angles. It’s fascinating, really. Then it morphs and extends into areas of human rights & justice, then global stuff, then ya know enlightenment and One Love and all that! (lol Pinky & the Brain: “And Tomorrow, Conquer the Worrrrrld!”) So, I’ll just see how this takes shape.

Aside from my B.A. in Cultural Anthropology, I mostly tap in to my personal experiences when I get into this arena. The degree thing, well, I’m not much of an academic and my poor Advisor had to constantly nudge me to take more on Theory. Poor guy.

I grew up in the 60’s & 70’s in neo-Miami, alongside a sizeable population* of Cuban refugees. (*approx 400,000 from 1960-1974) Strange city to grow up in. In some ways, a suburb of New York, but truly quite unique. Tourist town.  From there, a whole life’s worth of experiences. limited geographically but broad in other ways. Most notably, a year or so working in a refugee services agency (RSA) in 1992, grant-funded, unbelieveably challenging and an incredibly enriching time for me. Humbling. Profoundly humbling.

Most definitely not the first, but certainly the most profound “cross-cultural” experience was my interactions and friendships with a particular few Cambodian-Americans back in ’92. They stole won my heart. In my recent google-hunt, I came across this post which makes a statement that I’ve felt … in my bones …  for some years, but was never able to articulate as well as this woman does here. She cuts to the quick. This goes to the core of my activism.

An Apology from an Unapologetic Sports Fan

I rarely write about sports because to me they are a fun distraction from more pressing matters, one ultimately of far less importance to the grand scheme of things.  To be sure, I’ve always been aware of the base inequalities lurking underneath the surface, whether it be the pro players who make obscene amounts of money to play a game or the college kids who are treated as prized endowment cash cows for their individual universities, colleges, or conferences.  Though I watch the games, once they have drawn to a conclusion, I turn off my television or internet feed and go on about the rest of my life.  What has always troubled me the most is the extent to which some will pursue the minutia and exacting analysis of fandom, which if applied with even half the effort and half the obsession to a cause that would make strides to say, educate the illiterate or aim to reform a societal malady of choice, would produce impressive results.

This is a journey back through fear, guilt, anxiety

Stories that rail at members of the Obama administration for refusing to go along with the script of the latest episode of “Security Theater” lend credence to the not-so-hidden false flag agenda behind the timing of the Mighty Underwear Warrior’s performance art.

Obama’s noisome and insane predecessor was praised by these same morons for exhorting us to “go shopping” after 9/11 and for staying in a classroom reading “The Pet Goat” to them while the attacks were going on; indeed, his own Secretary of State brought shallow governmental insincerity to new lows by refusing to let Hurricane Katrina get in the way of her 5th Avenue search for designer shoes.

Given the difference in death tolls between the combined events of Katrina and 9/11 and those resulting from Deadly Captain Underpants, these paid propagandist shills who make a pretense of calling themselves journalists really should STFU.

dday, digby, and jane


There’s a lot of talk from defenders of the President about how every campaign breaks a promise or two when they get in office, and nobody voted for Barack Obama because he was going to televise health care negotiations on C-SPAN. But if there’s anything Obama ran as, it was as a reformer. He ran explicitly to “change the game” and not “play it better.” Yet everything in this health care deal represents a playing of the game better than past efforts, basically by buying off stakeholders and creating compromises favorable to their bottom lines. Every single thing.

If you want to understand why progressives who have been following the ins and outs of this debate are depressed about the health care bill and about the Obama Presidency in general, watch that ad again. That was the campaign. “I may not know enough about the ways of Washington, but I know that the ways of Washington must change.” He sold himself as an open government, reform-oriented candidate untainted by lobbyist money or influence. He continues to sell himself that way, actually. And the disconnect, as many have called it, is simply staggering.

Here’s what Digby had to say:

Aside from the policy implications, which we already had to swallow, the political problem the Democrats have bought for themselves with this are huge. It would be different if Obama hadn’t explicitly run on a clean government platform and if the Republicans weren’t blatantly hypocritical opportunists. But he did and they are and this is powerful mojo that plays into the hands of the tea partiers and Republicans.

I can’t get over the administration’s sheer political malpractice in handling this populist mood in the country. I don’t know if they all convinced themselves that they were political magicians and therefore the rules don’t apply to them or what, but Democrats should have known that after having turned the phrase “culture of corruption” into their mantra, they would be particularly vulnerable to appearances of impropriety (not to mention actual impropriety.) Bad, bad move.


(E)very single member of the pro-choice caucus in the House, in addition to all of those who signed Diana DeGette’s letter pledging they would never do so, are all planning to line up behind Rosa DeLauro and say “no big” about sending women’s reproductive rights into the shitter so Joe Lieberman can pass Obama’s Aetna/PhRMA bailout. Because lord knows, those Blue Dogs are gonna need to be able to make the argument to their constituents in Republican-leaning districts that they got something out of this.

LGTB and abortion rights are two of the biggest cash cows of the Democratic Party, and social issues in general tend to attract a bunch of cheap hustlers who are totally willing to demagogue highly emotional issues for fun and profit on both sides of the aisle. Abortion rights are well on their way to becoming the new “hand gun control,” because it should be apparent from all those applauding this health care bill as “progressive” or “something to build on” that nobody is giving choice a second thought any more.

I don’t think Ellen Malcolm is one of those people. Despite mistakes Emily’s List has made in the past, I think she truly was committed to abortion rights. It’s sad to see her walking away from the rubble before the Democratic Party presses the detonator, but totally understandable.

The Passion for CT and Russia Today

Jessie Ventura is now doing a series on CT subjects on TruTV.  Some in the CT community desperate to get the word out are happy yet upset about the dramatic feel of the show.  The beef is that newcomers to CT theories will just dismiss something which has a ghostbusters aura to it.  My mind was only opened up enough via a full year of expat assignment.  Most are just sucked back into “reality” via the media matrix programming.

Docudharma Times Thursday January 7

Thursday’s Headlines:

Suicide attack on CIA agents ‘was planned by bin Laden inner circle’

Life after Guantanamo? More detainees go back to jihad

Despite Risks, Internet Creeps Onto Car Dashboards

After attempted airline bombing, effectiveness of intelligence reforms questioned

Nepal frees former child soldiers from camp

Tamils throw weight behind general who crushed them

US forges alliance with Saddam Hussein officers to fight al-Qaeda

Jordanian double agent: Wife says he saw US as adversary

Iceland on thin ice after compensation veto

Britain’s Labor Party shaken by challenge to Gordon Brown

Spectre of war threatens human disaster in Sudan, aid groups warn

Independent Appeal: Rescuing Zimbabwe’s lost generation

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Peering Inside

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Another graphic inside…

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