Category Archives: Racism

NSA: “EVERYONE !!”

Seems the NSA can, without a warrant, snoop on anyone within three degrees of someone that they may have some suspicion about.

…the rather startling news that came out of yesterday’s House Judiciary Committee on the NSA spying programs: NSA Director John Inglis revealed that the FISA Court permits the government to do three jumps from an initial number tied to a phone number reasonably believed to be tied to terrorism (or relevant to Iran, though that search criteria didn’t get mentioned at all in the parts of the hearing I watched).

Three degrees of separation!

Remember, some years ago, every single person in the US could be connected via six degrees — the old Kevin Bacon game. There’s some evidence that that number has become smaller — perhaps as small as 3 (I’ve seen more scientific numbers that say it is 4.5 or thereabouts).

In any case, if the US is using the excuse of terror to get three jumps deep into US person associations, then this program is even more intrusive then they’ve let on.

I imagine that would include everyone in our government, the Israeli government, the Palestinian authority, every head of state, every law enforcement officer, everyone who has ever been abroad, everyone who has ever interviewed a foreign person, everyone who knows anyone who knows anyone in:

Greenpeace,

the Quakers,

any demonstration of any kind,

anyone who has written a letter to an editor,

any person of color,

anyone who signed a petition, and

so on.

It’s basically EVERYONE. and what will they do with it? Wait til Karl Rove or one of the Cheneys gets back in power and you’ll see in short order. Or just some NSA guy who’s curious about who his ex girlfriend in dating. Or some NSA girl with a grudge against oh, well, ANYONE!

We have a constitution; that used to mean something.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

When basically the entire population is legally suspect, doesn’t that mean we’re doing something wrong?

 

video: Gary Oldman, in “The Professional.”

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Juan Cole on Steven King and Barack Obama

One of Cole’s best ever.

Congressman Steven King of Iowa, who has decided to further disgrace Congress by seeking a fifth term there, delivered himself of the sort of bigotted and ignorant comments about Barack Obama that we have come to expect from the rightwing Republicans who have made such a mess of our economy and of the world…..

Judge for yourself on what grounds Vural Cengiz, head of the Turkish-American Businessmen’s Union thinks Obama would be “good for Turkey” (a NATO ally of the United States and part of King’s ‘world of Islam.’):

“Barack Obama can be the leader that the world is looking for. He can put a new list of criteria to judge what is good and bad for American people. He can stop the hate wars between Muslims and Christians by promoting peace and helping the communities in need. He can be the one to stop dropping the bombs and start sending the doctors, food and clothing as well as capital to create more jobs, to build more hospitals and schools all over the world. . .

Turks do not have high hopes about the future as long as American politics in Iraq continue as usual. Help in the war against the terrorist PKK (the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party) from United States in the last two months gave some hope to many Turks about the United States. However, Turks will not feel friendly to the US as long as they don’t feel that America’s Iraq politics is completely changed. And it looks like only Obama can change it. . .

Barack Obama is an African-American. He knows suffering, hunger and danger much better than Senator Clinton. He is not a rich man. He understands the issues of poor and middle-class families. He also understands poor and middle-class nations. Turkey stands right there. He is good for Turks, as well as the rest of the world…”

So from Cengiz’s point of view, it is Bush who is promoting terrorism (because his Iraqi-Kurdish allies coddle the Kurdish Workers Party terrorist group, which has been sneaking over to Turkey from Iraq and killing Turks), and it is Obama who might stop the bombings.

King again:

‘ He continued: “There are implications that have to do with who he is and the position that he’s taken. If he were strong on national defense and said ‘I’m going to go over there and we’re going to fight and we’re going to win, we’ll come home with a victory,’ that’s different. But that’s not what he said. They will be dancing in the streets if he’s elected president. That has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this Global War on Terror.” ‘

Oh, it seems pretty obvious that the “global war on terror” could be much more easily won if we stop being mired in a quagmire in Iraq, stop operating a machine for producing terrorists, stop spending trillions on Bush’s buddies in the military-industrial complex, and instead do some good police work in finishing off al-Qaeda.

You see, when King gets away from name-calling, racism, and guilt by association and actually tries to make a substantive point, the bankruptcy of his arguments becomes amply apparent.

People like King have run this country since 1994. I say they are dinosaurs. I say that November 2008 will be to them as the Chicxulub meteor was to the original dinosaurs. I say that the dark age of bigotry and fear-mongering and tyranny will pass.

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How Bush, Rice and Abrams started the war in Gaza

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According to Dahlan, it was Bush who had pushed legislative elections in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, despite warnings that Fatah was not ready. After Hamas—whose 1988 charter committed it to the goal of driving Israel into the sea—won control of the parliament, Bush made another, deadlier miscalculation.

Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war. The plan was for forces led by Dahlan, and armed with new weapons supplied at America’s behest, to give Fatah the muscle it needed to remove the democratically elected Hamas-led government from power. (The State Department declined to comment.)

But the secret plan backfired, resulting in a further setback for American foreign policy under Bush. Instead of driving its enemies out of power, the U.S.-backed Fatah fighters inadvertently provoked Hamas to seize total control of Gaza.

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John McCain, warmonger, loves him some John Hagee, bigoted warmonger and Holocaust revisionist

Doddering old John McCain loves him some war, and he loves him some warmongering bigot John Hagee, fundamentalist Teevee preacher/profiteer. Hagee is an “end of days” kind of scare guy, who says that the Jews were to blame for the Holocaust, and that God wants war with Iran, in order to trigger the final wipe-out of the Jews.

He fools people because he is seemingly “pro-Israel,” but that is just part of the “prophesy.” This guy is way crazier than even Dick Cheney and nutso John Bolton.

….it is Hagee who is at the bleeding edge of a Christian Zionist movement seeking to accelerate the Second Coming of Christ and the final battle in Israel. Since the 1990’s, Hagee and his group CUFI (Christians United for Israel) has tried without success to breed the “red heifer,” the perfect calf that will signal the Second Coming.” As Sarah Posner wrote in the American Prospect, “for Hagee’s new project – agitating for war with Iran – his influence over Washington is less important than his influence over his audience.” His book Jerusalem Countdown sold over 500,000 copies.

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McCain courted Hagee and received and welcomed his endorsement.

Here is a vid of Hagee spouting his hate nonsense about Catholics. There is no worse bigot in the United States than his man.

conservative (and Catholic) law professor Stephen Bainbridge argues that the protests over McCain/Hagee don’t go far enough, and concludes: “this is even worse than McCain’s about face on Bob Jones University. It’s extremely disappointing.”

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Don’t let the media fool you with their mindless “straight talk” nonsense: McCain is a pandering old creep with no principles and not much of a brain left.

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As sick as it gets: Cheney gets standing ovation for torture, at CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference; gathering place for the near-Fascist right; Dick Cheney is of course their leader.

From Sadly, No!, a description of these maniacs. I’m sorry, but I don’t recognize conservatism in this stuff. It’s just sickness.

Weirdly enough – or maybe not so much – his defense of torture gets a standing ovation, but his praising of our fighting men in uniform does not.

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The United Arab Republics: Bush’s idea of paradise

If you want to know what kind of “democracy” George Bush has been trying to spread, read smintheus at dkos.

…bizarrely, Bush described the Emirates – an oligarchy where government officials are appointed rather than elected – as a model society for others to emulate ….

Well, Bush’s flattering portrait does apply at least to a small minority of the Emirates’ population. However some 80% of residents, immigrants who make up nearly the entire workforce in the U.A.E., have few rights, no chance to become citizens, and virtually no opportunity for improving their lot.

Quite the opposite, immigrant construction workers (who built the opulent hotel Bush spoke in) are routinely cheated out of wages, restricted in their movement, and forced to toil in dangerous conditions. Death and injury are common. Domestic workers are treated worse, if anything. The abuse is so pronounced that it sparked rioting in 2006. Meanwhile those who try to defend human rights in the country are harassed by the government.

On top of that, many immigrants to the U.A.E. are essentially slaves, as the U.S. State Dept. reported last June….

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Typical Bush law-breaking

TPM

Politicization to a degree forbidden by the law. This is lawbreaking. And of course, the law enforcement apparatus is captive and impotent, according to Bush’s “unitary executive” bullshit. So there is no enforcement against the king; he is above the law.

Same kind of thing is going on at the Federal Elections Commission, Consumer Safety, on and on…

The packing scheme relies on Republican commissioners changing their party affiliation to “Independent” after they’ve been appointed, thus creating room for more Republicans to be appointed (there can be no more than four commissioners at any one time from a single party).

The Republicans who’ve switched their affiliation, of course, have denied changing them just to create more room for other conservatives. Abigail Thernstrom was no different, telling the Boston Globe‘s Charlie Savage that she’d just decided that she’d be “most comfortable” as an independent.

But her comfortability level appears to have abruptly changed. In December, the president reappointed her to the commission, but this time as a Republican, after one of the four Republican nominees left. The move also allowed her to become the commission’s vice chairman.

So to retrace her steps: she was first nominated as a Republican, then registered as an independent, then was re-nominated as an Republican. With that move, the commission’s conservative majority drops to five to two — it’s not clear yet who the eighth nominee will be, or what party he or she will represent. But not to worry: the committee can move forward on business with a simply majority, so the commission’s direction shouldn’t change that much.

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