Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Keep an Eye on this Story 

Brazilian air disaster, apparently completely unrelated to terrorism, but rather to a bad runaway and terrible weather -- a landing plane, an Airbus A320, crashes into a gas station and a building.

The thing to keep an eye on? What happens to the building? If it's still standing in the morning, then a lot of 9/11 is going to come into question. Why? I'm guessing that the building involved was probably apartments or a business, and probably nowhere near the hundred plus stories of the WTC. If it does not collapse after the combined impact of an airplane and an exploding gas station... well, you do the math.

While not a great event for the victims of the crash (my sympathy to them), what this little accident may reveal to the world about the duplicity of certain officials elsewhere may speak volumes and be priceless.

And it may help prevent the planned false flag bullshiat America is otherwise scheduled to undergo in late July and August -- or, if not preventing that, may foment a revolution in September.

Remain vigilant, always.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Quatorze Juillet Heureux 

Two hundred and eighteen years ago today, the People of Paris had had enough, and they stormed and liberated the Bastille Prison, freeing the seven inmates inside. The attack was largely symbolic, but with major import. The people in the prison were being held on dubious charges, signed by the King and with little basis in reality, but with no chance of appeal.

On this Anniversary of Bastille Day, let us remember the people held incommunicado in
Guantánamo. They are the modern day inmates of the Bastille and, while it's unlikely that we can get a boatload of Americans down to Cuba to free them, we can get an arseload of Americans to call up our Congress Critters and remind them to do what is right. Which is:
  1. End the war in Iraq Now. Bring our troops home. Now.
  2. Impeach the motherfuckers in power -- Cheney, Bush, and their entire cabinet.
  3. Prosecute and imprison as appropriate, pursuant to #2.
  4. Repeal the PATRIOT act, and restore the Constitution.
  5. Set up a guillotine in Washington, D.C. Not necessarily for use, but as a reminder of what can happen when the people in power become too far removed from what the people they lead want.
Two hundred and eighteen years ago, the People of France brought down a monarch who went too far. Two hundred and thirty one years after its founding, the People of America may... no, will... have to do the same.

Liberté. Egalité. Fraternité .

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Bend It Like Bullshit 

Another memo to the LA News Media: as if your attempt to flog the Anotonio Villaraigosa Affair story into the dirt without result wasn't proof enough that all of you are completely out of touch with most Angelenos, yesterday and today we were treated to an even bigger crapfest of non-news as the top story. Bonus points: you tried to work the Villaraigosa Affair story into this new coverage of a non-event, more on which below.

But, again, a gentle reminder to our local media: Americans don't give a flying fark about Soccer. Angelenos, and Americans in heavily Hispanic cities, give a slightly larger fark about Soccer, but generally only for Mexican and South American teams. You treated the arrival of David Beckham and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham as if it were the second coming of Jesus. In reality, it's more like the desperate move of two rich Brits who got tired of heavy taxes and wanted to take advantage of the really good exchange rates, and so moved to the land of second chances, in order to nurse the teat of publicity for just a little bit longer before both of their careers go pfffft. (And, honestly, Mrs. Beckham's career went pffffft a good decade ago, only revived by her marriage to a guy whose sole claim to fame is the ability to kick a ball around.)

Cream in the coffee for the news-wonks: they bent over backwards to note that the crowd booed the Mayor when he appeared, but then added the rather self-serving tag, "This wasn't because of recent events, but because he's a fan of a different team..." Failing to mention, of course, that the crowd couldn't give two warm shits about L'Affair Villaraigosa. Naturally.

And if you don't think this whole thing is one gigantic corporate cluster-fuck of cross promotion, then you aren't paying attention. Even as Beck and Posh are getting oral sex from the news media in lead stories, she is going to star in her own reality show all about... coming to America to get oral sex from the news media.

All the while, the funniest bits of the stories have to be when various spokesdrones for the LA Galaxy (the who?) mouth off about how "Soccer is going to be the next big thing, finally. Yeah. Next year. It's going to happen. We've been saying that for twenty years."

Well, you've been saying it for twenty, and you're going to say it for another forty or more. Soccer will never be a mainstream sport in America, for reasons that its fans will never comprehend, but which should be obvious even to those of us who think that professional sports should be permanently banned.

It's like this. The triumvirate of American Sports are Football, Basketball and Baseball. Why? It all has to do with scoring and violence. Football has moderate to middling scores, but big men in armor slamming into each other. Basketball is light on the violence -- usually -- but also has very, very high scoring games. Anything that regularly hits over a hundred points is going to be catnip to the double-double cheeseburger, more is more crowd. Now, baseball doesn't have a lot of violence or high scores -- but it was invented here, and so that will be its permanent raison d'etre as a very popular American sport.

Hockey is semi-popular because, while it has low scores, there's always the potential for violence. After all, hockey players have to be armed with helmets and sticks, just like gladiators on ice.

Soccer? Nah. Just a bunch of nelly men in tiny shorts running around a field and failing to score over the course of an hour. On top of all that, you can't use your hands in the game. Meaning that, well, shit -- a busload of Thalidomide babies could kick the crap out of the pros, and we know how much Americans don't really like the underdogs to really win, unless it's in the Special Olympics or something. Or as the subject of a Lifetime movie of the week.

Finally, soccer has been and always will be associated with Brits and Europeans -- and the only sport Britain has ever given to the world is Cricket -- which is something the world has most gladly given back with no regrets. Yeah... a country that could even screw up baseball is not a recommendation when it comes to sports.

Which brings us back to David Beckham. Welcome to America. Now leave. Otherwise -- nobody except the five people who are already Galaxy fans are going to go to the games to see you, and the only way you're going to hit the news after your arrival is when you're bailing your wife's drunk ass out of the Malibu Sheriff's station at four a.m. on a Saturday morning after they pull her over for a DUI on PCH. Either that, or when she gets into a nasty catfight with Paris Hilton at the SkyBar because both of them were trying to hit on (insert popular TV drama star here).

The kind of thing that makes our local news media have multiple orgasms -- but our local news media long ago lost touch with even the vaguest idea of the concept of what constitutes "news".

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Same BS, Different Day... 

I was going to say the same thing myself, but Michael Rivero at What Really Happened already said it better -- short version, our government has just shot itself in the ass with Michael Chertoff's "hunch" that there will be terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda, regrouped in Afghanistan, over this summer. Anyone with half a brain will realize in two seconds that Chertoff's statements should be the absolute death knell of this administration. That is -- anyone who can ignore the lockstep trumpeting of alleged "truth" now being trumpeted by the mainstream media.

But... there are only two possibilities with Chertoff's warning. Either a) it's true, came from legit sources, and is just what he says it is, or b) it's propagandistic bullshit.

As Rivero points out, our government loses either way.

Let's look at option A. If it's all true, and Al Qaeda has regrouped in Afghanistan and have managed to get over here, then a few things are true. First: Our country has been wasting its energy on the wrong war in Iraq. Our President, as Commander-in-Chief, is guilty of dereliction of duty, and should be court martialed, right after impeachment. Second: everything that the Office of Homeland Security has done to us in the name of protection is utter bullshit. The Patriot Act should be repealed immediately, the Office of Homeland Security should be shut down, and Chertoff should be fired, if not prosecuted. Third: Congress should immediately remove all of our troops from Iraq, send them to Afghanistan, and do what we should have solely concentrated on as of September 12, 2001 -- finding the "real" terrorists". (Although, honestly, hunting down the members of AIPAC in this country would have solved the problem a lot sooner.)

Option B, this is all just more bullshit smoke and mirrors? Well, if that's true, the People of America should ride into Washington, drag every single member of the Administration and Legislature out of office, and hang them from the nearest lamppost, then start over with a selection of leaders chosen by random lottery. Hey -- it works for the jury system, mostly. Why can't it work for the government?

Unfortunately, for a lot of reasons, it seems far more likely that Option B is the truth, and this is just more smoke being blown up our asses in a damn near transparent effort to make Iran the new Public Enemy Number One, and to make American Citizens ever more fearful of... everything.

That dog don't hunt. If our government knows enough to warn about possible terror over the summer, then they know enough to stop it. Otherwise, all the Constitutional Rape to which we've been subjected is complete crap. And, given that they're pointing fingers at some amorphous group in Afghanistan -- which has nothing to do with Muslim-Americans, British Doctors or nursing mothers with more than three ounces of liquid -- really doesn't have more than one sixtieth of a dram of credibility.

"You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie..."

Proposition number one: Every member of this Administration, from the President on down, and every member of Congress, is required to fly on commercial airlines from now through December 31, 2008. Every last one of them must pass through TSA checkpoints anonymously, and any of them who even tries to utter the phrase "Do you know who I am?" will immediately be banished to Sitka, Alaska for a year, without a cell phone or internet access. Second -- every time anyone in the government releases some vague threat alert, all members of Congress and the Administration will be immediately dispatched to the most likely targets. That is, "Chatter indicates dirty bomb in a major city?" Great -- it's commercial flights to New York, LA, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, etc. For all you all to sit it out downtown. Third -- when such "threats" are publicized, all military forces shall be sent to the country so-named, with none of them wasted screwing around in a country that has clearly had nothing to do with terrorism.

Or -- simpler option -- we impeach the clowns in power, repeal the laws they've passed in violation of the Constitution, and vote out any Congress Critter in power who does not adhere to the Will of the People.

Which, as of this writing, is pretty much all of them...

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mucho hacer sobre nada 

Maybe it's because Paris Hilton has fallen off their radar, but it's been trainwreck-interesting watching the local LA news media trying their damnedest to turn the non-story of a mayor's extra-marital affair into earth-shaking news. Try as they might, the tale just doesn't get traction, because the vast majority of Angelenos have heard the news, said, "Meh?" and moved on.

I'm referring, of course, to the shocking revelation that LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (who announced almost a month ago that he and his wife of twenty years were getting divorced) has been having an affair for the last year with hot, younger female Telemundo news reporter Mirthala Salinas. It's either amusing or pathetic, I'm not sure which yet, to watch various local news reporters, all of them white males, try to grill some political commentator in an effort to get them to call Mayor Villaraigosa a bad man, or to show some figures indicating that all of Los Angeles has turned their back on him in disgust.

No such luck. And I think the high point in the stupidity came when a local reporter for KCAL-9, who shall remain nameless (but is no doubt much younger and much balder than the mayor), got himself into a state of high dudgeon over the fact that Salinas covered local political news for Telemundo, implying a conflict of interest -- and then completely shot himself in the ass when he pointed out that "the affair has been going on for a year, but eleven months ago, she covered him on the news!" Yes -- right about the same time she went to her bosses and basically said, "I'm schtupping him, I can't cover him on the news anymore."

And, indeed, unlike a trio of local news hacks I could mention, Sra. Salinas did the right thing. As soon as it became clear that her relationship with the mayor was more than professional, she informed her bosses. They, in turn, removed her from coverage of any news having to do with him. Sure, there was that month of overlap, but, c'mon -- the first month of any relationship, but especially with somebody who's married to someone else, isn't grounds for making a major change in your life. It's when the second month begins and it's still going on that you have to start to decide, "Okay, can he keep his toothbrush here? Should I leave a work outfit at his place? Would it be better if I weren't the one informing a large chunk of the city about his activities, because I might have become a bit biased?"

Salinas did all the right things. And, okay, maybe the mayor was a little shady in banging around on his wife of two decades, but... power is attractive, people in power meet lots of other people, and men in their 50s are particularly susceptible to the "hot younger thing paying attention to me." Q.V. Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, etc., etc. And, say what you want, but... a) Mayor Villaraigosa fought to make his marriage work when it almost fell apart thirteen years ago, and b) He had the decency to not dump his wife while she was dying of cancer. And, as a further comparison to LA spousal politics, he most certainly did not try to cover up for his wife illegally driving a city-owned vehicle and then crashing it while her license was expired and she was uninsured.

The point is this: is Antonio Villaraigosa doing his job as mayor? So far, for the most part, yes. And, despite attempts by the above unnamed reporters to claim nothing but failure on his part, they're wrong. The only things they could bring up were that he has failed to take over the school board, and hasn't built the "City to the Sea" subway line yet. What they fail to mention is that, while he didn't take over the school board legislatively, he managed to do it electorally -- enough of the candidates he supported won the last election, including a woman who unseated an incumbent former teacher. As for the subway to the sea? Nobody in their right mind ever thought that project would instantly appear as soon as it was approved. What Villaraigosa has managed to do is eliminate the major stumbling block to the whole thing -- a US Congressman's objection to any construction in the Wilshire Corridor. That hurdle has suddenly been cleared. Given the track record of the MTA, it'll be fifteen years before trains are running from Wilshire/Western to Santa Monica -- but it looks like they will be eventually.

So, to recap... LA's Mayor announces his divorce, then reveals that he's been having an affair. In both cases, he's the guy who called the press conferences to make the announcements. In both cases, the people of LA have said, "Oh. Yeah, so... that's cool. Go on mayoring." That would have, should have been the end of the story, except for three pissant reporters who are, more likely than not, just jealous that they aren't holding high office and aren't nailing some Mexican hottie. And that's it. Jealousy, nothing more.

In fact, I only have one question as to how the whole divorce will effect us, and it's this: Mayor Villaraigosa's birth name was Antonio Villar; when he married Connie Raigosa in 1987, they followed a somewhat modified version of Mexican convention in combining their names as Villaraigosa. All I want to know is, will he change back and become Mayor Villar, or will he remain Mayor Villaraigosa?

In all honesty, I'm hoping it's the latter, because watching these gringo asshats who snipe at him totally muff it when they try to pronounce a pretty easy name is priceless. Although, if he really wanted to screw with them, he'd marry the reporter, then change his name to Villaragosalinas.

Humor aside, though -- Antonio Villaraigosa is quickly proving himself to be the kind of mayor we haven't seen in this city since Tom Bradley or Sam Yorty, and all the reporters who are more interested in what Antonito is up to can just go suck it. The people of LA get it -- Antonio is a LaGuardia class mayor. We decided back on June 8th at the announcement of the divorce that it was mostly a family matter that had nothing to do with government. We still think that.

Now, if only the morons at KCAL-9, Channel 5 and the local Fox news affiliate could get the same damn simple premise into their pointy little heads, and stop all of this much ado about nothing.

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Why Today Is a Holiday in America 

I wonder if the current powers that be in America would consider this document to be a terrorist manifesto... (Thanks to ushistory.org for the text).

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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