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Signs of the Times for Fri, 03 Feb 2006

Jan. 31, 2006 at 9:28AM
Legislators in at least five states are proposing bold anti-abortion measures as the Bush administration reshapes the U.S. Supreme Court, a report said.

With the goal of challenging the Roe vs. Wade ruling that ensured a woman's right to an abortion, lawmakers in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee propose banning all abortions except when the woman's life is in danger, reported.

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Jonathan Schell
When the New York Times revealed that George W. Bush had ordered the National Security Agency to wiretap the foreign calls of American citizens without seeking court permission, as is indisputably required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed by Congress in 1978, he faced a decision. Would he deny the practice, or would he admit it? He admitted it. But instead of expressing regret, he took full ownership of the deed, stating that his order had been entirely justified, that he had in fact renewed it thirty times, that he would continue to renew it and--going even more boldly on the offensive--that those who had made his law-breaking known had committed a "shameful act."

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Comment: We suppose this is what passes for "responsible journalism". The writer can't call Bush a "dictator", or the US a "dictortorship", he can only opine that "The Administration of George W. Bush is not a dictatorship, but it does manifest the characteristics of one in embryonic form."

But then Schell is likely to be among those who believe the cock'n bull story about 19 Arab terrorists and a man in the cave in Afghanistan as the explanation for 9/11. Does he think that the last two elections were stolen through fraudulent vote "counting"? If one's perspective is clouded on these events, then the conclusion that the Bush dictatorship is only "embryonic" might hold water...except...

There is indeed a cabal at work. It is not Bush alone. The cabal has been working in secret for years to take power. The forms of democracy still stand, but their representative content was emptied long ago. The dictatorship has been embryonic for a long time. It came out into the open on 9/11.

The complete collapse of the Democratic Party in the face of Bush's crimes speaks to the bankruptcy of US democracy. But for some people, the forms are more important than the actual content. Only when the face of tyranny appears openly and aggressively, will they recognise their foe. And, by then, it will be too late.

Harry Wallop
Monday, January 30
Harry Wallop, the Daily Telegraph's retail correspondent, is immersing himself in McCulture after being invited to spend a few days at the global headquarters of McDonald's in Illinois

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Comment: What is fascinating about this account of a visit to Hamburger University is the complete obliviousness of its participants to what a twisted and sick place it really is, the caloriless values it promotes, and the humiliation in having a diploma that says you are a Bachelor in Hamburgerology.

To what depths have people sunk if they can find meaning and accomplishment in making hamburgers out of wooden patties? And feel pride in being rewarded for passing the grade?

And notice how the world of Ronald has interpreted the notion of transparency: the Tayloresque chronometering of tasks is now public! Transparency doesn't have to do with the way decisions are made in the upper echelons, it is about putting the grunt on the front line into a position of open and public competition with his colleagues.

It is often heard abroad that the phrase "American culture" is an oxymoron. It is a long way from Moby Dick or William Faulkner to Ronald McDonald.

31/01/2006 - 12:37:15
A female ex-postal worker opened fire at a mail processing plant (California), killing six people before committing suicide, authorities said early today.

One other person was listed in critical condition, authorities said.

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March 17, 1996

Q: (T) OK, the question is, is the fellow that just shot three professors in San Diego, I think it was, the University, before they read his thesis, because he was afraid they would throw his thesis away, and make it look bad, and flunk him. Was he a Greenbaum?
A: Yes.
Q: (T) Why did they turn him 'on' at that point?
A: Not correct concept. What if: those programmed in the so called "Greenbaum" projects are preprogrammed to "go off" all at once, and some "malfunction," and go off early?
Q: (L) Oh!!! Can you tell us at approximately what time they're programmed to go off? Because it is a program...
A: Nope.
Q: (T) No, they can't. Free will!!! (L) OK, can you tell us how many of them there are?
A: No.
Q: (T) Do you know how many there are?
A: Yes.

31/01/2006 - 12:49:00
Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, has died, former mayor Andrew Young told NBC today. She was 78.

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Comment: You may remember that Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King were honored at the White House in 2002. You may remember that King's wife presented a portrait of her late husband to President Bush.

You may also remember Bush's opening remarks that included a "joke". You can read and listen to the transcript here.

This was a ceremony to honor Martin Luther King, a man who spent a good part of his life in the attempt to combat years of discrimination by the US government and targetted lynchings by so-called 'white supremist' groups of the black community. What might you think the opening line of Bush's speech should be at such an occasion?

Bush Portrait of King

Here's what Bush said after the portrait was unveiled:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you all very much for coming. Mrs. King, thanks for this beautiful portrait. I can't wait to hang it. (Laughter.)
Go to the above link and listen to Bush's remarks yourself to get an idea of the nature of this man. If you are not absolutely shocked and disgusted then you are missing the point. Bush made a joke about "hanging" the portrait of King that was a clear reference to hanging in terms of hanging a human being.

Given the occasion, to call this "joke" tasteless would be a massive understatement. Did Bush REALISE what he was saying?? Or is it simply more evidence that Bush is completely unable to empathise with another human being.


Kisses for Grandma Rosemarie

"A citizen in United States should never expect to gain justice through the judicial system. The system is so corrupted that in the rare case when justice prevails, it is not because of, but it is in spite of, the system.”
Rosemarie Jackowski

We are posting this call to action today because a kind and decent woman needs your help. Rosemarie Jackowski is a 68-year-old grandmother/Air Force Veteran/writer/anti-war activist and an advocacy journalist living in Vermont.

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6:27 pm PST January 30, 2006
CHINO, Calif. -- An investigation is under way after a military police officer was allegedly shot by deputies following a police pursuit in Chino.

According to deputies, a chase occured after a driver refused to pull over just before 10:30 Sunday night.

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Joanie Lum
CBS2 Chicago
Jan 30, 2006 5:59 pm US/Central
BELLWOOD, Ill. - A UPS driver was savagely beaten by middle school students while delivering packages in the western suburbs.

The attack happened in Bellwood along the 3200 block of St. Charles.

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By M. Junaid Alam, WireTap. Posted January 30, 2006.
The latest spying on UCLA's faculty by a conservative zealot resembles Germany's fascist anti-intellectual movement of the 1930s.

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Associated Press Writer
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- A guard who reported a security breach inside the nation's second-largest chemical weapons depot may have mistaken wildlife for human intruders, authorities said Thursday.

The commander of the Pine Bluff Arsenal said officials combed the area but found no footprints or other evidence of human intruders.

"There's no doubt in my mind that the officer saw something, but it wasn't human," Col. Brian S. Lindamood said. "At this time I have no idea what it could be."

Lindamood said the officer was patrolling inside a 500-acre secure section of the arsenal where chemical weapons, including nerve agents, are stored.

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Comment: There is something not quite right about this story. The guard who reported the intruders at America's second largest chemical weapons depot stated that he saw three individuals, at between 70 and 165 feet from him in a brightly lit area. Despite this, Colonel Lindamood dismissed the guard's report and claimed that he had seen animals. How likely is that somone would confuse three animals about 100 feet away in a brightly lit area with three human beings?

We smell a cover up. Are those Israeli spies up to their old tricks again? Are they planning to have "al-Qaeda" carry out at chemical weapon attack on the American heartland? Time will tell, but we'll be archiving this story for good measure.

Thanks to D.J. for spotting this one for us.

by Bernard Weiner
The Crisis Papers
31 Jan 06
The Democratic Party, with its current cast of characters in charge, has refused time after time to stand up and fight for its underlying principles. Its recent incoherent or wimpy positions on the Iraq War, electoral fraud and the Alito nomination make clear that it's stuck in a self-destructive rut and isn't terribly eager (or can't figure out how) to climb out of it.

As I see it, we have two options in dealing with this deficient, bumbling, weak-kneed crew. 1) We get rid of them, work to take over the party from the grassroots up (similar to what the Republicans did after the Goldwater debacle of '64), and eventually bring some coherence and dynamic initiatives back into the party. Or, 2) We give up on the Democrats as an embarrassing joke, and begin thinking seriously about joining with others, similarly disenchanted with the political choices offerred, and found a viable third party.

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Associated Press
Tue Jan 31, 12:41 AM ET
WHEELING, Ill. - A twin-engine airplane crashed Monday near the Palwaukee Municipal Airport, killing all four people aboard, authorities said.

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