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Fri, 06 Dec 2019
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Reining In The Imperial Presidency: The Conyers Report and What YOU Can Do With It!

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© conyers.house.gov
If you are looking for some good bedtime reading full of juicy tales of crime and corruption, cliff-hanging episodes, fiendish villains, damsels in distress, besieged heroes, complex threads of action and more, you don't have to look any farther than the recently published Conyers Report: Reining In the Imperial Presidency - Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush. It took me a few days (what with doing other things) to get through its over 400 pages (including appendices, references and notes), and I can tell you that it is some seriously page-turning stuff. This is especially interesting considering that it could have been a very dry document, being put together by the House Committee on the Judiciary.

But it isn't dry. Just reciting the plain facts (with notes and references) of the presidency of George W. Bush lays bare the pathology of American politics in a way that no amount of dramatic writing could improve upon. I highly recommend reading it in full!

Actually, I was going to try to condense it for the site here but there was just SO much great, turgid prose that could NOT be left out that, by the time I was done "condensing," I still had over 200 pages of the main text! I kid you not, you will NOT believe some of the stuff that is in this document!

Of course, it's not like we didn't know this stuff already - it's sure been gone over thoroughly on the alternative press (and somewhat, in the mainstream press) for the past 8 years - but the fact that it now exists as an official document produced by the U.S. House of Representatives turns all that "alternative news" into a different kind of data. It's official now. I mean, really REAL.

Reading this report does give one a bit of hope that there ARE individuals in the murky halls of government who can actually see what is going on, have normal human reactions to it (like being appalled, disgusted, shocked, etc) and declare that such behavior is absolutely unacceptable in any way, shape, form or fashion. The problem is, as I mused while reading it, exactly what effect can it possibly have in a conclave of pathological types where the inmates have taken over the asylum? Probably not much.

Magnify

Now David Kelly's former Iraq aide joins call for inquiry into his 'suicide'

A close confidante of Government scientist Dr David Kelly has demanded a new investigation into his death.

Mai Pederson, a US Air Force linguist who served in Iraq with Dr Kelly's weapons inspection team, has called on Attorney General Baroness Scotland to carry out a 'formal, independent and complete review' into the 'suspicious circumstances' of his death.

Ms Pederson's intervention comes a week after The Mail on Sunday disclosed that a team of doctors are mounting a legal challenge to the Hutton Inquiry's conclusion that he committed suicide.

Light Saber

Gaddafi defends Iran

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said yesterday that Iran should be left to pursue a peaceful nuclear energy programme, and that his own nation was close to making an atomic weapon before it voluntarily shut down its secret project in 2003.

Gaddafi's comments were made in an address at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt. Libya and Iran are members of the 118- nation organisation.

He said the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, should judge whether Iran is trying to acquire nuclear weapons , as the US, other Western countries and Israel claim. Iran denies the charges and insists its nuclear programme is for power generation.

Eye 2

A Psychopath in Action: The Multiple Identities -- and Crimes -- of Jeffrey Marsalis

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Psychopath Jeffrey Marsalis
"I have to say that I am highly driven, and I am looking for that special someone that has the same qualities. ... I am also looking for a woman to be a leader and take the initiative and make things happen for herself, and not blaming others for incidentals that might happen along the way during the pathway of life. ... If you want to be my copilot on the magic carpet ride it's carry on only, that means no stop signs, no stop lights, and throttle up." -- from Jeffrey Marsalis' Match.com profile
He called himself "Dr. Jeff." His profile on Match.com said he was a trauma surgeon. In one online photograph, he wore hospital scrubs, with a stethoscope. In another, he wore Navy whites and held a sword. There was one of him in an astronaut's suit. One sitting in a cockpit.

MIB

Microbiologists With Link to Race-Based Weapon Turning Up Dead

dead microbiologists
Dr. David Kelly -- the biological warfare weapons specialist at the heart of the continuing political crisis for the British government - had links to three other top microbiologists whose deaths have left unanswered questions.

The 59-year-old British scientist was involved with ultra secret work at Israel's Institute for Biological Re search. Israeli sources claim Kelly met institute scientists several times in London in the past two years.

Israel has not signed the Biological Weapons and Toxins Convention, an international treaty ratified by more than 140 countries. It forbids the development, possession and use of offensive biological and chemical weapons.

Radar

13 doctors demand inquest into Dr David Kelly's death

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Not forgotten: The sign marking Dr Kelly's grave in an Oxfordshire churchyward
The death of Government scientist David Kelly returned to haunt Labour today as a group of doctors announced that they were mounting a legal challenge to overturn the finding of suicide.

Dr Kelly's body was found six years ago this week in woods close to his Oxfordshire home, shortly after he was exposed as the source of a BBC news report questioning the grounds for war in Iraq.

Unusually, no coroner's inquest was held into his death. The only official verdict has come from the Hutton Inquiry, commissioned by Tony Blair, which concluded that Dr Kelly, 59, died from loss of blood after cutting his wrist with a blunt gardening knife.

Magnify

Connecting the Dots: Fireballs, mass vaccinations and CIA-inspired revolutions

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© Unknown
As the trumped up Swine Flu Threat™ is spun into the sinister scenario of mass compulsory vaccinations and the hidden hand of western intelligence agencies becomes increasingly obvious in colorful "revolutions", perhaps a quote from one of our favorite psychologists would be an appropriate introduction to this installment of Connecting the Dots:
The biological, psychological, moral, and economic destruction of this majority of normal people is a "biological" necessity to the pathocrats. Many means serve this end, starting with concentration camps and including warfare with an obstinate, well-armed foe who will devastate and debilitate the human power thrown at him, namely the very power jeopardizing pathocrats rule.

- Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes
An almost-but-not-quite CIA coup in Iran, the spread of the Franken-flu, the US Empire's continued military agression in the Middle East and the courting of trouble with North Korea all should be enough to remind us that suffering is the daily bread of millions of people on our planet.

As often happens in life, when it rains - it pours. The month of June was a smashing one indeed; the mysterious loss of an Air France transcontinental flight provides a clue about the stage of the cycle of history that we are in. This detail is important enough to occupy the first place in our monthly analysis.

Cut

Associated Content Takes Down SOTT Server over "Feminist Perspectives on Natural Childbirth" - Caveat Lector!

Sorry We're Closed
As reported on the SOTT blog earlier today, SOTT.net was shut down due to a legal demand by a gang called "Associated Content". It was sent to the Hotmail account of one of the editors on June 20, which obviously we didn't get since SOTT email is received at sott(at)sott.net. Anyway, this morning we received the following from our server people:
Due to the below email, their is an abuse issue with your server. You have 24hrs to respond on how you will correct this issue before we null route the ip. Further complaints, without action may result in deactivation of your server.

Thanks for your cooperation.
An "abuse issue" in respect of a site that tracks socio-cultural energy and memes? A non-profit organization that disseminates information for research and discussion? Obviously, there is more here than meets the eye! So, let's have a look at the DMCA notice from Associated Content that followed:

Comment: Update! SOTT.net has received an email from Juniper as follows:
Subject: DMCA Nazis and Other Stuff
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 00:05:46 -0500
From: Juniper ****
To: sott(at)sott.net

Hi There,

I'm a SOTT reader and the author of the article "Feminist Perspectives on Natural Childbirth" that caused the recent brouhaha. I wanted to write to you guys and let you know that I was actually very happy when I saw that SOTT had published one of my articles. I was a little embarrassed since it wasn't one of my best (it was written at 2:00 am with a teething baby in my lap) but I actually had no problem whatsoever with SOTT reprinting the material.

I'm a freelance writer and I write for a number of "credible" sources, but I use AC for Op/Ed pieces, newsy bloggy stuff, and topics that are too political for other sources to publish. Writing for Associated Content is a labor of love-- I get paid all of about $3 per article on average. I really don't care if other sites want to republish my work, especially when they're sites that I support, like SOTT.

I have only had ONE article removed in over a year working as a freelance writer. SOTT links to Ning's removal notification, and to a forum where the members of the site defame me (without having the slightest clue who I am or how much money I don't make). Though SOTT cites that as evidence that I'm "militant" about copyright law, I'm actually not. I had the swine flu article removed from Ning only because it was a very hot topic and the reprint had surpassed my original copy on Google-- costing me about 10,000 pageviews. I get paid by pageviews, not by article, and I'm raising a family of three at well below the poverty line. I only bothered to have that ONE article removed because it was affecting my ability to earn a living.

SOTT's republication of my Natural Childbirth article didn't cost me a dime, because it was never a particularly popular article to begin with -- and because I never expected to make any "real" money on an op/ed piece like that. I really didn't care that it was republished, so please don't make me out to be a DCMA Nazi.

I'm really upset about the fact that SOTT- a website that I visit daily-- would be defaming me just because AC was bullying you guys with copyright law. For the record, I'm actually a fan and frequent reader of SOTT, and I was personally very happy to see that I was republished there.

This has been a lot of mess over an article that I was never even particularly fond of.

Before you defame or attack a writer, please make sure you ACTUALLY know who's looking at the other monitor. It hurts a lot to see a site that I respect call me "militant" about my financial rights, when I am neither militant nor financially well-off. I'm also cringing at the fact that anyone took the people at Ning seriously when they accused me of "profiting enormously" and being a money-grubber because I wasn't happy about losing pay to plagiarism. I've got rent to pay and a family to feed, but I'm by no means militant about DCMA.

You're welcome to republish this email, if you want. I don't want any other SOTT readers to think that I'm opposed to the SOTT's cause.

Cheers, Juniper Russo Tarascio
This information puts additional light on the situation and SOTT sincerely apologizes for any upset we may have caused Ms. Tarascio. What is important to note is the fact that Ms. Tarascio has informed us of the following curious fact:
SOTT's republication of my Natural Childbirth article didn't cost me a dime, because it was never a particularly popular article to begin with
In other words, it was Associated Content's sole decision to take this action in consideration of an article that was not even popular and had been receiving exposure on SOTT since January of 2009. How curious is that?


Red Flag

Economy shows cracks in European Union

AFP french workers
© Stephane De Sakutin / AFP - Getty Images
Workers from the Continental tire factory in Clairox, France, protest in front of the French News agency Agence-France-Presse headquarters in Paris to influence talks on compensations following the planned closure of their site.
Central tension between national priorities, collective interests intensifies

Berlin - The European Union is an extraordinary experiment in shared sovereignty, creating a zone of peace that now stretches from Britain to the Balkans. The union of 27 countries is the world's most formidable economic bloc, incorporating 491 million people in an integrated market that produces nearly a third more than the United States.

But the global economic crisis has made it clear that Europe remains less than the sum of its parts.

The crisis has presented the European Union with its greatest challenge, but even many committed Europeanists believe that the alliance is failing the test. European leaders, their focus on domestic politics, disagree sharply about what to do to combat the slump. They have feuded over how much to stimulate the economy. They argue about whether the European Central Bank should worry more about the deep recession or future inflation. And they have rushed to protect jobs in their home markets at the expense of those in other member countries.

Family

Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part XV

Buffalo Springfield
© Wikipedia
Buffalo Springfield, left to right: Stephen Stills, Dewey Martin, Bruce Palmer, Richie Furay, Neil Young
The Byrds were the very first folk-rock band to take flight, and the one that achieved the greatest fame, but to many discerning ears, Laurel Canyon's other folk-rock powerhouse, the Buffalo Springfield, was the more talented band.

In the literature chronicling the 1960s music scene, few stories are repeated more frequently than the legend surrounding the formation of what would later be regarded as perhaps the first 'supergroup.' All such accounts unquestioningly retell the story as though it were the gospel truth, seemingly oblivious to the improbability of virtually every aspect of the legend. And curiously, virtually every version of the story contains some form of the word "serendipity," as though everyone has been copying off the same kid's homework.

As the story goes, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, formerly of the Au Go-Go Singers, had recently transplanted themselves to Los Angeles after the breakup of the manufactured folkie group. Stills had been the first to relocate, in August of 1965. Furay flew out to join him in February 1966, after spending a little time working at defense giant Pratt & Whitney, and the two set their sights on putting together a folk-rock band.

Meanwhile, up in Toronto, Neil Young and Bruce Palmer were playing in a band known as the Mynah Birds - a band fronted by an AWOL Navy man known as Ricky James Matthews, who would later morph into funkmeister/torturer/rapist Rick James, but whose real name was James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.. The Mynah Birds broke up in March of 1965, just after authorities came calling on Matthews and tossed him in the Brooklyn Brig. Now in search of a new band, Young made the curious decision to head out to LA, for no better reason than that he had what Palmer described as "a hunch, a feeling that ... Stephen Stills was in LA."

Comment: Continue to part XVI