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Sat, 04 Dec 2021
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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.

Bad Guys

Who Was Robert McNamara?

McNamara in 1961
© Cecil Stoughton/Associated Press
McNamara in 1961 before it all went wrong
Robert S. McNamara, U.S. Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, died July 6, 2009 at the age of 93. He was involved in the shocking firebombing of Japanese cities at the end of World War II while still in his twenties. He was a central figure in the Bay of Pigs, Operation Mongoose, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the transition between Kennedy and Johnson, and the Vietnam War. He even testified to Congress about the incredible UFO sightings all around the country in 1966. You might say he was the Donald Rumsfeld of the 1960s, albeit without the abrasive personality (similar glasses and hairstyle, though).

But who was he really? Was he a psychopath? Did he have a conscience? If so, a look at his life might help us learn how people born with the possibility of developing conscience can match the most ruthless psychopath in death and destruction. Like Rumsfeld, he became identified with a disastrous quagmire of a war. Unlike Rumsfeld, he seems to have been tortured by it.

Vader

Is Palin failin' or moving on to bigger and better things?

palin stepping down
© Associated Press
July 3rd Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announces she is stepping down
Independence Day weekend in the US started with fireworks. Political fireworks. Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was not content to see Michael Jackson's death nor the infidelities of fellow conservative hypocri..er...politicians get all the media attention. On Friday she had to go drop a bombshell about her resignation. Both naysayers and rabid Palin supporters were surprised to hear that she was stepping down as governor of Alaska.

The conservative supporters seem to have been caught unaware, so much so, that they did not have an immediate talking point at hand, to explain it all away. Initial reactions to her announcement ranged from puzzlement to dismay to applause. The Sarah Palin blog lists a few. However, in the space of a few hours, the usual conservative pundits managed to come up with those handy talking points.

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.

MIB

Sickening Hypocrisy: the CIA's Dirty War in Iran

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© Unknown
Ahmadinejad shows us the way
Having won the presidential election by a landslide, Ahmadinejad and his backers within the Iranian regime should be basking in the glory of an overwhelming mandate from the Iranian people. Instead they face unrelenting pressure from within and without as they confront their deadliest crisis yet. The US and British media is presently falling over itself to broadcast images of an Iranian protestor shot dead in broad daylight, while repeatedly decrying "election fraud" in Iran.

Here's the BBC's coverage of the event. Note the well-placed image and caption (as appears in original article) of "grave spaces." The implication is left unsaid, but the suggestion is tantalising bait for readers by now emotionally charged from accounts of the martyred symbol of Iranian Freedom™: the Iranian regime is quietly burying evidence of its crimes in 'mass graves'...

Death video woman 'targeted by militia'
She was near the area, a few streets away, from where the main protests were taking place, near the Amir-Abad area. She was with her music teacher, sitting in a car and stuck in traffic.

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© BBC
Grave spaces have reportedly been set aside for those killed in Tehran clashes
She was feeling very tired and very hot. She got out of the car for just for a few minutes.

And that's when it all happened.

That's when she was shot dead. Eyewitnesses and video footage of the shooting clearly show that probably Basij paramilitaries in civilian clothing deliberately targeted her. Eyewitnesses said they clearly targeted her and she was shot in the chest.

Comment: Update: Iranian ambassador to Mexico suggests CIA could have killed Neda Soltan

Twitterati: How the wrong Neda photo became Iran's Face of Freedom™


Evil Rays

Kurt Sonnenfeld - FEMA's WhistleBlower?



Kurt Sonnenfeld
©Unknown
Kurt Sonnenfeld (right) at Ground Zero

As a contract employee for FEMA's Colorado regional branch, 35 year old Kurt Sonnenfeld was dispatched to videotape and photograph the rescue and recovery effort at ground zero in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. There was no restriction on what Sonnenfeld could film and no documents were signed by him that passed ownership of the footage to FEMA. According to the TVtechnology website, Sonnenfeld was FEMA's Denver-based Region 8 Public Affairs Officer and he worked the site as one of only four FEMA photographers along with FEMA's Denver-based Region 8 Deputy Public Affairs officer Jim Chestnutt.

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?


Bomb

Above Top Secret! Clear Evidence that Flight 77 Hit The Pentagon on 9/11

With so much debate going on over what really happened at the Pentagon on 9/11, and the obvious dire lack of coherent commentators to put and end to it once and for all, I decided that it was high time that I added my own reality-based voice to the debate and, in doing so, allow common sense to finally prevail over the ranting of wild-eyed, missing link type conspiracy theorists and liberals alike.

Despite the countless reams of electronic paper that have been wasted on the inane back and forward over what did or did not happen, the task of showing just what hit the Pentagon could not be easier, which makes it difficult to understand why the debate has lasted so long. If I didn't know better, I might almost think that there was some kind of conspiracy going on. Of course, I DO know better. Conspiracies simply do not exist - except for the small ones, they exist, but the big, scary ones do not, and never have. Everyone knows that.

Anyway, to get to the point. I will present conclusive evidence that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon by way of 10 carefully selected photos that, while they speak for themselves, will be accompanied by some incisive commentary by yours truly.

Let's get started:

Extinguisher

Connecting the Dots: Psychopaths Push Forward With Engineered Chaos, Conquest, War, Famine, and Death

Fire on earth
© Unknown
As an introduction to the current installment of Connecting the Dots, we would like to share something private with you.

It isn't easy to spend several hours in front of the computer every day researching, posting, writing and editing. While it may come as a surprise to some, all Sott editors have lives and other interests that we would gladly attend to if it were not for the time and effort that we choose to dedicate to Sott.net. Certainly it is an often thankless task but we are not looking for praise or adulation. The really heart breaking part of getting up close and personal on a daily basis with the reality of life on planet earth is the realization that, despite our efforts, in the end it will not be enough. At least, it will not be enough until more people choose to make an effort to see the truth of our current world situation (a web of pernicious lies) and make true conscience their guiding light. As one great man said: Humanity neither progresses nor evolves by Nature. One can evolve; humanity cannot, for evolution proceeds only consciously.

And today, as you will see as you read on, we are in desperate need of more people to stand up and make a conscious choice. Because our world is on fire literally and figuratively, and while the fire has burned for many centuries, it is very likely that we will soon reach, and surpass, 'boiling point'. To be brutally honest, there are precious few 'fire exits' left, and if radical action is not taken, and soon, there will be nothing left but ashes and perhaps a few bones for future archeologists to dig up.

We know that, as regular readers, you are aware of how dire the situation is. The problem is that the rest of the population is still sound asleep and largely oblivious of the threat that confronts them. Despite the angst and understanding that we may never reach a wider audience, we still choose to try, because the alternative - to watch the unfolding chaos and do nothing - is too horrifying to contemplate for any person with even half a conscience.

There is a saying that, in order to help others, one must first learn to help oneself. Working on SOTT has had and continues to have profound effects on us, the editors, on many levels. We can only hope that the fruits of our effort are helpful to you the reader also and may assist you to reach a deeper understanding of our reality and the problems we face, and perhaps make a conscious choice to do something to safeguard your own future and that of your children.

For our part, we promise that we will do everything in our power to continue to be the lighthouse.

And so, without further ado;

Family

The Evolution of Humanity

Imagine that you are standing in a large room full of people. You are not part of the assembled crowd but are merely observing the activities and the people.

A large and grandiose party is in full swing. People continue to arrive all the time, swelling the already voluminous mass of humanity. A band plays in the corner, some of the people are talking and drinking while others dance to the music. As you wander around you notice that the people gathered in the room seem to have organised themselves into groups. As you listen in on the conversations that are taking place you learn that these groups seem to be organised by social status, racial type or simply those with a similar world view. Very clear however is the fact that there are those that are well dressed and seem to be well fed and there are those that appear to be rather more disheveled and materially poor.